Sunday, November 9, 2014

Mile whore

Last week's training put hair on my chest. Though rough, that training was essential so that I may put in solid performances for both the World 100K's in Doha, Qatar on Nov. 21 and the Desert Solstice 24hr on Dec. 13 in Phoenix. A friend was asking me how do I train for two tough races with only enough time in between to recover - I thought it would make for a cool post. So here it goes.

Peak week started on Saturday Nov. 1st at the West Bragg Creek parking lot. The snow was coming down creating a crazy beautiful backdrop as a few friends and I embarked on the Moose Packer trail soon connecting to Moose Mountain trail. When running up the scree section approaching the summit the visibility diminished and we sought safety in turning around and returning to the tree line. The early season powder was an absolute joy to cruise down making me grin ear to ear. We got down to the start point and I really wanted to giv'er on a newly created trail called Merlin's View. However given the conditions, the fact that none of us had run it before, it had become pitch dark and there were no other vehicles in the lot; we decided against it and decided to acquire a few more miles on the road. Excellent first run done and 35K in the bag.

Early Sunday morning Nov. 2nd, after enjoying an extra hour of sleep, I woke to a snow covered Pneuma trail (another approach to Moose mountain). This is a gradual 10K climb followed by 10K of rip roaring downhill fun making you look around to hug the first tree in sight.  We took it easy on the climb and enjoyed every drop of the winding descent. A super fun 20K was a nice addition to the big week ahead.

Living in Black Diamond and starting work early in downtown Calgary, a guy's got to get up fairly early. Monday Nov. 3rd, my alarm went off at 4:30 am. Got up, ate and arrived in the office at 6:30 am. While I worked, my appointments at the end of my day started cancelling. There must be a bug going around. This gave me the opportunity to start my run earlier than expected. I laced up my shoes at 4:00 pm and hit the road. Given the next two races are on flat road and track, I wanted to avoid hills and run flat, boring pathways. Flat pathways are easy to find heading east along the Chestemere canal. Fueled by Lynyrd Skynyrd, Metallica and Nine Inch Nails I felt the run was almost effortless. With all systems firing I had the best run I had this week. Upon completion I bagged a solid 60K and felt damn good about it, letting out a couple whoops when getting back to my car at Anderson LRT station. 

Bringing sexy back in the Hypoxico tent
With Tuesday Nov. 4th as a rest day I got a lot of errands done. Spent some great time with my three monkeys and rested. Then had an early bedtime in my Hypoxico tent set at 11,500 ft.

Wednesday Nov. 5th was yet again an early start. I awoke at 3:45 am to make it downtown for an uber early physiotherapy appointment with Tyson Plesuk. Tyson was pleased with how my body was holding up. After having my poor hips impaled by IMS needles, I started treating my patients at 7:00 am. The day flew by and at 6:00 pm I hit the road for my run. From downtown I ran west to the Glenmore reservoir then south to Fish Creek park to meet up with my buddy John Hubbard. John has had recent success winning both the Lost Soul 100M and the Ironhorse 100K but has since pulled the plug on the grind which I'm sure is both benefiting his body and mind. We ran an 11K loop out from his house talking the whole time about family stuff and my upcoming races. It's good rapping with him, I always feel centered afterward. Once we finished our run he fed me leftover dinner and drove me back to my car. What a scholar, a gentleman, a pimp and a thief. Tonight's run was 36K creeping my weekly total to 151K with still my big run to go.

New Balance 980's
Another rest day was a welcome gift on Thursday Nov. 6th. This day was filled with all the typical daddy type stuff you'd expect a dad to do. Ran some errands, cooked, baked and did some games and homework with the monkeys. Hit the hay early in my Hypoxico tent to ready my body for the final grind before the taper.


My alarm sounded at 4:30 am on Friday Nov. 7th. The Hypoxico tent was set at 12,000 ft and I felt rested. Fueled by a cup of joe I started my work day ever so excited about my final long run that evening. That day I learned of a running buddy's minor injury he sustained by (in my opinion) cramming in too many miles in prep for an upcoming event. That got me thinking. Am I being too greedy? Is this week too much for my body to handle? At 6:00 pm I laced my brand new pair of NB 980's and hit the road for my last grind. The number 70 seemed reasonable but was that over doing it? The moonlight run was going very well averaging a comfortable 4:45 min/km pace until along the Chestemere canal pathway I ran into a construction blockage. For 5 minutes I tried to get around the blockade. I then started to laugh, it struck me, this is divine intervention if I've ever seen it. If I turned around right then and there it would end up being a 55K run. Hell, that's a pretty good fricken day! I thought "You greedy bastard, turn around and be smart for once in your life!" and that I did. The rest of the run felt like a hot knife through butter, a perfect way to finish a productive week in prep for my two biggest races of my young running career. Arriving back at my car with my GPS reading 54.2K, I let out a "Yaaaahoo!" I'm feeling good and ready for Qatar and Phoenix.

RE7 at the "Notch" on the Skyline trail in Jasper
My weekly mileage ended up being 205K. Call me a mile whore but I'm very pleased with the quality kilometres within this week. What can I say, I'm one hell of a lucky duck. Without the support of my family, Gord's Running Store, New Balance and RE7 sports drink, none of this would be possible.

Now lets go see what these old, tattered legs can do.



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