Tag Archives: rideau canal

Week 9 of Training for the Boston Marathon

After a few tough weeks of training I feel like I am now getting to where I want to be with my training. This week I able to build on the positives from last week and add more solid runs and mileage this week. After my long run this morning I finished with just over 80 km done for the week. 

While getting in my mileage this week I made it out on to the Rideau Canal a couple of times during my runs. For those who are not aware, the canal serves as the world’s largest skating rink when it freezes during the winter. The hard packed snow at the edges of the canal after it has been ploughed actually make for decent running terrain…

This week followed my usual pattern of an easy run on Monday, tempo run on Tuesday, easy run on Wednesday , speedwork  on Thursday, an easy run on Friday and a long run on Sunday. I even added an extra run at lunch on Thursday, it ended up being on a treadmill which is something I do not often do but I did not feel like getting bundled up to run outside when the time came.

Thursday I had a great speed session at the dome that I was very pleased with despite the fact that I realized when I got home and downloaded my stats from my Garmin that I had miscounted and done one less interval than I thought I had. Regardless, I still managed 7 x 800m with my splits coming in between 3:03 and 3:09…

Last week you may recall that I had to wait until later in the evening to do my long run. Today I was fortunate to be able to get it done in the morning, my preferred time for a long run. I also had a couple friends to run with for a portion of my run. I ended up doing 26 km with the first 16 km done with company and the final 9 km on my own…

As mentioned at the start of the post, I am much more pleased with where my training is at after the last two weeks than I was before that. I feel like I am ready to take on the extra mileage I will have to add later this month and next month.

How did your week go?

Running on the Rideau Canal

Here in Ottawa the bike paths along the Rideau Canal are a quiet and scenic spot to run. I head there often during my runs because I live close to it. In the winter the canal becomes a nearly 8 km long skating rink.

While the paths along the canal are generally in good shape, running on the frozen canal is a bonus option during the winter. It is the option I chose for my long run yesterday.


My plan was for a 20 km run with the first 5 km being run at an easy pace and the remaining at a quicker pace. I made my way from home to the starting point pictured above with the majority of my run planned to be run along the canal.

Once the easy 5 km was finished I had no difficulty getting myself up to around my goal marathon pace of 4:30/km. My goal was then to stick as close to this pace as possible.

Since I was running along a frozen canal you might wonder what the footing was like. It was not bad at all. In fact, the hard packed snow along the edges proved to be a much better option than dodging the big puddles along the paths and sidewalks. Here is a look at the type of conditions I ran on…


Other than a couple of spots where it felt like I was running into the wind the conditions were great for my run. Before long I hit the end and it was time to turn around and head back towards home…


In the end I finished with 20 km in 1:35. It turns out I also timed my run well as the canal is closed as of tonight due to the recent warmer weather and sunny conditions.

Sunday’s Adventure

As indicated by the title, tonight’s post was originally intended for Sunday but for reasons mentioned in last night’s post I was not able to post so here is the post I intended for Sunday.

I’ve written before about the adventures my 3 year-old and I have with the Chariot on weekends. Last summer since she was older and more aware of what was going on I started planning my routes based on things to show her – the changing of the guard ceremony on Parliament Hill, cows at the Central Experimental Farm and the horses at the RCMP stables for a few examples.

This past Sunday we found something me to check out. This time since we were running along the Rideau Canal we ended up stopping so I could show my daughter how the locks work.


We ended staying to watch two full cycles. First a bunch of paddlers going down the lock then a boat coming back up the other way. Here is a shot just before we packed up and went back on our way.


So there you have it. Not only did we go for a 16 km run, we also had a bit of an adventure which my daughter seemed to enjoy.

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.


Two Run Day

I managed to get in two runs today. Both runs allowed me to take advantage of great weather and to get in extra mileage today. Following yesterday’s tempo run both of today’s runs were relaxed efforts.

The first run came over the lunch hour. I decided to head out with some work colleagues and since we work close to the Central Experimental Farm we headed that way for the run. The is the first time I have done this but I found the lunchtime run to be a great way to break up the day. The rest of the afternoon seemed to go by quicker than it usually does following the run. I could see this option becoming a regular addition to my training.

Here are the details on run #1

Run # 2 was my usual thursday night group run. Again tonight’s effort was a relaxed pace. Sticking to the Rideau Canal we managed to get in just over 10 km in less than an hour.

Here are the details on run #2

Overall I managed to get in 16.6 km today which will make it possible for me to get up to 80 km for the week. Since today’s efforts were pretty relaxed I think I will aim for another tempo run tomorrow.

Wipe Out

As I have mentioned already, the whole point of this week is to stay loose and to rest my legs before the marathon on Sunday. Given that, tonight’s run was just supposed to be an easy 8 km run home from work.

I decided to head home using one of my more common routes – through the Central Experimental Farm, across the locks of the Rideau Canal and through the campus of Carleton University before heading home.

My run was going as planned, easy and effortless, and made even more pleasant by the fact that it was still warm enough to be wearing shorts which is quite rare for this time of year. However, about halfway as I was running through the university campus I fell as I was running along sidewalk I have followed countless times.

The area in question had been under construction over the summer but had been re-paved since my last run there a few days ago. Unbeknownst to me, a step was added to the sidewalk where new pavement was added. Since this step was not there before I was not expecting it at all and did not see it coming in the dark. I ran into it and fell to the ground. Fortunately for me the only damage done was a couple of minor scrapes.

Have you had any scares while tapering for a big race?

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?