Week Ending November 26th 2017

This past week was an off week to recover from the previous 2 weeks of training. Coach Mike suggested I do the Musagetes 5K held at RIM park. Normally, I am not one to sign up for 5K races since:

A. They hurt...a lot.
B. I seem to have the ultra mindset that if a race doesn't go for at least a couple hours, it isn't worth the drive.

Needless to say this one did hurt quite a bit and what made it worse was that I was completely demoralized by a much younger runner. :)

I have NO problem losing to younger runners. Fact is they have that higher end speed I don't have anymore and well, they are younger. But what this girl did was simply outstanding/murderous. I caught up to her at about the 2K mark and every time I came up on her shoulder she would increase her pace and ease up again just enough to allow me to come up on her shoulder again and then boom, she was off again. It was a masterful display of how to demoralize an opponent and I think if she keeps going with her training, she will be a force some day. It really brought me back to my days running cross country in high school. Same sort of tactics, however, usually it was about who could hang on to the pace the most on a given day. 

To finish my week on Sunday I went for a 1 hour and 15 minute run after dark to test my new headlamp I purchased from wish.com. It was similar to this one, however, the one I purchased says it is 20000 lumens.  It was one of those purchases I wanted to get just to see what it was like. Back when I was at the Grindstone I was talking to Clark the race director about running in the dark and his suggestion was to get as much light as you can to see properly. So I have been testing out different lights to see what works. So the headlamp I purchased is fantastic. I had it on the brightest setting and it lasts for about 1.5 hours which isn't useful at all for an ultra race, however, it is great to use around home. And the light output is great as well. What is my point? Well, I really just wanted to say that I love running at night. The quietness of the road, the tranquility of the night and the opportunity to get out and turn off my mind is something I cherish. Running at night is something I love, I just want to be able to see. :)

Far harder than an Ultramarathon

This past Friday, October 20th, I drove back down to Virginia to attend Matt's funeral. I won't go into the details of the service itself only to say it was beautiful and heart-wrenching and I was thankful I could be there for the people that were closest and most important to Matt. The most touching and, in my opinion, perfectly articulated portion of the funeral was the poem read by Matt's sister Elizabeth to close out the service. Thank you to both families for allowing me to be a part of this day. It is something I will never forget, and it will fuel me through the long days to come. 

I'm Free (Author Unknown)

Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free
I'm following the path God laid for me.
I took His hand when I heard Him call,
I turned my back and left it all.

I could not stay another day,
To laugh, to love, to work or play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way,
I found that place at the close of day.

If my parting has left a void,
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss,
Ah yes, these things, I too, will miss.

Be not burdened with times of sorrow,
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life's been full, I savored much,
Good friends, good times, a loved one's touch.

Perhaps my time seemed all too brief,
Don't lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your heart and share with me,
God wanted me now, He set me free.

Matt, Elizabeth and Chris

What have I gotten myself into!

Two weekends ago I was down in Swoope Virginia to launch my fundraising campaign for this site. While I was there I decided to take a little run on the beginning of the Grindstone course to see what it was like. I actually did two runs, one on Friday night just as it was getting dark and then the next day I went for a longer run. The Friday night one, I had my older headlamp that doesn't really pump out a lot of light and was low on batteries. Once the sun went down and it got dark the forest REALLY changes. I remember when I used to work at a fly in fishing lodge in Northern Ontario and we would wander around the camp at night, what was once familiar quickly became unfamiliar. I was pretty sure I was lost at one point and figured I shouldn't go too far since I didn't really know the area and where I was. The next day, I went longer in the daylight and was in for a big surprise. This is what the course profile looks like:

Grindstone_ElevationMap_2014.jpg

See that teeny tiny hill on the left hand side right before the number 5? That is how far I went. Needless to say I was knackered. It was constant rocks, skinny trail running and just lots of up. This is what my workout looks like in Trainingpeaks. The red line is my heart rate (see next image), and the green line is my pace. Goes way down on that hill. 

Grindstone Workout.jpg
Grindstone HR.jpg

In terms of my heart rate, the big red block on the right side is my Zone 5 heart rate (anaerobic capacity). Essentially, this image SHOULD be the complete opposite. The big block on the far right SHOULD be on the left (aerobic range). Here is a link to the full workout.
Lets just say I will be working on spending a lot of time in the vertical position on my treadmill this winter.