Ran 863 km in 2013

Screen print from  SmashRun

Screen print from SmashRun

Today was my last run for the year. I did a 5k form interval run around Mahone Bay. Luckily the roads are almost ice free and the wind was mild, but the -13C kept me moving for fear of turning into an ice cube. The cars gave me a wide berth, probably thinking I may be a little "touched".

I started running for the first time on February 24th after reading Danny Dryer's book Chi Running which was recommended to me by James Constable. Thanks, Jamie. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.  It makes sense and it has helped me to run all year injury free

I ran 5k, 10k, and Half-Marathon races this year. I wanted to run a Marathon but just did not have enough experience. My longest run was 29km. I am still slow and my best 5k is a 6:01/km pace. 

My goal for 2014 is to complete the Valley Harvest Marathon in Wolfville, NS on October 11, 2014. I enjoy running in winter the best and hope to be in good condition for the start of the season this coming spring. 

I learned the importance of hydration, nutrition, and pacing and intend to continue practicing my Chi Running forms because posture makes all the difference. It feels good to be back on the road after running very little the last three months. I would like to run 1000km next year and would have this year if I had continued my training the last three months. But I slept in and gained back some of the weight I had lost. Now it is time to hit the pavement again. 

So if you see me along the road, please share the road and wave, it is a great encouragement. Thank you dear friends for all your encouragement in the past and I wish you all a Happy New Year. 

A special thanks to the following:

  • Jamie Constable - for recommending Chi Running
  • Luke MacDonald, Aerobics First - for helping me select my running shoes
  • Chris Anderson - inspiration and encouragement
  • Pamela Segger - sometime running partner
  • Chris, Steve, & Jacklyn, SmashRun - for a great analytics site

23k and Disappointment



Ran 23.6k this morning, but planned to run 32k as the last Long Slow Distance (LSD) run before I begin a three-week taper to the October marathon in Wolfville.  At 11k my back began to hurt and my cadence dropped from 90 to 85. Anita from the LIverpool Running Group diagnosed the problem for me earlier in the year, my hips were not level, and this was constricting my back. I practiced diligently the proper Chi form for weeks and my back no longer hurt. From 11k to 18k my form declined. So I tried to run/walk for a few kilometers, till at 23k I could run no more and Pamela was gracious enough to pick me up.

I love running 5-13k, at those distances I seem warm up by 3k and then have a 2-10k of running in the zone. Chi running makes me feel like I do not use my legs and it feels good. At about 16k fatigue starts to break up my form and it becomes an endurance event.

Since I have never run in my life and just started in March, I do not seem to have the muscle memory of others. If I run 13k I never feel tired at the end of the run. My legs feels fine. At the end of longer runs I am injury free, but sore, really sore. My feet are sensitive, my joints are stiff, and I feel a general ache all over. 


A coach told me recently, when I mentioned I was training for my first marathon at fifty-six after never running before, to continue, enjoy the marathon, and make it my last. I thought he was overstating the case, because of Chi Running I was not pounding the pavement as before, but something about it rang true. As my LSD runs began to extend from 20-29k, recovery time was longer after each. Two weeks ago, after running 29k, it took five days before I felt ready to run again. 

I have not maintained the Chi Running Forms as diligently as I did in my early training and now as the distances increase I am not able to maintain my posture.  


I started running in March of this year and have run eight hundred and seven kilometers to date. I have completed a 5k, 10k and Half-marathon race. I have run two additional half marathons in training and several runs of greater distance. My longest run is 29k. Despite the fact that Danny Dryer, the author of Chi Running and Chi Marathon recommends a new runner train a year for a half-marathon and two years for a full marathon. I tried to create a nine month training program to go from zero to marathon, and maybe if I was fitter or younger at the start I may have done better at the longer distances. I have lost 35 pounds and feel great. Most importantly I have remained injury free as Danny states in his books, Chi Running does work. 

Maybe I have bit off more than my body can chew in the first year. Next year I will be lighter and have longer to train. So I am going to stay with my 5-13k runs and get my weight down, then train again in the Spring next year for a marathon.  

Updated 2017-1208: The following is a link to benefits of running. https://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com/health-benefits-of-running.html

LSD - 12 mile run toward 1/2 marathon

LSD (long slow distance) runs build endurance. I want to participate in the Valley Harvest Marathon on October 13th in Wolfville, NS. As the race gets closer I will decide whether I can do the full marathon or just the half. But in the meantime I will train for the  full marathon.

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Yesterday, I intended to run  12 miles at a 13:30 pace but I ran the 12 miles at a 13:03 pace and ran 10 miles the previous week at a 13:20 pace.  I felt surprisingly good throughout the run. I was running mid 12s to 13 for the first nine miles and then slowed to 14-15 pace because my left adductor was tightening and It took over a mile for me to adjust my posture enough for it to relax. I ran the final mile at 12:54. Felt good. 

Next week it is at 13.1 mile run (half marathon distance). 

I must be rolling up on my toes and pushing off, because they are still sore this morning. Need to work on my mid foot strike and lifting my feet rather then pushing off with my toes. Another form focus for this week.  

Today is an easy run day, just to loosen up. I will let my toes rest a little more and do either an afternoon or evening run.  

First 10 Mile Run

High Volume, Low Intensity

Starting February 24 I have run 5-6 days every week. The five days of February only totaled nine miles. March was eighty-seven miles. April has twenty-two miles down so far and I am up to fifty miles a week now. I am trying to maintain high volume and low intensity in my runs to burn fat and build endurance. Speed is not a concern now. I will continue to maintain a low intensity (HR zone 2) on 80% of my runs and allow speed to increase gradually over time. I have run one hundred and eighteen miles to date without injury, thanks to Chi Running and my New Balance MT-10 running shoes that feel like perfect fitting gloves on my feet. The following are my current personal records.

Personal Records

  • 1 mile - Mar 7 - 11:24 mi/min (improved from 13:27 on Feb 24)
  • 5 k - 2013-0320 - 11:26 mi/min (improved from 12:07 on Mar 10)
  • 10 k - 2013-0324 - 13:38 mi/min (first run)
  • 10 mile - 2013-0331 - 13:07 mi/min (first run)

Chi Running Works...First 5k and 10k

In an earlier post I mentioned how I read Chi Running by Danny Dreyer after Jamie Constable sent me a link through Facebook. Three weeks later I ran my first 5k here in Blue Rocks. Not fast, but it was pain free and actually felt good. I am now planning on running the Lunenburg 5k on June 9th and the Epic Canadian 10k on June 29th. Using Danny's recommendations I created my own Training Plan below.

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PDF of training plan here.

I have just completed the first week and will try to maintain the target pace for tempo and long runs. My tempo pace this week for 7:54, a minute faster than target, but my long run pace was 9:41, slower than the target, because I was trying to stay in Zone 2 (aerobic / fat burning zone) and I slowed whenever my heart rate reached 135 bpm and resumed when it dropped to 132 bpm.  

Today was also my first ever 10k, see below. 

If you would like to give running one more try, read Chi Running. The physics make sense and Danny Dreyer's clear and detailed discussion is inspiring. The subtitle of the book is "A Revolutionary Approach To Effortless, Injury-Free Running."  

It is becoming more effortless every day and feels natural. He has also written Chi Walking and Chi Marathon books. See below. See you on June 9th.

Winter Riding Solution


With the temperatures -1c and below and the winds 25-50 km/h lately, indoor trainer has been a great solution. 


By combining the Kurt Kinetic with TrainerRoad on my computer I have a Virtual Power Meter and can simulate any desired training ride.  

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Chi Running

Source: Runners World

Source: Runners World

Running is something I enjoy only because the calorie burn is high for the short time invested. But I am a pavement pounder and running is difficult on my joints. That is one reason I prefer cycling, but it takes longer to achieve the same calorie burn. This article caught my attention after Sensei Jamie Constable (aikido) sent me the following link. 


Chi Running by Danny Dreyer is the book mentioned in the article. 

Paris-Brest-Paris Training Trailer

I am training to ride in the 2015 Pairs-Brest-Paris 1200km ride that must be completed in 90 hours or less. This is my first video with the GoPro HD Hero2 video camera. Hope you enjoy. You can follow my progress here over the coming months. This is my fun trailer.

I plan on riding the PBP on a recumbent tadpole trike, that will look something like this one below.



Rocky Butte - Portland Oregon

Barbara from the OHPV forum rented me one of her trikes to use while in Portland. The Greenspeed clone was originally built with e-power and is heavier than the trikes I test rode earlier last week at Coventry Cycle. I am happy to have any trike to ride while here and am grateful for Barbara’s generosity.

Portland is crisscrossed with bike paths. See sample map below. I rode each morning around the north east part of the city and lengthened my rides each day.



 Today I decided to climb Rocky Butte (177m) as you can see from the elevation graph above. The following photo was taken from the top looking out over the city, before the long fast decent back to the B&B. 



Note the thick steel plate behind the seat where the original motor was mounted for electric assist up the hills.

We move further south tomorrow to another B&B on Hawthorne Ave for a few days before the Writers Conference. I look forward to triking around the south east part of the city each morning.

New Personal Best - 88km at 30km/h avg speed

I am gradually increasing my distances in preparation for the Paris-Brest-Paris 1200 km ride in 2015. Today was going to be a 75+km day, but that was conservative. We ended up riding 88km.

My neighbor Ian and I  left Blue Rocks and rode along the water through Maders Cove to The Biscuit Eater in Mahone Bay. Stopped for a cappuccino and split a biscuit. The caffeine helped us up the 97m Blockhouse hill. We crossed over the 103 a few kilometers further and continued over the rolling hills to the RCMP office in Bridgewater. Rode in along the river and crossed on the new bridge to King Street and headed to the LaHave Bakery. We thought we would have a tail wind along the river, since we had ridden against the wind all morning, but the wind shifted again to hit us in the face. Up to Bridgewater I was able to pull my share but after Bridgewater my legs were beginning to feel the extra distance. Luckily Ian pulled most of the way to Lahave and we stopped for a break (lemonade and half slice of pizza each). The scallop boat was in and we stopped to watch them unload. We caught the ferry and my legs began to cramp on the way to Rose Bay. Stopped at the Rose Bay store for a banana and Gatorade to replace potassium and electrolytes. Felt strong for the next several kilometers and pulled again against the wind. We finally had a short section with the wind to our backs and then the wind shifted again and I followed Ian into the headwind. We took a leisurely pace through Lunenburg in expectation of Rye Hill and rode all the way to Blue Rocks in another head wind. 

My iPhone battery died at 71 km. Ian and I were averaging 30 kph to that point, a new personal best for distance ride. I would like to get my average speed above 30 kph consistently before I start riding with the Randonneurs Nova Scotia for the upcoming 120km, 160km, and 200km rides starting in September. 

Note: Map and elevation chart are interactive.

New Shoes and Clips = 2kph avg Increase



Bought new Shimano M162 shoes and Shimano PD-M540 SPD pedals yesterday in Halifax at CycleSmith and today increased my average speed by almost 2 km/h over the Blue Rocks - Stonehurst Loop. It feels good to be clipped in again and being able to push and pull with my legs. Time for spinning practice.