Liv to run

Lots of random ranting, whining, and attempts at being humourous as I run, run, run in pursuit of higher mileage and better races.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Cake, beer, and phone call from a friend on a mission

Yep, I'm still very much alive. I even remember most of last night.

Oh, the day after...

It seems that after falling asleep in a drunken stupor the night before, I inevitably wake up at some godawfully unreasonable hour in the morning. Some cruel trick my body likes to play, I guess. Or, more likely, the call of the bladder, berating me for such injudicious liquid consumption. So here I am, 9:45am on a Sunday... blogging. I'm beginning to think I really have an addiction to this.

But the birthday way a blast, although some moments of it are hazier than others. My best friend called from Australia, and after wishing me all the best and ascertaining my level of tipsiness at the time, demanded to speak to the ex. He was thus given details of his mission: to get me as drunk as possible, and then make sure I got home in one piece. Both of which were accomplished with flying colours, although perhaps with a few more dramatics on my part than were absolutely called for. But that was the pitcher talking... or was it more than that??? Whatever the precise amount, it probably ruined all the training I managed to sneak in this week. Sitting here with a bottle of water and a piece of bread (if I'm up, I might as well stop the hangover cold in its tracks...), I feel somewhat guilty about that aspect. I could say I was "carbo-loading"... but that's a pretty awful excuse to begin with, and for a 10k race... no one's buying it :)

However, I am happy to report that despite a very long day yesterday, I did drag myself out the door for a lovely 4k in the sun (24:24 - and whatever your PR may be, don't laugh, this is a fast easy run for me...), bringing my grand monthly total to 103.2 km. Yay! Some of us are accomplishing more virtuous missions than intoxicating others...

Technically, it's true, the month's not quite over yet.

But I'm pretty sure there won't be a run in the cards today.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

It's past midnight which means I should be in bed, but actually what it really means is that it is now officially my birthday!

I have two milestones to hit tomorrow (aka April 29th, for anyone who's counting):

#1 Turn 21 years old. This one should take care of itself.

#2 Run at least 800 meters. I did my tally this evening, and my month's worth of running comes up to a grand total of 99.2km... go figure!

I should definitely do this run Saturday. Sunday is scheduled for birthday recovery. A run may be out of the question.

That's okay, I got a ton of new running gear today by abusing the ex's Nike store discount. It's crying out for a workout - fitting in a run should be a pleasure.


Shoe update: took 'em for a 3-mile fartlek today. I'm pretty pleased, although the arch support may be the one thing slightly lacking. Might have to pop by the drug store and try out some inserts. In the meantime, I'm keeping them clean... and keeping the receipt.

And btw, I *loooooove* fartleking (tee hee)... 3 miles in 27:37 - very speedy for yours truly!

Friday, April 28, 2006

Run for your cereal

Today is an exciting day... new shoe day! I *heart* the Running Room - their staff are ever so friendly and helpful. The salesman looked at my old shoes, at my feet, at the way I walk, lunge, and transfer weight... it felt oh so professional. Then I tried on a few recommended pairs and found one that felt like a dream - woohoo! Of course, I had to pick the ones with the highest price tag. It just figures. But then my friendly sales guy came through again - he mentioned that they were doing a promotion with Vector cereal, and if I hopped over to the Loblaws down the street and picked up a box, I could save 20%! Sweet! He put the shoes on hold for me, and I jogged over. This was a slightly eventful excursion, since I was in a rush to be somewhere else and therefore needed to run - and because (beware, possible TMI to follow), I was sadly bra-less for the day. I usually don't bother to wear bras, I hate them, and I can get away without them no problem... unless I am running. Yikes. But I made it to Loblaws all the same, not much the worse for wear, picked up my cereal (I happen to love Vector and will actually eat it, which makes the deal even better), and headed back again. Sales guy molested my box of cereal by clipping out the coupon - however, between that small damage and the money card I still had left over from Christmas, I saved over $60 on these new babies. Not bad at all. Test run tomorrow... hope they feel just as good after a couple good kilometers!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

'Tis the season

No, not Christmas. It's TAX REFUND season. It's Christmas in April. It's my birthday in April (actually, it really is, but I'll post about that later...) It's the beginning of the long and anguishing decision: what oh what should I buy with all this "free" money?

Before I actually filed my taxes, I had already treated myself to my new love, Ms. Nano, and justified it by saying, "well, that's my refund money... a little early". But now, oh glorious now, I have been informed that I will actually be getting back more than double the amount I was expecting! Oh Government of Canada, how I love you for taking my money away from me all year, and then giving it back in a lump so that I feel like you really love me.

Hence, the decision-making process all over again. I know, I know... I should put in in my savings account. I should invest in a GIC. Booo for saving money. I'm terrible at it - I like to shop way too much. I know I need some new clothes - well, if "need" is a relative term. So perhaps some portion of the budget should be put to use there. But even more tempting, these days, is my particular weakness - internet shopping: point, click, voila - new toys. And this running obsession is really making me lust after some fun gadgets that I know I totally don't need but I want them anyway...

I confess this as I scroll through the eBay listings, drooling over the Garmin Forerunner 305. Before, I wasn't so sure I wanted a Garmin, because of the price, the size, the fact that it's been known to malfunction around trees and buildings, and the fact that gmaps-pedometer exists to make this world a better place.

However, gmaps cannot precisely map out the twists and turns of some trails I'm longing to try. It doesn't do shortcuts. It's time consuming and only as accurate as my pointing and clicking. Plus, it can't tell me my heart rate or my splits. Forerunner 305 is sleeker and more streamlined than 301 - and it's supposed to be far more sensitive to the satellites than the previous models. Does anyone have one who can confirm (or deny) the propaganda? And finally, the price... eBay just makes everything so much more accessible. Although a little riskier. I don't know if it's a risk I should take...

... but I'm being tempted. Oh so tempted. I think I'm seriously in danger of becoming a gadget whore.

It's spring makeover madness!

Finally... I was SO over the old look of my blog. And I think I've managed to do this without deleting anything critical (knock on wood...) - wonders will never cease! One of these days, I may even become a computer geek.

Ha. Not likely :)

Monday, April 24, 2006


Here's a question I'm pondering: does one taper for a 10k? I know you would definitely do it for a marathon, and even a half, but the shorter race? I'm not sure. My Smartcoach schedule has me running my highest mileage ever in this, the second-to-last week before the race, and a hard long tempo only two days before. Should I stick to this, or would it be better to cut back a little and focus on easier runs? I want to be in good shape for the 10k, but I also want to be totally fresh, and not smarting from any gruelling workouts. So I solicit the general opinion of training-savvy RBF-ers - would I be right to modify the program a little?... Or am I just looking for a "good" excuse to be lazy?

Sunday, April 23, 2006

...And I'm not hungover

I LOVE it when that happens!!!

My quads have spoken: today is rest day. Perhaps a little bit of yoga later on. Priorities: laundry, dishes, room cleaning, tax filing, studying. Such a wonder that I do well in school.

I am drunk

Today's workouts:

Workout #1: 8 mile run

Workout #2: 2+ hours dancing my butt off at Phoenix nightclub under influence of many alcoholic beverages

Calories consumed = calories burned?

Not a chance in hell.

Teeheeheeheehee I've made so many typos already in this post (all corrected I hope) that I better stop before I tarnish my reputation. Goeodnaighte.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Open call to boys (oh okay and men too, don't get your boxers in a knot)

SWF seeks male visitors to her blogspot. Must love running and be willing to put up with lots of girl talk about slow poke "intervals" and 8 mile "long runs".

Rob is feeling lonely.

Asthma Schmasthma

Asthma or not asthma? That is the question.

A few months ago, I had a couple of ridiculous doctor's appointments at the university health centre, in a quest to figure out why I've been coughing and having some mild but persistent chest tightness. After being told it might be a multitude of things, I was eventually prescribed some asthma medication and instructed to "see if it helped, come back if it didn't." Apparently, the only thing student health services is really good at is issuing notes to profs about test-delaying illnesses, contrived or otherwise.

The thing is, from what I know about asthma (which isn't much), if you have it, it's imperative to control it properly. Since Dr. Dick wasn't very helpful (okay, that's not her full name, but is, appropriately, part of it), I finally bit the bullet and made the trek to my family doctor (aka, right down the street from my parents' house; totally convenient, except that I'm not living there right now!). I expected the same old same old from him: he's a big fan of the "don't worry, it will go away eventually" school of prescription. To my surprise, he was all business: he ordered chest X-rays and a bunch of tests, and gave me some new medication to use until the results are in. On the one hand, it's comforting that he's taking me seriously; on the other, it's disturbing: do I really have asthma? It's so weird! I was never bothered with it as a kid or a teenager, and there's no history in my family. This is totally the suck.

The good news is that, as of yet, it's never worsened while exercising, and I've been able to run without concern. So I'm going to take these meds like a good girl and keep my lungs as healthy as they can be - I've got some use for them yet. Now, if only I could figure out this inhaler - I keep thinking I've got the technique down... and then I spray steroids all over my tongue. Yuck.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Speedy Gonzalez

Two words: speed intervals. My most dreaded and most loved workout at once. They are so hard, but they make me feel so proud. It's the one time in my training when I can really whip by all the other people on the track, and actually feel like I'm fast. As long as no one else is doing speed intervals, that is :)

Did reps of 800m yesterday and felt wiped but fantastic at the end. My current training program barely has any intervals scheduled at all, as it alternates them with tempo runs, with much more emphasis on tempo runs. I guess that's okay for a 10k, the tempos are probably more relevent. But for my next race, a 5k, I'm definitely stepping up the speedwork. This time around, it's all business, baby.

Today was just a 4k trot for recovery, but I received some serious motivation en route: I was at the Athletic Centre at the same time as the track team (well, I often am, as they seem to live there!), and this bunch of girls were doing really fast intervals, all in their sports bras and teeny tiny spandex shorts. Now, I really don't mean to stare, but my gawd, I want to have abs like these girls. The long legs and the skinny arms I know are beyond my genetics, but those tummies - if it's even appropriate to call them that - man, I could do with one of those. You could wash clothes on them. If your washing machine was broken.

How do they get that way!? I know, I know, I know. Nothing for it I guess but to run, run, and run some more. Oh... and maybe do a little ab work too ;)

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Break 100

I currently have "BREAK 100" written in bold black marker on a yellow post-it, which is prominantly stuck to my bookshelf in plain view from anywhere in my room. It's my tangible, constant reminder of my current running mission: to log 100km or more for the month of April.

This New Year, I mentioned that I wanted to run 1000km in 2006. Now I realize that to be on track for this goal, I really have to break it down month by month and plan so that I will get there. Aside from all that, running farther and more often just feels so good!

I love looking back through my log (and my blog!) and seeing the evidence of how far I've come. In November I was struggling with setbacks, and barely able to eke out 3k. Now I regularly run 4 or 5k as an "easy" run, and my long runs have passed the 12k mark! I'm feeling strong, fit, and capable of so much more. And although that half-marathon looms over me menacingly, I feel that with a summer of good training ahead of me, I will be more than ready to tackle it.

Break 100!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Technologically deprived human popsicle seeks wisdom and advice

Ah, the long weekend. What better time to go home, mooch off the parents' hospitality, and in general be a bum? Unfortunately, the concession I made to being home was being without the internet - in my archaic household, if I don't bring my laptop with me and hook it up to the phone line, all ties with the outside world are severed...! Funny, I've been so addicted to blogging lately, that I catch myself composing entries in my head even as I'm out running, and it's strange to return and realize that I'm lacking the technology to set them down! However, I shall do my best to summarize my running thoughts of the past couple of days.

I logged 28k this week, my farthest ever, and overall it's been a weekend of firsts, in terms of running. The first time I ran 12k all on pavement (more interesting than the track, but definitely more ouchy). The first time I got molested by an unleashed dog on said run. The first time I attempted the elusive technique of 'snot rocket' expulsion on the go (let's just say, I'd be better off carrying kleenex!) And the first time I decided to try having an 'ice bath' to soothe my sore muscles, before jumping into a hot shower.

So this ice bath thing, is this for real? I read in RW that it's a good idea, that lots of athletes do it in order to reduce inflammation in their legs. Oh, really. Tell me how any human being with even a smattering of skin temperature nerves can possibly immerse even half of themselves in frigid water for more than 20 seconds at a time - because I sure couldn't. It was too painful to even scream! After I emerged from a few tentative dips, I gave up, took a very relieving hot shower, and swore that muscle pain was nothing compared with this absurd ritual of self-refrigeration.

Except... of course there has to be an 'except': my legs felt great the next day! No stiffness or soreness at all, except for in my hip, which I am sure had everything to do with running on the road and nothing to do with normal muscle aches. So now, I am torn - was it worth the agony, after all?

Maybe I just wasn't doing it right. Now that I think about it, RW never specified the temperature of the water you're supposed to dump ice into - I assumed it might as well be cold, but maybe I'm wrong: maybe you're supposed to start with lukewarm water, and gradually cool it off with ice. Or maybe I should just modify the technique and take cool baths rather than an icy one. Or maybe I'm just a wuss, and turning one's lower body into a popsicle is just one of the perks of being a true athlete.

Anyone have advice on the subject? My ignorance is crying out!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Food issues

Keeping food around is such a delicate balance. As a student with a generally icky meal plan, I find it particularly difficult to eat well and not waste things. Our cafeteria serves us such gianormous portions, and I've often felt compelled to eat them all so as not to waste them - never mind that they're at least three times the amount of food I should be eating, and loaded with ten times more cooking oils than any human in their right mind would consume in a week.

No wonder I've been gaining weight - wow, how long did that take to dawn on me. Guess I'm slow in departments besides running! Luckily, I have become wiser in my old age, and I'm now buying healthy groceries every week, coupled with saving cafeteria portions in tupperwares for two or three meals worth of consumption. This is doubly productive, because as it's near the end of the school year I'm running short on meal plan money anyway.

Now though, I'm faced with the dilemma of too much food in my fridge. I have leftovers coming out my ears! If I don't eat them within a short time, they'll go bad. If I do eat them, I'll resume my ascent into cowlike proportions. Nobody wants to help me eat them - they've mostly got the same problem. I hate throwing out food, especially since my stupid residence doesn't have composting - but I also hate gaining weight. I really have to get better at this leftover management business.

Some days, I just wish I could hook myself up to an IV and pump all the nutrients I need directly into my bloodstream. Food can just be too much of a hassle. Give me a banana bag any day, baby.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Cross-training rocks (almost as much as running)

It may not have been a running day, but it's been a physically productive one nonetheless. I attended my first ever drop-in fitness class today - oh woe is me, I am supposed to be the girl who runs around the track that overlooks the lower gym, mocking the people below me, and I have become one with the enemy! I console myself with the fact that it was a core conditioning class - I haven't succumbed to the devil that is step class yet. Thing is, these classes look idiotic from above, but they're a hard-core workout - no pun intended.

Well, moderately hard-core. To be honest, we did a lot of legs work in comparison to abs, but I guess as a runner I can't complain about that. I was hoping though for that deliciously satisfying post-workout pain, but as of yet it hasn't surfaced (ask me again when I wake up in the morning...) The class was pretty slow-paced compared with what I had imagined.

But oh well, I made up for the slight disappointment there by heading to the pool afterwards for a few laps. I always seem to neglect swimming for ages, but when I do it again I am reminded of how much I love the water. Swimming is such a fantastic workout. I really should be taking better advantage of all the pools at this university...

All in all much more satisfying than taking a rest day. I've got to start cutting back on those...! I love to exercise, I really do - I just happen to also love being terminally lazy.

I can't believe I forgot to brag!

Looking back over my recent posts, I've realized I completely omitted any mention of a major milestone I passed last week - namely, the eight mile milestone! (okay, so I didn't "pass" it, but I got there!) Last Saturday I officially logged the longest "long" run of my life so far, and okay, it took me almost an hour and a half to do it, but hey, now I can say, "I ran for an hour and a half", which also sounds pretty awesome. I even managed it without music, because at that point my mp3 player was dead and I was still awaiting nano's arrival; luckily for me, I ran into my sometime "running buddy" at the gym that day, and he did a few laps with me every so often to keep me company.

I can't believe I didn't crow about this yet! Well, yes, I can believe it, because Saturday immediately after the run was the dreaded breakup, shortly followed by myself becoming severely intoxicated, dancing like a maniac all night, and not blogging for a week (don't I deal well with my feelings?!) So my moment of triumph slipped totally under the radar. But here it is, resurrected and recounted in all of its glory.

Going to attempt it again this week!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Track blues

Well, easy week is over and it's back to the grindstone for me - time to hike up that mileage for my 10k next month. I'm looking forward to running, but one thing is odd: it's a beautiful day outside, but I'm gravitating towards the indoor track.

It's rather irrational, I guess. I mean, it's a sunny, warm day, there are things to see, an outdoor run is probably the best idea. But for some reason, I'm hesitant, and I feel like I'd rather just go to the track and do some mindless loops to the sound of music in my ears. I suppose it might have to do with the fact that my legs are really achy today, and I'd rather the relative softness of track than the pounding of asphalt - not to mention flatness vs. the undulating city streets (okay, so that might be a slight exaggeration...). It might be because I am in love with my iPod, and I want to listen to it, but hesitant to do so while dodging downtown traffic. It might just be because the ex (ooooh, it's so weird to call him that) is going to the gym, and I feel like some company (he runs way too fast for me to keep up outdoors. Inside, I can say hi whenever he laps me.)

This is so pathetic. What kind of runner choses to run a more boring course when better ones are available?

Oh well. It's what I feel like doing, regardless of how silly it may seem. I'll have plenty of time in the summer to run in the sun, and there won't be the option of the gym at all. Might as well get my money's worth out of it now!

Friday, April 07, 2006

True confessions

Thanks to everybody who left encouraging comments on my last post. I did eventually get out for a run, although it wasn't until yesterday, and I am feeling a lot better. I suppose I ought to offer some form of explanation for my sudden tirade about being "emotional" - in a very tight nutshell, my boyfriend and I broke up and are now working at being "just friends". It's pretty draining. We've been together for over two years so this is a tough adjustment to make. Mostly, time passing is just helping me out right now - things don't hurt so much once you have a little distance. So that's the story, and the reason why I was such a bad blogger and runner for a while there.

Of course, the best shallow way to get through an emotional time is to treat yourself with something terribly materialistic and expensive. That's right - I finally got the ipod. Oh, baby. Little nano 4G. And it is sexxxxxxy. I can't wait to go running with it - although I'll probably hold off on that until tomorrow, since I'm supposed to be resting today. I *heart* rest week - it's shameful how much I'm loving being a lazy bum and cutting back my mileage. But I know that this respite will make me eager to get back to tougher running next week.

Maybe I'll go cross-train at the gym, just so I can show it off. Well, okay, not that anyone will notice one more ipod added to the zillions already in there. But I will feel so awesome anyway.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Warning: this is a stupid rant

Ever have that feeling that you just don't want to do anything at all? It's coming over me now. Maybe it's the lack of sleep. Maybe it's the crappy state of my emotional life. Maybe it's just the bloody cold weather. Whatever it is, I don't want to run. I didn't even really want to blog, because I'd end up writing a whiny post like this, but oh well, here it is anyway. I need to vent somewhere, I guess. Sorry.

Thing is, I feel like I should run. It might end up feeling really good. But given my state right now, it also might end up making me feel terrible and weak. And that's something I really don't need at the moment, especially from my running.

So I'm torn. To run or not to run?

I just want to run away.