Writer’s Block: Olympic Training Log June 18-June 24

It’s not always easy to think of something to write each week that is related to my Olympic Training Log.

I spent a lot of time this weekend writing a post that I’d been planning for a while. I thought it would be easy to write—but it wasn’t; it was one of those times when the topic wanted to wander and expand in all kinds of directions. I tried to rein it in—successfully—but I wasn’t satisfied with the final product. I kept changing it in small ways, but finally gave up in disgust.

As I look at this week’s training log, I marvel at how hard I used to be able to work. On some of those cross-training days I was doing three workouts! But it paid off. In June, I was easing back into running, and racing, with good results, would shortly follow.

I contrast my “old self” with the athlete I am now. I have to laugh at myself a little. The urge to compete is still there although I’m so limited in my training because of my arthritic knee. Last Friday night, I was thrilled to take part in the Longest Day 5K race at UBC for the first time in four years. I was even a bit nervous the day of the race, because I knew this was the first time my knee was in good enough shape that I’d probably be able to push myself hard and feel, once again, the pain of distance running.

Start of the Longest Day 5K

I was one of over 600 participants in the Longest Day 5K at UBC. (Photo by Lower Mainland Road Race Series)

In fact, my knee felt fine during the race and I ran pretty much flat-out to finish in a time of 19:35. That was better than I expected! After chatting for a few moments with my Phoenix teammates Larry Lorette, Dave Frilund, Richard Armstrong and Maureen Curtin near the finish line, I retreated into the quietness of the stands within Thunderbird Stadium to savour my successful completion of the race and remember runs of previous years.

Running at night brings back memories of long-ago races too; those track races late in the evening in Toronto or Ottawa or Montreal; the heat of the day finally softening a little; the exhilaration and sweat after a hard fast race was over; a gentle warmdown; the coughs and raspiness of voice for the rest of the evening after lungs had been pushed to the limit.

On Friday night I relived those feelings a little. Sadly, heat and sunshine were missing. But I went down to the field and did a couple laps of running on the blessedly soft artificial turf. My quads were already seizing up and sore from the unfamiliar pounding on pavement. But I was so happy to be running! I wasn’t content just to jog. I stretched my legs out and ran as fast, as lightly as I could, knowing it would be many days before I could have that feeling again.

Olympic Training Log

Nancy at Burns Point

At Burns Point near Belcarra two days after the race. My quads were so sore even hiking was painful!

June 18, 1988AM: Rode bike to gym. Did “pull-strength” workout plus heavy hamstring curls, leg extensions and inner thigh machine. Followed by 15 min fairly easy on stationary bike. Still feeling tired today.

June 19, 1988

AM: Did 3hr10 cycling up north and back to house. Good steady ride—enjoyable—not too tired after!

PM: Ran almost 28 min (4 miles) around parents’ house. One loop of old course [˜3,000m] 11:00. Heel very sore for 5 min, then barely felt it. Worked hard (hot), running at good pace and legs felt great considering cycling.

June 20, 1988

AM: Rode bike to gym, did “push-endurance” workout plus hyperextensions with partner, situps, leg press on Universal. 66 min, followed by 10 min hard on bike.

PM: Swim workout with Beth. 600m warmup. 5 x 50m, going every 1:15—about 55’s. 8 x 100m going every 2:15—mostly 1:57’s, slower at end. 100m kicking with board. 400m 8:00. 200m warmdown.

June 21, 1988

AM: Rode bike to Earl Haig. Did 15-min warmup at moderate pace. Heel warmed up but could still feel it slightly. 2 x 1 mile with 2 min rest. 5:22, 5:21. Working hard. Jogged 2 laps & rode bike home. 4½ miles. Foot OK after.

Noon: Water running workout with Michael Berger. Warmed up about 10 min. Did 6 intervals 1 min running in place with rope, 30 sec rest. This got me quite out of breath. Then did 5–10 min more just straight running concentrating on leg technique. Then 3 x 1 min with rope again. Just over 30 min total. Not tired after, just felt quads a bit.

PM: Bike workout at club. Lifecycle 24 min, level 6 with level 9 last 5 min. 8 times 3 min on bike, hamstring curls, front sitting press. Legs very tired—I had to keep lowering tension on bike.

June 22, 1988

AM: Rode bike to gym. Did “pull-endurance” workout plus leg lift on incline, squats with dumbbell curls, knee lift with cables. Worked hard 71 min, plus 5 min bounding.

PM: Swim workout with Beth. Biggest one yet! 750m warmup. 8 x 200m with about 25 sec rest—times bad, about 4:07 and slower at end—pool very turbulent. 6 x 50m with only 10—15 sec rest. 100m with kickboard.

June 23, 1988

AM: Rode bike to Earl Haig. Did 15 min warmup, moderate pace. 3 x 50m strides. 3 x 1000m with 90 sec rest. 3:15, 3:19, 3:15. Foot warmed up well, didn’t feel it at all after about 10 min, but feeling kind of sluggish from overeating last night. 2 laps jog, rode home. About 4½ miles.

AM-2: Rode bike 2 hrs up north with George and Joseph. Pretty tough—strong wind—tired by end.

PM: Did Lifecycle at club. 24 min + 10 min—level 6, level 9, level 7. Felt OK—legs not as bad as I thought they would be.

June 24, 1988

AM: Did leg workout with some bounding exercises, situps, one-arm pull exercise. 66 min. Rode bike to and from gym. Very tired after yesterday.

This week: 13 miles running, 1hr47 min stationary bike, 2 long bike rides, 2 swim workouts, 1 water-running workout, 4 weight workouts.

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About nancytinarirunswrites

I used to be known as a competitive runner, but now I have a new life as a professional writer and editor. I'm even more obsessive about reading, writing, and editing than I was about running. Running has had a huge influence on my life, though, and runner's high does fuel creativity. Maybe that's why this blog evolved into being 95% about running, but through blogging I'm also learning about writing and online communication. I'm fascinated by how the Internet has changed work, learning, and relationships. I love to connect in new and random ways!
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