No Fear Of The Dark

A short while ago I was privy to receive a kit from Energizer* that included a few treats to enjoy and review. It was in this post here, that I told you about one of 2 cool headlights I received and tested. I was impressed and looked forward to trying them out on some trails for real. The other headlight is not quite as powerful or feature rich, but is a fair bit lighter and less cumbersome without the external battery pack. Either one would be suitable for trail runner, night hiking, cycling etc.

The PRO 4 headlight is the other headlight I tried. So far, I have used it on one bike ride and it was quite bright and efficient. It fit over my helmet well and it is also comfortable worn straight on my head.



2 Light modes – night vision, spot
28 lumens

21 hours runtime

Pivoting headlight to point light where needed

Adjustable head strap

Push button switch

Read more of this post

Run For The Toad 50k Trail Race 2012

After a 5 week break from running, I got back out there and managed to get in 6 solid weeks of training. There was really no rush to get back to 1000% but I had been looking forward to ‘The Toad’ for the whole year and I also wanted a little redemption from my DNF at The Limberlost Challenge. So in that 6 week cycle, I got back  to 3 80k weeks and a few long-ish runs of 29, 36, 33 and went into race day far less fit than I would like to be, but confident that could get around the 12.5 k loop 4 times in about 5.5 hours. Read more of this post

Watch Where You’re going Mister!

Traffic Lights For a reasonThat title was directed at me. Well, it wasn’t spoken but implied in the eyes of a driver as I stepped in the way of her car.

Many times I have been quite angry with drivers going too fast, or failing to yield to pedestrians, but yesterday, I was the one at fault. And, it could have cost me big time.

I was on my way, in the early morning light, to meet up with my regular running buddies. As I approached an intersection en route, I glanced ahead and made note of the green light. However, I was still far enough away that the light had turned red for me and as I entered the intersection and when I looked back up, I realized I was running right in front of a car. I was completely blown away at my idiocy. I waved, apologetically to the driver whom was able to stop well enough in time because he had just got going from a stand still. Had he been approaching the intersection at the speed limit, or god forbid speeding, I may have met my maker.

Thankfully I was lucky and this incident reminded me to run always aware, and stay alert.

On The Hunt For Trails Part 1

Living, as a runner in Toronto is a pretty good thing. Especially for those that live anywhere near the Waterfront. Finding routes that are visually pleasing, challenging and relatively traffic free is not an issue. We are actually a bit spoiled as there are an abundance of pretty decent routes that take you through Toronto’s park-lands. These are multipurpose routes that host runners, walkers, cyclists roller-bladers and more. It is rare to traverse any of these routes and not come across other active souls, regardless of the time of day. The fact that you can get a good workout in without battling the hazards of traffic (collisions as well as the pollutants inhaled) is much appreciated by all that make use of these trails. Read more of this post

LimberLost Summer

After what was more or less my best spring of running ever and a Summer that was going strong and a great outlook to the rest of the year, my running came to a complete stop. Plans to continue my running streak ended at day 183 with an ankle that needed a couple of days off after the 100k Ultra in June. I was feeling better and healed up – ready to run the Limberlost Challenge 56K Trail Race in July….until…
Read more of this post

Niagara Ultra 2012 100km Race Report

cam-dave-finishing One reason I continue writing these reports as a sort of diary to myself, to look back upon and help remind me of the little things that you learn with each one. I don’t really expect people to be super excited and anxious to read them so I don’t post them to quickly following the race, as I once did. For this race, so many people are intrigued by the Ultra distance of 100k, and have been asking so much about it, I guess I have to get on this before it all slips my mind. Read more of this post

Prelude to Niagara Ultra 100km Marathon

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

~ Martin Luther King

Words to live by. In my case, words to finish my first attempt at a 100km Ultra Marathon.

Although this is a goal race of sorts, in so much as I have a goal, to run it and finish it, and hopefully so in 11 hours or less, it is not a goal race for which I have dedicated a large amount of time to.

Sure, I run and train a fair bit, and have devoted a few weekends recently to back to back long runs. And sure I have already done 3 marathons this year so what’s another race at a mere 2.4 x the marathon distance?

A lot!

[ This next bit was added on June 28 – post race. As I wrote my race report, I wrote this bit and realized it belonged here instead. ]

I decided to run the 100k because, again, like ‘Mt Everest’, it was there. I have run the 50k at this event a couple of times, as well as the marathon the first time we were there, and the 10k with Cam last year as I decided to take a break to focus on training properly for The Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon during the summer, not that that worked out well or anything. So this would make the 5th year in a row we’ve attended the Niagara races, and when I signed up in January, for what was supposed to be the 50k, I noticed there was a 100k event added. I waited a few days to sign up to give myself some time to think about it. Withing a week, after not really thinking too hard, I was registered for the big one. Double the longest distance I have ever run!

I figured, my main goal of running a personal best in Boston would allow me to train hard, get fast, run Boston, then get the mileage up even higher with some double long run weekends and I would be set. But when Boston became a bust, the new goal for a 2012 marathon PB and Boston re-qualifier, became the Toronto marathon in early May. That meant training for the 100k would be put on hold for another month or so, as I needed to focus on Goodlife, then recover from Goodlife, and keep in mind I had commitments to  be a Pace Bunny for  Ottawa at the end of May! So, as it turns out, Goodlife went well, i took an easy week afterward, built up again and did not taper for Ottawa, managed to meet my goal of 3:45 there and went out the next day for a 22km run. When that went well, I knew I had a chance to do the ultra 100k distance.

The next few weeks went well, getting the daily miles up and doing long run weekends of 30k + 42k and 29k + 53k. Then a weekend of 10/15 to rest up and a week of 2-5k runs to rest further. Going into the race. I was feeling ready.

Read more of this post

How To Hide From The City For 5 Hours

Yes folks, here it is, another installment for the “How To Series”

Last weekend, I completed my longest run yet. 51k actually. And it spanned 5 and a half hours! Mind you, a good 15 minutes of that was spent idle, for either  a washroom break, a stop to admire the views and snap a photo,  or a pop into a convenience store for a replenishment of supplies. In total, the run time was 5:15 minutes, for an average of 6:08 per km. Not super fast, but it was hot and it was the day after a 30k run. Hopefully, for the 100km race coming up, the fact I will be rested up, will make the distance a bit more bearable because at double the length of the run, I could not have gone another 49k on Sunday! Read more of this post

Ottawa Marathon – The Short Story

What can I say about marathon #29, and the 3rd of the year. I was the 3:45 Pace Bunny. I did not really taper for this event to make it feel more difficult, on purpose, in order to maintain training value for the 100k Ultra Marathon in Niagara-On-The-Lake on June 23.

That’s about is. Yes, I made my time 3:49:25. This was not the ‘closest’ to goal bunny time ever but it was a good run with some great people alongside, making their goal times. Some had Personal Bests, some made their Boston Qualifying times and a few others were really close on what turned out to be a fairly hot finish.

In other news, the weekend for Ottawa was a success, with record numbers and great race results – of which you can read more about here – and the city was alive and receptive to the influx of visitors as usual. It is always a good time and we always seem to have a good contingent of Beaches Runners there to share the good times with. This was the 7th time in 7 years that we’ve made it there for the marathon weekend and if all goes as planned, we will be there again next year.

How I Ran My Fastest 10k Race

Sporting Life 10kThe Sporting Life 10k – It’s a tradition for more runners in Toronto, the GTA and surrounding areas than any other race in Toronto. The distance of 10k, and the downhill course attract so many runners – 20,000 or so in fact.

This is only the 2nd time I have run it having been in recovery mode from earlier Spring events like the Mississauga Marathon, or the new date of Spring time for the Goodlife Marathon.

This year, it was only 1 week after Goodlife Marathon which was a bit of a sore point with many runners around the city but that was a discussion for another day. I am a big supporter for road races in our city so I had no problems with the frequent events in our downtown core over the last several months. The more the merrier I say. Of course, non-running motorists think quite differently about this! Read more of this post