Race Review: Hatley Castle 8K

hatleycastleI know I said that Mount Stewart would be the next featured trail run, and I did actually run there on Friday (…well, sort of), but I also did a race this weekend so I thought I’d post about that this week instead!

The Hatley Castle 8 K is the fourth race in the Frontrunners Island Race Series, and one of my favourites as it’s partially on the trails of Royal Roads University. I used to run in and around this area when I lived out in Langford, so I know the area and the route quite well.


My 2013 non-New Year’s resolution post!

Winter run at Gowlland Todd

Winter run at Gowlland Todd

Well… I didn’t really meet the 2012 goals I set out in last year’s non-New Year’s resolution post, partly due to work/life factors, and partly because I didn’t follow my own advice of setting small, weekly goals for yourself as you work towards your larger goals.

I didn’t end up competing in any triathlons in 2012 because I was crazy busy organizing the majority of the triathlons I probably would have participated in. I did get back in the pool for a little bit, but was sick of everything triathlon by the end of summer and lost my passion for it slightly. I didn’t do a marathon in 2012 so I didn’t get my sub 4-hour PB, but I did manage a super fast half marathon time, beating my previous best by five minutes. With all things considered, I still had a great 2012 fitness-wise. And I know 2013 is going to be even better. (more…)

Super awesome exciting announcement!

Me finishing the Sooke Tri last year!

So I have a super awesome exciting announcement to share with all of you!

I was recently given the opportunity to combine everything I’m passionate about — writing, media relations, social media, triathlons and endurance sport events —  into a career!

As of Monday, I will be joining LifeSport Coaching as the Communications Coordinator for the Subaru Western Triathlon Series!

I’m super excited to finally be on the ‘other’ side of an endurance sport event and am looking forward to helping make this Tri Series the best yet. (more…)

My non-New Year’s resolutions post: Goal setting and my endurance sport plans for 2012

Me in Maui after finishing the Maui Oceanfront Half Marathon. Has nothing really to do with this post. I just thought it’d be more interesting than a stock photo of ‘Happy New Year’ text with squiggles and sparkles.

I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions. Mainly because I’m always thinking about, planning and refining my goals — personal, fitness and otherwise — throughout the year. But January 1st is a good time to reflect on the highs and lows of the previous year and how they changed you, as well as look forward to and plan what you want to achieve in the year to come.

And by planning what you want to achieve, I don’t mean the lose-30-pounds-and-make-time-to-read-more-books type of plan (otherwise known as the ‘New Year’s Resolution’) — I mean actually writing down your goals, and considering what it is you actually need to do to reach them.

For me, I knew 2011 was going to be the year I completed my first triathlon. Not only did I have no idea what I was doing or where to even start, but also I didn’t even know how to swim. With my target goal in sight (meaning I signed up for the triathlon before I even had a bike or knew how to swim), I wrote down all of the steps I needed to take in order to get there — the first being to get a good triathlon coach, which helped take all the guesswork out of the rest of the steps! (more…)

Training update and race recap: 2011 Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon

Running the 2011 Goodlife Fitness Victoria marathon.

Really dropped the ball on posting a race recap after the marathon.

But no matter, there wasn’t a whole lot to report anyway. No crazy mishaps or injuries this time — I actually ended up having a really great race.

I stuck to my training plan, which was to go out slow until I found my legs, and expect a 1-2 minute positive split. I actually maintained a decent pace throughout the whole race, and only really struggled in the last 3 km.

Besides a sweet playlist to distract me, I also had my best friend join me on the course for a brief jog (she lasted one minute — granted she was carrying a coffee mug and wasn’t in running gear, but I was super excited she came out to watch and run with me), my coach Noa wait near kilometre 15 and 30 to check in on me, and an old coworker who filmed me running this same race for work last year find me on his bike and escort me for a couple of kms. (more…)

Race Report: The Sri Chimoy Self Transcendence Triathlon (my first tri!)

Finishing up the 10 km run

“Looking good! Less than a kilometre to the finish line!” shouted a runner passing by me going the opposite way.

A year ago today, that other runner was me, cheering on the last of the Self Transcendence triathlon participants finishing up the run portion around Elk Lake.

I was out for a long run at Elk Lake, my 2010 summer Sunday ritual as I geared up for my first full marathon that fall, when I decided I would do this very same race next year. I was inspired by those triathletes, and thought the event looked like fun. So what if I couldn’t swim? I have a year to train. I can do this.

One year later, there I was, finishing up the last few kilometres of the 10 km run portion of an Olympic triathlon, with other runners cheering me on.

And it was a blast. (more…)

Triathlon countdown: 2011 HtO MS Thetis Lake swim

Finished! Thanks Kim for sending me these pictures!

One week from today I’ll no longer be ‘Bri, triathlete-in-training.’

I will have actually completed a triathlon and can call myself a triathlete! 

Well… maybe.

A few days ago I found out that Hamsterly Beach, where the swim portion of the Self Transcendence Triathlon will take place, was unsafe due to a high coliform count. Ugh.

I haven’t heard anything yet about what will happen… whether the organizers will move the swim portion to a different beach at Elk Lake, or? If anybody knows, please comment!

At least there are a few other triathlons I can do before the season ends. I think I’ll sign up for the sprint distance at the Subaru Sooke International Triathlon on August 7th, regardless. After all this training, I feel like I should do at least two this summer before marathon training starts! (more…)

Fort Rodd Hill Half Marathon: Harder than I remember…

We made it!

About 5 km into the 2011 Fort Rodd Hill Historic Half Marathon, I was seriously questioning my decision to run that day.

I started to come down with a cold the day before, and hadn’t run over 14 km since the BMO Half Marathon on May 1st. There was also that 90 km bike ride I participated in just seven days prior, so my legs weren’t feeling super fresh.

But the sun was shining and it was a beautiful day for a run.

Despite the fact my head was stuffed up, my throat felt raw and I couldn’t hear out of one ear, I headed down to the starting line on the beach near the Fisgard Lighthouse at Fort Rodd Hill.

Warming up for the race

I ran this event last year (see my race recap here) and remembered enjoying the run, even though the race was delayed and had to be rerouted due to an early morning fire that destroyed a nearby business.

I did not enjoy the run this year.

The race itself was well-organized, fun and friendly, but the route was tough. You’re pretty much running uphill for the first 7 km until you come to an extreme downhill that takes its toll on your joints… then you do it all again (the half marathon route is two loops of the same 11 km course).

My legs wanted to move at a half marathon pace, but my upper half was suffering: I could barely breathe, my head was pounding, I was coughing and sniffling and spitting (gross), and my stomach cramped up more with every step.

When I reached the downhill at Esquimalt Lagoon, I seriously considered dropping out.

Then I thought of Jess, a running friend who so badly wanted to complete the BMO Marathon this year that she ran injured and in pain for 21 miles before deciding to stop (read her marathon story here). I was only 10 km into a half and just felt uncomfortable, not injured… I needed to suck it up.

When I reached kilometre 17 at Esquimalt Lagoon on the second loop, my friend Mere caught up with me and we decided to pull each other along to the finish line. Mere and I run at about the same race pace on a good day, so I was glad I wasn’t the only one suffering on the course that day!

Getting our hard-earned participant medals!

We finished together in about 1:52:59, which is still a decent time, all things considered.

We were trying to pose for the finish line photo... didn't quite get my arms up in time

So what did I learn from this race?

Just because you probably could just get up and run a half marathon without much thought or preparation doesn’t mean you should.

Oh, and don’t tweet about your horrible race experience when your coach follows you on Twitter and didn’t put it on your triathlon training plan… sorry Noa! 😉

What a ride: The inaugural Ryder Hesjedal’s Tour de Victoria

A mass participation cycling event in Victoria lead by Tour de France 7th place finisher and local cycling phenom Ryder Hesjedal AND “Captain Canuck” Trevor Linden?

Sure, sign me up!

Why not fit that in amongst all of the half marathons and triathlon training I’ve been doing lately. Might as well do it, since I just bought a proper road bike and my work happened to be a founding sponsor. It’s hard to say no when you’re working at the event’s headquarters.

I have to admit, though, I was incredibly nervous about riding it. I signed up for the 90 km route, and only managed to do only one 75 km ride a week before the event. That felt surprisingly okay (no aches, pains or exhaustion), so I knew I could tackle the distance—it was just the pack riding and the weather I was worried about. (more…)

The marathon

GoodLife Victoria Fitness medals. Earned that gold one in the centre!

Well that was painful.

I think I may have underestimated the 42.2. I knew 32km hurt. But that extra 10km was excruciating.

All went well up until the 30km mark. I had run a solid half at 1:49 and was keeping up my 5:00 pace until about the 23km mark. I felt my calves get tighter and less willing to move, so I did a run-walk combination until the 30km mark. I was taking a walk break when Dave, the videographer, caught up with me and made me run again so it could at least LOOK like I was trying.

 He stayed with me until the 32km mark then rode off, and that’s when my left calf cinched up so tight I thought I heard a pop. I hobbled up the hill at Clover Point, tried to start jogging again and couldn’t get my legs to move. I felt two huge blisters under the pads of my feet just waiting to burst. That, coupled with the pain, changed my focus from sub-4:00 to just finishing.

But I didn’t care. As much as it hurt to even walk, I was happy to be out in the sun and excited that in a few hours time I’d be sitting down to a delicious Thanksgiving dinner with 15 of my family members, who would all be excited to hear stories about my first marathon.

Tyler was waiting for me with 3km to go. I was walking still, and he ran over to me and tried to get me to jog. I couldn’t do it. Thankfully, he had a bottle of painkillers with him and some water, so I down a few pills and continued walking. He stayed with me until I was coming up on the last 800 metres and the Tylenol kicked in. I started a pathetic jog, ignoring my pulled calf muscle.

I saw Katie near the finish line. When she saw me she waved, and I think I yelled out something like “Kill me now”. I have never been so happy to cross the finish line.

Numb from the pain killers and feeling pretty good since I had just been walking, not running, for the last 12km, I grabbed some post-race eats and met up with Tyler, Katie and Dave. Dave filmed me for a post-race recap, and I think all I said was “I get to go eat 2500 calories worth of Thanksgiving dinner right now, so I’m feeling pretty good.”

Yes, I’m disappointed. But that was my first marathon. I had no idea what to expect. I could go on about how I didn’t train enough and should have done more long runs, but I was just happy to finish. Now that I know, next time will be different. At least my time of 4:36 will be pretty easy to beat, so a new marathon PB is almost guaranteed.

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