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On Saturday I did a quick 8km run. I didn't feel like I was going too fast, but ended up doing the run in around 40 minutes, which is a fairly decent pace. Everything felt good, so I decided to do a kinda long run this morning. I ended up doing 21km. It was lightly raining throughout the whole run, which made the whole run cool and comfortable. I ran along the parkway for about 8km, then decided to continue along the former route of our local half marathon. This is a route that I could run in my sleep, and I really enjoy it. There weren't too many people around because of the rain, but it was nice to just kinda zone out to my music.

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Legs and shoulders today. I love working my legs. Mostly because I think they are my best feature, and there are a couple exercises that I do pretty well (although I'm going to be patient and take my time getting the weight of my squat back to where it was in the fall). I didn't quite get in all the leg exercises I had wanted to, since I had a limited time for my workout.


Shoulders I don't like working out very much, because and consequently they are my weakest muscle group. I know that I'm never going to have really strong shoulders or be able to do certain exercises, but I'm going to work harder from now on to be consistent and not avoid shoulder workouts.


I'm not posting the weights on all of these, because many of them are still shamefully low.


Scapular dips 3x15

shrugs 3x8

rear delt fly 3x8

squats 8x135 (warm up) + 5x5x185

calf press 3x8x180

front db raise 3x8

1-leg hamstring curl 3x8

lateral db raise 3x8

upright row 4x8

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As I said in the last post, it's been quite some time since i last did squats. Consequently, my back was a bit sore today from the workout yesterday. I wanted to go for a run, but wasn't sure if I would be able to because of my back. It wasn't really bad or anything, just uncomfortable enough that I didn't want it to throw off my stride. Anyways, I had kind of a lousy day at work, went home early and had a short nap, then got up and felt like trying a run. I decided to do 8km, but ended up doing a little bit more, maybe 10km total. I took it nice and easy, but still managed to run a pretty good pace. All things being equal, I'm planning to go to the gym to do biceps, back and abs tomorrow.

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Back and biceps and abs today in the gym. I started with deadlifts, 5x5x185. Still a very light weight, but with my back still getting used to squats and deadlifts again, I figured it was better to play it safe. But I know that pretty soon I'll be able to start moving up the weight again. Also did: underhand bent over rows , back extensions, incline crunches, lat pulldown, preacher curl, reverse grip bb curl, bb curl. And i finished with two planks, held for 2 min and 1 min, with only a very short break in between. Not a bad workout, all things considered.

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Yesterday evening I did a fairly good 8km run. I did a route with a couple decent hills. Some of my upcoming races have pretty significant hills, so it's about time I start getting some elevation change in my training.


Today I plan to go to the gym briefly and work chest/triceps. Then I may go for a 5km run this evening.

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Well, yesterday didn't go exactly as planned. i was feeling a bit tired, since I had been working out or running every single day for the last week and a bit. So I decided to take yesterday as a rest day. It was a good choice. I'm feeling a bit more energetic today, even though I had been up fairly late the night before (watching the late show of The Dark Knight!). So this morning I did about 21 or 22 km at a fairly decent pace, taking just over two hours. Not a bad run.

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OK, so I finally got in my chest and triceps workout that I had originally intended to do last Friday. I made it a pretty quick workout, since I'm kinda hungry and tired.


DB chest press - my stabilizer muscles are still weak, so I'm being cautious on the weight here

tricep pushdowns

pec deck


reverse grip tricep pushdowns - big, long drop set

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This evening I went wall climbing with a couple friends for about two hours. It was pretty fun. I have great upper body strength, but zero technique. So I climb very inefficiently, wasting energy hanging by my hands while my legs just kinda flail around. But it was a good time nonetheless.

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I've got a race coming up today. It's a 10 miler at 6:30pm I've never raced this distance and I've never raced in the evening. Well, I've never started a race in the evening. I hate 10k's, but I love the half marathon distance, so I might really enjoy running 16km or I might really hate it. We'll see. Also it's a multi-lap course, 3 x 5.33km, which will make for an interesting experience. Weather is cloudy and cool, and it looks like rain.


I'll go out on a limb and make a prediction of 1 hour 19 minutes.

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The no-frills 10-miler is a small event put on by the local running club. The name says it all; nothing but water at the aid stations, no t-shirt, no timing chip, no big prizes. Just a measured course and a stopwatch. The course consisted of three laps of 5.33km each through the Central Experimental Farm. There were a few minor ups and downs but the course was flat for the most part. This was the first run I've ever done that started in the evening and I've never done a 10 mile race before so this was going to be a learning experience for me.


The start of the race was as low key as you would expect from a race like this. Around 100 of us toed the line. The RD gave announcements for less than a minute, then just yelled “Go!” I ran the first lap with my friend Mark, who is generally a little bit faster than me. We were both feeling good as we came back to the finish line in around 27:30, which put us on pace for a decent finishing time of 1:22:30. I wanted to push myself a little bit, so in the second lap I slowly pulled away from Mark. He held a very even pace throughout the whole race, but I gradually sped up and started picking off other runners. By the end of the second lap (54:11; 26:40 lap time), I had passed at least ten other runners.


In the last lap I was starting to get tired but I knew that if I held my pace I could finish close to my goal of 1:20. Near the start of the last lap I passed a former running buddy. I said “Hi Luc! Remember me? I'm the ultrarunner, we used to run together”. He kind of nodded but without any recognition. Later on, as I ran towards him on an out and back portion of the course, he said to me “Hey! I remember! Ultraman!”. Other runners were having a hard time as well, and I continued to pass people up until the very last km. In the last couple hundred meters, I tried to chase down one last runner. We took turns surging and holding each other off, but in the end he had a little bit more in the tank than I did. He finished three or four seconds ahead of me. I crossed the finish line in 1:20:3x (around 27:00 for the final lap). Mark finished just over a minute behind me. We stuck around for the awards, and I got a coolmax t-shirt as a draw prize. All in all, it was a great race and I hope to do some more races of this distance in the future.

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Sounds like fun! It always feels a lot better to pace yourself at first and end up passing people toward the end than burning out and being passed. That's a really solid time, good job!


Thanks! I'm very happy with how it went. Now i kinda wish there were more 10-mile races around town.


This afternoon medman and I went for a 7ish km run. It was cloudy out and started raining partway through which was nice and cool. I was still a bit tired out from the race yesterday, so the pace was fairly moderate.

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Yesterday I did a long run in Gatineau Park. I had been planning this run for a long time, and now that I'm leaving Ottawa soon I decided it was my last chance to do this run. The plan was to explore some of the more remote and interesting parts of the park that I hadn't visited before. I'm going to let the pictures do the talking here.


Me at the very start of the run. 8:30am Saturday at the college in Hull.



About 12km in. This is a part of the park that I know like the back of my hand.



A nice view of the Ottawa Valley



At Meech Lake



Meech lake



I almost stepped on this little guy! He was standing so still that I didn't even notice him until I had to jump out of this way.



Going down this hill was fun, but I knew that I had to go back up and over.



About 2km from Wakefield, this was the furthest north that I reached on my run.



Running in Gatineau Park you get lots of glimpses of lakes through the trees.



I made it to Lake Phillipe, a popular camping area, about 45-50 km into the run.



If anyone ever tells you that going spelunking in the middle of an all day run is a bad idea, tell them to bring it up with me.



I was prepared with a headlamp and two flashlights. Other cavers has less foresight, and I had to share my lights with them.



Inside Lusk Cavern. It may look like there is lots of light, but a large portion of the cavern is complete darkness



The last time I was in here was five years ago, and the cave has become noticeably different in that time. For much of the way through, you are in chest deep water.



The exit from Lusk Cavern. How did my camera stay dry?






Lusk Lake. Yesterday, I had it all to myself.




I almost cried when I saw this at the side of the road near the Taylor Lake campsite. I was thirsty from trying to conserve water, and I knew that I was starting to run low. But I didn't know how low I actually was. When I started to refill my bottles and my backpack, I realized that I had less than a cup of water left.



This was the moment that I decided to cut my run a bit short. I had lots of water with me from the tap, but the damage was already done. I had covered 70-75km, and was very happy with my day. But I was exhausted and didn't want to spend the night in the park.



I reached a road about 2km from here and hitched to Eardley, then from there to Aylmer. Note to self, Highway 148 is a lousy place to ride the thumb. I caught a bus from there back to the city, and arrived home around 8:30. My feet were in pretty good shape despite being soaked and shriveled up, but my back was red and raw from the bouncing of my hydration pack. I literally screamed when the water from the shower hit my back. All in all, it was a pretty great time. Here is a map of my approximate route:



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This is the part of my training cycle called the taper, in which I do very little activity in the two weeks leading up to an ultramarathon race. Here is the race website. Looks kinda fun and a bit nutty, right? I'm doing the 24-hour solo run along with a couple dozen other people. The course is a 10km trail, which will be a lot more fun than the last 24-hour race I did (on a 400m track!)


In the meantime, I plan to do a leg workout today or tomorrow, a short (1 hour) night run on Friday, and maybe one more trip to the gym next week. But for the most part I'm just kicking back and trying to relax.

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The taper jitters were driving me mad, so I called up a buddy of mine and we went bouldering. Anything to get rid of some energy! Early in the evening, on maybe my fourth third climb of the night, I tried to a long reach with my left hand. And my shoulder dislocated. Ouch. Anyways, since it was so early I didn't want to quit, so I sat out the next few climbs and then kept going for another hour and a half or so. It was a pretty good workout, and my hands aren't as sore as last time.

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I went for a short night run in the woods tonight with a friend of mine. It was only an hour long, but had some pretty decent hills. My shoulder was still sore from yesterday, but didn't interfere with the run at all.

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On Friday night I went for an hour long run in the woods with a friend of mine. We're both doing an ultramarathon this coming weekend, so this was our last chance to get in some night training. I'm getting excited.

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This weekend I'm running my third ultramarathon of the year. It's a 24-hour trail race. The goal is for me to run as far as possible in a single day, starting at 8am Saturday and running until 8 on Sunday. The course is a 10km loop through the forest. Based on my performance at the 100 miler in May, I might be able to come close to breaking 160 km in this race. BUT, it's August now and alot will depend on the weather. Also, fixed time races have a completely different psychology than fixed distance races, and I don't always thrive in these races. My previous experiences in fixed time races were a 6 hour race (50km) and a 24-hour track race (121km), both in the summer of 2004.


Here is the website for the race. As you can tell, it's marketed as a bit of a quirky race. Should be alot of fun. Mostly I'm just doing it for this awesome t-shirt.


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Good luck!! I hope you reach 160k. What/how much do you eat during such long races? Do you have to bring your own bars and stuff? I know shorter races usually have certain things we can eat, like bananas, but most offer bagels and things like that that aren't vegan.

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