Love Your Valley’s Routes

From January to April look for routes that you can use for the VIRA Series posted  to the Ceevacs website and social media.

Vancouver Island has a wonderful running community. A running community that has shown throughout this pandemic their resilience and creativity. The Love Your Valley’s Routes is a  fun way for our running (& walking)  community to stay connected.


Here are a few run routes that you can use for:

*The 2021 VIRA 39 1/2 Vitual Challenge – Vancouver Island race Series – Not signed-up for the Island Series? Sign-up here: 2021 — 2021 VIRA 39½ Virtual Challenge – Vancouver Island Race Series — Race Roster — Registration, Marketing, Fundraising  Like/follow VIRA of FB: VIRA – Island Race Series – Posts | Facebook

* The Love Your Valley’s Routes (Ceevacs Club Members) – Draw Prizes! Post your runs to the Ceevacs Community FB Page  Ceevacs Roadrunners Community | Facebook : You can post your own route to FB, does not have to be one of the three routes posted each week

*Anyone out there not sure where to go for a run somewhere in Cowichan .


The Warm Land awaits…

Startline Runner’s Tip of the Month:

Startline Runner’s Tip of the Month:

We have arrived at our final tip of 2020! 🎉

A commonly held myth is that runners should focus on low load/high rep exercise when strength training. Evidence suggests that this is not the case! Start Line’s ‘Runner’s Tip of the Month’ is to focus on lifting heavier weights with fewer repetitions in your strength training routine.

🏋️‍️Aiming for 60-80% of your 1RM for 5-15 repetitions per set is recommended to see benefits such as improved running economy and faster sprint speed. Check out the following infographic for a summary on this (Alexander, Barton, & Willy, 2020).

Check back in January 2021 for our next round of the ‘Runner’s Tip of the Month!’

Runner’s Tip of the Month:

Runner’s Tip of the Month:

In order to stay on track with your training program, it is important to manage pain and injury appropriately. It can be difficult to determine when to continue training and when to stop training and seek the advice of a medical professional. Start Line’s ‘Runner’s Tip of the Month’ is to seek the advice of a physiotherapist if you are experiencing any of the

1. Pain lasting longer than a few days
2. Pain that is constant, with no relieving factors
3. Pain that is increasing in severity, frequency or size of affected
4. Pain that has caused you to change your running stride
5. Pain at night that is interfering with sleep
6. Pain that is interfering with your daily routine

Always trust your gut when it comes to your own body!

Check in with your local physiotherapist if you have any questions or
concerns related to your running or walking program!

Run training for Triathletes

Run training for Triathletes

Run training for Triathletes 

Training should start with some fundamental concepts. 

–Be goal oriented, be progressive and be consistent–

Goals in these uncertain times are hard to pin down but we can start with general goals, such as I want to do a race in June 2021” or “I want to do a virtual triathlon” and start from there.

Training for a goal race should take from 8 to 24 weeks depending on the distance of the race and your base fitness level.

An ironman race would take 12-24 weeks of specific training and a sprint race about 8-12 weeks.

The actual timing of the start of specific training can be set when we find the scheduled race date, then just count back on the calendar the appropriate number of weeks and start your training there.

It is best to have a solid base fitness level at the start of the race specific training block so starting a pre-season training block is wise. If you’re ready, keep reading and let the fun begin.

Most athletes do 2 or 4 days per week of each sport so I will present a 3 day per week training plan for the running part.

In order to know if we are progressing we need to know where we are today, so starting with a test is a good idea.  Can you run 5k? Do the test on the same type of surface you plan to train on.

A good test is a 5K time trial and should be done once per month or so in order to measure improvement.  The time trial should start with a solid 10 to 15 minute warm-up then a 3-5 minute rest period beforehand then run 5K as consistent as you can, as fast as you feel comfortable.  Follow with a 5-10 minute cool down. Ask yourself if you could have run harder? Most people have GPS watches so use this for your distance and timing.

The time you set will be used to plan your training paces so do the best time you can. For beginners a walk – run is good or a 2k time trial, you will be progressing so use this time as your starting point. Figure out what your pace is per km, e.g. did it take 60 minutes to run 5k – pace is 12 min/km or 4:48 (4 min 48 sec) for 400m or did it take 30 minutes to run 5k – pace is 6 min/km or 2:24 (2 min 24 sec) for 400m.

Training Plan:  (Can be done on the road, the trail or the track)

The days of the week should be changed to fit your schedule; however, intervals should never be completed on back to back days.  The number of intervals should progress by 1 each week until you get to 8 X 400m.

Monday—Intervals:  The interval part is a blend of hard efforts and the recovery time between efforts.

Warm up for 10 to 15 minutes then:

  • To start, do 4 X 400m at your test pace and increase the number of intervals by one ear week. Recover for about 90 secs after each 400m. Slowly increase pace so the last 200m is your 5k pace. Cool down for at least 10 minutes.

Wednesday – fast running (Repeats).  Each week add 1 or 2 repeat

Warm up for 10 to 15 minutes then:

  • 4 X 100m very fast. As fast as you can. Recovery should be 2 minutes after each repeat. Start each recovery with walking back to the start and then wait before starting the next repeat.  Cool down for at least 10 minutes.

Saturday — Endurance — Run at a comfortable pace, starting at your present fitness level and progressing by 10 or 15 minutes each week until you can do 1 to 2 hours. Every 4 weeks replace this run with a time trial and adjust your interval pace if necessary based on the result.

Keep in mind

  • Try to hit the calculated times for 400m so you get used to pacing. Use technology if you have it.
  • Pay attention to your heart rate and your perceived effort. Use technology if you have it.
  • Pay special attention to your running form. Keep it solid.
  • We are working on general fitness in preparation for race specific training.
  • The run is hard all on its own, but is only part of a triathlon and is extra challenging because you’re tired after swimming and biking:)

Coached Sessions 2020/2021

Coached Sessions 2020/2021

  Coached sessions will begin Tuesday November 3rd and run through till April. Coach Sheron Chrysler will be Coaching Group Sessions Tuesdays at 8:00AM or 5:30PM at the Cowichan Sportsplex. $50 for 3 Months $90 for 6 Months or $40 for an 8 session punch card. In order to participate in coached sessions, you must have completed the waiver and participant agreement.
David’s Virtual Boston Marathon

David’s Virtual Boston Marathon

David’s Virtual Boston Marathon

Monday September 07, 2020 in Duncan BC. What an exciting day it was going to be. I kept waking up worried I’d miss my cell’s alarm ring at 4am. Yes, 4 am. My husband expected I’d be leaving early but “Wow! That’s really early… When’s David (Sykes) planning on starting?” I reply “5 am.” I wondered if David got any sleep. Nevertheless, I arrived at the Chesterfield parking lot at the back of the Sportsplex. No one there. Well, there were two vehicles and it was 4:35 so I guess I’ll wait.

I began to wander around for a bit. Hmmm! The track is sooo dark. My iPhone camera is slow as molasses. I had moved to the other end of that walkway at 4:57am and stood by the gate entrance to the track. I look up and see two figures running towards me. Another Ceevacs runner, John Allen, later told me that he met David and Rob at the Chesterfield parking lot and walkway to the Sportsplex. I must have been alerted by John cheering David as he began his race. Awesome! This is so great.

I hear David say in a surprised voice, “Oh! It’s Ellen.” I snap off a couple of very blurry photos as he passes by 4:57:25. David’s running supported by Rob Grant. Cool! Rob, prior to today has completed 2 marathons and 3 Ironman races. As Rob runs by, he asks if I’m going to run the track with them. “No, I’m walking so David has someone to pass as he makes his way around the track.” As I walk around, I try to find a position to take advantage of what little light there is. I take a photo as David and Rob run by calling out “That’s 5 times around. We’re off Ellen.” It’s 5:15am.

See the map to follow David’s route.

David and Rob are on their way over to the Marchmont/Wharncliffe area and do two laps of the streets following Coach Sheron “Crooked fence” route. They will be coming down Chesterfield, Howard, Heather and Beverly soon. I cross the Trans Canada Hwy and head for Thrifty’s to find a good spot to cheer them on. Oh no! Shocked, I realize I’m in the wrong spot when I see David and Rob do a twisty turn through Thrifty’s parking lot and north onto the TransCanada Highway. At least I have proof that 2 runners were seen running through Thrifty’s parking lot around 6am!

I had plenty of time now to get to my next destination on Canada Avenue just past Sherman (about ½ k on Friendship Trail). However, the sun hadn’t risen, so the light was bad. No pictures were possible as David and Rob come flying off the trail and onto the road. “Looking great, guys!” They are bound for a maze weaving through the streets of Duncan. I found out later from David that Trish Laliberte met them at about the 17k mark, snapped a couple of photos and began running.” Trish is a fierce runner and a massage therapist. David told me he was unaware that Trish would be joining and what a pleasant surprise it was for him.

For now, I head down Canada Avenue towards the Casino (23k for David and Rob), thinking that this wasn’t the best of choices for taking photos. But the other side of the bridge could be good, and the sun will be up by the time they come running over it around 7:15.

As I parked by the bridge next to Boys Rd. a figure goes flying by me. What the heck? There’s Ceevacs marathoner, Angela MacLean from Ladysmith! I jump out of my car and start running after her but loose her as she disappears over the bridge. As I’m about to turn, Angela comes running back and I yell, “They haven’t come by yet!” Angela turns around and heads for the bridge again to meet up with the group at the Casino.

Minutes later, I see David and Angela, Rob clapping and Trish waving as they come off the bridge, running in a tight square formation. Wonderful! David picked his support well, even if it was unintentional. It was quite an experience seeing these 4 athletes running straight at me with David and Angela out front and Trish and Rob behind them with hydration packs on. They look like a solid block running forwards. That changed when they turned onto Boys Rd and had to run in a line stretched out along the narrow side of the road. These runners were moving fast, though it is a bit risky even at 7:10 am but they seemed comfortable.

Jim Ramsey appeared in his car as they were coming over the bridge and watched as they ran down Boys Rd in a line and then changing their formation ever so slightly, running in a larger square formation. Jim is a long-time marathoner, triathlete and Ceevacs member. I actually ran my first Royal Victoria marathon in the same race as Jim in the early 80’s. Jim was just a bit faster than me; maybe 2 hours plus or so. Haha! I finished with a smile though and got my picture in the Times Colonist the next day!

Now David and his crew have run about 25k and they are looking strong and relaxed. These folks are moving fast. Jim has headed down Mission Rd and is waiting for them at Sahilton Road. On Mission Rd., I take a couple of quick artsy shots that show that my photographer skills are sub-standard, and I that I must take some sort of online course. Too bad but no time right now. I have to get to the Old Farm Market where a few people are waiting for David to run by.

Sheron had been taking photos at the Casino and left for the Old Farm Market to run back to meet the group. We passed one another on the road; she to meet David, Rob, Angela and Trish at Sahilton Rd to run an out and back then to the Old Farm Market where I was headed.

Just as Teresa Lewis-Schneider, accomplished marathoner and 2019’s winner of the Lake to Lake 1/2, drives up to the market, parks next to me, jumps out to join David, Trish, and Rob as they run by while Sheron ends her run. Wow! David really does have great support out there. This is so much fun with people taking turns running to support David. The group heads off towards Cow Bay to the Robert Service Memorial Park (33.5k) and prepare to do an out and back to The Old Farm Market. Once again, my prowess as a photographer shines at least catching Teresa’s legs which you will see in David’s Virtual Boston Marathon album! I’m pretty sure Lois is cringing by now!

Susan Marshall, Ceevacs marathoner and husband, Bob arrive, after having gone to the wrong market and are sorry they’ve missed David and crew. Susan asks if Ben and Wendy have come just as they drive up. Sheron calls out “They are a few minutes away” and off Ben and Wendy race towards Cow Bay. Ben Marrs is another experienced marathoner having completed the Lake to Lake in 2019 coming in 7th overall. Wendy Marshall has run in numerous races and having just retired is running like the wind. Yes, Ceevacs runners just keep on coming to support David.

Meanwhile Angela has turned around at the Market to pick up her car and head to the turnaround on Cowichan Bay to give David water and ice. She’d planned for a week. “It’s very nice of her” says Sheron.

By this time, Sheron and I realize we’ve got to get back to the Sportsplex as Sheron’s got some ideas for the finish. When I get there, Sheron’s got the storage unit open and is taking bags out of the trailer. “Can you get the extension cords?” Sheron calls out as I arrive. “All of them?” I ask looking down at the large metal garbage can and Sheron says, “Yes, we may need hundreds of feet.” I wonder “What is she doing?” Can you detect our frenetic energy rising? Well, that’s what was happening! Time is racing by. Its 8:20!

Sheron sets the hose reel on the ground and starts to pull the flags off the hose reel. “They are knotted somewhere. We need to find the knot and take that piece out, so David can run through the ribbon!” Sheron never ceases to amaze me with her creativity. She’s so charged she begins asking me for the time every few minutes. While I take the knots apart, Sheron digs out the Ceevacs Finishers Arch. This is going to be great! But will we have enough time to get this all up and ready before David, Rob and crew enter the track? We don’t even know if he’s finishing at the Sportsplex yet. We begin setting up on the track anyway when Sheron realizes the electricity is not on. We keep assuring each other that things will work out; All will be ready. Sheron runs off to find a Sportsplex staff person who enthusiastically comes to help us out. Thankyou Sportsplex for your support.

We get the Ceevacs Arch blown up by 8:30 and Angela appears out of the blue carrying a sign she’s made at 8:40. This woman seems to be everywhere! It is so nice that everything is coming together! Yay! David’s going to be so amazed. Ceevacs members are appearing from all entrances. This is such a great example of how Ceevacs members support each other. This is actually staggering considering it is the last day of the long weekend. Sheron and I think that Ceevacs have had to social distance and self-isolate for so long that David’s marathon is allowing us to celebrate that we are alive and can begin to make our own dreams come true again. All is ready and just in time as 9:10 is fast approaching.

Sheron is satisfied everything is ready and heads off to meet David at 9:09. Almost immediately Ben and Sheron appear with Rob, Trish, David, Robin and Wendy running down the walkway side by side. Fantastic! What a performance! They look like the Magnificent Seven, strong and ready for anything. These runners have run through several different neighbourhoods back and forth and Robin Taylor, experienced racer and triathlete must have joined as the runners came off the Trans Canada at Trunk Road for the final push towards Chesterfield and the Sportsplex. What an incredible sight watching these seven runners entering from the side of the track. Very inspiring! Sooo moving! I know, I know, I’m getting carried away, but it was pretty exhilarating for those of us watching them arrive with David in the lead.

This normally, ordinary group of runners striding forward with David and Rob as they near the completion of Davids Virtual Boston Marathon is impressive. For those who don’t know, that’s the look of two runners who have run 42.2k and had an incredible support team throughout. Upon entering the track, David, Rob and crew are directed to run the entire track lining them up for a photo shoot.

Trish and Robin run on either side of David and Rob is hidden behind David with his arms stretched out to the sides as if David is flying towards the finish. David runs through the Arch with a huge smile on his face as he breaks through the ribbon held by Ceevacs President Cara and Angela and to the cheers from his Ceevacs friends. What a finish David! What a finish! Congratulations David and Rob and crew!

Finally, Angela meets David at the finishers side of the Arch and hangs her Boston finishers medal around his neck. OMG, this must be such a completing gesture for David to be able to bow and have a Boston finishers medal placed around his neck. His Boston medal had not yet arrived from the Virtual Boston Marathon folks.

It was very powerful to witness the drive and strength over 42.2k that David conveyed. David and Rob stand for a photo op with everyone cheering. They have completed David’s Boston Virtual Marathon in Duncan! What a day to remember!

The Aftermath:

David checks his watch while chatting with Jim and walks through the crowd of people who have come to share in and celebrate his finish. My eye falls on Rob as he gets up and stands to check his watch and Robin who is quickly circulating amongst the crowd to get signatures on the “Go David Boston Marathon” card” In between Angela and Robin is Jim Ramsey, who cheered for David and his crew at various checkpoints.

Everyone was so excited about so many members from Ceevacs coming together that we had to take a photo. It was great to see David complete his Virtual Boston Marathon. It was also inspiring to see the camaraderie of everyone that I did and didn’t see at the Sportsplex cheering and giving their support to David. In Sheron’s words “I just LOVE our amazing club!”

A surprised but kind Sportsplex user who was walking his dog agreed to photograph the 18 Ceevacs members at the Sportsplex. I’m so glad he knew how to take a photo and did not take our heads off!

Later, David sent me an email after his marathon:

“Just so you know my calves cramped up starting about the 37K mark. This happened about 3 times and on all 3 occasions Trish and Teresa did a rapid massage. Great to have health care professionals running with you. Everyone running at the time was so super supportive. I’m not sure you want to mention this or not but it’s something I won’t forget. Cheers.”

It was a privilege David, really… to be a part of your challenge and success.

The End
Until next time…London? Eh?

Several have contributed many photos of David’s Virtual Boston Marathon. Everyone is welcome to send their photos to Sheron and she will put them on for your enjoyment. Click here to view photos on the Ceevacs Roadrunners FB Page
Send photos to Sheron at:

Ellen Candlish for Ceevacs Connect

Angela MacLean – Runner

Angela MacLean – Runner

Angela MacLean – Runner

When my family began to drive around North Cowichan in March 2020, it didn’t take us long before we would see someone running. When I commented on this, my husband who is not a runner, remarked that “If you wander through the forest long enough you will see a bear!” On one particular drive we saw this solitary soul in the distance, moving along and it was a pleasant surprise when I realized it was Ceevacs marathoner, Angela MacLean running with that familiar graceful but lively stride. After that we would see her again and again running the roads of Chemainus, and Duncan; miles from home. Angela seemed to be everywhere!

In July, my run partner, Janis and I were driving along Somenos Road when I saw Angela again, running in the distance. I asked Janis to stop and we talked briefly with Angela about running and how it was affecting her marriage. Angela had been married one year earlier on July 6, 2019. I asked what she thought about my writing an article for Ceevacs Connect and she was enthusiastic. But, when I messaged her later, Angela responded with this short note.

“I loved the idea (of an article for Ceevacs Connect) when you brought it up for sure! (When we were engaged, my husband couldn’t believe I was planning to go for a morning run on our wedding day, but I run 7 days per week so…) But after thinking about it, I realized that getting married hasn’t affected me as a runner. When I first met my husband I kind of warned him that I do run every day, no matter what, even on holidays…and he’s always been Ok with that. I don’t think that will ever change, unless I get some type of life-altering injury.

“Oh yah?” Angela continues to boggle my mind with the next few comments. “My husband, Elliott said I should write about how moving here from Alberta has changed me as a runner…but it hasn’t other than the fact that it’s way more beautiful here, and I do complain about the hills from time to time But, before March 2020, I was training for Boston and possibly ready to PR (Personal Record) even though it would have been my 30th full marathon…. and thought, maybe all these hills aren’t so bad after all… At any rate, I don’t think I have a very compelling story to tell. I wish I did! I’m sorry!”

At the same time, I had become pre-occupied developing questions for Angela when I received her reply. Now, Angela had really begun to interest me. Why was Angela running in Duncan when she lives in Ladysmith? Running 7 days a week? Thirty marathons? What about injuries? I thought she had plenty to say that might inspire others and replied. “Well you’ve actually begun quite a nice story here. I wonder if I can use some of your messages to pass on to others.” I left her with my questions to ponder. I was looking forward to some motivating and informative answers. By the beginning of August, I was about to give up, when Angela messaged me back in mid-August.

“Sorry I didn’t respond to you sooner. I’ve been thinking a lot about WHY I’ve been running 7 days a week, because the “why” has changed a lot for me. Back in 2009 I broke 1:50 for the first time in a half marathon. I realized that this meant I had a chance to qualify for Boston. I saw a book called “Run Less, Run Faster” with a specific training program to achieve a BQ (Boston Qualifier). The idea was to run only 3 days per week, then cross train the other 4 days, in order to prevent injury. However, the 3 days of running were all speed work. Even the long run was fast! When I look back at my training log from that year, I cannot believe I did my long runs at such a ridiculous pace!

Then, I ended up with a horrible case of ITBS (Iliotibial Band Syndrome) leading up to the Toronto Waterfront Marathon, which was to be my first attempt to BQ. Due to the injury, as well as a very warm day, I ran a 4-hour marathon which missed my BQ by 15 minutes. The race was in September 2009. Once I recovered from the ITBS, I started bringing up my mileage and running every day, with no speed work. I ran the California International Marathon in December that year with a 3:51, then the next month I ran the Phoenix Marathon in 3:44, my first Boston Qualifier!

In 2011, when I trained for my first Boston, I did not take a day off running for the entire 4 months of my training until three days before the race. I maxed out at 120 km per week (tricky while working full time), only doing speed work once every 2 weeks, with some other marathons to use as fast-ish training runs. In that 2011 Boston, I ran a 3:34 which is STILL my PR, felt great the whole time and recovered very quickly. Ever since then, I have found that running every day, with little to no speed work, has produced races I am proud of, and kept me from getting injured EXCEPT when I haven’t followed the 10% rule (very preventable). I have even done a couple of 1:35 half marathons, using this training principle.

Running every day of the week is not a conventional way of training. My own family doctor told me that “people expect way too much from their bodies”. But I couldn’t disagree more. People underestimate their bodies ALL THE TIME. The human body is DESIGNED TO RUN! Even back in 2013/14 when I was recovering from surgeries related to the onset of Crohn’s disease, and thought I might never be able to run farther than 5k again, I gradually increased my mileage as much as my body would allow, and eventually at my next marathon which was Houston in 2015, was able to comfortably qualify for Boston and even ran a negative split. The human body is amazing!! By running every day, I am only training my body to do what it was meant to do. Because of this, although I have no talent for running, I have run 29 marathons and qualified for Boston and have typically recovered very quickly from my races.

I am very seldom not training for a marathon, which is why I just keep running every day, all year long. I’m 45 with a lot of miles in my legs and I feel great; maybe my “luck” will run out some day, but until then, as long as I am very careful about my speed work and change my shoes frequently, I should be able to keep from getting injured.

Since March 2020, running has changed a great deal for me, in terms of motivation, because there are no races. I have been running a lot more from my house in Ladysmith, which is extremely hilly, so not super motivating. My favourite places to run are Chemainus and Cherry Point, but for the first time in 20 years, I have been finding it challenging to run alone. I look forward to running with the Ceevacs even more than I did before. I’ve done some virtual races but really dislike the whole premise, so I run every day generally to prevent gaining weight. I try to find new ways to motivate myself and try to remember what I did for each of my 29 marathons, although some of them were done for fun or to pace a friend. Well, there’s the long answer to your questions!!!”

Angela sent me some of her favourite photos with her email signature that unwittingly told me she was a Runner, Music Teacher and “Dog lover”. I thought, Hmmm… “Angela has a dog?” Well, now I had to know about her dog; Half of the Ceevacs runners have dogs! If they aren’t talking about running, they are telling you their latest crazy dog story. As it turns out Angela has 2 dogs according to Facebook! But we will have to hear that story another time.

It took a bit of cajoling, but I’m happy that Angela’s story has prompted me to look at things a little differently when it comes to my own running and training. For those readers who are unfamiliar with the 10% Run Rule that Angela referred to, here’s the short of it from Amby Burfoot, Runner’s World.

“Be the Tortoise, not the Hare.
Increase your weekly and monthly running totals gradually.
Use the 10-Percent rule as a general guideline but realize that it might be too aggressive for you – especially if you are injury prone.”

Angela MacLean and Ellen Candlish


1. Wedding Day July 6th, 2019 in Sooke BC (top)
2. Canada Day 15 km race in Edmonton (top)
3. 1080 Day 10k run in Edmonton
4. Boston Marathon 2017 in finishers cape
5. Angela and Elliott after Boston Marathon 2017 finish
6. Colour Run – Where you get sprayed with paint at various points throughout the race. It was SOOO MUCH FUN!!!!
7. K-100 relay race in Kananaskis
8. Email signature

Thank you, Angela for sharing your story, photos and your time. Ellen