Monday, August 31, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Lots of great races to follow this past weekend…
A very exciting race. Tim Parr ended up winning this race in 17:27 after Anton Krupicka set a blistering early pace going after Matt Carpenter’s course record. Lynette Clemons was the first place female in 20:58:01. Krupicka ended up dropping out at 78miles after his quads blew up on him. Too bad. I was really hoping to see Krupicka nail the record. I have always been impressed by how hard he works in training and the massive mileage that he puts in. His training is what has inspired me to believe that I could run much higher mileage than I ever thought was possible for me. It would be great to see Krupicka come back and run next year, and even better to see Carpenter come back and race it too. Full marks to Parr for the win which was only one week after his Pikes Peak Ascent win. Last years winner, Duncan Callahan finished third. Also, it was great to see Bryon Powell of IRunFar.com have a great day and finish 10th overall in under 20hrs! Full results.
Where’s Waldo 100km (U.S. 100km Trail Running Championships):
Erik Skaggs won in a time of 9:11:05 with several other runners also better the old course record. Joelle Vaught won the women’s race in 10:23:32. Yassine Dibouin had a strong race and finished 7th in this deep field in his first race since moving west. Full results
Iroquoia Trail Run 32km:
This was my first longer trail race and what got me interested in running ultras. It’s a very challenging run on the Bruce Trail that is almost always very hot and humid with lots of technical sections. David Romaniuk won the men’s race in 2:27:30 and Aine O’flynn was the top female in 2:51:54. Full results.
5 Peaks – Camp Fortune:
The next race in the 5 Peaks Eastern Ontario and Quebec trail running series took place on Saturday with Jean-Francois Gagne winning the men’s Enduro race in 1:00:56 and Sherrie Kelly winning the women’s in 1:07:19. Full results.
Transrockies Stage Race:
Transrockies began on Sunday. It was good to see the Canadian team of Phil Villeneuve and Gavin Hamilton take third place in the first of six stages. It will be very interesting to follow the week of racing. This is one race that I would love to do. It would be so much fun to run in the mixed race with Sara. Daily results and updates from Phil’s blog.
Training Summary for the week:
Total # of hours this week: 24:36
shoes: La Sportiva Crosslites (42)
(AM) Cat E-Sydenham-Stage coach-Campbell-Murvale-Scanlan-K&P-KPH-waterfont. Freakin' hot and humid. Started at 9:30am with the intention of running to Kingston, but gave myself an out in Sydenham if not feeling great. Felt very good for the first 2hrs. Ran short of water and had to ration too much from 2:30-3:30 (cut back on electrolytes and gels here too) and felt rough during that period with some cramping and stomach issues. Got more water at 3:30, but took until 4hrs before I started feeling better. Felt awesome from 4hrs for the rest of the run. Cooler in RT and along waterfront too. Considered adding on, but felt good to finish strong. Very good confidence builder to pull myself back out of a tough place after things went south for a bit.
shoes: Adidas Gazelle CC
(AM) Lemoines. A little tired for the first 10mins, but loosened up and felt really good. Steady run. Nice along water. Not as hot as yesterday. Started to get pretty hungry after an hour, but didn't eat as much as I should have last night and this morning.
shoes: La Sportiva Wildcat
(PM) Cat W. Easy run with Sara. Felt pretty good once I got going.
shoes: La Sportiva Crosslites (42)
(AM) Hilly Long Run. Cat E-Escarpment-RT-Everett Lane. Great run. A little cooler out. Eased into run for the first 2hrs, then steady on hills of Everett Lane. Recovered through RT/Escarpment on way back + Steripened water at Knowles Lake, then steady back home. Felt very strong on the heels of Monday's long run. Hip stiffened up a bit at the end, but felt like I could have kept going.
(AM) Cat Tr W. Legs pretty heavy after yesterday and the past few days. Quite content to just jog along, flush out the legs and let some recovery happen. Happiness is a fresh new pair of La Sportiva Crosslites! I always feel like I can take them right out of the box and not have any issues on long runs, but will be sure to get some hours in them before Haliburton . I really like how they flex after a few weeks.
shoes: Nike Zoom Streaks
(PM) Cat Tr West. Easy with Sara. Very hot and humid again. Legs felt better tonight.
shoes: La Sportiva Crosslites (41.5)
(AM) Cat W to Camden East. Started off pretty easy, then picked it up and felt great. Very hot and humid.
shoes: La Sportiva Skylites
(PM) Cat W-E-Boundary. Ran out Cat W w/Sara, then picked it up and ran 20min tempo on Cat E to home. Felt awesome. Fully recovered and wanted to keep going. Cooled off a little by the end.
shoes: Adidas Gazelle CC
(AM) Cat West. Easy with Sara.
shoes: La Sportiva Skylites
(PM) Cat Trail. Nice relaxed run with Dylan O. Felt great. Legs felt well recovered.
shoes: La Sportiva Crosslites (42)
(PM) Frontenac Park. TC-Northern Perimeter-O&B on Corridor South along Big Salmon Lake and back along other side. First 3.5hrs comfortable with Sara, then picked it up and ran steady for the last 2.5hrs. Felt quite good, even with all the volume this week. Fueled well the whole time, and included some 'real' food for variety. Getting a little tired by the end and probably should have taken some extra gels in the past few hours, which would have helped with recovery. Chilled a bit sitting in wet clothes for the drive home, but good now. Ready for a bit of recovery. Not much else to do to improve fitness at this point. Will take some extra recovery days between moderate efforts now.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Check out the contest at the La Sportiva Mountain Running Blog for the wackiest thing that you have seen during a trail run.
Also, be sure to drop by IRunFar.com to get your name in for a couple of chances both here and here to win La Sportiva shoes.
It doesn't end there. Even if you don't win a pair at any of the above contests, be sure not to miss the Sydenham Fall Trail Run where 4 pairs of La Sportiva shoes will be handed out!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
One of the drawbacks to Spot however is the expense involved...until now that is! I have discovered and launched a new system which offers a similar service to Spot, but at a fraction of the price. I am excited to bring to you the new 'Bank Card Tracking' System or 'BCT' for short.
The BCT system was successfully launched on Monday, August 17, 2009 during my 5 hour long run into Kingston from Yarker. The weather conditions for the initial testing of the system were ideal, with humidex readings in the mid-upper 30's Celsius. The route taken lent itself well for BCT as I ran the Cataraqui Trail from Yarker to Sydenham, then took the K&P Trail into Kingston.
My first BCT signal occurred when I stopped to refill my water bottles at the Foodland store in Sydenham. I purchased the water and paid for it with my BCT unit (also known as Bank debit card). Immediately, the transaction was registered with our bank and Sara was able to view from BCT Headquarters (her office at work) through online banking that I had just made a purchase at Foodland. Beauty! The system works!
I then continued my run on the K&P Trail until I required more water at the Sydenham Road Convenience Store in Kingston. Once again, I made the purchase and once again through the powers of online banking, Sara was able to track my progress and see that I had made it to my next destination. What a simple, cheap and yet effective form of tracking!
We expect the launch of this new tracking system to take the Adventure and Ultra Running world by storm, and yes folks you heard about it here first.
Look for other applications of the BCT system in the future that applies more to late night outings at the various pubs in Kingston. Much further testing will be required!
Sunday, August 16, 2009
They are kind of like tattoos...Once you get one, you can't stop.
We never really planned on putting any bumper stickers on 'Floyd the Forester' until we found a 'woof' sticker that we thought would be cute. Seeing a woof sticker with 5 huskies loaded in the back of a car and a dogsled on the roof rack seemed fitting.
From there, we added a La Sportiva sticker, which was also appropriate since they are so generous and sponsor us with such great gear. Add to that, now we have an irunfar.com sticker that Bryon Powell gave us during his visit (see irunfar's facebook page for a photo of Floyd), a Dion running snowshoes sticker and a Julbo sticker. Just noticed that Floyd made in on La Sportiva's facebook page too.
Where will it end?
Pikes Peak Marathon:
The trail/mountain running race of the week was definitely the Pikes Peak Marathon in Colorado. Matt Carpenter proved that he owns this mountain by winning once again. It was also great to see former Kingston high school track star Colin Dignum (now living in Vancouver)finish as the top Canadian in 11th place.
New 100m World Record:
And what running blog would be complete without mentioning Usain Bolt's new world record of 9.58 in the 100 meters at the World Championships. Incredible!
~ This week started off very solid with some big volume days. I had planned to continue and finish off the week with a long run on the weekend before taking a few easy days to recover. I woke up feeling a little sluggish and like I was fighting a cold on Saturday, so decided to take an early recovery day or two. I felt much better on Sunday, but will wait and see how I feel on Monday before running long to start off the next phase in my final buildup to Haliburton. The back to back easy days are probably also a blessing in disguise as my right shin has continued to bark a little since I fell on my hip about 10days ago.
Total # of hours this week: 12:03
Total # of runs this week: 11
2009 total # of hours: 388:30
2009 total # of days: 234
2009 total # of runs: 300
Streak: 7,173 days in a row
Training Log Details: click here
Thursday, August 13, 2009
My Julbos are an essential part of my running kit and I wear them for almost every single run, even on cloudy days, as my eyes are quite sensitive to light (possibly due to a past illness).
I train mostly in the Julbo Track and Trail models and have found them to be the two best sunglasses that I have ever worn. They are comfortable, super lightweight, anti-fog, very breathable, offer maximum vision, have a lens that darkens/lightens depending on light intensity, and are virtually indestructible as evident by what I have put them through many times. I also use the Instinct and Race but tend to wear them mostly in the winter as they have slightly more coverage for protection from the elements.
Even though they won't necessarily protect you from crazed bees on the trail, I can't recommend Julbo enough and would encourage you to consider them the next time that you are looking for a great pair of sunglasses for running.
For more information on Julbo sunglasses, visit http://www.julbousa.com/
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
These puppies are staying outside on the porch;)
***Disclaimer: This should in no way be interpreted as a reflection on La Sportiva, as everyone knows that they make the best trail running shoes on the market! ***
Update (08/13/09): Karen M. just sent in a photo of a suggestion that seems to work in their household...
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Most of the trails I run on are multi-use recreational trails, snowmobile trails or private trails, so I don’t often share the trails with ‘just’ hikers when I’m trail running. Over the past few months I have had the opportunity to do so with an increased number of runs at Frontenac Provincial Park, in addition to our recent trip to the Adirondacks.
At Frontenac Provincial Park, I very rarely see any hikers on the trails. It seems as though it is more of a place to paddle due to the vast number of small lakes that can be connected by portages. When I do see hikers, I am always quick with a ‘hi’ or making myself heard with a ‘coming up behind’ when about to pass a hiker on the trail. Usually this is met with a friendly response, but not always. Maybe just because I am becoming more aware of it, but I have noticed an increased number of hikers who don’t say anything or even seem to frown upon me as I pass.
The Adirondacks are home to some of the most beautiful trails and mountains I have seen. You have access to many great peaks within relatively short distances. For this reason, the trails in Adirondack Park are very heavily used. During some recent runs I was quite surprised at the number of grumpy hikers on the trail and I’m still unsure why.
On one of my runs I ran to the top of Mount Marcy which is a very popular hike, as it is the highest mountain in the Adirondacks. I had a fairly early start to my run, but because of the distance into Mt. Marcy, I still passed a large number of hikers who had gotten a very early start to their day. While most of the hikers where very pleasant when I passed, there were a few who seemed like they did not want to let me pass them on the trail. I got the impression that since they had an earlier start than I did that they wanted to be the first to see the summit on that day. There were a number of times that I actually had to squeeze around hikers to get by even though they saw me coming up quickly behind them.
The same thing occurred on my way down from the summit. I would be running down the mountain and meet a number of hikers who would just not want to share the trail and practically force me into the trees or rocks off the side.
In fairness, I did meet quite a few hikers with great attitudes and thought it was pretty neat to see someone running up and down a mountain. I found that it tended to be families with young children who were most intrigued by seeing someone running on these trails and would offer words of support or enthusiasm. I felt that this was probably due to the parents who were already setting a good example by taking their kids for a hike and that this was another affirmation that the trails could be enjoyed in another means if the kids so desired, and speed is always of interest to kids. I had a number of kids ask me how long it took me to run to the top and who thought it was a pretty cool way to see the summit. Their enthusiasm was very refreshing.
My impression was that it was the old school hikers, who wanted the trails to themselves and didn’t appreciate something a little different like a runner sharing THEIR trails. It was with these sourpusses that I tried to be extra friendly to and flash my cheesiest smile with a ‘great day on the trails, eh?’. I thought it was especially good to throw some Canadian content into the conversation just to let them be pissed off at those ‘damn Canadian trail runners’, even if they are nice people.
Maybe this phenomenon was just the day and my increased level of awareness in thinking about it during longer trail runs alone recently. Or maybe this is more common and a growing issue with hikers? I’d be interested in knowing what others have found.
Time to finish my coffee now and go terrorize some hikers;)
Monday, August 10, 2009
~ Big week starting off with the end of our vacation in the Adirondacks and finishing with a 5hr run on Sunday. Had a few aches and pains from last weekend in the mountains and the additional hiking involved on top of all the running mileage, but was great training. I fell hard during my run on Thursday as well which caused some hip/glute pain in addition to compensating for a few days. All seems pretty good now, other than a bit of stiffness after yesterday. Great week.
Total # of hours this week: 19:14
Total # of runs this week: 9
2009 total # of hours: 376:27
2009 total # of days: 227
2009 total # of runs: 289
Streak: 7,166 days in a row
Training Log Details: click here
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
We got away in good time on Saturday morning, but due to the long holiday weekend, were blessed with a long wait at the border. We normally go into the U.S. through Ogdensburg, but needed to pick up a few things in Watertown, so decided to cross at the busy Hill Island border crossing instead. Big mistake as the lineup was back almost as far as highway #401.
After finally getting through customs, and picking up some supplies, it was quick sailing right through to Lake Placid. Our plan was to stay at Heart Lake Campground in the High Peaks Region, but we could only get reservations for Sunday and Monday night, so had to make due with a busy, tourist type campground in Wilmington called the North Pole Campground. It was fine and had many enjoyable features that we took advantage. Sara went for a run up the Whiteface Mountain Trail while the rest of us got in some swimming, ping pong and foosball, after setting up our tents. The next couple of days would involve more rustic, outdoor living, so I must admit that we did enjoy this.
Whiteface Mountain Run (Sunday AM): Running 2:37:00
I got an early start on Sunday morning at the rather ungawdly hour of 5:30am to get a good run in before everyone else was up and ready to start the day. I ran from the North Pole Campsite through private trails trying to find the Whiteface Mt Trail. I ended up getting a little turned around and wasted about 30mins trying to find the proper route. This was strange as I've run this before (?)...must have been the early start and pre-coffee. I eventually found the trail and started running going up. The one thing about the High Peaks Region is that trail running is tough and there don't tend to be many switchbacks. Once you start climbing, it can get very steep. I got up to about 4000ft, before running short on time and deciding to turn around. I did end up getting about 3000ft of climbing in the first 93mins. I came back down to the reservoir trail to Whiteface Auto Road for the final mile to get back quicker. I got some great views in on the run, but knew that the weather looked like it was changing and going to be a wet day. Running wise, I felt quite good though.
Avalanche Pass Hike (Sunday PM): Hiking 4:40
After a quick breakfast, we packed up our gear and headed to Adirondack Loj at Heart Lake. The weather still looked promising at the beginning, but the forcast was calling for rain with a chance of thunderstorms later in the day. We had decided to hike into Avalanche Pass and were glad that we had chosen this route as we didn't want to be up high if the weather turned bad.
Avalanche Pass is a beautiful, but challenging hike that goes into Avalanche Lake. As the name suggests, many avalanches have occurred in this area, with the most recent significant one happening in 1999. The result of this being a massive exposed rockface that is spectacular beyond words. The final mile into Avalanche Lake is the most rugged, with having to scramble over rocks, roots and trees. The view once you arrive is well worth the long hike in with rock climbing straight out of the water on both sides of the lake.
The weather started to turn bad with heavy rain, however we were well sheltered most of the way and the rain did offer a nice cooling affect during our brisk hike. We were continually amazed at how well Brennan and Heather managed the hike and were pushing the pace. They were very eager to get to our destination. We found a rock ledge at the end of the lake and hunkered down for a quick lunch while trying to stay somewhat dry. At this point the rain was coming down in buckets.
After lunch we began our hike back to Heart Lake with trail and weather conditions deteriorating along the way. We were covered in mud, soaked to the skin, but had a wonderful time. The entire route that we did was at least 10miles round trip.
Arriving back at camp, we were fortunate to have reserved a leanto for Sunday night. Leanto's are basically a 3 wall, open air shelter that would provide protection from the weather. Luckily, it looked like it was clearing and the rain was over. It was still nice to be able to hang our wet gear around the leanto and try to dry out for the next day.
I was pleased with the amount of time on my feet today as I had a combined time of 7:17 for running and hiking.
Mount Marcy Run (Monday AM): Running 4:33:00
With the Haliburton 100miler fast approaching in September, I was looking to take advantage of our vacation to get a good long run in. I had another early start to the day and set out to run up Mount Marcy. Mount Marcy is the highest peak in NY at 5,344 ft. The trail conditions were very muddy and wet, so I had to be careful on the wet rock, especially on the way down. There were a few very deep sections of mud and water to run through that were halfway up to my knees. I took my time up and got to the summit in about 2:10. I spent about 5 minutes at the top to enjoy the view, have some Clif bloks and a gel before starting back down. The view was awesome as it was a pretty clear day, however it was windy and cold so I was ready to get running again.
Catamount Mountain Hike/Climb (Monday PM) Hiking/Climbing 3:47
After getting back to Heart Lake and grabbing another quick breakfast, we headed out to climb Catamount Mountain. Catamount is at 3,165 ft and features about 1,600 ft of climbing. The great thing about this mountain is that it isn't one of the better known or well travelled mountains, so there weren't many people on the mountain. The bad thing is that the trail wasn't as well marked. This didn't prove to b a problem though as we found our way quite easily. The trail finding was the easy part, the climb?...not so easy. This was a great hike/climb that featured a wonderful combination of nice trail, challenging climbs, crazy scrambles and a rocky summit. We got to the south summit having just gotten up some tough sections and thought we were at the top, only to realize that we still had about another 30mins of climbing to go. It was definitely worth it though. We had a great view at the summit on a clear day. Once again, Brennan and Heather just rocked on this climb. Some tired swamp dawgs by the time we got down after two big days, but we had so much fun.
I had another solid day on my feet again today with a combined time of 8:20 for running and hiking on Monday.
Monday night consisted of our final evening at Heart Lake with a huge dinner of campfire favourites including pizza wraps, sweet potatoes, chips and s'mores, all cooked over the open flame. Our appetites were pretty big after the past few days of activity and I'm sure we could have eaten dirt and been content.
The drive home on Tuesday morning was a little sad with the thought of leaving the mountains, but we had some great memories to take back with us.
For more photos from our trip, please click here.