Saturday, 24 May 2014

Hey, I won a race (and other observations)

So I won the Halifax bluenose half marathon and got a new PB of 1:09:44. This is not the fastest time in world, I know, but the race felt great, I knew lots of people on and off course, and surprised a few co-workers that didn't know I was racing (or that I did any road races period). I guess what got people talking was that I beat one of three visiting Kenyans. The other two set course records (2:36 and 2:27, respectively) but these were slow times compared to their personal bests because the course was hilly. Knowing that, plus runner-up Ewoi's half PB of 1:07 some years ago gave me added satisfaction that my sub 70 was not a fluke.

Me at the finish line
Why were Kenyans at the Bluenose race? It's an interesting story since BN does not give out prize money. Usually money is the only reason an elite runner comes to any non-hometown race. In this case Ethan Michaels brought the trio to Canada on his own dime, having travelled to Kenya on numerous occasions for, what I understand have been, running-themed vacations.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Tidbits and updates and thoughts of stuff

Where does the time go? I was surprised to realize my last post was in March, not April. This when I'm supposed to say I've been busy with other things blah blah, but truth be told there were plenty of chances to sit down and write. I have the curious habit of not writing about the thing I do while doing it. For instance during April and early May I ran three races and did a lot more actual training intervals, tempo, strength. Next week I'll run in the Bluenose half marathon. It may go well, or not. I cannot say.

The past, however, is safely behind me so I can talk about that. The training went well, hence so did the races. In the last two weeks I had the good fortune to set two bests. April 27th was a trip to Montreal for a half marathon, running in 70:15, beating my 2008 time of 70:27. Last week I ran 15:15, which beat my old 2009 time of 15:27. Neither are huge improvements, but significantly (to me, at least) they were done on few, if any, intervals. They were build on a foundation of tempo, strength, and easy stuff. I have learned a ton about training since my mid 20s. And perhaps equally as important I've learned to unlearn things, namely that a massive warmup routine is mostly BS, strides are overrated, intervals are best used in very small quantities (imagine them as a powerful spice), and finally run easy. If I could go back in time to days I ran 'easy' while still keeping my 7min/mi pace I'd tackle me to the ground while yelling 'slow the f*** down'.