Jogged through the park this morning, beautiful morning, sunny and cool. Stayed on the grass. Tired. Nothing like yesterday's effortlessness. Winding my way through the inner paths, up the hills, around the bushes. Even my arms were tired.
I'm sitting in the Haruki Murakami room in my place. Sitting on my Nest chair and there's warmth from my light and the orange painting on my wall. Maybe just the most brume-like reflections on the past year. Some hazy resolutions trying to define themselves. I'm through the fevered days around Christmas when I had food poisoning. Seven hours of vomiting, 40 hours in bed, and Monday December 24th became Wednesday December 26 and I hadn't left my bed, hadn't seen a human face. My hands reacted like the MS was flaring, clumsy and slow, tingling through the peripheral nerves. Night sweats. For two days my left foot was hot and the joints were painful. Now we're into 2013. Day one. Everything seems to have settled down. Energy is back. I'm ready to go about business.
Tuesday morning. Waiting for my breakfast to settle. To kill time I flip on the radio but there’s nothing interesting. A girl with a nasally voice boasting about her acute intuition. I splash cold water on my face.
I don’t really have a plan for today’s run. I’ve been feeling so dreadful that I don’t want to make a plan. I’ll head in a direction with long options, in case I’m feeling good.
I’m feeling good. Not great, not like some of my runs in the past month, but good. The early kilometers are quick. Low 3:50’s pace. Still some fatigue in my muscles but I’d awakened without the earaches and neck aches I’d been feeling most of this week. My foot has flexion. After 40 minutes it starts to rain. I’m listening to my ipod and I don’t want it to get soaked so I stand under a tree for a minute, but I don’t know when the rain will stop, or if it will stop, so I commit to getting wet. I’m in the 3:40’s now. Moving easily. Moving strongly. The inverse rows and pull ups and the push ups make me feel powerful. I’ve exited the first network of trails and entered the second, hillier, and in my t-shirt and shorts I’m starting to get chilled from the rain. My forearms and hands are cold, but I still feel light and strong running up hills. I’m half blind and under the canopy of trees where it’s darker I lose depth perception, so I land lightly and pop off the ground. It’s safest that way. Spend less time on the ground. Encounter less risk. I’ve reached the far point of my run and am on my way home. Starting to move now. Into the 3:30’s. The path has been washed out by a newly formed stream. The rain and the dirt and this fresh stream where there used to be a dirt path but I know it can’t be deep so I open up my stride and go straight through, six steps, high stepping, striking the ground hard to create a vacuum and lifting my foot out before it gets sucked in. Carrying this momentum through the last network of trails. Then I’m back on the bike path, the pavement, and I’m crossing the bridge over the highway. The sun comes out. I’m listening to a violin concerto and the sun is in my eyes, and all the trees are lit up like Christmas. With this late second wind and my pace and the sunlight sparkling off the cathedral of trees path-side it’s as close to rapture as I’ve come. I’m 1h50’ into my run and barely touching the ground, driving the pace down to 3:10 for the last kilometer.
Start of a three week build. We're holding to one workout per week for the time being, plus some nervous system stimulation on a second day. Joined Trent, Hilary and Marilyn at PISE for yesterday's workout, sets of rhythm 2km followed by 400m reps at 3km effort. Was feeling tired heading into the session but damn I felt good once we started. The loop is likely short of 2km - I'd fight to run these paces on the track for half the distance. 6:02 - 5:57 - 5:50. 400m reps were 67-69, faster for the last one of each set. Keeping tabs on a few minor symptoms. No more headaches. Blurriness in my right eye, though, and I'm fantastically tired some days. Feet and fingers feel thick and sausage-like. Not all the time, but when I haven't slept well or when I've eaten poorly (after dairy or wheat in particular). Still, I'm encouraged that I can finish workouts stronger than they began, and running has been good. Since the half-marathon on October 07 I feel like I've made gains.
Best to everyone racing our National cross-country championships today.
Third week of working with Trent. The easy days have been ragged but the good ones are good and nothing else matters. If you run well when you're supposed to run well, you've done your job.
Mileage is relatively low. Starting with something manageable and building. Three weeks up, one week recover.
The few things I'm monitoring: tight left hip / IT band. Heaviness in the feet some mornings. Had low grade headaches in the mornings for a week but those have cleared. Mad sleeps. Deep sleeps with dreams I remember and wake from late in the morning, usually after 9:00 a.m. And I'm ugly. I look awful. God I hope my image in the mirror isn't a reflection of my internal environment. I look old and worn and I know it's more than the effects from the bare bulb antiseptic interrogation lighting in my apartment.
But that's the bad. The truth is I feel good. I feel strong. I'll sign up for the First Half in Vancouver in February. I'll sign up for Comox. 1:06:33 is our master's record.
I want to get off dairy and specifically cappuccinos but in a strange way I like how they make me feel, puffy and fat and worn out like I've been working hard at something without having put in the effort. Dairy slides me right to how I'd want to feel at the end, like I've already accomplished something, like I've punished my body for the sake of art. But here on this Friday morning with my mind feeling strong and my body feeling tight I am thinking I might actually give it a try. This cerebral morning with its grey skies, its heavy skies, and I am waking without a headache. The first thing I do is drink my Vega pre-workout. Then I boil water and pour 60g into a chawan, letting it cool to 70 degrees. With my chasen I whisk in a teaspoon of maccha and drink it in three even sips. Then I run. Just easily, through the park, certain it will rain. 45 minutes and some hill sprints. Tuning up for tomorrow's workout. On Monday I'll start with my new coach. Now that I'm 40 I have a couple of Canadian Masters records in my crosshairs.