Watching paint dry...

on Saturday, February 28, 2009 at 12:32 PM

...watching grass grow or running laps on an indoor track. These are all about equivalent in terms of excitment. Did 4 miles recovery this morning around the track and was quite boring. We've had a recent spell of really cold temperatures. It was -12C around when i left so thought i'd head to try out the track.

The track is suspended above a hockey rink so it's not actually quite long being 161m long for one lap which means you have to run 10 of them to get to one mile. There isn't much in the way of scenery up there and if it wasn't for the fact there was some activity on the ice below, it would have driven me crazy. 4 miles required 40 laps. I'm pretty sure I wasn't going to be able to keep track of 40 laps and I didn't feel like pushing the lap button on my watch 40 times. I wanted to bring my Polar foot pod measuring thing, but i've been running my recovery runs in my nike frees and the foot pod doesn't feel comfortable when laced into the frees. I ended up bringing my garmin hoping that it would be able to get a satellite signal, but the measuring wasn't too great. You can see the map here. It thinks I did a little under 2.5 miles which is wrong. In the end, I was able to figure out that it took me a little over a minute to do a lap which means that 1 mile would been done in a little over 10 minutes so i ended up just running for 41 minutes or so.

There was a practice going on below for little kids. It was funny to watch cause when one kid would fall there would be a chain reaction with other kids tripping over the one that fell and you would end up with a big pile of kids on the ice. Anyhow, i think this is probably one thing I'm not going to do again anytime soon. It's just too boring. As much as i detest treadmill running, this was worse. If I had brought my mp3 player, it might have been a bit better but i'm not sure that even an mp3 player could save a long run on this track.

Insert Interesting Title Here...

on Thursday, February 26, 2009 at 10:13 PM

Did about 4.5 miles recovery pace yesterday at about 9:25 pace. Was supposed to do 5, but was ran into some stomach problems part way into the run and decided to head for home.

Today did 8 miles overall at about 8:40 pace. Did this run after work. I've been pretty good as of late getting up in the morning to run, but i couldn't roll out of bed this morning. I always check the weather for the following morning the night before and I knew that there was supposed to be a dusting of snow on the sidewalks which have been pretty clear these past few days. I think my subconscious realized the snow was going to melt during the day and it would be better to run in the evening. It's that or I'm just lazy.

So i mentioned a while ago that i signed up for another gym membership that provides access to an indoor track. Well in keeping with my general ability to pay for gym memberships and not use them, I haven't been there since I signed up for it at the end of December. I'm going to try and head there on Saturday morning for a recovery run.

Start of Recovery Week

on Tuesday, February 24, 2009 at 10:44 PM

Decided to keep with the recovery week. I have plenty of other chances to deviate from the plan so why start now. Plan for today was 8 miles with 8 strides. In total did 8.5 miles @ 8:22 pace. This was a lot faster than I've been doing my runs lately. I guess the training is starting to kick in now. It's been a while since I've done any strides. They felt very uncoordinated.

So it's a little under 2 months till boston. I've been lately following the Boston forum on Runner's World. A couple of people designed these shirts for distribution at a FE (forum event) at Boston. I sent my cheque in for one last week.



The logo is a similar replica of the famous CIT GO logo on the Boston course. If you don't know what HTFU means, well you can probably figure it out from the title of the following video.

Hamster Wheel...

on Sunday, February 22, 2009 at 11:01 PM

I had a 17 mile long run planned for today. We got a couple of inches of snow last night. I checked outside this morning and it seemed to be okay to run through, but the wind was blowing quite hard. I thought about driving downtown to do it since the main trail downtown gets priority snow clearance, but I just didn't feel like battling the wind which would be worse by the lake, so I headed off to the gym.

I've been casually listening to running podcasts these past few weeks. I've been sampling a bunch of them trying to get a feel for what i might like to listen to on a regular basis. There are just too many of them that are too long to be able to listen to them all. I downloaded about a gig's worth of stuff onto my mp3 player hoping to hear something interesting. Unfortunately i ended up only listening to one podcast since i forgot to reset the maximum volume setting on my mp3 player. It's set at 60% which means that it will only play up to a maximum volume of 60% which keeps it from blowing out my eardrums and is normally okay for listening to music, but isn't loud enough to hear someone talk. After about an hour, i ended up stopping it and plugging it into the treadmill earphone jacks to listen to what was being shown on the TV. There was a little segment on Trish Stratus the former WWE star. She's apparently turned to Yoga and has even started up here own studio up here. She's flexible....

As for the run itself, i did 10.5 miles at 6.5mi/hr (9:13 pace), 2.5 miles at 6.6mi/hr (9:05 pace) and then did the final 4 miles at 6.8mi/hr (8:50 pace). HR creeped up above 160 for the last couple of miles. Comparing this run to a 17 mile run I did on the treadmill last year, it is evident that I've slowed down quite a bit. Last year I could maintain 8min/mile at a HR of less than 160. Of course that was after a marathon training cycle so the comparison might not be fair.

So total for the week was 47 miles. This upcoming week is supposed to be a stepback week to 37 miles. I've been thinking of maybe just repeating this past week instead, but I might need the rest and recovery. Will see how I'm feeling the next couple of days first.

Enjoy your week all!

Winter's back

on Thursday, February 19, 2009 at 10:48 PM

Did a little over 5 miles yesterday at 10 min/mile pace. It was really tough. I didn't really drink a lot the day before and I don't think i was recovered from the LT run the previous day.

Did 10.2 miles miles this morning at about 9:20 pace. Weather was just below freezing. I contemplated going back to sleep when I woke up but realized the weather was going to worse in the evening and I don't want to run at the gym so I trudged out the door. There was about 2cm of snow on the ground and running through it was a bit of a chore. Guess I've been spoiled the past few weeks being able to run on bare pavement/sidewalks. Basically tried to keep the HR below 160.

I've noticed that my HR monitor has been giving me problems over the past few months. Sometimes the reading will be zero. It doesn't show in the graph but basically anytime there is a constant horizontal reading such as during the 1 mile mark, the watch is actually not picking up a signal from the HR monitor and gives me a reading of zero. I discovered by accident about a month ago, an undocumented feature where if I hold my watch right up to the HR monitor while it is doing this that the watch will reset and reaquire the signal which causes it to work again. Previously, i would stop the watch and restart it which was a bit of a pain cause then I had to merge the two data files. I've had the HR monitor for about 4.5 years so i guess it was bound to start having problems eventually.

Poodle Puppy...

on Tuesday, February 17, 2009 at 9:06 PM

Headed out this morning to do 9 miles with 4 @ LT pace. Pretty good weather. It was -10C but there was no wind which is how i like it. Most of the snow has melted and the track at the local high school is clear. Decided to head out and do the LT run there. Did a very slow 3 mile jog to the track and then did 17 laps (4.2 miles)at LT pace.

Ran the LT part by HR trying to keep it at just under 180. I ended up averaging 7:23 pace for the LT portion. This however included one lap where I had to stop because a guy walking his poodle let him off the leash and he started running beside me. I slowed down a bit hoping that the dog would get bored and go back to his owner who was yelling for him, but he just stayed with me. He then starting bumping into my legs. I don't think he was trying to bite me or anything, but i ended up having to stop cause he was so small and I was afraid that I might accidentally kick the poor little guy.

Finished off with another 2.3 miles at about 9min pace. Total for the day was about 9.5 miles @ about 8:40 pace.

New Look...

on Monday, February 16, 2009 at 9:58 PM

If anyone watched the Simpsons last night there was a new intro to the show that added most of the new characters into it and made it seem more modern, yet at the same time still faithful to the original. So in honour of that, I've updated my blog to a new look. The old one is the one I was using since the blog was started way back when so it was time for a change. Still haven't worked out all the kinks, but it's usable now.

In case you missed it...

Youtube Link

Family Day!

Saturday: 3 mile recovery run

Sunday: 15.6 miles at about 9:09 pace. This was about 3 miles more than i did last week and was the longest run I've done since the beginning of August of last year. The week was about a 10 mile increase in mileage (to 40 miles/week) so i planned to run this by keeping the HR below 160. First 3 miles was done at 9:27 pace, next 7.2 miles @ 8:56 pace and the last 5.4 miles @9:07 pace which was a bit of a fade at the end. The big bump in mileage was to try and get back into a training schedule. I've moved into week 4 of the 18 week plan of Pfitz to coincide with the Ottawa marathon. Week 4 is a 42 mile week and a 15 mile long run so that fit in well. I had considered trying to jump back into Pfitz' 12 week plan for Boston which would have required a 43 mile week with a 16 mile long run, but it requires a 5 mile LT run tomorrow and i'm not sure i'm going to be able to handle that. Even the plan I'm on requires a 4 mile LT run tomorrow which is going to be tough. Plus, the 12 week plan packs a lot of running into a relatively short period of time and i don't want to risk hurting myself. I'm obviously going to have juggle running Boston into the schedule but since I'll be doing it as a slow long run, it shouldn't be too difficult.

So it's a holiday up here in parts of Canada (ie, Family Day) and i have some time to catch up on some things. While surfing around this morning i noticed a new 10 mile race on April 5 that runs around the golf cart path on a local golf course. It's two weeks before Boston and the week after Around the Bay. I like doing interesting races so I signed up for it. They host a half and 10k road race in the fall, both of which I've done and it's a pretty well run event. It's a pricey at $90, but they are giving out a "first-class race jacket" which should partly offset the cost. I just hope that it's not plastered with sponsors logos. The training plan currently has a 20 mile long run planned for that day so a may end up swaping that with the previous week which only has a 14 mile long run as part of a recovery week.

Splish Splash...

on Thursday, February 12, 2009 at 10:47 PM

I did a little over 9 miles in the evening on Tuesday at about 8:49 pace and then did 3 mile recovery the following morning. This morning I did a little over 9 miles at just over 9 min/miles. The weather was miserable this morning. The temperature has warmed up to about 5C and all the craploads of snow we had gotten over the past couple of weeks is now melting and to top it all off, it basically did not stop raining last night or today. Thankfully, it was above freezing cause I'd gate to see how much snow we would have gotten otherwise.

Looking back at it now, I'm not sure how I got myself out the door this morning. It was rainy and windy and the sidewalks had big puddles in them. Have you ever noticed that when you run through puddles that you alter your stride to avoid splashing water on yourself? If you stride normally while running through a puddle, your foot lands, kicking up water, which just happens to conincide with the forward movement of the other foot which basically causes it to get soaked. I noticed that I tend to either try and get my other foot ahead of the splash or lag behind it so it doesn't get wet. I think someone should do a PhD thesis on this cause i think it would help a lot of runners.

As bad as it was this morning, I'm kinda glad now that I went cuase the temperature has dropped to freezing which means the sidewalks are probably now skating rinks.


on Monday, February 9, 2009 at 9:24 PM

Rest day today, my quads are a bit sore. I tried the foam roller thing today for the first time in a while and it hurt bad.

So I'm signed up to do the Around the Bay 30k race at the end of March. The race takes place in Hamilton and is supposed to be older than Boston. Unfortunately Hamilton is not known for its tourism and doesn't seem to have much in the way of hotel space as I've been having a hard time trying to find a room close to the start. I'm tentatively booked at a place about 6 miles away. Looks like I will be driving to the start line on race morning.

This got me looking at Ottawa hotels as well for their marathon, but it's a bit hard to judge right now how many nights I will stay in Ottawa and whether I will drive there or fly there or sit on a train. I've got family in Ottawa so I might try and see if they'll put me up for a night, but if I'm staying longer, I'll probably want a hotel room.

Here was an interesting video I saw on digg today.

Youtube Link
There's a bit of running in it, kinda.

Slow is me...

on Sunday, February 8, 2009 at 8:04 PM

Headed downtown to do my long run today which ended up being about 12.5 miles. Quite a few people out running. Averaged about 9:15 pace but that included a couple of portions when I walked a bit cause my HR was spiking. This tends to happen right when I start back up after I've stopped for a traffic light or today where I had to get rid of a pebble in my shoe. I would normally just completely stop and wait for the HR to get back under control, but i was a bit pressed for time and ended up walking through it and it seemed to get the HR back under control more quickly. I think next time, rather than stop at the traffic light, i will jogg in place to keep the HR up since coming to a complete stop seems to be what causes it. This run felt hard. This is the longest distance I've run in over a month and my HR is higher than it normally would be. I know this will come down with continued training, but these things are always humbling.

I brought my cell phone down with me today. It was a bit awkward to run with it since it's a bit on the heavy side and I only had a chest pocket and one in the back of my pants. While it was in my chest pocket, I think it was interfering with my HR signal which it why there's a weird reading in the above graph at the start. I then moved it to my butt pocket but I'm sure it looked weird from behind. Took a few pics. Sorry for the crappy resolution.

Snow Covered Boardwalk

Winter Swans

Ottawa Marathon...

on Saturday, February 7, 2009 at 9:09 AM

Did 9 miles outside yesterday at about 9:45 pace. I'm still having problems getting up in the morning to get out so i did it late in the evening. I'm going to try for about a 12 to 13 mile run tomorrow and am considering driving downtown for it tomorrow. Running the same route up here in the burbs is getting boring, plus we're supposed to get some rain today and with temperatures being above freezing and the massive amounts of melting snow that is around, there's going to be a crap load of flooded and puddled sidewalks.

I've volunteered to be the 3:50 pace bunny at the Ottawa marathon which is on May 24. I've had fun pacing half's before. This will be the first time I try to pace a full. I think the pace shouldn't be a problem, but a part of me is concerned about the unknown of being on my feet for almost 4 hours which is something I have not done in a couple of years. I will get a better judge of it after Boston where I hope to run slower than 4:10 so if that goes well, then Ottawa should be a breeze. I also put my name into the hat to pace the Mississauga half, but a decision won't be made on that till the end of February.


on Wednesday, February 4, 2009 at 11:19 PM

Went to the gym this evening and did 9 miles on the treadmill. I had wanted to do it outside this morning, but I just can't get up in the morning to do it. I even went to bed last night at 9pm fully expecting to be up bright and early to get the run in. Alas, I still haven't been able to convince myself in the morning that running outside is better than sleeping in a nice warm bed.

Most of the run was done at 6.5 mi/hr since I'm still trying to ease back into it. I did do one mile @ 8.3mi/hr just to see if I could handle it.

One side effect of the internet access issues at work is that I can't read blogs during my lunch hour, so I have to read actual paper things like newspapers and magazines. So today I read the January edition of Runners World which I've had for a couple of months now. BTW, I cancelled my subscription about a month ago when I realized I only skim through it looking at the pictures. I still have to read the February edition which I'll do tomorrow. As a tip, you can access back issues for free on Google Books. You can also read Running Times there too. One of the articles I read was on shoelace tying. Apparently, I tie my shoe laces wrong. I tie "granny knots" which supposedly make it easier for my shoe laces to come undone. My shoelaces tend to come undone quite frequently and this is probably the reason. I tried doing it the right way and it felt strange. Guess I got to get used to it. You can read more about it here.

Back in the game

on Sunday, February 1, 2009 at 11:11 PM

I haven't been able to do much training these past two weeks. Friday I did 6 miles at the gym after work at a slow pace which is the first run I did in about 2 weeks. I came back an hour ago from a 10.2 mile long run outside at about 9:45 pace. Yes, I missed the Super Bowl. I did tape it, so I'll probably try and get around to watching it sometime this week. I already know who won but for me it's the execution that counts and not the final outcome. Watching TV is going to get a lot more difficult this week cause all the shows I'm interested in are starting to come back now. There's Lost, Heroes, Chuck, Fringe, 24 and Life on Mars to name a few.

So with my work thing done, I should have more free time to post and read, unless my TV watching gets in the way. While surfing around today and visting a bunch of running forums that i've read in the past, I noticed a thread indicating that they shut down Boston registrations last week for this year. Wow that's really early. Last year, it didn't close until the end of February and this year it filled up a whole month earlier and last year they had the Olympic trials. I guess the Last Chance for Boston Marathon which is in two weeks is going to have to change their name now or otherwise move the marathon to sometime in January.