Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ian's Boston Race Report

On Monday I was fortunate to be able to run in the 114th Boston Marathon. I would first like to thank Todd for getting me there. Not just for guiding me through my workouts but also for providing me the right advice for dealing with a nagging injury which I thought might prevent me from racing.

The weekend was rainy and cool but I woke up early Monday morning to clear skies. The Boston Marathon actually starts in the little village of Hopkinton so a shuttle service is provided to get to the race start. The race starts at 10:00 am but the first round of shuttle buses got us there at approximately 7:00 am. Three hours to wait and rookie mistake number one. I didn't bring enough warm clothes or a plastic bag to sit on so I shivered in the athletes village for 2 1/2 hours. Second rookie mistake. At 9:15 I prepared to go for a warm-up run but just as I was about to leave they announced over the PA system that the first 8,000 runners should proceed to the start line. Foolishly I went instead of going for my warm-up. We stood in the holding pens until just before 10:00. Then, two fighter jets flew by, the national anthem was played and the sound of a gun. We were off, sort off. Three minutes later my corral shuffled to the start line and we were truly off. This was my first big running race and it was truly a sea of humanity as far as the eye could see. The pace starts off frustratingly slow but by five kilometres you can start to achieve your desired pace. During the first few kilometres I was able to make use of the slow pace and high five the little kids that line the course.

By ten or twelve kilometres I knew I was in for a long and painful race. My lack of warm-up and the downhills were starting to make my quads cramp. I was expecting this but not for another 20 kilometres. Wellesley College is near the 20 kilometre mark and is famous. A sign stating "Get Ready to Plug Your Ears" says it all. The teenage girls lining the street scream and everyone's pace seems to quicken. As you get closer to Boston the crowds thicken and get louder. Newton with the famous Heartbreak Hill is a wall of people screaming you up the hill. Coming down the hill and the last 12 kilometres was about as agonizing as it gets for me, each step a shot of pain with my calfs, hamstrings and quads all threatening to seize up. By this point the spectators don't seem to cheer but scream at you urging you on as though you are their best friend about to win the race, despite being a mid-pack runner from the other side of the continent. Amazing! The last few kilometres felt like survival mode. I couldn't stop in front of thousands of people, the better runners were passing in droves while others around me were finally breaking and slowing to a walk or stopping. It seemed like chaos. By this time I was on auto pilot and only vaguely aware of the other runners and crowds. Around the final corner, last straight stretch and then... done!

After the race I thought about what gives one race a certain mystique while another is "just a marathon" or "just a triathlon". Boston is after all just another road race. Certainly very scenic and much harder than my Kelowna qualifier, but just a race. The need to qualify, like Kona in the triathlon world is part of it, as well as the elite field. But I would have to say it is the spectators, the energy and the sheer number of them help make this event so special. Everyone we met in Boston was polite, friendly and helpful. Great ambassadors for their city and country. I would highly recommend this race to anyone who is interested in long distance running. After the race I said I would never do it again but two days later I'm trying to decide which year to do it again.

Boston 2010

Boston is over and here are the results. It was great fun wathing on line.

Ian finished his 1st Boston in 3:10
Elaine finished another Boston is 3:38 (Happy)
Sue had a very hard finish with cramping legs but held on for 3:48

Very inspiriing and I am dreaming of Boston 2011 for me. :)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Calgary Tower climb

Congrats to Katie for being the 2nd lady to the top of the Calgary tower during the climb and run for wilderness. Katie was 2nd to Syl Corbett by 28 sec. Katie noted that the climb was harder than she thought it would be.... :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Boston marathon!

Good luck to all those competing in the Boston Marathon on Monday!

A special good luck out to Sue, Elaine, Ian, Neroli, Kyle and Rob.

Enjoy it!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Todd's Icebreaker 10 Km race report

IceBreaker 10 Km race report – Todd

Well the icebreaker 10 Km has come and gone. This is always a great test to see where your run fitness is at. We were lucky with the weather. No snow or ice. Good running surface. I arrived sort of early (by my standards) 30 mins and I immediately had to find the nearest washroom. One of those things. After I went for my warmup but ran into Rose, Madi and Mariano. They wished me luck and Mariano asked if I was nervous as he has never seen me look like this before a race. I thought about this and said yes I am a bit nervous. I guess because this was my 1st race since my DNF at IM Canada and there was a small part of me that was questioning myself. I find the beginning and end of race very interesting and I always note what others (including myself) say. Things like….What time do you hope to run….Oh I missed so and so run so therefore….well I won’t hit this time because…..This is all too normal for the racing crowd and I tried to minimize this sort of talk and stay positive as much as possible.

My target for the day: 38 – 39 mins.

In brief: I started the race (as I have recommended to most) at a controlled pace and not too fast. When I came to the 1st Km mark in ~3:40 I knew I had to slow down. No problem, refocus. My HR monitor strap slipped off. No problem, pull it down. Concentrate on good breathing, cadence, armswing, press the slip on my watch. Check the time at 5 Km = 19:30. Good time and pace. There are lots of runners ahead of me. No worries I feel OK…stay strong. Look at the leaders as they pace. #1 looks great huge lead. Jordan is looking strong in top 3. Franks looks very good and focused in 4th, Rose is running well. After the turnaround I start looking at the runners behind and I wave at those I know, sorry about missing others. Pace felt good and able to maintain focus. With 1 Km to go I decide to slightly increase my pace and try to catch the runner in front. It worked and I was able to run strong to the finish line in sub 39 min. Goal met! 26th overall and 5th in Age group.

Tim had a good race and went sub 44 in 43:59.
Kelly placed in her age group 3rd with a 45:55
Mike was very happy to run today and finish in 48:18
Naomi (BHC) finished in 43:29
Mariano (tri-it) showed that training is overrated with a 48:54
Richelle (tri-it) finished in 49:06
Rose (tri-it) finished in 51:27.

Fun day to race and so great to see the familiar smiles and faces of runners from the past. Until next Icebreaker!

Tim's IceBreaker 10 Km race report

I did the Icebreaker 10K yesterday and it went pretty well. I hadn't raced since last July and hadn't run a 10K in two years, so I was a bit apprehensive, but not nervous. I was looking to beat my age (44). Todd told me to take it easy for a kilometre or so and then settle into a strong pace. The gun went off, I started my IPod and away I went.

My first kilometre was 4:35 which was probably a bit too slow, but I wasn't to worked up about it. My next few kilometres were ten seconds or so faster (even going up the %^*^% hill). At the 5K mark I decided that I had better pick up the pace a bit if I was going to get to my time. This started to feel hard now as my pace was up to about 4:15 per kilometre. Because I started slow, I still wasn't going to make it without a big push in the last mile. At the mile sign I was 37:15. Yikes. I debated in my head for about ten seconds as to whether I horked up a lung to get under 44, or started to cruise. In the end I figured "what the heck!" and took off.

Across the 4th Street bridge I thought I was going to die -- but I didn't. Some lady in a bike wasn't looking where she was going; had no clue a race was on apparently; and turned right into a group of runners. At the last second she hit the brakes and we swerved by. That gave me just the right spike of adrenaline to make the turn onto Elbow Drive. But now I was at 42:45 and had to get all the way to that little green house. "Screw it" I said and sprinted as hard as I could. As I crossed the line I really felt like breakfast was about to be re-enacted, but I held on. Some guy tried to jump ahead of me in the shoot (rookie!), but I reclaimed my spot.

At the end of the run: 43:59!! That little debate in my head tuned out to be the right choice. I would have been disappointed to come in 44:15 or something.

I am going to have to do a few more of these so I can get better at them in time for Budapest.

Tuner Valley Triathlon (Canada Day)

What better way to spend Canada then with a triathlon! :)

Dawn is putting on a race in Turner valley and the proceeds go to the outdoor pool for upgrades. Last year was a great success!