Sunday, April 20, 2014

Race Preview

The race director for my upcoming 50 km put together this YouTube video of the course.

Here 'tis!

These blogs detail my journey to a 50 km ultra-marathon as a fundraiser for the David Suzuki Foundation. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation here.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

A Marathon of Training

These blogs detail my journey to a 50 km ultra-marathon as a fundraiser for the David Suzuki Foundation. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation here.

The training plan that I have been following to run the 50k at Elk/Beaver Lake dictates that I should run a marathon about 4 weeks out.

I figured running four laps of the five laps for actual course would be about a marathon's worth.

So I headed off to Vancouver Island with the family in tow.

I wanted to emulate the actual event as closely as possible, so I mixed up my race fuel, stocked my camelbak with water and gels, charged my iPhone, strapped on my shoes and headed out for four laps at 6 o'clock in the morning.

The course it super flat.  There is only one slight uphill that I am sure will be turn into a mountain on lap five. I am not sure why it is considered two lakes as it is just one body of water that you run around.  The lake(s) is littered with fisherman, both on and off the lake.  Many gave a friendly wave as I trudged on by.

40 K in the books
I was greeted by my support crew two laps in.  My wife Megin, 2 year old Master N, and 5 year old Master A were there with fresh socks, water, hugs and kisses.  Best race crew ever!

And I was off again to complete laps three and four.  Lap three was fine, but I did fade just a little on the last lap.  My legs started to ache and I took some short walk breaks.

As I approached the end my lovely wife was there to greet me.  Yay!  40k in the books.

While this wasn't quite a marathon, four laps of the five lap course was good enough to me.  I was beat up, but I still felt like there were ten kilometers more in my legs.

Roll on May 10th!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Crash and Burn in Washington

Hourly Rates Not Available
One day I hope to race marathons in the great cities of the world.  The New York Marathon.  The Paris Marathon.  And maybe even the Boston Marathon one day.

Until then I settle for 30K runs around the beautiful Birch Bay in Washington.  

I stayed in a hotel in Blaine,  just a few blocks from the Canada U.S.A. border.  The hotel was - well - a dive.  It smelt slightly of curry and proudly advertised monthly rates in crooked letters on a neon lit sign.

Birch Bay in stark contrast was gorgeous.  It sweeps the coast line in a long lazy arch.

I had done the 15K version of the course a year ago and was quite pleased with how it went.

This year was a successful failure.

A successful failure? Let me explain.

My goal was to clock in under 3 hours.  The race started in drizzle and I soon locked into a pace that felt sustainable and would get me well under 3 hours.

This worked well for about 2 hours, then as some hills approached my legs felt heavy and I lost energy.  My paced slowed and there was nothing I could do about it.  I had hit the wall.

A beautiful sight
The last kilometre was torture.  Not only were my legs like lead, but a nasty head wind had kicked in.  My brisk 5:52 mins/km pace had plummeted to 8:00 mins/km.  I crawled over the finish line in 3 hours and 14 minutes.

On the positive side I learnt some valuable lessons.

Respect the distance.  30K is 30K.  It's a longway.  I'll be running 50K in about 2 months.  The respect is already building.

Fluid intake.  I didn't drink enough on the course.  Towards the end I was guzzling it down at the aid stations, but by then it was too late.

Food.  I ate crap the night before.  I ate crap for breakfast.  And I didn't consume enough on the course.

Suffering.  I learned how to run even though I was pain and felt I had nothing more to give.

In about 2 weeks I'll be running 4 laps of the 50K course on Vancouver Island.  I'll be testing out pacing and fuelling strategies as I run the 40K.

Hopefully I'll work some things out and gain some confidence for the 50K.


I am running the 50K ultra-marathon on May 10 as a fundraiser for the David Suzuki Foundation.  Find out details and how to donate here.