Sunday, August 06, 2006

Cranking It Up Again

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I woke up this morning at 6:00 AM and after a quick cup of coffee slathered on the 60 Sunblock. I pulled my Boston Marathon cap on for good luck and inspiration. Then I jumped in my sports car and hit the open highway. I was a man on a mission.

For the first time in nearly three months I ran a hard race. My average heart rate over a full 10K race was 167 (84%) with a maximum heart rate of 184 (92%) at the end. The last three kilometers I ran at 172-174 and felt comfortable. Okay, sort of comfortable.

I did the Squamish 10K Race in a rather sobering 47:25, but given that I had seriously scaled back my hard work-outs while undergoing my recent treatment for Actinic Keratosis, I was actually pretty pleased with my performance. My mileage figures were cut nearly in half these past few months. All my runs were mostly of the long slow easy variety. They were easy on my body and good for my spirit.

I am pleased with the fact that last Sunday I raced in the Summerfast 10K, although not nearly as hard, and I was a full three minutes faster a week later. And it was HOT this morning. Easily in the mid-70s, hotter when you take into account that we were running on pavement.

The other inescapable fact was that this morning I hit the scales at 206 pounds. While going through the 45 days of Efudex treatment twice a day, I concentrated most on getting healthy, and there is no denying that I fell back on food - good food and comfort food - as a means of coping with both pain and depression. And there is no denying the fact that I was just stuck in doors a lot! I also drank a lot more alcohol that I would typically. Maybe even two or three times as much as usual. I also took a lot of health food supplements.

So if I was thirty pounds or 15% above my ideal race weight, I was also 15% slower. Given the way my health has been improving - and even my general disposition! - I can deal with all of those things in a reasonable and timely fashion. And it makes me look forward to bearing down again and doing the work needed to get back in shape again for Boston. I am going to continue to put off the additional Ironman training for at least another three months. I need to fully recover first.

The best part of all was that I was able to run the entire race with a very good friend of mine, someone who is in the top three in her age category in the Timex Road Race Series. Despite the heat, she broke 48 minutes in a 10K for the first time. It felt great to be part of someone's personal best. Afterwards, we sat in the shade, doused our heads with ice water, drank lots of water and I won't say I - and we - didn't enjoy the usual fabulous buffet of post-race carbs put out by the volunteers. The Nanaimo Bars were most excellent! I only had two!

And afterwards, I had time to drive back to Vancouver to have lunch with the rest of my running buddies who were putting in their mileage for the Marathon Clinic.

Part of the reason for me only doing 10K today was that on next Saturday, I am running the Stormy Ultramarathon 67 K Trail Race through the mountains around Squamish.

And yes, I'm planning to take it easy...

But I can't wait!


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