Monday, November 23, 2009

There's No Such Thing As Too Slow

Last week I ran a hair over 8 hours, which for me is a lot. I've had quite a few bigger weeks this year, but in most cases, I had a race during that week. I had maybe two other weeks where I went north of 8 hours without the mental boost that comes from a race. Mileage wise it was average, because my long runs are now done on trails, usually technical ones where my pace is something I'd rather not discuss.

Case in point: yesterday. My program called for 3:30 to 3:45 on trail. I decided to try a new section of the Bruce Trail and headed up to Milton to do a loop of the Halton Hills side trail. That loop is about 20km and I figured I would neeed to run a bit extra but that's OK. Little did I know. The trail ended up being the most gorgeous section I've run yet except for one thing: the trail surface is just nasty. I've been battling a bit of a knee pain and by the time I was 3:00h in, I had to break the seal on my emergency Advil bottle. A few sections were runnable around the Hilton Falls Conservation area but by then the damage was done. I shuffled the last few kilometers to my car, walking whenever the footing got questionable, which whas often.

On the drive back, sipping on my McDonald's Chocolate shake, I started to wonder if maybe I should run on flatter surfaces where I could sustain a faster pace. Wouldn't that be better training? Then I remembered my most brain numbingly boring training run ever: a 5:30 hour, 50k training run on a pancake-flat bike trail near Welland. I was just a grind. There was no joy involved. I actually listened to music for a couple of hours, something I rarely do. I couldn't believe I finished. Yesterday, the run wasn't quite as long but (other than the knife stabbing at my IT band) I had a great time. I took pictures of some of the nice spots; I lost the trail numerous times and got to play with my GPS; I had to go around flooded sections; I had my first shit in the woods (is that what my kids call "over-share"?); I swore at the tectonic plates and/or glaciers to create so many rocks. Never a dull moment. I'll stick to trail. I figure that if I stick to it, next year I'll think the Iroquoia Trail Test course is nice and easy.

So I was slow on Sunday. Who cares? I had a great time.

I have 48 hours to run 100 miles on February 13. I'll be happy just to finish, and that's a pace of 18 min/km. I better get used to slow. And I look at the bright side: there won't be any rocks!


John McAlister said...

Hope the training continues to go well, JD. Take good care of that knee before it flares up and hobbles you.

Nature Girl said...

"There's no such thing as too slow"

I like you JD.