Thursday, June 28, 2007

9 miler in...

This week off is great, and fitting in the runs (9 miler Thursday) has been not difficult.. A little worried about when i'll find the time to do these longer than 1 hour runs.

I'm still playing around with paces for my runs (Thanks, Fran, for the suggestions). One thing I'll start doing is to wear my heart rate monitor, which I haven't used since last summer. Today's a rest day, then 4 miles tomorrow and 12 miles on Sunday.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The training begins

It's now less than 18 weeks until the Marine Corps. Marathon. I start the 55 miles per week or less schedule. This week calls for

Monday: Rest/CT
Tuesday: GA + speed 7 miles w 10x100
Wednesday: Rest/CT
Thursday: GA 9 miles
Friday: Rest CT
Saturday: Recovery 4 miles
Sunday: Medium/long 12 miles
Weekly: 32 miles

I started today with general aerobic plus strides. I had to take a washroom break near the second half that interrupted the strides and added a few kilometres. 10 strides was plenty of work and left me thinking about the V02 and tempo workouts... dreading and looking forward to it. 13.8K in 1:17...

Last week

Just catching up. R. has been in town and it's my week off, so not much blogging. Just wanted to log in last week's running times so I don't forget

Monday: Off
Tuesday: 6.5K (4 miles) with 6X100
Wednesday: 12K (5 mile race plus warm up and cool down)
Thursday: 6K
Friday: 7K
Saturday: Off
Sunday: 16K

Weekly total: 48K (30 miles)
Year to date: 1019K (633 miles)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Race report: Night Crawler 5 miler

Originally uploaded by yumkerun
Sometimes it's better to run a race for the first time. The first time, you get aggressive, you don't think too much about the course, just run it. Other times, well, you think.. And that's not necessarily good, is it?

I lined up near the front of the pack, always respecting the faster runners who need to get out there. Somehow, you underestimate how many people you can fit into 10 metres. More than 100 runners by my count.

The Night Crawler 5 miler (8.1K) is one of my favourites. No mass starts, just 400 of your fellow hard-core runners with nothing better to do on a weekday evening before summer arrives. It's a (relatively) small race that brings out lots of speedsters so it has that pro appeal and the rest of the runners are the sort you can picture doing their daily runs. Lining up, you overhear people talking about BQing or running Chicago and Boston or running the marathon in 3:07. Before the race, people are doing strides, or just jogging to warm up. Another hard example, the larger Harry's Spring Runoff 8K I ran in April is comparable in distance yet its median time is 46:28. Tonight, the median time was 42:38 for the Nightcrawler race that's 100 metres longer.

Oh yeah, and they do BBQ at the end, with hot dogs.

Back to the race: It's also better to line up near the front because there is no chip system. I figure I lost about 5 seconds at the start to get to the starting line. I opted to run on the side (grass) in order to position myself up front. So that's what I (and others) did the first 500 metres, and that's when a small rock made its way into my left shoe. That left me worried for a few seconds, but didn't prove a hindrance.

One good thing about small races is that you can quickly get into a grove. The field sorts itself out by the first kilometre and by the second, those who started out too fast are already fading away. During the 2-4K section, I felt like I was stalling. The group I was running with was at a good clip, but I felt I had to target the next group ahead of me or risk falling off into a slower pace. So for the first of four times, I decided to shed the group, hook on to a faster runner (or runner about 10 metres ahead) and surged a little. It proved to be fun and good practice for getting pace by feel and trying out different running gears.

One thing about losing my GPS after the second K was the lack of a stopwatch or pace to judge by splits. I ran this race by testing my pain threshold and trying to hang on and gain ground. But did I run it to the target pace? I don't think so. As a result, I spent probably more than a miles in between packs alone, trying to make some ground. Although I don't do hill training, it was on those stretches where I was able to make good moves to pace. I concentrated on maintaining stride speed. When I did catch up to other runners, I paced off them until I felt they were fading.. Or I stayed (in the case of the last group) for a good mile.

Last year, raced the course in a much more aggressive fashion. I ran the first few kilometres at a quick pace, then hung on for dear life. That provided me with (now looking back) an impressive 34:59 finish (a few seconds faster by my GPS). It was run at a pace of 4:20 Ks or 7 minute miles.

This year, even with excuses of a non-functioning GPS and mid-mile lack of drive, I managed a 35:42 finish with a pace of 4:26 Ks or 7:09 minute miles. Throwing that number into MacMillan pace calculator predicts a 3:30 marathon. A half marathon will be a better judge of my pace and we'll see in September how the training will help.

All in all, a good race. Those tempo runs in the next few months are going to be fun.

Final time: 35:42
Place overall: 70/374 (81.3 percentile)
Place in men: 18/61 (70.5 percentile)
Place in age group: 62/207 (70 percentile)

Race done, can't remember how I did...

I guess the wait is on for the results to come online. That's because the Garmin started going a little haywire after 2K. It was beeping every 5 seconds and I ended up turning it off so I wouldn't piss off other runners. I was so tired by the end that I can't remember if I finished in the 35 or 34 minute range...

What I can say is that it was a good run made easier by the ideal conditions. The weather was nice and cool for the day before summer starts. They delayed the race 15 minutes because of the long lineup to register for race numbers. So the afternoon was just a long wait... some runners kept on running around the areas, while others just sat there. I did both.

I'll leave the race description for the next post, but I can say that the first kilometre was done in 4:10, the second in 4:19.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Making strides...

Tomorrow's the 5 miler Nightcrawler race, taking place at 7:15 p.m. after work. Temperature is calling for a cool 24, so I'm happy about that. I want to use this race to work some things out, to see what kind of race pace I can hold. I'm hoping for 4:20 Ks for a sub 35 minute race. As I said before, I am really not a 5K or 10K racer, so I don't have any glorious forecasts for how I can do...

That said, I have been running consistently over the spring and since my last race (10K), the mileage has been steady and rising. Today, I did a recovery 4 miles with 6X100 strides, which i'll be doing a lot under the Pfitz plan.

The six 100 metres went by fast, but they do take a lot out of you, making the recovery run in between necessary. I concentrated on just fast running, near sprint, but kept a relaxed form.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Note to self: Never run like this

media1.jpeg, originally uploaded by yumkerun.

I took this photo back in May when I was in DC running by the Lincoln Memorial. I LOVE this sign, partly because I didn't know running and biking were as bad as smoking and eating fast food (It looks like a hamburger and a soft drink).

Also love it because in all my years of running, I've never, ever, seen anyone run with their arms streched out like that.. Maybe at a family reunion at an airport.

I digress. I've run all seven days this week, which I don't do often, but it added up to 82.5K (51 miles).

Monday: 16K
Tuesday: 10K
Wednesday: !0K
Thursday: 5.5K
Friday: 8.5K
Saturday: 11K
Sunday: 21K

As the training starts in about seven days, I will follow the schedule very closely. I don't plan to run seven days a week in the next four months.. but the mileage will certainly be high.

Weekly mileage: 82.5K
Time run: 6:57:48
Year to date: 971K (603 miles)

Friday, June 15, 2007

Set for better mileage...

The weather's been great this week, and for the first time in a long time, I head into the weekend with 50K in the books. I'm looking to put in at least another 20K over the weekend, maybe all of it and more in one run. Tomorrow or Sunday? Not sure....

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

400, 19, 8, 4:45, 10, 36

Blogging by the numbers...

400: My lord, this is my 400th post since I launched this blog in December, 2005. The blogging heats up when I'm marathon training...

19: ...which leads me to note that I have 19 weeks until Marathon day. Actually, the training program is 18 weeks long, but I launch next week with a nice race...

8: ...that is just the first of many. Last night, I decided to do some major planning, so I filled up my racing schedule that will have me doing 8 races from now till Marathon day on Oct. 28.
4:45: ... so the craziness begins just as the weather heats up. I forced myself up at 4:45 a.m. to beat the heat (and becuase I had dinner scheduled tonight...

10: ... thinking I was smart, I decided to do 10K in a very easy manner...

36: bringing my total mileage so far this week to a whopping 36K

Light show

media1.jpeg, originally uploaded by yumkerun.

Yesterday, I looked out my window and saw that the CN Tower was lighting up with a colour show. I snapped this picture with the camera phone after dinner.

According to this story, it's powered by 1,330 LED lights that are placed over the elevator shaft and on the bubble.

"We want to have the tower as a beacon for the city of Toronto and Canada."

I love the CN Tower. On my long runs to the Beaches in the East and to Humber Bridge in the West, I judge my journey back to my condo by seeing how the tower dominates the skyline. When you live right downtown, you forget how tall the building is compared with the office skyscrapers...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Oh yeah, the heat...

Originally uploaded by yumkerun.
Little do I realize that Toronto's Medical Officer declares a heat alert today. It hit a high of 31 degrees (about 90F).

Among the helpful tips he offers, are:

  • Drink lots of water and natural fruit juices
  • Stay out of the blazing sun or heat
  • Avoid strenuous physical activity outdoors
I arguably adhered to No. 1. The other two, not so.

Oh well, that would explain my tougher than usual 10K after work, which was done in 49:04. I noticed by the second kilometre that the water in my Camelbak was warming up.. And luckily I had it. Tomorrow, I plan a morning run and will take it easy.

Monday, June 11, 2007

A quicker pace

In prepping for the faster paces to come for my LT/tempo runs, I ran 16K tonight at a faster than usual pace. I'm told my LT pace should be my 15K to half marathon pace. For me, that's 4:30 kilometres (7:14 miles). The times below show I have some work to do.

On the bright side, I brought my Camelbak with me so I could hydrate. On the minus, I didn't each much before the run and I started it hungry. It went well, though.

1K - 4:56
2K - 4:56 (9:52)
3K - 4:48 (14:41)
4K - 4:55 (19:36)
5K - 4:56 (24:32)
6K - 4:51 (29:23)
7K - 4:48 (34:11)
8K - 4:39 (38:51)
9K - 4:55 (43:47)
10K - 4:52 (48:40)
11K - 4:53 (53:33)
12K - 4:45 (58:18)
13K - 4:48 (1:03:07)
14K - 4:49 (1:07:56)
15K - 4:48 (1:12:46)
16K - 4:50 (1:17:35)


Rest week, looking forward

Staring at a 18 week marathon training program (and a much more advanced one this year) ahead of the Marine Corps Marathon, I basically took a week off. Yep, I ran two times last week, a 10K after work one night and a 6K easy run with R. before Jelly's wedding. I felt like I needed the extra rest and a little bit of a mental break before I launch into The Program..

I did spend a little time going through the book, trying to select the paces for my various runs. The LT (tempo) runs, the medium-long (then long), and the general runs with strides. Not a whole lot of tracks near the waterfront, so i'll have to make my way to one downtown.

I also looked at the schedule and want to start planning my tune up races
Sept. 15 - 8K to 15K race (There's a Burlington race, but there is a 10K island run on Sept. 9)
Sept. 29 - 8K to 15K race (I have the half-marathon this day. In fact, should sign up now)
Oct. 13 8K to 10K race (There is a Zoo 10K run, which i'll do)

Last week's mileage: 16K
Year to date: 888.5K

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Jelly's day

Originally uploaded by yumkerun.
Congrats to Jelly and C. on their big day! A wedding at the back patio of a resto is a wicked idea.. Still recovering and as a result, no run for me!

Friday, June 08, 2007

HtO at night

Originally uploaded by yumkerun.
This is the new Toronto urban park, HTO, I mentioned yesterday. It looks really cool and I haven't yet visited the man made beach (along with umbrellas and wooden chairs.

By the way, this is quite the running week, in that I have virtually done none. I ran 10K yesterday, and that was after three days off. I plan to do a long run this weekend or, failing that, two 10Ks.

My reasoning is this: I have two weeks until training starts, which means if I get back up to 30 miles next week (I will), I'll have 20 high mileage weeks until Marathon Day.

A week off. Why not? It's all business from here.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

It's finished...

Originally uploaded by yumkerun.
Presenting the park across the street from me at Queens Quay and Spadina... almost a year after they started work on it, the grass is down and it looks about ready to open.. woohoo, my Saturday morning newspaper reading hangout.

Looked like this a a year ago

In fact, the official opening is tomorrow, when all the city's bigwigs descend on my neighbourhood.

From the press release:
    The HTO design team, led by Janet Rosenberg, Claude Cormier and Siamak Hariri, collaborated with city staff to create HTO Park. The outstanding park design was selected following an international design competition, undertaken by the City in 2003. Somerville Construction provided skill and workmanship in rounding out the project team's achievement of a dynamic and beautiful waterfront park.

    Brenda Librecz will present a waterfront park scrapbook for the mayor, councillors, architects and ceremony attendees to sign. A class of local school children will place items, reflecting their thoughts and ideas about the City’s waterfront, in a time capsule at the park. The time capsule will be reopened at a ceremony in 2020.

Wonder what they're putting in there? I'd like to see a pair of running shoes...

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Building momentum

It was hot in DC yesterday, but I managed to fit in 8K (5 miles) around the Mall in the early evening. This morning, it was raining, so ran a cooler same distance for 16K this weekend before coming back soaked.

Turns out doing a mid-week long run was a good idea. I've not had three weeks of +30 miles and with three weeks left until the marathon training is set to start, I feel like I may be in okay shape to start pounding out the harder miles.

Weekly mileage: 54K (33.5 miles)
Year to date: 872.5K (542 miles)

Great One...

Originally uploaded by yumkerun.
Not running related, but just wanted to put up this pic of Wayne as seen in the National Portrait Gallery in DC, from a cover of Time Magazine. Representin...