Sunday, May 31, 2009

May 31, 2009 - marathonish day

well, i had a good time at the Ron Hynes concert last night, but that was a late night, so i slept in longer than usual today. finally left the house at 12.40 pm and ran over to the pool to catch the second half of the 2 hour swim. i made it a speed work out as i was full of energy. swam 2.75k in 52 minutes, then ran back home, fueled up, and set out for a series of long slow distance sets.. 8k, set, and 11k, set and an 8.5k set, each with 30 minute breaks in between. in all, i covered 33.5k running and 2.75k swimming in a total work out time of about 4 hr 18 min.

it was hot and somewhat humid today so i was really sweating. i don't think i have ever gone thru so much gatorade in a 33.5k run. but all went well. i could feel the wall hitting late, but i ran as hard and as fast as i could and managed to keep up almost as fast as when i started.

at the end of the day, i feel pretty good and speculate that i could do it all over again tomorrow if i had to.... in fact, i just might do that! hehe..

444k in may, the second highest total ever. only my insane august from last year was more, when i ran 10 marathon training runs in 17 days.

hoping for a good weigh in tomorrow, then 4-6 weeks of long slow endurance workouts in attempt to drop more weight, yet manage the knees.

just for fun, here's a review of my monthly km since Jan 2008....

2008 - total - net
January - 126.3 - 126.3
February - 114.5 - 240.8
March - 299.5 - 540.3
April - 317.1 - 857.4
May - 347.0 - 1204.0
June - 352.6 - 1556.6
July - 415.4 - 1972.0
August - 572.8 - 2566.8
September - 325.4 - 2892.2
October - 300.9 - 3193.1
November - 241.9 - 3435.0
December - 176.6 - 3611.6 km

2009 -
January - 392.8 - 392.8
February - 353.1 - 745.9
March - 342.6 - 1087.5
April - 226.1 - 1313.6
May - 444.0 - 1757.6


Saturday, May 30, 2009

May 30, 2009 - another quick update

yikes, i must be quite busy. haven't had a long post on here for a while. 3.2k run this morning over to the pool followed by a fairly aggressive 4k swim in 80 minutes, which surprisingly (or perhaps not surprisingly) wore me out.. lol oh well, the last 3 days have been very aggressive with 20-30k of running, so an easier day is certainly allowed.

oh well, i should be well-rested for the last day of May, which i hope to work off one more pound before stepping on that scale!


May 29, 2009 - more running!

several sets of runs down to the pond for laps today.. 32k in total. it was 14-17 degrees so nice and warm. good to get some experience running in heat.. i ran at a slightly faster pace today, covering 32k in less than 3 hours. the runs were spanned out over the course of 7-8 hours so there was never any major stress on the body..

saturday will be more of the same.. lots of runs and swims planned on what will be a cooler day..


Friday, May 29, 2009

May 28, 2009 - another big day

got in 20k of running and 2.25k of swimming today. all ran at a slow and gentle pace. felt pretty good considering i ran 30k the day before. friday will be more of the same. multiple long run days in a row seems to be the best way to build endurance, lose weight, and train the body to recovery faster. should be a nice hot sunny day tomorrow so that will make the running extra challenging..


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

May 27, 2009 - rest day again... not!

actually not much of a rest day. not sure how this little inside joke got started over on the running room board, but it is so funny! i'll often sign in to the daily morning thread and broadcast that it will be a rest day for me, then report back later in the day indicating that i had an insanely long run or swim or something like that..

well, a hat trick of sorts today.. a 13k 87 minute tempo run this morning, 40 minutes of speed work in the afternoon, then a slow/gentle hour evening run. 30.3k in total today in just over three hours.

the plan will be to go at it again hard tomorrow. this is part of my strategy for building up endurance and fitness, and weight loss.


May 26, 2009 - not a rest day

funny how many of my days that start out as 'planned rest days' end up being run and or swim days.. lol not a very good night's sleep for me. i slept in a little later than usual today and finally looked out the window around 10 am and saw snow! yikes!

by 1.30 pm, i decided that i had enough rest and walked over to the pool for a gentle 2.5k one hour swim.. then it was a gentle 2k of running to the pond.. nice to get a light work out that essentially will act as a rest day for the knees.

i'm still feeling upset over my recent romantic break up. this is clearly going to take a while to get over.. hopefully i can use running and swimming as a distraction to help me get thru these tough emotional times..

good news, i am down a few more pounds lately. looks like i will hit my monthly goal of dropping down to 185. that's 10 pounds lost since march 1. this will be 10 pounds lost out of the 24 i gained between sept/08 - feb/09. i'm heading back down in the right direction! this healthier nutrition regime i have taken up as of late is working!


Monday, May 25, 2009

May 25, 2009 - emotional stress

it's amazing how negative emotional stress can take its toll on a run or a swim. i don't like to divulge too much into my personal life on here, but i am fresh off a break up from a romantic relationship that lasted 3.5 months, and this has really shaken me up.

apparently one of the most common causes for lower back pain is emotional stress, and i was vicitimized big time this morning. a couple of extra strength robaxacet seemed to help that out, but i was generally sluggish all day. i was not really feeling well for most of yesterday too either, (except for the morning where i somehow managed to block out all my problems and focus in on a great half marathon).

an early morning run over to the doctors didn't go too badly, but the run over to the pool was tough, and swimming seemed to be impossible.. i know i am fresh off a very aggressive run but this has never affected my ability to swim the next day (as i hope to be able to prove in july when i swim my first ever official swim event at the World Outgames just 24 hours after running a marathon).

anyway, home i went for a rest for about 5 hours, but then i got antsy and decided i needed to get out of the house again.. always wanna try to keep busy when a relationship ends so you don't let your emotions take over.. i found myself trying to do speed laps around the pond, but they were more like slow-motion laps. oh well, at least i got in a good 40 minutes of running that under other circumstances, i probably wouldn't have done. 11.2k of running today in total plus a 1.5k swim. not bad considering i logged 31.1k yesterday, and not bad considering all i have been through this weekend..

i should probably give myself some rest and recovery time given my recent hectic running schedule, but that just doesn't seem to be the way i do things.. it's full steam ahead with the next phase of my life.. i want to get myself into the best possible shape i can be for July 26 in Denmark. this is a very important marathon, perhaps the most important one i will ever run!

anyway, miserable weather tomorrow so i'm thinking i will give the pool another go, hopefully a longer and better swim than today..


Sunday, May 24, 2009

May 24, 2009 - detailed report - Jennifer's first half!

well, the plan was to run 5 minute km for the entire race and come in with a time of 1.45.30 and that's pretty much what i did.

although i felt sluggish, i bolted out at a fairly good clip. hitting the 1k mark at about 4.45. i realized i was slightly ahead of pace so i slowed down a little. there were only three water stops in the race (5, 10.5, and 15.8k marks) and they had no gatorade, so i decided to run while carrying a 750 ml bottle of gatorade. something that i often do to slow myself down to ensure i don't run too fast.

at the 5 k mark, i noticed my left foot going to pins and needles. haven't had that happen for a long long time. what timing! could be the extra pounding from running at a pace faster than i usually do. anyway, off went the sock and back on went the shoe, and the foot was fine by the 7k mark.

a small hill around the 9k mark slowed me down a bit and i noticed myself about 40 seconds behind schedule. not to worry, i soldiered on at a consistent pace still feeling fairly strong.
the course featured a double loop of a 5k circuit, so i had to take that nasty hill again at the 13k mark, and that slowed me down a little more and had me out of breath. but i slowed down for a bit and took a little breather at the 15.8k water station and that seemed to revitalize me.
as i hit the 16k mark, i decided to pick the pace up a notch or two, as i was feeling quite strong. by the 20th k, i had made up that minute and was exactly on schedule, crossing the 20k mark at 1.40.03.

i slowed a little during the final k but sprinted in as soon as i saw the finish line and unofficially crossed at 1.45.29, exactly 1 second ahead of schedule!

after the race, i watched as some of my other friends sauntered across. i was approached by many local runners who wanted to chat with me about my 5 marathons in 30 days experience...
after cooling down, i made the 2k run back to the starting line, drove my car rental back to the airport, and made the 4k run home!

so we're already up to 27k on the day, and it's only noon!

anyway, i feel extremely pleased with today's half. it was a very different experience running a half, knowing that i could run essentially as fast as i could and not have to save anything for a second half..

most importantly, i proved to myself that i seem to have a strong understanding of where i am in terms of my health, fitness, strength, speed, and endurance.. i estimated that 5 minutes/km was as fast as i could go in terms of being able to sustain a consistent pace. i ran an excellent race, overcame a couple of minor issues, and finished strong...

one of my friends asked me when i was going to take a rest, and i told him 'when i am dead'
anyway, not really sure if i will run another half marathon ever again, but this was certainly a fun and interesting experience..

anyway, now onto my next dilema.. when and where is the next full marathon?!?!


May 24, 2009 - consistent half!

Ahh, just got back from a very nice half marathon. my plan was to consistently run 5 minute km for the entire race and come in at 1.46.00 and that's pretty much what i did. there was a hill around 14k that slowed me down a bit but i made up for it with a slightly faster pace in the last 4k. i finished up unofficially at 1.45.29... a more detailed report to follow later today.....

anyway, it was a cold day to start (about 4 degrees) but it is finally starting to warm up a bit and is supposed to be 15 this afternoon, so i am thinking some more running may be in order.. can't decide if it will be the beach or the pond...


Saturday, May 23, 2009

May 23, 2009 - tuned up and ready to go

well, i have decided to give it a go tomorrow at the 2nd annual "Not So Hilly" Half Marathon, in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland. i had a gentle 3k tune up run tonight around Kent's pond. i think having a restful day was just what i needed. i picked up a car for the day and did a few errands and visited Topsail Beach, one of my fav spots. too bad the weather was so cold (5-10 degrees all day). not exactly beach weather but the place was still beautiful.

hard to believe this will be my first official half marathon after all this time. i've completed 17 official full marathons since May 2007.

my PB first half of a full marathon was the 2008 Mississauga Marathon, when i crossed the midpoint at 1:32:31. my POPB first half of a full marathon, ironically enough, was the 2009 Boston Marathon, when i crossed the midpoint at 1:52:29. this just 48 hours after running a very difficult Charlottesville Marathon.

in theory, you want to run a half marathon at a faster pace than a full, as there is no reason to save anything in the tank for km 22-42. but in my case, the tank will be half empty to start with, given that i have hardly recovered from the 5 marathons i have run in the past 30 days...

On May 5, i ran a 14k in 69.22, and felt that i could have carried on at that pace for a while yet, so i am going to plan to run at this pace. so the goal will be to run a 1.46.00.

i still can't believe i ran a 1.52 in Boston, and a 1.32 in Mississauga for that matter!

once again, there is a chance that this may be my last Newfoundland race as a Newfoundlander, as i could be on the move any time if a job offer comes my way, so i will be putting a little pressure on myself to give it my all. if this is indeed my swan song, i want to go out on a high note!


Friday, May 22, 2009

May 22, 2009 - update

wow, logged lots of junk miles this week, but they all add up, at least some how.. think i am down another pound or two this week. had a rather aggressive 9k run home from the beach today with a heavy backpack, and managed to feel strong all the way through. had a nice 3k swim in the pool yesterday...

wow, i'm up to 111.5k run in the past 6 days, including the Halifax Marathon..115.7k the week before that. not exactly what i had planned, but i guess when the weather is nice, it's tough not to go out for some extra runs.. oh well, it's all good for now.. weight loss in the focus and extra km won't hurt, just as long as i manage the knees and ensure they get the rest they need leading into whenever the next big race will be.

speaking of races, i'm leaning towards skipping the half marathon this sunday that i signed up for. don't really wanna go out for a fun run and post a miserable score 'on the record.' i want my first official half to be a good one!


Thursday, May 21, 2009

May 20, 2009 - the waiting game

well, i have had 4 job interviews in the past month.. so far, no calls offering me work. it's frustrating playing the waiting game like this.. oh well, running and swimming can offer a positive diversion from those worries.. i got over to the pool for a light 2k swim on May 20, and actually went out for 4 separate short easy runs, totaling 16.9k! i've run 42k in 3 days since running the Halifax marathon.. not exactly a textbook recovery schedule, but it's all about the daily management of the knees, and so far, they feel a little better each day..

will probably reduce the workload today (May 21) . probably a 6-10K run this morning, and a 2-3K swim this afternoon..


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

May 18 & 19 2009 recovery runs going well

well, three separate short gentle runs on monday and tuesday add up to 10.7 and 14.2k of daily running respectively. enough to get a good work out yet not allow the micro muscle damage from the marathon to recover. more gentle running planned daily for the rest of the week, as well as a return to the pool for some more aggressive work outs. dropped another 2 pounds in the past week. going to pay extra special attention to what i eat over the coming weeks to see if i can lose more.

the "not so hilly" half marathon this sunday in Mount Pearl, NL is going to be a game time decision to see whether or not i even show up. don't want to over to it on the knees. i really want to get myself into peak marathon-ready condition for a potential mid-to-late june run. which, if i don't run an official race, will be a dress rehersal training run for my july 26 marathon.


Monday, May 18, 2009

May 17, 2009 - Detailed Report - Halifax Marathon

well, a 4.08.33 in Halifax this weekend, shaving off 20 seconds from my time last week, a time i am referring to as my POPB (post-op personal best).

extremely sore knees for the duration of the race forced me to go at a slower than usual pace, but it also meant that i was able to run at a consistent pace, hence scoring my first official negative split...

62, 63, 61, 62.5 minutes for each quarter. it was fun flying by so many people on the second half. the hills in dartmouth in the second half were really challenging,

my weekend started with an early morning flight from Nfld to Halifax. i picked up a rental car and drove downtown and found the race expo. there i was greeted by Terry Curley, race director for the Johnny Miles Marathon. really cool that a race director recognized me and wanted to chat. he's hoping that i will venture back to Nova Scotia again next month to run his marathon again!

i picked up a good pair of running gloves at the expo, and also ran into one of my fellow NL runners and had a brief chat.

after the expo, i walked around downtown Halifax for a while on the harbourfront. then the sun came out, so i drove down the coast and visited my old stomping grounds of St. Margarets bay. i went for a swim and sun tan at Black Point Beach, just steps away from my very first home.
then it was onto my hotel in near by Bedford, NS and i found myself a local pizza place for a carb-loading dinner. then i drove around north of halifax and revisited my very first school. hard to believe it was 30 years ago i went there!

had a fairly good sleep and got myself downtown early to find parking. the weather was cool, misty-drizzle and about 8 degrees. not too bad for running. as i was doing some warm ups, another NL runner approached me to say hi. really fun bumping into other Newfoundlanders away.

the knees were very sore even before the race started, so i decided to just go at a very gentle easy pace, running at about 6 minutes per km.

at the 5k mark, i ran into 'momfirst' from the running room website, and we had a brief chat. at the 8k mark, the knees got so sore that i considered dropping out of the race, but decided to carry on but at a slower pace...

at 9k, i was greeted by 'nwt runner' another person from the running room website who recognized me, so we chatted for a bit.

at 10k, i entered beautiful Point Pleasant Park in halifax, for the first time in 26 years! this run really made me realize how old i am getting.. lol
i estimated that i hit the 10.5 mark about 1.02.00. the knees were sore but i was starting to feel better overall.

i hit the 16k mark at about 1.36.00 and it was at this point, that i started feeling better. knees were not quite as sore and i was finally awake and warmed up! after a brief bathroom break, i decided to pick up the pace a bit and actually started flying by many other runners.
the half and full shared the same course for the first 21.1k so i could see many halfers out there starting to fade. there were several thousand doing the half and only 350 doing the full, so it got really lonely out there once i crossed into the second half. i ran a strong 21st k and came in at 2.04.57 at the split.

it was at this point where i set a couple of impromptu goals: run a negative split and come in just under the 4.08.53 that i had run last week in mississauga.

the course carried on with a very hilly trip across the bridge and into dartmouth. there was a loop in the course, so as i was running along 24k, the leaders started darting back on the other side of the road at 39k. it's always fun to see the leaders flying by on their way. amazing how strong they all looked..

halifax certainly had it's share of hills but dartmouth was twice as bad. we ran up this massive hill that was about a k long, then into a park. they had us running on side walk for a good portion of the second half too, which made it even tougher (side walk is actually 2-3 times as hard a surface than roads).

the park was pretty with a pond that had ducks and some geese. which made me smile and think of home.. the park was very windy and the course was not very well marked. the marshalls were not paying attention at times. there were also not nearly enough water stations or bathrooms.
the city of halifax was out to cheer on the runners but dartmouth was basically a ghost town. seemed nobody cared that there was a marathon going on in their town.

anyway, i was still running strong and was consistently passing runners. i hit 31.5k at about 3.06.00, realizing that i had just run my fastest third of the race, and i felt really strong at this point.

even with reduced water/gatorade, i managed to keep a steady pace.. at 38k, i was met with a surprise mega hill climb that lasted about 800m. a hill much worse than heartbreak hill in boston. i slowed to a near walk at this point. then i was essentially harassed by a fan who came right onto the road and started running along side and yelling at me, trying to encourage me.. but i actually felt threatened and frightened.. as tired as i was, i broke into a near sprint to get away from her..

the hill cost me a minute or two, and i knew that i would have to pick it up in the final 2k to come in at under 4.08.53. i gave it my all as i ran across the bridge back into halifax.
just when things couldn't get worse, as i was leaving the last water station which was positioned at about 41.5k, of all places, a little girl in a tricycle drove right out onto the course and almost bowled me over. i had to make a sharp turn to stop and avoid her.. i was so furious. i yelled out "get her off the course"

anyway, i looked at my watch and picked it up to a full sprint and managed to come in at 4.08.33, giving me my first ever negative split and giving me a 20 second betterment from last week's mississauga marathon..

as happy as i was to have hit my impromptu goals, and as happy as i was to have run 5 marathons in 30 days, it sorta hit me that i felt i was selling myself short by running marathons at less than 100%. i really want to take this sport more seriously again, as i did last year. i know i am capable of running much better marathons than 4.08 and now is the time to prove it, well not right now.. maybe in a month or two!

anyway, to run a very hilly course under these conditions, in that time, is certainly something i should be proud of..

overall, i don't think i have ever seen a so-called major marathon that had such poor fan control. people all over the course, children, cyclists, bandit runners, etc.. very distracting. like an obstacle course out there.. at one point the halfers and fullers crossed over each other at a perpendicular intersection. talk about a dangerous potential for collisions!

the event put on a great run for the halfers, but it certainly was not full marathon-friendly. i noticed that only 280 of the registered 350 full marathonners even finished the race yesterday. i think the course is too tough, compared to most marathons.. and they really need more gatorade stops out there in the second half.. and gee, get us off the sidewalk and on the road. it's amazing the extra pounding the knees take by running on that extra hard cement..

and the feeling of isolation out there in that park was not good for someone who feels very vulnurable running as a transwoman in a strange town.. i think these folks should can the dartmouth idea and make the full marathon 2 laps around the half course next year..
anyway, after the run, i went back to my car and took a drive back out west along the south shore. i visited peggy's cove and bayswater and some of my many old favourite spots, then hit the airport and had a routine flight home (wow, 2 trips in a row without weather delays at the airport! that's gotta be the best and most surprising stat of them all!)

overall, fun to run in my original home town for the first time, but i will probably never run that one again unless they make some significant improvements to the course and the race support..
well, i've definitely got the marathon bug.. not sure if i can wait til July to do my next one, or if i will take the plunge and sign up for one the third week in June (Niagara on the Lake and Johnny Miles are among my likely destinations if i do go).

would love to run Ottawa next weekend but won't unless i can somehow luck into an incredible air fare sale.. sucks being unemployed and having to count my pennies.. then again, i have 2 job interviews lined up this week, so hopefully i will be back in business soon.

anyway, the knees feel pretty good today. i just got back from a light 5k morning run and will probably go out for more this afternoon..


Statistical Look at 17 Marathons

well, it should come as no surprise that my 2008 results are the top ones in terms of time, but it is interesting to compare 2009 with 2007. all things considered, i think i am still running better now than i was 2 years ago. my results in Mississauga and Halifax this year compare quite favourably to my runs in 2007 given that i am running without testosterone, running with an extra 10 pounds, and running on less rest and rougher knees. to think that i could go out for a light fun run on bad knees and post a 4.08.33 and finish strong and feeling like i could go on, is quite exciting. on proper rest, i think even at this weight, a 3.45 is doable.. now comes the challenge of trying to get back down to 168 pounds, the weight i ran my best 3 marathons last year. it will be very interesting to see how good i can run on well-rested knees and at 168 pounds. this will be my target fitness for my July 26 marathon...


Date - # of days since last marathon - race details

07/20/08 - 5 Massey Ontario Marathon 3.16.59
05/11/08 - 16 Mississauga Marathon 3.19.06
06/08/08 - 7 Eastern Marathon (Portugal Cove, NL) 3.22.16
09/14/08 - 23 Newfoundland Marathon 3.36.16
09/28/08 - 1 Toronto Waterfront Marathon 3.42.26
06/15/08 - 7 Johnny Miles Marathon (New Glasgow, NS) 3.43.10
09/27/08 - 7 Akron Marathon 3.50.05

09/16/07 - 13 Newfoundland Marathon 3.55.58
05/27/07 - 7 Buffalo Marathon 4.00.01
05/17/09 - 7 Halifax Marathon 4.08.33
05/20/07 - 7 Cleveland Marathon 4.08.47
05/10/09 - 14 Mississauga Marathon 4.08.53
05/13/07 - 6 Mississauga Marathon 4.19.48
10/14/07 - 28 Toronto Marathon 4.22.24
04/20/09 - 2 Boston Marathon 4.28.29
04/26/09 - 6 Waterloo Marathon 4.30.33
04/18/09 - 20 Charlottesville Marathon 4.59.33

Sunday, May 17, 2009

May 17, 2009 - Halifax Marathon

just a quick update....

4.08.33 in Halifax today, shaving off 20 seconds from my time last week.

extremely sore knees for the duration of the race forced me to go at a slower than usual pace, but it also meant that i was able to run at a consistent pace, hence scoring my first official negative split...

62, 63, 61, 62.5 minutes for each quarter. it was fun flying by so many people on the second half. the hills in dartmouth in the second half were really challenging, and there was no security on the course in the second half. a little girl was riding a tricycle on the course and almost ran me over at the 41k mark. not exactly what marathonners want to have to deal with as they prepare for a finish..

fun to run in my home town for the first time, but i will probably never run that one again..

a more detailed report to follow tomorrow...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

May 16, 2009 - recognition at health and fitness expo

just walking around the bluenose marathon fitness expo. ran into a race director for the johnny miles marathon who recognized me. always fun to run into people who know me and are inspired and impressed by my running. great flight in this morning. tons of fun to be visiting my original home town. really looking forward to the run. hoping that a day of restful site seeing will get me into good shape for tomorrow.


Friday, May 15, 2009

May 15, 2009 - not much of a taper!

well, i managed to run 115.7k this week, my second highest weekly total of the year. not exactly the most restful way to prepare for a very hilly Halifax Marathon. But it is what it is. Mississauga last week was a great learning experience as i found out that even with 20 more pounds than last year, i can hold a BQ pace, even without proper rest, and with well over-worked knees. the catch is to come into one of these well rested so the knees won't give out.

anyway, halifax is going to be a fun run. i will not be looking for a 3.45.59. i will plan to start out at 4.11.00 pace and see how it goes. i know there are hills but really don't know how many, how big, or how often. i'm thinking this may actually be my first ever negative split marathon (running the second half faster than the first). but the catch will be to see if i can break the 4.08.53 that i ran last week.

anyway, it was a very windy day here but warm (16 degrees) so i had a great deal of time outside for running (11k) and walking (probably another 10k).

hoping for a restful and routine travel day tomorrow, which will lead into what i hope will be a fun and exciting experience. running the marathon in my original home town will be quite sentimental. looking forward to adding this one to my list. and more importantly, looking forward to completing the '5 marathons in 30 days' challenge!

well, i updated my website today

noticed that geocities is going to be discontinuing their services later this year, so that is disappointing. i have been creating and managing geocities websites since 1998. guess i will have to find a new free service provider. anyway, check the site out. it's got a bit of a new look these days!


Thursday, May 14, 2009

May 14, 2009 - summer!

wow, a history-making 20 degrees here today in st. john's. last year on this day, it was 1 degrees! i spent lots of time outside walking, running, sun tanning, and feeding the duckies.. 11.5k of light running in total. running 31.1k yesterday was probably not the brightest thing to do on a taper week, but heck, i am not gonna try to break any records this sunday. this will just be a fun run.. knees are a bit sore but i suspect they will be fine come sunday.. more nice weather ahead tomorrow so there will definitely be more time outside!


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

May 13, 2009 - impromptu long run. Oops, so much for tapering!

oh my, so much for self-discipline.. 28.3k of running today (albeit slow and gentle running) spanned throughout the day with lots of breaks.. couldn't resist being outside in this first spring-like day of the year here in Nfld. the knees are actually not too bad! guess i have officially recovered from the Mississauga Marathon if i can do that!

....Wow! the Government of Saskatchewan wants to interview me for a job that sounds very similar to the work i have done here in Nfld for most of the past two years.. how ironic would this be? Sask is the one province that i have never visited as of yet.. In addition to the possibility of scoring a great job, i am sure there are lots of flat roads to run on out there! this could be the lucky break i have been waiting for!


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

May 12, 2009 - adventurous day!

well, i ended up going for 3 separate runs today.. had a great training run this morning with one of my new protegees, we covered 4.8k and ran 3.2k of it. coaching is something i have always wanted to get into, and it is exciting to have someone i can work with. seeing someone else's progress can be just as rewarding and fulfilling as seeing my own progress.

later in the day, i decided to do some hill work and made my first run up to left pond in 5 months. while there, i happened to stumble upon 1 rabbit and 2 moose. i was literally 15 feet from two female moose. luckily, they didn't give me any trouble. too bad i didn't have my camera! anyway, it was 3.7k of uphill running, then 3.5k downhill run home.

later in the day, it was a 3k run over to see the duckies.. giving me a nice 13.4k daily total. the knees are still sore but recovering fairly nicely. should be ok come next weekend. more coaching tomorrow and probably a return to the pool after a 4 day absense.


May 11, 2009 - recovery run

well, the knees felt better today but interestingly enough, the upper leg muscles were quite stiff. i went out for a gentle 6.3k run, so i guess they couldn't have been that bad..

as excited as i have been about running a fater marathon in mississauga, i still feel embarassed knowing that my health and fitness is much worse than it was last year. i kind of liked running at the front of the pack and it is not fun seeing people fly by me towards the end of runs this year.

oh well, after halifax, i am going to focus on weight loss for the next 2 months. i am quite confident that if i can get my weight back down to where it was last year at this time, that i should be able to sustain a 3.45 pace for the duration of a marathon..

this will actually be an interesting test with regards to the hormone replacement therapy. in theory, it should be equally as hard (or as easy) for me to run a 3.45 two years after my surgery; as it was to run a 3.15 prior to it. i suppose in theory, i should be able to run a 3.30 after one year since surgery.. and if i can get myself into even better shape, there's no reason to think that i couldn't run a 3.15!


Sunday, May 10, 2009

May 10, 2009 - Mississauga Marathon

8k 41:03
Half 1:51:19
25k 2:13:53
final 4:08:53

well, not bad considering my knees were sore yesterday while walking around the expo. not bad considering this is my 4th marathon in 22 days. not bad considering my current level of health & fitness, and not bad considering i didn't get a very good sleep the last 2 nights.

the Goal A was to run at 3.45.59 pace and see if i could keep it up, and i managed to keep the pace up to 28k. i felt good but the knees didn't. had to slow things down on that account. Goal B, which was my original goal, was to just run 5 marathons in 30 days and stay injury-free. overall, i am pleased with the run today. it was a good indicator for where my fitness/endurance/knees were at.

Pictured here is me running just ahead of the 3.45.00 pace team around the 25k mark.

next week in Halifax will likely be a very slow and gentle run on account of the tough hills. not quite sure how much running i will do this week. i'm quite sore now in the knees. everything else seemed to hold up fine.

that's my 16th career marathon in exactly 104 weeks. so i guess my 3rd season is now officially under way.. lol


Saturday, May 9, 2009

May 9, 2009 - race expo

tons of fun today at the Mississauga Marathon race expo. got a chance to meet up with several friends from the Running Room's web forum. lots of great runners who are great people. always fun to finally meet up with folks i have been corresponding with for quite some time.

the knees are feeling a little stressed today, but i'm still quite excited and confident as i go into this final day of rest before the big run tomorrow.


Friday, May 8, 2009

May 8, 2009 - final tune up

got in a nice 1.65k swim and 3k run this morning and felt pretty good. i am about as recovered and rested as i could potentially expect to be just 14 days after running 3 marathons in 8 days. i actually felt so good this week that i decided to push it there on tuesday with a 14k run that might have been slightly overdoing it, but the confidence that gave me was well worth it.
it's going to be 48 hours of rest as i lead into an early morning sunday marathon. the weather report is calling for fairly cool temps so that should make it nice for running.. should be very interesting to see how things go..


Thursday, May 7, 2009

May 7, 2009 - winding down

another light work out today of 4k run and 1.6k swim. wasn't feeling the greatest today physically. i think the nerves and anxieties of a stressful life continue to play havoc on my energy levels. i actually felt better after the swim, which was a nice sign.

going to have another light run and light swim friday morning, then rest up until sunday morning's marathon, which i will enter feeling well rested and full of hope of a great result.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

May 6, 2009 - light day

still on an emotional high after yesterday's 14k sprint. a little sore and sluggish today but managed to go out for a light 6.5k run and 1.25k swim. just enough to get in a little work out. will probably go for a walk later this afternoon to try to get in a little more exercise.. it's a lovely 14 degrees here in Nfld today.

well, lots of resumes being sent out as i continue to look for work. so far, no takers. i have now expanded my job search across canada, having sent at least one resume to at least 7 different provinces yesterday.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

May 5, 2009 - mega confidence booster

wow, a light 2k warm up, then a very serious fast-paced 14k (69.22) followed by a 2k cool down. felt very strong out there and felt that i could have kept that pace up for quite a while further if i wanted to.. no ankle problems what so ever.. some slight knee pains but that seems to be the norm with me.. definitely feeling good this afternoon after that!


May 4, 2009 - rest day

only a 2.5k run today. the emotions of yesterday seems to have worn me out physically.. hoping to feel better tomorrow and get in a nice 10k run.


Sunday, May 3, 2009

May 3, 2009 - out with a whimper; the potential Nfld swan song

the 5k road race started just 2k from my house, so i had a nice little 2k jog as a warm up. well, i dawned my boston marathon jersey and cap.. i missed last week's season opening 5k but everyone knew that this was because i was in boston and waterloo!

anyway, i got off to a bit of a slow start and found myself in shock to see all my other colleagues whom i used to run closely with, fly by me right from the get go..

having run a 24.00 five weeks ago in a 'fun run', i was hopeful of vastly improving on that time. but most of all, i wanted to run a steady race... this was my chance to see just how fast i could go over a 5k period, and to then assess my fitness levels at the end..

i crossed mid point at exactly 12 minute mark and knew i would have to dig deep to better my result. i don't think i have ever ran a negative split for any race in my life but decided that this would have to be the day.

i dug deep and picked up the pace just a bit.. as i hit the 3k mark, i started to pass by other runners.. at no point during the race did i ever feel good. i think the tank was running on empty having run 3 marathons last week and having swam 2 hours yesterday.. but still, that should be no excuse for someone who prides them self on being in great shape and being resilient..
anyway, i felt myself getting stronger as the race went on. as i hit the 4.5k mark, i saw one of my colleagues already finished and walking towards the parking lot, having finished several minutes ago. this really made me feel embarrassed.. that aggravated me to give it my all for the remaining few strides. As i approached the finish, i could see that i would be comfortably ahead of 24 minutes..

crossing at 23.56, i couldn't help but remember last year at this race when i sprinted hard for the finish line on a buzzer-beater for 19.59.

as excited as i was about finally running a negative split race, i guess it was at this point that i had realized just how far i had fallen in the past year.. hard to believe that one year ago, i was running marathons at a faster pace than today's 5k. i had given it my all and i knew that i couldn't have gone on much longer at that pace..

Pictured here is me crossing the finish line. the look on my face sort of tell it all. lol

anyway, i entered the post-race reception and just couldn't keep myself together. i found myself crying uncontrollably and decided to remove myself and head home..

oh well, i'm gonna have to shake this off and get myself refocused for next week's mississauga marathon.. bottom line, i am not, and have never been, a fast runner. the 5k distance has never been my strength.. marathons is what i am all about and this is where i hope to make my mark next week.. but today's 5k certainly won't act as a confidence booster. i'm starting to think that mississauga will be nowhere near where i want it to.

anyway, as i sit here and type this, i can't help but realize that with my future up in the air, and a move likely to occur next month, this may have been my very last road race in Newfoundland as a local. and given that this was such a miserable experience, i'm thinking this may be my last 5k race for a long long time as well..

oh well, i suppose it's ironic that i exit newfoundland with a whimper. interestingly enough, my debut race in newfoundland was my one and only DNF in my career, as i dropped out of the 2007 Eastern Marathon at the 30k due to heat stroke.

oh well, time to put this sad and depressing morning behind me.. gonna start off the afternoon with a visit to the pond to see the duckies and then have a slow and gentle swim in the pool..


Saturday, May 2, 2009

May 2, 2009 - Endurance Test

a great work out today. it started with a fast 3k run over to the pool, and then a slow endurance swim of 6k in 120 minutes. the energy levels were a little low and the energy stores were clearly low, but it was nice to get in a good test. for me to tough out a swim of that magnitude just 6 days removed from my 3rd marathon in 8 days, is an amazing statement of my fitness levels. the ankle did not give me any problems throughout the day so that was another nice bonus.

i'm really feeling confident that another careful taper week will have me showing up in Mississauga in excellent shape and fully able to give it a strong go at a BQ time of 3.45.59. i guess time will tell, no pun intended.. lol


Monthly totals for April 2009

January 392.8 - 392.8
February 353.1 - 745.9
March 342.6 - 1087.5
April 226.1 - 1313.6


Jan 2009 19.900 - 19.900
Feb 2009 37.600 - 57.500
Mar 2009 39.900 - 107.400
April 2009 57.625 - 165.025

well, as expected, more swimming and less running as i spent the first half of the month tapering for the 3 big marathon runs in 8 days.

the most interesting stat is that i have dropped another 2 pounds. here's a history of my body weight over the past few years with some key milestone weigh ins:

01/01/07 238 (started to take running seriously)
01/01/08 178 (60 pounds off in the first year)
06/01/08 165 (lowest weight at any point in my running career)
01/01/09 188
02/01/09 185
03/01/09 195 (high point of weight gain due to hormonal and metabolism change)
04/01/09 192
05/01/09 190 (2nd consecutive month dropping weight; starting to gain smooth hormone levels)


Friday, May 1, 2009

May 1, 2009 - slacker

well, i still haven't gotten around to adding up and posting my month end stats for april. funny how i seem to be even more busy than when i was working..

oh well, anything but slacking in the pool this morning. a very strong 2k swim in 40 minutes had me feeling confident. 3.2k run later in the day went well too.

thinking about a 2 hour swim tomorrow as it has been a good recovery week..