Still on the bike

Not much to report from me over the last two weeks. I’ve been cycling 5 or 6 days per week (averaging almost 10 hours per week) and my heel has been feeling normal for a couple weeks. I got out for two brief run/walk sessions just recently and after the second day’s run/walk I started to notice some irritation. Not sure if it’s just some soft tissue or the bone, so things are up in the air again.

As I’ve said before, I’ve been thankful to have such amazing weather this spring/summer to get some cross-training in. There’s no way I’d be getting as much time on the bike if I had to do it on an indoor trainer or an elliptical.

Up with the sun this morning to beat the thunderstorms

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There have been lots of good running races to follow with two national championship races at the end of May. Eric Gillis and Rachel Cliff took the national 10K titles in Ottawa while Kip Kangogo and Rachel Hannah took the half marathon titles in Calgary. There’s another national championship race this week and a couple other big races with Canadian contenders. Check out the details below.

 

inferno

Speed River Inferno featuring the 10,000m National Championship – Wednesday, June 14 — Start List | Live Stream

  • Kevin Blackney (2nd at 10K nationals)
  • Kevin Coffey (3rd at 10K nationals)
  • Evan Esselink
  • Anthony Larouche
  • John Mason
  • Blair Morgan
  • Andrew Nixon
  • Paul Rochus
  • Rachel Hannah (half marathon champ)

waterfront10k

Waterfront 10K – Saturday, June 17 — Start List

  • Eric Gillis (national 10K champ)
  • Reid Coolsaet (returning from injury)
  • Tristan Woodfine (4th at 10K nationals)
  • Kevin Coffey (3rd at 10K nationals)
  • Matt Loiselle
  • Sami Jibril
  • Krista DuChene
  • Natasha Wodak (national 10K champ)
  • Leslie Sexton (returning from injury)

grandmas-marathon-logo

Grandma’s Marathon – Saturday, June 17

  • Terence Attema (2:19 last marathon)
  • Trevor Zimak (2:26 last year, 2:31 earlier this year)

Hopefully things get back on track for me sometime this summer. I’m holding out hope that I’ll be able to run the Toronto Waterfront Marathon (STWM) in October but we’ll see. I’m just going to keep grinding it out on the bike and hopefully that effort is rewarded when I get back on my feet. 

I’m very likely going to miss some of the local 10K road races I’ve run over the last few years – like the Boys’ Home 10K on Father’s Day just down the road from me. That’s one of my favourites as it’s local and a certified course. Plus, they put on a pancake and sausage breakfast for the community following the race and it raises funds for a good cause. I’ve won the race the last three years and it would’ve been fun to see that streak continue but what can you do? If you’re in the area, check out this race for sure! You will never find a flatter 10K.

Just about my bedtime so I’ll wrap this up. Thanks for following along!

Canadian 10K and Half championships

This weekend has two races to watch – the Ottawa 10K and Calgary Half Marathon, both of which are national championship races and can be streamed online (links below). Start lists are out and here’s who I’m watching for:


Ottawa 10K — Start List | Stream | Results

  • Eric Gillis (1:03:49 half in March)
  • Thomas Toth (2:18:58 marathon in April)
  • Tristan Woodfine (1:05:27 half in March)
  • Kevin Coffey (14:07 5000m at the end of April)
  • Blair Morgan (2:22:14 marathon earlier in May)
  • Anthony Larouche (1:07:48 half in April)
  • Kevin Tree (30:29 downhill 10K in April)
  • Adam Hortian (30:36 downhill 10K earlier in May)
  • Maxime Leboeuf (31:40 10K in April, 31:06 10K earlier in May)
  • Paul Rochus (1:08:21 half in March)
  • Josh Bolton (1:09:03 half in April)
  • David Le Porho (DNF’d a half in April – 35:48 at halfway mark)
  • Matt Loiselle (25:36 8K in April)
  • Eric Bang (1:10:57 half in April)


Calgary Half Marathon — Start List | Stream | Results

  • Geoff Martinson (29:46 downhill 10K in April)
  • Sami Jibril (30:00 10000m earlier in May)
  • Kip Kangogo (1:06:08 half earlier in May)
  • Terence Attema (2:19:49 marathon last fall)
  • John Mason (1:07:40 half in April, 30:16 downhill 10K earlier in May)
  • Dylan Wykes (31:21 downhill 10K in April)

This is (I believe) the last weekend for folks to try for a Worlds qualifier and since all the big guns are running the 10K or HM champs (or injured), it seems the pool is set for our men’s marathon team: Eric Gillis, Reid Coolsaet (although he has indicated he won’t run London as he’s just now returning from injury), Rob Watson (although he seems to be missing the national championship race criteria), and Thomas Toth. Looks like we might just have a team of two.

30 degrees out and I'm stuck in this foot-warmer for the next 4-6 weeks 😒

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I was hoping to try the Ottawa Marathon again this year after I pulled out of plans to run Toledo eventually gave up hope as my injury worsened. The Ottawa 10K was my backup (backup) plan so you’ll see my name on the start list but I won’t be running. I’m still wearing the boot to let a probable calcaneal stress fracture heal. I’ve avoided impact for almost three weeks now, so another 3-5 in the boot and I’ll try some running again. In the meantime, I’ve been trying to get in as much cycling as I can.

For the most part, weather has been favourable. Although I’d rather be running, I’d rather be injured when I can bike outdoors as there’s not much worse than cycling on a trainer or using an elliptical. I’ve signed up for some weekly group rides which is helping to break up the monotony of my daily routes.

I’ve even stepped up my cycling ‘seriousness’ a step by purchasing some new parts for my freebie bike. I had the bottom bracket replaced as it had been squeaking and wobbling for a while and was starting to sieze up. I also found a 13-28–tooth freewheel cassette to give me a tiny bit more breathing room at top speeds compared to the 14-28 cassette I’ve been using to this point.

Just beat the sunset home after a 60 km ride! 🚲🌤👌😎

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Last weekend, I completed my longest ride to date with a 103 km loop through Petrolia, Corunna, and Camlachie. That was a fun challenge and by the end I was feeling like my reserves had been emptied.

Best part about biking in the country: you can stop for a pee break anywhere! 💦

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My focus has shifted to the long-term as I didn’t want to put pressure on myself to get back to racing too soon. If all goes well, I’d like to make it to the starting line of STWM this fall (5 months away! 😩) and maybe a 10K and/or half marathon as a tune-up before then. More than anything, I just want to get out of this boot and back to running regularly.

Good luck to everyone racing this weekend! Wish I was out there, too!

The hamstring injury that wouldn’t quit

Following the Chilly Half, I made it through one run before my hamstring seized up out of nowhere during an easy run. That injury, which I suspect was some kind of strain, took about two weeks to heal. I got back into a training groove for a week before running Around the Bay 30K (since I was already registered), knowing my legs were feeling heavy and that I probably wouldn’t be in prime condition. I didn’t expect any miracles but hoped to get in a good long run effort at marathon pace or if things didn’t feel great, I’d slow up and just check out the course for future racing opportunities. Fortunately, my hamstring had been feeling 100% all week and had no issues during the race.


I ran beside Josh Bolton for nearly the entire race and having him to work with made the kilometres pass quickly. Thanks for the help out there, Josh!

We started off around 12th place and began picking off guys who were falling off the lead pace. Eventually, we ended up in 7th and 8th positions without being overtaken by anyone behind us.

I was happy to make it through that hard effort without any hint of the hamstring issue, but four days after it struck again during a short marathon-paced tempo. I immediately pulled the plug and began the slow jog home. Last time I tried heat packs, ice packs, massage, and stretching and I think that maybe aggravated the injury a bit. This time I’m resting immediately and trying compression.

I could've sworn it felt like summer a few days ago…

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The timing of this second round of hamstring issues means I probably can’t get anymore quality workouts in before Toledo (3 weeks away) as I expect I’ll have another week or so letting the hamstring heal before just getting back into running regularly as the taper would begin. If I’m going to run Toledo, it will be on whatever fitness I’ll have managed to hang onto since Chilly 4 weeks ago. That’s not how I wanted to head into this race…

I can’t help but look ahead to the Ottawa 10K which is 5 weeks after Toledo. As the Canadian 10K road championship race, I really wanted to run a good one there and see how I stack up against that field. Part of me wonders (and was wondering a few weeks ago when this hamstring issue first came up) if pushing through with my plans to run Toledo will result in two mediocre race results instead of resting now, forgoing Toledo, and possibly running a better race in Ottawa. Hard to know. I’ll have to think on that this week as I nurse this hamstring back to health.