If the miles behind me could be put into words before you, you would feel my efforts, my struggles, my desires. Most of all you would see my joy. Watch me from afar run the trails and hills and miles upon miles and you will see ...

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The List is Out

So after a few weeks of checking the website numerous times a day, the entrants list is finally up on the Haney to Harrison page. It is as follows:

Name City Prov Country
Al Harman West Vancouver BC CA
Andre Kocsis Vancouver BC CA
Andy Bachmann Pitt Meadows BC CA
Austin Crook Seattle WA US
Avery Saunders Edmonton AB CA
Barb Owen Maple Ridge BC CA
Brett Larner Tokyo TO JPN
Cheri Hamelin Maple Ridge BC CA
Dan Crockett Kelowna BC CA
Darin Bentley Surrey BC CA
Dean McMillen Penticton BC CA
Denise McHale Whitehorse YT CA
Dusty Davis Chehalis WA USA
Gary Poliquin Edmonton AB CA
Gina Dhaliwal Mississauga ON CA
Janice Makarewicz Kelowna BC CA
John Hightower Port Moody BC CA
John Seed Maple Ridge BC CA
Judie Wilson Surrey BC CA
Lucy Ryan Coquitlam BC CA
Matt Sessions Burnaby BC CA
Mel Bos Kelowna BC CA
Nik Swain Vancouver BC CA
Renee Caesar Port Coquitlam BC CA
Rob Adachi Mission BC CA
Rob Mackay Victoria BC CA
Robert Jones North Vancouver BC CA
Ron Mayne Langley BC CA
Ron Rillorta coquitlam BC CA
Sandy Thompson Chilliwack BC CA
Scott Donatelli Vancouver BC CA
Shirlee Ross Kelowna BC CA
Stephanie Case Freelton ON CA
Suzanne Evans New Westminster BC CA
Tim Wiens Vancouver BC CA
Tracy Niemier Maple Ridge BC CA


I know a few names from this list but most notably and sadly missed are Darren Froese, Rick Webb, and Hassan Lofti-Pour. Darren has run this race a number of times in the past and for me is a great opportunity for a reunion with another World 100k team member. Not that it should be a big deal seeing as he only lives in Victoria but it might as well be on the other side of the world for how often we see each other. He set a PR in England of 7:32. Rick Webb has been on the team a bunch as well and done H2H but a hamstring issue has him not competing in a 100k this year at all. Gonna miss him. And Hassan pushed me to my 100k PR in '07 at H2H by starting out like a rocket and me having to hang on for dear life. Luckily I was able to not blow up before the end. He's had injury issues as well the past few months.
I've been reading a few people's bios if I could find them and also some blogs. By hearing how ready these folks are it makes me a little nervous especially when I look beside me right now and see Halloween candy wrappers sitting on the desk. Damn why does this race need to be AFTER Halloween?!?
We never think we're as prepared as we are. I've done all I can do and by this time next week we'll be in the pub downing some beer. I'm hoping I've done enough but not too much. If my shins hold out I'm sure I'll have a decent time. I'm always trying to beat previous times in any race so we'll see what happens.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Training Update

Since around the lake last weekend I've upped the intensity somewhat. Not every workout but a couple per week. I did another long bike as :10 hard :10 easy and can say for sure that the winds have changed direction back to normal. There's now the usual tailwind going east and the headwind on the way home. Even today I did my hilly bike loop and every time I was facing west it was in my face. Ah, memories of the 4 and 5 hour bikes of yesteryear.
Yesterday was 1:40 on the hilly course pushing fairly hard up each hill whereas before I was just grinding up them. The weather for that was characteristic of the run in November with wind and rain and wet feet. I'd like to say I won't walk any hills at Haney but that *%#@! on stage 7 usually does me in. Great practice. I also did another 2:30 through the Chuckanut trails and that day was wet and windy as well. Lots of mud on the back side (of the mountain and me) made for fun conditions. It was pretty dark in some areas due to the weather. Of course the sun came out as I got back to the car but what fun is that?!
Looking forward to seeing who's on the list of racers. Like the website says, "Coming Soon". Found out a few days ago that World team member Rick Webb, who ran a 7:39 in Italy last year, is still nursing a hamstring and won't be toeing the line on the 7th. He was my inspiration because he kept taunting me with threats of breaking my record at H2H. Still waiting to see if Froese or Hassan will be there.
I didn't take advil before my run yesterday and could feel some pain in my shins for about a half hour. Hoping that the taper and advil get me through the last 100k of the season.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dirk Handke's Around the Lake report

Check out Dirk's report and pictures from the Around the Lake race from Saturday. It's a little wacky, just like him.

Dirk's Around the Lake Report

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Around the Lake Give 'r Take

This 30km run that happened yesterday, the 17th, should have been called "Around the Lake Give 'r Take a Few Big Long Hills Near the Lake". When I saw the topt map of the course from the website it looked like any other trail around a lake. This usually entails a flat course because most terrain near a lake is relatively flat. This course around Cultus Lake was by no means the hardest I've ever done but it had it's steep moments.
It's been a long time since I've raced in the trails and about three weeks since my last trail run. I had forgone a speed session on the road this week because the plan was to add some quickness in the meat of this run. The plan was to go easy up the first large hill to the aid station at 6kms. Then I wanted to pick it up a bit and keep the intensity and heartrate high for most of the race then ease back down for the last few kms.
I spoke a bit with Matt Sessions, who's run this race before and done many editions of it, and asked him as much as I could think about in regards to what the course was like. I guess it's really nice on a dry day but today was a crapshoot because of the continuous rain the day before and this morning. It was supposed to get worse as well. Something like 50mm was to fall that day. Luckily the worst of it hit after I had finished.
The race was off and we had a pacer to show us the way to the first aid station. When two guys passed him after about 4km I knew this would be interesting. Would they slow down or continue to fly like I've seen guys do in the past? I was partially right on both accounts. There were four of us running sort of together up until the first aid station - Matt, Dirk, Devon and myself. Devon and Dirk slipped out of view halfway up the first long hill. After the aid station I left Matt, executing my race plan of speeding up. I eventually caught up to Dirk and Devon. I ran with them a bit and waited to get my breath before politely asking if I could pass. Until I did though, I followed Devon down this very steep, slippery section which had to be a motorcycle path because the path was shaped like a deep "V" with water down the bottom and muddy slopes. We were going down at break-neck (at least for me) speed and I was actually laughing watching and listening to Devon barely keeping on his feet. I knew it was the same for me but it's always funnier seeing it than actually doing it. I know Dirk behind me was going through the same thing.
I finally had a flat stretch to pass and the trail turned more into a dirt road with a gentle downhill to it. I really began moving feeling really strong. There were so many branches hanging down on the course I was doubled over a lot of the times keeping them out of my face. The puddles as well consumed the trails at times and one was forced to try and skirt the edges and find drier, more solid ground. Sometimes there was a deep section with the choice of going straight through the water or do a "Matrix-like" run along the bank while trying to avoid slipping back into the water. Seriously, after an hour I got over the puddle-thing and just plowed right through.
Dirk was flying up behind me and we emerged from the trails to go through a field of knee-high grass with me barely in the lead. I guess I was going a little off course because a woman yelled at us from a ways away to go more to the left. As we curved over that way, Dirk took up the lead and really started pouring it on. We hit some pavement and I stopped to tie a shoe and he hit the afterburners on a long downhill section and it was all I could do to keep him from gaining too much. This quick a pace was not part of the plan but I thought if I didn't stay with him I'd lose him on the second half of the race. The paved road started going uphill and I made up some distance on him. We reached the next aid station and when I next saw Dirk he had his hands on his knees like he was tired and just standing there. I saw another person running up the hill after the aid station and it took until my tiny brain registered on the ground the spraypainted words, "Relay Exchange", that I put it together that Dirk was on a relay team.
You've got to be kidding me, I thought. I went almost all out to stay with him and now he had a woman with fresh energy taking off on the second half while I was withering. It actually worked out okay in the end because this speedy lady, whose name I found out later was Mel, was a great rabbit and made me push myself more than I would have if she wasn't there.
She was running strong up the hills while I powerwalked them. I tried to catch her on the flats but it was only at a very long decent that my flailing paid off and I caught her. We shared a brief word and I kept going.

A shot of me almost hitting the beach section
Photo by Peter Watson

Towards the end I was told to just run along the beach and when I did for a minute or so I couldn't see any of the pink ribbons we'd been following. I looked back to see where Mel was and it took a couple minutes before I saw her behind me and figured I was going the right way. I finally saw the finish tents and was grateful because I was feeling a bit cooked.
Through the finish and straight into the lake I went to clean off my legs and shoes. I dried off and changed and waited for the awards. One of the coolest winners' trophies I've received in any race was this one today which was a hand-carved walking stick made from a Hazelnut tree. At the top was carved a Wood Spirit which apparently every tree has, as the superstition goes.
This was a great, fun race made even better by the weather and mud and great food at the end. I can't believe I've missed this one for so many years. I may be back next year in prep for the World 100k in Gibralter. Of course I should take it a little easier because my legs are still killing me. I guess it pays to do a bit more trail running before I race one.
I can't see H2H being this fun but the weather should be about the same.

One hundred feet from the finish line - notice the still present heel strike, damn!

Me telling Mel how much she helped me keep up a good pace

In need of a lake bath

Ooohhhh yeah

A taste of the rain I missed by only a few minutes

The first and last five pictures courtesy of Vedder Running Club.

The inscription burned on the walking stick

The Wood Spirit

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Training Update

True to my word I've been doing more biking and shorter, speedier runs plus hilly runs. Some highlights of the last couple weeks have been my long bikes that felt really good. I was setting out last week to do 3:00 with :20 hard and :10 easy. After my first twenty I realized it's been a LONG time since I've even done a three hour ride let alone one at effort. I cut it back to 10 and 10 for the remaining of the ride and it went really well. It happened to be on a day when the weather turned and it was cool and windy as hell. Every direction had the headwind. Surprisingly it was a bad headwind going east with more of a tailwind heading home. I don't know whether it's just the time of year and maybe it changes in the spring but when I used to do the long rides I would always have the wind in my face on the way back, sometimes, three hours or more. If that doesn't make you find out what you're made of then I don't know what would.
The other day after Carrie and the kids set off for the Island where Carrie did the Victoria Half Marathon (2:08 on little training, way to go baby!!) I went out for another long one at about 3:30 in the afternoon. I can't remember if I've ever left the house at that time destined to go that long. The weather was cool but sunny with that damned headwind again. At least this time I knew it would be easier on the way back. Although it was a route I've done many times before, this time was different mostly because of the light and basically the way things looked out there. It was like doing a new ride. Plus knowing that it was only the dog waiting at home for me made it easier to keep my mind on the riding. Then on the way home the tailwind made me feel like superman and I flew back just before it was too dark to be on the road.
The running has been good. I've been doing dreaded treadmill workouts, mostly ten minute hill repeats, but also a lot out on the road. The other week was 2:00 for 18 miles at 7:08 pace then right after I did 1:00 at 6:30 pace on a hilly route. It was satisfying to know I could do that sustained speed for a time, not that I'll be doing that pace on Nov. 7th. Yesterday was a warm-up hour of 8.5 miles on a moderately rolling course. Then the real work began when I went out 8.5 miles on a very hilly course then turned around and came back. That was the longest run on pavement until Haney. Going to head down to the trails the next couple of weeks.

Barefoot update:

Grumpy man at liquor store: "This is a bad place to be barefoot."

Me: "Why's that?"

Grumpy: "There's lots of broken glass on the floor.:

Me not wanting to pursue the matter: "Okay thanks I'll keep a look out."

Manager at grocery store: "Excuse me, sir, do you have any shoes?"

Me: "No."

Manager: "No sandals or anything in your car?"

Me: "No."

Manger: "I'm concerned you could step on glass or something."

Me: "I'll be careful."

Don't these people ever look down when they're walking outside. There's way worse stuff out there.