(Roxy and I on top of Grouse Mtn during our 40k Wed run. We started down on the water)
(Just learning some new features with my Garmin watch. This is the previous weeks long run. Feb 15th, 60k, 7hr, 130k on that week)

Well the quick training update is that I managed to log my first 100 mile week of the year, and just second ever. The first being in July of 08 while leading up to the Stormy 100 Miler. It was a tough week, although I don't think running 160km in seven days is ever 'easy'. It broke down like this:
-Mon off
-Tue 10k
-Wed 40k
-Thu off
-Fri 33k
-Sat 17k
-Sun 60k

(Wed 40k with about 5,000 feet total climbing)

The tough part was that on Thurs I was forced into taking an unscheduled day off, as my body just wasn't into it and I know better than to fight that so early in the season. I intended to make up for the lost hours with a 6am long run before work on Friday, and a double on Sat, before my usual long run on Sun...which was only scheduled to be 50k at the time.
The Friday morning run went amazingly well, my alarm went off at 5am and I didn't even hit snooze...probably because I very literally had set five different alarms, at different times, and placed them sporadically throughout my apartment...hey, whatever it takes right!

It was another amazing day on The North Shore, and it felt great to run into the sunrise and to have my training completed before work. After work is where things went askew however. At 8pm I started to get stomach pains, but dismissed them. They had increased in severity by 9pm, and when I tried to lay down for sleep at 10pm I could not fully elongate my torso. I lay there for ten minutes before realizing that I most certainly had to get myself to the hospital. Thankfully it is only up the street, and after a short drive I checked myself in.

It was a Friday night, 10:30pm...my timing could not have been any worse as the waiting room was already packed and only getting busier. They ask you the standard questions upon check in. The one that stood out to me,

"On a scale of one to ten, ten being the worst pain you could imagine, where would you rank your pain right now?"

I paused for a second. I could not stand up straight and had basically limped into the waiting room...

"I have a fairly high pain tolerance. I'd definitely give it a seven right now."

They then ask you to grab another seat and go about getting your baseline vitals. I've had this before and saw it coming. The nurse started staring at her screen as it continually beeped at what it was receiving.

"I have a low heart rate."

"Yeah, you sure do. Why is that?"

"I'm a runner. Why, what's it saying on there?"

"34 B.P.M." followed by a pause, "I'm guessing you run a lot."

"Yeah, I run more than the average person I guess."

And with that I was given a seat in the already overcrowded waiting room. I knew I would be there for hours, but I kept telling myself how lucky I was to be able to do this for free. Many people can rant on forever about the state of our Canadian health care system, and there is no doubt room for improvement. However, I was very aware of how fortunate I was to even be sitting there, so I sucked it up and tried not to think negative thoughts. One lady behind me had reached her breaking point though. She had been there for four hours already and I actually moved seats to try and avoid her negativity. Eventually I heard her husband say,

"LISTEN. If you don't want to f#%king be here alone then you better stop your f#%king bitching!"

Right on, you could almost hear the applause in peoples heads as he did this!

Within an hour the pain had gotten worse. I made my way to the bathroom thinking that I was going to loose my stomach, and I even had 'tunnel vision' for a bit. I did not loose my insides but did decide to update the nurses.

"Ahh, the pain is most certainly up to an eight right now. And I think I might puke soon."

They eventually took a blood and urine sample, but I was still stuck in a waiting room that was not moving. The main issue, being a Friday night, is that dumb ass kids were getting hauled in at regular intervals, either bleeding from a fight, or completely unconscious from drinking to oblivion. I could almost handle this as it was to be expected, but what brought me close to my breaking point was listening to additional people answer their questions upon arrival,

To a lady who had cut her finger and was bleeding very, very, minimally,

"Blah, blah, blah, scale of one to ten..."



If I could have moved from my near fetal position I would have bolted up and pointed right at her,

"LISTEN LADY, you've given birth, I can tell by those hips, are you trying to tell us that that little cut on your finger hurt more than bringing a freaking screaming child into this world!!?"

I could actually see the nurse rolling her eyes at this response. The crazy part was that I don't think I heard anyone say anything less than a nine, and I did not witness one apparent severe injury come through the door, outside of the aforementioned.

Eventually, as the hours ticked away I slid into a half sleep. I awoke after maybe thirty minutes later and was surprised to find that my pain had improved significantly. All I could think about was my scheduled morning run though! It then being 2am, with my work day starting at 9.30am, I grew aware of the fact that my distance goal for the week was slowly slipping away.

At 2.30am I felt well enough to head home on my own. I approached a nurse, asked if I could leave and if they would call me if anything showed up in my tests, yet before I finished my sentence,

"Gary Robbins?"

"That's me"

"Right this way, we have a bed for you"

It was another 45min before I saw the Dr. and after repeating the whole resting heart rate conversation, she told me that it appeared to be kidney stones, and that I may have gotten off lucky and passed them right there in the hospital. Apparently they are normally as small as a grain of sand, and the painful part is when they move into your bladder, not when you pee them out. Either way I was happy to be pain free and was on my way at 3.30am. She gave me some strong meds in case it flared up again. I can only hope this was a one off!

Sat work was tough, I was completely exhausted. Immediately following work I joined a scheduled 'Club Fat Ass' night run for 17km, and then called it a day.

Sunday, met up with Montrail teammates Aaron Pitt, Dom Repta, Lisa Polizzi, and Cheryl Beattie, along with former Montrail team runner Andy Nicol (also running Western this year) for our now weekly long run. The first 22k were the toughest and it took us 2h45m to get through it. Only Aaron and I remained, and we added on another solid 18k of trail to bring us up to 40k and 4h45m. Aaron had to get going, but I was going to do at least another ten km. I packed Roxy in the car, turned to continue, and made it all of fifty feet.
'Screw this, I'm going home to change clothes and run some flat stuff!'

(First 40k on the day)

After a thirty minute interlude I headed out on the roads to finish it off, and I realized that being so close to my initial goal of 160k, I simply had to log another 20k to be able to sleep at night.

Off I went, and with the knowledge that the faster I ran, the quicker I was going to get to stuff my face at home! I could not believe how good I felt and I started knocking off 4m20s kms / 6m58s miles. I quickly upped the pace until I was steady between 4m10 and 3m50 / 6m42 and 6m10s, and then at km 58 on the day, 158 on the week, I punched out a 3m42s / 5m57s. My total time for the final 20k was 1h25m and change, and my 60k for the day was 6h10m.

100 Miles / 160km, 15h30m, and a solid amount of climbing! 124 days till Western...
(Final 20k)

If you've made it this far through my posting, you might as well check out this clip from Conan, funny, funny, stuff, and it only reiterates my point about the people complaining in the hospital!

And finally, if you're local, Dirty Duo is still in need of many volunteers to make the event happen on March 7th, please help out if you are around. R.D. Heather puts on a great race, and you even get a comp entry into The Phantom Run (12/19/24k) in November.