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Started My Plan

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Well this past Wednesday marked the beginning of my new running plan and I am a little surprised at how much my time off has impacted my running. By no means am I a fast runner compared to the average in my age group as I am just a bit slower than the average but I have slowed down considerably since my last training program. As I was “lazy” in my last training plan due to working so much I really only logged LSD runs that were 10 and 1’s and that is really reflecting on the treadmill. I was struggling with 5.7 MPH when I am normally comfortable at 6.5-6.9 and found my self having to slow down before my 3km’s were up.

I am doing my best to not get discouraged in any way as I am sure it will come back throughout the training but I find myself questioning if it is more mental. The reason I say that is I am just not getting comfortable with my breathing yet as soon as I am done I am fine and I have no muscle soreness at all. It may just be routine as I did a lot of LSD’s runs that were all around 5.3 – 5.4 MPH doing 10 and 1’s and as I look back it was replacing the majority of my runs due to my schedule. This time I am sticking to the plan and will be sure to not miss my tempo and speed runs. I really would like to get under a two hour half marathon. I also need to get out of my head in that I am especially hating the treadmill right now. I need to change things up to make the treadmill more interesting although part of me would just like to have the discipline to enjoy it as it is and focus more on my breathing.

Well enough complaining and such… I am excited that I have started my training plan and I am looking forward to the gains over the next 17 weeks as I get closer to my goal and hopefully a personal best.

Get out and run!

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Not another New Years Resolution Post… ;)

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So it is a new year and I am finally starting to feel inspired to not only write again but to run.  I did do a number of races last year but I think I got beat up a lot more than I even said before running the Around The Bay race.  I am still so thankful that I did it but with how tough the winter training was last year and my less than desirable results, I was left a bit turned off by running.

I know this was all mental as after a couple of weeks my body healed and I was in good form, it was just that even a short 5km run felt like a 30km run all over again. Not sure if anyone else has felt this way especially for as long as I have.  My race season included a 5km race, 8km race, two 1okm races, and a half marathon all after the Around The Bay 30km race. Over the last couple of weeks I have been building my excitement level up to get ready to potentially run the Mississauga Half in May and have really tried to fall in love with running again. I know I love running, I just need to let myself love again and to learn to enjoy the run instead of dread the moment when love turns to pain.

Well about a month ago the seed was planted and leading into Christmas it started to grow. One of my older brothers is turning 40 this year and he has been talking for a couple of years about wanting to do a half marathon before his 40th and timing for us seemed to be aligned to run the Mississauga Half this May. So much so that for his Christmas present I signed him up for the race. Since then we have been talking plans and getting each other inspired to run and even more exciting is a bit of brotherly competition.  Right now for myself I am looking to do a personal best sub 2 hour half marathon and my brother is looking to just finish.  I will not be surprised though as training goes on if his goal changes to be sub 2:15:00 or even to beat me.  We have always been competitive although as kids I would say it was unhealthy a lot of the time.

Over the last ten years in particular I have become quite close with my brother as our distance and even disdain as kids not only disappeared but served us both in not wanting to waste anymore time fighting over nothing. I think the other thing that has brought me closer to my brother is what a tremendous husband and father he is.  I have other sisters and a brother that all have families and are great as well but with this brother it is different. I believe because of how far apart we were as kids and then to see just how no nonsense and loving he is with his wife and kids.  It is refreshing to be around them and I look forward to everything from dinners to vacations with them and all things in between.  Now with 3 half marathons and a 30km race under my belt I get to motivate and hold my brother accountable to achieve one of his goals. I in a small sense to get be a role model to him and return the favor of the positive role model he has been for me.

I have updated my running plans page to include my plan for the Mississauga run.

Also running this will be my best running partner rundmach who will be completing her first half marathon as well.  Please check out her blog for some fun reading as she has a number of events going on starting today!

I just want to say Happy New Year to everyone and all the best in your runs this year.

Get out and run!

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Falling in Love

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Well like many North American`s, well Canadian`s for sure I really suffered in my training with this long winter. I started off the winter with high hopes and a number of races planned out but as the winter went on my motivation went to an all time low.  I have all the gear to run outside up to about minus 25° Celsius but as the winter dragged on running outside seemed to chill me to the bone no matter how well I was dressed.  Add to that the winter blues of darkness whenever I was running and it all just got to me.  My training runs for the Around The Bay 30km fell off almost completely and then the worst happened… well maybe the second worse thing… I got sick.

I am proud to say that even with my training falling off and getting sick I managed to drag myself across the finish line. No where near my planned goal of 3 hours to 3:15:00 but again I did cross the line. This race absolutely broke me in every way possible.  With being sick I was only comfortable for the first 10km and then it went down hill… actually it went up and down a lot of hills and up one monster of a hill. My official finishing time was a humbling 4:06:54 with a lot of walking. As you may remember my only two goals were to finish in and around 3 hours and to run the whole time.  I did not manage to meet either of those goals but I did cross the line completely mentally and physically broken and I am still proud of it.  For those of you looking for a challenge I highly recommend Around The Bay 30km. Also, congratulations to all the runners in my running clinic who made it to the start line injury free and to the finish line with a smile on their face.

While it may not have seemed like the smartesSpring runt idea especially after being absolutely broken last week, I was signed up to run the Harry Rosen Spring Run 8km.  I decided that I would once again pace rundmach in the race but this time to the 8km distance instead of the 5km distance.  This week I managed to shake what was remaining of my cold and sore throat and while I did not run at all I was sure to fuel my body properly.  This leads me to the title of this post. Yesterday I fell in love with running again! After such a tough winter this Spring run did its job of breathing new life into me and my running. We fell a little short of our goal time but we had a lot of fun and after the race was done we had a lot of laughs and really took in the experience of a tough but truly enjoyable run.

Next week I have my first of two Toronto Yonge Street 10km runs which will also be my third race in as many weeks. This one will be for me and will be as yesterday a run dedicated to breathing life back into me and igniting my passion for running and this upcoming season.

I hope you had a good winter running season and if running metaphorit was tough or even too tough that you too are starting to fall in love again.  If not please think about what first had you falling in love… a favorite person to run with, a favorite song, a favorite place, a new outfit, etc.  It is time to fall in love with running and time to fall in love with yourself.

 

A Very Rare Perfect Day

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Well today was a tough and rewarding day that I can say is one of my best days as well as the day I needed it to be.  I don’t really want to get it to the details of my week leading into today but it was a tough and tiring week.

Well today was a new day and I started it off with family and an early morning drive to the airport to do a drop off. I then drove back home and then to my early morning race which was an amazing fun run.  Today was a singles Valentines 5km and a couples Valentines 5km where if in the couples race you were tied to you partner.  No this wasn’t a three legged race but tied by ribbon at the arms. The race was really fun and it snowed for most of the race.  At the end of the race a guy proposed to his girlfriend at the finish line in front of all their family and of course all of us runners. This is a run I will be adding to my yearly calendar for sure. The greatest part of the run was seeing all the couples, especially the elderly.  I believe the oldest couple was 60 – 65 years young. The medal is pretty awesome as well, a gold heart.

Seeing as today is also a training run for me I returned home for some Olympic coverage and then a quick nap as my day started to early even for me.  After my nap I ate and hydrated for my run.

Tonight’s Run – 17.4km LSD run for a total time 2:22:10.  My training called for a 26km run today but with the snow all day that I ended up having winter solitudeto trek through and adding a route with a bunch of hills I called it short by 4km (17.4km run plus this morning 5km run).  The two main reasons I called it short in addition to just feeling that I didn’t want to over do it was because when I tried to move the roads because the sidewalks were not done at all their was just way too much traffic and not enough road due to the snow piles. The second reason was because I was actually a bit under dressed. I felt great in the body but my elbows were freezing for some reason. When I got home I discovered that because I was wearing a short sleeve under my jacket that a lot of water collected where my shirt ended and actually formed ice right at my elbows.  No wonder I was cold it was actually solid ice!

All in all I am really proud of my runs today and the route I added with all the hills was so rewarding. The solitude of my run was also so amazing after my week. What a perfect day! As I have now completed my third fun run I decided to add another one this week.  I will be running a 3km at the Metro Toronto Zoo called “Move Your Paws for the Polar Bear Cause” on February 22.

Please stay tuned as I will be committing to blogging more about my training runs and my personal growth as I am now less than 7 weeks from my major race, Around the Bay 30km.

Building My House

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Today’s blog is going to be a short one as I am pressed for time having to get ready to go celebrate my dad’s 70th birthday.  This morning I went to my first Yoga class which I really enjoyed.  There were only a few people in the class and it was a relaxed non intimidating environment. I was comfortable with the instructor and I am looking forward to going back.  After my Yoga class I came home to do a 8km steady run which felt terrific!

Today’s run – 8.85km – 8km steady plus warm up and cool down – total time 57:39.  The reason for this quick post was my thoughts during my run.  In my time off being injured I watched a lot of online video’s of inspiration and reading blogs.  In all of that added with a philosophy of the Running Room I had my own mantra today.  I am sure it has been said a million times in a million different ways but for some reason I was driven today by this single thought. The Running Room philosophy as part of it’s running clinics refers to your early training runs in particular as building a solid foundation for your house. Training that ends up building that house brick by brick. Well in collaboration with that philosophy I started thinking about hitting the wall during a race. My mantrahouse became “embrace the wall!” You built that wall brick by brick in your training so you know how to brake it down, go under it, over it, around it or through it! Whether you are running you first minute straight, your first 5km, your first marathon or your first Ironman, embrace the wall as part of your house know that you can go wherever you want in your house. By all means tare it down as part of a renovation.

Get out and run

Finally feeling 100%

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Well after three weeks of not blogging it is finally time to put some thoughts out into the world. The reason I have not been blogging is because I have been injured and have not been running. I made the decision not to blog while injured as I was getting some what depressed from not running as well as the winter blues.

Two weeks ago after completing a training run my calf started to really tighten up.  I was a little concerned that I had slowed down too quickly but I did my usual routine and this seemed different.  I felt my left calf spasm and as I started to try and stretch it out it continued to tighten more and more.  After basically healinglimping home I went into a routine of RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation).  I could not do my Sunday LSD run as I will still limping and stairs were really troublesome. Turns out I managed to get a grade one sprain in my gastrocnemius. Last night I ran my first run with no pain of any kind and completed 5km as a LSD.  Today is a rest day and I am looking forward to getting back on track with my running plan as my race is now less than two months away.

I am not really sure while I felt it necessary to shut myself off from blogging while injured. I was not depressed to the point that it was affecting my everyday life it was just I guess, felling sorry for myself.  This was the first time I have actually been injured from running and although is was only minor and to be honest came at a relatively good time as the temperature dropped dramatically over the last two weeks and some outdoor runs had to be cancelled as a part of my running group. As I took time off of running to heal I grew restless and decided that is was time to try out the local YMCA. I have a gym in my basement but I have found myself looking to swimming as an option away from running or to enhance my running.  As I visited the YMCA and tried out a spin class (my first one in about 7 years) I have decided to join the masses given my age and will also join a Yoga class.  I have only ever done one Yoga class in my life and it was a little too long and advanced for me so I will be sure to ease myself in this time. So, as much as this is standard practice for most fitness bloggers or active people in general I have decided to broaden (if you can actually call it that) my horizons and move from just Running, Snowboarding and Golf to now include Yoga, Swimming and Cycling.

The only time I really swim is when I am surfing and up until about 6 years ago I was a fairly avid mountain biker but Yoga really is completely new to me.  Looking at my different schedules I can commit to Yoga once a week for sure.  Is this too little or am I good to do only once a week? I could do it two days a week according to my schedules but I yogaam not sure if that is necessary. Any thoughts for me? If I listen to my body and what is in my head right now I need to add a lot more stretching into my week as my body is changing in my old age but again I don’t know if I should be just doing that on my own or going to as many classes as possible.

I have also been toying with three ideas lately in addition to the already ambitious goals and changes I have made. First, I am thinking of doing a Tri a Tri (sprint distance) or an Olympic Tri sometime this summer. Second, if I do stay injury free I am thinking I will run the Ottawa Marathon at the end of May. Lastly, I have been thinking a lot about doing the Denver Marathon in October.  I was originally planning on doing the Toronto Waterfront Marathon again this year but doing the full instead of the half but I have been thinking of turning the Denver Marathon into a running vacation.  My brother lives in Denver and I am thinking about reaching out to him and his wife to see if they would like to run the half or even the full with me and use it as an opportunity to visit them and their family.  I often use them in the winter as a place to go snowboarding but this time I could spend a whole week with them.

Well none of this is written yet other than thoughts to all of you but soon I will be looking to make it real in writing.  Here is what I have coming up that is real: Valentines day run (February 9), Around The Bay (March 30), Harry Rosen Spring Run (April 5), Toronto Yonge Street (April 13).

To end my blog today I would like to say congratulations to all the UK and other runners around the world who are in their last day of Janathon today.  Fellow blogger rundmach is one run away from running every day in January! Congratulations.

Get out and run

Happy Anniversary

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I can’t believe it has already been a year… that’s right, today is my blogging anniversary or “Blogavesary.”

Last year after discussions with rundmach I decided blog anniversaryI would start blogging for some accountability and to keep myself motivated.  I really had no idea how much reading other blogs would inspire me and really be the fuel I was missing to make me not only a stronger runner but a better person. I can confidently say that I am a better son, a better friend, a better employee, and a better citizen in my community. For those of you that run it goes without saying that while on the road you grow with each and every run but I really had no idea that I would find myself growing so much in reading the words of others who share their own struggles on the road.  Thank you all for helping to shape the person I have become.

I will not bore you with another recap of my year but I would like to share my run from yesterday.  One of the leaders of my running group (Running RoomAround the Bay Clinic) Trevor, has been preaching to us a lot about ensuring we are partnering up on the long runs.  For some reason my pace always has me between groups on my own in the longer distance runs.  Yesterday I had the 110711ap_od_joggers_winter_dc_800_s640x427pleasure of running with Stephanie for the entire 18.5km’s and had another two people join us for the final 8.5km.  Yesterday was supposed to be a 20km LSD run but our leaders decided to cut it a little short as we were running the majority of the time in the freezing rain and both the sidewalks and roads were not cleared so we spent the majority of the run in deeper snow.  As all of you that run in snow know it uses up far more energy than your normal run and Trevor and team felt that even cutting it short 1.5km was probably not enough considering how beat up some of the runners were.  I really focused on enjoying talking with the other runners and was ensuring that I was at a comfortable conversational pace the entire time. I really enjoy the solitude of running on my own but the dynamic of running with others was in some ways more enjoyable as there was moments of solitude as well as moments when time flew by in conversation.  For safety on the winter roads as well as it being darker in the earlier in the evening I really should partner up more on my runs.  I just need to find others at my pace.

Do any of you have a preference of running alone or in groups?

Well I’m off to read some more blogs and enjoy my rest day.  Thank you all again for sharing.

Get out and run.