Thursday, July 17, 2014

It's not easy...

The good news is I only had one training session today. The bad news is it's my running speed work and it's a hurt locker session.

I got caught up in some work this morning and before I knew it it was 4:30 pm and I hadn't yet done my training session.

In the hours prior I was thinking "beer". It was the first time in a while that I had an urge to have a beer. I was self-aware of it and intrigued. Why was I thinking about it? Why did I want some?

I got to thinking about it and played it in my mind what would happen if I had a beer. My keg still has some Stella left in it so I don't have to go to far to have some. I visualized that if I had a beer before my run I probably would have a couple and bail on my training session.

Then I thought about the sabotage it would do to my diet. I'm losing inches and pounds, slowly but surely. I'm not eating strictly healthy, but I'm not binging either. If I had a beer it would most certainly derail my efforts and from history it would cause weight to go up.

Mentally I'm in a really good place. Having a beer would most definitely set me back and if I had one too many it would certainly set me back.

I wondered if I was craving a beer was because I didn't want to do my run. It's not just an enjoyable low heart rate run, it's a go as hard as you can for 11 km run.

The more I thought about it the negatives outweighed the positives and I said to myself that even if I really couldn't hold myself from having a beer I wasn't going to have one until after my run. After my run we'll see if I feel differently.

Before I set out on my run I knew in my heart of heart regardless I was not going to have any beer. I made my mind up, I quit and I'm committed for it to stay that way. I'm so pumped about life right now and the next three years of achieving some personal goals that I don't want to do anything to derail myself.

As I set out on my run I didn't know how fast I'd go. Last week was a blistering 4:48 per km average pace. Blistering for me at this stage. To do that speed it hurt and I had to grind it out. Could I do it again?

The thing about running and racing is you really never know how you feel or how fast you are going to go until you get started. Once I started I was stiff and felt awkward. My newer shoes have been causing Achilles tightness.

About 2 km into the run I was at a 4:47 per km average and it wasn't easy to get there. On one level I was happy it was that fast considering I felt like I was lumbering and going slow. On the other hand I didn't like to see it because I know my competitive nature will be to try to keep it at that average for the remainder of the run.

When I got to my first red light at 3 km I welcomed it. I got to stop and rest until the light turned green. Thinking about it I remember 20 years ago that if I got stopped at a red light I'd run on the spot until it changed. I still see people do it now. For me, nope, I don't do that. I just stop and wait.

My next stop was at the turnaround point. I didn't have to stop. I did. I took a 20 second deep breath and then took off. Just prior I could feel some tightness of the muscles on the front of the foot and lower shin. I can't ever recall having that feeling before. I'm in the paranoia zone about getting injured this close to the race and consciously started to relax my foot area and observed it. It eventually went away.

My Achilles the entire time remained tight and my quads started building lactic acid and feeling stiff. I love that feeling and ran through it. What that feeling tells me is I'm giving my muscles a workout and that's how you get stronger. Or as my son Reid would say "gains".

At the 8 km mark I so wanted to just slow down. At 10 km I really wanted to slow down. I could have justified it in my mind as this last 1 km would be my cool down. For two reasons I didn't. First I was racing against the clock and wanted to see what the fastest was I could go and secondly I didn't want to mail this session in, I wanted to make sure it was a high quality workout that I'd be thankful I did during Ironman Boulder.

I managed to finish with a 4:55 per km average. It was slower by 7 seconds per km from last week and I wasn't bothered by it. I knew I did the absolute best I could and my legs were sore after I got home.

It's still really intriguing me how my legs could be sore after a less than and hour run. That's a baby run. My bigger concern is my tight Achilles. Part of it being tight is from favouring it and walking tight. Mentally the best thing to do is relax and ignore it. Basically walk normal and trust that walking normal will help it and not hurt it. That favouring it will do more harm than good.

When I got back the idea of having a beer was no longer even in my mind. I was also amazed how surreally fast the run felt. I was listening to a auto-biography of Ben Horowitz a Silicon Valley legend and his describing of a business story and adversity he faced early was gripping. Yet at the same time during the run it seems like a lifetime waiting for the run to end and the pain to end.

After the run I had my protein shake, my beta-alanine and had a shower. Then it was off to the movie 23 jump street. Alyssa like it and Alice and I didn't think it was too good. I'd give it a 6 on 10. It was good to get out and walk, it aids recovery. After the movie walking down the stars was a little painful.

I did notice as I was sitting in my seat with my legs up that some of the muscles on my legs that I haven't seen for a while are coming back. It's nice to see that in fact my body is getting stronger. It's amazing how hard it is to see those gains and get stronger and how easy it is to lose those gains, get weaker and soft.

My cough seemed to be going away until after my run. After the run I couldn't stop hacking again and same in the movie theatre. Good think there was only about 10 people at the movie or I would have been pretty annoying.

My big focus right now is to mentally prepare to finish off my last big weekend of training with a long bike and run. After this weekend the taper begins. I want to make sure I finish this weekend strong. It will help both mentally and physically.

Aside from training I'm enjoying my summer. I feel like every day is a weekend. Even thought I got to bed around 11 pm last night I slept till about 10 am before starting my day.

It's a really weird feeling in that in all the years I've been in business I've never really taken holidays and when I did I was often thinking about work or responding daily to emails at minimum. It feels like I'm on holidays and I'm trying not to feel guilty about it.

I'm definitely learning. I realize that moving forward I'm taking holidays, real holidays. Were everyday needs to feel like a weekend. I find I'm recharging and mentally preparing myself for the weeks ahead once our app is ready to officially launch.

What's cool is it's all going to be ready to launch right after the Ironman. The timing couldn't be better. Relax, train, do 4 or 5 hours of work each day and mentally prepare for post race. Those following two months after the race are going to be an all out assault to make things happen. I'm pretty pumped about it and making some magic happen.

Speed Run - 55:07 / 11.20 km


  1. if you're worried about getting injured this close to IM, why are you doing speed-work? what do you expect to gain?

  2. Muscle and strength. Doing speedwork 3 weeks before is not unusual. However, I'm "cramming" for this thing. I need to do the most I can to suffer now so I don't have to suffer later. This will be my last session. My achieles is still sore. Now, that I've explained myself....go change another tire tube. hahaha