Monday, April 27, 2009

Week Ending April 26/09 (14:21)

Pretty pleased with the way the week ended up going. Continue to ramp up the volume a little and add some intensity again too. Feeling strong. Quite happy with the way the uphill tempo felt in addition to helping Jared out with his time trial. Had hoped to get a longer run on Saturday, but was just too hot and not used to it quite yet. Looking forward to increasing more next week. Congratulations to Eliza on an awesome race and huge PB (22:53) in the Kingston 5km!

Total # of hours this week: 14:21
Total # of runs this week: 11
2009 total # of hours: 171:45
2009 total # of days: 116 (average per day – 1:28:50)
2009 total # of runs: 153 (average per run – 1:07:21)
Streak: 7,062 days in a row
Training Log Details: Click here

Friday, April 24, 2009

Ron Hill

As you may know I have a running streak in that I haven't missed day of running since Dec 25, 1989. At 19+ years it's fun looking back in my training log and seeing the runs that I've done during that time. It's not always easy, but it is very rewarding just the same.

On that note, I find it amazing to think about the longest running streaker of them all...Ron Hill of England.

Ron Hill has run every day since Dec 20, 1964! At 70 years of age he is still running strong and continues to get out there each day for his runs. The other amazing thing about Ron Hill though is that he competed at the highest level when he was younger... running a 2:09 marathon, and winning the Boston Marathon and Commonwealth Games Marathon, just to name a few.

Here is an interesting article about him...

I guess I only have about another 25 years or so to catch up to his streak, but somehow I don't think he'll be stopping anytime soon.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Snowshoe Magazine - Rock and Ice Ultra: A Real Gem of a Race

The following is an article I wrote for Snowshoe Magazine on the 2009 BHP Billiton Rock and Ice Ultra.
High winds and ominous clouds added to the tension and uncertainty as participants waited for the start of the 2009 BHP Billiton Rock and Ice Ultra. A total of 78 athletes were lined up on the start line, with many frantically doing last minute gear checks to make sure that they had the appropriate survival equipment needed for the duration of the race. In a harsh climate like Yellowknife, NWT in Canada’s north, a careless mistake not only affects how well your race will go, but can also be downright dangerous, possibly even life threatening...
To read the entire article, please click here>>

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Week Ending April 19 (12:06)

Total # of hours this week: 12:06
Total # of runs this week: 11
Total # of hours this year: 157:24
Total # of runs this year: 146
Streak: 7,055 days in a row
Training Log Details: Click here
Comments: Felt good to get some decent days in again. Would have been a little higher still, but took an easy 31min recovery day. Calf/shin was a little tender during the week. May have been from walking around in flip flops all day Tuesday. Seemed to be better for Sunday's run though. Still have a bit of a cough, but almost gone. Congrats to Aaron Anderson on his great race at Seaton Trail 25km on a challenging course! Congratulations also to David Bohn on his solid Boston Marathon on Monday!

Snowshoe Magazine Gear Review: Gel-Bot

One of the most challenging things I’ve found about ultra running and long distance snowshoe racing is staying well nourished and hydrated. Taking in calories by way of energy gels is a very effective way of keeping your energy level topped up. However, the hassles of dealing with individual gel wrappers, in addition to the mess and impact on the environment, can make this less appealing. Throw in having to follow up your gel consumption with a slug of water and it’s easy to see that you sometimes feel like you are spending more time fueling and less time actually enjoying your run...

To read the full gear review, please click here>>

Thanks to Ashan at Cyclepath Kingston for providing the Gel-Bot for testing and requesting feedback.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Bruins take first two games!

The Bruins are now up 2-0 over Montreal.

Even though we don't have a TV, I stumbled across this great commercial (Never date within the division) recently...

...Just priceless!

We may have to borrow a TV for the rest of the playoffs as our internet connection has been pretty slow for the first two games.

Go Bruins!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Stanley returns to Boston!

You may be wondering if I'm referring to some runner named 'Stanley' who is planning to run the Boston Marathon on Monday. That would probably be a good guess since I tend to talk a lot about running on this blog. There may well be a Stanley, or several Stanley's, running the marathon, but the Stanley I am referring to is Lord Stanley, as in the Stanley Cup!

The NHL playoffs have begun and for the first time in a number of years the Boston Bruins are one of the favourites to win it all.

Ever since I was a kid, I have been a Boston fan and have had to put up with a lot of disappointing years, in addition to a lot of crap from all the dreaded Montreal Canadian fans. This year I am hoping that the Bruins return the Cup to Boston for the first time since 1972. I still remember that Cup victory and it gives me chills just thinking about it. Hopefully, the Bruins can pull it off. Interestingly enough, they start their drive to the Cup in the first round against arch rivals Montreal.

It should be a great playoff ride and even though we don't have a TV, you can bet I'll be watching for live updates online and catch any games on the internet.

Here is a photo that Sara took of me while in Yellowknife for the Rock and Ice Ultra at Trout Rock Lodge. It's an autgraphed Bobby Orr hockey stick and photo of 'the goal'. The photo is without a doubt among the best sports pictures ever taken.

Let's hope for a similar photo in 2009. Go Bruins!!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Week of April 6 (11:15)

Week Ending total: 11:15
Total # of runs this week: 11
Total # of runs this year: 135
Total # of hours this year: 145:18
Streak: 7,048 days in a row
Training Log details: click here
Comments: Quite pleased with how the week progressed. Only started feeling better last weekend, so nice to be back to this amount of running again. Each day seemed to get better as the week progressed, with larger volume days on Friday, then a decent long run on Sunday. Was half considering racing Seaton Trail 78km next weekend, but after long run yesterday, I realized that I'm not quite ready for that yet. Still coughing a bit, but much better. Looking forward to more sunny, mild days on the trails.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Bell Canada Sucks!

I hate Bell Canada!!! I always have and always will. Bell's customer service is the absolute worst of any business on the planet and they keep getting worse.

At one point, we had our home phone, cell phone and internet service through Bell. Following getting screwed around by one thing after another, we eventually cancelled all of our services with them and even chose to get rid of our home phone line and replace it with another company’s cell service as our home phone. We finally thought that we would never have to deal with Bell and their brutal service and business practices again. Until today that is.

Today I was scheduled to meet a friend for a trail run at Frontenac Park. After a few minutes passed, I tried to check phone messages on my cell, but was out of range so could not. No problem I thought, Frontenac has a pay phone that I'll use. I had enough change and the calls were just local so I thought it would be no problem.

Well, seems as though the pay phone at Frontenac does not take coins (?). Still, not a problem as I had my credit card, so just used that instead. That apparently was a huge mistake and one that I hope no one else ever makes. I had to make four phone calls with my credit card and I found out later upon checking our credit card statement that Bell Canada charges $5.00 per phone call! And, once again, these were just local calls that were listed on the phone as 'only' costing 50cents to make. How they see fit to charge $5.00 per call is beyond me. So, just to make a few local calls and check phone messages set me back 20 bucks! That is just criminal in my books.

So my message to all is to boycott Bell Canada whenever possible and choose another provider. They are by far the most incompetent company I have ever dealt with and if you haven't been swindled by them yet, just give it a little more time and it's guaranteed to happen.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

On Freeman Pond

We love our backyard. For the average person to look at it, it probably doesn’t seem like much and is certainly not landscaped according to what you would see on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous (is that still on TV?).

For running, we are fortunate to have a grass 500m track, combined with a 1km loop that meanders around the edges of our property line. This is great for barefoot running, or simply just collecting a few extra miles at the end of a run with the dogs.

It is also home to some of the other fun stuff we enjoy doing including snowshoe running, dogsledding, skating, xc skiing, mountain biking, unicycling, campfires, lacrosse, soccer, baseball, volleyball, badminton, frisbee, golf, star gazing, napping, dog park, swimming and kayaking.

The last two activities may surprise those who have visited in the summer as there is no body of water on our property. Each fall and winter however, our beloved backyard floods, possibly due to an underground spring (?), and we are left with a new and exciting playground. We have awesome skating in the winter, then a large pond in the spring. A few years ago, Brennan and Heather actually took advantage of this watering hole on a particularly warm day in early May to go swimming (brrrr).

This past weekend, was another opportunity to try something else in our backyard. With all the rain we’ve been having lately, our pond was the biggest and deepest that we’ve seen it and a perfect chance to add kayaking to our list of activities at home.

A quick trip to our friendly neighborhood kayak rental place and we were soon out on the water and seeing our property in a completely different way. Brennan and Heather had a blast spending the weekend kayaking through the trees, and at times during heavy snowfall. The dogs were somewhat intrigued by this new activity, but enjoyed following along just the same.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Northern Thoughts...

It’s been a week since we arrived home from Yellowknife, but I still find my thoughts drifting back to the north regularly.

As I mentioned in my training log update, I am beginning to feel a little better and look forward to getting back out running more. That will certainly help to reduce some of the disappointment that still lingers from getting sick at the worst possible time at Rock and Ice.

The above photo was sent to us by Barb Campbell and is of Sara and me running together on Prelude Lake during the snowstorm on day #1.

As I look out the window this morning, there are a few snow flurries in the air. A quick check with the Yellowknife weather also indicates below 0C temperatures with snow in the forecast.

While it’s great to be home, there is a part of me that wishes I was still up north…or heading back soon.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Week of Mar 30 (2:40)

Week Ending total = 2:40
Total # of runs this week= 7
Total # of runs this year = 124
Total # of hours this year = 134:03
Streak = 7,041 days in a row
Training log details
~ Could only muster 20-30mins per day, just to keep the streak alive. Still felt pretty rough during most of the week, but was nice to finally start feeling a little better on the weekend. Really looking forward to getting back out running a little more again. I would love it if I could get a few decent medium-long runs in and think about possibly running a race soon to benefit from the R&I training. However, if that doesn't happen, then I'll probably just hold off racing anything until June.