F@#K YOU WINTER:)

F@#K YOU WINTER:)

Being Canadian, I have had to deal with training in some seriously inclement weather of late. This year the snow and cold has been in a word – brutal.  Some snow, slush, cold temps don’t bother me all that much but when a sustained “POLAR VORTEX” swirls over our heads for weeks at a time, pushes come to shoves.

Being Canadian I like to think of myself as coming from hearty stock but this, my friends, is Bullshit.

Maybe I should bring Earl Grey - HOT instead of gatorade?

Maybe I should bring Earl Grey – HOT instead of gatorade?

SO. For the past weeks I have been judging my rocks and hard places and have ended up doing short, interval and long runs on – YUP – you guessed it – the treadmill.

Before you say anything – I agree with you. You’re right. The treadmill is a soul-sucking, mind warping, bastard child of the Inquisition that is second only to the Pear of Anguish in it’s fiendishness. It’s all these things and each time it was a better choice for me than running out in the cold grey bucket of post x-mas shit that has been the weather around here until basically today.

Perhaps greatest among it’s ghoulish qualities, the treadmill is, in my opinion, dreadfully isolating. While we step onto one often sandwiched between two others in what can be a wide bank of “‘mills” – the disconnect is obvious to anyone. Personalized incline, speed, towel placement, time, TV channel sometimes, music ALWAYS, headphones in, ME, ME, MINE, GO AWAY, ME.

When I’m on a treadmill its an antiseptic speed exercise.  Get IT done as fast as possible and hit the showers and move on with the day. It’s pure work and the antithesis of why I run. While I feel I train as hard as anyone out there I do NOT choose to slave and the mill feels that way to me.

 

This past Sunday after one last Saturday long run on a treadmill – I finally could take no more and manned up to join my group’s Sunday long run. What a difference. Sunny, sweetly sarcastic frosty faces smiling at & with me as we loped along Lake Ontario’s frozen shore.  A complete pleasure and a feeling of reconnection with my tribe and my world. Joyful warriors all of us.

300-Spartans-running

My steps were light and fine form found me easily –  effortless. That’s why I run – all that.

Spring is just around the corner and I can feel my rut melting away….with a little help from my friends.

 

Ps – Go F!@K yourselves treadmills. All of you. 🙂

 

RunBlog = Epic Humblebrag?

By even describing what I’m doing here as epic is a lovely display of lack of humility. Me with the 8 followers (max?) who read this (see scan:)) does not equal anything epic. I suppose I can include that in my hyperbole rant.

I’ve recently found myself in a conflict of feelings as to why this blog exists. I’m questioning myself and my motives as well as the act of writing this itself.

The question I’m asking myself is  whether this blog is just one big humblebrag veiled in helpful, ultra-runnery informativeness. IS it?

HUMBLE-BRAG
Definition: Subtly letting others know about how fantastic your life is while undercutting it with a bit of self-effacing humour or “woe is me” gloss.
Example: “Uggggh just ate about fifteen piece of chocolate gotta learn to control myself when flying first class or they’ll cancel my modelling contract LOL :p #humblebrag”
humble

As I’ve matured in years I’ve grown to realize how important humility is to me in my life.

Humility is the the only place for me that gratitude can take firm root and flourish. While gratitude may be fleeting like blossoms on a tree – it comes back as do they-  to a healthy host with strong roots and branch. When I’m in that “attitude of gratitude” I can’t be anywhere but in the moment – present. When I am present I enjoy my life – which is really JUST that moment – to its fullest. I’m better in every way to everyone and that’s why it’s so important to me.

Humility based gratitude, the real stuff in my books, is a big reason why I run.  There was a time when I thought the mere presence of my gazelle like self running trails or the city streets could inspire awe in those looking on.  Viewing one 5 second video of myself running smote that fantasy like a bolt from the heavens.  I suppose that was the universe’s way of guiding me to the essence of what’s good.

1089a774690382045c6e1ea03957ac9f

When I run outside I feel like a small piece of the world deeply connected and flowing through it’s space. I’m invited, allowed and encouraged to play in our world and it’s wonder and it’s amazing. I can’t feel the way I’ve just described truly if I’m mired in self centred promotion of my unequalled awesomeness. Nor can I when I’m slipping a little humble-brag into a tweet, blog or IG post.

I’m not sure I Can answer my question here but I can say this – I DONT want this to be a humble-brag and I DONT want to be a humble-bragger and the only way I can be humble is to ACT with humility. No mileage “just” updates, no detailed tweets of my workout making sure to include killer stats- just honest to goodness passing of info, humour, race reports and hopefully something good.

That’s where I’m at today – with this.

Pete

VERMONT 100 Mile Training

So I got in. Awe-SUM!!

That was a week of hand wringing and a morning of coffee and checking in waiting for the 10am sign time to hit.

I get SOOOOO anxious and FOMO-y nowadays with races selling out so fast that signing up is a semi-traumatic experience. On this occassion I was very happy to get into a legendary, grandaddy of an ultra – the VERMONT 100.

Below is my training sched for those interested in distances and days etc. This was taken almost verbatim from Bryon Powell’s epic “RELENTLESS FORWARD PROGRESS”  which I feel is a MUST OWN for any hopeful ultramarathon runner. It helped me a shit ton. I post this ONLY to display what a potential training sched would look like to someone looking for one and that’s all –

VERMONT 100 MILE TRAINING SCHEDULE (miles)
Week Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Total
1 Rest 6 5 6 Rest 12 5 34
2 Rest 6 5 6 Rest 14 5 36
3 Rest 6 5 6 Rest 16 5 38
4 Rest 5 3 5 Rest 14 5 32
5 Rest 6 5 7 Rest 16 7 41
6 Rest 6 5 7 Rest 18 7 43
7 Rest 6 5 7 Rest 18 10 46
8 Rest 6 4 6 Rest 14 7 37
9 Rest 7 5 7 Rest 63* Rest 24
10 Rest Rest 5 7 Rest 14 12 45
11 Rest 7 5 7 Rest 24 5 48
12 Rest 6 5 6 Rest 32* Rest 17
13 Rest 7 5 7 Rest 18 7 44
14 Rest 7 5 3 Rest 31 Rest 46
15 Rest 5 4 7 Rest 14 10 40
16 Rest 7 5 7 Rest 24 5 48
17 Rest 7 5 7 Rest 18 14 51
18 Rest 5 4 7 6 Rest 50* 22
19 Rest 6 Rest 3 Rest 20 12 41
20 Rest 6 4 6 Rest 14 5 35
21 Rest 7 Rest 7 Rest 24 14 52
22 Rest 5 5 7 Rest 18 Rest 35
23 Rest 5 Rest 7 Rest 10 5 27
24 5 Rest 4 Rest 2 100* Rest 11

* indicates a race.