Saturday, December 11, 2010

Lose Yourself

It was a bit of a rough week. I've been feeling rather run-down and tired; I think I'm fighting the 3000 viruses that have been going around lately. Work was frustrating, I didn't feel like running, haven't been sleeping well, possibly hormonally imbalanced, and feeling insecure/uncertain about some things.

All of that resulted in two crappy runs, Tuesday and Friday.

This morning I went to pick up my new road shoes from the post office. I knew I was over-tired when a friendly stranger stopped me to meet my dog, and something the stranger said made me turn away and start crying. Came home and attempted to take a nap, but couldn't sleep, so I eventually got up, put on my new running shoes, and forced myself out the door in the hopes that a run would help me feel better. While putting my hair up into a ponytail, I caught my own eye in the mirror, and what I saw there surprised me. There was a spark of independence and confidence in my own eyes that I certainly hadn't been feeling. I realized that somewhere in the past few days I'd lost sight of myself.

As I started my run, I remembered Powderface42, in 2007. This was the race that nearly conquered me. I remember wanting nothing more than to sit down by the trail and cry, or sleep, or both. I remember feeling burned out after, and that weeks later I could not face a hill in a run; I was mentally and physically broken by that race. But I had finished it, and that had changed me. From then on, the phrase "If I could do that, I can do anything" echoed in my heart and mind, changing the way I thought about myself, and about whatever challenges life threw me. It gave me the confidence to go on and do more ultras, to make big life changes, and take chances that would previously have seen me paralyzed with fear. Running in general, and trail/ultra running in particular, has made me a better, stronger person, who is not afraid of challenge and uncertainty. I know who I am and what I'm made of.

My thoughts continued on as I ran today, to my various ultras, running friends, injuries, celebration, fear and overcoming. I thought of RunningMania, and how the community there has been with me every step of the way.

As I ran out of town and into the forest, the light started to dim and there was a gentle fog in the valley. Part of me wanted to just keep running into the descending darkness and mist, but I eventually turned around and came out of the forest just as it was getting dusky. 12 miles done, harder and faster than I thought I had energy for; clarity was gained. I'm still sleep-deprived and uncertain, but I know who I am and what I'm made of, and I know that in the end it will all be ok.

This is why I love running. You can lose yourself and find yourself all in 12 short miles, gaining perspective, hope, clarity, and confidence in the process. There is no better therapy, and all it cost me was $80 for a new pair of shoes.

Week Summary
Tuesday - 4 miles with the puppy
Friday - 10 miles
Saturday - 12 miles

Total: 26 miles (cut-back week)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Week Summary

It was a good week! I once again skipped a short run, so I'm missing 4 miles from the plan, but I'm ok with that!

Monday - 4 miles with the puppy
Wednesday - 8 miles, including conquering my hill!
Friday - 20 miles, trails, with the puppy. While it was tough, I'm feeling stronger than I felt in the spring on the same route. :)
Saturday - 2 hours of playing in the snow on a mountain, hiking up and running/sliding down
Sunday - 8 miles... feeling pretty trashed from Friday/Saturday, but it was ok!

Total: 40 miles

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Yeah Baby!

Moving here in 2009 was one of the best moves I could have made in regards to my running. Not only do I have endless trails to explore, with all levels of difficulty, but living at the base of three mountains means that no run is ever flat. Yes, sometimes I complain about that, but it has certainly made me a stronger runner!

There is one giant hill in particular that I have longed to conquer since I moved here. It's a mile long and quite steep. With my injury last year and the resulting loss of fitness, I had to start over again this year from scratch. I've only attempted this hill a handful of times, but it has become for me a measure of my fitness. I could never seem to run up more than 2/3 of it without taking walk breaks.

Over the past few months I hadn't attempted it at all, but my strength and fitness were increasing through my long trail runs, higher mileage, and speed work. So tonight I thought I would tackle it again and see where I'm at.

As I was approaching the hill, I remembered what a friend said to me before my 10k last week: "You won't die, run hard." Good to keep that in mind.

The journey up this hill is punctuated by distinctive white fire hydrants. There are six hydrants altogether, and I've always measured my progress by how many sections I could run. I started slowly, focused on keeping my breathing as easy and steady as possible, and headed up. Passing the first hydrant, I thought, "I don't think I'm even going to make it to the second." But I kept going, and before I knew it was passing the second. Ok, breathe, focus, keep a steady pace. Suddenly there was the third hydrant, and then the fourth. When I reached the fifth, I knew I was going all the way to the top without walking, even though I was breathing hard and my legs were burning. The last section is the easiest, since you crest the hill and it levels off a bit.

I passed the sixth hydrant, giving it a little victory tap as I ran by it, and cruised on down the other side of the hill, taking in an awesome view of the Vancouver skyline sparkling in the distance. Victory!!

I think I am more excited about running all the way up this hill than I was about my 10k pb last week. This calls for champagne!! :)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Week Summary

It was a good week. I skipped one run (Wednesday) but it was only 4 miles so I'm not worried about it.

Monday - 4 miles with the puppy
Tuesday - 6.2 miles
Friday - 18 miles, part with the puppy and part without. I decided to run paved instead of trails because I was feeling lazy... but that backfired! It was really slushy, slippery, and muddy, and a very tough slog! I had no traction going up hills, and by the end I was pretty wiped!
Saturday - 9 miles with the puppy. Less slush today but still tough!

Total: 37.2 miles

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Week Summary and Race Report

Fall Classic 10k

I'll keep this short and sweet. :)

This is the race I pb'ed last year on the day my aunt passed away, so I guess I will always associate it with that, and will likely run it every year in memory of her. It also makes a great yearly fitness test for me.

I was pretty sure I could beat my old pb (56:27) because I am in much better shape this year (that is, I'm not injured!). But I wasn't sure how much I could take off. I decided to go for 8:50 miles, which would get me in under 56 minutes. These were my mile splits:

Final time (by garmin) was 55:10, so I am very happy with that!!

I do think I could have pushed a bit harder. At the 5k mark I was at 27 minutes (so on target for 54) but I slowed down in the second half. Had I pushed harder I could have been under 55. My muscles and lungs were doing fine but my tummy was starting to revolt and I didn't want to throw up so I slowed down because of that. Otherwise... it could have been faster. Next time. ;)

Week Summary
Tuesday - track workout. I did 4x400m (1:49-1:53) and 1 mile at 10k race pace. 6.2 miles altogether.
Wednesday - 5.7 miles along the seawall with a friend. Great run.
Friday - 4 miles easy with the puppy.
Sunday - 10k race and pb!

Total: 22 miles, a light week because of the race. Back to ultra training!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Getting Ready for Race Day!

I don't run short races very often, so it's kind of fun to be prepping for a 10k this weekend. I'm pretty sure I can pb, as I've got way more fitness than I did a year ago and have been working on speedwork at the track. I'd like to take a minute off of last year's time (56:27).

In the spirit of pumping myself up for the race, I've made a playlist that is 56 minutes long... if I am not finished the race by the time the last song finishes, I will have missed my goal. Every one of these songs is guaranteed to keep my feet moving fast. Here's my list:

Christina Aguilera - Fighter
Dashboard Confessional - Vindicated
Eminem - Lose Yourself
Fallout Boys - Dance Dance
Hot Hot Heat - Let Me In
Hot Hot Heat - 5 Times Out of 100
The Killers - Sweet Talk
Mika - Grace Kelly
My Chemical Romance - The Sharpest Lives
Panic! at the Disco - The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide is Press Coverage
Panic! at the Disco - But it's Better if You Do
Pink - Raise Your Glass
Silverchair - Straight Lines
The Ting Tings - That's Not My Name
The Ting Tings - Shut Up and Let Me Go

can't wait! :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

November 15: Dedication

Today marks the one year anniversary of the passing of my Aunty Janine. She took her last breaths early in the morning, surrounded by family (including her three daughters), after having spent three months and her 45th birthday in intensive care. The three months had been a roller coaster of emotions, while a sudden and mysterious illness wreaked havoc with her body and our hopes for her recovery.

I was on the bus when my mom called me to tell me that Janine had passed, heading out to run the Fall Classic 10k. Running had already taken on a new meaning for me; I had thought of my aunt during every run, thankful for each step and praying that she would recover. After her legs were amputated, I had stood in front of the Terry Fox statue in Victoria and thought about her. Running also served as an outlet for the feelings of frustration and helplessness, as I was feeling so far away from my family, alone out here on the other side of the mountains. So on November 15, just hours after my aunt's passing, my mom told me to run the race for Janine. And I did. I shut off my brain and ran hard. Every time I wanted to slow down, I thought of my aunt and pushed harder. I ended up with a personal best time, and dedicated the race to her.

I will be running the same race again in a few days, and once again will dedicate it to the memory of Janine. I promise to run my hardest. And I promise never to take my life, health, or running for granted.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Week Summary

3k straight up on the Grouse Grind, with a new Grind pb (55:58), followed by a run down old mountain highway to Lynn Valley Road. Total 10.5 miles, and I was quite happy with it.

4 miles with the puppy.

10 miles, trails, with a very badly behaved puppy. This wasn't a good run.

8 miles, road, no puppy, and a much better run!

Total: 32.5 miles (plan was 32 so close enough!).

The week upcoming will be quite a bit lighter since I am racing a 10k next Sunday. So I'll keep my runs short and fast this week. :)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Week Summary

The first week back on a schedule went really well!

Monday - 4 miles easy, paved, with the puppy.

Tuesday - 6 miles, 3 of which were at LT pace (at the track).

Wednesday - 4.8 miles with a friend - my second night trail run. Very fun!

Friday - 16 miles, trails, with the puppy. A good mix of technical and non-technical, and a good run. I felt tired in the first half and much better in the second.

Saturday - 8.2 miles, paved, easy pace. A few sore spots from yesterday, but nothing too bad. The hills burned a bit!

Total: 39 miles.

One of the things I want to work on over this winter is climbing. I am pretty weak on the hills (especially steep ones), and my lungs tend to give out faster than my legs. Of course, the only way to get stronger on the climbs is to do more of them, so that is the plan!

Monday, November 1, 2010

One Up, One Down

Time to start training again! After three months of running whatever I felt, I'm back on a schedule as of today. But it's a slacker-friendly schedule. Five runs per week, with most of the mileage happening on the back-to-back long runs on the weekend. This means the weeknight runs are short (nice during the winter!). It's also one-up-one-down, meaning that every other week is a cut-back week. This allows for a long, gradual build, and I've found in the past that that pattern works well for me. I am looking forward to this!

I love that I'm not starting from zero this time, and I am excited to see what improvements I can make in 2011.

This week's plan:
Monday - 4 miles
Tuesday - 6 miles
Wednesday - 4 miles
Friday - 16 miles
Saturday - 8 miles

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Today's run brought me past an important milestone. For five years I've had a goal of 1200 miles for the year (averaging 100 per month). It's not a huge amount, but for various reasons I've never been able to hit it; my previous highest year was 2006, with 1041 miles.

But today I hit 1200 miles for 2010! And there are still two months left in the year. Considering that on January 1 I was still injured and starting from zero, I am pretty happy about this!

With that said, today's run sucked. I would have bailed early had I not been looking for that 1200 mark. I've been feeling rather drained lately and hadn't run since last Wednesday. Hopefully will be feeling better soon (physically and mentally!). Next week I start back on a training schedule; I can't say that I'm really excited about that, but I am excited about my spring races so I need to get in gear. Three months of slacking is enough! :)

In other news, I ran my first night trail run last week. It was really fun, just a short run with a few other people, to get the feel of the trails at night. It wasn't as difficult as I expected it to be (I joked to a friend that hills are easier in the dark because you can't see them!). I want to do more night trail running through the winter.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

"Recovery" Week

I felt pretty good after last week's marathon, so even though I only ran three times, I didn't go out of my way to take it easy.

First post-marathon run, and I didn't want to miss another weekly LT workout (since I'd missed the week before due to "taper"), so I did a short one: 1 mile warm-up, 2 miles at LT, 1 mile cool-down. It felt good, though there was still a tiny bit of fatigue from the marathon.

14 miles on the trails with the puppy! This felt great. My legs still felt a bit tired, particularly on the climbs, but overall I was really happy to be out there and had lots of fun romping in the forest with Sammy. He is always energetic, but I recently switched his food to a higher-quality, fish-based, grain-free food and now his energy is boundless! Even at the end of the run he was bouncing around all over the place. This is good, but I'm going to have to work harder now to wear him out!

Today was 10 miles, paved, at marathon pace (I didn't plan to go that pace; that's just what felt good!). It felt really great, and really strong. It started to hurt at the end, but not until the last km, so no worries! :)

Total 28 miles, which is just fine for the week after the marathon. :)

I don't really have a plan for the rest of October, except to do some more LT/V02max workouts and just kick back a bit more until November, when Chuckanut training will start!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Victoria Marathon

It had been over three years since my last road marathon, and my old pb (4:56:20) was looking pretty soft, so I thought Victoria would be a good place to make a new pb! After all my hard training for White River, though, I slacked quite a bit in August and September, so I wasn't sure how well I would do in the marathon.

Arrived in Victoria on Saturday morning, after having met up with some friends on the ferry. I was met by my mom's cousin, with whom I was staying for the weekend. She was awesome, driving me everywhere I needed to go (including a tour of the course), and getting me to the race, cheering, and taking photos. I felt like I was being waited on hand and foot all weekend, which was nice. :)

Race morning I saw a few friends at the start line and wished them luck. I looked for my friend Mary since we were predicting similar times, but didn't see her until we were on the course. I ran with Mary's group for a bit in the first half (on and off, since they were doing walk breaks and I wasn't, so there was some leap-frogging).

I was exactly on pace throughout the first half, crossing the half mat at 2:17:41. And I felt great. The course is really nice, sometimes along the water and sometimes through pretty neighbourhoods. There was lots of crowd support the entire way, which was really helpful. It's very flat, just the odd small hill here or there. The weather was good, except for the wind when we were facing certain directions. And was really fun to see all the elites and leaders and some of my friends coming back in the out-back sections.

At 26km I thought, "only 10 miles left... and I have done 10 mile MP runs on tired legs, so I can do this no problem." I felt great through 30k, crossing the 30k mat at 3:15:11. But it wasn't too long after that that I started slowing down. All of my joints were aching (first time since 2007 that I've run that distance on hard pavement!) and I started losing time and taking walk breaks--until then I had only walked through aid stations. Kept plugging on, running as much as I could and accepting that I wouldn't make 4:35 but would still have a nice pb. :)

The last stretch along Dallas was the toughest because we were tired, had to go up a gentle but long hill, and had the wind blowing right into us. And the last 5k was a bit of a slog, but I was able to pick it up just a bit towards the end.

Chip time 4:42:10, which was not my goal but still a 14 minute pb. So I am happy with that!

Great race; I definitely recommend it.

Feeling pretty good today! Just tired, with a few sore spots, but overall not bad. :)

Next up: Fall Classic 10k in six weeks.

ps: they had SPRINKLE DONUTS at the finish. And not regular donuts... you know those little sugar/cake donuts? These were like that, but bigger and with sprinkles! this should be required at EVERY race.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tapering, slacker style!

A number of times over the past week or two, various people have asked me, "aren't you supposed to be tapering?". My usual response is, "Tapers are for people who actually train." The truth is that my mileage lately has been too low to deserve a proper pre-marathon taper (105 miles in September?!) so I've kinda been winging it. I attempted my last long run on Thursday and totally bombed it... barely got 15 miles out of the planned 20. Then on both Saturday and Sunday I did the Grouse Grind (neither was planned). Monday was a 15k run with a friend from out of town. That leaves me 5 days to "taper". I guess it'll be more of a rest week instead.

I'm not worried about the distance; what I'm unsure of is whether I can maintain my planned pace over the distance. My goal is 4:35, which is not unreasonable, but given my low mileage I have no idea what will happen. There is only one way to find out! :)

I will start on pace for 4:35 and then see how I feel in the second half. Even if I fade in the second half, I should still PB (old best is 4:56 so there's lots of wiggle room!).

There will be online tracking at (Bib #2470) if anyone would like to follow! Race starts at 9am PST.

Monday, September 27, 2010

the pros show us what ultra running is all about

Scott Dunlap's account of this past weekend's Flagline 50k documents how much class and spirit the guys at the front of the ultra running community really have. I don't know any other sport like this.

Sounds like a great race, too... I will have to keep it in mind for next fall!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Catching up

I guess it's been two weeks since my last post! That's mainly because one of those weeks involved NO running at all. Unlike the previous rest week, this one was unintentional, but I guess I needed it. My jobs lately have been leaving me feeling pretty swamped and tired!

Even so, last Sunday I got out for an awesome hike with some friends; we did all three peaks of the Stawamus Chief, about 7 miles total. It can be done in 3-4 hours but we took 5 because we really took our time with photos and enjoying the day. It was great! :)

View from the second peak:

That brings us to the past week.

5km, relaxed, with the puppy. I needed to stretch out my legs, which were quite sore from the hike!

Track work - mile repeats, like last time.
Including warm-up, cool-down, and recovery laps, 8 miles total.

This started with a group hike up Larsen trail (one of the many trails that goes up Grouse Mountain). It's about 4km to the top, and we took our time to accommodate the group. From there I ran down the gravel road to mountain highway, then home for a total of 13.5 miles. It was the first time I'd run the length of that gravel road, and it was much longer than I had thought! This loop would be an awesome training run for White River. ;)

Meant to do a long run today but I was feeling pretty trashed so I opted instead for 10 miles at marathon pace, which gave me 1:44-ish. My legs felt really tired, but the run went well.

Total of 34.5 miles for the week... no great amount but I'm happy with the quality.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


This was a good running week! I am glad that I took the previous week off. And as of today, 2010 is officially my biggest mileage year ever! (peanuts to some of you, but I'm currently sitting at 1051 miles--1692km--for the year... and it's only September!)

Mile repeats at the track. 4 repeats plus warm-up, cool-down, and recovery laps gave me 8 miles.

12 mile trail run with the puppy. One bear spotted (just a baby but mama was nearby, as verified by a walker I spoke with a few minutes later). I added in an extra steep switchback in the interests of not being lazy!

20 mile long run, paved. It started out rough, with shin splints, side stitches, and general exhaustion. I wanted to turn around at the 1 mile mark... and the 2 mile mark... and the 3 mile mark... but I pressed through and by the 5th mile started to feel a lot better. Ended up with a great negative split and several miles done at marathon pace. 3:42 overall, which I'm quite happy with.

Total: 40 miles. Only three runs, but they were all high-quality and I'm feeling good. :)

Here is a pic from my long run today... it was pouring the entire time, but really pretty and peaceful in the valley:

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

One Week

Well my two weeks of planned downtime turned into one. I needed a run tonight so I went and did my track workout (mile repeats, woohoo!). 8 miles total, first run of September. I'm glad I took the week off, but I was going antsy and wasn't going to make it to two anyway! :) I guess that's a good thing. I won't jump into high mileage though; I think I will just run what I feel until Victoria.

Still trying to figure out a race plan for 2011. I want a spring 50-miler but there aren't many nearby options. I might do Chuckanut 50k in March and then Mt. Si 50 mile in April. Aside from that I'm not sure... I'm looking for tougher 50k/50 mile races as training runs for CCC. Tenderfoot may be an option in May, but given the major trouble they had this year, I'm a little wary of running it until they work out the kinks. We'll see! Meanwhile, I'll keep looking and pondering. :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Pre-emptive downtime

After reading and pondering the feedback from my previous post, I've decided to in fact take a couple of weeks completely off of running. The OCD side of me is not happy with this (what about my monthly and yearly mileage totals?! lol), but I think it's for the best! I'd rather rest now by choice than keep pushing and end up injured or burned out.

I still plan to run Victoria, but without expectations or pressure.

And then I will decide on an ultra plan for 2011!

Thank you to those of you who gave feedback; I definitely appreciate it!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Heart's Not In It

It's been a long year... lots of miles. By the end of this week 2010 will officially be my highest mileage year ever--and there are still 4 months left. It's been great and I have enjoyed it, but I'm feeling a little tired these days.

Registering for the Victoria marathon had a double purpose. First, a bunch of my friends are doing it and it has been on my list of "to-do" marathons for quite some time. Second, I thought it would be a good way to keep myself from slacking too much after White River. I have a tendency to lose momentum after a big goal race and just fall off the wagon, so I wanted to avoid that.

As a result, I've moved right into marathon training. It took a few weeks to get my mileage back up to a reasonable level, but this week I should hit 50+ miles. And I feel fine, but my heart isn't in it. Part of me wishes I hadn't committed to Victoria. Part of me is considering just doing the half-marathon, but I'll decide that later if I don't feel up to the full in a few weeks.

With that said, I am planning to take some "down" time after this race. It will probably be for the rest of October and November, where I reduce my running and rest up a bit, and catch up on other things (November is also nanowrimo month!).

For those who have done a planned down-time like that, how much did you reduce your running? What did the weeks look like? How do you prevent yourself from losing all of your fitness and endurance? Did you follow a schedule or just run when you felt like it? I'm interested in finding out what others do... if I go into it with NO plan, then I will fall off the wagon. I want to at least maintain a decent base so that I can move into ultra training again in the new year! :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Two of my favourite ultra runners have had spectacular DNFs this year. While these guys are inspiring at all times, I find their DNF stories to be the most inspiring of all. On top of the fascinating psychology and physiology of what happens, their amazing attitudes and thoughtfulness are what strike me most. So I'd like to share:
Anton Krupicka's Leadville 100 report here.
Gary Robbins' Miwok 100km report here.

Anyone can DNF... it takes a great deal of character to do so with the grace and honesty that these two display. If I as a runner can pick up anything from them, I hope it's their mindset.

(though a bit of their speed would be nice too. ;)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Ultra runners

Found this on the web and thought it was cool:

"It makes no sense in a world of space ships and supercomputers to run vast distances on foot. There is no money in it and no fame, frequently not even the approval of peers. But as poets, apostles and philosophers have insisted from the dawn of time, there is more to life than logic and common sense. The ultra runners know this instinctively. And they know something else that is lost on the sedentary. They understand, perhaps better than anyone, that the doors to the spirit will swing open with physical effort. In running such long and taxing distances they answer a call from the deepest realms of their being -- a call that asks who they are." -- David Blaikie

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cascade Crest 100

I've always said that I had no desire to do a 100-miler. Who wants to run all night? Who wants to be out there for 24-30 hours, usually running loops around a 6-10 mile course? Why do that to yourself?

Friends said, "wait until after your first 50-miler... you will change your mind." I thought they were wrong; but if running has taught me anything, it's "never say never."

Finishing my first 50 and having an amazing experience brought the idea of 100 into the realm of "possible", but I still did not have any real desire to run one, and thought, "maybe in a couple of years."

But the fates decreed that while in this malleable mindset--still wearing the post-ultra glow, looking for a new goal, open to new possibilities--I should discover a race that could finally make me want to run 100 miles. No short, repetitive loops for me. How about a full-on adventure, one single, challenging, beautiful 100 mile loop in Washington's Cascade mountains?

Take White River and multiply it by two... then add a bit more elevation change, and you have Cascade Crest. There is a 25% dnf rate, but there is also a generous cut-off time (32 hours). I have a year to train.

I also have no freaking clue how to train for 100, so I've been looking at training plans online. The first-timer plans all seem to peak at around 70-75 miles per week. My White River training peaked at 69 miles, so that is very similar. The difference is that the 100 plans distribute the miles differently, putting more emphasis on back-to-back long runs and less emphasis on the shorter weekly runs.

Registration is in February, so I have some time to figure it all out and see what kind of shape I will be in for spring. But the reward would be worth the effort:

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Changing Gears!

After two weeks of rest and light running, it's time to change gears again and start getting ready for Victoria Marathon!

My run today was strong... best run since White River, which tells me that I'm on the right track. The past two weeks were kind of weird, in that the first week I just felt sore, but the second week I felt fatigued. My runs themselves have been fine, but there was that underlying fatigue that slowed me down and made me wonder if I needed more time. However, that seems to be gone today so I am taking that as a green light!

In order to transition back into higher mileage a little more gently, I'm aiming for 4 runs this week, and then will bump up to 5 next week. I'm adding one speed workout per week and I will also be doing my long runs on the road (but will still try to get in some trail runs because I love them so much!).

While I am looking forward to Victoria, I find myself yearning for a new ultra goal. I need to figure out a new goal race soon!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

One Week Later

My mind is still on those trails. I want to do White River again. If I could do it next month I would, but I will have to wait until July 2011! All week I have been pondering goal races for 2011 and am still undecided; there are several that I would like to do but they all involve travel, so I will eventually have to narrow down the list. If anyone has favourites that I should consider (specifically, more 50-milers) then let me know! If I keep my training up through the winter, work on strength and work on hills and maybe even work on speed, I could have a great year next year!

In the meantime, I've just registered for the Victoria Marathon in October. It's been on my list for several years, as I hear it's a great race. I haven't run a road marathon since 2007, and my pb is just waiting to be knocked down (it should go down fairly easily, I think). It will also keep me motivated so that I don't slack too much now in "recovery".

Speaking of recovery, I'm doing well. I've only run three times since the race but those runs have felt good. There are no specific issues, just some fatigue left over, and my quads are still not happy when I do even gentle down-hills. I only have one purple toe from the race (the one I slammed on a rock). Overall, I'm quite happy! Will keep the running easy and light for at least another week though.

Here are the official race photos, by Glenn Tachiyama. First is the ridge leading to Corral Pass, with Mt. Rainier in the background:

This is the last bit of a struggle up to Sun Top; my smile here is forced!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

White River 50 Race Report

Rather than copy it here, I'll just link to the report on RM:

It was an amazing day, and I absolutely loved this race! What a great first 50!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Taper Thoughts, week 3

Aside from barely running last week, this taper has been pretty uneventful. I'm calm and ready, just waiting for race day to arrive! I expected a lot more taper madness than this.

This week's focus is on rest, hydration, and nutrition.

Yesterday's run was a slog. This concerned me because I expected to feel energized and refreshed by now. In the past two weeks I've only run about 70km. So why did my legs feel so dead yesterday?

I sent a note to another runner whose opinions I respect (and who has a lot more experience and knowledge than I do!). Among other things, he said:

First understand that how you feel is 100% normal and not a sign something is wrong. Get lots of sleep this week, eat properly and trust your training. IMO the three week standard taper DOES allow you to run good races, almost as good as the very best taper, the problem is how it leaves you feeling. Toward the end of the week put your feet up as much as possible, until then you can run lightly: short, quickish fun stuff (favorite short trail run?). Your legs are there, they are just puzzled: they'll know what to do race morning!

Relax your mind a bit, and the body follows better too.

Good advice... and good to know that I'm not abnormal!

So here I sit with a giant bottle of water, trusting that my legs will know what to do on race morning!

In other news, I've lost about 7lb since February. Hopefully I can keep it off after the race, which I think is a good possibility since I plan to jump straight into marathon training!

Let's get this show on the road! :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Random Taper Thoughts, Week 2

I always say that tapering is my favourite part of training... only because I get extra rest days (and I'm a slacker so I like rest days!). But really, it's not very fun. Cue mystery pains and issues, second-guessing my readiness, second-guessing the taper itself (why did I take 3 weeks?!), worrying about gaining weight, and obsessing about the race.

In the first week of taper I'd planned 45 miles and only did 32, but I'm ok with that because I still feel like I need a bit more rest. Yesterday's run was brutal; I felt exhausted, and everything hurt. That was only 10 miles.

I'm doing ok with the no junkfood thing, though I have cheated twice (so far it's the weekends that do me in!). I figure it's still a lot less than I normally have, so it's an improvement!

Then I read blogs of people like Anton Krupicka and I realize how much of a poser I really am! lol

From now until race day I don't really have a mileage plan, except I think I'll try to run every other day, and keep the distances short (nothing longer than 10 miles).

Oh, and I'm getting really excited about the race! I wish it could be this weekend instead of next weekend!

(Is it too early to start looking at weather forecasts?!)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Monday, July 12, 2010

Courage and Light

Check out this ultra edition of Marathon Talk, a UK program. It includes a great interview with Scott Jurek and some helpful information and tips.

Immediately after listening to this, I of course had ultra running on my mind. A coworker brought up a cheesy quote that she had received in an email--something about finding courage and light in your heart. Another coworker pondered, "how does courage lead to finding light?"

I said, "I know!"

"How?" she asked.

"You have to run an ultra to get it," was my response. She is a runner who has said she will "never" run an ultra (never say never!), and last week we had been talking about the appeal of ultras and why I want to run them. So she laughed when she heard this answer. But for me this is really what ultra running is all about, that complex web of things that happen in an ultra: battling pain and fatigue, continuing on no matter what, discovering things about yourself that you did not realize before, finding your greatest physical and mental highs and lows (often within minutes of each other!), and then finally overcoming the course--and in the process, yourself--and then going on to do it all over again.

Obviously there are other ways in which courage is related to light, but this is the most potent for me at the moment, given that I'm tapering! lol In fact, the more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that courage and light are inseparable. But maybe that's just me. :)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

At One with my Raptors

Well, that's it... my last big run before White River!

I headed out this morning after a solid 8-hour sleep (drug-assisted!). It was 18C at 7am when I started, and would rise to 27C by the time I was finished. I knew that was too hot for Sammy to be out all day, so I did the first 45 minutes with him and then took him home and grabbed my hydration pack, and headed out for the rest.

The run was awesome! I felt really good throughout, even to the end. The roughest part was around the 22-24 mile stretch, but then I got a second wind at around the 6 hour mark. It was still slow, but well ahead of the cut-off pace that I will need for the race. And I still had energy at the end; in fact, I felt as though I could keep going. At no point did I feel bad, and mentally I was happy and relaxed and strong.

If my race goes as well as today's run, I'm golden!

I did get a little sun-burned, but not too badly because the trails are pretty shaded.

And I finally made the 200-calories per hour goal that I've had all along.

Distance: 50km
Time: 7:31:43
Total Elevation Change: 14,700 feet
Water consumed: about 5L
Calories consumed: 1600

For the very first time, I actually feel ready.

My La Sportiva Raptors, post-run:

Monday, July 5, 2010

Last Big Week!

Today is the start of my last big training week, and I am aiming for 110km. I slacked last week (not on purpose--I was sabotaged by a crazy work schedule and no sleep!) so I am ready to get back on track this week. I have Thursday and Friday off of work and the weather is supposed to be hot, so I might as well finish with a bang!

The plan:
Monday - 10 miles
Tuesday - 10 miles
Wednesday - rest
Thursday - 31 miles
Friday - 10 miles
Saturday - rest
Sunday - 7 miles

After that, taper starts (though my first taper week won't be dramatic--I'm thinking 75km). My goals for this week are to stay fueled and hydrated, and get in that last big long run in the heat!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Further Up and Further In

This month has been huge for milestones. I've seen my biggest week ever, my new biggest month ever, and my first 300km month.

And I'm feeling great. In fact, I don't think I've ever felt as good about my running as I do now.

Don't get me wrong--I've had my tired and sore days. But when I think about how far I've come and what I've accomplished over the past few months, I almost feel as though the training for this race is as significant to me as the race itself.

Thinking back to January: At the beginning of the month I wasn't even running; I was still getting over my injuries. I started running again in the second half of the month, pulling in a grand total of 26 miles for the entire month.

February: Feeling a little better, starting to run more frequently. 68 miles for the month. I remember being concerned about the nagging pains, issues of compensation, lower leg problems, etc. I remember wishing I could just run again without being afraid of re-injuring myself. I just wanted running to feel good again. I was out of shape and still had some leftover problems, and didn't know how much I could safely run without overdoing it. I was frustrated. And yet it was at this time that a friend put the idea in my head that maybe I could still do White River this year. My first response was, "are you insane? That's only 4 months away and I'm barely running!" But as I walked away from that conversation, the fire was kindled, and I thought, "well... maybe I could do it..."

March: I decided to use March as a test month. Could I safely increase my mileage to a good starting point to get me on track for White River? I designed an ambitious training plan and decided that there was only one way to find out. If I crashed and burned, I would do so early enough to revise my plans for the summer. But it was worth trying. So in March I ramped up the mileage (I never liked the 10% rule anyway!). 110 miles for the month might not seem like a lot, but it was a major increase. And I had no setbacks.

April: 170 miles. Again, huge increases in a short period of time. This was my highest month ever, and I hadn't even been near that since January 2007. Confidence was building, but I knew there was still lots of time for things to go wrong.

May: holding rather than increasing. I gave my body some time to adapt to the increases. I battled through some difficult runs and worked on my mental training. My first 100k week. Constantly hungry. Feeling good. 160 miles for the month.

June: starting to get tired, and starting to feel as though I'm ready to be done. I seem to vacillate from day to day. One day I feel exhausted and cranky and I'm not sure how I'll get through to taper, and the next day I feel awesome and confident. First 50k training run (pb!). New biggest week ever. New biggest month ever. First time past 300km in a month. Trying really hard to get enough sleep and enough food and water to keep me going.

And now here I am. I feel as though I've already climbed a huge mountain, and I'm really happy about how far I've come. I want to celebrate, but I will wait until the last big week is done! (Still scared of the race though!)

Goodbye, popcorn

For the past few weeks I have been hopelessly addicted to popcorn. At home I eat air-popped with butter and salt, and at work I've been eating microwave popcorn (which is unusual for me!). Must be the salt...

But today is June 29 and I just finished off my last bag of popcorn until after White River. I have decided that I need to clean up my diet for the month of July. No popcorn, no chips, no candy, no fries, no alcohol, no pastries, no chocolate bars, no slurpees, no pop (except diet). This is hard for me... I love my treats. But I want to be healthy going into this race, and I also don't want to gain weight during my taper. So this is how it will be. I will not cut out cheese and pizza, or other things which have nutritional value and are good running foods. I also need to take my multi-vitamin more often, as I suspect I might be low on iron these days.

Amazingly, I've lost 4lb since March (but unfortunately it's the 4lb that I gained over the fall/winter while injured, so I am at the same weight I was a year ago).

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Weekly Summary

Monday - 12 miles
Tuesday - 5 miles
Wednesday - 10 miles (trail)
Friday - 21 miles (trail)
Sunday - 16 miles

Total: 64 miles (103km)

This makes my new highest week ever, and also brings me up to 293km for the month so far; I will definitely break 300km this month for the first time!

The hip is feeling better at the end of the week than it was at the beginning, so that is a good sign. It was a little achey today during the run but not bad, and isn't bothering me at all when I'm not running. So I am encouraged!

This week coming up will be a semi-cutback week. It won't be as drastic as the last one, but light, in prep for my last big week.

Today's run was great; although I felt tired from the week, I still felt pretty strong. It was still slow, but I sped up for the last few miles and felt awesome. This gives me a bit of confidence; the bigger weeks are getting easier! But I'm still scared of the race!


Good Reading

Scott Jurek's account of breaking the US 24-hour record is well worth a read. I love his attitude!

As well, I really enjoyed this post by Scott Dunlap. It gives a bit of insight into why we do this crazy thing called ultrarunning.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

This Harsh and Splendid Land

This harsh and splendid land
With snow-covered rock mountains, cold-crystal streams,
Deep forests of cypress, juniper and ash
Is as much my body as what you see before you here.

(from The Warrior Song of King Gezar)

I read this tonight in "Three Cups of Tea" (trying hard to stay awake on the long overnight!). Then it reminded me of another quote I read recently, by a local artist/painter named Chili Thom. He said:

"I love living here. It's got so much diverse beauty but is also a very rugged and challenging place. From the weather-hammered shorelines of the West Coast all the way through to the jagged upheaval of the Rockies, you can learn that life is not always easy but it always goes on. You see a tiny tree clinging out of a crack on the cliffs of the Squamish Chief and it shows that life is a struggle but with perseverance you can get through anything. In nature, there are a lot of challenges you have to power through. You suffer out a storm, or a long slog up to a summit, but you are always rewarded with something beautiful: a sunrise, or a 360-degree viewpoint, or an Inukshuk on the top of a mountain."

Friday, June 25, 2010

Long Run

Distance: 21 miles
Time: 5:20:24
Total elevation change: 8,800 feet
Calories consumed: 970
Tired puppies: 1

My calorie consumption almost made it to 200/hour, which has been my goal this entire training period. I have never actually hit that 200/hour mark yet, but having it as a goal helps me to force myself to eat even when I don't want to.

In the interests of listening to my body, I shortened today's run from the planned 31 miles. This means I won't make my mileage plan for the week, but I should still be able to make the monthly goal (300km).

Tried some new foods today. A friend sent me a couple of Hammer Gels to try--one banana and one chocolate. I did like them, but I found that they coated my mouth and didn't go down as smoothly as my CarbBooms and Clif Shots do. The flavours were good though! The chocolate tasted like pudding. Yum!

I also had some leftover Peanut Butter m&ms with me, which went down very well around the 20 mile mark. It helped that it was a warm day so I hardly had to chew them!

But I think my favourite new food is the Clif Shot Bloks. This was only my second time trying them and I really enjoy them. The flavour is good and they are really easy to get down. I was worried that they'd stick to my teeth or be hard to chew, but they are great!

Overall it was a good run, and I enjoyed being out there with Sammy, who is now sprawled at my feet, half asleep! My hip wasn't bad but it did ache a fair amount in the second half. I'm glad I didn't try to do the full distance.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Re-thinking the Plan

I don't think I've mentioned it on this blog yet, though most reading it will already be aware: I spent much of 2009 battling a pretty serious injury. My left hip basically seized right up, from the top of the quads all the way up into my abdomen. For months I was limping around the neighbourhood, and was off of running for awhile. I went to physio, which helped a little, but didn't find my real solution until January 2010 when I had a couple of IMS treatments (intra-muscular stimulation). That cleared it up enough that I was finally able to run without pain and start building my mileage again. Over the past 5 months it has been great, but periodically it will tighten up a bit, become sore for a few days, and then relax again. It hasn't been enough to concern me or make me back off the mileage, and goes away on its own.

But this week it has been a little more tight, and a little more sore, and it's making me nervous. It's not bad--I have been running and walking fine--but it twinges and isn't relaxing. Most likely it is reacting to my increased mileage, and the 50k I did a couple of weeks ago.

At this point in my training, the last thing I want to do is get re-injured. My risk tolerance is really low, and I really don't want to screw this up.

So I think I need to take another look at my plan for the next 2.5 weeks until taper. I had planned two more 50k runs, but I might drop this week's, and level out a bit for this week and next, just to be on the safe side. A part of me feels like that's wussing out... but I'll just remind myself that I've enough miles under my belt to finish the race; missing it because I pushed too hard would be much worse than easing off a bit right now.


Monday, June 21, 2010

The Buck Stops Here

I was in a foul mood all day today... frustration at work plus the regular Monday blahs (it's tough to get up for work on Monday morning when you've been working nights all weekend...). So I was grouchy all day and found myself looking forward to my run tonight and thinking that I might lengthen it past the planned 10 miles.

I set out feeling alright. Couldn't quite find a smooth stride but my legs felt well-rested (as they should since I only ran 13 miles last week!). The weather was nice and I was at the fast end of lsd pace when I came across this guy:

He was just having a snack next to the trailway, and didn't seem too concerned that I approached him for an impromptu photo op.

That made me happier. I ended up doing 12 miles. In the last couple of miles I was hurting a bit (no idea why, since I wasn't going very fast) and I started thinking about how many miles I still have to do in the next couple of weeks, and I felt tired and ready to be finished. So I had to give myself a little pep talk; it went like this:

This is the part where you have to just put your head down, push through, and get it done. Forget about how tired you are and how much it hurts. Take one mile at a time, one day at a time, and just do it. You're almost finished. Now is not the time to wuss out.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sleep... or something like it

This week was a cut-back week, and once again ended up being a dramatic reduction. I only ran twice, for a total of 13 miles.

I had planned to run again today, but working overnights on the weekends and days during the week appears to be catching up to me, and sleep deprivation beat out today's run.

Still trying to get enough sleep to support my mileage, but I find that it's getting harder and harder. For the first time in this training cycle, I'm dreading the upcoming week. Must try to catch a few more winks by Monday...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

LT Workout at the Track

tonight's LT interval workout:
2 miles warm-up
6x800, aiming for 4:35, and ending up with:

plus cool-down and recovery laps, total 7 miles.

It was good. I am still feeling last week a bit in my joints (not my muscles, fortunately!). But the cut-back week is only half over so I'm confident that I'll be 100% again by Monday. :)

A friend and I tried a new (to us) track tonight, and I didn't really like it. The only benefit is that it's the closest to home. But it's asphalt instead of rubberized and there were WAY too many people there... they weren't even running. My friend and I were the only ones running. The field was full of field hockey teams, and they had their gear spread out into the first two lanes on one side. Then there were small children playing on the track, kids riding bikes, some guy playing with his dog, and several walkers. It was not cool. I think I'll save this one for rainy days when no one else is out.

In other news, I have been processing my feelings about my upcoming race. Every time I think about it, a wave of fear washes over me. This is a huge new distance for me, and not one that I can just fake. But the wave of fear has been consistently followed by a certain peacefulness. I have trained well. In fact, I've trained harder and more consistently for this race than any other, ever. I'm still worried about the cut-off times, but overall I've come to a place of calm, knowing that I've done all I can do and now it's just maintaining and adapting until taper time. The true test will be race day, and whether I finish in time or not, the whole thing has been an awesome experience and I will have no regrets.

I also think that I have managed to find that elusive balance between too much and not enough. I feel (almost) ready, but I don't feel overtrained or overwhelmed. I'm ready for taper time but not dying for it. It's good.

Only 3.5 weeks until taper! :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Weekly Summary

Monday - 10 miles
Wednesday - 10 miles
Friday - 31 miles
Sunday - 11 miles

Total: 62 miles (100km)

Today's run was a bit sluggish. My legs were not happy about it, lol. But I wanted the 100k and this week is a cut-back week so I went for it anyway. Overall, though, I feel great considering the long run on Friday... hardly any soreness (none until I started running on it today). This cut-back week should get me all fixed up for another big one next week!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Best Long Run Ever.

Well after all my whining about being tired, I took a Nytol last night and slept 8 hours solid. It's amazing what a good sleep can do for one's running!

Woke up this morning with 28 miles (45k) on the schedule, and thought, "If I feel good I'll do 50k."

Ran the first 40 minutes with Sammy, then dropped him off at home and grabbed my nathan pack and my ipod, and set out again. The beginning was a little rough but overall I felt good, and as I continued on I knew I was going to do 50k today. I kept to a MUCH easier route than last week, so it hurt a lot less. Just as pretty though... I ran through an area that I'd never seen before and that was far from other people (not a soul out there except me!), and the forest was unlike anything I'd ever seen--positively enchanting. I was running through there looking at the trees and the tiny purple flowers by the path and smiling to myself, thinking, "This is why I do this." It was lovely. I wish I were an artist (not that any picture could do it justice). I wanted to keep following that path but I was nervous about how far away I was getting, should anything go wrong... so I reluctantly turned around and headed back to civilization, then did another leg to get my distance. I felt GOOD throughout the run. I was so happy to be out there, no major pains or problems, no feeling of exhaustion or fatigue, no slowing down in the second half. When I hit the 24 mile mark I knew that I was going to have a 50k pb, and I did--finished in 6:27:50, which is an 18 minute pb.

Calories consumed: 1215
bears spotted: 0, but they were close by... I received a warning from another person that he'd just seen a cub, so the mama was probably nearby
garmins killed: 1, but fortunately it held off until after the run... I don't have my run data though!

Thursday, June 10, 2010


The past two training weeks have been the hardest yet, and not just because of mileage (in fact, my mileage hasn't really increased since mid-May). My legs have felt perpetually tired and sore for over a week, even with the extra rest day that I took on Tuesday.

I take cut-back weeks religiously every third week, and during those weeks I only run 20-30k. I don't think I'm overtraining. I don't feel the mental drag that tends to come with overtraining, and mentally I feel fine--even eager for each run.

So what's going on? Is it just regular fatigue from approaching the peak of the training period? I've been increasing steadily since January, going from 0 to 100k weeks in 5 months. I'm maintaining my highest training load ever. I'm almost done. Does that explain how tired I feel these days, or is there something else?

I feel like I'm not recovering well from the runs, and that concerns me because last year at this time I said the same thing and a week later I was injured. So I want to be careful... but I also want to recognize that my mileage is high and that's going to make me tired. And I haven't been sleeping well for the past few weeks, so maybe that is part of the problem too.

For now, I'll continue doing what I'm doing, but I wanted to record all of this in case I need to revisit it later.

Tonight, bed early! Long run tomorrow. Onward!

Monday, June 7, 2010


I spent yesterday standing near the bottom of "Ned's Atomic Dustbin", a popular downhill mountain bike course on Mt. Seymour. Let's just note from the top that this is not a trail I have ever ridden on my bike; it is far above my skill level, a very technical trail with several big drops, tight corners, steep sections, and very few soft places to land. I have a great deal of respect for everyone who finished the "Specialized Smackdown" race yesterday.

Being a course marshall was fun, if nerve-wracking. I learned that mtb races are vastly different from running races. This particular race was really short. The winner did it in 2:40ish (that's 2 minutes, 40 seconds!). But we were there all day because not only do the racers have to go down one at a time (they are timed--there is no room for passing), but also before the race even started there were 3 hours of practice runs, so each racer could run the course several times before the race. Once the race started, there was only 30 seconds between racers. It got pretty intense! Also, unlike running, they start with the slowest racers and work up to the elites. This meant that the action got faster and faster as the race went on.

The nerve-wracking part was the potential for injury. As a marshall, this made me a bit nervous. Fortunately I only had one injury at my station, and that was during the practice runs, not the race (don't worry, he was ok--just some bruised ribs). However during the race there were some other injuries, and the poor injured people had to walk down the mountain to the nearest road; I can't imagine. One girl was making her way slowly down the mountain with a broken collarbone.

Anyway, the race itself went well, and I took lots of pics, but my favourite was the exploding tree. During the practice run one of the riders missed the tight corner and went over the edge, completely demolishing a tree stump; it literally exploded before my eyes. It was spectacular! The best part is that the guy got up laughing, went back, and took the curve again (successfully this time!).

This was the tree before:

And after:

Good times! I definitely want to volunteer again next year! I should also mention that I was incredibly impressed by the elites! Not only were they crazy fast, but they took the technical parts so smoothly that it looked deceptively easy. Amazing.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Weekly Summary

Monday - 10 miles trail
Tuesday - 6 miles
Wednesday - 8 miles
Friday - 25 miles trail
Saturday - 4 miles

Total: 53 miles (85k).

I had wanted 90k but those 85 were hard-earned so I'll take them! I think next week I'll stick to easier routes (especially for the long run) to give myself a bit of a break. Yesterday's run was a huge deposit to the "pain bank", that should pay off on race day.

Tomorrow is a rest day... sort of. I'm volunteering all day at the North Shore Bike Fest. I get to be a marshall for the downhill mountain bike race course, and in spite of the forecast of rain, I think it will be fun! Hopefully I can get some good photos of the bikes tearing down the mountain.

Today I booked my hotel room for WR50. Can't wait!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Tough 25

Today's run was supposed to be a confidence-booster. I've been worried about my slow paces and how they are dangerously close to the cut-off paces for my goal race. It had occurred to me that running with my dog might be slowing me down--it seems like we're always stopping to pick up poop, chase squirrels, take a dip in the river, say hello to other dogs and people, leash/unleash (depending on where we are) and deal with undesirable behaviour (I apologize if my dog has ever jumped on you while on the trail!). So today I decided to run without Sammy and see if it made a difference. My hope was that a faster pace would give me more confidence for the race.

It backfired. Yes, I think I would have been faster, as I was making good time in the first part of the run. But my legs were tired from the start, and I made the mistake of picking a very difficult route. As soon as I hit technical sections, I slowed right down. Then I was exploring an area I hadn't done before, and it was down, down, down followed by up, up, up. By the half-way mark I was already hurting and slow. Then I ran out of water in the 18th mile. While I felt well mentally, my body was suffering. My 40k run ended up taking almost as long as my last 50k. Definitely my most painful run yet this year.

Oh, and I saw a bear! I was glad then that Sammy wasn't with me, since I'm not sure how he would have reacted. I came around a corner and there he was, about 30 feet away, all cute and black with big ears. He wasn't full grown, but not a baby either. We both stopped and looked at each other (me wishing I'd brought my camera!) and then he turned off the trail and down into the bush.

So, I did not get the confidence boost I was looking for. My distance and time were both exactly half of what I need on July 31. My only comfort is that this was a much tougher route than what I will encounter in the race, so hopefully that helps a little!

5 weeks until taper...

Distance: 25 miles (40k)
Time: 6:34:49
Elevation change: 15,000 feet
Calories consumed: 1025 (not enough)
Bears spotted: 1 :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

getting things started

Thought I'd start a running blog! The question is whether I'll be able to keep it up longer than a few weeks, as I tend to start these things and not continue them. I'd like this to be not only a collection of my own thoughts on running and training, but also a place where I can collect some of my favourite blog posts from other authors. There is some great material out there!

Currently I am 8 weeks away from my first 50-mile trail race, and the nervous anticipation increases by the day. It was three years ago, right after my first 50k, that I first started talking about doing 50 miles. How did three years elapse without meeting that goal? Knock on wood, I'm almost there.

Happy trails!