Thursday, May 8, 2008

Week of May 4 to May 11

John has run 6 half marathons and decided last fall to train for his first full on June 15.  This photograph was taken last Sunday after a grueling 20 mile run through some of the nastiest May weather in memory.  John twisted his ankle the week before and was in pain for the duration of this run.  Never say never, he trudged onward.  Yup, this run brings bragging rights.  John brings considerable passion to our group.  He's forever cruising running blogs looking for the perfect photograph, trivia, or tip to share with the group.  He's an architect in real life, but he prefers to talk running to shop.  John motivates us and keep us smiling as the miles pile up and the pain seeps through our bodies.  John has a young family and tells me this August will be his 15 anniversary.  Thanks Griswald.
Meet Rodica (aka Rod)
Rod is a barometer for the group's general health.  When she stops talking we know she's hurting and we know it means we too will probably be hurting in a few moments.  The trick is to keep her talking.  Fortunately, this isn't a hard task!  Kidding aside, Rod keeps our minds occupied and always has tidbits of information which she shares liberally and with great gusto. Lately Rod has replaced gels with baked potatoes during long runs.  Sure it may sound odd but many South African runners use potatoes as their primary source of energy during marathons and seeing as they win most marathons, who am I to argue with Rod and her potato? Rod is a sailer and competed in LOWISA last year.  She has run many full marathons and brings tremendous knowledge to our group.  Thanks Rod.
Tuesday Run Club, 2.54 miles, 9.59 m/m pace
Seventy-nine people showed for this morning's run club.  Fortunately I have a reliable group of adult volunteers who help keep the kids coraled and safe.  A visually impaired girl joined us this morning's run... a first!  She was surrounded by kids and just kind of got swept along in the group.  Apparently she's coming back for Thursday's run... she reminds me about 6 times a day!  I have borrowed two Garmins 201 (thanks Laura and Ainsley) to loan my top two grade 8 runners who are training for the full-half marathon.  I introduced them to G-map last week so they can plan routes in their neighborhood.  They need to learn a lot about pacing. They are typical novice runners and pour it on way too fast, way too soon.  I'm going to have to find the time to go for a couple of long runs with them between now and race day.  The Garmins will help them find and maintain a comfortable pace.
Thursday massage @ 7PM: 
I booked a massage with Don Derksen of Sound Touch Therapeutic Massage at 161 Stafford.   This is not what I would call a pleasant experience, however it was very successful in alleviating the crink in my neck and certainly loosened the tight quads.  At home I slipped into a hot jacuzzi tub with an abundance of epsom salts.... mmmmm, life can be so... wonderful.  Slipped on the jams and slept the sleep of the content.  I have two more sessions booked with Don.
Wednesday, 6.65 miles, 10 hills, 9.33 pace, 1:03:32 time
Here's the drill for hills:
  • Warm-up, 1.13 miles @ 10.06 pace
  • Hills, 5 reps @ 0.88 mile each = 4.4 miles 
  • Elevation about 800', grade varies 4% to 18%
  • Cool-down,  1.14 mile @ 9.52 pace
This was our last hill work out :>)  We'll start speed training next week :>(
Thursday Run Club, 3.69 mile, 12.38 m/m pace
Another whack of kids.  Another great little jaunt through the neighbourhood.  It's amazing how much energy I get from running with this pack.  You must be careful running with children; they tend to zig and zag when you least expect it.  I've been tripped up more than once.  We're considering ordering tee-shirts with our school name on front and MARATHON RUN CLUB on the reverse.  
I was lurking on Running Chick With Orange Hat blog and stumbled upon this story.  The metaphor is baseball, but it applies to all aspects sportsmanship.  It's a story that will cause you to reflect and, maybe, just maybe, get a little choked up.  If you're a mom, a dad, or a teacher, it would be a good story to share.  Teach your children well.
Thursday Clinic, 6.17 miles, 8:55 m/m pace
Henry gave a great talk on nutrition before a long run.  He also discussed the Glycemic Index.  A Google search produces 1,630,000 possible websites of which I have checked three so I ain't no expert.  In a nutshell, the Glycemic Index ranks carbohydrates from simple to complex.  Carbohydrates with a high G.I. number breakdown quickly and are released into the bloodstream rapidly (think gels, simple carbohydrates).  Adversely, carbs with a low G.I. number breakdown gradually and release sugar slowly into the  bloodstream (think pasta, complex carbohydrates).  We should all choose carbohydrates with a LOW G.I. number.. the lower thhe better for long term health.  However, on race day (or any longer run) we need a steady and fast source of simple carbohydrates to feed the body calories.  The most common source of simple carbohydrates for runners is gels and power drinks.  I lift the following directly from Henry's hand-out:
  • A typical marathon diet is around 65% carbohydrates, 25% protein, and 10% fat.
  • Marathon runners burn between 600 to 1000 calories per hour.  
  • A typical runner will have between 1800 and 2500 calories of stored carbohydrates which is needed to maintain marathon pace.
  • A 4-hour marathon runner burns between 2400 and 4000 calories, and a 5-hour marathon runner will burn 3000 to 5000 calories over the course of the 26.2 miles.
Do the math... for simplicity let's say you have 2500 calories of stored carbohydrates and you intend on running a 4-hour marathon.  Over the course of the 4 hours you will burn 4000 calories. Thus netting a 1500 calorie- deficit.  How do you make up the 1500 calorie deficit?  Simple... simple carbohydrates!  Many runners use gels and sport drinks.  I use a combination of GU gels and GU2O sports drink. Each gel has 100 calories and each 24 oz of Gu2O has 150 calories.  To make up the 1500 calorie-deficit I need to consume an combination of gels and drinks.  One GU every 30 minutes = 8 gels = 800 calories and about five, 24 oz bottles of GU2O = 750 calories.  If this doesn't sound possible -and it doesn't to me either- then I'd suggest adding one or two CLIF bars (or equivalent) to the marathon-menu.  CLIF bars have 250 calories and they're relatively easy to consume if taken one small bites at a time over the course of several miles.  Gels also go down a whole lot easier if consumed over a mile or so as opposed to swallowing the whole wad at once. Whatever your nutrition menu may be be sure to try it out BEFORE race day!  Never, ever try something for the first time on race day... chances are it'll beat you up, steal your lunch money, spit in your milk, and leave you heaving in the gutter!  
While on the topic of calories I couldn't resist posting this image of Michelangeo's David.  The obesity rates in Canada and USA have reached epedemic proportions. The statistics in Canada are staggering; 10 to 25% of all teenagers and 20 to 50% of adults have a weight problem.  According to a study in 2004 23.1% of all Canadians 18 years and older (5.5 million people) had a BMI of 30+indicating they were obese. Another 8.6 million or 36.1% were overweight. In the vast majority of people it's a simple matter of calories in vs. calories out. When a person consumes more food energy than is needed to provide for all of the day's activities including work and exercise, excess body fat will accumulate.  There is evidence that genetic factors may play an important role in obesity in some people, but for the vast majority obesity is simply a matter of a sedintary lifestyle and eating too much food.  Calories in vs. calories out. 
Saturday, 18 miles, 9:42 pace, 146 av. bpm, 2 hours, 54 minutes: 
Jacques, Henry, Rod, Debbie, David, Dinu, Griswald, Dianah
Today's run was 14.5 miles with an option for 18 miles (long story).  As it turned out I was the only one to take the option! No matter.  I enjoyed the additional 3.5 miles.  It gave me the opportunity to reflect on form and breathing.  I felt strong and at one with myself.  It's nice to be alone in your thoughts once and a while... how often do we take the time to reflect internally... running solo provides us the time and the space of mind to do just that; reflect and be at peace with ones self.  Although I've never truly meditated there must be some similarities.  It truly clears the mind and organizes the  basement thoughts (you know, those thoughts that we don't have the luxury of time to reflect upon, the basement thoughts)  in a way that provides comfort.  Yes friends, it was a good run and indeed, it was a great week to be alive.  :>) M
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