The Running Whys – Michelle Ingram

michelle-2This column ran in the Oct. 8th edition of the Daily Gleaner.

The interest in running started from being a fan for Fredericton’s Michelle Ingram, who vividly recalls heading to watch her husband Ryan race in a half marathon in the city one spring.

Like many who are exposed to the emotion and camaraderie at the finish line for the first time, Michelle was blown away by the spirit at the line, enough to take up the sport herself, eventually entering her first 10 km event about a year later. Continue reading

The hay is in the barn and another look back at the 2012 Legs for Literacy Marathon

I wrapped up the final training run for the Prince Edward Island Marathon last night, although I may get out today and/or tomorrow for a 20-min jaunt to shake out the cobwebs.

I went 8.5 km at relaxed pace with 2 km at MP. I am definitely in full taper madness mode as I wanted to go so much faster, felt phantom aches everywhere and kept thinking ‘Did I do enough?’

The weekend is pretty hectic with activities planned with the family, some carb loading and the Spud Run for kids at UPEI. That’s a two-lap event around the track at the university, followed by medals and lots of other stuff. We are staying at a hotel in the heart of the city, Continue reading

The week in review

Mental strategy is an interesting beast in the quest to run slightly under four hours in October’s running of the P.E.I. marathon. Music is a major help and developing a running music list is an enjoyable and required task of marathon preparations, it seems. Another factor for me is not looking too far ahead on any run, regardless of distance. I am not sure about others, but thinking about running 20k, when you are 250 metres into the first km, is a recipe for a poor effort.

As a result, I usually break down the run, whatever it is, into manageable stages and also the time components into 5-minute blocks, all of which have 1/4 mini barriers 75 seconds apart. It seems like constant shifting – Checking where I am at in distance to where I sit in regard to time stages to how many songs until the halfway point! Reaching half is a major psychological boost in many a jaunt!

Currently, I am at a point on long runs, where I have 6 stages of 3k. There are rewards (water at every stage, food – chocolate gel – at every second stage). But I got to thinking – what else – about other things I do when out for Sunday’s LSR. It may be crazy, but I also I count the people I encounter to help pass the time.

Last week, for example, I met 23 other runners and 22 other walkers, a close battle. Also, I met six dogs (who were with the walkers, not loose without a lease) and five cyclists. I want to be mentally fit at the end of the marathon and not too wonky, so this exercise helps a bit in, for lack of better term, helping me not lose it. (Some might suggest this is an example in the fact I have lost it!)

Last week

Sunday’s long run was a bit laboured as I went 18k on a sunny morning. In the first half with a pace goal of 20 per cent higher than marathon pace, I was slightly faster than the anticipated 6:41 per Km – clocking (Approx 6:25-6:28 per km). That was too fast. I run past a golf course in the area and back. Temp was approx 17C, with sun and no wind.  A glorious start to Father’s Day.

On the back half, the plan was to run at 6:09 per km or 10 per cent of marathon goal pace and I was all over the place in a 5:42-6:03 range. But the feel was not as positive as the week previously and I labored at points with hills and while I did not wear a heart rate monitor, it was a struggle. I attributed it to just one of those runs. Also could be due to a 4k run Saturday evening to help reach the weekly totals. Or the quicker pace.

Last week: 50 km, five outings, including 18k long run.

This week: (First week of Pfitzinger 18/55 plan) 53 km, four outings, 19k long run.

This week’s weight 187.5 lbs.