Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Ottawa 10km 2013

Friday night (night before the race) the 3 of us girls (Lanni Marchant, Natasha Fraser and myself) went out to a late dinner with the Saucony Canada crew after they finished at the expo. Both Lanni and I are of course with Saucony, but we graciously allowed Natasha to join us even though she has recently switched from Adidas to Asics. Did they get the bill yet Tasha? ;) It was a nice evening and very nice to finally meet Matt in person as we have had an e-mail relationship over the past 3 years but have never managed to meet! 

Saturday afternoon Press Conference w/Tasha, Lanni and Krista

After dinner, we didn’t get up to much except for a usual crappy night sleep. Saturday morning Lanni and I woke early and went for our short shake out run at 8am then hit breakfast. Tasha was up by then and joined us. I realized over the weekend that I need to work on my nutrition. Apparently I eat like a pig, eating whatever I wanted, whereas others definitely had a more strategic plan as to what they put into their bodies and how much. I don’t mean I need to cut back on food, but more so the kinds of foods that I eat.

The rest of the day was spent lounging around the hotel. That included catching a quick visit with my coach Matt (and Sarah) and then having a short nap before a late lunch with Tasha. After lunch it was more lying around and waiting. 

Tasha killing time

What better way to kill time than watch track?

Just after 5pm we walked down to the race start, which was just over a 10 minute walk. A quick bathroom stop, which turned out to be no so quick as some international athletes don’t apparently follow North American rules of “line ups.” We found this quite amusing. 

Just prior to 6:26pm we were on the line and then quickly we were off. The lead pack took off quickly with 12 ahead of me including a young 13 year old girl. She stayed with the pack for the first km, whereas myself and Rachel Hannah ran together for the first 2km. 

 The start

We hit one corner where I actually asked Rachel which way we were supposed to go. I wasn’t sure if we had to take the corner wide because of some cones. Rachel yelled “which way” I believe and we were told the shorter way, but by then I had already started to go the wider way, so I lost a few seconds there. It wasn’t clear and I didn’t want to take a short cut and have myself DQ’d over it. 

Rachel and I (whoa horrible posture)

After 2km Rachel appeared to fall off, which left me all alone. Up ahead I saw the 13 year old and her stride was slowing as I had expected it would. I caught her just before 3km and gave her a quick “good job.” There was a hill before the 5km marker and I felt myself slow and kept waiting for Rachel to pass me, but she didn’t. 

Near 5.5km (I think) I saw a camera van pull in front of me. At first I thought “what the heck” and then I realized “uh oh” and within seconds the lead men ran by me. I had wanted to make it at least to half way, so I guess I accomplished that. I was secretly hoping to get a little bit further though. 

The last half of the race had a bit of a headwind. At times I would tilt my head down to dig in and kept reminding myself to keep pushing. Quite a few more men passed me including top Canadian Kelly Weibe but I can’t recall each location. 

With 2km left, I picked up the pace and kept pushing as much as possible. Finally the final km and again I tried to pick it up. After having been warned about the pedestrian overpass about 50m before the finish line, I totally forgot and nearly fell for it as I attempted to sprint towards the line. I did realize before getting there that it wasn’t the finish and though “oh god, I don’t know if I can hold this pace any longer.” Within the last 100m a few more men went sprinting by me.

Various race photos

As I approached the clock it was just ticking over 31:00, which would have been awesome! But I knew I had to add 4 minutes to that, so I realized it was low 35:00. I officially crossed in 35:21. I would have loved to have been sub 35 but on the day, solo and wind aside, I would say I am pleased with the run. The closest women were about 50 seconds in front or 50 seconds behind me, making it pretty solo but I am happy with how I pushed myself. Sure the men passed me, but I can’t exactly latch onto them when they are sub 30 minute runners! 


My 35:21 is still my 2nd fastest 10km and it placed me 12th female (4th Canadian) and 50th overall. I figured I was in a race for 4th/5th Canadian as Lanni Marchant, Krista DuChene and Natasha Fraser pretty much had the top 3 locked up. Rachel and I have pretty similar race times this year, with hers slightly faster than mine, so I was hoping to have a battle with her. Unfortunately it was an off day for Rachel, but she still finished well to be 13th female and 5th Canadian. 

 Post race shot (courtesy Catrin)

If you are curious, the 13 year old finished just sub 40 minutes and likely would have been faster if she had not gone out with the leaders for a km. Mary Davies from New Zealand had a spectacular race to take 3rd overall! I look forward to watching Mary, Lanni and Krista at World’s this summer! 

That night Tasha, Lanni and I went out for a bit along with a few of their friends and I realized that I am a lightweight when it comes to alcohol. I could take in one drink when others would take in two! I am okay with that though. 

Sunset Post race (from dirty hotel window)

The next morning Lanni and I were up early as Lanni and Mary had to get in a run before their flights; whereas, I wanted to get down and watch the marathon. Local BC runners Rob Watson and Catrin Jones had great races, finishing 1st Canadian male and 2nd Canadian female. 

Lanni, Mary and I

The afternoon was spent killing time, even attending the after party with the race committee before our (Tasha and I) 6:10pm flight home. Thanks to Manny and his entire crew for the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. The event was extremely well run and I had a great time! 

Results are found here 

 Various Ottawa Photos


 Bye Bye Ottawa

 On the way home, we raced another plane

Hello mountains, nearly home!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Back Out East

Very quietly, I headed back out east yesterday morning, flying out of Nanaimo at 7:25am. Destination...... Ottawa! A few people knew my plans ahead of time, but for the most part I kept it quiet. Going into Montreal I felt quite a bit of pressure after my stellar race at Sun Run. So this time, I didn't want to hear tune predictions or how people thought I was going to do.

Things have been okay since Montreal, but not great. My legs are holding in there and I really have zero expectations going into tomorrows race. Seriously, zero expectations. I plan to run my best on the day and what will be will be. If I can pull out a great one, that would be a nice bonus.

I have been rooming with Natasha Fraser with Lanni Marchant right next door. We have a joining door so really it's one big room. Watch out Saturday night! ;-)

The elite list is stacked. I was very relieved to see I am not the slowest on the list. The elite women start at 6:26pm eastern and the elite men at 6:30pm as they offer a gender bonus. I hope I don't get run down too fast.

I have included some photos from the trip so far. Since I am posting from my phone, I have no idea how this will turn out.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

From Highs to (S)Lows - 2013 Banque Scotia de 21k Montreal

** I have been writing this for over a week. Funny how you aren't motivated to write about the less than ideal races***
From the highs of the Sun Run to the lows and slows of Montreal! This post has a totally different tune than my last one so let’s just get it done and over with!

Recovery after the Sun Run was great. I had a shake out run the next morning and it felt good, very little tightness. I followed that up with a great massage from Yvonne. The following day was great again. Wednesday I had a mini leg shaker and it felt great (maybe I pushed it too hard). Thursday was a bit more tired but I was hoping it was due to the workout. I worked Thursday night until 10:15pm and then flew out of Nanaimo Friday morning at 7:25am. I met up with Marilyn Arsenault in Vancouver and we flew out of Van at 9:00am. It ended up that we were sitting right across from each other so it was good to catch up. 

Feet up in Nanaimo

Sunrise in Nanaimo

There was a wheelchair athlete booked into the seat in front of me, which had a woman in the middle and a child in the window. The woman asked if the athlete would be okay with her and her son climbing over her throughout the flight and then when the athlete didn’t really say anything, the woman asked if she could sit in the seat behind (my seat). I felt like a total beotch for saying no because normally I would totally make the switch; however, I too did not want the woman and kid climbing out all the time. The athlete was able to switch and take the window in my row anyways, so it worked out. As it turns out, the woman and kid were up and about at least 4-5 times throughout the flight not to mention the kid was climbing over the seat to his other mom and the other kid ahead of them. Fun airplane times!

We arrived in Montreal around 5pm and waited forever for the bags before meeting up with Brendon (CRS Elite Coordinator) and Eric Gillis for our ride to the Novotel Hotel downtown. Once I arrived and checked in, a quick lobby meet up with Rejean Chiasson and Dayna Pidhoresky before I went off and did a short 40’ jaunt through downtown. I got a bit lost on the way back running 3 blocks too far, then doing a loop around the block and not knowing which way to go. Thankfully a very nice girl searched my hotel on her phone and directed me back for 43’ total. Then it was off to dinner with Eric and Marilyn.

My roomie Meggan Franks arrived shortly before 10pm after a detour to the wrong Novotel hotel! We were roomies last year, so it was nice to catch up again. She has the cutest little 2.5 year old daughter! Not long after she got settled and had something to eat, I drifted off to sleep and slept pretty good that night.

The next morning Meggan headed off for her run as she needed to be back by a certain time, so that left me and Marilyn to run. We had an easy 30’ run with some strides half way as we found a park. The strides didn’t feel so great to me, but the easy runs had been good since arriving. After a quick shower when we returned, I then headed out to lunch with Krista DuChene and Marilyn.

Later that afternoon, we had our elite technical meeting, then headed out to dinner. This time we had a larger group which included Rejean, Lisa Avery, Marilyn, Kerri, Krista and Meggan. I sprung for some Lasagna and it was okay. I fell asleep early that night, probably around 9:30; however, I only slept for a about 30 minutes (if that) before I woke and spent the next 2-3 hours tossing and turning. The room was mega hot and I had to get up for the washroom many many times. By morning I caught a little sleep on and off and felt as though I had no fluid left in me. Perfect for what was supposed to be a warm day!

We headed off to the course and hung out on the cots for a bit before heading out on a warm up. This time it was Marilyn, Krista and I. I didn’t feel that great in the warm up, which didn’t surprise me as the same thing happened at Sun Run. I got back to the elite room and attempted to hit the washroom line. The race organizers had set up a private bathroom for elite and media people. Unfortunately, a few non elite and non media people decided that they were special enough to use it too and became quite rude when organizers asked them to leave. In the end one organizer took me down to the main washroom and basically apologized to all racers and put me at the front of the line. Sorry ladies. Thank you for understanding! 

Bus ride to the course (I stole Eric's photo)

Elite Room (stole Alan Brook's Photo)

See, we relaxed pre-race (also Eric's photo) with Rejean

This delay resulted in me basically grabbing my stuff and racing down to the start. I got in about 2 strides and very few drills before we were on the line for a moment of silence for Boston. Then we were off. Marilyn and I were side by side for the first 2-3km and then she mentioned picking it up to catch Lisa slowly so we could run as a group. Unfortunately by that time, I knew picking it up was not an option for me so I let her go. 
Start Line

There isn’t a whole lot to say about the race. Basically, after 2-3km I realized my legs were not there. I hoped they would come around as I warmed up, but they never did. I fell off pace rather quickly after 2km which made the final 19km brutally long. I struggled with stomach issues as per usual (I have to figure this issue out) and crossed the line in 1:21:03. I found parts of the course windy (not as bad as last year though) and it was warm. Warm enough that I was dumping water over my head.

First few km (I think) or could be on the final loop
Coming around the first loop with Meggan (approx 4-5km)


Just over 10km. I apologize to this guy as I got frustrated with him drafting behind me. Sorry buddy. 
 Over the bridge for the last loop
Last 3-4km
Of course I was pretty disappointed in the result. While many pointed out that I finished 6th overall (money went to 5th), and 1st in my age group, it didn’t really help. Sure 6th was good, but there was a 2 minutes gap between 5th and myself. I went into this race expecting to best my PB of 1:19:57, especially after the Sun Run in 34:42. Unfortunately, my legs didn’t agree and decided to take the weekend off. Not even sure if they got on the flight with me. Nevertheless, it is what it is and there is nothing I can do about it now but reflect and move on.

Results can be found here.

I had an amazing weekend and am very thankful to CanadianRunning Series and Banque Scotia de 21k Montreal for bringing me to the race. I wish I had performed better to truly feel like I earned it.

I flew out later than evening and while at the airport killing time with Dayna Pidhoresky and Josh Seifarth we spotted a traitor. See for yourself. It was a long flight home that left over an hour late from Montreal, which cut down on my 2 hour wait in Vancouver. I flew back into Nanaimo at 11pm. Needless to say after the long day I was glad to be home!
Post race with Meggan, Kerri and Marilyn

 Post race cookie courtesy Rejean! I am spoiled! ;)
Rejean and me

The Top 6 girls (Rachel Hannah-5th, Krista-1st, Myself-6th, Dayna-2nd, Lisa-3rd, Marilyn-4th)
Myself and Eric
Lastly, Meggan and I had weird entrance to our bathroom. I had to take a photo of it.