Monday, August 30, 2010


Another solid week of training and I'm really pleased with how my body has handled it. My goal last week was to increase the daily volume that much more, and hopefully feel good running long on the weekend.

Everything seemed to go very well all week with 5 days of running twice a day. I had one planned recovery day of 45mins, and then ended up cutting back to only 45mins on Sunday (instead of a long run) as I started to feel like I was fighting a bit of a flu bug on Saturday afternoon.

The big highlight of the week was my two physio appointments. It seems as though I've finally discovered the final piece to the puzzle of the past 10 months of injury. There have been a number of little things that have been addressed one at a time, but I seem to have the big picture now and through a combination of stretching, strengthening, rolling, sticking and physio manipulation, I have noticed very big changes just this week. The result in just a very short period of time has been that I now feel that I am running smoother and with equal strength and range of motion on both legs. This has been largely generated from freeing up much of the tightness in my right hip/psoas, which had been causing the knee pain, and indirectly the achilles pain.

The only drawback to all of this is the time that I need to spend daily doing rehab. I really just want to be out running, but realize the importance of the rehab work and have been hitting it hard.

I feel that right now I still need to be patient for a while, but am definitely in shape to start getting into shape....meaning that I'm not ready to think about racing to my best yet, but I can see that after another month or so that I could be in a better place to consider testing the waters.

Aside from running, we enjoyed a nice weekend with a couple of meals around the campfire in our backyard. We also set up a slackline between a couple of trees as a fun challenge to work on our balance. Brennan and Heather have also enjoyed giving it a go and I expect that we will be having yet another friendly competition in our house with this new activity.

Training Summary:
Total # of hours last week: 10:38
Total # of hours this year: 353:12
Streak (# of consecutive days of running): 7,552
Training Log Details for the Week
Heather mastering the Slackline...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Training and Taper Advice

There are a lot of folks doing their final long runs and beginning tapering into Haliburton now, and I thought it was a great opportunity to share 'the secret'.

I'm a huge fan of the Clash and just finished reading 'Redemption Song: The Ballad of Joe Strummer'. Great book and I highly recommend it.

Sara is currently reading it and I think has been quite surprised with some of the links to running...especially that Joe Strummer was a marathoner!

For some of the best training and tapering advice out there, you definitely want to check out what Strummer offers here.

Happy tapering!

An artist and his canvas

Brennan and my Dad working on building Brennan's mountain bike trail and jumps in our backyard today.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Steve Earle coming to Kingston

Very excited to see that Steve Earle just announced the Ontario dates of his current accoustic tour... and he's coming to Kingston on October 19th.

Steve Earle is, in my opinion, the best singer songwriter still putting out new material, and who is still performing.

We last saw him at the Festival of the Islands a few years in Gananoque and he put on an amazing show. I've been a huge fan since his early days for his mix of great songs in a political voice. This tour will be in support of his recent 'Townes' recording that was a tribute to his late mentor Townes Van Zandt.

The bonus part of this show is that Mike Plume will be opening for him. I've wanted to see Mike Plume live for a long time, so this will be a great opportunity.

With the concert being two days after the Sydenham Fall Trail Run, this will also be a great way to unwind from the busy schedule leading up to the race.

Tickets bought....third row :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Tired Pipes and Daily Doubles

It feels good going into the new week with tired pipes.

Last week was a great week with an increase in training. Getting back up to 11.5 hours of running again feels good. This is the largest week since early June, when my knee injury flared up. Certainly not where I want to be, but a good start.

The increase last week was mostly due to higher weekday volume, and beginning to run twice a day again. Double runs seem to have been good for my knee and achilles. I have kept my long runs quite moderate for now until I get the green light though. Some faster paced runs have also been sprinkled in which seems to have helped with my stride efficiency. I've also been focusing on a little more flexibility work and continued rehab.

Tomorrow will be another physio appointment to assess my situation a little further and what I need to do next to get me back to 100%. I'm feeling good that I can keep increasing, but still feel that there is something generated from my hips that needs to be tweaked. I feel pretty confident that I will be able to turn it around quite quickly though.

On the armchair athlete side of running, there were a lot of great races to follow along this past weekend. As mentioned on my Twitter, congratulations to SHA runners David and JD for solid races at the Iroquoa Trail Test 32km. Both ran awesome races as final tuneups for Haliburton.

Elsewhere, there were some interesting races on the weekend that included Pikes Peak, Where's Waldo, Transrockies and Leadville 100.

Also, a huge congrats to Gary Robbins for setting a new speed record of 35hrs and 17min on the 220km East Coast Trail in Newfoundland.

Now, it's time to start thinking about when and where Sara and I can consider racing again this fall. We pondered this a lot during our run at Frontenac Park yesterday, but are still a ways off from making any decisions just yet.

Training Summary:
Total # of hours last week: 11:27
Total # of hours this year: 342:34
Streak (# of consecutive days of running): 7,545
Training Log Details for the Week

Video of Gary Robbins setting a speed record on the East Coast Trail and short interview...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cataraqui Trail

We live about 3km's north-east of the Hamlet of Yarker on a dirt road. The Cataraqui Trail is a 104km trail that runs through Yarker. We run on the 'Cat' pretty much daily, as a regular run, but also to connect to our other favourite trail networks including the Rideau Trail, K&P Trail, and various other snowmobile and ATV trails.

There are many beautiful sections of the Cataraqui Trail, with some of our favourite parts including the course of the Sydenham Fall Trail Run, and a remote section of trail between Perth Road Village and Chaffey's Locks that features a number of high cliffs and hidden lakes.

Aside from running on the Cataraqui Trail, it's also a great place to dogsled on in the winter. We've recently noticed a larger number of people utilizing this multi-use recreational trail which is really great to see.

There's a new website for Yarker at . I was looking through it this morning and discovered a photo of a very familiar looking runner on the Cat Trail going over the Napanee River.

Monday, August 16, 2010


We have a new friend who has been joining us at Freeman Road Base Camp lately….a tree frog affectionately named Bugsy.

Bugsy stops by our living room window nightly to feast on the insects that are attracted to the light from inside. He’s a pretty smart little guy and surprisingly quick and efficient at catching his dinner. While it’s fascinating to watch him at his task, we can’t help but feeling a little bit bad for his prey. I guess when it’s about survival; the whole barbaric action seems a little more understandable.

Bugsy joins ‘Sherpa’ the chipmunk and ‘Quigley’ the squirrel as regular visitors around our place.

Aside from watching the Bugsy show on our own nature channel, we had a great weekend and spent some time getting caught up with my nephews Matthew and Michael from Munster. We enjoyed a great night around a campfire swapping stories and getting caught up. Was good to see you again guys!


Training Summary (Aug 9-16)
I felt pretty good about my training week. I’ve started to add some doubles into the week and had a couple of weekdays that totaled 90mins. I cut my long run back to just over two hours this week as the previous two weeks were both over 3hrs, so time for a recovery. I enjoyed a great run with David on Saturday going in on the Rideau Trail to the East end of Frontenac Park and doing the Great Rock/Slide Lake Loop with a short out and back added on. (Was nice getting out with David for a much overdue run, and great to see how strong he is right now going into the Haliburton 50miler next month.)

Structurally everything seems quite good. I had a few days with a tender achilles from walking in my Crocs a little too long, a little too quickly (Stupid me!). However, after treating it aggressively with the Tanda and Zanagen, it seemed to respond very quickly.

I’m really looking forward to increasing further now with the focus on gradually adding more volume, but maintaining my emphasis on rehab, stretching and strengthening.

Total # of hours last week: 8:06
Total # of hours this year: 331:07
Streak (# of consecutive days of running): 7,538

Friday, August 13, 2010

Office Assistant

Mr Happy Sore Legs

Woke up this morning with tired, sore legs....but in a very good way!

I can usually tell during the first few steps upon getting up how my little nigglies are and if my knee and achilles are happy or not. Today, both were not barking in the least. In fact, they are probably in the best place that they've been in months. The fact that I've increased my training a bit this week has me feeling fatigued, but certainly very optimistic. The added volume has rewarded me with only sore legs from the 'in training' variety, but not the injury kind. That makes me happy!

Recovery between bouts of training will continue to be very important as I move forward, but I'm feeling in a very good place in my current state of soreness.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Colorado Dreaming: James Peak

I still find myself dreaming of the mountains. Apparently I'm not the only one....see Sara's blog.

Just uploaded a few videos today, which were fun to look at. I had to laugh at the above video of our run up James Peak. I mentioned about there being no clouds at the summit...not sure where the heck I was looking? There were clouds everywhere! Must have been the thin air affecting my brain ;)

Fun playing on St. Mary's Glacier.

Then, this and this video from Crankworx for Brennan.

Oh well, it's been great to be running a bit more this week and exploring some of our local trails. Looking forward to summiting 'The Great Rock' on Saturday morning.

Monday, August 9, 2010


Colorado was amazing!

I find myself thinking that I’m a bad Canadian for saying that I enjoyed the U.S. Rockies more than the Canadian Rockies. In fairness, there were probably a number of things that contribute to this statement. When we visited Banff last fall we were there partially for Sara’s work and were both working through some nasty injuries that prevented us from enjoying it to its fullest. It was also during the fall, so the weather was a little bit dreary.
While we are both still fighting injuries again now, we are coming out of the other end of it. Also, being able to share this trip with Brennan and Heather was beyond fun, and each day was a great adventure.

Boulder (Wed, Thu)

Boulder is cool, with a capital C. We stayed at a cottage/cabin in Boulder that was right on the Boulder Creek Trail with great views of the mountains right out the window. The plan was to do a few things around this very happening town before heading into the wilderness a bit more. Boulder is situated at just over 5,000ft, so was a good opportunity to acclimatize a little before heading up higher.

Pearl Street Outdoor Mall: What a fun place. We enjoyed pizza at an outdoor patio, while Brennan was ‘volunteered’ to assist a street performer/busker. Bren didn’t have to swallow any lit torches, but performed with excellence.

La Sportiva: We popped into see Ian at La Sportiva. Great to meet him, have a tour of the facility and see all the incredible new 2011 Sportiva models. Brennan and Heather also got to see the La Sportiva Olympus Mountaineer boot that is used for technical 8,000 meter climbs such as on Everest. Very cool.
Rocky Mountain National Park: Enjoyed a beautiful drive into the Park. Had a great hike with Bren and Heather into Emerald Lake at over 10,000ft. Just spectacular views. While I think we all noticed the elevation change, it didn’t seem like anyone was too bothered by it.
Running: As mentioned, right out the door in Boulder we were on the Boulder Creek Trail and could be heading up a mountain in less than 5 minutes. We did a couple of runs from here with a nice run up Flagstaff Mountain to the summit at about 6,800ft early one morning with great views of the Flatirons and Green Mountain. The red dirt and windy trails were so much fun to run on. The thing that really struck me about the trails in Boulder was that, yes you were running up mountains, but that they were very runnable for the most part. So many times when we are running up mountains on trips to the Adirondacks, the trails end up going straight up, however in Colorado, they make full use of switchbacks that help to make the trails a little more practical and enjoyable for running. This was something that we noticed on many of our runs during the trip.

Pemba Sherpa Restaurant: We had a wonderful dinner at Sherpa's restaurant that included Tibetan, Nepalese and Indian food. Very interesting. It was also cool to see various mountaineering gear and articles from past expeditions. Brennan and Heather were great sports about trying an adventurous menu too, but weren’t quite sure about the Yak Dung Burgers;)
St. Mary’s Glacier (Fri, Sat, Sun)

We rented a condo at the foot of St. Mary’s Glacier for the next three days to base ourselves out of and do day trips from. It was a perfect spot to relax, explore and recharge our batteries at night. The weather was usually sunny and clear in the morning, with thunderstorms arriving in the afternoon. An early start was needed each day.

Crankworx (Fri): Some of the best mountain bikers in the world were doing some sick, squirrely tricks at Winterpark. Very cool competition that may not have been a good thing for Brennan’s safety to see. I think he was pretty blown away to see this live though, as we all were. It was amazing to see what people could actually do on a bike from 20 or more feet in the air. St. Mary’s Glacier Hike (Sat): We all enjoyed an awesome hike to the top of St Mary's Glacier and kept climbing towards James Peak. The going was tough for us flatlanders in places, but we were rewarded with some amazing views. We had lunch above the glacier at about 11,700ft with a great view of James Peak, but then headed back down shortly after because of the ominous looking weather. Sliding back down the glacier was a blast and we saw many people backcountry snowboarding and skiing there. Brennan and Heather did amazing up high, and I think found it interesting how their bodies reacted to the altitude at various heights. We got back to the trailhead just in time as the skies opened up with a heavy rainstorm.
Condo: We were fortunate that we had a great place to base ourselves out of. Other than a brief trip down into Idaho Springs for some groceries, we had everything we needed at our Glacier accommodations. We went for short hikes after dinner most nights near the glacier that usually included a little bushwacking and climbing.
Running: We enjoyed great trail runs from the condo with a number of options right out our door. Sunday was going to be a quiet day at the condo to recharge the batteries a little, so Sara and I took off for an early morning run up James Peak. This route featured the same hike we did the previous day with Brennan and Heather. We ran up St Mary's Glacier, then continued on to the summit of James Peak at 13,294ft. James Peak is the highest peak in the Indian Range and is on the Continental Divide. It was a tough run, but once again spectacular views. The views of the very rugged Mt Bancroft were beyond words, with a massive drop off on the one side.
Another enjoyable run was up the Mine Trail with a beautiful view of the glacier. I got a little turned around on the many off-shooting trails on the final morning and glad I had the GPS to point me back. Was a bit worried with the weather, but it blew over.
Mount Evans and Red Rocks (Mon)

Mount Evans: We drove to Mt Evans, then a short hike to the top at 14,265ft. The road was a little sketchy driving above tree-line with no guardrails, but we made it (Whew!). We were a little worried once again with the weather, but had an early start and were rewarded with more incredible views from the summit. We also saw a number of marmots, mountain goats and picas.
Red Rocks Park. This was quite the contrast from Mt Evans earlier in the day. The temperature was just over 40 degrees Fahrenheit and quite cold up on Mt Eavns, but down at Red Rocks, which really wasn’t too far away; it was like we were almost in a desert with the temps at about 40 degrees, but in Celsius! It was very interesting seeing the giant red rock formations and the way that they had built a multi-use amphitheatre around the rocks for various concerts. After checking out the amphitheatre and noticing all of the bands that had played there, we went for a hike on the trails. Luckily, we didn’t see any rattlesnakes or mountain lions, and actually didn’t even see the warning sign until the end of our hike.

Following Red Rocks, it was time to head to Denver for one last evening in Colorado before our flight home the next day. We enjoyed a relaxing evening doing a little bit of shopping, before re-hashing our trip over dinner.

It really felt like we were busy for the entire week with so much to see and do, but it also seemed like we had just scratched the surface about what was available and offered in this wonderful outdoor paradise.

The one thing that we really left with was the impression of how active, green, fit, and progressive Colorado is…in particular Boulder. It was so refreshing seeing bike lanes everywhere (Yes folks…Kingston sucks in that regard). People were walking through outdoor malls and genuinely just enjoying being outside and a part of life. I was amazed at how clean the city seemed as well.

While I’m not exactly ready to apply for American citizenship quite yet, if I was offered an opportunity to move to Boulder, as a runner especially, it would be pretty tough to turn down.

It’s been almost a week now since we arrived back home from Colorado and the memories are still very fresh in our minds. I guess one of my favourite parts of the trip was seeing how much Brennan and Heather enjoyed this lifestyle and how well they did in the mountains. It was just so great for Sara and I to share it with them.

While I expect that we will still enjoy our regular quick weekend trips to the Adirondacks, Colorado was certainly something very special.

Weekly Summary (Aug 2-8)

Training Summary (Aug 2 - 8)
Back from Colorado and feeling structurally more sound each day. Ran 3.5hrs at Frontenac on Saturday, but tweaked my achilles on a rock and final hour wasn’t fun. Much better the next day though after lots of TLC (Tanda and Zanagen).

Total # of hours last week: 8:13
Total # of hours this year: 323:01
Streak (# of consecutive days of running): 7,531
Training Details for the Week

Weekly Summary (July 26 - Aug 1)

Training Summary (July 26 – Aug 1)
Colorado trip, so plenty of uphill running. Final shockwave treatment on Tuesday, so achilles was a little sore for a few days after. Each day it improved though and felt very good doing a long run up James Peak on Sunday totaling over 3 hrs.

Total # of hours last week: 7:27
Total # of hours this year: 314:48
Streak (# of consecutive days of running): 7,524
Training Details for the Week