Nutrition for Runners: First Frost Fall Chilli

Tonight’s recipe is one my wife came up with in her own using ingredients we had at home. To make it you will need the following:

  • 1 pound of ground turkey
  • 1 onion
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of kidney beans
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1/2 cup bulgur
  • 2 tbsp of molasses
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 butternut squash cut into cubes
  • 2 tbsp of chilli powder or to taste
  • 1 tsp of pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • S alt and pepper to taste

Brown the meat in a skillet and grate the onion as you are cooking meat. Once the meats is cooked add tomatoes, beans, spices, molasses, chicken stock and squash. Cook over medium for 5 minutes then add bulgur. Cook until the bulgur is cooked.

The recipe made several servings. I will definitely be having some in my lunch tomorrow.

Fall Running

This time of year might be the best time of the year for running. I find the weather is often ideal for running. It is still warm enough to run in shorts and despite the fact that I have had to break out long sleeve shirts a few times over the past week there are still occasions where it is warm enough to wear short sleeves. 

As I mentioned on here recently I am currently running without a training plan or goal until I start training for Boston in December. This is new for me because I have run an October or November marathon for the past 6 years. Instead of tapering for a run I am just running when I can and basing my pace on how I feel. 

The other benefit to running at this time of year is that it provides great opportunities to take photos during my runs..

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 how to adapt your training does not go according to plan

Tips about how to run downhill. 

If you are training for a fall marathon a post to remind you that you are ready for it. 

A story about an 81 year old who will run the Chicago Marathon for the 18th consecutive year tomorrow morning. 

Crowdsourcing a Training Plan

Since I’m not planning to run any more races this fall and my formal training for Boston doesn’t start until December – I now find myself without a goal to focus on for two months. 

I plan to keep running regularly because A) I enjoy it and B) it keeps me active. But I’m not quite sure what to do with myself over the next two months. Do I just run based on how I feel each day or do I try and keep it interesting by adding other elements such as speed work hill repeats?

I really don’t know what the answer is here. I want to keep running but I do not have a goal to focus on and that is what usually keeps me going. What I need now is some assistance to guide me in my approach to these next two months – so I’m hoping to crowdsource a few options. 

Drop in and leave a comment to let me know what you would do with a 2 month break. 

Headed to Boston

This is a blog post that has been a long time in the making. It’s no secret that my mission, probably more accurately my obsession, since I started running marathons has been to qualify for the Boston Marathon. 

At first it seemed like a distant and out of reach goal. After a couple marathons I managed to shave quite a bit of time off my results and my goal seemed to be within reach. It was at that point running Boston became my main focus with regards to running. 

Then I got to a point where I was close to meeting my qualifying standard of 3:10 but not close enough – 3:15 and 2 x 3:12 in Ottawa, 3:14 in Toronto. In each of those races I was on track to meet my goal time but I either made a mistake or simply ran out of gas over the final 10 km of the race. 

Last November in Philadelphia I made my most recent attempt to qualify. Coming off a 3:12 finish in Ottawa in the spring and due to the fact that I finally got to add 5 minutes to my qualifying time since I will be 40 on race day in 2017 I was confident it would finally be my time to qualify. 

Despite not running a pb, off by 11 seconds, I managed to meet my new qualifying standard of 3:15 with a 3:12:29 finish…

Since I only managed to beat my qualifying standard by 2:31 I would have to wait almost a year before finding out if I would get to run Boston. Despite that I did celebrate my BQ with beer and made sure to order what I thought was an appropriate selection…

I planned to take a shot at improving my time here in May but a heat wave put an end to those thoughts. I went into the Ottawa Marathon with a more conservative race plan and finished more than 10 minutes over the qualifying standard. My time from Philadelphia would have to be enough. 

Two weeks ago I finally got to submit an application for entry and last Wednesday after a week and a half of waiting I received an early birthday present with the confirmation that my application had been accepted. I beat the cutoff of 2:09 under the qualifying standard by 22 seconds. 

It feels weird in a sense to finally be able to say that the next marathon I run will be Boston. At the same time I am also very excited to finally have a chance to run what many consider to be the holy grail of marathon running. 

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 finding the time to train.

A post about the importance about taking positives out of a long run gone wrong. 

Eric Gillis will take a shot at breaking the Canadian men’s marathon record next month.

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..