Wisdom Teeth...

on Wednesday, June 27, 2007 at 8:11 AM

Tuesday: Did 9 miles including 4 miles at LT pace.


I ended up using my new HR monitor strap as I put the old one through the washing machine on the weekend and it no longer works. As you can see, the readings went all screwy part way through the first LT mile which caused me to be a bit slow. During the 2nd lap, the HR returned to normal where I then realized I wasn't working hard enough so I picked up the pace.

Today: 5 mile recovery @ 9:15 pace. It's hot outside.

So I've been contemplating getting my wisdom teeth removed. Though some of them are partially hidden by the gums, they don't give me any problems (touch wood). The only real reason that I'm thinking about it is cause my dentist gives me a lecture every time I go to see him on the evils of having wisdom teeth. I went to see a specialist a few months ago and he said it should be no problem to get them all removed. I've been holding off cause of my training. From what I've read, I may lose up to a week of training and some body mass due to the (almost) all liquid diet involved in the few days after. Also the loss of red blood cells due to bleeding is not something that is good for training. I need that blood for later! So I've decided to hold off until after the marathon(s). I guess it just means I'll have to endure another lecture from my dentist when I go see him next time.

Week in review

on Sunday, June 24, 2007 at 4:00 PM

Last week was hectic for me which included me not being able to turn off my car when I got home on Wednesday since the key was stuck in the run position and couldn't be turned. I ended up driving it to the dealer where I left it running on its own over night to run out of gas. The car is still under warranty but this is the third time I've had to take it into the dealer to get key issue looked at. Worse part is that it's still not fixed as when I went in to pick it up on Friday after being told it was fixed, the guy who drove the car out front for me to drop it off couldn't remove the key. Piece of crap car. Anyways aside from that I managed to get my runs in as follows:

Tuesday: 8.1 miles including 10 strides. Overall pace of 8:40 min/mile. I did the strides midway through the run around a track with jog recoverys. In the past, I've done strides at the end of the run with walking recoverys. It allows me to concentrate on form. When doing the strides during the run, I find they tend to get sloppier after each stride because of fatigue. I just don't seem to have time to do 10 strides with walking recoveries cause they just take too long to do.

Wednesday: 4 mile recovery @9 min/mile. It was supposed to be 5 miles. Whoops.

Thursday: 10 miles @ 8:13 min/mile. I had to do this run in the evening since I had to leave early in the morning to catch a bus to the car dealer to explain why my car was in their parking lot with a key stuck in the ignition and no gas in the tank. It's been almost 2 months (end of April) since I've gone running in the evening so I wasn't sure how the legs would react, but they held out okay. Also I had my ART appointment on Thursday. More of the same as before. He thinks I'll only need one more appointment. I'm not sure. The knee has improved since before I started the treatment but this last appointment didn't really do much. My knee doesn't hurt during a run, but is generally sore afterwards. I've been neglecting my quad strengthening exercises lately, so I'll try and do some of those this week which together with the treatment will hopefully get this knee pain gone.

Saturday: 4 mile recovery @ 9:10 min/mile

Today: 17.2 miles. Drove downtown to run by the lake where it was refreshingly cool. Good thing I went down early cause it's really hot now.

Lap Lap Time
Lap Lap Time
1 08:35.7
10 08:05.1
2 08:12.0
11 08:25.7
3 08:05.8
12 08:19.1
4 08:16.5
13 08:30.1
5 07:38.7
14 08:32.4
6 08:26.3
15 08:18.0
7 08:13.4
16 08:07.9
8 08:15.7
17 08:18.0
9 08:25.9
18 02:32.9

Lap 5 was a little short but I did a little extra at the end to make up for it. I really overhydrated for this by drinking a few bottles of water the night before and a whole bottle of gatorade before starting. I had to take three separate bathroom breaks, including 2 that were only 10 minutes apart. Those kidneys sure work fast!
This upcoming week has the following:

Tuesday: 9 miles with 4 miles @ LT
Wednesday: 5 miles recovery
Thursday: 10 miles
Saturday: 5 miles recovery
Sunday: 17 miles

I hope everyone's training is going well. Have a great week!

Happy Father's Day

on Sunday, June 17, 2007 at 9:50 PM

Happy Father's Day to all fathers and fathers to be and to anyone that has a father.

Saturday: Did a 10k race. I wasn't really planning on doing this race, but I woke up on Saturday morning, changed into my running gear to go for a 4 mile recovery run when for a brief moment convinced myself that I should go racing instead. The next thing I knew I was in my car driving to the race. The 10k race in question is called the Run the L ake 10k and coincidently enough runs along a waterfront trail by Lake Ontario. Split times are as follows.

KM Lap Time HR Avg
1 03:48.0 173
2 04:23.4 185
3 04:45.5 187
4 03:50.8 185
5 04:29.5 185
6 04:38.6 186
7 04:34.6 184
8 04:40.9 185
9 04:25.4 186
10 04:34.0 185

Final time of 44:11. Not really too happy with the time. I was kinda hoping to be in around 43 minutes. I thought I was doing the first km at a fairly easy pace, but hit the first marker at 3:48 which is a lot faster than the 4:18 I was targeting and it was basically a struggle after that. I hit the 5km mark at 21:17 and I tried to slip into a relatively comfortable 10k feel, but all the km after that were too slow. I was trying to run this by feel and I had covered up the HR reading on my watch. If I had known that my HR was at around 185, I think I could have pushed it a bit more to 190. The problem I realize now was that a 4:18 pace was foreign to me. I had no concept of what it should feel like since I haven't been running this at all during training. Also I was slipping into a sloppy type of running. I've recently been trying to concentrate on leg turnover since I think that's the only way I'm going to get faster. I only managed to count my leg turnover once during the race and it was at 164 strides/min. I've been trying to target 170 at a minimum for all my runs and my LT's are usually at 180. I think this was a clear demonstration of my sloppy running since my HR was higher than when I do my LT runs, but my pace was a little slower.

Anyhow, I'm not completely disappointed. I placed 3rd in my AG so I got a medal. The current results also list me as 10th overall, but I'm pretty sure that's wrong since I distinctly remember one girl who passed me and finished ahead of me but there aren't any females listed in the top 10.

Today: With the race yesterday, I decided to do todays long run at the slow end of my long run pace at around 8:45 min/miles. I made the stupid mistake of not drinking enough water yesterday and while running and I was dehydrated by the end of todays run again. I was going to do 15 miles today. I had serous thoughts of quiting after climbing a bit of a hill at mile 13, but ended up struggling through another 1.5 miles to finsih at 14.5 for the day.

Lap Lap Time
Lap Lap Time
1 09:13.6
9 08:50.0
2 08:56.9
10 08:53.1
3 08:45.1
11 08:46.1
4 08:38.3
12 08:46.7
5 08:35.9
13 08:59.7
6 08:42.9
14 08:44.9
7 08:53.7
15 04:24.7
8 08:45.3

Total for the week is a little over 43 miles. Week 4 of of the 18 week training plan is to come as follows:

Tuesday: 8 miles including 10 strides
Wednesday: 5 mile recovery
Thursday: 10 miles
Saturday: 4 miles recovery
Sunday: 17 miles

Have a good week all!

A.R.T and my graphs

on Friday, June 15, 2007 at 9:28 PM

Not that my graphs aren't ART as in Picasso ART, but Active Release Technique. I forgot to blog about my ART appointment on Monday (thanks Sonya). He did more of the same thing (electric stimulation, massages and stretching) and I think it's helping, but I'm not sure. I used to get knee pain when I did squats; it doesn't hurt so much anymore, but now I have some discomfort on the inside of my knee when before it used to be on the outside. Also, when I run, I don't get pain in my knee, but it's a general soreness in some of my quads which could be a sign that the "adhesions" have loosened up and are allowing my muscles to work. My next appointment is next Thursday.

Regarding my graphs, I've always assumed that they were easy to read, but based on a recent comment from Bridgette maybe not. Anyways here's my brief tutorial based on the 10 miler I did on Thursday.

The red line with the painted white background is the HR which is read using the scale on the left. The blue line is my speed with the blue scale that runs down the right side. The brownish line near the bottom shows the change in altitude which is read with the brown scale also on the right. Time through the run is read on the bottom. The pinkish line between the HR and the speed lines is the temperature in degrees C. The numbers at the bottom that increase to 11 are lap times. These generally coincide with miles, though if I'm doing intervals, they are much shorter. The section on cursor values (at the bottom left) gives me the instantaneous information at any given time point when I click on the graph. The box in the lower right shows the total time spend ascending, descending and time on flat ground. The number just below the lap 5 is my average HR over the entire run and the rainbowish green, yellow and red backgrounds are actually my HR target zones. Green is recovery, yellow is General Aerobic and red is basically I'm going too fast. It allows me to see at a glance what zones I was in.

Hope that makes everything clear as mud.

To race or not to race, that is the question.

on Thursday, June 14, 2007 at 9:06 PM

Tuesday: First official lactate threshold run of the training cycle. I've gotten so paranoid about being dehydrated that I probably over did it on the drinking of water the day before. I felt really bloated that morning. I had some problems with my HR strap again. I've been looking for a new replacement strap for a while, but I couldn't find anyone local that sells just the strap part (not the transmitter) in my size, until today. Actually I ended up buying it on ebay which was great considering the exchange rate for the CDN dollar is so favourable right now. Anyhow I did a 2 mile recovery warm up and then did 4 miles at LT pace. Mile splits were 7:09, 7:11, 7:09, 7:11 for the LT portion. Pretty consistent, eh? Ideally, by the end of this training cycle, I'd like to be able to do these at between 6:45 and 7:00 min pace. Based on last year's experience, I think it's possible. One of the first 4 mile LT runs I did last year was at around 7:30 pace. By the end of the training cycle, my LT pace was faster including mile 7 of a 7 mile LT run at a 7:02 pace at a avg HR of 175. I'm actually behind where I was last October.

Wedneday: Did 4 mile recovery. For the first time ever, I think I was able to do a mile at recovery HR at under 9 min/mile pace! It could have been an anomaly though. It's hard to get warmed up properly when doing recovery pace for only 4 miles. Will try again on the weekend.

Today: Did 10.2 miles at around 8:15 pace.

There's a 10k race this Saturday that I've been thinking of signing up for.
I've been weighing the pros and cons, but am right now leaning towards not doing it. It won't serve any training purpose and I'm pretty sure based on my LT run this week that I won't be able to PR in it, so there really is no point to doing it.

Training Update and A.R.T.

on Sunday, June 10, 2007 at 9:56 PM

Saturday: Did 5 mile recovery run

Today: Did 15.2 miles down by the lake. I've been trying to maintain my long run mileage at about 15 miles these past few weeks even though Pfitz' plan requires less the first few weeks of the training plan. I headed down to the lake and ran part of the course of my fall marathon just to get used to it. I was extra careful to drink lots today and the run went much better than last week. In the past when I run by the lake, I have a standard course that I've gotten quite used to which I can stretch to 20 miles. This route covers most of the western part of the marathon course. Today I headed east to cover the eastern part of the course which was new territory for me. My route passed by the main beaches area where there were a huge number of beach volleyball players out. It could have been a tournament of some sort. I almost tripped a few times on the boardwalk while trying to pretend not to notice the female players in their bikinis jumping around in the sand.

Lap Lap Time
Lap Lap Time
1 08:48.2
9 08:31.1
2 08:40.5
10 08:17.7
3 08:22.3
11 08:11.5
4 08:24.4
12 08:17.0
5 08:35.7
13 08:16.3
6 08:28.8
14 08:17.0
7 08:27.0
15 07:55.5
8 08:23.1

My A.R.T. appointment went without incident. He generally found that I had weak quad and hamstring muscles. He hooked me up to one of those electric muscle stimulating machines that provides a nice massage of the muscles and then he performed some stretching and massaging. I've read a lot about how it's supposed to be super painful, but this didn't hurt at all. My knee still hurts so I don't know if it actually did anything. He said it would take a few appointments to see results. I have another appointment tomorrow.

This week has the following:
Tuesday: 8 miles with 4 at LT
Wednesday: 4 mile recovery
Thursday: 10 miles
Saturday: 4 mile recovery
Sunday: 15 miles.

10 miles and Google Earth

on Thursday, June 7, 2007 at 8:28 PM

Did 10.2 miles this morning as follows:

Lap Lap Time
Lap Lap Time
1 08:59.8
7 07:58.8
2 08:28.8
8 06:58.3
3 08:28.7
9 08:10.9
4 07:55.6
10 08:10.8
5 08:12.2
11 01:35.8
6 08:04.5

I ended up doing 1 mile at LT pace (mile 8) rather than the four that I was thinking of doing. The real LT runs start next week so I guess it wouldn't really matter if I did LT miles today or not. It was really cool this morning at about 11C which was perfect running weather.

Google Earth just recently updated their satellite pictures of the Toronto area. I've been wasting lots of time doing the google earth thing looking at all the new pictures. I've also remapped a lot of my common routes. Some of my current routes are on paths that weren't present in the old Google earth pictures and now they are so I can now get a fairly accurate distance.

My A.R.T. appointment is after work tomorrow. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Week 2 of training

on Wednesday, June 6, 2007 at 9:26 PM

Did 8.2 miles including 10 strides yesterday. Did the strides around a local track. Strided the 100m straightaways then jogged the rest of the 300m. Including the strides, I averaged about 8:40 min/mile. The plan has 10 miles for tomorrow. I've been toying with the idea of doing a 4 mile LT run tomorrow as part of the 10 miles. Part of me wants to get moving with the LT runs since I have to improve by quite a bit in order to meet my fall goal, but at the same time, i'm not sure that deviating from the plan is such a good idea.

I got my camera back from the manufacturer today after fixing the problem that required a recall. I've been wanting to take some pictures of the Canada geese that have hatched at my work place. They're actually quite cute when they're small, but they've grown quite a bit since they were born and now they about the size of a chicken and not nearly as cute.

Long run and dehydration

on Monday, June 4, 2007 at 7:48 PM

Did 14.2 mile run yesterday. Was hoping to maintain about 8:45 mn/miles but ended up slowing down toward the end.

Lap Lap Time
Lap Lap Time
1 09:09.0
9 08:20.8
2 08:50.1
10 09:04.0
3 08:55.1
11 08:59.5
4 08:34.0
12 09:06.7
5 08:45.2
13 09:26.4
6 08:46.1
14 09:43.6
7 08:44.3
15 01:48.9
8 08:43.3

My long runs in the nice cool winter had gotten me accustomed to being able to do a whole run on just one bottle of water. The was a timely reminder that i need to drink more during the summer. The last couple of miles were tough and I was dehydrated by the end.

I made an appointment to have my knee looked at this Friday by an ART practitioner. Sonya has recommended this a while back and I'm hoping that it'll help. It's actually kinda neat because the technique is described as being "patented" which is interesting for me from a professional point of view since patents are what I do for a living. A quick search found this patent which kinda describes the process but not really. I was hoping to read up on how it works with the leg muscles with the hope that I might be able to do it on myself, but they don't give any examples for the legs. In fact, I wouldn't really even call it "patented" as the patent relates more to training someone in how to perform a very general therapy as opposed to the therapy itself.

I hate 5k's

on Saturday, June 2, 2007 at 11:23 AM

I've never really liked 5k's since it usually is associated with the concept of run till you puke. As much as I like running, I don't like the feeling of 5k's cause they are way too hard. But I thought it would be interesting to do spring one just to get one out of the way for this year.

Did a 5k race this morning and it sucked or more accurately, I sucked. My legs were still sore from doing those strides on Thursday. My left knee is still giving me some issues. Guess it wasn't a good idea to do strides for the first time in a couple of months 2 days before a race. Add to that the temperature was about 24C when we started and I knew it was going to be a bad day. I started off at about 5k pace but approaching 4 minutes when I started looking for the 1k marker, I realized the course wasn't marked so I had no idea what my splits were. The shoelaces on my shoe with my footpod on it started loosening at this point which meant my Polar device was also going to be useless for pace. I ended up backing off at that point. In any event, I knew there was no way I was going to be able to hold that pace. My final time was 22 minutes flat and i reached a maximum HR of 194 right at the end. This was a bit frustrating for me since my average pace was 7:05 for the 5k. A couple of weeks ago, I did a 4 mile LT run, at a pace of 7:07, but a lower HR.I was thinking of doing a 10k race in a couple of weeks, but now I'm not so sure I want to.