Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Recovery Week

Isn't that one scary looking jellyfish? I'm glad it was safely on the beach and not stinging unsuspecting swimmers in the water. Still it's very colourful and quite impressive in size. I thought that this beach/vacation picture would be suitable for a cutback/recovery week post despite the fact that I'm now back to work again. It's a shame we can't be on vacation all the time or at least have a job that doesn't feel like work (that is you enjoy it). I like my work and it can be challenging and even fun at time but ... it's still work!

Anyway, the plan is calling this a cutback week and after PEI with the 20 mile long photoshoot and combined run it's nice to take it a bit easy. However, it's still going to be a 60 mile week and that's nothing to sneeze at either but at least no really hard repeats and a cutback at all distances throughout the week. Hope your week is going well too!

July 28 - Monday
Training: 0 miles (rest day) hard to be back to work after 4 weeks off
Health: legs and body fine 8/10
Stretching: forgot to ice and stretch!

July 29 - Tues
Training: 8 miles easy after supper with 10x100m strides (8:18 pace) 7/10
Health: legs felt good but hard to get going just after eating; strides were variable 8/10
Stretching: nada! lazy again! (tend to let it go when feeling ok)

July 30 - Weds
Training: 5 miles easy after work. Felt lazy and delayed planned 12miler to Thurs (8:12 pace) 7/10
Health: legs mostly ok with nice dip in pond after run 8/10
Stretching: iced and stretched!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

PEI marathon practice - part 2: (km12-42.2)

An early morning run of the beautiful PEI marathon course from the 12km mark to the finish area in downtown Charlottetown. Very easy pace with lots of stops for pictures and water. A very humid morning and it was a good thing I had 4 bottles of gatorade & water stashed along the route. There was a bit of a south-westerly wind which could be an issue during a fall storm. Also the last 10k of this course is a killer with highway and HILLS just when you don't need them (at the end).

Again I uploaded my GPS data and a few geo-tagged pictures to the EveryTrail website which you can see here. I have a ton of pictures along the route which I'll add in as I get the time.

July 27 - Sunday
Training: 32.5 km (20.1 miles) (8:40 pace) very humid 7/10
Health: legs were ok but I was beat at the end of this run 7/10
Stretching: iced in car on trip home

Saturday, July 26, 2008

PEI marathon practice run (km 0-12)

Post-run, post-dip in very chilly water on the Island!

Saturday morning practice run on the 1st 12km of the PEI marathon course which starts at the Brackley Beach provincial park. I found the start line just west of the crosswalk to the beach. It was a nice morning with temperature around 20C (68F) but was rather humid. A light rain and cloud cover helped. I took it nice and easy with many stops for pictures along the way. Very flat course here with lots of stunning views.

Uploaded my GPS data and a few geo-tagged pictures to the EveryTrail website which you can see here. It's very cool with high resolution satellite images and you can see where I took most of the pictures. The elevation info from my watch is crappy so I might use the website as default.

July 26 - Saturday
Training: 12 km (7.5 miles) (8:08 pace) very humid 7/10
Health: legs felt heavy 7/10
Stretching: iced in evening

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Happy Feet

Or should I say, soon to be happy feet? The other 2 pairs of shoes that I'm currently rotating have about 500 miles each on them and are starting to show their age. Generally I can get 600-700 miles on a pair but by that time they only get used for the shorter easier runs. This new pair of Mizuno Wave Rider's for my birthday will be my 27th pair for this brand and hopefully will take me to the finish at PEI in the fall. I love the light weight and cushioning that works perfectly for me right out of the box with these shoes.

July 24 - Thurs
Training: 5 miles easy-easy and enjoyed the luxury of going as slow as I pleased in the fog and drizzle of the late morning (8:35 pace) 7/10
Health: legs fine with no aches and pains but heavy and slow 7/10
Stretching: iced and stretched in evening (remember I also stretch before, after 1st mile and at the end of each run, plus a dip in the cool pond when possible)

July 25 - Friday
Training: 12 miles, fartlek with 2 x(1-2-3-4-5min with same rest jogs) (8:20 pace) 7/10
Health: legs ok but no spring in my step 7/10
Stretching: iced and stretched in evening

Now off to PEI for the weekend to visit Steph, her cat and her horse plus plans to review the entire marathon course for the real deal as to the profile and views to be had along the way. And then there's the great beaches to cool off in after my run! Can't wait to get there! Have a nice weekend.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Paying my Dues

July 21 - Monday
Training: 0 miles on day off; went golfing with my son
Health: legs tired 6/10 (body still recovering from run and brunch)
Stretching: iced and stretched!

July 22 - Tues
Training: 9.5 miles with 4 in 28:38 ~1/2 mar pace (8:00 overall pace) 6/10 Effort and speed was hard to come by but then the recovery jog home went better than usual.
Health: legs mostly ok but sore quads 6/10
Stretching: iced and stretched!

July 23 - Weds
Training: 14 mile slog (8:30 pace) 5/10
Health: legs ok but tired overall 6/10
Stretching: iced and stretched again (take that Marc)!

Not much in the idea mill today so just the basic facts for the last few days. Still putting in the miles according to the plan but it's not always 'fun'. Planning to go to PEI on the weekend and will be checking out the entire marathon course over a couple of runs. It should be interesting!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Running to Brunch

Do you ever get the question "Do you run to eat or do you eat to run?" ? For me it's normally the latter as I watch what I eat in relation to what is in store for me in the training plan. You know, fuel up the day before a long tough run and remember to get some fast carbs immediately after any hard run when the muscles will suck them up more readily. However, today it was a different story with a planned Super Sunday Brunch at the Algonquin Hotel here in town.

It all started with a rushed long run and a minimum of time allotted to get it in. As a result I ended up pushing the pace and burning up more than the usual number of calories (over 2200 according to Garmin) and a good thing too!
1st course of a custom seafood omelete and fruit.
Followed by mussels and some verggies,,,
And of course, dessert!

July 19 - Sat
Training: 5 miles easy but felt good going slow(8:50 pace) 7/10
Health: legs sore including quads 7/10
Stretching: iced and stretched!

July 20 - Sunday
Training: 16.2 miles hard (7:52 pace) 8/10
Health: legs a bit sore at end 7/10
Stretching: iced like crazy after brunch from the safety of the couch

Last week was a good effort with a total of 63 miles and several good workouts included. Now only 12 weeks and counting. Have a great week!

Friday, July 18, 2008


Yet another garden feature and not a weed to be found! That seat looks very inviting but I'd prefer a lounge chair with a pillow and a beer within arms length, especially after today's run! My morning started early with another trip to Calais to attempt to measure the race course but was thwarted by a major paving operation at mile 3-4 which stopped us cold. As a result I was back home by 830 and ready to roll for my 11 mile run.

My schedule only said 'Medium long 11 miles (normal pace)' and my legs were sending signals to take it easy and go slow with soreness from just pedaling the bike around earlier. But a higher authority (the controlling brain) decided it would be good to spice up the run a bit with something unplanned. Hills? Sounds like too much work. Fartlek? Could be nice and easy but before I got to that, the idea of a progression run popped into the vacuum above my shoulders. First easy mile in 8:17, now what? How about knocking off 5/sec per mile for as long as I'm able and if not, then call it a day? Next mile in 8:04 (target was 8:10) using the Garmin in lap mode which shows overall average pace for the current lap and with automatic reset on each mile.

The next miles followed in 7:56 (target 8:05), 7:57 (t-8:00), 7:54 (t-7:55), 7:40 (7:50 target but got over-enthusiastic making up time on the downhill in preparation for a long uphill). This was turning out to be a bit of fun, trying to meet the incremental effort increases and I found myself holding back a bit after a few fast starts at the beginning of each mile. On the negative side, the pace increases were also a bit worrisome with the hilly terrain and some long steady inclines over the final miles. The next few miles were 7:40 (7:45 target), 7:37 (t-7:40), 7:26 (t-7:35 down hard and then all uphill), 7:30 (t-7:30 with a vicious hill) and a final mile in 7:11 (t-7:25 which was 80% uphill and had my head down just counting exhales to stay in focus. Cooled off with a short easy jog and then a dip in the pond to cool the legs down. A great run that came out of nowhere after a long tough run on Thursday and seemed to be over in no time at all.

July 18 - Friday
Training: 11.3 miles (8:46 pace) 8/10 What the heck?! Progression run increasing pace 5sec/mile starting at 8:17 and finish at 7:11 felt easy and under control except last 2 (hilly) miles.
Health: legs sore at first but came around during the run 7/10
Stretching: none [again] (but did ice legs several times last night. Once I get on that couch with the remote control I seem to lose all initiative to move except for ice cream and chocolate.)

Have a nice weekend everyone and don't forget to give our good buddy Jamie some shout outs as he does the Vermont 100 (what a madman!)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Slowing Down

It was kind of a strange run this morning after yesterday's disaster in the form of a slow recovery run instead of the planned 14 miles. I got sidetracked early on with a trip to Calais at 6am to help MC with the re-measurement of the Calais-St. Stephen Johnson's International 5 mile race course. We spent most of the morning trying to do our calibration and bike ride but were out by 7.0 meters at the end of 5 miles. The allowable discrepancy is 6.4 m and so this means we have to do it all over again!!! Grrrr!

Anyway, I got home around noon and the temperature was hovering around 28C/82F and humid and so I canned the long run in place of a short 5 mile recovery effort which went poorly. The legs were not responding and it was an effort just doing my easy recovery loop. At least the dip in the pond at the end.
Today was a different story as I was able to sleep in till 7:45am and then get geared up for a cooler morning run. Temps were between 17-20C/63-68F with light winds and bright sunshine.
I stayed off the pavement as much as possible and hit the trails and paths around town (see above) and even crossed over to Minister's Island before the tide covered over the access road. However, my pace started off slow (9:00+/mile) and just seemed to stay in that groove. My legs felt OK (not sore or tired) but they just didn't have any spring today. Oh well, it was still a very nice relaxing effort and I felt good until the last mile or 2 when things started to get tiring. A decent run in the books and then on to more yard work...
And the yard is looking quite spiffy. Here's another shot looking back toward the famous gazebo. One more day until the big tour!

July 16
Training: 5 miles easy; grumpy on tired legs (8:20 pace) 6/10
Health: legs tired and very warm late in day 26C/80F 7/10
Stretching: zilch, nada, get crackin' there will ya!

July 17
Training: 14 miles (8:55 pace) on a warmish morning in St Andrews (20C/68F); legs felt OK but the pace stayed slow (2 bottles of water) 7/10
Health: legs with no zip and sore butt at end of run 6/10
Stretching: none lately but promise to be good tonite while watching 'Le Tour'

Cya later!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Buzzing Around

I've been busy like a bee but haven't had my butt up in the air like this little guy. It's funny to watch them just dive into the flower to get the nectar.
The garden is looking very beautiful with lots of flowers in bloom and the beds all primped up with a fresh coat of mulch. Jo's big garden tour is this weekend and we expect a few hundred people milling around the 12 gardens here in the St. Andrews area.
Another nice but actually very tiny little blossom.
And a view along the back yard showing some of the key features (sundial, gazebo and pond in background). She's been working dawn to dusk for weeks and it looks great as always.

Well that's it in a nutshell. I'll be up again at 6am (that's 5am for Andrew) to help do the race course measurement for the Calais 5 miler. And then later it'll be the 14 mile medium long run that I so look forward to each week but this time in the heat of the day. Oh well, wish me luck!

July 14
Training: scheduled 0 miles - rest day at home but busy in yard during pm
Health: feeling sore and tired from long run and glad it's a day off 6/10
Stretching: none, just seems to be no time for it (whack me on the side of the head)

July 15
Training: 9 miles with 10x 100strides (8:40 pace? misfiring Garmin) Strides were again feeling awkward but improved as it went along. The final one on grass was the best. 8/10
Health: legs were good today but never stopped for a break all day (holidays?) 8/10
Stretching: now icing while blogging and will stretch later

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A Bump in the Road

When we 1st arrived at the start point of our long run around Boyden Lake I was quick to point out the 'bump in the road' to my good friend Andrew. It also served notice for 1st dibs on my blog post title which are sometimes hard to be creative with. Not today...
Of course Andrew insisted that I should also be photo-oped as we recreated our running shuffle at the end of the 18 mile journey.
It was a perfect morning for a run today with only light winds and an overcast sky (though the sun came out and winds picked up at the very end chasing the pesky deerflies away). Ideal temps of 14-20C (57-70F) made for a nice run, though the humidity sucked us both out a bit. Andrew had 2 water stations set up and I stopped to refill at a roadside spring at the 10 mile mark. Not much else happened on the run, I had to do an emergency pit stop at the gas station in the 1st mile, one photo stop for an old tractor and we scared some horses because we were running 'so fast' down a little hill. My legs were good today, other than feeling a little tired and the hams were not too much of a problem. Great run and it was over before we knew it.

The 'Bump in the Road' occurred on my way home just as I entered Calais on the US side of the border. My van started to overheat and I had to stop and call for a tow truck which hauled me all the way back to St. Andrews. Good thing I have CAA! Also the kindness of strangers was amazing. I had my hood up and at least 6-8 people stopped and asked if I needed help. One guy even went back to his home and got some antifreeze to refill my system. However, when we saw it just pour out of a hole in the engine (popped frost plug) we knew I wasn't going anywhere. It was funny but the Canadian border guard hardly even blinked as we went through the booth. Anyway, now home safe and sound and I'm now eyeing a bottle of Guinness for an afternoon treat.

Have a nice day!

July 13 - Sunday
Training: 18 miles easy (8:22 pace) Boyden with Andrew and the deerflies 7/10
Health: legs and body tired but hams were pretty good today 7/10
Stretching: none (again) but iced legs on return and 'will' stretch tonite

Saturday, July 12, 2008

It's working!

It's been a very busy week but you always have time for...'Tim Horton's !' Here with my friend Hugh who accompanied me for part of the way to Bathurst on Weds.Made it safely to Bathurst on my bike and had time for a decent medium long (13 mile run) along a scenic route near the downtown.

July 9
Training: 5 miles easy (9:20 pace with 5 minute emergency pit stop at hotel) 7/10
Health: legs tired and a bit sore 7/10
Stretching: ice packs last night

July 10
Training: 13 miles (8:25 pace) on a hot humid morning in Bathurst (drank 3 bottles of water during run) 6/10
Health: legs dead tired but hams were ok 7/10
Stretching: none

July 11
Training: 11 miles (8:00 pace) 9/10 What the heck?! This was after a 5 hour bike ride home but everything just worked and I was holding back most of the way. Maybe this training is working!
Health: legs springy and felt great 8/10
Stretching: none (except during run)

July 12
Training: 5 miles easy (8:34 pace) at home 6/10
Health: legs stiff and achy (wonder why) 7/10
Stretching: none (again) but will ice and stretch tonite before our long run on Sunday

Weekly total of 61 miles (8hr 39min) which is pretty good in my books. Onward and upward and I'm still on holiday for 2 more weeks! 14 weeks to PEI now... Have a good week!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Not Easy

It was one of those runs that put a bit of fear into this runner's heart: '9 miles with 4 at 1/2 marathon pace' said the log. Yuck, where was the 2 or 3 mile workup to this in the previous weeks? Oh well, out the door a bit late today around 9am after our visitors got packed and were on their way to the Island. It was a nice sunny morning with no fog, just some hazy humidity coming up from the south, 20C/68F which felt hot to me.

After a 1 mile warmup and some stretching I was off a little fast with the 1st mile in 6:59. The next miles with some significant hills came in a 7:11 and 7:13 before finishing the effort off with a 7:03 last mile. This was definitely not an easy run and the right ham started complaining after the 1st mile but then seemed to go away if I adjusted/shortened my stride slightly. The run ended as a very slow and long 4.5 mile slog with occasional stop for pictures (see above)

The dip in the cool pond at the end of the run was very refreshing and gave me an opportunity to take a few close ups of the lilies. I'm off to Bathurst in the morning to do some family business but plan to continue to get the runs in. Hopefully I can even make it to the beach for a long run followed by a cool dip or two. Have a good week!

Training: 9.5 miles (8:18 pace) with 4 miles in 28:26 ~1/2 marathon pace 7/10
Health: right ham still sore but was able to run through it 6/10
Stretching: none; time for only some icing last night

Sunday, July 06, 2008

No Air

Another dumb but catchy song was floating around in my head during today's long run and it seemed to kick in every time we tried running up a hill where there was No Air.

Andrew thinks I'm starting to lose it but it just wouldn't go away (the song that is). And then there are the new Coke Zero -Talking Eyeball commercials that are just plain weird. Good for a laugh at least.

Today we did the Boyden Lake 17 mile loop once again. It was fairly uneventful, except for some odd comments at the US border crossing.

Lady border guard - 'Where are you going?'
Mike - Perry (never give out too much information)
border guard - 'Going running ?'
Mike - "Yup'
(must have been the Nike hat)
border guard - 'Have a good run!'
Mike - 'Uh, OK, thanks!' (Oh, oh they know my habits now too)

The run started at 6:15am fog cleared quickly and the temperatures rose from 12-20C (54-68F) during our 2.5hr run. It's good to start early before things warmed up too much. We had a great run with several short stops for stretching and water and of course the requisite camera shots.
Can you believe he's still wearing long sleeves?
Note extra water bottle that I 'had' to carry for 'someone'.

Andrew even got a shot of me just to prove I was there too. Great run, good fun, lots of jokes and the scheming has started on how to go at the PEI marathon in the fall. The issue we have is the hills at the end of the race and deciding on what kind of pacing and training we need to incorporate for this. It's not a negative split race, that's for sure. And that's all I got. Have a great week!

Training: 17.8 mile long run (8:20 pace) 8/10
Health: hams got sore as the run progressed (stop to stretch 2x) 6-7/10
Stretching: ice packs & TP ball last night

Saturday, July 05, 2008

The Green Wall

No, it's not a running analogy, just my weeks project that goes on and on..
The cedar hedge is about 10 feet tall and it's getting harder to keep it under control. Might need a chainsaw instead of a trimmer next time around. But no harm done except for the sore muscles I've got. It's weird that when I start my arms are achy and sore but after a few minutes of swinging around they just feel tired.

Short easy 5 miler today in bright sunshine at 8:30am (temp of 17C/63F) after a night with little sleep due to the party and late drive back home. It was my sister Carol's 25th anniversary and we tried to give her a little surprise party. Unfortunately, they arrived early before most of the guests (they are always late but not this time). No harm done and we had a great time. Here are a few pictures I took. Note the lineup at the end of the original wedding party. Comparing this with the original 25 years ago is a real hoot but I don't have a copy of it right now.

Ran into a tri-running friend and we did a few miles together which was nice, though we did end up going a little faster than I wanted. This topped off a nice 57 mile week in 8hrs of training and I'm happy with how things are going so far. I was a little draggy early in the week but felt much better over the last few days and am looking forward to next week with more holidays to help keep me rested when not running or yard-working. Have a great weekend!

Training: ~5 miles easy (8:18 pace) watch stopped for 2 miles 8/10
Health: right ham still sore in center of muscle 7/10
Stretching: time for only a bit of stretching last night

Friday, July 04, 2008


Not that this song was playing along in my head but it's such a smooth tune.

I had a great run this morning despite the fog lifting and running in the sun for a change. Started out at 730am with temp of 15C/59F. After a 2mile warmup the 1st few fast bits were a little rough but then smoothed out and maintained a pace between 6:40(short) and 7:25 (longer). Then a nice dip in the pond to cool the legs and I was ready to go back to the hedge project which is looking like a 3-4 day affair. Pics will come soon.

Gotta go now for a little surprise party for my sis. Cya!

Training: 9.25 miles fartlek harder (8:03 pace) with 1-2-3-4 (x2) minute efforts followed by equal duration easy running and finished with 1-2-3 before running out of road 8/10
Health: hams & butt were way better on the run 8/10
Stretching: ice packs, stretching & TP ball last night

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Before and After

It was another nice day for a run but this time the plan only had a short 5 mile recovery run in the books. This was the view from the start of run at 8am after a short coffee stop with my friend Hugh. I really enjoyed today's little jaunt, as I took it very slow and easy from start to finish. The temperature was again perfect at 15C/59F with the usual automatic air conditioning.

Post run these fog enveloped flowers caught my eye before the yard work started in earnest. Trimmed a few trees and worked on the hedge without incident (still have all my fingers and toes)! It's also good for the upper body which always need a little extra work (I hate push ups).
Later in the day (5 hours later at 1pm) I went to the same place for my after shot. You can now see Pleasant Point in the distance about 6 miles away. Ah summer vacation!

Training: 5 miles easy-easy (8:48 pace) 7/10
Health: hams & butt better but still need daily attention 6/10
Stretching: ice packs, stretching & TP ball last night
Felt much better, holding back and enjoyed the slow pace.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Busy Day

It's a good thing I made an effort to get up right away this morning when I first opened my eyes or I'd have never got out the door for a run later on. You see I'm on holiday for 3 weeks and don't set an alarm except for the weekend long run on Sunday (but I still wake up before it goes off). My normal internal clock allows me about 8 hours of sleep and I'm usually awake by 7am which was the case today. After a quick breakfast with cereal and coffee I was out the door for the planned 12 miler before 8am.

Right from the get go the legs didn't want to kick in and it took at least 3 miles before I even felt half right. The temps and conditions were perfect today at 12C/54F and a thick moist fog that had me wiping my glasses continually so I could see. However, the body was not too keen today and even bribes to cut the run short (let's do the 9 miler today instead) had little effect. Perhaps it's the full stomach or maybe it's just the program kicking my butt a little bit before I get settled in. Anyway, after 10 miles I checked back in at the house to see if my older son was ready to go camping but he was just awake and eating his breakfast. With some encouragement from Chris I then made a u-turn and finished off the last 2 miles and got it done!

The rest of the day was spent at a dead run as we did a long canoe shuttle for Chris, witnessed a near wipeout with car and canoe (but no harm done), missed running over a turtle on the road (no camera!!!!), a couple of dead-end roads and wrong turns later we were done. Then the long drive back home and the day was nearly over; good thing I ran early. Even on vacation you have to get your priorities in order to get the workouts in. Now it's time to stretch and ice those crazy hams as promised. Good thing it's just an easy run in the morning. Now if I can remember not to go crazy with the yard work or fall off the ladder trimming the hedge....


Training: 12 mile slogfest (8:45 pace) 5/10
Health: 7/10 sore hams & butt

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Happy Canada Day!

This is the closest I could come to a red flower to go with our Canada Day celebrations here today. There are numerous activities going on in our little town of St. Andrews including a parade and fireworks that bring in lots of people from the surrounding area.

I was able to start the day off right with an 8 mile run according to my schedule. After a quick breakfast I was out the door by 8am and headed off down the highway under light fog cover. It was a mild 15C/60F because of the nice air conditioning effect the fog gives but once the fog burns off the temps will shoot up by at least 10C. This will be good for the fireworks though. My little run went ok but the legs were heavy and things felt forced for the 1st 2 miles or so before I warmed up. After that it was a bit smoother for a few miles before finishing off the last mile or so with a set of 10x25sec strides (fast but not all out running) interspersed with 35sec rest/walks. These strides went better than last week but I still feel awkward and slow. I may try doing them on the golf course next time where the cushioning of the grass feels a lot nicer than pavement. Post run including a dip in the pond to cool off the legs and scare the fish. It was cold at first but feels great!

We are now Three for PEI with Marc signing up last night after being pestered for weeks on end. I'm looking forward to a good training cycle for this one and we hope to see everyone have a good time and do well in the fall.

Cya later!