Monday, December 1, 2008

Resolution time?

What? Why am I writing about resolutions on December first, you ask? Because I am planning, and a big part of my plans for 2009 is to see how much I can impact others to do something active...

I am sending out a challenge to you, yes you. Are you active? Are you planning to be? Let me know what your goals are for 2009 on this blog. And see what others are committing to do.

My goals are to beat my marathon personal best of 3:20 and to get one person to start running in 2009.

I am also still fundraising for the LLS. I have found a way to combine all of these by offering a motivation jar (see image) for $10. You could purchase one of these and the proceeds will be going toward blood cancer research. At the same time, you could use it to help on your journey toward your own resolution. It's a win-win! Also, if you don't want a jar, you can click on the link at the right of this page and support me for the Vancouver marathon by making a donation to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

So what are you waiting for?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Trail Running

While on vacation at Tremblant last week, I spent most of my exercise time on the trails.  I splurged on a pair of North Face trail running shoes and got good use out of them right away.

One afternoon, I ran right up the face of the mountain and back down through the mountain biking circuit.  It was a particularly treacherous terrain comprised of a slick muddy base covered in freshly fallen leaves and topped off with the remnants of a snowfall from the previous night.  The ascent was harder than any hill training I had ever done because it just went on forever and the slope was much steeper.  What a great workout!  I could feel my heart pounding in my chest and and my monitor was reading over 100% of my max in no time at all.  I ran for at least 30 minutes before reaching a plateau and slowing to a brisk walk.  I crossed some people who were on their way back down and also a couple of young ladies sitting and taking in the view.  It was about 300 metres beyond them that I reached the plateau and took a rest and turned to look back down.  It was an amazing view of the lake below, but I knew it would only get better if I kept going.  By now, the slope was nearly 60 degrees so it was hard work just to walk up.  The shoes gave me sure footing and I felt secure every step of the way.  A few minutes later, I was at the crest of the Flying Mile lift.  From here the view was spectacular!  The sun was beginning to set (and rapidly at this time of year). It was almost blinding to see the reflection off the lake water below.  The colored leaves were pretty much all gone from the trees but the horizon still looked on fire from the bright sunlight.  I could see for miles and miles on this clear autumn  day.  A view like this makes it hard to want to go back down....but I knew that would be fun too!

After a few sips of water and a quick wizz, I started my descent.  The slope was so steep and slippery, I literally slalomed most of the way down, finding a line and bounding from foothold to foothold down the slope and picking up speed as I went.  I reached a rather fast clip but also tried to maintain control - it was exhilerating and almost felt like when I ski moguls.  As I entered the trails in the woods I had to pay even closer attention to my feet because the leaves hid all the ruts, roots, and rocks and I could have easily slipped or mis-stepped.  The mountain bike trail here was sick.  The slope was still as steep but the trail wound its way down diagonally with very technical sections and many sharp turns.  It was a blast motoring down this terrain all by myself and taking in the sounds and smells of the forest around me.

Once I reached the waterfall near the base of the mountain, I negotiated the series of log stairs without even slowing down and once again crossed paths with some hikers.  As I motored by them, I could hear them remark at how fast I was going.  These shoes were great.  My feet were dry from the Gore-Tex liners, my ankles didn't even roll once, and I never lost my footing.  I had 1 km to go to get back to the hotel but I decided to stay off the pavement as much as I could, so I tried to stay on the shoulder of the roads and paths until I linked up with another mountain bike trail not far away.  This trail took me up and around a ridge over the main road and I ended up on the golf course cart path right by our resort.  I continued to our unit and just had fun doing strides for the last 200 metres.   My run was done, my shoes were great, and I remembered why I loved trail running so much.

Keep on running!  

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


What is it that drives us to do better? Why is it that sometimes we can't even though we think we can. I have read several articles and books about motivation and how much of success is actually attributed to mindpower - setting stretch goals, having positive thoughts to pull you through, repeating a mantra, visualization. To read about it and to actually do it are two different things. I tried and used all of these techniques and I can attest that they work, but what happens when you need more?

In September 2006 I ran my first marathon. The Montreal International marathon. Despite following a training plan and visualizing the course (I am from Montreal so I was already familiar with the route and landmarks), I was not prepared for the mental challenges this first race would throw at me....To be among thousands of runners at the start in the middle of the Jacques Cartier bridge was both impressive and intimidating. Even though it was a sunny fall day, it was cold and windy up there. I was wearing a singlet and shorts and had goose bumps up and down my arms and legs. There wasn't much room to move so I just hopped up and down to try to keep warm. I figured I could do the marathon in just over 4 hours so I squeezed into a spot between the 4:00 and 4:30 pace bunnies. I had read about pace bunnies before but never actually saw one. They were easy to spot with the, I thought. "I just make sure I stay between them and I'll reach my goal". Off goes the gun and...nothing. It was a good few seconds before our end of the human wave started to shuffle forward. I remember remarking to the guy beside me that at this pace, we'll never finish. I also remember seeing the variety of physiques all around me - there were young and old, slim and large, tall and short. I thought if these people could do it, why can't I? As we picked up speed running down the bridge and swung onto the ramp descending on Ile Ste-Hélène, I tried to find some running room by passing and winding my way forward. I was running at a comfortable pace right behind the 4-hour bunny and felt good. I had prepared my hydration strategy so I skipped by the first water station, opting to drink from my own bottle instead. I had one in each hand to keep me balanced. I figured the first bottle would be empty by kilometer ten which would free up my hand to eat a power bar. Everything seemed to be going as planned. I passed the halfway point and felt strong thinking my training was paying off. I looked at my watch and saw that I was at 2:11. That meant if I kept it up, I was going to finish between 4 and 4:30 as planned. I grabbed some water in a bottle on D'Iberville and picked up the pace down the hill toward de Maisonneuve. There were actually people cheering on De Maisonneuve which was a boost. Someone said I had a good pace and to keep it up. Then the fellow in front of me stopped suddenly and said he had a stitch, as I passed him, I told him to take slow deep breaths to try and make it pass. Then we turned and headed up Berri. It is a steady climb of about 25m over 800m the last of which is an underpass with a steep ascent on the far side. I remember passing an old man carrying two American flags running in honour of the fallen 9/11 first responders and congratulating him. When I reached the crest of the hill, I was tired. We veered right and continued another ascent in Le Plateau Mont Royal area which went up for 4 kilometers. I began to get heavy legs at this point. By the time I reached the peak at St-Laurent and Bellechasse I had nothing left. I had not anticipated how much this ascent would take a toll on me. I still had 10 km to go and was determined to finish but my pace was much slower now. I stayed motivated by telling myself to "just run to the next corner", "to the next marker", "to the next water station", etc. At marker 35 I started doing 10 and 1's. At marker 37 I was a few hundred meters from the Stadium entrance but the course veered left and brought us around the Botanical gardens. One more ascent up Pie IX to Rosemount. Here I was passed by many people. I continued to run/walk. Once on Rosemont, I more or less stumbled forward the rest of the way to the finish. I entered the stadium and saw myself running around the track to the finish line on the big screen. It was a wonderful feeling to finish.

Fast forward to 2008. In the span of those 24 months, I had since run four more marathons and had even qualified for Boston with a time of 3:20 in Ottawa in May. I wanted to try and beat that this time around in Montreal. My training was much more structured, I was familiar with the course and the difficult spots, I had the confidence of faster times, and I even had a better race strategy. What I couldn't control was the weather. This time around, it was raining. I had a garbage bag on to keep me warm at the start. About one kilometer into the race, I ripped it off and continued. Around Ile Ste-Hélène and Ile Notre Dame, most of my attention was focused on my feet to avoid stepping in puddles. I maintained a steady pace and eventually passed the 3:30 pace group at about the sixth kilometer. Running by Habitat 67, the wind picked up and I was getting chills. I drafted behind a few people but their pace wasn't steady so I had to pass them. Someone else from Team in Training caught up to me and we ran together and chatted for the next 10 km past the halfway point (1:42). Not bad at all. I had been training on hills, doing negative splits on my long runs and had been running conservatively so far. I should be able to do a faster second half to finish under 3:20. I tackled the Berri and St-Laurent ascents without much effort and then made my way down de Lorimier toward Sherbrooke. I passed the Team in Training support group at marker 35 and still felt strong albeit I had started to slow my pace. My fellow participant had pulled ahead before the ascent and I could no longer see him. It was very humid and I just couldn't seem to kick it up a notch as I had planned. I decided I would continue on and accelerate once I reached the top of Pie IX. I passed several people on this ascent but by then I had lost ground and the 3:30 pace group overtook me about halfway up the hill. Do I stay with them and risk burning out or do I continue at my pace? I decided to let them go. As I rounded the corner, I had lost them. I then tried once more to accelerate. I must have passed 40 or 50 people in the last 2 km of the race, but I could not catch up to that group. I felt as though I was running as fast as I could but it was nowhere near as fast as my tempo runs or speed drills. 3:36. While I finished over an hour and six minutes better than my first Montreal marathon, I feel my training somehow came up short. Why couldn't I maintain an even split or better yet, post a negative split as planned? Why did I let those negative thoughts take over and convince me to not accelerate sooner? Was it my mind not letting my body do it or was it my body telling my mind I couldn't do it? If it is my mind holding me back, what do I have to do to overcome this apprehension? This is what I have to figure out if I want to beat this course next year.

Keep on running....

Monday, August 25, 2008

There's no place like home

I have had the privelige of running in several places over the years but there is something to be said for running at home. It just seems easier to stick to a routine and also to improvise when you run on home turf. For example, this past weekend, I ran my last long run prior to the taper for the Montreal marathon. I wanted to cover my usual route but I knew I couldn't be late getting back home because I had to watch the kids while my spouse went to another engagement. My regular route was a loop around Hudson followed by a loop around St-Lazare, I knew it would be about 36 km, maybe a bit more. At 18 km, I checked my watch and knew that my first split was slow so I would have to pick up the pace for the second half. If I stuck to my route, I might end up covering more ground and had no way to shorten the loop so I decided to take a smaller loop and add an out-and-back to bring my total to 36 as planned. This flexibility, to change my route on the fly, is extremely helpful and could only be done if you know the neighborhood well.

A few weeks ago, I was running while on a vacation in Florida. While I was familiar with the area, I was far from being comfortable with the distances and road network. Each run was an exploration of out-and-back jaunts along different routes to make sure I went far enough but didn't put myself in a situation where I ended up on a much longer run than expected (I learned this the hard way on the first day there...). This made my long runs a bit less interesting than my regular loops at home because I basically just ran the same out and back several times. I did this for another reason as well - it is damn hot in Florida in August and I didn't have a fuel belt with me. I simply pre-positioned several bottles at the start and switched out the bottle I was carrying at the end of each out and back. This way I didn't have to carry all that fluid with me and I ensured to stay hydrated. The price to pay was a limited circuit to run which could get monotonous.

Running on familiar turf is also easy on the mind. I seem to go into coast mode when I run at home. I know all the road intersections, the busy spots, the potholes and blind corners, etc. This makes it easier for my mind to wander and to reach that semi-meditative state. Unlike running in unfamiliar territory where I become pre-occupied with the surroundings. When the surroundings are worth seeing, I take in the scenery but my mind doesn't really wander off as much. It is really a different running experience.

I do enjoy exploring routes and taking in the scenery when I visit new places to run. It certainly is a unique way to really experience a new location and it provides a persepective that can never be gained by just driving through. However, it is extremely comforting to come home and to hit the trails and/or pavement in familiar surroundings. I never get bored of my runs at home - I think the key is to have that built in flexibility to mix it up whenever I want. Happy trails.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Calling all runner/writers!

Time to start my next project...

Are you a runner and a writer? I want to hear from you.

Are you interested in getting your work published? Over the next 12 months or so, I will be compiling works of various authors to publish a book about running. It will be called irun, a collection of thoughts, poems and stories.

Net proceeds of the book will be going to charity.

I am also looking for a publishing house to help me with this project so if you are interested, let me know...

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Why I run

i run…

Because i can

i run to go fast
i run to win
i run for the view
i run with friends
i run to help others
i run to lose weight
i run to keep it off
i run to feel the wind on my face
i run for the high
i run because, it is my time
i run to beat my personal best
i run to be an example to my kids
i run to make a difference
i run to enjoy nature
i run everywhere
i run all the time
i run when i feel like it
i run so i can clear my mind
i run to feel the burn
i run to conquer that hill
i run to catch the runner ahead of me
i run to stay ahead of the pack
i run because, it makes me feel good
i run to see the sun rise
i run to blaze a trail
i run to enjoy the solitude
i run to hear my breath
i run to coast at my natural rhythm
i run to reflect
i run to meditate
i run to gain perspective
i run to think

i run because i am a runner

Friday, July 25, 2008

Mark your calendars!

Mark your calendars for Hudson's inaugural Harrier Race on Saturday October 4th!

I have been working with the Parks and Recreation department to set up this first annual event in support of charities. This year it will be the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada (how'd you guess).

The Harrier race will be cross-country event comprising of several checkpoints located throughout Hudson's beautiful trail network. The intent is to get you out to Hudson to explore its natural beauty and at the same time support a great cause. While you're here, you may also want to visit some of our quaint shops, resataurants, and B&Bs and make a day or weekend of it.

Registration is through the Running Room website. Here is the link

As far as the race details go, here is a brief overview - participants will be required to report to at least 10 of the 15 checkpoints located throughout the course. First one back wins bragging rights and will have to share his/her route with everyone else over refreshments after the race. There will be a maximum time limit to complete so that no one is left out on the course. Maps indicating the trail network and the various checkpoints will only be provided prior to the start. The race is open to individual participants and also to corporate entries (these could be individual or teams). Corporate entries will have their logos printed on the race shirts. We will also have swag bags to hand out at the end of the race...

Monday, June 30, 2008


June has been a month of recovery, reflection and planning. I took it easy and followed a recovery training plan including a lot of stretching, cross-training, and some running. I tried to keep my mileage up to at least 35 k per week not to lose too much of my base but I soon remembered how difficult it is to train in the summer with all the other things that require time like taking care of the house and property, not to mention day trips, partys and the like. It's kind of strange but I miss those dark mornings when the rest of the world is asleep and I am on the road...

I have also added some resistance training to my workouts by doing some chinups, dips, and adductor exercises. I will also start doing some core exercises this week.

I haven't confirmed if I will run Montreal or Toronto yet but I have to decide soon. I need to structure my training plan as soon as possible because I also rediscovered that without a commitment and a training plan, it is way to easy to dismiss training if something comes up. I figured by now, I would be hooked enough on running to just continue with the same dedication but it is not so. So I am committing today to commit to something before the end of the week. Sounds silly, but if that's what it takes, so be it...

I have been following some leads on the fundraising and there are some porspects but nothing definitive yet. This is sort of why I haven't decided on Montreal or Toronto. Fundraising is not easy, especially when it isn't the first time, so I have to re-invent my approach every time around. I think this time will be a more low key approach; by now people know I am supporting the LLS, so I think I will rely on that momentum.....Stay tuned to see how it goes...

Monday, May 26, 2008

Bawston bound!

Well, I did it! I qualified for the prestigious Boston marathon yesterday during the Ottawa Race weekend...I finished the marathon in 3 hours 20 minutes and 6 seconds. What a thrill! Now I have to wait until September to register for Boston...I guess I will have to find a new goal now because I reached this one faster than I expected.

I did learn a few lessons during this journey, though;
  1. We can accomplish much more than we give ourselves credit for. I thought I had set a BHAG (big hairy audacious goal) by trying to cut my marathon time by twenty minutes in four months but a tailored training plan really worked..It is really a question of putting your mind to it and sticking to the quality runs.
  2. You can't ignore the signals your body sends you. I had this nagging knot in my left shoulder and extremely tight calves - these both really screamed at me on mile 20 at the Disney marathon last January and I wasn't sure I could finish. During my training for Ottawa, I spent much more time stretching and had some massage therapy to make sure the muscles were relaxed and the kinks were worked out. It really made a difference and I will ensure to continue to develop more flexibility in my future training regimen. I read somewhere that a common excuse for not properly stretching is because workout time is filled up with putting in the necessary miles; but if time is such a constraint, you are much better served to cut back each run by a kilometer and spend that time stretching properly.
  3. You need to address the source of pain and deal with it mentally as well. I wrote in one of my newsletters about a pulled groin muscle that kept resurfacing every time I rolled my ankle on soft terrain or after long distances. I saw a physiotherapist/massage therapist for a post run stretch and massage yesterday and she pointed out that my muscularity in my legs was not balanced. This could be a result of this injury and my compensating for the pain during my runs. I will need to rebalance my adductors to make sure my pelvis is more aligned. I will therefore have to add some resistance exercises to my training plan. I knew that running alone was not the way to go for a long term fitness regime, resistance training is an important component to build muscle and in my case rebalance muscle symmetry. Also, don't underestimate the power of your mind. When I do feel pain during my runs, I recite a mantra over and over again to myself and remarkably, I no longer think about the pain.

So what comes next? I will be working on developing a more balanced training regime that will incorporate stretching, resistance training, and exercises and techniques to help me become a more efficient runner. Also, I will be running in San Diego next weekend so I will have a good baseline comparison of my ability to recover from one marathon to another within a week. My goal is not to be completely spent after 42.2 km so that one day, I could build up to greater distances.

Monday, May 5, 2008

April newsletter



April 2008

Training chronicles

What comes after a marathon?

So I’ve completed three marathons and will be running two more in a few weeks. My goal is to run the prestigious Boston marathon in 2010. A few years ago, I never thought I could run such a distance, now my thoughts are wondering just how far I could run…

An old college bud recently got back in touch with me (he made a donation to support my Team in Training challenge) and informed me he is well on his way to completing marathons in all the U.S. states and the Canadian Provinces and has even done some ultra marathons.

When I met John Stanton, the founder of the Running Room, in the summer of 2006, I was training for the Marathon de Montréal and was already contemplating running longer distances. I told him that one day, I wanted to run around the entire island of Montreal. That thought faded to the back of my mind after that brutal first marathon but quickly resurfaced during my training runs for the Ottawa marathon the following spring. So why am I writing about ultra distances in my marathon training column? The reason is that during my long training runs, I have a lot of time to think and reflect. I have noticed that my thoughts on the last couple of Sunday training runs have come back to ultra distances with a vengeance! I envisage organizing my own event that I could use to fundraise. I could sell kilometre markers to local businesses to delimit the course, make alliances with a strategically placed hotel, brewery, or pub that could serve as the start/finish area and after-party. Get some sponsors on board for gifts for participants and even get some local cycling clubs to provide assistance on the course. Then I started thinking about how I could use technology like cell phone GPS tracking or satellite tracking systems used on car alarms to make sure participants are accounted for and kept honest throughout the entire race. This could even be a corporate or team building type of event where a team tackles the course together or as a relay. Of course, there are those who will want to go it alone. Suddenly, my far-fetched idea is sounding very promising indeed. After my last run, I even mapped out the route I could take around the island – it adds up to 120 km! This could be quite an event. Any takers?

The lesson I am taking away from this is that my long runs are often a source of new ideas akin to a well run brainstorming session, the trick is to find a way to remember all the ideas that were floating in my head during those three plus hours. Maybe someday one of those ideas will become something. Yet another reason to keep running…

Fun Facts

Muscle Cramps – Excerpts from

Have you ever had a muscle cramp? Muscle cramps generally result from overexertion and dehydration. When you don't have enough fluid in your system, it leads to an electrolyte imbalance that causes your muscles to cramp up. Electrolytes are minerals such as sodium, magnesium, calcium and potassium that help the cells to function normally. An imbalance occurs when we have too much or too little of one or more electrolytes in our system. The main electrolytes affecting muscle cramping are potassium, sodium and calcium. (Click here for more)

This is why it is important to drink fluids during exercise and to ensure electrolytes are replaced after extended periods of exertion. In general, water is sufficient for most workouts, but when you exercise for more than an hour, it is important to ensure you rebalance the electrolytes in your system. After my daily hour-long workouts, I drink Ultima to restore the electrolytes in my body, I prefer Ultima because it contains no sugar and you don’t need to consume empty calories, like sugar, after a workout.

Give me a call to try Ultima for yourself. Available in single serving packages – just add to your water bottle

During my long runs, I make sure to have a sports drink and alternate with water. The type I use usually depends on the event I am training for – I try to get used to the type that will be given out at the race.

Fundraising / Levée de fonds

Building Momentum

Sales of P.I.N.K. jewellery and Ultima replenisher are going extremely well. To order, simply visit my webpage at and follow the links.

Corporate donations have also picked up, a big thanks to SNC-Lavalin, Sliq Media, Tecsult, and the Pointe-Claire Home Depot for their donations.

Un gros merci à CNIM Canada pour leur commandite de l’équipe entière de Montréal de Team in Training. Leur logo sera affiché sur nos gilets de course à Ottawa et San Diego!

Thank-you to our newest corporate sponsor - CNIM

Eating for a Cause – C’est confirmé ! En collaboration avec Food with a Point, le Sofitel, et les vins Philippe Dandurand, nous organisons une dégustation de vins et canapés par excellence au lounge du Renoir au Sofitel de Montréal en mai ! Surveillez vos courriels pour une invitation exclusive car ce sera une opportunité à ne pas manquer.

Music to run to : My Hill Training Playlist

So here is my eclectic Hill Training Playlist. I make sure my IPod is set to shuffle and hit play for a solid hour of fast-paced tunes. The key is to find music that gets, and keeps you moving. I chose these songs for their tempo. It really makes a difference what music you listen to when doing this kind of training. Try it for yourself with a slower tempo song and see what happens to your pace…

Smark by Tarxan

Hush by Straitaway

The Power by Snap

Get The Party Started by Pink

Excuse Me Mr. by No Doubt

Where U at Rock by Kid Rock

Agustito by Ketava

Alright by Janet Jackson

Been There Done That by Hedley

Don't Damn Me by Guns N' Roses

Garden Of Eden by Guns N' Roses

Double Talkin' Jive by Guns N' Roses

Perfect Crime by Guns N' Roses

In The End by Green Day

Living On My Own by Freddie Mercury

Don't Let It Get You Down by Fine Young Cannibals

The Rock Show by Blink-182

The Devil In The Kitchen by Ashley MacIsaac

Research corner

March 25, 2008 (Research Reports) -

Researchers Discover Way to Enhance Stem Cell Growth

Researchers have discovered a way to dramatically enhance the growth of stem cells from umbilical cord blood after transplantation. Read more.

Contact info :

Patrick Pressoir


Running for a Reason 1

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Leukemia and Lymphoma Society mission video

Please take a moment to watch this video. We are all impacted by blood cancers to some degree. Everyone has stories like these. We can all make a difference together.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Recycle your old runners

If you run as much as I do, you probably go through as many as 3 pairs of shoes a year. On average, I put in between 700-800 km per pair before noticing a difference in the cushioning. My last few runs with my previous pair, have had noticeably more impact on my knees. On my first run after switching to a new pair (same make and model) I noticed I had more spring in my step and felt like I was running on pillows! What a diiference.

I remember when I was a kid, I would keep my sneakers as long as they would fit or wear through the uppers before getting a new pair. Never did I change a pair because the cushioning was gone...but I wasn't running marathons and my feet were growing too!

So anyway, fast forward thirty years and now I find myself with several pairs of old runners for mowing the lawn, for using around town, for using on the elliptical trainer, and I still have 3 pairs in the closet rotated out of running but still good for secondary uses. Seeing as it is time for spring cleaning, and this year I decided to shed anything in my household that is "without purpose", I decided to get rid of at least 4 of these pairs of shoes.

I could give them to a local chartiy like Goodwill, or those bins used to collect clothes like at WalMart, but I also wanted to share with you what a few Ottawa runners created. Their charity is called Sole Responsibility and they recover old runners to send them to impoverished countries. They have a collection point at the Ottawa race weekend. All they ask is that you tie the laces together and that you donate a twoonie for each pair you drop off - this is to cover the shipping costs.

Check out their website and do a triple good deed ; declutter, reuse; and help someone less fortunate!


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Mileage chart

Here is my weekly mileage chart. I will update this chart every couple of weeks.

There were a few tough weeks making it difficult to stick to plan because of some huge snow dumps and end of year deliverables at work but I'm back on track now....a few more weeks of strength training to go and then the speed work starts.

18 April update - started running on the mountain during weekdays again. It is great to be outside on the trails but still a bit messy with the run off. So many people outdoors just trying to make the best of the warm weather this week. Spring fever is definitely in the air!

9 May update - The endurance phase is completed and I started speed training last week. It is difficult to go faster than my marathon goal pace (MGP) - but I like the challenge - especially outside on the mountain trails. I will start incorporating distances of MGP in my long runs during the taper phase...I missed a total of one day's distance last week because I had to bring my daughter to the hospital - she had stiches but is fine now - a real trooper. It is hard to make up distance in such high mileage weeks - oh well, plans are plans (they change). My new mantra is "just keep running, just keep running!" - Thank you Dory from Finding Nemo.

3 June update - Well there it is. 2 marathons in 2 weeks. What an adventure! I felt strong throughout the San Diego course and even had negative splits (if I exclude the time I spent waiting and looking for my running partner - we got split up at the water station at mile 22 and never found each other again until the finish). It was a gorgeous morning and became very hot after the morning cloudcover burned away. I didn't drink enough during those last 4 miles and paid for it after the race was over. About twenty minutes after we were done, I got up to go to the washroom and nearly passed out! A check of my pulse indicated my blood pressure was low so a salt packet helped restore some electrolytes. It wasn't exhaustion because my pulse was normal. So I just lay on the ground for a while with my legs elevated anf restored some color to my face. It is a horrible feeling to see the world around you just go dark and there is nothing you can do about it. Back at the hotel I soaked in a cold bath and took a nap after lunch and I was in top shape for the victory party!

14 July update - Recovery training is complete. Back in training mode for the Montreal marathon in 62 days. Focus will be on improving speed once again this time. I would love to break the 3 hour barrier..Yesterday's long run went really well (27km) followed by short duration hill sprint repeats (8). Despite the pouring rain, I felt strong the whole way.

20 August update - Base and Strength training are completed and the start of speed training coincided with my vacation down south. Boy was it hot! It was hard to run outdoors and also to find a decent time during our vacation routine to put in some long runs. I still managed to run on seven of the ten planned training days but the total mileage was not there. That's ok, at least I got great weather during this time off!

28 September Update - Fourth marathon this year! See my entry entitled "Redemption" for details. The next couple of weeks will be recovery and then I'll focus on strength training while maintaining a mileage base before starting a specific program in preparation for Boston in the spring.

6 January Update - So that's it! 2008 will be remembered as the year I completed 4 marathons and logged over 2,100 kms! After Montreal, I really cut down on the running but still tried to get out three times a week to maintain a base. By December I had a new training plan and was focussing on Jack Daniel's Threshold Pace and Race Pace runs. I look forward to 2009 with hopefully at least another three marathons. Thanks to all those who encouraged me to keep running this past year!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Welcome to my-SANA

Hi there and welcome to my new blog nicknamed SANA.
I chose this name because it means "sound" or "healthy" in latin.

I wanted a place to share my thoughts and experiences on my journey to achieving a balanced SANA in my life - a healthy body, mind, and spirit.

Although I have been healthy my entire life, my journey consciously began in 2003 when I was uncomfortable with my weight and started exercising more regularly - with a purpose.

In the summer of 2005, I decided I would complete a marathon before my fourtieth birthday and this is where my training became focussed on running. Today, I have completed several marathons and my objective is to qualify for Boston by 2010. I have lost more than 30 pounds and have reached my target weight. I feel good and have never been in better physical shape in my entire life.

So that is the BODY part - What about the MIND? My journey is also one of education and awareness. I am learning how to train properly to achieve performance and avoid injury. I am learning about nutrition and the effects of foods on my training. I am also learning about the causes I support in my running. Lately, I have also began to share this knowledge through my newsletters and within my network.

And for the SPIRIT, I am running for a reason. I support causes when I run. I feel a social responsibility to improve this world we live in. My fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society ( motivates me to keep training and to reach new levels, I have a sense of accomplishment knowing that the funds I have raised are improving the lives of those who are battling blood cancers and also helping the brightest researchers in their quest to find a cure.

So that's it. My blog will surely evolve over time as my SANA journey progresses; as I set new goals, reach new heights, hit some plateaus and forks in the road. My SANA is a journey - not a destination. I hope you enjoy sharing this journey with me and I look forward to hearing stories about your own SANA journey.

Take care,


Monday, March 10, 2008

March Newsletter


March/mars 2008

Training chronicles

Spring has sprung, or has it?

The days are getting longer and warmer…

Lately, when I step out the door for my Sunday morning runs, it is still pitch black outside, but within thirty minutes, the sun rises, and quickly. I no longer need my lights once I hit the halfway mark, and sometimes the low sun is almost blinding when it shines just above the tree line.

For three weeks now, my routine of prepping the night before my long runs has failed me. On Saturday night, I listen to the weather forecast and lay out the appropriate gear based on that information. These past few weeks, the forecast has been warmer weather and for highs in the plus range. As a result, I forego the mid-layer and only have the base layer under my windbreaker. My tuque is replaced by my Team in Training ball cap and I switch my FuelBelt from the inside to the outside of my jacket.

The problem is that the range in temperature variation is also getting larger. When I start out my runs, it is still wintery cold. So cold that my fingers get numb within minutes, my IPod earphone wires get rigid and the buds keep falling out of my ears, and my Gatorade freezes solid in the bottle within 30 minutes…on the other hand, by the time I reach the 20 km mark, my core temperature is high enough that my fingertips are actually releasing vapour through my gloves and I have to unzip my jacket a little bit. On the home stretch, I am doing my hill sprints in spring like conditions, the snowy roads are starting to feel a little slushy under my feet, and the birds are chirping away as if they are cheering for me on my dashes up Fairhaven hill.

So this week I learned my lesson, the FuelBelt stayed inside my jacket and I brought my sunglasses along for the eastbound leg of my run. Now it is just a question of time before the sweet smell of spring also appears…

Cancer bytes

Leukemia is the general term used to describe four different types of blood cancers. The ways that individuals with leukemia are affected and treated and the rate at which the disease progresses, are different with each type of leukemia. The different disease-types are called:

Fun facts

The origins of the marathon – excerpts from Wikipedia

The marathon is a long-distance running event with an official distance of 42.195 kilometers (26 miles 385 yards) that is usually run as a road race. The event is named after the fabled run of the Greek soldier Pheidippides, a messenger from the Battle of Marathon to Athens.

Pheidippides, a Greek soldier, was sent from the town of Marathon to Athens to announce that the Persians had been defeated. It is said that he ran the entire distance without stopping and burst into the Senate, exclaiming "Νενικήκαμεν" (Nenikékamen, 'We have won') before collapsing and dying of exhaustion.[2]

When the idea of a modern Olympics became a reality at the end of the 19th century, the initiators and organizers were looking for a great popularizing event, recalling the ancient glory of Greece. The idea of organizing a marathon race came from Michel Bréal, who wanted the event to feature in the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 in Athens.

The length of a marathon was not fixed at first, since the only important factor was that all athletes competed on the same course. In 1924, the length of the standard marathon then became standardized at 42.195 km (26 miles 385 yards or 26 732 miles).

Research corner

March 4, 2008 (Research Reports) -

Fundraising / Levée de fonds


En partenariat avec Aérobie Spa Gym et Planet Foods, je vends maintenant du Ultima Sports Recovery drink. C’est le parfait breuvage pour après l’entraînement – sans sucre et plein d’électrolytes. Faites le plein avec ULTIMA. SVP m’appeler pour en commander (disponible en sachets individuels et en contenants de 30 et 90 portions).


Les bijoux P.I.N.K. sont également disponibles. Offrez un beaux bracelet à quelqu’un et supportez la cause en même temps. SVP me contacter pour en savoir plus sur les différents modèles disponibles.

Donating / Comment Faire un Don

There are 3 ways to make a donation:

· Online by credit card on my secure web site: :

· By credit card by faxing the enclosed donation form to 514.875.2657 to the attention of: Janet Lough

· By mail, send a check payable to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada along with enclosed donation form to the following address::

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada – Montréal Branch

Attn: Janet Lough 1255 University, Suite 1608


Pour effectuer un don 3 options vous sont offertes :

· Par carte de crédit sur mon site web sécuritaire :

· Par carte de crédit en faxant le formulaire de don ci-joint au 514.875.2657 à l’attention de : Janet Lough

· Par la poste en faisant parvenir un chèque à l’ordre de La Société de leucémie et lymphome du Canada accompagné du formulaire ci-joint à l’adresse suivante :

La Société de leucémie et de lymphome du Canada – Montréal Branch

Attn: Janet Lough 1255 rue Université,

Suite 1608


Contact info :

Patrick Pressoir


Sunday, March 2, 2008

February Newsletter



February/février 2008

Training chronicles

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

While some would say we have been blessed with a great ski and snowboarding season, others have different perceptions of the tonnes of snow that have fallen since mid-December. Needless to say, while the days have not been that cold, running in that slushy mushy stuff has been challenging.

Sunday morning runs are always outdoors. I usually start out and head down to the waterfront, it is pitch black at 6 a.m. I often see deer, rabbits, the occasional fox, and the habitual dogs that are behind their electric fences that greet me with barks and follow me along their perimeters. Most of my little friends are puzzled about this bobbing light coming at them (I wear a bright white LED light on my right wrist to alert oncoming traffic of my presence – if they don’t give me enough room or don’t slow down, I aim it right at the driver – but I digress). We’ll keep that thought for another story…

Running in the snow is really not that bad. The trick is to find a route that is cleared regularly enough and stick to it (If I ran more often in Montreal in winter, I would digress again here about road clearing, but I have been well served in Hudson). I am convinced my route follows the snow plow’s. What is difficult is running at speed in slippery conditions. The worst thing that could happen is to slip and over-compensate to stay upright. This happened to me a couple of years ago and I pulled a muscle in my groin…youch! It has been tender ever since and I consciously take smaller strides in slippery conditions to avoid a recurrence. So shorter strides means a slower pace – unless you increase your tempo, or foot turnover rate. This is actually good training to increase your speed. Also, you have to be sure of your footing. So I spend most of my time looking at my feet while running in the snow. The other day I was running downtown on De Maisonneuve near La Grande Bibliothèque on what is supposed to be a year-round bike path (oh, but I digress yet again..) Anyway, despite the fact that I was taking shorter strides AND watching my footing, I stepped on what I thought was a slushy mass only to see my foot roll and feel a sharp pain in my left ankle. I was about halfway into my 10k run and was pretty warmed up so I kept on running on it. The pain subsided after about five minutes so I kept going. Not too bad - Need to be more careful, I said to myself. It didn’t swell or anything and is fine today. That was a close one. Can’t take anything for granted in the snow…

I usually finish my long runs with hill sprint repeats. I sprint up a steep hill as fast as I could for about 10 seconds and then slowly walk back down and start over. With gravity working against me, it is supposed to increase my speed in race conditions. Add a slushy road and it makes for a potential disaster. On two occasions, I’ve had to forego the hill repeats and just do wind sprints on a cleared stretch of road. The training value is a bit less but it is worth it to avoid injury.

After a run, I make sure to clean any slush off my shoes and let them air dry. Salt can wreak havoc on shoes so it is important to not let the calcium stay on too long.

So that’s it. Not to bad at all. As a matter of fact, there is something to be said for seeing your tracks in the fresh snow on a Sunday morning – on a road where there are no other tracks at all. It’s kind of a zen thing; like you are the first person in this uncharted territory and you are charged with blazing a trail – and then the snow plow comes around the bend…

Research byte

February 12, 2008 (Research Reports) –

Gene Therapy Protocol Activates Immune System in Patients with Leukemia, Study Shows

A research team reports that patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) who were treated with a gene therapy protocol began making antibodies that reacted against their own leukemia cells. Read more

Fundraising / Levée de fonds


En partenariat avec Aérobie Spa Gym et Planet Foods, je vends maintenant du Ultima Sports Recovery drink. C’est le parfait breuvage pour après l’entraînement – sans sucre et plein d’électrolytes. Faites leplein avec ULTIMA. SVP m’appeler pour en commander (disponible en sachets individuels et en contenants de 30 et 90 portions).


Les bijoux P.I.N.K. sont également disponibles. Offrez un beaux bracelet à quelqu’un et supportez la cause en même temps. SVP me contacter pour en savoir plus sur les différents modèles disponibles.

Donating / Comment Faire un Don

There are 3 ways to make a donation:

  • Online by credit card on my secure web site: :

    • By credit card by faxing the enclosed donation form to 514.875.2657 to the attention of: Janet Lough

    • By mail, send a check payable to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada along with enclosed donation form to the following address::

    • The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada – Montréal Branch

      Attn: Janet Lough 1255 University, Suite 1608

      MTL, QC H3B 3X2

Pour effectuer un don 3 options vous sont offertes :

  • Par carte de crédit sur mon site web sécuritaire :

    • Par carte de crédit en faxant le formulaire de don ci-joint au 514.875.2657 à l’attention de : Janet Lough

    • Par la poste en faisant parvenir un chèque à l’ordre de La Société de leucémie et lymphome du Canada accompagné du formulaire ci-joint à l’adresse suivante :

    La Société de leucémie et de lymphome du Canada – Montréal Branch

    Attn: Janet Lough 1255 rue Université,

    Suite 1608

    MTL, QC H3B 3X2

Contact info :

Patrick Pressoir


Running for a Reason 1

Ed. février 2008