Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fall Running

Fall Running is really special. The combination of the cooling temperature and the trees changing color create an environment that is perfect for runners. Add to that the fantastic training I've been doing this summer and I feel strong and confident when setting out on my runs.
This week was very wet here in Ottawa so I did something I shouldn't have and postponed my two biggest workouts (19k tempo + 32k easy pace) to the weekend. I still managed to get pretty satisfactory results.

Tuesday was supposed to be the original day for my 19k tempo but I started way too fast and to top if off there was a weird weather phenomenon where the temperature actually rose 10 degrees when I got to Dow's lake at about 6km. I switched gears and decided to abandon the tempo workout and run a total of 13k to make up for Thursday's planned track workout.

Wednesday was much better where I squeezed in an interval workout. Quick intervals at an average of 4:06m/km for the fast kms and 4:52m/km for the slow kms. Workouts like these where I exceed my goals are what makes running so satisfying. Every now and then I set a challenge that I am able to crush and it works wonders for my confidence.

Thursday's make-up 19km tempo did not happen. It was a dreary and raining day here in Ottawa so I decided to postpone the 19k to Saturday and do an indoor strength workout instead. Friday was also a strength day since I didn't have enough time to get suited up and get a good distance in.

Saturday's tempo run was another confidence booster. The plan called for a warmup of 1km, 19km at tempo pace and then 2 km of warm down. I actually strayed a bit and had a fairly fast warmup and didn't switch off the engine until I reached the half marathon mark (21.1km). I finished the 21.1km distance in 1h34m40s. That's 20 seconds under my BQ time if Boston was a half. Doing this speed in training is definitively a real positive development. I wouldn't have been able to sustain for another 21.1km but then again I didn't follow pre-race preparations such as taper and hydration.

Sunday's 32km was a bit difficult to get into. I was still a bit sore from Saturday's tempo run. The cooler temperature and the beautiful colors turning in the trees were definitively a big motivation.
The route took me across the river for a beautiful view of Parliament
And then alongside the Ottawa and then Gatineau river on my way to the Gatineau Park. Beautiful colors everywhere mixed with the sunshine gave me a glow that helped me get through the difficult workout.
If you take into consideration the steep hills
as well as the numerous times I stopped to snap pictures, I think the 2h57m is pretty decent for an easy pace run.

With only two more weeks of heavy training before I start slowing down and tapering, I feel very confident about Hamilton. If you are racing in Hamilton on November 7th, drop me a line, we can meet up!

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