Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to everyone! Once again it's that time of year to re-focus and re-commit. I haven't been running regularly for the last month due to illness, snow, festive season commitments, etc., etc.

It's time to put aside the excuses and get back at it. I haven't decided on a new race goal yet but I do want to make regular running a part of my regimen again.

I'll start tomorrow ;-)

Friday, December 5, 2008

What I read about when I read about running

I'm currently reading Haruki Murakami's book "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running". It's a memoir covering his preparation for the 2005 New York Marathon.

I haven't finished it yet, but I'm enjoying it. It's not just about running; it's about gaining insights on life.

My first moment of self recognition came on page nine.

"Most ordinary runners are motivated by an individual goal, more than anything; namely, a time they want to beat. As long as he can beat that time, a runner will feel he's accomplished what set out to do, and if he can't, then he'll feel he hasn't. Even if he doesn't break the time he'd hoped for, as long as he has the sense of satisfaction at having done his very best -- and, possibly, having made some significant discovery about himself in the process -- then that in itself is an accomplishment"

That pretty much tells the story of my first marathon. I originally felt that I didn't accomplish what I set out to do and the satisfaction of having done my very best and realization that I didn't give up when it would have been easy to do so came later.

I'm looking forward to finishing the book.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A blog about nothing

I know that I've been a bad blogger recently but there hasn't been much interesting going on.

I think I'm at a crossroads with this blog. I haven't got a new race goal in mind yet so the only running that I'm doing are short maintenance runs; certainly nothing worth blogging about.

I could expand upon the topics that I blog about but, then again, there's not much going on otherwise either. Geez, I live a boring life.

Stay tuned. Really. Hang in there. Something interesting is bound to come up.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Is it supposed to be feel like this?

I'm back to running regularly but so far I've been keeping the distances pretty low. In part, this is because I haven't been feeling totally comfortable while running and it's been tougher than it should be to run for such a short time. I haven't been able to get into the zone that I'm used to after warming up.

I'm going to keep plugging away at it but I hope the pure joy of running returns soon.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Short track speed skating

I haven't been doing much running lately because I've been busy volunteering at the Samsung ISU World Cup Short Track speed skating event here in Vancouver. It's the first of a series of pre-Olympics events being staffed by VANOC (Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games). In one sense, it's a set of trial runs for VANOC in the Olympic venues.

I'm hoping that by volunteering for these events I'll have a better chance of being chosen as a Games time volunteer.

I'm on the Technology team in radio distribution. It's not the most glamorous or challenging of positions but I have had the chance to work with some great people. And, since it's not busy during long portions of the shifts, there's time to check out the FOP (field of play) from great vantage points (especially during practice). My camera's shutter speed wasn't fast enough to get a good picture...

It was pretty interesting to see the building transformed from a hockey arena into the configuration for speed skating. Unfortunately, I didn't do before, during and after pictures.

I've watched speed skating on TV before but like many sports, you get a much better appreciation of things watching it live. I don't really know any of the skaters except Apolo Anton Ohno of the US. Some of you may know him best from Dancing with the Stars which he won.

I'm putting in long hours and the 6:00 am shifts are a bit early for my liking but it's been fun. The actual event takes place over the weekend.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Running again...

I ran for the first time today since the marathon. I had intended to run earlier but never found the time. I only ran a couple of miles but it felt good to run again.

I realized that I never published my splits from the Portland Marathon so here they are. The first mile is an approximation since I forgot to start my watch. The last column is the split time I "should" have run in order to reach my 4:15 goal time. The splits are based on running at an even effort level and account for hills, etc.

Mile     Actual       Goal
1           9:30         9:33
2           9:35         9:45
3         10:04       10:08
4           8:20         9:40
5           9:35         9:30
6           9:33         9:36
7           9:35         9:42
8           9:07         9:42
9           9:28         9:42
10         9:28         9:42
11         9:31         9:42
12       10:15         9:45
13         9:18         9:42
14         9:38         9:42
15         9:37         9:42
16       10:00         9:42
17       11:10       10:03
18       10:09         9:51
19       10:23         9:42
20       11:05         9:42
21       13:03         9:42
22       15:41         9:42
23       10:45         9:25
24       11:15         9:59
25       10:35         9:31
26       10:07         9:42
26.2     2:17         2:03

You can see where I started pushing things too hard in Mile 4, where things fell apart in Mile 20, and where I got going again in Mile 23.