Woke up this morning with sore quads, and some sprouting self-doubt.
February 2005 Archives
Once again, my Sunday run plan was to start out with the half marathon group, then strike out on my own. We did the NAC loop, getting back to the Bank St bridge in around 51 minutes. I turned around there, and headed for the Portage/Alexandray bridge loop. I ran on the canal whenever I could, shuffling across the ice when I had to. My left quad twitched in front of the Supreme Court, but a quick stretch and I was off again, and they didn't speak up again. I estimated that the 20km mark Pretoria Bridge, and I hit it in around 1:55. Some watch troubles prevented me yet again from knowing my full run time for the ~24.5 km I did, but I think it was around 2:21, for a 5:45/km pace. I think I can do a bit better in Hamilton, but considering how good I feel now, and how strong I felt throughout, an excellent run.
No run today, but I did get some brisk walking in. It was a busy day, with the family pulled in different directions. My eldest son had a taekwon-do tournament in the morning. In the afternoon, my wife was off to a party in the west end while I was curling downtown. As a one care family, it seemed dicey, until I hit upon the obvious solution - the bus!
Speed work in the pool this morning. 600m choice warmup, followed by 400m of each stroke, sets of 50m (or 2x25m), alternating fast with either kick, scull or drill. Wheee!
I logged my character Ev into the online game World of Warcraft this morning, as I ate my breakfast. This is what happened.
Good news! I've once again failed to drown myself!
We did an endurance set today. 800m reverse IM warmup (yuck), then 1500m miscellaneous IM work. I'm pretty happy with the agenda, since February and March are endurance months for me.
In the middle of the main set, the top of my left foot started to hurt. I did 200m of freestyle pull (i.e. not kicking), and it seemed to help. It may be that something in my foot or ankle is cramping for some reason. I have a certified AT and a swim coach on my email list, so I'm thinking maybe I'll ask them if what I'm going through is common, and treatable. Maybe there's a stretch or something out there that I don't know yet.
I love long-distance Sunday runs! Running faster can be liberating. The feeling (though not, in my case, the reality) of fluidity, grace and power is exhilerating. But there's just something so grounding, so exhausting, so rewarding about running for hours, that I simply find it to be the best part of running.
Since I'm not doing a marathon this year, due largely to family considerations, this next month may just be the highlight of my running year. I'll be ramping up my mileage towards the goal of racing 30km next month. (After that, I'll drop back mileage wise, and rebuild towards a half marathon two months later.)
Had a hard time getting moving this morning. Eventually dragged myself upstairs, ate 2 bowl of Apple-Cinnamon Cheerios. Pulled on my running pants and long-sleeved thumb-holed running shirt. Grab the MP3 player. Socks. Downstairs, interrupt Blue's Clues to check the weather. -16C? Ugh. Back upstairs, throw on a long-sleeved cotton tee overtop. Cynically grab my hot-paws, before I remember I can pull my sleeves over my hands. As bundled up as I get short of freeze-to-death cold, I head out for my intervals.
Ok, I'll confess that I haven't seen Supersize Me! That said, Les Sayer has caught my attention. He's on the McDonalds diet, with vitamin supplements, and has lost 13 pounds!
How, you say? Exercise. Says Sayer, "The magic here is in the exercise...The average Joe doesn't exercise." Having watched inactive people churn through diet after diet, I'd have to say he has a point.
Sayer teaches college students, and is trying to make a point about media bias.
My wife and I have been eying mp3 players for a while now. We'd both like them for running, treadmill or otherwise. Besides, we're both technophiles at heart.
Back in January, we finally entered the world of cell phones, thanks to a string of car troubles that made us decide that we'd rather be safe than sorry. Along with 2 cell phones, we were promised 2 free 64MB mp3 players.
We finally got them last night.
I was 750 metres into the 900 metre warmup, when the coach stopped us all for an announcement. There's a mini-meet today over there, if anyone is interested. You know, over there. Where the crazy good swimmers are.
It's snowing pretty heavily here, and has been for a few hours. I got up early again, and set out, hoping to do 8km before I had to be back to help with the kids. It became apparent quickly that Mother Nature was going to have a bigger say in my pace than I was. The snow underfoot (at least 1cm, I'd say) was sticky, and there was a lot of puddle dodging to do. I cut short my 8km run, settling for 5km in 31 minutes.
Any run Wednesday morning is a win at this point, especially on a snowy day like today.
It's funny how distance is relative.
Run a half marathon, and 21km is far. Do marathon training, and 21km is an easy, short Sunday run.
Back on November 30th, I thought swimming 1850 metres in an hour and fifteen minutes was a huge distance. Today I swam over 2500 metres in the same amount of time. Phew!
I found out yesterday that there's an extra practice session in preparation for my son't Taekwon-do tournament this morning at 11am. A quick mental calculation told me that I wasn't going to have time to do the 18km that I wanted to do this morning.
Fair enough, life's like that. The half marathon clinic was doing 7km, and I figured I'd tack on another 7 or so, time permitting. There's still plenty of time left for me to ramp up my mileage before Around The Bay.
Decided to try some intervals in today, around the neighbourhood. It's my eldest's birthday today, so I needed a quick workout.
I think I ended up with two different stretches of road of about the same length, around 1.1 km. If nothing else, the times were about equal - 5:10, 5:00, and 4:55.
I certainly got a strange look or two as I pounded out an agressive pace. ;)
So I hit the Running Room after work, for the opening session of the Half Marathon clinic. I wasn't sure what to expect, but what I saw was people! There must have been 60-80 people in the store.
Today seemed to be I.M day at swimming. It was a very tough workout. The problem with I.M. is that it starts with butterfly, or as I like to call it, thrashing around in the pool with your head underwater. After that, you have to do equal distances of backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle. These three strokes I can do, basically. Doing them while still exhausted from butterfly is challenging.
I survived it, though, and was pleased with how well I was able to keep up. The lane kept making me go first, and I was worried that I'd hold people up. Ironlady was right behind me the whole time, but I don't think I was holding her up (for a change!). I did manage to lap some people when we did breaststroke drills. (I like breaststroke.)
My glutes are fairly sore, and I can feel my shoulders. I'm looking forward to a nice relaxed 3km run tonight at the first half-marathon clinic session.
It's funny how stressful changes in habit can be. I spent most of the night either awake or in lucid dreams, stressed out over the run this morning. Bleh! =(
I did my usual 8-and-a-bit kilometer route, around the neighbourhood. The melt we've had the last few days finally froze, leaving small patches of very slick ice. I nearly fell twice in the first kilometer, and thereafter was very cautious around the ice.
I felt like I was working pretty hard, and was a bit disappointed to find that I was running roughly a 5:30 km pace. Well, disappointed in the context of this past weekend's crazy runs. Looking at the last month or two, that's probably the right pace for my level of effort.
As requested, this is an official reminder for Jeff that he is to run today!
(Yes, my alarm is set for 6am tomorrow. *sigh*)
I could not set the alarm on my watch last night, so I had to set the alarm on my cell phone. Gee, do I need an alarm clock?
Today was freestyle report card day, so we opened with 1.2 km of freestyle. I don't know if she just set the bar high or if I was flat today, but I could not do her 50m and 100m pace times. It's not that the rest times were too short, it's that my calculated rest times were coming up negative!
I've really only been a runner for just over 2 years now. My goals when I started running were to find out just what I was capable of. In other words, I wanted to know how far and how fast I could go.
Last year's marathon answered the question of how far, at least for now. Since then, my focus has been increasingly on pace.
It was still early last night when the fog started rolling in. By morning, the world was shining gray. Driving downtown for the morning run, I had to slow down when I knew an intersection was coming, because I couldn't see traffic lights until I was almost into the intersection.
As I hit the edge of Ottawa proper, the fog abruptly disappeared, like I was flying out of the clouds. I was abruptly reminded why winter fog is so special. All the trees, especially along the river, were frosted from the fog. It's truly a special sight.
One of my favorite ways to train is by running with people who are faster than me. It can be very easy to get into a rut in running - staying at or around one pace, and never really pushing yourself. Mixing into a different crowd and chasing their shadows can be a great way to raise your conditioning level.
Conventional wisdom says that this week should be a recovery week for me. I'm coming off an admittely casual race, and have seven or eight weeks to prepare for my next race. The agenda likely calls for an easy run today, followed by a LSD (long slow distance) tomorrow of something under 21.
The problem with conventional wisdom is that it also dictates that the first weekend in February is cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey (as they say). Today, however, was anything but cold.
Since I started my new weekly schedule back in November, I've had a fair bit of trouble following it. In particular, I've been prone to skipping the Wednesday runs.
I'm proud to report that yesterday willpower prevailed, and I managed to get in a 5km run before work.
My wife asked me last night, "Are you sure you're up for swimming tomorrow?" "I'll be fine," was my reply.