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

Monday, May 19, 2008

Week of May 19 to 25

Run, Walk, Cycle, Wheel or Blade at this year’s Run For Rights

Please consider participating in this run.  Why? Well for starters, the cause is just, the course is divine, and it's a nice run one week before marathon day... how sweet it that!  Suggested donation is $25.00 towards one of the social justice groups present on site (my personal favourite is Welcome Place because of what they do to help war affected families). I'm hoping my run group, and others, will join me.  Here's the dirt:

  • Saturday, June 7
  • Kildonan Park @ 9 AM
  • Race start time @ 9:30 AM
  • Choose between a 5 k or 10k route.
  • Suggested donation of $25 or pay what you can. There is no minimum donation.
  • Support Winnipeg organizations working for social justice and human rights.
  • Choose to support all of the organizations or select a specific participating organization.
  • To sign up and receive a pledge form, contact Janine at 475-3816 or email

Fargo's done for another year.  All that's left are the memories, war stories, and perhaps some lingering blisters.  From all accounts this race comes with huge bragging rights.  Winds so intense porta-potties were blown over, amazing swag, incredible fans and volunteers, heat dehydrating even the seasoned runners, serious marathoners collapsing 100 yards from the finish line and not being able to make it in, puddles of vomit throughout, images of dry heaves, a fellow runner making it to the finish and then collapsing in a heap, air thick with dust, goals out the window... "just get 'er in" was the motto... sounds like most came in on a wing and a prayer.  Yup, file this one under one tough slog!  You guys are amazing.  It's a puzzle why we do this to ourselves, but I wouldn't trade it for anything.  Next year I'm doing FarGO! Here's a few first hand accounts...
Mario write... Well Mikey , it was certainly a humbling race for me , I had never experienced hitting the wall.  I now know what everybody is talking about. I missed out on the beer...bummer.  I ran by the margarita stand but really didn't notice it at the time because I was in la-la land.  Next year I would like all of us 'running mates'  to go down to Fargo , it will be so much fun !!! The race was amazing in terms of organization, seemed that the whole of Fargo was out to watch the race, what a rush! There is sooo much more to say but I don't think there is enough room on Mikey's
                                                Vivian, Terry, Lorie (pre-26.2)
                                               Terry and Lorie (post-26.2)
Terry writes:  Words  hmmmm... Fargo was well organized, lots of community support, loved the way they had the relay exchange areas laid out, started out a great day, cool sunny morning, then came the heat and the wind. Was on pace until the 21.5 mile area. Apparently my legs thought I should be walking and not running, so when the clock ticked passed my goal I decided I was having a margarita at mile 25, which some company had sponsored.  A BIG THANK YOU, to Vivian and David who showed up unexpectedly Friday night to watch and cheer Lorie and I on, thanks for the pics too. Also, thanks to Shelley and Jill (mile 5), and everyone else I missed, sorry it was a blur when I got back to the finish.  Would I do it again, lol. YEP. It's the RUNNERS HIGH, all stoned and everything.   Hee hee ;>)

Sarah writes... Well, my story is that I only got half way through the marathon. It was super windy and dusty, my asthma acted up and I had to stop, which was a disappointment. BUT it turned out to be a really positive experience The people who took care of me and drove me back were extremely nice and I got to watch everyone else come in and cheer them on which was SO MUCH FUN! 


Speaking of marathons and amazing people, remember that guy named Terry, Terry Fox?  The guy who ran a marathon a day... on a prosthetic leg!  The Terry Fox Foundation to date has raised over $400 million towards Cancer Research.  Terry's brother, Darrell has located the original Ford Econoline van 28 years after the Marathon of Hope. Ford Motor Company has restored the van to its original condition.  The van is hitting the road again starting in St. John's, Newfoundland on May 25  Plans have been prepared for the van to travel cross-country, making stops at hosted events and arriving in Victoria, British Columbia to coincide with this year's start of the annual Terry Fox Run.  Terry's dream lives on.  

"I believe in miracles.  I have to"  
Terry Fox 
My goal this week was to log an even 50 miles.  I met my goal!  

Monday, Victoria Day, 6.21 miles, 8.41 m/m pace, 53 minutes, 5 seconds. 

This was one of those fairy tale runs... running perfection... light rain, fresh air, quiet, no cars, peaceful.  Form.  Pace. Stride.  Breathing. Form. Pace, Stride. Breathing.  Just me and my thoughts, alone.  Life is good. :>)

Tuesday, Run Club, 3.39 miles.   The older kids are trying hard to log big distances.  They leave earlier and earlier every day.  I have located an old Garmin which I loan the lead runner (he's the boy running the MB half).  Lots of moms today and one good old dad.  I led a small group to kiss the pole.

Wednesday @ lunch 4.01 miles and 6.01 in the evening = 10.09 miles
Thursday, Run Club, 3.85 miles + 6.01 (clinic) = 9.86 miles
Saturday: 20.52 miles, 9:50 pace (Nazir, Debby, Dinu, Rod, Dinah, Debbie, John)
Everything about this run was great, umm, almost everything.  We started at the University of Manitoba and headed south through Fort Richmond and old St. Norbert.  Lovely sights.  Very little traffic.  Cool, sunny conditions.  Perfect. We continued south to the Floodway Gates and crossed the Red.  Heading north we weaved through St. Vital to Dunkirk and headed back to the university through beautiful old St. Vital Park.  Realizing we were a couple miles short of 20 I lead the group through the golf course next to the university.  It was beautiful.  Nice trail along the Red with huge trees and beautiful grounds.  All was well -no, all was amazing-  until we were verbally assaulted by Atilla The Hun golf course security.  Holy cow, did she ever come down hard on the 8 of us all sweaty and dog eared (us not her, she was all dolled up in black and white). I realized immediately that we were trespassing on a private course and absolutely we had no right being there, but man, she assaulted us like we were public enemy number one. Yelling accusations, waving her arms, running toward us (fortunately we were faster, even after 18 miles).  Normally I would have stopped and apologized, but not this time.  It was smile... wave ... and exit stage left.  Wrong move!  Stage left led to another equally ferocious security gal.  We stopped mid-track and turned back.  Yikes, now we're cornered, what'll we do?  Fortunately we saw the correct path and hightailed out, tale between leg, wimpering. Memo to self, avoid taking leasuirlly stroll through the U of M golf course!  
Week Total = 50 miles (a record)
And now for some complete fluff.  If you've ever passed the time away on a tread mill you'll appreciate this clip. Even if you don't know what a tread mill is you'll smile.  Don't be a stick in the mud, a dullard... just click... smile... laugh ;>)  
Yes friends, especially my Fargo friends, it was a great week to be alive (even with Atilla chasing us down). ;>)  M

Friday, May 16, 2008

May 12 to May 18

Congratulations to the Fargo Marathon Crew.  
We're looking forward to the stories and the pictures. 
What cigarette do you smoke doctor?
It's true you know, more doctors actually did prefer Camels to the other brands in the 1940's...139,572 were actually polled!  The good doctors even invented the T-Zone to scientifically explain to we lay-folk why Camels truly are the preferred choice.   Yes sir, nothing like science to prove the positive health benefits of a good ole smoke!  Thanks.. cough, cough... doc.
Mmmmm, lard... makes me happy!
You have to chuckle at these ads from the 40's.  They are absurd by today's standards, but in the context of the time the ads worked.  People simply didn't know better.  The makers of the Camel ad claim that three independent research organizations polled 113,597 doctors, surgeons, and medical specialists across The United States and the majority preferred Camel. It wasn't until the early 50's that these same doctors started to make connections between cigarettes and health when the ads began to drift away into nostalgia.  Nowadays you'd be hard pressed to find a doctor that still smokes, let alone one that would actually endorse a brand.  
So, where am I going with this?  At the risk of sounding preachy, I am perplexed that in spite of all we have come to learn about poor diet and smoking, all the evidence that point unequivocally to cancer, cardiac issues, diabetes, obesity, and on and on, why some people continue to make incredibly poor diet choices and continue to puff away ... even at $10.00 a pack.  I respect their right to choose whatever lifestyle they like (thankfully we live in a society that allows for free choice) but I just don't understand why anyone would knowingly harm their body day after day.  I just don't get it.  
Here's one of the original ads of the overworked doc trying to grab a relaxing moment between patients... notice the smoking tail pipe (fitting?)  and the glamorous gal (where she come from?).
Tuesday, Run Club, 2 miles
Wet and cold today.  My gutsy grade 8 runners logged 8 k outside while the rest of us ran laps in the gym.  We had a great game of "tag it forward" involving 4 squishy balls and 60 kids.  Great fun and lots of laughs.  Excellent group of kids, again.
Wednesday, 6 miles, 8.50 m/m, speed intervals.
This was the first day for speed intervals.  We started running 1 minute slow jog (about 60 % max HR), and 2 minutes speed (about 80% max HR).  After several intervals a little bird told me we were going way too fast... way too soon.  I asked the group if they would mind if we toned it down a little, say 4 minutes slow jog and 1 minute speed.  No one objected!  We finished the 6 miles doing 4 and 1's and it was a good little work out.  Speed training sure tuckers you out a whole lot faster than tempos.
Lynda dropped by this evening to say hello.  As you know she just completed the Boston marathon and she looks smashingly healthy.  She thinks she'll run the MB half-mary, but hasn't decided.  Lynda, one classy dame, bought me a 2008 OFFICIAL Boston Marathon, 2008 training cap with a card thanking me for inspiring her. I appreciate the sentiment and I am honored by the compliment, but me thinks the lactic acid has moved into her cranium matter!  She is the inspiration.  She is the model.  She is the one who motivates me.  Thank you Lynda.  I will cherish the hat forever and it will provide me with the focus and strength to run Boston by 2015.
Thursday, Run Club, 4  miles... good kids, good weather, good support from volunteers... what more could I ask for!?  My top runners are really piling on the mileage. One of the kids training for the half-mary has logged over 120 kilometers.  
Thursday Clinic, 6 miles, speed training
Henry put us through a heck of a workout this evening.  His speed training is way more intense than hills.  At the end of the workout he implied "this is how you'll feel at around mile 20".  He's absolutely right.  I felt as though I had run 20 miles in the space of 1 hour!  He had us run variations of time and distance intervals.  For example: 2 minutes @ 80% MHR and 4 minutes recovery or 2 k @ 75% MHR and 1 k recovery.  This went on for about 40 minutes in addition to the 2 mile run to the park and 2 mile return... man I was tired. I can't say I'm looking forward to next week, but like cod liver oil and lard ;>) I know it's good for me.  Speed training, says Henry, gives one the edge in a marathon.  It provides added strength that'll come in handy at mile 20.  At 10 miles, it was a good day.
Saturday, 18 miles, 9.34m/m  pace, 2 hours, 52 minutes, 19 seconds.  Jacques, Dianah, Debbie, Nazir, John, Rod, David.
Just the eight of us today.  The route hugged the banks of the Red both outbound and inbound.  We weaved through old Scotia Street in the North End and returned via Kildonan Trail and Whittier Park Trail.  We attempted a negative split, but for some reason my Garmin didn't auto-lap at 9 miles.  We picked up the pace to 9:19 (race pace) for the 2nd half so I expect we did manage a negative split.  Race pace feels good; it's no longer a daunting goal, it's now an achievable and it feels right.  The training is paying off in dividends! For the first time this year heat was a bit of an issue. I consumed considerably more liquid than I normally do and I still felt a little dehydrated.  John struggled for the last couple of miles due to dehydration; he fell way back and Dianah kindly matched his pace and got him through to the full 18 miles.  John's face was covered in white salt, a sure sign of dehydration. Nancy Clark's Food Guide For Marathoners recommends consuming 4 to 8 ounces (1/2 to 1 cup) of water every 15 to 20 minutes of hard running. Do the math... over the course of a one hour of run you need to consume 16 to 32 ounces (2 to 4 cups) of liquid, during a 4 hour marathon you need 64 to 128 ounces of fluid.  I usually weigh myself pre and post run and I typically lose between 2 and 4 pounds depending on conditions and distance. One pound of weight loss during a one hour run = 16 ounces (2 cups) fluid loss.  Drink accordingly, especially the week before race day.  According to Doctor Lawrence Armstrong (the maker of this handy-dandy chart), your urine should never be darker than number 3.
John has located a new sports drink called Accellerade available at Wally-mart.  It sounds promising.  Hopefully he'll give us a run down for next week's blog.
Anyone up for the Fifty Mile Week challenge?  Last year I logged 49.5 miles and I didn't realize it until I totaled my distance at the end of the week.  I've been wanting to round it off to 50 ever since. Any takers?
We miss Naomi and wish her well.  There's a hole in the group that once was Naomi.  It's a hard one to fill :>(
Yes, buds and budetts, it was a fine week to be alive!
Week total = 35 miles

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