Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Steve and I got in 3 good long and semi-long trail runs on the weekend that all included some pretty tough climbs. I have to say I definitely left Vernon feeling stronger than when I got there! I'm heading back out to Vernon on thursday for another weekend of training runs and then i'll do somewhat of a taper next week before Powderface 42 the following Saturday. I'm getting super pumped for that race! The race is sold out but Steve is looking for a bib for it so if anyone knows of one for sale for the 42 let me know!
I'm a little beat out from the weekend and the long drive back home so I decided to take yesterday and today completely off. It's hard to make yourself do that sometimes but I'm definitely starting to get better at listening to my body. Tomorrow is Canada Day and I'm trying to figure out what i'd like to do on my day off from work!! I'd like to sleep in a bit...unfortunately for me, sleeping in means till about 7am! I'm so not a morning person yet I still wake up super early on days off...argh! I'd love to get a big hike in somewhere...haven't been out hiking in a couple of weeks.
I left my camera in Calgary this weekend so didn't get any trail running pics...but i'll leave you with this pic...check out the black bear trying to look in the windows of my parents trailer when they were in a campground in Eastport, Newfoundland. Pretty funny :)
Friday, June 26, 2009
I'm currently at my brother's place in Vernon. I love it here, what a great town! I left Calgary yesterday a little after 4 and got here a little after 10 Calgary time (9 BC time)...it takes pretty much exactly 6 hours. I'm pretty excited to be getting in some good running with my brother...my TR partner. Steve and Kira are both at work today so i'm going to just chill out and wander around Vernon.
Oh and guess who now lives in Vernon...and who my brother and wife had over for dinner a short while ago...Aaron Heidt! This guy came 3rd OVERALL in the Vancouver Marathon in a sick time...something like 2:36 I believe? He's a top Canadian ultrarunner and is on Team Montrail Canada! And of course...also competing in Transrockies. Holy crap...there are going to be some fast ass people at this race in 2 short months. Clearly they are not our competition...I mean we just want to have fun and finish the bloody thing. I am so excited to be going to a race where I get to meet these people, run "with" them and hang out with them for 6 days. It's going to be incredible.
This spring/summer so far has been the most exciting and fun racing season I've ever had...and it only gets better from here on! Running at Boston was amazing and I will be back next year and any year after that if I continue to requalify. I still love road racing and I don't think that experience at Boston will ever get old for me. But trail running/racing is still very new to me and boy am I hooked. After my first 50km 3 weeks ago I said to myself I can not picture running anything longer than that...and already I'm looking for 50 mile and 100km races I can do next year. Funny how that happens...I ran my first marathon in 2005 thinking at the end that I didn't know if I'd ever do that again...and now I can't seem to get enough! :)
Gary Robbins (from Newfoundland I might proudly add - living in Vancouver) is also one of the top Canadian ultrarunners and is racing in the very impressive Western States 100 mile race tomorrow...100 miles people!! That is so exciting and I find him and his blog super inspiring and motivating. I just know he's going to rock it!
Good luck to everybody racing this weekend. I'll be training my butt off as I get ready for Powderface 42 in 2 very short weeks. Surprisingly I'm feeling nervous for this one...but very excited. I love what I do :) For those of us training...work hard and enjoy it...we've so lucky to get to do what we love every day!
Monday, June 22, 2009
We all had to predict how long we thought it would take us to do each leg so we'd know when to be at each leg to meet our runner coming in. The first 2 guys ran well under their predicted time so by the time Leg 5 came around I ended up starting 20 mins earlier than planned. Luckily I was ready to go...a bunch of kind runners had let me infront of them at the portaloo cuz in casual conversation I was like "yeah i'm gonna seriously bust if I don't pee soon" LOL. I wasn't lying...I drank tons on the drive to Kananaskis!!
This one guy infront of me in line gives me this look up and down and then he's like "so you're doing leg 5?" and i'm like 'YUP'! He proceeds to ask me if i've ever done it before and I give an enthusiastic 'NOPE' and he continues with yeah...there's so many hills, then it flattens, then there's another crazy hill and then at the very end it goes on forever up this one hill blah blah blah...the whole time i'm giving him this fake grin and ask that's cool, how many times have you done Leg 5? ohhhh 6 or 7 he says. I'm like that's awesome, way to go...giving him the pat on the back he feels he deserves I guess...as much as I loved our conversation it's my turn to pee (jackass)....later!
Anyhow, shortly after I meet up with our team leader Garrath and he says Jen (our leg 4) has just passed the 1 mile to go mark and is getting close! I cross the highway to get in the shoot to meet her. She gets there waaay quicker than I anticipated, gives me a high 5 and then i'm off!
I started out feeling very good and sticking with 5 min kms...I didn't want to go out too hard and then die when I hit the hills. I have to say I didn't find the first 10km to be too bad at all...i thought, wow this is it? This is nothing! Although really I think it was hilly and I was just feeling good from training hills lately! My biggest mistake in the entire race was taking the gatorade that was given to me early on. Our crew had water or gatorade every couple of kms...and while I only ever drink nuun...I wanted something other than water...I take the gatorade and it immediately gives me the worst stomach cramping i've ever had...I thought to myself...you idiot, this is why they say don't try anything new on race day. But i've never ever had this problem from anything i've drank or eaten so I was shocked.
Regardless of that, our crew was kick ass...they showed up every couple of kilometres...would slow down as they drove past to yell at me and blast some sweet tunes to pump me up. I couldn't help laughing everytime they drove by! Here's me giving Garrath my half smile/half this sucks face...i'm hurting, i can't fake that i'm not for the camera :) That sweet VW van in the background is our crew/team supporting us the whole way!
"Hey, it's Deb!"
He laughs and responds with "see I knew you were going to kick my ass!" LOL. I tell him i'm dying...which in fact was true! I actually stopped on this hill twice to catch my breath and the second time I stopped I looked back as I had visions of him just blowing by me at this point. He's close so I start going again as my garmin tells me the end is near! Finally I get to the top of the hill...there's a little bit of a flat and a downhill and then I can see the finish! I gunned it, high fived our Leg 6 runner Laura, and finished with my garmin reading 17.6km at 1:28:37. I was super happy with that and my 5:03 min/km average.
Trevor and I caught up at the end of our leg...very cool to meet someone in person from the blogging world! I've also been told that the next time I pass him in a race (which I seriously doubt will happen again - this dude is a faaaasst runner/ironman)...i'm allowed to slap him on the butt as I go by just like Cam does :)
So yeah it was a super fun day...even moreso after my leg was finished and I got to cheer on everyone else for the rest of the day and enjoy some beer! Beer has never tasted so good to me as it did shortly after that race! Yum! There was a bbq after the entire race was over...and while I have to admit they weren't the best burgers I've ever had...kind of McDonald's like but worse...I thoroughly enjoyed it. I will pretty much eat anything put infront of me after a race! Here's a pic at the post-race bbq of Laura (Leg 6), Carmello (Leg 5 on another team), and me enjoying our beer :) and waiting in line for our dirty burgers!
What's on the schedule next? My next 2 weekends in a row are long ones...so i'm off to Vernon for both of them to train with my brother...multi lonnnng hilly days in preps for Transrockies. This will also help huge in my preparation for the Powderface trail marathon in 3 weeks! Wahoo!
Hope you guys are having a great monday! I wasn't sore at all from saturday's race but was wiped out yesterday and decided against my long run. I needed some extra rest and enjoyed a very lazy sunday indeed! My body was pretty happy with me :) Today's 10km at lunch felt great and it actually turned into a Tempo run! I love those days! :)
Friday, June 19, 2009
START: 0.5 km south of Mist Creek at the Pickle Jar Recreation Area
DISTANCE: 17.6 km
DIFFICULTY RATING: 10
FASTEST RECORDED TIME IN 2006: 1:04.07
PACE: 5:52 per mile
DESCRIPTION: This is the toughest leg of the relay. It's hilly with a number of segments at a 7% grade. The runner will gain 450m over the length of this route; 250m are packed into 6.8 km. The runner will be truly tested on Canada's highest engineered road. The road peaks at Highwood pass, 2206m above sea level. The surface is new asphalt. Watch for wildlife.
Anyhow, all the running i've been doing for transrockies has made me feel pretty strong so I feel prepared but I'm also hoping this profile is just exaggerated and it really isn't as bad as it looks!
I've also forgotton how hard road running is on your body as i've been mostly doing the trail thing. So while I keep saying I'm not going to kill myself in this relay so it doesn't take me a couple of weeks to recover (as Powderface 42 is in 3 weeks from tomorrow)...i'm super competitive and i'm sure i'll give it everything I have. I really need to get in the planned 32km run on sunday with the Trail Trash group from Calgary so i'm hoping i'm good to go for that too!
So I think I left you last night saying I was heading to Nose Hill for a run with Logan. We got in 9.5km...fun and uneventful till about the last km. I decided to run down this little valley so I could come back up and get a good hill in at the end of my run. We turn around to go up and Logan sees something and runs up this little enbankment into the trees...I hear a racket and turn around to him and a coyote getting into it. Damn those effin coyotes do they ever piss me off. I ran back towards him and yell for Logan to come and he actually listens to me right away which shocked me as if there is other wildlife around he usually ends up following/chasing it and completely ignoring me. I don't think he really knew what it was...some kind of crazy wild dog maybe?
Anyhow, he ran up to me and I quickly nabbed him on the leash and we took off. That coyote followed us all the way back up out of the valley to the top of Nose Hill. I've heard of this happening at Nose Hill before but often there are multiple coyotes ganging up on the dog. Or they'll send out a scout and it ends up bringing the dog back and that's when they all pounce!
I'm greatful that Logan is a big boy at 85lbs as this wasn't a scrawny little thing like most people thing they are. Over the winter we were up there and saw 3 giant ones staring at us from the distance...they were huge (and needless to say I got freaked and we took off back to the car then too haha).
So that was my little adventure...funny how all I ever worry about are bears and I go for a run in the park within Calgary and I've got to worry about those little buggers.
K well that's it! I'm going to relax tonight and get ready for tomorrow! Wish me and my team luck and i'll let you know how it goes :)
Thursday, June 18, 2009
We're anxiously awaiting Coldplay to come onstage! Snow Patrol opened up for them and are also seriously awesome!! I definitely recommend checking out their music!
It's a full house at the Saddledome!!
Well that's it for pics from last night as actual concert photos never come out! I took a ton of great videos though that came out well! Coldplay was absolutely fantastic and did in no way disappoint...I couldn't have asked for anything more! Here's a little clip of them singing "Yellow"...Enjoy :)
I was home and in bed by midnight and decided to give myself an extra half hour of sleep before getting up this morning...yeah, I slept in till 6am...so lucky wha? I could seriously pass out on the couch right now but I promised Logan we'd go up to Nose Hill for a run! We've got some crazy thunderstorms going on in Calgary this afternoon/evening and as the latest one just passed I think i'd best get ready to get out there quick!
Have a great evening everyone! It's almost the weekend, woot!!
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
The run didn't go as well as I had hoped...I was just feeling off...tired, sluggish and really not into it! It clouded over and started to rain a bit while I was in there...I took off my glasses as a result and counted at least 5 of those little white flies go directly in my eye. I swallowed quite a few too...ugh! Needless to say, I was happy when the run ended and I could get ready for my friend's stagette!
I pigged out like a champ...the drink not going down as well at first but my body warmed up to it eventually :) I'm not a shot type of girl but I did manage quite a few shots of Sour Puss...I know, most people hate that stuff but it's one of the few that I can get down without gagging! The doorbell rings at 10pm and I open it to see an old guy - Jim - with long gray hair and a cowboy hat on. Nope, he wasn't the stripper lol...there wasn't one which I have to admit I was happy about...i'm really not a fan and I think it's just super awkward for everybody lol. Anyway, Jim was the driver of the party bus!
We piled our drunkselves in and drove around Calgary for 2 hours and taking stops at some scenic places for pics and pee breaks. At midnight we get dropped off at the one club i've managed to avoid in the 3 years I've lived here...bloody Tantra! Ugh...Tantra is brutal...I'm 29 and was definitely 10 years older than everyone there. I don't think i've ever felt so old in my life! While I do love to dance...this was not my type of place. Give me a beer at a pub any day and i'm a happy happy girl! Anyhow, I have to say, the night was uneventful for me after that point and I was home in bed by 2 am.
I woke up to a bit of fuzziness but no hangover, wahoo! My friend James, Leanne and I planned to go hiking that day and by the time Leanne and I got our act together and were all ready to leave...it was almost 2pm. Whoops. Luckily the hike we were doing would take less than 3 hours. We drove to Canmore and did Ha Ling Peak...also known as Chinaman's Peak. It was awesome but tough...a straight uphll battle from the get go. Damn, hiking makes me feel so out of shape sometimes! Here are some pics of our great day!!
Leanne, James, our dogs Logan (husky), Chance (Australian Shepherd), & Charlie (Westie)
Leanne and I at the top...Logan is pretty pooped lol
After chilling out at the top for a bit and having a snack we saw some nasty looking clouds rolling our way. It was time to jet! We pretty much ran all the way down...especially when we heard thunder! Anyhow....all of that downhill wreaked havoc on my quads...holy burn city! It's the good kind of pain though...like after a sweet leg workout with a gazillion lunges! Anyhow, we made it down and back to the car just in time as the rain started.
Sunday I woke up not too happy about the 30km trail run I needed to do. It was a late start and I didn't leave my house till around noon to drive to Moose Mountain in Kananaskis about 45 mins away. The actual hike is about 15km in total which starts at the top of a pretty long and steep 7.5km dirt road. To make this a 30km run I decided to park at the bottom and run up the hill...NOT pleasant...I think it took me over an hour to get to the start of the trail...gross! Moose Mountain is also a super popular spot for downhill mountain bikers. Trucks and trucks of them passed me on my way up the road and would leave me eating dirt...literally. Ugh. I get to the top and a few guys are like, hey, nice work on the run. I was like, thanks, that was pretty awful! They proceeded to tell me I looked good everytime they drove back up the hill and I proceeded to tell them that's probably because everytime I heard a car coming I made sure I was running so I didn't look like a lame ass!! :)
Anyhow, I didn't nab any pics but it was a pretty tough run for me and my quads hated me on the way to the top and on the way back with all of that downhill to the car. Hopefully my legs will eventually start to get used to this. In total it took me about 3 .5 hours of running/power hiking...not too bad I guess.
Yesterday after work I wanted to get in another semi-long run to get used to multi days of long runs. I was pretty tired after work and just wanted to get it over with so I just ran 16km from the house instead of finding some trails. My muscles were darn sore from the weekend but they got used to the run pretty quick.
Today i'm enjoying a complete day off from any exercise and i'm loving it :) Early to bed tonight as tomorrow night i'll be up a little late...I get to see my most favorite band...Coldplay! I can't freakin wait!!!
Friday, June 12, 2009
Anyhow, this has been a great week and I have recovered quite well from my 50km. I can't believe how 2 days after the race I was walking around with no pain and running 3 days after...man that is nothing like after a marathon. Running on the bloody road kills ya! So I was really happy to get in a good trail run on wednesday night with Logan up at Nose Hill Park as my first run since the race. We ran for 8km and I figured that was enough for my first run back...and Logan was a panting drooling mess but he had lots of fun. I meant to bring my camera but forgot sorry! Here's a pic I found online showing some of the park...
Yesterday I went for another 8km run at lunch along the Bow River pathway. I was feeling pretty good and it ended up being quite a fast paced run...whoops. I didn't intend to do anything like that the week after a race but I felt good so I went with it. My friend Nancy and I (and Logan of course) went back up to Nose Hill last night on our mountain bikes. I haven't been on my mountain bike in 2 years I think! I forgot how much I loved it. I've got to start doing that more often...good crosstraining for running too!! Unfortunately I'm a little timid (i.e. lame) when it comes to going downhill and because my brakes are effed at the moment, they squeal huge everytime I use them...so i'm sure the whole park could hear what a wimp I was on every downhill I did lol. Other than that it was a super fun night! Again...Logan was completely wiped out after this! Poor huskies...I can't imagine running around in a fur coat! :)
As for today...i'm going to do the Douglas Fir trail after work...I find it a pretty tough run and it's a good one you don't have to travel out of the city to do...it starts about 2km from my doorstep! It involves a ridiculous amount of stairs which I'm not very good at yet...hopefully by the end of the summer I will have mastered them?! I'm going to work it pretty hard and then feel ultimately satisfied and enjoy my evening of eating and boozing at my friend's stagette...apparently there's also a party bus involved...could be interesting. I'll try to nab some good pics :) Hopefully I can keep it under control because I'm not keen on running or hiking tomorrow with a hangover. I think depending on how I feel when I wake up tomorrow will decide if it's a hiking or running in the mountains day :)
Have a great weekend everybody!
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
A close finish for me behind this guy!
My buddy in blue (the ironman) who ran much of the race with me! (and waited for me when I bailed lol). If any of you triathletes know this Ironman from Vancouver, tell him I said hi!
My brother Steve and I (Team Pine Line!!)
Good start for Team Pine Line!
Start of the 25km Race - Steve is center with red hat
Looking pretty relaxed!
On his way to a 3rd place overall finish!
Top 3 finishers in the 25km!
Showing off my winnings with the race directors :)
Family photo - me, my brother Steve and awesome wife Kira
Monday, June 8, 2009
After work on Thursday I packed up my dog Logan and my gear and headed out on the long drive. I'm usually not great at driving for long distances as I often get extremely sleepy. I thought it might be worse going out after work but I was pretty excited for the weekend and didn't have much of a problem. It was a 6 hour drive and I made one stop in Golden which is about halfway in between. One really great thing about driving to BC after work is the 1 hour time change in your favour so while it was 10:30 in Calgary when I got there, it was only 9:30 in Vernon and still nice and light out!
My brother Steve and Kira (his wife) were both working on friday so I had the day to myself to relax and of course do a little shopping! I know, it's weird that i'm going to a small place like Vernon to shop but they have some great stores there as well as a great gear store that my brother manages...Valhalla Pure Outfitters! Of course I spent a huge amount of time (and money) there as I get a family deal through him! I also bought a super thick kick ass thermarest that is going to be amazing for Transrockies. It's definitely not one you'd bring on a backpacking trip as it weighs a ton but it'll be perfect for Transrockies!
Friday night Steve whipped up an awesome pasta meal and we followed that up with some ice cream which made me very happy :) I was like hey...i'm running 50km tomorrow, i'm going to eat whatever I want leading up to it...and I did!
Anyhow, we had an early rise as my race started at 7am, Steve's at 7:30 and it would be around 45 mins to get there. I slept quite well until my alarm went off at 4:45am...my first thoughts when that happens on race day is always "I do not want to do this today!" It's what happens to me every single race day...I never wake up stoked...not even at Boston! I'm just not a morning person and I don't feel good to go until I get to the race and see all of the other excited runner buzz going on! Plus I was also starting to realize that uh oh..50km is a long way and who knows how long it'll take me to do! I've never run longer than 4hours in my life and that's on the road which is much quicker!
Steve and I pulled into the parking lot and I started to get more excited as I saw runners around. The 50 miler runners had already left at 6am for their long day! It was about 6:30 and I had time to pick up my bib, pee, slap on sunscreen and all that fun stuff. Here are a couple of pics of my brother and me before the race.
Unfortunately the picture of me doesn't show my legs and what i'm wearing...my skins! I decided today was the day I was going to try running in compression socks! I know a bunch of people that have done it and saw tons of people doing it at Boston and the Calgary marathon last weekend. I have to say, I thought they were great!!! There's a bunch more pics that'll be posted on the race website and hopefully I can show em off he he. I got a lot of funny looks from others and some questions but I thought what the hell, if this is going to make me feel better running 50km then why not!
I didn't get a chance to warm up much before the race aside from a little stretching. When the horn blew at 7am and the race started I was not too pleased at the steady climbing that began immediately...even though I did read a previous race report that the first 11km was uphill...ugh...and it was! After a couple of kilometres I felt much better as I was finally warmed up. Starting a race uphill really sucks! The whole time I was thinking to myself...I really hope my brother doesn't catch up to me before our courses separate. He started a half hour after me and we shared the same course for the first 12km. He's a super quick runner and wasn't planning on holding anything back! And guess what...he didn't catch me, wahoo! My course went off on another direction for some more hill climbing that I wasn't starting to mind quite so much. The first 25km of this race was quite tough as there was 3500 ft of elevation to gain, yikes. I met an awesome "ironman" that I ran about 12km with in the first half and we chatted about everything and after finding out he did ironman the last 3 years in a row of course I had to pick his brain :) I got a little tired and he took off just before we reached the midway point of the race.
After the first 2 aid stations the volunteers knew who I was from then on which was pretty cool. THey'd see me coming and say hey Deb...you're the girl that woke up this morning and decided to switch from 25km to 50km lol (the race director didn't change my registration as promised so everyone thought it was a last minute thing). And everyone I met from then on would say "You're the first 50km woman through" which still continued to surprise me the more I heard it!
As I pass the midway point of any race I do, I get happier and happier from then on as you don't have this overwhelming amount of mileage left to do. I started to feel great after 25km...plus most of the hills were overwith and there were some great flats to cover! I felt great and was running quite fast which really surprised me at this point...after all of that climbing I could still do sub 5 min kilometres! Sweet! I caught up to the guy I had spent a long time running with at around the 38 km mark. He was super surprised when he saw me and told me he took off too early and he was starting to fade. We stuck together for a while and passed some of the 50 milers we caught up to...they were so funny and yelled out to me "way to go, you're the first 50km woman to go by". All of this cheering definitely helped to push me along!
At about 39km the trail took a sharp right down into the trees for some fast and steep single track. I'm not good with those type of downhills but the guy I was with insisted I go first. I was good for about 4km and then there was an aid station at the marathon point. It was a good sight to see and I downed some orange slices (my new favorite thing while trail running!) and dumped some water on my head. It was starting to get warm! My buddy was like, ok let's go! And we took off again. I told him to go first and he was a rockstar on the downhills and after about a kilometre I totally bailed! Haha...god, are you surprised after last weeks result? Too funny. At least I made it to 43km before crashing. This time I skinned my left knee pretty bad but all was good. He stopped for me and asked if I was ok and I told him to keep going but he totally waited. God I wish I had gotten his name! Funny how you can spend so much time running with someone in a race and chatting about your entire lives and you forget to introduce yourselves and never see them again!
Anyway, he pulled away as it was pretty much all downhill from here on out and I was left by myself for the last 5km. It was pretty cool to think to myself that every step from here on in was the furthest I had ever run before. It was so satisfying! With about 500m or so to go there are people on the course hiking or riding their bikes. I'm running behind this couple and their dog and I think, I hope they turn around and let me pass before I have to yell out to them. THey turn around as I approach and it's Steve and Kira! We all look at each other in surprise and they're like holy shit, way to go and start yelling and cheering out for me all the way down. It was sooo awesome and I actually think it was cooler seeing them at that point than it would be if they were at the finish line! Based on my time from the 25km last week and what I thought I could do, they did not think I would finish the race so early...yeah I broke 5 hours...I finished my first 50km in 4:50!! That's way off from the 6 hour time I predicted hahaha. And I was indeed the first woman to cross the line :) Here is a link to the results...my brother kicked butt and came 3rd overall in his 25km race. Not a bad start to training for Transrockies by Team Pine Line!!!
What did I get for my hard work besides total satisfaction and sense of accomplishment in my first 50km?! I got a pretty cool plaque for my age group win...and for my overall win I got a bottle of red wine from one of the local wineries in the Okanagan as well as free entry into next years race! Not too shabby :) I'll post some race pics when they show up on the race website.
After the race there was a bbq which I thoroughly enjoyed. Nothing better than a big burger after something like that! We drove back to Vernon and took the dogs to pet beach...what an awesome spot! The water wasn't too bad for wading either. If only it had been there at the end of the race. I would have jumped right in! My hip was quite sore yesterday and I was stiff and moving a little slow but today i'm feeling pretty great. I can't believe how incredible I feel in comparison to 2 days after Boston. Trail running really is a gazillion times better on the body than road running. I'm not sure when I'll run this week as I still want to rest. But i'm super happy how good i'm feeling 2 days later!
Well that's it for now! Sorry about the super long post :)
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
So, yeah this saturday past was to be my first trail race ever...very exciting! I had no idea what to expect, how to pace myself, what to do...I was a total newbie out of my element! I've kind of got the pacing thing down with road racing but with trailrunning it's a whole new world!
I got up at 5am Saturday morning so I could eat, do last minute packing and leave my house by 6am. Surprisingly enough I managed to leave on time! I was tired but actually kind of excited to do this mini road trip by myself! People told me I could do the drive in 2.5 hours but probably allow for 3 hours to be safe. It took me about 2 hours and 40 mins...and it was actually a super pleasant trip and I didn't mind the drive at all! I had the music going and sang along the entire way :) Nipika Mountain Resort is a beautiful spot hidden away about 14km down a dirt road off of the main Highway 93 that takes you to the fabulous Radium Hot Springs in BC.
So I get there before 9am...one of the first people there...and the race isn't until 11! There's lots of time for me to get my sh!t together and get organized! It was supposed to be around 15ºC so I wasn't sure if I'd wear a T or tank...stuff like that. I wandered around, chatted with a few people I recognized from the Trail Trash running group in Calgary but was mostly on my own just chilling out. It was great! Well it warmed up super quick and was probably 20ºC by the time the race started. So as we were getting called to the race meeting at 10:45 I quickly changed to a tank, slapped on some sunscreen and was ready to go. One of the ultramarathon girls had recommended her favorite choice in hydration packs...one made by Nathan which is more like a vest and it has pockets in the front for your gels, camera and whatever else you feel like bringing! I had the bladder filled with Nuun...my favorite form of hydration and electrolyte replacement on the run! I was good to go!
I had wondered how well marked this trail would be and if I'd get lost at all. This being my first trail race I really had no idea what to expect. At our pre-race meeting the race director said that it was marked by orange flagging tape and before a turn off there is added blue flagging tape. If the blue tape is on your right, you're going right...on the left, you're going left! It made sense to me and I was happy to find it very well marked and I didn't get confused! Fewf!
So the race began at 11am sharp...about 35 of us running the 25km started from a meadow and that ended very quickly as we made our way into the trees and onto some fun single track for most of the race. My first 10km were pretty tough as I had no idea how to pace myself, I wasn't skilled in single track, and I didn't want to be alone right from the beginning as people took off. I settled behind a group of 3 other runners for a bit and didn't mind the pace but was a little worried it might be too quick. As the pace slowed a bit I decided it was slower than I liked so I decided to pass and keep going. I may as well see what I can do on this thing and not worry about being on my own for much of the run. While I noticed that very few people carried bear spray...I on the other hand was terrified so I did have it attached to the back of my hydration pack. People were even wearing ipods which shocked me as that's the last thing I want to do in the middle of the forest...I want to be able to hear people coming up behind me and/or the bears that are out there!!
The first aid station came quick at almost the 7km mark and I was super happy when I saw it as I was getting hot already and wanted to dump water on my head which I did. I grabbed a couple of orange slices, said Thanks to the people manning the station, and kept going. Instantly I felt better! The first 10km loop was pretty tough with a couple of steep drops down and climbs up from the river but oh what beautiful scenery! I wish I didn't have to pay as much attention to all of the roots and rocks I was racing around and look up more often! I think more people are skilled at this but I am not!
The 10km loop ended back where we started at the meadow and I wasn't feeling that great again but as I made my way to the next aid station, dumped on more water, I felt much better pretty quick! I was ready for my 15km loop! I didn't spend a ton of time at the aid stations and found I would always catch some people there and stick with them for a bit after. I caught up to a man around the 13th km and we chatted for a bit and then we got to a bit of a hill and he said have a great race and dropped back. I was disappointed as I really enjoyed the company and was hoping he'd be around for a bit longer. I was by myself yet again! Kilometer 15 was the last aid station! I was disappointed as I thought, I can't believe how hot it's gotten today...must be well over 20 by now?! Again the water on my head felt great...I ate some more orange slices and some yummy salty chips! Sigh, so good!
After this station I had caught up to a younger guy which I stuck to his heals as best I could for the next 5km I would say. Hopefully I wasn't pissing him off too much as I was loving the company. We didn't chat at all and I did have the feeling I was a bit annoying with my heavy stalker breathing going on behind him lol. He was INCREDIBLE on the downhills...there was super steep stuff leading us down to the river and he'd take off and leave me in his dust but as soon as we got back to the flats and hills I would immediately catch him again. I'm super nervous about those crazy downhills and I don't know if I'll ever get over that.
Eventually the 2 of us caught up to another couple...this guy had a bear bell on his pack...I have to say right now that I hate those things soooo much. Has anyone else besides me heard of bear bells being referred to as "dinner bells"? Yeah that's right...I don't trust them, and I don't use them...plus they're annoying as hell! The guy I was with stepped aside for me to pass and then I passed the dinner bell folks as well and quickly got away so I wouldn't have to hear that anymore!
So i'm motoring along by myself...thinking about bears unfortunately...I get to around 22km and what do I do? I trip and fall! I'm like WTF...did that just happen? I don't even know if there was any real roots there, what did I trip on? I laughed at myself as it was obvious I was just getting tired at this point and dragging my feet! I managed to maneuver around the other crazy roots and rocks up to this point and now I trip on next to nothing. Too funny. A couple of minutes later, I go down hard AGAIN! This time I did trip on a giant root...just me being tired and stupid! Now i'm just angry...and I drew blood LOL. I've been wearing skirts to work all week and don't my legs look damn sexy with my battle wounds he he. Anyhow, I kept looking back as I was sure someone would catch me while I was being stupid but there was still nobody around.
2 kilometres to go and guess what I see... a new aid station! I was like, I'm so happy to see you, I thought the last station was it?!? He said, it was but the finishers that have come in said it was soooo hot out there that they really wished there would have been something. I could have kissed him. I said you made my day, you've no idea! :) Then I look back and somebody has caught up to me...a guy that I passed probably back at 8km or something. Damn! Anyways, we leave at the same time and he takes off and I just can't catch him. I briefly slow down to chat with someone and then I hear dinner bells in the distance...ooohh i've gotta go, the bear bell guy is driving me nuts!
At around the last kilometre or so, I see the Nipika Lodge...there's a ton of people there cheering and everything and i'm so relieved to be done. Then I realize there's this detour that's taking us away from the lodge and loops around before going back to the meadow to add on the last kilometre. It was a nasty little trick but my Garmin told me that it ended up pretty much dead on at 25km. I was impressed. I get to the end very satisfied with my first trail race! I enjoy lots of oranges and lots of chips!
I chat with someone who informs me that there's a little "wading" type pool that has been made behind the cabins from a stream that flows by. I'm thinking, hell yeah! It was quite cold but not unbearable as it was fairly shallow and the sun was heating it up. I slowly walked in up to my waist and it felt phenomenal. I've never been able to do an ice bath after a race as it's just too darn cold to sit in a tub like that but standing in this water was amazing. I'm sure it definitely contributed huge to me feeling little soreness the next day! They should have wading pools at the end of every marathon...can you imagine? That would be awesome! :)
So how did I do? I finished in a time of 2:38...better than the 3 hours I predicted! I think I mentioned previously that I came 3rd in my age group...yay...oh wait, that's 3rd out of 5. Damn. But wait...the official results are up and I came 4th out of the 20 females that did it, wahoo! Not too shabby for my first trail race :)
Well that's about it...I feel like the race was mostly a blur now and I probably should try and blog about it in the same day! I brought my camera along but really enjoyed running along and had no real desire to take pictures that day unfortunately. Here are a couple I snagged from Hugh of the Trail Trash group. They are of the meadow at the start...and a fun little bridge we had to cross in the first 10km.
So what's next for me? Remember I said I was debating between the 25km and the 50km race this weekend in Kelowna? Well I emailed the race director yesterday and asked if they wouldn't mind changing my registration from 25km to 50km. She said not a problem and was I sure I didn't want to do the 50 miler?! Hahahaha. I said thank you very much but the 50km will be jusssst fine. Wish me luck, i'm terrified! Lucky for me the forecast for Kelowna on saturday is a very nice 19ºC...down from the 30ºC it's been every day this week!
My dog Logan and I are packing up and heading out on the 6 hour drive to Vernon tomorrow night after work where my brother, sister in-law, and dog Milo live. The race starts at 7am saturday morning so we've got an early rise to drive the half hour to Kelowna and get ready for 7am! I'm getting nervous about this race already.
Have a great weekend everybody! Oh and a big shout out to my best friend Jeff on his first half ironman race of the season on Sunday in Oliver! He's gonna kick some major butt! :)
Monday, June 1, 2009
I ran my first ever 25km trail race this weekend...and it went very well and I had awesome fun...not sure if I was running quick to avoid people passing me or just cuz I was terrified of bears and wanting to get the heck out of there lol. Anyhow, I'll give you a race report soon.
I'm just trying to figure out if I'm going to do the 25km trail race in Kelowna next weekend or the 50km. The longest i've ever run is a marathon obviously...and it's on a road...and it doesn't take nearly as long. The longest training run i've done is 4 hours and again it was on the road. I feel like a reasonable time for a 50km trail run for me would be 6 hours? but I really have no idea. Guess it depends on how hilly it is and all that too. That seems long and seeing as how i've never run that long on the road or the trail I'm a bit reluctant. But wouldn't it be fun!!!
I had decided for a while that 50km was nuts and was definitely sticking with 25km...so this morning I register for 25km...and then I start thinking, damn, 50km would be really cool...I should be doing that instead. So I guess we'll see! It'll be a surprise and I might not make up my mind till race day. :)
Oh and from my lack of talk about the Calgary half marathon I planned on doing yesterday...obviously I didn't do it! While I wasn't really that sore overall from Saturday's run...my hip and IT band that has been giving me some grief were not happy on Sunday morning. I woke up 5am on sunday still planning on running it but when I hobbled to the bathroom I thought to myself...this half marathon is probably a very bad idea whether I go slow or not. I don't want to get seriously injured before the summer has barely started!
Despite the enormous guilt I was feeling (I don't really know why), I decided to go back to bed for a couple of hours. I got up in time to take my dog out for a walk and watch the marathoners all run by my house on their way back to the finish. My house is at about the 33km mark and I did see a couple of runners I knew that looked awesome at that point...including you Cam...I totally saw you!! You looked great and hopefully you had a great race! I look forward to your race report!
Ok that's it for now folks! I'll blog about my race soon :)