Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Hypothermic Half

Last Sunday was my second time running the Hypothermic Half in Calgary. There is something about the potentially adverse conditions that appeals to me. You can't get much easier of a run, the pathway along the Bow is pretty much the flattest run you will get here in Calgary. It is also nice to have an "off season" half marathon to break things up in the winter. did it go....

The venue had changed this year from Eau Claire to Fort Calgary. During race package pickup they said to get there early because parking was limited. I decided to heed this and arrived just after 8am (9am start). Not sure if this was totally necessary and turned out to be a P.I.T.A . The Fort Calgary building was not open so it was either stand in the cold or sit and wait in my Jeep.....I chose the latter.

Around 8:40 am I decided to head on over to the start and pee before the race start. I was a bit surprised to see the line up for the port-a-potty. Seriously.....2 of them for 200 registered runners in my wave. One thing that always annoys me...the lack of facilities. I was in line up before the start of the race but they delayed the start a few minutes because of the number of people waiting for the john. No problem...I will just stand here and freeze my ass off ( I dress for the running conditions not the waiting conditions)

Anyway....a few minutes later and we are off. I always try to "seed" myself where I think I should be in the line up....obviously many others don't. Pet peeve here....if you are slow stay near the back!!! I spent the first km getting around people. I find it frustrating when I am getting held up because slower runners are running 3 or 4 across. I am not trying to be an A-hole or making myself out to be a "contender" for the win but come on. Even bigger pet peeve....if you are running with a dog (and not talking about a aid dog) get to the very back. Sorry, rant over.

I should mention that my goals for the race was just to go sub 2hrs again and to not take any walk breaks. My running is just starting to feel good again so I was looking forward to the longer distance. I decided just to run the pace I needed to get sub 2 and enjoy the day.

The pathways were a bit sketchy for the first 1.5km or so. Some ice patches covered with light snow. The rest of the run was fairly clear with the exception being the under passes. The first 10k went pretty uneventful. Once I hit the turn around I took in a gel and some water. I was feeling pretty good!!

I hit 14km and then my stomach started to grumble. Ohh yeah, I forgot to mention, I ran out of the house this morning and didn't eat breakfast. Total oversight on my part. I just ate some sharkies before the start. After a few minutes the stomach grumbling went away and all was good.

Now at 17.5km my legs started to feel a bit heavy although my lungs felt great. I thought my pace was going downhill in a big way but after looking at the data from my garmin I actually stayed pretty consistent ( I knew I was going to be around 2 hours so I didn't really care to look at my pace at the time). I love the auto lap feature on the garmin 310xt...I really like the vibration feature telling when i hit each km and the pace...sweet.

At km 19 I started to feel good again and picked up the pace again (I am guessing because I knew the finish was coming up). As I came around the turn up to the finish I saw that the clock was getting close to 2 hrs. Even though I knew my chip time was under 2 hours I still wanted to be sub 2 on the clock, hence my sprint to the finish. I made it with 5 seconds to spare, lol. My time was 1:59:23, not my fastest by far, but I was happy with that time.

Overall I enjoyed the race. I was not a fan of the venue this year. Being in the first wave was crappy as there was not place to keep warm and the limited "washroom" access. I didn't think the finish was very spectator friendly. But as always you have to give thanks to the volunteers that give up their time to help out your race, even more so on a cold winter morning. I am already looking forward to my next race!

Monday, February 8, 2010


Life moves pretty fast. You don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it....Ferris Bueller

Wow, it has been a while since I blogged. Between my family, work and training there isn't much time left to do anything else. I have sat down and started new posts and then have to go feed the boy. My wife is great about letting me get my workouts in but I really try to let her get some free time. I absolutely love my time with my son, but it is nice to get some alone time in there.

The beginning of the new year marked my return to a formal training schedule. I took a couple months off after my son was born and I am glad I did. Quite a change in lifestyle! But with a big race season coming up I knew it was time to get back into the swing of things. Luckily Greg started me out fairly easy and the workouts are slowly getting back up to speed.

Swimming is slowly getting better. It is still my least favorite discipline and I am sure it will remain there. But it is progressing....slowly, lol. Did I mention that it is slowly progressing? I am impatient and want to be way ahead of where I am...eventually I will get there.

Cycling is coming along quite nicely despite not having been on a road in what seems like forever! The indoor classes have been awesome. I am feeling pretty strong on the trainer and don't feel like my cycling will suffer over the winter months. My mantra for the season...pass everyone and be passed by no one. Usually that is the case anyway...they were already ahead of me coming out of the water, lol. Bottom line is I want to excel on the bike.

Running has suffered a bit but that is my own doing. My running volume had declined over the last 6 months. Part is due to the new family addition but it seems lately I have not been a fan of running in the colder weather nor running on the treadmill. I miss running in shorts and a tshirt in the SUN! I have noticed my run times slipping a bit too. Totally my own fault. However, in the last few weeks I have been getting back into the running mood. I decided to HTFU! I want my running to get back to where I want it! Going out and giving a half assed attempt won't help. I will not be a person that complains about a race result when I didn't put in the training effort.

Hmmm what else....I picked up a garmin 310 xt and so far I love it. I like the fact that it has a vibration feature. During my intervals today I was about to run and not worry about looking at my watch, the garmin vibrates and I knew it was time to switch (although I could hear the beep over my music). Big thing is not having to deal with the touch bezel of my garmin 405. I might write a review of the garmin 310 after more use.