One Sleep To Go…

Philip HarrisRunningLeave a Comment

It’s been a while since I talked about my running here. The main reason for that is I barely did any running last year thanks to a hard-to-pin down calf injury. Towards the end of last year, I found a chiropractor and started getting weekly physiotherapy. It’s helped a lot and although the injury is still there, I’ve been ramping up my running. I ran a fairly slow half-marathon at the Vancouver First Half-Marathon in February. It took me 2 hours blah to finish which is x minutes or so slower than my best time but my calf held up which was the important thing. So, now I’m facing a much bigger challenge. Tomorrow, I’m running the Vancouver Marathon. This will be my fourth time. Previous attempts have got gradually quicker (5:29:11, 4:37:54, 4:18:28) but I’m nowhere near the shape I was in 2014. My goal is to finish without the catastrophic drop in pace I normally experience in a marathon. Bonus points for finishing under 5 hours. Extra bonus points for sticking to my nutrition plan – I normally abandon it about 20km in and then pay the price at the end. I’m actually really looking forward to the race, which is a testament to how good the brain is … Read More

4:18:28

Philip HarrisRunningLeave a Comment

Four seconds. That’s all I would have had to find somewhere on the Vancouver Marathon course to beat my personal best of 4:18:25 for the full marathon. Dammit. Still, I did cut a generous 19 minutes 26 seconds off of last year’s time. This was the first marathon I’ve run on my own (my wife also ran but she’s a lot quicker than I am and started in a different wave) so I was looking forward to seeing how I fared without anyone else running alongside me. It was a grey, wet day which was actually a lot better than last year when it was fairly warm. It did make the choice of clothing difficult until I remembered I had a very light running waistcoat thingy that I bought at the 2010 Victoria Marathon and have barely worn so I went with that and a short sleeved running shirt. It turned out to be a wise choice, it drizzled most of the race and in places it was pretty cold. The climb up Burrard Bridge was particularly gruesome. Overall the race was good but I decided to try for a four hour pace and it cost me at the end. I hit the halfway mark just under 2 hours and … Read More

Into the Final Week

Philip HarrisRunningLeave a Comment

In seven days time, I will be running the BMO Vancouver Marathon. It will be my fifth marathon and the third time I’ve run the Vancouver course but I have no idea how it’s going to go. I’m confident I’ll finish but beyond that…it’s anyone’s guess. My first Vancouver Marathon was also my first ever marathon and I was woefully unprepared but I knew I was unprepared. I’d injured my foot during training and missed about six weeks of training – the most important six weeks. As a result, the race was tough. By the time I hit the 28km mark I felt pretty ill and the last 10km or so was a nightmare. I ended up finishing in 5 hours 29 minutes. Last year’s Vancouver Marathon was much better, I made it through the training in one piece and despite it being pretty hot I finished in 4 hours 37 minutes. I also ran the Victoria Marathon in 2012 and 2013. My best time so far is 4 hours 18 minutes in that second Victoria marathon. Everything was going well last year, I set a new personal best for the half marathon in November and was looking forward to running the Bahamas Marathon in January. Then I injured … Read More

4:37:54

Philip HarrisRunningLeave a Comment

The first goal for marathon runners is finishing the race in one piece. The second is to get a new personal best time. Most people will also have a goal time (the one they talk about) and their dream time that they don’t mention but secretly hope they’ll hit. In the case of last weekend’s Vancouver Marathon we hit the first two but didn’t make our goal time of sub 4:30 or our targeted pace of 4:15. I wasn’t too disappointed though, it was the hottest Vancouver Marathon in the 42 years it’s been held. I was woefully under trained for last year’s race (our time was just under 5:30) and I knew I’d done a better job this year but I still wasn’t convinced I’d been as disciplined as I should have (which reminds me I need to put together some graphs of my overall training distance so that I can get a feel for that). On paper, given our 10km and half marathon race pace and the various aerobic and lactate threshold tests I’ve done, I should be capable of a sub four hour marathon. In reality, that seems like a pretty tall order but I was confident … Read More

Proofreading in the Pudding

Philip HarrisChatter, RunningLeave a Comment

It’s been a busy couple of weeks. It’s performance review time at my day job but I’ve also been proofreading Travis Heermann‘s new self-published book – Sword of the Ronin. I backed the original Kickstarter project and when Travis emailed out to backers asking for help proofreading the manuscript I stuck my virtual hand up. Sword of the Ronin is the second book of the Ronin trilogy (the first being Heart of the Ronin) and I’d originally planned to read the first and second novels back to back. Obviously, that wasn’t practical – Travis needed the proofreading done by the beginning of May and I don’t read quite that quickly so I jumped right in with the second book. I wasn’t sure whether that would be an issue but Travis drip feeds information from the first book so I never felt lost. Sword of the Ronin mixes historical elements with fantasy into a fast paced adventure and I really enjoyed reading it. There’s plenty of action and some really effective writing – particular the part where our hero, Ken’ishi, ends up in…okay, no I won’t spoil it. Things get quite graphic in places so bear that in mind, but those scenes … Read More

Two Sleeps to Go

Philip HarrisChatter, RunningLeave a Comment

Two sleeps to go until my wife and I run the Victoria Marathon. This is will be the second marathon we’ve run and I’m feeling a lot better about this one. I injured my foot while training for the first race and missed about 6 weeks of preparation, including all the longest training runs – the furthest I’d run before the race was about 25km, well short of the 42.2km distance of the race itself. That made the race very tough. The first half of the race was good (2hr 20 ish) but with my lack of training we were going too quick and I started feeling ill about 28km in. I had to take an extensive walk break to avoid throwing up and everything went downhill from then on. My calves felt like rock and it was a struggle to run for more than a few minutes. There was a lot of walking in the last 10km – let’s leave it at that. We finished the course in 5 hours 29 minutes which was at least an hour slower than we’d trained for. I did pick up a lot of free gels though. This time, I made it through all sixteen weeks of … Read More