Sunday, December 13, 2009

In for a penny ...

In for a penny, in for a pound. The December 10th deadline to drop down to the half marathon in Houston, rather than the full marathon, came and went and I'm still heading down there next month to run 26.2 miles. With the date getting closer - five weeks from today! - my motivation is improving. This despite the fact that the weather is getting colder, the days are getting shorter, and the roads are getting worse, with snow and ice.

Speaking of pounds, the Christmas season is upon us, and with all the sweets we have around here, I'm about 5 pounds heavier than I was in the late summer. I'll try to be a bit more disciplined about my diet until the marathon, but that will be a challenge. We have tonnes of cookies in the house, and it's hard for me to stay away from them.

For the first time since the PEI marathon, I completed a 20 mile run today. The weather was good, just a few degrees below freezing with a slight wind. I went on a different route for me, a few times up and down the New Maryland highway, while parking at the Home Depot. It was fortunate for me that I was parked by the Home Depot, as I had to pop into their bathroom after 7+ miles to avoid a "Code Brown" situation. I only had one other stop after that, at close to fifteen miles, for hydration/energy. Overall, the pace was a comfortable 8:52 per mile for the twenty miles. It was a good run.

I would rate the training the last few weeks as "ok". Each of the last three weeks I finished a handful of miles less than originally planned. I did 51 miles this week (plan called for 57), and 45 last week, with the plan calling for 51. I'll see if I can do the 53 I have planned for next week. I haven't had a lot of speed work to date, and that won't change for the remainder of the schedule. I'll have about one speed session per week, plus a 5k race on New Year's day.

Oh yeah, with some of the weather we have had lately, I've done a few treadmill runs. They're brutal, and I find the time goes by so slowly when doing them. However, the roads around my subdivision are not cleared very well in the winter - ask the young guy who put his car in the ditch just up the street yesterday. I've been watching episodes of the current and past seasons of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" to try to help pass the time when I'm on the mill. I get about 3.2-3.4
miles in during one episode. A big part of the last couple of episodes of this season involved a Seinfeld reunion show, which was entertaining.

My goal for Houston? I don't really have one, but I would like to finish in under four hours again. Given that my training hasn't been stellar, I'm not expecting anything spectacular. I'm debating whether I should follow the four hour pace team, the 3:50 pace team, or do my own thing. I'm leaning to "my own thing", keeping a pace similar to the one I did with Mike in PEI.

Some other stuff ... the marathon I believe I am running next year - Mount Desert Island in Bar Harbor, Maine - was voted as "Most Scenic" and second best overall in the most recent issue of Runner's World. Check out the articles from the marathon's website here.

Also, I now have orthotics. I just got them this past week, and am still breaking them in by walking on them a few hours a day. I can't really tell yet if they're going to help out with my foot, but I'll give them a shot. As for my foot, it's holding up ok. It's still sore, but not as bad as it was a couple of months ago. I soak it in ice water nightly, so maybe that's helping out.

To end this post, a couple of pictures. One of Cam and Faith Ann doing a 1k "Santa Shuffle" fundraising run for the Salvation Army ...

and another (mediocre) picture of the front of our house. I attempted to show the Christmas lights, but it's actually a better picture of the falling snow we're having tonight.