2010 marks my 10 year anniversary of starting to run. If the first two days of 2010 are a measure of my year to come I am very excited.
I ran my first workout in just under two months today. I made my way to Beaver Lake in Stanley Park to run 5 X 1 km (the real 1 km loop, not the short UBC loop). I was not optimistic heading into this workout as I woke up feeling tired with a splitting headache which required 2 extra strength Advil (I should either stop drinking red wine or get a sponsorship from Advil or Motrin). I also felt a bit queasy and generally fatigued. Knowing that I do not run well on pain killers, have been abusing my body the last 6 weeks, have not run a hard workout in a couple of months and on top of everything to be training by myself made me anticipate slow times. I was forecasting a 3:10 to open the workout and then try to work down to sub 3 minutes by my final interval.
I had a sluggish warm-up with satisfactory drills and strides. Although I felt pretty gross my feet were quick of the ground and I had a bit of a bounce in my step. There was a steady rain and my feet were wet within a minute of starting my run (I love my Fast Twitch flats but the lack of structure means that water comes up through my toes when I step in a puddle and mud in the trails). I started my first interval and it felt moderately good through the first 800 meters then less then stellar for the last 200. I had no idea how fast I was running. Upon finishing the loop I looked at my watch and thought I saw 3:36. My heart sunk as I realized I was in way worse shape then I had thought. I took a second glance at my watch and realized it read 2:56. I was excited and very relieved. I followed this effort with a 2:57, 2:56, 2:56 and a 2:58. The last two intervals were an effort and I could feel my lack of training. I am ecstatic with this workout!
After my first interval I did not care what I ran for the rest of the workout. My goals for the workout were to work the lungs and legs, get that 'lovin feeling' back and run sub 3 minutes for at least one km. I figure with all factors recognized this workout would put me around 3:50 shape. I know I have a copious amount of training ahead of me. I also know that to run a workout like this, in the condition I am in, is a great precursor to a good season of racing. Once I get back with my group I will have the confidence to get on a shoulder and get pulled along.
Tomorrow I have a long run and it may end out being on the Baden Powell Trail in the North Shore Mountains. It will be nice to mix it up a bit.
Thinking back to the last few months and how tough they were, with almost every aspect of my life, I am relieved to be out fast in 2010. I know two days cannot predict a year just as the first 200 meters of a marathon are no indication of how the race will end out. What I do know is that an easy and light first 200 meters of a marathon can put the mind at ease and help the body brace for what lies ahead. Life can be very tough at times, and I am prepared to go to a scary place in my training to maximize my potential. I have made some important changes to ensure I can maintain balance in my life and ensure I am happy to wake up every morning and tackle the day with gusto. I think I am going to say fuck it to New Years resolutions. I am just going to live and follow whatever path I feel like.
Saturday: 10 miles