Monday, 31 March 2014

Around the Bay 30k - Race Report

Due to my insistence at arriving at races uber early to avoid additional stress, we were up at 5.30 am on Sunday and on the road an hour later heading for Hamilton. It was still pretty busy when we arrived and it was nice to get immersed in the atmosphere of a road running race. Neither of us have competed in a running race for maybe 3 or 4 years - we can't remember! It has been triathlons all the way.

When we entered the Bay Race it was with a view to having a bit of a running focus over the winter months, but that turned out to be a bit of a burden as the winter was so bad and we had to keep forcing ourselves out to run substandard paces and distances in the snow and freezing temperatures. Subsequently we only ran 3 decent long runs over 1.45, but lots of shorter 60 - 90 min runs. To add to the problems we both became ill in the run up to the race and even on race morning we were feeling sorry for ourselves and a bit congested. On hindsight this may have slightly worked in our favour as we reduced our training a lot more than we might have done in race week so while our heads were a bit fogged up, our legs were probably quite well rested.

The Bay Race is the oldest Road Race in North America and subsequently runs like clockwork - 9000 competitors doing the whole race and I think 500 relay teams plus 2500 in the 5k.

The whole field starts at 9.30 but you are separated in Corrals depending on expected finish time. I wangled myself into Corral A at the front (you have to provide evidence of sub 1.30 half marathon or 3.00 marathon in the last 2 years - I have not raced any so persuaded them my IM marathon time was good enough). We didn't realise there was a Corral B & C so Genevieve ended up further back squashed in with the masses and relay teams.

If I was in Scotland I would have raced in vest and shorts regardless of weather conditions but as I am going slightly soft I wore 3/4 tights and a base layer too. 90% of the rest of the field wore long tights, multiple thermal tops, jackets, hats and gloves so when the sun came out 3 mins before the race start a lot of people knew they were in for a sweat fest!

I was hoping to hold 4.20/km pace all the way through but was going a little quicker out of the gate but felt comfortable so stuck with it. The race weaves its way out of Hamilton, taking in some of the beautiful industrial landmarks(!!) before eventually crossing the bridge over  the lake to the other side and turning left onto the more scenic rolling part of the route. The wind dropped at this point and I still felt comfy - every time I looked at my watch it said 4.09 and I was pulling people in one at a time - I didn't get overtaken by anyone after 7k.

I was pleased we had run this section on a training run so we knew what to expect and it flew by - even the 'killer hill' didn't seem too bad. Once the last climb is done it is a downhill gradient for 3km to the finish. I picked up the pace a little and pushed hard to the end. The finish line is great as you run into Copps Colosseum and finish inside, right in the middle of the arena. I stopped my watch on 2.05.55 averaging 4.10/km and Genevieve finished in 2.28.34 averaging 4.55/km. Given our sketchy run training we were both very pleased with our results and we both got Silver medals for our times.

Well done to all our buddies who ran the race - Tom, Bruce, Matt, Dave, Christine, Carolyn, Audrey, and Barb who won her age group in the 5km.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014


Last week was a busy week for us with lots of things going on and a lot of training. Many people have been lucky enough to get away over the March break and seek out some warm sunshine for a few days whilst the rest of us are left to battle the never ending cold weather. We must have met at least 10 people this week who have been ill with coughs and colds and Genevieve has been poorly over the weekend and had to miss an important long run with only 2 weeks to go till the Around the Bay 30 km race.

Due to the freezing weather through the week I had to delay my long run till Sunday, which ended up also being a freezing -15 and -21 with the wind chill. I have been a bit unmotivated by the running routes recently so Genevieve drove me out into the country and made me run 26 kms home into a head wind!! Despite the clear blue skies and sun it was bitterly cold and my heart rate was through the roof at the start as it struggled with the temperature. On the flip side though this was my first long run (of 4!!) where I hit my target race pace from start to finish. I was officially destroyed though after Saturdays 2.5 hr Spin session and sub 4 min/km brick run. It is now Tuesday and my legs are still not working!

One more race specific long run to do later this week then ease back for the week running up to Around the Bay. I am looking forward to the race but also looking forward to easing back on the pace of my training runs a little after it to a more sensible pace for Ironman!

Monday, 10 March 2014

Half way Around the Bay

Another training week ticked off - this one was supposed to be a recovery week but looking at it on paper you wouldn't think that. We automatically rack up 8 hours a week of training just from running the spin classes. I did dial the intensity back on a couple of them, partly because Tuesdays session was so hard I had nothing left to offer anyway! Also, yesterday was a long run which could not be avoided. Around the Bay is 2 weeks away and our quality long long runs have been sparse due to the weather.

So with that in mind it was another early start on Sunday, especially after the clocks going forwards on Saturday night. We were on the road for 7.30 am heading to Oakville for our Round the Bay reconnaissance run. A few last minute cancellations meant there were just 8 of us.
Under 90 mins later we were stepping out of the cars wishing we had worn more clothes. This winter is going on forever and minus 15 again this morning meant for another chilly start with frozen lips and ice block feet. Once the sun gained strength though it was a perfect running day and clear blue skies and great views across the partially frozen lake. There were so many runners out practising on the course you could believe that it was actually race day.

My group ran 22 km except Genevieve who shamed us all at the end by running 2 km extra as we got changed in the car park thinking we had finished!

We managed to run most of the more scenic back half of the race route and got a chance to look at the roads and all the hills, which were not as bad as I had expected. We'll see if I am thinking the same in a couple of weeks after 20 km. We managed to run on or near race pace, confident that there is always a bit of extra speed on race day. I have been managing a bit of a niggly hamstring for a couple of weeks (actually most of my running career) and it felt a bit tight during the run but didn't hamper me too much. If it is ok on race day I can probably go a little bit faster - we'll see. We had a good laugh and a good run and it was nice to get out and run somewhere different with the gang.

This week the volume ramps up again so we need to get the fridge filled up as my appetite will also increase accordingly!

Have a great week Everyone and Happy Training!!!

Friday, 7 March 2014

Athelite Epic Training Days - April 5th and 26th

Winter is coming to an end (hopefully!) and race season is looming. Time to start putting it all together. To help you do this we have put together 2 EPIC TRAINING DAYS in April. These multi sport Bike, Run, Swim training days are suitable for ANY ABILITY and are just a fun way of getting a good workout in a group environment.

Dates; Sat 5th April and  Sat 26th April. 7.00am - 2.00pm. Sign up for one, or both!!

Cost; $65.00

What to expect; 

Bike - Two hour structured indoor bike session working on speed skills, technique, form, muscular and aerobic endurance. (60 min & 90 min option available).
Run - An out and back steady paced run in different paced groups, various distances available for different abilities. (30 min & 60 min option available).
Swim - Land based stretching, technique focused drill set, structured main swim set. Option to do less. Different lanes for different abilities. (45 min & 75 min option available).

7.00am -7:30am Arrive at Studio in Snowball & Set up
7:30am - 9:30am Indoor Bike Workout (option to do less)
9:30am - 9:40am Change to Run gear
9:40am - 10:40am Run Workout - Road Run (option to do less)
10:45am - 11:00am Stretching
11:00am - 11:30am Nutrition/Coffee break. Refuel
11:30am - 12:00pm Head to Pool & change to swim kit
12:00pm - 1:30pm Land based exercise & Swim Workout
1:30pm - 2:00pm Core. Q & A. Finish!

Who can attend;

The answer is Anyone, no matter what distance you are training for, your ability or age (over 18) you will be welcomed. We will take account of everyones ability.

What to bring;

Enough nutrition to keep you going throughout all the workouts. Bring plenty of hydration. 2-3 bottles of fluid for the bike session, one for before/after the run and one for the swim.

For the Bike - bike clothing, bike, bike shoes, trainer, front wheel riser, mat, towel, fluids, nutrition

For the Run - running clothing, running shoes, jacket, gloves, hat. Dress for the weather.

For the Swim - swim wear, goggles, cap, pull buoy, hand paddles, fins (if you have them) and a towel.

All sessions are lead by experienced and qualified Triathlon Coaches / Triathletes!
Any questions please email us at
The schedule can change without notice.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Around the Bay Race Reconnaissance Run

This Sunday 9th March a group of us are heading down to run a portion of the Around the Bay Race route.

Our plan is to leave at 7:30am from Second Cup, Aurora.

We will drive down the QEW and exit at North Shore and head east to LaSalle Park, half way along North Shore Blvd.

The run route will be East on North Shore to the hospital, turn around and back to the park to replenish water if needed (8.9k).  Continue out North Shore and ultimately down to Dundurn Castle, turn around and back to LaSalle Park. The full distance is 24k.

For those who want to make the run shorter, at the top of the big hill at Plains Road turn back, now 18k.

The map is on MapMyRun: 12.14 km North Shore Route;

More importantly, after the run we will go over to JC HOT Bagels at Guelph Line and New Street. It is in Burlington, east on North Shore, past the QEW,  continue on Lakeshore, then North on Guelph line – about a ten minute drive.
Sounds like there will be about 12-15 people coming so lots of abilities and various distances available to run from  9k – 24k. 

The weather is currently showing -4 for Sunday so pack your shorts and bikinis!!

Birthday Shenanigans

Birthday weekends are apparently not what they used to be and this one featured a lot more working out and a lot less drinking than it would have done 20 years ago!

It started on Friday morning with the Birthday swim - 2 lanes of people knocking out 42 x 100's. Great fun and much 'easier' than you think once you have a crowd of people involved. We swam the 1st 1 km off 2 mins (1.45/100), the 2nd km off 1.55, the 3rd off 1.50 then the last ones with paddles/pull buoys and then fins where we were knocking out the 100's in just over 1.20's. Crazy end to the session but I loved it! We refuelled with coffee and Super G's cupcakes.

A couple of pints on Friday evening but an early night in preparation for the Saturday morning monster spin session. 2.5 hours of sweatfest intervals followed by a mental 20 min run off the bike. The rest of the day involved a more relaxing menu of coffee, cake, snooze and wine before 12 of us headed to the new Hungry Brew Hops Pub in Newmarket for some craft beer drinking and dinner. Great place and highly recommended!

Luckily I seemed to avoid a hangover which was good as I spent most of Sunday swim coaching and bike fitting. We finished off the weekend with birthday wine, dinner and Coronation Street. Wild!!

Thanks everyone who was involved, that was a great weekend!!