Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Run Ottawa Running Streak - Days 21-25

This is the longest I have gone without providing an update on the streak(s).  Yesterday - January 25, 2016 - was Day 25 of #RORunStreak and Day 85 of my personal quest for 100 days.  I'm noticing now that getting a run in is not a source of stress anymore.  My obsession with keeping the streaks going has morphed to a sense of commitment, and my focus on the streak has been replaced by a focus on getting fit.  For years, I needed an external goal to keep me on track; now my motivation to be healthy and fit is internal.  Once my main streak hits 100 days, my goal will be to do some kind of vigorous exercise every day, be it snowshoeing, skiing, plyometrics, cycling or running.  All that said, I really like running and I have a few races to prepare for.

Treadmill Days: 21, 22 and 24 

Regretfully, I had to put three days in on the treadmill towards the end of the week.  On Thursday, Friday and Sunday, I did runs of 20, 20 and 30 minutes, respectively - no distance records here.  All were done using pre-set workouts while watching The X-Files.  In every case, it was a question of busyness on the particular day.  Things to take care of work-wise or at home pushed the runs to late at night.  The upside is that I can now fall asleep quickly after running and cleaning up.  While on the treadmill, I have been focusing on keeping my knees high, increasing turnover and keeping my head up.  To do this, I have been trying to break a bad habit of running really close to the top (motor/console) end of the belt, and moving to the center of the belt.  I don't shuffle, bent over at the waist, staring at the ground in front of me when I run outside; I shouldn't be doing it when I run inside.

An added note... I am using my TomTom Runner for the treadmill and my Garmin Forerunner 610 for running outdoors.  I will start using the 610 inside once I have an opportunity to calibrate my footpod

Outside Days: 23 and 25

Today (Saturday), I finally added a long run to my week.  I say "long", but it was only 12.5km, which after training for a few marathons does not seem that long.  Because I have been running for only 20-40 minutes every day for the past few months, I had no idea how 12.5km would feel.  In actual fact, it felt great.

Saturday was one of those bright sunny days without a cloud in the skies that felt brutally cold and windy.  I believe that is was colder than -20C with the wind chill and 30+km/h winds.  The route I took is a rectangular loop that I have run many times and apart from a few copses of trees, there is no shelter from the wind.  Fortunately, the wind was hitting me from the side on the two longest sides of the rectangle, which didn't slow me down at all. 
 
Me and my shadow
I had my iPod Nano with me and was able to listen to the latest episode of Serial from beginning to end.   I don't like listening to podcasts in installments.  If you don't listen to Serial, you should.  Since each episode is just less than an hour long and I was running for over 75 minutes, I wanted to switch to an unfinished episode of Phedippidations - another podcast to which you must subscribe.  The problem is that, due to its size, the Nano is especially sensitive to cold.  It won't stop up during playback if it gets cold, but as soon as playback stops, the battery drained warning appears and it shuts off.  Once it warms up again, the battery appears charged again.  I enjoyed the sounds of silence and nature for the last 20 minutes.

I was really pleased with the run.  I locked on to a "long, slow distance" pace and had no trouble holding it throughout.  I didn't have to stop even once, and actually, I felt like I could keep on going.  The other nice thing is that there was almost no recovery time.  I hadn't eaten or drank much beforehand and I ran just before noon,; therefore, I needed some food and water when I got home.  Otherwise, I felt fine. 

One interesting issue is that the inside of my right ankle was sore.if you could see just about any pair of my shoes, you would see that I wear out the outside edge of my outsoles before another part of the shoe.  The new shoes (New Balance Minimus Ionix 3090v3) have lugs around the edges of the sole.  I believe that these lugs are causing my foot to strike more evenly across the sole, and are stretching the tendons on the inside of my ankle.  I will need to be careful as I transition to these shoes.  Perhaps I should run in my old ones every once in a while until I adjust completely.

Next week, according to the schedule, my "long run" is only 45 minutes. I may run that one a little faster.  I have a 10km race the following day and I need to start varying the pace of my runs.


Yesterday (Monday) was much warmer, only -3C under overcast skies.  I thought the schedule said 30 minutes easy, but it was 40.  I even left the latest episode of Zombies, Run! at the default length of 32 minutes.  (I would have lengthened it had I been dialed in.)  The problem was that I chose a route that I could run in just over 30 minutes and I ended up back at the start needing a bit more runway, so I went exploring.

The Ottawa River in Winter
Normally, I run up the driveway to the NAC to cross at Elgin Street and head down Queen Street back to work.  Today, I ran half way up the driveway and then continued under the bridge where Wellington crosses over the Canal and headed to the locks at the start of the Rideau Canal.  I just wanted to see how far I could go.  I continued on to the path that runs along the Ottawa River behind the Library of Parliament.  It has not bee ploughed, but the snow is well trodden and I had no problems making my way along.  The frozen footprints make for a really uneven surface (see photo above), but the new shoes provide good traction and a good surface for pushing off.  It helps that the snow was pretty hard, too.  The ice on the river is nearly even with the path.  I had to navigate my way around a couple of construction fences and eventually made my way to the parking lot behind West Block, where I do hill workouts.  It was the first time running up the marking lot in a long time and my legs felt it.  I need to do more hills.