Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Busy Week

Well, it has been a busy week both work-wise as well as training. Last Friday I was able to get in my long run out in Edmonton, Alberta during a snow shower and on slippery roads. The elevation out there is a little higher than I am used to as well, so my 13.1 miles was a slow 2:06, but overall I was rather pleased. The hotel we stay at is near the airport and to get to a decent running trail it is 3 miles through an industrial park with no sidewalks and deep snow and ice. Still, the run felt decent and I was glad I could get it in as the next few days were super busy at work.

Saturday I was in Cancun for the day and it was MUCH too hot for a run. 30C and no clouds at all, so I decided to get in 4 miles on the treadmill upon my return to Edmonton on Sunday.

Monday night I headed down to the Runner's Den to get in a workout and try to keep my attendance up with the clinic. Mat sent me out for a 10k tempo/fartlek which I completed in 51 minutes and change on an icy, hilly course. Believe it or not, I believe that was my fastest 10k yet and I am positive I can break 50 minutes now on a fairly flat course in good weather.

Last night was another run with the group doing a little over 5 miles easy. I didn't feel that great and it was pretty windy, but I was happy to get out.

Back for more stairs tonight, but I am going to take it easy as tomorrow night is a big speed workout and I want to be able to keep up with the pack..

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Well, I have been away at work for the past few days and unable to run, or post. Unfortunately I missed 3 days of running, although I would have used one of those as a rest day anyways.

Saturday past I had a great long run with my running club, doing 10 miles in 1:34, which was a 9:30 pace. Pretty decent for me considering how slow my marathon pace was in October. I really feel that my proper speed workouts combined with more hills/stairs has increased my potential by a significant margin.

How about running with people MUCH better than you? I think that this has been an amazing thing for me personally. One that same Saturday long run I ran with 3 other people that are light years ahead of me in both conditioning and talent. It was great to go that far and feel like I actually belonged in that group considering 2 of them are world-class triathletes, and the other qualified for Boston in her first marathon!

Joining this running clinic and having these sorts of opportunities has kept me very motivated during some brutal training weather. If you have access to this sort of clinic or group, you really should give it a try - I am glad that I did!

So now to get back on track after some fantastic training last week. It is now Wednesday and I have 0.0 miles logged so far. To try and remedy this, I went out and did 3.1 miles really easy this morning. This is in addition to the stairs workout I have tonight at 6pm. That will get me back up to the 5 miles or so this week, and I am going to try and stretch out my next few scheduled runs to hopefully end the week in the 25-30 mile range.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Something New...

Last night was another group workout with my running club. Had a really nice run and it was great to talk while running, something I am not used to at all. I also got myself some new shoes before the run. Turns out I have been in the wrong type of shoe, and for the first time since I started running my right knee was bothering me to the point where I was starting to worry a little.

So yesterday I headed down to the Runner's Den and got properly fitted by my coach Mat. I was in a pair of Under Armour neutral shoes, when it turns out I really need something with more support as I tend to be an over-pronator. I now have a new pair of Mizuno's and my knee is feeling better already after only 2 runs on them.

Tonight I did stairs for the first time with the running group again. There is a huge escarpment near our house and the stairs are daunting with 263 steps and a total ascent of around 200 metres or almost 650 feet. I did 4 reps up the stairs which includes a short flat run around the park at the top of around 250 yards.

A huge part of our training is based on negative splits. Everything we do is focused on being faster the second time. This is true for the stairs and I was able to come in at 4:56, 4:40, 4:32, and finally 4:06 when I really pushed on the last one. I am hoping to continue this ideology through the training, and eventually at the 30k race as well as subsequent marathons.

Tomorrow night is a tempo run on some gradual hills and the weather is looking warmer - should be fun.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Out of Town...

I have been busy at work this week. I was out of town from Wednesday through Saturday in Regina, and was unable to run outside for obvious reasons. It was -35C for the majority of my stay, so I did a 3 miler on the treadmill Wednesday, followed by a 4 mile on Saturday morning before flying home. I did take 2 days off in a row due to long workdays, but I had run 6 days consecutively prior, so it was a welcome rest.

Today I headed out at home for a long run. I did 9.3 miles too fast yet again, but it was not the greatest weather. As per usual, I picked the pace up too much and probably negated the benefits of a long run by a little. Oh well, I was freezing.

The other interesting thing that I did this week was join a running club. I have no actual experience working with a coach, and I figured that it was about time I get some formal instruction. Tuesday night was the first workout, and the program is designed for the 30k race I am doing in March. I met a lot of great new people that live close by, and I look forward to keeping motivated and having some options for people to run with. I have always ran by myself, so being able to head out for a run with somebody with similar goals should be a lot of fun.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Starting to Sound Like A Broken Record

Guess what? Cold again! It was supposed to warm up quite a bit, but it didn't. Today was about -10C with a wind chill of -17C. I look forward to being able to post without mentioning the weather, but it has been so bitter that it really messes things up.

Today was an easy 8 miler. However, I got so cold that I went perhaps a touch fast as I finished in 1:17:25 for an average pace of 9:41. I know that I really need to slow down on my longer runs, especially as I start to build into the mid-teens in the coming weeks, so that is something I will work on.

Continuing to enjoy listening to running podcasts - perhaps I will go into more detail on that on non-running days coming up.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Same day as yesterday - Windy, a bit of snow and -12C with a wind chill of -22C. I got wrapped up and went out looking for a 4 mile pace run. My pace should be around 10 minute miles for a marathon, or about 9:45 for a 30k I figure.

As with yesterday, I sped things up a little because it was so brutal and ended up doing 4.1 miles in 38:38 for an average pace of 9:23, which was a touch fast. Average HR was 150, which is ok, but something I still hope to work on.

Saw nobody on my run and most people in cars stared at me like I was a lunatic. They are probably right. 8 miles easy tomorrow.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Here's a Resolution...

I am going to be much better with keeping track of things. Not just with running, but I am really going to work on being more organized this year. For the purposes of the blog, I am logging all my runs with RunningAhead, a website that I can automatically upload my run data to from my Garmin.

So here is today:

Date: 1/2/2010 11:43 AM
Type: Default
Distance: 5 miles
Duration: 44:54.64
Pace: 8:59 / mile
Heart Rate: Average: 157 / Max: 171
Weather: -12° C, Sunny
Statistics: VO2 Max: 34.6

Further to my contention earlier that I am going to add miles to the training program I am following, I have decided to keep things simple. Since the program is in kilometers, and most people deal with miles (me too), I am simply going to round all of my runs up to the next mile. For example, a 10k run that is 6.21 miles will become 7 miles for my training purposes. This keeps my mileage up a little, as well as keeps things simple on the blog for my neighbours to the south that use miles.

So, about today.. It was cold. And not just a little cold, but -12C with a wind chill of -21C. I was to do an 8km pace run, but it turned into a slow tempo really. I was just wanting to get it over with as it is difficult to keep your face covered with a scarf and still be able to breathe, so I sped it up a little bit.

Overall, I felt ok and did the 5 miles in just under 45 minutes for a pace of 8:59. This is quicker than my marathon pace by quite a bit, but maybe a little slower than my usual tempo runs. I would like to think that I have gotten a bit faster since my marathon in October, so my numbers seem to constantly be changing.

One thing I do not really like is my heart rate. Average of 157 and a max of 171 as I finished coming up the hill towards the house. This is too high, I need to work on this.

Overall, a good run in bad conditions, so I am happy. Tomorrow is looking even worse for weather, so I may change things up a little. I am supposed to go an easy 8 miles tomorrow and on Monday do a 4 mile pace. I think I will switch these around and go 4 tomorrow and do the 8 miler on Monday when it is supposed to be 6 degrees warmer.

Friday, January 1, 2010

What I Do While I Run

Everyone does something different while they run. Music, books, deep thought - I have tried them all. But my latest favourite is podcasts! About 2 months ago I got an iPhone and since then I have been listening to running podcasts almost exclusively while I run.

I have been enjoying them so much that those that are listed on the right side are completely responsible for me even doing a blog in the first place. I sometimes even toy with the idea of a podcast myself, but I do hate the sound of my own voice on tape...

Anyways, this is nothing more than a quick thank you to everyone who takes the time to do their podcast and keep me motivated while I am running. Check out the links and I am sure that you will find some great listening!

Out With The Old ...

So, it is 2010. Looking back, 2009 was a great year for me, and running was a big part of it. It was last April that a friend of mine that runs marathons convinced me to give it a go. I haven't looked back, and my trusty Garmin 305 shows that I logged 980 miles in 2009, almost all of it from April on.

So, moving forward in 2010, I am going to shoot for 1500 miles, the 30k "Around the Bay", and probably two additional marathons.

I am looking closely at the Outer Banks marathon next November - it looks amazing, and it can be tied in with a trip to Myrtle Beach where our family has a vacation condo.

I am also very interested in some sort of trail run, and my other marathon of 2010 very well may be something of this sort. However, I have lots of research to do to figure out what event could fit the bill.

The only other thing I intend to do this year is compete in races more. It is easy to fit in some 10k events here and there while training, and I hope that this can help me out in marathons. My first marathon could have gone a little smoother if I was used to the process - I found that my heart rate was through the roof even before starting, and this eventually led me to hit the wall around mile 22. I think that running more organized races will allow me to be more focused and controlled at the start which will allow me to keep a lower average heart rate.

So that is what I am looked forward to in 2010. I also hope to get my marathon times down to the 4:00 - 4:20 range which I think is a realistic goal.