Sunday, December 28, 2008

1000km Complete

Well, I just finished the last 11 km. I've completed my 2008 goal of running 1000km.

How do I feel? Great, I was a little worried in the early Fall after having a low mileage summer due to injury/recovery and low motivation. I feel great that when I realized my goal as slipping I stepped up and put in the work needed to make it happen.

What did I get from achieving this? The satisfaction that I can achieve a short term goal which helps me on my life-long journey of good health.

How can short term be one year? Well, it has always been easy for me to say, hmm I will go after some goal like finishing my first 10km, 1/2 Marathon, or Marathon; but it has always been hard to keep on track after those goals and keep up the good work I had done. So, at the end of 2007 I figured I would try to run 1000km in 2008 as a way to motivate myself to maintain the fitness that I obtain via training for a race. Hence, I see a 1 year goal as a short term goal in the pursuit of a lifetime objective.

Here's too another good year of running in 2009.

Monday, December 22, 2008

X-Training; X-Country Skiing Style

I've been out the last two days cross country skiing. Yesterday evening I was out for 55mins and today I was out for 65 mins.

Last night I got back and was feeling, "Ah, that was not bad I barely noticed I did exercise," until I bent down to undo my boots. Then when I started to walk I was like a drunk. Doh, gotta let the body get used to the different bio-mechanical repetitive action of skiing.

Today was better (as in less like a drunken sailor after skiing) and I got a better workout over all. Yesterday I skied on the trail system (biking, running, walking, rollerblading in the summer) near (.5km) my house.

Today was way more fun, I went to the "Beaver Pond" as it is called, also near my house (about 5.5 k by running; yes I know the distance since I pass it often). The trails around the Beaver Pond are through rolling hills (ok, hills for Ottawa) so there were some fun downhill sections, lots of flat open trails through beautiful woods, and a little bit of climbing (ok a lot of climbing sometimes, man I am going to be paying for some of those climbs in the next day or two).

I think cross country skiing is a great way to cross train for running. I am using muscles in my back and core that I never directly attack on my runs. A key to strong long distance running are your core muscles (everything around your mid-section). These muscles keep you upright and allow you to run more efficiently. So one side effect of cross country skiing should be improved distance running once the winter weather abates and I get closer to the Marathon.

Other reasons I think cross country skiing will improve my running fitness. As mentioned, I am getting a total body workout while getting a good aerobic workout at the same time. I also strongly feel that cross training allows your body to balance out the overuse that a single sport can place on the key muscles required for that sport. So I think of cross training as a way to actively rest those hammered muscles while toning the stablizing muscles which will help keep me running further and faster.

Another bonus to cross country skiing is that research (yes they research everything it seems) shows that the same amount of time spent cross country skiing as running, at the same heart rate range, produced similar physiological effects in male (study was only done on men) test subjects. So for me, that means I plan to mix up some of my runs with cross country skiing as a way to optimize my time training and participating in two sports I love (running and cross country skiing). If the study is correct I should be getting similar improvements to my body minus the pounding that running produces.

So I figure with at least 2 runs a week and then 1-2 days of cross country skiiing (depending on the weather since when the skiiing is good I will out there more until the ice arrives on the canal, then it's time for some speed skating on the canal) I should be right on track with training through the winter. WItht he added bonus that my body will have taken a little less pounding but still be adapting to longer endurance activity.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Year of Living Iron

Ok, here's the idea (proposed by my buddy, The Hiking Man). Take my 1000km of running, add the equivalent amount of swimming and biking as per the ratios for an Ironman. Complete it in a year and then you have The Year of Living Iron.

What would this entail. Well an Ironman has the following distances:
  • 3.9km Swim
  • 180km Bike
  • 42.2 km Run
The Year of Living Iron would be:
  • 93km Swim
  • 4266km Bike
  • 1000km Run
Some rough calculations would result in the following numbers for me to complete this in a year:
  • Swim: 47 hours, let's say 1/2 per day, so 93 days
  • Bike: 152 hours, let's say 1 hour a day, broken into 2 (morning/evening) bike commutes for 152 days to complete this
  • Run: We know that one, about 3 runs a week or 168 days of running, about 100 hours in total.
So, is it possible? Yes. What would the hardest part be? For me, getting to the pool for 47 hours and fitting bike commuting + Preschool drop-offs for my boys. The running is a no brainer, that one I have fit in.

An interesting idea non-the less. I will keep this one in my back pocket for another year.

Holy Motivation Batman

Ok, this was an awesome piece of marketing.

How did I receive it? In the mail.

What was it? A post card reminding me to sign up for the 2009 Ottawa Marathon.

What was on the front of the post card? Only my Marathon finish time from 2008 with a little motivational text thrown in.

Ya, ya, you got me, ok I am signing up. Man they are good.

Here it is:

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cross Training - Canadian Style

How hardy are Canadians?
  • We train outdoors in sub-zero temperatures.
  • We run races in the Arctic. (Not me though, I'm not that insane.)
  • We have snowshoe races in -18C and lower temperatures.
  • We have Winter Triathlons!!!
Baring some strange emergency (more teething from my 5 month old blowing away any semblance of a good nights sleep for a week, man you want cranky; ok let's not go there) I plan to do this years Winterlude Triathlon.

What is the Winterlude Triathlon?
  • Held Feb 7th, 2009 during Ottawa's Winterlude celebration.
  • A race combining an 8-km skate, 5-km ski and 5-km run
  • Your normal, less than ordinary Canadian Good Time.
Get more details at The Winterlude Triathlon.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Procrastinating In a Good Way

I have a tendency to procrastinate some times, but in a good way. How is that you ask?

Well, I will have a dozen projects (quite literally) going on at one time and when I tell myself, ok you really need to work on that painting which is 80% done, I go off on a tangent and work on some other project which has been waiting for my attention. So what am I avoiding tonight?

Well, I really need to get that painting finished, but I also really need to get a training plan in place for the start of January when I kick up the mileage as I train for a spring Marathon. So, painting out for tonight, and Marathon planning it is.

Ok, so I just got back from my 10km run. I laid out the route using runningmap.com and ran that. I used the route to calibrate my iPod+ chip so that it should give me more refined results for the next while (I will need to recalibrate when the snow and ice abates). I ran pretty hard tonight since I missed my weekend run and figured I'd put in some gusto.

Time for 10km was 53 mins on the nose. That works out to 5:18/km. Based on the training plan I am following that works out to equivalent race times of 25:20 for a 5 km, 1:57:25 for a Half-Marathon, and 4:06:31 for a Marathon. I can say right now, the Marathon would be pushing it, since I need some drastic mileage and time on the legs to get up to that. It would also be 22 mins faster than my other (first/best) Marathon time. So maybe that is a good goal time for a spring Marathon (I am not committing to that but it is something to keep in mind).

So based on my time tonight, here are my target training speeds for January 2009.

Key Workout #1
  • 5km Race Time: 25:20
  • 400m Pace: 1:52
  • 600m Pace: 2:50
  • 800m Pace: 3:49
  • 1km Pace: 4:48
  • 1200m Pace: 5:49
  • 1600m Pace: 7:53
  • 2km Pace: 9:57
Key Workout #2 - Pace/mile
  • Short Tempo: 8:26
  • Mid Tempo: 8:41
  • Long Tempo: 8:56
  • Easy: 10:01
Key Workout #3 - Pace/mile
  • Long Tempo: 8:56
  • MP: 9:25
  • MP+10: 9:35
  • MP+15: 9:40
  • MP+20: 9:45
  • MP+30: 9:55
  • MP+45: 10:10
  • MP+60: 10:25
  • HMP: 9:05
  • HMP+20: 9:25
  • MHP+30: 9:35
Holy a lot of paces Batman!!

Ya, it is but you write it down so that you don't need to look it up in the book all the time. The training plan I have is for 16 weeks. The training plan has the required training distances and paces are indicated for the 3 specific runs/week using the above terminology.

Key Workout #1 is a speed workout which is why there are so many short distances with an associated pace. This workout is meant for a track. Something that I will have to improvise in the winter (I might try to do these on the treadmill at work). As you can see, this workout is about speed. It has me running more than a minute faster per mile than race pace. The goal with this workout is to teach the body to run faster by performing at higher speeds and trains the body to more efficiently utilize oxygen intake.

Key Workout #2 is, as the pace names suggest, a Tempo training session. What is tempo? Tempo training consists of a couple slow miles to warm up and then a few miles at tempo pace which is a slightly faster than race pace speed. This workout is about teaching the body to maintain speed over longer distances. This pushes the envelope as the body must learn to deal with lactic acid buildup over longer periods, thereby making you more efficient for the slightly slower Marathon pace.

Then there is Key Workout #3, the long run. A translation of the acronyms is MP = Marathon Pace, HMP = Half Marathon Pace. The +xx indicates add xx seconds to the MP or HMP. So what good is a long run at slightly slower than Marathon Pace? Well, this is the workout that is going to get me to the end of the Marathon. The speed workouts will help me run faster and be more efficient, but this run is a long run of 6-20 miles (10km-32km) which will give me the time on my feet to allow my body to adjust to the beating I will subject it too on race day. You see race day, I will be running faster and by doing so I will be punishing my body that little bit more, not to mention race day will bring with it an additional 7-10km more distance than my longest training run.

So, how long is a Marathon? Several years of running, give or take a few, to get enough mileage on you to be able to train dedicated for 16-28 weeks, an only then does it take about 4 hours give or take an hour for most of us mere mortals.

Ok, enough chatting. Time to get these numbers into the spreadsheet that tracks my running exploits. The sheet that does not lie ;-)

28 more km to 1000km!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Running Man

I was out for a run with Hiking Man this past Thursday. It was a good run but I thought the mileage on my new iPod+ chip was a little high for what the run felt like. Sure enough, when I got home the 8km it was posting was more like 6.7-7km, so I will settle for 7km for that one (so the Hiking Man does not feel like it was a total loss).

Tonight I am going to go knock off another 10 km. Waiting for final confirmation my son is sleeping so my wife only has one little one to handle (bed time is a fun time but not when the 5 month old is teething, like now and the 3 year old never had outside play since it was too icey/raining for Pre-School to send them outside, so he was a little hyper tonight).

That said, here is tonight's run: http://www.runningmap.com/?id=87293

Time to go get ready, looks like the 3 year old is out.

A running we will go...a running we will go...high ho the merry oh...a running we will go....

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Cutting It Close

I was sick as a dog with a cold this week. That meant, I missed my 6, 8 and 5 k runs. I just got in a 10k and plan to put in another 10k tomorrow. That will have me caught up to my goal for November.

December will have to be very on track and with no more "sick days". I don't have much leeway to have low km weeks anymore.

Onto gadgets. I picked up another Nike+ Pod today (that is a footpod to track my distance). It just had it's first run and worked perfect. Here's to another 1300km on that pod (that's how much that last pod lasted).

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Bright Spot

As I was preparing for my run today I could not get a signal from my Nike+ foot chip. This chip sends stride info to my iPod which calculates my speed, distance, calories, and time for each run.

After running many miles near the house I knew a 10km run which I did. So the bright spot? I ran a chip down, which should last about 1000miles. I have had this chip for about that long (2 years). So time for a new chip and time to put another 1000miles into it.

I also had to buy a new set of sneakers last week. My old ones had over 700km on them. I was also ending my runs with pains in knees, ankles, and everywhere in between and then some. So it was time.

I am holding off on a second set for alternating until I can find a good winter solution, be it winterize a summer pair or buy a winter runner (which the reviews I have read seem to translate the "winter" marketing tagline into, meant for running in -2 Celsius, with some rain; not the -20 Celsius in snowdrifts, ice, slush, and additional Canadian winter conditions).

I am thinking that for next year I will keep a pair of sneakers at work for treadmill work outs on bad days. As well, I will keep my winterized shoes for home on the days that I plan to run outside.

100 Klicks Left

That's right, 5.5 weeks left in the year and 100 km left to complete my 1000 km in 2008.

To help get to the end I've got some new music, I am charged up and I plan to kick out enough klicks the next 4 weeks to take 1.5 weeks off (ok maybe a couple easy runs) around Christmas. So, only 25 km/week for 4 weeks. Nothing too it.

With the forecasts calling for a mild week this week I am planning to pump up the distance this week and try to nail 35 km this week. 6km Mon, Tues; 8 km Wed (or Thursday if I meet up for a run with Hiker Man); 5km Fri; 10km Sun. That is this weeks goal.

And if we get the snow they are calling for I am prepared. I bought some short active gaiters for winter sports that will keep most of the snow out of my sneakers. I am looking into getting something that I can spare/coat/immerse a pair of sneakers in to make them winterized. That or possibly invest in a pair of winter running shoes if I can find something with extra support for my over-pronation.

Onto the final miles for 2008.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Row Row Row Your Boat

I'm such a pansy. I was rowing tonight, after work (at the gym), for 30 minutes and I have two blisters on one hand. Man, that is a sad indication of the pampered lifestyle I (probably many of us) lead.

Ok, so why rowing? Since they have fixed the showers at our gym at work, I am heading back into the gym for some cross-training. Plan is to row, cycle, and do strength training at work. Still trying to find time in the schedule for swimming.

Tonight's rowing routine was:
  • 5 min easy; 1 min hard
  • 1 min easy; 2 min hard
  • 1 min easy; 3 min hard
  • 1 min easy; 4 min hard
  • 1 min easy; 3 min hard
  • 1 min easy; 2 min hard
  • 1 min easy; 1 min hard
  • 3 min cooldown
The great thing about that routine is anyone can do it. Just take easy to be easy, as in not even breathing hard. Make hard as you want. For me, that is row like there is a shark chasing you down.

STROKE! STROKE! STROKE!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Still Running

Well, as the "1000K in 2008" section to the right shows, I am still running.

Motivation continues to be a big battle; that is, trying to keep it up. The blog helps, knowing my friends and family is cheering for me and keeping tabs on my progress help, and future goals help. That said, a Marathon takes about 26 weeks of training to prepare for, not to mention being prepared just to start training for the Marathon.

26 weeks of training for several hours where you compete against yourself to see if you have it in you.

Right now I will just keep on running as I reach for 1000km in 52 weeks. Only 8.5 weeks and 142 km left; 16.71 km/week.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Creative Beats

Each time I run, I listen to tunes. This combination seems to send my mind into a creative groove (no tunes I am usually thinking about what body part aches today) where it keeps coming up with ideas.

Today's run gave rise to 2 more iPhone app ideas and some TDD (test driven development) ideas for work. Needless to say, I am not short of ideas for the iPhone or any other mobile platforms but I will stick with working on the iPhone since the distribution model offers a low cost of entry to the market place.

I had one idea which requires the application to be always running in the background. This one would not work on the iPhone unless the user checked the program repeatedly. This would ruin the whole idea behind this idea. So, this is an idea that would work better on the Andriod platform.

I'll just have to write that one down for a later time. Now back to work, gotta log a couple hours this weekend.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Start Them Young

Today was my youngest son's second run with Dad (yesterday was his first). He is 3 months old, a sturdy 20+ lbs and he tagged along in the Chariot (Dad's favorite push toy).

So far, he is taking to the Chariot just like his older brother. All wrapped in blankets and a hat to keep him warm, he drifts off to sleep after about 5 minutes. Then sleeps for the entire run until we stop at the house, at the end of the run.

I had considered trading up from the single Chariot to the Dual Chariot so I could push both boys at once. For now though I will stay with the single. I am not sure I want the two boys in the stroller until our new addition is a little older. By then, our first may be ready for a tag-along for bike rides.

As for runs, I think I will stick to pushing just one of the boys at a time. That is resistance enough, thank you very much.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Test Driven iPhone Development

Ok, Test Driven iPhone Development. First off, I am not doing it, yet. Do I want to? Yes. But how?

What is Test Driven Development (TDD)? Well you can go wiki it, but in general it comes down to "write tests first, write code second, when tests pass, code is done, rinse and repeat" until project is complete.

Do I have experience with TDD? Yes, I have used utlPLSQL to perform TDD during the development of a Data Warehouse PL/SQL back-end API for a php written front-end to said Data Warehouse. I've also used CppUnit after the fact on an existing code-base.

As well, I am currently working on putting CppUnit into place for a new project at work. The good, this will be for a system we will be refactoring from Ada into C++. The bad, I'll admit it, I was a bad programmer and I extended CppUnit so that I could pass a void * into the TestFixture::setUp routine (that run's before each test case) so that I could run the tests inside a client that has a lot of setup which includes the ability to override the execution loop. That execution loop is where I put the test cases, but I had to get the pointers created during setup of the app into the test code so I could use their callbacks.

Needless to say, I feel embrassed I had to extend the code with what amounts to a blank check for programmers using the "extended" CppUnit to pass whatever they want into the test code. Why is this bad? Well, Unit Testing in the vein of CppUnit is about testing individual classes. What I am doing is bastardizing CppUnit so I can perform unit testing of two seperate processes implementing a Proxy/Service pattern.

The great thing is that I can run both of these in the same executible and inject messages into the Service which then passes them to the Proxy which passes them up to a Client which uses the Proxy. By making the changes I have to CppUnit, I can now run a Client, Proxy, and Service in one process and run tests against the three of them at the same time. This makes coding the test cases easier than having to implement TCL (or my favorite, Perl Expect) scripts to try and run the Client (with Proxy) and Service in different processes and then build something on top of that which is easy for other devs to use.

So, all that to say, I love TDD, I want to use it all the time, but getting into it I find takes understanding the arena you are working in. Being a newbie to Objective-C, Cocoa, XCode, and the iPhone OS I am finding it hard to figure out how to get TDD working for my projects yet. That said, I can see how it would work for some simple classes, but for the Model View Controller (MVC) pattern, I am still thinking about that.

Prehaps I will login to Stack Overflow and ask that question. It would be a good one.

--Update (10 minutes later):
Ask and you shall receive. Stack Overflow led me to:

Hooking GUI Elements

With iPhone development you can create your GUI via hard work (ie. coding by hand) or you can do it with little effort (caveat being you need to know how to do that little effort) and some hand coding. I finally figured out the little effort part.

After lots of reading and playing with layouts and test code, I have figured out the secrets to hooking buttons with the appropriate actions. It's not straight forward, there is a little duplication of effort in the Interface Builder (the GUI layout tool) and your hand written code. But once you know how, it is quick and easy to get your GUI hooked up for user interaction.

So far my first app is coming along and I have shown it to some people. I've gotten some good user feedback which I will be trying to incorporate into the design. Nothing too hard I am sure; once I figure out how to implement those ideas.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

(YAIDB) Yet Another iPhone Development Blog

Yes, I am yet another developer who has decided to develop new apps for the iPhone. Here's where I stand currently with my work:
  • Downloaded the iPhone SDK - months ago
  • Watched the iPhone Development videos on iTunes
  • Played with some tutorials and sample code
  • Registered as an official developer with iPhone Developer Program
  • Started development of 3 programs; 1 nearing completion, 2 only in the prototype stages
  • Bought an iPod Touch for hardware testing - Yes I have my first app running on the Touch
  • Read a lot of iPhone programming and Objective-C programming documents
As I complete apps and they move out of the NDA envelope, I will post screen shots here, along with video demos of the apps.

Priorities

Yes, I slipped off the wagon for almost 2 weeks. I took a decided break from running before I start the big step of planned runs as I train for the marathon.

What caused me to take a break? iPhone development. As most who know me can attest, I have lots of ideas and for iPhone apps I am not short of ideas; I'm just short of time. So, in place of running the past two weeks I was spending my time working on code.

So far, my first app is coming along well. I have a lot of the app laid out and ready for the hooks to be implemented for the buttons. Art work is a big issue and will slow down most development as I work on the icons, backgrounds, and for some apps, the sprites used. As well, I have a few ideas that will take some research to develop the text.

So, now I am trying to balance running with iPhone development while work is starting to ramp-up. Not to mention the daily demands that we all face (home maintenance, family time, etc).

Going to be a busy few months before I take parental leave in April and run the Marathon.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

September Training Update

Well the year is shaping up pretty well. I am still ahead of my target mileage and feeling great. My plan to keep me on track with running is working!

Here is a graphic showing my progress so far this year. Compare that to the graphic from last year's running results.

2007 Nike+ Training Results:
As you can see, I am staying a little more steady this year. With a little lull due to Marathon recovery, injury recovery, and remotivation ;-)

Once training for the Paris Marathon kicks into gear in two weeks, the mileage will begin to increase again. I'm looking forward to it.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Paris Here I Run

I've just signed up for the 33rd Edition of the Paris Marathon!!!

I am runner number 22002 and just paid my $63 Euro (including $8 Euro of insurance such that if I drop out for some reason, up to 10 days before the race, I get my other $55 Euro back).

The training for the Marathon begins Oct 6.

Race is Sunday, April 5th, 2009.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Back on Track

Well, it's been a good couple weeks. I am back on track and currently logging 20-25 km per week.

At that rate I am back on track for the 1000 km goal for 2008. I've thought of some races for the fall, but so far I am figuring I will hold back, keep up the good work and start Marathon training in October.

So no races in the plans for now. I had planned to do the Army Half next weekend but since I have not been logging the miles, I figure best not to be stupid and run a half without serious training for it.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Train Like a Viking

Well I have a new (ok, call it a moth balled technique that has been brushed off) training technique. It's called "Train Like A Viking!!! Argh@!!!".

How's it work?

It goes like this. Go for a run. Part way through the run, run hard like you are a brave viking in battle, or a coward in armor (like Sir Robin the Not-Quite-So-Brave-As-Sir-Lancelot <- Monty Python reference) running from battle. Once you are finished, you top it off with a fine bitter ale, such as Ole Speckled Hen.

Argh!!!! Run like a Viking!!!

Note: For a reference to why beer is good after a run see Beer Good After Run Recovery Drink

Sunday, August 31, 2008

The 10 km Human Race

It is done!!  I just ran a 10 km (first one in a long time) which was part of the Nike 10km Human Race.  What is that you ask?

The Nike 10km Human Race was held today, August 31, 2008, around the world at select race venues and wherever Nike iPod+ runners run.  You see, their goal was to get as many people in the world to run 10km on the same day.  At last count, I saw that over 4 million kilometres had been run by runners all over the world, and I got to be 10 km of those.

They are hyping it as a historic event, but then for those that have no idea it is happening and who are not runners, it means nothing.  For me, it is a pretty cool idea and I am glad I was able to run it and be part of running history.

On another note about historic events; my buddy Ken just completed his ride across Canada from Vancouver to St. John's.  I think it is historic since how many people have ridden across Canada?  Each one should be named somewhere.  I think each person that does is a huge motivation to each of us that strive to reach for our dreams.

Congratulations Ken!!  I can't wait to hear the stories of hardship and "companionship" when you get back.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Finally, Some Progress

With my knee that is. First run in a long time that it is not aching too bad.

It took about 2 km before the ache came along but it was more of a lingering ache rather than a limp inducing sharpness. Hey, small victories.

Well, onto future news; I have a goal for next year. If the stars align then I will be entering the Paris Marathon which takes place April 5, 2009. That means about 6 weeks of training to get my base built back up, then training over the winter to get ready for the Marathon.

The Marathon training will be 26 weeks, so that means I start training October 6, 2008 for the April Marathon. (Again, I note for those asking how long it takes to run a Marathon. About 6 months, give or take a few hours at the end.)

Heck, with any luck (read, no injuries) maybe I will have enough planning and juice in the batteries to do the May Marathon in Ottawa as well. I'll wait and see on that one though.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Running Increases Lifespan

Yup, you read it right. A study by Stanford University was released August 11, 2008 in the Archives of Internal Medicine and connects running to increased longevity.

The study has been in the news recently, but if you missed it try this link: Running Improves Disability And Life Span In Older People

Just another reason to keep running for a long time.

As for my current running. Well, a new baby in the house has cut into free-time a lot. It has been hard to get runs in and I am still seeing a Chiro for my knee. I am getting swimming in 2-3 times a week to help the knee recover.

I will find more time and the knee will get better, allowing me to keep on track for 1000km this year.

Friday, July 25, 2008

First Run Since the Birth of Our 2nd Son

Our second child was born last weekend and we've been home since Monday. He is settling into a nighttime routine. My wife has been graciously letting me sleep the night since he has been both pretty easy going and I have been looking after our 2.5 yr old son (lots of energy needed for that).

So, all to say today I was not too tired and had recovered from the first few sleepless nights. I got out for a run and ran into Darren Clark. I ran along with him and a friend of his who is an Ultra-Marathoner. His friend (I forgot the name, doh) is currently training for a 50 miler.

Man, to think of that distance. It is huge!! It's only about 80 km or 5 km-ish short of a double marathon!!

It's great to realize that there are other people out there, with 3 kids, holding down a job in high tech, and training/running their races. If you make room in your life for sports/running then you can do it. The only excuse to not exercising is that it is not your priority to exercise.

I learned this some years back when I decided to cut down on the "entertainment" factor and increase the "exercise" factor in my life. It is now a part of my life and I fit in exercise however I can. Running being one of the easiest (and I enjoy it). That said, you can feel a bit like a freak when you are training all the time and have nothing to talk about except splits, your schedule this week, what you are training for now; while others are talking about the latest movies, reality TV shows, or what some Movie Star did recently.

I'd much rather be out there pounding the pavement than grooving out the couch.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Kicking It

The good: swimming is coming along well. Overall time is decreasing for distance covered.

The bad: after extra rest my left knee is still bothering me during my runs.

It gets a little disconcerting to have so many different injuries; one after another. At least I love swimming and biking, meaning I can continue to use those to keep up the fitness while I go easy on the knee.

On a different train of thought, our second child is still waiting to join us. Due date was a week ago. So, every day is a day which the chance of seeing my new son is higher than the last ;-)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A Swimming We Will Go....

I bought a 3 month pass for swimming and am on track to get my money's worth. Paying by each session is $4.10/adult. For three months, unlimited indoor or outdoor swimming (minus special swims like the wave pool), it is $75. At that rate I only need to go 19 times to break even. That is easy since I've gone 5 times since I got my pass.

Ok, now for totally awesome toys. I used to be the gadget man, with lots of new toys but this one I think I am not leading the pack with, by any means. I bought a waterproof case and headphones for my Nano and tried it out today. It is totally awesome to be doing lane swim and getting to listen to tunes. I bought the H2O Audio system and it works awesome. Check them out at h2oaudio.com

If you swim a lot and love to listen to music then you need to check their products out. Man, I need a sponsorship ;-)

The funniest thing while trying them today was that I was listening to Techno music from Beatport.com and one of the songs had a pinging in it like from a submarine. I found that ironic.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Training Again

Well, I am back into training and it feels good. Right calf is fully recovered but I am still experiencing an ache in my left knee. Hey, if it is not one thing it is another. I will continue to monitor, do some strengthening exercises and see how it goes.

This past week was a good one, I got in 2 swims and 3 runs. About the same plan this week. Swim Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Run Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. With a possible bike ride thrown in.

My buddy Ken is biking across Canada this summer. He has been gone for 2 weeks now and has lost 10 lbs. It took 2 weeks to cross British Columbia and he is now in Alberta. This week he moves through Saskatchewan. I am getting regular updates from him and he is having lots of fun and making me very envious ;-)

Monday, June 30, 2008

Cross Training or Tri-Training for Upcoming Races

Started swimming at the outdoor pool near work today. I got in 30 minutes, which was about 20 laps with short rests between some laps. Maybe 70% front crawl and the rest breast stroke.

It was a good workout and felt great. I was breathing hard and my muscles were tired all over.

I find swimming keeps me loose by loosening up tight muscles.

The pool is only 5-10 mins walk from my office so I can walk there, get in a swim, and get back during lunch.

Combining that with biking to work and my running I am considering another triathlon this year. I want to move up a level and try an Olympic distance, which involves:

  • Swim: 1.5 km (Yes, 1500 metres, since that sounds further to some)
  • Bike: 40 km
  • Run: 10 km


The only event I can find between now and enough reasonable training time is the Montreal Triathlon which fits my criteria or within driving distance and not so late I need a wet suit. Though it is on September 13 so it could be cool.

Anyways, just another thing I am thinking about. As well, I plan to run the Nike Human Race 10K on August 31, 2008. There is a 10K race in mid-August I may run which I would plan to run fast, where-as the Nike 10K I just plan to run as a training run, so no plan to go all out.

All this and a possible Half Marathon on September 21 for the Canadian Army Run.

As you can see, lots of plans that could all fit into my schedule depending on how demanding a new baby will be. So we will see how many of these I tick off in the next few months. They can all wait until next year ;-)

That said, the 1000km can't wait. Only 373 km left to go.

Nike+ Profile

I've added my Nike+ Profile in the right content bar. It shows my total logged distance, average pace overall, etc. If you want to add one and are a Nike+ user you can grab the code from the "Edit" user settings and then choose "Share My Profile."

First Run

Ahh...to be running again. I got my first run in in over two weeks this past Sunday. I went out for 30 minutes, covering 5km.

I took my son who had fun as well, though he is bit of a hard coach. He got upset when I stopped to have some water at the turn around point. He wanted to go faster he told me. Just like his Dad ;-)

During the run, the right calf felt fine. It feels fully recovered. The left knee which has been giving me some trouble for 2 months now was still weak. So, I plan to work on that to try and strengthen the knee and my legs overall.

Monday, June 23, 2008

I Can Start Running Again

Plan is to get back to running tomorrow with my first run in two weeks. Chiro went well and worked out the main pain in my calf. I followed that up with Physio, suggested by my Doctor, which has been working to rehabilitate the muscle and strengthen it for running.

Physio has consisted of some basic stretches that I have to hold for 2 minutes per leg. As well, there have been one legged calf extensions done on the stairs. I also have to do two legged leaps/hops, one legged hops, one legged balancing on a squished balance ball, and cycling (though the cycling is done first as a way to warm up and get the legs a little tired before stressing them with the other exercises).

I was at Physio tonight and there is no pain in the left leg. It is still a little weaker but another week and that should be fine. Hence, I can start running again.

I can't wait to get on the road again. It feels like so long without running but it has only been one month since the Marathon with a few runs in between recovery and injury.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Not So Bad? Maybe

Ok, so I wanted to be sure I got two opinions and honestly I figured my calf was pretty toast after it popped. The Sports Medicine Doc thinks it is a rupture and I will be going back in 3 weeks for a follow up. I am still going to Physio next week since I want to work out a recovery program including exercises and any ultra-sound therapy that might help.

Now all that said, I also had an appointment yesterday with my usual Sports Therapy Chiropractor. He immediately said he did not think it was a rupture since a rupture would lead to bruising, swelling/inflammation. He asked if he could take a look (with his fingers) and see what he found.

I worked around my calf pinpointing the pain and said that he thought it was scar tissue that had torn. This is the same leg he had been working on before the race due to it's cramping at around 30 km.

He asked me if I could go up on my one leg. On both yes, on the left yes, but on the right no (not without extreme pain). When I say no, I mean I could not go up on my right leg because of the pain and the fact it felt like I had no muscle strength in the muscle that runs right on the back of the leg between the ankle and the 2 big calf muscles mid-way up your leg. So he went to work.

One round of working on the scar tissue and I could still not go up on my leg (go up meaning lift up on my tip-toes). A second round and voila I could lift up on my toes again. He did some more work, worked the other tight calf muscles and then some laser therapy. I am still investigating the laser therapy so I will get back to that later.

So, all that said. He thinks my recovery should be about 3 weeks and I will be recovery running sooner. Basically, once the pain subsides I should be able to start very slow runs and work up again.

Time will tell. For now, I am sticking to the recovery plan and getting some strengthening exercises from the physiotherapist.

As well, for the muscle related injuries I am sticking to the Sports Therapy Chiropractor. He has gotten me through a lot so far and continues to amaze me with his ability to address whatever hurdle my body throws at me.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Ruptured Calf

I've seen the Sports Medicine Doctor and I have a ruptured calf muscle where two muscle meet. Apparently this is common in new runners (she said people running for under 10 years) as their body adapts to the stresses of running.

She figures that it will take about 6 weeks before I am running again. Until then, I start with massage, physio (including a strength training program and ultrasound), biking, and swimming as I recover. Goal of the rehabilitation will be to keep my fitness level and strengthen my leg muscles so that I am less susceptible to this injury again.

Massage starts today.

Physio starts Monday.

Biking starts tomorrow.

Swimming this weekend.

As my wife said, thank goodness this happened after the Marathon and not before. I agree, I am glad I completed that goal. Now I work on a new goal, rehabilitation. Not as cool maybe but necessary none the less.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Calf Pull

As if it was not obvious, I pulled my right calf muscle today. I am booking appointments to see a Sports Massage Therapist and a Sports Doctor so I can get on track with recovery.

The warning signs were there, my calf was getting tight during my track run this morning. I started with running 10 minutes at an easy pace to warm-up (maybe not easy enough). Then we started into our work out which was challenging but not hard.

Thinking back, I have started doing lower leg strengthening exercises this past week. They have resulted in some stiff legs and I don't always stretch afterwards since they seem fairly easy, though as I said I get tight afterwards.

My calf muscles were also giving me troubles leading into the Marathon with lots of tightness. I was having them worked pretty hard leading up to race day. Afterwards everything seemed fairly good and I figured hey slowly coming back up to speed should be ok.

Well ok, lesson learned, take it easier than the easy I was taking it for the entire month after a Marathon.

Now to figure out how long this is going to set me back as I rehabilitate my calf. Looks like I'll be getting some extra swimming and biking (once it is ok) in.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Getting Back At It

I have begun training again. Currently, there is no hard and set plan, just running at a reduced intensity for shorter distances as my left knee recovers from the Marathon. My legs felt very good after the race but my first two runs out I have had a twinge in my left knee.

I went fairly easy in my training routine for the Marathon. It being my first, I wanted to finish but did not want to train too hard for fear of injury.

This next training phase I plan to go back to more of my normal training routine. Running a little harder, doing speed work at the track, performing regular strength training, and making sure to get in 2 cross training sessions a week.

So far the goals for this upcoming summer are to find a way to continue training once my new son arrives (due date in 3 weeks), train for a sub-45min 10k in mid-August, and depending on how life with the new baby goes, either run a 1/2 marathon or a full marathon in the fall (plan being to train for the full and if that seems unrealistic, do a half).

Well, I am back in the shoes and running, so the updates should be a little more frequent as I continue training and chipping away at my 1000km in 2008 goal.

Standing at just over 600km in 6 months, will I be able to continue that mileage throughout the year to hit 1200km? Time will tell.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

CBC Radio Interview

I was interviewed by Michael Bhardwaj for the CBC Ottawa Radio One program In Town And Out last week.  The interview revolved around why I was doing my first Marathon, the reasons for doing it, what I have done to prepare, etc.

Michael sent me the interview as an MP3 which I have posted in case you'd like to hear it: Mark's Interview

Enjoy!

Recovering

Recovering is going well.  We started the recovery immediately after the race with some sports drinks for electrolyte replenishment, some food including chips to get back some of the salt we lost, some YoPro Ice-Cream (check this stuff out, ice-cream with the nutrition requirements of athletes taken into account), and lots of rest.

Yesterday there was a lot of hobbling but today Scott and I are both doing excellent.  Sitting for a long time leads to some stiffness which is usually gone after a little bit of movement.  Additionally, I am doing some stretching to limber up the muscles.

Both of us have a few sore spots that will take a little longer to recover.  Like my left knee which is still weak/sore, my right foot (arches) which are sore/tired, and Scott's knees which are a little sore.

Overall though, we are pleased with our performance, pleased with the recovery, and the fact that we did so much better than we thought possible given our state going into the race (we had both missed some large blocks of training due to illness and we both dealing with injuries).

Now we are talking about what will be next.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Marathon Breakdown

Split by km
DistanceLapTotal Time
1 km6:33
2 km5:54
3 km5:58
4 km5:52
5 km5:56
6 km5:44
7 km5:44
8 km5:44
9 km5:35
10 km6:001:01:12
11 km5:39
12 km5:43
13 km5:44
14 km5:44
15 km5:48
16 km5:57
17 km6:07
18 km5:53
19 km6:02
20 km6:03
21 km6:012:06:52
22 km6:09
23 km6:28
24 km5:58
25 km6:03
26 km6:19
27 km6:50
28 km6:09
29 km6:09
30 km6:333:02:54
31 km7:14
32 km6:21
33 km5:42
34 km9:24
35 km6:22
36 km7:14
37 km6:21
38 km6:54
39 km6:53
40 km7:57
41 km7:29
42.2 km9:294:28:14

Sunday, May 25, 2008

It Is Done!!!!

A Marathon Virgin No-More!!!

Scott and I ran the entire race together and both finished with a time of 4:28:14. An average pace of 10:14/mile or 6:21/km. Yes, just 42.2 km in 4 hours 28 minutes and 14 seconds.

First, yes, it hurt and I would have not achieved that time without Scott to cheer me on, push me when I needed it, and kick me in the ass (he actually did for good effect once).

We paced ourselves well, never totally blew up, but I was getting hot and felt like I was going to get sick after 36 km. Scott keep pushing me to give it all I had with such inspirational quotes as "You can walk in 30 minutes man" or "Come on, we can beat 4:30 on your first Marathon."

All in all, it was a great race. We had fun, we laughed a lot, we formed salt crystal grim on our faces which felt like sand, we made it all the way, and we can still walk. Though more shuffle than walk, something similar to a classic zombie shuffle.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

One Sleep Left

Well, it's been a while since I last posted. Here is an update:

  • Ran the last few runs during my taper. Nothing eventful still some calf tightness.
  • Missed my last 2 runs since I was feeling sluggish and figured better to not run than get in 2 more short runs.
  • Did an interview for the CBC Radio One show In Town and Out with Michael Bhardwaj about preparing for and why I want to do my first Marathon. When I get permission to post the interview I will. For now check out the home page and look for the First Marathoner story.
  • Picked up my friend Scott who egged me into doing the ING Ottawa Marathon this year and I egged him into joining me.
  • Played running bum with Scott and hung out for a long time at the Running Expo.
  • Relaxed and hung out with Scott and my family.


So everyone asks what time am I aiming for. I have no real idea what I can do the Marathon in. I have had calf cramping issues and a tight hamstring. Everything feels better now and hopefully the two taper weeks have done me good. That said, the calf cramping has been a major mental wall that I have had to deal with. This had made me doubt my ability to do the entire race running (something I strive for, minus the occasional water station walk break).

I fell strong and have been increasing my potassium intake which should help reduce cramping. I have even gone out and gotten a sports drink with more potassium to try to help with that killer 16 mile point when the cramps hit.

Ok, gotta go to bed and get some rest.

I'll post an update tomorrow night.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Heat...Give Me Heat

Ok, so today I had my first of 4 ART visits before the race. Dr. Geoff (as he is called by many) went to work on my calfs and found a couple big scar tissue areas. My right calf was super tight and he found a BIG knot in that group of muscles.

Dr. Geoff started in on my calf and after some good digging into the muscle he struck gold. What type of gold? Well, my calf cramped up like when I run and the pain I experience when I run was on me strong.

It's crazy, when he hits the spot, the power of the knot being worked out can break you out in a sweat. At least that's what happened to me. Let's just say, it was intense.

Last night was 30 minutes in the sauna with lots of stretching using a long belt (old karate belt) over my foot. With my leg in the air while lying on my back I use the belt to get better leverage to really stretch out the hamstrings and calf muscles. Tonight, was more heat and more stretching.

The calfs are tender where Dr. Geoff worked on them but I am hoping that with his work, my stretching, and yoga I will be able to work out the knot and stretch my calfs. Not to mention my daily use of The Stick to help rolling pin out the knots as best I can.

Here's to more more heat tomorrow night to help get my stretch on.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Continuing Calf Saga

Well, after a Sports Medicine Doctor's assessment, it looks like the only thing I can do to help with the calf cramping I am getting at about 15 miles is to continue what I am doing. Running, stretching, ART (Active Release Therapy), yoga, and maybe add some massage.

After my 19.25 mile run ended in a long walk after cramps/pain set in at 15.5 miles I scheduled a visit to a Sports Medicine Doctor at PSI Sports Medicine, at the Palladium (home of the Senators). I had the appointment yesterday and it went well enough. My symptoms do not show signs of Lower Extermity, Compartment Syndrome, a blood clot, or a stress fracture.

The Doctor did warn me that if the pain moved from the entire calf region to the front of my leg and became acute then I need to stop as this could be a sign of a stress fracture. A broken bone while running is not cool he informed me (ya, I could guess that).

In general he said it is probably just a cramp brought on by muscle exhaustion or any number of other items that could cause a cramp. The pain and radiating into my knee does not sound like a problem since it goes away once I rest the leg for a while or if I walk it off.

So, plan for the next two weeks. More ART, more stretching, more yoga, and maybe a massage or two.

After the marathon, it is back to the drawing board as I work on a new training schedule and strengthening regime to improve the endurance and length of my calfs (length equating to less tight calf muscles). It's stay on track and continue training since that is part of my overall healthy living plan and I don't intend this first marathon to be the last.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Middle of the Road

Today I crossed the 500 km mark for my 2008 goal of running 1000 km in 2008. It was pretty cool because I was not thinking about the goal at all today during my run.

I had a Tempo run today and was about 30 seconds/mile off my Tempo speed. This is due to the longer recovery after this past weekends 19.25 speed run (Yes I did about 14 miles at race pace and then the last 5.25 miles at easy/zombie walk pace).

So there I am, I have just finished my run today and my iPod is speaking to me the stats from my run. After the stats are completed, on comes Paula Radcliffe to inform me that I had crossed my second 500 km mark on my iPod (Yes, Paula Radcliffe and Lance Armstrong come on occasionally to announce achievements such as fastest mile, longest run, or major distance milestones). That means I have run 1000 km with my iPod on, while using my Nike + iPod.

Then I realized, hey I had not only run 1000km in the past 2.5 years, I have run 500 km in just over 5 months. Wicked cool!!!

Needless to say I felt pretty good today, riding on that accomplishment.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Yin Yoga

I tried some Yin Yoga this weekend (Sunday night after the big run) since I have heard rave reviews that it is great for runners. Reasons while it is supposed to be so good for runners:

  • Longer held poses (about 5 minutes) help create a deeper stretch.
  • Supposedly works well to realign the body thereby helping reduce injury.


Check out info on Yin here:


I found I was able to stretch some of my muscle groups quite a lot. The instructor warned that if you experience some residual (dear I say pain) aching the next day then you need to lay off a little and not go as far into the stretch next time. The poses use gravity, body weight, and breathing techniques to help stretch the muscles.

Apparently I went a little too far into the back stretch and the stretch with my left leg. My back was stiff on Monday and my left knee was aching. Today things are better though with no back ache and only a little knee twinge.

Remember though, I ran a 19.25 miles (31 km) on Sunday as well so the backache and knee could have well been from that. I don't usually have left knee pain though and I don't get backaches from running these days (I used to get a backache from running without a good posture).

Ok, now go try some Yin Yoga if you are looking to align you body and can listen to the instructor when they warn you about going deep into a pose ;-)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

20 Mile Wall

I still have not gotten past the 20 mile wall.

16.6 miles and leg locked up again.

Turned and walked (ran a little) back to car for total of 19.25 miles today.

Overall pace 10:12/mile (with a must faster pace on the first 14 miles, slower running on the next 2.6 until I mostly walked the last 3).

Here's hoping the taper, extra yoga, stretching, and pool running will have me ready for race day.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Cross Training

Ok, I know I should be cross training on the days I am not running but what the hay. Tuesday I had to drop the car off so I took my bike to work.

Today I took my bike again. 10 km to work, 10 km home and then a 5 mile (8 km) run once I got home. My legs felt like rubber for the first 1.5 miles and I felt sluggish but the pace picked up as I got into running form.

It felt great and it made me think about triathlons again. So far I have done one Sprint Triathlon and rode the bike leg of another Sprint for a team relay (we came in 3rd). Next objective with Triathlons will be an Olympic, mostly due to the need for me to build up my swimming skills.

Anyways, that is for a long time off. With our second son due in 2 months, time is going to be squeezed, so I figure I will get most of my exercise in via biking to work and running.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

First Bike To Work

I had to drop off the car this morning for an oil change and to get the tires changed. Michele had an early morning meeting so I decided I would bike to work from the garage (after dropping Harrison off at daycare).

So, first day I decide to ride and here is how it went:

  • Last night realize I won't have room for the bike in the car so put the roof rack on at 10:30 (My usual bed time).
  • Slice two of my fingers open with copious amount of blood from my thumb. Not sweet!
  • Ok got the roof rack done, now pack for the ride.
  • Morning comes, repack since it is only 2C out and windy and oh ya it looks like it might rain.
  • Ok, start the ride from the garage, it is windy.
  • SWEET!!! It's bloody snowing out. SNOWING!@!!
  • HEARTATTACK!!! Oh, thank the heavens those two Rottweillers who want to eat me are chained to some heavy stakes. Eck!
  • Ahhh the snow has stopped...now it is raining.
  • Hmmm...should have worn warmer socks...can't feel my toes.
  • Fingers getting numb. I guess I should have worn the winter biking gloves, not the mountain bike gloves.

Finally, I am at work....mmmm coffee.

Overall a good first ride to work. I got my heart pumping and I saved a few bucks gas for one day ;-)

Back to coffee.

Almost forgot, did I mention? I am going running at lunch time today. Here's hoping that +11 high is reached by noon, though I am not holding my breath.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Rebuilding

It appears that the muscle tightness and pains are starting to subside. I did a 16 mile run on Sunday and that went well. Oh ya, Ken told me to start putting the distances up in km so people get more of a picture of how far I am running. 16 mile = 25.75km

How far is that? If you live in Ottawa then start at the police station at March and Campeau, run to the Centrum and then turn right towards Kanata Lakes, head along Terry Fox which cuts through the woods past the Beaver Pond, then cruise through the Kanata Research Park; ok that is about 6 miles, your first 10km is done. Now, turn left onto Carling and start the long run along Carling to Richmond where you will take a left onto Richmond and continue the run down Richmond, past MEC until you hit Busthuka; opps missing about .6 of a mile so run down Richmond a little more to the old Canadian Tire and then return.

There, that is 16 miles or 25.75km. Nothing too it. Oh, be advised you may limp a little after this and feel a little sea-sick. I have read the sea-sickness (ie. feeling the need to lose your lunch) is due to wearing a running waist belt with my water and gels. I have read a running style backpack might be better if I need to carry all my water on long runs. So I will be trying that in the next few runs to see how it works.

Ok onto this weeks post topic: Rebuilding. As the first sentence of this post pointed out my body has crossed a hurdle and has rebuilt itself a little. My stretching, ART (Active Release Therapy) and The Stick; have all appeared to help with the muscle tightness and soreness. I recovered ultra-fast from this past Sunday's run and felt awesome tonight for my 7 mile run.

Due to scheduling constraints I did tonight's run pushing my son in the jogging stroller. It turned out excellent (he loves running with Daddy) and I had good incentive to keep my speed down (when I fell good I really just want to let it rip).

He fell asleep about half way through the run and then just snoozed all the way. I on the other hand got my training run in and it felt awesome to do a recovery run after a long weekend run during which I did not feel like I had weights attached to me dragging me down.

This is my recovery week and I have a series of short runs for the next two weeks. A 6 mile (9.65km), 6 mile (9.65km), 2 mile (3.2km), and a 5 mile (8 km). These short runs are to let my body recovery for my next big obstacle, hitting the 20 mile (32km) barrier that has eluded me during training.

Here's looking forward to busting the 20 mile in two weeks.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Battling Cramping

Well the legs are still tight. Calfs and lower leg of my right leg mainly, with a little tightness in the left and in the left hamstring still.

Two weekends ago I was supposed to run 18 miles but could only get 14.5 miles running before I had to walk. In total 16.7 miles but I was a little let-down by my lower right leg packing it in. It was so painful, the muscles so tight, it hurt to run on it but not walk.

Ten this past weekend I had planned to do 20 miles. Well, as with many plans that did not happen. This time I made it further running but at 15.5 miles (after many stretching breaks along the way) my lower right leg was so tight and in pain that I could not put weight on it for a few minutes. I just stood there massaging my leg and then after a couple minutes, I started walking.

At 16.1 miles my wife arrived to rescue my limping ass and bring me home for some rest and recuperation. Today I am still hobbling and all I can say is thank the lord for an elevator at work. I can go up with some pain but coming down stairs is not for the weak of heart.

It's to the sauna tonight for some heat and stretch. I am stretching twice a day and trying my best to nurse these tight muscles.

I still hold out hope that with 6 weeks to go I can hit my distance target of 20 miles without pain (at least without pain to the point of hobbling me). I figure this is a soft tissue problem and with the right steps I can keep on track for the marathon. If not, c'est le vie. I will register for another and continue to ramp up the body.

You never know what your body is going to do and how it will react. You can have the best intentions mentally and be totally dialed into a goal. But if the body is not willing you have to respect that. Hopefully, I am giving my body enough respect.

Time will tell.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Tightness

Had a good run tonight. Nice to do a "short" run which left me feeling great. Had the endorphins running wide afterwards and I was feeling great. Oh ya, short was 6.25 miles (my iPod ran out of juice so I estimated the distance and mapped it after I got back and was .75 mile short) or 10 km.

As the miles have increased I have started to have tightness in my left Hamstring. This was OK and I was stretching it but it got to the point where 3 miles in it was starting to get really tight to the point where it has started to throw my gait off. Then on Sunday it really acted up and I ended up with my right knee aching. I have had this, left leg muscles cause right leg muscles to get out of whack before.

So, this week it was off to see Dr. Geoff Outerbridge of The Holistic Clinic. He did some ART (Active Release Therapy) on my left hamstring and around my right knee. I have another appointment next week to see how that helped. I saw Geoff last year during my training for the 1/2 Marathon and it helped a ton. So, here's hoping that with some ART treatments and stretching, I will be able to keep logging the long miles.

This weekend is my first ever 18 mile run (28.8 km) which will be the longest I have ever run at one time. The great thing about training for the Marathon for the first time is that you are pushing your limits on a regular basis and you have to put faith in you ability to persevere. Getting past the mental challenges has been as much a part of this endeavour as the physical aspect.

I expect this weekends run to take between 3 and 3.5 hours. We'll see how it goes with the tight ham, the sore knee, and the mental hurdle of running for that long. I think the mental part will be the easy one this weekend.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Time Trial

I ran a self imposed Time Trial today over a distance of 5 miles. The idea is you run the distance as fast as possible, no problem they say. It was hard but I felt great, did a negative split (faster second half than first half) and ran my fastest mile in the last mile. All in all a great run.

A great run, but yes, it was hard. Hard enough that I was wiped this afternoon and this evening I am dropping. This afternoon I had runners head (I call it), which is a syndrome I come down with after an especially hard run where my thinking gets very slow and I have to concentrate extra to do normal tasks. Hmmm....something to look into.

Back to the Time Trial, I did 5 miles in 42 min 14 sec. Based on that here are the times that the Runners World Training Calculator predicts I can complete various distances:


  • 5 km = 25:30
  • 10 km = 53:11
  • 10 miles = 1:28:03
  • Half Marathon = 1:57:14
  • Marathon = 4:04:26


I am happy to see that I am nearing my predicted goal of 4 hours for the Marathon. To get to the 4 hour mark I am going to have to put in some targeted tempo runs, speed runs, and weight training. I am doing a simple weight program that includes various squats, lunges, and core strengthening to help increase my power. Besides that, I need to keep my long runs within the optimal pace range which is about 10:23-11:42/mile.

I'll be running another Time Trial near the end of April to see if I have improved.

Today, while taking a look at the Cliff Shots (maker of Cliff Bars and Cliff Gel Shots) website I came across a pace band creator which I was playing with to see what pace/splits I would need to hit 4 hours. I need to run a consistent 9:09/mile (9 min 9 sec) for the entire 26.2 miles. You can play with it here at the Cliff Bar Pace Band page.

It is interesting that to hit the predicted time of 4 hr 4 min 26 sec, I would need to run a consistent 9:19/mile. So 10 seconds means 4 mins 26 sec over the span of a Marathon.

A funny thing I noticed was that 9:09/mile is my average pace over the 500+ miles I have run with the Nike +iPod. Hopefully on race day I can achieve my average ;-)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

New Milestones

Well, I logged into Nike after syncing my iPod +Nike from todays run and I was greeted with a certificate. I have just surpassed the 500 mile mark of total miles logged since I started using the Nike running site.

Here is the certificate which they give you: 500 Mile Certificate.

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Never Ending Flu

I have been trailing my son by about one week with his flu that we thought was done. Last weekend he got stomach sick again but we thought it was just an upset tummy. In the kids are cute category, he told us "I've got bees in my tummy."

Wednesday night I got bees in my tummy and knew it was either a new flu or the continuation of the one we just fought off. I was up from 1am-6am...well I will spare you the details.

So another week that I missed my mid-week run due to illness. Thursday was not much better, stomach sick, not eating, and massive headache.

Today, it was finally all passed and I felt like a million bucks. After spending the morning cleaning the house and playing I got out for a tempo run (a run with 1 mile intervals of speed) which was great. I felt awesome to be out and to be running again (last run being Monday).

I still have a long run (16 mile = 25.6 km) this weekend. Not sure if I am going to tackle that tomorrow or Sunday. I'll see how I feel in the morning and then decide if tomorrow will be the long run.

As the distances get higher and with the paths (I run normally in the spring/summer/fall) covered in ice and snow, I am finding it harder to find interesting (and safer) routes to tackle at these longer runs. It sucks running along roads but it's all I can do when I hate running on the treadmill.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Stiff

"Not moving as freely as is usual or desirable," that sounds like me after my long runs. Should I be this stiff? Heck, I don't know but I know that each long run I run a little further and that means I am getting closer to my goal.

Admittedly I have been slack lately with colds, flus, blizzards, etc. Any excuse to not get out there sometimes it feels like.

After this weekends 14 mile run though I know I have to stop missing runs. I want to get my speed workouts in and I need that medium run mid-week to try to reduce the amount of stiffness coming from my long run on the weekend.

Stretching certainly helps with the stiffness and is key to not getting too tight as the miles add up. I'll be doing more tonight (already have in some stretches this morning).

On another note, I hit the 250 km mark on the way to my 1000 km in 2008 goal. And I am only 2.5 months in. If I was to keep up this level of running I would hit 1200 km in 2008. Maybe that will be the stretch goal ;-)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Photos From The Edge...

...of reason? ..of insanity? ...of fun?

Ya, here are some photos from when I returned from my run in the blizzard this past weekend.

Mark Runs in a Blizzard 08/03/08 11:09 PM

Saturday, March 8, 2008

It's Not Always Easy

Ok, running is never really easy if you compare it to sitting on the couch reading a book or watching a good TV program. That said, I love running, but today...today I definitely did not want to run.

This week it has been pretty warm(-5 to 2) but there has been lots of snow. How much snow? Yesterday I shoveled three times. Today I could have done the same but I only got out once before I went for a run.

It was snowing the entire run; when I started there was about 2 cm on the ground, by the time I finished there had to be 5 cm. Today was not easy mentally to get out there and run in this. It is the kind of day you want to look out and watch the snow, not be part of it.

I suited up though and went out because I had been avoiding my runs this week. I have new Classic Cross Country skis which I have been out on every chance I get.

Todays run was to be a 12 miler but friends called, just before I left, to invite us to supper. Timely being as it was I had to cut the run short to about 9 miles.

Thankfully for that call, I did not take a longer route. It was insane out. The road was slippery and I was not moving fast. I felt like I was going all out at times but I averaged a minute slower than my normal slow runs. Some sections were not cleared and in those sections I could not see my feet as I was in snow over my ankles.

This is running in the winter. And it was awesome. It was one of my hardest runs physically in a long time but mentally it was excellent. There is something about being out in the snow with so much snow coming down that you can see only about a 1/2 kilometre before everything is hidden by the falling snow.

Running along a particularly open section between two farm fields it felt like I running through a scene in Fargo. The solitary car would appear out of the whiteness and drive by in a flurry of snow. While I just kept running along, a solitary figure leaving a soon to disappear trail of footprints.

It wasn't easy but it was good. Real good.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Birthday Half Marathon Complete

Well, my first running goal of the year is complete. I ran a half marathon (13.1 mile/21.1 km) today. Ok, so I was a few days late (my birthday was on this Tuesday past) but I was recovering from a flu and it was freezing out last week.

It was an excellent day for a run. I started out and it was about -9 with little wind and by the end of the run it was -5 (barely any wind). It is also sunny out with no clouds in the sky. So all in all a great day for a run outside.

Besides being a planned annual event, this run was a good yardstick that I can use to measure my training as I get nearer to the Marathon. Todays run went pretty well but I was a little slower than I aimed for and the last 3 miles were hard ones.

Being me, I also decided on a route that had a few hills (nothing drastic like in Newfoundland but hills all the same with long climbs). I put 6 hills into the run which I figured would be an added bonus for this training run.

On a side note, Michele gave me a set of combo ski boots (cross country, skate ski, ice skating) for my birthday and a set of ice blades. I bought a set of touring skis (a classic ski combo for groomed trails and off-trail) which I am going out to pickup today. So now after wishing winter would end just a week ago I want to get out and squeeze every once of winter out of my new toys ;-)

Maybe I'll just go for a short skate on the canal today...

[Update: The speed skate blades for my ski boots rock. Just did a short 6 km skate on the canal with them.]

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Madtrapper 10km Snowshoe Race

The last race of the season for the Madtrapper Snowshoe Race Series was today. Ken and I were there and did the 10km loop which consisted of the 5km flat (ok flatter than the second half, let's call this the hilly 5km) and then the 5 km hilly course (ok let's call this "Oh My God Can There Be Any More Hills to Climb In Quebec?").

The race went better than the last two for both of us. Ken had a great race and came in about 5 mins before me. I again was the last person on the course. I got a t-shirt which I am calling my award for "Man Who Spent the Most Time On The Course." Remember it is not how far you run, it is how long you ran.

Well, there were only like 20-30 people so we figure we are in the top 30 people of Eastern Ontario/Western Quebec. What, there has to be like 2 million in this region as least. Those are some high rankings ;-)

Here are some snaps:





Thursday, February 21, 2008

Slow Week

Been sick this week with a flu. I figured it was a cold but after some research and the symptoms Michele and I figure it is a flu. Headaches, aches, tired, always being thirsty, and stomach upset, along with a lack of appetite.

That said, I got one run in on Monday, the day I really started to come down with it.

After reading my coach, Rick Hellard for the CBC Gotta Run special, updates for his Rock and Ice Ultra running event, I want to go run now.

I think I will just rest though. I have a snowshoe race on Saturday, if I feel like this I am doing the 5km loop, else if I am doing better I will be running the 10km.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Running Dreams

My buddy Scott (running my first Marathon with me, check his blog at: OneSoyNut) had a dream he was late for a race which started on top of a mountain on the Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland and ended in St. John's. My first though was, hey, there would be a great adventure race.

That thought aside, I had my own running dream yesterday. I have a recurring running theme in my running dreams, I run so fast that I can jump and float for some distance. Man to have that power, that would make any marathon a piece of cake.

The dream started with my family moving into a new house in California where we my wife had taken a new job. While we were unpacking I decided to check out the neighbourhood by taking a run. Our new house was at the bottom of a steep street and we were on the edge of nature so there were lots of trails to run on. I ran up the hill and on my way back down I discovered that if I ran extra fast I could pick up enough speed to start floating along, as my strides became longer and longer, before I touched the ground again.

I did this all the way down the long long long hill/mountain until I ended at our driveway.

This type of floating dream has been with as long as I can remember and I like to think of it as my running mojo
helping me prepare to run longer and longer.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Cost of a Marathon

What is the cost of a Marathon? Well there are a few:

  • $150 - Sneakers
  • $40 - Tech Shirt or free from a previous event
  • $20 - Tech Socks
  • $30 - Tech Shorts
  • $75 - Entry
  • 16 Weeks of training (you figure out how much about that costs you. Maybe I will add the hours total I have run to my sidebar.)
  • $25 - 20 Power Gels x $1.25 each for those long runs
  • $30 - Water bottle and holder, or free if you can score one from another event
  • Several Toenails


Ok the last one was for fun and the real reason for the post. My Big Toe on my right foot started to ache something fierce after a run the other day. I had to take something to take the edge off the pain so I could sleep. The next day it was down to a dull ache and now feels ok.

I have heard many friends tell me that they have lost toenails from training/running marathons and I figure that this nail is toast. It has had a split down the middle since last year that I have tried to salvage by using clear toenail polish. This year with the additional miles I figure I will put in for the Marathon training and the 1000 km challenge I figure it is a goner.

So how much does a marathon cost? When the challenge calls you, you don't care. There is only one outcome that you will settle for, conquering the big M.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Awesome Neighbours

My wife is traveling on business for a week (Friday to Friday) and hence I had to shuffle my work-outs a little. I say a little, since I do most of my runs at lunch at work or in the morning before I go to work. The long run on the weekend is different; for the long run I am usually out of (parenting) commission for 2 hours or so.

Therefore, on Friday I ran 10 miles in the morning before work since I was not going to have the time to run on the weekend. On my way back from the run I ran into one of my neighbours coming out of her house. She was on the way to the gym and stopped to ask what I was up since I was in running gear and it was 9am (since I am usually left for work before 8:30).

I mentioned that I was doing my long run on Friday morning since my wife as leaving for a business trip. She then proceeded to offer to take care of my 2 year old son on Sunday morning if I wanted to get a run in. She is a very active senior who believes in everyone getting out there and being active. She also had a son and a nephew who both ran marathons and triathlons so she knows the time commitment that is involved with training.

So, this morning I took her up on her offer and got in an extra run this weekend. Which is a good thing since last week I missed 2 of my 4 runs since I was feeling pretty run down.

It's great to have awesome neighbours and it's just one more little boost to help keep me on the road to a solid year of running.

As well, my son thinks it is great that we have a neighbour with so many car and truck toys. Not to mention the '80s era Fisher Price parking garage. He thinks the neighbours as awesome as well ;-)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

XT

XT or cross training is often in my training plan but not always followed. I try to fill my XT days with swimming, yoga or biking.

As the distances are increasing I am getting the usual (for me) aches and pains in my legs which continue to nag for a few days. So, I really need to start getting the XT days in.

On that note, I got to the yoga class at work today. It was quite awesome since the instructor takes you through some more advanced moves and gives you the instructions to perform the more difficult versions of a pose.

I knew it was doing me good when we did a pose where you are on your bum with your legs in the air at a 45 degree angle and you body also 45 (so you look like a V). This uses your abs and your quads quite a bit. With the running I am doing I usually feel my legs a little, after stairs for example, and this position had me shaking as I tried to hold the pose with my quads (top/front of your thighs) just screaming murder.

After class a coworker asked me if I was a little stiff from the class. I said, heck no, I was feeling limber after class, it was before class that I was stiff. I find yoga helps release much of the stress, tightness, and aches that I have (especially from running) and hence it's a great XT activity for running.

With yoga, and a late start to the day I missed my Wednesday run. Going to have to make up for that tomorrow. I have 6 miles with a 4 mile tempo run (running closer to race pace) in the middle. Hopefully I can get this in tomorrow am. Then tomorrow night I get to hang out in the pool with my son for his toddler swimming lesson. Which is more about playing in the pool than learning to swim ;-)

Monday, February 4, 2008

Re-Calibration

Just a quick run this am. 1 mile so I could calibrate my Nike +ipod chip. The distances on the chip have been starting to trend higher on my last few runs (hence, why I switched the tracking results on the side to just distance, not Nike + additional.)

I could tell the chip was getting out since I map my routes that I run so that I can keep an eye on the gadget that I use to track my runs.

If time is on my side, I will do a second run tonight of my regular 2 mile Monday run.

Going to be a warm week here (today up to 2 and tomorrow up to 7) with some rain and snow. It will be nice to get in some runs while it is not freezing out.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Holy Moly!!

As, my son would say (Ok, I taught him it). But Holy Moly what a lot of snow.

I never really care how many centimeters actually fell, I just know I shoveled a ton of snow after I ran.

Todays run started with a warmup of about 10 minutes shoveling of the basics (to the front door and a path to the road). Then it was off for an 8 mi run out and back along Corkstown Road which has a hill that is steep on one side and long and drawn out on the other.

Today, the long climb on the second half was a killer.

To end my run I had a cool-down of about 1 hour of shoveling the rest of the snow. Sheesh!

Been passing out almost ever since. Need bed...need Advil....need sleep.....zzzzzzzzzz...

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Big Decision

To run the Marathon in May or not to run the Marathon in May? That is the question.

The first step is done and the easiest I would say, I have registered.

My friend Scott threw down the challenge and I have accepted; Scott, I don't see you registered?

You can see that I am registered for the ING Ottawa Marathon by typing in my last name here ING Marathon Confirmation.

Work now begins on the training schedule.

Fun In The Hills

Yesterday (Saturday) was race two of three in the MadTrapper Snowshoe series of 2008.

The 2nd race of the season was over the hilly course and boy was it hilly. I did not feel good after the 2nd km and got progressively slower. Thank god I decided on the 5 km course; I knew that yesterday was not my day to run 10 km over the hilly course.

My buddy Ken kept up the pace during the race and solidly beat me yesterday. I saw him nearing the top of the last hill before the downhill to the finish and I had nothing left in me to try and even put up a fight. He ran a good race and stayed steady throughout. His plan worked well; walk the uphills, run the flats, and fly down the downhills (trying not to crash).

It was a beautiful day out, pretty cold, but worth getting out there and running. Sometimes I think I am nuts going out in the freezing cold to run around in little to no clothes (you don't dress too warmly or you overheat) and then I know I am nuts when I tell anyone what I did on the weekend.

That's ok, I like being nuts.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Imagine 225km of Running...IN 6 DAYS!!

Yes, that's right 225 km running in the snow in the Northwest Territories over 6 days in a 6 day stage race. Check it out at Rock and Ice Ultra: Diamond Ultra. Crazy right?

Well my coach, Rick Hellard, from last year's Gotta Run series on CBC Ottawa is currently training for this. I send my Good Luck to him and know he will train hard and do amazing in this like he always does.

In Rick's post on his website Zone 3 Sports about deciding to do this event just goes to show that (even someone whom we mere mortals look up to as a fitness god) anything BIG that we have not conquered before can be daunting.

In the vein of daunting, a co-worker whom I have asked to come running several times mentioned he might do the 10 km HBC Run For Canada this summer. So to do my little part I offered to help as a training partner. For him, this is huge just like my first 10 km was huge for me.

For me, the big todo on my running list is a Marathon. I want to, but I always think it is too big. We'll see if I can get past my mental hurdle and conquer my next BIG thing.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Brrrrrrr!!

Sometimes even I know I am crazy running on days like today. Minus 12 degrees Celsius today with a windchill of "Holy Hell It IS FREEZING!!!"

So, today was bundle up day, add some layers and a face mask to protect my throat from getting hoarse during/after the run from coughing. It was still freezing.

After 5 miles I felt like my legs were turning to lead and my knees into glass.

Still, it's days like this when you are tired (an early morning wake-up from my son which cut an hour off my sleep) and it's too cold out for a polar bear; that when you do run you know it is for a purpose. Be it to get in shape or run 1000 km in 2008.

Having the goal has been a tremendous help to keep me on track. Here's hoping the rest of the year continues like today.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

How Far Did You Run?

Why guess? There are lots of tools to tell you this today. There are gadgets and there are free web sites that use Google mashups to create useful tools like RunningMap.

For example, what does 6 miles look like on the map? Well here is an example from my run today of 6 miles.

I've used this site for a while and I find it pretty handy. It is also good for comparing against my Nike + iPod to verify that it is calibrated. It is usually within 3-5% give or take but sometimes it is way off.

Sometimes conditions result in bad calibration though. For example, a run I did recently in the snow with my snow traction Yaks (rubber bands with metal that go on your sneakers) was off by 18%. That added up to 1.2 miles short that I ran. So now I know to add an additional 18% to runs in snow and to compare the run using RunningMap.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

2007 Running Overview

I really love the Nike + iPod set for tracking my runs. The Nike running site gives you some cools tools for tracking your runs. The following picture shows my total distances for each month of 2007.



As I finish each month of 2008 I will add a graphic showing my progress to date. This years graph should be more solid all the way through the year.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Another Day, Another Cold, Another Run

I don't think I have had this many colds since I was a kid. My son just started daycare recently and it seems like every second weekend (at least) at least one of us if not all of us have a cold.

This morning I was toast. I woke up, ate, and then crashed until I went to sleep for a nap in the morning. This afternoon I felt reenergized so why rest, it was run time. Tonight was 7 miles (11.27 km), longest run in a long time and it felt great.

It's fun to run in the night in the winter (if you can ignore the cold). It is quiet, there is almost nobody outside, and you can sing out loud without people staring.

Tonight's running soundtrack, Led Zeppelin's recently released "Mothership" digitally remastered best of album. I've been listening to this album on most runs recently. It's got a steady groove that seems to fit my runs to a T.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Tracking

Ok, with prompting from my wife I am tracking my non-"Nike + iPod" training distances as well.

I still plan to hit the 1000 km with the Nike chip since I am in a 1000 km challenge on the Nike site. That said, the extra or missed runs will be my stretch target ;-)

What's Your Goal

Last year was a good year with running for me. I did my first Half Marathon and I ran over 500 km (my highest millage year by far).

That said, I did fall off the running and exercise wagon for 3 months. Hence the reason for this years goal. Something nice and long term to keep me out there staying healthier and leaner.

Runner's World has an article online now about various goals. Take a look if you are shopping around for a new running goal to help you get your new year off on the right step. What's your goal?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Just Keep Running

Some days you just don't want to run. Today for example. It was 10 degrees Celsius but with high winds. I did not want to do the treadmill again (boring) so it was outside or nothing.

So somewhat reluctantly I got changed and went out. As with many days when you don't really want to go out it was an awesome run. It is weird how when you think man I am not into it today, I don't want to run, and then you get out there and you fell awesome. You end up running 8 km (5 mile) and it feels like nothing. Like, hell I could do more.

These are the days that make it so worth running. The felling like you can run forever.

As per a request, I have added a tracker on the top right of the sidebar with the current status of the goal. I'll see if I can make it prettier some time later. Looking a little behind but that is because I am only counting the training miles I put in on my Nike + iPod. I did not use the chip for 13.2 km I have put in the last week as mentioned in an earlier post. I be playing some catchup this weekend with a 11.2 km (7 mile) run. Then I will only be 5 km off goal.

Of course if the chip tracking does no work out for some reason I will have to rethink this and just start using my totals from my training spreadsheet where I track my runs. For now though, I am hoping to use the Nike + iPod since I am also part of a Nike Challenge to run 1000 km in 2008.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Extended Rest

The snowshoe race was pretty hard on the body and I was still feeling it yesterday. So I skipped yesterday and got my run in today.

Forgot my Nike +iPod chip today (and did not try it for the snowshoe race) so my online tracker at Nike is missing those runs. Oh well, I guess I can do an additional few kilometres here and there.

My work has a gym with 3 treadmills which I've started using. Thankfully I don't have to use them often, since I find it so boring running on a treadmill and trying to find that sweet spot with incline.

Here's a good list of tips for running on the treadmill which I hope may make the experience more enjoyable.

Now to pack my Nike +iPod chip for my next run.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Snowshoe Recovering

Snowshoeing is not running obviously and hence I am learning about some new muscles today.

Hip flexors -- check, I know how they feel now...ouch.
Whatever is around your ankles --check, they feel like someone tied them in knots and then flattened the knots with a hammer.

Besides that, bit of a sore back and pretty much aching all over. That said, it is not that bad, I've been stiffer after other races so all in all pretty good.

Tomorrow is another day, and another training run of just 2 miles.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Snowshoe Insanity

Well, I just got in a little while ago from the first of three Snowshoe Races this season in the Mad Trapper Snowshoe Race Series. What a blast.


Ignoring how I felt yesterday (since I had such a good long sleep last night) I decided that why not do the 10 km race instead of the 5 km. Ya that was smart.


What did I learn at the race today?


  • Regular snowshoes meant for big powder and backpacking are not good for racing.
  • Racing Snowshoers wear really small snowshoes that are built for running; they are lighter, they are smaller meaning you can use a closer running stance, and due to this they cut a narrow path in the snow.
  • Everyone is faster than me so I am at the back in big wide snowshoes that weigh more and that require more room to maneuver hence I tripped over my snowshoes a lot.
  • In a small cut path walking is faster than stepping on/tripping over your snowshoes.
  • 10 km is about 5 km too far if you have not been training.

So how did I do?

  • First 5 km: 55 min 45 sec
  • Pit Stop: 9 min 21 sec (including water and begging the race director Mike, thank you Mike, for a loan of a pair of racing snowshoes; which he loaned me)
  • Second 5 km: 48 min 49 sec (same loop as the first 5 km so I did about 7 mins better on the 2nd loop with running snowshoes)
  • Also I was in last place. But all is not lost, I got a price; a new winter running toque.

What will I do for the next race? Well I am seriously contemplating using my MEC Gift Certificate for a new set of running snowshoes (that is a no brainer). I am going out for one of my running sessions per week and going to go snowshoeing near the house where there are lots of nice rolling hills. I am going to carry water on the next run since I was out for 1 hr 54 min and stopping for a water break was a waste of time.


All in all though, I learned a lot. I had a good time and I did the hardest physical activity that I have done in a long time.


My trail running, insane idea racing buddy was with me and did the 5 km. He thought I was crazy to do the 2nd loop and I think I may have been a little. I committed to it though and I knew I could do it if I took my time. The funny thing he pointed out was that he figures 10 km of snowshoe racing is about equal to a 1/2 Marathon. I would agree it is close; my 1/2 Marathon time this past spring was 10 minutes faster than todays snowshoe race.