A Winning Weekend

Standard

A winning weekend

 Image

Elliott and I embarked on our whirlwind sports trip to Seattle during the Thanksgiving long weekend.  Along with going to watch the UW Huskies Football Game vs rivals Oregon, as well as the Seattle Seahawks Game vs the Titans (Yes I will take all the girlfriend points I can get for thinking up this weekend), I registered us for the Xterra Harvest 10K at St. Edward State Park.   This was a full-blown trail race and needless to say I was beyond nervous, as I had never run a trail race before.  I knew this race was going to be right in Elliott’s wheelhouse but I wasn’t so sure I could keep up… Especially in my traction-less Nike Free’s as I look around at all of the intense water belts and trail runners that all the other runners are wearing. But before I could process what was going on off we went into the trails. I think the fact that I was freezing my toosh off propelled me through the first half of the run fairly smoothly.

 

 Halfway through I made the minor error of stopping- I saw some kids hanging out after a running workout and mistakenly thought that they were part of the race.  Not until I actually looked at them standing beside me and realizing that they were about 12 years old did I realize my error.  So off I went again, down the hill, up the hill, down the hill, sliding down the hill and slowly dragging my butt back up the hill, falling spiderman style down the hill and wait what I am passing people going up a hill now (Thanks for the forced hill workouts Lauren I owe you!).  I see two girls in my sights and I know if I can tail them up the hill and gain some ground that I can put up a chase on the flats.  So I start singing myself my uphill mantra “don’t stop now, use your butt, engage your thighs”, and sure enough I passed the first girl and was coming within steps of the second girl that I could see.  I realized we were about .5K away from the finish and I started to gun it and couldn’t have been happier to see my boy cheering me into the finish line!  The confusion came when the race director came up to congratulate me.. I had come 3rd overall and won the female division and I had no idea! I thought that there were for sure a few more people in front of me so I was elated.  And I was even more elated to find out that Elliott had won the Entire race!  What a surprising and phenomenal way to start the weekend!  We had a great time eating and drinking our way through Seattle and watching some awesome football for the rest of the weekend!

 

Biggest lessons learned:

  1. I have come to realize that the post / during run treats at trail races is 1000% better than large scale organized road races.  Homemade goodies, chocolate cake and Chilli, hellllloooo goodness!
  2. Trails are single file so only pass when there’s room– no pushing other runners off the cliffs
  3. I should probably get some better trail shoes
  4. I should most likely start doing some more hill runs – ughhhhhhhhh

Image

Advertisements

Running with the Elites…ready, set, panic!

Standard

elite entry

Apparently it’s time to get serious, and get seriously training!  I got a little surprise last week when I received notification that I had been accepted into the Scotiabank Vancouver half marathon Elite Category.

Needless to say I am now so nervous!  Having never registereed for a half marathon more than a week ahead of the event before this year I’m hoping having more time to create a training strategy will help me not embarrass myself amongst the group of runners I’ve been placed in. I applied for the elite category after talking with a coworker who handles the elite category in the local marathon.  Once I found out that I technically could qualify for the Elite category in this years Scotiabank 1/2 based on my results in the race last year and my times I figured I may as well apply… the big perk was free entry.  After going out on a limb and applying, I wasn’t expecting to actually get accepted .  When I found out I actually got accepted my initial (and current) thought is ..”Oh My God What Have I Done?!”  I’m getting over my initial shock and logging some longer runs 17-20K  at least 1-2 times per week mixed in with cross training in the gym and getting my fast twitch fibers ready by doing power and speed work to help my kick   on hills.  I used to just do the half marathon for personal satisfaction, it was never a “race” for me… until last year’s race package pick up. The worker handed me the bib and said “good luck in the race.” Suddenly my competitive side kicked in and the  fun little personal challenge Run Turned Into A Race.  I knew I was only racing myself and trying to beat my best time and that’s the mantra I am carrying with me this year… Yes it’s a race but it’s only a race against myself.  Beating my personal best is winning to me.

LIST OF RUNS UPDATE:

  1. The Sun Run: 10K Complete- 42:54
  2. Haida Gwaii Unity Run: 10K Complete
  3. Cranbrook Community Run: 10K Complete
  4. Rush Vancouver Scavenger hunt: June 15th Benefiting the BC Lung Association.  To donate click here :https://www.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=1031980&supId=381692207
  5. Scotiabank Vancouver 1/2 Marathon: 13.1 Miles June 23rd
  6. CIBC Run for the Cure: 5K Oct. 6th
  7. Night Race Vancouver: 10K Nov. 2nd
  8. Disneyland Tinkerbell 1/2 Marathon: 13.1 Miles Jan 20th in LA

Still need to fill a few run spots!  Going on the hunt for some fun runs the quirkier the better! The list is always evolving as I didn’t get to participate in a few of the runs that I had planned on doing because it was more important for my work team and I to work throughout the course manning registration, timing, water stations and giving runners encouragement!

 

 

A Day Full of Firsts: Sun Run 2013

Standard
this is the only picture my face isn't in severe pain... must be at the start gate

this is the only picture my face isn’t in severe pain… must be at the start gate

First Official run of the year complete! And completed in style if I don’t say so myself.  Not necessarily in the style I’d like to start the run season though…

The day had its highlights and low lights which made for a Sun Run I won’t soon forget.   The day started out great, after getting hooked up with Sun Run VIP passes through work I was treated to a pre-run breakfast at the Hyatt hotel with the media and elite athletes.  I was able to bribe my boyfriend to be my running buddy by offering to take him to the Hyatt’s free breakfast before the race and a full buffet after the run was over back at the Hyatt courtesy of the great Sun Run organizers. After sampling the great spread we headed to the VIP start line.  After taking a wrong turn and sprinting to get into the correct start corral we found ourselves in the starting gates amongst the elite athletes and right behind the Kenyans.

As the gun fires the Kenyans take off … and I mean they take off at what looks to me like a full sprint!  I couldn’t even keep their pace for 1km let alone 10km.  I settle into a good pace being pulled into a bit of a quicker pace than usual due to the caliper of the athletes around me.

I’m feeling good coming into 1.5km and then I start choking, the cool wind is getting caught in my throat and I can’t seem to get a breath no matter how hard I try.  Having played soccer all my life I’m used to being physically challenged but I’ve never had my throat seize up like this before, I now have sympathy for all the asthma sufferers out there.  I can hear myself wheezing and so can everyone around me (I apologize to all the runners around me!), Elliott @welliott_marsh is concerned that I’ve sucked in a bug or am literally just going to drop dead beside him as we run along into English Bay.  I just can’t stop though; my stubborn personality gets in the way and I won’t let myself stop and not finish the race. I guess the coldmedication I had been using to mask my cold for the past several days finally wore off and I was left in a full blown bronchial spasm.  Oh Joy!

The last 5km was a pure grind, without any air to get any kick to push the pace it just ground my gears that people were passing me and I couldn’t hunt them down in the last 3 km like I usually would.

I have never been so happy to see the balloons signaling the finish line.. that 10km proved to be much more challenging than even any of the half marathons I’ve done in the past.  It just shows how the smallest differences in how you feel physically combined with environmental factors can make a huge difference to your race outcome, or at least your outlook on how the race went.  My race buddy deserves a huge shout out as he kept me going and although he could have taken off and gotten a much better time he stayed at my pace and graciously took my grumpy wheezing abusive. And to think there was a point in our relationship where we literally couldn’t run down the block together without it being a massive competition and ending in someone huffing about having “lost the race” even if we weren’t intentionally racing.  So completing the run together was a great success!

After a quick trip to the Med Tent (that was a first ever!) in order to try to get a puffer (unsuccessfully) we decided to head back to the Hyatt for the post run brunch, but not before witnessing a runner go into full-blown shock beside me.  #RocDoc took good care of the shock victim not to worry.

Back at the Hyatt we indulged in the best brunch I have ever had! From an ice cream bar and make your own oatmeal bar to make your own eggs benny and all the foods in between a highlight for me had to be the granola crusted French toast with warm maple syrup and bananas foster.  It’s a recipe I’ll be trying as soon as possible! Stay posted for the results!

Spotted: Simon Whitfield at the Ice Cream and smoothie bar post race

All in all a solid time for the first of the year: Sun Run 10km = 42:54 

turned out to be good enough for 27th place in my age division (19-24 year old females) but with plenty of room for improvement.  Still trying to beat the incredible times that Jess and Stef posted back in 05’ … I’m coming for your records girls, Timmy’s doughnut and coffee in hand and all!

Off the Cranbrook in the AM to do some local health screenings and participate in the Akisqnuk community 10km run/walk!  Can’t wait!

Final thought: It was amazing to see the sea of Blue and Yellow runners in support of the Boston Marathon #BostonStrong #runninglove #truth

 “Light is always stronger than Darkness”

#SunRun2013 #SunRun

this is an accurate description of how I felt during that race.  Wishing I was at the finish line or was able to get a breath in!

this is an accurate description of how I felt during that race. Wishing I was at the finish line or was able to get a breath in!