About Me

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

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Getting ready

So my right hamstring is getting better and I'm ramping things up for next Sunday's ING Ottawa half marathon.

The last two weeks have been fairly easy in terms of running mileage, but important in terms of rehabbing my right leg. In addition to allowing me to recover, the light run schedule allowed me to enjoy the trip to Florida for Anne's half ironman competition.

We took the kids and had a great time!

 The weather was hot and sunny for the most part and even though it was a short trip (6 days) we packed a lot in, including Anne's competition. Which btw, she rocked despite a crash on her bike. She finished in 6 hours and 28 minutes, placing 49th in her age group!

Anne's performance has inspired me to post a good finish time next weekend. And despite my lack of training the last few weeks, Ian told me to not over-think things and just step on the gas pedal.

So "run fast, run strong" will be my mantra throughout the race and when things get tough I'll rely on that to keep me going...that and the fact a friend from high school will be running with me and will help pace me. He just ran the Boston Marathon and should be able to push me. I haven't told him, but my/our goal is to post a 1:30 or faster time.

What will also provide some inspiration is the fact that two of my friends are running their first 5k races on the Saturday night of race weekend. I've been helping Ron and David train for the race and I plan to watch them at the finish line....if they can go from the couch to completing a 5k after only a few weeks of training, I can run fast for my race.

I'll let you know how things go!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Walking wounded

So much for my pledge to post on a regular basis. For some reason, I'm just not into keeping up with things.

Anyway, last weekend's half marathon in Waterloo was a bit disappointing. The friend I was supposed to run with had an IT band injury and couldn't run. So I was on my own.

In consultation with my coach Ian, we decided that I could likely run somewhere between 1:33 and 1:35 given my training and current fitness level. Remember I was supposed to run this race as a training run, pacing my friend Glen in his first half marathon. His goal time was around 1:40, so I have been training for about a 4:45 per km pace for this race.

However, with Glen on the disabled list, I tried to run a faster race. And things started great! I was on pace for about a 1:33 finish until just after the 13k point. I had just run up a long (more than 1k in length) and steep (about a 6 or 7 percent grade) hill and my right hamstring was throbbing. It had been tight and giving me some issues in recent weeks, but I guess it was worse than I cared to admit.

From the 13k point on, whenever I tried to run faster than about a 4:40 per km pace, it felt as though the hamstring would go into spasm....similar to the feeling I had when I did in my left hamstring in a race in March 2010. So, having learned my lesson from that experience, I slowed things down and cruised home to a 1:40:27 time, finishing 31st overall and 10th in my age group.

As I said a bit disappointing at the time, but in retrospect and given my training, I finished just about where I should have if Glen had run the race with me. As Anne said when I got home, this wasn't really my race and I shouldn't have expected to run faster than 1:40, especially since I had been nursing a sore hamstring.

So this week has been an easy week of rest and slow-paced 5ks. My hamstring feels much better. I had visited a sports doctor prior to the race in Waterloo and she determined it was just an overuse injury. I've been stretching it really good after each run this week and as I said it's much better.

I hope with some additional stretching and a couple of massage therapy sessions I'll be good to go on May 29th for the ING Half Marathon here in Ottawa. After that I'll run a 5k in early June, then Ian will have me maintenance/recovery training for about 2 months.

Come the end of August, we'll ramp it up in preparation for the NYC Marathon November 6th.

Have a great weekend!