Monday, 28 December 2009

then again


I changed the name of my blog to remind me of my friend Rachel. She is a breast cancer survivor. I thought of Rachel every step I took during the Amsterdam Half. I ran with a rose for Rachel.   She is moving forward after finishing 20 radiation treatments. 

I think I have been psyching myself out about LSD.  Rachel was musing about how much work she faced to regain her health and physical conditioning.  A champion weight-lifter mentor shared with Rachel that while he was training for a competition, he would never have completed his training if he told himself he had a lot of work to do. He said,
"I'm not even sure I would have walked into the gym. But if I told myself why I was there and that I could do it one step at a time, one rep at a time, one set at a time, I could get it done. And so can you." 
Today's crappy run didn't have to be. I made it that way. The weather was gorgeous. Financial security is a state of mind.  I can pay that bill. I am healthy. So are my kids.  I just lost my mind for a moment.  I forgot my intention when going out for today's run. I had wanted to look for beauty.  It surrounds me, inside and out.

I can do this. One step at a time.

one crappy run




I never had one of these before. A crappy run, that is.  Well, my lesson learned is this. Do Not Open the mail before heading off on a planned long run. 

I was walking out the door with my sports drink in my fanny pack, listening to my fully-loaded iPod. I picked up the mail from the slot and saw an envelope I didn't recognise. I opened it. The envelope contained a rather large bill that I thought I had paid last year.  I stuffed it into my desk and headed back out the door. I was so upset about the bill I forgot to say good-bye to my family sitting in the living room playing music.  A block away, I thought about turning back to say goodbye, but kept going.

Planning a run that will take me more than three hours takes practice. Yesterday I mapped out a route and felt much better about the run. It's difficult to go out that long along the North Sea in the winter.  There are very few shops and no water. I realised the bike route I ride regularly could get me most of the 27k. But what about replenishing my water supply?  I can carry two water bottles in my fanny pack (1.6l) or a Camelbak.  I feel like a camel though....

I solved the water supply problem by breaking the planned run into two parts. One up and back on the beach with Odie, then drop him home, re-fill and head back out.  You can see the problem already, I am sure.  It's the cautionary mantra of ultra-marathoners: "Beware of the chair."

Well, I got going. Odie was happy. I tried getting my Garmin to go too.  I stood around a bit, waiting for it to pick up the satellites. Then I started the workout - which used a distance-based warm-up as the first interval.  Because the watch wasn't tracking distance, the workout never progressed.  My attention focused on the stupid watch, occasionally getting anxious and irritated about the bill. 

I don't usually enjoy the first 15 to 20 minutes of any run. As usual, my legs felt too heavy.  I felt guilty for skipping my mid-week runs - giving myself no slack about the week before Christmas, the ice fields that have surrounded the house, and my trying to finish up work and buy gifts and be festive, etc.  Real athletes train anyway. I have four months before the marathon, and already I feel behind and ill-equipped.  I can run 21k without batting an eye, but today I felt like a rank beginner.    I'm mildly curious about where that expression comes from. After finishing here, I will go read here and here, thanks to a quick Google search.  If you read the links, don't blame me for your A.D.D.

The GPS signal remained too low for my watch.  Or my watch was just stupid. It required a soft reset later in the afternoon, so maybe it wasn't the satellites' fault.  I was listening to Femi Kuti, Beng Beng Beng and trying to remember how to run before I became Garmin-Stupid.  I took the buds out of my ears, screwed around with my watch, gave up, and looked for a landmark for an out-and-back.  I picked a spot that yielded a little over 8k round-trip from my house.   In hind-sight, I should have just stayed out longer.

Another factor that made the run crappy was that I was too hot. I had three layers, including my new wool Icebreaker from New Zealand.  I've been wearing this jacket since it arrived under the Christmas tree.  If you looked at the jacket link, I do not look like that model. My ears are smaller.

Once I got home, I got cold. And the ambivalence I feel about long weekend runs set in. I like spending time with my kids. I also like sleeping in. Of course I could get up earlier, finish my run before the kids rally, and have more time with them. But I don't get up early. I stay up too late and then oversleep.   Like last night and this morning.

So with the failure of my gear, I don't know my pace. I have a good idea of my distance thanks to a google pedometer map.   Still willing to click? Here's my route. 

I made lunch for everyone. Then they dashed out of the house to go skiing - indoor Dutch skiing. Don't feel jealous.  

Then the final blow - my next love assaulted me. Being home alone.   I decided to blow off the rest of the planned run and just chalk this one up to One Crappy Run.  I sorted kids' clothes, posted a couple of the good items on eBay (I have to pay that bill somehow....).  And baked Christmas cookies.  Photo above. Gluten-free. Meringue and almond meal. Very tasty.  Let me know if you want the recipe.

I wrote an unapologetic report to my coach.  I have to admit to myself I'm ambivalent about LSD.  I hinted at this problem I am having with the very idea of four-hour runs. I want to do the M in 5.5 hours. But do I need to run a half-m or more every other weekend to do that?  I don't know.  He's got a lot of experience. But I put his training plan in "old school."  I'm going to think about it some more.  And eat some more Christmas cookies. 

My promise to myself - do both my mid-week runs, with some drills to help me run faster.  Get back to the gym to lift.  Fill out my blueprint for success in 2010.  Build a solid financial foundation.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

My blueprint for success in 2010

The 80/20 rule means that what I eat produces the greatest effect on my body composition. I can't outtrain a crappy diet.  I am adapting the principles outlined at Mark's Daily Apple. I ordered Mark's book and look forward to reading it.

1. Eat lots of plants and animals

Focus on quality sources of protein (all forms of meat, fowl, fish), lots of colorful vegetables, some select fruits (mostly berries), and healthy fats (nuts, avocados, olive oil). Observe portion control (calorie distribution) week to week more than meal to meal. Eliminate grains, sugars, trans- and hydrogenated fats from my diet.
Start with Protein.  I need nearly one gram per pound of lean body weight. For me, that means between 90 and 110 grams/day.
Add some healthy carbs. My goal is to control insulin and avoid inflammation. I want to use body fat or dietary fat for fuel. To lose body fat, I need to keep carbs under 80 grams per day.
Heavy work out days? eat more.  Add up to 100 grams per hour of heavy exercise. When I reach my ideal body composition, increase to 100-150 grams per day.
The point is to keep good records and analyse the results
Eat lots of colorful vegetables. No sugars or grains. A few starchy veg.
Fats. Fill out the rest of my daily caloric requirement with fats. Keep protein and carbs constant. Fats are the variable.
If I feel like I need more fuel (and I’ve already covered my ases with protein and carbs)? Reach for something with fat. Nuts, avocados, coconut, eggs, butter, olive oil, fish, chicken, lamb, beef, the list is a long one.
100 grams of fats per day would only add 900 calories to my daily average.

Example:

Protein: 320-440 calories
Carbs: 400-600 calories
Fats: 900 calories
Total: between 1620 and 1940 calories a day.
Even if the model averages somewhere between 1400 and 2200 calories per day over a few weeks, as long as she pays attention to protein and carbs, her body composition will shift to lower body fat and more desirable lean mass. If she decides to do some walking, a few brief intense weight sessions and a sprint day here and there, that process would accelerate greatly. If she gets to a point where she’s content with her body fat, she can even add in a little more fat to provide energy that she previously got from her stored fat.
2. Move around a lot with pleasure.

Do some form of low level aerobic activity 2-5 hours a week, whether it is walking, hiking, easy bike riding or swimming. Ideally, and when possible, find time to go barefoot or wear as little foot support as possible. Low-level activity is necessary (especially if you find yourself chained to a desk every day). The combined effect will be an increase in capillary perfusion, fat-burning and overall integration of muscle strength and flexibility. Medicine for the mind.
3. Lift heavy things

Go to the gym and lift weights for 30-45 minutes, 2-3 times a week. Focus on movements that involve the entire body and in wider ranges of motion – not just on isolating body parts. Emulate the movements of our ancestors: jumping, squatting, lunging, pushing, pulling, twisting, etc. This will stimulate your genes to increase muscle strength and power, increase bone density, improve insulin sensitivity, stimulate growth hormone secretion, and consume stored body fat.

4. Run really fast every a couple times a week
Do some form of intense anaerobic sprint bursts several times a week. This could be as simple as six or eight (or more) short sprints up a hill, on the grass, at the beach… or repeated intense sessions on a bicycle (stationary, road or mountain bike). These short bursts also increase HGH release (HGH is actually released in proportion to the intensity (not the duration) of the exercise).

5. Get Enough Sleep.
6. Play
7. Get some sunlight every day.
8. Avoid trauma.
Eliminate self-destructive behaviours. Solve problems.
9. Avoid poisonous things.
Chemicals, bad foods, sugar, processed food, mercury.
10. Use my mind.
Be inventive, creative, read, write, play a musical instrument.  Be sociable.   Learn something. Work with my hands.   Happy at home. Happy at work.

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Time for a little LSD


I want to get leaner and stronger in order to enjoy running more. Today I've thought about diet and supporting my athletic performance. I need to be sure to eat enough even while I try to get leaner.

I'm a little nervous about tomorrow's long slow distance run. I've never run 27k before. I'm nervous about the amount of time it will take. I wish I ran faster. I suppose I have it backwards. I really enjoy running long distances. And if I ran faster, I would have a shorter run and less fun. I can change the way I think about LSD (that is, long slow distances).

Yesterday, I listened to a podcast on Two Fit Chicks and  a Microphone.  The episode featured a discussion about marathon training and running in general. One of the guests worried about getting bored while out on a training run. That's never happened to me. I have never gotten bored. Mostly I run out and back. That leads to two middles - and sometimes I get a little impatient and ready to be "done" on the way back in. But I'm never bored. I enjoy the time alone. I listen to interesting podcasts or music or my own thoughts.  Sometimes I have peak moments of transcendent joy. Sometimes I have a lot of those moments.

I felt sad for the wannabe runner who was afraid of getting bored. It could be that she's simply spent too much time on a treadmill, which is indeed mind-numbing. And running on a treadmill doesn't work all your muscles anyway.

So I am going to reframe my thinking about a five hour run.  Slow means  more time in joy.  No need to hurry. I have all the time I need.

Friday, 25 December 2009

What will 2010 hold?



I'm reflecting on 2009. Five successful races. I learned valuable lessons from each. I'm looking forward to 2010.  Registering for a race motivates me to train regularly.   I like the crowds and vibrant energy at events. 

I registered for the NYC marathon lottery.  I've already registered for the Rotterdam marathon in April.  I'm looking around at the other possibilities for next year.  I'd like to race the City-Pier-City again, but I'm unsure how to work it into the training schedule for Rotterdam.  I will run Amsterdam again. And perhaps Berlin.  Who knows. The Hague Road Runner club looks like it might be fun to join up with, and I also found a local Dutch Triathlon group.

I would like to compete in triathlons again in 2010. Some months ago I mused about becoming Iron Fit. Then I looked at my finances and decided the first step would be to do some "foundational training" in that department before incurring travel expenses and race fees for an Ironman.  The other issue is a planned trip to the US during the summer, which competes with the Iron calendar in Europe.

2010 will bring me better fitness and health.  I will continue to get leaner and stronger. I can do this.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

about shoes


I liked running yesterday in my new shoes. Mizuno Wave Rider 12(W). Women's size US 8.5/UK 6/ EUR 9. Model 8KN-90368.  I am recording the numbers for the shoes because I'm tossing the shoe box.

In The Netherlands, these shoes cost 140 euro, plus VAT.  They're cheaper on Amazon UK.
Present advertised price: 70-120 US (sale 84 -100 US on selected models)

I prefer to support local shops, but I'm also a cheap-skate.  I ordered an extra pair from Amazon. Because I messed up the order, I ordered two pair. Hopefully I continue to like this model!

Bottom line is I prefer barefoot running.  I still got a small friction blister yesterday. I will try a plaster in advance of next week's 27k.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

14e Mackrel Hardloopen

1. Distance assigned: 16k race on the coast. The 14th annual Mackerel run from Scheveningen harbour south to Kijkduin.

I had a great race today. The temperature was below freezing - -3 (c). It snowed here earlier this week and has been quite cold. So the run was also cold. Places were icy and snowy.

2. Pace Assigned: "take it easy" (since I've been a slug lately) ran: average pace 8:35m/k Fastest 1k was the last. The second half was mostly faster than the first half. total time: 2:17
3. Walk breaks assigned: you had recommended 1:1 ran: I didn't take regular walk breaks after warming up. I ran 4:1 for the first 15 minutes or so, then took walk breaks every half hour when I got something to drink. Generally I just kept a steady relaxing pace.
4. Speed work: none.
5. Aches & Pains: nope. liked the new shoes. I rode my bike to the start, and crossed an icy patch on the road. The bike slid out from under me. I went down hard on my hip and arm, but did not hurt myself. I saw it coming. I felt very lucky not to hurt myself half a kilometre from the start!.
6. questions: nope.
7. Next week 27k
http://connect.garmin.com/activity/20723609

Anyway, I had loads of fun. At the finish, there was freshly fried fish and Snert (dutch-style pea soup with slices of kielbasa type meat). Delicious. The lifeguards were there and wonderfully helpful. The race was low-key and comfortable. I would guess about 750 runners?

I haven't been able to convince my older son to try running. Next year he'll be old enough. It would be fun to run together. Next year, I'll take ,y dog Odie. One or two other runners brought their dogs, and there were plenty romping on the beach too. Odie was very excited to watch me dress for the race, since he didn't realise he was getting left behind.

I ran & finished last. Very early in the race, I was completely alone in the back. It was fine. I like running by myself. I got lots of cheers and encouragement throughout the race (and a private escort from the lifeguards). Especially at the end, the other runners were cheering me on.

Maybe I'll be faster someday. But I don't really mind either way. I ran an enjoyable pace, faster than my 16k Paris race - but that had heat and elevation. The nice thing about starting running races in middle age is I am always having a Personal Best!

Sunday, 13 December 2009

back in the groove

1. Distance: assigned 6k ran 7.5k

2. Pace Assigned: none ran: average 9:40 min/km total time: 70 min

3. Walk breaks assigned: none ran: typically 4min run:1min walk. sometimes the breaks were further apart

4. Speed work: none.

5. Aches & Pains: no. Bought new shoes on Saturday - mizuno wave riders. they seem like they'll be nice for longer distances. they were a little squishy on the beach.

6. questions: I finished my lower calorie food plan after losing 9 lbs. over the last month. Back to maintenance/training level eating. I felt pretty frozen by grief over my friend's death. I didn't run at all the last two weeks. Today I felt pretty good, although my heart rate was higher than usual for this pace. I assume things will come back to normal soon enough. Should I skip the race next week? My plan is to just take it easy. It's an informal race on the beach. The following week assignment is 27k.

7. Next week: 16k race in Scheveningen


So I finally broke the deep freeze of grief from my friend's death. My last run was two weeks ago, just after she was killed. I ended up crying at the end of the run. *sigh* I went out on the beach for 7.5k at a very leisurely pace (about 8:30 min/k). The weather was clear and cold and sunny. My dog enjoyed the run with me. He lost his tennis ball fairly early in the run and spent the rest of the time trying to steal from other dogs. Sometimes it was funny. Sometimes it slowed me down. Then he lost sight of me and ran off the other way, looking to "catch up." *grumph* I stopped my timer and hollered for him. And he found me.


Yesterday I bought a new pair of running shoes - mizuno wave. I liked running in them today. They were a little squishy on the beach, but they'll be nice on the concrete and pavement where I race. Vibram comes out with a racing/running model in the Spring. I saw them in Amsterdam at the Marathon expo - they were sweet. Of course, the gal at the running store (which sells shoes....) pronounced them impractical since most folks don't have the committment it takes to rehab their feet. I prefer them, but my feet have been getting cold when I run.

I was glad to get moving again today.

Friday, 11 December 2009

December - where did you go

I can't believe it's been since last month that I've run. My friend Nancy's death filled me with grief. And I've been warned off some of my favourite running routes due to a serial rapist. Seriously, the police put out a warning for women to refrain from going to these certain areas alone at any time of day. The particular roads happen to be the route I take when I run home from work. So I have felt discouraged. 

Plus, last weekend I needed to prepare for a presentation on Monday. So I skipped my usual long run.  Before, I missed only due to illness. 

So I have a 6k on the schedule for this weekend. I will jump back in the saddle. I need a new pair of shoes and some go-gel for next weekend. I can get my mojo back.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

for Nancy B

Somewhere over the rainbow

Way up high

And the dreams that you dreamed of

Once in a lullaby ii ii iii

Somewhere over the rainbow

Blue birds fly

And the dreams that you dreamed of

Dreams really do come true ooh ooooh

Someday I'll wish upon a star

Wake up where the clouds are far behind me ee ee eeh

Where trouble melts like lemon drops

High above the chimney tops thats where you'll find me oh

Somewhere over the rainbow bluebirds fly

And the dream that you dare to,why, oh why can't I? i iiii



Well I see trees of green and

Red roses too,

I'll watch them bloom for me and you

And I think to myself

What a wonderful world



Well I see skies of blue and I see clouds of white

And the brightness of day

I like the dark and I think to myself

What a wonderful world

The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky

Are also on the faces of people passing by

I see friends shaking hands

Saying, "How do you do?"

They're really saying, I...I love you

I hear babies cry and I watch them grow,

They'll learn much more

Than we'll know

And I think to myself

What a wonderful world (w)oohoorld



Someday I'll wish upon a star,

Wake up where the clouds are far behind me

Where trouble melts like lemon drops

High above the chimney top that's where you'll find me

Oh, Somewhere over the rainbow way up high

And the dream that you dare to, why, oh why can't I? I hiii ?



Israel Kamakawiwo Ole'

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ltAGuuru7Q

waxing gibbous moon

1. Distance assigned: you suggested between 15 & 22. ran: 14.9 k under a waxing gibbous moon. The beach was silver and black, with white breakers and dark golden sand - no yellow in it - more like a mustard colour. The good kind, not baseball hot dog mustard!

2. Pace Assigned: none ran: average 9:26/km total time: 2:20

3. Walk breaks assigned: none ran: I didn't take regular walk breaks tonight. I walked a couple times, but generally just kept a steady relaxing pace in the dark.

4. Speed work: none.

5. Aches & Pains: I tried running with my shoes again because of the cold weather. Got another blood blister on the right foot. I'm tossing the shoes. I hope to get an insulated pair of Vibrams. I like barefoot better.

I would have chosen the longer distance, but I just did not have the time - I didn't get up early enough and the whole weekend was filled with orchestra performances for my two sons - lovely, but smack in the middle of the day (one on Saturday and the other today), when I like to get my long run in. I laced up at 7 pm tonight even though my motivation was at an all time low. I think the cold, wet, darkness is doing a number on me. But tonight was warm-ish and dry-ish (I still ran with wool socks).

6. questions: not really - just to let you know, I'm a bit at cross-purposes at the moment. I am really pushing to lose some weight, so I'm eating a lower calorie menu than I have the last couple months. I think ultimately, my running will be easier with these last 10 pounds off. I felt like I had good stamina tonight - I ate more yesterday and today to prepare for the run. My goal is to be at my goal weight by new years.

7. Next week: I'm not sure -  here's what you had put together - I'm off by a week since my household had the flu and I ran a 5k instead of distance last weekend.

Nov 22--22K
Nov 29--5K
Dec 6--27K
Dec 13--6K
Dec 19--16K

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

23 November 2009 5k


I got more than I bargained for last night when I headed out for a little 5k before dinner. I had asked my husband whether it was raining - he had just returned from the market. Although he said no, I pulled on my winter coat, thinking I'd probably just end up carrying it.

Odie and I headed off down the beach. As I got to the 2.5k turn-around point, the wind started gusting to 80 knots, kicking up the surf high on the beach and it started to rain so hard I couldn't see. I leaned into the wind, unable to run, worried now about sneaker waves. I leashed up Odie to keep him out of the surf and cinched my hood, barely able to keep my eyes open in the blowing sand & rain.

All that was okay until the lightning. I had been running on the hard pack near the water. With the lightning, I no longer wanted to be the tallest thing on the beach. I hustled up to the fence line at the dunes, kept walking into the wind, while waiting for my neck hairs to stand on end so I could collapse to avoid a strike. I kept going, thinking it didn't make sense to lie in a hole and that no one was going to come get me anyway.

Well, my neck hairs stayed flat. The storm was moving so quickly that the next crack told me the business part of the storm was quite far away already. When I climbed the hill out of the dunes to the street, the wind stopped, but not the rain. My husband met me at the door with two towels.

I think that was my most frightening run ever. Maybe next time I will dig a hole to wait out the storm.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

easy five k 15 Nov 2009

1. Distance: 5k ran 5.75 I managed to turn my Garmin watch off as I pulled off my shell when I got too hot. So the run ended up being 5.75. I kinda' knew where to turn back along the coast. But I was enjoying myself and went a tad bit longer. There were plenty of dogs with their ball-throwers. Mine was content to carry his most of the run, occasionally teasing me with a toss-and-snatch when I went to throw it for him. He loves to wade in the surf. In Holland, people seem to train in groups or with clubs. There was a group of about 20 runners on a distance run, loaded up with camel-baks and packs. They were going pretty fast. Or maybe it's just that I was going pretty slow!

2. Pace Assigned: none ran: average 8:30 min/km total time: 50 min

Friday, 13 November 2009

long slow distance 9 November

The weekend overflowed with kids' activities. So I made up my long run Monday afternoon, running into the darkness as the sun set, and beyond. New discovery: Seagull poop glows.

I intentionally kept up a faster pace and took fewer walk breaks (4:1) than my usual long runs (1:1 or 2:1). I don't particularly want to go past four hours as I train for a marathon. Nor do I want to get used to running at barely a jog pace.

This run was entirely in my Vibrams. I liked them. I need to trim a spot inside one shoe that gave me a blister.

1. Distance assigned: 18 k ran: 19.4k (was enjoying the run, and not paying attention to distance....It's good I don't run in traffic.)

2. Pace Assigned: none ran: average 9:53m/km total time: 3:11

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/18388850

3. Walk breaks assigned: none ran: 4min run:1min walk. I ran out of intervals on my watch and ran the last 7 k with ad hoc walk breaks - more frequent than 4:1. Walked the last 2 k, since I knew I was overdistance.

4. Speed work: this week I ran sprint intervals for five k. Sub'd a row for the second mid-week run. It was fun.

5. Aches & Pains: not really. About an hour into the run, I noticed the pain I usually get in the ball of my right foot. It's from a bone in the middle of the ball. I massaged it, put my foot in cold water (in the surf), and kept running, paying attention to how it felt. It stopped hurting, so I continued the run. No big deal. knees seem fine. They'll probably complain a little in the morning.

6. questions: nope.

7. Next week: 5k (that's a disappointment!!)

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Another NYT article on running

I like this one on the human physiology of long distance running - by design.

Friday, 6 November 2009

A place for every pace.


I enjoyed this piece from the NY Road Runners about the essence of a marathon.


To us, it’s about conquering the distance and conquering self doubt. The marathon is about dreaming to achieve and putting in all the work to make that dream reality. That quest, and the runner's ultimate success, routinely changes people’s lives in rich and meaningful ways. Our runners, no matter the pace, typically overcome all kinds of hurdles and challenges to reaching the marathon finish line. It is that ability to persevere that translates to other parts of their lives. Making them stronger and better for the pursuit – well beyond improved physical fitness.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

slow is the new fast


This NY Times piece on running the marathon at the back of the pack captured how I feel about running. It's an honour to run, particularly in the back.

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Happy Halloween

1. Distance assigned: 14k Run 13k

Oops! I took a different, slightly shorter route to the beach and turned around too soon. Today was simply delightful -- a gorgeous fall afternoon run on an empty beach under steel grey clouds. Odie and I both had a lot of fun.

2. Pace assigned: none. run: between 8:30 & 9:00m/km. I found it easy and relaxing

Garmin's average pace for this run includes the stop I made to talk to an elderly woman on the beach for 10 minutes (laps 38 & 39). She had so much to say about everything I found it hard to break away and keep going.

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/17610908

3. Walk Break Ratio Assigned: none. Run: 4 min: walk 1 min.

I experimented with programming the watch with run/walk intervals. It turned out okay except that I underestimated how many there would be - So I "finished" the workout with about 20 minutes remaining to run before arriving home. My actual pace was slower than the one I used for the calculations. But I found the watch helpful.

4. Speed-work done: none.

5. Any aches/pains? nope. I ran barefoot, so no issues with feet or knees. They were very happy. There was a lot more soft sand today - like running mashed potatoes! Fun.

6. Questions? No. I really enjoyed this run. It's nicer to go long. Six k last weekend was too short.

I ended up with low blood sugar by the time I got home today. I was fine during the run, but needed some juice as soon as I got in the door. Looking back, I didn't bring enough calories or liquid to drink (only 400ml gatorade). And I think I do better including some protein in what I bring -- this is what I've done in the past. I think I was a little cavalier in my planning, considering the planned duration.

7. Weekend workout planned for next weekend: 18k


Have a great week!



Chris

Thursday, 29 October 2009

09/10 training schedule

Here's the new schedule to take me through next April:

Nov 1--14K
Nov 8--18K
Nov 15--5K
Nov 22--22K
Nov 29--5K
Dec 6--27K
Dec 13--6K
Dec 19--16K
Dec 27--27K
Jan 3--6K
Jan 10--30K
Jan 17--8K
Jan 24--10K
Jan 31--34K
Feb 7--10K
Feb 14--12K
Feb 21--38K
Feb 28--10K
Mar 7--12K
Mar 14--42K
Mar 21--10K
Mar 28--15K
Apr 4--12K
Apr 11--Rotterdam Marathon
Apr 18--6K
Apr 25--10K
May 2--anything you want

what's next

The "club" marathon I planned for December is a bust. I looked at the website again, and read it more carefully (or perhaps with wiser eyes). The race has a five-hour cut-off. Given my time for the half, I don't reasonably expect I can cut 15 seconds a kilometer off my pace and hold it for twice the distance. Maybe I've thrown in the towel too quickly. I just didn't want to set out on a course knowing they would pack up long before I got to the finish line.

I can run instead the 16k "Mackerel" race on the beach at home on 19 December. It's not the same, but the minimum pace is 8:30, which I can do without question. (And there's the split pea soup finish...)

To dig out of feeling down about the busted race plan, I registered for the Rotterdam Marathon 11 April 2010. They have a 5:30 cut-off. The Paris marathon is the same day, but I've been to Paris a lot and can't stand the idea of having to get another medical certificate.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Amsterdam Half Marathon. Mission Accomplished


I’ve looked at race photos and a video of the course that shows clips at points along the route. Every time I think over the day, tears well up. This race took me to a place I never thought I would go. Training for this race built in me a new vision of myself. I have left behind the overweight sedentary person I used to be. I grew into someone with a good sense of what I can accomplish. I sharpened my “scavenger hunt” skills and gained valuable experience in sustaining a hard, disciplined effort for a worthy goal.

Unlike other areas of my life, running does not come easy to me. I have enjoyed a lot of success in my schooling and my career – many firsts and top ten percents. Three of the four races this year I ran in last place for much of the race. I needed to grow as a person to find the joy in running that has nothing to do with my place at the finish line.

I approached the half marathon with the determination that I would win even if I finished last, and that I was strong enough to run in last place throughout the race. That is where courageous runners sometimes find themselves. Like in Paris, at the back I ran with the people who defy the stereotypes and run anyway. This time though, I did not stop to chat. I wanted to finish before they stopped recording times. And to find out what I was made of.

Throughout my training, you gave me exercises that built my speed and endurance as well as my confidence step by step. Over-distance training gave me the belief in myself. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I didn’t know the distance of a Half Marathon in kilometers until after I had run the distance a couple months ago. The 800 meter repeats helped me to build speed over distance. They helped me to learn how to dig deep inside, beneath the physical discomfort of “I Can’t”, to find “I Can.” I learned what my body feels like at various levels of intensity, how much I can push, and what’s a little too much for right now. I learned about pacing myself - what happens if I go too fast, too early. I learned how to keep something in reserve. Every race taught me to expect the unexpected and to anticipate and prepare for the wall. I helped my training by not over-training, by respecting my limits and pushing myself gently further.

I learned sometimes I can arrive sooner by going slower. These lessons have applications far beyond my running. I am a better person today for learning to run. Thank you very much.

1. Distance assigned: Amsterdam Half Marathon. Plus 3k each w/u & c/d. I jogged the warm up. I walked the cool down.

2. Pace assigned: “do what makes me feel confident.”

Line up at the back again so that you will have freedom of movement.

1-8km--8:30/km
9-16K--8:20/km
17-21--anything you want.

Split Time Distance Avg Speed Max Speed
1 0:07:58 1,00 7:58 6:33
2 0:07:57 1,00 7:57 6:08
3 0:07:59 1,00 7:59 6:28
4 0:08:13 1,00 8:13 6:31
5 0:07:36 1,00 7:36 5:36
6 0:07:55 1,00 7:55 6:04
7 0:07:28 1,00 7:28 5:25
8 0:07:40 1,00 7:40 5:47
9 0:06:46 1,00 6:46 3:58
10 0:07:29 1,00 7:29 5:50
11 0:07:02 1,00 7:02 5:26
12 0:06:57 1,00 6:57 4:31
13 0:07:02 1,00 7:02 4:41
14 0:06:53 1,00 6:53 4:48
15 0:06:53 1,00 6:53 4:57
16 0:08:05 1,00 8:05 5:25
17 0:07:17 1,00 7:17 5:08
18 0:07:28 1,00 7:28 5:36
19 0:07:46 1,00 7:46 5:40
20 0:08:07 1,00 8:07 6:22
21 0:06:53 1,00 6:53 4:45
22 0:01:56 0,34 5:45 4:38
Summary 2:39:27 21,34 7:28 3:58


3. Walk Break Ratio Assigned: I tried to practice the 40/20 and 30/30 before the race. One of my girlfriends reassured me that crappy practice meant a good race. With your explanation and some good advice from your blog, I thought it might be worth trying during the race. I warmed up with a 3k jog, and then stood around in the starting pen for 20 minutes.

The weather was cool. In the past, I would have worn too much clothing. This time I knew I would heat up in the race, so I dressed in short sleeves and ¾ length running tights. I picked up a plastic blanket that had been discarded and used that to stay warm. The clouds indicated rain, so I brought a lightweight jacket and a hat. They came in handy around 17k when the rain started.

Though in Holland, racing in Amsterdam was still “out of town.” I had to learn a new payment system for the Amsterdam Metro, and navigate to Olympic Stadium, a place I had never visited. Transportation took about 90 minutes. I left my wallet at home, carrying only the essentials. Unfortunately, the fare inspector reminded me that I had left behind the discount train card that I should have carried for the fare I had purchased. He wished me good luck for the race and waived the 35 euro ticket with instructions to buy a full fare ticket for my return trip. I didn’t let it upset me.

I easily found the place to check my bag, changed into my running clothes and enjoyed the warmth of the big sports hall next to the stadium where the race would start. While warming up, I realized that I forgot to put on my heart rate strap. I didn’t have enough time to go get it. I never used my heart rate during training, so this didn’t bother me. I like to look at the data afterwards. But I have a good sense of my effort.

I carefully planned the day’s nutrition. After carrying two big water bottles in France, it occurred to me that I could carry pre-measured powder for the carb/protein mix I like, and mix it up with water along the course. That worked out fine.

My “good” camera died after I took the first picture. So the race got even simpler. I was relieved of the need to fish out the camera from my fanny pack. My 15-year-old son laughed when I told him about taking a couple pictures along the route with my phone-camera. He called me the Fastest Tourist Ever.

The crowds cheered me on. Running in the back gave me plenty of maneuvering room. Most of the time, I was completely alone. I ran the blue stripe painted on the street. It straightened out the curves, helping me to run the shortest course possible.

Many children lined the route, especially near the aid stations. They eagerly handed out sponges and held out hands for “high-fives.” Early in the course, one group of kids chanted (in Dutch),

“Faster, faster.”

I told them,

“Slow now, fast at the end.”

Just at the 8km sign, a race official on the back of a motorcycle told me in rapid Dutch something I couldn’t understand. I explained I spoke English and he repeated that he wanted to take me off the course since at that speed I couldn’t finish before 5:15 PM. I was shocked and incensed. I thought how he dare discourage all of us slow folks in the back with such a prediction. I refused and told him I would increase my pace. He didn’t understand my English. I repeated, “I will run faster.” The next kilometer was my fastest in the whole race. I watched as the Grim Sweeper delivered his dire predictions to the runners around me.

Well, I realized the truth of what I had been told. Starting in the back meant I started more than 10 minutes after 2:00 PM. So I picked it up. I knew I would need to cut a minute off each of the remaining kilometers.

I had programmed my watch to set the pace for me. It continued to beep at me with the warning “Slow Down”. I knew that I would finish before 5:00 PM if I could just run a little faster than the planned pace on my watch.

This is where walk breaks became really important. From the start, I took walk breaks even though they didn’t feel “necessary” yet. I was running a ratio of about 1:1 or 2:1 for the first couple kilometers. After meeting the Grim Sweeper, I pushed the walk breaks to about 4:1 or 2 min:30 seconds. That ratio seemed to work pretty well.

I had also planned to use the pacing music that I trained with for the 800 m repeats. I started that play list at about 13km. I took the 30 seconds at 400 meters, another 30 seconds at 800 meters and a light jog for two minutes. Then I did the accelerations over again. Since I had done 14 of them, I knew I could just keep this up until I ran out the race. I also walked briefly through the aid stations every five kilometers as I picked up something to drink.

The last part of the course went through a beautiful park and then the last neighborhood, finally going inside Olympic Stadium. The signs were a little unclear. There was a finish mark from one of the shorter races, and I started running faster and faster, since I was so excited by then. I ran through the tunnel, under the Olympic rings. This was incredible. Then I saw the finish was three-quarters around the track. I kept running as hard as I could at that point – My last lap was among my fastest. My feet hurt, but I was really happy. Beyond words.

I looked at the finish video and you can see my form has fallen apart by then. It looks like I am leaning forward and willing myself to finish. If it’s worthwhile, I would be grateful if you could offer some critique of my running. I look heavier in the videos than I feel. You can find a link to the videos, which offer clips at various places in the race, by searching on my name or bib number 31865 at

http://evenementen.uitslagen.nl/2009/amsterdammarathon/index-en.html


Like I mentioned yesterday, I started to cry twice on the course – once seeing people walking together while holding hands. This made me think of all my friends around the world who have been encouraging me throughout my training. Then when I saw the official clock and realized how much time I had made up, I knew I made it. When I started to cry, I couldn’t breathe. So I had to wait to let out all those feelings. The last kilometer is the hardest. I know I’m nearly spent and it’s tempting to slow down. This time, I kept on going.

4. Speed-work done: Ha ha ha. All race long.

5. Any aches/pains? I gave myself a large blister on my right foot – where one has appeared the last time I did the 800 meter repeats. It’s no big deal, but was the reason I went shopping for new shoes, without success. I didn’t notice anything while running. A plaster will take care of it. Knees are a little sore today. But nothing unusual. My upper quads are also sore. I imagine from trying to run as fast as I could!

6. Questions? No.

7. Weekend workout planned for next weekend: Oct 25--6K (oh, thank goodness!)

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

counting down

Here's my homework and the suggested pace, which my ego says is SOOO slow. And I don't think I like this walk break ratio. On my long runs, he's had me doing 1 min walk:1 min run. Hmmmm.

I will do the homework and think about these suggestions.



I'd like for you to practice the pacing and walk breaks during your Tuesday run this week.

Try to hold a pace of 8:15 by running for 20 seconds and walking for 40 seconds for 2 K. Then shift to 30-30 and see if you can maintain that same pace. This will help you choose the walk break that will work best for you.

Line up at the back again so that you will have freedom of movement.

1-8km--8:30/km
9-16K--8:20/km
17-21--anything you want.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Garmin Connect - Activity Details for Tapering 5k, slow WU & CD

Garmin Connect - Activity Details for Tapering 5k, slow WU & CD

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tapering for next week

Distance Assigned: 5k


2. Pace assigned: none - I gave this a playful relaxed effort in the pouring rain on a wind-swept beach.

3. Pace ran: 5.5 in 46:10. I played around with the Garmin again and set a 1.6 km segment in between a really slow warm up and cool down of 1.7 km. Without running on a measured path (I was down at the beach), I found it more difficult to pace/push myself - I didn't have a notion of where the "finish line" was. This was a very relaxed run with lots of walking before and after the middle segment. (the extra half k was just to get back to the house.)

4. Speed-work done: I ran some sprints early in the week (again, trying to figure out how this goofy watch works. Over 40 equals CAN'T SEE THE WATCH FACE, which was very funny - the joke being on me, of course. Maybe your next book: Running with Bifocals..... Sub'd another row for a mid-week run, but walked 30 - 40 minutes every morning at 6:30 (my mother in law is visiting from the States, so we're up early to share some coffee and go out with the dog).

5. Any aches/pains? No. I was still a little sore today from weightlifting on Thursday. Some morning yoga helped.

6. Questions? You asked for a reminder about pacing/walk break ratio for the Amsterdam Half, which has a three-hour cut off time.

7. Weekend workout planned for next weekend: Oct 18--Amsterdam Half Marathon--plus 3K warm up and 3K warm down


Have a great week. I'm getting excited about next week - I already mapped the packet pickup location!

Friday, 2 October 2009

27/09/09 Race Report Paris Versailles



1. Assignment: 16k race in Paris Finished in 2:16. Not particularly fast, but not last either.

Here's my "diploma" http://www.parisversailles.com/diplome.php?dossard=1698

2. I did it! And I learned a lot about racing out of town. A lot more preparation is required than going down to the beach!

3. Pace Assigned: 8min/km first 2-3 km, then 7.5min/km, then at 12k, whatever I want. Slower when warmer. It was warm, and I was slow. Here's what my new toy (the garmin) recorded:

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/14533071'>http://connect.garmin.com/activity/14533071'>http://connect.garmin.com/activity/14533071

Ave. Pace:

first two km: 8:22 (talking with other people on the course)
next ten: 8:38 (in the sun and UPHILL!)
last four: 8:03 (I picked it up finally!)

I felt really good at 12km and was finally able to pick up my pace. This part of the course was in the woods and cooler. Most of the race was really sunny and I was covered in salt by the time I finished. I started in one of the last waves of the +17,000 runners. In hindsight, being as slow as I am, I should have started earlier if I wanted to hear any of the music playing along the course. At the beginning of the race, I slowed to walk with an older woman who was walking the race. She had flown all the way from Calgary for the race. I also took a lot of photos.

I just felt like I had legs of lead, however. It was tiring to travel and walk all over Paris looking for the sports hall where the packet pickup was being held. There are two "Palais de Sports". So, one lesson learned was to "map up" routes before traveling and leave luggage at the hotel before going on the packet hunt. I did stop for a chic hair cut and a delicious roasted chicken while out, however. So I kept a good sense of humor, particularly important. I burst out laughing when I finally got to the correct sports hall only to find myself locked in the bathroom stall when the door malfunctioned! Thankfully, I jiggled my way out of having to call for help.

There were so many participants that the starting waves of about 350 took more than 90 minutes to launch. I walked around and took pictures instead of crushing into the chute. Eventually I walked to a crepe stand and got some more breakfast when my stomach started growling. I packed my own sports drink/nutrition. I am glad I did because although the course offered water and powerade, only water was still available by the time I arrived. I made peace with running in last place for the short time I was last. I realised afterwards that being slow and starting in the last wave exaggerated my place. I took walk breaks, but felt fairly disorganised for the first km - I carried my warm up clothes up to Versailles - After the difficulty to find the packet pick up, I just didn't have the wherewithal to get up early and hunt for the drop off location near the Eiffel Tower before the race. Other people simply discarded the clothes they wore in the rather cool morning. It was a strange sight. Lots of runners wore garbage bags too. This must be typical because dozens of rag pickers descended with bags to collect the clothing.

About Porta-Potties. I haven't figured out how much to drink in the morning to be able to avoid those nasty things. Important lesson learned. Never use a porta-potty after someone has spent an unusally long time in one ahead of you. It's worth waiting for a different one to become available. I suffered along with several other gals who went first. I should have paid more attention to the looks on their faces when they came out.

The course was mostly urban roadway. I dislike the litter created by the runners. There were close to a billion French kids out picking up after us, though. They had uniforms that made me think of Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. I said thank you a lot. I received lots of cheers, including from the bored-looking traffic controllers! They gave me a boost of spirit. And whenever I remembered where I was (running from Paris to Versailles) I GRINNED!

I ran with all the courageous people - the ones who aren't as fit or young or fast as the others and who have the courage to still show up and run - middle-aged women like myself, overweight folks out to change their lives, grey-haired warriors still going strong, survivors of all manner of challenges. It took a lot of mental effort to keep going sometimes because my legs felt so useless. I just couldn't find my groove - the temperature and the grade I think took their toll. Today I have more muscle soreness than usual, so I feel like I gave it an honest effort. Also, looking at my heart rate chart, I can see that my heart rate matched my perception of effort. So, I didn't hold back. I still really would like to turn into a runner instead of a jogger. I know I am a runner, but I hope you understand what I mean. I told myself I'm a baby runner, having been at this "seriously" or at least regularly - maybe religiously is the right word - for only nine months.

It was also really challenging to focus on the race so soon after pacing during my husband's surgery. I had to take him back to the emergency room for pain relief only a couple hours after bringing him home from the hospital on Thursday. We were there until nearly midnight - me thinking this was supposed to be the pre-race night of the "good night sleep".

All of the training exercises you gave me to do really helped me to prepare myself - especially the 800m repeats - they have - for me anyway - a mental component that helps me go past the discomfort and the limiting beliefs into the beyond. My eyes are tearing up again with gratitude for your help.

Well, that's enough out of me. It's my son's 15th birthday today, so I will close. Attached are a couple pictures you might enjoy. My favourite is with one of the volunteer girls at the finish. I told her next year it was her turn to run.

Friday, 25 September 2009

MM feedback and race plan for Paris

You had a really good MM. With better pacing, you could have run faster by about 6-9 seconds.

On the next MM, do the first and second 200s in 1:10, then drop to 1:07, then 1:05. You should be able to pick up the pace during the last 3-4 200s. Above all, have fun.

Assuming that you will run the 16K this weekend, you only need two 30 minute runs. You can either run these easily or insert some CD and Acceleration-gliders. You can place your swimming and cycling on the days that work for you.

Pacing: I suggest running the first 2-3 kilometers at 8 min/km. If you feel good, go down to 7:30 per kilometer. At the 12K mark, you could run whatever you want. Remember to slow down if it is warm: 15 sec per kilometer slower for every 2C above 14C.

Let me know what happens, I look forward to this.

Garmin Connect - Activity Details for Run with Odie

Garmin Connect - Activity Details for Untitled

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Saturday, 19 September 2009

Magic Mile 19 September 2009 Smokin!

Today's weekend running assignment was an easy 5k jog with a magic mile in the middle. I took it out to the marked trail near the house - out and back to the starting point is 3.0k, making this a perfect little workout.

200 01:02.7
400 01:02.2
600 01:13.0
800 01:03.3
1000 01:19.5
1200 01:02.1
1400 01:18.1
1600 01:05.3
total 09:06.2

1.5k WU 12:42.8
1.5k CD 13:35.5
5k 35:24:00

Looking at my lap times, I think I went out a little fast and could have saved some for the second half. I wasn't using pace music, so this was "by feel" and faster than my 800 meter repeats.
By comparison, I ran the magic mile in April as 10:44.0

I am really pleased with my progress, even though I am impatient to run faster. I remind myself if I try too hard, I will hurt myself. Such a set back would take me further from my goals. So, steady there, Steady!

Observations

You had a really good MM. With better pacing, you could have run faster by about 6-9 seconds.

On the next MM, do the first and second 200s in 1:10, then drop to 1:07, then 1:05. You should be able to pick up the pace during the last 3-4 200s. Above all, have fun.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Marathon Training Schedule

Sep 13--22K

Sep 20--5K with MM

Sep 27--16K Race

Oct 4--24K (very easy, using 20 sec run/40 sec walk)

Oct 11--5K

Oct 18--Amsterdam Half Marathon--plus 3K warm up and 3K warm down

Oct 25--6K

Nov 1--32K

Nov 8--6K

Nov 15--37K

Nov 22--6K

Nov 29--42K

Dec 6--6K

Dec 13--Marathon

Dec 20--4 miles

Labor Day Long Run

1. Distance assigned: 22 Distance ran: 24.1k

today was my first "run away from home" - After dropping my son off at sailing lessons, I ran in the "green heart" of Holland - on a bike path starting from Braassemermeer (the lake) along a canal leading up to Amsterdam. I ran with shoes & socks. No knee or foot pain. It was easier to run on the pavement than on the beach. Even so, this week's pace was a minute per mile slower on average than the last long run I did on the beach. I truly hated my socks during the last four kilometres (my toes were deep in conversation with the seams on the socks). And I forgot my running shorts at home. So I ran in my warm up pants. Not bad, considering it was windy and overcast. But these pants are certainly not my favourite. Summer has packed up and left with all the tourists.

I went over the assigned distance. I lacked an easy turn-around landmark, so I planned as best I could and then plotted the actual distance after I got home. Here's the route - http://www.mapmyrun.com/run/netherlands/kaag-en-braassem/444125225434159582

It was quite pretty to be in the countryside. I will have a new Garmin GPS in a couple weeks, so the days of a "wild guess" hopefully will be over. I really like long distance running (although this should really be called wogging).
2. Pace assigned: "slow" Pace actually run: 16min/mile - 4:00 hrs total
3. Walk break ratio assigned: 1:1 Walk break ratio used: as assigned -
4. Speed-work done: n/a
5. Any aches/pains? nope. Feet and knees were fine during the run.

6. Questions? nope. About shoes - I ran 20 minutes Friday on the treadmill. Not surprisingly the shoes were too big (being a half size bigger than I usually wear - arches were in the wrong place relative to the heels) - I returned them to the shoe store and got my money back instead of store credit, which annoyed the salesman. Enough said. Ran in the Brooks today. They were fine - paid attention to my form and had no pain or fatigue in my right foot. Planned my nutrition in advance (a sports drink with a 3:1 carb to protein ratio) and carried 1.8 L with me - ran out after three hours. I should have planned for a 4-hour run. But I was almost done anyway and the weather was cool.
7. Weekend workout planned for next weekend: 800m*14

Friday, 4 September 2009

shoe saga continues

I don't know how to describe yesterday. I felt bored with food. Not cooking, shopping, or planning. Just foraging in my kitchen and eating at the canteen. I wasn't not hungry in the morning. Ate when I get to work. Lunch was roast chicken that had a sweet chili sauce. I think that triggered a sugar craving and I ate half a bag of licorice. Instead of tasty apples sitting on my desk. Then a late inadequate dinner, which was a sports meal replacement bar. Eaten at the checkout stand because I was feeling light-headed. Even so I am quite pleased with myself. I had been feeling a little too perfect with my food lately.

Thursdays are the only day of the week when stores stay open past five. So last night I ran errands on my bike in a rainstorm, complete with high winds and lightning, to try out some new running shoes (again) and replace the bath salts I used up. And buy go-gel and sports drink for this weekend's long run. I picked a local marathon out for December. It's a homely little race nearby; by then it will be cold, dark and rainy here. A fine time to run.

So I have yet another pair of running shoes, these a half-size larger. According to the shoe guy, the Brooks are fine for shorter distances but they are too soft and my right foot needs more support against bending and rolling off my foot at an angle. I think the real problem is my form since my right foot turns out just a bit. I will try a treadmill run so I can try the shoes while keeping them clean. I'm vaguely suspicious of shoe guy's opinions. He's in the business of selling shoes, after all. He didn't have my size in the shoe he was recommending - turns out he wants to put me back in the same Asics Nimbus I already have.

I mail-ordered some VIBRAM five finger shoes the other day to see if barefoot running continues to work better for me. Shoe store guy offered his opinion that I would hurt myself running on asphalt. [don't they all say that?] That my feet don't hurt on the the beach because it acts like a cushioned running shoe. Time will tell. But I know my Brooks hurt after 8k on sand or asphalt. He said they were half a size too small. Crikey. The same store sold them to me. He did give me a discount on the new shoes though. So I'll try the Saucony, which are not as stiff as the Nimbus.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Selecting my first marathon

This Holland race on 13 December (linked below) fits the bill, I think - it's nearby, very affordable and my family can stand in the cold rain and cheer me on. The event looks "gezellig" (Dutch for cozy) & it's in familiar territory - flat, flat, flat. The little movie of the course gives you a good idea of Holland (although I near the beach in Scheveningen, a fishing village, now resort town).

Comments in the guide

And there's a "neighborhood" 10k the following week called the Mackerel Run. Don't know if I'll really feel like another race so soon, but they are offering split pea soup and fried fish for all the runners afterwards. How can I miss that? (here comes the dark wet winter)

For a "big" Marathon close to home, Rotterdam in April 2010.

So, there's a brief sketch. I will start looking at some Olympic distance triathlons too - they're harder to find locally because the North Sea is not really swimmable - most races are in Eastern Holland in lakes. But one of my friends wants to race in the UK, and I have some friends in Sweden & Germany who race tri's too. So we may buddy up for the next race season for some fun.

suggestions for avoiding foot pain, drinking water, and combatting fatigue

Suggestions for addressing my foot pain:

1) find a shoe that will not hurt the foot, and 2) don't limp or change my stride because of the pain in the foo. No worries if it does not get worse. I will go back to the store and see if I can find a shoe that will work for me.

On water consumption, Jeff suggests:
Remember that you should not consume more than @ 600ml per hour. Drinking more than this can produce a dangerous situation called hyponatremia. On long runs, the camelback or the fuelbelt products are used most commonly. Choose a route that allows you to refill at the half way point.
I think my consumption levels are below his recommendation. I will need to measure the flasks to see if I'm right.

Jeff suggests
When you are feeling flat, just take an extra day off, or run extra easy all
week--no fast running.

This is exactly what I did last week. He also suggested eating
a simple carbohydrate snack of about 250 calories, within 30 minutes of
finishing a long or fast run. On the short runs, eat a snack of about 100
calories of simple carbs.
After my long run, I ate 3/4 c veggie fried rice and shrimp, and then jumped on my bike. I bought some sports drink during the ride. Afterwards, I wasn't hungry. I think I didn't eat enough dinner that night.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

12*800 & shoes again



1. Distance assigned: 800m*12

2. Pace assigned: gradual accelerations every 200m, total 5 min, including a 30 sec walk break at 400m. Pace actually run: see above (average temperature 76 degrees) - duration of rest periods between laps indicated. I walked rather than jogging.

3. Pace: I ran between the 100 & 900 m hashes, to eliminate the error I think I found in the markings last week - this appears to have eliminated the 4 second variation on the tops and bottoms of the laps.

4. Speed-work done: see above

5. Any aches/pains? No soreness in my knees at all today. Not even afterwards. My right foot is bugging me again: I ran with my shoes on today except for the last two laps. I took them off because my right foot started hurting again at 8 k and loosening the laces didn't relieve it. The "corner" or edge of the ball of my right foot started to hurt. This doesn't happen when I run barefoot on the beach. (I ran most of the 22k last week barefoot). After I took my shoes off, the pain stopped immediately. The foot dr I saw a couple weeks ago suggested the callous there comes from shoes that are too narrow. So I will go back to the shoe store - maybe I need a wider running shoe. running on the trail barefoot is not like running on the beach. (and maybe I need new dress shoes too....)

6. Questions? how do runners carry enough water? I ran with a camelbak last weekend and drank all my water, and bought more on the route, and still ran out. Today I ran with bottles in a belt and finished them too. :(

Tuesday's mid-week run was more difficult than usual - I felt like a flat tire and kept it to 30 minutes. I think I was still a little tired from Sunday's run/bike festival.

I sampled the intervals you suggested. Both 4:1 & 3:1 intervals felt very comfortable. I worked late Wed & Thursday and didn't get a second run in. Nutrition and sleep were off the last couple days (too little of each). I felt it today. The last two laps felt pretty difficult compared to the earlier ones. The first three didn't feel as quick as they turned out to be.

7. Weekend workout planned for next weekend: 22K - I'm looking forward to it!
Have a great week.

Chris

29 Aug 09 weekly update & living in the now


I'm changing my weigh & measure to Sat mornings before I run or do other crazy weekend stunts. My body retains a couple pounds of water to recover from these activities and it skews the curves, literally!I'm seeing 163 regularly on the morning scale these days, which is quite exciting. At the beginning of August, my weight hovered around 167. I'm down 1.5 lbs since last week.


Back in May I wanted to see a dramatic drop like I saw in April - 2lbs+ per week. I've relaxed my expectations on that front - changing my goal to adjusting composition not gross weight, and appreciating that slow changes are more likely to be permanent and that as I get closer to goal each pound represents a larger percent of change - meaning the last 10 are the hardest to burn. I don't even know if these are the last ten. During the last four months I got tired of thinking of myself as "not measuring up" to where I wanted to be.


Right now, I am appreciating where I am right now as being just right and that change will happen in response to right daily actions. These thoughts produce a different feeling - a focus on what's in my control right now, rather than depositing my focus on the future - outside my control and creating disappointment and disatisfaction with my body as-is. I mean, God forbid I got horribly sick in six months and never reached my "ideal body composition" because of a life-threatening turn of events - I would have completely missed out on the joy of my healthy body right now!


I read a memoir of this woman who struggled with anorexia - poignant and insightful writing. What stuck with me though was the awful futility of her struggle. The back cover of the book disclosed that she died of lung cancer in her mid-40s. If she knew her candle was so short, would she have been able to live differently? I don't mean to invite a debate on eating disorders - maybe anorexia is a brain chemistry disorder - but my take-away point is, live in the now. But track your progress! (is that totally inconsistent??)


So, charts - then I'm going to go out for a little 12k run.


Friday, 28 August 2009

What's on next year's training calendar?

Trouble is, once an idea gets in your mind, it's tough to let go of it. The ironman. If you had asked me in January whether I would be able to run 22k (barefoot) and then bike another 20k on the same afternoon, and joke about it....I wouldn't have been able to conceive of it. That's why I am running the Paris 16k. Because in March I was afraid of signing up for a half-marathon. By April, I had set the Amsterdam Half as a goal.

So, here's how I got bit by this current bug. I already started planning to return to my first love, tri-sports, and looking at what will be my race calendar next year - I want to run a full Marathon - and to run the marathon in Greece too - I looked at the distances for an Olympic Tri - and saw that they look like a cake walk now. This is a different feeling five years after I did my first sprint (I've done three, even winning my class once). "Olympic distance" tri's seemed too big five years ago. Even so, I had decided back then to do an Ironman - telling DH about my dream- he scoffed. I remember the moment, where we were, and how I felt about his disbelief. I think I bought my IronFit training book shortly after that conversation - the dream got parked as my work life bloomed.

Well, the other day I'm hunting up running podcasts and I found one by a woman training for her first I-M. She races this weekend. And my training book for ironman suddenly looks within my reach since I have already run some pretty cool distances.

So I am thinking - how much training can my body handle? 70.3 or the full banana? Can I commit? How much time and money will it take? The beginner's plan takes you though to a full IM - the "faster" plan includes a 70.3 as a warm up.

So, at the moment my head is swimming about this. I'll keep thinking about it while I look at dates, plans, coaching opportunities.

Today was another example of what happens when I work late day after day - no food shopping and planning means I run out of snacks in the late afternoon. I was hungry again, and that isn't good. Leads to foraging around the office. I will repent this weekend and stock up.

If I want to train hard, I need to eat more & always clean. I hate eating when I am busy writing. I like the adrenaline buzz and i don't like to stop.

Well, there's my day in a snapshot. Today I celebrated my fitness by outrunning a heavy rain band that began pelting me and Odie with water while we were out for a walk.

Monday, 24 August 2009

23 August 09 fun run in the sun

1. Distance assigned: 20.5 Distance ran: 22k It was effortless. And fabulous

2. Pace assigned: n/a Pace actually run: total time - 3:24.

3. Walk break ratio assigned: 1:1 Walk break ratio used: as assigned - I picked up the pace a bit on the way back.

4. Speed-work done: n/a

5. Any aches/pains? nope. Feet and knees were fine during the run. My knees are mildly sore tonight.

I road 20k on my bike afterwards for fun.

6. Questions? nope. Am I running these pieces too slowly? I feel pretty pokey.

7. Weekend workout planned for next weekend: 12*800.

Feed back = go slow; don't speed up on the way back.

instructions for long runs

The simple concept with the long runs is to go slower. If you start slowly, use a 1-1 throughout, and don't pick up the pace coming back, you will recover faster and get all of the endurance of the long run. You cannot go too slow on the long one.
Don't pick up the pace on the return. This is OK in a race. But injuries in long distance running tend to come from just this type of behavior. It will not help your fitness to run faster in the second half of a long run--you will improve much more by doing the speed repetitions.

plan for week of 24 August 09

On one of my midweek runs (such as Tuesday), run from 30 to 60 minutes. It would help to run a 4-5K segment in the middle of these runs experimenting with 2-1 for a kilometer, and then 3-1. Try to run a pace of 5:45 to 6:00 per km.

On the other mid-week day, find a 1600 meter segment (1.6K) and time yourself. Run at a faster pace than other runs, but not all out.

This will give us a good chance to predict pace for your race.

Friday, 21 August 2009

looking forward to the race

I received some nice feedback from Jeff after Tuesday's 800 meter repeats: "Yes--you had an awesome workout. You are really improving."

I also asked about trying to increase the pace. He suggested sticking with a five minute pace. Over the next month, the repeats build to 14. That is daunting. Ten were tough. I am thinking I ought to get "serious" about my mid-week runs. Maybe I should just do them with pleasure. With Fall arriving, I want to start running in the mornings.

I feel dreadfully slow. But considering where I started this year, I have improved hugely. He suggested, "If you want to run 2-3 seconds faster during the middle 2-3 800s, go ahead. But stay smooth and keep your stride under control."

I want to start visualing the half marathon. I first need to convert miles to kilometers. 26.2 miles = 42.2 kilometers. So the half is, well half that: 21.1. Wow. I'm already there - I did 20k two weeks! Something about not knowing made that effortless and fun. I'll take the same approach for 20.5 this weekend.

Back to race planning. I asked what pace and walk breaks he has in mind. Jeff suggested, "I would like for you to try several different ratios on your short runs during the week: 2-1, 3-1, and even run 40 seconds/walk 20 seconds." I was still sore from the 10*800 Tuesday night that I rowed instead. I am thinking I will run on Sunday because my legs are still sore today (Friday).

So 20.5 this weekend. With walk-breaks. Now to map my run.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

getting faster!




I really nailed the 800m repeats today! Running the assigned distance while campting this past weekend in France just didn't work out. My family and I had a pretty busy time at the swimming hole -- the temperatures were well over 100 degrees during the day time. So on Sunday I ran for 40 minutes at 8:00 a.m. The temperature was already 85 degrees! I ran the weekend assignment tonight after work: 800m*10. I'm pleased with the results.

1. Distance assigned: 800m*10

2. Pace assigned: gradual accelerations every 200m, total 5 min, including a 30 sec walk break at 400m. Pace actually run: see below (average temperature 77 degrees) - I took a walk break of 2:30 between lap.

3. Pace: (blanks indicate a sweaty stop watch!) - Looking at the numbers, I am thinking I am starting/finishing at the wrong mark - the even & odd lap times for 100M & 800M are consistently off by the nearly same amount - about 4 seconds. I felt today they just seemed a little bit further than they should have been. Anyway - I'm consistent.


4. Speed-work done: see above!

5. Any aches/pains? Nope. I noticed my breathing was a little more difficult at the 8th & 9th segments. I focused on deep & slow, and the congestion went away.

6. Questions? I want to start visualising the half marathon in October. What pace & walk break ratio do you have in mind to recommend? How should I approach next weekend's distance piece?

I worked with a fellow who put together some pacing music - five minutes with an increasing beat every two hundred meters. I found the music really helped me a lot. After we work out the details, I'll ask him to send you a copy. Should I plan to try to increase my pace for the next repeats? There are two more assigned before Amsterdam. I think they'll be willing to help me create whatever pace specification I ask for.

7. Weekend workout planned for next weekend: Aug 23--20.5K. I may decide to run in a park or along the route in Amsterdam itself - just to see what it's like to run somewhere besides the beach. Though the beach is quite nice!
I noticed I was having a little asthma or something at segments 8 & 9 - harder to breathe - Maybe it was the change in humidity. I started running in the evening at 8:20 or so (of course, with Marathon Dog Odie). At nightfall, the temperature quickly reached the dew point. That coincided with the hard work.

During a couple of the breaks between segments, I dipped Odie into a nearby pond. Even though it was green water, I thought he needed to cool down.
My fastest segment was #9. On the running path coming towards us were "devil dogs" off leash. (Small chiwawa types...) Odie rushed them a bit. I didn't want to get into a pulling match with Odie and blow my time. So I used reverse psychology. I dropped the leash (no traffic - no bikes - no danger if he dashed) and continued to run hard - he of course followed me to the finish line.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

picking up the pace and going longer.

I used pacing "house" music to help me run faster on the way back. I found it helpful, if a little mind-numbing.


1. Distance assigned: 19k Distance ran: 19.8k I had a wonderful time

2. Pace assigned: n/a Pace actually run: total time - 3:10 (includes five minutes walking at start and end from beach back to my house).

3. Walk break ratio assigned: 1:1 Walk break ratio used: as assigned - I was late starting five walk breaks. not too shabby considering there were 90 of them.

4. Speed-work done: this was "out and back." I ran a faster pace on the way back and enjoyed it a lot. Here's the route: http://www.mapmyride.com/run/netherlands/the-hague/666124982295835816


5. Any aches/pains? nope.

6. Questions? Is there a particular pace I should target for these long runs? How about during my mid-weeks runs? I would like to run faster, generally speaking.

7. Weekend workout planned for next weekend: 10*800.

Friday, 7 August 2009

26 July 18k

Sent: Sunday, July 26, 2009 1:28 PM
Subject: ecouch report Christine D 26 July 09
1. Distance assigned: 17.5k Distance ran: 18.3k I had a wonderful time

2. Pace assigned: n/a Pace actually run: total time - 2:45.

3. Walk break ratio assigned: 1:1 Walk break ratio used: as assigned -

4. Speed-work done: I picked up the pace a little on the way back. but mostly slow & steady.

5. Any aches/pains? The ball of my right foot started hurting about half way through. I took my shoes off and walked in cold water for a few minutes and ran barefoot. The pain stopped. I ran most of the second half of the run barefoot on the beach - my feet felt better.

6. Questions? No.

7. Weekend workout planned for next weekend: 9*800.

Have a great week.
Chris

9*800 repeats 1 August

1. Distance assigned: 9*800

2. Pace assigned: gradual accelerations every 200m, total 5 min, including a 30 sec walk break at 400m. Split times below show 200m. Pace actually run: see below (average temperature 78 degrees) -

Summary

1-800 05:03.1
2-800 05:09.1
3-800 04:57.7
4-800 05:16.0
5-800 05:00.8
6-800 05:28.4
7-800 05:07.0
8-800 05:27.1
9-800 05:38.4
phase
200m lap
01:18.6
01:19.1
01:15.8
01:09.6
1-800
05:03.1
01:20.2
01:20.3
01:18.3
01:10.3
2-800
05:09.1
01:17.5
01:13.2
01:26.1
01:00.9
3-800
04:57.7
01:24.1
01:13.4
01:30.5
01:08.0
4-800
05:16.0
01:18.6
01:09.4
01:25.7
01:07.1
5-800
05:00.8
01:28.0
01:22.1
01:28.9
01:09.4
6-800
05:28.4
01:16.6
01:23.6
01:24.0
01:02.8
7-800
05:07.0
01:25.7
01:26.4
01:28.7
01:06.3
8-800
05:27.1
01:21.0
01:25.2
01:38.6
01:13.6
9-800
05:38.4


3. Walk break ratio assigned: above, plus 4 min rest between laps - I walked during the rest periods; Walk break ratio used: 2 min rest break; I skipped the 400m walk break for the first couple segments. Decided that wasn't a good idea. Added them back in but the "damage" was already done!

4. Speed-work done: sprints in mid week run

5. Any aches/pains? Nope.

6. Questions? No.

I started too quickly and tired at the end. I felt fatigued this morning after a 30k bike ride yesterday. I would have rested today, but I am driving to Paris tomorrow. I decided to run today anyway so I could use the measured bits. The 10k total including walk breaks was a personal best. Afterwards I jumped on my bike again and rode 40k with house guests to show them --the Dutch polders. Here's the route in case you're curious http://www.mapmyride.com/route/nl/the%20hague/151124914540225532

7. Weekend workout planned for next weekend: 19k. I may try to run the Paris Versaille route for fun while there next week.

Have a great week.
Chris

Sunday, 19 July 2009

faster stronger fitter

1. Distance assigned: 8*800m repeats Distance ran: as assigned Ave temp 77 degrees. Climbed to 85 by the end of the run. Gotta love summer! 15 min warm up & cool down (the running path is 1.5k from my house).

2. Pace assigned: 5:00, including a walk break; 3 minute rest between segments Pace actually run: Mostly I took 20 sec walk breaks. A couple were 30 seconds.
Summary: I looked at how I was doing and tried to speed up as I progressed through the workout. I am very pleased, especially since I stayed up too late last night watching a movie with my kids).

1-800 05:16.4
2-800 05:18.6
3-800 05:08.1
4-800 05:23.4
5-800 04:25.8
6-800 05:00.7
7-800 04:52.6
8-800 04:54.7

Yippeee! I got 5 minutes or better for half the segments - and the second half of them at that!

The gory details. You'll see a couple times I missed the lap button at the 600m mark.

01:19.4
01:19.4
01:27.3
01:10.3
1-800 05:16.4
01:17.4
01:22.6
00:00.0
02:38.6
2-800 05:18.6
01:16.4
01:13.5
01:30.3
01:07.9
3-800 05:08.1
01:19.8
01:21.8
00:00.0
02:41.8
4-800 05:23.4
01:08.1
01:03.9
01:15.1
00:58.7
5-800 04:25.8
01:13.9
01:04.1
01:30.8
01:11.9
6-800 05:00.7
01:16.1
01:14.9
00:00.0
02:21.6
7-800 04:52.6
01:17.4
01:12.6
01:18.7
01:06.0
8-800 04:54.7


3. Walk break ratio assigned: 30 sec Walk break ratio used: 20-30 sec

4. Speed-work done: I tried to push harder for the last 100 meters of each segments and worked on keeping a slower pace for the first half and then accelerating in the second half. Most of the "work" is the self-talk to convince myself I can run faster and to push through the discomfort. My form improves when I run a little faster - right foot straightens out.

5. Any aches/pains? No. I got a new pair of shoes yesterday. To test my theory that maybe knee issues related to my shoes rather than my body, I purposefully switched brands - going from asics to a pair of Brooks that I picked because they have a flatter foot bed - much less cupping inside the shoe. They have a little more rock (store guy said they were "faster" shoes but fine for me since I didn't make any more noise running in them while in the store. maybe these comments make sense to you - I just asked my feet what they thought.) NO knee inflammation at all today - not even now while I am writing this up. (Yeah!) My feet need to work a little harder, but I think they'll adjust just fine.

6. Questions? No.

7. Weekend workout planned for next weekend: 17.5k - I may end up slightly longer if I can't find an obvious turn around point on the beach. Maybe I can find some woods to mix it up a bit and stay in the shade.

Have a great week.
Chris

Friday, 17 July 2009

12th July: 17k Wow! Slow & steady.

1. Distance assigned: 16k Distance ran: 17k Ave temp 71 degrees.

2. Pace assigned: none. Pace actually run: total time: 2:45

3. Walk break ratio assigned: 1:1 Walk break ratio used: 1:1. Several times I forgot to stop running until 2 min - meaning a 2:1 ratio - probably less than 10 times.

4. Speed-work done: none today

5. Any aches/pains? No. Knees felt fine throughout and afterwards too. Overall felt really good. My quads felt a little fatigued the last 30 minutes or so.

6. Questions? No. Ran the beach in the rain. Learned that rain doesn't necessarily mean cold. Hard rain for the last hour was cold, though. Glad I had layered - it was fine.

7. Weekend workout planned for next weekend: 8x800m repeats

I have a feeling that the extra work, required during
beach running, was a partial cause of your quad fatigue. Normally the quads
shouldn't be used much. Try to use a "shuffle" during the last half
of your long runs, whether you run on the beach or not: keep your
feet low to the ground, short stride. When you get the shuffle right, you
don't have to use the quads at all.

You are doing great!

Monday, 6 July 2009

Updated Schedule July 09

July 12--16K
July 19--8 x 800
July 26--17.5K
Aug 2--9 x 800
Aug 9--19K
Aug 16--10 x 800
Aug 23--20.5K
Aug 30--12 x 800
Sep 6--22K
Sep 13--14 x 800
Sep 20--5K with MM
Sep 27--16K Race--Plus 3K warmup and 4K warmdown
Oct 4--5K
Oct 11--8K
Oct 18--Amsterdam Half Marathon

Saturday, 4 July 2009

instructions for 800 meter repeats

Pace = 5 min/800 meters

From August:

The 12 x 800 is your focus workout for this week. You can improve the quality of these by adding some jogging to the rest interval. Instead of just walking for 3 min between each, you can walk for 20-30 steps and jog slowly for 20-30 steps. Stay smooth on these and enjoy the workout!

also:

Stay with the times assigned on the next 800 workout (30 Aug). If you want to run 2-3 seconds faster during the middle 2-3 800s, go ahead. But stay smooth and keep your stride under control.



From April:

The 800 meter repeats can be run in 5 minutes. Walk for 3 minutes between each. It helps to pace yourself so that you are running the first 400 in 2:20, walk for 30 seconds and run the second lap [more quickly].

From May:

You had a really good 800 meter workout. Here is further instructions for next time:

1. Warm up with a gentle 10 min of run-walk-run
2. Do 4 gradual accelerations (not sprints)
3. At the beginning of each 800, start your watch and don't stop it until you finish the 800 meters. 800=5 min (not 5:30)
4. Walk for 20-30 seconds at the 400, but keep the watch running.
5. Walk for 4 minutes between each one.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Updated Schedule III

June 21--14K (1:1 walk breaks)

June 28--7 x 800

July 5--15K


July 12--8 x 800

July 19--16K

July 26--MM--same as June 14--but faster

(PACE:

400--2:33
800--2:30
1200--2:28
1600--2:23)

Aug 2--17K

Aug 9--9 x 800

Aug 16--18K

Aug 23--10 x 800

Aug 30--20K

Sep 6--5K with MM

Sep 13--22K

Sep 20--5K with MM

Sep 27--16K Race

Oct 4--24K

Oct 11--5K

Oct 18--Amsterdam Half Marathon

plans for next MM & pat on the back

Congratulations, Chris

You had a major improvement in your MM. This shows that you are getting into solid shape, and I know that you will continue to improve. On the next MM, here is what I would like for you to do:

400--2:33
800--2:30
1200--2:28
1600--2:23

I wish you great enjoyment on the 14K this weekend. Just stay with your plan of 1-1 and you should power your way through.

You are doing great!

Jeff

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Fastest ever!

1. Distance assigned: Magic “1600M” FASTER!!

2. Pace assigned: Magic Mile (MM) 400 meter times: 2:50, 2:40, 2:40, 2:30
Pace actually run:
400
02:23.8
800
02:36.3
1200
02:43.2
1600
02:25.5
10:09.7
(average temperature 80 degrees)

3. Walk break ratio assigned: walk breaks as desired

Walk break ratio used: one - 30 sec at 1200

4. Speed-work done: none

5. Any aches/pains? No. Two mid-week runs totaling 65 minutes, plus 30 min row, and 45 min swim

6. Questions? No.

7. Weekend workout planned for next weekend: June 21--14K (1:1 walk breaks)

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

reminder re walk breaks

Coach says "I believe that your soreness was directly related to doing your pyramid on the 15K. I really wish you would stay with 1-1 which should reduce the chance of aches, pains and injuries. You can use the pyramid on the short run days if you wish.

It would be fine to substitute a cross training day for one of your runs this week. If you don't run during the week, you will lose some of your running adaptations, making it more likely that you will have problems next weekend. I suggest one run of 30 minutes either on Tues or Thurs. You could XT on the other day."

Reminder to self: Walk breaks are my secret weapon:

Coach says, "You are doing so well, I just don't want you to step over the line and get some aches and pains. By doing the liberal walking on the long runs, " I can avoid injury.


Sunday, 7 June 2009

bravery and warriorship

Type: Long Run
Date: 06/07/2009
Start: 10:15:00
Time: 02:15:00
Dist: 15.02 km
Pace: 08:59 (avg)
Speed: 6.68 (km/hr) (avg)
HR: 139 (bpm) (avg) 160 (bpm) (max)
Cal: 1209


I feel a little fragile today. Feelings just under the surface, primordial soup stirring. Perhaps it's all the renovations underway.I'm aware of wanting to be/appear better than I feel on the inside or think of myself. It's okay. I am.

Quote:When we feel that our lives are good and genuine, we do not have to deceive ourselves or other people. We can see our shortcomings without feeling guilty or inadequate, and at the same time, we can see our potential for extending goodness to others. We can tell the truth straightforwardly and be absolutely open, but steadfast at the same time. I love the ritual of dressing for a run or a bike ride. I love my workout clothes - they are special to me and I associate them with pleasure and fun and happiness. I love my lifting gloves and my heart rate monitor. All my little bits of gear.I approached my run today with some nervousness. I planned 14k. I dressed for the weather, in layers. I planned music for company. I packed water and go-gel. My marathon dog Odie watched me patiently and not-so-patiently as I stalled a bit on getting out of the house. My intention for running was to notice the beauty around me and really appreciate it - to soak into myself its goodness. I noticed colours. The clouds were as grey and puffy as sheep. Sun came in and out, changing the colours of the sand and the dunes. The grasses in early June are a light green. The early wild flowers bloom now - the dunes smelled of strawberries - only it was a note higher - sweeter, a little more lyrical and less edible. The wild roses were palest pink in the center fading to white outwards. Red poppies. white lace weeds. blue buds of flowers that ripen later, in July.The waves left marks on the sand. Crescent lines, intersecting. Tide pools drained. As I made my way along the shore, I could see the waves that weren't there anymore. There was no arguing with the rivulets leaving the tide pools. Either I jumped, changed course, or accepted a wet foot. Sometimes I had to really stretch to keep dry feet. Life is the same as these waters.As the sun came in and out, I saw colours more clearly and then more darkly. Did the sand change? Or just how I saw it.The waves remained in motion. Utterly being themselves. Flattened by the wind, they persisted and rolled and crashed quietly. The horizon remained with me, always receding with my approach. I thought of Now. I am never in tomorrow. I never reach the lip of the world and fall over the horizon. The part of the run behind me - well, it was already past. The part of the run ahead - well, I wasn't there yet. I am in the step I am taking. Looking for where to put my foot. Even so, even with the focus on the very next step, everything continued to change; the turn around point appeared - (this run was "out and back"). I had run through the part of the beach reserved for distance runners. No picnickers here - no easy access from a parking lot or tram stop or bike path. It's the empty part of the run. Empty except for the other distance runners. And Odie, who runs twice as far as I do. I watch how he runs. He is very playful. He dug up a chunk of wood, carried it like a prize. Tossed it around in the surf, retrieving it. Then forgot it entirely. He greeted and romped with other dogs. He got hot and bathed himself, both in the sea waves and tidal pools. Watching him splash around in a too-small puddle to cool off makes me laugh. He's like a bird taking a bath, wriggling and rolling. Like a seal pup. He comes up to me, checking in, tiring a little. I have the impression he's inquiring whether we're turning around yet.Finally the beach cat club appears, and I continue running until I'm at the lay-line, parallel to it. Here there are beach goers again. Sailors, kids, couples. Odie noses around to see them and comes back to me easily, as I have turned toward the long second-middle of the run.At this point in the run - about 8k, I feel like everything is falling apart for a moment. I think I haven't brought enough water, and not enough go-gel. And why didn't I bring my dextrose tablets. I feel a shift in my body - a step down of sorts - will I crash?- and I feel a little confusion. I keep up with my running and walking segments, maintaning the structure of the run while I scan and diagnose. I am okay, I tell myself. I can do this. I have run this distance before. I realise I am simply too hot. Off with the shirt. I can figure out what I need and meet that need.Continually I am bringing my thoughts back to the colour of the sand and the sky and the dunes and the patterns of the sand beneath my steps. I muse about my training program. I muse about DH. And I come back to my run. Again and again, I look at the thoughts that knock me out of heaven. I am not my thoughts. My thoughts are thinking themselves. I do some turn-arounds on them. The used cereal bowl left behind this morning - it's not fair if he. I turn it around - it's not fair if I ... I don't need him to put away his bowl for me to be happy. I don't need to be angry for me to make a request.I am thinking about my friend J's comment on my "don't look back Go the distance" post. He says, looking back is okay. I agree. I want to change the title. The title should be Don't get stuck. He says, the horizon is right over there. Keep moving. I agree. I am still afraid though. I want to develop bravery. That is the warrior path. Bravery. Opening my book on warriorship, I see that my teacher has written,Quote:it is a journey that is unfolding within us. ... Physically, psychologically, domestically, spiritually, we feel we can live our lives in the fullest way. There is a gut-level sense of health and wholesomeness taking place in our lives, as if we were holding a solid brick of gold. It is heavy and full and shines with a golden colour. There is something very real and at the same time, very rich about our human existence. Out of that feeling, a tremendous sense of health can be propogated to others. In fact, propogating health becomes a basic discipline of warriorship. By discipline we do not mean something unpleasant or artificial that is imposed from outside. Rather, this discipline is an organic process that expands naturally from our own experience. When we feel healthy and wholesome ourselves, then we cannot help projecting that healthiness to others.