Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Life, Real

By Monday I was very happy with my training and how my fitness was developing. The miles just flew by and felt rather effortlessly and the slightly faster pace over the weekend did not seem to have any lasting effects.

Real life has a habit of interfering with running life, which is just unavoidable for any amateur in sports, I suppose (actually, professionals aren’t immune either). For a change it wasn’t one or more of my 4 children that caused issues but my work life. A very long daytrip required a very early start, and even though I cut the run to a mere 5 miles, pretty much the minimum for me, I still had to get up at 5 am. A rather long day later I arrived home late and as tired as can be expected.

The legs felt rather sluggish on Wednesday morning, but they often do that at the start of any run. With the way my schedule has evolved I tend to do head up into the mountains on Wednesday and I did not think a few sluggish legs would cause any more trouble than usual. Trying to learn from my mistake last week, this time I brought a headlamp, but it turned out to be surprisingly useless. It was perfectly adequate on the road but as soon as I hit the trail I experienced for the first time myself what I had read about plenty of times from other nightly trail runners, namely that a headlamp does not provide any depth perception and therefore I was still unable to properly make out the uneven surface. Cue plenty of stumbles and slow pace and one painful twist of the ankle, basically a repeat of last week. The situation actually improved significantly when I finally turned off the lamp because then I got a better feel for the surroundings than when I had focused on that tiny speck of light bobbing in front of me. I guess I need to move the trail run to the weekend, when I tend to run later during the day in much better conditions.

The steep climb up to Windy Gap seemed to feel worse than usual, though I keep thinking that every single time. However, this time I really started to struggle early; by the time I reached the top I was not just exhausted but lightheaded as well. I think a lack of fueling from the day before had come back to bite me. I did consider turning around but I tend to be stubborn and thick headed so I proceeded with the original plan and headed down towards Glenbeigh before turning around at the gate to climb back up. Someone pointed out that “you can literally see the horned evil of the hill” in the elevation profile, which had me giggle. The way I see it, every climb up that hill will get me another place in the championships next year -  at least that’s what I keep telling myself to keep me going when the legs turn to lead and the lungs are filled with acid and I’m still only halfway up the hill. Surprisingly, the second climb felt better than the first one despite being longer and on even more tired legs, and I seemed to improve as the miles ticked by. Funny how that works, sometimes.


I filled in a race registration form for next February, and for the first time had to put “45” into the “age at race day” field. That’s right, I’ll be in a new age group category soon. It might make it easier to pick up some geezer prizes, or it may not. However, a few years ago I sure expected to be very much on the way downhill at such an advanced age, with maybe just an eye on some age-group PBs because my “young” ones were out of reach by now. I’m very happy to say that day has not arrived yet, all my PBs are fairly recent (at least for distances I have raced recently) and I sure haven’t given up on improving any of them just yet.

22 Sep
11.3 miles, 1:27:08, 7:43 pace, HR 140
23 Sep
5 miles, 38:35, 7:34 pace, HR 139
24 Sep
12.3 miles, 1:54:58, 9:21 pace, HR 148
Windy Gap x 2

1 comment:

  1. Real life interferes with running a lot... Hopefully, you won't have to go to a work trip anytime soon and can stick to you schedule! That Windy Gap seems very intimidating...