Tag Archives: minto run for reach

Run for Reach Half-Marathon

Today was the second of three races I registered for leading up to the Ottawa Marathon. My plan for this race was to use it as a judge of my fitness ahead of the marathon. Since my BQ is currently 3:10 I was aiming for about 1:30 today. If that didn’t work then I’d reassess my plans for the marathon and try going out at a 3:15 pace in the marathon while looking to a fall marathon for an attempt at 3:10.

The weather this morning was perfect for a race. Warm enough to run in shorts and short sleeves but still on the cool side. Since I live close to the start line I had the benefit of being able to run down there for an easy 2.5 km run to warm-up.

As was the case with the St. Patrick’s Day 10 km I went out at a 4;15 pace and managed to stick with it fairly consistently for most of the race. I hit the half in 42:13 and still felt strong as I headed out for lap 2.

Once I hit the final turn-around at 16 km I was pretty confident I was going to achieve my goal of a 1:30 pace. I decided to pick-up the pace with about 1-1.5 km to go and crossed the finish line in 1:29:34, good enough for 26th overall and 4/22 in my age group.

With today’s confidence booster I think my plan for the marathon is now set and I will try going out at a 3:10 pace.

2012 Race Plans

I mentioned earlier that my plan was to run two 10 km race and one half-marathon before the Ottawa Marathon in May. This is the same race strategy I used to get ready for last year’s Ottawa Marathon.

I signed up for one of the 10 km races last month and tonight signed up for the other one as well as for the half-marathon – the Ottawa St Patrick’s Day 10 km race and the Minto Run for Reach half-marathon. Now I have to hope this strategy is beneficial to my marathon training.

The great thing about all of these races is that they start and finish close to my house. The two 10 km races start at finish at the high school that is about three blocks from my house and the half-marathon is not much farther.

While the St Patrick’s Day 10 km will just be an attempt at a pb in the 10 km the other two races will also provide me with the challenge of racing on tired legs as both of those races fall on days when I am scheduled to run 32 km (20 miles).

Like I did last year I plan on making up the mileage by going for an extra easy run before the race. The hope here is that running at race pace with tired legs will help me in the later stages of the marathon in May.

What are your race plans?

2012 Race Schedule

Now that we are into 2012 my race schedule for the first half of the year is getting clearer as registration information is starting to pop up online for races that had not already done so.

The first half of this year looks like it will be identical to the first half of last year in terms of races. Unless I end up registering for a race in January or February I will be doing the same four races I did between January and May of last year.

The reason I am planning to do the same four races is simple, they are all close to home. Two of them start and finish at a high school that is three blocks from my house while the  start lines for the other two are not much farther down the street. I like traveling out of town for races but it is hard to beat the convenience of having races that start so close to my front door.

The first race of the year will be the Ottawa St. Patrick’s Day run. You can read my review of last year’s race here. Since this one falls early in my marathon training schedule my approach will be the same, go out and race as hard as I can and see if I can beat my current 10 km PB of 43:14.

Race number two will be the Minto Run for Reach half-marathon. Since this one falls on the day of one of my scheduled 32 km, or 20 mile, training runs my approach will once again be to get up early and get in and easy 10 km before the half-marathon. I’ll then see how hard I can run the half-marathon on tired legs. You can read my review of last year’s race here. 

Race number four will be the Ottawa Physio Run 10 km the following week. Since this one also falls on the day of a scheduled 32 km training run I’ll either get in some easy mileage before or after the race or I’ll do my long run on Saturday like I did last year. You can read my review of last year’s race here.

Of course, all of this is meant to get me ready for the Ottawa Marathon at the end of May.  I had some success with this race schedule last year and am hoping it will payoff again this year.

What are your race plans for the first half of 2012?


With 2012 upon us I have already started planning out my race schedule for the year. Like last year my main focus will be on improving my marathon time and getting closer to my goal of a Boston qualifying time.

The first half of my year is looking like it will be identical to last year when I ran two 10 km races and a half-marathon before the Ottawa Marathon in May. I have already registered for one of the 10 km races again this year and am waiting for registration to open so I can officially register for the other 10 km race and for the half-marathon.

That will keep me busy until May when I will run the Ottawa Marathon. I made the commitment last night and officially registered for the marathon for the fourth straight year. For the third straight year I will be raising funds for the Ottawa Hospital as part of Race Weekend. In addition to improving my marathon time I will also be trying to beat my fundraising total from last year.

So far the only plan I have for this year is to run the Army Run in September. The past two years I have run the race as a pace bunny, in the 5 km two years ago and in the half-marathon last year. I will looking to pace the half-marathon once again this year.

Beyond that the only big question mark remaining is whether I will run a fall marathon again this year and if so where. At this point I have not really considered that as there is a to consider before I make that commitment again and a lot could change before I have to make the decision.

Have you started putting together your race schedule for 2012?


Race Report: Minto Run for Reach

As mentioned yesterday, this morning was my latest race. This morning I raced a half-marathon.

Since I had 32 km on my schedule for today I ended up getting an early start to my day. I headed out the door just before 7:00. With the race starting at 8:00 this gave me about 45-50 minutes for an early run. I ended up running 8.2 km, getting to the start line about 20 minutes before the start of the race.

The race itself went well. I ended finishing in 1:36:06 which is quicker than my previous half-marathon best of 1:39:15 and the 1:37 that it took me to complete the first half of the Prince Edward County Marathon in October.

The weather was perfect for a race today. It was warm enough for me to head out in shorts and a long sleeve shirt when I left the house and while I needed the long sleeves early on, I had them rolled up before the start of the half-marathon.

As I mentioned yesterday, the course was an out and back course of a total of 10 km, meaning half-marathoners had to complete two laps of the course. It was a relatively flat course along the Rideau Canal.

On my second lap I ended up receiving some unexpected advice from a coach. The coach was along the side of the course watching for runners from a group he had helped train. He thought I looked like one of the runners from the group. He ended up running with me for a bit and provided some advice about my posture. He noticed my shoulders were scrunched up and suggested I lower my arms in order to relax my shoulders which would allow my lungs to take in more air.

I tried to keep this bit of advice in mind for the rest of the race and would like to think it helped. I will certainly keep it in mind as I continue my marathon training.

In terms of my result, I am pleased I was able to beat my previous personal best in the half-marathon. Who knows, if I was really focused on my half-marathon time and had not run last night or prior to the race I might have been able to knock a few minutes off my finishing time. That is for another time. For now I think setting a personal best on legs that had not been rested could be a good thing in terms of my marathon training, especially for the later stages of the marathon.

As I mentioned earlier, I had 32 km on my schedule today. The half-marathon brought me up to 29.3 km. Following the race I stopped briefly to stretch then ran home at a very relaxed pace for another 1.8 km. In total today I ended up with 31.1 km in 2:33.

Friday Running Thoughts

It is amazing how quickly the weather can change. Last weekend I spent Saturday skiing at Mont Tremblant. It certainly was not cold at the time but still cool enough to enjoy a final day of skiing. Fast forward a week and we are just about in shorts weather for running here. We are starting to get daytime temperatures in the double digits. As a result, the past two days I found myself over dressed for the conditions as I ran home from work.

Tonight I had another easy run on the schedule. Since I am racing a half-marathon Sunday I decided to run an easy run tonight instead of the marathon pace workout I originally had on the schedule which I will make up for on Sunday.

As mentioned, I am registered for a half-marathon Sunday. I will be running the Minto Run for Reach. The course is an out and back course along the Rideau Canal. For the half-marathon we will have to complete the course twice since it is a 10 km course.

Conveniently enough for me the location for race kit pick-up was on my way home so I could stop there and continue my run home after picking up my kit. I am all set for race day now!

I am not really sure what to expect in terms of a result Sunday. I completed the first half of the Prince Edward County Marathon October in 1:37 and felt pretty strong at the time. I was able to have a conversation with three runners as I crossed the halfway point so I would like to think I can beat that time. Sunday’s course is also a flat course which should be conducive to a fast time.

Since I am scheduled to run 32 km Sunday, my first 20 mile run of this training cycle, I will have to get out a run a few kilometers before the race. The start line is about 2 km from my house so I am planning to head out a little early and get in a bit of easy mileage in my neighbourhood before I head to the start line.

What are your running plans for the weekend, any races on the schedule?

Training Mileage in April

With a 13.4 km run last night I ended the month of March with a total of 295 km. March ended up being a good month for my training. I would have passed 300 km had I not had to skip a couple of runs. In April I will be looking to pass that mileage total.

Today I started off April with a 9.5 km run including 8 km at marathon pace. With only two months left before the Ottawa Marathon, April is sure to be my busiest month in terms of mileage. If all goes according to plan this month I will be completing 360-400 km this month.

Included in the mileage for this month are my first runs over 30 km, three of them to be exact.

Also included in my mileage totals for April are my next two races. The Minto Run for Reach half-marathon on the 10th of April and the Ottawa Physio Race 10 km on the 17th. Of course I will be looking to beat my current personal bests at both of these distances but the primary goal, especially with the half-marathon, will be to get my legs used to holding a more intense pace consistently over a longer distance.

What are your training plans for April?