Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Well here we are, just under 5 hours until the New Year. 2010 had its ups and downs as does every year. Some good training, some bad training, some good races, some not so good races. Unfortunately 2010 ends on a sad note. Yesterday was rough. It might have included me doing my final workout of 2010 and some tears were involved off and on mostly throughout the warm up. If I let my mind wander, I fall apart; however, I am better than I was yesterday. Thank goodness I took an extra day (today) off work. I needed it. 

So with 2010 ending, thank you to my family, friends and coach for sticking with me throughout the year. I am looking forward to 2011 which will involve achieving some new goals and reaching new heights. Only a couple of New Years Resolutions for this gal, but they will remain secret! Just some personal things that I feel I want/need to work on. 

The news I promised you is still coming. I was going to reveal it as the new year came in; however, with the events involving my Grandpa, I think I am going to wait until next week. Hang in there, I promise to blog about it after this weekend! Happy New Year Everyone! 

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Greatest Man I have Known

Christmas Day 2010!

It is with a heavy heart and many tears that I must say goodbye to my Grandpa. I just found out about an hour ago that he passed away peacefully in his sleep this morning at the local hospital. You see, we spent Christmas Day Evening up at his and my Grandma's place for Christmas dinner. He was full of life and his typical self. The following day, he fell while trying to navigate his double below the knee amputation around the kitchen while trying to get lunch. This fall resulted in a broken hip. He had surgery on Monday with minimal anesthetic and a spinal as he does not react well to being put under. He made it through the surgery well so we held hope, but unfortunately lost his battle this morning. He was 89 (90 in May). Christmas won't be the same without you Grandpa. =(

89th Birthday Celebration in May 2010
88th Birthday Celebration in May 2009

At my Mom and Don's wedding in August 2008. 

Christmas 2007

RIP GRANDPA!!! I love you always!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wet Wet Pre-Christmas

The week before Christmas (especially the day before) was WET! I had an easy run to do on Christmas Eve and it poured the entire time. The part on the roads were wet, including running through flooding sidewalks. I then entered Hemer Park where I complete a lot of my runs. The entire trail into the park, which has to be at least 1-1.5km long was one HUGE consistent puddle. My feet were so wet by the time I even entered the park that there was no point in trying to avoid the puddles. I ran past some walkers who were each on one side of the flooded trail, their dog happily walking through the middle. I slowed slightly so I wouldn't splash them; however, I am sure they thought I was crazy. Splish Splash all the way along. Boy was the shower nice when I got home! Here is the aftermath, surprisingly not very muddy but definitely wet! 
These shoes were white about 4 days ago!

Back of the legs!

Fun in the mud! 

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I had planned to post yesterday about my very wet and soggy but fun run, but that never happened. I took pictures and all. I guess it will have to wait as they are still on my camera and I do not have time to take them off. In the meantime, just a quick post to say MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! 1 Christmas celebration down, 2 to go!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Time for some Results!

Alright, I am a tiny bit more in the Christmas spirit, but only a tiny bit. I have now seen "Elf" on TV, so its more Christmas like now! 

Tomorrow I will go see a "new" physio. New to me at any rate. I am still having issues with my right hip/lower abdominal/groin/mid-lower back. The same issue that has been going on since last December is still going on! I hope to finally get it figured out. Seen 2 physios already, no results yet. Wish me luck for tomorrow!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

After Party and then some

I have decided that the after party really wasn't all that spectacular to write a whole blog post about it. It was a fun night with a great group of people. I must say that it was an amusing night where I have never seen so many people get kicked out of a bar. 

Coach Matt, Myself, Natasha, Melissa and Catherine

The next day we were able to sleep in, have some breakfast and take our time getting ready as we were not leaving Guelph until late morning. Nice to have a 1pm flight (Victoria crew) or a 1:30pm flight (Vancouver crew). We were all surprised to get onto our bus from Guelph to the airport. That is right, Team BC rides in style with a party bus!

Everyone was taking their turns getting photos on the bus, so I thought why not!

Party bus!

Natasha, Catherine and I on the party bus!

We arrived at the airport well before our flights. They were very strict on their security in Toronto. I never had my stuff searched, but a few ladies from the master's team did. And when I say searched, they took out everything and looked in every container etc. Thank goodness I picked the faster line up as the other line took forever to get through. We all hung around and chatted until all of us Victoria bound people boarded our flight. 

The way home was a gong show. From Toronto to Winnipeg where we did not exit the plane. 

Flying into Winnipeg

So pretty above the clouds!

From Winnipeg it was onto Calgary, where we spent over 2 hours killing time in the airport! Hello Calgary Airport!

Finally from Calgary we were on our way home to Victoria. Snow in Toronto, snow in Winnipeg, snow in Calgary to GREEN in Victoria which wasn't the way we left it!

Most of the teams trip was done at this point; however, after arriving in Victoria just before 7:30, Jason picked me up and we were off on our drive home to Nanaimo. But it wasn't going to be THAT easy. On the Malahat just outside of Victoria we hit construction. We arrived there around 8:15.... construction started at 8pm. Erg. So a 15-20 minute delay and then we were on our way in the middle of backed up traffic. With a stop for food on the way home, I got home at around 10pm. Long day, with about 12 hours total of travel time! But definitely worth it!

So since Nationals, I took an easy week as a break and then am working my way back into training. So far it is going well. I was graced with a lovely sight on a run this week. Just regular run on a route I use quite frequently in Cedar and 2 animals (unsure if they were sheep, rams or goats as I didn't really get a good look) standing on a little mound of dirt decided to give everyone a show. There was one standing behind the other.... yep you guessed it, decided to have his way with the other. I believe I said "Are you kidding" and laughed while continuing on my way. Didn't last long before he jumped back down, who knows if the show continued. 

Yesterday I was given a nice snow/rain shower during my long run. At one point it came down quite hard, dusting parts of the trail with light snow/slush. It was a fun run though and I thank Phil for keeping me company on the last half. 

Now Christmas is less than a week away. Hard to believe. I am still also not in the Christmas spirit. A few gifts left to pick up and all the wrapping to be completed. I have 3 Christmas dinners to attend this weekend, so it will be a busy one. 

Stay tuned, an important update to come at some point as well! 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Roberts Roost

A quick detour from Nationals. 

 I survived a run with ROC (Runner's of Compassion) on Saturday. You see, I first ran with ROC a few years ago. 2008 or 2007 maybe? They took me on some trails behind Westwood Lake where I had never been. Most of ROC are pretty hard core trail runners, unlike little miss road runner here. I am a bit of a disaster on trails so I found out the first time I ran with them. 

To make a long story short, my first run with them, I was struggling to keep up with the crew on the technical downhills. I came across a big tree across the trail. I stepped up, pushed off and my foot slipped. As my foot slipped, the way I pushed off spun me in the air and I landed parallel to the tree. During this spin, I couldn't get my hand down in time and proceeded to introduce my nose to the dirt trail. I ended up with pine needles and dirt up my nose, but was lucky to have minimal blood. I said some choice words and the guy in front of me stopped and came back after he heard a loud "thud." I walked it off and finished the run. I ended up with a very slight new curve in my nose and a lovely black eye (I can't find the photos at the moment, so I can't post them). 

This past Saturday I decided to meet up with Westwood Running Club for my run. When I got there, I found ROC there too, so in the end we joined up and all ran together. We headed up to Roberts Roost. Let's just say part of this run was a hike as it had some steep inclines that included a rope climb at one point. It was definitely a good run and I ran well on the way up. The way down? That was a different story. I am way too cautious on downhills; however, I have good reason to be. Plus I don't want to wreck my upcoming season by trying to be a daredevil to keep up with the pack. 
I was definitely happy to finish the run without any incidents! I stole a couple of photos from sites online to show the view from the top of our run. It was beautiful as it looked over Nanaimo.

No idea who that guy is!

This one shows the Westwood Ridges, which means Westwood Lake is behind them. Robert's Roost goes higher than the ridges. 

This one shows Mt Benson summit on the left and Roberts Roost on the right.

Oh did I mention that on the way down, we entered the Department of National Defense? Yeah, generally you aren't supposed to go through that area and of course was we got there, we found a few members out there. A quick apology and quicker footsteps and we went off on our way!

Nevertheless, it was a good run with a great group of people. =) 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

2010 AGSI Canadian National Cross Country Championships- Race Report

The night before the race I had a crappy sleep. I woke up sweating the last 2 nights, but the night before the race was the worst, plus I was up twice to hit the washroom and once when Mel got up. I felt very tired when I woke up but wasn't too bad after dragging myself up out of bed. We looked out the window to see snow falling. As we went to breakfast, the snow started falling harder. Turns out, there were 41km/h winds, with blinding snow squalls. 


The snow eventually stopped, though our Masters got stuck racing in it. We killed some time around the hotel room before finally heading over to the course at about 12:30pm. 


While we would have loved to watch the other races, due to the freezing cold, we opted to go only an hour before. The junior girls had just finished when we arrived and the junior boys just beginning. We went on our warm up around the course, did some drills etc and then were heading to the line. 

Did I mention the difference in the course?


It was cold, have I mentioned that? A few strides and we were on the line ready to go....."on your marks" he announces and then we heard "click" "click" "click" the puzzled starter looks at the gun and then says "3 more minutes" as he has to reload the gun. I threw a jacket over my shoulders, but it was useless. By the time we lined up to start again, I was literally shaking. My warm up was totally useless and gone. I was starting frozen. 

Senior Women Start



The race started and it went off fast. It was a shock to my body due to being so cold. I think I hit the first corner about 3/4 of the way to the back of the group but then slowly worked my way back up a bit. I really do not remember much of the race. We came around the first loop and I was still feeling okay, but man that hill was hard. Still not as bad as Aldergrove's course for BC's though. I picked off people on each lap, slowly but surely. No one passed me (that I remember). 

We ran two 2.5km loops and then a 2km loop to finish. After the 2nd lap, I felt light headed. Not really light headed, but I had this weird feeling in my body where I thought to myself "I hope I don't pass out." But then I started to concentrate on the breathing of the girl beside me. She was breathing harder than I was, why was I not gasping like that. I must not be working hard enough. I passed her on the downhill and never saw her again. 

I was glad to see the turn off for the 2km loop as it seemed like a short cut after the two 2.5km loops. I knew the finish wasn't far off. I kept working and hit the final uphill right behind 2 girls. I told myself that I was going to take them down. I heard someone yell from the sidelines something about me going to pass them and finish ahead (can't remember the exact words). I got to the top of the hill just steps behind the girls, but as it flattened out, I threw in a pick up and passed them both.



I had no idea where I had finished. I found my team mates in the finish area and heard Craig tell Melissa she was 15th. I figured there was about 10 people including Jess between her and me, so I guessed 25th. Turns out I was 27th overall (26th Canadian) and RIGHT on the bubble for the top half as there were 53 finishers. You know what? I was more happy with 25th than I was when I heard 27th. Only 2 spots I know, but I wanted to be clear of the bubble. 

I put on some clothes, grabbed my camera and did my warm down on the course while trying to capture photos of the senior men. Cam Levins ran a stellar race, taking over the lead on the last lap and running away with the race. He is a local Vancouver Island boy who run's for university down in Utah. Too bad he wasn't on Team BC as he never ran the BC Championships. 
By the time the guys finished, I was turning blue according to Matt C. A ride home and then a nice warm shower was next on the agenda.  

In the end, the senior women Team BC came 2nd overall and senior men Team BC came 3rd overall. Natasha ran well finishing in 5th earning her a spot on the world team (they had better take a team this year), Lucy in 10th, Melissa in 15th, Jess in 20th, Me in 27th and Catherine in 39th. Way to go ladies!

Senior Women Take the Silver


What did I think of my race? It was a good experience which has opened my eyes to a few things that I must work on. It renewed my motivation for the sport and I am looking forward to what the future holds. It was fun and while I would have preferred no snow as it kept me a bit timid on the corners, the snow made it unique and a new experience for me. I cannot not be happy with finishing in the top half of the race considering it was the National Championships. I am honored to have been there, especially since I hadn't run Cross Country since 1999 prior to this year. 

I must say a quick note to the Bastion Running Club who sponsored part of my trip. Here is the president Dave presenting me with a cheque on the Monday before the race.

Up next.... After Party!

2010 AGSI Canadian National Cross Country Championships- Pre Race Events

What a weekend it was! Lots of adventure beginning right from the start! I was up at 5am on Thursday to travel down to Victoria for our 9:15am flight. I woke up to this:


Mel and her brother Jeremy picked me up around 5:40 (I think) and off we went. The roads were covered, but Jeremy's car was good in the snow and we had no issues. That was until we got to the top of the Malahat where we hit bumper to bumper slow moving traffic. I swear we were there between 6:45 and 7am but after that we started to move so slow. Initially he was supposed to drop us off somewhere and then we were to be picked up by someone else to head to the airport, but instead he decided that he would drive us straight there to ensure we made the flight. 

Time crept by and we slowly moved through Victoria. We even called WestJet at one point to ask if our flight was delayed. After we were told no and asked if there was anything else the lady could do for us, Jeremy asked her if she could delay the flight. She politely said no. We had to make it there by 8:45am latest or we would miss our flight. I think we arrived about 8:35. Eek, so close, but we made it. 

In the airport I found my coach Matt C, who said "I bet you wish you had flown through Vancouver eh" but he would later regret saying that, which I will get to later. 

On the flight, I saw we were sitting way at the back. I walk up to my row and find I am seated next to the lovely and talented Lucy Smith to my left and Matt P on my right. We ended up having a 50 minute delay while sitting on the plane waiting for a truck to de-ice us with bright orange and then bright green liquids. Finally we were in the air. 

We flew to Edmonton, where we had a brief stop where we did not get off the plane. 

Bye Bye Edmonton

From there we were off to Toronto. This flight seemed to take FOREVER. Eventually we got there though and while we were taxiing into the terminal Lucy turned on her blackberry to find a message from Maurice (our BC athletics team manager) that stated the Vancouver crew was still in Vancouver. You see, they were initially supposed to arrive about an hour before us and were supposed to be waiting in the airport. Instead, we found out that they waited for 2 hours on their plane in Vancouver before they had their flight canceled and rescheduled for the next day. 

So instead of meeting up with them, we collected our luggage and took a huge greyhound type bus from the airport into Guelph. Upon arrival, we checked in and I found out I was rooming with Mel! 


A quick change of clothes and Mel, Craig and I headed off for an easy 30' jog in the pouring rain. The rest of the time was spent getting dinner and then me trying to convince Mel to go to bed. She was on west coast time and I had already adapted to east coast time after being up since 5am with only 5 hours sleep the night before. She finally went to bed around 1am I believe. 

Friday was spent eating breakfast at the hotel, then Mel and I headed down the road to some shops where we froze our faces off walking into the wind on the way there. We bought a few things including some groceries and then headed back to the hotel. Enough time to quickly change and then we were off to the race course to check it out. It was windy, especially at the top of the hill and VERY cold. I did my usual 30' pre race routine around the course. 


Self Portrait? Sure why not

2.5km loop to the left, 2km loop to the right

This way?


Towards the finish, Left up to finish, Right for multiple loops

Later that afternoon we had a team meet, which I guess was really a 1/3 team meeting where we received our race numbers, chips and uniforms. The Junior girls were cute, going over to the Christmas tree to open up their uniform's so I had to take a photo. 

Dinner that night was at East Side Mario's and then some relaxing until the Vancouver crew finally arrived. We (Mel, Natasha, Catherine and myself) harassed Matt C who was staying across the street at the Delta and then just hung around and gossiped. With the race not until 1pm the following day, we didn't get to bed until around midnight. 
Pretty sure this is long enough, so up next.... race day! 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Stay tuned

Don't worry, a race report is coming! I arrived home late on Sunday and then worked Monday and tonight. I have days off coming, so I will work on a report I promise! For now I will just say that I had an absolute blast and that I finished 27th overall (26th Canadian). Stay tuned for the rest!