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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Training: Philosophy

"Don't wish it was easier. Wish you were better." -- Jim Rohn

My wife and I are sitting in a pub, setting up my race season for 2014 and discussing which races she is planning on doing also. She's not as competitive as I am, and runs for the joy and social aspect of the sport versus the drive to break PR's and clobber a course that once clobbered back. There's a fair amount of local races lined up for the coming year, and it's exciting to see what the opportunities are to break new ground with virgin races, and return to starting lines to see how much quicker the finish line arrives!

To this end, we end up discussing training philosophy, and an interesting thing happened as I started posting events and official races to our running group We Run Mas' facebook page: a few of our members who are eagerly looking for races also to challenge themselves start asking questions. Questions such as, "Am I ready?", "Is this course too hard?", "I haven't done that distance before, what happens after I pass my furthest kilometer?". Things like that.

On the way into work, I was listening to Ultrarunner Podcast and they had Dr. David Horton on. For those that don't know, David has been running Ultras for longer than many Ultrarunners have been alive. He did his first 100 miler in 1981. He made a few points on how he saw the evolution of the sport, and what has changed over the years. I'll come back to his references later, but much of what he said speaks to the point of this article.

Over the years, there is a change in sport to allow everyone to participate: competitive and non-competitive alike. This is great, as it supports better lifestyles, gets people moving and provides the opening to maintain active, hopefully non-medicated, living for lasting health. The downside of this scenario is an "everybody wins" mentality, and the median of sport capacity goes down. Is this a law of averages, a bias in numbers because of the greater number of active participants, or a drop in overall trained skillset?

Before the late 70's the number of "aid stations" in most marathons was minimal, let alone 5k's or 10k's. The goal of the participant was to show up trained to the starting line, and it was their responsibility to get to the finish, not the Race Directors. As the general population started running (again, a good thing) the requirement for Race Director's to ensure the safety of participants grew, and Aid Stations started spawning like mushrooms on rotting wood. Some marathons have some sort of support station every kilometer!! Suddenly RD's were playing with their races to help the athletes. Adding aid stations, extending cut-offs, changing elevation profiles or offering shorter outs to finish. It's a little odd. Dr. Tim Noakes has much to say on the topic also.

So that brings us to the bar. How high is the bar, and what is the best way to ensure it is where it needs to be. The simple answer is: set the bar and expect people to reach it. There are "hard" races, and "easy" races, and in between races. Of course, easy for one person may be a grind fest of pain for another. So what changes the outcome of the journey? Answer: Training.

It's a simple idea, but our discussion (my wife and I) went a step further and it came down to a semantic which in essence has a huge impact on the outcome of one's effort.

"Train to achieve your goal. Don't set your goal based on what you have already trained."

Coming back to some of the questions that were being raised, both online, in person, and in my own head when I started undertaking running as a "serious" endeavor, put's it all in perspective. The danger of stating "Am I ready?" is that if you're not, you may not try. You ideally, if the race is several months away, and it currently exists beyond your past accomplishments, are not ready. However, this doesn't assume that you won't be ready!

It's gonna require a plan. 

Set the goal, sign on the proverbial dotted line, register for the event, and work our ass off so that once you reach the start line, you have done everything in your power to make the finish line. 
Train for the goal. Not the other way around.

The danger of doing the opposite, of setting the goal based on what you have already trained (aka your "today" self) is that you will sell yourself short. The aspiration of pushing just that one step past the comfortable and already known is what allows us to achieve greatness. Does greatness assume a first place finish or a PR every race? Not at all. For some, greatness if getting to the finish line. Even a DNF can be great, as long as the best that could have happened on that day occurred. The experience will let you shine in the future, as we all know that mistakes are the greatest of lessons. If we allow ourselves to only do what we know is capable today, for tomorrow, then the apathy and stagnation that impedes growth is certain. 

Once the goal is set, understanding the reality of what needs to happen to get there is paramount! To some, perhaps this comes naturally and with years of experience and success has become habit. For others, perhaps it's a new way of looking at future races and, while being realistic (don't go run 100 miles with little to no past Ultra experience), start pushing the envelope. Maybe it's a faster 10k or marathon, or a return to a race that once left you destroyed. It could be branching into new distances, or new terrain (roads to trails or -gasp-, trails to roads).

But at least do one thing . . . set your eyes on something new. Something that is currently not within your "today's you" grasp and push. 

Push just a little. And most importantly, train for it.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Ultra Playlist

We Run Mas - Our Band Shot

Here's a playlist I've set up for a long run or race, sitting at just under 9 hours of music.
Take a gander and hopefully there's something there that gets you going.

There's a mix of quieter emotional tracks with upbeat and aggressive beats . . . cause you never know what you're gonna need out there!!

..running playist master 
119 songs, 8.7 hours, 794.1 MB 

Name Time Album Artist 
Street Spirit (Fade Out) 4:14 The Best of Radiohead (Special Editi… Radiohead 
Takyon (Death Yon) 2:48 Exmilitary Death Grips 
Videotape 4:40 In Rainbows Radiohead 
Bitterman 4:52 The Light the Dead See Soulsavers 
Robot Boy 4:29 A Thousand Suns Linkin Park 
Jou Ma Se Poes In'N FishPaste Jar 4:17 $O$ Die Antwoord 
I Do Not Want This 5:41 The Downward Spiral Nine Inch Nails 
King Eternal 4:28 Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes TV on the Radio 
Oil and Water 3:50 Light Grenades Incubus 
Changing Colours 4:44 Ongiara Great Lake Swimmers 
Everyday is like Sunday 3:34 Morrisey 
Amsterdam 3:41 Writer's Block Peter Bjorn & John 
Obstacle 1 4:11 Turn On The Bright Lights Interpol 
Hearing Damage 5:05 The Twilight Saga: New Moon Thom Yorke 
The Hollow 2:59 Mer de Noms A Perfect Circle 
Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall 4:01 Mylo Xyloto Coldplay 
Pictures of You 4:46 Galore The Cure 
Embrace The Martian 3:42 Kontinental Gangsta Crookers 
Cosmic Love 4:16 Lungs Florence And The Machine 
West End Girls 3:57 Pet Shop Boys 
All I Need 3:49 In Rainbows Radiohead 
Reptile 6:52 The Downward Spiral Nine Inch Nails 
Overgrown 5:01 Overgrown (Deluxe Edition) James Blake 
Lapdance 3:34 nerd 
Worlock 5:30 Rabies Skinny Puppy 
Blue Monday 4:26 Candy Ass Orgy 
I Remember 3:15 Undun The Roots 
Wish You Were Here 3:35 Morning View Incubus 
Outro 4:07 Hurry Up, We're Dreaming. M83 
Runaway 9:08 Kanye.West-My.Beautiful.Dark.Twist… Kanye West Ft. Pusha T 
The Smiths & Morissey - Suedehead 3:53 
Renegades of Funk 3:54 Rage Against The Machine 
The Mother We Share 3:11 The Bones of What You Believe (Spec… CHVRCHES 
Pocket Full of Shells 3:51 Rage Against The Machine 
March Of The Pigs 2:59 The Downward Spiral Nine Inch Nails 
Heart Of Gold 3:07 Oldies Neil Young 
Maps 3:40 Fever To Tell Yeah Yeah Yeahs 
Pyramid Song 4:50 The Best of Radiohead (Special Editi… Radiohead 
Guillotine 3:43 Exmilitary Death Grips 
Bbb 3:31 How to Destroy Angels - EP How to Destroy Angels 
1980s - Ah Ha - Take On Me 3:50 Ah Ha 
A Millie Ft. Cory Gunz 4:46 hardb0dy@MIXFIEND Lil' Wayne 
Hope 3:17 Burning from The Inside Bauhaus 
$o$ 4:00 $O$ Die Antwoord 
Happiness is Slavery 5:21 Broken Nine Inch Nails 
Who's Gonna Save My Soul 3:16 The Odd Couple Gnarls Barkley 
Evolution Revolution Love 4:12 Blowback Tricky 
Bigmouth Strikes Again 3:15 The Sound Of The Smiths (The Very… The Smiths 
Welcome to Heartbreak (feat. Kid Cu… 4:23 808s & Heartbreak (Bonus Video Ver… Kanye West 
The Host of Seraphim 6:17 Wake Dead Can Dance 
Paradise 4:38 Mylo Xyloto Coldplay 
Karma Police 4:24 The Best of Radiohead (Special Editi… Radiohead 
Judith 4:07 Mer de Noms A Perfect Circle 
The Choke 6:29 Bites Skinny Puppy 
So Fresh, So Clean 4:00 Stankonia Outkast 
Lights 5:38 Interpol Interpol 
Sober 5:07 Undertow Tool 
The Good Life 4:17 Pinkerton Weezer 
Angel 6:16 Snatch - Soundtrack Massive Attack 
Keep Your Head 3:24 We Started Nothing The Ting Tings 
Don't You Evah 3:37 Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga Spoon 

Name Time Album Artist 
Perfect Kiss 8:02 New Order 
Stinkļ¬st 5:11 AEnima Tool 
Sun In Your Eyes 4:51 Group Therapy Above & Beyond 
Slow Hands 3:04 Antics Interpol 
Always Something There To Remind… 3:41 Living In Oblivion The 80's Greatest… Naked Eyes 
Vancouver 3:11 So Real: Songs From Jeff Buckley Jeff Buckley 
Da Rockwilder 2:16 Blackout Method Man And Redman 
I Need You 5:10 As I Am Alicia Keys 
Enjoy the Silence (Stereo) 6:13 Violator (Digital Version) Depeche Mode 
Forty Six & 2 6:02 AEnima Tool 
Sierra Leone 5:17 Mt Eden Dubstep 
The Clock 4:15 The Eraser Thom Yorke 
Motor Music 3:27 A Pipe Dream and A Promise Finale 
Terror Couple Kill Colonel 4:21 In The Flat Field Bauhaus 
Weak and Powerless 3:14 Thirteenth Step A Perfect Circle 
Children of the Sun 7:33 Anastasis Dead Can Dance 
Staring At The Sun 3:27 Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes TV on the Radio 
Breathe 4:39 Genetic World Telepopmusik 
Cars 3:59 The Big 80s Gary Numan 
Grace 5:22 Grace Jeff Buckley 
Infra-Red 3:18 Meds Placebo 
Grand Optimist 4:05 Little Hell City and Colour 
Real Goths 4:22 Real Goths - Single Mode Moderne 
Safe And Sound 4:05 The Violent Blue Electric President 
Speed Of Sound 4:49 X & Y Coldplay 
Orestes 4:48 Mer de Noms A Perfect Circle 
Easier To Run 3:24 Meteora Linkin Park 
Testify 3:30 The Battle of Los Angeles Rage Against the Machine 
Killing In The Name Of 5:14 Rage Against The Machine 
One Man Show 3:23 A Pipe Dream and A Promise Finale 
All Falls Down (feat. Syleena 3:44 College Dropout Kanye West 
Assimilate 6:57 Bites Skinny Puppy 
Supernaut 5:50 Nativity in Black: Tribute to Black Sa… 1000 Homo DJs 
Waiting for the End 3:52 A Thousand Suns Linkin Park 
Creator 4:17 Santogold 
Beastie Boys - Sure Shot 3:20 Beastie Boys 
Halfway Home 5:32 Dear Science, TV on the Radio 
08 - Get lucky 6:06 Random Access Memories Daft Punk 
Dead Souls 4:53 Still Joy Division 
I Can Dream About You 4:48 Streets of Fire - Original Mot Dan Hartman 
Ch-Check it Out 3:10 Beastie Boys 
Intro 5:23 Hurry Up, We're Dreaming. M83 
Halo  (Stereo) 4:28 Violator (Digital Version) Depeche Mode 
Midnight City 4:04 Hurry Up, We're Dreaming. M83 
World In My Eyes (Stereo) 4:27 Violator (Digital Version) Depeche Mode 
Please, Please, Please Let Me Get Wh… 1:52 The Sound Of The Smiths (The Very… The Smiths 
Music Is Math 5:22 Geogaddi Boards Of Canada 
Northern Wind 4:16 Little Hell City and Colour 
Last Goodbye 4:35 Grace Jeff Buckley 
Blinded By The Lights 4:44 A Grand Don't Come For Free The Streets 
Sunday Bloody Sunday 4:05 The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of… Saul Williams 
1969 4:21 Geogaddi Boards Of Canada 
Lotus Flower 5:00 The King Of Limbs Radiohead 
The Girl And The Robot 4:29 Junior Royksopp ft. Robyn 
Closer 6:13 The Downward Spiral Nine Inch Nails 
Alchemy 5:18 Group Therapy Above & Beyond 
Hot-n-Fun 3:24 N.E.R.D.-Nothing-(Deluxe.Edition)-… N.E.R.D. Ft. Nelly Furtado 
Home 5:03 Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros 
We Run Mas - Band Shot Alt. 2

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

2014 RACES: Vancouver+, Squamish, Whistler

Here's a list of Races and Dates for the 2014 Season.
As I get more information or confirmed dates, I will update the specifics.

RD's, if you have a race you want posted, drop me a message and I'll post it up!

March 8: MM Dirty Duo

March 15: SQ50 Orientation Run - Registered

March 23 (date change): CMTS Cap Crusher - Running

April 5: Diez Vista 50k Ultra - Registered

April 6: MM Run Fred Run (Formerly My First Trail Race)

April 20: SQ50 Orientation Run - Registered

May 10: 5Peaks Golden Ears - Registered

May 25: MM Iron Knee / Tender Knee - Running

May 31: CMTS Survival of the Fittest

June 1: SQ50 Orientation Run - Registered

June 7: 5Peaks Alice Lake

June 22: SQ50 Orientation Run - Registered

June 23: MMComfortably Numb (exact Date TBD)

June 21 (date change): CMTS Buck 'n Hell - Registered

July 12: Knee Knacker - Volunteering

July 26: 5Peaks Cypress  - Cheer Squad

Aug 15,16, 17 (Date Change!): CMTS Trail Festival & Squamish 50 - Registered (50k)

Aug 15, 16, 17: MM Fat Dog 100

August 23: 5Peaks Whistler

Sept 14 (CANCELLED): Meet Your Maker 50mile Ultra - Registered

Sept 27: 5Peaks Buntzen Lake - Running

Sept 28: Rubble Creek

Oct 26: MM Hallow's Eve - Running

Nov 16: MM The Phantom Run

Monday, October 28, 2013

Hallow's Eve 2013: Guest Blogger Ms. Marvel

Translated from English

Half Start Line!
This blog is brought to you by my super amazing wife, who has revealed her secret identity of Ms. Marvel. This was her first long distance trail race! Here goes:
Ms. Marvel . . . with a flapping cape indoors!!
Simone: I'm not a blogger, you just have to ask me the blogging questions! Wait, I'm looking up the map.

Ed: Were you nervous?
Simone: So, I wasn't really nervous going into the race. I was more nervous of the hill leading to the graveyard than anything else. Because last time I ran that I couldn't get all the way up [laughing].

Ed: What about your training?
Simone: My training had lots of road training, but I would have liked to have been more on the trails. The hill repeats on Burnaby Mountain trails gave me a sense of how hard I should be going.
Building up my mileage during the week despite being on the road made me feel more confident in how to run without needing to stop.  The final training session of the 14k on the Sunday previous was helpful because I could finally get a sense of what the course was, where to push, and break it down so I didn't push too hard too soon.

Ed: So you're lined at the start, what are you thinking?
Simone: I was trying to control my feelings. To not be nervous and not get excited. Maintain my cool.

Shanthi, Simone and Elaine
Ed: The countdown starts, and the race begins, how was the first section?
Simone: Easier than I thought. I was nervous about that hill for nothing. It was over quicker than I thought and from what I remember last time I ran it (beginning of 2013).

Ed: What was your fueling strategy?
Simone: Maximum of three shot blocks on the race supplemented with water. Sips of Vitargo S2 Orange flavor whenever I needed it. And some sweet potato to get the sweetness out of my mouth.

Connecting to Lynn Headwaters after the Mt. Fromme loop
Ed: Did it work?
Simone: I think so because it took me all the way through until the end . . . at least until the last 2k.

Ed: What happened at the last 2k?
Simone: The last climb which is all stairs now, was slow going. I struggled up the last climb. And when I got closer to the top where Shanthi (aka Wonder Woman) was waiting, a coffee man (a volunteer in a giant coffee cup with his head poking out) was cheering us on!

Ed: Let's go back to the first sections, was Shanthi with you the whole race?
Simone: Yup. She snuck in and registered that morning. We were going easy up until the suspension bridge and 30 foot pool. I felt good because I saw you and the boys there and it was light and fun.
Paris with warning signs!

Ed: At what point did things start to get hard?
Simone: Actually hard was after Lynn Headwaters up to Upper Lynn Loop, but at Old Mountain Highway was when I realized it was just tiring. My foot was hurting at about the 6 or 7k mark.

Ed: What's wrong with your foot?
Simone: I don't know. My toes go numb and burns, and the ball of the foot gets sensitive and hurts. So if I step on a rock, I can feel it come through my shoe.

Ed: Did that effect your climb or downhill?
Simone: Downhill, and straights. Climbs were fine. My right knee had a twinge too, but I accepted it, acknowledged it and then it was gone.

Ed: What was your most fun section?
Simone: Griffin Trail! So fun. It was nice to have only the girls and none of the guys from our running group in this race. It was a neat feeling. #NooffensetoBenAffleck

Carolyn and Maggie of WRM marshaling the course

Ed: Were there any points where you felt like you were in the flow?
Simone: The first section to 30 foot pool because I was so relaxed. Griffin trail also. I was following Shanthi and her steps were short and quick, and I remember the technique of knees up, and kicking the butt, and it was loose and relaxed.

Ed: Did you stop at any stations?
Simone: No, just waved and said thank you. I didn't need to stop, I had everything on me that I needed.

Ed: What about your gear? What was your kit like?
Simone: Nathan running vest, Salomon XT-5 trail shoes, Lulu tights and Underarmor shirt and Sugoi arm sleeves. I didn't get too hot or too cold.

Ed: What inspired the costume?
Simone: Lucien. He said Ms. Marvel, so I googled it, and then I had to decide which Ms. Marvel I needed to be. It was perfect, because she was who I needed to be that day: Super Human Strength, Speed, Stamina and Durability!

Ed: Anything you wish you had done differently?
Simone: Trained more in the trails, uphills especially. It has definitely improved, but more would have been better.

Ed: Anything you think you did super bang on?
Simone: My downhills were efficient, especially on technical, and it was fast. Smooth downhill was super fun, despite not having much legs in the end.

Ed: What about the end of the race?
Simone: After the coffee guy, with only 2k left to go, Shanti said, "Shall we?" and then we would start running. I think I was almost done by then. We saw a dad with his son on his shoulders, and they were cheering us on and the boy was chasing us saying he was going to get us. We saw the road and we were so happy. We saw the Ghostbuster photographers, and we were so close. The graveyard went by and then I just wanted to stop and walk because my foot was burning so much. We continued running and when I saw the finish I just wanted to walk. I was so tired. I crossed the finish line running. I couldn't see anybody. I was so foggy in the head. Then I wanted to throw up. lol.

Ed: So, what's next?
Simone: We Run Mas Anniversary Run in November, and then next year more trail training, a few 5Peaks Runs, all in preparation for the Squamish 50 23k in August of 2014!

Ed: Sounds like you're hooked. Would you do this race again?
Simone: Yes, but I wouldn't mind doing this race with you [wink].

The final numbers: Came in at 3:25:41


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Race Report: 5 Peaks Buntzen Lake Enduro Course

5 Peaks: Road, what road?!
Where the hell is my winter gear?! Yes, Summer has left the building faster than Adam Campbell can run 50 miles (which is pretty damn fast). Speaking of Adam, he’s warming up on the soggy grass beside the beach, and we get to have a quick little chat before he seeds into the 1st wave and I seed into the 3rd wave.

It seems that all the usual suspects have shown up for the race, including some of the elites, the 5 Peaks Ladies of the Trail (Solana’s blog is here), and our We Run Mas crew, today consisting of Darren Gladeau, Joseph Pelle, Jerome Wasilieff, and yours truly. My wife and kids play the photo/support crew, and Elaine Fung is marshalling the course in two areas for the day.

Jerome, Darren, Joseph, Ed
As you can tell from the pics, it’s wet, windy and cold. I overdress with a base layer, sleeves, gloves, a tech shirt and a wind breaker, toque, and calf sleeves. The body heat from the runners generates a layer of steam as the countdown begins. It’s about 50 runners per seed, and Joseph and I are intending for seed #3. We reach the front and I’m already cooking, so as we burst out of the start line, I toss my toque to my wife who captures this great shot; dude beside me is loving life!
Toque Toss

Joseph asking Elaine for directions . . .
The start is fast, and I have one goal, to get ahead of the people who are going to slow me down on the downhill. Tactical issue number uno is that the course starts on the Energy trail, which basically climbs up and then descends before crossing the floating bridge. I push my personal pace (I know, I know, don’t do that) and coast past a few people, fitting into a nice stride with Greg. I notice that Greg has a very nice cadence going, and has calves the size of my quadriceps. I expect to lose him when we hit the hill. Meanwhile, Joseph gets ahead, and I lose him as we approach the bridge.

I keep pace with Greg until we hit the power lines, as the FU George Hill takes a piece of me with it (and yes the FU stands for F**k You because on the Diez Vista 50k Ultra it’s the last climb at kilometer 46 or so). For those following along, I’m not a strong climber; improving but not at capacity yet, and I don’t normally wear calf sleeves. I find them too inhibiting, but changed my mind today so that in case I wiped out on the slick course, I would be able to work a ten hour shift later that day without bandages impeding my career.
As expected, I get passed on the switchbacks heading up to 1700’ feet, and Solana comes up and we encourage each other before she floats off into the distance. I’m not too concerned about being passed here, since it’s all part of the plan. My goal is to ensure that not TOO many people pass me as I don’t want to get jammed up on the single track technical descents, where I intend to open up the gears. On the way up to the peak of the climb, I have taken off my wind breaker since I’m steaming up and getting way too hot. I tie it around my waist, and am trying madly to figure out how to keep the sleeves tucked in so they don’t catch my flailing arms and feet as I start the downhill.

I got picked off by about twelve people on the ascent, and start returning the favour to my gluteus and calf gifted fellow racers as I hit a trajectory somewhere between madly irresponsible and insane on the reckless scale ™. The trail is a jumble of roots, jagged rocks and puddles with questionable interests.
We pass each look out and I’m charging past people, calling out “On your left” as I go. I finally reach Solana again and zip past her , but I don’t think I kept the gap low enough to stay ahead for too long. Regardless, I’m having fun and giver another shout out. We’re not far from the last of the “good” look outs (it’s all clouds and mist) and I know there’s some rolling ups and downs after this section. Solana and another runner (who on the results list is named Sanjay) have been yo-yo’ing me for the majority of the run, and once again get ahead. My calves are hurting really bad. It’s definitely the calf sleeves and I vow to never run in them again. The only other niggly area that hurts is my left arch and ankle, which I sprained the week before Squamish 50. It’s taped, but reminding me that it’s still there. Neither are impeding my progress, but a recovery week will be required.

Diez Vista North Side
The far north end of the Diez Vista is a treacherously steep, jaggedly rocky and less forgiving than the God of the Old Testament in regards to any missteps or falls. So, as I catch a toe and go into a head first dive I decide to jump instead, get my feet underneath me and long jump off a ridge onto a muddy slope, which gives way under my heels and I slide for about ten feet before grabbing a rock and a tree with my gloved hands and straddle my way through a gap, before I keep running. There’s a runner behind me who saw my agile recovery that relied more on luck and complete abandon for my personal safety, and he hollers out if I’m okay. Thumbs up, and still going. As we cross some logs before the exit of this section, he takes a tumble and I hear a sploosh as he hits the puddle. I spin around and ask if he needs help as he dusts himself off. All good, and we kick out of the trail on the north side of the reservoir. I see Solana up ahead, and am pleased I made up some time. However, I don’t have too much pop in my step on the flat and non-technical sections. This is largely due to having run a (flat) trail half marathon at the Trail River Run six days prior to this race where I set a half PR of 1:42:17 (woo hoo!!) and placed 10th overall. Today, I coast along with slightly heavy legs due to that effort and Sanjay catches up and stays just ahead of me as we cross the bridge to North Beach.

Feeling mildly calorie deprived, I take a shot of Vega something or other at the aid station and truck along the beach allowing it to take hold. I’m at 1:33 on my Garmin and I’m sceptical that today is the day I`ll run to the finish in 27 minutes for a sub 2 hour finale. The little climb to the service road before hitting east side Buntzen trail is oddly steeper today than it was a few weeks ago, and I realize I’ll probably be walking the remainder of the hills, of which two small ones are yet to come.
I coast along, pushing on the descents, since they don`t seem to be an issue, running everything uphill that is 75 steps or less, and power hiking the two climbs (which aren`t really climbs in the grand scheme of things, my legs are just fatigued). I catch up to a few other runners who passed me earlier, including dreadlock girl, but with a kilometre remaining, I don`t think I can close the distance since she is clearly in “kick” mode also. Sanjay is a few strides ahead also, and funnily enough I`m thinking, `Too bad this race wasn`t a little bit longer!``

We pass the dog park, I see Elaine, and she snaps a photo while marshalling us to the left with her right hand as she faces north east (inside joke), as we cross the little bridge and run across the grass to the finish line. Cheers from the crowd, the announcer calls me in, and I miss catching dreadlock girl by seconds. Exciting!

Overall I placed 76th out of 143 racers and 23rd out of 35 in the 30-39 age group with a time of 2:04:23.  Yes, my mid-pack race status for 2013 is cemented!
Our fellow We Run Mas crew did awesome also. Darren, who has been having a killer year having run fabulously at Squamish 50 and Meet Your Maker 50 killed the course today in 1:41:48 (and is expecting a baby in two weeks!). 
Darren's Finish

Soon to be parents!

 Joseph finished just slightly ahead of me in 1:57:43, having had some pain in the last few kilometers, and Jerome, who completes his first technical trail race rocks in at 2:22:02.
Joseph's Finish (walking on air)

Jerome's Finish
That was my final trail race of the season (I have the paved Turkey Trot 10k on Thanksgiving), and it was a great way to finish the season. I wish I could do more 5 Peaks runs, as it’s a great event, and I had a blast on one of my favourite local trails.
We be ballin'!

Next up is my wife’s Hallows Eve run on Oct 27th, where she tackles a difficult half marathon in Lynn Valley! This time, I get to play the support crew and the boys and I are looking to spook her when she least expects it!! Expect her post run interview on an upcoming blog post, as well as a recount of the adventure we did in Hanes Valley in September!

Leave a comment and see you next time!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Nutrition: The Power of Puking

Nutrition: As you guys know, I'm having puking issues. Yes, I'm a puker . . . at least it's seeming like this is the way it's going.
Generally, just before it happens, my pace drops off, my nausea steps in, and then within fifteen minutes it's heaving trail side. I was okay with the idea in the 30+k range, but it seems to be happening sooner, so I'm looking to experiment on how to get past it and am following both Dr Phil Maffetone and Dr Tim Noakes methods of science versus dogma.

Here's what I know to date:
1. I like water only as my primary fluid.

2. I am not taking anymore salt pills, but am taking e-caps for salt flavor when I feel like it (which apparently triggers the brain versus physiological effects with muscles)
3. I have had success with Vitargo S2 as a carb fluid, and will return to using it. I have not used it for a while, largely due to the fact that I wanted to keep an extra hand free, but I think if I use a different bottle that fits into my Salomon vest, that will work.
4. Gels make me hurl. I have some Hammer gels that I will share on the trails for goodwill. I'm keeping the Espresso ones.
5. I like Clif Shot Bloks, until I get nauseous. I think a mix of those and Honey Stingers will be good.
6. At actual "lunch time" I think I need some solid food. I also like food with crunch, so some potato chips or corn chips, and either nuggets or a cheeseburger is a must have.
7. TUMS: I always forget to pack TUMS. Don't forget to pack TUMS . . .

Here's what I DON'T know:
1. Why I am puking - problem.
2. What calorie/sugar intake is going to work into the 4 hour + range for runs. That seems to be the "trigger" point, regardless of distance.
3. How to keep ingesting once puking happens, since inevitably a bonk will follow.
4. Relieving stomach "cramping" just before or just after puking. Feels like stitch but has more to do with the gastro issue than muscular failure. I have good core strength and stability.

Things that aren't an issue:
1. Headaches - I don't get them anymore. Thank Jay Z!
2. Leg pain - I can deal with it. Strength will develop with time.
3. Hydration - I'm not too concerned since I will drink to thirst, versus a prescribed schedule.

Add or comment to the discussion, and share what you've learned or learn from what is shared.