Thursday, January 27, 2011

Secretly Getting the Edge

Raise your hand if you've ever kept a secret about your training or racing.

Yeah that's what I figured. I knew you'd lie. Just because you "forget" to tell others about your new training regimen it doesn't make you honest. You're a liar like the rest of us. We all keep running secrets from each other. Some are bigger than others of course, but they're still lies. It helps us get a leg up or at least feel like we got a leg up.

As most of you know I have a pretty solid rivalry going with the Lazy Trail Runner. It's always been fun and it keeps us both working hard. A few years ago I started into some speed training for the first time...behind his back. We'd always run together, but I started "seeing" someone else. Someone with a heap of "getting faster" knowledge and a very special 9-week running schedule just for me. I would sneak away after work and not answer the Lazy Trail runners calls and head out to Burnaby Lake to lay down some tracks in hopes that I could clean his clock at our next head to head. When race day came I did just that by eight minutes. Upon his crossing the finish line I disclosed the entire plan and threw my head back with a devilish cackle. It was fun. It worked and it was dishonest for fun.
I think we commonly call this "SECRET TRAINING". We all do it to some extent for whatever reason. Perhaps it's intervals or hill repeats. Or maybe it's recovery tricks like compression clothes, ice baths or protein powders. Maybe it's strength training in a gym, where runners really feel out of place, or some special massage treatment. Whatever it is we all do it and it's absolutely healthy. It means we're alive and ready to work hard to beat our rivals. Rivalry is healthy as long as it doesn't lead to actual cheating like performance enhancement or cutting courses to get ahead.

I would be willing to bet that most of you have done something today that you do because you believe it makes you a stronger runner...and you've chosen to keep it to yourself. You've done so because the next time you race you'll have the edge of knowing you did it. Maybe you ran on that cold, rainy day when everyone else stayed home or maybe you started a new training schedule. Whatever it is, you won't disclose it to your rivals, at least not right away, because right now, you have the edge.

But remember we all do it. While you're getting that pre-race massage and sipping that special protein, energy, Cal-Mag, chia seed, Udos oil smoothie, your rivals are doing the same thing and they too think they have the edge.

Just think, in the time you took to sit on your fattening keester at the computer and read this blog somebody got the edge on you. Maybe a couple people.

Rivalry is fun. It keeps us honest even when we're lying.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ironman vs. Ultrarunner

This was bouncing around twitter this afternoon and maybe for days before, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to share it. Thanks Linda and Katie.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2011~ Playing, Training, and Racing

The new year has officially begun with my commute back to work this morning and some scheduled living. The holiday was filled with some incredible tele turns at Sun Peaks, a rippin' ski day at Revelstoke, trying my hand at skate and classic cross country skiing, a few days in the gym and a few too many calories. That "one more cookie/just another beer" mentality took hold of me this year and I'm getting okay with that. The upside is that I'm stuffed liked Turkey Tom before Thanksgiving and packed with energy and reserves for starting the upcoming year of training and racing.

My major goal for last year was to do my first 50 miler and try a new course and I managed to get it done. My performance at Stormy wasn't completely satisfying to me, but just completing something so daunting leaves me feeling great about checking off my goals for this season.

Two things will change for 2011, my running mileage won't be aimed at 50 miles again and I plan to add back some variety/cross training. I'm certainly not done with the 50 mile distance, but training for a 50 miler with an infant at home takes away the team approach to parenting. Too many long runs lays the work load in Lara's lap and she too is training for Big Sur in May and perhaps another ultra this summer. As well, I found that putting in the long runs kept me away from a variety of other sports, like mountain biking and kayaking. To me, having largely dumped those activities in 2010 is certainly a contributing factor to some of my injuries in late summer. Part of achieving this goal began back in November when I met with Curb Ivanic, Core Running, to begin some strength training. 2011 will see me continue to work with Curb and hopefully periodize my racing and training a bit more purposefully.

The year to September...before cross country season begins once again...

Dirty Duo 25k (March 12th): My first race of the year will be a tough 25km's. It's shaping up to be a team race with one of North Vancouver's fastest mountain bikers. No names yet, sorry.

Golden Ears 5 Peaks 14k (April 23rd) -

Iron Knee 25k (May 29th) - This is a classic from Grouse to Deep Cove and always gives me an idea of where I am at in terms of my strengths and weaknesses.

West Coast Trail Run 75k-ish (June 4/5th) - This one is another great adventure run. An incredible group of about 10 guys has this one marked on the calendar tentatively based on weather and conditions. We certainly won't be running at Gary Robbins record pace, but we'll take a lot of photos and enjoy a challenging and unique experience of a life time.

SFU 5 Peaks 9.8k (June11th)

Test of Metal 67k (June 18th) -It's been a few years since I raced this one on a mountain bike, but I'm really looking forward to the training for variety. In the past I have come close to the elusive 3:30 marker, but never have I beat it. This year, it's on.

Knee Knacker (July 9th) - In 2010 I was incredibly disappointed not to make it through the lottery, but ultimately happy to mark the course with some amazing lads and support the Lazy Trailer Runner as he rocked the course. I'm keeping my goal time a secret on this one.

Mount Seymour 5 Peaks (11.7k) (July 23rd)

Stormy Relay (TBA) - Of course I ran the 50 miler last year, but this year I hope to join or create a team. A solid group of runners beat the course relay record in 2010 and I'd like to be part of a team that does so again.

Whistler 5 Peaks (10.6k) (August 20th)

Gran Fondo Whistler (120k) (September 10th) - Another addition to my efforts at diversifying my training and playing activities. This gorgeous ride will take me to Whistler for the annual CPR weekend with another terrific group of guys. Training will keep me off my feet for some low impact exercise. I hope it's as beautiful a day as last year.

Buntzen Lake 5 Peaks (15.5k) (September 24th)

That's it. It's a busy schedule, but it will certainly keep me focused and directed. As I've said before, I am a very goal-oriented guy so these athletic goals should keep me healthy and motivated. It feels good to have these goals and to start ramping things up again. For now...


This ought to summarize it all:

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