Thursday, November 13, 2008

10K in High Park

As I've noted in the last few updates, the weather has gotten to the point where it is getting in the way of maintaining my cycling routine at the level that I'd like. While adverse weather is little more than an inconvenience on foot, it can pose a significant risk while riding so I've aired on the side of caution. Unfortunately, leaving enough time for recovery for my Running and Cycling schedules limits my flexibility so this has resulted in significant mileage deficits. Given that it's the middle of November, things are unlikely to get any better until Spring so I elected to make the move over to my indoor trainer.

As such, I headed down to the bike store earlier today to have them make some adjustments for use on the trainer (changing out the rear tire and skewer). As the shop is adjacent to High Park and I knew it would take about an hour to do the work, I figured that I'd kill two birds with one stone and do my 10K run while I waited. Aside from more efficiently using my time, it also gave me an opportunity to compare my fitness to the 5K Harry's Spring Run-Off race that I did earlier in the year.

Either way, after dropping off the bike I suited up and started running down Bloor street toward the park. I entered the park at the North entrance and down West Rd., breaking off to a trail alongside Grenadier Pond, down the side of the Queensway and finally up Spring Rd to complete the first lap. At this point (the half-way mark), I then headed back down West Rd. for another lap. After the second time up the hill, I then headed up to Bloor and back to the store.

In the end, I managed to reach the 10K mark in 45m57s with an average pace of 4:34/km. My heart rate averaged 167bpm over the entire route, although it did reach 180 when heading up the Spring Rd. hill. For comparative purposes, I managed to hit the 5K mark in 22m54s which was a little more than a minute faster than the Spring Run-Off race last year (where I was pushing much harder than I was today). Regardless, the hills were much less of an impediment this time around which definitely made the route a lot easier than last time.

Overall, it was nice to give this route another shot and the weather managed to hold out quite nicely despite the threat of rain. Going off of my regular routes is certainly a good thing every once and a while, as it highlights the gains that are often harder to see on day-to-day runs. I'll have to make more of an effort to do similar runs in the future, possibly doing a few of the same races I did last season.

Either way, with the bike prepared I'll likely be setting up the trainer tomorrow and giving it a shot. I generally hate running on a treadmill, so I'm not sure if I'll be able to handle staring at a wall for the two and half hours it takes to ride 50 miles, but we'll see how it goes.

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