I love running!

I love running!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Return to Racing

This past weekend was my first foray back in the racing circuit since the marathon. I had hoped to start racing the week prior, however, a nasty virus decided to circulate through the family and I got it a couple of days before the race (why do the mom's always get it last?) I had to make the decision whether to race or not. This was a harder decision than it should have been for me. I don't like to miss out on races, and the St. Patricks Day 5k is one of my favourite on the circuit, however, the marathon is my goal for the Spring and that is where my focus is. So I missed the race took a couple of easy days and jumped back in to training. Definitely the right decision. Unfortunately, the virus is lingering and I am still coughing almost 2 weeks later. I have been able to train though, and was able to run my first race back this past weekend.

The Modo 8k is  a Canada Running Series (CRS) event and is their opening event in the series. CRS puts together strong elite fields and a fun event. Last year running this race I had already run a few races leading in to it and was focusing on speed workouts on the track. This year with my training focusing on the marathon I knew this would be a very different experience, as I would lack the speed training. When focusing on the marathon, often speed is sacrificed for longer workouts, as maintaining marathon pace for a long time is key, not running a series of fast 400s on the track. Also I would not be tapering at all for this race, instead I would be running 3 big workouts the week prior. The Sunday before I had a 20 mile run with 10k at marathon pace, followed by 5x2k/2'' the following Tuesday and a 25k run with 15k of alternating km paces. I am really loving all these longer workouts. Seriously :)

The plan going into this race was really just to go out hard and try and hold a fast pace as long as I could. The race went out fast with Lanni Marchant, Rachel Cliff and Dayna Pidhoresky leading and me trying to hold on. I was already a few seconds back at 1km which I went through in 3:14 (it's a fast start with some downhill). I just tried to focus on moving my legs. It was interesting as I felt like I was running hard but my legs didn't feel like they wanted to turnover. Also with the fast pace my breathing was not sounding great. I didn't panic though and just kept moving forward. I was in no mans land for most of the race until around 6.5 k where I caught a couple of the guys and one of them went with me. The last km of the race is uphill and I really felt this. My coach was mid way up the hill and yelled "only 90 more seconds", I think it was longer than that but it helped to know I was close. I crossed the finish line in 28:00 flat, 4th overall and 1st master.

Crossing the line, my initial response was disappointment. In 2014 I had really had a great year and had set PBs at every distance, so to start the 2015 season without a PB felt strange. Upon reflection though I recognized that this was actually a pretty strong start given my training that week and lack of speed training and taper. To not be far off last years time, where I focused on the shorter races was really encouraging. As the day went on I became really happy with the result. I think this is great start to the season and I can't wait for the marathon. I am excited to hopefully PB at the marathon distance and it will definitely be worth the sacrifice of the shorter races maybe not being as fast as last year.

A huge congrats to Lanni, Rachel and Dayna who finished in that order in strong form! And thank you to Dayna who accompanied me on part of my long run following the race. Also thanks to Natasha Wodak who always gives the best cheers and presented us with our awards!

I am excited for what the season ahead brings and loving being back in the racing community. Loving this journey....

Thanks to Rita Ivanuskus for always taking great race photos. I think I was in a lot of pain at this point. 

At the awards ceremony with Natasha, Dayna and Rachel (apparently I missed the memo to wear pink)

Photo cred Natasha Wodak. Me in my race kit on a gorgeous morning in Vancouver

Beautiful Spring Blossoms in Vancouver

A poster I did for CRS and Oiselle

Some new Oiselle goodies

My race kit, loving the Asics Hyperspeeds for the short races

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Post Marathon now what?

So the marathon is over and it's time to regroup so now what? Upon returning from Houston I was feeling pretty mixed about things. It's always hard when you have set goals and they haven't quite gone to plan. That said I was looking at the positives of the race and recognizing my accomplishment.

I sat down with coach Rich to discuss the Spring and we decided that I'm not finished with the marathon yet. Building in some recovery from Houston then building back to a Spring marathon became the plan. So yes, I am embarking on another marathon journey and excited to see where this one takes me. Hopefully a Pan Am standard, sub 2:40, which I know I am capable of. Even if I make the standard I know it is unlikely I will make the team given the depth of fast women in the marathon in Canada at the moment, however, for me it's important to know I can achieve the standard and be considered for the team.

I also needed to check in with the family to make sure they were OK with me embarking on this journey again. It's not just the time required for training, but the time to recover which includes rolling and massage, strength training, nutrition and just being tired! The family was awesome and jumped on board. Unfortunately the flu hit a couple of members of our household just as my mileage and training ramped up so I ended up pretty tired, even though so far I've been spared the flu.

So after 3 weeks of easy lower mileage I began to build back up and add some fartleks into my runs. Six  weeks later I am back to full mileage in the marathon build. It's fun being out there doing long workouts again, plus it's been much easier with the absolutely amazing weather we have been having. Going for long tempos, long interval and track sessions when the sun is shining is so much easier than the rain.

My typical week at the moment hovers around 140km and includes a long run, which typically has a workout built in to it, as well as two more sessions including a track/trail interval session or a long tempo or long interval session workout. I find any more than 3 big workouts a week too much for me and I seem to adjust pretty well to this schedule. Most of my track work is long sessions as well, so not any quick speed workout which is what I am used to doing at this time of year. I am definitely tired moving back to full training but excited to see where it takes me.

Next weekend will be my first race of the season, The St Patricks Day 5k in Stanley Park. I love this race, as the organizers Steve and Karen put on a great event for all, and the prizes and post race party are always fun! I have no idea how it will go, as I haven't been doing any short speed work, so basically I am just hoping to make my legs go fast. I will have a workout right after as well.


The following weekend I will be racing the Modo 8k. This is a Canada Running Series event and again the organization is superb. Hopefully the 5k will get my legs into gear for this race. I love supporting the Canada Running Series as they go above and beyond in supporting us as athletes. Leading into this race my sponsor Oiselle will be teaming up with the Canada Running Series for a fun giveaway.


Basically both races will be an opportunity to get the legs moving but will be more of training runs. I am excited to get back out there with everyone.  I feel so fortunate to have such an amazing running community.

I also wanted to mention that Asics Canada has been extremely generous in working with Distance Runwear, and has provided me with a fantastic pair of shoes for training.

Also for a great article on my coach Richard Lee and the BC Endurance Project that I train with, check out the current issue of Canadian Running.

I look forward to the events ahead and I am constantly remembering to enjoy the journey on the way!

My new shoes from Asics Canada and Distance Runwear 

Just before a 10 mile tempo in the park with Natasha Wodak, Dylan Wykes and Rob Watson

Cooling down post km repeats with Natasha Wodak and Dayna Pidhoresky