Sunday, June 26, 2011

Falling Off

The balance I so wanted is slowly slipping away.

As I find myself running faster and getting more involved in the running world I can feel myself getting further away from the gay world. I spent another Saturday night at home alone quietly relaxing while the homos partied, danced and got into a bit of fun. While my gay friends are waking up just about now, I have already checked in on the Scotia Half, done my long run and tidied up my apartment.

While out on my long run this morning I did realize that I would much prefer to get out early and have a non hungover run. When I was at the hour point of my run I was thinking how nice it was that I had gone to bed early the night before. I was also thinking about half marathons, marathons and hard long training runs. I was imagining placing on the podium at the Scotia Half next year and getting into shape for Victoria this fall. My mind has gone to the runners.

I feel very conflicted. As I see my peers, both running friends and gay friends, move through relationships in a rhythm similar to a strong running stride I feel somehow left out. I have a really good life and I am very happy but still I wonder what it would be like to have a boyfriend. What would it be like to have someone to support and feel supported by? I want to date and have a boyfriend but I actually think I want to run more.

My injury last year gave me the opportunity to have some fun and date many men. Getting back into shape has shown me that my play and fun is derived from running fast and being fit. My peeps are the people of VFAC and the elites at the front of the pack. I do feel a remote connection to the gay community but I do not feel a part of the community. I still feel like a runner first.

For the next few months I am going to try and embrace the lack of balance in my life. I need to ensure I maintain periods of recovery when I can dabble with the homos. I also must ensure I continue to have fun going out as well as training. My difficulty will continue to be my issue with a desire to win races and also find a boyfriend (although to be honest, with all the dates I have been on and what feels like a total lack of dating karma I am not hopeful I will meet a cool gent).

Training is going very well after having a little bout with strep throat. I had a terrific track workout yesterday running without my usual group who were getting ready for Scotia Half. I was able to descend a workout of 400s with a closing 63 by myself. It was cold and windy on the track and the heavens opened for our last 4 repeats so I am very happy with this effort on my own. I have also started running to the track which adds an extra 2 miles to my warm up. A quick hard workout on tired legs is very exciting!

I leave on Wednesday for Toronto and then off to Nova Scotia. I feel like my racing season is just starting and I am hoping to come away with a couple of wins!

Happy Training!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Bad Luck

My lack of luck can be confirmed to have gone to bad luck.

I am not racing tonight as I have strep throat. Thankfully the antibiotics are starting to take effect but not soon enough to enable me to race. I am very frustrated as this was a key race for me and my prep for the summer and fall. For various reasons I wanted to get out there and blow some of the rust off of my running form. I really wanted to race hard tonight!

I made sacrifices for training this time. I gave up activities that I find really fun in order to train so I would have the opportunity to race again and run fast. When I find myself in a situation such as now, when I am not racing and cannot train, I wonder if my decisions are valid and if this is what I want to do.

I have only a few weeks until I go home and I am very excited. I will have to ensure I get in a few good workouts to ensure a quality race once I am home.

Happy Training!

Addendum:

I was able to run this morning and it was amazing. It started with randomly meeting a couple of good friends and training partners on the seawall and ended with some glorious barefoot running in the damp grass of a freshly mowed field. After a few months of hard training with very little recovery I forgot how it feels to run on rested legs. I felt light and incredibly fit on my run. Although I am very disappointed to have not been able to run, I have a great confidence in my fitness and I am very, very pleased to be running. I could feel the effects of illness and antibiotics but my body and legs felt stunning. I am very excited to race!

Monday, June 13, 2011

300

I feel like my lack of luck is being replaced by bad luck.

I had a strong and hard workout last Thursday where I was able to take my training up a notch and push myself harder than I have been able to all year. I had the desire to dig deep over the course of a 3km, 2km, 2km workout to go to the scary place where I feel like my legs are going to give out and my heart explode. These workouts are when I can run myself blind. I love these workouts.

As I get older I find I do not recover as well as I once did. A couple of years ago I would wake up after a hard workout feeling sore but not too tired. Now I wake up exhausted. It was with this exhaustion that I set out Friday after work for an easy shake out run. For the second Friday in a row I got lost in the trails at UBC. Instead of an easy 40 minutes I found myself arriving back at the locker room after an hour. If I was tired starting my run I was frustrated and exhausted by the end. When I get lost my strategy is to run faster to find my way back to where I am going. This time my faster running enabled me to run further and further in the wrong direction, even after trying to figure out the map. My sense of direction, which was excellent, is now fucked. After years of running and never getting lost my luck has changed.

I woke up Saturday morning tired and dreading our track workout of 300's with descending recovery. I grabbed my watch and noticed that it no longer had power. This is not too traumatic but I do hate running a workout without my own time. I managed to get myself ready early, grabbed my bike and hit the pavement for my casual ride to the track. I clipped into my pedals and went to sit on my seat when it broke off of my bike. Thankfully I was able to maintain my balance and get off of my bike without a crash but I now had no way to get to the track besides run. I hit the pavement on my two feet with a small shoe bag, sports drink and my lightest training shoes in an effort to get to the track on time.

Once at the track I felt okay and the workout went well despite running up hill for 30 minutes and getting lost the previous day. I ran the split times that John wanted and they felt hard but good. I wore my spikes as they were the lightest shoes to carry. Unfortunately they also offer the least support and I may have strained my left foot. My legs were tired but I was able to push through the fatigue and run a good effort. I am very happy to be finished some very hard workouts and I feel like it is time for a little taper before racing this Friday.

A disappointing aspect of the weekend was the pain in my left foot. I had planned on going to an event on Saturday night but with pain in my foot I did not want to spend the evening dancing into the wee hours of the morning. I was able to run on Sunday with a little discomfort although I know the foot is there. My body is quite achy generally which I can attribute to some very hard training and extra mileage that was not planned. I just wish that I could some how figure out how to balance the demands of training with my desire to have a social life.

My dating life continues and I ought to write an anonymous blog on the events. The dating world is a tough one and I am seriously considering hanging up the towel. Going into dates I usually have the feeling 'I hope he likes me!' I now have a different perspective where I am thinking 'I hope this is not too painful' or 'I hope I don't hate him'. I have met some cool guys but they are not interested or our schedules are not compatible (which really means we are not that into each other...). I have yet to find a spark with anyone. It would be really nice to date someone and think that he is super wonderful. That does happen, right?

My luck has taken a bit of a dip. I am a touch frustrated. This frustration may be related to being tired from training and is definitely related to pounding my head against the dating wall. With some rest and a good race this weekend I will be feeling better before heading into my last hard block of training before going on vacation.

I also should write a race report on my 5 km track race! I ran 15:20 for my first race back as a fit runner. I will try to write more in a future post.

Happy Training!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Training Effect

I am feeling the effect of some great workouts and a few wrong turns.

After a great workout on Thursday I hit the trails of UBC for an easy 20 minute shake out run. What started as 20 minutes turned into a 9 mile trek though the Endowment Lands (how appropriate that my favorite trails are in the Endowment Lands...). At the start of my run I was feeling very tired and sore and the legs were not shaking out. By the end of my overly long run I was tired and thinking about my Saturday track workout.

My legs were not feeling any better in the morning as I climbed onto my bike to head up the hill to the track. My warmup was a bit cautious and my strides and accelerations did not feel good. I could not get full range of motion and I felt slow and in a bit of pain. Our workout was 12 times 400 meters with 1 minute recovery.

I never felt good during the workout and every 400, including the first one, was a struggle. I finished the workout feeling drained and sore. I am satisfied with my effort as I pushed through some tough sections and some very negative self talk. There were a few times during the workout when I felt the best option was to step to the side of the track and call it a day. One of the keys of training is to push in the tired periods so that the recovery breeds results. I am already starting to look forward for a recovery period and a rested race.

My first real race of the year will be Monday night at SFU. I am running a track meet! This will be the first time I have run 5km on the track and only my third outdoor track meet. I am hoping to run well but this is more of a fun experience than anything else. I want to get my race legs before getting into road racing!

Happy Training!