Saturday, December 25, 2010

Exercise Shmexercise

Merry Christmas, everyone! Eat Well...really well...and run it off tomorrow. Mantra for today is...

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Restless Mind of an Off Season Runner

This blog is really a question of motivation during some of the years toughest training months, November and December. Most of us leave for work in the dark and by the time we arrive home at night it's dark again. With the winter solstice just a couple days away this will start to change, but we still have to fit work outs into the dark and cold until at least the end of March.

When I wrote and posted my last entry, Treadmills: Going Nowhere Fast, I felt like a bit of a jerk. I know some fantastic people and incredibly successful athletes that run the mill, but nonetheless I still didn't see the point in beating one's self up on that thing...until I started to get some feedback via comments, emails, and conversations. It's my problem that I can't' stand the mill, but the motivation and passion for running these people have to run on these things blows my mind. By and large folks agreed the treadmill wasn't all that pleasant, but they did what they had to do get in a run or the training necessary to compete. People like Sue Lucas, who needs no introduction, live in climates where it's just not possible to always be out running. She loves her mill to boot. Then there's "Moogy" who I don't know, but who spends months at a time working on ships and runs in front of his HD flatscreen for three hours at time so that when he's home he's fit to run ultras. There's also Mr. Deadmill Fury who emailed me to say he liked the mill for it's convenience and precision. Like many others he appreciates the speed, distance, etc. precision. Of course he wants to be out running, but sometimes it just doesn't fit into the schedule. Finally there's Brook who wouldn't comment. I caught her going to the treadmill at the gym though and she immediately laughed and put her down. It was ironic that she had just read my rant and now here I was. She was honest in saying what other women had said, it's sometimes just not safe for women to be out there after dark, especially on the trails; plus she had been injured for a while.

Anyway, for whatever the reason folks are hitting the treadmill, I am astounded at their passion and resulting devotion to running. It doesn't matter how or where, they just want to run. That I get.

So how does this relate to motivation? Since late September I 've found myself restless with running and subsequently a bit unmotivated, particularly on the cold, wet nights after a days work. I inevitably power through it, sometimes because I commit to a workout via Twitter and the entire social network knows I said I'm going so I have to, but really because I love the feeling I get when I'm done. I always feel great when I'm finished, whether it's a gym workout, a XC burner, a night run, a climb up BCMC, or a snowshoe running session.

Slowly but surely this restless runners mind is coming to ease thanks to the motivation/passion of treadmill runners believe it or not. Perhaps I'm coming to terms with the variety that is inherent in this time of year. As well, I've noticed that some amazing athletes, like Adam Campbell and Jude Ultra, have started posting their 2011 schedules which has prompted me to do the same. (That's another blog post though). Being a goal oriented person, like so many runners, I find it helps to start thinking ahead and determining what it will take to be at my best throughout the year.

For now I need to heed my own mantra and RUN NOW. Restlessness is not part of running in my mind, but it seems to have gotten the better of me without my permission.

Happy running and playing this holiday season. Eat hard, run harder.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Treadmills: Goin'Nowhere Fast

Each morning when I leave my building, even in the summer time, I notice our small gym facility to be in use. Not the nautilus weight unit, or the glorified Tony Little-style Gazelle ( I think it's actually an elliptical machine). It's the tread mill. That thing is running 24/7. These people don't look like hamsters, so why do they want to go 'round and 'round. Are they allergic to fresh air and sunlight? Let's get'em one of those see-through balls that hamsters go in. We can tint the plastic to protect these athletic vampires from the light of day. At least they'll get outside.

Pardon me, I just don't understand this. We live in one of the most wonderful parts of the world - British Columbia. There are trails within 15 minutes of most people's door steps. Even during last weeks deep freeze, these folks could have gotten outside.

Two Christmases ago it snowed a significant amount in the Vancouver area and then froze. It made the trails pretty challenging to run on so I decided to try a treadmill run at the nearby gym. I got there about nine and signed my name to the little white dry erase board. I had to if I wanted to reserve myself a spot on this go-nowhere machine. In fact, I signed my name to three white boards because I was only allowed 20 minutes on each machine. The machines were humming along and the pitter patter of each expert runner created a sort of non-rhythm rhythm so I waited my turn on the stretch mat. I didn't know what the hell else to do with myself. There I sat with my ass down on the blue mat and touching my toes a little and #4 machine came available. The runner's workout had beeped her off that machine and prompted her to start wiping the sweat off it. She walked away pretty proud of herself and I jumped on and quickly poked the start button. I pushed the up arrow and started going nowhere fast. Looking out the window I was feeling weird. I was looking over at other peoples speeds and distances, reading the signs on the walls, observing some really huge dudes, and suddenly I realized I was bored. I'd been running for 6 minutes. I didn't know how I was to survive the next 14 minutes and get off and move to another two machines for 40 more minutes. I couldn't do it. I hit stop, didn't wipe my machine down, erased my name from the other two white boards, and went home.

I don't know how you do it Treadmill people. Perhaps it's mental fortitude? Perhaps you enjoy the controlled environment? Knowing your time, pace, calories, target heart rate zone? Maybe it's like a quicky, not a great, but better than nothing when you're in a rush?

Whatever it is, I admire your will to survive such a work out in the interest of your own health. I suppose it's a LOVE/HATE thing. I love that Treadmills keep people active and ultimately healthy, but I hate thinking they're making people bored like I was.

I saw this video a few years ago and I think this is the only way I could avoid feeling like I'm going nowhere fast.

If you frequently cruise the treadmill strip I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Daylight Savings Time

After not running this weekend I knew I needed to get in a run early in the week. The trouble is that I work until 3:30/4:00pm and by the time I get home and changed it's getting dark, especially in the trees. I think the official time of sunset is around 4:30, so you can imagine how the blackness sets in rapidly after that.

On Monday I raced home, pulled the zips tight on my Speed Cross II and headed out toward Capilano Canyon. I didn't have my Apex headlamp on right away, but by the time I crossed the river I couldn't see my hand in front of my face. Being in the dark, I find to be quite exhilarating, particularly when I'm alone. I have to admit I get a bit scared. Not enough to stop running, but enough to get myself moving faster. Every little crack and breeze seems to create enough noise to sound like Godzilla is after me. I'm that guy running through the dark forest shouting the occasional, "HELLO!", and constantly shoulder checking to see what beastly organism is chasing me. So far nothing has ever chased me, nor have I ever seen anything, but I suppose I'm better to be cautious rather than ignorant.

I'd had a particularly ugly Monday so when I got home I found it hard not to venture to the comforts of my couch. In hindsight lacing up and trotting into the black was the best decision I made all day. After a burn in the dark I arrived home elated...high on smiles. I really needed to get out there and turn the legs over.

Last night...the Lazy Trail Runner and I hit BCMC and cruised to the top of Grouse under moonlight and headlamp; just his headlamp though, mine had died and of course I didn't figure that out until I needed it. Thank god for the reflective capabilities of snow and moonlight.

It wasn't quite dark at the start, but withing 15 minutes we needed to slow a bit and take more care with each step. Believe it or not, it was darker at the bottom. I guess the lack of snow and the angle of the suns light. Who knows? (Bottom of BCMC)
As we got further and further it became evident that Grouse had received a significant amount of snow. We overheard they got close to a foot yesterday. There was a lot, but I'm not sure about a foot.
(Top 3/4's of BCMC)
I'm loving these afternoon runs that are becoming dark while I'm out there. It just makes me feel that much more alive when I'm done. Maybe because it's snowy or maybe because there are way fewer people out. Whatever it is, it's the perfect way to enjoy daylight savings time and more fall running.
(On the deck of Grouse Chalet in Fast Wing Hoody)
One piece of fall running apparel that has been ideal for me these past few weeks is my embroidered Fast Wing Hoody. In the spring of this year Salomon sent us a Flight Crew embroidered jacket. It's a super light weight windbreaker that packs into it's own pocket. Kinda' K-Way-ish, but cooler. It manages to hold some heat in so it's perfect after a run as well, especially when downloading on the Grouse Tram. It does tend to heat up during exercise, but that's okay on those cooler days of winter. I was so glad to have my Fast Wing II yesterday. The Lazy Trail runner and I are sporting them in the pic above.

Hope you're all out there enjoying the fall and the variety of weather it's bringing us. It makes every run interesting as long as you're prepared.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Goal-less Running

Like so many others, my racing season is over. Since the first 5 Peaks in April, at Golden Ears , I've been running with a race in mind. From Iron Knee in May to the summer's 5 Peaks series, and a culmination in August with Stormy 50 and Trans Rockies, in Colorado. Following all that racing and a couple of annoying overuse injuries, I vowed to back off racing and distance. Since August 27th I haven't run anything more than 15 km - a couple races, but mostly just running without a focus or a goal in mind. No big deal, right? Or so I thought.

"Run Now" is my mantra on so many occasions, but this morning, while climbing a new route up Grouse, I had an epiphany that some recent restlessness, and lack of present-minded running, came from having no racing goals. I'd been racing and training so much it had become a way of living. About three quarters of the way up it came to me that I was enjoying myself immensely and hadn't thought about my running plans for the coming year. I was so focused on "Running Now" that I was able to just be there. When I say I had been restless, I mean that I had been looking for various races to do and something to focus on, like my next race, or yoga, or some type of gym routine. It was just an undetermined internal nagging I felt. In hindsight, the question arises, do we need a reason to run other than the enjoyment of moving freely, being outside under tree cover, or the meditative concentration it takes to run a technical trail?

This mornings run brought me to a place where I could just run without future thoughts and from that emerged my goal...or a reaffirmation of my blog namesake and mantra, RUN NOW. The fall is such a beautiful time to run or race, it's crazy to feel discontent when I arrive back home. I love that a run/hike up Grouse with friends is what brought me back to what I needed. Like many runners and racers, I am incredibly goal oriented, but fall is a time for variety and enjoyment, not racing and pushing. And that's okay.

So...when all goals are achieved, t's are crossed, i's are dotted, lists are checked, it only makes sense to just Run Now.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Trick or Run

It's late October already and Run the North Shore's final trail race of the season is flagged and ready. By 9:30 tomorrow the trails will be riddled with ghosts, goblins, and whatever other freakish garb folks can find in their closets. The trails are muddying as I write this and the wind is amping up to cover the route in ugliness - some downed trees, leaves covering holes, and roots, and who knows, maybe a forest ghost or goblin.

I had a great run at this last year as I battled out the last 10k with Katrina Driver, but this year she'll have to battle with the Lazy Trail Runner or Ms. Polizzi, who I saw registering today. It should be a great race and if Nicola Gildersleeve races, it'll get even more interesting.

It'll be great to see the finish for a change. In keeping with my resolution to only run shorter than 15k through the fall, I will run the 9.8k course. It'll be fast and over-with in under 50 minutes I hope. The course record is 40 minutes flat and is held by a real turn-over guy so I should be out there at least a couple minutes after that. It works well with my recent XC races, but isn't just running across the grass or up a few small hills. A smattering of stairs should give me the lactic hell I'm looking for. Regardless, I'm very excited about the current rainfall and the possibility of some seriously ugly trail conditions. Like a little kid in a puddle, I'll be coming home wet and messy no matter how long I'm out there.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


A brilliant morning on the trails with a crew of keen folks thinking of tackling Run the North Shore's Hallow's Eve Half, a ghostly 21 km's up Lynn Creek this October 24th.
19 of us met at 8:30 this morning, at Jaycee House while it was still a bit overcast and by the time we'd finished our 10k orientation run it was time for a coffee on a sunny patio. It was a perfect morning for fall trail play.
The Lazy Trail runner and I will be leading the orientation run for the top half of the course next Sunday, October 17th as well. It's always a great group run even if you're not planning to race. Come check it out. The run down Griffin into Snakes and Ladders is wicked fun. We meet at Lynn Headwaters second overflow parking at 8:30.

See you there...I hope.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

That time again...

I don't know what it is, the smells? the temperatures? the way the sun hangs low in the sky? or the cool, fresh air of the mornings?, but something about fall reminds me of my childhood in the Okanagan. Thanksgiving long weekend is coming, kids are starting to think about Halloween costumes, and I...well I'm getting geared up for cross country season.

There's nothing like an early morning blast to the heart and lungs. Everyone toes the line knowing full well that their lungs will burn and heart will race as they scream across grassy, dirty terrain in Metro Vancouver's lesser known parks.

The first of my season is this Saturday at Crescent Park, in South Surrey/White Rock. Check out the cross country series schedule on the right of my blog. Anyway, Crescent Park is a great park that I raced in last year so I'm really looking forward to it, even though I am not 100% yet. It has taken me a long time to recover fully from Stormy, Trans Rockies, the new baby, and my return back to work. I just haven't stopped going since early August so I have really been enjoying the shorter, quicker runs. The daily four hour runs can really take it out of you.

One thing is for sure for this cross country season, I'll be sporting my favorite Salomon shoe ever, the Speed Cross 2. It was amazing last year in the mud and wet and it continues to be totally perfect for this stuff. Check out irunfar's Speed Cross 2 review and take a chance to enter their contest to win a pair. I know you'll love this shoe. You just have to get them on your feet. I'm excited to be sporting a new pair that is a blue and orange color combo.I 've only ever seen one pair before and then I spotted a pair last week at the Salomon Sample sale.

Hope to see you out for lung burner, if not this weekend in White Rock, maybe October 16th in Cates Park by Deep Cove. Enjoy the fall and don't forget to smell the fall. It's the best.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Salomon Sample Sale This weekend!

I was in at 3pm today and there was some great stuff. To get there turn North off Main street, up Harbour Avenue. About 200 meters up the street, on the right, you see balloons and Salomon tents. Have fun and take cash.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fresh Tracks

I can't say enough about this so I'll let it say it itself. I always love reading the blog of The Sean. He has such a Zen-like approach to running and life. Thanks for bringing this to my attention Sean...and modeling a life that more of us could benefit from.

With mindfulness do step
calm comes in with breathe.

With anxiety exhaled
Fresh Tracks bring good health.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

When are you "a runner"?

What makes a runner a runner?

A watch that does splits?
A calendar of races?
Compression socks?
Knowing your 10k time?
Runners clothing?
An ipod with a running mix on cue?
Someone who uses the word tempo?
Running specific shoes?
Belonging to a club?
Training on a track and recording your splits?
Having plantar fasciitis or Ilio-tibial band friction syndrome?
Owning a foam roller?
Keeping a running log?
Meeting with a weekly training group?

When are you a runner?

When I asked the question, "when are you a runner?" to friends this morning they immediately began to differentiate between a runner and jogger. So what's a jogger? When I think of joggers I think of someone a bit overweight, perhaps wearing sweats, and maybe even a headband and a Walkman. YES! A Walkman. Isn't the term jogger an eighties term? Maybe the jogger is a person who casually runs for weight control, doesn't purchase running specific clothing, and is not at all interested in getting better or competing?

That makes sense and sounds great, but does that mean that a runner is a person who is one who seeks to improve and has running related goals - likely races? That would make sense, but what about those who love to run with no goals for improvement and they run 5 or 6 times a week? Are these runners? I think they are if they run this much, but how is that not a jogger?

Having had several injuries over the past few weeks and being off my feet, I have had the opportunity to think about this. A runner I believe, takes on running as part of their lifestyle. They dress the part, build it into their daily routine and often have running related goals on their mind. I'm not certain it's problematic or not, but not being able to run has left me feeling like something is missing from my days. I miss running a lot. It's not just that it's missing, it's that I realize a deep seeded fear that I am losing fitness in not being out there. Is that what it is? Being scared of getting slower? So my friends are correct. It's having goals and seeking to get better - be that running faster or farther.

I think of myself as a runner, but I don't know why. I suppose it's just another label that goes along with teacher, father, son, brother, skier, and, dare I say it, "husband". Do these titles matter? No. But I still wonder, "when are you a runner?"

I'd love to hear your comments. Do you think you're a runner? Why?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Tom's Trans Rockies Top Twenty

The more time that passes, the fonder I am of the experience I had at Trans Rockies. It really is a summer camp for runners. Like-minded people of all abilities and from all over the country and the world come together to tour the Colorado Rockies on foot. So cool.

Over the 6 stages we climbed and descended single track, double track, and dirt roads. We battled the elevation change while some didn't. We worked hard to beat the heat on day 1 as we trudged through the Arizona-like desert. Ate amazing food from soft tacos, to lasagna, to chicken, steak, and corn on the cob. Spent some time in the legendary towns of Leadville, Vail, Beaver Creek, Red Cliff, and Buena Vista. Sat idle in cold streams with other runners and TRR staff. Listened to the stories of so many others. But mostly we just ran, and ran, and ran ...and loved it.

In no particular order, but a list of 20 random odd thoughts, this is Trans Rockies:

20 - the age of the youngest runner (a father-son team)
19 - bags of Guu Chomps in 6 days...blaaaahhhh!
18 - the cost of a round of beers following the finish in Beaver Creek.
17 - Our place overall out of 100+ teams
16 - Ibuprofen per day to prevent my IT from flare ups - it worked.
15 - kilometers to go when my shin decided to pack it in on day 6.
14 - our team bib number.
13 - days without running before Trans Rockies. What a taper, huh?
12 - thousand-five hundred feet of elevation on day two through Hope Pass to Leadville.
11 - thousand feet atop Vail and getting stronger for the downhill on day 5
10 - % discount returning runners will get for each year they've run TR. A runner who has run every year since the start could get 40% off next year.
9 - bottles of water per day totaling 5.4 liters of Nuun, water, and Gu2O
8 - place in the very competitive open men's category.
7 - the number of days before the race that Jenn Turner (Moveo) worked me into shape.
6 - number of teams that dropped out of our category by the finish.
5 - gorgeous, but cold mountain streams for post-run soaking
4.5 - the number of marathons we ran over the six days.
4 - number of toe nails I'll be losing soon.3 - post-race massages.
2 - cups of coffee each morning before the run.
1 - shin injury on day 6 after the climb out of Vail.
0 - the number of nights we got up on stage for an award.(Above:Tent City after Stage 5 - Vail)

I can't thank Salomon enough for this opportunity this year. They made it possible for me to take part in a world class event with some truly world class people. It was especially great to meet Junior Maheu and Luc Hamel of Le Coureur -Salomon Flight Crew and Danielle DeGuire and Amlie Fournier (Les Filles Salomon Le coureur). Congratulations to both of these teams who ran incredibly strong everyday and were brilliant to run with. Being with these folks really made me proud to be part of Salomon Canada's Flight Crew.
Also a huge congratulations to Salomon's Phil Villeneuve, who I finally met, in taking fourth place in the first annual Trans Rockies Run 3. Incredible job, Phil. It was truly terrific to finally meet you.
It was incredible, tiring, and a lifetime experience. Glad to stop running on day 6...get some ice on the shin and suck back a Fat Tire.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Stormy~50 Miles in Verse

Disappointed, but so so proud.
Straight-legged limp, under the banner, into the crowd.

It started at dawn,
On a campground type lawn.

We left to the left after a loud go!
What was to come nobody could know.

Filled up with hope and happy,
Under the bridge up to Perth was so snappy.

7.7 km, I was right on time,
8 k to go 'fore Dreschel and my first taste of Sublime (Guu)

Down the hatch went the coco mango,
And off I went, Man, GO!

Up the steep ashphalt and past Alice lake,
Letchford floated by, he was indeed on the make.

Bob MacIntosh, Dead End Loop, Rob's and Cliff's, Track's from Hell,
How was I doing?, I felt incredibly well.

Pickles under a forested Edith lake tent,
Turned the wrong way, what had it meant?

Was this an Omen? No way!

Mike's Loop up and up and down and down,
softy, loamy ground of brown.

Roller Coaster and back to Perth,
Looking for Lara who was to be waiting with our birth.

Arrived spot on a planned nine,
This plan I had, was definitely mine.

I planned to run half at 10k per hour,
And the final 40 k were mine to devour.

Below Quest and 'long the mulch up G'baldi Road,
A nice slow tick, turnin' over in easy, auto-mode.

Past Aid 5 the road's a kick in the face,
I knew to expect this from a Stormy-type race.

Ouch, I thought, my knee!,
Road just isn't me.

The first signs of pain on my right,
I edged by Mr. Weins on Pseudo Tsuga, but not out of sight.

Nipples felt raw by here,
But away went the pain with everyone's cheer.

Trail Mix team was just up ahead,
Helping me they were, by supplying my med (Body glide and IBU)

with the Powerhouse came a second wind,
I'd seen some happy faces and the gas pedal I pinned.

Run, run, run - outta' liquid by tower,
Expected an aid station, ended up in a glower.

My thirsty head to the ground,
Creek to my left I heard a strange sound (the sounds of Eric Lorenz' melodic voice)

One foot,
two foot,
Three foot,

Lava flow Lookout,

My knee wanted no more.

Straight-legged jog, Ring Creek was no rip,
On my way down, feeling like a crip.

Make it down the plunge, I thought, to catch a ride in a car,
No god dam way, I'd come far, far too far.

A walk in the woods, how nice.
Screw this, I was mad, it just would not suffice.

I had a goal and now it was shot,
Quitting the race though, would not be so hot.

Powerhouse two and my knees were positively blown,
Grab another hand-held and off with a moan.

Through Crumpit Woods they go by me, one by one,
Morale was so low, I was frustrated and done.

At least I'll finish I say all proud,
Deeper inside another voice shouts out more loud,

It's so disappointed in me.
It's not the image I imaged would be.

I struggle and struggle and struggle and struggle...
Down on the flats and then run again.

It get's flat after the climbers car park.
I'd finish under 9, it would not be dark.

Disappointed, but so so proud.
Straight-legged limp, under the finish banner, into the crowd.

A proud moment at 8:59
I crossed over that campground lawn finish line.

For me it might be awhile,
but for sure, I'll tackle another 50 Mile.

I.T. is what it is

Just a quick recap of my Stormy experience yesterday. The whole story to come.
I had planned to run 10k an hour to the half way and turn it up from there. I did exactly that and it was perfect. I couldn't believe how perfect. I was strong everywhere and felt amazing. I was very, very ready for this. I ran everything with a nice even pace and as I crested Lava Flow hill, at about the 6 hours 20 mark, the outsides of my knees felt a bit tight, maybe about 62 km's. The Ring Creek Rip was tough, but manageable, until the Powerhouse Plunge. There was no way in hell my right knee was going to let me run this thing. Having screamed down the Plunge on a mountain bike during Test of Metal several times, I was extremely frustrated to have to move so slowly. Once at the bottom I began a slow straight-legged jog to the Powerhouse where I considered pulling out and riding back to the finish with Lara and my little girl. I hit that point at 7 hours 6 minutes and knew I couldn't quit after coming 69 km's already, even if it meant walking the last 11 km. I actually thought I might be able to run it in closer to eight hours, but quickly I knew sub-nine hours was more realistic.
I walked all of Crumpit Woods, Three Virgins, Seven Stitches, and Summer's Eve with the company of a good friend and struggled to watch so many 50 milers pass me by. It hurt a lot. Once I hit the climbers parking lot I was off and running with the straight legs again. I had 12 minutes to finish under nine hours. I was moving relatively quickly and rolled under the finish banner at 8:59: 30.
Today my I.T. is tight, my legs feel great, and it won't be long before I run again. Trans Rockies is in two weeks and I am so ready. On another note, so is my teammate, Duncan Coo, who, along with the rest of his relay team, broke the course record for Stormy. Amazing performance Trail Mix.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Stormy Pre-Cap

T - 2 days 21 hours.

Stormy has finally started knocking on my door step and the question comes...

Am I ready?

I feel ready. I've put in the time. I know the course. I know my pacing. I know my nutrition. I have Katie D., the Princess in Training , crewing for me, and the Lazy Trail Runner thinks he'll be awake to drive me up to Squamish Sunday morning.

So, am I really ready? I really have no idea. Who ever does until the race begins and ends? It's a whole lot easier to ask later, "was I ready?"

All I can do now is give myself the pep talk I'd otherwise give someone else had I been on the sidelines.

I'd say...
  • Go get'em son!
  • This ones yours.
  • You've trained for this and your ready to face the miles, the adversity, and the competition.
  • It's your day.
  • Have fun out there and enjoy the seconds, minutes, and hours - good or bad.
  • There will be tough times, but dig deep.
  • Know it's a finite process, and that it will eventually be over.
  • Embrace the highs and minimize the lows by reminding yourself of all the shitty things you've overcome in the past. If that doesn't work, be glad you didn't register for the 100 miler.
I do have a race plan and goal times, but I'm not really one to talk about it before hand. It's not like a secret weapon or something, it's just more of a fluid concept that is difficult to describe in detail and commit to 100%. I suppose if I have to describe the plan I'd say...


P.S. Now accepting last minute advice or topics to ponder while I'm on my feet.

Friday, July 30, 2010


It has recently come to my attention that coconut juice is thought of by some as a leading beverage for hydration. By all accounts too, it makes sense. They say when you're stranded on a "deserted island", you should drink coconut juice to keep hydrated. Hey, why not, when in Rome, right? This isn't the coconut milk you'd put in a Thai-curry stir fry. The product I'm talking about is sometimes referred to as juice, but the best stuff I can find is labeled coconut water.

A quick internet search reveals that coconut water is hot right now. Everyone is promoting it's benefits and stores like Whole Foods, Price Mart, and Save on Foods are selling it in droves.

Web sites claim it to be more healthy than regular milk and orange juice. It has fewer calories than both and the added bonus is a long list of vitamins and minerals. Among the most important to the ultra runner is it's high levels of potassium, magnesium, calcium, and respectable levels of sodium and chloride - in comparison to other sports drinks that are too high in sodium, chloride, and sugar. It is lower in fat and lower in sugar than other beverages, which we know can upset our stomachs when we run long. Some folks even claim it to ease digestive processes as well. This is great news, along with the claim that it can help slow the onset of fatigue too.

One study dating back to 1979 claims that regular coconut water taken directly from the source, doesn't have enough sodium or chloride to adequately hydrate. They wrote that the addition of table salt would help to provide the necessary balance. The tetra box of passion fruit I'm enjoying presently indicates it has added sodium. Most probably do. I wasn't able to read the entire study, but I think the important stuff is just that. The following is another decent article on it's benefits.

For the health food nut and frequenter of Whole Paycheque it is claimed to be natures fruit and therefore entirely organic, but you know as well as I do that oranges, bananas, lemons, kiwis, etc., are all naturally occurring, but are still regularly over processed.

For many, I think the jury's out on this one still, but I'll tell you - I'm a believer for sure. Thanks Brad DeAbreu, I've had several longer runs with this stuff and my performance has received a boost after consumption. As well, I watched the Lazy Trail Runner drink this super hero beverage during Knee Knacker, in which he ran smooth, consistent, and recovered impeccably.

I'm sold and without question I'll be relying on Coconut juice during Stormy next Sunday, August 8th. My favorites so far are Mango and Pineapple, but check'em out yourself and try Vita-Coco.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Taper Baby!

I am very excited to be tapering, baby, but the title of this blog post actually refers to the birth of my little girl, Saje, during this taper time for Stormy and ultimately, Trans Rockies. Saje Mary-Jane Craik is my Taper baby.

About three weeks ago I had the realization that Saje could possibly arrive before my last big brick weekend of five and four hours. No decent father would take off for nine hours just after the birth of his child. A couple hours maybe, but not nine. That in mind, I knew her arrival could impact my conditioning and preparation for race day. I struggled with wanting to meet her early and wanting her to go full term and to train long one last time.
Of course I made it through the big weekend and was starting to taper when she arrived. I NEVER run with my phone, it defeats the entire trail running purpose, but on July 23rd I did, for obvious reasons. I was coming down Mosquito Creek, by Mont Royal, at about 1 hour and 45 minutes, when the phone rang. It was on! I flew home and in through the door like Kramer and off we went to Lion's Gate. By 11 pm I had a daughter.She's home now and outstandingly beautiful. I couldn't love her more and getting out the door to do my last few runs has been a challenge. Not only do I not want to leave Lara alone with our little bundle of work, but also don't want to leave Saje. I was in the middle of a run Sunday and nearing two hours when suddenly I stopped, bid Coo and Holland farewell, and darted home to be wrapped around my little girls finger.

She's here now and what perfect timing with only a few short runs to go before Stormy on August 8th. There's nothing I look forward to more than seeing her little face and uncontrolled limbs at the finish line of both Stormy and Trans Rockies. Aaaaaaaaahhh, Taper Baby.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

"der is a bear, over der"

"der!, der!", a family of Japanese tourists were saying, while I was out running this morning. "

"what is it?", I ask.

"der!, der!", the one with the over-sized camera says.

I look into the woods and I can't see anything. I keep looking and a huge spot of black starts moving across an old growth log covered in mossy green.

"see!, der!, der!, der!", he says again. That's when I realize he's been saying "bear!, bear!"

9 years I have been trail running across the North Shore and I've never seen or heard a bear. The odd deer has startled me and I've seen plenty of steaming, grassy, berry-filled ugliness, but never a bear. Thanks to those tourists for pointing it out. Had they not been there I wouldn't have even noticed it.

It makes me wonder how many animals I have passed in these last 9 years. And how many have watched me run by. I sometimes feel like I'm being watched, but who knows what that is. Cougars probably. Both types.

Anyway, I have seen my first North Shore black bear. It was huge and I'll happily keep the same 25 foot gap for my next encounter.

Monday, July 12, 2010

"Runner's Education"

For those of you who aren't from around North Vancouver you wouldn't know the Knee Knacker was this last weekend. You might event wonder what that is. It's not the guy who Tanya Harding hired to bash up Nancy Kerrigan. It's a 30 mile trail run over some of the most technical and steep trails North Vancouver has to offer. It's super fun and incredibly well organized. I think they say there are two volunteers for every racer.
Like many ultras these days, there's a lottery to get in. My name wasn't pulled from the proverbial hat this year, but I really enjoyed the race in another way. First of all, I volunteered to mark the first quarter of the course during pre-race week. I just wanted to part of it. On race day however, I saw a side of the Knacker I'd never seen. Bouncing from aid station to aid station I was out to crew for Captain Duncan Coo - The Lazy Blogger, or the Lazy Trail Runner.

It was a blast. Watching the racers come through each aid station, the diverse interactions each had with volunteers, the emotions some carried, and the cheers of other spectators. People are so nice to each other. It takes an incredible kindness to sit in the forest all day so that runners can eat, drink, and feel supported while they run. What a commitment? Not all racers recognized it either. To be quite frank, some runners were right out rude. They didn't say thank you, give a quick nod, or even make eye contact to imply some silent gratitude.

One runner that exemplifies respect for the volunteer and the heaps of work that goes into races is Gary Robbins. He approached each station with a huge smile and so much genuine gratitude. This guy runs happy. Very happy. And I mean the whole way. Every time I saw him he was smiling and he took the time to interact with the people around him Maybe it's because he has helped organize races and understands the behind the scenes? Maybe it's because he's becoming an icon in the community and being a jerk is a bad idea? I believe it's the former in addition to the fact that he's a genuinely nice guy.

On that, maybe everyone should have to experience the bigger picture behind racing. How it is organized? Who gets it done? Perhaps working at an aid station would change the perspectives of those less grateful runners? It's a huge project behind the scenes. While racers tie up their shoes and run, others are stuffing bags, marking courses, buying aid station food, registering, getting prizes, seeking out sponsorship, securing permits, organizing timing, organizing volunteers, putting together an amazing banquet, and...well the list is huge.
Let's call it "Runners Education", the idea that runners should partake in more than just being a participant in a race. It's not just understanding ones own gate, stride length, splits, shoe choice, nutrition, etc. To be fully "Runner Educated"one must view running/racing in a more holistic way. The educated runner would recognize the vast amount of planning and community participation behind running by being involved in alternative areas. This recognition would come from volunteering at races, and/or supporting a friend or stranger who runs.

My thinking is that runners who take the time to be "Runner Educated" may view volunteers and race planning in an entirely different way the next time they race. Let's face it, a quick smile and a thank you to those around you never ruined anyone's race. Try it.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Laugh at the Ultra Runner

Fellow Flight Crew member Adam Campbell posted this spoof on ultra runners and it's a must see for any runner. Take the seven minutes and have a giggle. Thanks for bringing it to my attention, Adam.

ULTRA RUNNER from Cedar Wright on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Knee Knacker - A Course Marker's View

Just back from three hours of marking the first quarter of the Knee Knacker and I am thrilled to report phenomenal conditions. This first quarter is usually the section that presents the most amount of trail adversity with the years of snow and mud. In light of this weeks forecast the drying will continue and the snow will melt away and we might see a renewed race course record.
The climb up out of Nelson Creek is still steep and worth a slow start, but very dry and still loamy as ever. There are no surprises here until after the bluffs atop Black Mountain. Racers should take a short look out across the city, over Bowen Island and into Georgia Straight, but be prepared for the mud hole. About 5 or 10 minutes after entering the forest, there is a true mother of a hole that will certainly bring you to your knees without permission. It got Tundra, the dog we ran with tonight. Other typically muddy and snowy spots are quickly drying and melting as I write this. For those racers on the social racer's program, Cabin Lake is entirely melted if you wish to stop and swim. The decent down into Cypress Bowl is still a painful and ugly rock path and it will likely be dry enough to cause some slip style falls.
Dry, dusty, and loose rocks are never your friend. Beware!

This is as far as we ran before Glenn pulled out the beers and Ms. Vickies', but Brent and Rick, who also marked the course assured me the course from Cypress to Cleveland is in terrific shape. They told me the snow across Hollyburn is pretty much gone and the ripper down through the chute to the dam was dry and ready a couple weeks ago when I ran it.
I'm not going to start picking race favorites and pretending I know enough to predict times, but I have suspicions that we'll see course records in the men's and women's fields. We may even see the first woman ever to run under five hours.
I was disappointed not to race Knee Knacker this year, but I have been reassured by many that I'll be Okay in Stormy, my first 50 miler. Knee Knacker is great event that I am proud to have helped with, even a little bit last night.

This years course is fast and I can't wait to be out there playing Crew Manager for Duncan Coo, the Lazy Trail Runner, this weekend. Those quads have a secret. Letchford: Vitamin "I" and a Terry Fox type gate gets the IT through anything. Tran: You're ready. Start slow, eat and drink well, and look forward to checking this off your list.

Monday, June 21, 2010

It's 50 Miles !!!!

...and down goes a handful of Ju Jubes as my Speed Cross move in unison without thought after close to five hours on the feet. Coo and I are getting closer to home and I start shutting down in anticipation of a bag of munchies and an americano. Yummy. Every meal I can think of is rolling through my head.

6:15 am I picked up commander Coo and made the drive to Squamish after a brief coffee stop at Bean on Westview.

7:35 am We start running with the CFA group and aim to run the first 40km of the Stormy course. We head out from Brennan Park Community Center with the knowledge that we better be off the course by 11:00 am, the start of the Test of Metal. The course takes us out across the highway and along the road before we head up to Lumberjack's, a loamy, technical climb. From there we climb Perth Drive and push toward Alice Lake on Jack's Trail. (picture above: Squamish at Dawn)

9:00ish By this time our group of seven has split in two and Coo and I run with Jason Eads and Tim Weins. It was nice to run with Tim because he knew all the spots I wasn't sure of. From Alice Lake we ran down to the highway and back up, over to Dead End Loop, up Rock n' Roll passed a steamer of very fresh bear scat, down Rob's and Cliff's corners, Tracks from Hell, Mike's Loop to Entrails and then down to Mashiter and the always fun Roller Coaster.

11:00 am Roller Coaster dumps us out onto Perth Drive, where we hustle down to catch the first few Test of Metal racers heading up Thunderbird. Off on foot again across the University and down Mamquam road, and behind the golf course

11:25 and ...YEAH! THE CARS. Back at Brennan we packed up, stuffed our faces and went to soak in the cold creeks beneath the Chief, near the base of 9 Mile Hill. And where we could cheer on our buddy Mike Tunnah, who was rolling the Test.

2:30 pm On my ass and napping. A 38 km training run was a beating and I was hypersensitive to the fact that I was getting up early Sunday to run the first half of the Knee Knacker with another group.

7:15 am Coffee in hand . New Zealand leads Italy and I await my running mates.

7:30 am Kevin, Linda, Coo, and B-Rad arrive to shuttle some cars. One to Cypress, in case of injury and as a mobile aid station, and one to the start line.

8:30 am Shuttling took some time, but we were finally off and climbing Black Mountain, which we all agreed was a smack in the face, before you crest out and start into the snow and mud left up top. I felt terrific through this section and I am convinced it's because of my cold water soak and a great night's sleep.

10:30 am Through the fog I spy the silver Outback full of food and a fill up mixture of water, Nuun, and Chia seeds. Kevin pops the Vitamin "I" and we leave the car there all by it's lonely self to begin the crossing of Hollyburn and roll it down the Chute and into Cleveland Dam.
This section is a blast as the loamy ground under foot is so forgiving and we were all feeling great. B-Rad and I absolutely nuked the bottom part of this trail near Brother's Creek.

12:30 Everyone was at the Dam by this time and Coo and I decided to duck out down Capilano Pacific Trail and back to my place. The tougher runners, Brad, Kev, and Linda, kept running to Lynn Headwaters. Our run back to my place was good for about 10 minutes and then I begged Coo for some food. I was out and I was crashing . . . and down goes a handful of Ju Jubes as my Speed Cross move in unison and without thought after close to five hours on the feet.

Lately I've been thinking a lot about Stormy and the mess that I have gotten myself into by registering for this thing. I'm scared. It's 50 miles! I think I needed this 70km weekend to begin to realize I might be capable of getting through Stormy. I've received plenty of strong advice and so many words of reassurance, but this is 30 kilometers more than the longest race I have ever finished. I can't imagine adding 30 more kilometers onto the end of any of my past 50 k's.

Seeking advice. I'm scared. It's 50 miles!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

To Run or Not to Run

I was faced with a dilemma yesterday morning as I woke up to a stuffed head, runny nose, and terrible headache. I'd been fighting it for a couple days and I thought perhaps it would be taken care of before the SFU race. No such luck though.

By all google related accounts it is said that if your symptoms are above your neck go ahead and run, but below your neck, in your chest and/or bowels, do not run. For me it was above my neck, but my head felt huge and racing seemed wrong. And besides, do I really want to race and log a crappy result? This was the real dilemma.

Knowing I felt so terrible I was certain my result was going to be crap. Did I want a crap result? I tried to tell myself I'm running for me and not to externalize my results, but no can do. Once those results are posted everyone knows you logged some junk.

Thinking back to another Endurance planet podcast on Flow for the athlete I was reminded how important it is to ones performance to only race for ones self. It is when we externalize our successes and failures that our performance actually decreases. And that was it, I pinned on my bib number and zip-strapped my timing chip to my Salomon Speed Cross. It was time to race... and race for me only. It would be what it would be. If it was to go badly I would chalk it up to training under adverse conditions. As my Dad used to say, it'll put a little hair on my chest.

Hoping for the best I jumped in the start chute with the fasties. When the announcer said it was for the folks looking to get medals I thought I was in over my head, but I stayed and crossed my fingers.

5-4-3-2-1 GO! The pack flew off the mark and down the road. Consciously I had to back off. It was too much for me at first even though I'd warmed up. Cranking a hard left into Gear Jammer the descent began and was way too fast. Who are these guys?, I thought, but my head was clearing and I started looking for room to pass. having pre-run the course I knew all the passing spots and just when the climbs were coming. I saw Mr. Coo ahead of me on the first small climb and let him stay there. We still had another short loop to do. Across Dead Moped, along North Road I was rippin'. And into the climb up Mel's I caught two more runners. This is where I'd stay until the base of the Cardiac climb. Tucked in behind a runner from Australia we worked our way by the sport course racers with encouraging words and loads of silly banter. When we cleared the technical trail and came out to the big climb I got by Crocodile Dundee and began to roll. This was where I saw the Lazy Trail Runner ahead. There was a chance I could catch him and I went for it. Gaining on him with every step my heart pounded and I completely forget how sick I had been just 50 minutes prior. (Me, Oliver Utting, and Crocodile Dundee who led me through the 2nd half)

The legs ticked over nicely up Cardiac and Mr. Coo got me yet again. This time by only half a minute or so. We finished 5th and 6th and each won some hardware in our respective age groupings.

My time was slightly slower than last years, but I was very thrilled with my ability to perform under such crappy health conditions. I crashed hard when I came home and this morning I'm feeling a lot better.

XA 5's a big hit with road racer : Phil Green.
It's taken me a few years to convince coach Phil to get into the trail running scene and he's slowly getting there. He's had some outstanding races including the Hallow's Eve 10k and 5 Peaks at Golden Ears. Each of these he has done with his long standing partner shoe, Nike. Pegasus. Yesterday we got him into a pair of Salomon XA 5's and he couldn't believe the difference. This XA/XT hybrid gives you the cushioning of a road shoe, but the guaranteed grip and performance of Salomon's trail shoes. Along with his natural speed, the XA 5's got Phil a win in his age group yesterday.

Monday, June 7, 2010

My Trail Rant

A recent podcast on Endurance Planet , called "The Rule",(listen to it here) got me to thinking about the trail greeting. You know the trail greeting right? Or maybe you don't. Let's start with a question, Are you a runner that says hello, or good morning to other runners as you pass by them? Yes or No?

For years I have been a yes man. I greet everyone I see on the trails. EVERYONE! I've commented in the past about how good this makes me feel. Not just because I'm a good friendly citizen role modeling the right thing to do, but because it really makes me feel good. A smile and a greeting seems to always take away the pain of a long and sustained effort...for a little while at least. I don't know that there's science behind it, but smiling must release some sort of happy enhancer into your blood stream.

This past weekend I ran a good four hours from home, up Capilano Canyon and to Deep Cove with a couple of incredible guys. We laughed and chatted the entire way. On the trail that same day was a bunch training for North Vancouver's Knee Knacker. They had started ahead of us so they were passing us on their way back. I would guess that most of them intended to say nothing to us at all, until we spoke first. "Good morning", we'd say. And their eyes would shoot up with shock and awe as they scrambled for a response. Others didn't bother with a response at all. They didn't have music on, they weren't deaf, and they weren't going too fast. I'm confused about this. I always have been. You're out in the forest, far from any cars or amenities, or people, and you pass by a fellow runner without even a nod of trail runner's camaraderie? That's weird.
Are these people in their happy, zen running place? Are they too cool for others? Do they think they're training run will be spoiled if they speak to someone? Are they scared to make eye contact with a stranger? By the look on her face, and based on previous encounters with her, I can tell you one such runner past by us without a word because she was definitely too cool for us. She even accelerated to let us know just how good she is. Without a doubt she's fast, but that doesn't dismiss friendliness.

WHAT IS GOING ON HERE? People can't afford to treat each other this way. A quick hand up wave, a nod, a smile, or even a grunt will suffice if you can't muster the courage for a hello or good morning. But for god sake, acknowledge your trail comrades. We're all out their together and nobody is too cool - I don't care who you are. Stay humble and say hello.

Check out this February 2009 article from Runners World on the same thing. I love the definition of waving he gives.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

iRon kNee - two days later

Spun it out from home on the road bike this morning, but the quads and calves are still a touch tender - a pain I secretly enjoy.

As some of you may know, I was nursing some weirdness in my running world over the past three weeks. I was feeling low and like I wasn't running to my potential and maybe even getting slower with all my little "iggle-de piggly de" leg issues. I sort of felt that I was letting down my Trans Rockies team mate, Duncan, who has been training and running hard. I needed Iron Knee to go well and it certainly did.

I started out nice and slow. Slower than I was comfortable with actually, but I told myself it was the right thing to do. The start of Iron Knee is a bit of a balancing act for me. The first couple kilometers are under power lines on a service road and then the trail dives into Baden Powell's tight single-track. The runner wants to run easy to start, but not so easy that you enter the single-track behind a slower group of racers. Ceding yourself properly is tough to do, but I think this was my best effort to date. I reached St. Georges bench in 13th place, according to trail running guru Rob Doyle, who was marshaling there. It was just after that point that I'd planned to crank things up a notch. And that I did, immediately noticing the tension in my right hamstring. No problem though, so I ran on. Down the long steps into Lynn Headwaters aside another racer, I guess Mr. 12th Place. We ran across the Rice Lake connector and that's where the wheels starting coming off the bus and I saw trail running buddy Brad De Abreu. He was filming and I wasn't looking good. I shoved in a Vanilla Bean Guu and crossed my fingers. Magic was made. I picked up the pace and again I was rolling. With burned out legs and core, my body was tired before heading up the infamous power lines. Really tired. I typically run the powerlines, but I was certain I wouldn't run all the way this day. There was no way...or was there? I dropped my head, dropped a gear, and put a smile on my face to actively defer the evils of mental anguish. I ran past two runners into 11th place and hit the top of the climb. Rounding the last switch back I'd run the whole thing and hit the top in about 17 minutes from the Riverside turn off.
(These two pictures were taken seconds apart. It's interesting how my body position changes after I noticed the camera and smile. Shoulders low and hips forward.)

The decent down to Indian River Road was quick as usual, but a nice change of pace after my long climb. I just had to hold off the runners I'd gotten by on the Power Lines. Coming into Quarry Rock I checked my watch and saw 1:38. I knew I had 12 minutes to finish if I was to beat my own 1:50 personal best. This was it and I knew I could suffer through and make it. 1:49:18 was my final time and I felt terrific finishing. My hamstrings worked themselves out, but I still headed for the ocean to soak. There really is nothing like finishing in the Cove, standing in the water and cheering for the rest of the field. It's cool watching people react to their finish time and those around them.
Thanks so much to North Shore Athletics for another well run event and to everyone who volunteered there time to be out there. Particular Kudos to the champ who hauled the Black Forest Cake up to the top of the power line climb.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Iron Knee - 1:49

To break 1:50 I knew I needed to push. At 1:38 I came into the clearing above Quarry Rock, Deep Cove and knew I was about to burn if I was to do it. Story to come.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Iron Benchmark

No, I'm not thinking about the gum stains on the underside of a bus bench or the heart-shaped carving with T.C.+ L.P. in it, on the log at the beach. I mean benchmarks that we keep for ourselves for future comparison, development, and growth. These are the indicators we use to let us know where we're at, like the marks your mom used to make on the kitchen wall to keep track of your height. In running we keep track of our achievements, sometimes mentally or in a log, to determine if we're as "strong" as we were five years ago, or last year or last month. It's human nature to want to see ones self advancing.

The mistake we sometimes make however, is choosing a moving benchmark. For the runner, it's another runner, one's nemesis. It might be out of fun and comedic rivalry, like it is with the Lazy Trail Runner and I, but few people don't compare themselves. Keeping perspective on all this is the key though. There will always be someone faster, higher, richer, skinnier, or stronger. This is not to say we shouldn't shoot for what we perceive to be the top, it's just about maintaining realistic expectations and not losing sight of the true reasons we're out there.

I have two major benchmarks in my running life: Knee Knacker, which I unfortunately didn't get into this year, and the Iron Knee, a 22km run from Grouse Mountain to Deep Cove. These two annual events stay on the same route year after year and therefore provide me with a comparable tell-tale for the rest of my season. Iron Knee in particular, with it's variety of technical ups and downs, flat turn over stretches and one really large climb, gives me a heap of feedback about the upcoming season and fitness standing. The biggest challenge for me is that it's a local event and I recognize many of the other racers which in turn gets me comparing myself and creating expectations. I like to think I'm out there for me, and I remind myself as I start the race, but when I spot fellow racers , certain ones more than others, I immediately assess my position and often decide to push harder.

When I look back at the Iron benchmark I see...
2007 - 1:56
2008 - 1:52
2009 - 1:51
and this tells me my next natural goal should be to run below 1:50. I have worked at my speed again this year, as well as my hills and I really think, if I don't get wrapped up in other racers, I can do thisl. A smart race for me will be an easy start and an obvious pace change at my predetermined mile marker. Last year, the last three kilometers of this race were incredible for me and that's great, but it tells me I might have picked up my pace earlier on. Now I know.

Not only do benchmarks help us check up on our goals, they help to improve and always aim higher. Wish me luck this weekend. There are a lot of unspoken rivalry's out there that are incredibly well trained this year. Nervous, but excited.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The 3 Day Miracle

Hamstrings ready to snap,
hips abuckling,
runny nose, red eyes,
my body was a breakin' down...
and all I had to do was listen.

I took my three days off and then jumped back out there. I was a grumpy bear whilst not running, but once I got my turnover fix I began to smile again. Until...what's this? I don't usually get shin splints. This really bloody hurts. "Run through it!", I said to myself. And I did, and it kept hurting. Dammit!

Another day off and voila, all is well again. I've had some tense moments where I thought my ailments were wiggling their way back into my life, but no such luck....for them. Find a new host, I say.

Late last week the road bike came back out and that bit of cross training really helped spin out my legs. The latter week was an 1:10 up Capilano Canyon and back home, Saturday was a 60 minute hill climbing clinic with Flight Crew Clinics, and Sunday was a cruisy 3:45 to Deep Cove from home. There's nothing like finishing in the Cove and soaking in the ocean. The only thing missing was my Honey Donut. The line up was out the door so I chose the chocolate milk option at the corner store.

With these tired, aching muscles of late, I've been running a lot in my S Labs. They're super light and provide a heap of lateral stability, compared to the Speed Cross 2 that is. This shoe really is the S Line or M Series of Salomon's trail shoe fleet. The contagrip sole is like having gum on the bottom of your shoes, just adding to their overall stability. And of course, they look incredibly cool with their Ferrari red sensifit strips to seal your feet in nice and solid.

I listened and my body spoke. Thus was born the three day miracle.