Tag Archive for Treherne Marathon

Manitoba Marathon 2015 recap – I reaped the consequences of no runs over 13.1 since March. But I learned some stuff.

To start with – the Manitoba Marathon was well organized again this year and as always the volunteers were fantastic along the course and at the finish! Another great race put on by the Manitoba Marathon team!


OK, so the day started off pretty early for me – the pups got me up a half hour before my alarm was set to go off for the race. No sleeping in I guess. Luckily I had gone to bed quite early and still got a good 7+ hours sleep or so. I’m glad I did because I knew it was going to be a rough run.

Folks that follow the blog or my twitter posts know that I had a rough couple months and my training really fell apart. By the numbers I had 556 miles on my shoes so far this year but at the same time last year I was at 810. A very significant difference year over year. The bad statistic though was the missing 18 and 20 milers. I knew I was going into the race trained to do an ok half marathon but not trained for a full at all. I was going to be relying on sheer determination, a lot of pent up frustration and whatever residual stamina I still had left from the Dopey Challenge training.

So basically I knew going into this race that it was not going to be great for me physically.

It was a beautiful day though and not raining like last year’s Manitoba Marathon so that was a positive but it was forecast to get pretty warm. Not Florida warm but still enough that it was going to be a factor in the race with the humidity.

Again this year I took the park and ride option instead of trying to find a parking spot at the race and everything worked pretty efficiently again. I basically got out of my vehicle and wandered over to the bus got on and we were on our way in a few minutes. It was a short drive and we were dropped off close to the bag drop tents. Very smooth.

The only hiccup was that I realized that I had forgotten to put on nipple protectors before I left the house…but I figured I would forget something and luckily I had packed a set in my hydration backpack and I put those on before I got on the bus. Apparently I was rushing though and one didn’t stick properly…more on that later.

I wandered around the start area, hit the port-a-potties and checked out the changes in the course right at the start. New this year was an adjustment to the course for where everyone starts. It used to start with a straight shot down a road but now there was a 90 degree turn about 100 feet from the start line. I was worried this was going to be an issue (thinking back to the hordes at Disney races and how crowded a corner like that could get). Luckily it wasn’t an issue but it definitely slowed down most folks through that first chunk of the course.

While wandering around, I ran into a gentleman from work who was out for his second marathon (first about a month or so previous). I had a good chat with him about strategies and different races and then we headed out to the get in our chosen finish time zones.

I chose to line up with the 4:30 run/walk pace group. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to keep up with them or not but it seemed like a good spot to start as I tested myself out. But I was still worrying about the heat and what that would do later in the race.

But then it was time to start – after a couple quick twitter interactions with Kenny (@runshooze on twitter) as he offered encouragement to help get me started.

I realized very quickly that heat was definitely going to be a factor and after pacing evenly for a few minutes I decided that sticking with the 4:30 pace group wasn’t going to work. Basically doing the math it meant I would probably hit the half about 2:10-2:15 (which didn’t match my previously determined plan of trying to hit around 2 hours and then just do what I could after) and the heat would be up and I would probably be already tanking out. This would then likely make it harder to keep going and probably do some hefty damage to my confidence.

So I weighed all the factors and decided to do something pretty dumb and the opposite of what all the marathon gurus will tell you. I decided to run the first half of the marathon fast – I was going to be struggling hard for the second half no matter what but I figured if I could get the first half done quicker, it would mean less time pushing in the heat later.

At that point then I bumped the speed up and decided to follow my original plan – hit the half at around 2 hours and go from there.

By mile 2 I had passed the 4 hour group and the 3:45 group – I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone else but it was what I figured I needed to do.

I passed mile 7 before the hour mark and the 3:45 group passed me shortly before the 8 mile point as I was already feeling the heat.

Right around the 9 mile marker a gentleman I interact with on Twitter (Anthony – @DrAnthonyH) caught up with me and we had a bit of chat about different races and our goals, etc. We also quickly talked about WDW Marathon races and then he continued on and I kept rolling on.

Less than a minute after that I saw Heather and my son and daughter up ahead cheering me on – I caught site of them just as Anthony was giving my son a high five.

They hadn’t spotted me yet so I put on a burst of speed and bolted up to my son and started tickling him instead of what he thought was going to be a high five from another anonymous runner. Surprised him pretty good! And, I think, the folks that were standing beside my family that didn’t know at first what was going on until my daughter gave me a hug and started saying “Happy Fathers’ Day!”

I chatted with them a little bit and then kept moving.

About mile 11 or so I felt some chafing and realized I had lost one of the nipple protectors – not much I could do about it then but I as I was wearing a white shirt I started to wonder what the shirt was going to look like when the race was done!

Just prior to the half way point the gentleman from work passed me and wished me luck on the rest of the race and at just about the half way point the 4 hour pace group passed me. I hit the halfway point at about 1:59 (so goal achieved).

It was at that point I ran into my family again as they had moved to a second viewing spot. We talked again at that point and off I went again.

Not too long after that I started to hit the wall for sure. I was still pushing but it was taking way more pushing to keep going. The heat was also definitely playing a factor at this point.

I also started adding a minute of walking after I hit every mile marker from here on out. I was carrying about 2 liters of liquid in my hydration pack that I had been using frequently but I started making sure to supplement with water at every water stop and using sponges to help cool off. Sponges were plentiful too so kudos to the Manitoba Marathon team for that!

I hit the 18 mile point at around 2:57 or so. That was great for my confidence – it was slow and pretty rough but I also knew I would be under 5 hours to complete.

At this point I sent out a proof of life tweet and got moving again.

Right after that I ran into the wife and kids again before continuing on. I didn’t run long before I ran into a family who was giving on freeze pops…and they had blue! It was glorious! Much thanks to those folks whoever they were!

I kept going from there and was struck at the difference in the weather from last year. This race was hot and sunny and last year I remember being so soaked that passing trucks splashing water onto me as I ran didn’t even phase me.

At about the 4 hour mark I decided to stop and send another proof of life tweet as I had hit right around mile 23. After I sent the tweet my phone started beeping that it had low battery. I wasn’t going to finish this without music so I popped off my hydration pack and dug out my spare battery.

After a relatively quick battery swap I was back on my way. The 4:30 pace group went past me around this point.

Shortly after that I saw the 10 mile marker for the half marathon folks (who share the same finish line) – only a 5k left to go. I knew I was going to survive!

My pace picked up a bit when I was running but I was doing shorter runs now of maybe 3-5 minutes at a time before walking again for 30-60 seconds.

I was here that I learned something very specific about my running that I am going to have to watch for in the future and train against. Basically when I would stop running I would feel a bit woozy, almost light headed but after a few seconds of breathing properly I would be fine and able to go again. I realized that as I was trying to run and push as hard as I could, I was tensing so much that I wasn’t breathing properly. It took me about 10-15 minutes to figure that out and then I was fine.

Then at about 24.5 miles I ran into the wife and kids one final time and I started the final push.

About this point I was probably half and half running versus walking but I was still moving and still coherent.

Then the final corner before I start in towards mile 26 and final stretch on the stadium track. Finished upright with no apparent injuries and under 5 hours. And even the lost nipple protector didn’t cause too much grief. Marathon #11 in the books.

I was handed a popsicle and slurped that down. Chatted with a lady who had just finished her first marathon and was asking other finishers around to sign her arms and legs, etc in celebration. Awesome for her! The Manitoba Marathon is great race for first timers – very friendly.

I then grabbed some water and had a quick chat with one of the volunteers who was obviously there to make sure that runners were still healthy and able to hold a conversation.

I then wandered out to the buses and got on. As I was getting on the bus driver asked “a bit stiff?” My response “no where near as stiff as I will be when I try to get off the bus!”

An accurate prediction – but surprisingly not bad.

I wandered out to my van, hopped in and drove home.

After unloading all my stuff I wandered into the kitchen for a big glass of milk and some bacon. If “recovery bacon” isn’t a thing, it should be.

Had a bit of a scare as I was sitting at the kitchen table leaning forward talking to the kids and getting my Fathers’ Day cards from them…my arms started to tingle a bit. Oh crap…but then I remembered the breathing lesson from about mile 24. I sat up straight, had a few deep breathes and everything returned to normal.

10 minutes later I was in the pool with the kids stretching out the legs and working the kinks out. While cooling off.

I got about a half hour there before we had to get dressed and head out to our son’s piano concert. He did awesome! (and I actually survived) Several people we didn’t know commented on how well he did and how much energy he had. Very cool!

After that we headed to Boston Pizza for a celebratory supper for all of us and I had a beer the size of my head.

And we ended up in the pool before bed again. A very good Fathers’ Day all around.

The next day I woke up and my left ankle was almost locked – after a bit of walking around though it worked itself out. Over the course of the day I went for a couple 40 minute walks that included a few jogging attempts that went well.

Now 2 days later my legs are fine and I suspect I will try a recovery run later today. I have already done swimming pool resistance exercises and 15 minutes of deep water running with no ill effects.

I may not be the fastest, or the strongest (or the most dedicated) runner but man I recover fast. And I am grateful for that!

So coming up I have the 12 hour Lemming Loop that I have signed up for in early October. And I also signed my wife and I up for the WFPS Half Marathon for a couple weeks after that.

I will be starting to work out a training schedule for the 12 hour Lemming Loop in the hopes of breaking over 52.4 miles in the 12 hours (49.278 last year). I will also looking to see if I will want to add the Treherne Marathon (which is about an hour drive away) in early September to my schedule as a training run and as maybe a chance for some marathon redemption.

I should be posting up my planned schedule and goals and such in the next few days – I am going to have to work hard this summer!

Longer term goals – up to summer of 2013 (Manitoba Marathon)

I will be on vacation with my family from Jan 27th to Feb 9th with a goal of being 230 when I return and things have settled out.

Feb 11th = first training day to put in an 18 week training program for the Manitoba Marathon on June 16th.  I will be using a modified version of the Hal Higdon Intermediate II program (http://halhigdon.com/training/51140/Marathon-Intermediate-2-Training-Program) – this is the same program modified by Lee Hoedl for the Goofy Race and Half Challenge that I followed for the Goofy.  The plan worked well for me for the Goofy and should let me make some major improvements to my endurance and time for the Manitoba Marathon.

I am going to break the 18 week training program into 3 x 6 week periods to give me more flexibility in pushing my weight loss early and reducing it near the end to make sure I am properly fueled for the Manitoba Marathon.

First 6 weeks – Feb 11 to Mar 24 – I will modify the Hal Higdon plan so that there are no runs shorter than 6.6 miles – any that are longer than 6.6 will not be modified.  The idea is that I want to push during this period to make sure I do these 6.6 runs in 1 hour or less so that 6.6 mph is my default slow speed (giving me a chance at a 4 hour marathon).  This used to be my default speed back in the 2002 – 2006 period and I think it is achievable again.  This period is also where I want to push my weight loss fairly hard as well – I would like to average 2 lb per week during this period.  Starting weight = 230 and ending weight goal = 218

Second 6 weeks – Mar 15 to May 5 – depending on how I feel with the training I may now back off to exactly follow the Hal Higdon plan – if I don’t back off I will continue the plan from the first 6 weeks with a minimum run of 6.6 miles.  The Winnipeg Police Services Half Marathon is on May 5th this year and I expect I will run it and shoot for a 2 hour or less time.  The half marathon fits nicely with a 12 mile planned training run in the Hal Higdon plan for that Sunday.  I intend to back of the weight loss goal a bit during this period as well – I hope to be doing some more resistance training and probably eating more protein to support that so I am hoping for continued weight loss counter balanced with some muscle gain.  I hope to average 1.25 pounds a week during this period – starting weight goal = 218 and ending weight goal = 210.5.

Third 6 weeks – May 6th to June 16th – continue to follow Hal Higdon plan – I may continue with the minimum 6.6 mile runs but I don’t expect to as I don’t want to over train  at this point.  I should be doing a large number of my runs outside at this point.  The Manitoba Marathon is on June 16th – there are a lot of time between now and then but I have seen the potential in my runs including how I felt on the Goofy Challenge runs to get back in the range of where I was in 2005 (4 hrs 15  min full).  I am currently setting beating this as my goal with a small glimmer of hope for being under 4 hours.  I don’t expect a huge amount of weight loss during this period as I should be fueling to run hard but I would still like to set a goal of 5.5 pound loss over the 6 weeks – Starting goal = 210.5 and ending goal – 205.

After that – part of me would like to be get under 200 pounds just to say that I have (it would be the first time since high school) but I have added significant muscle to my frame since high school and I don’t think I could get down that low without losing more muscle than I want to.  If I look at my picture from the 2005 Manitoba Marathon I was in the vicinity of 215-220 at that point and I don’t see from that picture where an additional 20 pound weight loss would come from.  So even my goal of 205 may not be realistic but I will stick with it for now with the understanding that it may have to be adjusted as my weight gets lower and start to see what will actually be possible.

215-220 pound on the Manitoba Marathon in 2005 about mile 20 - finished in 4 hrs 15 min

215-220 pound on the Manitoba Marathon in 2005 about mile 20 – finished in 4 hrs 15 min

After the Manitoba Marathon is done I will have to reassess where I am and what my goals are – ideally I would like to continue getting stronger and faster and then do Goofy again in 2014.  This may not work however – My wife’s mother has expressed that she found it difficult to look after the kids for the period we were away and she doesn’t think she could do it again.  It is another year away and the kids will be another year older so we may be able to change her mind but she can be relatively stubborn so I suspect not.  I believe we will likely still do the Disney World Marathon Weekend but we would likely bring the kids and add a bit of a family vacation on the end of it.  This would mean that most likely my wife would run the half on the Saturday while I look after the kids and then I would do the full on the Sunday.  So I might not be able to be Goofy again next January – but that is almost a year away so we will have to wait and see what happens.  But if I do the full and not both I would like to see if I can hit a new personal best on the run – those decisions will have to come later.

I may also look at the Treherne Marathon in September or possibly another fall or early winter run to make sure I stay in marathon form.

Dec 10, 2012 (Monday) – post 2 – about the future

After the race is done I will have to sit down and figure out a realistic goal for the next stage of my training. I suspect it will include adding more lifting into the mix and continuing the high level of training for running. Part of me would like to see being under 200 but I suspect that isn’t likely without losing more muscle than I would be happy about. So perhaps 207 would be a good goal – 217 for sure because I need to get under 220 mentally to have accomplished what I want – 217 would be a total of 40 down and 207 would be 50 down. If I set 207 as the goal I would most likely mentally shift that to 205.

After getting back from the races it is basically 2 weeks before we head out for the family trip – I will need to make sure I maintain any weight loss achieved prior to the marathon and maybe another pound or 2 before the family vacation. While on vacation I will need to watch what I eat and make sure I exercise while I am there – possibly at the health club and short jogs in the morning. If I can come back within a couple pounds of where I was when we left that would be good – if all goes well it would be nice if I came back around the 227 mark being still 30 down. Count Feb 11 as the starting day / weigh in day for the next stage.

From there I suspect trying to lose weight hard for about a month with high intensity runs – more speed stuff – say 5 days as week trying to 6.6 miles in an hour each day – do that for 5-6 weeks with one or 2 half marathon distances thrown in for good measure. Six weeks from Feb 11 is March 25th. This is almost 6 weeks to the WPS half marathon on May 5th. Then it is 6 weeks from then until the Manitoba Marathon on June 16th – this 3 6 week chunks situation is probably a good thing to take advantage of.

If take the first 6 weeks to training to run faster with doing only a few half marathon distance runs I should able to bring my weight down a bit more and bring my speed up.

The second 6 weeks would be further training for speed while increasing distance and probably getting up to a mid week (Wednesday) half marathon run so that 2 runs a week are at or near the half marathon distance. This should mean I am in very good shape for the WPS half. The idea would be to lose a bit more weight as well but at a slower rate than the previous 6 weeks. Following the Hal Higdon intermediate II there will be several runs longer than half distance in this period.

The last 6 weeks would be the last rough weeks in the training program for the full and I should be able to drive up the mileage and maintain the speed – will be able to almost all runs outside. Probably some weight loss in this period too but again probably less than the previous 6 week period.

After that will need to go into a bit of a holding pattern fixing up the yard and enjoying the pool and the summer – will probably still look at the Treherne marathon as well in early September as a kick off point to make sure I am ready for the next Goofy in 2014. That is if everything goes well.

For weight goals in the first 6 week period – if I am at around 227 look at about 2 to 2.5 pounds per week – so 12 to 15 pounds – if take the low end that leaves 215 after the period is done.

For the second 6 week period look to around 1 to 1.5 pounds per week – so 6 to 9 pounds – take the low end to get 209.

For the last 6 week period probably try for around 0.5 pounds per week or 3 pounds which would take things to 206 or so.

This would be sufficient and relatively easy to achieve – on the other hand continuing the approx 2 pounds per week goals that I currently have I could conceivably get down to near the same mark just prior to the WPS half – that would be pretty awesome especially as the pool would be going in around then. Getting to the weight goal sooner would have the advantage of allowing extra fueling for the full which will mean doing the required yard work would be easier and should allow additional weight training a little earlier.

If I could do everything according to plan and push hard a new personal best on the half would be possible for the WPS and a new personal best for the full in June as well. Proper training and drive and the ability to run outside could mean getting under 3:30 – under 3:45 would put me around where I thought I should have finished on my current personal best.

Definitely worth while goals that I will need to keep in the back of my mind as I start into the final push for the Goofy – extra motivation to do well plus a reminder that it is a stepping stone to a bigger purpose so that if there is a bit of a slip and I don’t hit the speed goals I will know it is ok because this training just is the kick starter to something more.