En Chest & TYS10K!

Everything is better en chest.

Roaming the streets, looking for ice cream is better en chest. Cooking breakfast and other meals of the day should really only be done en chest. Sleeping, bathing, brushing your teeth and other hygienic duties also should only really be done en chest. Reading, doing homework  and writing are more productive when done en chest. And yes running is better en chest.

Today I run en chest. It was hot! I also doubled as the perfect fly catcher. No pictures to back up the story, but for some weird reason after my botched 8mile tempo that turned into about 9.3 miles, I was the only one to come back super sweaty and covered in black flies. I like to think I looked like a skinny shiny very hairy man.

The tempo was a rough one. We ran it along the canal which can be pretty windy. Today wasn’t an exception. On the way out I tried to be conservative, and I was sorta hoping that Steven and Graydon would beable to hang on to me just so I could have company. But, alas, today wasn’t that day. I split through the first 5k at around 17min flat, so that tells you how much wind there was. Coach Kyla was nice enough to bike along side and provide abit of water on the way out, and even break the wind abit, but we’re a big group and so she had to jump around to see how everyone was doing.

My math gets really bad when I start running. I start losing count of laps or intervals, or which mile I’m on, so sometimes I end up guestimating. Watches are handy, but they work even better with markers. So there I was suffering into the wind, all alone, and started looking for the turn-around. I remember ‘9.5k’ as the turn around marker, which is written somewhere on the ground along the canal, I trusted John’s math right before we started the workout, and knew I had to look for it. Problem was I started looking for it after I had already passed it. So, I managed to focus enough to remember talk about running past the red ‘caboose’ sort of a monument along the canal, so I committed to that. Once I hit the turn around I was happy to be heading back, heading for home. I was hurting. I wasn’t so happy to not see any team mates. I figured I might have gone long, or they cut it short. But I didn’t dwell on it to much. I started focusing on feeling as relaxed as I could with the wind at my back, and try and recover a bit with tired legs. At this point in the run my feet were burning from a combination of bad socks and new shoes. I could feel a blister festering on the bottom of my big left toe, and the outsides of the bottom of my feet were heating up bad. Gravel and grass was easy to run on then the pave.

I focused on keeping my arms moving. I knew I was getting tired, and slowing down a bit. But the goal was quality work, and to fight through to get it done. Times are nice and all, and a great way to measure progress, but even now, at this point, I know that fighting through a tough workout and getting it done is better for me in the long run then looking at my watch and seeing that I’ve run fast. Running fast is relative. Fighting through isn’t. We all have to fight through, and every battle won is a small (or sometimes large) step towards faster goals. The fight is what remains constant. It will always issue the challenge, and it will always be up to you on how you respond.

I fought, and finished. Boy was I happy to finish. I couldn’t wait to take off my shoes and have a looksie at what kind of damage I had done. It wasn’t pretty: http://yfrog.com/ob72200499j . I still jogged a very easy and light 40min cooldown though, did all my stretching, then hobbled over to Pharmaprix to get this aggressive healing under-way. I bought some polysporin, and new skin and some nifty bandaids that are supposed to encourage healing up to 50%. The marketing worked on me. It doesn’t feel too bad now.  Still stings abit, and I can’t really walk on it much yet, but crazy things have happened over night, hopefully a full big toe recovery will be one of them.

I don’t think this will affect Toronto. Its sort of annoying that its happened now, because I’ve never had to deal with such a bad blister. But on account of my Super Dragon Healing Abilities, my aggressive recovery tactics, and the claw’s general rigour, I’ll be fine.

Shout out to my Grandma (Gram, that means Hello!) I am a Grandma’s boy. I love my Grandma. A couple months back I showed her montrealendurance.com and some basic internet navigation stuff. Over Easter I learnt that she’s an avid reader and has been following our activities and the Blogs! Love ya Gram.

I have to say that I am looking forward to the Toronto Yonge Street 10k. I like road races, the crowds get me fired up. And the environment is different from track, obviously. With track, things seem more critical and objective, and anyone cheering for you is probably a friend, coach or a team mate. At road races most spectators are happy to just stand there and clap for however long and yell encouragement to runners. Its pretty cool. Judging by the emails I’ve received so far about schedule and events and transport, this is a well organized race. And I am fortunate to be one among the troop of elites lining the start line this coming Sunday.

I am pumped, and not at all bummed I wont be racing en chest.


Not at all.