Thursday, February 10, 2011

You know you're a true runner when... have icicles on your eyelashes and eyebrows following a run!

Dang it was cold out tonight for my run! I'm still freezing an hour after coming back inside!

I've had a hard time posting lately as I've been so swamped with work - and this post is no exception - but I wanted to just check in and say that despite the frigid temperatures and the occasional drop, I'm managing to keep up with running per my plan for the most part. Certainly much better than I've done in previous winters.

Anyway back to work - more later....

Monday, January 24, 2011

Time out for Tech

OK. I was supposed to run tonight. But I have way too much work to do, and a serious lack of energy to run. Plus I am tired of running in the snow. I will make up my run sometime this week - not sure when exactly, but I know I will catch up those 8k one day.

So, instead of writing about a run - and instead of focusing on the mountain of work I have to do - I am going to take a quick timeout to highlight three quick cool things that make up the other 2/3 of this blog's title. For those not paying attention, that would be Create and Code.

First off, I neglected to mention something very exciting last week. My company - Red Piston Inc. - recently launched our first major game, called Banzai Blowfish!. for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Banzai is the result of many, many months of hard effort from my colleagues Ali, Jakub and Patryk. They've done a tremendous job, and on Thursday, our app was selected by Apple to be featured in the "New & Noteworthy" section of the App Store. This is a HUGE deal for us, and I'm proud of the guys. And, while I wasn't directly involved in the day to day development - other projects have kept me busy - I threw in my $0.02 from time to time on level design, sounds, game play, etc. In any case, check it out and let me know what you think.

Secondly, I came across this article today on one of the sites I read daily - John Gruber is an Apple pundit, and often has great scoop on what's happening in Cupertino and on the tech scene. Anyway, he posted a link to another site tonight to an article that just shows how much attention to detail Apple pays to their products. It's stuff like this that makes owning and using an iPhone so great, and 99% of the time, you don't even think about these types of things as you use them. Reading stuff like this is a reminder that the small details do matter, and that winning isn't always about hitting home runs, but rather taking care of small details like hitting singles, advancing the runner, etc. How's that for mixing metaphors of baseball and life? Anyway, the article deals with how new email is displayed when you're currently checking out your inbox - it's worth a read, even if you're not a tech-nerd.

And finally, I came across another cool little mention from the folks at - Google has made checking the weather - regardless of what city you're in - just a little bit easier. You need to be connected to ( doesn't work yet for some reason) from your iPhone or Android, and do a search on Weather. You'll get a cool little interactive weather forecast, without launching an app. Normally I prefer dedicated apps to web apps, but this is pretty cool. More details and screen shots are at

OK - that's it for now. Next time, I'll bring the run report, but I can't promise that this is the last tech talk....

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Fast 3K!

According to my training plan, tonight was supposed to be an easy 3k at 6:56 per kilometre (somewhere around an 11:00/mile). But, for whatever reason, even though I worked all day, taught at the college after work and was heading out into a chilly snowstorm at 9:00pm, I felt like I had some speed in me.

Maybe it was the fact that I wanted to just get the run over with, and get out of the snow, but I slapped on the YakTrax, and blew out a 14:58 3k run! I felt a little out of control at times as I dodged ice and mounds of snow, but otherwise felt pretty good! I'm not sure that what I did was really a wise thing as far as training goes - and I really need to work on my endurance, not so much with the speed, but every now and then it's fun to race against the clock.

I'm currently having some issues locating the cord that connects my Garmin to my computer, so I don't have my split times. I'll post them when I find the cord...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Snow. Wind. Done.

My training plan called for a long, slow 10k today....and it's a good thing. We've had our share of snow lately (a lot for Windsor, anyway), and just got another dusting last night. This made for some slushy, snow-covered roads and sidewalks, and made for a bit of a more difficult run today. At some points, I felt like a deer - high-stepping it through the fields. Hopefully no one who saw me would describe my running style as 'prancing', but that's kinda what it felt like.

I tried to pace myself around a 6:00min/km, and overall was just a hair slow, finishing my 10k in 1:01:32. Not too bad, considering the last half of my run was directly into one of the more fierce, blasts of wind I've cared to be out in for a while.

Anyway, not much else to say about today's run, other than I'm glad I got out there. When I woke up, I looked outside and immediately tried to think of excuses why not to go, but as usual, now that I'm done, I'm glad I did. I would have kicked myself all day if I just sat around and hid from the effort.

For posterity's sake, here's my stats from my Garmin:

Avg Pace

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sometimes You've Got It

(a.k.a. the prequel to my future, inevitable, blog post titled "Sometimes You Just Ain't Got It").

As you may or may not recall, I downloaded the "SmartCoach" app from Runner's World to my iPhone, and tonight I started my official training for the Angus Glen 10 miler with an 8k "Tempo" Run.

Technically, according to my plan, I was supposed to do my Tempo run on Wednesday night, but I play Volleyball that night, so I've had to move some stuff around. I'm going to follow all the runs from the plan, just on different nights. I'm hopeful that as long as I keep my long run where it's supposed to be, and generally stick to the same distances, styles and rest days, that I should be ok. I'm also taking some of the suggested training times into my own hands, as I find the plan that is mapped out to be a bit slow for me.

Anyway, as I mentioned, tonight was supposed to be a Tempo run. According to the plan, I was supposed to do a slow-ish warmup for 1.5k, Tempo for 5k, and then a 1.5k cool down. The 5k time was supposed to be at a 5:56 pace, and according to the description, at Tempo pace, I should be running hard enough that I would find it difficult to talk, but not racing. Well, so far, based on my previous runs, 5:56/k would be a bit slow for me. I decided to just run tonight at whatever pace I felt comfortable at. Ultimately, that turned out to be a pace of 5:33 - just a hair off of my target pace of 5:30/k!

What's better, is that I felt very comfortable throughout and enjoyed the run. It was cold, but not insanely so, and there was very little wind, traffic or anything much happening out. Just me and the crunch of my feet on the snow.

All in all, if this is what training for the 10 miler is going to be like, I'll have a blast. And, since I know it won't be all sunshine and roses, I'll bookmark this post for future reference!

Here's my splits, for those keeping score at home (the 9th km was a walk/jog):

Avg Pace

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Run Observation of the Day

I love the look you receive from people on the street when you're out for a run on a cold / rainy / snowy or extremely hot day - it's kind of like "Good For You! (you incredibly stupid, crazy son-of-a-bitch)"

I'm Committed Now...

Yikes! I just officially signed up for the Detroit Marathon this year! Crazy or not, there's no turning back now...

Until January 10, 2011 they had an early -bird special where registration was 50% off. If there's one thing I like more than putting my body through the torture of training for a marathon, it's saving 50% off!

I put my goal time as 3:55, which is an 8:58 pace per mile (5:30 per kilometre). That's what I can do for a 5k, so let's hope I can just go out and repeat that 9x on race day.

I guess it's about to get a whole bunch more serious now....