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Ottawa Race Weekend

Now that I have recovered from Boston it is time to get ready for my next race. In one month from today I am scheduled to run the Ottawa Race Weekend half-marathon.

Ottawa Race Weekend is, in my opinion, the best race weekend in Canada with races spread out over 2 days and a variety of distances to appeal to as many runners as possible. It offers the only IAAF Gold Label 10 km race in Canada to go along with a Gold Label marathon.

Runners can also expect great crowd support along the courses. In particular, the final stretch down Queen Elizabeth drive draws large crowds for all of the races.

In my case it has become an event for the whole family to enjoy. My oldest daughters will be running the 2 km with their grandparents on Saturday afternoon again this year and I will be running Sunday morning.

I have participated in it 11 times and will be participating again this year. This year will mark a bit of a change of pace for me as I will be running the half-marathon instead of the marathon as I have done for the past 8 years.

I initially planned to do the marathon but since I was not sure how my long it would take for my legs to recover after Boston I decided to downgrade the the half to be on the safe side. Currently I am slowly ramping my mileage up again to get ready for the half.

In terms of my goals for race weekend while I don’t think I can expect to be in pb (1:26:27) shape for a half 6 weeks after Boston I would still like to come in under 1:30. Barring any setbacks as I ramp up my training over the next few weeks I think that is a realistic goal.

If you are running the marathon this year and are not familiar with the course have a look at this overview and strategy guide I posted a few years ago. There have been a few minor changes to the course since I posted this guide but it could be of interest to you.

Alternatively, you can also follow the Ottawa Marathon social media accounts on Thursday May 4th as Jayme from The Pacing Life runs the course to give runners a full preview. You can watch for that starting at 8:00.

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.

Saturday Stories

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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…

Great story here about a runner with MS who also has a passion for craft beer. 

An interesting study about how much protein distance runners consume.

A good piece here on why Athletics Canada is wrong in their decision to not allow Lanni Marchant to participate in the Olympic Marathon.

Finally, an article on why runners make great employees.

Two Run Days

Now that I am in the busiest part of my training cycle it means I have to find more time to fit in more mileage to get me up to 90-100 km/week.

I am fortunate that I am often able to get out of work at lunch and add an extra run to my daily schedule.I did that twice this week to run 15.5 km on Wednesday and 19 km yesterday.

Without the option of a second run at lunch I’d have to get up at the crack of dawn or go out at night once the kids are in bed to fit in that mileage on a regular basis during the week.

It also helps that I work next to the Central Experimental Farm which happens to be one of the best spots in the city to run..

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I am not sure that this is the best way to train for a marathon but it is what works for me when I need to fit in more mileage.

 

Saturday Stories

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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…

Have you ever wondered whether elite runners ever lose motivation?

Here is a signature workout from Rob Watson, one of Canada’s best distance runners. 

A post by Canadian marathoner Reid Coolsaet about his preparations for the Rio Olympics.

Nutrition for Runners: Strawburst Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie

Tonight’s is my latest attempt at trying one of the recipes from Eat & Run by Scott Jurek. I was intrigued by this one due to the anti-inflammatory ingredients (pineapple, ginger and tumeric). I’m not nursing any injuries at the moment but I figured this would be a good recipe to try as I am heading into my heaviest weeks of training.

If you are interested in trying this recipe you can find it on page 173 of the book. I had to make a couple of substitutions to my version – a bit of soy sauce used instead of miso and a 3-6 blend of oil instead of 3-6-9.

My wife was not a big fan of how it looked when it was finished but my kids enjoyed some with me. It has a sweet taste to it due to all of the fruit in it and you can also taste the ginger.

The best part about it for me is that the recipe makes 3 servings. Even after having a serving and sharing some with my kids I still have a serving in the fridge to enjoy after tomorrow night’s run home from work.

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Week 11 of Training for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon

Today I ran my third race of the year. As a result, this week’s training was primarily focused on being ready for the race. The majority of this post will also focus on the race since that was the highlight of my week. Overall I had a 70 km week.

Other than this morning’s race my week consisted of easy paced runs. This week I upped the mileage of those runs with them ranging from 10-12 km.

This morning’s race was a race that I have done for 6 years in a row now. It is a half-marathon along the Rideau Canal. The best part for me is that it starts and finishes close to home so I can get a decent warm up by taking an easy run over there.

With it being a little over 1 month before Ottawa Race Weekend in the past I have gone in to this race with a time goal in mind. This year I tried not to obsess about it as much as I may have in the past. My only goal was to run a sub 1:30 time. Last year I ran 1:26 but was not convinced that beating that time was a realistic goal this year.

Unfortunately with temperature of -10C (14F) at the start this morning was the colder than the previous years I ran this race. By way of comparison last year I ran this race in shorts and short sleeves. Fortunately the fact that I live close to the start line meant that I did not have to leave too early.

The fact that this tends to be a small race means that you tend to see the same faces this year. I met a few friends before the start again this year. Once again this year I planned to head out with a friend I met through this blog. We did this for at least the last 2 years with good results. What was different this year is that instead of us being on our own once the crowd thins out after the start we had a group of 4 or 5 runners that stayed together for most of the race.

We crossed the half in about 42 minutes so based on that I was confident we would hit our target of a sub 1:30 finish. The pace started to feel tougher after about 16 km but I managed to hang on for the last 5 km. I finished in 1:28 which is my third fastest time in this race.

I’m pleased with the result. I met the goal I set for myself without taking much of a taper this week. With just over 1 month to go until the marathon this result was a good confidence boost. Now my sole focus will be on getting ready for the marathon and taking another shot at a 3:10 finish.

Week 10 of Training for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon

I’m over the halfway point of my training for the Ottawa Marathon. For week 10 I managed 80 km for the week, down from the 90 I did last week. With the exception of a 6.5 km run Saturday night all my runs were at least 11 km.

After running in spring-like conditions to end week 9 week 10 saw the return of colder conditions. Although we did not get more snowI had to trade my shorts for pants and had to get my gloves and hat out again.

I kept the pace relatively easy last week since I am gearing up for another race this Sunday. That said I did make sure to do an interval session on Thursday. This time my workout consisted of a 3 km warmup followed by 6 x 400m/2:00 easy.

Yesterday since we were busy with other stuff I waited and did my long run in the evening after the kids went to bed. A long run in the evening is never my favourite option since I find it tougher to stay motivated when you wait. That said, when I do end up doing an evening long run it always feels like an accomplishment when I get home.

As mentioned week 11 will see me do another race. I will be running the Run for Reach half-marathon. Like the St Patrick’s day race it has been on my schedule since 2011. I’ve managed sub 1:30 finishes three of the times I have run it. I am not quite sure what to expect this year. My main goal is just to run a solid race at a much faster pace than I have been doing my long runs to date. That would give me a good boost a confidence just over a month before the marathon.

How was your week?

Win a Race Entry

Hey everyone, as you know I am running the Ottawa Marathon and raising money for the neurology unit at the Ottawa Hospital this year.  For more detail on why I run for a reason you can read my full post here. 

This year my goal is to beat  last year’s fundraising total of $900. To help reach that goal I am offering to register one lucky donor for the Race Weekend event of their choice. Here is your chance to support a great cause and win free entry. Click here and  donate between now and next Monday for your chance to win!

 

Week 4 of Training for the Ottawa Marathon

I’m late writing my weekly update post again. I was planning on writing this post after my long run on Sunday as usual but had to cut that run short and did not have time to write a post for reasons I will explain later.

My training plan called for 65 km of running last week which is consistent with the mileage I have been doing lately. I ended up with a total of 63 km done for the week. That is comparable to where I was at similar points in previous training cycles. Going ahead I will be looking to consistently add mileage to my weeks so I can hit my mileage targets for the busiest points of my training cycle in April and May.

in terms of last week, I stuck to one run at a higher intensity. With the snow we’ve had recently and the icy sidewalks we have now it is tough to maintain a good pace in some areas so my tempo and speed workouts have been confined to the indoor track. Last week I opted for an 8 km tempo run following a short warm up.

With regards to the long run I mentioned at the start, my plan was for a 24 km run after the kids went to bed. Unfortunately when I got to 17 km I got a message from home saying my youngest needed to go to the hospital to be checked by a doctor. Fortunately by that point I was close to home again and the shortest route home was 2 km done at a very quick pace. The best news was that it turned out to be nothing serious and following a short exam by the doctor we were back n our way home.

Week 5 should end up being a similar week in terms of mileage and workouts. I will look to add more mileage to my schedule next week. That should not be too difficult since my upcoming long runs will be close to 30km alone.

How was your week of training?