Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Weekend fun

It's hard to do justice to the good times that Andrew and I had in upstate Maine visiting Marc and his family but I thought this picture captured some of the spirit of the weekend. We didn't get all that much running in, but the camaraderie, good food, funny stories and occasional jokes made it a very memorable few days. Marc has some terrific video clips from all the fun and games too.
Saturdays's run was a nice 8 mile run on very hilly terrain with the boys. Marc only went for 1 mile before his calf blew out but then we caught him later exercising the dog on his bicycle. It was a scene that needed to be seen to be believed. We spent the rest of the day scheming and planning for our long run on Sunday with Marc now accepting the role of support as his leg is in need of professional attention.
Sunday morning dawned very-very cold with extreme cold but luckily very little wind. This is what Andrew looked like after only about 1-2 miles. I was just starting to get feeling back in my feet at this point and then another problem cropped up out of the blue. My calves and lower legs suddenly became extremely tight and sore and got progessively worse as our run went along. We did a short pit stop at Marc's around 7 miles and then headed off to complete the run but only 1 mile down the road I came to a complete stop as both calves seized completely. Andrew and I then called it a day and we walked home.

It was a very disappointing run for me and this is definitely classed as an injury for me as it hurts to walk and even more to run (though getting better now). I had some physio on it Monday and we're calling it tendonitis and will give it a few days rest. It's slightly better today but I want to be safe rather than sorry and won't run if it's sore to even walk on it. No idea where this came from either. It's not catching is it Marc? But will take a break and hope for the best.

Take care and have a nice week!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Running weekend approaches

Just a few quick notes before I take off for a few days with Andrew to visit our good friend Marc who has been somewhat out of sorts lately and needs a kick in the pants to get off the couch and out the door! I'll be bringing along the ultimate carrot in the form of chocolate balls (not to be tasted unless requisite mileage completed 1st!)

On the home front my running week has been a bit of a disaster with terrible road conditions still and a variety of work and other pressures conspiring against me. After Sunday's 12 miler, all I've been able to manage is a short 4 miler yesterday after work and then 7 miles today at lunch. Here's hoping that the rest of the week and weekend come out a little better.

Pushups - still stuck in week 6 as my max test at 62 was only a tiny improvement from the previous week. Like the running, progress is very slow and hard to come by...

No more time, gotta pack and get ready for the weekend. Have a good one!

Monday, January 19, 2009


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My long run on Sunday was abbreviated by the mid-day conditions (shoulda coulda run with Andrew but didn't). After 5 miles of this stuff it was time for the treadmill. Final total of 12 miles was all I could manage as I needed to save my strength for shoveling.

Have a nice week!

Friday, January 16, 2009

More of the same

The winter can be very pretty when the sun shines but too bad it's so cold that you can't enjoy it. This was the scene at my work place yesterday with the heavy sea-fog or sea-smoke coating all the trees in a fine white layer of ice. It melted away once the sun peaked in the late afternoon but not before my lunchtime run (when I took the picture).
I timed this run with the rising temperatures but not quite at the peak of -15C for the day. With appropriate layering (see Andrew's video) you can be comfortable in these conditions. My multitude of layers had me toasty warm and I didn't even need the balaclava which was stashed in a pocket in case the wind came up. The only problem you can have despite being well dressed is the danger of frostbite to exposed skin but a good scarf, neck protector and a layer of vaseline usually do the trick at the worst of times. So 6 easy miles went by without much problem.
This morning conditions were much the same, very cold early on and 'warming' up somewhat by about 11:30am when I finally got out the door. It was another nice easy 5-6 mile run as I continue to pamper the leg which is now showing signs of improvement at last. I took a few more pictures and was almost trampled by a herd of deer who seem to think they own the town! Total of 6 runs and 44 miles for the week.

Pushups: still working away at week 6, level 3 but my pushups pale in comparison to this fitness instructor.

Coach Tara is very impressive!! Maybe when I do the 100 I'll graduate to these!

Take care and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Deep freeze

Brutal is the only word that I can think of right now to describe our weather for the next few days and these are the predicted temperatures without the windchill (which will add/subtract another 10 degrees or so).

Two more runs in the books this week. On Tuesday I only had time for 4 miles on the treadmill yesterday after work but today was able to get outdoors despite the cold. After bundling up with 3 layers on the legs and 4 for the upper body it was off into the -20C conditions. The roads were very treacherous with the thin layer of slush over most of the main roads so I headed off for a sheltered area with a good hill and did my workout there. After 2 repeats of a 1.5 mile circuit including a 1/2 mile hill it was time to return into the teeth of the cold north wind. Total of 7.5 miles in about 65 minutes.

Pushups: max test on Monday of 60 got me to week 6 level 3 which I completed Day 1 this morning before work. Nothing like throwing down 215 pushups to start the day off! The arms were shakey driving in...

That's it for now, time to head out to volleyball. Have a good week and thanks for sending any warm thoughts or winds in my direction!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Boyden Snow Run

Utube will never be the same after today's video post.

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Andrew and I had a great run today as we completed our usual (standard) 17 mile loop at a very easy pace with occasional stops for pics, videos, nature calls, stretching as well as water and gels. My leg held up very well with the current regime of stretching and exercises starting to pay off with a more pain free run. The last miles were still hard as the legs tired but at least the hobble and limp was gone for the 1st time in months. I'm starting to have hope that my real training for Boston can begin soon.

Last week finished off with a couple of easy runs for a meager total of 42 miles. The highlight of the week was a visit to my physiotherapist on Friday all geared up and ready for a run. After getting new instructions and a tape application to my lower back I was off for a nice 9 mile run. It appears that part of my 'problem' has been my running form, because the taping helped 'fix' my poor (hunched over when tired) posture and also took some of the strain off the hams. Now all I need to work on is the stretching and keeping a more upright form when running. Let's hope!

Pushups: completed another intense week (#6, level 2) and will do my next exhaustion test tonite to see where to go next. It's a long grind but I'm slowly working my way up the ladder.

That's it, have a great week and hope you enjoy the video!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Snowy run

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It's fun fooling around with the video feature on my camera and then putting stuff together on the computer. Now if only I had some decent music to add to the background noise. Today's run was just 5.5 miles after work before total darkness fell. It went OK but the legs were a little sore at 1st from sitting in my chair at work all day. I'll be getting some more physio for my leg on Friday and hope to get some relief soon.

See you later!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Stumbling along

Not quite all washed up but to use todays word of the day:

candor \KAN-der\, noun:
1. honesty in giving one's view or opinion; frankness and sincerity
2. fairness; impartiality

in total candor my training has been substantially below par as of late. Sunday's run with Andrew was a total disaster as far as the way I felt during and after the run with a feeling of very heavy legs and being dead tired. The lack of sleep and bitter cold had something to do with it, but surely you'd think we could knock off an easy 12 miler in our sleep by now.


Monday - nice rest day and did my pushups (repeating Week 6, level 2, total of 189 in 5 sets and 50 max)

Tues - just time for an easy 5 mile run after a busy day driving the boys to the airport and then back to work for a few hours. However, surprise-surprise the legs were feeling very good and almost 'springy' for the 1st time in a long while. The hams also behaved and I was tempted to go faster but took pictures (above) instead.

Weds - today was going to be a longer run but ended up only being 6 miles due to the snowstorm that started at the same time as the run. Again the legs felt almost decent but I kept things under control with a slow pace. Pushups in the morning before work were tough with 9 sets for a total of 210 and a max of 48.

That's it, no video this time around, although I've been practicing with it for my camera voice so my foreign accent doesn't get drowned out by the music next time. Have a good week!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Resolution Run #4

Brutal run on tired legs is my only description of this 12 mile 'long'' run with Andrew.

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But note his little comment at the very end of the video...

'And we'll do it again next Sunday!'

Unfortunately, he's right, we'll keep trying until we get it right. For whatever reason todays run was a tough go, lack of sleep perhaps, lack of energy despite all the junk I've been eating and drinking and the headwind and cold didn't help much either. We started out at -10C/12F or feel like windchill of -17c/0F but it felt colder.

That's it for my video posts for a bit as the 'Challenge' is almost over but it was fun learning how to do this. Have a nice week!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Resolution Run #3

Another day, another run, another video-cast.

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An easy 5.5 miles this Saturday afternoon with temperatures around -5C. The strong northwest wind continued and made the feel-like temperature just that much cooler. My leg/hamstring was fine but the pace was slow because of all the stops and starts. Perhaps I need a special name for this sort of run, like video-jog or click-lek but Andrew is sure to chime in with something more interesting. I'm hoping to meet up with the 'boys' for a nice long run in the morning but so far there is no plan of action.

See you later!

Friday, January 02, 2009

Resolution Run #2

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Cool! I figured out how to show my little running video directly without needing to login to RuncastTV (unless you want to).

Just an easy 70 minute run today with about 8 miles tallied up for the 1000 mile challenge. It was a much better day to run, especially this afternoon when the temperatures went all the way up to about -5C. It felt almost balmy, even with the wind, but my legs were feeling tired and heavy for most of the run so it felt like a bit of a chore. The hams were behaving as well but this could have just been the very slow pace.

That's it, 2 days, 2 runs, 2 posts, so far so good! Cya!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

1st run of 2009

2009 started off on the right foot. After successfully retrieving my eldest son from the airport before the latest storm rolled through we then gathered at my brothers. A few beers, fireball shooters and a shot of Power's later we were all in the proper mood for ringing in the New Year.

We didn't feel so hot this morning but after driving back home I still managed to get a short run in despite the frigid temperatures (-13C/-23C windchill). If you don't believe me here is my video account of the cold adventure. (Note that this is on the RuncastTV website but you need a free account to view it). I'm doing this as part of the 1000 mile running challenge which is also featured on this site. The idea is for participants to post blogs, pics, video's etc and for the group as a whole to run 1000 miles by the 5th of January.

So approximately 4 miles in 34:00 is now in the books.

Here's hoping that the days are warmer soon. Happy New Year all!