If the miles behind me could be put into words before you, you would feel my efforts, my struggles, my desires. Most of all you would see my joy. Watch me from afar run the trails and hills and miles upon miles and you will see ...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Reality Check

Just so you know: I'm doing some events in the World Police/Fire Games at the beginning of August. The events I'm doing are:

Grouse Grind
Seymour Hill Climb (bike)
Triathlon Relay, bike leg

Now, I don't know what I was thinking when I signed up for these. How was I going to fit in training for these events when I've only been road running with a minimal amount of biking? I also forgot Carrie was doing a course for work in the first two weeks of July which limits my time to get out as well. We're also busy the last two weeks of July which leaves very little time. Not that I'm making excuses, it's just the way it is.
I guess I thought a little bit of running up Grouse would get me in shape for the Grind. Was I ever wrong. This year has been strictly a road running year. Not a lick of trails. None. How I thought I could just go out and do a 2.9km, 2800' climb without any background trail running, I don't know. Anyways, yesterday was my wake-up call. I went to North Van to run the route at 7am and was surprised to see how many cars and people were already there. All levels and types of people were there: the recreational with pants, casual shoes, and polo shirts, the hardcore with ipods and outfitted with all the gear, and some in between. I was equipped with one handheld water bottle and my trail shoes I haven't worn in about a year.
I started out running because it doesn't get all that steep for a few hundred feet. My running lasted all of two minutes. Yes, 2 minutes. I should have worn my heart rate monitor but I wouldn't have been able to read it with my blurred vision. It must have been off the charts. I had this pain in my chest like a bad cold and was spitting out that stuff that has that coppery taste (ew!). FYI: I had this weird chest-cold-like cough the rest of the day. I didn't run anymore of the route. I passed a lot of others who were struggling like me. Most of them had their head down, were breathing hard, and had a zombie-like look and walk about them.
All the way up I thought about how, as soon as I got home, I'd be withdrawing from this event. Why would I put myself through this when I have no chance of being competitive and won't help in any other area of my training. In fact it is taking away from my regular training time and working different muscles I don't need for running on the road. Then I thought, what the hell, I can walk this thing just for "fun" in the Games. I was grateful the gondola was running at 8am instead of 9 so I didn't have to claw my way back down. My splits:

1/4 - 12:30
1/2 - 22:00
3/4 - 33:00
top - 43:30

I think I could take off a few to break the 40 minute barrier but we'll see. I might get up there a couple more times but that'll be it.

That same afternoon Carrie and I took the kids out to Whonnock Lake in Maple Ridge where the triathlon is to be held. They went to the beach and I went around the course on my bike. In a word: HILLY. What is it with me and these events?? I have to do some track races.
It was actually a great course and I'm looking forward to it. It took me 1:13 but that was 1) after the Grind, and 2) being unfamiliar with the course. I'll get out there again and do it while fresh. Must get in more miles!!

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