Sunday, November 30, 2008


I've taken a break from blogging -- reading, writing, that is -- in the last while as I recharge. It's been a very long slog recently, it's been a busy fall with running (two marathons), personal stuff and work has been far busier than usual, with two big elections and lots of projects on the go.

November was a month to take things back for myself. I've let running become a big time sucker in the first 10 months of the year -- i've run an average of 200 miles a month or 50 miles a week. All that time takes a toll on the body and mind even while it builds the body up.

The runner in me has never ceased. In the past three weeks, I've been able to hammer out 30 mile weeks, a mere pittance, I do agree, compared with when I would be able to pound that 30 in a few days, but it's winter and I'm testing out this season. Truth is, I've taken a little more time in the last to recover a little and to reconnect with some old friends.

Co-workers have said to me now that my marathon training is over that 'it's time to drink' and in a sense, it's kinda true. I went out for drinks on Monday and stayed right up past midnight at the bar, even though I'm usually up at 6 a.m. and in the office at 8. This Friday, I got a last minute call from a friend who wanted to grab a late dinner. Months ago, I might have foregone the chance in order to rest up for the weekend's 20 miler. Instead, I went out with no worries about a run 'to get in.'

Even in the next week, I have four nights with plans in the evening. I now have to organize my runs around them, running the mornings to get in the miles.

Funny how we get in the miles. I went out for a movie with a friend last night and we were watching Burn after Reading (awesome nonsensical movie) in which George Clooney plays a character who obsesses about 'getting a run in' (five miles). After sex he'd pat his stomach and say, 'maybe I can fit in a run' or if he had a bad day, he attributes it to lack of exercise. All the more funny, for me, is that they shoot that movie in DC where I've done many a five miler., especially around the Mall where Clooney's character meets his 'girlfriends' and behind the Lincoln Memorial where he starts his 5 miles through to Georgetown. Clooney's character is a little -- what's the word -- ah, obsessive about his exercise, and I guess I really do relate.

Back to today. I set myself with a goal of at least 30 miles a week and this morning, I had only done about 18, so I knew I'd shoot for a half mary distance. The wind was cruel, almost biting, but definitely painful with gusts hitting 50 km an hour. I ran for almost 5 miles before encountering other runners at the Beaches. I was running into the headwind, they were going the other way. At the 6.5 mile mark, I turned around, and the beast of that wind tunnel was now wind at my back. It was cloudy, ugly looking day but for that hour and fifty minutes, I had recaptured the reason why I'm a distance runner. A 6 miler or less, sure, I'll get some benefits, but it's those hour plus jaunts that get your body going.

In my early days of distance running, I dreaded going past 10 miles. Now, sometimes, nothing less will give me the feeling of joy of pushing my body, being one with the roads and nature. Today, for the first time in a little while, I reconnected again.

Tuesday: 6.2 miles
Wednesday: 4.33 miles
Thursday: 4.32 miles
Saturday: 3.36 miles
Sunday: 13.1 miles

Weekly total: 31 miles
Last week's miles: 30 miles
Year to date: 2149 miles (3460K)

And since my blog has lacked pictures, here's one I took yesterday at Eaton Centre... Xmas time is around the corner!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The medium, sorta long run

Been almost a month since I've done anything close to long, so it was nice to finally lace em up this morning. Got a new thermal skullcap and a brand new tights so took them out for a nice run -- sunny, cool and perfect for a long run. Not much to write about it, but I was able to keep up a pretty good pace with a few walk breaks.

Here's the route.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Run in the capital

Took a few too many days off so today in DC I fit in a 6.7 mile run, almost 11K. Love the route. It's pretty cool here. Hope to get 20 miles over the next two days if the weather holds.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Six days a week...

Today was supposed to be a 10 miler, yup, back to the double digits but that's not in the cards right now. No, not an injury, just a little tired and didn't really feel like pounding out the miles. I have run six days this week though. It's so different when there's no Plan to follow, no sense of urgency.

Monday: 5 miles
Tuesday: 4 miles
Wednesday: 4 miles
Thursday: off
Friday: 5 miles
Saturday: 4 miles
Sunday: 3 miles

Weekly mileage: 25 miles
Year to date 2088 miles

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


It's been a slow ramp up after MCM some 16 days ago. I took five days off running then ran 3 miles. Last week, I got up to 30 miles but none of them felt that great. I was also tired, battling back a cold and my 8 miler on Sunday didn't feel that great.

It's funny, cause last week I was mystified that I had somehow lost so much fitness that I couldn't even run for an hour?

Tonight was a good reminder of why I love to run. I went out there for 3 miles but it stretched to five. I went out there at an easy pace but after the 3rd mile, I rolled up the sleeves of my fleece layer. I stepped up the pace. Felt great. Fantastic actually. Did mile four in 7:35 and was ecstatic by how I felt. I ran the last mile faster but it was that fourth mile that was the revelation -- I'm back into it now.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Walk and run

I slept until 11:30 today and slept 10 hours yesterday. I guess I'm pretty exhausted. R told me she ran 8 miles this morning which motivated me to get out there. It's now chilly so the late fall gear is out.

The run was pretty hard - I started taking walk breaks every once in a while. My heart rate is okay but still higher than 155 bpm for a steady pace. I gotta slow down the next while. In all, 8 miles in 1:13. In training I can knock out a strong 8 in under an hour so clearly I need to rest up while not losing too much fitness.

Bright side: I ran 6 days this week, mostly nice low mileage.

Monday: 6 miles
Tuesday: 5 miles
Wednesday 3 miles
Thursday: rest
Friday: 5 miles
Saturday: 3 miles
Sunday: 8 miles

Weekly total: 30 miles
Year to date: 2063 miles

Saturday, November 08, 2008

The blahs of maintenance mode...

The cons of spending the first 10 months of this year training for three marathons is this. I've gone from 'run run run,' to 'hey, maybe I should run some time'. And that's leaving me feeling a little flat.

Okay, that's a little extreme. I haven't stopped running but they're getting shorter. Six miles on Monday, 5 miles on Tuesday, 3 miles on Wednesday, a day off Thursday and 5 miles yesterday. Now I'm debating on what I'm doing today. Am I ready for a 10 miler or will I save a medium distance run for tomorrow?

A few updates
-Working on my race schedule for next year. It will have at least two marathons and may follow the same time frame as last year.
-Will start to do homework on training programs. Have used the same one the last four marathons and I think it's good -- but perhaps it's time to start tweaking to fix some weaker areas of my running.
-I've enforced better eating habits on myself. Eating on a 25 to 30 mile a week vs. 55 to 70 miles means a whole lot of calorie deficit, more than 3000! Not being careful means weight creeping up over time. So in addition to getting into maintenance mode is to modify things.
-Gonna give my legs a few more weeks before I attempt tempo or speedwork

That's it for now. Writing about running has got me motivated to actually run. I think i'll head out the door and head... that way.

Monday, November 03, 2008

The city route, revisited

I haven't run much in the city since last winter. Why hit traffic lights when you can have an unobstructed route by the water. But with the clocks turning back, it was dark by the time I got home before 6 p.m. Trails, they aren't very well lit these days. Funnily enough, it'll be snow on the ground that'll make running on the waterfront doable at night -- you can see much better with lots of white stuff to catch a lot of light.

So off I went on a city route -- 10K in total. Hit lots of stop lights. Got a slight incline for 4K. And, of course, got back into the dodging the pedestrian game. Luckily, I bought this blinking light band that i put on my arm so I'm much more visible. It's pretty good and light.

10K in 48:29. Felt like I was running faster than that.

So I signed up for the year-end 5K race. It's the Sunday after Christmas. Also paid for my first race of 2009 -- the Around the Bay on March 29 in Hamilton. Not sure if i'll spend as much money next year as I did this year on races and travelling.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Running again

Tore off the D-tag, put on my gear and went out for a good old run. 3.23 miles in 27 minutes. Feels good to be on the road again.