Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Another fine day in the Maritimes!

What a difference a week makes, from below freezing a week ago to today with +13C(55F). It was overcast with a medium SE wind that made the return of the out and back more challenging. Did a medium long midweek run of about 9.5 miles in 81:40 with the return portion with more uphills and wind about 40 sec faster. Heart rate was low for the 1st part of the run but then >80% for most of the 2nd 1/2. Good run in general and nice to go longer (for me) midweek. Felt tired and winded after the run and generally had that lazy looking for a couch feeling. Good thing that I sit in front of a computer most days so I can get a rest.

Not much to blog about running wise. Still need to lay out my training plan for the next 18-20 weeks to get me through Boston. After that I need to prepare for my leg of the Cabot Trail and think about key races in New Brunswick through next season.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Skipped winter?

I don't know what's happening with the crazy weather but it was more like spring here today and did I hear there was snow in Texas? At noon it was sunny, light winds and about 11C (52F), so I went from long pants, long sleeves and a jacket on Sunday to shorts & t-shirt today. Great, I'll take what I can get cause I know it won't be so pretty in Jan-Feb wearing 3-4 layers plus vaseline etc.

Had a nice jaunt around the Point which I also had a chance to measure again. It's actually 9.1k (or 5.65mi) and pretty close to the 5.5 I had been estimating. Did the loop at a relaxed pace with watch hidden away in 46:15 with HR>135 (80% max) for about 1/2 of the run. I guess my normal pace when running alone is a little harder than it need be for an easy run but going any slower I feel like I'm 'jogging' in place... Also had an appointment to get back for so that might have pushed me along, and not to forget, 'it was sooo nice out' ;-)

Thinking about my Boston training plan and a response I had to someone who read my blog. He asked how I train and prepare for this race differently. My response:
  1. Everything they say about Boston and being a killer course is true x2 but it's still my absolute favorite race. I train as hard as I can despite the winter conditions and have not had 'much' success in doing a good time though I did set a PR in 2002 with decent weather (it was overcast and coolish)
  2. 1st up, my best advice is to train to run a good marathon (whatever you did before) but then to go there with no time expectations at all. Just go to enjoy and savor the great crowds and the event.
  3. simulate the course in training, especially the DOWNHILLS! Practice downhill repeats at race pace on a regular (every other week) but be careful, its very easy to get injured. Distance 400-800m.
  4. long runs with gradual UP-DOWN-hills at the end of your long run. The up-hills start around mile 16-17 in Boston and go to mile 20.5 and then almost all down. Work up to doing some race pace at the end of your long runs too if you can.
  5. run at noonish to simulate the time of Boston. This will help figure out your nutrition needs and what you can handle and then run.
  6. the weather!!! It's been over 70-80F the last 3 years and there is no way a northerner can handle this except running on a treadmill in sweats with the heat up. This is the main drawback of trying to run fast and the biggest reason for the many crash and burns.
Anyway, that's what I try to do. Any other ideas that people have had success with? Maybe we could get the BAA to change the date to Oct. 17??? Not likely, eh?

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Another week closer to Boston

Tommorow will be 20 weeks to Boston 2006! It's almost time for me to come up with a training plan to get me in shape to run a decent race. I also need to consider what my long term running goals and plans are going to be. It seems a little early to start with the New Year's resolutions but here goes with my list:
  1. Enjoy running, no if's ands or buts. Number one priority.
  2. Develop a long term multi-year plan which builds up using Lydiard as the foundation while staying uninjured and healthy.
  3. Improve my running from a to z. Despite consistant mileage and racing over the past few years I've not had steady improvements but rather a kind of plateau in the 3:20-3:30 marathon range. Besides running, there is core strength, stretching, cross training, maybe even some weight loss that may help.
  4. Short term to long term goals are to get in decent shape for Boston 2006 and then continue to build on this over the rest of the year with a good fall marathon. From there maintain a base to Boston 2007 and then ramp up for a fall 2007 peak.
  5. Run shorter distances as tests or indicators of fitness including even marathons run as training runs.
  6. Run some longer distances to explore new running territory. My dream race would be to someday do Comrades in South Africa but 1st I need to win the lottery.
Meanwhile, back in the real world we had a nice sunny but cool day with temps around 0C(32F) with light winds. There was a light snow last night with a few cm(1 in) that had partially melted and had to be careful for some slippery spots on the run. Did my weekly long run more or less the same route I did with Andrew last week, but in reverse with less loops in town, and a longer trip out of town. Managed to get in 15mi in 2:08 but the legs were getting sore over the last few miles and so didn't push it or add any more distance (though I was tempted to add a couple to get to 50 for the week). Total for the week was 6 runs for 48mi and 1933 miles this year to date.

So far so good. Now the devil is in the details...

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Easy running on a fine day

Sun is up, time to get rolling...
Looking out my window it's very inviting...
Even the birds are busy!

So what am I waiting for? Have to do my run so I can say something in my blog! Typical Saturday morning, take my time, enjoy breakfast and coffee, check my blogs (including pink ones) and roll on out. As you can see today was sunny, but it's also a bit cool -3C (27F) with no wind at all for a change.

Meanwhile the body is still recovering, now a month since the marathon and feel like doing more each day. Usually I make it short and easy on Sat since Sunday is the long run day but felt so nice to run today that extra loops were added and ended up with about 7.5mi in 60:40. Also kept the run easy with HR<80% for 2/3 of the run.

Rest of the day will be spent just lazing around and may start scheming about the Boston plan. Might even come up with a list of running priorities. There's nothing like writing something down to make it real and doing it here might give me the incentive to actually do it ;-)

Friday, November 25, 2005


At least it can't rain when the temp goes -ve. Nice thing about the metric system is that 0C has some basis in reality i.e. things freeze and get slippery. I have no idea what 0F (-18C) 'means' except that it's friggin cold. First the weather report, -2C (29F), 20-40km NW winds, windchill -8C (16F), and my bike froze up on the way into work (gear changer seized and stuck in last gear).

But I'm not complaining! After yesterday's wet & cold (my least favorite running conditions) the sun was out today. Started out slow and easy with all the available clothes, including pants once again. Plan was to make it an easy day and hold the heart rate below 80%. Once I settled in, it was a nice run, warm enough except going into the teeth of the wind on the Point (again!). Even better there was another runner up ahead, which is highly unusual in our small town. At first I couldn't catch her, but after awhile the cold wind caused her to stop and walk backwards and I was able to join up. It was DP, one of the famous Twisted Sisters running group! It was nice to run together and gab for a mile or so and then we parted ways. A great treat to run with someone ;-)

My final numbers for the run were 6.5mi, 53:25 and 59% of run in the zone 70-80% of max HR. Looking forward to the weekend!!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Another nasty day

What is going on anyway? Another miserable day for running, with steady cold rain, barely 0C (32F), with a fairly strong NE wind. Had planned to do an out and back 30-30min route but changed my mind because of traffic and the chance of icy conditions and did a loop to the town limits and then around the Point.

Not feeling especially keen at first but resisted the temptation to take a side street and shorten the route (counted a total of 14 turnoffs passed). Once again it was the counting that kept me going, just do one more street... The worst part was the exposed peninsula as always and I started to feel cold until after the turn when the wind was behind me. Oh, btw I'm afraid that I buckled under with today as the 1st day in long pants this season :-( and was really glad I did! It was close to popsicle conditions for most of the run in the wind and rain, yuck! Total of about 7.5 in 63:30 and HR>80% for 55% of the run.

Hoping for a decent day soon, where the weather is not a factor and I can just enjoy the run. The best part of today's run was the hot shower at the end!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Flakes staying down

Managed to get in 6.5mi in about 54:00 before we got a little sprinkle of snow. I would have preferred to run in the snowfall but it didn't really amount to much, just make the landscape look nice in a soft white blanket. The run was slow but kind of hard mentally to get going. Once you're out the door the tendancy is to make it worthwhile and felt reasonable during the run, just tired afterward. Might just need more sleep, coffee has only a limited effect!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Crazy weather run

It's cold, it's mild, it's calm, it's windy, it's dry, it's wet.. it's all of the above! When you're a runner with a schedule, even if the schedule only says 'run today', and the weather is nasty all you can think about is 'how am I going to get a run in today?'. All day we've had pelting rain, high winds, dark clouds (even felt dark at about 3pm), but at least mild temps in the 12C (55F) range.

I drove up to St Stephen early this morning and was wondering how Andrew's run went in this as I tried to keep the van on the road with the high winds. Most people would pack it in but I know he is very dedicated to his running and was probably braving the elements no matter what. This gave me some extra incentive as I looked out my office window at the sideways rain and continual downpour but still I delayed and made excuses. Finally around 1230 it seemed to let up a bit so I headed out with only a light rain now.

Crazy run, branches down everywhere, golf course flooded with several inches of water flowing over the paved paths in spots. Made a u-turn and went around the Point which was completely exposed to the southwest winds (30-40mph at least). Have you ever tried to run with a sideways lean? It was the only way to make it but after the turn, things were better with the wind at my back. Final numbers were about 5.5mi in 49min. Was feeling a little tired and slow today and got to do something with those worn out shoes before the legs start breaking down. I did end up soaked like a drowned (but happy to get his run in) rat. Runners will understand ;-)

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Downeaster's finally get together

What a great way to end a 4 week recovery with a long run with a fellow blogger. Andrew made the early morning trek from Eastport since I was unable to commit to waking up and being ready to go before 7am, let alone driving for an hour etc. I'm told by my better half that I'm am not a morning person and until at least 2 cups of coffee will have to agree.

It was great to actually meet Andrew, and he does look exactly like his picture! And he is fast too ;-) We had a great 15+ mile run, around the town, across my golf course a few times, quick pit stop for drinks etc and then out on the rolling highway to finish it off. The pace was great for both of us (I think) because we never stopped talking the entire 2hr 11min so it wasn't over our limits too much. Must say that some of those hills had us puffin a bit and it seemed that we picked up the pace slightly in the 2nd half, 'Eh Andrew?' It really was a treat for me to do a longer run with company for a change. Normally as the token local runner I only get to do this in races and the conversations there usually leave much to be desired ...'Grunt, wheeze, gasp!' I hope that this will become a regular part of both of our training weeks as our schedules permit.
Summary for the week was a total of 6 runs, 44 miles, including 4 days with sets of pushups and situps. Next week, I plan to increment my midweek and long runs as I edge up to the 50ies. Things are definitely looking up from a few weeks ago. There's alot to be said for a slow measured recovery process.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Cool pic for a cool day

This was shot during the Cabot Trail relay race a few years ago. It's a wonderful event with lots of runners having a great time staying up all night following their teams. I hope that our team, the middle of the pack Aliant Striders, makes the cut this year so you can hear my race report for 2006.
Posted by Picasa

Just an easy run to report today. It is definitely getting cooler at -3C (27F) but sunny and very light winds so still managed ok in shorts, though I did get some strange looks. About 40:30 or 5 miles with a stop at the post office for the morning mail. They had a couple of packages and I must have looked even stranger juggling them as I trotted down the street after that. Luckily it was only for a few blocks where I dropped them off with my wife at the church sale. No question about the comments and looks I got going in there ;-) Finished off with a nice jog home across the frozen golf course. Ahhh!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Started out easy...

But then got slightly diverted by the cool weather and the very inviting golf paths. Bit of a blustery, grey day with sun peaking through, 3C (37F) and 10-15mph NW wind. Cool in shorts and light jacket and was wishing for an extra 'third' glove until I warmed up.

This was one of my random runs where I let my legs take me wherever. At 1st I thought it was just going to be a short one but once on the golf cart paths 'we' ended up doing the entire course along all the paved paths in about 45:00. It's a fairly hilly route and ended up getting more of a workout than expected and about 6miles in total with that 'pleasantly tired' (where is the couch) feeling for the rest of the day at work.

Weekend plan is for a short one (really) on Sat and then 12 or so on Sunday. So far so good ;-)

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Pleasantly tired...

As recommended by Lydiard, this is how you should feel after your regular base mileage run at a 'good effort'. And he's right, a pleasant but not exhaused feeling but still...I feel more like lying on a couch than anything else!

Managed a nice out-and-back 1 hour run today at lunch on hilly road terrain. My out time was in 31:00 and the return leg on the exact same route was 29:45 with my watch hid away so I didn't 'cheat' (and speed up or slow down) for a total of 7.5mi or so. Was trying for an even split but its hard to do once you're fresh and warmed up. Weather was ok, overcast, light NW, about 7C (46F) and a bit cool going into the wind with shorts and a light windbreaker.

On the Weds. I did a short 40 minute run as well as biking to/from work and 2 hours at volleyball in the evening. So far things are well with the legs but am getting some minor knee aches which might be a sign of worn out shoes. The pair I use from work have alot of miles and are due for retirement soon! New shoes are pricey but good health 'is priceless' isn't it?

Now only if the golf course of mine would dry up, we had a ton of rain and wind last night and don't like getting soaked feet.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

First Flakes

Busy day at work so missed my lunchtime run due to meetings. Pay back by cutting out early for a loop around town. Managed about 5.5 mi. in 46:30 and just as I started out, so did the first snowflakes of the year! Not enough to stick or make tracks yet so can't call it our 1st snow. The run went well, just a few knee aches which went away and was OK in shorts but glad I had my gloves and headband.

My favorite run has always been in or just after the 1st snowfall when everything is quiet, except maybe a foghorn and you can float along and enjoy the extra cushioning (even better when done on the empty golf course)! Maybe we'll get some more tonite! Am I crazy or what? Remember, I'm a Canadian and I've taken the 'test' and passed! Later...

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Check, another week ticked off...

End of 3 week recovery from KV with a 10 mile (long) run. Up and out on the roads by 8am, which is very early for me. It was a gorgeous, sunny, calm Sunday morning, but cool 0C (32F) and very little traffic (1 or 2 cars per mile). Did an out and back route along the highway at a fairly even pace (40:50 out, 41:00) return and felt great. Not a single complaint, twinge, ache the entire run but did feel I was tiring a bit at the end.

Total for the week was only 34mi on 5 days running (1841 this year) but exactly where I want to be in the recovery. Next week I'll add 1 more day and 2miles on the longest run and do more scheming as to my Boston plan beginning in mid-December.

For those interested in my year to date stuff, here's a graph of my weekly mileage and the races I've done. Hope it comes out ok.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Cruising to the music

Quick little jaunt around town with an extra mile at the end (because there was a good song playing!) for 6mi in 49:35. Another cool day 1-2C (33-36F), dreary overcast with light NW wind.

Plan was just an easy run and to try out an mp3 player for the 1st time. Never listened to tunes before in all my years of running so wasn't sure how it would all work. Will the wires be a pain, will the earbuds fall out, will I still hear the traffic noises ok etc? Found it a bit distracting at 1st, seemed to hear my feet pounding more, fumbling at the controls with gloves on (remember it is a cool day still) but quickly settled in. The run just seemed to fly by and on the last long hill to home I just kept on trucking with 'Thunderstruck' playing and finished off with 'Back in Black'.

The pace was good today, probably bit faster because of the music and the legs felt great but were a little cold depending on wind direction. Don't want to start with the tights yet but afraid once it goes -ve I'll have no choice. Now to find some more tunes for the next run...

Friday, November 11, 2005

Coolish 11k on Remembrance Day

Sunny beautiful fall day called me out for a quick 1hr run before attending the Remembrance Day ceremonies. Temp was 1.5C (33F) with a light westerly so I wore gloves & windbreaker but still fine in shorts. Did an out and back 30:20 out and 29:40 back with same effort (more or less; its hard not to push the pace a little on return legs). Felt great, no complaints at all from the body, just like a Sunday morning run with very little traffic on this public holiday.

Easy day coming up tommorow and then a 'big' 10miler on Sunday. Hold back, hold back ;-)

Remember them

Nov. 11, Remembrance Day


Thursday, November 10, 2005

No data to report

Forgot the watch at home which is probably a good thing and ran the exact same loop as Tuesday. Nice easy pace for the 5.5 mi. but was feeling grumpy after a morning of useless meetings so probably pushed the pace a bit. Legs were good with only the occasional twinge from the left calf. Weather was mild, light drizzle and wind, about 9C (48F) and likely alot better than it was early this morning when Andrew was probably running. The wind and rain woke me up and I had some kind thoughts for him from my warm and cosy bed ;-) He's one dedicated runner!

Doctor's visit went well, just an interview and blood pressure check (low normal). Now I go for blood tests and expect the usual story of borderline high cholesterol and the rest normal. I can report that the doctor, who is younger than me, feels I'm probably healthier than he is! Feeling pretty much recovered now as well. Eager for some longer runs!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

A cool and breezy day

5.5 mile Point loop in 45:20. Coolish sunny day, 9C (48F), westerly 15-25mph, comfortable in shorts and long sleeve shirt. Same run as last Thurs. but about 1 min. faster at same effort level and lower HR so must be recovering. The legs hardly complained at all, just a little tightness and was able to open up a bit on the last downhill, feeling great! Thought about trying a few strides on the grass but decided to wait for another day.

Tommorow is a rest day and annual check-up at the doctor, hoping to be rated as fit as a 50 year old 'Swede' that can outrun most 25 year olds ;-) Now if I could only do something about my cholesterol but it's in the genes.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

What a difference a week makes!

My 1st 'long' run since the KV pummeling 2 weeks ago. 8mi in 67:00 on a drab overcast day, 8C (47F) with a medium 10-15mph NE wind. I wouldn't normally call this 'long' but after the recent struggles to run at all and my aborted run last weekend this was pretty good. The legs finally behaved and my calves were tight but not sore until after the run. Out and back on my usual long run route at an easy/gentle pace and was tempted (for a few milliseconds) to make it 10 but decided my luck should not be pushed. Like Andrew across the pond my enthusiam for running often needs reigning in and its hard to hold back sometimes.

Plan is for several more weeks of easy recovery running with my 'long' runs increasing by 2mi per week until December when I'll begin the usual Boston 16-18 week plan based on Pfitzinger. The big decision will be whether I'll go for the 'Up to 55mi/week' or 'Up to 70mi/week' plan this time around. Not sure if I want to crank it up too much with one initial forecast for an 'active and cold' winter. I seem to remember we were supposed to get a mild winter!!! Let's hope!

Summary for the past week was a measly 22mi, on 4 days running, and 1807 mi. so far this year.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Short and sweet

37:00 on golf course for about 4mi. What a great day! Mild 10C (50F) no wind, cloud with sun peaking through. Started out with windbreaker but ended with it tied around waist and shirt sleeves rolled up. Unsure of what kind of run I was going to do today so just let the legs take me wherever. The cushy grass felt great, stopped for a few walk breaks at the tops of the hills and generally just went very easy. HR is still higher than usual but the calves were less of a problem today, still tight but not affecting my running much. Ready now for a longer run on Sunday.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Not running on 'my' golf course

Can you see me not running on 'my' golf course today? Posted by Picasa

You're right, I'm not there! So I biked the paths and took some pics instead. Bit of a cool day 5C (40F) with a light wind. Not much else to report. Calf feels fine just walking around and will do a little test run on Sat. in prep for a longer effort on Sunday. Hope the weather holds, there are reports of 10cm of snow in northern NB tonite. I like snow but not quite ready for it yet...

Thursday, November 03, 2005

What a difference a day makes...

Two days ago it was like summer, but today we got the real deal, a typical cool blustery fall day. Overcast, light drizzle, medium sw winds, 6C (40F) at lunch time. Needed a jacket and gloves which I never took off but was OK in shorts. Managed to do my standard Point loop of 5.5mi from work in 46:10. The golf course was still open and empty but doing this loop is more along my usual running pattern and the recovery plan requires going back to the 'norm'.

My body, and legs in particular had different ideas. The 1st part of the run went well with an easy warmup, stretches and 1st mile on grass but then my left calf started acting up. It tightened more and more as the run went on and began to affect my (very easy) pace by the end and the heart rate was still high for the perceived effort. So the run was only about 50% successful, feels like 2 steps forward, 1 backward so far in the recovery.

I guess I'll take another 'REST' day tommorow and keep working on the stretching. Also been good with the crunches every day this week. Trick seems to just do them early before I'm fully awake ;-)

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Summer in November!

What a glorious day we had here today, 17C (63F) calm, sunny and felt like a summer day!

Stretches, easy w/up, more stretches (left calf still tight) and then some easy running on the golf course. The course closed yesterday on Halloween and so I had it all to myself, running down the middle of their plush fairways. Was thinking that I needed a camera to show off how beautiful it is. Some of the Fairmont Algonquin ads call it 'a course to die for' and I must agree, for running on that is! Ended up doing about 4.5 mi in 38:00 mostly on the grass. The legs felt good, just the tight calves that I'm nursing along. HR was up despite the slow pace and my efforts to just jog easily but wanted to just kept going and going. However, its hard to fit a run in on lunch break and a meeting awaited me so I returned to work. Later felt a bit tired but 'the good kind of tired'. Now already looking forward to Thurs once I get through another dreaded REST DAY tommorow!

ps. also managed to get in 3 sets of crunches and pushups when 1st getting up this am, before becoming fully awoke and the body knew what was happening (trick sometimes works for me)