It's been a while since I revisited my own personal portfolio and keeping tabs on my training schedule this past summer and into fall race season... sorry! If you are ever wondering what I am up to, I am fairly active on Strava logging in my runs or other cardio related cross-training.
WHAT I'VE BEEN UP TO
Ever since my last post, I participated in quite a few races which I will eventually elaborate more in detail on separate individual posts and will be hyperlinked in the following lists:
I also joined my local Lululemon chapter for their group runs Tuesday nights and Saturday mornings on a weekly basis from April to October. You can find them numerous ways on social media and Strava here:
In terms of weekly running mileage, I managed to hold myself accountable for up to weekly 65km per week give or take. What worked for me this year was having the mindset that it is okay to be unstructured despite work commitments and hanging out with my social circle from time to time. For example, I will make an honest attempt to at least squeeze in a long run of more than 21km and juggling between some tempo runs and easy runs. This is important to me especially knowing that some days you have it in you to do the extra, while some days when you're planning for a hard workout and you're just mentally shut down for the day after long hours at work.
Summer's been hot and humid most of the time. I vividly remember doing long runs with a hydration waist belt or in some cases having to divert the planned route to parkettes where there are those kiddy splash pads to temporarily cool down - only to be dying in the heat again with my singlets and shorts all dried up from the heat.
The best part of all races (after putting an honest attempt to train) is the runner's high the remainder of the day after crossing the finish line. Although I am proud of the six races and the PBs acquired since June, there are select races that really stood out more so than others. The first one is the Bang & Olufsen Yorkville Run 5K and the second one is the Chicago Marathon.
Did you know? Up until this past September's race, I have never officially ran a 5K race before. Of course, I fell into typical stereotypes of that it is "simply" just a 5K. What actually transpired was the realization that I actually need more track workouts and manage my short spurts of speed and pace changes. I see myself that if I can make it work, then hopefully that converts to incremental seconds to minutes shed off for future marathon times.
Chicago was my first ever travel-race. I recall being ecstatic being selected through lottery around this time last year. I also had just as much jitters thinking of the travel planning and coordinating the finer details since this was a solo excursion and I rarely travel out of province / country anyways. But now that I ran the race and have time to reflect upon it, I guess it all worked out just fine! I was pretty fortunate to come across our weekly run leader in Chicago so I didn't feel all too foreign. The course was as flat as it can be as described by fellow runners and bloggers on the internet. Race day conditions was as stormy and windy as it can be - true to the Windy City claim. More on that later, but the grand prize overall is my first ever BQ attainment. As much of a reserved person that I am, my raw emotions were on full display upon moment of reckoning that Boston is truly within reach.
That's it for now, but my running journey doesn't end here as I resume regular running back in the uptown!
See you on my run - Mike
Hamilton Road2Hope Marathon
The weather for race day was certainly not the most ideal with intermittent rainfall and cold winds. However, I was able to manage my overall pace from start to finish as well as even distributing my energy gel pack intake.
Takeaways from this race: maintain a comfortable yet manageable pace / energy gels or chews are your best friend (the more the better... without upsetting your stomach that is) / study the route map and elevation (if you run with music, see how long your playlist is and sequence it in a sense where the most pumped up beats occur when you need it the most)
I especially find this YouTube video embedded from the Hamilton Road2Hope Marathon website quite useful as I could envision the time and pace of where I want to be at, at a certain given time during the race.
I look forward to tackle this course again in the near future and use this as my benchmark for potential BQ times.
I'm still smiling ear to ear knowing that a carved out a 19 minute advantage over my last best marathon!