week thirty nine — 32.8
To date: 2,104 KM
I’m still reading Roger Robinson’s When Running Made History and it seems sort of fitting that I finish it and write about it next week. I haven’t read much this week but I did pick up a read a pretty great Haruki Murakami short story called “The Wind Cave” in the September 3 issue of the New Yorker and you can read it too here if you haven’t already used up your free articles this month however many that is (five?) but it’s also October tomorrow so new month! or you could clear your cache and browser history or you know get a VPN or something. Or get a subscription and then randomly pick up an issue from a few issues ago from your coffee table one night when the power has gone out and you’re sitting in your darkened apartment with a few bottles of slowly warming ginger beer and a Petzl headlamp. Or just read it online.
I’m tapering and by tapering I also mean trying to rehab a knee enough to convince it to work for just 194 minutes, give or take, next weekend. In spite of that, it was a busy week. I bought a new bicycle, one with more than one gear, which is nice. I decided to try out the indoor pool in my new-to-me building for a few laps of pool jogging and pool jogging sucks but it felt good so I’ll probably do it again (a lot again). And today I ran the North Van Run 10K and it was really great. This week has been a mental drag as I second guess myself on whether or not I’m going to meet my goals in the Victoria Marathon next weekend. Recap: Goal 1) run a BQ which means 3:14:59 or faster Goal 2) set a new PB which means 3:34:40 r faster Goal 3) don’t die. More on Goal 1 later. My plan for today was to run the first 5 KM at goal marathon pace and then run the second 5 KM faster. And it worked beautifully and was a lot of fun. At 5 KM I was right on 4:37/KM average pace and then I followed that with my third fastest 5 KM for a chip finish 43:46 good enough for 28 overall and 8 in my age group (my age group winner was the overall winner at who finished just over ten minutes before me). The weather was awful but I don’t mind running in the rain. The finish on this course, though, is ace. The last 1,500 metres are a nice downhill onto the straightway to the end of Burrard Dry Dock Pier looking out across the harbour to downtown Vancouver. I think it’s the best finish line I’ve run through.
I’m especially happy with my result today because of how everything felt at the start and throughout. Lately I’ve had to fight through pain for the first couple kilometres before everything loosened up but today I felt great through warm up and from the gun. It wasn’t easy to hold back and stick to my race plan; the NVR course is slopey but fast and I’m sure I could have set a new PB out there today. But I definitely didn’t want to blow a tyre a week before chasing a BQ in Victoria. I definitely got a confidence boost from today, but 3:14 is still very ambitious. Then the news this week: BQ times for 2019 are minus 4:52, and they’ve dropped the standard across the board by five minutes for 2020. I’m not interested in running Boston 2019 or 2020. But I want to run that BQ time. But I’m not running 3:09 in Victoria next weekend. But I want to end this somewhat positively so I’ll say that I’m still looking forward to crushing my first marathon time.