Sunday, April 25, 2010

Week of Apr 19 - 25: SHA runners at Boston, 5Peaks and Limestone City

There were a lot of great performances this past week with congratulations going out to a number of SHA runners in a variety of different races...

Boston Marathon (Monday)
David had his annual pilgrimage to the Boston Marathon again this past Monday. Fresh off the Pittsfield Snowshoe Marathon, he didn’t have a ton of road miles in his legs, but managed to pretty much nail his pre-race expectations with a very solid and evenly paced 3:28:45.

Dundas 5Peaks (Saturday)
Stuart didn’t take much time off after his Seaton Trail 26km from the week before, but came back with a gut busting 12km run at the Dundas 5Peaks Trail Race. The course is quite challenging and Stuart did very well to dip under an hour in this race in a great time of 58:48.

KRRA Limestone 5km (Sunday)
EJ ran an awesome race to finish as 10th female, and 3rd master, in this very competitive local race in a time of 21:57. Race day conditions weren’t ideal with high winds, which unfortunately seemed to slow some runners down by as much as 30-60seconds compared to previous years, but EJ’s time was still a full minute faster than last year!

Congrats to everyone and recover well!

My Training Summary:
This was my biggest volume week since last August and I’m continuing to feel really good in training. My long run last Monday was 4:30 and was quite comfortable. My achilles was barking for a few days following, but has bounced back quite well with more attention to rehab and using the Tanda SLD unit. I was pleased that I was able to also include some fairly hard, sustained longer efforts mid-late week as well. I’m still looking at upcoming race options and hope to have something picked out soon.

Total # of hours last week – 18:14
Total # of hours this year – 172:42
Streak – 7,426 days of running in a row
Training Log Details

Friday, April 23, 2010

Racing on my Mind

I am a sucker for my training log. Probably no surprise to most who know me as I've kept a detailed training log since I first started running year round in 1982, and have documented every run that I've done. I love going back through it and reviewing it from time to time. The training log doesn't lie and you can quickly tell if you are ready to start thinking about specific goals for a race.

Looking back to this past January, I was in the worst shape of my life due to the knee injury that had hampered me since October. I was still running 20mins very easy each day, but this was certainly not training and things were not looking optimistic. I had gained weight, lost all fitness and was not in a good place. I was even at the point where I was thinking that I might have to take a day (something I hadn't done in over 20years), or extended period of time off of running to get healthy. Looking back on it, I probably should have put a little more emphasis on doing some cross training to maintain cardio fitness, but I really don't enjoy it. For me, it's all about the run. That's what I love. Getting out on the trails daily, exploring nature and feeling alive.

Fortunately, things finally started to turn around in late January with a renewed focus on doing everything possible to get better and I began to see some improvement. Through a combination of laser treatment, Active Release Therapy, acupuncture, foam rolling, Stick Massage, strength training/rehab exercises, Tanda SLD light therapy and even diet changes, things started improving.

February was a bit of a transition month, then I finally began to feel like I was actually training again in early March. March and April have been great months with the past 7 weeks all being over 11 hours of running each week with a high week so far of just under 17 hours. My long run is now up to 4:30 and I feel like I can further increase this as well as I felt really strong on this one.

The one thing that I am a little surprised with is that some of the times that I'm running on my standard routes have gotten faster than I remember ever doing them before in past years. I am at a bit of a loss on this with all of the time that I had to cut back. As much as I don't want to admit it and don't want to go there again, maybe some downtime is what my body needed to recharge itself a bit.

With the way that I'm feeling right now I am anxious to do a race sometime soon. I haven't decided what yet, but whatever I do I want it to be a very low key event and just get the time in as more of a training effort and not think about racing it. I had thought about Pick Your Poison 50km next weekend, but am probably leaning more towards waiting until the end of the month. Sulphur Springs 50km and 50mile is about the right timing, but I'm not sure I want to run that course (jinxed as I am there).

There are a few races in the US that have peaked my interest in May and June, with the Laurel Highlands Ultra being one of them. Any suggestions of other races are certainly welcome.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Week of April 12 - 18: Bruins and Seaton

Go Bruins Go!:
The playoffs have started. Once again I'll be following my beloved Boston Bruins in their quest for the Stanley Cup. Unlike last year, when they were one of the potential favourites going into the playoffs, this year they didn't qualify until the final week of the regular season. Maybe that means that they'll go further, or all the way, this year.

They have certainly started the playoffs well with the series with Buffalo tied at 1-1. The Bruins played very well in both games and if they can continue to play with the same intensity, should have a good chance of getting past the Sabres.

Seaton Trail 50mile, 52km, 26km:
Saturday was the first race of the Ontario Ultra Series with the Seaton Trail races taking place in Pickering. While the results haven't been posted yet, I'd like to say a huge congrats to Aaron (5:55/52km), JD (6:40/52km) and Stuart (2:28/26km).
Aaron ran the 25km at Seaton last year, then progressed to his first 50km at Haliburton in September. With this only being Aaron's 2nd ultra, he has improved a lot in less than a year. JD is coming off of his big race at Susitna and it looks like he is now fully recovered and ready to take on a number of races in the OUS Series. Stuart ran a very strong race in his first attempt at a longer trail distance and this speaks very well for what he has lined up for the rest of the summer. Complete results will be posted here when they are available.


Training Summary:
My training consisted of a little bit lower volume week than I had originally planned, however there was more quality training compared to what I had done in a while. Wednesday morning was a steady effort over a 2hr route with a good climb, Thursday evening was hill repeats at Little Cat and Saturday morning was a pretty hard 95min progression run from my parents house back to our place. The only real planned hard session was actually Thursday, as the rest just sort of happened. Not always the best approach and I certainly felt the efforts accumulate. I also did some scrambling around on Friday after getting bit by a deer tick, which resulted in a short day. A very busy week, but I'm looking forward to things settling down again for this coming week and getting back into a more normal routine. My right achilles has been barking a bit off and on, which combined with everything else, made sense to take Sunday very light.

Total # of hours last week – 14:02
Total # of hours this year – 154:18
Streak – 7,419 days of running in a row

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wednesday Fun

I've mentioned before that my Wednesday night run is my favourite run of the week.

The trail that I tend to run on Wednesday is one that I run regularly, so what is it that makes this run so special? ....The company!

For the past three weeks, we have sort of started a bit of a tradition of going on a fun trail run with Sara and Heather. It's been really fun seeing how Heather really enjoys the good things about trail running and how well she has adapted to these runs. It doesn't get much better than seeing the joy on the face of your 13 year old daughter who is enjoying running for all the right reasons...mainly that of being in the woods and getting some exercise.

The fun doesn't only happen during the trail run though. Brennan takes this opportunity to explore the trails, hills and jumps in the area on his new mountain bike at the same time that we're running.

Check out the video below of Brennan flying down the steepest, rockiest hill in Yarker.

Fun times!!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

New La Sportiva Contest

La Sportiva has another great contest... the April Showers bring May Flowers Running Contest!

Check out all the details at the La Sportiva Mountain Running Blog.

The contest winner will receive a pair of La Sportiva Mountain Running® shoes, First Endurance OptygenHP, a pair of Defeet Socks, Petzl E+Lite, and a Green-Layer apparel item.

Contest runs from today to June 1.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Apr 5 - 11: Canadian Ultrarunners Shine

Ok, I admit it, I'm a bit of a fanatic when it comes to finding race results. And there were some great ultra results on the weekend, with Canadians continuing to shine.

Diez Vista 50km:
This Port Mody race attracted a fantastic field of ultra runners this year. Last years winner Gary Robbins was out out to break his own course record of 4:15, but would have to content with ultramarathon newcomer (though not new to mountain or trail racing) Phil Villeneuve, and Chris Downie. Gary and Phil hammered each other early on, with Gary eventually pulling away to a new course record of 4:10. Phil struggled a little after 3hrs, but gamely hung on to finish in 5th place. Chris Downie ran a great race to finish in 2nd place in 4:25. Gary and Chris will both be running Miwok 100km next month with a qualifying birth into Western States on the line. Gary and Phil will then hook up again at the Canadian Death Race later in the summer.

Mt Si 50miler:
Ryne Melcher of BC also had a great race on the weekend setting a new course record at Mt Si 50miler near Seattle with a time of 5:54. Ryne seemed to be hampered by a knee injury for much of last year, but it seems like he's off to a great start in 2010.
Bull Run Run 50miler:
Adam Hill from the Orillia, Ontario kicked off his 2010 season in fine form again with another strong showing at the Bull Run Run in Virginia. Adam finished 4th in a time of 6:52, which I believe is his fastest time on the course.

American River 50miler:
Tracy Garneau of BC won the womens race at AR50 in a time 6:43. The men's winner was 2010 ultrarunner of the year, Geoff Roes of Alaska in a time of 5:49. You know that the popularity of ultrarunning is really taking off when you see the finish being streamed live online. Great to see.

Training Summary:
Personally, my training continues to go well. After a bit of a scare last weekend with my knee, I took a couple of light days early in the week and then continued with a pretty solid week to end up over 16 hrs again for the second time in three weeks. Highlights of the week included another great run with Sara and my daughter Heather on Wednesday, seeing a wolf on a run on Saturday, and then a nice steady run with Keith at Frontenac Park on Sunday. My body felt a little tired after the week, but I am pleased especially with how much stronger I felt on the hills on Sunday. I've been including more hills into my daily runs, which seem to be helping. It's getting to the point now where I feel I can honestly start thinking about hitting a race sometime in May. I'm not really sure yet on the date or distance, but I'll probably decide soon now.

Total # of hours last week – 16:18
Total # of hours this year – 140:16
Streak – 7,412 days of running in a row
Training Log Details

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

March 29 - April 4: Warning Sign

Funny... when I googled 'warning sign', this was one of the signs that came up. It wasn't exactly what I was thinking of, but thought it too perfect not to post.

Ultra runners sometimes have a very difficult time recognizing warning signs, knowing when to push, when to cut back and when rest a little more. I am certainly no exception.

This was was what got me into trouble last October with my knee injury. Two weeks after Haliburton I felt great and decided that I was going to race another 100miler in November. My first 4hr run back landed me at home with a tender knee. Instead of listening to my body, I continued training hard the remainder of that week and really screwed myself up. The injury was enough that it was February before I felt like I was able to run normally and really start training again. Lesson learned.

I've progressed well since then and had a great month of training in March, really much better than I ever thought I'd have only a few short months ago. However, I had a funny twinge in my knee on Sunday morning which was non-running related. I took an awkward step to the side and knew that something felt different. I didn't really think that much more of it and headed out for my long run. My plan was to go at least 4 - 4.5 hrs at Frontenac Park. My knee didn't really loosen up at all during the run though, so I decided to pack it in at just over 2.5 hours. The thought of late last fall and early winter was still fresh in my mind and I really didn't want to go there again. I proceeded to get right on top of my bag of rehab tricks and cut back a bit for a few days.

This time I listened to the warning sign and I already feel like things are much better than a few days ago. Maybe it was nothing on Sunday, but the twinge was right where I had injured my knee before so I was a little paranoid. Anyhow, all is well again in my world and I'll be looking to slowly increase again for the rest of this week with hopes of a great long run on the weekend.

Training Summary:
Total # of hours last week – 14:18
Total # of hours this year – 123:58
Streak – 7,405 days of running in a row
Training Log Details