Wednesday, 24 August 2011

#23: All Things Must Pass

So it's been awhile since I wrote anything of importance or interest on my blog and unfortunately that isn't about to change here today. I fully intend to resume my writing on relevant and controversial health and fitness topics shortly, but lately I just haven't had the time or energy to do so. As I mentioned before, I was stuck in a bit of a running rut and was putting a lot of pressure on myself to get out of it. Running was becoming a bit too consuming and obsessive and so I needed to step back and think critically about what it was I was doing and also why?

I mean let's face it... I am not a pro or elite athlete and never will be. I train ridiculously hard and often... for what? A finisher's medal, a top 10, 15, 20 finish (depending on who shows up); perhaps an age group prize and running room gift certificate! It's quite silly when you really think about it. 6, sometimes 7, days a weeks, 10+ hours and 100+km of running, sometimes hard, fast and outright uncomfortable! And all for... not much!

Okay, okay, hold on. There's much more to it than this. If it was such a raw deal, why would I be doing it? Certainly there are reasons. Most importantly, is simply that I love to run! Nothing in life (that I have discovered so far) feels quite as good and satisfying as getting out and running. It adds value and meaning to my life. I am doing something that I truly love and wouldn't give it up for the world. It provides me with a sense of accomplishment, it challenges me to be better than I was the day before, it makes me feel good and alive. It gets me outdoors, it keeps me in great shape (VO2max of 75!), allows me to meet other like-minded people and create friendships and share experiences. It keeps me slim and trim, fit and fast. Running is a part of who I am, who I've become and also who I intend to be. It's my past, present and future. For me, running is a way of life.

That said, I am still in my running funk but feel I am on the way out. I competed in the Simcoe Shores Relay this past weekend and despite not running as fast or as far as I had hoped, I still had an unbelievable experience in which I got to hang out with 7 other exceptionally awesome guys as well as countless others. Our team (Longboat Lightning) ended up coming in second place by only 4 and a half minutes after a grueling 16hr and 24min race over 245km! Despite this fact, the whole team was extremely happy with our effort and weren't bothered in the least my the result. We ran hard and had fun; what could be better?!

The weekend took a lot out of me (and everyone for that matter) and so this week is set to be an easy one with plenty of rest and recovery. I went out on Tuesday feeling good and did an easy 10k (I wore my new Puma Faas 400's and felt great in them) and then managed to survive a V02max test as part of a friend's research study. My result of 75ml/kg/min puts me well above average in the 90th percentile, right up there with some elite athletes and runners. The number came as a bit of a surprise which at first was welcomed, but now I feel that it adds a bit of pressure and expectation to succeed. Perhaps in time, my running will live up to the hype of that number.

For now, it continues to be smart and sensible training for the upcoming marathon. Scotiabank is now less than 8 weeks away and there is still plenty of work to be done. The next weeks will require some final mileage building and perhaps a few 36km+ long runs, plenty of tempo (marathon pace) running and also some fine-tuning to nutrition and fuelling strategies. This will be followed by a 2-3 week taper. This week on the other hand will feature some more easy/recovery runs and moderate mileage and will conclude Sunday with my local hometown 10k race in Ingersoll, ON (the Ingersoll Harvest Run). Rather than go out and race it (and end up being disappointed), I intend to pace the 10k and use this as a good tempo training session that will teach important lessons on sticking to a game-plan, not going out too fast, and pacing myself in a race environment. I also look forward to (finally) beating my younger brothers at a running race, which to this point, has (surprisingly) never occurred.

In other news, my best friend Andrew, has left Toronto for the East coast to pursue his medical degree at Dalhousie (but in New Brunswick) and I wish him nothing but success as he begins his journey to becoming an MD. Watching AD while eating ice cream sandwiches and French Toast will be sorely missed! I'd also like to offer my profound appreciation and condolences for the late Jack Layton: a natural leader, honest politician and overall great personality. Our country has lost so much more than a political leader.

I apologize for the lack of pictures and useful (or at least controversial) information in this posting. I didn't think they were warranted but promise they will return shortly.

No comments: