Category Archives: Running

January: 2017 Goals

In 2015, I signed up for the MEC Burlington race series.  I ran five races, all of differing distances (3.75k, 5k, 10k. 15k, and half-marathon).  Interestingly, only one race was actually in Burlington, with the rest in different parts of Hamilton and Dundas.  It was a fairly intense racing schedule, but it was inexpensive and as a result, I was in great shape by the end of it.  I ran two PR’s (10k and half-marathon) and wound up just really enjoying the races themselves.  It helped me realize that I’m perhaps not built for going as long as a Marathon just yet, but I have some ability in shorter distances such as 5k and 10k.  I managed two top-ten finishes, even.

So the thinking is to attempt a similar race schedule in 2017, but with a stronger focus.  My itinerary and goals are as follows:

  • April 29 – 12k trail (sub-60 minutes)
  • May 20 – 10k road (sub-40 minutes)
  • September 9 – 15k road
  • October 14 – 10k road (second shot at sub-40)
  • November 4 – 8k trail (third shot at sub-40)

Sub-40 in the 10k is lofty, but after deciding to try shorter distances, my 10k time has gone from a 55 minute split in a longer race, to 47 minutes in 2014 to 43 minutes in 2015.  It’s probably within reach.

As for the 15k, I’m considering running the race with baby Annika in our Bob running stroller.  If I’m going to make the 10k my primary focus, why not make the Bayfront race a little different?

I also have some other goals I hope to accomplish by the end of 2017.  I want to stay healthy, be able to lift my own bodyweight at at least one of the three lifts I’ve been working on, but that’s not a primary goal by any means.  It’d just be nice to brag about.

January Training Highlights

My goal for January was essentially to get consistent.  I tend to be very quick to abandon training plans because I get impatient with not seeing changes or improvements, so I’m planning on sticking with the following basic plan (which I managed to accomplish in January without much difficulty)

  • 1-2 weekly weightlifting sessions with dumbbells (usually squat, bench press or shoulder press, deadlift), eventually moving to barbells.
  • 2-3 weekly indoor track runs, including sprints (20-25 minutes) around once a week.
  • 1 “free time” activity, preferably an hour or more.  In January, it was ball hockey.
  • 1 or more long runs of at least an hour with the intent of doing one per week.

The long run is arguably the most important part of training, so naturally, I’m not taking them very seriously.  Part of it comes down to time management, but I also find that I’m just not very good at planning them out.

As of this posting, I have not gone for my long run in January.

Week Zero: The Gym is Stupid

I now have a proper gym membership at a proper gym.  As much as I like the indoor track, I have very little discipline for doing strength training at the track, which is what I’m neglecting most.  I mean… I know I run better when I do it, but I also hate doing it and hate how I feel when I eventually do it and then can’t move properly for several days afterwards.

But here I am, wondering whether or not I should do regular squats or split squats, or to do a proper weightlifting program like Starting Strength.  I’m hoping it’ll help that I’ll feel guilty about wasting money if I don’t actually go and lift the heavy things now that I’m paying for the privilege.  Motivation is fickle, but it’ll do until I can build some discipline.

The Boxing Day race was a bit of a wake-up call.  Yes, 78 minutes knocked about 19 minutes off my previous best, but it hurt more than it needed to, and basically every reputable piece of information says proper strength training will solve this.  Yet still, I cringe at the thought of it.

I know this will be a part of what makes 2017 better than 2016, but it’s still stupid.

This Week’s Training (Week Zero)

  • 20 minutes indoor cycling because I didn’t feel like using a treadmill.
  • Split squats, overhead press, and bench press with dumbbells.
  • Kettlebell Swings (too many reps because my kettlebell is too small.)
  • No running because it’s really cold out.

2016 into 2017

2016 was, for many, not great.  Countless celebrity deaths, political and social turmoil, and ultimately a lot of bad that threatened to outweigh the good.  For some, the darkness was too much.  For others, it balanced out.

Count me among those who found it to be a mixed bag.  Here’s a brief rundown of my 2017 year:

  • January – Business as usual, except for Alissa being 9 months pregnant (surprise!)
  • February – Annika Catherine born on the 19th at 10:10am; 7 pounds, three ounces.
  • March – Returned to work after a two-week break to adjust to our family of four.
  • April – Annika suffers a herniated ovary and has surgery at barely two months old.
  • May – While biking to work, I’m hit by a car making an illegal left turn.  The diagnosis?  A deep muscle contusion and lower back sprain.
  • Summer – Weddings!  Babies!  Paternity Leave!
  • Fall – Back to work, back to reality.
  • Winter – Christmas!

Clearly, the back end of my year was an improvement, but gosh, what a start.  And with all these new challenges, both my writing (which has been at a standstill for a few years now) and my fitness began to suffer.  Between Annika’s birth and my crash, I was off my feet for four full weeks, to say nothing of just being too tired to run on other weeks.  Save the Boxing Day 10-miler, I didn’t race for the first time since 2013.  I doubt I logged more than a kilometer per day, all said.

2017 will be different.  I’m signed up for 5 races, with some lofty goals for three of them.  And I’m hoping to use that as a chance to get this old blog up and running again, if only to provide something resembling a training log.

So welcome back, faithful reader.  I hope you don’t mind that my movie reviews have been replaced by shoe reviews, and I hope you’ll stick around.