Monday, September 28, 2009


I had a bit of a rough week last week for training, in which I had zero energy and questioned whether I was fighting a virus. That resulted in an extra day off just to be safe and changed my schedule a bit for this week. This means that I was scheduled for a speed workout today in which I hit the track for. It went well, at least better than last week. The real story is what happened after I finished my workout.

Just as I was taking in some water before a quick cool down, this guy comes up to me and asks me how it was going. I said fine, in which he responded by asking if I was still running around the track. I informed him I was done and then he proceeds to ask me about the geese who were now making their way from the school fields behind the bleachers onto the track. Now it wasn't just a few geese, there was probably at least 50. For some strange reason they love the Nanaimo Track and they love leaving their droppings all over the place. In fact, ever since I was a kid in the track club, this has always been the case.

He told me that he wasn't from around here and that he wasn't sure of the "geese protocol." I found this a bit funny and told him that generally the geese move, though sometimes slowly and sometimes not very far at all. I told him that I have never had them attack me though and basically not to worry about them. He said okay and went on his way.

Oh the story gets better, so he runs 200m the other way around the track, at which point the geese plant themselves from the steeple pit at 250m to about the 250m mark on the track. They are all over the lanes, not just in one area. Next thing I notice the guy reach the steeple area and he stops, pauses and looks at the geese and then turns around and runs the 200m the other way. So instead of running through the geese and getting them to move, he runs 200m back and forth to avoid them until they finally make their way onto the infield.

I don't know, but I guess due to the fact that I have always lived here and been around geese, I am not afraid of them. I shouldn't be hard on the guy considering he said he isn't from around here, but it still made me laugh how timid he was. I can still see him stopping and pausing, debating what to do and since I found it amusing, I thought I would share it all with you!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Doctors are useless

For those of you on my facebook, you will have seen the status update recently "Doctors are useless." For those not on my facebook, this will be new to you! So as I mentioned a few weeks ago, I first began having pain in my upper arm/shoulder area that radiated down my bicept towards my elbow. I have seen my physio who found 2 spots (neck and upper back) that were apparently stuck, so she released them through maniuplation. I saw no relief, so I saw a chiro who performed some ART. Once again, I saw no relief.

I guess I shouldn't say no relief, but very minimal relief. The last time I received any kind of treatment was the Friday before my 10km, so that would have been September 11th. Since then I have ignored the pain as best as possible, but here we are, 3 weeks after the initial pain started. I am starting to get frustrated and want to know what is going on. In the frustration, I decided to see my doctor to get his opinion. Well.... I will basically say, that was a waste of my time. I get into his office, he asks what is up and I tell him, shoulder pain after waking up 3 weeks ago. Didn't lift anything to pull anything and that it was after 2 days off of work. He tests the joint movement and says its not joint and that it must be muscular.

I question him on that as I do not see how it can be a muscular problem due to the fact that it only hurts when I am inactive. If I am running or busy doing things or working, I do not feel it; however, once I sit down and relax, I can feel it. If it was muscular, wouldn't it hurt while moving it? He basically says that its not joint and prescribed some anti-inflammatory meds and says if it still hurts after the 7 day course runs out, to contact him back and he will send me for an ultrasound. Let me just say, I am 24 hours into the anti-inflammatories and it still bothers me.

Also within the last few weeks, my lower back and hips have been bothering me. I am wondering if that has anything to do with it. Guess I should go see someone about that too. Man, I am almost 28 and falling apart! And with just over 2 weeks until my next race. Has anyone experienced any shoulder/upper arm pain that came without explanation.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Run for the Mountain Race Report

I stayed up a bit late on Friday night, hitting the pillow at about midnight. When my alarm went off at 7am I totally regretted it. I arrived at Westwood just prior to 8am and it was chilly as the sun had not yet come up enough to warm things up. I hung around and chatted for a bit and then did my warm up at about 8:20. The legs felt okay which was a good sign as they felt a bit rough over the last 2 days due to the 10km and then a hard workout mid week.

It was a good turn out for the race. I would say at least over 100 people (waiting for the confirmation as to how many exactly) though it could be more than that. The gun went and the start was fast. We had to go fast in order to get ahead of the crowd before the trail thinned out. I really won't go into too many details of the race, but for the first half I ran along side or close to both Mark and Phil. At about half way, Mark pulled away and I didn't go with him. I kept in mind the hill section was in the last 2km with one large hill in the last km. Phil surged and fell back a few times and then finally fell back with about 2km left. I hit the main hill and nearly died, but fought through it and the 20m sand pit near the end to finish just ahead of Phil and first woman overall.

In being first woman, I recieved a golden shoe. Yes a golden shoe as you can see below.

I also received a free pair of Saucony shoes (or will receive) and the title "Queen of Westwood." Simon won the King title, dethroning Shelby after he won it for the first 3 years. Rebecca was awarded Princess as the first 17 and under girl and Forest was awarded Prince as first 17 and under boy. Overall it was a good turnout for the event and a spectacular day weather wise.

I must add that Socket loves the golden shoe as well!

Race photos to come once they are uploaded online.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Race report to come (again)

The weather was gorgeous and the turn out was pretty good considering it was a small trail race. I completed my goal as planned; however, I do not have time to go into details now as I am heading out the door for dinner with friends. I will update most likely tomorrow. I know this is a waste of a post, but I just wanted to let anyone who was curious know that I did what I wanted to do.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Race #2

I kind of decided this awhile ago, but didn't want to say anything until now. I will be running my 2nd race tomorrow morning; however, it is not a huge deal as it is a trail race rather than a road race. Officially it is called "Run for the Mountain." Basically, the race is held at Westwood Lake and consists of 1 loop of the lake (approx 6km). I have never gone and run one loop of the lake full out before, so after tomorrow I will finally have an answer for the many times I get asked how long it takes me to run around the lake. I entered this race last year, but then change of plans happened and I went to Vancouver for the weekend.

The race is for a good cause though. It is in support of NALT (Nanaimo & Area Land Trust) and the race is held by Running Room with the proceeds going towards NALT to purchase a 2nd piece of land on Mt. Benson. NALT already purchased one section of land (523 acres to be exact) last year. Now they are raising money for stage 2, which would include another section to bring their total possession to 883 acres. Mt. Benson is the main mountain that overlooks the city and is a huge part of Nanaimo. I think it is a great cause as I do not want to see the Mountain developed.

I have not really tapered for this race, then again I only did a minor taper before the race last week. I had a hard workout on Wednesday, which felt tough, especially only 3 days after the 10km. I will just do what I can tomorrow and not worry about it, though I am hoping to be the first female as I would then be crowed "Queen of the Lake." Plus I would pick up a pair of free shoes, so hopefully I can pull it off ;)

Before I head off, I have a few pictures and videos to post of Socket. He is quite the character and has recently had a friend come by to visit, teasing and taunting him from outside any window or door. It is pretty cute if you ask me. Here are a bunch of photos of various things.

Socket sleeping with his feet in the air

Eating my flowers I won at the Harbour City 10km

Hiding in the cutlery box after we took them out

Inside out ear and crazy eyes!

Socket and his buddy napping together via a window


Socket still loves his laundry baskets!

Hah, I have a S-M-R-T kitten!

Socket's friend is kind of mean!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Fan of Training

Some people hate to train and love to race; whereas, some people love to train and hate to race. I would have to say that I am the latter half. I love to train and am somewhat disappointed once race season arrives. As I have mentioned, prior to this last weekend, my previous race was mid June. That made nearly 3 months straight of training and no races and as hard as some of the workouts were I certainly enjoyed it. At the same time I know that races are important in order to guage where my fitness is at.

Why do I hate to race? I guess hate is a strong word to use, but the nerves sometimes get the better of me. I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself so I never really fully get to enjoy racing. Last January through May, I completed 11 races in 16 weeks I believe. Twice in that race season, I did 3 back to back to back races. Once near the beginning and the last time right at the very end. Half way through those races I started to burn out and wasn't seeing the results I should have been seeing. Due to the burn out, I was just waiting for my final race (Eugene Half Marathon) to arrive so that I could relax and just train. Maybe that has some added effect as to why I truly enjoyed my summer of training and was sad to see it end.

So I ask you.... are you someone who loves to train and hates to race or are you a person that hates to train and loves to race and why?

Here is a photo from the start of the race on Sunday.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Nanaimo Harbour City 10km Race Report

Okay, here you have it. I'll begin with how I felt the night before. I got home from work at 11:30 and was dead tired. It had been a long day that had started not long after 8am and did not include a whole lot of resting up for the race. At that point, I thought "I so do not feel like racing in the morning." I was in bed and asleep not long after midnight and sleep pretty heavily. The alarm then went off at 6am. Again, "ugh, I so do not want to race today" went through my mind. I dragged myself up and attempted to force down some dry mini wheats. I have an issue with eating before races. I also feel a bit sick to the stomach, whether its the nerves or due to the early hours of the day, I do not know. All I know is I always struggle with getting in some nutrition race morning. Don't bother suggesting "eat a banana" either as I believe I am allergic or at least sensitive to them. They either make me sick or make me feel sick each time I eat them, so now I have learned just to stay away.

I then checked facebook and killed some time before slowly getting ready and heading out the door at about 6:40. I got downtown about 15 minutes later and parked at the local Mall. I park here each year as its only a short walk to the start/finish area and its free. Not to mention the mall doesn't open until later in the morning on Sundays. Others park here too, so I am not the only one. I walked up to the start and had a look around, chatted with a few people I knew and then next thing I knew it was 7:15. The race start time was 8am, so I hit the porta potties then walked back to my car, shed a few layers of clothes and went for my warm up run of about 20' real easy. I finished my warm up back at the car, put on my bib number, tied my car key to my shoe and jogged back up to the start area.

When I got to the start, the crowd was doing their group warm up (aerobics basically) lead by one of the local gyms, so I completed 2 strides and then headed to the start line. I looked around and saw NO fast ladies that I recognized. Alright I thought.... maybe I do have a chance to win this. We started off and my goal was to not go out too fast and to hold my PB km avg pace. My 10km PB was 39:06 from last February at Cobble Hill. I also ran 39:07 at the Times Colonist 10km last April. Both were pretty flat courses. That would make the average km 3:55.

For the first km, I did just that 3:54 when I hit the marker. After the first km, it climbs a hill constantly for the whole km. Then it gets flat and drops a short steep hill before coming flat again until the 3km marker. After that, its another slow climb until the 4km marker. It flattens out, goes slightly downhill then flat to the turn around, which is 5km. Then we head back, so flat, slightly uphill to the 6km marker, then down hill to the 7km, flat and short steep uphill, plus a slow climb to the 8km, downhill to the 9km and then a flat into very slight barely noticeable climb followed by a slight downhill to the finish. Basically, its a freakin hilly course. I felt good for the first km, but then crappy from 2-6km due to all the hills, before feeling better with the downhills on the way back.

After 2km I was left to run on my own. The next guy ahead was over a minute in front. Out of reach. I felt as though I slowed so much on the hills, that I figured I was going to finish closer to 40' rather than my goal of 39'. I did not look at the watch after the 2nd km when I realized how far I slowed between the 1st and 2nd km. I lost my motivation and lost my drive. While I pushed it, I think I kept it too conservative and a bit too comfortable. I didn't hit the pleasantly uncomfortable stage. In any event, I was the lead female from start to finish. The 2nd female finished in over 46 minutes. I finished in 39:05 which is a 1 second PB.

D commented to "shut my face" as I said I was disappointed in the race. I am disappointed because I feel as though I let myself down in the fact that I kept it too comfortable. I should have pushed I harder and I know that I am capable of being much faster. That said, people have pointed out that it was a hard course and my time most likely equaled mid to low 38 minutes on a faster course. I wil think positively and agree. All my training times show I have been running faster than a 39 minute 10km. Yes it was nice to win it as I walked away with flowers, a CD for a local band called Kings Without (they were playing between the finish and the awards) and a $100 gift card to Running Room. I would like all thank all the fastie women on the island and mainland who did not come out to the race! While many think my time is fast and I do agree it is respectable as I tend to finish in the top portion of many local races, there are many women around here much faster than me.

No race photos as of yet; however, here are 2 that my mom took at the awards.

Winners of the 20-29 age category

10km Race Winners- Mark Cryderman (33:59) and myself (39:05)

This race used to bring in more elite athlets; however, ROC (runners of compassion) here in Nanaimo ran it for 3 years before selling it to a company in Vancouver called Try Events. The race in years has gone downhill and I noticed a significant difference from last year to this year in how it was run. I am honestly thinking the race is going downhill and might not survive which is really sad as it is a good event and good prep for Royal Victoria in October. Today many events were scheduled, which probably took away from the event. Just on the island there was the Terry Fox run in many cities, Metchosin 5km in Victoria, Sook Triathlon in Victoria, Paws for a Cause event here in Nanaimo, plus a Cyclocross Event here in Nanimo too. Basically too much going on during one day. Hard to believe I ran this 10km in 2007 and finished in just over 46 minutes. Then again, it was my first year back after having surgery on my feet the year before.

Anyways, it's been forever since I have posted a race report..... did I miss anything? I could probably go into more detail about the down points of the race, but maybe its better to leave that part out.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Race Report to come

I couldn't sleep when I got home, so I had something to eat. Now here I sit yawning and falling asleep, yet I have about 15 minutes until I have to get ready for work. Actually I think I will get ready now as I am sure I will be moving in slow motion from being half asleep.

In any event, here are the results. Enough said.... 39:05. 1 second PB. I should be happy right? Honestly though I am not, but I will explain more either later tonight or tomorrow.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

D day

The time has come for me to get out of training mode and into racing mode. Tomorrow will by my first race since June 16th. I will be taking part in the Nanaimo Harbor City 10km. I still have the arm pain, which sucks, but I am hoping it doesn't distract me too much. It is also less than ideal the fact that I work 3m-11:15pm this evening and will get home at 11:30, to then have to be ready to race at 8am. Not much sleep, but I will do the best I can considering the circumstances. Hopefully it will be a positive race report, which may or may not come tomorrow as I also work 3pm-11:15pm after the race. Simply said, my goal is under 39:00.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Taking Donations!

I received access to the online torch bearers shop today. Needless to say, my idea to potentially purchase the torch went out the window when I saw the price tag of $350. Ouch! So if you would like me to own a piece of Olympic history, I am currently taking donations ;)

Basically, the other options include water bottles, pins, a stand for the rich people who can buy the torch, and shirts/jackets. Not sure whether I will get anything or just take the free uniform in which they will send me. Maybe a shirt or jacket. We'll see. So D, you were a tad wrong when you guesstimated $3000!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Step #2 completed

After weeks and weeks of waiting to hear about the Torch Relay, I finally received an e-mail to continue with the process. It looks pretty much guaranteed that I will run my part of the relay on October 31st, 2009. While I am excited about the relay, I am also disappointed with the date as this is the day of the Westwood Lake Relays here in town. Basically each team has 4 members and each member runs one 6km loop of the lake. I was asked if I wanted to run on a team; however, obviously because of the Torch relay I cannot confirm yes or no.

I was reading the FAQ's for the relay (I would post the link, but you need a torch bearer log in to review them) and it says that each person's portion of the relay will be 300m long. 300 freaking meters! Are you kidding me? Too short in my opinion, then again, with each segment being so short, it allows more people to carry the torch. Also, although I will run/walk for a total 300m of the relay, I can expect my whole torch bearer journey to take 2-3 hours of my day. I guess I will meet at a "collection point" and then get dropped off at my segment by a shuttle. After I am done running the hard 300m, I get picked up by another shuttle until I eventually get dropped back off at the collection point. A long day for 300m of running.

But this is a once in a life time chance most likely and the Westwood Relay will be there again in future years, so I shouldn't really complain. I will receive a free uniform in which I must wear all pieces, a track suit, toque and mittens. They look alright, basically mostly white except for a part on the arm. I stole a photo from their website.

I also apparently get the chance to purchase the actual torch in which I will carry. I have no idea how much it is, but I also have the opportunity to purchase other items and I hate to say it, but I don't know what items those are either. I have to wait 24 hours after completing step 2 until I gain access into the online shop to see prices and what I can buy. I will definitely be looking into it tomorrow though!

In the meantime, I wait. I will not hear what time of the day and where exactly I will run (it will be anywhere between Sooke and Nanaimo, hopefully closer to Nanaimo) until 3-6 weeks before October 31st. I am hoping I will hear 6 weeks ahead of time as that would be soon, but chances are.... I'll probably hear at the last minute possible! I will keep you informed though!

On a side note, I still have that arm pain so I went and saw my physio Kyla today in which she manipulated my neck and upper back as two spots were "stuck." So far, I still feel pain though maybe slightly less intense. It has only been 9 hours, so I will see what I feel like tomorrow. I race Sunday, so I would like it cleared up by then. I can run with it, but it can be uncomfortable! Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

If its not one thing, its another

No its not my foot that is sore. Since last Wednesday I have been experiencing some aching in my left arm. I have no idea why or what the heck I did for it to happen. It's not due to work, or I don't think it is due to work because I was off Monday and Tuesday. It comes and goes, but when it aches, it is pretty uncomfortable. I suppose I should see someone about it. I wonder if it is related to stiffness in my neck or back. I guess time will tell.

Although I do have this aching, it does not stop me from running. In fact, I hardly notice it while running. So at least it doesn't get in the way of my training. My first race of the fall season is coming up rather quickly. My training has been going well and I feel strong, I am just not sure if I am strong enough to run the times in which I am looking for. As I have said before, the last race in which I ran was a 5km in mid June. This race will be a 10km in which my best time is 39:06. I would really love to dip under into the 38's, but I guess we will have to wait and see what happens. I will give it what I have on the day and hope for the best.