I am no longer a cyclist

I finally returned the road bike I had borrowed and I’ve started logging miles on my running shoes again! It feels great to be getting back into the routine of just running regularly. I guess I missed all the awesome fall weather as we’ve had negative temperatures the last few days. Figures. I’ve been cautiously optimistic that this tendon injury is behind me and after a couple weeks of running it is showing no signs of aggravation. Assuming things keep progressing, I’m thinking about running the Turkey Trot 10K in Detroit in about a month’s time to test out my legs and see where my fitness is at. This race should offer strong competition and some guys for me to try reeling in for a fast time. Last year, there were nine guys under 33 minutes!

Click to check out the full results.

Before I recap my training from the last couple weeks, I’ve got to talk about the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (STWM) which took place on October 18. This race is one of the biggest marathons in Canada with tens of thousands of people running the streets of Toronto. Starting this year (and for the next three years), it also doubled as the Canadian Marathon Championship race. Despite top stars like Reid Coolsaet, Rob Watson, Dylan Wykes, and Krista DuChene being absent (having already raced this fall or still rebuilding after injury), there was a long list of fast Canadians running. This race was planned to be my fall goal race before the tendon injury so I was watching eagerly to see how it all shook out, wishing I could’ve been there running too.

Eric Gillis had another great run, putting down an Olympic-qualifying time of 2:11:31 (1:05:13/1:06:18, +1:05 split) and taking the Canadian Championship. It’s crazy how consistent Eric is; possibly only second in that regard to Reid Coolsaet. He looked calm and under control the whole way through even after his pacer dropped off around 30 km. This will be Eric’s third trip to the Olympics!

The 2nd Canadian spot went to Kip Kangogo (who won the Canadian Half Marathon Championship ahead of Reid Coolsaet earlier this summer). Kip ran 2:15:26 (1:06:23/1:09:03, +2:40 split) which is in line with but still an improvement over his other results this year (2:19:21 in Vancouver, a 1:05:02 half in Calgary, and a 1:06:30 half in Edmonton). Keep your eyes on Kip… he might be in a position to challenge Dylan Wykes for that third Olympic marathon spot next spring.

John Mason was the 3rd Canadian across the line in 2:22:35 (a 2 minute PB from his 2:24 in Rotterdam earlier this year). I heard he was shooting for a 2:17-2:18 so I imagine he’s a little disappointed, even with the PB and 13th fastest time by a Canadian this year. He went out hard for the first half, running 1:08:08/1:14:27 (+6:19 split). That 1:08:08 half split is (I believe) just seconds off his PB from last year so attacking a full marathon at that pace seems bold. He did run some very quick 5Ks this summer, so I could be way off. Based on the positive split he ran, I’d guess he was good for something a quicker (sub-2:20?) had he run the first half a couple minutes slower. For all I know, he could’ve had fueling issues or some other reason for falling off pace.

Sami Jibril ran his marathon debut in a time of 2:24:39 (1:06:23/1:14:13, +7:50 split) and finished fifth Canadian. I read that he was going after an Olympic qualifier time (under 2:12:50) and his half split had him on track at that point in the race. The wheels seemed to fall off somewhere between halfway and 30 km and his pace fell drastically over the final few km (where have I heard this story before?). I wonder what his takeaways from this experience were and whether he’ll be eager to line up for another marathon in the spring. Hopefully he gives it another shot as he’s run very well at the half marathon distance (he’s got a bunch of 66-67 minute half marathons to his name). You’ve got to think that had he run the first half in 1:08:30-1:09, he’d have had a lot more fun out there.

(Disclaimer: I’m looking at these results after the fact and dissecting things a little. It’s a lot harder to predict how things will go before the race. For the record, I’m not trying to pick on anyone by pointing out positive splits. If anything, I’m hoping to learn from these guys about what pacing works and what doesn’t, how conservative or aggressive they were based on their other race results. No doubt, I have lots to improve in this department after my 1:12:11/1:19:34, +7:23 split from Ottawa.)

On the women’s side, Lanni Marchant took the Canadian title handily, running 2:28:09 – a mere 9 seconds slower than her own Canadian record. Lanni came through the first half in 1:12:21 and then ran 1:15:46 for the second half. I read that her calf failed on her, but imagine she had maintained that early pace and run 2:25 – that would’ve been wild. It’s too bad she didn’t run a little more conservatively on the first half as she surely could have saved those extra 9 seconds, improved her own record, and walked away with an additional $30,000 for doing so! Even without the record, she did lock down an Olympic qualifying time so she has the option to run the 10,000m and the marathon in Rio next summer.

The best pacing of the day has to go to Leslie Sexton who ran a huge PB of 2:33:20 (1:16:34/1:16:46, +0:12 split!). From what I hear, she owes Rob Brouillette a beer for sharing the work for 30+ km! ;) Leslie is deservedly getting some good coverage of this result as it is the third fastest time by a Canadian woman so far this year. Rob ran his own PB of 2:37 – even after he spent the penultimate week of training on vacation with only 1 hour of running!

The half marathon was also a great race with Jeff Costen taking the win in 1:08:02, Adam Hortian close behind in 1:08:24, and David Freake picking up a new PB with 1:08:46. Jeff and Dave post their training on Strava, so be sure to check out their work and give them a follow! Dave also has a write-up on how the race went from his perspective.

Anyway, Here’s how my training looked for the last two weeks…

Week of 2015-10-04

This week was a bit of a cut-back in terms of overall volume. I was glad to have a bit of a break from the relentless cross-training… it wears on you having to get up early to grind away on the elliptical, rush to get ready for a full day of work, then rush to get on the bike for an hour or so in the evening before dinner and family responsibilities. The weekend was a bit of a challenge to fit everything in as we had lots of family time planned for Thanksgiving.

  • M: 45′ run (10.7 km)
  • T: 50′ run (11 km)
  • W: 55′ run (12.3 km) + 35′ elliptical + 15′ core (I skipped the second set…)
  • Th: 60′ run (12.8 km) + 60′ bike with 10×2’/1′ intervals.
  • F: 65′ run (14.9 km) + 25′ elliptical
  • S: 30′ core + 80′ run  (18.5 km) + 40′ bike
  • Su: 45′ elliptical
  • Total: ~10 hours (~6 hours of running for 80.5 km)

Week of 2015-10-11

I got my training back up to around 2 hours per day this week and had my first test of some speed with strides on Monday and a short tempo session on Thursday. It would’ve been nice if the 3:30/km pace felt a little easier than it did, but I’ve had nearly 10 weeks of little-to-no running so I’ll take what I can get at this point. I’m still hopeful things will come around quickly once I get a few quality session into my legs. Looking forward to the weeks ahead.

  • M: 70′ run with 8×20″ strides (15.3 km) + 50′ elliptical
  • T: 70′ run (16.2 km) + 65′ elliptical with 15×2’/1′ intervals + 30′ weights
  • W: 70′ run (15.5 km) + 35′ elliptical
  • Th: 5 km warm-up, 10′ @ 3:30/km, 5 km cool-down (12.9 km) + 30′ core
  • F: 75′ run (16 km) + 40′ elliptical
  • S: 45′ bike (20.6 km) straight into 19 km run + 30′ core
  • Su: ~2 hour bike (49.7 km)
  • Total: 14.25 hours (7 hours of running for 95.3 km)

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