Monday, May 27, 2013
I started with a look at past training plans and what seemed to work best for me and what didn't. I had made some impressive gains in races following high volume training so that had to stay ,but real long single runs took too long to recover from. I had shunned speed work during the lead up months to ultras in the past and to hold the kind of pace I wanted I knew it would need to be included this time. Also a good look in the mirror told me that my nutrition could definitely be changed a lot and this was the easiest step of all, so I started there.
Pasta, while it may benefit some did me no favours so I switched it out for brown rice and occasionally quinoa. Thanks to my Dad's arthritis I learned red meat causes excessive swelling in the joints so it went completely to be replaced with fish, turkey and chicken. I found a shop at the local farmers market that has some amazing homemade turkey meatloaf, broils, schnitzel, sausage and the best wheat free turkey burgers ever so thanks to Oegema Farms this was a welcome change. My friend Krista Duchene posted some great kale salad pictures on her blog and a huge bowl of kale salad has become my afternoon snack everyday now and I absolutely am hooked on it, kale with feta and balsamic vinegar being one of my favorites.
Training wise I went with a lot of back to back runs, January to March around 280 km in a two week period with 10k runs at Paris Runners Den whenever I could for the Monday and Wednesday night runs, I used the group runs at night as my speed work. March to race day my longest 2 week period was 440km and speed work became my run to and from work, a 7km trip.Injuries stayed minimal leaving out the huge single runs in exchange for more back to back with my most serious injury being a swollen joint on my big toe that switched me back to my old faithful Brooks Cascadia shoe.
Race day this year my weight was 174 last year was 192 , definitely a bonus. Race day weather was cool and looked like it would stay that way, it was a perfect day to run. Sulphur is a 20km loop coarse with some rolling hills that somehow get bigger as the day goes on, a mystery yet to be explained. My first loop was just under 1.40 faster than planned but feeling easy second loop was 1.43 still felt great. Loop three is usually when you first realize this is going to be a long day but it went by well in 1.49 followed by 1.55 for the fourth. I had never run out front of a race for this long and it is a different experience, every step your wondering who is chasing and how close behind you they are. Half way through loop five I looked at my watch and realized if I could hold it together I had a chance at the coarse record, this was not something I had planned for at all. 2.0 for lap five followed by 2.03 on six, my quads were starting to really hurt and I was doing everything to relax and remember "running is fun". I remember saying a prayer near the end of six, things were really sore and 40km is still a long way to go, mentally that moment of prayer helped a lot. Seven is always a tough lap for me for some reason but it went by quick in 2.09 and for the last lap my friend Mitch was waiting to pace me through. I was a bit of a whiner by this point but Mitch kept reminding me how much I'd regret it tomorrow if I missed the record by just a little so we pushed the flats and down hills recovering on the ups ,I couldn't have asked for a more perfect pacer on this lap as my legs were screaming for mercy but somehow he kept me moving. The final lap ended in 2.16 ,the feeling coming across the finish line with all of my running friends and my beautiful wife cheering will not be one I ever forget. The ultra running community is like a family and it felt amazing to get all the congratulations following the race. Final time was 15:37:24 a new coarse record and first place overall at Sulphur springs.....finally. I stayed the night and until the finish the next day getting to witness some amazing performances by the other runners Laura Perry broke the women's coarse record in 18:57:59 ,while others completed there first 100 with the giant smile and look of determination on their faces that can only be found by those of us that are just a little crazy.
Looking forward to a few days off and a couple long swims to help the legs recover, thank-you to everyone who supported me it felt great!
Sponsorship free product endorsements:
Gu energy gels - 29 gels in one day, no stomach issues
Sugoi - Titan 4" 2 in 1 shorts-no chafing at all :)
Brooks- Cascadia trail shoes