Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Preparing to Rum Run

It's less than a week until my next big event - the Rum Runners Relay. I haven't done RRR in a few years but I remember it being a really fun event and it looks as if the weather will be perfect. The majority of my team members are folks who were with me on the Cabot Trail in May, with the balance being "friends of friends", so it should be a congenial group.

Much as I'm looking forward to the social aspects of the race, I dread the run itself. I signed up for leg #1 so I could get it out of the way early and focus on my duties as Captain for the remainder of the race. Unfortunately, that means running at 6:30 am - not exactly my best time of day. On the upside, I'll likely be too sleepy to notice when things start to hurt, which they no doubt will.

My training last week wasn't exactly stellar. Tuesday night's felt hard because I was still tired from the weekend. I completed a scheduled hill workout on Thursday but, again, didn't feel particularly good. Friday and Saturday mornings, my resting heart rate was significantly elevated so I opted not to run. I hoped to feel well enough to tackle a final long run of 16k on Sunday but, still feeling weary, elected to do a relatively easy 10k instead - a good choice given that it was as hot and humid as a mid-summer day. You can almost see the heat in this photo, which I took as a ran along the Centennial Trail.

The fact my heart rate was elevated is interesting. I suppose it's because I ramped up my training too quickly. After 3 or 4 years of racing regularly, I've gotten a bit too casual about prepping for events. I forget sometimes that my 52 year old body isn't capable of transforming itself from sloth to svelte athlete in a matter of weeks. More lead time is needed. 

Which means, of course, that Saturday's run is likely to feel tough. I'm more or less used to the distance (13+ kms) but haven't done enough speed training to make my goal pace of 5:45 feel easy. All I can hope is that excitement and adrenaline kick in and help me "make the mat" (the timing mat which gets picked up and moved to the end of leg #2 at around 7:50 am). 

Despite my worries about the race, I'm enjoying the perfect running weather this week. Yesterday, I did an easy (because I'm tapering) 5k on my usual route, stopping to stretch at the far end of Lake Banook. It was a beautiful evening with light bouncing off the water and a clear star-filled sky above.

In the four years since I moved home to Nova Scotia, I've run around the lake hundreds of times so it's as familiar to me as the back of my hand, and the transition from summer to autumn is one of my favourite times of year. On sunny mornings, reflected colours on the surface of the lake take my breath away. More often, it's dark by the time I run so I can't see the colours but the sharp, cool air, rich smells and gentle swish of fallen leaves remind me winter is just around the corner, which in turn reminds me to be grateful for however many lovely autumn days remain.

On another topic entirely, I've enjoyed watching the flag counter on this blog lately. My most recent readers appear to have been in the United Kingdom, Serbia, Malta and Norway, amongst other places. I can't help wondering who those readers are and what they found interesting so, if you're one of them, please leave a comment below and tell me a bit about yourself.

Happy running and writing, friends. 


  1. 52!!?? Nobody would guess that. This sloth to svelte thing gets harder all the time. I love running near water.

    1. You're very kind, Keith. I feel every bit my age these days. You're right that there's something special about running near the water.

  2. Good Luck on your race this weekend Janice! Your comments on Lake Banook made me want to get some outside time today :)

    1. I'm glad my post had that effect, G. Writing about being outside tends to motivate me to spend more time outdoors as well.