Monday, September 04, 2006

Back in action

Sunday morning dawned cool and clear here in the northeast with temps about 11C (53F) and no wind. Alarm went off at 6:15 Canadian (5:15 US) and the coffee was poured by 6:30. Quick drive though the US border with the send off "Enjoy your run!" from the border guard and arrived on scene just moments before Andrew.

The miles just melted away as Andrew and I talked up a storm as we navigated the old Boyden Lake loop for the 1st time in months. It seemed the run was over before it even started and I'm talking 22 miles here! There was just so much to catch up on that the miles just clicked off, or should I say beeped and whistled at us, with the Garmin toy going off each mile and every 20 minutes. I asked Andrew if it bothered him but he thought it was great and it seemed to closely match his previously driven estimates of the course. In fact the main loop we always called 17 miles was exactly that, almost to the stride where we started at the cars.

Besides all the gabbing the only other notable events was a stray horse that appeared to be loose from his corral and happily eating grass on the side of the road. And then as the conversation inevitably turned to food we came across a gummi worm massacre in the middle of the road. I thought it was a bunch of dead caterpillars but on closer inspection the biologist of the group (me) determined the squashed objects were multicolored candy worms left in the middle of the road. A few miles later I was able to offer Andrew an actual gummi worm from my bag of treats but he opted for the fig newton instead. I went for the chocolate chip cookie and power gel.

The pace seemed easy and we didn't pay much attention to it until the end and even then the agreement between us was that if we could still talk while going up the steepest hills, then the pace was not too fast (am I right?)! Towards the end of the 17 mile loop I mentioned that my legs were starting to feel a bit tired and then mentioned that a good strategy in races is to pick up the pace when you start to feel tired. We both agreed that this had merit in races as going slightly faster is often no less painful than slowing down (except for stopping of course) and that it might encourage the firing of unused fast twitch muscle fibres. It was never meant to be cue to pick up the pace but before we knew it...

... the last 5 miles were progressively faster on the out (downhill) and back (uphill) section from 7:39 to 7:03 final mile (what the heck was that?) and still gabbing but more quiet pauses and gasping now. The overall run came in at 2:55 for a 7:54/mi pace. What a great run!! Did I say what a great run we had? Can't wait for the next one in a week or two.

Thomas left a comment with Andrew re hills and it tweeked me to put out this graph of our run complete with heartrate (mine in red of course) and the elevation in green. As I had remarked to Andrew during the run it seemed we were always going up or down and never on the flat and here's the evidence!

Back to reality... Hurried back home for phase 2 of Steph's move and we were soon off on our 5hr trek to Truro. It seemed like a short ride after all the miles we've been putting on the poor old van lately. It's a good thing we have it and it's been very dependable so far.
The question was "Will it all fit in or does Mom have to stay home?"

Hey, no problem! There's still room for the groceries!

And for Steph and Jo, and of course Cody!

Back home now after a good safe trip and getting things all caught up before going back to WORK in the morning. I think I need a vacation from my vacation but I'm afraid work will have to do as a substitute. At least there's a hope of getting back into a regular routine as the running winds down over the next few weeks.