Holiday cheer!

I thought that I would do a lot less training over the holidays than I did, but it still wasn’t very much. On Boxing Day I went on a 6-mile run. It was one of the best runs in the past little while. I was at my parent’s farm in middle-of-nowhere Saskatchewan and my dad suggested I do a run “around the block.” In Saskatchewan, the gravel roads are set up in a grid with 2 miles between them. So it was easy to calculate that 1 block and then home would be 5 miles. I started out thinking that I would run 2 miles, but I had a realization. I never run without time constraints. I’m always trying to fit my workout into my busy life. This was my chance to run for fun. Because I was – I wasn’t running because I had to, I was running because I wanted to. This is my hobby. It’s not a job and no one is forcing me to do it.

So I lengthened my stride, did some dynamic stretches on that long, lonely gravel road, and set on my way to run around the block. It was such an amazing run. It is very flat where I grew up, so there were no hills and I didn’t do any intervals. I just ran at my pace and enjoyed the amazing scenery. From every direction, I could see snow-covered fields and the occasional farm yard. I met very few cars and it was so peaceful. I wore my ipod to keep me company and listened to Amy Millan’s new folk album, which was so perfect for this particular run. It was slow and easy… or so it felt. In actuality, I think I ran it fairly quickly, but the time flew by. When I got home, I proudly told my dad that I ran around the block and my family was astonished that I had run it so quickly. I don’t know how long it took in terms of minutes, but time seemed to stand still while I was out there. It just didn’t matter. It was amazing.

Contrast that to today’s run. I got up and just wanted to go for a quick run. Today’s brisk temperature of -29 with the windchill almost made me stay home in my warm house and watch a movie, but I got out there. I have not researched the physiological effect of cold on the body while running, but my body was not happy. I actually had to walk some of my 2.5-mile run because I was so out of breath. It felt like I was carrying a backpack full of bricks. According to my HRM, it took 37 minutes and my average HR was 153 with 27 minutes of that in “the zone.” I got home and did some yoga to get my blood coarsing through my body. It felt good to stretch, but I shan’t run in that kind of temperature again.

Yesterday I bought myself a log book. I have absolutely no idea how much I’ve run in 2006 or before and I’m extremely curious. From what I can tell, this is the beginning of my real career as a triathlete because this type of record will be looked back on and thought about and studied. I love the thought of it. I have not been successful at keeping an online journal with mileage, etc. So I hope a paper one will help with it. I bought the Canadian Runner’s Log and hopefully it will be fruitful for me.

My coach emailed me my workout for the week. I’m glad this is an easy week. Next week is supposed to be a testing week. So that’ll be nice before I get into the swing of training in 2007.

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