Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Vancouver Marathon Training Week 18-B

Tuesday - 5K (3 mi) After work easy run with IB in beautiful sunny weather - although it was mighty windy. The cold wind kept the riffraff off the seawall though. Only serious runners braved it. Weather forecast for Sunday is now calling for a very reasonable 14C (57F) and partly cloudy (thank god). Noticing that with the decreased running I've been less hungry - which is a relief because hopefully that means I won't pack on too many extra L-B's during the taper period.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Vancouver Marathon Training Week 18-A

Since this is Race Week I've decided to post daily so I feel like I have some company while I'm FREAKING OUT. Ok, maybe I'm being a bit dramatic. I am nervous though... Monday - REST Did not have a good night's sleep. Went to bed around 11:30, woke up at 2:30 wide awake and watched half of "Forrest Gump"...Turns out it IS a running movie...Did not go back to bed until 5:30 and still had to get up for work (ugh!). Did do some good stretching while I was up - so it wasn't a complete waste. Not sure what the weather is going to do on Sunday...right now the forecast is for a low of 6C (43 F) and a high of 17C (66 F) with sun and a 5K/hr (3 mi/hr) wind. That's not good. I have not been running in warm weather. Although it's better than rain.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Vancouver Marathon Training - Week 17 - TAPERING!!

Week One of my two-week taper period. The race last Sunday was a good way to transition from the intense training period to this time of rest and recovery. My goal for this week was to concentrate on stretching, getting enough sleep, eating well, and trying to keep my schedule as free as possible for the next two weeks.

That means saying 'no' a lot.

Monday - Rest
Got lots of inspiration from following Steve Runner of Phedippidations online as he made his way to the finish line at the 112th Boston Marathon. I also found some video highlights from the race (before, during, and after) which were super exciting.

Tuesday-6K (4 mi)
Resting HR: 66 b.p.m.
Ran 3K to the video store to rent "Chariots of Fire". It was out. Rented "Big Love: Disc 4" instead. Ran home. Stretched lots and watched 2 episodes.


Thursday-10K (6 mi)
Decided I should familiarize myself more with the marathon route and started my 10K run today at the start line. Found a couple of surprises along the way in the form of a respectable sized hill I hadn't anticipated and my good friend S walking home from work. Walked with her for a bit before continuing on my way. As for the hills, I'm wondering if its better to be blissfully unaware at this stage....since I can't really improve my fitness now anyway.

Friday-5K (3 mi) - MISSED
Forgot to get up early enough to go in the morning, brought my stuff to work so I could run at lunch and then realized I had lunch plans already. Whoops.

Saturday-13K (8 mi)
Gorgeous Pemberton Valley run. Didn't see any other runners, but I did meet someone on horseback. My running friend S (see Thursday) accompanied me for about 3K then ran back to hang at the "Pony Espresso" (pictured, right).

It turned out to be way too hot and sunny to be wearing pants and no sunscreen. Made it back to the Pony for lunch all sweaty and dripping (gross!!)....

Sunday-Planned Cross-Training - Rest
Did not do much in the way of excercise today, except some good stretching.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Vancouver Marathon Training - Week 16

Sun Run Week and suddenly EVERYONE is a runner in this city! The number of registrants blew last year's record of 54,000+ out of the water with over 59,000!! It's quite the spectacle...

As far as training goes, I guess this is the beginning of the taper period. The mileage has dropped a lot, although I'm trying to keep the intensity level high for just one more week.

How do I feel 3 weeks out from the Marathon? A little nervous. Can't shake the feeling that I'm not prepared. Ok, a lot nervous.

Spent some of my rest time downloading iTunes for my training runs.

Tune-age Action Faves:
1. Tell Me Why (Radio Edit) - Supermode
2. Seven Day Fool - Jully Black
3. Totally Revamped (More Than a Feeling) - Peter Presta Totally Hooked Remix
4. Fasterkill Pussycat - Paul Oakenfold featuring Britney Murphy
5. Le Disko - Shiny Toy Guns

TUESDAY - Approximately 6K (3 mi)
Tonight's was the LAST Sun Run InTraining Clinic. Everyone got their race bibs and T-shirts for Sunday.

I got a size small and was shocked at how big it was. It's really long and unattractively shaped. I think it's destined for the donation bag.

I was supposed to run today and I didn't. Bad me.

THURSDAY - 19K (11 mi)
Changed this week's long run from Saturday to Thursday to accomodate the Sun Run. Completed another speed training session the last half of the run - which is supposed to help me 'cram' for the marathon (see Week 15) . Workout consisted of 6 repeats of 4/2 intervals.

I did have another racoon sighting - but not as scary as last time. This little guy appeared to be out for HIS morning jog . He didn't make eye contact - and seemed to be on his way somewhere. He's probably training for the Sun Run like half the city.

FRIDAY - 13K (8 mi)
Took it pretty easy (no speed training). Last one before the Sun Run, which I expect will be my last HARD workout before the marathon...

I did go for an hour long, easy hike today - but it's pushing it to call that cross-training I suspect...

SUNDAY - 10K (6 mi) - Vancouver Sun Run!!! OFFICIAL TIME - 55:18
Was not able to achieve my goal time of 53:00 (5 minutes faster than last year) - which I attribute mostly to the extreme crowd factor. I wish people would be more honest when they estimate their finish times because there were people in the 50:00-58:00 wave that have clearly never run in their lives. Those people were walking almost the whole way and blocking the way. Not cool. Oh well, I should be pleased I set a P.R.

Something to look into: major nerves for some reason causing sick stomach - especially the last kilometer. Not sure how to fix that.

Total Distance Required: 48 km (30 mi)
Total Distance Completed: 48 km (30 mi)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Vancouver Marathon Training - Week 15

The BMO Vancouver International Marathon is - as I write this -just over 3 weeks away! Listened to Endurance Planet's April 8th Episode called: "You Asked the Coach: Cramming for a Race?" On the topic of "cramming" the coach, Troy Jacobsen, basically says, "Yes you can, but be careful". The idea is you can benefit a lot with some intensive training for 3-4 weeks before your race even if you have been falling behind in your workouts. He suggests a couple of interval workouts a week and a week of taking it easy before race day. He also mentions that you should incorporate this strategy no more once a year in order to avoid injuries. So, I think I'll follow his advice... MONDAY - REST Man are my legs sore! Must have been the half marathon I ate on Sunday.... TUESDAY - 8K (5 mi) Tonight's was the SECOND TO LAST Sun Run InTraining Clinic and the participants ran for 50 minutes straight! I was feeling the after-effects from Sunday's hilly race. Starting to regret it a bit. WEDNESDAY - Rest Resting Heart Rate: 72 bpm Went online today and found some tips for easing muscle pain. Wore stick-on heating pads under my pants all day to help with the muscle aches since Sunday's race. The package said no one will know you have them on, but the smell gave me away (think: walking medicine cabinet). Went to see a special screening of "Spirit of the Marathon" with a bunch of girlfriends. It was AWESOME and very inspiring. I highly recommend seeing it if you get the opportunity. Makes me want to run Chicago! THURSDAY - 16K (10 mi) Pace: 6:15 min/km (10:00 min/mi) After warming up for about 10 minutes I ran fast 4 minutes then slow 2 minutes and repeated this 6 times. After that I continued the rest of my run at a comfortable pace.The fast parts were pretty hard, but I don't really know how fast I'm supposed to go. A heart rate monitor would be good. Had an encounter with a racoon. He was crouching in the bushes in Stanley Park right off the path and looking menacing. I ran faster and got by him. FRIDAY- 8K (5 mi) Resting Heart Rate: 63 bpm This was SUPPOSED to be speed training workout number two, however, after waking up at 3 from a bad dream involving aggressive miniature racooons I had to sleep in. AND I decided to get out of town early rather than doing the run after work. Oh well, win some lose some... SATURDAY - CROSS-TRAINING Did lots of work around the house including cleaning up outside. That should count for something I think. SUNDAY - 32K (20 mi) - 3:55 Pace: 7:58 min/km (11:00 min/mi) Well, I'm not super happy with that time but the main thing is - I did it. I ran 32K (20 mi) and I felt pretty good at the end. I'm not suggesting I was ready to climb mountains afterwards, but I was able to run a bit faster at the end and I was not overly uncomfortable at any point. I am feeling a bit more confident about the marathon now - although I'm still not sure how realistic my goal time of 4:15 is. WEEK 15 SUMMARY Total Distance Required: 64 km (40 mi) Total Distance Completed: 56 km (35 mi)

Monday, April 7, 2008

Vancouver Marathon Training - Week 14 - RACE WEEK!

I started the week still feeling pretty confident about Sunday's Half-Marathon (my first!) after a successfully completed 29K training run last week.

Confidence turned to nervousness and stress when I had a lackluster run on Wednesday. Earlier that day I also found out on that a senior member of my office would be running the same little, out-of-town, out-of-the-way half-marathon What are the odds?!? And - caught off guard - I divulged that my goal was to do it in "around two hours".


Monday-Rest / Stressful Shopping Experience
Very well deserved rest day. Did I mention I ran 29K yesterday? Rest was slightly compromised by the fact that for the second straight time I had terrible service at the DENMAN RUNNING ROOM. I hate that despite the fact that the unpleasant experiences are piling up I still feel compelled to shop there. Left without buying anything due to frustration.

Tuesday - 8K - Night Time Run
I missed the Running Clinic - sadly - due to a hectic work schedule, but was able to get out later in the evening.

Not bad - I ran a fairly hilly route in about 46 minutes, which works out to a 5:45 pace. I think I could have done it a bit faster, but I was listening to the Canucks play an abysmal, possibly season-ending game against the Avs on the radio and I think it affected my performance.

Wednesday - 14K - Work to Home Run
Was a bit too gung ho and forgot my own little cardinal rule to follow hard days with easy days. Tried to do the same pace as yesterday which, predictably, blew up in my face. My legs got tired, my feet and knees hurt, and I ran out of steam. It didn't help that I only at a salad and a litttle bread for lunch and a measly granola bar before heading out at 7:30pm. Dumb. Ended up walking quite a few minutes throughout the run.

Thursday - 8K - After Work Run
Today I decided to make this an EASY run. The one thing I'm noticing is a lot of tightness in my calves. I actually had to stretch them mid-run. Wonder why...?

Friday - Rest
Pre- pre-race rest day. I should be nice and fresh Sunday.

Saturday - Rest
Carbo loading and travel to the Sunshine Coast. Not an apt name unless sarcasm was the intention. Rain in the forecast...

Sunday - 21.1K - 2:00:57 (April Fool's Half Marathon)
My goal was to run this race in 2:00:00 or less.....which was, of course, solidified when I stupidly shared my intentions with coworkers, friends, and family.

Why am I such a big mouth?

The first 9 miles I was right on track. There was a pretty big hill at mile 3 but I somehow managed to make up time running down the other side. Mile 10 however, was a different story. Huge hill - about a mile long.
Made up a lot of time running fast on the downhill parts, but the last couple of miles had a slight uphill slope again and it was all I could do to keep pace.

On the plus side, since the event was very small (about 600 runners) I got some special attention from the DJ/Announcer guy when I came into the finish area. There was lots cheering the last 200 m or so which helped fuel the final sprint.

Week 14 Summary
Total KM Required: 53 km
Total KM Completed: 51.1 km