Happy Father's Day

on Sunday, June 21, 2009 at 7:03 PM

Happy Father's Day all!

It seems at the beginning of each summer training season, I always have this one really miserable long run where I didn't drink enough the day before and didn't drink enough during the run. Well today was that one run. I wanted to do 14 miles today and though I got through it, I ended up having to walk lots at the end. I still haven't gotten used to the warm weather yet and I was sweating buckets. I carried only one thing of bottled water when i probably should have brought a gatorade bottle or my fluid bottle. My HR was spiking all over the place and i was just too dehydrated at the end. I guess I just need these types of runs to force me to remember to keep hydrated. The run is here.

Lesson learned (again).

Run the Lake 5k Race Report

I've previously done the 10k that's part of this event. This was the first time I've attempted the 5k. I arrived to a steady downpour of rain and blowing wind and had some reservations about running it. Picked up my bib and a timing chip. I think this was the first time they've used chips. They had previously timed it manually. Did a bit of a warmup, not much, probably about 10 minutes or so with some all out strides. My HR was spiking which i usually find happens when i suddenly start exerting a lot of effort. I was eventually able to get it to settle down prior to the race start and then lined up, trying to jog in place to keep the HR from dropping too low. By this point, the rain was coming down lightly, but there was a heck of a wind coming from the west. Since it was an out and back course, the first half went directly into the wind.

As usual, the goal was to try to maintain 4min/km. The km markers were off so the splits aren't quite right. First km was about on pace. Garmin measured it as being 1.02km and a time of 4:02 which was 3:57 pace. Now usually, the first km one is jockying for position and you don't really feel the effort level, that comes during the 2nd km.

During the 2nd km, the effort level was a bit much due to the head wind. I tried to tuck in behind a few people, but they were all going a bit too slow, so i had to pass them. 2nd km marker was measured as being 964m, with a split time of 4:12 which was 4:21 pace. Oh well, there goes the sub 20 attempt. I was having trouble with my hat as i had to keep my head looking at the ground to keep it from blowing off. I should probably have flipped it around so the bill was at the back. I normally wear hats to keep the sweat from getting into my eyes, but on such a short race and the fact that it was fairly cool with the wind, i probably didn't need the hat.

3rd km includes the turnaround and has a generally uphill. There was a group of about 5 or 6 people that passed me at this point. I should have tucked in behind them, but it seemed like they were doing quite the pace and i wasn't sure i'd be able to keep up. Looking the finish times, they finished around the 20 min mark so in hindsight, I should have stuck with them. Once I hit the turnaround, the wind now became a tail wind and the going got a lot easier. The marker for this was way off. It measured 1.13 km with a split time of 4:53 for a pace of 4:19.

4th km was much faster. With the wind at my back and a gentle descent, I got a second wind. The 4th marker was measured as being 969m with a split of 3:57 which was 4:04 pace.

Last km was Ok. I played back and forth with one guy. He ended up passing me for good with about 200m to go and I just didn't feel like trying to pass him again. The last split measured as being 964m with a split of 4:01 for 4:10 pace.

So overall time was 21:06 which was 4:13 pace or 6:47 min/mile. The highest the HR got was 188 which was during km 4 where I averaged 186. My average was less than 185 for all the other ones. I know that my max is probably around 192 and I'm not sure how much extra speed I could have obtained by maxing the effort level. I came in 3rd in my age category and won a medal! There were only three people in my age category, but hey that's not my problem. I'll take what i can get. You can see the race here.

I was able to average 6:46 pace for a 10km about a year ago, so this is somewhat frustrating. Of course at this point last year, I had just come off of BQ'ing and a good marathon training cycle and had a lot of endurance. Now, not so much with the junk milies that I've been putting in while readying for my Boston and Ottawa marathon fun-runs.

I was thinking of trying again next week, and though I probably could have run it a little faster, the truth of the matter is that I'm pretty sure I could not have raced it a minute faster to get below 20 minutes. As a result, the sub-2o attempt will have to wait a little while until I can get my LT threshold back to a level similar to where it was last year. Not sure how long it'll take, but I'm hoping that a month of marathon training will be sufficient.

Warming Up

on Tuesday, June 16, 2009 at 11:42 PM

Did 12 miles on Sunday at slightly slower than 9min/mile pace. I decided to take a different more hilly route than i would normally do. I managed to do the last .3 miles at about 6:40 pace which got me thinking about warming-up. Being able to crank out an elevated pace (albeit short) at the end of a 12 mile run had me realize that my having had such a touch time right from the start of the race on Saturday may have been a result of not being properly warmed up. Due to the nature of the airport setup, I did the race with zero warm-up.

Today, I did 6 miles with 4 at LT pace. I wanted to try and keep the mileage low this week so I decided on 6 miles top. I did the less than one mile jog to the shopping mall and started into it, but the pace was really feeling tough. I managed the first mile in 7:16 and then did the second in 7:29. My HR was spiking. I decided to take a 2 min rest break which caused the HR to return to normal. Then was able to do 2 more miles in 7:04 and 6:47. It's remarkable the difference in effort between the two 2-mile repeats. I do know now that one mile is not sufficient for me to be warmed-up for LT type pace. In the past, I've usually done at least 2 prior to an LT run.

So, it looks like I'll be trying another 5k race this Saturday. It's by the lake. I've done the 10k there before and will try to get a decent warmup prior to that.

Pearson Runway 5k Race Report 2009

on Saturday, June 13, 2009 at 11:32 AM

Did 5k race this morning and i'm pretty sure i can say that i will NEVER like 5k's. I finished in 21:24 when I was aiming for 20:00. I was on pace until the 3km mark and then somewhere during the 4km mark, I just lost the will to continue on. It's funny, I'm more than willing to endure an hour or more of pain during the marathon, but for this, with a measly 6 or so minutes to go, that period seemed like an eternity.

Let me start off by saying that the organization for this thing was not the greatest. Now i'm sure for almost everyone else, it was fine, but for me it left a bad taste in my mouth. I arrived with plenty of time to pick up my bib, when I go to pick it up, they tell me they can't find my bib and chip. Ok, so they tell me I've to go get re-registered which I do. Apparently, they accidently gave my bib and chip to someone else who ended up running the 5k in 38:41. That's right. someone ran under my name and managed 12.5 minute/mile pace over 5k. Great. My slowest full marathon was done at 9.5 min/mile pace and here is someone tainting my good name with a 5k time done almost 3 min/mile slower. Oh well.

So the race is at the local international airport and is on one of the runways. Kinda neat. They made us wait in this hangar of sorts for what seemed like forever. It wouldn't have been too bad except, they had the big hangar doors opened and it acted like a wind tunnel. Quite windy and cool. After a while, they walked us to the start line. There seemed to be quite a few fast people so i ended up starting a little ways back. I had decided to leave the HR monitor at home and run with the garmin. I seemed to have problems pacing the 5k and thought it might help me maintain pace.

The course is a bit weird in that it starts in the middle of the runway, runs down to one end, does a U-turn, runs down to the other end, another U-turn and then back to the middle where the start/finish line is. So race starts and we motor off down the runway at what I think is a comfortable pace, look down at the garmin and it's reporting 3:35 pace or so. Whoops. Start to slow down, but hit the first km marker at 3:51 when it should have been 4:00 flat. Keep motoring along and the garmin is settling down at around 4:00 pace which is good. Hit the 2nd km mark at 4:02 and I seem to be in a bit of a rythym. There are a few people around me at this time and I try and latch on to some of them. So we run down to the other end of the runway and turnaround and pass the 3km mark with a 3:58 and it's starting to hurt a bit and my throat is starting to burn due to the heavy breathing. Now I get about half way through km number 4 when I glance down at the garmin and its reporting 4:10 pace or so. I'm not sure why, but this just kind of mentally defeated me. In hindsight, I would still have been on pace due to the fast first km, but i'm panting pretty bad and just decided at this point to mail it in. No, HTFU today. I was trying to justify it by saying there was a headwind, but being at the airport, those damn wind socks were mocking me by indicating that it was almost a perfect cross-wind. So i trudge along and hit 4km with a split of 4:34. Not too bad, i realize I just might be able to squeak in a PR if I can do a sub 4min last km, but I just couldn't bump up the pace as a side stitch was beginning to bother me. Last km is done at just under 5 minutes with a final time of 21:24.

21:24 is not too bad of a time, but is not anywhere close to where I wanted it to be. You can see the garmin connect race course here.

Splits are:

So I'm going to get this sub-20 this spring before i start marathon training. I was thinking of doing another 5k tomorrow, but my throat is pretty scratchy and i don't think i'll be recovered. I'll probably be trying another 5k next Saturday though and if not next week than there's another 5k the week after. Eventually...

What is this?

on Thursday, June 11, 2009 at 11:26 PM

Update on the week's training.

Sunday: Did about 9 miles, not sure of pace. Wanted to do 10, but my achilles was starting to ache a bit, so i cut the run short.

Tuesday: Did 6 miles at 8min/mile pace. Felt good to ramp up the pace for a bit.

Wednesday: Did 6 miles which included 4x800m done at (6:19, 6:17, 6:15 and 6:19 pace, respectively) HR maxed out at 187 on the last one.

Thursday: Did 4 miles. Not sure of pace, but tried to work on cadence.

So at the Ottawa marathon expo, New Balance had an area where they were giving away stuff for playing a game. it was sort of convoluted in that you had to sign up online (they had computers there) for their new website at loverunningmore.ca, after which they would give you a postcard. You walked over to the other side of the NB area where you handed the postcard to someone which allowed you to play a game. They had a series of 9 rotating blocks that you had to spin, with each block having 4 different symbols on it. You had to pick 4 (or was it 5?) of the blocks and spin them and depending on how many symbols you matched, you won a prize. I spun and matched 2 blocks. I almost had 3 which would have given me a $10 gift certificate but my last block spun a few degrees more then it should have. Anyhow, my two matching blocks won me this:

I have no idea what this is. I originally thought it was a hand massage tool since it has the knobby things on the ends, but it's kinda big, about the size of my hand so it's a bit awkward to hold. Weird looking paper weight? Anyone have any ideas?

Little bit of a setback

on Saturday, June 6, 2009 at 12:07 PM

Hit a little bit of a stumbling block. Did a little over 7 miles on Thursday. Plan was do 9 or so that included a 4 mile LT run and rather than do it at the track like I have been the past little while, I headed to the 1 mile route that i've used in past years around a local shopping mall parking lot. On the 2 mile jog over there, i noticed my right achilles was tight but i figured it would loosen up. Started into it and managed 7:08, 7:03, 7:05 and 7:01 mile splits with the achilles continuing to bother me. Once that was done, i slowed down to a recovery pace for one more lap where my achilles started to really ache. I then proceeded to limp back home.

I guess the three days of running in a row totaling 22 miles with two kinda hard workouts wasn't a good idea after a relatively light 14 miles of running the previous week. I think I've narrowed the issue down to some trigger points in my calf that are causing my achilles to be overexerted so i'm trying to kneed those out using the Stick. I had this same problem in my left achilles while trying to ramp back up after Boston. You'd think i would have learned by now. So it's been two days of rest with lots of icing and then try for 10 miles tomorrow at a slow pace.

Happy (inter)National Running Day

on Wednesday, June 3, 2009 at 8:39 PM

Hope people went off for some sort of physical activity today, preferably a run of some sort.

Did 6 miles recovery today.

Yesterday, my two week training quest to try and break 20 minutes in the 5k started. i headed to the track to do 5x1000m at 4:00min/km with a little over 2 minutes of recovery between each. I figured that if I couldn't get through this workout at this pace then i had no shot at being able to maintain it over 5000 consecutive metres in 2 weeks. Started off with 3 miles at recovery pace and then launched into it.

Lap Time Pace HR Max
03:56.2 06:20.1 184
03:56.8 06:21.1 216
03:55.8 06:19.5 191
03:57.2 06:21.7 192
04:00.1 06:26.4 190

HR spiked during the second one, but settled back down during the recovery period. Was just barely able to get through this workout. HR topped out at 192 during the 4th one which is I think the highest I've ever been able to get it during a training session. I was able to get it to 193 during a 5k race last year. The last repeat was tough.

Can I get to 20 min? Maybe. I was looking at the course and it doesn't look too favourable to a PR though. The course is on one of the runways at the local airport and consists of two out and backs. You start in the middle, head down one way, do a hairpin turn, run back past the start/finish line, run down to the other end, do another hairpin turn and then run back to the finish line. So with the two turns, I'm not entirely sure that this race will allow me to get where I need to be. However, all is not lost though, as there is another 5k race at the end of June which i think is probably better to try and go sub-20. It's a fairly fast race as 39 people last year broke 20 minutes whereas only 5 people were able to do it at the airport run. It also will give me a whole month of faster paced training which has been severly lacking from my routine.