Tuesday, April 21, 2015

First Race of the Year

Those of you who prepare perfectly for a race, please raise your hand.  I'm waiting...  Come on Pat, Dawn, raise your hands.  I think it is important to realise that there are runners out there who can plan and execute training programs that have a high probability of achieving "A" race goals.  And this is certainly not a complaint, but to achieve such a lofty goal does not allow for much wiggle room in the way of serious injuries.

Due to various injuries and surgical interludes, 2015 will be the first year in almost a decade where I start the race season with an ultra.  50K at Pick Your Poison.  For those of you who have run PYP, nothing further needs to be said.  If you are in abject denial, or have not run PYP, the 12.5K loop is a study in energy depletion.  I ran the course yesterday (Monday before the race) and although I have trained well to prepare for a 50K race, I was very alarmed at how much energy was sucked out of my legs during the single 12.5K loop!  Yes, we stopped continuously to remove branches and trees from the course, but our loop took the better part of 2 hours.  I have pegged 6 hours as my "A" goal, but realistically, I don't see myself running the loop 4 times in under 90 minutes per loop.  My realistic goal is 6:15.

The PYP course is in surprisingly fine shape.  There is still snow on the ski hills, especially on the traverse directly after the first aid station, but the single track trails were in fine shape.  Even Lee Anne enjoyed the trails, which is saying something about a runner who considers the Toronto marathon course to be technical...


Training for last week peaked at 71.5K, which is slightly below the target of 80K.  More importantly, I have 3 runs over 30K under my belt, which typically translates into a more comfortable 50K race.  I have reduced the distance on a few training runs, but have missed very few.  There is definitely room for improvement, which I hope will transpire over the summer, but I am happier with my training this year than for almost a decade before.

 Lee Anne and I have been helping more this year with the Ontario Trail and Ultra series, commonly referred to as OUSer.  We are in the midst of rebranding the series as OUTRace (Ontario Ultra and Trail Race series), which will still include the Trail and Ultra race series (OTS and OUS).  Lee Anne was race director for the Spring Warm-up, which took place on April 11.  About 40 people came out to Dunedin and enjoyed a tough run that required navigating through some snow and mud on the Bruce Trail.  All participants walked away with pottery or maple syrup, so I am hoping the $35 entry fee was considered worth it.  We raised $1300 for the OUTRace organization!  Bob Schwarz won the grand prize of free entry into most of the races, so I'm expecting Bob to be a fixture on the race series this year.

As a plug, Lee Anne is also organizing a film festival for November 7.  The films, called Trails in Motion, offer some stunning cinematography and insight into some of the better trail runners.  Well worth the $10 fee.  The event is capped at 100, so sign up early before it sells out.

Details:  http://www.ouser.org/OUSer_Film_Festival_2015.pdf

Sign up:  https://www.onlineregistrations.ca/ousfilm/

Hope to see  a bunch of you at PYP this Saturday!