Monday, October 27, 2008

I just want this pain to go away.

A little recap before I get into the nitty gritty of where I'm at today.

I had my lab presentation that I was procrastinating my last post and followed that up with a weekend of festivities. Starting with the Microbi Symposium which is always a good night out and then the Saturday going to the Parade of L
ost Souls out on Commercial Drive. Its more of a gathering than a parade. People dress up in their halloween costumes and there are street performers and drums. All round a good time.

I specifically like the people on stilts.
The following morning there was a nice change of scenery. Two friends of mine from the McGill Cycling Team are now living in Kelowna and were in town to watch the World Cup Speed Skating Competition at Pacific Coliseum.

This is short track speed skating and I had a childhood friend (Travis Jayner) racing for the American Team. I won't give too many details, but if you've seen it on TV, its 10X faster in person. Its really incredible to watch. My favorite event was the relay. For those of you who don't know what this is, what happens is there are 4 teams of 4. So 16 people on the ice all skating in circles. One person has to be doing laps at all times but the tag of for the next skater can happen at any time so its a chaotic 5000 meters of high speed skating that somehow doesn't result in a crash.

Check out this video (This is front the Vancouver Race) Canada is the Black with White stripes typically leading the race. Go to the end to really see the speed pick up.

Unfortunately Travis didn't have the best day, but it was still cool to see him skate.

The following week was fairly uneventful, I had a promising meeting at work with another lab where we brainstormed ideas and came up with some new objectives for the coming month. But the week was really just focused on Halloween that was coming up.

Thursday night a bunch of people from my building and I carved pumpkins. You can check out our work here, but I'll post mine just so you can see the awesomeness of Optimus Prime. 

For Halloween this year I had a whole lot of ideas and was debating what to be until the very last minute. In a clutch decision I decided to be Steve Prefontaine. If you don't know who he is, first off; FOR SHAME, and secondly, read up on him because he is pretty sweet. There are also two good movies on him; Prefontaine and Without Limits. I suggest watching both many times.

To perfect his costume I would need running attire, but most important is a beautiful growth of facial hair. Check and Check. With a little arts and crafts time I made the Oregon Logo to go on a shirt that he was so famous for and was ready to be on my way. My friends and I all decided to go to a bar party at the Blarney Stone which is crazy busy on normal nights, so on Halloween we decided to get there insanely early at 6:30 to make sure we got in and didn't have to wait too long. This turned out to be a great move because I know people who showed up at 8:15 and never got in.

The night was a big success and since we got there so early it was a fairly early night. I don't know about you but I can't last too long drinking when I start at 6 so my 1:30 AM I was home and by 2 in bed asleep. Lilia made fun of me for being old because this was really late for me.

Unfortunately the facial hair is all gone now and I'm naked and cold. People keep telling me I look weird and like a little boy without it, so I think I am going to grow it back. Time will tell for that one.

Now for a training update, which also goes along with the title of the post.

I haven't tried Biking yet, weather has been pretty crappy and I think psychologically I've been nervous about getting back out there after my leg injury for fear of it acting up again. The main reproach to fitness I've done is running. Last Wednesday I led the run practice which included a 2km warmup and then the main set was 1km repeats. I made it about 3.5km until my knee started to really hurt. This was in the same spot as the pain from after the marathon. I think that one of my tendons must be really tight still. I took the rest of the practice easy and then walked it off. 
Today being a week later I was hoping my knee would be better. Again I ran the warmup with everyone but then about 3km into the run my knee started getting that twitch to it again. That being said I quit running and became coach Vince from there with my stopwatch in hand and yelling voice ready to encourage and get mad at inconsistent pacing (Rich would be proud). 

I haven't really done any stretching since the marathon, so this resting recovery clearly isn't doing enough and active stretch recovery will be needed.

A little more serious than the tight knee though is the pain I get in my foot after I run. Its the same pain I got during the marathon which leads me to believe that I may have damaged something important in there. I really hope this doesn't stick with me for a while. I'm beating myself up over not getting outside and exercising, I've gotten really lazy since the marathon which is transferring over to the rest of my life as can be seen from the lack of updates on the blog, but getting myself out training isn't going to help anything either. Hopefully by my next update I will have taken steps to make things better. 

One fun thing thats been happening to me a lot lately, since I've been coaching the run practices, I've had a few people from work start asking me questions about running and fitness, and I find it really rewarding and exciting to have people showing an interest in fitness as a result of my influence. Hopefully I can make this spread.

Well I think thats all for now. I'm trying to catch up with work and the rest of my life right now, so training updates will be a little slow but maybe I will have more personal updates in the near future.

Thanks for reading

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Watching Videos like this make me want to expand my bike collection.

Looks insane, but at the same time SOO much fun.

Man, my presentation for tomorrow is never going to be finished if I keep this up.

Motivating Blog

I often read a lot of other peoples blogs to get idea's for writing style and for inspiration towards what I want to write about. 

I came across this blog the other day by Meyrick Jones. I won't explain the blog, but read his most recent post: My Mount Everest.

Great read. Its a blog I'll surely start to follow.

Monday, October 20, 2008

About Time

I decided after the marathon that I was going to wait some time to write the report because my opinion of the race was somewhat jaded immediately afterwards and my review of it would have been somewhat skewed.

Short version:

Race went generally well, at 16km foot started hurting due to timing chip, fell of pace at 26km. At 36k was just trying to hold on to the finish which I finally did in 3:12:44, good enough for 4th in my age group.

Before beginning my detailed race report, I would like to congratulate a few people who ran this past weekend:

Sean Brown: running in his 6th marathon and setting a huge PB (3:30:35)

Winston Guo: Finishing his first Marathon (3:22:34)

Erin Prosk: Finishing her first marathon (3:29:42, 4th in her age group)

Doug Giles: (3:09:52)

Rachel Kiers: (3:09:30)

Luke Lavallee: Unfortunately only made it 26km, his knee started hurting resulting in having to quit the race.

Long, Detailed Version:

Race morning is always a time I hate, wake up extra early to try and force feed yourself food you don't really want to be eating in the first place but know that you have to. Eating before a triathlon is bad enough, but at least you are eating before swimming and then a bike ride, plenty of time to properly digest before the run. The marathon on the other hand offers no easy transition into the morning. 

I decided to go with my typical two Cliff Bars, worked and fueled me well enough for half irons, it should do well enough for a marathon.

The race was at 8:30 AM, I decided it would be wise to wake up at 6. I'm quite jealous of my brother race morning, Luke was also running, however, he seems to have an iron stomach race morning. I started eating at about 6:05 and finished forcing the two Cliff Bars down by 6:34 I remember seeing on the clock. Luke woke up at 7:15 and was done eating two Cliff Bars and a bowl of pasta by 7:30.

The race was roughly 2km from the hotel, not too far, but further than we wanted to walk race morning. We went down to the lobby to look into a cab, but didn't need it, a driver that went by the name of Dominic offered to drive us. Man was Dominic a character, he asks us if we mind him playing some music on the way, Luke and I agree to it, and so he PUMPS UP THE TUNES! Hard Gangster rap at 7:45 in the morning is a little much.

Here is an example of the introduction into one of the songs:

"What do you say to someone with two black eyes?
-Nothing, you've already told him twice!"

Dominic, despite being from Victoria, I'm not sure knew his way around. He drove us a roundabout route towards the race start, after warning him that the roads would be closed off all along the course he got confused and started driving us in the wrong directions. At this point, Luke and I decided it was best to walk from there. Dominic got us 1/2 of the way. Not to bad and we still had plenty of time. 

Dropped off our stuff, went to the bathroom and then quickly lined up for the race. It was a little chilly race morning, but I decided to go with only small dollar store gloves and no arm warmers. 

Positioning myself near the front, I had 2 minutes to stretch and get ready for the race. I was about 3 rows back from the front, I think this was among the best I could have asked for seeing as how the first two rows were the pro seeded runners.

Off goes the gun, right on time. It felt really weird running a marathon, I'm used to running 5-10k races where your first km is always freakishly fast, in this situation, we took it out fast, but at the same time still really controlled, first km in 3:56

The first 5km were pretty fast, it was really hard to keep my pace slow and not race. Reaching 5k I looked down and saw that I had run in 20:05. Pretty good considering running on pace would have put me at 21:20. This is the point in the race however that I started thinking to myself how much running I still had to do. 37.2k to go, ugh!

Running through the next 5 k were pretty good. I came to realize that I was really fast on the flats and descents, however, any uphill part really slowed me down. When I list the km pacing later on, you'll see the inconsistency in my pacing, this is all due to small inclines in the route. Anyways, rounded of 10k at a steady 41:16.

Up to 15k there were no real problems, the only issue was that I was running more of a 4:05 pace instead of a 4:16-17 as I had planned so between km 10-15 people who ran a freakishly steady pace started to catch up to me as I slowed down to 4:15.

km 16 is where problems started to kick in, I made a rookie mistake. Having never really done a long road race before I laced the timing chip into my shoe. The problem that aroused from this was the timing chip caused bunching of my laces and I kept getting a pressure point on my right foot. This started hurting quite a bit at km 16 and persisted until the end of the race. It hurt enough that I went from being 1:50 faster than pace at 15k to being only 4 seconds faster than pace by 21.1km. I actually stopped to loosen my shoe and try and fix the timing chip at 20k.

I was able to battle the pain in my foot holding steady 4:16km until km 26 when the pain really started to set in at which point my pace really started to soar. 

At km 34 Rachel Kiers caught up to me, and we chatted for a while, she was still running strong. For those of you who don't remember, she also raced against me at Shawnigan Lake and Vancouver half iron. I tried running 1km with her, however, the 4:45 min/km pace was too much for me at that time. My right foot was just crushed. Looking at my watch I knew that my new target time was now 3:10, but that would be slim.
Finally after 42.2km I crossed the finish line in an agonizing 3:12:44. Generally I'm pretty happy with this. I know that had I been more conservative I could have gone probably closer to 3:05 but that was never the intention, I wanted to take a crack at 3 hours. I sacrificed the good to go for the great and ended up with Just Ok for my standard.

The worst part of this race was being at 35km and hating life in general and knowing deep down that I would do this again because I knew that had I properly trained 3 hours would be easily attainable. 

My recovery from the race was pretty good, I was barely moving the days following the race, muscles were feeling pretty good, however, my feet and knees hurt a lot, the tendons around me knees were really tight, and my feet felt like they had been beaten with a hammer. I guess thats to be expected after running 42.2km. After all, the first guy to run a marathon finished and then died, so just finishing is a testament to my body.

Funny story from the marathon though. There was a runner who was doing a charity run for the Canadian Comedian Association or something like that, and anyways, he ran the entire marathon juggling. Where this becomes unfortunate was that this juggler had a personal marathon (non juggling) of around 2:30 (really fast), so juggling he slowed down to roughly a 3:10 pace. This meant that he ran the WHOLE race either just in front or just behind me. Every corner that had spectators instead of having people read my race number and see my name and yell "way to go Vince!", I just got, "Hey looks, its the JUGGLER!"

I thought I had beat him at 33km when he dropped a ball and I passed him (I swear I didn't kick it), but then at 38k he passed me, I tried to respond but legs just weren't giving any, so I got beat by the juggler.

Anyways, here are my paces for the race. I only have the first 29km because the watch I forgot had a limited amount of lap times.

1km   3:56
2km  3:51
3km  4:15
4km  3:56
5km  4:05    [20:05]
6km  4:15
7km  4:18
8km  4:04
9km  4:26 (uphill and aid station)
10km 4:05   [41:16]
11km 4:23
12km 4:24
13km 4:13
14km 4:21
15km 3:57
16km 4:21
17km 4:34 (Ankle pain really kicks in)
18km 4:24
19km 4:14
20km 4:32
21.1km 5:04 [1:29:54 NEW PB!]
22km 3:35 (Only 0.9km)
23km 4:25
24km 4:16
25km 4:25
26km 4:41  (Last km ran with average being on 3 hour pace, no longer able to hold fast pace with foot pain)
27km 4:41
28km 4:54
29km 4:58

42.2km 3:12:44

This means I averaged 4:16 for the first 26km and then slowed down to 5:04 for the last 16.2k. This is really something I need to work on for the next race, hopefully I can avoid the foot pain, but to be perfectly honest, had it not been my ankle, something else would have hurt.

My biggest mistake other than the timing chip was lack of preparation. My longest run prior to the marathon was 28km and I really think I payed for that. I was able to run strong thru to the finish which I would have liked to have done, so when I run one again, I will really be more strict with my training and plan out a regime that will involve a longer run.

Anyways, hopefully I didn't bore everyone. If you felt reading about this was long, you should have tried running it.

Here is a finish photo, do I look happy?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pre Marathon Thoughts

I wrote this the night before the marathon, but didn't have any internet so wasn't able to put it up, my brother is in town, so writing has been hard because he has been keeping my computer during the day and at night we are usually out. A race report is in the works, but this will have to do for now.

Its the night before the marathon, nothing more I can do to prepare, legs are feeling typically tight, however, no real pain associated. Ankles and heels feel a little hollow. Hopefully that will go away with sleep. Goal of breaking 3 hours still seems unreasonable but I am going to try for it. Hopefully I can bank some time early and ride that into the end. 

In our race packaged there were details of where the aid stations will be, I'm not overly impressed with their location. Powergels will only be iven out at the 13/34km mark instead of the advertised 13-26km. I'll change my pre race plan, I was going to take a gel roughly at km 6,13,20,26,34. But with the aid stations moved I will now have to take an extra gel and cary it for km 20-26 because my pocket only holds one. No big deal. I can just tell that they are going to be crappy strawberry banana flavor or chocolate though.

Dinner tonight was a little more rich than I would have wanted, a whole lot of creamy sauce over my pasta, I managed to fish out most of the pasta leaving the sauce behind. All that said my stomach is feeling god and relaxed, Two cliff bars in the morning and some gatoraide and I should be good to go.

Its 10:15, so heading to bed, waking up at 6 for the race.

On another note, the race shirt is really nice, not the best color, but a nice cut and fit.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Nearly Killed By a Carrot

To begin, I suppose I will explain the title. I was laying down doing my stretches earlier, and whilst eating a carrot nearly choked. Instead of panic running through my head screaming "I CAN'T BREATHE!" I was thinking to myself how embarrassed I would be had I died from a carrot. Needless to say, since I am still here writing, I managed to cough out the carrot and continue my stretches. Damn vegetables. They're trying to get me.

Vegetable count, yesterday I unfortunately stayed at work late (only got home at 11pm), and was supposed to do groceries but wasn't able to. Net result; my vegetable day count ended at 9 days. I didn't make it to the grocery store today either, however, sorry Rob, but I stole some carrots. Finally after all those comments, you can finally say "Feed the Warrior" and have it count.

Other exciting news. I got my racing flats from New Balance today. Just to explain how cool they are. Take your typical running shoe. Any normal Asics, Adidas, NB, Nike, Mizuno, etc. Well, the shoes that most of you own that are considered nice "light" running shoes come in around 13-15 ounces. A really nice "lightweight" trainer that typically gets adults impressed come in around 10 ounces. These new puppies of mine, come in at 5.5 ounces. Its pretty sweet, its like wearing nothing at all.

A few people have asked if I will be wearing them for the marathon on sunday. The answer to that is no. Since they are so lightweight, they don't offer any support which is fine for distances up to half marathon, however, I don't think it would be wise running the full 42.2 km on un-supportive shoes.

Here is a photo, sorry, but I seem to have misplaced my camera, so it was taken with the crappy webcam on my computer and the sweet colors don't show as brilliantly as they should.

In other news, Marta and I went to go see the new Michael Cera movie, Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist at which point I had my manliness put into question. When the movie ended I was thinking, not bad, I enjoyed that quite a bit. Then Marta looks at me and says, "Sorry, that was a major chickflick." hmmm, not too sure what to think of my stance on that one. Oh well, at. least I'm sporting a sweet beard which could be turned into an amazing mustache at a moments notice to make up for it.

Anyways, I'll probably have another post this week before the big race. I mainly just wanted to show the new shoes since I was all pumped to find them at my door.

Bye Bye

Monday, October 6, 2008

Potential Cause of Leg Injury

I've been complaining about my leg hurting for some time now, however, since my 28k run last weekend my right leg has gotten tighter and tighter. I've done nothing but stretch since then, so I am trying to come up with a potential cause...

What have I changed about my lifestyle?

All I've come up with is this...

Curious. What do you have to say about that Tanis! I always knew vegetables were bad for you.

Anyways, I'm just kidding, obviously the vegetables have had a positive impact on my health, but didn't really have anything to update for today. 

I am proud to say I've made it 9 days now though. And most of those have been real vegetables and not simply V8.

Marathon October 12th

Just a quick update, no time for a real post.

There has been a lot of confusion, the marathon is next weekend, and not yesterday.

Stay tunned!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Easy Week/Two Week Challenge

Since my long run on the weekend, this has simply been an easy week to give my body time to recover for the big race. 

Have done a few swim practices and coached but didn't run my Wednesday run practice, instead I did the warmup and simply stretched.

My main concern is still as always my right leg holding out on me. Its the reason I didn't race in Sooke a few weeks ago and now it may be the detriment that keeps me from attaining my goals next week in Victoria. 

What concerns me more about hurting during the race is the knowledge that I will try and push through it. Seeing as how this has been bothering me for the greater part of a month now, I'm nervous that I could cause some serious injury that would take a long time to recover from, it wouldn't be one of those cases where I am stiff for a few days then all better.

Energy has been good, the main preparation I'm doing now is going to be shifting my sleeping pattern trying to make it so that I go to bed earlier and wake up earlier as well so that its not as big of a shock on race day.

On another note, I've decided to do a two week challenge for myself. Starting last Monday I declared to a few friends that I would have at least 2 servings of vegetables a day for two weeks to see the impact. For those of you who know me, I NEVER eat vegetables and I think that it is probably impacting my health and performance to some extent. Its kinda like the all brand two week challenge. I'm trying to do it with fresh vegetables, however, I have also bought a 2L bottle of V8 for the days that I miss out. So far so good, 5 days down and holding strong. Depending on how this goes I may try and make this a staple of my diet, that would probably be the healthy thing to do.