Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Elwood Wylie Memorial Meet 3000m Race Report

Yes you read it right, I recently raced a 3000m on the track. First off, let me explain that the last time I ran a track race was back in the summer of 1999 (the year I graduated high school). That means it has been 11 years nearly since I last raced on the track. For that very reason, I was nervous as heck for this race. It wasn't a big race per say, just a small club meet where not many older people run. It really wasn't the race itself that made me nervous, it was more so the fact that I had many people who used to know me 11 years ago, tell me that they were looking forward to watching me race again. Ugh.

You see, I was an all star track kid running a smoking 5:19 1500m at age 10. I continued to be an all star until Grade 9 where things went downhill. They continued sub par until I quit competing in track at the end of 1999. I was a frustrated athlete with a coach who basically said to me "put in more effort or quit and move on." Wrong thing to tell a frustrated athlete as I pretty much gave up at that point. You see, it came naturally to me as a kid and then after puberty a certain amount of effort was required. I did not comprehend that concept at that time and didn't put in that extra effort, hence the sub par results.

Since 1999, I have done road races and some trail races, but no track races. Sure I did some workouts on the track, but never a race. The thought of it scared me. It scared me to get back on the track and not run faster than when I was 13 years old. Then after my Eugene Half, my coach Matt decided that it might be a good idea to work on some speed and in doing that, to jump into a track race. It was either do a time trial by myself (boring!) or get into a race. The plan was to run a Victoria Track Series 3000 on May 15th; however, that changed when I was already booked to attend my sister's boyfriend Grant's graduation celebration in Vancouver that afternoon. So since I couldn't make the race on the 15th, the next option was to race here in Nanaimo on the 23rd.

Luckily for me, one of my good competitors Melissa was also going to run this. I thought that this was perfect as we could work off each other and hopefully both run a smoking fast (well for us) time. She had recently done a 10:25 on a windy night and I had done a 3km road trial back in March in 10:20. I figured we were perfect for each other so I was looking forward to it!.

I arrived at the track and registered, only to be told "you were running faster when you were 13 than you are now" after I advised that I was hoping to at least equal my road trial. Nice eh? Thanks for the vote of confidence. Did I mention I don't train for 3000's anymore and that I have been half marathon training for the last 6 months? Some people.

Anyways, I did my warm up and felt pretty good. Nerves were still there, but I kept them pretty controlled. I supported Becca in her 2000m which was for the BC Summer Games Trials while finishing my warm up. Before I knew it, we were on the line. There was only 5 of us, all girls as they couldn't run guys and girls together (they would go on to run us 5 and then a separate race for 2 guys). I was the oldest, then Melissa and then 3 girls all under the age of 17. Those girls went out fast, but before I knew it, it was myself and Melissa 1-2.

I know we went through the first lap in 1:19 or 1:20. I slowed for the next lap to 1:22 or 1:23 I think. After that I have no idea what my splits were. My garmin memory became full and I couldn't hear the times the guy was reading out. Why wear my Garmin on the track? To auto record my splits and upload them to my computer. I definitely do not use it for distance/pace. After 2 laps, memory was fully and no longer recorded my time. Darn.

Basically I was thinking I was capable of 10 flat to 10:10 based on recent training. I fell off that pace quickly without even realizing it. Unfortunately, it wasn't Melissa's day either as she fell off pace and soon I was basically racing myself. I don't know when she fell off or how far behind she became, all I know is I couldn't hear her directly behind me. I tried to keep the pace strong and I thought it was consistent.

Apparently it was fairly consistent but at too slow of a pace. I wish I had known my lap times! Grr. I heard the time at the final 200m for the first time since 800m into the race. I heard 9:40 something to which I thought darn, way off the goal and kicked it in to finish in 10:20.2 which basically equals my road trail time. Doh. Not what I was looking for; however, the race felt much easier than the 10:20 I ran back in March, so that is a good sign that there is more to come from this gal!

I finally beat my PR from either grade 7 or 8 (can't remember the exact year but it has to be before grade 9 when it all went downhill) of 10:34. Woo Hoo! I also caught the itch to want to do another track race! I want to improve on my 10:20 and next time I will be sure to know my splits. In the end I felt strong the entire way and look forward to whenever I get a second attempt at another 3000!

Monday, May 24, 2010

High School Island Track Championships

Last week was busy. I worked Monday and Tuesday and then spent all day Wednesday and Thursday in Victoria with my crew for the Vancouver Island High School Track and Field Championships and then finished off with working Friday through Sunday. I raced on Sunday morning, but I will get to that in my next post (sorry!).

Early early Friday morning, okay so that means 7:15am which is early to me considering I work until 11:15pm and am generally not in bed until 12:30-1am, we met at the high school to head down to Victoria. We arrived thinking that it might be an okay day after all weather wise; however, there was a cold wind all day long and the rain came in the mid afternoon. Needless to say it was freezing and even though I was wearing 3-4 shirts/jackets I was still freezing and could feel tightness in my back and shoulders by the end of the day!

We had some strong performances though, with Miryam taking wins in the 400, 800 and 1500 and with her sister Becca not far behind in the 800 and 1500. Hannah and Quinlyn did well in the 1500 and 3000, Katie in the 1500 racewalk and 1500, Sarah in the 1500 and 3000. Grady in the 3000, Sam in the 800 and 1500, Seamus in the 200 and 400 and then some of the other sprint/field event kids that I do not know too well Adam, Jade, Leigh, Mei-San and Cole. I believe the kids that made it to the BC's are Jade, Katie, Mei-San for the Seniors and then Miryam, Sam, Becca and Sarah for the grade 8 and 9. Claire also ran well in the 800 and 1500, but she runs for Dover and not NDSS, but does train with us.

Hannah (special kudo's to Hannah who is a 1500/3000 runner and ran on the 4 x 100m team and made it to the finals!)



Miryam and Becca


I have a ton of photos, these are just some of them. It was a good effort by all of the kids and I am proud of each of them. Unfortunately due to my work schedule, I am unable to attend their BC Championships in just under 2 weeks.

While I was down in Victoria, I had the opportunity to do my workout on Wednesday at the UVic track. I haven't run on this track probably since 1999. It was kind of nice to run there again, especially since the track is in way better condition than the Nanaimo Track. Even though the Victoria track is old, it is definitely softer than the Nanaimo Track which might I add was never finished fully the first time (didn't add all the required layers as they ran out of money). I felt fast and frisky on my workout and even though I spent all day freezing and shivering with tight muscles in my shoulder's and back, I pulled out some decent splits for my workout!

Stayed tuned for my race report, likely coming tomorrow!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

a promise

It has been a busy week, hence no posts; however, I promise you there will be a post to come within 1-2 days and it will include a race report too! Until then I am off to bed after a long day! Happy Training!

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Do you ever get those restless feelings where you just feel like going out and running when you have a scheduled day off? I am completely having that feeling right now. I want to be out and about tearing up the roads and trails but instead here I sit. I think it is time to distract myself. Till later, happy training!

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Capella Style

I was just about to head out the door for my workout, when I decided to check the battery status of my Garmin. Only 23%! Darn, best charge it before heading out. So instead I sat down at my laptop and started checking out blogs. I came across Marit's and she had posted a video. I enjoyed it, so I am now stealing it and re-posting it for you to enjoy!

Alright, Garmin is now at 40%, should get me through my workout! Hope your day is as sunny and warm as mine! Happy Training!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Oh how I still love thee

Oh Canucks, my dear Canucks, even though I am disappointed that you once again bowed down to Chicago in Game 6 of the playoffs for the 2nd year in a row, I do still love thee. In the meantime.... go Habs! Only Canadian Team left, please do not follow the Canucks lead and bow out in Game 7. You have eliminated Washington, now take out Pittsburgh! haha.

Someone posted this and I find it amusing: We'll see what happens next year whether the trend will be broken or not.

"1976 Montreal hosted the Olympics, 1977 they won the cup. 1988 the Calgary flames host the Olympics, win the cup in 1989. Vancouver hosted the Olympics in 2010......."

Happy Training everyone!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Eugene Video

Eugene 2010 from erin b on Vimeo.

The video skips around a lot and I cannot be bothered to fix it. Something went weird with the conversion in windows movie maker. Nevertheless, you get the idea.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Eugene Half Marathon Race Report

We decided to set our alarm for 4:30am (race start was 7am); however, at about 4:05, the elephants who were staying above us all weekend, decided to get up and literally THUMP around their room. Definitely heel heavy those ones! Not all of us woke up by them; however, I am a light sleeper so I woke easily and figured no point in going back to sleep. I waited until everyone else woke up at 4:30 before getting dressed and having some breakfast.

Vanessa (a non runner who put up with us and our early mornings) got up and drove us over to (or as close as she could get) the University and dropped us off. We arrived to Hayward at about 6:15, at which point we dropped off our stuff and then proceeded to head out for our warm up. Let me back up for a brief moment. The first shake out on Friday felt off and weird. My body was definitely not happy to sit in the car all day. Saturday though, felt much better. The warm up before the race felt pretty good so I knew I was in for a good one.

After a few strides, we lined up on the start line and listened to a young girl (college student likely) sign the US National Anthem. The girl beside me on the line burst into tears (what a way to start the race). The race was then started by Steve Prefontaine's sister Linda (I think).

I kept it comfortable for the start. I had began with a plan to run 4 min km's for the first 10km and then to pick it up; however, watching the splits each km (I had set my Garmin to auto lap the km's) I threw that plan out the window and went with how I felt. The first hill was at about 8km into the race, a minor but longer climb.

I was a bit worried to see the splits knowing that my best race was a 1:24:15 and that equaled 4 min km's; however, I kept telling myself that I felt great and the pace felt easy and that I could stick with it. I kept hearing people call out various numbers for women; however, each person seemed to have a different number, yet I hadn't seen any women pass me nor had I noticed passing any others.

I did know that there were 2 girls about 20-25m ahead of me at 10km, which was 39:03. One I knew was in the full and the other half. I still felt good at 10km, so I opted to try and push the pace a tad. We hit the largest hill at about 13km, which was a steeper longer hill. I caught the 2 women ahead of me at this point. The girl in the full went with me and the one in the half appeared to have dropped back. The girl in the full asked "full or half" to which I replied half and then told her that she was a machine for holding this pace while doing a full. She replied that she hoped she could hold it. We ran side by side for 3/4 of a km until she went for her elite bottle and I stayed on course taking in a gel. That was the last time I saw her.

I took the gel at 9 miles on the course, at which point I still felt good. I knew there was just over 4 miles to go (aka 6.4km) so I thought "I feel good, I can hold this, I can pick it up" so I did. In the last 2km, I dealt with my usual "oh no I feel sick" which tends to occur when I know I am running well. Go Figure eh? It is a psychological issue I tend to have ever since I was sick in a race back in Australia. Sometimes, this issue can get so bad where my mind makes me gag and sometimes sick. It's annoying, but I did slow slightly while I told myself to get over it. Once it passed I picked it back up again.

Up and onto Hayward Field, I saw someone radio to the finish line, then when I got onto the track I hear them announce "2nd female runner on the track." WTH? I figured I was maybe 3rd or 4th, I definitely was NOT expecting to be 2nd. I got within 100m of the finish and I saw the clock ticking over 1:21:40 (I think) at which point that was the first time I had seen my overall time. Sure I had seen the splits, but I never looked at the time put together. I literally gunned it into a full out sprint for the final 80-100m, finishing in an official 1:21:55. Woot! 2:20 PR! F**K yeah! And even more strange, I STILL felt good.

I don't want to sound like I am bragging or anything by constantly saying how good I felt, but it is the honest truth. The entire race my legs felt great, my breathing was more or less in control and I felt good. Only that brief psychological moment, but otherwise it was good. I had enough for the full out sprint and I was nowhere near spent at the finish line.

With each race I am learning more and more what I am capable of. I know I whined a few weeks back of feeling like junk, which was true at the time, I did feel like junk for about 3 weeks. Was I worried? Yes of course, it's hard not to worry; however, Coach was right, I was ready to rock it and I did. I never pushed into that hurt, so I know for my next half that I am capable of closer to sub 1:21 and I will push myself into that next zone to at least be closer to that "spent" feeling at the end of a race.

I had my chip removed and then I heard Mark finish (1:23:24) which was a 2:30 PR for him from only March!!

We headed off to get our clothes and sign up for a massage, but before we signed up, we heard Jane come in so we went and found her. After that we went and got our free massage. I had a big teddy bear like guy who was afraid to hurt me at first, using minimal pressure telling me to let him know if it hurt. I responded with "it would take a lot to hurt me" to which he got the hint and used more pressure! We finished with a cool down and then became a spectator for the rest of the marathoners. Oh and I must note Simon was 6th overall with 1:11:34 which was not quite his personal best, though he hasn't been training as much as he is doing his residency for becoming a doctor.

Now I am a jerk, I took some photos of some interesting people and outfits. This one reminded me of Steve Urkel

This one is VERY proud of his nation. I have more, but I'll just post these 2!

Eventually after watching the ones we wanted to see finish the marathon, we headed back to the hotel and relaxed for a bit before heading to the after party at Villard St Pub, which was where we had to go to pick up the awards. We lasted until about 9:30 or 10 until we took off back to the hotel and were asleep just after 11pm.

The next morning, we left around 10am and made a stop at the Duck Store on the University Campus before heading out to the Oregon Coast for a bit. We drove along there from Florence until uhh... can't remember right now. Around Newport or so I guess and we made pretty slow time so we headed back inland just before Portland and home. We were just going to miss the 8:15pm ferry home, so we stopped in Bellingham before crossing the border. We caught the 10:45pm ferry home, which got him in the door around 1am, dead tired.

Just before crossing back into Canada

That basically sums up the trip. If I think of anything else, I will add it later! I am kinda distracted as I am blogging while my mom is here... oops. I just want to get this done though! =)

Eugene Half Marathon Pre- Race Report

While I admit I am on a high from my race on the weekend, I have been putting off writing this blog all week. I don't know what it is, but race reports I tend to dread as they take a lot of effort rather than the usual rambling I just do. Today is my last opportunity to write it as I will be back to work for Saturday and Sunday so if I do not do it today, it won't get done until next week. So here it is, Part One, which includes all pre-race stuff.

The trip down began EARLY. I was in bed by 12:30 and the alarm went off at 4:20. I was going to set it for 4:15; however, I opted to give myself the extra 5 minutes, which is why I chose the random time of 4:20. I had all my stuff ready, so I basically got up, got dressed, made myself look somewhat decent and put together some food I had ready in the fridge. Before I knew it, the crew was in my drive way.

5:15am ferry to Tsawwassen (aka Vancouver). The one nice part about the early ferry is that it is never (rarely) busy. We passed the 2 hour ferry ride with puzzles, books and magazines. I also snapped some pictures when the sun went up.

Simon and Vanessa

Mark (don't feel bad that I had to fix your Sudoku)

Before we knew it we were on our way.

No real waits at the border. Didn't our US Customs guard look friendly?

Goodbye Canada, Hello USA

Serious much?

Oh to the states, the lovely drive along the I5.
We breezed through Seattle with little to no traffic
Space Needle

Home of the Mariners

Tacoma Dome

We went looking for a grocery store along the way, pulling off into a town called Du Point. It reminded us of a robot town to be honest. We figured this must be where the Intel Desperate Robot Housewives lived. I did snap a picture for Molly though!

The only traffic we hit was in Portland, so we passed the time taking fun photos

We made it to Eugene by 3:30, checking into our hotel with the lovely welcome sign

That afternoon we went for a brief shake out run around Alton Baker Park, which is where Pre's Trail is located. Beautiful park considering it is so close to the city.

We were in bed early that night, asleep around 10 I think and then we didn't drag ourselves up until after 9am. We hit up the Race Expo after having something to eat.

Race jacket which I tried on for the photo and then ended up buying it, lol

From there, we went out to the University for our Pre-Race shake out. After which we went for a photo op at Hayward Field.

Eugene has signs like this everywhere!

After Hayward, we went up the hill and visited Pre's Memorial Rock. RIP Pre (May 30th 1975)

We finished the night with some stretches and superman poses in the hotel room!