Sunday, January 27, 2008
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Week of January 14 to January 20
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
4.11 miles, 9.17 pace, steady run, -23 (-31 with wind chill) Golf Course square
Another chilly one… definite bragging rights for the diehards. Dressing for these temperatures can be tricky. Too many layers cause discomfort and over heating. Too few layers causes death! My toes were cold and my mid-section… ladies please skip this part… was numb, and shriveled to a mere shadow of its former self ... I told you to skip it!
Nazeer, Lori, Vivian, and I set out a little after 6:00 o’clock. It was a very quiet run. The normal banter was absent. Not sure why. Our frozen jaws could have had something to do with it. It wasn’t until we turned down the Valley of the Shadow of Death (i.e. the name Vivian coined for the dark trail through the forest), that we started to chatter. The quarter moon provided some light so we didn’t have to feel our way down the trail as in previous runs. The trail had recently been plowed and it was in fine shape until we hit Corydon. Here our friendly little jog through the park turned into a Franklin Expedition. The snow was knee deep and crusty making it pretty well impenetrable. After attempting to hack our way through we decide to cross the ditch and run along the shoulder of Corydon Avenue with high-speed traffic buzzing us from behind. Scary! At Shaftsbury Street we returned to the sidewalk and continued on our merry way.
As the runners from different groups trickled in we warmed ourselves with good chatter and hot tea provided by our lovely Running Room staff. Thank you Grant Running Room, you’re simply the best!
PS. Nice to see Nancy again who has been off due to some nasty ITB. Welcome back Nancy… it’s good to see your perky smile again.
Thursday, January 17.
4.51 miles, 9.31 pace, steady run, -17 (–28 wind chill) West on Grant 2.25 miles, return (including Park Boulevard loop)
Our clinic guest speaker this evening was Barb Webb who explained some of the more common runner injures, how to avoid them, and what to do when you get them. The talk was in depth and far too complicated to review in this blog. If you weren’t there, you missed a good one, which, segues nicely into… where is everyone? Is it just me or have our numbers dwindled? Gotta get those miles in folks. Don’t let the cold bring you down… embrace it as part of the full package.
Mildred, Vivian, Linda, Deborah, David and I had a great, albeit unimaginative, little run. Wanting to get the prescribed 4.5 miles we headed west on Grant Avenue 2 1/4 miles, stopped, turned, and headed back. Unfortunately, Mildred had to head back after a mile to tend to a delicate personal matter… hmmm, how should I put this… an urgent need to pee! We tried to convince her to knock on someone’s door and ask to use the loo, but she wouldn’t bite. Last I saw of her she was running very fast (sub 8:00 pace) in an easterly direction with her jacket tail flapping in the wind!
Saturday, January 19, 2008
6.01 miles, 10:41 pace, steady run, solo, -25 (-36 wind chill), My front door/ Esplanade Riel return (via river trail)
It is a beautiful sunny day, crisp breeze, and hard packed snow. Homebound was a little harder on my exposed face so I stopped, readjusted my neck warmer (ninja style), and all was well. I enjoy cold weather running because it adds a whole new dimension to the sport I love. The challenge of determining just the right number of layers is 1/3 science, 1/3 experience, and 1/3 luck… sometimes the gods are with you and you get it bang-on and yet other times you freeze, or worse, sweat. You want to avoid sweating in climes like these, and if you do sweat, you better not stop until you’re safe at home, or if you can't quiet make it, just curl up in a snowbank, sleep comes naturally. Today’s winning formula:
- Bottom: light polyester long-johns, Running Room winter briefs, outer tights with double layered front, heavier Duo Max trail runners, and the piece de la resistance, a very nice pair of Mirano wool double layer socks.
- Top: light polyester long-john full sleeve, Stanfield’s polar-therm turtle neck, MEC long sleeved waffle-thermal, MEC zip-up outer layer, Running jacket that covers butt, Running Room neoprene-like toque, wool gloves with nylon mitt, and neck warmer.
My left hip is a little sore today. I need to book a massage with Kristen to get it alligned. This has happened in the past and she knows just what to do to get them back in alignment. Bye for now.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
7.56 miles, 9.46 pace (with walks) -30 (-41 wind chill), East on Grant/ Harrow/ Wellington/Sherbrooke/ Wolseley/ Running Room
Definitely the coldest run of the year. Exposed skin freezing in seconds. Balaclava icing solid from exhaling rendering them chunky and useless. Thick white frost forming on faces, heads, and bottoms. Joints squeaking for the first mile or two. Yup, Dude, it was a cold one... but a dry cold don't-you-know. Actually, I was comfortable except for my derriere which was frozen, almost solid, for the last 4 miles... it's still thawing as I type 6 hours later. I bet our friends in Vancouver aren't aren't having as fun as us.
About 30 brave souls showed up for this morning's run. I suppose it is true that misery does indeed breeds company!
Bruce, Debbie, and Linda joined Terry's group this morning ... something about us being too slow... we're not upset, no way, don't worry, it's ok, really, we don't mind... ;>)... Vivian, Sandra, Nazeer, Gwen, Lori and I set out at a warm-up pace east on Grant towards Harrow. En route we got caught up on Gwen's news from her stay in Calgary (all good) and Sandra's news about her stay in Italy (all very good, but evidently she had a little too much pasta). For some reason I reported she was in China in last week's blog... not sure where that came from, sorry Sandra. We ran by the new Stella's restaurant in Wolseley on the corner of Westminister and Sherbrooke. It's opening in February and should be a real hit with the local tree huggers, myself included. It was a pleasant run despite the cold and that skitterish black foo-foo dog that lunged at Gwen as we passed, the owner yelling at us to be more careful! Hmmm, how about reining in your dog, lady?
Back at the Running Room hot chocolate and tea thawed the hands and warmed the body from the inside out. The hot beverages encourages runners to hang around a while and chit-chat. The camaraderie at these impromptu tea parties is quite enjoyable, almost the highlight of the run. It allows us to put faces to names and to catch up on stories from old friends and touch base with an increasingly number of new friends. Thanks again Grant Running Room... you're the best!
Nazeer is a good friend. We trained hard together for last year's marathon and we have grown close over the hundreds of miles of training and racing. Nazeer has a dream of qualifying for Boston in 2009. He needs a 4:15 time for his age category which he hopes to achieve in June at the Manitoba Marathon. Good luck to you Nazeer. I'll be with you every step of the way. Nazeer is off to Hawaii for 6 weeks and is registered for an 8 mile run. Keep in touch Nazeer and keep logging those miles!
Bruce is off to Mexico and Linda and Dick are off to Texas. Vivian is hoping to accompany her partner Dave to the Boston Marathon on April 21, but has to work out some family stuff before she can commit.
I was on my way to join the crew for coffee only to discover my car battery dead... flat line dead, Winnipeg -41 dead, anyone got jumper cables dead, dead... not even a whimper! It appeared that I may have left my running lights, well, running. By the time I got it boosted my core temperature had dropped more than a couple of degrees. Nothing like a little sweat mixed with -41 to slur the speech and numb the extremities. Feeling hypothermic I felt it wise to beetle home to a hot shower and forgo the coffee. Thank you Debbie for the booster cables and thank you Dick for the boost!
Cheezy Poll Results... 57 % feel "safe" running in the dark and 43% felt "somewhat safe", 0% felt "unsafe".
Week Total Distance = 22.19 miles
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Wednesday, 5.17 miles, 9.29 pace Grant Running Room/ Chalfont loop
Lori, Vivian, Debbie, Sandra, and I decided to stick to the dry pavement and avoid the dark trails. We also chose to go a little further this evening to lesson the distance on Thursday. Aside from the distinct lack of testosterone in this evening’s group, it was a good run ;>).
Someone asked for the name of a good massage therapist. I can vouch for Kristen Nedohin. Here’s my testimony. Last June, two weeks before marathon day, I damaged my glutamous maximus (don’t ask me how… ok, I’ll tell you… I was playing floor hockey with my students and I zigged sharply when I should have turned slowly… I know, stupid, stupid, stupid). I was limping and in severe pain with every step. I was devastated with the possibility that I would have to pull out of the race after a year’s training. A friend gave me Kristen’s number and after listening to my woeful tale, she made time for me over the lunch hour. She worked her magic and slowly, painfully, after three one-hour visits, I was 90% cured. I managed to compensate for the remaining 10% pain and I ran a successful marathon. Kristen is patient, thorough, and explains what she is doing and why she does it. Her number is 231-1281 and her shop is located at 169 Marion.
Thursday, 3.5 miles 9.26 pace, Grant Running Room/ Shaftsbury return
This evening’s clinic was short and entirely relevant. The guest speaker, Luc introduced himself as a “regular guy, just like you”. He has run 20 + Iron Mans and numerous marathons and half-marathons (hmmm, maybe I’m not such a regular guy, after all… see profile). He discussed the many products available for nutrition during long training runs and race days. Luc shared his race day nutrition formula (this is from memory so I might not have it completely accurate. If I’ve goofed up please let me know):
- 10 minutes: 3 big sips of Gator Aide.
- 20 minutes: 1 bite of a power bar, three big sips.
- 30 minutes: 3 big sips.
- 40 minutes: 3 big sips, 1 bite of Power Bar.
- 50 minutes: 3 big sips.
- 60 minutes: 1 gel, 3 big sips
Using this formula for a four-hour marathon you would consume 3 to 4 Power Bars, 4 gels, and 4 to 5 liters of Gator Aid (more or less depending on heat and conditions).
I like the consistency of the above formula and I’ll probably give it a try –or at least a variation of- when we get into 16+ miles. I’m not sure if this formula would apply to a 1/2 marathon. I suggest that you pre-cut the power bar in 1/3 inch wide strips and take a few strips at a time as opposed to one large bit. I like to slip a Power Bar strip under my tongue and let it soften. I find this a lot easier than biting into the bar on the run, especially on cold runs when the bar is frozen! I like to consume gels (yuck) over a mile as opposed to chugging the whole shebang in one shot. The gel seems to go down easier and I believe it’s digested slower and therefore easier on the stomach.
Luc also raised an interesting point about tapering. He reminded us that when we taper from running for the last week, we are much less active and therefore should consume less food. While training, we burn a lot of calories, we are constantly hungry, and require lots of food, but when we taper, we don’t need the same amount of fuel. Food for thought… sorry for the poor pun. Thanks for organizing this Tammy. It was a very good clinic.
It was Lori’s birthday today (29 I think). Lori is a true runner and a solid person. I’ve run with Lori for about three years and I’ve come to know her as a dependable and strong runner, not to mention a fine person with a big heart. Last year we had the pleasure of running 10 miles in – 52 degrees (that ain’t no typo… that’s a ‘take-away-sign’ followed by a 52). Lori was so impressed with this achievement that she made a tee shirt. Definite bragging rights. Happy Birthday Lori, you’re a big part of who we are.
Vivian, not one to hold back on her opinions, offers this pearl of running wisdom “Winter Running. It’s not about the scenery. It’s all about the footing, all about the damn footing”. So true! Vivian is a strong runner and likes to pour it on for the last mile or so. She’s good for a 4:15 – 4:30 marathon time for sure. She’s a smart runner too; always thinking about what’s coming up and will adapt on the fly.
Gwen is reading this in Calgary where she’s visiting her brand new grandchild, little Owen. Sandra is reading this in China where she’s lost in the world of business, but hopefully finding the time to take in some sights.
The run was uneventful yet pleasant. Some of us had trouble getting a signal on our Garmins due to the heavy cloud cover. It appeared that the 200 series Garmins worked better than the 300 series. At the end we took an average of three Garmins to arrive at an accurate distance and pace.
Saturday, 8.04 miles, 10:38 pace, My front door/ Alexander Docks return
Play list: Grey’s Anatomy soundtrack (season 1), Greg McPherson Band
It was a glorious run today, sun shining, blue sky, moderate temperature, and excellent footing. What more could a guy ask for? A good portion of today’s run was on the Assiniboine and Red River Trails. These trails are, of course, on the river right next to the skating trail. Unlike last year, the City has extended the walking trail north onto the Red River right up to the Esplanade Riel. The trail also heads south under the Queen Elizabeth Bridge and beyond. There were hundreds of skaters, walkers, cyclists, runners, little kids with parents, grandmothers, grandfathers and even a clown. Everyone had huge smiles and in true Winnipeg fashion everyone nodded and said hello as we went our way. I couldn’t help but feel one with Winnipeg. At the junction of the Red and Assiniboine, right under the footbridge, a dozen or so kids were painting the ice that had been shaved clean by some type of ice machine. Their water colour paintings of dogs, cats, flowers and such glistened on the ice and glowed brightly in the sun. It has just occurred to me that the reason this huge ice-canvas is located under the footbridge is to provide a cool vantage point for viewing the artwork. It was an A+ run.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
10.50 miles, 10:07 pace (temperature –18, wind chill –28, wind N 22 k/h… brrr)
Grant Running Room/ Wolseley/ Esplanade Riel/ return via The Crescent
The first couple of miles were chilly, but as with all winter runs, you warm up fast. My only regret is leaving the balaclava at home. The wind was sharp on the cheeks and mouth, especially on the return down the Crescent. We had a large group this morning, with a couple of new faces and plenty of familiar faces. Here’s who I remember: Lori, Scotty, Deb, Deborah, Linda, David, Rachelle, Bruce, Ken, Nazeer, and Mildred… I know I’ve missed many of you. Please drop me a line so I can add your name to this winners’ list.
Aside from the cold, it was a beautiful run. Ice crystals fluttered all around and glistened like fairy dust. I love the sound of the crunching as we run on super frozen snow, especially when we’re all crunching in unison. The sun came out for the return trip, which always improves the outlook of winter running. The footing was good (it’s all about the footing, right Vivian?) and the vehicular traffic was accommodating (mostly). The bathroom stop at the Forks proved to be too long for some runners so several hooked up with John’s group for the return. A whole crew went to Stella’s but alas, I was unable due to a family commitment. When I told Mildred I was not able to attend she said with a smile “Aren’t we your family”. In a way, I suppose you are, or at least it’s beginning to feel that way.
Thank you Running Room Rachelle! The hot chocolate and cinnamon buns were appreciated like you cannot imagine. Those thoughtful acts of kindness really matter. Like that Free Press Driver this morning who pulled way over to the side and waited a full 45 seconds for us to pass. Unlike the mean mummy who practically ran over my toes on her way to who knows where. In any event, thank you Rachelle. The next time Mr. Stanton is in town I’ll be sure to mention your kindness.
Let me tell you about Ryan Gray. I trained with him last year for the MB Marathon and I’ve grown to admire him as strong, consistent runner, but also as a fine person. Ryan is currently training for his first Iron Man in August (in 224 days I believe he said). He presently trains 6 days a week for a total of 9 hours. The training is intense. He told me that he often finds he’s training at close to 100 MHR for long periods. The training will pick up as the date approaches. Good luck to you Ryan; if anyone can achieve this goal it’s you. Ryan and his wife are expecting. I don’t know the due date, but I expect there might be a slight change to the training regime once the little one arrives.
Now for the cheesy poll results “What are your thought on Yactracks”. I’m not familiar with the statistical validity of a poll sample of 9, but what the hell, we’ll run with it. The majority, 42% or respondents, replied “I tried them, but I don’t like them”. I’m happy to report that 0% of respondents use them in the shower.
Be sure to weigh in with this week’s question: “Do you feel safe running in the dark on Wednesday and Thursday evenings?”
Week Total Distance = 27.21 miles