Thursday, September 24, 2009

Freshen Things Up

I tried something new tonight.Instead of my usual VFAC workout I trained tonight with coach Richard Lee and a few very good runners in Mundy Park. I love running with VFAC but I need someone to chase, someone who can run sub 30 minutes. I am looking to run workouts with people who are faster then me and who will show me a true measure of my fitness. Tonight that happened.

Of course what would a workout be without a little stress and excitement. I work downtown. Mundy Park is in Port Coquitlam. Normally with no traffic this drive can be done in around 20 to 30 minutes. I was stuck in traffic for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. Total nightmare. When I got to the park I had to change into my running gear with a towel around my privates then find the nearest bathroom for by exploding bladder. By this time I was 20 minutes late for the workout and consequently missed the group. I decided to run in the Park in the hopes I would find the group while they were either warming up or running their workout. I came across a group from SFU and asked them if they knew Richard or if they saw any other groups training in the park. At first I was not sure if they spoke English, secondary to the perplexed looks on their faces. They did not know who or what I was talking about despite being on the SFU cross country team. I turned around and a thin, coach looking man came walking towards me. Thankfully I am beginning to look my age as Richard saw me run by and thought I was much too old to be running with SFU. We had a quick salutation and he sent me into the park for the remainder of my warm up on a 2 km loop which would serve as our workout route.

I began my warm up and by the time I was back to the starting point the other runners were rolling in from their warm up. We did our drills and strides and it was time to run. I was a little nervous going into the first interval as I did not know what to expect. I have seen these guys names in results ever since I moved to BC and am in awe of them in many respects. I was terrified I would be dropped in the third or fourth intervals so I was cautious to not over extend myself. The pace was nice and even and we worked together in the first interval. I was able to chase for the remainder of the workout and even managed to descend the workout. My last interval was approximately 15 seconds faster then the first. A great run for my first night out with a different group.

The workout was great. I think the best aspect for me was quick recovery. I have a funny body that recovers very quickly. If I have too long between intervals I get bored and cold and lose some of my pop and zip. Long recovery also enables me to think about the upcoming pain, question my ability and worry if I will make my times. With a quick recovery the mind is occupied with telling the body to relax, oxygenate and re-focus for the next hard effort. There is not enough time to worry.

Or maybe the best aspect was having someone to chase and people chasing, closely. It was great to have someone to hang onto then watch break away. It is inspirational to watch someone run very fast and see what it takes to run sub 30 minutes. It is inspirational to know that the person who runs sub 30 minutes has a great deal of talent but more importantly is more or less a real person with a super human work ethic and tolerance for pain. Or maybe the best aspect was that even though I was with a group of guys who have run at the highest levels in Canada, they were still just a bunch of guys out for a run in Mundy Park.

Thankfully the traffic was much better for the drive back to Vancouver and I made it to downtown in less then 40 minutes. I was even early for a meeting I had at 8:15.

This weekend I am racing another cross country meet, this one in Surrey then I have a few decisions to make. In many ways I feel like I am at a cross roads in my life in many different areas. I am getting to a time in my life when there are going to be fewer and fewer second chances. For running I am at the point where I am towards the end of my improvement. I still have drive and desire to race and train hard but what is the point? What is my goal? I need to sit down and decide what I want to do with running. Do I want to take a big risk, put myself on the line and try for something bigger? Many of my decisions hinge on running. I have a very rich and full life as a high performance athlete, good career, wonderful friends and very busy schedule. With my current lifestyle I have come to the conclusion that I am undatable. I am very busy and others just do not fit into that lifestyle. It seems the preference these days is for average, and I am exceptional. I feel I have to give up running at a high level to fit a man into my life. I have met men who I would drop a workout or two for but for various reasons we have not clicked. Maybe I have made my decision, my love of sport and running fills my heart more then any man has shown he is willing to do. It is my passion, my one and only.

This has been a ramble, easy to see I have been thinking a lot.

Happy Training!


  1. Jay, I'm always amused with your running writings. I need to 'muscle up' and seek out a Vancouver running club instead of my current practice of commuting twice a week to Qualicum Beach for Orca Runners training.
    I wish I could find a West End running group that would run with me for tempo and interval training. Roger

  2. Good luck in your race this weekend! You should definitely keep up with this high level of running and see where you can go with your talent - life is too short to wonder, what if?

    Great writing - I try to keep up with your updates and blog! Also- I have a friend who you might get in contact with, a triathlete like myself but he lives in San Fran.

  3. Jay, I tell you, train with that group once a week and you will go close or sub 30 10k. John may not like it, but he will understand. I came here in 96 running with a good UK CLUB but then thrust myself into the deep end with the Kajaks and went from 30.56 to 30.06 in 3 months, why, because I worked out with faster guys, chased them on the trails, road and track. It wasnt always pretty, time consuming going to richmond on the bus when i could have run Stanley park, but it was worth it. I dont like you leaving the thursday group, but totally understand. Thats the reason I joined Vfac, I ran 1.17 with the Hersheys for half, then 1.13 in 6 months with Vfac cause I had you and the lads to run with. You cant do it all by yourself. See you at 08.45 tomorrow. Cheers KO

  4. Thanks for the comments!
    Roger: Join a group in the city. John Hill has a Wednesday night group that might work for you and if you are too fast you can bump up to the Thursday/Saturday Group!
    Lisa: I have never been to San Fran but I hear it is quite lovely!
    Kevin: Thanks for the encouragement and the multiple drives!

  5. Good luck on your race!

    As for the life goals, you are the only one who knows what is best but whatever you choose I don't think dating or atheltics has to be mutually exclusive. I'm sure tons of guys would be happy with someone as insightful as you. Maybe someone who is also an athlete would better understand. Look at Andrew Smith and Tara Quinn-Smith for inspiration.