kadenza: (do it)
So today I had my first outdoor run of the year. It was -1°, but I just bought a running jacket the other day and thought it was a good time to give it a test. All the winter gear was 50% off at the Salomon store. Having never run in the cold, I eventually decided on a thermal shirt, the light jacket, long leggings, wool socks and one of those earwarmer headbands. I was quite comfortable once I got going.

I was keen to finally test my new Garmin watch. Unfortunately, it didn't actually finish acquiring satellites until I was already 1.8 km in, at Castle Frank (the green marker). After months in the gym, I was again amazed at how interesting it is to run outside--I didn't even notice I forgot my ipod until I was practically halfway done. I enjoyed looking in all the windows of the high end stores on Bloor St. For example, Coach had a hideous dinosaur sweater in the window that probably cost like $1000.
[ETA: it's actually $695, I was not too far off].

Of course, the cool part was getting home and downloading all the info from the watch, including elevation and temperature. My average speed was 9.5 kph, which is my usual setting on the treadmill at the gym; it pleases me that I can keep it up when out in the real world. I ran to Bathurst and then turned around. Every time another km had passed, the watch beeped and told me my pace (I didn't actually read the manual, so all this was all a surprise to me). I could see that I was definitely slowing down during the second half.

I think it's neat you can even see the places where I crossed the street.

kadenza: (do it)
The running is coming along. I actually did hit 10k last Wednesday, in around 65 minutes. That included a couple of minutes of walking as well. I think I can probably eliminate the walk breaks by April (or not, who cares). I didn't actually sign up for the race yet, though, in case like a leg falls off or something. That reminds me, I think I've got my first case of "runner's toe". Last week the second toe on my right foot really took a beating, I think because the toes of my shoes are worn out. In any case, the nail has since turned purple. Neat.

As a result of the toe thing, I decided it was finally time to pick up some new running shoes on Sunday, since I've had the old ones for at least 10 years. Shoes are so different now! Mine were so old, the clerk at the Running Room had never seen anything like them. They also weigh a ton compared to the new ones. She said as long as I don't run outside with them, I can still return them if they don't work out. I didn't feel anything strange yesterday (other than my feet feeling really light) so I think I'll probably keep them. I do remember that my dad changed shoes a few weeks before a marathon one time, and got sore knees so ended up switching back to the old worn out ones for the race.

I'm not sure what I'll do after 10k... I really have no desire to do longer distances. I guess I could just keep doing the same distance and try to improve my time or something. Not many people understand or believe this, but I actually find it enjoyable and never miss a run.

B210k

Nov. 3rd, 2015 10:01 am
kadenza: (phys ed)
With the 5k is in the bag, I was feeling kind of directionless until I discovered Bridge to 10k, for people who have already done Couch to 5k. I started it yesterday and it went well (run 10 min, walk 1 min, 4x). Running for 40 minutes straight is definitely not something I can do, but those one minute breaks made all the difference. During that minute, my heart rate dropped from 154 to 130 which is a pretty good recovery.

To my continuing surprise, I actually do find running enjoyable. My knees and other joints still feel fine, so I'll just keep doing it, I guess.

I dun it

Oct. 25th, 2015 02:02 pm
kadenza: (trumpets)
I did my 5k today, in some ewhere around 30 minutes, but the official results haven't yet been posted*. It took me a while to get across the start line, but due to some technology I don't fully understand, my bib contained a device that sorts all those details out. This also enabled a dude at the finish line with a microphone to congratulate me by name as I went past. Kind of amazing!

Overall it went well, though I started to pull out the stops way too early. When I thought I was almost at the end, I really wasn't. So when the actual end came, I had pretty much nothing left. Also, I had some technical difficulties with my ipod. When I turned it on as the race started, it was playing some song that was definitely not part of my painstakingly crafted 32-minute playlist. After some hasty weighing of pros and cons, I decided I really really needed those particular songs, so pulled it out and fiddled with it while trying to keep running. During this fiddling, I also lost the elastic band that I use to hold it onto my bra strap, so ended up just stuffing it down my bra. I probably lost some time with all that, but I still think it was the right decision. I needs my musics.

*ETA: The results are in–I came 117th out of 214 overall (and of the women, 48th out of 124). Pretty ok for a noob, I'd say. My time was 30:28.

So here are pics of me starting and finishing (both pretty lousy).
But you can see that I was at least still smiling by the end. And beating that lady on the right.
some pics )

I ran

Oct. 12th, 2015 11:13 am
kadenza: (trumpets)
This morning (Thanksgiving day here in the great white north) seemed like a good time to try running in the real world, since it's a holiday. Technically C25k is now over, so I have to either step things up or quit. I plotted out a route on onthegomap.com which is kind of a cool little website using Google maps to plot routes and save them to your own Google Drive. I created a little loop across the Bloor viaduct, around Castle Frank, and back again.

Back in grade 8 or so I remember reading a short story* in English class about a girl who learned to play piano on a cardboard keyboard, and she stared at her hands in wonder when she played a real piano for the first time at a recital. For me, that's kind of what it was like to run outside for the first time instead of a treadmill--sights, smells, and a fresh breeze. The view out over the Don Valley as I crossed the bridge was particularly nice. No one laughed at me. The only problem I encountered was that I felt a burning sensation in my lungs from time to time, but eventually it went away. I have since read that this is an issue that will improve with time and better breathing technique. Anyway, my final time was 32 minutes which is pretty average, and believe me, I'm excited to be average.

* After some googling I have learned the story is called The Concert Stages of Europe by Jack Hodgins. The key was remembering a line about "upchucking on the Heintzman".
kadenza: (phys ed)
So this morning I finished week 6 of C25k. I was feeling a bit apprehensive about this run, because run 1 on Monday (run 5 minutes, walk 3 minutes, run 8 minutes, walk 3 minutes, run 5 minutes) totally kicked my ass. It was the sort of run where just after starting, I was already checking the clock to see if it was time to stop. However! Today (run 25 minutes) I totally killed it and was in a state of zen the entire time. At the 20-minute mark, I felt good enough to increase my pace. I had gone nearly 4k by the time the cooldown was up, which is greatly encouraging. I still haven't actually signed up for the 5k race in October, but today for the first time I actually believed I could do it.

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