I am very fortunate to live in beautiful Victoria, BC. I started to train and race with a fun and dedicated group of friends called The Island Road Racers just over two years ago when my husband and I moved here from Montreal. Before that I ran on my own just to keep fit. We are so lucky to have a great coach who knows how to train runners and help them meet their goals. I will use this blog to document my training and any day to day happenings.

The Running Diva has Moved!

Please go to: http://trainharder.com/blogs/divamar/

Easy Morning Run - Track WO 1:50:10

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I ran at Cedar Hell this morning. I was to do just 25-30 minutes. Glenn came along just as I started so I had some company. I did 1 and ¾ loops. I then bumped into Scott who was just starting his run as I was heading to the car. We yakked for a bit about training and got caught up. He’s looking to do some training runs with people so hopefully we’ll be able to work in a few runs together here and there.

My lesson with Selena went really well today. We managed to get out of the rut I was in a couple weeks back. Whew!

The workout tonight was at the Oak Bay track. Matty wasn’t running but he came out to give me the WO and to watch for a bit. I did a 20 minute warm-up, a few strides and then 3 sets of 5 x 500m at 1:45 with 60” recoveries and 3 minutes between sets. (1:42-1:43-1:45-1:45-1:45) (1:45- 1:44-1:44-1:43-1:42) (1:45-1:45-1:43-1:41-1:40). It took a couple of intervals to settle down but after that it was pretty easy to hit the right pace. I was allowed to go a bit quicker in the last two intervals of the second and third sets. The WO felt good tonight although my calves felt tight afterwards. I did a good 15 minutes of stretching and will do some in the morning too. Kim did mention that my hamstrings felt pretty loose but my calves were pretty solid...Could I be getting close to Shan's porportions? Ha!

Spin & Easy Run 1:30:06

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I got up early to get my 30 minutes on the trainer and to sing before work. Both went well. Actually, the singing is going really well right now for some reason. I’m getting excited about my audition.

I ran solo tonight. Matty’s fighting another cold. I don’t need to be catching that right now. It was light enough after work to run on the UVic trails for about 25 minutes. I ran the other 35 mins on the roads heading down along Beach Drive to Cattle Point and back. I caught IRR as they were doing their warm-up drills on the track. I did 6 strides on the in-field and then headed home. I wanted to do some Poser drills with the bungee cords but didn’t have a partner tonight so hopefully I can get these in on Thursday instead.

Non-Stop Day! 1:30:26

Monday, November 6, 2007

I had a whacky day today trying to fit in a lot of things with not enough time. The day started with an early-morning run at Cedar Hell with Juice and Syl. We ran for 60 minutes followed by 6 x strides. The grass was covered with frost and fog hovered over the lower sections of the trails so it looked pretty cool.

I sang this morning for a big 15 minutes since I ran out of time arg! After work, I had my first massage with Kim Ward. She was just brilliant. I plan on seeing her regularly. I’ve wanted to fit regular massages in for so long now but never seem to have the time or money to go but I’m going to make it work and Kim is trying to work around my schedule which is so great! The massage ended at 6:30 which gave me 30 minutes to walk from Cook St. Village to the Conservatory on the corner of Johnson and Quadra in time to go to Selena’s master class. I also had to get cash at an ATM and eat dinner along the way…well, I did it and got there with one minute to spare. I grabbed a slice of pizza and ate while I walked like a madwoman to make it. Not exactly the best thing to be doing after a relaxing massage! The master class was really interesting. Selena is just incredible. She had the audience laughing and made each singer feel as comfortable as possible explaining to everyone that standing and singing in front of a crowd while being picked apart is not easy. No kidding! I left at the break, picked up the car (Juice parked it near The Royal before his concert), went home and jumped on the trainer for 30 minutes and did 3 sets of my strength circuit. I finished everything close to 10pm. That was nuts. It was worth seeing Selena’s master class though.


A good friend of mine, Malcolm Balk is a master teacher of the Alexander Technique, a certified Pose Method coach as well as a level 4 athletics coach not to mention an extremely talented runner. He is giving running workshops in the UK right now and below is an excellent article that was published in today’s Guardian Unlimited It explains Malcolm’s approach to teaching good running form using the Pose and Alexander Methods. Enjoy!

More speed, less pain

A new approach to running, using the principles of the Alexander technique, is claimed to hugely reduce the risk of injury. Sam Murphy tries it out

Tuesday November 6, 2007

The Gaurdian

I am trotting around Bedford Square in central London like a pony in the ring, steered by a hand on the back of my neck and another on my lower back. The potential for feeling foolish is high, but what I actually feel is a great sense of joy. I've been running for 18 years but it has never felt this easy and, well, bouncy.

"Think of running over the ground, rather than into it," says the owner of the guiding hands. He is Malcolm Balk, an Alexander technique teacher and running coach who has created a new approach to running.

Twenty-five years ago, Balk was a promising marathon runner, but he was plagued by injury. He stumbled across the Alexander technique when learning to play the cello and eventually trained to teach it. He soon noticed that he was running not only injury-free but faster, too. This prompted him to develop "the art of running" which combined the two.

In the same way that the Alexander technique isn't a precisely defined group of exercises, Balk's take on running isn't rigid. He aims to increase our awareness of what we're doing when we're pounding the pavements so that running becomes an ongoing process of exploration rather than simply a means of getting fit or reaching the finish line. "It's important to pay attention to your 'kinaesthetic conscience' - to what's going on within your body," he says. This attention is what allows us to become aware of faulty movement patterns, bad posture, muscular tension and tightness. In Alexandrian terms, identifying these habits of misuse is the first step to eliminating them.

Like most runners, I have completed the odd training session or race on painkillers and through gritted teeth only to pay the price later. In the Alexander technique, ignoring the journey to focus on the destination is called end-gaining, an approach Balk believes is behind the high level of injury and drop-out among runners. "Statistics show that two-thirds of runners get an injury every year," he says. "When you are injured, you can't train and when you can't train, you can't improve."

Injured runners are often told they need to improve their core stability, correct muscle imbalances, alter their running style or wear orthotics in their shoes (or all of these) to avoid future problems. But Balk is more interested in getting people to "let go" than in using more muscle, more force, more control.

For example, he observes that I brace my core muscles and tuck my pelvis under before I even take a step. This, Balk explains, causes me to anchor my ribs against my spine, restricting my breathing. This, in turn, makes me lift my sternum to open my chest and get more oxygen in, which increases the arch, and stress, in my lower back.

To illustrate the point, Balk performs an experiment on me. First, he gets me to stand as I normally do, with my tummy sucked in, pelvis tilted under and bottom squeezed. He pushes down on my shoulders. "Where do you feel that?" He asks. My tailbone, I reply. "Now just let it all go, let your ribs relax, unclench your butt and untilt your pelvis," he says. He pushes down again. "Where do you feel it now?" My feet, I say.

That is one of the funny things about the Alexander technique. It's often less about doing than not doing, which can be a tricky concept for runners - who tend to be natural end-gainers - to grasp. Frederick Matthias Alexander, who developed the technique, said: "Stop what you are doing wrong, and the right will take care of itself."

That said, mastering the art of running does entail a few practical shifts in technique. "We're aiming for less 'muscling' to create movement," Balk explains. "So if we let the feet land underneath the body, rather than way out in front - we reduce the 'braking effect' and negate the need to push so hard with the front of the thighs."

While the muscles along the front of the thighs are often overused in running - and therefore grow tight and short - the hamstrings, along the back of the thighs, often contribute less than their fair share. Balk tethers my ankles to a bungee cord to create some resistance and help me get the sensation of engaging my hamstrings to pick up my feet. This drill also helps reduce ground contact time - creating a shorter, snappier stride and the feeling of "running over your feet".

It is with this in mind that we begin our trot around the square - and what enables me to feel that I am running lightly and with bounce, rather than excavating great holes in the grass.

Balk's approach to running has much value. The prospect of fewer injuries, greater comfort and improved performance would have any runner's heart beating a little faster. But its greatest strength for me is in viewing running as a work in progress. Every step is a potential learning experience - a chance to explore how it feels if you land a bit more like this or breathe differently, or use your arms a little more ... With so much to think about, running can never be boring.

Be a happier, healthier runner

First steps

· Lie down for a few minutes before you run to prepare mentally and to allow the spine to decompress. Keep your knees bent and put a few books under your head.

· Think "up" before you move forward. Most of us have a tendency to shorten and contract before we move - think about lengthening and expanding instead.

· Release your knees and ankles before you move. This may feel counterintuitive because we tend to clench them before action.

· Allow your knees - not your feet - to lead your stride. Trying to increase your stride length by extending the foot out further results in a braking action, while the body has to catch up with the legs.

· Don't try to "fix" your posture by sucking in the stomach, pulling the shoulders down, tilting the pelvis or pushing the chest forward and up. This creates unnecessary tension.

· Run with your whole body, not just your legs.

· Don't bend at the waist, but to take your weight slightly forward, to let gravity tilt you from the ground up.

· Look ahead, not down, and keep your eyes "soft".

· Don't expect to get it right all the time. "Even Roger Federer loses sometimes," says Balk.

· Practise running very slowly. You'll notice more about your style. Do you have a light or heavy footfall? Is there any unnecessary tension? How fast do your feet lift off the ground?

· Set goals. Having a realistic target or goal helps maintain motivation long after the initial thrill of becoming a runner is gone.

· Master the Art of Running by Malcolm Balk and Andrew Shields is published by Collins & Brown, priced £12.99. For details of Art of Running workshops see theartofrunning.com.>


Thetis Lake 1:40:21

Sunday, November 4, 2007

OK, so waking up this morning was murder, even with the clocks going back an hour and getting that extra sleep-in time. My voice was tired from trying to talk over the loud music at Temple last night …why is it necessary to blare music out in a place where you’re trying to be social. It makes no sense. I found myself reading lips and having to yell directly into people’s ears. So, no singing for me today grrrr…and I think I am going to take up sign language for future outings to clubs.

It was such a cheery morning. The sun streaming in and it was so warm out we had the windows open. The coffee this morning tasted better than usual, probably because I was dying for the dose of caffeine. LeRoo and I had the greatest time running on the Thetis trails for today’s long run. We ran at a good clip the entire way running the same route as last week. I felt pretty frisky despite being up so late the night before and yesterday’s big WO. A coffee and breakfast at La Collina ended the run off nicely! Thanks LeRoo!

I hope a lot of people tuned in to watch the US Men’s Olympic marathon trials yesterday. The live, on-line streaming was down I guess because they were getting too many hits but I recorded the televised NBC coverage. It was only 30 minutes but it highlighted the key moments in the race. Ryan Hall was, well, just freeking amazing. He looked incredibly smooth right to the end. He was waving and celebrating in the last kilometer or so. He could have easily run under 2:09 but he just took his time nearing the finish and soaked up all the glory as he should have. Wow, to show no sign of fatigue even after averaging sub-five minute miles (and 4:3Xs!! as he broke away from the lead group at 17 miles) is unbelievable. I missed watching Paula's win today….damn. I heard it was incredible. I will have to find some video footage on-line.

Long Tempo 1:32:18

Saturday, November 3, 2007

The running group at Juan de Fuca was small but we were frisky. It was just me, LeRoo, Jessalyn, Glenn, Alan and Nancy B. Nancy was doing a steady run, LeRoo and I were doing a 50 minute tempo run and the rest were doing 7-7-7-5-3 minutes with 2 minute recoveries. 50 minutes is the longest tempo I have ever done so we started very conservatively. I had to double check with Matty that it was 50 minutes straight and not 2 x 25.  Once we hit the hill the chatting stopped and we held a very steady pace for the rest of the run. I timed the laps to make sure we were staying consistent from beginning to end. The loops were done in 10:15-10:06-9:59- 10:00-9:55. So, a bit slower compared to the previous weeks and maybe a smidge slow for a true tempo pace but I think the intensity was still strong and I felt good. The next time I will gradually build into a stronger intensity with these longer tempos but for today it felt right.

I got a haircut in the afternoon and then had a lie down. Juice had auditions again so LeRoo invited me to meet with her friends at The Mint for dinner. Then we went to Temple and I was conned into staying much later than planned. My watch was taken away so I couldn’t see how late it was getting…bugger!


Friday, November 2, 2007

Today was a day off from running I did 30 minutes on the trainer and did a session of stretching. I'm still on a roll with the singing. The audition pieces are feeling very good right now. 

I met Lis’ and Paul at Zambri’s for dinner. They had never been there and it’s my favorite restaurant in town, by far so I was happy they got to try it out! Juice joined us once he was done the auditions he was sitting in on. The food was just amazing as usual and we plan on going back soon to do the tasting menu they have on Saturday nights.

Spin & Run 1:30:25

Thursday, November 1, 2007

My legs felt ok this morning. I wondered how they’d feel after the volume we did on the track. I did my 30 minutes on the trainer and then did 15 minutes of stretching just in case. Singing went very well this morning. I found out the good news that I’ll be singing for next year’s Remembrance Day concert that the Victoria Symphony does every year. The repertoire will be pretty light, probably some jazz standards and war-time songs. Should be fun!

I had a great run tonight. I met up with IRR at the Y. We ran down to Beacon Hill and as IRR did their WO around the cross course, Sylvan, Boob and I followed them around, running at an easy pace. There was a huge turn-out tonight maybe because the weather was nice (cold but dry) or maybe because we were planning on heading to a pub afterwards. At first my legs felt a bit stiff but once they warmed up, I felt pretty good. I ran for 60 minutes and then did some Pose drills with the bungee chords and some strides.

Over a dozen people showed up to The Beagle after for some social time. We had a great time and think it might be fun to do this more often….like every week! I had to do my weight circuit when I got home which was a drag but I did it and still got to bed by 10pm.

Happy Halloween! 1:48:51

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Another 30 minutes on the trainer before work. I had a voice lesson this afternoon so I didn’t have to practice this morning. The lesson went really well. I am back on track at last!

We were at the Oak Bay track tonight for km repeats. I was to do 8 of them with 2 minute recoveries. I wasn’t feeling too confident about being able to nail this WO and hitting the time target of 3:28 – 3:30. After the warm-up and strides I just decided to get on with it and see what would happen. Thankfully the kms were pretty consistent: 3:23 (typical) 3:30 - 3:28 - 3:29 - 3:27 - 3:28 - 3:29 - 3:26. The last two were tough and I was breathing pretty hard at the end but I didn’t feel as horrible as I thought I would. It was hard doing these on my own (LeRoo couldn’t make it) but at the same time it allowed me to run in my own rhythm and to concentrate on my form. My legs still aren’t firing as well as they should and I think I need to fall more but that will come the more I work on it. At least I had the courage to stay up on my toes and the spring was much better. I did the old cool-down route from last summer. I passed by the Oak Bay Fire Department off of Monterey. It was dusk by this time and they had built a HUGE bonfire…it must have been 50 feet high with flames shooting rocket-high into the sky. There were oodles of kids dressed up for Halloween screaming and laughing. I made my way towards Willows Beach and I could hear kids calling out ‘trick or treat!!’ The streets were littered with ghouls and ghosts running back and forth from house to house. The houses and lawns were decorated for the occasion…very fun!  I loved Halloween when I was a kid (what kid doesn’t!) and I got those old excited feelings back. I even thought of ringing a doorbell to see if I could get a treat but chickened out! The total run was 78 minutes.

I got an email today from BC Athletics. It looks like I made the team to go to Nationals after all…that was lucky! So, I’ve confirmed my spot and will commit to running a good race on December 1st in Guelph…brrrr…we’re going to freeze our arses off!

Spin & Easy Run 1:29:35

Wednesday, October 30, 2007

The morning started off with a 30 minute spin again. I had a coaching with Robert later in the day so I didn’t need to sing a lot this morning. It went well but we still need to run through a few things so a couple more coaching sessions and maybe a run-through with friends as audience members will be a good idea.

I ran 60 minutes after work around the UVic trails with Matty. We did a small pick-up towards the end. IRR was in the middle of their track WO when we started doing Poser drills on the in-field of the track. I brought the bungee chords this time to do some resistance stuff. I did a whack of stretching after supper and yakked on the phone with Barb.

Spin & Run 1:30:06

Monday, October 29, 2007

I’ve been assigned 30 minutes of spinning every weekday this week so I was up bright and early in order to get on the trainer and still have enough time to sing before work. I had time to do both but it meant a 6:20 wake up for me. I did it and both went well…we’ll see how long I stay so optimistic about getting up that early!  

I did my easy run tonight with Juice at the lakes. It was a gorgeous night, no wind at all so the lake was incredibly still, mirroring the tree lined shore. The leaves have changed color so it was pretty stunning. We took the long route including the IRR warm-up trail through the woods. My easy pace was a bit quicker than Juice’s but he had no problem holding the pace. I cannot believe the huge improvements he has made this year in his fitness. I am certain he will be running 10km in under 40 minutes sometime in the next year. We ran a total of 60 minutes and then I did 6 x strides. My legs felt pretty good and I didn’t have any soreness from Saturday’s race. After dinner I did my weight routine x 3 sets then watched a movie while flaked on the couch.

Thetis Lake 1:30:10

Sunday, October 28, 2008

I sang for a good hour yesterday morning before the race (it went well!!) so I took the day off from singing and had a lazy morning before heading out to Thetis Lake to meet Pan-Pan for a trail run. We had the best time scooting around the gnarly paths, running the route we used to do when we ran with the Sunday IRR group with Rob leading the way. We have to get those runs going again…I miss those trails so much! It was surprisingly dry for this time of the year so the run was fantastic with just a bit of a slow-down as we picked our way through the horrible bramble that has taken over a section of trail near the hydro lines. We came out the other end with bloody scratches on our arms and legs. Otherwise, we kept a steady pace, chatting most of the way and did a small pick-up in the last 15 minutes. We got back in just over 70 minutes so I did a short out and back to do 90 minutes. My legs felt really good today so I had fun attacking the hills. Pan did a big hill run the day before but he was surprisingly perky.

BC X-Country Championships 20:36 (1:03:20)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

What a fab day of cross-country racing! BCs this year was super exciting especially the Senior Men’s race with the top three in a pack right up until the last 400metres where there was a sprint to the finish with Simon breaking easily away, showing his huge talent in the speed department. It was a nice day too, with loads of spectators and a course that allows everyone to view almost the entire length of the race. Juice ran the all-comers race in the morning with Boob. Apparently there were eight ribbons to give away but only seven runners! He said he went out too hard trying to keep up with Rob (!) and died a slow death on the course…we’ve all been there. Sylvan said he had a terrific run so he’s back, baby! I, on the other hand, had a far from stellar run today. My warm-up and strides felt great but about 400m into the race I thought hmmm…this is feeling a bit too uncomfortable too soon. Sure enough, about 2kms in I could feel myself getting flatter and flatter. I had no spring in my legs and had no ability to switch gears when the lead pack started to pull away on the second loop…nothing and just felt tired. I tried everything but my body wasn’t responding. So I was left on my own, sucking wind and just trying to keep moving…fun! Oh well, it was still a good experience and a good speed session. We knew going in that this wasn’t going to be a big goal race for me and I was feeling less than sharp all week. I paid the price for the bigger volume weeks leading in but this work will hopefully pay off in January. I’ve got to do some stuff on the track to work/concentrate on my turn-over and form. I can’t say I was “running tall”. It was more like running short and stiff…ha! Malcolm would have been horrified! So, Matty has set up this week for me and has included a couple of days with Pose drills and a track session and it looks like we are adding a few more days of spinning to the week.

Thanks to everyone who came out to watch and cheer! I also got a chance today to meet and chat with some of the Vikes women during the warm-up and cool-down which was nice.

The day ended with a reunion of the old gang at Il Greco. Pan-Pan and Lin were in town and Squintch, Don-Don and Tori were there. There was tons of razzing mostly towards Pan-Pan. Don-Don was a weakling and used Tori as a shield so I couldn’t quite get at him but managed a beautifully executed sharp finger-nooggy to his head just as we were leaving! Joyce hung out with us and spoiled us rotten. Thanks Joyce and Angelo!

Lambrick 1:02:48

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Fat One predictably wasn’t too thrilled about yesterday’s run but what’s done is done. The week before a race I will have to run on my own so I make sure I do what I need to do.

Sylvan joined in for tonight’s WO at Lambrick Park. After a 20 minute warm-up and a few strides, we did 4 x 3 minutes with healthy 3 minute recoveries running on the race course. I did the first two intervals in flats and the last two in my spikes. No problems at all with the spikes.  The 3 minutes were supposed to be pretty fast since we got a good break in between. I focused on staying relaxed. I felt much better than on Tuesday so with the tuning up we did this week, I should be ready to go for Saturday’s BC X-C Championships. It will be pretty well the same 2km loop as last year, with the women running 3 loops and the men 5 (2km longer for them than last year). The weather is supposed to be great…sunshine and cool.

Syl and I drove over to the Penny Farthing where Boob and Juice met us after their IRR WO at Beacon Hill. Squintch joined us soon after we got there. He did his first run in a long while and said it was pretty gruesome. I remember that feeling!

Oops! 1:10:27

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The lesson with Selena went ok today. I got some stuff figured out so it was feeling pretty good.

I met up with Juice, Boob, Wayne, Andrew and Alan for a run along the Saanich trails after work. I was supposed to do 45-50 minutes but Alan and Boob decided to take a trail that they thought would lead us home in plenty of time. Instead, we got lost and hit a dead end a good 40 minutes into the run which meant backtracking. We were in the middle of the bush so all we could do was make our way back…well, 70 minutes later we were back in the p-lot, 20 minutes longer than what I wanted to do. Grrrr...At least we got to see the full moon in a crystal clear sky on our way back…just stunning. I did 6 x strides in my spikes on the grass behind Boob’s office and 1 set of weights after dinner.

Short and Quick 1:11:12

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

We warmed up tonight on the UVic trails, did a few strides and then did 8 x 2 minutes with 90” recovery between the first five intervals then 2:00 breaks between the last three. We started at UVic, made our way to Lambrick Park where we did 2 of the intervals, then retraced our route back to UVic. I spotted a group of Vikes guys doing their WO on the Lambrick Park race course in preparation for this weekend’s BC cross-country Championships. When I got back to UVic I did 6 x strides in my spikes on the in-field of the track while IRR did their warm-up drills and then did a 20 minute warm-down. My legs felt a bit flat tonight but I think it’s just from pulling back after a hard couple of weeks or maybe I went out too hard at the start. I’m sleeping well so that’s good and am really looking forward to the race. It looks like we’re going to have wonderful weather again this year! Juice had to do the IRR WO earlier in the day before his rehearsal and said it went well. Squintch is back from being away with work-related trips so we went and had a big Sushi meal at Sen Zushi and got caught up. I am looking forward to the big social gathering at Il Greco this weekend with the whole gang. I plan on wearing my jimmies as we are meeting at the late-night time of 8pm.

Selena is Back! 51:44

Monday, October 22, 2007

My singing right now is going ok, but not fabulously well. Thankfully Selena is back from her trip and we have set up a lesson time this week. I think I need a kick in the pants (or maybe some encouragement!). Either way she’ll no doubt deliver what I need. She’s brilliant that way.

I just did an easy run around the UVic trails tonight. I laced up my x country spikes afterwards and did 6 x strides on the field inside the track. The BC X country race is this weekend which should be a lot of fun so we are toning the training down a little and will ramp it up again next week. I did my weight circuit after supper, doing just 2 sets.

Easy Sunday 1:10:29

Sunday, October 21, 2007

I did a very easy run around Cedar Hill this morning with The Fat One. LeRoo was unreachable and so by 10am I was itching to get the day started. Juice did his run at the lakes and was supposed to meet Shan but they somehow missed one another. Still, he did two loops at a very solid pace. We had a big brunch at Demi-Tasse. I tried to do some shopping for clothes downtown but felt really uninspired so we bailed and went home where I crashed for a couple of hours while watching a movie…a real lazy day!

Juan de Fuca Tempo 1:30:29

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Yesterday was a day off from training. I met Shan after work for dinner at the Med Grill for a granny night. We caught the “early bird” special and were out of there by 7pm…perfect. I still had loads of time to have a quiet night in. I knew I had a big run this morning and was glad to be in my PJs by 7:15.

Juan de Fuca is the new IRR venue for Saturday morning runs so LeRoo and I met everyone there even though we were doing a slightly different WO. We all did the warm-up together, chatted a bit then the group did 10-9-8 minutes while LeRoo and I ran 2 x 20 minutes at tempo pace with 5 minutes recovery. I swore to myself that I would stay in the “comfortably hard” zone you’re suppose to run tempo runs in instead of the usual “slightly uncomfortably hard” zone that I tend to do. I ran the loops at a more relaxed pace than last week (9:45 per loop). All of them were at the same pace and the effort was hard but comfy. It’s only taken me three years to do this properly (or close to it). Boob stuck around to watch everyone run and LeRoo and I ran with Ased for one loop which was great fun. The WO ended later than expected and although I wanted to catch the Vikes’ x-country race, I was just too filthy and sweaty to go straight from the run to Beacon Hill. I ended up missing the women’s race but caught the guys’. There weren’t as many runners or spectators this year compared to last…too bad.

I walked back to Jennie’s place with Jen Mac and got to carry PK most of the way. She is so good, even a spell of the hiccups didn’t bother her one bit. I got a nice visit in with Jennie and Simon while waiting for Juice to finish his talk for POV. On the way home, I dropped by to see Phil at Island Runner. He was in great form, making us laugh as usual. He sent me off with a new pair of Saucony Sinister shoes to try out. These will be great for training runs, I think. It was pizza for dinner and the rest of the night I paid homage to The Tube.

Blah 1:05:25 + Strides and Drills

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I knew right away in the warm-up tonight that I was in for a real fun WO. My energy was blah and my legs were blah. The past couple of weeks of big training have finally caught up to me. Matty said not to treat this WO with too much importance….good thing! We were going to do 6-8 km repeats around Beacon Hill but we shortened it to 4-6 after the warm-up. Sure enough, I felt pretty rough and was finished after the 4th. LeRoo incredibly did 2 more while I did 6 x 100m strides on the cedar chip trail along Cook St to work on turn-over. As we started our drills, Syl came by and provided some entertainment. IRR in the meantime did 5 x 4 minutes along Dallas. Juice had another pre-show talk to give for the opera so he did the IRR WO earlier at the lakes and said it felt pretty good. I was running on fumes in the warm-down. Dinner was at The Penny Farthing with Juice….burger and fries….oh yeah! 

Same as Monday 1:29:41

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I did a 30 minute spin again this morning before work. My legs feel so much better afterwards and the run tonight felt great! I did 60 minutes of easy running and some strides and I felt like I could have done another workout. I guess having a good night’s sleep last night made a huge difference. I did weights and core stuff after dinner and pent the rest of the night relaxing.

I feel so badly having called LeRoo a cockroach! I wasn’t trying to be mean. Honest! LeRoo is lovely in every way so I take it back…she is a butterfly!!

Trails and Track 1:26:51

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Yeah, yeah…I bailed. I didn’t go to the show after tonight’s WO. I was just too fried. LeRoo is a cockroach (you’re right Shan!) Nothing can stop that woman! I sang this morning and it went so-so. Not my best practice but I am not worrying too much about it.

I met LeRoo after work for tonight’s run. Matty has a niggle or two that he is wisely babying so he did his own thing. There was a big IRR group out tonight at the UVic track. That's so nice to see! After socializing a bit LeRoo and I headed out for our warm-up. We did a few strides, whined a bit about how awful we were going to feel and then off we went. We did 5 x 5 minutes with 90” recoveries and then had 5 minutes to jog back to the track to do some faster stuff. The 5 minute repeats felt very good tonight. Energy was good, leggies felt good. Just as we were about to start our track intervals, Syl showed up. He did a PIH WO already and drove to the track to see what was up. He said he was “finished” after his big WO but of course he was a nut and did the track session with us anyway. Here’s what we did on the track 400m (72”) 2:00 recovery, 300m (52”) 90” recovery,  200m (33”) 60” recovery and 100m (15”). These felt pretty perky although the track was super slippery. Syl was staggering around looking very drunk after that but is such a glutton for punishment that he did the cool-down with us as well. We ran through the UVic trails in the total dark (that was so FUN!)

Easy Spin and Run 1:27:56

Monday, October 15, 2007

I did a 30 minute spin but didn’t have time to sing this morning. My symphony audition is next month so Robert and I will be meeting next week to start rehearsing so I better be sure I give myself enough time to get some practicing in before work. It looks like we will get to do the audition in the Farquhar auditorium at UVic so that will be a good acoustic to sing in.

I did an easy run around the UVic trails after work. My legs felt good. I like how they feel after the morning spin. It’s starting to feel real chilly out there especially when the sun isn’t out…brrrr…I did my weights and core stuff when I got home and stayed in for the night. LeRoo and I made plans to see a concert at Sugar Bar tomorrow night but I am still recovering from two late nights in a row on the weekend so I may bail. What a wimp.

Long Run 1:30:06

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A second late night in a row and a restless sleep had me dragging my butt today. Juice and I met Matty and LeRoo at the lakes. We did the Bear Hill route but ran in the opposite direction this time…that was a dumb idea. We faced a really long stretch of road that seemed to go up forever that lead us to the back-side of Bear Hill where we found ourselves scrambling up a much steeper incline than what he would have done had we gone the usual direction. It was a slog going up, boy-o. I thought we were going to loose LeRoo but she survived! The run down Bear Hill was great fun! We continued around the lakes at a good clip and finished off with a 10 minute pick-up which finished me off. We all waded into the lake to ice our legs, shivering like mad. 

Tempo Run at Juan de Fuca 1:17:42

Saturday, October 13, 2007

It was a nice day out there today. LeRoo ans I did our run at Juan de Fuca, both feeling a bit grim after being out too late the night before. After a 20 minute warm-up and a few strides, we did 30 minutes at tempo pace. The first 10 minutes for me felt great, the second was a struggle but I caught my second wind on the 3rd . We were averaging 9:35 per loop which is about what I was doing them in last winter. What a great WO although I was pretty bagged afterwards.

Juice and I spent the afternoon at Timothy’s place. I just love his property. He has acre of land that overlooks a beautiful valley and it’s just so incredibly quiet there.

I took LeRoo as my date to the opera tonight. Juice had to give another pre-concert lecture before the show and then sat with us to watch the show. The production was really wonderful with some great singing…very inspiring. Mozart is the best!

The Recluse Goes Out! 30:00

Friday, October 12, 2007

I was too darn lazy this morning to get up and spin before work. I needed to sing and didn’t feel like dragging my butt out of bed earlier than I had to. I did 30 minutes on the trainer after work although I suppose I should have just gone for a ride in the sunshine…what a day! LeRoo convinced me to meet her and some great friends at the Canoe Club. Juice had a concert with symphony tonight. They were playing with a group featuring Taiko drums which I wasn’t in the mood to go to. If a certain someone hadn’t bailed…I might have gone…ahem. Anyway, the night was a lot of fun but I stayed out later than I should have and will pay for this tomorrow morning, you bet. That’s ok, it was definitely worth it after a week spent in my hermitage!

Quick at UVic 1:12:10

Thursday, October 11, 2007

We did some shorter, faster stuff tonight on the UVic trails. Matty and I did a 20 minute warm-up, some strides and then 8 x 3 minutes with 90”. I kept reminding myself to keep the rhythm fast but to stay relaxed. I felt good and worked hard and the 3 minutes felt very consistent although I missed LeRoo and her fast feet! I yakked with Shan and LeRoo for a bit on the phone after supper and also got caught up with Er which was so nice! We are going to see if I can make it out to Calgary for a visit in December and we may even try to do a trip to Banff...sweet!

Easy Spin and Run 1:30:07

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I got in a 30 minute spin and did some singing too this morning before work. On days like this I wish I had the day free to do stuff without rushing around. Don’t we all! After work, I did an easy 60 minute run with Matty around the UVic trails and some strides. I felt a bit groggy in the first 15 minutes of the run but then I perked up and felt quite good. I did my weight circuit and went to bed. I think it’s time to rustle up a social life…thankfully LeRoo has planned some fun stuff for me this coming week.

Beacon Hill 1:19:24

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

I met LeRoo and Matty tonight after work at Beacon Hill. I wasn’t sure how fresh my legs were going to be after the race Sunday and yesterday’s stuff. After a 20 minute warm-up and a few strides we did 5 x 7 minutes with 2:00 recoveries. LeRoo was recovering from a cold she got on the weekend and wisely took our advice to cut it down to 3 x 7 mins so I was basically running solo with Matty miles ahead of us. He was flying tonight. The WO felt good I felt pretty smooth. Just before the cool-down we did a few drills. I managed to get a stretching session in after supper. Juice did two loops at Cedar Hill in the afternoon and said he felt pretty good so it looks like he has already recovered from the half.

Morning Spin, Afternoon Run 1:31:13

Monday, October 8, 2007

I slept in until 9:30 this morning. I had some trouble falling to sleep last night so I guess I needed it. I hopped on the trainer and did a 30 minute spin. My legs felt pretty good considering yesterday was the first time I ran any real distance on the roads. The spin seemed to loosen them up a lot. I started putting summer clothes away storage and taking out the winter stuff. This sucks. Summer was just too short this year.

I picked up Matty in the afternoon for an easy 60 minute run. It was pretty warm out and the sun even poked out for a bit. We decided to run on the trails at Thetis for a change. I haven’t been there in so long and had forgotten how beautiful it is there. My legs felt pretty good but I usually feel sore two days after a race so I will have to see what tomorrow brings. I spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning and finishing off getting the clothes organized and managed to do my weight and core stuff too. Back to work tomorrow…pooey.