Monday, May 31, 2010

Another Race!

I am registered for another race. The Pride and Remembrance run as part of Toronto Pride. I know I was supposed to go to Toronto to be gay and fun but I just could not pass up the chance to run a race. And, Jeffrey Buttle is going to be in it too. He is raising money for something. I just know we are going to bump into each other and fall in love...

I am feeling satisfactory after my race yesterday. My heel has been sore all day and I have some fatigue in my legs but nothing too major. I have to change up my schedule this week due to some appointments and other commitments. Tomorrow I am going to long run instead of training in the pool. I am excited to feel even more fit!

Today's photos are from the race yesterday and courtesy of Rick Horne!

I also want to send a big congratulations to Ellie and Graeme who won the women's and men's Calgary Marathon. Ellie used to train with us at VFAC and Graeme is one of my training partners. Besides being crazy distance runners they are also very good and inspiration to train more and harder. When I finish a workout and feel totally spent I will notice Graeme jogging off to run another hard piece. Incentive to train just as hard!

Happy Training!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

At Last!

I won!

I have finally won a road race and I ran a best time on a tough course! I changed my pre-race routine a bit and I think it has paid dividends.

Yesterday I slept in and then hit the Seawall for my stretch-out run. Normally I will run a couple miles, do drills and strides, then run home. Yesterday I decided to run around 5 miles in total with a few 'pick-ups' embedded within the session. I found this approach got my legs going without actually simulating a workout. It also protected my legs a bit from the pounding of bounding drills and strides. The only thing was that my legs were still a bit tight at the end of the run, I was not quite at full range of motion. To remedy this situation I went to the Aquatic Center last night to swim a short set of pull and then did some range of motion exercises in the diving tank. I was able to fully dynamically stretch my legs without pounding the shit out of them.

This morning I woke up feeling not that bad. My warm-up felt more on the poor side and I was having a bit of trouble with my breathing. I may have a few allergies or a touch of a cold or something (re: Thursday's running everywhere). I completed my pre-race drills and strides, changed into my singlet and hit the start line. The Shaughnessy 8km is a hilly, 2 lap course with no space to take a break. It is the kind of course I dread yet love at the same time. Nice and turny so it keeps one on their toes. I love an interesting course!

Off the gun I felt sluggish. My perceived level of exertion was through the roof and my breathing was heavy and laboured. This is a hilly course and my poor heart was not ready for the workload. My legs felt much like they have over the past few weeks, heavy and unresponsive. Fortunately Tristen Simpson was in the race and he took the pace out well. He has gotten really fit and was hammering from the start. To be honest, I was not expecting the early pace and he kept pushing hard. Every time I tried to get up on his shoulder it seemed like he would surge a bit to hold me off. For the whole first half of the race I was tired and working hard to hang on to Tristen and try to win the race. We were running 1-2 and would be the first and second runners.

There was a long climb from 3.5 km to 4.5 km and I worked hard to stay close to Tristen. We crested the hill almost side by side and I could detect a bit of effort in his breathing. I was not feeling the best but I was getting tired of following so I decided to pick up the cadence on the downhill and try to make him work a bit. I was able to get ahead and push the pace and stretch the string.

There is a concept in racing of stretching the string/elastic. Often one will hear of an imaginary string between the leader and the person following. When they are close together the string is loose and it is easy for the person following to keep with the leader. When the leader starts to push the pace and the follower starts to fall back slightly the string tightens and starts to stretch. This string is what holds the chaser to the leader and with more pressure the string stretches until an imaginary point when the string breaks and the leader can run away with the race.

As I pushed the pace on the downhill section I could still feel the string but it was starting to become taught with the pressure of my effort. Once into the hard climb up to the 7 km point I felt the string snap and I was on my own for the last kilometer of the race. The finish of this race is a tough climb into a steep downhill. By this point I was totally on my own and feeling the best I had all race. Heading into the last turn before the finish my coach John was yelling at me to go hard. I knew this meant that I had a good time in the works. I hammered the last 400 meters as hard as my little legs would carry me and crossed the finish line in 25:06, a new best time! John contends that this course is around 30 seconds slow and if that is the case then I am more fit then I have realized.

I am very pleased with this run. I have been having some really nasty workouts and some terrible runs lately. Thank goodness I was able to get it together and come out with a good result. I learned a few lessons from this race. I need to be patient when I am racing. I need to remember that I run best from behind (ha ha! go figure...) and the strongest part of my race is the second half. My body likes to even split a race and my mind likes to chase people down. I also have to believe in my ability to pull out a good effort despite feeling less then ideal at the start line. If the first 4 km are a struggle then I know I can still pull out a good effort. I also know that I can win. I got a bit of a pep talk from my clubmate Kevin on Thursday along the lines of 'everyone has a few bad runs but then you will pull out a good one'. Sage advice!

The race itself was really fun and I was happy to have a comp entry. Besides winning and getting some nice prizes the best part was the chocolate milk at the end and the Liberte Yogurt. It was the 7.5% fat stuff and is so good. I wish I could make love to that yogurt! I really like a community race as well and of course winning is pretty good too! Oh and my friend Katherine won the women's so we are continuing our streak of finishing the same result, her in the ladies and me in the men's.

I am also all over everything nautical at the moment and the Sailor's Horn Pipe was my favorite Highland Dance when I was growing up. I know, random! The last clip is just plain fucked. Those split highcuts are unreel!

Happy Training!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Running Everywhere

I cannot see out of my right eye and my right nostril is running like a sieve.

Tonight I ran my longest workout in a long time, the double/double. This was the first time I ran this workout and thank goodness I did. After yesterday's brutal run I was wondering what tonight would hold. I felt really good during my warm-up and ready to run hard at the beginning of the workout. I knew I would have to watch my pace and ensure I stay relaxed throughout the intervals.

Unfortunately I was a bit too relaxed. I ran slow in my first interval. It was like I just could not get going. It was incredibly frustrating. I was screaming in my head to go, go, go! My body was showing no, no, no! Going into the second interval Kevin was to pace an 8:10. Thank goodness we ran 8 flat to salvage the workout, the only problem is, I had another loop to go. The end result was a 16:22 (for 3.25 miles?), slow. The consolation was the great support from my club. I wish I was able to run faster though.

During the workout I got a bug in my eye and my nose has not stopped running since I got home. Maybe I have allergies. I am feeling generally flat and somewhat pathetic and weird which makes me think. What if I am a total weirdo?

Have you seen someone doing something really weird and thought; 'wow, what a fucking weirdo, poor thing!' Was that thought followed by; 'Oh dear, what if that is me?' Does anyone ever give the weirdo the feedback that they are weird? Are they bopping through the world thinking they are actually like everyone else? What if I am the weirdo?

I know I am different and not necessarily for the obvious reasons. Gay and runner make me unique but not necessarily different. I am my own person and I definitely feel like I march to my own drummer at times. Being the weirdo in the group would answer many questions like why I am single after all these years. Although I must note that every time I meet a super fucking weird and random person I am quickly introduced to their spouse. My friends are not weird but if I was a bit off would I be able to tell? Or maybe they are taking pity on me by spending time with me. Irregardless if I am weird or not I have been feeling a bit on the off side today. My eye still burns and my nose runs like a sieve. I need a bath!

To conclude;

What a fucking day, and not in a good way!

Things I hate

Know it Alls: Everyone knows a 'know it all'. This is the type of person who will stop you in the middle of a sentence to tell you that "they know what you mean". How the fuck do you know what I mean when you are a fat asshole who has never run a day in your life? This is the person who insists on verbal diarrhea when talking about anything. This is the person who at a meeting, lunch or any other opportunity, will manage to tell you everything they know about absolutely anything relevant. This is the person who holds information as a way to exact revenge or somehow make others look bad. Know it alls also tend to have a penchant for gossip as knowing a choice piece of select information on someone trumps everything. When they get the opportunity to slander someone with the choice nugget of gossip then they are in their element. Fuck you know it all! Things I hate, know it alls!

Happy Training!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Off the rails...

Whoa, today's run was a train wreck.

Have you ever gone out for a run feeling somewhat ok and then by the end felt like total dirt? Today I had one of those very rare runs.

I cannot explain why my run today felt so terrible. It was hard to get my legs off of the ground and at the 20 minute mark I felt quite nauseated. I felt like I was bonking but there was no reason to be in glycogen debt. It was a challenge to get home as I counted the bridges to go. I was relieved to round the bend of the Aquatic Centre and see home. In total I ran 6+ terrible miles. I am concerned about this run as I have had a really good weekend of training. Today I felt somewhat akin to how I was feeling leading into Sun Run. I sure hope I do not have a virus of some sort.

I happen to be a big fan of the Globe and Mail. One of the highlights of my weekend is picking up the Globe and taking a few hours (or days as the case may be) to absorb the information this broadsheet offers. This past weekend was no exception.

There was an interesting article on the continuing and potentially growing racial divide in Nova Scotia. Something in this article came to me today as I was walking annonymously home from the market. One of the authors commented on the marginalization of the Maritime Provinces since confederation. Many in the Maritimes (Myself included) believe these provinces were bypassed at the time of confederation in favor of financing infrastructure to build the economy in central Canada. Thus, the Maritimes were left as 'have not' provinces with no major industry to speak of and a population suffering under an unemployment rate upwards of 16%. This generally marginalized and powerless society looked to exact control over something and thus decided that the black population would bear the brunt of their frustration. This is not a good situation.

I got to thinking and wondering; why is it that marginalized populations seem to prey on the few who are weaker then themselves? Who are some of the nicest people to your face but some of the bitchiest behind your back? Are they a marginalized population? Are they frustrated with their position in life? Do they often have a 'why me?' mentality? What is it that makes an individual decide to be an asshole rather than a nice person?

I do not have answers to these questions. When someone is rude or a total jerk to me I often times feel sorry for them and wonder what happened in their life to make them such a miserable person. When someone feels the need to yell at me for riding my bike in a bike lane (yesterday on the Burrard Street Bridge) I wonder what parts of their life are spinning out of control to lead them to take their frustration out on me. When a marginalized population marginalizes yet another I wonder what can be done to solve this problem. I guess the answer would be to enable individuals to gain control over their lives through participating in meaningful activities and obtaining gainful employment. Wishful thinking?

Speaking of wishful thinking and train wreck, my latest dating experiment has come to an end. I was trying the iPhone Application 'grindr'. I e-chatted with several men over the course of a few months and even managed to go on a couple of gong show dates. I am yet again disappointed with the results of this experiment. At least I can take solace in trying something new in a last ditch effort at any sort of intimacy with another human being. Back to the drawing board.

Happy Training!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Weekend Update

Just Kidding. no, really, Weekend Update.

There is something about May 2-4 that signals the beginning of summer. I have had a pretty good weekend, started by a great workout.

Saturday was track day and I was excited to be on the rubber. I was looking for something like 12 times 400 as a workout. Instead we got all outs. I ran fast. I was able to run close to best times for all intervals finishing with a 90 second 600. I am still a little dumbfounded that I ran even 30 second 200s at the end of a workout and felt totally in control. I was hoping to go under 90 as I have never done that before. Maybe next time! Generally I felt really good on the track which is a total relief. I had been feeling quite sluggish over the past few weeks and it is nice to have the issue resolved.

May long weekend also signifies the opening of the outdoor pools in Vancouver. Saturday I was in the Second Beach Pool with my summer informal swimming group. I was a total baby and wore my wet suit. The swim was fun. It is great to be with a relaxed group of people in the pool. In total we swam a relaxed 2000m. We will be building on this workout into the heart of the summer. I need to get myself in shape in preparation for the fall!

Yesterday I ran my long run. In total I was able to pull out 13 miles and a bit. I felt great. It was my best long run in a long time. It felt easy and smooth. It was one of those rare long runs when I did not feel bored or overly tired. Towards the end of the run my hips and quads were starting to get a bit rattled and beat up, but they still were functional. I noticed a big difference between the feeling of running on the crushed gravel trails and soft wood chip trails to running on concrete and asphalt. I wish the Seawall was crushed gravel, so much better for the body.

I am getting back into the rhythm of training again. I am at the point of training when the rust of a break has been scraped off but the wear and tear of training has not had a chance to break me down too much. It is nice to get to the track or park and feel good after a warm up with confidence to run well. It is wonderful to have a long run go well with excitement for the next one!

Next weekend I am racing again. It will be 8km and I hope to run well. I will not have high expectations as I will be training through this race.

Off for an easy run then into the pool!

Happy Training!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Back in the groove

A finally ran a hard workout again.

Last night we ran 5 times 1 km. When John told me my pace times I knew I would not be able to run them. I was absolutely exhausted from a long and tiring week of work. I had not been sleeping and have been generally lethargic for the whole week. The last thing I really felt like doing was training hard. I wanted to ease my way into the workout and hope to survive.

After drills and strides I felt even less like working out. It was almost like I could not get warmed up. We began the workout and the first interval was a battle. My legs felt like sandbags. It was like my shoes were replaced with giant foam blocks. It felt awful. The second and third intervals were a bit better. I was able to get more forward on my feet and I was also able to get my feet off of the ground a bit faster. The fourth interval was a gift and I was able to hammer hard. I was pleased with this effort and I was suddenly starting to feel better. The last interval felt wonderful yet hard. When I asked my body to give me some speed it responded with an increased stride rate and a quick tap off of the crushed gravel trail. I could feel my white wife beater flapping in the wind created by my own locomotion. A glorious feeling.

By the end of the workout I was feeling like a living human again unlike the zombie that arrived at the workout. I was able to drastically descend the workout finishing in 2:53. Considering this workout has a descending recovery I think this was a great effort. The good feeling from the workout has carried over to today and I was a bundle of energy at work, until about 3 o'clock.

I am kind of excited to get onto the track tomorrow though a bit nervous. Track workouts are generally honest. There is no faking a track workout. I would like to have a good workout to start the long weekend on a good note.

I have registered for a few more races starting with the Shaughnessy 8km in just over a week. I ran this race last year and had a pretty good time. I am also planning on the Longest Day 5 km and the Scotiabank 1/2 marathon. I am feeling a bit fat at present so I will have to get myself feeling more in shape!

Happy Training!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Cruise

I am starting to notice a disturbing trend. The abandonment of the cruise.

I have been meeting a few people recently through electronic means. A theme that I have noticed with these individuals is their distaste for being cruised at the gym. Gosh, I find it quite flattering to be cruised at the gym!

When I moved to Vancouver and joined a gay swim club and triathlon club I anticipated training with a big group of men my age with a few things in common. I imagined a locker room with men checking each other out and showing their interest for each other in a natural and organic way. What I have found are a group of wonderful men and women, though the sex is missing. Why have we sanitized our lives from sex in public while at the same time we are constantly bombarded by sex in our media? Why is an iPhone app more appropriate than eye contact? why are people excited that our swim club is not cruisey?

I think it is some how ironic that men will find it utterly distasteful to be cruised at the gym while at the same time have an application on their iPhone designed to pick up. Am I missing something here? I personally would much prefer to be cruised at the gym or in the showers then have to rely on a cheesy and pretty much useless iPhone app. I prefer to be turned off in the 5 seconds it takes the fat man to take off his shirt rather then the endless conversations and e-mails it takes to meet these 'That was a pic of me just a few years ago' and then get turned off. Save me the time and effort and just hit the gym with your belly and do the cruising there.

I feel there is a terrible generation gap in the gay community. There is a new breed of gay men who do not feel the need to go out in public and make eye contact. This is a generation that would rather use an app than get involved. This is a generation who at 25 have never belonged to anything other than a designer magazine subscription or maybe have front line entrance to the local gay pub. This generation never had to try and figure out if another man is gay by cruising. With increased freedom to be who we are we have lost the ability to connect. I wonder with more freedom are we going to lose even more of our ability and our aptitude to flirt?

I wonder these days if I am the only gay man who thinks it is hot when another man gets a boner in the shower. It is somehow ironic that it is more socially acceptable to be on Viagra for the inability to perform then to get a boner in a public shower. Seriously, if you can pop one without even touching it, you are on your way to first base with me! I do not feel in the majority with this opinion. My recent interactions with people would lead me to believe that getting a boner is a bad thing. I cannot think of a better way to show interest in another person then with an erect penis.

In the future I am going to continue attempting to make eye contact and flirt. I almost got a good eye contact when out for my run yesterday, but he only barely glanced my way. I have not been working as hard on the eye contact lately as I have not been down the busy streets in a while. I am also going to try and loosen up a bit at the gym. Maybe I will try some cruising and if I am feeling really adventurous I will show my potency. I am certainly not ashamed of my performance.

After work today I did not have the energy or the desire to run. The one rule I have with running is that I only train if have the drive. Today I did not want to run. Instead I had a mini nap and hit the pool for my Tuesday workout. What a difference it makes when I have not run a hard tempo immediately prior to going to the pool. I actually enjoyed being in the water tonight. The outdoor pools open on Saturday and I cannot wait!

Check out page 2 of today's Globe and Mail.

Happy Training!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Tri?

Today I ran a long run. In total I ran 12 miles and a bit. I actually had a great run with the destination being UBC to watch my friend compete in a triathlon.

In many ways today was a total disaster. My friend crashed his bike and had a flat and had to walk back to the start area, I got a bit of a sunburn, and worst of all, I think I want to do triathlon again. Being in the pool lately and feeling like a rock and also cycling to work on my ill fitting bike have made me want to train those elements again. If I add today's excitement to my percolating feelings I get a total desire to train my brains out.

There are many parts of my life that make me want to take up triathlon again. I will outline them in the following section.

Age: I am getting older and therefore I have to start thinking of diversifying my training and cross training more. I need to start doing some sort of aerobic low impact exercise to save my body in the off season from running. What is something low impact and aerobic? Cycling and swimming.

Employment: I am a cog in the wheel of the health care machine. I need to think at work but can conserve energy during the day. After the initial first years of burnout I am learning how to work so that I am not exhausted by my career.

Singleton: I am single and the prospects of ever finding a mate are looking more and more bleak with each passing day. The more dates I go on the more I realize what I need in a man can only be found in an athlete. People who are not involved in sport do not understand the rich experience of doing something totally pointless for the pure ability to do it well. Without the distraction of someone who cannot keep up I might as well totally devote myself to sport and work.

Gear: I want a new bike and to race in a Speedo.

Hot Bodies: Being single means I can openly gawk at all the super hot bodies at races. I want to be with those bodies!

Already today I have been looking up swim clubs with morning workouts so I can swim before work and then run with VFAC in the evenings. I am thinking of starting up in September. I broke my sunglasses today so I will pop by MEC and La Bicycletta tomorrow to check out the gear. My training schedule will be crazy but that in itself is kind of cool.

I am planning on trying the marathon again so I will not triathlon until after I run a marathon. That said, I may get on the training soon.

Oh god, what am I thinking? Tri Gay?

Happy Training!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Cross Country

It turns out I am making a cross country tour.

My friend who lives in Montreal sent me an e-mail this week saying he saw me in the mall. What he saw was a photo I did for the Fearless project as part of Pride House for the 2010 Winter Olympics. It turns out the exhibit was in Montreal and there I was. This is actually the first time I have seen the image. Go figure.

I did my first workout since Sun Run today and it was a welcome effort. I ran something akin to a combination between a series of tempos and a fartlek (speed play). In total I ran around 10 miles with a 2 mile warm up and cool down with 3 times 10 minutes hard as the main effort. I also completed a full set of drills and strides. My arms fell asleep after the first 10 minute piece, which was a little disconcerting, but the issue resolved after my 5 minute recovery and did not happen again during the workout.I ran on my own today and I am happy for a bit of a break. Sometimes I need to withdraw a bit and run a workout on my own. It gives me a chance to think a bit and organize my mind. I guess it would be my defrag run (I have a iMac so I do not defrag anymore, does anyone?). It is also nice to hit the park and run hard without worrying about making a pace time. A broken up section is not quite as boring or tedious as a long tempo and is mentally much easier to complete. There is something depressing about having my timer go off after 5 minutes only knowing that I have 45 minutes more to go in the tempo. When I am tired and just wanting to get through the tempo it is especially daunting. I am going to try and enjoy the sunshine today. Tomorrow I am back to long run in preparation for the Scotia Bank Half Marathon. I am pretty excited to long run tomorrow as I am planning on running out to UBC to watch the Triathlon. I have a few friends racing so it will be fun. I am back cycling to work and it kind of makes me want to triathlon again. Oh goodness, the outdoor pools open next weekend as well. I am very excited to start swimming outdoors again. I love May 2-4!

Happy Training!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Carousel Globe

What an afternoon.

Laying in the sun reading the paper. Watching Carousel. I love my apartment.



I am getting excited for June!

Happy Training!

Plan F

The Sun Run did not go according to plan.

Let me take you back to Friday. I painted the ceiling in my apartment. An onerous ordeal though not overly taxing, or so I thought. Painting my ceiling turned out to be a giant pain in the back. Yesterday after running a nice and easy warm up and doing some strides I began to feel a lot of tightness in my lower back. By the time I got home I could barely move without pain and by evening, even with a good dose of painkillers and topical analgesic, I was in throbbing pain. I woke up this morning feeling like I was hung over, not a good way to feel on race day.

I almost feel like today's run was a Murphy's Law run. If something could go wrong it did. I felt sluggish and was in pain during my warm up and even had difficulty bending down to pick up my race bag. My strides felt good and my back had warmed up a bit but was still quite tender. I felt ready to run at the start line but may have been a bit too excited. With the gun going off I was ready to run hard, maybe a bit too hard.

I can basically attribute my poor performance today to a stupid mistake. That mistake was a 2:51 opening kilometer. When I looked at my watch I had the voice of John in my head. Too fast in the first K will result in a blow up at 5 km. I knew when I looked at my watch that it was going to be a long day and by the 2 km mark I was starting to struggle. I know how I run best and that is by easing into the race and running hard from the back. That did not happen today.

By the time I hit the climb up the Burrard Bridge any notion of running a best time was lost. I was struggling to keep my stride together and fell off the pace of the group I was running with. To add insult to injury I was developing blisters on both my feet. At this point I made a decision to back off the pace and relax for the last half of the race. For all intents and purposes my day was fucked so I might as well not fuck myself up anymore then I already was.

The last half of the race was unremarkable. The pain of my blistered feet overtook the pain of my lower back and I just ran as fast as I could. By the time the last km hit I was able to pick off a couple of guys and then out kick Kyle Jones (I think) into the finish. I guess the good thing about running slow is that it is easier to kick. I ran over a minute slower then I am capable of. I am disappointed.

In many ways I think I should have dropped out of the race at the 5 km mark and just run over to the finish area to chill out. I may have done more damage then good today. This was not the race I was looking for and if I ran to my potential I would have been top 1o. I am really disappointed.

Sometimes I think of the choices I make in my life and the direction they take me. I do not sacrifice anything for running. I love running and racing and the environment at a race. I choose to run ahead of anything. I am already thinking about how excited I am to get back to long runs and hard training again. I want to get back into the gym to get strong. I want to live the life of an elite athlete. I want to stop sacrificing running to live the gay life (not that I really did that much...). The highlight of today was a really long cool down of around 5 miles with Richard Lee's training group. If there is any consolation from today's effort it is that I got some mileage.

Now off to ice in English Bay.

Happy Training!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Repellent

I had my last workout before Sun Run tonight and I wish I could report a good run. It was a bit flat.

I have not cut back on my running as much as I typically do during a taper. I have been feeling a bit lethargic lately but I will blame that on work starting to catch up with me. It is very tiring to train and work full time in a 'caring' profession. Tonight I was hoping for a short quick workout. What I got was one longer interval.

I felt alright during the interval but not great. It was almost like I could not get going. I was warm at the start but still felt a bit cold while running. It was not like I was running slow, it was that I did not feel like I was running as slow as I was. I would be lying if I said I was not disappointed with this workout. I do not feel that sharp at the moment. Maybe tomorrow's day off will give me a bit more pep.

I think there is something wrong with me. I have commented before that I am like man DEET. I often times feel like there is some invisible film on me that steers gay men away before they get a chance to meet me. Of course some men are less sensitive to this DEET so they do not get repelled until after being in closer contact with me, like across a table. It is getting bad, really bad. This man DEET is starting to work over electronic media. I can scare a man away with a mere 'hello'.

It is depressing to think of all the men I have repelled and it just keeps getting worse. At this point I cannot even manage to have random anonymous sex with someone. It is almost comical to think of the lengths I have gone through to meet people and the sad results of the ventures.

To add insult to injury my once stellar Gaydar is totally broken. I was always proud of my perfect gaydar. I used to be able to tell a guy was gay before he even came out of the closet. Now I am all fucked up. I cannot even guess who is gay or straight. People who I swore were gay and was certain were gay are turning out to be straight. I almost asked someone at work how his boyfriend was doing when he started talking about his wife. I am feeling totally lost.

I think I will round up some trusted friends and see what is wrong with me.

Gosh I hope I run well this weekend, I need something to hold onto.

Happy Training!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Taper?

After watching an inspiring Vancouver Marathon I have spent a week tapering (kind of) for the Vancouver Sun Run. I am trying not to run but it is really hard.

I have blogged about tapering before. It is the time I dream of during the long hard weeks of high mileage and debilitating workouts yet when it finally arrives the only thing I want to do is run. I feel fat and lazy and I want to run.

I do not feel my legs are quite recovered yet and I still have a bit of heel pain from TC 10km. The only time I really notice it is first think in the morning when I cannot put weight through my right foot. After 20 minutes or so I am able to walk with a normal stride. Usually during a taper week I will only run an easy tempo, a fast workout and then a few strides the day before I race. This week I am running a bit more, mostly because I want to.

Today I had a wonderful easy run with my hot friend Kirsty. She is fast. Most times I cannot find a man who can keep up with me on easy days so it is a bit funny that I end out running with a girl. It is fun to have someone to run with. I love hearing about her crazy races and passing out due to the effort of racing. She is my hero. It is my dream to run myself unconscious, I just hope I pass out once I cross the finish line.

I am really excited to race this weekend as I am rounding into form. I hope I can put out a good effort. I do not really have a time goal as I have run my sub 31 for the year already. I would love to place higher than my last year effort of 12th. Top 10 would be amazing!

Tomorrow night I have my usual VFAC workout which ought to be short and sweet. I am taking Friday off and then a short run with a few easy strides on Saturday. Sunday will be go time and I can hardly wait!

Happy Training!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

32

I was going to try and avoid this but alas it is necessary.

There are a couple of times a year when I take a few moments to sit down and reflect on my life. I like to think about what has passed, what is happening now and what I see in the future. I take the time to think of my dreams of youth and my bedtime imaginings while waiting to fall asleep. I compare these dreams to my reality now and wonder if the pictures match.

I firmly recall laying in bed as a closeted 14 year old, dreaming of a life when I could be open about who I want to love and not living with shame or guilt about this love. I had images of waking up in the morning with a man by my side, his warmth and energy enveloping me with a protective blanket to help me through the day. I would dream of my love walking through the door to find me with dinner on the table and only an apron to hide my wonderful gifts.

I had a dream that I would be a success. In my dreams I had a good job and money. I was always an athlete (at 14 I was going to be an Olympic skier) and very successful. I would fall asleep with images of throwing myself down a mountain with my bright yellow Volkls rattling over the icy terrain. Some how in those adolescent dreams I would manage to hold down a meaningful career while also being a World Cup Ski racer.

Now that I am 32 I can look back at those dreams with a touch of nostalgia for my blind innocence and hope for the future. Although I had big dreams they really were just that, big dreams. I have always been practical and a bit pragmatic. I never really thought these dreams would come true and when I woke up in the morning I would be slapped with my reality of going to a school I hated while also hating myself and what the practical me envisioned as my real future.

Looking back at my 14 year old 'pipe dream' makes me think of how fortunate I have become. I am living a life that I thought would be a dream. My current life is a dream come true, with the obvious exception.

It is on days like today when I kind of feel like a failure. In reality we are put on this world to meet someone, fall in love and procreate. Although I am successful I am a complete and utter failure in the whole procreation thing. Obviously I am gay so nothing is really going to happen anyways. But looking more globally at this, as a male, I should be getting out there and fucking around and generally being a stud. I could not imagine having a conversation with an eligible man let alone dating or even having sex. I feel so detached from intimacy that I fear I would not even know what to do if presented with the situation.

I feel I blog on this topic way too much but it is reality. If I were in love I would be blogging about my wonderful boyfriend and how we are so perfect for each other. I would be thanking him for supporting my running and being at the finish line. I would blog about how I was feeling tired at the end of the race but seeing my lover's face gave me the drive to run a best time. I would attempt to wax poetic about the difference his balance has made in my running life.

Looking forward to year 32 I do not really have a dream but more of a fear. What if I never meet a man to share all I have now? Running and being an elite athlete are centre to who I am. I am scared I will never meet a man who knows and understands this part of my life. This part of my life that makes me who I am. I do not think anyone could really get to know me unless they saw me limping after a hard workout, exhausted and totally detached after a long run or totally ecstatic and spent after a hard race. When I think of a future love I want him to know me now. I want him to know the elite runner with all the foibles and fabulousness that comes with the drive and passion. I want him to know me at my best and to see the building blocks of who I have become.

So 32 eh? I do not even want to guess what is going to happen. I am hoping some more of the adolescent pipe dream becomes a reality.

Happy Training!

Hay Making

The hay is in the barn, again.

The last two workouts have been a struggle as I continue to feel a bit of the effect of my effort last weekend. Thursday night's workout was the only workout that I do not really like, hills. Most workouts when I finish I think "that was my favorite workout!", not the case with hills. I still remember my first hill workout at UNB on the sliding hill by the Lady Beaverbrook Gym. I hated it. The image of all my teammates flying past me with the girls coming up close behind still haunts me. My Thursday workout was not that bad but I still did not really like it. In total I ran 5 hills and my coach John was happy with the workout. I have no idea if I was fast or slow I am just happy it is done.

Today was John's famous 'surprise' workout. After a warm-up 400 and an all out 200 we have no idea what we will be running for the rest of the workout. We are given a total mileage for the workout and that is it. In the end we ran 400, 200, 1600, 200, 800, 400, 800. The recovery varies between intervals with some intervals having very short recovery. I did not feel great on the track today. I did not have the best spring off the track and I felt a bit sluggish. Every second required a big effort. Even when doing my drills I felt a bit stuck to the track. Although I was a bit flat about my workout John was pleased. I guess that is why we have coaches!

Although I felt a bit flat and slow today this is actually a good sign. I have a pattern of alternating weeks of slow and fast running. Last week fast, this week slow, next week FAST! I have finished all the hard workouts and mileage for the Sun Run. From here on in I need to ensure I get lots of sleep and take care of my body. I will be enjoying some ibuprofen and a big bag of ice. I may even break out the booties and hit English Bay for some cold therapy. The hay is in the barn and now I have to recover to race.

I hope everyone running the BMO tomorrow has a great time and an awesome race! I will be at the side of the road and I am looking forward to seeing all my running friends!

Happy Training!