Sunday, December 7, 2014

PRC in the community

As this is my last post I'll say it has been fun and insightful doing a weekly blog for PRC. November has snuck off into the night and we are now well into the month of Christmas prep. Last Sunday's we ran the amazingly popular Bell Island Ferry run. We don't cross the cove of course. But the 16k from Paradise to Portugal Cove was spectacular, with snow-covered evergreens and picturesque ocean views most of the way. The soon to be renamed Tucker' Hill Rd was a test as always. The gathering at the ferry dock could be heard from the main road as we neared the finish...the 10k group were happy to see us and soon get in from the cold. A trip back to Coffee Matters in Paradise warmed everyone up shortly after.

Our group runs this past week have taken on new meaning as one of our own has been sidelined after major surgery. We run with heavier hearts these days but our spirits are always brightened by a FB posting or news of a recent visit. PRC members have even started a meals on wheels to help our sister. The kindness in the group knows no bounds. It seems to me that the founding members truly laid a solid foundation for a running club with a community and social conscience. Just yesterday I participated in the Salvation Army sponsored Santa Shuffle. It was a fun 5k (or 1k for toddlers) which has now grown to an astounding 800 runners and walkers. The number of families, small children, pets and school and community groups participating was impressive. Once again PRC was a major supporter, providing registration and marshalling for the event.

As we head into the Christmas season, be mindful of inattentive drivers and slippery weather. This can be a busy time for all. It can also be time to slow down a little. Take in the scenery as you run in Paradise and the surrounding areas. We are fortunate to have some of the best running trails anywhere in our own backyard.

Merry Christmas to you all...and as always, see you on the road!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Epic Bun Run

About one year ago a little group of us proposed a 14k run from the Woodstock to Three Island Pond turnaround then to Topsail Highway via Buckingham Drive ... finishing with a 2k gentle incline back at the Woodstock. We figured it might be a good idea to have some muffins and coffee at the finish after the gruelling climb up Topsail Hill. And so the 'bun run' was born.

It is amazing how little ideas often grow to take on lives of their own. It was zero degrees this morning as I approached the Woodstock parking lot just before 8AM. There were quite a few vehicles there already. There would be more to come from Paradise and surrounding areas. We did a brief warm-up. No that would be a lie. Most of us just hopped out of the cars and took off.

We had to face an incline to begin our journey. Not long but a tough way to start a run. Calves were cold. Definitely need to warm up for this one next time. Once we got to the duck pond at Topsail Pond the route flattened out. It was a glorious morning for a group run. Of course isn't it always? Pace was checked and re-checked. 5:45 to 5:50. Just right. We reached the turnaround at Three Island Pond in about 25 minutes. The lead group had waited for us and we in turn waited for the next group. This helps keep everyone together and makes for a more enjoyable run for all. No one is left behind.

On our return to Buckingham we passed a couple of teenagers having a chat by the guardrail ;-)
They seemed to know us from a recent trip to Niagara. Pace was again checked - 5:35! Time to rein it in just a little. The run was flying by this morning. The promise of food and coffee at the end is a always great motivator.A brief regroup at the base of Kinder Drive and we were off for the last 6k. A quick uphill and we were on Fowler's Rd headed for Topsail and our final leg back to the Woodstock.

Topsail Hill seemed to know we were on a mission today. There was very little traffic and the road seemed to flatten out a bit as we ran. Our uphill portion was run at a steady 6:20 pace. Once we reached Marie's mini mart we could see our destination. The lead runners decided to continue past there to round off the kilometres. Not us. 14.7k was a perfect number this morning. 1:25 was our time for a 5:48 pace. We were quite pleased considering this is somewhat hilly route. The lead group finished at a 5:30 pace. Those behind us reached the Woodstock only a minute or two later as well.
It was a great run by everyone.

Those who ran an 11k today were at the parking area to greet us and to share coffee, muffins and buns. 20 runners in total were on hand for the tailgate party.  Runfies were taken but they weren't needed today as Kiley D joined us for this special group run. Our little bun run has become an event that PRC looks forward to! We may soon have to ask the Woodstock to cater it for us.

Have a great last week of November and as always...see you on the road.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday morning solo run

No group runs planned for early today. First time in months. I decided to get out early anyway so I could spend a bit of quality time with my wife later in the day. I dressed in my winter gear - glad I did. It was cold in the Pearl - especially heading north into the wind on Commonwealth Ave. A road crew was making repairs near Sunrise Ave. A water main break left slushy ice on the road side...Below zero for sure.
As I headed towards Topsail Rd, I was looking forward to having the wind at my back. When I turned eastward it was a different day with sunshine peeking out from behind the dark November clouds. A toot from a red Civic reminded me that there are lots of friendly drivers out there. Not sure if the driver was a PRC member. The car was past before I could look.
My pace was easy today after two consecutive group runs with the faster PRC members. We did our coffee run yesterday at a 5:35 clip. It was a brisk run into a gusty wind. While the trees around the ponds sheltered us from the winds, we were disappointed to see debris from the daycare demolition near the new Sobeys flying down the trail at Neil's Pond. A construction fence might have been a good idea.
When I turned off Topsail to head down Brookfield Rd, the cold winds returned. I accessed the trailway at Edison Place and had the route to myself. It had taken me 42 minutes to this point so I figured I'd be home in under an hour. Most of the glorious fall colours had become brown and black mulch along the trail by now. The sky had a foreboding pre-winter look as I headed home near the Smallwood soccer complex. No players out on the fields this morning. Winter must be near!
Today's run took 60 minutes even. I didn't wear a Garmin so I guess I went approx. 10k. It was nice to finish an early run by 8:30. Sure felt lonely out there today. After running with my PRC marathon group since June, it seemed a little strange not to have at least one of them with me.

See you on the road (or trail) ....

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Remembrance Day Run

The annual PRC tradition of a morning trail run on November 11th was alive and well this morning on several routes. All involved some time on the trails and roads in the welcome sunshine. The thermometer didn't want to hit double digits today but it was perfect running weather.

Most members wore a poppy during their runs today to commemorate the brave veterans from the past and honour those in our midst. Recent tragic events made this Remembrance Day one for somber reflection. We noticed that every runner we passed along the trail to Water Street was proudly wearing a poppy. Many PRC members were anxious to finish their coffee this morning to get back home for parades and 11AM ceremonies.

It was remarkable how many club members posted pics on FB of loved ones who had gone to war or served our country in some other capacity. Such moving rembrances are what this day is all about. As we enjoyed friendship and commaraderie along the trails this morning, many of us stopped for a moment to give thanks for the freedoms that we enjoy. We certainly have a lot to be thankful for.
See you on the road...  

Monday, November 10, 2014

Coffee does matter

On Sunday, while the winds were still gusting in the metro area, two large groups of PRC runners met at Coffee Matters in Paradise for our Sunday long runs. As there are no races in the immediate future, these long runs are only around an hour. Quite a treat when compared to our two to three hour Sunday runs just a short while ago. It was great to have some old friends back with us on this day as well.
One group headed east towards Bowring Park. My group ventured west into the prevailing wind. The loops around Neil’s Pond and the Octagon were over wet terrain. The trees along these trails helped shelter us from the wind for a while. Earlier last week we were out in shorts and tee shirts. Today it was gloves and hats. Next thing we’ll be dodging snow flurries. No one wants to talk about that just yet but it is our reality in this part of the world.
Once my group exited the Octagon Pond trail, it was downhill almost all the way. On Sunday mornings, light traffic makes the Topsail Highway a joy to run. The view over Conception Bay is always spectacular! The rough pavement and shoulders of this road can still bring about an ankle twist as one of our members discovered yesterday. No major damage - thank goodness.
As we wound our way past the CBS soccer pitch kids were on the field practicing. The sound of their voices made it feel like we were still in summer (almost). The 11 plus kilometer trek was going quickly. A little further and we reached our destination at the Manuels Bridge. The new Coffee Matters overlooks the Manuels River and is an ideal place to relax with friends over a tea or coffee after a run.

When I returned to Paradise to pick up my car, the Bowring Park runners were back at Coffee Matters. Sitting among friends, they too were relaxing with a coffee after their Sunday run. Somewhere in between Craig Pike was doing his return leg from Manuels to Paradise, along the Trailway. Hope he had coffee in his thermos! See you on the road - or trails...

Thursday, November 6, 2014

UFOs at Topsail Pond

This week has seen two PRC group runs from Peter Barry Duff park to the Topsail Pond area. Runners gathered on the PBD parking lot resplendent in reflective gear, flashers and headlamps. Looked like Hallowe'en all over again. Several small groups took off for their fun runs now that the race season is over.Some are training for the hypothermic half in Feb. but most of us are happy to just run!

After covering every cul de sac in sight, groups cross paths on Buckingham Drive. From a distance, it appears there are UFOs approaching. I am sure the drivers in the area appreciate the advance notice that there are runners on the road. We are extra careful these days to run single file...especially as vehicles approach. Don't want any negative publicity for PRC. We have worked too hard at making a positive impression in the communities where we run!

Even though a few of us have nagging aches and pains, most of us have come through  the tough racing season close to injury free. A true testament to proper training. Now to get back to a sensible diet once again! See you on the road...

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Niagara Post Marathon reflections - one week later

New York and Hamilton marathon and half marathon results crossed my FB page yesterday. Great results for NL friends and acquaintances. Big congrats to all.

It brought me back 7 days to the Niagara International Marathon. Could it have been only one week ago? Hard to believe - seems like a lifetime in some ways. The Paradise Running Club team of 10 full and 7 half marathoners set out on a life changing journey over the past four months. I think it is safe to say that our mission was accomplished along the Niagara Parkway last week.

With the awesome support of the PRC group at home and on the road (thanks Mel, Mary and Linda), the team partied and shopped a little more than the schedule called for. The excitement of the city and event was almost overwhelming at times. The destination race was like a big family road trip minus the sibling rivalry. This tight knit group of like-minded individuals got along great and supported each other fully! Race day saw the culmination of months of training... and a successful result for everyone on the PRC Niagara team. Great friends and running partners shared an amazing experience. The newly bestowed medals for finishing 21.1 or 42.2 kilometers were worn proudly by all.

Only two of us had ever experienced the absolute joy of crossing the marathon finish line. A few more had felt the same joy at previous half marathons. On Sunday, those that crossed the finish line were greeted by cheers and tears. Each finisher stayed on until the other team members crossed the finish line. For some supporters that meant almost five hours in the cool Niagara Falls mist. Hugs and congrats were abundant at the finish chute. Ahh...memories to last a lifetime! Someone said their heart grew three sizes that day. I think we all felt that way about this awesome group and racing experience.

For the marathoners, some highlights were the bus ride to Buffalo and art gallery where we waited to start; the national anthems prior to race start, followed by the Last Post - just days after two of our Canadian Forces heroes died; the stately homes of Buffalo; the Niagara parkway and of course the choruses of Go Yellow Go and Where is Paradise? Well, everyone along the route now knows where Paradise NL is. located. I think it is safe to say we painted Niagara yellow and black. Congratulations to all my PRC teammates! What a proud moment for all of us!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Training Week: October 13 - October 19 + C2C Thoughts

Wow, where to begin.......what a wild week that ended with probably the most memorable Cape to Cabot to date.  Let me start off with my weekly training summary.

My goal for the week leading up to the C2C was just to be able to run pain free and not get injured before the race.  So I took it pretty easy and did not do any long distances or any fast pace, I just kept my runs short, sweet and slow!

Training Week Summary:

Monday: 4.17 km, 30:00, 7:12/km pace (had lingering effects of knee pain at the end, so I walked the              final 500 m or so).

Tuesday: 5.41 km, 33:12, 6:08/km pace

Wednesday: off

Thursday: 5.40 km, 32:39, 6:03/km pace

Friday: off

Saturday: off

Sunday (C2C): 20 km, 1:42:29, 5:07/km pace

Cape to Cabot
The 2014 edition of the Cape to Cabot will be one that nobody will soon forget.  Earlier that week, the weather reports were warning of Gonzalo, a post tropical storm or even worse, a category 1 hurricane that was projected to pass by our area on Sunday morning.  Of course, this put everyone on edge. Will the race go ahead?  If it does what kind of conditions will we be running in?

But as the week progressed, the weather reports became more and more positive for the race.  As each day passed, the projected path of Gonzalo was trending more east.  We would be spared the hurricane force winds (though the winds would still be quite strong, in the 60-90 km range) but we would experience a heavy amount of rain.  An email was sent by the race director that week indicating that the final decision regarding the status of the race would be made at 5:00 am on Sunday.

The C2C is dubbed as the "Toughest Race in Eastern North America" and this year it lived to that billing and more.  The race itself is a challenge in perfect conditions, throw in a hurricane and now you have an entirely different challenge.

I woke up on Sunday around 4:00 am (not sure if it was from excitement or  But to my surprise it was not raining, I thought to myself , maybe we dodged a bullet and the storm could be even more east and miss our region completely.  But after checking the weather reports, the storm had not yet arrived.  At 5:00 am, I got the email, the race is going ahead and along with that the rain and I mean heavy rain had started.  It was coming down like cats and dogs as the old saying goes. So with that I got ready and headed to the buses which would take us to the start, Cape Spear.

When I arrived at Cape Spear the rain seemed to be even more intense and it was very, very windy. As one runner stated, this is probably the first race that most people did not do a warm up, they just stayed on the buses and waited for the start of the race.  I managed to get a short warm up run with Ryan G but we both quickly headed back to one the buses to take some shelter from the wind and rain along with to get a few stretches in.  About 2 minutes before the start we jumped out of the bus, lined up and after the Ode to Newfoundland was sung, we were off.  The 8th Annual Cape to Cabot 20 km Road Race had begun.

As we all progressed through Blackhead and Shea Heights, the wind was intense.  It was either behind you (only for a short time), at the side of you or as we ran through kilometers 7-10, right in your face.  There was no relief.  One positive was the rain.  Yes, it was coming down at the begining, but as each kilometer passed, the rain let up and by the time we were coming out of Shea Heights it was practically over.  But as with any heavy rain storm, there was a lot of water buildup and even part of the road in Shea Heights was flooded.

By the time I reached the Southside Road/Water Street area the rain had stopped and now it was just one last stretch before reaching the final mile, the MUNN Mile.  As me and Keith B reached the first timing mat at the bottom of Temperance Street, I could hear the cheering crowd at the top.  I knew many of our fellow PRC members would be at the top of Temperance Street encouraging every runner so that gave me a little bit more motivation to get over the hill.

My opinion is that the first part of the MUNN Mile is the toughest, Temperance and the begining of  Signal Hill Road is steep and quite long and it usually kills my legs.  With the help of Keith B, I managed to run up the first section, I had to stop and walk just before the first turn just to catch my breath but as soon as we entered the first "flat" section I began to run again right until the very last hill just before the turn to the finish line, again I just had to catch my breath.  Keith ran ahead of me, but to my surprise he waited for me just pass the turn, about a hundred meters from the finish line.  During our run together we agreed to finish the race together, but as he started to pull away on the MUNN Mile I told him to go on ahead of me but he didn't.  True to his word he waited and we finished together.

I had a couple of goals entering this year's race, to have an overall PB time and to have my MUNN Mile time in the 10-11 minute range, in past races it was always around 12-13 minutes.  But with the hurricane, I put aside these goals and just wanted to finish.  To my surprise though, I achieved both goals!  My overall time was 1:42:29 (2:30 better than my previous PB) and my MUNN Mile time was 10:51.  So to say that I am pleased is an understatement.  I survived a very tough race in very tough conditions.  My 5th consecutive C2C!

Before I go, I just want to acknowledge a few people.  First, I want to thank ANE and the Cape to Cabot organizing comittee for putting off just one hell of an event, it keeps getting better and better every year.  With Gonzalo just offshore, this year's race was put off in conditions that nobody has ever experienced.  I also want to thank the many volunteers who braved the wind and rain, as well as the RNC and St. John Ambulance so all the runners would be safe and have an enjoyable event.

Next, I want to give a HUGE shout out to all the PRC members, 20 I believe, who ran this year, many for the first time.  A lot of training went into this and with Gonzalo thrown into the mix, it makes this year's race an even more memorable one.  To Keith B, Kiley D, Tanya J, Brian C, Rod H, Ryan G, Shawn G, Roseanne L, Lisa S, Colleen R, Carol Ann P, Diane C, Tara P, Sandie C, Jennifer C, Keith G, Connie C, Andrew H, Andrew T and Erin M (hopefully I did not forget anyone), be very proud of your achievement and bask in the glory of completing the "Toughest Race in Eastern North America".

Lastly, I want to thank all those PRC members who came out just to support us.  For those waiting for us at the top of Temperance Street, not sure who was there exactly but I will mention a few, Janice H, Ron E, Madeline W, Sue R and anybody else I may of missed.  To those at the top of Signal Hill, Renee A (my wonderful and very supportive wife), Susan B, Jackie D, Jack D, Tanya G, Joyce S and of course Gina B, who was one of the many volunteers that day.

I think it is safe to say that the support that each member receives from the Paradise Running Club is second to none and everyone who runs with PRC is very grateful not only of the support but of the friendships that have developed for being part of such an awesome group.

As well, good luck to all those PRC members traveling to Niagara Falls this weekend to complete either the marathon or half-marathon.  I have joined in many of the training runs and not only are you guys ready, but you are going to rock it this Sunday!

I hope everybody enjoyed reading the blog over the last few weeks, not sure when I will be back but I am sure you will hear from me again.

And I thought Sunday was just going to be another typical race day!

Take care,

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Training Week: October 6 - October 12

If I thought last week was a bad week as far as running was concerned, then this past week was even worse.  Not much to report as far as mileage because there was practically no mileage (I did manage to take part in the Turkey Tea 10k on Sunday, I will get to that a bit later).  The nagging knee injury that I have been experinencing over the last 2 weeks flared up again on Monday. 

As I said in the last post, I was able to get through my Sunday long run with no problems.  My knee felt fine, no pain and no limping.  It wasn't until Monday morning that the pain returned.  So for 3 days (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday) the pain was intense enough that I was walking with a limp and therefore no running.  I took Thursday, Friday and Saturday off as well just to be on the safe side.

On Thursday, I had an appointment with my chiropractor at Lakeview Chiropractic on LeMarchant Road, fellow PRC member and co-founder of the club, Dr. Randy Follett.  I mentioned to him the pain I was experiencing and he performed a Gait analysis on my feet to get a little more information on why this is happening.  What the test showed was that as I walk, my right foot tends to move inward (towards the left side of my body) and this could be part of the problem and insoles may be a solution to this.  Also, we discussed that my current running shoes are probably at the end of their running life and that the lack of cushioning currently in the shoe has probably contributed to the problem.  Luckily, I have a brand new pair ready to go!

Also on Thursday, I decided to sign up for the Turkey Tea 10k.  The pain was practically gone and I was able to do a couple of sprints with no problems so I said to myself, why not?  No better way to test out the knee than in a race environment.  I am happy to say that after running for 10km at a 4:22/km pace, my knee felt fine and more importantly, there was no big problems on Monday and Tuesday (I am writing this on Tuesday morning).  So things are looking promising for the C2C this coming Sunday.

As for the race itself, I did not achieve the PB I was hoping for.  The rain, headwind and a couple of problems with my shoelaces led to a slower time by 1 minute (43:48 compared to 42:51 the previous year).  But considering the physical problems I have had, I was still pleased with the result.

We are 5 days away from the 8th Annual Cape to Cabot 20 km Road Race.  This race will be a little more special than the previous year's because of the fact that it will be my 5th C2C and this year, ANE is reconizing all of the runners at the awards banquet who have completed at least five C2C's so there is a little more motivation this year to start and complete the race.  I am planning on just doing a few training runs this week, no more than 4-5 km and taking Friday and Saturday off before the big race.  I am optimistic that my knee will hold up.

I will be back with another post next week recapping the C2C experience!

Take care,

Monday, October 6, 2014

Training Week: September 29 - October 5

Not a very good week of running as far as mileage is concerned.  Work has been super crazy and this has caused me to miss a couple of runs but I am not too worried.  Since the beginning of the year I have been on a fairly consistent running schedule.  As most of you know I completed the Ottawa Marathon this past May and I have kept the fitness level, if not improved it, up to this point.  So having a week with a bit less mileage is not concerning to me. 

As I mentioned in my last post, I was suffering from some knee pain, well it showed up once again on Friday (but on my right knee this time).  I woke up around 4:30am with pain running (pardon the pun) from my right knee up my leg and into my hip and lower back.  I was walking with a considerable limp.

But on the bright side, as the day went on, the pain in my knee was less and less and I was able to walk fairly normally without any problems.  I was planning on running 5-6 km on Saturday morning to test out the knee, but unfortunately I was called into work at 5:00am and those plans were put on the shelf.  I did manage to join up with the Niagara Falls Marathon group on Sunday morning for their 32 km run and I am happy to say there was no problems with the knee.

Training Week Summary:

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 6.38 km, 36:31, 5:44/km pace

Wednesday: 6.34 km, 35:50, 5:39/km pace

Thursday: Off

Friday:  Off

Saturday:  Off

Sunday: 32.34 km, 3:13:18, 5:59/km pace

Total: 45.06 km

Well that is it for this week.  I am planning on signing up for the Turkey Tea 10k this coming Sunday. Looking to improve my PB time of 42:51 which I got at last year's race.

Take care,

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Training Week: September 22 - September 28

Bit of a strange week of training.  Unexpectedly, I had to work 4 hours of OT on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings and I found out that I was going home 1 day earlier than originally scheduled (Thursday instead of Friday).  Because of the OT, I did not manage to get a run in on Tuesday.  So I decided to change my run to 6:30 am (instead of the afternoon after work) and shortened the originally planned distances.  I also decided to take Friday and Saturday off as well.

The change in my training schedule was not an entirely bad thing.  On my Thursday morning run I noticed some pain in my left knee, I got through the run in a pretty good time but it was something that I was concerned about.  With the Cape to Cabot only 3 weeks away, an injury at this point would be quite devastating.  So I decided to take it safe and not run for a couple of days.

Training Week Summary

Monday: 14.3 km, 71:21, 5:00/km pace

Tuesday: Off

Wednesday: 10 km, 48:36, 4:51/km pace

Thursday: 10 km, 49:21, 4:56/km pace

Friday: Off

Saturday: Off

Sunday: 25 km, 2:29:51, 5:59/km pace

Total: 59.3 km

Still a pretty decent week of running and I am happy to say that I did not feel any knee pain during the long run on Sunday morning.  I am quite happy on where my fitness level is at this point and the goal over the next 3 weeks is to just stay injury free.

Take care,

Monday, September 22, 2014

Training Week: September 15 - September 21

Just to start off, I just want to congratulate all the members of the Paradise Running Club who took part in the Huffin Puffin on Sunday morning (Sept 21).  Whether you took part in the team relay, half-marathon or marathon, it is quite an accomplishment to finish the race and everybody should be very proud of themselves, I know a lot of hard work and training was put in by everybody over the last few weeks and months.

Unfortunately, I could not take part because I am currently out of the province for work but having run the race in the past, I know Nautilus Running Club puts off a first class event.  Very well organized, plenty of marshals and of course a great barbecue at the reception.

Training Week Summary

Monday: 14 km, 67:41, 4:50/km pace

Tuesday: 12 km, 60:58, 5:04/km pace

Wednesday: 16 km, 81:01, 5:04/km pace

Thursday: 8 km, 39:25, 4:55/km pace

Friday: Off (drove to Toronto)

Saturday: 5 km race, 20:42 (PB), 4:08/km pace + 3 km warm up, for a total of 8 km

Sunday: 10 km, 48:06, 4:48/km pace (drove back to Cornwall and did the 10 km when I arrived)

Total: 68 km

I had planned on getting a longer run in on Sunday morning while I was still in Toronto, but when I woke up, it was raining very hard and thundershowers were also in the forecast, so I scrapped those plans. I mentioned this to Andrew G while we were training for the Ottawa Marathon, never be a slave to the schedule, unexpected things happen in our everyday lives that we cannot control, so just go with the flow when it comes to training and that is what I try to do.

Like I mentioned before, I am currently out of the province for work.  Since Monday (Sept 15), I have been in Cornwall, ON (my company's training facility is located there).  I don't know how many of you have been to Cornwall, but they have a fantastic trail system that runs along the St. Lawrence River and eventually enters some beautiful parks, great for running and biking (trail is paved).

The same can be said for Toronto, near my sister's place is Taylor Creek Park trail which leads into the Lower Don River Trail, again, many, many km's of paved trail way that goes from North York to downtown Toronto.

Well that is it for this week.  I am back home on Friday evening, if all goes well I hope to join the group in our weekly Saturday morning coffee run and then run with the Niagara Falls Marathon training group on Sunday morning.

Take care,

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Newest PRC Blooger

It has been a while since anybody has posted anything on this blog, so over the last few weeks I have been thinking about contributing and so finally, I decided to make the jump and start writing.

First of all, I want to introduce myself, my name is Marc Alivio and I have been a member of the Paradise Running Club since the fall of 2010.  I think it is safe to say that I was one of the first members in club.  Outside of Keith, Randy, Todd, Sharon, Andrew G and I am pretty sure Susanne, I could be the next most "senior" member of the club.  

I am also a member of PRC's executive (have been over the last 3 years) and my role is the race director for the club's 2 NLAA sanctioned races, the Paradise Figure 8, 8km Race and the Paradise Timex Five and Dime (5km/10km) Road Race. 

The goal for this blog, in the short term anyway, is to document my training progress leading up to the 8th Annual Cape to Cabot, 20Km Road Race on Sunday, October 19. The race is about 4 weeks away and this year will be my 5th consecutive C2C race and I am looking to improve on my PB time of 1:44:59 from 2013.  I know there are many in the club running this race for the first time and hopefully blogging about my training progress may help them along the way.

Before I go, just want to give a big shout out to all PRC members taking part in this Sunday's Huffin Puffin Marathon, Half Marathon and Team Relay.  Good luck and most importantly have fun! Unfortunately I won't be there to take part or cheer anybody on as I am currently out of the province.

So that's it for now, I will be back on Sunday or Monday to recap my previous week of training.

Take care,

Monday, May 12, 2014

Don't make me go

Had to run Saturday evening cause  I worked all day Saturday. Do you think I wanted to? Not on your life! We were doing 13 km and I was tired...just worked 6 days in a row and had to work again Sunday morning. We ran out Topsail Rd and the wind was at our felt good for a change. We detoured down by Bowring Park and down Waterford bridge Rd. It was cool and no rain...perfect running conditions. We chat while we run and I've learned a great deal about my running partner but as she reminds me....what happens on the run, stays on the run.......Are you a runner? Yes I am!

Friday, May 9, 2014

The schedule says 6 km.

I wasn't sure if I would be able to run Thursday night. It didn't hurt to breathe anymore but all my muscles were still tight....I have a horrible habit of running with my shoulder pulled up to my ears. But the schedule said 6 km and well that's what Susanne and I had to do. It was a beautiful night for a run. I love seeing the group...there were lots of PRC out and about. It was a Thursday and well we all know what that means.....hill repeats!!!! Honestly I can't wait to do hill repeats cause that means this freaking marathon training will be over. I just want it to be race day! Truly I'm tired of all the training and it is time to get on with the show. I am looking forward to the faces in the crowd....that is my favorite thing about races, well that and the finish line. The schedule said 6 km but we did 8 km. Are you a runner? Yes I am!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Not running tonight

Lots of us develop injuries....the best way to cope is listen to your body. I'm not running tonight due to strained chest muscles. I'll take a run or two off and hopefully be back at it in no time. Rest and ibuprofen are my friends tonight....hope everyone had a great run. Are you a runner? Yes I am!

April showers brings my month to blog!

My name is Pam Collins. I am a mother of three, a wife, a nurse and I discovered about 4 years ago that I could run. Always wanted to but didn't think I could. I remember the first time I saw the Tely 10, I was amazed... really, all those people are running to Bannerman park, impossible. A couple of years in a row I stood at the bottom of Paradise Road and watched in awe....lots of times it brought tears to my eyes. I started with Run 1 and Walk 2. I was determined....I ran in the snow, I ran in the made me feel makes me feel special. This year will be my third Tely and I'm hoping it will be my best. I've only been a member of PRC for 10 months, but my involvement in this club has inspired me to complete a half marathon and what I thought would be my ultimate running goal, Cape to Cabot. This club makes me feel strong and so now I have a new goal.....26.2 miles. Am I a runner? Yes I am!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Back from Holidays

Just got off the plane at 7:30 this morning after a week in sunny Cuba. With the sun shining and seeing all the post from PRC who were about to hit the road I could not resist. What started out to be an 8-10 km run ended up being a little over 11km. My focus is to keep our long Sunday runs at a marathon pace but that is alot harder than it sounds. With alot of group effort between Darlene, Dan and myself and a little laughter along the way we succeeded today- I think.

My Introduction

Hi Everyone, I will be your blogger for the month of April. Most of you will know me. My name is Madeline Wilson, I joined the PRC in the spring of 2011 after turning 50 years of age the previous December. My goal to to be healthy and physically fit which would also include weight loss. Well 3 years later and weighting 50 lbs less my physical fitness has improved and I have met some wonderful friends along the way.
It has not been an easy road but it certainly has been an adventurous,interesting, supportive, fun, inspirational one and the list of adjectives to describe the last three years could fill this page.
Hope you enjoy my blogging this month

Monday, March 24, 2014

Saturday runs are my favorite. I ran with the LTR's again - the weather was cold but beautiful. The roads were slippery in places but overall it was a great day for another 3.3km run.

The LTR's did amazing again and it was nice to see some of them stay for coffee after the run. With such a large group it can be difficult to get to know everyone, but I had a chat with Sheryl and Heather and they both seemed to be enjoying the group.

It will be another six weeks before I run with the LTR's again and I'm sure I'll be amazed at how far they have come with their running during that time.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Thursday was my second night with the LTRs. We ran/walked 3.4km and the weather was beautiful. The group did amazing again. We ran past some runners who did the learn to run program last fall and they were encouraging the new runners, telling them how they were in the same boat last year and before they knew it, they'd be running 5k non-stop as well. I'm looking forward to running with the LTRs later in their training program to see just how far they've come.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Learning to Run

Tonight was my first run with our newest group of runners, our LTRs, or Learn To Run group. Our members take turns supporting the LTRs in their training program and this week it's my turn.

The LTRs are an inspiring group. They made the decision to be more active and have followed through, showing up three times a week, straining their legs and lungs, pushing themselves to run for three minutes when it would be so much easier to give up, yet they keep at it. They are working harder than anyone in our running group.

As a group of 24, we ran/walked 3.3km in 30 minutes. Everyone did amazing and there was even talk of running the Tely 10. How amazing is that?

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Lucky 10

Saturday mornings - a time to sleep in, relax in your pajamas, have a coffee or three while you look out at the snow and ice realize that you don't need to go outside today.

That is unless you are part of the Paradise Running Club.

Andrew was up at 6:00 am, which meant I was up at 6:00 am. It was dark and -8 degrees. It was at this moment I decided I need new friends. Friends that sleep in and only run when the temperature is above zero and the sun is shining.

Andrew left at 7 am to meet Todd and run 26km. Puke.

I made it to PBD by 8am for our St. Patrick's Day run. There were lots of runners wearing green and looking very festive. Our group has certainly grown - the parking lot was full of people, including our newest members who are learning to run. LTR's are the most inspiring people. They are starting from scratch and giving it their all when it is so easy to just give up.

I had committed to run 10km for some reason so that is what I did. I started out with the group but I ran most of the way alone, passing members here and there along the way who always shouted words of encouragement.

It was a good run and I was pleased to see my pace had reached 6:14 at one point even with five layers on. That's a big jump from the 8:00 minute pace I had when I started running. 

The best part of the morning was heading to Coffee Matters with the group for coffee after the run. We filled the Coffee Shop, as we usually do, and shared our running stories of the morning. My legs were tired and I was cold but I would do it all again just to spend time with this group. Have I mentioned how awesome they are?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Field House, Anyone?

All day Thursday the weather was crappy so I knew I wouldn't be running with the group. I planned on getting on the treadmill but conveniently forgot all about it until my husband came home and reminded me. I suggested we run on the track at the field house instead and he was all for it.

My GPS doesn't work inside the field house so I didn't have any feedback on how my run was going. I felt like I was pushing harder than I have been lately but I was still being passed by everyone else. This doesn't bother me anymore - I run for me and not for anyone else.

After 20 laps I thought I was going to die so I figured I had run enough. I looked at the distance chart and calculated that I had run 4.54 km in 28 minutes, which works out to about a 6 minute pace. No wonder I was ready to keel over. I've never reached that speed before. Had I known I was so close to doing 5k in 30 minutes I think I would have tried for 2 more laps. I never thought I would reach that milestone but I was pleased that it now might be within reach.

 Of course there's always the possibility that I miscalculated or miscounted. But I prefer to think that all the winter running I've done while wearing 15 layers of clothing has made me a stronger, better runner. I just need some nice, warm weather to prove it.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I'm NOT running 7km

I wasn't going to make it to the group run on Tuesday (I had tickets to go see Danny Bhoy) so when my husband came home at 3:00 in the afternoon and suggested we go for a run, I took him up on the offer.

As we are heading out the door he nonchalantly says, "I'll run 10k and you can do 7k." I haven't run more than 5k since October. "I'm not running that far," was my response.

We started out at PBD and went right to Kinder. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful feeling to be outside even with the biting wind on the top of the hill. Andrew would run ahead and then circle back to meet me as we made our way around the Topsail Pond area, him running in all the side roads while I stuck to the main drag.

As I headed down Three Island Pond Road I started calculating my distance and planning my turn around point. My sports tracker announced the 3k mark and doing math in my head, I figured I could turn around in about another 1/2k and have 5km under my belt.

But the guard rail is just ahead, so I figured I'd run to the guardrail and then head back.

Made it to the guardrail. I must be close to 4km now right? Might as well wait for the 4k announcement from my phone and then go back. I'll be closer to 6km by the time I'm done but that's fine.

4km. Where is Andrew? I have to let him know I've turned around. I'll just run ahead a little further and see if I can find him.

Oh, there he is, running behind me. Turning around now.

I get back to PBD and check the distance on my phone. 6.95km. Seriously??? Now I have to keep going to make that 7km.

It felt good to finish that distance, even though I had no plans to run that far. That's one of the many reasons I love running with PRC. No matter who you run with you are always encouraged to keep going and are offered support every step of the way. I didn't run with my usual buddies but I could hear you all pushing me forward to reach a goal I didn't feel up to doing.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

A New Month, A New Blogger

When PRC president Todd Ralph came up with the idea of having a group blog he suggested that each month a different member should do the writing. Jackie has done an excellent job sharing her experiences and has now passed the torch to me.

I volunteered for the month of March and here it is the 9th and I've yet to write anything. There are two reasons for this. One, I forgot I was supposed to take over the blog and two, my first run this month was yesterday.

I've been running for two years. I started running after I went to a PRC Social event with my husband. I had tried running once or twice before and I HATED it and swore I would never do it again. Then I met all these amazing people at a party and I realized that I wanted to be a part of their group. I signed up for their next learn to run program and have been with PRC ever since.

I'm not a very dedicated runner. I love running with the group but if a run is cancelled or the weather has been as cold as it has been lately and running outside isn't an option, I tend to skip my run for that day. I just checked my running log and realized I only ran twice in February. Hopefully this blog will keep me accountable and I'll get a few more runs in.

Yesterday, March 8, I finally got out to a group run. I have to admit that I have missed it, or maybe I've missed the people. They really are an awesome bunch. No one gives you grief if you miss a run or seven. There is always encouragement and support. I can't imagine running with anyone else.

I ran with Sharon yesterday. We ran 5.22 km in 41:36 with an average pace of 7:57 min/km. We were at the back of the pack, going slow, but we were out there, running. The weather was beautiful and the road conditions were good with only a few icy patches. Despite my nearly month long break, I didn't find the run overly hard. It's good to know I still have the ability to run without feeling like I'm going to die.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Jackie's Exercise Log

January 25, 2014

6 km done! It was cold and bitter and I was froze but determined to break past the 5K rut I seemed to be sitting comfortably in the past few weeks. When I got up and saw the temperature outside was -20 I thought my PJ's sounded like a better idea but I bundled up and off I went.   I can't say it was pretty and with my bad lungs(to cut a long story short my mom smoked when she was pregnant on me and I was born with bad lungs). I really had to push myself and each time I had to run into the wind I just couldn't force the air down into my lungs even though I had my face covered.   No way was I quitting though, lungs burning, head hurting I kept going. I had to talk myself through about half the run. Do you guys ever do that? Please say you do, if not I'm a tad touched.   Come on Jackie, one more step you can do it. You won't get back up to your half marathon distance if you whimp out, for god's sake you can run 6K you have dome much further..and so on. Next weekend 8K here we come.  

January 28, 2014

I couldn't help but go out while it was sunny today I have to admit I am thinking about you guys running this evening though.  I have to admit, I'm a morning person and running in the evening is hard on me. It felt so wonderful to be out in the sunshine today, it was energizing and refreshing in itself.

I've been thinking about what motivates me as I gear up for the plans I have in store for myself over the next couple of months.   Are there blogs you follow, are there sayings you hold to heart, is there someone or some cause you run for or you is there someone that inspires you? If so please feel free to share it with all of us :).   If the ladies(sorry guys) reading this I  find Fellow Flowers very inspiring.  They have a declare it day on February 1st. Stay tuned for what I am declaring for myself on that day.  They have some nice inspirational tech shirts. I've worn a few of them to my Saturday runs the past week.  If you see me wearing a yellow flower sometimes that is also where it is from.  If you wish you can check them out. Their web site is  I hope you enjoyed your run today!

Jan 30, 2014

No run today. Our group run was cancelled due to the weather and to be honest, I was glad. I had a rough day at work, I am tired and the thought of going out in the cold blowing snow just didn't do anything for me.

February 1, 2014

8K that was my goal today and I feel fantastic because I did it!  My goal was to get the distance in and not worry about my time so much.  I walked when I had to especially over the ice when I ran alone.  One can never be too careful and I'm not looking to injure myself.   I dedicated my run today to my dad.  When the going got though and I was feeling tired I would think of him and smile and know he'd want me to keep going so keep going I did.   I love running in the sun, even if it was cold at times. The sun just rejuvenates me. I had to push myself to keep going a few times and the hills got me a few times but I stuck to it.   The mind is a wonderful tool.  If you believe nothing is impossible.  Some of you may have noticed the yellow flower on the back of my hat.  It's from Fellow Flowers and today they have a declare it day. I made a declaration and it's on my facebook page. If anyone wants to see it feel free to check me on FB. They have different flowers and each color has a different meaning.   The flower is a symbol of friendship, strength and beauty.  It represents your journey, the miles and moments.  The training and transformation.  The realization that your body is strong and your mind is even stronger.  It's telling you that every day YOU are worth it.  The yellow flower itself(besides having been my dad's favorite color) stands for joy happiness and confidence.  To smile for a reason. To appreciate sunshine. To find your happy!  I'd like to thank Gina for coming back to check on me, you are such a sweetheart!   It was so nice to sit my fellow runners afterwards and get to know you guys better.   You are such a wonderful group of people.   I hope you all have a wonderful day whatever it involves.

February 4, 2014

No run for me today. I hurt my back yesterday and had limited motion so I'm letting it rest. I hope you all enjoyed your run!

February 6, 2014

No run for me again today. Our regular run was cancelled due to the snow storm and it might have been for the best. I'll rest my back until Saturday it feels much better than it did.  I hope it's ok now. I have training to do! I know I have to listen to my body and all but you know how it goes.  I miss my runs this week that's for sure.   :(  I've set a weight loss goal for myself for February. At the end of the month I'll let you know if I made my goal for the month or not in regards to the scale.   I'm determined to reach the goals I've set for myself in 2014. Have you set any goals for yourself in regards to your health for 2014? It doesn't have to be a weight one.  Please feel free to share them with us as this is group blog not an individual's blog.

February 8, 2014

What an awesome morning for a run.  My eyelashes were frozen and certain other body parts were pretty cold but my breathing was good and so was my back. It felt so good to be out there in the fresh crisp air and to enjoy the sunshine and to see the smiling faces of you all!  That in itself is inspiring.  I can honestly say that was the best run that I've had in a very long time.  I hope you all enjoy your day!

February 11, 2014

Another great run. Yes, I can say that now seeing I'm done!  I had 3 base layers on and could hardly move but I was determined to go.  I'm happy we just had a short 4K on tap this evening.  My legs were like lead. I don't know if I was tired or if it was from all the clothes but I pushed through.  I kept picking points and saying to myself, "Come on Jackie you can run to that pole".  Around the 3.5K mark I got a pain in my head, I guess from the cold but I pushed through that also. I was determined to get it done and I did! Just goes to prove you can do just about anything that you set your mind too.  

February 13, 2014

Hot coals, hot coals, believe, believe, you can do this, hot coals.  Do you see the things that RUN through my mind as I try to keep myself moving on some of my runs?  They say that running is 90% mental and I agree!  Had a wonderful run with my husband this morning. We went early as we won't make the group run this evening due to our work schedules and we both wanted to get our runs in today.  It was a crisp run again but I truly LOVE running in the mornings.  It's as if you are one with the world.   It's nice to see the morning breaking, the silence and to hear nature at it's finest.   I get lost in my morning runs with my thoughts and I reflect on life.   Then when I struggle I push myself through with my conversations to myself.   My breathing was much better this morning.   I hope that means that my lungs are adjusting to the running conditions here.   I got tired around 4 KM's but I pushed myself through it.   Believe in yourself and you can achieve great things :).     

P.S Happy Valentine's Day to you all tomorrow!   

February 16, 2014

Run fail this weekend.   I was really looking forward to our Saturday group run this week but mother nature had other plans.  We had planned on running this morning before the next storm was to hit, got up, got ready, got to the pond and just as we got out of the car the freezing rain hit.  It's been a messy day. Hopefully this coming week will be more forgiving.

February 18, 2014

Fantastic run! It was cold and slippery and wonderful :). 

P.S. No sugar coating added.

February 22, 2014

Today was such an inspiration to say the least.   PRC held it's Snow & Ice 5 KM  run and we had done fundraising for one of the member's son who has epilepsy.  I had been looking forward to this run for weeks now and I'm so happy mother nature held off and the run went ahead.  I love running to give back in some way.  Every day that we have on this earth is a gift in itself and so many people that that for granted, I know in the past I did myself.   Off we went for our run. I looked at the route and knew that it was going to be one of the hardest 5 Km runs that I've done because I'm not really use to running hills.  I just put my head down, got in my zone and off I went.  It actually felt good and knowing I was running for Ben it encouraged me to keep going.   I had to stop a few times along the way to regroup but didn't stop for long and off I'd go again.  It was so nice to greet the other words and to hear the words of encouragement along the way and see the smiling faces.   Before I knew it we were back at the finish and I was very happy with the time that Jack and I finished in.  Afterwards we all gathered inside for refreshments and the awarding of the medals.  When the amount of the fundraising was announced I was truly shocked. I thought that we would probably come up with a number much less than what was actually raised.  When I saw the figure I felt such a surge of pride.   Then when Diane spoke it was hard to see a dry eye anywhere close to me.  It's so nice to see everyone really acting more like a family.   In today's world it's so refreshing to see a group come together and support each other.   You are all an inspiration and a wonderful group of people.  :)

February 27, 2014

What a beautiful night for a run!  We were a bit late going as our work makes it hard for us to make the 5 45 run time but we went!  I'm still finding running after work harder than running in the morning. After having working all day doing what I do I am usually drained. Needless to say I had a hard run and had to really push myself.  Next week is the start of our official half marathon training and I'm going to try to get my week day runs in during the morning to compare morning running over evening running. The roads were slick last night but if you took your time and were careful it was fine.  It wasn't as cold as I thought it would be, maybe spring isn't too far away? A girl can always dream!  Over the past month I set certain goals for myself and I'm proud to say I met them.  In the last 3 weeks I'm down almost 13 lbs!  In March I've set a goal of 8 lbs. That's about 2 lbs a week which is pretty realistic.  Dedication, some hard work and believing in yourself goes a long way!

Friday, January 24, 2014

My bio

All of my life I have struggled with my weight.  They say a picture speaks a thousand words and as you can see I was born pleasantly plumb!

Some people say that your weight and body make up is decided long before your were born.  I still haven't decided if I agree with this or not.  All of my life I was told I was big boned but the more fit I become I am beginning to think that this isn't true. Yes it might take more work for some of us to lose and keep weight off but it is something that we can control.  

As in the case of so many of us I have tried just about every diet out there. I grew up as the fat kid(with glasses to boot and I mean thick coke bottle glasses). I was always the last to be picked for sports and always teased about my weight.  Needless to say I was very shy and insecure.   I turned to food for comfort and I found it!  As I would stuff myself full on unhealthy food I would be happy if just for a few moments.   Then I would feel terrible once I came down from that high. I guess it would be the same for any other addiction.   It was one big roller coaster ride. Looking back I can mark just about every holiday with me having been on a diet.    At my heaviest weight I scaled in at 320 lbs(that is the highest my scale went to).   Yes that is me!

On my weight loss journey one of the rewards to myself was to join up for a Learn to Run program when we lived in Ontario.  For each 10 lbs lost  or milestone I accomplished I set mini rewards along the way.  I still remember the very first night of club. I was terrified. Suddenly I was that kid again and feeling very insecure.  I almost didn't go I was so nervous.   I had never run in my life and wasn't sure if I could do this so but off I went anyways.  Needless to say once I discovered I could do it it empowered me.  I was on cloud nine and gosh did the motivation every kick in.   Below is a picture from our first official run and I was at my lowest weight of 180 lbs.

After both of my parents having heart problems and then also cancer I lost my dad to the terrible disease a few years ago, I once again turned to my old "friend" aka food. and I did gain back about 50 lbs of  the 140 lbs I did lose. My dad was my hero and my world shattered.  I've now dealth with my grief and here I am brushing myself off, putting myself out there and ready to get to where I need to go to look after me!   Your mind is a wonderful tool and you can achieve anything you set your mind too.  You just have to believe :). So sit tight, over the month of February I will be your blogger.  Welcome to my world as I begin my training for my 3rd 1/2 marathon. This will be the first with the PRC and I am hoping for a new PB in Ottawa 2014!

And we're off!

Yes I'm a brave soul.  Welcome to the first ever PRC blog!  Talk about being new and getting to know everyone.  When Todd suggested starting at blog at the PRC 2014 AGM I went, hey I can do that.  So here we are. I am a total newbie to the PRC and what a better way for us to get to know each other. To be honest it's going to work twofold.  You will get to know me and I'm going to start off the blog to help  myself to continue to achieve my lifestyle changes and goals in 2014.  I just hope that I can help to motivate, inspire and in some cases amuse some of our members along the way.  I welcome you all and please feel free to comment and say hi to me.