Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Running Streak - Days 29 and 30

Day 30

The forecast today was for periods of freezing rain and I didn't want to be running in that mess.  That motivated me to get out as soon as I possibly could, which was around 11:40AM.  The temperature was -1C (-7C with the wind), and I wore thermal base layer long sleeve shirt, Peak Performance jacket, lycra exercise shorts under MEC Dart nylon pants, Salomon Gore Tex ball cap and Mizuno Breath Thermal gloves.  Again, I was right on with my clothing selection.  It has been a good Fall for that; normally, I mess it up a few times before figuring out my thermostat for the Winter.  Because of the cloudy skies, I wanted to use the Tomtom because it locks on the satellites much quicker than the Garmin, but the Garmin was all I had.  In its defence, it locked on uncharacteristically fast today.

My run around the Bridges was terrific.  I ran just over 5km at 5:36 min/km pace, and I had no problem holding the pace.  I also felt great on the hill that runs along the locks beside the Chateau Laurier.  I'm definitely getting stronger, but oddly, I have been feeling heavier for the past couple of days. I'm not in the mood to get on the scale.  I will drink more water to see if I am slightly dehydrated and get some more sleep.  That ought to do it.

Day 29

This has got to stop.  It was the third day in a row that I squeaked in a 20 minute run on the treadmill after 11:00PM.  This time it was totally a thing of my own design.  I procrastinated by working through lunch and didn't feel like going for a run in the middle of the afternoon.  Even though I had worked up until that point, I didn't want to have to explain myself to others who didn't know what was going on.  Then I stalled throughout the evening at home - even falling asleep on the couch at one point - before I said, "That's it. Get your butt down to the basement and get the run in."

I did the same pre-set workout that I did last night and the night before: 20 minutes, up to an 8% grade, pace between 12 min/mi and 9 min/mi.  Again aided by a novel on my Kobo, the time raced by and I had the run in by 11:45PM.  I felt stronger and smoother than the previous two nights, but I'm also feeling the effects of lack of sleep.  It's really hard to fall asleep afterwards, and I ended up (again) watching TV until after 1:00PM.  Tomorrow, I'm running on lunch.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Running Streak - Day 28

I made it to Day 28 - four consecutive weeks.  I knew that I would be running late at night tonight because I had planned to watch the entire Grey Cup and then run after.  I thought it would be over at around 9:30PM, but I ended up running at 11:15PM.  I'm not getting used to running late, but it is not as foreign of a concept anymore, compared to at time before the streak.

I ran the same pre-set workout as I did last night and, no pun intended, it was like night and day.  My run tonight was definitely smoother.  I was still tired because of the time I started, but I didn't want to continually stop and get off.  There is not much else to say.  I had hoped to get in a 60 minute long run this weekend, like the Garmin plan called for, but the schedule didn't allow for it (or I didn't make it a priority).  That is something to analyze another day.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Running Streak - Days 26 and 27

Day 27

A super busy day where I spent the majority out of the house led to 20 minutes on the treadmill late at night - 11:25PM, to be precise.  I felt great when the day started and throughout the afternoon, but by the time I hit the treadmill rolled around, I felt gross and tired and just wanted to go to bed.  I read a bit of a novel on my e-reader when running, which really helped the time go by, but I still felt like hitting the stop button every five minutes.  It's in the bag for today, at least, and the streak is still alive.

Day 26

I went to Starbucks this morning and ordered a Chestnut Praline Latte.  Normally, I order a dark brewed coffee.  What I ordered today is a little too froofy for my tastes., but I had a coupon code for 25% off and thought, "Why not?"  Once I had finished the "drink" (it was more like a dessert.), I thought, "Why?"  I checked out its nutritional information: 330 total calories, 120 fat calories and 39g of sugar.  All I can say is that it's a good thing I am running around 30 minutes today because it will take just over 20 of those minutes to offset what I has just put into my body.

Today's forecast looked warm, windy and wet, and the weather actually delivered: 13C, 30km/h winds (gusting to over 40km/h) and light rain.  The coffee sat like a rock in my stomach.  I will not be ordering another one, ever, nor any other coffee beverage with whipped cream.  I did fine with shorts, long sleeve shirt and a vest.  I wore the vest so that I had a place to stow my phone. I felt a little overdressed at the beginning, but when the rain and wind kicked up, what I wore turned out to be perfect.  It also kept the phone dry.  I ran The Bridges because I didn't feel like an out-and-back along the river with the wind in my face on the "out" leg.  I still got pummeled from the west as I crossed each bridge.

I needed my phone for Mission 5 of Zombies, Run!  I will need to decide what to do in the near future because there is a five-day delay before downloading each new mission.  If I want to do a mission every day or every other day, I will need a paid subscription.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Running Streak - Day 25

The weather was unseasonably warm today.  I think it was 10C at noon with only a slight wind.  There was some light rain, but I'm not complaining.  November has been fantastic.  I was out in a long sleeve tech shirt and shorts.  I was going to try my new Bluetooth ear buds, but the battery died just after I hit the start button on the Tomtom.  No Zombies, Run! for me today.  Mission #5 will have to wait for another day.

The run itself felt really smooth.  I didn't feel like I was running especially fast, but when I checked my run data on Strava, it looks like I ran much faster today than what I have been averaging over the past couple of weeks.  Today my average pace was 5:31/km; yesterday was 6:17/km.  That being said, my GPS was way off at the beginning and readings from my HRM were erratic throughout the entire run.  (I think my chest strap is due for a wash.)  In my mind the data is very suspect, but I still think I was faster.

I need to catch myself here. I have seen improvements in my gait, pace and weight, but I can't let myself get caught up in this and start pushing harder.  I have been prone to do this in the past.  If my primary objective is consistency and completing this streak, I need to run in such a way that I complete the streak, i.e. not get burned out or injured.  This is a prime opportunity to set a good base.  Speed and endurance can come later.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Running Streak - Day 24

I started feeling a twinge in my right knee last night and I woke up with some soreness this morning.  It's not a good sign, but I'm hoping that I will be able to run through this.  It very well could be some adaptation.  I will be mindful of it over the next few days, and I'm musing if it is time to change the shoes.  There are only just over 300km on them, but they were designed as a racing flat and they are around 5 years old.  Perhaps the materials are breaking down.

In spite of the knee pain, today's run went very well.  It was a Garmin plan day (W02D4-Easy Run) so I was set to run 40 minutes in Zone 2.  I have been really enjoying running without my HRM chirping at me; therefore, today's run took a bit of getting used to.  It was colder than forecasted (actually -8C with the wind, rather than 1C) and I was a bit underdressed (Peak Performance jacket, long sleeve tech shirt, pants, Adizero Manas).  There was no risk of frostbite; it just took longer to get warmed up, which meant that I had no HR readings for the first 10 minutes or so.  I enjoyed the blissful silence from my 301XT, and the uninterrupted playing of Mission 3 of Zombies Run!  When the HRM finally kicked in I had just put in a burst of speed, as instructed, to escape a pursuing hoard of the undead.  Needless to say, I wasn't in Zone 2.  I settled down after a minute or so and made sure that I stuck to Zone 2 for the remainder of the run.  It felt painfully slow, but I know that it was good for me.

I was talking about the streak with a couple of work colleagues yesterday and when I said I was at 23 days, the number sounded pretty impressive to them (and to me).  Before this, my longest string of consecutive days was 11 (to the best of my recollection).  Also, I did a weigh-in this morning - the first since Day 2 - and I am down 4 pounds.  To be honest, I was surprised that the number had changed at all.  Not too shabby...

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Running Streak - Day 23

The game is changing.  This is what greeted everyone this morning. 

Snow on the ground

The forecast tells me it will not last beyond the next day, but it is a warning of what lies ahead.  Even with this stuff on the ground, I got outside for a run...

The footing was terrific.  For 95% of the run, the route was clear.  The paths and sidewalks were salted.  The only trouble spots were some isolated patches of snow/slush/ice along the river on the Quebec side and on the grass next to the locks beside the Chateau Laurier.  The forecast says 5C for tomorrow and 12C on Friday.  This snow is toast.

At -8C with the wind chill, I elected for pants, a thermal base layer shirt, long sleeve tech shirt and a light jacket.  I also wore my Mizuno Breath Thermal gloves and a Gore Tex ball cap.  It was a perfect get-up for the conditions.  I was a little hesitant to wear the Adizero Mana's because they have almost no tread, but it turns out I didn't need much traction.  I clipped along at a pretty good pace throughout. I didn't feel fatigued or sluggish.  I think the consistency is really helping bring me back into running form, and restricting runs to 20-35 minutes is keeping me in a good place physically and free from injury.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Running Streak - Day 22

I was on the treadmill this evening, and no, it was not 11:30PM.  For this run, I had a whole bunch of things going on.  I found my Garmin transmitter/Polar HR strap combo* over the weekend and I paired it with my 310XT to use tonight.  I clipped the Garmin footpod on my NB Minimus WT20GG2's.  I picked up a pair of Bluetooth earbuds and used them with my phone to complete Mission 3 in Zombie Run!  Finally, I used a 30 minute hilly preset workout on the treadmill that  I actually rather liked.  It really pushed me more than grinding out steady minutes.  I wasn't very distracted by all of the technology, except the earbuds because they kept nearly falling out.  Gotta find a solution for that.

The WT20GG2's are starting to feel good on my feet.  I think it is a case where I am adjusting to the shoes more than the shoes are adjusting to me.  My best guess at a reason is that there is hardly anything to them.  I think I should be OK to start using a flatter shoe from now on.  Yet another experiment...

* I learned this trick from DC Rainmaker and numerous accounts on the Garmin forums. The transmitter from the Garmin premium strap, which caused me (and many others) no end of discomfort, fits perfectly on the Polar strap, which is very comfortable.  Very highly recommended.