Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Toronto Marathon

On May 15 (my birthday), I arrived at the race with my shorts and Runner’s Life singlet on. The pouring rain had eased up to a drizzle at the start, but there were some 60km/h wind gusts and the thermometer was reading 8°C. That was ok because I decided that my mantra for this race would be “Honey badger don’t give a shit!”

I was cold and shaky but that all went away as the race started at 9am. I forced myself to start out slow for the first 12k. I was waving at the crowd and smiling for the cameras until at 12k after I passed by a few cameras I noticed I was on a steep wet hill. I didn’t want to try to hold back my speed and have that friction on my wet feet so I relaxed my legs and tore down the hill. I slowed at the bottom and tried to fall into a pace I could hold for a long time. I kept reminding myself to constantly sip at the energy drink and to take an energy chew every 8 to 10k. The scenery on Rosedale valley road (from 14 to 17k) was very calming. It wasn’t until Lake Shore Blvd. (26 to 30k) that the wet rough asphalt was starting to make my feet sore. After 30k I was just trying to maintain my pace and get away from the wind gusts blowing drizzly rain in my face. I was noticing at this point that there were more people walking and even some that looked like they had given up. After 37k I was in uncharted territory as far as my running distance goes. I was starting to push a little harder with the thought that I only had a 5k race to run.

Once I got to 40k on University Ave. I was feeling good and wanted to finish strong. I was getting a lot of support from onlookers and it was getting harder to hold back the urge to sprint for the finish. I held off the sprint until 42k, when I knew I wouldn’t burn out before the end, but I had already increased my pace to sub 5min/k by 41k. After I crossed the finish line I took a couple of sips of my energy drink and thought “Wow! I feel a lot better than I did at the Around the Bay finish.”

Looking at my stats I see I finished with a time of 4:17 and that I was able to negatively split this race by 1:09. I ran the first half in 2:09 and the last half I 2:08. I thought it was interesting that my time at 30k in the marathon was exactly the same time I finished the Around the Bay 30k race. One of my favorite stats is that in the last 12k of the race I passed 114 people and nobody passed me. I was very happy with this race overall. Run :)

After the race I noticed that my knees were quite sore under the knee caps. The left knee is especially sore and feels worse each day. I am hoping that some rest and anti-inflammatory pills will fix it up. I’ve read most of Ken Bob’s book and I am going to re-assess my running form. I believe that I need to bend my knees more and get more cross training in by riding my bike. I am hoping this will fix my knee issues permanently. I will also go back to the sharp gravely trail to help improve my form. Thanks Ken Bob!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

IBRD Clinic

Warsaw Point to Point 37k Run

Two weeks ago was the Runner’s Life Point to Point Run to Warsaw. The day started out cold, windy and drizzly with a forecast of warmer weather but increasing wind gusts. This made it hard to decide what to wear, but luckily this was a point to point run with a mobile support crew. My thanks go out to Chris and Mandy for looking after us.

I was able to get in my 37k that was scheduled for the marathon training that day by running the Pub Run route first and then heading out on the 30k run to Warsaw. Having great company to run with who didn’t complain about me talking their ears off really helped me pass the time and the distance without as much effort as I would have thought. I was also thankful that they didn’t mind running on the roads with me instead of taking the much safer (but hard on bare feet) gravel trail. The muddy country roads were much more pleasant for me to run on. My body seemed to hold up well and I felt as if I could have run longer.

On the way out, an old guy in a pickup truck stopped and I thought he was going to ask if we needed a ride. Instead he just asked me if I wanted his boots he had in the back of the truck. Yes, how did he know exactly what I wanted? I said thanks but I was fine the way I was. I enjoyed a nice western omelet with some Texas toast at the restaurant in Warsaw. A woman sitting at a table we passed as we were leaving asked us what our group was doing. One of our runners proudly told her that we had just run all the way from Peterborough. The woman promptly asked “Why?” Dave laughed and said he didn’t know why other than we were crazy. As I got into the van to come home, I felt more confident than crazy. I hope I feel this good after the Toronto Goodlife Marathon This Sunday.

International Barefoot Running Day - Barefoot Running Clinic

May 1st was declared by the Barefoot Runners Society (BRS) to beInternational Barefoot Running Day (IBRD). Dave and I had already started to plan a Barefoot Running Clinic for late in April or early May. We were curious to see what kind of interest there was in the community for barefoot or minimal shoe running. The internet has shown a substantial in increase in barefoot running sites and related blogs/articles since the release of Chris McDougall’s book “Born To Run”. Once I heard about IBRD, the first of May just seemed to be the obvious choice for our clinic.

Dave posted an advertisement for the clinic on his website and on Facebook. I also posted it on the BRS site and in the barefoot running forum on the Runner’s World website. Unfortunately, the Sporting Life 10k race in Toronto was being held on the same day, as well as what seemed like every other event that someone could think of. So it wasn’t a big surprise that we had to share the Park with the “Hike for Hospice “. This wasn’t so bad it just meant we had some live music in the background for mood. The weather on the Sunday ended up being cold and overcast, but we completed the clinic before the rain started. Just a few days before the clinic, Dave said we had 2 or 3 people signed up. I told him that as long as I had one person I would consider the clinic worthwhile and he agreed. I feel the clinic was a success with two participants showing up. The small group was interactive and I think we each learned a little from each other.