Races

Race Review: Vancouver Island Trail Running Series Race #1 – Cobble Hill

I wasn’t planning on actually running much of the hilly 12 km short course at the first race in the Vancouver Island Trail Running Series (VITRS) this past Saturday since I haven’t been running much lately and wasn’t feeling good this past week, but I couldn’t help myself after I started to descend after the first of many steep climbs.

The course follows a fun network of hiking and mountain biking trails around Cobble Hill, and I LOVE running on twisty-turny downhills that aren’t too steep. Once I get into that downhill flow on the trails — you know the kind when you expertly navigate every rock and root with minimal effort and feel like you could run forever — I can’t be stopped.

The Cobble Hill race, held on Saturday, April 8, was the first event in the VITRS. It featured a long course (18km) and a short course (12km), as well as a kid’s race. Even though the weather was rather gloomy, there was a great turn out at this sold out race. (more…)

Goodlife Victoria Marathon race recap: A tough race with lots of lessons learned

Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon

At the starting line for the Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon

You didn’t train enough. You didn’t run your tempo runs fast enough. You should have gone up to 36K in training. You should have focused more on running and cut back on strength training. You should have tried harder to be at your racing weight. You went out too fast.

These were all the things swirling around in my head at kilometre 33 of yesterday’s Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon. I was having a good race up until that point, deciding to run by feel instead of constantly watching my pace. My quads were burning at about the 25K mark, but I was able to push through to find a comfortable pace again and feel confident about my race. It wasn’t raining, the sun came out, my head cold was almost gone, and I wasn’t injured going into the race. Conditions were seemingly perfect.

It was at the dreaded 30K mark when things fell apart for me. The 3:30 pace group, which I’d been just in front of for the majority of the race, passed me and I couldn’t keep up. There’s a yucky, twisty incline after the 30K mark that goes on for about 5K that usually slows me down, and even though I pumped my arms and legs as hard as I could, I just couldn’t stick with the group. As the shiny, sparkly 3:30 pace sign bobbed out of sight, I started to beat myself about everything I thought I did wrong during training. “If I’m not going to make 3:30, why bother?” I told myself. That’s when my legs and mind threw in the towel and I starting plodding along, walking through aid stations and looking back behind me expecting to see the 3:35 group hot on my heels, ready to overtake me and crush my BQ dreams altogether. (more…)

Five Things Friday: Beat the Blerch, print magazine features and why I’m loving spring right now

five thingsHappy Friday, lovelies!

Let’s see if I actually have five exciting/fun/interesting things to share with you this week…

I’m running Beat the Blerch! Timing never worked out for this race for me before–which I’ve been dying to do since The Oatmeal‘s Matthew Inman first announced it–but this year it will fit perfectly into my third-time’s-a-charm BQ attempt at the Goodlife Victoria Marathon in October. I’ll be doing the half and using it as a speedy race-prep race, though I’ll probably have to stop and take photos of blerchs and to eat birthday cake. Because how could you not. Also, heading to Seattle means a stop a the Oiselle store (sorry, bank account). Is anyone else planning to do it?? (more…)

Race review: Phoenix Marathon

Hard earned medal! I had to have my bag searched when I took it through security as it looked like a weapon on the bag scanner, haha.

Hard earned medal! I had to have my bag searched when I took it through airport security as it looked like a weapon on the bag scanner, haha.

So my Phoenix Marathon race didn’t go as planned.

And for some reason, I’m not terribly upset about it. Even when the grinding pain in my right hip — which started around mile 9 — became too much to handle at mile 13 and the 3:40 pace group passed by me about 15 minutes later, I wasn’t frustrated or mad. Even though I travelled 1,600 miles to run a race in hopes of qualifying for Boston, I was more concerned about not being about to walk around Disneyland and Vegas after the race. It’s not that I wasn’t focused on my goal or disappointed that I didn’t do what I set out to do… but I think I’ve just run enough races now to understand that’s just the nature of the marathon. You could have a completely perfect training cycle and taper, only to totally blow it on race day. And likewise, you could be riddled with injuries and illness and somehow have a fantastic race. That’s just the way it goes. (more…)

Phoenix Marathon training update: 1 week to go!

newgarmin

My new Garmin Forerunner!

My current state is a mix of pre-race jitters, concern about the heat in Phoenix, general excitement for running a marathon in another country, worrying about staying healthy before we go, and crazy excitement for Disneyland (I haven’t been since I was 12!) and Vegas (I’ve never been!).

I did my last long run on Sunday, a 10 km at a moderate 5:23 pace. I meant to go slower, but decided to test my new Garmin (yes, I bit the bullet because and bought a Forerunner 225 because it’s one less thing I have to worry about on race day) and how it paces. I cruised along at my race pace for a bit (about 4:55 min/per km) and felt pretty good. I LOVE all the data on the Forerunner 225, which also doubles as an activity tracker; you can wear it all day to track steps, sleep and calories burned, plus it has continuous heart rate tracking from your wrist (own with chest straps!). I’ve been wearing the Garmin on one wrist and my FitBit Charge on the other to compare tracking, so hopefully I can write up a full comparison for the blog eventually. (more…)

Phoenix Marathon training update: Two weeks to go!

Last long run before the race!

Last long run before the race!

I meant to write another update last week, but could only manage one blog post amid freelance writing priorities. This week will be much of the same I think, as I have seven 500-word articles due before I leave on the 25th. Hopefully I can get back to more blogging in March when things slow down a bit!

I did my last long-ish run on Sunday before the marathon, and will now spend the last two weeks taking it easy. Here’s how I’m hoping the next two weeks will go (with some changes from my updated plan):

Feb 15 – 21
Monday – Rest
Tuesday – 30 minute full-body strength circuit/plyo plus 15 minutes yoga and foam rolling
Wednesday – 40 min treadmill intervals
Thursday – 30 minute full-body strength circuit plus 15 minutes yoga and foam rolling
Friday – 40 min easy run
Saturday – 6 km easy run
Sunday – 10 km easy run

Feb 22 – Race day!
Monday – Rest 30 minutes yoga and foam rolling
Tuesday – 30 minutes yoga and foam rolling 40 min easy treadmill run
Wednesday – 30 min easy treadmill run (plus yoga and foam rolling)
Thursday – Rest (travel day)
Friday – Easy 3 km in Phoenix (plus yoga and foam rolling)
Saturday – RACE! (And run a 4:57 pace to finish in 3:29:00!!!)
Sunday – Rest/eat and drink everything (more…)

Birthday celebrations, MEC Race One “Rust Buster” 10K and marathon training

lakerunMy body is surprisingly not as beat up as I thought it’d be after a weekend of birthday eats and drinks, plus spending my entire morning on Sunday racing and running.

I celebrated my 31st birthday on Thursday and was totally spoiled by my loved ones as usual. There was lots of wining and dining, flowers, cards, late nights and a shopping spree, plus this amazing gift from Matt that I’m hoping to get resized or possibly exchange for a smaller version so I can wear it properly. (more…)

So I ran another marathon without training…

Coming down the home stretch at the 2015 Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon!

Coming down the home stretch at the 2015 Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon! Photo credit: Dave Preston

I don’t know if it was the prospect of stuffing my face with a big, delicious (and guilt-free) Thanksgiving dinner this weekend; the fact that a half marathon didn’t feel like enough of a challenge for me after my 28K trail race near the end of summer; or that I didn’t want to miss out on running another race with Debbie (it’s Thanksgiving tradition, after all!) that compelled me to sign up to run the full marathon instead of the half at the Goodlife Fitness Marathon on Sunday. I’m happy to say I ran 42.2 km without any issues, other than my calves cramping up pretty bad near the end — they were probably wondering why I was running so far on pavement when I spent the entire summer on the trails. Ouch.

I finished the race in about 3:51, which I was happy with considering my only “training” run was the Finlayson Arm 28K. The only other runs I did since September were a few slow 7-8km runs on top of weight training for 4 days a week. But since my base cardio was good, I knew I could run the distance. It was just a matter of going slow enough to NOT hurt myself. (more…)

{thinking out loud Thursday} My Boston Marathon dreams are crushed

I was among the 4,562 people who qualified to run the Boston Marathon this year whose dreams were crushed yesterday 🙁

Worst email ever.

Worst email ever.

The 2016 Boston Marathon qualifying performance was 2 minutes, 28 seconds or faster than the qualifying standard for your age and gender, which for me is a sub 3-hour and 35-minute marathon time. I was only 1 minute and 3 seconds faster. I missed qualifying for this year’s race by 1 minute and 25 seconds 🙁

I know that qualifying in and of itself is an accomplishment to be proud of. I worked damn hard to run that time. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t totally bummed and beating myself up over things I probably had no control over, such as taking too long of a walk break at that one aid station, getting sick a week before the race and having a mysterious foot injury.

Although I’m still proud of my accomplishment last year (if I had tried to qualify a year earlier I would have made it in), that fact is it wasn’t good enough. (more…)

Race Review: Finlayson Arm 25K trail race

We weren't last!

We weren’t last!

Okay, so it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.

Despite the typical burning quads, achy knees, extreme fatigue, unquenchable thirst and mild headache I usually experience during trail races, I had a really great race on Saturday at the Finlayson Arm 25K (actually 28K) trail race.

The thing I love about trail races as opposed to any road race is that you get to make friends out on the trail. You’re going slow enough and you’re out there for long enough that you can actually chat with other runners for a few hours, which makes the time go by quicker and makes the race far more enjoyable. That, and I find trail runners are far more friendly in general on the course than road runners are. Even the lead racer who passed me somewhere around the 13 km point said “great job” as he flew by. And words of encouragement were exchanged by every single runner after that.

Since Debbie and I ran the course two weeks ago, I generally knew what to expect. I’ve run these routes and hiked Mt. Finlayson many times, so I was well prepared to tackle the elevation  challenges on the course. I wasn’t sure how it was going to be after Holmes Peak to Jocelyn Hill, but it wasn’t as bad as I remembered. (more…)

%d bloggers like this: