Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Long Run Back

I've been getting complaints that there are too many pictures of someone who shall not be named and so decided to come up with this one of me instead. It was shot at Sandhammaren in beautiful southern Sweden. I remember it was hard to drive more than a few kilometers at a time before we'd have to stop and take in the sights and of course a few pictures.

Which reminds me, I felt a lot like stopping often on today's long run as I prepare to run the PEI marathon but was able to fend off the urge and keep plugging away and it went really well. (33k or 20.5 miles in 3:02 which is 5:30/k or 8:50/mi)

My Running Log entry went like this:

"Last long run before PEI to test out my pacing speed of 5:30/k worked out very well. Some hills and wind slowed me up for a few k but mostly just rolled easily along. 3 bottles gatorade & 1 gel at 16k. Ran into a runner from BC doing a 2 hour run for Kelona but he stopped at hotel after about 1k. Cool and windy, jacket for 1st 1/2 hr, then carried & ditched it at home before heading out of town to finish run. Had some highs and lows during the run but mostly able to stay 'within myself' and not push too hard except for last few k. Good/great run with quick dip in the pond at 13C to cool the legs and prune some plants. Looking great for PEI!"

I'm feeling good about running PEI and am looking forward to helping to pace Trevor through his 1st marathon. Today's run was right on the mark that he's aiming for which is about a 3:50 marathon although his fitness and recent race results point to something slightly faster. Unfortunately I don't see Trevor's results in the Saint John 1/2 marathon today and have to assume he either did not start or had to drop out because of some foot issues that recently cropped up on him. I'm hoping it's only a little bump in the road and he'll be ready to go in just 3 short weeks!

Speaking of bumps in the road, my running and training are finally coming around and I'm almost starting to feel like my old self once again. For most of August and early Sept I was feeling fine (though a little tired) doing regular daily activities but my running was just the pits. I had no energy, was tired from start to finish while running and my heartrates were at levels normally reserved for tempo runs. Thankfully this has at last receded and the easy runs are starting to feel 'easy' and my heartrate no longer climbs as the run get longer. Even on today's long run it stayed relatively low and only climbed slightly over the final few k's as the hills, wind and mileage started to have an effect. I guess it just takes time and patience.

That's it for now. Have a great week and keep putting one foot in front of the other!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Grainy Picture

I hope that I won't get in too much trouble for this but after Andrew's 'Grainy' post I just had to show the picture along with the story which he forgot the details of.

This picture was from one of our very nice meals during our holiday in Sweden and the main story was how the Swedish tradition is to eat outdoors in the evening air for as long as possible into the fall/winter. In order to accomodate and make this odd habit more palatable for the customers blankets are provided at the door. At this particular seaside restaurant we couldn't even get inside the door if we wanted despite the obvious empty tables inside. "No, no! Outside only", the waiter told us. So we had a lovely romantic outdoor meal but I was rather chilly in my shorts, sandals and t-shirt with only a small blanket protecting my bare legs. But isn't it a nice picture?

On the running front, I had another great run today. For the first time in a long while I just couldn't wait to get out the door to get running. This was despite a lack of sleep recently and a long day at work but after the wonderful long run I'd had on Sunday with Andrew I wanted to see if it was a fluke. Not! Ran a nice easy 10k along the back streets and trails and even slipped in a single faster kilometer at 4:30/k pace. It felt really nice to float along for a change instead of usual plodding. After the fast k, the legs were a bit tired but recovered nicely and the rest of the run was a nice easy float. Give me more of this and PEI will be a breeze!

Can't wait for my next run... Hope your day/week is going well!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Back in the Saddle

It's been a long time since I've had the urge/time/desire/inclination to post something here but since we got back from our wonderful holiday in Sweden, it's just been too busy. I'm now back to work full time and this had contributed to a lack of free time but also has affected my energy levels and my running.

For the last month or so my running has been dismal at best and some of the blog titles that I had considered included 'Dead in the Water', 'All Washed Up' and even just plain 'Tired'. My weekly mileage since returning to Canada have been a measly 13, 27 and 25 which does not bode well for doing a marathon in just 4 weeks. Besides not putting in the miles, it has been a tremendous struggle just to get out the door and even the short 4-5 mile runs have been tiring and painful with elevated heartrate and no desire to keep going. But... all hope is not lost and this past weekend has seen a couple of runs that gave me encouragement and a new plan is emerging.

First, Andrew has pulled out of Vermont Green Mountain marathon because of work issues, saving me from pulling out first due to lack of training or commitment. I had warned Andrew of my possible drop out last week but he then beat me to the punch with his announcement during our Boyden 17 miler this morning. So, with no other Blind Moose participating I had little option but to cancel as well. However, today's long run went exceptionally well and gave me hope that I'll be able to run well again someday and so now I'm seriously considering doing the PEI marathon as my plan B. Surely 4 weeks is enough time to get back on track for the training enough to complete it in good shape? What do you think Thomas?? Also PEI will be a great chance to visit my daughter and I might even give Trevor a hand with his pacing for as long as I can keep up with him. Check out his tremendous improvement in his 10k race today.

So that's all I've got. Things are good, even looking up and all is not lost. Have a great week and keep on running!