Monthly Archives: June 2011

Peachbud 10km – Race Recap

I was driving home Tuesday night watching the trees dip and bob as the wind raced across the fields, putting visions of Kansas in my head

…wait…wha?…no, not THAT Kansas,

<– this one:

In reality the wind didn’t have much of an affect on the race at all…I did hear a couple people mention it but they were wrong so it doesn’t matter.  If anything, the wind helped keep the heat and humidity at bay.

After a quick commute to Grimsby, we quickly grabbed our kit, stashed our bags and headed back out to watch the 5km racers take off…and subsequently finish (hot damn those runners are fast) before putting in a quick warmup.

The race itself was well run, small enough not to be crowded but big enough to have some decent swag, etc. especially for a local 10km on a Tuesday night.  The course rambled around Grimsby and was mainly run on residential roads, with a short foray into the downtown core.  Nothing too fancy, but it was a good mix of hills, flats and scenery.

So how did I do?  My finish time was a surprising 48:51!  As I outlined in my last post, I had no idea how to run this, and by the time we were half way through my fate was already set.  I tried to follow the plan and stick with 5:10kms, but the start was a tad crowded (the start mat was REALLY narrow and everyone bottlenecked badly right off the bat) which slowed us a bit, but also it took a while for the crowd to sort itself out on the other side.  Without too much extraneous effort I was booting along at 4:30-4:45/km (ooops), but I knew I’d blowup if I continued much longer.  Eventually, I managed to get the pace down to just under 5:00/km and rode out the majority of the race there.  The final 3km I managed gradually to increase my pace and hurled myself down the finishing chute feeling spent but good.

This was a race where I actually talked to complete strangers on course (creepy, I know).  It wasn’t much, but it was kind of fun to be able to joke around with people and not take the race too seriously.  Perhaps it was being ahead of pace, or just the fact I didn’t have a set goal/time to beat but I felt free to follow the plan and still be a bit goofy at the same time.  Even sprinting down the finisher’s chute I managed to motivate/cheer/taunt two people I passed into joining/sticking with me down the stretch.  I probably annoyed the hell out of them, but it worked…so screw ‘em if it bugged ‘em.  The one guy even beat me…remember how awesome I am?  That alone makes him awesomerer…errr…Peachbud10km

(Here I am heckling him)

Since I’ve never actually raced a 10km I got to set a PR (just to remind you all; I rock).  In other news, my speedwork partner, who bitched and complained that she wasn’t happy with her run, managed to win her age group which gave me license to make fun of her.  Good times all around!

Anyway,  have a great long weekend kids!

Peachbud 10km Race Preview

Tonight I’m running the Peachbud 10km in Grimsby, which will either go really well, or it’ll kill me.  I’m not sure how it’s going to go,  I’ve been feeling pretty good as of late but never really planned to out and out race this one….regardless I’m still going to give it a rip and see how I feel out on the course.

My “Race Plan” so far; I don’t think I can maintain 5 min/km for the full 10km but that’d be pretty awesome, hitting a negative split is probably the best course of action with the heat & humidity still pretty high out there.  Also, I’m not sure what the elevation profile is like…although I know the area by the lake is flat as long as the course stays back from the escarpment we’ll be good to go (that section along Main St. could be hilly).  5:10ish/km should work for the first half, a 5:00min/km push for 5-9km and all out for the final km would make things pretty good overall….if I can keep it up for that long (heh).

Anyway, it should be a fun race, at the very least it’ll be a hell of a lot more fun than the Rosebud 10km where you do laps around Xanadu and the winner takes home a damn sled…

Check out the course map below:

10km Peachbud mapSince I stole the map from their website, I suggest you check out http://www.instride.ca  for the deets on this and other races in the Subaru Niagara Running Series (hopefully they won’t sue me this way).

Have a good one kids!

Sweat Your Thorns Off 5km – Race Report

Friday night’s run with Ned was awesome!  We caught up while cruising the rail trail, then after 5km detoured onto some fantastic Bruce Trail single track. Temps were perfect, and the past week’s rain & humidity hadn’t adversely affected the condition of the trail. At one point as we were heading back we ran through a swarm of fireflies, it was a surreal experience; I had never seen so many fireflies in one spot before.  They were literally everywhere, but as quick as we happened upon them they were gone.

The next morning arrived quickly, especially since it was our annual street party and with it a street sale.  I begrudgingly rolled out of bed, put on the coffee and lovingly placed our pile of crap out at the end of the driveway.  The next 4 hours were spent trying to unload a 1964 fridge, two sets of 15yr old rollerblades, a golf bag and 4 books (Why didn’t anyone want my Guinness Book of World Records 1991?).  In typical street sale fashion, I ended up picking up more crap than getting rid of.  I grabbed a new running hat (which I wore on my 5km race later in the day), two sets of kids ski boots, a bucket of lego, a kids hockey helmet, and a DVD (which I didn’t even pay for)…so much for clearing out some space in the basement.

As noon rolled around, we had our annual kid vs. parent road hockey game where the smack-talking kids got rocked by a bunch of us old broken-down geezers…heh heh heh.  As the afternoon rolled on the highlight reel goals were coming fast and furious, the beer flowed freely and by race time I was probably too many brews deep which made fantastic race prep (carb loading anyone?).  Post hockey game, and after fighting through the throng of people asking for interviews & autographs, I managed to sneak away form the festivities just long enough to get my 6km run in.

RACE REPORT:

On leaden legs, I plodded uphill for my 1/2km warmup.  I wanted to have a good showing for all those strangers on the internet who I’d never actually met…virtual peer pressure…damn, who could have seen that coming?  Regardless, when I reached the “starting line” I pumped my chicken wings as fast as I could manage and chugged (no, this wasn’t a beer mile) my tipsy ass to the turn around point (This is where those 5 pre-race beers came into play).  About halfway through my return trip I got the bright idea that I’d take a picture or two of my progress and post it on here, so twice (TWICE!) I stopped and clicked away…then promptly forgot to download the pictures when I got home (Je suis un dumbass).   My finishing time for the 5km was 25:50.40 which averages out to 5:10/km (about 8min miles for you ‘Mericans).  I made sure to celebrate the great race with a bevie (or three) from the 1964 General Electric fridge I unloaded at the garage sale…and managed to negotiate “street party use” for the night into the deal as well (WIN!)…I rock!

Thanks to Adam, for a fun event, hopefully we can do it again next year.

As for Sunday, there was no running.  Just herding children and cleaning up from Sat. night’s party….and trying to stay awake.

TGIF – Weekend Runs!

It’s been a LOOOOONG week and I can’t wait to get out of here.  Not that I don’t’ love my job, but we’ve had a major project on the verge of launching recently and it’s continually being pushed back for various reasons.  It’s frustrating and draining, regardless I’ve got a few pretty cool things lined up this weekend.

First off, I’ll be hitting the trails tonight with Ned (formerly Narcoleptic Ned but now that he’s been re-diagnosed it’s just Ned…which isn’t nearly as much fun).  Ned and I ran the Around the Bay together (or at least the first 2/3rds when he dropped me at a water station…traitor) and have been trying to hook up for a run for months.  The run should be mostly 4-person wide cinder trail (converted rail line) with the option of some easier single track on the return portion.  I’m a tad paranoid about hitting the trails again, especially at night but it’ll be cool to try running with a headlamp.  Hopefully we can take it easy and just fun run it….although Ned doesn’t deal with moderation so well sooooo you may get another injury report to read (WIN:WIN!).

SYTO 5km Second, I’ve entered a Virtual 5km on Saturday.  WTH is a Virtual 5km?  It’s just what it sounds like, a bunch of interweb running dorks promise to run a 5km, time it and report back in via blog posts, twitter, etc. on how they did.  You dear reader, you will get the pleasure of reading my “virtual race” report from the Sweat Your Thorns Off 5km on Monday…ish.  Aren’t you lucky?  It’s run by The Boring Runner and you can check out the race post on his blog here.  Good times!  I’m not sure how I’m going to run this yet; i.e. 5km tempo, part of a longer run, while chugging a beer….what do you guys think?  Any ideas?

Third, we are having a street party!  All the folks on my street are getting together for a street sale, ball hockey game, BBQ, and general merriment. Unfortunately I’ll have to fit in my 5km somewhere, and as one of the party organizers it may be difficult to sneak out.  Still, it’ll be a great way to chill out and let somebody else take care of my kids.

Lastly, depending how I’m feeling (after too many pops, and a weekend of frenzied activity), I hope to get out and do a nice slow/easy 14-16km run Sunday morning…but we’ll see what happens.  Hangover run?

Have a great weekend kids, make it a memorable one!

Back in Black

I took that fateful first step this past weekend and hit the roads again.  Even though I had planned on getting out Saturday, life interjected (as per usual) and by the time I was able to strap on the shoes it was 10 o’clock and I was cooked.  After spending the day staining my deck (I said DECK) in the scorching heat, finishing a few renovation projects, doing the parent thing (i.e. – falling asleep with my kids at bedtime) I was in no condition to brave the streets.  So I rested up…just one more day.

Sunday was Father’s Day, and though I had intentions to get up early and get my run out of the way, a rare sleep-in opportunity sounded way more inviting.  After a great brunch with the fam, and running a dozen errands in preparation for a family BBQ that afternoon, I put my gear on and headed out the door.  As I was strapping on my watch my oldest son looked up at me and asked “Daddy, will you play with me?”, how can you say No to that on Father’s Day? While contemplating my reply I noticed that he hadn’t put away his toys from earlier.  “Clean up your toys and I will play with you as soon as I get back, it’ll only be a half an hour” He started to object, but I had my out and I used it before he could manage much of guilt-laden assault.  Unfortunately, I lied to the lad (On Father’s Day for crying out loud!); 30 minutes and 47 seconds later I rolled in.  I had missed my goal by 47 seconds.  Part of being a good Dad (so I’m told) is setting a good example, so I apologized for being late, to which he looked confusedly at me and replied “what?”, he hadn’t even noticed.  Oh well, at least I tried.

Yesterday I was feeling Sunday’s run, my legs were getting more and more sore as the day progressed…I probably shouldn’t have pushed it as hard as I did on Sunday, but I probably shouldn’t do a lot of things I do.  Beer, I’m looking in YOUR direction.  That night, I was huffing and puffing with my regular mid-week partner as I quickly noticed how much my fitness had declined in 3 weeks…..uugghh….it sets in so fast.  What the Hell, didn’t I JUST finish a marathon?  After trudging home, and chugging 4 pints of water, I had to smile.  I’m back. 15km in 2days, and despite some aches and pains that I’m feeling right now I have a feeling that this should be a pretty good summer…as long I don’t sign up for any more races and get hurt by random flying objects….again.

Ankle & Race Schedule Update

It’s coming up to 2 full weeks since I injured my ankle, and I’m getting the itch to get running again. At the moment it happened I instantly flashed back to 2004 when I sprained both ankles 6 weeks apart from each other. I still shudder each time remember that sickening pop as my foot went one way and my leg the other…creepy…sorry…where was I?…anyway, for both of those instances I was out of action close to 6 weeks and as I hobbled out of the forest this time I feared that my summer race schedule was about to be shot to hell.

A fortnight later, and I’m kind of in limbo, “should I run on it….or should I leave it to rest/heal a little longer?” I’ve been testing the ankle every so often, looking for progress, judging just how much swelling is acceptable and how much is cause for paranoia. As it stands, I do still have pain (to the touch) around the medial malleolus …you know, that big bony lump on the outside of your ankle…the one that’s the size of a baseball in my injury post pic? Ya, that part. Despite the pain, I think I’m good to go again, although it’ll be another few weeks before I brave the trails again…unless I roll it again…(shudder)

As mentioned above, I’ve signed up for a few races this summer which is primarily why I’m antsy to get back out training again. A solid summer of training would/should/could pave the way for a marathon PR in the fall, as well and keeping me out of trouble! To keep me motivated I’ve signed up for these three races, with hopefully more to follow:

31st Tim Hortons Peachbud 10k – l This race supports the Hospital that my speedwork partner works at. The race is 10 days away, so I really don’t think I’ll be “racing it”…more like “surviving” it.

Rattlesnake Point Trail Race –  After doing a full winter of road training, I’ve been geared up to get out on the trails. I’ve never done a trial race, but heard good things about the atmosphere, the races, and the racers. This one should be a blast, especially since this will be the first part of my “Kick-Ass Race Weekend”.

What is my “Kick-Ass Race Weekend”? Well, after racing the 12.5km version at Rattlesnake Point on Saturday, I’ll be waking up early on Sunday to hit up the Twenty Valley Half Marathon – Doing two races in one weekend might not be that impressive to some, but it’s going to be an awesome challenge, and a great way to ramp up my mileage going into August.

Moreover I’d just like to keep things fun and interesting, and I think this schedule will help…unless I get hurt again, but that shouldn’t happen unless I sign up for another race 😉

What are you doing this summer? Do you have any race suggestions?

just in case…

Instructional Barefoot Running Video

I forget where exactly I stole this video link from (it could be anyone posted in my links on the side bar over there –>).  Since I’m not currently running because of my stupid swollen ankle it’ll make great content for a cop-out post.

Have fun with it kids!

It Never Fails

It never fails, whenever I sign up for a race I end up getting hurt, and yesterday I signed up for 3 races.  When I signed up for the Run for the Toad 50km, I was hit by a puck at hockey, when I signed up for the Ottawa Marathon I had a vasectomy….er…wait….

Yesterday at lunch I snuck out to Mount Nemo and did a Bruce Trail run in the gorgeous weather. The new shoes (NB MT101) were feeling great, and I was trying to focus and better my technique/footfalls in them. I made a point to stop at the Sister Morphine ledge and take in the view for a minute before continuing on my way.

Ankle SprainAs I re-entered the forest, I stepped on a root which, due to decay, crumbled and rolled on me. I immediately knew from the pop and the pain that followed that I’d sprained my right ankle, but I took the time to settle myself down and evaluate the situation before flipping my lid. Eventually, I could/did walk out on it, but every time I tested it withAnkle Sprain a little trot the pain returned. It feels alright when moving a forward/backward plane, but as soon as there is any rotation or lateral movement the pain returns. The swelling wasn’t major, but it has doubled in size since yesterday.  Icing it last night helped, but seeing it still huge today tell me that I’ll be out of commission for a week…or two…to say I’m pissed would be an understatement.

Lots of icing, and lots, of rest…and hopefully my body will get back on track.

C+, Just Like High School

In general, I don’t try and do a mile by mile breakdown of races but instead talk about instances or moments I noticed during my death march.  I know I veered away from this with the Around the Bay Recap, but you should know here-and-now….I’m a hypocrite and you shouldn’t do anything I do or say or even think about doing…or saying…just sayin’…As much as I try to be altruistic and hold true to all the edicts/assumptions/declarations I’ve made (I really do have the best intentions in mind) I’ve discovered that Irony has a habit of completely buggering up my plans, pushing me face first in the mud and laughing at my misfortunes.  Am I complaining?  Hell no, this in my life and I’ve simply come to terms with it.  Overall I’ve been ridiculously lucky so a few kicks to the junk here and again REALLY aren’t anything to get upset about…although I do love my junk…

I’ve gone back and forth on whether this race was a success or not when describing it to people, it’s right on the emotional fence between the two.  The nitty gritty of it is that I finished in 3:55:58 (chip time), which puts me solidly between “Goal B” and “Goal C”, or if you want to be technical I landed in “Goal C” territory while being close-ish to the B-border….sound like an ego-saving cop-out?  That’s exactly what it is.

Overall, the Ottawa course is gorgeous.  TONNES of natural (or naturalized) sections, the downtown sections of both Ottawa and Gatineau, prominent or historical landmarks, and simply lots and LOTS of public support (the city really buys into and celebrates this race weekend).  At the same time, this course is deceptively hard; when you look at the elevation profile it really doesn’t have any major obstacles, but therein lays the rouse.   The Ottawa course is constantly undulating, you don’t realize it right away, but after 30km let me tell you…you notice it.  By 32-34km-ish the majority of the hills are out of the way, but by that time your race fate is sealed.  If you’ve raced smart you are cruising, although there are lots of us that simply got caught up in the course and had to fight our way through to the finish line.

Weather could be considered to be a factor, but having taken pride in running in near blizzard conditions it’d hardly make me a bad-ass to be complaining about a little bit of rain and humidity.  In reality, it rained over night, drizzled during warm up, held off for the first 26km-ish, then rained in earnest for the remainder of the race (if it’s any consolation, by the time my eggs arrived at brunch it was sunny outside…). For my race, the rain really didn’t have an effect but I’m sure to some (all the people being treated for hypothermia in the medical tent) it was a huge PITA.

Moreover my thoughts for the weekend lay with two groups of people.  1.)  I rode to Ottawa with my speedwork partner and her family.  We visited with their friends, and I waited for my accommodations to be ready.  These people MADE my weekend.  They often commented that as a fellow parent I should be out doing something significant with my time away from the family, but reality, they provided a calm environment where I could put all my race anxieties aside and just chill out.  These folks showed me such gracious hospitality that I really didn’t know how to respond.  2.) On the other side is a friend I was supposed to have dinner/hang out/crash with Saturday night.  As I was dropped off at her apartment, I called her to let her know I was there, and received no answer.  A little while later my phone rang, and it was her, telling me that she was 7-8hrs away at her childhood home.  Initially I was PISSED, assuming that she had simply forgotten that I was coming into town…until she explained that her Dad had gone into the hospital with some complications for a condition he’d been battling for a while**.  As I was trying to digest all this information and she told me that despite her rush to leave town, she had arranged for a friend to meet me with the key to her apartment.  To be honest, it was awkward staying at someone’s house when they were out of town, but I did my best to be an over-the-top guest, you’d hardly know I’d even been there.  I tend be a tad cynical about the general public, but everyone I met, or depended on this weekend went out of their way to help me out.  Kudos to you all, you were all fantastic.

Have a good one kids; remember to pay it forward when you get the chance.

 

**I found out later that my friend’s dad passed away shortly after the race.