STRAVA Summary

Friday, March 28, 2014

Around The Bay

Well apparently it has been 8 years since I last ran Around the Bay 30k. I had to look it up and I thought it had been at least 5 years. The last Time I ran it (2006), it was the first year that it finished in Copps Coliseum. I also thought I had run it seven years in a row, but it seems that it was only 6, according to the results at Sportstats.
I had no plan to run it again, but when Joan picked up a race bib from a friend, it became a question of how to get her down to Hamilton for the race. As it turned out the opportunity came about for me to pick up a bib too. So thinking that I would be running at least 30k that day anyway, I figured it would be worth running the race.
The last time I ran it I ran 2:07, still a PB for the distance which will not be in danger of being broken this year, or ever actually. 30k is basically a sprint now, in comparison to the races I normally do and I haven’t run “fast” in a long time.
Still I am looking forward to competing this weekend as “Justin” and looking to at least break 2:30. The silver medal days are past me now.
The course looks to have changed a bit from what I remember. Starting near Copps, it goes north toward the lake instead of going east. Taking Burlington St. out to the east end. Always a great event, hoping the small niggling injuries stay put long enough for me to get it done.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Green Jewel 50k

I think this race was one that wasn't meant to be. Fortunately it did happen for me and ended with a decent result.
The week before was a challenge, with a calf strain on my "last" long run on Saturday I was worried about how that would affect my run. Then the tingling of a sore throat starting mid week, what else could go wrong? We had said that if there was even a hint that the weather would be crappy in Cleveland we wouldn't go after such a lousy winter, but as it happened the forecast was for temperatures above freezing. So we headed down to Cleveland on Friday afternoon.
This would be my 4th Green Jewel in a row. A great early season race to see where your fitness levels are. It would also be Joan's first crack at it. She was injured last year and came along for support the year before.
Its not an easy race, although its all on pavement it is mostly uphill, gradually for the first 38k, then sharply uphill and followed by about 10k of rolling hills and then finishing with 2k down hill. The 10k of rollers usually get me.

We arrived in Cleveland at about 6:00pm with the temperature at a balmy 11C!! woohoo.

We went directly to the Vertical Runner in Brecksville to pick up our race kits and then off to the hotel, a bite to eat and get ready for the morning.
The race doesn't start until 9am, but you have to be at the finish area by 7:30 to get on the buses to get you to the start. This changed from two years ago when the start was delayed as no one was allowed into the finish area until late due to a salamander migration was complete!!
No such troubles any more though.
WE got to the buses and off to the start where it was much cooler than the previous day. The temps were hovering just above freezing and there was ice on the paved trails. The forecast was for it to warm up and then cool down later. With snow possible. Luckily we were able to stay on the bus until just before the start.
Off we went and my plan was to take it easy for the first while as I was still unsure about my calf. The cold that I was battling had also taken hold and was affecting my breathing somewhat, but I couldn't do much about that. About 1.5k in my calf started to bother me a bit more and I started to think that this wasn't going to be a good race if I finished at all. The calf though, didn't get any worse, just some tightness (at least for now).

I was watching my pace and surprisingly Iw as keeping my pace under 5 min/k's (maybe that's not a surprise). The icy sections were tricky and care was needed to get by with out slipping. Just when I though I was doing ok, I went to avoid some ice and my feet went the wrong way and I ended up down on the ground. I quickly picked myself up with the help of another runner. Brushed it off an continued on, but I could feel my right ankle, knee and hip had hit the ground hard and there was some looseness in my ankle that wasn't there before. That was at about 10k. At 12k my left calf cramped badly and I began to think my race was over not even a quarter of the way in. I stopped and walked, walked for about 20 yards and thought I have to try it to see if I can get going again, otherwise I will be done. I slowly started trying to run, it was painful to start, but gradually it just subsided a bit. I backed off the pace to my "goal pace" of 5:20ish and this seemed manageable. I would feel the calf tighten every now and again, but no sharp pains. So I continued on.
I got to half way with no other incidents and my cold didn't seem to be affecting too much either. I passed through half way at about 2:08, which was well ahead of where I though I should be and was on pace to at least set a personal course best (4:31 in 2012). I was feeling very good, but took precautions to walk any steep hills to protect the calf. At the 38k mark is the major hill on the course and although I ran it last year I decided to proceed cautiously and walk it this year. I was starting to unravel a bit here too, my glutes were so tight it was almost painful. I walked past the aid station at the top of the hill to the next stop sign. Once past I ran and continued to run all but the hills. When I was running I was moving well, it was these damn hill stetting in the way. At the same time I was looking forward to them as it was a respite from the running. Somewhere along here with about 10k to go, Laurie Rehbergar passed by in her car to say hi. What I didn't realize initially was the person in the passenger seat waving madly at me was Joan.

She had dropped due to a "broken bum". Her periformis had cramped really badly and caused her enough pain to stop. Unfortunte, but she was smart about it and made the right decision. She still got 25k in.
I continued on and knew as I got closer that my time was liable to be more like 4:40 than 4:30 and as I hit the last 2k downhill stretch I was glad that it was almost over.
I came in at 4:37:52, 9 minutes quicker than last year, so I was happy with that. I will be much happy if one day I can run the entire last 12k strong.

Overall a good day and good to break the string of bad luck with races so far this year.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Run the Bruce Adventure

The Challenge -- The Bruce TrailLegally blind runner, Rhonda-Marie Avery is set to run the Bruce Trail end to end (885km) in 20 days starting August 4 2014 in support of Achilles Canada... The Bruce Trail is Canada's longest, oldest footpath measuring some 885km from the north end in Tobermory to the south end in Niagara.  It is small piece of heaven that many are unaware of, that few have ever even set foot upon.  For those who have, they know the magic that the ground there contains.  They have, perhaps, felt the lingering mist on their cheeks in the cool sunrise.  They have heard the water falls and touched the moss trees, stood where bears have crossed and, maybe, spun around, arms wide, staring up through the coloured leaves at noon on a fall day.  This small piece of earth is a welcoming place for hikers and, more recently, for  a few brave ultrarunners.  This challenge is about a journey from the northern tip of the trail to its southern most end.  This journey has been done before, but never quite like this."My name is Rhonda-Marie Avery.  I am legally blind.  And I run. And I bike. And I swim.  A lot.  And I'm on a be the most powerful verb in my own life.  None of these activities are easy for me to manage without the help of Achilles Canada"This nonprofit organization connects those with disabilities with volunteer guides.  "Over the years, they have helped me to take part in events from 5Km to 100 miles of running, 13km of tethered open water swimming, and 500km of tandem cycling.  Without their involvement, I wouldn't be possible for me to participate to this degree. Oftentimes, for the disabled athlete, getting to the start line is the most difficult task.  As a disable endurance athlete, my goal is always to show up, do my best and put all concepts of my disability aside. I am there to complete an adventure, which regardless of having fewer limitations, perhaps, most would not undertake or would not consider being within my capacity to undertake.  I say BE BRAVE, everyday!  No matter what, do your best and see what you can accomplish"."Let me ask you this; What do you know of disability and sport, or disability in general?  Did you know that apparently 10% of the global population is disabled?  Did you know that the "disabled" are the world largest minority group?  Did you realise, that this is  also the group that any one of us could become a member of at any time?" "When you imagine an olympic swimmer, do they have two arms? Can they hear you cheering them on?  Do you think altering your image of this swimmer changes your thinking....or changes theirs?   Now, what if a disabled swimmer is impeding your exit from the gym change room?  What if a disabled swimmer is stuck at home without a way to get to the gym to train? What if a disabled swimmer is a child lost in their dreams of one day, merely, taking part?..... This is why I am undertaking this journey"  Every day, we are given a choice; not only how we view the world, but also how we let the world view us.  It's time to see "disabled sport" differently, without limits, without boundaries and with all the hope and bravery it deserves, whether a person with challenges wants to simply participate or excel.On August 4 2014, with the help and support of a team of over 50 volunteers, Rhonda-Marie will be starting her quest to run the Bruce Trail from the north end to the south end.  Each day accompanied by two guide runners, they will travel at least the distance of a marathon (42.2km).  Each night they will be billeting with a volunteer family who has kindly opened their doors. The goal of this adventure in ultrarunning is to raise awareness for disabled athletes.  The entire journey will take 20 days.  On the last day, August 23, 2014, please come join in to walk the final 5km of the Bruce Trail and to complete the quest.  In this way, together, we can all help create a space for openness for the involvement of all people, disabled or not.You can follow along in a number of ways;The Envisions Blog

Envisions On The Bruce Blog


@envsions2014Facebook"Envisions ... Rhonda-Marie ... Bruce Trail... Totally Awesome!" Please go investigate the Bruce Trail's webpage... find out how there membership works. Also, find out how, through your help, they secure access to private portions of land that the trail runs through, as this trail is not eclusively on publicly owned land.

The Bruce Trail

Please check out Achilles Canada, this empowering  organization that enables disabled athletes to take part.

Achilles Canada

Achilles Canada is directly sponsoring this run. Please show your support and donate here today.  In the meantime, now you know the challenge.  Please follow along as we attempt to make some changes to the way the world thinks about "disabilty" and "sport".We need your help to make this happen!!  We will be uploading videos as the campaign continues.

Envisions YouTube Channel

As we travel through this Bruce Adventure, a Feature Documentary is being filmed;

8% No Limits Feature Documentary