Tuesday, December 29

A Year in Review

I rowed 5,000m this morning. If memory serves correct, my previous benchmark was 200m... I’m not in a hurry to move the yardstick further out. Granted I was sitting on a dastardly machine, rather than the open water, but with naught to keep me company other than my gradually declining stroke rate, I’ll leave this sport for those so inclined.
.
With the holidays upon us, my running has inadvertently taken a back seat. This isn’t all too bad given my return from injury, but my sanity continues to take a beating. And so here I sit reflecting on the previous twelve months, once again amidst a whirlwind of emotions.

Winter
Early 2009 afforded me an opportunity to work with a fantastic marathon runner, Jon Brown. Although 8 months of poor/little sleep drastically affected my performance (resulting in my slowest half marathon in 10+ years), I still managed to take away some lessons, mainly in the importance of recovery.
.

Spring
Along with the arrival of daffodils, Ally, Isla and I enjoyed our much anticipated and inaugural pilgrimage to
Boston. Not only did I have the pleasure of sharing the race with my family and friends (Hicham and Jaymie), the race allowed me the chance to meet Thomas, Mike and Mark (fellow bloggers). In the end, the time it took to capture the elusive unicorn, 3:15:28, was much slower than hoped, but the experience all the more rewarding.

.

Summer

After a colder than usual spring, the heat of the summer months was welcomed with open arms. With Boston behind me, I decided to run my first 5,000, track race. With limited fitness, the experience was truly painful. Much like Paul O’Neil once said, “a man who sets out to become an artist at the mile is something like a man who sets out to discover the most graceful method of being hanged. No matter how logical his plans, he cannot carry them out without physical suffering”. I think the same can be said for the 5,000.
.

Autumn

Along with orange and red leaves, fall brought my return to the Royal Victoria Marathon (my first ‘thon in 1994). What I enjoyed the most about my performance (not the race), was my ability to persevere despite feeling uncomfortable. This may seem trivial, but it’s easy to quit/slow down when the going gets tough. I’ve never raced a marathon that wasn’t difficult, but I’m most proud of the races where I’ve welcomed the pain.
.

All the best to everyone as they head out onto the roads and trails, thanks for reading and enjoy 2010!
.
Training:

Dec 24: day off (unscheduled)
Dec 25: day off (unscheduled)
Dec 26: day off (unscheduled)
Dec 27: day off (unscheduled)
.

Weekly mileage: 1h16’29”, +/- 18k or 11 miles

Wednesday, December 23

Merry Christmas

Where has the time gone? With Chris Botti belting out jazzy holiday favourites in the background, I sit here wondering how yet again Christmas has successfully snuck up on me. Perhaps putting up the tree too early lulled me into a false sense of preparation.
.

I’ve continued with running more or less every other day and my hamstring appears to be behaving itself. I also managed to squeeze in an appointment with Janet (massage), who gave me a clean bill of health. This is not to suggest that it’s 100%, but rather that I’m taking steps in the right direction. My plan is to continue with light running for the next two weeks, before stepping up the frequency and then eventually adding some intensity. Slow but steady.

.

I truly hope that everyone has a joyous Christmas and until later, cheers!

.

Training:

Dec 18: day off (scheduled recovery)

Dec 19: easy 53:50

Dec 20: day off (scheduled recovery)

Weekly mileage: 2h47’40”, +/- 68k or 43 miles


Dec 21: easy 37:30

Dec 22: easy 38:59

Dec 23: day off (scheduled recovery)

Thursday, December 17

Baby Steps

I’ve been meaning to write an update for three weeks, but with minimal running related news I was hard pressed to come up with anything beyond, “day off – injured”. I’m now running again.

After not lacing up my shoes for four weeks, it was after more than a few minutes that I found they’d been transformed into alternative housing. Isla’s dolls have never had it so good. And so it was that on a dark frosty morning, under falling snow that I took that first tentative stride into the unknown. Thirty seconds later, I retraced my steps, remembering that I’d forgotten to bring my wallet.

.

Now, for the second time in nearly as many minutes, I was leaving the house for a run. I should be so lucky. In the end, the jaunt was uneventful, yet thoroughly enjoyable. What surprised me the most was that my lungs didn’t experience that putrid burning sensation. My goal is/was, to run alternative day but after running home last night, and with my bike at work, I had little choice but to lace up my shoes (again) this morning. Baby steps.

.

On another note, it looks like my late spring marathon plans (assuming a healthy hamstring) will need to be reworked. Should events unfold as intended, Isla will be a sister come June. I couldn’t be more excited. Baby steps.

.

Training:

Monday, Nov 23 – Sunday, Dec 13: three weeks off (injured)

.

Monday: easy 38:31

Tuesday: day off (scheduled recovery)

Wednesday: easy 38:14

Thursday: easy 37:05

Tuesday, November 24

Injury Update

... still injured.

.

After running every second day, he rounded out the second week of November with limited success, yet unlimited frustration. Although the pain in his left hamstring wasn’t acute, he was unable to escape a nagging soreness. The discomfort wasn’t constant, but it prevented an unencumbered stride. Even to the uninitiated, he was on borrowed time.

.

Despite denying the inevitable, subconsciously his body knew. And much like savouring a favourite meal before dawning braces, a lone male meandered through the mud and underbrush of a towering west coast forest.

.

Perhaps for the first time in his athletic career, in what was still a compromise, he rested on taking four weeks away from the sport he had truly come to love.

.

Having not laced up his shoes for two days, he was overheard remarking to his wife the ease with which time was passing. Truth be told, he was already tracing new loops through old forest trails. Sadly, come Thursday (day four) he was singing a different tune.

.

Today, in a room void of hope and naught but the company of faceless models, an isolated figure no longer appreciates the melody of a favourite song. Rather, he sits slumped a over chair, impatiently willing the approach of an absent fat lady.

.

Training:

Friday: easy 40: 34

Saturday: day off (scheduled)

Sunday: easy 58:17

.

Monday: day off (injured)

Tuesday: day off (injured)

Wednesday: day off (injured)

Thursday: day off (injured)

Friday: day off (injured)

Saturday: day off (injured)

Sunday: day off (injured)

Friday, November 13

Snakes and Ladders

Much like the fluctuating and recurring/mind-numbing nature of the game snakes and ladders, my running, and health continues to change. Never a dull moment, right?

After taking five days off from running, in part due to the injury but also with assistance from the flu, last Thursday I managed to drag my weary body out for a much anticipated run. Although I didn’t suffer through any pain, the discomfort in my right leg was noticeable. Unfortunately, owing to the bike/run, run/bike, nature of my commute my trip back to work on Friday morning was probably not the smartest idea.

So this week, after two more days off from running, I decided to alternate my runs taking advantage of the statutory holiday on Remembrance Day. Monday was fine, and Wednesday was surprisingly okay. Sadly, as luck would have it, I’m now experiencing all the wonderfully enjoyable symptoms of the common cold: sore throat, congestion, sneezing, headache and general lethargy. Oh the joy.

Training:
Monday: day off (injured)
Tuesday: day off (injured)
Wednesday: day off (injured)
Thursday: easy 41:15
Friday: easy 40:52
Saturday: day off (injured)
Sunday: day off (injured)

Monday: easy 40:16
Tuesday: day off (scheduled)
Wednesday: easy 1:01:32
Thursday: day off (scheduled)

Sunday, November 1

The Loneliness of the (Injured) Long Distance Runner

Yup, I’ve been standing still. It’s not that I don’t enjoy the serenity and reflection that can be gained from remaining motionless. On the contrary, I longed for that very moment the entire time while on vacation. But I do not get pleasure from a lack of choice. So there I am, standing in the doorway in a t-shirt and shorts, looking our over the damp leaves on the ground. That is as far as I go.


My hamstrings and quadriceps are tight, to-ight as Seamus might say. Last week I ran four days in a row. It shouldn’t have amounted to much, but it did. Seems my left hamstring and adductor is particularly stiff, this in turn has inflamed the insertion point just below and to the inside of the left knee. The whole lot is uncomfortable.


As a result, I went and saw my favourite physiotherapist this morning and she sorted me out.


After having my physical pain taken care of, I decided to address my emotional state, given the fact that I haven’t run in five days. I didn’t mind for the first three days. Yesterday I longed for an unknown loss. Today that hunger was realized. I digress. As a result, I stopped in at my favourite book shop, and after some careful thought purchased the following: (1) The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, by Alan Sillitoe, (2) Again to Carthage, the sequel to Once a Runner, by John L. Parker, Jr., and (3) Advanced Marathoning, by Pete Pfitzinger. My emotional wellbeing has never felt so satiated.


So, what’s next? I’m still thinking. In the short-term, I’m going run home tomorrow evening. This, if successful, will begin to set the stage the upcoming winter. Long-term, I haven’t decided. I had thought to concentrate on setting a new 10k PB (April), and use that speed to run the new Seattle Rock’n’Roll Marathon on June 26. Unfortunately, conflicting summer priorities no longer make that a viable option. So, once again, I find myself looking east, to either: Saskatchewan, Calgary or Ottawa, all on May 30, or the Blue Nose International Marathon on May 23. Choice, in abundance.


Training:

Monday: day off (scheduled)

Tuesday: easy 38:34

Wednesday: steady 36:40

Thursday: uncomfortable 40:58

Friday: painful 43:56

Saturday: day off (injury)

Sunday: day off (injury)

Wednesday, October 28

Royal Victoria Marathon (the aftermath)

Maui was fantastic, but you’ll have to take my word for it. Sadly, our camera broke two days before returning, so unless anyone has a reader for a Canon G9 we’ll all have to wait until the damn thing gets fixed. Regardless, the sand was fine, the sunshine warm on my back, and the water heavenly.

.

As for my race, I’ve been periodically reflecting on my performance but I still don’t know what to make of it.

.

Whether self-doubt or a touch of reality, on race morning I decided to slightly adjust my goal and aimed for a sub 2h45. Splitting the half in 1:23:01 left my marginally off target, but just. Sadly, as my 5k splits indicate, it was just after the 25k point that my race started to (slowly) unravel:

.

19:15, 19:24, 19:56, 19:53, 19:56, 20:14, 20:28, 20:58, 09:37

.

So instead of analyzing the race, I’ve been asking myself, “what I might have done differently during my training”. This question hasn’t helped either.

.

All things considered, I was happy with my approach. That said, if I were two change two things, I would 1) switch the half marathon I did 3-weeks out of the race, for the planned 3x10k at MP, and 2) spent more time, in particular tempo running, on undulating terrain. Those two gems, along with the compression socks, Udderly Smooth and my new nutrition plan, are all lessons learned.

.

Thanks for all the comments to my last post, they are greatly appreciated.

.

So, what’s next? I’m still thinking…

.

Training: 2-weeks in Maui - beach running, surfing, snorkelling and the odd (hilly) ride

Monday, October 12

King of Pain

It was far better than the ubiquitous Christmas jumper, but not quite a shinny new car. Still, I’ll take the 12 days in Maui and enjoy every moment of it. This is me signing off for a couple weeks while the girls and I head further west, to the land of surf, sand and sunshine.
.

As for my race, it was solid, something I’ve been hoping to achieve for a few years. I have to be brief as we’re busy packing, or at least the missus is. The highlights then:

.

(1) Nonstop (almost): I ran the entire race, apart from stopping to pull up my socks (twice) and walking for 2”-3” to get some water at an aid station, it was one continuous run. I’m so glad to have not been apart of the mid-race walking wounded. I’ve put in my time.

.

(2) Compression socks: as I mentioned above, I had to stop twice in the first 10k to pull them up, otherwise they seemed fine. I didn’t cramp, but then I typically don’t. The jury is still out.

.

(3) Chaffing: in my race package there was a product sample called “Udderly Smooth”. I know you’re not supposed to try something new on race morning but I decided to give it a go. It worked like a dream, I’ll definitely be using it again.

.

(4) Nutrition: I ran with a bottle for the first half (the water was gone by then), and ate Clif Shot Bloks (lemon-lime), roughly 3/40’… my stomach has never been so settled during a race. The only drawback was the 3C temperature at the race start, made the first few bloks rather chewy.

.

Ok, I’ll give you the gory details when I’m back from vacation but until then this will have to do. Thanks to everyone who offered a kind word of support either here, or out on the course. It was much appreciated. As for what’s up next, I can honestly say I have no idea. I almost forgot, someone introduced himself to me in the first mile of the race. Said he drops in from time-to-time to read this blog… I hope your race went well.

.

Until later, enjoy the road you’re on.

.

P.s. This morning I’m in a world of pain.

.

Royal Victoria Marathon: 2:49:41, 4:02 k/pace, 26/2319 OA, 5/219 M35-39 (half split at 1:23:01)

Sunday, October 11

The Anticipation

While driving to the race start this morning, Ally and I were having a conversation about what a marathon “feels” like. After some thought I described it as “slowly, over a duration in excess of two hours, opening a Christmas present... and more often than not discovering a jumper”.

In about 45’ I’m going to start opening my present.

I’ve decided to aim for 3:50-3:55 km/pace, hoping to finish under 2h45... let the fun and games begin.

Training:
Friday: easy 19:58 with 6xstrides
Saturday: easy 14:12 with 6xstrides
Sunday: TbD

Thursday, October 8

Brick

It has been over ten years since I completed my last triathlon, Ironman Canada 1999… it wasn’t my greatest athletic achievement, but I finished. Funnily enough, I was talking with a friend this evening (after a few pints), where we contemplated revisiting the torrid battleground. I’ll leave that one for another day. There has just got to be something else out there, right? Anyhow. Back in the day, when combining a bike/run workout, the common expression to describe such a session was a brick.

.

And so it was after cycling home from work (where I felt great, attacking the hills and even had fun accelerating out of a few tight corners), that I had just enough time to sneak in a run before the girls came home. Moments later I was out the door in my running kit and jogging down the Lochside Trail when… holy wobbly legs, I hadn’t felt like that in a while. That joyous feeling of the bike/run transition is really something to the unaccustomed. I digress.

.

The running has been going well and I feel okay, so far. Yesterday’s w/o was controlled if not too fast… and so nothing out of the norm. More importantly, I felt good.


I confirmed my race number today, #37, I’ll take it.

Two days and counting.


Training:

Wednesday: 50:07 with 5x3’ (1.5’) 10kP

Thursday: easy 29:10

Tuesday, October 6

Comparison

I think it was in preparation for London ’07 that I followed Thomas’ lead and summarized my 12-week build for the marathon. I did it again for Boston…, which takes me to today, the RVM. The numbers themselves don’t speak volumes (perhaps I need better metrics), but still I find them entertaining.

Subjectively, I’ve been quite happy with my approach this time around. I think it was the simplicity of the program that I enjoyed the most. If you were to have asked me any other time, I probably would’ve told you I’d have wanted a complex schedule, something that pushed the envelop and forced me to walk that fine line. Keep the workouts varied and the body guessing. I suppose everyone wants to be different, special.

.

But with a lifestyle that now appreciates the routine, the last twelve weeks have been surprisingly liberating. And what’s not to like. I’m injury free, my mileage is at a three year high, and yet I feel rested.

.

Boston
Training: 12-week marathon build (11 weeks completed)
Cumulative distance (with a few yet to come): 984km/617 miles (1036km/650 miles)
Number of runs 32km (20 miles) or more: 3
Highest weekly volume: 7h51, 110km (69 miles)
Number of weeks over 130km (80 miles): 0
Number of PRs: 0

Injuries: left achilles (forced a reduction in miles)

.

RVM

Training: 12-week marathon build (11 weeks completed)
Cumulative distance (with a few yet to come): 1100km/689 miles (1136km/712 miles)
Number of runs 32km (20 miles) or more: 4
Highest weekly volume: 10h03, 142km (89 miles)
Number of weeks over 130km (80 miles): 2
Number of PRs: 0, but then I only raced once in preparation
Injuries: none

.

You could say that I’ve been tapering for the last four weeks, if by tapering you mean a consistent reduction in mileage. I’ve never understood when people (Chris) complain about not enjoying the taper. Maybe that speaks more to the training (sorry Chris). Yet today on my jaunt home, I felt horrible. I could’ve slowed down, but… well, I didn’t. I seem to remember the same route taking 41:XX the last time I ran it. Hum. Tomorrow’s session should bring some snap back to the legs.

.

Four days and counting.

.

Training:

Monday: day off (scheduled)

Tuesday: steady 38:52

Sunday, October 4

It Was One of Those Weeks (and this ain’t the half of it)

It was about a week after meeting Ally that I was introduced to Timone for the first time. It’s not that I’m not a cat person, or an animal person for that matter, but I’ve always managed to convince myself that ‘pets’ were just that, pets. And so it was that for almost every night during the last six years, Timone would hop up onto the bed and insist on kneading my pillow and then proceed to curl up into a ball sleep beside my head (and forever repositioning herself just so as to remind me that she was there).


On Friday, we had to put her down. I was surprised at just how difficult it was, yet that wasn’t the complicated part. How do you explain to a 1-year old, who’s first word was ‘kit-a-kat’, that, this feline ain’t coming back. I never thought I’d miss a cat.


Isla has been sick this week, and any attempt for me to rest has been thwarted, e.g., last night she was up six times, so was I. To make matters that much more interesting I’m beginning to feel off-colour. Oh joy.


As for my running, well, I continue to clip along. After the mid-week w/o, I took it relatively easy on Thursday but regardless of perceived effort, managed to shuffle home at a surprisingly fast pace.


Friday was off.


Saturday, was too fast. The plan was to run 15’ at MP, but with the girls joining me at the track I decided to run 4k at MP (continuous). My goal was to hit 3:50 k/pace but despite my attempts at slowing down, I didn’t make my target once: 3:36, 3:48, 3:47 & 3:47. I’d better not do this come race day, not unless it’s the last 4k.


And so I find myself here tonight, less than a week away from my next marathon and feeling… calm. I take great pleasure in feeling calm; given my workweek this might just be the only respite it what is going to be a very intense next five days. Fun.


Training:

Thursday: steady 49:44

Friday: day off (scheduled)

Saturday: 44:38 with 4k at MP

Sunday: easy 1:10:02


Weekly mileage: 4h48’04”, +/- 68k or 43 miles

Wednesday, September 30

Counting the Days

I hurt. I sit here with aching legs and a strained back, not the feeling one aspires on the road to a marathon taper. Or any taper for that matter, still, it was worth it.

Much like downing a pint so that you can enjoy the next, marathon training allows me the opportunity to run one of my favourite workouts. Out of context, it’s just two laps of the track repeated ten times. But executed within a fortnight of a marathon and you’ve got yourself some Yasso 800s.

.

[Guinness, the legendary black stout of Ireland celebrated by poet, poor man, ad man and drunk, has reached the age of 250]

.

I’ve run this session a few times and thoroughly enjoyed each one. Granted, running 800s is comparatively easier for me, but nevertheless it’s a fitness booster and perhaps more importantly a confidence builder.

.

My plan had been to sneak to the track this evening, but I quickly realized last night that best laid intentions would be for naught. So it was that earlier this morning I left the house and headed east toward what would become a glorious sunrise. My new plan was to run a set of timed intervals (0:02:35), regardless of distance. I eased into the first one but otherwise I ran them strong, feeling light on my feet, and the hard work... quite effortless.

.

If only I’d hit the track. Still, the fun and games were thoroughly enjoyable and the daybreak magnificent. Ten days and counting.

.

And for the photos, I took them while biking to work last week along what is my usual sub 45’ route, anything longer and I head in a different direction. With the mileage dropping, I thought I’d augment my tales with a few pics.

.

Training:

Monday: day off (scheduled)

Tuesday: easy 40:25 with 7xstrides

Wednesday: 1:23:15 with 10x800 (2’) 5kP-10kP

Sunday, September 27

Royal Victoria Marathon (3-weeks out)

I’ve been preoccupied this week so you’ll have to forgive my sparse commentary. Given my week began on stiff, sore legs, I’m pleased with how the pins are feeling this evening.

As I mentioned in my last post, I was surprised at how tender I felt after last weekend’s half marathon. I took Monday off, and then proceeded to take it easy for the following four days. Yesterday I had some fun.

.

I’d done the w/o once before, three weeks before Sacramento, and thought there was no time like the present to reacquaint myself with some fun and games. The sessions called for an opening mile at 5kP, followed by 10x300m. What’s not to like?

.

With the wee one up early, we decided to the workout a family event as Ally and Cricket (Isla) joined me at the track… after a trip to the local coffee shop and park. Priorities. I began the mile feeling relaxed and comfortable but my legs lacked any snap. I split the half in 2:40 (exactly on pace) but decided that a bird in the hand was worth more and closed in 2:16, for an opening 5:16 mile. Now for the fun.

.

Me running 300’s is a bit of a joke, or so it felt. I can’t remember the exact instructions Bruce gave me three years ago, so I decided to keep things under control and just “cruise” the intervals. I don’t believe I broke a sweat. The snap is back.

.

:54, :53, :55, :51, :53

:51, :52, :52, :53, :49

.

With only two weeks remaining until race day I feel relatively confident heading in, at least much more confident than I did in April. I’ve decided not to try and PB, but instead aim for a steady, controlled race, sub-2h45. I have most of my plans ironed out, but I’m embarrassed to say that I’m uncertain as to what to wear. Humiliated. Although I wore compression socks again during today’s long run, my right calf cramped. Typically, this “never” happens. And then there’s the shorts issue. I went down to our local running shop this afternoon, but the current stock left me… wanting more, or perhaps something that doesn’t exist. Fickle, I know.

.

Two weeks and counting.

.

Training:

Thursday: steady 58:23

Friday: easy 59:09

Saturday: 1:12:51 with 1x1600 (5’), 5kP + 2x(5x300m)(100m) 3kP-5kP

Sunday: easy/steady 1:51:47

.

Weekly mileage: 6h20’17”, +/- 89k or 56 miles

Wednesday, September 23

A Steady Recovery

Not much to report other than the fact that I was surprised at how sore my legs were on Monday morning. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been given the pins were just as sore on Sunday night, but nevertheless, I was still surprised.

Ally suggested that perhaps I underestimated the “half marathon”. I think there is truth in that.

.

With the marathon less than three weeks away, I’m hoping to remain on top of my training and recover properly from last weekend’s race. I was lucky enough to get in and see Janet for a massage on Monday, and I’ve made sure to keep the last couple of days light and easy.

The next few days will be more of the same; easy running.

.

Today mind you, felt fantastic. It was nothing more than an easy jaunt down the Goose to work, but my feet (and achilles) didn’t hurt and there was a bounce in my stride. After having significantly reduced my mileage last week, and with this weeks volume following a similar trajectory it’s safe to say I’ve been… well, tapering.

.

Game on.

.

Training:

Monday: day off (scheduled)

Tuesday: easy 41:58

Wednesday: easy 36:09

Sunday, September 20

Royal Victoria Marathon (4-weeks out)

I’m extremely glad that I started to re-read Running with the Buffalo’s last night, and I quote “All that remains is thirty minutes to ‘man-up’ and take the pain, one last time. They are not afraid…” I had about half an hour left to race and I told myself to ignore the hurt; it was comforting to know that I wasn’t alone.

.

Today was the last significant tempo piece in my preparation for the RVM. Under clear blue skies, the girls and I drove out to Sidney this morning as I had planned to run the Lands End Half Marathon. I wanted to use this race as a dry run for the marathon and so wore my (planned) race clothes and shoes.

.

After my usual 20’ warm-up, which always includes 3’-4’ at near race pace, I changed into my kit including my new shoes and made my way over to the start line. It wasn’t long before the countdown started, and within seconds of the gun sounding I was out front and leading. Now this wasn’t planned. I turned around to look for Hicham and couldn’t see him anywhere, and it was what felt like an eternality before the only Kenyan in the field pulled up beside me and then proceeded to drop the hammer which sent ripples through the field.

.

After splitting 1k in (3:23, way too fast) I was running comfortably in second place and it wasn’t until the mile marker that I could hear Hicham pulling up beside me. He’d planned to start alongside Phil but seeing me up the road l had left him wanting. We ran quietly together for about another 400m before I told him to drop in behind me so that we could work together. We continued to alternate positions for the first 5k (all slightly downhill) before I was rudely spat out the back on the first of many, many climbs. 3:23, 3:30, 3:40, 3:35, 3:53 (18:02)

.

It briefly flattened out around 7k and I used the opportunity (and subsequent downhill) to reel Hicham back in, help in part by his slowing. We continued to run together through 10k at which point he could see 4th place gaining and ventured out on his own. I had no response. I also didn’t see the 4th place runner. 3:52, 3:33, 3:34, 3:55, 3:44 (18:40)

.

The following 5k was relentless series of climbs, which despite a strong effort, saw me log a 4:12 kilometer closing out 15k. 3:36, 3:48, 3:49, 3:45, 4:12 (19:12)

.

The closing 5k had the runners circle back onto the opening stretch, and as much as I willed it to be flat, the slight grade felt mountainous. It was with 3k remaining that Phil passed me, after which I ran scared through to the finish. Despite wanting to run 1:17:XX, I’m pleased with the result. I had no idea the course was so hilly, and on a flatter route I know I could’ve met my goal, if not 1:16:XX high. 3:39, 3:33, 3:44, 3:46, 3:52 (18:36) 4:05

.

Lessons learned: 1) I sweat a lot, I must remember to drink more come race day, 2) it’d be nice to find shorts that don’t chaff, 3) the shoes worked, Fastwitch it is, and 4) I’m not sold on the compression socks, they’ll be a game time decision.

.

Full results here

.

Training:

Friday: A.M. steady 37:43, P.M. easy 38:00

Saturday: easy 26:28 with 6xstrides

Sunday: 1:48:36 w/ 1:18:37 Lands End Half Marathon 4th OA, 1st AG (winning time 1:12:18)

.

Weekly mileage: 7h15’47”, +/- 102k or 64 miles

Thursday, September 17

New Sensations

When I left the office yesterday evening it was wet out, nothing noteworthy but just the odd sprink to remind me that we live on the wet coast of Canada. That said, I found the overcast skies and damp air comforting, it was like putting on a pair of sunglasses after walking into a blinding sun for hours on end. Soothing.

.

Yesterday was also the first time that I tried out my new marathon shoes, the Saucony Fastwitch 3. Running home, I feel self-conscious at the best of times when I leave work, but wearing new shoes only drew attention in an building where my skinny legs are already an oddity.


As I jogged through Fairfield and toward Oak Bay, I welcomed the feather-like feeling. What I didn’t enjoy was the every-so-slight pressure on my left achilles, entirely unsolicited. The w/o passed quickly, and I found myself running out of room as I approached home. I made a concerted effort to keep my exertion under control, but on more than one occasion couldn’t help but get swept along to the gentle ‘tick’ of my feet leaving the road.


Once home I iced my achilles and opted to run today in my well worn (1,200+ km) Asics. Achilles still tender.


This weekend was supposed to be my last marathon pace session, 3x10km descending to MP. Given that I haven’t raced in three months, I’ve decided to run the Lands End Half Marathon instead. I figure the increased speed will make up for that lack of distance. Regardless, I give my Fastwitch another go, hopefully breaking them in rather than the alternative. If I survive, and the shoes don’t, I’m at a loss come race day. I loved the original Fastwitch.


Training:

Wednesday: 1:16:37 with 10x2’ (1’)

Thursday: easy 50:15