Just don’t do it.

Tomorrow is the day you can sign up for the Death Race. It is probably the only day. It will most likely sell out quickly. I would really like to sign up. I really shouldn’t. I have an important race three weeks later. That is not enough time to recover.
I’ve done it four times in a row though. After three you set up a mathematical pattern that is hard to break.
What has made it harder is that my good running friend looks like he is going to attempt the Alberta triple this year. I wanted to do it last year except my injuries prevented it. (I hate that guy who got his car stuck in the snow.) I was able to still do the Death Race, but not the other two.
There is always next year.
Just keep telling myself that.

Lather, rinse, repeat

And my watch is back for repairs again.
Today, I noticed that its light was stuck on. Further investigation showed that none of the buttons worked. This can’t be good. I gave it a few hours, but nothing changed.
So, back to Sears. Once again they are sending my watch away to the manufacturer, and I’ll have to deal with my dreaded backup watch.
The timing (no pun intended) could be worse, but not by much.

The Wisdom of the Steph

So some people wonder how Steph could possibly be supporting me on this endeavour. Well, I remember her biggest encouragement:

It was on a Friday night, October 28th in the year of our Lord, 2011. I arrived at her domicile, and found her sitting in her master chair. “Steph,” I said as soon as I laid eyes upon her. “I am in need of your counsel. Should I train for and partake in the triathlon known as the IronMan?”
She looked up at me and replied. “Erik, my dearest friend, I have thought long about this very question. I have come to my conclusion after many months of pondering. You should not put hand to water, or foot to pedal. Never shall you know the joy of two-wheeled manual transportation, or the cardiovascular benefits of the waterborne. You shall not participate in the IronMan.”
With great respect, I asked for confirmation. “Steph, this sounds unlike your previous decrees. Are you truly convinced of this?”
“Hear my words and know them to be true. I say unto thee, Nay, thou shalt not IronMan. You must continue with the treading of foot on pavement and trail for distances and landscape hither to undreamt of by common man. The Steph has spoken.”
“Truly you are wise, and I cannot go against your wishes. I will do as you say,” I humbly accepted her decision.

I may be paraphrasing a bit, but that was the gist of it.

I’ve got a bad feeling about this

I got the email this morning. “The draw has taken place and we have the pleasure of confirming your registration for the UTMB® race!”
I’m terrified right now. But I’m sure the training will take that away. Probably until the week before the race.
A big part of me still wants to do the Death Race. But that is only three weeks prior, and probably not enough time to recover. But I’ve done it four years in a row. A mathematical pattern has been set!
In any case, I would really like to thank Steph. Without her support and encouragement, there is no way I would have signed up for this.

The Lottery

Tomorrow is the big day. I find out what I’m doing for the next year and a half.
If I win the lottery, it means I do not do the Death Race. Instead I will do the Mont-Blanc ultra at the end of August.
If I lose the lottery, it means I continue to do the Death Race. On Labour Day I will go to Montreal like I had originally planned. However, the worrisome part is that I will now need to earn a total of seven points over two years to qualify for the Mont-Blanc. If I have them, I automatically get in. No lottery needed.
I only found out last week that I need seven points. Usually it is five. The Death Race gives me three each time, so having run it twice I would easily have enough points. Now, I’m short one point.
So, I just need to tack on another ultra and I’m good? No. The two other ultras in Alberta that are worth points are full. A friend recommended I write them directly and plead my case; that might get me in. Or I have to travel somewhere else, far away, to get that last point. Assuming I even finish the Death Race.
In either case, I’ll probably do the Blackfoot ultra as a training run.


At the end of my big European trip in 2007 I overnighted in London. I didn’t have a hotel, but I was still in one of the greatest cities on Earth. However, I did nothing. There was such potential that I didn’t take advantage of.
For me, I know it as the time I wasted a night in London.
I am currently trying to do a major clean up of my home. Spring cleaning? No stone left unturned? I’ve gotten to the book section where I am doing a purge.
I’m coming across some old textbooks from university. These I’m looking closer at, in case there is any that have knowledge I feel I should be able to reference.
What I’m rapidly learning is that I wasted a university education.
Now I’m not saying that it a waste to get a university education. I’m saying that there was such potential that I didn’t take advantage of.
There were many courses I didn’t take that I should have. There were many courses I took that were useless, and I didn’t even want to take. They “taught” me things that I can’t even think of what real-world applications they could have been for.
Now, I’m not sure how much choice I had with my courses. I was not making a concrete decision to be in computer science. I started with mathematics, so those courses came first. But even when I got into computer science I always seemed to be only able to choose the courses at the tail end of the selection period. So my choices were limited to what was left.
I also took Honours courses, which seemed to be more geared towards theory instead of practical matters. It did not include the course on graphics, which I would dearly love to have taken. I consider myself lucky that I was able to get into a database course which my entire career seems to have used. Same is true for C++.

Maybe it can be a new fashion trend?

When I run, I like to wear compression shorts. I’ve worn them for the past decade, when I first heard that they were good for muscles. It took me six years before I figured out that I should be actually wearing real compression shorts instead of just spandex bicycle shorts. Live and learn. No harm, no foul.
Now that I’m wearing the proper shorts, I’ve come to respect the science. They feel like they keep my muscles from moving where they shouldn’t.
But I have had a few bad experiences with them.
The first pair I got seemed to really work. However, they may have been a bit too small for me. It’s hard to tell the sizing because they are supposed to fit tightly. Anyway, they ripped in the seams. (I wonder if a tailor could fix them?)
After a few other rips like that, I stopped buying the expensive ones, and got the mid-range models. These don’t feel as great; my muscles feel more mobile. However, I get in a rut easily, so I’ll keep at them.
What I am now noticing is not ripping in the seams, but holes appearing from wear.
It took me a couple of years to figure out, but pockets are very helpful when you are on an ultramarathon. A backpack stores a lot of stuff, but isn’t very accessible. A belt with pouches has clasps and zippers to keep them closed, which is defeating the purpose of easy accessibility. Everything is more difficult if you are already holding poles in your gloved hands. It’s nice to have a few small things, like food or a camera, that I can get to quickly and easily. So I took to wearing some shorts over my compression shorts. (It probably also made me look better; not quite as much on display.)
However, with these mid-range compression shorts, the fabric isn’t as wear-resistant. My thighs are huge. It looks like I’m wearing jodhpurs. So there is a lot of friction in the crotch. If I wear shorts, that friction will actually wear away at the compression shorts, causing holes. So, the shorts that are supposed to prevent everything from being on display, are actually causing everything to be on display.
I still need to carry things.
I’ve experimented with belts, but I find they bounce too much. And they also cause friction as the band rubs against the shorts. Is there a combination of belt and shorts?
So what I need is basically like shorts, except with no fabric in-between the legs. Then I can get deep pockets so that things don’t fall out. Best of both worlds.

I’ve just described a running skirt, haven’t I?

Do they come in men’s sizes? And can we call them kilts?

Please don’t repeat yourself

Last year, in February I went for a run in my shorts. In winter. That was the same day I got an injury that lasted for several months.
It was warm out then. It is warmer today.
Dare I risk it?
I do prefer running in shorts.
And I have a proven track record of not learning from my mistakes.

First Post!

Well, relatively speaking. First post on the new system. Let’s see how it goes.
I am invariably inclined to compare this to my first post eight years ago, today, on the LiveJournal site.
Yesterday was, as it was then, New Year’s Eve. I took the novel approach of not even acknowledging it in any activity. Well, other than moving to a new blog. I spent most of the night going through my finances and getting them updated. I had declared I was cleaning up, and getting rid of all the small papers is an important step. But a lot of the time, when I clean, the place ends up looking messier. It IS an organized mess.
The biggest event was my toilet deciding that it no longer wanted to go on living; it died. It didn’t die in the spectacular oh-my-god-theres-water-everywhere way. The handle broke so to get it to flush I need to take the lid off and fiddle with the plumbing. Still usable.
For New Year’s Day, I did celebrate a bit. I got up (eventually) and did a pleasant 18.3 km run. It wasn’t too cold, and it was a clear sunny day. A significant percentage of the few people I encountered told me it was a “beautiful day” with no prompting. I didn’t plan out a route and went where the impulses took me. Well, I did plan a route but that evaporated as soon as I wondered if anyone was using the sledding hill. (They weren’t.) That took me in a different direction and I just went with it.
And so concludes my first Erik dump for the year/site.
Although I should mention an interesting observation. On my LiveJournal, I made a concerted effort to never mention my first name so I could pretend there was some anonymity. And yet in my very first post I stated it. Since my username pretty much gave my last name, who was I fooling?