Trail Running

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…)

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…)

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…)

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…)

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…)

Training update: Sprint tri, epic trail runs, blister blunders and a second-place squash

Only in Metchosin would you get a second-place squash

So I meant be more consistent with my blog posts throughout August and September, but it was hard to find time to blog in between road trips to the Okanagan, camping, barbeques, and other more social activities that kept me outside and away from the computer.

Now that the typical west coast weather has returned to the island (sad face), I’ll probably get back to blogging weekly.

Since my first triathlon at the end of July, I’ve completed a few more races and blog-worthy runs and events, including another triathlon (a sprint distance at the Sooke International Triathlon during the first week of August), a local 5km race (where I came second in my age group and won a squash), and two epic trail runs with Hagen (one that I ran without proper trail shoes, also hungover from a wedding the night before; and one where I learned gels made of 100% agave do not agree with me), and a BC Cancer fundraiser initiative called “Van Isle Runners for Cancer”, which consisted of a calendar photoshoot (where I confirmed the fact that I take bad action shots; every race photo of me is horrible. I wouldn’t be surprised if they decide not to use my photos — Runner’s World cover model I am not). (more…)

How to cure a hangover and get into a triathlon wetsuit

Main Beach at Thetis. Photo credit: AndrewS

Discovered a new hangover cure this morning: open water swimming.

After a late night at a friend’s wedding (too much wine and dancing in heels… ouch my calves this morning), I surprised myself by making it to my tri group’s first open water swim session on time.

The last thing I wanted to do was stuff myself into a wetsuit and jump in a lake.

Getting the wetsuit on was a bit easier this time, though. Noa gave me a few pointers, such as to use BodyGlide around the parts your suit gets stuck, like your wrists, ankles, behind the knees, etc., and to cut off any extra suit length near your feet and hands if it’s too long.

While the majority of the group did laps around the small islands in the middle of Thetis Lake, I stuck near the shore with a few others and practiced swimming out and counting strokes, and running in and out of the water.

By the end of the swim I wasn’t feeling the effects of last night at all — in fact, I felt great! I felt I could have kept going, but we still had a run to do.

My Achilles was bugging me during the slow but hilly hour-long trail run around Thetis with the group — I’ve never had pain or tightness there before, but I have a feeling it may have been caused by me trying to do the LMFAO shuffle dance last night on the dancefloor at the wedding in heels… not from running 🙂

Oh! I also got my tri team cycling kit (cycling kit = a bike bib and jersey with my tri group logo on it) AND bought some new kicks!

Officially one of those spandexed riders I used to make fun of on the Goose. Woo hoo!

I’ve been running in Mizuno Wave Inspires for about 6 months, and they’ve been great. I tried on the same shoe in the newer version and wasn’t really in love with them. Not sure what they changed… but they definitely weren’t as comfy. I think they are a bit higher around the ankle than last year’s model.

It was a toss-up between Saucony ProGrid Guide 4 (which had a bit of a higher heel to make you run more on your forefoot) and the Saucony ProGrid Hurricane. The Hurricane felt most like my current shoe, so I decided to play it safe and get them instead of the Guides.

Saucony ProGrid Hurricanes. Will now run at a hurricane-force pace!

(I actually don’t need new shoes right now, but I got a gift card as a grad present… it was burning a hole in my purse.)

Oh, and I also bought some swimming goodies.

BodyGlide, new goggles, a new swim cap in white and chocolate & espresso gels for fuel.

I’m still on the hunt for a new swim suit and a tri suit… and hopefully that will be it for triathlon gear spending for this season.

(How many times have a said that in one of these posts? Still hoping…)

It’s time for an action plan

My YouTube debut. Thankfully, Dave was nice enough not to film me walking.

So it turns out I did actually tear a calf muscle. At the insistence of Kirsty, I went and made an appointment with Dr.Mike to get it checked out. That was my first time going to see a specialist for anything sports-injury related, and now I know why Kirsty didn’t tell me much about what to expect.

Active Release Therapy HURTS. Dr. Mike busted out this metal spatula device and started scraping my calf, like one might try to scrape the blackened burnt part off a piece of toast. But more violently.

Then he dug his thumb right into the torn muscle and asked me to FLEX my foot, which is something that hurt to do anyways, let alone with a thumb digging into the muscle. “Go go go go go! Pull pull pull!” I felt like a Biggest Loser contestant at the mercy of Jillian Michaels the way my face was contorting in pain.

But then I hopped off the table, and I could walk without a limp. I had zero pain in my calf, and haven’t felt pain in it since. Dr.Mike works (painful) miracles.

A few other pointers he gave me: You started out to fast. Get a coach, train properly. Six half marathons in one year is too much. No running for two weeks. Take up swimming and do some light cycling. You should be good to go for the Bear Mountain 10K  in November (yes! — that’s all I needed to hear).

So now my plan is to join a marathon running group and a triathlon club in January. I also need to take swimming lessons and get a proper bike. I signed up for the Gunnar Shaw as well, an off-road 10k at Thetis Lake in November that takes you through mud pits and freezing lake water (already bought some sweet trail running shoes for this adventure from MEC!), and have my sights set on doing the Island Race Series and another marathon in the spring.

Nothing helps to heal a running injury more than coming up with a new action plan — well, to help to mentally heal, anyway.

The intention was there…

So I was going to work on the blog over the weekend…maybe next weekend?

For some reason I decided to run the Coast Trail in East Sooke park with my friend Hagen first thing on Saturday morning.  I hit the gym and bike regularly but haven’t actually ran in months…needless to say I am still in pain and can barely walk two days later!  The trail is amazing though, it runs right along the shoreline and in and out of the trees.  It’s not clearly marked, but luckily Hagen for the most part knew where he was going!  There are some parts where you have to slow down and watch your footing (you are pretty much right on the edge of a cliff looking down onto jagged rocks and ocean surf the whole way), and by the end I had to walk up the steeper, rocky parts.  It took us about and 2 hours and 20 minutes…not bad considering that the trail apparently takes 6 hours to hike!  According to CRD Park maps, the trail is 10 km from Aylard Farms to Pike Road, but I don’t think that takes into account the twisty windiness of the trail itself.  I’d say it’s more like 13 kms.  No wonder my legs won’t work!

… I also went out dancing with the girls Saturday night until 2 am AFTER the run…that also might have something to do with it!

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