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 fear....lol).  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,