Saturday, December 11, 2010

Forgive me runners for I have sinned...

It has been 7 days since my last run. Actually...that's a lie. It's been 9 days. In my defense, the weather gods did play a role by dropping about 70-80 cm (umm...about 2 and a half feet or so? I'm being lazy and not googling a conversion calculator) on my city from Sunday to Wednesday morning, which, prevented me from running those days. But, even though I feel kind of guilty about running, I feel more like running now, than I did at this time last week. In many respects, the Snowmageddon December 2010, did me a lot of good, since it rejuvenated my running spirit. I know that the last few weeks have been a bit of a drag for me - I was running more because I felt I had to go out, rather than actually wanting to go out, and that made it difficult. With the week off, I feel more like running again, which is good. So hopefully this upcoming week will be good for running.

In other good news (at least I think it's good news) I'm pretty much done my Christmas shopping. I have to pick up a couple of things, but other than that I'm done, which is pretty awesome. And I know what I want to get, so it's just a matter of going out and picking it up rather than looking for something or trying to figure out what I want to get. Each year I try to get done early, and each year, I kind of fail at that, so even though I'm not done I'm pretty pleased that I'm mostly done.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Not a great running week.

This past week was not a great one for me getting out in running, in part because I'm not training for anything right now. Because of this, I'm a lot less regimented about going out to make sure I meet my weekly mileage (...or kilometerage?), so this week the weather was not great (as in it was raining) so I took a lot of the week off from running, which was nice in that I wasn't forcing myself out when I don't want to go, but I'm hoping it doesn't become a habit, since I want to be faster this upcoming year, and not getting out of shape is probably going to be key to that. Still, it was nice to have some time off.

Yoga is going well. It's very relaxing, and it's nice to do something kind of...just for fun. I mean, yes it does have the benefit of getting me to stretch on occasion, but on the whole it's just something to do for fun.

I'm thinking about getting a pair of trail shoes for the winter since there are the occasions when the sidewalks aren't plowed in the winter, and it would be nice to wear something with a little more traction, and are waterproof/resistant (unlike last year when my feet would get wet). As well, I'm thinking about doing some trail runs in the upcoming year, and while trail shoes aren't required, it would be nice to have them, again for the better traction. Still, these things cost money and do I really need another pair of shoes? In theory I've already committed to a pair of vibrams in the spring (or whenever Novacks gets a new shipment in. So much for getting used to them a bit by walking around the apartment in the winter). I did leave my number for them to call, but I'm not sure how on top of that they are. I'm hoping they do call, since I don't really want to stop by all the time to see if they are in yet. We'll see, I guess. I need to get a new backpack at some point so I'll be stopping by anyway in the future, so I guess I check again then.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Awards, and running with no particular goal

First, as I think I mentioned, the race series put on by one of the running stores in the city gives points in each race for how you did in your age group, and at the end of the year you can potentially win a prize! Well, thanks to my dedication of showing up to every race, I managed to squeak into 3rd in my age group which meant that I won $50! Which is pretty awesome! I didn't really do that well in my age group (I think the highest I ever finished was 3rd, and for the rest it was 6th or...lower? higher? whatever, the direction away from 1st), but I still went to every race, so I got bonus points, which pushed me passed someone, and made sure I wasn't caught by the person behind me. On the plus side, it means I can improve next year, and hopefully finish higher. I also, sadly, did not win the trip to Vegas, but I DID meet Katherine, which was pretty awesome.

So now that my season is over until January or so, I have to figure out how to stay motivated through the next couple of months of running. On the one hand, I'm glad to not have to train for anything, and just go out for fun, but on the other hand, having a race does make sure I get out and actually do the run. Hopefully, the goal of running faster next season will get me out the door at least 3 times a week.

And for a bit of a rant - I don't quite understand the 'weekend warrior' term for running, particularly when it comes to longer distances, since, while I don't actually know as I haven't tried it, I'd imagine training once/twice a week on weekends for a race would be unbelievably hard. I mean, ok, my long runs are usually on weekends, and my weekday runs are fairly short when I'm actually training, but it's not just a weekend event. I spend a lot of time running, and while I'm not fast, I don't like the idea of people thinking I only run on the weekend, because I know I've devoted a fair amount of time (and money) to the sport. I don't know. Maybe it's just in my brain.

Have a lovely weekend.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Halloween Run, downtime, yoga

First - I ran a 10k on Halloween. I didn't dress up (or as I say "I dressed up like a runner!", which doesn't count), but I was in a points race (the race is part of a race series - depending on how you finish in your age group you get points, and at the end of the year the top...5? get prizes), and I wanted to get in the money. Anyway, the race went ok, although I when I saw my time I wish I was a little faster. That being said I ran a PB* of 50.41 (I think?), which I was pretty happy about.

Overall, I've been happy about this race season - I didn't have any real injuries, and I achieved my goal at the beginning of the year of starting to run again. AND I ran my first half-marathon. So this year was sort of a get back into it year, and I think it went well. Hopefully next year I can start improving.

That all being said, I'm glad that my season is over - I was starting to get a little burnt out, and having some downtime where I'm not training for anything will be nice. I'll still go out and run so I can hopefully get better, but it will be nice, I think to not feel like I have to drag myself out for a run because I have to go for one. I know that I always feel better after I've started, but it has been taking longer, and longer for me to psych myself up to go out, so I'm happy to not have a race hanging over me making me feel like I have to go run.

Finally, I think I'm going to start yoga during the winter - I tend to be crap about stretching, and hopefully the yoga will help me with that. There's a place just around the corner from me, so hopefully it will work out. I've been saying for ages that I wanted to try it, so I'm finally going, or at least trying it out for a few weeks. I'm not terribly good (as in I'm not very bendy, and not very good with balancing), but it's fun (for now) which helps.

* Ok so it was my first 10k, so it would have to be a PB, but whatever

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Long Run Sundays!

So I had a 'long' run today. It was 13 km, which is far, but after training for the half marathon I did earlier this year, it doesn't feel like it's that far comparatively. Honestly, I wasn't really feeling it for the first 4 km or so, which made it difficult, because all I wanted to do was just turn around and go back home. But, it got better, which is good. I'm not sure what I'm going to do when my race season is over next week. I think I'm getting a little burnt out at this point, but I'm apprehensive about taking time off, because I think it will be hard for me to get back into it again.Not that it would be impossible, just it will be easier if I don't take time off.

I'm also thinking about buying a pair of vibrams. There's a store in town that sells them, but their inventory is a bit spotty (the tend to order a bunch and then the order comes in, in bits and pieces, so it's a bit of a crap shoot whether or not they'll a particular size in for a certain style), so I think I'll have to call every week/other week and see if they have them in. But, exciting! I think I'll be happier after the fist pair, because I think/hope once I know what size I need, I can order them online if need be. When I went in I was surprised at the price - I'm used to spending about $150 CAD for running shoes, and the vibrams I want are just over $100. That being said, I'm not really planning on running in them anytime soon. The weather is turning, and from what I've read it takes a good while to get used to running in the vibrams, so I think I'll probably use them for speedwork once it starts to warm up again. Then we'll see if I can use them for longer distances.

Friday, October 15, 2010

It's the most wonderful time of the year

Running-wise this is one of my favourite times of the year. The weather is in that Goldilock's place for me - not too hot, and not too cool - it's just right, which makes for great runs. With the leaves changing it's pretty as well, so the scenery is nice. It makes me wish I had a belt thing that I could take a small camera (or a cell phone) in so I could take pictures on my run, if I wanted (suggestions? I've seen SPI belts recommended - what is their shipping like? I can't seem to find who they use on their site, and I want to know if I should have it shipped to my house, or work if they use UPS or FedEx, since I'm not home during the day). I think the running store I frequent has a couple of things I can look at too. The only thing I don't like is that it is getting dark too soon, so except for on the weekend when I run during the day (well, morning), can I actually enjoy the look of fall. But eh, c'est la vie. Although I'm kind of bummed that soon I won't be able to run on the paths - although I like to think the city is pretty safe, I'm not terribly comfortable running on the bike paths (or rather 'multi-purpose paths' I think they are called now) in the dark. One the plus side, this year I already have cool.cold weather running clothes so I don't need to spend a pile of money for the upcoming seasons, which I like.

I have recently ordered a Road ID, because I can be a bit...lax about carrying ID when I run. I know I should, but unless I'm carrying fluids on me, I often don't run with anything, because I have nowhere to store it (see the whole not having a belt comment earlier). And, I know it's not a great idea not to have any ID on me, but I do it often. And again, I think the city is pretty safe (at least the area I'm in), and I think that lulls me into this security that I don't need anything, which isn't a great mindset when running alone. So I figure if I have something I can throw on my wrist, I'll at least have something with my name and an emergency contact. Plus, I had a coupon.

Good luck to everyone racing this weekend, I hope the weather is good for you.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I had a run today - only 6k and the weather right now is fantastic. I saw a bunch of people out and they were all nice (as in they all said hi/good morning back to me, which unfortunately doesn't happen every time). Sadly, it looked like the men's soccer team that scrimmages in Greenway wasn't out this morning...or I was there too early. But, I figure the run today, and a potential one tomorrow will make up for the all the thanksgiving goodies I'm eating tonight.

Chicago marathon was today - check out the finishing mile for the leaders (Link to Canadian Running, which links to the video). Fantastic, right? Of course my second thought was "...these guys run an entire marathon and use slightly more time than I do running half that distance..." Anyway, I thought it was pretty impressive.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Runs and rainbows

So this week's runs went ok, though weren't spectacular. On Tuesday, I didn't wear sleeves, and my arms were cold for the majority of my run as it was cool and rainy. But on the way back home, there was this awesome rainbow that cheered me up. It was really clear and...bright, and I could see the full 180 arc of it. So even though the run wasn't really awesome, if I didn't go for it, I never would have seen the rainbow.

The second run of the week I did with my Learn to Run crew. While I've graduated from the program a while ago, I still come out to help with one of the groups, and to run with people. And that run went well, though was a little slower than I would have liked ideally, but it was nice to be running with people and the weather was perfect. In its own way, running with beginner runners is kind of inspiring - I think it takes a lot of guts to come out and do something new, and learn how to do it. And it's fun being a bit of a cheerleader, and being encouraging. It also helps for getting any negative thoughts out of my head when we start running and I always feel so positive about my runs with them. It's also kind of neat to talk to them before and after their first race, because they are always so excited and happy before and after, since a lot of them never thought they would ever be able to run a 5k race and being able to do so is a huge deal. I find it inspiring, and even though I'm into longer distances now, I don't think 5k is anything to sneeze at - I remember when I ran my first 5k since getting back into running, and it was a big deal and it's probably further than a lot of people can run.

Hope everyone in Canada has an awesome long weekend!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Rain running

It was Run for the Cure today, though I didn't participate. I had honestly forgotten about it until Thursday, and ended up not registering. Congrats to everyone that did participate, though! I know here, it was in the rain, and was fairly cool, so double congrats! It's a fantastic cause to raise funds for.

I did go for a 10km run to train for what will probably be my last race of this season. As I mentioned earlier, it was rainy and fairly cool (6 C, but felt cooler, I think). So the beginning was kind of chilly, but it wasn't terrible once I warmed up. Still, for the first couple of km I was wondering what I was thinking going out. I got to break out the cw-x tights, affectionately known as the 'fast tights' because I feel fast in them, which is a bit of a rarity for me. I also wore a vest I got for entering a race earlier this year. Normally, I'm not a running vest person, but it was water repellent so I figured I'd give it a try. While I don't think I'll be buying a vest (at least at full price) any time soon, I did enjoy wearing it, and keeping my core dry. So for those wondering about vests they do have their uses!

The paths were pretty bare this weekend, I think between the Run for the Cure, the rain, and the Runners' Choice marathon group off at the Wineglass Marathon, there weren't many runners out.

Anyway, overall things went well today.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Obligatory first post

Well, hello gentle readers. I'll be honest, I have no idea what I'm doing, and I doubt that this blog will be much different than the plethora of other running blogs out there.

A bit of my running history: like others I began running soon after I learned to walk. In elementary school and high school I joined the cross-country team, and the track team, but never excelled at running. After high school graduation, running slowly left my life, as, to be blunt, I got lazy, and didn't put time in to run. While in the beginning, the lack of exercise didn't affect my weight too much as the years went on, I put on weight, and after finishing my second degree I got back into running by joining a Learn to Run program at a local running store. Since then I've devoted more time to running and recently completed my first half marathon. Like before I'm a mid-pack runner, and don't excel in the overall finishers, nor in my age group. While I hope to become more competitive, right now I'm relishing in getting back into the sport.