Sunday, September 28, 2008

What hurricane?

Kyle is still on his way and was not really a factor in today's race so I'm going to have to come up with some other good excuses. How about hills, humidity and tired legs (though the mind was willing)? Time of 1:38:04 (7:26/mile) 3/30 in M50-59 and 30/352 in event. The full results are here.

I can't really complain to much about this race result as I haven't raced much this summer, done very little speed work, have had sub-optimal running in recent weeks and just finished up last week with 60 miles (including a hard 14 miles on Thurs).

Man! the excuses just keep coming...

The race: and this will be short. Stayed at my sister's in Saint John overnight and was up at 630 for a light breakfast with very strong coffee that was great for getting all systems booted up. I then drove down with my brother-in-law to his office only a block from the start line with our private bathroom and place to get geared up. We did a very easy 1/2 mile warmup followed by easy stretches as we waited for the start at 8am, moving up close to the front to avoid the slower runners. Before we knew it the cannon went off and so were we, though it was a little faster than I should have with the 1st 2 miles in 7:02 and 7:00 weaving through the crowd. This would come back to haunt me big time although these miles were mostly downhill.

In most races my modus operandi (MO) has been to go out at a reasonable pace for me and then hold it and not be passed very much after the 1st mile or so. Not today! Many of those folks that I zoomed by in mile 1-2 came back to get my in miles 6-7-8 and even in 10-11 (ouch), but at least not 12-13.1 You can see this slowing in my pace ( blue line above) if you look at the 8mph line which is also 7:30/mile and my hoped for marathon pace in PEI. After about mile 6 it was a real struggle to hold this pace as one runner after another took me down with very little resistance. Oh, I'd speed up and try to hold on for a minute or so but the legs were not giving me what I was asking for today. It was very hard with all the hills (green line) to get into a nice rhythm and so I resorted to alot of counting, saying "just one more mile to go" for the 2nd half of this race. The finish was nice with a nice downhill section for a good last mile but at this point I was just glad to have it over with.

So that's it and it can't be changed or improved now. I ran as hard as I think I was capable of today and will move on to a nice 3 week taper for PEI now. There are no more races planned until then and not that much from Pfitzinger in the way of hard efforts either so all I can really do is rest and scheme about my racing plan. Have a great week!

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Perfect Excuse

You're not going to let a little HURRICANE stop you from running now are you?

Naah, it's just going to be a bit of wind and rain by the time it gets to us but it does seem to be heading dead center for Saint John where our little run is scheduled for Sunday morning. We shall see what happens...

Meanwhile, back at the ranch I've been 'pleasantly tired' for the entire day as a result of my medium long run yesterday. After a hold back the horses very easy kind of run the day before I guess that this was to be expected. I can never quite get used to running these midweek runs as just another (but longer) easy run as they always manage to do me in, one way of the other. And so, 14 miles and almost 2 hours later I was finished and standing quietly in the cold pond cooling down the legs (and the rest of me as well). That evening it was ice packs and in the horizontal position on the couch as I attempted to recover.

Today, it was that tired feeling that predominated for most of the day as the legs began to recover. The scheduled 8 mile run was cut back slightly to a bit less than 6 as this time I went real easy today at lunchtime. This evening we're busy getting things tied down or put away in our yard so they don't get washed or blown away over the weekend. Now, there's just that little problem of the 1/2 to deal with. I'll need all the luck I can get from the looks of it. See you later!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Cruising along

This picture was taken in Yarmouth last week during one of my quick and dirty runs between boat trips. It's right along the harbour and if you keep going it eventually starts into a lovely wide multi-use trail that then heads inland for several miles along an old railway line. However, I prefer the ocean views when I can get them.

The running is starting to come along a little bit and I'm feeling much better about my prospects for the coming weeks. After a nice rest day on Monday, yesterday's scheduled workout was a bit of a challenge with 11 miles including 6x1200m with 2 minute rest jogs. It was only slightly modified into 3/4 mile (or 1200m) at a hard effort followed by 400m easy to make the mile distance programmed into my Garmin. This ended up being more like 2:30 rests instead of 2:00 but that's Ok with me. The run was done along the highway on an out and back route after a 3 mile warmup and went very well. I was tired but still 'cruising along' nicely even after the hard bit and ended up with 11 miles in 88 minutes overall which is a good pace for me. That evening I was a bit wasted and needed some ice packs for my aching (still) hams.

Today's recovery run of 6.5 miles was a pleasant surprise as I'd expected to have heavy, sore, tired legs but it didn't happen. It was a pleasant, easy, post-work, floater of a run with a definite effort to try to hold back and not run under 8 minute pace. A perfect sunny, calm not quite crisp fallish day where it was just a joy to cruise around on my seashore route.

I'm now officially registered for the Saint John 1/2 marathon this Sunday and need to start figuring out what the heck my plan is for this. I'm still doing the schedule according to Pfitz but will make Friday and Sat. on the easy side so there is something in my legs for the race. It should be a good test but the weather is not looking good with 20-50mm of rain in the forecast! Maybe I won't be wearing my new racing shoes!! See you later.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

On the Run/Road/Water

On the whole I have to give myself a least a 2 out of 3 for staying on task over the past few days. With all the travelling, strange hours and a messed up schedule I was still able to get a couple of runs in, between the ferry rides and trips on the water with the fishermen I work with.
Just to prove it here's a shot of the happy guys just after a near perfect set and the best catch they've seen in weeks. That's herring (and lots of them) in the background about to be pumped aboard using the pump that you can see going into the midst of them. I took a ton of pics and have a neat video of this as well which I might put up later.

But more on the running efforts though it was work just finding the time to squeeze the runs in. Take Thurs for example, early morning meeting, then travel all day to go out on a fishing boat but the trip ended early due to high winds so there was a bit of time before it got dark. Scored one quick and dirty 7 mile run at a nice brisk pace.

Friday was a little easier with most of the day to myself as I waited for evening when the boats were going out again for a survey on the fishing grounds. It was very easy to fit in an easy 6 miles around midday and I found a nice off road multi-use trail to run on. I should have done a longer harder run but my lazy bone reared it's ugly head once again. That evening and night we did the survey and you can see what a nice night it was from the 1st pictures. However, it was a long night and we didn't get back to the wharf until noon Saturday which barely gave me enough time to rush back and catch the return ferry home. Arrived home by 9pm and obviously no running today but plans had been already set for the morning.

Sunday morning I was up and at em' by 630am for another great Boyden run with Andrew, Jon and Ozzie. It was a perfect morning for a run, just a bit on the cool side at about 8C but sunny and no wind. I really love these long runs with friends. The pace is easy, the conversation good, and we just roll along and the run seems to be over in 1/2 the time. I took a few pictures of the sweaty runners but think that this one has better appeal, don't you?
And that's all I got. End of another OK but not great week with a total of about 50 miles. There are now less than 4 weeks to go and not much can be done with my fitness level right now. There's a 1/2 marathon next weekend in Saint John that will tell the tale but only if I'm brave enough to show up and give a good effort.

We'll see, have a great week! And Happy Birthday to somebody special who turns 19 today!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Not feeling it

Only a little over 4 weeks to go and I'm just not feeling into it. I've been trying and mostly succeeding to get the miles in but the harder workouts are a little tougher to come by. Take this week for example. Sunday called for 17 miles with 14(!) at marathon pace but that wasn't happening with my current track record of barely training. So at least I got the miles in but I'm feeling like it's just keeping my fitness from falling further, rather than letting improvements creep in.

Monday was a nice day of rest but a very busy one on the life front with a trip to Saint John in the morning and then a shopping trip and a 1 hour wait at the border that evening.

Tuesday's plan was for 9 miler with some 600m repeats but that didn't happen because worked dragged late for some reason and then rushed through a shorter run before supper. I'm hoping to make this up later in the week if my work trip doesn't interfere too much.

Today, Weds was a bit better with me at least getting the scheduled 13 miler in but it was not exactly an easy one. Usually I'm good after a mile or so but today's run was way more of an effort than I'd like. Still waiting for the magic pill to make the legs feel light and springy again. Hard work only makes them feel heavy and slow. Oh well, enough complaining. Tomorrow's another day and like the flower there's still hope for PEI if I keep my nose to the wheel for a few more weeks.

Sept 15 - Mon
Training: 0 miles at infinite pace, good sleep last night and log says 'Rest please!'

Sept 16 - Tues
Training: 5.25 miles (7:49 pace) a bit of a rushed run to get a few miles in but felt good. The watch was 'acting' up so I didn't get the pace till after the run. Nice dip in the pond to cool the legs as well.

Sept 17 - Weds
Training: 13,1 miles (8:21 pace) Oh, now I get why my legs were heavy today! That little sprint run on Tues which should have been an easy one took the stuffing out of me. Makes sense when you look back doesn't it?

I'm off for a few days for a work field trip, out on the fishing boats looking for herring in the waters of the Bay of Fundy. Hopefully we'll be successful and the wind doesn't blow too hard as I hate feeling sick, though I'm usually quite resistant. I'm also planning to be back in time for another attempt at a Boyden run with the guys but need somebody else (say someone with a name starting with an A) to drum up things before hand.

Hope you're having a nice week.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Alone again

Despite the best of intentions our Boyden Lake group run just never got off the ground this weekend. I put out an email feeler on Friday and immediately got a nay from Andrew who already had plans. Jon was a late responder with family issues keeping him close to home as well. Finally, late last night my last hope, Ozzie had to bow out as well with similar happenings keeping him off the roads on Sunday. Great, at least I'll get another a good nights sleep. Nine (count em 9) hours later I rolled out of bed well rested but not especially eager to get running.

But run I must and after procrastinating for over an hour with a long breakfast, decisions on what to wear, finishing up a little painting project etc I was finally able to shuffle my way down the highway. The weather was nice for running today with cool cloudy conditions and very little wind and still being relatively early on a Sunday morning the traffic was light. However, without my running buddies to keep me company it was a long slow run and more of a slog than I'd like. I guess getting back into training again and the current streak of 7 days in a row has left me a little tired. 17 miles and 2:28 later it was finally over but there was no rest for the weary as Jo and I spent the rest of the day attempting to deer-proof our yard. I think a few pictures will certainly be forthcoming of this in the near future as we put up a 9 foot barrier around the precious inner garden.

Sept 13 - Sat
Training: 7 miles (8:19 pace) very easy run with the legs stiff but better than Friday
Stretching: has been nil lately except for brief sessions after a 1 mile warmup during runs

Sept 14 - Sun
Training: 17 miles (8:38 pace) slow lonely slog of a run against a very resisting tired body.
Stretching: with icing later on the couch
Health: better with great weekend back to back sleeps of 8+ hours

While I was slogging about here in Canada, over in Ireland Grellan was busy racking up a 5+ minute 1/2 marathon PB while dusting Thomas (for the 1st time I think?). Thomas was no slouch either with a 2+ minute PB of his own! Wow, it must be the lousy weather that brings out the best in them. Nice going guys and have a great week all.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Fresh legs = sore body

...can be dangerous to your health. They can literally run you off your feet and directly to the awaiting couch of doom. Take yesterday for example. A quick glance of the unused training schedule revealed an incomplete medium long run. Yes, we can do that easily enough. Just need to slightly rearrange the work schedule and make it happen during and extended lunch break.

After an easy 1 mile warmup, stretches, quick stop at home for emergency band aids I was finally able to head down the highway. The first few miles were tentative but I soon settled into a nice pace with very little effort. Surprisingly I was able to easily hold if for most of the run and was under 7:50 pace with only a few stops for water etc. Today's run was spent working on my form, in particular my arm carriage which is often low and around my hips. It seems when I work at holding my arms a bit higher that the turnover rate increases with no noticeable increase in effort (other than holding my arms up).

It was a great run and felt great until I stopped when a large wall of hurt fell right on top of me as it seems I overextended myself a little bit. Spent the rest of the day and evening just hobbling around like an old man in need of a beer.

Today's run was not a pretty picture as I managed to slowly hobble around my usual 6 mile work day route. Extemely stiff and sore barely describes the feeling as I felt like I was crawling along but the actual pace begged to differ. I guess this is just my way beating the body back into submission for the final few weeks of training that are left.

Sept 11 - Thurs
Training: 14 miles (8:03 pace overall but not indicative of effort) Felt great during run but was absolutely spent afterward. Thank god for beer and ice cream.

Sept 12 - Fri
Training: 6 miles (8:15 pace) very easy run with the legs extremely stiff and sore.

Back on track almost and hoping to get a Boyden run in with Andrew on the weekend. Seems to me he's been very quiet lately. Hope he didn't get into another train wreck or something...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What a slacker!

Last post Aug. 26th!! Ouch, but once you fall off the wagon it's hard to get back on again. My training over the past 2 weeks has been nothing short of dismal as one missed day turned into another and work/travel/vacation and more travel just seemed to do my best efforts to get the runs in.

Aug 26 - Tues
Training: 6 miles (8:17 pace) Galway seashore boardwalk on hard concrete into a strong breeze 6/10 (tired from lack of sleep)

Aug 27 - Thurs
Training: 6 miles (8:03 pace) Galway seashore boardwalk again on hard concrete into a strong breeze and fast return with the wind 6/10

Aug 28 - Thurs
Training: 0 miles, just didn't fit it in and went to the pub instead

Aug 29 - Friday
Training: 0 miles again but this time tried the pub in Dublin! There's something special about the Guinness over here.

Aug 30 - Sat
Training:0 with the long flight and drive home and travel time of about 19 hours. Weekly total of only 32 miles.

Aug 31 - Sun
Training:0 with short sleep, quick turnaround and 12 hour drive to Ottawa to deliver my youngest son to university

Sept 1 - Mon
Training: 8 miles (8:16 pace) in Ottawa along the beautiful canal and river trail system. Easy pace but hams still stiff and tight after 4 days of rest! Rest of day was spent hard at work building a deck for the oldest son.

Sept 2 - Tues
Training: 7.5 miles (8:16 pace) in Ottawa along the beautiful canal and river trail system followed by a full day working on the deck. Starting to get stiff and sore in new places.

Sept 3 - Weds
Training: 6 miles (8:37 pace). Could hardly get out of bed this morning I was so stiff. Ran along the beautiful canal and river trail system followed by yet another full day working on the deck

Sept 4 - Thur
Training: 7 miles (8:27 pace) Barely able to walk when I first got up, definitely not built to do construction work. Ran in same beautiful area as before and eventually loosened up.

Sept 5 - Fri
Training: 5 miles (8:31 pace) Feeling slightly better but still sore. Same beautiful area as before and eventually loosened up and then worked away some more. This is a vacation? (but I'm proud of the finished product)

Sept 6 - Sat
Training: 0 miles (8:27 pace) Forgot to fit the run in today with putting the final touches on the deck before we leave in the morrow. Weekly total amounts to only 34 despite my best efforts.

Sept 7 - Sun
Training: 0 miles with the 11 hour return drive home

Sept 8 - Mon
Training: 5 miles (7:57 pace) Back to work after 2 weeks away. Managed to fit a quick little run in after work before supper and lawn mowing. It was very nice to be back on my home turf once again and the legs responded.

Sept 9 - Tues
Training: 8 miles (7:42pace) with 4 miles at MP in 728, 724, 734, 717 over the 2nd 1/2 of the run. It felt like a bit of hard work but seemed to get easier slightly as it went along.

Sept 10 - Weds
Training: 5 miles (8:06 pace) very easy run with the legs feeling a bit stiff today (for some unknown reason) A coolish fall day and may have to break out a long sleeve shirt soon. Seems to me that Andrew never put his away all summer.

So that's where I'm at. Just slowly getting back on track and now attempting to re-enter the training program that was left by the wayside. Hopefully my little 2 week break won't hurt me too much come PEI but I'm afraid it won't help much either. I've had a nice break and feel much refreshed, especially with the fall weather that is now quickly approaching. Have a great week!