Saturday, April 30, 2011

5 Peaks Albion Hils almost 1/2 Trail Race

It was with great trepidation that I headed out to Albion Hills this morning for my first ever 5 Peaks Race. The original 21.1K loop couldn't be run due to wet conditions so they put us on a 5.5K loop with 500 other runners. Fortunately I am glad to report that there was no issues what so ever with the course other then it was tougher then I expected. My race plane was to go out around a 5:30 pace to ensure I didn't get stuck behind the Enduro and Sport that started an hour later. I achieved my initial goal getting out before the others but my pace was off a bit at around a 5:50 per K. It wasn't until the second loop that I started to relax a bit and find a comfortable rhythm. Going into the third and final loop I thought I would be able to pick it up a bit but I was only able to maintain slowing slightly. The Garmin reported 19.8km done at an avg 6:01 pace and an elevation change of +931/-911 meters. If I had to award myself a grade it would be a B or perhaps a B-. I ran the entire course only pausing for a moment at 2 aide station stops. I really thought I would have been able to maintain a 5:30 pace but I was off by 30 seconds. All and all it was a good day , great venue , well organized, met lots of RMers and others and had an OK run.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Nothing to blog about ...

I did it! Or I should say I didn't do it. I didn't run in the past two days. I felt like I never recovered after Boston. I wasn't doing huge mileage but I was running every day. Sleep was a bit restless and I always felt tired when I started a run so I began to think I was doing too much so I took 2 days off. Now its all about getting ready for Sulphur ... just how does one prepare to run 100 miles! It would be easy to get caught up in trying to log super human distances but how much does it really help. I did DG 120km 23hrs and change last year on more or less the same number of "training miles" as I am doing now so I tell myself that I am ready, sort of! So I am doing my first 5 Peaks Race tomorrow, 21.1K at Albion Hills. I sort of wish I was at PYP but sort of not ...its a tough race and I did have a little injury running it last year. So going forward I am going to run trail , lots of trail. Trail makes me tougher , stronger and is just plain allot more fun. Throw in a couple of road race between now and the end of may and who knows I may actually be successful in Sulphur.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

And now I reset

OK, been doing too much too soon after Boston...its part of the plan and it seems to be working! Today I did my 11.3K trail loop under warm , wet windy conditions that I considered absolutely perfect running conditions. I was running tired but feeling incredibly strong today. I decided with he trail race Saturday I am going to give my body a 2 day rest.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ok, I am tired!

I have been pushing it since last weeks Marathon. Not lots of miles , more intermediate miles but for sure feeling the effects of what I have been doing. I see a benefit of pushing it but there has to be a line drawn on doing too much ...its a fine line!

Jumped on the treadmill before work with a 20 something Ks in mind at the 5:00 pace. Ramped up over the first 2K then held pace until I reached 10K. I was way too hot and I had to go so I jumped off with the intention of getting back on again but I was done. So I sat there sipping on G for a few minutes then decided to do some weights. Even that was a challenge , managed 1 set of 24 Bench Press, Lat Pull downs, Curl and the Military Press.... that was it, time for the showers.

Going to hit the trail Wed/Thurs then Fri is an official reset day before Sats 21.1 race in the trees!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Trail again

Running on tired legs today. Managed a 14.7K trail run at an average 6:50 pace.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Trail

A little longer and a little faster on the trail today. Did a 14.2K tail run at an avg 6:23 pace. I am still feeling a bit tired after Mondays Marathon but I sure had allot more pop in the legs then yesterday. Going to try to run trail Monday through Thursday, rest Friday then its the Albion Hills Race on Saturday.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

First Trail Run of 2011

Its just in the last week that the snow has disappeared from the bush. Did my 11.2K trail loop this afternoon. It was so nice to be back in the forest running. I got lost in the run very quickly. I don't know if its the slower pace, not seeing very far ahead or the undulating terrain but its just so much more relaxing being on the trail.

2 more runs on Friday

Had a bit of time before the run clinic started so I did a 7.4K run at a 5:30 pace. I ran through the Durham Conservation area and was surprised to see folks camping. In spite of the weather I guess that Easter is the start of the 2011 season!

After the park I did a shorter , slower run with the clinic. Did a 4.6K run at a 6:29 pace. After that run I was done....Beer and Pizza were in order. Need to do a long run in the next day or two. Warmer weather is upon us , or so they say!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Better today

Almost back to normal after Mondays Marathon. Did a 5K lunch run at a 5:00 pace. Physically I am there but mentally I feel a bit beat up. Run clinic this evening!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Another Lunch Run

Feeling a little less pain today. 5K done at a mostly 5:30 pace.

Hitting the wall

I was asked on Runmania what caused me to hit the wall. I posetd a reply and will post it here for furtuer reference.....

. There are just so many variables that it’s hard to nail down just what it caused the problems. I have been thinking it through and have a few ideas so here are my thoughts...

•Nutrition/Hydration/Electrolytes , too much or too little and your done! I did 8 Gels ( 800 Calories) . took plenty of water and did 4 Eload Caps at 18 and 36K. This is a formula that has worked in the past!

•Training, too much , too little or not the right kind. Things were hurting after last season so I backed off the long runs Nov/Dec logging 200K/month. Around Christmas I was beginning to ramp things up again but came down with Bronchitis and didn’t run until mid January and logged led then 150K that month. Feb and March were 310/320K months , long runs once a week. A few weeks before Boston I did a 30K run at my 5:00 Marathon pace. Weekly I had been doing tempo runs. So I felt reasonable prepared going into the Marathon.

•Health, this was my first Marathon run with a head cold. It would be easy to use this as an excuse but I don’t believe that it was the root cause of my poor performance.

•Weather , wind and heat are huge! I prepared for Sun , white hat , white tech T and shorts. When the temps creep up above the mod teens I start to slow down!


•Post race there was one clue that helped me to understand what may have happened. 24 hour after I ran I developed a rash over my upper body. There are two things that cause this, a fever due to illness or excessively high core temp due to running. I did 14 Marathon or longer races through last season and the rash only happened a couple of times. Boston was 15C at the end , Sunny all the way and we had a tail wind which didn’t provide much cooling.

•14 days before I BQed the 2010 STWM running a PB 3:29:09 I did a miserable 50 miler at Halliburton. At Hali I had a Knee issue and couldn’t run down any hills. It took me nearly 12 hours to complete the run. After Hali a road Marathon seemed like a walk in the Park.

If there is one thing I have learned about all this running stuff it is that there is no magic formula to guarantee success.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Back at it ....

Muscles are still a little sore but I jumped on the treadmill for a 4.5K run. 4 K at a 6:00 pace followed by a 0.5K walk.

After Boston

Quads and calf’s were pretty sore Tuesday Evening. I have also developed the rash of Scarlett Fever. I get this 24 hours after running a fever. I have also developed the rash running after running in the heat. During the run I didn’t recognize that I was running a high core temperature. It may have been the result of the bug I had but more likely it was due to the running conditions. Temps were around 14-15 in the last couple of hours and we were exposed to the Sun with a tail wind.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

115th Boston Marathon - Monday April 18, 2011

On Monday April 18, 2011 I ran the Boston Marathon.

The weather forecast called for a high temps starting in the low 40's F and increasing to 60F by the afternoon, winds were brisk from the South South West. I decided to wear my Sugoi Shorts with a White Adidas T and a White Sugoi Running Cap. My nutrition plan was the same a STWM, first Gel before the race then again at 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, 28, 32 and 38K. Eload Caps were scheduled at 16K and 34K. I decided to wear my "Nathan 10K Running Belt" and carry my Water Bottle. The belt was the only thing that would hold my Verizon Cell Phone and my iPhone. I need the phone to call my wife when I was done and the iPhone was my MP3 player, Camcorder and Camera all rolled into one very small package! The one thing that I didn't plan for was a head cold..yup I had a bug. It started coming on day before we left. It was the classic head cold , Friday it was swollen glands and a scratchy throat , Saturday it was a sore throat and Sunday I was completely stuffed up and couldn't breath. Its not like I could wake up on Monday and decide I would skip the race...I would just have to tough it out!!!!!!

Monday morning I had the alarm set for 4:45 am. After getting less then 4 hours of restless sleep I was up at 02:00 am. Had OJ, Coffee and two packs of Quaker Oatmeal. This would be the last solid food I would eat until well after the race. I soaked in the tub for nearly an hour trying to clear my congestion and it really helped. When I headed out to catch the Bus to the Boston Commons at 5:00 am I was feeling much better.

The Westin ran buses to the Boston Commons starting at 4:00 am. I was on the second bus of the day arriving at Treemount St at around 5:30 am. It was freezing cold with and incredibly strong wind. I was beginning to question my clothing strategy. Over top of my running gear I wore and old heavy sweatshirt an old pair of lined wind pants. I also had a garbage bag and News Paper to sit on at the Athletes Village . We waited outside for nearly 30 minutes before we boarded the Bus that would take us to Hopkinton. AT 6:00 am the first fleet of buses left Boston. We headed out I90 to I495 getting off on the famous 135. The bus ride was a bit intimidating, it was close to an hour before we arrived at the Athletes Village. I was happy to be on the second bus because there were no lineups and I was able to scope out a spot that would provide some shelter from the gusty cool winds. I had 3 hours to kill so I laid out my garbage bag with the news paper inside and laid flat to keep out of the wind. Cranked up the iPhone and didn't move for nearly an hour. I was so cold I started to shiver, I was beginning to question my apparel and was longing for my running jacket back in the hotel room. At around 08:00 am the majority of the 27,000 runners had arrived. I moved around a bit and grabbed some coffee in a desperate attempt to warm up. It wasn't until 09:00 am that I stopped shivering! The village was a festive atmosphere , helicopters were hovering over head and there was lots of media personal running around doing interviews.

Made my last porto potty trip about an hour before my 10:20 start. I was standing in line with a 21 year old from Nantik. This was his first ever Marathon. He got in because he knew someone and had a rather ambitious 3 hour goal. He based his prediction in the fact that he had run an unofficial 1:30 half. I asked him where he was starting and he was in the 3rd wave last coral. I wished him good luck and advised him that he would probably need to pass the entire 3rd and most of the 2nd wave some 18,000 runners to achieve his goal ...this was good comic relief! They started calling the second wave around 09:40. I made my way to the corals just in time for the first wave to go off at 10:00 am. I was very fortunate to be in coral 3 at the top of the hill a couple of thousand runners in front of me at about 6 thousand behind.

At 10:20 the race started. I was feeling pretty good, not too stuffed up so I decided to head out at a 5:00 pace. My goal was to reach 20K with out feeling too taxed. It would be really easy to go out too fast , the first half was quite easy and I was able to maintain my pace. My 5K splits were 25:04, 50:07, 1:15:07. At 16K I was starting to feel a bit tired and I knew that my goal was going to be a challenge so I dialed it back to a 5:30 pace. My thought was to get to get to the start of the hills around the 26K mark feeling like I had some fuel in the tank. Wesley College at 21K was fun living up to its noisy reputation. What I didn't realize was this was just the start of a very loud 20+Ks. Managed to get through the start of the hills OK. I was getting passed on the downhills but was regaining on the uphills still maintaining an average 5:30 pace. At around 28K the real problems began. My legs were feeling like cement and I decided to walk the hill to recover. The moment I slowed down I blacked out and almost lost my balance. I knew I was done and that the next 14K would be hell. At 29K there was a really long down hill followed by a somewhat flat section. I was able to run the 29th and 30th K in 5:56 and 5:32. After 2K of running I hit the next significant hill at the 31K mark. This was my second walk of the day , when I reached the top there was another long gentle downhill that I was able to run logging another 5:32 K. One more big one to go , Heart Break Hill at 32.8K , repeated the walk up logging a 7:48 K and the 6:28 on the down side. Getting through the "3 hills" killed me. I was able to keep moving along reasonably well until the wheels totally fell off with about 4K to go. This is where I had my worst moment of the day. The crowds were huge and very loud at this point, I backed out again and the crowds looked like a Spiral Galaxy and the the noise sounded like a jet engine. This is by far the worst running hallucination I have ever had and it scared me. It took a long long time to go the final 4K. I would pick a spot ahead to jog to then take a walking break. I never made it more then a few hundred meters without having to stop. I was really trying to compose myself to be able to run the final K down Boylston. The 42nd K was my slowest of the entire day done in really was the death march to the end. I bounced back a little bit and was able to complete the last 500 meters running crossing the finish line at a 5:43 pace.

My wife was near the finish and she said that I was quite unstable and zoned out. She could have reached out and grabbed me as I went by but I didn't see or hear her.

Now for the kicker.... I can't wait to go back! I really don't know what happened out there but I do know I can do much better. I am running Mississauga in a few weeks and I am looking for redemption!

The weekend before the Boston Marathon

Carrie and I left for Boston Saturday April 16 mid afternoon. The majority of the people on the flight were running the Marathon. When we arrived in Boston it quickly became apparent that this city was Marathon crazy. From the baggage carousel , on the "T" and in the hotel it was Marathon mania.

Hotel Elevator Door....

Shortly after checking into the Hotel I just had to do it to the finish line. I headed out on a rather blustery evening along Summer Street towards the Boston Commons.

It was 2K to the Boston Commons and another 1.5K to the Finish Line

On Sunday we had a busy day planned. I jumped on the T headed off to the Expo to get my Race Kit at 09:00 am. The pickup was quick and efficient, I was also able to get into the Expo purchase the obligatory Adidas jacket. Headed back to the Westin to get Carrie and we were off to the Canadian Tea Party Brunch at 11:00am. After brunch I we walked along Boylston to the race finish and a few more pictures...

We then headed off to Fenway to see the Jays and the Red Socks play Ball. The "T" was absolutely packed with Runners and folks heading to the Game....

The weather was a little blustery at the start of the game but it soon cleared off. It was pleasant afternoon in the Sun wathcing the Red Sox beat the Jays...

After the game we headed back to the Hotel and had dinner at the Irish Pub. After dinner it was back to the room for some last minute race preparation. Retired around 10pm , the wake up call was for 4:45 am.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Boston Marathon 2011

OK, you can't take the Kid to Disney Land without letting him go for a ride! Ran from the Hotel to the race finish via the Boston Commons.

The Finish Line was a magical spot ......

Logged a 7.5K easy run tonight ...tomorow I rest, Monday I Run "The Boston Marathon".

Flight 26.2

I am on my way to Boston now. We are waiting to board our flight and based on the number of Runners on the flight they need to rename it "Flight 26.2". Yesterday I was really indecisive as to how I was going to run the race. Today it seems to be much clearer .... I am getting sick! Scratchy throat , runny nose and a bit of a cough with a touch of fever. I can't believe it!!!!!!! I hope its just one of those little things you fight off in a day and really don't take hold...only time will tell! Regardless of how crappy I may feel come Monday I am running and finishing the race...PERIOD.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Run Clinic

Great 7.5K Run at an comfortable 6:26 pace. We had the largest group doing the constant run tonight and they were all moving at a decent pace. Everyone managed the hills very nicely, I was quite impressed! Tomorrow its off to Boston. I am planning a little light 5K Run from the Hotel to the Boston Commons and back . I am going to do it when I arrive and use the run as a chance to scope out potential sports to have dinner.

Last lunch run before Boston

Ok , one more 5K at a mostly 5:00 pace today....that's it for the lunch runs until next week.


Travel day tomorrow, I can’t believe I am doing the Boston Marathon in a few days.

Finally nailed down what I am going to wear and its going to wrap myself in the flag. The only thing that remains undecided is the race plan. Originally I planned on just having fun and forget about the time. After talking Bevin from Hanover who is bib 817 I decided I would race it. Being bib #11268 I would only be racing against myself but in the back of my mind I am thinking PB and a BQ05 which would be a sub 3:30. My STWM BQ was a 3:29:07 but that was 7 months ago. I have been doing my home work and feel prepared to run that time again. Now last night I get a call from Doug Barber wishing me well. He told me that his first Boston 20 years ago he was shooting for a PB somewhere around 2:47 and he finished in 3:01 and was quite disappointed. The words from the veteran were “ don’t try to PB it just go have fun” . I have been glued to all that is Boston on the Web this week…the majority of the advice is to go have fun your making history..blah blah blah ! So now I am indecisive , what do I do? I know what I don’t want to do and that’s blow up. Having thousands pass by while doing the death march is not the way I wasn’t to remember Boston.

So , my race plan, go out at a 5:00 pace and hold it until it gets uncomfortable. I don’t find a 5:00 pace all that particularly difficult the challenge is to maintain it thought the entire 42.2. I don’t take myself too seriously so its not going to be a big deal to have fun and maintain a 5:00 pace and if I do a 4:00 Boston then I will have taken lost of pictures along the way and had a beer or two.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lunch Run

5K at mostly 5:00 pace , all is A OK....getting ever so close!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Lunch again ...

5K at mostly a 5:00 pace again at lunch today.... Everything is feeling 100% , no Knee pain , no Ankle pain , no Groin pain and the legs were loose today! Weighed in and I am 176lbs....about my average running weight for the past few years. A funny thing has been happening this week. In my mind I am totally saturated with thoughts of Boston 24/7 I think about it before bed , I dream about it and I wake up thinking about it and the process goes on all day. Every now and again someone out of the blue may ask me about my running but for some reason there has been a large number of enquires from folks that have no idea that I am running Boston. I suspect that I am emitting a rather strong running Aura.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Lunch Run

Yup, another 5K mostly at a 5:00 pace today at lunch. I am exhausted ...can't stop thinking about Boston. I have read so much , looked at so much I feel like I have been there. Now I just have to remember it all...when did going for a run get so darn complicated?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Lunch Run

Working on my Boston cruise control today. 5K done mostly at a 5:00 pace. I will repeat this through Friday and resist the temptation to go longer.

Sunday, April 10, 2011 it really OK?

OK, the big race is a week away and I am feeling guilty about not doing a long run today! Managed to stretch my legs by doing a 5.5K run at a 6:00 pace. I felt really tired today and watched the Jays game that I PVRed last night then the end of today's game of 4 hours of couch time! The rest of the week will be a series of short run...I think.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Run Clinic Yesterday

Did a rather fast run clinic yesterday. Chased a 13 year old... he headed out easy and then got faster and faster and faster! His fastest K was the last one at a close to a 4:00 pace. Logged a total of 6.5K at an average 5:02 pace.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Hills and Speed

Did a quality 10K before the run clinic tonight. Managed an average 4:52 pace , breathing was laboured and the heart rate was often pegged. Really opened up the airways!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Taking it outside

I couldn't come up with any good excuses not to run outside today so I did a 17.1K run at a 5:50 pace. It was just a few degrees above freezing so I decided to wear Tights with my Sagoi Firewall Jacket and a long sleeve Tech T..MISTAKE! I was only a couple of Ks in when the beads of sweat started to roll off the forehead. I don't know why but I always overdress this time of year. Quads were only at 85% today , much better then yesterday but I was still feeling the weekend. Skiing at Blue tomorrow , run after hopefully.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Lunch Run

Ran at lunch today in spite of still having a bit of soreness in the legs. It felt awkward the first 300 meters then it settled down. 5K was done at an easy 5:30 pace.

Spent some time this afternoon figuring out where things are around Boston. Want to minimize the amount of walking I do on Sunday. It would be pretty easy logging up to 20K walking between the Hotel , Boston Tea Party Brunch, Race Kit Pick Up and Fenway! We are about 1.2K from the "Red Subway Line" that will take us up to the Brunch and Race Kit Pickup. Fenway isn't far from teh Kit pick up so it may be a 2K walk or I may jump on teh Subway again! I am off now until Monday , I am Skiing at Blue on Thursaday. Will do a run tomorrow but if the legs are still a bit sore it may be short. Will do a longer run Fri or Sat!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Running on Trashed Quads

I intentionally ran fast downhills for a few Ks yesterday. I wanted to see what effect it had on my knees and leg muscles. The Knees are 100% but I do have a bit of pain in my Quads. I have had allot worse pain in the quads. I was thinking about a reset day today but instead I jumped on the treadmill on my lunch (working today) and did a 10K run. It took a few Ks to get up to a 5:00 pace and the legs hurt a bit. The experience was very similar to how the legs feel in the late stages of a Marathon...good training I would Say!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

OUS Spring Warm Up

It was a fantastic start to the OUS 2011 series today. The weather was perfect and Pierre the RD had another treat in store for us today. The event was staged from the Dunedin Community Center and yes there were Hills with very few annoying flat sections!

The race started with a 2.5K uphill on a quiet country road, not particularly steep but never ending!

5K into the 13K loop we dove into the Bruce Trail and it was amazing. It was a 50/50 mix of snow covered and clear sections. First time though the loop the snow was hard packed as a result of a cold night but things softened up significantly as the day progressed.

The day was really relaxed and there was lots of time for chatting and clowning around.

I logged my fastest ever K at an OUS event. The last K of the day the day was done in 4min18sec.

I manged to do 2 loops logging 26K in 3hr33min. I was going to head out for a partial 3rd loop but decided that I had met my goal of a 3-4 hour run so I called it a day.

Afterwards we gathered in the upper part of the Community Center and had a feat of Soup and Pizza as well as some Wine and of course Creemore Beer on tap. I was extremely please to walk away with a jug of Creemore's finest Maple Syrup.

Friday, April 1, 2011

First Run of the Spring 2011 Run Clinic

Tonight was the first run night of the Saugenn Tri Club Durham Spring Run Clinic. Lots of familiar faces as well as a bunch of new ones. I continue to be impressed with how well these clinics are attended. We did 6.5K at an average 6:33 pace.

Lunch Run

Another great lunch Run , 5K done mostly at a 5:00 pace. 5K Run Clinic starts this evening.