Sunday, May 20, 2012

Practice Makes Perfect

For the Creemore Vertical Challenge, I invite runners to participate in a training run.  Not many partake, as the trip to Creemore to experience the "Scream More" course (people can be so insensitive when describing a race while the race director is standing nearby...) can be a bit of an ordeal.  The training runs also should fit in between other races, but close enough to the race date to make it effective.  Can you say long weekend?

This year's practice session #1 (there is another on June 2) was attended by Doug Barber, who recently smoked the Mississauga marathon in 3:55.  At 65 years of age, that is some cool running!  Doug dragged another famous runner from Owen Sound, Joan Matthews, who happened to run the CVC in 2009 in 2:15, for second women overall.  Elise Maguire showed up early (can you say more punishment, please) and added a bit to the course, for a total of 34K during the training session.  Elise was going to run the course twice, but was a bit tired, after her 84K Seaton trail second place finish last weekend.

Round out the group with eveready bunny Lee Anne Cohen (50K?  why don't we run long instead?) and I'm looking at a recipe for disaster.  I am battling a significantly vicious bout of the flu (plague?) and have not run all week.  I have a torn cartilage.  (Violins please).  I'm supposed to LEAD this group?

Fortunately, Doug has a knack for remembering race courses, so I was able to "waive" a few of the sections and pare down my run to about 20K.  The group was most sympathetic, especially when Joan handed me one of my lungs, after a nasty coughing fit.  Fortunately, the temperature soared near the end of the run, so it could be considered true training for CVC.  Doug asked if he could drop to the 25K...

Overall, the day was fun and a great chance to catch up with my buddy Doug.  Elise, Joan, Doug and I sat in the Mad river and enjoyed some running talk and about the coldest water I could endure.  Think torture, with your legs going numb in about 3 minutes.  Perfect recovery!  Lee Anne (of course) decided to tack on another 25K to round out the run to 50K.

So, today (Sunday, May 20) I could enjoy a day off, right?  I earned it, didn't I?  Have you met Lee Anne?  "Let's go for a little bike ride".  I'm a man, not a quivering pool of jelly.  Okay.  (Note to all men married to an Amazon, never EVER say the O word).  From Creemore, we biked to Collingwood, then up Osler Bluff road (a nice hill, about 5K long, very doable, on FRESH legs), then on the Ravenna for a coffee and a date square.  Then retrace our route.  I kinda forgot to mention that we also took the rail trail from Collingwood, about halfway to Thornberry, before going back to Osler Bluff road, Ravenna, blah blah blah.

Did I mention I have the flu?  It was 31 degrees out.  At 85K, near the Collingwood airport, I bonked.  The sun was beating down, my calves and hamstrings were cramping and I also didn't feel very good.  Fortunately, Nathan (Lee Anne's son) was in Creemore and drove out to pick me up.  Lee Anne continued home on her bike.  Let's add it up!  50K run yesterday and 105K bike ride today.  Yes, Lee Anne is tapering for the 50M Sulphur Springs race in 6 days, why would you ask?

Take care, but make sure you also do something really stupid!


  1. Great post Pierre. I would have loved to been out there but was working nights through the long weekend. Fun times had be all … see you at Sulphur!

  2. Sorry I missed the run but the course is a little to flat to do during my sulphur taper

  3. Hilarious post. I think I need to try this course before race day. I'm already registered (I have my husband to thank for this), so I can't back out. On the off chance my legs fall off during a practice run, can you just leave my body where it fell down? I'll pick up and keep running on July 7.

    Kind of wish I was doing Sulphur instead of the 6-hour race in Mansfield. Looking forward to meeting more folks on the OUSER scene.