January 1, 2008

I got it done, folks. Last night Finn and I went for run #30. No days off, no doubling-up. I ran for 30 days in a row. I was excited that #30 was in 6 inches of freshly-fallen snow, and on snowshoes. While I imagine there were some physical gains from running 30 days straight – my legs look and feel stronger and my knee seems to be a lot more cooperative – the biggest gain of all is that I set a goal and accomplished it with no cheating and no excuses. It doesn’t seem like much, but being able to stick with it for an entire month has given me a reason to believe in myself just a little bit more.
And what the heck…To celebrate, I’m going for a run!
Happy New Year.


December 30, 2007

Finn and I went adventuring yesterday for run #28. I strapped my snowshoes onto my backpack, threw in some Nuun and a banana and off we went. The plan was to start out running to a campground and then snowshoe through the woods to a dirt road that would eventually loop us back around. It took a little longer than I thought it would and my calves were really burning with all the snowshoeing up the steep uphill portions, but Finn was thrilled to have such a long run and so was I. With guest doggie in the house, he’s been missing out on all the special attention he’s used to. I dashed to work afterwards and was jealous of Finn who took a much-needed nap after our adventure.p1000441.jpg

Boxing Day

December 26, 2007

My sister asked me last night what I was doing for Boxing Day – which reminded me of how long it’s been since I lived at home and recognized the day after Christmas as anything other than the day after Christmas.   

Christmas day came and went without much fanfare.  Both GB and I worked during the day.  I went for a snowshoe run with the pack of dogs that currently resides at Camp Hundred-Acres and took Finn (the youngest and most puppy of the pack) for an extra-specially long run so he would conk out in the evening to keep things calm.  It worked and he spent the rest of the night curled up by the fire.  We picked up a bottle of wine for Christmas and enjoyed a very picturesque evening admiring our giant Christmas tree, the fire, and the various dogs curled up around the living room.  We also succumbed to 2 episodes of Grey’s Anatomy.  I would say that the only thing missing was a good snowfall….which we might get tomorrow.

I have now completed 24 of 30 runs.  I haven’t missed a day and it’s weird how it’s so much a part of my day now that it barely registers in my mind as a workout.  The next trick?  Get on the bike.  I put my PowerCranks on my bike at the start of the off-season.  It’s the first season I will have used them with any consistency whatsoever.  I’m getting acclimatized to them now, but there’s no question that I have to work harder when I use them and my motivation to work hard on my trainer inside my house in the winter is pretty low.  I think my coach is somewhat skeptical about them, but I just have a feeling that they could be the thing that pushes me to the next level (in combination with my newfound quest for consistency).  You know when you get that feeling?  Anyway, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that they won’t push me to the next level by me staring at them.

I think my funk is officially gone.  I noticed last night that I was not feeling that weird cloud of unhappiness over me.  I think it’s because I picked a few long-overdue bones this week and did some of the interpersonal communication I’ve been dreading for ages.  It’s never as bad as I think it’s going to be.  Well, that’s all the news from Camp Hundred-Acres.  Keep your fingers crossed for some more snow.


December 19, 2007

Last night on the way to dinner with friends, GB asked me if I’m going to miss my daily runs when I have finished my 30 runs in 30 days.  I paused before responding in a teeny tiny quiet voice: “wellllll….not if I decide to extend it to 100 runs in 100 days…?”.  (You know you are way off track when you find yourself ending a statement with a question mark).  Silence.  I peeked a look out of the corner of my eye to see if there had been any reaction.  It was not promising.  The silence was hurting my ears so I did the only thing I knew how to do…filled it with explanatory babble: “only of course if my coach thinks it’s a good idea and I would pay extra special attention to my knee and make sure it wasn’t hurting and well, I wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t a good idea and…okay, do you think it’s a bad idea?”.  Again, not a promising response.  I believe it was something sensible about a potential injury.  The worst part is that GB is usually right in such situations.  So I sheepishly reformatted my response to “yes, I’m going to miss my daily running”.  It is so irksome when I don’t get to be the smart one and yet so wonderful to have someone to run my outrageously stupid ideas past in order to get them shut down prior to enacting them.


Negative Split

December 17, 2007

I’ve done it folks.  A new personal record.  The 44-minute mile.  This has got to be a world record for the slowest running mile ever completed by an able-bodied, self-ambulatory individual who is not participating in an ultra marathon.  Yesterday when I ventured out into the 3-foot deep snow I was grateful that the rules of the 30/30 were set in terms of time, not of distance.  3 miles would have taken me most of the day.

The good news?  I achieved a negative split run: first 1/2 mile, 23 minutes; second 1/2 mile, 21 minutes.  I was pleased.  I was also grateful for my snowshoes.  I’d still be out there if it weren’t for them.  I’m also grateful that I live close to no-one so there were no witnesses to my “running” in such deep snow or to my repeated tumbles caused by my snowshoes getting stuck at the bottom of knee-deep post holes.

Actually there’s more good news.  On Saturday I went into town for a group run.  I ended up running 8.5 miles and then limping back to the car dejected as I realized my knee had probably not been up for such a long run (this is not the good news part).  I was bumming on Saturday night and thinking I might be at a cross-roads with the 30/30 thing if my knee was going to start acting up.  I was delighted to discover (this is the good news part) on Sunday that snowshoeing doesn’t bother my knee at all.  This means that I can snowshoe on days when my knee feels questionable and still stay on track with my 30 runs.  Win, win.

Our pre-Christmas weekend was everything we had hoped it would be.  The four of us had a blast gaming and laughing for most of the weekend.  It turns out that I am the weak link in the game of Catch Phrase.  I blamed this on my sheltered island upbringing like I do with most of my shortcomings.  We knew things were bad and looks were exchanged when I repeatedly shouted out “BRAN OATS! BRAN OATS!” instead of the correct answer which was oat bran.  We played the game with every possible permutation of partners and my team lost every time so there can be no question about who the weakest link was.  But I can run a 44-minute mile, so I feel good about myself.

We also went and chopped down our very own tree from our friends’ farm.  This started out as an innocent family activity and spiralled quickly downhill when D pushed me, mouth open and face first, into a manure pile covered in snow.  All hell broke loose after that and the only safe one was GB who insisted on holding onto the saw for immunity.

Sunday morning was spent shovelling the driveway so that A and D could make their escape back to the city.  We were reluctant to let them leave but we kept their dog as collateral so we know they’ll return.  She’ll be staying at Camp Hundred Acres for two weeks.  Two days with our dogs and she is already exhausted.

Today is day 16 of my 30 runs.  I’m halfway.  Given the blustery winds, I choose the dreadmill. 


December 14, 2007

snowrunning1.jpgOver a foot of it.  The soft, white, fluffy stuff.  And my knees are thankful because it meant that run #12 was on snowshoes and it is likely that runs 13, 14, and 15 will be also.  The dogs are beside themselves with excitement and I’m not far behind. 

 GB’s sister and brother-in-law are coming into town so we can do our Christmas this weekend.  They are amazing people (I have to say that because I know they read this) and we are almost as excited about their arrival as we are about the snow. 


December 12, 2007

Earlier this month I jumped on the bandwagon of those blogosphere triathletes challenging themselves to do 30 runs in 30 days.  I started on the 2nd which means my last run will be on the last day of the year.  The rules in my case are:

1. A run counts as 30 minutes minimum, with a min HR of 130 and less then average of 160.

2. I can “bank” runs for days that I know I will not be able to run, so I will run 2 times on some days.

As much as possible, I am trying not to put myself in a situation where I have to do 2 runs in one day because experience has shown me that my knees don’t love that kind of treatment.  Since part of the goal of this is to increase my leg and knee strength, it would be counter-productive to injure myself in the process.

Last night was my 10th run.  I went out (thankfully with my headlamp on) at dusk, happy to be able to run on the roads since much of the ice was gone.  The trails were out of the question without ice skates.  By the time I turned around, it was pitch black out – with no street lights and no moon.  Of course, it started to rain and the roads started to ice up, so it was a little trecherous getting home in one piece and I was chastizing myself the whole time for leaving it so late.  But it’s done.  10 days, 10 runs.  20 left and feeling great.