Travel and Running is an Awesome Combination

I’ve booked some more travel for work in the next couple of months which means more opportunities to run in far-flung places. First up is Orlando in February which will be a write-off as far as outdoor stuff goes. I was there last year at the same hotel – the Gaylord Palms – and it’s a horrid location to run…nothing around but highways. Treadmill running will be the order of the day there most likely.

But March includes a 10-day adventure including some time in Holland, and then southern Germany. I’ve got a 29k on the schedule and a free Sunday in Amsterdam looking for an activity. I’m already excited about that run. Last time I was in Europe I ran an amazing 29k along the Rhine in Köln.

Looking at schedules, I should be able to get two runs in around Rust, Germany. I’ll be there for which is a hosting industry trade show that is held at EuropaPark, of all places. I’m hoping to do at least two, and maybe three runs in Amsterdam including the long Sunday run mentioned above.

Since I started running, mostly thanks to a bunch of work travel, I’ve been lucky enough to run in San Francisco, Austin, New York City, San Diego, Orlando, Washington D.C. and Boston plus Köln and Brühl, Germany. Non-work travel adds runs in Vancouver, Hilton Head Island, Ottawa, and around Muskoka.

One fortunate runner here!

Church of the Running Room

My mom remarked a few weeks back that our run club is our community. That’s absolutely true…and it’s a great thing.

I sometimes jokingly refer to our Sunday morning run-club as “Church of the Running Room.” The more I think about it, the more apt I think that nickname is.

Growing up, we were regular church goers in our family. In fact, these days my parents take our kids to church almost every week while we run.

For us, church consisted of a couple of distinct phases:

  • Getting ready: wake up, get dressed in your Sunday best.
  • Get to church and chit-chat with people prior to the service starting.
  • The service itself…usually about an hour or so, although longer on special occasions.
  • After-church coffee with lots of socializing about what was going on in the community.

Contrast that with the Church of the Running Room:

  • Getting ready: wake up and get dressed in the appropriate running gear for the weather.
  • Get to the Running Room and chit-chat with people prior to the start of the run.
  • The run itself…usually about an hour, although longer on some occasions.
  • After-run coffee with lots of socializing about what is going on in the community.

Running Rooms are like local churches from the same denomination. If you are from out of town, you can find the local Running Room and show up at 8:30am on Sunday knowing there will be a group run happening.

People who run at the Running Room have similar beliefs and creeds – running is fun, 10 and ones are the way to go, John Stanton is our “Pope” (I resisted the obvious parallel there to a higher power, but I bet some see him that way).

Whether you see running as a religion or not, there’s no denying the depth of the running community and the many great benefits that being part of the running community provides.

Speed Bumps on the Road to 42.2km

My last post here was all about getting back into the running groove.

A little incident on my way to work a few weeks back left me with a badly broken left arm just above the elbow. I was cycling in as usual and was hit by a car. I was knocked flying and 14 hours later I had 13 screws and two plates in my arm.

Unfortunately, that will have to wait until after my arm heals up enough that I can start running again. It’s going to be long couple of months of therapy to regain my strength and restore the range of motion that I had prior to the accident.

My ultimate goal is to get back to Vancouver in 2012 to run the BMO Vancouver Marathon for the second time. It’s 210 days from today. I’m not sure I’ll be able to do it, but I’m sure as heck going to work hard in physio with the goal of getting ready to start training again come the new year.

Until then, it’s going to be quiet around here.

Reviving the Running Mojo

I’m starting to get back to a regular running routine. That means running three or four times a week, and logging about 120km a month. It’s been a quiet summer for running for a couple of reasons. First, I had a bit of an injury after the Niagara Ultra 50km that just wouldn’t heal. Second, I bought a road bike and did a lot of cycling.

I’ve done a couple of longer runs the last two Sundays – 16km last week, and 12km this week. I’ve got a map for an 18km on Sunday that I think I’ll attempt. I’ve run those runs slower than I’m used to, but it’s ben very enjoyable.

I really needed that break from running to remind myself that I really, really like it now that I’ve come back. Tonight I ran 5km at Variety Village, and while it was unpleasant due to some tummy issues related to dinner choices, it was nice to hop on the ‘mill and put in some miles.

Looking forward to the BMO Vancouver Marathon is also helping to revive my running mojo. I’m already planning my training program and thinking about how I want to approach the fall season so I get to the start of that program in good shape.

Too Soon?

bmo-may6I’m already getting excited about heading out to Vancouver again next year for the 2012 BMO Vancouver Marathon. It’s way early to be thinking about it, but I had such a great time in 2011, that I really want to bring my wife Ginny along with me this time and have her see what a great event it is.

New Course in 2012

The organizers promised a brand new course for 2012. So far, all they’ve said is that for runners in the full marathon “‘Hitting the Wall’ will mean something totally different in 2012” and to stay tuned for an announcement on October 5th. That could either mean they are doing a loop that will include the monster climb up the Burrard Bridge a second time to really kill us all, or maybe we’re going to get to run more of the Seawall in Stanley Park.

I’m hoping for the latter.

New Friends in 2011

One of the best parts of my 2011 experience was interacting with the social media team, particularly Jon Suk (@jonsuk). He was gracious enough to invite me to a dinner with some runners from Victoria (#yyjrun ftw). I’ve continued to keep tabs on many of them through Twitter and Dailymile and would call them friends, despite having only met in real life on race weekend.

As of today, it’s 237 days until race day. You can bet I’ll be blogging more about it as training kicks in starting in late December. Can’t wait!