06.09.09  w3 d7

Rest day.  At the gym I spend 20 minutes on the stationary bike at an easy level.  Then I train chest and triceps:  3 sets of 8-10 reps of flat dumbbell press, include db flys, rope press downs, kickbacks.  I also do 3 sets 15 reps of push ups and 3x 25 stability ball crunches and stability ball back extensions.  I like that I can work up a good sweat pushing weights.

07.09.09 w4 d1

I need to move my training schedule ahead by a day and the easiest way to do that is to insert an additional rest day, so I do that today.  I have a half hour before teaching kettlebell class so I do 3 sets 8-1-0 reps of lat pull downs, bentover rows, alternating curls and 3 sets of barbell 21’s.  My arms are a bit shaky for class and I like that feeling.

08.09.09 w4 d2

Sprint day.  Week 4 is a repeat of the week 3 training schedule, so today is 6x 400m.  The sky is clear and the waning moon is bright.  I only depend on Hal during the first 2 sprints and then allow him to watch the rest from the sidelines.  There is a southwest wind which means every 200m on the incline is into the wind and every 200m on the decline is relief.  Hard work.  Yes, hard work. I am happy to trudge up the driveway.

Despite trouble sleeping last night I feel pretty good throughout and finish a minute and a half over last week’s sprint time.

My partner has the eggs on when I come in.  I enjoy them while I am still wet with sweat and a bit shivery and take comfort in his familiar approach to yolks.

Later in the day I do 45 minutes of yoga.

09.09.09  w4 d3

5.6k run.  Today is the first time I need to wear a jacket so I put on my blue Brooks with reflective stripes, get out the gloves and head out under a bright half moon hanging like a rice paper lantern amidst a twinkle of fairy lights.  My jacket makes distracting noises to which I adjust and I overheat under the windproof shell despite having opened the vent zippers before leaving the house.

It is chilly and I like the cast of the half moon; moonshadows dance across the road.  I am running into a wind and as I approach my turnaround point I see a flashlight bobbing in the field.  I assume my neighbourhood sheep farmer is out early today and though I cannot see him, I say good morning to his light.  There is a deep response.

10.09.09 w4 d4

Today is the first day of training where I do not run outside.  Instead, I accompany my partner to the gym and complete my 35 minute tempo run on a treadmill.   Though I am suppose to stay just below race pace (and I still don’t know what that will be), I do my 5 easy warm up minutes and then run as hard as I can maintain for the duration.  In the last few minutes I am sucking air and make it to the cool down only through sheer determination.  It is the fastest 5k I have ever completed.  Thanks Mr. Treadmill.

An evening 45 minute yoga session completes the day for me.  I am finding myself a bit tighter in the hamstrings and their origins with the running and the yoga is becoming a needed companion workout.

11.09.09 w4 d5

Rest day.  So, I do.

12.09.09  w4 d6

Long run – 9.6k. I am off in the grey dawn light.  It is cool but I leave the jacket and gloves at home.  Around the 3km mark I am labouring harder than I should be and attribute this to the lovely red San Valentin wine I had last night and I make a note not to do this again before a long run.  The tibialis anterior is whispering again with a pink little burn several inches above my ankle.  I stay with that sensation for several hundred metres, stop briefly and stretch it, and then allow it to melt into my being and out of my consciousness.

I pay attention to how the new patches of asphalt are kinder, more giving under foot, almost spongy while the older asphalt along the edge of the road borders on treacherous in its brittle crumbling state.

The out run, westward, is partnered with the same southwest wind I experienced on sprint day.  It makes for a struggle and several times I contemplate slowing to a walk.  I don’t though.  After the turnaround, when the breeze is behind me and the sunrise becomes my focal point, it all becomes easier.

Despite  last evening’s tannins which seem to have created a dry puckery feeling in my brain, I push myself harder and manage to take over 4 minutes off my time when compared to the same run last week.

I am breathless and really sweating when I come in.  I stand dripping for a few minutes and then hop into the shower and allow the warm water to take away the chill in my skin.

Late morning I enjoy a 75 minute yoga class, encouraging my shoulders to find greater mobility and my shoulder blades to find greater stability.

13.09.09 w4 d7

Today was a 35 minute EZ run.  I run is slow and easy, like I am suppose to.  My legs feel heavy today, likely residual from yesterday’s efforts.  I leave the house after 6:00 so there is already a predawn lightness in the sky and I leave Hal on the doorstep.

I see three skunks this morning, all digging grubs on the side of the road.  They ignore me and I am happy for the snubbing.

It is a beautifully mild morning and there is a light rain just before I leave the house.  I am in short sleeves today and expect to get wet but the rain holds off.  Apart from the leaden legs, the run is pleasant and I am happy to start my Sunday this way.