Monthly Archives: July 2011
My “Kickass Race Weekend” is in the books, and it definitely lived up to it’s name. I.Am.Beat. I haven’t been this sore and deep-down tired in a long, long time. This past Sunday’s Twenty Valley Half Marathon put the final nail in the coffin, and started shoveling dirt on me.
As you may have guessed the two biggest factors in Sunday’s race were heat and fatigue. Sunday’s forecast was predicting a scorcher, and it didn’t disappoint. This was first race ever I have dumped water on myself at the water stations, but once I started doing it I couldn’t stop, it made the single biggest difference in my level of suffering. Sponges were an added bonus,but there was nothing quite as refreshing as cold water dribbling down your neck back and ass crack…(oooops TMI)
The race itself was an interesting mix of rural roads and tractor paths through orchards/vineyards. I’m sure the road purists were cursing the dust and uneven footing of the farms, but it was a unique experience that gave the race some personality. It was something different from the usual fare, and tied in nicely with the wine themed weekend festivities. Being familiar with the geography of the area I was convinced (hopeful?) the course would be a flat one, but much to my horror the hills arrived in spades. To be honest, and as I heard from a few others, the hills were a nice addition and provided some interest to the course, but by 13km in my quads had simply had enough “fun” and were beginning to revolt. At this point I started walking the uphills out of sheer self-preservation, disappointing to say the least but by the end of the race I was glad I did it.
In an interesting twist, I managed to finish 3rd in my age group (shiny bronze medal!), although there were only 5 of us to begin with… and the first place guy finished 40 minutes ahead of me, but it was a nice surprise anyway.
Overall, for both races this weekend, I finished in my usual spot in the groupings…Dead Center. Considering the purpose of this weekend was to test my endurance and train for my 50km race this fall (only 73 days away!!) I think I can feel good about how I did. Now If I could get the temps to drop a few degrees I’d be all set!
Anyway, check out Sassy Girl’s race recap here, she’s even got some photos that I’m lurking in. It’s like my very own Where’s Waldo!…It’s not creepy I swear.
Have a good one kids and stay hydrated!
One word description of this race: FUN
Two word description of this race: Damn Hot…just kidding…sort of…not really though…
To say I was a bit apprehensive about running this race would be a massive understatement. I can do the distance in my sleep but deep down there was definitely some left over paranoia about re-injuring my right ankle, and my bruised left foot (did I mention that it’s crunchy when I run my finger over the impact point?), and the heat, and my pre-race hydration/nutrition, and tomorrow’s half marathon in Death Valley-esque conditions, and the fact I was running late, and my vagina hurt…..okay maybe not that last one. Still, I was convinced that at any point on the trail I might burst into flames and immolate a few innocent volunteers (sorry).
All this pent-up anxiety manifested itself in a hundred different ways; I forgot to make coffee this morning and had to stop and get some or risk the pounding addiction headache, I forgot to get gas so I had to stop at a country gas station and pay a premium for it, I pooped 3 times before I left and almost pooped myself before the race started, grumbly stomach, and I continually adjusted and re-adjusted my shoes.
Regardless, everything went fine. Despite cutting the time close (I hate being late), I was still an hour early…though that was mostly due to the asshats that decided to mess with the trail markers overnight. The race organization/administration (parking/bib pickup etc.) was really quick and easy although that might be the nature of a smaller race. The big thing that stuck out to me was the swag package. A Clif Bar, Clif shot and a bag of Kickass Kickinghorse Coffee; FINALLY a race package I can use! I do use race shirts etc. provided at other races, but the luxury of not providing a medal or race shirt means that organizers can keep the price down. Win! Good price and the great swag (have I mentioned how much I LOVE both the Clif and Kickinghorse brands?), awesome mix!
The race started in self-seeding waves which, for me, worked pretty well. I was on the fence as to whether I should start at the back of the the 3rd wave or head of the 4th wave but after eyeballing the runners who lined up for wave 3 I decided (at the VERY last second) to jump in (yes, I judged people by their appearances, I also swim right after eating…deal with it). It was the right choice. I was still consciously trying to keep myself from going out too hard and ruining tomorrow’s run so I made sure to hang back quite a bit over the first 1/3 of the race.
Overall I was really happy with how I ran this race. I was really careful in the root and rock gardens, and although I let people gain a lot of ground on me the descents (ankle paranoia) I passed the majority of the people I was chasing on the uphills. I power-hiked the big uphills, took it easy on the descents, and had great flow on the flats. I’d do this race again in a second, and although it’s the most technical in the 5 Peaks SW Ontario race series, I’d recommend it to friends too.
Now…onto the Twenty Valley Half Marathon and hades-esque temperatures…woo?
Later kids, get out and enjoy the sunshine!
Sorry for the long hiatus folks, but with the summer season comes vacation time.
Despite my best-laid-plans, 8 days of camping with the family simply didn’t lend itself to the training camp I was hoping for. Before leaving I had visions of getting in a least 6 quality runs including at a few trail runs, a 20+km long run, and even a tempo run or some fartleks if I was feeling particularly frisky…instead, I managed to get in half those runs. So what happened?
First off, both travel days were a complete write-off. Between packing or unpacking, driving for half a day, feeding little people etc. I simply ran out of time and energy. Second, I snuck out mid way through our trip to hit up my parent’s place and did some construction work with my dad. We made great progress, but after working in the sun for 10+ hours and having to put in another late night 2 ½ hour drive I wasn’t running anywhere that didn’t involve being chased by the undead or a sign proclaiming “FREE BEER!”. Suddenly, my 8 day training camp was pared down to 5 days, and in the interest of maintaining familial harmony, I had to pick and choose my running options wisely. Finally, my oldest son decided to slip while climbing on some rocks and land directly on my left foot. Luckily he missed the foot with the sprained ankle, but now I was hurting on both sides. Also to ensure he did a proper job, he managed to step on my bare toes at least 3 times a day….things were definitely looking good for a solid training effort.
When I did get out I did my best to keep the runs productive despite some setbacks. The park has a multi-use dirt/cinder trail paralleling the main road which was the backbone for most of my runs. My first run was a nice 12.5km run-by-feel down this trail, then onto some serious single track for a couple kms which added some nice variation. At one point I simply had to stop and take in the stunning view of the sun rising over the bay, time well “wasted” indeed. The second run was a more significant single track outing, not as long overall but higher quality for the trail portion. Finally, I tried to cram in a 2hr long run which would take me out of the park, down some cottage roads to the other side of the bay and back. What I didn’t plan on was the mass of killer deer flies that chased me for the majority of the road portion. Instead of taking it easy and getting the distance in at a slow pace, my first 10km turned into a tempo run in a failed attempt to out-run the little buggers. It didn’t work. By the end of the first hour of my run I was exhausted, enraged, and my everything hurt. I simply gave up, cut it short and headed back to camp. Overall, some fun, some frustration, and in the blink of an eye…life is back to normal.
So where does that leave me for my “Kickass Race Weekend”? Saturday morning I’ll be doing the 5 Peaks Trail race at Rattlesnake Point. I’ve chosen to do the 12.5km enduro course option, which is supposed to be technical, rocky and hilly…typical Bruce Trail. Sunday, I’ll be travelling to VQA country to run the new Twenty Valley Half Marathon. I have no intentions of pushing hard at either of these races, but it’ll be a great way to gauge what I’m capable overall. What I’m really concerned about is weather. It’s supposed to be stupid hot this weekend, with an additional humidex warnings. To be perfectly honest, Sunday’s road race is the biggest concern. No shade, and baking pavement? (shudder) I might be bonking pretty hard near the end. Regardless, the sadist in me thinks it should be a blast!
Wish me luck kids, have a great weekend!
I know this video has been around for a while, but I had to post it up. The Floorwipers alone look insane.
Pullups – 25 reps
Deadlifts with 135lbs – 50 reps
Pushups – 50 reps
24-inch Box jumps – 50 reps
Floor wipers – 50 reps
Single-arm Clean-and-Press with 36lbs Kettlebell – 50 reps
Pullups – 25 reps
Soooo…who wants to join in?