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