Sunday, September 13, 2009

long may you run

my friend and running buddy - you will be missed. you left doing something you loved. may the spirits keep you safe, and i will think of you everytime i run through the forest and see a wildflower.

matt tatham
september 12, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009

haliburton forest - just a training run

our weekend started with the captain picking me up at the treehouse friday after lunch, and then heading over to west guilford and the haliburton forest. onions was meeting us up there later. we stopped on the way for gas, and started our carbo loading - i had a fudgie-freeze, a bag of peanuts and some red licorice. cap had a big bag of chips and 2 of those nasty licorice cigars. ha! remember those things!!

we got to base camp around 4:30, where we met up with the incredible helen malmberg (race director) and grabbed our race kits. we then headed over to the silver maple motel, which was right in haliburton. after registering, we went to the room and captain called first bed . . .

and i called second . . .

hmmm, where was onions going to sleep?

as an afterthought, we did flip a coin, but unfortunately he lost out again. besides, there is a pecking order in the pylons, and i've been around a lot longer than him!

so anyways, me and cap decided to take a little stroll through the village and check out a place for dinner. while walking the street, we noticed a sign that said 'homemade buttertarts'. good grief! i talked him into getting one, and so we sat on a bench by the water and resumed our pre-race carbo loading. they were soooooo good! onions finally arrived, and we quickly wisked him off to the restaurant before he could check out the sleeping arrangements. we had a huge meal of spaghetti and monster meatballs. then onions got the bright idea to surprise me with a chunk of chocolate cake and the entire staff singing happy birthday. argh! i was so full i could hardly move! good cake though! as for the next incident, all i can say is, don't use a plastic cup as a candle holder and then forget about it. luckily captain spotted the small blaze before it set the shower curtain on fire. stoopid onions!

we got up at 4:30am, did what we had to do, and left for the start. on the way there, me and captain spotted a whole flock of moose on the side of the road, even though onions said it was just one deer. once at the camp, we were greeted by the sound of what sounded like dozens of wolves howling - very cool! after our pre-race prayer, and the wheezing of bagpipes, we walked over to the start - basically a line drawn in the dirt. onions was 'in the loo' at the time, and almost missed it. finally at 6am, still quite dark, we counted down the last few seconds, and began running down the road. we hit the single track just as the sun was coming up - it was going to be a beauty day. i ran with jeff cooper and a couple of other guys for awhile, and then ended up pacing a guy doing his first 50 miler. as i got close to the turnaround, i saw onions coming back towards me and he was easily in the top 10 - and looking great! i met up with captain at the water station, and the lead female. oh crap! now what happened next was robbies' fault. he always loves running when there is a 'rabbit to catch'. NO, i said to myself, just run your own race, it's not even a race, it's just a training run. well, that lasted all of 10 minutes, as i caught up to and passed her on a hill. and again, not my fault, but pylon rule #27 states that once you pass someone, you can't ever let them catch you. stoopid pylon rules! i then saw the captain. now there is no way i should ever have been so close to him, so i asked if he was okay. at that point, i noticed the mud and blood running down his legs, and the ripped race bib, and the blood on his singlet. good grief! he apparently had a spectacular crash in the biggest bog on the course. i couldn't believe he was still running! i hesitated to pass him, but pylon rules prevailed, and i went on my way. they kept telling me at the water stations that i was first place female, and the approaching 25k runners were saying the same thing! ack! i'm not used to this ! i just kept running and not looking back. finally, as i saw the finish chute, i allowed myself a quick glance over my shoulder, and came in with a time of 5:42. i couldn't believe it! this slowrunner had placed 1st in the female division.
captain came in just after me, and we got a better look at his injuries!

here's a pic of the 3 happy finishers. onions managed an awesome 7th overall.

and i won this really cool hand crafted stool, with the race name and distance burned on the top. special thanks to helen for such an original award.

on the way home, me and onions stopped and grabbed the traditional pylon post-race milkshake. we also scarfed down a box of blueberry and chocolate timbits. in all, i can't think of a better way to spend my 49th birthday. in the forest with my friends, winning a 50k, and eating junk food while singing (badly) along with songs on the radio on the drive home.

thanks guys! it was a great training run!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

i've never been to texas . . .

well, it's happened again. this time it started while i was emailing with my friend georgie in dallas (whom i met at the transrockies run last summer - part of the team knucklehead duo).

that's him on the right beside christine.

we were talking about getting together at some point, and jokingly i said, 'gee, maybe you could find me an ultra down there.' well, that got me to thinking, and then looking up races on the interweb. i found a couple and forwarded them to georgie. what followed was a flurry of emails, a phone call to my friend tone, who didn't even TRY to talk me out of it (remember him from the whole sinister 7 kerfuffle), and then georgie swearing on his marguerita, and me on my sauconys', and KABOOM!

by 8:35 last night, i was registered for the rocky raccoon 100 miler in huntsville, texas, AND georgie was registered for the 50 miler. GOOD GRIEF!!

so now i have to hope that it doesn't snow before february, so i can get in some decent long runs. and, hopefully georgie can figure out the whole blog thing, so he can add his comments and training in the preparation for our next adventure!! what could go wrong??

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

miss pugsley

so as i'm running back through the trail from k2 this afternoon, i started thinking of one of my clients. her name is erika, she's a figure skater, and i've been training her since december of 2007. i remember when i was first approached to train her. me, train a figure skater - you've got to be kidding! well, believe it or not, i could throw the odd axle in my younger days (before i started playing hockey), and decided, 'what could go wrong?' she walked into the gym on december 18, i'm sure looking at me as if to say, 'you've got to be kidding me - this person looks like she trains rugby players!' after a few sessions, and a meeting with her coaches - i'd never seen a snowflake hat before - we got down to business. she was a real trooper, putting up with a lot - straps snapping clear across the gym, the dreaded balance board pushups, the sound-barrier-breaking hip pops, the neanderthalls and their imitations, and literally thousands of inner thigh exercises. i am happy to say, that by the end of our training, miss pugsley was successfully landing her triple jumps! i managed to see her skate on a couple of occasions and it was beautiful. i could see that she truly loved being on the ice.

on monday, miss pugsley is off to university. i will truly miss training her. i am so proud of everything she managed to accomplish while working with me. and if nothing else, i hope i've instilled in her the ability to believe in herself.

and so miss pugsley, if you're reading this, i leave you with a picture of me doing what i love - hanging out on a trail just enjoying life. i also leave you with this lyric i heard while running today:
"forever trusting who we are, and nothing else matters" (metallica)
all the best my friend, you are awesome