Thursday, December 31, 2009

Thanks for a great year 2009!

Well well we are on the last day of it just me or did this year go ridiculously fast? It would appear I fell off the blogging bandwagon for the month of December...I had many posts planned and lots to talk about...and all kinds of good intentions to blog...but I was quite busy as most are this time of year. December flew by and the holidays were awesome! The past couple of days i've found myself planning out my racing season for 2010...I plan on sharing it with you guys very early in the new year...tomorrow is the opening of registration for the Death Race and whether or not I do it determines a ton of other races I'm looking into. I'll let you know tomorrow whether I signed up! :)

Anyway...I've had a really amazing year and lots to be thankful for and happy about. Work is going well...I had a fabulous year of racing...I met a really awesome guy...I got to see my family a lot more...I met a whole new group of running friends...not to forget the amazing friends I already have....what more can I ask for? More of the same...more happiness, more laughter, more adventures...I'm really excited for 2010 and I have lots to celebrate tonight! :)

Unfortunately I don't get to ring in the New Year with Andrew as he's on a ski trip in Utah...but I do get to ring it in with some really great friends of mine...looks like it's going to be a Newfie party tonight :) I'm getting ready to head out on my last run of i'll leave you with a few pics of what i've been up to over the last few weeks...

My dad and I...after a bitterly cold run in -27 (-36 windchill)...during a week long cold snap in Calgary

Andrew and I having lunch while skiing at Lake Louise

My fabulous Christmas present from Andrew!!!

Kira and Julia on Christmas morning

Dad, opening his stocking

Steve, stuffing the turkey!

Me and Dad skiing at Silverstar in Vernon on Boxing Day

Hope you all have a very Happy New Year...stay tuned as I get back to a regular blogging routine in 2010 :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Welcome to Winter!

Well, if you looked outside right now (or woke up to -26 C this morning) you'd think we were in the middle of February...but nope, it is classic December in Calgary...we got a massive massive dump of snow last weekend (I had a pretty intense shovelling workout on saturday!) and we're in the middle of a lovely cold snap. Ugh.

Generally i'm anti-treadmill and run all winter long regardless of the temperature...but i've still been enduring some brutal treadmill runs these past few weeks as I try to get my foot all healed up. Progress is slow but it's definitely getting better! I've been running 3 or 4 times a week with usually at least 2 of them outside so I haven't been going completely crazy with all my time in the gym.

I've also started doing leg weights again which will hopefully make me a better climber once I start running and racing trails again in the spring. I just realized last night when dreaming of all the races I want to do next spring/summer that my first one is a 50 miler on May 30th...which is less than 6 months away! That might seem like a long time but I feel like i've got lots and lots of work to do before then to be able to run that distance...and i'm pretty excited :)

So things are definitely looking up as my foot continues to get better. Saturday I ran my coldest run so far this winter and it was only -10 with a -19 windchill...ugh. And that's nothing compared to what it will be like this winter! I think wind is the one thing I hate the most and I would be fine doing any activity in super cold temps as long as wind wasn't involved! But I find that once i've made myself get out there it's not so bad! And i'm always super satisfied after the run.

As most of you know, my dad is a runner (and that's where Steve and I were lucky to get our running genes from :)...and my parents are coming up from Newfoundland for a visit on thursday. I was hoping to get in some runs with my dad while he's here so hopefully the cold temps forecasted while they're here doesn't deter him (or me) from getting out there....even for just a short one.

I hope you're ready to welcome winter cuz it's definitely here to stay for a while!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Waterton + Winter + Camping = Awesome!

Almost 2 weeks ago now I went to Waterton for some hiking and camping with Andrew and his friend Jim, as well as Logan and Andrew's dog Duke. I love winter camping and I had also never been to Waterton before but have heard a lot of awesome things about it!

We didn't end up hiking as much as we had intended but it still turned out to be a great trip! We backpacked in our stuff a short 1.5km to Crandell Lake where we set up camp. Here are some pics that I took as well as Jim (who is quite the photographer so I won't take credit for those nice scenic shots!!)

At the Trailhead

Crandell Lake
(Jim's pic)

Getting caught giving Andrew a smack!
(Jim's pic)
I'd love to know what was so funny...
(Jim's pic)

Testing out the foot...pain free yet?
oh I miss trail running...
(Jim's pic)
Crandell Lake
(Jim's Pic)

Duke checking things out near the water...
it's cold and he's loving Andrew's scarf!! (Jim's pic)

Cooking area near Crandell Lake (Jim's pic)

Andrew and Jim enjoying some "Hot Toddy's"...we had no lemon
but we put in some oranges instead...not bad at all!

Hanging up the food bag!
(and yup, the Warden told us there were still bears out in the area at this time!)

Getting cozy with the dogs in the tent :)
Good morning! It snowed while we were sleeping!
Breakfast time! Andrew cooking up Backpackers omelettes
from the bag...actually SUPER tasty! (Jim's pic)

Logan keeping an eye on breakfast!

Andrew and the dogs hiking back out to the truck.

Andrew and Duke overlooking Upper Waterton Lake (Jim's pic)

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Monday I ran a fairly relaxed 8km at lunch...for the first 4 km the pain was annoying but not too bad...for the second half it was really quite painful and I was cringing with each step. I came back to work after lunch pretty bummed and I could barely walk for the rest of the day/evening.

After all of the advice I received from my previous post and from others, I decided it really was ok if I took a full month off from running (and a really good idea) to see if that would be enough to heal it. When I thought about it longer I realized a month off is really not that bad. When I went to Thailand 2 years ago I was off from running for a full month and came back and started back up training for a marathon the next week...albeit I started slow with shorter runs...but it wasn't really a big deal. So that made me happy and I was then fine with the decision to take my month off.

Then tuesday I decided it would be my first day at the gym doing other cardio...I did a half hour of elliptical and my foot felt great. Then I thought I wonder if I just go on the treadmill for a little bit how will my foot feel? I ran for a half hour...absolutely pain free! I was going at a pretty slow pace but had no pain! WTF? I know, just retarded right? The pain often comes after I stop running and is quite bad in the evening and the next morning but it didn't even come back that night or next morning. I'm excited and maybe the treadmill will be the way to go for a while as I try to heal this. I'm sure the nice soft surface is definitely a big help!

Monday night I had slept in my compression socks and spent a good hour with high heat from my heating pad on my calf so that must have been a big help as well for sure. I know a big cause of PF is due to tight calves and I guess that's definitely a big issue for me although I never feel like they're particularly tight! That was definitely the problem last winter though when I had PF for 6 months before Boston...but I did manage to get rid of it with lots of stretching and heating of the calves and wearing compression socks.

Anyhow, I took yesterday off and i'm going to try some elliptical after work to warm up and then try some more running on the treadmill tonite to see how I do. If I experience any pain then I'll immediately stop...I promise :) I was pretty pumped though after tuesday's little run! Wish me luck!

Tomorrow I'm heading off to Waterton with Andrew, his friend and the 2 dogs for a weekend of hiking and camping...i'm pretty pumped! Hopefully i'll come back with some sweet pics to show you next week! Have a great weekend!!


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Holy F(rustration)!!

Hmm...i thought after my last post I'd get better with my blog again not worse...geez. Guess I don't have a lot of stuff going on...well, I do...just not running related I suppose. Aside from running, life is pretty great these days.

I'm kind of depressed about running right foot is not cooperating at all...the thing is, it hurts less while i'm running than after the run and on my days off. I took today and yesterday off from running and my heel just continues to throb while walking around....and by the end of the day it aches so bad I can barely stand on it. It's super frustrating. I've read some other blogs lately of a couple of people also having to deal with plantar fasciitis...and they're managing 100 mile weeks...while I would be happy with a 50km week! Anyways, they've been talking about taping it which seems to help and i've read about the proper taping techinque for plantar fasciistis so I may try that this weekend for my long run.

So far this week I've only done 2 runs...a 20km on sunday where I felt pretty minimal pain for the first 10km and then the last 10 kind of sucked with foot pain. I impulse registered for a 10km race in December...not sure what I was thinking since i'm injured but who knows...maybe it'll be better by then? Anyways, after registering I then decided at lunch to go out and run a fast 10km...managed to do it in 45 mins which boosted my confidence. I also didn't experience much pain at all...not sure if it's because the quicker I run the less time my foot is on the ground? Makes sense. My PB is 42 so I'd love to get closer to 40...although my brother seems to think I could easily break 40 mins...but I don't agree...especially if i'm having troubles training because of my foot. Guess we'll see.

Ok, now I promise to try and blog more...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The running blues...

Yes....I realize i've been a lazy blogger lately...thanks to many of you for pointing it out! I didn't realize it was that big a deal but apparently some of you actually enjoy reading this so I'll try to get back on the blogging bandwagon already! :)

I guess I just haven't had a lot going on since the marathon...nothing I thought would be interesting to blog about anyway! I took 9 days off from running and any form of activity really after the marathon (unless you count drinking? ;-) which was kind of nice but kind of annoying as well. The other thing I hate to do almost as much as I hate recovering after a race. In my experience it always takes me quite a long time to recover after a big road race in comparison to a trail race...just another one of many many reasons why I prefer the trail to the road!

Anyhow...while my legs have felt decent since I started running again last week, my heel has not. Plantar fasciitis is proving to be the biggest pain in the ass yet. I haven't really been able to enjoy my runs as it's just a constant pain with every heel strike...bummer. I did a short trail run on the weekend in Kananaskis...around 15km or so and it really wasn't good...I feel out of shape trail running wise which sucks...but I guess that's what happens when you haven't been on the trails in 4 weeks and have been running on flat pavement...argh! No worries, I plan on rectifying that pretty quick!

The week is looking up as I'm looking forward to seeing the Flames vs. Avalanche hockey game tomorrow well as some trail running on the weekend. Yeah I know...probably shouldn't complain about my heel so much if I refuse to take time off and keep running eh? I ran with this issue last winter while training for a marathon and I did manage to get rid of i'm assuming i'll manage to do that again without taking time off :) Yes i'm stubborn.

Oh yeah...Banff winterstart 5 miler is in a week and a half...not sure how much speed my legs have left in them but it should be fun. Nothing better than running a night race with 1000 other runners and glowsticks....and then partying the night away in Banff after wha?


Friday, October 16, 2009

Okanagan Marathon Race Report

My brother Steve lives in Vernon, BC which is about 40 mins or so from Kelowna, where the Okanagan marathon took place last Sunday! Since the race started at 7am we had to get up at 4:45am so we could eat breakfast and be ready to leave by 5:30. Several things screwed us up from leaving on time...I didn't change my watch back 1 hour for BC time so when I set my watch for 4:45am it woke me up at 3:45 which sucked! So then when I fixed it, I either did it wrong or I slept through the alarm and ended up waking up around 4:55am. Apparently Steve knocked on my door but I didn't hear it.

It was a cold morning and I was slow getting ready and we left the house a few mins late. Then after driving a couple of mins I realized I forgot my hand bottle and we had to go back and get it...and so by the time we left a second time it was 5:45...woops. I thought it only took a half hour to get there but that's to the outskirts of Kelowna. After getting every freakin light possible on the way we ended up getting there at 6:40ish, parked in some residential area, peed in the bushes, stripped down to our racing clothes, and ran to the start as our warmup. It was -10 C in Kelowna...holy F! Of course there were some crazies in their singlets and short shorts...I was in 3/4 tights, long sleeve, vest, baseball hat and gloves...turned out to be the perfect amount of clothes for me!

There were too many people to get through as the half marathoners were starting at the same time so we climbed the fence to get into the coral and started right up front. The gun went off and as I watched Steve take off I thought, ok well that's the last i'll see of him! I had intended to do a slower first km to warm up a bit but when I looked at my watch it was at a 4:15 min/km pace and for some reason I just couldn't make myself slow down! So I said what the heck and I just went with it...figured I may as well experiment and see how long I can keep this pace up...might work well or I might die a slow and painful death!

Even though I had a quick pace going on the first 5km seemed to take FOREVER...and because of the cold I couldn't feel my legs for probably the first 10km...they felt so numb and my stride felt super awkward. When I got to the 10km marker I was a little shocked to see my time was 44 mins...only 2 mins slower than my 10km PB! That kind of freaked me out and then I was definitely worried I went out too fast! But, I still felt good so just went with it.

As the sun finally started to come up, I finally began to warm up a bit! My friend Paddy caught up to me around 13km and we would end up running together off and on for the next 20km or so which was nice. At the 16km there is the first timing mat and here we part ways with the half marathoners. I crossed at 1:09 and was pretty pleased with that time! The last time I ran a 10 mile race my time was a heck of a lot slower than that!

Anyways, I was pumped that all the girls that had been around me were all going to the right for the half marathon as I went on to the left. Soon after that an aid station came and people were cheering at me and kept telling me I was the first woman through in the marathon. Instantly, I was like oh no, really? I don't really like to be told that...kind of feels like they're jinxing me...then I end up running scared for the rest of the race and am always just waiting for a woman to pass me!! I would continue to hear I was the first woman for the rest of the race from volunteers as well as spectators along the way.

Around 18 or 19km we bagan the lone hill in the was actually a pretty long gradual hill but it wasn't a big deal...I passed a lot of people going up this hill which I liked. Up ahead I saw the leader in the marathon round a corner and continue on down the hill. I was like sweet, I'm gonna see Steve in here! Two more guys come out and then Steve pops out shortly after...I was so pumped for him being in 4th place! We were both yelling at each other and cheering and as a result my heart rate instantly skyrocketed, as did my pace since I was so excited! I thought, Shit Deb, take it down a notch, you're going to die before the halfway point! I reached the half marathon point at around 1:32-1:33...4 mins faster than my half PB! Of course then you start thinking, wow I wish I could double that and run the same time for the next half...I'd get a 3:06 or something!

I knew that wasn't going to happen when I hit the 30km mark and almost instantly felt like hell. The road was taking it's toll on my legs huge...they hurt so much, as did my left foot with the whole plantar fasciitis garbage i've got going on. I looked at my watch and was not happy with what I pace slowed huge! With 10km to go Paddy kept talking me through it and giving me words of encouragement before leaving me to suffer on my own! The next 8km were pretty much a blur and I don't know how I got through it without stopping. My pace was still decent but just not where I wished it would be!

Then the 40km mark came and I hear 2 people behind me...I look to my left as a guy goes by...then I see a shadow ahead of me as the next person starts to pass...all i think is shit, that's definitely a girl...and I look over and i'm BUMMED! Getting passed with 2 km to go and zero energy to go with her, sucks!!!! She didn't get any farther ahead for a while so I thought maybe she'll die or i'll have enough energy at the end to pass her. I have to mention here that these last few kms were a friggin gong was super confusing and there weren't any volunteers around pointing you where to go as we ran through these last few subdivisions. So a bunch of us (and later I would find out, a huge number of marathoners) took this little 500m or so loop that was meant for half marathoners only! We get to the end and it says half marathon turn around point. A few of us stopped dead and were like WTF? Did we go the wrong way? There was nobody around to tell us anything so we had no idea if that had been right.

Anyways, blah blah blah that was annoying, got over it, finished the race and that's that. I couldn't catch the girl that passed me, nor did I care in the least at that point...and I placed second in 3:12:07....taking over 7 mins off my best marathon time. Not too shabby!

The results were posted and they have me and the 1st place woman in 2nd and 3rd and we're like WTF? There's no way...who is this woman that they say ran a 3:03 chip time/3:07 gun time? And if she really does exist, why would she start 4 mins back from the start of the race if you're going to likely win...why did she not pick up any of her awards at the end...why did she cross the 16km timing mat in 2:19 (a full hour and 10 mins after me) and not cross any other timing mats? Despite all of this and chatting with the race director about it...he was a total ass and it was obvious he didn't believe us but told us he would look into it. I decided to email him about it on tuesday and just got a response saying "it's under review". Today I noticed the results have finally been changed and she has been removed from the first place spot! I have a feeling perhaps she was a marathon runner or walker that decided to only do the half and the results got screwed up and they placed her first. Anyway, here is the link to the results...and check out who took 2nd place overall in the marathon...Steve!! Mister mountain runner decided kind of last minute to run his first road marathon and he killed it...2:54!

Oh wait, update...just noticed they have already adjusted the times for those doing the extra loop and they've got me down as running a 3:09...too funny. Weird. I wonder if I mentioned it to the race director when I was talking to him after the race and that's why he changed it? I'm pretty sure without the extra 500m loop or whatever it is they're saying it was that I didn't run a 3:09! That's crazy. I'm sticking with my 3:12 thank you very much. I don't like all of this adjusting times business...until I run a marathon where it says 3:09 when I cross the line then I ran a 3:12. They adjusted one of the guys that placed behind Steve and he has ended up infront of him now and pushing him to 3rd. Whatevs. Like I said this race was a bit of a gong show! And what about the people that will say they did the extra loop when they didn't, just so they could have their times adjusted? You know there's definitely people out there that will do it. I'm sorry but if that's what you have to do to qualify for Boston...well that's just about the lamest thing I've heard.

Ok that's it, that's all i've got on the topic. I'm still recovering this week and haven't done a bloody thing! I drove home on monday and celebrated the end of my racing season that night with a friend and we each drank a bottle of red wine. So good! :) My legs still hate me and i'm not sure when i'm going to attempt my first run but i'm planning on enjoying some hiking and camping this weekend in Fernie! Woot!!


Thursday, October 8, 2009


Sunday will be my 5th marathon (on the road)...and I don't know how I feel about it. I'm still relatively inexperienced when it comes to racing...especially I never really go into it with a game plan and still feel like I have no idea what i'm doing. And I keep going through waves of excitement and dread. On the one hand, I'm excited to run a road race again as I haven't done one since Boston way back in April...and after a summer of hard training and trail racing I feel like i'm stronger, fitter and faster.

However. this has been a long 2 weeks of taper for me and I just hate tapering more than starts to play mind games with you...making you doubt yourself and feel like you're not ready and that you should be doing more...even though it has always proved to be a good thing in the end. Then I get more and more nervous and anxious and want the damn race to get here already so I can calm down. I don't get this nervous for trail races and I think it's because I've never really paid attention to the clock and where I should be at certain points along the way. With road races I always have big goals for a certain time that I want to achieve and i'm never quite sure if they're unrealistic or not. Right now i'll keep that goal to myself and let you know next week if I achieved it or not!!

As of today, i'm feeling excited again and looking forward to getting out there and rockin it. I do best in cold temps and it's going to be a chilly start at 7am with a high of 8 for the day...sounds pretty great to me. I think as I get closer and closer to Sunday i'll continue to feel more and more excited and the feelings of doubt will go away.

Tomorrow is my friday off so i'll just wake up whenever I wake up...pack up Logan and my stuff and head off to Vernon. I'm excited to see Steve, Kira and my niece Julia again...especially for Thanksgiving!! Plus my brother is really really good at getting me pumped for races...he's always so stoked and optimistic. I'm still waiting to hear if he's decided to run it or's going to be a last minute decision on his part I guess.

That's it for now.....oh and good luck to Trevor who'll also be in Kelowna racing it, to Cam rockin the marathon in Victoria, and to Kelly racing the Chicago marathon!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fall is my favorite season!!

It was winter in Calgary this weekend...seriously...not cool. It was snowing on not ready for winter yet! Funny in a week and a half it went from 33 degrees to below 0. It's sad for me that Fall is my favorite season as it is soooo ridiculously short in Calgary.

Now that the colder weather is here, I think literally every single person around me is or has been sick...i've been fighting if off as best I can with Cold FX, Vit C, Echinachea etc...and it seems to be working well for the most part...except this weekend I did feel like complete ass. So while I had some runs planned I ended up bailing on them and doing zero exercise.

I think hopefully it'll be for the best as I have the Okanagan marathon in less than a week now...frig...that came quick didn't it? Wasn't I just running at Transrockies? Damn! Anyways, i've been quite excited for the marathon for a while but after feeling under the weather for a week i'm getting a little nervous. Plus the stupid taper always makes me feel out of shape and doubt myself...should be interesting to see how the whole thing plays out though!

Anyhow, since this weekend pretty much sucked for me...let us reflect on last weekend...which was AWESOME. I got out to the mountains both days and enjoyed Fall in all it's glory!!

On Saturday my friend Jason and I went for a 25km out and back along Jumpingpound to Cox Hill trail. It was a beautiful day despite the insane wind going on.

Jason freaking out the infamous Kananaskis "killer" cows!
Deb the Dork!

Cox Hill

Pumped to be at the top!

Woop woop!!

Jason rockin the downhill

On Sunday I joined some friends to hike Burstall Pass in Kananaskis. Again...another beautiful fall day....

Tara, Steph, Leanne, Ash, Jeanette
Dogs: Charlie and Logan
Ninja?! Nope...just dorky deb again! :)

My friend the Larch!

me and my boy!

Logan appreciates a good view too!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Last trail race of the season...and some Skoki fun!

So now that i've taken almost a month to get out the full Transrockies Report...what else have I been doing with my time since the finish of TR?

Two weeks after Transrockies ended, I took part in my first 5 peaks race in Canmore! I've been signing up for some of these races each year and every year something comes up that prevents me from running them! Finally I was about to do one...the Canmore 5 Peaks half marathon, wahoo! I was a little worried that racing so soon after TR would be a bad idea but my legs felt pretty good and this was to be the shortest race i've done all summer! Couldn't be that bad!?

I got to Canmore about an hour early so I could chill and get ready. I always like to be to the start of races early so I can get a good warmup and stretch in, as well as a little socializing or nervous chatter in. I had a bunch of friends doing the 14km race but since it started an hour after me, none of them were there yet. I did run into a few people who were running the half that had also run TR...Phil Villaneuve and Blaine Penny. And I was so pumped to see Leslie from Banff was there also!!! I love this girl and she makes me smile everytime I see her and I'm instantly cheerful...she is awesome! She was volunteering and an awesome cheerleader the couple of times I passed her during the race! Also a huge shout out to her as she runs her first 100 miler in Utah this weekend!!! Check out the Bear 100 and they update the live race results!

I'd never run in Canmore on the trails of the Nordic Centre before so it was a real treat! I'm not going to go into the details of the entire race but it was fun! I can't wait to run out there more often! It was a super rolling course with some wicked steep steep steep technical downhills that were awesome. Surprisingly I ran pretty quick down those and made up time on people which was shocking as we are all beginning to learn how I am on technical downhills! Apparently I just might be getting better than when I started this year :) I battled it out with some talented ladies and ended up placing as the 2nd female overall. Good times! It hurt though and my legs hated me....helllllo? Wasn't Transrockies enough pain for the summer? Sorry legs, not quite done yet!

Here's a pic Leslie nabbed of me on my way out for a second loop at around the 14km mark I believe.

So yeah, it was an all around great day...and got to enjoy some great weather, great running, and some awesome friends! What could be better?! After the race I was hanging out with a bunch of friends from Calgary that also ran and we were all chatting away and stuffing our faces. We had moved away from the food as there was a serious wasp situation going on and after my wasp incident this summer I did not want to get stung again! I take a bite into my bagel, I feel pain and take out the bagel while something is stuck to my tongue. I reach in and pull out a wasp while my tongue continues to throb in pain. Frig, are you kidding me?!?

Last time I got stung my hand swelled up like a balloon and I had visions of that happening with my tongue. I went to the medic and all they could do for me was give me ice for it....which I was initially annoyed about since they couldn't give me drugs...but the ice actually did make it feel better. Then I remembered I carried around reactine in my bag and went to the car to get some. I'm happy to report that my tongue did not swell up like a balloon and I got to enjoy the rest of my afternoon on the patio of the Grizzly Paw in Canmore drinking beers with some friends. Great day!!

So I've been reading Leslie's blog for a while now and remember reading about her adventures in the past to Skoki Lodge. So when my friend Jason suggested that for a run last weekend I was all over it!

It's about a 2 hour drive to Lake Louise so we left Calgary around 7:30 and were off and running before 10am. It started off as such a beautiful day but the forecasts called for some not so good weather in the afternoon. Luckily we got most of our pictures in when it was sunny and awesome outside. Before I let you enjoy the pics we took along the way, can I say one thing...HOLY LARCH!!! I've never seen anything like them in the fall. Beautiful!

I LOVE larch!!
Ptarmigan Lake

Running up Deception Pass

On Deception pass before making our way down to Skoki Lodge

Skoki Lodge!!

Cleanest and nicest outhouse I've ever used!

Perhaps this is why?