Larry's Blog Pages

November 29, 2011

Hiperformance Online - Come run with us...

Hey Folks,

My coach, Tyler Lord, is rolling out an exciting new training program for 2012 and he would love to have everyone out for a FREE orientation run.

What - Hiperformance Online orientation run
When - Sunday, December 11, 2011
Where - Hiperformance Training Centre - 118 Thomas Street, Oakville

Tyler (Pro triathlete, Head Coach), Glenn Camplin (amazing, local AG triathlete) and myself will be in attendance to lead the group through the quiet streets of Oakville. There will be several distances to pick from so everyone is more than welcome to come out and see what the program has to offer.

Please come out and see what all the buzz is about!

If you have any questions, or would like to RSVP, please send your correspondance to the contact below -

(I will post more information about the program specifics as they are posted up on the Hiperformance Online site! Stay tuned...)

November 21, 2011

Road 2 Hope Half Marathon (2011) Race Report

Missing the Scotia Toronto Waterfront Marathon a few weeks ago, I thought I would just pack it in for the season and take some time to rest and recuperate. Thankfully, other people had better ideas and I soon found myself gearing up for the Hamilton Road to Hope Half Marathon. I had put in a lot of work for the marathon and my coach did not want to see me waste all the effort so he recommended this date for me to compete.

Having raced this particular event last year, I knew it was a fast course but I still had to be ready and on my game to hit the time he had in mind for me. So I took the three weeks and made a very solid push in training to get myself ready to go sub 1:20 in Hamilton. As luck would have it, Tyler made a last minute change to his schedule to help pace my effort. Heading into the race with this support, I was feeling very good about my chances.

On Sunday morning, I grabbed my gear and headed towards the Hammer. On my way, I picked up Tyler and we drove to Confederation Park (the finish area) to catch the shuttle bus up the hill to the starting line. During the ride we discussed the strategy of the day so I knew what to expect and where I wanted to be in relation to his position on the course.

When we arrived at the high school (our warming centre), we grabbed a spot in one of the halls and I slowly prepared my kit for the race. I was not sure how warm it would feel come gun time so I was taking a long time deciding what to wear. As I weighed my clothing options, I had a chance to chat with Laura G (FMCT) and Luke Ehgoetz. Laura was gearing up for the full so she had a bit of a head start and was just about to make her way over to the line. Luke was running the half with us so I was interested to see what his game plan was for the 21.1k.

After we discussed this, and checked in our bags, it was time for a quick warm up outside. It was incredible running weather so I ended up ditching the short sleeve technical shirt I had under my top and just went with tri top and gloves on this early November morning.

At the start line, I tucked in behind Tyler and let him lead out of the tight chute. Unfortunately, I did not battle very hard once the gun sounded and I found myself falling off the pace, getting stuck behind some folks that were not hitting the pace the lead group was pushing. With a sharp right turn about 100 metres out of the school driveway, I had to wait to get around the corner before I could negotiate the crowd and then bridge up to the group I wanted to be running with. I wasn’t expecting to generate this kind of acceleration in this part of the run so once I caught up to Tyler I just sat on his heels for a few minutes to get the heart rate back down.

Over the next few kilometres we kept things under control, hanging slightly back from the chase group (the solo leader was well ahead of them). A few times I felt the urge to surge up to one of the other small packs in between us and the chase but Coach T wisely held me back keeping me just under our targeted pace across the flats leading up to the Red Hill Valley Parkway.

Just after the 5k marker we arrived at the downhill section as we merged onto the expressway. We had the benefit of a solid tailwind at this point so Tyler pumped up the pace and I just stuck on his tail. Most of the small groups were now strung out down the road so we just ran our own pace and did not worry about working with anyone else, for the time being.

On the decent, I was cruising along quicker than planned but I was doing well staying with my coach for most of this drop towards the lake, usually following him or just behind the twosome or threesome he was pulling along. This held true until the 8k area when I made a mental mistake trying to grab a cup of energy drink from an aid station. I missed the first one when I took my eyes off the cup and had to scramble to reach for another before passing through the zone. This brief lapse in focus seemed to knock me slightly off their pace and a gap opened up between myself and Tyler, Hugo Reyes and Michael Enright.

Tyler had mentioned Hugo’s talent level (as we watched him charge out at the start of the race) so when Tyler started to run beside Mr. Reyes, I figured they were going for a much quicker time than I could manage. My new plan was to just try and keep my gap around a hundred metres back. With the wind helping I knew I would be OK to work alone for the moment but I also knew once we changed direction, in a few thousand metres onto Barton, I would be expending a lot of extra energy going solo.

As I reached the 10k sign, I looked at my watch (35:23) to notice I was around ten seconds ahead of last year’s pace. This had me a little worried as I remember how much time I gave back in the last half of the run in 2010 and I felt like I was struggling a lot earlier this year. Shortly after the sign, I started to climb up the exit ramp from the expressway and decided to skip the aid station that would have added a few extra metres (on the far side of the curve). I saw Tyler, Hugo, Michael and another runner all head towards the volunteers so I hoped that my shorter route to Barton would allow me grab onto the back of their line to find some protection from the wind.

Similar to 2010, the wind was slowing everyone down along this short detour to Woodward Avenue. Tyler was now pushing ahead of the rest of us and looking very strong as I joined in behind Hugo and Michael. Once we turned right onto Woodward, we enjoyed more assistance from the wind and I just let my legs go and led the group for a few minutes with my coach a little ways up the road.

Over the next few kilometres, the three of us kept swapping positions leading the small pack to the lake front portion of the course. The cross wind was pretty tough along Beach Blvd as Hugo and Michael started to fade a little so I decided to just run on my own and try to chase down Tyler who was now about 50 metres up the street. When we finally reached the turnaround at 16k, I was not too far off but realized it would be a mistake to bridge up since the last five kilometres were going to be killer with the winds howling from our right.

On our way along the lake front path to the finish line, Michael ended up catching and pulling past me with about 4k to go. My form was getting very ugly at this point and I could not match his speed to work with him (to be honest, I don’t think there was any place to hide from the wind from the direction it was coming from so I just tried to use a training course landmarks to get me closer to the line as fast as possible). The Brooklin, Ontario native eventually hit a wall with about 2.5k to the line and I slowly got around him. He held on for a few hundred feet until a twosome from the London area smoothly glided past us, knocking both of us out of the top ten.

I had nothing left in the tank but Michael seemed to have a little juice and tried to track them down. He eventually came up six seconds short of their time and I was another eight behind him. I was just happy to reach the tape before having to crawl.

I ended up breaking through in 1:17:40 and finishing 12th overall and 2nd in my Age Group. Tyler also set a PB finishing 45 seconds ahead of me in 8th position. Thanks Coach!

Congrats to everyone on their races in Hamilton! Great work by Luke to easily beat his goal and qualify for New York in 2011!

November 16, 2011

Trying to bring things back up to speed...

Well, my plans to have my race report completed have been sidelined. I was too busy enjoying a weekend away with the family and I tried to keep sports and work out of the mix. I will attempt to get this wrapped up this week, but with work being crazy of late, I am not sure exactly when I can fit it in.

I am also getting back up to speed with my program. Since the half marathon, I have been recovering. Most of that has brought back poor eating habits so I am carrying a little extra weight around that I have to shed to make running easier. Last night's run was amazing in the mild, fall weather we are experiencing. I got home after the run feeling motivated so I drove over to the gym to throw in some weight training as well.

As you can see over to the right, we are getting very run specific at this point in the season. This will give me a good indication if I am feeling up to Boxing Day 10 Miler. I better decide very soon as many of these traditional runs are selling out quickly these days. Tyler has told me to focus on the run so I will just fit in some extra rides on the side to keep my cycling legs ready to go once we get geared back up for the hard work to come. I don't want to fall too far behind the machines I have in friends like Richard, Sean and Luke.

Next is the swim. I received all kinds of advice from folks which led me to a Friday morning session in Meadowvale, blocks from my house. JJ is coaching a group through a drill structured class which is exactly what I need to become way more efficient in the water for Muskoka. I know JJ has a huge following, and is an amazing coach, so I am sure I am in great hands for this swim each week. Now I just have to decide when I will swim a few more times during the week. FMCT swims are starting in the new year so I have to get cracking on this to make sure it is OK with family schedule. As the kids are getting older, they are increasing their activity calendars so I have to make sure that I do not book anything that conflicts with Sparks, Swimming or Skating.

Anyway, just another quick update. Would love to hear how everyone else is spending their fall this season?

Talk soon,

November 10, 2011

Just chilling...

Hey Folks,

Just a quick hit this morning before I dive into another full day of webinar action at work.

I am currently working on my race report from the Hamilton Half Marathon. Should be able to post by the end of the weekend. It has been a crazy week at work but the timing is good. I have not completed anything of note, athletically speaking. Coach told me to recover and I am doing just that. I don't think he told me to binge on junk food so I will have some work to do coming off this week.

Not sure what is 100% for my next adventure. I want to run Egg Nog Jog but it may have sold out. I am not organized at this moment, in that aspect of my daily world, to just go and sign up. Between family, work, hockey work, etc... I am not sure how that weekend is shaping up for free time so need to sit down and sort through things before making the committment. That may be too late the way the entries are filling up. Oh well.

After that, Tyler wants me to test out the Boxing Day 10 Miler. Once again, not sure of my schedule so got to take a look at all the factors on that day before jumping in. Hope I can check things out tomorrow night.

Anyway, must be going.

Make sure you read some of the blogs on the left side of my web page. A lot of cool posts from my friends of late.

Talk soon,

November 3, 2011

Getting the game face on...

Since I finally officially registered the other day, I cannot turn back now. I wasn't thinking about it anyway but sometimes you get up on a race day and would rather stay in bed. When you register on race day, such as I do very often (bad habit), there is no financial commitment so being lazy (especially when the weather is crappy) and staying home does not create such a guilty feeling.

So Sunday is my next challenge at the Hamilton Half Marathon. Looks like there is a good field of runners signed up so I hope I have a few people to work with to chase down my goal. I feel like I have put in an excellent fall of training and the weight has come down to a comfortable running level so I am excited to see how things pan out.

I know from the last few half marathons that the legs are going to hurt in the final 5k at the pace I raced during those events but I would really like to hammer a little more out of the gate to see how low I really can go on this downhill course. Tyler believes I have a faster time in my system, based on my training paces and shorter race results, so that may be just the vote of confidence I need to try to push the pace a little more. Hopefully, others will want to go after this time range as well so that I have some company on the road. I am sure we will encounter some wind down along the lake shore area so every extra body counts during this stretch!

Other than getting ready for this race, I have been trying to find a place to swim in preparation for the 2012 Muskoka 70.3. Not an easy task given my demands. I need something very close to home, something that is open early or very late and something that isn't crazy expensive. Not sure I am going to satisfy all these demands but I better pick something soon as I would like to be in the water 5 or 6 times a week before the new year to improve as much as possible before next fall.

Well, that's just a quick update for now. I hope everyone has a great race weekend and make sure you say HI! if you are in Hamilton this Sunday. Good luck!