Friday, 27 September 2013

A Special Kind of Crazy

Twas the night before my last long run before my first ever marathon and I am excited.  I know who gets excited for a 40K run but I am.  I was calling my friend Peter out the other day on Facebook about his fall running schedule, 3 marathons in 3 months, a few other runs and then the Dopey in January.  The fun people at Disney decided that they were not getting enough money out of runners for the Goofy that they created a new race, THE DOPEY.  You run a 5K, a 10K, a half marathon and a marathon on consecutive days for 6 medals.  Now I like bling as much as the next runner but I am not that crazy.  I am running the Goofy, the half marathon and the marathon portion and that is enough for me. 

Dopey medals

Another friend Vincent is running marathons on consecutive weekends, I told him he was crazy as well.  It was then  pointed out to me that I was just as crazy doing a half Iron distance triathlon, a half marathon and a marathon in 6 weeks.  I guess when you look at it that way, I am a little bit crazy too. It turns out I am surrounded by this special kind of crazy people, my coach Laura runs 100 mile ultra marathons and wins them, by a lot.  My friend Sylvie is running 2 ultra marathons next year, she is the cheerleader to our group. My hubby is branching out and signed up for a half Ironman even though he can't swim, he is even thinking of 2 next summer with me and while we plan on completing the first one together the second is a race, every triathlete for themselves (bring it honey). I am surrounded by these crazy people and I love it! We encourage each other to dream BIG, we cheer each other on and celebrate everyone's success.

I am so happy that I am surrounded by people that are this special kind of crazy, it makes life FUN!

Sunday, 22 September 2013

The Army Run

So my last post was about a very, very bad run I had, 35k of pain and agony.  I had a few great ladies smack me upside the head asking me what did I expect the week after a Half Iron Distance Triathlon, sunshine and daisies?  Well maybe I did, silly me, I had done back to back epic workout all summer and I did not think this would be any different.   A few days later I ran 38K, 15K at the pace I planned on running my half marathon at and the rest at my LSD marathon pace.  It was a much better run, 15K non-stop at 6:30 per km and the rest at 7:30.  I started to feel better about my marathon.

Today was the Army Run, last year this was my first half marathon and it was not a great race.  I struggled through it and was sure glad when it was over.  Since then I have run 2 more half marathons, the Disney Wine and Dine and the Goodlife Fitness Toronto half marathon.  My time for the Toronto one was much better then the Army run but I still struggled for the last 5k, something I wanted to work on over the summer. All my training during the summer, the swimming and brick workouts were great for triathlons but I was unsure how it would translate for my run today.  Well I had nothing to worry about, today was a great race!  

Since I have a marathon in 3 weeks I wanted to run fast but not too fast and I ran what I will call a conservatively aggressive race, a nice steady fast pace for 16K and then picked it up steadily for the last 5k, running flat out the last 3.5 k non stop.  My plan was to run 6:30 per km but that never happened, except maybe on the odd hill, we struggled to keep the run pace at 6, we wanted to go faster but I wanted to make sure I had something left for the last 5K.  We took our walk breaks and I stuck to my nutrition plan and I felt much better then any other race.  Last year when I passed the 51 Air Cadet cheer station (my son's squad) I felt terrible, this year I high fived them all and ran strong through the row.  I started to fade the last km but I was not giving up, we were so close to finishing and I wanted to finish strong.  At the 16k point we were 3 mins up on my per race pace, at the end we were almost 6 mins ahead, we picked up 3 mins in the last 5k, we were on fire.  

The final stats are 2:11:33 and a 6:15 per km pace. That is almost 23 mins faster then last year and 13 mins faster then my Toronto time.  I will keep today's feeling with me as I run that day, the gratitude I felt, the joy of running and the strength of those who believe in me...I can't wait. 

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

The Very Very Bad Run

So I am down in the dumps and can't shake it off, which is unusual for me. I was on such a high after my half Iron distance race, I had a great week after an then came Sunday and my 36k run.  It started out much like any other Sundays, up early a cup of coffee and a large glass of water followed my oatmeal and blueberries but somewhere along the way it changed.  I had to do 4k more then my group so I got there early and ran and extra 2.6K, if I was short I could do the extra after but the posted routes usually go long and I sure did not want to do more then I had too. 

It was a beautiful fall day, perfect running conditions and I was ready.   Maybe it was the fact that my clinic instructor started with "This is going to SUCK and you are going to hit THE WALL, not the best start of a motivational speech. The route was an out and back, not my favorite but I was determined to rock it and prove to myself I was ready for Chicago.  Once we got to the turn around and I knew I had to run back the same way the joy of running and energy seemed to drain out of me, every step seemed so hard.  The last 5K I just kept moving forward, I was tired and I wanted it to be DONE.  I finally finished and was a km short but there was no way I was going to do another, I was done.  I finally headed home and parked myself on the sofa, feeling like crap and mad that it was so hard.  I did not prove I was ready for my marathon, instead I am left wondering if I can actually do a marathon.  Sorry, let me correct that, I can do anything I put my mind too but I want to enjoy the experience, not suffer through it.   

I know we all have bad runs and bad runs help us prepare for bad races but I want a great race, not time wise great as my marathon time will have a 5 in front of it but a great marathon experience.   On Sunday, the FUN left and I am waiting for it to come back.  

Sunday, 1 September 2013

The Canadian Iron 113

So it is done!  Today, Neale asked me if the enormity of what I had accomplished had sunk in, I don't think it has.  I have trained so long for this and in 7 hours and 27 mins it was all over and I would do it again in a heartbeat. So here is the race recap as I remember it.

So my biggest worry was the weather, it was suppose to rain all day and that is not what I wanted or needed for my first Half Iron distance event.  I could not control the weather, I knew I trained enough, what would be would be.  Luckily the weather was almost perfect, it was partially sunny but humid, fine for the swim and bike but it would make the run tough.   

We got to the venue 90 mins early and I set up and got body marking done.  I not been able to go to the orientation the night before so I headed to the beach to see the swim course.  It was a 1.9 km loop, and it looked really far, I was use to doing shorter loops.  Decided to warm up and get comfortable in the water, swimming helps me stay calm so the wetsuit went on and I went to swim around a bit.  Just before we started it was the kids triathlon, they were so cute and the parents so encouraging, it was great.  I love to swim, I might not be fast but I am comfortable and enjoy it.  I did a better job sighting this time and did not go off course, felt comfortable and enjoyed the swim.  To me the swim felt really fast or at least time went fast, I was not swimming fast.  I came in a few mins ahead of my goal and was ready to get to the bike.  It was quite a long run from the beach to the transition and then I had to get changed.  I really need to work on my T1 time, 12 mins is way too long.

On to the bike, 90K, 6 loops of the 15K course down the canal.  I had done 4 loops of a shorter course for my Oly tri so I knew what I was in for . It is not easy doing so many loops of the same course but on the upside, you get to see your supporters often. There was a deer on the course so that made things interesting at least. My goal was to average 25kph overall and I came close.  I was happy with my bike time and how I did.  Loop 2 and 4 were tough but when it got tough, I focused and pushed on.  I did a good job with my nutrition and stayed hydrated, I knew that was important for the run since it was so muggy.  It looked like it was going to rain when I was almost done loop 5 so my goal became getting the bike done before the rain. It never did rain but it kept me motivated and focused.  

Barbara and I on the run

Then was the part I dreaded the most, the run.  I knew going in this would be my biggest challenge. I asked my friend Barbara  to come run with me and she said yes.  Coming off the bike I usually run to fast and once again, I started too fast.  I was running a 6:10 pace, way to fast for a half marathon.  My family,  friends and my coach Laura had moved to the run coarse and were there to support me.  Each lap, Laura offered advice and tips and I was glad to see her.  Laura told me not to worry about my pace, run what I was comfortable doing. Loop 2 was tough, I slowed down and started to run 10 and 1's.  I stuck to my nutrition plan but had a few extra eload tabs since it was so muggy. Loop 3 was better, the gels started to kick in and I started to run 8 and 1's.  I felt great all things considering but I knew the last lap was ahead and would be tough.  I had run up to 14K in training and that was tough enough, now I had to go further.  I was so thankful Barbara was there, loop 4 was rough.  I was super slow and took a few extra walk breaks, when needed too I ran 5 pylons and walked one, it worked well for me and we did that a few times.  I had a secret goal of 7:30 overall time and towards the end I wondered if I would make it.  Barbara kept me running the last km and I came in a few minutes under my goal time.  Official time was 7:27:25 and I was thrilled!

my coach Laura and I after- job done!

I learned a lot about myself this summer training for this event and I learned a lot during the race.  I pushed myself further then I though ever possible but I know I need to push more going forward. Yesterday was hard, I am please overall but a bit disappointed with my run, it was tougher then I thought and I walked more then I wanted.  I need to get stronger physically for next year.  The mental part and the nutrition where bang on, I fought through the tough parts, never gave up and felt great physically all day.  When I signed up for this race, I really did not think I could do it...but I did, I had it inside me all along.