Monday, February 25, 2008

Vancouver Marathon Training - Week 8

I felt like I kind of turned a corner this week after increasing my weekly mileage to 59 km (37 mi) /week. But then I checked my math and realized it was actually 47 KM (29 mi). Oh well, still not bad. On the negative side, I'm really annoyed at another week of long hours at the office. If they didn't pay me I wouldn't go. Anyway, despite my employer doing everything possible to derail my training I came through and got all my runs in. So poo on them! Also, I entered the 2008 ING NYC Marathon lottery today which is super exciting. I didn't get in last year so I know I should come up with a Plan B. Last year's Plan B was awesome. I went to Amsterdam and combined the marathon with a nice 10 day Netherlands extravaganza. So, for my backup fall marathon I am considering (in order) Berlin, Honolulu, Marine Corps (Washington, DC), Chicago, or Philadelphia. Anyone else out there running one of those? Since I'm super-anal and am in 'planning ahead mode' this week I also booked a B & B in Sechelt for the April Fool's Run Half Marathon in Gibsons, BC - which is up the Sunshine Coast and only accessible by Ferry. Mental Note: I really need a more portable, skinny digital camera so I can document what I see along the way. There have been some priceless photo ops. It would be nice to have more pics up here I think. Monday-Rest Tuesday-6K Wednesday-6K Thursday-Rest Meant to go today but didn't for a number of reasons which I won't bore you with. Friday-11K - 1:01 The extra day of rest helped a lot. The legs felt springy and fresh and I was able to keep a steady pace. Saturday-Rest Went into the office today :( Needless to say, felt sorry for myself . But I got to see the Canucks beat the crap out of the Red Wings at GM Place later in the evening so that almost made up for it. I also got carded which was awesome. I'm 34! Sunday - 24K - 2:47:57 Gorgeous-sunny-warm spring-like afternoon run. I THOUGHT I'd avoid some of the stroller-pushing crowd by running over the Burrard Bridge to UBC and back instead of going the Stanley Park way. But no. There were still tons of those super annoying double-wide things carrying 5-year olds (yes, this is a pet peeve of mine). WTF? One of these days your kid is going to have to walk and you'll wonder why his underdeveloped legs won't carry his weight. I'd like to stop and rant - but I have places to go so I just give them the stink eye as I sqeeze by on the 3 inches of free space left. I know I sound shrill right now, but I did enjoy my run for the most part, especially the running in short sleeves. AND it was a special treat to have my sister, TM, meet me to run the last 30 minutes. It's great at the end of a long run to have the distraction of looking for someone and then getting to chat as you finish. I have been making my habit to run as fast as possible the last 100 or so metres and I think I am getting better at it. I hope to put this trick to practice when I run my first race of the year on March 9th...Look out! Haha!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Vancouver Marathon Training - Week 7

Another super busy week with lots of overtime. My enthusiasm is a bit dampened lately but I am trying my best to stay the course through this difficult period. Which means I am happy to at least get in 3 runs (including the most important long run). The next couple of weeks will be at least as busy so I have to try to stay motivated... Tuesday - 6K Lunch Hour Run + Clinic Run (3/2 x 6) The Tuesday night clinic was fabulous - as usual. This time I somehow ended up leading the group, while the other Run Leaders spread themselves among the pack. Wednesday - 11K Night Time CHALLENGING HILLS Run Had to do this one in the dark because of my busy work schedule these days so decided to stick to well lit, busier streets. This led me to run over the Burrard Street bridge, taking me out of my familiar downtown 'hood and into the more suburban areas of Kitsilano. It was nice to run on streets lined with cute little houses with front lawns and porches lit with mini-lights. Lots of cozy looking $1 million cottages. The run was primarily uphill the first half then downhill back. I was happy to be done. Thursday - Rest Too sore from yesterday Friday - Rest Ran out of time Saturday - 19k Long Run - Pemberton Valley A fantastic sunny day on a nice, nearly bare road. I ran alongside some very scenic farms and meadows and the traffic was minimal. I was a bit intimidated by the distance to start, but once I started focusing on one object in the distance at a time it seemed more manageable. I had dropped a water bottle at the turnaround point earlier - so I had a very specifc target and once I turned back toward home I felt much better about things. About 5K from the finish another lone runner crossed the street and ran toward me and I was quite astonished to see my beloved "IB" out to meet me! We ran it in together (with a few walk breaks) and I was very grateful have a buddy! Sunday - Cross Training -Big walk up the mountain trail with the dog. Thought about getting in my missing 6K run today but my right knee was sore so thought better of it. Better safe than sorry...Iced it and watched TV instead. The walk was enough.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Vancouver Marathon Training - Week 6

This week was a big success...I managed to get all my scheduled runs in! I should mention for those who are interested, I am following Hal Higdon's Novice I marathon program - whcih is 18 weeks. Only 12 to go until the big day! Happily every week that goes by I get more daylight hours to get those longer runs in. It's not getting warmer yet, but spring can't be too far off...

Monday - Rest

Tuesday - 5K (untimed) + 3 min run/2 min walk x 7 with the clinic - Seawall
Fun / funny headlamp running on the seawall in the dark. Very refreshing to be able to see and avoid huge puddles. Most of the path is well lit but there's one stretch that is super dark right along the beach...I even saw one other dorky runner with a headlamp. I waved but was not acknowleged. Felt even dorkier.

Met a couple of supercool ladies at the clinic...One was just starting up running for the first time and seemed to think I knew my stuff which is funny. The other one was a single mom who did the clinic last year and lost 18 lbs. during the 13 weeks! Apparently the Tuesday night clinic is one of the only opportunities she gets for adult conversation - so she seems to appreciate it a lot.

Wednesday - 10K - Bridges (HILLS) - Lost track of time
Super cold and windy and was really stupid and wore a light hoodie with a very open neck. I probably deserved to get pneumonia. Ten minutes into the run I was SERIOUSLY contemplating stopping in my tracks and going home. Such a fine thread of will kept me going. I persevered and ran over the Burrard Bridge once and the Cambie Bridge twice. Felt good after and ate a celebratory, super greasy fried egg and cheese sandwich. Yum!

Thursday - Rest
I meant to run 5K today but I was in a bad mood so put it off till morning.

Friday - Rest
Again - I meant to run in the morning but I slept in.

Saturday - 5K (the same 5K I put off the last 2 days) - Pemberton Snow Run w/ Safety Patrol
My mom followed me in my car as I ran this one on a slushy rural road.
She insisted...Something about getting raped and beaten and left for dead in a ditch...blah, blah, blah...Anyway, I humoured her and it turned out to be kind of fun.
She took some good pics for posterity (and my blog).

Sunday - Cross Training - Big Uphill Walk with my Dog

That was a decent workout...We marched up a mountain road in the snow and I almost broke a sweat despite the freezing temperature. Dog was super wiped out the rest of the day. Mission accomplished!

Sunday - 11K - Seawall Run - 58:30

I took a different approach to my "long" run this week by doing intervals of 3 minutes fast and 1 minute slow for the entire duration. It helped make things a bit more interesting...Something to focus on. Plus I was listening to Phedippidations number 133 all about "Pushing Past Exhaustion"...Steve suggested focusing on a family member and running as if their life depended on it. Totally worked. No aches or pains at all today.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Vancouver Marathon Training - Week 5

Due to ice and snow this week was a bit compressed as I didn't feel comfortable risking a fall. The idea was to do all 4 runs between Thursday and Sunday, and sadly I only managed three. I did, however, use my lunch hour on Tuesday to buy a pair of Yak Trax - which I highly recommend to make your runners nonslip wonders.... Monday - Rest Tuesday - Sun Run InTraining Clinic - 2 minutes/walk 2 minutes 7 times After a heated debate among the Run Leaders we decided to take the Learn to Run group out to a field near the community center and jog around it on the snow rather than attempt the icy seawall path. Seemed like a good compromise, the troops were stoic and nobody fell or twisted anything. My headlamp was a hit. It felt a bit weird to be in the position of (so-called-) Leader after having been a Learn to Run participant myself this time last year. Luckily there are some more experienced types to take charge. Thursday - 5K - Lunchtime Run - 26:03 A few days off to let the ice melt and I'm suddenly the most awkward looking runner in the universe. The running wasn't the issue - in fact the ankles and knees felt great after having the rest. I did suffer from a number of unfortunate apparel problems. Most notably, the little runnning pouch that holds all my necessities came unbuckled twice and then had to be readjusted constantly. It kept riding up on me and pulling the bottom of my shirt with it. Not the most desirable effect on a cold & windy day. Found myself near the end of the run wondering where the time had gone - so the wardrobe malfunctions helped pass the time at least. Note to Self: In a few short months I won't be able to hide under 10 layers of thermal gear. Friday - 10K- Afterwork Run at Sunset- 56:23 I'm really noticing the days get longer as I am doing more evening runs these days. It's so great to have the ability to leave work at 4pm and still get in a run IN DAYLIGHT. Awesome. No water in any form fell from the sky which one must be grateful for this time of year in THIS city in particular. Saturday - Walking (approx. 5K FAST - not consecutively) Busy. Lots of errands on foot downtown. Better than nothing although I did want to get a run in. Sunday - 16K - Stanley Park Seawall - 1:47:49 Longest run so far since re-starting marathon training 4 weeks ago. Felt pretty good for about half the distance and at the turn-around started to notice the old aches in the hips, knees, and ankles. Nothing severe, just the joints reminding me they're there. I remember this from last summer's training. I am pretty sure I need new shoes - tho I haven't kept track of how far I've run on the current ones. I found popping a couple of advils before the run helped a lot last year as well as religiously taking a 10 minute ice bath after each long run and icing my knees and ankles liberally throughout the week. Tried the ice bath once I got home but couldn't do it. Sat there for like 30 seconds and then asked myself "Why am I doing this?" and got up and had a hot shower. Yes. Marathon training in the winter is completely different than the summer experience. I've been trying out a different fueling strategy lately...Instead of taking Gatorade and Powerbar gels on long runs I'm just taking plain water and energy chews like Shot Bloks or Sharkies. So far so good, altho I did get a bit tired after 10K