Wednesday, July 25, 2007

so i've been kind of sucky about running and blogging...i think i maybe went to the gym once and ran once in the past 2 weeks. i still ride my bike to work and back 5 days a week so it's not like i've been doing nothing...but i do sort of feel like chaos is ensuing.

i know i didn't do the best at the last half marathon, and that even my shorter distance time has suffered. and i feel it to. i keep thinking back to these great runs i've had - i remember deciding to double the distance of a run because i feel so strong, racing strangers who didn't know i was racing them, not stopping to talk to the neighbours who called out hi because i was running so fast i knew i would set a PR, coming home from a run and feeling exhilerated and proud of it. i haven't felt any of those things in a long time - i feel like i'm dragging myself slowly along, tired and bored and resentful and like i just want to get it over with. and that is why i have been for one run in the past two weeks. and the one run i did go on was thanks to the boy believing me when i said i thought i might go for a run in the morning and actually waking up to come along.

the worst thing is that without running, everything else starts to fall apart. i care less about what i eat because i don't have to worry about getting cramps. i have less energy, i stay up way too late because i don't have to get up and run in the morning, i do laundry less often because i don't have to worry about having fresh running clothes, etc. so i eat junk, feel crappy and tired and messy and bored.

so. tonight i have a plan. i clearly cant just wing it and run when and however long i feel like, because that means i won't run.

i'm going to steal a beginner's 10k training plan and hope that with some structure and some challenging workouts i will get fitter and faster soon. the 10k is after all the "foundation of fitness". the plan is good because it doesn't include any runs that will take me more than, say, an hour, and it keeps it interesting by including speed intervals, gradual pickups (increasing speed over about 100m and then slowing down over 100m), shorter and longer runs. it's only 4 weeks so after that if i'm feeling better i can switch back to something more advanced.

the only other thing worth mentioning is that i don't think i'm going to blog much about it here, because i'm going to use some free software that is designed for tracking runs, and gives you lots of neat charts and graphs showing improvement and stats and whatnot.

so yeah. that will be cool. it's a plan. tomorrow is thursday. we'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

fun times

so i ran friday night, 4 miles. i seem to have lost my watch, so i dont know the exact time.... i did run it in intervals though, because it was SUPER hot out, so about 1km running followed by a few dozen meters walking, etc.

sunday, my sister mom and i hiked the grouse grind. since i was with them, going their pace, this took about 1.5 hours. the grind is basically a staircase, so that was a good workout.

monday morning i rode my bike to the gym, did a lower body workout, rode to work and back. had intended to run in the evening but got distracted and before i knew it it was dark...

this morning i rode to the gym, did upper body stuff, rode to work and back, then did make it out for a quick run in the evening. still haven't found my watch, but i did 4miles in definately less than 45 min...which still isn't good for me but felt pretty fast. stopped and watched the sunset at the 2 mile point for a minute or two as well.

the interesting thing with running shorter runs is that it still takes me forever to get warmed up. it's not until about 30 min into the run that i finally feel loose and ready to push for speed. hopefully running more short distances will change that...

overall, it's been pretty good so far this week. the beautiful weather helps.

Friday, July 6, 2007

is the closest thing i can find to a picture of me crossing the finish line. I'm the one in the back in the yellow jacket. ah well.

also i got a very nice letter of apology from the CRS people about the bags. apparently the bus broke down and chaos ensued - suffice to say that at least our bags were there, even if they were soaking wet.

I've been trying to think up some new goals and i haven't really thought of anything good yet. there's another half marathon in october - maybe i should aim to set a PR there? or maybe i should aim to get faster on my short runs, the way i used to before the whole long distance thing. i've been running sporadically the past week or so, plus lots of cycling (to and from work and any other errands).

but the truth is that i want to take a few weeks to just focus on being organized. to get 8 hours of sleep a night. to run short runs regularly. to stop eating fast food and actually plan and cook meals. that kind of thing.

i'm going to keep blogging my runs, because i like having a record of them. Will go for one soon to start it off.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

the way it went down.

okay so i forgot to write that i was at a wedding last weekend, managed to get in a run in the boy's hood on sunday but only 6miles, so i woke up early on tuesday (5am early) and did about 12miles (to No.2 Rd and back) before work. and it was good, i managed it in 131mins so that was okay. no where near as fast as i wanted it to be, but not too too bad. then i rode my bike to work and back.

so last night, my stomach was very upset, and i managed a few bites of lasagna but not really the big dinner i was planning. it was rumbling and grumbling all night long too, which i know because i barely slept. because i had had a terrible day, and wanted to curl up with a good book. which i did, and it was a very good book, and before i knew it it was 1:45am. i had to get up at 5:15 this morning.

managed to get up and dressed, but it was POURING rain. so everything i'd been training in was out of the question. i wore thin wool socks, not my blister-free ones. also different shoes, because i own a pair of waterproof ones so it just felt like a better bet. and a hat and jacket of course.

it was raining the whole run, and i started off with a stitch in my side that lasted like the first 5km. i didn't even really need my jacket really, because it was a warm thunderstorm.

i did okay for the most part i think, i was ahead of schedule for a bit, but then got tired (there are 2 big hills at 16 and 18km, which hurt). it was pretty miserable for the last 3km or so, worse that i thought it'd be and that's partly because you couldn't see the finish line until you were literally 10 steps from it because the road was so curvy. which wasn't very motivating. at least at home i know when i'm getting close. so anyways my gun time was 2:28:01 and my chip time was more like 2:25 (it took 3 minutes to get to the start because of all the people). which is exactly what i thought it was going to be.

so now i'm home and freezing cold and hungry and tired. and i think i'm going to shower and then go to the library to find the sequel to that book.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


so once again i went the whole week without running. I have done much cycling, to and from work every day plus to and from the gym a couple times, so i haven't been a total lazy bum. this morning i rode home from adam's, about a 45 min ride, in the rain. it was awesome. SO much fun. then i went for my blundell run. this was right after lunch. at first my stomach was like NOOOOO I DONT WANT TO, so after 15 min of it hurting i walked a couple minutes, then started again really slowly. but then this woman ran past me, in the other direction, in nothing but shorts and a bra top, and she was so cut you could see her abs and quads and she was just FLYING past. so just seeing her made me feel slow and heavy, so i picked up the pace. finished in about 53:45 which isn't so bad considering the time i spent walking and also when i got to blundell i spent a minute watching a mommy duck with 7 ducklings cross the path and then all jump into the little pond/ditch and start splashing around. so cute.
now im' going out for dinner and staying over at the boy's... i think i will try and get out for a run in his neighbourhood tomroow, which will be a fun change of pace. he's on the edge of a little forest so it will include trail running. yeah.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

golden pouches of magic

so, i know that next januaryish i'm gonna be considering signing up for the marathon again and wondering what happened this year (cause this year is gonna hurt). so here's what happened.

on the week i was supposed to run 9 miles, i ran 10. it was a whim. it was a beautiful day, i had no other plans, i thought, what the heck, i'm going for it. this was a bad idea. not only beacuse i wasn't quite ready, but because the weather changed. the breeze died down, the sun came up. the little bit of sunscreen i'd rubbed onto my forehead and nose before i left was long gone. i hadn't stopped at any water fountains, i hadn't eaten enough carbs for breakfast. at about 75min in, i was hurting hard. then my batteries died on my ipod. i started doing the terry fox thing (where you're like, okay just run to the next lampost, and then right before you get there you start thinking about just getting to the next one, etc. i don't know why i call this the terry fox thing. maybe it was in some documentary). anyways, that's never a good sign, becuase it means i'm not even into it mentally. it was like the sun just sucked all my energy away. anyways i finished in about 106 mins, and partly what sucked w as that a couple years ago that route was my 90min route. it was discouraging.

so i got home, sucked down some gatorade, and decided running long distance sucks.

it took me like, a week to get over that and feel like running again at all. but finally i went to bed one night right before my next days off, planning to get up early and run the next morning. halfway through the night i was running to the bathroom. apparently i had eaten something terribly, horribly bad. my stomach was very unhappy with me. my doctor suggested sticking to a liquid diet until it was better. it took about a week.

there's a rule i have about running when i'm sick - if it's below my neck, i don't run. so no running for me that whole week. that makes 2 weeks no running.

so then finally i was feeling better, once again planned on running the next morning, now that i had lost a lot of training time so i was pretty urgently feeling like i needed to get back out there. and when i woke up (this was last sunday), my throat felt like there were razor blades in it. bad bad bad cold had come on. i was stuck in bed for three days, i had to take a day off work, i lost my voice completely, then developed a hacking cough, had terrible sinus headaches and body aches and slept like 12 or 13 hours a night for most of last week. now this is technically an above-the-neck problem so some moderate exercise would probably be okay. except that i did get in 4 days of work and i rode my bike to and from the store each time. so i figured over an hour of exercise a day would be more than moderate and probably hinder getting better. so again, no running this week, just cycling.

now today i still have the cough, but my voice is back and i didn't have to ride to work so i was finally able to get back to running. i re-ran that 10 mile route this morning, and here's how it went: altogether, 108mins. 28-29 were at waterfountain A, 52-54 (halfway) was spent slurping up a powergel, 62-63 at water fountain B, 79-80 back at waterfountain A, and 103-105 at a red light. The best part about this run was the powergel. it's like a little golden pouch of electrolyte/carbohydrate/caffeine magic. 20 minutes later i was very happy. so that was good.

so now i'm feeling much better, as in no longer sick and a little more confident about not dying during the half. i think i'll bring 2 powergels, one for 45min and one for 90min. i think this will probably be my slowest half-marathon, probably closer to 2hours 3mins as opposed to just 2 hours. but oh well. really, there's not much i can do about that now. i figure i'll be able to get one or 2 more long runs in before the big day, and hopefully a bunch of shorter ones plus i'll keep riding my bike which seems to be a good thing.

phew. i've been too sick to do anything really so that's it.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

it was raining.

i had the day off. so of course i slept in, then sat around cooking, eating, watching tv and surfing the web for like, 6 hours. finally, i got dressed to go for a run in the rain, decided that it's like, miserable, and sat back down at the computer hoping to get inspired. of course the best inspiration to run on a rainy day is the last stanza of sorley's poem, which is what finally got me going. i memorized the lines ("the rain is on our lips/ we do not run for prize/ but for the storm the wind whips/ and the wave howls to the skies/ the winds arise and strike it/ and scatter it like said/ we run becuause we like it/ across the broad bright land"), then ran out the door before i could stop myself. i did my blundell run in long intervals.
km min
0-2 11:00
2-4 9:50 (20:50)
4-5 6:10 (27:00)
5-7 9:25 (36:25)
7-8 6:05 (42:30)
8-10 9:30 (minus 45s at a red light)
total time: 52 min

it gave me time to think. i'm angry at myself for being so lazy the past few weeks. i generally consider myself pretty hardcore. i'm a keener. i like physical things. i LIKE runnig in the rain. so why do i get into these moods where i feel like i cant? i need to relight my own fire here.

so tonight i'm going to the boy's house. tomorrow i plan to turn his basement into a personal gym. and then tuesday i'll finish my room, and put up some pictures and make a big wall calendar with a training schedule. maybe ill actually set some short term goals and write them down.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

settling in

so i did do that 8 miler, finally, on thursday morning before work (that's 6:30am). i don't even remember how it felt or anything - that 's the benefit of running first thing in the morning - you can just put it out of your mind. i did it in about 1:21, with an even pace the whole way. so i still don't feel as though i'm getting way behind in preparing for the half, just a little bit (keep missing all the short fast strength-building runs, which means my time will suck, but i wont die).

i'm like, a huge procrastinator. i guess one of the good things about training for a long run is that you can't prepare overnight for it, you have to start nice and early. i just got my grades back for last term, so that's been on my mind (as in, if i hadn't written that paper the morning it was due, i could have got a better mark and therefore a better gpa etc.) Also, i still haven't finished unpacking and it's sort of stressing me out that i can't find things but in order to get organized it's goign to require a major overhaul of my room (it's not easy to fit a whole condo's worth of things into my bedroom). i'm thinking about moving furniture around even. but thats too much work for me to just do it, i have to sit around and think about it for a few weeks first. i dont know why it takes so much effort for me to just do things lately. hopefully training for this run will help reform my attitude a little bit. i really need to prove it to myself.

Monday, May 14, 2007

muffiny morning

even though i had the whole day off, i slept in until noon, then read, baked and ate muffins for 6 hours (okay mostly read) and now i'm watching 24. at some point i'm going to go for that 8 miler i missed some point. i clearly need more motivation these days. something is missing.

Friday, May 11, 2007

i run faster than cows

so i got a little bit lazy earlier this week, and skipped a bunch of runs. there was some windy rainy weather involved and all my motivation just dissapeared. also my shifts at work have been from 10-630 which makes fitting in a run terrible - either waking up really really early, or running in the evening with the mosquitos. sigh. I did get back out there though.

Yesterday's Run: we'll call this route, which is a staple, "Blundell". it's 5 miles, and on my fastest days i can do it in 42min, on my slowest it's around 1 hour. everything else is based around it.

yesterday it was the evening, it was me and the bugs, and i forgot my watch but i do know that it was about 50min or so. and a negative split.

Today's Run:I did my Blundell run, but cut it a little short, down to 4miles. took 42:30min altogether, split time was 22:15. beautiful hot sunny day. noticed a sign as i got onto to the dyke saying "Attention: Standing Pools of Water..." which must have a been about all the mosquitos. hopefully it continues to say that they will be spraying the ditches. i will try to get a closer read tomorrow.

Also, there are lots of baby cows. my blundell run takes me past a beef farm. there are about 2 dozen cows, including lots of little fluffy babies. they were running in the same direction i was, but i passed them. i run faster than cows.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

there is now a plan

okay so first things first, i decided against the big shiny mall store and am going with the neighbourhood location, which isn't in a mall, but is much closer and has a higher-up position available. this will save a few hours in my day, which i guess in the end is worth it.

as for running, well now that i'm home and i've had a few days to jog and figure things out, i have a plan. there is really not so much time to work up to the distance i need, let alone the time goal. so this is fairly aggressive. we'll see how it goes and sort of play it by ear.

x = cross train, either strength or some other cardio, like cycling or rollarblading. the goal is to equal at least 60min 6 days a week.
5/6 milers = tempo runs
3/4 milers = speed or hills
> 7 miles = long slow distance

DayDistance Goal
May 26
May 3x
May 44
May 56
May 67
May 83x
May 96
May 104x
May 11x
May 123
May 138
May 154x
May 166
May 174x
May 18x
May 193
May 209
May 224x
May 236
May 244x
May 255x
May 26x
May 2710
May 293x
May 306
May 314x
June 15x
June 23x
June 311
June 54x
June 66
June 74x
June 86
June 93x
June 1012
June 124x
June 136
June 144x
June 155x
June 163x
June 1713
June 193x
June 204
June 223x
June 24Race Day

um yeah. i'll make that a little clearer when i have the time.

i did the 6 miler, 30 min rollarblade, and 4miler no problem, no problem scheduling either. looking forward to the rest of them!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

new job

i just got a call from a west coast store and i'm expecting an email soon and then i'll be all set up for a shiny new job in a shiny new mall. a BIG shiny new mall.
it's going to be a commute. it's probably the farthest store i could have picked. but they called me right away and sound really excited to have me and will have lots of hours for me, so i'm not complaining. i will not be driving there, because i think gas would be outrageous and once my sister is back in school then sharing the car would become ridiculous too, so i'm going to get a bus pass. i think this will be good. i'll be able to get lots of reading done on my ride.
i know it will eat a couple extra hours out of my day...but i'm going to be as positive as i can about it. at least it will be on the bus and dealing with other drivers for an hour. there's a huge park next to the mall, and a library attached to it. i wonder if there's also a gym nearby? will look into it.

as for running, i just registered for the vancouver half-marathon in june. i've run it twice, and it was really good the last time so i'm excited. except i was in way better shape at the end of that april than i am now. but i am harbouring a secret goal for this year, which is to finish in less that 2hours. my last times were 2:15 (a bad year - running with a knee injury), and 2:07 (a not-too-bad year). this year i want to fly through it in a spectacular 1:55. if i could get there by june 24 from here, it would be mind blowing. but of course it's always impressive to just finish 21km.

i do, in fact, have an exam tomorrow, so i can't just keep going on and on about what i should do. i have to go do it now.

so i started a blog

so...its my last 5 days in toronto, and then i'm back to richmond for good. you know that feeling like when its a new year, a new house, a new job, a new season, or new start to Something and youre all full of resolutions and excitement and eagerness, excited for the opportunity to make a change and really have it stick? yeah i feel like way but like, multiply by about a thousand. and i don't know what to do with myself.

now yes i do usually keep a journal, in the form of my daytimer. each day is divided into a few little boxes that are school, work, running, and other. then at the end of every week is a "this week" page and also the end of every month is a "this month" page and i use those to write out some of my goals, regrets, priorities, etc in order to refocus. but it's sort of not enough to really take care of expressing all the new things going on right now.

one of the main problems is fitting in the running/fitness stuff. i really like to log my runs, to describe them and record them and look back at them, etc, but there's not enough room in my planner and whenever i (frequently) try to start a seperate log it just never works out. so i'm hoping this blog will help me do that. it's good motivation for me to look back and see how far ive come, and to put into writing what my goals are, and to keep them somewhere safe and accesible.

so i'm blogging. i thought i'd give it a shot.

ps the titile of the blog is from the fantastic fantastic poem "song of the ungirt runners" by charles hamilton sorely, and it's the best running poem i've ever read.