June 2, 2015

May Review

by pyrad
Categories: General Running and/or Fitness
Comments: 1 Comment

As I said in my season reflection, I though a lot about how my penultimate race didn’t go so well. This article from Runner’s World about Three Ways to Cope with a a Bad Race was very helpful to read. I think I’ve effectively dissected the disaster, I’ve made a new plan and I’m already working towards doing better in a few months.

It was odd taking time off from running and training in general for the first part of this month. I found it hard to not run on such beautiful days. But I know it was for the best. I wanted to be fully healed when I started this season. I even got a few messages from concerned runners wondering why I hadn’t run in a while and/or made posts to dailymile. Rest assured, I’m fine, better than ever actually!

But, I took the off-season as an opportunity to make some social calls and run some errands. In fact, it felt really good to do a thorough clean up of my gym bag, gels stores, and other athletics gear.

I also spent a lot of time gardening, mostly trying to have an A+ lawn. It seems weird for a young, “millennial” to care about lawn care. The stereotype is that we’re all jet-setting iPhone addicted urban condo-dwellers. But I find watering the grass, weeding, mowing the lawn and such to be quite meditative. And unlike a lot of things in life, you get out of it what you put into it. And, apparently, you get your “man card” revoked if you have a shabby lawn :p

Front lawn shapshot May 2015. Not enough rain, so not enough green 🙁

I’m reminded of how I used to love the Harvest Moon series of video games. You play a farmer, and tend a farm and grow crops and raise livestock. Each game has a slightly different take on it and it occasionally involves mythical creatures and special events, but it’s still more or less a farming simulator. And I loved it! Didn’t you love Farmville?! Well, now I play a totally immersive, 3D, tactile farming simulation: It’s called living in suburbia :p

Back to the topic of my downtime, not eating like a marathoner was weird too. Reducing calories wasn’t too hard. But I did indulge in a few sweets and that had an odd effect on me. I ate a very clean diet when training: complex carbs, lots of veggies, lean meats. But a few chocolates and I had unusual cravings for more simple sugars. I felt irritable without them. Maybe this sugar addition thing is really real.

I’m not sure if it was the sweets or general lack of exercise, but for the first few weeks of the month I felt a little off. I was easily distracted, more irritable, didn’t sleep well, and generally didn’t feel as sharp as usual. I guess exercise does more than just burn calories!!

I also got some time to paint quite a few Warhammer models. I have a post publishing soon on my other blog. Since I started training again I only seem to have about 2 hours a week to spare, so a lot of things will remain on the pile for a long time.

Getting back into training I dove in with vengeance  #5amRunClub took some getting used to. I got my knuckle lights ready for the morning runs, but it’s surprisingly bright at 5am this time of year. Similarly, it was kind of warm, sometimes. And my neighbourhood is surprisingly active in the early morning. People are driving to work or walking to bus stops!

Selfie before my first #5amRunClub run of this season
Selfie before my first #5amRunClub run of this season

Getting up to run at 5am isn’t too hard. Actually getting outside is tricky. By the time I drag myself out of bed and get dressed and have a few crackers and such it’s usually close to 5:20am. I need to get much better at that. But the really hard part is going to bed around 8:30pm. It means quite a bit of personal and social sacrifice.

And I hit the gym, hard! I’m a member at Goodlife Fitness now and also signed up for their ‘LifeChanger’ program and personal training. I know strength training is the ace I need to help with weight loss and injury prevention.

Trying out the treadmill at the gym in case I'll have to use it due to inclimate weather. #5amTreadmillClub is not as fun as #5amRunClub
Trying out the treadmill at the gym in case I’ll have to use it due to inclimate weather. #5amTreadmillClub is not as fun as #5amRunClub

Such bursts of superhuman motivation are easy. Doing it for several weeks until it becomes   habit is much, MUCH harder.

I’ve already stopped doing the 30-day challenges I mentioned in this post. But, I think they were just harming me. I hope that I improve with professional help from a personal trainer.



Goal: LOSE 20 POUNDS OF FAT by the end of 2015
Status: I’ve got work to do…

Date Weight (pounds) Body Fat % Body Fat (pounds)
December 30, 2014 205.4 26.8% 55.0
January 27, 2015 202.4 26.9% 54.4
February 25, 2015 204.6 25.5% 52.1
March 31, 2015 206.2 25.6% 54.6
April 28, 2015 207.6 27.1% 56.3
June 2, 2015 205.6 26.8% 55.1

I don’t like the scale. I think I look like I’m making progress, but it doesn’t show on the scale yet. Maybe the last few weeks of work will take a few weeks to manifest. Hopefully a better number at the end of this month.


Status: Average 8.03 hours per night! HUZZAH!!!

April 2015 nightly hours of sleep
May 2015 nightly hours of sleep

With early morning runs and other workouts back in the mix, I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to make an average of 8 hours a night this month. Yet, with a few really deep weekend sleeps, I was able to beat 8 hours average for the first time all year! Yay!!!


Goal: Earn 45 PMP PDU’s by the end of 2015
Status: 33! Two more than last month! 

It was a lot harder getting PDU’s than I thought it would be. I spend some lunch hours doing these online courses. The courses are more mind-numbing than even my actual work and seem to suck the life, energy, and joy out of me. But, at 2 per month I’ll get there. Maybe I’ll even try to get a little ahead in June.


Next Steps

Getting back into this training plan has been a struggle. It feels like too much to fit into a week. I’m furiously updating and modifying to try to juggle everything and make it more manageable. Here’s my 3rd version of the schedule. A 4th version may appear soon.

My Spring 2015 Training Plan: Foundation & Injury Prevention Phase (Revision 3)
My Spring 2015 Training Plan: Foundation & Injury Prevention Phase (Revision 3)

Someone that had done the New York Marathon before advised me to really focus on hill training. I thought that New York City was pretty flat. But I’ve read a few reviews now that say getting on the bridges is hilly because they have very steep on-ramps. I’ve decided to incorporate the hill training schedule from a Running Room marathon program as the 3rd “quality” run each week.

I’m also looking into doing another half this fall. I’m debating between the Oakville Half-Marathon and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Montreal Half-Marathon. Part of this idea is to get a little test of my fitness before New  York. The other is to have a better time to submit for my corral placement at Disney World. Updated “proof of time” data is due to runDisney before October 6. A lot of people from the Square One Running Room are going to Montreal, but with so many trips planned already, it may be financially prudent to go with the local Oakville race.

I hope for continuing success in June!

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1 Comment »

  1. Mark Young says:

    New York City marathon is definitely not flat. The bridges are tough, particularly Queensboro, which is quite long. And heading towards Central Park, it’s sloping a bit uphill for a long time. I guess not really a hill per se, but I think steeper than something like University Avenue in Toronto, and it just keeps going and going.