Monday, January 11, 2010

Out Of Excuses

This has been a solid week of training. I'm finally over my injury. Last week, I mixed running with some elliptical and finished on a high note with a 5+ hr trail run pulling Sancho the pulk. Yes a run, not a walk. I managed to cover about 32km, about 20 miles, during that run. Doesn't sound like a lot but all the eating, walk breaks, changing into snowshoes/Microspikes, fighting with the equipment tends to bring down your average.

Another thing I did last weekend was try my bivy sack and -30C sleeping bag. Temperature were going to be between -15C and -20C, so I figured that would be a good time to try so Saturday night I stuck my sleeping pad and sleeping bag in the bivy sac, set them up in the back yard and went to bed around 11pm. I had set my watch to wake me up at 3am, so I could get a few hours of darkness during my long run.

Lessons learned: The sleeping pad is a must. I rolled off of it a couple of times and you immediately feel the cold. Other than that, I was warm and cozy with some very crisp air in my face. I got the Integral Design Micro Bivy and it doesn't have a zipper to close the opening. I might put a velcro there to force it shut. I found myself staring at the stars a few times and although it was pretty, the cold wind made my face a bit cold.

The long run was fine. I started running around 5am, so I got a few hours of darkness. My pulk was quite heavy, about 20 pounds. I also wore my Nathan hydration vest. I have used insulation foam tape to try to prevent the water from freezing in the tube. That worked fine but the drinking valve is an issue. I made it a little cover but on one occasion where I didn't drink for maybe 20 minutes, it froze and getting it to go again took a while. Keeping the mouth piece in my clothes prevented the problem, but I'm not sure I can trust the bladder system 100%. Something to think about.

The run was uneventful, mixing it up a bit between running shoes, snowshoes and Microspikes. The temperature was nice starting at around -15C and going up to -8C by the time I was done. I was able to keep the sweating at a minimum and I was surprised by how little I drank. There was no sign of dehydration and at my last pee break before I left, my urine was still nice and clear.

So, I'm running out of excuses for not signing up. Yes I do have aches and pains, but that's to be expected. We've established that my knee is ok. I'm pretty sure my body can run 100 miles. The big question is, can I? As Patton said: ""You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up." We shall see.


Caroline Novak said...

Oh I recall from my army reserves days how cold the ground gets in winter! Your cold weather running adventures sound so intriguing. Now go and sign up for that 100 miler you know you have to!

Sara Montgomery said...


David said...

Very Encouraging

Tapping Foot waiting for next post that says - "I'm Registered"

JD said...

David, you can stop tapping your foot. It's done.

Johnny said...

Your neighbours must be wondering what's up. A Saturday night and you're sleeping outside in your backyard? In a sleeping bag?