Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Loping Along

(trail head marking- along the Seymour River as you head up to the Powerlines)

you have the rest of your life
to progress into long distance running
why strain, make pain?
why not lope along,
free and easy,
doing it like a dance?
when you start doing it
you'll see that running
is naturally hard enough
all by itself
without you creating
additional hardship for yourself.

The Zen of Running- Fred Roche

(Twin Bridges Trail- North Shore- Beautiful colour after an evening rain)

I love to just "lope along". When my mind is clear and thoughts quiet I find that I am in my best state to run. I am not straining or forcing, far from it. I am letting the run come to me, without judgement or precondition. Even when I have a type of workout in mind, be it progression, hills, or steady-state, I am ever conscious of not forcing the stride. Hands loose, upper body erect, and light feet- these are the guiding principles. Perhaps this sentiment is a West Coast thing as I recently read a similar sentiment expressed by Adam Campbell. Whatever it may be, the personal satisfaction and sheer fulfillment that comes from achieving this state is always my ultimate aim. So for now, I will continue to just "lope along".

(Remainder of an afternoon rain shower- Photo Credit- Meredith Cale)

Monday June 21, 2011: PM: 7miles (1:05) Easy. Heavy legs after the weekend mileage. Did my usual steep hill 10second sprints (6times).

Tuesday June 22, 2011: PM: 10miles (1:28) Downtown to North Vancouver via Stanley Park trails. GI issues but legs felt solid. PM2: 4miles (41min) Super easy.

Wednesday June 23, 2011: PM: 9.5miles (1:18) Easy miles.

Thursday June 24, 2011: PM: 9miles (1:20) Hill workout. First 5miles involved two hill climbs of 10-13min durations. Then did the last 4miles at 7:30-8:00 pace. Legs felt surprisingly spry after the hills.

Friday June 25, 2011: Noon: 4.5miles (38min) Easy. PM: 6miles (47min) Progression Run along the Seymour River. Rolling terrain. Great run. Splits: 9:28 (rolling), 8:20(slight downhill), 8:13(rolling), 7:23 (rolling), 6:53 (uphill), 6:52 (uphill).

Saturday June 26, 2011: AM: 9miles (1:21) North Shore Trails. 2000vertical. Felt great on the climbs today. PM: 4.5miles (50min) Super Easy. Did one steady climb from Twin Bridges up to Gazebo. Felt good given the morning miles and vertical.

Sunday June 27, 2011: 20+miles (5:57) LSCR bike path and a climb up/down the east side of Coliseum Mountain with Kerry and David. To put this run in to perspective, we did the first 6miles in sub 50min and the last 6miles slightly over that mark. The other 8miles were done in 4+hrs. Never stopped the watch so we spent at least 30+min taking photos; soaking in our surroundings; finding our route; and assessing how much further and where we could go safely give the snowy conditions up high. The top half of the run was in snow-pack of 8-12feet and involved serious foot digging (so as not to slide down the slope). Gradients were seriously steep that I had a few moments of questioning our decision to continue to the top.

Weekly Mileage: 83.5miles (16hrs)


  1. Dear Ultrarunner Way,

    I'm in awe by your weekly mileage and progress! You're clearly hardwired with unwavering determination, perseverance and a true passion for running! Go Ad go!

    I'm curious to your thoughts on the 5-fingered shoes: http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/index.htm. Have you tried them? Recommend 'em? Like 'em?

    - A half-thoner in training for the Victoria full, inconspicuously following (aka. BW)

  2. Hey BW! An unlikely follower but I am flattered nonetheless.

    As for 5-fingers. The idea behind them is a good one: ie. promoting a more natural forefoot strike and increasing perception of the ground surface. Indeed, I run in predominately “minimalist” shoes that have a low heel-to-toe drop (4mm-8mm), light, and limited cushioning that all promote the same idea. I have not run in the 5-fingers myself but in my opinion I don’t think they are that practical for the purposes of running (especially trails). They are too drastic a shift from our typically padded shoes that they increase the risk of injury too greatly. Certainly they could be used as a training tool (ie. Go on walks with them, etc) but I would never run in them.

    But a minimalist shoe that you may consider if you are interested is the New Balance line (http://www.newbalance.com/nb-minimus/) I wear this type of shoe on shorter runs to increase strength in my feet muscles and to work on proper running form.

    Good luck with your training. I think that is awesome that you will be running a half and maybe full. I was just reminiscing about our days running/blading along the Lower Seymour Demonstration forest road the other day.

    All the best, AW

  3. Thanks Ad! Great insight into it. Ya, the 5-fingered seemed like such a big leap from regular running shoes. Thanks, I'll try the NB Minimus.

    After every big run I do, I always think about you and Mer. Seriously, don't know how you do it so often and and with so much joy, haha. I'm just in pain and need a couple days to recover!

    Keep on striding my friend,