Monday, December 31, 2007

2008!

I ended the year with 1765 miles. It was better than a dismal 2006 but still no where near 2005. My miles/week and miles/month graphs pretty much tell the complete story. I can only hope 2008 is a better and more consistent year (I love leap years!)

Mon - 6 w/4 @ LT, Treadmill: I had intended to get in 5 miles at LT but my body was just not up to it so I listened to my body:) I'm getting a thickened toe nail removed in the afternoon so it was good to get my run done in the morning. It's not that the toe nail is bothering me but in it's current state it's not falling off, I cannot trim it and it has no chance to regrow
normally.

Tue - 7 Easy, 45F(39F), Cloudy: My dermatologist advised me not to get my toe nail removed. The clincher was that I would not be able to run for a week if I did get it removed. I already have enough obstacles in getting in my running - I did not need another one to start off the new year :) We settled for clipping it and filing it (which hurt too).

I tried out my new Nike light weight running gloves! The wicking material is so better than the woolens I was running in.

My run would not be complete without being chased by another dog to get the adrenaline flowing. This one looked pretty fierce, with it's sharp teeth! If I had a dog I would shorten it's leash when I saw people approaching instead of talking to it and expecting it to listen to me :)

Wed AM - 5 Easy, 40F(33F), Cloudy
Wed PM - 6.5 VO2Max - 6*800m, 40F(36F), Rain: It helped the the lights were on at the track (last week it was dark). Each repeat was slower than the next but these are early days so hopefully it will get easier.

Thur - 13 Medium-Long, 42(36F), Cloudy/Wind/Rain: In the morning I slept in after convincing myself I was tired and sore, and therefore needed more sleep. When I woke up I could not believe that I had blown off my run and unless the two extra hours of sleep had gotten rid of the soreness I saw none of that too... My punishment was having to run in the dark. Luckily I escaped the rain and wind for quite a bit of the run. I did see some other runners in the beginning of the trail with headlamps etc. but towards the outer reaches of the trail I was by myself. It's interesting that with a lot of the trees having shed their leaves the city lights were more visible in the distance compared to summer when the trail is pretty dark.

Sat - 18.1 Long, 41F(34F), Rain/Wind: * I would almost certainly not have gotten up for my run (with it raining and the wind howling) if I didn't have people to run with
* It was nice to run through downtown Seattle
* A lot of the run was on concrete (not good)
* Some nice hills (good)
* We saw the Seahawks faithful (bomb squad and all) gradually assembling near Qwest Field ahead of the playoff game against the Redskins. We even were offered some beer (too early for 8:30am)
* The waves in Lake Washington. We had to run through some interesting wind gusts. These things builds character :)

Sun - 7 Recovery, 37F(31F), Freezing Rain- It started raining as soon as I started running. I was not dressed for the rain so I got pretty drenched. Oddly enough it stopped raining as soon as I stopped running!

Total = 62.8

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Closing out the year

Here's to a good end to the year and a successful new year...

Mon: 6 w/4 @ LT (7:13s), Treadmill: The gym was pretty full since it was closing early. I'm hoping to get my LT workout up to 7 miles and at a faster clip over the next few weeks...

Tue: 6 Recovery, 35F(32F), Cloudy: A very peaceful and relaxed run. I tried not to look at my watch. My HR was just right - 147. Later in the day it snowed (given how rarely it snows here, a white Christmas is truly magical!).
Wed: 6.5 ?, 33F, Cloudy: This run was quite an embarrassment. I realized how out of shape I am and aborted the coach's workout and just ran loops around the track in Kirkland.

Thur: 12 Medium-Long, 34F(27F), Freezing Rain: I woke up to read about Benazir Bhutto's assassination. I had the same feeling of loss when I had read about Indira and Rajiv Gandhi. I had heard about Indira on the radio, Rajiv by reading a paper newspaper, Benazir by reading an online newspaper. Different times but the same needless loss of good leaders.

I was a bit miffed about yesterday's track fiasco so I picked up the pace during today's run. I ended up averaging in the 8:10s. I found it funny that someone found the need to wear a balaclava for his walk today. I guess he would have found it insane that someone was running in shorts and no hat...

Sat: 20 Long, 37F(33F)-41F(37F), Cloudy: It was a beautiful day for a run especially compared to last week. The route for the long run was very beautiful, passing through the Arboretum, by the Japanese gardens, the Zoo and of course the portions besides Lake Washington. It was worth getting up so early and driving down from Redmond for. It's also nice to have company during the run - it prevents me from slacking. There's so many more runners in Seattle compared to the Eastside... It makes for a nice atmosphere. Kind of like it used to be in Boston.

Sun: 6.5 Recovery, 38F(31F), Cloudy:
Sight of the run: A flock of about fifty Canadian Geese playing in the water.
Event of the run: A small cute black dog jumping on me, grabbing my glove and playing with it. Her owner's excuse: "She's just 11 weeks old. I'm trying to get her to follow her brother". She had a point though. The dog's brother did watch the fun but did not partake in it :)

Total: 57

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Back home

I reached Seattle after a marathon 36 hour return trip. For the most of the week I dealt with jet lag and tiredness. I was also getting my diet into order after eating too much in India. I did eat everything I wanted to since I don't get to visit India often. However, that means I will now have to do the hard work to get back into shape ...

Tue: 6 easy, Treadmill: I can't describe how easy this run felt after the miles on the TMs in India. I had never realized a good TM makes such a difference. It was nice to run in a decent temperature and not feel dehydrated/dead 30 minutes into the run.

Wed: 12 Medium-Long, 43F(34F), 21-28mph Wind, Rain: This was surely different from all the treadmill miles I had been putting in over the last few days. Running into a head wind in the rain adds another dimension to things. Most of the people on the trail seemed pretty happy. A joyously cyclist pointed to an eagle as he passed me.

Thur: 6.3 Tempo, Treadmill: I was still sore after the 12 miler. I guess I'd not run that long for a bit.

Sat: 17 Long, 37F Rain:

This was my first run with Chuckit. Running should be more fun with a support group and I could use the help of a coach. More over this will get me out of my comfort zone. For instance there is no way I would have been heading out of the door at 6:45am in the dark and rain for a run.

I've never done a training run in Seattle. Without the folks I ran with, I would have been lost for sure. I guess I'm out of shape since I kept whining about how fast these people were running. OK, I guess they were running a little fast since we averaged 8:06 for the run and I signed up for a 8:30-9:00ish pace group :) I guess if I don't get injured this will be good for me.

Sun: 6.7 Recovery, 47F(41F), Rain: A peaceful run in the rain. For the most part I did not look at my watch. I was surprised to see four other folks running. Usually, in these conditions the only creatures on the trail are the Canadian geese. Luckily this is not mating season so they are more friendly. The fractional mileage was due to my OCD to get in 48 miles for the week :)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Active.com fiasco

For months I had seen the ominous warning on the coolrunning.com running log login page about the impending shift to the activetrainer log. After the coolrunning buyout everyone had suspected that the things might not be the same with the greedy active.com. However, I don't think anyone could have imagined how badly they would screw up the running log migration. It was the equivalent of telling Windows Vista users that they would now need to use MS DOS and that some of their data would be lost. They missed the key rule - "Don't kill the goose that lays the golden egg".

This is the second time I'm having an issue with online logs going out of service. The problem with free online stuff is that no-one can guarantee for how long the service will be provided. The creator is gung-ho at the beginning but after a few years they have other priorities in life.

I'm sticking with saving my log on my own hardware :) I modified the log template provided by David Hay to do everything I wanted. I've migrated my running and XT data and I'm good to go...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

India and running

* A marathon 33 hour-36 hour journey to get to and from Kolkata via Seoul and Bangkok (including the transit times).

* Finding a gym with a treadmill near home was non-trivial. A couple of places had "manual" treadmills. I guess it would have been an adventure to try them out but I really did not want do anything that would get me injured.

* After five days of not running I pined to just put on my shoes and run on the roads. However, there were at least 3 stray dogs per block. I would have really needed the whole set of rabies vaccines if any of them bit me. Moreover apart from mad people folks don't run on the streets there :)

* Finally, I found a gym with a couple of automatic treadmills. I had to pay as much as I would have at a US gym for far less amenities. I now can appreciate having access to the pro-club.

* I had to run in the afternoon if I wanted to have access to the TM for more than 15-20 minutes!* The "fitness trainer" at the gym was impressed when he saw me run for over an hour at a decent clip. His first question - "How many calories did you burn?" Me - "I don't know". It's such a different mindset there. Some people there referred to the TM as a "walker" :)

* It was so HOT in the gym. I'd estimate at least 90-100F. I found myself struggling after just 30 minutes on the first day. Gradually, I adjusted to the heat and tried to drink some water during the run.

* It was odd measuring my run in kms. I ran about 12km on most days.

* The TMs had such a lack of traction it was just difficult to run fast in the beginning. It just felt weird.

* Right outside the gym I'd always encounter some people smoking. Ugh - inhaling smoke after an uplifting activity like running.

* I ate everything I wanted to. After all I don't get to visit India often.

* Runners are ubiquitous. I saw folks getting in a run in Bangkok. Aside: I got to eat some authentic Thai food in Bangkok. It's so much more flavoury than the Thai food we get to eat here.



* Uthnau: I visited a few remote Indian villages. I'm a volunteer for Asha for Education which supports their education projects. Getting to the villages took 5-7 hours each way, the last parts on dirt roads...

* There's a sweet store at almost every block in Kolkata. Think delicious and calories :)

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