I woke up at 5:30 am, as baby Cooper had decided that it was high time that the whole family wake up. I headed down to the kitchen and had a big bowl of Vector cereal. Shortly thereafter, I got my running clothes on and headed out the door, just after 6 am.
The plan was to do 30k, 3 loops of the lakes. This was a task I had planned on completing 2 weeks prior, but stomach flu reeked havoc on that idea. So, I was out to redeem myself and prove that I was capable.
As I parked the car in the parking lot, I looked around to put on my knee brace, only to realise that it was missing. Shit. Do I go back and get it, or do I just go without it? Screw it. I knew the day would come when I would be able to run without it, so I guess today was going to have to be that day.
I started at 6:17 am, and got the headlamp activated. Damn it was dark. Much darker than I imagined. The time change really made a difference at this point in the day.
The first 5k were actually tough, as I had some difficulty establishing a good mental rhythm. However, once I hit the open road along the back stretch of the lakes, I got into a groove and things became much easier. I did experience a small slip on some ice near the end of the final lap, but so far, the weather was flawless. Just a tiny bit of wind out there. No precip.
Lap 1 went by nicely in a time of 49 minutes. Considering I had a decent potty break in the middle of the lap, I was right on target. The light was also bright enough now to turn off the light and my hands were warm enough to lose the gloves.
Lap 2 began now, and still no sign of anyone out there. My car was still the only one on the lot. I now was feeling it, and uped the pace somewhat. For some reason, my body has always seemed to like the 12-16k distance, and this was no exception. Lap 2 would be 47 minutes, and I still felt great. I was leery though of what my final lap would bring.
I now began to see many people on the trail, and I managed to keep the pace alive. I was religious about taking a small water drink at the 5k marker, and then a S-Cap and gel at the 10k marker. This routine has become a staple of my running. It trains my body to use this nourishment and survive on it.
At about the 26k point, the wind really begun to whip up and it was definitely slowing me down, but I was certainly not going to let a bit of wind impair me from achieving my goal this day. The last kilometer, I put on a charge and crossed the end in fine form. The last lap would be 48 minutes. Great pacing throughout.
I came, I saw and I conquered. I redeemed myself from the crash and burn a couple of weeks prior. I did 30k, and it felt relatively harmless. My knee was a non-issue. It felt fine. No knee brace, no problem.
With the small breaks included it was 2:30 exactly. I wouldn't say the run was easy, but I am definitely on my way. This run capped off the best week of training to date so far in 2009.
I am excited about where I am with my running and I seem to be peaking at a good time. With the 50k race 7 weeks away, I am in a good place for sure.
Next weekend will be my first race in 6 months: the Comox Valley 1/2 Marathon. It should be exciting to race again, but I certainly have no expectation of setting a PB. I am just hoping to run a consistent race, and hopefully get under 1:30. We will see.