Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Completely and utterly addicted

I'm an addict.

A running addict.

Phew! That feels good to get that off my chest. I've realized that I've hit the point where I don't want to go without running. I don't want to miss a workout and I'm loving every run. Yes, even the tough ones that I have to push through. I am so inspired by my re-found motivation after it disappeared in July.

I love it so much that I want to run longer and further each time I head out the door. I want to run more often. It's taking quite a bit of willpower to reign myself in! What's also encouraging is the fact that my speedwork is paying off. My perceived effort on my long runs is the same, but my average pace is 10 seconds faster per kilometre. My moderate perceived exertion is turning in much faster times, too!

I love running (yes, even in the winter!) and I love that my efforts are paying off. Now to just hold back a bit and not over-do it.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


Last night I dreamt that I'd set a Canadian record in the 100 metres or something. Might've been the 5K. I didn't even realize it and left the race. Then I became a running celebrity.

Running dreams are too weird. I'll be happy to get under 30:00 sometime soon!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Favourite Running-Related Books

I mentioned in my last post that one of my favourite running books is Running for Mortals by John Bingham. It's a great introduction to running! He (and his co-author, Coach Jenny) write in a very approachable way. The programs they suggest are great for beginners (run/walk method) and they provide lots of motivation and advice. Much of what I learned from them formed the basis of my whole approach to running. It took me some time—and some injuries—to get there. But, I'd have to say that Bingham gives great, foundational advice for runners at all levels.

While I love his book, I find I'm at the point where I need a new running book. I'm looking for one with reliable training plans for 10Ks through to marathons, as well as training advice and ideas. I've taken quite a few out from the library, but haven't found any I like.


Friday, October 16, 2009

Training safely

My one friend took up running earlier this year. I was pretty excited because I wanted to share my love of running with my girlfriends.

My friend's now running 10K+ each time she runs. She doesn't follow a plan nor does she follow any of the mileage increase rules for running. I have no idea how fast, how often or hard she's running, but I hope she's running really slow and not over-doing it. Beginners are a very enthusiastic bunch: it's that awesome time where the runner's high comes easily, your training pays huge dividends and the PRs come quick and easy.

What worried me the most was her latest comment: she said needed to run further than her boyfriend so she could beat his distance. His last run was 15K.

It's great to be competitive, but in running, you only compete against yourself. It's a normal new runner mistake. It took me a really long time to realize this and I felt so much better about my running when I came to terms with my competitive streak. That's not to say I don't feel a twinge of competitiveness when a really fast woman blows by me on the path, but I push it down and continue on my run.

It's pretty obvious that she hasn't read anything about running or how to do it safely. Maybe I'm the weird one, since I love to overdose on running books and magazines. I hope I'm just overreacting and that I don't know the full story, but I have to admit that I'm worried she's going to end up hurt.

Maybe I should send her a copy of my favourite running book, Running for Mortals, for Christmas.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I love arm warmers

I've converted to a new religion: armwarmerism.

Exhibit A is Kara Goucher, an American long-distance runner.
I like to think I look like this when I'm wearing my arm warmers. Now if only those abs were sold along with the arm warmers!

I've worn my Sugoi arm warmers a few times now and I can't rave about them enough. They're a fantastic piece of gear for windy days and days with temperature below 10C or so, depending on the conditions. Wearing arm warmers also lets me wear tanks or t-shirts longer than I'd normally be able to. And you can roll them down or take them off if you get too hot!

The ones from Sugoi are lightly insulated and have non-slip bands at both the top and bottom. I love them so much that I just ordered a second pair: their new black and white Tatu design!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Back on the Wagon

Well, the wedding is all over and my life is about to get back to normal. It's hard for me to imagine what my days were like before wedding planning took over my time. The last month to six weeks were particularly brutal. But, I kept up my runs at 3x a week, minus the 6K scheduled for the day before the wedding. I'd slept particularly badly the night before and didn't want to risk an injury caused by exhaustion.

I also ran during our little mini-honeymoon to the Niagara Region of Ontario. The run was early in the morning, about 10C and a misty rain fell as I ran through the quiet streets of Niagara-on-the-Lake. I really enjoyed the new running route and the change of scenery.

Now that I'm back home, I'm jumping back into training and getting back the healthy eating wagon. I was spoiled with three course meals and tons of great wine over the past week. To tell you the truth, I'm afraid to step on the scale tomorrow. But I know that I'm catching the bad habits early enough to prevent any major damage. I'd ideally like to drop another 5-10 lbs. before I start in on my half-marathon training in the winter. Some studies suggest that each pound lost can translate into a 2 second/mi improvement in race times.

Speaking of winter... it's coming! As much as I'd love to hibernate, it's just not possible. It's gotten quite cold here and there's talk of frost most nights this week. Even though I complain, I do like to run in the wintertime. But, I've realized that one set of capris won't get me through the next couple months before winter and I'm going to need a second set of tights (Sugoi was sold out of the Mid-Zero tights I'd ordered in August) to get me through 4 runs a week during training months.

The one thing that gets me excited for this week is the fact that I get to wear my arm warmers. I heart my arm warmers.