Monday, May 30, 2011

Sulphur Springs 100 Miler - May 28/29 2011

To quote JD " I ran all day, I ran all night and then I ran some of the next day". For 27hours50 minutes I kept moving forward and completed my first 100 Miler.

A couple of days before the race I googled " how to run 100 miles". Reading through the checklist I felt that I had done enough to complete the 100 miles in under 30 hours. Two weeks ago I did two long trail runs 2hrs40min, 3hrs40min then then Mississauga Marathon all spaced 2 days apart. The back to back to back runs all felt great and it gave me a huge confidence boost. The focus of all of these runs was to go easy and I spent endless hours practicing what I call my "30 hour trail shuffle". With the exception of the road race and my lunch time runs all of my time has been spent on the trail.

I headed to Ancaster Friday afternoon arriving at the race just before 5pm. Picked up my race kit, had a fantastic "last meal" then the RD gave a rather inspiring talk. He said that statically 1 in 4 would drop out but he also went on to say that the 30 hour cutoff was a long time and even if you were not trained for the event you could complete it. He also went on to say that quitting is not an option unless you broke a leg or had something more serious happen. After dinner and a bit of social time things quickly quieted down. It was very cool and foggy and there was strong wind blowing. The weather made for early darkness so I settled into my Durango fully stretched out in my sleeping bag, listened to music and had a Beer. About 10pm I did a couple of Gravol and then drifted off to sleepuntil my alarm went off at 5:00 am.

When the race started at 06:00 am I was a little but foggy , just like the weather so I more less shuffled along for the first little bit until I woke up.

Picture taken by Mrs. Strider

I was determined not to go out too fast and was doing my "30 Hour Shuffle". After a few Ks went by there was almost no one behind me. I was beginning to question my strategy but I was going to stick with the plan, besides it felt I could run forever. My objective was to run 3 hour loops for the first 100K . The first 20K loop was done in 2hrs37min , a little fast but not too bad. Loop 2 went by more or less the same as the first completing it in 2hrs42min. Banking a little time but slowing slightly made me feel like I could reach my first objective of 5 loops done by dark. After 40K I was really feeling good and I was moving along at the same pace that I started. I was a bit dehydrated so I started to take in more fluids and started taking Eload Zone Caps. The only discomfort was a bit of my on going groin pain, it was subtle but there and I really wondered what would happen as the day progressed. In the second half of loop 3 with 50km behind me and 110km remaining I was starting to feel a bit fatigued but I was still moving along OK. This is also the time where I had my first negative thoughts and some doubt about being able to make it to the end. This was the start of a trend that would go on for the reminder of the race. I thought about the cold beer on ice and my comfortable bed only meters from the finish line. Completing loop three in 2hrs48min was a huge boost. Although I was starting to feel discomfort I was still moving along well. Heading out on loop 4 it felt really good knowing that I would soon reach the half way point. The 4th loop went very well , only a few negative thoughts towards the end otherwise it was all about getting the 5th loop before dark. Finished loop 4 in 2hrs59min completing 50 miles in 11hours8mins which was a PB at that distance. With 80K behind me and 80K to go I was really happy with my lap times and headed out at 5:1o pm without a light confident that I would be done the loop before dark. The 5th loop is where my biggest nemesis of the race would creep up , foot pain!!! I had no been running in wet dirty shoes for 12 hours and it was starting to take its toll on my feet. Their was also a lot less folks on the course and seeing others was becoming less frequent. I was looking forward to putting on my night gear and being joined by my pacer Anne in loop 6. Finished the 5th loop in 3hrs13min with very sore feet and my quads had also joined into the pain party, I was beginning to fall apart. With 100K done and 60K to go I knew that I could walk to the finsh before the 30 hours cutoff . It was aroundo 8:20pm when we headed out and I had just short of 16 hours to get it done. I felt confident that I could complete the race but the thought of walking 60km was a little overwhelming. I did allot of chatting with Anne on this loop and it really helped to take my mind off the pain. Every step was an excruciating reminder of what was going on inside my shoes. I ran some of the downhills but that was becoming difficult due to the pain in my quads. We more or less walked from the start all the way to the top of the "lolly pop" but I was determined to run down the very gentle 2-3K downhill and I did! Finished loop 6 in 4hrs25min, this is where I took my longest break of the day taking time to change my shoes and socks. The dry and clean felt better but there wasn't much relief from the growing pain. Heading back out for the 7th loop was really hard , one moment I would be telling myself after "I only have to do this one more time" then I would thinks about doing the "death march" from the start to finish of the Marathon because that was what was remaining! Heading past the Gatehouse a couple of Ks into the loop I found that running wasn't as painful as walking. I was able to move along on the flat even and dry tail that was the majority of the gate house loop. Doing a bit of running here and there really helped but it also borough on allot of Nausea. I didn't throw up but there were a few close calls. The first 4 laps it was all about boiled potatoes and salt , a couple of gels /loop water and gator aide and a yogurt at the finish. After the 4th loop I was gelling 3-5 times a loop and taking water , coke and ginger ale every 45 minutes or so. The 7th loop it was all about finishing before the sun came up. I was still feeling confident that I would be able to finish but doubt would creep into my mind Finished the 7th loop in 4hrs42min just a little after twilight. I was happy to be able to take my headlight off after logging 40K in the dark. I did the last loop by myself. Heading out around 5:30 am I had 6hrs30 min to finish. Once again I felt confident that I would get it done but doubt was still an issue. Time seemed to stand still on the last loop. I was amazed that I was still able to shuffle along here and there but the majority of the time was spent walking. I kept thinking to my self what if I blacked out and didn't realize I had lost time. Finishing the Gatehouse loop I asked what time it was and how much distance remained . I remember they said 12k remaining and it was something like 7:20 am. I replied " I am going to complete this aren't I" . Again mathematically I knew I had it but as I went on doubt crept up again. Past the Gatehouse seemed to take forever getting to the entrance to the "Lollypop" loop. At the aide station I asked about time , heard what I need to then went on...still have it in the bag. This loop has one of the biggest climbs on the course. Nearing the top my heart was pounding and I wanted to rest . I knew I had ample time but I was afraid that if I sat down I would pass out and miss the cutoff so I kept going. Finishing the Lolly pop its only 1K to the finsh , a steep climb up a gravel road. Heading up the hill I heard a group of runners coming up behind me, I never looked back but I knew they were gaining on me. I dug deep and finshed the climb without giving up an postions. Completed the last loop in 4hrs20min a whopping 22 minutes faster the the 7th and 5min faster then the 6th loop. As I crossed the finsh line thr RD congratualted me and handed me a Shiny Gold Belt Buckle... I finished with a little over 2 hours to spare!



1) 2:37:57

2) 2:42:40 - 5:20:37

3) 2:48:20 - 8:08:57

4) 2:59:01 - 11:07:57

5) 3:13:32 - 14:21:29

6) 4:25:30 - 18:46:58

7) 4:42:39 - 23:29:36

8) 4:20:29 - 27:50:05

I finished 33rd out of the 66 people who started the race in 27hrs50min5sec.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The taper begins ...

4 days until Sulphur , after a busy weekend taking apart the deck and pool putting in a new liner and then reassembling as well as squeeze a 4 hour trail run in its time to take a break. If I was running "Race" I would be a little freaked put about not running this week but this is more about distance not time! Time is a factor, I have to keep moving but I have to do it slowly, a walk won't do , running will burn me out its going to somewhere in between better described as a Shuffle! I am not nervous about my first 100 mile attempt but I keep on thinking about my strategy , food, clothing and a million other tiny things. Took Friday off to prepare...I will probably need it.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Getting Ready

Its all about next weekend now! Took advantage of the warm 24C , Sunny and Humid conditions today and did a 3hrs55min trail run. Ate boiled potatoes with salt and did 2X710ml bottles of Gu Brew. It wasn't enough fluids and I dehydrated a bit ..not allot but if its warm next weekend I have to drink more! Highlights of the day is were getting within a couple of feel of a baby deer and the smells of the forest. The forest had a sweet almost candy like smell was making me hungry. When I was done I stood in 10C water for and hour putting the pool back together again! Tomorrow is going to be a repeat of today and hopefully a bit longer. Have to work on getting today's avg pace 8:48 closer to 9:00, that's where I want to bee for the first 100K at Sulphur.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Trail last night ....

11.3K on the trail last night after work. It was humid and around 17C ...the air felt really heavy , my breathing was heavy in spite of the slower pace and the legs felt heavy too. I think last week just caught up with me. I have some longer runs planned over the next few days so I decided to make Thursday a rest day.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Monday, May 16, 2011

Things are coming together

Real pleased with how I am feeling after yesterdays Marathon. No leg or joint pain just a little tender in the groin. Jumped on the treadmill at lunch and did a 5K Run at a 6:00 pace.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mississauga Marathon Sunday May 15,2011

It was a totally amazing day, loved every minute of it...even the weather!

Race day started real early. I was up at 01:30 AM 30 minutes before my alarms were set. After my usual race day routines I left home at 03:20 heading to Flesherton to pick up fellow Saugeen Tri Club member Grant. The 90+ minute drive to the city went by quickly. The wind was really blowing and it was raining and 9C when we arrived. Hit Tims for a coffee and some Oatmeal Cookies and set up Grants new Garmin for him. Arrived at the Hotel where Anne was staying to pick up my race kit. We didn't waste any time and headed for Square One arriving at 06:30. Grant suited up and headed off to pick off his race kit , I waited in the warm car until 07:00 where I headed to the start. Bumped into Robbie T and BJH from Running Mania. Had a bit of a tough time finding the Tri group but they ended up finding me.

It took nearly 3 minutes to cross the mat after the gun went off. First 14K was done with a group of about 8. It was fun chatting and moving along. Most of the group were thinking 6:00 pace and that is more or less what we achieved until the races headed off in two directions. Things thinned out quickly and Grant pulled ahead a few hundred meters and I found myself running with Leanne. She was picking up the pace trying to catch Grant and I stuck with her. Passing the half way point Leanne and I crossed the mat together and Grant was ahead by about 40 seconds. 4K later the 25K split we were still 30 seconds behind Grant but we were starting to close the gap. When we finally caught up with him we went by him and I thought he was starting to fall off pace but we didn't get very far and he was with us again. For the last 15K the three of us stuck together. The pace was starting to pick up and I called it out when ever we sustained anything faster then a 5 minute pace. With 10K to go I stopped trying to slow things down and we logged our fastest Ks of the day. 33 through 38Ks were done in 5:21, 5:39, 5:23, 5:21, 5:25 and 5:25. Pretty darn consistent for first time Marathoners considering we started the day around a 6:00 pace! We were doing all the passing in the last 10K of the race, I really enjoyed it after being passed by thousands in my last 42.2! In the last few Ks Leanne began to have a tough time holding pace. Grant and I were watching her closely trying to keep her close never pulling away to far. I knew that we would be very close to breaking 4 hours and after running a couple of Ks in the 5:40s I encouraged Grant to go for it but he declined wanting to stick close to Leanne. We hung in there for the last couple holding the 5:40 ish pace.

Crossing the finish line was special , our gun times were 4:03:57, 4:03:58 and 4:03:58. Chip times were really interesting. Grant and I started together and finished in 4:01:02 and 4:01:03. Leanne started nearly a minute after us and her chip time was 4:00:04 ...oh so very close to breaking 4hrs.

The one thing that really impressed me about Lisa and Grant was that they never stopped running. No Hill, Aide Station , Puddle, Curb or anything stopped them, they just kept running no matter what. To top things off we all had close to a 4min negative split. What a great day!

The after part was a little uncomfortable, I was FROZEN to the bone...should have done a drop bag with warm dry clothing! Unlike last year there was no wait getting on the heated Bus. The ride back to Square One was fun and I stopped shivering. When I arrived back at he car I quickly changed into some warm dry clothes and then headed home in a very warm car!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A different kind of Trillium

A different kind of Trillium Run today! It was my 7th consecutive year doing the Mount Forest 10K and it was my slowest by design. After doing endless hours on the trail this week and with the Full Marathon tomorrow going out easy was the order of the day. I didn't know if I could do it but I managed to hold back reasonably well. First 5K were pretty consistent , 5:17, 5:41, 5:35, 5:41, 5:41. I really found my grove at the 5:41 pace. I wish I could say it was super easy but I worked up a good sweat and was breathing at a moderate walk in the park. About 4K in I started passing runners on their way back. All the way to the 5K turnaround I clapped and cheered those in front and then I did the same on the way back for those that were behind me. All the cheering got me pumped and I naturally picked the up the pace to around my Marathon 5:00 effort. Next 4K were done in 5:26, 5:11, 5:13, 4:53. I couldn't help but run my last K at what I usually consider to be my 10K pace finishing it in 4:32. I was hot and winded passing the finish line but for a change I was far from spent and crossed the Matt hands held high at a Garmin time of 53min5sec! Passed the chip removal and headed for the food... cold meat , cheese , yogurt and pizza.

Its off to Mississauga for the full tomorrow. Going out with a couple of first time Marathoners chasing the 4:30 bunny. In spite of the cool wet weather I know we are going to have a good time.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Trail Thursday

Blogger was down for 24+hours...wanted to blog yesterdays run but I couldn't, glad to see it back.

Managed a 3hr41min 26.3K trial run under some rather warm conditions. Wore a heart rate monitor to help pace myself. Seems like 130 bpm is a good easy non stressed heart rate. When it got warmer , around 24C with humidity the heart rate rose about 10 bpm. It was a very conservative run averaging an 8:25 pace. I felt good when I was done , I could have easily kept going with a little more hydration.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Getting Better

Yesterday was a bit of a break though run. I felt at home in spite of running ion tired legs and still suffering a bit from some groin pain. I originally intended on going longer but it just didn't work out that way gets in the way! So I ran at Allan Park again, fitting it in to a busy day. Managed to do a 11.2L run at an average 7:44 pace. One of the best things about yesterdays outing was the temperature ...never too hot never too cold just right. Did a series of run/walk and recover , almost routine. Learning to run slow is fun! Waiting until the sun shines this afternoon to head back out again.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Trail Tuesday

Turned it up a bit today, did a 2hr55min run at an average 7:46 pace. Tomorrow it time to go long again maybe even longer. Working on slowing the pace and would prefer to be closer to a 8:00 pace. Incorporated walks today , both up and down. I am trying to move as efficiently as possible and manage my resources keeping things in check. I know its not a long distance covering 22.6 km but being efficient and keeping everything in check is going to be key when I attempt to run 100 miles in a couple of weeks.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Lunch Run

Better Run today , 11K done at anywhere between a 5:00 and 6:00 pace. Still having some pain in the groin, not getting any worse or really any better. Once I get going the pain is subtle but always present. Looking forward to getting done mids so I can get back to normal sleeping patterns again.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Run Clinic

7.4K done with the run clinic tonight.

Trail Thursday

Good 11.2K trail run Thurs Eve. Concentrated on the shuffle , efficient movements with mid foot landings all efforts designed to move forward as easy as possible. Ran all hills , up down and flat at the same 6:49 avg pace. HR and Breathing were easy and of course climbed on the ups and decreased on the downs. One thing that's really cool about running this was is that you don't notice little ups and downs. This sort of trail is exactly what I have to so to complete 100 miles at the end of May. The groin was a bit sore at the beginning but subsided as I went along. Doesn't feel too bad a few hours after running. I think I strained theses muscles a week or so back when I caught a stick with my right toe and the left hell blocked it from swinging around resulting in a save as I caught myself falling forward. I was really cautious of these sorts of obstacles when I was on the trail yesterday!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Lunch Run

Gave running another try. Still a bit of groin pain at the start but then it diminished as I went along. Didn't do too much, 4.2K done at a 6:00 pace.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

On the Bike

Working mids this week. Jumped on the treadmill at 03:00 am and tried to run. There was quite a discomfort in my lower groin so I quickly pulled the plug. Jumped on the recumbent bike. There was no pain so I did a 30 minute spin.

Monday, May 2, 2011

2nd Run ...dam near did me in!

2nd trail run today , or I should say trail shuffle. I don't know why but the 14.7K I just did felt like the last 10K of a 50K Ultra. It was a good practice of the shuffle . It was a mind control ...body disconnect time, or so I tried. I keep telling myself that this is good practice for things about to come!

Allan Park

I was going by Allan Park today so I figured I would drop in for a trail run. It was more then 25 years ago when I use to Mountain Bike there regularly. Over the years I have dropped in now and again but I only ran small parts of the park. Today I did a little 7.2K loop at an avg 7:09 pace. I only had a tiny bit of muscle pain after Saturdays Race. Starting out today I felt stiff and had a fair bit of groin pain. I was going to do a second or even third loop but I was chilled ands I had some things I had to get done so I left. I am home now and am going to head out now and do my 11.2K trail loop.