Monthly Archives: March 2006

first day back on the trails, albeit wet, snowy, muddy…. but this is love!

So the sun sort of came out and the temperature went up to a huge 7 degees celcius which is plenty warm enough for shorts if you ask me. Jr. grabbed his bike and we headed to the mountain. The trail that I usually run was covered in a loose granular type of snow with a liberal smattering of canine fecal matter that gives that musty compost sort of hum to the air, my shoes were soaked within 200 yards! Followed the trails over to the main route up the hill which was like a little stream in places and dry in other spots… But who cares I was out running with no tights, mud all over me and a grin from ear to ear. It feels just so good, vital and alive. I ran for 2:03 and probably covered about 14.5 miles. Took care of my ankle and maintained my heart rate around 145bpm. All is well. I’m going to do about 18 tomorrow to round the week out to 41 miles…. just 3 weeks to Boston and I’m comfortable with the condition I’m in…. good enough to get over the line without any embarassment… fingers crossed.

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9283 will put me in the 9th coral in the first wave of starters which is a couple of corals back from the last time I was there, but I’m happy just to get to line up.

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Just never enough time….

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Seems to be becoming a habit, blogging on the plane. Abitibi to Montreal gives me about an hour & a half to catch up on nearly a weeks blog neglect.
I’m always whining about my chronic lack of time and of late it just seems to get worse and worse. The list of undone things to do gets longer. Why? It bugs me to the point where I can feel an overhaul of my priorities coming. Not now, but it’s coming.
My last run log/blog was a pretty satisfying interval session on the TM. I missed the recovery run and modified the midweek longish run. Saturday evening I was home alone so I got in another eight miles and as I had Sunday afternoon all to myself I indulged and stretched out my long run to 23.3 miles. The weeks total was about 52 miles which normally would be nothing terribly exciting, however with the lost month of training because of the ankle this represents good news for the Boston trip.
Abitibi is a long way from Montreal. It’s been a dozen or so years since I’ve visited this neck of the tundra, and man is it a long way from “la grande ville”. As with most of rural Québec the folk are super-nice …. but if your not into “motoneige”, caribou-masacres and sitting in a garden shed on a frozen lake drinking gin/beer and staring into a hole in the ice… well you’re out of luck. Maybe the skidoo trails would make good running in the summer… hmmm.
Last Saturday’s knees-up chez L & E was a whole lot of fun. I was even tempted to dance a little but stopped myself just in time. Ate way too many strawberries dipped in chocolate but as always did my designated driver duties and was safely home in bed before the sun came up.
I have discovered an artist that I always knew was out there but never really listened to. The couple of bits they play on CHOM are really not a fair reflection of how good he really is, why didn’t I notice Bruce Cockburn sooner. His website is pretty neat and lets you listen to one complete track from each album. I have yet to find the track that I heard on CBC “Islands in The Blue Sky” so a trip to Archambault is probably due.
On the subject of time-wasting, my new treo 600 took a tumble in the supermarket and the speaker died. I had had the thing less than 2 weeks so I ended up wasting another morning getting it switched and upgraded to the treo 650 which is apparently a much sturdier phone and may even survive my abuse. I am totally amazed at all the stuff that they manage to cram into this gadget, I can pretty much leave my laptop at home now.
There’s a 10K race this weekend that is beckoning but it would mean skipping my last 20 miler or maybe doing it 3 weeks out from Boston. It sort of makes sense, I could rationalise this week’s lack of mileage as a “cut-back” week. Sounds like a plan, assuming my ankle is now close to 100% better. It aches a little when I wake up in the morning but a little stretching sorts that out. Every now and then I’ll get a tiny shooting pain in the back of my ankle… it goes just as quick as it arrives, but it’s a little worrysome.
I really can’t wait to go check out the condition of the trails on the mountain. Its been nearly 2 months since I did my ankle and since then I have run nothing but treadmill and nice flat tarmac… bring on the rocks, roots and mud.
Anyway it seems we’re coming into land…. back to civilization

….not so far off, with a little focus and some loud tunes!

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so tonight’s trip to the gym went like this: 15 mins warm up on the stationary bike followed by an 8 mile vo2max type work out. 5 X 600m intervals @ 5K pace(6:40) with 90 seconds jog(8:00) in between. And as a little bit of a test of the cardio/condition thing I did the last 3 miles at +/- 7:10. (total time 57:05 not too shabby!) I can’t say anything really complained that much apart from my ankle for the last mile and if anything the old legs felt pretty fresh at the end. Came away feeling pretty positive about the state of play…. 45 mins of core/upperbod and 20 mins steam bath made for a very satisfying workout. Should be noted that I find my HR about 5% higher than prior to the twisted ankle lay off… to be expected I imagine.

On another note, it’s friggin snowing again!! What’s with that I was just getting used to the filthy streets, visable potholes and defrosted canine fecal matter… when mother nature covers it all up again. Ho Hummm. winter has officially one more week but after that I ain’t cuttin her any more slack.

Toying with the idea of running the Boreal St Pats day half on Sunday….. slowly and then adding another 6 or so miles and calling it my 20 miler… but there’s a very promising looking party the night before, no kids this weekend and the SO is out of town….. tough call!! What would you do?

Should also be noted that I’m slipping back into the early seventies… still playing Diamond Dogs… they just don’t make em like that any more.

needs a little work but we’re getting there…..

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A pretty brisk run with the boys today, well at least the last 2/3rds…. no problem with the ankle worth mentioning. However, as the graph shows I am definitely a couple of weeks out on the cardio side. The eliptical/swimming/bike/rowing just didn’t cut it, today’s workout felt sluggish and slow… might be due to a couple of days hard skiing… who knows? Off to bed….. Happy to have The Sopranos back…. but it wasn’t fair to end it with Tony shot on the old man’s floor…. it’s going to be a long week!

spring break at Sugarbush… should be 2 weeks not 2 days!

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everything’s melting! sitting in the nook area of our beautiful B&B in Waitsfield VT everything outside is suddenly turning to water. Thursday’s skiing was wicked on great snow with a mixture of snow and sleet falling pretty much all day, the rain that fell on Montreal missed Sugarbush. And the best thing about taking a couple of days spring break outside of Quebec is the fact that you pretty much have the mountain to yourself, and at a discount price as well. An adult lift pass for Sugarbush & Mad River Glen was only $37US. We may ski MRG today we’ll see how Tom & Chloé feel after breakfast.
The ankle was very strange yesterday. The ski boot seemed a little more snug than usual but not uncomfortable, obviously there is no sideways movement and the support in my boot should have held everything in place, this it did. The first run was real slow and easy but got at least 6/10 on the discomfort meter and left me thinking I was in for a painful and frustratingly long day. But after another 2 or 3 runs the pain all but disappeared. It was as if my ankle got enough endorphin to realise complaining wasn’t going to change much and apart from being a little stiff and achy, the rest of the day I hardly noticed it. It’s probably worth noting that yesterday was the first time I managed a whole day without any of the usual spectacular wipe outs. Not one!
march 11:

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I decided as my ankle was up to this skiing stuff so I could be a bit more adventurous and as the ski store had a sale on demo skis I thought I’d try me a pair. The dude in the proshop fitted me up with a pair of overpriced Head things and away we went. The demo skis made me realise how light my own skis are, these things were about 50% heavier and a bit stiffer, but jeez murphy they were way faster too [maybe I should have bought them]. Grommit jr. had his nose put out of joint when he found out his old man could still beat him down the hill given a decent pair of skis. Now he wants new skis too, what have I started? The rain started at about 2:30friday afternoon but by that time I think we were done. No line ups, fast chair lifts and longer runs meant we pretty much trashed our quads in about half as much time as it would have taken at Sutton or Tremblant…. We love that sensation of not being able to make your legs respond as you come to the end on that last run.
We do so love Vermont, but why are they still listening to Bob Segar and the Eagles? It’s a bit like being in Toronto, so stuck in the 70’s. Chloé also remarked on the sense of fashion down here… there just isn’t any, which is probably a good thing right? and what’s with the fact that 3 out of 4 cars are Subarus?
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I may run later today, I’ll see how I feel, the weather looks beautiful out there this morning. Spring might have sprung let’s hope so I’ve had it with winter….. After the drive home, lunch, tuning the boy’s bikes, a walk on the mountain, a trip to Jean Talon market….. dinner, a movie and an early night was all I could manage. I’ll train tomorrow.

a table for one…. no thanks

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If there’s one thing that I really don’t like about being on the road, it’s the eating alone. It doesn’t matter how brilliant the food is or how orgasmic the desserts might be…. I always feel like a total loser asking for a table for one. It’s not so bad at lunch time but the evening are brutal. I have two ways round this situation: solution one, don’t go! find a health food store buy the best looking yogourt and fruit in the place, chocolate, fruit and all the other stuff that the kids get to before me at home. Go back to the hotel, sit in your undies and scoff the lot. Solution two, find restaurants which serve food at the bar and chat with the barmaid (professional smalltalkers). Tonight we went with the first option.

The Ottawa Y is in real bad need of a facelift. The cardio equipment is old, tired and guess what they only allow 30 mins on the TM… had to go round twice, and as this old geezer didn’t have his specs he could quite make out the tiny print on the waiting list for TM’s he put his name in the wrong box. Stoopid old fool. Warmed up for 20 mins on the bike, and then tried a bit of an interval type work out. I felt slow and heavy and although my breathing and HR seemed ok I just didn’t seem to have “it”. Never mind, there always tomorrow. 8 miles with 6 x quarter mile intervals (6:40) 58:10. did a few curls and then hit the sauna. No complaints worth mentioning from my ankle, although a little swelling still remains…

Last year’s photo is there to cheer me up, I enjoyed that day so much I only have to see a photo, hear a certain piece of music… let’s go

things seems back on track…. fingers crossed

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We’re still not getting much done this weekend other lounging around and wasting time, it’s wonderful…. Sunday morning, la grasse matinée: which I always understood had something to do with laying in bed in a half sleep not worrying about the time. And then I found this and my blog went and got all cultural & deep.

So the photo is the tiny orchid that was rescued from a tradeshow last year. It was destined for the garbage until I salvaged it for our bathroom, now it flowers merrily as the sun begins to warm up for the spring. It was a beautiful day out there today, the type of day that warms the spirit and melts some snow.

The long awaited run went well. I stretched, warmed up for 10 minutes on the stationary bike and then cautiously did 8 miles at a slowish sort of pace (1:03). I tried to focus on my form a bit, landing at the front of my foot, which will now bend enough to run properly. I think the lack of flexibility caused by the swelling was forcing me to land badly, more to the heel and this was hurting the ankle more. Anyway today we had none of that, only the tiniest spot of stiffness and almost nothing in the way of discomfort. We’ll proceed with care, strictly treadmill this week and nothing that might strain the bits around my greatly improved ankle