Sunday, February 27, 2011

Weekly Summary

Light week, I only ran 3 times:
Tuesday - 5.5 miles night trail run in a small layer of fresh snow
Friday - 14.4 miles trail run. Icy sections slowed me down and made me sore. But overall I was happy with my pace.
Saturday - 8.3 miles road. heavy and lethargic.

Total: 27.2 miles

I don't know why, but every time I take a light week like this, my legs feel more tired and sluggish. But it must do the trick because I always feel better the following week.

I'm glad that I didn't plan to run today... about 4 inches of fresh, greasy snow has fallen since yesterday.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Chuckanut 2011

I'm not registered for Chuckanut this year (wanted to, couldn't commit on registration day!). But given that I have some friends running and that there is going to be an all-star line-up at the front, I am thinking about going down for the day, just to spectate and cheer. That is assuming that my new passport arrives in time (it should).

Is anyone else going just for the show? Any locals want to make the trip with me? :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Weekly Summary

It was a good week--tired, and my runs were slow, but I was happy to get in the miles that I did, and to surpass my goal for the week.

Tuesday - 5.2 miles, night trail run, very fun.
Thursday - 5 miles, paved, wherein the puppy attempted to jump into traffic
Friday - 20.7 miles, trails, with the puppy. I felt exhausted from the start of this run, and considered cutting it short. But when I didn't feel any worse in the second hour than I had in the first, I figured I should keep going. I'm glad I finished out the distance, however slow and difficult it may have been. :)
Sunday - 12 miles, paved. Lovely run along the seawall; bright sun, blue ocean, white mountains. But the wind was chilly and finishing *into* the wind zapped the last of my energy for the week.

Total: 42.9 miles, which is my biggest week in months. It's still not huge, so I'm not sure why my legs have felt so tired lately. This week I'll drop back just a bit, to 30 miles.

Friday, February 18, 2011

a few of my favourite things

While I like cheesy musicals as much as the next person, I can't say that I enjoyed having "a few of my favourite things" stuck in my head for several hours during my long run today. But I think I'll make the best of it, and do a post on a few of my favourite things! :)

My La Sportiva Shoes
Anyone who has made the mistake of asking me about trail shoes has been subjected to a discourse on the superiority of Sportiva shoes. I've been a loyal Sportiva fan since my first pair of Pikes Peak shoes in 2006, and I've never worn another brand of trail shoes. Let me just tell you about my Raptors. Thanks to Sportiva specializing in climbing shoes, they have the best traction of any trail shoe. Ever. They also have these awesome toe guards at the front which protect my toes from anything our rugged trails can throw at me. And my toes never touch the front, even on a steep downhill, because my foot actually stays put in the shoe, no matter the terrain. This means no black toenails (ok, I got ONE at white river but that's because I smashed it on a rock--there are some stupid moves that even toe guards can't prevent!). Have I mentioned that the Raptors come in pretty colours? I never worry about rough, technical terrain when I'm wearing these shoes.

My Nathan Hydration pack
Best $100 I've ever invested. There's not much else to say, except that I don't do a long run or ultra without it. It's incredibly comfortable (you don't even know you're wearing it). It doesn't bounce or chafe; it fits onto your body like a glove. I've used it for hiking and mountain biking as well.

North Shore trails
Check out the latest Trail Runner mag for an article on the amazing place I get to run every week. Beautiful rainforest green, water, mud, rocks, roots, snow, elevation change, spectacular views, endless trails where my dog is free to run off-leash and which we share with a healthy mountain bike community. Add in a climate that allows us to run outside year-round, and it's basically a trail runner's dream.

Running trails at night!
I only started night trail running a couple of months ago, and now have a regular weekly group with which I run. I had no idea that running trails at night would be so much fun! It takes more focus than daytime running, especially on technical trails, and I'm the slowest person in the group; this means that my weekly night runs are both a physical and a mental workout. I love it.

My trail doggy
Yep, he's a PITA sometimes (cf. yesterday's post!) but I love having my Sammy along on trail runs with me, especially the long, lonely ones! I love his enthusiasm, that he jumps into every body of water he passes, and the way he sprawls out on the floor when we get home.

Dr. Oetker's Pizza (post-run)
Seriously, if you haven't tried these, you need to. The pizzas are plate-sized and I have no problem scarfing one down after a long run. The flavour is great. 880 calories per pizza.

Post-long-run showers and naps
I don't think I need to elaborate. It's nap time. :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Doggy Roadkill (almost)

For those who don't know the history, my dog, Sammy, is a rescue. He was 1.5 years old when I brought him home from the shelter, and I was entirely oblivious to the major challenges he was bringing with him. The first year was a LOT of work--blood, sweat, and tears, and it took him 9 months just to relax. That was 4 years ago, and over that time I've been able to get his behaviour from 0% to about 80-90%, and work through his various issues.

One of those issues is other dogs, and leash aggression towards them. He's improved, especially with smaller dogs since they aren't usually as much of a threat to him. But he will lunge at other dogs while on a leash. As a result, my reflexes with the leash have greatly improved. But they are still no match for the reflexes of an impulsive border collie cross.

So when we run roads, we use a 4 foot leash so that I can keep control. We run on the sidewalk, facing traffic, and Sammy runs on my left. This way I am between him and the traffic, and he can sniff the bushes and things on his left. Most of the time, he runs along very well.

This morning we were running on a rather narrow stretch of sidewalk, next to a narrow stretch of road, so the cars were quite close to us. Morning rush hour. We were cruising along at an easy pace, when suddenly a van went past us with a dog in it, and the dog was barking at Sammy as the van passed. My reflexes being slower than his, I did not react quickly enough to prevent Sammy from jumping across my path and directly onto the side of the van. His front feet made contact with the moving vehicle before I yanked him back onto the sidewalk and gave him a thorough tongue-lashing. Scared me half to death. And I'm sure the car *behind* the van was probably the most shaken, since Sammy had essentially jumped in front of it; luckily it wasn't moving quickly.

While the exercise is of course good for him, sometimes running with Sammy is stressful... defeating the purpose of the run for me.

But we're safely home now. :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What Really Causes Runner's High

My favourite part is where they say that running and desserts produce the same response. mmmmm dessert. What Really Causes Runner's High

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Weekly Summary

Tuesday - 5.3 mile night trail run
Wednesday - 6 miles, paved, with the puppy
Thursday - 6.2 miles, paved, with the puppy
Sunday - 18.5 miles, paved

Total: 36 miles

Chocolate consumed: far, far too much. I'm pretty sure I've gained 10lb in the past week. Ok, I know I haven't since I weigh myself daily, but it's amazing how the way we eat can make us *feel* like we're gaining. Tomorrow is Valentine's Day so I will be buying myself chocolate simply on principle... then I'm going to try to get back on track with my eating.

My goal this week is 40 miles... should be manageable since my work schedule is more forgiving this week than it usually is. Onward.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Can't. Stop. Eating. Chocolate.

I have no excuse except possibly hormones.

I can't stop eating chocolate this week. It's bad. So far today I've had a hot chocolate, a boston cream donut (which has chocolate icing on top), and an aero bar. A large one. Yesterday it was m&ms. Monday it was the chocolate lovers belgian waffle at a waffle place on Robson. Saturday and Sunday it was the Peanut Butter Rolo icecream.

My mileage is not currently high enough to support this excessive calorie consumption.

Must run more miles.

(Can I blame February blahs?)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Weekly Summary

Good week!

Monday - 3.1 miles with the puppy, paved
Tuesday - 5.6 miles, night trail run
Thursday - 3.1 miles with the puppy, paved
Friday - 18 miles, trail, with the puppy
Sunday - 6.2 miles, paved

Total: 36 miles

Friday, February 4, 2011

Awesome Long Run!

I hadn't done a proper long run since December 3, so it was high time I hit the trails for a few hours!

This morning I headed out with the puppy, and my legs were feeling pretty bagged from the start. There was a part of me that considered bailing early, but fortunately that did not last too long. I ended up having a really fun run... it included everything from groomed, easy trails to some highly technical ones, shoe-sucking mud, ice and snow, stream crossings, and tons of rocks and roots. The slowest part was the ice... it was covered in water and lasted about a mile. The rest was great!

18 miles done, and it felt good. Now the trail puppy and I are getting ready to have a little snooze. :)