Friday, May 9, 2014

24 in the Forest Trail Race

It's settled; the 24 in the Forest Trail Race at UBC on July 5th 2014 now has a course! We decided on a 5.18 mile (8.33km) loop all on trails through the south-eastern part of Pacific Spirit Park. This distance will make it really easy for those runners wanting to do 25, 50 or 100km as they just have to do 3, 6 or 12 laps, respectively. For anyone brave enough to go for 100miles they need only do 19 laps of the main loop, and one lap of a shorter loop (see course description here).

The idea of a 24 hour race is certainly not for the faint of heart, but this event should not be intimidating to anyone! Since it's a Club Fat Ass style event participants are free to go for as long (or little) as they feel like. To help breakdown any possible barrier for beginner runners we have decided to include a 1 lap category. And for anyone doing more than one lap, their first lap will also be scored in the 1 lap category results.

Course map for 24 in the Forest Trail Race - one lap is 5.18miles (8.33km)
See you out there on July 5th!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

North Shore Enduro 2014 Edition

After a glorious sunny week in Vancouver with temperatures in the mid-20s, we were excited to take on the North Shore Enduro for the first time.
The weekend forecast, of course, was for rain! They don't call it raincouver for nothing, after all.

The race is a 7.6 km looped course on trails in the Lower Seymour/Lynn Valley area. The idea is to run as many laps as you can in six hours. Each lap has approximately 200m of elevation gain, so its not just a walk in the park. The event is run by Club Fat Ass - a just for fun running club where people post a variety of races and runs. You can check out upcoming events here:

We were just using this as a fun training run, however we set ambitious goals as always. Chris set out aiming for 7-8 laps, and I was hoping for 6-7. The record for the most number of laps completed within the time limit is nine.

It was overcast to start, but warm enough to be in shorts and a t-shirt. Chris took off at a blistering pace - completing the first few laps in 40 minutes each (on pace to do 9 laps!). Unfortunately he suffered from some diaphragm and stomach issues from lap 4 onwards, and had to throw in the towel after lap 6. He ended the day completing 6 laps in 4h 42m!

I paced myself a little more conservatively, completing 6 laps in 5h 42m for a total of 43.87km with 1250m of elevation gain! Not bad for my first Club Fat Ass event - I will definitely be back for more!

North Shore Enduro elevation profile from my new Suunto Ambit2R
The highlight of the day was midway through lap 3 when the rain came! Of course, I was on one of the most open parts of the trail, trying to hug the side of it to stay under the trees for protection. This section is followed by a gnarly uphill section with lots and lots of staircases. As I started the ascent - it began to hail! I crossed paths with someone coming down the hill who noted that the hail felt quite exfoliating, which I found rather humorous. The hail only lasted a few minutes, and it only rained for about an hour and was replaced by an attempt at sunshine. So I guess we can't complain.

Hope to see you out at the next Club Fat Ass event!


Thursday, May 1, 2014

RED FAMished

That was one tough month! Although it started out slow, it really ended with a bang. And I did manage to hit my goal of 250 miles for the month, though that wasn't without some difficulty as I had to put in two long days of running back to back this past Monday and Tuesday.

Here's what I learned from running everyday and from trying to go for a distance goal for the month.

First, it really does become a routine to at least go for a short run every day - I would get off work, lace up my shoes rain or shine and get out there. It was a nice addition to my day.

That being said, running everyday is not conducive to doing really long runs, the ones that are important for ultra training. Having to go every day means that you don't have adequate time to recover if you do a long one, plus housework and other stuff like that can really pile up if you don't have days during the week when you don't do anything. All that combined meant I did fewer days of 12-20 miles than I would with a normal training schedule.

All this RED FAMing meant I was quite RED FAMished! Seriously, I didn't think my appetite would increase that much seeing as I run all the time normally, but it definitely did. I even found myself ordering multiple entrees when we went out for dinner one night. This month was not friendly to the grocery bill.

Mileage for month of April (distances in miles)
The last thing that became apparent from running every day, is the need for multiple pairs of shoes. It's really not ideal to run in the same pair every day, it's just  uncomfortable!

Hopefully you can learn something from my experience of running every day for a month, I know I sure have!
Now to rest up for this weekend's Club Fat Ass North Shore Enduro 6hr race...