The Running Whys – Dean Mercer

Dean Mercer has completed 19 half marathons and 26 full marathons that all started with a decision to enter the Marathon by the Sea in 2001. Photo Submitted.

Dean Mercer has completed 19 half marathons and 26 full marathons that all started with a decision to enter the Marathon by the Sea in 2001. Photo Submitted.

Dean Mercer is a familiar face on the provincial running scene and in April, he once again enjoyed the thrill of running the Boston Marathon. But his annual trek to Marathon by the Sea holds a special place in his heart as it is the site of his first half marathon and his first full marathon. He’s always one of the top performers as evidenced in 2014, when he finished sixth overall in MBTS. He is back again in 2015. Here is his story.

Enjoy.

by Dean Mercer

I actually started running for exercise at Dalhousie University.  I would love to run around Point Pleasant Park in Halifax.  But once I graduated from pharmacy, and moved back home to work in the valley, I said to my wife Continue reading

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The Running Whys – Mark Leger

Mark Leger, right, is shown finishing the Prince Edward Island Marathon in 2010 with his sister Allie. He will participate in the 20th anniversary edition of Marathon by the Sea on August 10.

Mark Leger, right, is shown finishing the Prince Edward Island Marathon in 2010 with his sister Allie. He will participate in the 20th anniversary edition of Marathon by the Sea on August 10.

This is the 17th story in a series profiling runners who will compete in the 20th anniversary running of Emera Marathon By the Sea Marathon in Saint John. The stories are also running on the MBTS Facebook page and MBTS website.

Editor’s note: A lifelong baseball fan, Mark Leger was introduced to distance running as he watched his sister and his friend compete at the Boston Marathon. One of the rewards for making the trip was taking in a few games at Fenway Park. However, after receiving plenty of suggestions, encouragement and personal challenges, he ultimately tackled and succeeded in completing the marathon distance. Now, he has further expanded his interests and is a triathlete. Here is his story on running, fitness, his motivation and that one goal he still covets.

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For years, I made an annual pilgrimage to the Boston Marathon – as a spectator, not a runner though. My sister Allie and my friend Rami ran the race nearly every year. I was a big Boston Red Sox fan, so I made the trip to catch a few games and watch Allie and Rami finish the race on Boylston Street. Continue reading

Liking the new approach to the long run

Both good and bad to report as the third week of a four-week base training plan finished up. Now, it is the last bit of ‘preparation’  and the homestretch of the first stage of getting ready for the P.E.I. Marathon.

The good was my developing admiration for the Pfitzer approach to dealing with long runs. That is breaking them into two segments; the first at 20 per cent above goal pace and the second at 10 per cent above goal pace. Sunday’s LSD was 16k and with various scheduling options, I got out for a nice afternoon run, with temperatures in the mid teens C, not bad humidity and a slight wind that was at my back for the first half and facing me in the second half.

The goal for the run equated to 8K @6:41 pace to start , followed by 8K @6:07 to finish. As has been the case, I have been struggling to hit the targets. Slow is good for these lengthy runs, the run doctors say. Over stressing on the long runs can lead to problems and fatigue through the week on other runs and eventually, injuries or other factors will kick in to curtail training efforts.

The result Sunday was an opening half in 6:29 per k and the second half in 5:48 per k, for a nice negative split. There is quite a hill (the girls and I call it Will Hill) in the final 500 metres of this course, and last week I walked a small part of the way. This time, I made it all the way, which was a nice way to end.

The bad was just four runs for 41K – 9K and one outing short of the weekly goal. I was going to run Thursday and Friday evenings but each night, once I crossed the 9:30 p.m. threshold, I was too tired. I really have to deal with this soon, especially in the second week of the actual plan, when Kms take a decided increase.

Another bad note was eating – see note on weight below.

Week 3, 41 k, four runs, including 16k-long run

Week 4, goal 50 k, run 5 times, get in 18k-long run.

Weight – 188 last week; 189 this week (too many of those tasty Tims’ cinnamon rolls this week as well as Pizza two nights for supper)