2 out of 3 ain’t bad…Good Life Toronto Marathon May 2014


I bet you just sang some of it…!!


Time 3 hrs 14 minutes. Placed 118 out of 1557 people.  17 out of 146 in my age cat and 113 out of 965 in my gender category.

Last year, I changed how I look at races. I decided to stop looking only for PBs and start chasing specific goals. I understood, very clearly, that this meant I would not see every goal each time I raced…or even each year. But to me it shifted my perspective away from short term to a more of a journey. It also reignited some drive in me.

The reality is, if your chasing a goal and you really want…you need to be prepared to blow up and know that it is going to take sometime to get there.

I went into the Toronto Marathon looking for a BQ and targeting a 3 hour race. The previous week was my last tempo run, and I managed a solid 23K at my desired race pace. I was very optimistic about this and I was feeling very good.

The course is great! Love it!! Running in Toronto is an experience and just when you start to get a little bored, you start the run on the waterfront.

The race, went down almost exactly to plan..with the exception of the last 10 – 12K. My nutrition was good, my pacing was good…I just was not able to hit. I consider myself a bit of tourist for the marathon, with most of my focus being 70.3 Tri’s or Ultra’s. The marathon is a different sort of race and it’s not one you can simply walk into with plans to compete. Just because you can run an Ultra does not give you the instant permission to get results at a marathon.

0 – 30K – I felt so good, and so confident. My Half split had me dead on and I was pulling back the reigns through the entire period. I know about that monster between 30 – 40K and I respect it. I was beginning to believe though, that today was the day…I was going to finally tame that SOB and ride it home. Nutritionally, I was fine and I took full advantage of the Water Tables, timing my gels to ensure I had something to wash them down with. ( Lesson learned from ATB in March).

30 – 42K – Ouch!! Right around 30K, I started to feel it. I was swearing a lot (to myself), because I was drifting and started losing place. My legs lost their spring and I slowly started seeing the dreaded 5:00 min pace creep in. I was adjusting my form, took my last gel…but it was not working. It was here, my old ankle injury started flaring and my left calf started tightening up. I also got very, very thirsty. I’m not sure what to make of this yet because I had been drinking pretty consistently. I honestly believe, that this is purely about time on the legs, at the pace….at the time and distance.

In total, I consumed 4 gels, 1 before the race, 1 at 45 minutes, 1 at 90 minutes 1 at 2:15. Bang on. I drank every table, typically a cup of water and gatorade.

( Translation: I need more training )

There is type of training that a friend introduced to me this winter and it may have some merit. It’s called the “Hansons Method” . These are two well known brothers who say that most people shouldn’t be worried about training for the long run. They need to train how to run on tired legs during the long run. Their method is slightly different and really focuses on getting you used to being tired at pace. I have been reading this book off an on, but I need to dive back in. It really seemed to be my “Achilles” this race. ( Bad Pun )

The other thing I can see, is that my form went all to hell and this really bothers me. From the pictures I see, my shoulders rejoined my ears and stride overextended out beyond my body again. Thus a heel strike, which is probably why my ankle flared up.

Oh well. All said and done, I move forward. I believe I will run 3 hours within the next year or so. Right now my focus shifts back to Ultra training. My next race is in July in Collingwood. I’ll be getting back into a 50 miler (80K) .

Moving On

Its funny, often the biggest changes in life happen when you least expect them. You may even fail to notice until you realise, that you’re already moving on and there is no going back.

Such is the way with me, and I have begun my transition on a path I have no clear line on. I just know it’s time to go down it.

Since I lost my grandfathers back in December, my world has been tilted and I keep waiting for it to rebalance. But it’s not, and I have come to the conclusion that it’s me who needs to figure out how to balance..not it.

Over the last few years, I’ve tried very hard to be something to everyone and tried hard to increase the running and triathlon community in our area. I’ve met some great people and learned many things along the way. Some nice..some not so nice. I’ve also learned to value my gut instinct and actually act on it. I have spread myself very thin and what was manageable became chaos and my anxiety came back. To add to the insult, a past scar has reopened and I need to figure out how to deal with it. I’ve ignored it for 35 years but now I need to find the strength to face it and I don’t….yet know how. None of this is coincidence.

My plan to start is very simple.

It is to be simple.

  • To sit around a campfire with my family
  • To pause running on top of a hill and simply look.
  • To ride a bike through morning fog and feel the cool moist air
  • To swim, and glide through a lake watching the world below me.
  • To write. As a teen and a younger man, I used to love to write. I have always enjoyed trying to express complex thoughts and emotions through words. I plan to go back to writing. 

All of this, may sound selfish, and it is. All of this will be for my family and I.