Saturday, April 30, 2011

Being sick...the good and the bad!

Lets start with the bad. I have missed a week of training...this is killing me. But right now I have no choice...I have to heal and get better. Missing work...good and bad (lol). I have had to take 4 sick days in a row!!! Luckily we accumulate sick time...I have over 500hrs banked. I have some pretty caring coworkers calling and making sure I was ok. I went to take my first sick day and my charge nurse TOLD me I was taking at least 2 shifts (she was was ready to take me off all 4 right there).

Being pretty much confined to my house and having no energy was pretty lame. ONly so much TV you can watch and internet you can surf. At one point the whole family was sick and that is rough. I hate seeing my little boy sick but THANK GOD he did not get as sick as me.

Pretty much the only good thing was the amount of time I got to spend with my son Logan. Between work and training I sometimes feel like I dont get to see him enough. Had he not been sick we probably would have sent him to the day home so I would not have to worry about him. AT one point I had a 41 Degree fever and was trying to give him a nighttime bottle and change him. I felt so weak and I was dripping sweat as I was doing it. As sick as I was his needs come first. I am not saying we played cars right after that but I made sure he was clean and fed. But for the most part we sat on the cough, drinking our fluids (neither of us wanted to eat) and took our tylenol on the same schedule. We started to play a bit as we both felt better. Good when you can laugh even when you dont want to.

A week ago I was doing hill repeats on my bike and today I am on the cough. Feeling a bit better each day. Just need this cough to fade away and get more energy back. I have a training camp coming up May long and I need to be healthy for that. I am pumped!! But I am gonna work on getting me better hour by hour.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Yet again!

Sick....again....frustrated. That is all.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Calgary Police Half, the pre and post.

The Calgary police half has been one of my favorite races. This year marks my third running this race. The route is nice with a great combination of scenery and difficulty. Lots of reasons to like this race.

This year I have mixed emotions. When I woke up this morning it took everything I had to get out of bed. I seem to have a bit more motivation when it is a triathlon vs a pure running race. But after a few minutes I made it over to the window, parted the blinds and let out a string of bad words. I am so done with winter. But whatever, since I can't change the weather, I just changed my goals.

I had talked to my coach and told him about the forecast (bastard is in Maui ;) ) and we both decided that this would just be a long training run. So I wasn't surprised when I saw the snow that was on the ground this morning. I was hoping for clear paths to try to give it a solid effort and see where my run fitness is.

I got to the start around 7am and just relaxed until it was time to line up. When the gun went off I was ready to go! I felt good as soon as I started running and was full of confidence. I think it was 400-500m into the race and there was a right turn approaching. I saw a bit of ice that was covered by some loose snow and slowed down to go over it, and proceeded to take a nice spill on it. I was lucky that I was able to get my hand down and land mostly on my hip/thigh. I popped back up and was on my way, no ill effects.

The race had it's usually initial congestion and I was weaving in and out making some good time. I was holding a 5:10-5:30 pace and was pretty happy with that, felt good. Once we crossed over Glenmore trail the conditions were a bit worse. There were a couple times I almost bit it again. I learned very quickly to run on the sides. I did see a few others going down here and there. I can say that my shoes were not mean for this!! KSwiss blade light shoes are a poor choice for snow/ice!!! Zero traction! I had though about wearing my old Saucony Triumphs but did not want to blister up like the make me do.

The route had changed up a bit and we stayed on the pathways vs heading out to the road. Not really a big issue, the road has a slight incline and the path is pretty much flat. Later on the path dips down into the Weaselhead and that hill was no so fun. Again I almost bit it here. Had to hold onto the rail for dear life, I was glad to get to the bottom. Here is where it kinda turned into single track. There was a good base of snow and it was easier to stay single file. Although, I was passed her and did some passing, just wasnmt optimal.

Then not much farther it was time to come out of the Weaselhead. For some reason I never let myself walk this hill and today was no different. I don't care how hurting I am I run up this one. It is great to see all the volunteers and supporters at the top, especially on a day like today. Kudos to all those people! Not far up ahead was the next aid station. I had to pull off my glove to get a gel out of my pocket. When I was putting my glove back on, I felt my garmin strap loosen. I looked over and the pin holding the strap and loosened up. It was still in the strap but no longer attached to the body. Kinda pissed my off but I just carried it in my hand from here.

About a km from here I started to get some mild GI cramping, kinda like I had to go. Seems to be a common thing when I do this race. It definitely slowed my pace...alot. I ended up taking walk breaks to let the feeling pass. About 2km left and I was taking alot of walk breaks. I knew I wasn't going to crap my pants but it was still pretty darn uncomfortable.

But I pushed on and was soon at the finish. Nice to see so many people at this finish despite the weather. I was glad to hit that finish and then stop, lol. I got my medal, a bottle of water and then hit the washroom. Whew! I was headed to the food area and ran into one of my friends Mark. He is training for the Canadian Death Race...crazy mofo!! After running the half, he was now getting ready to run home...another 21km, lol.

I grabbed some munchies and then was out of there. My running shoes have these nice drainage holes in the bottom which allow for water drainage in the warmer months. Unfortunately they allow for water intrusion in the colder months. My feet were wet and were going to start getting cold. I quickly drove home after stopping at McD's for a couple of cheeseburgers and a McFlurry. Race days are always "amnesty" days meaning I eat whatever I want. I figure McD's was perfect recovery food. When I got home my wife and son were asleep and I at my meal. My wife had a poor sleep last night because my son had a poor sleep (funny how that happens). So when he woke up I grabbed him and let my wife sleep some more. I brought him down stairs, cuddled up with him and gave him some milk. Not much longer and he was out! He slept in my arms for another 2 hours!! I had wanted to get up and walk around but I just did not want to wake him up. Plus I love when I get to relax with him.

Right now I am feeling pretty good. The quads feel some minor "tiredness" but over all I am good. I have had some time to think about the race and my overall thoughts and here is what I have come up with.

My time was 2:07-2:08 ish I think. Definitely not my fastest time on this course but I am ok with it. I think I could have pulled out a sub 2 is the roads/paths were clear. But that we will never know. My time is just that, my time. The clock doesn't take excuses. And the weather is not something we can change, not even the race directors ;).

This year the race swag included 2 shirts. The first was a black tech T with green writing that said "training 4 Calgary police half" or something like that. Not a bad shirt and I will wear it. The second was a long sleeve tech shirt that we got at race package pick up. When I was on my way to pick up my bib, I saw a woman walking out with a gawd awful green shirt. I was hoping it was for the 5km....nope. The shirts in the past have been a favorite of mine but this one was just bad. I just did not like the colors or the design.

And then there is the medal. I am very disappointed but this years medal. The previous 2 years the medal was not a large one by any means but was still sharp. It was nice having it placed around your neck as you crossed the line. This year the medal was handed to you, covered in a plastic wrap. The medal itself was small and thin!!! And since I did not like the design on the shirt, turns out I did not like the medal for the same reason, they were the same!

I don't do races just for the shirt or the medal but I have to admit they are a nice touch when done right. I will DEFINITELY do this race again! It is still one of my favorites. I think it is well put on overall. The volunteers are great (as usual) and even more so this year for being out in this weather. But I think I will pass along my personal feedback to the event organizers about the shirt/medal. I am not sure how many people feel the same or even care. I don't think I am alone though.

So there it is, my race day. I don't think my next race is until June....the Joe's Team triathlon fundraiser for the fight against cancer. I will include the link if any one wants to donate ;).