Sunday, July 30, 2006

Summertime play

The goldfish are quite fearless and even nip at my fingers and toes looking for something to eat.
Relaxing in the ccol pond water after my runs is nice on the legs and helps cool down the whole body at the same time. Our summer is so short we need to enjoy what little we get, despite some hot humid days that are tough if trying to exercise and follow a demanding running schedule. I know just 5 short months ago dressing in about 5 layers plus vaseline for good measure that complaining about a little heat was the furthest thing from my mind!

I've got a few more runs to report in on since the last post with no major problems to speak of with the legs and joints except for an occasional tight achilles, usually the left one and mostly just when I've been sitting for too long. It did get a bit painful at the begining of a few runs this week but after stopping and stretching a bit more I was able to continue without further problems. I do some light stretches before each run as I wait for the Garmin to connect to the satellite world but should be doing more regular stuff in the evenings while watching TV etc.

On Friday I took the afternoon off and then proceeded to get some yardwork done with Jo which included some digging and dragging patio bricks around in the warm sun. Delayed my run till after supper which is not always a good ideas since running on a full stomach doesn't make for a great run. Nevertheless, the temps were cooler and there was a light rain and after 4-5 miles the pace picked up as the stomach felt better. Ended up getting my scheduled 13 miles in 1:47 (8:13 pace) and felt better than expected after the tough double on Thursday.

Saturday was just an easy 7 miles but it was a warm humid day here even early in the morning. Drank water, wet slow and had to stop to stretch the achilles in the 1st mile. Finished with a nice dip in the pond and then spent the rest of the day avoiding the heat, sitting in the shade of the gazebo watching the hummingbirds fight/play around us. Even got a little more yardwork done and am slowly checking things off the 'honey do' list!

Oh yes, Saturday is the end of my 'week' with a new record weekly mileage total of 82 with avg pace of 8:13 and with 11hr 15min running time. My current YTD mileage is 1820 which on looking back over the years is way ahead of where I'm usually at for the end of July. I read an interesting article on overtraining last night and plan to monitor myself very carefully over the next several weeks leading up to Wineglass. It's a fine line we sometimes take trying to improve our fitness and then getting overeager with the races and testing before we're fully ready. Note to self: 'keep your eye on the prize'.

Today, Sunday, July 30, 62 days and counting. That's only 9 weeks less a day Andrew and Marc! The evil plan out of good ole Pfitz was for 16 miles with 12 at MP, fun eh? I was up early without an alarm at 6:30 but was in no rush to get going today. It had really cooled down overnight from about 30C to 13C (55F) with a nice northerly breeze (more about 'that' later). After a relaxing but light breakfast of coffee, juice and cereal with fruit I was good to go about an hour later. Started off the run with an easy but hilly jog down to the Blockhouse and back home.

Replenished the water bottle and 1/2 mile later I began the required torture test on the flatest roads we have around here going out of town along Bayside. You can judge for yourself the lack of even terrain that we have in the Garmin plot below. It's either up or down and precious little steady flat ground which can make keeping an even pace a bit difficult. And then to make things even more 'fun' the 1st 6 miles of this 12 mile out and back effort were into a noticeably strong headwind. Barely managed to make the turnaround in 45:00 which was exactly on 7:30/mi target pace. After the turn the effect of the now 'tail' wind was noticeable and the pace dropped to about 7:20 with less effort except on the uphills. Finished the 12MP in 89:10 which was 50 sec to the good and then completed the 16 with an easy 1 mile warmdown. The cooldown was later in the pond!

Some of the gory details from the Garmin for today's 16 miler with 12 at marathon pace (7:30/mi). You can see my variable pace in blue and the nice 'flat' terrain in green. Began the paced effort beginning at mile 3 with the target pace of 8mph. They say that these MP runs are as much psychological as they are physical and I definitely agree with that. As long as I'm careful going into these runs, ensuring that the diet, sleep, rest day before is take care of, then it's usually just a matter of getting on the road and 'doing it'. But it's hard, especially on your own against the watch and then again it's eventually that way in a race as well. On the other hand if you do enough of these and slowly progress them over the training cycle as my 'plan' has me doing then the pace and effort should be pretty well locked in by race day. We hope...

Tommorow is a REST day and this coming week is one of HOLIDAYS! Yes!!!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Hump week, downhill from here...

Now registered for the Wineglass marathon ...

Mailed in my entry form for the Calais 5 mile International Roadrace

Considering this marathon as a training run the day after, maybe...

It's week 9 of 18, and Weds was humpday and so it's all downhill from there, right? How come all my runs feel like they're uphill? Even getting a few words out on this dumb blog are painful lately.

Back again for another try, now Thursday and looking forward to the weekend and another week of holidays! Maybe just a quick recap of this weeks runs are in order.

Sunday - 22 miles in 3:04 in crazy weather conditions. Started out cool and foggy, then light rain, then steady rain, then torrential downpour for about 15 minutes, followed by clearing and sun about 1/2 hr later and then more fog at the end. No worries about overheating today at least and even cooled off in the pond for good measure.

Monday - day off, feeling fine, no bad effects from the long run, rest up, eat cake and ice cream and celebrate my birthday with Andrew & Jo. Nice cards and calls from family made it a nice day.

Tues - double day with 7am 6 miler in cool fog and noon time 4 miles with A.C. in scorching heat. Took me awhile to cool off while trying to attend a meeting after that (drip, drip)

Weds - another double with 5.5 miles at 7am again and then 4.5 at lunchtime. This 2nd run was supposed to be 15 but couldn't do it at work and no desire to run long after work.

Thurs (today) - yet another double with an easy 4 miles at 7am with cool temp of about 15C (60F) which was followed after work by the 15 miler I shoulda done yesterday. It was much warmer here at 430pm near 25C (80F) but there was lots of shade and a nice sea breeze. The run went better than expected and even managed a few strides in the middle. Stopped for extra water at the Town Square and then some gatorade at home before finishing off the run in 2:04. Cooled off again in the pond and was glad to have that behind me!

A word or two about the lack of motivation lately. I'm still getting the runs in but it's been harder to get out the door, especially for the long runs. It's partly the tough training plan but it's also a lack of time so the runs can be scheduled without interfering with family & work matters. Work has also been hectic and I haven't had my full holidays to recharge, so I'm looking forward to next week with a chance to put my feet up.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Musquash adventure

The Musquash Estuary is being proposed as the first Marine Protected Area in the Bay of Fundy. This is an area of incredible beauty with a near pristine shoreline and very little development. Our family had decided to take part in the 8th annual Musquash paddle which takes you from the headpond area near a small hydro power plant, though salt marshes and mud flats to Musquash Bay and then entering into the Bay of Fundy.
A view from Five Fathom Hole wharf along the scenic shore of Musquash marsh and estuary.
The event started mid-morning Saturday with a large flotilla of about 20 kayaks and canoes waiting to get underway. The weather was nice with some cloud cover after a night of heavy rain but some fog along the coast would prove to be a problem later on.
Paddle is underway with the tide high on the ebb, providing a slight downriver current.
A few wrecks provided some points of interest. These are old WWII landing craft.

Andrew is looking cool and got a little wet.
We like lazy rivers without rapids and stayed dry.

Until the fog rolled in at the 2/3 way point in Musquash Harbor. We then needed to pull out the various craft and call it a day after about 4 hours of meandering along the estuary.
We arrived home about an hour later, tired and a bit sore from using muscles in our shoulders and arms that haven't been used much lately. It was a nice day and we plan to come back and complete the last bit that we missed in the harbor another time.

Friday, July 21, 2006


Busy, busy lately; I think I need another week of vacation but it won't happen for another week. Seems like all I've been doing is working, running and working some more. Wish I had more time to catch up on the blogs I read and the Tour is almost 3 days ahead of me on the video recorder.

At least Monday was a rest day and there were no ill effects from the nice 20 miler on Sunday. It's usually a good sign when you feel stong on a rest day and even think about doing a run. Instead I did some yard work and helped Jo with the cedar hedge. Now that the wasp nest has been eliminated it was safe for me to climb up and chop out the excess growth.

Tuesday was another semi-rest day with a double 4 & 6 miler planned. Up and at 'em by 7am for an easy jog around town with a thick heavy fog providing a wonderful air conditioned feel for the run. The 2nd 1/2 of the days run was an easy 6 miles at lunch during the heat of the day with temps around 25C.

Wednesday, the dreaded midweek medium long run once again but I had a secret plan to thwart the bonk and to break up this sometimes tedious run. The plan was to simply run a circuitous route to the garage to pick up the van (at the garage for some minor repairs) and then finish off with a few miles after dropping it back home. This worked out nicely with a refill of gatorade and extra water at the 1/2 way. Felt decent for most of the run except at the end as the pace slowed a bit. Overall 15 miles in 2:01 for 8:04/mi avg pace.

Thursday was another easy double day but this time the 1st 1/2 was run at lunch since we had arrived home so late the night before after visiting my Mom in Saint John. It started off as a very easy jog/run along the golf course until I was startled by a runner coming up behind me. It was P.R. a local tri-athelete in the middle of a 'brick' (bike & run) and after saying hello, he just took off ahead of me! Not one to get dropped on a training run, I quickly caught up but P was really flying along at about 7min pace. Maybe if I could start a conversation to slow him down?
  • "So how far are you going? (puff)
  • "Just a short run around the point..."
  • "You're really looking strong, training alot lately?" (puff, puff)
  • "Thanks, training every day for the upcoming NB championship"
  • "I'm just going easy today, do you mind if I tag along?" (puff, puff, puff)
Eventually I got him slowed down a bit but the pace was still close to my 1/2 marathon pace. After looping around the Point I stopped off at the post office to get my mail (thankfully) and we agreed to get together again for some runs later on. Training with a faster runner would definitely help my speed and I'm looking forward to it again but hopefully not on rest days. Total of 6 miles at about 7:40 pace.

The days 2nd run of only 4 miles came later in the evening around 730pm and the weird part of this run was that I ran into P's wife in the middle of her 'brick'. What are the chances of that? At least I was able to keep up with J but she was still moving along pretty good. These tri-people are very impressive with the hours and effort the put into their training. Nice run and the slower pace felt nice once I got past the heavy feeling of just finishing supper.

Friday, thank God the week is finally over! Worked through lunch and then bugged out a bit early and headed for home. Then quickly out the door for a 12 mile run that started out with no plan except to try to get down the road and back in one piece. There was no spring in my step or enthusiasm until the turnaround at 6 miles. Then picked up the pace to about 7:50/mi for the return leg. Finished off the run with a nice dip in the pond and played with the fish for a bit. Gotta get some pics of the tame fish we have.

That was it for the week. Total of 67 miles in 5 days over 7 runs. Saturday was a bust with a scheduled/unscheduled non-running day but more about that later.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Running scared

Today's 20 miler went like a dream but it got a little scary at the end (more later). Woke a few minutes before the alarm at 615 which was a good sign that the mind/body were in alignment and ready to go. Evil Runner still tried to make me roll over for a few more winks but he was quickly overruled. After a quick breakfast of cereal, juice and coffee I got geared up with gatorade, a gel, the mp3 player with the latest Phedippidations episode (this week's topic was Overtraining of all things!), a few bandaids in strategic locations and was out the door and on the road by 7am.The conditions were perfect this morning with a thick cool fog which hung over the area for most of the morning and held the temperatures down in the mid-teens! Much nicer than the predicted 29 which I was trying to avoid with the early (for me) start. This is a look off our front deck just after the run around 10am with the air temperature still only about 17C (60F).
Here's the same view a few hours later after the fog had burned off and it was up to 25C (80F).

Today's plan was for 20 including 2x5mi at MP during the run which had me a little nervous but starting off with an easy 5 mile was well within my range. I think the medium size breakfast that I have so soon before these runs doesn't help for a fast start but pays dividends later in the run. The fog was quite thick with my glasses were continually fogging up as I easily made my way along the ocean bay where we live.

The warmup loop ended back home where I refilled the water bottles before heading out of town into the mist to start the 1st 5 at MP. The terrain here is quite undulating as Andrew can attest but by beginning at the crest of a hill I at least had a running start. The Garmin also turned out to be a nice tool in that it can track your lap pace during each lap. I was able to regulate the effort a bit using this feedback to push on the uphills and to stretch it out on the downs to gain some time back while staying close to the goal pace of 7:30. The result for the 1st 5MP in 37:14 for 7:27/mi pace with average HR at 137. The effort felt reasonable and not overly hard but it was quite nice to slow down for a rest break of 4.5 miles.

Strangely enough during this easy run break, after giving permission to the body to slow down to a recovery pace E.R. took over and established a jogging pace of only 8:45. He is one lazy sucker isn't he? But we'll get him back, just over this hill now, no point in starting at the bottom of a steep hill now is there? Besides the marathon I'm training for is flat and downhill with a net 200ft elevation drop and only 2 small hills.

The 2nd 5 mile set at MP was harder and had me running scared trying to maintain pace over a couple of long hills over the middle miles and a gradual uphill over the last mile. Again I worked the Garmin watching my pace, pushing on the downs and working on the ups and also did more counting and work on the form and turnover. Somehow after the pace slowed a bit in mile 4 I was able to pick it up in the last mile and ended up with the 5MP in 36:35 for 7:19 pace and HR of 144. A little fear of failure can go a long way to help hold pace! Finished the 20 miles in 2:42 with a short cool down but no dip in the pond today as my left foot was bloody from being rubbed the wrong way by the new shoes. I'll need more bandaids or will have to cut some more bits out of the shoe.

Overall a rather satisfiying run in that the MP bits were not as scary as first feared; they weren't easy but weren't overwhelming either. The average HR was good and my legs were not as tired from the miles as suspected either. Spent the rest of the day relaxing a bit, watched the Tour and the horrible crash with 3 bikers going down at speed, ouch, it hurts to watch that! Then spent some more time in the laundry room helping to apply more paint, followed by relaxation and beer on the gazebo. What a great day ;-)

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Fueling up for the long run

It's Saturday afternoon, it's been a long warm week and I'm just sitting around keeping cool, drinking fluids; water, OJ, coffee and now beer ;-) Notice how the bad (but oh so good) diuretic drinks are nicely balanced with the good fluid replenishment type drinks.

It's been a rather quiet day here. I was up early, for a Saturday, and on the road by about 830 for my scheduled easy 8 miler. Temps were warm for so early in the day here at the mid 20ies already by 8am but this is nothing compared to what runners put up with in southern climes and certainly nothing to complain about after the long cold winter we had. That seems like so long ago now... The run went smoothly though I started slow and was feeling a little depleted after the struggle that was Friday's run. Went around town following various trails and paths that were well shaded early in the morning and finished up with a series of 8x100m strides that were a bit sloppy and on the slow side. This is a problem with waiting till the end of a run to do these little speed-ups. Some coaches recommend doing them in the middle of the run after getting warmed up and when still feeling fresh. Personally, the accumulated miles are having an effect on the legs and it's a wonder I can get any speed out of them at all so I just try to speed things up a bit.

Rest of the day was spent staying cool and doing a few chores including some painting in the basement. We've been in this house for almost 17 years and there are still unpainted surfaces, would you believe? Point in case is our laundry room floor which was covered over with piles of accumulated 'stuff'. Moved the 'stuff' out to the garbage and then got with the painting. We're also doing this because our old washer finally died and the space under it was barren of paint.

I should also do an update on the horror show that was Friday's run in the heat of the day. The temps were near 30C with no clouds and no shade or wind and I thought it would be manageable 12 miles at a slow easy 8:30 pace using Mr V as a guide and pace setter. Boy, was I wrong! The run started OK but by about the 1/2 way point I was running from one shady spot to the next. At this point Mr V started to pull away as the oppressive still heat began to get the better of me. A few walk breaks and a water stop at the town center helped keep the heart rate under control. I also did a mail pickup where the clerk handed me my package at arms length while holding her nose with the other hand (not really but it was close to that). The last few miles home were as slow as I've ever run with walking on the hills and the pace was barely even a slow jog. I didn't even make it to the planned 12 miles and finished with about 11.5 with an overall pace of 8:50! It was so nice to get home and to then cool off by getting into our little fish/garden pond. This is a perfect way to cool down the legs as well as the rest of me. I can sit on the ledge with the water up to my chest and relax as the goldfish swim between my legs.

So tonite I'll continue to hydrate and prepare for Sunday's early morning 20 miler. Total for the past week was 73 miles over 10:00 hrs on the roads as the schedule rolls along. Have a good remaining weekend everyone!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Fear of the unknown

Fear is just one of the emotions that we go through when faced with uncertainty and the unknown. Mostly it comes with new experiences and challenges but sometimes the old run of the mill activities can get you too. Like (you guessed it) running and training... Same training program as for the last marathon cycle but the challenge to keep up with the schedule and to keep up the enthusiasm (like Marc) are making me wonder if I can hang on like Thomas is doing so well. And then there is Andrew and his fear factor has infected my blog... and running to a certain extent (not your fault A, the seed was already there to begin with).

Sunday - easy long run of 16 miles to end my nice recovery week and vacation. It was a nice gentle run in 2:12 or 8:15 pace. No fear at all; up early and out the door by 7:30am on a coolish foggy calm day with none of the ridiculous heat that Fast Mike or Amazing Jeff have to deal with every day. Still drank lots of water and gatorade and arrived back home with a zero weight difference which is highly unusual on a long run.

Monday - rest day, again no fear, I can handle these with ease. Biked to and from work and started on some achilles stretches and strengthening as it's been bothering me lately.

Tues - oh, oh! Feeling worried/fearful from the time I woke up today about my 11 mile run with 5 miles at 1/2 marathon pace. Just not looking forward to the effort and concerned whether I'll be able to hold the pace, especially with the weather going to be hot and sunny and the run in the heat of the day. Started out easy and after a 1.5 mile warmup the pace went downhill from there. 1st mile in 6:55, then a 7:09 followed by progressively slower splits ending up around 7:20. Did I mention it was hot? and hilly? This was followed by some walking and a stop at a local take-out to refill my water and hose my head and back down with a convenient garden hose at the side of the building. That was nice! And then only 3 miles more to finish it up. Whew, glad that is over with!

Weds - double trouble today with an early morning 4 miler and no fear except the worry that if I'm out the door too quick then it may mean a very uncomfortable run looking for a bathroom and a dash for the bushes! The 2nd 6 mi run came later in the evening and came out at a relaxed but quicker than usual pace of 8:00/mi.

Thurs - a definite fear factor day, the dreaded mid-week longer run. Sometimes I should just stay in bed and then it would go away but this OCD runner has no choice but to do as I say and plan, right Olga? From the get go, I was still trying to talk myself into something easier, shorter, less stressful but no; once under way it just flowed along. Did a very hilly 15 miler in 2:02 but felt very comfortable and easy for the most part. Only started to feel the effort and slow over the last 3-4 miles but then turned around and did the last mile in 7:36 just to prove there was something in the tank. However, this foolhardy display left me tired and depleted for the rest of the day. Thank God for ice-cream and bagels!

Run on!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Recovery week completed

Wow, another week of the 'program' is almost under my belt! Just the long run of only 16 miles on Sunday to complete the 1st third of the 18 week program. Thus far things have gone prety well as planned with the green blocks for runs as scheduled and yellow for underperforming. There were a few yellow blocks early on when I was still recovering from the Cabot Trail relay and needed a couple of easy days but it's mostly a positive so far.
This week was a cutback/recovery week with a total of 66 miles completed since Sunday. It was also a week off from work at the office but not from various chores around home. Managed to get a few things done between running, watching the Tour and just taking it easy generally.

Weds - 6 miles easy as the legs were tight from the strides on the previous day. I'm going to try to do alot more of this gentle speedwork, especially after my easy runs. It's meant to help with your range of motion and leg turnover without applying much stress. The main stress that I'm enduring lately is the miles upon miles and not the draining speedwork on the track.

Thurs - 13 miles easy out on the road out of town with 8x100m strides in the last mile or so. Total time was 1:46 for 8:08 avg pace and carried water plus gatorade for the run.

Friday - 10 miles easy around town using the various trails and paths which gave the most amount of shade on this warmish day with temperatures in the mid 20ies C (low 80F). I also carried a bottle of water and refilled it at the town square. The avg pace was only 8:22/mile today with the legs and joints feeling it a bit from the strides on the day before.

Sat - today was another warm day and only able to get under way by about 9:30am for this easy 6 miles. Used Mr V today as an aid to keep the pace easy (around 8:30/mile) and came in at 8:25 avg at the end. Also carried water and refilled at the town fountain, only losing 1 lb during the run. A nice finish to this run and a few others this week has been a quick dip in the pond to cool the legs down. The pond is only about 32 inches deep but that's perfect for cooling the legs and scaring the fish a bit.

The rest of the day was spent finishing up a project to repair a fence gate and path that goes around the house to the backyard. And now a little blogging and watching the World Cup consolation game.

Good running all!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Lost in the woods

No, I didn't get lost in the woods (especially with the Garmin to find the way) but this little tree somehow ended up in the doghouse. It looked nice in the garden center but once we had it home and did some research, it was declared unwelcome. The main problem was long seedpods that are hard to clean up and which attract caterpillars.
Here's another shot (just for Thomas) showing it over the fence and in the clearing with the little guy in the center of the pic.
Enough of trees though it is pleasant to run along wooded trails away from traffic.

Yesterday, instead of running I washed the house which sounds a bit crazy but was something that needed to be done. Our vinyl siding seems to accumulate moss and algae over time and the only way to get it off is to apply a javex and soap solution with a bit of elbow grease. Worked most of the day at it only getting part of the job done and was rewarded with sore arms and shoulders this morning. Also spent some time in the fish pond moving plants around for Jo and getting cooled off at the same time.

Today was the 1st official day of my week's holidays since Monday was just part of our long weekend. Somehow (like Mike) I often find Tuesday's to be a tough day to run and this is despite always taking Monday as a complete rest day, from running at least. It might be residual effects from Saturday's race and the cumulative effect of Sunday's 20 miler but typically my Tuesday runs start off like they did today. Stiff tight legs, a bit sore, lethargic feeling in general at first but soon enough things usually perk up. Sure enough it ended up being a pleasant easy 11 miles in about 1:30 but I didn't do any of the strides that were called for. I'll save that for later in the week when the legs feel fresher.

Not much happened on the run, saw 2 other runners and 2 walkers with large dogs whom I met on a narrow trail. They asked me to slow down so as to not spook the dogs and I was happy to comply. Did I say they were 'large' dogs (and well behaved too)?

Rest of my day off was spent getting the van fixed so our 'cruise' now works and some shopping in St. Stephen/Calais. Went by Andrew's bank office but it was deserted being the 4th of July. Happy 4th! Hope you're taking it easy and getting the runs in.

Finally, here's a little graph of my running progress so far on the way to the next marathon (Wineglass only 88 days away). The red line is the total weekly mileage since Boston and the green line is the longest run each week. The races are shown along the way as well. So far so good and knock on wood. Good running!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Grand Bay 1/2 Marathon Race Report

Lead up to the 'race' ...

Friday - up early (for me) at 6:30 for an easy 6 mile run around town before work. It was a nice foggy cool run just hours after a thunder and lightning system had passed through. The main reason for running early was to give the maximum amount of rest before Saturday's early race.

Saturday - up early again for the 1 hour drive to Grand Bay - Westfield for the Canada Day 1/2 marathon. We hit heavy fog for most of the way which slowed us up and arrived only 10 minutes before the official start time at 9:45. Luckily they were running late so there was time to hit a washroom and pick up my number etc. After a zero warmup (per Duncan) except for checking that the shoes were tied and a few stretches we were lined up and off!
And a smile to the camera operator, my son who also took a bunch more pics of the race. These are now posted on Webshots and the race results for the 1/2 marathon are here. My plan today for the race was no plan at all but to simply run in-control and to keep the effort at about marthon pace or a bit faster. The 1st downhill mile came in at 6:45 which was about 30-45 sec too fast! After that I reeled it in a bit and went by heartrate for most of the rest of the race keeping it around 90% of max. The splits then settled down to the low 7:00's to about 7:30 for the rest of the run. Ran mostly alone but was not passed after the 2nd mile except by the #1 and #2 women. Around the 8 mile mark they went whizzing by but then slowed and remained just in front of me for the rest of the way, or was that me speeding up?
The finish, just edged out by the #2 woman, is she laughing at me or just happy to be done? My time was 1:36:57 for 7:22/mile or 4:32/k overall pace. 14th overall and 3rd in my age group so I'll give the race an OK, despite not really 'racing'. You'll understand why when you see what went on Sunday. End of week 5 of 18 for the training program with 72 miles in the bank this week. There are now only 90 days to go guys!

After the run we hung around for the awards because we were trapped at the finish area with closed roads on one side and an parade arriving from the other direction. At least there was lots of food and drink to be had and a ton of door prizes were handed out. This is a very well organized and fun race. Eventually we were off to downtown Saint John where we were stunned to see deserted streets and empty shopping malls, until it hit us 'Oh yeah, it's a holiday!'. Lunch at Tims, visit Nanny at the Regional and then to Bro's fancy new house for supper and a few pops. Then another short visit at the hospital and a long drive in the dark and rain getting home by 10pm.

Sunday - slept in a bit today till about 7:30 and goofed around for about an hour getting geared up for the scheduled 20 miler. The Plan called for it and it was my stupid idea to to the 1/2 yesterday, but I did take it easy knowing in the back of my mind that this was going need to be done. And you all know that I'm a sucker for punishment...

But actually it wasn't really that bad. Another foggy, misty overcast day, a bit cool and some light rain making for nice running conditions. Geared up with the mp3 player loaded with more podcasts from Steve Runner, a gel pac, and gatorade. Went at a relaxed pace and the run didn't really get tough until the last 2-3 miles when the legs started to feel like they do at the end of a marathon. I guess that's the point of running 20 miles (for those last few tough miles) but it didn't help that the wind came up and it started to pour down hard at the same time. Finished the 20 in 3:50 for about 8:30 pace. A good way to start off the new running week!
Tree number one (done on Friday)

Tree number two (done this afternoon)
Tree number three which was relegated to the woods (some kind of weed tree). We've been busy today with other stuff besides running!