Thursday, May 29, 2008

Week of May 26 to June 1

How are you getting to work today?  Why not run, cycle, blade, bus, carpool, or just plain old hoof-it? This friendly competition encourage Canadians across the country to try alternate methods of getting to work or play for one week.  Remember, car commuters are the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions in Manitoba.  At $1.30+ per litre who wouldn't want to drive less? The Commuter Challenge provides an active and fun way to do your part... so let's do our part.  :>)  M
I've seen this product on different web sites for several months and it seem like a smart item, especially if you run alone.  Local runners will remember the early morning jogger who was intentionally clipped from behind by some kids in a stolen car. The poor guy was found stumbling and bleeding from the head with no memory of what had just happened.  Fortunately, he lived to tell the story, barely.  There are two types of ID: Road ID Original and Road ID Interactive.  The original allows you to personalize up to 7 lines of text while the Interactive allows the same text in addition to a personalized emergency response profile that is available to first responders via telephone or internet. Road ID is available in wrist, ankle, shoe, and dog tag. The fashion police will be pleased that they come in a variety of colours.  I have purchased the black, wristband (boring, I know, but that's me, boring).   P.S.... two days later... I just received an email from the folks at Road ID and it seems they like me so much that they have given me a coupon number to pass on to my friends.  It can be used 20 times in the next 30 days and is good for $1.00 off any Road ID order.  To redeem the coupon click here or you can call them at 1-800-345-6335.  The coupon number is ThanksMichael377422. If you do buy one let me know if the coupon works.  By the way... I am not endorsing the product nor do I benefit if you purchase the product.  This is for information only.  M
 I recently picked up a copy of Dr. Tim Noakes The Lore of Running, 4th Edition.  It's a top drawer reference book for serious runners (i.e. read "geek") and anyone who's interested in the physiology of running.  Dr. Noake goes way beyond the novice runners' book and provides an absolute wealth of information some of which has no bearing on my running, but is fascinating nonetheless.  I just finished a section on the taper.  Here's what Noakes has to say about this most blissful and well deserved part of training.  
Ah, The Taper...  According to Noakes the scientific evidence confirms that tapering produces a dramatic improvement in race day performance. He believes the effect is greatest if there is a rapid reduction in training in the first few days of the taper.  He suggests that once the taper begins, do as little training as your mind will allow, but do that training at a fast pace.  Noakes suggests the taper should begin 10 to 14 days before the race and possibly longer for the body to fully recover from heavy training.  The rule of thumb is...  "the longer the race for which you've trained, and the harder you have trained, the more tapering you should do and the less you should exercise during the last week".   Interestingly, Noakes suggests the brain also benefits from the taper by preparing it to call on the muscles to perform even under intense pain and discomfort of the marathon.  It takes between 4 to 8 weeks to adequately prepare the brain for the rigors of the marathon.  He says that, outside of childbirth, the degree of discomfort experienced after 30 k into a marathon is the worst pain men and women will ever experience.  Outside of childbirth! ... wow, I have a whole new respect for women!  Hmm, wonder if there a taper period in birthing? I'm way out of my league here and I should gracefully stop typing while I'm ahead.   Enjoy the taper, eh!:>)  ... M
Tuesday Run Club: 5.18 miles, 9:00 pace... smaller group today... mostly younger ones... the older kids are attending a track event this afternoon and the p.e. teacher suggested they rest rather than run this morning.  Good advice.  
Wednesday:  6.52 miles, 9.22 pace, 1:01:01  Our school had a one-hour walk-a-thon today to raise some much needed cash for kid events and equipment. We walked/ ran laps around the school grounds with one lap being 0.8 k.  Many of the kids in the running chose to run rather than walk.  The distances were applied to their total logged running club distance and their personal goals.  I managed 13 laps and my top runner (the boy doing the half-mary at the MB) ran 14.  His total distance was about 11.2 k.  At the end I asked if he could manage another 11 k (i.e. half-marathon distance). He seemed pretty confident that he could.  We had a setback today. My top grade 8 girl runner was just diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.  She's an amazing student, intelligent, athletic, globally aware, humble... It's just wrong.  At this point she may have to pull out of the marathon.  She's been training since April to set another P.B. for her third 10 k race. Life takes weird twists and turns... everyday is a blessing.  :>(  M
Thursday, 5.19 miles, 9.00 pace, 46.37 minutes.  We discussed the taper at this evening's clinic. Henry provided this two week taper schedule for our consideration:
  • Week 1
  • Sunday: 12 miles at easy pace.
  • Monday:  off ... :>)
  • Tuesday: 3 miles at race pace.
  • Wednesday: 6 miles Fartlek
  • Thursday: 5 miles at easy pace.
  • Friday:  Off ... :>)  
  • Saturday: 6 miles at race pace.
  • Week 2
  • Sunday, 3 miles at easy pace.
  • Monday: 1 mile at easy pace + 6x 1.5 minutes brisk/ 2 minutes easy + 1 mile at easy pace.
  • Tuesday:1 mile at easy pace + 5x 1.5 minutes brisk/ 2 minutes easy + 1 mile at easy pace.
  • Wednesday: 1 mile at easy pace + 4x 1.5 minutes brisk/ 2 minutes easy + 1 mile at easy pace.
  • Thursday: 1 mile at easy pace + 3x 1.5 minutes brisk/ 2 minutes easy + 1 mile at easy pace.
  • Friday: 20 minutes at easy pace.
  • Saturday: 10 minutes at easy pace.
  • Sunday:  Race Day! 
This schedule correlates nicely with the one mentioned in the Noakes book so clearly Henry knows what he speaks and I plan on following it closely.  From what I read it's best to significantly reduce distance during the taper, but run at a higher intensity.  You'll notice the schedule above focuses heavily on speed over distance.  The reason for this -or, I should say, my understanding of the reason- is that by running short distances at a fast pace we "trick" our muscles into storing greater amounts of glycogen (the fuel that gets you across the line) and we minimize the muscle fatigue and risk of injury.
Friday... Good news!  My grade 8 girl that was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes has been given the doctor's ok to run the 10 on Marathon Day!  She was absolutely beaming when she told me the good news.  Bad news!  A grade 4 runner broke her knee while playing at home.  She's out of the race!   It's a shame because she's a remarkable runner and can keep my pace with no difficulty.  Needless to say, she's more than a little disappointed.  We have 32 runners in our school marathon team this year, a record! We also ordered tee-shirts with our school name/ logo on the front and "MARATHON CLUB" in bold on the back. Things are shaping up well.  My only concern is the grade 8 boy running the half marathon.  To date his longest distance is 14 k.  I'm trying to arrange an 18 k run for him this week during school time. I'm hoping to create a little buzz in the grade 8 wing by having some peers pace him in two or three k intervals the entire distance with a grand finish of all 75 + grade 8 students cheering him over the line.  We're in the discussion stage with p.e, admin, and teachers.  Hope it works out.  
Sunday...12.48 miles, 9:40 pace, Nazir, Linda, Debbie, John, David, Dianah, Rod, Dinu.  We joined a large group at the Pembina Running Room for the last long run before the marathon. About 200 runners -maybe 250- left the Running Room at 8:30 and followed the MB Half Marathon ending at the U of M stadium.  It was a little chilly and rainy at the start, but all in all the weather was pretty well perfect for race day... if only!  We tried to keep it on the slow side, but after training for so long at a faster clip it's hard to put on the brakes.  We started off at a 10:00 pace, but we slowly picked it up with an overall average of 9:40.  (Henry, if you're reading this, sorry, it was Nazir's fault!). It was good having Linda back in the fold.  I missed all the whining about pace (too slow... too fast... too this... too that... ) now things are back to normal ;>).  I tried to keep pace with Lyle for the last mile, but fell back to a comfortable 9-ish pace from Lyle's 7:30!  Man that guy is fast!  John is still nursing a flu or some such bug and to top it off he injured his knee during a short training run. I read in the Noakes book that in situations like John's the best strategy is to stop training completely or at the very least scale way, way back.  John, be good to yourself, you've put the miles in, slow 'er down, scale back.  You have two weeks to recover.  Make it a smart two weeks. Back at the ranch the Running Room had Starbucks coffee and a whack of sinfully delicious cookies for the runners... real nice touch... thanks guys!  I had a real nice chat with Bernice over coffee.  It's a shame we didn't hook up at the start of the run.  It would have been sweet to have run the distance with her.  She's looking great!
This video is amazing!  Linda mentioned it this morning and I found it on You-Tube.  It shows Ethipoian Dire Tune and Russian Alevitna Biktimirova vying for first place at this year's Boston Marathon.  I won't tell you who won, but I will say there's some tense moments!  It's worth the click.... go on, what are you waiting for... a silver engraved invitation! Click already!
Two weeks 'till race day.  I'm a little excited, a little nervous, and a little tired.  Starting Thursday, June 6th  -the 10 day countdown- I will publish every day up to and including race day.  Stay tuned! 
You know it... it was a great week to be alive.  :>)  M
Total Distance = 29.37 miles