Tag Archives: montreal marathon

2014 Year in Review

Before looking ahead to 2015 I am taking time to review 2014. Although the year did not end in the best of ways I did have another big year in terms of mileage and I did put in some solid race results with a new pb in the half-marathon along the way.

In terms of racing, I ran two 10 kms, two half-marathons and three marathons. Once again my approach was to use the shorter races as part of training for my goal marathons. My biggest highlights of the year were my new half-marathon pb of 1:27:52 in April and my victory in the Commonwealth Games Canada Day 10 km in July.

In terms of marathons, as previously mentioned, I ran three this year. The first being the Ottawa Marathon in May followed by Montreal in September and the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in October. As with last year my overall goal was to get my elusive sub-3:10 finish.

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Coming off my pb in the half-marathon a few weeks earlier I felt well prepared going into the Ottawa Marathon. For the most part the race went exactly according to plan, you can read my full race report here.. Unfortunately calf cramps in the later stages knocked my off pace and once again left me a few minutes off my goal time.

My second biggest highlight of the year was my win in the Commonwealth Games Canada Day 10 km race. I did not run a pb in this race but it was already very hot and humid by the time we started the race so I was not expecting a pb. I also was not expecting to be at the front of the pack but the small field in this race helped in that regard.

A week before my second marathon of the year I was able to continue my streak of volunteering as a pace bunny for the Army Run half-marathon. This year I paced the 1:45 group, giving me a nice long training run a week before my next big race. I brought my group across the line in 1:45:29.

Marathon number two for me this year was the Rock’n’Roll Marathon in Montreal. I originally signed up for this race because I had relatives running other races that weekend and it was an opportunity to see them. Since the course is pretty hilly and it can still get hot and humid in Montreal in late September I was not expecting a pb but i decided to give it a go at race pace. Since I had another marathon three weeks later I could always ease off the pace and use it as a training run. With the temperature already at 18 C (64F) at the start I knew a fast time was unlikely so after pushing the pace for the first 27 km I eased off the pace and coasted in for the final 15 km. You can read my full race report here.

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Three weeks later I travelled to Toronto for the Waterfront Marathon. Since I backed off the pace in Montreal the plan was to go all out in Toronto and end the race season with a bang. As was the case in Ottawa in May I felt well prepared and focused for this one. Once again I was right on target through the halfway point. Unfortunately this time I made a couple of strategic errors that cost me valuable time and left me with a 3:14:26 finish. You can read my full race report here.

How was your 2014?

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Overall while I still fell just short of my marathon goal I still ran solid races in Ottawa and Toronto and with minor changes to my approach could have hit that goal. I also set a pb in the half and won a race despite the fact that neither were goal races. In a sense I am frustrated that I was so close to my marathon goal once again but at the same time I am pleased with what I was able to accomplish. Both will serve to motivate me in 2015!

As for the rest of the year, having just started running again last Thursday after missing nearly two months of running due to a recovery from a ruptured appendix I have decided to end the year with a little running streak. So far I am 3 for 3 with four more runs left to go in 2014.

Final Week of Training for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

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My training is complete and race day is just around the corner. After having to back off in Montreal three weeks due to the heat I am hoping STWM will be my A race. Since I do not have any other races lined up this year I am certainly going to give it a shot Sunday morning.

Those of you who have trained for a marathon before know that there really is not much to say about this week in terms of training. After going for 15 km at race pace Sunday night my week consisted of easy runs Tuesday and Wednesday. I’ll go for a short and easy run tomorrow to shake out my legs but really the goal for this week was to stay healthy to run Sunday morning.

You may recall that I did this marathon two years ago. On that occasion I ended up missing a few weeks of training because I sprained my ankle one month before race day. As a result, race day did not go quite as planned. This time around I am certainly better prepared to have a good race.

I certainly feel that I have had another solid training cycle. I just hope everything comes together on race day and I can have a solid race. After running two marathons in warm conditions this year it appears I will finally get a chance to run in cooler conditions this time although rain and wind could still be a factor.

That’s it for another training cycle. Sunday will be marathon number three on the year for me and number 12 overall. This year has been another big year of running for me and hopefully I can end my running season off with a good result.

Race Report: Rock ‘n’ Roll Montreal Marathon

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While the focus of my posts about marathon training have been geared toward the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, I actually had another marathon scheduled three weeks before STWM. Today I ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in Montreal.

It was by design that I did not mention Montreal on here in a long time. First, my focus has been on STWM because I am a digital champion for the race. Secondly, I did not want to focus too much attention on Montreal in case I was not running it as a goal race or in case things did not go well.

My approach to Montreal was discussed with my coach a couple of weeks ago. We thought I was ready, based on how my training was going, to take a shot at a pb. However, once I started looking at the weather forecast last week and it looked likely that it would be hot today I realized there was also a good chance I would have to back off and save my pb effort for Toronto.

Since the start and finish lines are in different locations I had to take the subway to the start line this morning. Fortunately there was one right around the block from our hotel. Since the race started at 8:30 I left the hotel at 7:00.

After a quick ride I dropped off my bag to be transported to the finish line and headed for my corral. That involved walking halfway across the Jacques Cartier bridge. It felt warm already and once the pa announcer started making his announcements by warning that it was already 17 degrees C (62 F) and was expected to be at least 23 C (73 F) by 11:00 I knew a pb would likely have to wait for another day.

I decided to start out at my goal pace and at least give myself a good tempo run. The race starts off by going down off the bridge to Jean Drapeau Park, a couple of small islands where you will find La Ronde amusement park and the track for the Canadian Grand Prix formula 1 race. Once you get down on to the islands from the bridge the course goes around each island. Having attended the grand prix on a couple of occasions getting a chance to run down the straights, past the start line and through the chicane turns was a definite highlight for me.

The next section of the course heads back into the city starting off with old Montreal before heading up to the Plateau section. One thing I will say about Montreal is that it reminded me how flat Ottawa can be.

Once we were up on to the Plateau the half-marathoners headed off to finish in Lafontaine Park while the marathoners kept going for another loop before coming back to the park. I experienced this in Philadelphia as well and when you are running the marathon it can be a lonely feeling at first when you see the crowd of runners thinning out substantially. Despite that I found myself settling back into my routine quickly.

Despite the hills and the heat I was able to maintain my goal pace past the half. However, between 27 and 28 km in I was starting to feel the heat get to me. At that point I decided to slow my pace and take it easy for the final 15 km so I could recover and take another shot in Toronto.

One thing that pleasantly surprised me about this race was the crowd support. Once we were back in the city there were crowds cheering everywhere. I don’t recall there being many quiet sections. At times the encouragement made it hard for me to maintain a slower pace.

In the end I crossed the line in 3:36. It was not the pb I was hoping for but I think I did the right thing. Had I continued to push my pace i could have finished in the 3:15-3:20 but that would have made a pb in Toronto unlikely. The number of runners I saw receiving medical assistance because of the heat also tells me I did the right thing.

Instead I will, hopefully, recover quickly this week and get back to training for STWM so I can take a good shot at a pb. With an earlier start to the race and 3 weeks to go until race day hopefully the weather conditions will be more suited to a pb effort.

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My Weekly Recap

It’s been a week since I got back to running after recovering from last month’s Ottawa Marathon. I have been back to running regularly with just a planned day off Monday and an unplanned day off today, more on that later.

So far I have kept my post-marathon runs at a relatively relaxed and easy pace. While I recovered quickly from the marathon I did not want to take any risks by pushing the pace when I am at a point where I am not currently training for a race.

I have also kept my runs to relatively short distances. Other than a 15 km effort last Sunday my other runs have been in the 8-10 km range which is easy to fit in given the distance of my office from my house.

I mentioned that I had planned to run today but ended up taking an unplanned day off. The reason was that I forgot an item I could not do without, my shoes. Since I was not interested in trying barefoot running I had to cancel my planned run for today.

In addition to running regularly this week I also sat down to have a good discussion with my coach to go over a plan for the summer and the fall. The plan has not been finalized and it is starting to come together.

Right now I know for sure that I will take at least one shot at a 10 km pb over the summer and I will run another marathon in the fall. As mentioned before, I am registered for the marathon in Montreal in September although I do not know yet for sure how I will approach that one in terms of strategy, I will have more on that in the coming days.

How did your week go?