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Training Log Archive: Bash

In the 7 days ending May 28, 2017:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Paddling2 6:00:25 27.7(4.6/h) 44.59(7.4/h) 21
  Mountain Biking3 5:20:26 51.6(9.7/h) 83.05(15.6/h) 574
  Running2 2:39:46 12.78(12:30) 20.57(7:46) 613
  Strength & Mobility1 5:00
  Total8 14:05:37 92.09 148.2 1208
averages - sleep:6.7

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Sunday May 28, 2017 #

10 AM

Mountain Biking (Rail Trail) 2:00:02 [3] 40.33 km (20.2 kph) +93m

After a huge dinner at 3 Guys and a Stove last night followed by an early bedtime, we drove into Algonquin Park to ride the Old Railway Bike Trail. We have a 100 km mountain bike race on Saturday so we thought a long, steady ride would be good. There were some mucky sections but nothing like what we've been riding through over the past couple of weekends.

We went around Rock Lake Campground to add some extra distance. We stopped to take a couple of photos and I increased my tire pressure a lot because I felt slow on this non-technical trail with the low pressure I've been using. It felt better and looks like it may have helped a little. 'Bent thinks I just felt better after taking a break, which may be true.

Beautiful day to be in the park!

Saturday May 27, 2017 #

8 AM

Paddling race (Canoe) 5:01:42 intensity: (2:31:42 @3) + (2:00:00 @4) + (30:00 @5) 40.0 km (8.0 kph) +15m

Big East River X
40 km canoe race
Huntsville, ON

'Bent and I have done long adventure race paddling legs using kayak paddles and we've paddled for hours with canoe paddles on wilderness trips. Today was the first time we brought those things together and tried a long race with canoe paddles.

The Big East River X is the little brother of the Muskoka River X, the longest single day paddling race in the world. The race course is an out-and-back that starts in downtown Huntsville, travels west to Lake Vernon and goes upstream on the Big East River to the turn-around point at Arrowhead Provincial Park.

It's always interesting to do a race with specialists in a sport. We had fun looking at the wide range of watercraft and checking out their gadgets and tricks.

We started at 8 a.m. and the water was churning from the wakes of all the canoes. It would have been easy to tip.

The solo boats started 5 minutes after the canoes so we got to see some beautiful paddlers go by.

Once we got on the river, the challenge was to make our way upstream in the most efficient way possible. At first, there wasn't much current but after awhile, it became important to aim for the insides of curves and other eddies while avoiding the need to do too much steering around obstacles like sandbars or fallen trees. Marathon canoeists steer by changing sides at the right time without using J strokes. We tried to adapt our style a little but we don't have those skills. Also, we don't have nice small-bladed carbon paddles like the real racers do.

There are many different categories and it's not always obvious which category a canoe belongs to. There are 3 canoe types - Pro, Stock and Recreational - based on canoe design and dimensions. Within each type, there are Male, Female and Coed categories. And then there are all the different types of kayaks and SUPs!

We were in the C2 Stock category, which meant that we had a medium fast canoe. On our way upstream, we were leapfrogging another couple in a canoe that looked similar to ours so we figured we were in the same category, which gave all four of us some competitive fun. They asked whether it was our first time racing, which must have been obvious because we were debating our strategies as we went. They had more experience and we watched what they were doing. They passed us when we stopped to spray mosquito repellent. There wasn't any time for stopping in this race, which was too bad because I had to pee for 4.5 of the 5 hours.

Because it's an out-and-back course, we got to see the top paddlers coming toward us. Wow! The first kayak set a new course record of 3:35 for 40 km. The fastest Pro canoe finished 20 minutes behind him and was paddled beautifully by a couple in their 60s.

When we reached the turnaround, we were ahead of our friendly rivals so we paddled hard on the first downstream section. Now we were looking for the fastest current, often on the outsides of the bends although as the current became weaker, we would aim for the middle of the river or just try to cut corners. The field had spread out so we were mostly alone at this point although I caught a glimpse of the canoe behind us a couple of times and they seemed to be gaining.

For the last 2 hours of the race, we paddled hard and imagined the other canoe to be just behind us. This took me well beyond my comfort zone and by the time we crossed the finish line, I was totally spent. For a few minutes in the final kilometres, I seriously wondered, "Is this some weird female heart attack symptom or is it just a sore shoulder/chest?" (I convinced myself it was the latter - and it was.) I was a bit shaky when I hit dry land; there were others in the same, um, boat.

After 5 hours of hard paddling, we finished ahead of our rivals by less than 3 minutes. We had a great chat with them afterward, took each other's photos by the water etc.

We ended up 3rd of 5 boats in the Coed C2 Stock category. The winner was 45 minutes ahead of us and second place was 26 minutes ahead so it wasn't remotely close.

Everyone was friendly and the race was fun and well-organized. Their next event is a new 24-hr paddling race in mid-June based on the idea of 24-hr mountain bike races. The main camp will be set up by the water in downtown Huntsville and paddlers will do 12 km loops. FB is racing. I wish I could!


Friday May 26, 2017 #


It's been awhile since my brain last refused to turn off and let me sleep. I read about a simple technique that helped people fall asleep in a study. Pick a word with no repeating letters, then start with the first letter and think of as many words as you can that start with it. When you run out, move on to the second letter. This has worked better for me than some of the other "fall asleep" tricks; it feels like it uses a different part of the brain. It didn't work last night though.

We heard a podcast today where a sleep specialist defined insomnia as 3 months with less than 4 hrs of sleep. Fortunately, I don't qualify. He referenced a study where people who averaged less than 5 hrs of sleep per night were shown to be at higher risk for a bunch of different medical conditions. No surprise there but interestingly, the increased health risks were mostly seen in the subset of study participants who slept less than 5 hrs AND took sleeping pills. I still haven't ever taken a sleeping pill (the idea makes me squeamish) but I'm going to need to try some for Ultra Tour Monte Rosa.

Thursday May 25, 2017 #

1 PM

Running (Trail) 2:02:35 [3] 15.2 km (8:04 / km) +522m 6:53 / km
slept:7.0 shoes: Salomon Speedcross Pro

It was *pouring* so naturally I thought, "What a great day to test my layers for the Alps!" (Admittedly, there have been other rainy days when I've thought, "What a great day to test the treadmill!")

It was 11C with heavy rain and I wore a lightweight, long-sleeved Capilene shirt with a Helly Hansen sports bra under my lightest waterproof-breathable jacket, a 2 or 3-year-old Salomon Bonatti. I also wore a Buff, medium-weight Salomon capris, Smartwool running socks and the Compressport calf sleeves that I bought as a souvenir of Lavaredo Ultra Trail (somehow they finished feeling dry but nothing else did). For the first 20 minutes, I felt too warm so I unzipped the jacket a little. After 40 minutes, I felt damp right to the skin, which was OK while I was running in the forest but if I'd been on a windy Alp or even if I'd had to stop today, I would have been cold. So I'll need more layers and/or my heavier waterproof-breathable jacket.

AdventureDog was my intrepid companion as we ran around Glen Haffy in search of elevation gain. I only repeated one hill so it didn't feel forced. I was proud of A-Dog for staying on the narrow trail as we passed the 8 meter stretch of lush poison ivy beside the K2 trail, and he hopped off the trail to avoid running through a large pile of fresh horse poop. Good boy! We met two fishermen at the public pond with big dogs on the loose so that was exciting.

The one surprise of the day came when we got to the top of a hill where we needed to cross a fence at mid-thigh height. Earlier in our run, A-Dog was ahead of me and had flown over the fence like a professional show jumper. When we reached the fence later on, he was lagging behind me and I glanced over my shoulder to enjoy the show. He took off and sailed over the fence like Superman - as if in slow motion - but I'd failed to calculate the length of his trajectory and he smashed headfirst into my hamstring. We were both shocked but uninjured. At the next fence, I noticed that he gave me time to get farther ahead.

I came home as a drowned rat , which was fixed by a hot shower, herbal tea and a roaring fire - nice, although a little weird in late May.

Wednesday May 24, 2017 #

1 PM

Running (Trail) 37:11 [3] 5.37 km (6:56 / km) +91m 6:23 / km
slept:7.0 shoes: Salomon Speedcross Purple#2

Short, quick (for me) run around Palgrave West. This year's poison ivy crop arrived late but it sure is flourishing now!
4 PM

Mountain Biking (Single Track) 1:07:31 [3] 15.1 km (13.4 kph) +267m

Harps came up to Albion Hills for a ride after work and I joined him for the first hour. So nice to catch up! We're both on new 29ers after years of riding 26ers. Harps rode well of course, and I only had issues in a few tight spots that were also tricky on my old bike. I'm liking my new bike more and more!

We stopped for a buttertart break and chatted with Sean Ruppel (Superfly Racing), Brittany Webster (retired Olympic XC skier visiting from Canmore) and her sister Lindsay Webster (multiple OCR winner). Sure, they may be super successful athletes but they were jealous of our huge buttertarts. ;) I abandoned Harps after that; I hope he could ride with a full stomach!
7 PM

Strength & Mobility (Physio) 5:00 [1]

Loosening up my tight Achilles

Monday May 22, 2017 #

9 AM

Paddling (Canoe) 58:43 [2] 4.59 km (4.7 kph) +6m

In preparation for ARWC, Storm planned a pack rafting expedition from our cottage around a long peninsula on Muldrew Lake. He planned to take out at the Indian Landing boat launch and run 4 km back on roads.

Coach Browner showed him how to pump up her pack raft quickly.

The rest of us watched and made helpful suggestions. ;) Teeny Tiny got a mosquito bite the day before and was extremely unimpressed, hence the protective gear.

'Bent, Timato, Teeny Tiny and I paddled in two canoes to provide an official escort to send Storm off. He was impressively speedy; we had to work to keep up. Look at his smile - he obviously loves pack rafting. ;)

Good technique.

Then off into the cloudy day as we turned around to head back to the cottage.

We stopped so Timato and Teeny could explore an island. Sadly, there were no ripe blueberries in May.

We hooked Timato and Teeny to the back of our boat so it was easy to stay together and play "I Spy" most of the way back.

11 AM

Mountain Biking (Trail & Country Road) 2:12:53 [3] 27.61 km (12.5 kph) +214m

Browner, 'Bent and I loaded bikes into the van and drove to the Indian Landing boat launch. None of us had brought a backpack large enough to carry a pack raft so Storm was going to drop off his water gear in the van at the end of his pack raft paddle, then run back to the cottage.

We rode along North Muldrew Lake Rd. to the Old Stone Road Trail to Southwood Rd. to the Torrance Barrens. This was part of the Logs Rocks and Steel route. Old Stone Road Trail was especially fun with a few big puddles and some muddy sections. We had a short but fun ride around the Torrance Barrens before turning back for the cottage.

I hit a wet, off-camber root near the start that slammed me to the ground. I don't know what it is about this bike - maybe just that it's farther to the ground - but when it slips up front, it seems unforgiving. I landed on rock this time and was in so much pain below the side of my hip joint that I expected to have a huge multi-coloured bruise for a long time. The injury turned out to be more road rash than bruise, which was lucky.

Other than that, it was all good! We took a long photo break since the Moab-like rock was so much fun.

We visited the site of our New Year's Eve winter camping adventure with Goose, Coach LD, Storm and Browner in 2015/16.

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