Saturday, December 31, 2005

Year end wrap up

Finished off the year with a nice easy 6+ mile run on an extreme sort of day when compared with yesterday. Instead of +4C it was -13C with a wind chill of -20C (-2F) and a light dusting of snow on the roads and trails. As usual it was fine when going along 'with' the wind of 10-15mph but as soon as you turned into it, well time to pull down the hat, and pull up the neck/face warmer. Could have used vaseline on the exposed skin as well. It was actually a rather pretty day with the sun out for a change and nice layer of sea-fog on the ocean from the cold air. My total time of 55min seemed slow despite holding back and running easy. Probably should measure this standard recovery run route soon.

So, this last running day of the year brought my total for the year up to 2215 mi which averages out to 43/week or about 6.1/day. You can see my weekly training and races in 2005 in the plot below. The usual ups and downs while training for my spring and fall marathons and now the continual ramping of miles since October as I get into the heavy Boston training. Don't worry, the miles will now plateau out for at or near the 70 level for the next 15 weeks or so.
To put it in perspective, I also plotted the last few years of running and average 'miles of trials' per week. As you can see there has been a slipping of sorts in the past few years after my PB year of 2003. Perhaps the miles do make a difference... We'll see this coming year as I attempt to hold a higher mileage base through and after Boston.
In reviewing my running goals for 2005, which get written on the 1st page of my handwritten log at the beginning of each year, I fared reasonably well.
  1. Enjoy running, relax on mileage a bit and # of days per week. Try to reduce to 5/week. Check on the mileage part but went stir crazy with two whole days off per week and only lasted till early Sept before going back to 6d/week.
  2. Turning 50, so enter a few races going for age group placing. Couldn't miss on the turning 50 part and placed well in the few races I did do this year.
  3. Boston, Cabot Trail and New York were the goal races. Bombed again at Boston due to the warm conditions, did well at CTR, didn't get in to NY and did the KV marathon instead.
  4. Stretch and strength exercises on my days off. Nope, failing grade here. Usually do a few stretches before runs but nothing to serious and not very consistent with the core strength stuff either.
So "that's all she wrote". It was a very good year in retrospect, stayed healthy, ran most days that I wanted to, discovered the interesting running blog world and am now all geared up for a great 2006! See you on the roads!!

Friday, December 30, 2005


Still plugging away and putting in the miles according to the schedule, in fact yesterday snuck in an unscheduled 5 mile run on what was supposed to be a 'rest' day. It actually felt like 'cheating' on the program, even though it was just a very easy-easy run with heart rate alarm set at 80%. Don't understand what gets into me at times, knowing that rest days are important but when I miss my normal rest day (on Monday usually) it's like having some bonus mileage to start the week and can't help take advantage.

All this preamble is just to get to the point of today's post which is motivation. Where does it come from for me and how can it be explained? These thoughts occupied me for a good part of my tough midweek 14 mile run today. Conditions were fairly decent for us north-easterners with +4C (35F) and light to medium winds but the temps were falling and winds increased during the run. But still pounding away for 2 hours makes you think, 'What the heck makes me do this?" and it's tough to come up with a simple answer. Started to make a list in my head: love to run, enjoy being very fit, like the weight control, like to train for events like Boston etc but it still doesn't explain the why... Could easily be running only every other day, with 1/2 the mileage, pick and choose days based on weather conditions, and still manage a decent marathon BUT then I'd be selling myself short or at least would feel that way. So, still can't explain what motivates me every day to get out the door, it just seems to happen and feel lucky that I'm able to keep doing it.

Today's run was a total of about 14 miles in just under 2hr. Started out feeling flat and heavy legs but still managed the 1st 5 into the wind in 42:00. The 2nd 5mile return leg was nice with the wind at my back in 40:30 including the little motivational conversation with myself. Finished off the run with a post-office run with a noticeable change in temperature on the return home into the wind again.

Nice to stop and will spend the rest of the day, relaxing, blogging and planning for the new year. All those running and other resolutions to make, or not! Read a good post the other day about 'resolving to stop' to do things that are not important or distracting to your various life/work/running goals. Makes you think ;-)

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Slip sliding away

As the holidays begin to wind down the running is starting to pick up. Two runs to report over the last 2 days, both on slippery snow covered roads and sidewalks from the blast of winter we've had over the past few days. Just did a very easy 6mi yesterday with the legs still sore/tired from the tempo effort on Monday.

Today was a medium effort 12 mile run on a perfect sunny day with beautiful blue skys and a light northwest breeze and temps around -7C (24F). Just enough of a wind that you noticed the difference in turning into it and had to pull the hat down and get the gloves back on. It was a fairly uneventful run which I did as a 7mi out and back out the highway to start (in 61:00) and then finished out with a 5mi loop around town (in 42:00) with a stop to pickup the mail. Traffic was light for the most part and ran on the edge of the slush on the pave as much as possible. Good run at a moderate effort and feeling decent with no real aches and pains, just a little tired.

While I'm at it here are a few pics from the dvd photo disc that came in the mail late last week from the Kennebecasis Valley Marathon in October. The highlight of this day was rain and cold! Here is the start in Hampton, N.B.

I ran the 1st 14 miles in a 3:10 pace group. Here is our little group with me holding onto the back of the pack in the early miles. I had temporarily ditched my rain jacket at this point when the rain let up momentarily.
Here I am alone nearing mile 20. Lost touch with the pace group around mile 15. Still able to grimace a smile and you can see the steady rain streaks.
Last turn before the finish, soaked to the core, and sooo glad that it's finally over!!
The finish, appropriately in b&w which are the only colors my brain was able to process at about this point. 8th overall in 3:20:03 but still disappointed in my time which was blamed mostly on the weather. We runners are never satisfied are we?

Monday, December 26, 2005

Tempo run to begin week

Three guesses as to the identity of the little snow sculpture by Chris and Anna ;-)

After a nice holiday break, I was more than ready to begin week 3 of the 18 week plan with a more challenging run than usual. Schedule was for 10 miles with 4@ 1/2 mara pace and so after a quiet relaxing morning with most of the family still catching up on their sleep I was able to slip out 'almost' unnoticed.

Bit of an iffy day weather wise with 2C (35F) a cold drizzle/rain and northeast breeze at 20-30k/hr. The shoulders of the highway were quite icy and so stuck to the edge of the pavement on the white line for the most part. Did the 10 miles as an out and back run with the final 4 miles in 30:10 which was as fast as I could manage today with the conditions. Translates to close to my MP and so I 'failed' on this aspect of the run. The intention and effort were there and HR was in the 80-95% range for the tempo portion so don't feel to broken up by the result . Total time for the run was 1:19 and felt fairly good for the most part. A few twinges in the hamstrings and got a little cold toward the end of the run but pleased with the overall run and a decent start for the week

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Still loving it

You'd think that we runners would get bored or fed up with all the miles we put in, especially as you begin to ramp up the mileage with a training program and a goal that is months away. But no it just seems to get better on some days, like today.

We had a nice snowfall last night with a few inches of the wet heavy snowman making type stuff. After my usual carbo load pancake breakfast and several coffees I had enough energy to help Jo shovel the driveway, which was the least I could do before disappearing for a few hours on a perfect calm, mild day (just about freezing mark).
The legs felt a bit heavy at first and with the wet slushy roads the choice of route today was a bit questionable. In the end I opted to stay in town where people are not in as big a hurry and where I wouldn't get continually sprayed with slush and salt. Kind of wandered the streets, doing all the side roads, into SABS, the golf course, O'Neil farm road, Cemetery, Champlain subdiv, down the Bar Road and onto the beach which was open to Minister's Island. All the while going at a nice easy relaxing pace and feeling at some points where everything felt perfect and could just go on forever. Of course this only happened for a brief moments before reality cut in and my heart rate alarm goes off like I'm having a seizure or something! It was nothing like the 18 milers from hell that Andrew has been describing lately but with all the time in the world it was nice to just enjoy the running at a very easy pace.

The 2nd part of the run after a quick stop at home for more gatorade was just a quick 40 minute loop around town to make up the total time of 2:30 or so and about 18 miles as planned. At the turnaround mark I was lucky enough to run into S. who was just doing the Point loop today. S is also running Boston this year but does not have a high mileage plan like mine so we don't often see each other on the run. But it was very nice to talk and cruise along for a bit with another runner, the time just flies ;-)

Anyway, it was over all too quickly and 'that's all she wrote' for week 2 of the Boston Plan. All runs were executed as laid out, added a bit of distance, with a total of 63 miles in 9hr 30 min and year to date of 2162.

Meanwhile on the home front, all is prepared and the stockings are ready for Santa. I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas shared with family, friends and loved ones. Enjoy!!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

2nd Day of Winter

As promised, here is our tree all set up and partially decorated and ready for the big holiday. Only a 1/2 day of work to go, office party, last minute things to do and then settle back for a well deserved long winter's nap!

Today's run was a new record of sorts, that being 10 days straight running without a rest day! Because of the holiday scheduling and re-arranging I skipped my normal Monday rest day and will go 2 more days before I get a break on the 25th. It's still cold here and the run was at chilly -9C with windchill of -15C or 10F. Once again, and for the 3rd time this week I wore all the clothes that were in my bag at work. Amounted to 2 layers on the legs and 3 on upper body plus assorted hat, neck warmer, and ratty gloves with holes (hoping that Santa will notice). Total of 11 miles at an easy pace in 1:35 and did a figure 8 loop around town and out to the Ghost Road and then back to work. The legs were a little tired/sore and my upper body is also a bit sore from my tumble on Tues. Didn't feel especially good or bad, just one of those get the run in as scheduled sort of runs when feeling tired.

Nice surprise when I got home with a dvd of the KV marathon in the mail. It's quite a really good production of photos and slide show to music in the pouring rain. I may post some of my pics once I get a chance to go through it. Looking forward to a nice easy 6 miler tomorrow, but then the dreaded 18 miler (1st real long run) on Sat. At least the forcast is for milder weather nearer to the freezing point if not in the plus range!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Ker splat!

Or maybe just 'whomp' ! That was the sound of me hitting the ground midrun in the 13 miler today. I'm usually super careful on ice and snow but today I just got careless. It was time to turn around and head for home but a car was coming & in turning the other way from where I 1st intended to go my feet went straight out! Luckily the landing was evenly spread along my body and no damage was done but I still had 6-7 hard miles to go. Can count on one hand the number of times this has happened and feel lucky to emerge unscathed.

Todays run was a real 'workout' with some downhill repeats planned. There are not many days where I worry about my planned run but this was one of them. There was a 1/2 mile gully on the out portion of the run where I did a total of 4 x 1/4 mile downhills. Did these at a faster pace aiming for marathon speed but not quite there yet. I was thinking of doing a few more on my return leg but after the crash the plan changed to just do an extra mile further on and save it for another day. Also by this time the legs were starting to get sore, possibly from the 8 miler with 10xstrides on Monday.

Also by the end of the run I was reduced to counting over a few 'rough patches'. The detailed method is as follows. I don't count steps but rather focus on my breathing and count exhales which usually coincide with my right footstrike. I count 10 exhales and tic off one finger. Count 10 more exhales and another finger gets ticked off! Work my way up to all 10 fingers (still have them all intact) for a total of 100 exhales and then start over. Helps to focus on breathing and gives the brain something to work on as well. I also find that the pace usually picks up a bit and the form gets smoother.

Total for today was 13 miles in about 1:49. Tomorrow is and easy day, only 6 miles ;-)

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Boston Training Plan Week 1 of 18, check!

Whew, that was tougher than I expected but most of the effort was in the mental anguish department. How to fit the scheduled runs around a busy holiday schedule? Between work meetings, lunches, Christmas parties and some more nasty weather I was still able to get in all the runs but in different order. Total for the week was 60 miles in 8hr 55min with year to date at 2099.

This morning was a short 6 mile 'recovery' run, originally meant to be the day 'before' the long run but it was switched due to our family get together. It turned out to be a tough slog on the treadmill, probably because the body was expecting a rest day and not another running day. Once I got through the 1st couple of miles the run went a bit better but still was harder than expected for an easy run.

The coming week is also totally rearranged so that I can get my runs in and not interfere with parties, work and most especially Christmas day! We're really looking forward to having the whole family together again for the week.

Today's get together was nice with lots of good food and family fun. Would like to have stayed longer but we had to get home so A could finish his homework project that he left till the last minute. He might even get to pull his 1st all nighter and still not out of high school!

Here are some pics of the new Havenese puppy. He's incredibly small and cute!

and he loves to play with the cat (who is the boss of course)
Nothing to do with running but that's OK. Have a great week all 4 of my readers ;-)

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Oh, Christmas Tree!

Searching for the perfect Christmas tree takes time and talent (not)!
A little beauty doesn't hurt either... ;-)Final selection captured by our local gnome photographer.
Posing with the fallen prey.
Enough with the silly pictures! It was a lovely day here after the ice and sleet storm we had Friday night. Temps were near the melting point all day and so our little tree finding excursion was that much more pleasant. The tree is now awaiting the final preparations before being brought indoors for the decorating. We're only planning to put the basic lights on it as we must await the arrival of our first born on Christmas Eve for the final decorating (are you reading this C?)

And I got my scheduled run in this morning as well. Managed to get away at a reasonable hour for me (mid-morning) and had a fairly nice 17+ mile long run for the week. I'm not sure on the actual distance but my watch said 2:35:30 with about 85% of the run in the target heart rate range of 70-80% max. Besides dodging holiday traffic this was the main game I played today, run at a pace where the HR alarm would not 'go off'. This is easy on the flats but can be tricky on on the hills (up and down) on my route and so helped me from getting bored. Am I cheating at this game if I walk on the steepest part of the hill till it stops beeping or do the 'rules' say I have to keep jogging?

I do plenty of thinking on my runs when done alone and today my thoughts were mainly with Marc and the Running Chick with the Orange Hat who's posts from the past week were thought provoking and somewhat disturbing in various ways. Running is a great thing you can do for yourself but we all realize there is alot more to life. Be well and stay safe out there!

ps. bonus shot of our new resident attack cat (Cody). Doesn't he look worried? He's ready to 'get' his stuffed mouse!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Easy day on the mill

Nothing like falling out of bed and 10 minutes later you're speeding down the highway to nowhere. Even then I wasted several minutes finding all my gear and manged to totally awaken my poor sleeping wife. Will pay for that ;-)

As I keep saying its especially nice when it's cold as heck outside (-20C this am with windchill) and you've got a busy day ahead with various meetings and lunch scheduled. So, I managed to get 10 miles in before breakfast in 81:00 at varying paces from 6-8mph (10 to 7:30/mi paces). Didn't play any neat games like chase the rabbit as Paul suggested but just watched tv and adjusted the pace every 1/4 mile or so. It still felt like I was cheating somehow and taking the easy way out and it certainly was 100% less effort than my run on Weds. Using the HR monitor I was doing marathon pace at <80% HR max which was nice. Same effort on winter roads would probably be MP + 1:00/ mile.

Now all I have left this week is a couple of easy 6 milers and a long 17 on Saturday so Sunday is free for our Power Christmas brunch at Eileen's. Lots of food and fun with family and should get a first look at their new puppy. Tomorrow will be busy with a long drive to PEI to get Steph for the holidays. The plan is to leave early and be back before the storm that is headed our way for Friday night/ Sat. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

What the ...?

Walking home tonite the sky was beautiful with the moon rising and Venus's belt as Thomas described in a post last week. I'd seen this many times before but had never heard it named before and it was very nice with the moon.

Unfortunately I was about 5 minutes too late in getting home and grabbing the camera so these photos don't quite do it justice. It was nice, you will just have to take my word for it ;-)

However, my run today was not so nice (thus my title). I'm hoping for some warm Chinook weather from Dawn here soon cause 'it's some cold' these days. I was not a happy camper trying to slog out my scheduled 12 miler today. There must be a frustration factor built into winter running, as I know a 12 miler in the summer can feel like a short easy run. Today it seemed more like 20 and I thought it would never end. But it did eventually end after about 1:43. No vaseline again but at least nothing fell off and the windchill was only -16 or 3F.

Tomorrow the forecast is for more of the same so I plan to wimp out on the treadmill. Take that North Wind!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Penquin weather here already

It was one of those days where only polar bears and penquins were out and about. Besides the usual comments from co-workers like 'you're not running today are you?' it was a normal winter day that felt more like January than early December. There was no way that this runner was going to miss his 1st day of the training plan unless he was run over by a truck or something.

Conditions were worse than expected with a temp of -10C and windchill of -18C (or near 0F) and once again I was wearing every available piece of clothing and wishing for more. Could have used some vaseline on the face as well but maybe next time. Started out really slow and easy as there was a light dusting of new snow being blasted around by the wind. The usual around town route today with various twists and turns and hills and valleys to make up the required 8 miles. Also did a set of 10 striders, which were more like pickups, in the middle of the run. These were about 25sec fast running and starting on the minute after jog/walk breaks. Total time was about 68 min and froze up again over the last mile into the wind.

Not much else happening except that the walk to/from work of about 1 mile was a good way to wake up and cool down after a long day. Might be the winter parka and scarf but I didn't seem to notice the cold as much. Looking forward to having Otto back from NZ tommorow which should make the work routine a little easier with him around.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Lots to talk about

Who is that strange man in shorts?! He is saying 'What kept you? I already have 5 miles in!'
Make that 3 strange people, one with bells on, ready for an early morning jaunt...

Along a quiet snow covered back country road ...
With a beautiful layer of snow still sticking to the trees.

What a great way to end the week by getting together with some fellow runners for a long run! It was such a nice run that I barely remember the running, we did 17 miles in about 2:30 at an easy 9:00 or so pace. The conversation just floated us along while we cruised along in sort of an unconcious running state and it seemed it was over in a few minutes (but the watches beg to differ).

So what did we talk about? Well the usual, everything about running including training plans, Lydiard, Boston, races, marathons, diets, Cabot Trail, families, running injuries, whiners (you know who you are ;-) etc. It was great but over too quickly and we all agreed to do it again soon once the holidays are over.

Total for this last week of buildup training was 55 miles in 8hr 15min of running with a total year to date of 2039 miles. Tommorow I will start my Boston 2006 training off with a bang by having a rest day !!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Snowy Saturday

The storm is past and just a quiet landscape remains. Here is the same view of 'my' golf course as taken on Nov. 4. What a difference a month can make!
The sun was sparkling on the water and it's a beautiful day with temps now rising to near the melting point.
I like closeups and would have done more but my son was waiting in the van for me. We had been driving around getting him some experience on winter roads.
And I did get a run in this morning after clearing the snow off the driveway making for a good warmup. Just did a slow easy 6 miles around town in about 53 min. The roads were a bit slushy but traffic was light so I was able to run down the center of the street for the most part where the salt had melted the snow away. Nothing much to note except that I dragged out an old 'retired' pair of shoes for the run so that I could save my current good shoes for Sunday (i.e. not salted & soaked).

The plan for Sunday is to get up 'before' the crack of dawn and motor over to visit Andrew for my long run of 17 miles. Looking forward to running with him again but will need several coffee stops before hand ;-)

Friday, December 09, 2005

First real snowfall

At last, we had a nice blanket of snow today that looks like it may stay around for awhile! I'm originally from northern NB which has a much more consistant winter than we have here way down in the south with the moderating ocean near the coast. It is quite surprising the difference in climate a few hunded kilometers makes. My wife thinks I'm completely off my rocker but I do miss good sledding snow, even though it sometimes makes for tougher running ;-)

It started to float down about noon just as I was ready to start my run and there was an inch or 2 down by the end of my 9 mile 75:00 minute run. Right now we have a few more inches and the driving is kind of treacherous and slippery. The run went well, careful easy strides and only slipped a few times on the underlying ice. The route was partially on the golf course and various sides streets before returning to the golf course to get the required time and miles in. For the most part I stayed on the sidewalks and away from traffic on this 1st real winter storm we've had.

No problems to speak of in the run except for a friendly lab that I thought was going to knock me over, he came to greet me at full speed and then went sliding past with his legs still spinning... Silly puppy reminded me of our old dog now gone who just loved to run and play in the snow. Here's a picture of my silly dog from a few years ago.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Wimped out!

No, I did get my run in this morning, it's just how I got my run in that makes me feel like a wimp! A trip to Saint John was planned today so the dentist could torture me, to be followed by senseless wandering in shopping malls looking for the perfect present that can never be found.

Thus my usual midday run was rescheduled and in it's place I present the early morning dreadmill run! It's so easy, fall out of bed, slip on shorts and shoes and you are off with the hamsters... No worries about layers and the fact that it's -10C plus windchill and that Andrew is probably on his 2nd reload of the woodstove by now. However, I know he would proud of me getting up at 6:30 to do 6 miles before going off to work for a few hours. But... still felt like a wimp stinking up our basement while other brave souls face the elements. Hat's off to you all and you know who you are!!

Meanwhile, there is a nor-easter brewing and we should finally get some real snow tommorow. For that, I will make a special effort to get out the door, no wimping out ;-)

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


It was one of those days when you just wish the wind would stop blowing for an hour or so while you get your run in, but of course that rarely happens. So after donning every piece of running gear available to me I headed out for my mid-week longer run which is now at 11 miles and will work up to 15 in the plan. Weather was -5C with NW 20-40km winds or feel like -12C (10F). Thankful for my neck warmer that I can pull up over my nose on days like this.

The run was an out and back with most of the 'out' (in 47:10) into the teeth of the breeze. Turning around was a reward in itself and the return trip took only 45:35, despite feeling that I was tiring. Maybe I just wanted to get it over with but there was not much 'fun' in todays run, just the satisfaction of completing a run as planned no matter what (almost). I guess that's what commitment means for me.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

50 is my favorite number

Let me count the ways... First this is my 50th post and still just getting the hang of this blogging thing. You can see that I had problems with the formatting of my last post in trying to insert a table. It sort of works but seems to extend out to and overlap with the sidebar. Any hints on how to fix this on my blog?

50 is also the number of miles I ran last week and the number I plan to run at a minimum for the next 18 weeks. That's if things go according to plan and they rarely do.

50 is also my age and the past year has been a good one in many ways. Stepped back a bit from my running as far as mileage and took it easy. Did a reduced mileage marathon plan for both Boston and the fall marathon and still did reasonably well. Didn't run in that many races to take advantage of my new age group but placed well in age group when I did.

Today's run was per the new schedule which had 6miles easy with strides. Check! Had a nice easy run around The Point with 6x100m or so strides on a flat piece of road near the end of the run. Only did 6 strides as I was starting to feel tired/tight and didn't want to push it. The run felt great, especially the 1st few miles and legs felt fresh after a day off. Weather was cool and overcast with a slight wind, about -3C but no flurries as predicted.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Plan for Boston 2006

OK, I really do have a plan but does that mean that now I have to actually 'do it' ? This looks do-able on paper and is close to (but still more than) what I've done before and survived without injury. First, my apologies to Lydiard devotees but I'm not quite ready to work up to 100mile weeks, especially over the winter. Perhaps in the spring after I get Boston out of my system things will come around.

Based on Pfitzinger: More than 70 per week: 18 weeks (with modifications)
- main difference is making Mondays a total rest day so only 6 days/week running
- add more variety in long runs with some MP mixed in; may do more in early weeks with pace
- add 3-4 days of pushup/situp core strength & stretches on easy days
- use treadmill for easy early am runs and some faster running when winter conditions interfere
- doubles are scheduled but may be reduced depending on how I feel
- 2 additional easy runs, 6e or (6e am + 4e pm) to make up total mileage with HR<130

st = strides
@ paces = MP marathon Pace, 1/2 marathon, 5K race paces
4e = 4 miles easy
am / pm = morning or afternoon runs
hills down = downhill repeats of 800-1000m at MP with easy jog back up

Week Tempo Midweek-med long 2nd Midweek Long run Total Notes
1 6w/10st 11 9 17 55 Buildup week
2 8w/10st 12 10 17 59 Begin plan
3 8w/10st 13 + hills down 11 18 63 Endurance
4 10w/4@1/2 mar 14 12 16 64 Phase
5 10w/10st 14 + hills down 12 19 67
6 10w/4@1/2 mar 15 13 20 70
7 10w/10st 13 + hills down 11 16 62 Recovery week
8 11w/5@1/2 mar 15 12 20 76 Lactate
9 12w/6@1/2 mar 15 + hills down 8w/10st 22 77 &
10 7w/10st 15-am 4e-pm 13 16w/12MP 75 Endurance
11 9w/6x600 @5k 11-am 4e-pm 9 16 67 Recovery week
12 12w/7@1/2 mar-am 4e-pm 15 + hills down 8w/10st 24 (3:10-3:20) 83
13 9w/8x600 @5k 15-am 4e-pm 8-15k race 18w/last 2MP 72 Race
14 12w/6x1000 @5k 15 + hills down 12-am 4e-pm 18w/15MP 78 Prep.
15 9w/10x800 @5k 14 8-15k race 20w/last 4MP 69
16 12w/6x1200 @5k 15-am 4e-pm 8w/10st 22w/2x5MP 81
17 10w/5@1/2 mar 14 + hills down 10w/8st 17w/last 5MP 64 Taper
18 9w/8st 9w/3x1600 8w/8st 13w/last 2MP 51
19 5w/8st 8w/2MP 6e rest 32
20 Boston, Monday April 18


Your comments and suggestions are appreciated. Please send flowers to .... ;-) Thanks!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

On the long run again

A chilly but nice sunny day for a long run with temperature about -5C (21F) and a light westerly wind that was noticeable. Thinking about Mike running in the Tucson 1/2 in 65F temps on a fast course, good luck Mike! Also remembered Andrew who likely had his feet up and was on his 2nd cup of tea by the time I started at 9am. I'm just not a morning person but hopefully we can still co-ordinate for some more runs over the winter. At least we don't have snow and cold that turns all your extemities different shades of 'pink', right Dawn?

It was also cool enough at last night's parade as you can see from the pink faces of the carolers. Some of you may even recognize a couple of bundled up faces in the background.
As usual it was small but well attended and of course was on St. Andrews time (meaning late)!
Even Santa and his reindeer made an blurry appearance.

But back to the run, besides thinking about fellow bloggers I actually ran into another runner (FG from Florenceville) and we had a nice chat as we cruised around the sideroads of town for a mile or two. The great thing about company is the conversation and the fact that you don't even notice the chill. When F. peeled off, I was on my lonesome for the rest of the 16 miles that I managed to complete. It went fairly well, no complaints from the legs except over the last couple of miles where they felt heavy and a bit wobbly. Nice to stop and call it a day!

Total of 6 runs, 50miles, and 7hr 42 minutes on the roads for the past week. It's been a nice build up since KV and after one more week of this I'll be ready to start training for real!!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Need a plan

One more week of aimless easy running to go then I gotta come up with a plan. Unstructured running is great to a point but having a plan that pushes you more than normal works for me.

Just an easy 8mi or so today in about 66:45 on a crisp sunny day -2C(wind chill -7C or feel like 19F). Headband and long pants were definitely part of the costume today. Made a loop into work to get my good running shoes which are needed for the long run tommorow. Then around the golf course and Point before returning home.

This afternoon I'll work on 'the plan' which I've been procrastinating about. Looking back at some of my previous logs should prove useful as I attempt to reach the next level. We'll see...

Friday, December 02, 2005

Where is the jungle?

Not too often I get nervous before a training run but this was one of those days. It's been over a month since the marathon and all the training has been at easy or as-I-felt-like-it paces. The plan today was a tempo run and since I commited to it publicly, well you know... gotta follow through and report on success or disaster.

It was back to the awful wind and rain weather again. Woke up around 715pm (just as Andrew is likely in the middle of his run) to the sound of sideways rain beating on our windows. Briefly felt sorry for him and went back into my morning before-coffee daze. By the time I got around to starting my run it was past noon and still had the butterflies. Dragged my feet, had a banana, extra stretches, do I need a rain jacket? Looks like the rain is stopped, lets do this! Temp was about 5C (41F), cloudy, light 10mph SE wind.

After my warmup which goes straight up this 1/2 mile hill and more stretches I was off. Felt good to move the legs a bit faster but I also felt kind of clumsy and awkward. Smoothed out a bit by the end of the run but there is alot of rust/carbon in the system that must need burning out. Maybe some strides now and then would help.

Anyway... I was cruising along, just starting to feel in the groove about 10 minutes in, when this guy, obviously a lost tourist, walks out onto the golf course stops me and asks (I am not kidding!) 'Excuse me, where is the jungle?' I said 'What do you mean???' It was a language thing, he was looking for the 'forest' and 'jungle' was the word that came out. I explained between gasps that there was no jungle but that he could find his forest off in another direction (he wanted the walking trail). Looking at his clean shiny shoes I also suggested the paved golf course path we were standing on would be better and that he might get very wet (and dirty) on the trail (in the jungle). Strange encounter and I was off again and my HR obviously needed encouragement to get back up to speed.

The rest of the run was uneventful except that it started to rain with the wind picking up a bit and was glad that I decided to wear a windbreaker today. It was quite a comfortable pace with HR between 80-90% max and felt like I could maintain this for awhile. I usually push the pace/effort a bit more to the high end on tempos to feel like 1/2 marathon pace but kept it midrange today. Felt good, powered up the hills and backed off a bit as needed to keep from going over the redline. Overall 70% of the run was in the planned range and the time of 43:00 for the 5.5 mile loop was 5:30 faster than yesterday. This will be the standard for the weeks to come. Interesting run and looking forward to repeating it ;-)

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Competing against 'me'!

I think the best competition is the one with yourself. Previous races, standard running routes, etc. I look at some of my pictures from a few years ago and think 'I know I could take him' !

It also makes training more interesting to do the same route while keeping heartrate within a particular range. On Monday I did The Point without any thought about pace or effort, except that I had an appointment and hurried so I wouldn't be late. Today I set my HR alarm and tried to stay in my easy range (70-80%) and did it about 2 minutes slower including walking at the top of the hills to stop the beeping. The net result was 80% within the range today while on Monday only 40% was in the range.

While it is not recommended to be a 'slave' to your HR since it can be affected by many variables besides pace (health, weather, hydration level, duration of run) it is a very useful device as a tachometer on easy days. It will also be instructive to look at results for the same run as fitness hopefully improves over the next few months. Unfortunately I can't control for the weather and I must pick and choose my test days.

The plan for tommorow is to do a 'tempo' run on the same course with a HR range of 80-90% after my usual 1/2 mile hill warmup and stretches. I can't wait to see what happens ;-)