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To Run Or To Blog About Running

Muybridge Runner – I’ve always like this series although would not like to run naked brrr.

The toll of marathon training is starting to show its effects, and not in the areas that I had expected.  At this point of my training, 38 days to race day, I had pictured my self being physically and emotionally challenged to the point of not wanting to run anymore.  I had visions of needing to drag myself into my running gear and talking myself up just to get out the door.  I was rehearsing motivational “mantras” to help me keep going.  “Run for those who cant.” “People suffering with cancer don’t have a choice but to keep on going, all you have to do is run” and so on.  These are excellent mantras and I will keep them in my back pocket if I ever need to use one.

However that’s the point.  I’m not really finding the physical aspects of the training as difficult as I had anticipated.  I really enjoy running, it’s become an essential part of my week and a significant way that I define myself.  I have truly become a runner, and I love it.   There is no need to psyche myself up to run because I’m eager to go.

I am not saying that the training is easy, there have been many challenging long runs where a push was needed to get me through to the finish.  My 25K run on Monday afternoon is a good example.  I used my new racing flats for the first time over 12K and really shouldn’t have.  By the 20K mark my calves were burning and my shoulders were on fire.  I couldn’t even turn my head to see if someone was beside me, I had to turn my whole torso and my head would follow – hopefully.  I needed to will myself to the end of that run, and went directly into an ice bath at home.  So training is difficult but it’s not what I’m finding the most challenging.

It’s time.  Time is the killer.  Trying to find the time to get all the running, fundraising, working, running, working, school for the kids, shopping and running in is an exercise in futility (the pun is a happy accident).  I can’t seem to get it all done, there is always something that seems to fall to the wayside.  And the item that is the first to go is usually my blog.

I love writing this blog, it allows me to take a step back from everything and evaluate what, and how, I am doing.  There just does not seem to be any time to do it.  So, as I again pick up and arrange all the pieces of what I am expected to accomplish over the next 38 days,  I am promising myself that this blog will still play a main role.  It may not be every day, but one entry every second day is doable, even if it is to just check in and report my training data.

So it turns out that I don’t need a mantra to keep me motivated to run, I need a mantra to keep me organized enough to run.

Cheers

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2012 in Fundraising, Training

 

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OK I’m Back

Just keep training, just keep training
Photo Courtesy of the Miramichi Half Marathon website

The last two weeks have been an absolute whirlwind of activity.  Work has been extremely busy, the kids activities have kept me running around town, Toni’s pottery business is going great guns and somewhere in there I have to train to run a marathon.

So the thing that has been falling behind the most has been my commitment to this blog.  So to get back on track I am going to do a really quick training update to publish all of the training runs I have accomplished over the last few weeks.  Then tomorrow I will do a great blog post on how the fundraising has been going.

The last bit of training data that I posted was on August 9th.  So I am about to post all of my activity from then until today.  It will be interesting to see it all in one spot, it should also give you an idea of how crazy I am.

August 12 – Good run – last 2K were tough  – 24.91 km Run / Jog 2:19:38 13,174 kCal

August 14 – AWESOME – Best run all year – 12.12 km Run / Jog 1:00:47 6,516 kCal

August 15 – Speed Work at Beazley Feild – 6X 400M Intervals.  Average 1.25 min

August 17 – A 13.65 km run mapped on Fri Aug 17… – 13.65 km Run / Jog 1:10:51 7,596 kCal

August 19 – felt very long… – 31.54 km Run / Jog 2:52:25 17,008 kCal

August 21 – A 11.89 km run mapped on Tue Aug 21… –  11.89 km Run / Jog 55:00 934 kCal

August 22 – Speed Work at Beazley Field – 6X 1200M intervals.  Average 5:50 min

August 24 – good hills – 8.04 km Hill Workout 46:38 622 kCal

August 25 – 10K to be run this evening

August 26 – 34K Long Run to be run with a little trepidation

So that’s about it.  The distances are getting longer and I am really trying to work on my speed training and hill training.  I really really really want to get a great time at the Nike Women’s Marathon in October.  I will share some of my time goals a little later, but I like the idea of challenging my self to do the absolute best that I can do. (Sub 3:30 maybe)

Cheers

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2012 in Training, Uncategorized

 

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The Mugs are Ready!!! Let the Fundraising Begin

Look at how wonderful this cup is 16 fl oz of caffeine bliss

It has been a long time since I have been able to sit down and write a blog post.  There will be no time to review last week’s training, although that is very exciting.  Today I am going to concentrate on the brand new Heart and Sole Running Club coffee mugs that Toni, my artist wife, has created for me to sell.  They are awesome

These mugs were specifically designed for the Heart and Sole running club and have the shoe print logo hand stamped into each one.  They are hand thrown, hand painted, and HUGE.  Each holding about 16 fl oz of whatever you want.  We are selling these for $40.00 each and to personalize one with your name will be an additional $5.00 charge.  All of the proceeds from these mugs go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada to find a cure for cancer.  Which is kinda what this whole Marathon/ Fundraiser is all about.

I am very excited about the release of the mugs for two reasons.

First, the mugs have been one of my main fundraising ideas from the very beginning.  Now that they are ready I can really start moving that fundraising thermometer and exceed my $5,000 goal as soon as possible.  So far sales have been good with four mugs being sold almost as soon as the initial email went out.  Hooray.

Second, it means we have worked out all the kinks in production.  Well not so much me but Toni has worked them out.  There were a few trial designs that did not go so well.  From the creation of the shoe stamp and what it was to be made of, to the material to be used for the words Heart and Sole, to the glaze on the red heart, to color of the glaze on the shoe itself.  Needless to say we have quite a few “factory seconds” sitting on our mug shelf that were not good enough to be released.  Quite a few…  Many times I looked over the edge of the kiln and said “Honey they look fine, no one will even notice that” OR “I’m not sure why you can’t just sell them like that, they’re great” OR “Why does it have to take sooooo long”

Fortunately for me I have a very patient wife, who was able to not only navigate all the complexities of creating a wonderful hand-made coffee mug, but manage my lack of understanding as well.  If her name was going to be on these mugs, then they were going to be perfect, and the wait was well worth it.

You do not have to be a Heart and Sole member to order a mug.  Each one is a little piece of art.  A piece of art that you can cram a whole lot of coffee into and the proceeds of which go towards curing cancer.  You know what, I’ve decided you should definitely buy one.  For five bucks more we’ll even put your name on it.   Email me we can talk.  No really…

Cheers

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2012 in Fundraising

 

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Best Running City in Canada

Image from Adam's Badges on Facebook

Image from Adam’s Badges on Facebook

I have been known to say that Dartmouth, and I guess by extension Halifax, is the best place to train for a marathon in Canada.  Please know I have not trained anywhere else, and I am sure that everyone is partial to their own city.  Vancouver is really pretty and running through Stanley Park would be awesome.  Calgary is at elevation and that definitely adds value to a training program.  Regina is nice and Toronto is great and Winnipeg is, well, um… windy??   But none of these places have what Dartmouth has to offer.  So I’m throwing down the gauntlet and will do my best to describe why I think that Dartmouth is the best running city in Canada.  If you think your city is better, let me know, I would love to hear why.

A Case for Dartmouth

Automatic Hill Adjust

It is not difficult to find a hill to run on in Dartmouth, the real challenge is finding a flat spot.  As a harbour town Dartmouth has a significant number of hills; all different sizes and grades.  Starting at sea level it doesn’t take too long to get to 100 Meters in elevation.  I know there are lots of cities with larger hills than Dartmouth.  But for marathon training, sometimes it is not finding the biggest hill to run, but continuously running different sized hills during each of your training runs.  I am not one of those people who believe that running in a hilly city can replace hill repeats as a training device, but it certainly helps.

Scenic and Climate Controlled

On a daily basis, I am consistently impressed with the beautiful scenery I get to run through.  During a simple 6K route I run past the harbour and all the different ships coming in and out of port.  I take a quick right hand turn and I’m running on trails past Lake Banook, the premiere rowing and paddling lake in the country.  Then into Shubie park, an awesome wooded park that stretches for over 40 acres.  All within a 30 minute run of my home.  That does not account for the Salt Marsh Trail in Cow Bay, or Fishermans Warf in Eastern Passage, or Point Pleasant Park in Halifax.  Each of these are absolutely stunning places to run, and all within a short distance of my home.  It does not get any better than that.

The ocean is the great equalizer, it is moderates temperatures in both the summer and the winter.  Dartmouth is literally climate controlled.  Not too hot and not too cold, and often a nice dose of mist or fog to keep those legs cool.

I get this view almost every morning (found photo from a travel site about how awesome Dartmouth is)

Dynamic Route Variability, with Adjustable Strap

Dartmouth has running trails scattered all throughout the city.  Often focused around the lakes and harbour front, there are a multitude of distances you can run and never hit a road or stop for a traffic light.  Nothing worse than going on a 25K run in 15 min chunks because you have to wait for a walk-signal at every second intersection.  Once you get to know Dartmouth well enough, it is easy to add or remove distance from any training session.  I would love to say things were planned this way, but in reality the paths just naturally link up that you can choose to go around the next lake, or not.

World Class Running Community

Halifax and Dartmouth are both running cities, we have fantastic running clubs, and on Sunday mornings there seems to be more runners on the sidewalks than cars on the road.  I can not over emphasize the importance of running culture, in making a good running city, and Dartmouth has this in spades.  I need not mention any thing more than Heart and Sole Running Club to make my point.  This club has been around for over two years and has helped hundreds of runners achieve their goals, simply providing a safe community to interact with.  There is no judgement, or qualifying time required, nor previous experience needed.  You simply need to have a desire to run and Heart and Sole can help you from there.  Meeting Sunday mornings, there are enough runners attending that you will always have someone to run with, regardless of your pace or distance.  For those people who are training a little more seriously there are Wednesday speed workouts and Friday hill repeats.  All of this is volunteer lead and absolutely free for participants.  Dartmouth is very lucky to have a club like this and it really is one of the main factors that makes us the best running city in Canada.

Proof is in the Pudding

On Sunday morning I was out for a long run and was passed, by a number of different runners (this in itself is not unusual).  Notable though was being passed by a few of the marathon elites, like Denise Robson and Rami Bardeesy.  If they live here, and train here, and are a successful as they are – then hands down Dartmouth has to be the best running city in Canada.

Cheers, but not with out a few pictures of the scenery

English: Shubie Park, May 2009

Shubie Park, a great place to run anytime of the year (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

English: a warcanoe race on lake banook in dar...

a warcanoe race on lake banook in Dartmouth (photo credit: Wikepedia)

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2012 in Training

 

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Training at a low point

Some friends never get tired of running – me well that’s a different story

This has been a very interesting week on the training front.  Up until now, my body has been quite agreeable to the amount of running that we’ve doing.  I would reward it with healthy food and the occasional ice bath after a long run, and in turn it wouldn’t give me any grief.  No sore knees, heels, quads, calves, shoulders or IT bands.  Not for more than an hour after a run at least.  It also allowed me to continually push into new distances and increase my pace with relative ease.  At least until this week.

Tuesday Morning 12.5K – Hmm that was a little slower than normal View Workout

Tuesday morning at 5:00 AM and it was already hot and really humid.  Although Monday had been an off day, Sunday was that really long 25K that had taken a lot out of me.  But none of these things were unusual.  The weather has been hot and humid all summer and every Sunday for weeks has been a new “Longest Distance”.

During Tuesday’s run my running partner Johnny and I seemed to be keeping our usual pace, in fact I thought we may be getting near 5:10/Kilometer because I was a using more effort than normal just to maintain a pace.  When I got back home and mapped the run I was shocked to see that my pace was significantly slower than 5:10 and in fact was 5:50.  Not quite sure why it was slower, only thing I could think of was the heat.

Wednesday Afternoon Speed Work – Sweating Buckets View Workout

Speed work is quite taxing anyway, but on Wednesday it was again really warm.  There was absolutely nothing wrong with this workout.  I worked my butt off and was really tired afterward.

This week that track work consisted of a nice long warm up then the dreaded “Cycle” – an 800M run followed by a 2min break, then two 400M runs with 2 min breaks in between, then four 200m runs with 2 min breaks between each of those.  We then repeated the whole thing again.  The idea is to keep a consistent effort and speed regardless of the distance.  I averaged a 45sec 200M, 90sec 400M and a 180sec 800M.

By the end I was bagged

Thursday Morning  – 7.5K and then cut it short View Workout

Another 5:00 AM run and I knew the instant I got out the door that this one was different.  My legs were not as agreeable as they had been before.  Still recovering from the track work I was finding it impossible to just get into the groove.  My legs were sore, my left heel was starting to bother me again, and my quads burned at the slightest of hills.  Fortunately for me, Johnny was feeling the same way so we cut our run short and I went home to take a quick shower and go back to bed.

Later in the day when I mapped the run, I was a averaging about 6:00/Kilometer and it was one of my worst runs in a long time.  I believe my body may be sending me a message.  TAKE A BREAK, LET ME RECOVER.

Where to from here

I am going to take it slow for a while.  Friday is an off day and I will schedule a light run on Saturday.  Perhaps my favorite 6K loop around Lake Banook.  Just something nice and easy.  I plan to slow my pace down drastically.  Sunday is a long run of 24K and I absolutely hate to miss a long run.  So I will again really try and slow things down.  I will run for 2 hours and that’s it.  If I hit my distance then great, if not then that’s OK too.  The plan is to trick myself into thinking I am working on technique instead of speed.  This is what I will be telling myself during the run:

“Nice and slow, concentrate on striking your forefoot not your heel.  You don’t need to go fast right now, that will come once you get this mastered.  You are a better person for running slow.  No one is laughing at you.  The little girl on the trike is just going really fast.  Its OK, Its OK, you’re OK.”

Cheers

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2012 in Training

 

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Re-commitment – Did we break up?

I found this image from a Google search, it’s from  Ribbon Box Events. Their site is really cool

Today was the big day.  Clean hair, clean teeth, washed face and hands, and wearing my Sunday best I ceremoniously walked to the fax machine to submit my completed re-commitment forms to the Team In Training office.  We are now officially committed to each other.  Not that we had anything to hide in the first place and it’s not like we are planning to move in together… yet.  But we have come to an accord, as they say, and the agreement goes a little something like this.

I David Losey will raise $5,000 for Team in Training by any – legal – fundraising means necessary including but not limited to: talking, emailing, letter writing, door to door campaigning, selling cookies, selling cookie sellers, selling mugs, mugging people to purchase a mug, asking for donations through my blog, accepting donations with the promise I will stop asking for donations, asking for money from people on the street, asking street people for spare change, exchanging bottles for money, exchanging the street people’s bottles, securitizing sub-prime mortgages and using credit default swaps from major European re-insurance companies to hedge against the inevitable down-side risk. (too soon perhaps?) ect…

Team in Training covenants to continue to do what it does best.  Train me to run a marathon and support me in achieving my fundraising goal.  They have awesome coaches, fantastic fundraising mentors, and a proven track record of helping people succeed.  I’m in good hands.

A little bit about sickness and health…… richer and poorer…..Blah Blah….Blah Blah… and Voila we’re hitched.

All kidding aside, nothing has really changed.  Since the time I joined Team in Training I’ve been committed to achieving this goal.  That commitment was solidified once the first person donated money to my page to help cure cancer and support my marathon.  Thanks again to my sister Dana for getting the ball rolling.  So that’s that, I’m running the marathon, I’m raising the money and there is no turning back.

Well, I guess there is one thing that is different, when I signed the re-commitment papers, I also agreed to be personally responsible for any fundraising shortfall.  This means that if you thought I was a little passive about the fund-rasing in the past, that time is now over.  We really need your support, and not for the marathon, but donations to help cure blood cancer.  Every little bit counts, and I am counting on your donations to make this work.  Please visit my fundraising page and make a donation.  David’s Fund-Raising Page

Cheers

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2012 in Fundraising

 

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Training Update

I am going to keep  this blog post relatively short, as it has been a very busy weekend and I’m a short on time.  Here is a quick update with where my training is at and hopefully what the post lacks in quantity, I can make up for in quality.

My training schedule is completely messed up.  I tried to change things around to allow for a weekly speed workout and a weekly hill workout.  The plan was perfect until I told my wife that Friday evenings were now for running.  No words were exchanged….  I complied.

However this week I had already run Friday night for my hill work out, which meant to get back on schedule, Saturday was going to have to be my long run.  The program called for 24K, we did 24K and a little extra for good measure.  You can view the work out data here,View Workout.  I am really happy with the pace we are training at, it bodes well if I can keep it up.

Sunday was an awesome day.  There is an annual one mile race across the MacDonald Bridge which connects Dartmouth and Halifax – affectionately the MacPass Mile.  Its fun as large bridges tend to be convex you get a pretty good climb at the beginning and then a very generous downhill to the finish.  This was my third year competing and I crushed my previous time by over 70 seconds, all due to the the speed training I spoke about last week.  My time was 5 minutes and 48 seconds which placed me 5th in my age category.  An awesome race for me.

Well that about all I have for today.  However tomorrow I need to fill in all my re-commitment forms for Team in Training so I am sure there will be lots to write about then.

Cheers

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2012 in Fundraising

 

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