Monday, September 29, 2008

Sept 22 - 28 (2:51)

Felt great to get back to running a little more on the weekend. Knee slowly improved as the week progressed. At the point now where I can open up my stride a little more and run harder with just the slight feeling of discomfort and weakness. Went in to see Dr. Scot Mundle at Napanee Chiropractic and Laser Clinic today (Sept 29) and he felt it was a slight MCL tear. Getting laser treatments this week, which should help speed up the healing.

Week Ending Total = 2:51

Mon/22 (:20) Skylites. Easy on grass trail. Knee still sore if I try to open my stride up and run any faster.

Tue/23 (:20) Skylites. Easy on grass trail.

Wed/24 (:20) Skylites. Easy on grass trail. Knee seemed a little better today.

Thu/25 (:20) Skylites. Easy on grass trail. More just stiffness in knee today and was able to run faster. Will continue to take it easy for the rest of the week, but feeling encouraged.

Fri/26 (:20) Frees. Easy on grass trail. Knee felt about the same as yesterday.

Sat/27 (:30) Skylites. Easy on Cat Trail East w/Sara, Siku and Jesse. Knee felt good. A little stiffness at about halfway. Ran 4x strides and felt very comfortable. See how it feels tomorrow, but will probably try a little longer run.

Sun/28 (:41) Skylites. Easy on Cat West trail with Sara and Siku. Felt good to be out a little longer today. Knee slowly improving. Very nice day. Was surprised to see that there has been some trail maintenance on the section of Cataraqui Trail west of Yarker between the skidoo club and Curl Road. They've graded the trail and put lots of cinders down. It seems very soft right now. Will be nice when it gets packed down a little. Hopefully, all the rednecks on ATV's don't get on it and ruin it.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sept 15 - 21 (2:23)

Mon/15 (:20) Skylites. Legs a little better. Knee still pretty sore.

Tue/16 (:21) Skylites. Easy on Cat E w/Sara. Not fair, Sara is feeling back to normal and increasing her running and I still feel like crap! Knee still pretty tight and sore. Will give it until next week before starting to worry and going to get it checked.

Wed/17 (:21) Skylites. Easy on our grass trail. Feeling a little more energy coming back, but still sluggish. Knee might be a little better.

Thu/18 (:20) Skylites. Easy on grass. Legs a little better, but knee still pretty sore.

Fri/19 (:20) Skylites. Easy on grass. Camping in Adirondacks until Sunday.

Sat/20 (:20) Skylites. Easy run at Heart Lake in Adirondacks. Also hiked for a couple of hours up Mt Jo with Brennan, Heather and Sara. Knee was hurting a bit.

Sun/21 (:21) Skylites. Easy on grass. Knee seemed maybe a little better today.Spent some time massaging it and may have helped. Continuing it ice post run too.

Weekly Total = 2:23
~ Physically I started feeling a little better on Friday. Earlier in the week still felt like I was fighting the flu, but have felt that way since the race so just my body being weak. Nice to be finally feeling a little more normal again. Just amazed that some people were racing the following weekend or two weeks after a 100 miler. I expect that I will recover quicker next time, Knee is the biggest concern now. Pleased with how it felt on Sunday and hope that the next few days it continues to improve further. Good time to take the extra recovery now I suppose, even though I can't stand it.

Sept 8 - 14 (2:22)

Mon/8 (:20) Gazelles. Very sore, very ugly run on our grass trail. Left knee (medial), pretty sore from when I fell hard in the last 6 miles of race.

Tue/9 (:20) Skylites. Still sore and probably uglier run than even yesterday.

Wed/10 (:21) Skylites. Ok, my legs are still knackered!

Thu/11 (:20) Skylites. Not much of an appetite and still feeling pretty rough.

Fri/12 (:20) Skylites. Feeling a little better today, though legs still quite sore.

Sat/13 (:20) Skylites. Easy on grass. Legs felt a little bit better today. Still very sore though.

Sun/14 (:21) Zoom Str. Knee a little bit better today.

Weekly Total = 2:22
~ Legs still very much pooched! No energy and still some stiffness. Overall body fatigued too. Knee is still very sore.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Haliburton Forest 100 miler

The Haliburton Forest 100 mile Trail Run took place on Saturday, September 6, 2008. This was my first attempt at running a 100mile race.

I was a little nervous going into this race, but felt well prepared having had a solid year of training, in addition to a strong base built from 2007. The experience of having run a couple of 50milers last year, in addition to Rock and Ice this year, helped to give me confidence. I’ve also run Haliburton twice before (50km in 2004 & 50 mile in 2007). This was a big help in knowing the trails and what to expect and plan for in the training leading up to it and on race day. Personally, I don’t think that I would have wanted to try to run my first 100 at Haliburton if I hadn’t known the trails well beforehand.

Haliburton Forest is a private wildlife preserve located on the west side of Algonquin Park. It is home to lots of deer, moose, bears and wolves as was evident by all being spotted during the race. The trails there are simply gorgeous.

On race morning, a bagpiper paraded us to the start line for the 6am start as if we were going off to battle. Nice touch. It was still quite dark, so I was happy to be using the Petzl E+lite headlamp for the first 30 minutes or so, even though we began on a sand packed road. It was great to be finally moving even though I knew it was going to be a very long day. I settled into a comfortable pace and it was really nice as Sara and I ended up running together for some of the early miles. It almost seemed like one of our weekly long runs at times because of this.

The 100 mile course was a double out and back course, so we had to run the entire route twice. It was great early on because there were many people running the 50km and 50mile race on the same route.

My number one goal for the race was to finish, so I had planned on trying to take things pretty easy early on. I was surprised to meet up with Jeff Simpkins fairly early into the race. We ran together for a few minutes before he said he wasn’t feeling well, and decided to back off a little in the hopes of feeling better later. I was also surprised when Jeff said that the only other person in the 100 miler in front of us was Jim Orr.

I have a great deal of respect for Jeff Simpkins, Jim Orr, Jim Morrison, Laurie McGrath, Theresa McGrath and Keith Peters, and all of the excellent 100mile races they have done between them. I told myself that I did not want to go out too fast and would prefer to be behind all of them in the early miles and wait to see how I felt.

Coming up to the 25 mile point turnaround, I saw Jim on his way back, so I hoped that I wasn’t too far to the turn. It was nice to get the first turn around on the day out of the way. I had placed drop bags at 12km, 25km and 40km, so got to pass them all at least twice to re-supply with extra gear and food if needed. This was in addition to the seven well stocked aid stations that were on the course.

Since 100 miles is such a long way to go, I took splits on my watch every 25 miles and just focused on that smaller period of time instead of the big picture. I found this very helpful in keeping things in perspective and being able to chip away at these smaller chunks instead of thinking about how far I still had to go.

It was around 40 miles that I ended up spotting the race leader, Jim Orr, just up ahead. I was a little reluctant to pass him at this point as I really wasn’t 100% sure about the proper pace that I should be running for my main goal of being able to finish. I was feeling comfortable though and decided to just run at my own pace for as long as I could, so passed Jim shortly after that.

The remainder of the first 50 miles was uneventful, with just the focus being on running as relaxed as possible, and doing all the small things to stay hydrated and well fueled. I felt a slight bit of temporary panic when I passed the 50mile point and turned around to head back out for the last 50. I checked my watch and was a little startled to see that my first 50 miles was done in 8:21, which was about 5 minutes faster than I did for just the 50 miler alone last year. I knew that I was in better shape this year, but it was still a little unnerving to think of what the last half had in store for me.

I was very fortunate for the last half of the race as Sara was going to be able to crew for me, which would be a big help. Sara ran, and won, the women’s 50km for the third time in a very solid race. She didn’t even stick around for her awards ceremony, but came back out onto the course to help me out. This was going to be huge for me as I was going to be getting to the point where it would be a lot more difficult to do things for myself at the aid stations.

While 80% of the course is on technical trails, the other 20% is on forest road, so Sara was able to drive out to the checkpoints and help me. My goal was to make it to the 75 mile point before it got dark. I really wanted to run the least amount of challenging trail after dark as possible.

It was a huge psychological boost to get to 75 miles and know that you were on your way home, even though it was still 25 miles. Things continued to go well, and I had to keep playing little mind games and break the race down to just lots of small races from checkpoint to checkpoint. I had picked up my headlamp at an earlier aid station and was really pleased with the way they worked. I wore the Petzl Myo XP on my head, and the Petzl Tikka XP on a belt attachment around my waist. The trail was well lit and I just needed to keep moving now.

I did find it very tough getting from 75-85 miles as I was really dreading the Black Creek Trail. This is a boggy section that has a lot of logs laid down crosswise, almost acting like a floating bridge, I expect during the wet seasons. I had broken my ankle a few years ago and was very cautious in trying to get through this part in one piece. Doing it after dark seemed like it was going to be that much more difficult. Once again, I was very happy to get through this section and make it to the 85 mile point. Sara met me here and gave me a few sips of soup broth. I didn’t think I wanted it, but it really hit the spot and was a nice change from all the gels, clif bloks and liquid fuel I had been taking.

Sara told me that I looked the most out of it at the next aid station (about 88 miles). I had just taken a couple of falls and had gone about 100meters past where I was suppose to turn, so had to backtrack a little. It wasn’t a big deal, but I was getting a little confused and was struggling the most through this section. I was happy to get to finally make it to the next checkpoint and know that I only had one loop of MacDonald Lake to go and that I was going to finish.

Pacers are allowed to run with 100 mile participants after dark for safety reasons. Even though Sara had already raced her 50km early, she was ready to run the section from 92-98 miles with me. While I knew that I could probably get around this on my own, it was very comforting to have Sara there with me. In fact, it was wonderful to share this experience with her since we have done so much of our training together. Through the final trail section of Normac, Sara got to witness another couple of finer moments of my race. First I took my worst fall of the day, and second I puked a solid stream of vomit on a tree right at shoulder height.

The end was getting much closer now and the goal was just trying to hold it together and finish in one piece. We were now back on the forest road, so finally the footing wasn’t an issue anymore.

Making it to the final aid station at about mile 98 was a great feeling. Sara stopped here to let me run the last bit in on my own. One more nasty hill to get past then a long straightaway to the finish line. The sight of Sara flashing her headlamp from the finish line was such a welcome and warming sight. I finally made it across the line.

I found it interesting when I crossed the finish line that my time of 18:42:02 didn’t really mean that much to me. It was more the fact that I had just completed a 100 mile footrace. The thoughts, memories and emotions of the day keep coming back to me and I will probably remember a ton of things that I have left out of this write-up. However, I will never forget the deep down feeling of what it’s like to run 100miles in the beautiful trails of the Haliburton Forest.

Thank you very much to Race Director Helen Malmberg and her wonderful crew of volunteers for organizing an exceptional race. Your efforts will always be remembered by those who take part in Haliburton.

Results and photos are now posted at

My time: 18:42:02
25 mile splits: 4:04:10 / 4:17:18 / 4:43:43 / 5:36:51. (Last 25miles in the dark).
My placing: First
Second Place: Jim Orr (19:32)
Course Record: 18:19:23 (Jeff Simpkins 2006)
Terrain: 80% technical trails, 20% forest road

Clif Bloks: Took 3 cubes on every hour (switched to exclusively gels between aid stations after 9 hours)
Gels: 1 gel on every half hour
Sport Drink: Mixed one scoop of Hammer Sustained Energy with one scoop of GuPowder. Drank 3-4 sips every 15 minutes past the hour and before the hour.
Endurolyte Capsules: Started taking 2-3 electrolyte capsules every hour after the first few hours, then increased to 2 capsules every 30 minutes for about the last 3 hours.
Water: Sipped water from my bottle with gels and bloks. Also drank water at aid stations.
Aid Stations: Ate small amounts of melon, bananas and drank some coke at most stations. I kept most of my fuel in liquid form as that is what I have found worked well for me in training. Had a little soup broth at the last few aid stations, which helped. Also ginger ale helped to sooth my stomach at a few aid stations.
Stomach issues: Puked at 9 hours and 18 hours. Both I felt were electrolyte issues and needed to adjust intake. Came around shortly after.

La Sportiva Crosslites: No blisters, no hotspots, no foot issues! I was impressed. I have seen some really nasty photos of peoples feet who have run 100 milers and was prepared, but these shoes are awesome! Lightweight, glove-like fit and great traction.
Wigwam Trailrunner II socks. Wonderful fitting socks with great moisture management.
Sugoi 42k Split shorts: Lightweight and breathable.
La Sportiva team shirt: Breathable t-shirt made by Sugoi (ran shirtless for about middle 50 miles because of the heat).
Petzl MyoXP Headlamp: Excellent lighting on the dark sections of trail
Petzl Tikka XP: Worn with belt attachment around my waist on the diffuser mode for extra peripheral vision.
Petzl E+lite lightweight headlamp for the first few miles.
Fuel Belt Double bottle holder with extra pocket attachment: Very comfortable double bottle belt for water and sport drink. The pocket attachment was excellent for gels, bloks, e-caps, etc…

Monday, September 8, 2008

Sept 1 - 8 (20:48)

Mon/1 (:21) Skylites. Easy run on our grass trail with Sara. Legs felt pretty good.

Tue/2 (:45) Gazelles. Easy run on Cataraqui West Trail. Very hot out, but felt pretty good. Too much rest. I hate tapering. Laser treatment on foot at Napanee Chiropractic and Laser Clinic (

Wed/3 (:20) Skylites. Easy run on our grass trail w/Sara. Very hot and humid. Feeling better today. Foot seems good.

Thu/4 (:20) Crosslite3. Easy run on our grass trail w/ Sara. Ok, feeling like I want to go for a real looooong run now. Guess I'll get that chance in a couple of days. We posted a blog of our August training weekend in the Adirondacks on the La Sportiva Adventure Running Blog at

Fri/5 (:20) Gazelles. Easy run on grass trail with Siku.

Sat/6 (18:00) Crosslite2. Haliburton Forest 100miler. Ended up finishing first in 18:42:02. Very pleased with how it went. Sara had a great race and won the 50km (5:36) for the third time (She’s won it each year that she has run it). I will post a Haliburton report a little later once my brain/body starts working again. Now, time for a nap.

Sun/7 (:42) Crosslites2. Haliburton Forest 100miler. 42 minutes of finishing the race after midnight, so thank gawd I don’t have to run again to keep my streak alive until Monday.

Weekly Total = 20:48
~ Including Haliburton.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Aug 25 - 31 (7:29)

Canadian Running Magazine - The September/October issue of Canadian Running Magazine is in the newstands now and includes the introduction to trail running article I wrote titled Into the Trails.


Training Log:
Mon/25 (1:08)
am (:20) Crosslite3. Easy run on grass trail with Siku. Left metatarsals still a little sore.
pm (:48) Crosslite3. Steady run with Dylan O'Sullivan on Cataraqui Trail West, then up north trail. Pretty muddy on north trail and Dylan got his new white road shoes pretty filthy. Welcome to trail running Dylan! Foot a little sore near the end, but not bad. (Ab workout)

Tue/26 (1:00)
pm (1:00) Raceblades. Easy up north trail just before Sandpit. Foot seems to be improving, but did notice it a bit on the gravel road on the way back. Felt pretty good otherwise.

Wed/27 (2:00)
am (1:20) Raceblades. Easy run down Boundary Road, then Cataraqui Trail West. Foot seemed better today. Have been able to walk around barefoot more without noticing it too. Felt a little sluggish running today, but not bad.
pm (:40) Crosslite3. Steady run with Taylor Murphy on North Trail. Felt pretty good. Foot was fine again. Wasn't sure how it would be going a little faster, but pleased with it. (Abs)

Thu/28 (:45)
pm (:45) Crosslite3. Easy with Sara on Cataraqui Trail West. Kicked off the short connecting trail that joins Freeman Road Trail to Cataraqui Trail by, I assume, the property owner. Have always run there without incident until today. Was unaware what is public and what is private property. Too bad. Beautiful land that is going to waste. Hopefully, proposed subdivision doesn't go through.

Fri/29 (:20)
am (:20) Skylite. Easy with Siku and Neeka on our grass trail. Foot still a little sore, so went in for a laser treatment at Napanee Chiropractic and Laser Clinic.

Sat/30 (:45)
pm (:45) Crosslite3. Easy run on Cataraqui Trail East w/Sara. Legs feeling pretty recovered now. Can still feel foot at times, but think it's a little better. Continuing to ice.

Sun/31 (1:31)
pm (1:31) Crosslite2. Easy run at Gould Lake with Sara. Ran in from Bedford Road on Wagon trail and out Bear Trail loop. Tried to run out boardwalk to Mica Loop, but bridge washed out. Then ran an out and back on Tom Dixon trail to get extra time. Felt pretty good. Love the trails along south end of Gould Lake...lots of pine needles.
Training Week Total = 7:29
~ Full taper mode now for Haliburton 100 miler on Sept 6. Can't do anything to improve fitness, but can do lots to screw things up if not careful. Have been very cautious with sore foot, but seems to be coming around and feeling better each day. Will continue to take it easy this week with just minimal runs each day. Looking forward to next weekend. Really plan to start very easy, with the number one goal of just finishing. Anxious to see how my body feels running 100 miles, learn from it, then plan for what's next! Trying to treat it more as a long training run and not a race. Should be interesting.