Tag Archive for winter running

8.85 miles outside – very uneven and slippery – not a fast run but felt good to get out there. Tested out some new Hokas too.

First outdoor run since the Dopey Challenge a few weeks ago. It felt good to get out and let my mind wander!

We had some major thawing yesterday and then a good freeze overnight last night. So it was pretty slippery out there and after 3 attempts to fall on my ass I decided it was time to call the run and head inside and hit the shower.

I went fairly slow and had no issues with my legs or anything like that. Still feeling pretty solid and I appear to be fully recovered from the Dopey Challenge at this point. I’m glad I came out of that in one piece.

Today I was testing out some new Hoka One One Bondi 3s that I had picked up at the Walt Disney World Marathon Expo. I hadn’t had a chance to really try them yet and I was very interested to see how they would work.

I have a pair of Hoke One One Cliftons that I love – I used them for 3 of the 4 races of the Dopey Challenge and also some of my park walking between races. I also used those for my 12 hour run (Lemming Loop) back in October. They are just a fantastic shoe for me for longer runs and I was hoping that the Bondis will be just as good or better and then I will have an alternate pair for the outdoor runs.

All in all the run with Bondis was positive – legs felt great, they have a bit better grip than the Cliftons and they did pretty good on the ice and snow as well. I did have a slight issue with rubbing near my ankle bone on my left foot – I’m not sure if that was because the shoes were too loose or just a fitting issue to my foot. The shoes have a quick tightening system that may be part of my issue – so I think I am going to switch that out to normal laces and try them again. I am feeling positive about them in general and if I can sort out that rubbing issue I will be very happy!

Feels strange now…I have no run planned for tomorrow…what am I going to do with myself?

2014 running highlights page updated

With the 5 miles I ran last night and another 5.3 this afternoon I have now hit 1971.0085 miles for the year. And with that I am done for 2014!

For more details and highlights for the year 2014 click here.

I have posted a comparison of my 2012/2013/2014 training here to view as well.

Quick highlights for 2014 are:

Goofy Challenge #4 completed in January.

Winnipeg Police Service Half Marathon (WPS Half) – completed in May with a time of 1:46:00 breaking my old PR of 1:46:11 set in 2002.

Manitoba Marathon completed in June with a time of 4:09:44 breaking my old PR of 4:15:01 set in 2005.

Fort Garry Rotary Half Marathon run in mid-September. (My wife Heather ran this one too)

Followed 2 weeks later by the 12 Hour Lemming Loop Ultra Marathon (49.2785 miles in 12 hours).

And then the WFPS Half (Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Services) 2 weeks after that.

I had 3 months with greater than 200 miles run.

Total year mileage was 1971 miles – a 571 mile increase over 2013. The first 6 months of the year I did 900 miles and then 1071 miles in the last half.


2012 versus 2013 versus 2014 mileage and run comparison

As I have now completed my miles for 2014 (and Dopey Challenge 2015 taper is in effect), I wanted to review my mileage from this year versus last year’s and see what kind of progress I have made.

Quick highlights for 2014 are:

Goofy Challenge #4 completed in January.

Winnipeg Police Service Half Marathon (WPS Half) – completed in May with a time of 1:46:00 breaking my old PR of 1:46:11 set in 2002.

Manitoba Marathon completed in June with a time of 4:09:44 breaking my old PR of 4:15:01 set in 2005.

Fort Garry Rotary Half Marathon run in mid-September. (My wife Heather ran this one too)

Followed 2 weeks later by the 12 Hour Lemming Loop Ultra Marathon (49.2785 miles in 12 hours).

And then the WFPS Half (Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Services) 2 weeks after that.

I had 3 months with greater than 200 miles run.

Total year mileage was 1971 miles – a 571 mile increase over 2013. The first 6 months of the year I did 900 miles and then 1071 miles in the last half.


Now onto the real comparison…

Total volume of mileage doesn’t tell the whole story so I picked a few specific data points to compare year over year to give a better sense of how different parts of my training have gone.

As I defined what those data points would be I got to wondering as well how far I have come since I decided to get serious about getting back in shape and losing weight back in Sept 2012. Since September through December covers my Goofy Challenge / Dopey Challenge training periods, I figured it would be interesting to also look at how each of the training periods for 2012, 2013 and 2014 compare.

So with that in mind, I came up with 2 major comparisons to do – all of 2013 versus all of 2014 and September through December for 2012 versus the same periods for 2013 and 2014.

The data points / metrics I wanted to look at were:

  1. Total mileage for the period (to see just how much work I put in)
  2. Highest mileage month in the period (to see where I peaked for mileage in the training period)
  3. Fastest run in the period (to see how much quicker I was getting period to period)
  4. Longest run in the period (to show endurance)
  5. # of runs 13.1 miles or greater in length (to show how much of the training time was put into doing long runs)
  6. # of days where I did more than 1 run to get a total of 13.1 miles or greater
  7. # of runs over 13.1 miles (to help show the number of very long runs done in the period as an endurance indicator) (for the September to December comparisons I did this as runs greater than 15 miles to show just the number of long slow runs I did)
  8. # of days where I did more than 1 run to get a total daily mileage greater than 13.1
  9. # of races run in the period (just for interest sake)

2013 versus 2014 full year comparison:

Metric 2013 2014
Total mileage 1400 1971
Highest mileage month December November
Highest month mileage 191.19 201.8
Fastest run (by average mph) 8.32 mph average 4.16 miles in 30 min 9.0 mph average 5 miles in 33:20
longest run (miles) 26.2 49.2785
# runs 13.1 or greater 28 36
Days with total mileage 13.1 or greater with 2 or more runs in a day 0 4
Total days with 13.1 or more (sum) 28 40
# runs greater than 13.1 13 20
Days with total mileage greater than 13.1 with 2 or more runs in a day 0 3
Totals days with mileage greater than 13.1 miles 13 23
# of races and types 5 half marathons, 2 full marathons 4 half marathons, 2 full marathons, 1 x 12 hour (49.2785 miles)

Some quick conclusions here – I trained faster and I did a lot more high mileage training. Both of these showed dividends by breaker half and full distance PRs this year and by completing my first ever ultra marathon.

September through December Goofy Challenge / Dopey Challenge training cycle comparison:

Metric 2012 2013 2014
Total mileage 471.87 649.65 683.0185
Highest mileage month December December November
Highest month mileage 166.88 191.19 201.8
Fastest run (by average mph) 6.99 mph average 5 miles in 42:55 8.32 mph average 4.16 miles in 30 min 8.83 mph average 5 miles in 33:58
longest run (miles) 20 20 49.2785
# runs 13.1 or greater 6 15 12
Days with 2 runs equaling 13.1 miles or greater 0 0 2
# days with total mileage  13.1 miles or greater 6 15 14
# runs 15 miles or greater 5 5 7
# of races and types 0 3 half marathons 2 half marathons, 1 x 12 hour (49.2785 miles)

Quick thoughts – Significant improvements in 2013 versus 2012 – followed very similar plans for training but I did additional training in the summer of 2013 that put me a better spot going into the training that year. 2014 total mileage is not much higher that 2013 and 2013 shows more runs at 13.1 miles or greater (1 more in 2013 shown – weather and treadmill issues played a factor here though). But 2014 had more runs at greater than 15 miles – so I did more long slow training runs in the 2014 training period. This makes sense to be ready for the Dopey Challenge but also the 12 Hour Lemming Loop ultra.


From September 1, 2012 through December 31st 2012, I lost 22.5 pounds. Through all of 2013 I lost a further 15 pounds. For 2014, my weight has been static within 5 pounds either way of 219.5. All races run in 2014 were run with my weight between 219 and 222 pounds.


Looking through all the numbers, it becomes pretty apparent that I peaked in September 2014 in terms of motivation, speed and proper focus. After having completed the 12 hour race (the Lemming Loop) in early October I was probably a bit tired and burnt out and that showed in my performance at the WFPS Half Marathon in later October.

With weather turning in Winnipeg making outdoor running a slower process than it was before and the treadmill crapping out, speed work went out the window. I had a very impressive mileage month in November but without the speed work to add some excitement it just felt like I was phoning it in – there was no spark there, just a continuous push. December was a slower month as well for the same reasons plus my one knee was aching a bit and it had to be babied for a while.

What this all comes out to, is that I am ready for the Dopey Challenge and I am in better shape going into this challenge than I have ever been for any of the 4 Goofy Challenges I have done. But I definitely could have been in even better shape if either the weather or the treadmill had cooperated a bit more. That is the nature of the game though when you are training for a January race and live in Winnipeg.

Part of me is a bit upset that I didn’t get more speed work in but for the most part I am happy with how I have done and how far I have come. Basically I have laid the foundation for my goal of being able to do the Dopey Challenge and actually enjoy it!

Running update for the past week

I haven’t done a site running post since the 23rd! I have run in that period and tweeted about the runs but haven’t put anything up here on the site. Time to rectify that!

On the 24th (Christmas Eve), I did a late morning run of 6.37 miles – I had planned to do 10 or maybe even 13.1 but it was very slippery and in the end I cut the run short. I could feel the extra pressure the uneven slippery surfaces were putting on my right knee (which I had trouble with a week or so ago). I decided it was better to avoid an injury than do those few extra miles. That was a tough decision though as the weather was very nice temperature wise and I knew the cold was coming back – it would have been nice to get that one more decent outdoor run in. But that didn’t pan out.

On Christmas Day I did a quick 2.25 mile run on the treadmill to help work through the turkey calories and stretch out the legs a bit. It was a decent run and my knee felt good so it reinforced that shortening the run the day before was the right thing to do.

On the 27th, I went out for a run in my Hoka One One Cliftons – I got in 2 steady paced laps around the neighborhood for a total of 8.85 miles. The times to complete each lap were within 5 seconds of each other – definitely evenly paced. It was pretty cold but not too bad all things considered. I could have gone longer but had to force myself to respect the taper.

On the 28th (today), I did another 2 lap run around the neighborhood this morning for 8.85 miles. I saw my tracks in a few places from yesterday’s run and it was interesting to see that my footprints in the snow from each lap lined up really well – not only was my pacing solid for each lap but so was my stride length. Pretty cool to see. And speaking of cool…holy crap it was cold today! Approx -36 C (-33 F) with the windchill – I had multiple layers on but I could tell that I probably should have one more layer on my thigh and knee areas – the cold was biting there. All in all it was a solid run despite the cold and I could have kept going but after my right eyelashes froze together (and limiting my vision on my right side) I figured that it was probably smarter to call it and get inside and warmed up. (I am writing this about an hour after I finished and I still am having a few shivering episodes).

After the run was completed I realized that I had crossed the 1960 mile point for the year (1960.709) – last year I did 1400 miles so today’s run brings me to the point where I have had a 40% increase in mileage this year over last. Nice! …no wonder I’m tired.

It is 10 days today until my travel day for the Dopey Challenge and from the looks of my schedule I have 5 runs left in the taper – all of them pretty easy runs that will happen on the treadmill. So that means today marks my last outdoor run before Dopey Challenge. Which means I can do laundry and start packing!…might be a bit too soon but I don’t care.

19.25 miles in 3:15:21 outside on a solstice morning – a slow run but last Dopey Challenge dry run is done! Am I ready?

Hey, looks like my 500th post on the site too.

Plan today was 20 miles but didn’t quite make it. I had some g.i. issues plus couldn’t get any real traction due to fresh snow sitting on top of some freezing rain overnight – so ran a fair bit slower than I had hoped. With the slowness I ran out of time to finish off the 20 miles. Got close but not quite.

I did do some vacuuming a little bit later and went and did a bunch of grocery shopping – does that count for the extra 0.75 miles?

Feeling strong – no aches or pains after the run – came through healthy! Since I tweaked my knee last week it was a major concern going into this run but it came through very solid.

OK…Am I ready for the Dopey Challenge? Short answer is yes…long answer is below.

This makes about 4-5 dry runs I have done since mid-September (plus 2 half marathon races and a 12 hour race (49.2785 miles)). I am ready for the Dopey Challenge in 2015 for sure. However I may be slower now than I was even in September…

Basically in July, August and September I did a fair bit of speed work and several long outdoor runs in anticipation of the 12 hour race. That race fell 2 weeks after a half marathon race and then I had another 2 weeks after the 12 hour run. Around this time, work was heavily stressful and busy – probably the most intense and stressful month I have had since I went into this position 6-7 years ago. Needless to say by late October I was pretty exhausted and was getting a bit unfocused.

I also started having treadmill troubles in late October at the same time the weather went all wintry here in Winnipeg. Last year I did at least one of my Goofy Challenge 20 milers on the treadmill to avoid bad weather but that wasn’t an option this year due to treadmill issues. I had my highest mileage month ever in November (201.8 miles) but I felt like I was just treading water the full month. There was no real speed work and the long outdoor runs were usually a tough slog.

What it came down to is, I think I peaked too early and without the ability to push harder with the speed work it all just felt like I was just putting in time. I wasn’t getting faster like I hoped to train for – I was just maintaining endurance.

No passion, just pushing through. When you put in over 200 miles in the month, you should at least be enjoying the runs. It makes it way too easy to cut a run short or blow it off completely once you get into that mindset. At least I did 2 Dopey Challenge dry runs in November even though I was feeling burnt out. If passion isn’t working, it is good to know that I can rely on pure pigheadedness.

Things got a bit better in December as I started to see the light at the end of the tunnel but the weather certainly wasn’t helping (I am over 10 miles off schedule this month due to weather and a minor injury caused by slippery conditions). But…speed work still is not happening – I have been doing a bit some shorter speed runs just to make sure I still can but I can’t push faster pacing on the longer outdoor runs.

What that basically means is that I am ready to do the distances for the Dopey Challenge but pacing is going to be interesting. Luckily I am not going into this expecting to break any PRs! because frankly it isn’t going to happen.

My current plan is basically to glide through the 5k and 10k enjoying the atmosphere of Epcot. For the half marathon I would like to push a bit faster – sub 2 hours would be about right (not going to shoot to beat my 1:46 PR) – I would like to push the half fast enough that I get it out of my system so I don’t go out too fast in the full. For the full, I think I would like to pace for around 4 hours (which would be faster that my 4:09:44 PR) but hit most, if not all, of the character stops along the way – so maybe finish out around 4:30 (since I am in a lower corral and the lines shouldn’t be too long yet).

What it comes down to is the 12 hour run was my golden moment so far for running – I never thought I would ever be at the point where I could do an ultramarathon but I pulled it off. With that done the Dopey Challenge is meant to be something to be enjoyed for me – I am not doing it as a series of races but just as a time to enjoy the runs. It will include my 15th half marathon, my 10th full and my 5th Goofy Challenge and after it is done I probably won’t be doing another Goofy Challenge for a few years so I really want to savor this one.

The Dopey Challenge has its own quirks (like 4 early, early, EARLY mornings in a row) that will need to be overcome but I think through my training I am ready and I am looking forward to it! Maybe that is one of the reasons I haven’t had the same running intensity lately that I have had in the past – Dopey isn’t really scaring me – I am confident and excited but know I am more ready than I would have thought possible even back in the summer when I set out my training plan.

Well, anyway I am feeling strong and confident going into taper time! It is nice to get the major training complete going into the holidays so I can enjoy more time with family…and turkey. Looking forward to some rest too frankly…

Happy taper time to everyone else running the Disney World Marathon races and challenges this year! Maybe I will see you there!