Thursday, May 31, 2007

Where's Bob? (and other questions)

So, where the hell is Bob, the Chicago Marathon blog-father? His site "A running destination" was overtaken then we haven't heard from him since. Bob, you out there?

I'm reminded of Bob because I check my blog's search keywords in my traffic tracker once in awhile. It provides for some interesting items people are searching for -- somehow they are taken to A whole lot of soles.. So, in the public service and for the betterment of the web as an interactive forum, here are my answers to your web queries

Q: "a running destination blog bob"
A: I dunno, but if you find him, let me know!

Q: humber bridge 10k map (from Britain)
A: I'm not sure where the Humber bridge in the UK is, but i'm sure mine (in Etobicoke) is not the one you're looking for. It's a good 15K run from my place though

Q: 10k times men percentile
A: Not sure what it is, I guess it depends what age group you're in. My advice, run well and the percentages will take care of themselves

Q: Marine corp sunrise parade may 25, 2007
A: I was at the Memorial Day Parade ... never been to the other

Q: arlington
A: Why yes, I've heard of it. Maybe I've even gone past it

Q: gatorade is yummy
A: Wiser words were never spoken. Although I'd hasten to add 'beer is yummy.' As for Gatorade, I like Frost, Blue and Fruit Punch. Lots of sugar, carbs and other goodness needed during and after a good long run.

Q: ontario half maratons
A: Did i misspell marathon at some point? Anyhow, I've done Mississauga, Toronto and Toronto Waterfront. All are good and fast.

Q: 10 miler
A: Why, how nice of you to ask. I'm running two this year, one in Toronto in July, the other the big Army 10 Miler in October.

Q: mileage distance of 3k, 5k, 6k, 9k
A: Google answers all. Type "3 kilometres to miles" and you'll get your answer.

That's it.. for now..

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Comparing splits

Trying to be smart about getting my runs in this week, I decided to do my long run after work today, a 21.1K (I throw the extra .1 for the half marathoner in me) jaunt through the city's east end, to the Beaches and back. It'll be a busy weekend and I'm not sure i'll get good time to do long runs.

I did the same distance on Saturday, so I decided to compare the two runs (haven't done this in awhile).

Saturday: This run was not done with the ideal planning. I had been out drinking until 2:30 a.m. and didn't get to bed until after 3. I drank as much water before bed to counter the 4 or 5 pints I drank, and got in more water when I got up. I also didn't get a good brekkie in me but in my favour, when I went out at 10:30 a.m., conditions were cool.

Here are the splits:

Today, the temperature was supposed to hit 30, but by the water it was cooler, probably as low as 23. Rushing out to run, I didn't bring water with me, and instead hydrated on about 200 ml of water. Also, the last thing I ate was a banana about three hours before the run. My focus was to get the run in and put in a decent effort.

The splits

Today's time was a few minutes after and I felt good -- even though I was tired -- the entire way. I settled quickly into a comfortable 5:10 or faster pace after about 4K. Part of the marathon training this year will be to do longer runs at harder efforts, even much more than this. I'm not looking forward to this, but it will be a challenge.

In all, this doesn't really tell me much -- my half marathon racing times have been between 1:34 and 1:36. But I do definately feel like the fitness is coming back.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Racking them up early...

Will have a busy weekend coming up in DC so i'm planning to do a long run in the midweek, maybe a 10 to 12 miler if I can get home early enough.. Had a nice 12K run today, out to Leslie St. and back in less than an hour...

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day

Originally uploaded by yumkerun.
.. In DC right now, after watching the Memorial Day parade. Lots of marching bands, veterans, military vehicles and flags.

On the running front, I took Sunday and today off and will get back to it tomorrow when i'm back in Toronto. Last week's mileage was 59K, just short of the 60, but still a healthy level.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Marine Corps Marathon fills up...

Oh crap, I guess Jelly won't be running the Marine Corps Marathon this year. Registration filled up only about two weeks after it opened.

Running is going well this week. I've managed to put in two runs today (a quick 4K before going to work this morning and 6K after) for a total of 30K on the week. I think another 60K week is within grasp...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

June 24

That's the day the madness begins. I'm opting for a 18-week marathon training program this year, and I have one month in order to get my mileage up to a point that I can get comfortable with 30+ miles a week. (That's 50K+).

This year, I'm thinking of going with the vaunted Pfitzinger program that a lot of the running bloggers swear by. I know it's tougher, with a lot of focus on LT runs and more intense long runs. I picked up the book Advanced Marathoning in Chicago last year the day after the marathon, and I've been flipping through it over the past few months. I'll give it a good read in the next few weeks as I ramp up.

Ran 12K after work today, trying to establish the 8K to 12K as my weekday usual run. These runs will help me get up to 30K by the weekend, when it's back to 20K+ Saturdays. Last week's mileage was good, a total of 62.5K done in six runs.

Weekly mileage: 62.5K
Time run: 5:21:12
Year to date: 759.5K

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Catching up...

Originally uploaded by yumkerun.
... these are my good friends Lori and Tim in a picture taken this afternoon. I'm putting this up to see how many days it'll take for one of my friends to see i've posted this... also cause Lori hasn't joined facebook so it's my new mission to get her online through this blog post.

The title of this post is 'catching up,' and that's what I did a little of today. My running has been, shall we say, sporadic so far this year. In fact, I haven't done any mileage updates, which i'll do at the end of this post. I've done a bunch of long runs over the past two months, with a 23K run probably in the last month.

Today was perfect Toronto running weather: cool and sunny. I set out to run one of my favourite routes to the Beaches. Basically, the Beaches is a very nice part of Toronto, with volleyball courts, a long boardwalk, a pool, tennis courts, skating rinks (lacrosse in the summer), lawn bowling, kite flying -- you get the point. But, to get to that 2K stretch, I have to run about 9K through a lot of industrial land... which for this runner means a lot of time on the road without another runner in sight. I love that.

So today, I ran a half-marathon distance (21.1K, 13.1 miles) in 1:51, with 5:17 K splits. The whole run felt nice and easy, just giving my legs and heart just enough of a workout to feel tired, but not exhausted... Next time I do the distance, want to push the time down to 1:45.

After, we gathered for a friend's baby shower where we did more catching up... Ah, spring's here but it already feels like summer.

Running recap
Weekly mileage (April 29): 33K in three runs (2:42 running time)
Weekly mileage (May 6): 38K in four runs, including race (2:56 running time)
Weekly mileage (May 13): 48K in five runs (4:02 running time)
Year to date: 697K

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Park progress

I always wondered what they would do with the parking lot next door to my condo. The parking lot was right in front of an amazing view of the lake, so potentially a place where some high-cost condo would go up.

Anyhow, a year ago, I was happy to see they were turning it into a park. A year later, they're still working on it.. Anyhow, I've managed to document the build in enough pictures (along with the blog posts)... I'll take more in the coming weeks as it comes together..

June 4, 2006: Muggy Tuesday

June 11, 2006: Sundays

July 17, 2006: So I'll look back at this weather

August 30, 2006: No blog, just a pic

Sept 9, 2006: Magic trail

Sept. 25, 2006: Just a pic and pretty sunrise.. in fact, it doesn't even show the park.

Dec. 26, 2006: Park in progress

May 16, 2007: Park progress

Double up

Oy, if only this doesn't seem like work. But to get back into pre-marathon training shape, i'll have to pound out 50K weeks now and ramp it up in June.

Split up my runs today, an 8K in the morning before work, and a 10K after work, both at about 5 min Ks, for a total of 18K today and 23K on the week. So far, so good.

Fran: I checked the water fountain by the baseball diamond. It's working. Also, there's a new one in Tommy Thompson park.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Thunder! nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah.. Thunder!

... Ah, AC/DC.. the voltage was high flying after work today, and I could spot the lightning in the clouds as I got in the bus for home.

Damn, no run today.

But, when I got home, the clouds lifted, and instead of settling in for couch potato type activities, I threw on the running gear, warmed up the GPS and set out for a 5K run. At the mid-way point, I heard the thunder and saw flashes. I turned back and, during the last 5 minutes, drizzle turned to rain turned to wind and rain turned into a full out spring storm.

Kinda felt like racing against the storm..

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Streets are paved... in multi-colour

Originally uploaded by yumkerun.
R's neighbourhood happens include the Spy museum and also the National Portrait gallery and, oh yeah, the Smithsonian is about a 5 minute walk. They painted a nearby street on Saturday, only to have it rain Saturday night, as R. and I witnessed as we ran home from the tapas place... Here's what it looked like this morning.

And what it looked like Saturday afternoon.

We went out for a 5K run, but we got about 4.2K in before we got to the Lincoln Memorial. My heels have a few blisters from breaking in the new shoes, so we opted for a walk back.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Landmark run

Originally uploaded by yumkerun.
Feeling smarter after yesterday's midafternoon run in the heat, I was out there by 8 a.m. with 19 degree weather and cloud cover: perfect running weather.

I'm liking my runs in DC. They bring me past the national buildings... Take this route: Start at the FBI building and beside the Ford Theatre, run to the Mall, hitting Penn Ave., which has slight-lines of the White House to Capitol Hill. Across the Mall, up the National Monument to Lincoln Memorial, then up to Arlington cemetery, then, weirdly enough, right to the edge of National Airport, where a plane takes off overhead every few minutes. Then across the bridge to the Jefferson Memorial, etc..

As a Canadian, I do understand the significance of all these landmarks... But still, i'm not from here, so I don't really connect emotionally. Then again, locals use the mall to play soccer, frisbee or touch football. I guess these landmarks just fade into the scenery...

19K in 1:41

Friday, May 11, 2007

Frosty? I wish

Originally uploaded by yumkerun.
Well, it happened. During a run, I suddenly wished it was minus 10 and snowy.

Of course, deciding to put on dark top and shorts, the shades and going out for a run in a muggy 28 degrees at 1 p.m. wasn't a good idea as well.

In DC, there are other similarly crazy runners and there we were, among the crowds on the Mall. The hundreds of tourists were taking it easy, and a lot of those groups of students were eating ice cream, chomping on popsicles, drinking soda and generally moving slowly, the type of movement that is necessary when it's hot.

So when I came back after 42 minutes of running, about 7.5K, I was dying for a drink and was dripping with sweat. Oh well, this will be my running life in DC.

Frost Gatorade is yummy despite what it looks like in the glass.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Run with the military...

Well, I'm in. The registration for the Marine Corps. Marathon on Oct. 28 in Washington, DC, opened today and I just registered.

When asked what time I expected, I put a time down. Better than last year's 3:35, but I won't say -- yet -- what time I'm aiming for. My race season is pretty much set.
  • June: A 5 miler on the first day of the summer. Or is the last day of spring? All I know is that it's on the longest day of the year
  • July: A 10 miler (the inaugural race of its kind in Toronto-proper) a day after a friend's wedding reception
  • August: Maybe the 30K nighttime run, but who wants to trip on pebbles and potholes?
  • September: The Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon, just because I love the race and the start/finish line is a 10 minute walk from my house
  • October 7: Army 10 Miler, to get used to racing in DC
  • October 28: MCM.
Now, time to look at the calendar and pick the 18-week training program, which will be preceeded by stepping up my running to 30 or 40 mile weeks in the next two months. (And
now I switch to miles from kilometres).

Now the fun begins... and the pain.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Race report: Sporting Life 10K

Originally uploaded by yumkerun.
Well, having had done this for the third straight year, I now have a bit of history. In truth, going into today's race, I was a little lacking in excitement. I've been a little disappointed in my spring training period and I know it's been difficult to get my fitness back.

That said, I still did my usual pre-race mini taper, ate my pasta dinner as custom dictates (and Frank did as well), and was in bed early.

As we cabbed it up to the starting line, I was really not in the racing mode. I didn't have the jitters, nor did I really have much in the way of expectations. I knew that I was capable of sub 44 minute even on an okay day. I remembered last year's race report in which i noted that I faded in the last three kilometres.

So as the race started and some 8,000 runners (the biggest field, I believe, in the race's 10 years), I barely sprinted out the gates. I hit the sidewalk as all the slower runners were clogging the street, but then finally hit some sort of stride within 800 metres. There were a tonne of runners ahead of me.

The first kilometre hit in about 4:04, which meant I had gone out slower than last year, but faster than my pace goal of 4:18ish. But I knew that this downhill course had a few good hills in the first half and the smart runner should take advantage of it.

Experience helps, I guess, and I anticipated the downhill portions, and paced myself through the uphills. I was passing runners steadily for the first 6K. I hit the 5K mark at 20:48, slower than last year, but feeling much stronger.

I want to write about the last three kilometres, because I'm proud of them. Instead of letting the pain get to me, I pictured the last three kilometres of my waterfront run. I pictured myself powering through each 100 metres, seeing myself pour it on. I didn't pay attention to other runners, or to my breathing, but just looked up at the sky and just pretended I was doing a stong last two miles to a long run.

Kilometre 8 was done in 4:04, which for me in a flat section of the course is fantastic. The next was done in 4:20 and the next slightly slower. I passed the finish line feeling so much stronger than last year, and with a better finish.

I have this belief about my running. I was lighter two years ago when I set my PR, but now I'm a stronger runner, both in experience and up there in my head... I don't get as excited and I think the calming keeps me in check... Oh well, these days, the 10K is not my real show... there's a distance that puts me in so much more fear...

1K: 4:04
2K: 4:04
3K: 4:16
4K: 4:03
5K: 4:21
6K: 4:08
7K: 4:36
8K: 4:03
9K: 4:19
10: 4:43

Final (chip) time: 42:39
Place overall: 517/8003 (93.5 percentile)
Place in men: 427/3662 (88.3 percentile!)
Place in age group 85/637 (86.6 percentile)

That was fun

Happy with my 10K race time, which at 42:39 is 13 seconds faster than last year. And I didn't fade the last 2K. Bacon time now and more details later.

Friday, May 04, 2007


Yet another sign I'm making DC my fall marathon. I just signed up myself and R. for the Army 10 Miler on October 7, the day before Canadian turkey day. The registration has been going quick and I decided to do it now before the last 3,925 spots evaporate.

The course is interesting.. Beginning and starting near the Pentagon, which is about 5 Metro stops away from R.'s place in Penn Quarter. The run also spends a good chunk in the Mall, which I've become quite at home with.. Target time is 1:10.

This pretty much firms up my racing schedule this year. I think I'm going to sign up for a half marathon the week before the 10 miler, so one of those races will be an A-race, while the other one training...

Now I only have to talk Jelly into running the MCM.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Need for speed

Lately, I've been pushing the pace just a bit more so I can prepare for the real race feeling. The weather has a lot to do with it and it also feels good to run fast. Speaking of which, R. ran a race in DC and did a 5K in an amazing 26 minutes and change. That's fast! I've always told her she could be a speedy one.

I did a 7K run on a mostly flat trail after work. Here are the splits

1K: 4:35 (yeah! running is fun! I wish all my (runs started like this)
2K: 4:31 (cruising)
3K 4:30 (pushing it)
4K: 5:11 (cool down at turnaround)
5K: 4:55 (um, still, er, cooling down)
6K 4:30 (back on for a kilometre)
Last 800 metres: 4:45/K pace (easing up a bit)

Anyways a 5K in 23:44 in non-race conditions makes me pretty happy.