Category Archives: Training

Plans for 2018

Now that I posted a recap of last year and we are a couple of weeks into the new year I thought it was time to write a post about my plans for this year.

In previous years I would have most of my year planned out by now. This year that is not the case. My only plans are to run the usual big local spring and fall events here, Ottawa Race Weekend and the Army Run.

Last year I broke my annual streak of running the Ottawa Marathon because it was only 6 weeks after the Boston Marathon. This year I am planning to get back to the marathon and start a new streak here at home while once again raising money for the Ottawa Hospital.

Following that in September I hope to be able continue my streak of being a pace bunny during the Army Run half-marathon. Like Race Weekend the Army Run is a big event that is fun to participate in and committing to it helps keep me motivated to train over the summer months.

Other than that I hope to be able to add in some shorter races, 5 and 10 km, that I can register for closer to race day if I am able to fit them into my schedule. I also hope to be able to fit in more mileage with my daughters to build on the success they had with road races last year.

Finally, once again this year I am fortunate to be acting as a social media ambassador for three products I use regularly:

2017 in Review

I am late in getting around to posting my recap from last year. Here is my look back at the year that was for me as far as running goes.

Overall I ran 2681.1 km (1666 miles) in 2017. That is less than the 3000 + km I was able to manage in previous years but I still managed to fit in a good year of running.

Of course the highlight for this year was finally getting the opportunity to run the Boston Marathon in April. The short version of the story is that it was well worth the wait  and is one event that certainly lives up to the hype. If you want the long version you can read my race recap here.

Just over a month later I managed to run the Ottawa Race Weekend half-marathon. I was pleased with being able to come close to running a sub 1:30 half just 6 weeks after running a marathon. Of course seeing my family at the finish line is always the biggest highlight of Race Weekend.

In September I resumed my annual pace bunny role in the Army Run half-marathon. This year the Army Race was more special for my family because my oldest daughter ran her first 5km before I ran the half. You can read more about that here

I closed out the year with a couple of shorter races that I had not thought of racing at the start of the year. Given the way my training slowed down in the second half of the year I was pleased with my results on both occasions.

The first was a 5 km effort with work colleagues. I managed to finish the race in under 20 minutes the previous two occasions I ran it. My goal was another sub 20 minute result and managed that and came closer to my times from the previous two occasions in the process. 

My final race of the year was a 10 km I found out about after travelling 5 hours to visit family on the west coast. Having not planned to run a race and feeling the effects of fatigue and jet lag I did not really have a goal for the race. As a result, I was quite pleased with a 6th place finish.

When I look back on it, despite the fact I ran less mileage and fewer races in 2017 it still ended up being a good year of running for me. Hopefully 2018 will be just as good!

Still Here

Although it might seem like it I have not given up on updating my blog. I am just going through a period where it has been difficult to maintain a regular running routine due to a busy schedule and sick kids at home.

According to Strava I have averaged 30 km per week over the last 4 weeks. I am still running home from work most nights of the week. However, my weekly mileage totals are about half the distance I would average in recent years.

The biggest change for me is that I have not managed a long run on Sunday in a while now. As a result, my motivation for blogging has suffered.

I am hoping that writing a new post today will help get me back into my regular routine. That my prove to be difficult. As you can see from the picture above we are experiencing a bit of a cold snap here right now.

Despite the cold weather I am looking to end the year on a high note both in terms of running in a regular basis and getting back to blogging.

My New Training Partner

For the past week I have had a new training partner joining me for some of my Army Run training runs. In addition to getting myself ready to run the half-marathon this year I have to help my oldest daughter (7) train for the 5km.

Back in May when she saw other kids running the 5km and 10km races my daughter decided she was going to run a race longer than the 2km race she did that weekend. She reminded me of her desire to run a 5km a few times over the summer so I registered her for the Army Run 5 km.

We officially started our training for the race with a few training runs last week before work for me and school for her. Weather permitting we are planning to go for our longest run so far later today.

The early weekday morning runs have been beneficial for both of us so far. For my daughter getting outside and being active is better than screen time while the rest of the family sleeps.

In my case being woken up by my daughter to go for a run in the morning gets my day off to an earlier start which is important now that we have two kids back in school and I am trying to get both kids out the door in time to catch the school bus and so I can get myself to work on time.

Race day is now 13 days away. That gives us at least a couple more weeks of training runs together. Hopefully after that we will able to continue this new routine .

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 study on the pacing habits of the best distance runners. 

A post about the relationship between running and charity.

A humourous look at one writer’s efforts to start running. 

Fall Race Plans

Recently I mentioned that I was still in the process of searching for a goal race for the fall. As of yesterday my plans for the fall are now set. I am know scheduled for a half-marathon in September and a marathon in October.

What will be different this year is that I am not planning to run either for a an attempt at a pb. I will be pacing both races. Pacing a half-marathon isn’t new to me, this will be my 5th consecutive year pacing one (it would be my 8th had I not sprained my ankle one week before my race in 2012).

If you have followed my blog at all it probably won’t be any surprise that my half-marathon of choice is the Army Run. I like doing this race because it is the biggest race here in the fall and it well organized. My father also served in the army for 41 years so participating in it has extra meaning for me.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Army Run. As mentioned above this will be my 5th consecutive year pacing the half-marathon. Overall I have only missed the race twice (the first one because I was away for a wedding that weekend and in 2012 because my sprained ankle).

Once again my goal time for the half-marathon will be 1:35. I enjoy this pace because it generally gives me a good training run for my marathon schedule.

Pacing a marathon will be a new experience for me. I was initially looking for a marathon to run at my own pace but the opportunity a new marathon that has already sold out sold me on pacing. In October I will be pacing the Marathon du P’tit train du nord.

If you have not heard of this race it is a point to point course on a path built over an old rail line close to Montreal. The course offers a gradual 220m drop (721 feet) that organizers are billing as the ”fastest course in North America”.

My goal time will be 3:35.  With the course being described as it is I am sure many runners will be aiming for a BQ on race day. The pressure will be on me to stick close to my goal time!

I will likely add a 10 km race here to run at my own pace at some point but for now I have two goals for the fall.

What are your race plans for the fall?

Unexpected Long Run

My plan for today was to get in a 10-12 km run. However, my plan changed very early this morningand it worked for the better. What I ended up with was a long run and after three days of not running it was exactly what I needed.

At some point between 5:00-6:00 this morning my youngest daughter (1) decided that it was time to get up. Eventually it became apparent that there was not anything we could do to get her back to sleep. 

My wife came up with the idea that I should take for a run. Initially I thought it was a silly idea but then realized that I was not going to get back to sleep soon either and that if I did not go this morning it would be tougher to go later in the day because I would be exhausted from the early wake up call.

I quickly got ready for a run and loaded my daughter into the Chariot and headed out. Since I had the day off from work today I had the benefit of not having to worry about being on a deadline. My goal quickly became an 18-20 km run and I ended up with an 18.8 km run.

While my day did not get off to an ideal start a change in plans it worked out for the better in this case. I managed more mileage than expected and my daughter managed to get back to sleep over the course of our run.

Becoming a Running Family

I have managed to continue a regular running routine since running a half-marathon here at the end of May. Unfortunately I have not managed to post on here regularly nor have I registered for or run any races since then. I have been busy otherwise and have not had much time to focus on either.

Eventually I will get back into a routine of posting on here more often and I will commit to a fall race (that decision will likely come this week). For now neither has been a big priority. After running a marathon in April and a half in May it has been nice running without without a specific goal or target in mind. 

On the other hand my two oldest daughters (7 and 4) have been busy running races of their own. In May they both ran the Ottawa Race Weekend 2 km with their grandparents..

More recently, On Canada Day the oldest ran a 1 km race while her sister ran a 100m tot trot (it was only 100m despite her insistence that she ran 100 miles). The following weekend both ran a 1 km race..

Now clearly in addition to plotting out a race schedule for myself I have to find more races for my daughters. My oldest already has a 5 km as her next goal. I think that is totally a realistic goal in the near future and can’t wait to see the smile on her face when she finishes her first 5 km. 

In Search of a New Goal

For the first time in a while I currently find myself without a running goal. When I started this blog my goal was to qualify run Boston and I was able to accomplish that this year. Now I am searching for a new goal to focus on and to keep me running with a purpose.

For the time being I only have one race on my calendar for the rest of the year, usual pacing gig at the Army Run half-marathon. Although pacing a specific time poses a challenge I also want to run a fall race at my own pace.

As a result, I am currently contemplating marathon and half-marathon options within a reasonable distance (2-3 hours) from home. Something in October or early November would be ideal in terms of timing since the Army Run is in mid-September.

I don’t really have a preference in terms of the distance. I think the main issue will come down to what I can find for races at either distance during the timeframe I am looking at.

What are your goals for the fall? If you have any recommendations for me feel free to send them along!