Tag Archives: around the bay

Saturday Stories


It is time once again for another edition of Saturday Stories, a collection of some of my favourite stories and blog posts from the past week. As always, if you came across anything you feel is worthy of mention here feel free to post a link below.

Here are this week’s stories…

Do you share your goals or keep the, to yourself?

Five ways to spring forward your training.

Good advice for anyone looking to start a blog.

Useful nutritional information if you like protein bars.

Useful info for anyone running Around the Bay this year.

2013 In Review



Another year has come and gone. In terms of running, it has been a busy and productive year. Overall I think I ran more races than I did the previous year as I trained for two more marathons. Along the way I managed to set a couple of personal best times, in the 5 km and the 10 km.

The year started out with me beginning a new training cycle to get me ready to run the Ottawa Marathon in May. In order to get ready for my local marathon I raced a 10 km on St Patrick’s Day, travelled to Hamilton to run the Around the Bay 30 km for the first time and ran a half-marathon one month before the marathon. All three races went according to plan.

In May I had a good run in the Ottawa Marathon setting a new pb and coming within a couple minutes of my Boston qualifying time. Following that result my focus turned into finding a fall marathon that would provide an opportunity to beat that time.

I quickly settled on Philadelphia for a fall marathon, my second time going there in three years. In order to get ready for it I hired a coach for the first time, the biggest change to my training routine in a while. Overall, I think that was a positive experience that I will continue in the new year.

While training for Philly I managed to set two new pb times, in the 10 km and in the 5 km. Both of those results gave me a good boost going into Philly. Unfortunately, I did not get the result I was looking for in Philly but it was still a great experience and an option I recommend for those looking for a November marathon.

Finally, today I surpassed the 3000 km mark (1864 miles) for the year. Overall it isn’t an important number but still a nice way to end the year.

That is a quick summary of my year in running. I am pleased with another strong year with a few new pb times along the way.

How was your 2013? What were some of the highlights?

Plan for April

This month will be a big month of training for the Ottawa Marathon. For a few reasons this month will go a long way toward getting me ready for the Ottawa Marathon next month.

First of all, coming off a 90 km week I will be looking to continue to build on my mileage. The plan for this week is to try and hit 100 km. I got a good start at that with a 32 km run last night. To help me get to my goal for the week I also plan to run at lunch and on the way home from work three times this week.

Second, I have the last of my pre-marathon warm-up races planned. In two weeks I plan to run the Run for Reach half-marathon. The goal for this one will be to aim for a time of 1:30 like I did last year.

The third reason this month will be key is that I will be getting in one if not  two more of my planned 32 km runs. As mentioned already, I completed a 32 km run last night. With Around the Bay last week that means I already have two 30 + km runs under my belt. Generally I plan to do four ahead of a marathon. I will definitely do one more this month. Since Around the Bay was early in my training cycle I may do a second if time permits.

What are your plans for April?

Back to Training

Now that Around the Bay is out of the way my primary focus is back on getting ready for the Ottawa Marathon. Fortunately my legs were not feeling too bad after Sunday’s race so   was able to get back to running today with an easy 9 km run home from work.

Incidentally, since the it was warm enough outside it ended up being my first outdoor run in shorts of the year. For me this is always a big positive because not only is it more enjoyable to run in this type of weather it also means that I have to pack less in my backpack.

Now for the rest of the month my focus will be on getting my mileage up to where I need it to be. For this week I am aiming to get back up to at least 80 km for the week. Doing that will push my monthly mileage up over 300 km for March.

Hitting my mileage goals for the week and the month will give me to more positives to go along with Sunday’s result that I can use to build on as I continue training for the Ottawa Marathon.

What plans or goals do you have for the rest of the month?

Race Report: Around the Bay

IMG-20130325-00117 (1)Yesterday was my first time running Around the Bay. As previously mentioned, my plan was to run it at my goal marathon pace of 4:30/km which would bring me in just under the cut off for silver medals. The timing of the race made it my first 30 km run ahead of May’s Ottawa Marathon.

When I registered for the race my wife and I decided to make it an extended trip and spend a couple of days doing some sightseeing in Toronto before heading to Hamilton for the race. After a couple of great days in Toronto we headed down the QEW for the race.

It was cool yesterday morning and I was worried about over dressing and being too hot or under dressing and being too cold. I debated whether to wear a long sleeve shirt or a pullover on top of a short sleeve shirt. Thanks again to Kenny over at A whole lot of soles who suggested a long sleeve shirt and a pair of gloves. This turned out to be the right call for me. I ended up turfing my gloves ended turfing my gloves at the 10 km mark but having them up until that point was a smart move.

Given my half-marathon time from last year’s Run for Reach I was able to register for the A corral at the front. This allowed me to spend a little extra time with my family before the start and keep warm with my jacket on before I left them.

I’d heard this course was a difficult one because it is flat until you start hitting hills around 21 km once you turn on to North Shore Dr. in Burlington. By the time we reached this point I was still feeling good. Having never done this race before I was not sure what to expect from the hills that were ahead. I managed to get through the first few hills without much difficulty.

I knew the last hill was going to be the toughest one but I was surprised when we went around the corner and the incline on the other side of the water came into view. For those of you who have never run this race before let me explain. As you approach the last hill you descend into a bit of a valley. Halfway through the descent you turn right and the ascent on the other side of the water comes into view. At the bottom of the road the course crosses a small bridge then begins the ascent. Here is a video of the ascent…

Once I got to the top of the hill my legs feeling it and I was thankful the we were on a flat part again. I’d heard the last three km of the course were mainly downhill and knew at that point I was going to meet my goal. I took off from the pace bunny at the 28 km sign and finished on my own crossing the line in 2:14:13 for an overall pace of 4:29.

There were a couple of things I really liked about this race. First, the fact that the race finishes indoor at Copps Coliseum meant that my wife and kids did not have to wait in the cold to see me finish.

I also liked the fact that since the course is a loop around the bay there are a few spots where you can see other points on the course allowing you to see how far you have run and how far you still have to go. In particular, seeing Copps Coliseum across the water with about 6-7 km was a positive for me because it was an indication that I was getting close to the finish.

All in all it was a positive experience for me. I met my goal for the race by completing my first 30 km training run for the Ottawa Marathon at my goal marathon pace. Hopefully I will be able to build on yesterday’s result as I move into the second half of my marathon training.

One thing I will mention for people travelling from out of town for this event, we stayed at the Best Western on Queensway Dr. in Burlington. The location was fine because it was close to the 403 and a quick drive into Hamilton. On the downside they were not willing to allow a late check-out and we had to check out before driving to Hamilton because check out was at 11:00. I know there were several other runners staying at the hotel but I am not sure there is that big of a demand for hotel rooms in Burlington on a Sunday in late March.


Around the Bay

This week has been a busy one as you can tell from the fact that I have not posted an update since Sunday. Now I am in the process of getting ready to head out of town for my next race which is coming up this weekend.

As previously mentioned, I will be running the Around the Bay 30 km race in Hamilton Sunday morning. It will be my first time running this race so I am not quite what to expect but I have read a couple previews posted by other bloggers so I now have a better sense of what to expect from the course.

For me this race is the next step in my preparation for the Ottawa Marathon in May. My plan for Sunday is to run at or close to my goal marathon pace of 4:30/km. This would see me finish the 30 km race in about 2:09-2:10.

Since they give out graduated medals for this race maintaining my goal marathon pace would also get me in before the 2:15 cut off for silver medals. That should give me a little extra boost in the late stages if I find a need one.

With two months to go before the marathon I figure this will give me a good indication of where I am at in my training. My last test before the marathon will come at next month’s Run for Reach half-marathon.

Although my training has slowed down a bit this week I am feeling good heading into this race. My previous two long runs were 24 and 25 km so move up to 30 km this Sunday is a natural progression.

Now I just go through my checklist to make sure I pack everything I need to bring with me!

Race Report, St. Patrick’s Day 10 km

logomarathonclrAs mentioned last week, yesterday was my next scheduled run. As I have done for the last three years now, I ran the St. Patrick’s Day 10 km race using it as a training run for my spring marathon training.

The biggest advantage to this race is that the start and finish line is located a few blocks from my house so I wake up at my usual time, have breakfast then head over at the last minute. For me that is the biggest selling point to this race.

Yesterday’s weather was the complete opposite of the conditions we had last year when it got up to 15-16 degrees during the day. Yesterday it was -11 when I headed out the door. It was cool but fine once I started running.

The course is an out and back along the Rideau Canal. Since I am very familiar with this route. I run at least part of this course at least 3-4 times per week. It is a relatively flat course with a couple of small hills along the way.

As mentioned last week, my plan for yesterday was to run at about a 4:15/km pace. The reason for this is that, as was the case last year, I am aiming for a 1:29-1:30 half-marathon in April. Last year I finished this race in 43:27. Yesterday I finished it in 42:57.

I am pleased with the result because I stuck to my plan and resisted the temptation to push harder in order to finish quicker. That said, since I have not focused much on 10 km races I am now tempted to throw one into my schedule at a point when I can aim for a PB in order to see what I could do at the distance.

Next up for me now is the Around the Bay 30 km next weekend which I am planning to run at my goal marathon pace of 4:30/km.


Saturday Stories

It is time once again for another edition of Saturday Stories, a collection of some of my favourite stories and blog posts from the past week. As always, if you came across anything you feel is worthy of mention here feel free to post a link below.

Here are this week’s stories…

How to stay motivated for every run.

Tips for more efficient running in cold weather.

A list of races that feature beer.

Since I am running this one next week, tips for running Around the Bay.

St Patrick’s Day 10 km


Yesterday I added a new race to my calendar for this year. I decided to register for the 10 km St Patrick’s day race I have done the last two years. I had not initially planned to run this one because I was more focused about Around the Bay the following weekend but as the date got closer the urge to register got stronger, especially since I can walk to the start line from my house.

Now I have registered and will be running the 10 km for the third year in a row. Last year when I ran this race I ran it in just over 43 minutes, at a 4:15/km pace. The reason for that is that it is the pace needed to run a 1:30 half-marathon in April which is what I did last year and plan to aim for again next month.

My strategy for Saturday’s 10 km race as well as the 30 km next week and the half-marathon in April will hopefully help get me ready to run the Ottawa Marathon in May at my goal pace which is 3:10, or 4:30/km.

I think this approach was beneficial in to my preparation for last year’s Ottawa Marathon so once again I am hoping that using this strategy for earlier races will leave me in better position to meet my goal in May.

What are your upcoming race plans?

Week 5 of Training for the Ottawa Marathon

Week five of training is nearly complete. Already it has been a better week in terms of mileage than last week turned out to be. Despite the fact that I was not able to get in a long run on Sunday I have already managed to fit in 64 km this week thanks in large part to three two run days. Tomorrow’s run will push me over 70 km for the week for the first time in a while.

I mentioned using two run days to build my mileage. I did that on three occasions this week – Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This allowed me to get in daily mileage of 17, 15.8 and 14.3 km. For me it is the easiest way to fit in extra mileage during the week and as I have mentioned before, running at lunch is a great way to break up the work day.

While the week was good in terms of mileage it was also the first week in several weeks when I did not manage to get in a speed workout at the dome. I could not make it to the dome last night but tried to make up for with my tempo runs this week. On Monday and Wednesday I made sure one of my two runs was at a tempo pace and I also fit in an extra tempo run yesterday.

As I look ahead to week six I now find myself with a decision to make. Next Saturday is the annual St Patrick’s Day race I have done the past few years. I have not yet registered for this year’s race because I am running the Around the Bay 30 km race the following Sunday. Now that race day is near and the start line is down the street from my house I am getting the urge to register. What do you think. Is it worth registering and running a 10 km race at my goal marathon pace a week before I plan to run a 30 km race at my goal marathon pace?

How was your week?