Monday, May 27, 2013

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Calgary marathon RR

Hey there,

Well that's it, all she wrote.  Finally here and gone, it feels good, kinda empty, but alright.  I guess I took the cards that were dealt and did the best I could on the day.  Sure the time 3:03 is a great time, but my fitness was definitely better than that.

Weeks before I ran the police half and did a really big week immediately after.  I felt alright then, but a little later I strained my hamstring(about 2 weeks ago) my hip had been bugging me as well(which I think caused the hamstring strain) and also some sore calves, and even quads.  It might have been my peaking that was slightly off, my body def. needed rest and I tapered as much as I dared to try to heal up properly.  I tapered so much that I was afraid I was loosing fitness.

So with all that going on you know the background going into this race.  I went with a formal carbo loading regime written up by powerbar, and used and really recommeded by my good buddy Chris Hooper.  I hadn't really used any plan before this.  So Saturday I aimed at consuming 700-900grams of carbs.  Wow is that ever hard to do, I took in nearly 4000 calories and still only hit about 750carbs.  Yikes that's a lot of carbs!!  I went to bed about 10 and woke up bright an early ready to go.  I went to bed actually feeling sick from all the food I ate.  I was a bit worried that it was too much, but I trusted Chris.  I had to take some advil as my head was hurting too!

The morning started at about 4:30, got some coffee going and I got my race stuff on, prepared my small breakfast.  Then I sipped my coffee while Lisa got some last minute ZZZzzzs.  She took me to the stampede area and dropped me off and I walked to the race site.  I had no clue if we would be able to stay somewhere warm and I was delighted to see that we could hang out inside the stampede grand stands area.  I went to the washroom on the main floor, then discovered there was more washrooms upstairs with no lines.  NICE!!  I lined up for the start just before, spotted Chris and Melissa, wished them both well and got ready for the start.  Anndddd off we go.  I settled in at a pretty good pace, well I hoped it would be ok, the first 10ks I was running 4:10s-ish, sometimes a lil under sometimes a touch over.

Near 12km we turned south away from the 20km course.  That's where we started climbing up and up.  None of it steep, but it was def. noticeble.  And I could already start feeling my hamstring, not favoring it, just knew it was there!  Right around 14km the 10 person all connected with surgical tubing guiness book record attempt team ALL stopped for a nature break!!  It was the funniest thing I've ever seen in a marathon.  10 of them all side by side, feet against the curb and peeing into the bushes.  lol there were people taking pictures, just wait till those surface online.  That'll make good slowtwitch discussion.  So I passed them while they were pissing as I was just behind them till that point.  I had read that they were aiming at a sub 3 hour time for the record.  I ran for about 3km further before they came up behind me and went by.  I stayed with them for a km or two and actually drafted them for a bit.  But they're pace was a bit too tough for me so I let them go just before we came to mount royal.  We had to run up that false flat all the way to the far end of Mount Royal, turn the corner there and that was the half way point.  My split 1:27:XX, pretty good, maybe a bit fast, but I usually need some in the bank to loose in the second half.  Although as we started hitting some downhills I could feel more and more of the hamstring.  The pace was still good at this point I was right on 4:15s which is right on the 3 hour pace.

Then back over crowchild, where we had a false flat downhill, then turned north and down a steep hill.  Wow that really messed up my quads.  Shortly after that and at about the 28km point my hamstring started really hurting and the quads didn't have anymore power.  My pace started slipping, first 4:20, then 4:25, which would be ok, I thought if I could just hold onto that pace I'd still finish under 3.  But it kept slipping although I felt really good!  My stomach wasn't upset(which is usually a problem) and I was able to eat gel as needed.  I carried a flask with about 5 gels in there, I probably ate 4 of them throughout the race, which was perfect.  Anyways the carbo loading really worked too as I never bonked and physically I felt great!  My quads and hamstring were just done and I gritted my teeth and pushed as hard as I could.  Then my calves also started twitching, now this is completely normal, I always get the calf cramps.  I kept sipping my gels, taking gaterade at aid stations, hoping they wouldn't cramp up.

I gotta say I'm impressed with the race here.  They always had problems with the marathoners running into the back of the 5k, 10k, half mary race.  So we're hitting the back of those races, the walkers and I have nothing against walkers, but the last ones seem to string themselves across the entire road giving no room for us to get by.  Not this year, they actually gave us a separate lane to run in!!!  Much kudos to the race for that, at first it took me a bit to catch on that the pilon'd off middle lane was for me!  How special, ha ha.  So I ran in that lane and got some nice cheers from people on memorial and I was hurting, specially with 4km to go I was running about 4:40 pace by then and I fought tooth an nail to try and speed it up.  A few runners passed me in the last 5km, got chicked a couple times.  But I ran proud, I was NOT going to walk today.  My last stand alone marathons haven't been pleasant, and this one wasn't quite at my ability, but I kept fighting!  That's really what makes me proud, I had the mental strength to fight through, despite the slipping pace.  Then we hit the last km and turned into the stadium, my calves nearly locked up here.  I was just hoping they wouldn't cramp up and I would fall on my face.  My pace plummeted here as you can see the last 0.3km was above 5min pace.  But w/e I had already established at about 8km to go that I wouldn't be able to go under 3 hours, and I got close, BQ'd so that's alright I just didn't want to loose teeth when my face hit the concrete.  So I slowed down to try and prevent that and crossed the finish in 3:03:XX.  Not too bad, happy it's over.  Now as I write this I'm wondering how long the recovery will take.  Marathons are pure torture for the muscles.  I cannot walk down stairs I have to hobble down them sideways, and walking is really tough.  Could be 2-3 weeks before I can run at all??  Oh and the weather was great!  There was almost no wind and the temp started at about 5 degrees and only went up to maybe 10-12?  Cheers,


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Police Half marathon race report

Well this certainly deserves a race report.  I ran quite well yesterday.  Curtis my long time running buddy can attest to how often I've wined about my PBs being too difficult
and that they were out of reach!!  So the last couple of years my running has finally improved, also lost a bit of weight(although am up a bit from last year).  And with my half mary time being the "softest" I knew this would be the first to go... maybe?  I've worked hard from January on, building up mileage and doing my weekly tempos/intervals.  It certainly doesn't help that I usually only run a half in spring and it's on a tough course!!  It also often has snow still on the course, if it isn't snowing the day of the race!

The day before Lisa and I had Keith and Linda over for dinner.  We had a great time and it really helped to keep the race nerves away.  The wine helped calm the nerves too, maybe not so much for the race.  :P  This is only a B type of race, did I mention that?  I did get forced to taper more than I had planned because of some aches that I didn't want to turn into injuries.  So I was pretty rested, although worried about my achilles acting up the week before

Ok so race morning I woke up around quarter to 6.  I got a small breakfast of some oatmeal ready and made some coffee.  Got my planned race clothes ready, checked the weather, yep seemed ok for shorts and a t-shirt.  I had plenty of time and once I'd changed got all fed and coffee'd up I still had some time to pace the floor before heading out the door.

The drive to Mount Royal is super simple and parking is even easier.  What an awesome venue as you can also warmup inside on the track and continue to stay warm up untill 5 minutes before the start.  I lined up maybe 5 rows back on the left side, close to a couple friends, Melissa and Mike.  I wanted to keep an eye on Mike as I thought I'd at least be able to keep up for some of the race.  It ended up being great pacing!  The gun went off and away we went.  It was a bit chilly, but I didn't freeze too much, and with the increased effort kept warm enough.  Mike pulled ahead, but I could see him the entire time, no need to panic I Like starting out slower and gradually picking up the pace later as I get into my race.

My first km was 3:46, hmmm a lil fast!  My aim was 4:05, but the first km is slightly downhill plus I seemed to be quite within myself so I didn't worry too much about it.  I slowed a touch after that, but not much.  As we approached the first corner I noticed the front guys kept going??  I wondered where they were taking us, why did the course change?  And as I came to the corner I saw they had made a mistake, doh!  The race organizers either weren't there yet, or there was some confusion, so they had to direct about 20-30 runners to turn around and head back to the corner just in front of me.  I clued in right away and was actually the first one brought correctly around the corner.  I had to yell at one guy to turn.  That must have been a bummer for the leaders, they soon came flying by me on their way back to the front.  Oh well it was only about 2km into the race.

So the race progressed down onto the dam and I felt pretty good, despite the rolling hills through the 5km point and the first aid station.  I took a sip of gaterade, but honestly most of it spilled out when the cup hit my hand.  That's ok, don't need much for 21km.  My splits so far made me happy, I was running just under 4min kms, with a few of them tipping over, but really only the hilly ones.  I didn't expect to run under 4s, my pre-race aim was to run 4:05s.  Good stuff!!  I kept Mike within my sights up ahead, maybe 100m?  He had lost a bit over shooting the corner(we compared garmins after the race and it looks like he did 100m extra) but he had pulled ahead again and remained as a carrot for me to chase.

As we got to the glenmore landing and about the 8km mark I saw Keith and think it was Linda who I heard.  Thanks a lot guys, it really helped.  Another aid station at around the 9km mark and more pushing to try to catch Mike.  I pushed when I felt good, and tried to hold on when I didn't feel so good.  10k mark hit in exactly 40 minutes, right on target!!  I pulled up to the second place girl right around 11km.  She looked like she was seriously hurting.  I tried to encourage her with a few words(more like grunts) trying to get her to run with me.  She came along for a bit and we'd trade leads for a km or two.  She would take the downhills and me the uphills.  Then we finally hit the hill down into the valley and here is really the only flat part on the course.  I felt ok, but starting to hurt.  My female running partner also dropped off and I was running alone again... well other than Mike just ahead.  I just need to hold on!!  I usually try to relax a bit before the weaselhead hill, not today.  I really paid for it on the hill and I felt really light headed near the top and extremely weak.  I wanted to walk so bad, but I'd gained a bit on Mike and was closer.

Then just as I think I might have him, he turns around and looks directly back at me, uh oh.  He immediately picked up his pace, not a lot, but it was def. noticeble.  No chance of catching him now!  I kept working, but he slowly inched ahead and remained at around 100m again for the rest of the race.  He looked back a couple more times to see the gap and then I think he was satisfied that I wasn't getting any closer.  Then the cross over glenmore trail and just before the last corner I saw Chris Hooper on the side, it was soo nice to get a cheer from a running buddy.  It really spured me on through the final 2km, with a slight uphill and my legs screaming at me to stop the pain!!  I knew my time would be good, just didn't know how good.  I didn't have the energy to look at my watch anymore.  I did look just before we hit the last round about turn.  Ohhh a chance to go under 1:25 and a PB.  I tried to pick it up, I didn't have a lot.  At least I didn't loose any positions in the last bit and crossed the line in 1:25:14.  Not too bad, and the course was long, came across 21.1 in 1:23:54.  That sounds soo much better and I don't know which will be my new PB!!

Mike an I compared notes a bit right after.  I thought I might throw up, and moved off somewhere by myself for a few minutes waiting for that to pass.  Then I saw Melissa had finished in a new PB, and then John, Amy, Dave, Curtis, Claire.  Lots of co-workers in the race this year, we have quite a good lunch time running club!  Almost everyone either ran a PB or was close!  We hung out together after the race, comparing stories and just chatting it up while the awards went on.  I enjoyed myself so much that I wasn't even listening and it ended before I knew it.  Now that's really rare!!  If you've ever beeen to a post race you know they usually drag on and on.  I think they only announced the winners, and the 2nd and 3rd place people just walked up to get their wards.  Nice!!  So I hobbled off to my car with a new PB!!  This PB was probably 16 years old!!  And this was a much tougher course with altitude.  I placed 16th overall and 4th in the age grp.  Not too bad, over an out,

Saturday, March 16, 2013

St. Patty's day 10k RR

Hey all,

I haven't run a race in awhile, much less written a RR.  But I figured I better do this right away, or it wouldn't get done at all.  So here goes, hopefully I get through it.  Sometimes for me the RR can be tougher than the race itself!

The morning started off pretty good.  We went to bed early and I slept amazingly well!  I'm always nervous for races even 10ks, but today I felt really good getting up, despite the weather.  Weather network showed something like -19 with windchill I think and some flakes coming down.  Anyways I got up and ate a small breakfast(oatmeal), drank some coffee and got my running clothes on.  We were almost out of coffee but I managed to make some really weak coffee and get it down before I had to go.

Pretty quick drive except that as I passed McDonalds I got a craving for more coffee and the drive through was empty so I got another small coffee with a shot of expresso, high octane yah!!  I only ended up drinking half of it.  I parked underground at Oclaire market, this is by far the nicest thing about this race on a cold day.  You don't have to go outside till it's time to run, and on a cold day like today it rocks.  So I got there a bit early and I sat around, went to the bathroom, and sat some more.

About 20 min till race time and I went outside for a short warmup.  2km should be good and I was going to do some pickups after, but with the snow/slick conditions I only did one.  My start would be slower today as I did not want to injure myself so after my warmup and a 1x pickup I went indoors for a quick warmup before the race start.

At the start we had to wait a bit, I got cold but not too too bad.  It was snowing more now so the section on concrete/brick was really slipperly.  So much for a good time, but my main goal for this is just a really solid effort.  I never understand why some people put themselves right in the front when they are slower, so when the gun went off I nearly tripped on someone as I had to pass them 10ft into the race.  They were going significantly slower.  Anyways 2 guys bolted ahead, I quickly knew they were going to be too fast for me.  I headed up the chase group behind.  With one guy between so I think I was 4th starting out?  My assessment, the two up ahead would remain there, unless they really blow up.  The one in the middle just ahead didn't look like much of a runner so I thought he would fade and I'd catch him at some point.  Runners behind me, well I obviously didn't look so no chance to assess.  For now I led a pack, but slowly pulled ahead, or at least I thought I was pulling away.

I glanced down at my pace ever so often and for now it averaged around 3:50 which I was satisfied with, thought maybe I went out a touch too hard?  But I had to keep in contact with the guy just ahead.  At about 1.5 km someone bolted ahead past me and really started making ground on 3rd, so that put me in 5th I think.  He passed the 3rd place guy around 3km and I was only about 10 - 20 ft behind him, and still gaining.  By about 4km I could still see the two in the lead and one of them looked to be fading really badly, looked like he went out wayyy too hard.  Ahhh the scent of blood,  so as soon as I was past the 4th place guy it was time to focus on the fader.  I caught him just after the turn around, it was a out an back(they had changed the course).  Here's where I started hurting bad and slowed a touch.  I kinda used that opportunity to draft behind the 3rd place guy.  I have plenty of time to pass and the 2nd place guy was too far ahead to catch, so I wanted to make sure I didn't blowup.  We were also going into the wind now so I ran behind him, but soon started feeling guilty as I was clearly using him to energize myself before the pass.  So I passed him and tried picking it up, but I didn't speed up much, still suffering.  He must have been suffering too though as I noticed him drift back.  So with 3km left I was stuck in 3rd, too far back to catch 2nd but I thought my spot was safe too.  So I just tried to maintain the pace and keep an eye on the guy ahead.  At times I thought I was gaining, but then I'd weaken and loose ground again.  My slowest kms were def. 6-8, maybe 9 I haven't looked at strava yet.

For the last km I managed to pick it up a bit as I had dropped down to 4:10ish pace for 6-8 so managed to run around 4min for the last km, to finish it up with a time of 39:18.  I had hoped to run under 38, but with the slick snow for about 4-5km of it I'm happy.  It was a good hard effort and I went as hard as I could so there's not much I can do about the conditions.  I'm happy it's done, now on to the police half in April.  Cheers,


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Down to the wood!


If you're in Calgary you know what's happening outside.  If you're near by I'm sure it's blizzarding there too!  Boy am I ever relieved that I got the long run done yesterday.  Still feeling a bit disappointed I couldn't go skiing with my buddy Cam.  We were to do the Moraine lake trail today, but I bailed.  My car tires are not safe to run on the highway in a snow storm.

Yesterday's long run went well.  My legs weren't quite recovered from the last hard run on thursday, but still not too too bad.  Lately I've been doing a few runs with a couple new friends, Chris, Jared.  They run suuuuuuuuuuuuper early, yesterday we started at 6:30 am!!  This week Melissa(a girl I coach) joined us for part of it as she runs the same pace as we do.  Strava has this challenge to do a 20 miler in the first two weeks of March.  Chris and I had both signed up for it and since our long run was going to be 25-30km anyways we decided to add a couple km to finish the challenge.  It went pretty much as planned, we kept the pace down.  Chris made sure and wasn't afraid to let us know when the pace crept up.  He was still feeling a bit beat up after running the frozen ass 50km two weeks ago.

So today my legs are a bit sore and I'm really happy the running is done for the most part this weekend.  I'll probably do a short one a little later.  Maybe even outside in the blizzard?  Or I'll go to the gym, I haven't decided yet. 

Oh as you can see from the picture I got a haircut!!  I know if you're reading you're probably wondering what the heck I was thinking shaving it that close.  Well it's kind of a funny story.  I usually get it buzzed close just not that close!  I use the first attachment so it goes quite short, it was high time for a buzz again yesterday.  I buzz most of it, then lisa comes and gives it the finishing touches.  So I had finished most of it and needed lisa's help.  The hair seemed more staticy and it was really annoying me more than usual.  So I took off the attachment to clean it with the little brush.  Anyways lisa was there so I bent down over the sink to have her do the touchup.  The razor felt a lil solid and I kinda peeked up.  lol I said something like "ummm Lisa look at the razor, anything missing??"  So anyways she hadn't noticed since there isn't that much difference betwen the first attachment and nothing so she'd already finished going over part of my head.  Sooo she had to do the rest.  It was funny, she felt really bad, but honestly it hardly bothered me.  So I'm bald, feel free to laugh at me.  :P 

Marathon training overall is going well, I'm starting to get faster again!  My mileage is up, sitting at about 80 - 85 km per week for maybe 6 weeks now and it's slowwwly creeping up from there.  I'm aiming at the calgary marathon for now, Iron legs 50m in Aug.  And also a couple halfs, maybe a 10k?  Running is going well, I'm training smart staying clear of injuries!  Hope everyone else's training is going well.  Cheers,


Friday, February 22, 2013

New Post!

Hey Blog!

It's me again!  Yessiry I'm back, well at least for another post.  We'll see how long this sticks.  I've been a bit fluish the last couple days.  Aughhh it's been so long since I've felt that, maybe 3 years or so?  I get colds sooner than the flu, and I don't really know what to call this, it wasn't full blown or anything.

I haven't been swimming or riding much at all lately, almost nothing.  I did get on my trainer ONCE this winter and I think I got Reinier hopeful that it might be the start to something, but alas it didn't last.  I'm thoroughly enjoying the running though.  I'm presently training for the Calgary marathon, running almost every day.  I take days off as needed, or if we go away for the weekend(like last weekend in banff/LL for valentines).  That's time off as well.  It sure is fun only having to do one workout per day.  I've been doing the bulk of the running at lunchtimes too which frees up my evenings.

I'm also signed up for a couple half marys, one before the Calgary marathon and one after.  Oh the second I haven't signed up for just yet.  It depends on when we can get our holidays this year.  I heard that my brother is once again going to run the Manitoba half so I may surprise him and go join him this year.  I hope he doesn't read this or the cat is out of the bag.

The other big race I'm doing is the Iron Legs ultra.  It's a 50 miler in Kananaskis country, near elbow falls.  I've always wanted to do an ultra, if some of you remember I actually signed up for the death race one year but then decided against the training really early on.  This time around hopefully I'll commit to it and hopefully get out for some trail runs/hikes before the race.  I also have some Calgary trails in mind to help with that.  Any of you ultra gurus can also help fill me in on the details, although I have done a ton of research.  This particular race won't be easy(yeah right 50 miles!) as it has over 10,000 ft worth of climbing.  A lot of the ups will be hiked for sure!  It's definately a different kind of race.

Today I went back and read my Ironman race report.  Two things that really stuck out from the report.  They're quite the opposites so I think I did a good job on the report.  #1 I never really have bad Ironman race.  I'm not bragging, I have plenty of bad races but always been able to somehow nail a good IM.  I've read so many disastrous IM race reports, it seems most people don't get many good ones.  Course mine haven't been super good, always missed my A race, but still always improved.  #2 I totally get and agree with my decision to skip next years Ironman and maybe never race one again.  I was reminded about how nervous I was and how stressful the training was.  It was a good journey and something that I focused on so much, I will enjoy the next few year/s of no swim starts.  Maybe I will make myself promise to read the RR again next time I sign up to be sure I want to do another.  :D  Cheers,


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Cross country

Hey all,

Or just me, I'm doing fine despite being off my running legs for a bit.  I've been running a fair amount and one snowy slippery day I was spinning up the last hill in a lunch time run and I felt a sharp pain in my hamstring.  Luckily I was right at the end of the run as I found it painful even just to walk.  Even after some 18 years of running I still can manage some new first time injuries.  I've never pulled a hamstring before.  Oh well I'm thankful that it didn't happen during my Ironman build up, and there's lots of time to heal up before it's time to get serious with training again.  I'm also very happy I can cross country ski!!  I've gone out twice now with the skis, did just over 9km the first time and 10.5 km today.

I was doing quite a bit of quality workouts, my goal and hope was to get faster before the marathon build up next year.  Oh well now that's on hold for a bit, and I'd wanted to start skiing anyways so this was a perfect nudge onto the ski trails.  I didn't have ski boots so I had to go out and purchase those.  The boots I had first purchased with the skis hurt my feet so I returned them.  These boots that I bought now also caused my pinky toe a blister so I had to return them as well.  It turned out that I had to move to a Salomon boot to prevent these pesky blisters.  This boot uses a different binding so I had to replace that.  Lifesport gave me a really good deal, first off they let me trade in my boots after I used them once, they also swapped my bindings and only charged me the difference even though I didn't buy the original bindings from them.  Pretty good deal, good service goes a long way.  So if you're looking for skis in Calgary check out Lifesport.

My plan is to ski 1-2 times a week, run the rest.  Maybe get enough fitness to do some long skis(wink wink Moraine lake road Cam!!) and maybe do the Canadian Berkie!  I've had my eye on that race for a few years.  It's apparently a well run ski race 55km long on very nice trails near Edmonton.  I know I wouldn't do it quickly, 55km would be a long ways and I def. would not be able to "race it" I just want to enjoy it, do something different!!

I'll keep up the running while skiing.  Hopefully I can do the Calgary marathon and also maybe a ultra marathon or two??  I'd like to test myself with something longer than the marathon, someday possibly even a 100 miler.  I'm not quite sure I'm ready to go too long just yet.  I still want to run faster and I really believe switching to a ultra mode will kill any possible speed I have left in these legs.  Crazy eh?

I also have some crazy ideas about some solo adventures.  I've been following a really inspirational ultra runner named Killian Jornet, check him out on youtube.  He's been winning 100 mile ultras in brutal mountain terrain since he was 21 years old.  Now that he's won so much, he's gone to some incredible mountain ascent/descent records.  In several years time he's planning on setting the record for Everest as well.  He's done Kilimanjaro already and broke the record by over an hour!!  Check it out:  Anyways I'd like to do some similar challenges, obviously not as difficult and I don't have the money to travel all around the world.  But we got mountains in our backyard.  I'd like to do some climbs, maybe some tough hikes, trails.  I'm not sure exactly which ones, maybe Sulfur mountain to start, I've always wanted to see if I could run up that trail.  Then maybe a big mountain, temple mountain?  There's also the skyline trail near Jasper, anyone have anymore challenging climbs/hikes that I could run?  Cheers,


PS:  here's a very inspirational video of a ultra won by Killian  The UTMB, just over 100 miles, through 3 countries in europe, super scenic, nearly 10,000 meters of elevation.  Simply incredible what the human body is capable of.  Never ever underestimate it!!  over an out