Thursday, September 12, 2013

Edmonton half marathon race review 2013

On August 25th I ran in the Edmonton Half Marathon, a year after having a re-occurrence of my Achilles issues. I ran pretty well, but not as well as I would've liked. I guess part of that is because I know I can run faster, and have run faster in the past. But those times were run preinjury and to tell you the truth I haven't really run that well since.

A year has gone by since the last time I updated this blog and lot has changed in that time. Most of it for the better, but some of the changes lead to a period of time I wasn't interested in training/racing and generally felt sorry for myself and kind’ve withdrew from everything. But we don't need to go back there and the only person that can change the things you don't like in your life is you!!

In April according to my GPS I started training again. Slowly building up mileage on the bike and running as well as swimming when I had the chance, all with the idea of qualifying for the ITU World Cup Finale that will be here in Edmonton about a year from now.

I made the team for 2014 but only just (last spot in age group), which is what I was aiming for as it was the only triathlon I was going to do this year. But it also made me realize how far behind I was in my training. Could probably count on one hand the number of times I swam between February and the race. I also ran in the Canada 15K and while I started out running pretty good, the engine room just wasn't producing the power needed to run well. So I made the decision to slow down and just take it easy. Since July 1st I started to run more during the course of the week and so I entered the half marathon knowing I would only have about six weeks of pure running completed. The week ending Sunday before the race I completed my biggest week of running in a long time.

During the week leading up to the race I felt pretty good, not super just good. I did my last workout on the Thursday; a progression run which went well, from then it was just easy running until race day. As I said the race went pretty well, I just wasn't as fast as I had envisioned I would be. I was with a small group (Simon S, Greg M and AJ) in the beginning and we went through the first Kilometer in 3:30, but then the group started to split up. I slowed a little to around 3:39 per K which meant that I was running most of the race on my own. I slowed own bit more as I averaged 3:45 per K for the race. I was able to use the people from the other races as a goal to catch them, pick them off one at a time or in a group. This worked for me until about 3K to go when I could hear someone coming up behind me. My pursuer caught me with about a 2K to go and in my head I said to let him go but he wasn't going away from me so we ran together until made the last turn, I was starting to feel like I was done even said well done to him. But I guess I wasn't done yet as I was able pick it up and finish fast.

In the days since I've come to realize that I haven’t had the training needed to run as well as I know I can and as well as I want to be able to run. One of the things I am happy about is the fact that my Achilles is good.

Things can only get better from here on out, I now know where I am with my fitness compared to where I was. All I have to do now is train hard and most importantly SMART to get to where I want to be. I have a couple of races planned that would bring me up to the end of October. No marathons for the time being.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

injury update....August 21

Does having Achilles Tendinitis once at some point in your running career make you more likely to have it a second or third time? This is something I think I'll look into.

So I went to River Valley Health last night and they noticed that my calves are really tight. So they worked on them and then when I got home I worked on them a little bit more with the foam roller and a tennis ball.

What I've been noticing is with myself is that when the right combination of tight calves, sore feet and dehydration come together my Achilles starts to get painful. Which made me think about what led to this weeks soreness in that tendon.

I mean my calves are pretty tight all the time so that is nothing new. My feet have been sore for almost as long as my calves have been tight. So that leaves me to believe that its dehydration that is the cause this time, which when you think about it sounds right as its been very hot lately and to be honest I sweat quite a bit all the time in this heat and most of the time I can only get out to run at the hottest part of the day. I don't weigh myself before or after running in order to determine how how weight I've lost due to sweating, but maybe its something that I should start doing.

That and bunch of other things such as yoga classes and or massage more often. I'm thinking that I should do more of both every month, but its incorporating them into my schedule that will be a problem. But not one I'm going to worry about for a week or two as I'm taking the next week or so off running and training as we are heading to the Centre of the universe (if your from Toronto) for a few days to visit friends and a family wedding.

All's good in the land of Niall (for the moment)

Monday, August 20, 2012


And so it ends…. Tragically, after the results I had gotten in my last four races…. I think my season is done!! I managed a whopping four races this summer and always in the back of my mind is the issue with my left Achilles. For most of the summer it was good, I felt a couple of niggles here and there but a quick visit to the chiro and I was good to go. Yesterday my Achilles was hurting all day two weeks into a fall running plan. I didn't have any marathons planned but I wanted to get in a couple of races before we went in to winter slow down.

The thing is I wasn’t increasing my running totals (time or distance wise) by that much nor was I running any more intervals per week than I have since my marathon on January. I have been running in a pair or two of older shoes which may have made the problem worse.  I wanted to get in a good solid run base throughout the fall and winter as I believe it has been the training I did for the marathon in January that really helped me in the summer.

There are two major areas that I always seem to be hurting from and they are my right Hip and left Achilles, Now I'm not sure if they are connected but when it comes to the body what happens in one area tends to have a knock on effect in another area either further up or down on the kinetic chain. The problem with my hip is mostly due to working in a job that requires a lot of sitting, which as an athlete you'd think that sitting most of the day is better than standing all day... and it is but at the same time it isn't.

I think I may have to start concentrating on riding my bike swimming and core work until the injury is resolved. I’ll be heading to River Valley health tonight to see if they can help me out.