May 4, 2016

April 2016 Review

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

I summed up March with the word TIRED. If I had to pick a word for April, it would be STRESSED. I’m just glad the month is over.

Continuing this feature I started in January here’s this month’s monthly summary at a glance:

April 2016 at a glance
Starting Current Change To Go
Weight (lbs.) 198.4 200.0 +1.6
Fat (lbs.) 50.6 51.6 +1.0 16.6
Goal This Month Annual Average
Hours Sleep 8.00 7.25 7.33
Starting Current Change To Go
PMP PDUs 50 52 +2 3
This Month Year to Date
Running KM’s 115 km 478 km

I was hoping to bounce back after a rather abysmal month of March. That didn’t happen. Lots of things made me feel rather stressed this month. Very, very stressed actually. I wrote of some of this at the height of the stress some parts are particularly bitter.

The biggest stress came from being overloaded at work. I think I am doing the work of many employees already, and then I got another big project dumped on me. I spent quite a few weekends working on this and some late nights reviewing things at home. I’m glad it’s over and I’m back to an almost normal workload.

This was also the hardest month for my training in terms of long runs and speed work. I hadn’t done true intervals in a long time, and they were very hard, but seemed to work well. And those 18km and 20km long runs took a lot out of me too.



The clinc I have been teaching has come to an end. I have mixed feelings about that. Leading the clinic has been a little stressful and time consuming. Some days I didn’t want to run because I was tired or because weather was lousy, but I would run anyways because that was my job. Maybe that’s a good thing. And, many people in my clinic have told me that they really enjoyed and benefited from the clinic and my training methods. It has been a really fun and supportive group so I’m going to miss them now that the clinic is over. And I’m so proud of many of them that finished their first half-marathons, or smashed old half-marathon records.

Here are some photos of great memories throughout the clinic:

February 14: After a run where it was -24ºC!
February 14: After a run where it was -24ºC!

Group picture after a rainy run
February 24: Group picture after a rainy run

February 28: Group #runfie during an unseasonably warm run
February 28: Group #runfie during an unseasonably warm run

March 01: Selfie after a snowy run.
March 01: Selfie after a snowy run.

March 01. It was warm and sunny just two days before......
March 01. It was warm and sunny just two days before……

April 06
April 06

April 17: After a 20k training run
April 17: After a 20k training run

April 29: Carb-Loading Dinner at Peter's On Eglinton
April 29: Carb-Loading Dinner at Peter’s On Eglinton

May 01: Photo before the Mississauga Half-Marathon
May 01: Photo before the Mississauga Half-Marathon

I earned a couple new nicknames during the clinic from clinic members like “Grand Poobah Paul.” But my favorite was “Sensei Paul.

But, I’m happily running off into the sunset again into coaching retirement, again.




At the beginning of April, Sharise and I cashed in a Groupon to try Archery Tag at Battle Archery in Brampton. I hadn’t tried anything like this before, so I was quite curious what it would be like. The activity is essentially like dodge ball, except you shoot arrows instead of throwing the ball. Shooting the arrows quickly and accurately is actually quite hard. And, it feels like you’re constantly scrounging for arrows.

I think I would have liked it more if it wasn’t so croweded. 3pm on a Saturday was understandably a rather full game with over 20 people per side. Sharise hid for most of the game. I got hit about as many times as I got hit. It doesn’t really hurt because the arrows are padded.

I am particularly glad that their photographer got some badass action shots of me during the games.

Taking a shot at Battle Archery in early April 2016
Taking a shot at Battle Archery in early April 2016

Taking a shot at Battle Archery in early April 2016
Taking a shot at Battle Archery in early April 2016




And, near the end of April, I attended a birthday party for Laura, one of Sharise’s friends. We all did knife throwing, archery, and axe-throwing at Stryke Target Range. Naturally, I wore plaid because that seemed like what a lumberjack would wear.

Stryke had a really good set-up. There were 11 of us, and we had an instructor for all three activities. We got to spend about an hour doing each activity. After some practice time the instructor set-up a sort of tournament for each activity which kept it quite interesting and competitive.

I was excited to try the knife throwing, but not many others were. Throwing the knife is pretty easy: The knives we used were small balanced things and didn’t seem dangerous to hold or throw. But getting them to stick in the board was really hard. It felt almost like luck most of the time. After a while I started to see that the trick was to get the knives to spin a lot and only on one axis, but that’s tricky.

Everyone seemed to enjoy archery the best. It wasn’t like Archery Tag where you have a game going on; it was just shooting in the range, which was a nice experience too. It seemed less random than the knife throwing and the arrows stuck in for prettymuch every shot. Sharise recalls fondly that she got a higher score in archery than I did.

And last, but not least, AXE-THROWING! This is harder than it looks. Getting the axe to stick is hard because it has to be at the right point in its rotation when it hits the wall. A lot of force is required too. It looks pretty badass though. And I got a couple of bullseyes.


Hit the star for 6 points (totally on purpose) at Stryke Target Range
Hit the star for 6 points (totally on purpose) at Stryke Target Range

Archery at Stryke Target Range
Archery at Stryke Target Range

Axe-Throwing at Stryke Target Range
Axe-Throwing at Stryke Target Range

I like the way Strkye had set it up. The three activities and instructor made for a fun group experience. And they had TV’s everywhere and were showing the Blue Jays and Raptor’s game. It seemed like a great guy place. But I know it wasn’t the most comfortable for some of the ladies.

Stryke Target Range Group Picture
Stryke Target Range Group Picture



Goal: Reduce Body Fat to 35 pounds by the end of 2016
Status: It’s just getting worse…

Date Weight (pounds) Body Fat % Body Fat (pounds)
December 31, 2015 194.4 24.9% 48.4
February 2, 2016 194.0 26.9% 47.9
March 1, 2016 193.8 24.4% 46.9
March 28, 2016 198.4 25.5% 50.6
April 26, 2016 200.0 25.8% 51.6


It’s getting worse. I’ve GAINED weight and fat since the calendar year started, and I’m continuing to gain.

What’s the point of exercising 5-6 days a week if I’m just gaining weight?

At least with half-marathon training over for a bit I can really crash down on food, I hope.



Goal: My average hours of sleep will be at least 8 hours per night in 2016
Status: Average 7.25 *sigh*

April 2016 nightly hours of sleep

I said I felt tired in March, but I got even less sleep in April. I am looking forward to sleeping in on weekends now, which should help bring the average up in May.



Goal: I will earn at least 6.5 more PMP PDU’s by the end of 2016
Status: +2!

I started Planning Human Resources Management at the end of March, and finished it in the first week of April. But I can’t claim the PDU’s until April which is why it appears here. I thought I would get more in April, but really didn’t have any time.

Hopefully May is a little less stressful.



Goal: Save Money
Status: It’s never enough…

I filed my taxes in April, and had to pay even more. It’s frustrating! Work overtime and pay half of it to the government. Make successful investments and pay half of the gains to the government. Buy necessary items and pay extra (i.e. HST) to the government. Why bother being successful and working hard if it’s just going to pay for Prince Trudeau to renovate his childhood home? I’m mentally preparing myself for the financial sacrifices I’ll need to make to save for my future kids’ university tuition, but others will sit beside them in class for free.


It’s just pretty frustrating.

But, to my surprise again I was quite in the black for the month of March. I haven’t got all the credit card bills in for April yet, but I know it will be a VERY expensive month.




Goal: Set a new Half-Marathon PB

This post is being published after running the Mississauga Half-marathon. *SPOILER ALERT* I didn’t set a new Half-marathon PB.  You’ll get all the details when publish the race report soon. But, I’m already thinking about the Hamiton Road2Hope Half-Marathon in the fall as another goal race.





With the clinic over and the goal race behind me, I guess it can be time to get more focused. Time to try to undo some of this stress and training damage and try to unwind. But, I still have to Pinch a penny here, cut a calorie there, and forgo enjoyment for exercise and chores. Being an adult is hard.

Happy May everyone!


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1 Comment »

  1. macnic says:

    I can never lose weight either. I just ordered the Race weight cookbook for inspiration! As for saving money… it doesn’t seem to get better. Sorry you have to pay taxes – once you have kids, they become nice little write offs. 😉 Can’t wait to read your race report!