Do everything in moderation? I don’t think so!

My 12 year old can definitely grind out a 10k and not leave anything on the line. She gives it everything she has and doesn’t let anything get in her way. This weekend at the Calgary Marathon’s 10k race, she started with the stroller division (because of the cute entrants), which she ditched within the first 50m. She ran with a friend for then next few hundred meters, then realized this was much too slow. Then she zigzaged through the crowd to make up for lost time. Even with her one-minded determinedness to do her best, she did happen to notice (and remember) Elvis singing on the sidelines. And then on the sprint to the finish she didn’t let anything stop her goal to get a PR. And she did get a PR – better than 58 minutes for the 10km – even with starting with the stroller division.

She was exhausted and hobbling afterward but with the biggest smile because she had done her best.

Since we had to stick around to cheer on other runners in other events, she eventually got bored. So she found a way into the 5k a couple hours later. Her excuse was that she liked the 5k medal better than the 10k medal. And of course she didn’t leave anything on the line for that race either. Her face on the pictures was pure tenacity and determination, even though she was exhausted and in pain from the start.

When I am racing, I regularly contemplate the pain I will be feeling the next day and analyzing how fast I am willing to go to moderate the pain. But my daughter seemingly doesn’t think of the next day.

The next day she was definitely hobbling around and not willingly going downstairs even to get ice cream. But she slept soundly!

Make sure you do enough every day, to fall into bed exhausted, not leaving any regrets behind.

Pre-race prep


She’s the one in front in yellow after her first medal.


The finish line



Long May You Run

Sneezing, spider webs, mosquitos, sun burns, and mowing the lawn. All the things we forgot about when we were wishing for Spring.

But woohoo for long-lasting days! The long runs in the morning and well into the evening that do not require head lamps.

Long may you run! – Neil Young. Click here to hear it again and go down memory lane. It’s a pretty slow tempo to listen to during normal runs, but maybe while you’re collapsing on the couch.






Being outside is where it is at

My bike ride in to work is not usually worth noting but yesterday the sun was just right coming up over downtown. I had to stop to take some photos.

Amazing views are my excuse to spend more time outside.




We’re Not the Only Crazies Out There

Looking back to when I started running, it seems now that there were more people who understood what I was doing. Going for a run now and then to stay in shape -people can understand that. Having a goal in mind and striving to meet it – a lot of people can relate to that.

Then I ran a marathon and fewer people could understand. Then I ran another and people wondered what was wrong with me. I had already proved something, why do it again?  Did I have inner demons I needed to deal with?

Now that I am running ultras, doing lonely trail runs, and training almost year round there is a very small group of people that seem to understand. I used to be one of a few crazies out there that people knew, but now it seems that when they think of crazy runners they point directly at me.

Finding a group with similar interests is vital. I occassionally meet up with a trail running group just to talk running. But just as important, I think the whole online community has been a godsend for the many crazies out there (no matter the form of their crazy). For me, listening to podcasts of other people doing crazy stuff and being able to find online resources is a lifeline. My non-running friends don’t listen very long to my stories, but during runs with runners that’s what you talk about – running.


“A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?”
Albert Einstein

Running is nothing more than…

Running is nothing more than a series of arguments between the part of your brain that wants to stop and the part that wants to keep going.

– found in various places in the internet


Go big!

“I say, if your knees aren’t green by the end of the day, you ought to seriously re-examine your life” – Calvin & Hobbes


Go big! No regrets.

Strava, Training Plans, and All That

My running app, Strava, congratulates me so much it makes me feel like I’m doing amazing. But am I really?

On my long run yesterday apparently I had 19 achievements. 19? Yes, 19. Of the 19, one was a PR since January for 30k distance, and 4 for 2nd best time since January for a shorter distance. That’s all great but says nothing about last year or last month. The other 14 achievements are speed records for me for short segments along the route. Since this was a popular route there are many registered segments. Out of the 23 segments of varying distances, I got a PR, 2nd best, or 3rd best time since January in 14 of them. Most of the segments are less than 1 km long so out of a 32 km run, they are really quite irrelevant. There are so many achievements that it makes you feel amazing.

And Strava gives me all kinds of other stats which are interesting but they have nothing to do with my goals.

I had set a goal time for this run and I did beat it by 4 minutes, but that isn’t recorded on Strava because my training plan isn’t on Strava. I need to add that result to my other run recording application, which currently is On this one I set weekly and monthly goals and try to meet them, not break them.

However, neither of these is related to my end goal of keeping up with my training plan for my marathon in 6 weeks or my even bigger goal of a race in August. That training plan is on my phone calendar, and it only has distances on it. I can’t really record on my calendar what I actually ran and then compare weekly or monthly totals later.

I’ve used a couple other apps in previous years, like Adidas miCoach and they do a better job of comparing training plans with actual training. But the interesting stats and connection with your friends wasn’t quite as good.

There is no perfect app. The new cool one is Strava right now. A couple years ago it was Endomondo or Runtastic or a host of other ones. But next year, who knows?

Strava on phone
Strava Achievements on Phone
Strava Achievements on Phone
Adidas MiCoach
Strava on Web
Google Calendar

The key, I think, is that you can look back on months of training and be super encouraged that you are making progress toward your goal.  And that it is easy enough that you want to record and track it.

Big weekends

It was a big weekend of training again.

Saturday I hit my fastest 5k since April. It helps that the morning board meeting was long and frustrating.

Sunday I hit my fastest 21k in 6 months. An action packed audio book helped on this one.

Sunday morning included 3100m (1hr 20min) swimming. Longest swim in several years. My daughter (swim partner) wouldn’t settle for doing less. Good thing I didn’t have to stack chairs after church today. My arms would have fallen off.

Sunday afternoon included a 1.5 hour family walk in the sunshine. I will blame this one on my wife who loves soaking up the sunshine and my camera happy daughter.

Trail running in Calgary

This training season is heating up. Two more big weeks then it will be a step back week.

I am feeling good so far considering it is only 13 weeks before my next A race  – Vancouver Marathon.

Unfortunately I cannot sleep in tomorrow. Work calls. But my legs will be taking it much easier tomorrow.

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