Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The hopeful shark

Ran this morning. It's dark in the morning now. Not as dark as in the dead of winter, but that's coming soon. I headed out about 4:15 am, with not even the faintest hint of light in the east sky. It was sort of that cool warm, or warm cool of late night. Then the last 15 minutes cooled down to where I could see my breath on the air. I forgot to look at the schedule to remind myself of what to run. When I got back I see the IGP™ was 45-55 12/1. I'd never have remembered that, so it's just as well.

I ran along the 37 st path almost to South Glenmore park. Walked a bit to warm up, then ran easy, then picked it up. Ran 14/1 for 60 minutes, and got back to within a few dozen steps of my starting point on the hour. Walked a bit more to coold down, and stretched. I didn't wear my heart rate, so no numbers. Tried to run at the point where lungs were starting to work. More importantly, I was trying to find a smooth stride. Overall it felt pretty good. I was beginning to get a bit tired and hungry at the 45 min mark, but that isn't a surprise considering I rolled out of bed, dressed, stretched lightly, drank a glass of orange juice, and was gone.

Joined Leaha for a swim at Lake Chaparral. Greg and Darryl showed up a bit later, as we were almost ready to go into the water without them. Nice to actually meet Leaha.

Black wetsuits sure are hot when you're getting into them in the full evening sun. It was still quite warm. There was a group of scuba divers going into the water. I guess it was police, firefighters, or a rescue squad practicing. We didn't have to wait long for Greg and Darryl.

The water was really nice. Not cold. Quite clean. I started off across the lake, nice and easy. Almost at once I fell into a nice strong stroke, still breathing alternate sides. Turned left and swam the length of the lake with Darryl. Still nice easy stroke. My innner shark showed up, gently approving. He liked the roll and the somewhat zigzag course I steer. He says that's an effective way of looking for prey.

Greg swiped a floating hackie sack ball from some kid, and we tossed it around during the swim. He put it back later. I think he was just trying to get a closer look at the hottie working on her tan on that dock. We did a leisurely circuit of the lake, with a few shorter sprints in between. Nothing formal. I took the opportunity to get more wetsuit time, and to think about my stroke, my heart rate, and breathing, while trying to find a nice pace.

My inner shark hung around for about half the swim, then took off. He said something about scoping out the seals in the underwater obstacle course. I told him they wouldn't taste good. Met up with him again for the last push across the lake. Way more fun than a pool. Stretched a little coming out of the water. Both calves were a bit crampish, but not too bad. Overall, a great day!

It's a measure of their fitness that while everybody else is tapering, I'm in the last week of my build, and they're still doing more than me. I taper next week, then on the 24th, I'm in the Alberta Challenge Half, up at Lake Miquelon, just north of Camrose. So far, this has been a well kept secret. When I looked earlier this week, there was only 22 other people signed up for the half. So unless there's a bunch of old guys in it, there's a faint hope I'll get a top 10 finish in my age group. For Chinook my goal was to finish. For this one, I'd like to have another good swim, consistent with what I've been doing, then have a nice strong bike, actually pushing my pace a bit, and then actually run (what passes for me running anyway) the entire course, walking the aid stations of course. Of course, I'll write it up for you guys.


  1. isn't it great to leave the computers at home and just run by feel?? sigh...

    you are going to do awesome next week - i can't wait to read about it!

  2. Glad to hear your inner shark is back! :) Sounds like you had a great swim and a great run too!

    Good luck in your race!!

  3. You swim really well Keith, thanks for not letting the shark eat me. As the others say you're going to race so well.


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