Getting back into it.

on Sunday, October 29, 2006 at 5:22 PM

I figured that I should get a semi long run in before my 10k race next weekend. So I went out and did a 10 mile long run that was much slower than I normally do. It didn't help that the wind was blowing around like crazy this morning.

If you want to see a HR for a person that has clearly not recovered from running a marathon, you need not look any further.

Mile Lap Time Mile Lap Time
1 09:22.9 6 10:06.6
2 09:45.6 7 09:36.0
3 09:26.3 8 09:37.6
4 09:22.3 9 09:11.2
5 09:46.5 10 09:22.3

Even though these paces were at or slower than my recovery run pace, I had a hard time keeping the HR below 160 which is the upper end of my long run HR. Considering that just two weeks ago, i did a 12 mile long run at a lower HR and a minute per mile faster pace clearly indicates that I'm not any where near being recovered. There's that general rule of thumb that prior to running a race, you should wait at least 1 day for every mile that you previously raced. I should therefore wait 26 days before racing again. Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to sign up up for that 10k next week.

Well the clocks were set back one hour this morning and as I write this it's just after 5:30pm and it's almost dark outside. That sucks. On the bright side, there should be some light outside in the mornings when (if?) I go for a run.

Post Marathon Run

on Friday, October 27, 2006 at 11:00 PM

Well the quad pain was basically gone by Thursday and I was bounding up and down the stairs like it was just another week. I do have a bit of a sore throat from breathing in that cold dry air for 3+ hours and a nice blue toenail on my left foot which are the only two physical reminders left that I had run the marathon.

I signed up for a 10k race next weekend as a result of my not knowing what my 10k PR is based on the short course 10k from a few weeks ago. The course is certified as a 10k so no short distances this time. Needless to say, I've been itching to get back into things. It rained all evening here and I've been sleeping in as of late, so I headed to the gym for a run at about 9pm. I probably haven't been there since March. It pretty much looked the same as I remember it, but they replaced some of the treadmills with some newer equipment. Nice! I ended up doing only 3 miles. 2.5 were at recovery pace. For fun, i ramped up the speed to 8 miles/hr for half a mile since this was the average pace I had run for the entire marathon. It felt great.

Chicago Marathon Race Report

on Tuesday, October 24, 2006 at 9:41 PM

Race Report:
Sorry for the long report. i've had a couple of days to write it and i was waiting to get back to Toronto before I posted it so I could add the split times. So here is the War and Peace version.

Morning of Race
I woke up at 5:00 am to eat a bagel and peanut butter. I had actually brought down with me a bag of bagels and a small jar of PB from Canada. There say nothing new on race day so that's been a bit of a ritual for me in the past. I did do one new thing out of necessity which was to try and hydrate with gatorade endurance which I had picked up at the expo the day before. They don't sell that stuff in Canada yet and so the first time I tried it was at the expo. Though I bit saltier than the regular gatorade that I'm used to, it didn't give me any problems so I figurerd I would be okay drinking that stuff during the race.

I had checked the weather forecast of about 40-44F the night before and had decided to go with a long sleeve technical shirt and shorts. For the start, I was bringing my throwaway fleece pullover and the always fashionable garbage bag in case there was rain. I also had some throwaway dollar store gloves and hat, but as it turns out I ended up wearing the gloves and hat for the whole race.

Left the hotel room at just after 6am to catch a 6:15 shuttle to the start line which I had payed $10 for. The hotel was offering this transportation to us and the $10 seemed a bit pricey considering that the hotel is only 1.5 miles away from the start line, but I figurerd why try and deal with the unknown of hailing a cab on race morning. So I joined a bunch of runners outside of the hotel figuring that there would be a bunch of minivans to pick us up when a stretch limo pulls up to the curb. We all start looking at each other and then we realize that the limo is for us! So we all pile in and ride to the start line in STYLE! Ride over was quiet. No one talked and it was quite clear that everyone was nervous with anticipation.

Arrived at the start line and proceeded to the trophy tent. I had signed up for this at the last minute paying a ridiculous cost of $75, but as it turns out, it was worth every penny. I got to avoid the line ups for the porty potty's, bag check and most importantly, I got to stay somewhat warm while standing around. I was also able to use the bathroom facilities twice before I headed out to the start corrals. Left the trophy tent at about 7:15 and headed to the corrals. I was kinda worried cause they kept announcing that it would take 30 minutes to get into the preferred corrals and they were going to close them at 7:40. So I did a slow jog over there, but arrived with plenty of time. The warm jog had triggered my bladder to want to release more liquid which was weird since I had just pee-ed 15 minutes prior to that. Not wanting to wait in line, I joined the rest of the males that were peeing in nearby bushes. Ahh, it's great to be a man. I was now certain that my system was devoid of all excess liquid.

I entered the corral which was still pretty empty and having reviewed the course the night before, I realized that the first two turns were to the left so took up residence beside the 3:20 pace group on the left side which would mean I wouldn't have to cross over when doing the first 2 turns. Started to idly chat with some other runners about goal times and then chucked the garbage bag and the fleece with about 3 minutes to go and then we were off.

THE RACE

Miles 1 to 5
Stuck with the pace group for the first couple of miles. It was a bit tough though since I was running ahead of them on the opposite side of the street. I had to keep looking back to see where they were. Missed the first mile marker, but hit the second one at 15:07 which was just slightly faster than the target pace of 7:38, but pretty good. Mile 3 was a bit fast at 7:24 and then I missed the mile 4 marker. The split at mile 5 was 14:19 which was WAY too fast (7:10 pace). At somepoint between miles 4 and 5, the 3:20 pace leader realized he was going too fast and yelled out that the 3:20 group was going to slow down. At this point, we were about a minute ahead of 3:20 and I had to make a decision. Do I slow down with the pace group to lose the 1 minute that I'd already "banked" or do I just try and continue running at a 7:38 pace on my own. I decided to continue on without the pace group.

Miles 6-13.1
Even though I had left the pace group, it seems that I wouldn't be running alone. There were a few people that had the same thoughts that were wearing a 3:20 pace bib on their back. I had signed up for the pace team, but didn't wear the bib cause I was afraid of failing. In hindsight, I should have worn it as I realize now how much it assists others. I latched on to one guy who had 3:20 Boston or Bust on the back of his shirt and continued with him. These miles were all slightly faster than race pace. I took my first gel at the 6 mile aid station at about the 45 minute mark. The instructins say to take one every 45 minutes and that's what I did from that point on. I hit the half mark at 1:36:53 which means I had banked a little over 3 minutes. At this point, I was staring to worry a bit about having gone out too fast.

Mile 14-20
I let the Boston or Bust guy go cause he was still going a bit fast and I was afraid I would hit the wall. These miles were pretty much on pace which means I had basically maintained the 3 minutes of banked time. I found myself at various times doing some mental math to figure out how much time I could lose per mile and still finish under my goal of 3:20. At the halfway mark, I figured I could slow down by 10 seconds per mile and finish under my goal. At mile 20, I realized that I could slow down by 30 seconds per mile to a 8:08 pace and still finish under 3:20. This was a great relief to me as baring an injury, I was pretty certain I would be able break 3:20.

Miles 20-23
I passed Perry the joggler at about the 20.5 mile mark. I was hoping to run into him in the staring corral but didn't. I certainly didn't expect to encounter him during the race. I quickly said "Hi perry", but since he was juggling, I realized he probably wasn't going to be able to talk. These miles were also pretty much on pace. In previous marathons, this is usually at the point where I feel like I need to pee. But this time, there was no feeling of urgency or impending doom which was great. My quads were a little sore at this point, but my calves were fine and my breathing was still steady.

Miles 24-FINISH
The last few miles went north into a bit of a head wind and I ended up having to slow down. Mile 24 and 25 were at 7:46 and 7:51 respectively. I did the last 1.2 in 9:09 which was a 7:30 pace. I'd been warned about the last little "hill" which I didn't find too bad. Finish time of 3:17:05, with an average pace of 7:31. A PR that was much better than I was hoping. I had run the second half at my expected marathon pace which I'm very happy with.

For anyone interested in stats, here are the splits.

Mile Split Cumulative time under 3:20

Km Splits 5k time
1


5 0:23:13 0:23:13
2 15:07 -00:08
10 0:45:54 0:22:41
3 07:24 -00:22
15 1:08:40 0:22:46
4


20 1:31:50 0:23:10
5 14:19 -01:18
21.097 1:36:53
6 07:31 -01:25
25 1:55:15 0:23:25
7 07:20 -01:43
30 2:18:53 0:23:38
8 07:18 -02:03
35 2:42:39 0:23:46
9 07:20 -02:20
40 3:06:46 0:24:07
10 07:27 -02:31
42.197 3:17:05
11 07:24 -02:45



12 07:31 -02:51



13 07:27 -03:02



14 07:32 -03:08



15 07:43 -03:02



16 07:31 -03:09



17 07:35 -03:12



18 07:37 -03:12



19 07:41 -03:09



20 07:38 -03:09



21 07:36 -03:10



22 07:36 -03:12



23 07:42 -03:08



24 07:46 -03:00



25 07:51 -02:46



26.21875 09:09 -02:55





AFTERMATH
Crossed the finish line, got my chip removed, grabbed some food, water and some BEER. I don't know why Canadian marathons don't serve beer, but they should as it's an excellent source of carbs. Wondered around a bit, got my picture taken a few times and then headed back to the trophy tent to pick up my gear, get a massage and down some food. I decided to walk back to the hotel which was actually quite good as a cool-down.



So i beat my main goal which was to break 3:20. As a bonus, I didn't have to stop to pee which was always a problem for me in the past. I also ran the entire way not stopping to walk at all which is also a first.

I see a lot of people didn't like the cold, but I thought it was almost perfect marathon weather. Maybe it was just that I had worn the right mix of clothing, but other than the last few miles into the wind and the few minutes prior to the start where I was just standing around, I was never really too warm or too cold.

The fans were great and the volunteers handing out fluids, gels and bananas were great. I kinda wish now that I had put my name on my shirt, as I was getting jealous at all the people around me getting their names called out. For a few miles, I was running beside a guy with a Canada shirt so people would yell out "Go Canada" which made it seem like they were yelling at me.

Pfitz's plan is DA BOMB. It's a lot of mileage and the first few weeks are really tough but it produces results. I knocked off almost 19 minutes off my PR in a little over 5 months of training. If you consider all the other Chicago bound runners who were on Pfitz, Bob, LeahC, Jason, Ryan and Ugly Toes, they all did really well and set PR's, even jason who was sufering with some major pains set a PR. I highly recommend the plan. It works.

Boston? I had this goal that if I could break 3:20, I would consider a Boston attempt of 3:10 next spring. Having been able to reflect on it for a few days, I'm still on the fence about it. Part of me wants to try in the spring just to get it over with, but another part of me wants to try and qualify next fall so that the time would be valid for 2 Bostons, so maybe Chicago is in the cards for next year too.

RBF Get-together
Showed up at the RBF dinner to finally get to meet some of the people I've been reading about. It was nice to meet you all and put a face to the blogs. Unfortunately I didn't get to chat with everyone, but at least I know what you all look like!

I'd like to thank you all for the support over the past couple of months. I started this blog with the intenion of providing me some motivation and have received it in spades from all of you. I certainly could not have acheived this without you, so thank you.

Since some of you now know my name and it's not too difficult to figure out who I am from my race picture, I suppose that trying to do the "anonymous" blog thing probably isn't going to work. Maybe I'll start using my real name...

Chicago. I came, I ran, I PR'ed!

on Sunday, October 22, 2006 at 5:54 PM

3:17:05. Did a little better than I thought and I'm super happy about it!
Race report to come.

I'm here!

on Friday, October 20, 2006 at 11:19 PM

I'm in Chicago!

Did 4 miles including 6 strides this morning.
Going to go pick up the race packet tomorrow morning!

Right now, I'm going to try and head off to sleep to get my beauty rest.

Update

on Thursday, October 19, 2006 at 10:31 PM

No running today.

I'm trying to pack for Chicago and do some last minute laundry. I'm having a minor crisis at work and as it turns out I'm going to have to go in for half a day tomorrow which means I have to finish packing tonight.

I promised myself I would post at least once a day until race day and provided my hotel has reasonable internet access I intend to do that. Anyhow, I hate to cut this post short, but I have a load of things to do before tomorrow.

GOOD LUCK to all you racers out there!!

Trigger Points

on Wednesday, October 18, 2006 at 9:04 PM

Did 7 miles this morning with 2@ marathon pace. I did the 2 @ MP around a local track. A 3:20 marathon equals a 7:38 mile or about a 1:54 lap.


01:51.5
01:58.2
01:52.9
01:56.5
01:53.2
01:52.8
01:53.2
01:50.4

I found it hard to know what the proper pace was for the first mile. Overall I averaged 7:37 for the whole 8 laps, but come race day I'm not going to have pacing feedback every 400m.

One issue I've always had during previous tapers is the development of trigger points in my calves. These are basically little knots that form in your muscles that cause little annoying pains. When the trigger points are massaged however, they hurt like hell. I've got one that's developed in my left calf. I know that if I massage it every hour that it will generally be gone in about 3-4 days which is just about perfect in being ready for Sunday. I jsut hope that I don't develop another one.

Rain Rain Go Away!

on Tuesday, October 17, 2006 at 9:02 PM

Please come back after marathon day!

So I've seen conflicting weather reports for Chicago on Sunday. Some say it's going to rain, some don't.

It rained all day today in Toronto and lucky me I had a 6 mile recovery run scheduled for the morning. It wasn't too cold outside and I thought it would be refreshing so I headed out the door but only ended up doing 4 miles. Tomorrow morning has 7 miles scheduled with 2 @ marathon pace. I'm going to head to the track and see if I can get a feel for what a 3:20 marathon pace feels like. About 1:54 per lap.

I came to the realization today during one of my frequent trips to the men's room (damn water drinking) that I have another goal for Chicago that I didn't mention yesterday and that is to run the whole marathon without having to stop to pee. I've always had to stop in my previous marathons at around the 35 km mark to empty the system and I'm hoping to get the hydration thing right this year. Now if it's raining, all bets are off and if I really need to go I may just let the liquid flow as I'm running so there's another reason to pray that it doesn't rain or at the very least hope that you're not running behind me.

Game Plan for Race Day

on Monday, October 16, 2006 at 8:46 PM

No running today.

I've started trying to figure out a game plan for race day. I've decided that I'm going to try for 3:20. My half marathon time says I can do it and Yasso 800's says I can do it. It would represent a 16 minute improvement in my marathon time in a little over 5 months. Pfitz' plan has been great and I've really felt I've improved but is this biting off more than I can chew? No guts, no glory.

I'm contemplating whether I should sign up for the pace teams. From what the website says, you get a pace band and a bib that states your goal time to wear on your back. I may sign up to get the pace band, but I'm afraid of wearing the bib in case I crash and burn and end up having to slow down. I'd hate for someone to be following me with the intention of running 3:20 to be disappointed because of my failure. I may just try to forego the whole sign up thing and just try and stick with the pace bunny for the whole race, assuming he/she doesn't get lost in the sea of people.

They say you should set several goals for a race with one being your ultimate goal and at least one being realistic. So for Chicago, I've set my three main goals as follows in order of preference:

1) Sub 3:20
2) Sub 3:25
3) Sub 3:35

One other goal that I've always had was running a negative split, but in my experience that just isn't possible for me.

On a side, note, as luck would have it, I received two tickets to the Raptor's exhibition game on Sunday against Lebron James and the Cavaliers. That's right, this Sunday. I guess that's one game I won't be going to.

Hurry up damn week! Finish already!!

Last long run

on Sunday, October 15, 2006 at 9:55 PM

First of all, I have to give some props to the poetic muse that is Jayhawk for her Ode to the Chicago Marathon Bloggers. Visit, read and be entertained!

Did my last long run today prior to the MARATHON next Sunday. I did 12.1 miles at a little over 8:30 pace. Even though this was quite long for the Sunday prior to race day, it went pretty much without incident. I definitely felt strong. This taper thing is really working. I tried to work on my turnover and my breathing during this run. Yeah it's probably a bit late to try and fix any problems, but the nervous energy in me made me feel like I should have been doing something.

Before doing my long run, I went to see the start of the Toronto marathon. Don't ask me why Toronto has two marathons spaced 3 weeks a part because no one has a sensible answer to that. Toronto really sucks in supporting their marathons. It's nothing like in other cities like Chicago where you get fan support lining almost every foot of the course. I watched and cheered the start of the half and the full. I brought my camera to take some pictures but couldn't get it to work. I had thought that the batteries had run dry. By the time I figured out that the batteries had been inserted wrong, all the runners had gone. :( The mayor of Toronto was out to cheer on the start of the runners and I was able to get my picture taken with him. Notice how I'm bundled up like it's the middle of winter? I'm really paranoid about catching a cold this close to race day.

6 days!!!!

Taper shopping

on Saturday, October 14, 2006 at 7:02 PM

I did one ritualistic thing today which was to get my hair cut. It doesn't matter if I need one or not, but I always get my hair cut the week before a big race. It probably doesn't make much of a difference but less hair, means less weight which means I run faster. At least that's the theory I'm sticking with.

In the past, I've boughten stuff during the taper that I probably wouldn't normally purchase. Included amongst previous purchases are a dehumidifier, an Orick air purifier, a learn to speak french computer program and Grand Theft Auto:Vice city (a computer game). The dehumdifier, and the software programs are still sitting in their original boxes. I've used the Orick purifier maybe 5 times total.

I glad to say that I've resisted the temptation to purchase anything during the taper except for today. Today I found myself in a thrift store purchasing a toss away sweat shirt. I've heard about the "big toss" where everyone starts pitching their warm-up stuff to the sides of the course right before the marathon starts. If you watch the chicago marathon videos on the shots where they show the start area you can see people tossing the clothes off to the side. It kinda looks like confetti so you may not notice it. These clothes get collected and donated to charity so if you're doing Chicago, bring some along.

I was going to buy something that identified I was from Toronto or Canada, but I starting thinking that if the clothes get donated to someone in the US, they may not want a "I Love Canada" shirt, so I ended up purchasing something red but that looked at least half decent.

Excuses

Yesterday, Pfitz's plan has 5 recovery miles including 6 strides scheduled. I had intended to get up in the morning and do them, but one look at the thermometer which was showing 2C and I said forget it. I know all you runners in Chicago are suffering through a cold windy spell and that Buffalo had 2 feet of snow dumped on it and that I shouldn't be so much of a sissy in regards to the temperature, but hey I'm paranoid about getting sick.

I got home from work and ended up eating a quick dinner with the intention of heading to the gym at about 9. I haven't been to the gym in a couple of months. I do this every year where I vow to cancel my membership in the early spring since I know I'm not going to use it over the summer, but a part of me thinks that I will and then fall comes with the cooler weather and I come to the realization that I've thrown away $300 in membership fees.

I didn't end up getting to the gym, I tried to take a quick nap and ended up sleeping for a couple of hours. I woke up at about 11pm and quite frankly, I was trying to come up with a good excuse as to why I should skip the run.

It's cold outside
It's only a recovery run, it won't matter if it's skipped.
Because I don't feel like it.

These seemed like lame excuses since others in blogland are suffering through worst conditions. I didn't think I could justify it to you the readers, so I put on my running clothes at 11pm and headed out the door. I'm glad I went cause it wasn't that cold and there was no wind. I've never really experienced the so called "runner's high", but I probably came damn close to it last night. I think I'm going to head down to watch and cheer at the start of the Toronto Marathon tomorrow to further provide me with some motivation.



Thanks all for reading.

8 days and counting!!

Now it's taper time

on Wednesday, October 11, 2006 at 11:55 PM

Did the last VO2Max workout and it was a doosie. 8 miles including 3x1600m @ 5k pace with 2 minute recoverys. Split times for the intervals were:

06:31.8
06:37.5
06:38.3

This is pretty consistent with what I've been doing for these VO2Max workout that generally co-incide with 1:40 per 400m which translates into 6:40 for the 4 laps, but my secret goal was to try and do these in at least 6:35. I've been using my marathon day shoes for the past few runs and the one problem I ran into was since it was raining a bit today, my not-broken-in shoe-laces were still a bit slippery and kept coming undone for the first two intervals. This ended up screwing up my recovery times since I had to stop to tie them.

Well that's basically it for the hard workouts for this training session. I now feel like the taper is beginning since Pfitz just has recovery and easy miles the rest of the way with a few strides thrown in. So now the taper madness will begin. I can't wait for race day!

Training update and race pics

on Tuesday, October 10, 2006 at 8:34 PM

Did 7 miles this morning with 8 strides. My quads have been a little sore since Sunday. I think the combination of a race and a long run this past weekend beat them up pretty good. Luckily I won't have to do that again anytime soon.

I got my confirmation kit in the mail today for Chicago! Bib number 8415! I'm not sure why that's of any use to anyone but me, but I see people posting their bib numbers all over the place, so I thought I'd join in.

They posted some race pics from the 10k I did on the weekend. Here are the two they took of me.



















I think my eyes are closed in the first one. These with taken with about 30m left to go so I'm panting and breathing heavily and just generally wishing that it would be over. I also checked out the picture of the guy who beat me and sure enough it was the guy who was running the wrong direction on the course! I was ROBBED!!!

Now that's off my chest, I've now started looking for a 10k race to run after Chicago. I really would like to have a PR time that I know is for the 10k. This time I'm going to pick a 10k course that is "certified". There's one about 2 weeks after Chicago. I'm not sure if that's enough time to recover, but right now that's looking as the only possibility for the remainder of the year.

16 miles during a taper?

on Sunday, October 8, 2006 at 8:40 PM

I did a 16 mile long run today based on Pfitzinger's training plan. All my previous tapers, had a 12 mile long run for the first weekend of the taper. I'm not sure why Pfitz thinks it's necessary to do that much especially the day after a tune-up race.

Well i didn't hydrate that well yesterday after my race and I woke up this morning feeling a little dehydrated. I drank some water and headed out the door. I decided to try and run slow, but not quite at recovery pace. The first part of the run, I avergaed a little over 9 min/miles. I did run into a little problem though. About 10 miles into the run, I stopped by the only water fountain in the area for a refill only to find out that they turned it off. Add to that it was starting to warm up and that I had foolishly worn two long sleeve shirts and that pretty much made for a miserable last few miles. I ended up slowing down to a 9:30 pace. I got home and weighed myself and I was down 6 pounds from my normal weight. I going to call this a character building run.

Total for the week was about 39 miles. Next week is looking a little more like a taper week with THREE whole rest days! Pfitz still wants a 12 mile long run next Sunday though. I'm thinking of doing the Toronto half marathon as a training run, but I'm concerned with the longish hilly portions. Since I haven't done much hill training, I don't want to be using muscles I haven't used this training cycle only one week before marathon day.

Tomorrow's turkey day up here in Canada.


Gobble Gobble!

2 weeks and counting!

Not quite 10k race report

on Saturday, October 7, 2006 at 2:22 PM

Did a 10 km race this morning. Finished with a chip time of 41:23 which would be a super monster PR. But unfortunately the course was significantly short. Apparently the race was setup to coincide with a local town fair and the last part of the original route was to circle around a bunch of side streets and run through the main street. On race day however, they had booths and picnic tables set up on the main street, so the course was changed. I checked with a couple of people with garmins who all reported the course was short. The shortest I was able to find was 9.8 km, but I think the course is still shorter than that. I didn't run with my HR, but did run with a watch. I missed a couple of the markers, split times were:


km
Time Split
3 12:00.2 12:00.2
4 16:30.1 04:29.9
5 20:49.7 04:19.6
6 25:14.6 04:24.9
7 29:36.9 04:22.3
8 34:08.6 04:31.7
9.? 41:23.0 07:14.4

I came in second overall and ended up winning a $30 gift certificate. The only problem is that I think I actually finished first. The race started at the same time for both a 5 and 10km. The 10k runners split off at a water station at about the 2.5 km mark. When I hit the split off point, I heard one of the volunteers yell out that I was the first 10k runner at that point. Now she could have been wrong, but I figure at that point, he would have been about 100m ahead of me since I ended up finishing a little over 1 minute behind him. I didn't see anyone ahead of me and didn't see anyone behind me and no one passed me from that point on. I did see a guy with a bib number running in the opposite direction while out on the extra portion of the 10k course which could of been him so I was thinking he might have missed the turn off point and decided to run the 10k course in the opposite direction. The only problem is that by doing that he missed a loop part that the 5km would have bypassed. I did some checking and the guy that finshed ahead of me ran the Scotiabank marathon 2 weeks ago in a time of 3:47 which does not translate into anything close to a 41 minute 10k. But for the moment, I will give him the benefit of the doubt. I did come away with a $30 gift certificate so I can't complain.

I am a tad miffed at the short course though since I was hoping to use my time to figure out what my marathon pace should be. It's probably for the best though. I was having a hard time with the hills on this course so I'm guessing it's best to live in ignorance and find out what I can (or can't) do in Chicago.

BTW, happy thanksgiving weekend to my fellow Canadians!

Weird websites.

on Friday, October 6, 2006 at 8:36 PM

Someone passed this on to me today and I thought it was hilarious. I thought I'd share with blogland.

Www.ackiest sites on the net

1. Want to holiday in Lake Tahoe? Try their brochure website at www.gotahoe.com

2. Therapists in the US merely wanted to offer troubled souls a shoulder to cry on. Let's hope their advice is not as short-sighted as whoever registered the URL www.therapistfinder.com

3. Welcome to the First Cumming Methodist Church. Their website is www.cummingfirst.com

4. There is one betting site that is way out in front as our favorite. With their name they are bound to attract a lot of people looking for each-way wagers: www.oddsexchange.com

5. "We're not just a printer," claims the American firm Tri-Plex. And they guarantee: "Short runs or long, we can handle both equally well." But it makes you wonder what kind of service they are offering from their website with a name like this: www.triplexbusiness.com

6. If you are looking for a place to download the latest songs you might think this one is a homage to bad digital music. Mind you, the site is flagging up the new Michael Bolton album, so maybe it does what is says on the tin after all: www.mp3shits.com

7. Law firm Morrison & Foerster have more than 1,000 legal eagles worldwide. Surely you would have thought one would have spotted the clanger in their site. They couldn't have been briefed properly that it contains a slang abbreviation for a rather strong swear word that would leave them in contempt in the courtroom: www.mofo.com

8. This drinks franchise has spawned a host of copycat stores around the US as it attracts customers by the barrel-load desperate for a schoolboy giggle and quick slurp: www.beaverliquors.com

9. Some say Americans don't understand irony and a site set up by Ingleside Vineyards of Virginia bears that out. They must be flushed with success if the name they chose is anything to go by: www.ipwine.com

10. The plant-growers of Mole Station Nursery in New South Wales claim to specialise in the production of frost- hardy native shrubs and farm trees. Sounds like they are more into deflowering: www.molestationnursery.com

11. If you need an IT professional to fix your broken PC this could be a great place to start, especially if you are having a problem with your hard drive or interruptions to your AC/DC supply: www.expertsexchange.com

12. Looking for an actor and want to get in touch with his or her agent? Then Who Represents is a database of contact names and numbers. But the site owners may well become brassed off by some of the unsavoury clients it attracts: www.whorepresents.com

13. The official site for Barnet Copthall Masters Swimming Club says it has a 12A rating to warn off young kids. It has all the club?s latest news. So why not a section on how to improve your breaststroke? www.upthebeavers.com

14. A building firm based in Ontario, Canada, promises: "No job too small, or too tall." They have even helpfully included some handy pictures showing exactly how they manage to get it up: www.mammotherection.com

15. Then of course, there's the Italian Power Generator company... www.powergenitalia.com

16. And then there's these brainless art designers, and their whacky website: www.speedofart.com

Last tune-up race

Did 4 miles with 6 strides today @ recovery pace. Pfitz has a 8-10k tune-up race scheduled for tomorrow. Lucky for me there is a 10k race about a 40 minute drive from me which I'm going to do. I'm quite curious about how well I'll do since during my half-marathon a month ago, my average pace was higher than that which I ran in my previous 10k PR. I'm hoping to average a pace for tomorrow's 10k that is faster than my 5k PR which I set back in June at 21:30 (6:55 min/mile) which means I'm hoping to finish in under 43 minutes. Weather is going to be cool and very little wind is expected which is great. I'm just worried that the course is going to be hilly.

Breaking in the new shoes

on Wednesday, October 4, 2006 at 10:37 PM

Tuesday:
Did 8 miles including 5x600m at 5k pace. Got up in the morning and was out the door while it was still dark. Did a 3 mile warmup on the way to the track. On the way there it started raining a bit and by the time I got to the track flashes of lightning and the crack of thunder were all around me. I decided to do the intervals anyways. I figured that the two goal posts on the infield and the towers in a nearby hydro field would be struck by lightning before my little 5'9" frame would. Even so I was a little nervous about it. I ended up trying to keep track of how long it would take between the flashes of lightning and the accompanying sound of thunder. I think the closest it got was about 8 seconds which means that the lighning struck about 1.5 miles away.. Intervals were:

02:28.7
02:27.3
02:25.4
02:27.0
02:19.2
I topped out at a HR of 185 during the last interval.

Today:
Had a 5 mile recovery run scheduled today. Today was the day that I wanted to start using my marathon day shoes. I got up in the morning and heard the unmistakeable sound of rain outside. Not wanting to get my brand spanking new shoes wet on their first run, I ended up moving the run to the evening. I did however hold off on the run until after I saw the first 5 minutes of the season premiere of Lost since there's a lot of buzz on how the first 5 minutes is supposed to blow your mind. It didn't blow my mind, but it sure was intriguing. I'm off now to watch the remainder of the show.

18 days and counting...

And so the countdown begins!

on Sunday, October 1, 2006 at 10:18 PM

Saturday:
Did 4 mile recovery run. Uneventful.

Sunday:
Did 21 miles today!

Mile Split
Mile Split
1 08:50.2
13 08:36.3
2 08:11.4
14 08:17.6
3 09:30.7
15 08:35.5
4 06:53.5
16 08:36.0
5 07:59.4
17 08:28.8
6 08:33.0
18 08:35.7
7 08:27.1
19 08:41.9
8 08:29.5
20 08:39.7
9 08:42.5
21 08:03.5
10 08:21.7


11 08:34.4
Total 2:57:43
12 08:35.3



These were garmin splits which I manually recorded on my HR monitor. I felt kinda silly wearing both the garmin and another watch to monitor my HR. I don't think anyone noticed. It was a great day for a run. Weather was nice and cool. Miles 3, 4 and 5 seemed a bit screwy but that was most likely due to loss of satellite signals. I speeded up for the last mile just to see if I could handle it. Overall pace was at about 8:30.

Though the taper has supposedly officially begun, Pfitz's plan still has a few interesting wrinkles yet to come. He still has a 16 mile long run scheduled for next week the day after a 8-10k tune-up race and a 12 mile run one week prior to the marathon. That doesn't sound like a taper schedule to me! His plan has got me this far with some very encouraging results, so I suppose at this point there's no point in deviating from the plan. I'm "all in" as they say in poker.

21 days and counting...

temp