Monthly Archives: May 2015

A Little Bit of Fast

Given that I’ve now signed up for a 5k, I thought that I should try running with my ‘fast legs’ and see just how well positioned I am currently. 

I went out first thing this morning without any food so that I could take advantage of the lower temperatures, even though I know I’ll be running the race at peak temps as it starts at 5:30pm. 

With all my gadgets prepared, I did a few lazy stretches and then hit GO. 

At the half mile I was cruising at 7:03 pace. Not too shabby. By the mile marker I had slowed to 7:05. Doh. This is right before a hill so I pushed a little harder over the hill and managed to get some additional speed down the other side. By this point my legs were feeling warmed up.  I finished strong with a 5k time of 21:46 and an average pace of 7:00. 

Not too bad at all. I’ll do some work on pushing a little harder and I will also target some runs later in the day to get used to the temps and humidity. 

Other than that, it is going to be down to start line positioning and how busy the trail gets. πŸ™‚

It felt good to shake out the cobwebs with this faster run. 

Technical Problems and 5k Sign-Up

I started the day with a ‘Devil Run’ of 6.66 miles only to find out that something was screwed with my iPhone and all the tracking had stopped; mapmyrun and moves went offline so it must be the phone that’s to blame. 

This is a nuisance as it means that I didn’t get the credit for all those steps that I ran. Frustrating. Especially as my Apple Watch did capture all my steps but that can’t be used to feed the Moves or Virgin apps. Moves is definite due an update to sync in with the watch… 

I manually entered the data for the run and for a couple of cycle rides until I managed to sort out the phone later on. This seems to happen occasionally with iOS 8 and it is a little annoying. I’ve definitely had to physically switch my phone off and on a couple of times over recent months. 

In other news, I have managed to secure a bib for my company’s sponsored 5k. They had advertised it before I joined and the bibs were all gone by my first day… However, some are freeing up now and I’m in. 

Now whether I can keep it under control and run to enjoy it or just go all out is another question altogether. The trail we use is narrow and there are a lot of people so it may be slower because of that. Plus, there are a lot of competitive people at my company so I think that it might be tough to place. 

Give my loathing for crowds and trying to keep my competitiveness at bay, I think I’ll just take it easy… But I’m going to do some extra short run training nonetheless. 

Memorial Day Run/Walk

It is always nice to get out on a holiday morning as you see so many more people out enjoying the trails. 

We planned a mid-morning run/walk along the Betzwiod River Trail as it is one of the most shaded trails in the area and the temps were due to roll into the 80s. 

It was hot but we still managed to get a new fastest time for the trail. 1:15 for 6.2 miles of intervals; 2 minutes running, 2.5 recovery. Good stuff. It was tough for my friend by the end but nothing that some cold water poured over your head won’t remedy!

Many runners and riders out today and I even saw some people from my new company out with their family. 

So Much for Easing Back Gently…

Today was the perfect morning for a run. It is the Memorial weekend and probably the last cool morning for a run as summer normally kicks in big-time after this weekend. 

I got up and didn’t have much breakfast as time has shown me that having a slow Sunday breakfast really ruins my chances of having a good run. 

By just after eight I was out on the Perkiomen Trail at the place where I had my massive failure last week. I have a slight injury on my left ankle and have put a plaster over it so that I could run as the thought of missing out on the last perfect weekend of spring was just too much to bear. 

I started out gingerly and stopped at the half mile mark to check the bandaid. It was holding; just. The sock was really keeping it in place. 

So, onwards!

I checked again at the three mile mark. Readjusted it and carried on. 

All of a sudden I found I was at the seven mile mark and contemplating running a full marathon. The conditions were just perfect but I didn’t have enough water or supplies. At eight miles I decided I should turn around but felt like I could go on further! 

The trail was pleasantly busy; not too much traffic, but a stream of people to nod good morning at. Very few people were wearing helmets (again). It is odd to me that people don’t think they’ll need one on the trail. Fools.

A few clif shotblocks and a bottle of water kept me going through the run. I’m enjoying using the apple watch to keep an eye on distance as then I don’t have to have “the voice” from the phone interrupting my train of thought while I’m pounding the pavement.  

My pace wasn’t very fast today but that’s for two reasons:

  1. I reset mapmyrun the other day and haven’t turned on auto-pause. So the five bandaid-stops that I made counted as part of my time. 
  2. I ran slightly differently my so that my shoe didn’t rub my ankle too much, plus I loosened my shoe.

Off to Memorial Day parties today. Beer and friends; should be nice. 

Stop when it Hurts

The very minor injury I sustained yesterday on my ankle stopped me running today. With a third of a mile the back of my ankle was bleeding from the rubbing so I stopped and walked home. 

I’m fortunate in that I am not training for anything so a few days rest should not be a problem, although a little disappointed to not be able to run over the Memorial Day weekend. 

Best to let it heal (heel? Ha!) a little before I try running again.  

Now my shoes really have DNA on them. The socks aren’t supposed to have that pattern. 

Two Hard Days

My Wednesday and Thursday’s always take it out of me. Wednesday’s usually consist of biking to work, to track, running track and then biking home. All in about 26 miles biking and 3 miles of running. 

After getting home after 8:00 and going to bed around 9:15, it leaves little recovery time before Thursday when I bike to work and do my mid-week long run (6-8 miles). 

This week was made harder as I couldn’t get to track because I had to write a presentation I’m giving next week; Agile Processes for Software Development. 

I ended up not leaving the office until seven and so ran locally rather than track. This means I did about seven miles around the Audubon Loop through the grounds of the John James Audubon house rather than the three I would normally cover at track. Following hat with my long run this morning (another seven miles) and my legs feel like they are ready to fall off. 

I may have to review my running schedule as evening/morning combinations are tough, especially when paired with cycling. 

The chipmunks on the trail here are getting a little blasΓ© about people; one little guy didn’t even more as I ran within a foot of him. He didn’t even flinch!

I injured my heel today as a stone got caught in the back of my shoe and immediately caused a cut. I should have known better than to wear short socks on a gravel trail. Wardrobe malfunction. 

Get Moving Again

After yesterday’s failure to deliver on a run, today was going to be a test. Thankfully it was a run/walk day and the temperatures were far lower. 

I cycled to work, then onto Betzwood this evening to meet my friend. We stuck with the same interval program of 2:00 run with 2:30 recovery and made it through the whole 6.2 mile route. 

We finished faster than any of our previous runs, so I’m happy with that. 

I did wear my heart rate monitor but it looks like my battery was dead as there’s nothing recorded despite it connecting initially. 

I’m feeling happy that everything seemed to work okay today. Hopefully Sunday was just a blip on the radar. 

The trail was surprisingly quiet tonight as I suspect that everyone else believes the weather reports about a coming thunderstorm; that didn’t stop us and it never materialised. πŸ™‚

Abandon Hope All Ye Who Run in the Heat

Is that a little dramatic? Perhaps just a little. 

I tried to run today after a late night the evening before, waiting until after lunch and in 80F heat… I just could not do it. 

My legs would not turn over. After ten minutes I had to switch to walking. Then tried again only to find myself walking a few minutes later. I tried a third time and then had to stop and sit on a bench to recover while several others jogged happily by. 

After about ten minutes I made the tough decision to abandon the run and start to walk back. I did get to see a very cool and large snake basking in a log in the river. 

 You may not be able to tell from the picture but he was about four or five feet long and very fat. 
I ran a couple of short sections on the way back and then drive to get a cold drink and recharge. 

I feel like I failed but sometimes you have to stop yourself if it is not going well. I’ll try again tomorrow… 

Meanwhile, I know some people (friends of friends) who are running their first fifty milers today. Good luck to them. πŸ™‚

Climb Those Hills

After an easy 6.5 mile run on Thursday morning, I rounded out the day with a visit to my Trigger Point Therapist. It was a very painful session but my legs feel so much looser than before. 

It is odd that when I go there I don’t think there’s much wrong, but within minutes on the table I realise all the fascia that has built up around my muscle. The sweet pain of having that broken up and releasing the muscles so that they may move smoothly again is great. 

For Friday I decided to honour National Bike To Work Day and rode my speedy road bike. I managed to break 40mph on two different hills on the way in. An exhilarating way to start a morning!

On the ride home someone else on a bike undertook me while I waited patiently in a line of traffic to make a turn. They went up the inside of the line and then turned at the front across other cars… So, when I got safely across the turning about five cars later I decided to try and chase them up the hill. 

I managed to catch them at about the two-thirds mark. Not bad as it is a steep hill and I felt vindicated. 

We have an action packed weekend planned and I’m not sure there’ll be space for a run, but I’ll try to squeeze one in. I’m owed a long run… 

Here’s a snap of my daughter happily completing one of her recent Healthy Kids runs. I love that expression on her face. Yeah! 

Always Choose the Scenic Route

Today I decided I should ‘man-up’ and actually ride to my evening track session rather than using it as an excuse to drive. 

To be fair, it is quite a long way from my office but given that it is National Bike to Work Week I thought I should give it a crack. 

So after a 4.5 mile ride to the office as I forgot my helmet and had to turn around at the half mile point to go back and get it, I spent a busy day at work. 

Come five pm I got changed and started the one hour ride you over the hills to Conestoga High School and the FastTracks track running session. 11 miles later I arrived with fifteen minutes to spare. I didn’t feel like I needed to run warm ups but instead did some stretches and ate an energy bar. 

The intervals tonight were:

  • 4x200m; first 100m at two mile pace, second at one mile pace, with 50m walk then 59m jog recovery. 
  • 2x400m; first 200 at two mile pace, second at one mile pace, with 100m walk then 100m jog recovery. 
  • 4x200m; first 100m at two mile pace, second at one mile pace, with 50m walk then 59m jog recovery. 

This only took thirty minutes and my intervals were very consistent. In fact, the two fastest runners from the group weren’t present so I found myself leading the pack and setting the pace. Also announcing and timing the intervals as the coach’s watch battery had died; Garmin, tut!

Intervals were:

  • 45 secs
  • 46 secs
  • 44 secs
  • 45 secs
  • 1m 32secs
  • 1m 32secs
  • 43 secs
  • 42 secs
  • 42 secs
  • 40 secs

Pretty good! Apple Watch worked perfectly this week as I think I’ve got used to the feel for the screen controls. 

Then, after a gentle one lap cool down, I jumped on my bike and rode the 12 miles home. Those last few hills really hurt and the temperature was rather on the ‘refreshing’ side of cool. 63F with a strong cold wind. 

Ah, well – at least I wasn’t sweating my pants off! 

I’m thoroughly knackered now and looking forward to a run tomorrow morning and a well-earned massage tomorrow night. 

Hurrah. 

Footnote: mapmyrun are experiencing syncing issues currently and have been for a couple of weeks. It is a little frustrating as I would have expected a fix by now.


Oh, and as for the title of this article, always take the scenic route through the historic park  especially around sunset; beautiful!