Sunday, February 28, 2010

Now What?

The Olympics are over and I have a little injury. Now what am I supposed to do?

I have been nursing a bit of a knee injury over the past week. It is not really a knee issue as much as a hamstring issue. I guess with my increase in mileage and my continued fast speed work my body had revolted a bit. The injury does not prevent me from running but it could if I push it too hard. Yesterday I ran 2/3 of my workout with VFAC. We ran 3 km, 2 km, 2km. I did the first two sections. Although I felt like dirt after a week of horrible running and little sleep I managed to run fast. Just as fast as last weekend's best ever workout. Towards the end of my second interval (the last 800 meters to be precise) I felt pulling and pain at the back of my knee. I wanted to finish the interval as I was fast and finally feeling good after a gross first interval. Once through the finish I stopped to catch my breath, with my first stride of my recovery I knew I was done running for the weekend.

My run home was painful and a bit disappointing. I had rested all last week and I really believed my body would have responded and recovered. I wanted to see if I could push my body yesterday and it almost made it, but not quite. What I can take from this is that I am getting older and I do not heal like I used to. I need to protect and ice and get back into massage treatments. I did not even attempt to run today but instead I slept in and made a big batch of waffles for breakfast. I also made a trip to the gym to make some muscle. I am still very single and thus need to get some attractiveness going. I iced my sore leg all night so I am hoping to get a run in tomorrow!

I do not know what this slight injury means for my marathon preparation. I have missed 2 long runs and a long tempo and a couple of workouts. I know I am fit and strong but unsure of when that fitness will start to wain. I have also lost the rhythm of training that takes a long time to secure. I am now lacking a bit of motivation to put in the miles to get back to that comfort zone I only achieved for a very short time. I am dreading my first long tempo and long run although I am still looking forward to my fast workouts. Maybe I am not meant to run the marathon...

I think my inability to run a full workout on Saturday has taken a bit of wind out of my sails. At this point in the year I take a lot of self worth from running. I do not totally measure the worth of a day by the quality of a run but it definitely factors into how I feel about myself and the environment around me. At the moment I feel like everywhere I turn spring is blooming and people are in love. I cannot look out my window without seeing couples hugging and kissing and even making love (my neighbors do not use their curtains). I am surrounded by people in love and with partners. It is beautiful...

...but not when you are alone. Without being able to train hard I have time to think about being alone in this world. A friend of mine was sick over the past week and he had a comment about being single in such situations. It is when you are sick or indisposed in some way when you feel the most alone. Through my work I meet people everyday who are facing trauma and crisis. It makes a very big difference in their life when they are surrounded by those who love them. It is their spouse and children who provide the support to enable them to make it through the hardship of being ill. Those without support or a close family often take a long time to recover or rely on community supports as a type of distant uncaring service to fill the void of a family. What would happen to me if I were to become ill or sick? Who would take care of me if I fell of my bike and severely injured myself?

I have lots of friends who would visit me in hospital. My friends would find me equipment and lots of support but no one would be able to provide the type of support a spouse or significant other can. When you have your own family you do not have time to provide care to a friend. As I have come to believe I will never have a serious relationship I definitely do not see myself ever getting married. I am not about to adopt children on my own so that is out of the question too. When it comes right down to it I am going to have to be brave and on my own through out whatever struggles are coming my way in my life, and that is scary.

I am a bit terrified of the marathon, especially after this injury, but maybe the fear of failure in running is a way to avoid contemplating the fear of what life may hold for me. For all it's beauty, especially at this time of year, life is fraught with terror and struggle. Life is difficult and thus we need someone to hold onto to help us navigate through the turbulence and find our way peacefully to the end. Who am I going to hold on to?

"And I just want someone to lean on, and I just want someone to lean on me" Hey Rosetta!

Mileage:
Saturday: 7 miles
Sunday: 0 miles and Weights

Happy Training!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Gleelympics

I have to report that my Olympics have been everything I have moved to the city to celebrate. I have had the most wonderful past week and a half and as I have returned to work I feel quite sad for the Olympics to end.
The highlight of the games for me was being at the Pacific Colosseum to watch the ice dance free dance. I love figure skating and ice dance is my favorite discipline. I have followed our Canadian couple, Virtue and Moir, since they were Junior skaters. I am absolutely honored and feel so fortunate to have seen their utterly magnificent program in person. It is a moment I will remember until I become senile in old age. At that point I will act out the program as my care aid attempts to change my diaper.

I knew Virtue and Moir were going to win because I saw another omen. I love the TV show Glee. It is one of two TV shows I watch after downloading on my computer. Upon passing security at the figure skating venue there is an area where there are performers. On Monday night there was a Glee club performing, check out the video below. Although not the quality of the 'kids' on Glee, they were pretty good. As I was walking towards the arena they began Don't Stop Believing, my favorite. A good omen!

I have been thinking and yet again I have been inspired by one of my friends. I have had a house guest staying with me for the Olympics who has made the experience beyond compare. I have had access to the Canfund house as well as Canada Olympic House. I have also been able to attend more events then I had planned at a considerable savings because of her being able to find some cheap tickets. Besides the really cool things I have been able to do I have learned a great lesson from my dear friend. It is most important to take advantage of opportunities when they are presented then jump in with both feet.

It was when I skipped a workout or moved my schedule when I had the most fun. It was the random events that were spontaneous that may have been the most rewarding. It was when I engaged in random conversation with a stranger that I met some fun and interesting people. It was when I decided at the last minute to get some vacation days when I was able to go to a really awesome Hey Rosetta! show and stay out really late. It was her inspiration to live in the now and be more open that enabled me to drop my usual planned life and have some fun.

I am hoping to try to be more fun and more spontaneous over the next few months. I realize training for a marathon requires some semblance of planning so I cannot be too crazy but I can have some fun every now and again. If an opportunity presents itself then I have to jump at it!

If my social life has been wonderful my training life has been less then stellar. My 'knee' continues to be painful. I warmed up for my tempo yesterday but the pain increased the more I ran. I usually start most of my runs in varying levels of pain. Within 14 minutes of a run it will be gone as my muscles get nice and warm. I know I am fighting an injury when the pain gets worse as I run more. As I write this blog my 'knee' is throbbing a bit. I was going to try and run today but after spending all day on my feet I think it needs a rest. I will try my tempo tomorrow and I may push my 'knee' to see if this may be something I can train through. I do not like to train in acute pain so I will see what happens. On the good side I can feel my energy coming back and my mood has lightened with the low mileage week.

Mileage:
Tuesday: 6 miles
Wednesday: 0 miles

Happy Training!
video

Monday, February 22, 2010

Time Out

I am taking an injury time out today.

In the midst of running a very fast workout on Saturday I felt a twinge of pain at the back of my left knee. It is not a knee issue but rather an issue of my calf muscle attaching to the bone and a bit of soreness. I thought I would give my long run a go yesterday and evaluate the pain as I went. 1/4 of a way into the run I stopped for a pee break. When I returned to running the pain was noticeably worse thus I turned around and ran home. The pain lingered somewhat through out the day so I am happy I decided to try for healing rather then pushing the long run. Today I am taking a total day off in the hopes of being able to progress my tempo tomorrow.
I have been crazy busy with the Olympics and am feeling a bit of Olympic induced exhaustion with some alcohol induced side effects as well. I made a trip with my house guest to the curling and had a blast. Prior to the curling my friend took me as a guest into the Canfund house in the Shaw building. I love free food and booze and seeing former and current Olympic athletes. The curling was a raucous affair. I had some anxiety over the potential for the bleachers to collapse as I am sure they were designed without the current obese population in mind nor the stomping crowds of crazy Canadians.

After watching an amazing original dance last night I headed to the Atlantic Canada House to watch Hey Rosetta. My house guest, who is very connected, got us tickets to jump the 3 hour line. The venue was small and very intimate and the band was awesome. I had so much fun and even met some really fun people. It was a very East Coast atmosphere with many friendly faces and people ready and willing to engage in conversation.

Tonight I am heading to my last Olympic event the Ice Dance Free Dance. I am very excited!

Mileage
Sunday: 10 miles and Weights
Monday: 0 miles

Happy Training!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

New Shoes

I got 3 new pair of shoes yesterday. One for training and 2 for looking cute. Goodbye Saucony, hello Mizuno!

This morning I ran a great workout in my new training flats. I think they are fast! The workout was 1 km, 2km, 1 km, 2 km. I ran below pace time for all efforts opening the workout with a 2:47. I was a bit worried that I ran too hard to begin but in the end I wound up running the entire workout faster then expected.

The weather is so gorgeous in the city I do not know how I could not run fast. A friend of mine was also visited from Montreal who I ran with at UNB. It was neat to run with him again and it was almost like old times except that I am much faster now!

I have changed my training and racing flats as my Saucony flats have a mesh foot that means my feet get soaked even if I run across damp grass. I have been having a lot of foot issues as well especially after my long workouts. Today's run in my new Mizunos was great. My feet feel really good right now with little to no pain. The shoe itself is not as built up as the Saucony but it still feels like I am getting enough, though minimal, cushion. I guess the real test of the shoe will be my Tuesday Tempo. The good thing about not having a sponsor is that I get to try whatever shoe I feel like and I do not have to pretend to like a shoe just because it is free. I would much rather be honest then get something for free anyways!

The Olympics continue and I am excited for some more action. Tonight is curling. I am super excited for the original dance tomorrow as Virtue and Moir are skating really well. Tomorrow I hope to survive my long run. I am getting close to my longest run ever.

Mileage
Saturday: 9 miles

Happy Training!

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Fever

I have been gripped by an Olympic fever!

The past week has been especially busy as I have found myself trying to balance the lure of the rings, my bank balance and my training needs. Thankfully I have a few days off work or else I would be totally haywire. I have been been struck by a feature of attending these games and cultural activities that I would like to reflect upon.

These games are very heterosexual, almost offensively.
Hockey Game Kiss Cam: Normally something quite innocuous though throughout the duration of this activity I found myself feeling less and less a part of the celebration. During the intermission between periods a roving camera shoots people in the audience sitting together, of the opposite sex, and broadcasts them on the jumbotron until they kiss. Cute, right? I found myself wondering what would happen if they put the camera on two men. There would be an uproar of laughter as two overtly hetero men would pretend to give each other a messy wet kiss. This would be followed with applause for them being such good sports to do such a dastardly deed.

Recently Married/Has new son/Dating his Coach: I was at the men's free skate last night and it was very very exciting. During the warm up a short biography is read on each of the skaters. Despite the reputation, it turns out that male figure skaters are one butch group. Several of the skaters spend their spare time doing very masculine things like motorcycle racing, rebuilding cars and being macho. Those who do not do these things are married to their female coach or have a new son. The remainder of the athletes do not seem to do anything but train as the announcer only mentions their training rink and who their coaches are. Heaven forbid if anyone were to think these people were anything other then a masculine example of the Olympic ideal. I would have loved to hear "J. spends his time shopping, talking on the phone and checking out cute guys when not on the ice. He hopes to pursue a career in fashion design or gay porn when his competitive skating career is finished." I would holla back for that one!

Thankfully the skating last night was awesome. I was very happy with the result as I think it was judged very well, with the exception of Patrick Chan being very over marked. I took so many photos it is crazy. There were also some homos in the audience as I found myself getting checked out a few times. Unfortunately I was not seated near any cute guys but I have come to expect to sit around a lot of middle aged ladies at figure skating competitions. Last night the ladies were very knowledgeable which makes the experience even better. It is fun to talk about how awful or wonderful the skaters are as soon as they finish.

Highlights for me were seeing Brian up close and Johnny Weir. There was great energy in the building although a lot of empty seats (worked well for me as my original seat was not the best). I am now really excited for the free dance.

I also saw Feist Wednesday night. A wonderful concert. I felt very single and very gay at this concert. I was seated, with my friend, amongst of sea of hetero couples all in love. Correction, they were not all in love. The couple in front of us were fighting for the first 1/2 hour of the concert. It is when going to concerts and the such when I notice how much of a couples world it is. As a permanent singleton I do not usually think much of doing things alone. Last night I went to the skating alone. When I bumped into a friend at the skating she was surprised to see me there alone. To be honest if I did not do things alone I would not do much at all which is a great segue into my training update.

Since Sunday I have had some quality training. The highlight would be my hour tempo on just over 2:20 pace. I would not be able to report an easy run but I can relate that once into the last 1/2 hour it went by pretty fast. I felt really strong and I was really happy with my effort. Stupidly I got a bath later in the day and woke up on Wednesday really tight and sore. Yesterday I ran a workout on my own focusing mostly on trying to get a bit of a tan and strengthening. I did extended drills with high knees and lunges. I ran a few 400s to maintain my strength. I mainly played on the track for 45 minutes then took the long way home. It was fun. Today I have an easy run in the glorious Vancouver sunshine then a trip to the gym.

I am very much enjoying the Olympics and the energy in the city is still amazing. The people are not any more friendly but I have run into a few foreigners who have been quite lovely. I had a great chat with an Australian doctor on the bus last night and hung out with som random Americans. The people I sat with last night at the figure skating were from Toronto.

Upcoming I have a trip to curling tomorrow night and then ice dance!

Mileage:
Monday: 6 miles
Tuesday: 13 miles in Tempo
Wednesday: 6 miles and weights
Thursday: 8 miles
Friday: 5 miles and weights

Happy Training!
video

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sunshine, lollipops...

Today I had my long run and had yet another wonderful run.


Last night I went to the ballet. It was a joint performance between the National Ballet and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. It was absolutely wonderful. The first peice was choreographed by Marie Chouinard and was my favorite. I was a bit worried about the ballet as I thought the Canadian pieces would pale in comparison to the Cloud Gate Dancers I saw last weekend. I was equally impressed and moved by the Canadian company. If you get a chance at any time to see 24 Preludes by Chopin by the National Ballet of Canada please jump at the opportunity. It will change every notion you have of ballet!

This morning I woke up feeling rested and motivated to run. My long run turned out to be a great time and the sun even came out to greet me. I also saw a couple of celebrities on my run. I saw Jon Brown out on a run which was cool. For those who do not know him he was 4th in the Olympic Marathon running for England and now runs for Canada. I also saw Eric McCormick out running. He looked very tired and, to be honest, not much of runner. I was going to stop and ask him where Jack was but I did not want to stop on my run.

I have seen a few celebrities the last few days here in Vancouver. I was at a stop light with Ben Mulroney. Last night I was sitting a few rows in front of Karen Cain. I have seen most of the TSN Broadcasting team at one point or another. I think I saw Karen Lee Gartner the other day on the Sea Wall. I am sure I have seen many other people without actually realizing who they are.

Tonight I will be glued to the TV to watch the Pairs Figure Skating. I am very excited! Tomorrow I work then an easy run and a trip to the gym.

Mileage
Sunday: 18 miles

Happy Training!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Too Much

I am happy to be home for some down time and Olympic sport.

As I blog today there is the sound of police helicopters in the background and speed skating streaming live. I have had quite a busy week. I will start with a recap of Thursday.

I got a message from my friend as I was on my way home from work to see if I wanted to go to a reception in the evening. I decided I would love to go and arranged to run my workout on my own in Stanley Park. I started my warm up and felt satisfactory. I was going to run a track workout but the track was in very poor condition so I decided to run in the trails. I wound up at Beaver Lake. I started my drills and strides and did not feel good. I felt very tired and heavy after a couple of nights of poor sleep. I was also having some stomach issues which is quite unusual for me. I decided to run 1 interval and see how I felt. I ran 3:02 for km. The effort was more of a 2:50 and was not a great feeling. I was also scared of a bit of an accident so I stopped my workout and ran an extended cool down. I was a bit disappointed with this effort but I know it is but a minor set back in the long road to marathon.
Thursday night I was excited to go to a reception at the Pan Pacific for Aboriginal Tourism BC. There was food and a free drink. The food was traditional aboriginal fare from different first nations from around the country. There was a lot of meat, and although tasty, I was craving a big hunk of carbohydrate as I was getting ready to leave. It was a wonderful opportunity to see the culture of the different first nations from around the country and some very beautiful costumes. I have to admit that the best part of the evening was buying a new outfit at Club Monaco. I got a great pair of pants that make my legs look super long and bulge quite nice!

Friday morning I woke up feeling tired. After a long but good day of work I hit the gym for a quick weight workout. I have not completed as many workouts as I would have liked this week so it was imperative I maintain my momentum and continue to build my strength. I had a great workout and even tried out some new machines. My deltoids are a bit sore as I type this so I know I worked hard.

Last night I watched the Opening Ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympics. I have seen the ceremonies in real life so it was really neat to compare the TV experience with the live experience. There were aspects of the live experience that were better. The performers seemed like they were really singing at the dress rehearsal whereas on TV they seemed to be lip syncing. For both shows Sarah and Joni gave me chills. I love the song Ordinary Miracle. When I would be sad and lonely I would play that song as I walked to work to remember that it is a wonderful world with the miracle of a sunrise happening everyday. KD Lang blew me away. Her performance was amazing and I totally think she stole the show. Big credit to Meisha who also nailed one my favorite tunes the Olympic Anthem. There was a big gay/lesbian aspect to the ceremonies too with both KD and Ashley McIssac representing. It was also great to watch the ceremonies with a great group of friends!

After the ceremony we took a walk to check out the torch at the IBC. It was amazing to feel the energy in the crowds on the street and be part of such a wonderful moment for this beautiful city. The cauldron itself is a bit weird looking and somewhat chintzy but I guess it holds true to the theme of the opening ceremonies. Although I must admit the previous photo turned out amazing!

This morning I had a very strong workout in Stanley Park with my club, VFAC. Today was my first long interval workout in preparation for the marathon. John has the marathoners run an extra interval. I was given quite moderate pacing as this was more interval mileage then I have run in a few years. I ran approximately 10 seconds faster then pace time and actually ran faster then I usually run for my regular length interval. I am very happy to be running longer interval workouts especially when they go as well as today's. After the workout I had a bit of a chat with my coach about my tempos and planning for the marathon. So far everything is going well and I am on schedule. My plan has been altered from a couple of months ago. I have realized that I cannot run huge mileage and maintain any semblence of a happy and productive life thus I am focusing on my big days. I want to ensure I have a good long run, tempo and intervals workouts. I want my off day runs to be good and fun jaunts through the city. It turns out that a lot of people need to up the mileage to keep the weight off. Since I do not have to worry about my weight (If anything I might be a little too thin) I do not necessarily have the same pressure to burn extra calories. It is nice to have a coach who thinks I am a good weight without the need to get any more lean then I already am. I am continuing to get faster and this workout has been yet another progression. I am excited to train and race.

Tonight I am heading to the ballet as part of the Cultural Olympiad. I am very excited to see the National Ballet and The Royal Winnipeg Ballet dance together for only the second time. I think I will wear my other new outfit I bought the other night, ha ha! Tomorrow is my long run and hopefully the sun will come out to visit. In the evening I will be glued to my friend's TV screen for the pairs short program. I am so nervous for our Canadian Skaters I can hardly handle it!

Mileage
Thursday: 8 miles
Friday: 1 mile and weights
Saturday: 10 miles

Happy Training!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ready to Open

I am busy, very busy.

The Olympics are just around the corner and my life has gone into overdrive. I am somehow trying to work, train, host and take in Olympic events. All at the same time. I am tired and the games have not even started yet.

Yesterday I ran my tempo run and it was super. I ran 55 minutes at pace and it felt great. I got into a rhythm right off the bat and followed with some steady running. The weird thing about this workout was that it was not that hard nor was I really dreading the work. I was excited to run yesterday and wound up with a good effort. Being excited to run a tough long workout makes me think I am back into shape and more importantly mentally ready to race. By the time I finished my tempo I was starting to get the urge to race again and began to dream about Harry's Spring Run Off in March. I am very encouraged to run after this workout.

Today I ran at lunch and ran a tired and heavy 4 miles and then a warmed up final 2 miles. It took me half an hour to warm up. I ran at lunch because tonight I went to the rehearsal for the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics. I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror at work and I am lean, maybe a bit too lean. Tonight I was a stand in athlete for the parade and it was really cool. I will not give too much away as it should really be a good surprise. I will note that the ceremony is very Canadian and I got chills quite a few times. I will also note that there were a few times when I was a bit uncomfortable, maybe secondary embarrassment. I really think it will be amazing to see on TV and I am super pumped to watch the ceremonies with friends.

Unfortunately they did not show any of the final torch ceremony nor the bearers of the Olympic flag. I am sill undecided who is going to light the cauldron. I think Wayne Gretzky will pass flame to someone who will light the flame. I am hoping it will be Kerrin Lee Gartner but I do not actually think it will be her.

I will not be posting as much as usually as the Olympics hit their course but I will try to take lots of photos.

OK, so I will let out a little secret. I was only a few feet from Wayne Gretzky tonight. If it was Paula Radcliffe, Johnny Weir, Kathy Freeman or Haille I would have been freaking out. If it was Kerrin I would have pooped my pants. I know Mr Gretzky is a big Canadian Icon but I was like, cool. It is more the excitement of telling others and how meaningful it is to others rather then how he has impacted my life. So yeah, Wayne and I are now bff.

So tomorrow I am running a track workout a little early then usual. I hope it keeps the trend going of my great workouts!

Mileage
Monday: 6 miles
Tuesday: 13 miles
Wednesday: 6 miles

Happy Training!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Long Run

Long runs are back on track.

Today I ran my first long run in a few weeks to great success. I slept in this morning and took my time making my coffee and having a nice relaxed breakfast. I headed out the door ready to endure a 17 mile long run. There really was not much to endure. It went by relatively fast considering it took 2 hours and my body, although fatigued, feels good. The best part of my long runs is at the 50 minute mark when I get to run a loop of the UBC endowment lands trails. It takes me around 18 to 20 minutes to do a loop of the lower trails. They are soft and fun and spice up the run a bit. An issue with the trails is that I have a switch that gets turned when I get onto trails. I have a conditioned response to run fast on trails derived from years of running intervals on terrain. I must tell myself to slow down to maintain the aerobic nature of my long run.

Last night I watched the film Amelie. It is an absolutely beautiful love story told in a creative and quirky way. I loved Amelie and identified very closely with her. I feel like we would be best of friends if we were to meet. I love her search for tactile senses and how she places herself into the plots of movies. I found myself doing the same thing at one point in the film. There is a moment when her friend tells her something along the lines of "Amelie, you need to live your life now for you and take chances to get what you dream you can have. If you do not you heart will turn into a piece of stone." (although I put this in quotes it is actually a really bad paraphrase) He was actually speaking to me.

On my walk home I noticed the cherry blossoms are starting to bloom. This is the time when the blossoms are full of possibility. There is hope in the first little flowers and knowledge that the best is yet to come. The best of what the tree has to offer is only a few days away when the beauty of the collected blooms will prove to be almost overwhelming. The city will be soon covered in a sea of pink and I am very happy to see this. I love anticipation. I love when something is close to happening and I can use my imagination to foresee an event and it's potential to excite and warm the heart. As the cherry blossoms are quickly showing their potential to warm the heart the Olympics are also building an exciting atmosphere in the city. Athletes are arriving, venues are opening and the anticipation is palpable.

I have been thinking about my favorite Winter Olympic Moments quite a bit. Kerrin Lee Gartner winning Olympic gold in 1992 is the only Olympic event to draw tears from my eyes. My sport of choice at the time was alpine skiing and I was an avid racer. To see a Canadian atop the podium in a sport which I loved so much made my heart ache with joy. I will always remember that moment.

I was going to video log today but I just cannot. Maybe cannot is not the right word. I do not want to. I do not like to watch myself on camera. It destroys the fragile illusion I have created inside my head of who I am. I really do not like it. I will concentrate on the written word for now and let you anticipate who I really am.

Mileage
Sunday: 17 miles

Happy Training!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Sunny Saturday!

The day started with an amazing workout in Stanley Park followed by lots of time spent relaxing and cycling with friends.

My workout this morning was a bit shocking and totally wonderful. I was not overly fired up over this workout but I felt good after taking yesterday off due to fatigue. The workout itself was a long interval followed by two shorter ones. I ran a personal best workout and felt great. On warm up I was concerned with my bilateral foot pain but once my body had been stretched and warmed I felt fine. Today I had one of those workouts when it does not feel like my feet hit the ground. I even took an extra long cool down to enjoy the absolutely gorgeous weather.

After a nice lunch I went for a random photo walk around downtown. The walk was cut short by a friend seeing if I wanted to hang out. Eventually he had to run so I rode his low rider bike in my skinny jeans and big cream sweater while he ran. We did an Olympic run around some of the venues. It was really fun to be out in the sunshine all day. I even feel like I got a bit of a burn!

Last night I hit my first Cultural Olympiad event. If you get a chance to go to any of these events jump at the opportunity. There are some amazing shows in the city of both National and International performers. Last night I saw Moon Water by the Cloud Gate Dance Theater of Taiwan. It was hypnotizing and absolutely breathtaking. I do not have the appropriate vocabulary to describe the gift these dancers posses. Speechless.

I have started to see some of the athletes around the city and I am super pumped. I am now also going to Ski Cross up at Cypress which ought to be a blast. Some out of control to go with the control of skating. The city is also filling up and the Sea Wall was very busy today. The excitement is building with every day we get closer to the opening ceremonies. There has been a lot of speculation on who is going to light the Olympic Cauldron. Who do you think it will be? I have a few people I would like to see and I have been watching the media for hints. I got a good one this morning that might be worthwhile pursuing!

I will post my suspicions later!

Mileage
Saturday: 10 miles

Oh and I got a request for a video post. I am planning a video log for my next favorite Olympic moment!

Happy Training!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

All Out

Tonight was the infamous all out 200 workout. I ran fast.

I had a regular morning at work followed by an absolutely wonderful afternoon running errands and picking up a few tickets for the Olympics. I also had time to make my favorite coconut lime banana bread. I picked up my car to head to the track feeling rested and kind of revved up, almost on the verge of being hypo manic.

I had a sluggish warm up during which I was hoping for a long interval workout. I was craving mile repeats or maybe even 800 repeats. What I got was 200s all out. After our typical 400 warm up (I think I ran quite low 60 something or other) we got into the balance of the workout. The track was a bit of a circus with a few very big clubs all running different workouts. It is tough to run a fast workout when there are groups doing tempo, long and shorter intervals. Surprisingly everything went very smoothly and I did not have to yell at anyone. The 200s went very fast and I think it may have been my fastest workout ever.

At one point during the workout I did think about the marathon and wondered how running 5 200s as fast as I could would end out having me run a fast marathon. I would normally be worried about a short workout such as this but I have learned to trust John's program. I keep getting faster for no apparent reason (other then training really hard) and it is really fun to run really fast (and beat the sprinters, ha ha!). It is also really fun to run on the track with spikes and a healthy dose of balls and testosterone. I may be small but I am getting some powerful.

Instead of things I love and hate I am going to write about a few of my favorite winter Olympic moments in preparation for upcoming Olympics. I am so beyond excited for the Olympics I think I am going to explode. Tomorrow night I get my first taste of the Cultural Olympiad. Having the Olympics in my city is a dream come true. I am ready to welcome the world!

Olympic Moment
1992 Albertville Olympics: Usova and Zhulin free dance to Vivaldi's Four Seasons.
I have watched this figure skating program thousands of times. I had a video of it my sister made for me while I was on a trip during the Olympics. I watched it several times a day after I would get home from school for at least a year. That was until my loving family taped over my beloved figure skating. In light of today's very difficult programs and complex choreography this program seems almost naive and simply artistic although I think it would stand up to current programs. The first time I watched this program it moved me as all great sporting events have. Usova and Zhulin won the bronze but this program is the one from 1992 that made me fall in love with ice dance. As Paul Martini quotes at then end of this section "It is sugar to my eyes".


Mileage
Thursday: 7 miles as 400 and 5 X 200

Happy Training!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Learning to be Friendly

The Olympics are coming very soon and Vancouverites are getting a lesson.

I was walking past the transit wall at work when I noticed a nice little flier called "Friendly is Universal." What a wonderful sentiment. I picked up this little piece of joy and flipped it over to find basic instructions on how to be friendly on transit. Even those who are at the helm of Translink are aware of the lack of systematic friendliness in this city and the need to coax people to smile and help those who appear lost.

The city of Vancouver also gave it's employees a primer on how to be polite and greet dignitaries from around the world. What kind of civil service needs instructions on basic manners? Apparently that of our fair city. Hopefully a result of the Olympics will be a more open city of people who are a least somewhat more willing to smile and say hello. I hope people eventually learn to be friendly.

Training is back on track as experience is proving to be invaluable. I had laid off my mileage over the weekend in an effort to save my feet and avoid injury. I know I need to push my miles and get my long runs going while also understanding that a severe injury may set me back 6 weeks. A low mileage week of consistent training will put a dip in the miles category but not result in a big fitness loss. There will be tough weeks of pain and high mileage but I need to make it there and that will not happen if I am chronically injured. Besides, I run because I find it fun, it is my play. When it hurts because of injury it is not fun.

I had a great 50 minute tempo on Tuesday. Initially my legs were quite tired and I had a distinct craving to quit. Once through the doubt I got into a rhythm and ticked off the minutes. I was revving towards the end of the effort and had to repeatedly tell myself to slow down. In total I ran close to 13 miles for the day, practically a half marathon. I followed my tempo with a good meal and another good swim. We had a slightly confusing fin workout split between free and kick. I felt strong in the pool and the placebo effect of weights may have had an effect. Today I ran an easy five miles which felt really good. I was very happy to run and I even ran into a restricted area of the Olympic media centre, oops! Tonight I did weights with a friend. It was different as we only did triceps and shoulders. I am a total novice and totally embarrassed him with my inability to straighten my back and rotate my pelvis. I think by the end I was starting to get the concept. I am getting so excited for summer! I do not think I will wear a shirt once!

All these weights and swimming has brought my appetite back with a vengence. I have not eaten this much food is a very long time. Already today I have eaten 5 meals with 4 or 5 snacks. I had a second breakfast at work after having a snack. I had two suppers as well as I was starving after I finished my weights. After 6 months of struggling with eating enough it is weird and somewhat annoying to always be hungry. I have been craving junk food a bit but have been resisting the temptation. Tomorrow morning I am planning on giving into a bit of temptation with a Tim Horton's breakfast. Oh how I love a greasy sausage sandwiched in a buttery biscuit with fake chemical cheese. I am hungry already.

Mileage:
Monday: 5 miles and weights
Tuesday: 12 miles with tempo, 2700 m swim
Wednesday: 5 miles and weights

Happy Training!

Monday, February 1, 2010

89 Days

I got my entry into the BMO Vancouver Marathon and I now have 89 days until my debut!

The thought of running a marathon is frightening. The thought of running a marathon fast is terrifying. The thought of training to run a marathon fast is 100% beyond a doubt one of the scariest things I have ever tackled. My training plan has already altered from my initial plan but regardless it will be a huge challenge and I am both anxious and excited. Getting my entry late today makes the event on the 2nd of May a reality. I am registered so I ought to get seriously into the training.

Tonight I hit the gym for a treadmill run and weights. My feet were not too bad tonight and there is minimal pain and little throbbing. I think I spent less time on my feet today at work which certainly makes a difference. I also rode my bike which means I do not have to walk to the bus. Although I only have to walk approximately 10 blocks I think it all adds a bit of trauma and impact to already tender appendages. Although the cycle commute is quite short it certainty gets my heart rate going and gives me a good glow. I am sure it kick starts my metabolism in the morning. All together I ran 5 miles at 6:30 pace and upped my weights. I am gaining a bit of muscle but mostly just getting really ripped. It is kind of scary but cool at the same time.

I was thinking again. I think I have resigned. I have resigned my place in the lineup for love. Not that I wouldn't be open to it but I am kind of thinking that it is not going to happen anyways so why bother hanging around looking for love. I know this may mean that my life will continue to be meaningless (first to get kicked off a sinking ship, to quote most in relationships 'I can't imagine my life without {insert name here}', 'Being a mother really showed me how meaningless my life used to be', 'My Olympic goal medal was amazing but meeting my wife gave my life meaning'...) but at least it will be my life. I know I seem to go in circles on this very important issue but that is just the way I am. I do not think this is the end of my Bohemian Ideals. I imagine love is a many splendid thing, love lifts us up where we belong and that all we need is love. Actually I realized this morning while chatting with a friend that I do not need love. Obviously I do not need love for if I did I would be dead by now. Anyhow, other people need love in their life and thus they bump from relationship to relationship in search of that feeling. For me, love is only a feeling.




Besides, there are going to be thousands of hot athletes in the city for the Olympics and I am getting tuned up just in time. I always wanted to be single for the Olympics. Bring it on!

Mileage:
Monday: 5 miles and weights

Happy Training!

"No I'm no one's wife, but oh I love my life, and all that Jazz!"