Monthly Archives: May 2011

Rock Out

Yes there is a race report as soon as I get back to the office, unfortunately right now I’m reeediculously busy away from a computer.  So, in the spirit of the last post, plus the fact that this song came up during my race yesterday, I though I’d let you all “Rock Out” to this:

Have fun kids!

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Race Playlist!!

Just call me DJ 51FU because below I’ve laid out my race playlist for Sunday. I know there are those purists out there that spit blood and vitriol at the mere suggestion of listening to music during a race.  I get it…really…I do, but I have a sneaking suspicion that portable MP3 players are here to stay for the foreseeable future so deal with it.  One of the big attractions for me when I started doing this running thing, was the ability to listen to all the great music my friends and I were exchanging at the time while still getting some exercise;  it’s a habit that’s stuck.  Sure, I’ve done lots of naked runs (no, not in a fun way) but ultimately I miss my tunes…besides, it keeps the voices quiet, and that’s a VERY good thing.

When making my first few race playlists I stacked them with full-throttle metal, guns-blazing punk, and pounding rock, but as with anything experience helps refine one’s skill. I found that after a while all that amped up music just seemed to blend together, it became muddy and convoluted and it took a summer of my MP3 player bouncing from Jefferson Airplane to Metallica to show me that perhaps variety WAS the spice of life? The list below runs the gamut from acoustic guitar folk to heavy guitar songs, and in my last marathon really helped keep me moving forward…physically and emotionally.

In the first section are single songs in no specific order, although I’m pretty sure my player will spew them out alphabetically. The second part of the list are full albums I’m using as contingency songs, something to fall back on should I need to change things up. If I have time tonight I’ll post up some additional details about some of the music. Feel free to ask questions in the comments section.

Any Sense of Time – The Inbreds
The Ghost of a Thousand – Bright Lights
The Ganjas – Sonic Redemption
Follow That Bird! – The Ghosts That Wake You
The Ferocious Few – Kathleen
The Blind Shake – Wise Mr. Owl
Black Eyed Dog – Honeysuckle Gal
Bad Sports – And It Goes
Timber Timbre – Demon Host
Darlings of Chelsea – I Want Your Love
Diagonals – Neil Diamond Blues
Joe Pug – Hymn 101
Harlem – Witchgreens
Lady Dottie and The Diamonds – I Ain’t Mad at Ya
The Law – Don’t Stop Believe
Mount Carmel – Still Listening
T Bird and the Breaks – JuJu Baby
Thee Vicars – Feel so good
Throttlerod – Buffalo
The Wailin’ Yeahs – I Caught Her
Yokozuna MX – slam y minifaldas
The Yardbirds – Happenings Ten Years Time Ago
The Rolling Stones – We Love You
The Black Keys –  Sinister Kid
The Black Keys – Black Mud
The Stooges – Dead Rock Star
Crystal Stilts – Departure
Sloan – Emergency 911

Priestess – Prior to the Fire
Rusty – Fluke
Motorhead – Killed by Death (song) & the full Motorizer album….I couldn’t leave out ALL the metal now could I?

Like it? Let me know.

Pre-Race Nerves

As per usual in times of taper, my mind has been bouncing all over the place trying to maintain my everyday life but also ensure everything is ready for Sunday’s race.

  • There are items which are well in hand; accommodations, travel, tentative schedule, phone number’s of the people I’m staying with,
  • Others that are continually being obsessed over; pouring over googlemaps to get a general familiarity with the race area, memorizing the course map and elevation profile, checking the weather
  • And those yet to be started; packing gear, charging batteries, trimming toenails (VERY IMPORTANT), planning meals, loading songs onto my mp3 player (playlist post coming tomorrow), making a race plan…errr….wait…what?

Yes, I still haven’t decided how to run this race.  I’m not sure if it’s because I’m scared of failing but I haven’t completely decided what pace to maintain, what or where to eat on the move, whether I should use Gatorade periodically or just stick to water, etc.etc.etc.  So, excuse me while a work some of this out right now.

Pace/Goals

My marathon PB is 3:53:xx which I’d love to beat, but to set this as my A level goal seems a bit underwhelming.  I think I need to push myself a little harder despite the risk to my fragile ego.  With that in mind, here are my tentative goals for Sunday’s race:

A – 3:45:00 – Should all the stars align, weather co-operate, my stomach stay intact, and my lower body co-operate…this is doable.

B – Sub 3:53 – I’d love to beat my PB…into the ground

C – Sub 4hrs – This was my A goal last year, with my B being “just finish”, and C being don’t pass out and fall on my face.  I managed to hit B last year, but it wasn’t pretty.

D – Finish Looking Good

E – (Stolen from Claire over at WillRunForBeer) Not poop myself, always an important consideration 😉

Uggggg….just writing that list has my stomach turning.  I can run 5:20/km for a long time, but can I hold it for 42.2km?  At the very least this pace will allow me some space to fade if I need to.  If I can hold 5:20/km to 30km, then fade to 5:45/km I can still cruise in around 3:50:xx overall.  I could live with that my biggest concern is going out too fast and blowing up like last year, but I guess you have to fight to meet those big goals…hopefully I won’t have to fight just to meet goal E…(shudder)…

I’m not quite dead yet.

So uh…how’s it going? Not too bad over here, just…you know…busy with work/family etc. etc.

Let’s see what happened since we last (virtually) spoke:

• The long run I completed two weeks ago was a night and day difference from the last one I posted about. Other than completely bonking late in the run, my body felt great, everything was working together and running smoooooth. The reason I’m not too worried about the bonk? Considering I had played 3 games in a charity ice hockey tournament the day before, I was actually quite impressed with how long my energy level/hydration lasted. If I had brought more water and had some carb reserves left I might have cruised in nicely. Regardless I was pretty happy with it.
• Since that run however my other runs have been sporadic. When I was able to run, it was raining. When I was busy, it was nice out. I went to a conference for work which ate up a few days, plus the additional back log that being away from the office creates meant I didn’t have as much time to try and squeeze in a lunch run or blog about my lack of training. Essentially, my time management has been crap lately
• Last weekend’s long run didn’t happen. Period
• And finally I’m officially into taper. I’m trying not to cop out and claim my reduced mileage as extended taper, but it’d be pretty easy to fall into. Regardless, I’m here and race day is 8 days away.

My apologies for the short post but it’s the Friday of a long weekend here, and I need to leave work early to….errr…just to leave early. It’s sunny outside (first day in 7!!!) and I need to get out and enjoy it!

Later kids!

What a difference a couple of days makes

I’ve always been rather short-sighted.  The here and now is where I live, which makes for long-term analysis kind of a crap shoot.  I know how I feel right now, and the recommended remediation for it….but unless you take the long term trends into account it’s mostly guess work.

I went out for my long run last Saturday, which was the BEST day of the weekend around here, clear blue skies, slight breeze, and most of all no rain!  As described in my last post, I tried to keep the pace WAY down on this long run to give my aching body a break, but what I experienced was anything but restful.

The first 5km felt creaky.  Everything in me felt like it was covered in rust and would break at any minute.  Surprising?  Not really, at this point I had taken nearly 2 full weeks off (although I had done other exercise) but it still sucked to work through it.  After warming up, I spent the next 5km worrying about the possibly (HA!) recurring shinsplints.  Even though the there was some aching pain, and some minor sharp pain it didn’t get so bad that I had to stop.  As I’ve mentioned briefly before, I’ve been trying to find the source of some minor knee pain during my long runs.  I thought slowing down and using my orthotics again (I had been trying to get away from them) would alleviate this but I was wrong.  From km 8-9 to km 18 was spent dealing with that exact knee/patella tendon pain.  Awesome, what else could go wrong?…..I really should know better than ask that… IT CAN ALWAYS GET WORSE!

AgonyAfter suffering through all the previous bullshit, I thought I’d be in the clear…who could have predicted my old friend “Left ITB Issues” stopping by for a visit?  I haven’t seen or heard from ITB issues since last year at exactly the same time of year, training for exactly the same marathon, so this flare was a surprise to say the least. I’m 3 ½ weeks out from race day and here I am nearly dead on the side of the road not even at the 30km mark yet.               (Pardon the following melodrama)
I’M SCREWED!
What am I supposed to do to fix this in time to run a full marathon, let alone try and meet any of my goals?   At least while the ITB was acting up my shins and knees felt great…eventually I cut the run short since there was no real benefit in pounding my aching body any more just to break the 30km mark.

After some long contemplation and making sweet love to my foam roller all of Sunday afternoon, I hatched a plan.  A plan that was sure to leave me limping along at 36km of the marathon again, but dammit, I have to try something.  Last year, I skipped a lot of my mid week runs in favour of getting the distance runs in.  I was petrified of the 42.2km distance, but so sore from my body deteriorating out from underneath me that I sacrificed my maintenance runs in favour of 3-4 hour long sadistic death marches.  I wouldn’t repeat that mistake again.  In addition, I sought the advice/treatment of a physiotherapist who was happy to inform me that I was woefully inadequate in the strength department.  She advised some specific strengthening and stretching exercises which I promptly ignored or forgot or was too sore to do.  The one thing I’m confused about is that I’m in much better condition than last year; I’ve been doing speedwork and hills to keep my body strong, and prepped for the race to come, but it doesn’t seem to be enough…..so strengthening seems to be the lynchpin of my plan:

  • Keep up the mid week runs
  • Strength exercises at least 3 times a week, hopefully 4 or more if I can fit them in with my family/running schedule WITHOUT over doing it…after all, moderation is my middle name…(cough, cough…)  Leg Extensions, Lunges, Deadlifts, Squats etc.
  • Quality time with my foam roller…sweet sweet foam roller, how do I love thee?  Let me count the ways.
  • No more excessive long runs.  This coming weekend is supposed to be my longest before taper anyway, so instead of pushing 36km, we’ll see how the body feels in the 20s but I’d give my body a chance instead of pounding it into the ground. Is this a mistake?…I have no idea.

To be honest, I’m not sure how my body will react during the race without some really long runs under my belt.  The Around the Bay gave me a 30km, but that will be 2 months past on race day.  Since then it’s been 3 high 20km runs (plus another run this weekend of…who knows?) but at this point only time will tell.  Hopefully, the complete breakdown this past weekend was just a reaction to fatigue/dehydration/and two weeks off at a key point in the training cycle…hopefully…