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Contest Training Journal for markc7 and WendyRC


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I was a bit sore today after my hard workout yesterday. Plus pamela took Wendy and I out for a huge meal this afternoon, so I was a bit hesitant to do a long run today. But I waited until the evening and then went out for a nice 24.5km run. I kept the pace relaxed but not too slow.

 

Wendy and I were thinking of doing a 6-hour run in the woods tomorrow. Unfortunately Wendy has a bit of a cold, so I may have to go alone.

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I ended up doing a hard hilly trail run of about 30km this morning. The trails were clear of snow, but very muddy. It rained last night and only stopped raining just before I started my run. I did two repeats of a hard, steep hill called the Penguin, and really picked up the pace on the downhill. In total, I ran 1500m of ascent and descent. The whole run felt really good, although I was still just a bit tired from my run yesterday and the day before. Tomorrow will be a day off.

 

Oh, and this weekends runs put me over 800km (~500 miles ) for the year so far.

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At lunchtiem today I did a chest and triceps workout. Then this evening I went for a 7.5km run. I had eaten soon before the run, and my stomach wasn't feeling great. Then to make matters worse I decided to do some pull-ups and burpees in the park at the end of the run. Dumb.

 

Now I'm eating some crystalized ginger and my stomach is feeling much better.

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Yesterday and today I've started doing the Workout of the Day from the American Parkour website. Today's workout was to try to get the most "points" in 30 minutes, with each skill scoring a certain number of points. For example, doing 50 pushups is one point, while doing 100 burpees is five points. I did 10x100m sprints, 25 pullups, 50 pushups, 1 mile run, 1 min plank, and 100 squats, which was worth 12 points. Fun stuff.

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I’ll try to make this run report a bit shorter than the last one. Once again I set out for Gatineau Park in the early evening. I arrived at the college at 9:15, and started running at a relaxed pace; these all night runs aren’t about speed but about getting used to being on the feet for hours in the dark. It was a clear night but the moon was not up yet. I ran with a headlamp for a couple km, but realized it wasn’t giving me quite enough light to run the rugged trails, and switched to a handheld flashlight.

 

The first ten kilometers of the run was the same as my last night run. There were a couple of technical sections in here (last time this was covered in snow and much easier to run), but for the most part it was runable and not too challenging. About ten km into the run I saw a porcupine crossing the trail, and he stuck his butt out at me in a defensive posture. When I started running again, he scooted off into the safety of the bushes. I ran up to the top of the Penguin, and then turned onto Ridge Road. My course diverged from the last run after about one kilometer on Ridge. Instead of continuing west, I turned north and headed down the north side of the escarpment. This section was a huge surprise to me. I had never run that trail before, at night or in the daytime. The footing was comprised of slippery, thick mud filled with football-sized rocks. Perfect for tripping or rolling an ankle. I paid close attention to my footing, but the unstable ground caused me to take a couple tumbles. By the end of this section, I had gone through a couple mud puddles ankle deep, and my feet were soaked.

 

In the middle of this trail, I was surprised to find a chalet for skiers and mountain bikers, which doesn’t appear on the park map. There were a couple of vending machines with sports drink advertised as “Bien Froid”; not exactly what I needed on a night where the temperatures dropped to 5C, but it was nice to know that it was there. I continued on the trail for another few kilometers until reaching a road. At this point, I wasn’t entirely sure which way to turn. My general route was heading northwest, but I felt that I was supposed to turn right, directly east. I sat down in the middle of the road and consulted my map. Yep, east would lead me to the next trail where I would then turn sharply back west. The road section was a nice break from the ankle worrying trail, but it was a steep downhill and I began to dread having to run back up it later. By this point, the full moon was shining brightly and I could run the road and even some trails without my light.

 

Eventually I hit trail 36, which would be my companion for the next 25 km. This trail roughly follows the north shore of Meech Lake, and is generally fairly runable. A couple sections had very steep downhills, and there were some rocky bits. But there were also a few miles of old logging road, and I sped up considerably on these. This probably wasn’t a good idea (at one point I was running 4 minute kilometers!) because it tired me out for the technical sections that I would be returning to later in the run. At one point, my trail abruptly disappeared, and I found myself facing nothing but a bog. I was a bit frustrated, because I didn’t want to stop but I had no idea where the trail was to go around. I thought about turning back at this point, but then decided to just cross the bog on foot. Why? Adventure! When I got to the other side, my shoes full of smelly water and debris, I easily found the trail that I had lost. On the way back, I would have no problem finding the trail and going around the bog.

 

After 27 km, I reached my turn around point, the Heridge cabin out in the middle of nowhere. I went inside to warm up a bit (this part of the woods was very cold), and ate a Clif bar. I should mention here that although I was eating and drinking throughout the run, I didn’t do as good a job of it as last time. I wasn’t peeing nearly as often, and I just didn’t have an appetite for any of the food that I had brought with me. I left the warmth of Heridge and started on my way back towards civilization. I was chilly, and spent much of the next hour running with my hands under my armpits. I also missed a few turns in this section, likely because fatigue and glycogen depletion were setting in. But a couple detours aside, I soon made it back to the trailhead and back into the muddy parts of the run. While this part of the run on the outward-bound leg was dangerous and exciting, the way home was tiring, physically challenging, and slow going. I climbed over 200m in thick wet mud, and was actually glad to see the road ahead. I decided to run the road and get it over with. It actually wasn’t as steep and I had remembered it on the way out.

 

With the mud behind me, I reached Ridge Road at around 3:00. This presented me with a bit of a problem; if I continued straight back to the start I would arrive there before 4:30, way to early for buses to be running. Although I was tired and footsore, the thought of sitting in a bus shelter for an hour was not appealing. I decided to run a loop on a trail called Skyline, which is connected to Ridge. This trail is nasty technical. With sharp rocks, steep hills, gnarly roots, and tree cover that blocked the moonlight, Skyline in the dark is a roadrunner’s nightmare. But it offers some big rewards in terms of views of the Ottawa valley, especially at this time of year when the trees don’t yet have their leaves. Skyline was also the highest elevation on my run, nearly 300m higher than my starting point at the college. With that loop completed in just under an hour, I could now return to the bus stop and not have to wait for hours.

 

The rest of the run was pretty uneventful. I saw the sunrise and the full moon begin to set. As it got brighter, my vision started to go a bit shaky. My eyes were just taking longer to focus, but for a while it felt like I was in one of those non-steadycam movie sequences like in the Borne Identity. I tried my best to concentrate on my foot placement, and fortunately managed to make it through without any spills. I reached the bus stop just before 6:00, called Wendy to check in, and had to wait only five minutes before a bus arrived. The run was a total of 56 kilometers, with over 3300m of climb and descent.

 

When I arrived home, I weighted myself and found that I had lots about five pounds on the run. Not bad, but I’ve really got to do a better job of hydrating once the weather gets warm. So now I sit here typing this up, desperately wanting to go to bed but forcing myself to stay awake until I get enough fluids in. This was my last LONG run before the 100 miler in three weeks. I’m planning a 34 km run with Wendy this weekend, and I may do a moderate distance run the following weekend. But I’m done with night runs for now, and the taper is officially on! Thanks for reading.

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Wendy wasn't feeling too great this weekend, so we only did a short run together Sunday (14km). We both felt kinda blah, her because she's getting over a cold and me because I'm still tired from the night run.

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I only heard the last five minutes or so (she didn't want me there are all, because she felt nervous). But what I heard sounded good, and the crowd seemed to be enjoying it. After the talk and on the run everyone was thanking her for a great talk. So I think she did very well.

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I went for a 9km run this afternoon, which felt great. I had been thinking about hitting the track for some speedwork, but there was a rugby game going on at that field. So I just did some extra running and then went to a park nearby to do some bodyweight exercises. I did 4 sets of 10 chin ups; 5+10 pullups, 3x30 pushups (incline, flat and decline), and 2x50 squats.

 

Part way through all this, I stopped to talk to a guy for a while about training and veganism. He actually seemed pretty interested in veganism and natural bodybuilding.

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Yesterday I did a short run in the late morning. Today I did another short run, but also did a workout from the American Parkour site. This time it was pullups (or muscle ups, which I can't do yet), dips, 200m sprints, and one legged squats. in total, I ended up doing ~60 dips, over 20 1-legged squats on each leg, and just over 100 pullups! I'm pretty pleased with that, as I've never done that many pullups in a single day. My arms are tired.

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Today I did a 15km run, followed by about 20 minutes of yoga (thanks for the dvd pamela!). I may do a few short runs and one speedwork session this week. But for the most part it's just rest and recovery until the 26th.

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Today I did a 15km run, followed by about 20 minutes of yoga (thanks for the dvd pamela!). I may do a few short runs and one speedwork session this week. But for the most part it's just rest and recovery until the 26th.

 

Wow, I was totally wiped today and couldn't do anything (partly problems that you as a man will never have to deal with ). Good for you! Did you do the "Al half" of the DVD?

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Did you do the "Al half" of the DVD?

 

Not yet. I did my run right before the yoga, and was a bit too pooped to do two routines. I'll try Al's half next time.

 

Al makes me want to rip my eyes out. Of course, that's probably because I've done the routine dozens of times.

 

I can bring my yoga dvd collection by on Sunday if you want to check them out.

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The taper is making me ansty. I want to run, but I know I shouldn't. I'm allowing myself to do a couple of very short runs between now and next weekend. Today I did a 4km fartlek run. I didn't wear a watch so i don't know my time or pace, but I picked up the speed four or five times to around 5K race pace. After the run, I did a short bodyweight workout in the park.

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The taper is making me ansty.

Today I did a 4km fartlek run.

 

What is a taper? What is a fartlek?

 

A taper is when you progressively reduce your training in the weeks leading up to an event. in running, I usually do 100% mileage 4 weeks out, then 75% 3 weeks out, and so on until the week before the race I do practically no running. It makes we kinda energetic and frustrated because I can't do something that has become second nature.

 

Fartleks are a really fun type of speed workout. I think the word "Fartlek" means "speedplay" in Swedish (or maybe Finnish?). Other kinds of speedwork involve running for a set distance at a set pace for a specific number of repetitions with a specific interval between each rep. When you do a fartlek, all the variables are up in the air, and nothing is predetermined. So you might pick up the pace by 1 min/km for 100m, then slow down for 200m, then run at 5K pace for 1km, then run relaxed for 50m, then sprint 50m, then jog very easy for 1km, etc etc. You get a pretty good workout, and it's mentally refreshing because you're free of the usual pressures of time and pace.

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This Saturday I will be running the Sulphur Springs 100 mile race for the second time. It's a nice course, mostly fairly non-techincal trail with a few tougher sections and moderately hilly (17,000 feet elevation change over the 100 miles). THe course is eight 20-mile loops with aid stations every 5km.

 

One of the things that will make this race interesting is the weather forcast. It's calling for warm days between now and the race (25C), with a fair bit of rain on Friday. So Saturday morning may be a bit slippery.

 

Last year I finished in 28 hours 34 minutes. I'm hoping to improve this time, but I have no specific time goal. Sub 27 would be great, and I think that's realistic. My training has generally been better this year, especially with respect to doing night runs. Barring a few phantom pains that have cropped up this week, I'd injury free and chomping at the bit to get running. Wendy is coming to; she'll be running the 50 miler and then hanging out at one of the aid stations to help me out during the night.

 

Wish me luck!

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This Saturday I will be running the Sulphur Springs 100 mile race for the second time.

Wendy is coming to; she'll be running the 50 miler and then hanging out at one of the aid stations to help me out during the night.

 

Wish me luck!

 

GOOD LUCK TO YOU BOTH!!

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