Posts about Running

Around the Bay Race

I ran my first Around the Bay Race yesterday!

I was pretty nervous when I got up Sunday morning at 6. It was pouring rain, and the weather forecast for Hamilton said that the rain wouldn't be letting up until the afternoon. I also had to really ease up on my training over the last 3 weeks due to a cold. I tried pushing myself to do the long runs with the cold, but I could barely manage to finish 5km.

I managed to force a bowl of oatmeal down my throat, along with a few cups of coffee, despite my nervous stomach. I knew I'd need the energy from the oatmeal, and I didn't want to deal with caffeine withdrawal during the race!

When we arrived in Hamilton, it was still pouring rain. Ugh. And 5°C. Ugh. At least it wasn't freezing rain!

I felt a bit cold in the first few kilometers, but after my body warmed up I was pretty comfortable. I concentrated on having a comfortable pace; I didn't want to burn out too early. I started out behind the 3:00 pace bunny, and passed him around 10 kilometers in. Those first 10 kilometers really flew by. I was doing around 5:30 per kilometer and feeling pretty relaxed, with plenty of fuel still left in the tank. The rain was still off and on, but I didn't really notice.

After crossing the bridge and turning west along North Shore Boulevard, I knew the hardest part of the race was coming up. It's about 9km of hills, finishing with one killer hill just past the Woodland Cemetery. I was actually really excited when I got to that hill. I had done it before, so I knew what to expect. I had plenty of energy left, and so I really powered up the hill. After getting to the top, I felt like I had all but finished the race! There were a little more than 3km left to go, on pretty much flat ground.

Man, those last 3km were killers. I was running into the wind at that point, and my knees were starting to protest against all this abuse. My average pace had slowed to 5:48 by this point, and my current pace was around 6:10. I tried to speed up a bit, but my legs just weren't listening any more. I had wanted to finish with an average pace of 5:45, but by this point in the race I knew that wasn't going to happen, so I concentrated on just finishing. Those last few kilometers went by very very slowly.

Finally, the Copps Coliseum was in view. Only a few hundred meters left! Entering the coliseum was a great feeling; I found the energy to pick up my pace a little and make a strong finish. And nothing was better than having Melissa and Thomas there to greet me after I finished!

Overall, a great race despite the weather. Now I need to figure out if I should sign up for the Mississauga Marathon!

The official course map is available on Google Maps, or my GPS track is available on MapMyRun.com (hopefully I followed the course!)

100 Push Ups: Week 5, Day 1 (take 3...)

I did it!

Sort of...

Last night I completed all the sets for the first day of week 5...but I rested significantly longer than one minute between sets....mostly because I was trying to watch 24 on my laptop, and global's website wasn't cooperating.

But, I'll count it as a success, and move onto day 2 tomorrow.

I also hit a milestone in my running training today - I passed the 5 min/km mark! It was just on a 3km run, but I'm really happy about it, especially since I beat it handily, finishing 3km in 14:20 for an average pace of 4:47 min/km.

100 Push Ups: Week 5

I've been a bit remiss in doing updates on my progress for the 100 push up challenge. I've twittered some of my progress, but mostly I've been completely silent about it.

I completed week 4 a few weeks ago, pretty handily I think. I managed 46 push ups on my post-week-4 progress test.

And now I'm stuck in week 5. Day 1's series is supposed to be 36,40,30,24,>=40. So far I've managed to do 36, 24 with a short break then 16, 30, 24, 27 with a short break then 13...which is technically all the push-ups, but not in the required order. I'll keep working on it until I can complete the day's series properly.

This week as been pretty busy at work, so I haven't been out running since Sunday, when I did my 18km long run. My legs are starting feel a bit...jumpy, like they have a lot of pent up energy! Hopefully I can get a quick run in tonight, then 8km tomorrow and 21km on Sunday. It's a bit scary to think I'll be running a half marathon as part of a training routine.

100 Push Ups: Week 3, Day 2

Successfully completed day 2 today: 20, 25, 15, 15, >= 25 (I managed 30).

Today was supposed to be a 3k easy run for the Around the Bay training. I was feeling pretty energetic, so decided to stick to the 3k distance, but to go a bit harder. I programmed my garmin to do a 3km, 5:15min/km workout, and off I went into the -15 weather! My route has a few small hills in it, so I thought it would make for a good workout.

I managed to do it in 15:48, which works out to 5:16min/km. I'll call that close enough to count :) Next week I'll try to hit 5:10.

A whole lot better?

If this article from getfitslowly.com is to be believed, then I shouldn't have put my 100 push up challenge on hold while I had a cold.

My dad always said (about exercise, among other things), "It'll either make you feel a whole lot better, or a whole lot worse." Maybe this is a truism, but my experience has been that exercise while sick usually does make me feel better. Especially running. Maybe that's because I'm more accustomed to running than to weight training or push ups?

So I guess my month-long break can be chalked up to laziness :P

100 Push Ups - Day 3, Week 1

Ok, back on the wagon for real now!

After working my way up to week 4 in December, then falling sick with a cold or two, I haven't been doing push ups regularly for a few weeks now.

I decided to start at week 3 again. So today I did my 5 sets of 14, 18, 14, 14, >=20 with a minute rest between sets. I managed to complete 26 on the last set, which gives me some confidence that I haven't lost all progress I had made up to December!

In other exercise news, I've registered for the 2009 Around the Bay Race. This is a 30km run around the Hamilton Bay on March 29th. I'm trying to follow their training program, and so far so good. I did my 14km run yesterday instead of on Sunday, and it went pretty well, except for the last 1.5km which was on a trail that was packed snow. Man, I had no idea running on snow was so hard! It's a great workout for sure!

I've been using Map My Run to track my progress and routes and such. It's pretty cool, although I wish they would let you graph your pace over time. I want to know if I'm getting faster or slower!

100 Push Ups: Sick!

I got partway through my second attempt at week 4 again...and then started coming down with a cold which seems to have drained me of energy. Copious amounts of OJ and Cold FX have staved off the worst so far, but my running and pushup routines have suffered. I have my 10km Egg Nog Jog on Sunday, which is looking like it could be a very painful experience.

I survived my second half marathon!

On the start line

After taking a bit of a hiatus from racing, I completed my second half marathon last week. I did the same race as the one two years ago, the Toronto Marathon. I liked the course when I ran it before, and the weather in October is usually better than in September.

I finished in 1:52:45.6 (compared to 1:52:58.4 in 2006). So I'm 13 seconds faster! Woohoo! Halfway through the race I thought I might beat 1:50, since I was consistently doing less than 5 minutes per kilometer....but that part was mostly downhill :P Once the course flattened out I slowed down again. The weather was perfect again this year: a bit chilly waiting in on the starting line, but very comfortable once you got going.

Signing up for races is a great way to keep motivated. I've signed up again this year for the Egg Nog Jog, and I'd like to actually do the Around the Bay race this spring...I registered for it in 2007 (and have the shirt to prove it!), but my training was kind of thrown off by Thomas' birth, and our move to the new house.

I survived my first half marathon!

Nat and I at the finish line

I ran in the Toronto Half Marathon on Sunday and finished with a time of 1:52:58.4, which is around the middle of my age group.

I was hoping to finish in under two hours, so I'm pretty happy with my results. I'd like to speed up a little bit for next year, and get under the 5 minutes per kilometer mark.

Maybe do a marathon next year?

Right on track

I blogged back in January that I had registered for the Sporting Life 10km. This was part of my New Year's resolutions to lose weight and get my 10km time under 50 minutes.

Well, the run was this past Sunday, and my time was 50 minutes 12 seconds. So close! I'm pretty happy with my time though, I felt like I pushed myself a lot harder than I did at the Harry Rosen Spring Run Off in April, and I managed to improve my pace from 5:14 per kilometer to 5:01 per kilometer.

The other part of my New Year's resolution, to lose weight, is coming along a bit more slowly. I have shed a few pounds since January, but nowhere near the amount I was hoping to. Still, I'd rather be slightly more fit and heavier than out of shape and lighter!