I seem to want what I can't have. It is a pattern I have had since childhood. For some reason I have wanted to go skate skiing the last few days. I do not really know why. To be honest, I love summer and I really hate being cold. Winter can be wonderful, my memories of winter as a child are of beautiful crisp winter nights when the stars seem to be close enough to touch, almost like fireflies that one can catch in a jar. The smell of woodsmoke in the air, the sound of snow squeaking underfoot and stopping to hear nothing but silence, occasionally pierced by the howl of a coyote, are memories I hold onto. I believe there is nothing more romantic then walking at night with giant snowflakes gently fumbling from the sky. I suppose it would be nice to somehow have summer here in the city and still be able to ski and enjoy winter up in the mountains. That would be ideal.
This past winter I started skate skiing as a type of cross training. It was a welcome change from the pounding of running and afforded time to spend with friends I do not see enough while training as much as I do now. It was nice to head to Cypress for an evening or to Callahan Valley to ski on the 2010 Olympic Trails. One of the highlights was seeing the giant ski jumps. I also headed up to Silver Star in Vernon BC for a ski weekend. Although I am just a beginner I enjoy skate skiing very much. It is fun and an amazing workout! It is also one of the sports that leads to me bonking. After years and years of running and hundreds of long runs my first ever bonk was skate skiing. Worth every calorie.
Maybe I like skate skiing because of the trails. I love being in the trails whether skiing or running. Time seems to go by faster when flying through the trails. My club mate and friend Simon is a well renowned trail runner. He has been making a very good argument lately to start racing in the trails. This year I am committed to the roads, but as I get older and my body starts to break down on the hard pavement I will hit the trails for some interesting training and fun racing!
Tonight's workout was a double loop of approximately 5km followed by a single loop of 2.5 km. The first loop of the first interval felt easy and controlled and I went under pace time with ease. The second half of the interval felt good but I did feel like I was pushing hard. For much of the loop I could hear my club mate Peter running on my shoulder which was nice, it is great to have someone pushing and to know that people are gunning for me. My only issue was that my pace fell off. My mind may have wandered a bit and at one point I may have been thinking about what I am going to wear to work tomorrow, not good focus. As fast as the first loop was the second loop was at least 6 seconds over pace. For the second interval we were instructed to run around 20 seconds faster then our per lap pace of the first interval. With full recovery I was ready and rearing to hit the last interval hard and make up for my little lapse in concentration. I ran around 15-20 seconds faster for my last interval. I felt like I was running fast and with adequate form. I was up on my toes and was able to drive through my stride. On the uphill section I was able to increase my cadence then stretched out my stride and stayed light and crisp through the flat sections. There was some residual fatigue from my long tempo, I do not think this had a negative effect on my workout.
So now I hope to have a good sleep tonight and a stress free Friday. Saturday will involve some fresh waffles in the morning after a nice sleep in. I will have my typical pre-race strides and drills and a light swim. I am not tapering whatsoever for the race this weekend so it will not be a barometer of my fitness. I want this to be a Workman's effort, a rung on the ladder to a sub 1:10 half marathon!