If this is the last time I see your face

If this is the last time I see your face,
Let’s do it with grace.
Let’s dance to the music in our minds,
And remember all the good times.
Let’s not shed a tear,
But raise a glass for more cheer.

If this is the last time I see your face,
Let’s do it with grace.
Let’s remember the stories shared on a run,
Where, we exposed our souls under the sun.
Let’s laugh at ourselves for living the extreme,
After realizing this was normal for us mere beings.

If this is the last time I see your face,
Let’s do it with grace.
Let’s not remember who ran faster or farther, you or me,
But the great friends who came along for the awesome journey.
Let’s be kind to those who don’t understand,
What it takes to be an athlete and ironwoman.

If this is the last time I see your face,
Let’s do it with grace.
Let’s do this again tomorrow,
So we don’t have to go through such sorrow.
If this is the last time I see your face,
Let’s do it with grace.

I wrote this for my friend Joanne a few weeks before she passed away, 19 months after she was diagnosed with glioblastoma. But, what an amazing 19 months. Her spirit lives on.

DER August 2018

Boston

I’m at work,
“boston”,
I hear you whisper.
I day dream,
How many hours till I run again.
Louder this time,
“Boston”.
I’m running tempo now,
You’re in my head,
An amazing workout.
“BOSTON”,
You’re screaming.
I’m there, but yet so far away,
Soon, Boston, soon.

DER October 24, 2014


We are Marathoners

We are Marathoners,

We run,

When asked why,

We give the typical response

For fitness and fun,

For those close to us,

We may share our real demons,

On a run.

We train for 20 weeks a year for the hardest event in our sport,

To qualify for the Boston Marathon,

Many try and all but a few fall short.

In 2014, a tougher event will happen,

beat the demons of the 2013 Boston Marathon day.

From around the world runners, family and friends will unite,

to support those running and others who were affected on that day.

The loneliness of the long distance runner,

has been changed forever,

with the love and support of all who have said

“this will not stop us, but make us stronger”

We are marathoners,

We run.

DER April 14, 2014


I run

I run

I smile

I laugh

I share

I learn

I teach

I love

I cry

I run

I smile

I hurt

I heal

I run

I laugh

I dream

I run

DER December 2, 2013

I challenge Dennis Kimetto to a race

Dennis Kimetto, I challenge you to race against me in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 19, 2014.

Yes, I know you just set the worlds record for the marathon this past weekend in Berlin in a wicked time of 2:02:57. Congratulations, on this amazing feat of the feet. However, did you know that my training for this marathon had me running hills every Tuesday morning at 6:00 am with an awesome group of friends that includes an Ironman, running for fun with the Forks Market Run Cub on Tuesday evenings, Tempo runs with YPOM on Wednesday evenings from the Running Room with even more Ironman finishers and other fabulous runners and triathletes, long runs on Saturday mornings with FMG which includes some of the best age group athletes and story tellers in Canada. I even manage some solo speed workouts and also run with others that I meet on the road. I incorporate hot yoga into my weekly workout routine to keep me and my core in top shape My support crew is second to none providing me with the time to train and nutritious meals and support as I miss out on family events, and cheering me on at my races, they also put up with my idioscyncrnisities on race weekends. I also have a great physiotherapist who keeps me on the road. I hope I haven’t intimidated you with my workout routine. This wasn’t my intention. I just want you to know that I am serious about this race and am in great shape and am ready to race to win.

Dennis, I know your probably thinking, “David I’m 27 years younger than you, it wouldn’t be a fair race.” Yes, that’s true Dennis so here’s what we’ll do, I’ll let you give me an hour head start. I do promise you a race should we meet in the final 385 yards before the finish line.

If you are unable make this race I understand and won’t hold it against you. I’ll just add an hour to your world record time as your result and if I run faster than 3:02:57 I win. If I’m slower than 3:02:57 you win.

You might be asking what’s in it for you. Bragging rights for the day is all I can offer. The next day all bragging stops and we concentrate on the next goal. Mine will be to break 3:00 hours in Boston in April 2015. Perhaps you will be there and we can consider another wager.

Until the day we meet enjoy the accolades from the world for your unparalleled achievement and know I have your number (2:02:57 plus slightly less than a hour) in my sights.

Where am I?

In October of 2011, I ran the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in a time of 3:01:42. In four weeks I plan on running the 2014 STWM. Three years have passed. So where am I now?

In December of 2011 I was diagnosed with kidney disease that sidelined me from running for about four months. I had gained 30 pounds mostly due to water retention. When I was able to return to running it was for only short distances and at about half the pace when compared to when I was healthy. For the first six months of the disease Doctor V. (my nephrologist) advised me that the normal course of treatment is no treatment as 33% of patients remit with the aid of medication and that the side effects of treatment could be worse than the disease. Well I wasn’t one of the 33%. Next up was a choice between two types of treatment. One newer and one that has been around awhile. Both had similar results in that 33% of patients responded to treatment in six months. I chose what appeared to be the lesser of the two evils. Both would lower my immune system responses. The med was traditionally used for transplant patients to aid them in not rejecting their new organs. This appeared to be working for me in a limited fashion, however I was still anemic and lethargic. I was able to run again but at about 30% slower the pre-disease pace. I started to train for the 2013 Boston Marathon as my October 2011 result had qualified me. Nearing the end of the six months of treatment Dr V. wanted me to switch course and change the type of treatment. I was reluctant as I could function relatively normal. There were a lot of people worse off than me. Seeing dialysis patients in the renal ward of the Hospital made me feel fortunate that I could train for Boston albeit more slowly than pre-disease but a great achievement none the less. Less than two weeks later I came to the realization that my health was more important than running the Boston Marathon and asked to be switched to the newer meds. The wait in my decision meant a total of eight months on the first med treatment and again I was not one of the second 33% that remitted to meds. The new treatment started in February 2012 and consisted of a month of a steroid med followed by a month of a chemotherapy med for a total of another six months. Both are immune suppression meds. The steroid med made me hyper, hungry and alert. I slept for about four hours each night. The chemo med had the reverse reaction for me, making me drowsy and lethargic. I was able to continue my running through this period getting a bit faster week by week.

Then one evening March 18, 2013 I had a pulmonary embolism (PE) (blood clot) in my left lung. I was running on an indoor track. I had just run my first lap when I felt a sharp stabbing pain in my chest. Thinking indigestion, not heart attack as I had no numbness in my left arm. I left the track, got changed and debated phoning 911. I drove home and asked Margot to drive me to the emergency room. Thankfully, she declined and called 911. The first responders were fire fighters quickly followed up by paramedics. After a quick EKG and a ambulance ride to the hospital and what seemed like a long time in emerg, I was diagnosed with a PE and given a blood thinner.

Are we there yet?

Are we there yet? A common question during long hot car rides by the children in the back seat repeatedly asked every 5 minutes.
I also ask a similar question to myself as I record my daily work outs, or in the case of this past week not so daily. Am I ready for the next marathon?
I felt a twinge in my right leg. Somehow I decided not to put off wondering for a few weeks, “Is this a bad thing thats happening?” and I was able to get in to see my favourite Physiotherapist Stephanie who is working her magic. I expect that in a week that the pain will be gone. She is that good. It also helps that I went in right away. To get better, along with the physio work, I added hot yoga Fridays back into my routine and I have a list of exercises from Stephanie that I promised I would do. I think told her that 3 years ago as well. I promise I really will do them this time Stephanie. My flexibility is part of the problem, lack of stretching, too much speed work with too little of a recovery period in between (it was so much fun)and not doing all those things that I promised Stephanie to do.

So am I ready for my next Marathon? A definite Yes is the answer.

As part of the process of looking forward to the next race, I reflected on the Vancouver Marathon that I ran this past May and looked up my training log from then as well as recovery notes and found the story below on my Facebook account about my Vancouver race experience. All indicators are that I’m on track for a good day. I repeat the story below in the hopes to remind myself about lessons learned during a race (I also wanted a copy of the story in my blog). It is also a great motivator to me as I reread the comments from my friends, copied at the end of the story. If I’m ever having a bad day, I just need to read those comments again.

A story about a race.
Thanks to all who got me to the start line. Family, friends, medical staff, training partners, random people on the street.
I paid a premium to get Platinum service at the start and finish lines. Take the rapid transit from the hotel to the start line. Then walk in the rain 1.5 miles. Shoes and socks are now wet an hour before the race. Platinum service is for 200 people who paid for the privilege of shelter in a heated tent with water and bag check inside, plus a heated portable trailer with toilets in them next door. I was able to take off my shoes and socks and dry them on the forced air propane heater within 5 minutes. Passed the time chatting with other runners.
2 minutes before the start of the race we walk to the start line and I am 20 feet behind the 3:30 pace bunny and meet Michael Klatt from Winnipeg. The rain is coming down, we sing Oh Canada and the gun goes off. The first 3/4 mile is uphill and crowded. It thins out eventually and I catch up to the 3:30 bunny and discount my plan to run with them for 6 miles. I don’t remember passing the 3:15 bunny. The rain stops and at the 3 mile mark its a 1 1/2 mile of down hill then 1 1/2 miles of up hill. I pass the 6 mile mark in 42 minutes which is 2 minutes faster than plan. I don’t look at my watch during the race except at various check points. I decided to race by feel. So I have two minutes in the bank. A bit of flat stuff for 2 miles then a mile roller coaster ride to about the to the 12 mile mark. The scenery is absolutely gorgeous as we run through UBC. We now drop down to sea level and I’m flying again and trying to put on the brakes . Pass the 1/2 way mark in 1:32:09 (1st in age group) and my third fastest 1/2 time. I now have 4 minutes in the bank. My plan was to run the second half faster than the first. But now I’m thinking I may use up the bank time. More roller coaster ride along Jericho Beach to the Burrard Bridge, where I start to feel the upward climb for the first time. The bridge looked worse later that day when I drove over it to go for dinner. The worst of the hills are over and its mainly flat as we head into English Bay at the 20 mile mark where my family is waiting in the cold to cheer me on. 2:22:56 The rain starts up again, a light drizzle, and I’m feeling the pain , mentally and physically. I now have to run around Stanley Park on the seawall and finish a mile later downtown. Mile 22 comes in at 2:40 and I know I have my BQ. Walk and run mile 23, playing leapfrog with another runner who runs while I walk and walks while I run. Both of us encouraging each other. The 3:15 bunny and group pass us. I had no regrets about not staying with them. We come around the Lighthouse point and the wind is strong and blowing the rain head on into us. At this point a photographer is stationed asking us to smile. I did my best, but even that hurt. At mile 24.5, a random stranger by himself asks if I want a coke, without hesitation I say yes. Instantaneous relief. The mental fatigue is gone. I start to run and a 1/2 mile later at the aid station I gulp down two large cups of electrolyte replacement drink. I’m running faster with each step. See my family once again at mile 25 and run uphill towards the finish line. Finish in 3:23:22, (8th in age group) I lost my banked time plus 3 minutes. John Stanton, who I was chatting with at the expo the day before is there to give me my finishers medal. I now get escorted inside the hotel to the Platinum finishers area were its warm and my bag of clothes are waiting. My slowest marathon ever, my 8th BQ. Happiest I’ve ever been finishing a marathon. Boston 2015 here I come. Hill training starts next month. Recovery starts now, Hot tub here I come.

KHW Thanks for sharing David Ranta!! Gave me goose bumps, so very happy for you!

JS Congrats David!!!!

DW Wow David…wow!!!

DH Awesome story. What an amazing write-up about your run!

EL Awesome!

MH It’s nice to see that dreams come true! We knew you would do it

GG What KHW said… Goose bumps
That was an awesome story of will power and strength of both kind
Congratulations David

AW David- I am so very happy for you. It’s been a long and difficult journey but you are back, stronger than ever. Enjoy this moment and all of the moments to come. I can’t wait to see you and the huge grin that I know will be on your face!

JG Changing my race strategy (start slow and fade from there) to include Coke. I drank 2 L doing a beer mile so 52 L should get me through a marathon. Perhaps not. Looking forward to hearing your account in person. I’ll cover your Coke. Or beer.

ST It been a pleasure to share your journey, and now I feel I’ve shared your race. I hope we will always share your friendship.

BS Wow!

MM Great account of your journey…such strength!!…you continue to amaze and inspire!

RT Way to go!! Love that your family was there.

MB What a fantastic story David. Your 8th BQ! Who knew you were so amazing?!

KC So happy to hear this! Congratulations to a very deserving guy!! Hugs!

JGS I love hearing your eloquent stories! Wonderful – so happy for you!

OS Thanks for sharing David, great effort and best of luck with the recovery.

RAP Congrats David …what an episode! love the emotions you put in writing that race-experienced … they said: “When you can’t run with your legs; run with your heart!!”.. well done David

Back to School

September 9th, Back to School.

I’m training for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon to be held on October 19th. Currently on week 15 of a 20 week program. I’m doing this to keep my fitness level up before I start up my training for the Boston Marathon on December 1st.

My training has been going well compared to my past 3 marathons. Two in 2011 (Fargo and Toronto) and one earlier this year (Vancouver). My total weekly mileage is the similar to the past three as well as the number and length of my long runs. For a summary of my weekly mileage and length of long runs click here>>> STWM training Where I’m different from the three is my current lack of speed-work, but am getting hill training in on Tuesday mornings at 6am. My pace on my long runs at week 15 is 30 sec/mile faster than when I was at week 15 in training for the Toronto marathon in 2011. Scary and awesome at the same time. Last weeks 20 miler was at 7m18s/mile.

September being a back to school month for many, Here’s some of what I’ve learned this month.

1. I thought maybe a beef Ka-bob on the BBQ would be ok as the pieces of meat looked small the night before a long run. Wrong! I felt that meat in my stomach for the whole run.

2. On a progression run on a Thursday evening my last mile of a 7 mile run was at 6m08s/mile pace and I had an 18 miler scheduled for the Saturday morning. My legs were still tight Saturday morning and I had to start out slowly, but eventually they loosened up. Would I do it again. No! leave a tempo/progression run for Wednesday at the latest.

3. Started using electrolyte replacement drinks during training. So far I have started this on my long runs and it works great. I used to get tired from just drinking water. My mind seems fresher after the electrolyte runs. I am now having one the evening before the long runs.

4. Hill training has been great. Yes we start at 6 am, but I think its helping. Some of my tempo runs for a 10km run have been near PB speeds. This week they were 2 minutes slower than the two 10km races I ran earlier this summer. Either the hills are working or I’m getting stronger/faster. A bit of both.

5. Sunrise is close to 7am and sunset is before 8pm. Better start getting used to running in the dark and start wearing lights.

6. Its also stating to get cooler during the runs. Have to start wearing layers.

Meet you at the Duck Pond.

Spoiler Alert, The Duck Pond in Assiniboine Park has nothing to do with this story. When meeting up to start a run or to have a destination for a run, the Duck Pond in Assiniboine Park is referenced. However, it’s the building beside the Duck Pond that is usually referred to.
The building houses some important qualities for runners; washrooms and a water fountain are two primary ones. In the winter months it is heated and has a gas fireplace. In the summer months the nine glass overhead doors on three sides of the building are open providing for easy access and the building is a sun shelter. The fourth side is for the washrooms.
The building is also used by other groups and individuals as a meeting point and to serve its function as a public washroom for users of the Park. As a skate shack for those skating on the Duck Pond and a warm up shack for those tobogganing on the nearby hill in the winter and a picnic shelter in the summer. Hobbyist will use it as a gathering point for assembling their miniature remote controlled boats which they motor around in the Duck Pond. For numerous years as the start and finish area of many a road race, the Winnipeg Police Service Half Marathon and the Phsyio Fit running events to name a few. Recent changes in the operation of the Park have discontinued the use of the Duck Pond as the start and finish area for races in the Park.
For me it’s like a beacon calling me in for a break on my runs. When I run from home, it’s 2.5 miles from the door at my house to the door of the Duck Pond. A great half-way point on a 5 mile run. If I run eight miles from home I add in a loop of the Park stopping in at the Duck Pond each time as I pass. When we start at the Forks Market for our longer runs and the Duck Pond is part of the route, we stop in. In the winter months the space in the building is welcome as we take off our jackets, hats and mitts to dry by the fire as we use the facilities as well as have our gels and drink from the fountain. Our Wednesday runs starting and finishing at the Running Room on Kenaston has most of us stopping in at mile 3.5 of a 6 mile run.
Parking is free and close by. Most days you will see other runners there and there is a good chance you will know them. If not, then strike up a conversation and you soon will.
Most runners know of numerous runner friendly establishments around town that allow runners to use the washrooms and provide water at no charge. The Duck Pond (building) is my favorite

Who is the Better Runner?

A few weeks ago, John Stanton founder of the Running Room posted the following comment on Facebook, “Slow runners are the people responsible for making the fast runners look so fast ….. well done slow runners!”

The majority of the runners replying to the post took it tongue-in-cheek and enjoyed the comment, a few admitted to be slow runners and were offended.

I responded that I was impressed with the runners who run a marathon in over 4 hours as I have not had a training run last that long never mind a marathon. We are really only competing with ourselves. I’ve always been impressed with ultra-marathoners for the time they are out running. But someone running a 4 hour marathon or longer has my respect equally.

Since then I’ve had a few more thoughts on the subject, hence the title of this post, “Who is the Better Runner?”

At the front of the pack we have a naturally gifted 25 year male who runs 2h30m for the marathon, running up to 100 miles a week in training. He weighs 135 pounds.
At the back of the pack is a recreational runner who is a 55 year old male and runs a 5 hour marathon, running 50 miles a week in training. He weighs 175 pounds.

From early years in school, we are taught that the fastest is the best. We even reward it in all aspects of athletics and scholastic achievement. First place, Gold medal, highest mark, etc the list goes on. But if the playing field was evened out, what would happen? If we added a 40 pound vest to the 25 year old athlete and had him cut his mileage back to 50 miles a week. The vest would have to stay on for 24 hours per day for the training period. How far would he be able to run in a 5 hour period? Would he be able to complete the marathon or even survive the training period?

I realize that the above example does not really even out the playing field but use it only to illustrate a point. Which is, that maybe being the fastest is not the best. The older recreational runner who takes twice as long to run the race on half the training is probably working equally as hard (maybe even harder) than his younger counter part. Both runners are doing their best with their abilities and available time allotted to training. The younger runner a full time athlete compared to the older runner who has family and work commitments to schedule his training around. And really that’s all any runner can do, their best. On any given day, your result in a race depends on the effort you put into training. That’s all you can control. During a race there are so many conditions (weather is a good example) that you can’t control, but you run the race and do your best for that day.

So, who is the better runner? I leave it to you to answer but suggest that maybe it’s not the right question to ask.

What is FMG?

FMG stands for Forks Marathon Group.

The next question that follows usually, is “oh ummmm ummm, You run marathons?”, usually from non runners. I go on answering all the unasked questions.

Yes, we meet at the Forks Market on Saturday mornings to start our runs at 7am. If you’re late, you’re running alone as we start at 7am sharp, unless you’re in the washroom or having a drink of water. Then we may wait for you, but we have been known to forget someone in the washroom. Some pre-run and start at 6am and loop around St Boniface and meet the rest of the group at 7am. But if the pre-run group is late returning, the 7am group leaves without them, and the pre-run group actually get upset if we purposely wait for them. Then there is the pre-pre-run group that starts at 5am. Most people just get the we start at 7am answer.

I’ve been running with the group for the past two years and have heard vague references to rules. The first rule is that we have no rules. The second rule is that we start at 7am sharp, no waiting. See above for exceptions to this rule. A third rule is that we run outside every Saturday regardless of the weather, but we have been known to run indoors during really cold blustery winter mornings. The fourth rule refers back to the first rule that there are no rules.

Do we always meet at the Forks? No, we have been known to start at the Duck Pond or at someone’s house. If we start somewhere else other than the Forks then there is a good reason and it usually revolves around food. Food always prevails even at the Forks after each run. So if you have 20 miles to run and the rest of the group is running 13 miles, there is a good chance you are going to pre-run so you can get your miles in and have breakfast with the group.

Eating food, drinking coffee and socializing after the runs sometimes takes as much time as our run’s and is considered an essential part of the run. Sometimes we don’t run and just get together for the food and company.

The Boston Marathon is the focus marathon for most during the winter training, but some have run other marathons in the spring. The summer/fall marathons vary in location each year, with most of the group running two marathons a year. Some have been known to run four a year.

The Saturday run is our long run of the week. During the week most of the FMG run on their own or with other runners that are not part of FMG, but some run with FMG during the week.

We run a 8 min/mile pace is generally the answer we give people. But we have been known to run under 7 min/mile and over 9 min/mile on occasions, depending on where we are in our training or recovery for/from a marathon, or if someone is injured. Some ride along on their bike during injury periods.

During our runs we attempt to solve and or understand the worlds problems and appreciate the worlds blessings. This also carries over to breakfast conversations.

Lets see, I’ve covered starting times, rules, distances, pace, races, food and socializing.

I could have shortened my answer by answering the unasked question by saying. The Forks Marathon Group meets Saturdays at 7am at the Forks Market and trains for marathons. We run an 8 min/mile pace and in the winter train for the Boston Marathon. After our runs we have a breakfast. But that wouldn’t quite do it.

A better shorter answer would be, The Forks Marathon Group is very important to me and I miss it when I’m unable to run with them.

A runner out of water

What am I doing at a Triathalon? I can’t swim the distances required and haven’t been on my road bike this year. I’ve never spectated at a Triathalon before, never mind participate in one.
I’m running the run portion of the Tinfoil Triathalon relay in Morden, Manitoba. Chantal asked me if I was interested in participating as her team mate. She had Nationals the next weekend and this was to be a training experience for her. Chantal would swim 950 m and ride 30 km. I would run 10.5 km.
It was a cool morning for a run. Perfect.
We have an athletes meeting on the beach which includes a roll call so they can do a head count as the swimmers come out of the water.
I change into my running clothes after the meeting and miss the start of the race. As the swimmers come out of the water they run up a hill from the beach into the transition area where they remove their wetsuits and get their bikes. A quick change, put helmets on and they walk/run their bikes to the bike start line before they can mount them and start their ride. The weather is changing now. The wind is picking up and the temperature is heating up. Once Chantal is on the bike and off for her ride, I go for a two mile warm up run. She expects to be about an hour so I have lots of time.
My warm up run completed, I change again from a t-shirt to a singlet as it’s getting warmer again. I chat with an official who will be leading the lead runner out on the run course. “Its well marked”, are his last words to me.
The lead riders are coming in. They have to rack their bikes before taking their helmets off, then they can run. Well, after they get their running shoes on. A very frantic place to be. I am in the transition area where Chantal is to rack her bike. She comes in somewhere in the top ten. I’m so excited I lose count. I remove the ankle bracelet from her which has the chip in it for recording our race time and put it on my leg. I’m off, first working my way out of the transition area and then onto the gravel road leading to a path through the golf course. The trail is well marked until I get onto the golf course path. I start the race too fast, seeing a 5:50 min/mile pace on my watch, decide to slow down to look behind me for runners to confirm that I am in fact on this well marked course. I do this twice, the second time on a steep down hill that has two fences across the path too slow bikes down. I pass three runners on the golf course and have no one else in sight in front of me. Once I leave the golf course, its into a residential area.   A few family members are on the course cheering.
A man loading his kids into a van tells me that he thinks I’m on the wrong street as he has not seen any other runners come by. I look back at where I’ve just run and can’t see any one. Van guy tells me to go back to street (name I can’t remember) and I do and turn right onto it then left onto the highway. Well, a half a kilometer later Van guy drives up and tells me I’m still going the wrong way and to turn left at the next street. I do and see other runners a block away. I join the crowd telling everyone that I got lost. The funny part is passing the same three runners that I passed on the golf course. “Didn’t you pass me already?”, “Yes, I got lost”, “snicker snicker”
My mind is a bit distracted now trying to figure out how much extra distance that I have to run. The heat and trying to do mental math while running is taking its toll on me. At the aid stations I’m dumping water on my head.
I pass Ian (Chantal’s fiancé) who is competing to do the whole course and tell him the story. No snickers, my frame of mind is a bit better. At an out and back part of the course I see Ian again and repeat my claim that I got lost and expected to be faster. His comment is that Chantal will be disappointed. Time to pick up the pace with about two miles to go, I can’t have her disappointed.
Back on the golf course, I know where to go. I look at my watch and 10.5 km is done and I still have to run up the hill. By the second gate I’m running on my toes as the hill is so steep, I walk for about 10 feet. Not wanting to disappoint Chantal, I start running again, eventually getting to the top of the hill where my pace starts to increase. With 300 m to go, Chantal is there and runs with me encouraging me on. I pick up the pace and smile as we cross the finish line for the imaginary camera as I hear the announcer confirm that we are the first relay team to finish. A lot of the credit does go to Chantal who had both a great swim and ride.
My average pace for the race is 6:45/mile, right on where I told Chantal what I could run for 10.5 km not the 11.7 km that I did run. So the race results will show my pace to be 7:07/mile.

I learned a lot about Triathlons and running out of town races, as well as my gracious teammate who didn’t ever show any disappointment.  As a reward for coming in first we each were presented with a t-shirt.  I hope Chantal asks me for next year as I want to be the fastest runner on the 10.5 km course.

Chantal with a real Team Canada jacket and  me with The Bay variety after the race.
Chantal with a real Team Canada jacket and me with The Bay variety after the race.

Friday again!

OK, I’m posting this on a Thursday with four days left in my running week and wondering, “Will I get my mileage in by Sunday evening?”. Friday has typically been my one planned day off during the week. Out of the past six weeks there have been only two weeks where I have had one day off for a total of 13 days off over 42 days, just over two days per week. However, on two of the on days I have run twice a day. Hills at 6am and a tempo run at 6pm. I am planning on continuing the two run days for one day a week as it is fun. Yes I said fun. After the first few steps in the evening I do wonder what am I doing and then as quickly as that thought comes, it goes away as I settle into the rhythm of the run.

During the winter months I took the opportunity to go to a Hot Yoga class on Friday evenings. I’m not sure if the yoga is helping me with my stretching. But I sure feel good after the class. I am not stretching after most of my runs. Lazy is probably the correct answer as to the reason why, but I have not been having any issues with my legs feeling tight so I tend to forget about stretching. Getting to Hot Yoga during the summer has been difficult, but I’m missing it. Saturday is my scheduled long run day and with cottage season upon us, I have been cutting some of these short and adding the miles to my Sunday run. Its not the same and the solution is to start earlier in the morning on Saturday to get the miles in.

My average mileage at week 6 in training is 40 miles/week which equals my average for my last three marathons, so I am on track distance wise. I’m also running at a faster pace than I was in week 6 (last week of January 2014) during training for the Vancouver Marathon. This is not hard to do, as I remember those minus 30 degree days where a lot of my runs were indoors on a 12 laps per mile track or outdoors in the cold snow filled streets. I am in better shape now running at a 7m30s/ mile pace than in January where a 8m30s/mile pace was the norm for an eight mile run. I do want to get my average up to 50 miles per week.

I should be running a 15 mile long run on Saturday as my minimum now and building up to 18 miles as my minimum by week 10. This is where I’m falling behind. My average long run now is 11 miles, with one 19 miler in there. Since there are no shortcuts to training, I will be waking up early and running 15 miles this Saturday.

So with one day off already this week and 18.73 miles run, I have 31.27 miles to cover over the next 4 days or over 3 days of running, as I still plan on taking Friday off.

Words to remember, No short cuts in training!, Wake up early!