STRAVA Summary

Monday, November 24, 2008

JFK Race Report

My first impressions of JFK are of a low tech, but well run race. It seems to attract runners of all abilities, ages and from far a field. In my previous post I had discussed the issue of temperature and weather to wear shorts or not. Up to half an hour prior to the race, I was still debating. I eventually decided to leave the tights on, boy was I glad of that. Kevin and myself got to Boonsboro and the high school gym a little late. The pre race briefing had already started, that was when I realized that I had left my sunglasses in the car. So I ran to get them and came back as everyone was filing out of the school and towards the start in downtown Boonsboro. When I foudn Kev still in the school he was talking to Dave Champion from Kitchener, who we had come across in the Ontario Ultra Series. He was looking for a similar time to us, around 8 hours, but he had to go to the porta john prior to the race so we left him, hopefully to see him later. It was about half a kilometer walk to the start, but that gave us time to get accustomed to the cool air, and after a while that felt OK.
The gun went off right on time and we slowly started the climb up to Mt. Washington just as the sun was coming up.
The first 9k are more or less straight up, a few dips here and there, but mostly up. We took it farily easy, but still found ourselves passing lots of people as we climbed, once we passed the first aid station we found ourselves on paved trail and climbed more and we walked a lot of the up hills here. To the top of the mountain we felt good, but had to keep reminding each other we had a long way to go. Once the paved trail ended we found ourselves on single track which over time got more technical as we went, to the point where you really had to watch your footing. On this part of the course I got talking to a young guy from Knoxville, TN called CJ, he was only 18. Finally after about 25k we emerged to an aid station which signalled the start of the 26.3 miles of tow path along the old C & O canal. A this point we crossed the rail tracks which have stopped runners in the past, as well as today. We heard trains before we got there and later. We also saw a train go by not long after being on the trail.
The Tow Path was easily the hardest part of the race as far as I was concerned, not for the difficulty of the terrrain or anything, but mentally it was tough get through this part, you get a couple of hours into a race and still know that you have 30k or more before you get a change of scenery. Through out this part of the race we were continually passing or being passed by the same people, most of them seemed to be veterans. Our strategy (if you could call it that) was to run for as long as possible, then walk for a short while, then run again. Along the tow path I thought it might warm up some, but no. The wind was still in our face and it was still cold, glad I left the tights on. This was the first time in a race that I tried hot (actually warm) soup, and it was great. Easy to digest and warmed the insides a bit. Also started to drink Coke at the aid stations. (Probably the most Coke I have ever drank in day since I was a kid).
When we got to the 2nd last aid station on the tow path, there seemed to be a back log of runners. So I didn't linger long and soon we found ourselves alone, I started to second guess whether or not we were on the right trail, but there were no other options. So on we went and gradually we caught up to more runners. We hit the last aid station on the path and turned up a long climb to the "rolling hills", 8 miles to go. At first I found this part hard, Kevin would run ahead and wait at each aid station (which were getting closer together at this point). Now hot chocolate and potatoes were offered, Kevin was getting into the M&M's big time. As we hit the last 3 - 4 miles I seemed to get a spurt of energy and pushed hard and now Kevin started to have issues. Anyway we beat the rolling hills and turned the last corner and pushed it for the last 1/2k into the finish. Finishing at 8:39, 97th & 98th place out 1000 runners. We ran into Dave again and he had finished in 8:08, his better training regime had paid off for him. It's Tuesday now and as I sit here, the stiffness is subsiding and I'm feeling rather good. I didn't feel any worse than if I'd run a marathon, and feel that it I could do that again easily. As I've heard from others, these Ultras are mostly mental and I found that out from about 30k in to about 70k, after that it was toughing it out to finish, which we did.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Preparing for JFK - the night before

We made to Hagerstown at about 1pm today and checked out where the start of the race is, got checked in, went to the race registration all without any problems. Now we have to figure out what to wear tomorrow. It is supposed to be about -6c in the morning. I was planning on shorts, but that may not be an option. Otherwise it is supposed to get up to 3c, but so was today and it was frigid. We shall see in the a.m.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Week of Preparation for JFK

Well I got 2 runs in this week after missing my "long" run on Sunday. Monday's run felt awkward and although I was in a good rythym, I felt sore everywhere. Last nights run was a little better, although the conditions weren't that great. A light layer of snow made things a little slick. Tuesday we went down to Ikea and bought too much stuff and have spent much of the time since putting together new furniture. Finished it all up last night. The new TV stand and Sideboard look good, what a difference a little rearranging can do to a room.
Tonight the adventure begins, it looks we've already had to change our planned route as an Alberta Clipper is blowing in from the north west, bringing copious amounts of snow to the lee of the lakes including the Erie, PA area. Which is where we planned on stopping tonight. They are forecast to get upto 18 inches. So we are going to go through corning instead and stay away from the lakes. We still have to go through the mountains. Anyway JFK here we come!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Great White North

After a good run on Friday with relatively little soreness, I was looking forward to today's (Sunday) run, but I guess that wasn't to be as we got walloped with the first big one of the year. And so I spent most of last night and today at work helping restore power all over our merrry local communities. So no run today and the weather forcast isn't very good for the rest of the week. Well I'm not missing much as this would be a taper week anyway, rest is as good as it gets. One good point about being in at work most of the night is it is liek training for a over night race to see what is like to stay up all night. Maybe not quite the same, but close.
6 days to JFK.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Marathon Maniacs

I thought this was rather humerous, but then I realized I was answering yes to a lot of the questions.

If you can answer yes to more than one of these questions you may need to visit the Marathon Maniacs website:

Are you addicted to running marathons?

Do your thoughts switch to the next scheduled race immediately after finishing a marathon?

Are you signed up for more than one race right now?

Do you know specifics about many of the marathons? Dates, courses, years run, etc.?

Do you know the story of how the marathon got started? Also why the course is 26.2 miles?

Do you read books on marathons like Marathon and Beyond?

Is book marked on your computer? Do you look at the race schedule more than once a week?

Do you start to feel down when you haven't run a marathon in a while?

Are your closets and dressers filled with marathon t-shirts?

Do you have so many marathon medals that you've run out of room on the hook they hang from?

When asked about your racing from none running people, do you find yourself talking with great passion to the point that the person that asked the question regrets ever asking?

Have you run marathons on back to back weekends? Or better yet back to back days?

Have you run a marathon as a training run? Or just to pace a friend?

When asked by loved ones what your plans are for the weekend, you feel guilty telling them your running another marathon so you tell them "it's only a half this weekend"?

Do you plan all your vacations around a marathon race?

Well if you answered yes to any of these questions, you just may be a Marathon Maniac!!!

Things Don't Look Promising

Well I finally got out for a run last night (Wednesday) and it started out alright, but gradually the right ham started to tighten up and the whole leg began to feel tight. I only ran 11k and not that hard. Time to hit the drugs and stretch. Also checking the weather forecast for next week, ouch! Snow here and the temperature hoverign around freezing and not much warmer in Boonsboro. They're also calling for snow when we come home on the 23rd. Hopefully I'll get the snows on before we go.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Tough Run

Its funny how one week you can feel so good and the next the opposite. Well last weekends long run (45k) went really well, today? Not so good. The plan was to go out for about 5hours or 50k and I had a route all made out. Run down to the RR and meet Kevin and who ever else shows up, do the 40k and run home. I should have known it was going to be one of those days when I grabbed my camelback and it was wet. I thought it was just water coming out of the nozzle, but half way down the road I realized it was more than that as water dripping down my leg and my back was getting wet. It seems the bladder has a leak. So I ran back home to drop it off and pick up my hand held fill it up and on my way, again. It was cool this morning, bu tI didn't notice the wind as it was at my back. So then I ran a little harder than I should, because was now late. Got down to the RR and found we had Roger, Nancy, Jamie, Theo, Hellaina and Kevin all there. So off we go and soon found that the wind was going to be a problem when turned into it. That's when I noticed how cold my hands felt, whether it was the cold or the fact that my gloves were a little wet from the camelback fiasco... Anyway Roger soon lent me his little gloves which helped. Nancy, Hellaina and Jamie cut off at Ferndale & Edgehill about 11k (for them) in. Roger and Theo cu toff at the end of Tiffin so that would give tehm about 28k when done, we trudged on. It was on Big Bay Point Road where I started to come unglued. Right leg from my hip down to my knee was tightening up , by the time I got to Little & Bayview (38k?) it gone down into my foot as well. This wasn't good and I told Kevin to go on as I was going to have to head home rather than risk injury. I started to walk and tried running a bit, but would end up walking again. By the time I got down to Tiffin the tightness seemed to ease up, so I finished fairly well at 43k and almost 4 hours. Since then I have been tired and sore. Slept for about an hour earlier and have been thinking about why the run was so difficlut this week. 1) too much mileage this week, the most I have ever done in one week (110k), 2) ran quicker than we meant too, probably because we were running with others that were not doing our training. 3) it was my turn to feel like crap. Kevin felt great today. Anyway I think I'll be taking it easy for the next couple of days.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Nice "easy" Satuday

I slept in this morning, if you call 8:30 sleeping in.After another 19.k run last night, I think I deserved it. That's 68k already this week with tomorrows' long, long run still to do. So I went out and took all the beer bottles back, that have been sitting in the garage since August. And then went about painting the hallway. I got most of it finished except 2 doors, but I ran out of paint, unless Joan has some stashed away somewhere. Well it will ahve to wait now. Weather has taken a turn to miserable. Cool, windy, damp looking. Only supposed to be just above 0C tomorrow morning, I still think shorts are in order though.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Thursdays run

Well it took some going to get out the door last night, but got out I did. This past few weeks have been good for running, with Joan working mostly in the evening and now Kevin working or going out, I've had a lot of evenings to myself so what else would I do but go for a run. While trying to maintain more distance, I've been trying to shake up the routes a bit and do something different. Last night I ran via Morrow Rd to Essa, under the 400 and up Fairview to Little and across to Huronia around the lake, through downtown and back around Edgehill and Ferndale for a total of 17k. It wasn't as far as I was planning, but generally I didn't feel good. It wasn't until I got to about 12-13k that I got into a groove and just felt like I could go forever. It was promising to have that feeling as you run, where your legs are just moving and you don't want to stop them, even though the rest of you feels tired. Tonight (alone again) I will run down to the Running Room and run with whoever shows up. Probably another 20k.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

What's New

Tuesday Joan and I went to the Movies (Cheap Tuesday) and saw RocknRolla. We went to Boston Pizza for dinner first and enjoyed a good meal. The movie was great, another in the vain of Snatch and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Violent, funny and great music.

Last night went for the usual Wednesday night run. A good run with Roger, Tim, Terry, Theo (first time sinc ethe spring), Hellaina & Nataliya. Started nice and easy, but quickly picked up the pace and finished the 10.4k in 48:05 (4:37 avg/km).
Hockey afterwards was better than it has been for the past few weeks, less bodies therefore a little slower.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Wow it's Dark

Yeah, that time of year again. I'm going to have to get used to running in the dark in the evening. Good run tonight, although it seemed to last forever. Final tally was 20.5k, 1:39. Hopefully this idea of running less days/more distance will help for JFK. We shall see.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Mind doesn't matter

This morning I did my longest training run ever, 45k. And typically it was one of those runs where your mind is telling you to STOP!, but you have other idea's. Which tends to cause some confusion in the brain, at least in mine anyway.
I started at 7:30 this morning, it was rather cool (1C), but I'm not going to give in yet, I'm still wearing shorts. Ran down to the Running Room where I met up with the other nutbar Kevin. We had already decided to run out the Rail Trail for 1.5 hours and then turn around. So we set off, it took a while to get into a groove, but after a while it was ok. At the 3rd line of Oro the Barrie Police have a car set up to talk to people regarding the lost teen Brandon Crisp. We gave them our particulars and when I told the officer talking to me where I lived and that is where we ran from, he gave me a look of " holy shit". I told him we had a while to go before we even turn around.
So we continued on, it was still very cool as we had the wind in a face and the sun was having difficulty get up over the tree line. At the turn around I checked my Garmin... 21.3k in 1:54 minutes. I think we maybe going a little too fast training for the 50 miler. Some poeple would give anything run a half marathon in that time.
On our way back we waved at the police sitting in their warm cruiser, with smiles on their faces, obviously finding what we were doing amusing. By the time we got back into Barrie I was feeling really good and picked up the pace a bit, probably shouldn't have, and Kevin dropped off the pace a bit. Got to the Running Room and decided I'd take the long way back to stretch it out to 45k. So went via Edgehill and Ferndale. The last couple of k were a struggle, but I finished and tonight I think I'll have a couple of beers.