Second year in a row I have ran this race, this year I convinced my brother to run with me.
Race morning was a touch chilly; it was 0 degrees when we parked. I was carrying a GU Salted Caramel gel, and with the yeti on the package, seemed fitting. Our goal was simple, start together finish together (hopefully under 2 hours).
We started off pretty fast at 4:30/km. Keeping in mind the first 3k is pretty much downhill, I slowed our pace to hopefully save our legs for the return leg. We found out later that our attempts were futile.
I ran through the fist aid station at 5k, my brother opting for a glass of water. Well by 8k he had a stitch in his side and nothing helped; breathing on alternate sides, slowing down, and eventually walking. The next aid station provided a chance to stop, grab some energy, and keep chugging along.
We ran down into the Weaselhead, I opened up and cruised down the hill slowing down at the bottom to let my brother catch up. Onward to the bottom of the biggest test. I went to grab my gel looking for some energy for the climb, only to find that my hands were numb and I couldn’t grab the gel from my pocket. My brother gave me his, saying that he wouldn’t need it. Awesome, thanks dude.
I hammered up the hill, clapped for the bagpipe band at the top, and stopped at the aid station to wait for my brother. Not much to report in the last 5k, except for anyone who maps a half marathon course with an uphill finish sucks.
Coming around the last bend, I stopped and let my brother go ahead. He worked so hard in the last 4k that crossing the finish line first seemed pretty rude. Our official time was 1:52:52. Needless to say we were stoked, not only meeting our goal, pretty much smashing it.
I love this race, it is always well organized and the route is probably the best in Calgary. Sure, I can run the reservoir any time, but there is something special about running it with a couple hundred others. Bring my brother along, and man, what a great way to spend a Sunday morning.
I was also able to rest my nutrition plan along the Ironman 70.3 Calgary run course. I understand that running a half marathon differs greatly from running an Ironman 70.3 half marathon, but I reckon any testing is better than wingin’ it.
So there you go; a PR for my brother, half marathon under me for 2014, and triathlon season right around the corner.
Race week, my favorite kind of week.
Swim – 2:15:00 (p) – 3:10:00 (a) – 9800m
Bike – 3:45:00 (p) – 3:47:51 (a) – 99.57km
Run – 2:30:00 (p) – 3:02:46 (a) – 35.74km
Total – 8:30:00 (p) – 10:00:38 (a)
My first half marathon of 2014 is in the books, and all-in-all, it was a great race. I ran it solo in 2013, race report here, and finished with a great time even though I hit the wall at km 15.
2014 was different. I ran it with my brother, helping him finish sub 2 hours. No need to panic, the race report is to come.
As I was training though the race I didn’t taper this week, and good thing. Swim volume was high on both Monday and Friday, and they both went something like this:
400m swim / 200m kick / 400m drill
Alternate swim / pull
2x400m on 6:00
4x200m on 3:30
8x100m on 1:45
Needless to say swimming 3600m in 60 minutes leaves me a little tired in the office for the rest of the day. Standing desks don’t help with that by the way.
Speaking of tired, have you ever fallen asleep on the couch at 2030? I was sitting on the couch with my daughter, watching a little TV before bedtime. Next thing I knew the show as over, and my little one was poking me in the ribs.
I am noticing that every day that I have a brick session scheduled (Monday, Tuesday, and Friday) I am not only looking forward to my bedtime, I am looking forward to that 20 minutes on the couch before her bedtime.
How sad is that?
Spring is such a great time in Calgary. With the nice weather, the families in our little corner of the community gather once again at the park after supper. It is great to catch up with some that you lose touch with over the winter and seeing how the kids grew.
I got invited by my daughter and her friends to join in a game of ‘grounders’. What an absolute riot, the kids were laughing when I couldn’t hear them on the ground, and screaming when I got close to tagging them.
These kids kicked my butt. I was ‘it’ more often than not, and they had a couple of tricks that took me almost all night to figure out.
Can’t wait to play again this week.
Question: How do you deal with being tired?
Week one of the CTS Half Ironman plan is in the books.
Swim – 1:30:00 (p) – 3:00:00 (a) – 8400m
Bike – 2:45:00 (p) – 2:29:03 (a) – 71.67km
Run – 2:00:00 (p) – 1:58:29 (a) – 25.26km
Total – 6:15:00 (p) – 7:27:32 (a)
This week was all about getting back into the interval training, high intensity if you will. One thing is for sure, intervals suck. I mean who wants to be hunched over, gasping for breath with sweat pouring off your forehead. Oh, right, I do.
Good example; Saturday afternoon’s run called for a 45min ER with 4x5min Tempo Run (4:13-4:03/km) 5min RBI. If you do math real quick, skip this next part. With the intervals, I have a total of 5 minutes to warm up, get my heart rate in check, and decide my route before I am switching between 5 minutes of high pace and 5 minutes of rest. That is all.
No rest for the wicked, eh? (Ha, slipped a Canadian phrase in there).
I had an absolute blast, even though everyone in Baker Park thought I was a touch crazy. My route was a 1.2km stretch from one end to the other, I would run hard out and easy back, sometimes past the same couple two or three times. The look on their faces were priceless.
I had to cut my bike 15 minutes short on Friday morning, conference call at 0900 was looming. I was able to get all of my intervals in mind you, so I reckon that is a decent trade off. Not a big fan of riding on the stationary at the YMCA, but I am a huge fan of swimming with the tri club, so something has to give. I have no issues packing my bike and heading for a ride afterwards, but being downtown is not conducive to a lycra wearing roadie with wet hair. So the stationary is where I will stay.
The Calgary Police Half Marathon is just less than 2 weeks away, and for the first time this year, I am feeling pretty optimistic about it. Now, I am a pretty optimistic guy, but after slacking on the longer runs over the past 4 months, I was worried about lasting the distance.
Well after a couple of great runs last week and the prospect of one more long run this weekend, I am confident that it will be a great race. I am going to remember to bring some sort of energy with me this time, don’t want a repeat of last year now do we?
Question: What are your thoughts on intervals?
Back at it, in more ways than one.
Swim – 3:00:00 – 9100m
Bike – 2:02:51 – 61.0km
Run – 2:25:25 – 26.48km
I said in my last post “Wow, Wednesday already. I wish every week would go this fast.” Yeah, well it is now almost 2 weeks since then. Jeez time flies.
This was my last week of semi structure in my training. I always have a plan, but for the next 8 weeks I am going to live and die by my training schedule. There is something comforting about having a plan written and all you have to do is hammer it.
Easy enough right?
The Half Ironman plan from “The Time Crunched Triathlete” will be my main stay for the next 8 weeks, peaking for Escape From Alcatraz June 1. I then have a couple of weeks to recover before cycling through the plan again for Ironman 70.3 Calgary.
I am tired and hungry just thinking about it.
Saturday afternoon was perfect for a rip on my bike; the earliest I have been able to get on the road and it was awesome. It was so great to have the fresh air, wind, and dust in my face rather than the stale air of my 70’s inspired basement. You read right, even dust is better than the trainer.
Sunday afternoon I took my brother to run part of the Calgary Police Half Marathon course as he has never run the race before. No one should ever run the Weaselhead hill for the first time at 14k into a half marathon; that is just cruel. It was a great run with great company. I don’t usually get the opportunity to chat much while training, so it was a welcome change.
Some really odd trends in my top posts. I wonder what it is about Recap – Week 50 that has people interested. I can see Ironman Tattoo, that is a good post…..
Friday afternoon we made an impromptu trip to the zoo here in Calgary. Not sure if you knew, but the zoo was almost washed away by the floods last year and this was our first time there since.
What a blast. I forgot how much fun it can be to just let the afternoon run by without much of a plan. Fortunately for us we received an invite for supper around 1730, so no need to rush home and utter our favorite phrase, “what should we make for supper?”.
Question: Now spring is here, has your training ramped up for race season?
Is It Really Wednesday Already?
Swim – 3:00:00 – 8100m
Bike – 2:16:24 – 68.6km
Run – 1:13:46 – 16.0km
Strength – 0:45:00
Total – 7:15:10
Man this week has really flown by. So much so that I am currently writing this post while I am on the trainer at home. It is really hard to pedal and type one handed on an iPad at the same time. Good thing I don’t have to balance.
I mentioned a while back that I seemed to lose some of my mojo on the run; 8k never was a chore until December. I tried a couple of different approaches to derail my training in hopes of pushing past this road block. Well after 2 ‘Fartlek Fridays’ with a fellow tri-club swimmer I am feeling better. Not 100% mind you, but things are looking up.
Ramping up my run volume over the next couple of weeks is going to test my resolve. In order to get ready for the Calgary Police Half Marathon at the end of April I need to add an additional day and then start increasing my weekly time little by little. My current plan looks something like this with a run added on Wednesday.
My ultimate goal is to have 45min ER (Endurance Run) on Monday, 60min ER on Wednesday, and a 45min ER with FI (Fartlek Intervals) on Friday. That puts me in the 2.5 hour range per week which should be perfect leading up to the race.
So this week we are without our swim coach, apparently when Napa Valley calls your name, you must oblige. For the three workouts this week, a different swimmer was given the task of writing the workout and coaching everyone during the set. When he was picking them out at the end of our session on Wednesday, I acted like a high school kid who doesn’t know the answer; I looked at the ground and didn’t make any discernible noises. Thankfully I didn’t get picked.
It is interesting to see the different mind sets in a given group. Some of the swimmers feel that we need to swim longer, slower sets and some feel we need more drills. We will see both the remainder of the week as Wednesday and Friday are coached by both personalities. I for one feel that both are right in their own ways.
If you want to be able to swim 1500m in a race, then you need experience swimming that distance.
If you want to swim a 1:20/100m pace, then you need to train at or below that time.
How you decide and balance them is entirely up to you.
Question: How do you balance speed with distance?
It was a ‘tale of two weeks’.
Swim – 3:00:00 – 8200m
Bike – 1:01:32 – 35.4km
Run – 1:22:52 – 16.9km
Strength – 1:30:00
Total – 6:54:24
My week was going great training wise until mid-Friday. I noticed a slight twinge (is that a technical term?) in my inner left thigh and by the end of the night I was having a hard time walking up the stairs. Given I shouldn’t have been piggy-backing my daughter up the stairs, but hey, it is the only way we can get her to go to bed without fussing.
I decided to forego my ride that evening opting for a good roll and stretch. That seemed to do the trick and by Sunday afternoon I was off for a run while the girls were off to the movies. 8 degrees, sun shining, and clear paths made for a great experience. Only in Calgary can you go from a blizzard warning to running in shorts in less than 2 weeks.
I am not complaining; at all.
The path system in Calgary is awesome. There is close to 800km of pathways that connect most of the city together. I typically use the same 20km of it close to downtown as I run at lunch. It is pretty flat along the Bow River, so when I can run from home and rip through ‘blood and guts’ I take advantage. Yeah you read that right, ‘blood and guts’. The famed section tracks along the north section of Bowmont Natural Park with an elevation climb of 99m from the river valley to the top of Silver Springs.
I love climbing that hill; brings back memories of training for Ironman 70.3 Calgary two years ago. I have a feeling that I will be seeing more of it in the coming months.
I hesitated on registering for the Hypothermic Half marathon in February and now it is sold out. Crap. This is the second year in a row that I have missed out on the race by waiting to register. So without a half marathon to race in February, I am going to turn my attention to cycling for January, adding at least one more workout to the mix.
Registration opens for the Calgary Police Half Marathon on January 1, 2014. Needless to say I will be hitting that one soon after I recover from New Years Eve.
Who am I kidding, I will be in bed by 2200.
Question: Any specific training or race route bring back memories for you?
This week got away from me.
Swim – 3:00:00 – 7500m
Bike – 0:45:25 – 25.45km
Run – 0:46:50 – 9.65km
Strength – 1:30:00
Total – 6:02:15
Have you ever sat down on Friday and went “holy crap, where did the week go?” Now I know that is a good thing, the weekend can never come fast enough, but when you are trying to squeeze a lot of stuff into a short week, time flying is a bad thing.
Training went really good this week, except for I missed a couple of workouts on the weekend. I have decided not to worry too much about logging time on the bike and run yet because I feel strength training and having fun in the pool will help me in the long run. December will be the start of my run focus leading up to the Hypothermic Half Marathon in early February.
Swim training is still a ton of fun. We are switching up the workouts to gain efficiency in every aspect, even push-offs and tumble turns. I know that in an open water swim there are no walls, obviously, but when in the pool why not take every advantage. I stick behind after the workout with a couple of other swimmers and practice, chat, and joke around. Sometimes you learn more like this than in the workout itself.
I can now get out of the pool without using my hands. Will I use this new found power for good or evil? I don’t know.
I missed out on my weekend training as a good buddy of mine agreed to take me hunting; my first time. I am going to dedicate a future post to my experience, but I figured a quick recap was warranted here.
It was a blast, both literally and figuratively. It is no secret that I am dedicated to living a Paleo lifestyle, as much as we can in the 21st century. Well, I felt like this experience is the foundation of the lifestyle. More than just filling tags, it was an experience to be out in nature and tap into that primal instinct; with a diesel truck, binoculars, and a high powered rifle.
We started watching ‘Food Inc’ last night, a documentary exploring the food industry in the United States. It is a touch scary, and by a touch, I mean entirely. Now taking it with a grain of salt as it was on sided, it appears that the industry really doesn’t care about the animals, workers, or the consumer. They only care about one thing; profit.
It has given us the motivation to find natural raised and process animals local to Calgary, or as my recent trip, go get some of it ourselves. Stay tuned as to how it goes.
Question: Have you started training again after the off season? How is it going so far?