Tuesday, August 26, 2008

monday to monday

monday (last week)

Because of the rain last Sunday I planned to run after work on Monday. I mapped out a route that would take me up on the mountain where it levels out and I thought I'd run a route up there before running the descent home.

This is what I learned:

1. Running a very long distance post-work is near impossible. It's probably better to just run home or do a shorter run.
2. Know when to stop. Instead of pushing myself into frustration and getting down on myself, it's better to stop and call it a day.
3. It's okay to walk.

During the run I felt awful. I kept trying to talk myself into the run, telling myself that I just needed to find my rhythm. Then the negative thoughts starting flowing and no matter how hard I tried to stay positive and focused, the negativity came back. I was simply too tired to carry on. I tried to keep going and took extra walk breaks and longer walk breaks, until finally I admitted to myself that I was beat.

Still quite far from home I started walking. The walk gave me lots of time to think. I questioned whether I should be running at all and asked myself why run a marathon? No clear answers came to me and I got quite irritated. At the bottom of a very long hill, I started to run again. The pain made me angrier and once again I gave up. My legs were so tired. (Perhaps I should have mentioned that three days earlier I did several reps of lunges after my run and was still quite sore from that workout). I wanted to cry, but I was too mad to cry. I wasn't mad at myself or anyone, just frustrated for not having the ability to run.

I made it home just as the sun was setting and told db the whole frustrating story. He tried to reassure me, but the doubts lingered.


No running or biking. I started work early because I'm training for the office job to cover the office person while she's on holiday. This is actually the job I applied for last fall, but didn't get. Now I'm getting an idea of what the job would have really been like. While I enjoy learning anything new, I realized that this isn't the business for me. I'm definitely in the wrong area. This isn't an earth shattering revelation, I did study in an arts discipline, but not working in the arts I guess I thought I'd be able to find a place where I could fit in and feel content. I guess I was wrong.

I risked eating sprouted wheat bread on the weekend and lived to regret it. I was starting to feel a little relaxed about my wheat consumption and then lo' and behold it started to catch up to me. I was feeling sluggish and bloated again. So Tuesday was the day I decided to stick to my gluten-free ways and see if it made me feel better.


Somewhat hesitant I dressed to go out for my run. When I faced the hill ahead of me I told myself that I would just "do what I can." If it meant that I'd run around the block then I would do just that and call it a day. I was convinced that I would't run more than 2 k.

I started off slowly and ran my regular short route to the park. Once at the park I decided to head toward the track thinking that the softer surface might be a nice change. Once on the track I decided to start my speed workout for the week, but I was cautious and I told myself to just try one set of 1600 meters at a faster pace. I completed one set, followed by 800 m jogs in between. I finish another set and follow with more jogging. The morning heated up, but I tried a third set, completing half of it and I was grateful for completing half since I had left the house with little expectation. I topped off my workout with some lunges (I felt I was ready for more lunges again) and jumping on the spot (yes, I probably did look ridiculous, but it really does help). Then I ran home and was relieved to know that "yes I can run after all." Maybe I won't pull out of the marathon yet. The weekend would be the true test when I'd have another long run (30k).

In the evening I attended a family bbq. Family here meaning cousins, second cousins and my great aunt and uncle, i.e. family I don't see as often. I hadn't seen some of them for 10 years or more so it was quite cool to see everyone and catch up on what they're up to. Veggie burgers were on the bbq before any meat so I was happy and there were gorgeous portobello mushrooms to go with. Very delicious. I did have my burger on a wheat pita bread, but I didn't want to make a fuss about the wheat since I already felt like I was putting people out being vegan.


A long day at work and I spent most of it on my feet. Even though I'd eaten the pita bread, that was the only wheat I'd eaten since the weeked so I was starting to feel better. Work was long and it seemed like the day would never end.


db and I planned to run after work together. He tends to run a bit faster than I do so I know it will help to run with him.
I was still nervous about running and how my body would respond. Would it give up on me? Would I give up on it?
We had a short, but good run. I felt lighter and leaner as if the affects of the gluten were less. I felt the real test was coming up on Sunday, the long run day.


We traveled to Bowen Island. It's so close and we've never been. We read about a market on the island and being eager to seek out every market around, we left early in the morning for the ferry.
Bowen is beautiful. I loved the island!
As it turned out the market was just a craft market (no produce). While this was a bit disappointing it didn't really matter.
Just a short walk up from the ferry is the market.
Boardwalk near the marina.
A view of one of the beaches.
The wetlands near Kilarney lake. We hiked around the lake. It was a beautiful hike. The map gave approximate times for how long each hike would take. db and I soon discovered that it was probably written for someone who rarely walks and may need a hip replacement, because the time it took us on the trails was half the time allotted.
More mysterious fungi. I never tire of looking at them.

Very nice day trip that we completed with a microbrew at the pub near the pier. I didn't want to leave. Hopefully we'll go back soon.


The big day. I was up at 5:30 to have a good breakfast before heading out on my long run. The plan was for me to run 14 k and then meet up with db to run his 16 k. I took a look at my pacing goals and headed out. I was nervous and not entirely certain how to pace myself, but I felt good so I didn't hold back too much.

The morning air was quite a bit cooler than I thought, perfect for running. I did my 10:1 run walk ratio and it was all going really well. In fact I was ahead of my expected pace and started to worry that perhaps I went out too strong.

When I met up with db I felt okay and we continued on. For the most part I maintained a pretty steady pace. My right calf started to tighten up more and more the longer I ran and this was becoming a problem. Still, it wasn't painful enough to cause me to stop.

At around 23 k I hit a mini wall just before having to go up a small hill. I climbed it anyway and kept going. db was so encouraging. He had to run the furthest he's run in a while and there he was trying to keep me going!

The calf was getting worse and with only about 2k to go I started to wonder if I'd finish. 1 k left and I stopped to walk. db suggested I slow down a little and take it easy. I already felt like I was shuffling, but I made it. db did 16k. He looks very ready to run the half marathon. I could hardly believe I was done, but I completed 30 k. How I'm going to do 12 more k on top of it, I don't know.

By the time we stretched, showered and ate it was too late in the day to make it to the local farmers' market. Our on-line research revealed Whistler to have a market than runs until 4 pm. We had a enough time to make it and took advantage of db having the car from work and drove to Whistler.

We've never been. The market was definitely worth the trip. We bought some chanterelles mushrooms and found a stand devoted to heirloom tomatoes.

Ah tomatoes and basil, a perfect combination.
Heirloom varieties.

There was also a raw/vegan booth with raw crackers and lots of sweets. I bought some raw macaroons that I'm pretty sure I can duplicate.

After the market we just took a stroll through Whistler village which is quite nice and made all the more beautiful by the spectacular backdrop.

The signs for the 2010 games are everywhere. The shops are filled with 2010 knick-knacks, t-shirts, postcards etc etc. The signs are posted indicating where the events are to be held. The drive along the sea to sky highway has just about every meter under construction. The amount of work to be done on the highway alone is astounding.

Anywho...db and I drove back, stopping at one of the viewpoints to take in the beautiful vista and stretch our legs once again. I think walking around Whistler helped us both since we both had grueling long runs. It was better than sitting at home stiffening up.

All in all it was a great labour day weekend. We had three days together and definitely made the most of them.

monday (labour day)

A day of rest. I slept in and then eased into my day doing very little. It was a pretty relaxing day. Quite a contrast compared to last Monday. Tomorrow if the weather is nice I may run after work, but only a short distance, just enough to keep the training on schedule.

View along the Sea to Sky highway.


Vegan Run Amok said...

Sorry you had a tough week! Awesome job on the speedwork and long run, though! 30K, wow!

I was getting down on myself a few weeks ago about my triathlon training because my workouts were feeling So. Hard. But then someone pointed out that when you're increasing the intensity (almost) every week, it's supposed to be hard! I can only assume it's the same with marathon training. And at 30K, you're getting very close to your goal distance now. You can totally do it!!

Wandering Coyote said...

I went on a long, difficult hike yesterday and experienced many of the same things you did on your runs: mini walls, pain, doubt, anger, frustration...So, I feel for you. I'll have a blog post up about it sometime today.

sp said...

thanks vegan run amok. I'm sticking with my goal to complete the marathon. Your training is way hard. I can't believe the discipline it takes. As I always say it's very inspiring to read about your progress.

red jane said...

Amazing week- I'm exhausted as I read it! But I know you'll be brilliant; I've been to your races before and I know, like VRA says, the training is the hardest part. I keep thinking about Kathrine Switzer too and thank you so much for lending me her bio. SO much so, that I'm waiting on my running partner and we're off to hit the trails before I suffer at a desk all day doing data entry! I think of you both when I run.