Wednesday, 31 December 2014

2014 into 2015

An early Christmas gift for me was discovering that one flood damaged bridge in Fish Creek Park had been re-opened. I deliriously ran across it for the first time in 19 months.
Quite a few missing trees now, but still a great path and a few Sunday options are back. 
I managed a great run that day, can feel a little strength returning. I have also worked out where there's a flaw in my technique. It's all in the left leg, not driving/ pushing through while excessively gripping with the toes. Change that habit, along with better toe-off for both feet, and 2015 should go better than 2014 ended. 
Before 2014 did end, there was the Christmas Day gift of running:
Finally, the Resolution Run 5k. Starting at 6pm on New Year's Eve, the finish line was also 2014's finish line. Cruising in at the finish, the clock said about 20:50, quicker than the 5k I did in October. The signs of recovery are there.
The end of the year had me dealing with and recovering from overtraining, and a lesson learned. Before that, I managed marathon and 5k PBs. On the whole, a positive year.
For 2015, the main race is my first ultra, the 50k at the Calgary Marathon weekend. It's time to get into training, eating and sleeping well, with the St Patrick's 5 k on the way to test my speed work. Lots to do, let's get to it!

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

50 Shades of White

Is it 2015 yet? 2014 is ending with a touch of the weird. Late November had me wearing NASA surplus to plough through deep snow in -25.
Then, in a surreal turn, the snow starts melting. In December, there are now March problems such as melt-freeze, but with excellent traction otherwise. This time last year, I felt I needed to carry a shovel on my runs. 
Still, there's the long honed winter running habit: checking the ground ahead, analyzing the colour of the snow/ ice, the shade the piece of ground gets, recent weather, previous years' traction, etc. All within a split second to decide whether to slow down or not.
Core workouts are proving effective with the new program after I made a few changes, mostly by adding weights to few of the exercises. 
Is there a song called "Shorts In December"? I might some alt lyrics to "Gone Till November", though it'll be January by the time I get to it. 
My left calf/ achilles tightness is gradually fading, and I'm working my way into my training program for Studio 54 (50k in 4 hours on May 31, Calgary marathon weekend). 
I need to get out of a bad habit: I've noticed that my left toes are unnecessarily gripping - my foot seems upturned and not smoothly rolling. With that, I notice that the left leg seems also to plunk down and not pull me forward as the right does. Now I say "copy the right" (there's a political joke in there somewhere) to try to get it working properly, reduce the imbalance, and stop the mild soreness. 
Once there's snow and ice again however, back will come the "whatever keeps you upright" technique, so lots of thinking to do. Long way to go, but journey already started. I'll be running on Christmas Day, perhaps (hiccup) even a speed interval or 2. 
Merry Christmas to all runners, present and future :)