Monday, March 28

Lochside Trail/Track

I’ve completely abandoned getting in any track workouts this spring. The only way I could make it happen would be to head out after the kids are in bed, and although possible the idea of running intervals at 8:00 p.m., alone, is less than exhilarating.

And so with the tracked no longer a (viable) option, I had to improvise twice this week to accommodate some interval training. Wednesday called for a 1,500m TT, nothing terribly fast but a little something to introduce some speed. After jogging home from work I passed our house and trotted down the path to the beginning of the Lochside Trail. There is a post just down the corridor from where I live, but unfortunately the subsequent post was removed last year. After a quick search though, I found the slight depression that now bodes as a kilometre mark.

I jogged on the spot for a bit, waiting for a cyclist to pass before launching down the trail. My goal was a 5:09 1,500m. The words ‘slightly desperate’ best describe the following 1,000m, which quickly turned to ‘frantic’ I split the first 1,000m in 3:25. Although on pace, my perceived effort had me running 10” faster. I’m an idiot. At that moment I struggled to tune out he negative self-talk, and instead focused on the following 105” until my watched beeped 5:09. I don’t remember 1,500m ever feel so uncomfortable. What I do recall quite vividly is running 10x800 on 2:34, seemingly backwards and having it feel far more enjoyable. The mind is a cruel mistress.

Fast-forward a few days, and I was back down on the trail this time running a 5k TT. Again, nothing terribly fast (approx. 18:56) but a foundation to build some speed upon over the next month. With the wind howling and no feedback for 1,000m I misjudged the opening segment but quickly settled into something… reasonable. The challenge with the trail is that the markers aren’t entirely accurate, but do average out over a longer distance. Although the middle piece was slower than expected I suspect the previous kilometre was short: 3:29, 3:41, 3:53, 3:48 & 3:44 totalling 18:35.

Perhaps more important than both these sessions was the fact that this week marks the first time in almost three months where I didn’t feel under the weather. With the TC 5-weeks away, I’m cautiously optimistic. The photos are random shots along the Lochside Trail, the blue sky snapshot taken under much warmer conditions.

Tuesday, March 22


When I used to play field hockey, the team quickly gave me the nickname, “tenacious”. For full effect, pronounce it in the same masculine manner as you would Aquilinus, Maximus or Tiberius.

Although I had great hand-eye coordination and stamina, my play making ability was left rather lacking. To make up for this shortfall, I would doggedly hound the other players, ultimately forcing them to make mistakes. I miss the game.

As I sit here though, struggling to overcome my third cold of the year the idea of possessing sufficient energy to be anything but anaemic is a distant memory. I think a large part of my fatigue is due to the “black hole of exhaustion” that accompanies parenthood about 6-8 months after the birth of a child.

I experienced a similar sensation about 10 months after Isla was born, and unfortunately for me about 4-weeks before the Boston Marathon. And before I go too far, I don’t mean to suggest my weariness could ever compare to that of my wife’s… men just don’t have the necessary stamina. However, after 240+ interrupted sleeps, coupled with a cold wet winter and a low immune system… I’m tired. Perhaps I should stop here.

As for my running, after taking a couple days off last week, I managed to squeeze in a few workouts. Wednesday’s session was supposed to be on the track (5x1200m) but once again the Colquitz Trail was my chosen battlefield. If they ever decide to hold a race there, I’m going to have a clear advantage. And I unequivocally blame work for shortening Friday’s tempo session, but perhaps it was for the best. Sunday though, that was one for the ages… a thoroughly enjoyable, sunny trail run along the Jocelyn Hill Ridge Trail (thanks RC).

And something completely unrelated, a new song c/o RC (thanks again):

Mar 14: Day off (sick)
Mar 15: Day off (sick)
Mar 16: 1:04:02 w/ 5x4’ hard (4’)
Mar 17: ridiculously slow & painful 1:13:24
Mar 18: 35:55 w/ 30’ tempo
Mar 19: Day off (scheduled)
Mar 20: 1:48:51 undulating

Tuesday, March 8

Bazan Bay 5k

On a cool, blustery Sunday morning, I ran my inaugural race as a master… the Bazan Bay 5k. Given the talent that crept out of the woodwork, you wouldn’t be remised thinking this was a championship event. I don’t recall ever finishing 60th in a 5k before. Regardless, despite an all-time PW (personal worst) I found myself pleasantly happy with the race. Apparently expectation management is everything.

I have only recently introduced some speed work into my routine, but unfortunately due to the recent snowfall my workouts have been interrupted at best. On Tuesday I ran what were supposed to be 800s on a darkened soggy section of the Lochside Trail, followed by modified 200s along the Colquitz River on Thursday. Although my peak race is still 8 weeks away, I had hopes that my fitness would allow a performance reminiscent of last season (+/- 17:20)… allowing room for improvement of course (16:51).

With the race capped at 800 I knew the start would be fast and wasn’t too surprised to split the first kilometre in 3:23, but was shocked at how comfortable it felt. Waiting for the inevitable smack of lactic acid, I eased up slightly and was more secure with a second split of 3:28.

At this point I explicitly remember a coach/spectator yelling at someone to a) relax on the downhill… what downhill the race is pancake flat, and b) to make use of the tailwind. It was the latter comment that caused me some consternation; perhaps even more so as I passed 3k with a 3:44. Ouch! And yet the best was still to come.

After panting heavily alongside the oceanfront for 2 kilometres I rounded a cone that mark the beginning of the homeward stretch and ran headlong into a rather sturdy headwind… which might explain part of the subsequent 4:08. But as I ran scared for finish line (a nemesis on my heels) I can almost guarantee I didn’t run a 3:05 closing split that my watching showed.

Having run 13 5k’s in the last 16 years, and now with a new PW but also an accompanying PB as a master I look forward excitedly to the future. I don’t remember being this motivated in quite some time. Results here.

Monday: easy 42:38
Tuesday: A.M. easy 24:14, P.M. 1:03:01 w/ 7x(2’40”)(3’)
Wednesday: aerobic 1:10:17
Thursday: 1:08:39 w/ 20x35” (1’)
Friday: easy 25:52
Saturday: day off
Sunday: 1:02:18 with Bazan Bay 5k 17:48, 3:34k/pace, 60 OA, 8 AG

Friday, March 4

Urban Downhill Mountain Bike Footage

VCA 2010 RACE RUN from changoman on Vimeo.