Man this sucks...

on Tuesday, December 30, 2008 at 10:20 PM

... is what i was telling myself today. I decided to try and do a a 4 mile LT run outside this morning and it did not feel good at all. Did a three mile slow warmup to the track and started into it, trying to keep the HR below 180. Average pace was about 7:33 or so, complicated by the wind blowing quite hard during one of the straightaways. You can kinda see the phenomenon as the HR would rise during part of the track while running into the wind and then would drop back when running with it.

This past week was pretty non-eventful. I did about 8 miles on Friday, 4 miles on Saturday and 13 miles on Sunday. The Friday run was split between 2 miles outside and 6 or so at the gym. It was too slippery on the sidewals and there was no point in potentially injuring myself by slipping on ice. The 4 miles on Saturday was outside and the 13 miles on Sunday was at the gym.

I've going to go register for another gym membership tomorrow morning. The new company which I technically joined at the beginning of December gives us $600 a year for fitness related expenditures which means if i don't spend the $600 tomorrow, I will lose it for 2008. The place i'm going to join is one of the gyms run by the city and it doesn't have quite the amount of equipment that my current gym has, but it does have a swimming pool (which my current one did have, but not anymore) and also an indoor running track which i'm hoping will come in handy over the next couple of months. Not sure if i'm going to cancel my current membership yet though. I'll do it eventually, but I'll see how the indoor track training goes at the new place.

Happy New Year All!!

Mushy White Christmas

on Wednesday, December 24, 2008 at 10:48 PM

Did 8 miles at the gym today. I was supposed to run yesterday and tomorrow, but I don't think I can run on Christmas day so i pushed back these two runs to today and Friday. I'll probably skip the recovery run on Saturday which will allow me to get the long run in on Sunday. We good a good dumping of snow over the past few days and it looks to be a definite white Christmas this year. It rained all day today and so some of the snow has turned into a slushy mess. The wind is blowing like crazy now which should hopefully dry up the sidewalks.

I've been contemplating signing up for a 10 mile race on Friday since I'm supposed to do 10 miles that day anyways. If the sidewalks are fairly clear, i probably won't do the race as it's a bit of a drive from where I am.

Merry Christmas/ Happy Hanuka/ Happy Festivus to all!!

1 week down, 17 to go...

on Sunday, December 21, 2008 at 11:03 PM

Completed first week on target of 32 miles. Did the body flow class on Friday afternoon. There were only 5 people who showed up. Despite the large dumping of snow on Friday, the snow clearing crew did a pretty good job of clearing the sidewalks by Saturday afternoon so I did a 4 mile recovery run outside. It snowed again last night and there were a couple inches on the ground this morning. Rather than trudge through the snow for 2 hours, I went to the gym and did 12 miles.

Started out at 6.5 mi/hr for 2 miles and then bumped it up to 6.6 for 2 miles and then to 6.7 for 4 miles and then did the last 4 or so at 6.8. I did the last 0.4 miles at 8.7 mi/hr. HR spiked during mile 6 but i ran through it since i had a bit of a breather after 6 miles since I had to reset the treadmill and go fill my water bottle. Towards the end my pace was 8:49 min/mile at a HR of about 156 which i think is about right for a long run pace and effort. Looking back at this entry, i'm quite a bit slower than i was back in February where I was able to maintain a faster pace at a HR of less than 150, but that was towards the end of a marathon training schedule and a couple of weeks before a race so maybe it's not a fair comparison.

This upcoming week is much like the last except I have to add 1 mile to each running day. Not sure if I'm going to be able to run outside at all this week so it looks like it's more treadmill running.


on Friday, December 19, 2008 at 11:38 AM

Took a day off of work today. We're getting a pretty major snow storm right now. I had wanted to do some shopping today, but driving is a bit dicey. In terms of training, week so far has looked okay.

Did about 7 miles outside with 10 strides on Tuesday. Pace was probably a bit faster than 9 min/miles. It was about -7C.

Yesterday I went to the gym to do 9 miles with 4 at LT pace. HR spiked about half way through the first LT mile so i slowed to a walk until it got back under control. In total, I guess I averaged about 3.6 miles at a pace of 7:13 pace (8.3 mi/hr) for the LT portion. I finished up with three miles at 7mi/hr. I was hoping that the HR would drop to less than 160 over the finial three miles but it didn't. I usually treat this as a test of fitness and my long run pace since it gives me an idea of how well i'm able to recover from a fairly tough workout. Ideally the HR would drop to less than 160 and whatever that pace is, I would assume is the fast end of my long run pace. Since I wasn't able to get the HR to less than 160, my long run pace isn't quite 7 mi/hr like i thought it should be.

I had tried to do the Body Flow thing on Wednesday. Left work on time and got to the gym, but i forgot to bring my shorts. I have only two knee length pairs of shorts which i wear for classes, one is grey and the other is navy blue. In the morning, I just grabbed a navy blue piece of clothing from my technical running gear pile thinking it was the shorts, but it wasn't. It happened to be the long sleeve t-shirt that I got from the Niagara half. They are both made by new balance and are the same colour. Needless to say, short of doing the class in my dress pants (or underwear), i ended up having to skip the class. There's another class today in the early afternoon which I'm probably going to do since i can't do much else today.

Running outside

on Sunday, December 14, 2008 at 10:40 PM

So this past week looked like this:

Tuesday: 8 miles with 3miles @ 7:13 pace on the treadmill

Friday: 8 miles very slow on treadmill. Ran into some HR spiking problems even while trying to run slow. Had to stop to walk several times. I've noticed a definite pattern where I encounter this HR problem when I haven't slept well. I did not sleep well because the office "Festive" party was Thursday night.

Sunday: 10.2 miles outside at average pace of 9:36. This was only the 2nd time I've run outside since I did the half marathon back at the start of November. It was a relatively balmy 4C. it was slippery in places where the snow had melted and refroze and started melting again. I ran this by heart rate and my pace is way down. While I've been able to get to a pace of 8:35 on the treadmill at a HR of 160, when running outside the pace is a full minute slower. I've noticed this type of discrepancy before, but never by this much. Maybe my body just needs to get used to running outside again.

I also went to a Bodyflow class on Wednesday. It's supposed to be a combination of Pilates, Tai Chi and Yoga. I've been wanting to work on my flexibility and thought that this might help. It's a lot harder than I thought it would be. My muscles would tremble during some the poses and i worked up quite a bit of sweat at times. I think I'm going to try and attend the Wednesday class for the next two weeks since the training plan has a rest day on Wednesday.

Speaking of the training plan, the 18 week plan starts this week which looks as follows:

Monday: rest
Tuesday: 7 miles General Aerobic with 10 strides
Wednesday: rest (Bodyflow class)
Thursday: 9 miles GA
Friday: rest
Saturday: 4 miles recovery
Sunday: 12 miles

I'm going to try and do all the runs outside, with the expcetion of Thursday's run which I'm looking at doing at the gym since I want to try to include a 4 mile LT run.

Have a good week all!

I have a blog??

on Tuesday, December 9, 2008 at 10:19 PM

So it's been over two weeks since my last post. I think that's the longest I've gone without posting. I don't have much to report training wise. I have been going to the gym the past few weeks and gradually trying to increase my pace and distance. I've gotten to 7 miles/hr (8:35min/mile) on the treadmill for a long run pace of about 13 miles and i'm at about 8.3mi/hr (7:13min/mile) for a short LT run of 3 miles. I also tried a short run outside last Saturday of 3 miles and my pace was way down. I did 31 miles last week and will probably be around there this week. I still have the foot problem which I'm hoping will get better with me switching to a new pair of shoes.

I thought about getting some orthotics last weekend to try and remedy the foot thing, but I couldn't find a place that was open. My company finally "merged" with another on December 1 and i wanted to try and max out my previous benefits before the takeover. I guess it's my own fault for waiting until the last minute. I"m not certain if the new benefits package covers orthotics. The benefits manual says they cover one pair of custom made shoes. the previous benefits package treats shoes and orthotics differently so it's a bit unclear if the new one will cover orthotics. Here's a picture of me that was posted on the new company's website. Pretty spiffy. This was taken 4 days after I had all 4 of my wisdom teeth pulled back in August so that's why the little bit of a smirk. You should have seen the attempts at me trying to smile.

18 weeks to Boston starts next week. I was thinking of trying the 18/55 Pfitz plan again but i REALLY don't want to train during the winter after having done it for the past two. However, i guess that in order for me not to suffer during the marathon, I will have to be in some form of marathon shape. Competing interests, I suppose. I will probably start on the plan, but will skip runs if I feel like it. I will try and stick to the long run schedule though. I'm hoping that's enough to get me through it.

Another 6 miles

on Friday, November 21, 2008 at 11:30 PM

We got our first dumping of snow for this winter. Still don't want to run outside yet so went back to the gym today to do another 6 miles. Forgot to bring a running t-shirt, so i had to use the t-shirt I was wearing. I can't remember the last time I ran in a non-technical fabric shirt. Wore the HR monitor today. I still haven't changed the battery in it and it kinda died towards the end. Started out at 6.0mi/hr and then increased it by 0.1 miles after each mile. Then did a brief 2 minutes or so at 8.8 mi/hr, but by then the HR monitor had stopped working so there's no useful info from that.

While there, a yoga class was going on. I've never attended any classes there before but think I may try it at some point this winter. They have a class that combines yoga, pilates and tai chi which i think might be good for increasing flexibility and core strength. They have an orientation session on tuesday evening's so i'll probably go to that first to see how difficult it is first.

Back to the Gym

on Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 11:31 PM

So it's gotten cool. Not quite winter like stuff, but just above freezing. I've been dreading going outside for a run. Went through my closet on the weekend trying to find all my winter running stuff. I know that one of these days I'll have to go outside to run in the cold, but that day was not today. I went to the gym. I haven't been to the gym in over 7 months (April 1 to be exact) and I've paid 7 months in membership fees and gained nothing in return. They must love me there. Well next year I'm going to quit the gym after Boston. There I put it in writing so it's going to happen!

So the injury seems to be getting better but I wanted to take it easy. Did in total about 6 miles. First 2 miles were at 6.2 miles/hr and then did 1 mile@6.3, 1 mile@ 6.4, 1 mile@7.0 and then the last mile@8.5miles/hr. Almost slipped while on the treadmill. While watching tv, i started to drift off to the side and the next thing I know I'm grabbing the side rail cause my shoe was half on the treadmill and half off. Oh well. With 7 months of treadmill rust, I suppose it was bound to happen.

Still ouch...

on Sunday, November 16, 2008 at 10:22 PM

Didn't get around to doing the 6 miles I had planned last Thursday. I tried to do 6 miles on Friday but could sense that the foot was still not right so i cut it short to 3 miles. Didn't run on the weekend. The tenderness on the inside of my leg is gone so i couldn't understand why the foot was still giving me problems. I started feeling around a bit more and noticed another tenderness on the outside of my leg which was really painful if i massaged it.

According to a reference book i have, it was the Peroneus Brevis muscle. Punched that into google and up pops this page on inflammation of the muscle and the picture to the right. The website says that symptoms are pain at the attachment point at the bottom of my foot (where the box is) which happens to be exactly where i have my pain so i'm pretty sure that inflamaton of this muscle is what i have. I'm going to try some ultrasound on it to see if that helps.

Oh here's an interesting invention. A treadmill .... on wheels. Somehow, this doesn't seem like such a great idea.

Youtube link


on Wednesday, November 12, 2008 at 10:47 PM

I've only run once since my last post which was 5 miles on Saturday. I was supposed to do 6 miles, but the bottom of my right foot was giving me pain. It was on the outside part of my lower footand I could not continue running after 5 miles so i walked the last mile home. Never had that feeling before. I got home and started feeling around my leg and noticed that my calf was really sensitive. in fact, it feels like it was in the same spot that I had back in the winter/spring of 2007 that sidetracked me for a while. That pain was in my left leg while this was in my right leg. It might be a trigger point and so I've been giving myself painful massages the past couple of days and it seems to be getting better. I'm going to try a short run tomorrow to test it out.

Contemplating races...

on Friday, November 7, 2008 at 9:11 PM

So let's see.  Last week I didn't run at all and this week I did about 9 miles on Tuesday and 6 miles yesterday.  I'll going to try and put in maintenance mileage over the next month or so.  Boston training would start in December, but i have no desire to try and run a PR at Boston.  In fact, I'm going to aim for a personal worse time, just to force myself to enjoy the experience.  In the process of doing that,  I don't want to feel too miserable so i have to be in some kinda marathon shape.  Competing interests?  Yeah, probably.  

I'm giving serious thought of racing the Around the Bay road race which is 3 weeks before Boston.  it would force me to train and sludge through another winter of training and peak for a fairly long distance and then i could comfortably run Boston a few weeks later.  I'm also trying to figure out what other races I might want to do next year.  I noticed in Runner's World an ad for the Kauai marathon  in Hawaii next year.  It's a first time event and happens to be on my birthday.  that would be fun to do.  I think I'll probably enter the lottery for NY and try my luck at that.  I'd like to try and complete the 5 marathon majors at some point in my running career so it's better to start now then later.  

Niagara Half Pace Rabbit Report

on Saturday, November 1, 2008 at 8:05 AM

So the night before the race didn't go too well. Went to bed at around 11:00pm and set the alarm clock for 6:30. Unfortunately at 3:30am in the morning, the people in the room next to mine decided that they were going to start playing loud music. Actually, it kinda was good, cause i ended up waking up and surfing the net a bit when i noticed the clock on my computer read 4:30. I then realized that the clock radio in my hotel room was actually an hour slow, and I would have woken up an hour later if they hadn't been playing that music. World works in funny ways.

Headed down to the buses which transported us to the start-line and arrived at the start line at around 8:30. Start time was at 10:00am. I kept to myself for the next hour or so. I wasn't wearing my bunny ears and my shirt was covered up so other than the 2 hour sign, i didn't really stick out as a bunny. With about half an hour to go, i figured I should probably make myself a bit more visible in case people had questions. I met up with the 2:15 pace bunny, put on my hat and uncovered the shirt and we jsut kind of hung around answering questions of people that would ask. With about 15 minutes to go I headed off the drop off my bag and do a quick warm-up. Positioned myself in the start corrals with about 5 minutes to go then we were off.

I was carrying the 2 hour sign and had decided I would try and carry it with me for the whole race. This was a bit awkward as I had a bottle of gatorade with me also. First technical problem was encountered about 1 minute into the race. My HR monitor began to slip down off my chest. I tried to yank it back up, but with the damn sign and the bottle of gatorade, it was a bit too difficult. Someone asked me if I wanted them to hold the sign for me, but i being too proud said no. I ended up just yanking the HR monitor strap off and shoving it into my pocket.

Running portion was supposed to be at 8:45 pace, but i ended up hitting the first mile marker at 8:34 which was a bit fast. I had to do 10 and 1's and i'd configured my garmin to do the 10 and 1 thing. About 15 seconds before each split I would yell out that we were walking (running) in 15 seconds. That way it would give a bit of a heads up to people that weren't intending on walking so they wouldn't plow into the back of people. During the first walk break, i surveyed the people around and had about 20 people with me.

By the two mile marker, I had ended up banking about 25 seconds which was a bit fast. I then proceed to slow down a bit over the next few miles to bleed some of the banked time off when I then encountered my second technical problem which was my garmin went all screwy. If you check out the Garmin Route you can see a portion at around the 116 route marker where it appears that the course juts away from the river. Well, the course doesn't actually do that. If you check out the split times, garmin thinks I was averaging 4 minute miles for both the walking and running portions during this stretch. With the incorrect information, I basically was running blind. I couldn't rely on HR to judge pace cause I had taken it off and I just ended up trying to run a comfortable pace. I finally realized that i probably wasn't getting a good satellite lock. I was wearing the garmin on my right hand, but was running on the left side of the road. I was doing this to avoid the aid stations since I had my own gatorade bottle and didn't want to get in people's way. However, I had a bunch of people bunching up around me to the right that were probably blocking the satellite signal so i decided to switch to running on the right hand side of the road which allowed me to get a better satellite signal and the garmin started working again.

Up until this point, I had been drinking some gatorade every time I would walk. The gatorade bottle i was using was the ones with the twisty cap which I've used in the past and really like as it's easy to open and close. However, today the gotaorade bottle i was using must have had a defective cap cause after some time, the twisting action wouldn't work. So a little over halfway through the race, I ended up having to dump the bottle and rely on the aid stations. The water tasted nasty. The aid stations were actually pretty good otherwise as they were manned by some pretty enthusiastic people. Most had screaming cheerleaders and high school kids.

By about the 7 mile marker I was withing 15 seconds of where I should have been at each split and with the garmin working again, i was able to settle into a nice rhythm. i ended up chatting with one very talkative lady from Winnipeg who was in toronto visiting her son and deicded to sign up for the half at the last minute. She said she is mostly a marathoner having most recently done twin cities. I mentioned to her that I was thinking of doing that eventually and we ended up swapping stories of marathons for a little while. It was kinda funny passing people cause they would start swearing when i pulled up beside them. I guess they had a hidden goal of sub-2 hours and when i pulled up, they realized it wasn't going to be.

So getting towards the end, most of the group that I started with were still around and with a downhill portion coming up and most of the people ended up taking off. As mentioned, I ended up finishing at 1:59:46 which was pretty good. I handed off the 2 hour pace sign to one of the group that thanked me afterwards for getting her to sub 2 hours. I was thinking of giving her the hat too, but figured it would be a bit gross with my sweat all in it and such.

So the weather generally co-operated. There was no rain and there was a cross-wind for most of the race and a bit of a head wind at the end. This certainly was fun. I'm thinking it might be fun to try and pace a full since i've never really taken it easy for an entire length of a marathon.

Quick update...

on Sunday, October 26, 2008 at 10:22 PM

Pace rabbit duties done. Finished in 1:59:46 chip time. Had a good time despite some technical problems. I'll provide a more detailed report later. I'm going to New York tomorrow and am scrambling to get some last minute things done.

Getting Ready...

on Saturday, October 25, 2008 at 8:29 PM

Posting from Niagara falls. Always nice to have free wireless at a hotel. I thought I'd try and be smart and book a hotel room at the last minute on priceline, but due to the Canadian Dollar taking a nosedive this past week, it was actually cheaper for me to book directly with the hotel then go through priceline. Should have booked it earlier. This same thing happend to me with my Boston registrations. I mailed in my entry hoping to save the $6 (?) online fee but by mailing it in it took about a month for the charge to actualy appear on my credit card which by then the Canadian dollar had dropped causing me to lose more than $6.

So picked up the bib and everything. I kinda played dumb and was able to score a free ticket for the bus to the startline. In addition to the normal loot, I got a pace rabbit t-shirt and a nice hat. This hat has the bunny ears made out of foam and they're actually sewed onto the hat so they won't rip off like the last time i pace-bunnied. I also got a sign. I should have asked if they expect me to carry this for the whole race. I'll have to see how it goes.

I had a bit of an ulterior motive to do Niagara. As some of you might know, i have a website which provides shooting locations from the show Wonderfalls. Some of the scenes from the show were shot in Niagara falls and i was hoping to get some pictures of those locations, but two things messed that up. Firstly, I couldn't find my Wonderfalls DVD's which i haven't seen in a long time so it was going to be hard to match up locations without getting screen caps from the show and secondly the weather forecast for today (and tomorrow) had rain, rain and more rain. Not exactly, the best conditions. I didn't end up bringing my camera, but am regretting it now since the weather wasn't that bad. Here are some cell phone pics.

American Falls

Canadian falls

Tacky Niagara Falls pic

Too dark...

on Thursday, October 23, 2008 at 10:11 PM

So it's gotten cool. I did 6 miles at a moderate pace of 8:23 min/mile on Tuesday. Meant to get out yesterday and today but it's too dark in the morning and evening. It just doesn't feel like i should be running, it feels like I should be sleeping.

So the pace bunny thing for this Sunday has been settled out kinda. I'm officially registered, but it seems that I don't have a ride to the start line. The race charges $10 for a ride to the start line, and I guess it looks like i have to pay that out of my pocket. I don't mind it, but if i'm already going to be spending on a hotel room and gas to drive down (and back) to Niagara Falls , it would have been nice not to have to spend more money on the race.

So a 2 hour half is about 9:09 min/mile but they want us to do 10 and 1's. I configured my garmin to do 10 minute intervals with 1 minute recoveries so that should be easy to keep track of. I'm thinking that 8:45 pace for the running portion and 18min/mile for the walking portion would bring me in at around 2:00 hours. The walking portion might be a bit fast, but if I slowed down too much, it just means i have to run faster during the run portion. Now for me the difference between 8:45 pace and say 8:35 pace is not that much, but for someone running at their LT threshold, that can push you from LT into speed work type interval pace which is the absolute wrong way to run a race. I've made a pace band with walk adjusted km and mile splits, so i'll probably just adjust on the fly during the run.

Weather is looking crappy for Sunday. About 10C which is good, but rain. Oh well, I've been lucky so far with dodging the rain bullet during races, but I guess my luck had to run out eventually.

Zoo Pictures

on Sunday, October 19, 2008 at 8:14 PM

Here a couple of pics from yesterday.

Spider Monkey

Sumatran Tiger




Lazy Lions


Week in Review

Tuesday: Did a little under 10 miles in Hyde Park in London. You can see the details here. I averaged 8:40 pace which is pretty good considering I had only about 5 hours of sleep and my internal clock which was on Eastern Daylight savings time said it was 2:00am.

Wanted to do a short recovery run to get some pictures from Hyde Park on Wednesday, but lack of sleep caught up to me and i ended up skipping it.

Saturday: Did 6 miles recovery run at about 9:20 pace, then went to the zoo. The zoo run which is a 10k race was taking place today. If I had planned a bit better, I should have signed up for the zoo run and did my recovery run there. Being the gadget nerd that I am, I ended up bringing my garmin along. You can see the route I took here. I brought the garmin along cause I was trying to practice my 18min/mile walking pace. I couldn't quite get the pace right. I don't think garmin's are very accurate at paces that slow. I like going to the zoo at this time of year, cause the leaves are changing. Also, little kids who dress up (ala Haloween) got in for free so the animals are a bit more active since they are seeing all these weird costumes for the first time.

Sunday: Today, i had planned on heading over to the start of the Toronto marathon since it's about 6 miles from my home. I wanted to do the 6 mile run there, watch the start, run around a bit and return to get up to about 14 miles for the day. Unfortuntely, I ended up waking up at just after 8:00 and realized I would have to haul ass to get to the start line in time. Ended up not going. I did do the same 13 mile route that I've done the past two Sundays. 13.25 miles in 1:58:13 for an average pace of 8:55 min/mile. Ran this continuously rather than the 10 and 1's i've been doing over the past few weeks.

So I'm supposed to be the 2 hour pace bunny next Sunday for the niagara half marathon, but haven't heard anything else from the pace bunny organizer or the race yet. Hopefully, I'll hear from them soon as I've been trying to land a cheap non-refundable room on priceline. I was also hoping to do a half the following week-end, but I'm on the fence about it. I don't realistically think I can PR, since my LT pace has sucked pretty badly these past few months. I will probably end up trying a short LT run this week and depending on how that goes, will have to make a decision.

Walking Speed...

on Sunday, October 12, 2008 at 8:58 PM

A little over 45 miles for the week. Did 6 miles recovery on Wednesday, 10.2 miles at 8:51 pace on Thursday, 6 miles recovery on Saturday and 13.25 miles today. I tried again today to do 10 and 1's to try and come in at a half marathon time of 2 hours. Again I was a bit fast and did the whole 13.25 miles in 1:59:25 which translates into a half time of 1:58:04. I've been using the Running Room walk adjusted pace bands which give me a running pace of 8:46 for the running portion with a "moderate" walking pace. I'm wasn't too sure what "moderate" meant. I was able to nail the 8:46 running pace, but I still ended up a bit fast. I did some reverse calculation on the pace band numbers and moderate walking to them means about 18 min/miles. I was walking at 15-16 min/mile. Guess I have to slow down a bit.

My HR monitor has been going a bit crazy this past week. It doesn't seem to pick up my HR properly. I've been doing some experimenting trying to figure out if it's the battery, the strap or the transmitter itself. It's been a bit frustrating cause it works just fine while I'm just sitting here at home, but doesn't work when I actually try and run with it.

So I'm off to the United Kingdom tomorrow morning for a couple of days. I will try and get a 10 mile run in on Tuesday morning in Hyde Park. Should be fun!

Cranking up the Speed.

on Tuesday, October 7, 2008 at 11:18 PM

So I'm going to try to post a bit more often now that training is starting to ramp back up a bit. Did a little over 10 miles today with 3 in the middle at LT pace. It sure is dark in the morning. Can't wait for daylight savings to end so that there's a bit more light in the morning. Don't like the thought of leaving work and having it be pitch dark outside though. Did the LT portion around the track. 12 laps. Tried to keep the HR just below 180 and I ended up with the 3 miles of LT being done at 7:06, 7:09 and 7:06 pace. Ideally I'd like to try and maintain that pace for a half marathon in about a month, but I'm not sure if that's realistic. I haven't run an LT type run of more than 1 mile for more than 2 months now, so it just maybe that the cobwebs have to be shaken out a bit.

This is pretty cool video. Check it out!

Week in Review

on Monday, October 6, 2008 at 10:43 PM

So this past week topped out at 40 miles. Did a little over 10 miles each on Tuesday and Friday, 6 miles on Saturday and a little over 13 miles on Sunday.

I did my long run on 13 using the 10 and 1 method which is a way of running where you run for 10 minutes and than walk for 1. I did this cause I'm thinking of being a pace bunny for the Niagara Half Marathon which is on October 26th. The pace bunnies are sponsored by the Running Room which requires that pacers use 10 and 1's. I've never done them before so before I commit, I thought I try it out on a long run. I didn't quite get the pacing right. I tried to target 8:45 pace for the running portion and than walk at a reasonable pace. According to Garmin, I did the 13.13 miles in 1:59:06, but the distance was wrong. I actually did 13.25 miles which translates into a 1:57:45 half. Too fast. It's a bit tough to monitor pace with the constant stopping and starting.

So guess what showed up in my inbox today?

Yipee!!! I mailed in my registration for Boston almost a month ago and have been waiting for some form of acknowledgment for a while. I started to worry that maybe my entry got lost in the mail and have been checking my credit card account daily on-line for the past week to see if a charge was made. I know, pretty anal, but I got the idea from someone on the Runner's World Forum so at least it's not just me!

Cranking up the mileage

on Sunday, September 28, 2008 at 11:42 PM

Did 6 miles recovery on Saturday and just got back about an hour ago from a 12 mile long run done at 9:12 min/mile pace. Total for this past week was about 44 miles, but that's a bit misleading since the 10 miles I did on Monday was actually supposed to be my long run from the previous week. So 2 weeks ago was 31 miles, this week was 34 miles.

I think around 30 miles is the maximum "start from scratch" training week that I could probably handle with the sporadic running over the past month. Probably if I had taken more time off that would be lower. My legs are sore and my left knee is starting to bother me a bit which is something I thought I'd gotten a handle on way back during the spring.

Conventional wisdom is not to increase by more than 10% a week so I'll try and hit 40 miles this upcoming week. I'm hoping once I establish that base level, I'll be able to work in some strides and faster stuff, just in time to do a beginning of November half where I hope to PR. Not sure if I have enough time though as I'm feeling really slow these days.

TV Shows

on Friday, September 26, 2008 at 11:39 PM

Did 6 miles on Wednesday at about 9min/mile pace and then did 9.6 miles yesterday at just under under 9 min/mile pace but this included 2x1 miles @ an LT effort which ended up being at about 7:25 pace. My breathing could probably have handled going a bit faster, but my legs just couldn't handle anything quicker. I haven't touched this type of pace since the end of July and my legs are rebelling today. Tried to do the foam roller thing today and it hurt bad.

So the new season of TV shows has started and some of the new shows look interesting. Fringe is pretty neat. X-files kinda show with lots of science involved which makes it interesting at least for me. Though i was a big fan of the old knight rider (hey i was just a little kid at the time), the new one just might be the worse show ever. Good for a few laughs though...

Week in Review

on Tuesday, September 23, 2008 at 9:28 PM

Did 6 miles each on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Wednesday was at 8:31 pace; Thursday, i didn't take my watch but it was slow; Friday, I did at 9:09 pace and struggled. Saturday, I did a 5k recovery run at 9:22 pace and struggled. I did a little over 10 miles yesterday at about 9:20 pace.

So i received my C hicago marathon packet thing in the mail today. I'd previously said that I wasn't doing C hicago this year, but there was always a 1% chance that i would change my mind. Now it's pretty much a certainty I won't since I found out last week that I have to be in England on the Tuesday following the marathon. It would basically mean that i would have to do the marathon, fly back to Toronto that afternoon and then leave for england the following morning. Considering that i haven't really been doing any marathon training, i would probably be in a whole lot of pain.

I was thinking of trying to sell the bib on craigslist, but i know it's a major faux pas that can get you banned in future races and i'm pretty sure that the c hicago marathon has people searching for people selling their bibs. But if i just gave it away here on my blog, they probably won't find out. So if anyone wants the bib and actually intends to do the race, you can have it for free but only if you promise to return the chip. It's for an entry in Corral B which is in the 3:10 to 3:35 finish time group, though i think you can move backwards in the corral system if you need to. I'll forward the confirmation email which will allow you to pick up the race kit. You'll have to tell them you're picking it up for me and have to show some ID and sign something and as long as you don't tell them that I'm not running the race, it should be okay. Oh yeah, please don't advertise this as I wouldn't want the powers that be to get wind of it.


on Saturday, September 13, 2008 at 10:25 PM

Did 5k Thursday evening. Did it slow. Going to try and do 10 slow miles tomorrow, but it looks like there's going to be a ton of rain so i might do it at the gym. Haven't been there in a while. I'm thinking of targeting a half marathon at the beginning of November which would leave me with about a month of solid training.

Normally around this time of year, I'd be blogging about the film festival. I decided this year I wasn't going to do it. I was supposed to have a heavy work related thing this week, but that ended up being settled about a month ago and with other things that popped up i just didn't think I was going to have the time. I did decide yesterday to try and get some tickets to films for today and last night but there wasn't much selection left. I did end up seeing an interesting film called se xy killer. No, it's not a T&A film, but a black comedy. Funny stuff.

Registered for Boston...

on Tuesday, September 9, 2008 at 9:10 PM


So the past week has been brutal for work. I work at a l aw firm and let's just say that i've almost met my target for bill able hours for this month and we're only a third of the way through.  No running, no healthy eating and barely any sleep.  But that's all done now so i can hopefully get back to training and blogging a bit more.  

Registrations for the Boston marathon started last Wednesday and I was all gung ho to do it when it opened but while surfing the registration site, it was sort of anti-climatic.  While going through the process, it felt all too familiar since I've registered online for countless other races.  So to make it feel a bit different, I ended up printing out the registration form, filling it in by hand and then walking to the post office over my lunch break to get a stamp and drop it in the mail box.  First time I've ever done that for a race.  Registering by mail also meant that in addition to the race fee, it only cost me the the price of a stamp rather than the $6 on-line registration fee.   It doesn't quite make sense why it costs more to register online since I would be the one entering the information when registering online.  When I register by mail, they have to enter the information which I"m sure costs them time.   Probably should have photocopied the signed  application form or gotten a picture of me droping it in the mail box to try and preserve the moment.  Oh well.

So I guess i'll only be technically registered when they receive the application and enter the information into a computer and charge my credit card but at least the process has started.  Waiting patiently now for some form of confirmation.  Hopefully the post office won't lose my letter!!


on Monday, September 1, 2008 at 8:16 PM

Didn't do as much running this past week as I would have liked. It seems the extra week I got for a work thing just means that i get another week of no running. I managed a 5k run yesterday at 9:24 pace and then managed another 10.2 miles today @9:14 pace. I turned off the autopause on the new garmin and didn't manually stop it and it seems to have measured the distance okay. The first mile was a bit long which i think was caused by not having locked onto enough satellites, but the distance seemed to be okay for the rest of the run.

It's a bit disheartening to read about everyone going into their peak marathon training whereas I've been relegated to doing recovery runs. It's been a bit tough to get motivated to get out there with nothing really to train for. I still would like to do a half this year to try and PR and it shouldn't be too hard to beat my half PR time of 1:35:04 since I've been able to run faster times during the first half of marathons.

Congratulations to Mike who did his first ironman yesterday! This got me thinking about the ironman again. I set out to reach a goal of running Boston before I turned 35. I had this backup goal of doing an ironman instead if the Boston qualifying thing didn't play out. I always considered it to be one or the other. I never thought it would be a possibility that i might be able to do both, until last night. Ironman-Louisville 2009 is perfectly timed and is one week before i turn 35. Hmmmm, of course, there's the whole issue of learning to bike 112 miles and swim 2.4 miles. But hey there's a whole year to train for that!

Oh yeah, Boston 2009 registrations start on Wednesday!!!!

Men's Olympic Marathon

on Sunday, August 24, 2008 at 10:45 PM

Wow what a race. They went through the half at 2:05 pace. That's crazy considering the heat and humidity. I can't believe how fast they go. I was watched the live feed from the stadium and watched every runner finish. Last place guy who actually finished was from Japan and he looked like he was just shuffling along. i timed how long it took him to do the last 200m which was about 45s. That's still faster than I do my intervals at.

Well the marathon inspired me to do a long run today so i tried for 10 miles. I did the same 10.2 mile loop that i''ve done in the past and that i've measure in google earth. I took the garmin 405 again for a spin. I've only had a handful of runs with it so i'm still trying to get a feel of how it works. It measured the course as being 10.11 miles which is a bit short. I think it may have something to do with me stopping the garmin. I liked the autopause feature on the old garmin and it would stop about a second after i stopped running, but i find the autopause feature on the garmin 405 doesn't work so well as it takes a couple of seconds to register and even when i'm stopped, it will sometimes start up again. I've been using the start/stop button to pause, but i notice when i map the route that each time i stop and restart, it skips (doesn't record) about 20 m of the route which probably accounts for the missing distance. Since I had to stop a couple of times because of my HR and traffic lights, the gaps add up. Will have to try again without stopping or maybe trying out the autopause feature again.

I averaged 8:52 pace for the 10.2 miles. HR was higher than it normally would be, but i guess that's expected. HR spiked a couple of times and I had to stop a few times to let it come back down. Speaking of HR, i forgot to mention one thing about the wisdom teeth extraction. When I was getting prepped, they hooked up a HR monitor to my finger and the nurse had a puzzled look on her face and reached for my wrist to take my pulse manually. She asked if it was normal that I had a low HR. I said yes, that it's probably less than 50 cause I run a lot. She then told me that the meter was saying it was 37. wow. i've never had my HR that low.

Still being lazy...

on Saturday, August 23, 2008 at 9:57 AM

Have only been able to do one 5km run this past week which I did today at about 8:10 pace. It was tough. I remember being able to crank out 15 miles at below 8:00 pace back in peak condition. Those were the days... I've been overloaded at work with something that's due next Friday so no time for running, but we got a bit of a breather with a one week extension so i might try and squeeze a few more runs in this week.

Men's olympic marathon is tonight. Don't you dare miss it!


on Monday, August 18, 2008 at 11:25 PM

Well been over a week since i last posted. recovery has been fine. I have these big black holes where my wisdom teeth used to be and it's been hard to eat for fear of dislodging the black scabs. Ran on Saturday for 6 miles, tried to go very slow considering it was my first run in 2 weeks and a week after the oral surgery extraction but still had to walk for bits. Ran today for about 4.5 miles at 8:45 pace. Just watched Simon Whitfield win a silver medal in the olympic triathalon. He seemed to be out of it with about a km to go but dugg deep and sprinted to the end and took the lead with about 200m to go, but you got to give it to the German for hanging tough and out sprinting him. Man thought Simon was going to win the gold. Would have been nice since he's my age and it's nice to know that us older guys still have it in us.


on Saturday, August 9, 2008 at 11:06 AM

I survived the wisdom teeth extraction. I had a generally positive experience (so far). Got some laughing gas and then was injected with general anesthesia. I don't remember a thing. The next thing I remember was waking up in another room and the nurse changing the gauze in my mouth.

I don't remember even giving them my credit card or signing to pay for the procedure. My dad had driven me to the office and on the way home, I was searching through my wallet for my drug plan card so I could get the prescription for pain killers filled, but it wasn't there. I'm sure it should have been there cause I had checked the night before. I told may dad that I would have to go home to get my drug card before I could get the presription filled, but he then told me that I had already given it to him while at the office. I don't have any recollection of that either. Weird.

So bleeding has almost stopped and there isn't any swelling and other than the one Tylenol 3 I took abut an hour after the procedure which they told me to do, I haven't needed to take another one (knock on wood). I'm suprisingly not hungry considering that the only thing I've had to eat in the past 24 hours was a small jar of baby food this morning.

If recovery continues to go this well, I may be able to start running again next weekend. They say the worse is 2-3 days after the procedure so I'll have a better idea on Monday.

Wisdom Teeth

on Thursday, August 7, 2008 at 10:10 PM

Well tomorrow's the big day. I'm getting my wisdom teeth extracted. I haven't done any running at all this week and i suppose it's for the best. I've been trying to put on some weight since I'll probably be on an all liquid/all painkiller diet for the next couple of days. I'm pretty skinny to begin with so I can't afford to lose too much weight.

Dental procedures don't generally phase me. I've had root canals, fillings, even had some work done on my jaw bone a while back and none of it really worried me. I think it dates back to getting my first root canal when i was 14 or so. Someone had told me it would be the worse pain in the world, even worse they child birth and it ended up being that the procedure didn't hurt at all. I wasn't really worried about the extractions until early this week when people started asking me about it and telling me about complications that people they knew had endured. I did some googling and that's the worse thing to do as you only get search results of people that had horrible experiences. If you're looking for something humurous, go onto youtube and do some searches for "wisdom teeth aftermath" and see some funny videos of people doped up.

I've pretty much accepted that i won't be able to run for another two weeks after the procedure so thoughts of doing any racing this fall are now on the back burner. I'll just be happy to try and get back into an acceptable running shape before the winter sets in and hopefully I'll have recovered.

Look at the pretty maps...

on Sunday, August 3, 2008 at 7:39 PM

Did 18 mile long run this morning with one mile at marathon pace effort. According to my brand spanking new garmin, it says I did 18.19 miles at 8:25 pace. You can see the route and data here. I mapped it out on google earth and it says i did 18.29 miles. Interesting. My older garmin would always over predict, but this 405 is underpredicting. I'll have to try a few more runs with it to see if this is going to be common or not.

I only originally intended to do 16 miles, but extended it a bit. I probably won't do a long run next week since I'm getting the wisdom teeth extracted on Friday so i wanted to put in a long run to see how the endurance is. I had thought about 10 miles in of maybe trying to push this to 20 miles, but since i haven't done any long runs more than 15 miles for quite some time, i figured it would be better to stop at 18.

I've kinda been in no mans land in terms of marathon training. I haven't been doing enough on my long runs to properly train for a marathon, but i'm doing enough that if I wanted to i could easily ramp up. I've been thinking about when the "point of no return is" for marathon training. What is the minimum amount of time that would be necessary to prepare for a marathon and run well? Pftiz has a 12 week schedule so i guess that's a start. I'm starting to enter the point of no return for several marathons. the Toronto waterfront is 8 weeks out, Chicago is 10 weeks out and the other Toronto one is 11 weeks out and the Hamiton one (which is nearby to Toronto) is 13 weeks out.

I'm thinking that considering my recent history that i could probably get by this time around with 7 weeks or so, that is, one month of solid training and a three week taper.

Buying stuff...

on Saturday, August 2, 2008 at 10:29 PM

One little wrinkle with the "merger" at work has been that we are getting a new dress code. It's always been casual and on most days I would be wearing jeans and a t-shirt. That's changing as starting next week, we are now supposed to be doing "business casual". i had to go out and expand my business wardrobe today so that people wouldn't realize how limited my business attire really is. I've been putting this off for weeks cause I hate shopping for clothes.

I still think I need to buy some more clothes tomorrow. Since I'm in a spending mood these days, I decided to plunk down some more money and buy a Forerunner 405 today. It's different. It has a touch sensitive bezel and it's a bit awkward to use. I much prefer the feedback that a button push gives. Will try it out on my long run tomorrow. I think I'm going to do it on the waterfront so that I can observe the huge piles of garbage that will have been left from the Caribana parade today.

Oh yeah, I did about 7 miles GA on Friday and a 6 mile recovery run today.

No motivation

on Thursday, July 31, 2008 at 9:06 PM

Did a 6 mile recovery run today. Did not run at all since the race on Sunday. I"m having a hard time with motivation without any race to train for. It's just very tough to force myself to get up in the morning to run, when I really don't need to.

A while back, I mentioned that the l aw firm i work for is "merging" with another. It's still hasn't happened yet, but supposedly will happen "soon" . They did let us in on some of the new benefits we will be receiving though. One benefit was a $600 gym membership reimbursement per year. But I later found out that it was applicable to any fitness activity. My first thought was: Race entry fees. Assuming an at par US Dollar, I've paid $567 in race entry fees this year which includes 3 marathons, two 10k's, one 8k and three 5k's. Yikes.

Free magazines?

on Tuesday, July 29, 2008 at 11:19 PM

Working in the intellec tual proprety field, I don't exactly condone this, but there an interesting website that posts scans of different magazines in a somewhat readable format. They have different types of magazines available one of which is Runnrs World. They also have some biking magazines amongst others. Can't see how this is in any way legal, but it's an interesting concept.
You can see it here.

10k race report

on Sunday, July 27, 2008 at 6:23 PM

Ran a 10k race this morning. Finished in 42:04 which is 4 seconds slower than I wanted and 2 seconds slower than my unofficial PR for the 10k set while doing the first 10k of a 15k race. I'm okay with it if the course is right since it still beats my true 10k time set back in 2006.

I was the first overall male!! As you can probably tell, there weren't any real fast people racing this. To give some perspective, there was a half marathon being run at the same time and the winner of the half had a faster overall pace than the winner of the 10k. BTW, the winner of the half did this while pushing a jogging stroller. In fact, the first 4 finishers of the half had a faster overall pace. Anyhow, i didn't come in first overall in the 10k as a woman beat me by 14 seconds to take that honour. I have no problems with that. I get the feeling though that she wasn't really going all out and could have easily have gone faster. The winner was actually one half of a pair of twins. The other twin finished behind me in third. The twins race together and wore matching outfits and were easy to pickout in the crowd. There are also much faster than me since they have done sub 40 minute 10k's and sub 1:30 half's before.

The oirignal schedule had the halfers going at 7:00am and the 10kers going at 7:15. I wanted to get up and eat a bagel at 5:00, but didn't until 5:30 or so. I thought it might be too late to eat a bagel so i downed a gel instead. Left home at about 6am for the 30 minute drive out to the race. Taking to heart previous comments about me depending on HR, i wanted to run this by effort but still record the HR for reference. I was scrambling in the morning to find some electrical tape to cover the HR reading on my watch. The best i could find were some file folder labels, but I ended up forgetting them at home.

Arrived with about 30 minutes to spare and picked up my bib and chip. The start for the half was delayed however as a wicked thunderstorm had come through the previous night and flooded and knocked down some trees on the trail. The city decided this morning that they couldn't let the race use the trail since it was now a hazard. This affected the half course, but not the 10k course. They rejigged the course and decided to have the 10kers and halfers start at the same time, but have the halfers do the 10k route twice, plus add a little bit to the half route to make up for the extra 1.1km they would have to run. Starting the race, i set myself not too near to the front. it took me about 8 seconds to cross the start line. One thing I knew was that I had to stay behind the twins since i knew they were faster than me. I had hoped to run this in just under 42 minutes which is 6:45 mile pace or about 4:12/km

Start out at what feels like a nice easy pace. Pass the first km marker in 4:01. Whoops a bit fast. Keep motoring right along and pass the 2nd km mark with a split time of 4:02. Sometime during the 3km, I pull up behind and end up passing one of the twins. 3rd km split was 4:01. The pace felt sustainable, but based on my past expereince with the 5km and doing 4:00min/km pace, I wasn't sure that it would be a good idea to hold this pace. By this time, I had banked about 30 seconds of time which was quite a bit when you think about it. I slowed down during km 4 to try and get back to the proper pace. If I could hold 6:45 pace the rest of the way, even with a bit of a fade, i could comfortable finish in under 42 minutes. KM 4 was in 4:14. The km markers after this were all screwed up and the split times were all over the place. I had no idea how much time I had to make up or afford to lose. For example, I passed the 8km mark of 31:41 which can't possibly be right since it means I could have averaged 8 min/mile pace (5:00min/km) for the final 2km and would have finished in under 42 minutes. I was certainly going faster than 8min/mile pace. With about 800m to go, I turned on my kick only to be surprised when I got to the finish line and the clock was already over 42 minutes.

So I finished 2nd overall, first male overall and won a $25 gift card and a little trophy. I'm sure I would have finished faster than 42 minutes if the km splits were more accurate. I'm not entirely certain that even the first couple of km which were clocked in at 4:00min/km were accurate. I probably should have worn my garmin, which I did last year and was thankful that I did cause the course was mismarked last year too. I think I may use the $25 gift card to partially offset the purchase of one of those new forerunner 405's.

Also, if I had known that I would have had a legitimate shot at finishing first overall, I would have started closer to the start and kicked for the finish a little earlier. As it turns out, the difference in the first place finishers chip time and mine were only 10 seconds which I think I could have easily made up. Mind you, that's assuming that the first place finsiher ran the same race. It's more than likely she could have outkicked me if she needed to.

I'm hesitant to call this a PR yet since I'm not entirely certain that the course is 10km long. I tried to plot it on google earth and it might be 10km but it really depends on the exact location of the turnaround points which I'm not quite sure where they were located. I'm hoping that someone will upload the race to Motionbased so i can find out.

The stats:

LapLap TimeHR MaxHR Avg

Finish time of 42:04 which is 4:12/km or 6:46 pace. Maximum HR reached was 188 which I suppose could have been a few beats higher if I had pushed more, especially towards the end. No HR spikes which is good though the HR monitor wasn't getting a good reading right at the start.

So that's it for summer races. I'm getting my wisdom teeth pulled in about 2 weeks and I'm sure I won't be in great racing shape shortly after that.

Terry Fox

on Friday, July 25, 2008 at 10:33 PM

Tuesday: Did about 6 miles total including some intervals around the track. Did 1200m, 800m and 2x400m with a 200m jog recovery in between of about 1:40. Did these all at faster than 6:18 pace which is what I was doing my VO2Max intervals at in the marathon buildup. Hopefully this means I've improved my fitness back to where it was leading up to the marathon. I tried to do this workout about a month ago and struggled to maintain 6:40 and 6:45 pace so that's good. I've also lost the couple of pounds I've put on but I think that's more due to me increasing my mileage as of late. I'm still eating junk food. Yumm!

Thursday: Did 2x400@6:13 pace, 4 strides, 2x400@6:05 pace, 4 strides and 2x400@6:35 pace. The last 2x400m intervals I tried to do at 6:45 pace which I'm guessing is my 10k pace but they were a little fast. 6:35 pace felt relatively easy, but that's only over 400m. I can barely hold that pace over a 5k race so I know I will have to be slower come Sunday.

As for the race on Sunday, I'm looking forward to be able to witness a bit of history. Terry Fox was a Canadian runner who had his leg amputated due to cancer who set out to run across Canada in 1980 in the hopes of raising money for cancer research. Unfortunately he only made it about half way before the cancer returned and passed on shortly thereafter. The original aid van that accompanied Terry and his run has been found and restored to it's former glory and is being showcased at various locations across Canada this year and it will be at the race on Sunday.

Week in Review

on Monday, July 21, 2008 at 10:50 PM

Wednesday: 10.2 miles @ 8:26 pace
Thursday: 5.4 miles recovery
Friday: About 6 miles total including 3x1 miles at LT pace
Saturday: 3.1 miles @9:24 pace
Sunday: 15.6 miles @8:19 pace

Last week's run's were blah. Tried to do a 5 mile LT run on Friday, but couldn't get up to it. It was too humid and i was dehydrated. Managed to do 3x1 miles with about a lap of recovery, first two in 6:55 and last one in 7:00. Didn't get out till noon on Saturday and it was way too hot and humid. Sunday was freshing cause it rained the entire run. Forgot how enjoyable it is not to worry about having to take in enough fluids to compensate for water loss through sweating. Managed a total of just under 50 miles for the week.

This upcoming week is a taper week for a 10k I'm doing on Sunday. Will probably just do a couple of intervals sessions to work on leg turnover and hopefully get accustomed to 10k pace which I'm hoping will be 6:45 pace which put me in a little under a 42 minute finish time.

Weird Dream

on Tuesday, July 15, 2008 at 8:49 PM

I don't seem to be getting enough sleep lately. In the peak of training, i was able to get by on 5-6 hour a sleep. Nowadays, i wake up tired even when i get 7 hours of rest. I had the weirdest dream last night. I dreamt that I had ran a sub 3 hour marathon and came in 2nd overall only to be disqualified (along with the first place finisher) because we somehow skipped a mile. Strange eh?

So my intention this morning was to try and get out and do a 5 mile LT run. Almost perfect weather. Cool and not windy, but I just couldn't get up to speed today. Did a slow 2 mile warmup and then was able to put out one mile at about 7:15 pace, but couldn't go any faster. I guess I haven't quite recovered from the 5k race on Sunday. It could also be because my brain thinks I ran a marathon last night. I can't say for certain. I ended up doing 8 miles today which included some walking.

I'm going to try and get to 40 miles this week and run for 6 days. I will probably reattempt the LT run on Friday.

Nissan 5k Report

on Sunday, July 13, 2008 at 3:02 PM

Short story is that I finished in 20:25 which is a bit slower than the time I ran last week. Go figure. I felt that I paced this race a lot better though, albeit with a bid of a fade in the middle, but not because I went out too fast, but because there was a wicked head wind. Weather was overcast and there was a bit of a drizzle at the start. Other than the wind, it was pretty good racing weather.

Having learned my lesson last time, I didn't want to be anywhere near the front at the start of the race. Race starts and everyone seems to be going out at the right pace. I hit the first km marker at 4 min flat. Perfect pacing. One issue I had was that my HR spiked during the first km. I had warmed up as best I could, but was afraid this was going to happen. I got through the race last week with no issues, but today the HR would remain elevated for almost half the race. I pulled up behind a bunch of people that seem to be going at the right pace and cruise along passing the 1 mile mark at 6:26 which is again perfect. Continue along with the 2nd km at 4:01. Shortly after the 2km mark, the field splits up with the 5k people turning around and the 10 mile people continuing on. Unfortunately all the people I was pacing off of were doing the 10 miler so once I hit the turnaround there were only a couple people in front of me and around me. Once we turn around there is a headwind that caused me to slow down. With my HR still spiking, it was hard to gauge the effort. The few stragglers that were doing the 5k with me were all slowing down too much so I had to pass them. 3km split is 4:13. My HR settled down shortly after the 3 km mark. 4km split is the slowest of the race. I was running this km alone though I could hear footsteps behind me. I think a bunch of people were using me to block the wind. Bastards! 4km split was 4:18. Last km would turn out to be my fastest, but even so, about three guys (who I think were the ones using me to block the wind) passed me in the final km. Geez thanks guys. Tried to hold them off, but was basically running as fast as i could and they ended up passing me. Last km was in 3:53.

Lap Lap Time Pace
1 04:00.3 06:26.7
2 04:01.4 06:28.5
3 04:13.1 06:47.3
4 04:17.8 06:54.9
5 03:52.8 06:14.7

Other than the portion where the HR was spiking, maximum HR was again 193 which was right at the end. Again I faded at km 3 and 4 though I think it had to do with the wind. I have to work on pushing in these km harder though my HR for km 4 averaged about 190, so i'm not sure I could have gone much faster. I think it may be a sign that my LT has slipped a bit. I may try another one soon, but I think I have to build up my LT and endurance before i do. Maybe in the fall.

Another 5k attempt

on Thursday, July 10, 2008 at 11:15 PM

Tuesday: Did about 6 miles including some VO2Max intervals around the track. Did only 3x800 and 2x400m. HR was spiking all over the place and I was just out of energy. I think it may have had something to do with bad sleep.

Today: Did a little over 9 miles which included 4 miles at LT pace. It was very cool today. Started out at 14C which was refreshing. Headed over to the track to do 16 laps of LT which I ended up averaging 6:51 pace for. I did these at the track cause I wanted to throw in some intervals at 5k pace after to try and get used to the feeling of running 5k pace on tired legs. I was only able to handle an 800 and then 2x400m at 5k pace afterwards. Needed to use walking recoveries cause I was pretty tired after each rep.

Signed up for another 5k race this weekend. Will try again for sub 20. Hope to be able to go out at the proper pace this time and hold on. I think this will be my last 5k attempt at least for this summer. I will next try a 10k at the end of July to hopefully break 42 minutes and then I get my wisdom teeth pulled!! Yah!!!! Depending on how that recovery goes I will probably then start training for a fall half. I haven't decided on Chicago yet, but it's looking more likely that I won't do it this year.

Week in Review

on Sunday, July 6, 2008 at 11:43 PM

Tuesday: 10km race, most of it at LT pace.

Thursday: Did 7 miles total including a couple of laps around the track at 5k pace to calibrate my foot pod.

Saturday: 5km race

Sunday: 15.6 miles. Today was warm. Did a 10.2 mile loop and then a 5.4 loop to arrive at the total. I had to slow down and walk towards the end. My HR was spiking. Back in April, I could do the 10.2 mile loop with just one bottle of gatorade, come back home, top up the fluids and then head out again. Trying to do that now is a lot harder with the warmer temperatures. I averaged 8:47 pace for the 10.2 mile loop and 9:25 for the 5.4 miles which included the walking bits.

So i've been looking at the Garmin 405 again. Two weekends ago, I was trying to find some place here in Canada that sold them online, but they seem to be sold out everywhere. When I went to go pick up my race kit on Friday, to my surprise the Running Room had the 405 (without the HR strap) in stock. I would have boughten one the previous week if I had known however my online research discovered that Polar now sells a GPS accessory for my current watch. Basically, the GPS add on sends outs to the watch the same informaton as the foot pod except it uses GPS to determine speed. The watch doesn't even know it's being used with a GPS device. I'm thinking that's probably the best way to upgrade since it would allow me to keep using my current watch and HR monitor as well as the Polar software which I use to log all my runs. I'm just trying to find out how accurate the instantaneous pace is before I commit. I know that Garmin's have really bad instantaneous pace measurements and if the Polar has the same problem it may not be worth it to upgrade.

Rebecca Run 5k Race Report

on Saturday, July 5, 2008 at 5:22 PM

Did 5k race this morning. The Rebecca Run is a 5k race I've done before. It's organized to raise awareness about Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Race kit was stuffed with quite a bit of material, including a technical T-shirt, though a lot of the stuff was for women. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the leg shaving razor they included though. I tried shaving my legs once in high school (for a swim meet) and I ain't doing that ever again. Letting the hair grow back is TORTURE.

Still wasn't sure if I was in sub 20min shape, but decided to go for it anyways. Still not quite familiar with the 4min/km pace yet so I ran this with my foot pod which I had calibrated on Thursday for that pace.

Anyhow arrived with about 45 minutes before the start and did a very brief jog warmup and a couple of accelerations to 5k pace to check to see that the foot pod was working okay. Probably about 15 minutes warmup tops. The last time I did a 5k, I spent about 30 minutes warming up and I think that was too much.

The race runs around a park with narrow trails and it's important to start near the front if you want a good time. Thankfully, they were telling people that were at the front who shouldn't have been at the front to move back. The running surfaces for the race are a little mix of everything. The first little bit is on pavement, then switches to a dirt trail and then to a boardwalk, back to a paved trail and then onto crushed gravel and then onto pavement again. We had to do a second loop of part of the course so we had to do the crushed gravel thing twice.

So the race starts and I try to hold back a bit. Right off the bat, there was a group of people to run with so I start off behind them and they seem to be going at a good clip. Onto the dirt trail and boardwalk and i kinda felt like the group was holding me back a bit. The trails and boardwalk were just too narrow to pass at this point. The group finally goes into single file and I pick up the pace to try and drop them. Pass this first km marker at 3:49. As usual too fast. Foot pod measurement is way off though and measures it as being 966m. One problem with the foot pod is that it's sensitve to the type of surface it's being used on. Switching from pavement, to trail, to boardwalk confuses it and so the measurement is off.

After the 1km marker, I'm basically running by myself. The people ahead of me are way ahead of me except for the first place woman who was about 40m or so ahead. Try and slow down a bit, but the effort is definitely feeling tough. The 2nd km is entirely on pavement and I run that in 3:58. Foot pod measures the distance as being exactly 1 km. Pretty accurate. By the end of the 2nd km, my HR is in the high 180's. One thing I wanted to do in the race is to try and keep the HR above 185 for most of the race.

About 3/4 of the third km is on crushed gravel which doesn't exactly give good footing. Plus I kinda feel myself starting to fade. The third km marker was misplaced and I hit that with a split of 5:22. Shortly after the 3km marker, we pass by the finish line for the first time, but we still have to do the gravel loop again. The 4km marker was short and I hit that split at 3:06. For the two km together, I averaged 4:14/km or 6:48 pace. Looking at the split I see I have to makeup about 13 s to go sub 20, but it just wasn't in me today. I did set out to catch the first place woman who was ahead of me which I was able to do. In the process, some guy came blowing by me in the last km to finish at least 18 seconds ahead of me. That sucked. The last km I did in 4:08.

Lap Time HR Max HR Avg Dist(km)
03:47.8 186 169 0.966
03:57.6 189 186 1
05:21.6 189 188 1.265
03:05.9 190 189 0.716
04:08.0 193 190 0.978

So the footpod didn't fare too well with the varying surfaces. The fade over the course of the race probably didn't help much either since for most of the race I was running at a pace that the foot pod wasn't calibrated at. Final finish time of 20:21 though it's probably 2 s faster or so cause I wasn't right at the start line and they didn't have chip times. Averaged 6:33 pace. Was able to keep the HR up for most of the race and topped out at 193 right at the end.

Interesting thing was that I came in first in my age group! I got a medal and a book about Lance Armstrong as a prize. The book has a picture of Armstrong on the front and I originally thought it was the book written by him, but it appears to be a motivational book written about him.

So my first ever age group first place finish, except for that time two years ago when I was robbed of a first place finish overall. I still don't like where my VO2Max is as I just couldn't take in enough oxygen to make the legs go any faster. I also would have liked to see how I would have done if I had run the first km on pace, as I think it would prevent me from going into oxygen debt which would then highlight my lack of VO2Max ability which produces my nice patented 5k fade.

There's another 5k race next weekend and I was thinking of doing that in another attempt at sub 20. It takes place at the same time as a 10 miler that I did last year. it's quite crowded, but more people means more people to pace off of. These races are starting to add up though and I have to start half marathon(maybe full?) training at some point if I expect to PR in the half in the fall. I seem to be in perpetual taper mode for these 5k's as I'm afraid to put in too much mileage the week before the race. Even if I get in a 15 mile long run tomorrow, I will only have done 30 miles for the week.

Run for Canada 10k Race Report

on Tuesday, July 1, 2008 at 7:38 PM

Happy Canada Day to all Canadians and Canadians at heart!

I did a 10k race this morning. I had thoughts of maybe trying to set a PR this morning. Unfortunately I slept in a bit and didn't leave until 7:00am. The race was at 8:00am downtown and it would take me about 30 minutes to drive there. The staging area is at Ontario's Place. I thought I'd be smart (which turned out to be a dumb idea) and try and park about a mile away from the main parking lot in which there was bound to be a line-up. I had hoped to pit stop at a local park on the jog over to use the restroom which would allow me to arrive at the race with about 15 minutes to spare. Unfortunatley the doors on the bathroom were locked and so I had to do the porta-pottie lineup when I got there. So by the time I've finished my business there's only about 5 minutes till the race start. I wanted to get close to the start line, but it was tough to get in since they had fences around the startline and it was packed. I started walking towards the back until I saw some free space and jumped the fence and waited for the start. I was kinda expecting them to sing the national anthem with it being Canada Day and all but they didn't. Oh well.

The race starts and it takes me over a minute to cross the start line and I had much difficulty trying to get up to speed. I was weaving in and around people. The first 400m were okay since I could run on the grass and pass people but then the road goes into this chute like area with fences and there were just too many people and I had to slow down. No PR for me today. Once we past the chute, we get out onto the road with oncoming traffic, I was able to start getting up to speed again and hit the 1st km marker at 4:29 which I was surprised with since I felt like I was going much slower.

Shortly after the 1km marker, I pull up beside C who I'd met at the Scotiabank marathon last fall. I saw him at a couple of races I did last year and struck up a conversation after the marathon last year where we had both bombed at trying to go 3:10. Anyhow, I wanted to see how his running was going and slowed down to his pace. He was going much slower than he normally would. As it turns out, he had hurt his knee and was pacing a friend today. I spent about half a km chatting with him and then continued on. Hit the 2nd km marker at 4:31 which again surprised me cause I thought it would have been much slower. The surge after my brief chat sent my HR spiking. I've noticed that this seems to occur when I suddenly change pace drastically. Maybe if I had warmed up properly, this wouldn't have occurred. Anyhow, I run the entire 3rd km with HR spiking and have a 4:19 split.

Shortly after the 3km marker, the HR returns to normal. The rest of the race is pretty uneventful, pulling off of a couple of km in the 4:20's and a couple in the teens. I really tried to turn it on in the last km trying to pass as many people as I could and managed a 4:00 min km split. Finished with a final time of 43:24 with a 53s negative split. I probably could have gone faster, but with the slow first two km and then the HR spiking, I didn't want to burn myself out since I have a 5k race this weekend.

KM Lap Time Pace
1 04:29.2 07:13.2
2 04:31.2 07:16.5
3 04:18.9 06:56.7
4 04:22.9 07:03.1
5 04:26.5 07:08.9
6 04:22.6 07:02.6
7 04:14.9 06:50.2
8 04:22.6 07:02.6
9 04:16.5 06:52.8
10 03:58.7 06:24.2

Average pace was 6:59 but this was a bit off considering the first two slow kms. Chatted with Kenny after the race and jogged back to my car. I had paid $10 for parking thinking that this was going to be cheap considering today was a public holiday. Unfortunately, this would turn out to be too much. Ontario Place was offering parking in the morning at the site for only $5 and even the park which is about .5 miles from Ontario place and is normally full had hourly $1 parking which probably would have only been $2-$3 for the race. Feeling like I had been ripped off, I decided to spend a couple more hours at Ontario Place. The race kit had come with a pass to Ontario place which normally would cost $30, so to try and justify the parking cost, I decided to head back to Ontario Place. Thankfully, the $5 parking they were offering was only valid for the morning and they jacked up the price to $12 by the time I had gotten back. I kinda felt vindicated, but still ripped off.

Anyhow, the shirt is a bit weird since they had the bib number printed on it which means you had to wear it during the race which is a bit of a taboo. I really like the design of the shirt. It's supposed to be modeled after what the Canadian athletes will be wearing in Beijing at the Olympics. The shirts were a bit on the large side. I normally would wear a medium, but got the small which fit pretty good.

Also the medal was really cool. Made by the Canadian Mint (they make our coin currency), the medal was also designed (i think) to follow a Chinese theme by looking like an ancient coin. Here's a closer look.

You have to imagine that it's all shiny like a brand new quarter would be.

Happy Canada Day!