Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
Peak-to-Peak Gondola Car (Plan & Elevation)
On the skiing front, Ian & I have started our self-guided Pre-Ski Training Camp which is pretty hardcore. Ian’s the trainer and I do what I’m told, which is highly unusual. We’re doing agility drills and a lot of core strengthening using silly looking props like the Swiss Ball, Medicine Ball, and Rubber Band. They look like toys but are, in fact, modern-day tools of torture. My abs are finally feeling normal again after a couple of weeks of complaining from the strain. Ian assures me all of this hard work will make skiing easier AND more fun. Last weekend driving past Whistler we saw the new Peak-to-Peak Gondola running for the first time. It’s quite a sight. Little black blobs in the distance gliding perilously along a thin line stretched over an unfathomable gap. Apparently it is the first horizontal gondola in North America to link two mountain tops. Imagine standing in a little car, holding on for dear life while dangling over the abyss. Sound fun? It is now the highest and longest unsupported horizontal lift span AND the longest continuous lift system in the world. All of this engineering genius just so you and I will can ski both mountains on the same day.Here are some facts on the P2P: Speed 7.5 meters per second. Ride Time approximately 11 min. Whistler Mountain to Blackcomb Mountain Frequency one cabin departs every 49 seconds Total Distance 4.4km/2.73miles (straight line) Length of Unsupported Span 3.024km/1.88 miles (straight line between the two towers that are furthest apart) Highest Point above the ground is 436m/1427 feet over Fitzsimmons Creek
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
I used to enjoy going to the gym. Long before I became a runner I spent years doing a combination of cardio and strength training. I had upper body strength. Now I'm built like a frog - all my power is concentrated in my legs and my arms have become darn near obsolete. So I decided to start working out a couple of days a week and see if I can't regain the use of the top half of my body. I've made two visits to a fitness center a block away from my apartment and am not impressed so far.
There are a lot of 20-something men walking around like peacocks. That, combined with the constant thumping hip-hop music gives the place a cheesy nightclub feeling. Maybe I'm too demanding, but I like to control what I'm listening to. In this day and age when almost everyone has a personal music device why can't the gym be quiet? I guess I've gotten spoiled by the peace and solitude of road running.
Last time I was there I even gave the receptionist/personal trainer/male model and his little punk sidekick a piece of my mind. I'm pretty sure it just amused them...
Anyway, whatever - their loss. I'm revising my plan. I think I'll join the yoga studio instead of the gym and use that for cross-training. Might not have the same effect on my upper body strength, but any increased flexibility will probably help my running. And its good for anger management...
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Pretty soon it was time to line up behind the start line and I spent the last few seconds before the gun listening to Cypress Hill's "Rock Superstar" - which made me feel really tough. The gun fired, off came the ugly warm-up clothes...and we were underway.
(I'm in the red top and black tights - don't blink!)
The first few miles took us on a meandering tour through downtown Victoria. The twists, turns, and gentle hills kept my interest. We passed the Empress Hotel, the harbour, and the stately legislative buildings.
After all that solitude I was very happy to find my friend Stephanie and her Mom enthusiastically waving and cheering as I went by mile 17 and then again at 29.
Throughout the journey I did have a lot of work to do. I phoned Ian every 5 or 6 miles and filed a report. I walked and drank at all of the water stops and ate 3 cliff shot bloks every hour. I kept scanning the sidewalks for Ian and my Dad, who might appear at any moment from behind a large tree or parked car. Finally, and most importantly I had to remember my mission: Make it to mile 20 feeling great and ready to start the marathon!
(Here I am at mile 20 getting a last drink from Ian)
It's safe to say my strategy worked. I ended up seeing Ian and my Dad at least 5 times and I think each time they were surprised to see a smile on my face. Aside from one episode of aching toes (which was quickly remedied with Advil) and a couple of breaks to stretch stiff legs - I did arrive at Mile 20 feeling pretty great. Around mile 21 I accepted a tiny cup of beer from one of the Oak Bay folks and dug in.
In the end I did feel pretty crappy the last 3 or 4 miles but I kept reminding myself that this was going to be my last really long run for a loooong time, and that helped keep my pace up.
I crossed the finish with a chip time of 4:10:41, beating my previous record by 10 minutes and blowing my "best case sceneario" goal of 4:15 out of the water. Thanks to all my supporters and I'll keep you posted on the recovery...
Monday, October 6, 2008
Running Bébé is busy winding down her training this week and thought it may be a good idea for a guest blog. This is my second guest blog entry – I wrote one a few months ago about a run we did together that didn’t go so well. Anyways, I thought I'd recap some of the highlights and lowlights of RB’s training for the Victoria marathon on Oct. 12.
1. The Lands End Half Marathon – This was a training run in early September. It was run in a rural part of Victoria and although RB didn’t have a great time, I had a fun time watching the race with RB’s dad and his dog. It was a beautiful Sunday morning and John, Reilly and I bombed around the countryside in his Jeep following the course. We probably stopped on the roadside 7 or 8 times to take pictures. The runners started to recognize us after a couple of stops which was fun.
2. Last 20 Mile Training Run – RB and I went on her last 20 mile run a couple of weeks ago in Pemberton. I was on my bike for 20 miles and she ran. We saw all of the sights – the mountains, streams and had a very nice day. My butt was sore from close to four hours on the saddle but I’d definitely do that again.
3. Podcasts – I am not sure if all runners are into podcasts but RB certainly is. Most weekends we drive from Vancouver up to Pemberton and our main forms of entertainment are listening to running podcasts and singing along to RB’s bad selection of songs on her iPod. She is the only person I know that only keeps 15-20 songs on her iPod so there is never much selection – I tried explaining that most people keep all of their songs on the ipod but I think she is very storage conscious. In any case, I am probably one of the only non-runners who listen to the likes of 4 Feet Running, Pheddipidations and Another Runner. I have been enjoying all of them and look forward to new episodes each week.
4. Longest Day 5K – I am not sure if this was during the actual training period but this was my first race ever and we had a nice time. Fun race followed by free BBQ – what could be better than that?
5. Blog Comments – The comments that readers have left are great motivation. Its nice to know others are in the same boat and have experienced the same things. Don’t be shy, leave comments!
1. Pre-Marathon Nervousness – After RB had finished all of her long runs she had a bout of anxiety about the marathon. Its funny that it seems to happen after all of the hard work is done.
2. Land End Half Marathon – While this was a highlight of mine, it was a bit rough for RB. She had a bit of an asthma attack during the last 3 kms of the race. We couldn’t see her during this time and waited at the finish for her. She was on pace for a great time to that point so it was a little bit disappointing for her.
3. Running in Rain – we live in Vancouver, if you don’t run in the rain you will never run.
Its been a fun few months of training. It looks like RB is not planning to run a spring marathon so she will be doing other activities this winter (bring on the snow!!). I am looking forward to the marathon this Sunday and will try to update her Twitter if I can figure it out. Be sure to send her your best wishes for the race this Sunday!
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
Monday, September 1, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
It was POURING rain...which I can't really complain about because I've been so lucky with the weather all summer and it was more pleasant than being too warm. I couldn't have been more sopping wet by the end if I'd jumped into the drink - but it's all good. The iPod and Garmin survived as well. Rain or no rain, you can't beat running around the Stanley Park seawall on a Sunday morning. At least it wasn't crowded...
Current Marathon Training Playlist:1. Don't Bring Me Down - Electric Light Orchestra 2. Vanished - Crystal Castles 3. I Like the Way (Radio Edit) - Bodyrockers 4. Just Dance - Lady GaGa 5. Dangerous (feat. Akon) - Kardinal Offishall 6. We're Here for a Good Time (Not a Long Time) - Trooper 7. Shut Up and Let Me Go - The Ting Tings 8. Cry for You (USA Radio Edit) - September 9. Waterloo (English Version) - ABBA 10. Call on Me (Eric Prydz vs. Retarded Funk Remix) - Eric Prydz 11. Just What I Needed - The Cars 12. Disturbia - Rihanna I need more songs - but I have a hard time finding the exact right ones...any tips would be great.
Monday, August 18, 2008
After an hour and a half with me my Dad changed places with my boyfriend Ian, who drove by to meet us. I didn't take any pictures of the biggest hills, I guess I was too busy just trying to either make it up or run down as fast as I could! A few notes about this first really long run:
-total time: 3:02:19 -Ate a lot of pizza the night before (veggie) & 2 packages of instant oatmeal 3 hours before the run -I drank a total of 2 litres of water mixed with gatorade (1/2 a scoop per 500 mL) and ate 3 Clif Shot Bloks during the run -I did not run out of energy, but my legs , feet, & hip joints became very sore and tired by around mile 13 -No stomach issues during the run -I TOTALLY crashed (mentally) about 2-3 hours after the run and needed to eat a date square to get myself functioning again -I had some GI issues later in the day
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Wrapped up the week with a 5K race back in Greater Vancouver (Ladner to be precise, which is part of Delta I think). I was fighting a head cold so I almost flaked out - Ian stayed home and slept in even though he was registered.
Happily all the 5K finishers got medals. I came in 11th overall and 5th among the ladies. My official chip time was 27:25. First time I had the Garmin for a race, big help to see real time info on pace. I think I can still improve, but I need to do more speed training. Back to the track on Tuesday I think....
Just a little housekeeping...I seem to have lost track of my weeks at some point so I have gone from Week 7 to Week 9. Think I'm on track now.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
"...an outdoor treasure-hunting game in which the participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers (called "geocaches" or "caches") anywhere in the world."
So off my Dad & I went to find our first caches in the idyllic seaside community of North Saanich on Vancouver Island . We were thrilled to find the first 2 in a series called the "String of Pearls" caches all located at secluded little beaches around the peninsula.
Later that evening, back in Vancouver, IB followed me on his bike as I went my the longest run since the marathon in May (14 miles). IB wore the Garmin and fed me stats on distance, pace, and heart rate only as I demanded them.
Most of the way I found it better not to know how far I had left to go. It was a bit rough. I felt worse and worse until I was basically sobbing uncontrollably the last 200m or so. Not totally sure why - but I haven't ruled out hormones. I did have an audience. Don't think the tears would have flowed as freely had I been alone.
Anyway, I survived and managed to keep a 10:43 average pace. IB says I need to push myself more if I'm going to meet my time goals but I'm thinking it might be easier just to change the time goals.....
This Week's Training:
Yasso 800s - 4 x 800m with 400m jogs between
7 mi / 11K Easy (9:45 /mi)
7 mi / 11K Pace (9:41 /mi Pace)
14 mi / 23K LSD (10:43/mi Pace)
Monday, July 21, 2008
At about 7:50am a rather intimate group of 24 women started assembling at the start line on the pebble path at Spanish Banks. Wearing my lucky number '3' on my race bib -I was feeling especially optimistic about achieving my 25 minute time goal .
At exactly 8am the horn signalled the start and we were off. Felt good, felt strong, looked like a winner - then at about 8:07am I came to the unfortunate realization that there were NO kilometer markers of any kind. This was not a happy surprise. Not in possession of an electronic pace-management device I did my best to keep a quick but sustainable tempo...
We were told there was only one water stop, at the 2.5K mark (which was also the turn-around point for the out-and back course). Imagine my surprise when I arrived at said water stop in roughly 10 minutes. Right about here is where I started feeling like the pace might not actually be so sustainable. So, I took a short breather of walking and then jogging, and tried to get rid of the sick feeling in my gut. I then set my sights on a lady with the pink top and a bouncing, brown pony-tail about 500m ahead and decided to try to "pick her off"...Almost caught her but then slowed down again (or she sped up) - and I slipped back in the pack.
The worst was yet to come however. I knew that the start and finish where at the exact same spot. I also knew that we had to run a little bit past the finish and then come back after one final turn around. What I didn't realize at all was how far past. Just when I thought I was on pace for a 25 minute finish, I looked up and saw fellow racers running WAY the hell up ahead and around the bend. Sick feeling came back.
Ok, so needless to say I did eventually finish, although not in 25 minutes or less. I DID, however, get my first ever age group win (first out of three in my division) and finished 12th overall (out of only 24 mind you)....in 27:05. Will try again - stay tuned!
This Week's Training:
50 min. walking
Yasso 800s - 4 x 800m with 400m jogs between
Biking 20 min
9 mi / 14K (11:30 / 7:30 Pace) - BUT there were BIG HILLS!
1 1/2 hours walking
Grouse Grind in 1 hr. 25 min.
30 minutes biking
5K Race - 27:05, 1st in Division!
4 hours walking (and Shopping)
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Monday, July 7, 2008
Met girlfriend JC for lunch in Soho, spent about 4 hours walking around. Met a few friends in Bryant Park for an outdoor film screening, but we were rained out before it even got started and went to rooftop bar at Metro Hotel instead.
Approx. 2 1/2 hour walking today. Did the 6 mile loop in Central park in just over an hour. Found it very challenging (hilly, hot & humid) - but quite interesting and different from my typical routes in Vancouver. Met a couple of girlfriends for lunch in Midtown. Treked up to Harlem to meet another gf and new baby, and checked out the Highline exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York. Met friends B & T for dinner at Regional (Italian in UWS @ Bwy & W.99th).
Approx. 2 hours walking. Did 30 minute run including one lap of the Resevoir. Took a day off from visiting and touristing. Went to see "Mongol" at the Lincoln Plaza Cinemas.
Approx. 3 1/2 hours walking. Did a 30 minute run in Central Park. Spent a few hours at the Metropolitain Museum of Art, including the Jeff Koons exhibit on the roof. Met my former coworkers at old office & went for Happy Hour, then went for dinner with old friend SR at a Greek place in Tribeca on Franklin Street. Saw World Trade Site, it has changed a little.
Went for breakfast in UES at the Tramway Diner, E.60th @ 2nd Ave. Headed up to the Bronx to catch a game at Yankee Stadium (Red Sox). AMAZING seats in lower bowl near 1st baseline. Left after 7th inning rain delay. Never did find out who won (Doesn't matter).
What was supposed to be a lovely last day in New York among girlfriends turned into mere survival. Checked into rehab, then somehow made it to the airport for a long flight home.
Felt human again, but I had to concede a missed long run this week. No way, no how - nothing doing.
Back to the training schedule Monday...
Monday, June 30, 2008
I started hill training in earnest this week, although instead of running hills I was walking straight up a mountainside (view from the top, above). I'm sure it doesn't translate perfectly. In any case, IB & I did the "Grouse Grind" here in Vancouver, which is described on the park's website as:
People here in Vancouver use this trail as a kind of extreme stairclimber and you can even get a timing chip that automatically keeps track of your times so you can see your improvement over the summer. The nice thing is it takes less than 30 min. to drive to the mountain from downtown and there is a nice patio on top where you can have a drink and some food after you're done. You also get a nice view and an exciting ride down on the gondola.
Sunday I squeezed in my weekly long run, only 6 miles, before flying out to New York City for a week. It was a gorgeous morning, I've included some snapshots taken on the run...there were more but Blogger wasn't letting me upload them :(