Monday, September 29, 2008

Throwing Down the Gauntlet, Marathon Training Complete.

I figure I have postponed this long enough, I'm throwing down the gauntlet. So here it is; my goal for the marathon is 2:59:59 or better.

Now the nerves set in.

Yesterday I did my last long run before the marathon. It was supposed to be 30km, however, when I got home my rough calculation put it at 28km and there was no way I was heading out the door for an extra 2k.

It felt pretty good. Joints held together quite well, and muscles felt great. Being 24 hours later I actually feel as though I could go out and run it all over again today. The big question is can I maintain for 42k at a faster pace.

Accompanied with tapering is a funny feeling I've always hated, the feeling that there is nothing more to do. The temptation to go out and get a little more in, cramming training is always lingering and you just have to convince yourself not to blow up before the race even begins. 

So there it is. I'm done training, I will lead out my two run practices before the race and probably do a few easy 10k runs, but nothing more than that. Just enough to stay loose and focus on stretching out my IT bands and glutes.

I was debating a lot before today as to whether or not I would set an ambitious or conservative goal for the marathon. I have full confidence I could run a 3:10 and qualify for Boston, but that was never my goal, breaking 3:00 was and even if I ran conservatively and ran say a 3:07 I would still be upset at not having gone for it. That being said, there is the risk I crash and burn and don't make my 3 hour mark and as a result blow way beyond 3:10, but thats a risk I'm willing to take. 

Wish me luck. I'll have more pre race thoughts in the week to come.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Marathon Update

Yesterday marked the 3rd race of the Vancouver Cycle Series (VCC, don't ask why its VCC instead of VCS, no one knows). The race was a 10.4km Individual Time Trial from Jericho down to Marine drive just before 41st. Mostly flat other than the ~2km hill up to UBC.

I started somewhere midpack with Barry 30 seconds behind. As my friend counted me down I jumped into my pedals and powered away. Thinking I was going strong, Barry had caught me by the bottom of the hill. Was simply amazing! He ended up winning the time trial by nearly 30 seconds and me by over 2 minutes. He's clearly in great shape.

The reason I bring up this race was because for the third time now, my leg has been fine to race high intensity, however, as soon as the rush ends and I begin to slow down, the pain becomes excruciating. Finishing the race, I returned to UBC to get my stuff and ended up leaving my bike there to bus home. I'm really glad biking season for the most part (Still VCC races) is over. 

On the fortunate side, my leg doesn't bother me at all when I run. Since my previous training update I've had a few descent runs. The most prominent being a 13k hard run last week. running it in roughly 55-56 minutes. I felt great the whole time, never out of my comfort zone. Now the question is can I do this for another 2+ hours. My heart rate was averaged 170 for the hour, a few beats higher than I would like, but not out of control. 

I also did a nice speed workout last week which was 4 X 1km, and I managed to hold 3:30 with 90 seconds break. All in all a good practice.

This weekend I will have my longest run yet at 32km. This will be my final long run before the marathon and I start to taper.

You may have noticed that I have yet to mention my target time, that doesn't mean I don't have one, I just don't want to have it in writing just yet because I may re-evaluate.

On the marathon front. I've already mentioned that my cousin Sean is running it, however, a new twist is that my brother Luke is coming out to visit the week of the marathon and has decided to race it as well. We will see how that goes, he has given himself 26 days to go from scratch to 42.2k, including taper. I'm excited to see how it goes. He said he ran 18k this past weekend and felt good, so I'm going to keep cheering him on.

Other than training, but in triathlon related news, I've begun coaching the run practices for the UBC tri club. Which means every wednesday I lead out the run. Whats nice about this, other than being involved is that it forces me to go out for runs every Wednesday, and days like today for example, this was a struggle because it was poring rain. The responsibility to attend is a great motivator though, and once I got out I was happy to be there. The only downside to todays run was that I tripped over the root and performed a SPECTACULAR roll as I fell down the hill. Net result, I have scrapes down my side and am now getting polysporin all over everything, but the cuts aren't bad, the only thing I hurt was my pride.

Stay tuned! Next week I think I'm coaching a 5km Time Trial, I could have a new marker for my fitness.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


I typically do my writing at night, and the past couple weeks with classes I've had to read papers every night, and if not have been trying to recover from a cold. Hopefully I'll have a new update by Tueday, I have a big paper due tomorrow, once thats out of the way it will clear up a lot of my time.

However a quick update, this past week was my birthday and I decided to hold a classy party with a dress code and here are a few photos from the night.

A way of starting off the night well is with a party shot of Appleton's 151 Rhum

A nice group shot as we arrived downtown

Few of the guys hitting the streets in style

Stories to come

-Marathon Training Update
-Sooke Half IM recap
-Triathlon Season recap

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Monday, September 8, 2008

Rough Weekend

This weekend didn't go as well as I had planned. For those outside of earshot of me, I've been complaining about hip pain for a while now. I've been going to physiotherapy and it turns out that my Gluteus Medius, or simple Glute is freakishly tight all the time . Not only is it a flexibility problem, but also, turns out that the order in which my hamstring/glutes fire is wrong. 

To deal with this I've begun doing a series of stretches which is great, problem being, the more I stretch out my glutes, the looser my hips are getting and other muscles are having to pick up the slack. The core muscles that were supposed to stabilize all along are finally being called into action and this is causing me a lot of issues. I was out on a ride yesterday and only got 30k before my leg muscles started spazzing on me. I rode the remaining 40k predominantly with one leg.

I woke up this morning and my leg was still hurting a bit so I decided to skip my ride which is frustrating because this was supposed to be a heavy weekend. I debated going for a run but decided that was a bad idea as well.

Taking the whole day off I got a bit accomplished though, did my stretches and began cleaning up my apartment. And topped of the day by going down to the beach and reading there until it was too dark to read. 

I feel that in Vancouver I really am not taking advantage of my environment as much as I should be, we have one of the most beautiful beaches of any city in the world and I've only gone down to it a handful of times. And so despite not getting my training weekend in that I had hoped for, I did enjoy the beach which was something I probably wouldn't have experienced had I been 100% healthy.

Here is a photo I took tonight while on the beach, I would have taken more but I got 1 photo and my camera died, turned out pretty well though I would say.

Hope everyone had a great weekend, and wish me luck at physio tomorrow morning. 

Oh and a side note I thought was funny, when I googled Glute Med Images, this is what came up.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

T-10 Day Countdown

As I approach my last triathlon of the season, I won't lie, I feel really unprepared. For my 6th season in a row I have gone to my cottage for the beginning of August and training has simply shut down. Now its the game I love to play where I try to recover my form as quickly as possible. 

My main concern is on the bike, I've been struggling with my bike all summer, and I feel the lack of mileage will really show, I'll be missing that much needed Oomph. 

The Sooke race is a two lap bike course which has been described as rolling, I can deal with that and just pray for no wind. Wind is where I will find the most difficulty.

The run course however, is raced on roads and not gravel trails. Although gravel is better for joints, road running is faster, so it will be interesting to see what the impact of that is on my time.

As for a training update, I am focussing mainly on the bike/run portion of this coming race, and hoping that the couple day cram session of swimming next week brings my fitness back to normal. 

This past weekend I did my first long run in preparation for the marathon next month, 24km in 1:55. Was a comfortable pace and I felt I could have gone on much longer. At this pace I would only have run a 3:20 marathon though, which is nowhere near my target time. So my next long run I will try and up the pace. The biggest obstacle however was boredom, despite running with my iPod, I had to keep tricking myself into running longer. My 30k long run will be a test of mental strength more so than physical, maybe I'll get someone to meet me for the last 10-15k of the run.

I'm sorry for the painful update, my next one will be more creative.

And they will be more frequent than the previous month as well. With the tri club starting up soon I will finally have something to talk about.