STRAVA Summary

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What Now?

Yesterday during my run near the end I felt tightness in my left calf. I brushed it off and continued even though I knew it was still there Well today it came back again, but earlier in the run, actually right off the start. I think it was from running downhill on Mapleton, a bitch of a hill to run up, but probably worse to run down. Today I ran to the Running Room and then a short run with the group before heading home again. Once I got to the Running Room I thought that may be it, but once we got going up Owen it actually felt good, all the way up the hill it was good. As soon as we finished the hill we were going down and it started to hurt a little again. I turned arpund after a while back to the Running Room in a walk, run, walk motion. Before heading home in the same manner. Now that I sitting down I have iced it and now I am icing it. Let hope it just needs a little rest and attention.

Difficult Day

Yes it has been a difficult day, a stressful one. If there was one thing to look forward to it was my run after work. Hopefully it would help me unwind.
I ran my usuall Tuesday run, a hilly first half and it actually was good, felt smooth. I didn't rush it at all, but was still moving along at a good pace. If there was a down side it was when I was finished the last hill, my phone connection couldn't pick up Slacker Radio, and although I kept stopping to check it wouldn't connect, so I ran the rest of the run sans music. No big feat since I never used to run with music, but I'm getting used to it to. Anyway finished a little slower than usual for this route, even though it was a nice day, unless you ran into the wind. I ran into it down Mapleton, holy shit was it cold. Not quite shorts weather yet, but getting there. Today it is supposed to be up to 7C so maybe, just maybe... Looks like the trails are going to be a few weeks away yet. The ones I've seen are still very icy looking. Till tomorrow!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Weekend of Running

Dosen't sound like anything new for me, but thats what it was and two different days. I dreaded going out yesterday morning witht e forecasts predicting cold and biting winds etc, today was supposed to be much better. Surprise, surprise they got it wrong. I got up and was out the door by 7:30 (early for me) and soon found that I had over dressed, there was no discernable wind just crispy cold. So by the time I got to Patterson and Tiffin I had do something about it. I was able to take an extra vest off and stuff it in my camel back pocket, and that made a big difference. So off I went towards the lake and around the north shore towards Oro. My first stop after 5 k was on the north shore trail and soon found out that I should have put the camel back under my jacket, it was frozen so no drink just yet. I adjusted and put my jacket over top and on I went. The next stop was on the first line just before the first hill, past the parking area. That was good timing because I don't like that hill, so I wlked up it and felt good. On I went up the first line, up the next big hill before turning onto the Gore Rd. At this point the wind had picked up and I decided to put my balaclava on. The wind was biting although lite from the north. Just before the next hill it was break time again, good timing. I wasled upto Hwy 93 adn continued running upto to Partridge Rd. west and over the 400 Hwy. This part was tough, a cross wind and I was tiring a bit, and starting to hurt a little. As I turned up towards Pooles Rd on a section of rolling hills, i felt pretty good, but needed another walk on Pooles. Thats when I realized how much the walk breaks were making me feel re-energized.
Into Midhurst I got past St.Vincent and I was 25k time for a drink and a walk break. THis one would be my longest as I wlked right through Midhurst for 1k before starting up again. At Bayfield I turned back towards town, I wrestled with this route and decided this would be the lesser of two evils. Either straight through to Wilson and the long up hill climb back into town or Bayfield to Carson to Anne. Neither was appealing, but it was the onyl way home at this point. It was 1k from Snow Valley Rd. to Carson Rd. and at this point I was in need of another break, but ran the entire hill up Carson Rd., turned on Anne and at 30k took a gel break. Back in Barrie!
The last 8k or so were a bit of a struggle, but I had the wind at my back and it was mostly down hill. Over all a successful 38.4k in just under 4 hours.
This morning I felt good and when I got to the Running Room there was only Roger, Theo and Alan and no one seemed to enthused. Theo was doing about 16k, Alan 30kish and Roger just nodded his head, whatever. We started on the long Tiffin Route out to Wellington at a nice easy pace. Stopped at the end of Edgehill for a drink and quickly got going again (not a long enough break I was thinking). Onto to Tiffin I was feeling good, just wondering where Theo was going to take us next. Well it was Innisfil to Holgate, I stopped at Essa for a gel and let Alan catch up briefly before starting up again. Roger and Theo didn't stop as Roger was finding his leg bothering him each time he stopped. They were a long way ahead by this time, good I can do my own thing now. I might have thought that, but couldn't help trying to reel them in. At Minets Pt. I saw Roger and Theo waiting, but I had decided to head to Royal Oak to add the distance required to get in 20k, so pointed to them that, that was what I was going to do. So I headed along Tollendahl on the sidewalk and when I went to cross to the bike path, looked around and there was Roger right behind me. Oh well Ihope he doesn't mind running slow. I also noticed Alan bringing up the rear. We did the Royal Oak loop and turned back and that was when the wind hit us, biting cold. It was tough running back but we got it in and finshed the 20k in 1:47. 101k for the week and none the worse for wear!
Next Saturday is the OUS warm up event in Dunedin. Upto 6 hours of running should good to talk to the other ultra veterans.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Great Information For Ultra Running

I found this good blog written by a guy in England that is full of great information and stories, very witty too. It can be found here Running and Stuff

Friday night Run in the Freezing Cold

Ok, when is this freezing cold weather ever going to stop? It was about -8C tonight, without the windchill and it was windy! I've had it up to here with this and the forecast isn't much better. Tomorrow I plan to go for a long, long run and it is going to be about -12C in the morning and breezy, so it ain't gonna be fun.
As for tonight, got off to a great start by forgetting my garmin (maybe a blessing in disguise). So off we went and it felt hard and cold, but we seemed to be going rather pedestrian like so I wasn't complaining. We did the Trailer park loop so it was around the bay to start. On th eother side I asked Theo what the pace was and he said we were about 4:53/k, I didn't want to be going that fast tonight and neihter did he. We tried to slow it down, but oliver and Rickymac pulled ahead (and they're running ATB on Sunday). Oh yeah, we left without Alan, he had phoned to say he was going to be late, but we wited an extra five minutes and no sign of him so we left. How does a guy without a job be always late? We saw him, and he saw us as he was pulling on to Bayfield at Lakeshore, so he knew where we were going.
We stopped on Holgate for a breather and alan caught up, after that the run seemed to get a little easier, especially on Innisfil St., no less windy or cold but...
We finished with the wind finally at our back and felt rather good, averaging 5:02 pace for 9.4k. A decent run.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Another Day another Longish run

So I was messing about with the idea that I should run to the Running Room tonight and then do the regular run, which isn't anything new, but with the weather the way its been I've been easily persuaded otherwise. So on my way home from work I figured to hell with the weather I'm going anyway. So about a quarter to six I head off on my extended route to the RR, via Ferndale and Edgehill its ends up being about 7k there. Today though the wind was in my face the whole way and it felt cold. I didn't feel bad running just cold, and then to top it off, Hellaina shows complaining about how warm it is. I explained to her that she ran with the wind at her back and may find it different running in the other direction.
So a larger than normal group of us headed out INTO the wind towardsthe east, along Kempenfelt Dr. and up Crestwood/ I was feeling good at this point and knew I shouldn't be going as fast as I was, but as usual ignored myself. By the time we got the top of Crestwood I was tired and knew I would have to slow down, but did I? Noooooo, after we got going again we regrouped and wasn't until we got to Georgian and Johnson that I knew it was going to be a tough run back. I backed off and waited for Peter to catch up and ran with him. Peter used to be a very, very fast runner, but suffered a stroke a few years ago and has taken a long time to recover. He has logically looked at his running differently and now runs for comfort not speed. I found his pace a little too slow, but kept with him the whole way back. The last couple of k were a bit of a struggle, but ended up with 18.4k avergaing about a 5:15/k pace.
Thinking about the weekend already and what I'll do. Looking at looonnnggg run on Saturday and a map picked out, 40k or so, but very slow with lots of walking.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Good Run

So it must be Tuesday. Finished another busy day at work getting a report ready for Toronto Hydro and found I was a little early, so lets get off to home and get my run in, wolf down some dinner and off to the movies to see the new movie by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost "Paul". Not all of it worked out quite that easily.
Got home and got ready, I was hungry so I had to have a quick bite nad settled on a toasted almond butter and jam sandwich. Got dressed and off I went. Again deciding what to wear wa an issue, almost as bad as a womend going out for the night. Anyway decided to over dress as it seemed rather cold out, and yes I was over dressed! There was a cold wind from the east, but not too bad. I climbed up my street to Ardagh and then towards Essa before turning up into the subdivision and the start of a series of hills before I made my way to Ferndale and across Cumming (nice name for a street). Cumming has the hardest hill on the route, but it is also the last one. For some reason today, and it is good, I felt like I was floating as I was running. Not all the time, but I'd look down and feel like this was easy. Maybe it was all the breaks I got at the start of my run. I was trying to get soem podcasts to listen to on my phone as I ran, I had downloaded some earlier and tried to get them started, the first one was called Endurance Planet, so I thought that would be good, but started it and find out it has two things I can't stand; its mostly about Ironman and it is Austratlian (gags)! Both are so into themselves and arrogant... I just hear Australian accents and I immediatley wnat ot shut off. SO that wasn't an option, all the other ones I tried were crap too.
Settled for and eventually got working Slacker Radio and the Mogwai Channel again and the soothing feelings settled in again, LOL!
The run contiued very well the run up the hill on Cumming was difficult as usual but walked a bit at the top and had a gel, then got going again. Got stopped for traffic a few times, Essa, Veterans, Veterans again. Essa again. But I take them as rest stops and re-enrgizes me. Along Mapleton and down the big hill to Ardagh and home. In total 14.7k in 1:16 for a 5:11 pace. The only hurting happend coming down the Mapleton hill, which has been the norm. Overall a good run and quite satisifed.

Had a quick shower afterwards, ate dinner and off to the show.
When we got to the cinema we found out that Paul was sold out, so we decided on Limitless. I had heard good things about it and it was the top grossing movie of last week so...
Great movie, and I wont tell you anymore.
Till the next installment.

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Rest Day.

Yes today is a rest day and its well needed for a number of reasons. A 100 km week last week and a toguh day at work after the large transformer fires at Richview TS this past weekend that I have to report on to my various customers.

So tonight I'm going to do some general exercises and yoga. Concentrating on core. I still have a lot to do to get my strength to where it needs to be, each run longer than 10k with no walks causes some discomfort so I am far from cured. Each run brings lingering doubts, but I still think positively about what is to come and that my training hasn't really been on track the way I am supposed to be training. Slowing down and more walk breaks are the way to go.
Just a short post today>

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Second of the Double Long Runs

Sunday always comes too quickly and this one was no different, but after yesterdays "long" run I was feelign pretty good. I don't prepare fo r long runs like I do for races and I think subconciously that I try to do everything wrong in training so that the races are easier. Not sure if this works, but what the hey!!! I used to stay away from milk like the plague on running days, but through that out the window years ago. This morning it was a bowl of Vector cereal. I'm addicted to cereal and could eat it anytime. So cereal and a cup of tea and tiem to get dressed in my running gear. This time of year is dificult to figure out what to wear, the temperature swings and changes in conditions are like the mood swings of menopausle lady (no offence meant). All ready I headed off to the Running Room to meet up with the usual suspects.
Theo didn't want to do more than 8k and we planned on going up Sunnidale to start and that was out of the question for him. So Roger, Rhonda, Alan and myself headed off to do about 27 to 30k. I was a little concerned about running with a group again as I would have to do the odd walk break to maintain my health. We started off on Sunnidale and into Vespra, stopping for our first walk break at the corner to Barrie Hill Farms a little further than I would have liked, but I felt good at this point. The rolling hills upto Seaton Road followed and we stopped for our first gels at this point. Seaton Rd. has a good down hill followed quickly by a "good" up hill. I stipped at the top of the downhill for a quick bio break and then had to catch up to the others. They stopped a the top of the hill and we regrouped. Still feeling good we climbed the next hill towards Anne St. where we turned right to go back into Barrie.
Back in town we bobbed and weaved through the side streets coming out on Cundles near Duckworth, under the highway (hate that little hill) and then through the college to Cook and again via smaller streets to Johnson. At Johnson and Steel, Roger, Alan and Rhonda turned left as I turned right to head back. We were at 26k at this point and Roger said it was 2k straight back, so 28k would be good for me. Low and behold it was actually 3.6k so my final tally was 29.6k in 2:47 minutes for about a 5:40/k pace. More like what I want, but considering it was only 30k and I have a lot further to run yet. This was a 100k week so that was good, more than I thought I was going to get in so I have to be pleased with that. What does the next week hold? It may be up to mother nature, hopefully she will cooperate because she hasn't at all this winter. Hope your running is going well!!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Cool and Windy Run

Back at the busy running weekends I guess. Friday night was a 10k run with the usual crowd from the Running Room, minus Theo who is still licking his wounds. He didn't miss much, it was a run to Thunder bridge and back and unfortunately the back part is into a very cool wind. after a day when the temperature flirted with double digits, the temps started to head south just before our run and we felt it coming back. And then had a miserable fat lady try to run me off the road, because she didn't think we should be on it. Meanwhile there was no one but her on the road. We gave her our two cents worth. Got back and just couldn't get warm. Had a headache and decied we weren't going to go to the St. Paddy's party at Scott and Zoe's. I had to get up and run again in the morning anyway.
Fast forward to this morning and I got up early enough to be out the door by 8:15 and off I went to who knows where. It was cold this morning especially if you ran into the north. I had my phone with me and had a podcast downloaded to listen to, Dirt Dawg, Sounded interesting, a guy who does ultras, but unfortnately in this epsiode he mainly talked about basketball (not my favourite topic at all), eventually I switched it too Slacker Radio and put on the Mogwai channel. Great stuff. I ran to County Rd. 27 off Ardagh and then south up THE hill. After I passed Mapleview I looked to the right and saw what I thought was a deer in the farmers field about 200 m away, it noticed me and looked and when it turned to face me I realised it wasn't a deer but a large coyote and it watched me until I was gone. I turned on to Salem Rd. and had a cross wind, but at least it is mostly sheltered along there. After a while I noticed my hip/hamstring/glute starting to act up again. I guess I was not taking enough walk breaks and maybe going a little faster than I needed to, especially by myself. After 22k it was more of a challenge, but finished 27.8k in 2:34 for about a 5:34/km pace. Still way faster than I need to.
Tomorrow is supposed to be another 27k with the group, but I will try and not push the pace. I would have pastoed the map of the route I did and the elevation profile, but the Garmin had a problem downloading for some reason. Maybe tomorrows will instead. Hopefully it is warmer too.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Ultra Running taken to the extreme by a Canadian.

An article that appeared in the Hamilton Spectator last November.

She swears that someday soon she’s going to take up knitting. Something that’s stagnant that doesn’t take the better part of a day to complete. An activity that doesn’t require tons of travel, loads of vacation time and oodles of organization.

But that’s for later. Tomorrow, Monica Scholz will be working on completing a 100-mile race near Collingwood. As in, 160 kilometres. Which, for the record, she’s running, not driving.

Remarkable as that is, the accomplishment is made exponentially more astonishing by the fact that it’s her world-record 25th such race of the year. An achievement that makes most casual runners and every non-runner ask the same head-shaking question.

Is she crazy?

“No,” she deadpans. “Thirty would be crazy.”

Clearly, putting more miles on her shoes than some people put on their car hasn’t cost her a sense of humour. Make no mistake though, 100 miles times 25 is a long, long way.

By the time today’s race is over – 20 hours after she starts, give or take a few minutes – the 43-year-old will have essentially run from the front door of her place in Ancaster to downtown Los Angeles this year. For those who still can’t grasp how far that is, it’s from her home to Toronto and back, 25 times. Or from Copps Coliseum to Lime Ridge Mall and back, 268 times. This isn’t even counting the thousands of additional training miles she’s logged.

And while she’s not sprinting from start to finish, she’s hardly toddling along either. Those of you who did last year’s Around The Bay Race in over three-and-a-half hours or the 5k in more than 35 minutes – there are nearly 2,000 of you out there who fall into that category – won’t want to hear that she’s moving faster than you.

But back to the essential question. Is she nuts?

People ask her this all the time. Folks play amateur psychiatrist and ask what she’s running from. They wonder if she’s obsessive compulsive. They suspect she may have self-destructive tendencies.

She denies it all. Scholz says she’s merely someone who loves to run. Kind of like Forrest Gump without the cool soundtrack. Or the simpleness. While each effort is tiring – she burns between 400 and 600 calories an hour and often refills on hamburgers as she moves – she says she’s not in pain while running. To the contrary, she’s actually enjoying herself and the camaraderie with the other participants.

It’s been this way since she started back in 1996 as a first-timer in the Ancaster Old Mill 10k race. She finished that run and immediately received her next challenge.

“You get to the finish line and there are all these people with entry forms for a 10-mile race,” she says, launching into the thought process that created one of the greatest distance runners ever. “I just finished a 10k. I wonder if I could do 10 miles?”

Turns out she could. Just as she discovered she could do a half marathon, then a marathon and so on. By the time she did a few 50-mile races, the threshold to serious distance running had been crossed. Someone wrote that it was like she cracked the code. Soon she was doing distances mere mortals can’t even fathom. A hundred miles and longer. Her office shelves are covered in trophies and trinkets from these races. She jokingly calls it her I Love Me wall.

Call it a passion or an obsession or whatever you like, but in 2001 she did 23 of these 100-milers. That was the world record. She’d only planned to do 16, but she discovered some German guy was going for 19 so she added a few to the schedule to make sure she’d have the mark.

That would’ve likely been the end of her record attempts but right after finishing a 100-miler in Jerseyville 20 months ago, another runner suggested she try to break her own mark.

“The suggestion was, before I get too old and decrepit, to try to break it,” she chuckles.

Before she moves to knitting, that is. Her comment.

Days later, she decided to give it a go. All that was left was to sort out the convoluted logistics, which she says is the most-difficult part of the effort. There are 88 of these races held every year but many happen on the same weekends as others. When she looked at which ones she could make without interfering with her work as a lawyer and which ones didn’t overlap, the field was reduced to 34 possibilities stretching from Ancaster to Hawaii. She chose 25.

The first was midway through January. Fittingly, the event was called HURT. Every month since there’s been at least one. In five of those, there have been three. This will be her sixth race since Oct. 2.

Today will also be her 111th overall which has made her a worldwide legend in ultra running circles. The plan was for this one to be the last ever. She thought it would be a nice, symmetrical number to retire on. After all, this kind of life doesn’t come without a cost.

All the travelling is time-consuming. She’s blown most of her Air Miles. Her vacation time is shot. She admits she feels tired all the time. She’s been at this so long, she’s not even sure what normal feels like anymore. The day or two after every race is spent walking a little gimpy. She has to eat constantly to keep her weight up.

It’s why she keeps bringing up the knitting.

She says it so often you wonder if she actually means it. Until you ask what’s next and Scholz momentarily forgets about needles and wool and starts talking about pacing her husband in his attempt to do a 100-miler in January. And completing a bike race she’s had her eye on in France. It’s 1,200 kilometres and has to be completed in 84 hours.

“Can you imagine what you’re butt’s going to be like after 1,200 kilometres?” she laughs.

OK, a little crazy.


Here are the races she was doing.

Race # Date Race Name Place
1 January 16 HURT Honolulu, Hawaii
2 February 6 Rocky Racoon Huntsville,Texas
3 February 13 Iron Horse Florahome, Florida
4 February 27 LOST Florida
5 March 5 Coyote Two Moon Ojai, California
6 March 27 Paulinskill Sussex 100 Knowlton, New Jersey
7 April 10 McNaughton Pekin, Illinois
8 April 24 Jerseyville 100 Jerseyville, Ontario
9 May 1 Iron Horse St. Paul, Alberta
10 May 8 McNaughton Pittsfield, Vermont
11 May 15 Keys 100 Key West, Florida
12 May 29 Sulphur Springs Dundas, Ontario
13 June 5 Old Dominion Fort Valley, Virginia
14 June 12 San Diego San Diego, California
15 June 19 Mohican Trail Loudonville, Ohio
16 June 26 Laramie Laramie, Wyoming
17 July 12 Badwater Death Valley, California
18 July 17 Vermont South Woodstock, Vermont
19 July 24 Swan Crest Swan Lake, Montana
20 July 31 Burning River Willoughby Hills, Ohio
21 August 7 Viaduct Trail Lanesboro, Pennsylvania
22 August 21 Leadville Leadville, Colorado
23 August 28 Angeles Crest Wrightwood, California
24 September 4 Grand Teton Alta, Wyoming
25 September 11 Haliburton Haliburton, Ontario
26 September 18 Virgil Crest Virgil, New York
27 September 25 PCT 100 OR Bear To be determined
28 October 2 Arkansas Traveller Ouachita, Arkansas
29 October 9 Oil Creek Oil City, Pensylvannia
30 October 16 Boulder OR Ozark To be determined
31 October 23 Syllamo Blanchard Springs, Arkansas
32 October 30 Javalina Jundred Fountain Hills, Arizona
33 November 6 Pinhoti OR Mother Road To be determined
34 December 11 Ancient Oaks Titusville, Florida

That makes 111 lifetime 100's for Ms. Scholz...congrats, Monica!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Is Sping Really Here

Yesterday was a really nice day after it finally warmed up a bit and the rain stopped, but today promisses to be even better with a high of 13C. Although its a rather chilly -1C right now. Yesterday was a good day for a run and I decided to run from home to the Running Room and then run with the group. So i left about 5:45 and headed to Ferndale through the subdivision and then up to Edgehill, towards Anne and over the 400, Straight along Dnald and to the Running Room via Ross. A good 7k to start. I was quite warm, but didn't feel overlly dressed, 2 layers and a vest on top and shorts. It feels so good wearing shorts. I was sweating profusely when I was in the RR and expected to feel the cold when I went out side again, but it wasn't bad.
Oh yeah, I was finally able to download some apps to my phone and got Slacker Radio back, so used my phne to listen to music for that first 7k, Mogwai Radio, Awesome!
The second part of the run was the "Owen loop" with Rog, Rhonda, Rick, Terry, John, John, Hellaina and Aiden. It was a good run and the group soon split into the different pace group after hitting Otttaway. Ran with Rog the whole way after that and felt fairly good. The odd break here and there definitly helps the glute and hammstring. It was so nice to run in nice conditions. Finished for a total of 17.2k, averaging 5:02 pace, with the stops. Still faster than I need too. But a good day. Today will be a rest day even as the temperature gets upto 13C!!!! woohoo! I will do my exercises and Yoga tonight.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Two Days and Two Posts

Yes, I think I've started something here! Yes two days in a row I have blogged. Woohoo!
So today I took advantage of a nice day and wnet for one of my hilly 15k runs in the general neighbourhood. Although it wasn't as warm as they were forecasting (what's new there), it was still nicer than it has been in a long time. The run although still faster than I needed to it went well. It helps alot when the weather is nice. 14.8k in 1:12, a hilly run in under 5 min/k pace.
Tomorrow will be warmer still and wet, so I will run from home to the Running Room for our Wednesday run.
Signed up for the Ontario Ultra Series Warm Up event today. April 2nd, 9 am to 3 pm on a 12k loop doing as much as you can run. No set time or distance, just run what you want. 6 hours should be a good training run.

Monday, March 14, 2011

A New Beginning

Well its been almost two years since my last post here, but I figured its about time to start afresh. I enjoy doing this, but finding the time is always an issue. Hopefully I can make the time as it is a good tool for looking over past events and figuring out where I went wrong or in some cases went right.
So where to begin? I'll go back to last year as it was essentially the nail in the coffin to all my troubles. I started by signing up for multiple races, including my first 100 miler; Burning River in Cleveland, and then peer pressure got signed up for a few more, seven ultras or marathons in 6 months and I was done for the year and then some. Still not completely back to "normal".
It started with the Surf City Marathon in Huntington Beach, California on February 7. What started as a small group of Barrie RoadRunners turned into a crowd and I didn't really enjoy the "crowd". The area was nice and the place we stayed was nice and the race was good. I finished with a very respectable 3:23 and finished very strongly, no signs of apins or such.

Next was a back to back weekend, National Marathon in DC followed the next day by the Shamrock marathon in Virginia Beach. I had done a back to back to back before and actually ran this one well too, but the ride back was a nightmare.
Drove to DC and on a toughish course ran 3:32 (maybe a little quick for the first of a B2B). Another drive to Virginai Beach and Sunday morning we were lined up for Shamrock.
Again I surprised myself in finishing very strong and a 3:38 time.
In April it was off to Dearborn, Michigan for the Martian marathon.
A good event, but unlike the last couple of races I struggled near the end. Finished in 3:14, best time of the year and 1st in my age category. But the pain was there in this race.
I kept telling myself that all of the running/racing would be good for the 100 miler.
Next would be a short drive to Pickering for my first ultra of the year at the Seatn Trail races and I was entered in the 50k or as it turned out 56k. I had done this race 2 years earlier and came 3rd overall. This race would be a little different on the first out and back not 12k in I pulled my calf muscle and thought I was done, I walked it out and limped for quite an while and then ran, wlaked the rest of the way. THough I might quit at half way, but stubborn me continued on. I finished in 5:57, 30 minutes slower than the previous time. Not bad considering. But another injury to deal with.
Pick Your Poison 50k at nearby Horseshoe went well considering. The weather wasn't much better than the year before on I slightly different less muddy course and I finished in 5:15, 9th overall. I came through that one relatively unscathed. The trails make a huge difference.
Next was a half marathon in St. Catharines, the 12 Mile Creek Trail half. Again a good event and not easy. A massive hill at about 11 miles is a killer, I finihsed 13th overall in 1:41, 4th in my age.
Next was the one that really did me in. The Niagara Ultra. I had done this two years ago and struggled the last 10k, this time I struggled from the half way point with bad ahmstring and glute problems that would reoccur through out the remaining races of the year. Probably running on pavement the whole way was apart of the problem. Finished in 4:59 (44 minutes slower than the last time). But this race also featured as Rogers 50th marathon, so "there was much celebrating".
I was just over a month away from doing Burning River, but in the back of my mind I knew I was in trouble, I was having trouble doing 10k training runs, never mind 100 miles. I had a great night time run with a group of friends from Barrie to Orillia and back at the beginning of the month, but it just wasn't going to happen this year and a week before the race I made the decision to back out and let the race director know. From that point on it was try to get better and rehabilitate. I went to Burning River anyway and volunteered at the race sign in and took in the start, on eof the aid stations and the finish to get in the atmosphere. It just made me want to do it all the more. When race registration opened up again I was the third person signed up.
The racing season may have been shot, but it didn't mean I was done doing races. At the start of the year I had signed up for the Lochness and Munich marathons and booekd flights etc. so that were going to happen regardless.
Both races were personal worsts time wise, but the experiences of running two ammazingly beautiful races was second to none. Lochness was 4:12 and Munich 4:23.
Note: I was not nearly trained for either race. I finished the year doing another race that I wouldn't have done if I'd known I would have been injured. A group of us went to Charlotte, NC to do the Thunder Road Marathon and I made the wise choice to change my race to the half marathon and had a decent 1:41 time on a tough course. I struggled a bit, but felt better than I had in a long time.
2011 and the first event of the year is in the books. The Green Jewel 50k in Cleveland, out on by the same folks that do Burning River. On a miserable day (lots of rain and head winds) finished in 4:48 on a tough course.

Hopefully I've learned from last years mistakes and will have a more successfull year to come.

More to come, stay tuned.