I don’t know, the weather is getting me down

Like everyone else in Edmonton I fee we did not have a summer.  I can’t use that as an excuse for not running, I’m trying to put on more k’s.  I managed to get some runs in over the last 2 weeks.  5K Friday, 5 Peaks Chickacoo 13.8k, 10k Sunday, 10k the following Sunday.  My back is still an issue we have not resolved at physio.  I will keep on it.  I managed 2 trips to the gym this week, upper body and core mostly.  If I don’t run I should be doing something.  So, back at it, trying to run more.


Weight:  198.0

Hard to get started again

Didn’t make the runs I wanted to do.  Last Sunday was prepared to do a long run but I screwed my lower back up.  Was constantly sore for a week until Physio this last Friday, much better, I consider it fixed.  So, I ran 18k today.  Maybe a bit long, my back was tweaky around 15k.  I fully intend to do 5 Peaks at Chickacoo this Saturday, Enduro, 13.8k.  Should be fun. Forecast so far is for nice weather.  Al my other aches and pains appear to be gone, still tired in the afternoons, all my hormones are at normal levels, so I will keep plugging along and stop looking for a reason. I’ve been asked if I am training for anything.  In general I’m training to do Sinister Solo next year, but this year, maybe Rivers Edge. It’s late in the year and weather can be crappy, but I feel like doing it.

Weight:  195.8

So, now what?

I had physio, ran 10k on Sunday.  Feel generally fine, my left foot still has a small problem that gets worse the longer the distance, my right ankle and knee told me to take is slower on Sunday.  I would like to get a couple of 5’s in this week, try a longer one again on Sunday.  Here are some final pics of the race, the professional pics turned out great this year.

Weight: 194.8

1 week after Sinister, what’s up

The entire week my left foot has been bothering me.  Not during the race, not right after.  After 2 physio sessions it is much better, but now my right ankle is sore.  What gives?  And my right knee aches?  I’m mostly over the exhaustion.  There will be times where I “hit the wall”  and become sleepy tired in a second.  I’m still getting my system to adjust to food, seems I rattled my innerds a bit.  No running this week, considering a 5k on Wednesday, maybe a run on Sunday, though the 5 Peaks is on Saturday, I might do that.  Overall, things are looking up and I’m feeling better every day.

Sinister 7 done, so what happened

We arrived on Friday around 4pm.  Our team went to register and settle in at the orientation supper.  The take away was that this is the wettest race in the 12 years of doing it.  Awesome, we will run in the mud.  And we did.

Steph started with Leg 1, Louise boarded the bus to Leg 2.  They both finished in good time giving me as much extra as possible.  Shane totally expended himself on Leg 3, leaving the rest to me.

I started Leg 4 around 4:30 in the afternoon and it was a tough, slow climb up a mountain before heading west from Blairmore to past Coleman.  The weather was pretty good all around, except for the 30 minute downpour when I was running out in the open. At the transition I changed my shoes, socks, hat and shirt.  I wanted to do Leg 5 lite, so I kept my marathon pack on that had minimal room for anything but water and food.  Off I went for Leg 5 at 8:30.

Tough going with the mud and huge lakes of water on the trails.  At night you don’t see them until you are close, so I was constantly running from side to side to get around the water.  I managed to fall into one of the dirty ponds on the road, shorted out my main headlamp, used my spare not so bright light. I took longer than I expected, more exhaustion.  At this point, no injuries, no real pains actually.  Just tired legs. I came into the transition at 2:30 in the morning. It was hard to muster the drive to go on, but I was only half way, and I had time to walk it out.

After changing out my shirt to a warmer one, change my pack to my larger pack and changing my socks again I headed out on Leg 6.

The race organizers describe Leg 6 as “some of the most remote terrain on the course as they make their way to the evil climb north of Seven Sisters Mountain.”  And an evil climb it was. Climbing that elevation in the mud was brutal.  My legs were already tired, I was exhausted and my feet were getting sore from being wet for so long.  All I could think about was getting to the top, taking a picture, and running down the other side so I could do it without injury.  I did all that, but I had to push myself to do any running.  I managed to come in at 10:30.  I had cell coverage and texted my team how far I was away.  Based on that information my team calculated that I might not finish the last leg in the allotted time.  I wanted to finish what I started but there was a chance I might not do that.  Steph offered to run the last leg. I will always tell the story that Steph then ripped off his tear-away pants, grabbed a water bottle and tore up Leg 7.  In reality he already planned to run the leg just in case, and just removed his pants like a normal person, revealing his running shorts.  We finished in time, got the medal, got the picture.  My team came through again.

It is the day after the race, I have gone to physio and the podiatrist.  My legs are tight, I’m tired, my feet are a bit sore, but mechanically everything is good.

6 days to Sinister 7

Since my last post I ran a bit, not as much as maybe I should, but my paranoia over injury kept me off the trails. Last week Sunday I went for a 5 hour run.  Not so concerned about distance, just wanted to go until I was done.  And I did,  33.8k in 5 hours.  Ran from Rundle Park to Terwilligar, then headed towards 178st.  That is a long way.  I did a ton of walking, found I was tight and my back was a bit sore.  On Thursday I did a 5k, today 14.3k in the river valley.  I’m starting to get my gear together, don’t want to forget anything.  I will probably run 2 different camel packs, one is smaller and lighter and will use that for the first 2 legs.  I will need more gear when I climb the mountain on Leg 6, toque, warm shirt or vest, running poles, snowshoes.

I hope to get a good picture on this race, I plan to hand someone my phone when I make it to the top of the mountain to take a picture.

Weight: 197.8

Closer to Sinister, where am I at…

2 weeks since my last post, just didn’t have the time.  But I do now.

3 Sundays ago I did my first run after Blackfoot, a 10k.  Went well enough, wanted to test my legs and feet.  I stressed the right foot and physio didn’t really do much for it.  The Sunday after that I ran 25k with Steph and Louise in the River Valley.  Started at Emily Murphy and ran to Terwilligar.  Along the way we met Shane, our team was complete.  Steph cut his run to about 16k, we continued on, actually had our team meeting for Sinister.  The week after I ran a 5k on Wednesday and 10k Friday morning.  Great runs, much faster than I expected.  I don’t really look at my watch anymore when I do straight street runs, I run by feel.  This last Sunday I ran 30k, started at Hermitage Park.  Steph and Louise started with me, made it close to Dawson, they headed back for a hot 20k.  Heat, humidity, mosquitoes.  Good times.  Both Louise and I could not get wind and our legs were tired.  I pushed on to do 15k and back, finished a 30.2k.  I’m a little tight, sore in the aductors and lower back.  My right foot is a bit screwed, I have physio on Friday, hopefully he can see if there is a problem.  Different than the other foot pain, this is the outside of the foot and I have a big red spot there, like I hit something.  I just don’t recall what.

Next Sunday I would like to go out 4 hours, unless the weather is shitty.  Rain and mud are not necessary for training. I would like to start at Hermitage or Rundle and go until I am done, then call for a pickup. I would have 2 weeks to race, I can rest a bit with some lighter runs.

weight:  197.6


Getting back at it, it’s been a week

Friday physio. We worked on my lower back and glutes. No real structural or mechanical problems.  Still didn’t address my foot.  I ran today, a 10k.  Wanted to see where any issues are so I can get them looked at before I ramp up the distance again.  I have a weird nerve pain in my right leg.  Below the knee and shooting down the right side of the shin, as I run I would get a single “shock”, not real painful but it buckles the leg a bit. My right foot has something going on, not painful but more of a distraction. All of it is in the same area, makes me wonder if I have a pinched nerve in the hip or back on that side.  Something to look at on Friday’s Physio. Otherwise the run was good.  I want to get several short runs in for the next couple of weeks, and maybe on the 23rd do a seriously long run in the river valley.  Anyone want to join?  That will give me 2 weeks before Sinister.  Shane, our Leg 3 ringer has asked if I would be able to pace him at Lost Souls.  He is doing 200k. 200!  He wants a pacer for the last 54 and the 38k chunk at the end.  I’m considering it.

Weight:  196.0

days after the race

I need to document how I feel after a race like Saturday’s.  If I’m smart enough to look back at this later I might be more comfortable.

The day after I was sore and stiff.  Expected.  If I kept moving it was better, if I settled it was hard to get started.  No real specific pain spots, more like the muscles didn’t or couldn’t do more, and some muscles were tightening up.  It needs to be a rest day, and an Advil day.  There are some that hammered me by taking it too much, my liver will be damaged, all kind of scary things.  When your physio tells you to keep up on it during the day, you should do that.  Inflammation is the problem.  I didn’t take as much as I could, so I suffered a bit.

The next day was physio.  He just worked on the spots that were a problem.  He went into the groin but not with needles.  He needled my lower and mid back, glutes, and neck and shoulders.  I felt amazing after that.  I still had a right big toe issue, not the toe but the bone running up the foot.  We didn’t address that.  I was able to move better without cramping, but I still had problems moving. I had to concentrate on where I wanted my legs to move me, otherwise it looked like I was drunk. I realized the leg sockets and muscles around the area were weak and I had issues lifting my legs.  Day 2 needs to be a light day at best.

Day 3, that is the discovery day.  I discovered where my problems really are.  I wouldn’t say injuries, they are not permanent or require long healing time, but the “spots” that need help.  Lower back, for sure, my knees are a bit sore, and exhaustion. I know I pushed myself past where I wanted to go, but I never really thought I would still be worn out.  I fade early in the day, just no energy. I think I’m still in recovery? I didn’t consume anything that would give me some pep, I needed to feel it so I know later what to expect. In the afternoon my system just came to a stop. And my eating was not right, my digestive system was not normal.  When I was about an hour from finishing the race I could feel my stomach and everything lower bouncing and generally unhappy.  3 days later it still is.

I see physio again in 3 days. That should get me ready to move again.  I’m trying to rest, but I still need to work, it is a balance.  A 5 Peaks race on Saturday, I don’t think I’m up for that, but I may be up for a short run with my peeps on Sunday. Less than 6 weeks to Sinister, I know I can finish my 4 legs, I can’t over train before that, just maintain and make sure my gear is working, and replace what is not,

I reached my next goal, Blackfoot!

I will start with some house cleaning.  Since my lat post a month ago, I caught a cold that settled into my lungs.  I had to miss Run Wild half marathon on May 5th.  It took a while to shake it, I managed a 10k run and a 19k run in the River Valley a week later.  The next week was a 21.1k.  Not as much running as I wanted to do before Blackfoot.

So, what about Blackfoot? The night before I had sore knees.   I have been renovating our basement for a month and did a lot of work on my hands and knees. I wasn’t sure if it would cause a problem on the run, it was more joint pain than muscle. I planned out all my gear, laid it all out.  Morning started at 4.  I had to have something to eat, mix my water and pack up.  They wanted you there by 6 and it was a 1 hour drive. I made a change bag that I left at one of the buildings at the start/finish line.   My plan was to change out clothes after each lap. I stored my bag, got my timing chip and waited.  It was about 7 deg, no wind, sun was coming up.  A little chilly but I didn’t over dress. For the 50 mile (80k) we ran 2.5k out and back, then there would be 3 laps of 25k.  I started out OK, my knees were a bit sore but I waited to see if it would get worse.  Starting the first 25k lap was also the start of my pain management.  I had to stretch out my quads regularly, it felt like they were pulling my knees. I was more of an annoying feeling than actual pain. There was rain the night before and the course was wet. They were wide trails, mostly packed dirt or grass.  Tons of hills. There was a section that was all mud.  The entire trail for at least 1k was mud uphill and downhill.

There were 3 stations that had water and food.  One was a bacon station.  They had bacon, bacon chocolate chip cookies, bacon pancakes, and they all had PB&J sandwiches, bananas, and watermelon. My food for the day was mostly the sandwiches, bananas and watermelon. The first lap went well, I was feeling good, finished the first 30k in 4 hours.  I changed my socks, shirts and shorts and started #2. The sun was out and was drying the trail, and the 50k race that started was pounding the mud down.  About 15k into that lap I realized I had no pain, but I was also walking much more.  Near the end of that lap I was exhausted and I didn’t feel like I had anything left to move my legs.  About 1k before the end of that lap I rounded a corner.  There was Steph and Louise holding up signs. They drove out and waited for me to come by. I was a spectacularly awesome thing to do.  My team was there. We walked to the staging area, 4 hour lap, I thought I would stop at 55k, but they motivated me.  I changed some clothes, took a 5 Hour Energy and some Advil.  I don’t know if it was what they said or just there presence, but I thought I had enough time to finish the last lap. I had just under 4 hours to finish, but I knew I would be walking more.  They walked me into the tail a bit and we parted.  I felt energized and did some running.  Lots of running actually.  I kept going until I needed a walk, then ran some more.  I figured that if I felt good now I should run as much as I can, the back half of the course is where I will be walking.  And I was right. The mud was pounded down to a trail, it got cloudy which made the heat less of an issue and I had more than enough water to just keep going.  And I did, I finished that lap in 3 hours 50 minutes. I was tire and sore at the end, but not in real pain.  It was no different than any other race I had done.  I write this the morning after.  I am stiff, no knee pain, actually feeling better than after Sinister or Death Race. I think I am ready for 93k of Sinister 7 in 6 weeks.

So, the race stats:

80k in 11 hours 51 minutes, average pace 9.07, elevation gain 1002m, 7223 calories burned. Average heart rate 136, max 169.

Weight: 191.8