A New Chapter: First Blog & Spring Race Catch-up

Hey! Look who got a blog! I figured it was time to join the 21st Century and start keeping tabs on where I’m at with running. This blog is more of a personal tracker more than anything. I find it important to write down race re-caps and training notes on what I’m feeling, how things went, what worked and what didn’t, so, here we go!

It has been a very busy and rewarding Winter and Spring for 2014. With the help of my coach and several very good friends I’ve managed to push down some personal best times after my first marathon last fall. the 2013 edition of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon was an amazing experience. I plan on dedicating a blog to it later but for now, lets recap the races of the Winter and Spring.

Returning from injury, I ran the Robbie Burns 8k  and the Chilly Half-Marathon as testers. I’d been feeling better since about Christmas so Coach Rick Mannen and I used these races to see where I was at. Nothing too crazy. I was being patient, careful and listening to my body. I had my eyes set on a strong performance Around The Bay so these races were really used to get back into the swing of things. Both went well. The cold was a big factor; We ended up racing into the minus teens which wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

With these two races to build my confidence back I took on Around The Bay. ATB was the last race I had done before beginning work with Coach Rick in 2013. Last year ATB took me by surprise. I had heard of it’s monstrous hills and really just jumped in to it after having previously coached myself through two half-marathons. Needless to say, I had a hard time in 2013 and was very humbled so in 2014, I was out looking for revenge. I put the experience of a marathon build and my new knowledge of proper recovery to good use. Before the race I tackled the hills a few times to ensure there were no surprises from the course this year. The race itself was nothing short of perfect. I had the luck of teaming up with my good buddy Mike Bentley. Mike had just recently qualified for Boston so I was glad to have someone who I could relate to by my side. (More on Boston later) Running with Mike was great. He is extremely positive and a bit quicker than me which is nice when I need the extra push. On my side I had a bit more of a build so we helped each other where the other needed a hand. We cruised the first 15km of the 30km course making conversation and keeping each other in check. We got to the lift bridge at half way and couldn’t believe how far we had come so quickly. We were ready to take on the hills that lay before us. The hills were strong, but Mike and I were stronger. We powered through with energy to spare. I’m not saying that the last 4km cruise into Copps didn’t hurt, but it hurts less when you’re stride for stride with a good friend. In the end, We crossed the line with a time of 2:12:10 which for me, compared to 2013 was a 10 minute personal best! Thanks Mike and Coach Rick for all of your help!!

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Since ATB things have really been on an up-swing. After a couple of weeks recovering, I ran the Toronto Yonge Street 10k. I had won an entry to this race through a Canada Running Series Facebook contest. “Sure” I thought, “I’ll give it a go for kicks.” Ha! Known for its net downhill course TYS10K usually yields some fast times for everyone. I ended up smashing my 10k PB by 1:40 to a 37:59 finish. Not bad! Two PBs in less than a month? I’ll take it! CRS really puts on a good race.

A couple weeks after TYS10K I ran a local race. The Brantford Rotary Classic 10k was my first ever race two years ago. It’s nice to race on home turf and support local charities. This race didn’t go exactly to plan. I may have gotten a little excited and really hammered the first km. Good job Mike… I was pretty gassed for the rest of the race and had a bit of trouble keeping my pace below 4:00/km. Lesson learned. Keep your cool and don’t get over excited. Easier said than done right? Although I was disappointed with the time, I still managed a 6th place overall finish which is the best finish to date in that race. Cool!

The last and final race of the Spring season was this past weekend in Ottawa. I’ll hold off on that for now and have another re-cap for the half-marathon. Until then friends, thanks for reading and I’ll try to keep this as updated as I can. Big plans and as Coach Rick says, faster times ahead!

 

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