Archive for February 2016

Spring races – my thoughts on why I chose the races and distances I did

 

So just a bit of a post as I discuss the races I have coming up and the decision process I went through deciding to do each one.

 

WPS Half (Winnipeg Police Service Half) – May 1st – In 2014, I set my half marathon PR at this race (1:46:00) but my running fell apart due to some illness in early 2015 and I struggled to get 1:55:15 last year. This year I am looking to get some redemption – not likely a new PR but back around 1:50 would be great.

My wife is running this race for the first time this year as well – so that will add an extra interesting dynamic which should be cool.

 

Spruce Woods Ultra – May 6th/ 7th – Ever since I did my first 12 Hour Lemming Loop in 2014, I have been looking at this event and wondering if a true trail race would be for me or not. Hills, rolling hills and poison ivy – not something I am used to.

And I finally decided I was going to give it a try this year…but what race? 100 miles, 100 km, 50 miles or 50 km? A hard decision considering I probably not really going to be ready for any of those distances…They do have a trail half as well but I ruled that out as I want to do something longer than that.

So let’s break it down by distance:

100 miles – time limit 32 hours – noon on the 6th until 8pm on the 7th. I want to do this eventually but in a rare moment of sanity I know that this isn’t in the cards this year. Maybe next?

100 km – time limit 20 hours – midnight until 8pm on the 7th. This is a new race this year and it adds the extra element of starting in the dark. Sounds pretty damned interesting…

50 miles – time limit of 14 hours – 6am to 8pm on the 7th. Based on the 2 12 hour Lemming Loops I have done, 12 hours is about where I hit for 50 miles so in theory it would be possible in 14 here. But this is much more difficult terrain and I am probably not going to be quite in the same shape as I was for the Lemming Loops so 14 hours might be borderline.

The 100 km is more miles but the time limit is more generous making going 12 additional miles seem more achievable…this is the kind of math that gets me in trouble…

50 km – time limit of 11.5 hours – 8:30 am to 8 pm on the 7th. This seems fairly achievable and probably the saner option for a first true trail race considering it will be fully in daylight. But does 50k scare me enough to train my ass off?

This all means the 100 mile and 50 mile races are off the table. But 100 km or 50 km? The dangerous math and a bit of fear in the belly says 100 km but the smarter option is 50 km.

I think a lot but the smarter option isn’t always where I end up…

Surprisingly this time I did go with the smarter option…and I feel vaguely disappointed frankly. I think I am going to have to do the 24 hour Lemming Loop in October to get that bit of race fear.

 

Fargo Marathon – May 21st – I have never done this race which is kind of surprising since it isn’t too far from home. I will be looking to try to get some full marathon redemption on this race – it is flat and the weather in May will be more forgiving (and cooler) than what I usually run into on the Manitoba Marathon in June making for a more straightforward race (besides the travel bit). Interesting side fact for this race for any runDisney / Walt Disney World Marathon fans – Fargo is where Lee Hoedl hails from (look up his Walt Disney World Marathon race videos on YouTube, they certainly help feed my runDisney obsession).

 

That gives me 3 races in 4 weeks – not particularly wise but it makes some sense to me. I will then be looking at the Manitoba Marathon in June from there and pushing for a PR.

The goal for all of this is to finally get into Marathon Maniacs and to get my levels back up to a point where trying the 24 hour Lemming Loop in October is merely insane instead of suicidal.

Based on all of this, all I am doing for the next 2-4 months is running…

3.1 treadmill miles tonight to take the 2016 #runstreak up to 60 days and approx 230 miles

February total at 97.16 miles – not huge by any stretch but I’m still fairly proud of the number since several of those miles came from treadmills in hotels. It took some effort to keep the run streak alive through vacation in February but I managed it.

Through January and February my running has been fairly unstructured – just run every day, no matter what…just make it happen. That hasn’t resulted in big miles but it did what it needed to – it made me stop talking myself out of running. Tired? Too bad. No time? Bah – it takes less than 10 minutes to do a single mile.

Hell – I fell asleep so fast and hard on the couch tonight that I dropped my phone right in the middle of reading an article. But I still did 3.1 easy miles.

My motivation and mental stamina appear to be back. Initial goal of the run streak has been achieved.

Now for the next thing.

March and April are going to get more structured and ramped up. I will soon be putting up another post on what I have decided to do for upcoming races and why I chose the races I did but the heart of the matter means more structured mileage is required.

Stick around – the next 3-4 months should be interesting…

Feb 2016 Disney World vacation running overview

I tweeted my vacation runs over the past couple weeks but never put anything up on the blog here to talk about what kind of running I did or how I felt, etc. So this post will be a bit of an overview of the vacation running and how I kept the 2016 run streak alive.

Feb 4th – my last day of work before vacation so we were finalizing our packing – we also had parent-teach conferences that night so there really wasn’t a lot of time to run so I just squeaked in a mile on the treadmill to keep the streak alive.

Feb 5th – busy morning! I did a quick run outside of 2.15 miles doing a shortened loop around the neighborhood and then came back and did a 0.75 run with the pups. Bit of a bitter sweet run with the dogs as we took them to the kennel right after the run and we won’t be seeing them again for 2 weeks. After that we were off to start the first road trip portion of our trip. (We got good flight deals out of Minneapolis but that means about 6-8 hours of driving and extra hotel rooms – still worth it cost wise plus it gives some wind down time from work before hitting Disney for the real vacation. Plan was take 2 days to drive / shop or way to Minneapolis and then do a straight shot home after the trip was done)

Feb 6th – Ran on the hotel treadmill in Fargo before we headed out – I forgot my good running shoes in the van overnight so I ran in my walking around shoes (that had been running shoes previously) and they worked not bad but I could tell I wouldn’t want to do longer runs in them anymore.

Shopping in Fargo netted me a good deal on some Nike Vomero 10s that I have been trying out lately as my trusty Pegasus runners don’t work for me anymore and the Hoka Cliftons have been changed as well and had a price increase in Canada – so I have been looking for alternatives and Vomeros seem to be the way to go. They are quite expensive in Canada though and the deal I got in Fargo was about 2/3s the price even after exchange.

Feb 7th – In Minneapolis for 2 nights (overnight the 6th and the 7th) – 3.5 miles on the hotel treadmill. Tested out some Vomero 9s that I had found at the Nike discount outlet – wanted to make sure they were equivalent or as good as the 10s…and they did well! These were even cheaper than the 10s I got in Fargo. If nothing else this trip has netted me enough shoes to last through the miles I have planned for this year at ½ to 2/3s the price of what they shoes would cost me in Canada.

Feb 8th – up early before the shuttle to the airport and put in a quick mile to keep the streak alive.

Feb 9th – at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside resort – up earlier than the family and did a couple laps of the running loop at the hotel – 3.66 scenic miles. Got back to the room and everyone was still asleep – made me a bit sad that I didn’t go longer.

Feb 10th – 3.62 miles at the hotel again this morning with a hawk sighting.

Feb 11th – another 3.62 miles on the hotel paths. Our son was up when I got back to the room – it was fairly cool but I had checked the pool temperature while I was out running and it was warm so I convinced him to come swimming with me for a while. We spent a good half hour in the pool – was good to get some time alone with him outside the craziness of the parks.

Feb 12th – there was no time to run first thing in the morning due to a breakfast reservation so I needed to run later in the day. We went to the Blizzard Beach water park during the afternoon and we spent several hours walking barefoot on concrete so the legs were pretty tired by the time we got back to the hotel. Everyone was getting hungry too so I wasn’t sure how I was going to get the run in today at that point. But the Disney bus stopped at the neighboring hotel before getting back to ours so I quickly talked with Heather and I hopped off the bus to run back to our hotel while she and the kids stayed on the bus and I would meet them when I got back to the room. Legs were definitely tired but I was in a technical shirt and shorts from the water so I put in a decent run of 1.15 miles back to the room.

Feb 13th – definitely starting to feel the walking and running on nothing but cement this morning. Did 1.88 miles around the hotel and then when I got back our daughter was up and wanted to run with me – so we did a short 0.32 mile run/walk/talk before heading back to the room.

Feb 14th – Just a short 1.88 mile run before heading out for a tour appointment.

Feb 15th – 3.6 miles – warmest morning we got while we were down there – it felt good to get out and move a bit. Starting to see more runners out – looks like the Princess Half Marathon folks are starting to show up. We ended up doing some major walking around touring various resorts and such and I figured in the end we did more than 6 miles of walking today. Makes me wish I had been tracking the walking miles over the whole vacation!

Feb 16th – 2 warm miles this morning – legs were definitely tired from the walking and cement yesterday.

Feb 17th – 3.68 miles around the hotel running paths this morning. Switched up how I was doing the loops to avoid the area around the main hotel building because the crowds there could be a pain in the ass some mornings.

Feb 18th – 2 miles to finish off my last running miles at Disney World this trip – on the plane later that afternoon and in Minneapolis that night.

Feb 19th – 2 miles on the treadmill at the hotel in Minneapolis before loading all the stuff back in the vehicle for the drive home. Stopped at the Nike outlet store again for some more heavily discounted gear.

Feb 20th – Picked the pups from the kennel this morning – looks like they have picked up some vacation weight! Going to have to run that off for them. Did 4 miles on the treadmill in the evening with a bit more of a push than I have been doing lately – it felt good and my legs are recovering from the cement surfaces already.

Feb 21st – wicked headache when I got on the treadmill that night but I pushed through 3 miles – took close to a mile before the headache loosened up but it came back almost immediately after I stopped running. Ugh.

Feb 22nd – back to work today – vacation is officially over. I decided to go a little longer on the treadmill once the kids were in bed and managed to do 7.63 miles in an hour. Legs felt better than they had in a while.

Now that I am back from vacation it is time to keep pushing and get my mileage up for the month. So far it looks the total will be fairly low but I am fairly proud that I was able to keep the run streak alive through the vacation. I am also pretty happy that there were few runs that were only a single mile to just keep the streak alive.