Races

Guest Post: MEC Big Wild Challenge 21 km trail race review

Debbie getting ready to "run" the MEC Big Wild Challenge.

Debbie getting ready to “run” the MEC Big Wild Challenge.

By Debbie Preston

Some of my favourite races to run are the MEC series here on Vancouver Island. Although they might not have all the bells and whistles that other races have – some races aren’t timed, there are no medals and there aren’t always aid stations along the route – these races have the essentials: they are always affordable ($15-$20), you’re guaranteed to be challenged by a talented group of fellow racers and the entire MEC team and amazing volunteers will cheer you along the course. (more…)

Going for the BQ: 2014 goal update and my Boston-bound marathon training plan

IMG_3542It’s been six months since I declared my 2014 personal and fitness-related goals for this year: become a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), get published in a print publication, and qualify for the Boston Marathon.

So how’s that all going, you ask? (more…)

Race Review: Gunner Shaw XC 10k Classic

Dirty trail shoes, which were a lot muddier before running through the lake at the end of the race.

Dirty trail shoes, which were a lot muddier before running through the lake at the end of the race.

If you’ve ever wanted to slog your way through a mud pit, splash through a smelly swamp and bound through an ice cold lake during a race–and also NOT get electrocuted/bruised shins/etc. in the process (a la Tough Mudder)–then Gunner Shaw is the race for you. Not only is it affordable with a $25 registration fee if you sign up early, Gunner Shaw is also a fun, friendly, no-frills local race that’s a blast for newbie and experienced trail runners alike. (more…)

Mind over legs? How to run a marathon without training

"Proof" that I ran the 2013 Goodlife Fitness Marathon :)

“Proof” that I ran the 2013 Goodlife Fitness Marathon 🙂

Somehow, I managed to run a 3:41 at the 2013 Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon. That’s almost a 25-minute improvement over my previous marathon time of 4:07 something from two years ago. Yeah, I’m as surprised as you are about that… especially considering that I only just decided to sign up for this race a few days before the event date. Apparently not training properly works well for me?

Last year, I ran a personal best at the Goodlife Fitness Victoria half marathon without proper training, either. In fact, I did everything you’re NOT suppose to do before a race (I wrote a post about it here), but somehow managed to beat my fastest half marathon time by five minutes. I chalked it up to the fact I was racing under somebody else’s name and was doing it “just for fun”, with no intention of getting a PB. (more…)

So I’m running a marathon in two days…

Running the 2010 Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon

Running the 2010 Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon

…and I haven’t trained for it.

Apparently I haven’t learned my lesson from my torturous adventure at the Squamish 50 and I don’t take my own advice about training for endurance events.

But I love to run. And I love this race. So I’m doing it.

I was on the fence about signing up for the 2013 Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon for months, then decided I wouldn’t run it because I didn’t have time to fit in any long runs. (more…)

Squamish 50k Race Recap: The toughest race I’ve ever done

That's my "who would voluntarily sign up for that" face.

That’s my “who would voluntarily sign up for that” face.

Well… that was an experience.

I think the more challenging moments of the Squamish 50 are still lingering, as I’ve yet to look back and reminisce about the beautiful mountain views, camaraderie of the other trail runners I encountered in those 11 grueling hours, and amazement that I actually finished the race relatively unscathed.

I’m pretty sure the first thing out of my mouth when I crossed the finish line was I’m never doing that again.

***

It was close to 30 degrees on Friday when my boyfriend and I arrived in Squamish, set up our campsite at Alice Lake and picked up my race package at the sponsor hotel. When I checked in, they gave me the option of an earlier start, which I took, thinking it’d be better to start when it was cooler in the day. I’m extremely glad I did start earlier, as I might not have made the cut-off time of 12 hours if I didn’t. (more…)

Squamish 50: How I trained for my first ultra

1069845_10151532225501592_916413937_nIn less than two days, I’ll be running through this.

Then I’ll be spending about eight hours runking (running the flat trails and downhills, hiking the uphills… it’s my word of the day, just made it up) up and down this and in this.

Hopefully this will be me at the end. But I’ll most probably end up finishing like this, if I finish at all, that is, considering how many times I’ve eaten dirt (or come close to) on my long trail runs lately; I tend to stop picking up my feet after 5+ hours of running single-track forest trails and stumble over every rock and root in my path.

Naw, I’m pretty excited to race Squamish 50 this weekend, and feel confident I can at least finish. Since this is my first ultra, I don’t have a time goal in mind and have no idea what to expect. My goal is just to finish, relatively unscathed. (more…)

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.

(more…)

How do you train for a 50k trail race?

Me and Kai on the Timberline Trail

Me and Kai on the Timberline Trail

I’d like to know, because I signed up for one taking place in Squamish on August 10!

I’ve been getting out at least once a week lately for a long trail run, usually running for about an hour to an hour and a half on a few hilly trails. On Friday, my friend Debbie and I ended up running for about two hours on the trails without any water or nutrition; we weren’t planning to go that far, but really wanted to see what Joycelin Hill was like in Gowlland Tod Park. It didn’t look like it was that much farther from Squally Reach, which is where we usually run to when we go there. We ended up running about 12 kms, and were both pretty bagged at the end. I just went downhill from then on, thinking I was getting sick (still having tummy troubles… not sure if I’m fighting the flu bug that’s been going around or if was the haggis I tried on the weekend), so I opted not to go for our planned Coast Trail run on Sunday. (more…)

Why I’m heading back to the gym

Something I’ll never be able to do at my new place… my bike trainer sounds like a plane taking off.

Something I’ll never be able to do at my new place… my bike trainer sounds like a plane taking off.

Remember when I quit the gym? Well… I’m on the hunt for a new place to workout indoors, but not because I’m tired of running outside. Who could ever get tired of that? I’d take running in wet, dreary west coast weather over a treadmill any day. No, it’s because my new downstairs neighbours can’t handle the sound of us walking across our living room floor, let alone me jumping around doing workout DVDs.

I moved into a new building last week, in part to save money by living with a roommate, but also to cut down on my work/boyfriend commute time. Just five days into living there, we received a formal letter of complaint from the property manager  on behalf of the people in the unit below us, saying that they hear constant noise,  loud party noises coming from our unit (during a time when my roommate wasn’t even in the country and I hadn’t even moved in yet), and that they could hear “loud banging and moving furniture” on November 16… the day I moved in. Really?? There was moving furniture?? Ya don’t say!! Pretty sure you can’t fine someone $200 for that. (more…)

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