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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…)

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…)

How to train for a half marathon without actually running…

Me and Deb

My running buddy Debbie and me post race. PBs all around, plus finally took down a friend’s half marathon record he’d been taunting us about for years… (hence the number 1s!)

I think I did everything you aren’t supposed to do before a 21.1k race. I hardly ran in the weeks leading up to it. I went on a 18 km hike the week before followed by a 19.22 km run the next day “just to see if I could do it.” I did strength training the day before ’cause I felt like it. I drank beer the night before the race, also ’cause I felt like it. I didn’t stretch. I didn’t eat my go-to pre-race breakfast. And I waited until the very last minute to register.

I pretty much untrained myself for the 2012 Goodlife Fitness Victoria half marathon, and had one of the best runs of my life, with a personal best to boot with a time of 1:41:33 (22nd in my AG out of 479 women!) (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…)

Twitter, runners and cancer research

Miss May in the Van Island Runners for Cancer calendar. Photo credit: Will Winter Photography

I have to say I’ve met some super awesome runners and fellow endurance sport enthusiasts through social media.

This group of Victoria-area and social media-savvy runners of all ages, levels and abilities came together under the #yyjrun hashtag on Twitter a few years ago. We get psyched for races together, cheer each other on and support each others’ goals, offer tips and training advice, run together, suffer through injuries, training road-blocks and taper madness together, race together, and have coffee and dinner together. And most recently, we’ve come together to raise funds for a cause close to all of us. (more…)

Winter training: Leaving the comfort of the gym to get my trail shoes dirty

2011 Gunner Shaw XC Trail race – Photo by Jordan Mitchell

So I quit the gym.

I thought when I went in to cancel my membership (which I’ve had for seven years) it might go down like that episode of Friends when Ross and Chandler try to quit the gym… but it wasn’t that bad. They didn’t try to sell me on anything to get me to stay, but they did ask why. Despite the fact I rarely go (maybe once during the summer, and once a week in the winter), I would have totally kept my membership if I could have afforded it. But I can’t. It was either keep my membership or get the internet at my new place… and let’s face it, I can’t live without the internet! (more…)

Gear review: Brooks PureProject Flow

shoes

This isn’t even all of the pairs I own

I have a running shoe addiction.

There, I said it.

I don’t think an addiction to shoes is unusual, though; most girls I know have a closet full of pumps, strappy sandals, wedges, boots and kitten heels. I just happen to have a closet full of running shoes.

I probably own more pairs at a time than most amateur runners, though. I think right now I have about five in rotation: tri shoes for triathlons; light weight runners for short, fast runs; two pairs of trail runners for summer and winter; and big, clunky stability shoes for long distance running. I’ve read that it’s good to have a few pairs to rotate through so your shoes last longer (rule of thumb is to replace them after about 600 km, or every 6 months — whichever comes first).

Even though I just bought a new pair of running shoes not that long ago, I’ve been in the market for a new pair;  something lighter and less clunky for distance running. The problem is, every time I go into a store to buy a new pair, the person helping me takes one look at my stride and flat feet and hand me the biggest, heaviest stability shoes they have in stock. (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…)

Well, it’s been a month

Remember how I said no more half marathons for at least a month? Well, it’s been a month (almost), and next weekend I’ll be running the Fort Rodd Hill Historic Half Marathon.  How could I not run a half marathon in my ‘hood?  I used the Esquimalt Lagoon loop route as part of my training for the Bear Mountain 10K.  I decided right off the bat that I would not be going for any time records here, since this route involves a HUGE hill, one comparable to some of the hills on the Bear Mountain course.  According to the route map, it looked as if we would be running up this hill; however, after Kirsty pointed out to me that the elevation map showed otherwise, I might try to go for a decent time – decent in the sense of around the two-hour mark, considering my lack of training in the past two weeks. 

I’ve been a bad runner.

I’ve done maybe four runs since the Oak Bay Half, and a handful of workouts.  I’m just transitioning to a new job for the summer (a really awesome job by the way, one where I get to write and blog about travel and get paid for it!) so I’ve been busy and haven’t figured out my workout schedule yet.  It’s okay, though.  I have about four-and-a-half months to train for the full RVM, which, by the way, is now known as the Goodlife FitnessVictoria Marathon. I can’t wait to dust off the ‘ol bike and take the Goose to work again – lucky for me my work has change rooms with showers, so I don’t have to sit there with helmet hair all day.  It’s nice to mix up the running with a bit of outdoor biking now and again.

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