Tag Archives: toronto waterfront marathon

Saturday Stories

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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…

A post about our biggest fans.

A good response to a blogger who was critical of 13.1 and 26.2 stickers on cars.

An inspiring post about one of my fellow digital champions from stwm.

Eric Gillis’ recap of his STWM experience. A good read if you are interested in reading about how one of Canada’s best approaches a race.

A post about making sacrifices for marathon training.

Race Report: Toronto Waterfront Marathon 2014

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I spent more time analyzing my result before putting my thoughts down on here than I usually do after a race. Finally, here is my race report from Sunday’s STWM which was marathon number three for me this year having already run Ottawa and Montreal.

STWM was actually my second marathon in three weeks. After backing off and coasting in for the last 15 km due to the heat in Montreal three weeks ago STWM was to be my goal race for the fall, the latest in my quest to run a sub 3:10 marathon and qualify for Boston.

As some of you are already aware, I was one of the digital champions for STWM this year. We had been in contact over social media since the program was launched in June. I had the opportunity to meet a few of my digital champions when I was in Toronto with my family over the summer. Friday night I met more members of the group as we got together over food and drinks.

Saturday I went to the expo quickly to pick up my race kit but other than that tried to stay off my feet as much as I could. Sunday I headed over to the start early so I could meet up with some of the digital champions again before heading to my corral.

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Once in my corral I ran into Andrew and Kenny, two more digital champions. They were aiming for times similar to what I what hoping for. The weather was the opposite of what I experienced in Montreal and Ottawa earlier in the year. I was glad that I went to Value Village to find some throwaway clothes to keep me warm until the last minute.

I felt strong over the first 10 km as we wound our way through downtown and out on to Lakeshore past the exhibition grounds and Ontario Place. I maintained a 4:30 pace for that portion. I crossed the 10 km line in 45:09 leaving me on pace for a 3:10 finish.

The next 11 km as we turned around and headed back downtown went a little quicker as I managed a 4:28 pace. I crossed the halfway point in 1:34:48 leaving me on target to meet my goal. I knew that there was still a long way to go at this point but I still felt like I could maintain the pace for a while.

Unfortunately, just after the half I encountered the first setback of the morning when I had to stop for a pitstop that cost me valuable time on the clock. I managed to get right back to a quick pace when I got back on the course but I was now behind my goal pace.

Around 27 km we headed out for the last out and back section as we made our way out The Beaches neighbourhood. At this point I my legs started to feel heavier but I was still running a comfortable pace although still slightly off my goal pace due to my earlier stop.

I saw Kenny and Andrew again around the 32 km mark as I approached the last turnaround before we headed back downtown. They were both headed back the other way at that point looking strong. I knew I was going to have to push hard if I wanted to get back on track.

Getting from km 35 to km 40 was the toughest point of the race for me as I felt like I was starting to run out of energy. Maybe I wasted too much time trying to do math in my head and figure out the pace i needed to run for a 3:10 finish or maybe I really was running out of gas but a 4:55 pace through this section left me even further behind my goal.

Around the 39 km point you come to a slight incline as you go over an overpass. Having done the race two years ago I knew that on the other side there was a slight downhill leading into downtown for the final two km of the race. I decided to conserve some energy and take it easy as I climbed the overpass so I could pick up the pace on the other side and make one last push to the finish line.

This is one of my favourite spots of the course. Not only is it close to the finish line but getting back downtown means the cheering crowds are back to pick you up as you make that last push. Here is a picture of the area I am talking about that I took a few hours after I finished.

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I was able to pick up the pace again as planned with my pace for the last two km being 4:40 and 4:37. I ran past my family with about 800m to go. Knowing they would be close to the finish line I made sure to grab extra noise makers for the kids when I was at the expo on Saturday. I crossed the finish line in 3:14:26.

My quest for a BQ continues and will have to wait for another day. I am not completely disappointed with my time. I find out of town marathons tougher to plan for because there are fewer elements that you can control. Sunday was my fastest marathon away from home by 6:00 minutes.

In addition, having taken the time to analyze my effort I have a clear idea in mind what I need to adjust the next time out in order to take that next step and break the 3:10 barrier. First I need to review my pre-race breakfast so I can avoid any unnecessary stops. Second, I think continued strength work and more overall mileage is in order to hopefully deal with the fatigue that caught up to me around the 35 km mark. That said, getting more sleep the week leading up to race day would probably also help in that regard.

Like always after a marathon the toughest part for me is not being able to get right back out on the road to have another go at it in order to correct things I think I did wrong. Instead I will have to wait until the spring. I guess that is part of the allure to the marathon, if it was easier many of us would not be attracted to it.

For now i will take the time to rest and recover properly. First up will be finally getting rid of the nagging lower leg issue I have been dealing with for over a month now. Stretching and increased use of the foam roller have helped make it tolerable to the point that it is not really noticeable when I run but I have not yet been able to get rid of the issue completely.

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.

Week 16 of Training for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

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Another week of training for STWM is nearly complete. This week was somewhat of a recovery week as I gear up for a final long run this Sunday before I start tapering for STWM. The heaviest part of my training is nearly complete. Now it is almost time to start looking forward to race day.

After being a pace bunny during Last Sunday’s Army Run Intook Monday off to recover and set up for one last buildup of mileage before STWM. So far I have managed to fit in three workouts this week. I decided to take it easier this week because Sunday I am planning to fit in what will be my longest training run for STWM.

The interval workout I did at the track Tuesday night was the only of my runs this week that was done at a more intense pace. This week’s workout involved 5 x 50m @ 100% followed by and easy 100m. After the recent issues I was having with shin splints this was the first interval workout I was able to do in a couple weeks without discomfort which is a good sign ahead of STWM.

As mentioned I have one last long run left before STWM before I start to taper. I always that to be a tough period of marathon training. Even though it is necessary for recovery I still find the reduction in mileage to be difficult. I often find myself getting restless because I am not running as much as usual. At least I have a few more runs to go before I have to start worrying about that.

How did your week go?

Week 15 of Training for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

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Race day is another week closer and another week of training is nearly behind me. STWM is exactly one month away now. It is hard to believe that race day is so close now but at the same time I am starting to get excited at the thought of another marathon.

In terms of training this week, it’s been a rather light week so far after a hard 30 km last Sunday with the first and last 6 km coming at marathon pace. So far I’ve managed to fit in 3 runs for a total of 26 km.

While 2 of my runs were easy runs home from work I fit in a good tempo workout Tuesday. This week’s workout involved 2 km @ 4:20/km, 2km @ 4:00/km and 2 km @ 3:40/km. With a warm up and and cool down the run was good for 9 km.

I have 2 more runs scheduled this weekend. Tomorrow will be a short and relatively easy effort. Sunday I will be doing the Army Run half-marathon. As I have done the past few years I will be a pace bunny in the half-marathon.

This year my pace will be 1:45 which works out to 5:00/km which will give me an easy paced long run. I am not sure if running a half-marathon at this point in my training is beneficial or not but this is an event that has been growing every year that I do not want to miss out on. I also find it fun focusing on helping someone hit their goal pace for once instead of being obsessed with my own goals.

As for the rest of my training, I have one more long run scheduled for next weekend before I start to taper for STWM which for me is always an uneasy oeriod of training. I know the taper is important but I get restless when I have to cut back on my mileage.

How did your week go?

Week 11 of Training for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

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There are now less than two months to go until STWM. This training cycle is going by quickly. Based primarily on one result so far this week was another solid week of training.

After taking Monday off for a rest from Sunday’s long run I was scheduled to run a 10 km race Tuesday evening. Unfortunately I was not able to register for the race and had to do my own run later that night. Having been scheduled to run a race I decided to run my own “race”.

My previous 10 km pb was 40:30 which I set last summer. Although not official I am pleased with my result Tuesday night…

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That was my first sub-40 minute 10 km run. It is unfortunate it was not an official result and I will have to find myself another 10 km race to attempt an official sub-40 minute km result. That said, to be able to run a sub-40 minute 10 km at this point is a big confidence booster.

As for the rest of my week, I took advantage of some time off work this week to get in a couple afternoon runs with my daughter in the Chariot. Tomorrow I plan to fit in the hill workout I did not have time for earlier in the week and I will end the week with a quick 15 km Sunday morning.

How was your week?

Week 10 of Training for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

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This week was a return to regular training after a recovery week last week. So far I am on pace for just over 80 km this week with a couple of weekend runs remaining.

As mentioned last week, the recovery week was necessary and will benefit me in the long run. However, I was looking forward getting in some tougher runs this week. By that I mean a tempo run on Tuesday, a hill workout I did at lunch today and a longer run coming up Sunday morning.

The downside to this week, as I wrote last night, was the weather. While the week started off on a promising note Monday..

The weather went downhill from there. The rest of my runs so far this week came in cool, rainy weather like summer had come to an abrupt end.

That said, it did not really impact my running. I had a strong interval session at the track Tuesday night and then a solid hill workout today at lunch..

To end off the week I will be doing an easy 12 km run tomorrow followed by a 28 km run Sunday. That will leave me with an 80 km week.

I will be changing up my long run a bit this time. As previously mentioned, I have been ending my long runs at marathon pace. This week in addition to doing that I will be starting my long run at marathon pace. The plan calls for 6 km at marathon pace followed by an easy 16 km then ending with another 6 km at marathon pace.

How was your week?

Week 9 of Training for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

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Another week of training is nearly complete. Week 9 was a recovery week after a few weeks of hard training. As a result my training was pretty light this week. That said, the recovery from taking it easy this week will be important to my training because my busiest weeks in terms of mileage are just ahead.

So far this week I have been for three runs, all using the same route and ending with the same distance. I know that is not very exciting and usually what I try to avoid but once again this week it was just more convenient for my mid-week runs. I do plan to switch that up starting with this evening’s run!

Tuesday’s run was the only run of the week so far where I pushed the pace with the following workout…

So far I have to say I am feeling pretty good with my training during this cycle. I feel like I have been able to push harder during my tempo runs and ending my last 3 long runs at marathon pace, especially the last 10 km of last Sunday’s 30 km run, has been an extra confidence booster.

Next week will kick off another 4 week block of training. I plan to continue to take it easy this weekend and enjoy the end of this recovery week but I am already looking forward to getting back to some tougher workouts next week.

How did your week go?

Week 7 of Training for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Another week of training for STWM is nearly complete. Once again this week was another full week of training, the second of the current four week block of training I am working on.

So far this week I’ve done something I do not generally do. I used the same route for my three runs so far this week and have identical mileage for them, 8.9 km. Normally I prefer to change my routes even slightly for a change.

That will change this weekend when I have to add more mileage to my runs, 10 km tomorrow and 27 km Sunday. Since I will be leaving from home instead of my office for those runs it will be easier to switch up my routes.

So far my week can be summed up by the two tempo paced runs I did this week…

Tuesday

and Thursday

Since I took a rest day Monday following my long run Sunday evening Wednesday’s run was the only run at an easy pace so far. That will also change this weekend because tomorrow’s run will be at an easy pace and most of Sunday’s run will be at an easy pace.

It felt good to push the pace during my two tempo runs but my legs will surely benefit from a rest day today and an easy paced run tomorrow.

How did your week go?

Saturday Stories

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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…

A post about balancing family, running and work.

A post on how to tell if you had a good run.

A post from one of my fellow STWM digital champion about lessons learned from running.

A post from another One of my fellow STWM digital champions. A reminder you can accomplish what you set out to do even if things don’t go exactly as you planned.