Larry's Blog Pages

December 30, 2010

2010 Highlights

It is very close to the final day of 2010 so finding a topic for this week is easy, although, not very creative. I went through my entire year of postings and pulled out some pieces I am proud of. Of course, I did have some personal/family highlights along the way but I will keep it sports related for this blog.

2010 Highlights

1 - Timberman 70.3
I entered 2010 having completed two sprint triathlons in my multisport career. Both of them were done with the help of a very slow breast stroke so when I signed up for the Timberman 70.3, with a group of my FMCT Falcons, I was very worried about finishing 1.9k in the water. Also, with giving up so many duathlon opportunities for this race, I did not want to go to just finish but I really wanted to race this distance. Things did not look very good leading up to the event due to back issues and bike fit problems. It was to the point that I was very close to walking away from triathlon before that race. Thankfully, many friends helped me through the pre-race training and I joined my teammates on the starting line. My 4:36 finishing time was icing on the cake, especially, with a slow swim time. It was also great to have the opportunity to meet and share accomodations with Canadian Pro, Brent Poulsen.

2 - Run4Hope 5K
This is a great event that my tri club puts on in Brampton. It was my first race of the year so I was just hoping to gauge my training at the time, a little over a month out from Victoria's Duathlon. In the past, I had battled to break the 18 minute barrier for this distance, coming up seconds short on several attempts. Thankfully, I had everything line up properly on this day and I ran a great effort for a 17:18 clocking, good enough for second place overall. This was exactly the confidence booster I needed to start out the year.

3 - Tyler Lord
I was at a low spot after an early attempt at longer distance triathlon (Welland Half Iron) and ready to pack in the towel on Timberman. Following the race, I started talking to Tyler and he really changed my whole mind set. He worked with me to set up a plan of attack for my 70.3 race and restored my sagging confidence. He did such a great job that we will continue to work together in 2011 towards my many athletic goals.

4 - Road2Hope Half Marathon
It had been several years since my last Half Marathon (outside a tri or du) so I was curious to see how fast I could go in 2010. My previous best was 1:30 from Angus Glen back in 2006 so I knew I had improved but I really wanted to tackle a sub 1:20 result at this distance. Tyler and I got to work on this after the tri season wrapped up and set our sights on the Hamilton race in early November. I stuck to the game plan throughout the entire race and hit my marks all the way until the final part where race organizers added 400 to 500 metres to the distance (somehow). I ended up hitting the line in 1:21:10 but my 3:46 pace/km would have put me under my goal if the distance was correct. Overall, I finished in 12th spot and 1st in my Age Group. I had my Mom and Aunt watching so it was neat to do so well in front of them in a rather large event. Deep down, I know my pace was exactly where it should have been but I will hit the Mississauga Half to attempt to make sub 1:20:00 official on paper.

5 - Binbrook Sprint Triathlon
Due to weather, that I did not find enjoyable for racing, I ended up skipping the Milton Sprint Tri so Binbrook was my first official triathlon of 2010. I had raced two previous triathlons in my life but did not have the swim training to make it through the water without resorting to long breaks of breast stroke. Even though I was five and a half minutes (49th place) behind the leaders coming into T1, I was thrilled to actually swim the full 750m course and used that motivation to hammer the bike (top bike split) and put down a solid run (5th fastest). In the end, I finished 3rd overall and started to really get excited about the upcoming season.

Testing the waters in triathlon created a challenging season for me. As you can see above, not all was too bad so I can take several positives into 2011 as I work back into the Duathlon side of the sport. Tyler and I have already started to prepare for the upcoming year. It is not going to be easy to reach some of my goals but I think I will enjoy a lot more success during the next 12 months if I continue to train hard.

In my next posting, I will review my 2011 Goals.

Happy New Year!

December 21, 2010

Egg Nog Jog - The Analysis

As my Garmin decided to freeze before the race, I did not have the splits for this year on my watch but Robbie T displayed his on his race report ( ). He was right behind me just before the hill and then I was able to add a few seconds to the gap up the hill and towards the end.

I took his splits and figured where I was running at the time and then compared to my splits from 2009. It is very evident that I blew up (in my quest for sub 40 min) on the hills and could never recover on the slushy, icy roads.

I was hoping to go out at a similar pace to last year and then conquer the hilly portion in better form this year due to my increased speed. I guess the 5 extra pounds I carried this year did not help, especially, on this course! I have been racing with this extra load ever since Lakeside in September and cannot seem to shake it.

Next year, I am going to beat the battle with the calorie monster and race at a lighter weight. I am leaving too many seconds out there when I carry extra pounds compared to my competitors.

Below is the breakdown of my two years at the Egg Nog Jog to highlight the poor performance over the hills (km 3 on the rollers and km's 6&7 on the big climb). Sure, the weather was not ideal but I still put in solid enough run training to get me where I wanted to be.

December 12, 2010

Egg Nog Jog 2010 - Race Report

Once again I walk away from a recent race not knowing exactly how to feel. I thought the effort was there but the result did not translate. It seemed that way for many, due to weather conditions, but a few made large moves forward over last year's time including second place finisher, Kyle Ferguson, who made a huge jump in position and time over his 2009 posting.

The cold, rainy weather was not what I hoped to see coming off such a beautiful, December Saturday. The wet morning had made for a sloppier course than last year as it was not as cold enough to keep the roads hard. In 2009, we had enough snow before this race to have a packed surface, which was ideal for my spikes. Today was one of those border line days as the asphalt areas were exposed and would have made a mess of my feet if I used a full shoes of spikes.

I ended up settling with three front spikes to save the balls of my feet and my baby toe from rubbing on the spikes when running on the harder areas. This made for decent traction on most of the course but I could have used a little more grip on the icy patches on the top end of the course. I don't think I gave up too much time due to shoe selection.

Onto the race, I had a good jump out of the gate to find lots of space around the first turn, just outside of the Terra Cotta Consevation Area drive way. Last year's winner, Darryl Bank, was also flying off the line and started to set a blistering pace heading down the 1500 metre drop zone. I knew that was beyond my talents so I just tried to hover around my previous year pace. I was hoping to have my Garmin to be able to measure this but for some reason it froze and was stuck on the time I pulled it off the charger. Damn technology!

A little further down the hill, a group of three more runners made their way passed me. In that group was Tim Shannon (a solid 32 minute 10k runner from Georgetown) so I figured they would burn me out so I settled in behind them. I tried to get my stride together by the time we made the bottom of the hill but felt that I was being short and choppy. When we reached the rollers I was not feeling to confident about my speed and knew there were a number of others right on my tail. I could hear their footsteps and hear their breathing.

Coming off the 1.5k of rolling, slushy road, I somehow managed to hold mt spot in the race as my uphill surges were just enough to offset their downhill gains. Our next road was the gravel side road that led to the lung busting hill just after the half way marker. This section was very slow due to the loose footing of mush we had to deal with. I was trying to extend my stride and push my pace higher leading up to the hill and felt things were starting to pay off but once again, I had a strong runner (Kyle Aiken) pass me at the very bottom of the hill and slowly edge away as we trudged up the steep and twisting slope.

I now felt like I was falling back pretty bad, almost going too slow up the hill in an effort to save energy for the home stretch. Shockingly, nobody else pulled past me by the time I reached the summit so I used the short downhill that followed to get back up to speed, hoping to chase down Kyle and maybe one or two others that apeared to be coming back to me. I started to close the gap during the next few kilometres on top of the hill and thought I could kick it down a notch and make even more gains. This was looking good until we got back to the ashpalt roads where the group got moving quickly. I am not sure what my pace was along the final few kilometres but I know I was pushing hard so they must have been busting along at incredible speeds.

My final two km's were very strong and I assumed I was pretty close to my time from last year and moving faster through this section. As I hit the 10k marker, I got a great cheer from the Falcons watching from the side of the road and fed off their energy to plunge down the last winding decline a few hundred metres from the finish line. When I reached the driveway in pretty close to sprint speed I hoped to see a 3X:XX number on the time clock but instead found a 41:XX to my disappointment. I kept the hammer down and finished in 6th spot overall and 41:35 (58 seconds slower than 2009). I missed my goal time by over a minute and a half but don't think I could have run to that time under these conditions.

As I congratulated other runners in the finish area, I tried to figure out where I had given up the most time compared to last year but just cannot come up with an answer.

The great thing about this "home" race is all the familiar faces I bumped into during the course of the event. There were so many FMCT Falcons and Running Maniacs out for the Egg Nog Jog and it was great to hear their stories over some post race snacks. Great Work Folks!

Lastly, the Georgetown Runners put on a great show under tough conditions. The work of their members and volunteers made the day much more enjoyable. Also, I would like to remind everyone to thank Brad Mailloux and his staff at Feet in Motion for their very generous prizes. Please support Georgetown's local running shop and visit for more info!

Brad (Feet in Motion) presenting my AG Award in 2009

December 10, 2010

Happy 100th Birthday Grandma!

This event is bigger than any of my races or training sessions so I had to share. I am very proud of my Grandma as she has lived an honest, hard working life. She has always believed in me no matter who I was at the time as she knew things would turn out for the best.

On Sunday, December 12th, 2010 she will turn 100 years old and still remembers much more about her youth than I am able to recall about mine. Sharp as a knife that lady!

Happy Birthday Grandma!

December 9, 2010

Egg Nog Jog 2010 - Preview

So we are expecting a huge dump of snow this Sunday, just in time for the Egg Nog Jog 10.8k race in Terra Cotta. This race is tough enough as it is without Mother Nature hitting us hard. I know it will be cold and I am ready for that but if it is taking place during a blizzard, there is no hope to break the 40 minute barrier on this course. Check out the approximate elevation (in Metres) for this run. It is not a mountain run by any means but the lack of flats has your legs screaming for mercy. If you don't believe me, sign up for 2011 and I will see you there! 2010 has already sold all 600 spots so there will not be any race day registrations.

Might be another day to put on the spikes!

 Egg Nog Jog 10.8k - Elevation Chart

 2009 Egg Nog Jog - on the Icy Roads (needed spikes)

2009 Egg Nog Jog - Chasing Greg up the big hill (good luck catching that power house!)