Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Will he do it again?

Anyhow, Lance Armstrong said after the New York Marathon that he was unsure he'd do another one.

Then in today's Forbes.com, he says this:

Speaking of which, are you glad you ran the marathon? Will we see you cross the finish line in Central Park again?

I would say there's a very good chance of that.

Oh how soon we forget the pain.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Lots of walking...

Following yesterday's long run, I could have finished the week off with another run, but I felt I wouldn't push it. Today was a day for walking, and I was roaming all around town picking stuff up for the holiday season.

Well, I finally hit the 30 mile mark, thanks in part to the 13 miler yesterday. Now that I have a month left this year, I know i'll top 2,500 kilometres and pass the 1,500 mile mark in the next week. Wow, 2,500 kilometres means I could have run to Montreal five times over, to Halifax with 650 kilometres left in the tank, or to Winnipeg with 400 kms to go. That's freaking far.

Running update
Weekly mileage: 48K (30 miles)
Time run: 4:00:05
Year to date: 2,391.5K (1,486 miles)

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The beach and back

Originally uploaded by yumkerun.
The last time I'd done more than 10 miles was in Chicago. Today, there was absolutely no excuse not to run a little long, with clear skies in the afternoon about about 6 degrees.

I ran out to the Beaches and back along Toronto's waterfront and aimed for the half marathon distance. Only encountered about five runners and maybe 30 cyclists, so I had pretty much the trail to myself. It was peaceful and my pace was pretty good. The only bad part is I felt a twinge in my lower left calf in the last 200 metres, as I'd upped the speed. Probably not a good idea. Finished 21.1K (13.1 miles) in about 1:50 with a pace of 5:12.

Friday, November 24, 2006


I will stop talking about how hard it is to get myself out there on the streets for runs until I start getting consistent. Well, the last three days have been good, and if I run during the weekend, it'll be my first five-day stretch of running in a long time.

Fit in a 10K yesterday morning which I ran in about 51 minutes for average of 5:05Ks. I started tonight's run on a fullish stomach, so I started off easy, then at the 5K mark, I realized that if I stepped it up in the last kilometre, I'd hit 6K in less than 30 minutes. With a 4:04 final kilometre, I hit the mark in 29:18.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Oy.. okay, i'm back

Took two days off, not because I wanted to, but because life got in the way. It's really warm now compared with Sunday, so I managed to squeeze in another 5K (3 miler). To make up some mileage, I will have to talk myself into running tomorrow morning. Wish me luck.

Monday, November 20, 2006


Chilly chilly at first, but then warmed up to a nice toasty feeling after 3 miles. Then it was time to call it quits, cause it was time to go to work..

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The runner's high...

Some people who casually run ask me about this, the runner's high... I'm not entirely sure when you hit it, but I usually tell people that I feel like 'ugh' until about 10 minutes into the run, when I start to feel better. On good long runs, I think I hit it after the 1 hour mark. Today, I totally didn't feel like going out there. It was 1 degree, but clear. I hadn't run for three days (a concert on Thursday, dinner on Friday and a lazy Saturday conspired to get me off my feet) so I felt an obligation to run. No, not a need, an obligation.

So I set out on the out-and-back 15K run on the trial. While I was warming up in front of my condo, a cyclist asked me if the trail continues to the west and I said, 'yes, follow that runner' (pointing at a guy down the road) and you'll hit the trail that brings you to Etobicoke, which is west of Toronto. He thanked me and he was on his way.

I set out after him, thinking that I should keep the the trails and avoid streets, traffic and pedestrians. The first 3K was uneventful, I was trying to keep the heart rate under 80% but getting in a good pace. I was kinda laboured and was concentrating on running too much.

Then it happened. I hit the 4K mark, and saw that same cyclist on his way back. By then, I had been running for only 22ish minutes but my mind was shifting away from the pain of running hardish, and focused on other things. My hands started to loosen, I swung my arms with more fluid motion, my legs were heavy but now I found my stride, my eyes were fixed at the tree branches and I was enjoying seeing the leaveless fingers of those oaks go by. It made me feel fast. Other runners were passing, and I picked up my speed slightly, nodded and waving to them confidently and I realized I had done it -- not a high, but something better than 'ugh -- by the time I hit 6K. Running wasn't painful, it just was, well, running. And I enjoyed the next 9K.

Running update
Weekly mileage: 36K (22 miles)
Time run: 2:56:41
Year to date: 2,343.5K (1,456 miles)

Happy birthday Jelly...

JellyP, today, you turned 30. It occurs to me now that I've now known you for a good decade now, starting back in the days when we were in journalism school, slaving away for the school weekly.

I remember in my high school or even younger days, when you'd meet a friend and you'd hit it off. In days, you'd call them your best friend, in years, they'd fade away from memory. My later-life friendships have been so different. Our bond has grown so strong over the years the memories flood over -- the long days at the newspaper, the late nights the gang stayed at the house on Olive, the trips, by road and air, to all across this country, the countless afternoons spent sipping tea during dim sum, the afternoons scheming about our next cooking or baking adventure, then the days spent in the kitchen.

Like you said to me before we ran the marathon in Chicago, the past year has made us even closer, even though we barely ran more than a few times with each other. I'm so glad you dragged us on this adventure. Here's to your 30th...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Night running

There's a path I run through most of the year for my out and backs, a path in which I can do 3 milers, 6 milers or 10 miles. It sort of runs parallel to a major road and, unfortunately, on evenings the distant car lights are the only source of light. On the minus side, I can barely see the path. On the postive, it's uninterrupted, no traffic and I can zone out and not think about stop lights, cars, curbs...

It's night running, almost, when you focus on the road, look at the bicyclists in the distance with their flashing helmet lights. The big trees in the park i'm in, planted shortly after the Second World War, each for a group of soldiers, stand solitary and block whatever moonlight i'm hoping will show my path. Apparently, tonight about a dozen other runners have the same thoughts. I see them in the distance, dark forms bouncing, almost fading into the blackness. We approach one another, and we're just dark forms, there are no runner waves as we can't even see a face... save for one, who grunts 'hey.' I grunt 'hey' back, then return focus to my path, winding around a corner, where I find a bank of streetlights, and the way home...

10K in 49ish minutes.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Finding a 5K plan...

Well, i'm looking for a program to 'train' for my new years eve run. I'm not the biggest fan of the distance, i'm most comfortable with the 5 mile to half marathon distance. I know one thing, the program will call for trackwork (or speedwork) at probably 3K race pace.. yikes. Oh well, that'll get me poring through my running books in the next few weeks, but in the meantime, any tips would be appreciated.

Took two days off cause I really didn't have the time to fit in the running. Today, back on my five-to-six-day-a-week plan: 10K (6 miles) through the city

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Sluggish, then not so sluggish

Catching up on my running log. I snuck in a 4K run before dinner on Friday, which was good, cause we went for yummy Indian food, which is tasty but very rich...

Yesterday was a classic lazy day. Got up, went to the market, hit the bakery ($16 in focaccia -- pictured -- and flatbreads), the butcher ($14 on a sheet of real bacon and a pork tenderloin), the cheesemonger ($4.25 for smoked gouda, a critical ingredient in my bacon sandwiches with honey-garlic dijon in between a focaccia bun.. best sandwich ever), and $5 for my favourite Portguese-style chicken... Food heaven let me tell ya. Caught up with old friends then settled for a night of DVD watching.

Which meant I was in bed by 3 and in no mood to run this morning. But dragged myself out there and did a slow 10K in about 53 minutes. My mileage is slowly climbing to where i'd like to keep it.

Running update
Weekly mileage: 45K (28 miles)
Time run: 3:36:48
Year to date: 2,307.5K (1,434 miles)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Longish run

Finally I thought it was time to rack up some miles. I haven't run more than 6 miles (10K) in a while, so today, I planned to see how I felt after 5 minutes, then plan my route accordingly. I ran a 15K city route, where I had to compete with pedestrians, some of whom like to take the entire width of the sidewalk. Had a few close calls and I guess i really don't have right of way..

I signed up for a 5K race on Dec. 31, a resolution run that JellyPepper has also signed up for. Would be a good way to end of the mileage for this year...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Long work days

Part of the reason why I switched jobs in September was to take a bit of a breather from a long, grinding schedule. Haven't fully abandoned the concept of long hours, cause journalism really never is a clock-punching job. So today, working a few extra hours, I got out of work a bit late. I was a little miffed at losing some time off my evening, time I would use to go for a run and other stuff just for me.

A short run was the perfect prescription. I'm in the process of convincing myself to go out for at least 20 minutes six days a week. So I did a 5K run after work. It was raining, it was dark and it was great.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Getting comfortable...

I think for the first time since the marathon, I completed a run that satisfied me. I worked hard, parts of it uphill, but my stride was consistent, my posture was good and, most of all, the breathing was in sync. Funny thing about running, this breathing thing. So many ways to get it wrong.

Beautiful night to run, and I tackled the city streets. I think I jar a lot of people while I run by them...

10K (6 miles) in 47ish minutes...

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Another random reason why I run...

Originally uploaded by yumkerun.
This picture is of the sunrise yesterday morning. This is the view from my condo, beautiful, isn't it?

I was treated to a sunset today during my short 3 miler (5k) in 22:44 done at a pretty good tempo cause the sunset was breath taking and I forgot about running slow, I felt like I was running after the sun.

I also ran a 10K (6 mile) yesterday, done in 47:50. So next week i'm ready to resume my mileage so I keep at at maintenance level, three or four weekday runs of up to 6 miles each, then a long run in one weekend day.

Training update
Weekly mileage: 40K (25 miles)
Time run: 3:14:19
Year to date: 2,262.5K (1,406 miles)

New York City Marathon: What a finish!

Dos Santos holds on to win the marathon. Wow, he just had enough room to fend off a late surge by the second and third (Tergat) place runners.

And here's the quote of the day, from Lance Armstrong, who did clock under 3 hours (2:59:36). His longest run was a 16 mile pacer. File this quote under, "Runners get respect."
"Without a doubt that was the hardest physical thing I've ever done.... I can tell you, 20 years of pro sports, endurance sports, from triathlons to cycling, all of the Tours, even the worst days on the Tours, nothing was as hard as that and nothing left me feeling the way that I feel now in terms of just sheer fatigue and soreness."

New York City Marathon: oh, the fun

Originally uploaded by yumkerun.

Okay, I broke down and bought the pay-per-view race on the web... And I love it, since I have no access to the New York city channel and there's no way I want to wait for the condensed one-hour version on NBC this afternoon. So far, the womens' lead pacer is not doing a great job pacing, the men's race is about a half hour old and it was soo much fun to watch the masses start the race.

Also admitedly fun to watch first-time marathoner Lance Armstrong run. Here's a screenshot..

Anyways, back to my web viewing...

Update: Jelena Prokopcuka wins the women's race in 2:25:05. She and the second place runner broke away from the pack (including Kastor) and never looked behind.. Prokopcuka won last year. Great performance.

Lance looked strong, but there are no numbersand is apparently on 2:58 pace.

And in the men's race, Dos Santos has the lead, but is being tracked by a group of Kenyans including Tergat...

Friday, November 03, 2006


Okay, sometimes, technology is great. Sometimes, it's useful. Sometimes, you wonder, why?

Not sure where to file this, but here's the scoop on this Sunday's New York Marathon. NBC will do a one-hour wrap show nationally. If you live in New York, a local station (NBC I think) will do a live show.. The rest of us will get one hours worth, after the race is over.

Enter technology. NBCsports.com says it will offer live streams online for $4.99. There are cool bits. You can enter bib numbers and you can track people as they cross certain points. You can also watch the leaders, on demand. And, if you want to watch Lance Armstrong, you can do that too, all at this site.

Not to say that Lance's best days are behind him, but I'm sure he's more entertaining to watch in his element, fighting back on the Alps after falling, for instance.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Chilly morning...

Wow, the temperature took a dip. I believe the morning started off at 0 or minus C range, but I got out there for a brisk 9K run through the city... Been awhile since i've done a run like that and it felt good to be moving quickly while the pedestrians were in their winter gear (or close to it). Makes me feel nice and alive.. and nice to get the blood flowing again first thing...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Well, we missed it on TV...

... but, for now at least, you can recapture some of the Chicago Marathon moments on this video at the local CBS website.. This clip is of the crowds that cheered us on...

Good reads

About Boulder, Colo., where all the elite guys and gals train, but never really train with each other, according to the New York Times article (registration required).

Long a popular haven for elite athletes, the area boasts 300 sunny days a year, 400 miles of trails (including Magnolia, which soars to 8,600 feet), more massage therapists than muscles and a fervent outdoor culture.

But this is no running utopia. Instead, Boulder is an example of the fiercely competitive sport of road racing, in which runners train in quiet isolation, passing one another occasionally on hills while guarding their strategies.

Of course, this weekend is the marathon weekend in New York and i'm trying right now to figure out if I can watch any of this on my time shifting channels.. I guess i'll have to see if any New York stations track it live. Should be a good one to watch, with runners like Tergat, Keflezighi, Kastor set for the race... Also, the American sensation Dathan Ritzenhein is set to make his marathon debut.. Then, there's Lance Armstrong's first marathon. Does anyone care?