Riding out the slump

21 01 2008

In the past few days, I’ve been mulling over some words of wisdom I heard during the ONA conference in Toronto.

“No one reads a bored blogger,” one of the panelists told a coffee-sipping gaggle of web journalists. And it’s good advice: a blog without passion usually isn’t worth the pixels it’s written on.

For the last few months, I’ve been running a deficit side on enthusiasm. Sure, I’ve been lacing them up, but it’s often felt a bit like a chore.  Same with writing about it.

So I’ve been more quiet than usual. I know you should write more during the low points, but I every time I’ve tried, I couldn’t do it with gusto. It just came out as … blah.

Sure, there have been some outside factors for the “slump”. Settling into a new job as the dark blanket of winter settled in. Not easy. But it’s more than that. In the months since my last running goal, I’ve felt rudderless. Not quite sure why I was heading out. Yak yak yak.

That’s been changing in recent days. I’m starting to get pumped about running again.  Here’s a few reasons why it’s been better.
1. Switching up the routine – Long runs on Saturdays now, instead of Sundays. Nights instead of mornings.

2. Getting back to basics. It’s supposed to be fun isn’t it?

3.  A new goal. Still seems like a long way off.

I’m still not totally gung-ho, but I starting to find my spark with this again, slowly but surely. I hope you’ll come along for the journey.


Ten reasons to stop worrying and love winter running

25 11 2007

I haven’t been too bummed by the recent early winter snap in southern Ontario. In fact, I’ve secretly harboured a little happiness.

Don’t throw your snowballs just yet. Hear me out.

While I was out today on a 24k, I thought of 10 good reasons to embrace winter running*:

10. Clear air. I breathe easier in the crisp winter conditions, while I never can seem to get the same lungful in the heat.

9. Sleeping in. Wait until 9 a.m. in the summer and you’re toast. Literally. But the later you get started on a winter’s morning, the warmer you’ll be.

8. Less pedestrian traffic. Ever had to dodge a group of rollerbladers on the paths in January? Me neither.

7. Two words:

hot chocolate

Hot chocolate.

6. Two more words: Hot showers. 

5. Guilt-free sun exposure. Or less-guilt. You still can get some UV rays if you’re out for a few hours on a sunny winter day.

4. Guilt-free napping. Having a snooze after a long run in the summer is strange, with kids outside playing and the sun high in the sky. No such worries in the winter. You’ve been outside enough.

3. Even out the battle of the bulge. My second favourite winter activity is digging into a bag of cookies and bundling up on the couch. Running helps to balance that out.

2. Amaze your non-running (and summer-only) running friends, who can’t believe you’d actually go out in conditions like that.

1. Simply put, you feel great. You 1, Winter 0.

* I reserve the right to revisit this topic in mid-February, with an entry called “10 reasons to @#$#!@% hate winter running”

I can feel it, coming back again

30 10 2007

Maybe it’s the crisp fall weather — just cool enough to get focused, but still warm enough for shorts. Maybe it’s the inspiring stories from Lisa and Kenny. Maybe it’s looking at the calendar and getting under the six-month countdown to Boston.

Or maybe it’s just time.

At any rate, the itch to start training has crept back into my bloodstream for the first time since Mississauga in May. I’m ready to go.

I’m all ears to any advice anyone has. The draft plan is:

* Jingle Bell 5k Burlington (it’s tradition)
* Boxing Day race in Hamilton (don’t even know the distance, but my uncle is super-keen)
* Chilly, Burlington, early March (see above re: tradition)
* Around The Bay, late March
* Boston, April 21

Anybody interested in any of those races?

On a completely unrelated note, I think Halloween is a bit overrated, but any excuse to pound back serious candy is all right by this camper. But if you’re into it … here are some neat pics of “Halloween chic” in years gone by. (And no, I didn’t build this gallery – just thought it was kinda cool.)

Taper talk

24 10 2007

No matter how long you run, I suspect there’s always something new to learn, some new technique to try.

I was leafing through the latest Runner’s World on the subway tonight and I stumbled across this interesting article on tapering.

Basically, it suggests that the tapers in most marathon and half-marathon programs might be too long and too steep. The writer talks to some elites who’ve had success by keeping up the mileage, particularly quality mileage, closer to race day.

Don’t know about anybody else, but I’ve never felt comfortable with the traditional 3-week taper. The first week is great and usually pretty restful. But by the end of week 2, I start to feel slugg-o.

What’s that they say about an object at rest wanting to stay at rest?

I’m willing to try the short and sweet route next time around.

Any thoughts, anybody?