Thursday, July 13, 2017

July 3 - 9, 2017 - Bear Brook Trail Marathon

Monday - Friday: My legs felt fine by my head didn't feel like running. I also returned to a pretty stressful week at work but hopefully the worst is past.

Saturday: 31.1 miles, 3360', 5:07-ish, 10:00 pace or so. Bear Brook Trail "Marathon". This race takes place nearly in my backyard on trails I routinely train on. The course passes within two miles of my house. Many years ago I was thinking of setting up a 50K in the park but didn't really have enough initiative to take it past the planning stage. My buddy, Ryan Welts, did and thus the race was born. I volunteered for the last four years but had never run the full course myself. This year, with a change in race directors I was out of the loop and didn't know the race date. Friday afternoon I saw surprised to learn that it was the next day and I was being offered a last minute entry. I accepted pretty quickly, taking the chance to run the most local of races and hopefully pull myself out of my slump.

Ryan and I ran together for nearly the entire race, moving up a couple positions when people got lost, to jointly hold second place until near the end. I was suffering a bit from the heat and residual fatigue and chafe from last weekend, and couldn't hold on to Ryan on the last climb. He took off because he was convinced we were being caught by another runner, though it turned out we had a sizable gap. Despite not feeling like I put in a very good performance, I really can't complain about third place. Overall times seemed substantially slower this year, as some course reroutes added a few miles, making it closer to a 50k.

Sunday: 17.8 miles, 2h 15 m. Mountain bike ride in Bear Brook for some good active recovery.

Totals: No point in adding them up when I only ran once and biked once. See above.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

June 26 - July 2, 2017 - UTMA Grande Traverse DNF

Monday: 4.9 miles, 1648', 14:53 pace. Early morning run up Mont St-Anne above Perce, Quebec. I left right from our campground, kept the effort level easy, stopped for lots of gawking and picture breaks, and was rewarded with a spectacular view.

Tuesday: 6.0 miles, 1398', 9:46 pace. Ran up Mont St-Alban from our campsite in Forillon National Park. A bit of an up tempo effort, but it felt easy and I wanted to stretch my legs on some runnable climbs and descents. More excellent views.

Wednesday: Zero. Raining, slept in. Did a short hike to a waterfall with the family.

Thursday: Zero. Hiked Mont Jaques-Cartier with the family and ended up carrying my 4 year old on my back. We kept an eye out for caribou but didn't see any.

Friday: 60 miles, 16000'. Ultra Trail du Mont Albert Grande Traverse - DNF.

I'm still digesting this one, as DNF's are always hard and the decision to drop leads to lots of second guessing. The course itself was excellent and I enjoyed some time running jointly with Jean-Francois Cauchon, who went on to win the race. Unfortunately, I started having trouble urinating around mile 30, and by mile 60 I was concerned for my health and also unable to fathom another 40 miles. Maybe my health truly was at risk, or maybe I just don't have the drive to keep pushing through pain and danger that I once did. In any case, I think I'm done with hundred mile races for the foreseeable future.

Saturday: Zero.

Sunday:  Zero.

Totals: 67.9 miles, 18842', 20+ hours. What can I say? I put a whole lot of resources into something that I failed at. I'm trying to reflect positively on the rest of the trip and the time I got to spend with my family. It's selfish to sulk and feel sorry for myself.