Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Looking ahead

Bit of a weird upside down shot of 'the cat' but it seemed appropriate as I'm going over my plan for the next few weeks.

I've just completed the 1st 6 weeks of Pfitzinger's 18 week (up to 70 miles/week) plan. The 1st phase was labeled 'Endurance' while the next 5 weeks are called 'Lactate Threshold and Endurance' which has got me worried. The 2 key workouts this week are a 21 mile long run and an LT run of 10 miles with 5 miles at 1/2 marathon pace (oh goodie!). Now what the heck is my 1/2 marathon pace, assuming the road conditions are suitable for trying to run faster? A quick lookup using an online predictor tells me I need to be doing about 7:00 pace if I'm gunning for a 3:15 at Boston. That seems a little fast based on what I've been doing lately with lots of slow running. Stay tuned...

The past few days have been fairly easy with a short long run of 15 miles on Sunday after a 4.5 hr drive back from PEI. The schedule called for 14 and I know Andrew would have pushed for 20 if he wasn't laid up and so I just went for 2 hours which was plenty after the travel. Conditions were good with milder temperatures of around -5C which seems balmy after the -ve double digits we've had lately. The run went well and my legs and hammies felt OK for most of the run only getting a little tight near the end.

Monday - rest day for the big week ahead

Tues - work interfered with my run today and was only able to fit in 7 miles during the lunch hour. It was a perfect calm day with 0C (32F) and almost dry roads with only bits of slush and snow. Cruised along a bit faster than I should have near 8:00 pace as I should be saving it for later on this week.

That's it for now. All up to date and almost raring to go! Have fun out there!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Crazy like a fox

Sorry for the blurry image but my 'freezeproof' camera froze up in the cold during my 2nd run of the day (9 miles in the outdoors after 3 miles on the treadmill earlier on). This fox totally freaked me in the way he just walked up to me on the trail, calmly took a detour in front and kept walking along virtually ignoring me. Perhaps he was cold and had his own supper on his mind (-24C or -13F windchill). It could have been a fantastic picture...
Much better results today during my short 5 miler topping off a 62 mile 'cutback' week. It was a great week and I was able to fit in runs after my course before hitting the town of Charlottetown for various fine dining experiences. We got to visit Steph who is now happily reunited with the 'crazy' cat (whom I will miss around the house trying to crawl up my leg and trip me all the time). Tomorrow, we'll be back home again and I'll fit in some sort of a shorter long run, likely after the drive back.

Have a nice weekend!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A Cold Clear Day

I just finished a book of the same title "A Cold Clear Day" which is the story of Buddy Edelen's marathon career. It's definitely a book every marathoner should have and has a ton of detail on the training he put himself through to become a top runner.

The picture is from Sunday's long run and you can just feel the bitter air (notice the flag is full out). Today's run was much milder at -4C but the wind again made it colder at feel like -10C. I was stopped 'cold' and had to scurry back indoors for an extra layer before starting off on my 12 mile jaunt. What a difference a day can make. For no reason in particular I felt much better running smooth and strong with pace averaging out at 8:15 for the out and back run. Sped up a bit on the return leg with the wind behind me but just ran at my feels like easy pace.

The rest of the week will be spent in PEI and it may get a little hard to fit the runs in with the busy meeting schedule that is planned. Hopefully I can get outdoors and not be left with the hotel treadmill. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


It's really hard to get up off the couch on some days.
It was pretty but messy today with mild temperatures (near 0C) and a light snowfall.

In the ups and downs of working and day to day pressures etc sometimes running can be a struggle. That's been the short story for the last few days.

Sunday - 20 miles in 2:55 (8:45 pace) as I basically just put my head down and just did it. Log says 'tough run, barely able to make headway into the wind, windchill -18C and dropping as the run progressed

Monday - day of rest

Tues - 8 miles of the slowest kind today(840 pace). Log says tough, struggle, tired, dead legs, no energy but I'm feeling better tonite. It's a good thing that this is a cutback week. Medium long run tomorrow and then off to PEI to deliver the crazy cat and visit the student-vet.

Here's to better running for the rest of the week!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Lazy week

It's been a good but lazy week. Total of 55 miles in 5 runs.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Finding my way

This time a bit later in the day for an early evening view. After 4 miles on the treadmill at the hotel in the early morning I found time to work my way up Mount Royal in the late afternoon. The streets had a bit better footing but the hills were just as steep as it was either up and more up or the opposite.

While cruising up Mont Royal once again the local constabulary were kind enough to stop and allow me to take a picture. Looks like a nice job for somebody! The 2nd run netted me a total of 8 miles with a number of traffic an photo stops along the way. Nice run but didn't quite make it to the top of the hill despite bringing a map along today. Almost have this city figured out and it's time to go home. Oh well, it was nice while it lasted!

Have a nice day!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Lost in Montreal

Arrived safely in the big city. Meetings are now going well but just time for a very quick recap of yesterday's run after arriving mid-afternoon. It was a nice clear calm day with temps of only -5C but the streets were slippery and slushy going. Opted for a run around and up and over Mount Royal which was very beautiful but I forgot to bring a map.

On the return trip down the mountain I got totally turned around and was heading north away from my hotel until I finally got directions from a kind native. Total of about 10 miles in 1:30 but the GPS wasn't working that well among the big buildings at 1st. Saw a lot of the city and there was a beautiful sunset. That's it for now. Off to a nice meal in 'Old Montreal' if I don't get lost again!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Last of the chocolate balls

Another Sunday morning run, another 20 miles, more chocolate balls but that's it for the season (choc. balls that is).

It was really tough to get up this morning when the alarm went off at 6am. I almost rolled over and went back to sleep but 2 minutes later I was up and about and 90 minutes later we were ready to roll at the start line in Boyden Lake. It was a perfect day weather wise at -2C (27F), sunny with light winds and a dry (non-slip) road surface. We cruised along very easily today with multiple stops for water, photos, nature breaks (mostly 'old' Jon) and the conversation flowed freely except for anything to do with a certain football game (thanks A!).

The only quiet mile of the entire run was the last mile which was covered in 8:02 as the Christmas treats called us in by name. Avg pace of 836 and hr 133 for my 2nd 20 miler of 2008. Great run guys and boy, what a fun game to watch off the tape! Go Patriots!

This week I'm off to Montreal for a work trip and my schedule is going to be weird with the travel and all. Hopefully I'll be able to fit in the workouts around the meetings and find some blogworthy photos to share with you. Have a great week!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

99 days

Just an easy 6 miles this morning to top off a good week of training. Total of 66 miles for the week and now just 99 days to go. It was a little overcast and foggy today with mild temperatures around 3C. Hopefully the weather will hold off a bit longer with another long run scheduled with Andrew in the morning.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Gettin' er done

This was taken a few days ago but it wasn't anything like this today. We had snow, sleet, freezing rain, ice pellets and then rain with some thunder and lightning thrown in for good measure. At least the thunder and lightning happened this evening after I was home safe and sound.

It was tough getting going today as work meetings dragged on and on but when I finally got on the roads it was just a head down, one foot in front of the other type of run. It started out almost dry with the temperature just above freezing and a light drizzle as I just padded along without a route yet fixed in my head. After some indecision about safety I decided that an out and back option was the best plan because the further I went the more likely I was going to meet my goal and just get 'er done.

Surprisingly the legs and body felt very good for most of the run after the struggle I had on the previous day. With no pressure to hurry or worry about when I'd get back I just went at a relaxed easy pace which at times seemed almost effortless (a rare feeling). Meanwhile the ice pellets and freezing rain started as I made my turnaround at exactly 7 miles in about 58 minutes. The return trip was more work but still doable as the white stuff was starting to accumulate and the wind and rain was now more in my face. Finished with 14 miles in 1:57 for avg pace of 8:18 and hr of 136 from a watch that had remained out of sight for the entire journey.

It was very nice to stop and gave me a nice 'pleasantly' tired feeling for the rest of the day and now into the evening. That glass of red wine with cheese and crackers was very fine indeed after a much better run had been logged away.

Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Plugging away

Nothing too much happening lately as our spell of good weather continues. Running has seemed a bit like work and work has been ... work. It's tough to be back after the nice long holiday. On Weds I ran an easy 6 miles in sunshine and shorts once again. I then played some volleyball last night which might have explained the general tired feeling in the legs today. As a result, I only managed 11 miles instead of the planned 14 even though the pace and heartrate was good (8:14 133).

Whew! Hard to get the words out too! Hope that the rest of the week goes better, although there are a couple of winter storms now headed in this direction. Good luck and stay safe on the roads!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A little break

Just a quickie post to brag about the break in the weather we've had lately. It was +9C (50F) with little wind and was certainly shorts weather! I didn't need the long sleeve top but you can't flaunt/dare the weather gods too much. The run felt very strange at 1st on bare pave and the legs took about 10-15 minutes to adjust to the lighter load (fewer clothes) and better traction. The miles ticked along near or below 8:00 pace with virtually the same effort as Sunday's long run.

Total of 9 miles in 73 minutes including photo stops with avg hr 136. I also tried a few 'strides' but they didn't come off very well as I felt more like 'just running' today rather than 'training'. It was a perfect day for a run (for a change)! Hope you had a nice day too.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Slip sliding away

Mile 11 or so on the Boyden Lake loop with Andrew today. Notice the snow covered slushy road, the runner 'pretending' to run and the huge dump of snow about to fall down his neck and/or crush him.

Not feeling too bloggy tonite so just the bare essentials. 20 miles in 2:55 for avg pace of 8:45 and avg HR of 131 (higher than "A" for 1st time in recorded history). It was a nice run except for the poor road conditions which weren't too kind to my hamstrings. I almost bailed at the cars after 17 but gutted out the extra 3 at the end as the entire legs screamed for mercy.

Post run snacks of coffee and end-of-season chocolate balls were scrumptious. It's not a great picture but you get the idea.
Week 4 of 18 now begins and it looks like we're getting a welcome January thaw. Might even have to dig out the shorts again! Hope you all have a good week.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Draggin' my feet

This picture was taken yesterday morning in St. Andrews harbour. The temperature was -18C (OF) with very little wind making for great photo opportunities for the sea smoke. Pretty cool looking and I was very happy not to be running in this weather, unlike some people who seem to be simply unstoppable. I didn't run outdoors but instead did my easy 5 miles on the treadmill. The pace wasn't that slow but it felt way easier than gearing up with 3 or 4 layers and trying to dodge snow plows etc.

Conditions started off much the same today but instead of staying cold it gradually warmed up during the morning (sunshine tends to do that). By the time I headed out the door it was up to a balmy -8C.

Did I mention I'd been dragging my feet? When I woke up it was -18C. "There's no way I'm going out in that and have my eyelids freeze shut!" (unlike 'some' people). Besides there was work to do helping the boys get ready for their long trip back to Ottawa. Car to check, packages to load, more repacking to get everything to fit and finally the sad goodbye's. It was so nice to have them all home but once again we're back to being empty nester's missing them already. Temp was now up to -15C and climbing! Cool! Maybe I should help take down that Christmas tree first? And those decorations too? Ahh, the temp is now up to -10C, should I make lunch too? There, now it's only -8C, time to go.

After all that foot dragging the run went really well, felt light on my feet, good turnover though still a slow pace on the snow covered streets. Ended up doing 13.1 miles, avg pace 8:27 but with an elevated HR of 137. The hammy is getting better and was not an issue during the run. I'm now doing a stretching routine before and after each run and it seems to be helping. So far so good and the first week of 2008 is almost in the books. Tomorrow is just 5 easy miles which will give me 61 for the week.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Enough already!

Another 11 inches (38 cm) overnight. I'm starting to get a little tired of this. In fact we're starting to run out of places to put it. Woke up this morning to another mess and it took Jo and I about 2 hours to clear the driveway. That's about the 5th storm in the last 10 days but it's hard to keep track when it seems to snow all the time.
Running today was also a little on the tough side with totally snow covered streets, a strong NE wind and dropping mercury. The plan called for 13 miles but was only able to manage 11. Average pace of 9:13 with a fastest mile of 8:40 (including photo opportunities) due to the awful roads and the sore legs from Tuesday's workout. I didn't feel much like doing this today and spent the 1st 1/2 of the run debating myself whether to cut the run short into an easy day or to keep going. Finally took the middle ground and switched with Friday for a shorter run of 11 instead of 13. In the end, it wasn't very pretty as I dragged my sorry butt around town attempting to stay out of the wind (didn't work) and searching for bare pave (none).

Plan for the morning is an easy 5 miles which will likely be on the treadmill for a change. They're talking -30C (wind chill) and this runner is going to wimp out. Andrew, I don't know how you do it! Have a nice day!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Kicking Off 2008

We're between snowstorms and the weather was near perfect for the 1st run of 2008. Clear skies, no wind, streets more or less melted off despite the -4C temperature. Of course we still had to shovel our driveway before I was able to head out for my workout.

The 1st 2 miles were just an easy warmup before a planned 4 miles at 1/2 marathon pace. Unfortunately, right now I have no idea of what that pace is except maybe faster than marathon pace ('hoping' around 7:30). 1st mile on snow covered slushy roads came in at 7:31 (ouch!) Next mile on mostly bare pavement at 7:19 was a bit better but was still feeling slow and straining a bit. Turned around so I could at least run on the little bit of available pave in town and 3rd mile came in 7:10 (better). Final mile on a mixture of pave and slushy snow covered road for a 7:22. Finished off the run with a few easy miles and of course a few photo opportunities. Total of 9 miles in 1:15 including stops and shots.

It was a good run and a nice way to start off the New Year. Time to think up some goals for the year. Have a good one!