Sunday, July 26, 2015

An Ironman's Reminder

Today is the Ironman Canada race in Whistler, BC; it is also the Calgary, AB 70.3 Ironman too...the one I was supposed to take part in with my cousin.

The other day as I wished my cousin good luck on his upcoming race, he thanked me and stated that "I am still waiting to do a race with you!  It will be fun, I swear!".  Two years ago I made a deal with my cousin that I would complete an Ironman with him, given he would race with me.  He instantly shook hands and said "DEAL!"

He has since competed in a few half Ironman races, and me zero!  This latest comment from him hit hime, and I now have even more determination to get fit.  Right now I am overweight and just coming off of an excruciatingly painful foot injury, Plantar Fasciitis.  I can honestly say that I have experienced nothing so painful.  However after months of rest, stretching and massages, I can now run and walk away without the feeling that my foot has been torn to shreds.  I have had 2 successful runs in the last week proving that!  :D

Getting back onto the training, I have started a simple core workout that I do daily, just crunches and push-ups, and have done it for almost a week (yes prior to my cousins comment).  In addition to this I will be doing the (Men's Health) Spartacus workout regularly followed by aerobic training via running.  I have my Suunto Quest set up with proper heart rate limits and will be staying in zone 2 for running.  If you follow my 'Moves' you should start noticing a difference.

Well...Here's to week one of my new routine, and here's to sticking with it, so that in due time you will read about the 70.3 I completed and the races I ran with my sister, who runs half-marathons.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Resolution Run 2014 - The Lowdown

***** Before I go into today's run, I just want to admit that I lied in my last post.  I did NOT go for the practice winter run to figure out my clothes layering...sorry *****

Alright!  As mentioned in my last post, today was the day of the Brita Resolution Run, put on by the Running Room!  And thought John Stanton was not there, with his hometown crowd, two of his sons were pointed out to me!  (sorry for the nerd moment)

My sister and I before the race
It was a cold morning, being -16C at the beginning of the race, and not warming up at all, so layering was really important.  I had NO idea what I was doing, as winter running is new to me, so I dressed in the following items (thanks to the guidance of my sister):
Head - Columbia Toque, Running Room neck warmer
Torso - Under Armor long sleeved shirt, Edmonton Marathon tech shirt, Running Room Jacket
Legs - Running Room shorts, Running Room RRX (extreme temp) pants
Feet - Mizuno Breath Thermo socks, Mizuno Wave Rider 15 LE's
Hands - Mizuno Breath Thermo gloves

As you can see I LOVE my Mizuno and the Running Room items were purchased during great sales!

Anyway, I know the gear list is exhaustive, but it may come in handy to someone; for a reference point for any Americans, I was running in 3F degree weather.

I am happy to announce that my outfit worked and after feeling the chill for a KM or two, I was warm and not focusing on the cold at all.  If there was one part of my outfit that deserves more credit than other pieces, it would have to be the Mizuno Breath Thermo socks!  These socks have the Breath Thermo technology that heats up when there is moisture.  At first my feet were a bit chilly, but once I started running, the socks started warming up.  My feet never got hot, but by the end of the race they felt like they were in the best pair of slippers I own!  Very warm, very comfortable!

Now for the actual race.  It wasn't a timed event, but I did monitor my time, and I came in at 36:17.  I am happy with the time as running in winter is WAY different than doing it in summer.  The snow was hard packed, but there was loose snow for about a third of the time.  It took more energy than usual, and the only word to compare it against a summer road race, is that the winter ones are intense.  The body works harder, the ground isn't totally stable, and it is just much harder.  That being said, it is definitely a great experience!  After the race I was feeling great, going off the natural high, but as the day went on my body started to slowly show the toll the race had on it.  By dinner, my entire body had a dull ache going through it  Normally this type of pain doesn't happen, not even after intense workouts.  Like I said, the body works harder in winter runs.
Post race photo
I would encourage anyone to participate in a winter race.  The only thing I would caution is to make sure you dress appropriately!  The last thing one wants to happen is to sweat and then to freeze. ;)

Happy running!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

2014 Resolution Run

This upcoming Wednesday is the Brita Resolution Run, here in Edmonton.  My sister talked me into registering for it last minute, and so $55 and one running jacket later (part of the package), I am readying my mind to go.

I'm a wee bit apprehensive about it as I haven't gone running since October, when I was running up Tunnel Mountain in Banff (it was -2 C at the time and winter in Edmonton can easily go below -30 C).  But the race is 5 km and not timed, so I should be fine!  Though I was/am concerned about staying warm

This race actually goes perfect with my health goals for the upcoming year.  I am wanting to loose my gut and get prepped for triathlons.  This urge for becoming fit was reemphasized this last week when I was talking to my cousin and his wife.  She asked me if I had registered for my half Ironman (a goal I have for the summer of 2015).  I had responded "No, that's a year and a half away", then my cousin asked if I had at least chosen one.  To this I also responded "No".  I was assured that when I choose one and register, that my cousin will compete along side of me to help me get through it.  I should note that my cousin has completed a handful of Ironman events in the recent years.  It was this encouragement that, unconsciously, got me over my hesitancy of running in the winter.

I haven't been totally idle though, in November I did start the Men's Health Spartacus workout.  I had to take a few weeks off as I caught a bad cold, but I have started back up.  Though this is my running blog, so I won't touch on this anymore.

Getting back on topic, I am planning on a short run tomorrow, just to get the layering of clothes down.  This is my biggest concern because I naturally get really hot, and I want to prevent sweating as much as possible., until then!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

5 Months Down


So it has been about 2 months since I last posted anything.

I just want to take some time and share what my experience has been with running.  Now, just (another) recap...  I had began running over a year ago and thought that it entailed going as hard as you can for as long as you can.  Back then I was doing 1 km in about 15 minutes because I would sprint, stop, sprint, stop, and so on.  I spent more time resting and catching my breath than I did actually moving.  In addition to this I would get wicked shin splints, cramps that were so bad I couldn't breath, and I hated it.  All of it!

In May I went out again and hammered out 3.5 km and sent a screenshot of my time (I went with my phone) to my sister.  This just started an avalanche of activity, and things just went crazy from there.  I started running regularly with my sister, and would sometimes go with my wife if we could get childcare.  I soon entered the Canada Day Race and ran in clothes that are not suitable for running, period!

I soon started to invest in training equipment like runners, shorts, and an HRM/GPS watch.  Those weren't cheap but were well worth the investment, and man...what a difference!  Having the correct equipment makes a world of difference!  You don't overheat, feet don't get abnormally sore, you are able to go hands free wearing equipment that hardly has weight, and go can go further than before.  Armed with the correct running supplies, I aggressively trained for the Edmonton Marathon 10 km race.  I successfully completed it in 71 min!  After the marathon I stopped running up until a week or two ago.  Life events happened and I had to balance my new life and work in running time again.  But I am back at it now and am as happy as ever!  My biggest accomplishment was running up Tunnel Mountain in Banff.  Now that may not seem like a long run from the town site to the resorts up top, but it is a good 1-2 km of uphill!  I was able to do that in my new running pants and jacket, that I had bought a few days before (they came in handy considering it was about -4C when I went out).

So...I guess after mentioning this the big question is "What's the point?"

Well, there are the wants from running and the actual outcomes from it.

What I wanted was a way to gain stamina/endurance for future hikes that I want to go on; I also wanted to loose weight.

What I got instead is excellent stamina and next to no moments when I am out of breath; also NO weight loss...I don't care much because it is all about how I feel!

What I have learned in the past 5 months is that equipment and attitude are critical!  Equipment is really obvious as it makes the experience possible...but attitude, that's a funny one with a lot more grey areas.  Really the critical part of ones attitude is that they have to give it a shot.  For the first few weeks it will suck big-time!  But when you persevere and don't give up, after the first few weeks things will click.  FOr me I realized I could talk while running; I didn't have shin splints; my breathing wasn't an issue; no more cramps; and "Hey! That was the 5 or 10 km mark! Wow, I'm not tired!".

If you just go for it and don't give up, anything is possible!  It has been a wonderful 5 months for me and I am excited to continue running as long as my body will allow me to!  I am excited to run a half marathon; I am excited to go for a half Iron Man; all these things that seemed so out of reach, are within my grasp...and because I haven't given up I have been able to develop the determination to meet any goal I set for myself!

Now this is just my story...but I add it to the millions of others who already know this.

There it is...that's all I have right now.  If you have a goal...GO GET IT!! ;)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Recovery Time!

In my, thus far, short running life I have focused a lot on listening to my body and not going crazy when exerting myself.

Today is my first day back on the road.  About three weeks ago I came down with something and so I took a few days off.  It was hitting about a week off when I decided to go for another run.  I wasn't feeling the best, and it would have been much better if I had just stayed home.  I didn't listen to my body and I got taken out for another two weeks!

Tonight was my first night back, and although my run was labelled as 'Very Hard' by Suunto, I was under-performing compared to my usual level.  I was sweating like mad, but I had to get back on track.  I guess I should also mention that it was the first time doing 8:1 intervals too! (yeah I know...that would have had something to do with it)

Anyway, I know this isn't a major setback, but it is very important to listen to your body when running.  If it feels like you are going too fast/hard, you most likely are.  ALSO if you have to take a week or two off due to illness or injury, it is MUCH better to do that then to kill yourself off and put yourself in a worse position.

So don't do what I did, listen to your body always!  Running should be enjoyable! :D


Monday, July 22, 2013

2013 Edmonton Marathon!

Hey Everyone!  I just wanted to give a quick shout out for the 2013 Edmonton Marathon on August 24 & 25!  The event is held at Northlands Park and for more information check out the website at:  I will be attending this year, and competing in the 10 km race.  I have a pretty hard training schedule I have come up with so I can get used to the distance, and hopefully meet my goal of completing the run in 70 minutes or less. :)  (I started it tonight and almost died :S )

Feel free to come out and cheer the athletes on, or to register in an even yourself!  And don't forget on the morning of August 24th You can meet John Stanton at the Chateau Lacombe Conference Centre at 10:30am.  You can even go for a 3 km friendship walk/run with him.  I hope to see you there!

Also, if you use Movescount, you can add it to your calendar here:

Attend this event in

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Next 10 km

Last night I went out for a run, I was planning on doing 6 km at 6:1 run/walk intervals, but it turned out to be closer to 8 km as I didn't know the route.  However I didn't stop there.  I still felt pretty pretty good, and had quite a bit of energy, so I decided to push myself to do 10 km.  This took quite a bit of improvisation because I had to make up the 2 km somehow, and for some reason routes by my place seemed to be a shorter distance than I remembered them being.

The last kilometer was really hard.  My feet were starting to hurt, I had no energy, I just wanted it to be over...but I wanted to make sure I hit that 10 km mark as it would be a new milestone for me!  Then finally my watch read 9.89 km, and I knew I could just head straight home and hit my goal.

The end result was:
Time - 1:15'42 (crazy huh!)
Distance - 10.20 km
Avg Pace: 7'25/km
Calories: 1646 (burned)

You can see all the information if you hit the little "Movescount" button to the right.  To be honest, I'm not too entirely sure why the decent and ascent are so high, I think it should only be something like 5 meters? But the technology is still new too me!

Now!  How do I feel about last nights run?  Well I have entered the Edmonton Marathon 10 km run next month; I need to do some core workouts...I'm pretty stiff; I feel absolutely fantastic!  I can't believe I made it that far, in such a short time (for me).  My goal for the race will be 70 minutes, so I am looking to chop 6 minutes off my time.  I don't know if it is possible, but it is worth a shot!

Until next time!