Sunday, March 6, 2011

Week eight: running with Lisa Simpson and David Suzuki, halfway there, and more

Ok, I haven't really been running with David Suzuki or Lisa Simpson. But as the weather starts to get warmer (6 degrees today - I actually ran in a t-shirt and my favourite running accessory - running sleeves from Lulu Lemon), the city's critters are starting to come out of their winter hiding places. I'm such a nature girl that the sight of a bald eagle near Point Pleasant Park last week and a pair of common mergansers floating in the Halifax Harbour today gave me an extra little spring in my step. Cause spring is in the air! I freely admit it - I'm a nature nerd.

My husband imagines that running with me (because he's never actually done it) must be like going for a run with Lisa Simpson - me trotting (or hobbling, depending on the day and the distance) along, my curly hair sticking out in points, chattering excitedly about little details like a cute shingled birdhouse or listening the chirps from a flock of chickadees nearby as we wind our way through the city. Which made me wonder - what would it be like to run through Halifax with David Suzuki? I'm sure he'd be much better than I am at identifying species, and he'd probably be able to pick out all kinds of other natural wonders I haven't noticed. It would be like having my very own Nature of Things documentary of Halifax. Then again, he might also start a monologue about our current environmental crisis, which could be a little bit of a downer. After all, some of those long runs can be painful enough without focusing on all that's wrong with the world.

But I guess my point is, the fun thing about road running outdoors is that you get to experience the city and urban nature as it shifts from one season to the next. I remember running through a rainstorm last fall, cold wet and miserable. I had merged onto the multi-use trail in the South end that extends off of Oxford, when all of a sudden a red squirrel jumped off one of the trees and started running alongside me on the top rail of the fence, hopping over the upright beams like they were hurdles. I'm sure he was probably racing around trying to hoard nuts before the weather turned chilly and he turned in for the winter. But I could have sworn he was racing me. Pretty soon, he hopped back onto another tree and circled around, letting me go on my way. I was still wet and cold, but a little warmer thanks to our little race.

As for my training program - week eight is now complete and we are now into week nine. Which means that we're at the halfway mark to my marathon goal: the Toronto Good Life Marathon on May 15. Actually, now that I think about it, I can't believe we're already halfway there! Just nine more weeks and I'll be at the start line, surrounded by thousands of other runners, my adrenaline racing. Eep!

The distances have been getting longer - 23k last week, which went fairly well (in fact I ran an extra kilometre or so without knowing it) and 26 today, which did not go as well, though that might have something to do with me only getting a couple of hours of sleep last night. Chalk it up to pre-long-run nerves (I never sleep well the night before a really long run). We've also started hill training and I'm continuing my strength training.

Next week, it's back down to 19k, then we jump right back up to 29 the following Sunday. Having done this training program once before, the distances don't seem as intimidating. I'm not saying I could go out and run a full marathon tomorrow, but at least I know what it feels like to be on the road for two, three or four hours.

And while I'm out there, there's so much to see and hear! I can't wait for the weather to keep getting warmer so I can observe the crocuses beginning to poke their heads out, dotting the city with bright polkadots.

Oh and before I forget - a shout out to Heart & Sole Running Club, a new local running group based in Dartmouth. Thanks for the follow!

That's it for today. Until next time, happy running!



  1. I tried to find the running sleeves you mentioned on Lulu website. I just happen to be in the market for a pair... I was thinking about buying some compression sleeves, but if lulu's are nice... well fashion my prevail over functionality. Do they sell them in the Halifax store or do you have to buy them online?

  2. Hi Michelle,

    I bought my running sleeves a couple of years ago, and Lulu had a new style in store this fall. I tried finding them online to link to in my post but it looks like they're not available at present. However, you might try either searching on Kijiji or check out Lulu once their spring line is in. The new style had a pocket for your iPod, along with a slit in the wrist so your Garmin face can show through...Seems like they're improving them as time goes on so I'd be surprised if they don't have them in their spring line.