Four Days to Go

Happy Wednesday and time for one last training run. I’ve got 10km on the schedule for tonight, hopefully at race pace.

That means I need to decide what race pace actually is. My personal best marathon is a 3:53:59, but I think based on my training this year that I can maybe take a run at that. At Around the Bay, I ran 5:06/km over 30km. Hmmm.

A 3:45 marathon is 5:20/km and a 3:50 is about 5:27/km. With that in mind, I’ll probably run about 5:20/km for my last run tonight.

We’ll see what race day brings. Only at the end of the race will I really get a sense of what I’ve done this year to improve and what my race pace is.

Five Days to Go

Tuesdays are usually made for tempo runs, but I’ve got an offset schedule this week thanks to a Saturday long run. So that means this tempo Tuesday is a rest day instead.

With the taper well underway, I’m making sure to do some daily stretching to keep things from tightening up while I back off on the miles a little bit.

There’s nothing left to gain by running more, and lots to lose if I don’t get the rest I need leading up to the race. Taper is tough, but after 17 weeks of training, I’m enjoying not going out in the evenings for those treadmill runs.

Six Days to Go

The countdown is really on now. The taper is in full effect and the name of the game is rest.

That doesn’t mean no running. It means cutting back on the pace a bit, and dialing back on the mileage. I’m planning a 7km easy run tonight with another 10km at race pace on Wednesday.

That extra km on Monday will help push me over 200km for the month – the third straight 200km+ month for me for the first time ever.

Thursday is another off day, and Friday is travel day with a long flight to Vancouver to worry about. I’ll try and get most of the walking and exploring done on Friday so I won’t be tempted to do too much on Saturday.

A short 3km friendship run at the Denman St. Running Room on Saturday morning will help stretch things out a little bit and relieve some of the pre-race crazies.

Seven Days to Go

One week to go!

Three days of work, three more training runs, one flight to Vancouver, 3km friendship run on Saturday. And then it’s race day in Vancouver again. Can’t wait.

I’m going to continue to blog daily leading up to race day on Sunday. The last week of training is always awesome. It’s a mix of less miles at a slower pace. The legs usually start feeling better thanks to the rest, and the little nagging aches, pains and soreness disappear.

The tough part is the anticipation, especially when the race involves travel. I’ve got Thursday off work to get a few things done, and then Friday morning I’ll hop on Air Canada flight 153 to YVR.

Race Pace 16km

At this point, 16km at 5:03/km seems like an easy run.

It was the last 10km+ run before BMO, and the last “long” run of training. From here on out it’s just a few more runs, and nothing more than 10km. It’s all about rest this week.

The run itself was great. I haven’t run along the Waterfront Trail in the Beach in months and while the weather isn’t yet summer-like, the beach looks like the beach again and there were a bunch of people out and about.

Eight days to go!

On the Fake Boston Marathon Bibs

These people who ran the Boston Marathon with fake bibs are really pissing me off.

First was the four people who all ran with a fake bib number. Then today it was discovered that the wife of Foursquare-founder Dennis Crowley also ran with a fake bib.

These people are pompous, self-entitled assholes. They didn’t earn their way in with a qualifying time like many did. They didn’t fundraise for the official charities like many did. No. They decided that they should be entitled to run the 2014 Boston Marathon when they weren’t entitled to. They decided that the rules didn’t apply to them.

Here’s Dennis Crowley’s explanation:

“Yes, using a duplicate number to get Chelsa into the starting corral with me was wrong. I don’t expect everyone to understand our strong need to run and and finish together — but after trying unsuccessfully to get a charity number and trying unsuccessfully to officially transfer a number from an injured-runner friend, we did what we could to make sure we could run together in hopes of finishing together.”

You think it’s “ok” because the Boston Marathon really meant a lot to you, Dennis Crowley? Well it means a lot to a lot of people and those people were out there because they earned their way in. You couldn’t get your wife into the race, but rather than accepting that and dealing with it, you decided that printing up a fake bib was your way of showing to the world how much Boston meant to you. Fuck you.

I hope they never let you run the race ever again. And good luck with Foursquare. I’m out – account deleted.

I’m Done Training

I said it the other night after another 10km evening run – I’m done training.

I don’t mean that in the physical sense, although I think it’s fair to say that if the race was Sunday that it would all be good. I’m ready to go physically.

I mean it in the mental sense. I’ve had it with the training runs. I’m ready for the race to be here, to run it and for it to be over again for another little while.

This is normal and it’s not the first time I’ve got to this point. I also don’t think it’s a negative thing either. It’s bound to happen when you put so much time and effort into something.

Ask me if it was all worth it in about ten days.

Training by the Numbers

I have a couple of weeks to go still but I figured it would be neat to look at my training so far, by the numbers.

  • Weeks of training: 16
  • Total number of training runs: 67
  • Total time spent running: 65 hours
  • Total kilometres run: 738.8km
  • Average run distance: ~11.4km/run

Big months and big weeks, long runs and fast runs:

  • Highest mileage month: March – 223km
  • Highest mileage week: March 10 to 16 – 83km
  • Longest run: 30.8km
  • Fastest pace: 4:32/km for 6km on January 28

Both the monthly and weekly mileage totals are records for me. I’ve not run that much in a month before, and never even close to that much in a single week.

I’ve got two weeks of training to go, and if I stick to the schedule, about 55km of running prior to race day over six training runs adding up to a third straight month of 200km or more. I’ll do a final tally on the evening before the race to total things up. Looks like it’ll be something like 790km in 73 runs over 18 weeks.


Running to Learn About Yourself

This is one of my favourite quotes from Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen:

But yeah, Ann [Trason] insisted, running was romantic; and no, of course her friends didn’t get it because they’d never broken through. For them running was a miserable two miles motivated solely by size 6 jeans…But you can’t muscle through a five-hour run that way; you have to relax into it, like easing your body into a hot bath, until it no longer resists the shock and begins to enjoy it. Relax enough and your body becomes so familiar with the cradle-rocking rhythm that you almost forget you’re moving. And once you break through to that soft, half-levitating flow, that’s when the moonlight and champagne show up: ‘You have to be in tune with your body, and know when you can push it and when to back off,’ Ann would explain. You have to listen closely to the sound of your own breathing; be aware of how much sweat is beading on your back; make sure to treat yourself to cool water and a salty snack and ask yourself, honestly and often, exactly how you feel. What could be more sensual than paying exquisite attention to your own body? Sensual counted as romantic, right?

There are a couple things I love about what ultra marathoner Ann Trason says about running being romantic:

  • Loving running. If your motivation to run is to lose weight, or to try to impress people or to prove something to someone other than yourself, then you likely won’t have a good time of it. If you don’t love running, then you probably aren’t going to like it either.
  • Being in the zone. There is no better feeling to me than when I’m not even thinking about running anymore and it’s like breathing. It’s just happening. My legs are moving me forward and it’s all just so automatic and easy. It’s not often that I’ve felt that I could run forever, but boy is it ever a great feeling when it happens.

Running lessons applied to life

There’s so much about running that I end up applying to other areas of my life. Addressing self-doubt, pushing myself to get outside of my comfort zone, taking time to myself. There’s a lot about me, but that’s exactly what Trayson is getting at. Running gives you that time to devote to yourself for those few hours and in those hours, you can learn so much about who you are and what you are really capable of.

Boston Marathon Day

I’ve been watching the little runner people on the tracker all morning. It’s not the most exciting way to watch a marathon, but it sure beats not knowing how my running friends are doing.

baatracker-300x290So far it’s been a good day. One is finished already (another stellar run for Doug), another two are through 40km (go Chantal and Sam!), and the last started in the later wave but is doing well through 30km (not bad for not training, Kathryn).

I’ll likely never run Boston myself. I’m not fast enough and I can’t imagine ever getting fast enough to qualify. I think I’d need to take the better part of 35 minutes off my personal best for the marathon. Not happening.

Aside from all my running friends finishing and doing well, I have one other wish: that we can put 2013 behind us now and get back to thinking about the race, and running and fun rather than all the crap that we were forced to deal with.