Archive for the ‘Training’ Category

Week 3 & 4: Travel, Snow and Cougars

In Pushing Limits, Training on January 31, 2012 at 10:25 pm

Week 4 has just finished and is now in the books. I neglected to re-cap on week 3 at the end of week only because week 4 was so tough to squeeze in anything: eat, sleep,run, work, work some more then repeat. At times it seemed like the repeat emphasis was on work.

During week 3, my little town of Mission received a blanket of snow that would not go away thus forcing me inside to the treadmill. At the same time our neighborhood received a cougar scare believe it or not so we became very diligent about keeping the kids inside and of course not running in the trails. I plodded along for the entire week on the treadmill getting in two outdoor runs near the end of the week. In total I reached my weekly sub- goal of 40 miles. Full disclosure I was 0.12 miles short of 40 but back in week 1, I was over my target so it kept me on pace.

Week 4, I was going to be traveling all week and in anticipation of a busy work schedule resigned myself to only bringing shorts and short sleeve technical shirts. I knew it would be heavy emphasis on work and not a lot of alone time to explore the city by foot. The week started well enough, I ran early Monday and later Monday for a rare double. In between was mostly travel driving up to Kamloops and picking up my team from the airport. Tuesday and Wednesday were tough. I started the days early and ran on the treadmill then worked some pretty long hours before grabbing some dinner and collapsing to bed. Thursday the intention was there but the body just said ‘No mas!’. Things weren’t going well at this installation. Frustration was at an all time high which you would think would make me want to run! Right?

Maybe it homesickness, maybe it was the talk on the phone with my wife about ultras or maybe it was the frustration of work but for whatever reason I woke up at 2 am on Thursday morning and started re-checking my work on the laptop. By the time 5 am rolled around I was exhausted but had to go to work.

Friday was an extra day on site. I had to check into a different hotel which I selected based solely on their fitness room. Feeling a little less burdened as this was my final day on site and I would just be tying up loose ends I ran. My intent was to go as long as I could. I knew I was behind for the week with a target of 45 miles so I wanted to make this a good one. All I had in me was 6 miles!

As it turned out that was my last run of the week, so I ended my week with 22 miles total. If I don’t run another step in January, this being the 31st, I will end the month with 129 miles. Not bad but I leave it on a low note. I’m trying! I’m really trying but I just have to re-assess.

My short term goal was 200 miles by February 5th. If I ran 45 last week I would be 49 miles from target. But I didn’t so now I’m 71 miles from target! It’s a long year and the big goal is still 2500 miles. I could push it, risk injury and get 71 over the next week or I could maintain the weekly target of 50 miles or I could sit on the couch until the rain goes away.



Week 2: Snow

In Training on January 20, 2012 at 7:07 am

It’s all in the execution! With week 2 of 2012 now in the books I covered 35 miles as planned but it was a stretch. Two days left in the week saw snow in my hometown for the first time this winter. The first night saw about 5″ of snow which is odd for the west coast which usually sees rain from November to February. What is more usual is the snow never melted and it just kept snowing. We are now on our third day of snow.
From a runner’s perspective snow always presents a bit of a challenge.
The snow budget in my city is next to nil. Like I said it rains from November to February.
I’ve been to cities that have a great snow budget. It’s probably one of the only redeeming qualities of Edmonton. I can run freshly plowed sidewalks for miles in Edmonton. In Mission I can’t see sidewalks and to run the streets means to share single tracks with the cars who have never heard of the term “snow tires”. Who ever coined the term “all season tires” must have lived in California.

So I finished up the week on the treadmill. I’m one of those fortunate enough to own his own. It’s clunky, it’s loud and best of all it was free a hand me down from my mother’s fitness resolution some 15 years ago. So when they down sized homes 8 years ago I adopted a treadmill.

Its a love-hate relationship. I love to run but I hate to run on the treadmill. I love the fact that when the weather gets ugly the treadmill is there for me. Yes, I realize this relationship sounds abusive and if the thing had feelings it would have left me long ago. But it has to be really bad in order for me to want to run in place on top of a rubberized moving platform. So there I was 7 miles on Saturday and 6 1/2 on Sunday, finishing the week with 35 miles exactly my target goal!
This week will be a stretch a quick trip to Edmonton where it’s -27C right now. I will be back tomorrow night. A one day trip to Kelowna and then home for two days. The forecast for home is snow all week. The goal for this week is 40 miles. I’m going to take it one day at a time because just like the weather things may change.

Running a Mile High

In Thought of the Day, Training on January 11, 2012 at 6:00 am

I was in Denver the other day. Business travel is a necessary evil for me. On the bright side I get to run in different places. On this trip I had planned to run inside on the treadmill, the dreadmill as I like to call it. Denver in the winter is supposed to be cold, snowy and just plain ugly. Imagine my surprise when the weather was sunny, no snow and in the low 50s. My business meeting ended early for the day giving me the opportunity to run the streets of Denver. But I had no Garmin! I purposely left it at home on the charger because I had planned a treadmill run. Could I actually run without it? Could I run naked? Or so it felt as I stepped out the door of the hotel.
Isn’t it strange how running without something you are so accustomed to, that has become so apart of your lifestyle can make make you feel naked without it? I haven’t run without a recording device like a Nike+ or a Garmin in such a long time, probably 4 years. This run would stretch my comfort zone as I would soon find out.
The run started out from the hotel and I took a quick left. The sun was beginning to set so the once balmy short sleeve temperatures were becoming a thing of the past. I crossed the road as sidewalks that see no direct sun still had the remnants of last Saturday’s snowfall. Running while traveling is both adventurous and scary especially for the directionally challenged like me. My plan was to run for 5 miles. Without a GPS I was going to have to estimate. After a right turn I ran for another 10 minutes I am guessing was a mile and another right turn. I was going to run a big square. So what I thought was around 2 miles I headed back for the hotel. Running along the side of a highway I felt like Dean Karnazes running for a purpose rather than the experience. Traffic roared by me and my thoughts were being drowned out by the tires on pavement rolling past me. I realized that the sun had now set and I was running in complete darkness on the edge of a highway. The temperature had now dropped to what I suspect was freezing when I heard a ding, my cellphone. It was telling me that the battery was now dead. Another bad decision and I took the on ramp to the Interstate instead of the off ramp back to the hotel. So there I was shorts, t-shirt, dead cellphone and running on the Interstate. How stupid is that. I could have turned around but by now the wind was starting to kick up and to face traffic would have been like running in a sand storm. I ran for another quarter mile to the next exit which would get me off I-70 and take me back to the hotel. By now my hands were freezing with an ache in my wrists, the early onset of hypothermia. I rounded the final corner with the driveway leading back to the hotel. I stopped the timer on my stopwatch and the time read 48:15. I’m guessing the run was about 5 miles and I could probably validate that on but I won’t. To me it felt like 5 and that’s good enough.
In hindsight the treadmill would have been the safer bet and probably more comfortable. But it’s not about comfort is it? It’s about living outside that comfort zone, running naked!

The journey of a thousand miles . . .

In Training on January 11, 2012 at 5:30 am

I believe you can do anything if you put your mind to it. I believe that you can push the envelope of human physiology as an experiment of one. I believe in the 10% rule. The rules states that you shouldn’t increase your weekly mileage by more than 10%. The rule has also been used in terms of stretching the limits of your long run. I believe in the 10% rule but I also believe the limits can be stretched beyond 10%.
I’ve been a runner for 28 years now. I’ve had injuries that were both chronic and acute. I have done some dumb things in training. This may be the dumbest thing I am embarking on or it could prove to be of great benefit.
I am stretching the 10% rule. I am stretching it to about 50%. I have run the past 2 months averaging about 3 to 4 runs a week. My weekly volume has been about 20 miles. Last week I ran 32 miles. I’m not completely stupid, I plan to only run 35 this week and 40 the week after.
So far the feet are a little sore and the ankles a little achy but other than that I am good to go.

What could you do with 2,500 miles?

In Training on January 6, 2012 at 10:51 am

2500 miles in one year:
48.07 miles per week.
6.83 miles per day everyday

A podcast friend of mine finished off his 2011 running campaign with just over 2500 miles (I believe it was 2518 miles but don’t quote me). The effort was purely inspiring and I for one of many am always impressed by his fitness. What was impressive was, with 9 days left in the year he had 85 miles to break 2,500. He doubled his daily average for 9 straight days to seal the deal.

To run 2,500 miles in one year is daunting. To look at the number on in January is even more daunting. I don’t necessarily want to run 2,500 miles in one year. I love to run don’t get me wrong but 2,500 miles can be represented in many other ways.

2,500 miles is 416 hours and 40 minutes of running, that’s like 17 days 8 hours and 40 minutes of running based on a 10 minute per mile pace. That’s like Hmmm, well what else could I be doing with that time?

I could be watching every episode of first three seasons the Big Bang Theory end to end excluding commercials 12 ½ times.

Or about 116 games of major league sports whether its football, baseball, or basketball based on a 3 ½ hour game coverage. That’s about 2.2 games per week every week.

Or compose about 20,000 tweets plus update my blog, Facebook status and search for deals on Craigslist!

I guess my point is there are a lot of non-life force generating activities that I could be doing instead of running. Running is good for me. It creates “Flow”!

I think my “A” goal for this year is going to be 2000 miles. I will be happy with that. My “A+” goal will be 2500 miles. I’m going to break it down into achievable benchmarks to make I’m on track. I’m not going to simply divide by 12 and say this is the monthly goal. I am a believer in slow build to a peak period (periodization) a recovery period and start the cycle again.
My first benchmark is the first 5 weeks of 2012. My goal is 200 miles by February 5th. Five successive weeks of 5 mile increments: 30, 35, 40, 45, and 50. At that point I will re-assess.

Thought of the Day: Resolutions vs Goals

In Training on January 2, 2012 at 7:01 am

In 2012:
I am going to run more
I am going to lose weight
I am going to do more core work

These are resolutions, crappy resolutions. I think resolutions in general are crappy because they are soft, immeasurable and lack vision! I’m tired of hearing people say I’m going to run a 5k this year. Most of the time I will politely smile and say good for you and then switch topics. I feel that if I say ‘Which one?’ I would be calling him out. But I’m going to do it! I’m going to call someone out! This is my perceived dialogue.

Person: “I’m going to run a 5k this year!”
Me: “Good for you! Which one? Have you got a plan? I could help you! We could run together or I could be your accountability sponsor! This will be so cool! Let’s start right now!”

Maybe that’s what people want? Maybe they mention this in the hopes that I will, in fact call them out on it?

My wife has always accused me of being socially inept, that I don’t pick up on cues that people are trying to give me. This is partially true. I actually get the cues I just don’t act on them or don’t respond to them. Maybe it’s because I’m scared of coming on to strong, scaring people off. At times I forget what it’s like to run a mile for the very first time.

Or maybe I just see a resolution as passing thought, something ‘cool’ to say at the water cooler. Resolutions do not work! You have to have a dream. Make a goal, make it measurable, develop a plan, consult with somebody who knows how (I really don’t want to use the word expert), set a timeline and then get your ass out the door! No more of this resolution crap. Get it done! Make the dream a reality.

Good bye 2011

In Training on December 31, 2011 at 7:34 pm

Happy New Year! I for one am happy to see this 2011 go into the history books. it was a lackluster year. According to the Dailymile my 2011 total is only 788 miles which is my lowest in the last 5 years.

Year Total = 788 miles
Monthly average= 65 miles
Weekly average = 15 miles (I actually had 2 zero mileage weeks in October)

Most miles in one month = 101 (September)
Least miles in one month = 31 (November)

Fastest pace run 8:07/mile for a 0.55 mile run (Garmin died). For the record I ran a 3:29 marathon in October of 2009, that works out to 8:00/mile for 26.2 miles. Like I said it was a bad year!

Farthest run 20.02 miles (June 20) in Kelowna.

I ran two races
Run for Water Half Marathon 1:52 – 112th out of 508. I was pushing a running stroller with my daughter in it. This was probably the highlight of the running year.

Around the Lake give R take 30K Trail Race 3:23.05 – 34th out of 78

Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind!