Sunday, May 31, 2009

Week Ending May 31 (13:51)

After a couple of easy days early in the week, it felt good to increase back to normal and get into a groove. Had a good 2:50 run on Thursday, and a great 2hr run with Keith at Frontenac on Saturday.

I have also been very consistent with leg strengthening and basic core stuff with 2-3 quick sessions per week after my runs.

Also, of note was the amount of Barefoot/Five Fingers runs I’ve been putting in lately. I’m now up to 40mins of running in them, usually in the second run of the day, and feeling great. I had a great run with my Five Fingers at Frontenac Park on some pretty rough trail on Saturday afternoon while camping. I wouldn’t want to do a ton of runs on this kind of technical trail, but finding that if I’m careful and watch closely that I can do it comfortably. I got in 2:21 of barefoot/FF running in on the week and felt great.

Training Log Details:
Total # of hours this week: 13:51
Total # of runs this week: 11
2009 total # of hours: 237:16
2009 total # of days: 151
2009 total # of runs: 193
Streak: 7,097 days in a row

Monday, May 25, 2009

Strike Two at Sulphur Springs

There aren't many 100mile races nearby, and with Sulphur Springs only a little over 3 hours away, even though you have to drive through Toronto, it made sense to give it a go. As much as I was a last minute entry, I had thought about doing this race for a while since the disappointment of Rock and Ice in March. My training had gone quite well, with some good mileage. I didn't have any exceptionally long runs leading up to this, but I felt like the strong day in, day out mileage would get me through just fine. One of the reasons I didn't want to commit to the race earlier is that we organized the 5 Peaks race last weekend, and that always leaves me feeling wiped for a while afterwards.

All was good in the days leading up to the race and I was feeling confident going into the race. My plan was to keep it under control in the early miles, then go from there. I had looked at the lap times of runners from previous years and felt like I had a good idea of what sort of pace I could and should run at.

I felt great for the first 40km and was running relaxed and in control (holding back), however I started having some stomach issues just after 40km and could not keep any food or liquid down. It came on pretty quickly and rather forcefully. I thought it was an electrolyte problem so started increasing my e-caps, but could not keep them down either. I ran from 40-60km with lots of puking, and basically no water, gels, bloks or anything able to stay down. Got to 60km and tried to get some gravol down, but up it came too. Finally decided to pack it in at 61km.

I think the heat was a big issue as I used the exact same fueling plan as I did for Haliburton last year and it worked very well then. We haven't really had many warm days yet this year, so I think it will take a few good hot long runs to get acclimatized to it. A little frustrated, but still ended up being a good day of training and realized that I need to do a little more homework on myself to get this stomach thing under control.

It's always tough looking at the race results after and wondering what could have been if I hadn't had problems. As I said, I felt like I was holding back and running a very comfortable pace, so that was not an issue. I just feel as though I'm not ready to run a long race in the heat yet.

The really good thing is that the 61km's that I did run is great training and puts me in a good place to work towards my next race. My legs feel pretty good today too and after a few easy days will ramp my training back up pretty quickly.

Sara has had a lingering hip injury since before Rock and Ice that was giving her problems early on the rolling course at Sulphur, so wisely decided to pack it in early and try to get things sorted out once and for all.

So, the score for the day was...
Sulphur Springs = 2
Spaffgomery's = 0

We are both ok with this though. Getting the flu and not being able to finish Rock and Ice was very difficult to deal with. Having to drop early at Sulphur due to stomach/electrolyte issues is a little easier to deal with and was still good training and a good learning experience.

It was great seeing many familiar faces out on the course and I'm hoping that local runners Heather, Edd and Martin are able to finish their 100mile races.

It was also exciting seeing the 50mile racers finish as Adam Hill ran a great race and came within a minute of the course record. Keith Iskiw of Kingston ran a very solid race to finish second to Adam. Great job guys!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Week Ending May 24 (9:33)

~ Taper week for Sulphur Springs. Obviously didn't go as planned, but looking forward to getting back to training.

Training Log Details:
Total # of hours this week: 9:33
Total # of runs this week: 7
2009 total # of hours: 223:25
2009 total # of days: 144
2009 total # of runs: 182
Streak: 7,090 days in a row

Monday, May 18, 2009

Week Ending May 17 (6:45)

A pretty light recovery week. Good to take when organizing a race, as it is so exhausting. Got some nice runs in during the week though.

Training Log Details:
Total # of hours this week: 6:45
Total # of runs this week: 8
2009 total # of hours: 213:52
2009 total # of days: 137
2009 total # of runs: 175
Streak: 7,083 days in a row

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Next Generation of Ultra Runners

Look out for some impressive ultra runners to come out of the Odessa area in the next 10-20 years time!

Sara and I had the pleasure of attending Odessa Public School (Brennan and Heather's school, and home of the Odessa Tigers) last week and doing a talk about ultra running, some of the races we've done, life goals, active living, the gear we use and a little bit about our jobs.

We were originally asked by Heather's grade 6 teacher to come in and talk to her class, but ended up being a little surprised when we were told that the presentation would occur in the gym. No problem, as we had brought a lot of gear with us and it would be easier to demonstrate and display it there. However, we were a little more surprised when class after class kept rolling into the gym until it was filled with probably 200 kids! They had decided to bring all of the classes from grade 4 - 8 in for the talk.

With the number of people in the gym, we had to speak very loudly to be heard, but our talk went well. When you are doing a talk to kids, you sometimes wonder whether they are paying attention to you or not, but we were very impressed with how well behaved and interested the kids seemed to be.

Our talk lasted about 30-4o minutes before we opened up the floor for questions. We were amazed how many really good questions that everyone came up with and the thought that had been put into them. We spent at least another 30 minutes answering questions about our training, racing, equipment and other things that the kids were interested in. The enthusiasm that the students and staff had was overwhelming and we left feeling as though it was a very positive thing for kids to hear.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Kingston 5 Peaks

........................ (click image to enlarge map)

I’ve had a number of people from out of town, and locally for that matter, asking me about the J&J Cycling Trails that will be used for the Kingston 5 Peaks Race. Few runners are familiar with these trails as they are private and for use by the J&J Mountain Bike Club only. May 16th will be the exception though as 5 Peaks racers are in for a real treat! The course has absolutely everything that you want in a trail race and is sure to challenge those who race. The following is a course description, photos and a short video.

Sport & Enduro Course: 0 km – 2km
Both the Sport Course (5.9km) and Enduro Course (10km) start and finish at the Big Green Barn. The start of the race is a crazy, fast downhill for the first couple of hundred meters on a combination of packed sand and grass. Once racers reach the bottom of the hill, they’ll take a hard 90 degree turn to the right for a short climb before veering to the left for a long gradually downhill on a wide grassy trail that narrows into the woods at just past the one km mark. This should spread the field of racers out nicely before hitting the narrower trails through the forest. Upon reaching the first wooded section runners will navigate over a rocky bridge before winding through to a dirt jeep road. Taking a left, all runners will run the jeep road for a couple of hundred meters before hitting the first aid station. Sport racers will turn left back into the forest trails at the aid station.

Enduro Only 2km – 6km:
Enduro racers will continue straight past the aid station for another 200meters before turning right onto the Escarpment Loop. A long gradual uphill then greets Enduro runners, followed by the trail leveling off and winding through the most technical section of the course with plenty of rocks, roots, mud and some rolling bits. Be sure to keep your eyes on the ground! Enduro racers will loop back around and come down off the Escarpment trail to the jeep road and the aid station at roughly the 6km mark.

Sport 2km – 5.9km & Enduro 6km – 10km:
Enduro racers will then follow the same trail into the forest that the Sport racers take for the final 4km of the race. Once back into the woods, runners will be running on some sweet singletrack trails featuring packed dirt, pine needle trails, mud, roots, logs and the occasional bridge. Please be careful when going over or around these bridges. Runners will leave the forest for the final time with less than a km to go in the race. The trails widen again and you can pick up your speed, just make sure you leave a little something in the tank as the final 400meters features a solid climb back up out of the meadow to the packed sand and the finish line.

The children’s race is an 800m route that includes two loops over a fun course that includes many small turns and moguls. It’s guaranteed to plant the seed for future 5 Peaks Sport and Enduro Runners! It is also a very spectator friendly course with many good photo opportunities.

Sport Course
Distance: 5.9km
Surface: Dual track, Single Track, Grass, Pine Needles, Sand, Dirt, Mud, Rock and Roots.
Degree of Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Enduro Course
Distance: 10km
Surface: Dual track, Single Track, Grass, Pine Needles, Sand, Dirt, Mud, Rock and Roots.
Degree of Difficulty: Challenging. Much more technical than Sport Course.

For more information or online registration, please go to

The Green Barn Race Venue...
Watch your step!...
Start/Finish area...
Fast start before single track...
Approaching the forest...
First taste of the woods...
Enduro racers start to climb up Escarpment trail...
And climb...
Some fun single track along the edge of Escarpment...
A little flat rock on Enduro...
A little mud for all...
Logs to jump...
More logs and pine needle trails...One final climb up to the finish...
Single track video on Forest Loop...

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Week Ending May 3 (17:51)

* Congrats to JW who ran his first race ever at Sporting Life 10km and ran an impressive 40:25. Just think how he would have done if he hadn't started near the back of the pack and had to weave through a bazzilion runners;) GPS said he ran 6.5miles!

I had a solid week of running. Good volume and a couple of decent workouts mixed in. Happy to feel a little better in a long run too. Right achilles still a little stiff, but doesn’t seem to affect training. Might take it easy on the uphill tempo this Tuesday though or bump it back a little. I’ve been consistent with leg strength and ab routine for the past month and it’s helped to keep everything feeling in check. Amazing that if I stop doing these exercises, it doesn’t take long before I start feeling little twinges in my hips, knee and back. For the few minutes that it takes 2-3 times per week, it is sure worth it.

Training Log Details:
Total # of hours this week: 17:51
Total # of runs this week: 13
2009 total # of hours: 189:36
2009 total # of days: 123
2009 total # of runs: 160
Streak: 7,069 days in a row

Monday Apr 27
Running 1:02:00
shoes: La Sportiva Crosslites (42)
(AM) Took the Queen's Triathlon Club for a trail run. Nice relaxed run from home to north trail-Paudyn Loop. Very warm day. I think everyone had fun.

Running 1:13:00
shoes: La Sportiva Wildcat
(PM) North trail-Colebrooke-Cat E-Hare addon to home. Ran first 40' with Sara and then steady for last bit. Felt good.

Tuesday Apr 28
Running 1:22:00
shoes: Nike Frees
(AM) Treadmill Uphill Tempo. Warmup: 25' outdoors, 5' on Tread. Tempo: 20' continuous total w/5' each at 8%,9,10,9 @ 10:00/mile. Felt stronger than last week. Wore HRM and had HR up to 170 for 10%. Cooldown: 5' on tread + 27' outdoors.

Running 1:05:00
shoes: La Sportiva Slingshots
(PM) Nice relaxed run w/Sara on North tr-Coolbrooke loop. Felt really good and recovered after about 45' and considered adding on.

Wednesday Apr 29
Running 2:00:00
shoes: La Sportiva Crosslites (42)
(AM) Cataraqui Trail West-Camden East-DND Trails and back on the Cat. Felt a little tired, but not bad. Steady on long uphill south of CE. Beautiful day out.

Running 47:00
shoes: Vibram Five Fingers
(PM) Ran on Cat trail to Yarker Sports fields in Crosslites, then 30' easy on grass with FF's. Felt pretty good after this morning.

Thursday Apr 30
Running 1:28:00
shoes: La Sportiva Crosslites (41.5)
(AM) J&J trails checking out course for 5 Peaks. Ran steady for most, but a little quicker in places. Felt pretty good. Achilles a little tight after uphill treadmill tempo. Still working out the route and surprised how short I am. Not sure how much is from tree cover with GPS and windy turns. Will stop into bike shop and get a map tomorrow that's been wheeled.

Running 43:00
shoes: La Sportiva Crosslites (41.5)
(PM) Easy run on the Cat East w/Sara. A little tired this afternoon.

Friday May 1
Running 1:16:00
shoes: La Sportiva Crosslites (42)
(AM) Easy run on J&J trails with Sara... starting before 7am (yikes!). Nice run. Lots of rain, so trails were pretty slick. Felt good, but just starving! Happy that we were able to pretty much confirm the routes for 5Peaks. Looks like it will be 10km and 5.5km. Pretty sure that we'll use the escarpment loop for the Enduro course, even though it's quite technical. Should be fun.

Running 30:00
shoes: La Sportiva Crosslites (41.5)
(PM) Nice easy run on Cataraqui West w/Sara. Will break open a new pair of 41.5 Crosslites tomorrow. Just realized that I ran in this pair for quite a while in 2008 before I started tracking hours on them with Attack Point in 2009. They really don't owe me anything.

Saturday May 2
Running 1:30:00
shoes: La Sportiva Crosslites (42)
(AM) Easy with Sara on North trail-Colebrook Loop for the first 60' then picked it up and added on Cat East to Boundary Rd. Felt good. Right achilles still a little stiff.

Running 50:00
shoes: La Sportiva Crosslites (41.5)
(PM) Unstructured Fartlek workout on North Trail-Colebrooke loop-Paudyn loop. Brennan joined me on his mountain bike and we had a great time trying to lose each other. I got ahead on the tecnhical stuff or hills, he gapped me on the flats. Good workout and lots of fun. Felt great. Happiness is also a fresh new pair of Crosslites too!

Sunday May 3
Running 4:05:00
shoes: La Sportiva Crosslites (42)
(PM) Frontenac Park w/Sara. Slide Lake Loop from Arab Lake Parking Lot, + Corridor Trail and Gorge Trail add-on. Ran Slide Lake counter clockwise. Perfect day. Very rough footing for the first hr, but then got more runnable. Pretty wet, with lots of mud. Felt really good and got stronger as I ran. Felt like I could have kept going. Right achilles a bit stiff, but not bad. Nice to just run with a couple of bottles on a belt and use the Steripen to treat water from the many lakes along the way. Just so great having these trails so close by.