About Me

My photo
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Trying to reach my full potential as a masters runner

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A write-off

I woke up at 5am today, completely congested...day 5 for the cold from hell! Will it ever end?

I haven't run since last Sunday and I don't think I'll be running my scheduled 8k run today. I can't breathe through my nose at all, I'm coughing and generally feel like shit!

Perhaps my body is telling me it's run down from the training I did for the half marathon earlier in the month. Sometimes a break is good. I must admit the usual aches and pains in my legs, hips, knees and feet have just about disappeared.

So I think I'll listen to my body for once, get completely over this cold, write this week of training off and start fresh Monday.

Ian has a solid week planned for me with 6 consecutive days of running, including a speed session and an 11k run next Sunday for a total of 48k.

I'll be ready to go!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Down and out...again!

I woke up at 1am this morning with a wicked sore throat, congested nasal passages and a headache....my second cold of the winter!

I couldn't get back to sleep until about 3:30am, but still managed to drag my sorry ass into work for 7am. I would have stayed in bed, but I had a couple of things that had to get done today. I stayed at work until noon, then headed home to collapse in bed.

I feel like crap right now. I skipped my schedule 6k run today and unless a miracle happens in the next few hours, I'll be staying home tomorrow. And I'll likely miss the track session with Ian tomorrow night.

I suppose the positive thing is that it happened now and not just before the race.

Anyway, Anne just got home so she can look after the kids...it's back to bed for me!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Planning for the next challenge

This week I've felt a bit lost. After 10 weeks of some intense training and focusing on a specific goal, the last five days have been a bit strange. No speed work, no tempo runs, no real focus.

I suppose I should be thankful and appreciate the down-time that will allow my body a chance to recover and rest. I know it's important after a race to take time to recuperate before jumping back into training for another race, but  it's difficult not having something to train for....to just run.

I'm eager to get back at it and set my sights on a new race goal.

With the NYC Marathon about 10 months away, I won't start training for that race until August. Between now and then I've I developed a race schedule of approximately 10 races that includes a mix of 5k, 10k and half marathons intended to increase my speed and help get me ready for a new marathon PR in NYC.

I met with my coach Ian yesterday to review the race schedule and discuss goals for each. He agreed with the race distances I had chosen and the timing of each. He intends to set goals on a race by race basis and based on my conditioning level at that time.

For example, my next race is a 5k here in Ottawa February 20th. Next Wednesday at the track session Ian has scheduled for me, he'll set interval paces based on a 19:55 race goal time. Then based on how I execute those intervals, he'll decide what my goal time should be and develop a training plan accordingly.

I'm looking forward to the challenge of training and setting new PRs. And I couldn't help asking what Ian thought my goal time should be for NYC. A sub 3 hour and 10 minute marathon was his response. Why did I ask?

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Recuperating and looking ahead

Yesterday I went for my first run since the race on Saturday - 5k at just over a 5 minute per kilometre average pace on the treadmill at a 1% to 3% incline.

It felt good to run again and combined with the 20 minutes of stretching afterward, helped to get rid of the stiffness in my legs.

I'm meeting Ian on Friday to discuss my race schedule and training plan for the next few months.

I sent Ian a tentative race schedule a few weeks ago and he seemed ok with it. Included in that is a 5k race here in Ottawa at the end of February that I've already entered. The only other races I've entered are the ING Ottawa Half Marathon at the end of May, the Waterloo Half Marathon May 1st (running with Glen in his first half) and of course the NYC Marathon in November.

So I'm eager to find out what he has in mind to help me prepare for NYC. I had also told Ian that in addition to qualifying for NYC, my goals this year were to improve my times in other race distances. I want to run a 5k in under 19 minutes; a 10k in under 40 minutes and I'd like to run NYC in 3:15 or less.

So, lots of work ahead, but my performance in Georgia has boosted my confidence and I want to keep improving.

Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks!

Monday, January 17, 2011

What's next?

Today I registered on-line for New York City. Now I have to wait about 2 weeks for race organizers to verify my qualifying time before I'm officially accepted and guaranteed a spot on the starting line.

It still really hasn't sunk in that I'm going to New York in November to run the marathon. It's surreal in a way, kind of like making a hole-in-one...you're happy and excited, but it's over before you know it, so you don't really get a chance to fully enjoy the accomplishment.

My buddies Glen and David (see "Paying it Forward" for some background on them) are going to join me on the trip. Glen might also be running if he can secure a lottery spot. David says he's coming along to provide moral support, but I think he's coming more to enjoy the Big Apple and drink beer!

We were able to find a two-bedroom apartment for rent in the Upper West Side of Manhattan and close to the finish line at a very reasonable rate. In addition to its proximity to the finish line, it will provide each of us with our own beds, a full kitchen and plenty of room to relax.

And while there are a few details yet to iron out, like if we'll drive or fly, things are just about set. I can't wait. It promises to be a great experience and I plan to enjoy running through all 5 Burroughs of the city and feeding off what I've heard are amazing crowds from start to finish.

Is it November yet?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

NYC here I come!

It's over! I did it! But it wasn't easy!

My day started early with a 5am wake-up call, followed soon after by my cell phone ringing. I was a bit surprised. Who was calling me at this hour? Anne to wish me well? A wrong number? Was something wrong back home? A lot of thoughts went through my mind as I crawled out of bed and fumbled for my cell.

It wasn't Anne and nothing was wrong at home. It was my friend Todd, drunk dialing me from Lumsden, Saskatchewan. Local time there, 4am!

He and his buddies had been out on a bender. He was as shocked as me to hear someone on the other end of the line. He had planned an elaborate and no doubt hilarious voice message to leave me, but I ruined that.

We chatted for a few minutes. It was just what I needed.

Todd is a character and he and his western Canadian buddies are legendary for their drinking and partying. He always cracks me up and this morning was no different. He helped relax me. I appreciated the call. He wished me luck. He could be a half marathon whisperer!

So, still laughing to myself over Todd's call, I showered, got dressed and downed a banana, yogurt, granola bar, some fruit salad and two cups of hot tea. I grabbed my keys and was off to the race.

Because the race was run within the boundaries of a U.S. air force base, no one was allowed access to the base to get race kits the day before the race due to security reasons. Meaning I, along with all the other runners, had to be at the race early and sooner than I normally would arrive. However, the volunteers did a great job and I was able to get my bib and timing chip without issue. After waiting in line for my last trip to the washroom, I headed to the starting area to warm-up.

The weather was nearly perfect for running - about 6C, sunny and very little wind. I warmed-up, stretched and got into the starting corral. For some reason the race started a few minutes late which made the wait seem to take forever!

Finally the gun went and off we ran. I heeded Ian's advice and made sure I didn't start too fast. He told me not to run any kilometre faster than a 4:10 pace and not run any one slower than 4:15. The adrenaline rush of a race start and faster runners can easily cause you to go out too fast, which can be disastrous later in the race. I kept checking my Garmin watch to ensure I stayed within the range Ian has set for me.

My strategy was to run at least the first 5 or 6k at a 4:15 per km pace to get warmed up and into a good rhythm. I was able to do just that with my fastest kilometre a 4:11 and my slowest a 4:15 in the first 7k. I was feeling great!

I was surprised how comfortable the pace felt. Only a couple of months ago this pace would have been too much for me. Obviously working with Ian was paying dividends.

Even though I was feeling strong and confident, I was wondering if I could hold this pace for the entire 21.1k.

Through 9k I was still cruising along and feeling fine. Just after the 10k mark, the route went up about a 500m long hill with a  good incline. I powered up it and maintained a steady pace of 4:13, but I could feel my thighs burning a bit as I reached the crest of the hill. Before I knew it I was at the 11k point...only 10k to go...I was passed the half-way point and still feeling strong.

The web site for the race promoted the race course as "flat". I wasn't seeing it that way. While there were some flat stretches and a few slight downhill parts, there were many small hills in addition to the bigger one around the 10k point. And it seemed to me that there were many stretches of the route with what I'd characterize as a steady incline.

Anyway, I was motoring along and easily maintaining the pace Ian had set for me. I was on track to hit my goal time of 1:28:30 and qualify for the New York City Marathon. But as my Garmin beeped to signal that I had just completed 15k, I told myself to stay in the moment and not think ahead. There was still a long way to run and anything could happen.

And happen it did!

As I passed the 17k point another hill loomed. It wasn't as long as the one I had faced earlier in the race, maybe 300m, but it was a lot steeper. "How is this a flat course?", I asked myself as I again pumped my arms and powered up the hill.

As I reached the top, my quads were on fire and my pace had slowed to 4:25. By the time I reached the 19k mark I couldn't feel my legs and my pace was stuck at about 4:20. A quick calculation and I knew at that pace it would be really close for me to finish in under 1:30 and qualify for NYC.

So I dug deep and willed my self to increase my pace to about 4:17 from 19k to 20k. Only 1.1k to go. I broke that last 1000m down into two 500m chunks and steadily increased my pace. I told my self I wasn't going to let 10 weeks of training and travelling all this way go for not in the last 2k and miss qualifying by a few seconds.

As I made the final turn toward the finish line, I quickened my pace and pushed myself as hard as I could despite the pain. As the finish line came into view I could see the time clock. It was showing 1:29:51!

I had about 50m to go. I grunted like one of those tennis pros returning a ground stroke from the baseline (I think I also said "fuck" out loud), put my head down and sprinted as hard as I could to the finish.

I wasn't certain, but thought I had stepped on the mat at the finish before the clock turned 1:30. It took 45 agonizing minutes until they posted the results to find out for sure.

Official time - 1:29:59! You can't get much closer than that! I had finished 22nd overall and 2nd in my age group (45-49), but because the guy who finished first was also the 1st-place finisher in the Masters category (40 and over) I received the 1st-place trophy for my age group!

I was beside myself. When I started running in February 2007 I never dreamed I'd run a sub 1:30 half marathon. And even though I had won a couple of 5k races in my age group, I never thought I could do the same in a half. I still don't think it's completely set in.

I have to thank Ian for his training advice and support. I have to thank my partner Anne for her support and working with me to get my training done. And to everyone else who sent me good luck wishes and provided positive words leading up to the race. I couldn't have done it without you.

Now I have to register for NYC and start planning that trip. Oh and I suppose I'll have to train!

I wonder what Ian has in store for me next?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Just a few hours to go

I'm in my hotel room in Warner Robins, Georgia, about 2 hours south of Atlanta, getting ready for an easy 20 minute run to stretch my legs and loosen things up before tomorrow's race.

The weather has improved here over the last two days and most of the snow is gone. The forecast is calling for close to 60F tomorrow as a high, so promises to be just about perfect for the 8am race start. The important thing is the roadways are finally clear of snow and ice, so that won't be an impediment to turning in a fast time.

Last night I got a full 10 hours of sleep! That is an unbelievable number for me....I usually only get about 6 or 7 hours a night. I guess the flight and late arrival the night before had taken its toll.

Anyway I feel great today. After my run I'll get a good dinner and get to bed early.

I have a 5am wake-up call ordered...somehow I don't think I'll need it...I'm chomping at the bit to get going!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Two days to go!

Well I made it to Atlanta late last night, but as I drove the hour or so north to my buddy Bryan's house in Buford, I could have sworn I was still in Ottawa!

They have as much snow here as we do back home. Large patches of ice and snow were everywhere on the highways and streets, with some lanes completely impassable and abandoned vehicles dotted the roadside. I can only imagine the chaos the storm that passed through here three days ago created.

I managed to arrive safe and sound at Bryan's at about 1am. We hadn't seen each other in a few years, so stayed up for an hour or so catching up on what has transpired in our busy lives. I finally made it to bed around 2:30am, so I'm a bit bleary-eyed right now....and hungry!

I just realized I haven't eaten anything since before boarding my plane at 5:30pm last night...no wonder my stomach is growling.

The waiting game is on....roughly 48 hours from now I'll be approaching the finish line of the half marathon and realizing my goal of qualifying for the NYC Marathon.

Not much to do until then but relax and rest...and eat!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I've been watching the weather forecasts for the Atlanta area very closely the last week or so to get an idea of what I'll need to pack for race day. I was shocked to see the city essentially shut down the last two days due to snow and ice!

I didn't expect balmy temperatures, but snow? I may have to dig out my old pair of metal-spiked golf shoes for the race Saturday.

Apparently this morning Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport wasn't living up to it's reputation as the world's busiest airport as only a few flights took off and landed. And the storm system is headed north and is expected to dump up to 18 inches of snow from Washington to the New York City area, causing more flight delays and cancellations tomorrow all along the eastern seaboard.

That doesn't bode well for me as I'm supposed to fly out of Ottawa at 5:30pm tomorrow to Newark, New Jersey where I catch another plane to Atlanta. I really hope I'm not delayed or have to spend the night in the Newark Airport.

At least the weather in Georgia is supposed to improve by Saturday and will be nearly ideal for running. So I guess I can leave my spikes at home, I just hope I make it to the starting line on time!

Monday, January 10, 2011

In the home stretch

While my work is just about done, with the race on Saturday, the next next five days are very important to ensuring a succesful result and as important as all the training I've done over the last 9 weeks.

Yesterday was my last longish run, 14k at an average pace of 4:58 per kilometre. Today is a rest day, tomorrow I have an 8k run, a short speed session on Wednesday and an easy 20-minute run Friday to shake out the cobwebs. A far cry from the 63k I ran last week and the 64k the week before, but essential to maintaining my conditioning and preventing me from getting too anxious before the race.

My main focus this week will be to make sure I get enough sleep, eat properly, get my race kit and be ready to go race day.

I fly to Atlanta Wednesday night. I'm staying with my friend Bryan and his wife Madeleine. If the weather is good, we may play golf Thursday, which will help relax me and take my mind off the race for a bit.

Friday I'll drive the two hours south to Warner Robins, the town where the race will take place, check-in to the hotel I have booked, and other than the easy 20-minute jog I have planned, I'll put my feet up, watch some TV and chill. I'll eat a good pasta dinner, hit the hay early and try to get a solid 8 hours of sleep.

So the countdown is on and I can't wait to board the airplane Wednesday night.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Ready to rock!

During my 7k run yesterday morning it hit me, a week from now I'll be in Georgia running a half marathon and trying to qualify for the NYC Marathon!

As I've noted in previous posts, I'll need to run the 21.1k distance in 1 hour and 30 minutes or less to qualify. My coach Ian has set a goal time of 1:28:30. As I've also mentioned before, that's a full six minutes faster than any other half marathon I've ever run.

My friend David asked me the other day, "How will you do it?"

A great question. I mulled it over as I ran. I thought about previous, successful races and tried to figure out why I had sometimes achieved my goals, while other times I had failed. What was common to those good performances? What is required for anyone to be successful in a race?

Well first is setting a realistic goal. I believe goals should be challenging, ones that will test your physical and mental limits, but not something that you have no chance of achieving. A goal requires some thought and can be developed based on previous results/performances. But it doesn't always have to be time-based. It can be as simple as just running your first race or finishing a distance that you've never been able to complete before.

When I've had success in the past I believe it all started with a realistic goal. This time around I believed running under 1 hour and 30 minutes was within my capabilities. And the more I think and write about the goal time Ian has set for me, the more I believe it is possible. It will test me, but it's achievable.

The second important ingredient for a successful race is developing a training plan that will properly prepare you. Depending on the race distance and/or goal, an ideal plan should include a good mix of speed, tempo and endurance runs. It should also build mileage slowly and proportionately each week to help avoid injury.

I can say with certainty that my past race successes have come as a result of a well thought out and focussed training plan. I hired Ian for his expertise and experience to develop a plan that would increase my speed and build the required strength/stamina I'll need over a half marathon distance too achieve my goal. I believe that's exactly what I got from him.

Consistent training is critical to race-day success. You can have the best training plan in the world, but if you don't follow it, skip days or take shortcuts you're setting yourself up for failure. Also key to training is battling through those training runs that are difficult, where you  may not feel that great physically or mentally you're struggling. They build character and will pay dividends during a race, because no matter the distance, you're bound to feel some discomfort or hit the "wall" at some point. Having fought through pain in training will be invaluable during your race.

Over the last 9 weeks I've only missed 3 days of training. I've been able to hit the paces and complete all the distances Ian set for me, including fighting through a couple of difficult runs (see my "No Fun!" post for an example). So I'm confident I'm physically ready for next week.

Developing a race strategy and sticking to it is also an important factor to race-day success. Your strategy can be as simple as making sure you don't start too fast, drinking enough fluid throughout the race or staying with a pace group. Whatever your strategy is stick to it.

My strategy will be to run a fairly consistent pace throughout the race and make sure I don't start out too fast, which could lead to me running out of gas later in the race. Ian has recommended I keep my pace between 4 minutes and 10 seconds and 4 minutes and 15 seconds per kilometre and try to run an even-split race - meaning I'll cover the first half of the race in the same amount of time as the second half.

As I ran and thought about all these things - the time, effort and planning I've put in over the last 9 weeks, combined with the advice and support I've received from Ian - a feeling of confidence came over me, one I hadn't felt since just before the Hamilton Marathon in November of 2009 where I ran a PR of 3:24:36 to qualify for Boston.

So to answer David's question, the last 9 weeks have been the dress rehearsal, now all that remains is getting out there on the 15th and performing.

I'm ready and looking forward to the challenge!

Friday, January 7, 2011

More substance

A couple of my loyal readers have requested that my blog posts be more than just a "diary" where I explain my runs, share my training plan and as one of them put it, "give weather reports!"

David really can be a smart ass!

Anyway, they like that I share my goals, describe how my coach pushes me, but want me to go deeper, give some insight into, for example what it takes mentally and physically to get faster. Perhaps make it a bit more instructional, so that they, who are less experienced at running, might pick up some tips to help them realize their goals.

I suppose having run three marathons, countless half marathons and shorter races over the last four years, I do have some experience and expertise that others might find useful in their journeys to start running or improving their PRs.

So, I'll try to share more in my posts. However, I'm relatively new at running races too, still learning and improving, so I encourage others to share their experiences with me and others as we all progress and enjoy the great sport of running.

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Confidence builder

Last night (Wednesday) I was scheduled to meet my coach Ian, his spouse Michelle and a few others at an indoor track just east of Ottawa at 8pm for a speed workout. However, the Canadian junior hockey team was playing the Russian junior team in the gold-medal game of the World Junior Hockey Championship starting at 7:30pm.

I was conflicted! I wanted to run, but this was going to be a great game and in my opinion a sure win for Canada.

PVring the hockey game was not an option as we eliminated that from our cable package a few months ago. And the thought of going out into the frigid night was not appealing in the slightest. Have I mentioned how much I hate winter?

I sheepishly called Ian and explained my dilemma. I don't think he was moved by my predicament, but did agree that converting the track session to a speed workout on the treadmill another day this week would be just as beneficial.

So I bailed on the track. As it turns out, I shouldn't have.

Canada blew a 3-0 lead in the third period and lost 5-3 in what is likely the biggest collapse by any Canadian hockey team ever! It was shocking and I'm sure the entire country was reeling this morning. I'm still stunned.

Anyway, I did the speed workout today at lunch. I warmed up at a 5:15 minutes per km pace for 1.5k. Then I did four repeats of 600m each at a 3:50 minutes per km pace, with 2-minute jogs at a 6:00 minutes per km pace between each repeat. That was followed by 4 repeats of 400m each at a 3:40 minutes per km pace, with 3-minute jogs at a 6:00 minutes per km pace. The session finished with five repeats of 200m each at a blistering 3:26 minutes per km pace, with 3.5-minute jogs at a 6:00 minutes per km pace.

And while my legs are a bit tired now, the session felt great and was not nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. In fact it wasn't tough at all. I felt great through each repeat and was easily able to hold the pace for the required distance.

This run indicates to me that I'm faster and stronger than I was when I started working with Ian and I'm feeling more confident than I was when he revealed my goal time for the race next Saturday.

I have to admit, the last few days I've been worried about that goal time of 1:28:30. As I mentioned in an earlier post, that's a full six minutes faster than any other half marathon I've ever run.

However, today I'm almost convinced....I just hope I don't finish the race the way the Canadian junior team finished their hockey game last night!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

No fun!

The juggling of last week's training plan spilled over into Monday of this week.

Sunday I just wasn't feeling very energetic, a bit lethargic in fact, so I pushed my 22k long-run to yesterday morning. It was my last day of Christmas vacation and while I wasn't feeling that great, I got up early and headed out the door. I couldn't afford to miss my last long run before race day.

It was cold and a bit windy, but I was layered appropriately, and by the 5k point, had broken into a good sweat. I shifted gears and upped the pace to 4:50 per km for the next 12k.

As the run progressed, my legs became very heavy, I had difficulty maintaining my pace and my stomach started doing flips at about the 17k mark. I was supposed to run the final 5k at a 5:10 per km pace, but was forced to go much slower as I was afraid a faster pace would result in me either throwing up or filling my shorts!

Let's just say those were five of the most uncomfortable kilometres I think I've ever run. I crept along, fighting waves of nausea and willing myself to put one foot in front of the other. Fortunately I made it home without incident, but spent most of the next few hours on the toilet.

I later learned from Anne that her friend Celine had a severe case of stomach flu and had been up all night vomiting. Maybe I picked something up from her on New Year's Eve. Although I wasn't nearly as sick as she was and by this morning I was feeling much better.

So who knows what I had or where I got it, I'm just glad it seems to be gone and didn't force me to miss any training.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Well if he says I can....

Only 12 days until race day....am I ready?

Ian sent weeks 9 and 10 of my training plan yesterday along with a goal time for the half marathon of 1:28:30! 

When I saw those numbers I was a bit surprised and very much overwhelmed. I thought running 1:30 or slightly under that time would be challenging enough, but possible. I have run a 1:34:44 or a 4:30 per km pace for the 21.1km distance. However, Ian expects me to shave more than 6 minutes off my PR and to run each km at between a 4:15 and a 4:10 per km pace...is he nuts?

After reviewing the runs he had planned for me over the next two weeks and fully digesting the goal set for me, I sent Ian an email essentially asking him if he had lost his freakin' mind!

This morning I read his response. He's confident a 1:28 half marathon is well within my reach based on the training I've done to date. In fact, he thinks I'm capable of running faster.

He's asking me to view the race as just another training run. As he points out, while many of the tempo and interval workouts over the last 8 weeks have been challenging and I've had reservations about being able to complete them, I've been successful with each one. Why not the one he has planned for me on January 15th?

I can't really argue with that, I suppose. And after all, he is the coach and professional. I hired him for his expertise and knowledge. 

I'll just have to trust and believe I'm ready to go where I've never gone before!


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Another strong run

Yesterday afternoon I had a great 10k run which included some speed work. It felt awesome and makes me more confident that I can achieve my goal of a 1 hour and 30 minute or less half marathon result in a couple of weeks.

I started out with 2k at a 5:10 per km pace and then did three repeats of 1k at a 3:55 per km pace, followed by 1k at a 4:55 per km pace. Surprisingly, the 3:55 pace felt comfortable, like I could run that pace for a good distance, signalling to me that I'm getting faster and peaking at the right time.

Overall the run was 47 minutes at an average pace of 4:42 per km. Later today I'm running 22k outside at a relatively pedestrian average pace of just under 5 minutes per km.

I'm looking forward to getting outside and to what Ian has in store for me over the next 12 days leading up to the race.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Dedicated or crazy...you be the judge!

It was 7:45pm on New Year's Eve and I was all alone in the gym at work, powering up the treadmill to get in the 9k run I had bailed on earlier in the day. Anne and the kids were already at Celine's house eating, drinking and being merry.

As I increased the speed to a 5:15 per km pace, I thought to myself, "What's wrong with this picture?"

However, with my half marathon only two weeks away, I knew this was a crucial week in my training cycle. And as I mentioned in an earlier post, I had to juggle my training plan this week due to some insomnia Tuesday night. So although I was not happy to be running on the last night of 2010, I knew missing a run at this stage of the game could negatively impact my performance on January 15th.

After warming up for 2k, I began the first of five, 1k intervals as follows - 750m with the treadmill at a 6% incline, followed by 250m at a 0% incline, all at a 4:45 per km pace.

The first interval went okay and so did the next two, but as I started the 4th interval, I was having serious thoughts about ending the run early. My heart was pounding and my legs felt like cement pillars.

Somehow I was able to convince myself that the pain was worth it and that if I was going to be here, I might as well complete the entire run. However, as the 7k mark approached, I felt a sense of relief as I could slow the speed down to a very manageable 5:15 per km pace for the last 2k.

After, as I walked from the gym to the change room, I was proud on myself for not bailing on the last two intervals, but a weird feeling washed over me...the place was eerily silent...spooky really...like being in a horror movie and I wasn't the leading character...I was half expecting to run smack into Jason Voorhees around the next corner!

Fortunately, I survived and was able to join the rest of the gang to ring-in 2011 satisfied and guilt-free.

Happy New Year everyone and good luck with all your resolutions and goals!