Tag Archives: ottawa

Race Report: Army Run 2017

The Army Run is one of the two local events in Ottawa I look forward to every year, Ottawa Race Weekend in the spring being the other. This year marked the 10th anniversary of the Army Run. I’ve participated every year except for two – one because I was out of town for a wedding and the other because I sprained my ankle one week before race day.

I look forward to the event every year because it is a major running event in Ottawa that draws large crowds. It also carries added meaning for me since my father served in the army for 41 years. It is fun to participate in an event that supports the Canadian Army and getting to check out the assortment of military vehicles at the race expo brings back memories of growing up on military bases. 

As has been the case for all but the first year I ran it this year I was once again a pace bunny. I look forward to the challenge of trying to finish in an assigned time as much as I do running my own races for a personal best. Initially I was scheduled to be the 1:35 pace bunny for the half-marathon but I ended up dropping back to 1:55 closer to the date when another runner backed out. 

As you can see from the picture above I was not the only member of my family running this year. My oldest daughter decided back in May when she saw other kids running the Ottawa Race Weekend 5 km that she was also going to run a 5 km. She reminded me about it a couple of times over the summer and after registering her for the race we started training together. 

One of the best parts of this race is that the start line is close to my house and I can run over to the start line for a quick warm up before the race. Since the 5 km starts before the half-marathon and was still ongoing as I made my way to the start I headed over to the finishing stretch in the hopes of seeing my daughter as she headed to the finish line. Unfortunately it turns out that I missed her by a few minutes.

While I was disappointed to have missed my daughter’s finish she was able to make it over to see the start of my race. One of the benefits of being a pace bunny is that you are easy to spot when wearing bunny ears and holding a sign. She saw me as soon as I crossed the start line and I made my way over to see her briefly before I continued with my race, seeing her beaming with pride from having just completed a 5 km was a great way to start my own race.


Despite the fact it ended up being one of the hottest days of the year I felt good as I tried to maintain a steady pace for the group that was following me, 5:26-5:27/km was my target for the morning. Just after the halfway point of the race we entered the grounds of Rideau Hall, one of the best parts of the race since they added it to the course a few years ago. Once again this year I made sure to get a high five from the Governor General as I passed his residence. 

Following that it was time to make our way back downtown for the final stretch to the finish line along the Rideau Canal. When pacing a half the goal is to try and come within 1 minute of your assigned time. Based on my splits on my Garmin and my overall time I sure I was right on pace until I reached the 18 km mark and I realized that I had run nearly 1 extra km due to trying to get around groups of slower runners and not running the tangents.

I finished with a chip time of 1:57:18. I guess that is still relatively close to my goal time. However, in previous years I managed to consistently finish closer to my goal time. To say I was disappointed with my result was an understatement. The fact that a few runners made a point of thanking me for pacing afterward made me a feel a little better about my run but i should have been closer to my goal time in this case. I guess it will serve as motivation the next time I serve as a pace bunny. 

My Week in Training

  
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…

  

Running at the Experimental Farm

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If you follow me on twitter or even read my blog regularly you will see me mention running at the Experimental Farm quite often. Most days I run through part of the farm.

For those of you not from Ottawa let me explain, Ottawa is the only capital city with a working farm in the heart of the city.

For me it is a convenient running route because I happen to work close to it . This gives me a great spot to run at lunch or to make my way home after work. It is also a great spot for families because it houses a museum that is popular with kids.

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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….

Reasons for supporting local farmer’s markets. My daughter and I visit ours every Saturday.

Here are some thoughts on whether it is better to cut a long run short when things don’t feel right.

Could the Ottawa Marathon records be in danger due to a strong elite field this year?

Finally, the latest #runchat takes place on Twitter tomorrow night.

On another note, if you did not see Thursday’s post head here to enter my book giveaway. You could  win a copy of Running on Air by Budd Coates!

One Week until the Ottawa Marathon

In one week from today I will be recovering from the Ottawa Marathon. If you have read this blog before you’ll know my goal, and possibly obsession, is to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

In order to qualify for the 2012 Boston Marathon I need to run a 3:15 and with the new registration rules that went into effect this year my hope for next week is that I can run a 3;10 or just under that in order to give myself at least a five minute buffer from my qualifying time.

Right now I am both optimistic because I feel that I am in the best shape I have ever been and I am confident in my training but also nervous because this is a big goal for me to aim for and let’s face it a marathon is a long distance leaving plenty of time for something to go wrong.

If I go by the average time of my Yasso 800’s then I am right where I should be in terms of my progress. For those who are not familiar with the term, Yasso 800’s are a workout developed by Bart Yasso where you run hard for 800 m followed by a 400 m recovery jog. The idea is that the average time of your 800’s can predict your marathon finish time.

I completed two workouts involving Yasso 800’s during this training cycle. The first one involved 8 Yasso 800’s with an average time of 3:11 and the second workout involved 10 Yasso 800’s with an average time of 3:09. Hopefully the theory proves true for me as I will be quite pleased with a 3:09 or 3:11 next Sunday!

This morning I took my daughter for a 20 km run in her Chariot. The rest of the week will be pretty low key for me in terms of running. Tuesday I will go for an easy 8 km run, Wednesday I will go for an easy 6 km run, Thursday I will go for an 8 km run with 5 km at marathon pace and to end my training I will go for a very easy 3 km run Saturday.

You may also recall that I set a fundraising goal for myself again this year as part of Race Weekend. So far I have managed to achieve over 70% of my goal and should be able to reach that goal by the time I go pickup my race kit at the end of the week.