there are reasons I am an ultrarunner, but they are only sometimes true...even if you can't fly, act like you can.

August 7, 2011

Training as a minimalist

Thought that I would buck the trend and approach from a different angle…minimalist training. Not so far off from a mindset based on less-is-better. My runs are calorie intake free…water/ice in a bottle, that's it. Sometimes I'll splurge and take some apple juice w/ ice on one of my 'longer' runs and I think that I might have to try this during races.
I've trained exclusively on a treadmill and EFX for hundred milers…ideal? Not even close. But it's the best that I can do w/ my work 'situation'. However, this two month stretch we are docked in Curacao, NA. Aside from about a 2-2.5 day voyage from here to Barbados starting Sept 13, I will be able to get off the ship and run on land. That's in my little world, quite awesome. However, what has been knocking me on my ass is the heat and humidity. It has rarely deviated from a 40-42 deg C/104-108 deg F humidex. The runs at 05h30 have been just as hot at 18h00, if not worse, because of the humidity blanket. So my max run time so far has been 1h45. This is because I don't have the proper calories to bring (no gels, bars, breads, etc) nor electrolyte drink. I did bring some VEGA Whole Food Optimizer as a post run drink and those have helped immensely. Will this be enough to get me though a tough challenge like Cactus Rose? I think so. I've done races w/ less training I think. It has sure been nice to get some trails in instead of pounding the dreadmill. The trails aren't super technical, the climbs and descents not super long nor steep but there has been some nice terrain quite similar to Hill Country State Park where Cactus Rose is held. No sotol here but still some sort of devil thorny bushes. I think that I just might go throw myself at one on my run after work…just some extra training for the race. ;)
So far my weeks have gone like this:
Monday - OFF
Tuesday - 40 min run in morning, 1h20 run after work
Wed - 40 min run in the morning
Thur - 1h40 run after work
Fri - weights and stretching
Sat - 40 min run in morning, 50 min hill repeats in the afternoon
Sun - spinning/weights in morning, 1h45 - 2h00 run after work

I was thinking about adding one of the MEC/Salomon 5 Peaks races before Cactus Rose. On Oct 15 there is a 12.5km race at the Duntroon Nordic facility that sounds pretty kick ass. Hopefully it won't fill up by the time I get home to rego.

That's about all that is going on…busy at work, running to keep me sane and looking at sites/blogs for the next adventure that I can fit into my sked.


June 28, 2011

how I felt this morning

epic fail photos - Running FAIL gif

Actually...I felt pretty good. Had a good 10k run this morning, still peaking from watching all the WS coverage on the weekend. Itching to get back out there but I know that it will be a long recovery road. One day, one struggle at a time. I'm getting stoked for the challenge this Saturday. Still waffling on racing or going for a long straining run.

Have a great week...

June 26, 2011

the track meet didn't dissappoint

Going to look at everything later today but it looks like the track meet was a smoker. Would love to be a spectator at an event like this, to get a perspective view of the top runners.
Kilian Jornet had an amazing day, even going off course w/ a group of about six, somewhere near Miller's Defeat I think (will check on that later). He ran a consistent race, winning in 15:34. A couple of other noteworthy finishes (EVERYONE that toed the line is a winner in my opinion) are AJW in 16:39 for another top ten and Bryon of iRunFar.
I didn't do too well in my top five picks for the guys:
1. Kilian Jornet
2. Mike Wolfe
3. Nick Clark
4. Jez Bragg
5. Tsuyoshi Kaburaki

Ellie Greenwood had the amazing comeback of the day. From reports of shot quads and hammies at mile 38 to coming back and passing the field in the last few miles, freaking outstanding Ellie! She won in 17:55.

I had the top five gals to a T, except for the order. 8)
1. Ellie Greenwood
2. Kami Semick
3. Nikki Kimball
4. Tracy Garneau
5. Rory Bosio

Thanx to iRunFar for their AMAZING coverage, as usual.

June 24, 2011

Endurancelife Ultra Trail South West

One of my friends told me about this race, pretty much starting in her backyard. Looks pretty badass and if I can find the funds to go over, it will be well worth it. It's a little close to Hardrock but since HR has the worst lottery in the ultra-community there is little chance of getting in. Heather is going to take some pics of the course over the next couple of weeks and show me when we go back to Curacao. Can't wait to see them.

My training over the past week is going pretty good. I found a nice daily 18k route starting from my front door. It is all road but for the majority of it there is a gravel shoulder to run on. Did that Wednesday and yesterday did a short 45 min run as it was raining/lightening like a SOB. Going to do that route in about an hour. Tomorrow I want to hit some trails and I think I might have found some conservation areas close by that I can get a good 3-4 hr run in. Have decided to not 'race' next weekend but just enjoy a good long training run.

Good luck to all those racing this weekend...Statesnes, Black Hills or wherever you are. 8)

June 23, 2011

John's San Juan 50 video

Sharpie's videos are pretty well known in the ultra-community. He's a straight shooter and a f'ing funny guy. Hardcore ultra-runner as well. Keep 'em coming...

Congrats also to Pete and JT...hope to run w/ ya soon.

June 20, 2011

congrats to Paula Findlay

Paula Findlay solidfied her status as triathlon's leading lady with a strong performance at the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series in Austria.

The Canadian triathlete finished first with a time of 2:05:52, just four seconds ahead of Britain's Helen Jenkins (2:05:56).

Jenkins finished second to Findlay as she did in Madrid two weeks ago while American Sarah Groff enjoyed a career breakthrough taking bronze — her first ever Dextro Energy Triathlon Series medal.

western states 100

Here are my predictions for this weekends race. I haven't really been following all the news about the race wrt the snow but I did hear that it is worse than last year and more course mods were required. We'll see how it all pans out in the end. The long-range forecast is for like 75deg during the day and 45deg at night. Nice conditions.

1. Kilian Jornet
2. Nick Clark
3. Geoff Roes
4. Hal Koerner
5. Jason Loutitt (injured)
5. Dave Mackey

Heal quickly Gary and Anton!!! Also sending all the best to Bryon...kick ass dude!

This is going to be a barn-burner. The top two I think can go either way. Tracy has the course experience and it is Ellie's first 100miler but her raw speed is such a gift. Would love to be there to see it.
1. Ellie Greenwood
2. Tracy Garneau
3. Kami Semick
4. Rory Bosio
5. Nikki Kimball

cow pastures

I came to the quick shocking conclusion yesterday that I love the smell of cow manure. The statement doesn't really need context except for the fact that it means I am home and that I am on a long run.

I returned home on Wednesday evening and Thursday and Friday I went for a couple of short runs (about 55 minutes each). Each felt great. Quite a stark contrast to my first couple of runs just off from the ship. A combination of improperly eating for two months and the heat (41C/105F) through me into a state of extreme discomfort. BUT the good news was that my ankle was pain-free (for the most part). The discomfort I knew would quickly fade because my diet would soon return to normal at home and the temps at home would be a bit cooler. The locals in Curacao mentioned that it is there hot time of year and when I would return (mid-July) it would be a bit cooler.
We found some great routes to run in Curacao and here is a pic of some trails I found close to the ship.
I still have to properly navigate the trails as I found many spines but nothing close to finding my around the lake which would appear to be about a 1.5 hour run. Not a bad run to do about 04h00 before work.

So I am home for about four weeks and then head back to Curacao. Most of my training for Grindstone will be done there which is okay. There are some sort hills I can do repeats on. I decided not to 'race' Creemore Vertical Challenge but just use it as a long training run.

So yesterday as I was running along the farm roads, enjoying the heat, I could smell the wonderful aroma of cow manure...and it put a smile on my face.

June 4, 2011


While we are at anchorage here in Panama, awaiting to go through the canal, we had fresh fruit brought onboard...yes...BANANAS and watermelons. Life is good...

June 2, 2011

Unbreakable: The Western States 100

On June 26, 2010 four of the greatest ultramarathoners on earth toed the start line in Squaw Valley at the Western States 100-mile endurance run.

"Unbreakable: The Western States 100" follows the four lead men on this amazing journey. Hal Koerner, two time defending Western States champion, and running store entrepreneur from Ashland, Oregon. Geoff Roes, undefeated at the 100-mile distance, an organic chef from Juneau, Alaska. Anton Krupicka, undefeated in every ultramarathon he has ever started, a graduate student living in Boulder, Colorado. Killian Jornet, the young mountain runner and two time Ultra-trail du Mont-Blanc champion, from Spain.

The film shadows each runner from the pre-race preparation in their hometowns to the daily life they each lead in and outside of running. While their lives may be quite different, the goal is the same: win the Western States 100-mile run. Only one will win and the journey is unforgiving.

With unprecedented access, the film takes the viewer on the course and with each of the crews, pacers and family members who are working to get their runner across the finish line. From battling injury to surprising changes in the lead, to in-depth interviews with race champions and ultrarunning figureheads, "Unbreakable: The Western States 100" showcases perhaps the most exciting race of its kind.

YouTube is filtered out into the ship so I can't embed this video. But here is the link to the website. I can't even view it until I get home.

I don't know if this is the same crew that was at Devil's Thumb filming. They were filming/interviewing me after they saw me getting immediate medical attention...quite the scene...maybe they had to beep out too much to make it into the movie. ;)

June 1, 2011

Panama Canal

We are scheduled to go through the Panama Canal sometime on the 5th. Don't have an exact time yet. This website will show where our ship is and there is a webcam as well.

You can find us anchored on the 3rd after 09h00. Just mouse over the ships to find us. I don't know what classification they will put us in but the name is "JOIDES Resolution". I'll try to wave from the helideck.

has it been THAT long?

Feel's good to be back...on a number of levels. Posting will return in addition to my comeback as a semi-competitive ultrarunner. I used the term "semi-competitive" in a forced cautious tone as I don't know what will happen in the next couple of months. Time and distance will tell.

I haven't posted a thing since pre-Western States last year. This was due to frustration, fear and uncertainty over what happened during the race. I re-tore my achilles running in the snow after Robinson Flat. Enough about that.
Before and after:
(1/2Pint is in the photo with me. She was going to be my pacer after Green Gate. Hopefully I'll get to run w/ her soon. She is an AMAZING runner herself and I have no doubt that she will be running WS one day).

Mandi at Resolution Physiotherapy has done a wonderful job in getting me almost pain-free using IMS techniques. There are still some alignment issues I need to deal with but the flow will return. Before I left for the ship (mid-April) I was successfully going on very short runs. These were about an hour in length about four times a week for about three weeks. I was ready to once again hit the treadmill but the damn thing broke the first week out so I have been TRYING to keep in some semblance of shape on the EFX and bike.

I have Creemore Vertical Challenge on July 2. This will be my first test in almost a year. Super stoked yet that little voice in the back of my head is telling me to remain somewhat cautious. I'm leaning to encorporating a mid-stance and take the first loop slower than usual and then see how my body responds to a good push the second loop.

After that my focus race for the year is Grindstone. Looks like a beast. Bring it.
I would also love to return to Cactus Rose and do the 50 miler. Joe and Joyce put on such amazing events and I just freaking love running in that park. Hopefully I can save enough to afford the trip. Plus I really miss everyone in Texas.

I also purchased, before I left, a pair of Montrail Rogue Racers. Can't wait to give them a go. But I question why they didn't leave in the 'standard' two-eyelet at the end of the tongue so I can tighten up my ankle?

So incredibly happy to be back... wish me luck!

June 16, 2010

iRunFar WS100 prediction contest

Bryon has his annual contest going on and winners receive some sweet prizes (Montrail Sabino trail shoes and Mountain Hardwear gear). Just pick the top 8 guys and gals.

June 13, 2010

June 7 - 13

Had a really good week of running (well, except for this morning as I think that Fleet Week celebrations last night were a bit too...ahhh...good). Ran a good 38.8 miles (62.5 km), longest weekly total in awhile.

I have noticed, partly I guess from a stride change due to my ankle injury/rehab, that hot spots are surfacing on the outside of my right foot almost to where my toes are. I am striking way too hard I guess in that mid-fore foot area and I've conciously tried to correct mid-stride but the habit is now there. Maybe my foot will adapt to this new foot-fall? I hope as it looks like 100 miles of this may lead to serious problems is the blister department.

Busy week at work ahead, working on our sonar dome. I will most likely do another pedestrian volume, concentrating on quality...something around 36-38 miles. Yesterday's run excitement was partly due to the fabulous weather...finally hit high 70s and this week it should hover around the low-mid 70 mark. Heat but I've never had a problem running in the heat. Bring it on!!!

June 7, 2010

Western States odds

Here's my view on the big track meet. If the reports stick to some kind of cred over the next two weeks, there might be quite a bit of snow over the first thirty miles or so which could even spread the field out a bit more and do some damage to those w/ trophies on the mind. One aspect that I surely hope does not come to fruition is that if the run-off becomes dangerous over the next while, then rafts will once again have to be used to cross the river. The last time I ran the race, in 2005, we had to use the rafts and I sadly missed the feel of crossing the river...such a charm of the journey.

Here's my guess at the top five guys and gals.
  1. Anton Krupicka
  2. Geoff Roes
  3. Hal Koerner
  4. Kilian Jornet Burgada
  5. Nick Lewis
Sneaking in there: Tsuyoshi Kaburaki, Gary Robbins, Jez Bragg (injured), Josh Brimhall, Erik Skaden, Mark Godale, Phil Kochik, Ian Torrence


  1. Devon Crosby-Helms
  2. Anita Ortiz (injured)
  3. Nikki Kimball
  4. Liz Howard (injured)
  5. Tracy Garneau
Sneaking in there: Annette Bednosky, Beverley Anderson-Abbs, Tamsin Anstey, Julie Fingar, Nicola Gildersleeve, Karla Holgers, Meredith Terranova

How will MY day turn out?

Let's put it this least I won't be burnt out from training. ;) My last long run was at a race last August. Yes...LAST AUGUST!!! I also have not run on a trail since March. The tendonitis healing process has gone on a lot longer than I would have liked. I've been through acupuncture, various salves rubbed on the tendon, stride analysis...spending money that I don't quite have. But at least I am at the point where I can run again, not pain-free, but the pain diminishes over time. We'll see if I can make the will be more than an 80% mental effort but I'm going to give it ALL I have. I have a good crew coming to the race. I usually don't partake in these luxuries but this time I am going for broke. More on that later.

I leave the ship in 15 days. In 17 days I leave for the meet. I'm stoked...

Here's the last time I was at the big dance (snow in background).

June 5, 2010

it's been awhile...

I have no reason to quit...

So many things have been going on since I quite indiscriminately removed my prior blog. Not all have been positive but I am very excited about getting back into a regular routine of training, racing, writing, meeting new people, travelling to God knows where, eating off a menu w/ blind selection, taking one day at a time w/ Edo by my side.

Glad to be back!