Army Run 2016

As mentioned in a previous post, yesterday I participated in the Army Run  as a pace bunny for the 7th time, 6th in the half-marathon. Once again this year my task was to run a 1:35 half-marathon, a task I completed on two previous occasions.

Since this race is in September the weather is often decent for running. However, it can still get hot at this time of year and yesterday was an example of that, with a high of 26C on the day (79F). It was cool when I first stepped out of the house around 8:00 but at the start line just over an hour later at the start line it was already noticeably hotter.

My plan for the morning was to run a steady 4:30/km pace the whole way. Despite the fact the start can get congested at the start with a slight uphill followed by a left turn after crossing the start line I managed to find some holes and did not have much difficulty getting up to my intended pace. Just before I passed the 1km mark I passed The Minister of National Defence, Harjit Sajjin, who was also running the half.

Just before the half Kevin and Marc, a couple other members of Team Nuun, pulled up behind me. They noticed I was wearing a Nuun wristband, introduced themselves and we had a good discussion for a couple of km before they took off ahead of me.

Unfortunately construction prevented the race from going through the grounds of Rideau Hall, the residence of Canada’s Governor General, this year. However, the Governor General and his wife were still out along the course as we passed by their residence and I made sure to get a high five from Governor General as I went by. 

With about 5-6 km to go I realized I was about 1-2 minutes behind where I wanted to be. I picked up the pace a bit but made sure to to drop too much under my goal pace of 4:30/km because there were still many runners around me. With about 1 km to go as we ran down the final stretch of the race I encouraged the runners around me to take off ahead of me to go for a 1:35 finish. A few did just that and met their goal if they were aiming for 1:35.


As for myself, I crossed the finish line in 1:36:39. My initial reaction was to be disappointed with my time. Last year I finished in 1:35:20 and I was hoping to be even closer to my target this year. With other runners counting on my pace I take pacing as seriously as I do my own running goals. 

However, as I was walking through the finish chute one of the runners who took off ahead of me along the last stretch made a point of thanking me for encouraging them to take off ahead. Knowing that I was close enough to my target for people to go ahead and meet their goal time made me feel better about my run. That is why I enjoy pacing this race every year. 

 

Nutrition for Runners: Fish Tacos

Tonight’s recipe is a great one we enjoyed a couple of times so far this week. My wife came up with the marinade for the fish and we used a sauce recipe we found online. 

The marinade my wife came up with consisted of – Oil, lime juice, (1/4c each) tbsp David’s seafood rub, chilli powder (1 teaspoon). 

The sauce recipe we used came from this website. We made it without the jalapeños and it still had enough spice and tasted great.

I barbecued the fish then we assembled the tacos using corn tacos and topped them with red cabbage, cheese and radishes. 

Pacing the Army Run

On Sunday I will be running the Army Run half-marathon. Instead of racing it I will be running as a pace bunny. It has become an annual gig for, I’ve been a pace bunny 6 out of the last 7 years. I missed out in 2012 when I sprained my ankle playing soccer one week before the race. 

Even if I was not pacing I would make a point of running in the race. It is the second biggest race of the year here in Ottawa and the biggest option here in the fall. The fact that the race supports the Canadian Army also means something to me since my father was an a medic in the army for 41 years.

Since I generally find myself racing with a goal in mind at Ottawa Race Weekend in May I have taken a different approach to the Army Run over the last 7 years. Being a pace bunny allows me to have some fun with this race although I still face the challenge of meeting a set time goal. 

Once again this year I will be one of the 1:35 pacers. Last year the reason for the time assignment was because I was in the process of training for a November marathon with 3:10 as my goal. This year I am not running a fall marathon but I wanted to stay at the 1:35 pace because it gave me a goal to keep training for after Race Weekend this year. 

Finally, the last reason I enjoy pacing this event is that my girls always get a kick out of seeing me wearing a hat with pink ears..

Running with my Kids

Today I managed to get in mileage with my kids in two seperate runs. The first one this morning was a shorter run with my two oldest daughters. Taking advantage of Sunday Bikedays, which shutdown the parkways here to traffic for part of the day, I took my 3 year old in the Chariot while my 6 year rode her bike alongside us…


We managed 4.6 km. Unfortunately today was the last day of the year for Bikedays this year. However, now that she is too big for longer runs in the Chariot having her bike alongside me gives me another way to continue bringing my oldest with me when I run in the weekends. Hopefully we will be able to take advantage of it more often next year.

Run number two of the day was a standard run with my 3 year old in the Chariot this afternoon. After loading snacks into the Chariot we were off for another run, with a stop along the way to return some library books.  This time I ended up with a run of just over 15 km. 

Overall, I managed just under 20 today. Splitting it into two runs was not ideal but it was what worked best and spending the time with two of my daughters made it more entertaining and enjoyable. 

Nutrition for Runners: Homemade Pasta

Homemade pasta is something we tried for the first time recently. It was an attempt to find a healthier alternative to store bought pasta. We used a recipe we found online with one modification, 1/3 cup of flour substituted for whole wheat flour. 

Making it was not complicated once we got used to the pasta machine. In terms of taste they tasted light and less starchy than store bought pasta. We will definitely try this option again another time.

One thing I will mention about them is that they are brittle once you dry them so you have to be careful of that. On a positive note, our kids were amused by the sight of noodles hanging to dry in the kitchen.

Saturday Stories


It’s time once again for another edition of Saturday Stories, a collection of some of my favourite stories and blog posts from the past week.
Here are this week’s stories…
A post about being a running dad.

A post about one runner’s passion for running.

Finally, recaps from the Canadian men who ran the Olympic marathon – Reid Coolsaet and Eric Gillis.

Nutrition for Runners: Rice Paper Wraps


Tonight’s recipe is a relatively easy one to make. It requires a bit of preparation before you are ready to make the wraps. Our preparation involved reheating some leftover chicken, making pickled carrots and making homemade peanut sauce to dip the wraps in. 

Once the preparation was done all that remained was to put the wraps together. The rice paper just needs to soak in warm water for a minute before they are ready. We put chicken in ours for a healthy source of protein but you could also add shrimp if you prefer.

This is also a fun meal to make. My kids enjoyed it and it made for great leftovers. 

Still Running


I have not been posting on here much lately. It has not been because I did not want to or because I was not running much. In fact I have been fortunate to be able to pick up my mileage and get back into a good routine. I’ve just been finding it harder to find time to post here. My goal now is to get back to regular posts on here.

In terms of running, as mentioned, I have settled back into a regular routine of running home from work 4-5 times per week. On the weekends I have returned to doing a longer run on Sundays, some with my 3 year old in the stroller. Over the last month or so I have been averaging 50-70 km per week. 

The best part to my current running routine is that I am back to running a couple of higher intensity workouts per week. I have done this with tempo runs and speed work on the way home from work and hill repeats during my lunch break at work. 

In terms of what comes next my next goal race is the Army Run in September. Once again this year I will be serving as a pace bunny for this race.  Like last year I will be a 1:35 pace bunny in the half-marathon. Getting ready for this race has been an incentive for me to ramp up my training again. 

That is it for my plans for the rest of the year for now. However, this year I do get an added bonus. The day after Army Run I get to submit my registration for the 2017 Boston Marathon. By no means is my acceptance guaranteed since my time in Philadelphia in November was only 2:31 under my qualifying time but it is exciting for me nonetheless since this is the first time I am able to apply for entry.

Beer Mile

Tonight I ran a beer mile for the second time. For those of you not familiar with the idea of a beer mile it involves running four laps of a 400m track and consuming a beer before each lap with a penalty lap added if you get sick. You can view the full rules here

Last year I ran the mile in 14:03. Once again this year we chose the same track as our venue…


This year the beer of choice was Rickard’s Red after Coors Light was not a popular choice last week…

I managed to improve on my time this year with a 13:19 finish. I am not sure what I did differently this year but whatever it was it seemed to work. It is certainly not a great time compared to times others have accomplished but I am not sure what I could have done to improve my time more than I did. 

This was the scene after we all finished the mile (I should point out that all cans were picked up after I took this picture and no waste as left on the track).