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!


  1. Wish I could give you some solid advice but I've never run that far! I'll leave that to the endurance experts. Here's my rookie advice:

    Mind over matter, keep your thoughts positive, push through when it hurts and don't forget to enjoy the day - smile & laugh lots.

  2. If you can come in 10th in the knee knacker in 2008 with an average pace of 11 to 12 min/mile on the BP, I know you can do it (I just looked that up). 30 miles of a technical trail with 8000 feet of climbing is enough to show you can do 50 miles with the trail profile of the Stormy (assuming equal conditioning). I started reading your blog to learn more about the local trails and races, now I am cheerleading. Worse case scenario -- speed walk the up hills, run the rest. Trying is better than regretting.

  3. suck it up, stop thinking about right and you'll be fine!

    Kidding....honestly though, I thought 60 more km was a lot, but in the end, you train yourself up and it doesnt seem like it's that much longer. Know that there might be times in the race where you don't feel great...visualize this and think about this before the race and think about tough experiences you can draw upon to remind yourself that you have been through worse and that you will get out of it eventually...we always do if we stick with it. Do not go out too hard. It's your first one, enjoy it, and finish strong. Dial up your nutrition and have a back-up plan in case it doesn't go as planned. Electroyltes are key!

    That's all for now. You will do sooo great. Can't wait to come out and cheer!

  4. I feel your fear Tom...
    You've done the volume - so there's no doubt your body will hold. Start conservative, power-hike the hils to save the legs, eat lots early in the race and if you have juice left at the end, giv'er!

  5. Slow it down, don't focus on the distance (it's overwhelming) plan on being out there all day AND you're done when you're done. Simple. Oh yeah, and don't be shy about walking - but walk with purpose. Do that and you're gold. That got we through my first 50 and I'm just a mountain slacker like your buddy Coo...inherently lazy!