About Me

My photo
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Trying to reach my full potential as a masters runner

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

In a funk!

This is my first post in more than a week....I just haven't been feelin' it!

Last week was a tough one. I was on the verge of getting sick all week, but was somehow able to fight it off. However, it impacted my training and also my will to blog. :)

I managed to run 7k last Monday and do a strength workout Thursday morning, followed by a speed workout that afternoon. Other than that, nada, zip, rien!

And on top of not completing my runs for the week, my muscles ached all weekend as a result of my first strength training work in more than a year. In fact, walking down stairs was truly painful until Sunday night.

I really am getting old! :(

This is a new week and while I'm not any younger, I feel 100% better and ready to redo last week's plan. I already have 7k in the books and I'll be in the gym at 6am tomorrow to tackle those strength exercises again. Then it's 6.8k of speed work at the indoor track tomorrow night, followed by a rest day on Thursday.

Friday I'll do a different set of strength exercises in the morning and then run 8.5k at tempo pace in the afternoon. Saturday I'll run a total of 8k, with 3k of hill repeats inn the middle and cap off the week with a 22k long run on Sunday. Total for the week - 52.3k.

I just hope I can get out of bed for work next Monday!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

That's more like it!

My 19k run earlier this afternoon was much better than last week's 18k debacle...I guess sleeping in my own bed and not fighting off a cold/flu really does make a difference.

In addition, the sidewalks and bike/walking path along the Canal was free of ice and only had a few small puddles, so there was no need to climb snowbanks or leap over large pools of water to avoid getting soaked. And it was warmer today (+5C) and very little wind....it was a perfect day to run and it felt awesome being out there!

I started with 5k at a 5:05 minutes per kilometere pace, then upped it to a 5 even pace for 4k, followed by 3k at  a 4:55 pace, 2k at 4:50 per km and then 1k at 4:45. I was able to hit all my paces and maintain them, in fact I had to watch that I didn't run too fast. It was the complete opposite of last week when I struggled to reach my desired pace and maintain it. I felt strong throughout and could have run faster.

At the 15k mark I slowed to a 4:55 pace for 2k and then ran the last 2k at a 5:05 pace. I felt strong at the end of the run and could have run much longer. Time for the run - 1 hour, 34 minutes and 17 seconds.

More importantly today's result helped boost my confidence. It's encouraging to have such a strong run at the end of six consecutive days of running and the day after a 7k run that included 2k of hill repeats. Total mileage for the week - 52.2k.

This week Ian is going to incorporate some strength training exercises into my training plan to help make me a stronger runner. I'm interested in seeing how if this will help lower my race times and to see how sore I'll feel at the end of the week. I haven't done any strength training in about a year.

I also bought a new pair of indoor shoes as my old ones had more than 600k on them. Ian would like me to slowly transition into wearing racing flats for my races and using a lower profile shoe for training. So I abandoned my usual Nike Air Moto shoe for the Nike Lunar Max 2 shoe as it is a lower profile and should help encourage a more mid to front foot strike. I'm anxious to try out my new shoes...they're kind of cool looking too...black top with red around the sole....they just look fast! :)

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and have a great week.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Another tough long run

I don't know why, but today's 18k run was a killer!

Maybe it was because I was travelling for work this week, or because I was fighting off some cold or flu bug or that I didn't get enough sleep while I was out of town, maybe it was a combination of everything. Anyway, today's run was no fun.

The weather was nice so decided to I run outside. The plan called for me to run the first 4k at a 5:05/k pace and then to bump it up to a 4:50/k pace for 8k. And while the weather was warm, 2C, there was about a 20k north wind that I had to fight head-on for the first 10k. Plus I had to dodge and maneuver around some big puddles, often having to run on the snowbanks along my route to avoid the water.

Perhaps having to work so hard in those first 10 to 11k to maintain my pace while dealing with the wind and puddles contributed to the difficult of the run. All I know is that for the first 13k I was doing fine, then it was as if I hit a wall!

At the 12k mark, I increased my pace to 4:45/k for 3k, but could only maintain that pace for 2k. So I slowed to a 5:00 minutes per k pace for a kilometre, then tried to run a kilometre at 4:45, but could only manage a 4:50/k pace. Then it got really difficult because I had to run up a good sized hill that was about 300m long. All  I could manage was a 5:20/k pace, including walking about 50m.

I was supposed to run 2 of the last 3k at a 4:35/k pace, but by the 17k point I had not been able to do that. So I sucked it up, dug deep and ran my final kilometre in 4 minutes and 35 seconds. I was done!

Two tough long runs on consecutive weekends. I don't know what's going on, but it's not helping build my confidence.

I bailed on the 10k race I was planning to run yesterday, because I just wasn't feeling it. I'm glad I did. I hadn't entered the race, so bailing was easy. I'm entered in a 10k race April 10th and then I'm running a half marathon with my buddy Glen, May 1st in Waterloo.

My  goal is to run the 10k under 40 minutes. To do that, I'll need to get out of this funk and log some positive runs the next month. The half marathon will be a training run for me as I'm pacing Glen to a 1:40 goal time.

However, if my long runs keep sucking, Glen may have to pace me!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hectic week

Well this week has been interesting to say the least. Monday my throat was so sore I could barely talk and it hurt like crazy to eat or drink anything. Tuesday I was off to Newfoundland for work again and I'm still here. My throat is better, but still not 100% and I feel a cold coming on...can it get any worse for training?

Despite all the physical aliments and travel, I did manage an 8k run Tuesday evening on the treadmill in my hotel. Average pace of 4:56 per kilometre for a total of 39 minutes and 33 seconds. The entire run was done at a 1% incline.

And although I had to force myself to run, I felt a bit better afterward. However, yesterday I was supposed to do a speed workout, but just couldn't do it. I had a terrible night's sleep on Tuesday and had no energy, plus my throat was still killing me.

Despite a poor night's sleep again last night I forced myself to get the speed workout in after my work today.

After 1.2k at a 5:30 minutes per kilometre pace, I ran 2 x 400m at a 3:53/k pace, with a 30 second rest between each interval. That was followed by 2 x 800m at a 3:53/k pace with 45 seconds between each set. Then I ran 1k followed by 1.2k, both at 3:58/k with 1.5 minutes rest after the first interval and 2.5 minutes rest after the second one. The session finished with 1.6k at the original 3:53/k pace.

I was surprised at how easy the session was and how good I felt afterward given I feel as though I'm getting a head cold. There really are a lot of viruses going around and I seem to get a lot of them!

My buddy Steve says he never gets sick. He thinks I should gain weight, stop running and get out of shape..as he says, it works for him! :)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Great week!

It started last Saturday with an 8k run and ended with 17 kilometres yesterday - 8 straight days of running...a first for me!

This week's total of 53k was my highest since before the half marathon January 15th. I was surprised at how strong I felt during yesterday's long run and how great my legs feel today.

I ran inside on the treadmill because it was raining all day and the thought of slogging through the slush and puddles on the sidewalks and roads was not appealing. As much as I dislike the treadmill, there are advantages on days like yesterday.

Ian had the run structured for the pace to increase every 2k until the 10k mark when the paces slowed every 2k, with the slowest pace over the last 1k. The pace changes helped break up the monotony of the run and to make it even more interesting, I varied the incline every 500m or so from the 5k point onward, going from a 1% grade up to as high as 4%.

I started at a 5:10/pace, with the fastest pace being 4:50/k from the 8 to 10k points. The varying inclines really worked my legs, but considering the mileage I had racked up the previous 7 days, it wasn't a killer run and I felt much stronger at the end of the run than I had at the finish of my 15k run the previous Sunday.

I have to admit, when I first looked at the plan Ian had developed for me this past week, I thought he was trying to kill me! Now that it's over, I feel awesome physically and running as many days consecutively as I have gives me a sense of accomplishment and confidence in my conditioning and ability to push myself.

I guess Ian really does know what he's doing. :)

I had planned to run the St. Paddy's Day 10k here in Ottawa next Saturday the 12th, but I haven't entered yet. I'm going to enter at the last minute Saturday morning if the weather is reasonable and spots remain in the event. I have no desire to run in the snow, rain or cold...all of which we've been getting a lot of recently.

And speaking of weather, the rain turned to snow over night, so there's about 7cm of the white stuff waiting for me and my snow blower. I'm ready for winter to leave!

Have a great week!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Fifth day in-a-row!

Because Anne and I had things on tonight, neither of us could make it to the indoor track for the group run with Ian. So I was up at 5am and in the gym by 6am to get my run done on the treadmill.

This week's speed session was comprised of 3 intervals of 600m at 5k race pace (3:53 minutes per km for me) followed by 1200m also at 5k race pace, with a 1.5 minute rest after each 600m and 3 minutes after each 1200m. And then there was an additional 600m tacked on at the end for kicks!

It was a great run and I was surprised at how easy the 3:53 pace felt even over the 1200m distances. In fact I felt strong enough to run the final 600m at a 3:47/km pace. I'm definitely getting faster and stronger, especially considering today was the fifth day in-a-row of running for me, including a tough 15k run on Sunday.

 Now I just have three more days to get through until a rest day on Sunday.