Monday, February 27, 2006
I met Jarhead again this week for our easy run along the Goose. We chatted about the race and this and that, enjoying the quiet route. We decided that we should try and run 40 minutes next week as long as the pace stays easy. When I woke up this morning and my legs felt fine…just a little soreness in the hamstrings…but boy-o, when we started to jog I realized my legs had stiffened up and that my upper quads were sore too….ouch! Those hills at Hatley were nasty! When I got home I did some stretching but passed on the weights to give my muscles a break. I hope my legs will be ok for tomorrow's track WO. RB suggested I see how I feel by easing into the warm-up and intervals gradually.
Saturday morning I met up with Shan and her brother for an easy loop of the lakes. I was just going to do 20 minutes with some strides since I was feeling droopy but decided to just do the whole loop and stop complaining!
I cleaned a bit when I got home and then sang for a good 90 minutes. FJ and I went downtown late that afternoon and ran some errands and then came home and cuddled up together to watch TV. Forrest Gump was on and we watched it for the umpteenth time. It’s still a good movie!
Sunday was race day at Royal Roads. It was an 8km race with a reputation for being a painful challenge…and it was! FJ and I met Shan for a good 20 minute warm-up where we ran the last couple of kms leading to the finish. We heard there was a deceptive climb in the last km so we wanted to see just how bad it was. It looked nasty even just jogging it! I had a small crisis about what to wear…will I be too hot in this? Will I be too cold? Blah…blah….
This time, I kept to the plan of starting off easy until after the first steep hill. I managed to do that…it was quite easy to do actually, since there were some long slow ascents in the first few kms. After the big hill I was hoping to find another gear but kms 4-6 were tougher than I thought with a few more deceptive uphill sections. I was by myself at this point and could see a pack of runners about 50 meters ahead. I was wishing I had stuck with them at the start but knowing I would have bonked if I had. The thought of pulling over and rolling into the ditch crossed my mind several times since trying to make up the distance seemed impossible and I wasn’t feeling too hot (complain, complain). When I finally reached the steep downhill section with 2kms to go, I decided at this point I would try and make up some ground on the downhill…and I did! As I turned at the bottom of the hill, I saw I had gained a lot of ground on the pack that was now only meters in front of me. My competitive focus returned and I managed to pass a few runners on the flat section just before the final hill before the finish. I hammered the last hill, passed a woman in the pack and flung myself down the hill to the finish. Unfortunately, the girl I passed passed me in the last few meters…arg! It was fun though…but painful! Why do we do this?!
Shan, FJ and I did a 40 minute cool-down so we had a total running time of 90 minutes.
We had C and A for dinner that night so the rest of the afternoon was spent tidying up and cooking. It was great to see them…it had been a while and they are due to have their first baby in a week! How exciting! We had a lovely dinner and great catch up conversation.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
FJ and I got to the ‘Y’ a bit early. I met up with Jarhead (getting a quick hug from T before she went off swimming) to run a small warm-up before the hill WO. Joe joined us and we caught Shan along the way. It started to hail a bit. Not those big chunks of hail but these little beads that bounced off you…kind of neat.
I took it easy tonight and just kept a steady pace. FJ and I did the extra loop down around Beacon Hill and I finished up with a couple of short drills and strides.
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Tonight Boob took Don E, Wayne and me out to the lakes from his work. We did a nice easy loop around Elk and Beaver with just enough light to get us back out of the trails and on the road. I made sure not to push at all so I would be recovered for the next workout. We did a few weights and although I tried my best, I could still only do four chin-ups.
I was looking at the Athletics Canada web site where they have stats and bios of all of our top athletes. I read Bruce Deacon’s page and was shocked to see that I weigh more than he does (and he’s 3 inches taller)!! Ha! ...it's all those chin-ups.
Tuesday, February 22, 2006
I did about 10 minutes of good stretching after work. My back was very sore and tight today at work and I didn’t want to be fighting with it at the WO. It was a windy one at the track tonight. I had to run and grab my jacket out of the car while we were doing ours drills…I’m becoming a west coast wimp! Boob, Matty and I met for our usual 30 minute warm-up around the UVic trails. At one point we came across a stray soccer ball in a field so we ran and kicked it around for a bit which was fun. RB said if I felt pretty good in the warm-up I could do a few of today’s intervals at a quicker clip. Today’s’ WO was a 1 mile time trail with a full recovery, followed by 2 x 400m, 2 x 300m, 2 x 200m with a 200 rest between each interval. You could tell everyone was a bit nervous about doing the “time trial”. We girlies were all groaning and the guys got all serious and quiet. Ha! Boob even put on his new flats. I felt good in the mile. I didn’t push. I just had no idea what pace would get me around the track four times in a decent time without dying. It has been so long since I have done more than two laps that after I hit the 800m mark, my body was questioning why I wasn’t stopping….ah, excuse me, but you should have stopped back there…hello!!?....the line was way back there you moron!! I kept it pretty steady I think after a slightly faster start and then gradually picked it up in the last lap with Matty cheering Tony and me on…Thanks Matt! I finished in 5:27. Boob said we will do this every 6 weeks and we will likely see an improvement. He also agreed that we should have done some strides before the trial. It would have been less of a shock!
The rest of the intervals felt good. I did the 400s in 1:16/1:17, the 300s in :56/:57 and the 200s in :36/:36. As RB suggested, I started the intervals as usual but then picked it up part-way through with the exception of the 200s where I just ran them evenly.
Two loops of the Ring as a cool-down; followed by a hot bath, dinner and American Idol…it was a great night!
Monday, February 20, 2006
I started working on one of the arias I will be singing at Easter this morning before work. I hadn’t sung it in a couple of years and was happy with how it felt. I’m sure Selena will have more to say and will have lots to pick at!
I met Jarhead tonight after work at 6:00 for an easy, short run along the Goose. I think I am ready to add on another (6th) day of running as long as it’s a real recovery run. I checked with RB first just to be sure and he said it would be fine. Jarhead was doing his second run of the day after a 90 minute trail run just hours before so the pace was perfect for me…nice and slow! We have decided to meet every week to do the same. It might be good if I could gradually get this run up to 45 minutes at the same pace. It felt really nice to just jog and chat. My legs got warmed up and I felt quite relaxed when we finished. We ran 30 minutes in total, turning around as JH’s 15 minute timer went off. We made it back almost to the second for an even split.
FJ had dinner ready when I got back (chicken breast stuffed with spinach and ricotta cheese!). How lucky am I!! I just finished doing some weights and core exercises (it would have been better to have done that before dinner!) and will now laze on the couch and watch some tube with the Maestro.
Sunday February 19, 2006
My sweetie tried to plan a surprise for me this morning, secretly inviting Jarhead, T, Shan and Squintch over for a belated birthday brunch. He had it all planned out. I would do my usual Thetis lake run at 9:00 and he would have everyone arrive before I got home as a surprise and have the waffles ready. This Sunday however, I decided to do two laps of the Elk/Beaver lakes. I worked hard at the WO the day before and wanted to keep my long run this week slower, aerobic and steady. The Thetis lake run is a bit tougher aerobically even if you go slow because of all the hills. So, I was trying my hardest to get FJ to come out to the lakes too. I wanted us to meet Matt at 10:00 so he finally had to let the cat out of the bag. I felt so bad! He ended up emailing everyone late last night and asked them to show up a bit later so I could still meet Matty for my long run.
I was glad I made the decision to run the flat trails around the lakes. I could feel the fatigue of yesterday's WO so Thetis would have done me in. I grumbled about how pokey I felt for the first...oh....70 minutes of the run, with Matty assuring me that what I was feeling was normal and that this is all part of the training; some weeks you feel crappy and then suddenly you feel great as the training pays off, welcome to the world of running...blah...blah...I was still a bit skeptical but thought it could make sense. I kept the pace with Matty pretty slow in the first lap. We did a little extra bit (maybe adding 600m or so) right at the beginning, as well as taking the longer version of the trail both times. We did the first lap in 46:10. I perked up towards the end of the first loop and going into the second and felt better up until the last two km so I pulled back a bit but finished strong in the last 500m doing the two loops in 1:29:41 (43:27 for the second loop) with no break. I was surprised at my time since I felt I was going much slower.
When I got back. FJ had the waffles and coffee on. Jarhead, T and Squintch came over. Shan wasn't feeling too hot after an evening of indulgence at Sauce so she had to bail on coming over. We called Pan in Vancouver to let him know what he was missing. T made me a beautiful drawing which we hung on our fridge and Squintch gave me a card with the promise that something was in the mail....what could it be?!
FJ had a rehearsal in the afternoon so Squintch and I walked down to Dallas Rd and walked the length of the breakwater. The mountains were in full bloom! I then dragged him dowtown to look for some drinking glasses since I noticed we never have enough glasses when company comes. FJ just got home so we're going to go grab a bite somewhere close by and then call it a night.
Saturday, February 18, 2006
Shan picked me up again for the WO this morning at 8:40 since FJ had a rehearsal again and needed the car. We had gone out the night before to see “Eight Below”, a Walt Disney movie about a dogsled team being left to fend for themselves in the Antarctic. A medical emergency forced the expedition team to flee their camp as a storm was approaching forcing them to leave the dogs to die. The dogs were gorgeous…I had to hold in all my usual cooing sounds I make when I see cute animals. There were a couple of incredibly sad moments and a stirring Walt Disney ending with the typical soaring music which had me weeping. I loved it!
Today’s WO was 4 x 10 minutes at a tempo pace with 2 minutes rest. We did our usual 15 minute warm-up and had Ian E join us which was a nice surprise. I did the whole run with Lisa and Judith who had just come back from an amazing adventure in Africa. I felt pretty good in the first interval although my lower back felt a bit tight, the second was tougher, the third started off well but I had to concentrate in the last km and the last was a struggle to maintain the pace. Judith was cheering Lisa and me on towards the end as we were both starting to fade with 2 minutes to go. I was surprised I didn’t feel perkier. I felt great on Thursday and didn’t feel fatigued afterwards and felt pretty spunky yesterday on my day off. I will have to see how I feel tomorrow at Thetis. If I have to, I will do a 20 minute out and back to be on the safe side. I don’t want to overdo it again. Either way, it will be a slow, easy run.
Thursday February 16, 2006
The group that met at the ‘Y’ tonight was noticeably smaller than usual. Not surprising with the gusts of 70km winds being predicted. I did a 10 minute warm-up with some drills and could feel the wind going right through me. I came prepared for it though so I wasn’t too cold. Squintch still refuses to wear his Super-tights despite the freezing winds. I think we freaked him out with all the teasing so I my guess is we will never get to see the spandex-clad, dandy-long-legs ever again! FJ looked cute in his toque!
I felt good tonight so I attacked the hills a bit harder while keeping the flats at an easy pace. Tony and I challenged one another up each ascent…great fun! The wind was brutal for the first few hills until we turned around and headed back…a real good wind-training run. Something flew in my eye at one point and I had to stop because I couldn’t see. It floated around in there for a while but finally came out. The temperature dropped considerably by the time we made it back. No one was into running around Beacon Hill in the wind so I did about 8 minutes with Shan and Lisa as a cool-down.
Brasserie L’École was amazing. FJ shared a salad we both had the 8oz sirloin with their “frites” as well as a lemon tart with real cream and raspberry confit…oh baby!!!
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
I was so looking forward to dinner at Brasserie L’Ecole tonight. Unfortunately, Maestro made the reservation on-line last night and they emailed today to say they were booked until 9:00pm. I am unable to wait that long to eat especially after a run and weights! We made a reservation for tomorrow night instead. I just love that place!
Tonight the group consisted of Wayne, myself, Jarhead and Boob. It was a clear night and we got to see a beautiful sunset but it was cheeeely! I was dressed for it this time though so I felt comfy. We did a similar route to last week but with a few twists and turns that took us close to Munn’s Rd near Thetis Lake. We ran on cedar trails, grassy paths, gravel trails and quiet country roads where we saw a total of seven deer (!) and a lama. We chatted a lot, running at a comfortable pace. Boob made sure it was a real recovery run. I felt great even when we picked it up a bit in the last 15 minutes. My legs feel springy again….yay! I changed my shoes too so that made a difference. We did some light weights after the run. I could only manage 4 pull-ups again but I am determined to do 5 next week!
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
I met up with Boob and Matty for the warm-up as usual. It was nipply out despite the sunshine. We ran for about 26 minutes on the trails around campus at a moderate pace. I felt better than last week which was a relief! I did a few loops around the track to keep warm while waiting for everyone to arrive to start the drills. There was a pretty big group out this week with a couple of new faces including a real zippy guy from Montreal who just moved here last week. He can really fly! I hope he continues to run with us. I think we have enough fast guys in the group that he’ll be challenged enough. Tonight we did 400m parloffs (I have no idea if I am spelling this right). Boob said to go for 20-30 minutes. I matched myself up with Wayne who looked like he was on fire! I managed to keep all 9 laps at exactly 1:18-1:19. By the 4th set I felt a bit stiff going into the second half of the laps so I told myself to relax my legs and hips and not to muscle or push. I thought for sure I had slowed down (since I wasn’t trying so hard) but instead the times remained the same…a good lesson! I did two laps of the ring as a cool-down with Shan and then we got a lift back to her place from the Squintch who was having orientation problems! We got cleaned up and then went to SYN for dinner. Both of us got burgers which were delicious! We had a good gossip session and a few laughs…it was a lot of fun!
When I got home, I found a bouquet of flowers and a pair of amethyst earrings that Maestro got me for my birthday. So sweet! He had a rehearsal that night so we are going to go out tomorrow night for a B-Day dinner.
Monday, February 13, 2006
I had a good singing practice this morning...I'm on a roll! Tonight is my strength training night at home. I have an exercise ball, a squat bar and a pair of 10lb hand weights. I like my Monday night sessions of watching TV while doing some strength excercises. It's going to be early to bed for me tonight since last night was a late one. The concert last night was really fun. The composers all had really different interpretations of the two film clips and how they should be musically underscored. Justin Mariner was the deserving winner of the competition with a very moving composition. It was a really neat event which I hope they do again next year.
Sunday February 12, 2006
This morning I sang at a church service in Langley. It went extremely well. My voice lined up nicely and I felt really grounded and had a lot of fun! The Exsultate Jubilate piece which was giving me the most grief came out quite well and the runs were actually easy! I just smiled and enjoyed the music. I think this is one of the first times in a looong time I have been that happy with one of my performances.The congregation was so appreciative and has invited me back for another service at Easter…I have to check to see if I have a race that weekend….
I picked up FJ in the early afternoon from his rehearsal and we met up with Matty at the lakes. I was planning on doing two laps but decided to just run for an hour. I think I was a bit tired from the morning’s performance stress and yesterday’s long workout. I didn’t want to kill myself again. I finished off with some strides.
Tonight Squintch, Jarhead, Don E and I are going to watch FJ conduct the symphony in a concert called Reel music. It’s in association with the Victoria Independent Film Festival. A composing competition is also part of the evening where seven composers wrote music to accompany a four-minute excerpt from a silent film. Each will be played tonight in front of an audience and a jury while the film excerpts are played on a large screen behind the symphony. It should be quite interesting to hear each interpretation.
Saturday February 11, 2006
This week Shan and I drove out to the lakes under a bright, sunny sky. We were much cheerier than last week! We met up with Lisa in the parking lot and a small group of fast men. RB’s workout today was a 20 minute tempo pick-up with a 10 minute break with some strides to stay loose, turn around then a 20 minute tempo back. Shan, Lisa and I started off conservatively and then got into a groove after about 5 minutes. Lisa and I ran side by side keeping a strong, steady pace. After the break we continued the pace. I felt quite a bit better so with about three minutes left to go I decided to pick it up to see how it would feel. After a good cool-down, Shan and I headed to Lifestyles and bought some tasty, good-for-you bread and a few other healthy items. We made another stop at a sports store where Shan scored a running t-shirt.
Later on that afternoon, I got a massage and then met up with FJ. We went downtown, did a few errands and then hooked up with the Squintch for some sushi. All in all, a pretty nice day!
Thursday February 9, 2006
It was another gorgeous day today. I was itching to be outside. I was imagining walking along Dallas Road in the sunshine while sitting at my desk....sigh...
Flo-Jo and I met the usual gang at the'Y' tonight for the 7 hills route. I did a ten minute warm-up with some drills to test how I was feeling. My legs still felt a bit stiff and heavy but my energy was good so I decided to start with an easy pace to warm up a bit more and take it from there. After the first hill I was able to keep a moderately brisk and even pace. I tried to stay loose and run tall while keeping my cadence quick and light, especially on the hills when I wanted to give into my stiff legs and run like a slob! As the run progressed and I warmed up, I felt better. Flo-Jo had an excellent run tonight and looked strong on the hills. Shan commented that FJ was whipping along beside us as we were running up the last one and I looked over and there he was, flying past the Squintch!
I decided against doing the extra 20 minutes around Beacon Hill just to be on the safe side. I am sure by the weekend I will be back to normal. I don't normally experience stiff or heavy legs but I was assured that it is a result of base training and higher mileage. I have to learn my limits and know when to back off.
Wednesday, Frebruary 8, 2006
Finally...a sunny day! I think evryone had a bounce in their step today after the dreadful weather we've been having these past few weeks. I took a 15 minute break and went outside and sat on the steps with my face tilted up trying to soak in some rays. My eyes felt like they were drinking in the light....hey, that was sort of poetic!
Tonight Don E, Boob and I did a fun, easy run through some trails...somewhere near his work...we ran through a boggy field and went up a "Pig Hill", back down and through a section of the Technical Park...more trails, along a raod that took us to Beaver Lake and back to his work. We ran most of the way in daylight...halleluiah! I felt better than last night but I am still not quite recovered as I was breathing a bit hard on the few hills we did. As we went along I concentrated on staying springy which made me feel stronger. We did a few weights when we got back. I can now do four pull-ups!
Tuesday, February 7, 2006
I was still feeling a bit run-down today so R suggested I take it easy and skip the track WO tonight. I met Boob and Matty for the warm-up around the trails at UVic. I felt ok but I could tell the energy level was on the low side. The track WO tonight would have did me in, I think. I am still not recovered from the previous week's running. The mileage build-up is finally catching up to me perhaps. I will check with R first but I think this week I will take 'er easy in order to re-charge. It was hard not doing the workout tonight since the weather was so nice. I did the dynamics with the group (which a smaller than usual) and as they started on the track I did some drills and a few strides. Flo-Jo did the WO a bit earlier in order to fit it in before his rehearsal. I saw him do a lap and he looked quite strong!
Monday February 6, 2006
Today was a well deserved rest day after a previous week of good running (approx. 85km). Flo-Jo managed to get out to the lakes on his own and did a loop and a half in the sun (the lucky bum!). I came home after work and rested up. My cold is lingering but is definitely on its way out. I was excited to see how much light we are getting now after work. I will soon be out of my hibernating mode and in about a month you won't catch me in my PJs anytime before 9:00pm!
After supper, I called Shan who was just about to watch Medium so I decided to watch it too. It was a pretty good episode! I made some lame attempts at some weights and core strengthening excercises during commercials but the ol' bod really just wanted to rest, so I gave in and gave up!
Sunday, February 5, 2006
Well I woke up today feeling less stuffed up, so I decided to go and do the Thetis run. No amount of prodding could get Flo-Jo to go. He was not stupid and knew we had had a ton of rain this past week and didn’t want to be stuck wading through knee deep water…smart move!
Today’s group consisted of Boob, Wayne, Don E, Gary, and Kevin. We waited for Pan but he didn’t show….the little bugger! As soon as we started I could feel my energy was low so I kept the pace relaxed and didn’t push up any of the hills. The small ponds had become creeks; creeks had swollen up to small rivers…it was a soaker run. It wasn’t raining at least, and the temperature was quite nice. The big week of training had definitely caught up to me. My legs felt great but I felt fatigued. I’m sure fighting off a cold doesn’t help. I am so mad…I hadn’t had a cold in two and a half years and was hoping to beat my old record of four years. We did and extra bit along the boardwalk at Francis King. Afterwards, a few of us met up with RB at the Chequered Flag for some breakie and a few laughs. This afternoon I stayed home and rested in hopes of knocking out this cold.
Saturday, February 4, 2006
Well, Shan and I were two grumpy old ladies driving to the Lakes today for the Bowker workout. It was raining and windy and we said we were sick of running while being wet and cold. I woke up this morning feeling like a cold was settling in. I popped some ColdFXs and vitamin C in hopes of warding off a nasty flu. I figured this run wasn't going to help things but I just couldn't miss such a great workout: 30 minutes tempo (increasing speed as you feel), 5 minutes easy jogging followed by 4 x 4 minutes at a brisk pace. It sounded brutal! When we got there RB was standing in the rain doing his coaching thing and had already been there for an hour...we shouldn't be complaining, I thought. Lisa was there, Don, Hugh, Jon, Ian, Jim etc...and...Pan-Pan!! He came back on the island for the weekend and decided to do the WO.
After the warm-up we headed out on the 30 minute tempo part of the WO. By the time we hit the boat house, the wind was gusting and the rain was pelting us sideways...YUK! I felt pretty strong so I picked it up a bit for the last 10 minutes. The 4 minute runs were fine too but I was glad when the last one finished! Tree branches, by this time were landing all around us from the winds that had picked up. We jogged back and quickly got into our cars to avoid freezing to death! Shan had a juice box for me all ready to go! Thanks Shan!
I hd a hot bath, ate lunch, taught a student and then lay down for about an hour under my duvet...ahhhh....it was so cozy. Then it was off for a haircut downtown where Joey met me afterwards for dinner during his break. It's going to be early to bed for me tonight...yes, I am already in my PJs...it's 8:30...on a Saturday night...
Thursday, February 2, 2006
I picked Flo-Jo up at home on the way to the 'Y' after work. I wanted to get in a bit of extra running so we got there early. I ran down to Beacon Hill park where I did some drills and then back up to meet the gang at the 'Y'. To my surprise and joy, Alan was there!! It had been so long since we saw him last....since October, I think! It was great having him back with the group and he looks to be in great shape despite the recovery time he spent nursing his hamstring.
It was a pretty big group tonight. I kept a steady pace, even at the tops of the hills without stopping. It started to rain and got windy as we hit the second hill and of course it was the one night I ditched my gloves and vest before the run...I was freezing! When we got back, Flo-Jo and I went back to the car, quickly threw on some dry stuff and ran down to Dallas road for an extra 20 minutes with DonE and Jarhead (who smelled a bit less rank tonight!). I was on automatic pilot for that part of the run and felt like I could have kept going at that easy pace forever. I did a few drills once we stopped with some short strides to realign things and to put some spring back in my legs.
I saw Rob H earlier today and he did a good stretch on my left-side (lower back) that has been giving me grief these past few days. It felt much better tonight. He gave me some more strength excercises and stretches which I am going to do daily. I am determined to get rid of this annoying back pain!
Wednesday February 1, 2006
I had to miss the run after work today with Boob, Wayne and Don E. I had a rehearsal with the accompanist at the church I'm singing at in a couple of weeks and I didn't have time to get back for the run. Thankfully, Jarhead agreed to run with me. We met at my place and he was all rarin' to go so we headed down to the Goose. This was Jarhead's second run of the day....in the same running gear....it wasn't pretty. I tried to stay up-wind from him as much as possible but it did little good as his waft seemed to follow me no matter where I was! Ha! Our run took us along the Goose to the Songhees path where the pace was chatty. We did a turn-around at the gazebo and once back on the Goose did a pick-up all the way back. I was surprised how perky Jarhead was after a 10km run earlier that day which included some fast intervals...it must have been that ripe shirt he was wearing...whew!
It's an Il Greco night tonight...chicken souvlaki!...mmmmmm!!!!