Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I win a prize!

Almost immediately after my race on Saturday, I received an email from the director, Michael Brennan, of Road Warrior Running.  I had won something!  But what?  and why?

The Road Warrior Running program keeps track of your stats (only if you sign-up), gives you a rating based on a few of your last races, then gives you points for surpassing your rating in your next race (if the race is a Road Warrior sanctioned race).

So apparently, my rating was 31:06 (a 5k-equivalent at race time) and my 28:30 finish meant I beat my rating by 2:36.  Which was the highest "beat" in all the Road Warriors taking part in this race.  I improved quite a bit in this run.  So much so that my coach has painfully increased my paces across the board - ouch!

So what did I win?

I had a choice of a tote bag or a technical hat.  So I went with the hat.

But I am unworthy.  I knocked out some very good runners from winning stuff.  Runners that improved nearly as much as I did.  It was a bit of a fluke for me, as I'm not good enough to gain points in this.  I only run about 9 races a year and not all of them are Road Warrior ones.  I'm no ware in the standings ... one guy runs a race every weekend and had 170-ish points.  I've got 12!

Anyway, my wife was way more happy when she discovered the voice mail on our home phone as well.

* * *

Here's some race photos from the event photographer ... there were a bunch ... I picked the ones that looked flattering.  In all photos - very good news - absolutely no heel strike!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Burlington Santa Suit 5k Race Report

Ho!  Ho!  Ho!

Everything went according to plan.

Gun time: 29:51
Garmin time: 28:34
Chip time: 28:30

The visualization really helped.  I had run this race in my mind about 12 times before I actually ran it.  Here's how it was tracked on the Garmin:

1I am waiting for my execution on the gallows; after the start gun, run with the crowd to waypoint 2, this is traffic avoidance and avoiding being traffic; keep they pace crisp and on target; enjoy (you're in a friggin Santa run!)enjoying the moment I am blessed and loved
2check the watch at this portion a few more times than usual, don't worry about banking time or speeding up too much, a little over target pace is ok at this point, see if you can pick off a runner or a pair of runners that seem to be running the same pace as you; you're doing great!  Isn't this fun?looked down at the watch and the crowd was really really bad at the start - 10:19 pace at this point ... start to run wide of the pylons and start passing the slow runners 
3start counting the people you can pick off on this hill; yell the number out as you do (if you want).  Don't worry.  It's not you.  It's the "Jerry Rice" inside of you!still not very thinned out, but starting to be ... passed at least 18 people here, was passed by 5 very fluid runners
4take it wide and avoid the crowdwide
5It's all downhill from here baby!  Pick up the pace, and get the heart beating, shake out some of the cob webs.  This is a warm-up for the finishing sprint.  Feel the power in your legs, the long, confident stride, the way the body works together to driveChecked the watch here and I was 9:17.  Began several series of long stride floating sprints to catch several people in this part of the race.  Brought my pace to 9:11 at the end of this part.
6Good, you're warmed up for the finishing sprint, keep your eye on the pace, you should be on target now; more on target - even better.  Visually check your shoe laces, how's the Santa Suit pieces, what can you fix to make sure your sprint has nothing to take your mind off of being awesome.  Keep an eye on your pace, relax, take some good centering breathes.  Feel the body cleaning out the muscles of waste and refilling them with fuel.Check - check - check pace is still 9:11 at the turn
7I can see the final turn to the finish, the runners are very scattered here, there's probably about 800 runners ahead of me at this point - I'm going to start passing more runners here.  My body will respond.looked down to the end of the race ... people yelling to us you can make it ... found a lot of desire and some energy
8I've built up a lot of momentum - but man! I've got so much energy - I lean forward and run on my toes, my muscles tight and powering like the Olympic 100-meter-race.  My feet tap out a continuous acceleration.HOLY SH*T I'm running even faster!  Watch is reading avg pace 9:08!

Here's the official race line from  RD and volunteers did a great job, but if they want more people next year they have to fix the signup process a bit: far too many long line-ups and chaos with washrooms.  Everything in one building coming off of one hallway.  You actually had to read your bib number off of a wall in the busy hallway, then go and line-up in the proper row for your bib number.  Better design next time - line up by the first letter of your name like last year.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Santa Suit Race Strategy

Thankfully the planned route hasn't changed from last year (last years run is here).  Here's the strategy I was thinking of:

14000 Santas line up for a fun run; to waypoint 2 there are booms, cameras, lots of happy energetic people, children, dogsI am waiting for my execution on the gallows; after the start gun, run with the crowd to waypoint 2, this is traffic avoidance and avoiding being traffic; keep they pace crisp and on target; enjoy (you're in a friggin Santa run!)
2the road levels off to a pancake until waypoint 3, some people will be dropping back and slowing down after the euphoria of the run under the camerascheck the watch at this portion a few more times than usual, don't worry about banking time or speeding up too much, a little over target pace is ok at this point, see if you can pick off a runner or a pair of runners that seem to be running the same pace as you; you're doing great!  Isn't this fun?
3the big hill begins until waypoint 5, people will be dropping to the sides here and walking a bit where necessary - the climb is only 45 feetstart counting the people you can pick off on this hill; yell the number out as you do (if you want).  Don't worry.  It's not you.  It's the "Jerry Rice" inside of you!
4Water table and half way pointtake it wide and avoid the crowd
5Top of the course, with a good downhill portion until the next waypointIt's all downhill from here baby!  Pick up the pace, and get the heart beating, shake out some of the cob webs.  This is a warm-up for the finishing sprint.  Feel the power in your legs, the long, confident stride, the way the body works together to drive
6pancakeGood, you're warmed up for the finishing sprint, keep your eye on the pace, you should be on target now; more on target - even better.  Visually check your shoe laces, how's the Santa Suit pieces, what can you fix to make sure your sprint has nothing to take your mind off of being awesome.  Keep an eye on your pace, relax, take some good centering breathes.  Feel the body cleaning out the muscles of waste and refilling them with fuel.
7downhill home stretchI can see the final turn to the finish, the runners are very scattered here, there's probably about 800 runners ahead of me at this point - I'm going to start passing more runners here.  My body will respond.
810 heart beats awayI've built up a lot of momentum - but man! I've got so much energy - I lean forward and run on my toes, my muscles tight and powering like the Olympic 100-meter-race.  My feet tap out a continuous acceleration.
9The finish28:59

I'm looking at running to an overall average pace of 5:48/km (9:16/mi) by the time I'm between waypoints 5 and 6.  Waypoint 6 to 7 is run-up circle checklist stuff.  Waypoint 7 and on is take-off.

* * *

Race starts tomorrow at 9 am.  The RD says there are still some walk-up registration places available.  Here's the race info page: Running Room.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


When things get tough.  You either grow or you grow a tumor.

What can be said for people that artificially make things tough for themselves?  Why would someone run outside on the icy roads in bone-chilling rain or in death-inducing heat with salt and dust baking into your sun-burned skin?  Why do we run?

On Monday I had one of the more difficult runs I can remember: 6 miles easy with hill sprints, and then 2x20 second drills.  The distance was doable.  That's a normal run for me on a weekday.  The hill sprints are awesome.  I can pull my inner "Jerry Rice" out on demand.  The drills at the end are refreshing.  I love the looks I get from the kids walking their dogs, or the retirees looking through their bedroom windows as I do karaokes or skipping for distance.  No it wasn't even the chilling freezing rain, the fact that I had a painful wind blowing into my face for a good 45 minutes of the run, or the fact that I was drenched through to my toes and fingers.

It was difficult because I began to doubt.

I began to tell myself that running faster is hard.  That there is a barrier of PAIN that waits for me when I want to improve.  That I can't achieve this goal that I am seeking.  That I haven't trained well.  I haven't eaten well.  I haven't had the right mental attitude.  I left my front door on Monday's run, thinking the enemy was outside; that the enemy was the world; that the enemy was the elements.

No.  The enemy was me.

* * *

I'm a practicing Roman Catholic.  I pray for many reasons and in many forms and styles.  But I never pray for running.  I never use the tools that have gotten me this far and apply it to running.  I never pray for the runners, the race organizers, the volunteers.  I never pray for my wife and family because they have helped me to be a runner.  I have been simply animistic to this point in time.  I have simply let my body worship at the Church of running with no spiritual commentary.  If I have added anything, it is a bit of intellectual flowering in collecting numbers and setting target.

It may be too late for this race on Saturday, but I vow before all of you to find a technique that is suitable for me, which will help me visualize and be totally present in my running.  I've approached my running as if I was a lab rat in an experiment.

Help me out.  What do you do to visualize your running?  How do you spiritualize your running?  What books do you read?  How do you prepare for running?  How do you prepare for racing?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Bye Bye Mo

Our team (of three gentlemen) raised $2080 for prostate cancer this last month, or at least that's what Peter told me this morning.  I can't log into the prostate cancer web page myself.  I think I'm back to my old wannabe self after the shave, but we'll see if the aerodynamics will have improved for my run tonight.

* * *

Progress Overview

I made a little info graphic to show the progress I've been making in my 5ks.  My hope is that I can alter the trend that happened over this long summer and drastically increase my speed in a moderate way.  Similar to last years increase over the same time period and season (from my birthday to the Santa Suit Run).

My coach has my training pace in this last period as 5:57 min/k (9:31 min/mi).  Does that mean I should be able to do a 29:45?  Simply phone it in?  Running is hard.  I thought it would start getting easier, but it hasn't.  One thing I have noticed in myself is that when I want to bite off that big-ass goal, I have a lot more courage and consistency than when I start doubting myself.  

I think I'm going to spend the next 9 days, before this 5k, on visualizing that 28:59 and preparing myself for the wave of doubt I get once those muscles begin to ache.  Did I say that?  I mean once those muscles begin to feel alive and burn with awesome power and DRIVING FORCE!

Have a good one today runners!  As always I'm still a wannabe! :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

True Story!

I had some fun last night in the rain tapping out a 6.62 mile run ( cut in half with some hill sprints.

Getting all tuned up for my Santa-Suit 5k in Burlington on December 10!

* * *

I'm on the train today and it's packed - standing room only. Faces pressed to the doors. This little man starts struggling through the crowd to get to the end of the car. "Excuse me! Please. I have to get through" ... but he gets no where cuz the train is packed.

"Please! I have to go and poo!" The guy is shaking. You can see he's fighting with every muscle to keep that stuff in. Everyone is astonished, but there's no way to get this guy through - the TRAIN IS PACKED!

So the guy beside me says, "I have a plastic bag. You can lay it on the floor, we'll turn the other way, you do your business and then when the train stops we can drop the bag into one of the garbage bins."

The guy is elated. In seconds the passengers turn their heads to the separate ends of the car, and the guy is in action. It's starting to smell pretty bad, so the guy beside me says "I need to have a smoke or I'm gonna puke right here." He lights up.

Just then the guy perching over the plastic bag says, "Excuse me sir, this is a no-smoking car!"

Friday, November 25, 2011

Toughest Run I had In Eternity

Last night I did a tempo run. (N.B. all information in Imperial measure)

Here's how it looked on the weekly plan.

1k intervals
6ish miles
2 mi wu + 6x1K @ 5K pace* w/90 sec recoveries + 1 mi cd
*5K pace = 9:31

I always trust the coach so 6-ish miles is under an hour of running for me ... so I timed my night to eat a light meal with my wife (P.S. Canadian Thanksgiving is in October).  Let the food settle.  Go for my run and be home before everyone got back, shower and read the last couple of chapters of Born To Run.

Here's how it turned out:

Split Distance Target Avg Pace Avg HR Max HR
1 2 13:22 118 154
2 0.62 9:31 9:21 142 150
3 0.1 14:23 133 147
4 0.62 9:31 9:26 143 152
5 0.11 13:41 139 151
6 0.62 9:31 9:33 142 149
7 0.1 15:00 135 151
8 0.62 9:31 9:38 143 150
9 0.11 13:28 125 151
10 0.62 9:31 9:37 139 153
11 0.11 14:07 122 153
12 0.62 9:31 9:29 134 147
13 1 15:01 120 143
 Summary 7.26 11:40 129 154
Interval Ave 9:30 141
Max 153

So how did 6-ish miles turn into 7 1/4 miles?  Why, for example, did I suck so much?  I was marathon-shuffling back on that last split ... I was tired!  Why, on the 8th split did I suddenly want to change hobbies and stop running and take up knitting?

Too many questions.  Here's a simple one:

I'm running the 5k Santa Suit run in Burlington on December the 10th (last year's report), what should my target pace be?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Man found alive on deserted island ... upset that he was found

Hi everyone,

Let me start of with a confession:

(1) My family, the love of my life, is intact, flourishing and being fruitful!
(2) I'm still running (and racing) ... and PR-ing BTW
(3) I've had to let a lot of the online social behavior slip because of time restraints and I didn't want my family to think I had time to blog but no time to hang out with them
(4) no real time to watch the stars, but we did do a little Jupiter watching in September with the family

Now, back to the regularly scheduled programming.

I'm sad to see Chris K disappeared, but happy it was for a good reason - golf clubs (those in the know, know; and those not in the know, don't).  Happy to see that Adam R is still crazy.  I see Emz and SUAR on Facebook sometimes, as well as Gene (who recently ran his first Marathon).  I've kept off dailymile but still live on Garmin Connect.  J. P. is turning me into a running machine.  Watch out Olympic try-outs-when-I'm-50!  I've seen a lot of you on Google+ like E. B., Matty O and Tim W.

In the last 4 months I've discovered some very annoying things:
(1) the Garmin has way too many features I don't use or need, and they are always in the way of the stuff I want to get to - let me change the menu system.
(2) the Garmin has this thing with me in long races or runs ... once I get into a stretch of running ... I get the message that the split database is almost full - Hey Mr. Garmin, I just had you linked to my computer to upload data, you know how often I run, can't you give me a message that says "backup or erase your on-watch database now since it will probably give you a message tomorrow when you run"
(3) my mizunos have to be the hardest shoe I have ever run in - it's like they've been steam rolled into hard plates of steel ... I put some gel inserts into them, but they're not as springy as my last pair of Asic Gels
(4) my ipod is not made for ease of use while strapped to my arm ... I'll need to write my own program for big fat buttons, no stupid graphics or animations, and no 20% power remaining beep or dialog box

One thing that is awesome though: when I get home my wife make s a protein shake for me.  Running in the sub-zero drizzle and wind is all worth it to see her do this.  She is the most awesome Angel on this planet!

* * *

I looks like blogging is an important part of what I do.  I've spoken with several colleagues and business associates (who don't run) and they've all mentioned I need to keep blogging.  The see me quitting.  I never felt I quit.  But apparently in the upper echelons, they don't like it when one of their underlings quits.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Knock Knock ...

Just got back from fishing ... lot's of stories to tell!

Talk to you guys soon ...

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Limestone Mile Race Report (sort of)

After the last corner to the finish
Part of the architecture for the finishing sprint
Finish line in front of city hall
The view through battery park
A bit of post race refreshment

coming in ...


by the numbers

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Three Things Thursday

Limestone Mile Running Strategy

I'm thinking you can do this in 9:08 or faster.
Looks like there's a bit of a hill from .20 - .60 so I'd go out quick with the downhill at start and then when the hills come, remember your hill training and relax and pump your arms, lean slightly into the hill, and push forward. When you reach the top, you have a bit over a quarter left so let it all go here: Push, push, push!!! Take a gu or some shotblocks, something with some quick energy (sugar) just before so it kicks in right when that hill starts.

Miles are tough (I ran them in college); you gotta conserve a little because if you go all out at the start, you're dead by the 100M mark, so go quick but not an all out sprint ... leave the all out sprint for when you reach the top of the hill and it's all basically downhill to the end (well, a small hill there but nothing you can't handle!!). You're tough and mean and you GOT THIS!!!
Certified AFAA Personal Trainer and RRCA Running Coach
Check out:

Kilt Run Race Day Activities

Happy Canada Day Tomorrow Everyone!

A happy tune to start your weekend (by a Scottish Lass).

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sweat Your Thorns Off 5k

It was a rainy day in Pizzaville ... actually, it was only muggy.  I thought I'd give the kilt a shot today to see how I run in it, but I chickened out and just put it on for the picture.

One thing about this kilt ... as soon as you put it on you want to start drinking beer!

The official Garmin time: 00:30:42

Avg Pace

As you can see I tried to do reverse negative splits.  It's a new technique I'm pioneering.  I call it slowing down because I'm tiring.  I did manage to speed up on the end however.  Well, no technique is executed perfectly.  The whole run was populated by dodging cars and people at yard and garage sales.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Fun Friday


1. If you yelled for 8 years, 7 months and 6 days, you would have produced enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee.

(Hardly seems worth it)

2. If you fart consistently for 6 years and 9 months, enough gas is produced to create the energy of an atomic bomb.

(Now that's more like it)

3. A pig's orgasm lasts for 30 minutes.

(How'd they figure this out, and why?)

4. Banging your head against a wall uses 150 calories an hour.

(Still can't get over that pig thing)

(Don't try this at home...maybe at work?)

5. Humans and dolphins are the only species that have sex for pleasure.

(Is that why Flipper was always smiling?)

(And pigs get 30-minute orgasms? Doesn't seem fair)

6. The strongest muscle in the body is the tongue.


7. Right-handed people live, on average, nine years longer than left-handed people do.

(If you're ambidextrous do you split the difference?)

8. The ant can lift 50 times its own weight, can pull 30 times its own weight and always falls over on its right side when intoxicated.

(From drinking little bottles of...?)

(Did taxpayers pay for this research??)

9. Polar bears are left handed.

(Who knew....? Who cares? How'd they find out, did they ask them?)

10. The catfish has over 27,000 taste buds.

(What can be so tasty on the bottom of the pond?)

11. The flea can jump 350 times its body length.

It's like a human jumping the length of a football field.

(30 minutes...can you imagine?? And why pigs?)

12. A cockroach will live nine days without it's head, before it starves to death.


13. The male praying mantis cannot copulate while its head is attached to its body. The female initiates sex by ripping the male's head off.

(Honey, I'm home. What the....)

(Well, at least pigs get a break there...)

14. Some lions mate over 50 times a day.

(In my next life I still want to be a pig ... quality over quantity)

15. Butterflies taste with their feet.

(Oh, Geez) (That's almost as bad as catfish)

16. An ostrich's eye is bigger than it's brain.

(I know some people like that.)

17. Starfish don't have brains.

(I know some people like that too.)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Three Things Thursday

A video for Johann

I wonder how many cars (empty and full) each engine can pull. Two engines here and the cars looked pretty empty as they rolled by.

Sweat Your Thorns Off Virtual 5K

I still have no race strategy for this. I'm thinking run 6:00 per k for the first four ks then try to crank up the volume.

Adam posted that he's a coach. You may not have known this, but he coached me to my first 5k. Now that he will become a big-shot running coach I can say "I knew him when ..."

I also don't want to cheat but I want to make up a route that's all down hill for this virtual race ! :)


Last night's base run with a request from the coach to "add some hills if possible". The beauty is that I had my heart up to 206 BPM during the striders at the end.  I have to hand it to my coach.  She's put those striders in there on almost all of my short runs, and I really have to put it in gear to crank these out.  And now at races, I can pull out a sprint at the end.  Pretty awesome if you ask me.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

1st Running Anniversary - Young Again

Last June 15th I laced up my running shoes and jog/walked with my wife.  One minute slow jogging/panting, one minute crawling/complaining for 10 intervals.  We covered 1.9 kilometers (1.1 Miles) in 20 minutes.  Since that date I've averaged 4-5 runs a week, ran through three pairs of shoes, at least 2 pairs of shorts, 16 pairs of socks, about 36 shot bloks, one lost water bottle, and two broken wrist watches.  I also bought myself a Garmin 405 in that time - and we have become good friends.  I've clocked 1717 km (1073 miles) in the last 365 days and ran 6 races.

But probably the most important part is that I've met, spoken with, suffered with, laughed with, and been victorious with so many awesome people!- people in races, organizers, bloggers, other runners.  And especially my wife and family.  My wife, rather than putting obstacles in my way, did everything to encourage me and to help me reach my goals.  It feels like I'm young again, and my whole life together is ahead of us.

Did you ever come to a day in your life and wish you could be young again but still know what you know today.  To be able to live your life with passion, with more risk and excitement, with more commitment to the things you love, and not wasting your life on the silly things with no value?

I've actually gone back to do it.  This is me today.

Don't envy me.  Ask yourself why you are not there.  Lace up your shoes and make it your destination!  Don't worry you'll find people along the way to help, and if you don't that means you've been called to help someone.

A video for my good running friend in South Africa (where do you think the door will stop? - I play that game every day):

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I'M IN!!!!

I got this email yesterday just before getting on the plane to Montreal.

Hi Andrew;

ok, fine.

I need your AGE now, (and other general usual information - address/phone contact)

I will send your name to our Timing company to add to the list asap (once receive above info). We had a couple VIP race bibs left, so you won't have your name on the bib like everyone else, but it will say VIP.

The late fee is $60, payable to The Perth Running Goats Club.

For those registering before it closed (!) we had an option to obtain the kilt from us - if you didn't have one. We have ordered more than 800 kilts. I doubt we have any option still to get one (although it would be a shame for you to spend money renting when our kilt purchase was only $30 (our material is a lighter acrylic type weave). Just in case ... what size would you need (should measure around at the belly button)

I feel so Scottish!!!

As my friend Scott always says, "If it's not Scottish, it's crap!"

Some boring pictures from the Montreal business trip:

Westward take-off before turn over the lake to Montreal

In-flight breakfast: fruit cocktail and a sticky muffin

Breakfast all gone!  (ORTE the Porter airlines Hedgehog Maskot)

A Dash 7/8 like the one we flew in on at Trudeau 

Taxing out to take off home

In-flight snack ... about 4 chips inside this bag

Only sun we saw was above the clouds

landing in Toronto and a sailboat leaving harbor

Welcome to Toronto - drizzle

Monday, June 13, 2011

I hope I'm Scottish ...

No News back from the Race Director for the Kilt Run, but I've decided I'm gonna get a Kilt made for me.  A nice Scottish made kilt costs about $230 retail.  To rent a Kilt about $39.  To buy material and have one made $25.  My Mother-In-Law said she'd make it if I found an authentic pattern!

Running in the Perth Kilt Run: Priceless.

For everything else there's Master Card.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Pentecost Sunday and the Kilt Run

Last week Jesus told everyone he was leaving.  But not to fear, he'll be with us always, and he'd send an advocate to speak on our behalf, to defend us when necessary, and to give us courage where appropriate.  Today, 50 days from Easter Sunday, is Pentecost.  The descent of the Holy Spirit on all believers.  We believe, from Isaiah, way back in the Older Testament that the gifts of the Holy Spirit were: knowledge, understanding, wisdom, right judgement, fortitude, reverence for God, and wonder of God.

Thomas Aquinas, in the 13th Century said, that each one of these gifts translates into a virtue that you can develop with prayer and practice.  These virtues would be: hope (from knowledge), faith (from understanding), charity (from wisdom), prudence (from right judgement), courage (from fortitude), justice (from reverence), and temperance (from wonder of God).

These are important sentiments for me today.  I missed the registration for the kilt run in Perth Ontario on July 2. I'm totally distraught.  We planned the whole trip finally got my wife to change her busy schedule so we could do a small little holiday, and REGISTRATION IS CLOSED!!!!

I emailed the race director and this is the response I got.  It has given me some hope:

hmmm We have turned down many a good man by this time, nay even some would say great. But yet I am intrigued by the your statement of Scotts favouing the wannabe runner???

But also surprized with the MBA, that you would not secure the main objective of the mission (the race) before to spend capital on the supporting functions (hotel) ... all very curious?

And what of faith .... and of counting the cost before to start the race ... the race set before us?
We must know more Andrew. Do you already have a kilt? (this might be a show stopper, as our kilt order was made many weeks ago)

You must pass many a firey furnace to enter this land. (question - name the hidden bagpipe song that will play on our race website - if ye find it?)

Thanks. It would be easy for me to say no .... but i hold out yet a little hope..........

Terry (keeper of the key)

You can see that Terry has a sense of humor!  Getting turned down at this point and in such a nice way is entirely polite and kind on his part, but it seems like he's given me a chance.  So I did some research on Friday night and I responded this way:


Thank you for giving me hope and inspiring me to persist! Thank you!

I've contacted Kilters Fashions, 251 Queen S, STREETSVILLE, ON L5M 1L7, 905-826-4023 for a fitting. But they suggested I also make an appointment at Cairngorm Scottish Imports, 1825 Avenue Rd, North York, ON M5M 3Z4, 416-782-5227 to see about renting a Kilt to keep my options open. I’ve asked for the specific “Ontario Tartan” you have on your website, but I need to bring this to the store as they’re unsure what Tartan that is. As saying it’s “aquamarine with yellow and red crossed lines” wasn’t apparently descriptive enough for them. I will make sure the kilt is belted, pleated in the back and at least mid thigh in length. (I wonder if I could get one that was Polyester, Wool is rather itchy.)

When you click on the graphic of William Wallace “Scotland the Brave” plays from the web site (Celtic Bagpipes - Scotland the Brave.mp3).

There’s a couple of things that give me some more hope that at least more questions will follow from you:
My grandfather on my mom’s side was a Polish Pilot of the Battle of Britain and he trained fighter pilots from the British Isles in Scotland in 1942-1943. He said that Scots were tougher than the Irish and that they understood the underdog better than most peoples of Europe. My dad, who passed away a few years ago had MS and my wife and I remain members of the MS Chapter of Mississauga. I really wanted to do this race after reading a post by Laurel Davidge of Ottawa on her blog but the original date of the run was different and I couldn’t make it. When I heard the date had changed to July 2nd I thought it would be awesome to do since I was going to run the 1 mile run in Kingston on the 1st – but registration had closed!

I also know that St. Andrew will intercede for me and if it wasn’t meant to be then I will need to try again next year. My 1 year anniversary for running is approaching on the 15th. On that day last year I ran-walked for 1.9 kilometers and it took me 20 minutes! But I’ve gotten a little better, I recently completed a half marathon in 2 and ¾ hours.

Thank you again. The email coming at the end of a tiring week made my wife and I laugh.

I look forward to more questions. Only the worthy runners who care for all the others should be permitted in!


So I went for a fitting.  There are a variety of kilts you can buy and styles, there's 5 yarders, 8 yarders, there's summer ones, winter ones, wedding ones, hunting ones.  They're all more expensive than a pair of pants though.  I'm still going shopping for one, but there is also the renting option.  The lady told me not to say I'll be running in it if I should rent one.  Apparently people do this often and they come back dirty and sweaty.

I think I will buy one that is regulation for the run.  Show up on race day and see if anyone doesn't pick up a bib and chip and see if they'll let me run.  Otherwise I'll volunteer and maybe get a few good pictures.  The problem is that when my family found out about the race they wanted to come.  I haven't had the courage to tell them that I'm not running it.

There are many more important things in life, family struggles, sickness, violence, so I won't ask you to pray for me, but I'm childishly asking you tho hope for me.


* MS = Multiple Sclerosis

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Heel-Strike Remedies

Being the most blessed guy in the Universe, I'm gonna share the coach's advice on my Heel Strike.

From the coach: turn the sound off - it's misleading and "Notice the video on the right the foot is relying on the footwear to dissipate force. The video on the left the foot is plantarflexing to reach for the ground. One foot is anticipating the other is reacting to the ground."

And Jill's favorite (and the drills I'll be doing on that plush grass near work):

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Some Good News

I ran today on a very tough 91°F (feel like 97 °F) run to a new area of the map - Queen's Park.  The picture of King George at the end was part of our Frosh initiation a couple of decades ago.  We had to kiss the horses private parts!

More good news, they checked the videos and the pictures and it turns out my results have been input into the race results.

Official Results
My race pictures

Monday, June 6, 2011

15k Bread and Honey Race Report

As of writing, I am invisible in the table of finishers - it appears that my bib chip didn't register.  I emailed the RD and the event timing people.
Race Report:

Preparing for the race started on Saturday evening.  
We went to Joe's 40th birthday party at the Bedford Academy in the Annex, and I had a double gin and tonic and got my wife a wine spritzer.  Three hours and a lot of stories and laughter later, I had consumed another 4 double gin and tonics.  We took the subway home to Kipling and my wife drove rest of the way home.

Knowing how much alcohol dehydrates I decided to drink some water when I got home. But alcohol also makes you forget so I forgot.  Luckily after we went to sleep, a blocked number called us at 4:09 am and woke us up.  I went downstairs to have a glass of water.  My head was spinning and aching and I laid in bed until about 5:30 when I fell asleep.  The alarm rang at 6.

"Six?  why so early" you say, since the race was about 15 mins. away by car.  Ahhh, we were driving Matthew to work in Milton! So we piled in the car and I hammered my foot to the floor in a way that the angry patriarch knows how, and we dropped everyone off and started to drive to the race.  My sister, texted, called, and sms'd asking about where the race was, and then told us she wouldn't make it.

Got changed, threw my music on, then removed it, threw my water bottles on, then removed them.  Sipped a little bit of Gatorade and lined up for the start. My wife was getting the troops ready for the 1k fun walk/run so I buzzed off to zone and get psyched up (but mostly to pee).   I hung back at the end of the joint 5k/15k start - no sense in taking other people's spotlight.

This was a LSD for me on the training schedule.  So I was running base for more than half of it and trying to speed up each K after the halfway point.  It didn't really work out that way.  It was very hilly.

I managed a good base average until about mile 4, and then trying to speed up was increasingly difficult.  If you look at my HR you can see that after about the halfway point my HR stabilized but nothing much happened.  My goal was to keep calm and try to boot it down hills when they came.

At about the 3 mile mark, I was feeling pretty smug.  I usually feel crappy after those kinds of birthday parties.  And here I was running a third of a marathon!  I could only think "Wow I am awesome".  And then it happened.  Somebody started performing an autopsy in my intestines on the sushi I ate last night.  Then whatever was in there started to adjust it's location.  Then rolling thunder and the approach of child birth! huh? People with loud music blaring in their headsets turned to see if an Alien child was about to be born.    I spent miles 4 and 5 chanting, "never trust a fart, never trust a fart".  My only fear was to relieve myself in a crosswind to have some hot acid liquid start dripping down my leg.

It all calmed down as the day started to heat up.  It was 30 C in the shade (86 F).  As I started to warm up, I felt like the prison system, which was my intestines, went into lockdown mode.  And the previously liquefying milieu of party food seemed to disappear from attention and now I was fighting dehydration.  The last two water stops were three fisted drinking - one Gatorade and two waters.

Finally, the last turn and the finish.  I even managed a bit of a quickened pace and a sprint at the end.

My wife, was at the finish line cheering me on, and she just managed to make it over from the 1K finish-line behind the school we stared from.  My gang was getting a little bored at the race, so as soon as we arrived, I was made aware of the sour-pusses and their need for some excitement.  Funning thing is I hear my wife's voice yelling "Baby!", and then someone else yelling "Andrew" ... and they're standing right beside each other. It was my wonderful supportive wife, and Barb from Still Running (and Phil).  We have these pictures somewhere, but of course I don't have the camera in front of me to upload them.

And my bling, a nice technical shirt, a medal, and the bib (with chip) that will go down in infamy!

So, as I write this morning, the race director replied that they will forward my Garmin stats to the timing company.  I don't know if they can just put that info in without verification - but it was kind of the RD to suggest this.  

Look back on all of it.  I should have had another double at the party.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

2 mi cobweb shakedown run

It was very rainy and thunder-stormy for this run. But I'm ready for my 15k tomorrow. Can anyone guess at what famous landmark I ran?

Friday, June 3, 2011


WARNING, PLEASE READ. If someone comes to your front door and asks you to remove your clothes and dance with your arms in the air, DO NOT do this, it is a scam, they just want to see you naked. Please copy and paste this to your blog, I wish I had received this yesterday, I feel stupid now :-)

15k Bread and Honey Race Strategy

From the coach (J.A. Parker): 8k @ base + last 7k progressively faster.

Split (K)
Pace (min/K)

Wish me (and my Wife, Sister, Sister-in-Law, Niece, Lyndsey, Ryan, Barb) luck on Sunday in Mississauga!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Another beautiful day!

The first sailboat is for Johann ...

I ran a little faster than expected again today. I wonder if this is a trend.