Archive for March, 2007

In good hands

March 30, 2007

I was wincing, as the masseuse worked my injured calf muscle. legmassage.jpgI was told that this treatment will help the muscle properly realign.

The masseuse advised to keep resting from running but I am so itching to get out there — four days’ rest is no fun for a compulsive runner !!

I don’t want to let this marathon-training hiatus continue for too many days. My conditioning tends to drop quite quickly without regular runs.

Also, tempting me are at least three different races going on this weekend with distances ranging from 5k to half marathon to 30k…

    hmmm, what to do, what to do (?).

Patient(ly) waiting

March 28, 2007

How is it that the medical profession seems to get away with double- (if not triple-) booking patient appointment times?

I visited the doctor today, waiting a half hour past the appointment time before being taken in — alas! images6.jpg

Anyway, the good doc confirmed my self-diagnosis of muscle strain and indulged me in my request for a referral to massage therapy. He threw in some samples of some new variety of anti-inflamatory as well.

Besides two days of rest, treatment so far has been limited to the application of cold compresses and much ibuprofen, to reduce any swelling. But my strained calf still hurts, it’s stiff and I have limited push-off power.

I am looking forward to massage. The primary goal will be to improve circulation and remove any scar tissue from the affected muscle. However, once I start running again, I hope to continue the massages to see if they improve my post-run recoveries.

Not entirely unexpected

March 26, 2007

images4.jpgIt never fails. Just as I thought things were going well, I strained a calf muscle.

It happened during the tempo portion of my run. I sensed my calves were quite tight while running but it wasn’t until completion that I found myself actually favouring the injured leg as I walked about.

Oh well, there’s not much I can do about it now but, looking back, I was probably overdoing it a bit. Now it’s back to ice, ibuprofen and few days off — re-evaluate in a couple of days.

Today: 16mi, 2:00:45

    {incl. Tempo of 10mi, 1:06:34 (av. 6:39/mi)}

Reversal of fortune

March 25, 2007

I saw the sun today, for the first time in a very long time, and it called me out to run.

Forecasts had been calling for extended periods of rain for sometime now but s90.jpgtoday ended all of that.

I took the scenic pathways all around the waterfront. It was like an obstacle course, as scads of pedestrians strolled along in spectacular sunshine.

Today: 18.02mi, 2:29:46 (av. 8:19/mi)


March 24, 2007

It has rained most every day for the past 10. So extreme is the expected deluge that we have been under a “rainfall warning” lately and may break our record for rain in the month of March. istockphoto_2863031_raining_silhouette_collection.jpg

This made my choice to do today’s run indoors on the treadmill a relatively easy one.

I wanted to complete 16 miles in two (2) hours so rather than doing it at a straight 8 mph, I started at 7.5 mph and then increased the speed by 0.1 mph after each mile. Therefore, by miles 15 and 16, I was up to 8.9 and 9.0+ mph.

Suffice it to say, not even shelter from the rains could have kept me dry. I was soaking wet by the end.

Today: Progression (TM) 16mi, 1:57:29

The (great) pyramid

March 22, 2007

As much as possible, I try to maintain variety in my training, whether it be taking a new route for a long run or performing a unique interval set. Training can become monotonous but maintaining variety helps to spice things up.

images-31.jpgToday was a scheduled interval session so I devised a little pyramid routine, with rep distance building up before winding down — the shorter the distance, the faster the pace.

Accumulated mileage for the five (5) reps was seven (7) miles, which became quite challenging after the half-way point. I had to devote significant mental effort just to complete the entire set.

I guess time will tell how great this kind of work out is for me.

Today: Intervals (TM) (1, 1.5, 2, 1.5, 1)

    1.0 miwu,
    (1) 1.0mi 05:48 [2:00]
    (2) 1.5mi 08:55 [2:30]
    (3) 2.0mi 12:03 [3:00]
    (4) 1.5mi 08:49 [3:00]
    (5) 1.0mi 05:41 [3:00]
    0.5 micd

Happiness is…

March 20, 2007

images3.jpgI never take it for granted because it is too easily lost. There is a fine line between extending your limits properly — in moderation and with enough rest — versus doing too much too quickly and getting injured.

I reminded myself today that happiness is… running injury-free.

I did my scheduled tempo run around noon but, by early evening, I was feeling the urge to do a double. I treated the second one as a kind of a recovery run, easy pace and with a few stops mixed in.

My weekly mileage is now upwards of 70 and with the marathon only five weeks off, I want to maintain this injury-free induced happiness.


    (1) Tempo (TM) 1miwu, 9.25mi@9.3(6:27)w0%, 59:30, 1micd;
    (2) Easy 9mi, 1:17:59 (av. 8:39/mi)


March 18, 2007

Today counted as my fourth occasion “volunteering” time and energy in support of product integration for Nike, stopping by its Runner’s Lounge for the latest trial run.

Conditions were close to perfect, cool and dry with only a hint of a breeze across the water. My goal was to warm up with an easy run to the lounge, test out a new model of shoe over 6mi at my target marathon race pace (6:45/mi) and then take it easy back to home base.

My chosen sampler was the Nike Air Pegasus 2006.npeg06m-fv.jpg

The feel of this shoe was quite comfortable. It’s relatively light yet with enough cushioning and support to be an effective training shoe.

I liked the Pegasus a lot, it made the segment of my run at MRP quite enjoyable. However, I don’t think it displaced the Air Zoom Skylon Triax as my favourite Nike shoe, so far, but it’s my second fav.

Speaking of which, besides the Skylon, the other shoes I have now wear-tested include the Air Structure Triax X and the Air Zoom Elite 3.

Today: 13.26mi, 1:39:29 (av. 7:30/mi)

    {incl. 6mi@MRP: /mi — 6:44, 6:18, 6:37, 6:42, 6:34, 6:37}


March 17, 2007

My nipples may have a cause of action against me.

Before embarking on my long run, I failed to take the usual precautions to protect the tender tissue of my areolae.


I began to feel the chafing some time after the two-hour point but by then it was too late. This is not the first time I’ve suffered this and I knew from experience that I would be in for a painful post-run shower. It was excruciating. I don’t know of any treatment for this form of trauma but I seem to be recovering well so far.

Today: 22.05mi, 2:59:27 (av. 8:08/mi)

Wake up and smell the gym

March 15, 2007

I’m not a morning runner.

I like to run on the urge, when the feeling comes to me, sometime during the day.

I never feel the urge to run upon waking but, due to other commitments on the agenda today, I forced myself to the gym immediately after waking. I needed to get this week’s tempo run under my belt.

images2.jpgMy tempo run distance today was a bit shorter than I might have wanted but given my time restrictions was all that I could do.

Nevertheless, upon completion, I felt satisfied… a feeling perfectly complemented by that first, post-run, sip.

Today: Tempo (TM) 1miwu, 5.5mi@9.3(6:27)w.5%, 35:00, 1micd

Showing leg

March 14, 2007

With Daylight Savings Time arriving earlier this year, many runners will have more daytime in which to run — unless you are an early bird. Today was another gorgeous sunny day and, like me, many runners doffed the tights and exposed some leg. Which brings me to an interesting topic.

shorts.jpgSome legs, all svelte in short-shorts, might be gawked at admiringly (slightly dated article) but most guys’ legs are different, less visually appealing.

When it comes to the subject of running shorts, the typical jock worries less about image and more about comfort/functionality.

Still I would like to know:

    When running, what constitutes (un)acceptable leg exposure?

thumbphp.jpg These Adistar side-splits (specs), look fine when worn on race day by a gazelle or speed racers but, for us novices, would it be going too far to don such briefs for our neighbourhood jogs?

As an analogy, consider the dilemma of togs (Australian: swimming costume):

Today: 3.5mi, 25:15… in Adistar side-splits — not sure but I thought I heard someone say “aiye, he jogs in togs!”.


March 13, 2007

Some days (rarely), I just don’t feel like running.


* “I had an epiphany.”

    by John Kane


March 12, 2007

The first sunny day of this phase of daylight savings must have triggered a switch in my brain that tells me to run because I seemed to do a lot of it — I hope this is an indication of what’s to come, as spring approaches.

First up was a scheduled hill work out under perfect conditions, sunny and cool. I did this around noon by which time the day was the kind where you’d want to wear both mittens and sunglasses — love that !

By early evening, with the sun still lingering on the horizon, I was feeling spry so I decided to get in the longish run that I had missed on the weekend simg_t_t2430265p3088436nmjpg110.jpgdue to an 8k race. I got in 15 miles which included five (5) wear testing the Nike Air Structure Triax X from the Nike Runner’s Lounge. I had previously tested a couple of other models (details here and here) but unlike them, I found the Structure too rigid for my tastes. It may be a shoe suited for a less neutral foot striker than me but it just seemed overly firm and relatively unresponsive.

I was curious as to what the “triax” refers to since my favourite test shoe so far also had it in its name, Air Zoom Skylon Triax. The helpful Nike rep assisting me offered to get an answer by the time I next visit. Perhaps if he reads this he will advise by posting a comment…


    (1) Hills 8.5mi, 1:10:30 {incl. 4 ascents of 1.11mi w 112′ elevation, 7:30, 7:27, 7:28, 7:11};
    (2) Easy 15mi, 1:58:18 (av. 7:53/mi)

p.s. last time I did this hill work out, my fastest rep then was equivalent to my slowest rep today — hopefully, another indication of good things to come !

Puddle lines

March 11, 2007

Borrowing from basic trigonometry, a common racing strategy, especially on a curvy course, is to run chord lines, instead of the the natural curve because, as everybody knows, the student21.jpgshortest distance between two points is always a straight line.

Also known as cutting the corners (legitimately), it’s not always possible to do, for example, like when boxed into a position within a pack. However, during today’s race, Harry’s Spring Run-Off 8k, I was certainly not encumbered by any pack because, as I fully expected, the elite field was never even in my field of vision past the first 800m.

Instead, due to incessant rainfall lately, racers could neither run the curves nor the chords of this double harry-jerome-statue.jpgloop course (which incidentally included going twice past the statue of another famous Harry, Harry Jerome). Rather, we had to run the puddle lines, negotiating around the edges of what seemed to be an endless series of shallow wading pools, scattered randomly.

I am not using the puddles as any excuse for the fact that I missed my target finish time by 20 seconds, after all, I have lived many years in this infamously rainy city and should be quite used to it. Yet days like this do remind me of the comments made by David Duchovny back when he was filming The X-Files here:

    Vancouver is a very nice place if you like 400 inches of rainfall a day… it is kind of like a tropical rain forest without the tropics

      — but I digress.

Getting back to the puddles, I can’t help but think that all the weaving around, jumping over and sometimes through, this liquid minefield was at least a psychological deterrent.

On the bright side, I hope that getting through such sub-optimal race conditions will build some degree of confidence for future races.

Today: (8k race) 2miwu, 4.97mi, 31:19 (av. 6:18/mi)

Wet rehearsal

March 10, 2007

The day before a race is full of preparations: Picking-up the goodie bag and bib number, charging-up the iPod and Garmin, choosing a play list, selecting apparel and shoes, eating a carbo-rich dinner, staying hydrated and setting alarm clock forward one hour (for daylight savings time).

Also on the pre-race agenda was a light run to flex the running muscles a little. Unfortunately, it rained continuously all day long so I got soaked. The weather forecast for tomorrow is for more of the same, “rain, at times heavy”, so I’ll consider today’s effort a bit of race-condition sensitization.

Factoring in the expected rain, wind and puddles for tomorrow’s 8k race, I’m going to be a bit conservative in my goal, shooting for sub 31:00.

Today: 4.53mi, 36:54 {incl. striders 5×~200}