This is my 200th post two days after my 37th birthday. One of the best birthdays in a long while. My good friends and family came through with many things that I love. Jamie got me a sweet new dress watch to wear when i'm Suit Guy and planned a surprise dinner with a bunch of our friends. I had super tasty ale braised short ribs. Runninggunner was supposed to be there but he doesn't like me was sick. My homie Ryan hooked me up with a pound of red licorice, I scored a Value Village gift certificate for more thrifting treasures and Andrew scored me the hunter green Snuggie I have wanted for ages. An All-Snuggie photo post coming soon.
Spent the afternoon with Violet and hit up the new Muppet movie. It was her first time to the theater and the show was excellent. Very wholesome, very earnest, very Muppet-y. A great experience, aside from the fact that they initially loaded the wrong film into the projector. The previews seemed a little intense for a kids movie and when the 'Feature' started it was Twilight-Breaking Dawn. Needless to say, my 4 year old daughter was not a fan of the werewolves. Crisis averted with a minute or two outside the theater while they shut down the wrong film and got it sorted.
Great run on the back 9 of the canal course of Northview Golf and Country Club. Great run, scenic, quiet, rolling. Would be a great spot for a little race. Maybe next year in support of Mo-vember. Felt fast-ish. Soundtrack was the Fanfarlo album from a few years back.
last day of my forty day stretch. great run tonight, clear skies and a nearly full moon. Christmas lights up everywhere. beautiful. ipod on shuffle: plants and animals, the pains of being pure at heart, wilco, yeasayer, bon iver, real estate, lady gaga, fleet foxes.
since i posted two zeros during my 40 day stretch I'm going to extend the streak two more days to 'make up' for the missed days. cause i'm obsessive like that.
good run this AM. legs felt good, head felt good. cold and dry. saw some blue in the sky in the afternoon, a rare treat in Vancouver this time of year. great day in the city.
decided to take a stab at learning a new language. wanted to try Punjabi but could only find Hindi language podcast for free. learned all the consonant sounds and vowel sounds today. thinking about my little girls and how they managed to learn to speak without formal instruction. mind boggling that any of us learn at all. a fun challenge, so far the 30 min i spent listening to podcasts is 29 minutes longer than my attempt to learn mandarin.
exam coming up on friday. that has stolen my focus and is dictating my schedule. still managing to get some miles in before work but short and easy has been the theme. body feels good, a little tired I think, but hard to discern the source. likely a cumulative effect. was very tempted to skip the run this am. was trying to convince myself that 36 days was was plenty and that really, a zero or two in the last week wouldn't diminsh what i had done up till then. kind of like packing it in during the last 6 miles of a marathon and then making sure to tell everyone your half split so they can still be suitably impressed at how well it had gone to that point.
telling, a good insight into where my head is at and has been.
starting to look back on my little experiment and evaluate how it went. more to come.
last 5 days of my 40 day challenge started with some sprints at the local all weather field. feeling good. the momentum has definitely swung back towards training as the default and not the exception. Some of the other areas of focus still need a little more attention: the strength training, the no candy rule. but, the heavy lifting of getting a running routine reestablished is done. now, maintenance.
having a hard time keeping up. thought for sure i had posted here today then realized i was remembering a tweet...dur...
good npr podcast this AM about the music scene in NY in the mid seventies. Amazing the things that came out of that era, the live music club being the one that blew me away the most. hard to believe that prior to CBGB's in the mid 70's there weren't public places an up and coming band could play original music.
looking forward to tomorrow. got a new backpack with bottle holders and all sorts of cool features and tomorrow on my long run im going to try it out for the first time.
Also, i may start learning a second language by way of podcast with some of the time i'm out jogging about.
missed a day posting again. glad it was just a missed post. Thursday Friday got out both days. Stopped by a local 'nutrition' store on my way home to see if they had any maltodextrin. nutrition has been a issue in the past and I'd like to get it ironed out. The girl there was quite striking: 6 feet tall, blonde and buff. Nordic warrior, like she should have been wearing fur boots made from wolves instead of lulu pants. sadly, she was only somewhat helpful. found hammer nutrition, which was the only product there which had a first ingredient of malto. at $55 for about 100 servings, it was still cheaper than gels but i balked.
nothing of note today. just posting because it's day three of week five of my forty day 'post and run-a-day' challenge and i feel obliged to the commitment. which, i suppose, is in some respect analogous to the training days where i put on the shoes for much the same reason. there's growth in that.
posted a big ole zero today. Was laying in bed having an argument with myself about whether i should get up. Next time i checked the clock, the decision had been made for me: must have fallen back asleep and not known it.
on the plus side, hip feel great.
sore hip. nothing serious but more 'injury' sore than 'tired muscle' sore. Took it easy today and ran in the PM rather than the AM to give it a little more time after the long run yesterday. Felt better as the day progressed and fine after the short jog around the hood. we'll keep an eye out for changes.
legs otherwise felt good today. poppy. the combination of sprints/long run on alternating days seems to leave my legs feeling light and bouncy.
listed our current house for sale today. i'm glad that barring something unforeseen our next house will be our last. i have not enjoyed the process.
12 degrees Celsius, windy and wet. soaked through pretty much immediately. wind was driving the rain so hard that it hurt on any exposed skin. stinging face! I nearly bagged it about ten meters from my door. but, turned to run with the wind, warmed up a bit and stuck it out. jogged over to the golf course, did a sweet lap of the hilly ridge course at Northview G&C and came home. was thinking t would be fun to use the course to structure an interval/drills course where at each hole marker along the cart path was a different exercise and the par 3 holes were faster intervals.
easy morning. lots on the plate right now: bought a new house, listing our current one, new office, licensing exams pending, Jamie's got report cards to do...
Nice to just get out, jog and clear the head.
Feeling fatigued this week. Couple days where i was dragging it. there have been later bedtimes, lunches out for work and a couple slips on the 'no candy' commitment. taken together with all the 'busy-ness' and it's adding up. gotta be mindful.
Good stuff on the endurance planet 'ask the hybrid/ultraunner' podcast with Lucho and Tawnee. got some good advice about nutrition, race planning and form that i feel will have immediate benefit. was happy to learn that some of the things i have undertaken with regards to improving form and along the right track: improving hip strength and flexibility, the short flat out sprints. i've had some issues with shin splints when using a jump rope in the past but i can see the benefits if a person can implement it properly and stay healthy. will try and gradually add that in as well over the next while and see how it goes.
was mindful of trying to 'lean from the ankles' this AM when i was out. it's one of those things that will feel awkward until it doesn't.
odd day. adizeros were wet from last night. wore some old mizunos and it felt like i had two sofas on my feet. so spongy and heavy. i can't imagine running in that much shoe now. felt a little gassed, my bed was so warm and i could hear the wind pelting rain offmy sindow. But, up and atom, another mental win.
Wore the Solomon windbreaker and it was beauty. So light and windproof.
Also, got a new Ultimate Direction running pack which I can't wait to try out this weekend.
Skipped a beat yesterday with the post. Got the run in though. Four weeks in, lots going on, little things getting missed. Take some advice from the Black Keys and tighten up...
good run today, rainy and wet. Warm, no gloves, no sleeves on the coat.
Starting to tee up some races in my mind for 2012. The area of most opportunity for me on race day is mental toughness and late race fitness, which may be two sides of the same coin. With that in mind, and with a goal of taking a crack at sub 3 hours in August I have two races in mind to assist: a 50K trail run in April to help with the long fitness and Vancouver marathon in May where I had imagined running the first 20 easy and working on nutrition then running the last 6 at tempo - pace. fell like these two things, plus solid training and nutrition leading up address the gaps in my game. at least those that can be addressed, unlike my weak ginger genetics!
thoughts and advice always encouraged.
cold here to start, - 6 degrees Celsius at 5:50AM. waning crescent moon, clear skies, beautiful morning. Saw a Fuji Shockproof, waterproof camera in the classic Sears Wish Book the other day and am adding it to 'the list' for this years gifts. the list now has one item on it. A crescent moon over a frost covered tree with an eagles nest in it made me wish it I had a camera to snap a Lucho-esque moonlight tree silhouette photo.
Legs felt great, lower back was loose throughout. I credit the warm up and cool down for the mobility through the spine.
Have to remember that a really light day and a day of sprints helped me to pop out of a rough patch of training.
bowl of cereal for breakfast today. felt OK till about an hour in, then sharp stomach cramps, im guessing my body finally starting to digest the milk.
Headphones are passing with flying colours. There is a volume dial on the cord which at first I thought was an unnecessary feature added to pad the price. however, when running though changing terrain (ie city streets to trails and back) in potential inclement weather conditions over longer periods of time when you might go through a few different albums, having the ability to adjust the volume while leaving your ipod/iphone/walkman tucked away in whatever case it might be stashed is nice litttle perk. Also, it's designed that you can work it with a light glove but won't self adjust when bouncing around.
missed two days blog posts due to disconnected interwebs while the painters were here.
running streak still alive. after a couple sluggish days, feel better today, legs were poppy but stomach is upset. bad diet, stress of getting ready to seel our place. Who knows. it will be interesting to see how i feel during tomorrows long run.
Also, pretty sure i just saw two UFOs. large orange lights in the sky, moving in a steady and unnatural way. clear night, lots of stars, lots of planes and then these two ??? They freaked me out so much I almost cut my run short and ran home to get inside.
feeling off yesterday. some dizziness throughout the day, felt bagged and heavy legged this morning. legs a little tender from yesterdays sprint work. working hard to be moving slow.
Congrats to Beth for taking the step up to the pro ranks next year. Very excited for her and James.
wanted to mix it up a little from the aerobic jogging as of late without actually triggering any physiological adaptation/response so jogged down to the all weather field, did 6x55 meters flat out on full recovery and jogged home. I was doing these through the summer as part of Mark Sisson's Primal Fitness program. My time to recovery now much quicker then in August. Felt good and was tons of fun.
solid outcome so far from my 40 day initiative. For the most part, runs have been easy and short but my body is responding well to the 5AM wake up expectation and the accompanying bedtime that said wake up requires. Re-establishing the morning training routine was a top priority for me and so that's a huge win and I'm pumped.
Couple longish runs so far and both have been comfortable. Lower back tightness toward the end of the longer runs. I presume it's from weak hamstrings and/or core and feel good that the tightness will go away as I get stronger.
I have been obsessing over the fact that I voluntarily missed what turned out to be Broken Social Scene's last show on Canadian soil before they called it quits. As a result, I've listened to pretty much nothing else but since I replaced my headphones save the one day I primed myself with Hey Rosetta for the concert that night.
New stuff when the grieving period is over.
wasn't a zero but it also barely counts. Hey Rosetta concert last night meant no early morning. then, had a birthday party and family photos. too much food at the party made for a short run.
girls were at grandmas and grandpas for the night and most of the day. jamie and I were "unsupervised" for the day and we had a great brunch where we just leisurely ate in the glorious silence.
missed the blog post yesterday but got the run in. One of those days where I had all day to do something and then didn't.
good run, about 90 minutes, legs felt great. New headphones are solid. It was super wet and they stayed put throughout. No ear pain from the buds inside the ear canal like with some types. Can't say how it will feel after 2 plus hours but soon will be able.
excellent rock show at a dive bar The Cobalt on Main street. Second of three shows this week wit hthe last one back at the Commodore tonight. When it rains it pours.
work week is done for me. tomorrow is a holiday and I took saturday off.
concert last night. Elliott Brood is good times, boot stompin whiskey drinkin good time and the commodore ballroom is a legendary venue but i preferred the seedy club show at the biltmore before they were 'famous'. fewer inhibitions as we moved down the social status ladder meant more dancing and everyone knows what dancing leads to.
good run today, legs felt springy. moved this weeks long run to tomorrow AM as I have two more shows this week Friday and Saturday night and the standard Sunday long run wont be happening this week. late night concert + girls at the grandparents = sleepin in.
warm and wet this AM. overdressed but there may be some benefits to that according to Lucho's podcast. A good listen if you have the chance. Dude is knowledgeable.
Bad planning and engagements in the morning and evening before and after work have me staring at a forced zero for tomorrow. May have to make a withdrawal from the bank of goodwill I've built up with my wife to get something in in the very limited time I do have available. Tentative at best.
No juice in the ipod today when i went to run so headphone review is pending as well. Although, I will say they have the best bass tones of any phones I've owned.
bought some new headphones today. Adidas Sennhesier mx 680. they beat out a similar behind the neck pair because I'll often wear headphones with a touque and the behind the neck ones seemed like they'd get pretty annoying/uncomfortable running that kind of set up. The 680's have some soft rubber fins that sit in your ears and keep the earbud style speakers in place as well as a number of different size configs for the fins and the bud pieces. . I have never had luck with bud style headphones but these were endorsed by users on a couple different sites online. I tried to pull them out by the cord when they were in and it took a pretty good tug to get them off, that's what she said!
They weren't cheap but I have 30 days to return them and if they work well i'll more than get my money's worth. Waterproof, sweat proof, Kevlar cord to prevent fraying. good features as those two issues will be the demise of most phones in time.
I'll repost after some usage re: comfort and fit. As well, now that i'm running again and I've got some new phones, expect the music content to return again. I got some catching up to do!
Day 7 of 40 in the books. First longish run in a while. felt good but can tell it has been a bit since going 90 min +. Looking forward to snapping back.
6 days into Movember and starting to see some shade on the lips of some of my fellow gentlemen. Keep up the good work boys, don't forget to hit up all your friends for monetary and moral support. 1 in 6 is too high a number.
Answered the bell today after a small mental battle with myself when the alarm went off. Like always, happy I got up and went after I was done.
Was chatting with Lucho today and it got me thinking about reputation management and commerce in the age of the web.
There was a time when a person stayed in one place, worked a craft, or a trade, and traded with some other people who also stayed in one place. Over time, if that person did a good job for fair value word got out. And so, when the people in that place needed the service or trade that person provided they knew where to go. Sometimes that person would be the only provider of their service in the area where they lived and sometimes they would've. And in the cases where they folks had choice, people, as we are prone to do, would include other criteria besides the purely rational factors for choosing a service provider and go with the person they liked the best, or who was most like them. The idea that who you are and what your brand is were separate would have seemed like new age nonsense then. And if I'm being candid, it kinda seems like nonsense now. A person didn't work at building a brand. They worked at their craft and the brand evolved from that.
Small town, web store, major corporation same rules.
Be something, do a good job, repeat as necessary. Simple.
Staring to settle back into the rhythm. Run, write, repeat. Feels good. Colder and clear again tonight. Tights were out for the first time this year. Happy it wasn't raining. Enjoyed it while I can.
CFL football season is wrapping up. Home team is 1st in the Western conference after a slow start and the Grey Cup is here this year. Finding myself uninterested for the first time in years. NHL is in full swing and same goes for that. I saw an NHL replay of a guy drive his helmet into the face of another player from a yard away the way a football lineman would after the snap. Hard to find it in myself to follow a sport where that's part of the fabric/culture.
Oddly, I don't have the same feeling of revulsion when reading of guys being hospitalized thanks to their efforts at endurance races. It's not good, to be sure, and dangerous, but there's something about inflicting that level of violence of yourself that makes it more palatable. Lacking the element of victimization maybe? A reflection of my own demented ideas, perception bias, who knows...anyhoo...
Sleep was very interrupted again last night. Been a while since I've had a really, really solid nights sleep. I would chalk it up to the mental gear grinding of changing jobs but last night it was mostly because I had eaten too much dinner.
Short run today. Enough to avoid the bagel, not quite enough to make up for yesterday's miss. Good WU and cool down. no candy. Solid.
I had meetings from 7AM through to 9PM tonight. Alarm was set to get up at 5:15 to squeeze out 30 minutes before work. Was still awake at 3AM and it didn't happen.
It's not the falling down but the staying down. Back at it tomorrow.
surprisingly easy to avoid the candy today.
First day of the second week in the new office. Was an alternative transportation commuter today. Rode to work, ran home. about 8km each way. Felt really, really satisfying running past the stopped traffic on the last stretch of road leading to my home. I have to drive tomorrow and Thursday but would like to get two days a week at minimum where I ride in, then run home with the opposite the next day so that I get all my gear and bike back home by the end of day two. Short W/U, cool down was dinner with my family as I arrived just as the stew was being plated (bowled?)
Today at church, Roger laid out 6 daily disciplines which are foundational to shaping spiritual character and challenged us to spend the next 40 days taking a serious step into them.
To pull from his blog: Disciplines, practiced over a period of time, become habits or lifestyles- habits and lifestyles, repeated over a period of time, become character- and character over time shapes a life! So, it follows that if you want to change a life- start by establishing an appropriate discipline which will lead to a habit/ lifestyle which will develop new character which will change how life is lived.
There seems to be something significant about the 40 day time period. Long enough to start a new habit and build some momentum, for sure. With that in mind I'm going to lay out 6 running disciplines for the next 40 days to kick start my return to training and re-establish some of that lost 'character'.
1) Run every day. Simple. Basic. Even if it's only 30 minutes. No zeros for the next 40 days.
2) Long run each week. 90 minutes at least.
3) 2 days strength work per week. I've been using the Mark's Daily Apple Primal Fitness regime and it's been working well. Keep it up.
4) A small warm up and cool down each time out. Nothing special, basic movements for strength and flexibility. More about the discipline to do the small things that make a difference than anything else.
5) I went all of 2009 without eating candy. The day of Halloween seems like a good time to start that again. 40 days, no candy. I reserve the right to take a different stance towards ice cream.
6) Post here every day recapping how it's going. Hold myself accountable for how it turns out. A couple words, a few paragraphs, no matter.
"When we run, discovery is the first objective. We discover the countries, we discover persons, we discover mountains, and discover myself."
A great quote from Kilian Jornet from the latest installment in the Salomon Running video series.
In that vein, some things discovered (or reminded of) returning to blogging and training.
-Life is full of paradox. I can get out of bed at 4:30AM to run during a 70 mile week and then struggle to get my feet to the floor at 6:30 during a 10 mile week.
-Momentum is powerful. The propulsion of routine is strong. Popping up when the alarm rings at 4:30 or 7:30, the momentum of the previous day makes a difference in how I approach today.
-The new normal is the old normal. Somehow, despite the gravity of momentum, with focus new habits can be formed surprisingly easily. This is both reassuring and terrifying.
-Racing hard hurts just as much fit as unfit. The pain just starts earlier and is less familiar.
-There is no substitute for doing the work. Success is the culmination of large periods of time doing small things well.
- I miss K. Wlad's blog.
- Inspiration is everywhere. Blog posts, changing leaves, tasty cupcakes. If you are looking, you'll see reasons to run.
- Mainstream pro sports have lost their appeal for me almost entirely.
-Listening to Lucho's podcast made me realize I didn't take full advantage of his knowledge while he was my coach.
- Running is fun!
Raced this weekend. First organized event in some time. 10K trail run in North Van at the Lynn Canyon headwaters. A beautiful day for a race; Sunny and cool. The course was an out and back, mix of stairs and climbs and rooty, muddy technical flats. The flat rooty stuff was just my cup of tea. Very similar terrain to what I'm used to in the Watershed. I went off the front of the small group I was working with coming through the roots on the way back.
The climbs were a different story. Not a lot of power in the legs. I can't imagine what it would have been like if I hadn't been keeping up somewhat with the squats over the last little while. More lowr body strength work will help. I've been doing one legged box squats and feel they have made a big impact on balance and joint mobility as well as strength.
Finished in about 57 min, 21st overall and 6/18 in the AG 30-39. Overall winner was 42 minutes.
Calves were feeling pretty trashed the next day. Made me wonder about hill running form and ankle mobility. Question to any vert running readers: When climbing, do you keep a flat foot, bend your leg and flex the ankle or come up on the toes?
Anyways, the soreness put to bed my pipe dream of running 30 hours on the 30th of November in support of prostate cancer research. Maybe next year.
This Saturday, Small Ritual is hosting an fundraising concert that I helped put together. If you're in White Rock on Saturday night and have a few hours to come hear some original music from some brilliant independant singer-songwriters, we'd love to see you.
Above is the poster I put together for the event using a free trial copy of Corel Picture-Paint, which was roughly the equivalent of giving the keys of a Ferrari to a toddler. What a complex, amazing piece of design software. Light years beyond what I had used for my last foray into 'graphic design' when I very slightly enhanced an other wise completely legitimate photo of me pipping a certain female triathlete in the finish chute.
Hard to believe that it has been exactly one year since my last post. It doesn't feel like nearly that long and I don't even want to think about how long it has been since Boston.
Lots has happened over the last year but very little of that has been training. I've struggled to come up with a reason why training fell off the wagon. Partly it may have been Boston burnout, which I'm sure is very common. Part of it was having an 8 month old daughter who was a very light sleeper and the desire to avoid waking her up with my alarm clock. Training leading up to Boston had me as quick as I had ever been and feeling like a shot at a sub 3hr marathon was a realistic goal. Now, whatever the factors might have been, Boston 2010 + 16 months mostly finds me more Fatdad than Fitdad much to my chagrin.
Surrey, the city where I live, announced that next year, almost a year from today speaking of anniversaries, they are holding the inaugural Surrey Marathon. Surrey was recently designated as the region's next metropolitan center (Vancouver is the other, for those of you unfamiliar) and have started to built a legit downtown core in what was/is one of the Lower Mainland's rougher neighbourhoods including a new library (Google it, it's beautiful), a new City Hall, Courthouse, University, Brew pub! etc. The race is a coming out of sorts and a chance to showcase what Surrey City Center (forever known to Surrey residents as Whalley. Don't Google it, it's NOT beautiful) has become.
I have lived in this city all of my adult life and the idea of achieving my last remaining marathon goal in the first ever marathon in my home town holds tremendous appeal. Beth's post today reminded me of blogging and training days gone by, when the interweb was a place to un-self consciously post goals, successes, failures, workouts and any other inane thing that was on my mind at the time I sat down at the keys. I've missed the encouragement, accountability and inspiration of a community of people whose dreams are, for the most part, even wilder, and crazier than my own.
It's my hope that one year from now, I'll be looking 6 days forward to another marathon attempt and back on more than just one post here.