on Sunday, July 30, 2006 at 2:33 PM

I have always been inspired by the movie Hoosiers. On a spur of the moment thing, my dad took me to see this when I was a kid and I remember thinking that I could do anything after the movie was over. I asked my dad about it a few months ago and he doesn't even remeber seeing it which I thought was strange since it had such a profound effect on me. The story is about a small-town highschool basketball team in Indiana that goes on to win the state championship. I watch it every now and then when the going gets tough. Anyways I think I've found a new source of inspiration.

You may need a tissue and it won't be because you're reading erotic running poetry.

Never say you can't.

Week 6 Down! 12 to Go!

Finished my work project for this week for the most part. Put in some long days though. Sorry for the mass update, but I didn't have much time other than to check out Haiku Thursday. Summary of this week. As usually rest/cross training days were rest days.

Tuesday: Did 8 miles with 6 strides in the morning. I only realized after that I was actually supposed to do 8 strides. Oh well.

Wedneday: Recovery Run in the morning. 5 miles.

Thursday: I couldn't force myself out of bed in the morning. The late nights had caught up to me, plus I had a dentist apointment in the morning. By the way, my dentist finally convinced me that I should get my wisdom teeth pulled as there's a cavity starting to form on one of them. Crap. Anyways, I ended up running in the evening after the sun went down. I decided to run this by feel with no watch nor HR monitor since it was too dark to see my watch anyways and I don't like wasting the battery by pushing the light button. It felt pretty good and I was going at a pretty good clip. I only ran for an hour or so and figure I did between 6 and 7 miles. There's a big difference between running in the morning and in the evening. It seems much easier in the evening.

Also I local running store was having a sale, so I checked it out and bought a new pair of shoes. I was looking for a stability shoe that was about the same price and weight as the Brooks Adrenaline 6, but that wasn't the Adrenaline. I wanted to experiment with another shoe that might be able to give me a bit more wear. I ended up buying the the saucony omni grid 5. Never tried them before, but they felt pretty good. I serious looked at the Asics GT-2110, but there were a bit on the heavy and expensive side. With all this training, I figure I'm giong to be going through a couple of pairs a year and went to spend as least as possible. Another good thing is that this store is finally selling the Polar strap for my HR monitor! Only problem was they had only the small size whereas my strap is medium. I wasn't sure if the small would fit me so I went home and measured my chest (Do women do this?) and I think I just might be able to fit into the small. Will have to go back this week and buy it. Also picked up some Gu's that were on sale. Buy 12 and get 6 free. 18 Gu's for $20. Just have to get used to the taste now.

Saturday: 4 mile recovery run. Tried out my new shoes for the first time. No complaints. Will probably do only recovery runs in them until my other pair wears out. Between the two pairs, I hope that it'll last me till the taper, where I'll probably decide to either get a new pair of saucony's or go back to the adrenalines (which are ligher) in prep for the marathon.

Sunday: Long run of 12 miles. It's weird. When I do a general aerobic run, I can get my pace down to 8:30 min/mile at the same HR as my long run, but when I do a long run, I run slower. It's most likely due to the temperature since I do my general aerobic runs starting at 6:30am whereas my long run today started at 8:30am. It could also be a mental thing where my mind thinks I should be running slower. It'll be interesting to see once it gets cooler what my paces will be for these long runs.

Total for the week: About 35-36 miles.

Recovery Week is Here!

on Sunday, July 23, 2006 at 6:12 PM

I've been a tad negligent in posting my runs. I see everyone else posting deep thought provoking comments on their blogs and think that I should be doing the same. Unfortunately I haven't been able to brainstorm any thing that might stimulate your brain cells since I've been busy with work. I've got a deadline of July 31, but the project has to be done by this Friday so it's been tough. However I did manage to get all my runs in this week, though it meant getting up really early and getting only 4 -5 hours of sleep a night.

Thursday: Did 10 miles in line with Pfitz. I had decided I was going to run this by heart rate and try to keep it under 160 which is the upper limit for my long run HR according to Pfitz. Here are the splits.

Lap min/mile Avg
1 9:02 148
2 8:42 154
3 8:38 157
4 8:11 159
5 8:13 160
6 8:26 161
7 8:21 160
8 8:26 160
9 8:30 159
10 8:34 159

Since the average seems to be close to 8:30 min/mile, I started thinking that I could maybe increase my long run pace which is now between 8:48 and 9:36 which Pfitz has me doing for a 3:30 marathon. This would mean that I might be able to have a more ambitious goal for Chicago.

Friday: Rest. These are supposed to be either rest OR cross-training days. To date, I haven't cross-trained at all. I think I should start doing some weights or something.

Saturday:Did 5 mile recovery run. Very slow pace. Probably slower than 10 min/miles. Went to try and buy some vanilla power gels for my long run on Sunday but they were out. I ended up buying some Vanilla bean Gu's.

Sunday: 17 miles scheduled. I decided to drive downtown and run by the lake today. It was really cool, yet sunny today.

As usual, I had some equipment problems. My HR monitor spiked about half way through the run. I really have to change the strap. Also I had some shoe problems today as well. About 2 and a half miles in, I noticed that my pace was dropping. Didn't know why but figured that it was just a temporary thing. I then sudenly felt something wacking my left shoe. I looked down to see my Polar foot pod measuring device flopping around. I stopped to investigate and noticed that my shoe lace broke! The foot pod kinda clamps into and pinches the laces. I guess, if it's done enough times, the laces begin to wear thin.

So I'm all the way downtown, have no way of getting a new (or even used) pair of shoelaces and I'm 2.5 miles into what is supposed to be a 17 mile run. What is a guy supposed to do? I wasn't going to quit the run and so I moved the pod to my right foot and using my knot tying skills that I learned as a boy scout, improvised a quick fix for the shoe lace. It don't look pretty but hey it got me through the run. I jogged about half a mile unmonitored just to make sure that everything was working and then proceeded with the rest of the run. This was the first time that I tried running with the pod on my right foot and unfortunately it had to be 15 miles. I don't think my right foot liked it, since I'm now the proud owner of a blue (and soon to be black) toenail on my right foot. Oh well. Marathoners badge of honour, I suppose.

Also it seems that my heart rate was a bit on the high side, higher than what my long pace HR should be. It could be the lack of sleep or it could be overtraining. I topped out at a little over 46 miles this week and my body might be rebelling a bit.

Also I didn't like the taste of vanilla bean gu's. They taste kinda plastic-ee. Maybe it's a bit of an acquired taste. Vanillla power gels taste like pudding. Hmmm. I do like to Gu package though. Much easier to get all the stuff out of the packet then a power gel packet. Anyone have any recommendations for good Gu flavours?

First recovery week is here! I'm looking forward to it! Hope everyone's training it going super!!

Coronary Burger

on Wednesday, July 19, 2006 at 8:10 PM

Someone recommended a Burker King quad burger to me today. It's basically 4 beef patties, cheese, bacon, sauce and bread. No onions, tomatoes or any vegetables of any sort. So on my way home, I picked one up spending $7.40 for just the burger, no combo. Yikes. It's smaller than I thought it would be. It looks huge on television and the promotional ads, but it's probably the same size, if not a bit smaller than a Big Mac. Chowed it down and though it's a good burger, it ain't worth the price. Plus there's the problem of all that fat. 1000 calories with 620 of them coming from fat. I suppose this was my one indulgence for the week. I gotta eat healthy for the rest of the week to make up for it. Maybe it's my mind playing tricks on me, but I swear that I can feel my arteries starting to clog up.

Recovery Run

Did 5 mile recovery this morning @ about 9:50min/mile pace. Nice cool breezy morning.

Too hot

on Tuesday, July 18, 2006 at 8:43 PM

I always used to run in the evening. That is until summer of last year when it would still be too hot outside after the sun went down to run. Last night reminded me why I force myself to get up in the morning to run. 10 pm and it was still 29C outside.

9 miles with 4 @ LT pace scheduled. Did my shopping mall mile route. Good thing too, cause Polar was way off in terms of pace.

Lap Lap Time Avg Dist min/mile
4 07:21.9 169 0.91 8:05
5 07:30.9 174 0.89 8:26
6 07:30.8 176 0.886 8:29
7 07:23.9 178 0.888 8:19

Lap times are mile splits whereas Polar thinks I was about .1 miles short each time so it reported a much slower pace. At least it was consistently wrong. Weird cause it seemed to be right on the money for the 2 mile warm up. HR was in the right zone. I'm hoping that over the next two months that my pace will improve at the same HR I'm doing now.

I also have the start of a nice fluid filled blister on one of my right toes. However, I won't disgust you with the details (or pictures).

15 miles, I think

on Sunday, July 16, 2006 at 12:29 PM

After having a hard time yesterday trying to keep my HR down, I wanted to get out early this morning with an expected high of 35C. Didn't get out as early as I'd wanted but did start at around 7:15 with a relatively cool 21C temperature. Unfortunately had major technology problems today with the polar equipment.

Heart rate spiked during the first mile. I had the same problem last week and am starting to think that maybe the wearlink strap might need replacing. I've been using it for 2 years, so it's about that time, but haven't been able to find anywhere that sells just the strap. US online stores won't ship Polar equipment to Canada and Canadian mail order is ridculously expensive for the strap.

Also had problems with the foot pod as firstly the calibration was way off for the first 3 miles. I ended up recalibrating it at a track based on 4 laps, so the paces after that are relatively accurate, that is only when the foot pod wasn't crapping out and disconnecting. It was my fault of course. I had shoved a cheap dollar store battery in there last week since I didn't have any alkalines and I contemplated changing it this morning but figured I should be able to get at least one week out of the battery. I guess not. The thing really got crappy towards the end and I stopped to try and shake the battery to maybe squeeze a bit more out of the cheap chemicals in it, but it only made it worst. So, I ended up turning off the pace monitoring since the numbers were going to be useless.

Including the 4 lap calibration run (not recorded), I'm pretty sure I did at least 15 miles, but don't know exactly how much. Even though the temperature was on the warm side, there was a bit of a breeze that helped cool things off. I felt good after the run. Hopefully this means my body is adapting to the warm weather.

Week 4 of Pfitz 18/55 Complete. About 43 miles.

Pace vs. Heart Rate

on Saturday, July 15, 2006 at 10:50 PM

Went for a 4 mile recovery run this morning when it was 25C outside. Tried to keep the HR below 150, but after the first mile I could barely get it down to 150. My pace was probably around 10:30 min/miles which got me thinking of whether I should be training based on HR or on pace.

Pfitz gives recommendations for pace and for HR, but often times these things don't always match. Last summer, I bonked several times on long runs and looking back at it now, i realize my HR was way too high. I've been trying to train using HR this year, but it seems that it would result in extremely different paces depending on the weather. Should I just run the recommended long run pace of 10-20% slower than marathon pace or should I use the HR recommendation. Maybe both where I do the first half of the run based on pace and the second half on HR.

I'm going to try and get out early tomorrow for my 15 mile long run. It's supposed to be hot tomorrow.

Tempo Tuesday- Try #2

on Tuesday, July 11, 2006 at 7:58 PM

Pftiz schedule has me doing 8 miles with strides today, but I wanted to take another crack at doing the tempo run that I bombed last week. Out the door at a little after 6am. Not trusting my Polar, I decided to do my tempo runs at a local shopping mall. Using Google Earth, I mapped out a 1 mile course around the exterior of the parking lot. I ran this way last year and found it worked great, especially when it was still dark in the morning cause the parking lot would be illuminated. My own personal lighted 1 mile track.

Suprisingly, the polar actually did quite well at measuring distance. My manually timed 1 mile split times for the tempo run were:

Lap Lap Time Avg Dist min/mile
4 07:15.4 169 0.998 7:16
5 07:26.1 179 1.007 7:23
6 07:34.5 181 1.022 7:24
7 07:31.8 182 1.007 7:28

The polar came quite close to measuring 1 mile each time and the calculated pace was only off by a max of 10s for one of the laps. My HR was a little on the high side and the pace was a tad fast, but I'm quite happy with the result.

Hot time, summer in the city!

on Sunday, July 9, 2006 at 12:27 PM

Took Friday and Saturday off to try and let my ankle recover. I can move it around with no pain, but if I rub the tendon, it hurts. I have to be extra careful when making sharp right turns while running so not to aggrevate it further.

14 miles scheduled for today. Weather forecast said high of 30C degrees today so in order to try and avoid the bonk of last week, I decided to get out early at 6:30am. Made sure to drink some gatorade before I left and also made sure that my water bottle was filled with it too.

My HR monitor was a bit screwy for the first mile. I had to stop to adjust it. Run felt pretty good. Much better than last week. I was feeling so good that I picked up the pace towards the end and did 1 mile at tempo pace. Total was 14.4 miles at an overall average of a little under 9min/miles.

There are a whole bunch of things taking place in the city today. The most significant being the Molson Grand Prix. There's also a street festival, Taste of Lawrence and if Italy wins the world Cup, they'll be a huge party in Little Italy. Of course, I have to go to work today, so I won't be able to see any of it. :(

I hope everyone's weekend was great!


on Thursday, July 6, 2006 at 8:57 PM

I'm pretty sure I have sprained my right ankle since it's quite tender. I can still walk around and put weight on it and even run with it, so the sprain is slight. Thakfully I have a rest day tomorrow and a recovery run Saturday (which I will probably skip). Gonna do the whole Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevate thing and hopefully I'll be okay for my long run on Sunday.

Anyhow this morning I decided to do my scheduled 10 mile run anyways. I rummaged through my closet trying to find my orthotics since I figured I could squeeze an extra couple of runs out of my non-supporting shoes, if I had my orthotics in there to provide suport and lo and behold, I find a pair of last year's model Adrenalines that I used over the winter for treadmilll training. They still looked in pretty good shape. I got em on sale and they are half a size too big, but since I didn't have any other usable shoes and hate running in my rock hard orthotics, I ended up running in the old Adrenalines. Polar says I ran 10.15 miles but I know that's definitely wrong. I ran the same route that I ran last week which was about 10.3 miles, but I took a short cut near the end since I was running late. I figure I ran about 9.6 miles at a 9min/mile pace. It's at a time like this when I envy all the garmin wearers since I have to recalibrate the polar thing everytime I switch shoes.

I had turned off the autolap so I don't have lap pace averages (they're wrong anyways). The lap times that are there are manual laps. I usually try to manually calibrate the foot pod by running a fixed distance at some point during the run and comparing what polar reports after. So the times for laps 3 and laps 5 are actually a 3 lap run (1200m) around track so I can get an idea of what the calibration should be. These laps were measured to be 1252 and 1276m respectively which is quite a bit more than what it should be.

What I find interesting is my HR was actually way down, more so then I was expecting and in fact was almost at recovery run HR. This was most likely do to it being very cool (about 14C) .

Anyhow going to go numb my ankle in ice now. Hope everyone has had a good week so far.

I need new shoes

on Wednesday, July 5, 2006 at 9:27 PM

Did a recovery run this morning of 4 miles. About 10min/mile. HR below 150. Pretty cool out.
My right ankle was sore before the run, but stopped aching as soon as I starting running. It's sore now. Hopefully it's not sprained. Usually when I feel a twinge, I know that the support in my shoes (Brooks Adrenalines) is gone and I need to go shopping. I figure I got about 300 miles out of this pair. I like the Adrenalines cause their relatively light and good for racing, but I don't like that I have to replace them so often. I've read people getting 500 miles on their shoes. I think I'll try a different model this time but will probably go back to the Adrenaline in the fall.

The art of the bonk (part 2)

on Tuesday, July 4, 2006 at 10:29 PM

Well I had originally thought that my recent bonk was primarily due to lack of carb intake, but now realize that it was more likely due to the the blood donation last week. I had originally thought that at worst, I had lost 10% of my red blood cells, which would mean a 10% reduction in pace, which I attempted to do thinking it would be fine. Not so, I was beat on my long runs and I was beat on my attempted tempo run today. I found a couple of articles and blogs that discuss the issue which I present here just for general information.

The last article talks about sub-maximal performance not being affected but maximal performance being affected which would be in line with my tempo run sucking today. It also discusses that maximal performance will return within 1 to 2 weeks and maybe as long as 3 to 4. Here's hoping that it's 1 to 2 weeks.

BTW, happy 4th of July to our neigbours down south!!

Tempo Tuesday

This morning was my first attempt at a tempo run for this training cycle, 8 miles total with 4 of them at tempo pace. Unfortunately I had done almost all my tempo runs in the winter on a treadmill and had pretty much been spoiled by not having to worry about pace. I figured I should try a tempo pace of around 7:38 min/mile which is what I trained at for my spring marathon in line with the Ultimate Marathon 8min/mile training plan.

I had forgotten how bad my polar distance monitor was at determining pace when I was running at paces different from what it had been calibrated at. It's pretty accurate right now running at 9 min/mile. Not so much so when trying to run 7:30. I was beat after my first mile even though polar said I was barely running at 8min/mile pace. I ended up stopping after each mile to take a short walk break. I also ended up running 4 laps around a local track to try and get a sense of how off it was. First lap done in 1:46, which is a 7:08 kile though polar thinks I only ran 370 m or a 7:42 mile. I slow down a bit for the second lap but still a bit fast at 1:51 which was a 7:25 min/mile when polar thinks I did at 7:57. Last two laps were pretty much on tempo pace at 1:53 and 1:54, but polar thinks I did these at slower than 8min/mile. I have to figure out a better way to pace myself. I really don't want to have to do my tempo runs around a track and have no wish to get on the dreadmill again.

I'm pretty disappointed with this run. I realize now that the blood donation last week is really affecting me more than I thought it would. Even though next Tuesday is supposed to be a general aerobic run with strides, I think I'll probably try to redo this tempo run.

The art of the bonk

on Sunday, July 2, 2006 at 12:16 PM

I finally decided to start following the Pfitz schedule for the long runs which required a 13 mile long run today. I ran a marathon in May and have ben doing longer long runs to keep up the endurance. I figured that todays run should be easy since I did a 16 mile long run last week. I didn't run with any gels, nor gatorade (only water) and didn't have any pre-run carb intake. I did it this way last week and thought that with three miles less I'd be fine. By the end, I was hurting.

Temperature was 25C degrees at the start and was probably closer to 30C by the time I finished. I had to stop several times, evidenced by the HR dips.

McMillian's says that one can train your body to increase the amount of fat utilisation by limiting carb intakes for some of your long runs. I suppose trying to do it every week is just not smart. It's a fine line between bonking and building fat utilisation. Oh well live and learn. A humbling experience in any event. I hope everyone's long runs went well this weekend.

Happy Canada Day!!

on Saturday, July 1, 2006 at 12:21 PM


Just wanted to firstly wish a Happy Canada Day to all Canadians and Canadians at heart. Gonna put my Canadian Flag on my car today and shame all those drivers toting Non-Canadian world cup flags today.

Keeping in line with the training program, today was supposed to be a 5 mile recovery run which means that I'm supposed to keep my HR below 150. I slept in a bit and by the time I got out the door it was about 25C. Coupled with the blood donotion and the fact that i was PO that the battery in my foot pod for measuring distance was dying, I barely was able to average 150 though the second half of the run was probably closer to 155. With my foot pod not transmitting properly I don't have a nice funky graph of my pacing to show you nor do i have a measurement of how far I ran though I feel it was probably around 6 miles at about a 10:30 min/mile.

I saw something interesting yesterday while driving home from work and it's something I've always wanted to do. The light had just turned green and a car who was turning right was waiting for some pedestrians to cross. There was a guy in a SUV behind the car who started honking his horn for the guy in front of him to move. The guy in the car in front calmly put his car in park, got out of his car walked over to the driver side window of the SUV and proceeded to lecture the SUV driver on the potential hazzards of running over pedestrians. He then went back into his car and left. Good for him!! I've always wanted to do this to people who are impatiently honking their horns at me for no good reason, but never had the nerve. Instead of waiting the 10 or so seconds for the pedestraisn to cross, the SUV driver had to now wait another minute or so before he could move. Hopefully he'll think twice before he honks at someone again.

I just spent the last hour reading running blogs manually and realize that it's just not practical. I've gotta find me a good reader...