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Week of January 28 to February 3

Posted Feb 02 2008 12:00am
Thursday, 6.35 miles, 9:22 pace, (steady run), -16 (-28 wind chill), My front door, Assiniboine Park Foot Bridge, return via Wellington Crescent.  Play list: Cold Running.

Tom organized a speed-training clinic at Max Bell.  A nice break from wind chilled trails, and snow blown sidewalks.  Thanks Tom, we appreciate all the organizing and your solid commitment to the group.  I hear it was a great success with many runners showing up.  The pyramids sessions sound intriguing.  I also hear running in shorts and a tee is a forgotten pleasure.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend… work again… sheeesh… work, always getting in the way of fun!  I did manage to find a little time however for a quick jaunt.  It was good run… good and fast, but I miss the company of the Running Room buddies.  Running alone is fine, and I quite enjoy it, however it’s pleasant to have someone to talk to, if only to pass the time. 

Bored, I envisioned the Hypo Half.  I picked up the pace.  In my minds eye I could see the finish line (a beat up old Chevy truck parked two blocks away).  I picked it up and poured it on.  Heart rate maxing out, arms pumping locomotive style, neighbours staring,  as I zoomed past Mario and on towards the finish line.  Mere meters from the finish I blew past Scotty leaving him in a cloud of snow... sorry Scotty, you're a good guy, but it's a race, you understand.  What a race, first place... again!  (Note to self... dream on Bennett, dream on.  The only way I'll ever cross the finish line before Mario and Scotty is in my mind's eye... pure fantasy, plain and simple.  ;>)

Friday, 7.8 miles. 10:00 pace (steady run) –14 (-25 wind chill). Play list: Xavier Rudd

I ran home from work again today.  Same route and pace as last week.  I might just continue this Friday afternoon run for the next while.  It's a great way to wind down from the rigors of the week and, like I said in a previous post, when the car commute time is subtracted from the run commute time, I get an 80 minute workout for a 50 minute time commitment.  I can't help but smile (yes, that's a smug smile) as I run under the Main, Donald, Osborne and Sherbrook Bridges and see cars parked in traffic as I move along at a good little pace.  Sort of a tortoise and hare scenario. 

We've been talking on and off about pace smoothing for the last while.  The concern is why different Garmins show different paces (sometimes by as much as a minute) when we're all running the same pace.  My guess is it has something to do with pace smoothing.  I emailed Garmin International last week.  Here's their response to my queston:

Pace smoothing is just another word for averaging. The more you average, the less the reading reflects current pace. But averaging also  cancels out random errors in the unit. So it's a tradeoff. When in doubt, I'd recommend more smoothing. For the most part, you're not  going to change pace that much in a ~10 second window, so smoothing will improve the stability of the readings.

This is the path for adjusting pace smoothing on the Garmin 305.  I expect it's similar with the 301 and the 200 series.  mode>settings>running>speed units>smoothing (adjust to "more").  Let's try this and see if it improves the consistency of our pace readouts.  We'll check in next week.

Saturday, 9.51 miles, 8:41 pace (bike) -23 (-30 wind chill). Lucy's House/ Olmand's Creek/ Whittier Park return (via river trail).

I was tired from yesterday's run so I opted for a little cross training with my good pal and personal trainer, Lucy.  Lucy is my nieces daughter and we've been cross training together for a couple of years.  She really motivates me and gets me pumped up.  Don't be fooled by that cute little smile.  She's a wicked little task master, that is when she's not sleeping. Biker Bear, her teddy, lives in the chariot year round munching on left over snacks from previous rides.  Her mom Laura, is a serious runner with many a marathons under her belt.  She's the one responsible for my current running addiction.  'nuff about Laura, back to Lucy.  I estimate Lucy to be about 30 pounds and the Chariot another ten so not only is this good cross training, it doubles as resistance training.  It was a blissful ride..We entered at Olmand Creek access and cycled the entire trail to Whittier Park return.  We stopped twice, once

for me to warm my hands over a fire at the forks and again under the Esplanade Riel so Lucy could make a snow angel (even task master trainers need a little fun time :>).  I've been told that to translate cycling miles to running miles you need to divide total cycling mileage by 3 (some say 4) to get a rough estimate of running equivalent miles.  Having cycled many, many miles I'd agree this is a pretty reliable formula... IF you're on a road bike, on dry pavement.  If you're hauling 40 or more pounds on a rough (very rough in places) trail, with extreme knobbies and about 100 metal studs in each tire, then I feel it's more like 1:1.  Long story short, I'm logging the full 9.51 miles!  At the start of every ride I ask Lucy if she wants to go fast or slow.  Laura yells "slow" and Lucy replies "fast".  We go as fast as these old legs can muster.

Sunday, 11.08 miles, 10:04 pace (with walks), -16 (-26 wind chill), Running Room, river trail (access Olmand's Creek), Forks, return via Wellington Crescent.
Gwen, Sandra, Vivian, Cindy, Deb B, Scott, Bev.  In typical fashion Scotty ran with two groups running back and forth between the two.  Scott brings good karma to any group fortunate enough to have him along.  His unique laugh lightens the load and is positively infectious. We opted for the river trail route over the Grace Hospital route. Unfortunately the trail was icy in places and the fresh dusting of snow made it treacherous (Yak Tracks would be handy).  We tip-toed along and made it to the Forks in good time. After a little nourishment in the form of free, post dated, Pina Colada shots compliments of my favourite Running Room) we headed home an alternate route. We missed Lori on this run.
Back at the Running Room we were greeted with hot tea which warmed the cockles or our hearts and thawed the jaws.  From there a group went to Timothy's for coffee and eats.  At a table across from us sat a group of four women, one of whom is a friend of mine.  Her name is Marilyn and she recently turned 70 years old. Marilyn has been a strong runner for most, if not all, of her adult life.  She was running marathons years before the present day running craze.  She ran marathons back in the day when they were reserved for elite athletes and the deeply committed. Marilyn is also  a strong rider, in fact I know her more from the cycling community than the running community.  I have had the pleasure of accompanying her on three Habitat For Humanity Cycle of Hope rides.  These rides are 1000 miles and represent a 12 to 14 day time commitment. We essentially live on your saddle for 2 weeks, but it's not all bad, at night you get to sleep on the floor in the basement of the local church!  This summer Marilyn is competing in the Senior Summer Games on the east coast.  Last Sunday I delivered a speech to a room full of Marilyn's running friends, cycling friends, walking friends and family. It was an amazing affair with humble Marilyn at the center of it all.  For those of you who know Marilyn, you'll know what I mean when I say she has the physique of a 29 year old kick-boxer from Sweden.  Good on you Marilyn, may you stay forever young!  
:>)  Michael
week total distance = 34.71 miles
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