Friday, February 29, 2008

Misery (winter), want company? (me)

Freaking winter never ends. Took me almost two hours to get home but that didn't deter me from doing my mileage. Snow, not a lot of it, fell but it's the soft almost slush (but not quite).

Anyways, put on the Yak-Trax and ran my 8 miles through the city. Running in snow is definitely a different type of running. A nice cushioney feel, but it also takes more effort.

And just like that, I've put in 19 miles in two days. Back on track to do 40+ for the week. Now I'm in search of dinner.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

A big catchup

Okay, it's been a very busy week and I haven't had time to read or to post. First, catching up on last week's mileage which I did in three cities.

Monday: 8 mile with 4 at LT (in DC)
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: 11 miles (in Toronto)
Thursday: 15 miles (in Toronto)
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Rest (but a full day of walking in New York!)
Sunday: 6+ miles in Central Park, just a bit more than a full loop

Weekly mileage: 40 miles (65K)
Year to date: 287 miles (462K)

We did a 2.5 miler on Monday in Central Park before we left. I didn't run Tuesday as I and two co-workers drove up to Ottawa for the federal budget (our flight was cancelled) at 4 a.m. Then we covered the budget and stayed overnight there. We returned yesterday and I was so exhausted that I couldn't go out for a run.

So today, Thursday, I had only put in 2 plus miles. I really want to get good mileage in over the next four days. The plan to get me over 40 miles for the week
Thursday: 11 miles
Friday: 8 miles
Saturday: 6 miles (4 if i'm out of it)
Sunday: 16 miles

It was minus 10C and colder with windchill when I started my 11 miler after work. I used up one handwarmer and it really helped. So I pounded out the run in a bit over 1:30. Three more days of running!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Six miles in Central Park

Second day in NY. Lots of walking but also on this bright sunny morning we did more than 10K in Central Park. Tonnes of runners. Off to do more shopping

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Thursday and the long run is done!

Okay, I'm exhausted, burned out and ready for bed.

I had a 15 miler planned for Sunday but since I'll be in New York, I figured I should fit it in today or there would be the possibility that I wouldn't be able to fit it in at all.

It had to be a night run so I was zoned out by the time I got home from work at 6:15 p.m. But I was out there by 6:30.

It had warmed slightly compared with yesterday and I started on the waterfront trail, but there was a lot of ice, so I switched to a city run.

It was a nice strong run. 15 miles or 24.15K done in two hours. I've never done my weekend run in the middle of the week so this was a new experience. All I have left is a 5 mile recovery run on the weekend.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The very very early morning run...

Confession. I charged up the iPod Shuffle and loaded tunes into it last night, knowing I'd be hitting the roads in -10C weather at 5 a.m. Freaking ouch. The early morning run is necessary because I leave home for work at 6:30 a.m. so to get in a 11 miler, I'd need at least 1:30 to do so.

The tunes were to help take a little bit of the bite off the run. I don't usually run with music, but the plan was to run 1K loops so it'd be boring and I'd be tired, so best to take my mind off it. It worked out surprisingly well. It was so early that I encountered very little traffic and
one other runner (we waved). As it turns out, I did 6 loops before I totally got bored and so I ventured out into the city to complete the run.

Midway through the run, I remembered why I love to run in the city in the early morning. I live a kilometre from the city's downtown core, and it's so cool to have the streets all to yourself.

The run itself was great. I was going to target my long run pace but I settled in for a faster pace (the quicker, the more heat I generate and the faster I finish the run.).

So I ended up with 11.01 miles done in 1:30:03 for a 8:10 mile pace or a 5:05K pace. Splits below

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Harsh reality (winter) and some planning

Okay, okay, I'm back in Toronto. It's -7C with a low of -13C. I thought about doing my 11 miler tonight but I think my body is letting me know it wants a day off. I ran four days in a row, including an LT run, a 15 + miler and a 10 miler thrown in for measure. Yes, I recall that part of what makes you stronger is the rest days, when those microtears in your muscles start repairing themselves. If I continually run without breaks, well, I risk injury and that's good for no one.

I'm quickly remembering what it really meant to be in marathon training. It means that damned the weather or the time of day, you had to be true to the training, cause if you don't it'll hurt ya back.

So to get in my 11 miler tomorrow morning, I'm not planning any long out-and-back routes. I've plotted out two different one kilometre routes in my neighbourhood, both are within 500 metres of my condo. The first has two big hills for each circuit (with two downhills) seen here. The second is a big old square around the harbourfront building and one roundabout is almost exactly 1 kilometre.

My reasoning is this. I don't know the conditions of the waterfront trail. Plus, it's dark. Also, I might as well start throwing in some hill training in my routine since the Around the Bay and the Flying Pig Marathon both have hilly profiles. Also, doing one kilometre loops is easier on the head (I think).

So the plan: go to bed early and get up for a (shudder) 5 a.m. run.

Monday, February 18, 2008

A spring-like day, seems like a good day for pain

My lord you can't argue with 21C weather in DC. The weather has been all over the place, from 0C to now.

I went out this morning with my revised schedule -- today was supposed to be a rest day, but with a day off for Family Day/President's Day, I put in my 8 mile run with 4 miles at lactate threshold pace. Other than the first warm day I've encountered since early October, I had to contend with a windy day, which made my loops of the Mall a little challenging.

I set out with one mile of warm up, then launched into the tempo run. Now, my last half marathon in September, in which I set my personal best, gave me a pace of 4:22 minute kilometres or about 7 minute miles. The splits shows I started at the right pace but with the combination of a first LT effort in months and the wind saw me up the pace over the last three miles.

Mile 1: 7:01 (4:21K pace)
Mile 2: 6:52 (4:16K pace)
Mile 3: 6:54 (4:17K pace)
Mile 4: 6:44 (4:11K pace)

I know it should be a pace I can sustain for a full 13 but it felt tough near the end. I really gutted it out. I guess looking back at the splits, I was going a lot faster than the 7 minute pace for the last mile.

A few things: Time to start hydrating. Also, I could see how a better running posture, which I'm trying to work on, has helped my running, especially into the wind.

Here are the splits and a map.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Flying Pig Marathon: 11 weeks to go

Did my long run today, a 15.5 mile (25K run) through DC and Rock Creek Park. I did the first 21K in 1:42:28 (4:52 k/pace or 7:51 miles) followed by the last 4K in 18:57 (4:43 k/pace or 7:34 miles).

I was going to follow the 13 miler in the program but I thought that I had done plenty of 13 milers in the past two months and unlike my friends back home in Ontario, I had great weather (zero C, little wind) so I should take advantage of it. While this run was not a marathon pace run, I wanted to try out a faster than usual long run pace.

That finishes off week 1 of the program. I think I ran most run at a proper pace, maybe the 10+ miler on Saturday was a bit faster than I should have.

Weekly mileage: 40 miles (65K)
Year to date: 247 miles (397.5K)

So I ended up 5 miles over the plan, which is fine, cause I feel like I already have the base and I've hit more than 40 a few times since January.

The plan for the next week
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 8 miles with 4 at LT
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 11 miles
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 5 miles recovery
Sunday: 15 miles

I have a few tweaks to make, mostly because next weekend, R and I are going to New York City. While I can be brave and say i'll do 15 miles in Central Park next Sunday, i'm a realist. Here's the revised plan

Monday: 8 miles with 4 at LT
Tuesday: Rest or 5 miler
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 15 miles
Friday: 11 miles
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: 5 mile recovery in Central Park

It's ambitious planning a 2 hour run and a 1.5 hour run on consecutive evenings, but I think I can deal with the recovery. I have to figure out a proper route for the 15 miler.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Almost nine in DC

I'm enjoying breaking in my new shoes, out for the second run. Today, dressed out a little warmer than i should of. It's bright, sunny and 6C with light wind. I took it mostly easy for a 9K or 5+ miler, what I'll call the monumental run: Down Penn Ave to Capitol Hill, up to the base of the National Monument, around to Jefferson Memorial and Roosevelt Memorial, then up to Lincoln Memorial and pass the Korean War Memorial, then one time up the Monument and back (and if you look the the left, the White House.).

Lots of tourists out. I'm getting asked for directions a lot and funny thing is, I actually know where the closest Metro stop is, or where the Arlington cemetery is.

Today, sending good vibes and good luck over to Ryan, who's gunning for his second Boston qualifier in Dublin, Ohio on Sunday. Ryan trained so hard last year and was set to do amazing but the Chicago Hell-athon hit him and thousands of others. Even so he had a spectacular performance. I'm sure he'll show how strong he is tomorrow. Dublin, of course, is where the corporate headquarters for Wendy's and our beloved Tim Hortons. And

Friday, February 15, 2008

Three rest days!

I'm pretty sure this won't happen much in the next three months. I took off Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday so with Monday's 8 miler, I had pretty paltry mileage so far. Luckily, I had only two runs scheduled during the work week.

Today, having escaped winter for a few days in DC, we had weather has high as 13C so I went out for my 9 miles I was supposed to do yesterday. I wore a technical T-shirt and long tights and was very warm. Ran it at a good pace until mile 8, when I bumped into R, who was doing a 5 miler. We ran for a bit and I went back to her place, doing just over 17K or more than 10 miles.

Tomorrow, a recovery 5 miler followed by 13 on Sunday.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Things you learn while on a run

1. You probably should not want to run two hours after having a big dinner, especially if it's a Chicken Roti
2. Also bad idea when you follow that big dinner with acid, like in the form of an orange
3. Gravity is nice.
4. But when you run on ice, you're more likely to figure out what gravity really is.
5. In the second it takes to fall, you only have enough time to say 'woah'.
6. Thank god for layered clothing. They act as a nice padding in case of said fall.
7. Why run on an icy trail when you have a convenient 1K square loop nearby that's always cleared that you can run around four or fives time with no slippage.
8. Eight miles done at 9:45 p.m. in -13C (-20C with windchill) is probably stupid, but it's also smarter than doing 8 miles the next morning when it's -19C.
9. Strides are hard, but when you are having a belly ache, it's a nice way to forget that fact.
10. It's funny how a marathoner suddenly becomes insane when they have a schedule that they must follow.

8.08 miles in 1:03:13 with average pace of 7:49 miles.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Flying Pig Marathon: 12 weeks to go

Completed my step-back week today with a 5 mile run in very cold weather. Decided not to go all out -- I think I could have run the 10 miles if I commited to it, but are far more battles to be fought over the next 12 weeks.

Looking over the year so far, I've put in good base mileage over the past six weeks. Here's a mileage recap
Week 1: 24 miles
Week 2: 46 miles
Week 3: 34 miles
Week 4: 37 miles
Week 5: 42 miles
Week 6: 25 miles

That's an average of about 35 miles a week, which is what I set out to do in my base training. I have four runs scheduled this week: An 8 miler with strides, a 9 miler mid-week run, a 5 mile recovery on Saturday and a 13 miler on Sunday.

The following week has my first lactate threshold run 8 miles with 4 at pace.

Here goes nothing.

Weekly mileage: 25 miles (40K)
Year to date mileage: 207 miles (333K)

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Mileage: 6, 6, 6

Okay, so marathon training begins in full on Monday so I decided to use this week as a step-back week. It was a busy one anyways, with Chinese New Year smack dab in the middle (and all the feasting associated with it).

So I ran 6 miles on Tuesday morning before heading to work for a long day covering Super Tuesday. Didn't run Wednesday cause of Chinese New Year, and it was snowing very hard and I had like 3 hours sleep from Tuesday.

Came home Thursday and could have run, but didn't. A rare day to just sit on the couch.

So yesterday, with only 6 miles in the books, I did another 6 plus miles in the city, spending a lot of it in snowcovered sidewalks or on the road. It felt good and fast.

Today was a different story. It's hovering above zero and it snowed earlier this morning, which turned the roads and sidewalk into a big slushy running ground. My feet were soaked in the first kilometre and I just took it in. If my feet were dry I would have done 10 miles so I settled for 6. I've just stuffed newspapers into the shoes to draw out the water.

So that's 18 for now. I hope to bring it up to 30 with a 12 miler tomorrow, but I won't be disappointed if I end up with 10 (or, gasp, even another 6). Monday, the work begins.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

A snowy route, and I love it

Most of my waterfront route was covered in snow this weekend and I really enjoyed running it. Luckily, enough other runners had ventured out so all of us managed to trample down the snow so that there was just enough of a path.

I ran 5 miles yesterday afternoon in 47:45.

Today, I was going to do 10 miles, but I was enjoying the run. I almost felt I was out there on a ski trail. So I streched it out into a full 13 miles, done in 2:01:15, not the fastest 13 miler I've done but it was a lot of work given the snow and the pair of YakTrax I was wearing.

Weekly mileage: 42 miles (67.5K)
Year to date: 182 miles (293K)

Marathon training in full starts in one week, so I may take this as an easier week before I launch into the 12 week program.

Friday, February 01, 2008

An unscheduled run...

IMG00094, originally uploaded by yumkerun.

Well, that was interesting. The snowstorm did hit and as I reached the final part of my commute to work, our bus was stalled going up a massive hill.

The bus driver kicked us out and told us to walk up the hill and he'd send another bus. There were four other buses stuck. We waited as the snow continued to fall. A bus made it up, but it was the wrong route. Another one came up a few minutes later, the right one, but the freaking driver ignored 30 of us standing at the bus stop.

So after another few minutes, I decided to start walking to work in 6 cm deep snow. After a few hundred metres, I decided to jog. After a few hundred metres, I settled into a run!

Now here's the complication.

I was wearing jeans
And boots
And a sweater, zip full and a full winter coat
And a touque
And gloves.
Oh yeah, and a backpack with books and my MacBook.

So yeah, the run was a little hard. It was hilly, I couldn't find the sidewalk half the time cause no one had made tracks. 20 minutes later, three buses go zooming past me, so I could have just waited for a bus.

But then again, I couldn't have got in a 5K (3 mile) run in (with plenty of walk breaks to cool down).

Hitting the Wall

Saw a blog post that looks at the final four minutes of an elite runner's first marathon. Basically, a women's half-marathon champion enters her first, goes out way too fast (a 3:20 minute km, and hits the wall big time.

Her strength is amazing in the final bit, when she's going at a 7:20 minute km pace. She falls, I think, three times in the video. It was very emotional watching it if you've ever hit the wall in the marathon.

Also reminded me of an article I read in the Running Times this month, about how running is a massive sport in Japan. Worth reading if you can pick up a copy.