Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Changes in Training .... last weeks totals

My training last week went really great and then really crappy. Its like that sometimes I guess as the runs early in the week went well. I was full of energy and my legs felt really good then KABOOM just when I was beginning to gloat I finished off with a couple of real sucktacular runs.

The last month has been a bit of a challenge in itself due to big change in training methodology. I got a new running program from coach Roger, see his blog here, which follows the Arthur Lydiard training philosophy. Lydiard was big on early deep base building (hey I can do that) kept at a slower pace (DOH!) with a focus of peaking at one spring and one fall race (Double DOH). Its been a challenge to stay easy and patient but so far so good.

I somehow managed to get all my mileage and runs in during the holidays and all went fine as I upped my miles on my Wednesday night run and hit the hills on Christmas morning. Nothing says Christmas like 12km of monster hills. I am currently running a great hill route just west of High Park (for those of you in Toronto) which I got from Roger. You can check it out here. When it's combined with my semi-hilly run to get to the hills it works out quite nicely. So nicely in fact I decided to run it twice. In hindsight this might have led to future crappy runs.

On Saturday I headed back to High Park in the pouring rain for a Club run on the trails. I felt great right up until the whole running part of the run. It took less then 30 seconds to come to the conclusion that this was going to be a slow painful training run. No worries just take it easy I thought. Well guess what you really can't take it easy when you're running through 6 inch deep mud. GRRRRR. After one loop of the trails done 7 minutes slower than usual (7 minutes on a 3.5 mile loop, you do the math)we stuck to the road where my legs really felt no better.

Sunday faired no better as I got in 28km with Steve. We were slow, my legs were tired and all that rain had frozen overnight causing slippery conditions on the road. We had to forget about running our normal Mount Pleasant Cemetery route and stuck to sidewalks where at least we could see the ice. The good is we discovered a new route that was okay and we will probably run again even though it does take us out towards the East end of the city.

What's up next, I am not really sure. I might do some indoor track races in the next couple of weeks but worry about a conflict with my training schedule as I really want to get my base mileage back into the 65 mile (110 km) range.

Last weeks training
Days - 6
Longest run - 28km (17.3 miles)
Total for the week - 88km (54.6 miles)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Egg Nog Jog Blog .... race report

Sunday December 13th was the Egg Nog Jog. This is an 10.8 KM hilly race held just outside of Georgetown ON. Did I mention that this course is hilly, really really hilly including one very large soul sucking monster hill right in the middle of the course.

Now when people tell me that a race course has "a big hill" as well as some "rolling hills" I usually figure okay, I shrug and accept that my time will be a little slower than usual but whatever. I mean really every trail and cross country race I have ever run has had lots of hills so hills on the road should be no problem. When will I ever learn.

Weather for race morning was rainy and cold but luckily just above zero so at least it wasn't freezing rain. Kim and I drove out to the race with fellow Longboater Gregoire B. We got there well before race time, picked up our race kits which included a giant beach towel and milled around with a few other club members. The rain and dampness made it seem much colder then it actually was.

As the start time got closer we all headed out for a quick warm up. This was definitely another when will I ever learn moment. My warm up was too short and too ... well lazy to be honest. I was cold and should have worked a bit (a lot) harder. Now some people can get away with the sort of warm up or no warm up but I am not one of those people. After more then 40 races I still occasionally forget this... what a dufus.

We all lined up for the start of the race which ended up being delayed for about 5 minutes and then we were off. I actually got off to a pretty good start as the early part of this race has a good portion of downhill. I ran it fairly fast but tried to stayed contained, in retrospect I should have run harder here but I was mistakenly trying to run this thing like a normal course. My first two KMs clocked in right at a 4 minute pace. The road was a little slick, well used so not too bad.

After a long downhill and then a mostly flat run we made a sharp right hand turn and headed up and into the early rolling hills. It was all downhill (which was actually uphill) for me. As I began to run up and down the early small rolling hills my ankles on both feet began to really bother me, not the side of my ankles but the top area around my feet. This is really not anything I have encountered on a run before and it really tightened up. I began to do some quiet cursing and was already wondering about my lack of warm up.

The next few KM were up and down, up and down with my legs still not getting loose. I also noticed that my pace time was right out the window... grrrrr. Oh ya and did I mention the hills? I did. Well did I mention the lovely thin coating of snow and ice that now covered the road? No, I didn't, well we wouldn't want to leave that out. Once we turned off the main road a good part of the course had a light slippery coating of winter crap on it. Now this isn't the big trudge through the snow kind of thing or even the watch out or you will fall on your butt kind of thing, this was more of the can't dig in and push off kind of thing.

Up the hill, down the hill and on it went. Okay now here is the really funny part of the race. I had for some reason believed that the big hill was in the first 5km and as I passed the marker I had two very distinct thoughts at once. The first was that the big hill wasn't so bad so what's the big deal and the second was when the heck are my legs going to loosen up and stop hurting. Unfortunately both these questions were answered almost immediately.

It couldn't have been more then a minute later that I turned a small corner saw the actual "big hill". Oh Crap, that is actually a really big hill. Well what can you do so I just put the head down and started powering my way up it. It was steep and long and I was running kind of slow yet was still passing people so I guess I have to give the hill a reluctant thumbs up. It also completely loosened up the front part of ankles no more pain there at all. Of course that pain was replaced with a burning in my calves that was searing. I definitely need to hit the road hill training hard before Around the Bay in the spring.

Once I got clear of the hill the rollers that followed didn't seem like much of a big deal at all. I was more concerned with my lack of traction which I felt like I was really struggling with. I still managed to pick it up a little and wasn't being passed by people so I think most were having the same kind of struggles. As we came into the last KM we were back out on a main road with a better grip. The last big hill on the course was a very steep downhill and then a quick flat section to the finish.

Here is the official finish stats.
Official Time: 51:16
Overall: 76/490
Age Group: 22/77

Okay so if you have read this blog this far you might think that I didn't like this race. Well nothing could be farther from the truth. I loved the course just not the footing conditions. This race is an extremely well run and organized race and the people that put this race on do it well. I would definitely run this race again in a second. I on the other hand just didn't have a good race. Not really sure why, sometimes you just don't have it on the day. I was actually fairly happy with my time given the course and conditions but man was this one painful but also strangely enjoyable race. How odd.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Winters here ... Eggnog Jog coming up ...Last weeks training

Ahhhh ... winter is finally here. The snow, the wind, the freezing rain, you got to love it. I shouldn't really complain though, I mean I do live in Canada and this time last year we had been living under a snow bank for almost a month.

Last nights run along the Lakeshore was into a nice 50km headwind... sweet. Talk about hill training without any actual hills, so much for a nice take it easy kind of run.

EggNog Jog
This Sunday I will be running the Eggnog Jog. It's a 10.8km race, kind of an odd distance but other people that I run with have told me that its a great race. Oh ya and its suppose to be hilly with one extra special humongous hill to help kick the stuffing out of you. I will be treating this race as a very fast hard tempo workout and not worrying so much about finishing time. I mean I will be getting a PB anyway given the odd distance. No race shirt for this one but I do get a really sweet Beach Towel, just what I need in the middle of the winter ..HA.

Last weeks training went pretty well with only a small bump in the road. I have been having a bit of an achilles problem but its minor at this point so just icing and keeping an eye on it. That will teach me for actually doing a proper recovery after Hamilton. One of those strange quirky things as I usually don't do a proper recovery (ask anyone) but vowed that this time I would. That will teach me!

At this point my runs are mostly slow and easy as I start to rebuild my base mileage. My program seems harder to follow then normal as I really want to run faster and longer but I have vowed stick with it and behave myself... mostly anyway ... as its suppose to actually be more beneficial in the long run. Last week I put in 51.5 miles with the expectation of being back up to around 65 miles by early January.

Monday, November 23, 2009

New training program starts tomorrow..switching to KMs ..spring taking shape

After taking a semi break to let my legs recover from the Hamilton Marathon it will be right back into training for the spring. Yes I know it’s a little too early to start my actual marathon program so we're going to call this my preprogram program. How’s that for really bad use of the English language.

This week put in 45 miles of mostly easy running. The plan will be to take it back up to 65 miles over the next month so that I have a deep base going into my actual marathon training program. Until Hamilton my Boston Qualifier was so far out of reach it wasn’t a realistic goal at all. Now I am only 18 minutes away, I can see the taillights ahead of me but they are still really far up the road. The reality is that I will most likely not be able to get a BQ in the spring but it will not be for lack of trying. If not next fall it will happen for sure barring the dreaded injury.

Currently the plan for the spring is to run Around the Bay followed a month later by a Marathon. It looks like it will be The Waterloo Marathon. My racing and training schedule doesn’t give me a very large window to fit a spring marathon into so my choices are somewhat limited. I plan to attempt to run my first 100 miler at Sulphur Springs at the end of May so I need to make sure that I have enough recovery time from the marathon.

With the start of my new training program comes another drastic change (at least for me). I will be doing all my runs in KMs instead of miles. Tried to change this once before but it went badly. My pacing got all screwed up as in I couldn’t hit my proper paces. Like any rational person I blamed the KMs and went back to miles. I know sounds silly but it made perfect sense at the time. Its time to switch though. First because my new program is in KMs. Secondly because it gives me a lot more split times to make race adjustments. Thirdly I do actually live in Canada.

Have no fear my American readers I will still post my numbers in miles but will probably add KMs in brackets. KMs still seem to me to be the kind of thing you put in brackets.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Longboat year end awards .... There are people crazier then me

Sunday night was the Longboat AGM dinner which is an annual event held in November at the end of the racing season. I am told that yes racing season does have an end just not at my house. It seems I live in some kind of alternate running universe where the seasons never end, where its just one big long season... kind of like LA.

This year the dinner was held at the Balmy Beach Club. I just what to say a big congratulations to Sabrina Young who will be club president for the coming year and Steve Metzger who will be Vice Pres. Both of these positions had a number of excellent candidates running for election in a kind of the club cant really lose situation. My lovely better half will also be the acting Secretary for club this year ... way to go Kim.

Also a big thank you to everyone that sat on the executive last year but a BIG special thanks to outgoing President Bert DeVries who has run the club for the last few years and done a really awesome job.

Kim and I had a great time at the AGM this year and we also managed to pick up a couple of awards. Kim won the award for Most Improved Female Runner after putting in a great year which included her first marathon and knocking 12 minutes off of her Spring HM PB in the fall.

I was given the Kevin Hayes Road Warrior Award. It seems that running many races including some crazy long distances which even most of my running buddies shake their heads at really does pay off. How will I top this next year, don’t worry I have a fiendish plan, or maybe crazy plan. Stay tuned for more details. Rob, Roger and George if your reading this please stop rolling your eyes... thanks.

Speaking of crazy as it turns out I am not the craziest runner currently in Longboat. Okay maybe I am but I am just talking about the running aspect here. That in my book has to go to Adrian Horvath.

Last month Adrian completed the Super Marathon in Europe. This is a Vienna to Budapest 5 day 320km road race. I believe that they have very strict entrance requirements. You must be able to prove that you have been under a psychiatrists care or in a mental institution within the past 18 months. Congrates Adrian but be forwarned I am devising a plan to find something even crazier to do. I may not be the fastest guy in the club but I will be the craziest. Yes I know you’re doing Comrades in May but I will think of something.

A special mention also should go out to non club member and fellow blogger JD who had planned to do Rock and Ice this winter. That ended up getting cancelled so he has replaced it with some crazy winter 100 miler in the Arctic where you have to drag a sled. Now who thought that was a good idea?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Hamilton Marathon Race Report

Sunday November 1st was race day for the Hamilton Marathon. I had been excitedly anticipating, no wait dreading, no wait anticipating this race for some time. I had done a ton of training but still was a bit worried about this one. Call it piling on a load of self inflicted pressure.

Truth is I had yet to figure out the Marathon. 5k, 10k no problem I got it worked out. Half Marathon, 30k no problem I got it down. 50k, 50 miler no worries I got that one figured out as well. Marathon... hmmmm... not so much. In both Marathons I had run so far I had hit the wall and failed to go under 4 hours.

My solution, training base mileage like a mad man and doing MANY, MANY 20 milers. Well that went as planned as I averaged 60 miles a week and put in thirteen 20+ mile Sundays. You would think that would make my approach to the race pretty straight forward but no the specter of my crash and burns still lurked just over my shoulder.

I then proceeded to hassle all my running friends for their advice... repeatedly. I may have personally been responsible for dispersing crowds when they would see me coming. I got lots of great advice, be aggressive, lay back, don’t be to aggressive, don’t lay back too much. Problem was that all of it conflicted and yet all of it made perfect sense. SIGH

In the end I did what I always do which is to run as close to the edge as I can and hope my blow up is a small burp and not a fart of room clearing proportions.

The Plan - I decided on a fairly aggressive (for me) 5 minute a K or 8 minute miles. I would run this pace for as long as possible and keep a close eye on my HR if it got too high too early I would adjust my pace otherwise I would hold on to this pace as long as possible. A goal = 3:30 (dream goal), B goal = 3:45 (reasonable), C goal = under 4hr (I blowed up real good)

Got picked up at 5:30 on Sunday morning by fellow Longboater and running buddy Gregoire Bonhomme who was running the HM. Kim was kind enough to give up her Sunday morning and come along with us. I was very happy as she is amazing support and I also had a feeling that I might need someone to help me stagger home afterwards if things got ugly.

Got to Hamilton picked up our race kits and grabbed the bus that would take us up to the start line. One of the race directors who was running the HM was on our bus and she entertained us with the history of the race while giving out free hats. She was so excited about the race. It was really cool to see one of the organizers so stoked about the race and thankful for all the people who were running it (are you listening VRpro!!).

Arrived at the start line where they had a high school for us to keep warm in before the race. Weather conditions were excellent about 2 degrees and almost no wind. Met up with other Longboaters here including Roger Moss, and Eric Mohr who were doing the Marathon and Lynn Bourque who like Gregoire was running the HM (also saw George Hubbard warming out outside).

After a brief wait I headed outside to the starting corral. I ended up walking right past fellow blogger Caroline, check out her blog here. We chatted a bit (congratulations on a great race Caroline) and then before you knew it off we went.


We headed out of the school parking lot and along the first stretch of road. I quickly fell right into pace and worked hard not to run faster then my 8 minute mile plan. It was a challenge but it always is. The road headed out among farmers fields and countryside and was really nice. It was calm, quiet and flat, flat, flat. I hit 5k at 25 minutes right on pace. Somewhere around this time I notice a guy just ahead of me who I had been running in front of me for some time. He was pounding out 5 minute Ks at a very steady pace so I decided to tuck in just behind him and let him do the work.

The next 10k went by in a flash all run on flat roads in the country. I geled at 45 minutes as planned. Splits were staying very consistent thanks to my new pacing friend who was still ahead of me. Around this time the two of us became separated from the packs in front and behind. I decided that I would pick it up and run beside the guy as I knew he had no idea I was pacing off him and he was kind of out there alone now.

As soon as I got up beside him he started to chat with me. Mark was from Hamilton and this was also his third Marathon. We ran the next 3 miles at a nice steady pace. I geled again just before the 21k mark but as we hit the half way point I got my last mile split. Oh Crap 7:45 and more alarming my HR had jumped up 5 beats. It was here that I had to make my only really big decision of the day. I either stay with Mark who was running a bit faster now or stick to the plan. You feel great said that little evil voice in my head. Keep going fast. What could happen? I immediately said good luck to Mark but I was slowing it down. I hit the half way mark at 1:46 right on time.

Just after the 22k mark we headed down the Red Hill. The next 6k were all downhill but in a good way. Most of this downhill was more of a slight decline with only a few steeper places so it was not too hard on the quads. Before I knew it I was headed off the highway and onto the streets of Hamilton running towards the lakefront.

I passed the 30k mark at 2:30 still right on schedule but I was starting to hurt at this point. Why oh why is the marathon so freakishly long? I geled again at this point and tried to get mentally focused as clearly my legs were letting me know that this thing was about to start getting ugly. The route keeps heading out along the lake on part of the Around The Bay course. I got a bit slower here dropping from 5 minute Ks to 5:10. As I made my way past the 33k sign I caught back up to Mark and said hello as I passed him and headed on towards the turn onto the lake. My decision to pull it back know seemed like a good one.

I made the turn onto the lake at about 35k with legs that were struggling now. Other then all the pain I felt pretty good. My pace had dropped again to around 9 minute miles. Now it was just focusing on the next 10 feet ahead of me and keep on running for 3 more miles.

It’s amazing how long 3 miles can seem but I sucked it up and keep on going as the last few Ks slowly ticked past. I saw George H. and Christine right before the 41k sign and they both cheered me on as I went past. It gave me a very much needed lift. George yelled to me that Kim was waiting for me at the finish line.

I managed to speed up slightly for the last 1.2K knowing that I was almost done. I really wanted to kick in the final stretch but decided to just stay steady. I was completely toast at this point and worried that I might not make it the last 200 meters if I tried to go any faster.

I crossed the finish line and Kim found me right away. I told her get me out of the finish chute area as quickly as possible. I knew that I probably looked pretty bad at that point and didn’t want one of the Vultures a.k.a medical volunteers (no disrespect intended) to swoop down on me and try to take me off to the vast wasteland known as the medical tent. If they were to ask me my name at that point I would have probably answered with something like "dududdda". I had been dancing along the wall, just teetering on the edge for more then 3 miles and had arrived at the finish just in time to meet it full force.

Kim who is very familiar with the exhaustion that comes at the end of long races having been there herself quickly got me out of there. We found place to sit down, I ate some soup and got into some warm clothes, twenty minutes later I felt a great deal better.

This was a MASSIVE PB for me. I finished in 3:38:08 which was just a few seconds under a 30 minute improvement. As important as the PB was even more important for me was that I seemed to finally figure out how I should be approaching and running this distance. Final stats below.

Gun time 3:38:28
Chip Time 3:38:09
Overall placing 262/925
Age group 46/84
Pace 5:11 K (8:20 mile)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hamilton Marathon Tomorrow

So tomorrow morning I will be off to run the Hamilton Marathon. I did a short 2 miles at race pace this morning just to keep the legs loose. Well if not race pace at least it was race effort, it was hard to tell as winds where between 40 and 60km.
No worries though as weather in Hamilton in the morning is supposed to be cool with only 15k winds.

I have finally decided on my splits for this race after talking to a number of different people that I run with. Do you want to know? Sorry not going to tell ya. You will have to read my race report next week to see what the plan was and how it all played out.

Training for this marathon has been quite different than the previous 2 that I have run. In the spring after running Paris I decided to do a fall marathon as my target race. I upped my mileage substantially as well as running 6 days a week. The plan was to work my base mileage up to a around 60-65 miles a week and get at least twelve 20 mile runs in during the training cycle. I managed to accomplish both of these training goals but a funny thing happened on the way to the marathon. I discovered the ultra trail marathon.

Originally as part of my training I decided to do a couple of 25k trail races just to keep things interesting and to my surprise discovered that I really, really like trail racing. My dabbling in 25k races lead to a 50k race that lead to a 50 miler.

Hey wait a second what happened to that marathon target race in the fall? Well it was still there and still is my target race. That said I found that I really peaked mentally after the Haliburton 50 Miler. I knew I had to focus on the marathon and physically was getting my training in but I felt strangely disconnected from my preparation. This is a very bad thing. I mean you can’t phone in a marathon. It's a long grueling race and a distance that has to be respected big time. You need to be focused, confident and ready. I actually began to consider maybe not doing it (I didn’t officially sign up until 2 weeks ago) but all that changed over the last 3 weeks.

The taper. I hate the taper, I really do. I should like it, less running, more rest and no sore legs. I have gotten to watch so much more TV lately. When the hell did they take Matlock off the air? This time around however the taper process helped me get reinvigorated and focused. I am as hyper and race ready as I have ever been for any race.

Thank you taper.
Let’s get this thing going.

PS. Good luck to my fellow blogging friends that are racing Hamilton tomorrow as well as to a pile of Longboat members that are running the full and half marathons.

Also a special good luck to Longboater Rob Campbell who is probably eating a big plate of pasta right now in a restaurant on Manhattan Island. Have fun running the NYC marathon tomorrow dude. I am sure it will pale in comparison to Hamilton.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Toronto Marathon Weekend ... PBs all around

Last weekend both Kim and I took part in various races at the Toronto Marathon. It was definitely a very busy Sunday for us as Kim ran the Half Marathon and I ran in the 5K and most of the Half Marathon as well.

Both of us had originally signed up in August to run the HM. The idea was that Kim would run the HM in an attempt to PB and I would pace her during the race. Although I was very, very tempted to run it hard I knew that this would be a bad move on my part with the Hamilton Marathon just 2 weeks later. This plan seemed solid given how my fall racing season had been set up with my short races early in September then Haliburton, some XC and lots of recovery time before Hamilton. Of course this was before the whole VRPRO fiasco. Yeah I know I still have to blog the details about that one but I am just getting back to updating regularly and so want to keep things positive for now. There will be lots of time during the coming winter months to try and convince you never to sign up for a race with VRPro :-). Anyway because of this I decided to add the Toronto 5K to my racing schedule so signed up a week before the race.

The plan was a simple one as Sunday Oct 18th was the first day of my taper for Hamilton. All I need to do was race a 5k and then get another 12 miles in so this could work out perfectly. I would do a warm up, race the 5K and then head up to St. Clair and Young to the 10K mark of the HM and meet up with Kim to pace her the rest of the way. A number of club members were running the water station at 10K so if I missed Kim at least I would know. I was pretty sure that I could make it up there in time but with both races starting at the same time in different places I might miss her.

Pre Race
We headed over to the expo on Friday and picked up our race kits. I just had to look on the board and get my bib number and then... crap. No listing for me in the 5K. I suspected that the system saw me double registered in both races and so didn’t register me. This was going to be fun.

I spent the next 15 minutes trying to explain the following to a number of people at the registration table. I am registered in both races. I am racing the 5K with a chip. I am then going to join the HM in progress with no chip (no official time) to pace someone. I registered for both because I don’t want to be on the course illegally and have a problem with race marshals. Rinse and repeat.

Honestly the people at the registration table were great so no complaints there. They passed me on to the woman in charge and she got it right away. Unfortunately (actually fortunately for me) they could not double list me in the system so she changed my registration to the 5K and gave me the bib for HM anyway no extra charge. It’s so nice to actually deal with a race that gives a rat's ass about runners (you know what I am saying VRPro).

I quickly bought a bunch of stuff at the Expo to celebrate my new found wealth. I picked up a Nathan fuel belt which I had been looking for and is perfect for trail racing. I also picked up this cool little stretchy pack for carrying stuff while running. I already tried this out and it works great.

Race Day
Kim left early cabbing it down to College and Yonge to catch the race provided bus to Mel Lastman Square and the HM start line. I lounged around the house for another hour got dressed and then ran the 3 miles over to Bloor and University and the 5K start line. Got there 15 minutes before the race with my warm up already done and plenty of time to make sure I was in the front of the corral. Weather was great for racing 0 degrees but some wind, nothing to extreme however.

The 5K

Lined up to go, checked my shoelaces (get out of my head Too Tall Tony) and took a look behind me. Man, there were a lot of people in this race. Bumped in to Feargal McCauley another Longboat member who is living in Ireland but was here visiting. He told me he was looking to run 18 minutes which is too fast for me so wished him luck. Then just like that we were off.

I came out pretty fast with a plan of running hard early while we were headed slightly downhill and then just hanging on in the second part of the race which is slightly uphill. My hope was to break 21 minutes although I knew that might be a little out of reach but hey ya got to try right.

Hit 1K at 4 minutes exactly which is pretty fast for me. Just after the 1k sign as the lead runners started to thin out I saw a guy slightly ahead of me. His left shoe was completely untied and his laces where whipping around. The girl next to me yelled at the guy to let him know but he said he was aware. Got to be a tough call, stop and tie the shoe and lose time or keep running and risk stepping on your own lace and taking a header (glad I always remember Too Tall's prevention advice).

Hit 2K with my second K run in 4:08 so was still right on my goal time and still felt pretty good. Reached the halfway point turn around at King and University and headed back up the other way. Saw George H. right at the turn around, it’s always nice to hear words of encouragement. Was still in pretty good shape but as I hit 3K I had slowed a little. The second half of this course is all slightly uphill, funny how such a small incline becomes noticeable when you are sucking wind.

I passed the 4K mark and then headed up around Queens Park on the final stretch. I was slowing down here more then I wanted as both my legs and lungs were stinging. At around 4.5K fellow Longboater Mark Stoller said Hi as he passed me like I was standing still. I suddenly felt like I was really slow as I watched him get smaller and smaller up ahead of me. Great running Mark, damn you and your young legs (Mark posted a 19:47 chiptime). I continued to push as hard as possible right to the finish, PBed by 2 seconds but didn’t make it to the magical 21 minutes. No worries will get it next time.

Official race stats
Gun time - 21:17
Chip time - 21:14
Place overall - 78 / 2556
Age group placing - 8 / 88

Race Phase 2
Took a quick 5 minute rest and chatted with Mark and George who had made his way up to the finish line. He was headed off to the HM course as well to do some pacing so I ran up the course with him. In no time I was up at the 10k mark where I saw Longboaters Anne B, Rob C. and Steve B. working the water station. Steve told me that Kim hadn’t passed by yet so I headed further up the road. There is a mid sized uphill just in front of Mount Pleasant Cemetery so I figured that I would go to the bottom of the hill and run with Kim from there. I didn’t even get to the bottom before I saw her.

I jumped in with her and she was doing pretty well and was holding her intended pace. She told me that the only glitch was that the buses were messed up as in not enough of them. She ended up taking another cab and only got into the corral 4 minutes before start time. From this point the rest was easy at least for me. I just tried to not speed up and let Kim draft off of me.

I have to say that this was a really fun time for me. I don’t often get to run with Kim as I am always training and so my pacing is too fast for her. I also don’t get to just relax during a race. Hitting the 18K mark of an HM and not being on the edge of imploding was a completely new experience.

Kim ran great and steady only slowing slightly in the last couple of KMs which are up the dreaded University Ave. incline. As we headed up University Kim said you’re not going to make me hold hand as we cross the finish are you. To which I gave her the as if face. Suddenly the girl we were passing said “Last year me and my boyfriend did that and then got a picture of us kissing as we got our medals. It was so nice”. Yeah like gag me with a spoon lady.

As we both pondered this bit of unsolicited information some guy with a thick Mexican accent yelled “You Can Do It” at us. Kim started laughing which is really not advisable when you are out of breath and energy at the end of a 13 mile race. She managed to get it back together and we crossed the finish line with Kim passing 3 people in the last 100 meters. Way to go honey. Kim was 6 minutes faster than she was at Scotia and 12 minutes faster than at Mississauga in May finishing in 2:20:47

All in all a pretty good weekend of racing. No offical pics posted yet... super slow they are. I will post them when I have them.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

My poor unattended Blog .... how I miss you..training update

My poor blog has gone unloved and unwritten for well over a month now. Damn how time flies. I have so much to write and so little time to "right" it.

No I have not quit running.
No I have not quit racing.
No I am not injured.
No I am not spending all my time in strip clubs and playing online poker.

The last month has been super busy doing just the opposite, racing like crazy and trying to get in my runs around a very hectic work schedule (work takes up a lot of time ... who knew).

Please Stand By .... These technical difficulties are only temporary ... I promise.

I have tonnes of stuff that I currently need to rant about plus some race reports to catch up on. I am going to try and take a different approach in order to get caught up and write more blog entries that are less rambling and shorter / to the point. Please stop laughing I am being serious here.

Training Update - 2000 miles and less weekly mileage

Late last week I surpassed 2000 miles for the year with more then two months left to go. That’s a lot of miles for me kids, especially when you take in to account that I was running about 30 miles a week last year. No wonder I am tired.

September saw less training miles due to lots of racing, recovery, racing, recovery, with me putting in only 215 miles for the month. Still pretty good considering.

October will see an even bigger dip as I have dropped my weekly training mileage down to 50 miles a week for the early part of the month. The next two weeks I will be taking it even easier as I taper for the Hamilton marathon on Nov 1.

I definitely have a love / hate relationship with the taper but will try and only do the miles that I am suppose to put in. I expect to be pretty twitchy for two weeks and in preparation for this I have purchased and even bigger coffee cup, its just a little smaller then the coffee pot itself but if I drink straight out of the pot I cant brew more at the same time.

talk to ya soon.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Haliburton 50 miler a Success + 5k PB

Briefly, my first 50 mile Ultra went really well last weekend. Haliburton was a hard, technical run but was also a lot of fun. I finished in a time of 10:03:16 which was faster then had anticipated. I came in somewhere close to 10th place but not sure as the results are not posted yet. My legs are pretty sore right now but it was an amazing experience and worth every minute of pain. I will definitely be running this race again although I might choose the 100 mile option next year.

Watch for a full race report posting coming in the next week or so.

In other running news I ran a PB at the Enlightenment 5k run the weekend before Haliburton. This was a very hilly 5k in High Park. I managed to run a 21:16 knocking 40 seconds off of my 5k PB time.

Some of you may have noticed that I was slated to run the Double Crown that weekend. Well that didn’t happen and in fact it was a huge farce (to say the least) which I am still dealing with. I want to keep this blog entry very positive however so I am not going to get into here. I will be posting a full accounting of the Double Cross (I mean Crown) in a couple of days

Friday, September 4, 2009

Sunset Shuffle Race Report .... Last Months Training

Sunset Shuffle Race Report
Thursday August 27th was this year's version of the Sunset Shuffle. I have to confess that this was one of my favorite races last year and so running it again this year was a no brainer (yeah, yeah insert smart ass remark right here). This is also one of the 2 races that my running club puts on every year. Unlike the Longboat Island Race in September, club members are allowed (actually encouraged) to run it.

What’s to like about this race? Just about everything. The course is located on Toronto Island and its flat and fast. It's an odd length at 6k so if you haven’t run it before you are probably getting a PB. It’s also small with the race capped at 200 runners and has a very laid back feel to it even though once again this year the field was amazingly fast. After the race there's beer and hotdogs, just what a runner needs after a hard run.

Got up Thursday morning and packed my running gear. Since I work right downtown and the race is a 7pm start, there was no point going home beforehand. At last minute realized that we had no bug spray. Last year the only thing that I didn’t enjoy about the race was the mosquitoes came out to feed once it got dark so had to have the bug spray this year. Kim said she would pick some up at lunch so no problem.

Got off work and walked over to Kim's office to meet her before heading down to the Island ferry. We managed to get there and on the 5:45 ferry just before it left. Got to the race and picked up our numbers with lots of time to spare. Did a good 20 minute warm up and then headed to the start line.

My race plan for this run was supposed to be a bit different. I didn’t do any kind of taper. Okay that’s not totally true I ran 10 miles instead of 12 the night before. I had planned to run fast but not all out, maybe around 10k pace. The reason for this was that I was going to be running back to back 5k and 8k races an hour apart the next week. Those were to be target races for me to try and PB in so I didn’t want to end up hurting myself or burning out my legs. I promised George who was going to pace me next week that I would take it easy. I believe he was skeptical from the start... LOL.

It also didn’t help the plan much to have fellow Longboater Rob C. trying to lure me into running it faster. "Don’t worry about it you got plenty of time to recover" and "you should be able to crush last year's time" although encouraging words, they are not helpful to sticking to the plan. It’s kind of like inviting your alcoholic, celibate friend to a keg party at a strip joint... something is bound to give.

The Race
Lined up at the starting line and as soon as Too Tall Tony blew the starting horn we were off. Race conditions were perfect, no wind and cool maybe around 18 degrees. I started out very strong, felt really good and was running way too fast. I began to make a conscience effort to keep it reined in at least a little. Hit the 1k mark in 4:03 (instead of the planned 4:30ish) but felt really good. Still that’s too fast for me even racing full out so I tried to pull it back a bit more. I noticed that fellow club member Rob K. was just a few feet ahead of me. Rob is much faster then me so I made an effort to get a bit more in control of my pace or I would pay for it later.

I hit the one mile mark in 6:45 but was now running a very hard but doable pace so just began to focus on staying steady. The run around 10k pace plan was completely out the window.

Was running really well and caught up to Longboater Andy M. right around the 3k mark. I expected to pass him but he sped up when I moved along side of him so I matched his pace for the next minute or two. I finally decided to push past him so I surged a little pushing the pace which Andy then matched. The next thing I knew he was pushing the pace with a little surge of his own. After that it was on big time, so much for taking it easy. I pushed, he pushed back and we had our own little race going for the next couple of K's.

This went until the last few hundred meters of the race. Even though I was redlining big time I saw one person a few seconds ahead that I thought I might be able to catch. I somehow found a final kick and picked it up at the end picking off the person in front of me and fending off Andy.

Finished the 6k in 25:44 (6:56 per mile pace). Actually hit the 5k mark 30 seconds faster then my 5k PB so was very happy with the time. Kim also ran very well finishing in 37:06.

We had hotdogs and beer post race and were very popular. As it turned out the bugs were out again and our giant can of bug spray appeared to be the only one on the Island.

Last Months Training Stats.

Here are my August Training Stats
Days run: 23
Days off: 8
20 mile runs: 4
Trail runs: 8
Races: 2 - 50k and 6k

Total Miles 252

Monday, August 17, 2009

No Wildcats, 50 Mile Madness, 1 Mile Race

Last week ended up being an interesting one in my running life.

First I decided to take the plunge and buy myself some decent trail runners. It became very clear during and after running 50k at Dirty Girls that I will be spending a lot more time on trails this fall.

I obsessively researched (per usual) trail shoes and finally decided on LaSportiva Wildcats. They got great reviews and matched what I was looking for in a shoe. I need something that will be okay for some road running (it's a mile to get to the trails), neutral (for my inserts) and affordable.

Simple right? Turns out nothing is simple in life. These shoes are only carried by one retailer in all of Toronto that I could find.... Mountain Co-op. Surprise, surprise, they don’t have my size and are not sure if they are getting more in. I would just order the shoes online but because of my inserts I have to be sure of the fit so that is just not an option for me with untested runners. You would think getting these things in the largest city in Canada would not be a problem but you would be wrong. Potential market 3 million people, number of size 10.5 shoes .... Zero.

Actually don’t blame the company here but more the retailer. I mean what are the chances that a guy will wear a 10.5 shoe. I don’t know maybe 50% chance. Only other size options were 10 (I guess I could bind my feet and try to shrink them) or 12. Yeah those will fit as long as I wear 8 pairs of socks.

Now I am redoing my research again although this time I will arm myself with a list of shoes. Any trail shoe suggestions are appreciated.

In a moment of temporary insanity after last weekends 50k I decided to take the plunge directly into the deep end of Ultra racing and signed up for the Halliburton 50 miler that takes place September 12th. At this moment I am wondering what exactly I could have been thinking on this one.

I am not sure if I am ready for this type of distance but I guess I will find out soon enough. Yesterday on my long run I practiced curling up in the fetal position on the side of the trail and crying as they always say you shouldn’t try anything new during a race.

Longboat 1 mile on the track
Last Wednesday was Longboat’s 1 mile race on the track. Each year the club puts on an event for members that most would not normally run in the normal course of racing. Last year it was 1 hour on the track where you ran for an hour in circles (okay ovals) as someone counted your laps with the longest distance deemed the winner. That was great fun by the way. This year it was a 1 mile race.

I have to say I had been looking forward to this since the spring in order to see just how fast I could go. With all the track training I figured I would do pretty well until I realized that the race would fall 4 days after I had run my 50k... DOH!!

Still I am not one to shirk my racing responsibilities so I decided to run it just the same. There were a total 3 heats and 22 runners. Heats were divided by expected times to keep them all competitive.

Heat 1 (expected finishing times 7+ minutes)

John C. won it running a fast 7:05. Nice job John. No photos from this heat as it seems John can’t run and take photos at the same time... who knew. Kim was also in this heat running a 9:47 on very, very tired legs that were still recovering from Dirty Girls.

Heat 3 (expected finishing time sub 6:15)
I all I can say about this heat WOW. Some super fast times here. Roger M. won it in a blistering 5:12 followed closely by Rob C. at 5:17. Also of note my usual track training partner Rob H. broke 6 minutes running 5:55 and PBing easily (way to go Rob!).

Heat 2 (expected finishing time 6 to 7 minutes)
I ran in this heat with the hope of just putting up an okay time. I knew I would be slower as my legs were dead tired from Saturday’s race but what can you do. Really just hoping to beat Steve or else I would never hear the end of it ..LOL. Heat 2 had 7 runners in it, all of them pretty good so this was going to be fun. For those not familiar with the track 1 mile is 4 laps +8.5 meters.

Gun when off and we were racing. I started on the inside and surged hard right away to try and keep the inside track. Legs felt okay but no spring at all, this was going to be interesting for sure. I got out to a decent start and led for the first lap with Jason B. right on my tail. I pushed the pace for lap 1 hoping to get as far out in front as I could. Finished the first lap in 1:30. As they called out the times I heard 1:31, 1:32 ... so knew people were right on my tail.

Headed around lap 2 I was still leading but Jason was right up my butt. I have to say this was a very new and odd experience for me. I have never been in first place in a race... ever. Was not really sure how to work any kind of strategy here and couldn’t see how close other runners were with the exception of Jason who I could hear right behind me. Finished lap 2 in 3:03. Heard 3:04 called out then 3:08. Okay got some separation from most of the field.

Lap 3 was the most difficult portion of the race for me. I really began to feel it in my legs and unintentionally slowed down. I started to over think things with Jason right on me. Should I surge, conserve etc. I am sure this cost me some time. You really shouldn’t try to think at this point of the race. I missed the line for the 200 meter mark so didn’t have any info to adjust my pace. Thought I might be slow but wasn’t sure. When I run track what causes me to slow down is almost always cardio, my legs feel like they could go faster but I just can’t get any more oxygen. During lap 3 it was all leg, I just could not get them to turn over any quicker. All I could think was Go away Jason but he just keep hanging on. Finished lap 3 no idea what the time was as I was completely into pain management mode. Heard it yelled out but it sounded like adults talking to Charlie Brown …… (WAH, WAH, WAH)

Lap 4 went much better then lap 3. Held about the same pace and keep Jason just behind me. No idea how far back anyone else was. Made my final kick with about 120 meters left to go. Damn it could still hear Jason right behind me. I started to think that I may have kicked too early as I began to feel it bad with 20 meters left but held on to win the heat. Jason finished 0.75 seconds behind me with Joan only 1 second behind as well. Didn’t even know she was with us. Great Job Guy / Girl.

Pretty happy given how tired I was although I would really like to see how much faster I might be on rested legs. Final time was 6:26 so dropped off in the second half.

See the video of the finish below. First girl you see is not actually in the race just someone on the track.

Here is the video from the halfway point of the race.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Dirty Girls 6 Hour Trail Race Report

Dirty Girls Race Report
SUCCESS - I have officially joined the ranks of the Ultra Runner. I completed 50k at the Dirty Girls Trail Race in around 5:38. Not sure of the official time yet but that should be close give or take 1 minute. Kim also completed her planned 30k of running. We both really enjoyed this race (I think Kim might be hooked on trails now).

Pre race

Packed up all our needed gear for the race. So much more to deal with then a road race, even a marathon. Lots of premixed gateraid / water, gels, cliff shot bloks, and S-tabs in hopes of avoiding a big bonk during the run. Also extra cloths and Tylenol. I didn’t need an extra drop bag as you return to the race start line every 10k so just one bag and cooler worked out fine. This is still a learning process for me so forgot stuff I should have brought "in case" it was needed. Didn’t bite me in the ass this time but I will be putting together and using a checklist to prepack from now on.

Got to the race a good 40 minutes before the start. It was very easy to fine. Kim rented a trusty ZIP car. Great car and very affordable service, we will be using the Zip Car more often.

A few glitches when we got to the race but nothing major. Men’s bathroom was down so only one shared washroom but its a small race. The guys room was back up and working just before start time. Also didn’t get my shirt (Kim got hers) due to a problem with the supplier with the guys shirts. Really nice shirt which I will be getting in the mail in the next week or two.

Got final directions from the race director including a strange one about being aware of the Barn and kids camp at the 7.5k mark. It’s a camp for challenged kids so stay clear of it and don’t worry if you hear screaming as the kids cant help it. What an odd direction I thought to myself.

Weather was cool and looked like rain might make an appearance. Didn’t happen tho and it cleared up within the hour. Rest of the race was run under blue skies, warm and a little humid but overall pretty good for racing.

Then we lined up for the start. I was more towards the back of the crowd. This race was capped at 150 people and think it was probably sold out. I love these races as they are so laid back.

The Race

Okay lets get this out of the way. First mistake came early. I should have started closer to the front and because I didn’t my day very nearly came to an early end. The race started and we headed out of a field and into the woods. I wasn’t worried about being a bit back as I figured that it would keep me on pace early. Unfortunately I was not familiar with the course.

As soon as we entered the woods we were on a tight single track trail with a couple of steep but short uphills. The runners ahead of me were going much slower then I wanted and we were bunched up tight. No room to pass here so I was forced to stay slow. More importantly was the way we were bunched up. Anyone that is reading this and does trail running knows bunching up is flirting with danger as you can’t see the footing ahead of you. I like to keep at least 5 feet usually more (much more if possible) between me and the next runner.

At less then 1k into the race I stepped sideways on a root I never saw coming and turned my ankle over. Luckily I caught myself and saved it from being a complete roll over that might end my day. It was a big scare. The guy right behind me in a red shirt that was also looking for a place to pass said "Little to early for that kind of thing". To which I replied "No Shit". Scare behind me the trail opened up a few minutes later and I used the extra space to get clear of that pack.

I really liked this course. It’s a great mix of double and single track trail. There is only one small section on gravel type road and lots of variety overall. Some sections were very technical while others were more open running. The entire course is very runnable. There were lots of rolling hill / trail but only a couple of big long steep hills.

Cruised through the first 10k loop and once I settled in found myself running amongst the same group of runners most of the time occasionally passing each other and swapping positions back and forth. Don’t know any of their names however. I should have asked. Two people in particular the guy that saw me almost wipe out and a girl with ponytails and a cool back tattoo I saw again and again during the race the race. I will call them red shirt guy and tattoo girl, if you’re reading this sorry no idea of names so no offence meant. I am really not used to the talking to people while you run a race sort of thing. It’s just not like that in road racing. Also met the race director for Creemore early in the first loop and talked to him for a bit.

Just before the 7.5k mark we passed the kids camp and I finally understood the race director’s direction. I could hear a kid screaming and it was not the kind of screaming I had expected. I thought kid screaming is well kid screaming. Instead it was screaming like Friday The 13th screaming. Seriously if not for the race directors warning I would have probably stopped and went over to investigate.

I came out of the woods and into the field first lap completed at around 58 minutes. Bit too fast but not crazy fast. Grabbed a new bottle of gateraid slammed back an S-cap and gel and headed back out.

A couple of things I really wanted to focus on in this race were getting calories into me on the fly and minimizing any time spent at aid stations. To that end I decided to avoid the official aid station at the 5k mark and keep my time back at our base camp to a minimum. Loop 1 total time was less then 1 minute.

Headed out on lap 2. Legs felt great but my knee was starting to get a little sore already. Also I can get paranoid about this so was tried to keep it in perspective and evaluate it properly. Just a little sore no need to worry yet. Started lap 2 with no other runners in sight. At around 3k red shirt guy passed me. He had been ahead of me last loop and just before 5k tattoo girl passed me. I Must have gotten ahead of them in transition. Kept both of them in sight for the rest of the loop. A little slower this time around as I settled in. Started eating cliff shot bloks at each of the two big hills on the loop to keep those calories coming. Finished the second lap at 2:01 (1:03 for the loop). Once again same routine at home base and was back out in about a minute.

Headed out for loop 3. Still felt really good but knee hurting more. Just some soreness. Nothing to worry about but it was causing me to brace more then I wanted to on the downhills. Begin to really wonder how much better I could run without the knee hurting, starting contemplating whether to get back on the waiting list for surgery. I was passed by red shirt guy at around 2k again. He said "man I got to go faster in the transitions." This made me happy as I knew I was doing mine pretty well. Saw and passed Kim here. Checked to see how she was doing. She said she felt great and was having lots of fun. She was looking pretty good. Didn’t stay to chat and keep on moving. Decided to pop a Tylenol at the 25k mark for the knee. Not needed but a safety measure. Passed by the 5k aid station for the 3rd time and still hadn’t stopped there, awesome. Tattoo girl had caught up to me again. Chatted with her a little then she moved ahead of me. Keep her in sight for the rest of the lap. Came into the finish area for the 3rd lap at 3:07 (1:04 for the loop). Same ritual but took me a bit longer to get my gel down. I am officially sick of gels. Back out at 3:09

Headed out for lap 4 with 2:53 left to complete another 20k and felt very positive about this. Started to feel a little tired now still running well. Still running everything but the biggest hills. Worked my way through the loop. Knee holding up about the same as during loop 2. I saw an Asian girl take a header right in front of me. Check too see that she was okay, she was, she was doing the 24 hour race. Yikes I feel tired just thinking about that. Finished the 4th loop (40k) at 4:19 (1:12 on the loop). Going slower now as fatigue was starting to set in. Took extra time on the transition as I wanted to ditch my heart monitor and change my shirt. Muscles and coordination were wonky. It took me about 4 minutes to get out of base camp.

Lap 5 was the focus and push to the end lap. Passed marathon distance and still felt good. Course seemed longer then past loops. At around 4k caught a root and face planned pretty good. All part of the trail running experience I guess. Dusted myself off, nothing hurt but my ego, and moved on. Less then a km later I saw another person take a spill right in front of me. He got up and was okay. He told me it’s the second time he wiped out in the very same spot. Hit the 5k aid station and decided to stop for the first time. Was starting to feel the wall coming up so grabbed some heed and coke drank it and kept moving. Heed sat heavy in my stomach for a few minutes but didn’t really cramp up. As I went through the last 5k I started to contemplate whether to try and go another 2.5k after this loop. Since it’s a 6 hour event you can keep running for 6 hours. They will count partial laps at 2.5, 5 and 7.5k marks. Leg wise I could definitely do more kms. Time wise I wasn’t sure if I would have enough time to make it before the 6 hour cut off. I decided if I finished the lap before 5:35 I would push on. The last 5k seemed to go on forever then just when it seemed like it would never end I was out at the finish line. Clock said 5:38 so I decide not to keep going. I could have probably made it. However you have to walk back. I can not imagine how grumpy I might be if I missed the cutoff by a minute and had done the running and walking back for nothing. It was a damned if you do damned if you don’t kind of thing and I am still torn about it.

Post Race

Kim was waiting at the finish. She finished her 30k in around 5 hours but was not sure about the time. I will post the official times once they are available. No medals for this race, instead we got a cool keychain and a buttertart. Also feasted on tasty burgers and giant chocolate chip cookies.

Saw tattoo girl at the finish area and still didn’t get a name.. what a moron I am sometime. She ended up doing 52.5, didn’t see red shirt guy anywhere.

This was a really great race. I would do this one again for sure. Was not as hard as Seaton but harder then Sulphur Springs, maybe right in the middle.

This was Kim’s first trail race and she loved it. We are already discussing what to do about Halliburton and the Iroquois trail test this fall. Will keep you informed on what we decide.

Legs feel tired but okay a day later. Not as sore as a marathon more like half marathon pain. Knee feels okay and no worse for wear. 50K races rule

Friday, August 7, 2009

Hoping To Loss My Ultra Virginity This Weekend

Very exciting. Tomorrow (Saturday) I will be attempting to run my first "real" Ultra distance. Not sure how this will play out but its going to be fun (in a painful sadistic sort of way).

Both Kim and I are registered for the Dirty Girls 6 hour solo event so it will be up early and out onto the trails. The event is all trails, you run a 10k loop as many times as you can or want to for the length of the event. You are considered official once you complete at least 30k.

Race plans
Kim’s plan is simple. She is using it as a training run and will probably shut it down just after 30k or so. This fits in pretty well with her current marathon training.

My plan is more of a sliding scale sort of thing.

A plan - I will be attempting to run 50k. Training has gone well and I am ready. However as some of you that read this blog know I have a previous knee injury. It doesn’t bother me at any distance on the road but has bothered me on both my long trail races this year. My hope is all my trail training and mileage has strengthened it. I will also be running with a tensor sleeve to give it a little bit of extra protection. I don’t do my training with a sleeve but tested it on Wednesday nights run and it didn’t bother me at all. Pacing will be slow and controlled as I am approaching it as a want to be able to finish it event. Kind of like my first marathon.

B plan - If I begin to have any serious knee issue (as in this is going to take week/weeks to recover from) then I will alter my game plan and shut it down. Will probably do the first assessment of this at 30k.

I expect to flawlessly execute Plan A so I am not being wishy washy about doing 50k BUT I have a number of upcoming road races and a marathon in the fall so I don’t want to blow out my fall racing schedule by being stupid.

If I do finish without knee issues I will be immediately registering for a longer race in the fall. If not will I save that for next year.

Watch for my race report coming early next week.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Dirty Girls Coming Up, Weekly and Monthly Training Update

Next Race

Next weekend both Kim and I will be running the Dirty Girls Trail Race. It takes place on Saturday August 8th in Mansfield and is part of the OUSer running series. Both of us are signed up for the 6 hour solo event. Originally Kim had planned to do the 6 hour relay event but after being unable get enough team members onboard she decided to just do it herself (you are amazing honey). Will blog about this more in more detail later this week.

BTW if anyone reading this is going to the race from Toronto we would love to find someone to ride share with.... just putting it out there.

Training Updates
This month was a really good training month although just about any month you run and stay healthy is a pretty good month but this one went very well.

Hit two training milestones this week (or is that millstones?). First one is last week I ran the most miles ever for me in a single week. Ran 68 miles three more then my previous longest week. Actually not sure how this happened as I had planned on 65 but I was just going with the flow.

Secondly I ran the most miles ever for me in a single month. July topped out at 279.5 miles. That’s 43 miles more then my next best month. To celebrate I bought a carton of smokes (Export A green) and smoked them all in one sitting. Okay maybe not but it’s the thought that counts.

July Training Summary
Days run: 27
Days off: 4
20 mile runs: 4
Trail runs: 8
Races: 1 - 10 miler (PB)

Total Miles 279.5

Weekly Training Update

Sunday 20 miles Long run
This was probably the craziest training run ever for me. Planned to get up early and run with Thunderstorms in the forecast for the last morning. Of course that just didn’t happen. Kim left for her run with me puttering around the house drinking coffee and procrastinating. Finally headed out for my run. Within 30 minutes the sunny skies had disappeared and I could see big black clouds on the horizon. Crap.

Saw Kim on the beltline she had been so much smarter then me and was almost done her run. Clouds were much closer now. Double crap.

Hit the half way mark of my run as I circled around inside Mount Pleasant cemetery. Most other runners that had been around earlier had magically disappeared. Giant black clouds raced over head and Thunder claps boomed loudly in the distance. I saw one other runner stopped and looking up at the sky. I stopped to look as well. He said.. "That looks kind of ominous". I asked him if he had seen any lightning which he hadn’t so I keep going.

Back out onto the beltline, 8 miles to go, and the sky opened up big time. Thunder, lightning and the hardest rain I think I have ever seen. Nothing I write here can really do it justice. Now I love running in the rain but there is rain and then there is rain. Triple crap.

I ducked under a shrub.. yes a scrub.. I know better then to stand under a tree, and tried to wait it out. There was literally nowhere else to hide. I figured that I can’t rain this hard for very long. Yeah right. After about 5 minutes the shrub began to cease giving me any protection at all. It wasn’t going to slow anytime soon and I was trapped on the beltline with 8 miles to go. Since I was getting soaked anyways I said screw it and headed out into the rain. Quadruple crap.

Heaviest rain I have ever been out in. The beltline was a river. My poor IPod had no where to hide and stopped working. I just hoped to avoid getting hit by lightning. Saw only 4 other runners over the 3 miles on the beltline and none of them looked very happy... no runners waves were returned.

At the end of beltline the rain slowed to a normal rain. I had to take my shirt off and wring it out as it weighted about 5 pounds. Why didn’t I run earlier... grrrrrrr. Last few miles home sun began to come back out.

Monday no run
Rest day. Still drying out. IPod has recovered and working ... I am pleasantly surprised by this.

Tuesday 10 miles
Evening run on the trails. Took it easy. Nothing to report.

Wednesday 12 miles
Ran with the club on the lakeshore. Added some threshold / tempo running in the middle of my run. 2 x 15 minutes with a 3 minute break in between. First interval ran at 7:27 pace. Steve ran with me for this one. Second interval I ran alone. It was suppose to be at the same pace but I got antsy and ran it at a 7:15 pace. I just wanted to get it over with. Unfortunately when you are doing intervals by time running faster doesn’t actually get you done any quicker.. like duh.

Also was almost seriously injured / killed. This is not an exaggeration!! Our run is an out and back on Wednesday. We turn around at the Legion (for those of you that know the Lakeshore). This is the only place were there is actually a hill. As I hit the Legion I still had another 20 seconds in my interval left so I kept going. It goes down a pretty good long hill here. The paved path is divided into right and left lanes as it’s a well travelled bike and running path. I slowed down (exhausted) and looked ahead. Nothing coming so I turned to go into the other lane and head back. As I did I heard someone yell "Look Out" . I looked and froze as I bike whipped past me missing colliding with me by a fraction of an inch. It could not have been any closer without touching me. He was going at least 30 miles an hour using the downhill... AT LEAST 30!!

Okay will not go into my bike rant here. Maybe someday but not today BUT...

First I must take some responsibility as I was tired and didn’t look over my shoulder behind me to make sure all is clear. I didn’t do anything wrong but you have to be aware and responsible for yourself out there. Just like you don’t cross the street on a walk light without looking both ways, even it you have the right away. The right away will not help you recover from serious injury. I always look but didn’t this time.

The biker did the following:
passed in the wrong lane
passed on the wrong side
didn’t have or use a bell
didn’t slow to pass a runner
Was going way to fast. In face Steve tells me that there is acutally posted signs on the hill that say max speed 20km to stop idiot bikers from pulling this crap. Oh no I think I will stop here as I feel a full blown rant coming on. Want to save that one for its own blog day.

Thursday 9 miles
Easy run on normal road route. Very hot and humid. Ran it a bit to fast. Did the same thing last week. Not sure why. Legs felt good.

Friday 8 miles
Track work out. Steve coaching in Georges place. I tried to give him a especially hard time. He ignored me. Workout was 400, 800, 1200, 400, 800, 1200. Turned out to be another very good workout. Have taken 8 to 10 seconds off of my 800 times and 1200times since the start of track training. Excellent (800s ran in 3:15, 1200s ran in 5:00)

Saturday 9 miles
Club run on trails. Good run but ran to fast for a couple of miles in the middle of the workout. Also as I was running and talking to Jason my foot clipped a small stump at the top of a hill and I nearly face planted big time. Just able to right myself as I stumbled down the hill and narrowly avoided slamming into a large tree. Thank you running gods.

Projected weekly total miles 65
Actual weekly total miles 68

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Weekly training roundup and track workout pics

This is what track does to people. Proceed at your own risk

Training Update

Sunday 11 miles
NO Long run instead raced a 10 miler. Can see my race report in the post before this one. Nuff said.

Monday 6.5 miles
NO long run means no rest for the wicked. My runners brain (or lack of one)induced me to get back out there. Ran it as a recovery run... really slow. I mean slooowww. Did it on the trails

Tuesday 10 miles
Ran up to St. Clair and met Steve. Ran on the beltline. Legs were tired but pace was okay.. still recovering from Sunday.

Wednesday 8 miles
Crappy and good all at the same time. Showed up at the community center after work to change for the club run. There early to get some miles in before hand. Was denied entry for being to early.. WHAT!!!. Told couldn’t change as day camps were on. Left quietly but very pissed about the underlying inference. Stewed for 30 minutes in anger.. not what I want before a run.

Run itself did 2 minutes X 10 intervals at a 6:45 pace in the middle of my run. Thanks George, Alex and Christine for pacing it. Cut the run short because I didn’t get my early miles in and also my legs were pretty freaking tired.

Thursday 10 miles
Steady run on my normal 8 mile road route with a couple of extra laps around the block. Legs feeling good, maybe to good. Ran it a bit too fast.

Friday 7.5 miles
Track workout. Did 400,1200,400,1200,400,1200 . Super pleased with the results. Knocked 8 seconds off of my usual 1200 time at the same intensity level. Could I really be getting faster. Its so cool when you see your training actually working.

Saturday 9 miles
Club run on trails. Ran well but took it easy. Got a 20 miler tomorrow. Legs close to full recovery from the race.. I think.

Week total projected 65 miles
Actual run total 62 miles

With no long run I can live with that.

Track Pictures from a few weeks ago. Thanks to Steve for bringing out the camera.

George in Coach mode - he looks so offical

Stretching - so many jokes for this one I am just going to let it go

warm up 400 let the pain begin

Steve getting ready to leave us in his dust

Mark and Rob

Me on the track

John leading the pack

Steve and Mark

Rob and me working hard

George and Rob - oh no their taking names

me on the track - almost done

Me and Rob talking trash about Steve B.

Pacing Kim

Kim and me - its over

George gives us the workout time summaries - I need a nap

Mark demonstrates the effects of a good track workout
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