Category Archives: Running

Cancer Patient Finishes Ironman while on Chemo, makes all of my “exercise achievements” irrelevant forever

So, in case you needed a hard objective look at just how few excuses there really are in life, allow me to present this kickass girl:

  • She had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in January and half of her pancreas, stomach and gallbladder had to be removed. Statistics gave her only a 10-per-cent chance to live five more years.
  • just finished a round of chemo in January, going in for another one in September
  • (this one is just for me) is 50 years old, mother of two

Aaand then she proceeded to finish an Ironman triathlon on Sunday.  Not even her first Ironman, mind you.

So, it seems that she has earned the long sought after title of “Stupendous Badass”.  In other news, I have wasted my life and am currently handing over any integrity/honour/courage I may have thought I had.  Jebus, people.  That’s a tough cookie, I tip my hat to her.

Check it out on the CBC.

Spartan Race Pics

So, hopefully these are in some sort of order, here are some pics from the Spartan Race that I thoughtfully yanked from the site where they post these.  I have probably missed several of folks that I know, but these are the ones I saw at first glance.  Handy that we were wearing those red shirts, they stand out well in the thumbnails.

Needless to say that running up and down Edelweiss three times made this thing hard, but having most of the obstacles all at the end of the race was a bit silly.  Spreading them out more would have been a lot more fun.  I guess it was a problem with the available space they had.
Ot2BWJ2780-X2 Ot2BWJ2781-X2 Ot2BWJ2782-X2 Ot2BWJ2783-X2 Ot2BWJ2784-X2 Ot2BWJ2786-X2 Ot2BWJ2788-X2Jordy and I really had quite the photo shoot on the barbed wire for some reason.  I suspect it was bored photographers, since there was nobody else around at that point.  🙂
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The iced water pool was a nice touch….

The fire jump was neat, and not as scary as it sounds.  The brief warmth was very welcome that day.

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I look like I’m levitating here.

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This montage made me laugh, watch Wilson trying to find any enthusiasm for the rest of this race, anywhere.  There’s nothing, just nothing.

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Ya, just jump, monkey boy.  Still contemplating.  There may not be any fucks left.

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Ya, there’s probably at least one fuck there somewhere, if only because it’s near the end of the race.  Sorry to poke fun buddy….  🙂

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Not many pics I could find of this ramp thing, but the mud is everywhere, even on the camera lens…..

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And finally the finish line, none of us look all that happy at this point…..

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So there you go, a partial documentation of the day.  It was fun, cold, and oh so dirty.  I probably won’t do it again and just stick to road races for now, but I am glad I did it.

Race Recap

Ok, so that was just about as hard as I predicted it to be.  Despite telling myself to just focus on running at a steady pace and to ignore everybody else, I really didn’t do that.  I started at the very back of the pack, hoping that the traffic ahead of me would slow me down and make me run at a reasonable pace.  In fact I was just in front of the Nordic Walking ladies, so I nervously kept some distance in front of them, hopefully out of pole-swinging reach, in case they held any hard feelings for our past run-ins.  At the starting gun it was awesome, all of those people running at the same time.  Anyway in spite of me telling myself that there was lots of race to run, I loped along at a very very unreasonable pace, passing much smarter people than I everywhere.  I was far too busy running to notice their (probable) knowing smirks at my misplaced enthusiasm.

Anyway this worked great for the first 4km or so, and then the day got hotter and I got tired.  Really tired.  Then all of these smart people started to trot past me and I felt not so smart.  At around the 7km marker I scoffed that someone was probably in big trouble since they messed up the 9km marker and put a 7 there instead.  And the race still didn’t end, and I had to keep lurching along like some kind of guy who thought he could run a race with hardly any preparation, and gallop the first 4km and think he could keep that up for the whole 10.  Yeah, just like that.

So needless to say it was harder to run that particular 10km than any of the other 10kms I have run in the past.  Yeah.  However I was happy to see my wonderful family waiting for me at the finish line cheering me on, and the last 10km didn’t seem so bad now that it was done.  Several bottles of water and a patch of shade and the real sweating can properly begin (why is it that the sweat seems to be worse after running is over?) and life is very good indeed.

So, despite messing up in the worst rookie way possible, I did manage to hit my goal of finishing in under an hour:  58min, 26sec.  I was pretty surprised to be able to do that actually, considering how very very bad the stretch between say, 5km and 9km was.  The last half let’s say.  Yeah that part. I’m happy with my time, except that apparently there were 59 guys in my age group that finished ahead of me.  That can’t be right, can it?  Yes, yes it can.  Get off your ass, Vallentyne and actually prepare for the race next time…

So, there you go.  The first one done, and not the last.  Next time I think maybe I will run with earbuds and some music to help keep me in my own race, and not try to beat everybody in the first 300m.  Yeah, that should be better.

Pre Race Post

In a fit of stupidity earlier this month I registered to run my first actual race, the Kanata Canada Day 10k.  As with most of these things as I registered I was stoked and fired up with the drive to kick some butt on my first race.  I still had four long weeks to get my aging body into race shape.  Besides, I had already started running this year and was feeling cocky about my fitness level (as measured by running alone of course).

The weeks went by and I was getting some runs in, maybe not as many as I had hoped, but I will catch up and really log some serious klicks (I told myself).  More time passed, with runs fitfully scattered in a very irregular fashion here and there. 

So today I decided to take stock of my training (in an effort to make myself feel better about how I will do tomorrow) and it seems that I decided unconsciously to only run 10 times this year before running a real race.  What?  That can’t be right.  Even worse, of those 10 runs, only 4 of them even come close to 10k.  So, needless to say this did the exact opposite of making me feel good about tomorrow, it made me feel way worse.

You can mock my feeble efforts to date here:

http://runkeeper.com/user/cvallentyne/activity

Yes, that isn’t enough training.  No, I don’t think I will “kick butt” tomorrow.  Yes, I do think the other racers will be better prepared.  No, I shouldn’t just be sitting here typing and drinking root beer, but it’s too late now.

So there you go, a little pre-race guilt freakout for your reading pleasure.  I promise to report back after the race and let you know what lack of preparation gets you.

On another note, I found a great running blog today:  Science-Based Running   Go and check it out, it’s really good stuff.

Whistling at girls

As I was running on the weekend, trying to get ready to run my first actual honest to goodness race (more on that later), I overtook a pair of older ladies on the path who were doing this Nordic Walking thing (which I haven’t quite figured out just yet).  They were passed by a couple of bikes just ahead of me, who lawfully rang their bells to warn the ladies before they were overtaken.  As I passed the girls however I startled one of them as I jogged past.  She remarked that I didn’t have a bell, and I said no I don’t and apologized for startling her.  As I kept jogging I mentioned that I could always whistle, but then again that would be rude.  Her response?

“No. That would be nice!”

I laughed for the next 3km.  I still think that whistling at ladies wielding sticks is probably not a good plan.  Nikki concurs.

On the Nordic Walking front, if you haven’t heard of this yet you clearly haven’t been outside anywhere in the last three years.  To the untrained eye, let me describe it for you:  It’s basically walking.  Holding ski poles.  That’s it as far as I can see.  There must be more to it however, since you can become a certified Nordic Walker, which must involve more than just walking around holding things.  If that were a sound path to physical fitness my own sport of Bavarian Lurching would be much more popular.  It involves attending summer outdoor concerts with a plastic cup of beer in each hand.  You have to slosh the beer onto everyone else’s shoes without getting a drop of it on your own.  Very tricky. 

The actual, real sport of Nordic Walking seems to be incredibly popular though, so I will now stop making fun of it.  It only makes sense since the people I make fun of probably already own two things with which to beat me and/or skewer me.  And they might be in good shape.   That’s just too dangerous.