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.

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

Thursday, October 8


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.


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

Thursday: easy 29:10

Tuesday, October 6


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.


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)



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.



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.


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