The Goal: 12 buckles in 12 months in 2012 - to celebrate the milestone of my 50th year!

Saturday, 28 January 2012

The Beast Follow Up - moving forward

Beast of Burden: 1 of 12 Race Update
Well its been a week since the first step in 12 in 12 has been completed and I would have to say that is went about as well as I could have expected, so here is how it went:
So the race started on Saturday January 21st 2012 and it got off to a great start. The sky was blue and without a cloud. The temperature was -4 degrees and there was very little wind, and with an inch or two of fresh snow we couldn't have asked for better conditions.
I started out the race with Mary Lou and we quickly came up with a plan to run our first 25 in 4:30 and our first 50 around 11:00 and Mare made me a promise not to wait for me, looking back, I'm glad she kept that promise. At mile 37.5 I had to make some clothes changes and Mare was out of Middle Port in just a few minutes and I spent a few extra minutes there and spent the next 18 hours chasing her. More on that a bit later.
I wore my new Salomon XT gortex wings and my go to socks, a pair of Merino Wool Ice Breakers but as luck would have it, for the first time my socks bunched under my right foot and toes and I could feel a couple of blisters coming on, this would mean at mile 50 I would need to take a few more minutes to make a shoe and sock change. I got to the turn around at 10:30 and was pleased with my pace over the last 12.5 miles. I'd banked enough time to make my sock and shoe change and not put myself behind schedule.
I struggled a fair bit over the next 12.5 miles and began to wonder if I'd done enough training to complete the 100 miles. I remember going through this exact feeling with the other 100's I've done so I started singing and just trying to focus on each of the bridges along the route.
The weather stayed great for the entire day, once the sun went down and the temperature remained somewhat steady there were very few clouds and even a bunch of stars, it was going to be a good night.
At each turn around I continued to see all of the familiar faces, first Mary Lou and Ken then Maryka and Charlotte, it is so much of a relieve seeing people you know and hearing all of the good things that go with participating in an Ultra. As usual Michelle was at each of the aid stations making sure I had the stuff I needed at each turn and getting my gear and food ready for the next time I came into an aid station, what a big help and boost that was. Michelle got my shoes and socks changed in record time at mile 50 and I was in and out of the station in a time that would have made Ken proud. I also have to thank Stephane, Kinga, Chris and Jocelyn, four more Canadians who made their way to Lockport to pace and volunteer at the race and at each aid station always polite and ready to lend a hand to help in any way they could, you guys all did a great job, thank you all very much for the support, encouragement and assistance. Great Job.
I met a bunch of great people at the event and as always Sam and his team did a great job putting on the race, providing support and good food at the aid stations, from hot dogs, popcorn and pizza at each station to hot chicken broth, they kept us fueled and ready to go.
During the race I didn't wear my watch so out on the course I wasn't aware of the time of day or my time during the race, this turned out to be a good thing and I continued to get to the aid stations before my scheduled time and I found that sitting at the start and the turn around for just 5 minutes to enjoy a piece of pizza and something warm to drink served as a good plan as the first hour of each leg seemed to go very well and I'm confident this was time well spent. I know Ken will be disappointing I spent time at an aid station but to try to make up for it my stop in Gasport (middle aid station) was only a few seconds at best, usually to pick up a gel, occasionally a cup of chicken broth and then back to the trail.
The race ended for me at 23:16, a personal best for me and a boost of confidence heading to Florahome, Florida next month for the second leg of my 12 in 12.
Here are some other notes from the weekend:
Mare finished the race and was the first woman and her time was about 22:40. Way to go Mare, great job!
Michelle and Ken did a great job, thank you both for everything you guys did to  help me get through the first leg.
It was great to see Diane and Henri in Lockport for a few minutes, thanks to both of you for driving all that way to see some of your ultra buddies.
A very special thank you to Saul and Ashley at Artik Promotions for the generous donation of technical shirts with the 12 in 12 logo, they look great and I can't wait to start wearing them.
I also learned on the way to Lockport on Friday evening that I have been selected as one of the Running Free ambassadors for 2012, more on this in another blog, it deserves one of its own. Thank you to the folks at Running Free, Barrie. I will do my best to represent your store and brand as best I can.
The gentleman at the border going back to Canada was pretty funny, I guess he hasn't seen anyone crazy enough to run a 100 miles in one day, made entry back to Canada pretty easy. Thanks sir.
The last thing, its Saturday, one week later and it's time to get back on the road or trail in preparation for leg no. 2. The goal is to run 180 - 200 kms in the next 14 days then take five days off before we head to Florida.
I will update this page at least once more before we go and let you know how its going.
Thanks to all of you for reading this......both of you.....hahaha. Have a great day, keep smiling and happy trails.


Thursday, 19 January 2012

long overdue, hopefully worth the wait - 12in12 begins in 40 hours

Hello All:
Well this is long overdue and I have to make time to update my blog on a more regular basis. Lots has happened since November 24th, that's for sure. I'll ty to keep this short and somewhat to the point but here is a snap shot of all the good the bad and the ugly since the end of November.

First of all, my first trip to Las Vegas was in the first week of December and my good fellow ultra man Pat and I participated in the Las Vegas Rock and Roll Marathon. I've never done a marathon before and I was excited to learn that 44,000 other people would be participating in the half and full marathon events. Little did i know that 40,000 were in the half and I would be sandwiched somewhere in the middle of that pack once i completed my first half. Luckily I had no experience with this and thought it to be somewhat normal, all i was there for was to run, enjoy the lights, colors and people of Las Vegas. I finished my first marathon (24.6 miles) to those who I've told my story, to all others....read on, and I got to the finish line (the 26.2 mile one) in 3:54:30, pretty happy with my first attempt and  special thank you to two Oakville ladies, Christine and Erin (sure hope i got that right). You two helped me through the middle of the race and Erin pulled me from 25 miles to 26.2.

Ok so here is my 24.6 marathon distance story: the first 23.9 miles went very well and I was extremely pleased with my progress and timing along the way. When i got to the 24 mile sign along the strip in Vegas i somehow convinced myself that a marathon was 24.6 miles long, my watch said around 3:32 and i was very excited that all i had to do was another 600 yards in 7 or 8 minutes and my first marathon would be in the books and i'd have met my goal and exceeded it by 20 minutes. Pretty damn good and pretty easy I thought so I started to sprint, put my ipod onto one of my favorite songs and took off like a rocket. Needless to say, it was a really long and tiring 600 yards and imagine my dissapointment as i approached the 25 mile sign. It wasn't until this point it dawned on me that a road marathon was 26.2 miles and not 24.6 miles and the 100 or so people i passed from 24 to 25 were surely confused about my new found energy and speed. Well i ran a sub 8 minute mile from 24 to 25 but had little or no gas left to finish the final 1.2 miles (a full marathon distance as luck would have it).

This is were Erin from Oakville comes in. At the 25 mile sign she caught me and asked me how it was going, I was pretty tired and even thought about walking the final stretch of the race. Thankfully Erin wouldn't let that happen and 10 or 12 minutes later we were entering the finishing corral and my first marathon (and most likely my last) was completed in under 4 hours. Goal reached, off the bucket list.

My training since Vegas has been going pretty well. Of course I've taken some time off that i shouldn't have, I've shorten runs I shouldn't have but i've added miles on some days and ran on the days I've felt great, hopefully it all comes out in the wash. I made a plan to run 3 times during the week and at least one long run on weekends, do date that has gone as planned. With Beast (1 of 12) just a day and a half away of course there are tons of questions. What am i doing? Am I ready? Should I have taken this week off? Why am i tired? Do i have everything packed? I'm going to MEC after i finish writing this tonight, what do I need there? Why am i going there again? Can't Saturday just get here already? Geeezzzzzz

Two weekends ago I participated in Run 4R Kids at York University. This is a short 230 metre indoor traack event adn this year was 6 hours in length. I learned a lot that day as well. First and foremost, runners are the most amazing group of people on our planet. What a great bunch of people, always supportive and so cool to see people who knew my name and I didn't know there's but it was so great to finally meet them and put a face to a name. It was great to meet Steve for the first time, talked on Facebook a few times, shared information but first time we actually introduced oursleves. Felt really good to run along side of Jack for 5 or 6 laps until I could no longer keep up. Of course Michelle did an amazing job that day and I was more happy about her passing her goal and doing such a great job. Mare, what can we say about you, you're a machine girl, it's always a pleasure seeing how strong  you are. I hope the first 50 miles this weekend I have enough gas in the tank to keep you company. Don't forget our deal though, no waiting on me... Pinky Swear!
Maryka, easily the most consitent runner of all times. You are amazing. Cathy, wow! each week on Daily Mile you log more miles than i do, you do the spin classes etc. Which one of us is training for a 100 miler?  I completed 58.8 kms in 6  hours, I went witih a goal of 53.6 so I was happy to get past the goal but based on how good i felt for the first two hours I was a bit dissapointed in how the 3rd and 4th hours went for me, it was a big wall and really slowed me down.

Of course Run 4R Kids is all about my friend Scott. What an amazing story he is and certainly serves as an inspiration to me and when i get some pictures posted on the web site it should be no suprise to anyone that any shots of Scotty G and I together we have a huge grin on our face or we are laughing out of control. How can you not love being around a guy that always makes  you feel that happy? Congraulations Scotty another great event and it is always great to see you.

I would also like to thank a huge group of people. Michelle for all of your understading and putting up with this crazy schedule, Ken for pacing and helping at Run 4R Kids, Maryka, Jodi. Mare and Cathy for listening to me in Palgrave during our training runs, I know i talk to much.  Thanks for putting up with all of that. To Diane (Dirty Di) for the great job on my web site and not being made every time I make a change (daily by the way) and to Artek Promotions for the over the top generosity on the donation of http://www.12in12.ca/ technical shirts for the events this coming year.

Well 12in12 starts in 40 hours. I'm excited, I'm nervous but most of all i'm thankful for all my family, my friends and all of the well wishes I have received over the past few months. I can't wait to share this with all of those who are interested in hearing about it and thank you all in advance for listening and putting up with me.

Thanks Mich, this is something I could have even started without you....xoxox

I promise to write next week about Beast of Burden. Buckle number one!