May 14, 2009

Sometime It Just Feels Like You're Going In Circles

And other actually are...

Last week ended with a bang for me as I decided to try and attack a local 'Fat Ass' event called 'The North Shore Enduro'. The premise is that you run a 7.8km loop as many times as you can in under six hours. The route consisted of a fairly flat entry of a few km. This lead you into a short but steep switchbacked climb. From the top you are filtered into a technical yet subtle descent. Eventually you find yourself hitting a few steep switchbacks down to the flat route you came in on. From there you run back out to the start-finish area, and your drop bags. For those who know the area, it's the Lynn Loop from The Gazebo and back per loop. Each lap would involve around 800 feet of climbing and descent.

A record turnout saw 41 people toeing the line. Most, if not all but myself, were simply out to enjoy the day. With Western approaching like a freight train I took the opportunity to get a bit more intensity training under my belt. The course record was held by Randy Hunter, who used to run on the Canadian 100k team. He managed to lay down eight laps in a time of 5h39m. I was hoping to better this if my legs would hold up after running the JDF just five days prior.

I went out hard and ended up with a first lap time of 36m. I had no idea if I could sustain this pace, but I intended to do so for as long as my body would allow. After a ten second transition I was off and running my second loop. Again I managed to return in 36m, and after another quick transition I opened up a bit more on my third lap. I found myself back at the start-finish in 35m this time, and after changing my shirt and grabbing some fluids I was off once again. The fourth lap was the same as my first two at 36m, and I managed just one minute slower at 37m for my 5th lap.

I had logged almost 40km and 4000 feet of climbing in exactly 3hr. My initial goal in my head was to somehow try and knock down ten laps in the six hour time limit. I was half way there, and right on time...but fully aware of the fact that it was in serious doubt as to if I could continue the same pace for three additional hours.

I was again able to sustain a 37m lap for my sixth attempt. By lap number seven I was really starting to hurt, and my 'pacer' could not have arrived at a better time...Ryne Melcher has agree to come down to Western States and help pace me at the end of June! This is incredible news for me as Ryne has more ultra experience than any other person I've ever met! He also seems to know the course inside out and is taking a genuine interest in my training leading up to the race. Ryne has been a big contributor to my current fitness level and I can't thank him enough for that! His knee was still a bit bothersome from our Juan De Fuca run earlier in the week unfortunately and he decided to just run the last few laps with me.

I have never utilized a proper pacer before and I was amazed at what a difference it can make to have someone with fresh legs leading you along. I wanted nothing more than to stop and walk, as my body was now screaming at me to slow down, but Melcher was having none of it. He forced me to dig deep and we matched the previous lap time with another 37m. By lap eight I knew I had the record, and was also aware of the fact that there would be no ten laps in under six hours! My final two lap times were 39m and 41m giving me a grand total of:

70km, 7000 feet, 5h34m


With an additional, and incredibly painful, 10km the following day I ended off last week with my third 100 mile training week of the year. With each passing week, as I log more and more miles, and manage to evade serious injury, my dreams for a top finish at Western States seem to be getting closer and closer to reality. Just 43 days left to put this theory to the test...
(The four on the right are all heading down to run Western in June)

Our friend Mr. Smokey decided to follow us to the CFA event to help cheer us on!!

Montrail Mountain Masochist Shoes
Mountain Hardwear shorts and shirt
Carbo Pro 1200
Recover immediately following the event!



Clara said...

Awesome job and great miles for the week!!!

Club Fat Ass said...

What an awesome run you had, Gary. Great spirit, always positive. Plus, you gotta be the only person who can describe a lap run...and I read it all the way to the end ;-)

Rob Mackay said...

Looking forward to seeing you drop the hammer at WS!

garobbins said...

Thanks all:)



You are getting quite a collection of those 'records'- you have now gone down in history. Look out WS!

Oh, gotta thank you for the inspiration. Long day at work,too tired to run,I sit, log on, then see how far you ran...THEN you did a 10 K the next day! That got my sorry A$$ off the couch and around Buntzen. You rock, you inspire.

MJ said...

Eager to follow your race at WS.... you seem to rounding into pretty awesome form. Great race!

Hassan Lotfi-Pour said...

Fantastic run dude that is an amazing time. Hey buddy is not only you are waiting 40 some days to WS, I Can't wait to read about your success. It is great from Ryne to pace you, you 2 have been doing great together and would be an awesome to see the result in WS.

garobbins said...

Thanks guys!
Heather, glad I could help, but I think the credit lies with you for getting out there and doing it!
Meyrick, pleasure to finally put a face to a name...Heather, we have to figure this out soon too:)
Sammy, always appreciate the support my friend!