Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Saucony Find Your Strong Contest

Recently Saucony Canada began a contest for people to win a pair of Kinvara's by uploading a photo of your "strong" face. While being a Saucony athlete, I don't need to compete for that; however, we were then told that we would have a special contest for $100 to top Saucony athlete. Well... I know $100 isn't like winning the lottery, but $100 is still $100 so why not. 

I am currently in 5th spot overall which is fine because I am still stop Saucony Athlete; however, Paula has been catching ground on me quite fast. I am asking you to take 2 seconds out of your time and to vote for me! It would be greatly appreciated! 

Visit this link to vote! Voting ends tomorrow (Wednesday) at 10pm Eastern. You can vote once every 24 hours, so if you vote now, you can vote once more tomorrow! Thanks in advance! 

 Edit: I have been asked for instructions. I believe this is what you are supposed to do!

To vote: Click this link 
Like the page near the top right (you need a facebook account)
Click Vote


 

Friday, November 16, 2012

2012 James Cunningham Seawall Race



** a bit delayed as I wrote this almost 2 weeks ago now! But here it is*** 

Almost as soon as I crossed the finish line at the BC XC Championships, I started debating racing the James Cunningham Seawall Race (5.9 mile/9.5km) race the following morning. For the last week I had been debating back and forth whether or not to race one or both races. I left home on Saturday morning with enough clothing for 2 days and had a tentative plan to stay at my sisters in Kits Beach if need be. By the time I got off the ferry, I had decided to race XC and go home to my own bed. When I arrived at the XC course in the pouring rain, I was still on course to go home post race.

But as soon as I crossed the line and was not happy with my race, my mind started going back and forth as to whether or not I wanted to race again. Probably not the ideal time to decide seen as how if one race didn’t feel quite right, chances are a second race less than 24 hours after likely wouldn’t feel quite right either. In the end, it was a Saucony sponsored race and I decided to hang around knowing that it would be nice to catch up with a few of my competitors.

So I began a long drive to pick up keys to my sisters from her friend as my sister was in Hawaii until the following morning. Missing my turn after getting the keys, led me to finding a Superstore by accident so I picked up some groceries for dinner and breakfast the next morning before heading back to my sisters.

I spent the night there and after a quick hello and goodbye shortly after they arrived home about 8:15am, I was on my way to Stanley Park. When I did my warm up, I was thinking that maybe I made the wrong decision; however, I knew racing back to back was going to be hard so my goal was just to get in a hard workout.

I caught up with Catherine Watkins, Catrin Jones and Melissa Ross before the start. It was also nice to see Helen Ritchie and fellow Saucony athlete Kristina Rody. 

Start line photos!
 


The race went out fast and I saw a young girl dart out to the lead. I think she was lead female for the first km, but then slowly one by one we passed her. Catrin took the lead and kept it to the end. Mel followed behind slowly pulling away from me as my legs just would NOT go any faster. I kept 3rd spot until the half way mark when Catherine ended up passing me. I was quite surprised as this was her first official race back from injury, but it was great to see! 

 Fighting through the fatigue (aka finding my strong)


From there I realized I was now in 4th and money went to the top 3 (darn), but I kept plugging along and watched ahead as Catherine slowly reeled in Mel as well and finished 2nd for her debut back! I slowly was reeling Mel near the end, but I definitely did not have enough “oomph” in my stride to catch her, which resulted in her being 3rd and me 4th in 35:44 (1:03 back from Catrin). 

Finishing
 
 

Overall it was a good effort. Of course I would have liked to have run faster, but running the first race at 2:30pm on Saturday and then the 2nd race at 10am on Sunday meant I had tired legs! I did what I wanted to do, which was a hard effort on tired legs, but at the same time I missed part of my goal which was hoping finishing in a money spot.

I hung around for the awards before heading back for the 3pm ferry! Overall it was a good weekend. Results found here.

Post Race
 

All photo credit goes to Rob Sombilon

Friday, November 9, 2012

SportCafe.ca!



  Have you heard about http://sportcafe.ca? If not, you must check it out. Back at the beginning of May 2012 two Canadian National Kayak athletes (Etienne Morneau and Antoine Meunier) launched SportCafĂ© which is an online media that exclusively covers Canadian amateur and Olympic athletes. Their site features a one stop “read” to catch up on the latest blog posts from various athletes throughout Canada including my own.

I believe that this site is an excellent idea and it has helped bring quite a few hits to my own blog. My blogger counter is currently at 839 for my Victoria Half Marathon racereport. I have NO idea how that happened as I think that is insane; however, that is what the counter says! So thank you to Etienne and Antoine for their support and promotion of not only my blog, but of many other athletes out there in Canada who are fighting to share their story and experiences as well. So…. Have you checked it out yet? What are you waiting for? Go to http://sportcafe.ca!

Monday, November 5, 2012

2012 BC Cross Country Championships

Last Saturday (Oct 27) I caught the 8:30am ferry over to Vancouver for the BC XC Championships which were taking place at Clearbrook Park in Abbotsford. Having taken the ferry so many times as a kid, I tend to not leave my car whenever I drive over. Instead, I had a nice little nap, waking up minutes before the announcement to return to the vehicle car deck as we were approaching Horseshoe Bay. I woke up to find the weather had turned foggy and it was pouring with rain. That made for a fun 75’ drive out to the race site.


I arrived extremely early (3 hours before my race) and the parking lot was packed with families due to the younger kids races so I opted to find a washroom elsewhere (thanks Starbucks) and then proceeded to sit in my car and read a book until about 75’ before my race. At that point, parking opened up right next the park. During the time in my car it absolutely poured with rain. It definitely looked as though it was going to be a very wet race! Perfect for XC.

I picked up my number and chatted with a few people, along with catching up with 2 of my favourite high school athletes Rebecca and Miryam who were racing in the Youth/Junior category an hour before me. While they were racing, I proceeded to warm up and found their races very inspiring. Both of the girls ran very well with Miryam easily winning her Youth category and Becca placing 5th in the Junior category by running up an age group to qualify for her first Team BC!

Before long, I found myself on the start line among 27 other women. These included race favorite Natasha Wodak Fraser, Rachel Cliff who has recently moved back to BC, plus Jessica Smith who represented Canada in the Olympic 800m. It was definitely going to be a tough race!

My race was about 6.2km and consisted of 3 loops. The first loop I went out and felt strong. The course consisted mostly of flat grass fields with some gravel, mud, long farm like grass at one point plus 2 hills. One hill was short and steep and the other was about 3 x’s longer and steep as well. The first hill didn’t have a whole lot of impact, but the second hill definitely did. Not to mention the second hill was pretty muddy which resulted in some slipping. 

After the 1st loop
 Photo credit: Craig Odermatt

I hurt on the 2nd loop and lost some ground with Anne-Marie passing me at the end of the 1st loop and then Shauna passing me on the 2nd. I hung as close to Shauna as I could, consistently telling myself that I was the half marathoner and I had the endurance. Whatever works right? After the 2nd hill on the 2nd loop I felt a bit out of breath and light headed but thankfully that passed. 

After the 2nd loop (with Shauna)
Photo credit: Craig Odermatt

I was able to overtake Shauna after the 1st hill on the 3rd loop (I think) and pushed hard to try and catch Jessica who appeared to be hurting and was losing ground fast. The whole time in the race I was counting my position. I knew I was in 9th and the 7th person from BC (the top 6 qualify for Team BC), but unfortunately, I ran out of time and couldn’t catch her. I finished exactly that, 9th overall and 7th from BC. Unless one of the top 6 decides not to accept their spot on the Team, I will just miss out. Oh well, life goes on!

Finishing strong
 
Photo credit: Craig Odermatt

I must say that the rain did stop before my race but there were plenty of big puddles along the course. As a recap, Natasha won, followed by Rachel and then Fiona Benson. Results are found here.  

Here is a video recap of the race. I think I need to work on my hill climbs as they look mighty sad after watching this. Video is courtesy of www.AthleticsIllustrated.com.