May Running Update

There’s one day to go in May, but it’s a rest day for me, so today is the day I can look back and see how things went.

I ran a full schedule of five runs a week this month and it’s really paid off in terms of fitness. In fact, I ran 184km in May which is the most I’ve run in a month since last April.

My VO2Max as calculated by Garmin is up to 54ml/kg/min and Strava has my fitness level at 52. Not bad and a big improvement since the beginning of the month when those numbers were 50ml/kg/min and 39 respectively.

On the weight side of things, I started the month at 174lbs and this morning I was just under 169lbs. Some of that is due to the running totals but I’ve also hit my steps goal every day this month and changed a few things in my diet.

Brydge 10.5 Series II iPad Keyboard

My new keyboard came for the iPad Pro 10.5″. It’s a Brydge 10.5 Series II and it turns the iPad into a small laptop.

This is something of a first impressions post. I’ll do a fuller review in a few weeks. I’m coming to the Brydge from the older Apple Smart Keyboard Cover that I bought with the iPad about two years ago. It’s started getting flaky recently, so a new keyboard was required.

The Brydge keyboard is sort of like the old Macbook Pro keyboards from a few years back with decent key travel and a bit softer feel. Obviously it’s smaller in size since it has to fit the small iPad form factor.

The Brydge 10.5″ Series II when attached kind of makes the iPad Pro look like a tiny Macbook sans touchpad.

The hinge design is nice and more secure than I expected it to be. It’s not ideal in that respect, as the Apple Keyboard Cover is much easier to rip off the iPad to play a game or watch a video. We’ll see how that works out over time and maybe the action to remove and replace will be something that starts to become more natural to me.

I actually think the trade off on detach-ability is good since it comes with some additional features like a backlit keyboard and media keys across the top. It’s more “tiny, iOS laptop” now compared to “iPad with a keyboard attached”.

I’m actually typing this on the Brydge and while it’ll take some getting used to, the keyboard is easy to type on and I’m pretty accurate with it right out of the box. Bluetooth lag seems to not exist although I do have the occasional missed keystroke, I think because maybe I am hitting the keys very close together.

To sum up, first impressions are good and I think this will make the iPad more useful again since the old keyboard was dying and made typing a bit of a frustrating exercise of late. It was also substantially cheaper than the Apple keyboard is.

Progress Continues

The step goal streak is now at 18 days with daily goals in the 15-16,000 step range now. Suffice to say, I’ve been doing a lot of extra walking lately.

May 1st was the start of something.

On the running side of things, I’ve been sticking to a solid five runs a week schedule since May 1 and it’s been paying off. I feel stronger and I’m running better. I’m also down about four pounds too.

On deck for tomorrow is an 18km long run to finish the week strong with 44km run. I used to really like to run around 42km for the week and I’ll be around that for the next little while as the weekday runs stay the same with 18km, and then a pair of 20km runs on deck in early June.

You might see a pattern here with training leading up to something…like maybe a half marathon sometime near the end of June. In fact, I have a race on my schedule on June 23 – the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon. More about that later.

Five Runs, and a Steps Streak

After 14km today (bit of a step-back week), and another 5-run week, it’s safe to say that I’m in a bit of a groove here. It’s good to be back on the old and familiar schedule again.

I got out for runs on Tuesday (6km), Wednesday (6km) and Thursday (8km!) along with a Saturday morning run at Variety Village (6km). Today’s run was done solo and I ran some areas of the city I’ve never run before which made it a bit more interesting.

I’m also on a daily steps streak extending back to May 1. That’s the Garmin steps goal as well which is dynamic and has been gradually creeping up over the two weeks. It’s about 13,000 steps a day which is even a bit of a challenge on days I run 6km.

To get the steps in, I’ve been doing a lot of walking as part of my commute to and from work. I get off many stops early both ways and I’ve also added a lunchtime walk on non-run days to get the extra 5,000 steps in that I need those days.

Thinking About Vancouver

It’s May 5, 2019 and that’s also the day of the 2019 BMO Vancouver Marathon this year. I have quite a bit of jealousy thinking about those who were able to head out to run what is easily my favourite race in my favourite city. Having run Vancouver five times since 2011, it’s safe to say that a May marathon out west had sort of become an almost annual thing for me.

But not this year.

I’m taking a break from the marathon and so that meant no Vancouver race on the first Sunday in May in 2019. That said, I did get out for a run today and I tried to take care of a bit of that feeling of sadness about not being in Vancouver today by running through some of the Toronto areas that remind me of Vancouver.

Union Station and CityPlace

I took the GO Train down to Union Station with Lindsey this morning. She’s coincidentally entertaining a group of YMCA exchange students from North Vancouver this week (after her trip out there a few weeks ago) and they were headed to the Toronto Islands today. Heading out of Union Station, I ran down to the CN Tower and up behind the Rogers Centre before heading along the tracks through the backside of CityPlace.

This downtown neighbourhood is being built by Concord Pacific which also handled the construction and development of the former Expo 86 lands around False Creek in Vancouver.

I could see the participants in the Toronto Marathon (the poorly organized spring marathon in Toronto) across the tracks on Front St. and after a couple of turns, I was at Fort York and Bathurst St. for a few minutes to see the runners making the turn west.

Toronto’s Waterfront Trail

I continued south down to the lake and hopped on the Martin Goodman Trail (MGT) through the Central Waterfront area of Toronto. This area of Toronto reminds me of the Seawall in Vancouver which runs along the waterfront all the way around the city.

I hit the Harbourfront Park area behind the Harbourfront Centre. In Vancouver you have these neat views of the Harbour Air de Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter and DHC-2 Beaver seaplanes coming into and out of the harbour. In Toronto, it’s Bombardier Q-400s from Porter Airlines taking off and landing at Billy Bishop airport.

The seaplane terminal in Coal Harbour, Vancouver

The area in behind Corus Quay in the new East Bayfront area of the city’s waterfront is the most “Vancouver-like” bit of Toronto to me so I made a point of running down along Sugar Beach and then along the water’s edge there.

Corus Quay and a little bit of “seawall” in Toronto

Once off the MGT, I made my way up the Don River on the PanAm Path for a bit. The Paddle the Don event was on and it was neat to see the canoes coming down the river to Corktown.

Back to Toronto

The remainder of the run was all Toronto. I took Queen St. across from Riverside, through Leslieville, and eventually to Kingston Road. The long hill up Kingston Road to Main St. was a chore, but also reminded me of Main St. in Vancouver (a bit of a stretch…I know).

Ten minutes two kilometres later and I was back home in the Upper Beach with 16km done to close out a 37.5km week.

Making Progress

It’s been a few days since the last post in which I pledged to get back into the habit of running regularly.

Since then, I’ve actually hit the treadmill a few times instead of running outside. The EBRC run on Monday ended up being 5km at Variety Village because the weather was looking crappy.

This morning I actually ran at 6:15 A.M. over at Variety Village with Ginny. It’s been forever since I got out before work for a run. This may become a thing.

I’ll run tomorrow night again and maybe Saturday instead of Sunday since there’s the Toronto Marathon happening and most of my running friends will be out running that or in Pittsburgh.