Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sunday, September 26, 2010

STWM Sept 26,2010

STWM 3:29:06 a BQ and a PB


Allot of small details came together making it a magical day. The story starts August 21 , my first ITT. They say that you should be able to run ITT at around your Martahon Pace , I was 3:45:25 and then later in August I did the Bayshore 1/2 in 1:45:21 ...I was looking for 1:39:XX. These two races really rattled my mental and I was doubting that I would be able to do a Sub 3:30 Full late in September. After ITT I had the first, what I suspected may be a serious injury to my left Knee. I couldn't run more then a K without a sudden extreme pain that caused me to hobble for a half a K or so. If I run through the pain it seems to dissipate and after I run a few Ks its much better but always reminds me that something is up. Two weeks ago I did the Haliburton 50 Mile race , not exactly a good tape for STWM. Haliburton was horrible, going out it was 40K of breaking on all the downhills. I totally trashed my legs , coming back it was 40K of walking every downhill and there was allot of hills! So I really had no idea what to expect at STWM today.

Went to bed at 8pm Saturday night , I was wound and had a tough time falling asleep. Woke up at midnight after a few hours of sleep , 2 hours before the alarm was to go off. Laid there for 30 minutes but I the mind was in high gear so I proceeded to make a pot of Coffee and jump in the Hot Tub for an hour. After my soak I had my routine breakfast OJ, Oatmeal and an English Muffin with PB. I had a bit of a headache and a sore throat so I downed 2 Advil before leaving home at 2:30 am.

I was just short of two hours to the Parking Garage at Nathan Philips. The car was almost directly under the Finish Line .... best $12.00 spent on parking , ever! Now I was off to pick up my race kit at the Econo Lodge , Gerrard and Jarvis ...about 1.5K. Walking up Young was a real eye opener, all the usual night actives! I was limping but it seemed to improve the further I walked, I was concerned. Back at the Car I suited up and then made my way to the Marriott to join 100 Canadian Running Magazines Marathon Questers participants . Race registration was $90.00 and for $100.00 I could join the Marathon Quest and get a second T and a VIP area at the finish. It was really nice meeting new faces from across the country. Some really fast folks and first timers. The heated , well appointed room with washroom facilities made us feel like the Elites. We all headed to the start together around 7:00 am.

Seeded myself in the second corral not far from the 3:20 , 3:15 pace Bunnies ...didn't see 3:30. Bumped into Frank from Durham , he was running the half with a 1:45 goal, never saw him again after we started. 5 minutes before the Gun went I did my first Gel. There was allot of traffic the first few Ks but I managed to negotiate my way through the crowd maintaining close to my goal pace of 5:00/K. Didn't Gel , take any water and just concentrated on maintaining the rhythm that would carry me the rest of the day. My plan was to Gel at 8K then every 4K after that. I remember reading an RM post " if the gel gives you a boost then you waited too long to take it". I gelled again at 12K, 16K then did 4 Eload at 18K followed by a Gel at 20K. I was only drinking water when I Gelled , 2 gulps to get it down then 1 gulp a short time later...never in excess, just enough. Going through the aide station I grabbed Glass after Glass after Glass after Glass dumping it into my water bottle barley breaking stride. 21.1K in I was feeling good, very good and started to think about making my goal time. I have done this before in my 3 previous Full Marathons only crash and burn a short time later. Changed my thoughts to the task at hand or anything other then the finish. Gelled again at 24K and 28K , legs were feeling heavy and I remember the words of John from the Saugeen Tri Club " run faster, burn the lactate build up" so I would pick it up for a bit until things felt better then settle back to the 5min pace. Throughout the race I was watching my instantaneous pace vs avg due to the inaccuracy of the GPS Downtown and around the Gardiner. There was the odd person passing me and I was going by someone every now and again. The 32nd K I fell off pace a bit and I thought that the day was done! There were some hill through the Beaches, not big but on tired legs you knew it wasn't flat. The Beaches also had the biggest , loudest most supportive bunch of folks on cheering us on. I was going to do more Eload around 30K but had forgot and I started to cramp. I was between aide stations and barely had enough waster to get the 4 Eload Caps down! I gelled again at 32K , after refilling the water and this picked me up and I was back on pace again. In spite of all the gels I had done I think I was starring to go behind on the Glycogen! Past 33K I managed to hold pace but it was becoming a much greater effort. 9K to go and I was ahead by a minute or so and holding pace. Thinking about the end was OK now ... the sub 3:30 was still obtainable , the thought keep me on pace. Reaching 36K it was time to Gel again but there was only 1 left. I didn't want to go the final 6.2K without more Carbs so I delayed the Gel and took it at the 37K mark. With 5K to go I still had a minute or so in the bank. Checked the instantaneous pace it it was 5:10 ...didn't panic or try to pick it up just though to myself that 5:10 pace should be enough. I am not sure what happened but I was able to pick it up for the last 5K, just enough to bank a wee bit of time and I was passing quite a few runners ...I remember getting "the look", it felt fantastic. With a little over a K to go Helen the Haliburton RD rushed out to greet me ...another pickup moment. With less then a half K to go I heard City Hall Clock striking 11:00 am . I counted BONG , BONG , BONG. I knew that signaled the 3:30 Gun Time and figured it was going to be really really close as I knew I was about 2 minutes behind the Gun. I had thoughts of Holly S*&% , I might miss my BQ by seconds! So I screamed up Bay Street , Garmin said the last 600m was a 4:11 pace! Crossing the mat the gun time was 3:30:56 and I stopped my Garmin at 3:29...I knew I had achieved my goal! I wasn't sure how I would react but I really started getting choked up. I would be OK for a moment then it would hit me again, and again and again!

Made my way back to the Marriott and exchanged tales , good and bad with the other Marathon Questers. There was a 23 year old Women that just ran her first Marathon and BQ with a 3:03 time ... impressive! Had some water then headed to my car , grabbed the Cell and asked Carrie if she had ever been to Boston!

The following is a list of little things that made the BQ and PB possible. If any of the pieces below were altered I would be writing a different report.....

  • The weather 8C to 13C , a litte Sun and little Cloud and touch of a Breeze
  • Nurition , almost nailed it 900 Calories.
  • Electrolytes, almost nailed it too 8 Eload Caps
  • Pace, resisted the temptation to bank time. Greatest temptation between 15 and 18K until we lost the 1/2 Marathoners.
  • Left Knee issues made for about a 30% reduction in my Sept Mileage. I was forced to taper.
  • This RM post with a special thanks going out to MichaelMC.
  • Kinga Miklos " Running Ultras will make you faster". Running Ultras seemed to be making me slower. After 80K of Hell in Haliburton 42.2 on pavement was a walk in the park.
  • Blowing up in the Mississauga Full in May...what was I thinking!
  • Suffering through some really lousy Ultras this . I sucked at Sulphur, Creemore and Haliburton. Each one taught me valuable lessons when it comes to Fuel , Electrolytes and dressing for Sun Exposure.
  • Being a part of the Canadian Running Magazines " Marathon Quest". I felt an obligation to be successful. We were provided a training program that I didn't follow because I was running just about all the OUS races. When everyone was starting to taper I did 80K of Haliburton with a bad Knee. I really didn't want to be the poster child ..." How not to train for a Marathon"...great motivator.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Run Clinic

6.7K at a 6:27 pace last night with the 2nd Eve of the Run Clinic.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Another positive run ...

5K without major pain , little aches the first K then it was good. Just did a 5:30 pace again , ready for Sunday.

5K run clinic tonight.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Lunch Run ...easy

Did a 5.5k lunch run , 5K at a 5:30 pace then a cool down. Managed to run it without hobbling Knee pain...first run in more then a month that it did happen. The pain was a knockin but I wasn't listening!

Run +

Weights at lunch followed by a 5K at 5:00 Marathon Race pace after work. Knee acted up .75K in , ran though it and feel more fluid earlier on then I have in awhile... 3K in I forgot all about it.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Run Tuesday

5.5K at lunch , 5K at my 5:00 pace. Managed 1.75K before my knee acted up. It took almost 0.5 K before things settled down. Last couple of Ks were smooth and I felt really great!

Yesterday I did my upper body work routine.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Friday , logged 4.5K with night 1 of the fall run clinic. Great turn out again for the 8 week session. This time they are going to do a continuous run up to 10K . Also new is an hour of Yoga following the run. Had to pass this week , next week after due to races but I plan on stretching it out a bit when the time is right.

Sunday , 10.1K Run at a 5:12 pace.... put on the trail shoes headed north on the 2nd for 5K then turned around and came back. Mostly gentle ups and downs with a couple of small steeper sections. Managed the Knee fairly well , there was reminders but nothing that slowed me down .

STWM is 7 days away , not going to do too much this week , a few 5k or so runs at close to a 5:00 pace just to remind my body what its suppose to do next weekend.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Weights today ...

Upper body weight and core routine at lunch today. Feel really good after yesterdays 12K at my 5:00 pace. Left Knee is A OK , Right Knee is complaining a but I understand what its telling me. No run until tomorrow eve then its the first night of the run clinic.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

OK it works but

Did a second run this afternoon. After 5 minute warmup on the elitical I hit the treadmill for a 12.5K Run. First 5K were a little tentative but then I relaxed and things started to move more naturally and I managed 12km at my Marathon 5:00 pace.


Yup , started with 1K on the elliptical the switched to the treadmill for a 3.5K run. 3K at my Marathon pace with a 0.5K cool down. Thought I was doing good until I went for Coffee and one of my co workers asked " did you hurt your knee " !

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

In the GYM

Legs feel better, almost thought the Knee was OK but 1K on the treadmill and bang it came back. So I lifted weights instead ... might try to take it outside tonight.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Haliburton 50 Mile Trail Race

Did my first 50 Mile Ultra today. This isn't the first time I have covered the distance. Last August at the Dirty Girls 24 Hour I did it in around 13 hours. I have been having some issues with my left Knee lately. Within a km I experience a sharp pain , if I keep running it goes away. Running steep downhills has also been causing me pain , if I go easy I am OK but I can't open it up. So my objective was to not blow out my Knee and to finish somewhere between 10 and 12 hours.

I traveled to Hali the night before the race arriving around 10:30pm. Had a quick beer and snack then settled into my sleeping bag in the back of my Durango. With the exception of 100's of Wolves howling sometime around 1am I slept pretty good waking when my alarm went off at 04:30 am. It was a cold morning so I dressed in a couple of layers before I got out of my sleeping bag. Tim's Coffee ( from a Thermos) , OJ , Yogurt and an Oatmeal to go made for a great breakfast. Race Kit pickup, prep and before I knew it the race was minutes away from starting.

Arrived at the start a few minutes before 6:00 am and then we were off! Less then a K in my left knee complained loudly. I limped through the pain and it passed like it always does. It was a pretty dark morning and the road was a little tough to see so I stayed near to folks running with a light and was OK. It was 6K at a 6:00 pace before we hit the first trail, heading into the forest the visibility wasn't great , just OK. Running the Normac loop was OK , was able to run down the hills but I was always breaking being cautious not to aggravate my Knee. When ever I opened up a bit on the downhills there was the occasional pain that said slow down. After 10K passed I got into a pretty good rhythm that would carry me to the 40K turnaround. I continued to be cautious but was running better on the downhills and felt like I was flying through Ben's Trail. There was a few muddy spots on Ben's but when we made it to Christa's Trail it very mucky. There were some busy Beavers over the Summer and they managed to Dam up a lake so the overflow followed out trail , we were running down the middle of a stream... no choice! Passed the 50K turnaround feeling pretty good but I had no idea what lied ahead for the next 15K. After a couple of Ks of a wet corduroy road there was a little gift from the running gods. There was a few Ks of a road that didn't have much in the way of elevation. After the road stretch it was back into the woods but the trail remained pretty runnable with a couple of big ups and downs. It was until a couple of Ks short of the 40K turnaround that the trail got a little nasty again. There was an aide station at what I thought was the turnaround but we had to keep going another half K or so past on a gravel road. Reaching the half way point I realized that I hadn't been consuming enough fluids so I really started to drink lots. At the previous stop I grabbed a bottle of water and the most wonderful Beef Burrito that I have ever ate but I ran out of water before the aide station at the turnaround. All the extra braking to prevent a knee blowout was really taking a toll on my legs. I was no longer able to run downhills, my uphill pace was faster! I was still able to run on the flat and inclines but I never ran down anything other then a 1-3 degree grade the rest of the day. My objective changes from a specific time to just finishing the race, third time this has happened to me in an Ultra this year. Around 45K I was back on the gravel stretch again and was getting rather tired of everyone passing me. Chatted and kept up to Stephan and was telling him my story. He offered me some Advil , I declined and then he commented that I wasn't limping, I took some comfort in that statement. The entire was back I continued to eat and drink as much as possible. I never was able to run downhill and I cursed every time I face a delcine. I have never swore so much at a course but it seemed like all I was doing was going up and down ... nothing was flat , very little anyway! Watching the Garmin I thought I had a chance at getting it in under 12 hours. 9hours 25min into the race with 15K to go the Garmin "low battery" indication was on. I powered off the Garmin so I could save the battery to check the time now and again and started doing the math. Running without knowing where I was made me focus on getting to Normac loop .... only a few Ks and I would be there! Heading into the Normac loop there was 12K to go. It seemed like I was the only one running the loop. It looked starkly different then the first time through . It was forever before I came across another runner and the guy was going the opposite way. "Oh no ", I thought I was going the wrong was but I asked and the fellow told be that on the way out you go one way , on the way back you go the other .... that's why I was seeing Blue blazes that I wasn't the first time. I saw 2 more 24 hour guys heading out on the loop and asked both if I was going the right way. Finally believing that I was on course I relaxed although I was still swearing at all the downhills. Coming out of the forest onto a gravel road I expected to be closer to the aide station I had just passed. Going into the loop I was told "go to the flashing light turn right run the loop go past X aide station then return here". OK I was confused standing on the road thinking I have to go the opposite way the flags were pointing... peered down the road remembering in the instructions only to have a moment of clarity and followed the flags to the "first aid station". Here they told me 6K to go and that I would be returning to the previous aide station then 2K to the finish. Fired up the GArmin and it was 4:55 pm. 6K , 65 minutes .... I CAN DO IT!!!!!!! So off I went , 4K of gravel to the next aide station! I was breathing pretty heavy but was running most of the way. I gelled on the Normac loop but it didn't tweak me event slightly...I was done! Glad to be at the 2nd Aide station I asked for the time but was confused and didn't really comprehend much but I knew I had to keep moving to finish under 12 hours. Checked the Garmin a couple of more times just to make sure and I managed to cross the line in 11hrs47min.

So , mission accomplished! Didn't blow out the knee and it feels fine 24 hours later. I also was within my goal time of 10 - 12 hours. I really believe that I can run this much close to the 10 hour mark if things were different. I have been contemplating doing the 100 miler but the way I was feeling when I was done it seems a little unfathomable. But then I thought that after 120km at the DG , heck I could do it...healthy of course!

Garmin Data ...until it died!

And my shoes ...

...and socks!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Test Run

Did a 16.3K trail run today. The primary objective was to decide if I could do Hali or not this coming weekend. I am pleased to say that I will be doing my first ever 50 mile race this Saturday!

The left Knee acted up early on and things were looking quite iffy but the longer I went the better I got. Initially uphill and flat were good but all downhills hurt. The steeper the decline the worse the pain , breaking=pain. 5K into the run I did a series of 3 hill repeats , a little less then 1K up and then 1K down...about a 50meter gain/loss over 600-800 meters. Every time I went around the knee was progressively better. I was a little concerned because I was favouring my left leg putting more work onto my right leg. Getting past an hour I started to favor the left less and running started to become a mindless effort. Not running for 4 days meant that the legs were fresh with lots of pop in them!

I am going to hang the running shoes up for the remainder of the week. Next time I lace up it will be in Haliburton.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Day 2

2nd day of not running , knee fells good... mind says run , knee says not yet please!

To fill my activity void I did an upper body weight workout. Haven't been doing that in more than a year but it was my intention to start again after STWM. I believe that not strength training has hurt me a bit ...

Friday, September 3, 2010

Not running ...

Day 1 of not running ... its lunch, what am I goign to do??????????

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Now I did it!

Aggravated my left Knee carrying my 70lb 10 year old on my shoulders.... what was I thinking. Tried to run at lunch and I managed a total of 2K of run/walk... not fun! So I am going to lay off running through the weekend and then I am going to hit the trail on Monday. I find the more aggressive trail stance doesn't aggravate the knee as much as the upright relaxed road stance. Its going to be tough not to run this weekend but with the Haliburton 50 mile race a little over a week away I better take care.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Another hot run

Boys had football practice again today so I headed out on the Hanover trail at a cool 25C . Managed 15.3 km at an average 5:40 pace. Ended the run with a once around the high school track at a sub 4:30 pace. Back to work tomorrow so its back to the lunch runs for the next bunch of days. I was hoping to get a long run in this week but with the heat it just wasn't possible so I settle for the middle distance stuff .