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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Paddling the Rouge

We kind of did this by accident, as the north winds let us get out on Lake Ontario and make our way further west than planned!

The bottom line with the Rouge - it's a nice little add-on if you happen to be on Lake Ontario anyway, but otherwise it's not navigable far enough to make it worth it's own trip.

Up to the 401, it's actually very wide and deep, not obstacles.  But as you approach the 401 that depth just vanishes and it's pretty useless.

There were a few little interesting things, like a spot where it looks like an old home had burnt down (or been torn down?) but the original chimney remained as a BBQ pit type thing.  People had paddled up and were cooking something there.

As for Lake Ontario itself - it's hit and miss!  Today the wind was from the north, so the lake was pretty good along the shore.  We got out a bit too far on the way back (you can see it on the map) and it got dicey in a hurry... it's an unpredictable beast.

Somewhat surprisingly, Frenchman's Bay was the toughest water of the day!  Wind was strong and from the NorthWest, so it really whipped up some waves in there.  Especially true in the channel between Frenchman's and the lake.

Next week: Canoe the Nonquon!  First ever canoe race, should be... something.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Paddling Duffins Creek

Went canoe'ing on Duffins Creek in Ajax, Ontario.

Despite being called a "creek", it's actually wide and quite perfect for a canoe trip.  We started at Rotary Park in Ajax at the boat launch, near Lake Ontario, and went up stream.

The bottom was very calm, wide and the current was light.

Once we got to Bailey and went under the bridge, the current picked up a bit, and it was much tougher to paddle upstream.  There was one particularly tough section where the water flow was fast, we almost didn't make it up - took 3 tries! 

Hazard of note - golf course.  Golf balls flying over our heads... a tad dangerous!  Not much you can do except paddle like hell.

We made it up to north of the 401, a total of about 6km, before heading back for 12km round trip.  All in all a very pleasant paddle, much of it away from civilization (while being surrounded by it!).  You can likely go further north, we just ran out of gas!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Race Report: 2013 Toronto Marathon

Result: 3:39:24

Overall: 362/1695
Men: 297/1004
Men 35-39: 61/177

Why Marathoners Live Longer

Want to extend your life by 10 years?  Run a marathon.  In the last 10km, time slows to the point where it feels as though 10 years have passed.  Hey, I didn't say they'd be good years!

My Race

Settled into a comfortable pace, kept my heart rate low.

Ate a bazillion calories (4 gels, a 5oz gel bottle, a 300cal bottle I carried of liquids, and as much course Gatorade as I could drink without barfing...)

Felt good up to about 30km.

Last 10km still smoked me.  Realized I couldn't hold my target pace, backed off, then backed way off... held on to at least break 3:40 and set a new personal best (previous was 3:44+).

Heat may have been a small factor, certainly felt it in the closing kilometers as we were in full sun and temps were up to 20C.

But ultimately I think the bigger factor is still weight... I don't think I can pull off a 3:35 without dropping some pounds, as I really trained hard and by the book for this one.  Not much more to do on that front, without quitting my day job!

Negative/Even Split?  Yeaaaaah Right!

I really noticed the rest of the crowd slowed down with me... my pace went off by 30-40s per kilometer, yet not that many people were passing me, and surprisingly I was still passing other people!

I've read before that the vast majority of marathon runners fade at the end.  There seems to be the assumption that they didn't pace it right, but I think if you can't put in mega mileage then you can pretty much expect the heart rate to creep higher and the muscles to stop doing what you're telling them in those last few kilometers.

Maybe it'll be different for me at a lower weight, we'll see!  I'll have to try it.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Race Preview: Toronto Marathon 2013

My Marathon History

I've yet to get it right.

2008 Toronto Marathon was my first ever marathon.  Goal was to finish, I finished, 3h56.  It was all very exciting at the time, but faded badly by the end.

2010 Toronto Marathon was my second ever marathon.  Goal was 3h35, but I fell apart at the end (again) and rolled in at 3h44 - pretty disappointing.

Then I did the 2011 NYC Marathon, where I ended up with a knee injury causing me to limp to the end.  3h55, ouch.

I spent 2012 working out what caused my injury (hip rotation issue) and spent the year sucking, but adapted to a new running style that has really worked for me.

2013... here we go! 

2013 Goal and Preparation

Goal pace is 5:05/km for a 3h35 finish.
This year I followed the 3h35 Furhman "FIRST" plan.  I have stuck to it nearly 100% and things have felt great. 
The plan was tough.  An interval session, tempo run, and a long run every week.  Intensity on every run, intensity on all the cross-training.  Hammer hammer hammer.  Even the long runs gradually sped up, to within about 10s/km of target marathon pace by the end of the plan.  It was relentless, but I enjoyed it more than I dreaded it (generally). 

Injuries - none!  Nagging pains - none!  With all that speedwork, I figured I'd be in trouble, but no problems.

I also did Around the Bay (30km) this year, which went well.  Managed a 5:01/km pace on a much tougher course... so the only question in my mind is how I hang in there for that extra 12.2km! 

2013 Course

It's changed since I did this race last back in 2010 - the last 2-3km used to be a gradual uphill, now it's flat.  That can't hurt!

Give 'er!