Sunday, December 31, 2006

A wrap for 2006

Originally uploaded by yumkerun.
I've pretty much faithfully plotted out all the miles and kilometres I've run this year. What kind of year was it?

It was a year when I was 5139, 278, 408, 997, 6616, 5718, 6371, numbers assigned my all my races. It was a year when I ran in five running shoes, retiring one of them after 713km on Sept. 9. It was a year in which plus 30 C or below -15 were never deterrants to getting out there on my daily runs.

In my racing life, it was the big one. I ran in seven, and I could easily have done more. I set a few PRs, but none of them to go on about. All those runs are overshadowed by The Marathon. Chicago was a far off goal, then one looming, then one realized. This blog tracked me before, during and after that big event. I want to do another, because I became stronger because of the training, because the intense schedule gave structure to my workouts and because the achievement, both mentally and physically, are totally mine to savour.

I'll leave declaration of resolutions for another day, but it's safe to say that I've achieved most of mine from last year in 2006.

Weekly mileage: 15K (9 miles)
Total run in 2006: 2515K (1563 miles)

Jan: 20 runs for 181K
Feb: 19 runs for 170K
March: 19 runs for 153K
April: 17 runs for 176K
May: 20 run for 187K
June: 26 days run for 261K
July: 27 runs for 299K
Aug.: 24 runs for 328K
Sept.: 20 runs for 299K
Oct. : 17 runs for 177K
Nov.: 18 runs for 165K
Dec.: 15 runs for 110K

Resolution 5K race report

It's funny, leading up to the starting line, this race was nothing more than a cool way to finish off a memorable running year. So I didn't train much for the distance, I didn't carbo load, I didn't even worry about what time I went to bed or got up.

Jelly and I signed up for this about a month ago. I remembered my last 5K in a hot hot July day and remembered how I finished it badly (heat related head wooziness). R and two other friends came to run the race and we gathered at the historic Distillery District with its cobblestones. It was sunny, the wind was light and it was barely cold. Perfect running weather.

My so-called game plan was to take it easy. Throw down a 4:30 half marathon pace for the first few kilometres, and see how I felt. We started, I punched my Garmin and we were off. It felt good, fast even. I had only run once earlier this week, so I'd plenty of fresh legs. By the time we were 400 metres in, I was surprised that I was not far off from the front. The guys at the very front were not blazing away and I knew that none of the serious speedsters were out there today. After 1K, I calmed myself down and just settled into a 4:30 pace. We hit the out and back and I was surprised that I was in about the first dozen or so runners. Huh? This run barely qualifies as a tempo run.

Oh well, at this point, my major worry was breathing, as the congestion from my cold i've been recovering was demanding, well, a way out. I hit the 3.5K and I remember wanting it to be over, but I knew it was all in my head. The marathon, I told myself. This 5K is piddly compared with the marathon. And in the final kilometre, instead of slowing down, I speeded up, and finished the race, and my last few strides of 2006, on a cobblestone road, hitting my Garmin which said I'd done the distance in 21:53.

I walked back to greet Jelly, and saw that she was well below the 30 minute mark, so I ran about 50 metres with her, telling her to push it!

So that's it, race No. 7 and the final run of the year.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Year in review

Just like we all do in my work life of journalism, i'm filling in the dead days before new years with a good look back at the year that was. I'm a fan of lists, so here are some of the best

By the numbers
Highest monthly mileage: 345.5K in August that included two +30km days (or 20 milers)
Lowest monthly mileage: 110K in December (oh I have the excuses, so..)
Highest weekly mileage: 92.5K between Aug. 28 and Sept. 3 [weekly reviews]
Most hours run in month: 28:50:22 in August
Number of races: 6 (not including a 5K i'll do in two days)
What they were: A marathon, two halfs [12], one 10K, one 5 miler, one 5K [races]

Places, things, memories
Cities I've run in this year: 4
Where they were: Toronto, Ottawa, Chicago, Nice
Memorable non-racing run: Birthday
Favourite posts: [favourites]
Chicago: a look back

Okay, out of time. Tomorrow, I celebrate this blog's one-year anniversary, then start to set goals for next year

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Park in progress...

Originally uploaded by yumkerun.
Just an update on the slow progress made on my neighbourhood park.

Old pictures are here, here and here.

Sick day...

Actually, I'm not taking a sick day, cause i'm between jobs (i love that!) for another 5 days. I have a creeping cold that i'm trying to whack before it gets me. It's one of those colds that attack your lungs and makes breathing difficult.. So i'm taking it easy. I did run 10K two days ago and forgot to report back on my blog.

For now, i'm doing some small planning for my race schedule next year. I think I have an 8K, a 10K and a marathon picked up. It will be a tricky year for running, which i'll get to in my resolution post, but it'll also mean that i'm going to probably pick another marathon that's not in Toronto, probably not in Chicago, but is a big one...

More on that later...

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Tis the time for overeating...

Why do i feel like not eating for the next few days? I've had tonnes of good, rich food the past few weeks and now I feel bloated. Butter tarts, turkey, ribs, pork tenderloin, bacon, mashed potatoes, stuffing, fish... While I don't feel out of shape, I'm far from the way I felt in August and September while in the big training weeks.

I ran 5K on Christmas eve, which was a beautiful day. Feel a cold coming on, so i'll tkae it easy, but i'll get in some runs and get ready for the final run of the year next Sunday.

Last week's recap
Weekly mileage: 29K (18 miles)
Time run: 2:03:40
Year to date: 2,499.5K (1,558 miles)

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Home sweet home..

I ran a measly 4K at home before coming to my parents place for Christmas.. I'll be here for a few days... I also packed my shoes and hope to get runs in the next two days...

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Catching up...

Ran 5K on Tuesday and I fit in a 4K right now before heading out for errands and the like.... Christmas is coming fast!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Oh Xmas tree

Originally uploaded by yumkerun.
.... thought my blog needed a picture to brighten things up. This massive tree is inside the Eaton Centre, Toronto proper's biggest shopping mall that attracts millions of visitors a year. I was there today and yesterday swiping my credit card. Ah, Christmas.

Between jobs...

Well, I guess I can write about why my mileage, in part, has dropped over the last while. I started a new job at the national broadcaster in September, a job I was really enjoying. But an amazing opportunity came knocking and I answered, so now i'll be working at (another) national newspaper website starting in January. It was very difficult, almost agonizing, to leave after a short period, but I believe chances to do good work only come once in a while. My running suffered as my mind was elsewhere. Which is funny, because I think it's running that helps me focus.

I have the next two weeks (or most of them) off as a result of the lul between the jobs, and i'm happy to have them off to reflect, to recharge. I will get more mileage in, including a resolution run on Dec. 31.

Today, ran a 10K in which the first half my legs felt like concrete. The second was considerably better and finished the run in 49:03.

Last week's recap
Weekly mileage: 29K (18 miles)
Time run: 2:37:37
Year to date: 2,470.5K (1,540 miles)

Saturday, December 16, 2006

The weather outside is... fabulous...

Quicky post as we count down to the holidays. A medium distance run of 13.5K today in the sun while the rest of the city was doing stuff like Christmas shopping. I'm saving that for Monday. Oh, the joy of days off. Supposed to go to 11 degrees tomorrow, so i'd like to fit in a 15K if I can.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The video...

Well, my video from Go Action arrived. 13 minutes of reliving the Chicago marathon with clips of me at the start, the halfway mark, 35K and the end. I have to say that I think I have stronger emotions when I see it in my mind's eye than when I see it in person. It's pretty amazing to watch the start, though. Thousands of runners.

I ran a brisk 10K today. As Bob says, hibernation is not an option. Sir yes sir!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Fast five...

got home, ran 5K, showered, now on my way out for dinner.. December is a busy social month, and i love it, cause in January and Feb., we'll all be hibernating...

Our hearts

NY times on a marathoner's heart.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Three more weeks

The year is coming to a close. In three weeks, Jelly and I will be running our Resolution Run 5K. For now, I'm stringing along enough miles to keep in shape.

Today was beautiful, plus 6 plus plenty of sunshine. I did an out and back 15K. I only truely enjoy these long runs. The short ones are usually done in darkness.

Running update
Weekly mileage: 37K (23 miles)
Time run: 3:07:15
Year to date: 2,441.5K (1,522 miles)

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Let the wind decide

I haven't quit running, but took a little break. It's been busy in the work life and running has taken a secondary role. But.. I did 10K on Wednesday, then took Thursday and Friday off.

Today, it's a windy day, but it's also plus 2. After visiting with my folks, I headed out for a out and back 5K, the first 2.5 was into the wind and the lovely trip back was wind aided.

Tomorrow, if i'm good, it'll be a nice long run.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

300th post and 1,500 miles

Yep, i've been missing in action. Not sick, just resting and really busy at work. I took off four days from running before going out there last night. Here's a quick recap:

Last Monday (Nov. 27): 6.5K along the city after work.
Last Wednesday (Nov. 29): 6.6K along a similar route.

Last week's totals:
Weekly total: 13K (8 miles)
Time run: 1:08:41
Year to date: 2,404.5K (1,499 miles)

Well, since I ran a 6.5K 4 miler yesterday, I have now passed the 1,500 mile mark and the 2,400km point. With a month to go, I now know that it will be a struggle to get in 30 mile weeks, but hey, after 8 months of hard running, I think I deserve a season of lighter, for-fitness activity.

By the way, it's also my 300th post in less than a year (11 months).