Taking Advice

Is it better to give than receive?

If you’re asking about advice, the question very quickly becomes a false dichotomy.

Receiving advice gives you the opportunity to benefit from the wisdom of those that have come before. They’ve learned from their mistakes so you don’t have to.

Giving advice means you can provide others with the benefit of your wisdom and genius (assuming you have either). You’ve made a few mistakes, learned from them, now you can spare your friends the pain and humiliation of repeating the mistakes you’ve made.

Of course, it doesn’t actually matter if you don’t actually take your own advice or the advice that has been freely given to you and actually use it.

Case in point: a tale of two Sundays.

My 14K run two Sundays ago was an example of what not to do.  I came prepared. I had my gel blocks. I just didn’t use them.


Or to quote Jack Layton, “hashtag fail!” (See, I’m not a total right wing jerk. Just a partial one)

As I was finishing the second to last interval, I could feel my energy reserves dropping like a stone. I was running on the proverbial fumes. I would now like to apologize to every car I’ve ever owned for routinely driving you for days after the needle hit “E”.

As I wrote last week, I was pretty hangry by the end. Discovering I neglected to pack a few items to change out of my wet clothes on a cold, rainy Sunday did not help either.

What a difference a week made. Easter Sunday we did 16K. It was great run along the pathways on both sides of the Ottawa River. The weather was fantastic. The Gatineau side was nice and hilly, making up for missing the usual Wednesday night hill training. I started taking my gel blocks around kilometre eight. I also added some honey and salt to my water bottle to give me some more sugar. Even if I repeated last week’s mistake and didn’t eat the chews, I would still get some extra energy from the water.

Both worked like a charm. I felt fantastic at the end of the 16k. Desperately in need of a quick boost, but nothing a cup coffee and a date square from Bridgehead couldn’t fix.

I didn’t bring a shake with me for post-run nutrition. It being Easter Sunday, a statutory holiday, the Running Room was officially closed as a store. It was physically open for the run club but the cash registers were closed and the store would be locked up at 11 am sharp. If I got my group back after that, the shake would nicely locked away until Monday. Since the weekly e-mail with the run route didn’t get to my inbox in time and given my track record of detours, this was a very real possibility. As such, I only brought what I needed for the run. No change of clothes. Even winged it on the shorts and didn’t wear my track pants for the walk to the store.

In the end, the route was so simple even I couldn’t get us lost. We were back by about 10:30. As I wrote earlier, felt great, just a little tired and need of a caffeine boost. No time to sit and chat with my running friends, though. I had to scoot home, get cleaned, and get cleaned up for the noon Easter service at Notre-Dame Cathedral. Made it a few minutes late, but found a seat in the choir loft. Fantastic service, but when I got out of mass I was ravenously hungry. I stopped at the first Sunday brunch I came across, Chez Lucien.

Tuesday we had a great session on body mechanics and running. Following the clinic, we ran a nice 5K tempo using the two bridges route. A little chilly with a few sprinkles of rain, but, as we say here in Canada, at least I don’t have to shovel it. I actually like it cool on these short, fast runs for obvious reasons. That said, race day is typically hot and muggy. The more training in the proximate conditions of race day, the better.

Wednesday’s hill training was fun. After missing last week’s hills, I took the less experienced runners in my group back to tho the Fleet St. hill to get our 7 repeats in. If you click the link, the GPS data looks like the kind of scribblings my nephews would do if I left them unattended with crayons and my road atlas. Another nice cool night. I made sure to have the stronger runners who finished first cheer on the ones who were finishing last.

I’ve gone from keeping things pretty steady on hills to charging them like I was an extra in Braveheart.  You can thank the cross training for that. The workouts at Greco have a tendency to slightly favour the lower body. No complaints here. For a couple of weeks, I was rather stiff for the Thursday morning Extreme Lean exercises. Despite increasing the number of hills, that didn’t seem to be the case this week at all. I got right into the circuit, starting with the burpees with the upside down bosu ball.

Looking forward to my first half marathon. RunOttawa released a 3D model of the route.

Looks fun. We’ve been cannibalizing the route for weeks into smaller routes to give the groups an idea of what they’re in for.

Food wise, been eating a lot of leftovers this week. Last week’s prime rib was transformed on the weekend into a huge stir fry that I could portion out for the rest of the week.

With Kalin away visiting her familyfor Easter weekend, it was just Vicky and I for Sunday dinner. For a change of scenery, we did it at her place. We made this lamb with fennel substituting caraway, sweet potatoes roasted with basil, eggplant, asparagus and sautéd kale. We split the leftovers and I will be having the last of my portion for lunch today.

Monday was pretty much a cheat day. Vicky and I caught a movie, Hunger Games, and I had popcorn (which apparently is loaded with antioxidants and is considered a great snack until you put butter on it. Whoops.) Kalin came back from New Brunswick with a bounty of the best New Brunswick and the Maritimes have to offer. Dinner was the other Greco, donairs, chased down with a growler of Best Bitter from Picaroons. She also brought me back a four pack of their Timber Hog Stout and some hot lamb and hot beef samosas from Samosa Delight at the Boyce Farmer’s Market.  I definitely kicked it extra hard on the fitness front this week to make up for it. We even had extra burpees this morning at Greco Lean and Fit because it was someone’s birthday, 36 in all.



One response

  1. […] or give up entirely and re-dedicate themselves to their day jobs. Even though I wrote about taking advice last week, I’m not sure it really applies to […]

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