Friday was an interesting day to go into the office. There were only a couple of other people on my floor, as Talisman gives people the morning off for the Stampede Parade. If I'm not working I don't get paid, and I had things to do. Plus, my office window sees a small slice of pavement in front of Gulf Canada Square. Yes, I know it's really called something else now.
Mostly I worked, but I looked whenever I heard bagpipes. I love me a good pipe band. I'll have to ask my buddy Graham if he was in it. There was a huge rumble at one point, and there was an honest to God tank going down the street, waving it's turret and cannon at the crowd in an amiable way. As amiable as a tank can be, I guess. Big cheers, HUGE cheers whenever the Canadian military units went by. In spite of the distractions I got lots of work done. Dinner after work with our buddies Gord and Gail at Boxwood. Yummy!!
I think it's really important to have a mental health day every now and then. Yesterday was it. I slept in to about 7:30, which is late by my standards. The biggest morning activity was a gentle stroll to the post office to get a stamp to send a letter to America. $1.08!!! Holy cow. That raises the price of the item I bought by a whole 2.3%. I hadn't known that letters going there were so expensive. I'm looking forward to that shirt!
From there I had a recovery nap. That wasn't totally my idea, but Amelia the cat snoreonerated me. After a while I got up to have some lunch, then I had a post lunch nap. After watching some TED talks, I napped again, this time in the bedroom where it was nice and cool. Linda was out doing a Stampede breakfast at the Ismali Muslim centre, hobnobbing with Mayor Nenshi, and some other political riff-raff. Then she was out to Millarville Market with a buddy. So I had a quiet day with my thoughts.
Not much to say about that, just that I'm happy with how my life is going now. Glad I didn't try to sign up for a bunch of triathlons this year. Pleased with how my knee is recovering and that I'm getting back on the fitness train again. Work is going well and I think I'm getting more into the groove with my current assignment. For a while I was a bit lost, but it's coming together.
This week was a rest week on the fitness front. I've had several weeks where I pushed on the running and biking. On the advice of the famous (and fast!) Katie, I've changed up my stride a bit. This really seems to be working for me. Today I replicated the run from June 26, though today I went just a little bit further, so my pace was probably just a hair over 7 min/K. The main goal of the run was to maintain the quicker stride throughout the run, and keep my heart rate down.
That last didn't go quite so well, but the first went really well for the first 70 minutes, then it got to be a bit more of a struggle. I could feel my self settling into a slower stride, then I'd think about hot pavement and would pick it up again. My heart rate gradually climbed throughout, but my breathing was good the entire time. I started a cool down walk at the 90 minutes, maybe 100 m from the house, recovering 26 bpm in a minute. It's nice to have the hose there, waiting for a quick drink, and to splash cool water onto me for a few more minutes of walking.
By my standards this was a fairly hot day, maybe 23 C. Lots of people run in the cool of the morning or evening, but I've got a different strategy. Half IM races typically have the run at the heat of the day. Swim start is about 7 or 8 am. Allow a half hour and a bit, plus T1 time. Add in somewhere around 3 hours for the bike and T2, and you're up to late morning. Now add in a 2 hour run, and the day is as hot as it's going to be. In many other places a 23 C is cool enough to turn off the air conditioner and enjoy the break from the hot weather. I'm just glad I don't live in such places.
I'm a cool weather person. Running when it's hot is really hard for me. (Quite aside from the running itself being hard for me!) During the 70.3 a couple years ago I thought my lungs were going to explode out my throat. So over the last couple of years I've typically waited till it's as warm as it's going to get before heading out. Naturally, this leads to slower training times, but so what? Nobody is there giving out a medal for a fast training ride or run. Yes, I need to plan a bit to deal with the heat. Sunscreen. Water. Planning the nutrition, and emergency pickup. But I need to get better at it for race day, and this is helping. I've already had some good runs this year where I kept on going when before I'd have had to walk. That's progress to me, even more important than dropping the actual times.
Only 2 hours running this week, but super good quality. A really good yoga session, and some good core and stretching. I'm happy with it. Next week is back at it, and we'll see how well pancakes and sausage works as fuel.