Subscribe: Ultra Rider: In Search of the Ultimate Long Ride
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade A rated
Language: English
bike  creek  fluid  furnace creek  furnace  ldquo  long  marathon  meters  much  race  rdquo  run  running  time  weight  year 
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: Ultra Rider: In Search of the Ultimate Long Ride

Ultra Rider: In Search of the Ultimate Long Ride

var gaJsHost = (("https:" == document.location.protocol) ? "https://ssl." : "http://www."); document.write(unescape("%3Cscript src='" + gaJsHost + "' type='text/javascript'%3E%3C/script%3E")); var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker("U


One week to go...

Sun, 23 Sep 2012 12:18:35 -0400

So far in September, I’ve ridden 1,296.6 km and climbed 7,799 meters.

That’s 65% of my mileage goal, and just 39% of my climbing goal. 

I think I can still accomplish both. Planning and commitment will be key.

At the half...

Sun, 16 Sep 2012 20:58:29 -0400

At the halfway point of the month, I’ve ridden 853km and climbed 5450 meters. I’m getting there although I’m sorely behind with my climbing goals. 20k meters is a bit more than what I might be able to reasonably achieve. Even with the average 550 meters I’ve been hitting each day I ride, that only gives me another 5k meters this month.

Drastic measures might be in order.

September so far...

Sat, 08 Sep 2012 20:09:35 -0400

It was a short week and I hit a wall on Thursday, my legs were fried. That said, I think I’m doing pretty well and only a few meters behind where I wanted to be by this point. 

Progress so far:

506 kilometers and 3,889 metres climbed.

1,494 KM / 16,111 M to go.

25.3% / 19.5% of goal achieved.

This coming week, I’m expecting that I’ll put in another 500km and 2,000m in climbing. That’s great mileage, and not nearly enough climbing. I’ll have to figure out how to up the ascent, I really should get in closer to 5,000 meters this week if I’m going to hit 20,000 M for the month.

The long September

Mon, 03 Sep 2012 09:50:34 -0400

Goals for September - ride 2,000 kilometres and climb 20,000 meters.

That will effectively double my YTD mileage and triple my YTD ascent.

You can follow my progress on Strava.

Progress so far - 96 kilometres and 1,563 meters climbed.

September Countdown:

1,904 KM/18,437 M to go

4.8% / 7.8% of goal achieved.

More updates to come throughout the month…

Thank you Garmin!

Tue, 19 Jun 2012 22:25:17 -0400

I just upgraded to the Edge 500 from a number of different Polar devices and I noted a few things that I’m really impressed with and wanted to thank Garmin for…

…thanks for including using rubber bands for the stem mount and including a ton of extra rubber bands and mounts.

…thanks for including extra zip ties because you just knew that I would screw at least one of them up.

…thanks for making the initial set up and sync super easy.

…thanks for using regular ole USB to charge the device and move data around. 

and most of all…

…thanks for making Mac software.

Unbelievably, these were all things that Polar got wrong and I fought with for years. Using infrared to sync data was an incredible hassle and the lack of Mac software was unforgivable. Out of the box, the Garmin has already address all of my major sore points and I haven’t even gone for a ride yet.

If my on-bike experience is half as good as my off-the-bike experience, I will be exceptionally happy with this produce.

Good work Garmin!

AtB 2012 Recap

Sun, 25 Mar 2012 17:21:49 -0400

Keith and I ran the Around the Bay Road Race earlier today and we had a great time. As with past years, the first 20k just slipped by, and again this year, I got into trouble in the hills. I don’t know if I was overheating or having tummy issues or both, but my stomach got into knots and I felt super, super hot. Keith and I parted ways at the 22.5k mark, I just needed some time to get my head together and find my own pace. I started dowsing my head with cold water at the 23k rest station, and everyone after that, but it didn’t help my tummy unwind much.

I spent a ton of the next 3k doing walk run while my stomach did its contortions. Oh well, it obviously wasn’t that severe, it didn’t kill me. I thought about bailing a couple of times, but I reminded myself that I’d been in spots that hurt a lot worse and I’d never bailed before (well, there was that one time at the Dirty Enduro when I rode 25k through the bush with no seat post to get to the half-way aid station on a 100k MTB race. I begrudgingly took a DNF after 50k of racing - there was no way I could have finished out the race with no seat ).

By about the 26k mark, I started to feel a lot better, especially with all the hills behind me. I ran a bit slower than I did last year, but no big surprises there. I’m a little bit heavier and didn’t train nearly as much as I had last year because of the injury I took last summer. I really enjoyed running with my brother, it was great to have someone to talk to and goof around with - it definitely made the miles go by a lot quicker.

That’s probably the last AtB I’ll be doing for a while. I’m going to focus on the bike for the next little while and get myself down to race weight before the year-end. Running will still have a role in that, but there’s no real need for me to do anything much longer than 5-10k as conditioning for what I want to accomplish on the bike.

Around the Bay - 2012

Sat, 24 Mar 2012 20:25:02 -0400

Tomorrow, my brother Keith and I will be running the Around the Bay Road Race in Hamilton, Ontario. This is a 30k road race and is the oldest in North America (older than Boston!).

No big goals this year - just a fun run with my little brother. It should be a fairly warm spring day (7-15 degrees celcius) so I’ve decided to simply wear shorts and a Sugoi cycling jersey. I like having pockets in the back and I’m surprised that more runners don’t wear cycling jerseys. They are great for stowing gloves, small bits of food, car keys - all sorts of stuff.

Stay tuned for a race report - if you are interested in that sort of a thing.

A Retirement Speech

Wed, 21 Mar 2012 22:23:41 -0400

Long time no post.

To bring everyone up to speed, after working up to 60k long runs prepping for the Great Canadian Run, I wrecked my foot bad late last July and spent about 3 months hobbling around in recovery, riding my bike and feeling sorry for myself.

Fast forward to December, my brother dared me to run the Peterborough Half-marathon with him, and I accepted on the basis that he ran the Around The Bay 30k Classic with me. He accepted.

Which brings me to today.

I can’t stand running.

I hate it. I really do. I tried so hard to love it, to find some joy in it - a wisp of happiness that I could use to carry myself forward, even if for just one more step.


I’ve regretted every single step I’ve ever taken while training to be a runner.

I mean, I’ve had a couple of proud moments along the way - a lift of euphoria when I realized that I’d left the house on a Sunday night to run a marathon, by myself. I crossed the imaginary finish line in my head and then kept going for a few more kilometres back to my house. I think the dogs knew something was up, but there were no crowds cheering and I never bothered to share the milestone with anyone else.

But the running itself, its painful. I always come back feeling like absolute shit. I’ve taken to the habit of dosing with NSAIDs prior to and after a run just so that I can walk around the house after a run. I thought it would go away, I thought I would grow much stronger, but it never really happens. Sure, when I was running 40-50-60k long runs last summer, it was easier than the 10k runs I re-started with in October. But I’m not really getting any better - not in any competitive sense anyways.

Here’s what I mean. I ran my best 5k at about 5 minutes per km. I think I might be able to do 4m 40s. But that’s about it, and I certainly couldn’t sustain that pace for much more than 6-7k - maybe for 10k at the outside. My best marathon time last summer was a 6m 30s per kilometre pace.

To run a 3 hour marathon, I need to run at an average pace of 4m 16s per kilometre for more than 42 kilometres. In an infinite number of universes, I doubt there is one where I can run a 3 hour marathon.

Yeah, yeah. I hear you. All I need to do is commit to the training and the results will come. Problem is, I’m just not good at it and I’m not enjoying it. I’d rather be on the bike.

So, after AtB this weekend, I’m hanging up my shoes. I will continue to run my 5k-10k fitness runs and I will do it because I know it makes me a better cyclist, not because I’m deluded into thinking I should be a better runner.

I think its for the best. And who knows, with my expectations properly in check, maybe I might find some joy in running :-)

Making a difference

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 13:15:00 -0500

Its said that athletes like to “suffer”. That victory isn’t attainable without pain.

Its a choice we make to achieve what we want. But what about those of us that suffer without getting that choice? What about those of us that have heard the words “You have cancer”, or worse “Your child has cancer”. 

Every year, thousands of Canadian families hear those words, and none of them have a choice to endure what comes next. Hospital visits, sickness, chemical therapy and sometimes worse.

No child, no family should have to go through that.

I’m a long time supporter of the fight against childhood cancer, and once again I’ve decided to contribute myself to the cause and try to help. I’ve decided to make the trip from Brampton, Ontario to Collingwood, Ontario to raise donations for a childhood cancer charity. 

But this time there’s a twist.

I’ll be doing it without my bike. It’ll just be me and my running shoes and 100 kilometres of soul-crushingly hilly roads.

I’ve signed up for “The Great Canadian Run to End Kids Cancer” and I need your help.

My goal is to raise $25,000 for this great cause. Would you consider making a small donation to my fundraising? Every dollar helps, $5, $20, $50, $100 - more? Whatever you can afford is extremely appreciated. In the past five years, I’ve helped raise more than $50,000 for the fight against childhood cancer and I want this year to be the biggest. If you can help, please follow this link to make a donation.

I’ll be posting more about the run and my training as I progress, and until then, thanks so much for your assistance, support and donations.

Thanks Sugoi!

Tue, 01 Feb 2011 13:14:00 -0500

It was awesome to hear from Sugoi this morning that they’ve re-accepted me for their brand ambassador program. Their support really makes it a lot easier to do a lot of the crazy things I do and I really appreciate their help, support and amazing gear these past few years.

For example, look back a couple of posts and check out that sweet jacket I’m wearing on my -20c run a couple of weeks back - a Sugoi RS weatherized sports jacket, one of the sweetest running and cycling jackets you can get your hands on. I would have frozen without Sugoi! :)

"Congratulations! Your SUGOI Brand Champions membership renewal has been accepted."

Tue, 01 Feb 2011 13:12:00 -0500

““Congratulations! Your SUGOI Brand Champions membership renewal has been accepted.””

10k down 10k to go. The wind was coming from the north, so only...

Mon, 24 Jan 2011 10:33:46 -0500


10k down 10k to go. The wind was coming from the north, so only the right side of my body frosted up. 20k in -20c. brrr.

Long time no post!

Thu, 20 Jan 2011 22:35:24 -0500

Hello again internets!

Its been a while since I’ve posted. Plans are still coming together for 2012. In the meantime, I’ve started making my physical preparations. Getting used to the drills on the trainer, but still mainly laying down base with some pretty solid running. Up to 40+km/ week and my pace and fitness is improving by leaps and bounds. Also doing a lot of strength training in our new gym. Going upstairs to workout on the roof certainly beats hauling myself down to a fitness club just to lift weights, etc. - I’m really glad we invested in the equipment. I’ll be posting more often now that I’m getting back into the swing of things. Hopefully it stays interesting for you!

"Every man without passions has within him no principle of action, nor motive to act."

Thu, 20 Jan 2011 22:32:07 -0500

“Every man without passions has within him no principle of action, nor motive to act.”

- Claude A. Helvetius

…and so the next chapter begins.

Tue, 05 Oct 2010 18:43:39 -0400


…and so the next chapter begins.

"It is our birthright to go from success to success, from glory to glory. We all have one more to..."

Mon, 14 Dec 2009 21:43:19 -0500

“It is our birthright to go from success to success, from glory to glory. We all have one more to give.”

- Jimmy Cliff

"It only takes about 12 weeks or so to fully build anaerobic fitness. This is the kind of fitness..."

Thu, 10 Dec 2009 13:00:50 -0500

“It only takes about 12 weeks or so to fully build anaerobic fitness. This is the kind of fitness that makes the breaks, gets you over the lung-burning hills, and makes all the suffering bearable.”

- Joe Friel

Sweat Rate Test Protocol

Thu, 03 Dec 2009 17:47:34 -0500

If you don’t stay properly hydrated on a long ride, then you won’t likely get to finish the ride. Even if you do finish, you will feel terrible and won’t perform to your maximum potential. Proper hydration is simple - just take in enough liquid nutrition to replace the water and minerals that you lose through your sweat. There are two keys to meeting this goal. First, you need to find a good sports drink that carries a strong metabolic payload. Most of of the sports drinks that you find are absolute junk. A mix of food-dye and sugar and fancy marketing intended to convince you that it will make you faster, stronger and more competitive. They do no such thing. Don’t expect to get good performance from any sports drink that costs you $6 a cannister in powdered form. Look for a reliable brand with a good balance of minerals and electrolytes along with a good sustainable form of energy. Hammer Nutrition makes some good products and I rely on Endurance made by Amino Vital. Second, you need to know how much to drink. You can’t know how much fluid to replace if you don’t know how much you are losing. To understand your sweat rate, you will need to do a sweat rate test. It isn’t highly scientific, but it will get you in the right ball park and get you started on the road to better understanding your fluid requirements. Since I started regularly testing my sweat rate, I’ve been riding stronger and more evenly because I’m no longer letting my body hit fluid depletion on these long rides. The most notable sign that I’m on to something with these tests is that I no longer come home with a huge headache after spending the day in the sun. I used to think my helmet was too tight or poorly adjusted. When I started hydrating properly, the headaches instantly went away. The sweat rate test protocol is pretty simple. I’m presuming that you will do this test on a stationary bike of some sort. First, weigh yourself without any clothes on. Get dressed and record this number as your starting weight. Then, ride your bike for at least 45 minutes in a high aerobic zone. I usually shoot for 70%-75% of my maximum heart rate. Throughout the test, keep track of how much fluid you are drinking. I try to drink complete bottles to keep the math easier. When you are done, remove your cycling gear, towel yourself off as completely as you can and then weigh yourself. Put on a robe and record this number as your end weight. Now we’ve got all of our data: Starting Weight = SW End Weight = EW Fluid Consumed = FC Duration of Test = D We will probably need to do some conversions before we can do the math. You need to convert your fluid consumption into liters. There are .7 liters in a regular 24 ounce bottle. If you drank a different amount of fluid, just go to Google and type the following into their search tool “X ounces in liters” where “X” equals the size of your bottle. Also, if you weighed yourself in pounds, you will need to convert this to kilograms as well. Just go to Google again and type in “X pounds in kilograms” where X equals your weight. Do this once each for your starting weight and your finishing weight. Now that you have the amount of fluid you consumed in liters, convert that number to kilograms. 1 liter of fluid equals 1 kilogram of mass. So, a 24 ounce bottle, will weigh approximately .7 kilograms. Now from here, the math is simple, just plug your variables into the following equations: (SW-EW-FC) /D=SRM i.e. Joe had a starting weight of 78.92kg, and end weight[...]

Top Ten Toughest Endurance Races

Sat, 10 Oct 2009 14:02:03 -0400

According to National Geographic, the Furnace Creek 508 is the 8th toughest endurance event in the world. Wish I’d known that before I signed up :-)

10. Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race

9. World Bog Snorkeling Championships

8. Furnace Creek 508

7. Arrowhead 135-mile Winter Ultramarathon

6. Manhattan Island Marathon Swim

5. Barkley Marathon

4. Extreme Winter Ultra Marathon

3. Marathon des Sables

2. Race Across America

1. Badwater Ultramarathon

The Official 2009 Furnace Creek 508 Recap

Sat, 10 Oct 2009 13:51:20 -0400

(excerpted from the AdventureCorps email newsletter. You can subscribe to the newsletter here.) The race began with the traditional CHP escort followed by excellent tailwinds as the racers sped north through the Mojave Desert. A full moon would rise that evening. On Saturday, the high was 82 degrees, but that would rise to 90 degrees at night in Death Valley. Turning east onto Towne Pass, the 10-mile, 5000 foot ascent which is the entryway to Death Valley, the began to blow in a less favorable direction. By the time the racers started to traverse Death Valley proper, near the giant sand dunes at Stove Pipe Wells, the wind was blowing a steady 30mph from the south, with sand blowing across the road like a river. As the race route turned due south on the way to Furnace Creek (the halfway mark) and beyond to Badwater, the wind was blowing straight in the racers’ faces at 30mph or faster, with gusts up to 50 to 60mph. Some racers walked their bikes into the wind. Many averaged no more than about 5mph through the night. Race leaders required over six hours to cover the 73 miles from Furnace Creek to Shoshone. The wind truly terrorized the competitors in this year’s race, easily outblowing the “thermonuclear headwinds” of the 2004 race. Chris Ram Ragsdale, 32, of Seattle, WA led the race to Furnace Creek, just barely, then fell to second during the worst of the wind conditions, with three-time champion Michael Alpine Ibex Emde, 39, of Spokane, WA taking the lead. At Baker, mile 383, Ragsdale decided he would catch Emde by the top of the twenty-mile climb into the Mojave National Preserve. Ragsdale passed through the Kelso time station a mere one minute behind Emde, then was just 15 seconds back at the final time station at Amboy. Shortly thereafter, he made his move and took the lead, putting 15 minutes on Emde on the final climb up Sheephole Summit. Ragsdale’s victory, with a time of 29:10:31, represents a five year effort: 9th in 2005, DNF in 2006, 2nd last year, then the victory in 2009! Michael Alpine Ibex Emde took 2nd in 29:47:34 and has the strongest 508 career record yet: 3rd in 2005, 1st in 2006 06, 2007, and 2008, and then 2nd in 2009. He earned his Furnace Creek 508 Hall of Fame entry, too, with his 5th finish in 2009. Rookie of the Year honors went to third-place finisher Brian American Kestrel Ecker, 37, of Bellingham, WA with a time of 33:14:06. Ecker left 100% of himself out on the race course; at the finish line he required over 90 minutes to ready himself to receive his finisher’s medal and jersey. Note that the top three male solo finishers are from Washington State. What’s up with that, California??? Charlie Water Dragon Engle, 47, of Greensboro, NC took 4th solo in 33:19:25 and broke the ten year old Death Valley Cup record set in 2000 by Kaname Sakurai by one hour, 20 minutes. Engle was 1 hour, 12 minutes faster at the 2009 508 than his first effort in 2007. He was also 1 hour, 58 minutes faster at the 2009 Badwater Ultramarathon than in 2007. Women’s winner Leah Mighty Mouse Goldstein, 40, a dual citizen of Canada and Israel, is a professional cyclist, racing for Team ValueAct. She is the current Israeli national champion in the road race and time trial. At the finish line she stated “I’ve competed in the Tour de France, the World Championship, National Championship, and many other races and can honestly say that the Furnace Creek 508 is the toughest, hardest race I’ve ever done.” Her time was 35:01:50, also placing[...]