“Well,”’ says my wife after I completed my long run Sunday. “At least it makes for some good blogging material!”
I love the various gadgets associated with running, those to keep track of everything from pace and distance, to our treadmill that allows you to train indoors when the weather dictates or provides you with a change of pace as required.
With that in mind, we concluded our vacation to PEI on the weekend and there were a number of goals – like getting home in a reasonably sane state of mind. This included a pair of runs, one 13km at 6:05ish pace and another long run of 19km, aiming for a negative split between 6:05 pace and 6:35 pace.
So after a long couple of days Thursday and Friday, I took to the Cavendish trials on Saturday morning, one last outing near the beach and through the outstanding trail system that makes it very encouraging for bikers, runners and walkers to get out and get active.
I started a bit fast according to my Garmin but when I went to check my pace at the 1.5 km mark, the Garmin’s battery was gonzo, a victim of a week away from charging devices. No worries, I thought, I’ll just enjoy the run and since I had gone 13 kms Thursday, I knew where the route would take me. Also, I had read that it is good to get rid of your watch from time to time and enjoy the pace, free of the actual timing restraints.
Admittedly, I struggled, a function of becoming addicted to constant glances at my watch during training efforts and I probably pushed it too fast, knowing I had a small window of time before we had to move onto other tasks on our final day of visiting.
Long story short – I cut it to 11 km on a reasonably muggy morning that eventually produced some rain later in the day. My legs felt heavy and tight and the sweat soaked my t-shirt, a good indication of the conditions and my too brisk speed.
After a few visits and lots of driving, we made it home Saturday night. We all enjoyed a great sleep in Sunday before chores took over – cleaned up the car, house, picked up our dog, groceries, stained more of the deck and some laundry. Later in the day, we went swimming and when it came 10 p.m., I was committed to 19km on the treadmill. There is a lot of construction around our home right now and it is blocking access to my normal route. So I figured to test myself on the treadmill, and since there was a baseball game on, I watched the game and started at 10:32 per mile, a leisurely pace.
The goal was to pick it up to 9:45 per mile in the second half of the run but that is where the second round of trouble started. For some reason, our treadmill shuts down after an hour or sometimes when the speed is faster than eight minutes per mile.
That happened last night, when after 70 minutes, it shut down. I started it again and after 90 seconds, it conked out again. Finally, after it went down after only another 90 seconds – and I was only 11.1 km into the run, I took to the streets, opting for another route close to home.
As it turned out, the path I chose measured 630 metres one way and after 1.2 km, it started to drizzle, then rain, then pour and then really come down, stopping shortly before I wrapped up my eighth and final kilometre of what became a too fast finish of a run highlighted by frustration and more than a few choice words.
Drenched and exhausted, I returned home determined to recharge my Garmin after every run and to get someone to look at our treadmill.
So there it was, 19.1 km on a night that included four innings of watching baseball, running in a rain storm and plenty of quotes that went like %*&#*#%**#%*#. The final tally was something like 9.5 km in 6:32 pace, and 9.6 km ranging from 5:30 to 6:05 per km.
Of note, though, was the conclusion of the first stage – endurance – of the Pfitz 18-55 plan – and the onset now, of the second stage – Lactate Threshold + Endurance – which includes more tempo runs and greater distances over a five-week span. This is the heart of this plan and the most difficult.
This week includes a 29-km long run on the weekend and another 8km tempo as part of a medium long run Tuesday.
Vacation totals – seven runs, 95 kms.