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 ...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

It's been a long time since...

...I biked three hours (last Thursday) - some time last year
...I swam 2900m (last Wednesday) - Ironman 2007

...I ran over an hour in length - Gibraltar last November
...I ran an hour and a half - last week
...I ran over two hours - last Sunday (2:02)
...I felt this good running - ?

Of course now that I seem to be feeling pretty good and starting on some pace workouts (6:30 per mile) and hill runs, I can imagine the feeling won't last. I only have the last two years to fall back on to emphasize this. I can't remember the last time I was gearing up for a race without some kind of concern or injury. I suppose it was in early 2008 when Spartathlon was the big one on the radar and I was running well in the spring and everything seemed to be going as planned. Then I learned my lesson by running too many races too soon, a lesson that I won't repeat. Speaking of Spartathlon, Canadian living in America, Glen Redpath, ultrarunner extraordinaire, has contacted me for advice on the race. Seems he's wanting to do it this September which can only mean that my Canadian record is most definitely in jeopardy. He should be in the running to win it so it will be an honour if my record falls to him.
So another reason I'll soon break myself again is that the plan I meant to follow starting in January I am only getting into now. Whenever I put down on paper what I should do, that's when I push myself too far and overdo it. Plus I'm trying to catch up to where the Comrades plan is now, which is a long run of 26 miles. I only hit 16 on the weekend, 12 last week, and 8 the week before. What's the old adage? Only increase your weekly mileage by 10% at at time? At that rate I wouldn't be close to being ready for South Africa. This week is a 20 miler followed by a 22 or 24 the week after. Yikes, was that my bones groaning?!?!

On a more interesting note, Barb Owen from Maple Ridge and extremely talented ultrarunner, has completed two of three races this year entailing 135 mile runs. First off was Brazil 135 through the hotness and humidness. Two weeks later was the Arrowhead 135 in Minnesota. In February. With temperatures cold enough to freeze clothes to your body should you be unfortunate enough to let yourself sweat, Barb trudged through brutal conditions to become the only woman to finish this year and only the second woman in the race's seven-year history to cross the line in the time allowed. Next on Barb's list is the Badwater 135 mile race through Death Valley. She has her application in so hopefully she'll be accepted into that one and try to complete all three in one year. I'm awaiting permission to publish here her account of both events. Stay tuned.

Next on the "man, are there ever a lot of athletes better than me" list, is Greg McHale (that's him on the right). Greg is Denise McHale's (remember Denise? First Canadian woman at the World 100k in Gibraltar and Canadian record holder for the 100k, and recently won the Yukon marathon outright. No wonder she has no time to write entries in her blog!) husband and an adventure racer. He decided to enter and complete the Yukon Arctic Ultra race that started last week and he finished yesterday - 8 days and 6 hours later. Did I mention it was 430 miles? In the Yukon? In February? Yes, that's a bit of an adventure.

I had a revelation while running the other day: I'm considering all my pre-40 years-old racing times to be defunct. Now that I've crossed over into middle-age, all my times are now new. SO, if I run a marathon again before I'm 50, the time to beat is 2:57 that I did last fall in Kelowna. When I'm 50 it starts all over again.

Carrie got me a copy of Chasing Legends for Valentine's Day, so anyone wanting a screening can let me know!

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