Pounding the pavement for fun???

Today I did my first running race. The Royal Victoria Marathon has differing lengths (a full marathon, a half marathon, an 8km race, and a 1 km kids race). Since I was too old for the kids race, I entered the 8km.

I signed up with no intentions of grandeur. Even now I am not sure why I entered, but I thought I would try a running race at least. I have been running lately, but nothing great. I am not sure, but I don’t think I have even run 8 km straight.

Jump forward to this morning. An early rise, for an early starting race. “She” was doing the half, and since that started at 7:45, we had to be downtown around 7:15, and we left home late. We did get there on time for the half marathon start, but for a little while, some of the people in our party were a little stressed.

It was a chilly morning, but the sky was clear and cloudless. As the sun rose, my anticipation grew. After I made my way to the 8km starting chute I found myself at the front of the pack. Learning from my mistakes in cross country mountain bike racing I let theose people who wanted to be in front of me move past.

Soon enough my group was off, and all I could think about was holw cold I was. I quickly realized that I was pushing myself too hard, and that if I kept that pace I would blow up before I could finish my race. I backed off, and settled into a comfortable pace while dozens of people streamed past me.

Running into the sun was a great feeling. It warmed my core. The downside is that I was unable to see any of the cheering crowd.

Throughout the whole race I never felt great. I had woke up tired, felt a little sick, and never really felt like running. As I progressed throught the race, I slowly started to feel a little better, but not great.

As I entered the designated cheering section, the crowd making all the noise caused me to run just a little harder, something I did not want to do. As soon as I exited the section, I realized what I was doing, and slowed down.

The run took us along Dallas road up towards Beacon Hill park, into the park to the turnaround point, and back along the same route.

Just before I got to the turn into Beacon Hill park I heard some of my friends cheer for me. I had been told by many people that my cheering had been a great boost to them in theor races. Well, I got to experience that first hand. It truly was a boost. For a few moments I felt great. Then I entered Beacon Hill Park.

I knew the tirnaround was up ahead, and I kept wanting to check my watch to see how my time was doing. I decided I wouldn’t look until I finished. As I ran through the park, I saw Spiderman. Someone was running the half marathon in a full Spiderman costume! It was quite a sight to see. The turnaround eventually came, and I marked the time in my watch, and merged into the half marathoners.

The stream of people heading back to the start line was amazing. I was almost shoulder to shoulder with other runners, and only a few feet off other runners. It was almost claustrophobic feeling.

I had to pickup my pace to keep up with the mob. I soon developed a really bad stitch, and I knew I either had to start walking, or change my pace. My main goal was to run the entire distance, so I opted to slow down and to change my breathing. The stitch got worse and worse, but I kept the slow pace and shallow breathing. Eventually it subsided.

I exited the park, and began the downhill back along Dallas road. I passed the cheering section, and heard them again. I knew that I was over half way, so I plodded along. I couldn’t get over the feeling of slowness. Maybe it was the lack of coffee, maybe it was the air temperature, or maybe it was the early time of day. I am still not sure.

As I got closer to the water station my mouth was extremely dry. I decided to not get anything though because I didn’t want my stitch top return. I decided to run through the station, which proved to be a little difficult as most people stopped to get a drink. I dodged my way through, and kept running.

When I got to Fishermans Wharf I decided to pick up my pace. I extended my leg stroke, but within 5 strides I knew I had to return to my previous pace or I wouldn’t be able to complete the run to the finish line. After slowing again I felt better.

Before I knew it I crossed the finish line, and my race was over. Or was it? I quickly discovered I couldn’t just stop running. I had to do a cool down walk so I got my timing chip clipped, then proceeded to walk around for a bit. After a 10 minute walk I had cooled down enough, and felt much better.

I returned to my truck, put on some dry clothes, then made my way back to the finish line to watch her finish.

My finishing time was 46 minutes 49 seconds, but I am not sure what my official time is. My time to the turnaround was 22 minutes 42 seconds, and my time from the turnaround was 24 minutes 07 seconds.

Turkey Update

The dinner went off well. “She” did an awesome job of cooking the bird. It turned out amazing. The supporting cast was potatoes, brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, gravy, carrots, stuffing. Much wine and beer was consumed. The conversation flowed as our families met for the first time. It was a great evening.

Now to concentrate on the rest of the weekend. We have a large pasta dinner to prepare, a birthday party of sorts to arrange, and a run to do. I am doing the 8km race in the Royal Victoria Marathon, but “she”, and some of her family, will be running the half marathon.

The weather so far has been amazing. I am hoping it will hold.

Blogchalking the new way to be seen?

I stumbled upon BlogChalking today. You can read about it at http://www.blogchalking.tk/

I signed up mainly just for fun. Here is mine:
This is my new blogchalk:
Canada, British Colombia, Victoria, Esquimalt, English, , Greg, Male, 26-30, Mountain Biking. 🙂

This seems like a great way of finding blogs like yours, or blogs made by people close to you. For example, this google search is for all the blogchalked blogs near me in Victoria that speak english.

Gobble gobble!

gobble gobbleIt’s that time of year again where we get together with friends and family to feast. This past year for me has been an excellent one. Much in my life has changed, and definitely for the better.

This weekend marks a bit of a milestone for me. Both my family, and the family of “she” are converging on our home. For me this is the first time my family has me the family of my girlfriend. Not only that, but we will be cooking our very first turkey dinner. While we are very excited about this, it is a little overwhelming. I will let you know how it all works out.

I hope you all have an excellent Thanksgiving weekend.

A North Shore Ride Report (how I break my brakes)

This past Saturday found me in Vancouver. A friend of mine hopped on the ferry from Victoria, and I was to meet KirkH, and rotr no more for a spin on the shore.

I picked Mike up at the ferry, and the first surprise was that another friend Jason was there too. Seems Jason had returned from his year long stint in Yellowknife a little early.

We loaded my truck, then set off for Mt Fromme. After arriving, we strapped our gear to ourselves and poceeded slowly up the long climb. It was quite eery because of the low laying cloud. Peering through the trees all we could see was mist. People disappered and reappeared from the mist frequently. It was surreal hearing people make their way towards me, or away from me, but not being able to actually see them.

After what seemed like a couple hours (really only about an houre) we reached the first trail we would take. Upper Oil Can was the choice. We donned our gear, ate some food, lowered the saddles, and soon it was time to ride. Only a few hundred yards into the trail I started to hear an odd clicking noise from the rear of my bike. I stopped to check it out, but couldn’t find anything. I rode another few yards, ad heard it some more. I stopped for a more thorough inspection, and that was when I found it. My rear Hayes caliper had broken! It looked to me like the bottom bolt had follen out a while ago. As I continued braking over the past couple ride, the metal in the mount for the caliper was bent, and rebent repeatedly until it finally let go.

I was quite unhappy. How do you finish a ride with no rear brake? With a little ingenuity, and a few zip ties (thanks Tim), I was able to get the caliper to stay in place while I continued my ride. My conidence was shot on the first few drops so I walked, but I soon began to trust the hacked together repair job. I still had rear brakes, they just felt a little mushy. I did a few drops to test the strength. I found I could still come to a stop quickly enough.

Soon enough we finished Oil Can, so we headed down the fireroad a couple minutes to Expresso. Here we met up with Dave K and Meagan. His previous plans were cancelled due to the inclemant weather. I had never ridden Expresso before, so I was excited to ride something new. It was a very fun trail. There were a few ladder bridges, steep rock faces, root drops, log rides. All sorts of stuff a visitor to the North Shore trails wants to experience.

After dropping onto Baden Powell we traversed back towards the vehicles. Meagan pointed us towards an older North Shore trail caller Digger (I think that was what we rode). It was also a good trail. Some steeps, some loose stuff, and some drops.

We were spit out on a street not too far from the vehicles. We debated on whether or not to head for food, but in order for Mike and Jason to make the 3pm ferry, we needed to leave immediately.

That was our choice, so our day on the North Shore was over. It was a blast. I should have some pictures in a couple days.

Thanks again to Tim and Kirk for riding with us, and showing us around. It was a lot of fun.


This past weekend “she” and I made a trip to the mainland for various reasons. The trip was excellent. On the way over, we rode the 7 pm sailing of the Spirit of Vancouver Island. We hit the buffet for some tasty morsels, then went back to the car deck to check up on Yoshi

Once in Vancouver we had family to visit, mountains to bike on, trails to run on, firewood to purchase, dog food to buy, clothes to shop for, and much, much more.

The return trip on the S.o.V.I. was pretty uneventful. It was an excellent weekend though.


sony PDAI may have only had my Handspring Prism for less than a year, but I am already feeling the urge to upgrade. Sony just announced the first PalmOS 5 ARM processor based PDA’s for the market.

The Palm InfoCenter has some excellent info on them.

Sony Style has them listed for sale already. I might wait a little while to see if pirces fall a little. Then again … maybe not. 🙂 Stay tuned for more details.

Cohabitation Celebration

This past Saturday was the Cohabitation Celebration. “She” and I held our first party at our new place. It was a house warming of sorts.

We had a great time, and wish to thank all those that attended. Friends from in and around the city (and across the water) came by, ate, drank, socialized, then went home.

We had decided to make it a true potluck. It was quite fun to see what each person had in store for the rest of us. The amount of food was staggering. There were appies of all sorts, some main dishes (like lasagna, quesadillas and salmon), and a couple of desserts as well. There were no overlaps in what people brought.

The house DJ (me) was starting to do a poor job, so I handed my duties over to the guest DJ for the remainder of the evening. He did an excellent job, mixing up spinning some of my old school wax, and new school plastic.

Thanks again to all who attended.

Oozing with hypocrisy

I just had a very odd lunch break. I went downtown to look at biking shoes at the Bike Cellar. Across the street was a group of people protesting. There was a placard that read “Kids should not be used as a resource”. I took this to mean the group was opposed to child labor.

Unfortunately for them, a young child was holding the sign. I couldn’t help but laugh and think how hypocritical that was.

Also within a two block period I saw two news cameras taping news stories. Victoria feels like it is a big city now. 🙂 I never did find any shoes, but I did find a couple new CD’s at Lyles Place.