Monday, April 26, 2010

2010 Grande-Digue 15k

I ran in the Grande-Digue 15k race on Saturday (results here). The race director is Sylvio Bourque, a guy who runs more races than anyone in New Brunswick. Sylvio is known for his explosive starts at the beginning of races. I'm told that in deference to the host, the runners might have given him a couple of extra seconds at the start, so his lead was even more exaggerated than normal. Check out the picture below ...

The next picture shows me in my own classic starting position - hanging back in the crowd.

There was a nice feed of pasta after the race, some great draw prizes (none to me, unfortunately) and recognition of the various winners. All in all, a very good job by Sylvio. He did call out a need for additional volunteers for the race for next year, saying that he may not be able to hold the race if he doesn't recruit more help.

The race went through the pretty town, on what turned out to be a very nice day. The course wasn't as flat as I expected, but it was by no means hilly either - just a few gradual slopes, ending with a 1.5 km downhill, which felt great at the end of the race. My time was 1:15:27 (8:06 mins/mile, 5:02 mins/km pace), which I was fine with. Plugging this into the trusty McMillan Running calculator, it projects a 1:48 half marathon time. At my half-marathon in Fredericton in two weeks, I expect to do better than that, and definitely improve over my last half-marathon time of 1:49:15 from last July.

As for my last week in running, it totaled 35 miles. I cut back my normal long run on Sunday to just eight miles, taking a little break after the Saturday race. In addition to the race, my week included some hill work on Tuesday night.

Congratulations to Mike, who ran Big Sur on Sunday, finishing the tough course in 3:51, while taking in the sights along with photos and videos. Congratulations also go to Tina from Houston, who completed the same beautiful course.

A couple more pictures from Grande-Digue to wrap up this post ...

Me at the finish ...

Pre-race ...

The back of the crowd, at the start ...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Beginning

I’ll start this entry with a recap of my week from a running perspective. I ran on five of the seven days, logging just over 37 miles or around 60 kilometres. That’s a decent total for me at this point. Although I haven’t yet hit the mileage levels of marathon training (that will start in about 6-8 weeks) my runs have included some quality sessions. My Tuesday run included 8 hill repeats of 90 seconds at 5k pace, and later in the week an 8 mile run that included 5 miles at half marathon pace. Even today, for my 12-mile “long run”, the last ten minutes were at a peppy pace. Peppy pace: a technical term, I’m sure, likely thrown around by guys like Daniels or Lydiard. Or perhaps not.

Next Saturday I’m running a 15k race at Grand-Digue. I’ll take a few pictures and post them along with a race recap. In the meantime, to close this post, a little historical summary of my running origin.

I started a running program in the spring of 2008, mostly because Faith Ann had also started it, and I felt guilted or shamed into doing it. It was nothing major at all, just struggling to get through the Couch to 5k running plan. I can recall how difficult I found it to jog for ten minutes, then only get a break for 3 minutes, before having to jog again for another ten minutes. After a month or two of doing this, I remember mentioning to my buddy Drew that I had started it. He tried to get me to go out running with his friend JB and him, but I didn’t think I could keep up with them, so I passed on it. (I remember Drew trying to convince me, saying "Come on, we can run shirtless! " – as if that was incentive!) I soon started doing lunchtime runs of around 4 miles with Drew. He kept me motivated to run, and it was fun. He then suggested we enter a 10k race later that summer in Woodstock. I wasn’t ready for that, but I did tell him I would do the Fall Classic 10k that September in Fredericton. We ran the route a couple of times for practice, and were all set to go. Unfortunately, Drew got sick and didn’t make the run, but Faith Ann and I did, and the running just continued from there. I ran a few more times with Drew after that, but it’s no longer a regular part of his routine. However, I’m hopeful we’ll get out together a few times this summer. I think it’s quite likely that if I hadn’t done those lunchtime runs with Drew, and had he not suggested the 10k race, my running may have gradually dried up and ended at some point that summer, as it did a couple of other times in years past when I started running. My thanks go out to Drew for the motivation has provided.

A picture of us with our boys (including Drew’s boy Max doing his best Keith Richards impersonation ) is below.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Lincoln 5k and photo gems

I ran the Lincoln 5k today, the first of my spring races. Last year in this 5k, I just wanted to finish under 25 minutes, and stumbled my way to a 24:57. This year, all I was asking for was 24 minutes. That seemed about right, given that I’m kinda slow to begin with, and my mileage lately (about 25 miles/40 kms per week) has been relatively low.

The picture above shows me at 23:57, but the official results have me at 24:01. I believe the chip time was only recorded at the end of the race, as the results didn’t distinguish between chip and gun time. Given that I started about halfway back in the crowd of a couple of hundred runners, I’m thinking my “chip” time had to be under twenty-four minutes. Oh wait ... am I really quibbling over 2 seconds, and the difference between a 24:01 vs. a 23:59 5k? Enough of that. I’m hopeful that when my training picks up, I’ll get a 23 minutes later this summer on an easier 5k course.

It was good to see Mike again at the race today. He’s rounding into fine form for Big Sur in a couple of weeks, putting in a very good result today. I’m looking forward to seeing his Big Sur pictures and hearing about the race. Mike mentioned that I haven’t posted much to the blog lately. I told him I would pick up the posting frequency once my marathon training picks up in June, to keep me accountable. However, I think perhaps that accountability should start kicking in sooner. I’ll go back to trying to post at least weekly, if only to put out a two-three liner summarizing the running for the week.

To wrap up this one, a picture of Cam after his kid’s run today. That’s followed by some of Cam’s own photography. The photos are good examples of what happens when you give a seven year-old boy your old 2-meg camera to have fun with.

For some reason I think this next photo of Cam's is pretty cool ...

A very "Canadian" game that Cam likes -

Another thing Cam likes - the landfill! A photo of some recyclables from there.

Photos of photos !

Finally, a picture of Cam's cute father -