Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Week of March 17 to 23

This video reminds me of the Redd Foxx quote "Health nuts are going to feel pretty stupid one day, lying around hospitals dying of nothing."
Wednesday, 6.19 miles, 9:03 pace (tempo), -4 (-10 w/c), Sterling Lyon, Preston Trail/ Grant/ Chafont/ Return via Grant
Jacques, Naomi, Lorie, Anne, John D., Deb, Tom, Sandy
Aside from the crappy ice on Sterling Lyon the footing was reasonably good (it's all about the footing, right V).  The Preston Trail was particularly good this evening; it's always been a favourite of mine.  The trees provide shelter but they also give a sense of security and calmness, especially after Sterling Lyon Parkwak which is abuzz with high speed traffic.  Jacques and Naomi took the lead on Preston Trail but got turned around near the end of the trail.  It's a good reminder that we need to stick together in unfamiliar territory.  This was a textbook tempo run, fast, reasonably good footing, and ideal temperatures.  Ahh, now if only the snow would melt!
Thursday, 5.54 miles, 9.37 pace (steady), Centennial/ Wellington/ Assiniboine Park/ Park Boulevard/ Grant
Debbie, Alex, Naomi, Christy, Jacques, Manny, David, Henry, Madeline, Pam
This evening's clinic was one of the best I have attended.  Professor Mike McMurray spoke about preventing running injuries.  The breadth of his talk was far too complex to delve into in this blog, but here's some interesting tidbits from the lecture:
  • A 150 lb. person running a mile, using a stride length of 2.5' takes about 1,175 steps.
  • With each step they come down with 2.5 (250%) their body weight.
  • The resulting force is 220 tons total or 220,000 lbs. on each foot.
  • To walk the same distance the resulting force is 127 tons (63.5 tons on each foot).
No wonder we're sore!  Anyone care to do the math of the force expended over a full marathon? Is there an accountant in the house?  
And another couple of tidbits:  
  • If you don't make time for exercise then you will have to make time for illness.
  • Being injured is part of being active.
  • When muscles fail or fatigue the force is transferred onto the joints and surrounding tissue... which then leads to breakdown.
The run was great.  We even managed to share a few corny jokes.  David told a particularly interesting joke about passing a fellow traveller.  Be sure to ask him next time you're running with him.  You'll be sorry you did!  I'm faced with retelling stale jokes from last year's training, but that's ok, they're so bad they're forgotten in one breath.  We tell jokes or riddles on long runs. It passes the time and smoothes out the aches.  They don't have to be good (hell, we discourage good jokes) short and corny are the only two criteria.  
The puddles are waining, but are still a nuisance.  The hidden ice patches continue to be a real hazard, watch out.  Before this evening's run I found myself staring longingly at the running shorts on display at Running Room... ahh they look so good, so light, so inviting, so cool... when will the warm weather come?  I'm going crazy with anticipation!  I want to wear shorts!
Friday, Gwen, 7.83 miles, 9.44 pace (w/w), -4 (-7 (w/c), Centennial, Wellington/ Assiniboine Park/ Wexford/ Roblin/ Chafont/ Grant/ Park Boulevard/ Valley of Poo/ Holdsworth/ Glastonbury/ Keswick/ Grant/ Return
Vivian, John, Jim, Ken, Murray, Lori
This was a good, fun, high octane run.  Gwen and Vivian set a killer pace (killer pace bunnies?) and planned a solid course.  We laughed and entertained one another non-stop for the entire run.  We discovered Valley of Poo (stay away), Valley of Death aka Valley of Enlightenment, The Butterfly, and the Barn.  We have learned that Barn Laps are to be avoided at all costs.  I shared that I'm suspicious my wife wants to ditch me for the reno guy who's installing a new jet-tub (wif to hubby... "he's so handy", "he's so organized", "he's so funny" "why can't you be more like him?"... hubby to wif... "yeah, but can he run 13 miles in -47 without freezing his kiester off?").  Vivian shared her unique charitable donation strategy, and is hoping a tax receipt will follow forthwith.  Yes indeed, it was a good 8 miles.  Thanks all.  :>)
Saturday, 12.11 miles, 10.09 pace, LSD, -2, (-7w/c), click here for route
Rod, Dinu, John, Alex, Naomi, Jacques, Debby, Nazeer, Ken, Manny, David.
We started with a rock solid 10:00 - 10:15 pace until mile 5.  At around this point the group was spreading thin. This impacted our walk breaks and discouraged the slower runners.  The lead runners were locked in to 9:00ish pace while the slower runners hovered around 10:00 - 10:15. The lead group continued straight on St. Mary's Road when they should have veered down Mager Drive. We yelled but they were well out of hearing range and continued the wrong way.   Apparently Alex became injured at this point, but half of us were unaware due to the distance between the two groups. We eventually met up at mile 7.5 and stopped to debrief.  We discussed the importance of sticking together on the long runs in the event that someone gets injured, as happened.  We were also reminded that the purpose of the LSD runs is to build strength and endurance,  speed doesn't enter the equation.  In fact speed is detrimental at this point because of the high risk for injury (especially with all that damn ice).  Stanton says no runner has ever injured themselves from going too slow.  Very true, very wise.  I need to practice what I preach as I too am guilty of setting a false pace.  Suffice it to say we all learned a new appreciation of the group mentality; we stay together and look after each other. As pace guy I learned I need to take control and reign in the speedy guys as soon as they attempt to take lead.  I remember a pace bunny who used to yell "back of the line" when a runner attempted to take lead.  The speedy guy would then fall back and slip into the group's pace.   That'll be my new mantra; "back of the line". This was a learning run. Thank you all for the opportunity to learn.
Sunday, 4.74 miles, 9.35 pace, -14 (-20 w/c), click here for route.
Onkar, Ken, Cathy, Debbie, Gwen, Vivian
It was a little chillier than we'd like but all-in-all it was a terrific little spin through the park. Definite long-john weather!  Our thoughts go out to poor, poor Sandra who is suffering through 80 degrees while golfing in Panama.  We have her in our thoughts and prayers. I hear the ice is tricky at the 15th hole ;>) ... ahh, she may be warm, but I'm sure she misses the coffee talk! (Sandra, if you're reading this in Panama, don't come home for another week... the long range looks crummy!).  Sounds like it was a great turnout for yesterday's Wentworth crew who logged in 6 miles.  One of these days I have to join them; they're a very sociable group.  Kudos to David for logging 23 solo miles today... a long haul indeed.  He's training for Boston next month (his 26th marathon!).  Lynda is also running Boston (her 21st marathon!).  We ended today's run at Roca Jack's coffee joint where we chatted for about 40 minutes before scurrying away to our respective Easter Sunday gatherings.  A nice start to the day and a sweet end to the week.
This has nothing to do with running.  Just thought you might enjoy the story....
This afternoon I was cleaning out the basement of my rental house which has been sold effective April 1 (no, this is not a joke).  We've been storing stuff in the basement for the last four years so there was a fair bit of junk (three carloads to be precise).  I unloaded the first carload in my garage and returned for the second load.  I unloaded the second load in my garage and returned 25 minutes later for the third and final load.  As I opened the door to the basement I was met with a water fall.  Water was pouring ... gushing ... streaming through the floorboards.  I immediately closed the main valve, but clearly the damage had been done.  Had I not returned, or if the break happened after the third load, the water would have gushed for a week.  Both tenants have already vacated and I had no intention of returning until next weekend. Small miracles indeed. The source of the water break was the main floor washing machine. Here's the weird thing, both the hot water pipe and the cold water pipe burst simultaneously at exactly the same location (about 4 inches below the valve).  Oh well, all is well, I've got my feet up with Smithwick's by my side and another one in the fridge.  Happy Easter!!!!
Cheers all,  M
Week total mileage: 36.41 miles
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