Monday, May 24, 2010

Boyden Lake II - The Sequel !

While spending the long weekend on Campobello, I got in a bit of golf - and so did Cameron! Cam is in real trouble if he's getting advice from me, especially while swinging a club having a shaft far too long for him!

Another highlight of the weekend was meeting Andrew and Mike Saturday morning for a run. We did the 12-mile Boyden Lake loop. It was a very enjoyable run, in perfect weather. I found this run much easier than my previous Boyden experience, when I did my first ever 20-mile run. Don't believe those who say that sequels are never as good as the original!

Andrew's on the mend from an achilles/calf injury, but survived the run feeling good. As for Mike, he is on a "beer-free" recovery from his latest dental surgery, but his running is in fine shape. It was a quiet morning, with dogs scattered along the route every few hundred yards. Speaking of dogs/beer/health (what an awful segue!), check out this link supposedly showing that Guinness beer really is "good for you". It must be true, considering they tested the theory on dogs with narrow arteries!

My running week ended with 36 miles, including the 12 mile Boyden run, 7.5 somewhat hilly miles yesterday, and a pretty tough run Wednesday that included some 6-minute intervals at 5k pace. Wednesday a few of my teammates and I got together to discuss the Cabot Trail Relay. I am currently scheduled to run leg 6, which has a difficulty rating of 4.5 out of 5. It's 17.5 kilometers in length, and here is how the website describes it:

"The scenery on this seacoast run will captivate you despite a couple of long challenging hills. This leg climbs to the finish at Cabot High School on the right. Elevation 90m. Be prepared for strong coastal breezes."

We'll see just how "captivated" I will be while running those hills! I'm looking forward to the weekend.

Finally, a couple of short congratulatory notes. My cousin Emily kicked butt in the half-marathon event of the Bluenose Marathon weekend in Halifax, finishing with a chip time of 1:36:53.9. That gives her a qualifying time into the New York City marathon - by 6 seconds! Results here. This is the second time she has qualified for it. Also, my friend Mark from Halifax completed his first marathon, gutting it out to finish in 4:27:25 (results here). He let me know that some recent health issues and the Halifax hills haunted him at the end. Considering the circumstances and the fact that he hasn't been doing the "long distance thing" for very long, I think he did quite well.

Next week ... pictures and stories from the Cabot Trail Relay!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Filler Week

I ran 33.5 miles this week, including a great 14-mile run today at a pace just under 9 minutes per mile. The run felt nice and easy, on a nice coolish morning. Next weekend is a long weekend, and we're heading to Campobello, where I plan to do a 15-mile long run Sunday, the last long run before heading to the Cabot Trail Relay over the last weekend in May.

My latest training plan has me doing two speed sessions per week. However, I skipped one this week that I was planning to do on Wednesday, as I felt a bit of pain in my foot while I was starting out. I'm not too worried about it, but I have started icing it a bit. It was probably just some after-effects from the half marathon last weekend. I did get in a speed session Friday, running five 1k intervals at 5k pace, and it felt alright when I was done.

Just a few more quick notes. The folks from the Mount Desert Island marathon have said that there are less than 200 spots left in the marathon before it sells out - capped at 1000 participants, I think. It looks like it will be full before the end of June, I'm guessing.

Faith Ann is getting back into the running spirit, and has said she might sign up for the 5k or 10k race at the Miramichi Rock'n'Run, when I run the half there in July. Also, she is thinking about running a half marathon in the fall, and is considering running the half marathon component of the Maine Marathon on October 3rd, in Portland, Maine. That's just two weeks before my full marathon, but if she does decide to run it, I will probably also do the half, but not race it. If there was a 5k or 10k race in the event, I probably would have raced one of them, but I'll be good and restrain myself over the 13 miles.

Finally, the Arizona marathon has this nice video of the route on their site. I've watched the whole thing, and nary a hill to be found. Lots of multi-lane highways, and as for the scenic attractions ... well there are the camelback hills, and the warm sunshine is also quite inviting.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

2010 Fredericton Half Marathon

The 2010 edition of the Fredericton Marathon, along with the half marathon, 10k and 5k races, was held today. I did the half marathon. Here's a picture Faith Ann took as I was finishing. My chip time was actually 1:48:13, although the clock time is what you see in the photograph below. Note that I was looking for Mike, who was signed up to run the 10k today, but I think his dentist repeatedly hit him in the face with a bag of frozen nickels last week, so he didn't make it up today.

Faith Ann hasn't run in any of the three races I have completed this spring. Left to my own devices, not only am I a terrible procrastinator, but I am habitually late arriving for everything. The first two races of the spring it didn't matter: in the Lincoln 5k, Cam had a race prior to mine, so we couldn't be late. For the Grande-Digue 15k, we didn't know the area very well, so we gave ourselves plenty of time to get there. Today, it was the real Trevor coming through. As I walked up the street where the runners were lining up, I heard "Ten seconds until the start!". At that point, I started running up the street, took off my sweats, and fell in behind the crowd. I soon ran by the walkers with their walking sticks, and started weaving in and out of some of the later starters. As I was wondering what my pace was, it dawned on me that perhaps I should start my watch! All in all, I don't think it affected me too much. Maybe it even forced me to start out slowly?

The weather was touch-and-go approaching the race start, and there were some light showers as we got underway. However, the day was actually quite nice for running, as it was right around 10 degrees Celsius. A couple of pics from the beginning show the wet atmosphere at the time.

Also, the showers at the beginning fortunately ruined this somewhat embarrassing sign Faith Ann and Cam had created. However, Faith Ann tells me the sign generating lots of smiles from others looking at Cameron proudly holding the sign.

Shortly into the race, I passed Frank Kelly, and tried to make some joke about how he should try to run his age in the half-marathon. You know 71 years old, 71 minutes - get it?? Somehow it doesn't translate from the golf idiom of shooting your age. While he didn't finish in 1:11, I'll happily take 1:51 when I'm his age.

The course is flat as can be, with the exception of the pedestrian bridge used to cross the highway near the beginning and end of the course. I was happy with both the fairly even splits and my time, considering my recent training and where I am in the year (the "official" marathon training schedule begins next month).

A quick recap of my three races this spring shows that I'm either in tune with my pace, or I'm a case study for self-fulfilling prophecies. I've managed to almost exactly hit my predicted times in the 5k, 15k and half-marathon. So ... for my next half-marathon in July, I'm going to aggressively predict a time of 1:45:xx. I'm not throwing out any predictions for the Cabot Trail Relay (of which I'm now running leg #6) or the St. Andrews Father's Day race, since I don't know either route well enough to make that type of call.

Here's a picture from around mile eight. I'm running with Al Reardon (I think?) at this point, who was running the full marathon, and would go on to qualify for Boston, having already run it in 2009. It was my second attempt at high-fiving Cam, and this time it was a success. Around the 2k point, we tried to high-five each other but Cam's enthusiasm led to him completing an "air" high-five and missing me completely.

The traditional post-race picture with the boy -

Finally, a little humour to end this post. Check out this report on the "Half-marathon of Doom". No, it is not a report from the Fredericton half marathon.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sun Runs

Spring is definitely here. The baseball season is in full swing, we've eaten the classic New Brunswick delicacy of fiddleheads the last couple of days, and I'm going to need to start my long runs earlier in the morning to avoid the heat. As Faith Ann knows only too well, I am a terrible procrastinator.

Today I ran 13.6 miles while the temperature was 25°C (77°F). While this is practically cold compared to what some people run in, I'm not used to it yet, and I seemed to struggle today. Check out the nice sweaty residue from my running cap.

One other (unrelated) note on the warmer weather: is it just my advancing age, or is the average skate-boarder older these days? Isn't a bicycle more efficient? Anyway ...

For the week I ran just over 36 miles/58 kilometers, with both a hill and tempo session. Next weekend it's a half marathon in Fredericton. I have also decided to sign up again this year for the half-marathon in the Miramichi in July, the Rock'n'Run. Also, staying in the " 'n " theme ...

After going to Tallahassee and Houston the last couple of years as quick winter running trips, Faith Ann and I decided to skip the trip in 2011. However, I found myself constantly looking at both scheduled marathons and airfares over the last month or two, and in a moment of weakness we ended up purchasing everything we need for yet another winter excursion in 2011. So, similar to last year, there will be thirteen weeks between my fall marathon and a winter marathon. The destination next January will be the Arizona Rock'n'Roll Marathon in Phoenix. From what I read, it's not the most scenic marathon, but it is flat, fast and warm. I promise not to complain about the training when the cold and darkness of November/December arrives later this year.

That's it for this week!