Friday, March 25, 2011

A little Friday humour

Here's a little laugh for your Friday.

For those of you not familiar with Don't Even Reply, the guy either puts up fake Craigslist ads or replies to them with ridiculous emails and stories. It's a little warped, I know, (that's my sense of humour coming through, sorry) but only fellow runners will get the hilarity of this one, My New Jogging Partner:


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Racing Weight

Today I weighed in for the first time in two weeks. I was down to 155.X then, then inexplicably, I gained 1.6. Thankfully that was just a body mix-up! I lost 3 pounds today, down to 154.0. Hooray!

I would really like to get back down to 145. That's 9 pounds away. I've spent a long time bouncing around the 151-155 range. I like being below 150... I feel good and comfortable in my own skin and clothes.

I know I need to do this slowly and safely as I rachet up my mileage as part of my training. So it won't happen overnight. I just need a bit more willpower in the face of sweets, especially chocolate!

Another awesome part of losing weight is that I'll be a bit faster on the race course! Funnily enough, the Complete Runner's Handbook says that I should actually be much, much lighter. Elites at my height of 5'5" are under 120. Ha! Never in a MILLION years. I can hardly keep the weight off at 135 when I was at that weight in 2000. And I couldn't tell you the last time I was under 135.

145 is the place to be.

Monday, March 14, 2011

New Ottawa Race Weekend Routes

I found out yesterday that Ottawa Race Weekend has changed the routes for the 10K/Half/Marathon this year. And I'm not talking a wee little detour. You can find the maps for all the distances here:

I couldn't find the old half-marathon map, so here is the old marathon course. The Half had a bit more pointless running to rack up KMs across the river in Hull, excluded the jaunt over to Rockliffe Park to the East and turned around at Bronson as opposed to Heron in the South.

The new course:

I have to say that I like it. I'm thankful that we get to run down the Somerset street hill. I also think it's a bit flatter than the old one, though running across the Alexandra Bridge and the Hill on Murray to Mackenzie late in the race is going to be a tough slog. I also like because I regularly run different portions of the course, so it'll be nice to be running a familiar race. I think my husband will like it because he'll be able to cheer me on early in the race and then head back to bed until he needs to be at the finish line!

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Look at these pretty little things I picked up tonight: Aww yeah.

I stopped in at Sports4 on my way home to try on different minimalist shoes. I tried a pair of Adidas, but they were just okay. I wanted to love them, I really did. Then I tried a pair of Vibram shoes. Oh they felt so good. They actually reminded me of the dance shoes I used to wear when I did highland dancing... they hugged my feet just so. But sadly, they pinched my heel pretty badly, so they were a no go before I even walked in them.

Then I tried the Saucony Grid Type A4. These puppies are like heaven on my feet. I wish I'd known they came in neon green, too. I love neon green! Yes, I know I'm such a girl. But I've often been jealous of how awesome men's shoes are with their orange, yellow and red. Then we women get stuck with pink, purple and aqua. I have nothing against those colours, but the women's shoes just aren't quite as flashy.

I'm looking forward to re-learning to run in them. My legs are sore from working on the new stride. Bit by bit, I'll get there. Just knowing these are in my house makes me want to lace up and rush out the door to run around the block. I haven't been this excited about new gear in quite awhile.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Re-learning how to run

I attended an interesting clinic on Sunday at my local running store, Sports4 on Bank Street. A handful of runners attended the clinic on the merits of minimalist running shoes and mid-foot running styles. It was led by Bruno Lafontaine, of KinO2 consulting. He's an experienced runner/triathlete with lots of qualifications, so he knows his stuff.

If you have the opportunity to attend the session, do it! There's a lot of great info on the merits of minimalist running shoes. If you've read Born to Run, then a lot of the talk will sound familiar. You know, the evolutionary evidence that we evolved into distance runners. And the fact that some of the world's most successful running communities started from humble, shoeless (or practically shoeless) beginnings. There was also a lot of interesting information on the act of running and how heel-to-toe footstrikes are counter to the forces created by your body when you run. Another interesting discussion focused on how the cushioning and motion control features of modern running shoes could be contributing to injuries by impeding the brain's communication with the nervous system and muscle groups.

The clinic doesn't try to make you throw away your shoes and frolic in the snow barefoot. But it does have a lot of logical arguments to support transitioning to minimalist running shoes, trainers or racing flats. It's certainly not something you can do overnight. Bruno recommended gradually increasing your training in the shoes over time... 5 minutes one week, 10 the next and so on.

We also spent some time working on developing a midfoot strike. Oye. This was tough to do in my Adidas 1160s, as they're designed to faciliate a heel-to-toe footstrike. I'm sure our group looked ridiculous in front of the Supreme Court on Sunday morning galloping around in hugely exaggerated running motions. But the drills were very helpful in reminding us how running should feel and how to land on the midfoot, how many footstrikes we should have per minute etc.

When I got home, I spent a bit of time running barefoot in our hallway. And boy, I can tell you that I feel it today. There are definitely some underutilized muscles in those legs of mine. It really made me think about what I'd learned in the 2 hour clinic on Sunday morning and left me wondering if now is the time to make these changes.