Saturday, July 26, 2008

Been a While

I am currently on vacation so the opportunities to attend to my blog are few and far between.

With some input from Keith, I have changed my running philosophy for the short term and am focusing a little on long slow distance for the time being. Last weekend I did a 17 miler and this week my runs were 8, 10 and 20 miles - all at my long slow distance pace. There was one exception.

On Thursday night, I returned to the scene of the crime - the place where I started last Summer - the Downtown Dash in Corner Brook, NL. It is a 5K race. I didn't feel great during the run - too much food while visiting relatives on vacation - but managed to pull off an 18:55 which I am happy with. This placed me in 11th overall and 2nd in my age group (40 - 49). I would like to note that I was first in a few categories that were not reported on - first in the 180 pound plus category, first in the non-resident Newfoundlander category and first to cross the line without racing flats ;-)

If you have ever cared to look at my bio, you will have noticed that I was hoping to become competitive with my childhood friend in running a Marathon. I think that day is getting closer.

Friday, July 18, 2008

365 Days - Approximately

I came to the realization that it is about one year since I started running after taking several years off. My latest incarnation as a runner is much different. In the past I simply ran to keep in shape. While ultimately, that is the same reason I run today, I have incorporated races into the overall scheme of things which I must admit has enabled me to be a lot more focused on things.

Last year at about this time, I was preparing to go with my family to Newfoundland for a family vacation when my Father-In-Law Archie mentioned that there was a 5K race taking place and that he thought I should consider entering. While I hadn’t been running for a few years, he knew that I used to run and made mention of it to me. As it was a relatively short distance, I figured what the heck; I should be able to gut it out with little training. So I ran the race, finishing in a pretty pedestrian 21:24. I wasn’t sure, whether or not I was going to continue running in any great fashion, but posted some pictures of myself running the 5K to show my friend Keith who is a regular marathon runner – one good enough to perpetually qualify for the Boston Marathon. His reaction, and it is seared into my mind, was “pretty good time for a guy carrying two hams around his waist”. He then mentioned my continuing running and that we could do a marathon together. So we looked at a couple of options and he came to Nova Scotia, where I live, and ran a local marathon with me serving as my pacer and coach. I didn’t have a bad race either as with a distinct lack of training I ended up missing qualifying for Boston by 11 seconds. That said, given that lack of training, I really didn’t deserve to qualify. Since that race I have caught the bug and this year have run a couple of half marathons with an eye to building up to a return to the same marathon I ran last fall.

So since last year I think you could say I have changed my physique enough through running to say I am now carrying Cornish Hens around my waist as opposed to hams. So thanks Archie for getting me started by mentioning the 5K and thanks Keith for providing the focus to carry on, by mentioning the hams and supporting me in the marathon. Finally, thanks to my wife, Joanne, for taking care of the kids at time when I am either training or running races – without the support the running would not happen at all!!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Recovery and Tempo

After Tuesday's Intervals, I ran a nice easy recovery run on Wednesday - 6.25 miles at a 7:59 pace. It felt good to slow down and not push myself. To be truthful, I don't think I could have pushed myself even if I had wanted to, the intervals of the previous day ensured that.

I took yesterday off and went for a nice tempo run this morning. Seven miles in total including the warm up and cool down.

1 Mile @ 8:01 warm up
5 Miles @ 6:56
1 Mile @ 7:50 cool down

I must say that I am feeling like I am getting better. Running the Johnny Miles 1/2 in June while sick took more out of me than I thought it would. Note to self, it is ok to skip a race if you are not feeling well. This is a hard lesson for me as I feel I have lost a few weeks of training just getting over the cold I have had. As well, for those of you who follow this blog, my IT Band problem, which was flaring up a little, seems to be under control. I have been diligently stretching and while I can still feel it a little, the sensation is very faint.

Up until a month ago, I had been pretty diligent about doing abdominal exercises, however, since getting sick that all kind of got put aside. I have gotten back on the supplementary exercise bandwagon this week though. I am doing a little circuit with an exercise ball - squats, push-ups, dips, lunges, crunches, planks and a couple of more. I am hoping that if I can stay diligent about it this will help me out overall.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Never Ending Cold + Intervals

I haven't been posting much lately which is the result of a lack of training. The cold that I have been fighting continues to bother me. That said, I felt a bit better today so I went out for an interval session. Here is what I did this morning:

15 min warm up jog
1200 m
200 m Resting Interval
1000 m
200 m Resting Interval
800 m
200 m Resting Interval
600 m
200 m Resting Interval
400 m
10 min cool down jog

I initially felt sluggish - I guess that my lack of running is responsible - however, by the end of it I was feeling pretty good. It was nice to finally blow out some carbon.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Yoga for Runners

Something that I have found beneficial since struggling with an IT band injury is Yoga. I have been participating in a class for some time now. With summer upon us, however, my class is taking a hiatus. With that in mind, I found the video below to be quite good for runners. Check it out.

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