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.