First 60 km run…..Ultra training

1 04 2010



Thursday April 1st

Im nervously contemplating a 60 km run on this Sunday April 4th.  I was thinking to have Diana drop me in Burlington Ontario and run lake Ontario back to Toronto for approximetely 66.2 km, the longest run ive ever done and solo……….im just not sure im ready?


April 2nd

Ran a 19 km this morning…..wasted me.  I was tired when i started out but my legs were very strong.  My heart rate was 8 beats a minute higher than normal signally extreme fatigue, but i want to hit my mileage for the week.  So now im thinking of a slow recovery 6 km tomorrow and still contemplating sundays run!

April 3rd Saturday

Well, i was totally burned out yesterday.  Felt terrible.  think my iron and blood sugar dropped at the same time.  having difficulty to keep wieght on and eat healthy.  so hungry all the time i want to eat anything.

Drove my proposed route for Sundays big 60 km run and it sucked.  heavy industrial.  going to make a new route today.  hopefully a bit more exciting.  try and get to bed by 10 or so tonight so i can try for 8 hours sleep and get a decent start in the morning.  Still intimidated about the run.  Havent fully committed to 60km…starting to think about 40-50………see how i feel today on a short 6 km recovery run………………………………………………………………………………………….Well that was nice…slow 8 km with Diana up river.  very nice.  Legs feel great.   i think im good for tomorrow

Sunday, April 4th

So i stayed up way too late, after eating a meal that was way too fat and protien rich.  struggled to eat my oatmeal this morning as i was still full from last night.

Its a beautiful day and im ready.  So here i go for a 6 hour run.  Hoping it goes well.

Sunday, April 4th

Starting Weight 88.2 kg

Well the first thing i want to say to anyone who has run the Death Race and finished, is your crazy!  Im humbled!

I started out with my new “fanny pack” wieghing 4 kg.  I wasnt used to it and it was bouncing up and down too much.  Left water bottle repeatedly hitting me in the kidneys!

At 4.2 km i steppped in a hole and twisted my ankle hard.  It wasnt sprained but definately injured.  My sister Ava respounded later when i told her this by saying “thats great!, Its better training for the DR to run with a twisted ankle!”

I ran slow for the next while and it held out fine. 

I had a gel pack at 30 minutes and 1 hour 30 minutes.  I drank on schedule whether i felt thirsty or not! 

 At 27 i was doing great.  Meet Diana for some support and more gatoraide and water.  I decided then that i should try for exactly half of the Death Race 62.5 km.

I was now on Lakeshore which i ran to the CN tower and past to the beaches area.  I found it mentally challanging at 36 to 42.2 as my mind kept on telling me how hard a Marathon is and that i had alot longer to run.  This was the only mentally challanging part for me.  I had to convince myself that i should do this.  my brain told me that 42 was enough. I had to focus on my stride and nothing else.  I went into my own head for several km and was suprised when 6 km had passed!

 As i returned past the CN tower heading home i hit 44 km and out of the blue, instantly my left ankle started to complain quite loudly!  I had to now run on the asphalt and subjuct my feet to a beating rather than run on the grassy side which was uneven and too treachourous for the ankle.  I noticed at 45km i was mumbling to myself quite a bit.  i was also eyeballing the Lake and thinking how nice it would be to jump in.

When i turned and headed through the park towards home i felt fairly good and was now totally in a zone.  i barely noticed other people and just had my head down.  My pace actually picked up and i had to focus on slowing down to a pace i could manage for another 14 km.    I had to focus on small goals and not think of the total.  so i picked familiar landmarks and reminded myself how often i ran those distances. 

When i arrived by my condo on Bloor i was at 52km.  This part of my planning for my route may have not been the best as i mentally had to fight to pass by my house.  My legs were fine.  My ankle bad. But i was tired of running. 

Enough.  I dont feel like running any further!

OK  deep breath!

I headed up river for the final 10 km.  My ankle is now screaming at me for ice and rest.  I knew it was only bruised and not damaged permanently so i kept on.  I was suprised and thrilled to see Diana waiting at me by the bridge.  she took my heavy belt and gave me my usual hydration belt which was a huge relief.  It wieghed nothing at all.

As we headed up river, slowly, she reminded me to drink water and she managed my pace.  It was such a relief not to have to think.  Perhaps it was a good way to finish.  Mentally i was glad i was so close to home and this section is one of my favorite runs in the world.  It was so beautiful along the river.

When we hit the turn around point i was fine mentally.  i had this!

Coming back that final 5 km i felt great, even with the ankle telling me repeatedly to STOP!

When i reached the car i just STOPPED.  I didnt want to run any more.  I could only think of sitting down with my foot submerged in ice water.

Diana said ” so could you do that again?”………………….the answer is NO!  I was speant.  I was humbled.  How on earth could i imagine to run that far again.  Although i had run half the distance i had not run half of the Death Race…..maybe not even 1/3.  My course did an elevation change of 2000 feet over 60 km.  The Deathrace does a change of 15,000 feet!

I learned alot from this run.  Alot about myself.  Alot about the strategy of long distance running.  Looking back, although i had run slowly, i think it was still a bit too fast. 

This run was at a good time in my training.  17 weeks left as of today!  This run reminded of how huge a task lay ahead.  It really gave me pause.  I was getting too confident.  This 62.5 km drove home just how huge an undertaking i had planned.  Really making me question my sanity!?!

I had done the marathon portion in 4 hours 30 minutes.  This seems slow but in reality i need to bring this down to 5 hours. 

I definately need more sleep and better nutrition the 2 days prior to the run.

I would be lying if i didnt say i had “secound thoughts” about this whole thing.

I am re-evaluating WHY i want to run 125 km through the mountains of Alberta in the middle of summer!

I wont run today, and perhaps even tomorrow.  When i run next i will do alot of soul searching.

This was a huge experiance and i dont regret any of it, but it was sooooooo much bigger than i ever imagined that i am totally humbled and in awe of anyone who runs ultra distances!

My Nutrition

5 x 100 calorie Mocha Gel packs

2 Red bull shots ( 35 km and 50 km)

snickers bar, pretzels, sharkies, walnuts

3 litres of water, 3 litres of electrolyte replacement drinks

Homemade concoction of Amino Acids, and Waxy Maize Carb load…sipped slowly over the last 20 km.

Finish weight 86 kg    Time 6 hours 35 minutes

Monday, April 5th

OK, Im not that sore today EXCEPT that ankle which is swollen and very sore.  Im pretty tired though.  i was so hungry today.  Quads are a bit tender and shins, but not real blisters.




2 responses

5 04 2010

I have always been impressed by your endurance and determination, Stefan. No mother wants to think of her child in a Death Race, but I guess that is what life is anyway. As long as you can enjoy, or at least celebrate, the journey, I am with you in spirit. Diana is a great support to you!

5 04 2010

Im not sure about the “enjoyment” but there are un paralled moments of elation that most people will probably never experiance in their lives. I felt similar emotions watching my kids being born. An overwhelming feeling of joy, reasponsibility, fear, optimism, success, doubt. All that in a single moment. Quite a RUSH. cant buy that anywhere.
Many people like myself need to push themselves past what others would call barriers, in order to feel that we are alive!……………………you know you love me like this!

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