With a growing list of things to do (my MSc. thesis, RA and TA work, Longboat VP responsibilities, and running/training) and less and less time to do it; I've decided to take some time and to do what I prefer and enjoy, rather than what I need to do. Right now, that's to write this blog post.
Today is the last day of January. Where did that month go?! I managed to return from an ankle injury in December to run 419km this month including a race, the Robbie Burns 8k, this past Sunday (29 Jan) when I surprised myself and ran a time of 27:45 (3:28/k), cracked the top 10 (9th overall (out of 827); 8th male (out of 417)), and almost managed to beat all my fellow LB club members (I let one of them beat me to the line by less than a second but beat him on chip time). It was a near perfect day as conditions were good (not too cold and not too windy) and the course was practically flat. I tried something totally new which was to go out "slow" and ease into the race. This strategy worked out well since I didn't over extend myself in the opening km's and thus I really didn't fade at all. Splits: 3:28.25, 3:27.81, 3:27.61, 3:27.27, 3:27.07, 3:28.18, 3:29.94 and 3:19.78!
It was a great race and was followed by a great day. The reason I was rather surprised by this was a) I had missed 3 entire weeks of running prior to coming back in early January and had thus missed a number of key (speed) workouts and base building; b) was feeling apathetic towards the race and was doubting my ability to perform and c) had been out the night before until 2am, where I drank half a bottle of red wine and a couple of beers (not usually a wise choice). I certainly wasn't about to create excuses before the race but oddly wasn't feeling as 'worked up' for the event as I usually am. In the end, it may have actually helped.
It certainly seems that my (our) training has been going well and is now paying off. There are now just less than 5 weeks before the next test, the Chilly Half-Marathon in Burlington on 04 March, and plenty of work to be done including higher mileage (a minimum of 110km/wk from here until May); no days off in all February, and plenty of tempo, hill and speed workouts. With my ankle still not at 100%, I'm hoping to survive the mileage and workouts and continue to improve ever so slightly as we move from day to day. My goal for the Half will be 1:17 anything (essentially sub 1:18), with a 1:18 or 1:19 as acceptable and a 1:20 as a 'worst case scenario.' I have no reason to think that the goal can't be met if I stay healthy and stick to the training schedule. It certainly helps to have my training partners (MD and DL) to slug out these many kilometres day after day and the wisdom and experience of my coaches (RC and RM) to back me up. Without them, none of this would be possible.
It goes without saying but doing the training certainly won't be easy, since as mentioned, I am currently busy (overwhelmed) with many other aspects of my life. In case you didn't realize, running/training is only just one part of my life; albeit an important and significant one and often the subject of this blog! My life as a graduate student is hopefully coming to a close as I intend to write and defend my thesis before the end of May before celebrating briefly (Cabot Trail) and then finding work. Making this task more complicated is my continued role as a teaching assistant, a research assistant/work-study student, and soccer official; not to mention my "social" life. The details of these aren't very exciting and thus won't be elaborated upon.
Well that's it for now. In sum, I had a great race recently and am now looking forward to more training and preparation for the big event (Goodlife Toronto Marathon) in May. I'll try to keep the other aspects of my life under control and perhaps even try to enjoy them. I'm trying hard not to start any more 'war of words' with fellow running bloggers but won't promise anything. This one really tried my patience. Until next time, keep running. Cheers.