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!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Mezamashii Run

The Mezamashii Run, this is a run project put forth by the sporting company Mizuno.  It is an effort to create a more "brilliant" or "eye-opening" run for runners everywhere.  The term mezamashii directly translates to brilliant or remarkable, and these are the feelings that Mizuno wants every runner to feel when wearing their shoes.

I am mentioning the Mezamashii Project, because I know exactly what Mizuno is hoping to give to runners.  I experienced a mezamashii run last Saturday.  I was heading out to do my normal 3.4 km loop by my place, with run/walk intervals of 5:1.  I got dressed in my running clothes, laced up my shoes, and headed out.  I had my phone with me, as I used Adidas MiCoach app to log my runs, and I had the volume turned up so I could hear the announcement for every minute.  This way I could track my intervals, as the app doesn't have an interval timer built in it.  Time seemed to fly by, I had hardly been out when four minutes was announced, and I was feeling great!  The only way I can describe it is that I felt like I was gliding over the pavement effortlessly.  I didn't want to stop so I turned of the volume.  My mind was free and not thinking of when the next interval was; my body didn't hurt from cramping or fatigue; all I could think of was "I just want to keep going!"  I had hit a moment of running euphoria where everything was perfect.

So on I went, ignoring the fact I had planned for intervals; ignoring the fact that I didn't adequately hydrate myself for a long run; ignoring the fact that I had only just started running!  I turned off the main street, down a road that houses some of the wealthiest families in the city.  The houses are beautiful, the road is near flawless, and it is on a river valley, so there are times when you catch a view that is majestic to behold.  The atmosphere was indescribable!  A rainstorm had just passed by, and the roads were drying so steam was rising from the street to give a soft, dreamlike feel to everything.  That combined with it being after 10pm, and the nice cool evening air, made for a beautiful run.  I checked my phone and saw that I had been running over 20 minutes without a break.  I could hardly believe it as I look forward to the walking breaks to rest up, but my body didn't feel tired or strained at all.  

I ran to the end of the street and looped around, back towards my place.  When I had hit the main street again, I wanted to turn off and go down a running trail that forms my usual loop.  I looked at the time though, I saw it was almost 10:45pm and I had been out almost double what I had planned, so I decided to go straight home.  When I got home I was smiling and my wife asked what happened.  I told her of my run, I told her of the idea of mezamashii, I told her I had experienced a mezamashii run!

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Driving Force to Change

As mentioned in my last post, I absolutely HATED running!  That was only 2 months ago too.  So what changed?  ...My understanding of the sport.  I had it in me that you always had to run your hardest and to go as far as possible, because that is what the sport is.  Growing up no one told me any different, including phys. ed. teachers in school.  Also I had no concept of finding the proper pace.

Now I had read some articles online that mentioned "if you can't carry on a conversation while running, you're going too fast", but I started out going solo and there was no way I was going to have a conversation with myself.  But being determined, I went out and bought some Nike AirMax shoes, ordered a 32GB SD card for my phone (I went running with it as it had my coaching apps) so I could download some music on it, and made a promise to my wife that I was going to do this.  I was going to become a runner!

That's was back in the spring of 2012.  The result of that was I went once in May, twice in July, and once in September.  Then I took a break until May of this year...That's how dedicated I was! 

In May (2013) I got stranded at work one day, with no way home.  I had worked late and so the bus I would normally take had come and gone and it was late enough that the next one was a long time off.  I couldn't catch a ride with anyone, so I decided to walk home.  It took about an hour (and it's about 5 km), but after that walk I felt pretty good!  So I started to walk home frequently after that.  It was a couple of weeks later that I decided to lace up my almost mint Nikes again. I went out for a 3.5 km run.  About 1km in I thought I was going to die on the sidewalk in front of everyone.  I could hardly breath, everything burned, I was sweating like mad...I was just having an awful time.  Though I was stubborn enough not to let my body tell me to stop, so I kept going, even though it turned into a nice walk in the end.

That night I sent a text to my sister, who runs half marathons and coaches running classes, showing her the route I went and telling her of my awful time.  She replied asking if I wanted to go running with her and have her train me up.  I agreed and we went out about a week later.  She taught me that the whole "make sure you can talk" idea was true.  Even though I could hardly talk, I would carry on conversations with her when we went out.  Eventually my breathing relaxed and the talking became normal (on my part).  It took a few weeks, but it happened.  She also taught me about pace and is a firm believer in doing running intervals.  She also encouraged me to enter a 5km race on Canada Day as a personal goal for myself.

As the weeks went on, I couldn't believe that I was starting to have a good time when running.  I competed in the Canada Day race (pic), my wife and kids came out, and I had a blast (despite the fact it was blazing hot at 7:30am)!  Since then I have loved the sport!  After the race I did a bit of fundraising (I sold some rare vintage safety razors) and managed to buy some running shorts, proper running shoes (sorry Mizuno's are WAY better), and I have the Suunto Quest HRM watch with the compatible GPS pod and foot cadence sensor.

The biggest reason I love it is because of the goals I set for myself, then I achieve them.  It is a big confidence booster, and makes me feel good about myself, because I am accomplishing tangible things, and I am also becoming more healthy.

My biggest accomplishment thus far, happened two days ago on Saturday night.  I went out to do my 3.5 km loop, while running intervals of 5 minutes (with 1 minute walk breaks).  I had hit the 4 minute mark, and normally I would feel pretty tired, but this time I didn't.  I decided to turn off the voice coaching and keep going.  That 4 minutes turned into 12, then 22, and ended with me running for 40+ minutes with no breaks; and hardly breaking a sweat (I think that is due to the cool humid night though).  I did a loop of 6 km, and am very proud of that.  It was a good run and I couldn't stop smiling about it all night and the next day!

In the end, I guess if I were to sum up the cause for the change in my attitude about running, it would have to be that I learned to pace myself, breath right, and also that proper foot wear is essential!  Most importantly though, just go out and have fun! :)

Sunday, July 14, 2013



It has been far too long since I blogged or really went running.  I am ashamed of my progress in the past, but for the last two months I have been regularly pounding the pavement, and I even ran in my first race!  More on that will follow, but I just wanted to say that I am back and ready to get rolling!

Things have been going well for me in my running life.  I completed in the Canada Day Race here in Edmonton, I have been running several times a week for the last few months, and I have never felt better!  It really is true when they say that running can change your life and give you new health...I am the perfect's why:

Last summer I went with my family (wife and girls) on a short hike with some friends.  It wasn't too bad, a couple of kilometers.  It was to a lake in Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park (or just Waterton Park to those of us north of the border).  The hike in was alright, but coming out, I thought I was going to DIE!  I was breathing hard, sweating like mad, and it just wasn't good.  This struck something in me and I was really bothered by it.  I thought to myself "Luke, how can you be out of breath on this little 4km loop when you used to go backpacking up mountains, and do 20+ km day hikes for fun!  You've gotten fat and out of shape!"  I really did say this to myself. 

So on September 10th (2012) I took to the pavement.  I dusted off my 'new' shoes that I had bought a few months before for running and did 2.8km in just over 23 minutes doing intervals of 2 minutes running and 1 walking.  I was proud to do this and was determined to turn over a new leaf!  The only problem was that leaf got lost in the wind and I didn't go out again until May 2013!

Since then I have been out MANY times and have grown to love running more, each time I go out.

In fact, I love it so much I am now fully geared with proper footwear, clothes, and expecting a Suunto Quest in the mail this week.

I'll be in touch, with more on my history, because It is an interesting quest to how I came to love something I absolutely hated only months ago!

~Until then