Sunday, October 27, 2013

A history of LSD

LSD as in long slow distance, of course! I always feel weird saying it, so most of the time I just refer to it as "the long run". For me, anything over 1.5h falls into this category. However, in this blog post, I will only talk about runs over 20km long, just because I want to see the end of it. Just like when you're running long. I have only been training for marathons for 3 years, so this should be relatively quick though.

2011 - Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon training
After completing my first half-marathon in 2010, it was time for me to "double down". I was putting in the training as required, working with a coach for the first time. I managed to do three long runs, then the whole Universe turned on me and I pulled a calf muscle attending a "mandatory corporate fun day" (I still hate that day), I had gallbladder surgery and lost my father to cancer all within the same month. Needless to say, the marathon did not happen. But for the record, here is how my last long run went. I was doing 9-1's (running for 9 minutes, walking for 1 minute). My average pace was 7:29min/km (12min/mile) (Runkeeper link - that's how I remember all this stuff by the way)
First words after workout: "Pretty hard, but happy I got it done. 9-1s weren't that bad".
I did this long run at the same time as Carol, who was also training for Scotiabank, her second marathon. She's always been my inspiration as she was the one to get me off the couch. I will never thank her enough.

2012 - Mississauga Marathon training
In the history of "screwing up your training before the marathon", this one ended in the books. I ran the Paris Marathon as my longest run, but that story already has its own blog post. It's still my marathon PR and it was all an "accident", albeit a very happy one. You can read all about it here. Back to the LSD runs though, the longest run before Paris/Mississauga was a mere 23km, which I ran in 2h30, with a pace of 6:31min/km (10:45min/mile) (Runkeeper link - with pretty photos!)
First words after workout: "Great, challenging run".
I was finally enjoying running again, taking on some challenges too, such as the Etobicoke Trail which is very hilly. I even bought a bike and started training for triathlons.

2012 - Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon training
Fast forward a few months, and I was on my way to a redemption run. I wanted a PR at Scotiabank really badly, so I put in the time and focus to train properly, with my longest run being a 32km, which happened to be in France again, on one of the hilliest routes ever, called "La Coulee Verte". I managed to finish it in 3h30 (I was training by time back then), with a pace of 6:34min/km. I wrote about it before and you can see the Runkeeper data here. The heart rate was all poopy though, so don't pay attention to it. I replaced my Garmin strap afterwards.
First words after workout: "Igny-Paris par La Coulee Verte. Oh boy!! Why isn't France flat? That hurt."
I was doing all my runs with Zin as he liked sharing the pain with me, which ended biting him in the butt since I registered him for the marathon as well. He ended having a much better experience than me, so no complaints in that department, but I kinda wish he was still running that slow so we can train together more. He's now too fast for my own good, so our runs are more and more disparate. I suppose it's time for me to crank it up a notch, but it shall wait after the Ironman because speed and IMs don't work together when you're a noob like me.

2013 - Hamilton Marathon training
This year, my A race was Muskoka 70.3, so again, I have not been training for a marathon per se. I just decided to go for it on a whim, and I'm doing whatever I can to put in as many long runs as possible. Including the half marathon in Muskoka, I banked 5 runs of 20km or more to prepare for this marathon, which is in a week from now, with the longest being 26km along Lake Ontario, just like in 2011. This is what actually prompted this blog post, it was a way to close the loop on three years of training on the same grounds. My LSD pace was again faster, but I owe it to my coach who pushed me on the track every week over the summer.
First words after the workout: "Long run with Carol. I needed some inspiration before the marathon".
Once more, I ran with Carol, but she went for 32km in 3h15. She's rather badass, I know. This year, we will both run Hamilton, our first marathon distance together, and we're both going for a PR. Personally, I just want to hang in there and wait for the pickle juice to do its magic. ;-)

Bottom line, I am happy to see such improvement over a period of 3 years and I hope to go out there and have fun running with friends, trying to keep up with them, without going all out. I don't want to injure myself before the Ironman, so I won't be pushing the pace too much, but I will do my best to come back home with a PR. If those long runs were to be an indication of where my fitness is at compared to last year, then I should not worry too much. 

Now, one question remains: which shoes am I going to wear??


  1. Good luck at R2H! I hope to see you there. You've come a long way, baby!

    1. I hope so too, Sammy! I need to take a picture with you and Nicole because you'll be superstars with that 1:45 PR!!

  2. YAYAYA! Good luck and have fun! I can't wait to see how you do!

    1. Same to you Nicole!! I hope it'll all go well. I'm determined to HTFU my way through this one.

  3. That's so amazing that you can look back and see the improvements you have made!!! I can't wait to read your race report next week!