The Training………..160 days left

23 02 2010


I dont put the pressure on myself to do a certain distance on sundays.  I make sure im scheduled for 20-25, but on my saturday afternoon 8 km, i think about how my body feels.  I envision my long run and try and visualize where i ll be when the pain starts and what level of pain it will be.   I carefully listen to what my bodys saying, and after so many runs i know the truth.  I dont try and play up a few achs and pains as potential injuries or try and down play something serious.  I m not doing this for anyone else so it doesnt make sense to cheat………who would be cheated?   Ive made my plan.  i have a timeline. a goal….if you cut a few corners at this stage of the training you ll really wish you hadnt about 3/4 of the way through the race.

I start my run yesterday, with deciding exactly what to eat, by hydrating with a lot of water, by laying out all my gear, by checking the weather,by getting in bed early and getting some sleep, by eating oatmeal and fruit for breakfast. 

A long run isnt something you just go out and do, if you want results.  You plan, and organize yourself for the maximum gain.

I like what “Caballo” ( the mysterious hero) says in Chris McDougalls book “Born to Run”

“A five hour run isnt something you just go out and do, its something you ease into like a hot bath”  Or something like that…miss quoted but you get the point.

I start my run along the Humber River going up.  Slow, maybe 6:30/km, i walk a couple minutes after only 8 minutes elapses.  Drink.  At 30 minutes i eat a gel pack, 100 calories.  At 90 minutes i can see its going to be a good run.  i force myself to go slow.  Its the time on the feet that counts not the speed.  I run off on side trails, scramble up a few steep banks and continue on up past Lawrence, just short of the 401.  I have a secound gel. 

Im not liking it up here.  I dont know the neighborhoods and i see alot of shifty people.  Few guys in a car slow down and check me out when i cut across a parking lot to get back to the river. 

 A lot of people living under bridges here. 


Although running is everyones sport, it is a bit “elitest, in the sense that if you are barely getting by in life you cant go running about just for fun………………ive got a watch on worth $700.00, shoes jacket etc $600.00.  Dont mis interpret this.  All you need to run is an old pair of runners and shorts, but what im trying to say is when you are in a country like China, Pakistan etc. people really look at you when you just go out for a run for pleasure………well you know what im trying to say.

I turn back towards home.

At 19 km i conciously envison that i am finishing LEG ONE of the death race.  2 hours 10 minutes…that is perfect.  SLOW!  How do i feel?  I feel great.  no twinges or nagging pain.  Fatigue starting in the ankles from the uneven terrain.  This is good.  This is what i need.  I dont follow the easiest or most direct routes.  Not that i often choose the path most traveled, but thats another stor.  I run off the path where possible. 

Its a bit difficult to run back by my condo on Bloor at 28km.  I guess its good mentally.  Your brain says “ok this is enough. You are right beside your house you should stop!”  I continue on, a quick stop in a conveniance store and refill my water bottles with some commercial sports drink.   I have a power bar and my 3rd gel pack.  Continuing on down towards the lake, i start to sip my special CarboBomb.  Its a concoction of Elyctrolites, carbs, and amino acids.  I pass a guy running barefoot in the park.   You dont wait until you are hungry, tired or thirsty before you get liquid and calories into you or its too late.  You have to think about the fact that you are buring about 700 calories every 10 kmor so.  So you need to get those back in you.  I know my bloods full of lycogen from the proper diet i had yesterday but thats only about 2 hours worth of fuel.  I know im hydrated as i drank plenty last night.  thats why im still feeling good at this distance.

 Ok dude.  Its minus 3C, youre running on broken ashphalt, and i have personally been spitting there for 4 monthes.  So have the other 20,000 runners and dogs and animals, and geese poop, etc………..anyway, he looked happy so what ever works.  I hit the lake and turn west.  Im starting to feel it a bit and my brains playing “lets make a deal”  “This was a good run, you should turn back and run a long one mid week”, ” Maybe your wifes looking for you”  ” you had a sore ankle last week’ 

This is perfect.  The brains job is to warm you when youre pushing the limits and at 30km you are pushing!

Its funny but some of my best running occurs at 28-30 km.  Just before i hit 34 and hit the wall.  I actually have settled into the run and am feeling pain but its a distant numbness.  its almost nice to feel it.  my hearts slow, my breathing has evened out.  I start thinking, “man you should rip off a 60-70 km today!”  34 hits…holy crap its time to go home!  Im almost out of water.  Feet are sore.  Hills are getting difficult.  Hey what the hells that guy doing…………some dude runs by at a 4 minute/km pace with only shorts on.  no shirt.  Ok tough guy, it is only 2 C!  Probably he was inspired by the olympics.  Last week i saw a fox when i was running.  This week all i saw was a bunch of squirrls and these two nuts!

Im heading back up the last hill.  2 km left.  Im ok now.  wouldnt matter what level the pain is, i could crawl 2 km!  Im pleased about this run.  I was prepared, physically and mentally.  I arrive at my Condo.  42.2, plus the 3 km around the loop by the river for 45 km.  Im elated.  As usual when i push myself hard i get abit emotional.  It feel s so good.  So awesome.  Im happy to get in the shower after a good stretch.  A protien shake right away.  You get the maximum benefit from the protien you consume in the first 30 minutes after your work out. A cup of hot Sweet Potatoe soup follows in30 minutes.  Several glasses of water.  Salmon and rice.   Ok  the bodies feeling much better.

If you have never pushed your body far beyond what you thought possible you are missing out.  It is the most amazing thing.  You gain confidance but have more humility.  You are clear of mind and spirit. 

Everyone should know this feeling at least once in your life!




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