Merry Christmas!

on Thursday, December 24, 2009 at 10:15 PM

I really gotta start posting more often...  So week 1 of marathon training which was last week was a bust cause i think i came down with a one day cold or something.  Did only one run of 6 miles which was on the Sunday which was my "long" run which i suppose is long if you haven't run at all during the week.  This week is (will be) slightly better.  Ran 6 miles on each of Tuesday and Wednesday.  Going to do 6 miles tomorrow morning and then a double digit run on Sunday. I think I'll try and build up the mileage slowly and then try for a 12 week training program for Boston. 

Merry Christmas/Festivus to you all!

The Winter Blahs

on Monday, December 14, 2009 at 10:44 PM

The past three weeks have seen me running twice, a 6 miler on the 7th and 10 miles yesterday. Both runs were relatively slow.  I'm suffering from a mild case of DOMS right now. 

An 18 week program to prep for the Boston marathon would start tomorrow with a 7 miler with some strides. Though I'm going to try and start it, I don't hold out much hope in being able to keep to the schedule.  With winter arriving soon, I'm dreading the colder weather days.  I went out in shorts and a long sleeve T yesterday.  It was just above freezing with little wind so that was bearable.  As the temperatures get colder, the wind gets nastier and the snow starts accumulating, my motivation starts to disappear and its far easier to role over in bed to sleep in, then to try to battle the elements outside for a training run.  I've been looking into signing up for a gym membership downtown so that I can fit in lunchtime or after work runs, but don't like the prices which are $80/month with a one year commitment.  From past experience, I wouldn't use the thing during the summer, so not sure I want to throw away the money.  Going to try the morning run thing for a while first though.

Whitby 5k Race Report

on Saturday, December 5, 2009 at 11:50 PM

Ran this race 2 weekend's ago.  They also hold a 10k and a 10 miler.  It's a bit strange since the same location also hosts a half marathon in the the summer along with a 5k and 10k.  So i did a Whitby 5k race back in July and this race is called the same thing.  Confusing.

Long story short is I finished in 20:26 and i'm pretty sure the course was short.  It was a different route than the short 5k i ran in July, but it was still short nonetheless. Garmin measured it at 3.06 miles which is about 75m short.  Mapped it out in Google Earth and it says its even shorter than that.  As usual, i ran into HR issues.  I wore the HR monitor but put electrical tape on the readout cause I didn't want the readout bothering me during the race.  Was okay for the first 2 km which were right on pace (4:00, 3:59), started to slow down during km 3 (4:11), had a miserable 4th km (4:33) and then was able to speed up for the last km (3:40 for .58km about 3:58 pace).  Felt like crap during the 4th km.  Checking out the HR afterwards, my HR spiked just after the 2km mark and then returned to normal just before the 4th km marker which would explain the slow down in the middle of the race and the speed up at the end.  But then again, all my 5k's tend to follow this trend so i don't know if it's a result of the HR thing or not.  It would make sense though. A 5k is run at the limits of ones VO2Max and anything that can change that obviously will have a big impact on performance.  The HR monitor slid down off my chest with about 500m to go so that's what the drop in HR right at the end.

Finished 15th overall and 5th in my age group.  They gave out a nifty orange toque.  Not really nifty in the sense that I would wear it in public(maybe i'd wear it in a race), but nice to get something other than a t-shirt. They had soup and sandwiches afterwards.  They used a completely different route this year for the 10k and 10 miler.  Apparently they didn't have anyone telling people where to turn around for the 10k so a lot of the 10k'ers ran longer than they should have.  There was one woman at the finish line who was really pissed of about it and complaining to anyone that would listen.  Yikes, I just smiled, nodded my head and moved along. 

Though i didn't win any prize at the event, i received an email a few days after telling me I had won something and should send them my address.  I had signed up for Road Warrior program a while back.  It was started by the guy who organized the pace bunnies for the Scotiabnk waterfront races.  The program offers a grading system where you basically race against yourself but your improvement in times is compared to other Road Warrior participants at a given race.  They basically average your times over the past year to an equivalent 5k time and if you are able to run faster times than that you are more likely to place higher in the Road Warrior standings. In theory, this sounds great, but unfortunately it's idiots like me who intentionally run slow during a lot of races that end up screwing up the curve.  Prior to this race, the Road Warrior program had me as a 23:58 5k runner. This was due to my races at the beginning of the year when I was practicing to be a pace bunny and also due to someone who was accidentally given my bib and chip who ran a 38 minute 5k back in June. So when it comes to race day, and I'm able to put down a 20-something 5k, the program thinks I had a great improvement and ranks me high.  Very easy to game the system.  I didn't respond to the email asking for my address cause it felt like I had cheated and didn't deserve the prize which was a pair of socks. 

I was contemplating trying another 5k before years end, but I have a blood donation appointment next week which when combined with the fact I haven't run in two weeks means I'm probably not going to be in racing shape before the new year.  I guess, it'll just have to be another goal for the new year.

Still here...

Been over three weeks since last post.  Don't have much in the way of training updates as I haven't run since my 5k race on November 22.  I still have to write a race report, but there isn't much to say other than I failed again at the sub-20 attempt.  I've been finding that i don't have much to report other than training totals which i'm sure most people other than me are not interested in.  So i'll try and post a bit more about other stuff.

Before i forget, you should go congratulate Jen and Barb on their Ironman finishes last week in Arizona.  They've posted fairly detailed race reports with lots of pictures so go and read. 

As for me, the commuting thing is sucking up a lot of my free time and I had found that I was falling behind in blog reading.  I realized that I had a lot of idle time sitting on the subway and the bus and thought it would be prudent to see if i could do my blog reading while in transit.  My blackberry isn't too great for reading RSS feeds.  I had considered getting an iphone for the sole purpose of being able to read blogs but realized that it wouldn't work too well in the subway which got me thinking about offline reading for the iphone.  If there was an app for that (sorry At&T) it would also work with the ipod touch which i have.  Did a little bit of research and there were a couple of apps that synced with Google Reader and will download RSS feeds and allow you to read it offline and then upload the read count back to Google.  Tried that for a few days but one issue i had is that the readers only downloaded text and not pictures.  Since I subscribe to a lot of photography blogs, not being able to see pictures made the experience less than ideal.  There were a couple of apps that said they would cache pictures but they didn't work too well only download pictures from a few posts.  With over a hundred postings a day to read i wanted something that would download everything.

That's when i found GRiS (Google Reader iPhone Sync) that promissed to do just what i wanted but it wasn't on the Itunes apps store which meant I had to bypass the Ipod security by jailbreaking the thing.  A bit scared to do this, but it was really easy to do.  GRiS was a little bloated in size, but it did just what i wanted.  It takes a few minutes to sync in the morning, but is able to fill up over an hour worth of travel time.  I'm also finding that i'm actually reading more blogs as opposed to just skimming which is what i used to do.  Feel much more informed now.  I do have issues with trying to comment on posts since I'm offline.  If I see a post i might want to comment on , I star it in GRiS (its a google reader thing) which then gets resynced with google reader for later review and comment but that doesn't work too well as i'm always a few posts behind.  I guess that's the nature of offline reading.

Well, that's it for now.  Will try and go for a run tomorrow.  Hope i'm not too sore afterward.