Tuesday, March 18, 2014

500 mile March- Day 17- Monday (Mondays can eat it)

I hate mondays. Mondays are the bane of my week. it means I have to get out of bed. It means I have to go to school. It means I have to interact with people. It means I have to be a person. Ug. To make matters worse, I think there is an animal living in the attic above my room. It woke me up at 3:30 last light scratching and moving and it didn't settle down again until 5. I am ready to torch the whole place to get some decent sleep that's how mad it made me.

I ended up on the indoor track first thing in the morning to ensure I didn't have to dodge any ice on the trails in guelph. That was boring. just laps on laps on laps on laps. ALL OF THE LAPS. Sigh. I had to do it alone too. Not so much fun. I'm not one to wear music while I run, but sometimes things get so boring that you just have to.

When I run with music I want something that has a "dope" beat and some "jive" sounds (I used those correctly right? Is that how you kids these days talk?). Also, Mashups. Mashups make my world go 'round.

I Also greatly enjoy singing while I run with my music so that may be why I don't run with music much. It makes me look silly. And running is serious business.

After the track and after school I went to the gym for my workout. I ended up on the treadmill (that dang ice jsut won't go away around the lake) doing 7x 1 mile at 5:17-5:20 on 90seconds rest. It was good workout.

TODAY: 20.1


500 Mile March Day 16- Sunday- Lazy Sundays are best Sundays

Well. Not much to say today. I am beat. Sunday is usually a lazy day for me to begin with, I took my dog for an easy jog then I went to the gym and finally looked at a place to live in Guelph for next year.

The time in between such activities was comprised of binge watching the office/playing video games and sitting in my pjs. All in all I thought it was a pretty good day.
The lake was in fine form today- bright blue skies and a warm sun. It was chilly out but the nice weather more than made up for it.
Treadmill runs are a little less painful for the shin because of the lower impact. it felt okay, not great, but I should be good tog et through the rest of the month problem free.. I hope. I'm right on track and I'm not stopping for anything.

TODAY: 16.6

TOTAL: 259.7

500 mile march day 15: Saturday- Dawn of the third week (dumm dumm DUMMMM)

Ouch. My shin. I was supposed to do 20km with the first time half marathoners, but I decided to play it safe. Going that slow for that long, does nothing but hurt my poor bones and muscles. Bracing with every step sucks yo. I just want to go fast!

I ended up running about 8 miles, and then took it to the gym to do some serious cross training. About 22 miles on the elliptical. I'll tell you, that is no way to have to workout for very long. But better safe than sorry. I am trying to keep a fairly decent weight routine through this as well- gotta get nice and swole for beach season right?
One of the upsides of being a skinny runner: we can easily create the illusion of muscles just by being skinny.
While on my 8 mile run, I did a quick loop through the marsh again, it looks very pretty with the melting snow...

Today: 18 (equivalent)


500 mile march day 14- Friday (SO ENDETH THE SECOND WEEK OF OUR CHALLENGE)

Two weeks over and done! AND IT FEELS... zzzzz. I am so tired. Like so much so that the thought of doing anything active that I don't have to is sickening.

I was on my feet all day long running around in the store (and you know, running around just in general...) I finally finished merchandising the store... I think that it look pretty swell and that you should all come and visit it. Because I am lonely and working in the same room for 10 hours can get pretty mentally taxing.

Cool panorama of all the work I've done in the store!
Anyway, running was a drag today. I sat my butt on the treadmill for 2 hours to get in about 14 miles, then a quick 5 miler in the evening just to wrap up the second week of this challenge.

Here's a picture of my bird helping eat my cereal because why not? Food is important too.

I may have tweaked my shin a little. I will see how it feels in the next little while but I have a feeling I am not eating enough and have tapped my reserves. Food is important. Never forget that. Nutritionally dense food can make or break a runner. It's time to start practicing what I preach. I am in nutrition after all.

Today: 19 miles

TO DATE: 225.1

500 mile march day 13- Thursday (SUCH WINTER)

Recovering for the indoor track, had a little tumble on the snowy, icy trails this morning. Folks, falling hurts. Falling in front of people hurts more. Don't fall in front of people. They will laugh. They won't ask you if you are alright, they will just flat out laugh in your face. What dinks.

The marsh is nice at dusk...
I worked in the store the rest of the day. It was pretty boring. None of you fine runner's came by to say hello! Jeeze. I started to re-merchandise the store as well. I should be done tomorrow! We have some really cool stuff in... there goes the next paycheck... ouch.

Went to the gym after work to do some miles on the treadmill. It was still slippery from the previous day's snow fall. I didn't want to fall in the dark. Coyotes may be waiting in the wing, ready to pounce! Yikes!

An hour and a half and 12 miles later, we are done for the day!

TODAY: 17.0

TOTAL: 206.1

500 Mile March Day 12- Wednesday (SNOW DAY!)

Old man winter is one grumpy SOB. I get up, it it still mild, do an easy 5 miler, then as I am going to school, it really starts to come down. REALLY STARTS. No way I am running outside again today. I was relegated to the indoor track YET AGAIN! Luckily I was able to meet up with my good buddy James and we ended up doing a 70 minute long run on the outside lane of that indoor beast.

I am getting REAL tired of your shit winter. I am so ready to have a solid week out outdoor mud runs. No tights, not hats- just shorts and some trail shoes.

MILES: 16.2

TO DATE: 189.1

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

500 mile march- day 11- SPRING IS HERE???

It was 12 degrees out there folks. Yesterday... But then that didn't last not did it?

Not much to say... soul crushing defeat out there today.

MILES: 17.4


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

500 Mile March Day 9 & 10 recap

I'm falling behind on these posts. I feel awful about that.

Sunday: The time change killed me. I got up, changed into sweat pants (I never wear sweat pants) and then went down into the basement and just watched movies. I went to the gym later in the evening but managed a measly 5 miles. That was it. Ugg. I was so dead. Zombified even.

But on the upside, the COSMOS reboot aired. For those of you out of the loop, Cosmos was a scientific/space program that aired in the 80s and was hosted by the late Dr. Carl Sagan. Dr. Sagan was one of the greatest science advocate in twentieth century. The new series is a n update with better CGI and all of the new information that we've learned in the last 30 or so years. The new show is hosted by the only person who would be even close to filling in for Dr. Sagan- Dr. Neil de Grasse Tyson. Look them up if you want to learn more about them. Cosmos was the highlight of my day. It was beautiful, both in it's scope, the imagery, and the teachings, but also the fact that the premiere aired on 10 fox networks simultaneously. FOX! As in the Fox News corporation! And here it is airing a show about the creation of the universe and our place in the cosmos.

Why am I talking about it in a running blog? Because it is one of the things that I love to think about while I run- our purpose and our place. The beauty we see around us is all from one singular point yet we are living in this exact frame, this snap shot and blink of an eye. Everything around us has only come to be in the last fraction of a second of the last minute of the cosmic calendar. Yet we have the capacity to find enjoyment in this fraction, on a lonely spec of dust; to us it is all we have and know. And running allows me to embrace that sense of awe and wonder- the experience of ourselves.

Needless to say that I nerded out so damn hard the entire hour it was on...

Miles today: 5
TOTAL: 138.3

Day 10: Track Monday!

Monday went a lot better than Sunday. I felt a lot more fresh and the day was pretty awesome. I got to Campus a little bit before 8, went to the indoor track and started to run. I was meeting my friend James there at 8:30 so I had some time to kill before my workout with him so I decided to get into a really decent distance effort as well as the speed we were going to do. So I warmed up, did another 5k tempo (just south of 18minutes), cooled down slightly and then did some ins and outs. An in-and-out is where you are almost tapping the gas pedal for a bit (say, 120m) then coasting at a decent pace for 120m. When James showed up we ended up doing some speedier stuff-

set 1): 200,300,300,100,100- 20-25" between intervals
rest: walk/jog l lap
Set 2): 200,300,300,100,100- 20-25" between intervals
rest: walk/jog 1 lap
Set 3) 100,400,400,100- 20-25" between intervals
Cool down

I hadn't done speed in i don't know how long so it was great. They were decently quick and I felt pretty good at the end. But my poor calves. Indoors and calves do not get along very well. I'm pretty sure there were words said long ago which started some sort of blood feud between the two that has been raging for eons.

I sat around feeling sorry for my calves most of the evening then decided to just get a run over with before bed. a nice 8 miler in the dark.

But it was finally above 0 degrees at night! WHAT? Are we still in Canada?

Today: 17.2 miles
TOTAL: 155.5 miles/500

Sunday, March 9, 2014

500 mile march recap: Day 6,7 & 8- And so it goes on

Sorry I've been MIA the last couple of days. I was busy with running (duh) but also, I've had some work to do for the store and with school. As well as trying to be a good guy and spend some time with the lady friend.

Thursday (Day 6): Got to the store early to do a quick run before I opened the shop. Sitting in the store all day with no one coming in is one of the most boring things to do in the world. That's a solid 10 hours in one place. I am a very antsy person. I need to be doing things, multiple things, all at the same time. I can't sit still for very long and my mind starts to wander. So nothing much fun to report.

In the evening I headed out to the treadmill just to have some bodies around me. running alone in the dark and cold is starting to get REALLY lame. Ended up with a solid 19 miles on that electronic beast and had a great day for mileage.
Recovery has become a must- fashion police be damned. Compression socks to increase blood flow and my New Balance 980 Fresh Foam for the best feeling, plush shoes on your feet. 

TODAY: 24 miles

Friday: I don't want to talk about Friday. I rolled out of bed and was able to shuffle through a lame 10 miles. Can you believe when I asked my dog if she wanted to go with me she just looked at me as if I were an idiot? 10 miles turned out to be it for the day. And that sucked because the rest of Friday just got glorious. It got up to 6 degrees (or so I was told) but because again, I was in the store by myself for 10 hours, I didn't get to experience the first taste of spring! I got pretty depressed and didn't run at night. I just couldn't mentally do it- I was so defeated after seeing the sun out all day and then when I end up leaving it's dark again and the temperature has dropped. Not Cool.
Crushing the remnants of winter in my New Balance MT110 trail shoes. Feeling great.

TODAY: 10 miles

Saturday: Saturday, the Runner's Mark First Half Marathon crew headed down tot he Hammer to run the back 9km of the Around the Bay (ATB) course (Out 9km, back 9km). It was us and about a million other runners out there. Carl told me that this was the big weekend for people to go to the course as it is 2 weeks out from ATB but I still have never seen so many runners out for something that wasn't an organized event or anything. It was great to see and most people looked like they were having a great time. Smiles all around (for the most part- once the hills started to kick in there was a lot of cursing going on). It was a pretty slow run; it was the furthest that the majority of the group had ever run before so there might have been a little trepidation. But hey, they got it done and they're doing great!
After the run I took my mom to go see Mr. Peabody and Sherman. It was a cartoon that she enjoyed as a child and this update was quite enjoyable. There was lots of spectacle for the little kids but the dialogue and the jokes were really geared towards the older crowd. There were even some pretty great pop culture references that only denizens of the internet like myself would fully appreciate.
When we got out of the movie theater it was actually SUNNY! So of course I was going to go for a run to enjoy it! Belly full of popcorn or not, I was going to get a glorious 8km run in the sun.
A glorious afternoon run down through Rattray Marsh and a long Lake Ontario.

TODAY: 16.2 miles

TOTAL:  133.3/500

Thursday, March 6, 2014

500 Mile March- Day 5 Recap (In which I run on an indoor track for fun).

Well that's five days down. Now only... too many days left. I'm at the point where if I start to think about it, the more daunting it seems. Either way, a lot of days still to go.

But the good news is that I'm still feeling pretty good. yesterday I was pretty sore after slipping around in the snow on Tuesday night but I came back pretty well with a decent 18 minute 5k tempo on the track. I finished my last kilometer in 2:55 and felt great so I know I'm not losing a whole lot with mileage.

I was supposed to help a friend through the 5k but James was a goof and did a workout the day before. He was trying to tell me it was just some fun 200s but I wasn't buying it. But he still got the effort in which is important. he will be racing the Marden Half Marathon early April so he's been training pretty hard and getting ready for it. I expect him to do awesome so he better not let me down (pressure's on dude).

The name Marden brings up rather ghoulish memories from my days as a varsity athlete at the University of Guelph. You see, Guelph never had a real indoor facility until last year. In my first year we had a dome structure that was made by the same company that provided the Dallas Cowboys' training dome- you know, the one that toppled over and injured all those people a few years ago? Anyway, Guelph had one of those with a 175m indoor rubberized squared-off track.
The Gryphon Dome
I almost miss this place... almost.
 It wasn't the greatest to run in because of the square corners-a line was painted on that cut the corner into a smoother radius, but you were still flung way out with a slingshot effect coming out of it. Then with the Dallas Cowboys facility collapsing, safety concerns made Guelph tear out little dome down- the varsity track and field team was now without a home! Luckily for us, a new facility up in Marden was just being finished, complete with a 220m indoor track (although still squared off, the long straights were fun for indoors).

So every time we wanted to go to the track we would have to hop n a school bus and be bused up there for our track workouts. While not the worst, it ate a significant amount of time out of our day. Plus the corners. Oh god the corners. They were still so tight. I'm a wimpy runner. When things don't go my way I break pretty easily (or used to- i am getting a lot better). Plus I am a pretty springy runner from having tight joints. having a springy step and tight corners isn't fun. You feel like you are going to fly apart in different directions, blasted to oblivion and sprawled out on the track, limbs all over the place. It wasn't fun. I no like. Such distress. Much defeat. Sadface.
If you look real close you can almost see the dotted line that you follow to do a "corner." If you look harder you can see my tears and my broken spirit. 

Kids these days don't even know how good that have it at Guelph. the indoor track they have now actually has REAL CORNERS! No rounded squares, REAL LIVE CORNERS! The track surface may be slow as maple syrup but there are corners and that's all that I care about.

That is my aside for the day. Long winded and maybe a little dull but it's my life okay? No need to make snide comments about it.

The evening run went well. Even though it wasn't super cold, I am still so done with this winter it isn't even funny anymore. Seriously, if I'm not in shorts by March 20th I am going to flip my you know what and go live in a hole for the rest of my days.

Here's a picture of my bird checking out my New Balance Fresh Foam 980s to keep you coming back.
TOTAL MILES: 83.1/500


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

500 Mile March Day 4 Recap (Snow... whay'd it have to be snow)

DAY 4 in the books!

The morning went well. I woke up early and ran with the pooch. Normally she goes out with my dad, but my dad went down to Whiteface to ski with a friend for a few days so I was on dog duty. She isn't exactly the best running buddy. She likes to stop and sniff a lot. Like every three meters. Then she sprints ahead and stops to sniff until I pass her then she sprints ahead again. She would do this for a while but I don't think she liked that fact that I wasn't going as slow as my dad. He tends to do a half-waddle/shuffle when he runs so I think the pooch thought that she could handle the run. But I could tell she was getting tired because she stopped sprinting ahead and just started to trot beside me looking rather dejected.
This is Peaches. She is wondering why I made her run with me. I told her I liked her company. She wasn't buying it.

We ran just over 7 miles together. She wouldn't look at me when I came home last night though. I think she was still miffed that she couldn't stop to smell all the beautiful yellow snow around the street corners.

Yesterday was also a great day because my New Balance shipment of shoes arrived! I had ordered a pair of RC1600s and 2 pairs of their new 980 fresh foam. I just have to tell you, the 980 fresh foam may turn out to be my favourite shoe ever. Sure, it isn't as responsive as say the 890 or the 1400, but they are light, super cushioned, and the upper is one par with the comfort level I get when wearing my Altra Instinct 1.5 around the store. And with a 4mm drop I don't get any of the odd jolts from a high stack height that I now get. I got two pairs because I was thinking I would wear one as a trainer and I would use another pair as a recovery shoe because of how soft and cushioned they are.

I decided to run in them last night but to my astonishment, it was snowing yet again! I thought screw it and let's get it over with. Tuesday nights are usually our clinic nights out of the store but only 3 of our runners showed up! I don't blame them; the snow was the type that just kind of really fine powder that just compresses and doesn't melt when cars go over it. It creates a layer of the slickest running surface you don't ever want to run on. And because it was clinic night, I usually try to run with the attendees but with the snow being so slippery and having to brace with every step to slow myself, I found it extremely hard on my groin and hip flexors. I ended up doing about 5 miles there, then just took off and finished another 4 miles at home.

What I am trying to get at is that I will be taking applications for people who want to massage my butt and quads. (PLEASE??? I'll be your friend!)


MILES today: 16.5
Total Miles: 67/500 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

500 Mile March- Day 3 (Trackin' dem miles yo)

Sorry folks, this update's a day late. I was dead last night. Like not even wanting to talk to my girlfriend dead (and I'm not one of those guys who does that to people I love). I had my head on my chest by 9, nodding off in front of my TV (I haven't gone to bed at 9 since I was about 7 years old).

The morning started off like any other this winter- cold and dumb. I have had with this (expletive) this (expletive) winter! (Picture me doing my worst Samuel Jackson impersonation a la Snacks on a Plane). It was -17 degrees out there plus some wind! NO WAY!

So I took my run to the indoor 200m track on the University of Guelph Campus.
New Balance 1400
Down the home stretch in my NB 1400
86 laps. 86 LAPS ON THAT TINY MONSTROSITY! My poor hips. My poor calves. I can't believe I put myself through that torture. I'm not the most mentally strong runner- I get discouraged easily but that's part of what this challenge is about- getting stronger both body and mind.

The run was made a little easier when some of the Speed River Marathoner's stepped on the track to start their workout. One of the many advantages of running in Guelph is that you can randomly bump into an Olympic Marathoner just going out for his daily workout. Eric Gillis and his Speed River compadres Nick Sunseri and John Mason were doing some 1ks... they were going fast and it made me feel sad that I am so slow.
Canadian Olympic Marathoner Eric Gillis doing work on the track.
Nick and John rolling on the track
The afternoon/ evening run: hey, guess what? IT WAS COLD AGAIN AT NIGHT! Whoever pissed off the winter gods or whatever, I hope you stub your toe REALLY hard! But got an additional 6 miles in and that's just more money in the bank.

(how I feel when I finish another day of the challenge) 

Miles today: 17
Miles in the bank: 50.5/500 

***CameronHelps Needs Your Vote***
 Runner's Mark is very involved with a youth program called CameronHelps, a program designed to teach physical activity and a sense of belonging as part of a way of coping with stress and depression. Having dealt with both of these problems in my life, this is very important to me and something that I hold close to my heart. CameronHelps now has the opportunity to win $50,000 grant from MLSE if selected as one of the top 4 causes by popular vote. It would be great if you can go to the MLSE Team Up Fund page and vote for CameronHelps as your favourite charity; that would be spectacular. It will help to further develop youth programs and will immediately have an impact on the hundred of youths already int he program.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

500 Mile March- Day 2 (You Think a Little Snow can keep me down?)

We woke up to snow this morning. Now, I like snow as much as the next person; I think it is pretty when it sits on trees but I am so sick and tired of winter oh my god i just want to get a flamethrower and go on a personal vendetta and melt it all foot by foot... sorry. What makes it worse is when you get up before the plows to get your first run in and you are slipping and sliding all over the place.Anyone else feel their hips just start to fail in the snow or is that just me? Well half way through my run I decide to go back home and switch up my shoes for my New Balance MT110 trail shoes and everything was all better after that.

YAY FOR TRAIL SHOES! Although I wish I had the foresight to get the winter versions of the MT110 for this winter... but they were given to me in the summer so I really can't complain.

(Seriously though, trail shoes are essential for running in this crap.)

Now, time for the amazing farce that is the Oscars.

Two days down, 29 to go. What did I get myself into? Tomorrow is a track day. We will see how I feel after that. I bet it will be a lot of feeling sorry for myself.

Rambles End Here-

Today: 14
Total: 33.5/500

Saturday, March 1, 2014

500 Mile March- day 1

Day one in the books. It wasnt too bad out too bad out there today. It felt damp and I was chilled. I'm a wimp. Get at me. The worst is coming home, feeling like pizza and a can of the good stuff (dr. Pepper is the nectar of the gods).

I did two runs today. Two boring runs on this gray day. Living at home is great because mama Stevens is making home made lasagna. I dont like lasagna...

Miles in the bank: 19.5 (31.2km)/500

Easy peasy.