I went for an easy run to clear my head and loosen the legs and bumped into Kevin. We shared stories, laughed and parted company – 7 miles.
That night I couldn’t sleep, it was too hot, too sticky and my mind was all over the place. At 6am I went for a run along the beach; on a tranquil morning with the sun rising over the mountains and a cool breeze it was blissful. My legs felt heavy, but that was normal.
Wednesday was the hottest day in Vancouver since records began. The average temperature is apparently 22°C and it was 36°C, by the time I left the apartment at 7pm it was still in the thirties and at every water fountain I made sure I stopped to drink. Even the shade of Stanley Park couldn’t shield me from the inferno, but the freedom of running was strong and I went for 10 miles.
Down at Beaver Lake for Thursday’s workout with the guys I knew I was going to suffer. After five miles of easy running just to get there I was already dripping, my shorts completely soaked in sweat; it was like Des Moines all over again.
Rep 1 (1km) – Target time 2:55 … Actual time 3:05. The legs were going round, but they weren’t moving forward. The heat was oppressive, completely brutal. I ran slower than my 5k pace.
Rep 2 (2km) – Target time 6:10 – Actual time 6:19. After the first kilometre I felt like stopping, my legs had turned to jelly, they were physically melting beneath me. I pushed on, my breath escaping from my lungs like lava being thrown from a volcano, forced into the atmosphere.
Rep 3 (2km) – Target time 6:10 – Actual time 6:41. In short, I collapsed after the finish. Hyperventilating and with my legs failing I fell against a log. I couldn’t get up, my vision went blurry, all I could hear was Coach John shouting out the times of the finishers. I had given everything, pushed my body too far, my heart had the strength but my body had broken.
Thankfully one of our members gave me a couple of energy sweets and I finished off my bottle of water. I sat out the final rep, clapping home Jay, Ynuk, Brad, Dave, Paul and Phil who were all giving everything and running well. I tried to comprehend what had happened.
I have to rest a while. My body broke down. It needs to build back up. I’ve put myself through too much. Next Friday I have a 14km race in Hungary at an event I’m going to, but if I’m not up to it then I won’t start. I don’t want to create damage that can’t be repaired.
As far as running is concerned…
Roll on the autumn, roll on the rain, cleanse my skin, flush the tiredness from my bones. Get me out there in the early mornings, watching the sun rise. Get me out there in the evenings, watching the sun go down. Let me bask in late summer sunshine, let me kick up the fallen leaves, let me hear the crunch of snow beneath my feet. Make me whole again.
But as far as life goes, I want to preserve this summer, I don't want it to end.
Enough from me, I’m signing off for a while. I’ll let you know when I’m ready to talk about running again.