Monday, August 31, 2009

The Dream

Around 5:30am on Sunday morning my brain started dreaming. For the first time in a long while I dreamt about running, about training with my friends back in Loughborough, experiencing that freedom and that expression through my feet. I'm not sure whether it was the altitude increase in being up in Whistler, or maybe the log cabin we were sleeping in, but something affected me in the early hours.

I woke up feeling pretty low. I missed my friends, I missed Loughborough, the green fields, the team spirit that flowed between us, the boys and the girls all running and laughing together sharing the experience. I ran my fingers through my hair and back came the desire to run, right now, around the lake, getting lost in the wilderness with just the bears to worry about.

Sunday marked seven weeks to the day until the Echternach Marathon in Luxembourg, my next target. Today was a good day to get the training routine back underway.

I went for a run and rediscovered my love. I ran along the lake on an old trail, riddled with tree roots and rocks, enjoying the challenge of keeping my balance whilst moving forward. I didn't see any bears, but I did find a gorgeous spot where the jetty pushed out into the lake. That evening, on the drive home, Stephanie and I stopped there for a bite to eat. It was idyllic.

Sometimes running surprises you, sometimes you even discover things worth telling the world about.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

End of the Summer

Ok, I'm calling it, I'm not racing now until the autumn.

During the past few weeks I have run sporadically, at best.

Week 02 August:
Flew Vancouver - Frankfurt - Luxembourg
One easy run on Wednesday
Flew Luxembourg - Prague - Budapest
Raced 14km on Friday, finished 8th averaging 5:30 miling

Week 09 August:
Flew Budapest - London
Two easy runs on Sunday and Monday in London
Went down with a cold on Tuesday and haven't run since

At work in London, organising a photo shoot in Piccadilly Circus

I had a great week in Luxembourg with St
éphanie before heading to Tiszaujvaros in Hungary. Somehow roused myself for that 1/3rd Marathon race but felt very tired. Once in London I was knackered from all the travel and jet lag, and went down with a summer cold following a couple of easy runs in Hyde Park. I decided to put my feet up and made the most of my time with Stéph who flew in for the week. Now I am in Yokohama, Japan, with another bout of jet lag and still blowing my nose on a regular basis despite not feeling ill. I think I will get up and go for an easy run in the morning before breakfast, just to stretch my legs and wake them up a bit. I don't want to be too rusty.

Next Tuesday I arrive back in Vancouver and
Stéph will fly in from Luxembourg - it's going to be amazing. I'm undecided whether to run or not; maybe I'll train in the early morning before work rather than spending my evenings on the trails and away from her. I have to work and so every second with Stéph is very precious.

Stéphanie and I on the London Eye

Then on 6 September I fly to Australia for the Grand Final of the world champs series which means ten days of heavy work, extreme jet lag and probably a lot of fatigue. I'm tempted to pack in serious training until mid-September when I'm back in Vancouver, but I'm not sure how that will affect my winter preparations. I still want to have a good cross country season and have a bash at a half marathon or marathon PB in December.

Decisions, decisions, decisions...

Saturday, August 8, 2009

This is just the beginning...

It's strange how life can flip, turn completely around and amaze you with its sheer brilliance in such a short space of time. This past week has been the best of my life, without doubt.

Here's the shortened version of my 'Hollywood' story:
25 July - working at the Hamburg World Champs event
26 July - finish work and go to the after party where I meet 'Stéphanie'
27 July - fly back to Vancouver, can't get Stéphanie out of my head
29 July - make the decision to head back to Europe early to see her
30 July - run the worst session of my life, but don't care
01 Aug - board a plane for Frankfurt
02 Aug - arrive in Luxembourg
03 Aug - best week of my life
04 Aug - best week of my life
05 Aug - best week of my life
06 Aug - best week of my life
07 Aug - fly to Hungary the next stop of the tour

A public blog isn't the place to go into details about one's innermost thoughts and private emotions, but I can say from deep within that this is something special.

Anyway, back to the running... sort of...

Following last week's horrendous session where I collapsed after running some truly appalling splits I put my feet up and enjoyed life.

On the Wednesday I did 25 minutes and had to stop three times to walk, I was still a mess.

On the Friday, after just arriving in Hungary, in the heat and with tired legs from travelling, I ran a 14km road race and finished eighth, averaging 5:30 miling. Awesome.

How did I turn it around? How did I go from running like a jellyfish to running like a flyingfish?
One reason: if you pretend you're running to Luxembourg, you can run a lot faster than if you think too much about racing! ;-)

I'm going to continue taking it easy for another couple of weeks with races in London and Japan to attend, but then I'll step back on the gas for the Victoria Marathon.

Want to know how to enjoy the best week of your life? In the words of my best friend, Jack:
"Doing something crazy for love... why the hell not!?!"

Over and out :-)