impossible

15 01 2012

impossible





Winter Running

15 01 2012

 

        Winter Running   What I like about Winter Running is that if you continue through the fall and into the winter with a running schedule outside….you gradually get acclimatized to the on coming winter temperatures and you end up not minding the cold. In theory this works well…………My running has been sporadic throughout the fall, and into the first part of the winter I ran in Southern China, Florida, and Hawaii, as well as a tonne of Tred-mills at various hotels around the globe.  This didn’t exactly toughen me up for winter running.   This week I anxiously watched the weather network and finally decided no matter what the conditions id get out for a decent long run this Sunday.   Yesterday my buddy Patrick and I went to the Running Free store……we go a few times a year but this is our annual BIG trip where I buy enough goods to get me through the winter and spend enough money that I have to run just out of guilt!  Lol   I bought a couple new trail shoes, Solomon X Lab and Montrail, Masochists as well as a pair of Sauconys (as the past 12 pair) Street shoes.   I also bought a new pair of Snow shoes designed for running.   That should get the old cardio in top form.   I bought a pair of compression Capri style shorts, some newFox Riverwool socks and a bunch of Under Armour ts and shorts   One thing about winter running.   If you are properly dressed its fun…if you aren’t it isn’t! I dress in layers.   Of course with my obsessive nature I have records going back a few years of what I wear at what temperature so I know what I need.   Today I was thrilled to pull on those new Wool socks, although a bit apprehensive as ive been wearing one type of sock for many years………..they were great.  My feet stayed nice and warm and not a blister in sight even with wearing a brand new pair of shoes for 20 km!   I dress in layers, with a Under armour t , then a Solomon long sleeve shirt, a vest, a neck warmer, a light wind jacket, the new Capri compression shorts, and long Solomon winter pants……………..A toque and warm glove/mitts   Warm water in my bottles which started to freeze at the 15 km mark and Stinger Honey waffles in my belt   For some reason my calves and shins felt tight from the get go……I was uncomfortable with the run for 1.5 km and then told myself that im out for 20 no matter how long it takes so settle in and enjoy it……and that I did.   My shin nagged but I took in the crisp scenery, the powerful river, the busy squirrels and in no time I was at the turn around…briefly considering to continue on but wisely telling myself that I have plenty of upcoming long runs and stick with the schedule.         The run back was considerably faster, and when I got into the building I was breathing hard with a 160 HR.   A bit of stretching and core and onto the old stationary bike….I really hate that machine………a few eights and into the pool.  Ive started to really enjoy swimming as I improve each month……..a 1 km swim in 20 minutes and I was DONE for the day.   Mistakes.        Didn’t eat the appropriate meal last night.  I had a lot of fatty stuff like cheese etc.  A lot of protein and not enough carbs.   This morning I skipped breakfast.   That’s the last time I ll cheat on nutrition this year.  It affects performance too much.   Also up too late (it’s relative!  Lol….midnight)   I feel ive officially started to train for Sulphur 50 Mile now.  Its exactly 19 weeks away.  I ll ramp up mileage heavily over the next 9 weeks until I hit that magical 100 miles a week!  Then some recovery weeks and the slow decent towards less miles, more hills, more speed.    Last Sunday was the first day that Joe and the Burlington Runners do theSulphurloop 21km as a training run.  The first Sunday of each month.  I will be at as many as I can.  A great bunch of guys and specific race training.  Not to mention beautiful scenery and lots of wildlife!  

 More on the snow shoe training soon!!!!





HURT 100

23 12 2011

Image

I wonder why im drawn to races with words like Death or Hurt or Bad in them?????  Since my 100 mile sulphur run and my failed attempt to drag my sore and sorry ass to Death Race july 2011, my training has been sketchy at best….doing enough to keep a bit of a base but dealing with injuries, and a sick work schedule have made it a rough fall.   I know im always harping that there is always enough time to work in a training run however, there actually wasnt for several weeks.    Since October ive had several 24 hour work days a few 30’s and dozens of 18’s     there was no time for a run in those.   It was my own doing taking my perfectly good consulting business and adding not one, not two but three new companies to my life in which i have varying degrees of ownership in shares……………ive been around long enough to realize that type of accelerated growth is dangerous in business but……..anyway,   Enough of that boring stuff.  

My wife told me we needed a vacation, and although i said i didnt have time somehow or other i landed in Hawaii on Sunday.   As soon as i got to the beach i slept for several hours and that night i was in bed by 830 and slept through until morning….balcony door open to the sound of the waves

Alot of people enjoy vacaions by sidling up to the bar or buffet, but for me vacation is a time where i can “detox” my system.  Get in all the runs and gym time i want without worry of a schedule.

Eating only Fish ( mostly RAW Hawaiian POKE style) and fresh fruit……no fried foods or empty carbs

Ive known about the HURT for sometime and had seen some pictures and heard about the infamous 25,800 feet of Elevation change over the 100 miles.   Also knowing a bit about vegetation i imagined the network of roots and volcanic rock, slippery mud and bamboo groves…..perfect for a trail run.

Today after a great breakfast of pancakes and pineapple, i drove to one of the Aid station markers at the top of one of the high points on a 20 mile loop.  Brand new trail shoes, my lucky Sulphur Springs t top, two hand held water bottles, and i was off and running.   Immediately i knew that this was going to be fun and that i may break an ankle or something if i wasnt extrtemely diligent and not day dreaming of racing the  course in record time.

It s exciting stuff for a Canadian boy to be running through a rain forest and hear all the strange Parrot noises, the eerie bamboos clanking in the wind……….One thing I know for certain is that with in those first few steps the stress of work was shedding off like a layer of skin from a snake.

 

I know I was running to fast for such a technical trail and being alone without appropriate gear but I was having so much fun.  Its been raining an unusual amount in Hawaii these past weeks/days so the trail was ankle deep mud over 40% of it…the rest was exposed roots, baseball size lava rocks, and fallen bamboo.

 

One thing about running technical single track trail is you need to look immediately at your feet, 3 steps ahead and 20 steps ahead all at once…make nano second decisions about where your foot will land…….my decision making seemed a bit slow as I jammed both toes and ankles into rocks and sharp sticks……barrelling down a section of dry creek bed I had a thought that the rocks were very slippery and I should…..too late, from one boulder dropping down onto another a meter below and trying to turn at the same time I was down!    Thank goodness for my well rounded Gluteus maximus ( fat ass) from all the unhealthy eating id been doing this fall as I landed squarely……stood up…checked things out……car keys still in hand held…nothing broken…..ok lets go.

 

 

 

I was smelling ginger (a favourite smell and taste of mine) when I realized I was running over the exposed roots of hundreds of wild ginger plants…..this gave me a smile as one item I always carry on ultra runs is ginger to calm an upset stomach….none of that required here…just tear up a hunk of root on the run and gnaw at it

 

I barrelled out of the woods at the Manoa falls surprising a group of Japanese tourists who had hiked in the 800 meters from the Nature Center…….once back in my hotel I realized why they looked so wary…..my face was full of mud like war paint and my legs had blood and mud all over…….wearing my death race skull cap and eyes blazing wide open I must have been quite a site…..quickly mumbling and confirming directions with their trail guide I was on my way up the mountain…..a much slower pace on the 1900 foot climb.

 

I only managed 10 miles of the 20 mile loop and im a beat up……I can only imagine running 10x that distance and through the night on the crazy technical path of roots and rocks and strange eerie noises………..Yup, gotta put that HURT 100 on the list…………first better get this carcass back into shape.

 

This is pre-training….training for Sulphur50 starts Jan 3rd, 2012

 

Now tomorrow……………the other half???   See how sore my butt is first…..

 

ImageImage





Back at it

21 10 2011

Its been a rough few monthes……….im not sure why or what exactly happened but just when i thought i was about to achieve some balance in my life the bottom fell out.     After the 100 mile run a new calmness fell over me and i was content.   My business simpily exploded and it became a bit unmanagable for a while……….my running sporadic and more for pleasure than for training as i allowed my body to heal from 3 years of steady monsterous mileage.

I consider today my first training day of my new goal for May.  Next May in Sulphur i not only plan to run the 50 mile but to compete in that race.    i have crafted a very detailed and well thought out plan on how to get there at a competitve level injury free……..i cant wait for the time to “Fall Back” to where it will be a bit more light in the morning as im tripping over roots and rocks now.

even in fall there is beauty in nature if you look.   The flowers above which only appear this time of year are a great example.

i wont be blogging as frequent but i will be running and posting progress occassionally.  I havent set an official goal for the 50 miler at Sulphur but i imagine i will need to aim for a sub 8 hour!  We will see,  I also want a fast Marathon on file before im too old to call anything fast….PR now is 3 hour 28 minutes……id like to nudge that closer to 3 Hour 10





Age of Sail Marathon

20 08 2011

 

 

 

 

Age of Sail

 

Its been a while since ive blogged.  The fact is I haven’t done much interesting in running.  I had 1 amazing run down in Scottsdale AZ a few weeks back but other than that ive been in full business development mode.  

Ive been doing a bit of running..mostly without a watch or a scheduled distance….just running.

The problem with that is I was supposed to be training for “ The Age of Sail” marathon in Port Graville,  Nove Scotia.    Port Graville is a very small town in NS, over looking theBay of Fundy.  Its where my Mom, and her mom, and her mom are from.  We summered there as kids so its special to me.   The brooks and rivers still run clear and are full of brook trout.  The people are still friendly and not suspicious or paranoid.  The air is clear and clean.   I love the place !!!!

So after my 100 Miler in early May, my body decided it had enough running for a bit.  I continued to try and train for Canadian Death Race including a hilly 50 km run in CreemoreOntarioin June.  After Creemore I realized I wasn’t having fun with my workload and the state of my body and dropped out of The Death Race.  I thought, “ok ill do some speed work and rock out the Age of Sail”, …………………hmmmmmmmmm.

Life being what it is I ended up running maybe 8-10 times in the 6 weeks after Creemore so needless to say I was worried early this week about running aMarathon.  

The thing is after the 100 miler I know I can run a Marathon on any given Sunday………..but its about how badly I want to suffer after…………..The past week ive been in NS with my kids and because I had such a heavy workload and wanted to have fun with them I was working from 7 AM until 11 AM and then from 9 pm until 3 AM……daily………not so healthy!

A few nights ago I decided to run the half marathon instead of the full.  Not my style to downsize but a good decision.

After a fun filled week with the kids, my sister Ava and I loaded the SUV, and packed in a few kids and headed out toParsboro,NS.

We used to do that trek every summer in the mid 70’s, so it was a bit nostalgic to be trucking along in a car jammed to the roof with squealing kids.

The weather was gorgeous, so I had the pedal down to get there and get the kids to the beach after 4 rainy days in a row inHalifax.

Got there we did. 

What an amazing day.  Blue sky, warm….the idealic summer day.  

The kids and I went straight to the beach where we promptly settled in and built a large dam on a small brook.  Collected clay from the river which they turned into bowls, flew a kite and of course made a bonfire. 

Im not sure I have enjoyed an afternoon more in my life!

My siblings and mother showed up at dinner with a picnic of Spaghetti……my first campfire beach spaghetti.  Home made strawberry shortcakes.

We had an early night and I left the kids with my mom to get a good nights sleep at the Parsboro mansion B and B

Next day I was up early and drove to the starting line and collected my kids who were adorned with Volunteer shirts.

My sister Ava, gave a quick run down of the rules, and a bit of inspiration, my daughter Elyse blew a whistle and off we went.

The group was halves and full marathons together so it went out fast.

I settled in to an easy pace and set out to enjoy myself.   

The run starts at the bottom of a 750 meter hill which has 400 feet of elevation so that gets the blood moving.  As you round the first big turn and start downhill at 4 km you have an incredible view of the Bay of Fundy andCapeSplit

At 6 km there is a spring gurgling out of the side of a mountain which I have stopped to get fresh water from since I was a kid.  It is the coldest most delicious water I have ever had and I was looking forward to this part of the run for a long time.   It was already plenty hot out so I dunked my head under and filled my bottle.  It was worth the couple of minutes lost……..a couple runners passed and looked at me a bit oodly.  

  There were plenty of well manned aid stations but I am so used to carrying a bottle from distance training that I do so even on short runs.  I always have a blend of carbo and electrolytes. 

The aid stations were so helpful and friendly, with bananas, oranges energy drinks, water that it was hard for me not to stop and have a chat…..i wasn’t in a hurry but I still wanted to finish before it got much hotter.

At the turn around I had only 5 people ahead of me for the half…….the full runners carried on for a longer out and back.

I thought ……briefly…….i could suck it up and catch the lead pack……NO.

I was out for a nice run that wouldn’t punish my body, as I had to fly to TO and work all-night that night!  Just to prove that point to myself I jumped into the field beside the road and scooped a handful of blueberries from the literal carpet of blue around my feet.

Anti oxidants! 

The whole run was a bit surreal in that it was a story book summer day with blue skies and fluffy white clouds.   You expected to see a red fox running through a field at any moment.      Very few cars passing and wide graded shoulders on the road.

   At 16 km my tendon in the right foot was screaming and causing my stride to have a slight limp. Apparantly im still not fully healed.

 I was extremely glad at that point I didn’t run the full.

I found the 4 hills coming back to be tough but manageable……like the switch backs in Old Mill, or Maple inDartmouth……..

I had way to much energy left I thought guiltily as I made the final 400 meter surge at the finish to a leisurely pace of 1 hour 55min. hmmmm perhaps I shouldn’t have stopped at the spring or picked blueberries during a race. Lol  Yeah right!  That’s what makes these types of small Marathons.

My daughter hung my beautiful “ Age of Sail” medal around my neck.  The medal has a picture of the Tall Ships from the age of sail.

My mother had already shown me a path down to the icy cold spring feed river below where I went and “iced” on a rock for 20 minutes.  Sitting there on that rock in the red river, listening to the crowd cheer for people as they crossed the finish line and the kids trying to fish for trout on the river, I thought this is the kind of marathon I like!

When all the runners came in we assembled in the fire hall for big bowls of fish chowder, or seafood chowder, or corn chowder with home made biscuits, rolls, and pies of all flavours and types.

It was hard for me to leave that perfect day and drive back to the airport and the hectic life I lead

…I cant wait to train next year properly and return…….





Death Race Quest is Dead!!!!!!!!!!!! Creemore 50km

3 07 2011

Thats it thats all.   I simpily cannot continue to run on these feet!   They are shot.  Caput.   My right ankle is permanently swollen.  Right shin muscle in a constant state of tightness.  Left Planteur screaming, left big toe tendon angry, right big toe is at the point where i may cut it off to get rid of the pain!

PK and i went out to Creemore yesterday morning bright and early.   I broke all the rules of pre-race prep that i usually adhere to.   Late night the night before.  An un healthy meal ( no pasta!!!), only a banana for breakfast.  up at 4 AM and drove out to the race site.

An almost perfect morning with promises of a hot day.

An extremely well organized race with a small group of about 200 of the usual suspects.

the 50 KMs set off at 8 AM and after runnin g about 8 km, i found myself thinking….”im not up for running 5 hours through the woods today!”……………i settled into an easy pace in the middle of the pack and enjoyed the scenery.  A very beautiful setting along the river.   After several fairly decent hills, we came to a sign saying first hill!  WTF?   ok so this is a hill.  1.8 km of climb up 400 meters of vertical to the top of the Niagra Escarpment………..a decent hill.  A few more of these big hills with corresponding decents.   I noticed i made a few small gains on others on the up hills, but passed many on the down hills where i would hit speeds of 3:25 min/km………..apparantly my down hill running has improved considerably.

At 15 km i just wasnt in it mentally.  PK was running a 25 km ( hes a bit smarter than me apparantly) which started at 9 AM.  I found myself thinking…”i’ll just run a loop of 25km and call it a day”    well of course i came in decently strong with a 4:26 km at number 23, and i knew without serious injury i wouldnt intentionally DNF, but it felt good to pretend i would for a few moments. 

With one lap down it was time to go at this thing and finish up.   I had a good strong start of the secound lap and passed several other runners.  I ran most of the up hills and all the down hills as i knew no matter what i could muscle through another 20 km or so.  

The heat and humidity had built up now and was becoming a factor.  Also my skipping breakfast was starting to take its toll.   Id been sucking back a Hammer Gel, every 30 minutes and drinking Carbo Pro and Heed religiously but i was feeling weak.  Starting to “bonk” from lack of glycogen.   with all the hill running id been averaging a heart rate of about 148 which was a bit high and realized id better slow it down a bit.

heat in the open corn field and up on the 3 km stretch of un shaded gravel road was getting quite extreme.  Id estimate it was 38 C with the humidex and i was really suffering at 44 km.  I was putting ice cubes under my hat at each aid station with was helping a bit, but i was definately suffering.  My right foot was in quite considerable pain from the injured tendons ( from the Sulphur 100 miler last month) and badly swollen.  I was starting to favor it considerably and that was really messing with my stride which in turn was having a bad effect on the right hip flexor.

Even though it was “cool” to be out with all these other runners and doing a 50km trail race, i cannot say i was enjoying myself.   In fact this was a whole lot like a job i had to get done…another task on the never ending list of many.  

I stumbled in at 5 hours and 39 minutes…slow but in a decent palcement on this hilly course.

At this exact moment i knew i was finished with running Ultras for this year/summer………………………..thats it!   No Death RACE

I realized i just dont have the desire, hunger, mental fortitude left to go up to Alberta and run through the mountains all day and night!   

The Creemore vertical challange had 5800 feet of climb and decent in 50km, where the CDR has 19000 feet in 126!!!!!!   The longest climb on Creemore was about 1.8 km, where the longest climb on CDR is about 6 km up leg 2!!!!!

Im done!  Packing it in for another year.  I will do some nice early morning 6-10 km runs and swim the rest of the summer.

My feet are going on vacation!          

i started the running for a hobby which would promote good health but on top of my insane work schedule im becoming un healthy, burnt out and exhausted.

I must tell anyone in Ontario who is contmplating CDR to go out and do the Creemore vertical.  Its the only local race which even gives you an INKLING of what it will be like in Grande Cashe.

Good luck  to all you Death Racers and part of me will wish im there…..that part will NOT be my feet!





3000 km to Sulphur

20 06 2011

A little collage of the 6 mnths leading up until the 100 mile run at Sulphur Springs.    It seemed so long looking forward and now the blink of an eye looking back.    all kinds of weather throughout the winter and spring…..coldest running day was minus 28 C with windchill at minus 35C………………rain, snow, sleet, it was all there to toughen us up!

Sulphur fades into a memory and the training for the Canadian Death Race takes over.

Yesterday we ran Sulphur with some of the guys who helped us on our race.   Morten, vincent, Andrew, Neil, Patrick, Katherine, Jai and Yumi and i ran a loop yesterday in perfect weather conditions.  The trail was nice and dry.

we did a loop in 2 hours and 3 minutes.  just 4 minutes faster then the first loop i ran of my 8 loops during the race.

Morten and Vincent would have been suub 1 hour 40 if they knew the route as wed find them waiting at intersections asking the right way.  Amazing runners

I was a bit disappointed in my performance and can see that even after 3 weeks my body hasnt healed completely.  I found it alot of work to tackle the hills.  Going down was fine and i had lots of quad strength, but going up i just seemed to lack the inner strength.

Guess i ll have to work harder as going up is what i ll be doing in Grand Cache Alberta for death Race…..going up, up ,up!!!!!

Stay tuned