Race Report – Ultra Trail Harricana (UTHC)

*posts from Italy will resume after this one!*

So my colleague/friend sent me this video last year. Her son had completed the 65 km, and she and her family did shorter distances.

Yeah, I want to do that!! Ultra-Trail Harricana 80k was my 2016 “A” race. Things were looking good training-wise until late June, when my right foot started to hurt. Then it started to swell. Then I couldn’t push off and it felt like I was walking on a marble. Turns out I had something called “capsulitis“, which explains why my second to on my right foot was now facing east o_O.  After a couple of months of nothing but 5k runs, a cortisone shot in the toe joint to get the swelling down, orthotics to stabilize my crazy deformed feet, I was given the go ahead to try a 12k. Not too bad. The next weekend, the weekend BEFORE the race, Supercoach Ray Zahab told me to run back to back 50 kms. Saturday I “ran” 50k, trying to stay within cutoff pace. Success! Ray checked in with me on Saturday night and told me to run as far as I could without pain on Sunday… that turned out to be a little over 20k. I felt confident that I could finish the race, but it was going to be close!

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29 March 2016 – Cinque Terre

Rise and shine!  After a not-so-great sleep for any of us (Sylvie actually spent the wee hours of the morning meditating on the terrace) we headed to the lobby to pick up our breakfast in a bag that the hotel was offering since we were checking out before the ‘free breakfast buffet’. Free food for the train? Sounds good to me!

We hiked up the Cavour hill to Termini station, cursing the amount of crap we brought with us. Our travel planner (me) decided we would take the first train out (6:15) so that we could maximize sleep on the train (it would be midnight home time) and have maximum time in the Cinque Terre!  My plan worked:

Sylvie: “Great chatty company on train ride to LaSpezia!!!”

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28 March 2016 – Rome

Now that we are back in the land of actual high speed internet, it’s time to catch up on the Italy blogging!

Steve, Sylvie (our friend and crew) flew on Easter Sunday, March 27th, my Mom’s birthday. I consider that a great omen! I’m still recovering from a cold and my ears are as blocked as all get out. Our West Jet flight to Toronto was great, except for the vertigo that kicked in about 20 minutes before landing. Awesome. I came really close to getting airsick, but held it together thankfully! If you’ve flown West Jet you know they like to have fun, and upon landing the flight attendant gave a big shout out to “Sylvie in row 3 who is running her first marathon in Rome!”. Too funny! The entire plane started to applaud :).

We had a short layover at Pearson airport in Toronto and it wasn’t long before we were paged to the Alitalia desk. Yay! Let’s get upgraded to first class! Oh maybe not, but yay for Alitalia to check to make sure that our bags made it on the plane to Rome! Sylvie asked if she could be moved up closer to our seats, unless she had a row to herself at the back in which case she would prefer to stay there. The woman working the desk mumbles something then hops on the phone and we hear “don’t book anyone in row 19, we have a lady who hurt her knee and needs space to stretch out”. LOL. Amazing!

Steve and I were pretty excited for our ‘premium seating’. Until we got into the premium seating and realized we had no space at all. It was going to be a cramped flight for us. Not for Sylvie who was sprawled out across the two rows! Why didn’t we think of that?!?

Waiting for luggage!

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Altra Lone Peak 3.0

The awesome folks at Altra Running Canada sent me a wedding gift – the new Lone Peak 3.0! Check these beauties out:


I immediately posted these to social media, and received immediate love (and envy) over these shoes. However there was one question – how did the tread compare to the Lone Peak 2.5?  So I took a side-by-side for my friend David, and promised a review once I’d tried them out.

Lone Peak 3.0 (L) vs Lone Peak 2.5 (R)

As you can see the tread is more aggressive on the new 3.0. Lots of lugs!

I have since taken them out twice on the trails of the Gatineau Park. My observations:  Continue reading “Altra Lone Peak 3.0”