I was worried about my performance with Drew on a swift upswing and Kevin in such outstanding shape. I know I have definitely closed the gap on Greame and Jay our two speedsters over the last year! It feels good to be able to hang on to Jay for just a few more seconds each time he whizzes by me. I hate to say it too, But for months of chasing Drew down and being in his shadow, I am finally feeling like a very sound competitor and god it feels good to be blowing by him. Keeping in mind he is on his way back from injury, I'll take it when I can get it. But at the same time I wish he was in full health because I know I can beat him right now. In reality I reached the end of a small plateau and have a good few chunks of time to watch disappear off some of my races on my climb up.
For every runner there is a time when they realise, why it is that they endure through so much pain. Tonight I had one of those moments! In the first 3k lap I felt smooth going up that long steep hill until I realised how long it really was. "I haven't done this before." I thought. And before you know it I'm breathing like a vacuum cleaner. The hill evens out and I regain my breathing whilst on the heals of ole gramps. This workout is more a test of how well your body does when put into a virtual roller coaster. Or at best a test of how well my buttocks would hold up under extreme conditions. It wasn't plaguing me but for some reason I was still favoring my right leg and was paying for it dearly with an increasingly tight calf. However I learned Kevin's downhill secret, I will not indulge at this time, but it's a cadence thing and that's enough said. He cruised ahead at an unmatchable pace as I tried to remain calm while flailing wildly down the hill. It's too late, He's gone. I'm now amongst the middle of the VFAC pack as we careen through the forest mud splashing up on our shirts and arms and backs as I fly through the pack. Jay is now passing by as I try for a few strides just to match him and then, as he said so well in his blog, "let the string snap" His and my string aren't yet very strong and usually snap very quickly as he eases on by. But as I grow stronger, so does my string!! Tonight my string was especially strong with Greame! This is very exciting for me. I knew if Jay went by, then Greame wouldn't be far behind. I knew that if I could hold my pace and form and just cram enough air into my lungs, I might be able to fight him off for the last km. I checked twice, and was sure I could see him behind me. Not far to go I hope, because I'm really teetering on the edge of an explosion! I know Greame has just ran and won Calgary Marathon and came in third at Vancouver, but like we say amongst ourselves, I'll take it whenever I can. It's a battle field out there sometimes and I've been beat every single time by Greame. I GOT HIM. ( He was still faster but hadn't passed me) I still can hardly believe it.
Second lap, Nothing spectacular. Coach John had to pull some magic on my locked up calf with his technique which works every time. I'm not sure of the name but I'll get back to that some other time. It seems as though my mental isn't with it on this one but my physical doesnt care and is doing the workout any way. That's a good sign. Coach John agrees. Short and sweet and on point. GOT HIM AGAIN! This time I was faster.
Third lap was a mass start and Keven led out like a wild dog hungry for dinner. (At this point, I'm sure he probably was) It was super cool because Drew made a charge for it and then it was Greame, Jay and I running neck and neck behind them which has never happened before. It felt like I was flying. Jay eventually took me, then Kevin and Drew. Drew slipped behind me and was quickly swallowed up by his premature efforts. Just the four of us now as Jay and Kev pull away and its up to me to hold off Greame coming down the hill. He passes me along the bottom flats and amazingly I am able to match his pace. At the last junction he surges one last time once again I fight back and hold on. With 45 meters to go I throw it all on and take Greame. I can hear him congratulate me through his deep breath. Wow, That was a satisfying moment. I've worked so hard to get here and it's happening!
The power of perseverance prevailed this evening and the victor is me. By the way, In case anyone was worried, My new shoes came out of this ordeal not a shade less bright white! Amazing.
A good ten minute soak in the ocean over some good conversation and a pleasurable drive home. Brown rice with kale, red peppers spinach and sauteed Chicken breast seasoned and cooked to perfection with a glass of San Rafiel- Finca Los Primos, Malbec. Good day!
Things I love- I love Running
Things I hate- I hate the way my insides feel as though they've been in a paint can shaker.