Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Running

 The mileage has dropped off a fair bit with the combination of recovery from Creemore and Christmas preparation.  I always seem to have a few small nagging injuries in the weeks after a long race and of coarse this one was no exception.Shin splints in the right leg were fairly intense for the first week but generous use of KT Tape took care of that.The only other annoyance is a slight tweak in the right knee but it seems to be getting better, ran a great 10k with Mike in Paris last night and did some hill work for 20k in Ancaster today so I think by January I should be ready to log some high mileage strength building weeks.
   I love these few weeks a year were there is no plan,sneaking away from all the craziness of the malls and people to run trails is super rewarding.Today I met 2 people in 20k and the trails were perfect ,a little wet but it was just cold enough to get amazing traction on the uphills.A couple times it tried to snow but looking at the long term we still have a few weeks before we get any real accumulation to make things a little more interesting.

 Merry Christmas and happy trails in the new year.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The First First

 I had decided earlier this year that I would take a bit of a break from ultras after the Haliburton 100 miler.The plan was going well with a trip to Chicago for a marathon and the plan in the back of my mind to attempt a fast half marathon in Hamilton.When the opportunity came to run a 100 miler in Creemore I knew the only smart choice to make with such limited time and a complete lack of any long runs on my recent schedule,I signed up immediately.
   The race was being hosted as an opportunity for local running legend and friend to everyone he meets Scott Garrett( to complete his quest to run 12 100 milers as a celebration of his 50th birthday. The race filled quickly and organizer Jodi Langley did an amazing job of pulling all the details together. It was hosted at the home of Creemore Vertical Challenge race director Pierre Marcoux,as usual his courses consist of some ridiculous changes in elevation and at least one section that includes a rope for decent.The course required completing 15 loops and a spur, in a time limit of 30 hours.
 The day started out well,cold weather was keeping the trail portions frozen making them easier to run and the road sections had only a light covering of snow. I had a plan to push steady off the start and just try to hold on as the inevitable aches and strains come and go.The pace was quick for the coarse and I was sure I was not the only one with hopes of a win.Highs and lows are the norm in a 100 miler and I try not to worry myself when they arrive,stay relaxed and smile at everyone,enjoy the day and your surroundings and let the race unfold.Everything clicked during this race,steady hydration with a bottle of eload per lap and sips of water from the other bottle occasionally.A GU gel every lap with two or three extras in the middle when things began to get shaky and I found myself weaving or wanting to fall asleep.Aid station volunteers went above and beyond making sure everyone had everything they needed. Splits stayed relatively steady all day with the inevitable fade at the last one as the cold turned warm and weather switched to a driving rain. Times  at each lap: 1.12,2.12,3.16,4.20,5.31,6.37,7.45,8.56,10.11,11.28,12.45,14.11,15.31,16.56 and finally 18.24:31 for first place overall and a new course record over thee previous 20.09.
 It felt amazing to finish in first,I've had a couple second place finishes but this definitely felt great.
Thank-you again to all the volunteers and their hard work,and to everyone who finished or even attempted this race,a phenomenal group of people and everyone of them an inspiration to push farther than "normal"people say we ever should.