Thursday, November 12, 2009

I had a Julie-ization

Wed was a beautiful day up here, sunny and cool. A perfect day for a run. Walked 10 minutes around the big green space across the road, and then started easy into my 5K loop. Started slow because it took a little while to find a stride. I never did get going as fast I was on the weekend, but that's ok, I think I pushed it just a bit too hard for a training run. 

My breathing was always good, and once I found a nice pace I relaxed into it for 10 minutes. Slowed down to an easy pace for the last 5 minutes, for a 30 minute run total. Walked another 10 minutes to cool down some more and almost ended up cooling down too much. The wind had picked up and the temperature dropped a bit.

No yoga in the evening. The class was cancelled for Remembrance Day. I always take some quiet time to think about just how good life is for most Canadians. If any country has won the lottery, it's Canada. We have one of the best places in the world to live. Yet in our short history, tens of thousands of people, most of them very young, have marched away and not come home. They are buried in cemeteries all around the world. We say they've served their country, but really, they've served us. And the people they liberated, or protected. The least we can do is recognize and appreciate what they did for us, and what the current crop of soldiers is doing right now. 

This evening after work I was really good about having a light snack, then heading downstairs for the bike. I ended up pouring a bucket of lube over the chain, or at least you'd think so given how much came off onto the newspaper I put down. But the chain is much quieter and the back gears don't sound like they're trying to change on me.

The ride was 1.75 hr tonight. Warm up, some cadence drills, then some one leg. The main set was some longer aerobic sets. There was a 5 minute set where I was to maintain 90+ rpm, and I decided to make sure by staying over 100 rpm on the small chainring mid cog. For a short while I was wondering if I'd picked too high a cadence or too hard a gear. Sweat was running into my eyes. I was starting to really work my lungs. My knees were beginning to complain as I was also trying to scrape the mud and stay smooth. At just the thought of going into one easier gear I realized I only had a few minutes to go, and I really could keep going at this pace. That if I didn't push myself I wouldn't improve. That if I never fail or risk failure, I'm not trying hard enough. That it's much better to have a bunch of training days where I push the envelop a bit further than I think I can, rather than trying to perform outside my envelop at IMC. The latter is a sure ticket to the med tent. I relaxed my legs, kept breathing, and found that my rpm actually picked up a bit more for the last minute.

Lots of my bike workouts over the last couple years have been all about hanging on and getting through it as best I could. There was lots of times I didn't hit the rpm targets, or the time targets, especially for one leg drill. Now my workouts are harder than ever and I can do them. In fact, I often feel like I could do more sets or go longer. Well, maybe not more of the one leg drill. So now that I know I can do them, I'm trying to do them better. When 120 rpm was way fast, it was all I could do to just do it. Now I can think about spinning smoothly, can feel the interplay of muscles in my legs, can feel the pressure of my heels in the shoes to know I'm scraping, can better control what my upper body is doing. I think I'm getting more out of the workouts. 

It's funny, when you start, 90 or 120 minutes seems like such a long time. But if you get on, and get going, it goes by really quick. Next thing you know it's cool down time. Life is good.


  1. "That if I didn't push myself I wouldn't improve. That if I never fail or risk failure, I'm not trying hard enough." Very well said! I'm going to be thinking of these words when I bike today.

    You've come a long way, baby! :) :) :)

  2. Life is good.

    Sure, if you're a Canadian, it is.

    But I'm stuck in this hellhole of a country below yours and, even though I've given serious thought to becoming a Canadian - especially during the previous Preznit-dential administration - I can't because I don't like hockey.

    Or Canadians.

    So I'm stuck down here, staring up at Canada's taint.

    Cover up, shameless Kanada!

  3. GQH. I'll tell you a secret. Not all Canadian's like hockey, at least not all the time. Take Leaf's fans, for example. They haven't liked hockey for several generations.

    Not liking Canadians is a bigger handicap. I suggest Quebec or Newfoundland, and depending on exactly how the political winds are blowing Alberta is a possibility. If there's talk of separation from Canada, it's from one of those places.

  4. awesome realizations keith. this is going to be an exciting year for you and i look forward to being witness to it!!

  5. #1. We will give up G and send him to Canada. No worries. You can claim him.

    #2. Hockey - that's just un-Canadian of you. All of YOU love it and bleed hockey.

    #3. I was born in Detroit - that's like southern Canada, right? We used to run over for dinner at our favorite Chinese restaurant. OK, that's just weird...

  6. Oh, you smug Kanadian you. Glaven's right - we're sick and tire of looking up your taint. And if you'd put one some shorts instead of a RUNNING SKIRT, it wouldn't have to be like this. Have you no shame?

    Oh, wait - that's me. I'M the shamelss, exposed hussy in the skirt. Carry on, Kanadia, carry on.


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