Sorry for my recent neglect in posting friends....things have been fairly hectic this past week. However, tomorrow, being the Queen's Open (and my season-opening race) compells me to narrate how I feel as I prepare to unleash the competitive angst that I have pent up over that last 7 weeks of training.
Well, "unleash" might not be the right word for it: the focus of this race is going to be my finish, ie the last 2km of the race. Over the first 8km I shall just cruise...obviously still in contention so that my push over the last 2km is effective, but certainly won't be pushing the pace. Hopefully, I can keep my head from succumbing to race day adrenaline, and can just be easy.
And how has this past week been? Better than last week. Earlier last week I struggled with some shin and calf issues. The muscle on the front of my left shin (Tibialis Anterior) and my upper left calf (Grastrocnemius) were tight and would constantly throb. Sometimes, when transitioning from a run to a walk, my left leg would feel like it was about to crumple under me. Not good. However, I have discovered this week that wearing a smaller shoe (ie less material in the sole, especially under the heel) has almost eliminated this problem. I am now almost exclusively wearing a type of shoe known as a "racing flat" which is a very minimalist shoe. I suspect that the additional material under the heel was changing my running style, causing me to strike more on my heel and less on my forefoot, which is biomechanically preferable. This was causing excessive contraction and shock up the tibialis anterior. Now, with less shoe, I am back to running more on my forefoot and the shin pain has cleared up. Unfortunately, this is causing my calf muscles to work a little harder and now they are tighter than usual. This isn't too much of an issue though, as with time and stretching they will adapt.
And training itself? Well, I won't be hitting 70miles this week as I haven't been doing any morning runs, but I have thrown in some good workouts and 80min runs are now no longer massive shock to my system. I'll probably get another 70miler in next week, but with the quality miles and how good I seem to be feeling these days, I don't think that anything more than that will be necessary.
Anyway, I'll let you know how this race goes. Check back this weekend for a post-race interview with myself.
Better yet, if you're in town, come and watch yourself! Naturally, the Queen's Open is in Kingston and will be held on the top of Fort Henry hill. The women race at 11:00am and the men at 11:45am. Dress for all types of weather, because the race is known for attracting bad weather to itself!