Friday, March 28, 2008

Time Trial

I ran a self imposed Time Trial today over a distance of 5 miles. The idea is you run the distance as fast as possible, no problem they say. It was hard but I felt great, did a negative split (faster second half than first half) and ran my fastest mile in the last mile. All in all a great run.

A great run, but yes, it was hard. Hard enough that I was wiped this afternoon and this evening I am dropping. This afternoon I had runners head (I call it), which is a syndrome I come down with after an especially hard run where my thinking gets very slow and I have to concentrate extra to do normal tasks. Hmmm....something to look into.

Back to the Time Trial, I did 5 miles in 42 min 14 sec. Based on that here are the times that the Runners World Training Calculator predicts I can complete various distances:

  • 5 km = 25:30
  • 10 km = 53:11
  • 10 miles = 1:28:03
  • Half Marathon = 1:57:14
  • Marathon = 4:04:26

I am happy to see that I am nearing my predicted goal of 4 hours for the Marathon. To get to the 4 hour mark I am going to have to put in some targeted tempo runs, speed runs, and weight training. I am doing a simple weight program that includes various squats, lunges, and core strengthening to help increase my power. Besides that, I need to keep my long runs within the optimal pace range which is about 10:23-11:42/mile.

I'll be running another Time Trial near the end of April to see if I have improved.

Today, while taking a look at the Cliff Shots (maker of Cliff Bars and Cliff Gel Shots) website I came across a pace band creator which I was playing with to see what pace/splits I would need to hit 4 hours. I need to run a consistent 9:09/mile (9 min 9 sec) for the entire 26.2 miles. You can play with it here at the Cliff Bar Pace Band page.

It is interesting that to hit the predicted time of 4 hr 4 min 26 sec, I would need to run a consistent 9:19/mile. So 10 seconds means 4 mins 26 sec over the span of a Marathon.

A funny thing I noticed was that 9:09/mile is my average pace over the 500+ miles I have run with the Nike +iPod. Hopefully on race day I can achieve my average ;-)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

New Milestones

Well, I logged into Nike after syncing my iPod +Nike from todays run and I was greeted with a certificate. I have just surpassed the 500 mile mark of total miles logged since I started using the Nike running site.

Here is the certificate which they give you: 500 Mile Certificate.

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Never Ending Flu

I have been trailing my son by about one week with his flu that we thought was done. Last weekend he got stomach sick again but we thought it was just an upset tummy. In the kids are cute category, he told us "I've got bees in my tummy."

Wednesday night I got bees in my tummy and knew it was either a new flu or the continuation of the one we just fought off. I was up from 1am-6am...well I will spare you the details.

So another week that I missed my mid-week run due to illness. Thursday was not much better, stomach sick, not eating, and massive headache.

Today, it was finally all passed and I felt like a million bucks. After spending the morning cleaning the house and playing I got out for a tempo run (a run with 1 mile intervals of speed) which was great. I felt awesome to be out and to be running again (last run being Monday).

I still have a long run (16 mile = 25.6 km) this weekend. Not sure if I am going to tackle that tomorrow or Sunday. I'll see how I feel in the morning and then decide if tomorrow will be the long run.

As the distances get higher and with the paths (I run normally in the spring/summer/fall) covered in ice and snow, I am finding it harder to find interesting (and safer) routes to tackle at these longer runs. It sucks running along roads but it's all I can do when I hate running on the treadmill.

Monday, March 17, 2008


"Not moving as freely as is usual or desirable," that sounds like me after my long runs. Should I be this stiff? Heck, I don't know but I know that each long run I run a little further and that means I am getting closer to my goal.

Admittedly I have been slack lately with colds, flus, blizzards, etc. Any excuse to not get out there sometimes it feels like.

After this weekends 14 mile run though I know I have to stop missing runs. I want to get my speed workouts in and I need that medium run mid-week to try to reduce the amount of stiffness coming from my long run on the weekend.

Stretching certainly helps with the stiffness and is key to not getting too tight as the miles add up. I'll be doing more tonight (already have in some stretches this morning).

On another note, I hit the 250 km mark on the way to my 1000 km in 2008 goal. And I am only 2.5 months in. If I was to keep up this level of running I would hit 1200 km in 2008. Maybe that will be the stretch goal ;-)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Photos From The Edge...

...of reason? ..of insanity? ...of fun?

Ya, here are some photos from when I returned from my run in the blizzard this past weekend.

Mark Runs in a Blizzard 08/03/08 11:09 PM

Saturday, March 8, 2008

It's Not Always Easy

Ok, running is never really easy if you compare it to sitting on the couch reading a book or watching a good TV program. That said, I love running, but I definitely did not want to run.

This week it has been pretty warm(-5 to 2) but there has been lots of snow. How much snow? Yesterday I shoveled three times. Today I could have done the same but I only got out once before I went for a run.

It was snowing the entire run; when I started there was about 2 cm on the ground, by the time I finished there had to be 5 cm. Today was not easy mentally to get out there and run in this. It is the kind of day you want to look out and watch the snow, not be part of it.

I suited up though and went out because I had been avoiding my runs this week. I have new Classic Cross Country skis which I have been out on every chance I get.

Todays run was to be a 12 miler but friends called, just before I left, to invite us to supper. Timely being as it was I had to cut the run short to about 9 miles.

Thankfully for that call, I did not take a longer route. It was insane out. The road was slippery and I was not moving fast. I felt like I was going all out at times but I averaged a minute slower than my normal slow runs. Some sections were not cleared and in those sections I could not see my feet as I was in snow over my ankles.

This is running in the winter. And it was awesome. It was one of my hardest runs physically in a long time but mentally it was excellent. There is something about being out in the snow with so much snow coming down that you can see only about a 1/2 kilometre before everything is hidden by the falling snow.

Running along a particularly open section between two farm fields it felt like I running through a scene in Fargo. The solitary car would appear out of the whiteness and drive by in a flurry of snow. While I just kept running along, a solitary figure leaving a soon to disappear trail of footprints.

It wasn't easy but it was good. Real good.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Birthday Half Marathon Complete

Well, my first running goal of the year is complete. I ran a half marathon (13.1 mile/21.1 km) today. Ok, so I was a few days late (my birthday was on this Tuesday past) but I was recovering from a flu and it was freezing out last week.

It was an excellent day for a run. I started out and it was about -9 with little wind and by the end of the run it was -5 (barely any wind). It is also sunny out with no clouds in the sky. So all in all a great day for a run outside.

Besides being a planned annual event, this run was a good yardstick that I can use to measure my training as I get nearer to the Marathon. Todays run went pretty well but I was a little slower than I aimed for and the last 3 miles were hard ones.

Being me, I also decided on a route that had a few hills (nothing drastic like in Newfoundland but hills all the same with long climbs). I put 6 hills into the run which I figured would be an added bonus for this training run.

On a side note, Michele gave me a set of combo ski boots (cross country, skate ski, ice skating) for my birthday and a set of ice blades. I bought a set of touring skis (a classic ski combo for groomed trails and off-trail) which I am going out to pickup today. So now after wishing winter would end just a week ago I want to get out and squeeze every once of winter out of my new toys ;-)

Maybe I'll just go for a short skate on the canal today...

[Update: The speed skate blades for my ski boots rock. Just did a short 6 km skate on the canal with them.]