I took two days off work this week so that we could spend a long weekend at my parents’ place in Kingston. On Thursday afternoon, I went for a run at Frontenac Park. I ran (I think) the Little Salmon loop and then part of Big Salmon Lake. Some areas were muddy, but I had a blast running the trails. When the sun started to set around 4 PM, I realized that I hadn’t brought a headlamp and knew that I needed to get back to the trail office before it got too dark (lots of hills and slippery rocks). I headed back to what I thought was the Corridor trail, but I must have missed a turn somewhere because I ended up by Cedar Lake. It was really getting dark at this point, so I had a little freak out. After looking at the map, I figured that I had just enough time to make it to the edge of the Salmon Lake service road before it was pitch dark. So, I ran as fast as was safely possible (didn’t want to fall and break something) and just made it to the road in time (actually, I couldn’t see much for the last five minutes as the moon was covered by clouds). Then I ran very fast in the darkness along the road to the trail office. I’m so city… A good learning experience, though. Continue reading
Tonight I tried out Derrick Spafford‘s “Never Ending Minutes” speed routine as posted on iRun.ca. Basically, you run for 15-20 minutes and then follow a pattern of one-minute hard running, one-minute recovery for 10 repetitions, followed by a 20 minute cool down. I find speed work a lot tougher than any other aspect of training, which may be why it’s also my weakest element in running. Anyway, I ran the routine, and will continue to try it each week for the next while and see how it impacts my form and speed. During the exercise, I lost count and did 11 reps instead of 10. Noticed later that the timer on my Timex actually counted the reps for me, which was kind of cool.
Yesterday I went for a night run on the trails. I felt a bit uneasy early on, so I bailed early and finished at the hour mark. Not sure why I got weirded out, but it wasn’t worth it to force myself to stay out. Wuss.
My son, Kieran, had his first birthday on Saturday, so that was the focus for this weekend. He is growing so quickly. It won’t be long before I can take him for some mini-hikes on the trails.
Had a decent week of running, despite the lack of any long run. I ran five days, with two rest days, totaling just over eight hours of running. I’m trying to get in some quality runs without overdoing it. The plan is to get into decent enough shape by January so that my body can handle the training for Sulphur Springs.
Weekly Total: 8:07 (3:40 trails; 4:27 roads)
I dug out my Garmin from the closet and dusted it off for this evening’s run. I wanted to see what my pacing is like and how slow I’ve gotten over the past year since I’ve been back in Canada. I don’t usually like wearing the watch (Forerunner 305) as it’s a bit heavy and clunky and I feel like I’m turning into Robocop or something. Anyway, I ran the first 8 K at a steady pace, but not an all out effort. I didn’t follow a flat route, so had a little bit of climbing over the middle section. I hit the 8 K mark at 35:31, which is roughly a 4:26/km (7:09/mile) pace. So, not too fast, but still faster than my mother-in-law.
I could have pushed faster, but wanted to remain at a comfortable pace (this wasn’t my 10 K pace). I felt pretty good with this pacing once I got past the first K and settled into it. I think some of my slowness comes down to laziness or a lack of mental toughness. It’s so easy just to relax and saunter along. At any rate, I plan to keep working at my speed and see if I can improve on it.
After the first 8 K, I jogged an easy 800 metres and then did six long hill repeats. I felt really good at the end.
Rochelle went out this evening and took Kieran with her so that I’d have a free evening to run (I have such a wonderful wife). As it’s already dark by 6 PM these days, I had the choice of hitting the streets or running trails with a headlamp. So, I hit the trails.
I wish I’d known earlier in my life how much fun it is to run along trails at night with a headlamp. I wore a Petzl Myo on my head (used the spot setting), and also attached a Petzl Tikka XP to my waist (used the diffuser). Had no trouble navigating the trails, other than my feet getting tripped up on a few gnarly roots here and there.
For most of my two-hour run, Crother’s Woods was deserted, which made for a very peaceful run and lots of time for reflection and relaxation. For those people who seem to hate running, it probably sounds crazy that a two-hour run would be relaxing. There is something magical about getting outside, moving your body and allowing your mind to wander for an hour or two.
For the first time in over a year, I’m feeling more natural while running. I’m not in great shape yet, but my endurance is growing and I’m feeling stronger on the hills. Hopefully I can keep training regularly over the winter and also increase my speed a bit. I’d like to finish strong at the Sulpher Springs 100 Miler in May. This will be my first 100 Miler. I’m not sure yet what “finishing strong” will look like for me personally, but I should have a better idea of what my race goals will be in early spring. I want to challenge myself, but also be realistic about what can be accomplished. And since I’m just an ordinary guy who enjoys running, my primary goal should always be to have fun, whether I’m out for a training run or running a race.