Sunday, May 29, 2011

GP Press Run 2011

Tough day at the GP Press Run yesterday but a very satisfying win in some tough, tough conditions. I woke up on Saturday morning and the air was so full of smoke from the wildfires in Slave Lake that I had trouble seeing down the street. I tried not to let it distract me from the fact that I needed to race but it's hard to ignore an air quality of 'poor' from environment Canada. I also pulled my hamstring on Tuesday so I was nursing my left leg the entire week and I had to wrap it tightly in a tensor bandage. I started out somewhat conservatively feeling like the first three kilometers were well within my pace but I soon felt the effects of running in the heavy smoke filled air. My throat was severely dry and I had to drink at every aid station, my lungs started to feel heavy with every passing kilometer and I could tell I wasn't running my best race.

I reached the turn around at about 38 minutes and change and I thought I could finish in about 1:16 but with the conditions that day I wasn't counting on anything. The way back was very tough and I started to feel myself slow down but I did the best I could to just keep running. When I hit the 16km mark at 1:00 I knew I wasn't going to finish with a PR but it took everything in me just to keep my legs moving, my left leg hurt from start to finish with the tight tensor bandage wrapped around my quad. I didn't want to stop to take it off, I was afraid that my hamstring might start acting up or that I would cause some long term damage but running with it on was getting more painful with each passing mile. With 5k left to go I told myself that it would all be over in 20 minutes or less just hang on. I gave it everything I had left (which wasn't much) but I held on for the win in a time of 1:20.18 a good result on a tough day.

Here's the top ten in the 1/2 marathon;

05/28/2011 11:58:37 2011 Grand Prairie DHT Press Run/Walk
Overall Results
21K Run - 13.05 Miles
O/A Name Bib# Time Pace/K Category Cat/Pl Gender Gen/Pl Chiptime
1/88 HUNTER, DARIN 2025 01:20:19.10 03:49 21KR30-39M 1/11 M 1/32 01:20:18.50
2/88 OOSTRA, PAUL 2057 01:27:17.80 04:09 21KR40-49M 1/7 M 2/32 01:27:15.30
3/88 ST. HILAIRE, PAUL 2079 01:30:11.35 04:17 21KR40-49M 2/7 M 3/32 01:30:10.40
4/88 ROSS, KYLE 2068 01:30:30.65 04:18 21KR20-29M 1/6 M 4/32 01:30:30.55
5/88 SCHARTNER, CORY 2071 01:30:38.65 04:18 21KR30-39M 2/11 M 5/32 01:30:33.00
6/88 SEITZ, ROBERT 2075 01:32:42.70 04:24 21KR30-39M 3/11 M 6/32 01:32:41.50
7/88 MARILLIER, VAUGHN 2099 01:35:24.95 04:32 21KR30-39M 4/11 M 7/32 01:35:19.90
8/88 DAVIDSON, ASHLEY 2011 01:36:56.05 04:36 21KR30-39M 5/11 M 8/32 01:36:54.35
9/88 WATSON, CHRIS 2089 01:39:19.15 04:43 21KR20-29M 2/6 M 9/32 01:39:17.95
10/88 SEITZ, ANNETTE 2074 01:41:27.35 04:49 21KR20-29F 1/19 F 1/56 01:41:25.90

A great race with some terrific volunteers and organizers and I appreciate the fact that there is a wonderful running community in GP that is willing to support each other. I definitely feel a deeper sense of belonging within the running community here and I'm happy to be a part of it. Amber and I finished off the weekend with a great 2500m swim this morning and a 90km bike this afternoon, a great weekend of training and hopefully it's the first of many before Great White North.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Jasper Fun

May long weekend was another epic trip the only downside was that we had to stay in a hotel and weren't able to bring H-doggie. We both really missed him but with the amount of time we spent on our bikes, he wouldn't have had a good time anyway. We arrived Friday afternoon and after getting unpacked we had a chance to go out for a quick spin up to the base of Edith Cavell mountain. The road was closed so we made a plan to definitely come back the next day and ride it. We had plans to turn the weekend into a mini tri-camp but we are both so in love with the cycling in Jasper that we just spent the whole weekend riding. Friday was a 30km ride, Saturday was a 60km major climb and a 70km flatter, faster ride. Sunday was a 100km ride to Maline Lake which is one of our favorite rides and by Monday neither of us had the energy to get out of bed. We went to the hot springs and headed home, we both missed our boy and he was pretty tired from being in the kennel all weekend.

Some pics from the weekend;

Thursday, May 19, 2011

100 Days...

That's it, only 100 days until IMC. I looked at the little countdown on my blog for an idea of how much time I have until the main 'goal race' of the year and that's it, 100 days. Factor in tapering, travelling, work and other responsibilities and there is only 3 months of good focused training left until my big race. I remember thinking back to Puerto Rico training, when January hit both Amber and I started thinking, damn we'd better start training. That two and a half months went by so quickly. Well we were ready for that and we'll be ready for IMC.

This weekend we're kicking off our spring/ summer training with a great long weekend plan in Jasper;
Friday; Swim 3000m, travel, Bike Athabasca Falls loop (65-67kms)
Saturday; Swim 3200m, Bike Maline Lake climb (100kms)
Sunday; Trail Run 2- 2 1/2 hours Pyramid Lake loop, Bike Edith Cavell mountain (50-60kms)
Monday; Bike Miette Hot Spings (70kms one way), travel home.

No biking in the 4 hour range yet but we'll get there soon enough I'm not worried about that. June is going to have a lot of 4 and 5 hour rides and I need to start focusing on increasing my run distance as well. I'm taking a more gradual approach to training this year and so far it's working. No major injury or illness to speak of and I'm having a great time training. Let's hope the next 100 days go according to plan and I have the race of my life in Penticton!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I Miss My Training Partner

It's been tough on Amber starting a new business a lot of her free time; evenings and weekends are spent working while I spend my free time training. I know she's determined to have a successful business and she is creating an incredible future for the both of us so I need to be supportive, I just really miss her.

When we first arrived in Grande Prairie we were both training for the Boston Marathon and then right into training for Ironman Louisville. We both felt really connected and went through the same suffering every weekend and weekday. We went out on the same long rides, the same long runs and the same open water swims and had stories to tell about what happened on this section of the course and what was hurting that day. We spent weekends in Jasper every month and turned them into mini-vacations with Harley. The last year and a half Amber has been doing much of her own training either strength training or Death Race training, and I have been doing my own Tri-training. I can't imagine having a job where I trained people all day and then had enough energy to come home at night and do my own training. She continues to amaze me and I'm looking forward to this spring and summer where we can hopefully get out together and have more stories to tell.

Suffering in training for an Ironman is just not fun if you are doing it all on your own, I know did it alone for my first Ironman back in 2005. I'm happy Amber and I are going back to Jasper for May long weekend, we get to experience a bit of the fun we used to have out there. Riding to Athabasca falls, Maline Lake, running through the beautiful trails and maybe getting in a swim or two. I love long weekends and I'm really looking forward to spending this one with the one I love.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Brian Harms Memorial Race 2011

Yesterday was my traditional season opening race, the Brian Harms memorial 10 miler and it was a fantastic race for all those involved. This year was a little different because Amber and I started training in January for the San Juan 70.3 in March and I had a good base already built into my overall fitness. However I took all of March off after the race and didn't have as much of a focus on my running as I typically do in April. So I was going into it not really knowing what I was capable of, last year I ran a 58:45 and I remember it HURT from start to finish. A college runner went out sprinting for the first 3k and of course, like an idiot, I tried to stay with him and after he faded I was left out there suffering through the remaining 13kms.

This year I went in with a plan, run 4 minute/kms for the first half then pick it up and run 3:30 minute/kms for the last half if I had anything left. That was the plan... well wouldn't you know it as soon as the race started I fell into my natural 'race pace' and I was going a lot faster than I wanted to. 3:31- 3:33 minutes/km for the first 8kms and I didn't feel like I was suffering too badly. By the end of the first lap (8kms) I knew I was going to really hurt on the second half, and sure enough it was tough to keep the legs turning over at that pace for another 8kms. I could tell that I'd done a 110km ride the day before and I could feel myself getting slower as I turned out of the park and up a gentle grade towards the 12km mark. There is a section of gravel road for a little while and I was cursing the fact that it felt like I was pushing extra hard and getting nowhere. I definitely slowed in the second half but I was still very pleased to only be 2 seconds off last year's time and finishing in 58:47! Wow that was a surprise, nice to see the fitness is still there even after a pretty tough week of training.

This is going to be the start of a fantastic year, I can feel it already. I'm not suffering from the flu every second week, I've focused on training hard and recovering hard, taken days off when my body calls for it, stuck to a strict vitamin and mineral regimen, and not trained in 'suspect' weather. I'm also trying to have more of a training- work- family life balance and not to put so much emphasis on results but having fun. Running and triathlon add so much to my life (and Amber's) that I want races and training to be fun and enjoyable not a pressure situation where we both have to have good results to be happy. We are both happy people (and happy together) regardless of the results.