Yesterday and today have been very good days for me. I put in some high intensity running and have had zero knee pain to deal with afterwards, which is very exciting for me right now!
Yesterday morning I hit up the track with co-worker and local trail speedster Simon Driver. I had never in my life run on a track before, and even though this one was dirt it was a pretty cool experience for the freshness of it alone. I ended up running 3x1km intervals while Simon did a 5km time trial. I would run 1km at a time with 400 meters recovery and then hop back on with Simon for each additional km. I initially thought this was the first time in two years that I had done any form of speed work or intervals, but upon later reflection, the last time I did any speed work was up in Whistler. I lived in Squamish for three years and didn't do a single repeat in that time. It was in training for the 2005 Knee Knacker that I last decided to willingly punish myself so much.
My first km was 3m15s, which in the running world would be very average...however compared to say the drive-thru line up at McDonald's I'd be downright elite! I put in a second lap of 3m18s and a final lap of 3m17s, upon which I very nearly shuked myself. I'm not going into full detail here, let's just say that we made up the word shuke yesterday and it combines two bodily functions simultaneously occuring...one would be puking...thankfully I escaped 'the shuke' for this week!
After work Jackie and I hit up the Deep Cove Paddle races again and although I did not approach a state of shuke, I did push it in the kayak more than I have since last September's MOMAR in Cumberland...which is just 2.5 weeks away now!! The race is completely sold out and I can not wait for the after party, err, I mean race!
This morning I was up early to join fellow Team Montrail Canada runner Rune Melcher in my first ever running of 'The Grouse Grind'. I hiked it last week for the first time ever, with a good friend from Banff who also currently resides in the Vancouver area.
This morning was perfect as there were very few people on what can normally become a traffic jam of hikers.
The trail is just 2.9km in length, but it climbs 2800 feet in that distance and basically amounts to one hell of a set of stairs! From the top there are spectacular views back over Vancouver, and you can take a tram back down for $5.00 if you so choose. Some of the winter sports for the 2010 games will be held on the adjoined ski hill, and there are full facilities up top including a nice restaurant. They even have 'grind cards' which you can swipe as you start and finish the trail so that it gives accurate timing for anyone who chooses to start talking about 'their Grind time', and the daily 'leader's' are posted on a screen up top...it's all very commercialized, and one of the main reasons that it's never fully attracted me. However, now that I have an official 'Grind Time' I NEED to do it again...and again...and again, to get it to something that I feel is respectable.
We started off running but within 15min my legs started to shut down on me. I ended up power hiking the second half of the climb and was satisfied to post a 34m17s, but not overly happy as I glanced up at the screen up top to discover that the over 60 record this summer was exactly that, 34.17!! (I can't seem to find that online right now, but I'm sure that's what I saw this morning, maybe I was hallucinating?) I'd like to bring this down to a much more reasonable 30 n change or just under time.
The course record is somewhere around 24-25 minutes by New Zealand World Champion mountain running star Jonathan Wyatt (WOW, he has his own Wikipedia page!)
The downhills have always been my 'specialty', if I have one outside of A.D.D. and I was happy to turn right back around and see what I could do. I felt good on the descent, even though I had been suffering knee pains as of late. My thought process was that if I had any intentions of running a 50k this weekend, where 25k of it is downhill, the I had better be able to endure a 2.9k plunge. It was actually surprised at how damn steep the trail is as it runs very differently down then up, which goes without saying! I hit the last flat section back to the start finish area and opened it up before bursting into the parking lot and hitting my watch. 17m43s for an exact round trip of 52min...now that I've posted this on my blog I will evidently be spending much more time on this trail which is just up the street from me.
I hit up the gym tonight with Driver and as mentioned I have felt NO knee pain in two full days...might actually be able to race Cle Elum after all!
I'd like to get my return Grind Time down to somewhere near 45min, although that would take quite the effort and focus on this specific goal...not much else to do once race season comes to a close I guess...and you can't exactly create a word without ever having experienced it now can you! (definitely NOT the coolest way to end a blog posting!)