Why Do I do this?

 

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At about 3K, I begin asking myself why I do this? Why do I chase these silly goals I put in front of myself? By the time I finish….my face pretty much shows how I feel.  But magically…within 3 minutes…I’m already thinking ahead to the next one.

It’s funny, an article sent by a friend recently reminded me that at 45, I am by all scientific evidence, beginning to slow down and that the wonderful effects of aging are starting to show. Not a lot, but a little. It also went on to say that I’m probably in denial about it. Yeah…pretty much.

The truth is, my entire athletic journey has been one built on denial.  I’ve refused to believe that anything is outside my grasp if I work hard enough. I’m smaller , less muscular and for the most part getting involved in most of this really late. Yet, in my mind, I am within reach of so much and I will keep reaching as long as I can..which is probably the rest of my life.

Earlier this summer, after coming off my win at the Bad Beaver Ultra, I decided to revisit my goal of running a sub 18 minute 5K. My personal recorded best in a race is 18 min 13 seconds. (My personal best is 17:50 or something..but that’s unofficial and only by my Garmin so I can’t count it.)

It’s been tough trying to retrain my fast twitch fibers, but I truly believe I can do this.  If not this fall, then I’ll patiently wait until spring and continue training for it through the winter using snowshoe racing as the spring board.

If age has shown me one thing, it’s how to be more patient with some of goals. If my experience has shown me anything, it’s that denial can sometimes lead to me achieving my goals.

So, why quit now? I have big plans! For those of you who refuse to accept the status quo or are denial…keep on keeping on!

Cheers!

Saucony A6–Real time Review # 3

 

Please note: I am not getting paid for this review, nor have I received any compensation including free gear from Saucony. I’m just a runner.

10/13/14 – Third review – 291KM

Well, I am a little further along from where I said would review again. I continue to rotate through my various shoes, but the last 3 weeks has seen a volume increase on these as the other ones have worn down respectively with one of the other pairs being fully retired. This means, these shoes have seen more long runs closer together.

It is becoming very obvious that they are starting to reach the end of their life cycle.

Specifically;

– The support along the upper is now starting to fold slightly and I have had to adjust the laces at least twice to snug the shoe back up.

– The foam is starting to give way, and the cushioning is not quite as energetic. Certainly, I am feeling the impact more on the long runs then I did.

– The fabric on the inside of the (heel) back of the shoe  has rubbed away and I have had to place duct tape. This caused some blisters while running one day.

However, this shoe is considered a minimal shoe and a racing flat. So, in my humble opinion, at almost 300KM this is still pretty good. I have now purchased another pair of these and I intend to start phasing this pair out and limit the runs to shorter, intensity runs 15K or under.

My primary concern about this shoe when I started out, was whether or not the foam/rubber bottom would hold up against the rural roads. I am very happy to say it has. An unexpected benefit was not having to pick rocks out the soles as I did with the A5s. ( remember those little holes in the soles? )

Overall, I like this shoe a lot and I will continue to purchase. But – I would have liked to see it hold up a little longer and this is why I knocked the durability down to a 4. Tied to that, I knocked performance down too since it impacted my training slightly as the shoe has degraded, especially in the last three weeks. The 2 pairs of A5’s I have been rotating through are at ( or just over )400KM and I am hoping to see this shoe hit that as well.

Here is my rating. I’ll put one more review out at 400K or earlier if the shoe goes out of commission before that.

Scale 1 – 5. 1 being horrible, 5 being simply awesome

Fit – 5

Performance – 4

Durability – 4

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08/24/14 – Second review – 136KM

 

I’ll be honest, at this point, I am very..VERY happy with this shoe. The sole is standing up to the pounding of rural life so far and the upper is much better than the last pair.

I honestly would say, that so far, these shoes are definitely an improvement over the A5.

I am still rotating my two older pairs of A5 and this pair, but at 136K I have enough miles on them to get a feel. I also raced once in them, and they came through with flying colours.

As you’ll recall from my post below, I was concerned mainly about the sole of shoe holding up to the “chip and tar”, dirt road surfaces. There is some sign of wear, however nothing I would not expect with a minimal shoe. ( see pics )

The Upper has been through a few bouts ‘o sweat and water, including one Triathlon so a little collapse is normal. However putting the shoe on, it still fits nicely and there has been no need to adjust laces.

Scale 1 – 5. 1 being horrible, 5 being simply awesome

Fit – 5

Performance – 5

Durability – 5

I’ll review again around 200K..Stay Tuned

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Scale 1 – 5. 1 being horrible, 5 being simply awesome

Fit – 5

Performance – 5

Durability – 5

 

Previous Post

I’ve decided to do a real time, ongoing review of the Saucony A6. Every 50K or so, I’ll  provide an update on the shoe and how it is holding up.

Why? I loved the A5, and I came to the A5 out of necessity.  I want to love the A6, but I am concerned about the wear of the sole as it appears to have reduced for the most part to blown rubber that many companies are using to reduce weight. If you’ve read my review on the Mizuno Evo’s, you’ll understand my concern.

Conditions around my house – Rural Canada, Eastern Ontario. It’s a mix of dirt roads, chip and tar pavement and real pavement.

Purpose – Training and Racing

Number of Pairs – I rotate through 2-3 pairs of road shoes and right now my last couple of pairs of A5’s are reaching the end of their life being around 370K. That is why I brought the A6 into the mix. I also trail run, so some of my longer distance runs are in trail shoes. ( this means reports will probably happen monthly, but accelerate as I move through shoes and flip flop back forth between road and trail )

07/09/14 –  Initial Run

IMG_20140717_074817Initial Impression – shoe feels more durable and a little stiffer. It’s very light and the Upper certainly gives the impression it will last longer. This is line with the current communications going out.

This was a Taper week for me heading into an Trail Ultra on the weekend, so I had a single low mileage run to do on the 9th. I slid these on for the 8K run.

The feel of the shoe was very nice, and actually seemed to fit my foot a little better than the A5. The upper seemed much more in tune with how my foot curves and this meant it relied less on me playing with laces to get the fit correct. The stiffness of the sole made itself known, but it was a good mix and did not take away from the purpose of the minimal feel.

The run, although only 8K, was very comfortable and the ride smooth. Now…all shoes are smooth at the start right? That’s why I am reviewing every 50K.

 

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On completion, I took them off and inspected. They were a little dirty..but all was well.

I am hopeful that nothing was lost and that the A6 will be as good a shoe as the A5.

 

 

 

 

 

So, here is my review. Please understand that this could change as we go along

Scale 1 – 5. 1 being horrible, 5 being simply awesome

Fit – 5

Performance – 5

Durability – 5

See ya soon!! Stay Tuned!

Moving On

Its funny, often the biggest changes in life happen when you least expect them. You may even fail to notice until you realise, that you’re already moving on and there is no going back.

Such is the way with me, and I have begun my transition on a path I have no clear line on. I just know it’s time to go down it.

Since I lost my grandfathers back in December, my world has been tilted and I keep waiting for it to rebalance. But it’s not, and I have come to the conclusion that it’s me who needs to figure out how to balance..not it.

Over the last few years, I’ve tried very hard to be something to everyone and tried hard to increase the running and triathlon community in our area. I’ve met some great people and learned many things along the way. Some nice..some not so nice. I’ve also learned to value my gut instinct and actually act on it. I have spread myself very thin and what was manageable became chaos and my anxiety came back. To add to the insult, a past scar has reopened and I need to figure out how to deal with it. I’ve ignored it for 35 years but now I need to find the strength to face it and I don’t….yet know how. None of this is coincidence.

My plan to start is very simple.

It is to be simple.

  • To sit around a campfire with my family
  • To pause running on top of a hill and simply look.
  • To ride a bike through morning fog and feel the cool moist air
  • To swim, and glide through a lake watching the world below me.
  • To write. As a teen and a younger man, I used to love to write. I have always enjoyed trying to express complex thoughts and emotions through words. I plan to go back to writing. 

All of this, may sound selfish, and it is. All of this will be for my family and I.

Slowly and Surely…2014 starts to form

Slowly and surely, I have been working on my 2014 season. This one has taken me longer than any other. I am truly torn between running Triathlon and doing a full season of Ultramarathons.

So far, it appears Ultramarathons are winning.

2014

There are just too many ways to have fun. So with each lap of a pool and crank on a bike, I come to realisation that I am further away from Triathlon than I have been in a while. But, I think that’s ok. A break after 5 solid years of Multisport is not going to hurt me. If anything, it’s likely to refocus me for next year ( 2015 ) when I sign on for Ironman Canada.

There is still a hidden goal in here as well, that I am not yet committing to but I cannot stop thinking about. That’s to run the Cat Trail from end to end and set the time standard for it.

Cheers,

See you on the trails

Corey

#Consistency as per the Quote by Joel Filliol

 

 

I came across a quote and I think it is probably one of those that will stick with me. This was tweeted by Joel Filliol, who is one of the best coaches in the world.

 

The quote is this. 

 

“Champions differentiate in training by consistent quality under high chronic load not extraordinary single session performances #consistency

 

I am not a champion, so I’d like to dissect this slightly and apply it to everyone.  

 

“People who achieve their goals differentiate in training by consistent quality under high chronic load not extraordinary single session performance. ”

 

What does this mean? 

To me: It means that in order to achieve our dreams, our goals, we must repeat a routine of pushing ourselves to the point of uncomfortable. We cannot not rely on the single training day where things fall into place. I am not suggesting that those “great” days are not important. They are! They can give us the mental boost we need by glimpsing a light at the end of the tunnel. But we cannot allow ourselves to fall into the trap and think, that by doing it once…we have reached our goal. 

So here are a few things to consider. 

  • Is your goal clear to you? Saying you want to run faster or longer is great, but how much faster? Seconds? Minutes? You need to be able to clearly say what you are chasing.
  • Do you have a path and plan to reach your goal? Does your training reflect progress towards the goal with routine, specific objectives and clear milestones?
  • #Consistency – meaning, are you willing to commit to the path? This can be hard because week after week with marginal or minimal gains can break you down if you are not committed.

Most important;

  • Do you believe in yourself? You will only achieve what you believe you are capable of. You can tell everyone one thing, but deep down you cannot lie to yourself.

 

 

Run For Yourself!

 

Corey

Dion Eastern Ontario Snowshoe Series

 

I started writing my race report for the event in Frontenac, when I realised that I was probably not going to say much different then I did last year. So I decided that maybe I’d write a quick report on the entire series.

 

Why?

If you love to run, you need to try Snowshoe running. It’s unlike anything you have ever tried, but three times as fun. It is hard work, but you are always in control of the amount of effort you put into it. Being able to run on trails that would be (otherwise) inaccessible is an amazing feeling. Whether you are running through an open field or a snow lined canopy within a bush, winter running does not get any better than this. I should also add that if you are after a cardio workout, you get all the benefits of working your hardest interval session without the pounding of running on pavement.

 

Who?

The series is sponsored by Dion Snowshoes, directed by Spafford Health and Adventure and hosted by different people who have fallen in love with the sport. You will see the hosts ( and the directors ) pulling on shoes at some of these events.

 

When and Where?

Dion Eastern Ontario Snowshoe Running Series – Race Dates:

· Saturday, January 11, 2014: Summerstown Forest Snowshoe Race – Cornwall, ON
· Sunday, January 19, 2014: Frontenac Snowshoe Race – Frontenac Provincial Park, Sydenham, ON
· Saturday, January 25, 2014: Brighton Winterfest Snowshoe Race – Brighton, On
· Saturday, February 8, 2014: Westbrook Snowshoe Race – Westbrook, ON
· Sunday, February 16, 2014: Frozen Ass Snowshoe Race – Batawa Ski Hill, Batawa, ON
· Sunday, February 23, 2014: Switzerville Red Barn Snowshoe Race – Napanee, ON

* February 28 – March 2, 2014: Dion US Snowshoe Running Championships – Bennington, Vermont, USA (Open to International/Canadian racers too. Note: Not part of Dion Eastern Ontario Snowshoe Running Series).

 

 

 

What is the atmosphere like?

Picture yourself arriving at a friends house for a day of skating. It’s light, jovial and fun. In fact, you may not even recognize that this is a race at first. Once the start comes, it becomes purely about business for some but good fun for all. On the trail, there is a good chance you will be encouraged at least 10 times by someone. After the race, it returns to the light and fun atmosphere. During the awards, it is normal to hear jokes being cracked and laughing as people drink their coffee and eat their post race meal.

 

I don’t have a pair of snowshoes!?

There are some limited pairs you can borrow from Derrick, but you need to contact him early to make sure a pair is reserved. And no…they are not the same type of shoes your parents may have used to trek through the bush.  

 

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What’s my favorite part?

I have to say, post race is my favorite. Sitting around and chatting with people while the awards and draw prizes are handed out. There is never a shortage of draw prizes and they range from books, fleece socks or other useful gear that runners can never be short of.

 

How do I find out more?

Check the website out, drop me a line or contact Derrick or Sara directly!

 

 

 

 

 

Cheers!

Not a Typical Post

 

I’m in a very strange space, and a very curious time in my life. I am 42, and I have been very fortunate to know (all of) my grandparents very well. But times does not stop and it catches everyone.

 

As I write this, both of my grandfathers are very unwell. One is having his body slowly shut down, his life is draining and we are powerless. All we can do is watch. It’s been in slow motion for 3 weeks now.

The other, with a mild onset of dementia, had a his bowl removed this week to save him from cancer. His recovery is not going well. 

 

These are two men, who I have looked up to all my life and have taught me a lot. They have stepped in when needed to protect me, and they have remained at my side and as a supporter even though my weekly visits drifted farther and farther apart. My life it seemed, got busy, first as a husband and later as a father.  They understood.

 

Inspire and inspiration have become buzz words in the last year or so. If someone does something really well, or for a good cause…they are called inspirational. Here is my trouble with this. Is doing something for a good cause inspirational or just the right thing to do? And if someone else also takes up the charge because of that, did you inspire them or simply show them a way to make a difference?

 

Here is my true definition of inspire.

 

My Grandpa Turnbull, walking up the steps of a school in his early teens, asking to be registered so he could learn. Upon being laughed at and turned away, finding some books that would self teach him and learning the basics of math, language and science.

My Grandpa Flint, who despite battling his own emotions and demons, holding my hand and hugging me tight at my parents divorce hearing and telling me it would be okay…even though it was tearing him apart to see my sister and I hurting.

 

This is true “inspiration” to me, because these are things I think of when the going gets tough. How to succeed despite being told you can’t and worrying more about those around you. Caring enough to be a break water in the harbour.  These things are inspirational to me because it forces me to make a change, or be a different person…not just a momentary action that dissolves in time.

 

Right now, things are tough and I am hurting, you might say even bleeding a bit. But I’ll get through this period of challenge and like my Grampa’s have done all their life, I will use it to make me stronger and a better person. 

 

If you are reading this post,  thank you for taking the time . This post means more to me then any PB, Race report or review I have written.  Aside from my parents, these two gentlemen are a huge part of the reason I am here today. I hope that someday I can fill their shoes, but they are big shoes to fill.

 

Cheers, Corey