Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Roller Coaster

There's been a lot of up and down with both the weather and my running lately. We've had 10+ degree swings on a regular basis making it hard to figure out what to wear. Today for example it was +9C (48F) during my lunchtime run around town as I ran in shorts and a long sleeved shirt. Tomorrow's forecast high is -4C (25F) with a strong northwest wind which will bring the feel like temps down even further calling for at least a few extra layers.

My blogging has also been a little erratic with long pauses between my posts. I'm tempted to just do short little daily updates like Andrew has been doing but there really hasn't been much to write about. Total miles last week were a bit down with only 41 miles in 5 runs. Since the MDI marathon there has been a slow mileage build with weekly totals of 27, 35, 41, 50 and now down to 41. The down week was partially due to missing a run and because I was taking it a bit easy on the knee issue that came up. Hopefully that's past and the build to Boston can now continue.

Sunday's long run of 16 miles around town was long and boring without my usual company. The lack of running companions can make even a medium long run seem to take forever. It was also a slow run with an average pace of 8:34 and my stupid knee started 'talking' to me again over the last mile. I'm not sure what the whole story is here but it seems to come and go almost at random. I've been running in some older shoes that have close to 700 miles on them and will try retiring them to see if that helps. I'm also committed myself to taking an extra day's rest after any days where 'it' starts acting up.

Monday - rest day, no problem!

Tues - todays run was another ride on the roller coaster and this time it was way up. As I said before, the weather was perfect with shorts and long sleeved shirt attire. I was also wearing the relatively new Loco shoes which have only 60 miles on them to date. Started out very easy for the 1st 20 minutes and then was ready to pick up the pace. It was fun to do a series of 1 min, 2 min, 3 min at tempo pace followed by the same times at an easy jog. This was the first bit of faster running since the marathon and things felt great except for the breathing being a bit labored. The knee and hamstrings were perfect and maybe this is exactly what was needed to shake out the doldrums. Total of 6.1 miles in 48:20 (7:55 pace, avg HR 138). Great run and I'm 'allowed' to run again on the 'morrow.

145 days to go... Might be time to think up a plan. Have a good week!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A normal weekday run

Today's run looks something like (maybe even exactly like) this:

Point Loop from SABS at EveryTrail

Map created by EveryTrail: GPS Travel Community

which also has some geo-linked pictures if you click or point to the right dots.

It was a nice easy paced run at my 'just run and don't pay attention to the gadgets pace'. The weather was a bit cool around 3-4C and I was a little bit under-dressed in shorts, long sleeve shirt and a windbreaker. Could've used my gloves and headband but I made a last minute decision to ditch them because the sun was peaking out. Total of 6.1 miles in 49 minutes and the knee was fine!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Another weekly roundup

I seem to be having some issues with blogger. It won't let me edit my last post so I'll start a new one. I hope it's going to be short as it's been a long day.

I had a great/enjoyable/relaxing/fun run with Andrew this morning as we meandered around the old lake once again. The 17 miles went by in a flash and were almost effortless. My average heartrate was only 129 which was a few beats lower than Andrews but not quite enough to account for our age difference. You see I'm a bit older and so should be slower, right? Actually, pace or competition is never an issue in our runs and we always go along at the ideal speed for the day and today it was me always 1/2 step ahead according to the shadows.

Andrew also has let the cat out of the bag or at least has piqued her curiosity about my latest pseudo-injury. I'm not calling it anything yet because it hasn't yet cut my runs short but it (my sore right knee) has been a bit of a pain all week. It came without warning out of left field and seems to come and go almost at random. For example today it was 'there' when I woke up, but didn't show up until mile 3-5 of our run as a bit of a dull ache, disappeared during the hilly 2nd part of the run and then was replaced by the usual old tight hamstrings of before. Post run it's been totally fine and I'm not worried (yet).

This past week's running was a total of 50 miles in 6 runs as I slowly ramp the base up for Beantown. The runs varied between 5 and 8 miles and even managed to run a very slow recovery run with average heartrate of 127 at a pace of 8:44. Andrew thinks I can go even slower and gave me some good tips today! Go figure! Most runners are trying to figure how to go faster and here we are scheming on how to try to go slower!!

I'll do my best but no promises. Have a great week out there.

Boyden Lake re-visited

It's only been 3 weeks since our last run here around Boyden Lake in Perry, Maine.
I've found a cool site that has let me upload my GPS data and create an interactive map.
Boyden Lake Nov. 18, 2007 at EveryTrail

Map created by EveryTrail: GPS Travel Community

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Nasty nor'easter and Sunday run

It's been about 90 minutes since coming in from the cold and I'm finally starting to feel really warm again with feeling in all my fingers and toes. Well maybe a slight exaggeration but when the run was over it was all I could do to unlock the door into Steph's building and it was even more difficult to untie my shoes. But I digress, perhaps we should start at the beginning when the alarm went off at 7:15am and Cody and I looked out the window to see the damage from the night's storm.
It doesn't look so bad, now does it? What's a little bit of snow? Besides the temperature is on the plus side and this would be the 1st wintry run of the season which is usually a very pleasant experience. Memories of quiet runs along empty paths with each footstep cushioned by the layer of freshly fallen snow came to mind but these would soon be purged by howling winds, cold driving rain/sleet and slushy wet roads.
Did I turn around and go back to bed? Did I cut the run short after a few miles of abuse? I'm afraid not. The idea of a 16 mile run was firmly implanted in the psyche and it would take more than a little bit of weather to deter me today. Why are runners such a stubborn lot anyway? Perhaps it's a defective gene, maybe it's an unresolved childhood issue or more likely it's just a lack of common sense.

So after a nice cup of coffee and a bowl of cereal I geared up with my warm long sleeve top, shell jacket, loose pants, gloves, hat and a warm hunter orange toque. The 1st miles went by almost pleasantly with only the gusty wind of 20-40 mph to deal with. I avoided the worst of it by dropping my bottle at the trail head and running with the wind as my stiff joints and muscles slowly warmed up. The temperature was around 2-3C (35-38F) and the Confederation trail was covered in a 1-2 inch layer of wet snow/slush with puddles thrown in at random for good measure. Within minutes my shoes were thoroughly drenched and about 2 lbs heavier. Are we having fun yet?

After a couple of kilometers the trail ended in downtown Charlottetown and I made a u-turn returning the same way but now with the gale of wind in my teeth, though occasionally sheltered by the trees along the trail. A steady cold rain also started at this point and didn't let up for the remainder of the run. The journey was made slightly more pleasant by my handy Ipod and the Nov. 4th episode of Phedippidations, but was ominously titled "Things to do Before You Die". (Still not getting the hints are we?) The next several miles were on the tough side and the empty trail seemed to only get sloppier as I continued out of town. Incidentally I was retracing parts of the PEI marathon course which also runs along this trail. Some sections were bare and well sheltered while others were quite exposed with slush puddles and howling winds. Fun eh? I stubbornly continued until 8 miles had passed before making the 1/2 way turnaround.

The return leg was a little better with the wind now at my back but it also gave the rain a chance to more thoroughly soak my clothes from another angle. My pace increased marginally as I tried to keep warm but a gradual tightening in my hamstrings prevented any real speed from happening. Slowly the miles ticked off. At 13 miles I was faced with a decision to turn right and go 1/4 mile to a warm sheltered apartment or to stubbornly continue on for a 1.5 mile out and back to get my 16 miles. There was no contest, I continued on... After the final turnaround things started to shut down, starting with my watch malfunctioning, then my ipod and of course the rest of the carbon unit soon followed before my final crash landing at the door of the apartment. Total of 16.2 miles in approx. 2hr 20 min, avg HR 133.

Over the entire 2 1/4 hours I did not see one other soul, except late in the run, a man was walking his dog near the university and of course cars with unseen persons giving me curious wondering looks of pity, amazement or worse. It was quite the run and I'm glad it's over but I'm also glad that I did it too. How was your day? I wonder how Andrew and Marc made out this morning. Last I heard Andrew was about to wake Marc up and drag him out for 17 miles. I hope the conditions were a bit better in Down-East Maine.

Have a great week!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Still kicking around

It's been awhile since I've had the inclination or time to do a post, what with all the traveling and work lately. Still getting the runs in but there's not really much to say about them, just slowly ramping the mileage in my usual long reverse taper after a marathon. The past few weeks totals were only 35 and 40 and the plan is to work up to about 60/wk in the next month.

The trip to Ottawa was great and we had a nice visit with our 2 sons who are now living there, one working and the other in 1st year university. Besides attending the mandatory meetings that I went up there for we had time to attend a raucous afternoon session of Parliament with Question Period and more info about it here. After the yelling and catcalls ended things settled down and we had a chance to here our local MP Greg Thompson and Minister for Veterans Affairs give a very moving speech to launch Veterans Week. The mood in Parliament was very different for this speech and was quiet and respectful with a round of applause at the end.

My runs in Ottawa were good and was able to run along the canal or the river on each day of my visit. I even got up early one day before sunrise and had a fantastic run across the river with a stunning view of Parliament hill all lit up with the stars and moon as a backdrop. If only I'd had a camera then! On Sunday I did a 15 mile (2hr) run along the canal in the early morning with temps of just 1C. At least it was calm and sunny but I did get thirsty with only one bottle of water for the run.

This past week has just been short easy runs of between 5 and 8 miles.

This morning it was just 6 miles in 56 min. (8:28 pace) as I vainly tried to keep my HR below 130. Average was 132 for the run and anything slower and I'd be walking. Maybe I need some lessons from Andrew on how to go slow and easy (should I walk up the hills?).

Then we made the trip to PEI to visit Steph for the weekend. She gave us an in-depth tour of the vet school and also introduced us to her assigned beagle. She takes it for walks and is teaching him tricks as part of a behavior class.

Here's Stephanie with Betty who is one of the more sookie dogs that craves attention and is trying to get up in her lap.

On tap for the morning is another longer run of 15-16 miles, hopefully after the nor-eastern passes through. We're getting a bunch of wind, rain and even snow tonite and I'm hoping it clears by the morning. We'll see what happens but I'll get it in somehow, sometime and might even have time to blog about it.

Have a nice weekend!