Toronto Goodlife Marathon 2012 – 28th Time’s A Charm

Here’s how Marathon #28 went down…

Goodlife Toronto Marathon Home StretchThe Toronto Goodlife Marathon came only 3 weeks after a fairly disastrous Boston Marathon where we battled 90 degree temperatures. My decision during that race to slow down and save what I could for Goodlife actually paid off somewhat. Was it all worth it? I think so…

We all have our own reasons why our capabilities are not met in full for whatever reasons and instead of excusing myself for not realizing my top performance in the marathon, I will simply say, that on this day, I ran the best race I think I could have.

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My Own Duel In The Sun

The Heat was onBy now, most of the world is aware that The 2012 Boston Marathon was one for the record books. Highs of 30+ degrees Celsius its toll on all of us that day. My training companions and I dreaded the forecasts the week prior and in the end, we threw our goals out the window and ran smart. On race day the plan was to run for the experience and a not make it a day of personal bests. Except,  Nir, the strongest hot day runner I know, who was close to his PB with a very impressive 3:16! I am glad Nir survived to tell the tale because lord knows, had I tried to tough it out like that, I may have crossed the finish line, but it would have been in a golf cart like I saw several dudes…with a respirator attached…or worse. Read more of this post

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Holiday Running and Racing Recap

I never did get around to writing this (in a timely manner that is). I jut logged on to get started on a Race Report for the Chilly Half Marathon when I realized I had a draft started about my holiday run-escapades.

As it turned out, the holiday season was another one of sneaking in runs when I could which was most days but I did miss Christmas day this year. Last year daughter Sarah and I has a lovely 6km run down to the beach and back and we planned on repeating that this year but it was too tough to do after the huge breakfast we ate!

Boxing Day was my first time attending the famous and historic Boxing Day 10 miler. It is a well run event in Hamilton, rich in tradition and it did not disappoint. We blessed with glorious weather and despite the lack of fitness going into it, I managed a decent time of 1:12 and seconds (which I’ve forgotten).

New Years Day saw us once again toeing the line at the Beaches Hair of the dog 9k run and Polar Bear dip. We were again greeted by decent weather which made for a good run (38 mins) and a bearable temperature for the Polar bear dip on lake Ontario that followed the run.

This race had a good turnout from our Beaches Runners Club members and the post race spread of Chili, salad, sweets is always well done. This low-key event in Toronto’s gorgeous Beaches is one of my all time favorites. I definitely recommend you join us next year.

One other interesting note about the holidays is that, as it followed a 3-week rest period of barely any running, it also kicked off my current running daily streak that has me on day 68 and feeling great! I hope to manage a daily run for the entirety of 2012 with 3k being the minimum length. For official reasons, a run must be a minimum of 1 mile according to the official streaking run community. I just chose 3k as a nice decent length to call a run. Let’s see how I go, and how I do when battling. Cold, flu or worse, injury (gulp).

An don’t worry, my ‘streaking’ does not entail any naked running!

 

Oh, and Chilly Half Marathon Race Report coming soon….

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Is There a Road to Hope – Marathon Report

I kind of get quiet when life as a runner is not going well.  So it takes a while to gather up the motivation to put into words what is happening. But here it is.

I trained hard this Summer. I pushed myself, ran about the same mileage as my previous highest mileage period where I ran my PB of 3:18:20. I ate well, not perfect, but well. I cross trained, but not that often. I got more sleep than usual. I cut out alcohol, but not as much as I did when I ran my 2 PBs.

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The Story Must Be Told, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Many hours were spent training, Many miles of road covered. They say the
marathon can break your heart just as long as it doesn’t break your
spirit. That’s the exact truth and applies to me today unconditionally.

Many factors were at play here, the stars needed to align to reach my
original goal of 3:10. And many stars did in fact align. My Achilles was
feeling good; I slept well last night and the previous few nights, I
rested well, ate well and remained fairly relaxed in the lead-up to the
race. The weather behaved as far as temperatures go but the headwinds
going west were brutal.

I felt pretty good and decided I would stay with my plan and stick to a
4:30/KM pace. I choose to run alone and just focused on my goal and got to
10k on pace, maybe a bit fast, in 44:30. I continued on, past the
Windemere turnaround at 12KM and headed back happy to be out of the wind.
The eastbound portion of the run that took us back into downtown along
Queens Quay went well, I passed the halfway mark a little over 1:34 and
was still feeling good. then the lights went out.

At 22KM I felt a twinge of fatigue that reminded me I was overdue to
consume some nutrition. I was coming up to a water stop where I could wash
down a gel pack so I stopped momentarily so I wouldn’t choke on it and
when I went to start running again a pain, an older injury that hasn’t
bothered me lately flared up. No warning signs at all, just sharp pain
from deep in my left butt muscle that streamed all the way down my
hamstring. I couldn’t even come close to the pace I had been running. I
was a bit shocked to be honest and continued on hoping it would pass. It
didn’t.

I continued along, suffering and slowing, and demotivated by the hoards of
runners passing me by. At this point I started wondering if I could, or
should continue. I decided I’d run the the eastern most part in the Beach
where my kids were and shack up with them where I would wait for my wife
to come by and then finish with her.

In the Beach, my home turf, the support was amazing and I felt bad and a
bit embarrassed that I had fallen behind where they were expecting me. My
kids and a few mates were sure to tell me afterward that I did not look great. I decided to continue on and tough it out, hoping to maybe still
get in around 3:20. At the turn around to head back west downtown, 9KM to
go, I made a surge that actually felt good but didn’t last long. The
headwinds were nasty and the pain flared back up and I made the decision
to take it easy from 35KM to the finish. I ran easy, walked a bit, chatted
up the spectators and volunteers and tried, best I could, to enjoy the
finish.

I passed through downtown with my head down just wanting to finish and get this
done. The last turn and the view 200m from the finish was a welcome sight.
As always, the last kilometre of the marathon is somewhat enjoyable no matter how you tired and depleted you feel. It
may not have been a personal best but it was a feat of endurance and
perseverance and I felt pretty good about not quitting. I can rest now,
regroup and look to the future. I am not done with this craziness.

My finish time was 3:32:23 a good 22 minutes shy of my goal. Not too bad
all things considered. Fear not, the burger and beer after the race tasted
Great. Looking back, I know I trained well. Maybe hard enough on
the runs but not well enough in the non run disciplines. It is was it is, I know where I cam improve
and there is nothing I can do about this race now. I am disappointed and heartbroken
but as the title of this report says, my spirit is not broken.

Thanks for following along with me. My next goal marathon is Boston in April, where I plan to attack it the
same way I did for this one. There’s work to be done, but not before a couple
weeks of rest of course!

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Limberlost Challenge Trail Race

I meant to write about this sooner. I really did. But then I wrote about it in my weekly Globe And Mail Diary and I put it behind me.

[you can view that article here]

But there’s much more to tell about this great day and a what fabulous event it was. First off, it is not too far from our cottage so it just made sense to try to fit it in to our weekend. Anita and I were planning to do long training runs anyway so when we cleared it with the powers that be (our sons and their grandparents) to be away from them for a bit longer than usual on a training day, we drove there and registered on Race Day morning.

The location is just west of Algonquin Park in the Limberlost Forest. The start area is a nice open area with tents for sun protection and the start line heads from there out to about 500m of dirt road and then you dip into the tree covered forest. Check out the video below for a nice view of the whole shebang, start, trails, scenery. Just lovely.

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6 races in 6 weeks

Niagara Ultra Marathon, Half and 120k startIt’s no real feat to knock off 6 races in 6 weeks so I won’t go on too long on about them. They’re all just a part of my Fall Marathon preparation. I have been doing them as training runs, no rest preparation etc, just throwing them into the mix as Tempo runs. I did 4 x 10km road races and last weekend tackled a 28km trail race as a long run. That race was one that requires a bit more discussion as they is just so many interesting things about it that although it wasn’t a planned goal race, it sure felt like it by the time I was done. Read more of this post

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Niagara Ultra 2011

Beaches RunnersAs much as I would have loved to run the 50k Ultra Marathon in Niagara again this year, I had to say no. Well, nobody made me say no, I didn’t have to, but I felt it was a good decision as I need more short distance speed training and less body breaking long runs. This is of course if I want to improve my marathon performances, in particular, this Fall at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (STWM). So we opted for the 10k, and in the end, I ran it alongside Cam not wanting to pass up the opportunity to accompany him on his quest for a sub 50 minute 10k. Read more of this post

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Ottawa Race Weekend 2011

The Ottawa CrewAnd so you have it, the final marathon of the Spring. That brings me up to 5 for the year and 24 total. This one was neither the easiest nor hardest but it was interesting. Interesting in that it was a tell tale sign that I need to reassess my running goals. By the time I crossed the line, again as a Pace Bunny for the Running Room, I felt relief, for two reasons… Read more of this post

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Toronto Goodlife Marathon

Well, uh, it was a rainy day …

Dave The Bunny. Pacing Duties #4The Toronto Goodlife Marathon, my 24th, was actually a few weeks ago but my blogging delinquency has been criminal, so here we are now – catching up.

After running Boston, followed two weeks later by the Sporting Life 10k where I ran a personal best 40:49 I had 2 weeks to get ready for the Goodlife Marathon where I’d be running my 4th official Pace Bunny Race. This time at 3:40. The getting ready part consisted of some maintenance running and some resting. Read more of this post

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