April Run Down (and some May)

April started out with an unexpected turn. I had some amazing form, and was really excited about racing the Diez Vista 50km. BUT...as you can read from my previous post, I had to drop out of DV because of a mild concussion from a slip just past half way.

As if the headaches, fogginess, and stimuli sensitivity wasn't enough, I also had the horrible empty feeling of a wasted effort. I had been psychologically ready for a real internal (and external) battle at DV50. I wanted to push my limits both physically and mentally, lay it all out on the race course, and then take some well earned time off.

But that didn't happen.

Instead of a full-out effort, I ended up doing a controlled 2+ hr tempo run...followed by several days off sitting in the dark and napping. On the bright side though the concussion symptoms cleared up fairly quickly, and I wasn't hobbling around recovering from an Ultra.

With a clear head and some strong legs, April was about to have a big change in direction. As far as running goes, I put in some really solid base miles in the back half of April. Three of my longest runs EVER, have happened in the last 20 days.

A 45km run in Squamish with Josh and Daniel, then another 67km Squamish run with Josh, and then followed up with a full (with a snow detour) Knee Knacker course (48km) run with Josh again. Add in some regular daily milage, and BOOM....that's more than I have ever ran! 

I am really grateful to Josh for being so committed. Without someone to run with, any of those runs could have been torture. Nothing like company to dilute the misery!

Alice Lake

Alice Lake

EVEN BETTER than all the running, we (the Murphy's) were able to get away for 2 awesome camping trips in April. With the plan to try and get away as often as possible this summer, we bought a used RV. (Last year, tenting just didn't work for us). I don't think I have ever been this excited about a used vehicle. She's old, she guzzles fuel, but all the systems work, and we aren't going far.

To fully appreciate camping, I'm pretty sure it either needs to be seen through the rear-view mirror (i.e. remembering the good-old-days when you were a kid), or seen directly through the eyes of a kid. Or in my case, 2 kids.

Don't get me wrong, I personally enjoy camping. But, the fun that my girls have is on a whole other level. Their joy is contagious, and it pulls Jodi and I along. I'm pretty sure the world can be broken down into those that do camp, and those that don't. I'm pretty happy that we are in the 'do' group, and I feel lucky to live where we do.

Now for some bragging...I had one of the best runs of my life while camping last weekend. It wasn't fast, it wasn't long, and my legs didn't feel great...BUT... it was the first real run that my girls have done with me (a full loop of the lake). I don't know what else to say, other than it was awesome!

They are both really excited about doing more running, especially with a big weekend for them coming up in May: the 5Peaks kids race on May 10, then the Tuff Kids run the following day. It's going to be hard for me to hold them (and myself) back though. They are young, and I don't want to push them, but how can I say no, when they ask to tag along on my morning run??

One last topic to cover; a really fun run out at Golden Ears. Even though it technically happened in May (yesterday, the 3rd), I want to talk about the group run that I lead for 5Peaks.

A little over a week ago, I mentioned to Solana (5Peaks BC race director) that someone should hold a hill clinic out at Golden Ears, and really tackle the Incline Hill trail. Well... next thing I knew, I had volunteered to lead a hill focussed clinic out at Golden Ears. 

Nicole, Ed, me, Andy, Sarah, Mike, Carson, Jan (kneeling)

Nicole, Ed, me, Andy, Sarah, Mike, Carson, Jan (kneeling)

Nicole, Ed, myself, Andy, Sarah, Mike, Carson, and Jan: our group was the perfect size, and everyone was prepared to work their asses off. The goal for the day was to focus on technique; both going up, and coming down. I tried to keep the advice (coaching) simple, and I feel that the entire group was fully committed to the workout. We ran for close to 2 hours, and got a ton of quality in there. I hope that the group of seven (haha) got as much out of it as I did, and hopefully I can lead another run (or two) in the coming months.

Next up on the calendar for me is the 5Peaks race at Golden Ears (Saturday, May 10th). I'll follow that with another solid training block, leading in to the CMTS Survival of the Fittest in Squamish, and then probably the Alice Lake 5Peaks in June. Those 3 races are all part of my preparation for my big summer double: the Knee Knacker and the Squamish50 miler. The goal this year, is to get through the double...and not get injured.