Sunday, May 30, 2010

Feeding Frenzy

This was the welcome scene at the end of the latest jaunt around the Boyden Lake area with Andrew and company. Nothing like coffee and homemade chocolate squares (aka Blondies) to cap off a nice early morning 12 mile run.

The running has been going well the past few weeks now that my dental 'problems' are finally behind me and I've been able to get some solid training in. The mileage is slowly creeping up to the mid-40's and I'm now trying to do 2 harder speed days each week. I'll keep at it until the next race tests which are planned in late June with a 5 miler and then a 5k or 10 miler on July 1. The goal races will be in Sept which give lots of time to get ready.
That's all I got for now, the gory details for my daily runs (see plot above) are in the sidebar, but the proof will be in the pudding when I finally get my racing shoes on again. Have a great week!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Running Doags of Boyden

It's not a typo, doags is a real word according to Wiktionary, which I just discovered through good old Google. Imagine what my grade 10 English teach would have thought of that sentence some xx years ago... fail!

But speaking of dogs, it was the hot topic for yesterday's run on the Boyden Lake roads with good olde Andrew and Trevor. Andrew is finally coming around from his calf/achilles problem and Trevor is winding down for an upcoming leg of the Cabot Trail relay race next weekend. Trevor's comment about midway through our 12 mile loop was something like "This is a nice quiet route but why is it there seems to be more dogs than cars!?" I think he's right. The dogs were all very good with 2 friendly labs looking to go for a little jog along with us but most were tied up and looking for something to bark at . The 2 little terriers, who went completely bonkers as we passed by their territory, at the end of the run were just the icing on the cake! Besides the animals, it was a perfect day for us running doags and we were able to get caught up on each others plans and strategies for the coming months. I won't spill any beans here just to keep up the suspense and will leave it to them to say.

My running is starting to come along with a total of 42 miles for the past week including a nice out and back tempo run on Thursday. This is one of my favorite type runs where I go out for a certain time or distance and then turn around and retrace my steps at a stronger pace and effort. This one was 30 minutes out and 26:30 back for a total of 7 miles at an 8:12 average pace. I always feel energized and refreshed after these and often use them when running with no specific goal in mind for the day. I'm also still on the alcohol free diet, which is a real pain (and I let my dentist know in no uncertain terms) but this should soon pass when I get off the medication. My face is also finally almost back to normal (after 2+ weeks) which is a great relief, as is being on solid food once again!

Besides this, I'm now looking forward to just 2 more weeks of work before a nice little holiday to visit family in Ontario. There will be lots of running and visiting going on as we travel here and there to cover all our bases. It should be lots of fun!

Have a great week and keep on running!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

That's More Like It!

Here I am finishing my 1st 10k of the season today in what felt like a respectable time of 46:09 (at least it was close to my current capability). I made it to the start and ran a more conservative plan this time (not blowing up in the 1st mile) and was 'not' passed by innumerable dogs and 10 year old kids. Results are now up and I have some race pics here.

But 1st a little more backstory... as my dental issues continued to plague me all last week culminating in yet another visit to the 'man' who deemed me a 'problem patient' and prescribed more drugs to fight the infection and swelling. Well the 'drugs' have kicked in and my face is now returning to normal but they had one undesirable side-effect of requiring me to avoid alcohol in any quantity or face severe nausea. The man has no heart! At least I can still eat ice cream!

Last week was up and down as far as the running went with a good tempo run on Tuesday including 3x1000m cruise intervals to test what felt like a good 10k effort. Besides this there was some easy runs and a day off at the instruction of Coach who was of the opinion that I'm rushing back into my training too quickly. On Saturday I managed to get together with my good buddy Andrew for a nice short run on a beautiful little trail in Calais. Andrew is recovering from a calf strain which sounded more like an Achilles strain as we talked it over. Hopefully some RICE will fix him up and we can get back to the Boyden runs again soon!

Back to today's little race... As you can see from the course profile this was not a flat, fast course, in fact it was advertised as 'rolling' with beautiful scenery! Beware when they say rolling! Kinda sounds like another race I did recently which had monster hills to go with the awesome views. We got to the race in lots of time for me to sign up and then scope out the 1st kilometer or so with the initial large incline (with a view of the golf course if you cared). I'm glad I did because it put the fear of lactic explosion into my old legs and helped me to try to hold back.

The 1st conservative kilometer went by in 4:40 and the 2nd with the hill was a well earned 5:00. After that there were some nice downs and ups and I worked at holding an even effort which had the result of my trading places back and forth depending on the up/down with a couple of runners over the rest of the race. One lady in particular (who finished just in front in picture) must have traded places with me 4 times during the race and I didn't want to make a spectacle of myself with a final pass at the line. The 5k mark went by in a nice 22:56 (only 30s slower than the Lincoln 5k fiasco) but I was thinking that I was not happy of doing 5 more kilometers at this effort. More hills and scenery kept me company over the next bit and besides trading places with the lady and getting annoyed with a guy jumping in the race to pace his friend for a mile or so I began to revert to counting in my head to keep the legs turning. The final 2k were a steady gradual uphill grind but I notice that the splits were also the fastest with 4:37 and 4:22 as we cruised into the finish gasping like fish out of water (myself at least).

So, a good race, good effort and I've now got some work to do if I want to get my 5-10k times down to low 20's or 40's by the end of the season. It should be interesting!
Have a great week!

Sunday, May 09, 2010


I was supposed to be racing a 10k in Fredericton today but my stars were out of alignment. It was the 1st time ever that I paid good money to enter a race but 'Did Not Start' for reasons outside my control (well sort of). I suppose it's better than a DNF because it is unlikely that I'd have made it more than a kilometer or so the way my head feels today.

It all started a week ago when looking at my calendar all was clear and a little 10k run might be an ideal way to start off the spring/summer running season. Checked out the website and yes, a nice flat fast course which would give a good indicator of current fitness to be used to guide my training. Ponied up the money and was good to go. I then began laying out a program of races through the summer with a goal of some faster times by the end of the season in the 5k/10k events. No idea at this point what these times might be but at least I had a plan forming. I even went out on Tues for my 1st fast run in ages with the good old 1-2-3 minute fartlek workout and was feeling ready to do more work.

But it was not to be...

On Weds my 'favorite' dentist called and said "Oh, we have an opening for your dental surgery on Thurs, can you come?"

"Mmmm, but will I be able to run in a race on Sunday 72 hrs later?" I asked.

"Oh sure, no problem" was the receptionist's cunning reply.

I was cornered and had no way out. So Thurs I faced the man once again and he bashed me once in upper jaw and twice in the lower jaw and then emptied my wallet (just like getting mugged?) 72 hours later after many pain killers and ice packs I'm left with a face that looks like I've gained 40 lb overnight and is still not recognizable to myself in the mirror. The only plus to all of this is being able to eat all the ice cream I want because it's hard to eat anything solid.

I had hoped that the swelling and pain would have subsided by this morning but it was not to be after a third very sleepless night of ice packs and trying to get comfortable. As a result about all I could manage this morning was walking down the stairs for more ice and so we stayed home instead of doing a fruitless 90 minute drive. Thus I get my 1st ever DNS instead of the likely DNF if I had actually managed to show up.

My friend Trevor however, did very well (results here) finishing with a PB in the 1/2 marathon of 1:48 and I'm looking forward to his story. I'm thinking the weather was on the cool side but good for running and hopefully it was not too windy and rainy as it was here at home.

On the plus side, my dental surgery schedule is now over with only some minor procedures to come over the next year or so. Also on the plus side, I can plan for the summer without the worry of getting 'mugged' again but first will have to find another race to get me started on the road.

Wish me luck, I need some right now. Have a good week!