Tag Archives: Marathon

49 Down 41 To Go

Hard to believe that I'm going to be tackling the Toronto GoodLife Marathon in a little less than 10 weeks.
Hard to believe that I’m going to be tackling the Toronto GoodLife Marathon in a little less than 10 weeks.

I can’t believe the 90 Day Fitness Challenge is more than half over already. 

Despite missing my running goal by slightly more than 3km, I’m actually really happy with how this week went. The week was super busy, beginning with a presentation with my students on Tuesday, and ending with a 24 hour hackathon on campus. The hackathon – known as the Open Data Day Hackathon – officially started at 10am on Saturday, and finished by 10am Sunday. While the hours were long, the event was well worth the effort – and I even managed to sneak away to get in a 13.42km run.

By the end of week 7 I managed to log another 38.94 km, bringing my cumulative total since January 1st to 225.50km. I also managed to put in 140 minutes of yoga, and 225 minutes of mobility/strength training. All told – a rather productive and active week.

But I can’t rest on my laurels as week 8 is going to be an even bigger challenge: my running goals are taking a leap forward, and I also have to manage a rather hectic schedule at the office. Here’s hoping I stay on track, and that I manage to find some time to relax and rest. If I want to crush the Toronto GoodLife Marathon in May, I’m going to need to.





New Year New Goals

2014 is going to be crazy
2014 is going to be crazy.

If you’ve been reading along over the past week or so, you’re probably not going to find the topic of today’s post all that shocking. It’s time to set some goals for the new year; specifically some fitness goals1.

First and foremost I have to get back to my regular running self. I miss running. You might find that crazy, but I really do. I remember when I was younger, seeing runners out in the cold of winter, logging countless miles, and thinking they are out of their minds. But then I became one of them. I understood them. And I learned just how much running could do not just for my body, but for my mind. This isn’t a resolution, and this is so much more than a goal; it’s a way of life. My life. It has to happen. It will happen.

To ensure that it does happen, I’m about to start training for several races (assuming the ankle holds up). While I may not compete in all of these, I’m setting my sights on the following goals:

To help prevent further injuries, I’m going to also be working on my strength training and my controlled flexibility. The specifics of this are yet to be determined, but I have a fitness expert in my corner who just happens to also be my Chiropractor. I have no doubt that he’ll help keep me in tip-top condition.

I’m also aiming to return to my regular practice of yoga in the morning (30 minutes per day, at least every other day). It’s amazing how much of my lethargy, and overwhelming sense of feeling gross comes from how achy I sometimes feel when I wake up. There are days when I feel so stiff and old that I want to kick myself in the ass for not keeping up with my practice. But I didn’t, which means I can’t, so my ass is saved from said kicking for now.

Finally, I’m going to make a point to reevaluate these goals on a more regular basis. I don’t want to set too many lofty goals at the moment for fear that my ankle will continue to keep me on the sidelines3. Whatever happens, anything that involves more movement than the past 6 months will be considered a success.

Oh 2014, you are going to be interesting.

1 I have other goals that I want to tackle in the shiny new year that will be known as 2014, however, I’ll focus on those in a separate post.

2 The training schedule for this race makes me throw-uppy. I based it on the schedule outlined here, but modified it for other races and my schedule. Here’s a rough sketch of the cumulative distance I’ll have to run to prep myself for the race in the 24 weeks leading up to race day.

3 A 50km race isn’t too lofty, right?

What 2013 Has Taught Me

Completing the Goofy Challenge: one of my prouder moments
Completing the Goofy Challenge: one of my prouder moments

The last 12 months have been strange and wonderful, at times frustrating and challenging, but ultimately filled with so many amazing experiences and adventures.

The year began on such a huge high. It seems like an eternity ago, but in reality not even a full 365 days have passed since Mark and I ran the Goofy Challenge: a half marathon followed by a full marathon through the parks of Disneyland in Florida. To say that this was one of my prouder moments would be an understatement.

I also ran several half marathons this year, and was on track to run my first 50 kilometre ultra-marathon when an ankle injury sidelined me for the rest of the year. Since then I’ve been trying to do my best to recover so that I can tackle 2014 with the same gusto that started this year.

Obviously the ankle injury had a huge impact on my running activity. Many goals that I had set were not reached. As a result I’ve felt lazy and fat and lethargic; and this despite trying to maintain some level of physical activity. To say that I’ve been super frustrated would be an understatement.

Shiny bling from the Good Life half marathon
Shiny bling from the GoodLife half marathon

Anyway I sat down this eve to actually review my RunKeeper data. Truth be told, I started reviewing the data with the intention of determining just how badly I did (because in my mind it seemed really bad). To my surprise, it wasn’t nearly as horrible as I had originally thought. Did I make all of my goals? Hells no. But I actually made more than I had expected. When I consider this alongside other accomplishments this year, I have absolutely no justification for holding the pity party that I was expecting to hold.

So what did I manage to do this year?

  • Did I run 1000km in 1 year? Not quite. But I did run 801.4km between July 2012 and June 2013. Not too shabby. If not for the injury I know that I would have crushed this goal.
  • Did I complete 12 official races in 1 year? Nope. I managed 10 (between March 2012 and February 2013). So freaking close! I should have paid more attention because I’m sure I could have found two other short races to complete. Zounds!
  • Did I run 18 half-marathons in a year? Yes. Yes I did. Between February 2012 and January 2013 I ran exactly 18 of them. W00t!
  • Did I run at least 12 half marathons (or greater) in 2013? Nope. Try 5, but if not for that silly ankle this would have been an easy goal to crush.
  • Did I run 2 marathons outside of Ontario? Nope. I ran 1. Close but no donut.
  • Did my treadmill hit 2000 miles? No. No it did not. This has everything to do with the ankle injury, but also to do with the fact that my treadmill needs to be repaired. I guess all of the miles that I’ve put in have finally had their toll.
Post half marathon recovery. It's what the cool kids do.
Post half marathon recovery. It’s what the cool kids do.

So while 2013 wasn’t my best year for running by a long shot, it was still a pretty good year.

Reflecting on the goals that I made and those that I missed has reminded of a few things.

First, I really do need to spend more time reflecting on what I’ve accomplished. Instead of having a pity party, I’m realizing that I should be celebrating my successes and thanking everyone who has helped me get to where I am.

Second, It’s amazing how easily negative thinking can affect my view of the world. When I drafted this blog post I was very much focused on what I hadn’t accomplished; I was focused on my failures. I ignored all of the awesome things I was able to do, as if the good things were somehow outweighed by the failures of my ankle injury.

Finally, I need to remember to be flexible. My list of goals is just that – a list. It’s not law. It’s not written in stone. It’s a list that I use to help guide me from one adventure to the next. It’s supposed to be a device to keep driving me forward, leading me to new experiences, and pushing me beyond the pre-conceived limits of what I think I can do. The minute it becomes law, it has lost its usefulness to me.

So there you have it – 2013 has offered me this: reflect, stay positive, stay flexible.

Lesson learned 2013. Lesson learned.


Back In The Saddle?

The streets have looked a lot like this for the past few months -empty racetracks calling out to me.
The streets have looked a lot like this for the past few months: empty racetracks calling out to me.

Some of you may have noticed that I’ve been rather quiet on the running front these past several months. No updates about my training schedule. No updates about races. No updates about my running goals.

I’d like to say that it has been because I’ve been so busy running that I’ve not been able to post anything. Sadly that isn’t the case.

Earlier this year I was slated to run my first Ultra – the Niagara Ultra Marathon to be exact. It was to be a glorious 50k jaunt along the Niagara river full of fantastic scenery that only the Niagara river could offer. I trained, and I trained. And I trained some more. Sadly, due to overuse, overtraining, stupidity, or perhaps a combination of these, my right ankle decided that my first Ultra would have to wait. Of course, being the stubborn individual that I am, I opted not to make that decision until the Friday before the race. And it took me realizing that I was limping as I walked to the office to finally admit that I was possibly injured. Ya, I’m just that bull-headed and stupid at times.

I spent the summer trying to heal. Correction, I spent the summer annoyed that I wasn’t able to run. I even limited my walking – at least in the beginning. Slowing down – while definitely what I needed and very good for me – wasn’t easy to deal with. I felt lazy. I felt fat. I felt, well, just gross.

To try to quell the lazy/fat/gross feelings, I began joining my friend Dr. Mark at the GoodLife Fitness Centre down the road for some weight training. If you know Mark, it’s very obvious that he knows what he’s doing at the gym. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s a great Chiropractor who knows how a body should be moving to prevent injury. I won’t pretend that I felt less lazy or fat or gross – apparently my brain requires lengthy endurance activities to feel like I’ve done something – but it did help keep me focused on staying healthy, and giving my ankle time to repair. And, perhaps, I may have grown a muscle or two1. Point is, I feel stronger despite the fact that I’ve been sidelined from running for so long.

This isn’t to say that I haven’t run at all in the past few months. I have. But only short distances. One kilometre here. Two kilometres there. And always before I’d work out with Dr. Mark. At least that was the case until tonight.

Because I’m often stupid, I misread Mark’s “We’re going to the gym tonight at 7:30″ text as “We’re going to the gym tonight at 7:00″. Needless to say I found myself with some time on my hands; extra time that quickly turned into 3 extra kilometres plus time to stretch before Dr. Mark and Dr. Julie arrived.

So there you have it. My first 5k run – 5.21k to be exact – since June. It wasn’t my fastest run ever (a respectable 24.30), and I’m sure that I’m going to feel it in the morning, but it’s done. My legs felt strong. I felt strong.

Here’s hoping that this means I’m back in the saddle, because I have a lot of running that I want/need to do.

Oh, and Niagara Ultra Marathon – consider this your official notice. I’m coming for you.

1 Results pending.

Apparently I Am Not Superman

Although I look just as buff as Superman, I am in fact not Superman. I’m actually the Hulk. HA! I kill me.

A few weeks ago I was supposed to run my very first 50km Ultra Marathon. I trained, I trained, and I trained some more. I made sure to stretch, and I tried to do all this while balancing a bunch of other projects. I found the hours I spent in the office and in meetings increasing. I found the hours I spent in my own home relaxing and recharging decreasing. And I found that I was always telling myself that I’d catch up on rest after the next grant, the next paper, the next presentation, the next next thing.

In short, while I was productive and crossing stuff off of my list, I was also setting myself up for something.

And then something happened. It wasn’t anything severe. There was no broken bone. There was no muscle tear. I didn’t trip and impale myself on a branch. Nor did I get hit by a car. I didn’t spontaneously combust. I wasn’t immersed in a vat of boiling acid.

Simply put, the something was that my body decided to remind me that I am in fact not Superman. After 664 km since December 1, my right ankle decided that it just couldn’t handle another step. Stupid ankle. Stupid, stupid ankle.

I think at times I like to believe I am Superman. I don’t need to rest. I can do all of the things all of the time and then do even more because why wouldn’t I also try to do that while I’m doing all of these other things?

Long story short, I did not run the 50km Ultra Marathon. It wasn’t an easy decision either. I made the call on June 21st, the day before the race was set to be run. And I did it begrudgingly – knowing that in all other ways I was ready to crush my first Ultra Marathon. But having realized that I was limping as I walked to the office, I had to admit that running was the last thing I should be doing. Regardless, I felt like a giant wimp. My ankle didn’t hurt that much. I could probably run through the pain. I’m making a mountain out of a sore ankle.

But I was the only one saying that. Everyone else was saying I’d be stupid to run. And I knew this to be true. So I didn’t run. While I know it was the right thing to do, I’m still not completely comfortable with the decision. I know I could have crushed the Ultra, but I also know that I would have screwed my ankle for any other running this year.

So as of June 16th, Running and I are on a break. I love Running, but I have to accept that we’re just not getting along these days. It’s for the best really. In running’s absence, I’ve decided to rekindle my relationship with taking time off. As such, I’m currently writing this post on my first of five days off in a row.

I’m not sure if Superman took days off, but I have to say it feels pretty good.

It’s Time

AtB – I’m coming for you.

In just over 6 weeks I’ll be lacing up to run the oldest race in North America; Hamilton‘s 30km Around the Bay. If you’ll recall, I ran this particular course last year in 2:53:12, despite fuelling myself with nothing more than a granola bar and a cup of coffee1.

This year, based on the lessons learned from last year’s run, I hope to finish with a better time. Assuming nothing crazy happens during the race, training and eating properly should be the key ingredients to accomplishing this goal.

With this in mind it’s clear to me that I really need to ramp up my training now. With 6 weeks to go, I can’t waste any time; the Around the Bay will be here before I know it. And I can’t forget that I’ve also signed up to run the Toronto GoodLife Marathon in May, and the Niagara 50km Ultra Marathon in June. Even if I don’t add any other races to my schedule between now and the Niagara 50km (which I might), I have a lot of mileage to cover to ensure that I run my best.

In short – it’s time to Suck it up Gillis, it’s time to train.

As such, I’ve drafted up the following rough weekend training schedule. This of course does not include the midweek runs that will naturally be part of the training. Items in bold represent races I am registered to run, while the remaining values represent the kilometres I propose to run over each weekend listed.

  • February 9/10 – 10.0km
  • February 16/17 – 15.0km/10.0km
  • February 23/24 – 21.1km/12.0km
  • March 2/3 – 16.0km/10.0km
  • March 9/10 – 26.0km/12.0km
  • March 16/17 – 21.1km/10.0km
  • March 23/24 – Hamilton Around the Bay 30km
  • March 30/31 – 26.0km/12.0km
  • April 6/7 – 21.1km/16.0km
  • April 13/14 – 24.0km/12.0km
  • April 20/21 – 21.1.0km/16.0km
  • April 27/28 – 34.0km/10.0km
  • May 4/5 – Toronto GoodLife Marathon 42.2km
  • May 11/12 – 30.0km/10.0km
  • May 18/19 – 42.2km/12.0km
  • May 25/26 – 30.0km/10.0km
  • June 1/2 – 44.0km/12.0km
  • June 8/9 – 21.1km/10.0km
  • June 15/16 – 16.0km
  • June 22/23 – Niagara Ultra Marathon 50km

If I keep to my training schedule I should run a total of 714.9km (which includes 16 half marathon distances or greater, and 4 full marathon distances or greater) between now and the finish line of the Niagara 50km, not including the distances I run during the week2. Holy crapshark, that’s a crazy load of kilometres.

Of course, life will inevitably get in the way – so as I mentioned above, this is all very draft form. I just have to keep in mind that I managed to log over 350km as part of my Goofy training. While 700+km seems like a lot of running, it works out to slightly more than double the distance, but spread out over 2.5 times the number of days.

I can do this. I will do this.

But first thing’s first – be warned Hamilton – I’m coming for you.

1 I’m what you’d call not the brightest bulb.

2 Thus I’d be able to cross off Run 1000km in 1 year3, and I could look towards completing the goal of Run 1610km in 1 year. I’d also be able to cross off Run 4 marathons in 1 year, Run a 50km race, Run more than 12 half marathons in 2013, and Run 18 half marathons in one year. I’d also be on my way to crossing off Run 24 half marathons in one year. Crazy!

3 As I’d have run 1066.9km between December 1, 2012 and June 22, 2013. Of course, this is all a very big if. It also doesn’t include weekday runs.


What’s Another 7.8km?

I’m pretty sure this is conclusive evidence that I’m certifiable.

Yesterday I wrote about the upcoming racing season. In that post I indicated that I had signed up to run the Hamilton 30km Around the Bay, and the Toronto GoodLife Marathon in March and May, respectively. There was also talk of running the Chocolate Race in Port Dalhousie, and the Yonge Street 10km. I finished the post by suggesting that I might join my friend Carolyn when she runs the Niagara Ultra Marathon – a 50km run – in June.

Well, after checking my schedule and making sure I wasn’t away for a conference or anything of that sort, I took the plunge. And by took the plunge I mean that I officially registered. That’s right – I’ve decided to finally attempt a 50km (approximately 31.07 mile) run. For those keeping count, that’s 7.8km longer than the standard 42.2km marathon. EEP!

Fortunately, and based on last year’s Ottawa marathon, I really only need to train myself to run about 5.8km longer than my longest run (ha – only indeed). If you recall, last year I had to turn around and run against the tide of marathoners as I was in desperate need of a Port-O-Potty. By backtracking I inadvertently added about 2km to the total marathon distance. And really, what’s another 5.8km?

Anyway, I clearly have a lot of training to do between now and then. Fortunately I know that Carolyn will keep me on my toes and on task, because she’s just as insane when it comes to running as I am. She’s also a giant slice of awesome; which is exactly what I’ll need to keep myself motivated and fighting to crush 50km. It’s not going to be pretty, it’s going to require a lot of work, but I have no doubt that Carolyn and I will do it.

We’ve got this.


Let The Race Season Begin

Words of wisdom.

And so it begins.

Today I registered for my first 2 races of the 2013 running season. Actually, I guess the Donald Duck half marathon and the Mickey Mouse full marathon are part of the 2013 race season, but I’m not counting them exactly.

The first race – at least according to my current race schedule – occurs March 24, 2013. Once again I’m going to take on the Hamilton 30km Around the Bay. I’m looking forward to this particular challenge again given last year’s epic fueling failure. If you remember, I managed to eat only half a granola bar last year, ultimately leading to hitting the wall around the 26km marker. Not my smartest move.

The second race will be the GoodLife Toronto Marathon on May 5, 2013. I thoroughly enjoyed running this race last year and am going to see if I can’t best last year’s time. Fortunately I have a lot of time to train between now and race day to improve my chances of making that happen.

I’m also probably going to be signing up for the Chocolate Run again, as well as the Yonge Street 10km race.

Oh, and just for an extra challenge, I think I’m going to join my friend Carolyn when she runs the Niagara 50km Ultra-Marathon. Because really, what’s another 7.8 km when you’ve already run 42.2?

I may actually be insane. W00t!

What’s Next?

Run Goofy, run.

So now that the Goofy challenge is over, I’ve found myself spending the last few days relaxing, getting massages, visiting the chiropractor, eating, eating some more, and, well, eating1. While none of these things are bad, except for maybe the extreme laziness and gluttony I’ve adopted as a lifestyle2, I’ve realized that I need a new adventure.

Sadly, I’m not exactly sure what it’s going to be.

I assume it will involve travel in February – possibly to London or Costa Rica or insert the name of some fancy place I’ve never been here. It may, perhaps, involve an ultra marathon3 in June. Or more skydiving or edge-walking in the summer. Or perhaps it’ll be something I haven’t yet thought of.

I guess the point I’m trying to make is that I’m wanderlusting and I have no particular thing to focus those wanderlusting energies on.

And so I leave it to you, dear readers, what should I do next? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

1 I guess I’ve also been working.

2 Some of my favourite deadly sins, in case anyone asks.

3 For those not in the know, an ultra marathon is anything longer than the typical 42.2 km required for a full marathon.


RIP Goofy

Celebrating our Goofy Race with Scrooge McDuck.

Despite the blisters and the tight muscles and the overworked hamstrings and quads, I can’t stop laughing and smiling and giggling about today.

Mark and I crushed Goofy.

And it was awesome. Don’t get me wrong – it was tough – but to end a race like that smiling and laughing and feeling as good as we did is amazing.

Today’s Mickey Mouse marathon – the second leg of the Goofy Race – started at 5:30am, just like the Donald Duck half marathon on Saturday. I was amazed at the number of people. A sea of people – of all shapes and sizes. Thousands. All to run 42.2 kilometers through the Disney Parks.

The marathon started with a burst of fireworks and then we were off. Along the way, while weaving in and out of people, we saw some great costumes and some familiar Disney characters. We stopped for photos with a few, including Captain Jack Sparrow, several villains, and the characters of Monsters Inc. We also stopped for photos of random signage, because the signs were hilarious (I’ll post these and other pictures as soon as I can).

The race wound its way through all of the parks. Particularly fun was being able to run through the race track – which was filled with vintage cars and some beautiful (and expensive) new cars. I also enjoyed racing around the baseball stadium.

Mark and I also grabbed a photo with a firefighter from Detroit who ran the Goofy challenge like us. While we didn’t grab his name, he was easy to spot. He ran both races in full firefighter garb – helmet, protective gear, and oxygen tank. Amazing.

Anyway, the race was amazing and painful and difficult and everything that makes a challenge achieved worth the effort. I don’t remember exactly when I decided to take on this challenge, but I’m very glad I did. I think my laughter and smile at the end of the race – my giddiness in the face of physical exhaustion – was a result of pushing myself beyond. A reminder that I can do whatever I put my mind to if I only get off my ass and make the first step. A reminder that I am capable of surprising myself. A reminder that I am an athlete.

Of course, I wouldn’t be here if not for Mark – my running partner-in-crime. Thanks buddy. Goofy wouldn’t have been the same without you. And I can’t wait to see what our next big adventure is going to be.

Finally, thanks to everyone for your tweets and messages. They had both Mark and me laughing, a lot.

Anyway, I’m exhausted so I’m going to head to bed now – with a huge smile on my face.

Night all y’all.

The Future Is Shiny And New

These will be mine.

Today, before I jumped on the treadmill for my second last run prior to next weekend’s Goofy Race, I sauntered over to the mall. The mission – to grab a coffee, and then head to Rogers to investigate an international data plan.

Why an international data plan? you ask.

Well, my goal is to set up a data plan so that I can once again use RunKeeper and my iPhone to track both the Donald Duck Half Marathon and the Mickey Mouse Marathon as I run them. Even better, it will allow me to receive messages from people on the Twitter that will be read aloud as I’m knocking off mile after mile of the 39.3 I need to cover to conquer this challenge.

And trust me, those messages from the Twitter are most appreciated. Every time I’ve received one while running in the past, it has given me a huge energy boost. Given that the upcoming races are in Florida and I won’t have the benefit of an on-site cheering squad, the Twitter comments will be even more important to my success.

Sadly, the Rogers store wouldn’t set me up with a data plan. I haven’t the foggiest idea why they couldn’t or wouldn’t. It seems to me that selling data plans would be one of their prime objectives. Instead I’m going to have to call Rogers and deal with customer service. Yippee.

Deciding that I shouldn’t leave the mall empty handed, I made the bold move to finally purchase a new iPad. Oh so shiny. Oh so new. And oh so small compared to my laptop. I think I’m in love.

Anyway, I’m going to try to deal with the gauntlet that is Rogers customer service tomorrow. I’ll keep you posted on how that goes.

The Year That Was

I also have conquered Cascade Mountain. It's also what I do.
One of the most amazing things I did this year? The Big Mountain Challenge.

Remember back in the old time-y days of 2012? Those were good times.

Anyway, now that it’s the future I figured I should take a few moments to look back on the year that was 2012 to remember what I’ve accomplished, and identify those challenges that have eluded me for one reason or another. Perhaps the challenges were a bit too grand, perhaps I didn’t try hard enough, perhaps I realized the challenge wasn’t worth my time because something more important fell into my lap, or perhaps life just got in the way. Whatever the reason, I’ll use the things I did and the things I didn’t do in 2012 as a baseline for the things I’ll want to accomplish in 2013.

So, without further ado, I present to you dear readers my list of successes and failures from 2012:

  1. I ran 2 marathons in a 3 week period, plus 15 half-marathons in 2012 – 5 in December alone. While I hoped to run 3 marathons in 2012, the Goofy race should allow me to cross run 3 marathons in a year from my list. I also ran in 8 official races although my goal was 12. One of the eight races included my first Around The Bay 30 km, my fastest 10 km time, and my first sub 4 hour marathon. In total I ran 944.3 km despite having a goal of 1000 km. While I missed my running mileage target, I’m still excessively proud of what I managed to do over 366 days.
  2. I biked 582.2 km, although I had aimed to bike 2200 km. This is probably my biggest failure of the year, and something I’ll need to work on in 2013. Regardless, I posted my very first 80+ km bike ride in 2012.
  3. I walked over 1500 km successfully crossing another item off of my list. This challenge seemed almost too easy though, as I walk to and from the office almost every day. As such, I’ve upped my walking mileage goal significantly for 2013.
  4. I helped Rick raise over $25000 for the Kidney Foundation of Canada by climbing 5 mountains in 7 days.
  5. I went zip lining again, edge walking twice, sky diving again, bob sledding, and ice climbing.
  6. I blogged every day for an entire year.
  7. I significantly reduced my debt, and increased my net worth. W00t!
  8. I managed to reduce my original 30 year mortgage to 14 years by negotiating a lower interest rate, and increasing each payment by 15%. This year I’ll once again increase my biweekly payment to reduce the length of my remaining mortgage even further.
  9. I learned to cook dairy free treats (such as pumpkin pie, pecan pie, and Irish cream). I’m definitely going to keep exploring this in 2013.
  10. I travelled to Calgary, Banff, Lake Louise, and Ottawa. Sadly, I didn’t make it to New York City in 2012. I also didn’t travel outside of the country. Clearly my wanderlusting ways won’t allow this to become the status quo. Regardless, my trip to Banff and Lake Louise to compete in the Big Mountain Challenge with Rick was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. It was so much more than a vacation, and something that I won’t ever forget.

Overall I managed to cross off 33 things from my Not-So-Bucket-List list. While this is fantastic, my original goal was to cross off 42. Even still, I can’t complain. I was busy the entire year with challenges, work, and fun. I spent a great deal of time with people I love. I travelled. I experienced new things. I pushed myself further. I laughed. I laughed a lot.

To say that 2012 was fantastic for me would be an understatement. It’s not that there weren’t set backs and challenges outside of my lists – because there were. But I know it was fantastic because when I think back on all of the things that happened in the past 366 days, I can’t help but smile. Friends, family, adventures, successes, failures – all have brought me to where I am today.

Truly, looking back on the year that was reminds me of how lucky I really am.

Here’s to an amazing 2013. Happy New Year everyone.

996 Out Of 1000 Ain’t Bad

My @World_Rankin stats – slightly off though since the stats exclude one of my long runs.

Earlier today I completed my last long run of the year – a 13.25 mile (~21.32 km) jaunt on the treadmill. I had hoped to see my treadmill cross over the 1000 mile marker today, but after my run and cool down walk I had only managed to reach 996 miles. I thought about running the extra 4 miles, but decided I shouldn’t push a potential injury.

I also reasoned that if Meatloaf was okay with 2 out of 3, than surely I could be okay with 996 out of 1000. Also – how cool will it be to start 2013 by crossing off another item from my epically long list of things I want to do. If I can put in the time to run 4 miles tomorrow, I’ll be able to start 2013 by attacking my Not-So-Bucket-List list.

The other cool thing about today’s run – it marked my 15th half marathon for the year. Crazy!

Even crazier? Fully one-third of those half marathons happened this month1. I had no idea I had a 5 half marathon month in me. I’m stoked at how well this month went. And it gives me hope that I’ll easily be able to accomplish 18 half marathons next year (or perhaps even 24).

Reviewing my RunKeeper stats for the month, again, I’m beyond pleased. I ran a total of 206.7 km2 in 17 hours 50 minutes and 9 seconds, which translates to an average pace of 5 minutes 11 seconds per kilometre. All of that running burned 13753 Calories, equivalent to about 86 Starbucks Vanilla Soy Lattes. Of the 206.7 km I ran in December, slightly more than 70 of those happened in the past four days. That’s right folks – I managed to run 44 miles (~70.8 km) in 4 days. To say that I’m gobsmacked would be an understatement.

What a great way to end 2012.

Anyway, I’m off to ring in the New Year. You’ll be able to recognize me because I’ll be the guy wearing the bright red compression socks. Nothing says Happy New Year like bright red compression socks.

Happy New Year all y’all.

1 December 3, 9, 19, 29, and 31.

2 Earlier I had reported on Twitter that I had run slightly more than 180km. What I had forgotten was that one of my runs was not posted to Twitter so the bot that tallies the information (@world_rankin) wasn’t able to include it. Which means my ranking of 156 out of 12,6943 people is also off4.

3 This was modified by @world_rankin within the last hour as I originally had posted on Twitter that I ranked 153rd out of 12670.

4 Holy hell – that’s in the top 1.2% of all the runners that post their info to Twitter. Crazy!

Goals For 2013

This list is null and void if the predicted Mayan apocalypse turns out to be true.

Being a man who likes lists, it should probably come as no surprise that I’ve decided to set up a list of things1 I’d like to accomplish in 2013.

Some of the goals are on the list because I didn’t quite meet them in 2012.

Some of the goals are exactly the same as other goals I set in 20122.

Some of the goals extend my successes from previous years.

And some of the goals – well – some of the goals are just crazy new adventures that my brain put together and now I want need to attempt.

So, without further ado, I present to you my glorious list of crazy adventures, goals, and other such action items for 2013:

  • Run 1610 km (1000 miles)
  • Walk 1610 km (1000 miles)
  • Bike 1610 km (1000 miles)
  • Enter and run 12 races
  • Run at least 12 half marathons (or greater)
  • Run at least 3 marathons
  • Visit New York City at least once
  • Publish 1 post per week on my professor blog
  • Compete in the Tough Mudder
  • Submit at least 5 papers to peer reviewed journals
  • Continue to build my scotch collection (with at least 6 new bottles in 2013)
  • Install hardwood flooring in my bedrooms
  • Paint the bedrooms and bathroom
  • Cook or bake at least 12 new things
  • Run at least 1 marathon in a province (or territory) other than Ontario
  • Drink more water
  • Stretch more
  • Conquer Temple Mountain
  • Do the CN Tower climb – sub 16 minutes
  • Do the CN Tower Edge Walk again
  • Skydive again
  • Travel to Ottawa to visit Matt
  • Travel to Calgary to visit Rick
  • Travel to Vancouver to visit Beth
  • Go Bungee jumping
  • Get more sleep (> 5 hrs 36 mins per night – my current average)
  • Epic bike ride with Mel

Of course, this list is a draft and clearly open to additions – so feel free to suggest any and all crazy adventures you can think of that you think I’d be interested in.

And a note to 2013: you’re going to be awesome.

1 Note: these are goals, not resolutions. I don’t make resolutions because I will almost always break my resolutions. It’s a thing I do.

2 Because why do something once when you can do it twice?


Apparently it’s not un-possible; it’s un-impossible.

Remember back in the old-time-y days of May?

You know – May; when the sky was blue, and the birds were chirping, and the sun was shining, and the days were long, and the air was warm, and I decided to add something crazy to my Not-So-Bucket-List list?

Those were good days, no?

Apparently this weekend I managed to complete that crazy thing that I decided to add to my Not-So-Bucket-List back in the old-time-y days of May.

What was that crazy thing? you’re probably wondering.

Well, back in the old-time-y days of May I decided that I would attempt to run at least 12 half marathons (as either part of my training for other longer races, or as official races) in 12 months.

Turns out that Sunday’s 24 km run was the 12th and final half marathon (or greater) that I needed to complete to be able to cross this challenge off of my Not-So-Bucket-List. Better yet, I managed to complete said challenge in only 10 months. Even better still? Between now and the time I finish crushing the Goofy race, I should run another 6 half marathons (or greater). For those counting, that would make 18 half marathons in 12 months.

That, dear readers, makes me giggle a little bit. Okay, it actually makes me giggle a lot.

Completed Half Marathons

6 times half nuts; that’s me.
  1. February 2012 – 21.64 km – training run
  2. March 2012 – 25.75 km – training run
  3. March 2012 – 30.56 km – Around the Bay 30k
  4. March 2012 – 21.54 km – training run
  5. April 2012 – 21.21 km – Run for Retinal Research Half Marathon
  6. May 2012 – 43.00 km – Toronto Goodlife Marathon
  7. May 2012 – 21.37 km – training run
  8. May 2012 – 44.04 km – Ottawa Marathon
  9. June 2012 – 21.12 – training run
  10. July 2012 – 21.14 – training run
  11. December 2012 – 23.21 – training run
  12. December 2012 – 24.14 – training run

Upcoming Half Marathons

  1. December 16, 2012 – 30 km training run
  2. December 23, 2012 – 30 km training run
  3. December 30, 2012 – 34 km training run
  4. January 6, 2013 – 34 km training run
  5. January 12, 2013 – 21.2 km Donald Duck Half Marathon
  6. January 13, 2013 – 42.2 km Mickey Mouse Marathon