Sunday, November 27, 2011

2011 Canadian National XC Championship Race Report

This past weekend I headed over to Vancouver for the Canadian National XC Championships held at Jericho Beach. We had some wild weather in the days leading up to the race and race day was calling for 50+mm of rain. Yay. With ferries being canceled on Thursday due to winds, I was very nervous when I woke up race morning on Saturday to see wind warnings in effect yet again. I was at the terminal waiting for the 7:45am ferry while watching the winds whip around. I was more nervous about the ferries getting canceled and me not being able to make it over for the race, than the race itself. Something wrong with that isn't there? 

Thankfully the ferry sailed as scheduled and I had a nice nap in my car on the lower deck! I had worked the night before until 10:15pm, so I was tired from heading to bed late and getting up early. The peacefulness of the rocking boat put me right to sleep. Not to mention you don't really feel the rocking waves as much when so close to the water. 

We docked in Tsawwassen and I saw the weather was dreary but didn't seem quite as windy was Nanaimo. I made a quick stop at Richmond Center mall as I wanted to hit RW&Co to look for a dress that I saw in Nanaimo that wasn't in my size. They had it so a quick purchase and I was back on the roads to Jericho Beach. 

I arrived and headed to pick up my number. I stood by and watched the Junior girls start and then headed back to my car briefly. I grabbed my stuff and headed to the BC Athletics tent to hijack a spot for my stuff (technically I wasn't Team BC this year due to not qualifying for the team, but I was stealing their tent anyways). I changed my spikes to slightly longer ones based on the suggestions from the Team BC Coaches. Before I knew it, it was time to warm up. 

Tasha and I headed off just after the Junior boys started their race and met up with Marilyn for our warm up. I still wasn't too nervous, which was actually kind of nice. The last few weeks had been a bit rough. The posterior tibial tendon in my inner left ankle had been acting up for 3-4 weeks. It started the week after BC's and at one point was quite painful. I had almost weekly ART sessions with Joe at Island Optimal Performance to keep on top of it. 

Not only that, 2 weeks before the race, my training sessions went flat and I felt like crap. I couldn't get my legs to fire like they had been the week before. A few other issues had popped up as well, but I am not going to get into that. Needless to say I had no idea what to expect. My goal of the race was to run as best as I can and to not come out of the race injured. Coach Matt said, it's one race and not worth the injury.

Our race started at 1:30 and I was actually still on the line fumbling with one of my gloves when the race started. I quickly got that sorted out as the field tore up the grass. Mud was flying within minutes. My first thought was, damn this is a fast start, but we quickly settled in. We ran a 1km loop followed by 3 x 2km loops for 7km total. 

Race start

I think the race went well. I won't lie, it was tough. The effort was way harder than the pace was; however, with each step you didn't know if you would hit solid ground or if your foot would sink ankle deep into a mud patch. I was doing quite a few weird twists at times as I tried to simply keep my balance. 

After the first loop (I think)

Shortly into the first of three 2km loops, veteran Lisa Harvey pulled out right in front of me with what appeared to be her ankle. I found that a bit surprising as she is an amazing runner. I hope everything is okay. I feel as though I held my own, though I really really really suck at running downhills. I definitely have to work on this, but I just can't relax due to bailing so many times on training runs (usually on downhills). I just can't let go. Stupid black eye and almost broken nose, multiple rolled ankles, scraped shoulders and hips. Yeah I am a klutz sometimes. 


I felt strong throughout, other than losing my balance lots and finding nearly every sink hole possible. Unfortunately I got passed right at the finish and ended up 25th overall. With only 46 finishers in the race, I was slightly disappointed with my finish place; however, the top end was stacked with fast girls. Kendra Schaff won it, followed by Megan Brown then Dayna Pidhoresky. They are all amazing! 

Last loop before turning to the finish


Times were so much slower this year than last year, mind you last year was run in hard packed snow and freezing temps in Guelph. I feel as though Jericho is an easier course hill wise, but it was definitely harder in the mud than snow. Kate Harrison won last year in 23:43 and Kendra won this year in 25:00 (Dayna was 3rd in 25:47 this year and 2nd last year in 24:04). So the winner was about 1 minute and 17 seconds slower this year. Most people were slower this year by 1-2 minutes compared to last year. I am proud that I ended up with a 1 minute and 38 second difference, which is faster than many others who ran last year. It definitely bodes well considering how craptastic my year started. Only 6.5 months back into running after my time off and I am feeling almost fitter than pre injury. A good sign for things to come!. 

Results found here

Photos found here


300 Spartanworkouts said...

Thanks for sharing, I love the photos. It was a great race and exciting too. Looking forward always for more updates.

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