Going Long - Training to be a Sinner in Alberta

A1A Fort Lauderdale

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Garson - Sudbury,ON,Canada

Member Since:

Apr 20, 2013



Goal Type:


Running Accomplishments:

I ran my first marathon in 1998: "The Friendly Marathon" in Massey, Ontario.  I was 32. I had never raced in a shorter event, and I trained really poorly - ended up running it in 4:00:30.  After that, I gave up running for the most part for 6 years.  I got into karate a bit more seriously, until I got my knee kicked out and had ACL surgery.  Then I became a 'fair weather runner' and started to run half marathons every so often.  As a priest, entering weekend races always meant having to book a holiday, so it just didn't happen much.  My holidays were primarily focussed on various canoe and kayak trips.

At some point, I started training more consistently, and started to think of myself as a runner.  I guess doing that in your 40's is better than never doing it at all.  I even started to wonder if I had it in me to qualify for Boston.  Well, I did - twice.  First time didn't count, I suppose, since I didn't make the "cut".  But the second time was a charm, and on my sixth Marathon, run in Chicago in 2015, I beat my BQ by almost 6 minutes.

Through it all, I've made tons of mistakes - and have had lots of injuries to show for it.  Hopefully, now that I'm in my 50's, I'm a bit wiser and can use that to my advantage to continue running for a very long time.

My PRs:

5k (12 run):      Guelph, ON.     October 10, 2016   (50 yrs.)   20:10

10k (10 run):    Collingwood      October 5, 2013  (47 yrs.)  43:37

Half Marathon  (23 run): Cleveland   May 18, 2014  (48 yrs)  1:33:08

Marathon (11 run):  Chicago       October 11, 2015   (49 yrs.)  3:24:07

Ultras (5 run):   

Run for the Toad 50k Trail   September 30, 2017 (51 yrs.)  5:31:23

Niagara Falls 100k   June 17, 2018 (52 yrs.)  12:26:30

That Dam Hill 24 hours   September 15-16, 2018  Completed 100 Miles in 23:20:44

Sulphur Springs 50 mile Trail   May 25, 2019  10:37:27

Haliburton Forest 100 mile Trail   September 7-8, 2019  26:46:27

Click for Options

Pacing my sister in her 1st Half Marathon.

Short-Term Running Goals:

The Disney Dopey Challenge in January, 2019.   That was fun

Sulphur Springs Trail Ultra (50 miles) in May, 2019.   That was muddy

The Haliburton Trail (100 Miles) in September 2019First place Master

A1A Fort Lauderdale Marathon in January 2020 (qualify for Boston) Qualified: 4:39 under my BQ time

Sulphur Springs Trail (50 Miles) in May 2020 (warm up for S7)

The Sinister 7 Trail (100 Miles) in July 2020 (decided to go for it)

New York Marathon in November 2020 (IF I get in via lottery)

125th Boston Marathon on April 19, 2021.

Long-Term Running Goals:

Run until this old body of mine won't let me run any more.  I was inspired in the Spring of 2016, watching the start of the Ottawa Marathon.  Near the back of the pack was an 'old man', running with his walker.  I loved it!  I thought ... there's me in 20 years.  Maybe.  


I am a Roman Catholic priest of 26 years, ministering in the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie.  I spent 8 years ministering in the small town of Wawa (where I helped establish the annual Blackfly Run) and 9 years in Sault Ste. Marie.  I have been in the Sudbury region now for 9 years.  Currently I Pastor 2 small Parishes:  St. John the Evangelist in Garson, and St. Bernardine of Siena in Skead, covering the area just Northeast of the city, surrounding the Sudbury Airport.

Favorite Blogs:

Miles:This week: 34.00 Month: 174.00 Year: 400.20
Mizuno Wave Sayonara 2 Lifetime Miles: 324.20
Brooks Cascadia 11 Lifetime Miles: 288.00
Saucony ISO Triumph 4 Lifetime Miles: 262.00
Nike Zoom Vomero 13 Lifetime Miles: 307.00
Salomon Speedcross 4 Lifetime Miles: 160.25
Brooks Ghost 11 Lifetime Miles: 254.25
Brooks Glycerin 13 Treadmill Lifetime Miles: 375.00
Saucony ISO Triumph 4 Treadmill Lifetime Miles: 359.00
Race: A1A Fort Lauderdale (26.2 Miles) 03:30:21, Place overall: 81, Place in age division: 39
Total Distance

Last night, attended Church and then to dinner with Tom and his friend Scott, along with their lovely wives Donna and Diane.  My deep appreciation to my newly met friends who split my bill between them.  

This morning, up at 3am to launch what was intended to be the ultimate focus of this holiday.  I had a good training cycle.  I did not miss any training for any reason.  No injuries; even my left foot has been fairly quiet.  I felt strong and healthy.

I met Tom in the starting coral around 5:30am.  My goal was a 3:30 marathon, which should get me to Boston again.  My BQ time is 3:25, so beating it by 5 minutes was my intention.  This was Tom's first Half.  Hard to believe, with so many races under his belt.  So, he set a very loose goal of under 1:45, but we both were pretty sure he'd do much better.  In any event, our initial paces were projected to be the same.

It was pretty tight at the start, as per normal for races.  Based on the results, there were just shy of 600 marathoners and 3,000 half marathoners starting at 6am.  We stuck with the 3:30/1:45 pacers to begin, but they really started out too fast.  The first 2 miles were 7:36 and 7:44.  Not what I wanted, and it did seem fast.

At mile 2, Tom was off.  He looked over his shoulder at me to see if I was following, but I had to stick to my plan.  He ended up with an excellent PR event:  1:37:57 for a 7:30/mile pace.  Awesome job Tom!  I look forward to reading your report.

So now, I just tried to settle in to an 8:00/mile pace.  I was slightly ahead of the pacer, and planned on sticking to him like glue (if he finally settled into the right pace).  I ran the next 5 miles at 7:55, 7:49, 8:08, 8:07 and 7:55, so pretty much on track and feeling good.  

Unfortunately, that where my GI problems started.  I sure wish I could get a handle on this problem.  I still can't figure out where things go wrong.  But I ended up having to make 5 emergency stops along the way.  Not as bad as Boston 3 years ago, but at least I had lots of good reasons to be sick when I ran in Boston.

So, during mile 8 I had to stop.  That meant a 9:19/mile pace.  I figured the pacer was ahead of me after that, but I never saw him again.  Still, I wasn't that far off pace, and I was hoping this was a once only stop.  I decided to just keep my pace and slowly close the distance.  So, the next 2 miles were 7:49 and 7:54, but then had to stop again.  That gave me a time of 9:18 for mile 11.  By now, I had taken 4 immodium and 6 pepto bismol caplets, and I had really emptied myself, so I was hopeful that unpleasantness was done.

The next 3 miles I ran at 7:52, 7:55 and 7:49.  I hit the Half Marathon mat in a recorded time of 1:46:06.  So, I did the math in my head, a quick assessment of how I was feeling, and decided I could still bring this home.  Other than my GI issues, I was firing on all cylinders at this point.  But then, an urgent stop during mile 15 which gave me my slowest mile on the day at 9:37.  Ouch.  Then after running the next mile at 7:50, I had to stop again.  So mile 17 was 8:26.

At that point, I figured there couldn't be much left in my GI system, and I was stoked to do what I came here to do.  I had 9 miles to go, and after doing the math in my head, I figured I could still pull this off.

So, the next 4 miles I ran at 7:39, 7:45, 7:42 and 7:45.  I knew I could do it at this point, and I REALLY tried to avoid stopping again.  But nature doesn't give you that option, sadly.  So, another stop during mile 22 gave me an 8:59/mile.  After that, I was SO close.  I didn't want to open it up just yet, but I did run faster over the final 4 miles:  7:38, 7:36, 7:28 and 7:07.  Plus, of course, the final .2.  Tom was there cheering me on at the end.  I was a little unsteady on my feet, and more unsteady in my GI system, but I came in just 21 seconds over my intended goal for the day.  I'm still 4 minutes 39 seconds under my BQ time, so I'm pretty confident I'll make the cut for the 2021 running of the 125th Boston Marathon.  

I added up the time it took for my 5 stops, using an 8:00/mile as my baseline, and calculated that I lost almost 6 minutes (5:45 to be precise) because of them.  Too bad - that would have put me in striking distance of beating my marathon PR I set in Chicago.  Of course, it's hard to say for sure that my 5 minutes of stopping and sitting along the way didn't also preserve my energy for running harder.  So, who's to say?

The weather, fortunately, could not have been better for a marathon.  In Fort Lauderdale!  Who knew?  It was around 12C/54F at the start and it only climbed to about 19C/66F when I finished.  But I only felt a bit hot during that final half hour push.  Clear skies.  Little wind.  Beautiful sunrise over the ocean.  Incredible views.

Tom, I don't know how you can pack down so much food and beer after running like that.  Amazing!  But thank you for sticking around for me, taking a few pictures, and coming down with me to stand in the ocean.  It was all worth it, and I hope we can do something like this again.  Put your name in for New York!


Mizuno Wave Sayonara 2 Miles: 26.20
Weight: 0.00
From Nora Jo on Sun, Jan 26, 2020 at 15:41:53 from

Great job battling through adverse physical conditions! That time should be golden for Boston!

From Mike on Mon, Jan 27, 2020 at 15:13:33 from

Congratulations! Great recoveries from the breaks— impressed you didn’t let it get to you. You might want to document what you at the last two days and for breakfast, to see what might be causing the issue.


From Tom K on Mon, Jan 27, 2020 at 19:59:47 from

Way to keep positive and focused on your goal! BQ minus 4:39? You've got that! We ate the same thing Saturday night. I don't get it! New York, huh? Hmmmmm.

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