Monthly Archives: October 2011

Back on Track as a Pacer!

Just a quick note before I post up my weekly progress report.  Special K is registered and running the Road2Hope half marathon!  After belittling him thoroughly on the weekend he informed me that after a problematic online sign up process, he eventually called up and had them do it the olde-fashioned way; by hand!

Regardless, my delusions of racing the course this year have been put to bed and barring some unforeseen incident I’ll be coaxing the dumbass to a successful (or eventful?) half marathon this coming Sunday.

Stay tuned, and I’ll have the weekly report for my Nerd Fitness 6 Week Challenge posted ASAP.

Have a good one kids!

Road2Hope is 10 Days Away, and I’m Afraid I’ve Lost My Pacee

Gather ‘round the fire kids, I have a story to tell.  Have I ever told you about Special K?  He’s a neighbour of mine, and former running compatriot.

The fall before I was beat senseless by my first Road2Hope half marathon, Special K and I would run 4-5km loops of the neighbourhood and banter on various topics (beer, music, women, movies, etc…you know, the really DEEP stuff).  However, after my HM debacle I decided I wanted to kick this (and other) race’s ass and the best way to do it was to train in earnest.  Eventually Special K’s run’s  with me became fewer and further between, occasionally he’d join me for 4km then I’d drop him off and finish my allotted kms solo, but more and more he was absentee.  That was two years ago.

This summer Special K, a few of the neighbours and I were having a few drinks when the subject of running came up in conversation. I slyly implied that I didn’t think Special K could run anymore let alone do the Road2Hope HM with me, to which replied that not only could he complete it, he could do it with only 4 training runs.  The game was afoot.

Fast forward to this past Sunday, I had Special K out on what was supposed to be his peak long run before next Sunday’s race.  Spirits were up and the pace was nice and slow (or so I thought), we discussed race strategy, conversation paces, etc. when at 6km (almost exactly) he had to stop.  His IT band was screaming, and my mind suddenly flashed back to my first marathon where IT band issues forced me into a hobbled run/walk for the final 10km.  I showed him a stretch that would help, and few minutes later were back on our way.  Keeping the pace exceptionally slow, we talked about injuries etc. as I eyed his stride/foot falls with suspicion.  After a few more stops, and a walk up a large hill I made the suggestion of trying a 10:1 run:walk  for the race, he seemed receptive to it but the sound of his voice told me that disappointment and embarrassment were foremost in his mind.

It’s now 4 days later and I haven’t heard from him regarding the run, the race, or his injury.  My gut is whispering the notion that he’s pulling the chute on the HM, and really I wouldn’t blame him.  Who wants to go into a race under prepared, and knowingly subject himself to repeated/acute pain (aside for me, that is…)?  Being the overly-prepared boyscout that I am, this leaves me in a predicament: If K drops out, how do I approach this race?  I need a plan!

Do I race this HM?  –  Pushing myself to my limits and possibly imploding in the process?
Or do I Fun Run it?  –  I can run 21.1km, but can I party for 21.1km?

What do you think I should do?  Guts?  Glory?  Fun?  Ease? Let me know what you think in the comments.

Have a good one kids!

Progress Report – Week 1 – Full Week

As promised, here’s my progress report from the past week (full week this time):

Not too bad overall, but there are some areas that could use some improvement…but that’s what this whole process is about.  Continual Improvement.

Thoughts so far:


– 35km of running last week with a solid speed workout and a 11.6km trail run over the weekend. This is a plus, sure the mileage isn’t huge but with the added strength work and swimming/rock climbing/hockey I think it’s a good fit.  Enough to keep things at a good base, but not too much that I’m going ot burn out.
– It was my hope to get in at least 2 (or 3) days of strength training this past week but that didn’t happen. I took Friday as a much needed rest day instead. It’s not an excuse, but it was reality.
– I was happy about getting in a solid swimming workout, which I made a brick by sandwiching it with a short run before and after. Wed. are usually another strength night but the timing was right to hit the pool.  It felt great, glad I did it.


– Surprisingly, it was the water consumption that was hardest to maintain. I have a feeling it was displaced by my coffee consumption.  Increased fatigue from ramping up my overall training, and coaching two 7am hockey practices were catching up to me.  It’s something to keep an eye on in the future
– Not much fruit on the weekend. Gotta fix that too.


– 1 day of 7…and only 10 minutes at that…bad, bad news

 Last night I completed another weight/body-weight session to get this week off on a good note. I took it easy due to fatigue (I fell asleep on the floor for a half hour before putting the kidlets to bed), but still made use of my time when I finally got into it.

3 x 20 Pushups
3 x 10 Decline Pushups (feet up)
1 x 5 chinups
1 x 5 pullups
3 x 15 leg extensions
2 x 10 deadlifts
2 x 10 barbell rows

I usually do 3 sets of both Chinups & Pullups but by the end of the first set I knew there was no fuel in the tank for them. Surprisingly I added the Decline Pushups, and Barbell Rows this week without issue…but for some reason Chin/Pullups just weren’t happenin’ last night.

I’ll be keeping the weight down and reps high for the next two weeks because I’m pacing a friend in the Road2Hope Half Marathon ( more on this next post) at the start of Nov., and I’d hate to bail on my commitment due to soreness/poor performance/injury etc. Once that’s complete I’ll be adding weight to the barbell exercises much like the 5×5 Stronglifts program.

Some of you might be asking “why” the sudden shift in training focus?  I’ve run (somewhat) consistently for the past two years, and my times are getting better.  Why shift to weights/strength training?  The answer is pretty simple: If I want to get really fast, I need to be strong and healthy.  Over the past two years I’ve done some good things, but overall I wasn’t in the best shape I could have been.  Muscle imbalances from only doing one sport all the time were driving me crazy.  I could run a sub 4hr marathon but couldn’t do ONE one-legged squat.  Runners aren’t known to be great cross-trainers, but after the crappy racing year I’ve had, I decided now was as good a time as any to make a change.

Anyway, don’t fret running fans, there will be plenty more running posts coming but hopefully this new foray will add some much needed balance to my life.

Have a good one kids!

Progress Report – Week 1 – First 4 Days

So far so good I think, but this weekend will be a pretty decent indicator whether this plan is sustainable or not.  Saturday is absolutely jam-packed with obligations, although I might have found a small window in the afternoon to get in some activity…probably a run(possible)…or weights(also possible)…or both(not likely)…or my wife will have something for me to do (probably) instead.

Regardless, here’s how this week has sussed out so far:

*clicky for a closer look*

Have a great weekend kids!

Something has been percolating in my head for quite a while now.  Mostly it’s been vague ideas whisping emotions, waiting for a spark of cyrstalization to set everything in motion.  The problem is, there is always a reason to put it off until “a better time”, and the plan dissolves and the ideas get pushed back down into the dark recesses of my brain, waiting for their next chance at action…the problem is, if I don’t do something soon they may just stay down there and fester into regret.

Recently, I was surfing around the web and I came across Steve Kamb’s website Nerd Fitness, and noticed that members in the forums had periodic 6 week challenges.  I made note of it, and continued my way, knowing that it was only a matter of time until I came back.  Yesterday was the day.  Through Steve’s blog I noticed that the next challenge was up and set for Oct. 24 – Dec.5th.

Now is as good a time as any to start getting my life back on track after so many injury setbacks, so last night I sat down and set out some goals for the next 6 weeks.  I decided to start last night, which puts me at almost 7 weeks…and I have a feeling that I’ll be extending it further if things are going well… Anyway, here are my goals for the next 7 weeks…go big or go home!


1.) Run Training 3-4 times a week; speedwork, recovery, long run (mostly trails)

2.) Strength Training 2-3 times a week; chinups, pullups, pushups, deadlifts, and squats.  Lat pulldowns, barbell rows, planks, bench press and overhead press optional.

3.) Hockey once a week, rock climbing & lap swimming when I can.  I am already signed up for hockey this season, but would really like to get back into rock climbing regularly.  I’ll talk about the swimming thing another time.

4.) Set goal race schedule for 2012

5.) Pace neighbour for Road2Hope Half Marathon, Nov. 6

Diet Goals:

1.) No more booze at home, and limited booze outside (events, and meals out only).  i.e. – stop drinking like a fratboy

2.) Eat an apple a day.  My diet is pretty good, but I take one to work everyday and manage to ignore it.

3.) More water!

Life Goals:

1.) Focused guitar playing; writing, practicing specific songs, and playing drills.  No more wasted time on aimless noodling!

 This is a pretty ambitious list, and the next 7 weeks will be difficult for sure!  I’ll  do my best to keep you all up to date with my progress.

Time to shake things up kids, have a good one!

Run for the Toad Recap

Yes, our car blew up in mid-Ohio this past weekend

Yes, we bought a new one on the fly and kept going

Yes, it’s bullshit, but sometimes life’s like that

Sometimes you just have to roll with things, and keep moving forward

Now back to our regularly scheduled race report…

Run for the Toad Recap:

Two weekends ago, I rolled out of bed on Saturday morning was greeted by single digit temperatures and light drizzle…(grumble)…I knew the forecast was calling for rain, and cold temps but this was ridiculous. I had my race clothes set out the night before, but am I ever glad I grabbed my hat/gloves when packing my back pack. I usually go the Boy Scout route and pack everything but the kitchen sink, and this was yet another time that it’s come in supremely handy. As I stood at the start line visibly shaking, fingers going numb, blood abandoning my appendages, I was convinced that the only thing keeping me alive was that thin microfiber hat.

Thanks to Ryder Photography for the pic of me freezing my nuts & berries off

The ironic part was that by the 2.5km mark I was so warm, that the gloves and hat were stuffed in my pockets, and my jacket was zipped up behind my back like a cape. I would have ditched them all, but 5 minutes after the finish I was jamming them back on to keep from going hypothermic. Now, don’t get me wrong…I enjoy running in the cold/snow/sleet but it does take me a few weeks to acclimate to it and this was the first cold snap of the fall. To top it off there was a nasty wind that seemed to suck the heat right out of your bones. Essentially, pre-race I was miserable.

The race itself went OK for me. During the first lap I was surprised at how quickly my quads started to register the fatigue, and then I really thought about it for a second and wasn’t surprised at all. 6 weeks off running with only one 5km training run the week before the race isn’t exactly fitness inducing, but my survival did attest to the benefits of all the cross-training I had done over the last month and a half.

For the most part I tried to take it easy on the up hills and relax and bomb it down the down hills, but regardless I ended up going out too fast for the long haul. I thought my pace would be sufficient to keep things even for both 12.5km loops, but in reality I was toast by half way through the second lap. I was fading so badly in fact, that in my stupor I caught my foot on a root and went for a tumble at the 20km mark, somersaulting up a slight incline…luckily I was alone at that point and didn’t have to formulate a witty quip to protect my fragile ego.

The course wasn’t terribly technical but the constant rolling hills definitely took their toll. With the cross training I did while off with my injury, I managed to maintain some fitness, but nothing I had done in preparation fore this race had readied me to climb hills…and it showed. If I can get a good, solid training base in next year I’d consider running this race again. The course varied from forested single track to 3-4 person wide meadow paths, and even a small portion of paved park roads; again, entertaining but not supremely technical.

The one down side for me was the multiple loop scenario. It’s great for spectators who are able to see their runners at multiple points in the race, but I could see how the repetition could get frustrating over the course of 50km.

Anyway, depending on what next year brings in terms of racing/activities etc. I’d consider doing the race again, but ultimately time will tell.

Have a good one kids.

Weekend in Pictures






Gone Climbing…

…see you next week!

Toad Report to Follow…sometime

What a week…Sorry for the radio silence kids, it’s been a busy week. No excuses though, I owe you a Run for the Toad race report.

I have 5 minutes to write this before heading out the door so I’ll keep it short. The race went both better and worse than planned. My pre-race fears were mostly just dust in the wind, and yet by the time I crossed the line at 25ish KM I was toast. 4 days later and my legs were still sore, but it was a satisfying fatigue…a reminder of what I can accomplish when push comes to shove; 25km of rolling hills on a 6 week running hiatus. To be honest I was really disappointed with myself during the race, but time allows you to review things after all the emotions have settled and I’m feeling ok about now.

Anyway, I’m leaving for a few days and will post an in-depth report when I get back, until then have a great weekend kids!

Toad Tomorry

As I sit here the night before “my first ultra”, I’m in a petulant mood.  As I’ve explained before, there is no way I’ll be able to finish 50km, and realitically I’ll be “happy” if I manage to do 25km without embaressing myself.

No it’s not ideal

No I don’t like it

No I’d rather do the 50km on proper terms

yes I’m whining…

I’ll stop now, let’s hope tomorrow is warmer and dry…

Have a good one kids