Monday, May 30, 2011

Calgary 1/2 Marathon Race Report

Whew...I don't remember half marathons being so hard! It's been 3 years since i've raced one so maybe i've forgotten? Or maybe in the past i've gone out easier and tried to have something left in the tank for the end? That didn't happen yesterday. I pretty much went balls out from the's almost like i've forgotten how to race since i missed last's like i don't know what i'm doing...or maybe i'm trying something new to go all out from the start to see what will happen? I dunno, but if i do something stupid like that during the next marathon i run, i'm pretty sure i'll be walking it in across the finish line. Luckily the half marathon is shorter where you can kind of experiment and get away with it to a certain point.

Anyways, here's the break down of yesterday morning. I live very close to the start of the race so I left my house around 6:30am to jog the 10 mins to the start and had a little time to line up for the porta-potty. After that it was time to line up and pretty much get ready to go for the 7am start. It was a beautiful morning...sunny, chilly though at 1 degree C but definitely my favorite temperature for racing!

The gun went off and everyone went nuts as per usual and I spent a bit of time dodging around people. Even though I started close to the front I still had a lot of dodging to do. My first couple of km went by quick and I felt great...then I got to 3 or 4km in and thought, I feel like crap already...i had a terrible sleep of maybe 4 hours total (but not consecutive) and I was tired...and i wasn't sure if i even wanted to do this anymore. All of these doubts started entering my head. I don't know what my problem was but it wouldn't stop! I remember thinking, wow, i would really love to step off to the side right now and stop altogether. I almost feel like the only reason i kept going then was because I'd have to walk or jog back the same distance to get to the start which would suck! Also, i thought, it's going to be so lame if I stop during a half for no real reason other than i feel like crap and i don't feel like racing at this pace...if anything, just slow down and keep running!

Yeah, i had serious negativity going on for at least the first half of the race. I forced myself to keep at it and to try and focus on smaller goals like just getting to the next km marker instead of thinking about the finish and the pain i've still got to go through to get there.

Once the race got off 14th street and turned west onto Memorial I knew we'd start seeing the leaders of the half on their way back. I started counting the women that were infront of me...there were 9 that passed and then 2 just right infront of me so that meant i was sitting in 12th. I was catching the 2 infront and I really wanted to make the top 10. The girl right infront of me was relatively easy to pass once i did, and i never saw her again. The next girl was tougher...i'd pass her, she'd pass me, then we'd run next to each other for a while.

Finally I think the last gel i consumed started working and my legs picked it up and took off. I didn't see her again but i did look over my shoulders quite a few times to see if she was sneaking up on me. Funny, i realized that it's the exact same girl i caught up to and passed towards the end of my 10km a few weeks ago. I wonder if she knew it was me?

I was good then till about 1km to go when the 10km racers that started a half hour after us and had been running in a different lane on the road than us, all joined in with us for the last km as we rolled through the streets of Bridgeland till the finish. It was not fun. Trying to dodge this insane crowd of 10km'ers in my last km when I literally had nothing left sucked and definitely took more out of me than i wanted. There was a tiny "hill" on the way in that i felt like i could barely make up after that. I turned my last corner and finally saw the finish. The clock had just rolled over the 1:30 mark and I hoped that my chip time would get me under but no such luck. I was still pumped with my finish at 1:30:07...a huge PB of 7 mins...and good enough for 10th female overall. Not too shabby.

I've definitely started off this season with a bang and i'm pretty pumped for what's left to come. I have a lot of work to do to get faster...and definitely need to do real speedwork training for these road races. It's been virtually nil so far. Aside from the K-100 relay coming up at the end of this month, i'll be on the trail for the rest of the summer which i'm happy for. It's much easier on the body, there's great scenery, and it's just a lot more fun! I'm still thinking about doing the Victoria Marathon in the fall but will make that decision later on.

Hopefully it won't take me too long to recover...the 50km is just 4 weeks away!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

May Long Running

Team Pine Line was back together again this past long weekend for some fun trail running. I left Calgary after work on Friday and made the long drive out to Vernon. I didn't get there till about 11pm BC time and had to be up at 6am to get ready for a big morning of running with Steve. I'm not a morning runner anyway so having to get up early plus a long night of driving before didn't help!

It was not pretty. I haven't been on any trails yet this year (quite a bit of snow out there in the mountains) and haven't been doing a ton of hills or anything either. The only advantage I have was living at a higher altitude than my brother so it was nice to have something going for me. He still kicked my butt though. I was impressed with my skills going uphill...but downhill pretty much shredded my quads and i've been sore ever since!! That day we ended up doing around 26km with 3800 ft of climbing. I didn't go home and crash on the couch like i fully expected...managed to go out for a bit and take Logan to the dog park.

Sunday I woke up pretty much unable to move easily...i couldn't get down the stairs without holding on to the rail...same goes with trying to sit on the toilet...needed a wall or something to help me down. I don't remember the last time i was that sore!!! But, we had a 2 hour run to do and it was pretty much all uphill from the time we left the house till we got to the top of "Vernon Mountain" (actually it has no name apparently but a few people call it this). I have no idea how much climbing we did but i was thrilled with this run...i didn't walk anything...just kept on trotting up to the top. Felt great. Next came the downhills which i could barely get down in anything faster than a snails pace...Steve would take off and would have to stop and wait for me. It was sooo painful....and probably equally as painful for him having to wait for me! Clearly my uphill skills aren't too shabby but i've got to do some work running downhills so I can get some Iron Legs for that 50 miler in August!!

After Sundays run my legs toast...I took 2 days off and then ran the past 2 days on the treadmill to try and loosen them up. Today is the first day i could sit on the toilet without help so i think that's a good sign lol :) Hopefully this means i'll be ok for Sunday's half marathon? Yikes. I have a goal of breaking 1:30 but i'm not sure i'm there yet...i'll definitely be happy with anything under 1:33 though. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

10 km Gone Right!

After my first 10km of the season being a bit of a gong show...I started to become less thrilled about the upcoming Mothers Day 10km as last week progressed. 10 kms hurt...and now I have to endure another one! I'm not a speedster...i don't know how to race these things! Regardless, I really wanted to do well and start off my 2011 racing season on a good note and prove to myself that while I missed all of 2010 due to injury, I can come back and be better than I was in 2009! It's a lot of work to get back to where you were...and I'm still not there in terms of endurance...but my speed is definitely coming back...

Even though I had the 10km race on Sunday of this past weekend, I didn't want it to cause me to miss out on a longer run. So I met my friend Charlie on saturday morning for a 22km run on the very rolling pathways of Bowmont. It was a beautiful morning for it and was happy to get out as I knew it was supposed to rain in the afternoon and most/all of Sunday. By the end, my legs were feeling heavy and sore...i don't think they were completely recovered from the previous weekends "race". After some good stretching, I put on my compression socks and wore them for the rest of the day. They definitely helped!

Sunday morning came and I woke up as I do on most race mornings...cranky (wait, that's every morning) and thinking how much I don't want to race today. I'm not a morning person body might wake me up early everyday, but it doesn't mean i have to like it! Breakfast always makes me feel better and helps to wake me up so I started to feel better after that and finally start to get pumped up for the race. Andrew got out of bed and told me he was coming to the race (even though it was cold and rainy out) which made me happy. I didn't expect him to come on such a gross day! He proved to be the ultimate boyfriend supporter :)

The race starts out in front of the Chinook mall and they had opened it early so we could all wait inside. That was sweet and the mall was packed with runners. I did some stretching, said good-bye to Andrew around 15 mins before the start and went outside to warm up in the rain. I just ran around trying to look like I know what i'm doing to warm up...but I don't. When I try to mimic what some people are doing in warm ups I end up looking like an idiot so i've learned in the past to just do my own thing.

Anyways...the race got underway and of course I went out's hard to hang back and try and do your 1st km slower than you'd like and of course i didn't...i went out guns a blazin and just tried to stay relaxed yet fast. It worked...for about 4 km i was thinking, yeah i could keep this up..i might come really close to 40 mins for this sucker! Then I got to about 5km and I thought...oh no, i think i'm running out of steam. Shit. It started to rain harder which I didn't notice too much until I realized my feet were completely soaked...they were actually sloshing around in my shoes. It didn't really bother me...just an observation.

There were a few hills in there that I didn't expect (but that's what happens when you don't check to see what the route is beforehand! lol). And while the hills sucked and I felt like i was starting to suck...i realized that is where i kept passing people...on the hills. Damn skippy! I got through them...enjoyed the downhills when they came...focused on speedy quick leg turnover and concentrated on getting to each kilometre mark. Finally there was 1km to go so I tried to pick it up as best I could. I knew I wouldn't come close to 40 mins but I wanted to get as close to 41 mins as possible...I crossed the line in 41:20...a new PB by 1 min and 17 seconds. Woop Woop! Andrew was there at the end to cheer me in and had a yummy hot Starbucks beverage waiting for me...what a guy :)

So yeah, great hurt a lot...and while I'm going to continue to work on my speedwork this season...i think i'm done racing any more 10kms until maybe the fall. Maybe then i'll be ready to break 40 mins? Next up...the Calgary half marathon in 2.5 weeks. I'm a little worried...not sure if I can go fast for that distance yet but I guess i'll quickly find out!

Monday, May 2, 2011

10 km gone wrong

While chatting at the end of Saturday's "10 km" race, one guy put it best when he said "well that was a 10 km gone wrong!"

I won't go into long annoying details but the gist of it is this...after about 200m or something from the of the volunteers was standing in the wrong spot and therefore pointed us in the wrong direction. She was in fact supposed to be a little further down the route before pointing us where to go.

Now before you start thinking...well, you should know the route and where to go anyways...yes, yes this is true. THere are 2 points regarding this... 1.She was standing in the middle of the road we were supposed to go straight on and pointed for us to go left. 2.My friend Garrath who was running it with me knew we were going the wrong way right off the bat. But what are we to do when the leaders are just up ahead and i looked behind and the entire race was following us. Where do we go?

Eventually we did turn around and ended up back at the start after completing 4km. Then we started again. Blah. By this point i had lost all steam and just wanted to stop. 10kms are hard...and while i could have been half way through by now...i was starting again. I had no desire to run the whole route but Garrath ended up convincing me to just go with it and have a good training run.

So that's what we did...14km later I was finished. I don't know how they have decided how to determine who came first and all that or if they will. I'm definitely happy that in the end i forced myself to do the 14km and go with it. But boy did i hurt. Why the heck was i so silly to register for a 10km anyway...and two in a row in fact? Now i've got to do this all over again on Sunday! Lucky for me this should be a relatively flat and easier course. So we'll see what happens!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

First race of lots more to come!

I don't know if anyone still follows this blog as i'm kind of lame with how often I post...but the blog still lives...and with the amount of races I continue to sign up for this summer, I guess i'll have lots more blogging to do!

For some reason, in the last couple of weeks, I went bananas and signed up for a bunch more races. It's definitely helping with my motivation and i'm getting quite excited. My race schedule is a bit ridiculous with a couple of races back to back on saturday/sunday...but a lot of them are training runs or just out for the fun of it runs...and i'm not really worried about trying to kill it out there! I did miss my entire season last year due to injury afterall and i want to really enjoy this season. I can't wait! Plus if i'm actually going to do my first 50 miler in August then i've got to get some distance in. Today i registered for my first 50km in 2 years....and it's only 2 short months away. Yikes. I've got lots of work to do!

I joined my brother and his family in Canmore for the weekend. After the Easter egg hunting was finished with the kiddies, Steve and I went on an awesome 23km run all around town on Sunday. It was great and much faster than I usually do long runs...but I was able to keep up without dying. Totally surprised myself! I think that was just what i needed to get my head back in the game. It was fun to do a longer run together again...reminding me of our Transrockies days...and potentially our TransAlpine days to come (2012). We're thinking about it!

This saturday is my first 10km race in a few years...should be interesting. I have no idea what i can do for that distance and i haven't exactly been doing specific speedwork to get ready....just been running fast when i feel like it! These 10km races will be my speedwork for the longer stuff! This is going to be a rolling race with a giant hill involved known as "Blood N Guts" i definitely don't expect a PB but who knows.

That's it for now...will be back with a race report on Sunday! :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

the long run blues

Easter is upon us...which means a short week of work for most of us with Good Friday off. It's been quite a while since i've had a long weekend off so i'm pretty pumped! I'm hoping our weather is starting to sort itself out...smarten up...and realize it's Spring damn it! The weekend's forecast looks outstanding and I can't wait to spend some quality time outside.

As everyone knows, Monday was the Boston Marathon! It didn't bother me so much last year that I wasn't partaking but this year I didn't even get to think about if I would register or not before it was sold out in 8 short hours. I followed the people I knew running it all day from behind my computer and cheered them on while impatiently waiting for the next 5km update. It definitely helped me with my low motivation lately for running. It really made me want to get back at it already and quit whining and complaining at myself every Sunday about having to do a long run. I go through this routine...ok i'll eat breakfast, let it settle for an hour and then get out there...ok, i'm being a little lazy on this Sunday morning...1 more hour and i'll get out there...oh look at Logan, he really needs to get to the dog park, poor guy...i'll take him there and then get out for a run...all of a sudden it's late afternoon...too late to get there now...and just skip it all together!

When I used to train with the running room it'd be easy as they left on their long run every sunday morning at 8:30. I need to get back to a good routine again...get up early, get the long run over with first thing and then have the rest of my day to do what i want. Makes sense. Stop being such a wimp Deb. Geezus.

Anyway, this weekend my brother and fam are staying in Canmore (a short hour drive from Calgary) with friends so i'm going to have some fun out there. The plan is for some good warm spring skiing at Sunshine on saturday and then a run on sunday with my bro. The run could either be pleasant or not...he's a lot faster and i'm a lot slower than our Transrockies days. Maybe he'll be nice to me.

Happy Easter everyone!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Snowy Spring Weekend

Springtime in Calgary is ridiculous...i don't know why after almost 5 years of living here I still get surprised by our weather. April tends to go like this...warm temps of 5-10 degrees C and snow melting all week long. The weekend comes and BAM...snowstorm. I remember a couple of years ago when training for a marathon we had 3 weekends in a row of snowstorms in April.

This past weekend the snow began around 10pm on friday night. We were supposed to go backcountry skiing on the weekend but when we woke up on saturday morning at 5am I decided there was no way i was driving on the highways in it. I'm sure if I hadn't said anything the others would have gone anyway but when we checked the road reports and the roads were red and described as treacherous for don't be a dumbass and drive on this....i'm pretty sure everyone realized that i made a good call (whether they wanted to admit it or not!!).

After hibernating for the morning and mid-afternoon while it puked snow all day long, i finally decided to strap on my snowshoes and take Logan out on a big walk. It's fun to watch him play in the snow. He loves it! I wish I had a before and after shot but just picture all of these photos with no snow in them and that's what it was like the day before when i walked along there. I would say we got about 30 cm that day.

Snowy Downtown Calgary

On Sunday we decided on a day at the hill and were off to ski at Sunshine in Banff. It was a beauiful warm sunny day with lots of pow to test out my new touring skis. Check em out...

My beautiful Icelantic them!

Monday, March 7, 2011

March Madness

Oops. Somehow February flew by and I only blogged once during that month. I can't believe it's March already! Come on Spring! As running continues to go well for me i'm getting more and more excited for Spring and Summer. It's gonna be awesome! Yesterday I ran my longest run in....well...probably since i got injured 16 months ago! I ran 20 km! It was glorious! :D

Actually, while i was running it didn't feel that way...after an hour went by it started to feel long and my legs started to get tighter and more and more stiff. Remember when 20km used to be a nice "short" run? Ah...can't wait for those days again! Part of the reason i found it hard was likely the fact that i added some serious hillage to it throughout. Gotta work on those hills so I don't suck out in the mountains!

Skiing has been fun too...a week ago we were at WhiteFish in Montana for a little ski trip...what a great place! It was my first time skiing there and it was awesome! I almost didn't get to go as I realized the morning of the trip that I needed a passport...and when i went to go look for it...i couldn't find it!! I tore the house apart for a good 1.5 hours until I gave up and went to work. It has always been in the same place but when i moved a few months ago it got thrown in a random backpack...glad i eventually found it when i got home from work!!

This weekend we're off to Fernie for 3 days for some more great skiing...they've been getting tons of snow! Hopefully i'll have some pictures after this trip...i've been
sooo lazy on ski trips with my camera. I do like to take pics of me and Logan though :)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I gotta feeling...

I feel like a runner again! I have been running regularly for the past 3 weeks now and things are great. I'm slowly building up some longer runs again with doing a 13km and a 15km the last two Sundays. Man, these used to be short runs, it's crazy. I can't wait until it feels that way again! For now i'm just building up for the Calgary half marathon on May 29th. I registered for it yesterday and i'm excited. I haven't raced a half marathon in a few years now so i'm pumped...and it's a nice shorter race to break me back into the racing scene. Then it'll be all trail all the time all summer long! :) I'm stating right now a goal to break 1:30...let's see what happens shall we?!

Yesterday we got a huge dump of snow that covered a lot of ice we had and it was slippppery (i.e. fell down while walking Logan!). So last night I headed to the gym and the treadmill...which i'm actually not minding as much as I used to. I played with the incline throughout my run for some hill work and then ran my last mile as fast as my little legs could go...they've still got a pretty quick turnover and i think i'd like to see that on camera cuz sometimes it feels like they could fly right off. But yeah, a quick turnover is i'm going to appreciate my short legs a little more for that reason :) Now I just gotta turn them into IRON baby!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Gotta get me some Iron Legs!

So...I decided it's about time to lay down a goal...and it's a big one...I just registered for my first 50 miler baby!! The Iron Legs 50 miler! It's close to home...about 45 mins from Calgary...and I think it'll be just the 3rd running of this race but I do believe I have run part of the course in the Powderface 42 I raced in 2009...recap here. That was a tough race so I can't imagine what the 50 mile might be like in that location!! Yikes! It's not until mid August so I think with all the trailrunning I do in Kananaskis in the spring/summer I should be good to go by then I hope!

I'm also hoping to get in a 50km sometime before that...maybe in June. I might go back and do the Scorched Sole 50km I raced back in 2009...recap here and pics here. I've heard this year they have a new course in a new location so that sounds good. And I think my bro is potentially doing the Scorched Sole 50 miler again this year so it'll be cool to be out racing at the same time!

Now that I have a real goal set down, i'm pretty excited!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I like to read running blogs...they inspire me...i like to know what's going on in the trailrunning world...but i definitely hate being on the sidelines...and not really making any race plans. It's frustrating. There was a time when I used to spend a lot of time daydreaming about this race or that race and if i could fit this race in I daydream about the training I wish i could do...and running 30km for fun again...and when my next race might be and if i'll be in shape like I was before my injury first appeared 16 months ago. Dang I hope so...there are so many cool races and trail runs i want to do...i've just scratched the surface...1 season of trailrunning/racing under my belt...what a tease!

Running is coming along...albeit slowly...what used to be an "easy" or moderate pace is now hard...a 10 km run is long for me...i miss the days when a short run was like 20km! All my runs have been feeling pretty slow and puttering along and last night I was fed up with it. I decided to pick up the pace and see what these legs/feet could do! I have to say, it was the best i've felt running in a long long time...almost felt like the good ol i might finally be starting to get back to what I feel is normal for me!

Seems like everyone out there is posting their big fancy race plans for the upcoming season...and i'm still deciding what my first race might be...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Barefoot Beginnings

Ok so I know it's only Tuesday and I said on Sunday I was going to try and be more positive about this cold weather but it's proving to be really hard right now. It's soooo hard to get out of bed when it's dark and -25 C...I was the biggest crank-ass in the world when I woke up. Good thing Andrew wasn't home to enjoy it :)

It's looking like all of my running will be at the gym this week! It wasn't as bad when I used to run at lunch as it's usually sunny out there which compensates for the cold temps. But since I started my new job I usually run after work so being dark and that cold is not my idea of a good time!

Last night I ran 5 miles on the treadmill and then followed it up with some weights and core work. I was stretching after my workout and started thinking about The Barefoot Book I read some reviews on yesterday....and it inspired me to give it the old college try. I've heard it's best when starting out to keep it slow and i jogged around the track at my gym for 5 mins barefoot!

It felt kinda's interesting, like you automatically run differently and it seems natural to not land heel first (which seems normal in running shoes). I like the idea of doing it to help strengthen my feet. If i'm at the gym i think i might try doing it for 5 mins a couple of times a week after a workout and maybe one day working my way up to longer periods of time. Who knows. I look forward to trying it out in the summer on some nice soft grass though. For now, maybe the treadmill will feel softer than the track?
Until next time...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

C-C-C-Cold in Calgary

This weekend marked the beginning of another cold spell in Calgary and it only continues to get colder as our week progresses. I think today was a high of -16 C with a windchill of -28 C. Ugh. Anyhow, we have a long winter ahead of us so i'm trying not to dwell on the weather too too much. Best to just bundle up and get out there anyhow.

I decided to not have a workout or run today and took it easy...especially after surviving my first day back on the weights yesterday and waking up pretty dang sore. It's weird as i find when i get out of the habit of lifting weights i don't miss them at all...and once i start doing them again i always wonder why i stopped. It's nice to feel strong so i'm going to work hard at getting that back.

After having an unplanned afternoon nap I woke around 3:30 and decided to bundle up and take Logan out for a nice long walk. I put on my biggest down jacket and my ski pants, made myself a yummy latte and off we went! I love that I don't have a wussy dog when it comes to winter. Logan had a blast!

Standing on McHugh Bluff with a wintery downtown Calgary in the distance

All the ski hills around here received a bunch of snow this week/end and I really really wanted to go but Andrew has been sick since before New Years Eve and just can't shake this cold/flu. It probably would have been damn cold on the hill today anyhow so lets hope for next weekend!

Monday, January 3, 2011 to a great start!!

So, I don't want to get too excited but...I just ran my 3rd run of January...and of the year...I just finished a run making it my 3rd day in a row of running! Man does it ever feel good. Yes they were short runs (6.5 km, 7.5 km and 8 km) and yes they were slow runs...but I was running each day! I'm going to take a break now and do some other things for the next couple of days and try another run later this week. Wahoo!

This year is off to a good start and i'm already getting excited about the months to come! I'm going to continue to keep them short and easy for now and see how things go!