Category Archives: Running

Here we go again!

My 2017 race calendar is starting to take form. I had this idea about doing all of the half-marathons in Vancouver, but there are so many of them, and the Fall Classic is in November, which just barely meets its title criterion of being in the fall.

I’ll start with a return to the course where I currently hold my half-marathon PR: Vancouver First Half.  I was a few pounds lighter (read: faster) in 2011, so I’m not expecting another PR.  But hey, I’ve 13 weeks to get into race-ready condition.  Who knows?

I’ll finish the season with something I’ve never tried before: two races in one weekend: 10km on October 21, and 21.1km on the 22nd.  I don’t really know what strategies to employ here, but I have a few months to figure that out!

Between those two, I’m not really sure.  I’m thinking of the BMO Half, or possibly the BMO Marathon as a relay.  Maybe Scotiabank in June.  Seawheeze if the Online Registration Gods are in my favour.



Wow, sure has been quiet in here.  See, I’ve been building robots (to take over the world), and spending too much time being ill, lately.

Robots are fun; being sick isn’t.  I had a really stubborn cough that just wouldn’t go away.  Still have a bit of it.  It comes and goes.  I’d like for it to go away, really.

This cough started around the beginning of July, and caused me to miss a lot of training, and even a few days’ work.  But of course, I had gone through the trouble of signing up for Seawheeze, and I wasn’t about to give up a ridiculously heavy carrot medal just for a cough.

My respiratory system is feeling much better than it was a month ago, when I could barely walk a few blocks without going into a coughing fit.  And I know that my physical form can take a half marathon — or at least, I’ve successfully run them in the past.

I’m not going to talk about my performance, but rather how this race became a step in my recovery from injury to health.  Yesterday’s race was about a few “moments” that really stuck out to me.

  1. Spin class on the Dunsmuir viaduct.  Maybe they shouldn’t tear down that thing after all.  Turn it into a gym!
  2. Running off the Burrard St. Bridge onto Cornwall: Wall-to-wall people, all running, all being amazing.
  3. Band on a barge, making up running-based lyrics to well-known songs.
  4. Legs hurt, can barely walk home.  Can’t wait to do it again.

Awesome Running Music

Gobbledigook by Sigur Rós

This is first on my playlist, because it’s my “I can run forever” song. It’s true. I can run forever with this one. At 89bpm, it’s almost perfect for running cadence. And that persistent drum takes my mind away and lets me just fly through the run. I actually stuck this one single song on repeat through some of my longest runs last season.

One by U2

The song isn’t as energetic as those found on kick-your-ass cardio playlists, but that’s exactly the point. For running at a 91spm cadence, and tricking your heart rate to relax a little, this is one awesome song for the iPod.

That Girl by Esthero

93bpm. This one brings the pace up a little, but still feels kind of relaxed. Running is dancing.

Tya by Akwaba

You might expect this one in a yoga studio instead of a runner’s iPod, but once the beat kicks in (at a solid 92bpm), you guessed it: running bliss.

Here are a few more:

  • Metronomic Underground by Stereolab
  • Last Dance by The Cure
  • Mr. Hurricane by Beast
  • Army Of Me by Björk
  • Useless (Kruder & Dorfmeister) by Depeche Mode
  • Die Gedanken Sind Frei by Brazillian Girls

You don’t have to go for a run.

There’s no shame in not running! Don’t run. It’s ok! Just go put on your running shorts. You don’t have to go running. Once you have those on, go ahead and put on a running shirt. Still, you don’t have to go running. But you’ve got to put something on your feet, so put on those running socks. And once that’s done, put on the running shoes.

Well, seeing as you’re all suited up, might as well go for a run!

And remember, you only have to run halfway. Once you’ve run halfway, turn around and run home.

Personal Record by Default: First Half-Marathon

Distance 21.1km
Gun Time 2:04:55.1
Chip Time 2:04:16.6
Place Overall 829/2197
Place in Sex 492/829
Place in Age Group 82/115

Niagara Falls International Half Marathon

It wasn’t the 1:55:00 I was hoping for, but it was longer than I’d ever (continuously) run ever before. Three of my ten toes hurt, my knees are sore, my tibialis anterior hurts, I’m having trouble with stairs. Pretty much everything hurts.

The day started early. Got up at 6:30am to get my race gear on and get down to the buses for the start line. At this point, everything was wonderful. It was a bit chilly, but I was dressed warmly enough. I enjoyed some conversation with a few fellow runners, and hopped on a bus. A 20-minute bus ride. 20 minutes, traveling in a bus, to the place where we start the race. About halfway along the ride, I realized: I have to run back to where we just got on the bus. When I got off the bus, I couldn’t even see the towers in Niagara Falls, except for a very faint outline of one building, and a tiny bit of barely-discernable mist over the falls; on the distant horizon. Yikes.

I kind of see this race in four parts: The first 9k, the next 9k and the next 3k, and the final 100m.

The first 9km were pretty much awesome.  Everything was smooth; heart rate was good. Solid.  I focussed on keeping a steady pace, without worrying too much about people passing me. I was running kilometres in 5:30 or so, and it felt good.

Next 9k, my legs felt like lead.  I relaxed into an endurable pace, told myself I’d just relax for a little while. My legs kept yelling at me, I’d yell back, but they just wouldn’t listen. So I ended up hovering around 6:00/km for the rest of the race.

The 3k leading up to the finish chute was probably the worst. Mentally, anyway. I could see Skylon Tower, and the towers near the finish line, and I knew it was almost over. At the same time, it was amazing. Emotionally: some new ones, at least for running. If I could have cried through this 3k, they would have been tears of joy.

100m to go. “FINISH” in GIGANTIC letters over the roadway. And then I see… 2:04:50… 2:04:51… I actually said, “Clock? YOU ARE NOT GETTING TO 2:05 BEFORE I GET THERE”.  So I pulled together what little I had left and just gave it everything.

And now I am sore, and it is past my bedtime. And the last 19 weeks of training have been put to good use. Now, onto the next race. It’ll probably be a 5k or something really short.