Friday, November 26, 2010


Posting from my iPod so no idea if this will work. We arrived in Toronto after a long day. Previewed the course today and am excited for tomorrow. It is cold here today so it appears the weather followed us to the east coast. Still waiting for the Vancouver part of our team to arrive after their flight was cancelled yesterday due to snow! Anyways time for dinner shortly. Updates after the race.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Time ran out!

I meant to post earlier this week, but in the end obviously I didn't and now time has run out. The west coast has been hit with snow since Friday night. Not all the time, on and off with freezing temperatures around -11 C at night with a -18 C wind chill. Brr! BUT I did get in some good training even though it was snowy and it was good prep work for Nationals in Guelph this weekend! Speaking of which, it's 10:30pm and I have to be up and ready to go by 5:30am to head to Victoria. It is starting to snow now, calling for snow overnight. It could be an interesting drive! Wish me luck! Catch you all after Nationals!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Rain has Come

The wet weather has arrived! The trails are muddy and the overall temperature is starting to slowly drop. The other night it rained and then the skies cleared, leaving frozen rain drops on my windshield for when I got off work at 11:15pm. Good thing the passenger side of my car leaks, so the carpet on the floor is a puddle. Makes for nice condensation on the inside of the window. Unfortunately it takes FOREVER to dry up. I just want to get home after work, so waiting for my windshield to defog annoys me. I have taken to using a rag to wipe it off, which leaves nice a nice streaky windshield the following morning. Ahh winter is on its way. 

Not a huge fan of winter. I hate being cold and it doesn't take much for me to get cold. I hate the short days as well because it makes my electricity bills and gas bills go up. I love snow though, but probably only because we rarely get a lot of it anymore and generally when it comes, it's gone real fast. 2 years ago now we had our worst snowfall in awhile. Not because we had a lot, but because it hung around for about 6 weeks. That is unusual for here. I was sick of snow by the time it finally disappeared, but running in fresh snow is the best. Fresh snow and Yak Trax. My co-workers and neighbours call me crazy.... wait, they already do that. But they tend to speak up more when it snows ;)

For the first time in awhile, I had some company for my easy run yesterday. The Westwood Boys were meeting at 8am, except I could not drag myself out of bed. Instead I got to the lake at 9am intending to run or at least start with Bastion. The Westwood Boys arrived back at the entrance at 9am, so I was able to run the first half with most of them and then the second half with Trevor. It was nice to have some company while I got extra muddy from the many puddles around the lake. 

Training is going well. I am feeling good for the most part, but still have some niggles here and there. I feel good in the workouts, but the body is giving me some aches and pains at times. I STILL have that darn lower abdominal ache, but it isn't as bad lately (has its ups and downs). But lately I have had lower back pain that seems to go into the hip and towards the sit bone. At times it can send a numbness into my right leg where it feels weak briefly then goes back to normal. The new pains must all be connected, through something stuck in either my back or hip. At least that is what I am guessing. I will have to keep an eye on it and get it checked out when I get a chance. Until then, I just have to make sure warm ups are done properly and I should be okay. 

Less than 2 weeks till Nationals!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

And That's a Wrap!

The high school season is now over! Woo hoo! I love coaching the kids, but I will certainly enjoy the extra free time I will have now that the season is done. No high school practices or races to attend until March/April 2011. 

To finish off the season, our girls team and top 2 guys headed down to Victoria yet again for the BC High School Cross Country Championships. It was a cool day with very light rain at times. There were about 280 kids in each race so the course became awfully muddy by the end of the guys race. 

First up was the girls race. 
Girls on the start
Mass start

We had 7 girls in this event. Top 5 would score for the team with the last 2 basically as alternates in case something went wrong. The race favorite Tanya Humenuik was in the lead after one lap without anyone really challenging her. This is not surprising as she is running VERY strong at the moment and easily won the race. Not bad considering she is in Grade 10. Last year she claimed the silver medal. The second girl was also mostly on her own and then a pack of girls fighting for the bronze. This is were our top girl was for most of the race. I didn't catch the end of the race, but she was in the fight for bronze right up to the line only to get ever so slightly out kicked. She finished fourth 16:27:59 to 16:27:95. Naturally she was slightly disappointed; however, she is only in grade 9, so still has 3 more years to run the race!
The boys race was pretty much just as big. The St.George boys went out front and after the first lap our top guy Forrest was just inside the top 20. His goal was top 20 as they get ribbons and since Forrest is in Grade 12, he wanted to get a ribbon. Second lap he came around in about 11th place. He looked good and I was excited for him, hoping that he could just hold on for the last lap. He came out of the trees on the last lap having picked up a few spots. I didn't know his exact place, but not many kids had passed by yet. Turns out he came 8th place. Last week at the Island Championship he was 9th overall. This time he was 8th in BC and 2nd from the Island. Performance of the day has to go to Forrest. He is a swimmer who just runs for swim practice and for school xc. He even finished with a hole in his ankle from being spiked. 



Now you might ask, why is his performance the "performance of the day" and not our top girl Miryam? Well, Miryam was expected to be up near the front, Forrest was not. So because he was the surprise of the day, he gets the performance of the day award. =) BUT, I also must note that our girls team came 7th out of 28 teams. 

Results were: For the girls: Miryam 4th, Rebecca 73rd, Hannah 89th, Tkia 95th, Carly 119th, Abigail 130th, Katelynn 155th. For the boys: Forrest 8th and Brock 45th.

 Girls awards, Miryam in fourth

Boys awards, Forrest in 8th

I got to see D at the race. With so many people around it took a text message to which I then went looking for her. Thankfully I knew her team wears florescent orange practically, so her team was pretty easy to spot. She got to ride a lovely yellow school bus to the event, hah. Thankfully we did parent drivers to this one!

Now that high school cross country is done, it's time to concentrate on my own training for Nationals, which happens to be going well at the moment. I just finished a strong week of base type training that has left me feeling good. I have no idea what the future holds for workouts as I get them 1 week at a time, but in a way I like that because I can concentrate on 1 week at a time. November 27th will be here before I know it though, so I just plan to keep myself healthy and injury free.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

BC XC Race Report

Okay, I don't think I can delay this anymore. I was waiting to see if some photos surfaced from the race, but can't seem to find any. 

So as I mentioned, this was my first time running in the BC Championships since I quit the Nanaimo Track and Field club back after the 1999 XC season. I ended it on a bad note, having one of my worst BC XC races ever. I was determined to go into this race and get my revenge. 

The Prairie Inn Harriers picked me up as a 4th team member for their Senior Women's Team, along with Natasha Wodak, Lucy Smith and Jessica Sedlock. Our race started at 2:30, so another of my competitors Melissa (who lives near Parksville) and I took the 7:45am ferry from Nanaimo over to Tsawwassen. We arrived there around 9:45am to which we then proceeded to wait about an hour in the terminal until Lucy and Jess's ferry from Victoria arrived at 10:45. They picked us up and we were on our way to Aldergrove, with a few stops along the way. 

We arrived and parked on the road. When we walked into the park towards the course we saw the hill. Wow and what a hill. After a few "OMG, that is huge" we turned it into more positive thoughts about "dancing up the hill" and "it won't be that bad." 

This hill was much worse in this photo


We found Gary Duncan (PIH member who ran in the Master's race earlier that day) and he gave us our numbers. We then decided to walk the course discussing strategy on the way. Since my coach had not arrived yet as he didn't race until 3pm, I took tips from Lucy along the way. 

After our walk through, we relaxed a bit and then got ready for our warm ups. The 4 of us along with Natasha warmed up along the course. Guess we didn't really need that walk through after all! ha. My nerves were going crazy from the moment we arrived at the course. They lessened during the walk through and warm up, bu then as I did my drills and strides, they came back. I felt sick and wanted it all to be over. 

Before we knew it, we were on the start line. On the line were a few that I knew, along with Malindi Elmore who I knew would take the win. There were also a lot of people I didn't know. Not knowing people sometimes makes me even more nervous! Looking at start lists before the race, I changed my goal from top 10 to top 6. You see, top 6 would get selected to go to the Canadian National XC Championships in Guelph Ontario at the end of November. 

The gun went off and everyone went out fast. Malindi took off, followed by Natasha and Lucy, then a girl from Valley Royals, followed by Melissa and then the rest of us. I remember counting positions. I took the hill comfortably the first time. You see the course goes up the steep hill, along a flat section briefly before a steep downhill, flat for a short period and then up another steep hill. After that, it was a gradual down, barely flat, up a smaller hill, down and around a grass loop and up past the finish. It was a 2km loop. I was hurting after the first lap. My lungs burned along with my legs. 2 more loops I told myself, 1 at a time. 

After 1 lap


I just didn't have the effort today to stay up with Melissa as she slowly pulled away running strong. The valley royals girl fell back and left myself, Jessica and Catherine Watkins to jockey back and forth for 5th, 6th and 7th. These 2 ladies would pass me on the downhills, especially Jess and then I would catch and pass them on the up hills. This happened each and every hill, each and every lap. I told myself near the end of the 2nd lap, that one of us would not make nationals and I did not want the 7th spot. Then Catherines coach/fiend said "you're in good position for Nationals, the first girl doesn't count" which reminded me that Malindi was registered with Alberta athletics and did not count for team BC. 

I was hurting so much at that point that I briefly told myself fine all of us make it, I don't care what position. Matt yelled at me on the final lap to tuck in behind and play it smart. Basically to work off of them. After some "oh my god I am dying looks" towards his direction, I did just that up the hill staying right behind. Jess flew down the hill and gained some ground, but I pulled her back in on the 2nd uphill and Catherine was right there. I pushed it down the gradual hill and made it down there in front? I can't remember exactly, I was either in front on the gradual downhill or I passed them on the final climb. 

Anyways, I pushed it down the final hill hoping to god that Jess wouldn't fly passed me again. I pushed it around the field and remembered a tip that Lucy had given me. From there I pushed it to the final straight, where Matt yelled at me "She's right behind, you have go to." No idea if she was actually gaining, but I pushed it in and claimed 5th spot overall, 4th person from BC. I got the last automatic spot as the top 4 were automatic and the 5th and 6th were due to selection. This was later confirmed that they would take 5th and 6th automatically as well. 

Coming up to the finish


Jess came over the line shortly behind me and collapsed on the ground giving it her all and Catherine followed not far behind that. Team BC is comprised of 5 other ladies who are great competitors and people I know fairly well (Natasha, Lucy, Melissa, Jess, Catherine and myself). 

So there we have it, I am going to the National Cross Country Championships in Guelph Ontario on November 27th. I have never been to Ontario so I am excited and looking forward to it. Previous years have been cold and snowy, with last year mild. What will this year bring? I guess we will find out. 
We did a quick cool down, grabbed our stuff and headed out as Lucy and Jess wanted to catch the 5pm ferry. I was only able to catch the first couple laps of them mens race, but my coach Matt finished 3rd also qualifying for Nationals. Congrats Matt. Marilyn Arsenault even traveled over to watch. It was great to see her up and walking around!

 PS. For those who voted for me, I won the Wii! Thanks!