Friday, March 30, 2007

The Doctor Is In

Even Lucy, of Peanuts fame, got 5 cents for helping poor Charlie Brown. Liam didn't get squat.

An easy 48 minutes of continuous talking with Liam this afternoon. We hit Beacon Hill Park to see the daffodils starting to wilt, and the grey skies start to overrun the beautiful sunshine we have had the past couple of days. Around the waterfront and meandering our way back through Fairfield.

But the importance of the run was that I think I came to a decision about running the Vancouver Marathon. The answer is no.

Mike was good enough to entertain my many ideas and give thoughtful feedback on them all - offering potential realities and scenarios. After listening to me blather on about the different races I wanted to do well at, he would always give me the pros and cons of how Vancouver would affect it. Ultimately, it came down to two things:

1. I want to run the trail races well this summer. The Gutbusters, Iron Knee, Comfortable Numb and, of course, Iceland. This is where my heart lies, not so much on the road, although I do enjoy the steady footfalls of a road race.

2. I determined, through reverse thinking process*, that the rationale for running Vancouver was that I wanted to SAY that I had run a 2:3x:xx. It was that, and not the race itself, that was my motivating force, and that is not a good enough reason to enter a race - especially a marathon. Ego will never allow you to run a good marathon - you must be humble before the 42.2km and only then, when you respect the race, will you be successful. I was planning on running the Royal Victoria Marathon in the fall, and I will stick to that plan.

A good run this evening, clearing the head and enjoying the companionship as well. Thank you to Dr. Liam for the free counselling - I owe you a Guinness.

Duration - 48:38
AHR - 140

* New term I just coined. Refers to the proces of figuring out the worst case scenario and basing decisions on that. I may never leave the comfort of my bed again.

Fly By

Negative Ghost Rider. The pattern is full.

For years after watching Top Gun, I wanted to be Maverick. Seeing how Tom Cruise has gone crazy in the last few years, I am glad that I was often relegated to the role of Goose.

Last night the run started out feeling surprisingly good. I will often tell the people that I coach that the best way to return to training after a race is to reverse your taper. This allows you to slowly increase your mileage again, while giving you an opportunity for a few bits of speed. This "wisdom" is neither age-old nor original, but it works as a general guide for those who are more inclined to sit on their bum after a great race. I believe that you need to respect the distance you raced, but not lose the feel of the road or rhythm of your training.

Last night was supposed to be about 45 minutes of base running, but it was pleasantly interrupted by a couple of fly bys by old training partners. A quick chat with Christina Briante just after I passed la casa Whitfield, was great. I haven't seen Tina in ages and it was great to hear of her plans to go to nursing school. Not three minutes later a car drove by and hanging out the window was Mr. Adam Campbell, home from Flagstaff. He pulled over at the end of Ross Bay cemetery, parked by the water fountain, and emerged from his car to talk to me - in an ski jacket and towel. Bright yellow at that. We had a great chat, made plans to meet up for some *gasp* morning runs, and I continued on my way.

The run continued on well. I considered how lucky we are in the Victoria running community, having such incredible places to run (the mountains were vibrant last night) and having such incredible people to run with (or into).

Wednesday was a good night, running with my clinics. I ended up doing a bunch of fartlek running - 2 on 2 off - the legs came around. Coupled with Thursday's run, I think that the feel is back. No intensity this weekend, but I feel confident getting back into some workouts next week.

Duration - 1:30 (between two clinics)

Duration - 40:32
AHR - 153

PS. I know Goose died. I am still trying to figure out what that means for me.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Back at it

After a good massage yesterday and some Jack Bauer time, I eased back into running this evening. I recalled the weather announcer this morning mentioning that there were to be gale force winds in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, but only after I turned right at the corner of Dallas and Cook, hitting the wind head on. The next twenty minutes consisted of me putting my head down and doing my best to not get blown backward. But turning around....I felt like a king!

A nice effort tonight after the race. I was considering running the Vancouver marathon on May 6th, but will ponder it for the next couple of weeks before making a firm decision.

Duration - 32:27
AHR - 138

Monday, March 26, 2007

Race Report for Around the Bay 30k

Abstract (for trevor): 1:49:05, 14th place. One of the best races of my life.

The weather network had promised me a sunny day on Sunday. For at least a week the forecast had been for partly cloudy skies with a high of near 11 degrees. Unfortunately, that did not happen. Instead, we were treated to 5-6 degree weather with a thick blanket of cloud obscuring all but the grayest of light. It wasn't pretty, but for running it was ideal.

The finishing chute was relatively empty, save for Per and I. When I first saw the clock it said 1:48:55. I had not looked at my cumulative time once, relying only on my kilometer splits for feedback. We pushed toward the line, a huge smile starting to emerge as I realized that I had just run a time I previously thought was out of my league. My gold goal. My secret hope. I only learned Per's name after exchanging an exultant hug. You see, we were the last. I had just finished running with him for one hour, forty-nine minutes, and five seconds, the whole time unaware of his name. He is from Montreal. We had both come to Hamilton to share in something that turned out to be pretty special for each of us.

The last two kilometers were the hardest. I know that this is often the case, but there was one more guy to catch. And it wasn't that I was physically exhausted, because while fatigued, I still felt good; it was the mental aspect of pushing just that seven minutes more that was hard. The hills were done and it was all about holding pace now. I was falling off the pace a little, so Per took a pull. We pulled up beside the "guy" in front of us, only to see that this "guy" was more like a boy - he was in the 15-19 age group and had run alone for pretty much the whole race - a gutsy effort to be sure. We passed him, offered words of encouragement, and pushed toward the Copps Coliseum.

The downhill leading into "Heartbreak Hill" had a midget with one leg playing "We Will Rock You" by Queen. I had gapped Per a little on the downhill, not with any intention of leaving him but as a result of me just running downhill a little faster. I looked over to the midget and called out "This is where it gets fun!" 26 km down, one hill left. This is about the only place I remember from my Around the Bay initiation 11 years ago, when I ran 2:36. And the lone memory lingering in my mind is of me swearing at someone encouraging me to move from a slow walk into a more running like gait. I hated that person. But this day I smiled knowing that I still had energy left and that the miles of hills I had run since this time last year would serve me well. I crossed the wooden bridge, noticing my footfalls were a little heavy, and turned left up "Heartbreak Hill". It was a steady climb, but nothing worse than what we have in Victoria. I kept form and cadence in the forefront of my mind and smoothly ascended. I smiled, knowing from my splits that I was going to have a decent time. Per caught me on the hill and as we crested, I urged him to get his cadence going again - we had time to make up. It was about 400m later that I saw Gord Pauls, owner of Hamilton's Runners' Den. It was he, among others, but he most vehemently, that told me I was to go for 1:49. I scoffed at this idea only four days early over Hot Chocolate (Second Cup's Vanilla Bean Hot Chocolate - my new favourite). While I had no idea of my position, he did, and cheered me madly at that point. Mike's earlier blog about laying it out there came to mind, as did other's belief in my running fitness. I began to believe as well.

The halfway point found four of us running together. We had just watched a relay runner run past us - with only 15k to run, he was shortly out of sight. We had once again reeled in the Asics guy. He had been going well, but Per and I had been steady. I wondered if he would come back again, but it was Per's push that brought him back. Mat Reid, Per, and I had only earlier quickly discussed the idea of picking up the pace. I was concerned that this was a bit early to push. Mat said as much (“We are on 1:50 pace”), but I think that Per had other thoughts in mind. With Asics guy back in the fold, the pace picked up over the next couple of kilometers and, as Mat fell of the pace, I was faced with a decision – do I push and possibly blow up, or settle in and stay with Mat, a guy who I know from results and reputation is a good runner. Was he making the smarter choice? Staying in control now to run harder later? I decided to stick in with Per and Asics, staying in their draft, a place I had found quite comfortable up until then. I checked my heart rate as we put some distance between and noticed that it was still around 168, not much different from the 165 I had seen for the previous 18km. “When does this race get hilly?”
What? Had Asics really just asked about the hills? I assured him that they were coming, and a kilometer later, with the first one under us, Per and I left him behind.

I look around. There are still 6 people running in this group. 10k down. The clock on course read 36:33. That is a bit quick, but I felt good. I had lost sight of the group that was in front of us. The wind coming off the water was chilly. I no longer felt my fingers. (Usually that is no too much of an issue – I mean, how much do you use your fingers in a 30k race? But the inability to control fine motor movements would prove to make removing the gel from inside my glove at 21k a difficult task. However, ingenious use of teeth and visual reference for my fingers allowed me to get at least half of that gel out before dropping it at the feet of a kind water station volunteer.) We splayed out like a flock of Canadian Geese flying south, each of trying to gain any energy we could from a draft position. I still felt good and was surprised at the ease with which the kilometers were moving under my feet.

The first kilometer felt easy. I wanted to go out easy. It was actually my goal. Jasper and I had discussed going out around 4:00/km for the first couple of kilometers before bringing down the pace. I had readjusted that time to about 3:50/km so that I would have a shot at 1:50. So it was with surprise that I saw 3:33 after the first kilometer. Too say I was worried would be accurate. I wasn’t freaking out, but I was a little concerned that I would pay for this later. I switched my watch from cumulative time to lap splits, so that the only time I saw was the kilometer splits. I knew I was to be running 3:42/km, so I definitely was aware that 10 seconds too fast could have some bad consequences I was sitting in a group of about 8-10 people. There were some guys that looked like they were used to being here and there were some guys who looked like they were, uh, not used to being here. We ticked off 3:36, 3:39, 3:40 for the few kilometers, all of which I felt like I was holding back. This was disconcerting because I didn’t want to let go of this group, but I wasn’t prepared to be running this fast this early.

Lining up on the start line, I longed for the familiar faces of Victoria. I know I can always count on Bob Reid, or Rob Reid, or Sylvan Smith at the start, allowing me to sneak in near the front. This time though, with no one I knew there, I had to use all my cunning to get to the front. I snuck through gates and around the timing mats, lining up behind the Kenyans and other elites – those with low bib numbers. I had done a 12-minute light warm up prior to searching for a bathroom, eventually found one in McDonald’s. The warm up was a little abbreviated, but the plan was to use the first few kilometers for warm-up. The count down occurred, the horn went, and I settled into what I thought was a comfortable pace, unaware of what was about to occur.


Thanks to those who have been posting and sending congrats. I have a longer race report that I will post tonight. I am pretty pleased, and needless to say, shocked, but I will take it.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Gutbuster and a 30k

I just ate my traditional pre-race meal - a red curry from My Thai.

"But you're in Hamilton!"

I KNOW! But there is a My Thai Restaurant here, and while not quite the same quality at My Thai Cafe on Cook St in Victoria, it is still good.

The run today, later this evening thus avoiding the nasty cold rain earlier in the day, felt good. I am glad to be racing tomorrow, but I already find my mind fast forwarding to the training needed for Iceland.

At package pick-up I saw Gord Pauls of Runners' Den, the running store I used to work at here in Hamilton. He and his wife, the incomparable Esther Pauls, own the store and so it was with a big smile I saw them at the Race Expo at Copps Coliseum this afternoon.

I also went looking at past results, and in the process found that this year there are live results. In fact, you can check results at 10k, 15k, 20k and, of course, the finish. The race starts at 9:30am EST, which means 6:30am PST, or 10:30am East Coast time. Follow the link and enter my name, or bib number 909, if you want to see how things are going.

I am hoping to go 1:51, although some have encouraged me to go for 1:49 (that equates to a 3:42/km or 3:40/km, respectively). Some pretty challenging times, but I will see how things are going and make a call on the course.

Congrats to all my Club Mud crew on what looks like a great race today at Royal Roads. I have never run this event, but from all accounts it is one of the nastier Gutbusters around. You guys have done me proud!

Friday, March 23, 2007

The morning before the morning before

Today was back down to near zero, although it felt fine. The HR dropped along with the temperature and the run felt "better". Another smooth 35 minutes with some pick ups to get the legs turning over.

As you saw in the last post, Iceland is a go. I have a ticket leaving Toronto to London and one from London to Reykjavik. I am excited and still a little dumbfounded that I have actually followed through on it - not that I often bail on ideas (I did live in Colombia for a year and I did compete in the ENDURrun last year), but it is still an odd sensation that I am going to go to a place I have wanted to go for years, and race an event that just two years ago I would have considered crazy. Check that, I still consider it crazy, but I ma actually going to go.

Duration - 35:06
AHR - 150

Thursday, March 22, 2007 I come....

Hello Bradley Thomas Cunningham,

Thank you for registering for Ultra Marathon (Laugavegur) - 55 km (with bus trip).

The shirt size you choose was Medium Male.
Your participant number is: 29

Race material and T-shirt
Information about delivery of race material are available on on the information page for each event:

Glitnir Reykjavik Marathon (
Laugavegur - Ultra Marathon (
Midnight Run (

Welcome again to

Good wishes!
Reykjavík Marathon
Engjavegur 6, Laugardal,
104 Reykjavik,

Morning Run

Maybe it was because it was first thing in the morning, or because I just fell out the door without eating anything before hand, or that it was a balmy 11 degrees after being -5 all day yesterday, but the run this morning felt, well, crappy. Heart Rate was higher than usual and legs felt heavy, but the gait felt smooth. I know that some people feel that if they are a little off, or a tinge of sickness, they race better - I am hoping this is the case.

If you are in Victoria, you should really check out the Marathoning Forum tonight at Frontrunners at 7:00pm, brought to you by the boys at Three Roads to London. It will be interesting, insightful, and filled with humour. Bring a $2 donation for Shoes for Youth and enjoy the night.

Duration - 39:52
AHR - 153

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I may or may not be on TV tonight

If you haven't watched The Hour, you really should. It is a good source of information and entertainment. The host, George Strombopolous is a former DJ, VJ, and host of the failed American Idol rip-off The One. However, he is a really cool guy with a unique take on information in an industry so concerned with telling us what to believe.

Sonja and I were able to sit in on a taping of The Hour today. If you are in Toronto and have an afternoon free, I would highly recommend emailing for the free tickets. It was an interesting perspective to see a show taped, but it was even more interesting to hear him answer questions from the audience in between commercial breaks and before the show began. What you see is what you get.

No run today, but much walking around Toronto. Bought a rhyming dictionary for the benefit of the emerging poets in my class. And another short story book so they don't have to suffer old, tired short stories.

Tomorrow will be a morning run. I promise.

I was inspired by Mike's blog today. I haven't read it in awhile, so catching up on his race last weekend was a good thinking point leading into my race this weekend. It is not the outcome that determines if our running is meaningful - no, the act of running is in itself meaningful. The result of a single race does not validate the many hours of training that preceded it. The hours themselves validate the attempt. The understanding occurs during the attempt. The learning occurs after.

I have been wondering about my approach to the race - questioning myself in the same manner as Mike did prior to his race. In speaking to people (who, incidentally, are not racing, but have run it before), they have suggested that I look to run faster than I was planning.

from Mike's blog...
“If you could do anything & be guaranteed not to fail, what would it be?"

An interesting question, indeed. There are more hours to come, so what would I try today?

Monday, March 19, 2007

Ahh...March in Ontario....

Yesterday's run was pleasant enough. I got a quick haircut and made my way down to the waterfront trail in Hamilton, an easy 55 minute jaunt. It was clear and a little cool, but nothing extraordinary. Checked out Mac's new athletic facility and wondered how I had survived four years there without it.

But today....

SNOW! Man, what a place. I am in London today and it snowed like nobody's business. Needless to say that I was not motivated to get out into the white stuff, thus giving myself a day off.

I was VERY happy to see that both Hicham and Mike had great races at the Comox Valley Half Marathon. Running 1:14:59 and 1:15:29, respectively, I am quite impressed (not to mention that both just crushed my PR for a half marathon). Now, you have to understand, that this is not out of some selfless pride that I write that I am pleased - no, not at all. I write this because these are two of my training partners and if they are running this well, well, that bodes well for me this weekend in my race. At least I hope so...

Seriously, and Rumon as well, congrats on a great day.

I am off to the races (of the horse variety).

Duration - 55:32


Saturday, March 17, 2007

Running with a purpose

For those who don't know, Jim Finlayson, Mike Lord, and Rumon Carter have started a website called Three Roads to London. This site documents their training leading into the Flora London Marathon. For those who haven't visited the site, you really should. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, but it is very well written and an interesting insight into the purpose behind running for three different, intriguing runners.

But further to that, they have melded their training with purpose. Read on to learn about what they are doing and how you can contribute....(from Rumon Carter)

The Flora London Marathon traces a single path through the streets of England’s capital. On April 22, 2007 Jim Finlayson, Michael Lord and Rumon Carter, along with 45 000 others, will race 26.2 miles through those historic streets.

The three lads will each race for different reasons. They’ll race the clock; they’ll race themselves. Perhaps most importantly, they’ll race to make a small difference for those less fortunate than themselves. They’ll race and harness their energy to raise money for Runners of Compassion’s Shoes for Youth program, a program that puts new shoes of the feet of marginalized and disadvantaged youth. So that those kids can know – as do each of the Three Roads to London crew – the simple freedom of a run in the woods, the wind in your face and sweat on your brow.

Because everyone – every kid – should have the means to run their own road.

To learn more about Jim, Michael and Rumon’s Three Roads to London project, please visit

To donate to their Shoes for Youth initiative, please visit (In fact, even if you don’t wish to or aren’t in a position to make a tax-deductible donation, please visit their Give Meaning site and show your support by simply clicking the VOTE button in the upper left of the page – you’ll be asked for your name and email address, but will be neither contacted nor committed to making a donation – you’ll be simply expressing a vote of support for what the Three Roads lads are doing.)

If you’re interested in Runners of Compassion (ROC) or Shoes for Youth more generally, check out If you like what you see, please consider harnessing the positive energy of runners in your own community and creating an ROC chapter in your home town (chapters already exist in Victoria, Nanaimo and Winnipeg) – all the necessary information is on the ROC site.

I'll tell you this....

If you get the chance, you should definitely hang out in the Maple Leaf Lounge at any airport you can. I am en route to Toronto to spend March Break in Hamilton, ultimately racing the Around the Bay on March 25th. However, I am too cheap to pay for a ticket and too lazy to book an aeroplan ticket early, so I ended using a few more points to get an Executive Class ticket, but there was a catch - a stop in Edmonton.

The flight leaving Edmonton was delayed, so I made my way to the Maple Leaf Lounge to plead my case to get in - delayed flight, executive class from Edmonton to Toronto, blah blah blah. But I didn't need to go that far as I was ALLOWED to come in. Me! Allowed!

After two bowls of Cream of Mushroom soup, an apple, apple juice, ginger ale, a dill pickle, three bags of vegetable chips, and some free internet, I am satiated. I am not sure how much more of the Lounge I can exhaust. I want to fax something just use their fax.

As for running, the past couple of days have been very much maintenance as allergies in Victoria hit me hard. I was worried about it being a cold, but Craig, after hearing one too many sneezing fits, made me take a Claritan, everything got better. However, I am still very tired, so the runs were "feel" runs - getting out the door for 30 minutes just to remember the motion of running.

Today is a travel day, so I won't be running (I mean, who could after lounging?).

A big shout out to my Club Mudders - it wasn't pretty when I left Victoria this morning - I hope that Caleb Pike went well. And to Mike and Hicham - have a great run tomorrow at Comox! I will be checking results.

Duration - 30 minutes
Duration - 30 minutes

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Chaos Abounds

Ok, this is even going to be quicker than the post I just wrote and lost when my browser crashed. I am going slightly crazy with everything that occurring in the few days before I leave for Ontario.....

Bazan Bay was fun.

Sprint finish with Shane (again - see Cedar 12k)

Pleased with result, especially leading into Around the Bay on the 25th.

1k -3:15
2k - 3:16
3k - 3:19
4k - 3:25
5k - 3:08 (see sprint finish)

Total 16:28.

Monday I felt strong on an hour run along the Waterfront. Low HR and surprisingly fresh.

Tuesday was a great workout with Hicham as he prepares for the Comox Half Marathon this weekend. 2 x 10 minute tempo with 5 minutes recovery between. Not fast or light, but strong the whole way. We both felt it tonight as we had heavy legs.

Tonight was fun with the two clinics. Almost two hours of very light running spread over two workouts. I am feeling good leading into my taper for Around the Bay, so we will see how things go over the next week. I fly back to Toronto on Saturday and then spend some time in London and Chatham before settling into Hamilton for the remainder of the week.

My favourite foods include cinnamon buns, dark chocolate, banana bread, all types of fruit (especially berries), Ben and Jerry's ice cream (especially Half Baked), Annie's Shells and Cheddar Cheese (purple box), french toast, and salmon. But I like other food as well.

Just in case anyone was ever wondering.

PS. I found an elevation chart for the Iceland race - exciting! It turns out that it is mostly downhill after an ugly first 10k. That is a good thing for me.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Bazan Bay 5k (World Championships) Tomorrow!

Tomorrow will be epic. Especially if there is rain. 1600 people moving in a figure eight route, trying to cover 5k as quickly as possible. This will make for an interesting post tomorrow.

As for the past couple of days...

Friday was a fun run with the kids - by kids I mean very fast 18-22 year olds training at the National Triathlon Centre. Another life ago I too trained at the NTC, but I am an old man now, trying to keep up with the whippersnappers. I followed Yoda out to the workout (more figuratively following as I rode beside him in the car after following him out the door) at Lochside trail, a venue I have not done a workout at in quite sometime. I do take my school kids out there for training, but my own training has not taking me to the tree lined trail in quite some time. After owning the kids in an Ultimate Frisbee-like game known as "Ball Game", we took the trail for 2x (4 x 40 seconds with 1:20 rest). I ran faster than I should have but had fun. It is fun to be around the energy of the young ones every so often, reminding of what it was like when Darren, Kate, Kevin, and I piled into my car and drove sleepily to swims 5 mornings a week.

Duration - 1:05

This morning saw the Club Mud group take on the 5k loop at Thetis Lake. I ran pretty conservatively, but was thoroughly impressed with the rest of the group. They are coming along very nicely, getting fitter, stronger, and faster.

Duration - 1:48

Weekly Totals

Duration - 8:06
Sessions - 7
Days off - 1

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Called out again...

I will from now on await my anonymous conscience, calling me out to report on my training...

I have been pleased with my running of late. I have felt a little tired at the beginning of runs, but they have rounded out nicely, finding form as they progressed.

Sunday began early. Very early. I was scheduled to do a talk for a Times Colonist Clinic beginning at 9:00am, and wanting to get a Jasper-esque run in, I decided for the "before talk" rather than the "after talk". So it was with great regret that I awoke to my alarm at 5:30am. I had laid out my clothes the night before, I so rolled into them, grabbed some food for before and after the run, and headed out the door.

I pulled up to the Elk/Beaver Lake parking lot at 6:00am. The parking lot at the lakes always seems to have someone there, but it was this morning that I became that "someone". I am now privately proud of the fact that for one day, I was the first one to the lakes. However, my pride quickly dissipated when I realized my miscalculation. I had thought that I would start my run by 6:10am, thus allowing sufficient time to get to the talk for 8:45am. It was as I was exiting the car that I realized I had not accounted for the fact that it is still dark at 6:10am.

My warmup consisted of careful foot placement in the trails, trying to not go too slow, but not wanting to risk an injury of any kind. I made it to the main trail and was pleased to see that light was making its way through the cloud. It was less of the rising sun as it was the lightening of blackness to greyness. I finished my warm up and started the workout.

90 minutes of tempo (holding 3:50/km pace).

This was a workout that I had done with Jasper last summer. These sustained tempo runs had been very valuable to my training, having noticed marked improvements in the weeks following them. They are tough runs, but beneficial. I decided that 24km should be about the right distance, and in preparation for the Around the Bay run in a few weeks, this fit nicely.

I was alone when I started into this run. I was alone when I ended, although the number of people on the trails and the number of cars in the parking lot had increased exponentially during that 90 minutes. The first loop was good, finding my legs around 4km, but holding pace the whole time. I was starting to feel a little laboured around 12k, but surprisingly was not losing any time at all. In fact, I was going a tad faster for each of the kilometers as compared to the previous lap. Wondering how long this would last, I continued to push, until about 19k I saw the end. It was here that my HR started to dip and my times started to climb. I was running out of steam and motivation. Pushing through and convincing myself that I was tough enough to finish the workout, I ran through the Zero KM marker and ran our to the 2k marker (over the big hill for those in the know). Trying to recreate the ATB course, which has a killer hill at about 27k, I wanted to run the big hill twice in the last 4k. I dragged my sorry butt back up and over, finishing the workout a little ragged, but overall pleased with the past four days.

Monday was an easy run and Tuesday was off. Wednesday saw my playing with my clinics and tonight was a recovery run. I ran into Bruce Martel, a great massage therapist at the clinic in Cook St Village (near Starbucks), and we chatted, thus helping me get to an hour of running tonight. With the Bazan Bay World 5k Championships this weekend, I will not do too much work over the next couple of days. I also need to determine what I am going to do about my taper. Discussions with the likes of Jim, Rumon, and Mike have lead me to rethink dropping too much volume over the next two weeks. I don't think I am going to load up too much or anything crazy like that, but I may not do the complete unload thing that I have in the past. It is also supposed to be -4 degrees on race day, so nothing else may matter if that is the case.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Wow. Monday seems a long time ago....

Hey Sportsfans.

After dragging my butt for the first few days of the week, I am rounded into form on Thursday. This concept of running WITH people is interesting - I shall continue the experiment. This end of this week saw me join in on a couple of friends' workouts as they prepare for their big races.

Hicham is on his rest week as he gets ready for the Comox Half Marathon and Vancouver Sun Run, so we hooked up for a shorter fartlek run around Oak Bay. Throughout the run I felt heavy and lagging, never discovering the smoothness that I had felt on Sunday. My winter consisted of long runs with a HR under 155 bpm (see: Maffetone), so as my legs failed to find their form, I wondered about the effect that races are having on my recovery. I stayed on Hicham's shoulder throughout the run, as we covered ground between Oak Bay Marina, Willows beach and Cattle Point. The sun was gracing us with it's presence interrupting what feels like constant November Rain. We appreciated the views, the windless evening, and the many dogs running around on the beach. Hicham was good enough to run with me for another 40 minutes after the workout as I passed time before giving a talk to the TC 10k clinic at the Windsor Park Pavilion.

Duration - 1:20:00
AHR - 148
MHR - 165

Thursday was Mike day. He of the London Marathon program was in the midst of a big week, having completed three days of doubles in this week. His workout for Friday called for a 10 minute tempo followed by 6 x 800m at goal marathon time, which translates like this; if you want to run a 2 hours 36 minutes for your marathon, your 800 time should be 2 minutes 36 seconds. Modified Yasso's for those in the know. On 90 seconds rest. The sun had had enough of Victoria and returned to warmer climes, leaving us with the famous sitting Victoria rain. This is rain that never actually hits the ground - the fine mist just hovers in the air, so that as you move through it you slowly, almost imperceptibly, become soaked. We met with Sylvan and Chris, who joined us for this evening of masochism. Both Chris and Sylvan had been on 2+ hour runs earlier this week, and thus, understandably, ran on fatigued legs.

The workout went well enough. The tempo was alright, feeling better than the night before. And the 800s actually went well after the first one, after which I turned to Mike and conceded that I might not be able to finish the workout. The first 800 felt awful, but, like the track does, she draws you in. The interval in all track workouts feels awful, but then you find your form, your rhythm. The gentle bends lulling you into a trance like state. The stable footing allowing for form to carry you through. Mike and I worked together pulling through the workout, as Chris finished his six and Sylvan, courageously said no to completing the 800s - he was always the smart one.

Duration - 1:27:00
AHR - 146
MHR - 176

And today's 2:15 in the trails of Gowland Tod Provincial Park with the Club Mud crew was epic. A beautiful morning of mist in a rain forest as we ascended the hill on where from McKenzie Bight to Jocelyn Hill. I didn't get anyone lost this year, and everyone made it back, with big smiles and wet shoes. A great morning.

Duration - 2:15:00
AHR - 123
MHR - 176

Weekly Totals
Duration - 9:30:00(ish)
Sessions - 8

Rounding out the week with three big runs brought my running time to over nine hours - way more than I was expecting.