Friday, July 8, 2011

Aches and pains

I've officially started my 12-week marathon training plan for the Montreal marathon, to be held on September 25th. My plan was to go running at least twice last week to build up to the plan, which is quite grueling (when compared to sitting on your couch...). I had remembered that the plan started out with three runs per week,  which eventually grew to four. It turns out I was confusing the marathon plan with the half-marathon plan. The marathon plan starts out with four runs per week (Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday-Sunday). Also, I only managed to go running once last week. It is now Friday of week one and I am sore. In fact, last night, when I went out to run 14 km, I was still sore from Tuesday's run. Both of these runs included intervals (16.5 km/h for 30-second bursts and 16 km/h for 90-second bursts). I imagine I will still be sore tomorrow when I run 14 km and again Sunday when I run 17 km. In fact, I can't envisage a time when I won't be sore.

This is the same marathon plan as I used, successfully, last year for the Ottawa marathon. Last year, I had been running more regularly before starting the plan and the transition into the plan seemed smoother. However, I seem to remember that I was having more trouble hitting the required speeds for the intervals last year. One thing I like about a fixed plan (as opposed to just trying to run a lot, like my friend Franck), is that it does not require a ton of willpower. Once you commit to the plan, that's it. You just follow it like a robot. The first time I did this last year, it felt good, as I knew I was following a training plan prepared by an experience marathoner (Christian Brouard) that would likely result in me being able to run a sub 3:15 marathon. As I was able to meet my goal last year, I am even more confident than I was last year that following the plan will allow me to again meet my goals. I am not aiming to beat the Ottawa time, as Montreal is a less flat marathon and as I can't be guaranteed pleasant weather in September. I am not worried too much about the result... I just want to make it through the plan. Also, it would be nice to be less sore.

On the automotive front, I watched the first two episodes of Top Gear's summer series this week. They tested  (and loved) the BMW 1M. They pitted it against the Porsche Cayman R and the Lotus Evora and they sort of raised the same question as I have raised in the past: why buy a 2-seat sports car when a car with four real seats (not unlike my M3) performs just as well. I believe I brought up this point this spring: when a Golf GTi is as fast around a track as a Boxster or Cayman, why choose the Porsche? Of course, the Porsche is pleasant to drive, but so is a BMW and even a Golf. I guess it has something to do with the flash/prestige factor... I don't know. I used to want a Boxster, but really, for someone who only owns one parking spot, it makes more sense to have one car that meets my daily transportation needs and my performance needs. Of course, I figured out long ago that, for track use, I need a car that is cheap and easy to maintain. Until recently, I was thinking that I would sort of like a nice used Porsche 911, but really, I don't see how it is better than a nice used M3 of the same vintage, which has a real back seat and trunk. As for convertibles, I think my needs would be met with a Miata or an Alfa Romeo, as straight line performance would be secondary. Buying a convertible would be a sort of selfish endeavour anyway, as Alex would always be cold whenever I put the top down.

Cool cars spotted:

TVR 280
Aston Martin Vainquish
Aston Martin Vantage
Ferrari 458
Ferrari F430
Ferrari 328
Ferrari California
Lamborghini Gallardo
Maserati GT
Corvette Z06
Lexus IS-F
Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 1
Nissan Pulsar Gti-R
Nissan Skyline GT-R R32
Bentley Continental
Alfa Romeo Spyder
Lotus Elise
Porsche 997 Turbo
Audi RS4
Audi R8
Audi S6 V10
BMW Z4 M Coupé


  1. Im not in for the work i even park my car at the IGA next to my business ..but your right about the 2 seat some time well it ain't enough ....

  2. Steph, at least you really DRIVE your Cayman! Like you, I think Porsche's are more fun to drive than to look at. :)