Archive for October, 2010

Taking it easy

October 17, 2010

My race was three weeks ago.

And my legs are still tired.

I had no energy for the first part of the week. I just lay on the floor with my legs stretched out and read (maybe I’d done too much the previous Saturday?).

I’m tired of being tired. I want to be running the way I was four weeks ago.

But I know I’m tired, and need to do less than I’d like.

So I did not intend to do Fox Fall. And then I thought I’d do a four mile tempo with Michelle and Kary, and then use the race as a cool-down while they raced it. And then Michelle was injured, and Kary was told not to do a tempo. Luckily Matt joined me. And then Kary wanted someone to race with her, so I told her I’d run the first mile of the race at pace with her.

I said 6:40 pace for the tempo. But 6:23s were what popped out. I was pleased with that. It might not have been good for Matt, but it told me I was in better shape than I had feared.

Got to the start just in time to register and line up. And we were off.

Fox Fall begins downhill. And we went. Quickly.

After a quarter mile or so, my watch said we were running at a 5:30 pace. I suggested to Kary that this was too fast. She said it might be right for a mile (I hope she meant a mile race, not for the first mile of a XC race). Anyway we slowed a bit.

Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire,
I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moon’s sphere;

Midsummer Night’s Dream II.1

It’s a twisty course with lots of sharp turns; hard to go fast. And my legs really are tired. Maybe I should have eshued the tempo and just done the race. I keep looking at my watch to see when my mile is over (and that’s not a good thing to do on a twisty course — I end up halfway up a little hill I didn’t need to climb because I missed a turn).

Finally the watch beeps for 1 mile. 6:18. Not a bad pace, but not one I can maintain today. I bid Kary good-bye and slow. Luckily this is a wide place where people can pass. And many do.

Matt asks if I’m OK as he zips passed.

I drop down to about 8 min/mile. And then I get my breath back, and pick it up a bit, I run about 7 min/mile for the rest of the race.

Someone on the course asks me if I’m taking it easy. And I think I am. It’s only a 7 min pace, after all. But I look at my HR, and it climbs steadily over the last 3 miles of the race, finishing at 93%. That’s not taking it easy. I really am tired…

Damn it.


Convention on Biological Diversity

October 3, 2010

I don’t know if you’ve heard of it.

In 1988 the UN put together a study group concerned with the loss of biodiversity. In 1992 this group (and its descendants)  wrote the convention which was signed by 168 nations and entered into force at the end of 1993. By now there are 192 signatories, and three nations which have not signed. One of those three is the US.

We should be ashamed.

At Copenhagen last winter Obama talked about “our responsibilities to leave our children and grandchildren a cleaner and safer planet”, but as far as I know there has been no attempt even to bring this treaty before the Senate. At least climate change was discussed (although nothing came of it).

Biodiversity loss is vital. It’s a poor pun, but it is true. The most recent Global Biodiversity Outlook (published in May, 2010) warns that our eco-systems are approaching tipping points after which they will no longer be able to support us.

2010 is the “International year of Biodiversity.” The signatories to the convention agreed that by 2010 there would be significant reduction in the rate of biodiversity loss. Yet Ahmed Djoghlaf, the secretary-general of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity says “What we are seeing today is a total disaster. No country has met its targets to protect nature. We are losing biodiversity at an unprecedented rate. If current levels [of destruction] go on we will reach a tipping point very soon. The future of the planet now depends on governments taking action in the next few years.”

The next meeting starts 18 October.