Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Steve Earle

Steve Earle played in Kingston last night. He puts on such a fantastic show. It was an acoustic show with just his guitar, mandolin and harmonica. I was expecting to see him play a lot of material off of his recent 'Townes' CD, but was surprised that he played a wide mix of everything that you would want to hear that spanned over the course of his entire career.

He's very outspoken on many topics which is a large reason that I love his music. It's real and tells a story. The strength of the message that comes from it is loud and clear. His passion is very evident and it's pretty powerful to see him expressing his views in his songs and intro to songs. Hearing him playing a haunting song like Billy Austin, it's pretty hard to imagine that the death penalty still exists. Not to mention his other opinions on various topics.

The Grand Theatre was a wonderful venue to hear an acoustic concert, and we were fortunate to be seated in the 3rd row. I was very surprised to see that someone has already posted three videos from the show and looking at them, I think the guy who took them was only a few seats away from where we were.

Mike Plume opened for Earle and played a great solo set as well.

If you ever get a chance to see Steve Earle in concert, don't miss it. As I've said before, he's the best singer songwriter out there today who is still performing.

Week of Oct 11 - 17

It's been a heck of a busy week with organizing the Sydenham Fall Trail Run, getting ready for the snowshoe season, and having some fast approaching deadlines on some writing pieces. Definitely feeling somewhat overwhelmed and swamped at times.

Running wise, I've bounced back well from being sick. I was still fairly weak for much of last week, but got some decent runs in that included a 4:25 run on Monday and a couple of good 2hr efforts. The 2hr run I did on Saturday may have been a little too aggressive with some of he paces that I ran at. I pushed it a little harder than I've been able to in a while and my achilles barked a bit and let me know that it wasn't entirely happy. A few days of R&R and it will be fine.

Weekly Summary (Oct 11-17):
Total # of hours last week: 10:57
Total # of hours this year: 446:43
Streak (# of consecutive days of running): 7,601
Training Log Details for the Week

Sunday, October 17, 2010

2010 Sydenham Fall Trail Run - Race Report

Congratulations to everyone who took part in the 6th Annual Sydenham Fall Trail Run.

The weather and course conditions were good with only a bit of a headwind after the turnaround. 223 runners completed the race which took place on the Cataraqui Trail following the northern shoreline of beautiful Sydenham Lake.

Jodi Wendland continued her record breaking ways at Sydenham by winning the women’s race in a new course record time of 30:30. This was 15 seconds faster than the course record she set in 2009, and earned her $100 for the win, plus an additional $50 for the record. Second place in the women’s race was Richelle Moore in a time of 31:35, followed by Margarita Sviajina in 33:13 for third. The top female master’s runner (over 40 yrs old) was Joanne Armstrong in 34:14.

In the men’s race, Sydenham native Paul Chafe also defended his 2009 title by winning in a time of 26:33, with Scott Takala following in second in 27:40 and Rob Campbell in third in 28:04. The top master in the men’s competition was Clive Morgan in 30:16.

Complete results are now posted at .

We have also posted a video of various footage of the race here. This was new for us this year and we apologize for those who we missed. We’ll look to do better in this area next year, but hope you enjoy reliving some of the memories of the day.

Thank you once again to all of our sponsors La Sportiva, TD Bank, Sydenham Veterinary Services, Stonehaven, Hillside Coffee Company, Hansler Smith Limited, Running Room, Trailhead, Clearwater Massage Therapy, and Spafford Health and Adventure.

Also, just a reminder about the upcoming Dion Eastern Ontario Snowshoe Series coming this winter with three great races. Check out soon for more details, or follow us on facebook.

See you on the Trails,

Derrick Spafford
Race Director
Sydenham Fall Trail Run

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Being Sick

I hate being sick. I'm not good at it at all. Well, actually I suppose considering the amount of times I've been sick, you could probably say that I am quite good at it.

Ever since I was a kid, I've always seemed to get sick pretty often, and usually accompanied with a high fever. Maybe I just have a weak immune system, maybe it's a result of having meningitis when I was a baby, or maybe it's just horse shit bad luck. Then, I was diagnosed with Stevens Johnson's Syndrome in my teens, but thankfully I have been able to control that by taking the proper medication at the first sign of any symptoms.

Actually, over the past few years I have been healthier than any other time in my life, in fact I can't remember the last time I had a cold. And this is all during fairly high mileage training too.

I've made a point of really trying to take care of the little things with lots of rest, eating well, low stress and I have also paid close attention to adding some supplements to my regular routine. Interestingly enough, I have not had a bout of SJS since I started taking First Endurance Optygen. The two main ingredients in Optygen are Cordyceps and Rhodiola, which were first used by Tibetan Sherpas to help them climb Mount Everest, but have been used recently to aid in recovery and performance in endurance events. I've also added Udo's Oil to my daily diet as well.

So, I was somewhat surprised to come down with a nasty cold last week. As Sara told me, it was a perfect storm brewing. It was the week following my ill fated Virgil Crest race where I dropped at 25miles. I guess that I maybe thought that this didn't take too much out of me as I was keen to get back into training after a few easy days. I also had a busy week with quite a few appointments and being around a lot of sick people when I am used to mostly working from home and in isolation. I think the kicker was an eye appointment I had at a very busy clinic which was probably a germ factory.

The short story is that I got nailed hard for all of last week. Most of my running consisted of 20-30 minutes of very easy running each day, just to keep the streak alive. My fever spiked pretty high for a few days and lingered in my chest a bit. The fever left me pretty weak, all week.

By the weekend things were improving considerably, as I've felt much better and started to increase back again closer to normal. I had planned to run long on Sunday, but decided to bump that back to Monday (yesterday) for the extra day of recovery.

With a busy week coming up with organizing the Sydenham Fall Trail Run this coming weekend, I guess if you have to get sick, then last week was a good time.

Here's hoping to a healthy fall and winter, and being able to really ramp up the trail miles!

Weekly Summary (Oct 4-10):
Total # of hours last week: 4:46
Total # of hours this year: 435:46
Streak (# of consecutive days of running): 7,594
Training Log Details for the Week

The Sick Bed of Cuchulainn by The Pogues. An amazing song that fuses Punk with Traditional Irish Music. Great to see that The Pogues can still play it with passion 25 years later.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

One Last Shot

Well, it looks like I may have one last shot to get into the Western States 100 lottery. I heard back from the Stone Cat 50 race director and I was able to get in. Stone Cat is on the final day of qualifying, so it's all or nothing.

I'm really looking forward to it as we've run there in the past and it's a very honest and runnable course. The course has changed a bit since the last time I ran it, but sounds like it may be a little faster too. I have no interest in time, but just looking forward to getting a 50miler under my belt again.

I remember the four loop course at Stone Cat featuring a few challenging sections, but nothing too crazy. I have some good memories of running parts of the race with Jan Wellford of ADK speed record fame, as well as meeting Bryon Powell for the first time, who is now operating the primier website for all things trail and ultra at The funny thing about Bryon was that partway through his race he was having a rough patch, and was convinced that a shot of Jack Daniels (the drink, not the running philosophy) would help him. Apparently it did as he left me in his dust over the final loop. Guess I should have taken a shot too.

So, all systems are go. The only problem now though is that I spent a little too much time around sick people last week and I've come down pretty sick myself. Hopefully, only another couple of days of light running and I'll be able to get back out pretty long again soon. I have to say that watching Sara leave to go for a long run at Frontenac Park on Sunday was a challenge, and for a moment I considered going along for a short run and sleeping after in the car. Probably best I didn't though as I was feeling pretty rough. So, I'm on a steady diet of 20-30 easy minutes per day right now, just to keep the running streak alive.

The good thing though about being sick is that I've had a little extra time to get caught up on work. The Sydenham Fall Trail Run is on October 17, and I still have lots of last minute things to get done. We have reached our maximum even earlier than last year and are looking forward to a great event a week from Sunday.

Weekly Summary (Sept 27- Oct 3):
Total # of hours last week: 7:28
Total # of hours this year: 431:00
Streak (# of consecutive days of running): 7,587
Training Log Details for the Week