Friday, January 30, 2015

Thursday, January 29, 2015

13.56 km (8+ miles) Tempo Run on Snowy Sidewalks...

My average pace was 5:32 per kilometre -- which tells you that "tempo" may not have been the most accurate description of the run. There was between 1 and 2 inches of snow on the roads and sidewalks (which were no worse than the roads), so the fact that we were able to get in the run at a decent (?) speed was somewhat amazing.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

5 x 800 m. Repeats

The schedule called for up to 6 repeats of 800 m. But when I started the warm up I was pretty sure I'd be lucky to get two repeats in. I had been bundled up all afternoon with my parka in the office and felt congested. During the warmup, my feet felt like lead. But I figured I'd go out looking for 3:20 per repeat (50 second laps) and see how it went. Here are my splits:


So, I suck. But I got through it. It was all I had in me. Tomorrow is another day.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

2 hours 33 minutes on the treadmill...

Today I was supposed to be up to 18 miles. I had a horse show at Highland Green in the morning so I wasn't going to be able to do the run with the group. So instead, I watched the end of "The Rocket" about Rocket Richard and the first half of War Horse. I assumed my paces ("5" on the treadmill) would be an easy pace similar to an 8:30/mile pace on the roads. So I got in 18 miles worth I think.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

5 Mile (8.39 km) Easy Run Around the Block...

Tori's boyfriend, Josh, and I ran around the block. The longest distance he's every done. Just took it easy, but stepped it up a bit at the end. He did great, and we solved all the world's problems while we were chatting.

Friday, January 23, 2015

7 mile "pace run" on the treadmill...

I did 8:30 at an easy pace to start and then set the setting to "6" on the treadmill for my pace run. I did 48 minutes at that pace.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Tempo Run - 8 Miles (12.9 km) up Windermere Road...

It was a good night to run -- about -7 and with clear roads. The second (tempo) half was hard, particularly up the hills, but I was happy with my pace. I tried carrying my helmetCam with me, but it didn't go well. Super bouncy, and couldn't make out details at night.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

6 mile (51 minute) easy run on the treadmill...

Tonight I was scheduled to do a 6 mile easy run, so I did 51 minutes on the treadmill (assuming 8:30 per mile). I set the treadmill to 5.5 and ran without any break.

I watched Pink Floyd The Wall on the television while running. Just a little bit dark! :-)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Speed work on the treadmill... 7 x 600 m. with 2 minute break...

Tonight we were scheduled to do speed work at Thompson arena, but I had a hockey game that conflicted with the time, so I did my speed work on the treadmill in the morning instead. John wanted us to do 600 m. repeats at the track, so instead I did 2:40 fast with a 2:00 break and repeat. Because the treadmill took some time to ramp up the speed, it actually worked out to an extra 20 seconds of getting up to speed, so it totalled 5:00 per repeat-break-rampup.

I set the speed to "7" for the speed sessions, but put it up to "7.5" for the last one. I was working hard for the speed sessions, which is what matters most.

I did 7 of these repeats, plus 8 minutes of easy warm-up before and 4 minutes of cool-down after.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

"Those damn runners think they own the road. I'll show them!"

I can practically hear the thoughts of a few of London's drivers. "Look at those runners running on the streets instead of the sidewalks where they belong. I'll show them."

And with that, we see the vehicle approaching us either give us practically zero room at the side of the road, or in some cases (twice in the past week) will actually edge over and force runners to climb up onto the snow banks lining the road. This morning, a driver in a Dodge truck license [333 5WM] forced a bunch of us off the road while we were running south on Wonderland Road.

To be fair, the vast majority of London's drivers are great. They'll slow down when they see a runner approaching them at the edge of the road and, if available, they'll change into the centre lane to give us lots of room. I'd guess that over 99% of the drivers in London fall into this camp. I go out of my way to wave 'Thanks!' at drivers who drive in the centre lane to give us room, and I know that many other runners wave at these respectful drivers as well.

But the 1% that chooses to make a point by running us off the road is not only creating a dangerous situation, but they are also breaking the law. The law allows us to be on the left-most edge of the road, running facing traffic. Drivers, by law, must share the road with bicycles and pedestrians, or they could be charged with "Failing to Yield". And, of course, a lot worse could happen if a runner slips as a non-yielding car goes by. The civil liability if someone gets hurt or killed would be substantial, not to mention the emotional impact of the driver knowing they killed or hurt someone with a family depending on them.

I'm going to start carrying a body-mounted video camera for my long runs on London's streets. And the next time a driver decides to not share the road, as they are obligated to do by law, I will be pressing charges. Maybe after a couple of London drivers find themselves in front of a judge with irrefutable evidence, the word will spread that we all need to share the road, and that roads are not the exclusive domain of cars and trucks.

Training for a long distance race is a lot of work, and it is simply impractical to do this training anywhere other than the roads -- especially during the winter, when the sidewalks are treacherous most of the time.

Please share this post with drivers you think may not know the law with respect to yielding to runners. It could save a life.

16.7 Mile (27 km) Long Run

Today we did a 12.7 mile long run around the core of London. Here was our route:

It was an early start for me, though, as I got up at 5:30 AM to drive from Lucan to GoodLife downtown for the 7 AM "Boston Breakfast Club" where I joined about a dozen runners training for the 2015 Boston Marathon in April. We got an extra 4 miles (and change) before the rest of the group started with about 100 runners total.

It was not fun running. While the temperature was great (+1 C.), there it was snowing lightly mixed with a bit of rain, so it was pretty hard to avoid hitting puddles on the streets. Sidewalks were pretty much impassible -- roads were the only option to make anything like an acceptable pace without rolling an ankle.

My average pace for this run was slowwwww at 5:47 per kilometre. Just about every step forward included about a 2 inch slide backwards. Not fun. But we got through it.

One of the challenges with this run was with rude and dangerous drivers who didn't feel they needed to share the road. 99% of the drivers were fine and would slow down or move to the centre lane when available. But all it takes is that 1% to be rude and/or dangerous to make the run not a lot of fun. The good drivers would move over into the centre lane. But the occasional driver would not give us any room nor slow down. One guy (who had two wide open lanes) actually stopped his truck with about a foot of space between the truck and the snow banks. I got him to roll down his passenger window and asked him whether he knew what the law is. He said he didn't care what the law is -- so I'll be reporting Mr. 333 5MW to London's finest.

Next time, I'm going to carry my Contour GPS helmetCam and clip it on when traffic is approaching -- or maybe find some way to secure it to my body so that it can record the entire run. The good thing about the Contour is that it shows the time and exact location, so if we ever need to go to court, there is no question about the car, the driver and the exact situation. I'm getting just a bit fed up with that 1% who don't know the rules of the road.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

5 mile (42:30 minute) easy run on the treadmill

3.97 on the treadmill mile counter. Generally ran at 6.0 -- but that equates (calibrated) to roughly 8:50s and I definitely felt like I was running harder than that. Watched the last half of Wild Hogs, which kept me amused.

Friday, January 16, 2015

7 Mile Tempo Run with the Group...

We started from Goodlife in downtown London, ran out Riverside to Wonderland. Up Wonderland to Beaverbrook, down to Oxford. Oxford to Waterloo, and then back to Goodlife. Roads were snow covered for a lot of the way. I screwed up my GPS for 1.5K of the fast part of the run, but here are my splits:

5:37 (640 m.)

Felt really strong at the end! 5:29 pace overall.

Easy Run on the treadmill - 6 miles (51 minutes)

The subject of this post says it all! Watched the first half of Wild Hogs while running.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Speed Work at Thompson Arena - 7 x 400 m. + 2 x 200 m. Repeats

Tonight was the first night of the 2015 Spring Marathon Training Program with the Legendary John Ferguson putting us through our paces -- literally.

Tonight we did 7 repeats of 400 m. with a 200 m. rest break, followed by 2 repeats of 200 m. I went out looking for 1:35 per 400 m. repeat. Here are my splits:

41.81 (200 m.)
40.21 (200 m.)

My average 400 m. lap was 1:33.78, and my average 200 m. lap was 41.01. Those last 4 repeats I pretty much left it all out there -- and got faster right up to the last repeat!

Looking back to 2 years ago ( and my average time was much faster tonight, and my 200 m. laps about 1.5 seconds faster. And compared to last year (, I'm much faster tonight. Last year my average 400 m. lap was 1:37.14 (so 3.36 seconds faster tonight) and my 200 m. laps were 44.5 (so 3.5 seconds faster tonight). There are no more comparable workouts in my blog.

So, I'll put this into the books as being a good workout!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

26.24 km = 16.3 mile long run at 5:19 average pace

We got in our long run today and the weather co-operated! It was -7 C. when I was leaving the house and -6 C by the time I got downtown London. On my way home in the afternoon, it was -1 C. I wore my Maple Leafs headband, Boston white gloves covered with snowmobile gloves, my Under Armour muscle shirt with a long sleeve running shirt and my black Boston running jacket, my Boston long tights, regular Champion socks and my Brooks shoes. I nailed the layers -- I wasn't too cold or too warm the entire run. There was very little wind.

I took some beef jerky for the salt and a bunch of dried apricots for the energy. Both baggies were pretty much gone by the time I got back to Goodlife.

I showed up for the Boston Breakfast Club 4 miles before the 12 miles that the rest of the group was doing. But my GPS didn't click in until about a kilometre into the run. That first K was pretty easy pace, though.

I met up with Dave Prentice across the King Street bridge and we ran the entire distance down through the park, up to Boler at Baseline and back again.

My legs were feeling the stress on the way back -- particularly the last couple of miles. But I battled on and got through it.

Here are my splits:

{No time for 1st kilometre}
5:44 Up snow covered street after tunnel -- couldn't get traction!
3:33 (for 0.24 K -- doesn't appear accurate)

Certainly running with Dave was a good match. His personal bests that I could find online (3:19 marathon) were a bit faster than mine (3:25) and his 2013 Around the Bay time of 2:20:14 blows away my 2:30 personal best. So if I can link up with him in future runs, we're a good pace match -- which makes a huge difference on a long run.

All in all, it was a good run today.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

44 minute (= 5 miles-ish) on Treadmill

I hopped on the treadmill for 44 minutes today which, if I were doing 8:30 miles, would work out to roughly 5 miles. If I go by the calibrated 13.1% adjustment, I ran at a treadmill setting of 6, which equates to 10 minute miles uncalibrated, or 8:51 calibrated. 5 miles at 8:51 = 44:15 minutes -- close enough. The odometer said I ran 4.25 miles.

Friday, January 9, 2015

6 Mile (49 minute) Pace Run on the Treadmill

I was to do a 6 mile "pace run" today -- 1 mile of warm-up and then 5 miles at marathon pace. Because the treadmill speed doesn't accurately reflect effort, in my view, I just made it 9 minutes at an easy pace for warm-up and then 5 x 8 minutes at a steady/hard pace... 49 minutes in total. I started with the treadmill set to 5.5 for the first 9 minutes. Then I ramped it up to 6.5 for the next 35 minute and finally 7.0 for the last 5 minutes. I felt like I was really truckin' for that last 5 minutes -- much faster than marathon pace.

Actually, when I look at it, my "feel" pace probably wasn't far off. The last time I calibrated the treadmill, I found it was off by 13.1%. So 6.5 miles per hour equals 8.16 minutes per miles. Setting it to 6.6 or 6.7 would get me a couple of seconds on either side of an 8 minute mile. And a 7.0 x 113.1% equals 7:35 minutes per mile, which feels about right. I'll know for next time!

My total "treadmill" distance was 4.81 "miles". Close enough.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

54 Minute Temp Run on the Treadmill...

We were supposed to do a 7 mile tempo run today. A bit slower going out, a bit faster coming back. Based on the fact that most of my tempo runs average to roughly 8 minutes per mile, I figured if I did a 56 minute run, that would work fine. Running at an even pace would mean 28 minutes "out" and 28 minutes "back". SO instead I ran 29 minutes "out" (roughly 5.5 on the treadmill speed selector) and then put it to 6.5 on the way back. As it turned out, though, I was considerably faster on the way "back" and was through the run in about 54 minutes. I believe the total distance was around 5.14 "miles" on the treadmill (which we know is not accurate).

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Easy run - 30 minutes on the treadmill

The Legendary John Ferguson's training plan called for a 4 to 5 mile easy run. Because I was running on the treadmill, I just selected a 36 minute run -- assuming an "easy pace" for me would be about 8:30 per mile. 4 miles at that pace is 36 minutes. I'm getting better settling in on the treadmill!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

First day of the Spring Marathon Training Clinic, 2015!

Today we had our first session of the Spring marathon training clinic. Just a little 8K run, but we had several new runners out:

Laura ran Boston in 2008 and is going to be training with a friend who would also like to run it.

Tammy is training for a Half. (She runs with music, so I wasn't able to carry on a conversation)

Holly is at Western working on her degree in speech pathology. She is from Winnipeg and would like to run the London Half. She was a real trooper and ran the full 8K route with us, despite not having done a lot of running recently.

Summer is Richard's niece who came out to one of the speed work sessions and who has stepped up to do the clinic this Spring now.

Catherine was in the learn-to-run group in 2014. She does Sprint Triathlons and wants to do better in the running portion. Currently around a 7 minute per kilometre pace.

Allison is doing her second Pelee Island Half in May and wants to better her time from the first one.

It was great to see some new faces, and great to get together with the amazing group of people who make up the running group.

I've been working up my miles after a short break in November. I'm now up to 16 miles on my long run, and I try to get at least 20 minutes of running per day, or play hockey.