Apr
15

(No title)

Maybe it’s not always about trying to fix something broken. Maybe it’s about starting over and creating something better.

I have felt for sometime now that the running portion of my life has been spinning tires and not gaining any traction. That feeling hasn’t been just based around low over all numbers and infrequent outtings but the totality of effort overall. In terms of fitness deconstruction I walked into a bit of a perfect storm and had no pushback for it. I wasn’t prepared.

I’m not going to give the last 10 mths or so any more thought or energy.  The current month is off to a decent start and I’ll rebuild from there. I have new short term goals and there is a big milestone beginning to come into focus on the horizon. I’m 176 km from hitting the 9000 km mark and obviously 1176 km from rolling 10,000. I fully expect to hit the 9 thousand mark with in 2-3 weeks and from there I’m going to aggressively chase down the 10,000 KM milestone. In some respects I wish the upcoming benchmarks had been noticed a little earlier as I would have loved to have rolled 10,000 ahead of turning 40 at the end of June. It’ll be close but I don’t for see any chance of being able to reach that mark before mid July.

Feb
14

A New Dawn

Squamish 50/50

Registered. Its been near 2 years since any meaningful race and heading towards 3 since I’ve laced up for any Ultra distance events. Easy to tell that the racing and the writing exist in symbiosis. Pretty lean here on this site the last while but I needed time away to focus on bringing the rest of my life into balance/focus. I look forward to getting back in step and being able to flourish in a much more healthy and balanced existence.

Nov
01

Nov.1, 2013

Its taken more than a few false starts but I seem to have gained some traction on the road back to fitness. The last 16 months or so have been filled with so much change it was a challenge to keep plotting forward knowing what month it was let alone being able to map a day to day routine. I can say now after a month or so of steady progress that I seem to gaining the ability to bring running back into a balanced routine.

 

Moving forward I am motivated by nearing a fairly large milestone for me and that is being near the 10,000 km  mark in logged training. I know I spent near a year off the Garmin grid but I’ll forget about the mileage I know I gained and just focus on the official numbers.

 

Looking ahead at 2014  I am taking aim at resetting my personal best times at every distance. My fastest 10k, half marathon and marathon times were all set in 2009. As for the Ultra distance events I’m looking to improve on the 100k and 100 mile times. I dont foresee a 50 mile event in 2014.

 

Although the sample time and overall numbers are in their beginning stages I’ve noticed a signifigant bump in the tempo and interval speeds during workouts. Hopefully a good sign.

Sep
02

Tip your hat and raise your glass

A quick wit and quicker with a smile Marty Byron was often the first person you’d see in the morning and the last person you’d see on the way out of  CCC  in Delta. During the 7 years I called him a colleague I can honestly say it was a joy. Honest, true and kind. Eager to share in the joy of  life and just as eager to share in the not so joyous as well. Marty left us  suddenly Saturday morning. Shocked and saddened we are left to remember a bounty of  fond memories and laughs.  I’m happy I got the chance to call him a colleague, fellow runner but mostly a friend.

Tip your hat and raise a glass to one of the good ones. 

Jun
19

little Diesel in the tank

Little bit of spirit came back into my running last night. 2/3 of the way through Tuesdays run and at the start of a fairly decent climb I found myself hunting down the cyclist ahead of me. Its been a long time since I have felt any fire in the belly but yesterday it reignited. I’m not sure why or how but turning into the climb I just reacted-’your mine’ I heard myself say and then the Gong at the start of Hells Bells played in my head-’I'm a rolling thunder in the pouring rain, I coming on like a hurricane-white lighting flashes across the sky-your only young but your gonna die! ‘ is all I heard. Its was almost out of body. Reading this back it seems more ‘outta your mind’ but as Todd Bertuzzi would say ‘it is what it is’. The best part was that it was a reaction not premeditated.

Sept 14th I’ll toe the line in Sausalito, California for the Headlands 50 miler. Near 2 years since my last Ultra event, too long. However, returning happy, healthy and hungry will be a welcome thing. I believe I was suffering a little burn out from not taking the time to allow body and mind to recover and had run myself into the ground a little. I briefly toyed with the idea of running the 100 but I’ll try to avoid the pitfalls of rushing into anything and save the 100 mile return for the summer of 2014. Here’s to returning to happy trails in the second 1/2 of 2013.

 

Above is the elevation profile per 25 miles, so the 50 mile distance will have just over 10,000 ft of climbing/descent. A reasonably tough challenge for a return race and I’m looking to go sub 11 hrs and use the result as a WSER lottery qualifier for 2014.

May
17

(No title)

As the slow march back towards fitness starts I have begun to wonder how rapid the loss of fitness was. I was maintaining a fairly strong fitness base for the 4 years or so that lead up my last event, 2012′s Scotiabank half marathon in Vancouver.
I was not surprised at all to learn that the decrease in fitness really begins around the 2 week mark after the training load is lightened and continues to fade the further one keeps the load light.
The inaction has a bit of a domino effect from there. The first and most noticed results is the loss in cardio, but the bodies systems are all connected and its not long before other biological signs begin to appear. Blood volume decreases, reducing oxygen uptake ability. Paired with losses in mitochondrial density, lactate threshold and the ability to burn fat stores and the reduction in the enzymes responsible for metabolizing energy it begins to look bleak fairly quick.
The next phase is muscle atrophy and it goes on from there. Point being that things go sideways quickly. The general idea is that if you dont use it you lose it. The process of getting out of shape is a lot easier and twice as fast as getting into shape.
Of course with the experience of having been at a certain level once before and the benefit of muscle memory the path can be righted fairly quickly and with the benefit of cross-training the curve can begin to climb again in little time but in hindsight I would have saved a lot of time and effort if I had made better attempts to maintain over the last 10 months.
The silver lining for me in this return to fitness is that I have time. For a change I am plotting a series of goals as I build towards being in peak fitness for the summer of 2014. I feel a bit funny plotting and planning 14 months out however I know how quickly time slips away and how important it will be to be feeling like no stone was left unturned in the journey that will prepare me for a summer 2014 battle @ 10,200ft. I have been there before and vow to return lighter, leaner and meaner than ever.

May
02

Milling

Quietly beginning to get runs in more days  than not and beginning to feel a little life returning to my legs.  Its a great and somewhat sad reminder of the fitness level that I had maintained but was unaware of for near 4 years. I take a little ease from Scott Jurek saying its okay to forget all about running for a while and even to gain 7-8 lbs, as it will restoke the fire a bit. Scanning through some late summer options for an event still undecided about distance or terrain  but it’ll come.

http://www.transvulcania.com/index.php/es/ The Transvulcania event this weekend is stacked with world class talent and should be a great one to watch.

Apr
27

5 Years

Its been a little quiet on this front for the last while but as this is primarily a running log I haven’t had much to add during the last 6 or 7 months while its been quiet on my event calendar. Slowly things are returning to a more normal  rhythm.

On a Saturday morning 5 years ago I awoke and decided to participate in the following mornings local spring start to the running  season, the Vancouver Sun run. A 10k run that has risen from humble beginnings to an annual average of 50,000 eager runners pounding the streets through downtown Vancouver.

 

This past Sunday I returned to run the event as a bit of a nod to the 5 year anniversary of whats become a huge part of my life. I certainly had no idea at the time the effect that the high coming off the Cambie Street bridge  toward the finish line was about to have on me but  safe to say it was huge.

 

A short look back has reminded me that although I have had a bit of a lull over the last while the numbers over 5 years are pretty good.

 

  • 3 x 10km
  • 12 x Half Marathons
  • 3 x Marathons
  • 1 x 50km
  • 2 x 50Mile
  • 3 x 100km
  • 2 x 100 Mile

Having been able to finally get an event finished after a few false starts I am looking forward to getting a few more tucked away in 2013. Most likely a summer Half and a fall 50 mile or 100 km event to prime for a big 2014. I am mulling possibilities of a race series for year 40 or really bearing down on a old familiar 100 mile event and evening the score.

 

If there is one thing I’ve learned in the last 5 years its that I’m willing to commit and I will not quit, because I’m better than I think I am and I can do more than I think I can.

Feb
17

The Rebuild.

I spent a lot of time (3 years) focused squarely focused on making the return trip up the boulevard to the red carpet in Leadville. It was a destination well worth the journey. I have also just spent a good number of months with attention purposely focused away from training or racing. Another welcomed journey.  Over the course of the last six or so months as positive life changes  began to come to fruition I have been able to allow thoughts of  how the reintroduction to running would look.

This week I’ve stopped the wonderment and began the process kind of from scratch. 8 months of  unfocused occasional runs  has left me under trained but overly excited and reinvigorated to get going. I feel like I have regained some mojo. I haven’t delved too far into it but I am certain I was feeling some sort of mental and physical burn out.

The short term goal is the Vancouver 1/2 marathon in May and then on to White River 50 mile in July. If all goes well I’ll look at the fall schedule perhaps Javelina or the Headlands 100. For now though I’m going to enjoy the process of returning to fitness and getting back on trail.

Here’s to the first steps on the journey of many thousands of miles.

Nov
05

Jesus, these are the Good Old Days…

With the pending arrival of our daughter in December Tracy and I have been spending time looking through our baby pictures with our parents and speculating on which features match who as compared to the 3D images we have from Ultrasounds. Its been a fun exercise. During all of this though I cant help but notice our parents and siblings in the pictures and realize that it won’t be all long before the same type of event plays out with the kids.

They’ll certainly laugh looking back at clothes,hair styles and have the flashbacks that are usually brought on by scents, smells and oh, god-my dad used to listen to that song/band over and over….it drove us nuts. What I have never really fully realized though is that at some point in ancient history-perhaps when Christ was a carpenter or there were hitching posts at every store front and saloon that our parents lived out the same act. Those stories that got told over and over and we used to throw our heads back during or try to sneak out of the room during are the ones we are starting to tell.

In other words, these are the good old days. Gas was 1.25. Harper was in power( not good just correct). The lock-out. The Olympics. Crosby. Lebron . Brady. Super Storms, Climate Change..I was going to comment on pre cellphone days but I can hardly remember that either.

Of course this is all a little tongue in cheek but for me the last few weeks have been a bit of a paradigm shift. Obviously at 38 I don’t believe for a minute that out of 120 years I fully intend to live that the best is behind me but I am starting to realize that looking back later on I’ll long for some peace of this past time paradise so maybe I should be sure take as much joy from each young day as I can.

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