Tuesday, June 30, 2009

June Summary

Total for June 267.9K

Includes two races both PBs.....

Dam Trail 1/2 ... 1:38:50 and the Niagara 50K 4:40:11

14C , Rain, Overcast ...last day of June!

16.3K road run this morning. One thing about being a runner is cool wet weather in the summer isn't so bad! Yes I miss the hot weather of last week but it sure is nice for running today. Did my " Townsend Lake " loop , easy at first , picked it up to a couple of quick Ks in the middle , 4:33 and 4:19, then backed off. Covered the distance in 1:30:21 , an avg pace of 5:32. Didn't run Sunday or Monday after my hot 27J LSD on Saturday. It was very awkward starting this morning , right off I had a pain in my upper left chest.... took a few Ks to work it out. Didn't really get into the run until the 3K mark , that was about when it started to rain heavily. Paused and put my ipod in a plastic bag. It took less then a minute but I was slightly chilly when I started back up again .... I don't like stopping! I felt strong throughout the rest of the run , even after the 2K sprint I recovered quick.

Looking forward to Creemore on Saturday. I have been thinking about my race plan. This one is all about going up and down , therefore its going to be all about managing my resources. I will not go out fast , it there is anything left after the first loop I will open it up on the second. A really really good time here would be anything under 6 hours.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Warm LSD

27K LSD done at a 5:38 avg pace today. It was pleasantly warm , 26Cm Sun and a nice dry breeze. From time to time heat became an issue. First 8K was right into a mid day Sun, breeze at my back. It goes without saying that it was a very hit start. 9-12K were in the Durham Conservation area , almost total shade ... I recovered in the park and was able to pick it up a bit heading through town. Lots going on with Canada looming, running through the Ball Park there was a Beer Garden set up . Man was I tempted . When I made it back in the park around 16K it was another opportunity to cool down, Stopped , refilled my water bottle , dumped water over my head and even tuck away a small flask to cool myself with . Going back up the second I had the sun to my left , wind in my face so it was reasonable.... the cooling in the park helped. As I passed the 25K mark I thought to my self if this was Creemore I would just be finishing the first of two loops.... lesson learned , if Creemore is warm be very conservative . Especially on the first loop! Off to Varney with the kids tonight for an evening of stock car races!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A little faster on the trail today

Third consecutive trail day, was able to pick it up to an avg 6:04 pace but it was tough. I though tit would be cooler running today , a front had just passed dumping rain and clearing out the humidity. After the showers it cleared off and was quiet sunny. The sun mad things quiet tropical in the forest... like running in a jungle! Sweat was no effective , it was probably 5-8 C cooler then yesterday but I was just as hot! Time for a dip in the pool and my first meal of the day before I head to work at 4 pm.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

29C, 9&1's survival technique!

Did my classic trail run at noon today , it was all about heat...29C and rising! I ran the first 5K then decided to do 9 and 1s for the next 6K. I am working this evening so its time for brunch and a brewski in the pool before I leave in a couple of hours.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Pure Trail = Pure Joy

Back in the saddle today after Niagara , little 11.2 K trail run at a relatively easy pace! Summer is here , 22C and humid to start with Sun and rising temps. Really quiet a nice day for a run. My right knee was a little stiff after Saturdays Ultra, the kind of thing that you just need to run off! Nothing bothered me much today , the quads complained a little and the only time I noticed the knee is when I thought about it. When I got home I moved 30 bundles of shingles from the driveway to the back of the house. 1/3 down , the rest will be moved tomorrow! Going to take a wee break and float around the pool for a bit then its off to the Jays game tonight! Gotta love Summer.......

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Niagara 50K OUS Race

The Niagara Ultra was the second 50K event this year! The race was amazing, totally lived up to expectations. It was more scenic then I could have imagined. Niagara on the Lake is beautiful , the race starts at park then it winds its way though the grounds of and old fort then makes it way out of town. You then run past vineyards and very old stately homes. When you enter Queenston you climb the escarpment , at top of the climb you run over the Sir Adam Beck Power Station. As you approach the Falls the " tourist" things start to pop up! The turnaround was just past the top of the falls. There was an aide station there , it was really bizarre because the entire place was void of tourist. Heavy rain and the fact that it was 9:30 am meant the runners owned the Falls! Heading back I was full of optimism, looking forward to taking in more of the constant scenery and enjoying this amazing place that I was running!

The elevation chart tells the story of the race ......

I wasn't sure how I was going to pace this race. I thought about trying to run it at a 5:00 pace to 40K then back off for the last 10 but I as soon as I started I decided to go out easy and then pick it up at the end if there was anything left. Gelled at 45 minutes and refilled my water bottle at the 10K aid station.

0 -10K were done in 53min24 sec

The climb up the escarpment began after the 10K aid station. The majority of the climb was between 11 and 12K , about 100m was gained . It wasn't a hard climb, a fairly easy grade. Gelled again 90 minutes in, finished off my third bottle of water. Stopped at the 20K aid station and filled up again.

10-20K was done in 54min11 sec

Around 20K it started to rain quiet hard. Temperature wasn't an issue , it was a comfortable 17C , almost cool with the rain. The 25K turnaround was just pass the Horseshoe Falls. Ran a couple of Ks at a 5:00 pace. Gelled again at 2hours15min.

20-30K was done in 54min7sec

Refilled the water bottle at the 30K aid station. I was starting to feel a little fatigued. The rain was still coming down quiet hard and I was really beginning to notice the extra weight of the soaked shoes and socks. I did my meal replacement drink early , took it at 2hrs45min instead at the 3 hour mark. I had a bad cramp come on about 15min after the MRD at about the three hour mark. At first I thought it was heart pain but it was in my upper left abdomen. I slowed the pace a concentrated on my form , drank a little more water and in a few minutes the pain subsided. At 38K the escarpment decent began , it wasn't as easy as I had envisioned on the way out! At the bottom of the decent I cramped again , this time it was my lower right abdomen. Slowed the pace again for a few hundred meters until the pain subsided a bit.

30-40K was done in 58min22sec

The last 10K was really hard , the cramps never totally went away and I found that I was loosing form allot. The feet were starting to hurt a bit and I no longer felt like drinking or taking my last Gel. I stopped at the 40K aid station a drank a glass of water. There was a small hill at the 43K mark that I walked up. It felt like I was really slowing down, at the 45K mark I made myself do the last Gel. Usually I dissolve it in my mouth with a bit of water, this time it went down as a blob! The last aid station was at 47K , stopped for water and a momentary breather with the intention of pushing hard for the last 3K to the finish!

40-50K was done in 58min54sec.

The graph of my pace really shows where I started to struggle in the last third of the race....

My chip time was 4:40:11, finished 27th out of 134, 12th out of 35 in the 40-49 category, 32nd out of a total of 95 males.

This is another PB in the 50K distance , this beat my previous best time by 59 minutes. Its hard to compare Niagara to the other Ultra Trail Races , no root , no rocks , only one big hill with a very gentle grade.

I am sure that the Niagara Ultra will be my fastest 50K event of the year!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Shoe Trouble

One of my kids had a baseball practice this evening in town so I grabbed by Acis Street Shoes and went for a little flat run! I don't know weather its me or the shoes but they felt really heavy and quiet stiff compared to my ENDs and my Saucony Paramounts. Did 6.6K avg 4:53 pace. I am leary of the Sauconys because they chewed up my little toes. Running on the treadmill is different then hitting the road so I might me OK in the Sauconys. The ENDS are great but they are a trail shoe..... oh the delima! It between the Sauconys and the ENDs but being a crushed stone to pave path I probably will stick to the street shoes.

5K at Lunch

Another little 5K at a 5min pace at lunch.

Race plan for Niagara's 50K , 5min pace as long as I can. Weather look favourable for Saturday Showers. Low 19. High 21, couldn't ask for better Summer Running conditions! I expected something in the high 20s with humidity!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cruise control again

5K @ 5:00 pace at noon yesterday and today.

4 more sleeps to Niagara, cant wait !

Saturday, June 13, 2009

That Dam Trail Run

"That Dam Trail Run" was great, it was a very well organized event in a really nice venue. The run took place at the Pittock Lake Conservation area just North of Woodstock, Ontario.

I arrived as is usual about an hour early at 07:30 am. It was a nice morning with lots of Sun and a pleasant 14C. Picked up my race number and shirt, not bad for a $30.00 race. After I was ready I bumped into Tracy aka Mini T and Rabid Chipmunk as well as Larry aka LX2RUN from the Running Mania Board. Tracy had a shoulder for me to cry on at Sulphur Springs when I went off course so it was really good to see here again. Larry is from Woodstock, this was the first time I had met him. Before the race started the Mayor said a few words and welcomed us all to Woodstock. They are very proud of their trails and we genuinely happy that so many were out for the Trail Race.

The race started at the North End of the Dam. I didn't have a solid race plan but it I kind of had an idea that the trails would be very runnable. I went out the first few Ks chatting away and keeping around a 5 min pace. The trail was not technical at all , hard packed crushed gravel a couple of meters wide , no roots , no rocks and it was flat ..... well I shut up in a big hurry and started to run and I didn't look back. I got progressively faster the further I went.

First 3K YAK YAK YAK _4:51, 5:04, 5:04....the next SHUT UP AND RUN 4:54 and 4:41.

5K down, 16K to go . I was starting to think that I could beat my only other 1/2 the Soctia Waterfront last fall ... it was 1:44:48. Then the head games started , I running in my new END trail shoes on a trail , lots of twists and turns runnable but still gravel with a bit of sand , a tiny bit if mud and a root or two thrown in!

6-11 K were 4:46 , 4:55 , 4:41, 4:42, 4:38, 4:40

OK , I was half way! The AVG pace was ever so slowly ticking down on the Garmin. I was still feeling good , I kept telling myself " make it hurt... I am not running to my potential unless it hurts" Well it didn't hurt so I pushed harder , I figured I would get 2/3's under my belt at the current pace then pretend the last 7K is a 10K race .... I was getting excited.

12-14K were 4:35, 4:29, 4:31

OK the 10K race started a bit early , last three ks were fast ... how long could I keep up the pace .... it was starting to hurt a bit but I was feeling strong and continued with the plan. Passed 14K and tried to pick it up but it didn't seem to work , I felt like I had gone too fast too soon and was starting to slow down.

The 15th K was done in 4:46 ... yes I was slowing.

With 6K to go I was really feeling like I was slowing , and I was! I had a GU Gel with me , I wasn't planning on using it on the short race, not necessary .... just slow me down. Well I was slowing down anyway so I Gelled , two gulps and it was gone ... washed it down with a bit of GU 2O but I didn't have enough left so I made my first visit to an aid station and drank a half a glass of water.

With the Gelling and Water break the 16th K was done in 5:00.

I knew that if I held the 5:00 pace I had enough time in the bank to PB but after the last 2Ks I wasn't sure if I would even be able to do that.

I caught a glimpse of some other runners in front of me, a few hundred meters ahead... I had a target. Pushed really hard and managed to pass one fellow, I figured he was fading and I felt like I was surging.

17th K was done in 4:33 .... back on track! Guess that GU really works... but I know I probably really didn't need it ... whatever!

In the 18th K I passed another runner and I had my sights set on one more. Early in the race there was a young fellow way out in front. I remember thinking that I would probably catch up with him later in the race ... and I did. At 18K I caught him and then pulled out to pass.....

18th K was done in 4:33... got to love the target!

The 19th and 20th K were very memorable. For a full 2Ks I ran shoulder to shoulder with the teen. When I tried to pass at 18K he matched my speed. This really go me going , I was pumped ... loved it, the race was on! When I let up the pace he did , when I went faster he matched it. I had one huge advantage over the kid, he was rocking to his iPod , I was listening to him breathing. He was already labouring when I caught him at 18K , when I went faster he really started to have a tough time getting the o2 so I played with him. I would speed up to an unreasonable pace , he was right there with me. I would let up and let him recover a bit ( me too ) then do it again. This went on for 2Ks!

19th and 20th Ks were done in 4:36 and 4:35

I kept thinking how cool it was that this kid was pushing me and I wondered if he felt the same way!

At the 20K mark there was a small trail section with roots and a bit of a hill... Hasta la vista BABY! I was off like a dart, I didn't look back and the kid was gone! Pushed , pushed , pushed and even sprinted the last 100m.

Finished the last 944 meters in 4:04 !

Garmin said 20.94 K in 1:38:49. Its 106 meters shy of 21.1 but I ran the tangents and there was allot of them! The GUN time was 1:38:50 , this is a new PB for the half mary, I beat last years Scotia time by almost 6 minutes. I placed 11th out of 80+ runners

I was really happy with my END Trail Shoes , this was the first time racing in them. 6 days ago I did a 3 hour LSD on the treadmill in my Saucony Paramounts. The blisters on my little toes were so bad that I couldn't wear any shoes for two days! The END's have a roomy toe box and they were the only shoe I could tolerate. I had been experimenting with them last week on the trail and I was pretty happy with the results but I didn't have race day confidence in the footwear yet. Well I now hold the ENDs in very high regard , they rock. No blisters , feet felt great and I am sure that their light weight contributed to my success toady! And an honourable mention goes to the GU ... the go fast gel really works wonders!

The awards were simple, top three men and top three women. The overall winner came in around 1:31. There was a barbecue and lots of entertainment but I had to get home. Took a little detour to hit MC Donald's for my favorite post race meal ... 3 Cheese Burgers and a Giant Coke!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Trail today

Did a 11.1K trail run today. Temps were near 20C and the air was real heavy. Its been so cool I am not use ti running in the "warmer" temps!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

END Rescue

My blisters on my little toes after Sundays LSD were still very painful .... couldn't run last Eve. Today I tried the END Trail Shoes .... they were so kind to the little guys , almost no pain! THANK YOU END, I was sure if I would be able to run by the weekend! So its a done deal , Saturday is my first race in the END's .
Added a bit of speed to today's run , did 10.1 K +470/-492 m at an avg 5:17 pace. Started easy then built up the speed, last 3Ks were 4:57, 4:46 then 4:49.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

5K on the Stepper

I was in too much pain to run this evening during my meal break, instead I did 5 K on the Stepper. Sunday LSD resulted in blisters on my little toes. I did the 32K to see what it would be like to go the distance in the Saucony Paramount’s. Well it was a good plan because they are not my 50K shoe. The Blisters were caused because the shoes are just a little bit too big…I think! I better take it easy the next couple of days before racing on Saturday.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sundays LSD Run

It was another crappy weather day , 9C , overcast and threatening rain. I had to get my LSD in but I just wasn't up to the weather scene. Jays were playing at 1 pm so what the heck.... I would take it indoors. Drove 20 minutes to work and hit the treadmill at the bottom of the first. Wasn't sure what pace I would do , originally thought of a 5:00 pace but I just wasn't up to it. It took a few Ks to ramp up to a 5:15 pace , the lower back was really sore! I always find the first hour of the long run kind of tough. Ran for 3 hours bouncing between a 5:00 and a 6:00 pace . Gelled at 45 and 90 minutes then at 135 minutes I did a meal replacement drink. Also consumed 1 bottle of Gator Aide and 2 bottles of water. At 2hrs55min I passed 32K and then walked for another 5 minutes before I stopped. At 90 minutes I checked my heart rate and it was 122 bpm , expected it to be a little higher. The Jays one , Haliday pitched another complete game and I was still running ..... watched some of the Nascar race from Pocono and chatted with another fellow that came in the gym. All and all a good LSD, 22C in the gym and I kept my short on ... have to get use to warmer runs. The cool weather is not going to last forever.

Two races in the next 2 weekends , in 6 day I am doing a 21K trail race. I am going to try to run this one at a 5:00 pace . Its not too technical , it looks to be relatively flat so I am going to run K hard! In two weeks I am going to do the Niagara 50K , originally I thought of holding a 5:00 pace as long as possible but I want to enjoy the race and pace it at a comfortable speed so the goal is a 5:30 pace. Anywhere under 5 hours would be fantastic but really think I can get it closer to the 4:30 mark!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

11K on the trail

Hit the trail again Friday Eve, 11K done at a 6:28 pace ! Legs still felt sluggish , did allot of bending staining the deck yesterday ... all that stretching isn't good for running! It was a busy stressful week at work, the trail run was a really nice was to change gears and start the weekend.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

10K at the end of the day...

Didn't think I would get a run in today but I managed to find an hour at the end of the day to sneak one in. The legs felt heavy but I was happy to be out. Half of tonight's run was on a freshly graded gravel road ... wish I had my trail shoes on! Anyway I did 10.1K at a 5:42 pace.


Little upper body weight, core strength and stability exercise today at lunch. Have to run for baseball tonight so I am not sure I will be able to squeeze a run in!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Two runs today

At lunch I did a 5K at a 4:00 pace. Its been more then a month since I did a "fast 5k" so I wasn't sure how I would manage. As it turns out the run was better then I expected it to be , breezed through the first few Ks. The 4th wasn't to bad but I was starting to feel it by the 5th K ... finished in 19min 56 seconds. Did a 1K cool down , 400m 5:30 pace 300m 5:00 pace then walked the final 300m.

This evening before dinner I headed out for an 11.2K trail run. I wanted to see how things would turn out running on legs that were pushed hard only a few hours earlier! It started of a little tentative , small burn in the hamstrings . I quickly loosened up and got into a really nice trail rhythm. Did the run at a 6:09 pace.

Now the real story of the day is my END Shoes , first I used them on the treadmill for the third time! They passed with flying colours. Then I took them outside. They are a fast light shoe with a sweet landing. The uppers are a little iffy but the turned out to be OK... they held in there! I did feel a little more beneath my feet then I am use to but I don't like my trail ride to be too smooth ... I like a little feed back. I am ready to go the distance in these shoes ... its race time baby!

Speaking of racing, found a nice little "local" race a week Saturday , 21K around a man made lake outside of Woodstock! Its "The Dam Trail Run", 21.1 K around Pittock Lake...should be fun.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A little speed work

Took it inside today at lunch , did a 5K at a 4:30 pace. Still in the END shoes, one more speed trial tomorrow then I will take them to the dirt!

Monday, June 1, 2009

A day to END!

I have been so busy racing lately that I really didn't want to introduce any new shoes. Well I have a 3 week break so I finally got a chance to try my END Trail shoes.....


Took the new kicks for a 5K @ a 5 min pace indoors at noon. The heel strike is really smooth! The landing kicks back propelling you to you toes quick and smooth! These guys really rock! Now I am pumped to take them to the trail!