Monday, October 5, 2015

Flagstaff Recap and Marathon Annoucement

Upon racing the Kelowna Wine Country Half Marathon on September 6th, I headed off bright and early the next morning for Flagstaff. This marked my 4th trip to altitude (August 2012, September 2013 and April 2014). I was a bit leery heading to Flagstaff this time around and even whined to coach Matt that I didn’t want to go. Reason being was because my body was hurting me and I was a tad worried that I was on the borderline of another injury.

Kelowna Finish

See you later Kelowna

As I mentioned in my previous blog, I had some x-rays taken on the Thursday prior to the race and hadn’t heard back by close of office hours on Friday. With Monday being a holiday I also never heard that day, so I made sure to send an e-mail to my doctors office on the Tuesday asking for results. They responded back promptly with a scan of the results stating that there was no issue. That was good news, but I also knew deep down that my body still hurt and that x-rays don’t always catch stress fractures.
I spy the Rockies
Hello T-Hof
In Calgary. My plan certainly was not as cool as the Disney plane.
I arrived in Flagstaff after having a bit of drama with the car rental, though thankfully I had pre-booked with 2 companies and neither requested credit card details so when I didn’t like the hidden fees with the first one I went on to the 2nd one. This delayed my arrival slightly, so when I arrived I had a quick tour of the house from Jonny and then went off on a shakeout run before hitting the grocery store for some solid food. Let me tell you, airport food was lacking on this trip. Calgary didn’t have much once you went through security (I flew Kelowna – Calgary – Phoenix).
Oh Flagstaff how I missed you

Ooh that first shakeout hurt. Well technically the lungs weren't too bad, but the legs were a different story. Actually the first few days hurt. My quads had taken a pounding from the downhills on the course. Good thing the house had stairs in it. I might have had to walk down them sideways on the odd occasion.
Duck Pond

A few days after being there I decided to go see my chiro away from home, aka Dr. AJ Gregg and hoped that he could sort out what was going on with my hips and why I was feeling familiar pains from when I had a stress fracture a year ago. AJ was fairly sure that it wasn’t a fracture and that if it was, it was very slight. He offered to get me some imaging but I decided to hold off and see what happened.
Many runs in the first few days resulted in feeling like this

Thankfully the runs turned into more like this

In the meantime he found some pretty good tightness in my left hip and went hard at loosening it. Let me tell you, I have seen AJ the last 3 trips I have been to Flagstaff and he is the only therapist I have seen that has made me want to punch them. Is that a good thing you may ask? Well he brings on good pain. It hurts like a beotch at the time and certainly takes my breath away and leaves me practically shaking, but in the end, it pays off. Boy that hip was tender for a few days though.
Eating dirt on Woody Mnt Rd

As the days ticked by running got easier and the body got better. It was funny how I went from telling Matt I didn’t know how I was going to go from a 75 minute run to a 2 hour 30 minute run as I couldn’t imagine doubling my time running, but that 35km run was when I suddenly hit my groove and felt great. Slowly most of the aches and pains disappeared (for the most part) and I was able to hit my biggest mileage week in a long time.
In my Happy Place

For most of the initial 2 weeks I concentrated on running and recovery and spent a lot of time with my feet up watching Netflix. Then Lanni Marchant came into town and I was able to hook her up with staying at the same house as me. This made it much easier to connect for runs and I was able to show her a few trails nearby the house so that she had a bit of an idea of where to run after I left.
Bagel Run Canadian Take Over (Adam, Dylan, myself, Lanni, Brendan, Rob)

Lanni and I

Also during my last week I connected with some Canadian boys from out east, including Adam Hortian, Brendan Hancock and Rob Brouillette. They even convinced me to enter a dark underground cave, which might I say was quite the experience. We might have been slightly under prepared, dressed in shorts and having 3 sources of lights from cell phones and tablets but we all survived.
Lava Cave Adventures
The Entrance

The last week was certainly filled with more fun which is normal when I go to Flagstaff. Generally I always spend the first few weeks concentrating on running. Then I do a bit of exploring near the end. As usual I didn’t want to leave Flagstaff. There is a reason I always call it my second home. It is somewhere that I could see myself living. The running community there is just unreal. Now now Nanaimoites, don’t get upset, I know there is a good running community here in town too but sometimes I just don’t feel as though I quite fit in.
Climbing rocks in Sedona with Rob and Brendan (missed you Adam)

As high as I got. The boys went slightly higher as they are crazy.
Brendan, myself and Rob
Needed an updated Sedona shot
Moon when leaving the Sedona Track

Made some other friends while in Flagstaff

And watched some sunsets from the Snowbowl

Or from closer to home

Funny though how I initially didn’t want to go to Flagstaff and wanted to hang around and run my usual routes and then in the end I didn’t want to leave Flagstaff. Don’t get me wrong, the west coast and Vancouver Island is beautiful and I love seeing all the fall colours here, but I miss the endless amounts of dirt roads and trails of Arizona. We have trails here but it’s just not the same. Funny me saying that considering I am 100% not a trail runner.
Track Work

So here we have it, I am back to my reality (aka island life and work) and all the major marathon training is done. Where does that take me now? I suppose some of you may wish to know which marathon I am actually debuting at. Certain people have been in the know for a while now, but I have avoided making it public. Why you might ask? Well for one I had tons of niggles going on and I wasn’t even sure I was going to make the start line. I did not want to announce my marathon debut and then pull out of the event. A good part of racing the marathon is simply getting through the training and getting on that start line. I now feel confident that I will be on that start line to give it the best shot I can.
Traveling Home in Style
Back at Sea Level (my Island Home)

I suppose you still want to know what marathon start line I will be standing on eh?
I am excited to announce that I will be on the start line for the 2015 Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon this coming Sunday on October 11th. See you on the line and hopefully at the finish!
Till we meet again Flagstaff

1 comment:

Denise at GottaRun said...


You are looking so strong! Great core, great legs! Your training level sounds on target for you and for a marathon debut! I wish you all the best. I will be running the GoodLife 8K, which starts before dawn's crack, but I will stay to cheer you on to victory!