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25 Feb 2012

Strong, lean and keen.

Posted by pricey. 1 Comment

Sidelined from the trails this weekend due to work commitments, I can’t help but poke around the house and marvel at just how fit I have been feeling of late.  The last quarter of 2011 was pretty quiet on the running front with a need for recovery, rejuvenation and socialization, so I switched focus to high intensity full body conditioning and I haven’t looked back.

The team over at Versus Training Center continues to challenge me every time I step through the door and the results over 3 months have left me feeling like I could possibly be in the best shape I have been in for the last 3 years.  A quick ‘tune up’ visit to Duane over at City Sports Physio confirmed it, I have a strong body and a healthy mind.

I am back to finding some consistency with my running and my workouts are getting stronger and stronger.  I want to run and I want to run hard.  I also want to race, and want to race often. For me right now, feeling fit is the great feeling of being strong, lean and keen and with MEC Raindance 10km next Sunday I’ll get to see who that translates to racing.  Cant wait.

 

8 Jan 2012

Dirty Duo 2012 Teaser

Posted by pricey. 4 Comments

To me, nothing spells the beginning of a new year like the wet and dirty north shore trails, and no event better showcases them than the Mountain Madness run Dirty Duo.

With flavors of trails, disciplines and events to satisfy every hunger, there really is no excuse to not get out and rip around the north shore with like minded folk at the beginning of March.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ta9rkVjyAyg[/youtube]

Look out for team “Pricey Runs, McGregor Rides” again this year as we both come off the ever indulgent holiday season to storm the trails in the team relay division.

11 Sep 2011

Angels Staircase 50K

Posted by pricey. 2 Comments

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6AmSn9aB_w[/youtube]

16 Jul 2011

Knee Knacker 2011

Posted by pricey. 6 Comments

Some History

Just over 3 years ago, before I really even knew what trail running was, my friend asked me to help him out by shuttling a Camelback, some food and his wife all over the North Shore while he attempted the un-comprehendible task at the time of running 30 miles, across the mountains in the 2008 Knee Knackering North Shore Trail Run.  He ended up having an amazing race and at its conclusion I ended up at the local running store purchasing my very first pair of trail shoes.

I wanted in.  However, I missed the lottery in 2009, was injured most of last year, and over the moon when I found out I made the lottery for 2011.  With Miwok a bust yet again due to over training, I took a month off before settling into a 12 week build up to the Knacker.

Building Up

I decided to follow the ‘Official’ Knee Knacker training plan posted on the website, figuring that whoever wrote it knows a little bit more about training for it than I do.  I hit most of the scheduled long runs, got in some quality tempo work, climbed around 6000 feet midweek, got dizzy blasting speed sessions at the track and generally had a great time mixing it all up and really enjoying my running.  In the two weeks leading up to the race, I dialled everything right back and I hit the start line on Saturday morning, trained and rested.

The Plan

In the restful lead up, I used the extra time to plan out my race and work out the splits that would see me finish somewhere around 6 hours.  My game plan was to eat often and eat early, stay well hydrated and not get carried away in the first half of the race.  I wanted to make it to the Dam around 3 hours, keep conservative over to Mountain Highway, pick up that pace to LSCR, suffer the grind and hammer it home.  Simple stuff that was the advice of pretty much everyone I spoke to of the race.

I was so lucky to have the help of Katie and Brad, who not only met me with my cooler of supplies along the way, but were also selfless enough to pick me up at 4:45am and drive me to the start, I surely could not have had such a good day if it wasn’t for their support.

The Race

I really need to start in saying that it was a very special day out there last weekend.  It is such an Epic event that has simply has to be experienced to be believed.  Below, ill share some of the highlights.

From the start, I lucked out and got to spend some quality time out there with my buddy Tom.  The pace was relaxed, and it felt like a weekend long run, and not at all like racing the Knee Knacker.  We met Sean ‘The Run Bum’ Blanton and got in a few laughs on the toughest climb of the day up Black Mountain.  Descending into Cypress bowl was a blast and was the first opportunity to see my awesome crew Katie and Brad, as well as take on support from all the other amazing people out there cheering on.

From Cypress Bowl, I ended up working my way over to Hollyburn with the lead pack of female runners.  I had a great time at the dodgy creek crossings and then flying down the cross country ski runs and at one stage, I ‘post holed’ my right leg into the evaporating snowpack, took a forward roll and ended up straight back up on my feet and running, very specular and I’m sure it impressed the ladies.

In the moments leading up to this incident, I had somewhat of a mini epiphany and simply marvelled at the fact that I was so fortunate to be able to spend my whole day out running in the mountains, regardless of the race outcome, you couldn’t take the day away from me.

I was too tentative in the chute, and quickly got passed by Nicola Gildersleeve.  She is a wicked downhill runner, so I decided to go along for the ride and picked up the pace.  It really was disappointing when she took a turn on her already damaged ankle and pulled up in pain.  I pressed on, used Lisa Polizzi as a guide until I let her go, and then ran through the British properties and into Cleveland dam with Shannon  Berardo as we both congratulated each other on a well-run first half of the race.

I was in and out of the Dam pretty quickly, traded up my bottles, handed out some high fives and decided that it would be in my best interest to run all of Nancy Green way, which wasn’t a problem at the time.  The BP over to Mosquito Creek was some rolling fun.  A little bit of hike then run, hike then run, pass a couple of people, opps, fell on my ass and soon enough I was through Mountain highway, still on track for 6 hours and feeling really comfortable.

Moving along nicely, I met up with Jeremy Clegg, who I met on a training run and who had similar race goals.  We chatted easily for 10 or 20 minutes.  He was feeling good, but may have gone out a bit too hard.  He told me of how Adam Campbell went off course and joined him around 12th place very early in the race.  We probably could have run the rest of the day together until Jeremy unfortunately dropped a gel, stopped to pick it up and then I didn’t see him again until the finish.

Alone again, but happy to run my own pace, I decided to pick it up a little as I approached LSCR.  I was actually still feeling really good, keeping ahead of my plan, so never feeling like I needed to push.  I came into LSCR, high 5 to Brad, bottle change, chat to Katie, Nicola and Brook and then took off.  Still feeling strong I ran how I felt and ended up passing another runner here.

I picked up a coke at Lillooet Rd, then a sponge bath at Hyannis, a wave to Coo and DK and then hit the approach to Seymour Grind. The Grind was tough, and the only real low point of the day (debt for running Nancy Green perhaps?).  I really was tired now, my climbing legs were done, I was really only good for flats and downhill’s, but with the only way up, I slugged it out and got to the top.

In glorious contrast, from the top the only way back was down, and I figured I could be done in around 30 minutes.  I really wanted to let it rip but as I took off downhill, a giant crab appeared from behind and attached its powerful claws to both of my calves and squeezed tight – cramps.  I was pissed off, as this was supposed to be the fun part, so I yelled a little bit, grit my teeth and kept on awkwardly shuffling down the trail.  I was slow going down to Old Buck; I tried my best to block it out and picked up the pace to Seymour Rd.

Brad’s surprise hand off of an ice cold bottle of coke was simply awesome at this stage of the game, but I was still feeling pretty cooked after and it wasn’t long before Ran Katzman was on my heels.   I offered to let him pass a few times, but he was ever the gentleman, ran with me for a while and only passed when I stopped to hike a small hill. He was quick to offer words of encouragement to keep me going but I had to let him go.  It sucks to be passed so late in a race, but it is pretty easy to take when you are passed by a better runner.

The cramps were still there as I finished the race, but at 5:55 I couldn’t have been happier with my race.  I simply just felt so good the entire day, and when things got a little bit tough, it was simply because I was tired and it certainly had to hurt at some stage, it’s the bloody Knee Knacker after all!

Congrats to all the runners out there that finished on the day, fast or slow, PB or no PB, I am very proud to be a part of the small community of Knee Knacker finishers.  Thank you to everyone I saw on the day and for all the people that make this happen every year, and special thanks to Katie and Brad for their part in this race too.

9 Jul 2011

post Knacker

Posted by pricey. 3 Comments

5:55:07 – 14th place.

Could not be happier! (well unless it was 4:55:07 – and then I would have come 2nd …)

Brad and Katie – thank you, thank you, thank you! Time for some frosty cold brews.

4 Jul 2011

pre Knacker

Posted by pricey. 4 Comments

It’s only days out from Knee Knacker, so with the extra time on my hands I thought I share a few random thoughts before the race;

  • I managed to get in a solid 12 weeks running with minor interruptions.
  • I am injury free and just as importantly, my body is in alignment.
  • Getting to the start line is a small victory in itself.
  • I have really enjoyed training for this one, particularly my weekend runs, which have come with a fair share of adventures.
  • After 10 weeks of BCMC variations I now consider myself a decent hiker.
  • My fitness is pretty much exactly where I would want to be going into a race like this.
  • I haven’t raced a 50km since March 2010.
  • The snow will probably slow me down, but I think ill need it at that stage of the race.
  • Hope I don’t get lost … again.
  • I love running downhill.
  • Its my first Knacker, wonder how I will do?
  • I have a wicked crew lined up (Katie and Brad)
  • I really can’t wait to get out there on Saturday!

The game plan?

‎”In the first half of the race, don’t be an idiot. In the second half, don’t be a wimp.” S. Douglas

30 Jun 2011

Shopping

Posted by pricey. No Comments

3 May 2011

See, believe and achieve

Posted by pricey. No Comments

25 Apr 2011

Why did the chicken run 10k?

Posted by pricey. 8 Comments

When my mate Brad emailed me late last week offering a bib in the coming weekends Vancouver Sun Run, my first thought was ‘hell no!’  I hadn’t run in over a month, I’m not a huge fan of running on the road or the 10km distance and really wasn’t interested in dealing with the crowds (around 50,000 people ran this year).

I do however love running, so I started to scheme of a way that I could have a bit of fun with this race. 

Run on April 17th, the Vancouver Sun Run is Canada’s largest timed 10km race and the 2nd largest timed 10km race in the world.  This year it was run on the same weekend as the London Marathon, which also draws massive crowds and usually boasts a good number of idiots in costume.  It was in this theme that I decided that would run the Sun Run dressed head to toe in a chicken suit.

It was surprisingly easy to lay my hands on said chicken suit and after a few txt messages; I had it in my hands the very next day.

The morning of the race was fantastic.  I hadn’t honestly felt this excited about a race in ages and was bouncing round the house with anticipation.  I met my work crew in at the office, got suited up and posed for the regulation office photos.

The first thing I really noticed about the suit was that it was really hard to breathe with the mask on … oh and it was also really hard to see with the mask on … none the less, I was committed, determined and getting loads of attention on the streets, I was loving it!

The race itself, continued to be simply a ton of fun, with so many cheers, high 5’s and photo ops along the way, the first 5km literally flew by.  Km 5 to 8 were a bit of a struggle, as the weather warmed up, so did the chicken, and the lack of ventilation and visibility on the mask was beginning to become an annoyance.    

The home stretch however, lightened the mood and I was encouraged and cheered on by hundreds of supporters lining the streets, young and old, everyone was delighted to see the chicken, and I was reminded again of how lucky I am to be able to take part in such an event and move my body with my own two feet.

In the end, it was simply a fantastic day and I don’t think I could have enjoyed it any more.  The chicken got a good mix of press in the following days and I even made it to print, in the Vancouver Sun.

http://communities.canada.com/vancouversun/blogs/ontherun/archive/2011/04/17/me-and-49-365-other-guys-one-dressed-like-a-chicken-run-12-times-around-the-world.aspx

1 Mar 2011

Flight Centre 50k

Posted by pricey. 6 Comments

I was faced with a unique challenge a few weeks ago when my training schedule called for 5 or so hours on my feet, yet my work schedule conflicted and required that I spend the weeked attached to my cell phone on call.

A weekend on call usually guarantees 6am wake up calls and long days attached to the laptop, staring dreamily at the north shore mountains from my apartment windows, and lots of cussing under my breath … ok, a bit dramatic but you get the gist.  In any case I knew that if I wanted to get my run in on this particular weekend, I would need to be creative.

Enter the Flight Centre 50K.

My challenge was to find a way to link together a path between the various downtown locations of Flight Centre retail shops, so that should I get a support call, I not be more thant a 30 minute run away from a shop, a computer and a solution to the call.  I decided that Sunday afternoon would be the quietest time of the weekend to attempt this and had mapped out a great 50k route, that included 11 Flight centre locations enroute – the perfect crime.

And the perfect crime it was.  I only ended up getting a couple of calls that provided welcome conversation on an otherwise long and often boring solo run.  I stopped in at the Kerrisdale shop to refill my bottles and then again at the new Main and 12th shop for a quick spot of tech support before the last 8k home. 

50k is tough on any given day, and on any given route, but 50k on the road is pretty tough on the body and I had a very angry set of legs by the time I got home.  All in it took a little over 5 hours with a few stops here and there and I was stoked that I was able to think outside the box and get this one in as I see it as a key run in my build to Miwok. 

Flight Centre 50k

17 Feb 2011

Some runs

Posted by pricey. 1 Comment

An brief insight into the some of running I have been up to of late, trying to increase the mileage for upcoming races.

Below, my Te Mata peak run was 3 hours from the door of my sisters house in Naiper, New Zealand to Te Mata peak in nearby town Havelock North.  The run was along the Rotarty trail which I found on a 30k out and back the week prior.

A week or two later was a running of the 1972 Vancouver International Marathon course with Jordan Myers for his 40 running project.  A good group of keeners met to get dizzy running 5 laps of the 1972 VIM course round stanley park.  Not sure of how many laps would hold my interest I took off with the group and broke of with Jeremy and MCB to hit up surrounding trails.  I then proceeded to run a variety od different routes in different directions with different people for 3 and a half hours.

Last week I tried my hand at running with a mountain biker.  Actually my Dirty Duo partner Chris McGregor.  I ran from my apartment in Gastown over to Jaycee House on the Nth Shore to meet McG.  I threw some stuff in his truck, then he set off to rode the bike course and I took off and ran the run course.  I missed a turn off old buck that helped me to get in a solid 4 and a half hours for the day, then met up with McG and gobbled down some booster juice.

23 Dec 2010

Lazy mans way to 100k

Posted by pricey. 3 Comments

Last week, myself along with a good array of other local BC runners ‘won’ the Miwok 100km lottery. 

http://www.run100s.com/miwok/

This is the same lottery I won last year and Miwok 2010 was set to be my big goal race in 2010.   After a visit to the Lab at peak performance, and a discussion with Mike, I came up with a pretty solid plan, based on a lot of mileage and some pretty intense speed workouts, and almost all of it was heart rate based training.  I had no problem keeping to the schedule and was even blogging my weekly workouts so anyone bored enough to care could check in on me.

I had a steady build going, and a secondary race goal of a sub 5 Chuckanut 2 months out from Miwok. I was training hard on the treadmill, in the trails, gym, physio, kickboxing, and yoga rounding out the program.  I was focused and almost obsessed about running a sub 11 Miwok. 

I was also injured (patella tendinitis).  

I somehow got to Chuckanut in pretty good shape and gave all to that race,  I ended up missing my goal by a few minutes and then not being able to run for up to 2 weeks after.  My knee was done and it was a hard decision to drop from Miwok in the hope of salvaging some form of racing in the Summer.

So, I had stopped running, but decided to use my time off running not to really rest and try to get better, instead I spent my time in the weight room building strength and then having a good go and packing on some muscle.  I was focusing on heavy compound movements, squats, dead lifts, cleans, presses etc, not really the ‘rest’ that my body was crying out for.  My work in the gym was hard and I was rewarded with what I was training for, a few extra pounds of muscle – not really what a distance runner needs when he decides to come back from a knee injury.

The highlight of my running year post Chuckanut was being part of the STORMY relay team that set a new course record.  Great day – everyone with standout efforts and lots of good runners and support out on the course.  I spent the next few months trying to get back into some sort of running shape, but my real focus had switched to my new personal training business and partnership over the summer running boot camps in Coal Harbour.  I had a few new PT clients outside of that and was trying to squeeze in a few runs when I could. 

I had managed to build back some good fitness and decided to hit up the Phantom trail race early November.  I was training a client for the fall classic and this race was a few weeks out and really her cup of tea so I thought we could run it together, and then I would pace her for the fall classic – goal of 1:45.  I was feeling good about my running and the competitive spirit kicked in when I pinned on a race number so I took off in the Phantom race and was running around 5th place in the 12k until I shoulder checked, spied an older bloke, panicked tried to spring off my left foot and ‘pop’ there goes my ankle. 

That was about 6 weeks ago and I have now just come off a pretty good week trying to slide back into it.  Ive been back at physio, first for the ankle but now for rotated hips, and the work I’m doing there has me feeling the best I have in a ling time.  My knee no longer aches after a run, and my ankles, while still weak, hold up to running hard on the flat and I can brace them for some slower stuff in the trails.

I’m feeling good and now Miwok is the new goal in the distance. 

The same goal as last year, but with an very different approach.  I’m not going into the lab, and I’m not going to wear my HR monitor and meticulously plan every single workout and races along the way.  Instead in going to run a few times during the week, try and connect back in with the awesome group of people I used the run with regularly.  Then I will slowly build the mileage up on the weekends.  A 2 hour run may turn into a 4 hour run and a 4 into a 2, but I’m not going to be upset or obsess if everything doesn’t go totally according to plan.  I know I can run 100k – I’m taking away the pressure of trying to run it to last years plan – it didn’t even get me to the starting line. 

My attitude needs to be relaxed, as does my body in training.  I will run a few races, and not race a few runs.  Ill take my time and work a nice slow build and my lazy mans way to 100k will see me lining up at the start, trained, rested and ready for a big day come the 7th May.

Oh – and this below because everyone loves to watch a bearded man run;

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuMCBC7ks9w[/youtube]

1 Dec 2010

Pricey Bails

Posted by pricey. 6 Comments

Thought I’d share a fun little run from a session riding on Grouse a few weeks back. 

The trail, called Bobsled, is fairly new, as fast or slow as you want it to be and heaps of fun … just watch out for kids bikes blocking the entrance – they are likely to throw you off your line!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrcqMgw2f1s[/youtube]

14 Nov 2010

Roll on winter …

Posted by pricey. 2 Comments

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwWLnaME0CI[/youtube]

22 Oct 2010

Food for thought

Posted by pricey. 1 Comment

Full Story: Cute, Funny or Gross – The Globe and Mail

Psychology professor Hal Herzog has spent his career plumbing the depths of humanity’s frequently twisted relationship with animals and has chronicled his findings in a new book, Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why it’s So Hard to Think Straight About Animals.

Dr. Herzog, who teaches at Western Carolina University in North Carolina, spent time with cockfighters and was struck by their proclamations of love for the animals.

While not won over to the notion of cockfighting as a noble sport, he contrasted the life of a fighting rooster to that of the average broiler chicken. The gamecock gets to run around outside, chase hens, enjoy fresh air, eat a nice diet and generally get pampered for about two years before either killing or being killed in a dirt pen one Saturday night. The future McNugget lives for 42 days without ever seeing sun or sky, often lying in its own excrement, eating processed poultry chow, before being stuffed into a crate and carted to the slaughterhouse.

If you were reincarnated as a chicken, which would you rather be?

And if you agree with Dr. Herzog that you would rather be the gamecock, what does it say about society that cockfighting is illegal while raising broiler chickens is a thriving industry? What does it say about you, every time you chow down on a chicken sandwich? This is the kind of rabbit hole you go down once you start questioning assumptions about animals. (For the record, Dr. Herzog does think cockfighting should remain illegal.)

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