Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Running lessons: Looks ain't everything

My treat for running 34k last Saturday was a mellow 10k recovery run along Crescent and Risser's Beaches on Sunday. If you've read my blog before, you likely know that Risser's in my favourite place in the world, and Crescent isn't far down the list. The fog was thick as pea soup but I didn't mind because I loved the sense of solitude and the temperature was perfect.

I parked at the Risser's Beach parking lot and began by running to the far end of Crescent and back (around 7k) before looping up Risser's and around along the boardwalk.

Just as I finished, the fog began burning off so I sat on a big rock for a few minutes savouring the waves and sweet salt-scented air before heading back to the car. If there's anything better for the soul than time at the beach, I don't know what it is.

The sun was shining brightly by the time I got home and the back deck was warm and inviting - which was perfect given that Janet was popping over for a glass of wine. We spent the next couple of hours, munching snacks, sipping wine and catching up on one another's news. Janet's registered to run the Bluenose Half Marathon in a couple of weeks and, given all the hill training she's done, I'm positive she's going to have a great race!

She's also going to earn a more attractive finisher's medal than I am. I saw a photo of the race medals for Calgary on Facebook last week and I have to say I'm disappointed. The medals were terrific in 2015 so I was hoping for something even nicer this year. Unfortunately, it appears the organizers opted to skimp on the design budget since the t-shirts are boring too, but I'm sure the event will impress in other ways.

As I sipped my coffee this morning, I reminded myself that looks ain't everything. Sure, the medal is ugly but it's the achievement that matters. After the issues with my hip last summer, I wasn't sure I'd ever be able to train for a marathon again; yet here I am running big distances and feeling fine.  In fact, I ran 61k in total last week - including a tough hill training session, a 7.5k tempo run, and a 34k long run. Not bad for middle-aged lady.

"Looks ain't everything" applies to the shoes I'm now planning to wear too.  In an effort to preserve whatever good remained in the shoes I originally planned to wear (my newest "old" pair), I pulled on an older pair to run Sunday's 10k. They don't look bad, except that the fabric across the toes has let go in a couple of places - the result of a defect, I suppose, since they were never worn much. As I ran down the beach, it quickly became apparent the older shoes actually felt better than the newer ones so I think I'm going to duct tape and wear them instead. They'll look gawd-awful but I'll take comfort over looks any day!

For the next two weeks, my main focus will be on rest and recovery. My throat's been a bit sore the past few days so I skipped the hill workout I had scheduled for last night and hung out with Husband, who's just arrived home after a couple of weeks' away. (It's lovely having him home!) Hopefully, I can avoid a full blown cold - which is the last thing I need right now. I've been doing my best to avoid contact people who are obviously sick but there heaps of bugs circulating so I'm counting on plenty of hand-washing, good food, and rest to stay healthy. Fingers crossed!

Are you running a race this month? Do you taper before big events? What are your tricks for preparing mentally and physically? How much do you run in the last two weeks?

1 comment:

  1. Lovely visit that Sunday, Janice - beautiful day to sit on your deck and sip wine :) As for how prepared I am, well, time will tell. You got me curious, so I checked my running journal...with two more runs scheduled this week, my last two weeks before the 'event' will have seen me run 62K total (that's one week in your running book)!!

    I kind of like the medals for Calgary...all in the eye of the beholder, eh. Mind you, I am a big fan of the super hero comic/movie genre (don't tell Keith ;)

    Stay healthy - enjoy the rest and relaxation (very glad you made a decision on your shoes) - and I can't wait to read the race report!!