I know when people think of Canada, if indeed they think of Canada at all, the iconic vision of igloos and permafrost comes to mind. It does, however, get extremely hot in most Canadian cities. In my city, we will have 35 deg C days with a humidex of 40. But it ENDS! After a week or so there is respite. And there is almost daily respite in the form of a welcome thundershower. Here it is just bloody sunny hot day after sunny hot day. Ok, I'm grumpy and whiny.
So I thought this post was going to be about how lousy my training has been going in the heat. Which it has. But today out of nowhere I had a fabulous work-out despite it being 29 deg C at 5.45 am when I left the house. I expected another abandoned work-out in favour of a slow trudge because my legs were feeling incredibly heavy, stomach incredibly upset - complete and utter lethargy. As I neared the point where I would normally start my 5 X 1 km I decided just to jog, easy and go home. But as I hit the start line my body, unbidden, just started running the first 1 km repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Until all five were done and very fast at that (3:32, 3:36, 3:29, 3:25 (WTF?), 3:31). This is faster than I have averaged for 5 since giving birth. Amazing how transforming a good work-out can be. Suddenly I feel hopeful and on track again.
This episode reminds me of a very important rule, one I always tell the runners I coach but often forget myself. Here it is: the way a runner feels immediately before a work-out or race has very little effect on the outcome. This obviously does not include extreme situations, if a runner is feeling the pain of say a compound fracture (cough, Steve) beforehand, than that might have a little effect on outcome. But lethargy, tightness, heavy legs, upset stomach, etc. etc. these little annoyances often vanish with the crack of the starter's gun so... the next time I am feeling terrible before a race I will remember this work-out and be confident.