Canadian in Candia

December 26, 2009

Running Training Links

Filed under: Internet, Life — Tags: , , — Miriam @ 8:00 pm

Buffalo's Freezer 5kAs I mentioned on Monday, I’ve been running again. I’ve been sticking to it quite well. There’s a few factors that seem to have helped me this time around.

First is the support of friends. I’ve made a few friends who want to join me in races and training and for that I am very grateful. Your encouragement has been so valuable to me.

Second is my high energy fool of a dog. Cooper needs the exercise and can be quite “vocal” about his need for speed.

Third is the tracking I’ve been doing. There are several internet resources I have found that have helped me keep track of my training and keep me motivated to keep going further and faster. Here’s a few of the sites I’ve been using lately.

  1. SparkPeople – This is pretty much a diet and exercise community. It has food, weight and exercise tracking programs as well as wonderful support communities, diet and exercise plans and plenty of hints and tips.
  2. RunningAhead – I find this to be a very powerful program. You can modify it to include pretty much any sport in any category you would like. So you could ad a horseback riding category and have sub-categories for Cross-Country, Jumping and Dressage. It’s a little hard to start off with, but I love it now that I know how to use it. The reports section is great.
  3. Active.com – I think an important part of staying motivated is having fitness goals. This is why I keep signing up for small races. I mostly use Active to find races to look forward to, but they have lots of training tips and articles too.
  4. CoolRunning.com – Another site with excellent race info. They are the originators of the Couch-To-5K running plan. An excellent training plan if you’ve never run before.
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December 21, 2009

Freezing in Buffalo

Filed under: Races — Tags: , , — Miriam @ 10:43 pm

Buffalo Freezer 5k
Since mid-October, I’ve been running. Well at first it was more walking than running. I would go back to a walk as soon as the pain in my feet got bad. And I started being very carful with what I ate too. I was under a lot of stress so I was careful to make sure what I was putting in my body was valuable to my body.

Now two months later, I’m running 6 mile training runs. I still have a lot to go to be even considered a recreational athlete, but I’m making progress.

I’ve even been racing a bit. I never raced other than elementary and middle school track and field and cross country. So I’m finding my goals easier to find. It’s not like rowing where I feel a need to return to personal records. Every distance run is a personal record because I never kept tabs when I ran to cross train in college.

My first 5k that mattered was the sunapee turkey trot on Thanksgiving day. Jes joined me for a killer course. I would like to apologize to Jes yet again for the hill climb within the first 1/4 mile, I had no idea. I managed to run the whole distance and finished in just over 10 minute miles.

So when I wanted to visit my parents in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, I felt a need to find a race and bring my brother along. So I actually planned my trip home on the weekend of the Buffalo Freezer 5k this last Sunday.
Buffalo's Freezer 5k

Costumes were encouraged so my brother wore a set of flannel pajamas with scotty dogs I bought him the day before. And my little brother actually stuck with me while I ran 9 minute miles for more than half the race. I eventually was fed up of a slapfooted runner in front of me so I took off.
Buffalo's Freezer 5k

I was very proud of myself when I finished the race in just under 9 minute miles. I was very proud of Mike for finishing in under 30 minutes on his very first running race ever that he hadn’t even trained for.
Buffalo's Freezer 5k

Buffalo's Freezer 5k

Mike did get a fair bit of attention for his running attire. He kept being recognized and/or cheered on as “pajama man”.

Cooper was so upset with me for having left him behind while I ran, but he was relatively well behaved as a spectator with my parents.
Buffalo's Freezer 5k

After a lunch with my family I drove straight across New York and Massachusetts to find myself back home. But I was certainly glad to have taken the time and energy to get some exercise in before that long trip.

August 14, 2009

Cigna 5k Corporate Race

Filed under: Races — Tags: , , — Miriam @ 8:02 am

A couple months ago an e-mail came through at work inviting employees and their families to join in the Corporate Race a group was entering. It was for charity and there was a walking wave so I decided to sign up.

I also talked my hubby, who had never run a race of less than 20 miles into doing the race.

So yesterday, we joined 5000 other people (including a bunch of my coworkers). At the race. I didn’t have a camera after the start until we got back to work so I only have a few pictures of before the race started.

5k Race in Manchester

I’m claustrophobic so the crowd seemed terribly huge to me. It made me realize why I liked rowing so much. In rowing you generally have a 10 foot buffer on either side of you. If someone in within that buffer zone it basically means you have crashed.

Because of the crowds I decided to jog to get somewhere where the crush wasn’t so bad. I was wearing my Vibram FiveFingers so I figured that on pavement I would probably fatigue pretty quickly and get back to the plan of attack, walk the 5k.

Well jogging turned into just a little further and a little bit further. I stopped to walk a few times but got back into a jogging pace when whatever was hurting eased up a little.

I ended up finishing in 35:17. Which is under 12 minute miles. This was significant for me because I hadn’t really run in 3 years. My feet wouldn’t let me.

I think this is proof that my Vibram FiveFingers are doing their job. I had arch pain when I came in last night, but my heels were doing well. This morning my feet are killing me, but that’s to be expected when you go from walking to jogging a whole race.

I wish I had a picture of the finish. I’m proud of having pushed myself again.

July 31, 2009

Adam’s Race Report

Filed under: Races — Tags: , , , — Miriam @ 2:44 pm

IMGP1609Adam wrote up a report on the Vermont 100 race.  I asked him if he could post it to my blog. But he’s a pretty modest fellow.  So he started his own blog instead. Fine by me.

He wrote the report with intention that it could be useful to both newbies to the sport of Ultrarunning and to people who already ultrarun but wanted a better idea of the course.

Find Adam’s Race Report Here.

July 22, 2009

Vermont 100 – Race Report/Runners

Filed under: Races — Tags: , , , — Miriam @ 2:19 pm

Warning: This post promises to be much much too long!

So this weekend my husband did something truly amazing, he raced in the Vermont 100 Endurance Race. That’s 100 miles of running. On two legs and two feet, no swapping those out. But he did it. And I helped out by driving around and providing him with fresh shoes, socks, Vaseline, food, beverages and moral support.

I have to say that as far as ultramarathons go, it was actually a very enjoyable experience for me. My husband has started making friends in the ultramarathon world. So I made friends with their wives, girlfriends and crews. So over the course of 24 hours, I had a great time hanging out with my father-in-law, Sarah, Allison, Nicole, Mike, Steve, Keith and others.

I took way too many pictures. Well if you consider 700 to be too many. At one point I figured that random strangers might like to find free pictures of themselves on my flickr account. And I have this new 50-200 mm lens that I really wanted to play with. So I took pictures of people and horses I didn’t know. Well perhaps I took pictures of the horses because the horses were simply amazing.

So in order to spread out this blog post over multiple days (and reduce my guilt if I don’t get to post later this week), I’m dividing this post into several posts. I hope you enjoy a glace at what the race is like.

1.) Race report/results (this post)
2.) The horses in the race
3.) The people behind the racer
4.) The importance of a pacer

Race report from my perspective

The night before did not provide a restful sleep. It rained with sounded like popcorn popping on the roofs of our tents. Someone’s car alarm went off in the middle of the night. Wake up for most was before 3am. As the start of the race approached most runners joked about stretching as Chariots of Fire blared on the stereo.

At 4am the runners were off, it was more like the start of a large hike as most runners pace themselves instead of sprinting out of the gate. It was still dark and damp and we decided to wait to watch the horse start before heading to the first Aid station.

The scenery was gorgeous at the first Handler Aid station. The mist hung at the edge of the woods.
IMGP1224

It took a long time for the runners to reach that first Handler station, and at that point they had already run 20 miles. This was also probably the only Aid station were we really got to see all the front runners of humans and horses. All our runners looked great as they came in. They did quick shoe changes grabbed a bite to eat and ran off again.

The weather improved as we traveled from one Aid station to the other. We started a handler caravan with 3 to 4 cars traveling to find the Aid stations. Our runners continued to come in and we continued to have a good time hanging out with each other. I doodled on occasion to keep from getting bored. More often I would take hundreds of pictures to pass the time. Later when Keith was around with his family I took way too many pictures of his 2 1/2 year old boy. He was way too adorable.

I was actually grateful for the long distance drives between stations because it gave us something to do.

Adam would come in and refuse to even stop for more than a couple seconds. He didn’t even want to sit. He left his friends behind as they took better care of their feet. At one point our runners had spread out enough that we had to break up our little group and regroup while waiting.

The aid stations were all slightly different and the volunteers that manned them were incredibly helpful (Thank you volunteers!). They jumped on my very specific instructions for my husband’s soup. At that point he was starting to feel the fatigue and pain and having a smooth transition probably helped a great deal. I also loved how some of the aid stations were decorated. For example the Caribbean theme at Margaritaville and the pretty little Christmas lights as the sun was setting at West Wind.

IMGP1740The runners have to be awake for very long periods but so do they handlers. You don’t want to fall asleep and miss your runner. And this can lead us to become a little silly. At one point, after it had gotten dark, we found the fact that all the handlers were sitting in rows facing a single light on a building hilarious. We wondered what a random bystander would think if they saw us sitting there.

After sunset the trail is illuminated with glow sticks. It gives the trail an eerie glow.

As I waited for my husband I decided that I couldn’t sit still, so I followed the trail up from the finish. I cheered for runners from the middle of the woods. I took items of clothing that runners didn’t want in their finish pictures (it was dark, I’m not sure how good the finish pictures would be anyways). I found my husband in the middle of the woods and he didn’t recognize me at first. I jogged the last 1/2 mile with him, he was limping and hobbling so badly that I could keep up with him. He even said “you’re keeping up with me, I must be going slow” (I havn’t been able to run in several years because of foot issues). He asked me to go run ahead to tell them to get ready for him. I did and he sprinted past me. He finished well below his goal time, tired and sore but happy.

I should also note that that 1/2 mile also made me very aware of the wonderful effort his pacer Keith did in helping him out. I’m planning on writing a short post on that later.

So the rest of the story involved a trip to the medical tent where my hubby got the largest grossest blister I’ve ever seen treated (and I was a rower so I know blisters), watching our remaining two runners come in within the 24 hour belt buckle limit and a twenty minute walk back up the few hundred yards from the medical tent to our tent.

It was a memorable first 100 mile race for both of us.

Our runners

Although she wasn’t one of “our runners” I wanted to post about Serena. I have to admit that Serena Wilcox is one of the coolest people I have met recently. She talks at a million miles an hour and looks like she’s fresh and bubbly after 50 miles. We met her at the Wapack 50 where we got talking because she has the same last name as my husband. She adores Cooper so it was probably a good thing that he wasn’t there, it would have slowed her down.
IMGP1452She managed to finish 15th (3rd among women) with a time of 19:50:52

Last year my hubby paced his friend Nate for the last 30 miles of the race. I guess he struggled a bit at parts to a point that Adam took away his watch. This year, Nate was on FIRE. He looked strong and finished really really well.
IMGP1274He finished 18th with a time of 20:29:24

My hubby Adam Wilcox was way ahead of 24 hour pace for a long time. At one point he was at a 21 hour finishing pace. He looked great until we saw him at the 11 mile left to go mark. He had to remind himself to stay steady as he got onto the scale at that point. It was his first 100 mile race and he did great.
IMGP1387He finished 44th with a time of 22:40:24. Giving him 7th place in his age group.

Adam’s close friend “Sherpa” John Lacroix was Adam’s inspiration to get into this crazy sport. This was his tenth race of a 100 miles or more. Adam and John ran together for the first part of the race. But then Adam started skipping shoe changes and pulled ahead (which he is still paying for). John still finished in his second fastest time, which is impressive because he was actually behind pace at one point.
IMGP1558He finished 66th in 23:27:35. His third buckle in 3 attempts of the Vermont 100. His race report will be on his blog.

I don’t really know Drew that well (well at all) but his wife Allison became part of our handler/crew group and we had a great time with her and started cheering for Drew as well. So he’s part of this post as part of our runners.
IMGP1499Drew Haas finished 78th in 23:44:05.

The total amount of finishers under the 30 hour cut off time was 173 people, including 72 year old Karsten Solheim who finished in 29:54:40. You have to admire that achievement.

Another one of our friends, Jeff Waldron had to drop at the 70-something mile mark.
IMGP1483He looked great most of the race and did complete 70 miles, but his achilles tendon, which had been bothering him prior to the race finally got the best of him.

July 16, 2009

Hubby Got Interviewed

Filed under: Races — Tags: , , , — Miriam @ 11:33 am

Pittsfield Peaks 2009Adam and Sherpa John at Pittsfield Peaks this year

This weekend is an exciting weekend in our lives. Adam is racing the Vermont 100 mile foot race this weekend. He’s been preparing for this since at least the Vermont 50 miler last year. And he signed up at the first opportunity this year. The person who inspired him to start racing Ultramarathons, Sherpa John, did an interview with Adam about Adam’s Ultra Experience and the upcoming race.

Sherpa John has been involved in extensive hiking and ultramarathons for several years now. He has used his talents to raise significant money for diabetes.  And he runs a pretty popular blog on his adventures in Ultrarunning and hiking. Check out his blog here.

June 10, 2009

Pittsfield Peaks 2009

Filed under: Races — Tags: , , , — Miriam @ 8:25 am

We spent Saturday in Pittsfield, Vermont.  Adam was racing the 53 mile, 14,000 feet of elevation gain ultramarathon known as Pittsfield Peaks.

Pittsfield Peaks 2009
Cooper was thrilled to find Adam after waiting for him at at Aid Station.

Pittsfield Peaks 2009
A lot of Ultrarunning is actually walking. At least at Adam and his friends’ levels.

Adam seemed to be having some trouble. He was lagging behind his hoped for times. His friends started finishing the race.

Pittsfield Peaks 2009

I started taking pictures of his friends…
Pittsfield Peaks 2009

And their foot injuries.
Pittsfield Peaks 2009

But Cooper started getting bored.
Pittsfield Peaks 2009

Then we heard that my husband was doing something a little crazy.
Pittsfield Peaks 2009

For $100, he was carrying a rock that weighed at least 40 lbs for the last 5 miles of the race.
Pittsfield Peaks 2009

There’s two ways to get a lot of attention when you finish a race. First, you finish in the top several spots. Second, you show up carrying a heavy rock over your head.
Pittsfield Peaks 2009

I guess he has some beer money now.
Pittsfield Peaks 2009

Cooper was just happy to have his dad back.
Pittsfield Peaks 2009

May 29, 2009

Wapack 50/Pineland Farms 50

Filed under: Races — Tags: , , — Miriam @ 8:30 am

Adam’s pretty heavily involved in his ultramarathon racing season. Two weeks ago he raced the Wapack 50.

Wapack 50

It’s 50 miles on the rugged Wapack trail in Southern New Hampshire. Cooper and I hiked Pack Monadnock so we could meet him and there was rocks that the puppy just couldn’t jump in the middle of the trail. I can’t imagine what the other 48.5 miles were like.

Adam post Wapack 50

He had to drop out after 42 miles. His feet were completely messed up from being too wet too long. I had never seen anything like it before.

Foot pain

He still got a medal for finishing 42 miles but he was disappointed in not finishing.

Wapack 50

So last weekend while I was in Quebec he was in Maine racing the Pineland Farms 50 miler. I don’t have any pictures of the race. But he finished 16th with a time of 8 hours and 28 minutes. A new Personal Record for him and something to get his ego back into place.

Next race is Pittsfield Peaks in Vermont June 6th. I should be there for that one.

May 9, 2009

Tired Poodle = Good Poodle

Filed under: Dogs, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Miriam @ 9:48 pm

Cooper in the yard

Since we have had Cooper we have had so many questions about what breed(s) he is, Goldendoodle, labradoodle, cockapoo etc. But we get some advice when people find out he’s a purebred standard poodle… A tired Poodle is a Good Poodle.  So, everyday Cooper gets lots of exercise.

Cooper in the yard
Cooper in the yard
Cooper in the yard
Cooper in the yard
Cooper in the yard

My husband was racing a 50 mile race today, so Cooper and I hiked Pack Monadnock to meet him on top. Cooper did remarkably well. He has now completed a 2000 ft mountain. And one of the peaks on the New Hampshire fire tower quest list.

Cooper on South Pack Monadnock

Cooper on South Pack Monadnock

April 29, 2009

Muddy Moose

Filed under: Races — Tags: , — Miriam @ 7:18 am

Adam and my friend Erin raced the Muddy Moose in Wolfeboro, NH this weekend.  It’s a interesting race because of the muddy aspect.  I did the 4 mile option last year and there was huge sections of knee deep mud. The entire course is pretty much mud puddle after mud puddle. Adam and Erin did the 14 mile option.

Muddy Moose 2009

They said it was a lot of fun partially because they got to play in mud puddles like little kids. Because of the mud the times are slower than regular races. I highly recommend it for any runners interested in doing it next year.

Muddy Moose 2009

Muddy Moose 2009

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