Monday, June 22, 2009

Airport Run Pics and Training Update

Below are some pitures from the Toronto Airport Runway 5k and even further below is a recap of last weeks training.

Last Weeks Training or "How I made myself really tired"

Sunday - 20 mile long run
Long run number 2 for the season on the same route as last week which was about 4 miles on trail and the rest on the road. This was the first really warm day of the summer and I slept in so didn’t get out there until around 11. Heat kicked the stuffing out of me, no doubt about it. Much harder then the previous week I tried not to complain by remembering winter runs.

Monday – Restamondo!!

Tuesday – 9 miles (road)
Hit my normal 8 mile road route with an extra mile tacked onto the front. Thought about how running changes you knowledge base. Some people know sports and pop culture trivia I know that its exactly 1.15 miles around my block in case I need to add distance. It’s also exactly 1 mile to the YMCA and 3.5 miles to Bay and King not that anyone cares.

Wednesday -11 miles
On the Lakeshore with Longboat. Early miles at a moderate pace. Then was convinced by George to do 4 x 5 minute intervals at a 7:05 per mile pace with a few other runners. Was sucking wind badly by the end. Thanks for pacing this George, was really nice not to have to watch the pace myself. Drafting with a group definitely has its advantages. It was pouring rain for most of run and was very windy making the run back against the wind super tough.

Thursday – 8.5 miles (trails)
Hit High Park for some trail running. Got extra bonus point for jumping out of the way of a car that almost ran me down at an intersection. Hurdle training anyone? Note to drivers you need to look both ways not just to your right. How unaware was the lady (in her sixties)? I actually had my hand pressed against the passenger side window of her car and she still didn’t know I was there until I yelled at her. What I said probably shouldn’t be repeated here.

Friday – 6.5 miles (track)
Speed work on the track. Roger was kind enough to take over coaching for the night with George away. Did 400, 1200 x 3, 400 with a 2 mile warm up and 1 mile cool down. Set pretty aggressive paces for this workout, came out to fast early in the workout and faded some on the later 1200. Was perplexed figured maybe set the bar a bit two high but seemed to be inline with previous workouts. hmmmmm.

Saturday – 6.5 miles (trails)
Woke up with a sore throat and start of a head cold. Trouble on the track suddenly made more sense. Still went to run trails in High Park with Longboat. Raining again still ran a moderate to hard pace.

Total mileage 61.5
Planned on 60 did a bit more. Next week may end up being a cut back week on mileage depending on how this cold shapes up. Man summer colds suck!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Airport 5k race report and last weeks training

Last weeks training unfolded like this

Sunday - 20 mile long run
This was my first 20 miler since Paris. The run was about 4 miles on trail and the rest on the road. Same 20 mile route that I was running last summer which includes running up to ravine by the brickyard then back through Mount Pleasant Cemetery along the beltline and ravine then back home again. Got the mileage math right this time so didn’t have to add on at the end.

Monday – sweet sweet rest.

Tuesday – 9 miles (trails)
Ran the trails in High Park at easy pace. No run ins with snakes or worms.. Yawn.

Wednesday -11 miles
On the Lakeshore with Longboat. Ran the first 7 miles at a moderate pace with a 10 minute interval run hard (7:20 pace) then finished the run at an easier pace.

Thursday – 9 miles
I decided to run on the road instead of trail with the airport 5k coming up on Saturday. Decent run at usual recovery pace.

Friday – 3 miles
That’s right 3 miles. Thought I would play it safe with a race on Saturday so just did a very slow and low mileage workout. Got to save those legs for tomorrow. That’s my story and I am sticking to it.

Saturday – 4 miles
Small warm up and 5k race. Actually way to small a warm up. For more details see race report.

Total mileage 56
I originally had planned to do 60 miles but cut back on Fridays run. Expect to go to 60 this coming week.

Runway Run 5k Race Report
Saturday was the second running of the Toronto Airport 5k runway run. Oddly this was also the second time I had run this race. I ran it last year and really liked it so I signed up to do it again.

This race is run on one of the main runways at Pearson Airport. No you don’t have to really dodge planes. They actually shut done on of the main runways for the morning while flights are still taking off and landing on the other runways. As you can imagine this course is flat and can be fast but it’s also unsheltered so wind, heat and the sun can be a factor.

Last year I liked this race because it was small capped at 400 it think and it had a very different feel and unique vibe to it. This year it was much larger more then 1000 runners and the many many walkers.

Pre race
Kim and I meet up with Steve and drove out to the Airport. Nearly got run off the road by a charter bus on the 407. Bus was in the fastest lane and then decided it wanted to move over. We were in the middle lane going 100 km. Bus tried to pass us instead of slowing down and merging. When it couldn’t it beeped its horn at us and then cut into our lane forcing us into the other lane. We were about half way down the bus when this idiot tried this. Good thing Steve is a decent driver and there was no traffic. Then bus then proceeded to cut across 3 lanes in front of us. Now you would think this was the move of someone trying to get across for an exit lane but you would be wrong. We used the exit lane the bus just keep on going straight. Guy must be a cab driver in his spare time.

Got to the race in plenty of time and picked up our race kits. No bag check again this year. This race is now close to 2000 people so it should really have a bag check. Had planned to do a good 20 minute warm up which is what I really need to get the body working right. I had planned to do this before we were escorted out onto the runway but heard that they were going to take people out 30 minutes before the start. Since I believed this I did a 5 minute warm up and then lined up to go out on the airfield. We waited and waited. Then we waited some more. After 25 minutes of waiting they lead us out. That meant no warm up. Grrrrrrrr.

We got out and lined up at the starting mat and then waited some more. The race ended up being delayed by 10 minutes. I was cursing my lack of warm up. Just before the starting gun an F16 fighter did a low level fly over which is a pretty big deal in Canada because I think we only have one so kind of cool. Then we were off.

The race
The course starts about 3/4s of the way down the runway. You run from the start a short distance to the end of the runway then turn run all the way down the full runway turn back again and run back up the tarmac to the start / now finish point.

Started off well and was on the pace I was looking for during the first part and into the first turn around. There was however a bit of a headwind. After the first turn headed back down the length of the runway. Was in good shape at 2k and felt okay but that didn’t last. Somewhere around 2.5k I felt myself beginning to struggle a bit. Pace dropped slightly. Worse then that my hamstring was a bit tight, wonder why… GRRRR.

Held on to this pace for a while but began to struggle a lot more. By the time I made the second turn and headed back towards the finish line my pace had dropped of even more. Even worse then that mentally I was not sharp at all. Instead of focusing on form, trying to reel people in and push I was thinking “I’m dying here”. GRRRR

The last section of the course I could really feel the headwind which made it tough. Also was running ragged. Finished the last 400 meters really strong but was not happy at all.

Post race.
Finished in 22:41 which is 45 seconds slower then my PB but is also still my second fastest 5k. Finished in 77th place out of 1100. Not as disappointed in my time as I was with my run. Bad warm up, bad ragged form and no focus at all left me wondering what the heck happened out there.

Kim ran pretty well missing her PB by 12 seconds even though she had been out the night before indulging. Steve came in at just over 23 minutes.

Also congratulations to Longboater Rob Campbell who finished 4th overall, second masters.

Still this is a decent race and if you haven’t done it before you might want to give it a try. I thought it lost a bit of its charm in its second year with a bigger field and maybe its just because I had done it before. Not sure if I would run this a third time but glad I ran it the first 2 times.

Will post some pics once I get them.

Think I may do the wine run next year instead. Drinking and running at the same time in the heat on a very hilly course what could go wrong.

Friday, June 12, 2009

1000 miles, running with airplanes and watch out for flying squirrels

On Tuesday I somehow managed to hit the 1000 mile mark for the year. Thats 1G in the bank. It’s hard to believe that I am there already. I feel tired just thinking about it. I celebrated by going for a run.

Tomorrow morning will be running the Toronto Airport 5k on the runway at Pearson. Time to dodge some airplanes. I ran this race last year and found it to be quite a unique experience. Fellow Longboater Roadrunners Adrian Horvath and Ron Linklater finished first and second overall last year but neither will be running it this time. I will definitely not be winning it this year (man just typing I and winning in the same sentence is making me chuckle) but hope to put up a decent time. Not sure how that will go as my taper consisted of thinking about not running. Does that count as resting your legs?

So I got many comments about my run in with the garter snake earlier this week. Yes snakes freak me out but honestly it happened so fast I really had little time to get funkafied (no that’s not really a word smarty pants). That said it’s not poisonous so the worst that I could have gotten is a small bite. Honestly there is more chance of getting a chunk taken out of me by the Chiwawa down the street. Worms and bugs are no bother I really just want an excuse to own a monkey unfortunately Kim is not cool with another grunting animal on the couch (besides me). No sale on the monkey bartender.

Although I live in Toronto I grew up in New Brunswick where the real woods were just a five minute walk down our street and across the highway. The animals I worry about on trail runs are the ones that can fit my head in their open mouths. Bears, mountain lions, lamas .. okay not lamas …. poisonous snakes and of course Moose. Yeah I know what all you city dwellers are thinking, MOOSE huh? A moose is the big badass of the Canadian wilderness. I know, I know you keep thinking about the wildlife moment commercials you have seen on TV talking about the majestic moose. Here is the truth. They are huge, they are mean, especially during mating season and they will stomp you to a pulp without batting an eye. On the bright side if you brought a gun they are also very very tasty.

Then there are the flying squirrels. I never used to fear the flying squirrel but that was before I came to Toronto. Once cute and friendly recently the squirrels here in Mayor David Miller’s socialist republic of Toronto have decided to Unionize and have become quite radical. It’s my understanding that they are demanding the same 18 paid sick days a year (bankable up to retirement) that all other outside city workers get. Man this could really get ugly. If they don’t get their way they are going to refuse to frolic. The horror of it all.

Remember if you see one or two flying squirrels together there is really no reason to worry so don’t panic. If you see a whole group of them be careful. Back away slowly and make lots of noise and don’t forget to hold onto your nuts.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Holy Boring Batman .... Training Update

Like the title says all we got in this here blog is some boring training info from last week. With my cutting back on racing to focus on training I unfortunately ( fortunately?) have no great tales of my racing exploits to mesmerize you with. So I guess training crap will have to do.

Week unfolded as follows.

Sunday 18 miles long run
Went pretty well mostly ran on asphalt with some trails. Misjudged my distance and had to add a mile on to the run after I made it home.. I hate when that happens. Math is hard .. like duh.

Monday rest
I rested .. pretty self explanatory. Hit the gym for some weight training.

Tuesday 8.5 miles (trails)
Steve had to cancel so was on the trails alone. Good thing I didn’t fall down and get hurt as I could have been lost forever. Ran at a pretty easy pace.

Wednesday 10 miles Tempo
Did a group run with Longboat and extended my Wednesday night run out to 10 miles. Will take it up to 12 or more over the next few weeks. Ran at tempo pace but instead of doing speed intervals decided just to run the whole thing fast. Averaged just a bit slower then HM pace.

Thursday 5.5 miles (trails)
I met up with Steve for trail running in High Park. Short but sweet, we ran it at a pretty easy pace as my legs were still sore from Wednesday. Had to do a one legged chicken dance to avoid stepping on a really big garter snake that I didn’t see until the last minute. I also got covered in inch worms that must have been falling from the trees. Note to self buy pet monkey to pick yucky but tasty worms off of me. Maybe I can also train it to tend bar.

Friday 6.5 miles (track workout)
Ran 2 miles out to the track and felt pretty crappy. Left calf was pretty tight as well. Told coach George that I would do what I could. Work out was 400 x 1, 800 x 4, 400 x 1. Was able to do the whole workout without dying and hit all my paces properly. This made me tired but happy. The week before did 400 x 10. Not sure which one was harder. Wondering if coach George realizes that these workouts are exactly the same distances of hard running (4000m)... I bet he does. How was I tricked into thinking this week's workout was easier. I will make smart ass comment about this next time I see him.

Saturday 7.5 miles (trails)
Morning run with Longboat in High Park on trails. Ran first half hard .. second half not so much. Legs a bit dead from the track. I tried to not over do it as I am doing a 20 miler on Sunday.

Week total 56 miles
Hit my goals for the week. Legs feel pretty good no injuries. Hope to hit 60 miles next week.
Did my Sunday run yesterday and then had Kim make me a 5 bean salad .. yummy. Followed that with homemade chili for dinner. I pity anyone that has to stay in any kind of enclosed space with me on Monday. Maybe I will take in a yoga class.. HA

Monday, June 1, 2009

May is done .... look out June .. Training Update

So after a slow April running / training wise May ended up being a decent month. Most of the month was spent racing while still trying to get in some decent quality training miles. This was no small feat as I often probably didn't take enough time for recovery so there were more then a few runs done on very tired legs. No complaining allowed tho as I had a fun racing.

In June I will be more focused on continuing to build up my base miles. That means less racing although I reserve the right to change my mind at any moment. The currently plan for June will be to run one maybe two 5ks starting with the Runway Run on June 13th (Watch out for the McPeake VS Blackburn rematch, crying will not be tolerated).

Although a busy month of racing I was still able to get my weekly base back up to 50 miles. My hope is to get it up to 70 by the end of June. Long runs should be back up to 20 milers next week. Still yet to decide what marathon I will be doing in the fall. That decision will really depend on how my training is going and whether I take on the challenge of running a 50k.

Currently running week consists of a long run, 2 trail runs, mid week longer run (tempo starting this week), a recovery run on roads and of course the always popular track work out (speed work). Crosstraining at this point is 2 or 3 weight workouts a week for upper body and core.

Oh ya here is a photo of our new kitty. She is keeping us busy.
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