Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Week of April 14 to 20

Chatter on... It's official... I'm registered in the...
There's been much talk about helmet legislation in our fine city. Like many of you I too have an opinion. A doctor friend of mine told me years ago that medical people affectionately refer to cyclist (or motor cyclists) who refuse to wear helmets as "organ bait". Cyclists, he says with a wry smile, tend to be young, physically fit, and come with "very good parts" for transplantation. So the next time you're at a red light on your bike without a helmet and a BMW pulls up along side... take a glance at the driver... is he licking his lips? Could be a doc with a wait list. Here's another helmet beef. How often have you seen an idyllic family outing of three or four kids dutifully cycling safely strapped in a CSA approved helmet alongside their parents who for reasons unknown aren't wearing a helmet! What is the message here? Do as I say, not as I do!? Helmets are for kids only!? My skull is harder than yours? My question to the adults is how would they support their family if one of them sustained a massive head injury while cycling. More important, would their children learn to forgive them? Would the parent ever forgive themselves?
Buster's been busted! It appears Buster Martin of previous posts may be a fake. The Guinness World Record officials have evidence that he is in fact 94 years old, not the spry 101 years he claims. Regardless, Buster completed the London Marathon in a little over 10 hours. He does not have an official time because the tracking system was shut down at 7 PM, 45 minutes before Buster crossed the line. The oldest man to complete a marathon stands unbeaten, Greek runner Dimitrion Yordanidis, age 98, in Athens, in 1976. Dimitrion's time was 7 hours, 33 minutes.
Tuesday School Running Club, 2.5 miles
It was another great turnout of 63 kids from k to 8 and their parents. I mark a chalk line at 1 k, 1.5 k, 4 k, and 4.25 k. Grade k to 3 students must turn around at the 1 k line for a total of 2 k. If they have "special permission" from me, the Big Cheese, they can continue on to the 2 k mark. Special permission is granted if I feel they can run the distance and get back to school before 8:30. The kids with running experience have no difficulty going the distance, but the new kids often get overwhelmed and want to walk or take shortcuts (or both). I teach the inexperienced runners to "run two poles, walk one pole". This helps them visualize and it improves their overall pace. I have two grade 8 kids that logged 7 k and are biting at the bit to go further. I promised them that I will run with them on Thursday and see if we can log 10 k. It's life affirming to run with so many positive little spirits. I told Nazir the other day that I have the best job in the world! Two students, Sundeep and Braedon, were the first to achieve their Bronze Goal; 13 k. They received the coveted LIME GREEN SHOELACE.
Wednesday, 7 hills, 5.36 miles
Manny, Jacques, Naomi, Ken, Deb, John, Alex, Nazir
We met at Silver City and had a slow 1 mile jog to Garbage Hill. Garbage Hill is an old inner city landfill that was capped and landscaped into a nice little park (maybe a little run down, but it has good potential). The picture shows the opposite side to where we run. This is the side the kids use for a toboggan run in the winter and a mountain bike trail in the spring and summer. I wear my heart rate monitor when we run hills to gauge my effort. At the top of each hill my heart rate is around 168 BPM which places it squarely in the Anaerobic Zone. On the down sides it recovers to 135/ 140 BPM which is considered Base Training or Endurance Training (for my age). When you stop to consider the options, any heart rate... base, endurance, aerobic, anaerobic... is a good heart rate. (photo credit Bryan Scott).
I had an interesting afternoon. A grade 7 girl fainted on the school bus just as it pulled into bus loop. We called 911 and the paramedics determined she needed to be transported to the Children's Hospital. I was asked to accompany her in the ambulance so I jumped into the back with nothing more than my clothes and cell phone. During transport I asked Elizabeth if she was still planning on attending the "Jog In The Park" field trip next Wednesday (this is an event hosted by Manitoba Marathon for school aged runners). I was sitting at the top of the gurney looking down on her head. With great effort (she was strapped down in three places) she twisted her body and careened her head to make eye contact and, in that exasperated teenage tone that parents and teachers know only too well, said "well of course I am" as if I had suddenly lost my marbles and I was the one who should be strapped down! I stayed with her until her mother arrived about an hour later, bummed a bus ticket, and headed back to school. All in a day's work.

Thursday morning School Running Club, 4.0, miles, 68 runners :>)

We had a terrific turnout out this morning. Three boys in grade 8 are keen on increasing their distance and pace. They've been in my run club for three years so I know they have good endurance and are very fast. I loaned one of them my Garmin so they could track an 10 k route. They returned pleased as punch and are pumped to increase their distance next Tuesday. They really want me to run with them, but my hands are full watching the other kids. I promised them I would run with them one day soon.

The greatest running honor in this little run club is to "kiss the pole". The "pole" is a rusted light standard on Regent three kilometers from the school (6 k round trip). I allow students to run to the pole only after they reach their goals. When they reach the pole they can either kiss the pole or kiss their hand and slap the pole. Kissing the pole is a great honor among this crew. The little ones look with wide-eye wonder at the omnipotent bigger kids who have kissed the majestic pole. The legend of the pole grows bigger every year. By the end of the season most of the kids will have achieved this high honor, but I milk it good. Like any good reward system, kissing the pole is entirely intrinsic; there is no cost, and no value other than bragging rights.

Thursday clinic, 6.34 miles, pace ? (PD fast!)

Warning: Boring Heart Rate stuff, scroll past unless you enjoy being bored to tears... Perhaps the best known formula is Karvonen. There are hundreds (thousands) of web pages dealing with Karvonen so there's no point in explaining it here. There is a formula for over 40 and under 40 so be sure you have the right one.

The trouble with the Karvonen Formula is that I know from experience my MHR is between 185 and 190, yet the formula puts it at 179. No big deal except it throws off the zone minimums and maximums. So, long story short, get to know your body (especially your heart rate) and use the Karvonen Formula as a base. It's pretty darn close, and is fine for casual runners, but it's not precise. The first thing you need to do is determine your resting heart rate (RHR); everything else depends on an accurate read of your RHR. The second thing you need is your maximum heart Rate (MHR). My RHR is about 56 to 59, and my MHR is about 185-189. These are the zones for my heart stats using the Karvonen Formula (taken with a grain of salt):

  • Base Training (Endurance)
    • 60% to 70% of MHR = 132 to 143 BPM
  • Threshold Training (Aerobic)
    • 70% to 80% of MHR = 143 to 156 BPM
  • Speed Training (Anaerobic)
    • 80% + = 156 + BPM

80% of maximum = 156 BPM... this, according to Karvonen, is my outer training limits. I know from experience it is in fact higher, in the range of 160 to 165. When I run the LSD runs I keep my heart in the 130 to 135 bpm range (i.e. endurance training). This feels good for my body. It'll be different for you. There something know as "heart rate creep" that you need also be aware. Heart Rate Creep occurs over the course of a marathon. As you dehydrate your heart has to beat more for the same effort output.

Saturday, 18.38 miles, 10.10 pace (w/w) AHR 147 bpm, route, Naomi, Alex, Dino, Rodica, John, Debby, Dianah, Ken.

This was as close to a perfect run as you could ever wish. The weather was a little chilly to start, but after a mile or so things warmed up to a nice temperature. I consulted with Terry about the route and with his good advice I plotted the 18 miles using g-map pedometer. What on earth did we do before g-map? The route winds along the Red River through eclectic old North End, along beautiful Scotia Street with gorgeous character homes and canopied old Elm trees, and then loops through stately Kildonan Park. From there we crossed the Red on Chief Peguis Trail and headed back towards downtown through East Kildonan, again hugging the Red as much as possible. We weaved through St. Boniface along the river and then down Tache where we stopped at the hospital for water refills. We were all in fine form telling jokes and stories that eased the distance and opened the spirit. We laughed hard. We discussed heart rate with Ken and I - the two old guys- competing for the lowest h.r. ... "mine says 142, what's yours say?" We must have been a pretty formidable sight because many people beeped their horns in support, waved, or cheered us as we passed. It was pretty much an idyllic run. My only concern was a slight nausea near the end brought on by a mild dehydration. It was reminiscent of last year's marathon when I became very dehydrated and was horribly nauseous for the last 6 miles and well into the afternoon. It was a little scary going back to that place... I though I had buried that ugly memory, but it reared it's head a little as if to remind me that one cannot be complacent about running a marathon... as Henry says, you must maintain a healthy fear of the 26.2 or risk being eaten alive. I've been following Jen's Blog for the last several weeks. Jen just completed the Salt Lake City Marathon and she blogged her experience. I highly recommend you click and read her story. It's brilliant with honesty.

Alex had to pull out at mile 16 due to a small injury. He was running very well up until mile 14 or so when he fell behind a little bit and couldn't seem to keep the pace. I ran with him for a while and typical Alex, insisted we continue on at our regular pace. He was concerned about us and our training and would not permit us to slow down. Good on you Alex. You're a good man and a very strong runner.

Next week most of us are running The Police Half Marathon. The plan is to meet at the Zoo Parking Lot 30 minutes before race time. I'm hoping to break 2:00 hours (actually I'd love to beat last year's 1:55) but I make no promise! You're welcome to join me if you'd like. Remember to start hydrating at least three days before race day and enjoy the pasta! See you on the hills!

Sunday, 11.32 miles (cycling) speed. I arrived at the Duck Pond at 9 AM, waited ten minutes, no one showed, so I did 3 or 4 circuits of Assiniboine Park. It was quite windy so the shelter from the trees was much appreciated. I concentrated on cadence and form. It was great tucking in on the arrow bars and flying along at 20 + mph (on the bike you measure speed, not pace). While I was cycling at the park there was a 10 k foot race and eco-challenge cut through the park. It was a great little ride. Fast and fast!

Week Total Distance = 36.58 (running), 11.32 (cycling).

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