Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Wall sit and squat challenges…DONE.

Click HERE for video
Just a quick blog post. I didn't know I would post this video until I saw it afterwards, at which point I laughed my ass off. In this vid I'm completing the 30 day wall sit challenge by doing a 10 minute wall sit but that acts as a distraction to the real impressive activity happening all around me. The fact is, while I'm putting myself thru 10 minutes of absolute hell my lovely family is in the back ground putting on a show. They demonstrate the chaos that takes place in the Proctor house on a regular day-to-day basis. It's an enjoyable chaos but chaos all the same. After watching this, it begs the question: 
Why can't a guy just wall sit in peace?!?
(If you feel the need to criticize my form…go kiss a cactus!)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday Red Deer run

    Two friends of mine Oleg Tabelev and Joe Huising both told me about their plans to run fast, benchmark type times at the Elk Beaveer 100K ultra in May. They mentioned their intentions to run with one another to aid in the ultimate goal of running below said benchmark time (I'm not mentioning the time so not to cause them any more stress) and I told them, "I wanna be a part of this!" So started the plans for a training run in Red Deer on Friday April 18th - three weeks before the launch day.
Oleg Tabelev, Joe Huising and me

     When planning this I envisioned a beautiful, crisp spring morning running parallel to the river...but yeah for unpredictable Alberta, we got the opposite. We arrived to snow, wind and borderline sub zero temperatures. Pulling into the parking lot were a lot of the Alberta ultra running elites: Joe and Oleg whom I mentioned before, Alissa St. Laurent, Vincent Bouchard, Gary Poliquin, Wayne Gaudet, Gary Glover, and Alan Lam, to name a few. All lacing up their shoes to get in a solid training day getting ready for upcoming events, finding an excuse to get out for a run, or my main reason, seeing old friends, making new ones and getting out for a hard run while enjoying the activity we all absolutely adore. 

Alissa St Laurent and myself

     It was my goal to press the 4:30 min/km pace for 50K but given the weather conditions we in the end fell short and hell thats okay! The effort was there but mostly it was just down right awesome to touch base with fellow ultra folk. After the run we all sat down in a resteraunt for some lunch. Looking around the table, enjoying good food, drinking good coffee I was caught in the realization that sometimes that happiness doesn't exist in what you are doing. It's about who you are doing it with.

     Thank you all for taking part today. I hope you had as much fun as I did.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Topless spring running

Me and Adele running in Black Diamond today
     There is just something about running topless in spring. It might be that this year's winter was painfully long, could be that my body is yearning for the depleted vit D stores. Or it could just simply be the fact that it feels stellar feeling the warm sun and cool breeze on my skin…sweet! It was only one week ago I had covered myself, layer upon layer to get outside to stomach the frigid temperatures. Then when I started feeling reasonably comfortable and stopped, the sweat would then press against my body, leaving me in a near hypothermic state. Today's run was a mere 13 degrees and windy, but hell, if you asked me it felt balmy. 

     During my run today, which was only 15K (around 1hour), I counted five vehicles that passed me rapidly honking their horns. Now this will happen often with fellow runners and you pretty much know it's a sign of encouragement or respect but these honks had more of a mockery tone to them. I know this because these were younger men driving pick up trucks. One was yelling "Run Forrest Run!"…yeah, never heard that one before. A couple of the other drivers mumbled something, but coming from a speeding passing truck all I heard was a noise that would come from the mouth of Chubacka. Wise words for the knuckle heads: When you think it's cool to yell out your window at someone, chances are you won't have enough time to think of something clever so you'll end up saying something dumb. Even if you say something witty, chances are the person you're yelling at will only hear you sounding like Chubacka. A vehicle of young ladies passed me honking frantically. The girl in the passenger seat was sprawled out the window yelling "Hey baby!!!" Scary thing is, she looked 17; even scarier, I think I know her mother. Fact is: we live in Alberta and worse off I live in rural Alberta. Conservatism is king and anything a little different or outside the box should be squashed right away. So does it surprise me that when I run with my shirt off the horns start to sing? No of course not, but that doesn't mean it'll stop me. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Friday night long runs

     In January of 2012, my friend John Hubbard and I decided to move our long run from Sunday morning to after work on Friday night. It was mostly a logistical decision due to family commitments. Friday night after the kiddies went to sleep proved to be the most practical time of the week. After a few weeks we realized the benefit of an extended run at the end of a long work week wasn't the effect of the run but the mental fatigue before, during and after the run itself. We all know that ultra marathoning is 90 percent mental and I have to tell you, it takes an awful lot of kahonas to grind past midnight into the wee hours of the morning when all you want to do is put your feet up, have a cold one and watch a sports game. Starting a long run when you are already super tired is a difficult dance. In your typical 100M race, when you depart the 100K aid station I would consider most to be less than fresh. May as well get used to it. To symbolize our Friday night long run endeavours both John and I coined the saying "Embrace the suck!" And my lovely wife had shirts made for us with just that…very fitting.

What I want to be doing
What I am doing
     Since the Friday night long run has been a staple in my weekly regime, they seem to have grasped some attention on Strava making others reach out and wanting to give them a go. This past year I have run with many new faces and made new friends. This past week we got a great group out including the likes of Oleg Tabelev, Carl Pryce, Ryan Twa, Tristan Janusc, Myron Tetrault, Ed Bickley and Nick Haddow. What a great way to meet up with like minded peeps, make new friends and survive the grind together. It's true what they say "Misery loves company."

     One thing (maybe the only thing ;)) Calgary doesn't do as well as Edmonton is getting the ultra running community together. Jack Cook at Fast Trax in Edmonton does an awesome job of organizing group runs to create a community setting amongst Edmonton runners. When they show up at races, the support from one racer to another leaves this Calgarian, well, kinda jealous. This past year I have been getting out with countless runners trying to widen my running group and in the mean time have forged some great relationships. 

     If Friday night long runs didn't happen I'd miss out on valuable mental and physical training important for ultra marathoning. But I also value the idea that if these night runs didn't happen, the close friendship that John and I have wouldn't have been created - well not at least to the same extent. Something very special happens when two people are put into an absolute state of exhaustion…even more so when it is a choice.