blog banner

blog banner

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Race Report: Peterborough 1/2 Marathon 2014

Original flat course:
2007- 2:07:06
2008- 1:53:55
2009- 1:49:17
2010 - 1:45:26

New hilly course:
2011 - 1:38:54 
2013 - 1:43:18 (119/400, 23/40 M35-39, 97/223 Men)
2014 - 1:42:38 (94/335, 12/28 M35-39, 79/192 Men)

I'm actually a little surprised that I beat last year's time... last year I had mostly abandoned the bike in favour of a run-heavy preparation for the Toronto Marathon.  This year I've mostly abandoned running in favour of a bike-heavy preparation for Ironman, yet I'm a faster runner.


I assume the less-than-ideal winter had a lot to do with the reduced numbers at this race.   Training wasn't easy at times, and when I was out I saw a lot fewer runners than most winters.

Sufferfest - is there anything it can't do?

I felt extremely strong at the end, which either means I prepared better than last year or my fitness is better.  

I tend to think the latter - I have been really hitting the Sufferfest videos, and they are intense.  Best of all, they teach you to find that intensity after almost 2 hours in the saddle (ISLAGIATT).. which hits the spot in a 1/2 marathon.  I was able to really up my pace in the last few kilometers when those around me were fading.

What this Race Is Like

For anyone thinking of doing this race, think "challenging".  Hills are brutal, there is one particular one that goes through the lift lock that you hit both ways... it's tough.  Not a PB course.


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Race Preview: Peterborough 1/2 Marathon 2014

Tomorrow I'll be running in the Peterborough 1/2 Marathon.
What's more fun than a run through the Lift Lock?

Back in 2007 was the first running race I had ever done, of any distance.  I have kept it on my calendar ever since (except 2012 due to injury).

My Previous Results

Original flat course:

2007- 2:07:06
2008- 1:53:55
2009- 1:49:17
2010 - 1:45:26

New hilly course:

2011 - 1:38:54 
2013 - 1:43:18 (119/400, 23/40 M35-39, 97/223 Men)

This year is a bit of a crapshoot.  It's a tough course, I haven't been running as much as last year, and I'm not as light as I was in 2011.  Or as young.  On the other hand I've been busting my butt on the bike, so we'll see if any of that fitness translates.

So I plan to hang around a 4:50/km pace and see how I feel.  That would bring me in at about 1h42, which would be pretty good for a February race.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Fake Bike Trip Report #7 - Big Weekend

It was a long weekend, so I decided to take advantage and put in some good time.

Saturday - 55km on trainer (2h Sufferfest ISLAGIATT)
Sunday - 21.1km run (2h - doesn't count for fake bike trip)
Monday - 55km on trainer (2h Sufferfest ISLAGIATT!)

The second trainer session was pretty brutal, much tougher than the first with all that accumulated fatigue... but fought through it.

831km done in my fake bike trip.  This puts me somewhere between Pancake Bay Provincial Park (greatest bay ever?) and Lake Superior Provincial Park.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Fake Bike Trip - Progress Report #6

691km done in my fake bike trip!

This puts me just past Sault Ste-Marie.

We drove through here once on the way from Edmonton to Ottawa.  I remember there was a bridge, which coming from the prairies really impressed me.

I also remember it took a lonnnng time to get around Lake Superior.  Now that I'm heading the other way this is the start of the lake... until I get to Thunder Bay it's going to be a long slog around the lake.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Ironman Goal Pace

I checked last year's Ironman Mont Tremblant results.  The median time was 12h55.

Seems like a reasonable goal!

Plugged some numbers into a triathlon calculator and found a pretty comfortable sounding pace for the various stages.

My last (and only) Ironman was in 2009.

20092014 goal
Swim    1:32:12  2:26/100m  1:35:00  2:30/100m
Bike    6:50:34  26.4km/h  6:32:43  27.5km/h
Run    5:20:25  7:27/km  4:34:00  6:30/km
Total    13:57:55  12:55:00.. or faster?


My sole focus was the distance and getting through it - pacing was geared toward finishing before 17 hours was up.  I was terrified of a DNF.  My training was dainty and lacked intensity.  Miles, miles, miles.  When I started I had questions in my head such as "Can I swim 3800m?"...

I did not own a Garmin.  Seriously.  Not even a heart rate monitor.  I trained and race on feel and what my watch was telling me for pacing... I was a newbie by every definition, not just at Ironman but at racing and training in general.

I rode an aluminum Trek 1200 with clip-on bars.  Got the job done, but it's no Cervelo!


I know myself better.  I know how to train, how to get faster, how to get my weight down.  I have the hang of nutrition and pacing.  I have done dozens and dozens of races of all kinds of distances.

Most importantly - I have DNF'd races.  It's not the end of the world.  I am an Ironman no matter what happens in August, so the goal is to improve and kick my own butt.  And I will!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Sports Drinks

Marketplace did a show called Father, Faster, Fitter.

They mainly dug deep into sports drinks (like Gatorade, Powerade) and whether you actually need them.

The Tests

On the show, they measured people's blood for 3 things - signs of dehydration, glucose levels, and electrolyte levels.

The Runners

They ran for 45 minutes and their blood was tested.  This looked like a pretty even-paced run, nothing too intense (although they didn't really delve into the nature of the run).

Electrolyte and glucose levels were high, with a tiny bit of dehydration.  So the conclusion was water might have helped, but sports drinks weren't necessary.


A triathlete hit the stationary bike pretty hard (allegedly).  At 45 minutes, she actually had her blood glucose levels had dropped "a lot" - so they concluded she "could benefit" from some sports drinks.  Electrolyte levels were fine, though, until almost 2 hours.

Mixed Messages?

Runners, cyclists, triathletes - anyone doing any of this seriously does a lot of workouts over 45 minutes, at high intensity.  If our blood glucose drops "a lot" in that time, then are we leaving some performance on the table?  Should we not be hitting the sugar to keep them high?

I think so.  I definitely feel it when I'm out there, if I'm over an hour and I don't have a hit of sugar, my performance is threatened (sooner if I'm doing something at intensity).

Sure, kids probably don't need it... they rarely do endurance stuff, and kids chug it like pop even when they're not engaged in exercise.  That's not the right use for the stuff.

And I have a real beef with products like G2 or Mio Sport, that have lower calories but high electrolytes.  The scenarios where you would need that combination are few and far between.  That was the take-away of the show I guess, that the "electrolyte" sales pitch is overblown.  I buy that.