Monthly Archives: January 2012

Freeze Your Thorns Off – Virtual 5km

Saturday marked the running of the fools…or the Boring Runner’s Freeze Your Thorns Off 5km run…call it what you’d like.  For those of you just tuning in, I’ve been fighting some nagging shin pain (shin splints) as of late, and I wasn’t sure exactly how I was going to run Adam’s virtual party, at the very least I thought I’d hit the pavement and see how it went.

As it turned out, after a few days of limited mileage and a pair of new kicks my shins were feeling decent.  I really didn’t know what to expect when I went out the door Saturday night, but after a tentative warmup I got into a groove and decided to push it.  If I had planned things better I probably could have dropped my time by not putting a huge hill in the first km, but being the rocket surgeon I am I was already half into the km long uphill section before the thought even occurred to me.  My finishing time was     25:30:01 (I missed stopping my watch at exactly 5.0km), and after a few failed attempts at taking pics with my phone  under a street light in gusting snow I continued on and put in an awesome 10km workout.  The Kinvara 2’s held up fantastically, and didn’t cause me any hassle which makes me feel better about my purchase (regardless of the great price I paid).

Sunday I had some residual shin pain again but my day was busy enough that when I had to abandon my long run for another 5km effort I didn’t worry about it…too much…Hopefully another easy day today will lead back into some solid mileage again, I was kind of enjoying, but I’m a masochist  at heart though…

so…how was your weekend?

Three Things Thurs…errr…Friday

So, Three Things Thursday didn’t really fly this week…actually it wasn’t supposed to fly at all, but by the time I had time to write something this week, I had too many subjects to discuss and it was Friday.  So be it.  I’ll push few things off and post up the easily digestible tidbits that are on my mind right now?  Sound good?  Too bad…

1.)    There’s something I’m been ignoring the past couple of days that I need to deal with.  Something that’s been whispering at me to “pay attention!”…that “something”? (sigh) slight, nagging shin pain.

Unfortunately, I’m no stranger to shin splints, I’ve had them a few times, usually when I switch between shoes a lot but with my long weekend runs being on snowy days I’ve been opting to do them on snowy trails instead. The runs have been a blast, great scenery etc. but switching back and forth with my road shoes has probably been a bit hard on the old shins. Additionally, I’ve been looking for new shoes as my current ones (Brooks Racer ST4s) are quickly becoming hazardous to my health…foot health.  As much as I’ve enjoyed them, I think it’s time to move on.  I should have done it earlier, but it’s hard finding time to fit everything, so now I’m finally MAKING time.

2.)    On that note: I went out and grabbed a pair of Saucony Kinvara 2s at lunch today.  The last time I tried on Kinvaras I found the outside of my big toes rubbed the side of the shoe and figured that my foot simply wasn’t built to ride in one of the most popular shoes on the market, no biggie.  So what changed? I went up half a size and they suddenly fit pretty well so I bit the bullet and grabbed a pair.  I had a $10 off coupon, and as a bonus the store had stocked the shoes in the wrong spot so I got them at the Kinvara 1 clearance price (they were aware of the mistake and gave me the K1 price before I even noticed the discrepancy).  Sweet, 30% off!  I usually prefer to support small independent running stores, but this is one benefit of visiting a large multi-sport franchise store.  I have a longer post on buying shoes coming up (next week?) and a I hope to have my initial review of K2’s included…maybe 😉

3.)     Saturday marks the running of The Boring Runner’s Freeze Your Thorns Off Virtual 5km and although my shins are being problematic I’ll be giving the race a go.   Do I race it, or take it easy….that all depends on how I feel in my warm up.  I’m supposed to be putting in 26-28km this weekend and I’d hate to blow it all away with a failed 5km run.  Regardless, it’s all in good fun, so check it out if you feel like mixing things up this weekend.

With that, I’m out kids, have a great weekend!

How Much Can You Carbo-Load?

I found this infographic (and the associated article) on the Globe & Mail site here.  In the past I’ve had some fueling issues which I thought were mainly “in race” problems, however after trying several different food-like substances in varying combinations I still find myself famished by the 20-30km mark.  After reading the article and infographic I’m thinking about changing my pre-race routine a bit.

Trish McAlaster –  Published Friday, Jan. 20, 2012 2:17PM EST

Hopefully this can help me before I end up gnawing my own arm off mid-race.

Have a good one kids, and remember: autocannibalism is bad, OK?

Three Things Thursday

Hi everybody!  I stole this idea from Morgan over at Caution Redhead Running, and also Marlene @ Mission to A(nother) Marathon, and  I’m not sure if they usually follow a theme for the 3 Things, or if it’s just a quick an easy way to update all you wonderfully loyal readers with 3 random pieces of info, but I’m going to choose the latter.  Here Goes:

1.) Cardiac Stress Test Results – My Dr.’s office called (of course it would be the receptionist who called and not the Dr. who I had extra questions for) with the results of my test.  I’ve been told everything is perfectly normal and I can go on training as per usual (AWESOME).  Unfortunately, that means that we still don’t know why I’m having chest pains.  When I called the Dr. back to clarify “where we go from here” the receptionist could only tell me that my test was normal and if I wanted to book an appointment to discuss the results with the Dr. I was welcome to (NOT AWESOME).  After some additional questions she couldn’t answer, she said my test results were fine, but I should come back if the “symptoms persisted” (NOT AWESOME).  So essentially “keep an eye on it” is the course of action at this point.

2.)  Weights – I posted a tonne about the 6 Week Challenge I did in Nov.-Dec. so I won’t go into great detail about my workouts lately, but I will say this:  I HURT!  Not in a bad way, just enough to make me waddle a bit when I walk, but the benefits are pretty clear. I noticed a significant decrease in my fatigue, lower back pain, and a overall increase in my speed/endurance at hockey specifically.  I really hope this translates to late race core stability because in the past I’m sure I’ve come across that finish line looking like the number 7.  Head up – Shoulders back!

3.)  Training Plan – I think I’ve finally got my run plan dialled-in for this training session.  Over the past 2 weeks I’m been trying to become accustomed to the higher work load than previous plans, as well as figure out what works, and what doesn’t.   e.g. – 10km before playing hockey: DOESN’T WORK, 6km beforehand seems tolerable.  10km on my wife’s night out: DOESN’T WORK, etc. etc.  I’ve moved some workouts, switched others and downgraded others, but over all things finally seem to be chugging along.  So Far – So Good

That’s it for me, peace out kids, have a good one!

Woo Hoo, I’m a Weiner!

Last week Donald at Running & Rambling ran a contest for a free pair of RUEZ Boxers, but this was no ordinary contest.  Unlike some blogs where you simply leave a comment or link to your facebook/twitter feed R&R decided to be cheeky.  Since RUEZ Boxers & Briefs are designed to keep a man’s junk warm in blustery winter winds the contest was for readers to submit creative names for your wang/twig & berries/Johnson.  Low and behold, after I submitted the offering of “tallywacker”, I received an email telling me that I had won a pair of RUEZ underroos.

And since no bog post is complete without a picture, here’s one for you:

Not My Junk...

A quick thanks to Running and Rambling and Ruez for the contest, and now that we’re actually getting some winter weather I may be able to use the prize!  Check out Donald’s review of Ruez’s undergarments here.

Have a good one kids!

Walk off the Earth’s Fantastic New Video

Here’s a fun new quick video of Burlington Ontario’s Walk off the Earth doing their unique cover version of “Somebody That I Used to Know,” (original by Gotye featuring Kimbra).  Here’s a quick not from the band’s Facebook page:

“To all the independent musicians out there. I hope this shows that you can make a name for your band with no help from record labels and management and next to no money. Stay true to your dreams and your passions, whether they be music related or not. Don’t wait for people to help you because they never will. The only time the music industry will want to help you is when you have done all the work yourself!”

Awesome work, very entertaining!

My Lunch Hour in Photos

Golf Course -> Up Hill to Woods -> Wooded Trails Behind Golf Course -> 5.5km of Snowy Trail Goodness-> Back to Office for Kickass Sammich (Marble Cheese, Cucumber, Sliced Turkey, Chorizo, Spinach, Sweet Heat Mustard on a toasted Whole Wheat Thin Bun)

…and yes, Superman and Megatron watch over my desk…so what?

Have a great weekend kids!

A Night at the Museum…the Warplane Heritage Museum that is…

Warplane Heritage Museum

This was taken a few years ago at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton Ontario.  What a great facility, the kids loved it!

The plan is a Westland Lysander III which was used mostly as a training craft.  If interested, here’s the Wikipedia link as well:

Ever Had a Cardiac Stress Test? I Have!

Starting in mid-December and continuing over the holiday season I was having periodic pains in the left side of my chest.  Not sharp stabbing pains, nothing radiating into my left arm, no weakness or shortness of breath…just a nagging ache.   It was usually in the same spot, but occasionally occurred in different areas and usually resulted in tightness in my upper chest.   The weird thing was that it didn’t occur or worsen during exercise…to be perfectly honest I thought it was simply stress related; the holidays are a busy time and we were running around trying to fulfill obligations etc. so I wasn’t exactly relaxed.  I tried changing my diet a bit, getting more sleep, relaxing more, but the pains persisted.  Eventually I got an appointment to see my Doctor, and after some discussion she prescribed me a stress-test.

Monday I arrived at the Cardiac clinic unsure what to expect and probably a bit stressed.  After being escorted into a room with an ancient treadmill and a computer, the wooden respiratory tech. asked me to lift my shirt.  I assured him that he had NOT in fact bought me dinner OR enough drinks to warrant such an advance however he assured me it was for science, and so the procedure continued.  I’m pretty sure he applied about 2 dozen sticky pads to my chest in various places, each with a small button snap on them to which he applied a coloured wire.  I thought about switching a bunch of them when he went to get the Cardiologist just to mess with him but I suddenly had visions of being pushed to the floor and shocked “back to life”.  I decided to pass.

The Cardiologist, a white-haired man that looked a lot like my 88 year old Grandfather, walked in, mumbled his name and took my blood pressure.  Maybe it was because I was the last appointment of the day or maybe they are just used to dealing with crippled/deaf geriatrics trying desperately to get their walkers to work on the treadmill but this was turning out to be one of the driest medical appointments I’d ever had.  My jokes fell to the floor, and my smiles met with dull polite nods.  The staff seemed competent and all, but if I’m going to have my heart explode on your treadmill I’d like a certain amount of hospitality dammit.  Would providing some pleasant conversation kill you?   How about a cocktail?  And where are the hors d’oeuvres?  Waiter?  Waiter?

Me with my shirt off

Three, 3-minute intervals of walking (increased speed each time) later the light running started.  The goal was to get my heart rate over 160, and after some more increased speed and incline we finally got down to business.  As I held my pace my mouth dried out and I feared that I’d soon be choking on my own swollen tongue (I hate treadmills for this very reason), but soon the test was done and I was asked to sit so they could continue to monitor my chest rhythms.

Once the test was complete, the Cardiologist instantly warmed up and asked me if I was fairly active.  I smiled and bragged about my weekly running/weights/hockey regime and explained that I was training for the Around the Bay 30km in March.  I nearly shit myself when he mentioned that he’d used the ATB as a warm-up for Boston which was a very special race, and that I should try it sometime.   I explained defensively that it’d be a while before I could qualify with my PB marathon being 3:53, to which he replied “oh, you can do better than that!” and walked out of the room.

Thanks Doc…

Have a good one kids, and take care of yourselves, Results coming in 8-10 days.

I’m Outta Here…Lunchtime Trail Run

With a busy schedule tonight, and a balmy 4C outside, I’m busting out of here in a few minutes for a lunchtime trail run.

Catch you on the flip side!


Pic graciously stolen from: