Going Long Running Blog at FastRunningBlog.Com http://theotokos.fastrunningblog.com/ Wed, 18 Sep 2019 15:59:19 FeedCreator 1.7.2 Wed, Sep 18, 2019 http://theotokos.fastrunningblog.com/blog-09-18-2019.html <p>Goodwill Drive; 8:47 pace.&nbsp; Gorgeous sunrise through the fog.</p> Wed, 18 Sep 2019 06:00:00 Tue, Sep 17, 2019 http://theotokos.fastrunningblog.com/blog-09-17-2019.html <p>Well, that finally started to feel a lot better.</p> <p>Goodwill Drive; 8:42 pace.&nbsp; Had my legs under me today, and still ran very easy.</p> Tue, 17 Sep 2019 06:00:00 Mon, Sep 16, 2019 http://theotokos.fastrunningblog.com/blog-09-16-2019.html <p>Goodwill Drive; 9:24 pace.&nbsp; Still feeling the deadness in my legs.&nbsp; But slowly coming back to life.</p> Mon, 16 Sep 2019 06:00:00 Sat, Sep 14, 2019 http://theotokos.fastrunningblog.com/blog-09-14-2019.html <p>Goodwill Drive; 9:31 pace.&nbsp; Nothing really stands out as significantly sore.&nbsp; Just an overall tiredness in my legs.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Sat, 14 Sep 2019 06:00:00 Fri, Sep 13, 2019 http://theotokos.fastrunningblog.com/blog-09-13-2019.html <p>Local track; 9:37 pace.&nbsp; I didn&#39;t want to wander far from home, in case something didn&#39;t go right.&nbsp; So, just 8 laps on the track across the street.&nbsp; So far, everything seems good.&nbsp; Worst tightness is in the left hammie.&nbsp; Numbness in my left forefoot still lingering after the race.&nbsp; I&#39;m guessing some mild nerve damage, but nothing serious.</p> Fri, 13 Sep 2019 06:00:00 Sat, Sep 07, 2019 http://theotokos.fastrunningblog.com/blog-09-07-2019.html <h1><strong>Haliburton 100 Forest Ultra</strong></h1> <h3><strong>THE PRELUDE:</strong></h3> <p>After wrapping up things on Friday at the Nursing Home, I made the 4 1/2 drive to Base Camp at the Haliburton Forest Reserve.&nbsp; I checked in for my campsite, not far from the start line, deposited my 3 drop bags, and picked up my bib number and hoodie.&nbsp; That gave me enough time to set up my tent before the 6pm mandatory dinner.&nbsp;</p> <p>At the dinner, everyone was asked to introduce themself and say a bit about themself.&nbsp; The organizers went through a number of housekeeping items, and then detailed instructions on how the trails were marked.&nbsp; Basically, a small orange flag on the ground about&nbsp;every 35 paces, with alternating orange and yellow bunched together where a turn was coming up.&nbsp; Going out, all the flags would be on the right.&nbsp; Coming back, on the left.&nbsp; There is one loop around MacDonald Lake that is a bit confusing, because you have to run it in opposite directions depending on if you are going out or coming back.&nbsp; No matter - I nailed it.&nbsp; Not everyone did.</p> <p>After that, I retired to my tent, set out all my running gear, set my alarm for 4:15am and went to sleep.&nbsp; I woke up just before my alarm, and was on my way.&nbsp; Coffee, morning prayers, lube, gear and go.&nbsp; There was a role call at 5:45 and then we were piped to the start line about 100 yards away.&nbsp; The 6am start was for both the 50 milers (out and back) and us 100 milers who would run the course twice.&nbsp; There were 63 running the 50 miles, and 53 of us in the 100 miler.&nbsp; So, 116 head lamps piercing the cool darkness.&nbsp; It was 10C/50F, but I opted to run in short sleeves and shorts.&nbsp; I ditched my fleece jacket just before the start.&nbsp; I was running in Salomon Trail shoes, with Injinji toe socks and calf compression&nbsp;sleeves.&nbsp; I wore fingerless grip gloves, not for warmth, but to protect my skin if I fell.&nbsp; With 10 seconds to go, there was a collective count down and we were off.&nbsp; Man, were we off!&nbsp; You just&nbsp;<strong>gotta&nbsp;</strong>be &quot;off&quot; to do this!</p> <h3><strong>CHAPTER ONE:&nbsp; Nutrition, Hydration, GI ... Oh My!</strong></h3> <p>My plan was to run exclusively with Tailwind.&nbsp; I had used that in my 24 hour 100 miler last year, and it was all I needed.&nbsp; I trained with it and it seemed to sit well with me.&nbsp; Still, as a precaution, I took a couple of Immodium at the start, then two more about 12 hours in&nbsp;and popped Pepto Bismol Chews as needed along the way.&nbsp; That didn&#39;t actually work the way I wanted, and I took 2 more Immodium around Midnight.&nbsp;</p> <p>I had the nutrition down to a science.&nbsp; The human body can typically process about 300 calories/hour.&nbsp; I trained with that amount on all my long runs.&nbsp;&nbsp;I was wearing a running vest.&nbsp; In it,&nbsp;I carried a small rain jacket that would double as a wind breaker if needed.&nbsp; I carried the Pepto Bismol and Immodium tablets, along with Ibuprofin.&nbsp; Also a small flashlight in case my headlamp failed, some t.p., lip balm and two hand held soft flasks that each held 17&nbsp;ounces of water.&nbsp; Then I wore a fanny pack that carried 4 small tubes of Tailwind, each worth 200 calories.&nbsp; That is the &quot;perfect&quot; mixture of water, nutrition and electrolytes when mixed in the 17 ounce flasks.&nbsp;&nbsp;I stashed tubes at Aid Stations 2, 5 and 7.&nbsp; As I finished the flask, I dumped new powder in as I ran and then just filled it with water at the next Aid Station.&nbsp; My plan was to spend almost no time at Aid Stations.&nbsp; I would restock my Tailwind at my Drop Bag sites and carry on.&nbsp; I packed 9,400 calories worth of Tailwind.&nbsp; Enough to last 31 hours.&nbsp; I actually used just 2,800 calories worth - 100 calories/hour.&nbsp; Something, obviously, did not go according to plan.</p> <p>Surprisingly early on, the Tailwind was not sitting well.&nbsp; I found I was unable to sip it the way I had in training.&nbsp; I was forcing myself to take it, but my stomach was protesting.&nbsp; Some hours in, I found myself incredibly thirsty, because I wasn&#39;t able to handle the mixture.&nbsp; So, at the next Aid Station, I filled my flask with just water and gulped it down in one swallow.&nbsp; Then did that again.&nbsp; Then a third time.&nbsp; Incredible.&nbsp; The water tasted SO good, and the Tailwind was just awful.&nbsp; So, from that point on, I ran with mostly water.&nbsp; I knew I had to take in nutrition, so I started eating the boiled potatoes and watermelon that was offered.&nbsp; Those tasted great and sat well with me.&nbsp; On my second time out at Aid Station 4, I ate a cup full of their famous Peanut Butter Soup.&nbsp; I won&#39;t say what it looked like, but I will say it was amazing!&nbsp; That was the same Aid Station on my final time through where I ate a grilled cheese sandwich.&nbsp; Man, was THAT GOOD!</p> <p>So, the nutrition was a bit of a bust.&nbsp; I had to improvise as I went, because now I was really hungry, plus I knew I needed the calories.&nbsp; So, I took what was offered at the Aid Stations and spent more time there than planned.&nbsp;</p> <h3><strong>CHAPTER TWO:&nbsp; I&#39;m Tired</strong></h3> <p>The volunteers at the 7 Aid Stations were superb.&nbsp; They kept their camp fires going through the night and&nbsp;offered a wide assortment of food, as well as enthusiastic encouragement.&nbsp; They were also responsible for recording us runners as we passed, and given the technical mix ups in my last 2 races, I made sure they recorded me.&nbsp; &quot;NUMBER 20&quot; I would yell as I approached, and then I made sure they said my name as a verification that all was good.&nbsp; That was because earlier on, I yelled &quot;NUMBER 20 in&quot; and I heard the recorder repeat &quot;number 28&quot;.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Part of their job is to evaluate the runners to make sure everyone is safe, and so I was constantly being asked how I felt.&nbsp; My response:&nbsp; &quot;For some reason, I feel really, really tired&quot;.&nbsp; Most got that as a joke, although some got concerned and asked if I wanted to sit down.&nbsp; Beware the chair!&nbsp; I never sat.</p> <p>As expected, all the aches and pains kind of melded together at some point.&nbsp; I was primarily concerned with the three pains I started with.&nbsp; Of those, only the left foot was much of an issue.&nbsp; The right groin pain faded away and the right achilles tendon pain never really threatened anything serious.&nbsp; That left foot, however, screamed at me whenever I torqued it by landing a certain way on a root or a rock.&nbsp; And there were a LOT of those!&nbsp; I took to being extra cautious with that foot landing, but there is only so much you can do on such a technical course.&nbsp; Fortunately, as painful as it was, the foot pain actually seemed to decrease as I went.&nbsp; Or maybe it was just that melding of all the pains together that made that one pain less noticeable.&nbsp; Either way, there WAS a lot of pain just about everywhere, but no injuries.&nbsp; And no falls.&nbsp; I came SO close any number of times with stumbles and slips, but managed to catch myself every time.&nbsp; I would say the quads were the most beat up at the end.&nbsp; It got to the point where running downhill was nearly impossible.&nbsp; I took the ibuprofin as needed, and it took the edge off.</p> <p>It was obvious that many runners were struggling, and were dropping out at a high rate.&nbsp; The Aid Stations were in constant communication with walkie talkies, and while eating something at Aid Station 3, I heard Base Camp announce two runners that had just dropped out.&nbsp; Dropping out was not an option for me, although I had to constantly push that idea out of my mind.&nbsp; I think the worst part of that mental game was when I starting to hope for a serious injury that would force the organizers to pull me off the course.&nbsp; I would object, of course - &#39;hey, I can finish with a broken leg - I&#39;m tough&#39;.&nbsp; For sure the mental battle is a huge part of an Ultra, but going in with the attitude that &quot;I AM going to finish&quot; is a huge help.&nbsp; It turns out that of the 53 of us who started,&nbsp;only 24&nbsp;finished.&nbsp; 29 dropped out.</p> <p>I think the most challenging point in my race was the most technical section between Aid Stations 4 and 5.&nbsp; On my return leg, that section brought me to the verge of collapse.&nbsp; I was over heating and thought I was running a fever.&nbsp; I took my hat off to help dissipate the heat, but was feeling nauseous, headachy and a bit dizzy.&nbsp; I fought through to Aid Station 4, and after that was on an upswing with a second wind that carried me to the 50 mile turn around.&nbsp; Good thing, as that section saw the weather take a nasty turn.</p> <h3><strong>CHAPTER THREE:&nbsp; A Flash and a Boom!</strong></h3> <p>Rain was predicted for the afternoon and through to the evening.&nbsp; It started right on time, and when it was done at 10:30pm, sections of trail were turned into a muddy mess.&nbsp; Not nearly as bad as Sulphur Springs in May, but still a slippery soup of mud, roots and rocks.&nbsp; The worst of it fell when I was on the East Road heading back to the turn around at Base Camp.&nbsp; At one point, it was coming down so hard I could not see the runners just in front of me.&nbsp; And the thunder, having been moving closer and closer, arrived in full fury.&nbsp; At one point I was shuffling over the crest of a hill with my head down and there was a brilliant flash just ahead, where a couple were walking ahead of me.&nbsp; I looked up thinking it was a camera flash from the photographer, just as the explosion of thunder resounded.&nbsp; The couple in front of me jumped.&nbsp; It was SO close.</p> <p>I think the rain was a key reason why so many dropped out.&nbsp; A lot of runners would have been within striking distance of Base Camp when it hit, and I&#39;m sure the mental and physical fatigue at that point was such that the storm pushed many over the edge.&nbsp; When I came running into Base Camp, there were a number of 50 milers with their arms raised and medals being hung around their necks.&nbsp; As I came in, the Race Coordinator said to me &quot;Good work - now get your *ss back out there and do it again!&quot;&nbsp; I did.&nbsp; I had run the first 50 miles in 10:52:33.&nbsp; I felt confident of coming in under the 30 hour cut off.</p> <p>Knowing that the rain was predicted to continue off and on until around 10pm., I decided to stay with what I was wearing.&nbsp; I figured I&#39;d be at the 75 mile mark around Midnight.&nbsp; I had a drop bag there with a change of clothes and a jacket.&nbsp; I would get dry then and try to stay warm over night.&nbsp; As it turned out, the final rain came shortly after 10, as predicted.&nbsp; By Midnight, however, I was completely dry and decided to continue on without changing anything.&nbsp; I hoped it wasn&#39;t a mistake, but I never felt cold during the night.&nbsp; On the contrary, I was still battling that feeling of being nauseous and&nbsp;overheated.</p> <h3><strong>CHAPTER FOUR:&nbsp; The Garmin</strong></h3> <p>I knew the battery in my Garmin 35 would not last the distance.&nbsp; Initially, I was going to run the first 50 miles with it, maybe 75,&nbsp;and then switch to a regular watch.&nbsp; But at some point, I read about runners recharging their devices&nbsp;with a portable charger, and that&#39;s what I ended up doing.&nbsp; I found one for less than $10 at Staples that would provide enough juice and fit in the palm of my hand.&nbsp; My plan was to pick it up from my Drop Bag at Aid Station Two and run with it while charging my watch until I had run the Normac Trail&nbsp;Loop clockwise, through the Base Camp halfway point, and then through Normac again counterclockwise.&nbsp; At that point, I would drop it off back at AS#2 and have a full charge for the final 43 miles.&nbsp; Good plan.&nbsp; Didn&#39;t work.</p> <p>It did work for a while.&nbsp; The watch was charging.&nbsp; After finishing the Normac,&nbsp;it was close to full charge.&nbsp; But that&#39;s when the storm really opened up.&nbsp; I think the rain killed my charger, because at that point, there was nothing I could do to get it powered up.&nbsp; I was pretty sure it wasn&#39;t drained, and I verified that after the race.&nbsp; Once dried out, it had plenty of charge remaining.&nbsp; It just gave up in the rain.&nbsp; Still, I hoped the charge I managed to get into my Garmin would carry me to the end.&nbsp; But it didn&#39;t.&nbsp; Shortly after mile 85, my Garmin was done.</p> <p>Up until then, I had been doing the math in my head.&nbsp; My &quot;wouldn&#39;t that be an incredible finish&quot; goal was to come in at a 15:00/mile pace (25 hour finish).&nbsp; Unrealistic on this course, but one can always dream.&nbsp; My &quot;you better not run ANY slower than this&quot; goal was 18:00/mile pace (30 hour cutoff).&nbsp; I would happily have taken that.&nbsp; But my real goal was somewhere in between.&nbsp; I just wasn&#39;t sure where, until the halfway point, when I set it at 16:00/mile pace (26:40).&nbsp; At the 25 mile mark, I was averaging a pace of 12:30/mile, or just over 5 hours.&nbsp; But I could already feel myself slowing down and I watched the average pace click upwards.&nbsp; At the halfway point, I was running an average pace of 13:03/mile.&nbsp; It had taken me about 45 minutes longer for that quarter.&nbsp; Given the struggles I had in that quarter, the weather, the pain and the descending darkness, I figured a finish in the 26 - 27 hour range would be ambitious, but possible.&nbsp; Yes, it was arbitrary.&nbsp; But it gave me a goal.&nbsp; I would aim to run the second half in about 15 1/2 hours.&nbsp; I hit the 75 mile Aid Station #7 around Midnight, so I was running at an average pace of about 14:25/mile.&nbsp; I was hurting.&nbsp; The darkness had reduced me to a trudge.&nbsp; I was alone.&nbsp; But I was confident I could do it.&nbsp; I had nearly 12 hours to cover 25 miles, after all.&nbsp; Barring a big surprise, I had this.</p> <p>So, at mile 85 when my Garmin gave up, I was okay with that.&nbsp; I had been watching my progress, and I was keeping a decidedly slow, but consistent pace.&nbsp; I didn&#39;t even bother (or I forgot&nbsp;to ask) the time at the three Aid Stations remaining.&nbsp; So, I was pleased to see my final time.&nbsp; It worked out to an average pace of 16:04/mile.&nbsp; Would I have been able to run 400 seconds faster just to come in at 16:00/mile, had I known how close I was?&nbsp; I don&#39;t know.&nbsp; At that point, I was pushing really hard.&nbsp; And, quite frankly, I don&#39;t think I would have cared.&nbsp; Besides, I was still hallucinating something fierce, and I&#39;m not sure there was anything I could have done to move faster.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <h3><strong>CHAPTER FIVE:&nbsp; Meerkats, Birds and Deer in the Night</strong></h3> <p>In my 100 mile event last year in London, I saw people in the night that were not there.&nbsp; I wasn&#39;t sure if it was hallucination, or just the play of shadows thrown by my headlight.&nbsp; It didn&#39;t add up to much in any event.&nbsp; It sure did in this race.&nbsp; It started at some point on my final 25.&nbsp; I began to marvel at the incredibly artistic signs that someone had put up - all sorts of wild and creative creatures painted on billboards.&nbsp; Except they would disappear as I got close, or melt back into the trees, shrubs and ground vegetation that they actually were.&nbsp; Once I clued in to the illusion, I started to enjoy it.&nbsp; &nbsp;I just assumed it was the interplay of my light and the shadows it created.&nbsp; I wondered if other runners would see the same pictures, or if their minds would perceive something else.&nbsp; I saw a very dangerous mound of sharp knives on the trail which I nearly stepped on.&nbsp; I was angry someone had put it there - would seriously injure a runner.&nbsp; When I went to carefully move it, the grass just slipped in between my fingers.&nbsp; Wild.&nbsp; So real.</p> <p>That basically continued right through that most technical section leading back to Aid Station #4.&nbsp; By then, however, I was beginning to see various animals that were not there.&nbsp; They were crossing in front of me and causing me to step aside so as to avoid them.&nbsp; I was seeing all sorts of benches that were not there my previous 3 passes.&nbsp; I forced myself to shuffle past them.&nbsp; Do NOT sit down, I told myself.&nbsp; Just before AS#4, there was a couple sitting on one of those benches.&nbsp; They surprised me.&nbsp; As I ran by, I nearly made a comment to them about sitting way out here in the dark.&nbsp; But then, I figured out they were not real.&nbsp; They just stared at me as I went by.&nbsp; Wild stuff.&nbsp; But it got more interesting.</p> <p>At AS#4, I asked about an outhouse.&nbsp; They said there was one I could use about 100 yards down this lane.&nbsp; Honestly, I still don&#39;t know what it was I saw down that lane.&nbsp; I think I used an outhouse.&nbsp; Beyond that, it was a wild trip.&nbsp; I did eat that grilled cheese sandwich though, and it tasted SO good (at least, I think it did).</p> <p>On Poacher&#39;s Trail, my light began to fade.&nbsp; I had used one from sunset until Midnight, then switched off at AS#7 to a fresh one.&nbsp; But I had kept the first light, just in case.&nbsp; I&#39;m glad I did.&nbsp; Some time after that, I was at the next AS.&nbsp; The sky was just beginning to show dawn, and I had just 7.2 miles left to the finish.&nbsp; This is where the hallucinations became more pronounced.&nbsp; And the worst of it in full daylight.</p> <p>There were birds.&nbsp; Lots of birds.&nbsp; Big birds.&nbsp; Like ducks and pellicans and long necked things I didn&#39;t recognize.&nbsp; At one point, running on a road, I actually moved to the other side because I didn&#39;t want to disturb them as they walked along.&nbsp; On the trail, however, they were everywhere.&nbsp; And if it wasn&#39;t a bird, it was herd of deer.&nbsp; Or fox.&nbsp; Or some other creature I didn&#39;t know.&nbsp; I saw a stunning Meerkat just ahead.&nbsp; It just stood there on the trail.&nbsp; As I stepped passed, it turned back into a stick.&nbsp; Shrubs, rocks, branches - they all became something else.&nbsp; It was like running through Disneyland, or Dreamland, except I was wide awake and the sun was fully risen.&nbsp; This continued right to the finish line.&nbsp; It was the most entertaining thing I have ever experienced on a run.&nbsp; When I crossed the finish line and went to my truck to grab a change of clothes, there were a bunch of&nbsp;little 6 armed bugs on the floor of my truck, waving their arms at me.&nbsp; Seriously,&nbsp; I bent down nose to nose with them, and they didn&#39;t go away.&nbsp; I swept at them, and they just moved around my fingers.&nbsp; I tried to crush them with my finger, and they just looked up at me with an annoyed frown on their faces.&nbsp; It took the first 3 hour nap for that to pass.&nbsp; Then I went back to look - it was small bits of gravel on the floor of my truck.&nbsp; Wow.</p> <h3><strong>CHAPTER SIX - The Subaru</strong></h3> <p>About 2 miles after the 25 mile turn around, there is a pretty technical trail section.&nbsp; Not an easy run.&nbsp; A runner approaching me said &quot;car on the trail&quot; as he passed.&nbsp; What?&nbsp; Well, around a corner and there it was.&nbsp; A crew member for someone had decided to drive to AS#7 on the trail, rather than on the road.&nbsp; He was seriously stuck.&nbsp; I mean, I don&#39;t think a tow truck would get in there to help him out.&nbsp; I&#39;m amazed he got that far.&nbsp; He was working on a tire - not sure if he had blown it, or if he was just jacking it because he was hung up.&nbsp; I know this was not an illusion, because&nbsp;<strong>a)</strong>&nbsp;it was too early and&nbsp;<strong>b)</strong>&nbsp;I was with another runner who saw the same thing.&nbsp; I asked the dude if he wanted me to get help for him at the next Aid Station.&nbsp; He said no, he was fine.&nbsp; He was NOT fine.&nbsp; There was NO WAY he was going to get that sucker out without a tow.&nbsp; Oh, also&nbsp;<strong>c)</strong>, I found a picture of that stuck Subaru on facebook just a few minutes ago!</p> <p>Well, as funny as it seems, that Subaru inspired me.&nbsp; I really wanted to see if it would still be there in about 12 hours when I next came by.&nbsp; Whenever I wanted to quit, I told myself I would never know if it was still there if I did.&nbsp; Funny thing is, I&#39;ve put the Subaru on my short list as a replacement for my 16 year old pick up truck.&nbsp; I&#39;ve seen the ads.&nbsp; They are tough and can go anywhere.&nbsp; Ha.&nbsp; Not quite!</p> <p>Well, I THINK it was gone when I got back there.&nbsp; Honestly, I forgot to look for it.&nbsp; I&#39;m pretty sure my light would have picked it up if it was there.&nbsp; Then again, who knows.&nbsp; Maybe it had turned into a big rock in my mind.</p> <h3><strong>THE POSTLUDE:</strong></h3> <p>I showered and slept for 3 hours.&nbsp; That took care of the waving bugs.&nbsp; I am grateful I decided to camp one extra night; I was in no shape to drive home.&nbsp; The awards brunch and ceremony was at 1pm.&nbsp; It blew me away that I won the Master&#39;s Division.&nbsp; Totally unexpected.&nbsp; For that, besides my 100 mile belt buckle, I got a warm hug from the Race Director, a hearty handshake from the Race Coordinator, and a nice towel.&nbsp; The winner ran a course record setting time of 15:36!!!&nbsp; Amazing kid.</p> <p>I slept another 4&nbsp;hours that afternoon, and then grabbed a pizza for dinner.&nbsp; By 8:30, I was back in my tent and I slept 11 hours.&nbsp; After a wonderful breakfast, I broke camp and started home.&nbsp; I made one unscheduled stop.&nbsp; On my previous drives there, I had seen this sign for a viewing tower.&nbsp; I stopped.&nbsp; It is an old fire watch tower they have rebuilt as a tourist viewing platform.&nbsp; For $15, you can drive the half mile up the mountain to the tower.&nbsp; Or, for cheap guys like me, you can pay $5 and walk up.&nbsp; Hey, a good way to stretch things out, I figured.&nbsp; So I walked the steep road to the tower, and then climbed the tower for the great view.&nbsp; Then back down the steep road to my truck and home.</p> <p>That was actually a good way to take stock of myself.&nbsp; The walk up was easier.&nbsp; My hamstrings were not too bad.&nbsp; I guess walking the uphills in the race was part of the reason for that.&nbsp; The stairs were difficult, as my quads were trashed.&nbsp; That really showed on the downhill - ouch.&nbsp; Blisters - very few and nothing of significance.&nbsp; Those Injinji socks really came through.&nbsp; As of now, no pain in my foot, groin or achilles tendon.&nbsp; Sure hope that continues.&nbsp; Basically, stiff and sore all over, but bouncing back quickly.&nbsp; I suspect in the next day or so, I may discover something that hurts more than it should.&nbsp; For now, I&#39;m basking in the success of the run, eating whatever I can, and looking for tiny bugs waving their little arms at me.</p> Sat, 07 Sep 2019 06:00:00 Fri, Sep 06, 2019 http://theotokos.fastrunningblog.com/blog-09-06-2019.html <p>Last shakeout run before tomorrow&#39;s Ultra.&nbsp; Goodwill Road; 8:57 pace.</p> <p>I have Mass this morning at one of my Nursing Homes, and will leave right after that.&nbsp; It&#39;s about a 4 1/2 drive to Base Camp.&nbsp; I hope to arrive by about 4pm, so I can check in, pick up my number (#20), drop off my Drop Bags and set up my tent at my camp site.&nbsp; There is a mandatory dinner for all 100 milers at 6pm.&nbsp; Race starts Saturday at 6am, with a hard cutoff for finishing at Noon Sunday.</p> <p>The weather looks like this:&nbsp; Lows in the single digits Celcius&nbsp;(mid 40s F) and highs in the high teens Celcius&nbsp;(mid 60s F).&nbsp; Some rain likely, especially Saturday afternoon, but possible also at the start and overnight Saturday.&nbsp; It&#39;s raining there now, so mud may be a factor.</p> <p>The course is 25 miles out and then back on the same route, done twice.&nbsp; Aid stations roughly 5 miles apart.&nbsp; I&#39;m using 3 drop bags.&nbsp; The 2 main ones, with extra clothes/lights/etc., I&#39;ll leave at both ends, and I&#39;ll leave one with just Tailwind in about the middle.&nbsp; I&#39;m going to run exclusively on Tailwind, carrying 1200 calories worth at a time, using 2 soft flasks which I&#39;ll refill at the aid stations, and a fanny pack carrying the Tailwind refills.</p> <p>Right now, I&#39;m just aiming to finish in the 30 hours.&nbsp; If I come in sooner - bonus!&nbsp; More sleep at the end.</p> <p>As far as my physical condition goes:</p> <p>The right groin pain (injured in May) is still there, but doesn&#39;t seem to be more than a minor nuisance.&nbsp; I&#39;m not sure what it will do over 100 miles, but I think it will be okay IF I don&#39;t slip/fall.</p> <p>The right achilles tendon pain has not been there this week during the taper.&nbsp; I think it will be the biggest wild card over 100 miles.&nbsp; The hills seem to challenge it.</p> <p>The left plantar fasciitus (or whatever it is - might be a deep bruise) is still there, but seems to go away the further I run.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Oh, and I woke up with a stupid paper cut (I think) on my left index finger.&nbsp; I don&#39;t&nbsp;know where that came from.&nbsp; Can bed sheets give you a paper cut???</p> <p>Beyond that, I&#39;m healthy and well trained.&nbsp; If experience tells me anything, I&#39;ll be so sore pretty much everywhere 12&nbsp;hours in, that my current aches will just kind of blend into the background.</p> <p>I was at emergency last night; a good friend had a stroke and was rushed there by ambulance.&nbsp; I stayed with him and his wife and son until they flew him down to Toronto for surgery.&nbsp; I told him I would offer up all the pain of this Ultra for him.&nbsp; Here&#39;s to you buddy!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Fri, 06 Sep 2019 06:00:00 Wed, Sep 04, 2019 http://theotokos.fastrunningblog.com/blog-09-04-2019.html <p>Goodwill Road; 8:45 pace.</p> Wed, 04 Sep 2019 06:00:00 Mon, Sep 02, 2019 http://theotokos.fastrunningblog.com/blog-09-02-2019.html <p>Goodwill Road; 8:50 pace.&nbsp; Rain the whole way.</p> Mon, 02 Sep 2019 06:00:00 Sat, Aug 31, 2019 http://theotokos.fastrunningblog.com/blog-08-31-2019.html <p>Goodwill Road; 8:46 pace.</p> Sat, 31 Aug 2019 06:00:00 Fri, Aug 30, 2019 http://theotokos.fastrunningblog.com/blog-08-30-2019.html <p>Radar Road; 8:37 pace.</p> <p>I make the 4 hour drive to Haliburton for the 100, one week from today.</p> Fri, 30 Aug 2019 06:00:00 Wed, Aug 28, 2019 http://theotokos.fastrunningblog.com/blog-08-28-2019.html <p>Skead Road; 8:45 pace.</p> Wed, 28 Aug 2019 06:00:00 Tue, Aug 27, 2019 http://theotokos.fastrunningblog.com/blog-08-27-2019.html <p>Goodwill Road; 8:57 pace.&nbsp; Steady rain throughout.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Tue, 27 Aug 2019 06:00:00 Mon, Aug 26, 2019 http://theotokos.fastrunningblog.com/blog-08-26-2019.html <p>Skead Road; 8:36 pace.</p> Mon, 26 Aug 2019 06:00:00 Sat, Aug 24, 2019 http://theotokos.fastrunningblog.com/blog-08-24-2019.html <p>Back to the Capreol Ski Trails for the last time this year.&nbsp;Unless I go skiing on them this winter, of course.&nbsp; Pace was 10:18.</p> <p>The cooler nights have had one great side effect - no deer flies or mosquitoes today!&nbsp; Nice.</p> Sat, 24 Aug 2019 06:00:00 Fri, Aug 23, 2019 http://theotokos.fastrunningblog.com/blog-08-23-2019.html <p>Radar Road; 8:53 pace.</p> Fri, 23 Aug 2019 06:00:00 Tue, Aug 20, 2019 http://theotokos.fastrunningblog.com/blog-08-20-2019.html <p>So, today I wanted to run the 6 mile portion around MacDonald Lake.&nbsp; Since I&#39;ll be running it 4 times on race day, it represents about a quarter of the entire event.</p> <p>I ran it at a 12:06/mile pace; elevation gain was 589 feet.&nbsp; So, that puts the race at about 3,300 feet per section, for a total of over 13,000 feet.&nbsp; A good climb!</p> <p>About half this section is on a dirt road, with the trail section being highly technical and (steep) hilly.&nbsp; It should be an interesting race.&nbsp; As I said yesterday, doing these runs was a good decision.&nbsp; For sure I&#39;ll make some mental adjustments over the next few weeks.</p> Tue, 20 Aug 2019 06:00:00 Mon, Aug 19, 2019 http://theotokos.fastrunningblog.com/blog-08-19-2019.html <p>So, after my last Mass on Sunday, I drove the 4 1/2 hours to the race venue.&nbsp; I had booked 2 nights on a campsite, as I wanted to run the trails I&#39;ll be racing in just over 2 weeks.</p> <p>The site I booked is actually the same one I have booked for the night before the race.&nbsp; I set up my tent and made dinner.&nbsp; From a camping perspective, not everything went well.&nbsp; It has been 8 years since my last (epic) kayak trip on Georgian Bay, and I haven&#39;t used my equipment since.&nbsp; So, dried out seals on the fuel pump for the camp stove.&nbsp; Broken zippers on the tent.&nbsp; Other odds and ends that were a bit of an annoyance.&nbsp; But I came to run, not camp.</p> <p>So, on Monday I set out.&nbsp; I ran the entire route, minus the 6 miles around MacDonald Lake.&nbsp; I&#39;d do that tomorrow.&nbsp; Plus the distance from the turnaround back to my camp (on a road - about 4 miles).&nbsp; This route is 25 miles out.&nbsp; So, out and back twice on race day.</p> <p>I have to say - it&#39;s rough!&nbsp; Highly technical trails.&nbsp; I was hoping for something similar to the Capreol Ski Trails, but now I see that those are a paved highway compared to the trails in Haliburton.&nbsp; So, I&#39;m sure glad I went.&nbsp; I&#39;ll have to do some major mental adjustments now in preparation.&nbsp; I was thinking of aiming for around 25 hours.&nbsp; Now I&#39;m going to allow myself the race cutoff of 30 hours and see what happens.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>It took just under 5 hours to run the 23 miles; 12:47/mile pace.&nbsp; Total elevation was 2,766 feet.&nbsp; I&#39;m pretty sure I took a wrong turn or two, but I got a pretty good idea of the route.&nbsp; It will all be flagged on race day.</p> <p>Oh, a new pain.&nbsp; Joy.&nbsp; I can add to my right groin (I can live with that) and left Plantar Fasciitus (which I&#39;m not too happy about) my right Achilles Tendon.&nbsp; I&#39;m in taper mode now, and I think I&#39;ll cut back my mileage even more than planned, just to let things heal up.&nbsp; At this point, I don&#39;t think it&#39;s the fitness I need to be concerned about. Rather, it&#39;s going to be the mental side of things.</p> <p>The deer flies were incredible!!!&nbsp; I never imagined they would be worse than those on the Capreol Trails.&nbsp; I&#39;ll have to put bug repellant on for the afternoon portion of the race.</p> <p>Oh, just 2 miles from the end, I caught up to a black bear that was ambling slowly down the road.&nbsp; About 150 feet ahead by the time I saw it.&nbsp; It didn&#39;t notice me, so I cleared my throat and it took off.</p> Mon, 19 Aug 2019 06:00:00