Saturday, October 18, 2014

I want to under perform in this race

It is true when they say that nothing can describe the pain of the last few miles of a marathon after the wheels fall off. It is the true test of the strength of the mind, body and spirit.

…that’s an excerpt from Tina Muir’s recap of her Chicago race. It also aptly describes what I felt the last time I raced the STWM half 3 years ago.

I blacked out. I was limping. I had cramps. It was different to the previous 3 half marathons I ran.

My body was so broken from the 2011 half marathon, that Alison’s coach at the time said to me, “you’re describing what most people would usually describe when finishing a marathon”.

With that, I want to under perform in this race! I haven’t gone into a race with under performing in mind since my teen years. So why now?

Alison and I both had disaster runs at this same race in 2011 - she did the full, I did the half.

I want to finish the race strong, and happy.

I want to finish this race without the wheels falling off. 

I want to finish this race building for next year, not broken for next year.

Is racing like this still good enough to run a PR? Possibly.

Most likely. But I won’t truly know until I reach the 7-8 mile point. The point where the wheels started to buckle last time. Then with 2 miles to go they completely came off.

I want to have a different race this time, I want to prove to myself that I’ve come back different. But here’s how my mind is split into 2:

  1. I need to remember that it doesn’t matter if I PR in the half this year. There’s next year for that, and if the gains keep building slowly but progressively like they have this year, then next year will be a PR hurricane. I need to remember that. 
  2. I want to do my coach and my paceandmind​ teammates proud (did you know that this autocorrects to tea mates? Lol). I want to prove to myself that the less intensive (and higher mileage) training this year has actually progressed my fitness, rather than the opposite. I’ve already proven that to myself in a way, but I want the metric. I want the number.

I’m leaning towards the 1st one. The 2nd one is in the back of my mind, and it needs to stay there :)

In addition to Tina’s recap above, there have been a lot of great marathon recaps from last weekend. Although I’m running a half marathon, it’s still good to draw from the marathon perspective:

  • MsFitRunner ran an Olympic trial qualifying time! A process 2 years in the making. It’s not only a great insight into her race, but it’s also quite entertaining. 
  • RunLadyLike ran the Chicago marathon, and sought redemption from a disappointing 2010 Chicago. 
  • . seechrisrun ran under 3 hours, and amazingly took manual splits the whole way. A reminder that it’s probably the better way to race rather than on GPS splits.
  • Most people shy at being held accountable, but runningonredbull embraced people tracking her race and made a point of it. She nicely ran under her goal time!

Speaking of recaps, there should be more amazing recaps on half marathons. It’s a great distance! I’ll try aiming for that, lol.

These recaps have reminded me:

  • Not to consumed by fear, fear of failing. Failing is ok, in fact, it’s preferable. With failure we grow. Fear is not a great motivator, it freezes your brain and restricts your blood flow. Sorry Kenny, I usually agree with you but not on this one ;)
  • Not to get fixated on a number. Lately I’ve been dealing in ranges, and that’s been serving me well, so I’m going to continue that. Example, tomorrow I plan on running between a 1:28 to 1:32 half.

I don’t mind pressure, I typically perform better under it (I’m not sure why, it wasn’t always this way. Maybe I’ll analyze it some other time). Which is one of the reasons why I’m ok with publicly announcing my goals and thoughts. 

Ironically I don’t feel any pressure though. My trick is to stop crunching numbers, and concentrate on next year already. Instead of fixating on this race as do or die, there’s a sense of peace that I get from thinking of the next race. My head is in 2015 already.

So I don’t mind under performing in this race. But if I go above that, then that’s great as long as my body doesn’t break down. 

Maybe by thinking that I’m setting out to under perform, it’ll relax me enough at the start of the race, saving my energy for the last 5 miles where I can over perform. 😉

Thursday, October 16, 2014

App Update: FitFriend 1.5

Just when I was about to leave for the season’s last speed workout with the paceandmind group last night, I got a new notification on my phone: 

The status of FitFriend 1.5 app has changed to In Review.

…after 9 days of the update sitting in Apple’s queue, I wasn’t going to think about anything else on my workout after that!

By the end of the workout I got the prized notification that the app update was released. When you’re a developer who’s not in control of Apple’s notorious review process, it’s always nice when it gets approved without any issues.

Kind of like hitting your pace without any pain on a run. No, it’s more of a thrill to get this new update out than usual. This 1.5 update is more like hitting a negative split in a race. 

Because this is the biggest update since 1.0.

I don’t like to give minor updates to apps, I feel that it’s not a good user experience. You have to download a whole new app every time the creators decide to do something ridiculous, like change the name of a button? What a waste of time and download limits.

That’s why I don’t have endless decimals on my updates, like 1.4.2.3.1. The last FitFriend update was 1.4 in July. But I feel as if this one will make a major difference to how you train.

So let me describe what’s new in FitFriend 1.5:

1.

Split Paces.

Each split now displays the pace.

Manual splits are the biggest value offered by FitFriend - it’s the reason why the app was even made. But I’ve had some feedback that the splits would be more useful for intervals, hills, tempo, fartlek, or whatever else, with pace values for individual splits.

Many people like to train with pace instead of just time. I didn’t always train this way, a lot of my speed work was done when coach would say something like “run half mile repeats at 3 minutes each”, and you just had try and match that time as best as you could.

This only changed a few years ago. Now a lot of people get told to run at paces for their workouts.

The accuracy of GPS in technology, and especially iPhones, is now at a stage where you can trust it. So it adds a huge value to users if they can train in this way. The split pace in FitFriend takes the average pace for the split distance traveled, not the current pace. As current pace in GPS is still too unreliable to use as a good training metric.

A few people have been testing this feature out for about a month now, and it’s been working really well, with 0 problems at all. 

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Here’s how the pace value displays in a half mile split.

2.

Split Distances.

Each split now displays the distance.

Similar to split paces above. This is really easy to access - just tap the distance value and it changes to pace. Tap again to toggle to distance.

Like everything in FitFriend, the user experience is key. No hidden views under multiple menus. Minimalism and simplicity is hard, but I think this works right.

It worked out pretty well when I took 21 manual splits at each kilometer for the Ajax half marathon last month. 

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Here’s how the distance value displays in a half mile split. I must hire for proper hand models.

3.

Older iPhones now supported.

Last update I had to make the hard decision to drop support for the iPhone 4S and older:

FitFriend is optimized for iPhone 5 and up! Due to the different GPS capabilities in the iPhone 4S and lower, its recommended to use the iPhone 5 or later. 

I’d love to support all iPhones ever made, but due to very limited resources at this early stage, I can’t right now. 

Now, I’ve managed to fix the bug in the main timer, and have coincidentally made the main timer even more robust than ever. This is the bread and butter, the timer needs to work 100%. Now it does for any iPhone, running iOS 7 or 8.

4.

iOS 8 enhancements.

iOS 7 will still be supported for the time being. But there were a few urgent improvements that needed making for iOS 8:

  • The GPS settings have been updated to iOS 8’s new “when in use” status. Most apps are enabled to use GPS “always” by default, significantly using more of your battery. There’s no reason for FitFriend to use your location when you’re not using the app.
  • The status bar has been completely removed. This was adding clutter to the interface, and now you can just focus on the numbers that matter to your workout even more. 
  • When creating a FitFrame photo to share, there was a bug in the view not closing. This is now fixed.

Whew, it’s a good thing that the app is a lot more minimal than my blog posts ;)

So that’s FitFriend 1.5! If you have any questions or feedback, please reach out to me either here or on Twitter

- Mike

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Training update: week 41, 2014

Time for one last recap before the STWM half marathon in Toronto this weekend.

Usually I do this on Monday, it must be the tapering that’s spinning the days around throwing everything out of alignment. Could somebody tell me which way is up?

44 miles (71 km) of running.

7 runs: 

  • 3 easy
  • 2 speed workouts
  • 1 long

1 rest day.

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The past 9 weeks of running, via RunKeeper.

Monday:

REST.

Tuesday:

Easy run - 5.1 miles (8.2 km).

Wednesday:

Long intervals run - 8.4 miles (13.6 km) with warm up.

8 x 1000m at 3:55 pace. Held back a bit tonight, and that’s kind of a scary realization. It’s been a while since running under 4 min k’s have been comfortable, even with the generous 3 min recovery.

Splits taken by FitFriend

  1. 4:01 mins
  2. 3:57 mins
  3. 3:57 mins
  4. 3:55 mins
  5. 3:58 mins
  6. 3:58 mins
  7. 3:56 mins
  8. 3:39 mins

Thursday:

Easy run - 6.5 miles (10.5 km).

Friday:

Strides - 5.5 miles (8.8 km) with warm up.

10 x 200m strides with 200m recovery. It was also Alison’s birthday, so I was glad to be running with her on her big day!

Saturday:

Easy run - 6.3 miles (10.1 km).

Sunday:

Long run - 12.5 miles (20.2 km).

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With four 18 mile runs under my belt in the summer, this brisk 12 mile run in cooler weather felt easy!

Thoughts

Mileage is coming down (from last week’s 53 miles), as expected as I enter the final taper for STWM. 

I don’t blog a lot about food, but I’ve been watching what I eat this week. Pretty much cutting out refined sugar completely. As coach says in prep for a half marathon: 

7 days out keep your diet clean, no junk.

I eat healthy meals usually, but it’s the snacking in between that I usually relax on. I’m replacing the odd cookie or breakfast bar in the morning with a banana. 

Why yes, that is a banana in my pocket. I’m fuelling for race day. Alison’s spelt flour muffins are still fine! I usually have 1 a day :)

Anyway, I’ll be expanding on my thoughts on this weekend’s upcoming half marathon later in the week…

Monday, October 13, 2014

The only thing that matters is race day

That’s a motto I’ve carried with me for, I don’t know how long. Somewhere between the beginning of time and 5 years ago. But it’s served me well. 

It’s not witty, complex, or unique. You can technically replace anything with “race day”. For example, “donuts”. See? Not unique at all.

But whether you talk to me in person or happen to read my ramblings (in the tradition of merging words with running, maybe we can call this runblings?), one thing’s for sure is that I say this motto a lot. 

You can be killing it on the track, and running at the front in your group speed workouts. Lately I have (compared to where I was 1 year ago). It doesn’t matter - there are breaks in between.

You can be hitting a 5:30 min/mile (that’s 3:25 min/k in metric) pace for a 1000 metre repeat. It doesn’t matter - that pace is only sustained temporarily. 

You can be carving up a long run like a machine and hitting a pace to match with the best of your peers. It doesn’t matter - that could be tiring you out for your race. 

In the grand scheme of things, killing it in training runs doesn’t matter. 

The only thing that matters is race day!

I’m not saying that faster speed work or long runs don’t have any value. That’s the other extreme in thinking. If I believed that I wouldn’t be even bothering in running that myself. 

To ground these thoughts somewhere in the middle, of course the above has value - but it doesn’t determine how fast I can race. It’s an indicator, but it’s not a guarantee. 

Other factors, such as fatigued legs, fuelling, diet (malnourished, over nourished), rest, colds, etc, come into play.  

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Me all the way, as blogged by Andrew Chak. Colds have messed up my goal races before, I’m extremely paranoid of germs in the taper for good reason.

I got a mild dose of taper madness on Saturday when Alison and I rode our bikes to our Saturday trail run. It was only 3 miles away, but was truly cold. The winter tease is here. It may have been a bike ride, but I was firmly aboard the whinging train.

To make matters worse, each pedal stroke inflamed my plantar fasciitis. Is this real? My mild case of PF that hasn’t been an issue for about a month, had come back on a freaking bike commute. 

I told Alison that this wasn’t working, and halfway there we turned around. Some light massaging in the arch should take care of the PF again. The physio said a month ago that this wasn’t the bad case of PF that you get in the heel, as it was a minor tear in the arch, and she was proven right.

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Friday’s early morning 10 x 200m workout. Sure this gets me fit, but it doesn’t mean much. It’s no race.

In the year where I’ve been slowing down my running more than ever, I’m running faster than ever.

I didn’t want this to happen, I didn’t want to get caught up in PR’s this year. I’ve always maintained that 2014 is a base building year. But here I am potentially staring down the lens of a half marathon PR. Haha, I guess this is a good problem to have.

I’ll be going into the Toronto Waterfront half marathon the least sore I ever have been for a half. Despite running the most amount of mileage I have ever. 

That’s crazy to me! Normally at this stage, my body is screaming out for rest. This time I don’t feel like I need any taper.

Perhaps by my own account I “haven’t trained hard enough” ;) I doubt it though. I am still embracing the taper though, as fresh legs are everything. That’s my main motivation to taper - fresh legs!

Race day is your chance to prove how far you’ve come in your training. If you need to prove it to yourself, or others, or both, that’s your choice. Whatever. But obviously we’re all trying to prove something here. 

None of your training runs matter when it comes to proving how good you are. Race day is the only thing that is going to prove how far you’ve come. Make it count :)

Thursday, October 9, 2014
I used to dislike that the only way to reply to comments in Tumblr was to write another blog post. But now it’s grown on me 😛
The app I use kaylarunshappy is called FitFriend, and I created it after being frustrated that you couldn’t take splits in other apps. So it allows you to use splits just like a watch does, and then sync to RunKeeper and Dailymile.
Only on iPhone right now sorry 😕 May change soon…

I used to dislike that the only way to reply to comments in Tumblr was to write another blog post. But now it’s grown on me 😛

The app I use kaylarunshappy is called FitFriend, and I created it after being frustrated that you couldn’t take splits in other apps. So it allows you to use splits just like a watch does, and then sync to RunKeeper and Dailymile.

Only on iPhone right now sorry 😕 May change soon…

The in between

Transitioning between the summer and the fall is hard. It’s the in between season.

The season where you don’t know what to wear to workout in. The season where you don’t know if you’re over or under eating. 

The season only goes for about 2-4 weeks, just short enough to be irrelevant but long enough to be confusing. Great.

Summer was easy - shorts and top every day. That’s it.

Although I am determined to keep on wearing shorts and a top for the next week and a half, no matter how cold it gets. Because that’s what I’ll be wearing for STWM, my major half marathon goal race. 

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Trying to run with shorts and a shirt in the crisp cool fall.

Also, transitioning between a training cycle, and a taper. Now, I don’t get all negative about tapering like what I’ve been hearing from others. 

How I feel is if your body isn’t screaming out for a taper, then honestly you probably haven’t worked hard enough during training. I am all for the taper!

Sidenote: if you don’t feel like you need a taper (and this has been me many times, that’s probably why I’ve balanced it out with over training too many times too), then don’t cram in training right now. Just train properly next year, or I don’t know, the next 30 years after that. No big deal, you don’t have to meet your goal within 3 months. 

But maybe your body IS screaming out for rest, and you’re scared of the taper because you think you’ll put on weight. It’s funny, we’re trained to think that we have to feel famished all the time, and any time we feel bloated it must be a condition.

Sure there are conditions that exist, like gluten intolerance. But just because we may feel full after having a meal of the low GI carbs we need to run, doesn’t mean our body is intolerant, or we’ll put on weight.

We forget that that this is the body’s natural way to store food, by expanding our stomachs temporarily, and in a minor way at that.

You are not going to put on any weight from a 1 to 2 week taper.

It just feels like you do. That’s why everyone flips out about the fucking taper. 

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This morning’s run started off feeling sluggish and heavy, that’s ok. It happens, it’s temporary.

We’re just in between seasons.

The weather can temporarily change. Your body can temporarily change. This is all natural. It’s nothing to freak out about.

This is a bit of a thinking out lout post, so I’m linking with Running With Spoons today.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Training update: week 40, 2014

53.5 miles (86 km) of running.

7 runs: 

  • 4 easy
  • 2 speed workouts
  • 1 long

0 rest days.

image

A build up of my last 9 weeks of running, in km’s. The 1km week is when I pulled my hamstring 😝

Training

Monday:

Easy run - 2.9 miles (4.7 km).

Tuesday:

Easy run - 4 miles (6.5 km).

Wednesday:

Long intervals run - 8.4 miles (13.5 km) including warm up.

3200 @ 4:05/km, 2 x 1600 @ 4:00/km, 2x 800m@ 3:45/km. 3mins recovery. 

Splits taken by FitFriend

  1. 12:56 mins, 4:04 pace
  2. 6:16 mins, 3:57 pace
  3. 6:02 mins, 3:47 pace
  4. 2:48 mins, 3:24 pace
  5. 2:47 mins, 3:23 pace

Training 100% with the iPhone has already started, (as promised for my BQ goal).

Thursday:

Easy run - 6.3 miles (10.2 km).

Friday:

Fartlek run - 7.5 miles (12 km) including warm up.

10 x 400m repeats with 200m recovery. Ranged between a 3:33 and 4:04 pace, but didn’t look at pace until after.

Getting it done in the morning!

Saturday:

Trail run - 5.6 miles (8.9 km). 

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Things were starting to get very fall like for my trail run with Alison.

Sunday:

Long run - 18.8 miles (30.2 km).

Felt fresh in the cooler weather! At a 7:43 min/mile pace, it was also the fastest long run of the year.

Thoughts

Recovery happened a lot easier than I thought, after the Ajax half marathon last weekend. 

I mean I felt like an old man when running on Monday, I was going about a minute slower than my normal easy pace. But I just paid no attention to pace here and let my body do it’s thing. By Tuesday’s easy run, I pretty much felt normal again, and I was able to go quite hard for my Wednesday night speed session. 

Because coach didn’t have me taking a single rest day, I coincidently ended up on a 13 day run streak by Sunday’s 19 mile long run (which I actually broke yesterday by resting). 

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Sunday’s long run with paceandmind.

These are very encouraging signs going into the STWM half marathon, just 12 days from now. 

It means that I really ran Ajax at a comfortably hard pace and didn’t go all out, which is exactly what I wanted. 

Things are tapering down this week and it looks like this’ll be the first time I’ll be going into a half marathon not sore.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Race Recap: Half Marathon #1 2014

Ahhh, last weekend I ran my first half marathon in 3 years. The Ajax half marathon. It’s good to be back.

My first half since the disastrous 2011 Toronto Waterfront half (STWM) that I briefly recapped on Friday. In total, Ajax became my 5th half marathon now.

Stat nerd alert…

Late on Sunday I came to a realization, maybe a more important realization than above - It was also my first half marathon that I’ve ever run, where it wasn’t faster than the previous effort.

That means that my other 4 halves were all PR’s, and the PR streak is now broken.

Which is fine by me, as I don’t like to be a slave of streaking. Hmm, that’s a line that you never want to be quoted out of context with, but probably will be someday anyway. 

Despite not PR’ing though, this was probably my favorite half to date. I was loving every minute of it! 

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A map of the beautiful course via my RunKeeper log. This is as waterfront as a waterfront race can get without getting wet. 

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In the green, a profile of the elevation. In the blue, my current pace, distance, and time halfway around at the 10.5k mark. 

I discussed with my coach what the goal of this race should be for me. We both agreed that it should be treated as a training run, like a long tempo workout, and we loosely aimed for me to run it at around 1:35 hours, or even at 1:40 hours if my fitness didn’t happen to be as good as what we thought.

The reason being that I haven’t raced on the road since a 5k in July, and although I had been running strong in some speed workouts recently, I still didn’t really know what fitness level I could expect to be at for the STWM half on October 19. 

Mentally this prepared me for a broad 5 minute range, so I wasn’t going to cry about it if I didn’t meet some hard time goal. For 1:35 though, I needed to hold a 4:30 min/km pace.

So this was a true tune up race for me, with no taper going in, and no recovery week afterwards. Although I did have a pullback week leading into it, after 4 consecutive weeks of 10-15% gains in mileage. 

image

1 min to go…

Going into this race though, my legs have never felt so fresh for a half.

Ajax is a large town on the outskirts of Toronto, and they seem to have a ridiculously strong and fast running community there. For instance, we know Heather from mostly Instagram is from there, as well as one of her training partners Mindy Fleming who runs for Saucony, a former assistant coach of mine and overall nice lady Lyndsay Tessier recently won the Canada Army Half in 1:20:42 hours, and even Paul the director behind the race recently ran a 17:07 min 5k at the Canadian Road Champs too!

Something is clearly in the air there, and I was determined to inhale as much of that winning race air as I could.

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Our coach surprised us and made the effort to come there and cheer us on. Here is his photography skills at the start while I’m thinking “oh shit, here comes over 90 minutes of pain”.

Below are some thoughts based around my splits, as taken within FitFriend. I’ve been making a habit of running with my iPhone in a handband and having the FitFriend app right there in my palm. This race was no different.

All splits were taken at 1km increments, except for split 3 and 4 which I messed up (yes I actually took splits manually this time, lol, I am old school sometimes). Inspired by the hilarious Athletarian, this commentary is done in semi realtime, but delayed obviously…

KM’s:

1) 4:25 mins 2) 4:26 mins

Started up and down a gradual hill. That kind of balanced out nicely, pace is about right. A little faster than the goal average, but it’s not bonk fast. This is going to be an easy, an easy, fun, race. Not going all out at all. 

KM’s:

3) 4:58 mins (1.1km) 4) 4:01 mins (0.9km) 5) 4:26 mins 6) 4:35 mins

Ok around the corner and onto the waterfront. That’s some smooth water, smooth like my running. You want to run like the water, Mike.

Just came across the 2nd water stop already at 6k’s in, this is awesome…and I need it because it’s getting hard, and it’s hot. This is not going to be easy. Readjust mental strength.

On the upside I just conquered another short steep hill, and my average is still below 4:30. But it’s not going to be easy to hold this. Brace yourself.

KM’s:

7) 4:24 mins 8) 4:30 mins 9) 4:28 mins 10) 4:30 mins

I’m settling into a rhythm now. Yes, there are some short and steep hills along here, but I’ve been feeling strong on them, and I’m making up for any slight slowdown on the up by going faster on the down. Nothing to freak over.

Another water stop at 7.5k, I’m taking my first shot blok! It’s time to test these out - under consuming these is what partly led to your hamstring tear. Don’t pull your hamstring! I’m a notorious under-gel taker. I’m taking 2 shot bloks. That leaves 2 left. 

KM’s:

11) 4:31 mins 12) 4:36 mins 13) 4:38 mins 14) 4:23 mins 15) 4:29 mins

Shit I think I can feel my hamstring. I think I can feel both. Am I paranoid? No it’s hot, you’re right to worry. I am sweating buckets now. Another water stop at 10k, I am loving the volunteers! Leave a shot blok out here, and take it at the next one, and then this one on the way back. 

Oh good a flat straight stretch. Why the heck am I slowing down then? Uh oh. Is this where I bonk? Have I gone too fast? Nope, I’m just going slightly uphill, only that you can’t see it. 12.5k turnaround point! I’m more than halfway done and there’s more water, take another shot blok. 1 shot blok left.

Ok take it easy going down this hill, it’s hot and I’m getting worried. If you feel good at the 15k water stop then step it up from there.

KM’s:

16) 4:27 mins 17) 4:19 mins 18) 4:30 mins 19) 4:23 mins 

Nice, another water stop and I’m onto the last gel at 15k in. Ok so I haven’t pulled a hamstring and I haven’t bonked. In fact, I have more energy than I thought.

So step it up a bit. Up a hill. Now step it up for the next k. I’m mostly running at 4:20 to 4:25 now and still feeling fresh. This stride rate is feeling great. Just be mindful of this heat still.

KM’s:

20) 4:24 mins 21) 4:17 mins 22) 0:34 mins

Business time. That means crying hours are closed. Suck it up and get to the finish. Hurting slightly but not majorly. Probably mostly mental. 

Careful here though, you don’t want to get cocky and pull a hamstring while running a 4 min k with 1 k to go! Alright, striding in at just under 1:35:00. I am happy with that, actually I’m thrilled! Welcome back, Mike. I can finally stop talking to myself.

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Happy to have finished a half marathon close to my PR time and uninjured.

As soon as the race was over I walked back up the course until I saw Alison finishing.

I was proud and incredibly relieved when I saw her at around 1:46:00 hours in with barely 1 km to go. Right on target to make her goal time of under 1:50:00! The road warrior that she is, she also beat me to the recap - you can read about her PR race here.

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I like this mishap group photo better than the next take when we’re all slick. The team paceandmind runners who made it to Ajax. Also first race wearing Nike Flyknits, they are BRIGHT!

Alison and I were lucky to have been granted our race entries for free, after it became clear on Twitter and Instagram that we were fans of their work (and that winning Ajax waterfront air).

This was an unexpected surprise, as we weren’t actively trying to promote it. It’s nice when people extend an invitation out of the goodness of their heart, and I definitely felt that helpful spirit there.

It was a well run show, and for a smaller event they had what felt like unlimited pizza, gatorade, cookies, water (yes water should be unlimited, but it was nowhere at the finish of a Toronto half marathon a few years ago, an event that I’ll never race again)…and massages! For less than 400 people racing, this event had it all.

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After the race Alison and I chatted with Paul, the race director, and Heather, who’s always a blast to be around! Heather’s on the comeback trail from injury and is making fast progress to running pain free. 

Finally we went out to brunch with our speedy teammate Alan, who was also our driving saviour there, giving us a ride to and from the event. 

Behold, my attempt at a panoramic photo that makes everyone look stretched. Enjoying some of the final patio weather of the year while brunching.

This also ended up being my first half marathon where I finished uninjured.

I feel like I’m finally getting somewhere with training this year. Running higher mileage than ever, running frequently, doing more strength training than ever, and embracing easy runs. 

A side effect of having a boring “oh I’m not training for a PR” base building 2014, is that ironically I’ll now probably be running a PR half marathon at STWM, in 2 weeks time. I think I can safely aim for under 90 minutes there…we’ll see.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014
220 miles / 355 km.
With the hamstring setback in August, I didn’t expect to be logging almost 100 more miles in September.
May was my previous highest mileage month ever, but I actually passed that a day before the Ajax half marathon 😯
Thankful 🙏✨ 

220 miles / 355 km.

With the hamstring setback in August, I didn’t expect to be logging almost 100 more miles in September.

May was my previous highest mileage month ever, but I actually passed that a day before the Ajax half marathon 😯

Thankful 🙏✨ 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Training update: week 39, 2014

43.5 miles (70 km) of running.

6 runs: 

  • 0 doubles
  • 3 easy
  • 2 speed workouts
  • 1 race

1 rest day.

image

Snapshot of Dailymile weekly mileage in km’s.

Training

Monday:

REST

Tuesday:

Easy run - 5.2 miles (8.4 km).

Wednesday:

Long intervals - 8.6 miles (13.8 km) including warm up.

2 x 2400m @ 4:05 pace, 1 x 1600m @ 4:00 pace, 2 x 800m @ 3:55 pace. I might have dropped it on the last 2 800’s though. 😝 3 mins recovery between.

Splits taken on FitFriend:

  1. 9:49 mins 
  2. 3:00 mins recovery
  3. 9:50 mins
  4. 3:00 mins recovery
  5. 6:22 mins
  6. 3:00 mins recovery
  7. 2:54 mins
  8. 3:00 mins recovery
  9. 2:47 mins

image

Wednesday night training with paceandmind.

Thursday:

Easy run - 6.5 miles (10.5 km).

Friday:

Easy run with strides - 4.8 miles (7.8 km). 

20 mins warm up, then 6 x 20 sec strides with recovery, then 10 mins easy to finish.

Saturday:

Easy run - 3.5 miles (5.6 km).

Saturday we helped out at Alison’s parents place for a garage sale…and of course went for a run in her neighbourhood.

Sunday:

Race - Ajax Half Marathon.

Ran this in 1:33:58 hours. My first half marathon race in 3 years, and I’m happy with how things went.

There are many directions you can take for race day carb loading - I prefer taking the Italian direction. Cooked this on Thursday night.

Thoughts

Less miles this week because it was a pullback week from 65 miles last week, culminating in the Ajax half on Sunday.

I’ll expand my thoughts on Ajax in a race recap sometime in the next 2 days.

Other than that, this has been a pretty standard week. All sights are now set on the Toronto Waterfront half marathon in 3 weeks!