Category Archives: Running

Barkley 100

Advertisements

My Winter Run Training in Pictures

It’s no secret that this winter has been a challenging one for those of us ramping up for the spring racing season; for me, it’s training for Hamilton’s Around The Bay 30km. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy winter and winter sports, the family and I have been out snowboarding and skating, playing hockey and tobogganing multiple times this year; it’s simply a matter of heading out prepared for what’s going on outside your windows.  However, after a while, the bitter cold wears you down and you’d simply like a day with temperatures up around freezing mark just for a break.

Anyway, a few weeks ago I took some pics on my run which show some of what we’ve been dealing with; Blizzard for the first half of the run, sunshine and cold in the middle, blizzard on the home stretch. (Murphy’s Law and all that)

(Sorry for all the bird pics)

Just for quick reference, in those few photos, the Skyway bridge is supposed to be visible from there (here’s a closer view), I doubt you could even see where this picture was taken from.

Skyway

The Runners – Video

Pounding the tarmac through the seasons, a band of runners are brazenly challenged with intimate questions as they pace their routes. Liberated from responsibilities, their guards drop dramatically, releasing funny and brutally frank confessions, and weaving a powerful narrative behind the anonymous masses.

A film by Matan Rochlitz & Ivo Gormley.

#therunners

Not much I can add to this description, it’s touching, maybe a little too close to home at times…

Wake Up!

I got a new phone recently…well…not a NEW new phone, a new hand-me-down phone. In the fall I drank the Kool-Aid, went out and bought my wife one of those fancy “i” devices that all the cool kids have. Consequently, her old phone was now up for grabs, and seeing as mine was dying a slow painful death the “upgrade” seemed like the right thing to do. Since that time, I’ve been clumsily figuring out the ins & outs of my not-new-new phone which has been both interesting and frustrating at the same time. This morning, one of the frustrations kicked me in the ass.

I’m typically not a morning runner, preferring instead to get my workouts in after dinner/kid’s bed times etc., however occasionally I’ll be busy at night doing “other things” so it’s either “run early” or “miss it”. Today was one of those days.

Being a diligent…ok, ok… attempting to be more diligent with my training schedule, I set the alarm on my not-new-new phone for 5:45am and hit the hay preparing for an early morning run. When 5:45am rolled around, I was given a sudden crash course in crisis management. See my not-new-new phone has more than a few differences than my old Blackberry:

  1. Where my Blackberry had an alarm that gradually increased in volume (to your pre-set volume) my new phone doesn’t, instead it comes on full blast.
  2. Instead of being easily “snoozed” like my Blackberry, the new phone needs you to unlock it then turn it off (not exactly easy when you are still half asleep), and
  3. Apparently my new phone defaults to an all-too-familiar (and full-blast) beeping sound that I’m sure has contributed to dozens of heart attacks over the years.

Just a quick piece of advice, when you are trying to get out of bed as quietly as possible so you don’t wake anyone else, fumbling with the world’s loudest beeping digital device, while swearing a blue streak and running to the bathroom to see what you’re doing is probably not the way to do it.

Anyway, I’m now apparently an enemy of the state in my own house for waking up my wife an hour early with my stupid phone shenanigans. To be honest, I’m kind of scared to go to sleep tonight…you should have seen the look she gave me when I left this morning…it was cold, calculating, frightening…If you don’t hear from me in a few days…please send help…

Road2Hope Marathon

It seems that every year, by the time I finish the Road2Hope (first Sunday of Nov.), I am so burnt out that I simply can’t be arsed to write up a race report. Even last year when I had a major PB and only ran the half, I simply vegged and my motivation to do a write-up was nowhere to be seen. As such, I still feel obligated to post this (horribly late) for posterity sake.

Road2Hope Marathon – 42.36 km – 03:50 – 5:26/km pace

What a mixed bag this race was.

On the bus ride to the starting area, a chatty dude from Windsor sat down next to me and happily talked away the entire trip. It wasn’t a bad thing, he was quite nice, but one of the last things he said before we left the bus was how much he hated wind while running…I should have seen the foreshadowing but hindsight is 20/20 so…

headwindsThe first 20km flew by and I stuck pretty closely to the 3:45 pacer until he stopped to use the washroom. Right around that time we hit the significant downhill and I was determined to use it to my advantage, but Murphy did his best to throw a wrench into the works. As we turned onto the Red Hill Parkway, the cold wind coming off Lake Ontario became a massive headwind which negated some of the advantage. I probably pushed too hard on this section trying to bank some time, and when the 3:45 pacer passed me at 33km I was kicking myself for not racing smarter.

I ran a pretty decent race; hitting most of the tangents, fueling well etc., but ultimately I didn’t have enough fitness to hold my position. My right leg (glute, groin, hamstring quad) had been barking since the 15km mark and by the time I reached the mid 30’s I was in some serious pain. My lower back joined in the pain parade as well, but the major contributor was my feet; they were simply aching, and I’m not sure why. My feet hurt so much that I seriously considered taking off my shoes and running barefoot at one point, but quickly realized that was desperation talking. Finally, I knew things were a train wreck when a lady in a puffy winter coat passed me at the 37km mark and I couldn’t catch her…the shame.

seinfeld_puffy_coat

maybe not quite that puffy…

This race was still a PB by a couple minutes, but I wasn’t really happy with how I ran it. My mental game was ok, and I thought my fueling was decent, though I felt hungry at the 12km mark, and had finished all my gels etc. by the early 30’s. I thought I had carb loaded effectively the days before the race but something was definitely off.

It’s all in the books now (especially with this significantly delayed race report), time to move onto new challenges.

#TrainingDay

#TrainingDay

On Saturday’s Cottage Run

The fall colours are popping right now…IMG00050-20130928-1105

IMG00051-20130928-1106

IMG00052-20130928-1106

Cheers

Mesmerizing…

I wish this went on for another 4-5 steps…

Running Wild – Video

Alexander Crook traveled to Red Bluff Bay in the South Baranof Wilderness Area. This video is one of the projects that was produced. Running Wild, a short film about trail running in the wilderness.

BPMR -Things to Improve/Change For Next Year

It’s been most of a week since I did the BPMR.  My body seems ready to get back to training, but before I start talking about future goals and training programs, I think it’ll be beneficial to go over some things to improve on for next year (if I decide to do it again…which is “probably”).

Here goes:  Things to Improve/Change for Next Year

  • Bike Training – Obviously.  Tonnes more riding, technical trails and even some spin classes would give me a huge leg-up from this year’s performance.
  • Get My Own Bike – I spent a lot of time this spring dicking around with my bike situation.  I considered renting a bike through the race but decided against it.  I considered buying a new bike but didn’t exactly have the cash at the time. I even considered using my current bike which is a fully rigid Specialized Rock Hopper circa 1993 (It’s purple), but ultimately I was lucky enough to borrow a friend’s swanky new full suspension bike.  It handled all the terrain easily, but consistent training on the bike you’re using for the race is probably a good idea…maybe…
  • Bike shoes – Speaking of borrowed equipment, guess what came along with the borrowed bike?  Borrowed clip-in shoes!  They worked pretty well, but apparently (unbeknownst to me) the peddles and shoes were for road riding and I would have had an easier time if I had used proper mountain bike gear.  Who knew?
  • Bigger transition bags – The race utilizes a 2-bag system for transition areas.  Bag “A” & Bag “B” (I’ll slow down for those of you who are struggling to keep up).  I used two cloths bags that cinched close with a string/rope that doubles as a shoulder strap.  On a positive note, the bags were two different colours so it was easy to differentiate between them, but still quickly identify them as mine.  However when it came down to it they were simply too small to fit all the gear necessary.  By the end of the race I was clipping my hydration pack to the outside of the bag an through the strings as well.  Not ideal.  Larger bags, with bigger openings would ease and expedite gear swapping.
  • One Hydration Bag?  – Most other racers used 1 hydration bag.  I didn’t want to lug around any more weight than I had to, so I made up two packs (with all the necessary kit) and swapped them at transitions.  I often wondered though, if I could stash the bike tools/pump on the bike or in the transition bag would 1 bag have been easier to use.  I’m still on the fence for this one.
  • Strength Training – Lunges, squats, deadlifts.  One of the reasons my legs were cramping was that they were over-worked.  Yes, I was dehydrated, but when my IT band started screaming it gave me some indication of what shape my legs were in.  Sure, I felt fine on the run eventually, but it was apparent that the strength training I was doing in May should have been continued into/through July.  Also, my lower back was pretty fatigued by the end of the kayak, deadlifts would have stabilized my core, and enhanced my posterior chain.  In July, I was paranoid that they strength work would compromise my endurance training…but I think I had it backwards….20/20 hindsight I guess…
  • Fuel – I think my food/hydration was pretty good.  Yes, I was hungry at points but with the limitations I had (upset stomach at start) I think I did pretty well.  A little more solid food and some Gatorade at transition #1 might have helped; mind you I did eat and drink…maybe just not enough.

Have a great weekend all, enjoy the sunshine while it lasts!