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!