Friday, October 18, 2013

Running, etc.

Other than "marathon training", not much else is happening these days in the workout department. Sure, I had two glorious days of biking with friends last weekend, including my first slow-mo fall on my P2 in front of three dozen of "serious" cyclists (they all had matching kits, booties and cleat covers), which left me with a couple of colourful bruises, including a big one on my ego. I have no explanation other than the bike did not want to go when I clipped in to go. Imagine that.

I also went swimming a few times, twice with the tri group, and once with a swim coach who's supposed to do a video analysis and pick at my flaws next week. I learned a few tricks and heard some old truths. I did not mind swimming with the group either. Maybe it's a new beginning, despite my old frustrations and fears. I'm giving it another chance over the winter and maybe my brain will stay put and get on with the program. We shall see...

But back to running, I still have this marathon to run in three weeks. I'm still going for the full, even though I had serious thoughts about switching to a half, just to be able to run with Nicole and Sam and make it more fun. But then two other friends of mine are running the full as well, so I'm thinking that we may need each other in the long run, literally. I promised myself that if my legs don't start screaming, then I shall not chicken out. So legs, until then, shut up.

My schedule is not too crazy and although some may think that I will be running this marathon unprepared, I think I know my body better. After all, I ran my first and best marathon by accident without doing any runs longer than 25km. Then I trained for one "properly", with several 30km+ runs an it ended being my worst. I am going for a PR, even if it's just a minute. I think I can do it as my fitness improved a lot in a year and a half of training for triathlons. But if things end up going downhill, aside from the course incline, then I'll reevaluate. One thing for sure, I'm going to carry my magic pickle juice for good juju.

Last week I went on my longest run this year, 24km which I chose to do on the Caledon Trailway, away from the city. Last time I ran there was in the summer during the race simulation day. Initially I thought about going early in the morning, but as my alarm clock went off, I heard the rain tapping on my window and changed my mind. I was afraid of catching a cold by running 2 weekends in a row soaked to the bone, so I postponed it for later in the day, hoping for mother nature to take a break from all the bitching and crying. She did around noon, but we were eating lunch. When we eventually got ready to go, it was 2:30pm and the sky was looking menacing again. It was also cold, so we decided to grab a coffee on the go, but by the time we got to Timmies, the rain started again. Seriously, WTF!

We drove about 15 minutes north to the trail, debating whether to turn around or HTFU it all the way. Once we reached the trail and parked the car, I was reluctant to get out. This was not going to be fun.
Mmmmmm, corn.
Do I really have to get out of the car?
With this guy, it should not be so bad.
We took the picture above just before we started running. The plan was for Zin to do 12km with me, then 12km on his bike, while I kept on running. Not even 30sec after we took the picture though, it started pouring. Are you freaking kidding me? Not even a light rain, but buckets of water. We turned into soaked beans again.
It didn't look pretty anymore. More like a long streak of diarrhea.
My mood took a 360 degree turn and I was ready to strangle someone. The victim of biggest convenience, hubbs. He must have sensed the fumes coming out of my ears because he took off ahead of me to stay safe. The farthest away he was running, the more annoyed I would get because I was feeling so slow and unmotivated and I had no one to share my pain with. Despite the beautiful setting, I did not want to be there, running in the rain, having to jump over puddles to keep my feet dry.
Chasing my hubbs
Leading the way
I kept on chasing him up and down the trail and telling myself that I'd run back to my car and end this misery. But once I finished the first 12km, I could not stop. I was running away from the car again, but this time I was counting the kilometers to the turn around point. Six more, then the last six. That didn't sound so bad anymore. Maybe I could do this, even if the heart wasn't it in. Zin put on his funny attitude, trying to cheer me up. He succeeded for about a minute, then I went back to fighting the voices that were telling me that enough was enough.
Somewhere in that little brain of mine, something was telling me to keep smiling
Especially for this guy, my everything. A gel for another smile, maybe?
The kilometers were going by slower and slower and to add insult to irony, a stitch decided to park itself between my ribs. Hello there little fucker, and no, I didn't miss you. Now, get the hell OUT. Sigh, it didn't listen... stayed there pretty much until the end, just because it could. I pushed through, telling myself that for sure it'll come back during the marathon and then what? Walk, maybe, but what if I didn't need to?

This blog post sounds like a race report already, but trust me, I'm trying to speed up my thinking. It's just that I have a few more pictures and I need more paragraphs to drop in between. Maybe I'll find something interesting to say. Yeah, what about that tiny little snake across the path? Or the beaver dam? And let's not forget the Hwy 10 overpass which I hate with all my guts. If you see my heart rate going through the roof, it's because of it:
Going East
Going West
Okay, I am seriously running out of words here. So much verbiage for a shitty run, it's not even worth it. Just so you know: I DID IT. Ran all 24km. Then, laying on my back beside my car, on the cold and wet ground, I looked at the sky for a while, and didn't regret a single minute.

My coffee was cold, my legs were aching. Hubbs was driving. I was in love again - he was going to bring me back home, to my ice bath, my comfy couch and Breaking Bad.

Tomorrow I'll run 26km.


  1. I am really not a fan of rain runs at all, but I always feel kind of awesome if I actually hang in there. So, way to hang in there! You guys seems great together. Awesome to have someone be there with you in your misery :)

    Thanks for your very honest and thoughtful comment on my blog. I appreciate it!

    1. Michael, always my pleasure. I am often afraid to hurt people's feelings by being honest, but I am happy that you didn't take it the wrong way. Maybe we can chat someday about turning 40 and how to make it our best year. I'm with you in that boat, just a few months behind.

      Indeed, having hubby with me always make workouts easier, even though he pushes me out of my comfort zone. I know you have a speedy guy with you as well and it's not always easy to train together, but he may just be your ticket to faster times. ;-)

  2. Way to push through, Irina. It's these crappy ones that make us stronger. Can't wait to see you in two weeks. And Nicole gave me the Road ID today. Thanks again! It's great!