Sunday, May 28, 2006

Post-Race thoughts!

After having completed my first marathon and a 25k trail run in the past 14 days, my body is in need of some serious rest.
Trail running takes so much more effort to complete than a road race but the race day experience is what draws me to complete even more races. I managed to complete the course in 2:32 which I was happy with. It wasn't as technical as Seaton but it had some of the longest hills I've seen in quite some time. Thankfully the start time was early enough (7:30) to avoid some of the heat and humidity. I was able to see some of my friends who were doing the 100 MILE race. This is something I would love to do in a few years.
The nutrition for completing a 100 mile race is something to behold. Many of the runners had their own coolers with plenty of food and beverages on hand. This ranged from fruits, potatoes, sport gels, pretzels, and gummy bears.
I'll likely take a few days off but be back at it by no later than Tuesday of this week.

Friday, May 26, 2006

My next race!

I know it's been awhile since my last post but I've been busy trying to organize my races for the next few months.
The beauty of racing is that as soon as I cross the finish line of the race I'm doing I'm already thinking about my next race.
Tomorrow I have a 25K trail race in Sulphur Springs, which is near Hamilton. Trail running is my first love and it seems like it's been months since I've had a trail race so I'm looking forward to doing this race.
Now that my marathon is behind me I'm going to focus on doing more trail races with the hope of doing a 50K trail race near the end of the season. I may do another marathon to prepare for the 50K as I know it will be my toughest run to date.
After the marathon I took 2 days off from running and then did a few light runs on Wednesday and Thursday. I went away on a much needed vacation for 5 days and although the weather wasn't great, it was nice to just get away and reflect on the marathon. I was and still am surprised at how non-runners view a marathon race. I've been met with nothing but smiles and congratulations whenever I tell people that I completed a marathon.
My eating wasn't the greatest over the weekend but I managed to exercise daily which helped. If you are not on a good "lifestyle" plan then whenever you overeat you risk the chance of gaining and keeping fat. Because my plan is NOT a low calorie "diet" my clients rarely gain weight when they go off the plan for a day or two. To learn more about how my program works feel free to email me:

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Mission Accomplished!

I'm writing this 2 days after completing my first marathon. It was one of the greatest experiences in my life as well as the most challenging.
I woke up at 4:30 AM to prepare for the race. I was nervous and excited but it was great to meet up with all my friends before the race which helped calm me down.
Before the race I had 1.5 bananas, 1 cup of tea and a bagel with peanut butter and honey.
The weather was cold and very windy. Seeing all the runners get ready for the race was a something I'll never forget. Michael Burgess sang the national anthem and Mayor McCallum (sp) fired off the starting gun.
I was fortunate enough to run with an experienced runner (thanks Theresa) who held me back each time I wanted to run too fast. I don't think I would have been able to finish the race had I started out too fast. I also ran with Nancy and Rob who were doing their first marathon.
All through the run we were able to share stories of our personal life and how we all started running. This helped pass the time and made for an enjoyable experience.
For the first time in my racing experience, I had to use the bathroom. This slowed me down a little but thankfully I was able to make up some time by going a little faster for a brief period of time.
At the 30K mark there was "wall" which we all had to run through. This was supposed to represent the feeling that a runner sometimes gets (both physical and mental) during a race. It's this point in the race where a runner will sometimes doubt him/herself.
Thankfully I never felt this but at the 32 K mark I knew I only had 10K to go so I decided to speed up a little. This turned out to be a mistake as I was only able to keep a faster pace for 2K. The final 8K was hard and it wasn't until the final 2K that I seemed to get another burst of energy. I was able finish the race in 4 hours and 3 minutes which I was happy with.
I couldn't have done this without the support of my girlfriend Cassandra. I can only imagine how she is going to feel after she completes her first marathon in December.
I plan on taking a few days off before preparing for my next race on May 27th.
Thank you for all your support!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

1 Day before my 1st Marathon!

In exactly 24 hours I will hopefully be celebrating the completion of my 1st Marathon race.
I didn't sleep too much last night and have been keeping myself busy today. All the preparations are over (except for one last pasta dinner at 8PM tonight). I visited the Marathon Expo in Mississauga today and picked up a few things for the race. I'm sufficiently stocked with enough carbohydrate gels and have decided not to run with water as there will be water stations at every 2K of the race. I've attached my bib number to my bib belt and will be making sure my mp3 player has fresh batteries in it.
I'm going to try and get to bed early as I have to get up at 4:30AM tomorrow.
I'll be happy to post my race day experience in a day or so.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Friday May 12.06 - 2 nights to go!

I have to say that today has been the most stressful day so far with regards to my Marathon week. I've been having doubts about my ability to finish the race. I also have been eating so many carbohydrates that I'm ready to explode at any minute. If I see another bagel anytime soon.............
Couple that with the fact that I've decided not to do anything physically active for the next two days and you can see why I'm itching to get this race underway.
Since my last run on Wednesday morning I've done about 1 hour of cardio on my stationary bike. I was going to workout today but after thinking it over I decided that rest is the better option. This will allow my body to build up my Glycogen reserves so that come race day I'll have a good supply of energy. Between now and then I'll be drinking about 4Ltr's of water per day and roughly 240 grams of carbohyrates mostly coming from pasta, potatoes and bagels. My protein intake has been moderate and peanut butter is the only fat that I'm taking in right now. I've eliminated all fibre from my diet so I can avoid any gastrointestinal problems.
Now all I have to do is fight boredom!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

My last run before Sunday!

This was it! No more running until the Marathon on Sunday. I ran a moderate 8K at 5AM and picked up some great words of wisdom along the way (thanks Angie).
For me, this will be the hard part. I've got to try and relax, get some rest and try not to think about running 42K (26 miles).
I've been doing plenty of visualization and have been going through the race in my mind which has helped. These last few days are going to be crucical for me so wish me well!
I may try to do one day of weights on either Thursday or Friday as I don't think I'll be able to sit still and do nothing for 3 days.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Marathon Week preparations begin!

I've been so pumped about my race on Saturday that it has taken some of the pressure off my upcoming initial marathon on Sunday.
I took Sunday off from any training but ran a soft 8K on Monday and a medium paced 9.5 K this morning (Thanks Cass and Nancy for joining me).
Tomorrow morning I will be doing a light run of hopefully 10K and this will be my last run before Sunday. I'm looking forward to running with the person who inspired me to take up running in the first place (Thanks Angie).
To me, this week has been all about reflections. It has given me a chance to look back on my life in the past year and give thanks for the many people who I've met that have inspired and motivated me during a rather tough time in my life.
It has also made me appreciate WHY I began running in the first place and that was to have FUN and meet new people. We all have different goals and reasons for why we have them but I firmly believe that as we get closer to reaching our goals, we should remember that there are so many people that have helped us along the way.
My diet this week has been heavy on the carbohydrates and low in fat and protein. I'm trying to build up my energy bank (glycogen) so I don't have to rely on insufficient forms of energy (fat) for a fuel. The carb loading phase will begin on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Although this may sound appealing, in reality there are only a few carbs that I will allow myself to have (potatoes, pasta, bagels) and after awhile it tends to get boring. The other hard part for me will be not running for 3 consecutive days. Even though I know it will benefit me come race day, the great weather is making it hard not to run.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

My first racing victory!

Wow! What a truly amazing day it has been.
I woke up at 6:00AM, and got ready for the race (Toronto Ultra race). Instead of my usual steeped tea and bagel from Timmy's I decided to just have some tea with a bagel with peanut butter and honey at home.
I arrived at the race site at approximately 7:15. This gave me plenty of time to pick up my race kit and mingle with plenty of runners. Most of them were doing either the 50 or 100K race. I did meet several though who were doing the 30K as a warm up for either the Ottawa or Cleveland Marathons in a few weeks. I think I was the only crazy one who decided to run a 30K race the week before a marathon.

EVERYONE I met today was so friendly and offered plenty of encouragement. The people who run trails are by far the friendliest people I've ever met. They are not driven by time or pace but instead are there to run for the enjoyment of running and to socialize afterwards.

The race started promptly at 8:00 AM and this was a 5K "out and back" which meant that I ran for 5K and then turned around and ran to the start again. I did this 3 times for a total of 30K. The course itself was on a bike path through a nature trail. The neat thing about today's race is that all the competitors started at the same time. I got to see everyone running and because all the categories were mixed together, I didn't know who I was running with or against. This made for a more relaxed race and I could just focus on my own pace.

I started off rather fast and finished the first 10K in fewer than 50 minutes. I was carrying a fuel belt which was uncomfortable so I dropped it off at the 10K mark and ran with a bottle in my hand instead. I took a gel after the 10K and 20K mark as well as some E-Load and water throughout.

It was a cold day with some drizzle of rain at the stIt tooK me about 15K to feel comfortable but after that I was fine. I got a little tired after the 23K mark but realizing that I only had another 7K to go I was able to push forward. I crossed the finish line at the 2:32 mark and was immediately asked how old I was. When I told the organizers my age, I was surprised to learn that I had come in first place! I was obviously overwhelmed, stunned and excited all at the same time. I forgot about the pain in my hips and knees and focused on my trophy instead. I phoned my sister, my girlfriend and my kids and they were all proud of what I had done. I HAD to go to the Running Room to show Nancy and Maureen what I had done. It was amazing to see how excited they were and even the customers applauded my efforts.
Today just emphasized what I already knew and that is that trail running is where I'm happiest. Once my marathon is completed next week, I'm going to focus on my training for my 50K trail race in either June or July.
A special thank you goes out to Cass for a truly great massage and also to Nancy for sharing in my joy today.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Pre-Race rituals

So, with less than 12 hours before the start of my 30K race I will be eating my final "meal" in about 10 minutes.
Today has been a day of rest (no workouts) and plenty of water (4 Ltrs') and carbohydrates.
Like most runners, I'm very superstitious when it comes to races. I eat the same types of foods (blueberry bagels with peanut butter mostly) along with a BIG pasta dinner and a little bit of parmesan cheese. I've eliminated most fibrous foods for fear of upsetting my stomach.
Breakfast consisted of an egg white omelet with blueberry bagel and a potato with ketchup. Lunch was another bagel with peanut butter. In between I've been eating plenty of pretzels and a few frozen waffles.
In the morning I'll have my steeped tea and bagel from Tim Hortons and a banana.
I've just put all my pre-race items (mp3 player, water bottles, race belt, running shoes, and my gps 201 garmen) into my gym bag. Before bed I'll check the weather for tomorrow but have already decided to run in shorts and a long sleeve technical tee-shirt.
I can only imagine what next week will be like when I have to prepare for my first marathon.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Marathon Training Upadate May 2-4th

Monday night was a great experience talking at the Running Room in Pickering. I could tell that the 5K runners had a good base of nutritional knowledge and yet also required some clarification on a few issues. With everyone into the "low carb craze" it was important for me to stress to the group why runners NEED carbohydrates. I came away from the talk with a sense of accomplishment and I look forward to my next nutrition talk on May 12th.

On Tuesday afternoon I ran 11K in about 1hour. The weather was great and it was nice to run in shorts and technical T-Shirt. Running in warmer weather is a new experience for me as I started running in the fall of 2005. My body has been used to winter running and now I must get acclimated to the warmer temperatures. What I've learned in just this short amount of time is the importance of keeping water with me. In the winter I could get away with not having water on runs less than 15K but now I'm finding myself constantly needing water even on a 10K run. I'm sure that the more experienced I get the more I'll know what to bring/not bring with me on my runs.

I went out on Wednesday morning and did 10K at 5AM. The first few K's were difficult but I soon found my groove and finished the run in about 51 minutes. I realized that it takes me roughly about 1hour to get into a comfortable rhythm. I also ran another 5K at a very slow pace in the evening to help my girlfriend prepare for her marathon in December. She has been unable to run for about a year and is feeling the frustration as she has to start from scratch again. She has completed several 1/2 marathons so it's difficult to start over again but it's also important for her to build up her base.

I'm going to take a few days off from running and do about 1hour on the stationary bike today so I can prepare for my 30K race on Saturday. After that it will be Marathon Week and the mental and physical preparations will be in full force!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Sport specific nutrition programs available NOW!

Racing season is in full swing and wherever you look there are Ultra Marathons, Marathons, 1/2 Marathons, Duathlons and Triathlons.Each of these events brings a unique challenge when it comes to nutrition. Many athletes overlook the importance of a proper nutrition plan and as a result are unable to finish their race or meet a pre-planned goal.Not only do I have the educational experience necessary to develop a personalized nutrition plan for YOU, I also have competed in several trail races, 1/2 marathons and duathlons and I can assure you that I would not have been able to complete them without a sound nutrition plan.I have the following plans available with their respective prices, contact me at and let's get started today.

Ultra-Marathon Plan/Triathlon Plan ($120) This includes an analysis of your current eating pattern, 1meal plan based on your training (this includes a carbo-loading plan), a vitamin analysis, regular correspondence via email to answer any questions you may have, and a 1 follow up plan after your race.

Marathon Plan/1/2 Marathon Plan/Duathlon ($100) An analysis of your current eating pattern, 1 meal plan based on your training, a carbo loading plan, a vitamin analysis and regular correspondence via email.

*To help raise money for the Arthritis Society, I am donating $10 from every nutrition package purchased in your name. Not only will you be improving your own health, you will be helping to raise money for a great cause.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Marathon training update April 29-May1.06

Lending a helping hand!
This weekend I did a 10K run in support of an Eating Disorders clinic in London. Not only was this race for a great cause, it was also an opportunity to help someone train for an upcoming marathon in December.
My girlfriend is trying to raise money for The Arthritis Society ( and this was her first race in over a year. I was very proud of her accomplishments and though it was difficult to slow my pace down at times, I knew this was going to help her reach her goal of completing her marathon.
After running the 10K however, I felt like I needed to run more K's to get ready for my own marathon in less than 2 weeks so I ran another 10K at my pace.
On Sunday I decided not to run but instead did 1 hour of cardio at the gym.
Today I took yet another day off from running, not easy considering the great weather, and went to the gym this morning at 5AM. I did a light weight workout and then did 1 hour of biking in the afternoon.
Tonight I'm going to do a nutrition talk at the running room in Pickering and I'm looking forward to "spreading my gospel of nutrition" to fellow runners and walkers.
I'd like to run on Tuesday, Wednesday and a light run on Thursday as I have a 30K trail race on Saturday. I'm hoping that this distance will prepare me for my marathon on the 14th.