Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Gorge Waterfalls 50km

There's nothing better than an early season race to get you over the hump of all those dreaded late winter runs on snow and ice and road and whatever else you can come up with to keep yourself entertained and excited about the up and coming season. So four of us from Nelson and two from the coast met up at the Gorge Waterfalls 50km trail run this past weekend just outside of Portland Oregon. The race sold out in 45min with 300 runners entered so I figured it must be a special course- and it was. You run by and in one case behind several magnificent waterfalls, and because it is an out and back, you get to see them from a different perspective again. The funny part is, I was so focused on my run I hardly noticed anything. When Lisa took photos of the falls and showed them to me at the end, It was hard to believe I missed them!
Being and out and back course it was fun to see everyone, including your friends and the race leaders out there.
I finally seam to have put together a solid 50km effort, which was quite surprising being it was only my 13th run of the season. Maybe all that Nordic skiing does pay off?
I really focused on not going out too hard the first hour as I really didn't feel like suffering the last 15km of the race like I have in the past. When I got to the turn around for a 2:23hr split I new I had a chance to break 5 hrs if I didn't go out too hard the first 25km. The best indication in any ultra of how you are doing is simple...if you are passing people in the last 30-40% of the race- you've ran a smart race...if you are being passed- you're likely done or went out too hard...For once I played it right and passed 17 runners on the way back...geez that feels so much better than bonking and having runners blow by you :)  I finished in a very happy 4:56 for a pretty descent 2:23/2:33 split
Scott, Lisa, Erin and Carolyn all had awesome runs too...Patrick still hasn't figured out why he suffers since he puts in 4 runs before going out and doing a 50km race!
With our early spring this year in the Kootenays some of the lower trails are now good to go- so hopefully see you out there!....Oh and if anyone has been on the trails from Glade let me know as I'd like to check them out...
Post race smiles...Patrick, Lisa, Scott, Erin, Carolyn and Randy

Monday, March 11, 2013

Columbia River Trail

Definitely one of the best early season trails in the Kootenay's, especially if you are trying to pack those Km's in and not put the legs through too much trauma, you have to get out and Run the Columbia River Trail from Castlegar to Trail on the east side of the river. You have the option of a one way 22km run or an out and back as far as 44km. If you start from the Trail end you get off the dirt track/road faster onto the single track- maybe 3km. From the Castlegar side it is maybe 4km. But those sections are just as nice and add to the overall experience of the day. After all it's only March and you don't have to run on any paved road or snow.
Since I needed a good amount of Km's I parked near the Castlegar airport and ran the 8.5kms to the trail head, which I would have hated, but hey I was elated to be out there for the first longer run of the season. I was surprised to see so much snow on the side of the road....Hmmmm....
3km into the trail or 12 into the run I hit -well- a lot of snow...I grunted through for about 4km until it finally opened up into beautiful dry single track for pretty much the remainder of the run.
I finished the 33km run meeting my family at the pool in Trail.
I think with the weather this week, even those snowy sections will be either gone or no big deal by the weekend.
If I was lucky I got this 6" strip, but mostly not for 5km 

The trail just opened up- yes I was very happy!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Pilot Bay

There is not much more than I can say than some of the trails at Pilot Pay are in absolutely perfect running condition. Not that I have suffered through the winter like Carolyn and others who put in mammoth 5 hour runs on mind hurting roads or what ever they can find, but it was so much fun to be back on real running terrain. The upper part of the headland trails are not free of snow yet, but the whole shoreline trail out to the Tipi Camp and sections of all the climbs are good to go. We ran from the ferry out to the trail head, along the shoreline trail to the Tipi Camp, climbing up the trail from the Tipi Camp for maybe another km then the same way back to the ferry. It works out for a perfect 23km 3 hour easy run and times the ferry departure back to Balfour perfectly.

I'm probably going to run out there once a week for the next few weeks leaving on the 6:30am ferry which would put you back in Nelson by 11:30am so if anyone wants to go, let me know. you can run whatever distance you like at whatever speed as its an out and back...

March 16th a group of us will be running the Columbia Trail from Castlegar to Trail, so if you are interested in this or have any questions, let me know...It is one of the best early season trails around and hard to believe most people have never even been there...It's really easy on the legs and follows the river with beautiful views.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Getting Going

After essentially 4 months off of running- I figured with 5 weeks until my first long run the end of March I'd better get my ass in gear. For the past 4-5 weeks I've tried just about every combination of training I could think of to try and keep my interest in putting some km's into my legs. Being all over the place hasn't helped...Here's a break down of my training since the new year and it's excitement ranking out of 10...

  • Ran home from work a couple of times. That is 23km of road- with a finish in Mountain Station- Yuck...give it a 3 out of 10 and that's only because I really missed running...
  • Ran up Mount Masada while in Israel, which was great...but it only lasted 17minutes- which might of been my shortest run ever...8 out of 10...hey it was all trail and sunny and it was with my best friend!
  • Ran in the Bahamas- all road for 37minites with a total elevation gain of 4 feet...5 out of 10...It was sunny, I was with my brother and was hung over from a wedding so it seamed like an Ultra...
  • Two one hour runs up in Mountain station on the Badger trail...fun being on trail but pretty damn icy...7 out of 10
  • The last two weeks I've ran the 10km's out on the rail grade from Mt. Station to the Nordic ski area, skied 17-20km's of trail and then ran the 10km's back home...have to admit it was really fun and a great way to add some early season km's to the legs without much of an effect. 8 out of 10

Well I planned on running the Pilot bay trail's this past weekend, but the snow hampered that idea, so went ski touring instead...With 5 weeks until the Gorges 50km trail run I suppose I better get at least 3 good 25-30km runs in otherwise- well you know- It's going to hurt more than usual!

Lisa, Carolyn and Scott are already running 4-5 hour runs every weekend- Ouch...I just need to suck it up and forget about excitement when it comes to running great terrain for only the next 3-4 weeks :(