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.

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.

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.



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.


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!

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!



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.



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