Category Archives: Journal Blog

My day to day thoughts and challenges

Details Announced: The 2015 Deer Lake 67

Who will join me in 2015??

The Deer Lake 67

Ladies & Gentlemen,

Its time to start training for the 3rd Annual Deer Lake 67. Here is what many of you have been patiently waiting for, the event details:

Race Details:

Race Date: 30 Aug 2015 (Sunday)

Start Time: 6:30am

Cutoff Time: 4:30pm (10hrs)

Registration Cap: 67 racers

Registration Dates:

Registration Opens:  12:00pm (Noon) on 10 Mar 2015

Early Bird Rates End:  4:00pm on 31 May 2015

Registration Closes:  4:00pm on 31 Jul 2015

2015 Registration Rates:

Early Bird Special: $67.00

Regular Registration: $80.00

The registration link will be posted here on our website on the morning of 10 Mar 2015.  Be sure to mark your calendar and set your alarm. Those 67 slots may disappear quickly!

Are you up to the challenge?


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I mustache you a question


I was nominated by Paul over at Bagtownblogtrotters to answer a few questions about myself – so thank you Paul for helping me to get over my writers block… here it goes.

1. Four names that people call me, other than my real name:

SO .. few people know but my real name is Roderick

  • Rod (ah this was too easy as it is the name everyone knows me as ..since I turned 18)
  • Roddy (My parents, family and anyone from my home town/highschool)
  • Fireball (I use to fly/race model planes.. however my first model “jet” experience was less than successful)
  • Rocket (This one is from my motocross racing days.. my buddies use to tease me, no taunt me.. that like a rocket I would go fast in a straight line, but I wasn’t very quick when it comes to the turns) lol — They really thought I should have stayed with 1/4 Mile drag racing instead

2. Four jobs I have had:

  • Yard hand at Pulp Mill
  • Phone Man (I did everything from installing business and residential phones, to installing Mobile radios and 3 Watt Cell Phones, splicing cable, it was a great time to be young and an information sponge .. I learned a lot)
  • Systems Design Engineer/Architect – 10 years
  • Senior Operations Manager – last 8 years

3. Four movies that I have watched more than once:

  • Lord of the Rings (all movies)
  • Starwars (all movies)
  • Riddick Chronicles (all movies)
  • Mad Max (all movies)

This was hard for me to limit to just four as I love a well made fantasy / Si-Fi (and some not so well made for that matter)

4. Four Books I recommend:

Like Paul I am having a hard time only suggesting four books. Do I mention books I loved over the years, or focus on new authors that I think are great reads, or more to the point of this site do I focus on Running novels, since this blog is really about running(mostly)? I read a LOT..   so like my mind… I will bounce around…

  • From my late teens one of my favorite books was Battlefield Earth – A Saga of the Year 3000 that was written in 1982 by the Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. The movie was one of the worse ever put to film, but I thought the book was amazing (it has nothing to do with Scientology).
  • Recently I found the science fiction novellas called the Silo Series , by American writer Hugh Howey. The original story (Wool) takes place on a post-apocalyptic Earth. Humanity clings to survival in the Silo, a subterranean city extending over one hundred and fifty stories beneath the surface. I often enjoy immersing myself in well crafted dystopian literature… as I use reading and movies as an escape.
  • I am currently reading a gift from my wife.  The Last Pick by Dave McGillivray. David is a U.S.-based race director, philanthropist, author and athlete. In 1978, he ran across the U.S. to benefit the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Presently he is race director of the B.A.A. Boston Marathon and his team at DMSE, Inc. have organized numerous mass participatory fundraising endurance events since he founded it in 1981.
  • The last book I will mention is the one that made the most impact to my running for 2014. Runner’s World Running on Air: The Revolutionary Way to Run Better by Breathing Smarter by Budd Coates and Claire Kowalchik. This technique made me run and breathe smarter, overall it helped me improve my times significantly. Worth the read.

5. Four places I have lived:

  • Beaver Harbour, NB
  • Saint John, NB
  • Rothesay, NB
  • Codys, NB

ok not a lot of excitement there.. I am a home boy. I started life living in a tiny country village and now I have finally made my way back to the same easy honest living .. country-style.

6. Four Places I have been:

  • Cuba – I finally agreed to travel “south” for a vacation. I love where I live, I love all the things I do, so spending the money to go south never really appealed to me. However… I LOVED it! The beaches, the culture, the food. A must go vacation spot.
  • California Sonoma valley. With more than 400 wineries, miles of rugged Pacific coastline, towering redwood forests, and its close proximity to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, Sonoma County is a traveler’s dream vacation spot. Sonoma County was named one of Wine Enthusiast’s 10 Best Wine Travel Destinations for 2014.. need I say More?
  • Newfoundland Canada – Newfoundland is well-known for its friendly people. It will only take one authentic down home kitchen party for you to appreciate the natural and genuine, warmth of character that is so welcoming in NL. You quickly get lost in the fun-loving atmosphere. (Oh… and their storytelling) Truly the beauty of the area and the people, will stick with you forever.
  • Las Vegas, NV– A must see… and if you can manage to go in January during CES it is a must do event. It also happens to be one of the most tiring event I have ever had the privilege of attending (four times)! If you do visit Vegas be sure to also spend a day in the Red Rock Canyon.. simply beautiful hiking.

7. Four places I would rather be right now:

Like Paul.. there is no place I rather be than where I am. So I will instead throw my Bucket list of places I want to go to:

  • New Zealand/Australia – I have always wanted to visit both countries.
  • British Columbia – Everything I know about that side of Canada makes me thing the culture is the same but somehow different than here on the Atlantic side of this great country… I want to see and experience it for myself and hike / run those Rockies!
  • UK/Ireland I follow a lot of runners / bloggers from “across the pond” and I someday want to meet a few and run / see that amazing area
  • Italy –  I’m a simple life / wine snob.. I hear I can foster both of these afflictions in Italy.. plus I want to drive the Italy and Switzerland’s Stelvio Pass one of the best driving roads in Europe before I die  🙂

8. Four things I don’t eat:

  • Gluten – I have Celiac , for those of you who don’t know Celiac disease is a medical condition in which the absorptive surface of the small intestine is damaged by a substance called gluten. This results in an inability of the body to absorb nutrients: protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Imagine now how that impacts my running nutrition 🙂
  • Processed food  – I do make exception once in a while for dry salami..
  • I try not to eat anything created to be better for me than organic or natural. Like man-made sugars.. fat-free this or that.
  • mechanically separated chicken or anything else that is the like.

9. Four of my favourite foods:

  • Guacamole or red pepper dip (My wife is a chef and can turn anything into yum yum.. her Guac is AMAZING)
  • Steak – I am sorry my vegan friends.. but I love a steak done right.
  • Chips and Chocolate (my nemesis)
  • Chicken Bone Candy from Ganong — pure sugar delight
  • finally — I know this is five – COFFEE – Caffè Americano please!!

10. Four TV Shows I watch(ed):

  • xFactor – UK – I am a sucker for these people with PURE natural talent. I prefer the UK version only because the judges are there to help the contestants and not ridicule them like on some other American based reality shows (IMHO and yes this is a pure stereotyping, broad brush stroke, remark)
  • The Blacklist – Interesting, simple and only a couple of seasons old so keeps me guessing still.. a nice escape
  • TopGear – Love my cars.. “There is no replacement for displacement”
  • Orphan Black.. good indie style program

11. Four things I am looking forward to in 2015:

  • Saint John Marathon by the sea – I have taken a lead role in the event committee. I look forward to reinventing the event  and hoping to help growing the local race culture in 2015.. stay tuned.. it is gonna be epic (well it is in my mind at least) #GotToHaveADream
  • We plan to head south again this spring, not sure where yet but looking forward to that adventure.
  • We are planning an Away 1/2 Marathon this year somewhere in North America. We are still not sure where just yet but we want to do something special and hope to arrange it to meet some of the great runners I’ve had the privilege to correspond with through Twitter and this blog. (any suggestions??)
  • Motocross – I am planning to get back into motocross after an 18 year hiatus. More specifically I want to get back into endurance off-road rally. I figure the strength training required for this will also help my running in 2015.

12. Four things I am always saying:

  • Amazing/Awesome – I feel I sometimes I over use these but unfortunately my simple life finds those two words the best descriptors of how I am feeling.
  • “That was a Hold My beer and watch this moment” – I use this to emphasize that was a stupid redneck thing that someone just did…. No I don’t actually mean hold my beer and watch this. LOL, that age/life is behind me (the earlier comment was not edited by my wife)
  • Oh this is gonna be EPIC!!” I am passionate and excitable
  • “Come on it is only another KMs more than our last race…. My Poor loving wife.

This was a lot of fun to write and again thank you Paul for “tagging” me.

Now it is my turn!!!!  and I pick other awesome runners / bloggers to add to the list.




You’re up!

Happy running!!!

November 24th – Journal Update

So where has the time gone?!?! I only have one scheduled run left for 2014.. slider_ban_07

It should be a blast… the Santa shuffle. Overall this was an epic and amazing year for me. I finished 11 half marathons and jumped mid-year to training for my first full (not originally planned). It was an amazing feeling to run my first Full Marathon in Moncton NB Legs for Literacy and sprint across the finish line with my wife.   orig-MLAB0203 Our training went perfectly.

However, I have been a bit relaxed on getting out my blog updates so I have committed to myself to set time aside to publish all the reviews for the races I ran, nutrition I tried, and gear I used this year. I have lots to post on for this very successful year, as I managed to finish it while having no real injuries other than a few normal “tweaks” that everyone experiences. I hope the coming articles explaining my training in more detail and my “thinking” around how I approached my first year running, will help others achieve similar goals.

I am trying to figure out my 2015 running plans.. sigh. I would have thought this task would be easier than it has been so far. This year was epic but also very busy. Too busy. I didn’t get to enjoy kayaking, hiking or camping nearly as much as I wanted to.

It was hard to turn away from when this is your back yard… IMG_20140623_143829 Running was my everything this year and I have no regrets but the other activities I enjoy each spring and summer did suffer somewhat.

My original plan for 2015 was to start training for Ultra Marathon distances leading up to racing in the Vermont 50 VT50-2014-Logo-to-Web-Master and train for my first Triathlon (Olympic distance – Challenge St. Andrews ). logo   This would mean in 2015 I would continue the pace I had set for myself in 2014.. as I take on even bigger challenges.

Unfortunately the more I thought about this the more I realized it would mean another year of being afraid to do “summer” things like hiking or chopping wood etc. These activities were often avoided as I was always fearful I might hurt myself and impact my training or race schedule (I cannot pile wood today.. I have a 34 KM LSD run Sunday). I also have a more critical dilemma with taking this new challenge on .. my race partner, my loving wife @casajos, IMG_20140810_104011 has ZERO interest in either of these types of events, so I would be going it alone. This is not insurmountable but definitely not my preferred choice as running and the challenge of improving is something we do together and I would really miss what that has become and our future progress together.

So I have come to a decision, 2015 will be spent getting faster… I am going to focus on 5k, 10k and 2-4 Half marathons. The training will be more closely focused on form, breathing and all the techniques I need to move these tired old legs to better finish times. I also will actually be looking into a physical coach to help pin point where I need to focus.

So, I will put my dreams for Ultra and Triathlon on hold for at least another year. Hopefully I will bike and swim more in 2015 and I will be better prepared for a 2016 triathlon event (or two or …) This will in the end still allow me to meet all my personal goals, as I will continue to challenge myself and not allow myself to get into a rut of not pushing my limits.

It should also allow me to get my summer back and not have all my chores piled up into the fall waiting for me to finish a major race.  I took three weeks’ vacation this fall and I still have a ton of stuff I need to finish before full on winter hits! IMG_20141101_103815 So, I look forward to having more time to do other things. I also plan to get back into endurance moto, I’m excited about that prospect and will likely blog on it in the future as I figure out what I have time for and I’m willing (read as – my wife will allow me) to  take on in 2015! 😀 IMG_9301 stay tuned my friends.. I have a lot more running related posts planned in the coming weeks! Plus We are moving @casajos recipes blog over to this site very soon! She is an amazing chef and has adopted a lot of Gluten Free and running recipes to die for (even though most go best with wine)!

Running Journal September 11th 2014

Well is has been a busy four weeks since my last journal post…

My training for long runs have stretched out to over three hours as the distances extended from 24 km to 30+ km. Sadly I find that after I am done that distance I am mostly useless to do anything requiring strength and energy.

Unfortunately this is now just bad timing, as kids go back to school and the leaves on the trees start changing color.. it all signals yet another cycle of change for everyone.

Winter is coming! (No this is not a plug for “Game of Thrones”) 😉


For those of us living in the country it means the fall chores are starting to pile up and the days are getting shorter, so there is less time to get them done.

I need to cut, split and pile 10 cord of wood, the shed needs the new cedar shingles put on (now that I finally got the new rail system and door installed), Tropical Storm Arthur didn’t leave us unmolested and I need to repair the roof on one of the verandas that a 60 ft maple decided to rest on.. on and on…

then add insult to injury .. include the equally as important racing schedule! I still have three more half Marathons coming up leading into my Full Marathon.. all this will end my 2014 running in late October. Welllll…. unless I agree to run the 50 km ultra marathon in November for charity **Undecided**

I digress..

SO now it feels like I am out running all weekend and then I’m too spent after the run to do any real work. Sigh there are only so many hours in a day.

**NOTE: Bright spot in this dismal story – I must say however I am VERY fortunate that my wife runs with me so she fully understands my need to run and also just how little reserve there is remaining after a 2400+ Cal depleting run.

Still.. that won’t keep the house warm this winter

This dilemma had me scratching my head on how to still get the long runs in (to train those slow twitch muscles) but also have a little reserve when I got home, so I can start checking off some of these must do chores during the weekend.

I decided to give the 10/1 long run pattern a try. In other words you run for ten minutes and walk for one. I really didn’t think I would like this for a few reasons. First off was my ego…  ahhh the “E G O” .. I couldn’t help but think “if I was a real runner I wouldn’t NEED to run/walk“. The second real concern was based on my past running experience. When I ran half marathons in the past, if I stopped to walk towards the end, I would have a REALLY hard time getting my pace back. My body would just give up and the head verses body argument would be loss.

I’m still a somewhat weak minded runner.. I have been training as hard on how to think during my runs lately, as much as I train my body on how to run. I have read and now completely agree…

“Endurance running is more about what is in the head than in the body”

In the end I decided to try the 10/1 and just hope no one saw me (just kidding) .. in the hopes I would still have energy left after the long runs.. the verdict…

It was amazing.. I loved the 10/1!!

I was shocked how much actually. It worked very well for me…I even timed my nutrition and hydration during my one minute walk cycle.  Worked so well I am to the point where I might just run/walk my first marathon in October.

I know!!


The other hidden benefit to the run/walk is the faster pace during the run cycle. I was having a hard time keeping the slower pace, my stride and cadence was impacted so drastically from my usual run pace it caused muscle fatigue in place I never fatigued before. The strain moved from my calves to my upper legs, this was new for me as it really takes something to upset my upper legs (they are large and even hill training hasn’t tweak them). I guess this is all good as it is working muscles I don’t usually work that hard but I still preferred the slightly quicker pace I can get doing the Run/Walk.

So the moral of the story is it worked for me and I will likely run/walk the rest of my long run training this season as I move towards October 26th my first full marathon.

Running Journal August 15th 2014

I decided it was time to add a running journal to my blog. The original intention was to have this for me, private and reference them on the days I needed to remember where I have come from and maybe eventually to show where I have gotten to. I have made them public in the hopes that someone out there in the same place as I am or was.. will take comfort in learning they are not alone on the path of becoming an better runner. 🙂

The last few days have been really about regrouping. I have had a couple weeks of friends visiting from Central Canada. We have a lot of fun when we are all together, none of them are runners and even though I have all but stopped drinking for personal and training reasons …lets just say… with good friends come good wine and sometimes a bit too much of it. 🙂

I ran the Saint John NB “Marathon by the sea” on Sunday and treated it as a training run (1/2 Marathon). The course was hilly and even though I was running it fairly “s l o w”  (ran at my planned FULL Marathon pace), I still found over the next couple days I felt it. I wasn’t really expecting that. (my Run Data).

I had stopped drinking alcohol four days before the race and focused (more or less) on ensuring I was drinking enough water. I also tried (read as failed) to ensure I was “carb loading”.  My venture into full marathon training has taught me I really need to focus on nutrition and eating properly was my intent for those four days.

I truly believe my rough run was because I didn’t cleanse before my race. I think anything short of a week focusing on proper fuel and hydration will not prepare you for the extra strain a race adds to your running routine.

Since I am working toward my First full Marathon this October 26th in Moncton NB, Legs for Literacy I am venturing into training beyond the 1/2 Marathon Distance. This Sunday is my first 25 Km Long run.

The training runs this week have been normal a couple 6.5KM TEMPO and a 11KM Steady. These have gone well other than my constant and steady Achilles issues (More on that in a later post.. can one be born with short Achilles? lol)

Everything is going ok, just a bit blah. I hope the 11K tomorrow goes as well as everything else this week but really I am looking forward to the 25KM Sunday!

My Activities can be tracked here. Garmin Connect , StravaEndomondo, Training Peaks, or Runtastic (I am trialing a bunch of Sites for reviewing purposes so if you have a preference let me know! :))