Going Long

Cleveland Marathon

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Location:

Garson - Sudbury,ON,Canada

Member Since:

Apr 20, 2013

Gender:

Male

Goal Type:

Other

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 (10 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

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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)

The Toronto Marathon in May 2020 (qualify for Boston).  A maybe.

The Sinister 7 Trail (100 Miles) in July 2020 (big maybe).

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.  

Personal:

I am a Roman Catholic priest of 25 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 8 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: 13.00 Month: 85.00 Year: 2332.17
Mizuno Wave Sayonara 2 Lifetime Miles: 270.00
Brooks Cascadia 11 Lifetime Miles: 288.00
Saucony ISO Triumph 4 Lifetime Miles: 262.00
Nike Zoom Vomero 13 Lifetime Miles: 248.00
Salomon Speedcross 4 Lifetime Miles: 160.25
Brooks Ghost 11 Lifetime Miles: 248.25
Brooks Glycerin 13 Treadmill Lifetime Miles: 18.00
Saucony ISO Triumph 4 Treadmill Lifetime Miles: 40.00
Total Distance
169.10
Enigma Miles: 46.00Brooks Glycerin Miles: 40.00Ghost 5 Miles: 58.00Mizuno Wave Elixir 8 Miles: 25.00
Weight: 161.10
Total Distance
7.00

An easy 7 mile run in the rain.  Not too heavy - more of a fine mist.  But all felt fine.

Enigma Miles: 7.00
Weight: 161.00
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Total Distance
6.00

Easy run in the morning mist.  Long run tomorrow.

Brooks Glycerin Miles: 6.00
Weight: 161.00
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Total Distance
15.00

15 mile long run.  The weather was okay ... 5 C or 40 F, with a very fine misty rain and a light breeze from the South.  My scheduled pace was an 8:28/minute mile; I ran an average of 8:14/minute mile, and felt comfortable doing so.  My splits got faster as I went, with my last mile at 7:44 - and I really gave a good kick for my final 1/2 mile, so I felt strong at the end.

I ate a banana 90 minutes before I began, but was really hungry still after that, so ate a protein bar as well.  Hadn't done that before, but it went down well.

I ate a power bar gel blast at mile 1, 3, 5, 9 and 11, and a Honey Stinger at mile 7.  At all the even miles, I sipped Honey Max.  Those gel blasts are big, and I have to be careful not to choke on them, but they do seem to work for me.  That Honey Stinger went down very well - I think, so far, the easiest gel for me to consume.

At mile 13, I was cramping up a bit and felt a bit bloated, but it passed by mile 14 and I felt fine.  My iliopsoas was the only physical issue, as always.  I really felt it following that steep uphill/downhill at the end of mile 9.  My left knee had a 'twinge' along the way, but nothing significant.

Overall, a good long run.  One more to do before my Cleveland Half.

Ghost 5 Miles: 15.00
Weight: 161.00
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Total Distance
7.00

7 mile easy run - 8:14/mile pace.  Temperature was right at the freezing mark, but the sun was shining and there was little wind, so a pleasant enough run.

Enigma Miles: 7.00
Weight: 161.00
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Total Distance
7.00

7 easy miles.

Ghost 5 Miles: 7.00
Weight: 162.00
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Total Distance
8.00

This was my final tempo run before my race in Cleveland.  It was supposed to be run at a pace of 7:15/mile, but I figured I would run the 1st 3 miles at that pace, and then finish closer to my goal pace of 7:03.

My mile splits were:  7:02  7:07  7:04  6:58  6:53  6:50 so, obviously faster than I had planned.  But I felt strong at the end and had no significant issues ... my iliopsoas is sort of a constant nagging companion, and my right hip/glute has been tight for the past few weeks.  I work on both those areas with stretching and other therapies and they don't seem to be getting any worse.

As far as nutrition goes, I ate a banana about 90 minutes before my run, and 2 PowerBar Chews just before I started.  I carried another Chew with me and ate it just before the halfway mark.  I wanted to see how easy it would be to do that.  It's not!

First of all, it was right around the freezing mark, and so the Chew was harder than usual.  Running at that pace, and breathing hard, it was hard to chew it.  Ended up it took almost a half mile before I got it down, and that meant a close choking incident as well as a piece going up into my nasal cavity.  

It turned out okay, but I can see the challenge of nutrition while running that pace in a race.  I may stick with just liquids.

Mizuno Wave Elixir 8 Miles: 8.00
Weight: 161.50
Comments(1)
Total Distance
7.00

An easy recovery run; starting to warm up ... all the way up to 42 F this morning!  Will have to switch to shorts if this keeps up.

Brooks Glycerin Miles: 7.00
Weight: 161.50
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Total Distance
6.00

An easy 6 mile run.  First time I got to wear short sleeves and shorts, and no gloves.  Finally warming up!

Enigma Miles: 6.00
Weight: 162.50
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Total Distance
15.00

This was my last significant run before my race in Cleveland a week from tomorrow.  I ran it at an 8:20/mile pace.  The temperature was 9 C or 48 F, and there was a steady wind of between 20 - 30 mph.

My hands were a bit cold (no gloves), but overall it was a very good run.  I ate a banana 90 minutes before I began, and a gel just before.  I then ate just one more GU Gel at the 7 mile mark, and drank Gatoraide every second mile.  That seemed to work well enough.

A slight niggle in my left knee after that big hill at mile 9, and also felt my iliopsoas from that point onwards, but nothing unusual.  My right hamstring/glute is still tight, but I've been working hard on stretching that out and it wasn't as bad as it had been.

So, 2 days of rest now, and then 4 days of 4 mile runs.  I'm planning on doing a lot of stretching and foam rolling this week.

 

Ghost 5 Miles: 15.00
Weight: 162.50
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Total Distance
4.00

4 mile easy run in the early morning mist/light rain.

Boy, my right hamstring REALLY tightened up over the weekend, after my last long run.  I worked it hard for 2 days, with stretches and the foam roller.  It finally felt better last night, and didn't seem to be an issue during today's run ... still a little sore, but manageable.  I'll keep working on it this week, as I focus on stretching and foam rolling.

Brooks Glycerin Miles: 4.00
Weight: 163.00
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Total Distance
4.00

Just a nice, easy paced run.  Brisk morning, but sunny and no wind.

Ghost 5 Miles: 4.00
Weight: 162.00
Comments(2)
Total Distance
4.00

What a miserable day!  Cold and wet.  Strong wind driving from the North.  Yuck.  I almost decided to run on my treadmill, but am glad I opted to go outside after all, since I'm so close to race day, and I wanted a dress rehearsal - wore what I plan on wearing on Sunday.

It's 40 F, which is actually what the temperature is forecast to be in Cleveland around race time (7am) on Sunday.  The good news is, it's also forecast to be sunny, with little wind and low humidity.  Should be good for racing, and as far as temperature goes, it's pretty much what I've been training in - much better for me than heat.

Anyway, my program called for speed work today --- 2x one mile at 6:38.  I ran the 1st one at 6:31 and the second one at 6:20 (wind partially at my back).  Both felt strong, and I have absolutely no pain issues - neither my iliopsoas, nor my glutes/hamstrings.  So, I'm glad for that.

As expected this time of the year, my allergies are flaring up a bit.  Will double up on the anti-histamines and that should take care of it. 

So, a bit of a confidence booster today.  I think everything is falling into place for what I hope to be a PR on Sunday.

Mizuno Wave Elixir 8 Miles: 4.00
Weight: 161.00
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Total Distance
4.00

My last run before the Cleveland Half on Sunday.  And today's conditions look identical to race conditions:  4 C (39 F), cloudy, and a bit of a wind.

Physically, I feel great going into this race.  A little tightness in some areas, but no pain and no injuries.  I am confident of a PR on Sunday.

My strategy will be to join the 3:05 marathon pace group and stick with them.  This should solve my problem of going out too fast and fading later on.  I'll have to run the last 3.5 miles without them, where the marathon route turns away, but at that point it will be okay anyway (I won't be tempted to go too fast at that point!).

So, I travel today as far as Southern Ontario and then to Cleveland on Saturday.  I'm turning this into a holiday --- making my way eventually to Chicago --- so I won't be home until Saturday, the 24th of May.  I won't have ready access to a computer, so unfortunately my race report will have to wait until then.  

Oh, my bib number is 6597.

Brooks Glycerin Miles: 4.00
Weight: 161.00
Comments(1)
Total Distance
4.00

4 mile easy run in Toronto.  Muscles and hamstrings have really loosened up.  Feeling good.

Enigma Miles: 4.00
Weight: 0.00
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Race: Cleveland Marathon (13.1 Miles) 01:33:08, Place overall: 128, Place in age division: 11
Total Distance
13.10

I did it!  A PR ... almost 2 minutes shaved off my previous best set 2 years ago.  This was an almost perfect run for me, and I'm very happy with my results.

First, my splits:  I ran 6:59  6:59  6:54  6:54  6:48  7:00  6:57  6:52  6:57  6:52  6:56  7:40  7:10  My final split was 2:13 run at a pace of 6:35.

The pacers in this race were phenomenol.  My hats off to them ... there were two in my group (3:05 marathon; 7:03 pace), and they brought this home for me.  A large number of runners in this group.

Okay, the blow by blow:

I drove from Sudbury to Grimsby on Friday.  5 hour drive.  Expected a good night's sleep - didn't happen, as there was a party going on somewhere in the hotel and it kept me up pretty much all night.

Drove to Cleveland the next day.  It had rained hard there all week, but the forecast for Sunday was sun.  Very nice hotel just a few blocks from the starting line.  After a 4 hour drive, I checked in and then took the shuttle to the expo.  Spent an hour or two there, and picked up some Ghost 6's at a great price, as well as a bunch of gels.  No Sayonara's for sale anywhere, so will have to get those elsewhere (ended up buying them in Chicago a few days after - I will run my Hamilton Marathon in these).

Back to the hotel, and then walked to the Cathedral for Mass.  I don't often get to sit through those as a parishioner, rather than as a priest/celebrant, so that was a nice treat.  Afterwards, back to the hotel for the pasta dinner.  That wasn't worth the price, but it was in my hotel and so very convenient.  And I actually slept well that night.  Went for a walk before sunset to see the start/finish lines.

Woke up at 4:15 and ate a plain bagel.  Planned on adding peanut butter, but just couldn't stomach it at that hour.  Had my normal coffee (2 cups) and then a banana at 6:00am.  Temperature was 2 C or 36 F.  Hmm, same as my training.  Hadn't anticipated that, but good from my perspective.  Decided to wear a short sleaved shirt and my long running pants.  Also gloves.

Left the hotel at 6:30 and right away wondered if I was over dressed.  A LOT of runners wearing just shorts.  I walked one block towards the starting line, and decided to change.  The wind was not strong, and it felt warmer than it was.  So, I went back to my room and changed into my running shorts (tights) and made my way to Corral 'A', just behind the elites where the 3:05 marathon pace group was standing.  That change ended up being a good decision, as it got quite warm later on.

20 000 runners ... Full, Half, and 10km combined.  A beautiful morning as the sun came up.  It was cold, and I was glad for my gloves, but I knew I'd be ditching them at some point.  I had 2 gels (GU) with me, and 3 PowerBar GelBlasts.  The gloves actually work well with these, as they just sit in the palm of my hands.

I ate the 1st GU 15 minutes before 7am, and drank my last water.  Worked well for me.  The race was delayed until 7:05 for some reason, but after all the normal talks and anthoms, we were on our way.  I was cold up until then, but fine after.

From here on in, I stuck like glue to the pacers.  I have never been in a race that was so crowded!  I expected this for the 1st 2 miles, but it was quite crowded right up until mile 10 when the marathoners and halfers split apart.  It made for some minor jostling, and the occasional "sorry about that" as arms collided, and you really had to focus on not stepping on someone's feet.  The real disadvantage of that was not being able to see the road very far in advance.  I was worried about Cleveland's reputation for potholes.  Turns out, that fear was overblown.  Although there are the normal potholes you'd see in any major city, they were nothing like I have in my home town.  Still, when appeared, I had very little time to see and avoid them, and so I had to be conscious of that.

Anyway, the splits were under the goal pace of 7:03.  I didn't see the 1st mile marker, but the topic of conversation was that it seemed to be quite a bit further out than it should have been (by 2/10ths of a mile).  That theme continued in conversation, I noticed ... everyone seemed to agree that the 1st mile was longer than a mile.  But hey, it was a certified course, so you have to go with it.  I was careful to run the tangents, as there are a fair number of turns in the course, but it's hard to do that well with so many people running.

As I said, I was so grateful to the pacers.  They really kept me where I needed to be.  I even was able to get a drink of water from one when I missed the water station.  Cheers to them!  Passed the "Beer2O" station without taking one, but sure remembered when I did in Detroit 2 years ago when I tore my Achilles Tendon and was limping to the finish line.

Took my 1st chew at mile 3, and my second chew at mile 5.  Decided to go with the chew again at mile 6 and ditched my running gloves at this point.  And I was SO grateful for not being in long running pants at this time.  I then opened my gel at mile 7 and nursed it for 2 miles.  My stomach was never really an issue, and I had enough energy throughout this race.

We halfers split off from the full marathon group at mile 9.5.  I wondered if I would be able to keep this pace without the pacers.  I did, actually, for mile 11, but WOW - mile 12 sucked!  Now I'm on the expressway.  It's a LONG uphill.  It's hot and I'm breathing heavy for the first time.  I am pretty sure, at this point, of getting a PR, so I just relax and focus.  There's actually 3 hills, here, and it sure does take a lot out of you at this point.  However, having walked the finish line the night before, I know the last half mile is downhill, and that thought urges me onward.

On the downramp.  My GPS tells me I've run 13.1 miles already, but the finish line is still ahead 200 meters.  The spectators yell "sprint to the finish!"  It's funny ... I know I can ... I still have it in me ... but I decide to finish with a steady pace.  I don't want to finish depleted - just satisfied.  And I am.  It was a very good race for me.  Almost 2 years since my last PR, and with a significant injury in between, and I am able to finish strong and healthy.  I'm happy!

It's a very nice day now, with lots of spectators and a high level of energy.  The post run snacks are superb, and the finishers medal is unique - spinning guitar.  There's a post run party in a grassy area, and I have a free drink tab on my bib, so I grab my beer here and try to enjoy it.  My stomach won't let me, however, and I end up dumping most of it after attempting a few sips.

After a while, even with the foil warming blanket and the sun, I start to shiver.  I guess because I'm wet with sweat.  So, I make my way back to my hotel room to shower.  I'm off to see the Cleveland Indians play ball this afternoon, so I figure I'll enjoy a beer and an afternoon in the sun there - which is exactly what I end up doing.

My results are posted fairly quickly - that night.  I'm 11th in my age group out of 320.  I'm the 116th male out of 2525.  I finish 128th over all, out of 6113 runners.  So, I'm in the top 2% overall, in the top 4.6% of the men, and in the top 3.5% of my age group.

I'm pleased with this result, and it gives me the confidence I wanted going into my marathon training program starting in July.  I have a few races I want to do in June:  a 10k (will shoot for a new PR), the "Miner's Mahem" (a local obstacle course through mud, wire, walls, etc), and a 5k in my home town of Lively (I've never run a 5k before, so that WILL be a PR for me!).

On the injury side of things - nothing to report, I'm happy to say.  My iliopsoas was nagging me, but never yelling at me.  And my right hamstrings/glutes were not really noticeable (until the next day!).  Those areas will give my massage therapist something to work at on Monday when I see her for an hour.

One last note:  the experience of running with my Garmin was eye opening for me.  According to it, my splits were 4 seconds faster than my goal, and yet I finished officially with splits 3 seconds slower than my goal.  A 7 second variance.  I'm glad to have seen this, however, as I'll need to be aware of it during my Marathon in November.  A variance of that much translates to 3 minutes over the Marathon distance, which could impact my BQ time.  I

 

 

Mizuno Wave Elixir 8 Miles: 13.00
Weight: 161.00
Comments(2)
Total Distance
4.00

4 Miles easy.  I'm in Chicago.  I'm REALLY jealous!  The waterfront trail here is incredible!

Enigma Miles: 4.00
Weight: 0.00
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Total Distance
4.00

Again on the waterfront trail in Chicago.  Man, it doesn't get any better than this!

Enigma Miles: 4.00
Weight: 161.00
Add Comment
Total Distance
4.00

4 Mile easy run.  No issues ... right hamstring has been tight since the race, but have been rolling it and it is loosening up.

Enigma Miles: 4.00
Weight: 0.00
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Total Distance
4.00

4 Mile easy run in Toronto.  Will rest tomorrow and then pick up the mileage again on Monday.

Enigma Miles: 4.00
Weight: 0.00
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Total Distance
7.00

A seven mile easy run (8:08 pace) - no issues to speak of after my race.  I'll hold my weekly mileage in the 40 mile range until my marathon training starts in July.

Brooks Glycerin Miles: 7.00
Weight: 161.50
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Total Distance
5.00

Five miles at an easy pace of 8:20.  I gave a blood donation last night, and boy did it show!  I felt sluggish and my legs were dead.  Normal stuff, after giving blood.  Should feel better by tomorrow.

Ghost 5 Miles: 5.00
Weight: 159.00
Add Comment
Total Distance
7.00

An easy run at a pace of 8:20.  Felt comfortable throughout. 

Brooks Glycerin Miles: 7.00
Weight: 159.00
Add Comment
Total Distance
6.00

An easy run of 6 miles on my regular loop - pace of 8:26/mile.  No pain issues of note - my old friend iliopsoas is always there, but not getting any worse.  And besides, the nagging pain reminds me to keep a strong form.  The massage on Monday helped the glutes/hamstrings, and I've added a strengthening routine to my schedule to specifically address the hamstrings in this period between training schedules.

Marathon training starts at the beginning of July.

Enigma Miles: 6.00
Weight: 159.00
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Total Distance
5.00

Had a scare this morning, as my Forerunner 305 would not power on.  It's an old faithful partner, and I hated the thought of losing it.  So, ran a familiar 5 mile route without a watch - just by feel.

Anyway, before I blogged here, I did an internet search re: my Garmin and discovered a solution through a "soft re-set" that worked for me.  Hurray!  I have my friend back!

Brooks Glycerin Miles: 5.00
Weight: 160.00
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Total Distance
12.00

Ran the 12 miles at a pace of an 8:18/mile on my regular rural route.  A bit of excitement at mile 3 when a black bear crossed the road just ahead of me. 

Next week I'm going to introduce hill workouts, as a good chunk of the Hamilton Marathon is downhill.  Need to get my quads ready for that.  Will also start running the paces I'll be using during my Marathon training program ... I'm using the Hanson Method, and so they are all laid out for me.  Essentially, that means the only real adjustment is running my easy runs at a much slower pace.

Initially, I had planned to train for a 3:25 marathon, since I need a 3:30 qualifying time for Boston.  After Cleveland, however, I've decided to train for a 3:20 marathon.  I believe I can handle the faster training paces involved, and it will give me a bit more of a cushion.

Ghost 5 Miles: 12.00
Weight: 161.50
Add Comment
Total Distance
169.10
Enigma Miles: 46.00Brooks Glycerin Miles: 40.00Ghost 5 Miles: 58.00Mizuno Wave Elixir 8 Miles: 25.00
Weight: 161.10
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