Why do I do this...

Why? To be better...

1. I promised (only a few people will know what this means, and if you don't, you will).
2. I am better than this.

Personal Bests

Santa Race November 25, 2012
5k 30:51 min/sec 6:11 pace per km

Boxing Day 10 Miler December 26, 2012
16.09 k 1:42:22 hr/min/sec 6:23 pace per km

Road 2 Hope Half Marathon November 4, 2012
21.1k 2:16:41 hr/min/sec 6:27 pace per km

Road 2 Hope Marathon November 5, 2011
5k 34:18 min/sec 6:52 pace per km

Around the Bay March 25, 2012
5k 32:07 min/sec 6:26 pace per km

Burlington Runners Good Friday 5k April 6, 2012
5k 31:22 min/sec 6:22 pace per km
(Garmin Race Time 5k 31:12 min/sec 6:14 pace per km)

Imperial Glass 4/8K Grey Cup Run November 26th, 2011
4K 26:55 min/sec 6:44 pace per km

Non Race Personal Bests

2.4km 13:19 min/sec 5:31 pace per km
July 17, 2012

5k 28:13 min/sec 5:40 pace per km
Nov 15, 2012

10k 1:02:25 hour/min/sec 6:15 pace Aug/29/2012

Challenge Start: July 18, 2011
Start Weight: 286 lbs
Current Weight: 208 lbs as at November 11, 2012
Total lost: 78 lbs
Goal Weight: 197
Last Cigarette: June, 2011

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Boxing Day 10 Miler

The 92nd Boxing Day 10 Miler

This was my first year at this race and I have to tell you, the way I felt after it, I almost wanted to say it could be my last.

In a bit of a spur of the moment decision I decided that I would run this race on December 1, and race day was Boxing Day, obviously. Training would last for three weeks (until December 21), with a program self designed to increase my physical toughness. It was 21 days straight of workouts with alternating run days. It worked out that I ran 3-4 times a week, 2-3 times per week of weights at home and 1-2 times per week of Crossfit. It was, for me, a pretty intense three weeks which left me a bit broken and sore.

Looking back and thinking more about this race I should have known not to take my body to the edge like this considering it was a 16.09 km course which according to the race website, is described as challenging. Confidently I agree and feel this it is a course for the experienced runner, which I am not.

The Hamilton Road2Hope Half in retrospect was equal in difficulty, if not, easier. Yes, it was longer but the entire course was down hill. The same can't be said for the Boxing Day 10 Miler, rather the last third is basically hills and the largest being a 3/4 climb of the Hamilton escarpment.

Because of the hills I think my training was all wrong for this race. As I sit here typing, my calves are still burning from a mistaken attempt at going for a PB on a hill course at sub zero temperatures, 60 to 80 kph winds, ice and snow covered roads in certain areas and lastly, a muddy trail portion which after that Chedoke Hill felt very similar to ice.

Here is a link to the Race website, if you would like to know more about it. http://www.boxingdayrun.ca/

My largest error was in the amount of hill training I did and my final selection of pace for race day. Before race day I had some great runs which were quite fast for me. However most were on flats and or only half the distance which was not a true indicator of the pace I could hold for the entire 16kms.

In those three training weeks before the race I did muster two long runs (13.6km and 14.5km), but in retrospect one was a run above my abilities (a one off), and the other was more in my range (a bit slower). The other costly mistake in regards to my training runs was not taking an actual average of all my training runs, rather, I did a guesstimate.

I believe now that guesstimate was even less of a guesstimate, it was actually an emotional expectation of what I think I should be doing in regards to pace and speed. Do not get me wrong, I think its good to push yourself but as I learned from the half, the numbers are the numbers, and you cant expect to go out and run something you never have before. One again this is a generalization, and yes the race atmosphere can bring more out of you but not an unrealistic amount more.

Here are all my training runs for the month of December (you be the judge)...left to right..DATE, TIME, DISTANCE, ELEVATION GAIN (in meters), and AVERAGE PACE.

Sat, Dec 1, 2012 3:51 PM





Sun, Dec 2, 2012 1:43 PM




Wed, Dec 5, 2012 11:25 AM




Sat, Dec 8, 2012 8:02 AM




Mon, Dec 10, 2012 12:50 PM




Thu, Dec 13, 2012 11:09 AM





Fri, Dec 14, 2012 1:42 PM




Sat, Dec 15, 2012 9:07 AM




Mon, Dec 17, 2012 12:41 PM




Thu, Dec 20, 2012 8:57 AM





So when I looked at this I just made an assumption on the pace. What I should have done is thrown out all the 5k times and thrown out the Dec 20th run as that was the one off. I was running beyond my abilities that day.

So my emotional guesstimate for race day was 6:00 min per km pace. Based on the above numbers it would have worked out to be 6:06 pace per km and that would have been closer than what I picked but still not a true reflection of my actual abilities. I picked 6:00 min per km for race day on race day! (smart)

The difference between 6:00 and 6:06 pace per km is not a lot of time but it is for me and especially over 16km. The other failure in my guesstimate was only 3 of those 10 runs included serious hills. Over 50 percent of my training runs were not realistic examples of what I could do at the 16km distance and definately did not take into account for the aggressive hill terrain. Oh and all the hills are in the last third of the race.

My final pace for the Road2Hope Half Marathon  was 6:27 per km which I was very pleased with. My final time for the Boxing Day 10 Miler was 1:42:22 which is a pace of 6:23 per km. Now this is a small difference but it still is an overall improvement of pace on what I feel was a very challenging route compared to the half marathon even though it was shorter.

Having gone out with the mindset of a 6:00 min per km pace made me diminish my improvement of pace (I think i could have run 6:15-6:20) as you can tell most of my fast training runs were with little elevation and did not surpass 10k. Because I did not analyse this pre-race and went out with the mindset of 6:00 min per km; at the 11km mark, my legs filled with lactic acid right before the Chedoke Hill and I did not get my legs back until the 15th km.

I am quite positive if I had held back just a little bit in the front 10 I could have definitely performed much better but as I said, I learned a lot and will hopefully account for these underestimations the next time out.

KMS 11 through 14 were very disheartening kms as I passed a great deal of people (km 5-10) and then...yep you guessed it....the worst happened, a few even talked about it, "see its back and forth, we are passing those that passed us, just keep our pace."

You have no idea how angry that made me, and to make it even worse (typically my anger gives me another gear), I could not respond due to physical inability. A lesson I wished not to learn!

If you want to see the course route, please go to this link provided by Garmin connrct (tm). http://connect.garmin.com/activity/254923634

Here are my splits from race day.

KM1. 6:19 KM2. 6:03 KM3. 6:00 KM4. 6:02 KM5. 6:14 KM6. 5:55 KM7. 5:50 KM8. 5:57 KM9. 6:40 KM10. 6:05 KM11. 6:13 KM12. 7:19 KM13. 7:18 KM14. 6:21 KM15. 7:05 KM16. 6:11 KM17. 5:41

Best Running and Fitness wishes for 2013!!!