Monthly Archives: July 2009

the smell of wet dog…..

let it rain

let it rain

as I start this bit of bloggyness…. I am wondering if I should bother or maybe just go take a nap before supper…. it’s not so bad being on holiday, I guess. I would’ve like to have kept a better blog of the past week or so…. but when ever I was in the mood I got side-tracked or I didn’t have a connection that was worth anything. In fact I still don’t , so I won’t even bother trying to add some the soggy rain photos that almost came out well.

I wrote myself a list of things to tackle while I am on vacation and I have sort of managed to tackle a couple of them…

I have been challenged by the combination of  GTD and Entourage confused only farther by the good folks at RIM. Anyway, spent the first day of my vacation drinking tea, watching the rain and wrestling the list writing part of my life to the ground.

Also on the list of stuff to do is, to read the manual that came with my camera…. I need to know what all the buttons do… need to have control and I need to have the skills to get out of auto mode, but first I have to read the manuals. Talking of photos… got few fairly good shots of mushroom, rain and the dog…. the theme of this vacation. When I get near a real connection I’ll upload to flikr… promise.

What I did discover that is really noteworthy is that there is a huge network of cross country ski trails close to the place where we are staying and the conditions have been sublime (filthy, waterlogged, muddy, slippery and oh so wet)… so I got in a couple of good runs, nicely hilly, pretty technical… and did I mention muddy. I should have run today but we got involved taking care of some “contractual” problems… and then went car shopping as the Mrs is done with the Saab…. looks like she’s getting one of these….. maybe she’ll let me drive it sometimes…. nah I like my old diesel jeep that pongs of wet dog and sweaty runner….

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long time since I’ve run intervals on the TM….

I always try to kid myself that the workouts that feel the worst are the ones that are most valuable. Not every run can feel just right, some just feel awful… tonight’s (thursday) felt like arse. I know exactly what was wrong, a simple case of fatigue.. just not enough sleep lately. This was the first time in months that I have run intervals and instead of doing the smart thing and starting of with a few easy short 100m intervals… I go straight for the 1/4 milers with a fair pace in between instead of the smart easy recoveries… long story short: a mediocre result over the 8 miles…. spent the last two tricking myself into continuing when all I wanted to do was go stretch and sit in the sauna…. which was out of order anyway. Its behind me… moving right along.

So my daughter will kill me if she ever sees this but…. her grandmama has been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for a few years now and it is starting to take away her once very keen mind. I must throw in here that I miss my my ex-mother-in-law… Anyway, my little girl is growing up into a very talented artist… and in order to never forget her grandmama she drew a grandfather clock mingled with Forget-Me-Not’s… which she then hand over to a ptretty good local tattoo artist…. et voila

P7222197So I had to ask her … what was the significance of three o clock….. three years was the amount of time the doctors have give her grandmama before her mind is wiped clean by the disease. So sad…. I loved this lady… and miss my contact with her.

So while I am writing this …. I should be figuring out some sort of plan on how to in shape for VT50…. just 63 days to go! I am now on vacation for couple of weeks… will catch up on some sleep, try and turn down the stress a little although there is one serious stress factor that can’t be ignored… Tomorrow some canoe, a nice long run, a swim for sure…. Now if mother nature would just play along, all would be peachy.

that restful mood passed….. phew

OK….. so I now signed up for the Vermont 5o as well….. a couple of emails between myself and Mike Silverman (does this constitute name droppin?) and its all set…. back to the training. I am excited. I love this race probably more than any other, the chill in the air at the start… the excitement that is oh so palpable that you could slice it …. thinly. The quiet in the woods after all the bikes have gone, the friendships made during the journey… the smell of the autumn in Vermont, the colour of the leaves…. am i wishing this awful rainy summer to pass so we can get on with the next season. Maybe.

The music ended the day on a different note… a classic…For I am a rain Dog Too..

monday morning……

awoke with a chronic urge to listen to Blue Rodeo……

legs are a little stiff from yesterdays workout….. nothing that hard really, about twenty kms….. fairly hard with a few farleks thrown in…. all is well. Note to self: sign up for the Vermont 50 & write myself the schedule… less than 2 months to prepare! yikes

Email conversation between Dan the Race Director and me .. ….. has me signed up for a multi day stage race, just the half version. Never done a half version of anything much at all in my life, but prudence tells me this is good time to start….

the missing race report

So here is a cut and past of the report that I never posted here…. its really strange that after all that effort and thousands of miles of training I simply lost interest in it all for over a year…. ah well I am back now and I have my eye on the Western States again….. 2010 maybe


Subject: Vermont 100 Mile Endurance Race ….Results & Thankyou’s

Press Release Update August 20th, 2007


Twenty-Seven Hours & Twelve minutes! Call it a very long, very hilly, fast hike through the Green Mountains….. well it was a race for the first 78 miles at least.


Silver Hill meadow, VT. Saturday July, 21st  4:00 am.


It’s hard to know exactly where to start to describe such an awesome event or such a sensation of overwhelming satisfaction as taking on such a feat…. and actually making it to the finishing line. But, I guess I did, it says so on my T-shirt and on the tiny wooden plaque, which is all the recognition you’ll get for running 100 miles. If I had finished in under 24 hours I would’ve earned a “belt buckle”… but I didn’t. Maybe next time.

I will resist boring you all to death with all the technical details & the mechanics of the race, well I’ll try…….. but here’s three interesting stats:

i. 206 runners started, 142 finished….. I was 98th

ii. I drank 1 litre of Nuuns per hour from start tofinish almost 30 litres [try imagine 60 pints of beer], I can’t even smell the stuff without wanting to gag now..

  1. Chicken noodle soup has hidden powers!

The weather for the race was nearly perfect, not too too hot. No rain, low humidity and a light breeze, what more could I ask for….. maybe 3 spare pairs of legs! or maybe a horse!! or two!! I really have to mention the fact that this would have beenimpossible without the wonderful support of some very dear friends who made up my intrepid crew. Roly my pacer and of course Katrine, my long suffering better-half. Thank-you Line & Ian. These people drove all day and night tracking me across the Vermont countryside…. they must be nuts!!

The actual run itself went very well for the first 78 miles, although I did make the classic mistake of heading out too fast at the start of the race and I was about 1.5 hours ahead of my target at one point…… but fatigue caught up with me and as darkness was setting in, I was just about on pace for the 24 hour finish after about 17 hours of running. When I got to the West Wind aid station (mile 77/78) I sat down for a couple of minutes and it was here that things nearly came totally un-glued. I could feel the blood draining out of my face and apparently I started to shiver, my sugar level had gone too low, really not a great experience…. Chicken soup to the rescue!! They just happened to be reviving runners at this point with the best HOT SOUP on the planet, and after a couple of bowls of broth I felt brave

enough to push on, albeit very slowly. If there was a divining moment in my 100 miles, this was it. I told Roly my pacer we would walk for a while and abandon the 24 hour goal, my mind was going into survival -mode at this point. After about half an hour of walking I tried to run a little more but I just didn’t have the strength, nothing was functional. We then walked for about 9 hours in total!! with the occasional shuffle on the not too steep down hill bits.Thankyou Roly for your patience.

There were a couple of points when we just stopped in the middle of the Vermont night, turned off our lights and just stared up at the most perfect sky, the moon was almost yellow and I have never seen so many stars, a truly amazing sight!! Although I confess I was totally high on endorphins and may well have been hallucinating by then….. so it was probably just another clear summer sky.

I almost forgot….. at about 7pm as the sun was starting to go down and the air was becoming cooler I was running on my own with another runner about 200 yards behind me. I was in a very quiet wooded section of the course, at about 60 miles minding my own business…. when totally unannounced a young black bear wondered out in front of me (about 10 yards at the most) we looked at each other, I started to make as much noise as possible and the bear climbed the nearest tree at lightning speed. I picked up the pace to put some distance between us!!! Vicky, the runner behind me saw the bear too and started shouting for me to wait for her…. very freaked out!! Anyway we ran together for quite a while before I left her

behind ….. she would later pass me and beat me by an hour!

Anyway, by the time I got to “Polly’s” aid station at mile 95 the sun had started to come up for the second time during the race…. and by then I knew I was less than a couple hours away from the finish line which at that moment in time seemed like nothing….  The course never became easier, right up to the last 100  yards it was one hill after another. I will never forget all those hills, every time you’d finished one you be greeted by another just as steep waiting for you. waiting to trash your legs just a little more.

Anyway, at 7:12am, 27 hours and 12 minutes from the start of the race I managed to find just enough energy to run the last 100 yards to the line and that was it. I ran 100 miles. In the medical tent I peeled off my shoes fearing the worst… nothing, just 2 tiny blisters!! I was still able to walk… slowly!! The feeling of tiredness was easily outweighed by the sense of satisfaction… and the endorphin buzz!!

Will he do it again? Probably! after 1 month of recuperation and just a little light jogging I think I’m up for another challenge…. Well I have now qualified for the Western States 100 for the third time…… so maybe I should put my name in the lottery for 2008!

cheese burger & a beer…..

on the 18th of July 2007 my last entry in this blog was these 5 words….. and that really just about sums up where I was at that point… much has happened since, some dynamics have changed… again, but the fundamental addiction that wore out so many pairs of running shoes hasn’t changed. I am still doing it to excess!

So what happened? did he ever run the Vermont 100? …… Sure I did, I will dig out the thing I wrote after the race and post the details…. After that I just slide into a habit of beer & wine, loads of food, only running when the stars and the moon aligned… or when the mood grabbed me… Not always a bad thing and it gave me a chance to focus elsewhere.

I moved houses, I broke a small bone in my back, I put on 20lbs…. and then in September last year the lights came back on…. and I went in search of my mislaid Mojo… 2 years later I believe I have found it.

50 yards to the finish line....

50 yards to the finish line....