Training has been really light for me lately with tons of flexibility. I can go as hard or easy as I like, with an "as I feel" training theme. I actually ran pretty hard while in Fredericton with the UNB team but I don't think I've done a snitch of effort since then. I have actually enjoyed just running without a second thought about pace or distance, just loving being active on my own time. However, I think I can only be relaxed (and uncompetitive) for so long and this weekend I cracked.
Last night I had Thanksgiving Dinner #1 at my sister, Amanda and her husband, Rob's house. It was a fun evening with a lot of great food. I ended up staying overnight at their place and we were up early this morning for the Grouse Grind. After last year's very painful race, I had made a promise never to put myself through that again. But after hearing Amanda and Rob (lovingly) trash talk each other, I got really fired up. We each had our own pre-Grind breakfast strategies. Amanda and I stuck with what we know works; it was almond butter on toast for me and coffee with sweetner for Amanda. Rob took a holiday twist, grabbing a fistfull of leftover turkey as we were heading out the door.
Warm-up was practically non-existent with a gentle walk to the trail head. At this point I was having flashbacks of last year and was actually nervous! There was no time to really put to much thought into what I was about to do because as soon as we hit the starting post, Rob was gone! Amanda said he starts fast but I wasn't ready for this. Adam's tip to me was to "break their spirits early", but Rob was breaking mine! I didn't exactly have a spring in my step today, but I trudged by him after a few minutes, desperately trying to downplay my breathing. I kept saying to myself, "out of sight, out of mind" but I don't think Rob was too concerned with me. There was another battle going on behind that I didn't witness until the end. Amanda is strong and steady at the start and holds her pace. She caught Rob at the halfway mark and it was a close finish. Here are our unofficial Thanksgiving Grind results:
Amanda: 41: 25 (2 minute PB!)
I think it might have been an even closer spousal race is we were to factor in Rob's breakfast choice. Turkey burps cannot feel good!