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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?

Snow Day

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There isn’t much that stops me from going for a scheduled run but a record snowfall did today. The fact that we received a big dump of snow today wasn’t a surprise, meteorologists had been warning about it and I woke up expecting to hear that my daughter’s school bus was cancelled.

Despite that I packed my running gear as usual, hoping the sidewalks would be ploughed by the time I left work. Unfortunately there was too much snow, 49cm (19 inches) a record one day snowfall here. Since the sidewalks were a mess I opted to take the bus home and save my run for another day.

Unfortunately what would normally be a 40-45 minute commute turned into a 3.5 hour commute that at times left me wishing I had decided to attempt my run. Not running was probably the right choice but waiting an hour for my first bus and then having my second bus which would normally take 5-10 minutes to get me home turn into a ride of over an hour made for a frustrating end to the day.

On a positive note, the shovelling I did tonight has to count for some cross training!

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Training for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon

I am a little late on this post since I have actually completed my first two weeks of training for the Ottawa Marathon. As usual I will start posting a weekly update of my training on Sundays. Since I missed the first two weeks, mainly because I did my long runs in the evenings after the kids were in bed, I will use this post as my first update on my this training cycle.

This year will be the 8th year in a row that I have run the Ottawa Marathon. I ran my first one in 2009 thinking I would try the marathon distance once. Now it has become an automatic entry on my calendar every May.

Once again this year I will also be raising funds for the Ottawa Hospital as part of my participation in Ottawa Race Weekend. The funds I raise will be directed to the neurology unit at the hospital in memory of my father who passed away after suffering a stroke four years ago. To find out more, please visit my fundraising page here. 

In terms of my training I am back to running long runs of over 20 km – 22, 24 and 21 km the past three weeks. As a result my weekly mileage is back up in the 60-70 km range. I’ve also started going to the indoor track again for weekly interval sessions to add some speed work to my training early on.

My training will start to pick up toward the end of the month and into March when I add more mileage to my runs. Again this year I also have a couple of shorter races planned in the lead-up to Race Weekend, a 10 km in March and a half-marathon in April,

Nutrition for Runners: Enchilladas Suizas

imageTonight’s recipe is one we ended up trying because we had a stockpile of tomatillos from our backyard to use. If you are not familiar with tomatillos they are prolific. We haven’t planted any in 2-3 years now and we still get a healthy crop each year.

in terms of nutrition, this recipe is a good source of fibre, carbs and protein.  It also tastes great despite the fact it cuts back on the fat you’ll find in other recipes.

If you are interested in trying this meal you can find the recipe here.