Monday, February 25, 2008

Signed up for a 5k

I just signed up for the Achilles St-Patick Day 5 km Run on March 16th in downtown Toronto. I didn't feel like waiting till March 30th to race again. Call me impatient. It's a nice flat course in the business core. Even if I try hard, it shouldn't have an impact on my 10k race two week later. I'm going to try to go under 22 minutes for that 5k, which is a 4:24/km pace. That should be quite the challenge.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Hardest one yet

Why are some workouts harder than others? Quality workouts are supposed to be hard, but some are harder than others. Is it the stress, the time of day, what you ate last night? All of the above, maybe?

I just finished a workout that I've done on Wednesdays for the last 3 weeks. I've never had to dig so deep to finish it. But, I'm not sure I've felt this good after, either. Maybe it's the pint of Stella that I felt I deserved.

What's going on in that body of ours? Why am I chasing that pipe dream, that PR that I will then try to surpass again? This only can last so long. If you ask me right now, I believe that I feel the need to commit to something with my whole being. Because running is so basic, that both my body and my mind can embrace the pain that comes with some of the training and most of the racing.

While I was nursing my beer at the club, I pulled my Garmin and looked at my last race, an 8 km race. I looked at each lap. I remembered clearly how I felt, how the first two km just flew by, with a barely noticeable uphill, then a very light downhill all the way to the lake to about 5.5 km. I passed the 5k marker faster than my previous 5k PR. Km 7 was hard, and the first half of km 8 was even harder. And I had a friggin' stich to the right side. Never happened to me before. Then I could almost see the end but not quite because it was just around a corner, to the left. Maybe 100 m from the corner. I picked up the pace a bit, although I didn't think I could. The last 100m was just a sprint that used energy I pulled out of thin air. I recorded my race for my podcast and on the audio recording, you can hear the pain at the finish. Best race yet.

I can't even imagine running faster than that. But I know I will. Because I now know a truth about myself: I'm a wuss. I trained when I was in my twenties and I always pulled back when I felt any kind of strain. I never actually committed to my running. I was a slow runner, that's how I was born and that's how it was going to be. My 10k PR is 49:59, which I ran when I was 25. I now run faster than that on training runs. I now know for a fact that I was a better runner than I thought.

But all this doesn't really matter. It's the past. I had a blast anyway. Today though, I'm committed. I realize I'm not a gifted runner. But, I intend to realize as much of my potential as possible within my life's constraints. I cannot abandon my job and my family to dedicate myself to running. I can still do a lot though.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

White Hell!

Is the snow EVER going to stop? It's horrible. I moved to Toronto, from Quebec City, to escape the white stuff! It tracked me down and now it's making me pay. This is the view from my home office, how depressing is that?

Not only is there a lot of snow but it's also horribly cold. I managed to run outside yesterday at a snail pace to keep from slipping on the pervasive ice. Other than that it's been treadmill-orama. Quality runs simply cannot be done outside at this point. Unacceptable.
When, when, when can I start running outside again?

Monday, February 4, 2008

British Running

I've been pretty good over here in Britain. I got at the hotel at 7:30 am on Sunday and THANK GOD they gave me a room immediately. I slept a couple of hours and then walked around the city, looking for my running trail, that I had previously located on

I left the hotel around 3pm for my run and proceeded on the path I thought was the right one. The trail ended after 500 meters, so I turned around and ran around for a while. It had to be close! Finally, after 20-25 minutes, I found it. It was a pretty nice trail by a little brook. I managed to run for about 70 minutes minus 4-5 minutes standing around looking at my map.

This morning, Monday, I got up at 6 am and went for an easy run. I stuck to the street since it was pitch dark. After a while, there was no more street lights and it was a bit dark. There was a bit more light on the way back.

At the conference, I met a guy I used to work with who said he started running a few weeks ago. Since the morning's sessions are about a topic that I don't really care about, we're going for a 9 am run together and we'll split a taxi to the conference before lunch. I'll stop by his hotel, run 5 km with him and then do a few km on the way back. Sounds like fun!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Travels and tribulations

Spent most of the week in Houston for work. Came back on Thursday night, shoveled all day yesterday. Today I'm packing because I'm leaving for the UK this afternoon.

I still managed to get some running done. In Houston I found a route on pretty close to my hotel, so I was a ble to run a quality run on Wednesday morning. I got home at 6 on thursday and went to the gym for a quick treadmill session and yesterday, between shoveling sessions and work, I was back on the treadmill for my second quality workout. No way you can do any kind of speed in this snow.

I might go out for some "junk" miles in the snow. It's nice today, but the roads and sidewalks are a mess. Still, this would almost qualify as low impact. Maybe.

In the UK, I should be able to run a few times. I found a route on that I might try. The weather forecasts is improving slowly over there. I'll let you know.

My iPod is chock-full of back episodes of my favorite podcasts. I should be able to catch up on the plane.