4:18:25

Philip HarrisRunningLeave a Comment

I learned a valuable race-prep lesson on Friday. Take a taxi to the bus station when you’re travelling to Victoria with a heavy suitcase. We didn’t. Instead, we opted for the more ecologically sound choice of public transport. Unfotunately the transport in question was a small bus and as I was trying to drag the suitcase onboard, I strained my back. It was just a slight twinge and I didn’t think much of it at the time but once we got to Victoria, I could feel the ache in my back. Not something you want to happen two days before a marathon. Friday was spent checking into the hotel, picking up our race package and wandering around the expo grabbing free samples. We also picked up a heat pack for my back and I spent the evening wondering whether it would be enough to solve the problem. It wasn’t. Our Saturday morning pre-race jog was fine, but I could feel the tenseness in my back and that was after only 3km. It seemed overly optimistic that I’d be able to complete a full 42.2km marathon. The Victoria Marathon has an excellent speaker programme on the Saturday and after a leisurely … Read More

T Minus Four

Philip HarrisRunningLeave a Comment

Only four sleeps to go until my wife and I run our second Victoria Marathon. Last year, my time was 4:41:24. It was a warm day, I got pretty dehydrated and the last 12km was tough but at the time that was a personal best. I ran slightly quicker at the Vancouver Marathon (4:37:54) this year and I’m hoping I can improve again in Victoria. For this race we’ve been training using the Hansons Marathon Method. It differs from our normal training regime in two important respects. You train six times a week instead of five Although the overall weekly mileage is higher and most of the daily runs are longer than we’re used to, the long runs are shorter (up to 26km rather than 32km). The idea is that by running more you’re training on tired legs and preparing your body for what it’s really going to feel like when you hit the 32km mark on race day We’ve been following the program for eighteen weeks to prepare for the race and subjectively it seems to be working. We run across the Burrard Bridge a lot and over the last couple of weeks that climb has seemed a lot easier. But … Read More

4:41:24

Philip HarrisRunningLeave a Comment

For most people in Canada, Thanksgiving Weekend means family, friends and lots of food. For my wife and I, it meant the Victoria Marathon weekend and the culmination of our latest marathon training regime. We arrived on Friday, a day earlier than in the past and spent the afternoon checking in, picking up our race numbers, trying out a few free samples and spending far too much money on new running shirts. That left Saturday free for us to see some of the speakers at the expo and take a bus tour of the marathon route. The first speaker we saw, Lucy Smith, gave a very enjoyable talk that spanned a broad range of topics – from training in Madeira to what motivates the children she teaches to the changing face of running technology. Lucy was followed by Dr Trent Stellingwerff who managed to make a science filled talk on nutrition very accessible, not to mention useful. Next up was renowned race announcer Steve King (no, he doesn’t write horror novels) interviewing three Olympians –  1500-metre runner Hilary Stellingwerff (wife of Dr Trent Stellingwerff), two-time Olympic medalist, triathlete Simon Whitfield and 2012 Bronze medalist, track cyclist Tara Whitten. This was the highlight of … 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

Six Sleeps to Go

Philip HarrisChatter, The Ghost SmugglerLeave a Comment

There’s only six sleeps to go until my wife and I run the Victoria Marathon. Or to put it another way, there’s only six sleeps to go until I no longer have an excuse not to be working on The Ghost Smuggler. I have been thinking about the book though and I did manage to find a way to plug a very minor plot hole that’s been kicking around since the first draft. It was never really clear how my protagonist earned a living. It’s pretty clear how he spends his money – drinking and gambling – and he’s bad enough at it that he’s run up a not insignificant amount of debt but he still needs a way to pay rent etc. There was also the slightly incongruous fact that he lived above a bakery – for no particular reason. I’ve now decided to solve two problems with one stone (or something). He’ll now be living about a junk shop and spend what little time he isn’t drinking, gambling or wallowing in self pity scavenging for junk to trade for a little bit of money and a place to live. It’s a small point, doesn’t really factor into the story (at … Read More