Monday, May 2, 2011

Hills by Accident

Yesterday was one of the warmest days so far at 20C, so I thought it would be a good day to work on getting acclimated to the warmer weather in preparation for my goal race. So I headed out on my long run in the sun and heat. Hard to believe 20C is considered hot, but hey, I live in Canada! Plus it was dry... I had to run in that weather given that we had record-setting rainfall in April.

Two years ago I ran the 10K at Race Weekend. We had no warm weather leading up to the event, so the 20C+ plus weather on race day was a shock to the system! I wanted to take advantage of yesterday's weather to experiment with my hydration needs and clothing. I was also lucky that it was my cutback week, so it was a long run on the shorter side of things at 12K.

I ran on the bike path along the Western Parkway to Island Park. This is the middle of the half marathon route, though it'll be run on the road and not on the path. When I reached Island Park, I was 5K in, so I figured it was an opportunity to finally try the path on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River. I ran across the Champlain Bridge... man, that sidewalk is narrow! But it wasn't crowded, so I was able to enjoy the views of the rushing water, the vistas of downtown Ottawa and the noise of the rapids with the birds flying overhead.

I turned right onto the bike path on the Quebec side and ran right along the water. I followed the cyclists in their team gear, figuring they'd lead me back towards Hull. All was flat for another KM or so... but the last 3K? Rolling freaking hills. And steep ones to boot. I hadn't meant to do a hill workout, let alone such a challenging and aggressive one. It was pretty much up-down-up-down, complete with hairpin turns, until I hit Terrasses de la Chaudière. Oye. At least I know where to go if I want a killer hill workout now instead of doing hill repeats in front of the tourists at the locks by the Bytown Museum.

As a result of the accidental hills workout, my left calf is NOT happy today. By the looks of things, it's just a calf strain. I'm icing/stretching as much as I can in an effort to get it back to normal ASAP. My mileage peaks these next two weeks at 37K, with long runs of 20K before I taper. I can cutback the mileage if I need to, but obviously I'd rather not do it unless I absolutely have to.

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