STRAVA Summary

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sulphur Springs Trail Run - 50 Mile

Wow, I forgot what stiff sore really is until this morning. Its the day after the 50 mile race at the Sulphur Springs trail runs, and I'm having a hard time moving around. It just goes to show you what some rather big hills and a lot of mud will do to your body when running 50 miles.
Bill Lovett and Catherine Harding picked me up Friday evening for the drive down to Burlington and our hotel for the night, a rather uneventfull drive and evening watching what we could of the hockey game before settling in for the night, we couldn't stay up for the 3rd period. It just so happened Tracy and Lorna were in the same hotel just down the hall from us.
It was an early 4am start to the day on Saturday and I hadn't slept to well as usual. but we left for Ancaster and got there with about 25 minutes to spare. Bill was doing the 50k and din't start till 7:30 so he would spend his spare time setting up a tent for our gear etc.
We saw Deb Lancia was doing her first 100 miler and Brian doing his first 50k. Also ran into Chris McPeake and chatted briefly, another 100 mile runner. So at 6 am we started, the 100 and 50 milers all together and down the huge hill to start. The course had changed in a few spots this year, the main change being the start finish area, which was much better, but and this is a big but, the finish area was at the top of this huge hill which had to be half a k long and very steep. We would have to climb it 4 times!
So the first couple of k would take us onto the old route and things became familiar. It was very foggy and damp, some rain trying to come down, but a perfect day for running. I would try to take my time and run easy, as usual I found it hard to stop and take a walk break here and there and probably didn't other then the hill until about an hour in. Eventually I would find myself by myself, not very uncommon in runs I do for some reason. Generally the course consists of a 20k loop divided into two seperate loops, a very pretty setting int he Dundas Valley Conservaton area. A lot of old growth forest.
I felt good through out the first loop and knowing that I was faster than I needed to be (remember this is only supposed to be a training run), I knew I would take the next loops slower. After walking the big hill into the finish area for the turn around I was at 2:05, way faster than I expected. I didn't need anything from the tent so I just ran through. My Camelback was working really well and I had lots of gels and S caps to keep me going. If I had a complaint about anything it was my shoes, the Sportiva Raptors were a heavy shoe and with the wet and the mud they were getting heavier. That would come into play later.
The second loop was the where I started to unravel a bit. Now we had the 25k and 50k runners with us and it was getting busy on the trails. I saw Tracy a few times, but never came across Catherine or Bill. Bill was going to do his first 10k, then wait for Catherine and run the next 40k with her to pace her. The second loop was becoming increasingly slicker, muddier and just plane tougher. I was starting to struggle a bit and walking became more the norm. My mind wasn't in a good place and was surprised it was happening so early. Having said that, it was alos surprising when I cam into finish the second loop only 15 minutes slower than the first. I refueled my camel back and off I went. Not long afterwards I realized that I had forgot to pack more gels. I had 1 left to get me through this lap, fingers were crossed. the aid stations were quite well stocked so it wasn't a problem. At the bottom of the hill at the start of the third loop, there was a 50k runner a head of me and I recognized his odd stride, so I caught upto him and asked him if he was Shawn Shryer from SUdbury and he was, he seemed surprised that I knew him, but when I explained that I knew quite a few of the people he runs with from Sudbury and had run against him before, we started chatting for a while. This helped while a way a bit of time, befoer I told him I had to walk for a bit and wished him luck. This part of the third loop was a dark place too and I was having a hard time. The aid stations were good and that helped. The last one was the best lots of folks including the legendary Monica Scholz, althoguh this was the last aid station it was also the second last as you had to go out on another loop from here, whihc was basically up hll all the way out and downhill all the way back, with a final half k to the finish. Finishing the 3rd loop I decided to change shoes and my shirt, I cam in and Sharon Zelinski asked if was going to do the victory lap, of course I said, just have to change first. It was amazing what a change of shoes and socks could do and apparently a change of shirt. Sharon said the salomon shirt was much faster for me. I headed out again before realizing I had forgot my gels again, so back I went, retocked and off on to lap four.
I think the the shoes and the thought that this was the last lap really changed how I felt, I felt charged up and ran well for the last lap. Initially I was totally alone, unlike the previous laps there was not to many runners out there now, a few 50kers and the rest 100 and 50 milers. This where I really noticed that I was running better as I was passing many runners and even lapping some. I was still taking walk breaks, but found myself pushing the flat and downhills more. On the second half of the loop I cauhgt up to and passed a girl I would later find out whos name was MayLou Corino. For the rest of the race we would pass each other I would pass her when I was running and then she would pass me on my walks. We would chat about the course here and there, but I think we helped each other through that second half. Just before the second last aid station I thought I spotted Cath and Bill, Sure enough it was so we chatted for a bit before I headed off again. Into the last hilly loop with MaryLou and she left me behind as I walked with some food in hand from the aid station. Now she was a head of me it pushed me to cathc her again, which I wasn't sure was possible at this point. We were still passing more runners and this agian made me feel good too. On the last hill in this loop, which was long and muddy My walking must have been faster than Marylou's as I caught her on the top of the hill, we walked most of the trail around the farm fields before headin gto the forest again and down into the ravine, mostly downhill to the final aid station. I left MaryLou behind at this point and I had run out of fluid in my camelback too, but it wasn't far to that last aid station. I fille dup with a couple of cups of gatorade and water and off I ran. to the final push up the hill, which I wakled again. I looked around a little ways up the hill and saw Mary Lou about 50 m's behind, and called on her to pass me on the hill, she laughed. I finised in 9:29, which was faster on the much easier run to Wasaga and back a few weeks ago, so I was very happy with that. Mary Lou was not far behind in 9:30. Thanks for the push!
That Guinness tasted good after I was done. I watched the rest of the runners coming (and going for the 100 milers) and talked to Brian and he had a great 5:18 time for his 50k, he said Deb was doing well

. I told him I had seen her a few times and she seemed very up beat.
Chris Battaglia had run 6:05 and was running the 6 hour race at Mansfield on Sunday too, crazy!
Catherine finished her 3rd loop and called it a day, her feet were a mess and she hadn't trained much do to illness lately.

Waiting around they started the awards for the 50 mile race and they announced the winner in the 50+ group as David Bohn, I had race against David in my first 50k at Haliburton. Kevin had come first, me second and David 3rd. We had chatted with him and his wife for a few hours afterwards. So went up and talked tp them both again and they remembered me. David asked why I hadn't won the race, I laughed and explained the injury issues and the prupose of this race as a training run only. One othe people with him was JD Begin who is also doing Burning River, so we talked for a bit too.

I saw Deb finish her 4th loop loking very strong. Gailanne Joachim finished the 50 mile race in a PB 11:06, great job. Another Burning River runner this year.
Over all a good day and happy with the result. Just have to deal with this case of DOMS now.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Burning River Training Run Part 1.

12 hours of driving for a training run, some would think I am crazy. Of course many already do. Either way I had decided that it was necessary to go down to Ohio and take part in at least one of the organized training runs for Burning River. This one was the first and would encompass the first 19 miles of the course. The only other one I can make is the last one, which funny enough, takes in the last part of the course. Still debating on whether or not I’ll get to that one yet.
Roger had backed out of making it for the run, as work had not gone well in Marysville and it looked like he was going to be stuck there until at least late Saturday. But a funny thing happened on the way to …
Joan and myself had left Barrie at about 2 pm, shortly after she got off work and it turned out to be a fairly good drive. The border crossing went very well. I decided to try the Rainbow bridge for a change and low and behold there was no one in front of me. Scooted through quickly and on our way down I190 to I 90 and off to Cleveland. Just passed Erie Joan’s phone rang, the number was a Tennessee number so we ignored it. With in seconds my phone rang and it was the same number, so I answered it. It was Roger and he said he would make it after all and would meet us at the hotel at about 10 pm.
We arrived shortly after 8 and after unpacking walked over to the Olive Garden for dinner, that was good! At exactly 10 the phone rang and sure enough punctual Roger was very much so. We went down stairs to meet him and discussed the following days plans. We would meet at 5:30 and head to the arranged meeting spot.
I didn’t sleep well, the room was too warm although the bed was very comfy. Got up and ate my oatmeal and got all my gear together, met Roger downstairs and off we went in Rogers company car. We managed to find the Shadow Lake picnic area quite easily, but were the first ones there so naturally started questioning whether or not we were in the right spot. Gradually others started showing and socializing for a bit we all jumped into a couple of vehicles and headed to the start area at Squires Castle.
There were about 30 runners ready to run the course on a nice morning. We were lucky as apparently it had rained for the past 2 weeks straight. A couple of the runners were doing 40 miles as one was celebrating his 40th birthday. After a few instructions on the protocol for the run, we left at a very nice and slow pace. The plan was to run a 6 minute k at the fastest and settled in at about a 6:10 or slower pace. The first part of the course (9.6 miles) is all road and it was very pretty area and beautiful houses and horse ranches all along the route. The first aid station is in Gates Mills, a very small pretty town where we regrouped as some runners ran off faster and others were slower. After a quick break we back on the run for the next 4.8 miles to Polo fields, again this was similar to the first 4.8 miles on rolling hills. Before we knew it we were at the halfway mark, where again we regrouped and refueled. From here we hit the trails, which started off as a bridle trail which was a little rougher than I thought it would be and Jim Chaney, the organizer, said there was a river crossing coming up soon. We spent a lot of the time chatting to others as we ran talking about our approach to Ultras and what our “secrets” were. Before the first water crossing (yes first), Roger had to take a bathroom break and this gave me a good opportunity to take a long walk break. The sun was getting warm and we had hit the trails at a good time, it was much cooler in the bush.
Not long after Roger rejoined me we hit the first river crossing. As it turned out it was more of a stream, but we still go tour feet wet. Through out this third section of the undulating trail we would cross the same stream, six times in all I think. Before long we had arrived at Harpers Ridge aid station where one gentlemen had left his vehicle loaded with goodies and water for everyone. Soon we were off again and on to the shortest section of the days run to Shadow Lake. This would also be the muddiest. It was more downhill than the last section but everyone was surprised by all the mud. There were also a lot of deer tracks on the trail. We actually scared one up in front of us.
We finished the run in about 3 hours and 15 minutes, about an hour faster than I plan on runner the actual race, so that made me feel good knowing that I was “taking it easy”.
Over all a good run and well worth the drive. Even Roger enjoyed running it even though he is foreign to trail running. He is looking forward to the next one. I believe he is almost as excited about the race as I am.

Friday, May 20, 2011

A Little Spot of Trouble

Ohoh,I shouldn't have done that. Yeah well its too late now. Las tnight I decided to throw in an extra run, since the run on Wednesday was so crappy. So I got home and noone was home so yes, lets get out for a decent trail run. The only error of judgement was deciding to use my Vibrams. I hadn't used them in quite a few weeks and thought, "yeah it won't be a problem running about 13k with them, I ran at least that much last time"! Wrong!
I ran the trails and it felt really good, it was quite warm, humid in fact. But once I had crossed over Ardagh and onto the trails past the pipeline right of way I felt little twinges in the right calf, which seems to be my achilles heel at times. I ran on as it was just a bit of irritation. Came across Chad on the trails and we stopped and talked shortly, before I headed off again. I had tld him of the irritation and said to him I would turn around at the next corner, I didn't, Not that it would have mattered the strain would have come at some point regardless. I turned around thats when it hit, a sharp pain in the calf that stopped me in my tracks. I couldnt move, I tried to walk on it and it was no go. So I massaged it for a bit and that helped I walked again and the walking seemed to help the mr I wlked th ebetter it felt, but not enough to try running.
I got home an iced, but some Dr. Hoys magic potion on it and had some dinner. I had too much to do to sit around, so I mowed the lawn, go the Garbage ready and everything packed for the weekend. Finally sat down to relax after my shower and more icing, and sitting.
Hopefully everything will be ok for Saturday mornings trainng run. Roger has already backed out as he is stuck working longer than he thought he would. Lets hope it all works out.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A New Hydration Vest and Three days rest!!

Yes I picked up a new hydration vest today, I had seen the new Salomon vest advertised and it seemed to perfect, but I wanted to try it on and as Running Free had it and I was going to be in that area on Wednesday I thought I would pay them a visit. I tried it on and bought it. It was a little expensive as far as vest go, but it is $30 cheaper than in the US. I talked to the guy at the cash and he said he trail tested it last year at UTMB and loved it. Good enough for me. See pic:

I figured that three days off after running 50 miles was probably a good thing if not a good reward for doing it, but by Tuesday I was already itching to run. Wednesday was the day when I would actually get out for a run and I was sure that I would get out the door just float along the road. Well not quite. I decided that I would a longish midweek run in and run down to the Running Room again, I had already decided that it was a down week so there was no pressure to go nuts. I left the house with my new hydration vest and as soon as I got on the road I felt lethargic and started feeling aches all over. Running felt difficult! I tried to run easy, but you know me, it was more of what felt comfortable, but nothing felt comfortable to day. It was a nice day if not a bit humid, and I was dripping wet by the time I completed my 4.6k down to the Running Room. After a quick rest stop we grouped together and decided on the Owen loop, up the hill we went, Theo, Terry, Dr. John, Little John, Rick, Rhonda and myself. Not long after starting the usual groups splintered off with me and Rick at the back. Rick was just coming off the Toronto Marathon and would be doing the Whitby Marathon this coming weekend, so he was taking it easy too. This part of the run didn’t improve my feelings at all and the humidity seemed to get worse. I finished off with the Rick said good bye to the group and off I trudged home. I finished the 19k not feeling good about the run and wondering if it was because I had taken too much time off! Who knows. When I got home it was more of the same as I felt very tired, showered and lay on the couch for a while.

On a positive note, the vest worked very well. It felt a little tight at first, but like a lot of things I try eventually I didn’t even notice it. A two thumbs up for this item, which I will probably where in Burning River. It only carries 1.5 litres as opposed to the older one I have which carries 2 litres, but I figure I won’t need as much because of all of the aid stations. This weekend I think I will go with the older one as I will want to carry more.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

T-Shirt Ettiquette

T-Shirt Etiquette (courtesy of

Humerous look at the wearing of Race T-shirts -Particularly from an Ultra perspective.
In the ultra running community the wearing of race T-Shirts has become a sign of accomplishment and fashion. Choosing just the right T-Shirt for that special occasion can be a daunting and difficult task. The following guidelines have been compiled (in fun) to help the responsible T-shirt wearer avoid potential embarrassment and/or elevate their status.

1. A shirt cannot be worn unless the wearer has participated in the event. (crew, significant others and volunteers are exempt)

2. Any race, less than a marathon distance, shouldn't be worn to an ultra event. It simply doesn't represent a high cool factor and sends a red flag regarding your rookiness. If you set a PR at Pikes Peak Marathon, definitely wear that shirt whenever possible.

3. When returning to a race in which you previously finished, then wear the shirt from the first year you completed the race. Don't short change yourself by wearing the shirt from the year before. It doesn't adequately display the feat of accomplishment or the consummate veteran status that you are due.

4. Never wear a race shirt from the race you are about to run. It displays a lack of running integrity and might put the mojo on you.

5. Wearing a T-shirt of the race, while currently running said race, is discouraged. It's like being at work and constantly announcing "I'm at work". Besides, you wont have the correct post race shirt then.

6. Never wear a shirt from a run that you did not finish. To wear it is to say I finished it.

7. A DNF'er may wear a race shirt if... the letters DNF are boldly written on the shirt in question.

8. During a race the wearing of shirt from a previously completed year is acceptable. Wear the oldest T-shirt you have (see guideline #3). This is probably a good practice because you now have no excuse to drop out since you've done it before.

9. Runners should buy all crew members and, as appropriate, significant others (they let you run the race in the first place) T-shirts which can be worn without regard to running the race. (see guide #1)

10. Volunteers have full T-shirt rights and all privileges pertaining thereto.

11. No souvenir shirts therefore friends or anyone else not associated with the race may not wear a race shirt. If mom thinks that the Leadville shirt is lovely, tell he to send in her application early for next year so she can earn her own.

12. Wear the race shirt of your last race at the current race pre race briefing. The more recent the race the better. This is a good conversation starter. However avoid the tendency to explain how that it was a training run for this, and this is just a training run for the next, etc. It just sounds like your rationalizing mediocre performances. Sometimes it's best to live in the here and now. ("I've never been more prepared for a race! this is the big one!)

13. It must be clean (dried blood stains are okay)

14. If you've finished Hardrock 100 then wear it as often as possible, since the race is so damn hard.

15. Never wear a T-shirt that vastly out classes the event you're running (exception: see guideline #14) Example: Never wear a Western States 100 T-shirt at, say, Cool Canyon. Too many roadies will feel put down. It's okay to wear a WS100 or Leadville or Wasatch T-shirt at ultrarunner cult events such as Gibson Ranch or Jim Skophammer 24. It's probably not okay to wear your Trans-America footrace T-Shirt to your local around-the-lake Fat Ass 50k unless you want to psyche out the competition.

A corollary: never wear a blatantly prestigious T-shirt downtown. People will just think you have a big head, which you do.

If you don't know what things like DNF, WS100 or Crew are then you shouldn't wear any race shirt until you know what they mean.

T-shirts must be used sensitively. Worn responsibly, they can help expand one's consciousness and immerse you in a great conversation with your ultra brethren. Worn stupidly, they can cause blisters, vacant stares, sprained ankles, and cause social anxiety.
NOTE: Publicly these guidelines will be denied and possibly ridiculed by ultra runners, but privately and when discussed confidentially, they sing a different tune.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Wasaga Beach is Dreary When it Rains

Wasaga Beach is not the place to go when the weather is miserable, but it wasn’t a bad place to run to when the weather is wet. All in all I had a great run on Saturday, but it would never have been accomplished without the organizing of Joe Polcz. Joe put this together a while ago for two reasons, one to help out Catherine Harding in her goal to run 100 miles at the Vermont 100 in July and to try and prove that it is possible to run 50 miles with little training and on his crazy fueling method, Stroopwaffles! Joe had invited whoever wanted to show to run or help out, so I jumped at the chance to get in a 50 miler.
Either way things didn’t quite go as planned, firstly Catherine got sick and backed out at the last minute (actually the night before). At this point I thought it would be just me and Joe and biggest concern was trying to run with Joe all the way. That morning I arrived at Joe’s house and mentioned to him that I would run with him as much as I could, but probably wouldn’t be able to run his pace all the way. Another surprise was Victoria Northcott and Donnie Ellis showing up to run with us. They weren’t sure how far they were going to go, but it would be good to have company for part of the trip. Joe’s wife Joanne was going to run out 5k and turn around too. Apaarently there were a number of people who had offered to support us through out the run, but at this early hour only Joan VH showed to help out.
At approximately 6:10 we headed down the street to start the run, and right off the bat it was obvious that my idea of a slow run and Joe’s were quite substantially different, he would do 10 and 1’s were I would run and walk when ever I felt like I needed. Victoria and Donnie were a head right a way and I ran with them but would turn back to or stop when Joe did, allowing him to catch up. It was a foggy morning and slightly humid, but nice for running. Livingstone to Sunnidale to Wilson Drive and then a long straight run. Joanne turned around at about Carson Road and we said our goodbye’s, we were now four. Victoria and Donnie would continually drift ahead and stop for us to catch up, at times I go ahead and turn around to help out Joe. By the time we reached Anten Mills at Horseshoe Valley Road it was trying to rain. A couple of more turns and we on the road to Phelpston, so far so good and we rolled into Phelpston at 20k all feeling good. Victoria and Donnie and decided that they would do 30k and get a ride back from there.
The road from Phelpston was a long haul, at least 5 or 6k long without a turn, this is where I started running with V & D and left Joe behind to be supported by Joan. Not long after Brian Chew showed up to help out with support which would work out well having 2 support vehicles for 2 groups or 2 runners, but as it turned out Brian would take V & D back after the 30k point and not return. When I left Joe it was the last I would see of him until I turned back.
Turning off the road from Phelpston was a relief, but the next road (Vigo) was not much better, it went on forever. After V & D went back it was a lonely run, but at the same time I like that. Other than crossing Hwy 92,it was a nice quiet peaceful run, I struggled a at few points on the way out, but took numerous walk breaks. Just after dropping V &D I ran into someone who had just parked their SUV off the road and was standing there in running gear. She asked me if I was running with a group and I said yes. Turned out Sylvia was waiting to run with Joe to Wasaga and back for a 20k run. She had been waiting for over an hour. Running into Wasaga Beach picked up my spirits, but it is a long run into the Beach. On the way in I was surprised to see Steen pass by and pull over. He had everything but the kitchen sink. At the turn around I grabbed a change of shirts, found a public wash room to warm up and change. It seemed quite a bit cooler in Wasaga and the change of shirts and adding my vest warmed me up some. I refueled my camel back and had a bit to eat and then off I went again, I had put in 40.7k at this point.
It took a awhile to warm up again once I got going, but gradually the warm feeling came back, especially after turning on Vigo Road again. The temperature seemed to go up instantaneously 5 degrees. Before leaving the Beach I ran into Joe and Sylvia at the 42k mark, Joe said the turn around was as far as he was going. Again this was a long stretch on Vigo and played with my mind a lot, I was suffering a bit. At about 50k there was a large dog that had sort of chased us on the way out and I was worried that being by myself that I would have to fend for my self against this “7 foot tall, 300 pounder”. I mentioned to Joe, who was now riding with Joan to keep an eye out for me. Sure enough I wasn’t at the property when the monster saw me and beared down on me, charging across the yard and to the road, stopping ten feet away to bark, snarl and bear its teeth at me. Joe and Joan backed up their truck to get between me and the hound from hell and that seemed to throw off the dog. He turned around and off he went in one direction me the other.
Turning back on the road to Phelpston it was up hill for a long stretch and walked a fair bit of it. But after taking a break past Crossland Road, I felt invigorated and ran all the way into Phelpston, running felt better than walking at this point. I took advantage of the support crew and asked them to get me a bottle of coke as I was craving it again. Never drink pop normally, but in a long run of this magnitude I crave the stuff. I seemed to give me a boost and ran well from there on in, still taking walk breaks but feeling good. It was at about this point that I realized that if I kept this up I would finish with a negative split.
Back on Wilson drive out of Anten Mills I had another dark spot, I walked through it and then down hill to the flat part of Wilson Drive again made me feel good. Up the next hill to Hwy 26, down the next, walked up to Snow Valley Road and ran into Cindy Marcelli who said I looked great, Thanks Cindy! The next or last 7k or so went by well I walked up a bit of the hill to Carson Road, but ran most of the way back to finish in 9 hours and 37 minutes. A 25 minute negative split! I was very pleased at finishing so strong and on top of that felt great on Sunday, I felt like I hadn’t even run. A very successful run that has really boosted my confidence and spirits prior to both Sulphur Springs in 2 weeks and Burning River. This coming weekend I’ll be off to Ohio to run the first Burning River Training run on Saturday morning, other than that it will be a down week, with only a little bit of running. Thanks to all who helped out on Saturday, it was agreat.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Mid Week Roundup

Well it’s a couple of days away from Joe Polcz pseudo 50 mile “fun” run from Barrie to Wasaga Beach and back. I am sure I am ready for it, although I wonder about the others that are attempting it. I’m still not sure who is, I know Catherine is and Joe, but beyond that I am sure that anyone else attempting to run will be only doing part of the distance.
Another thought is that I will be running most if not all by myself as I can’t run as slow as the others and I have been working on slower running, but I enjoy running by myself anyway.
The lead up to Saturdays run has been rather uneventful, I’ve had two runs this week, I took off Monday as a rest day which I definitely needed. Tuesday was a trail run through the bluffs on the regular route, but it felt hard. Last night I ran down to the Running Room, although initially I had planned on just driving down, but with the price of gas and all I figured what the hell and ran anyway. I again felt sluggish running down there, but when we started as a group it was a good comfortable run, or at least I thought it was. When I looked at my Garmin I realized we were doing a 4:45/km pace, a little fast for a longish midweek run. So I backed off and when I stopped for a walk Roger also stopped as well. We walked for a bit and got going again, but never really backed off the pace to much as the runners in front of us never got much further ahead. At Tiffin I cut away and headed home. 15k or so done. Not a bad run, but not the best either.
As part of my training I have been looking at going down to Ohio to run at least one of the Burning River group training runs that are scheduled on various parts of the course. I had planned on doing this last year, but never got a round to it. Maybe that was a premonition of what was to come. So this year I made it a priority to make it to at least one. As it turns out I can only make it to 2 of the 5 dates, the first one on May 21st and the last one on July 10th. Not sure about going to the last one yet, but we shall see. As for the first one, which runs the first 18.6 miles of the course, I have registered and booked a hotel so its now just a matter of getting down there and if anyone will come with me. Oliver had expressed some interest, but can’t now and Joan has found out that she has the Saturday off so it looks like she will come if she can make arrangements for her Friday shift. And last night Roger tells me he is in Ohio for work all next week and may join me. That would be good too.
Anyway next blog will come after the 50 mile run to Wasaga and back, talk to you then.

Monday, May 9, 2011

T - 12 weeks

I seem to be finding that with all the running and a busy work schedule that blogging seems to be put way down on the priority list. So each time I blog its like trying to catch up with a weeks worth of activities, well not exactly, but it feels like it.
It’s just a little less than 12 weeks to Burning River and 3 weeks to Sulphur Springs and the 50 miler and after this past weekend I am feeling more confident about how things are going and how I am feeling, although the seeds of doubt always seem to be there.
Next Saturday is the Barrie to Wasaga and back 50 mile run organized by Joseph Polcz, not sure how I am going to approach it, but probably more of the same, slow and steady with lots of the required walking. Also I’m not sure how many runners will be participating, may only be a couple of us so I am sure I will be running by myself for most of it, which is what I have been doing for the most part anyway. I enjoy the solo runs especially when I have something to listen to. The following weekend is the first Burning River group run on the first 19 miles of the course, I have been thinking about going down for it as it will be very beneficial, but it may be a lonely drive as it seems no one is available to come down with me. A small sacrifice for something that I think is important. I wanted to do one last year and didn’t, I think that that was a sign. So this year it has become important. The only two I can make are the first and last one. The last one being on July 10th and running the last part of the course to the finish, another valuable run to get in. Just not sure I want to go down again that close to the race. We shall see.
As for this past mothers day weekend? Friday night or evening had a run with KevO, Oliver and Gregg, 10k that I felt pushed to hard, one of the problems of running with a group. You feel like you have to keep up with the others. Eventually I backed off did my own thing, still felt like a struggle.
Saturday was my longest solo run ever, 57k. It was a nice day and almost 1k into it I had to remove a layer which I had to put back on again later when the wind picked up, which cooled things off a bit. Later in the run, passing other runners dressed in just t-shirts, I felt over dressed, but I was comfortable. I justified the layers as I was comfortable and if it got too hot I could consider it acclimatizing to being too warm. Over all it was a good run, struggled a bit later, but still I was running. I stopped at about 40k, sat down and had a bagel with almond butter and jam. A good rest that picked me up big time. Nice also to get used to eating solid food and running.
Saturday night after Joan got off work we drove down to Oakville to get ready for the her running the Mercedes Benz 10k on Sunday morning. It was a beautiful day for a run and we saw Terry and Tracy there as well. Joan had a great run finishing in 52 minutes, Terry ran 42 minutes and Tracy 64 minutes. After wards a brunch at a local Irish pub and then off to the in-laws for a visit.
At about 1pm I started getting ready for a run to my step mums in Burlington. Mapping it out ahead of time I figured it would be about 24k, a good run on tired legs. It was a different experience running in a place I hadn’t run before (Oakville), but running past all the places I remembered as a kid, even going by the old high school. I ran out of water with about 5k to go, the hardest part too, all up hill on Guelph Line and Cavendish. Again a good run which added to my confidence. And I beat Joan over there too as she drove from her mums.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Read and Run

Before I get onto my running exploits for another day, I need to recap about a few purchases that I have made lately. While in Sudbury last weekend I went into Chapters and as usual gravitated to the sports (read running) department and browsed a bit before picking up and buying “Born To Run” by Chris McDougall. It had been recommended by a few people and after reading the back of the book, I thought yeah, it sounds like it could be inspiring. So I picked it up and bought it.
Another book of interest that I ordered online directly from the author was “Relentless Forward Progress” by Bryon Powell. Well on Tueday it arrived in the mail as well as my Sacro Wedgy, so it was like Xmas for me. I also picked up a Blood Pressure monitor on the advice of my doctor to keep track of my blood pressure over the next few weeks. It has been a little high and may need some work to get it lower.
So I spent most of Tuesday evening reading about the BP monitor and the Wedgy, before hitting the Relentless Forward Progress book. I tried the Wedgy and it wasn’t uncomfortable and after twenty minutes got up and I believe I could feel the effect of it on my hips and upper glute area. This will take time to have an effect, but I will try it daily for now and see how it goes.
I tried the BP and once I figured out the machine gave it a go and yes BP is a little high 142/88. But I will monitor it over the next couple of weeks prior to my physical and deliver the results to the Doc.
The first couple of chapters of RFP are quite good, it is more or less a how to for ultra runners with lots of tips and views from different angles and perspectives. A good easy read.
Last night I ran to the running room and home again, almost 7k there. I over dressed and within minutes of starting had to take off a layer, it was windy but sunny and depending on which way you were running it could be cool or hot, well warm anyway. It was 7k to the RR and once there a large group of us left to do the Tollendal loop, but shortly after starting we lost Roger and Rick. Rick had a sore knee after doing speed work with Theo yesterday and Roger was having another one of those days. The run with the group seemed good at first, but I realized that I was going way too fast. Even when I slowed down and let everyone pass I was still doing under 5 min k’s. At the parking lot at Tollendal and Hurst I let everyone go that was still close to me and stopped to have a gel, then got going at my own pace. The way back was into the wind, but not uncomfortable. I cut off at Lakeshore and Tiffin for home and finished with almost 20k. The few k were a struggle which I blame purely on the faster pace early on. Either way a good day.

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Busy Weekend

After taking Thursday off, it was time to get back at it. So Friday at the Running Room we decided to run the long Tiffin route. Funny thing about this route is before the days of Garmins etc. we used to call this run about 14k. Turns out it is about 11.5k, no wonder we were running such a great pace back then!!
Anyway Roger, Rick, Brian, Brendan and myself (did I miss someone? its been 3 days and my older mind doesnt remember things as well as I used to) took off at the usual casual pace (ahem). By the time we hit Edgehill we were moving at a good pace and all of our group were together. Another funny thing was that Roger and myself were in front, not that we are competitive at all!!!
On Miller I looked at my watch and realised we were doing a 4:30/km, WHAT! But it felt good. Instead of slowing down we kept at it and if nothing else picked it up. Finised with an average of 4:40/km. So much for a nice easy run, as I had a longggggg run on Saturday morning. But it felt good.
After Fridays run I was a little concerned for my Saturday run, I was looking at a 5 hour run. I had to get this run in and as early as possible prior to driving to Sudbury for Joans first half Marathon (more on that later).
So I got up at the usual weekday time of 6:30 and was out the door by 7. I'll keep this as short as possible as it ended bing about 46k. I added miles on before I even started as I changed the route a bit. From home to Edgehill, Miller, Hwy 90, the Ivy route and back along the 10th, into town on Huronia etc., etc. I planned on 5 hours, but wasn't sure on the distance and it turned out to be 4 hours and 40 minutes and 46.5k. But more importantly I felt great, I walked when I needed too and ran good, not much soreness and felt like I could have gone on for a while. A very successful run.
After a shower and some lunch, we packed up and off we went. An uneventful drive up that was free of traffic issues etc. and although we were hoping to see some wild life all we saw, unfortunately was a dead bear cub on the side of the hwy. The expo was very small as expected, we checked into the Fairfield Marriott and then walked up to Boston Pizza for dinner. For a change I was able to drink or eat what ever I wanted and after my run earlier, I figured I had earned it.
The morning of the race was slightly over cast and about 5C with a slight breeze, we met up with friends Larry and Ken Henson. Larry was also doing his first half, ken had done lots. I was the official cameraman. The race got started and I raced over to the 5k mark and got there in time to see the leaders pass by. Larry and Ken went through with smiles in their faces, although Larry was having trouble with his breathing as he was still getting over a bad chest cold. Joan wasn't far behind and said she was feeling good. At the next stop I watched Ken and Larry go through although now Larry was behind Ken, but then I watched as a train blocked the route for a couple of minutes, there were a few disgruntled runners for sure, I wa sjust hoping Joan wasn't one of them. After the train cleared the held up runners almost sprinted back on course, but Joan wasn't one of them. She came through a few minutes later, obliviouse to the train. Still feeling good at this point.
I drove over to Falconbridge and set up to take more pictures at the 13 - 14k mark. Ken was well ahead of Larry at this point and Joan follwed a few minutes later. This was tough part as it was directly into a strong wind and all three seemd to be hurting a bit. Joan commented that she was feeling a little tired. From here I went to the finish area. Ken had a strong run finishing in 1:43 and Larry also did well finishing in 1:49.
I was thinking Joan would be in at about 2:05 - 2:10, but was surprised when she came around the corner just over 2 hours. A great finish and all with a smile. Awesome run Joan, Some would give the right arm for a 2:01 finish, so be proud as I am.
Another fairly early morning this morning to get us home from Sudbury to Barrie. We got home at about 11:30 after again an uneventful drive, we stopped to take pictures once and were planning on more, but it can be difficult to pull over.
After lunch and voting I went for a run again although this one was rather lack lustre and I struggled through out of this 15.8k mix if oad and trails.