STRAVA Summary

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Running, Mogwai and Running

It's been a busy couple of days, just as well I took them off as vacation days. But back to the grind tomorrow! Yesterday morning continued my week of running with another trail/road run. It was roads up until I get to past Leons and then into the bush to Harvie and up by the 400 to behind Home Depot. Durin this stretch of trail turn a corner and saw a dog coming tearing towards me, but right away I could tell this little guy was not going to be trouble. He was a beautuful light brown colour with white splotches on him, some sort of retriever mix and still just a pup. If a dog could smile he had a grin from ear to ear. I think I took him and his owners by suprise. I had my ear phones in so I couldn't hear anything. Anyway i petted the pup and told him to go back to his owners who were yelling at him to come and turning in the opposite direction, he took off after them quickly.
Back on the run on to Caplan, over to Mapleton and then a side street to Emms where I enter the woods again, into the bluffs to the now all to familiar trails. Back home and a very successful run, a little stiff which I stretched out for a bit and relaxed. A good 11k or so.
After showering and having some lunch it was off to TO to prepare to see Mogwai. This would be my first tiem seeing them and I was expecting nothing short of the best show ever. Lofty goals but I was sure they would be able to meet that.
The show at the Pheonix was supposed to start at 8, but as usual they don't even let people in until 8:15 or so. It was about 9 when the warm up act came on. They were called Old World Vulture, and were very good. AN instrumental band in the vane of Mogwai they put on a very impressive 35 minute performance, made even better knowing afterwards that they had only been called on to be the back up band earlier that day. I was so impressed that I bought their CD, available inthe merch area for only $5. Good deal for good music.
Mogwai finally came on stage sometime after 10, five 30ish balding (except for one) Scotsmen, not big on flashyness or anything like that they just put on a great show. The only one spoke went through the entire Scottish vocablulary, minus the expletives, "Thank you, thank you very much", "Cheers", "right", "How ya Doin tonight", "Alright are ya?".
Maybe thats why they rarely sing.
Overall the almost two hour show was amazing, with a stand in drummer (las minute family committments). I usually start checking my watch during shows that are not quite as good as I was expecting. Not here, I was surprised to see what time it was whent he show was over. Great stuff!
Wednesday night and the usual run club thing. And the suaul crew was all back together after vacations etc. I had the intention of just running an easy run as this was the 6th day in a row of running for me and I had been a little sore. So We started (all of us) easy , but gradually the usual suspects took off and I was happy to sit back and run with Roger, Rick and Peter. We regrouped at the top of Crestwood and the same scenario repeated itself. As we hit Grove I had left Rick, Roger, Peter and Dr. John behind. On Johnson I passed Rhonda and Theo. And on Georgian passed Sean and Greg. On Duckworth I saw Aiden go straight in stead of the normal route down Rose. I knew that Brendan was the only one in front now, but he was no where in site. On Rose coming to St. Vincent I could see him in the distance at least half a k ahead. He went up Rose further than I did as i turned the normal route down Davidson and through the park to Owen whihc is where I caught up to Brendan. We finished together.
It ended up being a tempo run and I felt great, it must have been the blue ultra fast Nike shorts, streamlined holes and all. The best fast run I had had in a long time 11.5k in jus over 52 minutes. I was a little sore at the end, but a little stretching (actually a lot) and i was feeling good later. A very successful run. And a nice way to finish my short vacation.
Back to work today, bah!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

2 Bloggins In One Day!

Yep thats right two bloggins in one day, whats going on? Well this morning I thought about it and then strapped on the Vibrams and decided to baptise them on the trails. I had been out in them on the roads, but htis would be a first. So I took off on the usual trails near me and managed to miss most of the mud and scooted over to the Ardagh Bluffs. I took it easy, but it felt easy too. The Vibrams felt really good on the softer ground, except when I would step on a stick or larger rock. I could feel it, but it wasn't bad. Overall I finished feeling better then most runs lately, I only did 13k, but it was a successful 13k. And the Vibrams passed the trail test with flying colours. I'd be abit concerned with more techinical terrain and rocky stuff, but otherwise it was good. Not sure if I'll get out for a run tomorrow or not, probably in the morning. Then off to TO for the Mogwai show, review to follow! Short but sweet.

Another nice day for a run

I wasn't sure what the expect this morning run wise. The forecast was for cooler temps (11C) and sunny so it might be nice, but compared to yesterday it may feel cool. Also I had no idea what kind of distance I would do. I knew Theo had planned on 28k along the rail trail so I would tag a long and turn around at... whenever, as it is an out and back anyway.
Met up with the usual crew minus Roger who was stil in Cuba!!! There were few others missing too as it was Easter Sunday (Other than chocolate I don't know what all the fuss is about).
So it Theo, Nancy, Terry and myself and it was a nice day for a run, and very uneventful. Terry and Nancy turned around at about 10 - 11k and me and Theo at about 12k. The run back was a little harder as, as usual, I stiffened up on the right side. The pace was a bit quicker than I had been running all weekend and after a weekend of running it was taking its toll. I finished and Theo went on to do another 4k. So it was 24k in about 2:07. Slow for historically, but too fast for the injured me.
I spent the rest of the puttering around the house doing stuff, like puttign the snowblower away (I hope that is not a bad thing to do). To put it away I had to get all the yard furniture out of the shed. So it was a busy time. Later I stretched and tried to loosen up the soreness in the hips. I may have to succumb and make another physio appointment.
Today (Monday) was going to be the last of 4 days of running long, but after yesterday I thought, maybe a rest is what I need. But I woke up this morning feeling really good and I think I will get out for a trail run, I may even wear the vibrams on the trails for the first time.
Also this morning came a cross an article in Runners World's trail edition that talked about hip and back pain, describing my pains to a tee. One of the suggestions they came up with was using a Sacro Wedgy. It was actually something I had looked at in the past. So I searched it on google and went to the website and did some reading etc. With in 20 minutes I had ordered one. I figured I've wasted more money on less in the past so lets give it a try. Stay tuned!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Second Day of a Running Weekend

I was a little apprehensive about todays run for a number of reasons; it was the day after a tough run yesterday, I was still stiff and sore last night, the route I had planned wasn't easy and had more road running than I would have liked, but...
So I took my time this morning, I had no one to meet and could go anytime, it was a little dreary looking this morning and had rained during the night. The forecast was for it to clear and get rather balmy. We shall see! Anyway by about 10 I was ready and off I went after getting some laundry and dishes started. I'm glad i didn't wear too much as it was rather warmer than expected. It was similar start to yesterdays run, down by the swamp, across Ferndale and into the bush. Instead of heading into the subdivision after about half a k I turned right and followed the trail to where I knew it would get steadily more mucky. In past years the water levels had been low so you could almost get through with out getting your feet wet, although I managed to stay dry for the most part through here it didn't stay that way for long. Before the rail tracks it was a sea of water and only one way through, so in I went calf deep and it was cold. I got the tracks and figured the other side would be dry, but no it was more of the same. Oh well it is early and my feet will dry.
After this it was road for a while till the pipeline crossing on Miller. I had to make a decision here, follow Miller upto the top of the hill, and its a big one, or follow the pipeline, still the same hill, but dirt (or more like sand). I followed the pipeline and walked most of it, it was about time for a walk break anyway. Past the dumpI went into the woods and decided to follow a different path, the Nine Mile Portage was signed on trees so I decided to follow it, but the signs are very infrequent and I had to guess a few times. I guessed the right way and came out to the road I needed to get to. Another 2k road stretch before heading into the woods again. Muddy in spots and pools of water here and there to circumnavigate. Down into a ravine and admired the view for a bit. A big old tree on a hill looking very lonely by itself, but very majestic too. Something you see in pictures in a magazine, very nice. I continued on, but instead of taking the high road, you got it, I took the low road knowing that it would come out at Seaton road. up Seaton a short jog to the other side of the trail and this is where it got interesting. This was all new ground for me and I thought I could just wing it. Well after many deadends and trails leading up to "NO TRESSPASSING" signs I kept turning back and ended following a long climb up to an area that was marked and so I followed it. Turns out the No tresspassing signs were for a private golf course, so it wouldn't have been an issue. But better safe than sorry. Eventually I came to an area I recognised and followed it the end of a road, but not before slipping on a plank and ending up in the mud. Ouch that hurt the left knee. It was at this point I noticed the right knee with bloody scratches all over it, ok so they're balanced now. Down the road to Snow Valley Rd and to the east a bit before heading into a new subdivision where the trail picks up again, but where is it, I followed it to the creek but where is the crossing? Oh well I'll just go down and cross over and see if I can find the trail, which I did easily, but still couldn't locate the creek crossing.
This next section is nice single track and the trees are close in. It was quiet and got me to Wilson Drive across from Springwater Park. I was thinking of going on into the park, but decided to sit and relax for a few and enjoy the sun, it was nice and invigorating.
The run back was rather un eventfull, more hills and missed the wrong turns this time. When I got to the end of the road at the north end of the dump area, I decided to just follow the trails straight through as I knew they would come out at the top of Miller. The only problem is that it is like a roller coaster, a big one (see picture).
On Miller Drive I decided to cut through the Hydro right of way to Dunlop, which actually adds a bit of distance, but oh well. along Dunlop to Ferndale to the swamp walk way and back home. I struggled the last few k, although I think most of it is mental. I was a little sore in the right glute and hamstring as usual, but otherwise a good day. 29.5k in 3:06:49.

More to come!

Friday, April 22, 2011

To Sudbury and Back

So I ended up in Sudbury on Wednesday night, although in the morning I wasn't sure that was going to happen as the weather forecast was not good, miserable weather in Barrie, but steadily worse as you went north. sudbury was calling for 15 to 25 cm's of snow. As the morning went on I talked to one of the guys in Sudbury who said it wasn't that bad and it looked like the freezing rain in Parry Sound had changed to rain. So at noon I packed up my things and headed out. It rained to well past Parry Sound, but there was snow on the ground and the further north I went the more there was. There was no pulling over to take pictures as the shoulders hadn't been plowed at all, nor the side roads which looked a mess. It was very pretty up there though.
I arrived in Sudbury just after 3 and noticed that most of the sidewalks seemed to be plowed, so I figured I could go for a run outside instead of hittng the dreaded treadmill. A quick change and off I went. It started snowing again moments after I went out and the sidewalks around the hotel area hadn't been plowed. I soldiered on and accepted the puddles and snow flakes in the eyes, at least I was out running. I did 9k and felt good for it, not a lot but at least was a run. I got showered, changed and off across the road for a awesome steak dinner at the Keg. Afterwards I settled in for the night alying around enjoying the quiet.
I was up early and headed off to the Sudbury hydro one yard and to Meet with Rob, not long after our pilot Paul showed up in the chopper for the ride and we were away.

Stopping in Espanola to pick up Jamie who had arranged the whole trip. We would fly into 4 generating stations to check on demarcation points before heading back. It was a nice day and a great view of the world from that vantage point thats for sure.

It would have taken 12 hours to drive and do what we did in less than four in the helicopter. I was back in Barrie by 4 that afternoon.
This morning was a lazy morning, but I had already been planning on a series of long runs this weekend and it was just a matter of which route to do today. I decided on the bluffs, but unlike the normal run I would run the usual route, then turn around and come back. It started it off good as it was a beautiful morning. The plan was to just take it easy and walk when necessary. I ran till just under 5k where I come across a small creek which i have to stop for to get across as it is straight up on the other side and therefore it was as good an excuse as ever to take a walk break. I ran out to the turn around just before cty Rd. 27 with out seeing a sole, surprisingly considering it is a holiday. Again I ran all the way back to Mapleton and still noone, this is good, hope it stays this way. No such luck, into the bluffs and it was people and dogs galore. Most are ok, but when you come up against a mastiff by it self, its oh oh! The lady owner who was smaller than the dog coralled him and held on. that was the story of the run for the most part, lots of stopping to avoid confronting dogs.
This run seemed to take a long time and I was surprised when I got back that it was already after 12:30. I was struggling the last 5k or so, it just felt hard and my right side was sore from the hamstring down. I finished 25k in about 2 hours and 37 minutes, which seemed very slow, but in the big picture is still where I need to be or maybe even slower. Tomorrow another longer slower trail run, probably in the rain too.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Recovery Days

I was planning on running on Sunday, but with the weather forecast not much better than Saturdays and colder I thought, "I don't need to do this", so I didn't. In the afternoon I got a call from a reporter for the Barrie Examiner who wanted to talk about the RoadRunners, so I told him everything I know and then some. I didn't think to ask about whne or if the article would appear as I don't subscribe to the paper. Oh well that was that. The rest of the day was a matter of hobbling around and I couldn't even do any yoga moves as my knees were swollen and rather sore.
Today was a busy day with meetings at work which included some delicious pizza. I had to leave that one early to head downtown for a meeting with Toronto Hydro at 2:30, who the hell would schedule a meeting at that time of day. It finished at 4:10 so it was going to be a rough ride back to Barrie. On the subway to Yorkdale, then in the car and low and behold the traffic was almost good. Got home at just after 6 and heated up some left overs to get into before 6:30 as I have to fast for 12 hours for my blood tests tomorrow morning. My not quite annual physical comes up next week. Also got an email confirming a work trip upto Sudbury later this week which will include a helicopter ride to view some assets on the Mississagi river, exciting stuff.
On my way home I bandied about the idea of going for a run and as the next couple of days were calling for mre crappy weather I thought I might as well get out tonight as it was just cool and pleasant. So at seven I went out for a mix of road and trails, to Morrow Rd, and up past Leons throught ot Caplan, Mapleton and down into the Ardagh bluffs and back home a nice 11.5k and I felt good through out, glad I went especially when I saw an owl, I grabbed my phone to take a picture but it was long gone.
On this run I started to think about Saturday's run and pull out some of the positives. Well one was that I finished, it was a lot of time on feet, learning to change my perspective in a race after some bad times. You know that when things are badm they will change and get better, at least they should as that is what I have read. The final positive I thought of, but didn't think about on Saturday was the fact that I was eating on the run, something that I haven't been able to do up to now. Over all it was a very good learnign experience.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Hell, Fire & Brimstone... Noah we need an Arc!

Mud, Mud and more Mud, that would be the story of the day at the Seaton Trail Races today Saturday April 16th.
The forecast hadn't looked good all week and for once, unfortunately the weather man got it right. I was up at 4 am as we had to drive to Pickering for the 7 am start. So it started with me picking up Chris Battaglia at the car pool at 5 and to Tims for the usual, and then on to the highway. It was dry at this time of the morning, but as we drove through Toronto the rain was starting. We got to the Pine Ridge high School to pick up our bibs and racekits (a mud puppy t-shirt and Seaton Trail Runners toque! While waiting in line in walked Neil "the Bastard" and Deb Lancia, Deb was doing the 52k like us, but Neil was only there for support and said Sherry Edwards and Gary were coming to do the 29k as well.
After getting ourselves ready it was time to go the starting line where the brave souls all huddled under the protection of a few trees from the rain while we tryed in vain to listen to the Race Directors instructions. In hind site this would have been vaulable information for later, I couldn't hear anything. The race got going about 8 minutes late and off we went into a steady light rain and wind in our face. I started at the back and was surprised at how slow a lot of the runners were going. I was intent on keeping it slow and steady today, walk the hills and whenever I felt like it, but as slow as I was running I was passing many runners from the start until I fell in behind a group of about 5 runners as we hit the single track trails. We ran at a nice easy pace and things felt good, but my left calf was already feelign a little twinge here and there, that would be something to worry about and take note of as the race continued on. At about 2.5k into the race there is the river crossing. It's about 10 metres and about knee deep, but christ its cold. Everyone hesitates before going in, but I didn't and left the group that was with me behind. you get out of the water and your legs are numb. It is hard getting through the river as it is a very rocky bottom and uneven, but as long as your careful...
I ran steadily for a while after the river and was surprised that noone was behind me at this point, at least until the first climb. A tough long sinlge track trail up to the top of the ravine. I had a couple of people pass me as I walked it. At the top the wind was blowing stronger and the mud was a little stickier and deeper. The course had changed a little up here as you ran a long the top of the ravine a bit further and avoided the usual way back down, which was a tough very muddy uneven section. A new path had been cut into the woods to comeback around to the trail, butthis was already becoming a little slick. One positive change was changing the course to avoid the hill that you almost have to climb on hands and knees. You went to the top of the ravine again and through soem very thick mud to an old road which you ran for about half a k to the first aid station 7k in. I didn't stop here as myhandheld was still fairly full and I wasn't at all in need of food. Into some more rolling single track under a bridge and across a field into another ravine. Things weren't so bad here so far. After we passed the last aid station it was over a bridge in a little village and back into the trails ont he other side of the river. It was after we started passing past turn around points that a I started to wonder about how far was this race going to be. After a long stretch on a a gravle path we finally came to the turn around, AT 15k, that would mean we would be doing a 60k race if everyting want as I though. I completed this first leg in 1:10, surprising myself, a little quicker than I was expecting, but I felt good. I had to stop here for a bathroom break as it was the first porta pottie I had seen in a while. Time to spare so take the time. Although a few runners passed me in the time I was "indisposed" once I got going again it was quite a while before I saw another runner going the opposite direction (my competitive mind figuring out how much time between me and the next runner behind, lots).
I quickly found that the footing going back had changed, the more runners that passed the worse the conditions got and the rain had become heavier. we were also now running into the wind. What was once nice and dry or at least a slightly slippery spot would become a quagmire. Some spots were now rivers and others ankle deep mud. My gloves were wet which made my hands cold, sometimes I felt my torso feeling cold too. I had felt good up until about 25 -27k when I started to tire, the mud was sapping my energy and the cold and wet was not hepling either. I walked up the hil to the finish are and found that they had changed it too, now we had to run around a track at the school to the tents on the other side. I had done the first out and back in 3 hours and 22 minutes, I had to look at my Garmin twice! What? 3:22 WTF. I walked the whole way round, made sure they had my number and then went to the car and grabbed my jacket to put over the two wet shirts and vest I was already wearing, not sure whether this was going to help or not. I took off my gloves (two pair) and found the X country ski gloves I have and tried to put them on. I struggled with frozen fingers to get them into the gloves and was worried that this wasn't going to work. I got going again with seeds of doubts growing in my mind, I could get hypothermia, how am I going to finish another 30 k, my fingers are so cold. I walked for a bit to start and took advantage of the downhills I was even walking a lot of the flat parts. I got to the river crossing again and trudged through, now you couldn't see the bottom as the river was white from all the silt washing downstream. This made it tricky to know where you were putting your feet, but I got through and off I went run, walk, walk, run. The mud and water levels getting ever higher, there were rivers of water coming down fromt he sides of the ravine, so that not wading through water was a rarity at times. I passed Chris at about 33k and he wasn't doing well at all. I got to about 34 k thinking that how am I going to get to the turn around and back, I felt like I was going in slow motion as it was, I'd be lucky to finish in 8 hours. 34 to 35k seemed to take an hour, time was almost going backwards. It was moments like this where I would try to think of really good things to occupy my mind and take away the pain etc,
At 40k I ran into Gary and Sherry and talked for a minute about the conditions etc, misery loves company! I was seriously thinking of turning back here, but decided to continue at least to the last aid station. On my way there I ran into another runner coming back who hadn't passed me to long ago, what? Is it possible that they have another turn around earlier thatn I expected. My hope got up and I ran for a long stretch, but I was extremely hungry, very unusual for me in a run of any kind. I got to the aid station and was told, yes, this is the turn around. 42k and 12k to go, I devoured 2 P&B sandwiches and don't like Peanut butter. a couple of potatoes dipped in salt and grabbed some choclate chip cookies for the road. Meanwhile Stefan Kinglos came into the aid station, I had been expecting him to pass me for the last 10k, but he hadn't until now as he left quiclkly. Topped up my water bottle and off I went.
The change in turnaround and a belly somewhat full of food set me off with renewed vigor and quickly caught and passed Stefan. We talked briefly and just kept at it. I knew hed catch me again, he doesn't stop much where I run faster, but walk more frequently. Sure enough he caught up to me again on a walk and I passed him again shirtly there after. At the aid station with 7k to go I walked up the hill after it after I grabbed more chocolate chip cookies a cup of coke and somemore potatoes. I had put some ground between me and Stefan, but as walked up the long hill after the aid station I saw Stefan closing in, not that I was at all worried about him passing. He ran the whole hill to catch up to me and I followed him into the muddddddy farmers field before passing the trash pile going into the woods, yeah nice! This was shoe sucking over your ankles mud.Gradually Stefan left me behind, I knew that I would finish at this point, but it wouldn't be pretty. Back through the river and I hadn't seen Chris again, so assumed he had DNF'd. On my way back I passed a runner going back out to do his third loop on the 50 miler, he looked strong though. Another gent was walking back out too, alon ways to go for him on his "second" loop. THat last 2.5k takes forever, but I finished in about 6:47 and Stefan was only on the other side of the track finishing when I came onto the track so I was happy that I kept him that close. I ran the last leg coming back probably faster than the previous 2 legs so that was good to finish strong. I quickly gathered my stuff and went to the showers. Chris had DNF'd, it wasn't his day and that says a lot for someone like him to dnf it must be bad. A quick Lasagna lunch and off we went. Didn;t hang arund long because I had a massage scheduled for 4 and it was already 2:35. I though I gave my self lots of time to get back to Barrie, but wasn't expecting such a dificult race.
It was dificult and tough, the conditions like I've never experienced in a race before, but I was very happy with the finish and completing this another experince to get me to the end of Burning River in July!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Bosotn Weekend

Yes its Boston weekend and a number of local RoadRunners will be competing again he is a list of the Barrie runners:

Good luck to all and you can track your athletes at the Boston Marathon Web site

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Blogging by Blackberry, a first for me

Well, my 'puter is down and getting some attention from the IT guy here at work. So I have some free time and thought that maybe I can blog from my phone, so here goes and excuse any errors.
Yesterday was a gorgeous day, so I thought that a run from home to the Running Room would be a good idea. My calf had been feeling good since the trail run on Monday so I was willing to give it go. Hey blogging from my phone is actually good as it does spell check etc. Where as blogging from the computer directly doesn't and with my spellin, that's a good thing.
So off I went at about 5:45pm albeit without my phone to listen to tunes as I couldn't find my ear buds! Oh well. Off through the subdivision over to Ferndale. Yes it is very nice out, just a t-shirt and shorts, but still wearing gloves. Yes I am a wimp when it comes to my hands. They get cold really easy. I thought I may have to take them off, but I didn't throughout the run. Running north was a little cool, but once I turned with the wind at my back it was warm. Surprisingly I didn't get down to the RR until about 6:25, just in time to have a pee. Almost 7k at this point and feeling good. We started again, now all ten of us, Rog, Terry, Rick, Hellaina, Chad, Bryan, John, Peter, Bill and me. I had talked them into doing the long Tiffin rte so that I could cut off to homewhen we got to Tiffin and Ferndale. So ran out to Wellington, over the 400 and on to edgehill, still feeling good, but some if our group were pulling ahead. When we got to Ferndal on Edgehill Roger, Hellaina and John took the short rte back! So we continued on and on Miller a few took off again, but I hung back with Rick who is still in recovery mode from running St.Louis this past weekend. On tiffin we regrouped at Ferndale which was my cue to turn right and head home, so after wishing Boston bound Bill good luck I ran the remaing couple of kilometres home and finsihed feeling good. A successful 16.76k averaging a 5:02 pace. A good days run!

Monday, April 11, 2011

First Trail Run of the Year.

Put my new Sportiva Raptors on and out the door I went for the first trail run of the year. Although it was very windy out and not as warm as it was, one of the many good things about trail running is the wind has little effect on the run. As was today's run. The first part of the run past Ferndale was very wet dodging mega puddles was a challenge and much mud was stepped in. After crossing Ardagh and getting into the more wooded areas, snow was more visible, actually it was more like ice. The trails were definitely soft and cushy and it was a change to run the hilly trails which felt very good and challenging. Surprisingly I only came across one person and his dog on the trails, and the dog kept his ground. I had a laugh at the guy walking his dog with beer in hand. soem of the trail where there was less exposure to sunlight etc. deeper in the bush ahd a lot more snow on them, but they were still runable. The biggest obstacle were the various trees down here and there. But it was a good run except for switching the garmin off part way through and forgetting to switch it back for about 3k. Oh well. 13k, in about 1:15. The start of a long season of trail running.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A good Sunday Run

I was a little apprehensive this morning, not sure what t expect from my calf, but at the same time thinking that if I took it easy I would be ok. I met up with Roger, Terry, John, and Alan and started on a nice easy pace. Gradually letting the rest pull ahead except for Roger who was quite happy to lag behind with me. Roger has also been dealing with a few calf problems so I was in good (or bad) company, well misery loves company!
we ran out to the 5th/6th similar to last week and it was a very pleasant morning for a run, not too warm and definitly not cold like it has been. We turned up the 1st line and headed towards the highway and were running along at a decent pace, but taking a break at each 5k point. We changed up the plan a little approaching the Gore Rd., and decided to head that way to hwy 93 before heading back into town. I wasn't too worried about distance, it was about getting in a decent run pain free. By the time we got to 93 it was raining more steadily, which felt good as we both like running in the rain. Onto Georgian Drive, past the hospital and down Duckworth to Rose headed back on various roads to finish 21k in about 1:52 feeling none the worse for wear albeit a little soggy.
About 3/4 of the way trhough our run, Roger joked about that he can just see us a bout 50 yards from the store and we'll have a crack of thinder and it will down pour on us. Funny thing is he wasn't far off. About 50 yards to go and there was a bit of lightning and thunder, but the rain just stayed steady. A good run today. Made me feel confident for my trail race next week. Get to try out my new Sportiva Raptor trail shoes tomorrow. Hopefully the trails are clear, at least somewhat.

Rooting for Others

Yes I'll still be running this morning, but I'll alos be keeping my fingers crossed for RickyMac in St. Louis trying to get a 3:29 time in the Marathon to qualify for Boston, KevO is pacing him. God luck to them and TMac in the race. Also racing today is Theo all the way over in Holland running the Rotterdam Marathon, hope you have a good one Theo. They've all been running so well it shouldn't be an issue.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A Down Week in More Ways Than One

So after getting through last weekends long runs and having a sore left calf, I thought it would be a good time to have a down week (mileage wise). Thinking about the couple of high mileage weeks I had just done, I figured it was about due.
So no run on Monday or Tuesday, just some stretching and some core work etc.
Wednesday would just be an easy run with the group and I wouldn't even run from home. So getting ready on Wednesday I got this thought that maybe I'd run with the Vibrams on tonight. It was nice out, probably warm enough, so what the heck! In the back of my mind a tiny voice was saying "you may want to think this through first". I didn't and off I went. One thing I was thinking about was that forefoot striking was apt to make the calf muscle work harder, and I have a sore calf muscle. Its ok I'll be all right.
So off we went and ran up Owen to the top and I felt great, but coming down the other side, not quite so good. I started to feel my calf a bit, but it wasn't bad. So I backed off and took it slower, eventually settling in at an easy pace with Rick. We took a walk break on Penetanguishene Road before continuing on, by this time everyone else had disappeared. We finihsed on the rail trail and still managed a fairly quick 5:02/km average pace. The Vibrams felt good and other than a rather stiff calf I felt good.
Thursday again I just did stretching, yoga and exercises. I was planning on a little speed play, but thought the better of it, the only smart move of the week!
Friday I felt ok and thought that a run with the group would be ok, so we headed out and I did feel good as we bounded along Eccles and Innisfil St's. But when we turned on to Holgate a slight tightness started in the calf again. By the time we got to the end of Holgate I had to stop and walk as the pain was more acute. Roger saw me walking and turned back to walk with me, I told him to go on, but as he has also been going through some tough runs lately he was ahppy to just keep me company. We walked for a while and tried a short run, but it wasn't feeling good so I kept walking. We had to avoid all the dog crap that Brian's dog had left behind on the sidewalk on Burton. He runs with his dog and his dog is good, but he forgets to look behind him to check on what his dog is doing, sometimes draggin her while she tried to crap.
Anyway, on to the path along the lake we walked to just past the Southshore community centre and I decided to try it again and this time it was ok, tender but ok. We ended up running all the way back with out dificulty.
Still averged only a 6 min/k pace.
I learned two things from this week, 1) no vibrams while I'm hurting or recovering 2) no speed work while doing the same. Hopefully I'll be able to run a nice slow long run on Sunday, we shall see.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sunday Recovery "Long" run

Another Sunday morning and off to the Running Room for a run with the usual suspects, but I was sure today I wouldn't see much of them. After 41k yesterday I was going to take it easy and just do my own thing and it wasn't long before they were disappearing into the sun... rise I guess, not sunset like the cowboys do. Alan stuck with me I was going more his pace around about 5:15 - 5:25 pace. At 5k I took a break and I guess it too long for Alan as he took off. I think he figured I would catchup and probably would have, but the call of nature required that I water the brush. We went out to the 5/6th side road and back around with the intent of coming back on Georgian Dr., but I found the wind irritating again and as everyone else but Alan were just a blip on the horizon, I figured 16k would be good enough today and headed back down the first line. I assumed I'd run into others on this popular route, but know one was to be seen, just me and all my friends today. I looked behind at one point and saw that Alan had doubled back and followed me, but I wasn't going to stop and wait at his point. Just get back and get it done. And that was how it ended, short and sweet 16k. Felt ok, maybe a little tired.

Ontario Ultra Series Warm up Event

Well today would be a test of my recently gimpy left calf and how well I could pace myself. It was the Ontario Ultra Series Spring Warm Up event and it would by my first time attending this informal fun run. I thought this would be a good chance to see how I'm doing on what was advertized as a rather hilly run. Hilly was an understatement!
I picked up Catherine and Bill up at 7:30 and off we went west to Dunedin. I thought Dunedin was a place in Florida where the Bluejays play in the spring, but this Dunedin (tiny place) was established in 1834 according to the sign on the way in. It should be noted that the village is in a valley and the only way out is up!!! We got there early and mingled with some of the other early arrivals, talked to a few that had done Burning River last year So talked to them, one lady Sharon Zelinski said that she didn't like the fact that she had never chafed as much in her life and in as many places either. The humidity was what caused it for her, and others. Myself I chaf less in the humidity as I sweat so much it aacts as a lubricant, so...

Anyway the race got off to a late start (only by a few minutes), but off we went down the main street, before turning up, and I mean up the first left, we climbed, more or less for 2k, a few quick downhills thrown in for good measure too. I ran with Bill and Catherine for a bit, but kept leaving them behind so I would double back to them and do the same again over and over for a bit. We were probably the last few on the course at this point. Eventually we would turn left again on a "road" that was not maintained in the winter and there was still lots of snow on it, about part way through on this road I was thinking maybe I should have worn trail shoes today. Oh well too late now.

Out of a small ravine we came out of the snow to continue on what was now a dirt road, this took us to County Rd. 9 and another climb to the Noisy River trail (part of the Bruce Trail). this was also mostly snow covered, slightly muddy and down hill to start. The downhill was rather tricky as it was slippery. down to the Noisy River and over a small wooden walking bridge. The other side of the trail went straight up a icy/snowy hill. There were a number of us at this point and we were scrambling which ever way we could to get up the hill, at what we thought was the top it was just snow covered. THe hill continued on around the corner and we climbed some more before coming to a break in the trail where another non maintained road cut across. At this point there is a choice follow the trail or turn right on the "road". everyone in front was taking the trail so I followed. This turned out to be the tougher of the 2 alternatives and regretted it to a certain degree, yes it was very pretty back there, but the snow was bothering my calf and I thought I was going to do some damage. It took along time to get through the trail with people walking in front when it didn't seem necessary, and you couldnt pass. if it wasn't snowy it was icy. Eventually we came out on another small road and followed this to larger road. This last road flowed downhill steepily for about 3k to Dunedin again. Again I was afraid of going to fast down the hill and doing damage to my calf. But it held up alright. I stopped quickly in the community centre for a pee and some munchies, there wasn't much else to eat. A hand ful of chips and I was off, I grabbed a Lara bar out of my camelback and ate it as I started the second loop, again more of the same except the wind was getting stronger. At the decision point on the Bruce trail I opted for the road. It was staright up for about 1k so a walk break was welcomed, but even walking up it was tough. I turned on the townline and followed it to the last road back to the community centre again. The townline was good, a rolling dirt road and other than the lady walking her dogs, that weren't to friendly, whats it take to carry a leash and put them on it when you see someone, or even to call your dog to you when it is barking 3 inches from my leg. This was a quiet run.
After the 2nd loop I figured I had at least another loop in me and decided to change tops, getting off the sweaty stuff and to fresh clothes make a big difference. Other than a bit more walking the third loop was again uneventful, hardly saw a sole out there, thought I'd take a road which I wasn't sure would get me to where I was going (it didn't), so had to turn back. Finally finished with 41k under my belt, feeling good after 5 + hours. A rather successful day. Bill and Catherine finished 2 loops and seemed happy with that.