Sunday, February 28, 2010

Week of February 22 - 28

What a great end to the Vancouver Olympics with Canada beating the U.S. in the men's gold medal hockey game.

Fantastic Olympics for Canada with a record number of medals and the most gold medals ever won by a country at the Winter Olympics.

We don't have a TV, but were able to watch some great events on the computer. The events I tended to enjoy the most were nordic skiing, long track speed skating and of course hockey.

Now that the Olympics are over, it's time to put the TV (ie. computer) away and enjoy life again without TV and all those damn annoying commercials. By the way, I think the most disappointing part of the whole 'TV experience' was seeing well known athletes endorsing MacDonald's. I know that many athletes struggle to make ends meet and need sponsorship dollars, but I was really disappointed to see them endorse a restaurant that I expect they would never consider supporting in part of their training with regards to a healthy diet. Anyhow, enough with the short rant, it was a great Olympics.

Also taking place this weekend was the World Invitational Snowshoe Race in Vancouver. Some of the top snowshoe racers from around the world participated. Mountain Running legend Jonothan Wyatt of New Zealand participated and the depth of the field was obvious as he finished in 3rd place. Top Canadian was Jason Loutitt in a very strong 6th place.

I would also like to say a huge congratulations to my sister Karen from Edmonton for completing her first Half Marathon. Karen ran a smart race clicking off steady 6:00/km's and finishing in a time of 2:06. She already sounds like she is looking forward to her next race. Very cool! Congrats again Karen!

Training Summary:
Another solid week of increases with my training. I'm very pleased to be approaching 10hours at this point. I've started adding some quality workouts as I've found that uphill running doesn't seem to affect my knee negatively. Sara and I have taken out a monthly membership at the new fitness centre at Queen's University which will be great to use a couple of times per week for uphill treadmill tempos, in addition to strength/rehab.

In addition to the uphill treadmill runs, I also increased my long run to 1:50. Everything felt good and I'm looking to continuing to slowly increase. The key is to make sure to listen to my body and take a good recovery day every 3-4 days.

Total # of hours this week – 9:43
Total # of hours this year – 55:20
Streak – 7,370 days of running in a row
Training Log Details

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Week of Feb 15 - 21

Busy times with lots of fun stuff going on.

Sara and I took Brennan and Heather to Barrie with us on the weekend and had a fun mini-work/mini-vacation at Horseshoe Valley Resort. I was going to be working at a Dion Snowshoe Booth at the Snowshoe Raid Adventure Race for a few hours, but the rest of the weekend was going to involve fun in the snow.

The Snowshoe Raid Adventure Race is one of the largest snowshoe events in Canada, and you can see why. Race director Bob Miller is very thorough and organizes a fantastic event. I’ve never done an adventure racing or orienteering, but it looked like a blast and they had great conditions for the event. Congrats to rookie participants Keith and Aaron who finished in 8th place out of over 90 teams. Keith and Aaron said the Dions performed well.

After the race, we headed back to the resort and spent a few hours downhill snow tubing. What a blast! Check out the below photo and videos. I was quite surprised with how fast we went down the hill. The sun was bright and temperatures were warm during the day, but had started to drop so it was lightening fast and icy. Fun stuff.

We all worked up a pretty big appetite after the tubing and had a great meal at the Crazy Horse Restaurant, before heading back to watch a little Olympics and an early night.

Horseshoe Valley Resort had a nice indoor pool that Heather was really looking forward to using, so we took advantage of that after breakfast before the drive home.

We were really surprised with the snow conditions in Barrie and with how nice the area is. We’re definitely looking to return there for some more winter fun in the future.
Team Zima (Aaron and Keith) in their first Adventure/Orienteering race...
Downhill Snow Tubing...

Heading uphill with the tube...

Brennan and Heather spinning downhill...

Brennan, Heather and me spinning wildly downhill...

Training Summary:
I was pretty pleased with my week of training. I increased quite a bit in the early to mid week, took a recovery day on Thursday, had another bigger day on Friday, then light days on Saturday and Sunday. I now feel that I have moved further along with the injury and in a good place to keep gradually increasing. I’m finding that I can take a few bigger days in a row as long as I take the odd recovery day now and again. I’m very happy to be at this point. I’ve also found a few specific procedures, treatments and rehab that I can do myself that I’ve learned from Greg. I’m still going to continue to keep my long runs under 90mins for a while, but feel like some double days are helping me to move forward.

Total # of hours this week – 8:00
Total # of hours this year – 45:37
Streak – 7,363 days of running in a row

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Week of Feb 8 - 14

Well, this past weekend was a very exciting weekend of races.

The Olympics are now underway and always fun to follow along with how the Canadians are doing. I have to say that I was more glued to two other races though.

EJ had a very solid run at the KRRA Twosome run with a time of 22:30. This was her second fastest time ever over the 5km distance, and although it was a little off of her breakthrough race in Florida last month, her training has been a little more relaxed since then with a focus towards the spring/summer. Having said that, she did place a very strong 4th master in the women's race in a very stacked race that may have been one of the stronger masters races in the area. Looking forward to what the spring has to offer for EJ.

Elsewhere and not quite as local was JD's big race in Alaska (report here). The Susitna 100 was JD's first 100miler and he nailed it. Participants had to pull their supplies/emergency gear in a pulk for the entire race. Conditions sounded like they were slow in places, but JD not only finished, but did so in a fantastic time of 36:59. Truly amazing. JD's hard work certainly paid off, as did his mental toughness in this killer race.

Congrats EJ and JD!


Training Summary:
~ I was really quite pleased with how the week went. I have felt pretty good with increasing the volume of my training a bit. My longest run was 86mins which felt great. The pace was not quite as slow as I thought it would have been either, so happy with that. I'm doing a lot of runs in the 45min range, but don't feel comfortable increasing the length of my long runs quite yet. I will continue to stack runs together with quite a few doubles until I gain more strength back in my knee. I actually ran 11 times last week and this approach seems to be working for me right now.

I am still feeling some discomfort in my knee, but it is much less than it was a few months ago when I was only running 20mins per day. I'm not at the point of ignoring the tightness or discomfort, but just going to plan to stop dwelling on it as much and start thinking more positive. I've mentioned that to clients in the past that you get to a point that you need to stop focusing on every little ache or pain when coming back from an injury. I believe that is part of the healing process. I think I find myself at that point right now. As long as things stay the same or continue to improve, I will be mentioning my knee issue less and less in my training log and think that is a good thing. Onward!

Total # of hours this week – 8:51
Total # of hours this year – 37:37
Streak – 7,355 days of running in a row
Training Log Details

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

La Sportiva Contest: How much do you love running?

Here's another great contest on the La Sportiva Mountain Running Blog.

If you have the best entry, you win a pair of La Sportiva Mountain Running® shoes, First Endurance OptygenHP, a pair of Defeet Socks, Petzl E+Lite, and a mystery Green-Layer apparel item!

Great deal! Click here for details and to submit your entry.

Snowshoe Magazine: Sydenham Hosts Dion Frontenac Snowshoe Race

The Dion Frontenac Snowshoe Race was held on January 23, 2010 in Sydenham, Ontario, Canada.

Living in Eastern Ontario, you would think that the options for snowshoe races would be endless. Not so, as we usually have to travel to either Quebec or the northeast U.S.

It was with that in mind that we decided to host the first ever snowshoe race in Eastern Ontario...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Week of Feb 1 - 7

Training Summary:
~ Continue to see improvement in both the strength of my knee and my fitness level. I still have some stiffness in my knee at the start of most runs, but it seems to disipate fairly soon into my runs. I've added a second run to a number of days to try to bump up the volume a little, but not put too much stress on my knee. This has been fairly favourable and has agreed with me. Still doing a ton of rehab, stretching, rolling and sticking, but definitely heading in the right direction.

Total # of hours this week – 6:34
Total # of hours this year – 28:46
Streak – 7,348 days of running in a row
Training Log Details

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Rocky Raccoon 50 miler

Congratulations to Oliver, who just completed his first 50miler at Rocky Raccoon in Texas.

I just got off the phone with him and he was pretty excited about his race. It didn’t unfold quite the way he had envisioned it, but ended up with an incredible result.

Oliver started the race very conservatively as planned and ran the first 16+ mile loop very relaxed. At about 20miles he was knocked over while meeting a runner who was trying to pass another runner on a narrow section of trail and went down hard on his knee. His knee was banged up pretty bad, combined with some stomach issues, but he got up and made it through the loop.

Once at the aid station at about 33 miles, he had to receive 10 STITCHES to his knee! They asked him if he wanted to drop out, and his immediate reply was ‘No F-ing way!’ He then got back out on the course and ran some of his fastest running of the day during the final 16 mile loop and finished in a great time of 10:10:44. Wow!!! That is truly impressive. Love it.

I’m sure that Oliver’s knee will be barking a bit tomorrow, but expect that he’s not feeling a thing tonight. Congrats again!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Bob Dion: Dion Snowshoes Video

Video of Snowshoe Running legend and snowshoe designer Bob Dion explaining the features and benefits of Dion Snowshoes.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

2010 La Sportiva Running Team and Sponsors Announced

The 2010 La Sportiva Running Team and Associate Sponsors were officially announced today.

Sara and I have been members of the La Sportiva Running Team since 2006. We feel very fortunate to be supported by such an amazing company that also makes the best trail running shoes on the market.

Aside from training and racing in great shoes, the La Sportiva Running Team is also supported by associate sponsors Greenlayer Sports Apparel, Petzl, Ultimate Direction and First Endurance. Additional sponsors also include Julbo, DeFeet and Headsweats. All of these companies share a passion for the sport of trail and ultra running.

We're looking forward to a great year in 2010 and thank all of these amazing companies for their generous support...and for making awesome gear!
Sara and Derrick's updated athlete profiles can be found on the 2010 La Sportiva Running Team Roster.
One final thank you to La Sportiva for their continued support of the Sydenham Fall Trail Run.

Week of Jan 25 - 31

Ultrarunners spend long hours on the trails and can get caught in all kinds of conditions. Here is an excellent post by Yassine that every ultrarunner should read. It's a great reminder of what can happen on the trail and to be prepared for anything. Very glad to see that everything ended well, but it certainly makes you think about similar situations that we have all been in and how it could have ended up.

Training Summary:
~ Was pretty sick for the week with a cold/flu including fever and sinus. This tends to happen sometimes after organizing a race and the funny thing was I wasn't even training hard during this time either. A lot of it is that I get pretty run down from thinking about what has to be done leading up to the race and on race day, so don't tend to get a lot of sleep. Anyhow, all is better now and I'm on the mend. I've upped the amount of rehab I've been doing now and plan to see continued improvement to get me past the current plateau. The key issue for me right now is to spend extra time stretching, rolling and using 'the Stick'.

Total # of hours this week – 2:59
Total # of hours this year – 22:12
Streak – 7,341 days of running in a row
Training Log Details