Saturday, September 15, 2007

5 Peaks at Buntzen Lake

I raced in the half-marathon category at the 5Peaks Trail Race at Buntzen Lake this morning. This is what it looked like. The red line is my HR. The blue line is the elevation chart. Suffice it to say that there was a lot of hiking at the start. I ran with Mark Bates for a good amount of the race (Canadian Triathlon Legend - yes, capitalized), and while he ended up beating me for second place (2:15), I race a solid race for 3rd in 2:18, still 4 minutes under the previous course record. A very strong race by the winner, Mark Bennett (2:13). This was the last hard hard effort before Victoria in three weeks. There are more tempo runs on the plan, but no more race efforts.

Good luck to our friends in Beijing competing in the test race for triathlon for the Olympics and to Liam in his half marathon in Hawaii.

Off to watch Flight of the Conchords. If you haven't heard of it, thank me later. That means you, Tre. It is a pair of Kiwis in a band in New York and they are trying to make it there. The clip below is from the first episode (in every episode there are AMAZING original songs - just watch and see!)

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Week One

Another week.

We have settled into the house well. Most of the running around and buying the little things that take so much time has almost come to an end. We actually have our first overnight house guests next week - it is all so surreal.

This week in training has been good. I have been trying to build up the volume a bit this week. The first week of teaching has forced me to cut some runs short, but it has been fun exploring the (many) hills around our place. I think I have found a replacement for my oceanside run in Victoria - this one takes me along the TransCanada Trail and around a par 3 golf course before returning home.

I also had my first race as a resident of the mainland. It was the Coho Run 14k (but apparently was more like 13km which is not good for the psyche). A run starting in Kitsilano and going through Stanley Park before ending up at Ambleside Park in West Vancouver, following the ocean the whole way. I was surprised to see some people I knew from Victoria here and it made me feel a little more at home. As I am preparing for the Royal Victoria Marathon, I needed a longer run today. The race is a point to point race, so I decided to ask a someone to take my bag on the bus to the start and I would run to the start - a 13k warm up for a 13k race. It would allow me a good 26k run, with 13k of it being tempo or faster.

I arrived at the start line with about 15 minutes to spare and changed into my race gear. The start of the race was lonely, missing all the joking and laughing that occurs at Victoria-area races. And the pace off the gun was dead slow. For a moment I wondered if I could win this thing!?! That dream was shattered about 2k as four of us separated from the field and the pace kept climbing. I was soon alone in fourth, where I would remain for the rest of the race. It was a good mental test. I felt good, but a little heavy on the long uphills over the two bridges (Burrard and Lion's Gate for those keeping score). My time was not very quick - 48:30ish - but it was alright. I held about 3:44/km pace, which is about the pace I ran the Around the Bay in last March. That pace ends up being about 2:37 for a marathon, which is way below my goal of 2:45. Now, I did not run that fast to the start of the race, but I also have not tapered for it either. More important than all these numbers is that the day was absolutely beautiful and I was back racing.

Next weekend is the 5 Peaks Trail Half-Marathon at Buntzen Lake. I am looking forward to it, although I have been warned that it is likely more than a 21k and I should be looking for a time around 2:20. That would actually be ideal for me since it will be a long run at effort, but my legs will be spared the concrete. But, again, more importantly is that I will be in trails again. I am excited.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Burnaby or bust...

I am not sure if I am allowed to say that once I have arrived somewhere, but I just did.

Burnaby has been good thus far. I have discovered the Trans Canada Trail (TCT) that runs right across the bottom of my street. In one direction it goes up hill and the other direction leads me toward Vancouver proper. There are some fun hily single track trails just off the TCT which I explored yesterday. Tonight was a slightly rainy run over Ironworkers Memorial Bridge into the North Shore. I ended up right near the hotel that Rozee and crew stayed at a couple of years ago for the Iron Knee race. This was a great marker for me because I now know I am only 15 minutes running from there, which means I can run to some trails relatively quickly.

But dinner is cooking and unpacking is still occurring. I am going to try to update more regularly now that I am starting to settle in. The RVM is only 5 weeks away today, so tomorrow sees two hours with an hour of tempo and an hour of goal pace.