STRAVA Summary

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Long Time Between Posts

Unfortunately updating the blog at work is no longer an option, at least for now. The new job is keeping busy most of the time and I don't think they'd appreciate me using their time to update it. So what has been happening?
well the Pick You Poison race didn't go exactly as planned. a driving thunderstorm that started about 5 minutes in and slowed down to just a lot of rain, made for some muddy conditions. Each 12.5k loop got steadily worse and a lot of the 50k runners dropped out after 2 loops, I did finish most of the 3rd loop, but walked most of it. the muddy trails were barely passable. Less than half the starters finished. Oh well, there was no point in pushing to hard as Ottawa is coming up this weekend. I have no expectations for this race, I would like to get in around 3:15, but we'll see. I'll only run on wednesday this week and just rest up.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pick Your Poison 50k

Hot off running the Country Music Marathon and obviously feeling good I have signed up for the Pick Your Poison 50k trail race at Horseshoe Resort on May 9th. This race has taken over what used to be the Ganaraska Trail races. 2 weeks after Nashville and 2 weeks before Ottawa, should be interesting. At least I don't have to do any more long training runs.
Hopefully I can get out for a run on the trails tonight.
This is the last couple of days at Barrie Hydro so I am trying to keep my mind occupied. Also waiting for the new car.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Country Music Marathon

After a long drive to Nashville, via a stay over in Louisville, Kentucky, we arrived and noticed that there are a few hills in Nashville. This would become significant later. First impressions are always important and the expo left a good impression, very well done and organized. It was a large expo, but I didn't find everything I was looking for.
Downtown Nashville (Broadway) was nothing but cheesy souvenir shops and bars with bands playing (not all country). It was not bad.
Race day again was well organized, busses took us from the finish area to the start at Centenial Park. We took our time walking around and taking in the sites. Eventually it was time to get to our corals leaving RIck and wishing him good luck at the 7th coral, Bill and I proceeded to the 2nd coral. Looking behind we got a look at what 32000 people look like, although we couldn't see beyond the 25th coral. Soon the race started, it was done in waves, each coral a couple of minutes apart. We were off about 2 minutes after the gun and right iff my Garmin has an illegible message on it. From this point on I couldn't get the garmin working. So I had no pace, or virtual runner. That would make pacing Bill a bit of an issue. Anyway I could still keep him moving and hoepfully get him in at 3:15 or less. THe start was downhill , but immediately we could see the first up hill ahead, followed by another downhill to downtown and then after turning a few corners we were uphill for a long climb followed by more of the same. It seemed that if we were not climbing we were going down. With Bill having knees issues the weeks before the race it was no surprise that he started to have problems, I could tell because he was getting quiet. Each aid station meant a walk break for Bill, when we left the half marathoners it got easier to move around on the streets. But it was at this time that Bill said he doubted whether he could even continue. I knew that qualifying was not possible now as the heat had become as much of a problem as the hills. At this time I left Bill with hiss blessing and started to get up to a pace that I felt good with and I was passing people by the handfull. At this part of the race I felt good and picked up a lot of ground. It wasn't until I got back into the downtown area that I felt things start to get a little harder. A long climb to the bridge where I had to manouver around the half marathoners again, who had rejoined our part of the course. The last loop around Shelby park was a struggle especially 22 to 25 miles. Once I hit 25 miles I knew I had only to drag myself in. I was still running strong and finished well. 3:27 not bad on a bad day and tough course. Bill finished in 4:19 and Rick in 5:00. Both were slightly disappointed, but after thinking about the conditions were happy to have finished.

Friday, April 17, 2009

One Week till Country Music (Arrgh)

This time next week I'll be in Nashville preparing for the Country Music Marathon. Other than the Country Music part, it will be nice to run in another part of the world I haven't seen before. One problem that is looming on the horizon is the long range forecast. 26C and humid, not good. I don't handle racing in the heat and especially the humidity very well.
I'm going down with Rick and Bill. Bill is trying to qualify for Boston and needs 3:15 so I should be able to pace him in for a qualifying time, if everything goes well. Bill has been struggling with some knee issues and my left foot hurt after last Sunday's long run. So we shall see. Wednesday's run went really well though.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Posting at Last

Yeah I know, I've been slacking big time on the posting scene here. Unfortunately I just haven't had the time with other things taking priority. Keeping the RoadRunners blog up to date has been a challenge lately, as it seems the racing season is starting to heat up. I was sick from last Thursday till Monday, still recovering, but much better. And more importantly the possibility of a change in employment, which has kept me on edge this past week or so. Hopefully that will all come to light tomorrow.
As for running, the past 2 Tuesdays I got in my first speed workouts of the year. Missed last night, due to company visiting. Last Sunday was supposed to be a 36k run, but the cold dragged my ass down and I couldn't get out of bed, probably just as well. The Sunday before the miserable weather cut our long run short, so the long runs just haven't worked out lately. Hopefully this Sunday will be better. Only 2 weeks to Nashville.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Work, Work, Work, Work, Work...

It has been almost a month since my last post. A combination of reasons good and bad. We went to the Dominican for a week at the beginning of the month for some much needed R'n'R, maybe a little too much. Once back to work it has be go, go, go. I don't think I've been this busy in years. Getting in runs has not been as difficult, but the recovery from our holiday has made the transition to training not as easy.
Once back I decided to forgoe the Ilinois Marathon, partially due to my brother Todd visiting from Hong Kong, but I don't think I'd be ready in a couple of weeks anyway. So I signed up for Nashville on April 25th, Rick McLean asked me if I'd be interested in going down with him and Bill Lovett. So after checking the schedule I decided "what the heck".
So after getting the long run back up to 31k last Sunday, and running a few tempo runs this week, all I have to do is get in some speed work. The weather at least has been cooperative, all the snow is gone and some warm weather this past week has made it nice for running. It has cooled off the past few days, but still sunny. Hopefully next week I can start some speed work. I have felt sluggish for quite a while and hopefully the speed work will step things up a bit.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Snowy Peterborough

I have been having trouble trying to understand how a I feel about my result on Sunday. Although conditions were not ideal, it was a flat course and the second half the roads were fairly well clear of snow. So by rights I should have run a good second half and I thought a sub 1:30 was possible. Other than the last 4 - 5k I struggled to get into a good rythym for most of the race.
The hour before the race we watched the blizzard like conditions outside of the YMCA, switched shoes and debated on whether or not to change clothes. I settled on the trail shoes (XT wings) and for going the jacket. The temperature was not bad, about -1C, but there was a strong wind form the south west. By the time we got to the start line the sun came out and it felt nice. We met Rick, Tracey and Jim at the start area and got ready to go. The first half of the race was a case of looking for good footing as everything was snow covered and slippery, but we were close to maintaining a 4:15/km pace. At about 4k Brendan took off, I either couldn't or didin't have the desire to chase him (more likely the latter). At about the same time I guess I was pulling away from Jamie too. As well as the slippery footing we had to battle the head wind to the turn around. The route back should have been easier with the wind at our back and most of the snow cleared from the road, but it didn't seem to matter. Brendan was now out of sight. With about 5k to go I felt a surge and pushed harder and finished strong coming in at 1:31:57. Brendan finished in 1:28 and Jamie was only about 15 seconds behind me, so he finished very strong. Jamie's time was a PB. Mine was my 12th best time in half, and considering that the last time I ran this race was in 1:32 on a tougher course in much worse conditions, it makes a overall dissapointing result. Why? I don't know. I had no aspirations going into the race, so I hsouldn't be dissapointed. Maybe it as the shoes, although I think they were required for the first half, the Xt wings tend to be heavier and stiffer. Anyway now I know where I stand, and that more work is to be done. But that will have to wait, as I have a week in the Dominican coming up this Saturday and there will be no running going on, just lots of rest and relaxation.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

This Weekend

This coming Sunday (22nd) is the 31st annual Peterborough Half Marathon. I haven't done this race in quite a few years and the course has changed, supposedly flatter and faster. Although I'm not sure you can run fast in Peterborough in February. As it turns the weather may not be in our favour, with it calling for snow and cold temps. The last time I did this race we had a flash freeze in the middle of the race, snow covered roads and windy. The years before that I ran in shorts, unbelievable for February. Well it won't be shorts this year. I know Jamie was looking for me to pace him in for a sub 1:30, but I think that may be a challenge if the roads are snow covered.
My lead to this race has been quite good. A couple of my usual hilly, tempo runs (15k) the past couple of weeks a speed work out on the treadmill last week. I'll have another run on Friday and that will be it. The beauty of Peterborough is the race doesn't start until 12:30pm. Even driving from Barrie we can still sleep in and get there in plenty of time.
The shoes I won at Ghost Town finally arrived on Tuesday (Saucony Paramounts). So as I was alone at home after work I decided to take them for a test run (the 15k hilly tempo run mentioned above). They felt good, comfortable on the feet. I'm not sure if I'll wear them on Sunday or not though.
1 week and 2 days and we're off to the Dominican (Samana for 7 days). Looking forward to some sun and warm temperatures. Nothing but RnR.

Friday, February 13, 2009

What's new.

It has been a while since my last post. I don't have any excuses except laziness. The running has been going good, especially as the weather has been getting slowly better. Except last Wednesday when it was stupidly cold and windy, so I didn't run. Last Sunday I got the mileage up to 36k, surprising myself, and it felt good. Then on Monday I did a hilly "tempo" run, probably not normally a good idea the day after a long run. But again it felt good. Tuesday was a rest day and then Wednesday I woke up with a sore leg, which wouldn't go away. I thought that maybe I had overdone it and it was going to be one of those injuries that stops me running. As usual I ignored common sense and went out for the usual Wednesday run and the soreness disappeared. Last night was the Powerstream/Barrie Hydro meet and greet followed by the Colts game. Which went well. No running so it was another good rest day. 1 week to Peterborough.

Friday, January 30, 2009


So I signed up for the Peterborough Half Marathon tonight. It's been a few years since I've done this race and the course has changed to a flatter easier route, but the weather doesn't change. February in Peterborough can be brutal, althought the first 2 races I did there I wore shorts, so lets keep the fingers crossed. This is also my first half in quite a while too. I don't think I ran one last year. I see Jamie has signed up and Roger is talking about it.

Monday, January 26, 2009


I week has gone by since Ghost Town and the recovery has been good. Struggled a bit last week, but ran 17k yesterday in the cold and felt good.
Some other developments last week: Went to Running Free to check out shoes so that I could order something from Fleet Feet in Albuquerque. I was thinking of trail shoes to replace the XT wings as the one lace had broke and they were approaching the end of their life anyway. In talking to the Rep at Running Free she told me that the Laces are not supposed to break under any circumstance because they are Kevlar laces and to bring them in and they would replace them. So I did and they did. I couldn't believe it, I now have a bran new pair of XT wings for nothing.
Also ordered a pair of Saucony Paramount shoes from New Mexico, should be here in about 4 weeks.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

For all you Americans out there that are unfamiliar with Celsius:

The Official Canadian Temperature Conversion Chart

50° Fahrenheit (10° C)
Californians shiver uncontrollably.
Canadians plant gardens.

35° Fahrenheit (1.6° C)
Italian Cars won't start
Canadians drive with the windows down

32° Fahrenheit (0 ° C)
American water freezes
Canadian water gets thicker.

0° Fahrenheit (-17.9° C)
New York City landlords finally turn on the heat.
Canadians have the last cookout of the season.

-60° Fahrenheit (-51° C)
Mt. St. Helens freezes.
Canadian Girl Guides sell cookies door-to-door.

-100° Fahrenheit (-73° C)
Santa Claus abandons the North Pole.
Canadians pull down their ear flaps.

-173° Fahrenheit (-114° C)
Ethyl alcohol Freezes.
Canadians get frustrated when they can't thaw the keg

-460° Fahrenheit (-273° C)
Absolute zero; all atomic motion stops.
Canadians start saying "cold, eh?"

-500° Fahrenheit (-295° C)
Hell freezes over.
The Toronto Maple Leafs win the Stanley Cup

Ghost Town Results

Ghost Town results and stats can now be found at Ghost Town

Ghost Town

Now that I have had a few days to gather my thoughts, it's time to give you my report of the weekend in New Mexico.
Firstly my thanks to Susan Reynolds, the race director, who put on a great event. Not only the race, but everything leading up to it and since.
Our weekend started Thursday night when Jamie Nielsen picked me up in the freezing cold (-20C) for our drive down to Buffalo. Although we thought this maybe an adventure due to the snow in Buffalo, it was uneventful. We crossed the border easily got our room and got up at 5:30 to go to the airport across the road. Our flights took us to Chicago and then on to Albuquerque. After arriving in Albuquerque we checked out the Fleet Feet store, one of the sponsors of the race and met the owners Bobby Biles and Rona Van Willigen. Then we had our 2.5 hour drive to Truth or Consequences (yeah, that is the name of the town).
A short 45 minute drive down I-25 and 152 would bring us to Hillsboro and Susan's house for dinner Friday night. Here we met a number of runners, Kurt Rossow from Minnesota, Abi Meadows from Texas among others as well as Susan's family. After a great meal and registering for the race we headed off back to our hotel exhausted.
Saturday we did some touring around and got to see Elephant Butte Resevoir,
the Dam and area, and then we drove down to the Texas border to say we had actually been there. Checked out Las Cruces (nice place) and then part of the race course before going to the pasta dinner.
Race morning we were up at 4:15am, had a quick bite to eat and then off to the race. A "cool" 0C (luxury), greeted us at the start line and 6am we were off in the dark. 10k of running on the road on a slightly up hill grade was a good start to the race. Jamie had to keep reminding me to slow down and we took a few walk breaks to conserve. We pulled into the first aid station (the end of the paved section) in about 59 minutes feeling good and started the gentle climb to aid station 2. We pulled into station 2 in about 1:27 and took a bit of a breather again before tackling some more ominous climbs. At this point we were told there were only 6 runners ahead of us. But that quickly changed as we decided to walk some the hills and a few runners past us. It was starting to get tough and Jamie commented that he thought the altitude was getting to him. I was breathing heavy, but other than peeing way too much I didn't feel the altitdue much.
At the 12.7 mile mark we turned off the road to get into some real narly trail running, this was good, except when we came to a fork in the trail and with no one around we didn't know which way to go. We were just about to take the wrong trail when we heard some one coming down the hill from the top of the spur. So went up, 300feet up to the abandoned mine shaft turn around. At this point we stopped for pictures again and quite a few runners caught us at this point. By the time we reached Station 3 we were in 16th place and still doing alright, but walking the uphills seemed to be a necessity. After the Percha Creek crossing and some narly up hills we came to 2 cones on the right side of the road. Do we turn here? We thought. With no one in front or beyond, we made a decision (apparently the wrong one) and turned right, up the hill and climbed, climbed, climbed through hoof prints, but we couldn't see foot prints, or could we? It wasn't until we hit a patch of snow and NO foot prints did we confirm our fears. We turned around, I seemed to react with more urgency than Jamie, who I think had rightly decided we were just here for the fun of it anyway. From this point to the turn around I slowly started to drift away from Jamie. But at the turn around I waited for him. It was here we found out that we had dropped to 24th (wow, the 2-3k extra had done some damage to our position in the race). Jamie told me at this point to just go on, and this seemed to give me some energy. Although I was still walking the hills I dug down and picked up the pace on the flats (what few there were) and the downhills.
I passed a couple of guys right after the turn around, but from there to Station 6 I saw no one. It was coming into station 6 where I finally met 2 runners just coming out. Could I catch them, I thought? I stopped briefly to talk to the 2 volunteers before heading off. GI issues prevented me from taking in any food. So off I went and about 1 mile from the paved road I passed the first runner. On the road I could see the other runner, but didn't seem to gaining on him. I was running a good pace (when actually running, about 4:30/km), but it was about 3km to go when I rounded a corner and saw the runner only 30 meters in front and knew I would catch him soon. I passed him and cruised in to finish in 6:54. Not bad considering our detour. I had set a goal of 7 hours, so a fairly successful day although I still felt something lacking due to the wrong turn and the thought that I walked far too much.
After finishing Susan came up to me and said "I know you tired, but I have a story to tell you. Last year we had a runner from Quebec who was bound and determined to win the Martin Luther King award, but missed it by 1 spot." So I replied "So I missed it by one spot too?" "No, you won it", Susan said. Neat, I knew I might be close, but didn't think about too much. A new pair of shoes and some other swag, it was a good day. After I changed, I got back just in time to see Jamie come in at 7:21. I was afraid he may have been suffering more than I thought, but he came in strong for the finish.
A mountain of food and refreshments awaited us at the end, so we indulged a bit before saying our goodbyes. Overall a great event, small where you can get to know everyone. A tough course or maybe I should say a challenging course especially for us "low landers". Thanks Susan.

Race results links - Results

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Last days 'till Ghost Town

This coming Sunday is the Ghost Town 38.5 mile race and i am little concerned about the fact that I haven't really got in the training that I would have liked, but not much can be done about that now. The plan is to just go and enjoy, take lots of pictures and meet new people. It will be an interesting race.
The biggest issue I have is which shoes to bring/wear. The original thought was to wear my XT wings and I have been wearing them in training through this crappy weather, but I had also thought about just wearing a road shoe. Anyway I broke one of the fancy laces on the XT Wings and thought that was it for them, but I have been able to fix them up (hopefully they will make it through the race), I'll bring a spare regular lace just in case.

Ghost Town Profile and Map: