The temperature is minus a gazillion again today. These ridiculous arctic air masses slide south like glaciers and dig their icy claws into every nook and cranny. At least they usually bring sunny skies, but with wind chills of -25 or worse, it seems like a high cost just to see the sun in January. Oh well. I shouldn’t complain – winter is much tougher in other parts of the country. And the roads and sidewalks are still clear enough to run on. But sucking that air into my warm lungs is a shock at first.
So. Alex and I cranked out another 20 miler yesterday – that’s two in two weeks. Feels good. This one was brutal on the way out – we ran north on the Waverly road, straight into a fatal arctic wind. But the way back was with the wind, so it felt like a completely different day, a completely different run. Amazing what a difference a 180 degree turn can make!
Anyway, it feels like we are making great progress in training our endurance – and we averaged 4:20/k or better on the way back, so the pace is just fine for now. For this week, we’re planning a session of 1k repeats to get the VO2 stuff working again, a session of longer threshold stuff, and a shorter long run with a piece of it at marathon pace to start feeling out whether or not we are ready for 2:45.
But enough about me! The Houston marathon weekend was awesome. Saturday’s Olympic trials were very interesting. I didn’t get to see it but Alex did – and he told me how poor old Meb had to put duct tape over all the logos on his running gear. Nobody will even give him a freaking track suit! Apparently, he was Nike sponsored in the past, but they dropped him in 2010 when it seemed like he was too old. And what did he do? He went out there and won the trials. He’s 36 and he’s going back to the big show, along with Ryan Hall and Abdi Abdirahman (who has already been to 3 Olympic games for the 10,000m). Let’s Run has a nice little analysis here.
Although Saturday was a great day for American marathoning, with four guys under 2:10 at trials, Sunday was kind of sad for Canadians... although it was great for Nova Scotians. Poor Simon Bairu blew up in the late stages of the race and finished well off the standard with a 2:19. He was on pace for 2:11:29 at the half, but he may have worked too hard to get there. Apparently, he was a bit slow in the first few miles and tried to bank some time to hit the half split. But as we all know – you can’t bank time; you can only withdraw, and by the last 6 miles, his account was empty. By the end, he was running slower than 6 minute mile pace, so you know he was suffering big time. That being said, he finished. He’s got one under his belt. Now he can refocus on hitting the 10,000m standard, get some Olympic experience, and then work out the marathon bugs for the next one.
It was a big day for Nova Scotia, though. Greg dipped under 2:26 for a new PB and 11th overall and 2nd Canadian overall (behind Bairu, of course). It’s nice to see him getting fitter and fitter with each race. But the real show, in my opinion, was the women. We had three women run under 3:00! Leah cranked out a 2:56, Maura scored a 2:58, and Stacy flew to a 2:59. They all, of course, placed well. It was probably the best day for Nova Scotian women’s marathoning ever – really inspiring.
We also had a couple of great results in the half. Doug ran a really great 1:14 and Caroline crushed the distance with a 1:17. I didn’t see a result for Rob, so I’ll have to find out the story behind that. I really hope he’s not injured – he’s had some trouble in the recent past with his foot. Fingers crossed that it’s not that serious.
Until next time... happy trails!