Wednesday, November 11, 2020

The (Virtual) Nuun Half Marathon 2020

A few years ago I hit my goal of a 1:20 Half Marathon. It took a lot of effort and it wiped me out for weeks. I was happy with my result and didn't feel the need to go chasing new and faster times, deciding to give 5Ks and 15Ks my focus. 

So this year I had a few plans initially which of course did not happen. Instead I have been doing a lot of Virtual racing and seeing how much I could push myself mentally as much as physically. I did one half marathon hard effort in the Spring testing out my new On Running shoes and did a 1:21. I was very happy with that. Later I would pace my buddy Craig to a 1:24 half. 

Then in September, Nuun (of which I am an Ambassador) offered us the opportunity to race virtually in a half marathon. Unlike a lot of Virtual runs, we all had to do it on the same day, which was kind of fun. I entered, though I wasn't really sure if I wanted to go for it or just have fun. 

I picked up the distance training a bit more and things seemed to be going well. The week before the Half, I even ran a practice race, with the first half at an easy pace then race pace to finish and did a 1:25. So, I kind of decided that if the conditions were decent on the day of, I would give it a good effort. 

We received our virtual bibs in an email shortly before the race: 

The morning of, I woke up early as I wanted to get started as soon as I could. My route had a few road crossings and I wanted to get going before the traffic would get heavier. My course was a point to point that started with a mild down hill, then slightly up and ending with a nice mild downhill to the finish. Only a couple of kilometers were paved, the rest crusher dust as this is a converted rail bed. While generally a good flat route, the crusher dust certainly isn't a fast surface, but I knew that the few mild downhills would counter the soft slippery surface. 

The weather was perfect for November. 10C, no wind and the sun was behind the clouds to start at 7:30.  Craig showed up for my start to snap some pictures and wish me well.  He then biked off to meet me at the end.

I packed very little, and chose my lightest shoes, the New Balance 1400s. All I had was a mask (for the post race drive home), a house key, and my MP3 player to keep me sane.

And I was off

The start was on a bit of a downhill, but I took it quite easy to not burn myself out. The plan was to be around a 3:50 min/km pace at the halfway point, ultimately seeing if I could get below that by the end. Ideally I needed a 3:47 to reach my goal of a 1:19. If I don't burn out early, I know I can usually muster up a fast pace to finish.  

Well, 100m into the run my MP3 player stopped working completely. So, I had to choose, call it and go home to replace it or forge on. I opted to keep running.  Somehow the some Let it Roll by BTO popped into my head and that was there for the rest of my day. Oh well, not the worst song.

As far as the run goes after that, things were pretty good. The trail can be iffy when it comes to current pace on a GPS watch, though average pace is spot on. So what I needed to do was basically run by effort. I used the first 1.5 km in the open and on pavement to set my effort and pace and tried to keep as close to that as possible. As I was nearing the halfway point, I was still at 3:49, so I was happy and felt pretty good. I just ticked over to 3:50 at the half way point. So I did accomplish my goal. 

There was a nice little couple of km on a slight down hill at this point before a really soft/sandy uphill section (though uphill and down hill are never much more than a max of a 1% grade on this trail). I pushed a bit harder now.

As I was approaching the main road crossing which lead to the finish kick, I had dropped my pace to an average of 3:48. No cars in sight and I zipped across the road. Now it was just 6 km to go. I really didn't want to push too hard though, 6 km is still a good distance. I held my effort level and did my best to keep a good posture so that my stride wouldn't suffer. 

With 2 km to go I was still at a 3:48 average but let loose. The sun was now out and I could feel the heat whenever I popped out of the shade. Still, not a problem. Now it was just a mental game, I knew I could run fast. 

With 1 km to go I pushed as hard as I could. My form was failing slightly, but I just pushed through that. I ended up doing that last kilometer in 3:28, dropping my pace to a balmy 3:46. I'm not sure exactly when it dropped below 3:48, but it did and I crossed the GPA finish line at 1:19:36 (21.11 km).   

Craig was there to snap a few pictures. The temperature was a lovely 14C and sunny. Perfect for just hanging out for a moment. We drank some coffee and waited for a rescue from Stacey. Normally, my wife would have popped out to get me, but she had embarked on her own Half Marathon on the same route a little after me.

Thanks to this lovely pair of shoes for carrying me the whole way. They did this route earlier when I paced Craig in June. They will have a few more efforts in them as well.  Now to just relax for a bit with no specific races on the horizon. Definitely no big distances for a bit. 

Monday, November 2, 2020

Riverport Duathlon 2020

 So this was my in person race this year. I had previously done some parkruns in the first few months. And wow, yeah, I am late writing about this. Initially I was hoping to get some pictures of the event (which I failed to do other than the start), then I just got really busy. 

So here is a brief summary of my event. 

Due to COVID restrictions, the field was limited to 50 entrants. I was lucky to get a spot and had to do a little last minute bike training to get myself ready. 

Another change due to COVID was a staggered start. So we lined up spaced 6 feet apart, then went off with our race time not starting until we crossed the line. 

 I had listed my predicted 5K finish time to start the event at 17:40 and was placed in the first position. I knew that I likely wasn't going to stay in that spot by the end of the bike ride, but my goal was to get that first run done in first place. 

Soon we were off and I took a hard start. I didn't look back and just pushed through on this super flat course. I stayed up front the whole way, and after all was tabulated, I managed the fastest first run of the day. The course was about 100m long and I crossed the line in 17:41 (17:25 at the 5K mark). A good run indeed. I managed to get on my bike quickly (with the fastest T1 time) and then was off. 

I managed to stay out in the lead of the bike for about 6K before getting passed, so I was happy with that. The course was 10K long, out and back twice and included a good long hill climb. I only managed the 10th fastest time on the bike, but with an avg speed of 33.6km/hr, we had some fast people out there. 

I came in close to a couple of riders in front of me and hit T2 with a vengeance, beating my T1 time of 23 seconds with a 21 second switch to running gear. Again the fastest time. 

The second run is tough and with only 2.5km to work with, it is hard to make up spots. I chased down the runner in front of me and passed him at the end, but since he started further back to start the race, he ended up finishing a few seconds ahead of me in the standings.  My second run was only 3rd fastest, but the top 3 runners were separated by 5 seconds, so that was pretty close.

I finished 4th overall and had a great time. It was fun to get out to a favorite race venue of mine. I realize that in one form or another I have raced in Riverport for 15 years. 

How was the race format? I have had to race this way a few times in the past. Multisport can often be tough, especially pool swim triathlons. You can only start so many runners at once. In some ways, it is like doing a virtual race with other people around you. It is hard to use others to fight for positions, because you really don't know where they are in relation to you. So ultimately, not my favorite system of racing. But all in all, a smart choice for the race director.      

Monday, September 14, 2020

BLT Runners and the Virtual Boston Marathon 2020


Earlier this year the Boston Marathon was postponed until September due to COVID-19. As that date approached, the choice was made to not hold the event live and instead do a virtual version for those who qualified. A tough choice, but being such a huge event, it was unlikely to be possible for an in person event. 

While not all runners chose to do the virtual run, some did and received a race kit by mail. Our run club, The BLT Runners,  had some members who did decide to run: Marg, Bruce, Pat, and Matt. So the rest of the club decided to step up and help them by hosting the marathon with all the support they would need.

A huge shout out first to Craig who got the ball rolling with group emails, organizing volunteers and arranging for a porta potty to be at the start line (thanks to Iain Rankin for that added support). 
 Together we arranged for a route that was a 10km out and back and a nice downhill finish of a few kilometres. This route did have road crossings and some volunteers were on hand to help the runners through. We also arranged for 2 official water stops, where racers could have their own calories and hydration set up.  While running on the "official" route wasn't mandatory, it was where the support was.

Aside from some logistic support, I opted to help out as a pacer and was willing to run up to 30 km with our faster runners. I am by no means a marathon guy but I can run long enough and this course was pretty flat. Other pacers would pop in at assigned spots for other runners. 

Race morning came, the porta potty was on site and the weather was perfect, cool with a slight breeze. I lined up with the racers as my pacing was starting from the beginning based on that mornings discussions.  I was going to be running with Matt and Pat. 

At give or take 8 am we were off and set a comfortable pace in the 4:20s per km. Bruce quickly went a different direction. 

Aid station 1 was at the 2.5 km mark (see the jackets, it was chilly), I zipped ahead and got the water and Gatorade ready for my 2 runners, had a sip of my Nuun and went off. 

By the 6 km mark we were all still smiling and happy and Marg was right on our heels. Our fans were out as well.

Aid station 2 was just a little ahead and the pattern of me zipping ahead a little to get the needed hydration / calories ready was well in hand. This also gave me a moment to stop and drink a little of my Nuun (I think this one was the caffeinated Cherry Limeaid).  Lots of cheers and support for sure.

A little past the aid station 2 was our turn around. Part of the course was paved and a little less than half was on crusher dust. While not as fast as pavement, the crusher dust areas were really shaded, which was a super bonus and mostly flat.

We would hit the same 2 aid stations a total of 8 times and while some people coudl only volunteer for a 2 hour shift, we had a lot of great club support from the same people the whole time.

Marg still wasn't that far behind us.

I don't have a lot more pictures, but I decided to stay with the crew through the aid stations at some point. They were really appreciative of the help from me zipping ahead and getting them refreshments. As well, up through 27-29 kilometres we were having great chats and keeping a good pace. After about 30 km, the guys were certainly starting to feel it. Normally a crowd would be there to spur them on. While the club support was great, it was sporadic and Matt didn't have the greatest summer training due to an injury. So I stayed with them to make sure they got through the last push.

I guess it was at that point as we hit the final aid station that I realized I was already at the 36 km mark and while the next kilometre had a bit of a climb, it was all down hill after that. So I knew at this point I may as well finish. I felt fine (yes, the legs were definitely a little heavier than the start).  

Pat's friend Jeff jumped in to make sure he was paced at this point, and I made sure Matt had the encouragement he needed to get up that final climb and get to the steepest part of the final decent. Once we hit that  I knew he was fine and I opted to run ahead and really stretch my legs a bit. I had hoped that my running a little faster would pull Matt along, as I know that in pacing if the pacer slows to the runners pace, the runner tends to slow themselves. 

The finish was on the parkrun downhill, and I love that downhill. I had one street crossing to go and it was clear and I finished at 42.3 (I went a little long just in case the GPS screwed up) and finished at 3:06:04. Oddly, my moving time was 3:04:40. So I actually spent over a minute standing still at the water stops getting things together.  

Matt would eventually pick it up, Pat came on with a strong finish. Both had great finishes right behind me. Marg would soon follow and looked fabulous, she had great pacing sup[port from Stacey for her final push. 

Bruce finished somewhere and then had to run back to his car. He had great pacing support from Wes and Jill.

It was amazing to have the BLT Runners step up and support this event. Sorry I didn't have pictures of everyone involved. While it was "only" a virtual run, it is obvious what the Boston Marathon means to people. I was happy to add the support to the guys that I did and get them through their final dark moments. Running the while thing ended up being a bonus, and feeling good afterwards was event better. 

I still don't have a huge desire to train for marathons going forward. Never say never but it certainly doesn't have a huge draw. 

Sunday, September 6, 2020

What? Where Did the Summer Go? COVID Edition

 Well here we are in September.  I last posted in April with a review of a great shoe, the On Cloudflow. As an aside, I still really like that shoe and run in it for things like tempo work. But what else have I been up to?

Well, with no in person races, I started doing a lot of virtual races, some were just personal time trials but a lot have been through VDOT. VDOT is the training system I follow as a coach and they have been working on establishing coaching tools, which includes their on coaching app (think Garmin Connect / Strava / Training Peaks). Within it, they they have established a virtual racing series which allows racers to choose their distance and results are based on the effort you deliver, this way you could race a half marathon or a 1 Mile and all the results can work together.

The rules of the VDOT race series all for some level of downhill and let you choose your course. Some of my efforts took advantage of the downhill, others were a lot tougher. I raced everywhere from 1 Mile, through 10 km. 

Needless to say, this is racing based on GPS data and not a measured course. Any PBs I achieved were not in any official records anywhere. GPS racing does have its downside, in that you have to pay attention to your watch and not the actual finish line. So it does take getting used to begin able t push yourself at the right time. 

It was actually back in April where I tried to better my current Mile time since we knew that the MacPass Mile was cancelled. I managed to knock a few seconds off my best MacPass Mile effort on a tougher course (MacPass is fast). 

A few 5K efforts followed with good results, though were primarily downhill hill. Then I discovered the 3K distance and ran that for awhile. It was great fun, and in many ways even harder than a 5K to get an equal effort under VDOTs system. PBs at a distance you never run are not hard to achieve, but I think after a few 3K efforts I maxed out at 9:51. That is unless I opt to train specifically for this distance. 

Eventually I decided to give a 10K a go and managed to knock almost 30 seconds of my previous PB from a couple of years ago. To be honest, this was a tempo run that got away from me. 

This half marathon was also a training run that got away from me. Some days just feel great. Not a PB, but the third fastest half I had ever run. 

My results on the VDOT were pretty good. I often was a top placer in Canada (sometimes the top runner), I won my Age Group numerous times, and was generally in the top 30 World Wide, sometimes dipping into the top 20.  I even won this great coffee mug from Brooklyn Running Company, which is my go to mug now.

A slight break from personal racing and I helped to set up a virtual racing series for the Maritime Harness Dog Association. While I don't often get to take part in Canicross running, I entered with my dog Newt and we rocked the Mile. We did manage to break that 20 minute Mile barrier once. 

As June approached our run club, the BLT Runners, had a birthday. With COVID we couldn't have our usual big event, but we set up a "cake" station for members to be able to run by and have a treat to celebrate. This great sign (made by Jill R) was our welcome to club members.

And not all runs were mine. I have been working with Craig towards a half marathon in late June that ended up cancelled. So we opted to run one anyway. We picked the local trail, ran together (but at a safe distance), and smashed his previous PB. I have no doubt he would have smashed it at the official event as well. 

Quick Taco break. 

I don't want to forget my awesome bike rides. For a bit I had some tendinitis in my ankle. I could run, but knew that a reduced load would be a smart play. So I ramped up my cycling and on my birthday did a 100 kilometre ride with my buddy Sheldon. I hadn't done one is quite awhile, so it was great to do that. 

That bike ride was actually supposed to be an epic trail run, but I opted to not push the ankle issue. So a few weeks later, I hit the Bluff Trail with a vengeance. I ran the whole trail, which also meant the side trails. Over 30 km later and on a 30 degree day, I managed to break 4 hours on this tough terrain. I know I can do better and will head back in the Fall, when it is cooler.  

I made some great bread as well. 

Two weekends ago, Craig and I went back to the parkrun course (I had been running a lot of time trials on this course) and went for our monthly hard 5K. I decided to really push the downhill portion (ie the first 2.5km) and hold on to the uphill. Last year I was able to do this by chasing a faster runner in 17:19 and didn't realize that I had a 17:14 in my old legs this day, especially as it was muggy and warm. But I did it and it felt great.

There's been more stuff, like swimming, hiking, and of course work. A lot of solo time. And not every run or hard effort ended up being the best part of my day. I pulled up short in an attempt to better my 15K time in June, I halted a few Mile efforts half way through, and even ones that ended up with good results felt bad. I've learned to cherish the good running days and work through the less nice ones.

Let's see what the Fall brings.

Monday, May 4, 2020

April - The Month of On Running (Cloudflow Review)

So I was contacted by our local On rep to ask about trying out one of their shoes for a bit then giving my impression of them. That chat was recorded when we did an Instagram live chat and I think is still on my Instagram IGTV @ianloughead.

First off On Running is a Swiss company that started making shoes about 10 years ago (they now make a full range of sport clothes as well). They wanted to be different and came up with the concept of the pods, or as they say running on clouds. The idea behind the pods was that they would allow a runners unique gait to work with the shoe and not be fighting against it.

I was told to look at the shoe options and choose a shoe that seemed like something I would buy. I chose the On Cloudflow as it's description seemed on par with the type of running shoe I like and it seemed to fall between my Saucony Freedom and Brooks Launch (lightweight neutral trainers). Retail price point is basically between those two as well.

So I jumped right in with this shoe. First off it should be mentioned that I adapt to new shoes really quickly. It doesn't mean I always like them, but I can usually run in most shoes without issue if they fit. 

So how was the fit? Well, I found it was true to size. I got my standard size of 10.5 and slipped it on and it felt fine. The shoe appears fairly narrow but for me fits as well as my Saucony and Brooks shoes. In fact at first I found it was a little loose feeling, but realized that the upper is very forgiving and stretches quite well. So I had to snug things up more than I normally would. If you try these shoes, don't be afraid to tie things a little tighter than normal.

So off I went on run one for an immediate speed session of 400m repeats. I had to play around with the fit a little on my warm up to get them dialed in. Once I got the laces set up well, they seemed to hold that position for the rest of my trial. The rest of the run went well.  

You don't really notice the pods per se. What I did feel on this run and on all of my runs was a responsive toe off when running fast and more forefoot and a slightly cushioned feel as you slow down and start to fall back on your midfoot / heel. You can read all the fancy tech stuff on the On website but suffice to say that when you want to go fast with the Cloudflows, they feel fast and they feel comfy when you need to slow it down. 

Usually I run in a different shoe most days, rotating through 2-3 pair at a time. I started this because the foam in shoes needs a little time to rebound to get back to 100% and give you the cushioning you should have. Newer shoes though, like On, are using newer types of foam and in On's case the Helion foam is supposed to not suffer from this break down. I will say that running in these daily for over two weeks and doing lots of hard efforts, my muscles are tired but in no way sore the way they usually would be in racing season. And I have run 5 race efforts in these shoes, plus intervals and long runs in this time.

Over the years I have heard of On and heard of their rep for picking up shoes in their unique soles. This is supposed to be much better now. So I ran through gravel on most of my runs. I picked up 1 rock in all my runs. So that is good news. I pick up that much gravel in my New Balance 1400s. 

What I didn't like? Well, the only thing was the laces. They aren't bad and they work just like laces do. They don't seem to untie (cough cough Brooks) easily, but they are very thin and narrow and just hard to work with. It is a small concern, but not a major one. They do give you a little elastic loop to put the laces in though, so bonus!

Is this the shoe for everyone? Nope, it certainly has to fit your foot. Should you try this shoe? Oh yes. These are light weight yet supportive and while neutral, they offer a really good amount of support after a long hard run. As well, the shoe seems to not transmit as much force through your body, helping reduce fatigue in muscles.

For me the On Cloudflow will likely become part of my shoe rotation and will almost definitely be a race day shoe for longer races like 10K and Half Marathons due to their low weight and support.

On sells a full range of shoes from street, to trail, to track (no spikes) and even waterproof. They come firm to cushioned, though all with a good amount of give. I look forward to trying other varieties out. 

It was great doing an Instagram live chat with Max from Quebec and I would love to share more about these shoes as well, but ultimately try a pair on at your favorite running store. I don't think these shoes are really aimed at any specific runner. New, seasoned, small, large, as long as it fits your foot, it is worth a try. 

Saturday, April 11, 2020

March Madness?

So March left us a little over a week ago, and I had planned on doing a post right away but alas, the time slipped away. For some reason I am busier than ever, but hey.

So I entered March coming off a huge mileage month of running, with a goal of switching to lower mileage and faster paces, as I started to target my Spring A race of a 15km at the Bluenose. Week 1 was really blah. I tried to ease down but ended up not feeling great, this proving I needed a rest.  My traditional weekend parkrun actually took place on International Women's Day, so I volunteered instead of running. Which was probably smart.

A trip to Seaside Chiropractic and some self care and I was back to some good running though. Then the Coronavirus started to affect things in Nova Scotia, at first indirectly, then more directly. Parkrun worldwide decided to cancel / postpone their weekly runs, and though we weren't technically doing the Self Distancing thing here, we had no parkrun.

So I went out to do the route and get my sub 18 min 5km for the month.

I achieved it with a 17:57. But then things got more real. While I did that run with Craig, by the start of the week, I was working from home and we were not supposed to be within 2 meters of anyone now.

This has meant all solo training for March, work from home and lots of dog walks. Work is crazy busy as well, but that is probably good. It is easy to over train in situations like this and get injured. I want to stay healthy, but I also feel like I am primed for some good race results. So I decided to do weekend time trials instead to see where I am at.

PB's in the time of Covid-19? Sure they aren't races on measured courses, relying on GPS instead and purpose chosen courses. But they are a good indicator of relative fitness. I'm fine with them being PB* instead if it comes to that. I know the effort I gave.

Next up, on a nice weather day, I hit the trail again, throwing down a 17:18 5km. This one was point to point with a good tail wind. I also had to cross two roads which I got lucky to find no traffic on. This course has been retired due to it requiring luck.

Then I tried my hand at 10km effort. I had run sub 37 minutes twice, but both times I think were odd. The first was an all downhill effort in a 15km race, then what I think was a slightly short route for the next (it is hard to say as that course has huge GPS issues). This one was net downhill, but included a 3 km long climb at 2% avg in the middle. I blew away my previous efforts and that felt great.

Following after the master of the Litter Run, I attempted to get some of those in as well with the pups. Sadly, it became obvious later on that this probably wasn't the best thing since you can't tell if someone infected had handled the garbage.

When the weather has been bad I have taken to the bike trainer as well. I am incredibly thankful for this tool. I bought it a couple of years ago at Sportwheels in Sackville (a Tacx Vortex). While I don't do things like Zwift, I have been putting some time on it for sure.

I have also taken up skipping. I used to be a really good skipper as a kid and I quickly found my rhythm again. It is an excellent cross training tool, helping work on lower leg and foot strength. 

So, things are going well in sports town, even without a race on the horizon. I miss the parkruns, I miss the MonRuns with the BLTRunners, and I miss some of my more interesting training routes, but I'm still doing well.  Thanks to Aerobics First we are set with shoes (at home delivery during this time is amazing - Support Local!). My go to shoe being the Saucony FreedomISO, with a dabbling of a few others in my vast collection (I'll do a post about my shoes maybe). 

I'm also hanging out with my wife and these amazing dogs a lot more, which is awesome. 

Take care every one. Try to relax when you can as recovery is an essential tool in training. And don't overtrain. It is so easy if you find yourself bored and more time on your hands than normal. Instead add cross training, which is often neglected.

Oh and as a Nuun ambassador I have to say, stay hydrated. A healthy immune system is key right now, and hydration in the form of water, tea, and electrolytes is key to that.  

Monday, March 2, 2020

The 2020 Training Season is Well Under Way

So I haven't posted in awhile but I haven't just been sitting around. My first planned race isn't until May with the Bluenose (and I am still not 100% decided on what I will be racing there). Usually by now I have raced something, but the MEC series is now over, I am only skating this year for fun, and there is no Tri the Oval.

Overall the weather hasn't been that bad. Yes, a few storms here and there, but really, nothing that has lasted on the ground for long. So my goal so far has been to train hard for the running season.

Though I had great success last year with my running, I have been training the same way for quite some time and it is time to change things up a bit and experiment. Normally I am a fairly low mileage runner with 60km weeks being large and the fear of injury on big weeks being a driving factor for staying with what works.  Now however, it is time to try a few risks (smart and calculated risks).

So I have been building my run mileage, not focusing on speed as much, and so far so good. January started out fairly normal, having had a nagging knee pain right before Christmas. I built up my long run a bit, but focused more on running a bit longer during the week, taking my 40 minute weekly runs to 50 minutes. By the end of January I was up in the 60 km range.

I kept that mileage up, focused on recovery and started to build the long run even more, plus a mid week long run as well. Now in February I also started to build in climbing / hills more as well. Races here are seldom flat, and though I never shy away from hills, I realize that I could be doing more. By the end of February I had achieved two weeks with new mileage highs for myself , 89.5 km and then 96.5 km. I didn't run weeks like that when I did my marathon a few years back.  These weeks also included long runs in the 30-34 km range and over 1000m of climbing each week.

4 loops of Parkland and over 400m of elevation?  Yikes

Now that I have hit those numbers, it is easy to just want to go further, but now is not the time. The smart play is a small taper then a look at doing a little more speed.  I'm going to keep the weekly runs to 50 minutes and drop the long run a bit.

But hey now, it wasn't all just builds these past months. What else was I up to?

Well, I was selected again to be an Ambassador for Nuun, an electrolyte drink for athletes.  This is my second year and it is a product I quite like a lot. I'm not one for consuming a lot of calories on runs, even long ones. But having a slightly flavoured drink does help me drink more often, and thus stay hydrated (a good way to help recovery). With almost no calories, it works well for me.

I continue to run parkruns when I can and will be focusing on my goal of at least 1 sub 18 minute 5 km run per month. I began January 1st with a parkrun in Boulder, Colorado. My 19:23 time was not my best of course, but in snow and at altitude, I'll take it.  After coming home, I snagged a 17:44 at the local parkrun. So January was now clear.

Then I was asked by Paula J. to help her on her quest to better her indoor Masters record for Canada in the 5000m. Not being a track guy at all, I wasn't sure how much help I would be. But we ran side by side and got her to her goal and beyond with an 18:08.  My first track meet went well then it seems.

My run club held its AGM and elected 2 new board members. I feel really great about continuing to serve on the board and guide our fun group. Go BLTRunners!

I helped Luke MacDonald and friends organize another micro charity 5K fundraiser run in support of Team in Training (raising funds to combat Leukemia). The weather held on what was looking to be a bad day, and we had a great event.

And then February parkruns happened as well. I started the month with a 17:35 5K (meeting my goal) then ended with a 17:34 5K on super tired legs (then managed a 34 km run the next day). I am really happy with those numbers.  The BLTRunners also took over the parkrun one week as well, and the numbers swelled to 60 runners that day.

So yeah, it has been a decent start to the year and I am looking forward to what March and April bring.