Monthly Archives: April 2012

Impromptu Marathon – Decision Made!


Before we begin, a quick bit of business:  I’d like to extend thanks to all those who responded to my Impromptu Marathon – What Should I Do, What Should I Do? post, whether it was on here, on dailymile or other forum/social online communities that I belong to.

As promised, I took everyone’s comments and weighed them carefully…so what’s the final verdict?

You know, I thought about dragging this out…spinning a witty yarn discussing my race history, expectations, the weather, and even the ethical ramifications of purchasing a race bib post sell-out….but I won’t do that…why would I?  What kind of person does that?…What’s that?…oh…right…

Without further adieu: I am going to run the 2012 Ottawa Marathon!

After reading all the responses it was pretty clear that the majority of your thought I should get off my ass and go for it, so just for you guys I bit the bullet and grabbed the entry.  It’s going to be a hefty challenge, but life is an adventure and I’m sure I’d be kicking myself more if I didn’t take the opportunity.

So where do we go from here?  The race is officially 28 ½ days away, and things are looking…ok. I cranked my mileage back up this week, but had my speedwork session rained out which may have been a blessing in disguise 😉  As for this weekend, I’ve had Saturday’s 5Peaks Rattlesnake Point trail race on the calendar for a while now and I’m really looking forward to it.  A technical trail race that had a great vibe when I ran it last year, although I don’t’ think the weather could much more different; hot & humid last year – temps near freezing and wet trails this year?  Sunday is the day that scares me…I need to put in a long run of some degree but I have no idea how long to go; Too long and I could injure myself, too short and it’ll hurt more on race day.  Right now I think I’ll be aiming for 30km, if I’m still upright after 3hrs I’ll give my situation/location/condition a look and decide at that point.  The other concern is trying to long run after a hefty trail race on Saturday…this could get ugly.

Aside from all the training business etc., I still have one small detail that needs to be sorted out before race day.  In fact, I need to decide this one pretty soon so I’m going back to the well, back to the trusted source that got me here in the first place; you guys.

In your opinion, Which shoes should I break in for the race?  Red & Black or White & Blue?

Have a great weekend kids, enjoy it!

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Impromptu Marathon – What to Do, What to Do?

An interesting situaiton has arisen in 51feetunder-land (it’s awesome here, have you seen our brouchure?), and I thought it might make for fun conversation.

A friend of a relative has offered me his entry to the Ottawa Marathon, and I’m not sure what I should do?

A bit of background: I’ve run a few marathons and Ottawa was 2 of them. I wasn’t going to do a spring marathon this year but instead put my time and energy to other running races instead, specifically the Around the Bay 30km which I ran a 4 weeks ago. Also I was wanted to focus on a course I was taking and get back in to rock climbing; The course is now done, and I’ve injured my hand so I’m realistically out of climbing for the next 4 weeks anyway.

Normally I wouldn’t dream of attempting a marathon without the proper training (I have come to respect the distance through many painful lessons), but I’m not so sure that I’m all that ill-prepared? For instance:
– I’ve been training since January for the 30km race at the end of March
– I maintained a solid and consistant number of miles for the entire training period
– I included some strength work, cross training, speedwork (which I haven’t used before), and even upped my mileage overall
– I have a 30km long run (which I actually raced) in the bag already, and 2 weeks to put in 2 more

…so, why not?…

– since the race in March, my mileage has been WAY down
– the miles I’ve put in have mostly been trail miles, trails are more work for the body which is good but I fully endorse the “train to race the race you want to run” mindset
– I only have 4 weeks to get myself set; 2 weeks of solid training including two 20+mile runs, 1 week of reduced mileage with a halfmarathon long run and 1 week of full rest/taper
– 3-4hr long runs are time consuming, especially when you have family responsibilities

Pros:
– It’s a beautiful course in a gorgeous city
– shirt, medal, race cred, 4th marathon run
– no specific race expectations to add stress to the event/result

Cons:
– It’s a long drive and a weekend away from the family (this may actually be a pro j/k)
– expensive, it can be pricey
– lonely, I’m a social body and not having the family or a buddy there detracts from my enjoyment of the event. I don’t need people to be happy, but it sure helps

So…in your esteemed opinions dear readers “what’s a fellow to do?”

Side Note: I know there will be a tonne of “do what feels right” or “what do you WANT to do?” answers, so let me preface them with this: I will be posting this question on a few other places/forums etc. and aggregating the results to see what the general vibe is. Tell me what you think based on the background I’ve given, let’s have some fun with it…nothing is set in stone, the offer may fall through and the situation never actually happen anyway…espcially if my wife puts her foot down

Trails, Glorious Trails!

Recently I’ve been taking every decent lunchtime and hitting the trails for a run.  Aside from the obvious benefits of the endorphine rush, the act of simply getting out of the office for a bit has helped immesely.  Especially when you stop once in a while to take in the scenery, which is exactly what I did on my last run.  Here are a few quick snaps from my last venture out “IntoThe Wild”

It’s a big world out there kids, get out and experience it!

Levon Helm (The Band) Passes Away

Alot has been said about the The Band’s legendary drummer passing over to the other side so I won’t repeat it unnecessarily, although as a “music blogger” I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least tip my hat to one of the greats.

When I started rock climbing, “Up on Cripple Creek” was often sung on the walks into and out of crags, not to mention around the campfire after a few  “pops”:

Up on Cripple Creek she sends me
If I spring a leak, she mends me
And I don’t have to speak, she defends me
A drunkard’s dream if I ever did see one

…nothing more fitting for a bunch of the fellas pining for the love a good woman while under the influence…

I want to post a video but somehow this just feels more right than Cripple Creek, so here’s to you Mr. Helm: I wish you safe travels to wherever the next world takes us, thanks for the music, thanks for the good times.

G’night kids

Exercising Around the World

Check out Steve Kamb’s (of NerdFitness) fun new video showing him exercising across the globe.

Enjoy!

Red River Gorge Rock Climbing – Spring 2012

Running gets a lot of coverage on this blog.  I don’t talk about climbing a lot, but it’s mostly due to access, let me explain:  I started climbing over 10 years ago, and instantly became obsessed.  I climbed 4-5 days a week, indoor, outdoor, bouldering, sport, traditional, I read about it on the web, constantly searched out climbing pics, planned trips, drooled over gear catalogues…I was the tireless junky pining for that next hit.  As time rolled on, I settled down (somewhat), started a family and climbing faded from my life.  Between “free time” being less and less accessible and injuries popping up, months would go by without me so much as throwing my shoes in the car.

Fast forward a few years and things have settled down, and I find myself able to fit things in a little easier.  I knew that the ol’ climbing crew was heading to Kentucky this Easter weekend and I bit at the chance to get back out on the rock.  My training for this trip was rather lack-luster but I enjoyed myself all the same and I think it’s time to make climbing a regular part of my routine again.

I’ve attached the photos from our trip in a slideshow at the bottom, but this photo was my favourite:  The route is called Amarillo Sunset (11.d), and it’s located just beside the Shire (crag) in the Red River Gorge.

Amarillo Sunset

Anyway, here are the rest of the trip photos:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Life’s about experience kids, get out there and start living!

Be Back Soon!

Hey Kids, sorry for the lapse in posting as of late however these last two weeks have been ridiculously busy.  Suffice to say, this is what I’d prefer to be doing right now:

Trail

Anyway, I’ll be back next week with some photos from our rock climbing trip to the Red River Gorge on Easter weekend, and the usual bitter vitriol.

Have a good weekend everyone, and be safe!

Murphy’s Law For Runners

Post Race Hangover…

Have you ever had a solid low-grade hangover?  Not a brain crusher, or stomach emptier, one that leaves you feeling drained, moody, cranky, and mildly lost?  It’s been a while (crosses fingers) since I’ve had one but unfortunately it happens all too often in other parts o f my life.

  • Post-vacation blues – the two weeks after you get back from vacation where you constantly end up thinking of all the fabulous places you could be/wondrous things you could be doing  at that moment instead of being chained to your desk.
  •  Post-graduation hangover – I’ve finally graduated!…now what do I do with myself?
  • And now Post-Race Training Uncertainty – Rest week + tired week + slack week = Holy Crap it’s been 3 weeks since I’ve done a serious run!

OK, OK, It hasn’t been THAT bad but I definitely haven’t been as motivated as I could since running the Around the Bay a week and a half ago…actually, my training plan called for 50km this past week and I only managed to put in 13.5…maybe things are getting bad?

Part of the issue has been the “other” facets of my life intervening, but realistically that’s a pretty flimsy excuse.   The Rattlesnake Point trail race is quietly sneaking up on me, and I should really be preparing more for it.  Fear is a great motivator, guess it’s time to use it and get moving again?  The miles I have put in have been great though, mostly trail runs one in my VFF Komodos, and a hard tempo effort at the start of this week should serve me well on race day.  Anyway, it’s time to get back onto the training schedule and rock this thing!

Have a great Easter weekend kids, remember: Those warm Easter chocolates the Bunny leaves without the foil on them…might not be what you think they are 😉

Rival Sons – Pressure & Time

A few weeks ago a song on the radio caught my ear, of course as I fumbled trying to crank the volume up the song ended leaving me to wait in vexed anticipation of the DJ’s recent song list. Anytime a song leaves me asking “Who was that?” I have a pretty good idea that I’m going to enjoy the rest of their material…if I could just find out “who was that masked man…err..band?”

Shortly after learning that the band was Rival Sons I was able to get my filthy little hands on their disc: Gypsy Heart. Since then I’ve been grooving on the whole disc, it’s awesome, here’s the video for the first single Pressure & Time – Enjoy!

I’m on a little bit of a 70’s(ish) rock kick as of late, so expect hear more from bands like this, Wolfmother, The Sheepdogs, The Illuminati, Motorhead, Jimi Hendrix, The Black Keys, The Music, White Stripes/Raconteurs/Dead Weather…etc. etc…..hmmmmm…I smell a mixed disc in the works…awesome…