This will probably be a short post.
I know, I’ve said that before at the beginning of some posts and then proceeded to chug out 2000+ words.
I could go on about some subject, but I’m getting in the zone for Sunday. I’ll probably be deluging cyberspace with post-run writing next to make up for my complete lack of verbosity this week.
The final week of training is when we taper our activities. We cut down on the distances for running. We also cut back on cross training, so I’ve been abstaining from going to Greco Lean and Fit this week. Miss the gang there and they certainly helped me build the strength to augment my running.
Sunday’s LSD run was a mere 6K. Longtime readers will now what a statement it is for me to call 6K “mere”. It’s been a year since my first 5K race. I can still remember the day like it was yesterday, how the cool dampness suddenly became hot and muggy minutes before gun time. Having to dodge the droppers and pukers as I charged to the finish line.
(Note to Kalin for Saturday: don’t follow anyone too closely. They may become a human hurdle as you’re gunning it for the finish)
It’s times like this that I think of how far I’ve come and how I wouldn’t be here without the help of my friends. I’ve made a few friends along the way, too. Taking this blog public last summer helped me take my story public and introduced me to a whole new readership. I even wrote an article for the Running Room magazine.
Tuesday and Wednesday we did race pace! A lot of the runners in my pace group were scared shitless at the prospect of this on Tuesday when we did 10K, almost half the race!. I calmed a few nerves when I reminded them that race pace was slower than the speed drills we did the previous week. It felt good to get the distance in at that pace. We were actually faster than race pace most of the run and came in 55:33. It made Wednesday’s 6K at race pace a relative breeze.
Despite the relative breeze it was not an uneventful run. We had a good lesson in the reason why a) we call out when bikers are passing us and b) why listening to your music player while on a training run is a bad idea. Since we were doing 10 minute running intervals, I decided to save turning around until we finished the second interval. As I turned around to start the walk break, a bicycle was zooming towards me. I distinctively jumped to the side and hugged the railing separating the trail from the Rideau Canal. Forward momentum swung my body forward. It took every ounce of core and upper body strength to fight inertia and not end up in the drink. I guess I have the Greco Sparks St. gang to thank for that.
When I got my feet back on the ground, I turned to my group and shouted, “Now that’s why I keep yelling ‘biker back/bicker up’!”
“He didn’t use a bell,” they protested.
As I looked over my pace group, I saw the wires dangling from their ears with more headsets than the victims of the Cybermen. “Would you have heard him if he did?”
Sheepish looks. Fuck it. Let’s run.
It’s going to be a pretty full couple of days leading up to this race. Kalin and I went with our running friends to get our race kits last night. The expo seemed smaller than last year. Some of the bug bears of last year’s race weekend . I have to say the “just a 5K” attitude from volunteers and vendors was palpable and utterly unwelcome. It starts with the cotton shirt that is included with registration when everyone else is getting technical shirts and trickles down from there.
This is completely unlike the Army Run in the fall which is weird because both events are organized by the same people, Run Ottawa, and the events have grown to the same size as Race Weekend. The only difference between the 5K and half marathon shirts is colour. Maybe since there’s no Boston-qualifier marathon, more people are focused on the purpose of the event, raising money for charities that support Canada’s veterans, and having fun.
Tonight we carb up. Tomorrow, Kalin runs her 5K, which she’s going to rock despite her setbacks. She’s going to make me proud.
Sunday morning is my day with destiny. I
I’ve trained all I can. I’ve done everything I’ve been told. Now it’s time to run the race and see what happens.
Now the fun begins.