Tagged. Part II.

on Monday, November 26, 2007 at 12:03 AM

The recent tagging also reminded me that I was tagged a few months ago by Jen. Co-coincidentally enough I also have a draft of that tag that's been sitting in my draft's folder for a few months. Sorry.

Jobs I've Held:
Life guard
IT guy
Data entry technician
Ceramics lab technician (got to play with dirt all day)
Chemistry lab technician
Engineer-Air handling systems
Currently work at a law firm.

Movies I Can Watch Over and Over:
Back to the Future Trilogy or basically anything that involves time travel.
Forest Gump
Any Jack Ryan films (eg. hunt for red October, etc.)

My Guilty Pleasures:
Chocolate covered almonds.

Places I Have Lived:
Ontario:Toronto, Ottawa, Waterloo

Shows I Enjoy:
Lost, Heroes, Simpsons, Family Guy, Numb3rs,

Vacation Spots:
BC: Vancouver
Quebec: Montreal, Quebec City
Alberta: Edmonton, Calgary
New Brunswick
London, England
Paris, France

Favorite Foods:

Websites I Visit Daily:
Google (reader, search engine, gmail), Digg

Body Parts I Have Injured
Knee, ankle, shoulder, pretty nasty scrape on my forearm when I was learning to in-line skate backwards about 10 years ago.

Awards I've Won:
I don't think I've won anything as far as I can remember

Nicknames I've Been Called:

I won't tag anyone else but if you want to play along consider yourself tagged.

Tagged. Part I

on Sunday, November 25, 2007 at 11:53 PM

Ok so Sonia tagged me with the following game:

The Rules of the game: Link to your tagger, and post these rules on your blog. Share 5 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.Tag 5 people at the end of your post by their names and links to their blogs. Let them know they are TAGGED by leaving a comment on their blog.

Umm, this is actually kinda easy cause Sonia tagged me a few months ago to reveal weird things about me and I had this post sitting as a draft for all these months and I forgot to post it...

In no particular order:

1) I have a British Passport. My dad was born in Britain so I inherited the British citizenship from him. I've been using a British passport ever since I can remember. I had to cave this year and get a Canadian one since it makes entering the US a little easier. If I try to enter with a British passport, they retina scan and fingerprint me. Umm, no thanks.

2) I normally go by the name, "F rancis N g", but I usually race under my full name which is much longer. Why? Well there's another guy who's also named F rancis N g who lives in my area who is way faster than me. I'm talking a 1:21 half marathon faster than me. Though, I have no problem with people confusing me for someone who can run a 1:21 half, I'm sure he wouldn't appreciate my crappy times (relatively speaking) tainting his good name.

3) I'm a published scientific author. I had a journal article published shortly after I did my undergrad degree. It's hardly anything to write home about and it's not even a real peer reviewed article, but just a 1 page "rapid communication". I'm the first listed author. Unfortunately, they spelled my last name wrong. Oh well! I noted the other day that someone actually cited my paper. So my incorrectly spelled name appeared in someone else's article. That's neat.

4) I'm a fan of the show Wonderfalls. Ever heard of it? If not, you're not alone as the show was canceled after 4 episodes were aired. I didn't actually hear about this show until after it was canceled, but found it interesting since a lot of it was filmed here in Toronto. In fact, trying to find a hobby, I developed a website that outlines some of the filming locations. Okay go ahead and laugh at the site since I know next to nothing about web design, but thought I'd get what information I had out there. By the way, if you can find the DVD set, I highly recommend the 12 episode DVD that tells a pretty full story.

5) I started this whole marathon thing back in 2004 with the sole intent of doing one before I turned 30. I had it all worked out and was going to do the Quebec City marathon a little over a week before I turned 30. Unfortunately, a business trip to England the week of the marathon derailed that possibility, though I did end up doing my first ever race while in England. I came in 156th place in a 5k race and felt like I was going to die at the end. I ended up doing the Toronto marathon about a month and a half later. Not having met the goal of doing a marathon before I turned 30, I decided I would either try to qualify for Boston or do an ironman before I turned 35 and that's where I sit now.

I really don't want to tag anyone else, but if you want to go ahead and I'll post a link to your blog.


Gotta start thinking of better titles for these posts.

Wednesday: Did 8 miles after on the dreadmill. Most of it was at 8 min/mile. It went pretty well with my HR being much lower than it normally would be. I was feeling so good that I cranked up the speed to my LT pace of 6:48 min/mile was about 3/4 mile right at the end. Really surprised that the HR barely got up over 170 for that last portion since it should be closer to 180 at that pace though it may not have been enough time to get the HR up.

Thursday: Went back to the gym to do the exact same run again of 8 miles at 8 min/miles. Unfortunately I don't think I had quite recovered from the previous days run cause even though my pace was exactly the same, my HR was about 5 beats higher and drifting over 160 for most of the second part of the run.

Sunday: Did a 10 mile race today. The race took place on most of the same path where I did a half marathon during the summer. The race starts out at a marina which for obvious reasons is not getting too much use at this point in the year. My original plan for this race was to try and do the first half at my Boston pace and than to gradually increase my pace to LT pace. When I arrived at the race they made us park at a local hospital about a km from the start line and while walking there I got a first glance at the trail and I realized my plan was going to be tough since the paths were covered with ice.

So the race starts and the first little part runs down a drive way which is covered with ice to join a paved trail which is also covered with ice. Since the first part of the trail runs beside the road, everyone bypasses the trail and ends up running the first little bit on the road which probably added a couple of seconds to the first mile. When the route rejoins the trail, there's ice everywhere and everyone is basically running in a single file on the edge of the grass on the trail. I passed the first mile marker at 7:52 which is much slower than I would have liked. I continue on and miss the 2nd mile marker, but pass the 3rd mile marker with a lap time of 15:26 which is 7:43 min/mile pace which is still a bit slow. I think most of this is do to the runners having to run in a single file to navigate the ice properly.

By mile 3, it certainly felt like I was working much harder than i should be. Maybe it was the not being full recovered after my runs on Thursday or Friday or it could have been the shock to the system of running in 0C weather after running in the nice comfortable indoors. Whatever the reason, I'm pretty sure the marathons i did a few months ago felt much easier in comparison by the 3 mile mark. From this point on to the 5 mile turnaround point, I was basically running a 7:30 min/mile pace and working a bit. Good thing is I was passing people who seemed to be working harder than me so I guess I was not alone. Hit the turnaround point and headed back and that's when I noticed the wind while running by the lake. I guess I didn't notice it running in the out portion, but it was quite breezy while heading back. Pushed through the wind and was able to maintain pace. I guess I had another extra gear but I just didn't know it. Anyhow, I finished with a time of 1:15:58 for an average pace of 7:36.


on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 10:09 PM

Guess I should update my blog. Last week was pretty boring. After doing calf raises last week, my calfs suffered DOMS for most of the week.

I did 9 miles last Monday at a pretty good clip. Faster than 8 min/miles

Did 8 miles on Thursday which included my first attempt at an outside LT run in a while. Tried for 5 miles @ 6:50 pace and was okay for the first 2 miles but slowed down a bit for the third mile and finished that in 6:58 but was pretty tired after that mile so I ended up stopping for about 2 minutes and then finished the last two at the proper pace.

Went to the gym on Friday and did 8 miles at 8 min/miles.

Did 16 miles on Sunday. Averaged 8:30 pace for it. I'm supposed to be doing these at 8:09 pace, but it's tough trying to build up mileage and speed. I'm really not sure how I'm going to be able train outside through the winter. I've found that this past week has been a bit of a chore to get outside to run which is not fun at all.

Did 7 miles yesterday. Most of it was probably at around 8:15 pace with a few strides thrown in. This week is supposed to be a recovery week with no hard stuff. I've been thinking of doing a 10 mile race this weekend as a training run as I'd like to get another LT run in of some sort.


on Monday, November 12, 2007 at 7:47 AM

Did 8 miles last Thursday at about 8 min/mile pace.

Did 14 miles yesterday outside. Run yesterday felt tough. Did the first half at about 8:30 pace since that felt comfortable. Last training cycle, I would have just ended up running the whole thing at about this pace, but yesterday I tried to force myself to run closer to 8 min/mile for the second half of the run. I have to try and get to a point where 8min/mile feels comfortable.

I also did some calf raises yesterday to try and build up some calf strength. I'm going to try and work in some cross-training this time. I've been thinking of buying a Bosu ball to help with core stability. They seem quite pricey.


on Thursday, November 8, 2007 at 8:39 PM

Finally got outside for a morning run today. 2 C outside. Woke up at 6:00am, but took me half an hour of lying in bed before I was able to do it. Plan called for 7 miles with 2x1600m @6:23. I ended up aiming for 6:20 since that's what my last VO2Max session back in September was at. Even though it's been a while since I've done any sort of interval work, I figured I should be able to handle it since they had 800m jog recoveries (rather than the 2 minutes that Pfitz uses) and I only had to do 2 of them.

Lap Time HR Max
06:20.6 185
06:19.0 187

My shoelace started to come undone during the second one which was causing my footpod measuring thing to flop around so that's why there's a big pace differential on the second one. This HR and time is about the same as when I did it last time so that's looking good. These things are supposed to drop down to 4 of these at 6:12 in twelve weeks. It's only a mesely 8 seconds over a mile, but that seems like a lot.

So I've been trying to figure out which February 17 marathon to do. There are a handfull on that date. Basically looking for a flat and fast course with coolish temperatures. There's the Last Chance for Boston that I've previously mentioned. There are two in Florida being the A1A marathon in Fort. Lauderdale and the Breast Cancer Marathon in Jacksonville. The later is a first time event and first time events tend to have issues. I'm also considering the Myrtle Beach Marathon in South Carolina on February 16. Anyone know how the humidty is in Florida in February?

Gym run

on Tuesday, November 6, 2007 at 11:45 PM

I think this was the third time I set the alarm for 6am and the third time I bailed on the morning run. This is going to have to change soon. If I can't bother to get out now in the morning, I'm not sure how I'll be able to do it in the middle of winter.

I headed to the gym after work to get in my 9 mile run today. I think my body is getting use to running at the gym now. I haven't been running on a treadmill since the spring time and my HR measurements were all out of whack last week I think. I started this first mile at a 9 min/mile pace and then bumped it up to 7.5 mi/hr (8min/miles). My HR wasn't getting close to 160 where I think it should be so I thought that maybe the treadmill wasn't calibrated right so I ended up switching to the same treadmill that I was using last week. I was able to maintain my HR below 160 for the whole run and there wasn't any sign of the HR creep. It stayed fairly constant for the whole run. I think I"m going to have to either choose to do my runs in the gyn or outside. It seems my body has adapted to running inside for now, but swtiching to running outside again might be a bit of a shock.

Towards the end of the run, I was coming down with a bit of a GI issue and was trying to hold it in. This started to preoccupy my mind and my HR actually started to drop . Hmm interesting. If I could only use this to my advantage in a race some way without having to fear the risk of an "incident". Maybe I should wear a diaper??

1st week done

on Monday, November 5, 2007 at 9:51 PM

The plan called for an 8 mile run on Friday which I was going to do in the evening since I did a LT run the Thursday night the day before, but I didn't get back home till late and my stomach was still full from going out so I tried to do it Saturday morning. Still wasn't able to do it and ended up going in the afternoon. Averaged about 8 min/mile with a couple of strides thrown in. Strides felt weird. Definitely have lost the speedy feeling while doing them which makes me kinda worried about the track intervals that the plan wants this week.

Did 12 miles on Sunday afternoon also at about 8 min/mile. The last training cycle, I think I got lazy on my long runs and was doing my longs runs at a fairly slow pace. This cycle I'm going to try and aim for 8min/mile and hope that by the end of this cycle, I'm doing faster than 8 min/mile.

I've been reading up on the Runner's World Run Less Run Faster book which outlines the FIRST training plan. The plan says to only run three times a week but to also do two cross-training sessions. The book is mostly about the FIRST plan but also has a lot of good running information in general and contains cross-training workouts which most running books seem to ignore. The one thing that I like is that it gives a fairly detailed plan and paces depending on what one's Boston time is. It also gives guidelines about one should be capable of before one attempts one of these plans. For a 3:10 marathon, they suggest that I should be able to run either:

1) 19:30 5k
2) 40:50 10k or
3) 1:30:25 half

They also say that I should be able to complete one of the following track workouts:
6x800m @ 2:52
5x1000m @ 3:37
4x1200 @ 4:24 or
3x1600m @6:01

I'm pretty sure I can't do any of the above at the moment. The last track workout I did during my previous Pfitz cycle had me doing 3x1600m intervals @ 6:20 so trying to knock 20s off that is highly unlikely, so it looks like the FIRST plan is not quite feasible at the moment.

Going to try and get out tomorrow morning for a 9 mile run. I'm going to have to be able to do it eventually...

LT Run at the gym

on Thursday, November 1, 2007 at 11:01 PM

Second day of training and second day that I set the alarm for 6am to get out to do my 7 mile run with 4 @LT pace. This was also the second day that I couldn't force myself out of bed this morning. There's something about waking up in the morning and seeing complete darkness outside that just causes me to not want to go outside. It doesn't help that it's also sub 10C. I'm hoping that the switch from daylight savings time this weekend will make it a bit brighter in the morning next week.

So I did my run this evening at the gym. I haven't done a continuous LT run or more than 1 mile since August or so. The fastest I did my LT runs during the last training cycle was at about 7 min/mile. A 15km race that I did back in August suggests that I might be able to do 6:50 pace so that's what I aimed for this time since it matches what the training plan wants me do. I started with one mile at 9min/mile, bumped it up to 8min/mile for 1 mile and than did 2 miles @8.7mi/hr (6:53 pace) and then 2 miles @8.8 mi/hr (6:49 pace) and then one last mile @ 8 min/mile.

I hate doing anything other than long runs on the treadmill. I end up sweating like a pig and dripping sweat all over the place. Not too happy with the fact that the HR kept rising over the 4 miles @ LT pace. It maxed out at 188 which I think is way too high. My max is around 195. The high HR might have something to do with the fact it was warm in the gym. I'm definitely going to try and do my next LT run outside cause trying to do them at the gym is just too uncomfortable.