Friday, February 17, 2006

Two Month Countdown

Two month countdown to launch... A mere eight weeks and I can hear the clock ticking...

Since setting my sights on Boston some fifteen months ago I am getting to the point where my goal is in sight. My mindsight for Boston is already eerily similar to what is was in the week leading up to my qualifying effort in The Okanagan Marathon in Kelowna. A sense of inevitability, a relative calm that I am doing and will have done all that I can do and that on the day of the race, whatever is supposed to happen, will happen.

After fretting about my weight being at a sticking point, this morning I was 178. Last time I checked, it was 181-182 and had been there forever it seemed.

Tuesday I did a relatively easy tempo run after doing 34.5 kilometres on Sunday. Wednesday I did eight long hills on the UBC Hill, which is just over a mile in length. Was a little stiff on Thursday, but went out to a Personal Best Speed Clinic and after doing strides in some bitterly cold (I can hear them laughing in Edmonton and all places North... but heh!, it was minus fifteen degrees with the wind-chill) we did a little two and a half kilometre time trial to see where everyone was in the clinic.

There was not a soul in the clinic who didn't sprint through the 2.5K if only to get warm and to make it back to the Running Room. My Gawd!, it was cold. It was so cold my nipples could have cut glass. My spit was bouncing off the pavement and the balls were dropping off of brass monkeys. It was cold! Did I mention it was cold.

Long story short, I ran the 2.5K in 10:16, and that was after falling head over heels on the Seawall in the pitch black light conditions we call dusk on the West Coast in Winter. I flashed back to two years ago at nearly the exact same spot on the Seawall and nearly the exact same time of the year when I planted my foot on the edge of the Seawall curb in the dark and fractured my ankle.

I won't say my heart didn't leap into my throat. I was running hard last night, imagining myself on the streets of Boston, and when I stretched out to plant a foot, the pavement receded into a depression, I overextended and promptly went ass over teakettle. No!, was the first thing I thought, protected my lower body as best I could and sacrificed those parts of my body that could take the punishment the best, like my hands, chin, and face. I can call it character...

I somersaulted a few times and rolled to my feet and kept going. The runner just in front of me later said he heard a thud, but it was so dark he couldn't a damn thing, or me fall either (yes, get it, I am the damn thing - man, it kills me to have to explain my material...). Justin was right behind me and he didn't see a thing either! They missed a beauty of a spill. I got to my feet without any trouble and kept at it, I won't say hammer and tongs, because by now even I was a bit cautious. A few hundred metres later the same thing almost happened again, which made me wonder if it was because I was stiff from the hill repeats, overstriding or just going to fast in the dark. In the end I took a little off my speed and finished in 10:16, a time I was well satisfied with. Under ideal conditions, I feel pretty confident that I could do the 2.5K in under ten minutes.

Sukhi, Justin and Patrick had peak heart rates of 195, 192 and 185. Did I mention they were children? Like 32, 28 and 27. I need to start running with old farts my own age. Where is Hugh when I need him? Oh yes, I topped out at 178, and I was quite conscious of holding back after my little tumble...

All in all, a satisfying workout.


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