Once again this week I hit my target for mileage. After 43 km last week I was looking to build on that a bit and ended up with 59 km this week. Along the way I ran my latest race with a 10 km race on Wednesday which was Canada Day.
I mentioned in a post last week that I as not sure how the race would go given the training I put in after the Ottawa Marathon. I was just hoping for a decent time but not expecting a new pb. That is exactly what I ended up with. I was pleased with the result.
With rain in the forecast for much of Wednesday we were fortunate that the rain ended just before the race started and held off for the duration of the race. In the early going I was able to keep a pace of 4:00/km without too much difficulty. However, a 4:11/km for the sixth km ended up costing me a better time. In the end I crossed the line in 41:01. Not a pb but not a bad way to get back into another training cycle.
Other than that my remaining runs this week were at an easy pace. This morning’s run was enjoyable since I got to take my 2 year old on an adventure around the city. Here we are catching the end of the changing of the guard at Parliament Hill…
This week was a full week of training. I managed 55 km this week which isn’t much compared to when I hit the peak of a marathon training cycle but my mileage will likely stay around this level for the next few weeks. It will give me a good base to start from when my training for the Philadelphia Marathon kicks off.
With a 10 km race coming up on Wednesday I kept my runs this week at relatively easy paces. In terms of distance everything is was between 7-9 km with the exception of tonight’s 12.5 km effort. It was also my first week of being back to running 6 times in a week since last month’s marathon.
As mentioned next up for me is a 10 km race on Wednesday. I’ve done a race on Canada Day several times now. It is always a great way to kick off the holiday. This year will be a little different since the downtown race I normally do is not being offered which is unfortunate given that downtown Ottawa just might be the best place in Canada to run a race on Canada Day. Instead I’ll be doing another race in the suburbs.
I am never really sure what to expect in terms of a result when it comes to Canada Day races. Often it is hot, last year it was already 30C when we started the race at 8:00. The other factor is that coming just over a month after Ottawa Race Weekend I am usually just getting back to a regular routine. I’ve run it in 41 minutes the last two years, about a minute off my pb in the 10 km.
Based on where I am at right now I think this year will be more of the same and that it will be more realistic to go for a pb and a shot at a sub 40 minute finish later in the summer. Regardless of what happens it will be good to get in a race effort Wednesday as a sign that I am back to a regular training routine.
How was your week?
Tomorrow morning will be my first race of the year. I’ve made it a bit of a tradition to start off the race season with the 10 km St. Patrick’s Day race.
Partly because there are not many options earlier in the year before it and also because the start and finish line is only a few blocks from my house tomorrow will be my fourth consecutive year doing this race.
My approach to this race is to use it as a tune-up race for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon. I’ve managed decent times in this race I have not set any personal bests doing it. I view it more as an opportunity to see where my fitness is at early in the season.
Last year I managed my fastest time in the race with a 41:20 finish. It would be nice to beat that time but I am not sure I am quite at that point yet after my layoff in November.
Tomorrow I plan to leave my Garmin at home and just run based on feel. It will be my first attempt at running a race that way. Since this is not a goal race I want to see if running without a watch makes a difference in my approach during a race.
There are now less than two months to go until STWM. This training cycle is going by quickly. Based primarily on one result so far this week was another solid week of training.
After taking Monday off for a rest from Sunday’s long run I was scheduled to run a 10 km race Tuesday evening. Unfortunately I was not able to register for the race and had to do my own run later that night. Having been scheduled to run a race I decided to run my own “race”.
My previous 10 km pb was 40:30 which I set last summer. Although not official I am pleased with my result Tuesday night…
That was my first sub-40 minute 10 km run. It is unfortunate it was not an official result and I will have to find myself another 10 km race to attempt an official sub-40 minute km result. That said, to be able to run a sub-40 minute 10 km at this point is a big confidence booster.
As for the rest of my week, I took advantage of some time off work this week to get in a couple afternoon runs with my daughter in the Chariot. Tomorrow I plan to fit in the hill workout I did not have time for earlier in the week and I will end the week with a quick 15 km Sunday morning.
How was your week?
Last night I had planned to run my latest 10 km race. It would have been the same race where I ran my current pb last summer. In that race I finished in 40:30 which is still my current pb.
Although I planned to run the race I did not register for it ahead of time because my wife was busy with work.As it turns out it was a good thing I did not register ahead of time because I would not have been able to make it to the race.
When I realized the race would not longer be an option an I had a 10 km race scheduled I did what I thought was the next best option. I decided to map out a route close to home and run my own 10 km “race”.
Once the kids were in bed I set out to do my run. I felt like it was going to be a good run as soon as I started. I easily kept my pace to 3:50-4:00/km for the first four km. I expected it to get tougher once I hit the halfway point.
I started to feel the pace around 7.5-8 km into my run. However, by that point I knew I was right on pace for a sub-40 minute run so I stuck with the quick pace.
I managed to finish in 39:17 a new 10 km pb, although unofficial, for me. Although I did not get to run the race I planned it was certainly a positive experience. It was a good indication of where I am at with my training for STWM. Now I just need to find myself another 10km race so I can officially run a sub-40 10 km!
Tuesday morning I ran my latest race. Running a 10 km race on Canada Day has become a bit of a tradition for me. With the races starting early in the morning I find it to be a great way to start the holiday and in my opinion downtown Ottawa with Parliament Hill as a backdrop is the best location for a race on Canada Day.
Last year I ended up finishing this race in 41:00 which at the time was a 10 km pb for me. The plan for this year was to go for another pb in the 10 km meaning I needed to beat 40:30.
The weather can often be a factor for this race because it can be really hot and humid first thing in the morning in early July. This year the race got started at 8:15 which was about an hour later than last year.
The course was two loops of an out and back course along the Ottawa River, starting and finishing at the Canadian War Museum. The course was mainly flat course with the exception of with a small hill at about the midpoint of the course, those of you who have run the Ottawa Marathon in the least few years will know what hill I am talking about.
In addition to the heat and humidity it was also windy this year and given the direction of the course we would have to run into the wind for the forst half of each lap.
I got off to a quick start. One runner took off ahead of me and initially I tried to keep up but realizing quickly that was unrealistic I dropped back and settled into my goal pace of just under 4:00/km.
I really started to feel the heat over the second lap of the race and my pace creeped up over 4:00/km. By the time I hit the 7 km mark I was pretty sure that my attempt at a pb was not going to be succesful but I still felt I could keep close to last year’s time. I gave myself a bit of a break by walking through the last water station to take a breether and take time to drink some water.
I took off again from there and ended up crossing the line in 41:42, about a minute slower than my time from last year’s race. From discussions after the race it sounded a number of other runners had missed their goal by about a minute due to the heat.
Overall I am still pleased with my result. It is not a pb but I did as good as I could given the conditions Tuesday morning. I am also planning at least one more attempt at my 10 km pb this summer so this was a good start to the summer racing season.
As mentioned in a post the other day, yesterday was my next scheduled race. I ran a 10 km race. It was my first race since I ran the Philadelphia Marathon in November.
I’ve this race four straight years now. I’ve used this race as part of my training for the Ottawa Marathon in May. In the past I did not try to race this race, electing to run closer to my goal marathon pace instead.
In talking with my coach I decided to race it and see if I could beat my pb in the 10 km, currently 40:31. As opposed to previous years when I stuck to a pace of 4:20-4:30/km my goal was to go out quicker.
While it was warmer than it has been recently it was still a cool and windy morning. Fortunately I live close to the start line so I was able to head over at the last minute.
The course for this race is an out and back course along the Rideau Canal. I managed to head out from the start around 4:00/km.
I felt good heading to the halfway turnaround point. However, in looking at my splits after the race it was just before the halfway point that I lost time in this race. My fourth and fifth kilometres were my slowest of the race with me dropping down to 4:13 and 4:09 per km.
Interestingly enough, my first and last kilometres ended up being my fastest kilometres at 3:58 and 3:59 per km. I am not sure what happened at this point in the race we could have been headed into the wind at that point or there is a bit of an incline at that point and I could have slowed down more than I realized when I reached that point.
I finished with a time of 41:20, just short of a pb. I’m still pleased with the result, it was a good way to start the race season. It was my fastest time in the four years I have done the race. I think it was still useful as part of my training for the Ottawa Marathon in May.
My next race is coming up Saturday morning. This will be my fourth straight year doing this race. I’ve used the race as an early tune-up for the Ottawa Marathon. The best part about the race is that the start line is just a few blocks away from my house.
I have not really raced this one in the past, choosing to stick closer to my goal marathon pace with my times ranging from 42 minutes to just over 44 minutes.
Given the time of year it is hard to predict the weather for race day. In the years I have done it there was a year where I could have been wearing short sleeves and there was a year where it was still cold enough for me to be wearing gloves and a hat. The early forecast for this year is just above 0 and snow.
In terms of a plan for this year I discussed with my coach and his suggestion was to just go for it and race because I have enough time to recover afterward. My current 10km pb is 40:31 I set last summer. If the conditions are Saturday morning I think I will have a good chance of matching or beating that time.
I’ve discussed my approach to the Ottawa Marathon with my coach and this year I am taking a similar approach to the one I used the past couple of years in order to get ready for the marathon. That is, including a couple of shorter distance races before the marathon. This year the plan will involve running the St Patrick’s Day 10 km race and the Run for Reach half-marathon. Both of these races are ones that have been included in my preparation for the Ottawa Marathon for the past three years.
After discussing with my coach, my plan for both of these races will likely be to run them as hard as I can because there is plenty of time for recovery after each of them. I’ve never gone looking for a personal best on St Patrick’s day because it is generally the first race of the season I do and there is still snow on the ground at that time of year.
On the other hand, Run for Reach is one where I have had some success with my two fastest half-marathon times the last two years. Being a month later it generally offers better weather on race day, although it was cool last year and there were a few flakes of snow falling as we ran. Although it does not offer the most ecpxciting course, it is a flat one which offers a good opportunity to push the pace. This year I will be aiming to beat the 1:29 I ran two years ago.
Of course the best part of adding both of these races to my calendar is the fact that the start and finish lines are a short run from my house so I get a little warm up on the way there and I get home quickly following the finish.
What races do you have lined up for the first half of 2014?
Tonight I ran my latest race. I ran my third 10 km race of the year. Since I am just starting to ramp up my training again and given that we are experiencing a late summer heat wave I was not sure what to expect from tonight’s race. My plan was to decide on my pace based on how I felt once I started.
Another factor that had me not expecting a personal best time tonight was the location of the race. The race took place at the Arboretum at the Central Experimental Farm. For those of you not familiar with Ottawa, it is a scenic area overlooking the Rideau Canal. On the downside, for running a race, it is a hilling course with at least half of the course run on gravel paths.
The best part of the race was the fact that the course involved three laps meaning my family could come set up lawn chairs, have a bit of a picnic while I ran by them four times. Often this is not the case. Usually family members have to set up in time to see me run by once.
The temperature was still hovering around 30 C when we started. I managed to get off to a quick start and get ahead of much of the crowd to avoid congestion at the start. Eventually I settled into a pace of around 4:00 per km and felt good.
You may recall that earlier in the summer I set a pb in the 10 km when I finished in 41:01 on Canada Day. Tonight I had a strong run and managed to better that time by 30 seconds, finishing in 40:31.
While my training focus is on my marathon time I am pleased that I have managed to improve my time in the 10 km twice so far this year, both times on hot days.