Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Monday, May 29, 2006
Sunday, May 28, 2006
Saturday, May 27, 2006
Anyways, a nice quote from the story
- "The basic thinking about humans has always been that we are the nerds, the wimps, of the animal world. We have big brains, and so the basic story of our evolution was that we somehow outsmarted other creatures," Dr. Lieberman says. "But actually we are incredible athletes, and this athleticism is important in our evolution."
All in all, still makes me think that why don't more people run. Cause it's painful? Maybe. Cause it's boring. Okay, a point. Cause they have better things to do? Um... Well, count me in the minority, and in any case, i'm in good company with the other lone runners out there pounding the pavement...
It's one of my favourite long runs. You don't encounter a whole lot of runners from my place to the edge of Ashbridges Bay, which means you get 9K each way of semi alone time. A lot of cyclists today, and about 12 runners on the long stretches. Tonnes, though, on the boardwalk at the Beaches.
So everytime I set out to go there, I commit to a 21K run. So that's what I did today..
Weekly total: 62.5K
Year to date: 844.5K
Friday, May 26, 2006
Did an improvised 6.5K route this morning in the drizzle. Started off cold, ended up steaming my shades and at least glad I dragged my ass out of bed..
Thursday, May 25, 2006
So I went out and did another 6K. That'll show the cold...
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Was up by 6:15 and out the door in 10 minutes. I did my 10K city route.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Tried out my new hydration pack today. Only when it's warm out do you realize you have to drink every 15 minutes.
The picture here is of my Humber Bridge route. It's the halfway mark of a 15K run.
Saturday, May 20, 2006
Okay, it's cold out, and I ate a big meal before heading out (junk food too), so I decided to punish myself with a 10K run (route here). Started at the hotel, which was less than a km from the trail. I did the trail for 4.5K, then ran the other way. Luckily, the wind pushed me back.
I love running by the water, by the way. When it's windy, it's choppy and rough. When it's calm, the water is serene, and makes my running the same.
Well, it's a good week. I can get focused on training instead of thinking about races and stuff. I'm going to do good maintenance running the next month, maybe about 50K to 60K a week so I don' t overdo it. Tomorrow, if it's nice out, I want to run on that trail again. Should be nice if it's sunny
Weekly total: 51K (including half marathon race)
Year to date: 782K
It's slightly drizzly right now. I got into my sweet hotel, the Business Inn, where I basically have a 800 square feet apartment with broadband so I could connect my laptop.
I raced to the National Gallery where I was very happy to see Group of Seven art plus catch a glimpse of that pricey Voice of Fire. Went to Byward market but it was still drizzly. A quick trip to the mall and to Parliament Hill proper, and back to to hotel...
Anyways, since it's a running blog, back on topic. I will assess how i'm feeling around 6:30 and will decide if I want to do 5K (the plan was to do a long run, but I don't like running in the rain without my ballcap, which I forgot.
Friday, May 19, 2006
Hope to fit in a long run tomorrow in the captial city. May bring my rain running gear.
My good friend Jelly (not her real name) and fellow Chicago Marathon runner has started a blog. When I started this blog in December, I told her first. So now she's blogging to get herself motivated.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
But there's something comforting about eating well during the cold months.
I decided right after the half that I'd eat better. So far, it's been going good -- stock up on bananas and apples at work, staying far.. far... far.. away from fried foods. (Ordered a salad as a side with my hamburger -- and no, i'm not giving up hamburgers...).
My left calf is doing much better now. I did another 5K this morning in my city run. It was about 9 degrees but nice and cloudy. I figure i'll try to get another run in tomorrow before I head to Ottawa on Saturday. It's supposed to be rainy/cloudy, but I may still attempt a run by the Rideau Canal anyways.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
It's also raining, so I think i'll settle in and still try to figure out which training program to run...
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Anyways, it's marathon training time, cause my friend jelly told me she got her Chicago Marathon postcard. A day later, I get mine. Yup, it's confirmed, i'm running the preferred I starting area.
Sunday, May 14, 2006
Up at 4:45 to eat the bagel and banana, then napped then packed my bag. I threw in my light sleeveless windbreaker at the very last minute, even though it said 11 degrees. Thank god I did.
Frank arrived and he drove us to Mississauga. Just after 7, we spotted the line of cars waiting to get into the lot. We did a few test runs in the parking lot and I decided that a sleeveless top would not do. I put on the windbreaker and some ladies who were in, as I saw it, full winter gear said to me 'that's what we should have been wearing!' It was windy, cold and cloudy. Good to be cool, bad to be cold AND windy.
We lined up, me in the sub 1:40 area, Frank just behind me in the 1:45. He was aiming for 1:50. Me, I was studying my list of times I'd need to do a 1:35. 5K in 22:16, 10K in 44:30, 15K in 1:06 and 20K in 1:29.
We were off and unlike last week, I didn't run hard, just tried to find a good easy 'training run' pace. I was up near the front, so not a lot of jockeying. I let people pass by and didn't give chase if they were going too fast, I judged the pace of others around me and hooked on to those who seemed to have a good stride.
At the 2K mark, I saw that I was a bit faster than I wanted, so I said to myself 'run an easy 10K, then let the racing begin. As it turns out, I did the first five just a bit faster than target. I hit the 5K about 20 seconds faster than planned, not bad, I thought.
We turned into Mississauga Road, and I knew we would have a downhill, followed by a run into the University of Toronto campus. Downhill, followed by a little uphill. I took a steady descent and saved up for the uphill and thanked ourselves that we'd done a drivethrough on Saturday.
Then we turned back into the course and I ran just behind a dad and his baby stroller, one hand on the stoller, he was effortless in running and steering. Wow. We hit the bottom of the big hill before the 10K and I knew it was the test. My GPS says I did that kilometre in about 4:40, so that was actually quite quick.
Fast forward to the 16K mark, and I thought that with 5K to go, the racing could begin. I decided to shake off the group I'd been running near and use up the reserve stores. Which explains two fast kilometres (4:19 and 4:14).... By kilometre 18, I felt good that I could maintain a 4:30 pace until I hit the wind. Wow, a cold, gusty push-you-back wind. My last 2K were both about 25 to 30 seconds slower per kilometre. I was passed by about 10 people, including two or three in the last 300 metres. I didn't care, cause i had nothing left.
By the time I hit the finish line, I looked down to see 1:35, just barely. Overall, I think I ran a fairly smart race. The first 10K was measured and I had room for a 2K burst that I either paid for at the last 2K or that bought me the seconds that almost brought me into 1:34 territory.
Frank had a great race. He hit 1:43:28 (4:57 kms) for an overall of 444. Great time, seeing as his target (conservative, I thought) was 1:50
Final (chip) time: 1:35:02
Place overall: 162/3985 (96 percentile)
Place men: 139/1583 (91 percentile)
Place group: 21/191 (89 percentile)
And last week's mileage: 27K (including 10K race)
As of May 12, year to date: 731K
1K - 4:20 (4:20)
2 - 4:23 (8:43)
3 - 4:26 (13:10)
4 - 4:19 (17:29)
5 - 4:22 (21:52)
6 - 4:26 (26:19)
7 - 4:27 (30:47)
8 - 4:18 (35:05)
9 - 4:07 (39:12) U of T.. downhill
10 - 4:26 (43:39)
11 - 4:41 (48:20) big uphill
12 - 4:27 (52:47)
13 - 4:25 (57:13)
14 - 4:24 (1:01:38)
15 - 4:26 (1:06:04)
16 - 4:19 (1:10:24) decided to make a move
17 - 4:14 (1:14:38)
18 - 4:37 (1:19:16) windy waterfront
19 - 4:36 (1:23:53)
20 - 4:50 (1:28:43) ugly last two k.
21 - 4:59 (1:33:42)
Last bit - 1:19 (1:35:02)
Avg. pace per km: 4:30
Saturday, May 13, 2006
Frank and I picked up our bibs, chips and t-shirts (logo shown here). Then we did a bit of shopping and Frank talked to the Running Room's founder, who was there an gave him some Yoda-ish advice.
We then drove the course. First thing, a lot of turns in the first kilometres... Second, the first 5K is deadly boring. Just like running in the suburbs -- oh wait, that's what we're doing. there are a lot of down hills, but the one i'm dreading is at the 10K mark. It must have been almost a kilometre of uphills. That will be the test tomorrow.
Anyways, I've loaded up on carbs, getting more this afternoon after I do a 2K tuneup run.
The weather will be a big deciding factor. If it rains, I need a hat and maybe a windbreaker. If it doesn't, I wear normal racing gear. So far, the forecasts say 9 degrees and 1mm of rain in the morning. Oh boy...
Friday, May 12, 2006
Didn't run yesterday, nor do I plan on today. I may do 3K tomorrow just to get the legs moving, but really, not much I can really do. My muscles are almost back to normal. No real soreness any more.
Excited for Sunday. Run the Mississauga half marathon and make my way to visit my mom. Tomorrow, going to print out some pace charts and figure out what i'll have to keep to hit a sub 1:40...
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Monday, May 08, 2006
Then it's the half... on Mother's Day no less. So much to do...
Sunday, May 07, 2006
I think we all had a good race. Jelly came in under an hour! (59:48) and it took her more than 7 minutes to get to the starting line! Frank had a fantastic 44:07 while I, as detailed below, clocked in at 42:52)
Well, it's done. As you see from the picture, I've got my finisher's medal. The first race of the season is over and i'm happy it's finished.
Had a hard time getting to sleep last night. Finally was in bed by 12:30 and I got up at 6ish so I could get some food in me (a bagel and half a banana)... Then milled around, finally settled on what i'd wear.
It was 5 degrees out and would be about 6 by 9 a.m. start, so I opted for shorts, a sleeveless top. For my shoes, I put away the trainers and went with my Asics racing shoes.. I decided also to bring my Garmin Forerunner to analyze the race..
Got our cab at 8 and proceeded to pick up the three runners. We got to Eglinton and it was a sort of festive air about it. I brought an extra large T-shirt that I could ditch...
Anyways, the four of us split up. The girls went to 'the back' of the group, while Frank and I lined up near the front. I planted myself exactly the same spot as last year (between the 40 to 49 minute signs... Frank was in the group behind me.
It was a race with more than 8,000 people, but who was lining up next to me but a co-worker of mine, one of the film critics at the Globe. We chatted about running (it was his first 10K and he was aiming for below 50. He finsished in the 45-minute range). It made me think about how running is totally open to everyone, from a 9 year old to 70+.
The race started, we took our first few steps, I said good luck to my co-worker then focused on my own game plan: Stick to the stride, pick a conservative slower pace, then start to pick your way through the crowd. According to my GPS Garmin, the first kilometre allegedly took about 3:49, which was way faster than my target pace of about 4:18. (Yesterday, I decided to shoot for two goals. The satisfactory one was to go below 44 minutes. The one i'd really want to do is to place within the 42 minute range: Thus 4:18 for a 43 minute 10k)
Man it was hard. We had a decline, then an incline. In retrospect, I thought I had more gas to apply, but I guess not. The downhill bits were fantastic. I basically threw myself down the hill and got great speed out of that.
At that point, I wasn't really paying much attention to the crowd gathered. It's actually distracting. There are people cheering for friends, running fans who are cheering for all of us, the police officers barring the vehicles from getting to Yonge and, of course, the people who had no idea there was a race and stood there staring at us.
Lots of signs though. My favourite moment was when, above on a bridge, I spotted a sign that says "Runners' legs are SEXY!'. I laughed, then checked out the pair of legs in front of me and nodded to myself, then realized it was a guy's pair of legs then had to go through some sort of 'it's okay I they're nice legs' moment. Apparently some guy got some signs for his girlfriend that read 'Will' 'You' 'Marry' 'Me?'... Apparently, she's now his fiancee and may not have finished the race due to the tears. Very heartwarming...
By the 5K mark, I had hit 20:33, which was a good and bad sign. Good, cause if i were to keep pace, i could pull off at 41 minute 10k. Bad, cause all the big downhills were gone and I felt I was running out of gas.
From Bloor to Adelaide was decent. I ran at slightly above my pace, then I missed the 7K gatorade/water station. I quickly lamented that. I hit the wall, mentally, that is. Runners started passing me and I felt i didn't have the legs to catch them. I believe this is where I started falling down 10-20 seconds a kilometre. I resorted to my breathing tricks (once for every two foot strikes). That didn't work.
I tried to have a conversation with the part of my body that was hurting, as all the running gurus suggest you do, but there were no takers... Legs? Nope, i'm okay. Arms? I'm sore, but not going to listen to you. Lungs? Breathing was fine. How do you talk to tiredness... not sure..
Then I tried counting every time my left foot hit the ground until I hit 50, then swtiched legs. It sorta worked. The final 2K were torture... I kept on saying to myself 'relax, you have a half marathon next week, no need to push it' while also convincing myself that 'if i stopped for a 30 second walk, that'd be good too'. But in the end, it was just this: 'Stick it out, 2K isn't that bad...'
So, I knew I had a shot at hitting under 44 minutes. And as I was running down the final stretch, willing myself to get to the finish line, I saw that the clock had just hit 43, so that I had a good chance of having a chip time under that. And that's what helped me step it up a notch in the last 100 metres.
Felt good. Everyone who finishes in that time are totally spent but happy. Why do we put ourselves through this.... Because we can... Also got into a big sneezing fit after. My allergies are back.
Final (chip) time: 42:52 (PB last year was 42:01)
Place overall: 445/6627 (93 percentile)
Place in men: 377/2995 (87.4 percentile!)
Place in age group: 69/536 (87.1 percentile)
All in all, I'm very happy I did that well. If I hadn't hit the wall at 7K, i'm confident that I would have not lost that minute...
Now next week, the Mississauga Half Marathon.
Saturday, May 06, 2006
It looks gross, but it tastes great. For the finale of my carbo loading (well, before my banana and bagel tomorrow morning), I bought fresh spaghetti and spicy tomato sauce from St. Lawrence Market. Then I 'improved' the sauce by dicing up some real breakfast bacon from my fav. butcher from St. Law. (it's the real stuff) and rendering it out, then adding button mushrooms, letting that saute, then added the sauce, along with chopped olives. Then, and I have no reason for actually trying this other than the fact that I can say I did it, I added some truffle olive oil to finish it off.. god how pretentious.. anyways, i bought the oil in paris and i need to actually use it once in awhile..
Topped the thing off with parma with my microplane and, thus, dinner is served..
Soooo good. Who could ever rid themselves of carbs, I wonder...
Funny, it's been 7 months since my last race and I'm very excited about tomorrow... I can picture putting in a few 200-metre warm-up runs, freezing and shivering at the starting line, stretching silently while the crowd gets pumped up, hearing the start of the race but find we're still standing there, taking our first steps until we cross the starting line, finding my stride in the first kilometre when i'll have to do some navigating to find my pace (in other words, zig-zagging for a bit), breathing with every two steps, counting every time my left foot hits the ground, suffer with that first incline, hit Bloor at the half way mark, turn left at Adelaide (yucky part of the route), turn south at Sherbourne and then again at the Lakeshore (yuckier than Adelaide), then up York and the final 500 metres, where I can ask myself 'got anything left in the tank?' Likely, there won't be much left...
Tomorrow, my Sporting Life 10K race report...
Weekly total: 30K
Year to date: 704K
Friday, May 05, 2006
Thursday, May 04, 2006
The T-shirt last year was white, with blue lettering. This year, it's blue, with white lettering. Anyhow, I liked last year's shirt, not for running, but for wearing around the house. Now, there are a few comments to make.
First, yes, remove the 1 from my bib number and i'm battling with 666. Great.. is this an omen of how i'll do on Sunday? Best not to think.
Second, I was scoping out the course on my way up to the Sporting Life and was reminded about one particular uphill stretch.. I'm not complaining, cause it's really downhill from Yonge and Egg...Anyways, two days of rest, lots of carbs to eat. It'll be a fun run, as I have no expectations or real desire to set a PB.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Did 10K to Cherry Beach. I have one run left this week, tomorrow morning, before I take two days of rest.
Oh yeah, about 10 days until the Mississauga Half Marathon... yikes..