Archive for December, 2012
We decided to spend a couple of days in Ucluelet before Christmas to relax a bit as I am working through the holidays. We stayed at Water’s Edge Resort and the temperatures hovered around minus 1 C with a fresh sprinkling of snow which didn’t melt during the day so the Wild Pacific Trail was white and crunchy. Since the wind shifted to blow out of the West the skies opened up and the sun shone in, a real mid-December treat!
With the days shortening to the winter solstice, its dark by 4:30. Thus creates the opportunity for a night headlight run, hottub and potluck dinner! A little rain just to keep the pace going and we churned up the Copper mountain trail, down Spur 10, and back the gravel road to the parking lot. There was even a deer standing at the roadside watching us run by.
Dave and I appreciate living in Port Alberni pretty much every day. How many places in the world could anyone live with such a network of varied and beautiful running trails right at your doorstep? But these trails didn’t come from nowhere, of course: people built them.
Fortunately, Port Alberni has quite a healthy population of people who enjoy the outdoors and the trail systems: runners like us, but also hiker, mountain bikers, and dirt bikers. All of these groups get out there and build new trails, as well as work to maintain the old ones.
And Dave and I do our bit, too. There are some old disused trails that Dave has shown me, that we’re going to get out to clear – get those trails back in circulation.
But even the heavily used trails need some clearing from time to time – especially now, in this wet weather. Running through vegetation gets you cold and wet pretty quickly. I was out on the Alberni Inlet trail last week after a rain, and I was fine for most of it – but once I hit the section along the water, my feet immediately got soaked from all the water dripping off the overhanging ferns. So Dave and I went out yesterday – Dave pulled the ferns by hand, and I used clippers to cut the berry bushes back.
It takes a community, both to build and to maintain these trails!
This article about ultramarathon training and preparation was originally published in my own blog on January 13, 2010. It’s one of my most popular blog posts ever. I re-ran Part 1 (preparing for a multi-day race) a few weeks ago.
Without healthy feet, you are not going to get very far, and blisters early on in an event may cost you hours of time, or even keep you from finishing at all. So the focus of Part 2 of this series is how to take care of your feet, with some notes as well on First Aid kits and other safety gear.
Prepare your feet beforehand: Elite racers may not have to do much – they seem to have bombproof feet, and I don’t know if that is because they are genetically born that way and that’s why they become so good at distance, or because they have put so Read the rest of this entry »