Marathon Training Day #39: Speedwork and snow

These boots were made for walking, just not in the snow.

These boots were made for walking, just not in the snow.

Speedwork day! I am coming around to speedwork. As in, I no longer prefer death to running fast. Everything else still beats it.

A big storm came this afternoon, so I decided to head to the gym after work and avoid potential slipping and sliding (and possible injury) and keep an exact pace.

But treadmills are boring. I kept cranking the pace up and up and up until death became preferable, then slowed it down and down and down. Then up and up and up again. It was always faster than 6:15 minutes per km (my goal pace) so it didn’t feel like cheating. At least I didn’t think it felt like cheating. This probably isn’t what my coach had in mind (sorry, Andie!) but I did run 2k slow, then 3k fast (with breaks in between!), then 2k slow again. Which is close enough.

Because, let’s face it: if I didn’t have to email Andie post-run, the speedwork wouldn’t have happened in the first place.


Marathon Training Day #32: Monarch Madness

photo (29)

My speed work-out this week was precise: 8×400 splits with 90 break in between. Since it was cold and slippery, I made my second trip to the Monarch Park Stadium indoor track. Now that I knew that one lap was 370 metres, I mapped out 400m from the southeast and northwest corners. Instead of taking the 90 seconds, I decided to run 400m, walk to the next corner, run 400m and repeat until complete. The timing was pretty close, it usually took between 75 and 110 seconds to do the walking, depending on how winded I was. I know this is slightly cheating, but it was the easiest thing to do distance-wise and made sure I never stopped moving and cramped up.

My splits:

1. 1:58:57
2. 1:58:12
3. 1:57:64
4. 1:56:22
5. 2:03:61
6. 1:55:46
7. 1:56:54
8. 1:47:41

These are weirdly fast. Which means one of two things: speedwork works OR I’m doing something wrong. Let’s go with the first one, shall we?



Marathon Training Day #25: 6k pick-up

This is the book launch I went to after the gym. It was PACKED.

This is the book launch I went to after the gym. It was PACKED.

Yesterday was the second — and hopefully last — time I ever hit up a treadmill. I was supposed to run 6k with every km being faster than the last. The good thing about tackling this on a treadmill is that I could actively know if I was going faster. But even 1 kilometre on the treadmill is boring, so after a while, I was increasing my speed every minute instead of every km.

But I did see Syndal get the wedding dress of her dreams. And this cold snap is about to break. Soon I’ll be able to run outside again without freezing to death.



Marathon Training Day #18: 5×600 repeats


With it practically storming outside, I thought tonight would be a good night to finally check out Monarch Park’s new indoor track. Eight bucks gets you in the door. (Although I didn’t have cash and their debit was down and they let me in anyway because it was my first time — thanks guys!) Once you are in, it’s a bit of a free-for-all. It was packed when I arrived, with kids running around and a super fast men’s run club lapping everyone. But by the time I got dressed and warmed-up (around 8pm), it had cleared out. Just me and a few other lonely runners.

Today’s plan was this:

2km warm-up
5×600 with 90 second breaks
2km cool down

It hurt. A lot. I’m convinced my muscles are not designed for anaerobic exercise. I remember when I was a kid I read in Sports Illustrated for Kids (best magazine for an 11-year-old ever) that there are peanut butter muscles (designed for endurance) and jelly muscles (designed for sprinting). I am alllllll peanut butter.

Here are my splits:


Fast, right? Too fast! I misjudged the track markings and I actually ran 550m each time instead of the allotted 600m. Live and learn.



Marathon Training Day #10: Speedwork



Speedwork day. I was supposed to go to a track, but there’s snow covering my go-to speedwork place, Riverdale Park. There’s a brand new indoor track nearby, but it was pretty mild out, and I’ll take as many outdoor runs as I can right now. (I’ll get to the track soon, I know it.) And the track cost $8 to drop-in. Not bad, but not enough to make me head over when I got the a-okay to run a straight 400m section of road near my house.

Queen & Sackville to Queen & River. Repeat. Six times.

It was windy and I ran into the wind one direction and with the wind in the other. I bet you can guess which is which!

The work-out:
10 minute warm-up
6×400 sprints with 90 second breaks
10 minute cool-down

My splits:
1. 2:01
2. 1:52
3. 2:01
4. 1:51
5. 1:59
6. 1:47

I hate speedwork. Really hate it. I hate not having my full lung capacity and sprinting for no reason other than because I’m supposed to. Give me a ball to chase after instead. Ot at least a long run.

Biking, on the other hand, I’ll ride as fast as I can all day. Hence the new helmet. (Above. I had to make this picture relevant SOMEHOW!) Plus, I’d like to, you know, not die on my way to and from work every day.

Maybe, once this is all over, I should try a triathlon.

Let’s talk about that in 19 weeks.


Marathon Training Day #4: Speedwork


After yesterday’s mix-up, it was time to work hard. Or at least do what I’m told.

And what I was told to do today is this:

“Start with a 10min warmup at an easy pace. Then pick up the pace for 2min followed by a 90sec recovery (walking or a light jog). Repeat this 4 times. The fast pace should feel difficult but not like an all out sprint. Finish with a 10min light jog as a cool down.”

Done! Although I was a bit confused about the 90 second intervals and walked in between my warm-up and first sprint and my last sprint and my cool down just in case. This was probably wrong, but what can you do? I tried my best. I added a few extra cool down minutes to my route because it was cold and I wanted to get home! Go me for the extra mile (0.26 km)!

Then I came home and foam rolled.

Blogger upon blogger write about the amazing-ness of the foam roller. And since I can’t afford a personal¬†masseuse¬†(I know! I can’t believe it either!) I asked for one for Christmas and Matt’s brother delivered.

I have used it every day since and it is the best.

I’ve had off and on hip problems that I’ve been too stubborn lazy stupid to deal with, but 4 days into my training, it feels as good as it ever has for about a year.

I believe I have my foam roller to thank for that.


The run: 5.4k in 35:47

The route: