Tuesday, January 30, 2007

My trail

5K in the dark, but the path was lightened by the snow on the ground. Well, a little accumulation on top of a snowy/ice mixture. Was fun to get the path all to myself, my trail. I'm only a few K off last week's mileage. I think this will be a good week.... one can only hope.

Monday, January 29, 2007


There's one innovation I'm totally loving these days: the traffic countdown metre. The city has installed little countdown clocks at intersections that, when there's about 20 seconds to go, starts counting down to 0, in big, red letters. When I see them, and i'm in striking distance, I can shift gears so I'm at a near sprint to beat the light. Of course, the light still means that people have this weird belief that they can 'jog' across an intersection in 4 seconds (you can sprint it in four, and jog it in 8).

So at the end of my 5K, which finishes with me going downhill, I saw the number count down. I sped up to race speed, even past it, and make it to the other side as it ticked down to 0... more fun in the streets of Toronto...

Sunday, January 28, 2007

The week

Okay, another week down the tubes. I missed my runs Wednesday through Saturday due to work, sickness and a little laziness. I'm still not 100% but I did a 5K run this afternoon and I think my body just wasn't ready to combat the cold while taking in exercise.

Oh boy, i'm going to have to kick things up a few notches to get in running shape.

Weekly mileage: 11.5K
Year to date: 121K

Saturday, January 27, 2007


Originally uploaded by yumkerun.
.. well, that was fun. Up at 6, at the airport at 7:50. We had to take a bus (this is Toronto, folks, shouldn't we have real airport terminals!) from which I took this picture.

So our flight was to take off at 9:15 and a few minutes before, we hear it's been cancelled. Oh well, my hotel bill is down the tubes and we made our way back downtown. As it turns out, tonnes of flights were cancelled or delayed. I spent an hour on hold on the air can reservations so I could cancel the flight back to Toronto tomorrow.. oh well, an afternoon in the city...

I'm leaving today...

... well, I did have a cold.. It knocked me out for about half a day and i took meds for two days. Right now, I'm feeling much better.

R. and I are doing a day in New York.. yup, one day. We fly out in 8 hours and will start a fun day shopping, eating, more shopping and more eating. We're not staying near Central Park so no run is in my plans. I hope to fit in a long run when I return Sunday afternoon...

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A run will cure it...

For not the first time I've gone out for the run when I was feeling just on the cusp of being unwell. Last night, had a scratchy throat, those clear first signs of a cold. Downed a few Cold-FXs (I still am unsure if they acutally work) and as luck would have it, I had scheduled to work from home today on reports. So I worked and late afternoon, it just looked too nice at -1 with not that bad windchill.

So out for 6.6K (4 miles) during which I could definately feel what was at the back of the throat -- having had to clear it out more than a few times. Odd feeling of having to work out your lungs, heart and feel the blood pump though your slighty weakened body... I think I've fought back this cold...

Time for planning. I have a few races I have to sign up for this spring. Lots to figure out...

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Icy run

Did a waterfront out and back, and i'd say that 80% of the run was on snow, or snow turning into ice or just flat out ice. Slower pace meant it felt good the entire run and for the first time, I took out my iPod Nano loaded up with NPR, BBC and other radio goodness.

Did 17.4K in 1:37. My weekly mileage is pretty crappy right now, but I was able to get in three quality runs at least.

Weekly mileage: 35.5K (22 miles)
Time run: 3:05:48
Year to date: 109.5K (68 miles)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Putting them in...

... didn't feel like running yesterday after work, so I ordered out sat there and watched TV. Probably not something I want to do too often. Today, a bit of payback, a nice hardish 10.6K run after work.

I hope to fit in a longish run, I just hope to sleep in...

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Originally uploaded by yumkerun.
It's Jan. 16 and now I can finally declare that it's winter. I went out for a run today -- it's minus 11 with windchill of minus 20. Yesterday's snow followed by freezing rain, followed by snow left this thin shiny layer that looks like it would be slippery as hell, but as I tackled the trail by the water, I was gliding.

The notches on the ground, imprints of other runners, walkers, and the few cyclists who still brave the cold, made for a surface that was easy to grip with my shoes, but also hard on the ankles. I love hearing the clip, clop of my feet hitting the fresh snow.

Of course, I layered, in fact, I had four top layers: my base of a thin poly pro, followed by a thermal top, with a short sleeve vest and a bright Sugoi jacket for an outer shell. I tore apart my place looking for my Windstopper hat that covers my ears, but settled for my hat. My ears were cold.

A productive run and considering it was about 23 degrees warmer in DC on Sunday, I ask myself why I chose to run today... oh well. 7.4K in 37:31. (Oh, and to answer Bob and Sonia, I'm not moving, but my sweetie is, so i'll be visiting very often. I may even keep a pair of runners at R's place.)

Monday, January 15, 2007

Sucked into the vortex

Originally uploaded by yumkerun.
Had a tiring weekend. R and I went down to DC to find a place for her to live. We think we found a few and, fingers crossed, she'll get one of them... Needless to say, my running suffered as I didn't bring my running shoes -- not that we had time for a run or anything. We walked around a lot Sunday afternoon before the plane trip back to Toronto and there were tonnes of runners everywhere on The Mall and also near Dupont Circle where we were apartment hunting. The weather was so nice and warm. I think I will enjoy winter and spring running stateside.

Of course, the first major storm to hit Toronto arrived this morning. Coupled with a long day at work and the second two-hour showing of 24, I think i'm going to skip my run today and try to make it up the rest of the week. I will get back on track, I promise myself.

Last week's mileage:
Weekly mileage: 24 kilometres
Time run: 1:56:39
Year to date: 74K

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Nature v. nurture

.... had a very odd thought this morning, 6:21 a.m. EST, standing outside my condo waiting for the street car. It happened on a silent dark street, only the stray vehicle motoring by just before the morning rush. There they were, left and right, everywhere I looked. One runner heading east toward the central waterfront area. Three runners heading west, jogging and talking. Two runners, going south, hooking up with the trail that is planted right at the base of my home. Then across the street, a woman exited her condo's entrance, and began the first steps of her run. I counted 10 in the span of four minutes before my street car arrived.

Which got me thinking, is my environment encourage running, or would I run anywhere? I tend to think that having a trail outside my door has a lot to do with it. There's water, there's uninterrupted trails, there are runners and cyclists. It's the perfect environment.

I've read more than a few articles ("Why don't Americans walk anymore," for example) that say suburbs are really bad for encouraging healthy communities. There are no sideways, no obvious places to like parks. In these poorly planned areas, there is no neighbourhoods to the point where cars, not shoes, are needed to do even the simpliest things.

In my neighbourhood, I walk a lot, and I run a lot, because it's easy, and it makes sense. Which brings me back to my thought....

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Long day, short run

Up at 5:30 a.m. for work and back home at 7:45 p.m. equals a very grumpy Yumke. The choices was to chill out and have dinner, or go for a run before... Glad I did the run, an improvised 5K route around my neighbourhood...

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Oh yeah, the weekend...

I'm off to DC this weekend to help R. find a place to live.. I'm wondering if I could sneak in an early morning run... Where should I go? The weather will be a nice and balmy 15 degrees! (well, it'll be warm in Toronto too, I hear).

Since I may lose some mileage this weekend, I intend to make up for it on the weekdays, so i'm going to try for 10Ks for the next three days to rack up the runs..

Did 10K today after work in the city..

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Nice start

After thinking about doing a medium long run this week, I did it this morning. Instead of tackling the lonely waterfront, I picked a nice city route. Something about running among people makes me more occupied and makes a long run easier.

I did 17K in 1:25, my first 10 miler in a very long time. My weekly mileage is finally getting near the 30 mile mark. In fact, the last time I had mileage near this week's, it was in late November, and the last time I had more was before the marathon.. Time to get back at it...

Weekly mileage
Mileage: 48K (30 miles)
Time run: 4:14:53
Year to date: 48K (30 miles)

Friday, January 05, 2007

Global warming

Apparently, most of Canada was above zero degrees. Which leads me to think, is this global warming. I've read so much about the issue, and it's gone from the fringes on to the mainstream. Whodathunkit, but it's everywhere. Al Gore is not the only politician (or former, in his case) who is sounding the alarm. Witness the Stern report for Tony Blair that warned of catestrophe if we didn't act now. Witness the rise of the environment in Canada, with the likes of the Green Party's Elizabeth May on verge of prominence, or of outsider Stephane Dion, who became the leader of Canada's 'natural governing party' largely on an environmental platform.

Then look outside. It's 11 degrees today and part of me, like others, say, damn, this is great. Yes, there are short term benefits to warming weather (I know, this is El Nino, not necessarily global warming), like good weather, longer growing season. But there are also bad things, like perhaps tricking the trees that it's already spring.

Or for this runner, who kinda wishes for a nice fluffy snowfall, so when I run at night, my path is illuminated by the reflection of the moon on a white-blanketed park, or on a trail on a crisp cold blue sky weekend morning, when I see my breath and it's fresh, and I don't sweat a bit cause it's just too darn cold.

Or just perhaps because I'm Canadian and winter's a part of my makeup, my national identity. I know, careful what I wish for.

Running update. Did 5K on Wednesday, took yesterday off, and did a very nice 10K city route after work today.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Running photos

Here are all my pictures tagged with running...

It's back...

I've recaptured it. The need to run. It's not that I feel an obligation to get out there in the cold weather, it's that there's nothing more I really want to do right after a long day at work. Vent my frustrations, stretch out the body that's been sitting for 11 hours and get that heart racing again.... It's nice, even if it's short..


Monday, January 01, 2007


Last year, on Jan. 9, I signed up for Chicago. I see registration is now open, and now with my time, I see that I can still qualify for the Corral B start (which was the same as the Preferred one I did this year).

But it's not last year. This year, my running schedule will be complicated, because R is moving to DC for work and I'll be flying there quite often to visit. This will mean that weekend long runs may have to be done on Friday in Toronto, or perhaps Saturday morning in Washington. It will be a dizzying attempt at scheduling to fit in races in Toronto and runs in the other city.

There's also the new job. It will keep me very busy as I get into the swing of things, so I think I can only do good maintenance running and aim for a 8K, 10K and maybe a half mary between now and June.

But then there's the marathon, and yes I want to do another. This year, I want to do it better. I want to drop my weight to better racing form, I want to do the Pfitzinger training program and I want to now realistically do better than 3:35. No real target yet, but it'll be conservative.

So just like Jelly and Bob, I have my sights set on the Marine Corps Marathon on October 28. I'm sure i'll get to know the city very well between now and then (I haven't visited yet) and i'll have free accommodations with R. The city also has a 10 miler race in October that I'll consider. In any case, registration doesn't start until May 9. And training would begin in late June.. Just in time for summer...

Fresh start

After too much wine and beer, New Year's Day came around. No better way than to recuperate than to do an easy 5K with R. It started out sunny, then the clouds invaded our little run. No worries, it was good to start off the running log fresh.