All of a sudden, week 8 of training ends with week 9…

It’s now week 8 of training. And before I knew it, week 9 ended too! Things are going well, but I did pay a price for interrupting training with a trip to the Dominican Republic for a week. Punta Cana called and the 30c weather was a welcome break from a cold Alberta winter. I did run four times, but only for a total of about 30k. There were a couple of runs around the resort grounds and the surrounding area, a beach run with shoes on and the best run of all was the barefoot run in the sand. Here’s the proof;

just some random thoughts;

– what’s with that little blob of slush that spurts out from under your lead foot then lands on the top mesh of your other foot as its motion passes it to the front, freezing toes when you really don’t want that!

– is it just me or are shoe laces getting shorter?

– races really should customize their racing numbers, no more generic Running Room numbers please

Trying to make up for lost time with the blog, week 9 just ended this morning (I have to get more consistent here). It was also the last week of hill training and I have to admit my hills were less than satisfactory. I missed two weeks while on holiday, one week was a washout, literally as the hill I run was a flowing river of snow melt and one week was lost to a dump of snow. So I really only did two weeks of hills which probably really did not do anything for me.

I also missed a long run of about 32km (last Sunday) due to a heavy snowfall which I stressed over but I don’t think you can make up lost mileage so I just moved on from it.

So now I move on to the Peak Phase of training which is seven weeks and will incorporate more speed work into the runs. I have some little nicks, all foot related but nothing that I can’t put up with or run through.

Week 3 is over…

Running a very tedious, and boring, almost 2 hour run inside was how the week ended today. Round round and round! We had a fair dump of snow on Friday night, about 5 inches and it made running outside really difficult. The paths and trails had not been cleared for Saturday’s 45 minute run but I tried to push on. It was tough and I should have probably run inside, but you know, I hate running inside so out I went. It was much easier to run in the fresh snow than to run in the few tracks that had already been made on the paths. It was a tough run, slogging through the snow on a beautiful day but my distance was down about a kilometre and my feet were sore after. That was due I think to the ruts and unevenness that others had created.  I showed much more restraint on Sunday for my long run, sucked it up and went inside!

So far so good. Nothing major to worry about physically at this point. I weighed in at 217 lbs after the run this morning so I was happy with that.

I had a gait assessment done earlier in the week. I was surprised by the results. But then again I wasn’t. What prompted this was I just couldn’t get comfortable in my new Asics Gel Kayano 21’s. They just seemed tighter. Even the laces were much shorter. So I had moved from the Kayano’s, which is a stability shoe, into a neutral Brooks Ghost 7. I don’t know why, other than to look at a bit less rigidity and weight. With the assessment, the physio noted that I was very much a heel striker but after the assessment he felt I could easily move into a neutral shoe. One comment he made was that just because you pronate doesn’t mean you need to be put in a stability shoe. He felt that over time the neutral shoe would reduce the heel strike and bring my lead foot back under my body. What I thought really interesting was after running on the treadmill barefoot (at the same speed and incline as I had run with shoes on), my stride length shortened and my cadence went up from 150 to 164. My hips are weak and need some work, especially on the right side so the physio gave me a few of exercises to do to strengthen the hip muscles.

So today was the longest I had run in the neutral shoes, 16km, and I feel ok, a few hours after the run.  There is a bit of discomfort in my left foot but that will go away and is probably caused more from the stress of continually turning left on the track today.

Week four of the nine week Base Phase portion of training presents the same schedule of runs except there is the added bonus of hills which kicks off a six week span of them until the end of the Base Phase.

Training tragically delayed…

Very early Saturday morning, January 17, RCMP Cst. David Wynn was senselessly shot while on duty in St. Albert. He passed away from his wounds on January 21st.  Immediately after Cst. Wynn’s passing, it was almost certain that my place of work would be the site of Regimental Funeral.  Right away we started planning to turn Servus Place from a community recreation facility into a church that would hold 6500 first responders and public to pay their respects.


After a couple of planning days and then set up, the funeral took place on January 26th. 6800 people attended the service to say their final goodbyes.


My Calgary Marathon training was scheduled to start the day of the funeral, but with many long days at work and hours on my feet, I was not feeling up to the training. So instead of starting Monday, I began Thursday. I was not worried about missing a couple of days; they were just basically slower, longer runs. My concern was that I had not run in about 10 days, and how would I feel when I finally got back out there?

My first couple of runs were fine and I seemed to be over the soreness countless hours of walking on concrete created. The weather was not bad but Friday night it got windy, the snow started to fall on the already icy paths and the temperature started to drop. Bad weather however, doesn’t bother me, as I have the gear for it. I do dislike pathways that have not yet been cleared. I find that slogging through snow aggravates my hips, groin and ankles but nothing some stretching doesn’t fix. This week ended with a Saturday timed 45 minute Foundation Run and then a Sunday Long Run just over 16km.


I just picked up a new pair of Asics Gel Kayano 21’s. I have worn the same shoe right from number 17, and thought it might be time for a change and looked at several stability shoes. In the end I came back to the Kayano. Kind of like “if it ain’t broke, don’t change it”. I just can’t figure out why Asics comes out with a new Kayano every year. 21's

My training program is based on the 80/20 Running plan authored by Matt Fitzgerald which I have talked about previously. Lots of distance at slower paces with a smaller level of intensity over the 18 weeks of training.

I started at this week at 220 lbs. I would have liked to be a couple pounds lighter to start but that didn’t happen. In the past I have lost about 15 pounds during training so I should be around 205 on race day. I’d be happy at 208!

So, next week, week 2, sees the following plan;

Monday – Foundation Run, 45 minutes

Tuesday – Fast Finish, 35 minutes low intensity and 12 minutes high, cross training

Wednesday – Foundation Run, 45 minutes

Thursday – Foundation Run, 45 minutes with cross training

Friday – Speed Play, 15 minutes low intensity, 28 minutes high

Saturday – Foundation Run, 45 minutes

Sunday – Long Run, just over 19km

I will run all of my slower runs, usually those set in my heart rate zones 1 and 2 by heart rate and any run that would be zones 3, 4 or 5 will be run by pace. The reasoning is that when changing zones, there is a certain amount of lag in heart rates being picked up by the monitor so it is easier to adjust by pace when there is greater intensity.

RIP Cst. David Wynn

Phlegm be damned…

After laying on the couch for the better part of a week, having not gone for a run in six days, I decided to throw on several layers of clothes and head out on a crisp, -18c morning with light snow falling.  Thinking that a nice easy run in the cold might free up some of the mucus ball that has become resident in my chest much like Sigourney Weaver’s alien embryo, off I went!

Despite the cold, there was no wind and the paths had been bladed by the city snow crews. Footing was good and I went out at an easy pace for about 6.5 km in 45 minutes. I was surprised how good I felt despite still being quite congested and hacking up phlegm balls. It was good to get out again and my legs were really good which made me quite satisfied at the end.

I’m going to chalk this up to a well deserved rest and break from running as I get back out there and gear up for a January 26th training start for the Calgary marathon.

2014 running recap…

Three weeks gone…

I’ve just finished my third week of the “Quick Start” program. Actually I’m a couple of days into week 4. So how am I doing? Well, lets just say it’s easy to blame the time of year for any failures. Although I don’t feel like I’m failing, there is just a lack of downwards number movement. On a good note, my weight has pretty much stayed the same with all of the temptation the season has to offer and I have been running everyday with the exception of December 23rd (my birthday) and Christmas day.

As I track my progress, it has been somewhat tough maintaining data on foods that are eaten outside of the home. There have been a few restaurant outings which always seem to have a beer or two placed in front of me. Not to mention all the sweets that inevitably lay around the house just waiting to be grabbed by my hand. I have been cognizant of what I eat and quite often ask myself “do you really need that”? Sometimes I make the right decision, sometimes I don’t; but thats an improvement because in the past there was never any option of a choice, just a hand shooting into that Bits and Bites bowl!

I’m not discouraged though. I will persevere and move forward. I will continue to run and once a week I do a power cycle stint on a spin bike. There is also some strength work 3 times a week incorporated into my plan. My marathon training will commence on January 26th culminating with the Calgary marathon on May 31st.

There’s one day left of running in 2014. Watch for my year end summary!!

one down, five to go…

Week one of my “Quick Start” program is in the books. Overall, getting started was not as painful as I thought it would be. And by painful I mean the recording and entering of all the food data, not the physical part.

I purchased a FitBit Flex to assist with tracking of no running calorie usage. I have linked that to my MyFitnessPal where I enter my food intake (either on my ipad or iphone app) and then all of it feeds into my Garmin Connect account.

My routine is to use my Garmin for all running and cycling (spin) activity to get my data on distance and calories burned from those activities. I do not use my FitBit when doing these exercises but do have it on for all other activities including strength training as well as sleeping.

At the beginning of the week I started at 224 lbs and 22.6% body fat. The week ended with me at 23.4% body fat and 224.8 lb. So despite the number being up slightly, I’m not discouraged. I’m not sure how accurate my scales are when it come to the measurements, but all I ask is for consistency. I did have my weight down to 221 for a couple of days. Also, the time of year isn’t helping. Lots of “bad” food at work and around the house, parties and all the associated eating and drinking that comes with it.

I was worried about keeping track of my food intake but that seems to be okay. I have realized that portion size is very important; I don’t really need that plateful, just half of it. My big problem is that time after dinner, sitting around watching tv and more so out of habit and boredom, the need arises to put some food into my body. Do I need it? No. I am trying to meet this challenge by ignoring the urge or being very selective on what I ingest. And I try to find something to do to to take away the “eating due to boredom” syndrome.

So on to week two. I have a better understanding of what I need to do and as we move closer to Christmas, my birthday, and all of the related shenanigans, I will try and keep focused and do the best I can.