Saturday, May 27, 2006

Wet Saturday Run

A little chilly out there this morning, and a little wet. By the time I got my running gear on and got out the door, the rain had stopped. And what is with this GPS? It takes fifteen minutes to find satellites under a clear blue sky, but today, with the heavy overcast, it was locked on and ready by the time I got to the street. Maddening.

I decided that it's time to get back into some serious running. After my run with Tru, I mostly felt good, and now, after today's run, everything is great. I certainly know where the sore spots were, but right now there's no pain, just a little warmth on the hip and in the ankle, where the worst of it was after I crossed the finish line in Vancouver.

So: down to the river, across to the promenade, and all the way down to Crowchild. Across there, back to the C-Train bridge to go back to the promenade, then down to the Centre Street bridge. At the top of that, I rather aggressively tackled Nony's Awful Little Hill, and boy, did that feel good! From there I continued to push hard, not quite sprinting to home.

Today's run:
Distance: 10.24 km. Time: 55:04. Average speed: 11.2 kph.
Rest distance: 607.3 m. Rest time: 6:00
Total distance: 10.85 km. Total time: 1:01:04

Weather: Light rain and 6C, but the rain stopped just as I was starting out.

Beating the Rain

Finally getting this written, two days late.

I haven't gotten together with Tru for what seems like ages, so it was great to be able to get together with her for a run. We met up in the south end of the city, and headed for my old running routes in Fish Creek Park. In the background was a rather dramatic looking sky: big black clouds and even a little lightning in the distance.

We parked in Glennfield, and headed east along the paved path, taking to the shale paths as soon as we were able. We thought about going west, but that's were a lot of last year's flood damage happened, and I believe many of the bridges are still out. Not too eventful a run, we went as far as the Bow Valley Ranch before turning around and heading back.

We make quite a pair, with Tru's left hip still hurting from a muscle pulled while playing tennis (her passion), while my right hip flexor is still a bit sore from the Vancouver marathon. She was also nursing a bit of a cough, which slowed her down some more. But we both needed a chance to burn off some tension more than anything.

Afterwards, the rain started in earnest as we went for a burger. A great run, and a chance to reconnect with Tru, and also a chance for her to check out the park, as she'll be moving to a new home in that area next week.

Today's run (well, Thursday's run):
Distance: 7.57 km. Time: 45:10. Average speed: 10.1 kph.

Weather: Cloudy and 11C.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Stormy Weather

Lots of storm clouds in the sky, and it's actually rather dramatic looking. Also a little windy, but it's warm out and there are lots of people out on the paths along the river.

This was another run to 14th Street and back, via the Centre Street bridge. That's still about all I'm up to for now, but it feels pretty good, nevertheless. The right hip is still tight, and I need lots of stretching to get it going. Once I'm running it's all right, but even now I can feel it tightening up again.

I have decent speed, too, which I didn't think would be possible. I seem to recall my last experience as being rather slow for a couple of months. But then my recovery has been much, much easier this time.

Today's run:
Distance: 6.88 km. Time: 38:59. Average speed: 10.6 kph.

Weather: Cloudy and 21C, with some gusty winds.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Holiday Monday Run

Second try at posting this, cuz something went wonky.

Anyway, I got out for a run, just another short one to 14th Street and back. On the return, I took the Centre Street bridge, as it adds about 1.3 km to the westward loops that I run. And Nony's Awful Little Hill is a lot easier to tackle than The Hill Under The Stairs.

It was a beautiful morning for a run, and I think I'm pretty much over the effects of the Vancouver marathon. I still have some tightness in the right hip, but that comes out nicely if I do a few lunges. I really have had a much better recovery this year, compared to last year, where the effects lasted well into the fall.

Today's run:
Distance: 6.82 km. Time: 37:22. Average speed: 11.0 kph.

Weather: Partly cloudy and 19C. Very nice.

On another note, my friend Byron ran the Woody's RV Marathon in Red Deer yesterday, with a time around 4:53. No official times have been posted yet. He ran in memory of our friend, Judy Zaback, who passed away last November. We all miss you, Judy, and we know you were with us yesterday.

This just in... Byron's official time was 4:55:45, and you can find that here

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Second Post-Marathon Run

Took a little time to get things worked out - lots of aches and twinges and stuff. By the time I got to the top of The Path Under The Stairs, I was mostly loosened up. And as a bonus, there were two weddings being photographed at the top of The Stairs. Four limos take up a lot of parking space.

This was another short one to 14th Street and back. It's pretty quiet out there once I got past the weddings. I imagine a lot of people are out of town for the long weekend. I found myself taking it sort of slow, and really, that speed was about all I had. Toward the end I was able to push a little harder, but I'm not looking for any PRs right now.

I've been doing some rollerblading. Kate got me out last weekend, and it felt so good, I've been out a couple more times. We'll probably go again this weekend, too. But it's nice to be able to exert myself a little without trying to use what was used up in the marathon.

Today's run:
Distance: 6.65 km. Time: 39:17. Average speed: 10.2 kph.

Weather: Cloudy and 20C, with a sever thunderstorm watch.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Tentative Trundle

This morning Tru suggested we meet up for a run, but we weren't able to make it work. Her schedule is slightly insane for the next three weeks at least, but I stay hopeful.

Anyway, it's been a week since the marathon, so I thought it was about time to see what still worked, and what hurt and where. From my place down to the river, west to 14th Street and back. I wasn't breaking any speed records, but after the first mile everything felt quite well. Some aches in the hips and calves, and the right Achilles was tight, but a after a little time I almost felt normal. The only persistent issue as a general feeling of being depleted.

A great sunny day though, and lots of people out and about. I might try my blades this evening. Kate and I gave it a shot yesterday, and they felt wonderful.

Today's run:
Distance: 7.06 km. Time: 43:28. Average speed: 9.7 kph.

Weather: Sunny and 15C, and warming up more as the day goes on.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Vancouver Marathon Official Results

I was 2109th overall out of 3550,
1371st out of 2019 males
219th out of 313 in the men's 45-49 category.

My final time was 4:24:27,
My pace was 10:06/mile,
my time at the half was 2:13:43
and at 20 miles was 3:23:14

My chip time was 4:20:43.

A little different than the time I got on my GPS, but then I stopped that timer during those line-ups for the bathrooms. Still, I'm very happy with these results. Official results are here

My brother Shane's results are here and his official time is here

Vancouver International Marathon

I survived it. It was a challenge, but I managed to face it and get through it. Tru says it takes a certain mental toughness to run a marathon. She even dug up the number of people that actually run one, which is one tenth of one percent. Tru is very good at making me feel good about doing this stuff.

It was a cold and rainy morning. Dark too, at 4:00 AM, but we were up and breakfasted promptly. Dressing for the run, well, shorts and tee shirt was all I needed. We had stopped at a second hand clothing store the night before and picked up a couple of old fleece jackets. What happens is that people start with jackets and sweaters, which they shed early in the run, and a charity will follow and pick them up for resale.

We got to B.C. Place about 6:00, and found a place on the playing field to sit and stretch, with occasional trips to the Port-a-Pottie lineups. At 7:20, we headed out the doors to the start line. The rain was still coming down, and our jackets were getting a little heavy. Once the start signal was given, we had what seemed like a ten minute shuffle before we got to the actual starting line. I don't know how many were in the marathon, but with the half marathon there were almost 15,000 people there.

After the start line, we were winding around the streets for a bit, in Chinatown, I think. At my first walk break, my brother pulled ahead, and I shed my jacket. And then it was straight running. That was about the time the rain stopped too.

Most of the race I don't remember. I did make a couple of bathroom stops early on, and there were always lineups. I wasn't up to stopping in the bushes like a lot of guys were doing. I remember being fairly energized during the run through Gastown. And the oranges that one of the downtown hotels were handing out were probably the best thing I've ever tasted.

The crowds were fantastic. Our first names were printed on our bibs, and a lot of spectators would shout encouragement using our names. For some reason, that became important toward the end.

Near the half way point a company was handing out samples of its energy bars, but I think the seagulls got the most out of that. I suppose they were what I needed about then, but too sweet, and too dry to eat while you're huffing and puffing. Good thing there was a water station a couple of hundred metres farther on.

The run through Stanley Park was lovely, even though it started to rain again. That stopped by the time I got to English Bay. And then the crowds really started to thicken up.

The biggest climb was the Burrard Bridge, but it wasn't too bad. And then it was a long slog toward UBC. This is where I really started to struggle. My calves started to tighten up a little, and by the time I got to the end and turned to come back, I was more hobbling than running. One redeeming moment was passing the company passing out fruit gums. They were dumping them on cookie sheets and holding them out for the runners to grab as they went by. Very tasty. But a hard trudge back to the bridge.

And then something happened. When I got to the Burrard bridge, I seemed to get an extra burst of energy. I had about three kilometres to go, and I hurt all over, but something kicked in. I really began to focus on the end, since I knew it was close, and I added speed. And this is where it was so cool to have my name on my bib, because people were using it to shout encouragement from the sidelines. It really helped to keep me going.

I did the run/walk thing again, but going through the park, I totally missed the walks periods, and ran through a couple of them. Which helped to get me past a bit more of the field. They all caught up to me later, of course. And over the last three kilometres, I ran through them as well.

At the end, it was get the medal, lose the timing chip, get a plastic blanket, and all that. Kinda like sheep would be herded. Standing in the airlock to get into B.C. Place, I found my bro, who had crossed ahead of me by about four minutes. And after that it was get some food, get the shirt, then collapse on the floor for awhile.

The best part was knowing that there were so many people cheering for me. I most want to thank Tru for her faith in me, and Nony too. It was an awesome run, and I had a great finish. Now it's time for recovery.

Today's run:
Distance: 39.61 km. Time: 3:43:32. Average speed: 10.6 kph.
Rest distance: 3.07 km. Rest time: 24:00
Total distance: 42.69 km. Total time: 4:07:32

Weather: Light rain and 8C to start, changing to cloudy and 12C at the end.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Blowing Off Some Energy

I couldn't stand it, I had to get out and run. I didn't go long, just up to 14th Street and back. But I was getting antsy about not being out there. Anyway, it'll likely be the last time before Vancouver.

Going west is a pretty good workout today too. The wind is insane, and the building where I work is creaking like an old whaling ship. Running into it is like running in glue. You can push off hard but the next footfall doesn't gain much ground. And of course, you never gain running with the wind what you lose running into it.

Today's run:
Distance: 5.10 km. Time: 25:18. Average speed: 12.1 kph.

Weather: Cloudy and 7C, with those nasty winds blowing at 58 kph and gusting up to 74 kph.

Monday, May 01, 2006

A Light Run With Nony

Nony's in the neighbourhood, house- and animal-sitting, for the next week or so, and once we got through the end-of-the-work-day stuff, she wandered over and we went for a run.

We trundled down The Path Under The Stairs and along the river toward 10th Street, and after twenty minutes we turned around and headed back. Unfortunately, we hit the steepest part of TPUTS during the running part of an interval, so no breaks for Nony. (But I think she's forgiven me a little for bumping her running time last week.)

Today's run:
Distance: 2.66 km. Time: 16:56. Average speed: 9.5 kph.
Rest distance: 2.31 km. Rest time: 24:00
Total distance: 4.97 km. Total time: 40:56

Weather: Light rainshower and 10C. Rather a nice evening, except for the rain, although it was very light.