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.

Monday, June 26, 2006

I'm it

Thus, on the momentous occasion of my 100th post, you will get a completely random series of lists pertaining to inane aspects of my life. Enjoy!

four jobs I have had in my life:
1. skating rink marshal
2. French tutor
3. camp counsellor
4. sleep lab technologist (as far as I know, I still have this job!)

four movies i watch over and over:
1. Lord of the Rings trilogy
2. The Wedding Singer
3. Memento (but only because I'm still trying to understand it!)
4. Family Guy "movie"

four places I have lived:
1. North York (a Toronto suburb), with the parents
2. university residence in downtown Toronto
3. uh.... a different room in the same residence...
4. ...I suppose you could say I "lived" part-time in my ex-boyfriend's room (come on people, I'm only 21, we're not talking major life experience here...! I am currently apartment hunting for September though - trying to get five people to agree on one house - oh the joy.)

four tv shows i love to watch:
1. Grey's Anatomy (best. show. ever.)
2. House
3. Scrubs (anyone beginning to think I'm obsessed with doctors or something? yeesh.)
4. Desperate Housewives (so there. I like, uh, housewifery too.)

four places I have been on vacation:
1. My cottage
2. Lake Superior
3. Mexico
4. Switzerland

four websites I visit daily:
1. hotmail
2. utoronto webmail
3. blogger
4. right now, U of T off-campus housing ads (but fingers crossed I won't have to do this for much longer!)

four of my favorite foods:
1. chocolate
2. chocolate
3. chocolate
4. did I mention... chocolate?

four places i would rather be right now:
1. downtown
2. my cottage
3. travelling the world
4. napping

four favorite bands/singers:
1. The White Stripes
2. The Darkness
3. The Tragically Hip
4. R.E.M.

four bloggers i am tagging (eeeeheee heee heee!):
1. Tryathlete
2. Running Rabbit
3. Carmen
4. Rice

Oh, I know you love me for this :)

Friday, June 23, 2006


This post is brought to you courtesy of Piper and Malkin.

This is what we did today:

Quite frankly, we think this is a very appropriate way to spend a Friday. Or a Monday, or a Tuesday, or any other day, for that matter.

We thought our human understood the pleasures of such activity. After all, she slept until 2:30pm today after coming home from work (we don't quite understand what she does there, but it is one of life's mysteries, we suppose). This was well and good. But upon arising, she engaged in some very peculiar behaviour. To wit, she left us on the bed and went outside into the sunshine, not returning until she had run 9 miles (or 14.4 km, to us Canadian cats).

While our human is in the habit of engaging in this odd activity she calls running, and we have become bemusedly accepting of this fact, never in her whole human life has she ever run this far, and we have become concerned. She seems to enjoy the habit. Exceedingly worrisome.

It took her a very long time. Not that we particularly care about the passage of time, but we wondered what the big hold up was. After all, we can run much faster than 11 minutes per mile. Not that we care to. But we could.

We have to admit, though, she is a lot skinnier than we are.

Oh well. Humans are bizarre. But as long as they feed us, and cuddle us, and leave us to rest peacefully while they go about their madcap lives, we suppose it doesn't make much of a difference, either way. So congratulations on your accomplishment, human. We think.

Why I should not be allowed on the internet at work

As most of you know, I am currently working part-time night shifts. I have a lot of downtime over the course of the night, and as you can probably guess this is why all my comments on your blogs are labelled "posted at 3 or 4 or 5 or some other ridiculous time that ends in a.m."

I love being "paid to blog". I do. The problem? When I blog, I think about running. When I think about running, I think about running stuff that I would like to have. I think about internet shopping. I think about shopping for non-running items as well. The lapse in judgement occurs. The credit card makes an appearance. And presto! There goes my salary... but something really cool is in the mail!

Okay, so I exaggerate. I'm not spending nearly as much as I'm making. But I'm beginnning to think it's an addiction, just as much as blogging. Perhaps I should focus on the latter, and leave the magical plastic at home. Oh, and I'd have to un-memorize the number, too. That's bad. That's really bad. Lol. No one should internet shop so much they know their credit card number!!!

However, please do admire the pic of the poster I just purchased tonight. At 20% off, people - at least, while a compulsive shopper, I'm a smart one. And hey, this one's going up on my wall, to be a continual source of motivation - I consider it money well spent!

Frivolous purchases aside, though, do not by any means take seriously the title of this post. I would cry all night long if someone took away my internet - my steadfast and true source of entertainment, inspiration, and relentless consumerism :)


Update: despite its questionable legality (meh, it's all about sharing!) I'm plugging Running Jayhawk's Great RBF Music Exchange. Go see what all the fuss is about!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Hard and fast

I miss easy runs. I really, really do.

I thought I would get in at least one a week, around my three days of challenging running. But it's just not happening. Between working nights and social outings and the days when I bike for the double pleasure of exercising and commuting, I'm just not working them in. So I'm running three days a week - always hard and fast, or long.

I need that easy run. I need it for my head. I want to run away from the crazy whirlwind that my life has inadvertently become. I need to think about things in general, not just "only one more mile/repeat/30 minutes, then I'm done..."

The odd (good) part is, I still really look forward to my runs, I get super excited about doing them - but it's while I'm actually doing them that they suck. Because they're just. So. Hard.

Gah. I just keep telling myself it's making me stronger. It's getting me PR-ready. To get faster, you have to run faster. Right?

I'm just a little nostalgic for them, that's all - I miss my easy runs.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Speed demon

It is against my better judgement that I share this incredibly flattering shot of me post-tempo run yesterday. I'm Canadian, guys, I melt in the heat...

However. That little matter aside, no heat nor germs could keep me from my speedwork this week. Cold? What cold? I outran it!

Yesterday was a nice even 4-mile tempo, and I managed to keep a 9:39 average, although I may have been seeing mirages by the end of it. The heat run was inevitable yesterday, as I had to work a night shift, but today I was able to wait until after dark to hit the streets for a sweet session of 4x800m. Ah, I love evening runs for so many reasons: I hate waking up early, and with my shift schedule, it's usually out of the question anyway; it's also dark and therefore relatively cooler, I don't have to put on sunscreen, and (most importantly!) I feel I can get away with wearing only a sports bra and spandex shorts without blinding the world in general. Okay, so I'm a skank, but I like to feel nearly naked when I'm running - it's so pleasant and light and breezy. Less laundry, too.

The abs to match the outfit are in the works. They're in there somewhere. Honest.

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Blech. I can't deny it anymore. It's been creeping up on me for days, and now I'm officially sick.

What gives?! How come I can eat healthy, be super active, sleep 10 hours a night (yay, summer!) and still be tackled to the ground by little microscopic vermin? The world is mysterious, I tell you.

These germs and I shall go head to head. With my army of drugs and vitamins - and perhaps a little endogenous assistance - victory shall be mine. The act of running shall be transferred from my nose right back to my feet, where it belongs. The war is on.

Monday, June 12, 2006

She's a rebel

Garmin, that is. Look, just look what she told me today:

Mile 1: 10:31
Mile 2: 10:34
Mile 3: 16:14
Mile 4: 10:52
Mile 5: 10:53
Mile 6: 10:20
Mile 7: 9:51

So what happened on mile 3, I hear you ask? No, I did not take a walk break. Here's the story: I was running happily along a park path, when I came to the road. So, I decided to turn around and backtrack along the route I had just come. A few moments later, I glanced at Garmin, and thought: that's funny, I could have sworn I already passed that distance. I kept looking, and sure enough, Garmin was counting BACKWARDS!

I ran back to the road and tried to do a little loop-de-loop that would set her right. Not happening. I did a bigger loop. Same deal. Obviously, satellites are tempermental entities. And/or extremely devious. I was running back and forth, getting totally annoyed, when it finally occurred to me to stop and restart the timer. Bingo. Back in action - a "16-minute mile" later. Yeesh.

I'm counting it as 7.5 miles.

Electronic histrionics aside, it was a lovely, lovely run. Gorgeous, sunny, but not too hot; I had Gatorade and a carb gel in my brand new torso pack, which I ordered from a Vector box for $4.99, and it's worth $30, thank you very much! I'm a big fan of the pack, and an even bigger fan of the gel - why haven't I tried this before? It was such a great boost - I came home feeling elated, energized, and not like I had to eat everything in sight or die on the spot! The only blooper of the day was the socks - I had originally only planned a 3-4 mile recovery run, and was wearing cotton sport socks, instead of the high-tech ones I save for longer runs. Oops. My toesies have had happier days.

By far, however, the greatest discovery of the day was an itty-bitty street on the way to the park: it's called "Marathon Court". How cool is that? So I ran it. I ran a marathon. Ha, ha.

But I'll do a real one too, I swear, with you all as my witnesses. Some day.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Duel: Speed vs. Lungs

After yesterday's terminal laziness, accompanied by many chocolate snacks which probably completely negated my previous post, today was time to get serious: speedwork.


Now, normally, I don't mind speedwork too much. It's really hard to get out there when you know you have to do it, but once it's done, you feel really, really virtuous. Unless you feel like your lungs are working at half capacity. Which, incidentally, is how I felt today.

The jury (read: doctor) is still out on whether or not I have asthma. I did a pulmonary function test a few weeks ago which concluded that my lungs work perfectly well - nice to know, thank you, but it still doesn't explain why I have tightness in my chest and an intermittently nasty cough. I'm going to have to see the GP again, to determine the next step, but in the meantime, I've been more or less dutifully taking a puffer twice a day, and feeling 100%. Except, today was a "less" dutiful day - and then came the speedwork.

Blech, blech, blech. I felt like I couldn't draw a decent breath, and my chest was sounding all funny. Probably a good reason to stop, but I figured unless it got worse I wasn't going to let it impede my workout. Garmin was beeping away at me to run, so I ran (side note: first time I've used the "interval" function on Garmin - I love it! The nearest track to my house is too far away for my liking, so I'm very happy to just barrel around the neighborhood, avoiding intersections during the fast parts. Oh Garmin, how I love thee).

I finished. I finished fast. I felt proud. And I felt a little like death.

I'm better now. I'm happy I did the speedwork. And I'm scheduling in my doctor's appointment A.S.A.P.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


That's my current weight. In pounds. AND it's the evening. One word: WOO-HOO!

It just goes to show you how evil my rez cafeteria was - I can lose 7.5 lbs without even increasing my amount of exercise. Imagine what I'll be capable of when I start to crank up the mileage...

Finally, I don't feel like an oversized cream puff. Oh saturated cooking fat, pre-packaged dessert and ogre-sized portions... how I do not miss thee.

Google gold

Latest from the sitemeter: someone found my blog by googling "stupid rant".

Geez. If I wasn't laughing so hard I'd be mortally offended.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Got a plan, stan

Okay, at long last... running time.

Went for a good 4-miler this afternoon - it was intended as an easy run, but I pushed it just a smidge and ended up with 10:06 pace, which is somewhere between "easy" and "tempo" for me. Felt good to be on my feet and getting into a rhythm again. Mmmm running - life's simple pleasure.

So after struggling to work out a precise training plan around my hectic night shift schedule, I decided that the best way to proceed is to define what workouts need to be accomplished each week, but allow the actual days to be flexible. That way, I don't have to feel bad about missing days and making them up - as long as I get in my quota by the end of the week.

The plan is ambitious in terms of quality workouts, but since in all likelihood they will be my only runs for the week, with perhaps an easy 3-4 miler tossed in when possible, I don't think it will injure me as long as I warm up and stretch properly. Plus, it calls for less than six weeks of training, as July 14th is quickly approaching - there won't be time for burnout!

So here is my homemade plan, drawing heavily on the wisdom of multiple ready-made schedules:

Key workouts: Speedwork/Tempo/Long Run
June 4-10: 6x400m/3 miles/ --- (the week is half over, after all!)
June 11-17: 4x800m/4 miles/7 miles
June 18-24: 2x1200m/4 miles/8 miles
June 25-July 1: 10x200m/5 miles/8 miles
July 2-8: 6x400m/4 miles/9 miles (longest run ever!)
July 9-: Taper week: one 3 mile tempo & 2 easy runs
July 14: RACE DAY!

I'm adding 1 easy run per week whenever my time permits, as well as 1-2 crosstraining sessions (most likely biking), and 2 core workouts.

See what I get for reading a zillion American blogs - I'm counting in miles! Sheesh :) I guess I just like per-mile paces better than per-km. They seem more solid, somehow. But never fear, when the distances go up on my sidebar, they will be in kilometers: after all, that way, there are more of them :)

Pumped on a major artery

I did it!!! I did it!!! I did it!!!

And now I'll tell you how...

Saturday night I was graciously ferried downtown by my father, to spend the night in residence with my fellow riders, and be that much closer to the start line. Despite our best intentions of getting a good night's sleep, we couldn't help staying up, going out for food (carbo loading!) and chatting until well past midnight, which gave us a grand total of about 4 1/2 hours of sleep. Early mornings are ungodly, I tell you - when the alarm went off at 5:30am, I thought I would be done before I even started!

Adrenaline, however, is a beautiful thing - as is good friendship and good weather, both of which were abundant that Sunday morning. We rode down to the starting line in high spirits and at high speeds, just barely making the cutoff time before they closed the chutes for our course! We got there, though, and onto the highway we rode.

Our group of five ended up splitting by bike type before long - two people on road bikes who finished in 3 1/2 hours, and three of us including myself on mountain bikes who chugged into the finish an hour later - I find it amusing, by the way, that we spent the same amount of time riding the course as we did sleeping the night before! All told, we took only three brief rests - bananas and porta-potties were a must - and had a fantastic time through and through! The highway was quite hilly, so we worked hard on those uphills, but man were we ever repayed when we got to speed downhill at 60km/h without a vehicle in sight! Honestly - cars should be banned from highways. I would ride my bike on the DVP every frickin' day.

After we had loaded up on as much free food as possible, and had our picture taken with the Ride for Heart mascot - you guessed it (or did you?): a giant heart! - we biked back to rez, bringing our total distance to about 90km for the day. Not bad, not bad. Still ravenous, I devoured a huge all-day breakfast ( I never finish those!!) and then collapsed on my friend's bed for not one, but TWO successive naps. Then I was driven home where I proceeded to sleep for another 11 hours.

I'm still a little sleepy :) But, amazingly, I'm not sore! My butt might not fancy sitting on a bike seat for a day or two, but my muscles themselves feel like a million bucks. As do I :)

Mission: accomplished. And now, it's time to train for that 5k! I love biking, I really do - but never fear, everyone, I still am and always will be Liv to run :)