Race Report – Lorneville Loop 2015

As promised, here is my report on the first race of the 2015 year; the Lorneville Loop 13km.

This race is a hilly, season-opener held in a community called Lorneville outside of Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.

The only distance is 13 kilometres with the race counting towards the Running Room points series.

This was my second consecutive year running this race as I found it to be a great test of early season fitness and I like supporting smaller races; I believe that it was capped at 200-250 people. This race also has a number of other things going for it as well:

  • It’s cheap, I paid $20
  • A honking big medal
  • Chili afterwards
  • Lots of door prizes
  • it raises funds for the IWK hospital in Halifax
Did I mention it's Big?

Did I mention it’s Big?

Having run the race last year, it  helped me prepare a strategy for this year. Last year I ran it 1:13:42, not horrible but after having put in a lot of work this winter I was hoping to see an improvement to the 1:07-1:09 range which would satisfy me where my fitness for Vancouver is concerned.

Lorneville Loop 2014 Runkeeper Track

The first 4-5 kilometres of the race are a series of uphills with a few false plateaus, this year there was also a head-wind of 20-30 kilometres/hour for the same first 4-5 kilometres. However that meant a tailwind for the remaining 8 kilometres which in comparison is relatively flat. However the last 1-1/2 kilometres present two hills which test your mettle.

The day was sunny and not too cold, I wore shorts, short sleeved and long sleeved shirts and light gloves. I ran the race in my new Saucony Fastwitch 6, which was my test for Vancouver under race conditions. I started at the back of the group as I was hanging out with friends but then scooted along and passed people during the first few km’s. In fact I ran a pretty quick first km at 5:18 min/km, faster than I wanted but then proceeded to get back to my hill pace of around 5:35-5:40 min/km until I made the turn.

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Looking Good At Start

At the turn, and end of the hilly section I was at 5.8 km in and at a time of 31:49. I got on my horse and then settled into ~5:10-5:15 min/km pace for the “back” straight. I felt good, tried to manage my breathing and passed a number of people. At around 10 km the course completely flattens out for about 2 km and I picked up my pace once again to run a steady 5:10 min/km. I was feeling strong so I ran quite hard over the final 2 km with times of 5:01 min/km and 4:54 min/km respectively. I was puffing at the finish due to a hill just before the end but I crossed the line in 1:08:56! I was right in my goal range and I ran a 5:16 min/km for the whole race. I was very happy, the shoes felt great and I was feeling that I was ready for the Vancouver half, which is much less hilly.

Lorneville Loop 2015 Runkeeper Track

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Top of Last Hill

All in all I ran the race that I had planned, I saved some energy on the hills then ran a steady, up tempo pace on the back straight then hit it hard the last couple of km’s. I lowered my time by almost 5 minutes and my min/km pace by 23 seconds! I finished 46th overall out of 176 runners! Outstanding!

The best part is that I got to share the race with friends and my girlfriend Nicola, she was this race’s photographer who was  training for the full in Vancouver and couldn’t fit this race into her plans.

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#RunatCan Crew

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Running Room Crew

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My Photog, at 30 km/Day Before

So a very successful opening race of the season, good weather, good friends and good legs! I’m very excited to see what I can run in Vancouver, after this race I have lots of confidence.

I hope that all of your upcoming races will be amazing and tune in a few weeks for a Vancouver report.

One foot in front of the other

Chris

Exercise Week in Review

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Yes I know I’m a day behind on my weekly resume and yes I promised a race review but I’ve been deeply immersed in The Teapot Dome scandal recently; no that’s not true, I’ve been studying my French because I have a big exam next week. However as a break I will write up last week’s workout’s as a substitute.

Teapot

Teapot Dome Scandal

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I love French

My Week:

Monday: Cycled (indoors) for 14 km.

Tuesday: Ran 10 km tempo run.

Thursday: Ran 9.5 km with 5 X 1 km intervals embedded.

Sunday: Ran 4.6 km, easy, cut short due to running partners injury.

I’m more or less embracing the taper now but still firing a few intervals during one run to keep myself sharp. Down to 10-12 km this upcoming weekend then short runs ahead of my Vancouver Half on the 3rd of May. Right now I’m a bit tired from school and other things but will catch up on my rest soon and I will rock Vancouver.

Weekly totals: 14 km cycled, 24.1 km run.

Monthly totals: 49 km cycled, 89 km run.

Until next week, one foot in front of the other.

Chris

Exercise Week in Review

Finally a week with consistently warm temperatures which allowed for all of my runs to be outside, all in shorts or a kilt…yes a kilt. More on that later. Sunday (today) I ran my first race of the season which went really well and which I will review later.

This week saw more modifications of my running plans due to Easter Monday, overall business, supporting my girlfriend on her last long run and again my first race of the year.

Tuesday.. Ran 9 km outside in shorts for ~50 minutes!

Wednesday.. 20 km on the stationary cycle for 45 minutes.

Thursday.. Another 9 km run outside in shorts for ~54 minutes.

Saturday.. Ran 6 km outside as I met my girlfriend at her 30 km long run mark and helped her finish her last 6 km. I also wore a sport kilt that I ordered on-line. A very cool purchase which is made specifically for exercise.

Sunday.. Ran my first race of the season, 13 km in 1:08:55.

Running totals: 37 km, cycled 20 km.

If you’re interested in the kilt, here is a picture of me in the all-Ireland pattern.

kilt

And for more patterns, ordering and information check out their site: Sportkilt

This week, back to the regular cycle, I have two more longish runs to complete before I head off to Vancouver for my target half-marathon.

Have a great week of training!

One foot in front of the other.

Chris

Let the groove get in

Entirely my pleasure to watch you accomplish and achieve things, no matter what they are.

No Time Like The Present

So there is this little thing I’ve been working on for the last few months.  It involves a ridiculous amount of stupidity, a lot of grit, a pinch of wisdom and a whole lot of devil-may-care.

But before I get to that project I have this other thing that happened.  It involved turning everything I knew upside down, giving it a shake and making a whole new life.  In the space of a few months I ended a long relationship, moved a parent to a care facility, sold the family home in 4 days, moved to my own apartment, battled back from a serious neck injury, lost a few friends, signed up for a marathon, started training and fell in love with an amazing person.  When I do something I tend to go all out.  All of those things might have been difficult to handle by themselves but I gained…

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Exercise Week in Review

I avoided it all winter, I hid, I hydrated, I ate, I had fun…but alas after the calendar changed to spring I caught my first cold.I was laid up for the first two days of last week, I didn’t even go to work! However on Wednesday I went to the gym, I ran Thursday and then again Sunday; in fact on Sunday I ran my furthest distance to date for this year.

I ‘m excited for this week because a) I’m mostly healthy and b) I’m racing this weekend! I’m running a 13 kilometer race in Lorneville, New Brunswick which should serve as a good measuring stick and a tune-up for Vancouver.

My Week

Monday.. sick

Tuesday.. see Monday

Wednesday.. Completed 15 km bike ride on stationary cycle

Thursday.. Ran 5 km

Sunday.. Ran 23 km

Weekly totals, 28 km run, 15 km stationary cycle

Thanks to the Easter holiday and travel I have already altered this week’s schedule, I will still fit my workouts in, now Wednesday will not be an off day.

I hope that you are weaving your way through your training, remember there will always be times when you really need to take a break, sickness or otherwise, normally it’s usually smarter to take advantage of these.

One foot in front of the other

Chris

virtual runs

Last year I had a bit of passing interest in the world of virtual runs, a few of my friends even participated in one but I didn’t follow through on my interest. Fast forward to this year and I have participated in three of various types with a fourth scheduled for this month but first here’s a description of all of the W’s.

What is a Virtual Race?

Simply put a virtual race is a day or weekend where you run a predetermined distance and submit your result, usually to a web site, and weeks later (if you choose) you receive a medal for your efforts. The beauty is that you can run anywhere, anytime, as long as you fulfill the requirements of the virtual race. The virtual races are comparable in price to live races and for the majority of them, that I have looked at, the proceeds go to benefit a cause, a group or someone in need, usually in the running community.

I have been using the virtual races as carrots for my winter running…and if you are on the east coast then you can understand the necessity of the carrot.

The downsides are that there isn’t that race ‘buzz’ that comes along with a ‘live’ race, you aren’t supporting a local cause and that once you pay your money, you will receive your medal, regardless of whether you run or not. However I believe that most runners are pretty honest and I don’t think it really happens that often; and if it does, so what? The only person that these people are cheating are themselves.

The Types

It seems that virtual races fall into three types: relay, stand-alone fund raiser, and attached to a ‘live’ race. I have and am participating in one of each this year.

Relays

The first are the relays where you sign up to log/accumulate your miles/km’s, normally part of a team, hoping to be the first team to reach a specific goal, sometimes you receive real medals or sometimes you receive virtual medals. These types foster camaraderie, a feeling of belonging and of course the satisfaction of watching your distance, your team’s and the total distance accumulate. Occasionally some people take these team relays too seriously and can be mean, immature and condescending.

I am participating in a bit of a different virtual relay, one that wants to visit all of the planets in the solar system. It’s called “Moonjoggers” and the premise is simple, you sign up, log your miles/km’s for running, walking, cycling, rowing, elliptical etc. towards the goal of everybody reaching a specified planet for that year; for this year everyone is headed towards Mars! Once you stop and realize the staggering distance between the Earth and Mars you will realize that the goal is unachievable over a year but the great thing is that the distance continues to accumulate over the course of many upcoming years, IE. the distance that I accumulate will continue to accumulate and count towards reaching the planet. Last year the goal was Venus and the group has not yet reached there so this years accumulated distance continues to count towards reaching that goal. I have found the people friendly and easy to talk to, there may be teams, however honestly I didn’t look that hard as it is not really why I’m interested.

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Moon Joggers

One of the things that sets this run apart is that there is a cost to register and log your distance, however everyone receives a medal, t-shirt, bib and a card with this years planet goal. This is not a personal profit type of event, the proceeds go to a very deserving person or group with the story explained on the web site. The group has a large presence of FB but a small one on Twitter.

You can check them out at Moonjoggers.

Stand-Alone

Stand-alone fund raisers are pretty much self-explanatory, they are usually a once a year event with the proceeds (after medals and shipping) going to their targeted cause. I have run one of these events, under the Moonjoggers banner and will be doing another in April, each cause/recipient is noted and their story revealed to the participants. My girlfriend has run a virtual race from another site and received a large medal for her efforts so I can only say good things about their reliability.

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M’s run medallion, under the Moon Joggers series

Attached to Live Races

One thing that is becoming fairly popular is attaching a virtual race to a ‘live’ race on the same day with the same distances. Maybe this adds to the race buzz but I didn’t find it to be the case when my girlfriend and I ran 5 miles for the Clearwater classic in Florida. The routine was similar, we signed up on the race website, selected our options and paid our money. On the weekend we ran our 5 miles and posted a photo and our time on the web site but of course our results didn’t count towards any official standings. The virtual race that we ran had the proceeds separated from the live race, so the money from the virtual race benefited a cause rather than to pay for the actual race itself.

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Clearwater Distance Classic 5 Miler

I guess the question that I am asked the most by people, race directors more often than not, is how can these virtual races make money? Simple, there isn’t any overhead aside from shipping and the cost of medals/and or t-shirts. In Canada medals and t-shirts cost much more than they should due to a number of factors, while in the US, there are lots of places willing to make medals so I believe that with the low overhead and cheap medals, the virtual races are a viable way to make money for a cause.

I must admit that I have had good experiences with my virtual races so far, however I would imagine that there are some less than honest groups out there who would like nothing more to take your money and run, so research wisely and ask questions if things seem off.

Here are a few of the links that I have used or that my friends have used:

Moonjoggers

Earthathon

Clearwater Distance Classic

Virtual Run World

Beat the Blerch

ODDyssey Half Marathon

Here also is a bit of an explanation of the concept behind virtual runs and a few more listings.

Run Haven

As always, one foot in front of the other.

Chris