Sunday, February 28, 2010

Obstacle Course

It was quite the course to run this morning. The normally simple, flat streets of this city had turned into an a number of obstacles.

It consisted of jumping over puddles, scaling snow banks, avoiding ice, and the occasional clear patch.

What a workout.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 8km
Weather: 0C (hence the puddles and slush)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Birthday Run

It’s my birthday today, so I took the day off work. I went for a bit of a photo walk this morning and late this afternoon I went for a run.

It snowed a lot yesterday, so I ran through snow, puddles, slush, and bits of clear sidewalk. It was an interesting assortment of terrain, but all in all it was a good, enjoyable run.

Now, back to my glass of wine. It is my birthday after all.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 6 km
Weather: 1C, cloudy, but no precipitation.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Re-Fridgee-Eighter – my first race of the year

This morning at 10am, the gun sounded the start of the 13th annual “Re-Fridgee-Eighter” 8K and 8 mile run.

This race is the first of the year in the Waterloo Running Series. It is held in February every year, which makes for variable weather. Two years ago, it was freezing rain right up until race start when it turned to regular rain. It was quite the slippery course with runners falling down quite regularly. Parts of the course were not even run-able and I had to walk, or more accurately, slide as if I was skating in my shoes. Other years have been very cold, or sometimes sunny and above seasonal temperatures.

This year was not icy at all. I’d have to say the weather was pretty much perfect. The sun was shining, the roads were clear of ice and snow and the temperatures were around or just above the freezing mark.

The course started at RIM Park and included large sections on University Avenue, Bridge Street, and Lexington Road. Both distances covered the same route, with the 8 mile distance taking a short detour into a neighbourhood and back out to do a second loop of the middle section of the course.

There were several water stations on the course run and police, REACT, and event volunteers were on the scenes providing a well-organized, safe, and vehicle-free run for all.

Photos of the race will be on Ryan’s Photo Blog in the next few days.

I ran the 8 mile distance today and had a decent run. I was a bit concerned that my fitness level was sub-par as I hadn’t been training as much this winter as last, but turns out I held up well. I knocked a few minutes off of last year’s time (although I had a cold when I ran last year, so it’s not exactly a fair comparison) and finished 3rd in my age group.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 8 miles (12.87 km)
Weather: –3C, winds 7km/h

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A quick late(ish) night run

I had initially planned on running early this morning before work, but when my alarm went off and I get out of bed, I felt light-headed; I went back to sleep.

I worked late today, so I didn’t get home until 8pm. I was hungry by this time, so I ate some dinner shortly after coming home.

I was sitting on the couch, watching the Olympic Games, when at 10pm, I finally decided to get up and go out for a run. I stepped outside at 10:15 and looked at the sky – perfectly clear. The air was relatively calm as well, not like yesterday morning. I started out and enjoyed the quiet night. Not too many cars on the roads this evening, or at least not on the roads I chose to run.

The run was a good one. An easy one. I didn’t push it, I just enjoyed the evening and savoured the sky. It’s not too often one can see the stars in the city.

Tonight’s Run:
Distance: 6.5 km
Weather: –4C, feels like –8C, wind 10 km/h

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Against the wind

As I ran this morning, Bob Seger sang in my head. “Still runnin’  I’m still runnin’ against the wind.”

At least I planned it so that I’d be running against the wind for the first half of my run, which meant with the wind for the home stretch.

Distance: 6.82 km (as per the Garmin)
Weather: –3 C, feels like –10 C; wind 24 km/h

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I’m back in the game!

Tonight I headed out for a “test run” so to speak. I was hoping to attempt the run that I was planning to do yesterday, but to do short loops close to home in case the ankle pain returned. I was especially worried going out because on my walk home from work today, I had a few moments of ankle pain (lasted a block or two).

I started out very slowly, walked to the end of my little road, turned the corner, started a slow jog where the pain started yesterday, kept it slow until I reached a corner, turned, and picked up the pace a bit more. It felt good. No pain. I made another turn and decided I would run 2.5 to 3 km down the street, then change directions in order to keep it close to home tonight. When I approached the 3 km mark, I didn’t want to change directions. I wanted to keep going, to run far out. Since the run felt good, I followed my gut. I kept running and did a large oblong course today.

The run continued to feel good. I felt good. I didn’t want to stop. I didn’t take any breaks. I kept going. The final 5 km stretch back toward home was against the wind, which had certainly picked up and gotten colder. By the time I got home, my legs were about ready to give out. My hands were almost numb with cold (I wore the thin gloves… oops). My legs were burning. I didn’t care. I felt good.

Tonight, I ran with a smile on my face.

Tonight’s Run:
Distance: 15 km
Weather: –4 C, feels like –9 C

Monday, February 15, 2010

Long run deferred

This afternoon I got ready to go out for a 9 mile (14.5 km) run, got dressed, filled up my water bottles and loaded them into my Fuel Belt, strapped on my Garmin 305, laced up shoes, started my iPod and headed out the door. I got to the end of my road, turned the corner, ran past one house and OUCH! I got a sudden, sharp pain the the front of my left ankle. I had to stop immediately, turn around, and limp back to the house. I got inside and it didn’t feel too bad, but I’m not going to chance it and run right now. I’m still hoping for an injury-free spring. I guess I’ll try again tomorrow.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Breaking through mental barriers

For some strange reason, this fall and winter I’ve had more mental issues with running than ever before. I’ve felt less motivated. Some days I haven’t wanted to go out at all for a run and other days I get out there and just want to stop mid-way. I’ve found that I’ve started to take walking breaks in the middle of my run for no particular reason. This is odd for me.

I used to never have this problem. I would lace up my shoes, head out the door and feel great. I would run, run, and run some more. I didn’t want to take breaks, I didn’t want to stop.

Writing about my runs has helped. I do generally enjoy my runs a lot once I’m out there and now that I’m keeping track of my runs on this blog, I’m making sure I’m out there.

Today’s run was fantastic. I got out mid-afternoon and got to enjoy a nice mild winter day. I ran for the first time in months without taking a break. I feel back to my old self again, like I can take on the world. I’m back to enjoying it. I don’t want to stop. I’ve broken the mental barrier and it feels great!

Today’s Run:
Distance: 8 km
Weather: –3 C, feels like –9 C

Friday, February 12, 2010

Woke up, fell out of bed..

and realized that I hadn’t posted about last night’s run. Since I have to head out to work, this will be a quick one.

I went to the gym again as it was icy out and I was planning on doing a tempo run. I timed my trip to the gym so that I could watch Grey’s Anatomy while I ran, but low and behold, it wasn’t on any of the TVs. Oh well. I still had a decent run on the treadmill.

Last night’s Run:
Tempo Run of 3 miles with warm up and cool down to a total of 5 miles (just over 8 km)

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

There’s a storm a-brewin’

Or at least that’s what the radio and TV told me. In anticipation of crappy weather outdoors, I headed for the indoor comfort of a treadmill at the gym for today’s run.

It’s not too often that I’ll run indoors. I definitely prefer to run outside, even in the winter. It’s more enjoyable, more interesting, and more rewarding. Not to mention, I seem to sweat less outdoors (at least in the winter).

So.. I packed up my gym bag and headed out the door for the grueling 2 minute walk to the gym. I got outside and was surprised by the nice mild night with light snowfall. I was a bit disappointed in my choice as this appeared to be great weather for my run, but since I was already on my way, I continued into the gym and did my workout on a treadmill. After completing my run, cooling down, and stretching, I made my way home. I stepped outside into windy, very snowy conditions. I guess I made the right choice after all.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 9km
Weather: N/A (ran indoors)

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Sunlight. What a wonderful Thing.

Today was a nice, clear, sunny day today (cold mind you, but sunny) and I didn’t have anything that I needed to do or any place that I needed to go this afternoon. It was fantastic.

For the first time in months, I ran during the day. I got to feel the sun shine on my face; I got to clearly see any obstacles that might be in my way; I got to wear sunglasses.

I bought my glasses at MEC last year after getting sick of my old glasses fogging up. I tried on several pairs at several stores before deciding on the plasma pair. I can’t be trusted to not lose things or not break things, so I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a pair of sunglasses, but I also didn’t want another super-cheap pair that distorts your vision and just doesn’t fit your face well.

The MEC Plasma sunglasses have removable/interchangeable lenses so you can switch up the colour of lens for different conditions easily. They also have nice grippy arms, so they stay securely on my head even when wearing a smooth, slippery toque.

For $36, these were great for me! I didn’t have to spend too much and they were comfortable, secure, and didn’t fog up when running. I’m quite happy with them.

Today’s Run
Distance: 8 km
Weather: –6C (feels like –13C), wind N 19km/h with gusts of 30km/h

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

New York City, here I come?

Ah, the world of unknowns.

Entrants in the ING New York City Marathon are chosen by lottery system. Each person who wants to run completes an online form and pays a small fee to enter the lottery (if they are not guaranteed entry by another means such as running for a specific charity, being a member of the New York Road Runners and running all of the required races throughout the year, or qualifying with a fast time in another half or full marathon). Entrants are then drawn randomly from all of the people who have paid their fee.

I’ve entered this lottery to run this November. This is the second year that I’ve entered the lottery. Now I cross my fingers and play the waiting game.

As of today, Ryan and I have a hotel booked for the week of the marathon. I doubt I’ll be chosen to run this year, but one can hope, and one can be prepared in case the wonderful e-mail comes to say that I have the opportunity to run. I can always cancel my hotel if I didn’t make it in.

Wish me luck!

Today’s Run:
Distance: 8 km
Weather: –5C, light snow