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NB Chilly Half

March 6, 2018

It’s March 6th and this is my first blog of 2018. Pretty lame, I know. I’m just happy I remembered my WordPress password.

There are two main reasons why I haven’t written in a 3+ months. If I have free time (which there is less of now) I find that I don’t like to sit and that I need to be doing some self-therapy. This comes in the form of foam rollers and balls of different sizes and densities.

The other reason is that I didn’t want to blog about reasons I didn’t race up to my fitness, again.

In my last blog I was buttering up my excuses for the upcoming National XC meet. That ended up going about as well/mediocre as I thought; 9th place and didn’t mix it up at the front of the race. I did help Speed River win another senior men’s title, that was cool. And the race itself was a lot of fun, that Fort Henry course makes for a great XC race.


Speed River senior men’s team

After that it was the Boxing Day 10 miler in Hamilton. It was -11C and felt much colder with the windchill. I was training through that race and didn’t pick the right footwear. I ended up 3rd in 51:45 (behind Matt Hughes and Ross Proudfoot and just ahead of Ben Preisner). I figured that I would just wait until after Houston Half Marathon (mid-January) to write about a race I was peaking for and represented my fitness.


Photo: Luca Simpson

On Thursday before Houston I puked everything up on my run and couldn’t eat anything that day except a little soup broth before bed. I was already in North Carolina (Marie’s work convention) so decided to keep rolling with the trip and hope that it would pass. I actually felt pretty good by Saturday night and thought the race would go alright.

I felt good for about 3km in Houston. After that my stomach was bad but thought I could tough it out, it would be uncomfortable but my legs would be fine. Not the case, by 7km I was hurting and whatever bug I had was still affecting me. I threw in the towel around 10km and hit a port-o-potty shortly after. I just wanted to get back so I jogged the rest of the course knowing that would be the fastest way back to the hotel. Only one quick puke around 14km and then brought it home in 1:14 or something.

2018 Houston Marathon Weekend

Photo: Victor Sailer

It took me many hours after the race to get my appetite and then I finally had some pizza. I spent that evening on the toilet, in agony.

I’ve been sick (throw-up type sick) twice in the past 8-9 years, this past November and January. And I didn’t feel like writing about a string of crappy races so I said I would just wait until I run a race that reflected my fitness before I post a blog. That brings me to this past weekend at the New Balance Chilly Half Marathon in Burlington.

The NB Chilly Half fell about 6 weeks before the Boston marathon. I’ve been happy enough with how my training for Boston is progressing. I’m certainly behind (in terms of speed fitness) where I’ve been in past marathons but I’m also seeing bigger gains every week than I normally see throughout a marathon build-up.

Heading into Chilly Half I was hoping to be around 64:00 in good conditions. I ran 63:37 there in 2015 in similar temps (hovering around 0c) and secretly hoped I’d feel great in the second half and break 64:00 again.

I’ve been doing a few workouts with Evan Esselink (link to his blog), Robert Winslow and Hussein Hashi in Guelph and convinced Evan it would be good to get some Half marathon pace work on a closed course ahead of the World Half Marathon Champs March 24 (his next big race).

Evan ended up pacing me for 8km, into a headwind after 2.5km (thanks again Evan!). I pushed through the rest of the headwind and made the 180 turn at 13km having averaged 3:06/km up until that point. I wanted to run 3:03 on the way home and managed 3:04/km. Given the wind I would have been happy in the 64:40 range but had to settle with 65:15.


photo: Night Terrors Run Crew

At first I was a little put-off to not have broken 65:00. However, I averaged 3:05/km for 21.1km and I have not done anything on that level for 15 months. I believe this will help me reach a new level in training. Also, I wasn’t sore after the race and recovery was incredibly quick. Which is good in terms of my legs being marathon tough (especially ahead of a hilly Boston course) but maybe not in terms of how hard I pushed myself.

Moving forward… I plan on using Around the Bay 30k as a training run ahead of Boston. I don’t want to risk racing 30km hard only 3 weeks ahead of Boston so I’m going to break it up and get in about 24km of marathon pace.

And then my first Boston Marathon April 16th! In fact this will be my first marathon in the US.

Thanks for tuning in.





  1. pyrad permalink
    March 7, 2018 9:11 am

    You’re in inspiration, Reid! Sorry to hear about your struggles getting back. Glad to hear you’re getting better.

    Saw you on the course when I was running the Chilly Half on Sunday too. Do you like it, or does it distract you when other runners cheer you on?

    • reidcoolsaet permalink*
      March 8, 2018 10:31 pm

      Thanks Pyrad,
      I absolutely love it when people are cheering for me during a race. It helps dig a little deeper and a positive distraction.

  2. March 9, 2018 2:41 pm

    Hey Reid so ATB plan first 24K at MP? With your recovery off The Chilly Half I would assume you can easily roll thru 13.1 there at 65:15 and keep rolling that til 24K without issue. Is that the plan MP first 24K? What if your in with a shot at victory at 24K would you chance it and go for the W? I’ve done some running on the Boston course as my brother in law lives right there. If the wind God’s are on the runners side and temperatures are ideal as hey could very well be you might be surprised at your time when you reach The Boston Public Library, Keep on keeping on!

    • reidcoolsaet permalink*
      March 9, 2018 2:52 pm

      I’m not doing 24km hard continuous.


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