Friday, March 27, 2015

Double 5km - Bazan Bay 2015 and St. Patrick's Day 5km

 Bazan Bay 5km- March 8th

March brought on the month of 5kms. First up was the Bazan Bay 5km down in Sidney, BC. This is on the outskirts of Victoria. I worked Saturday night and found myself tossing and turning until approximately 1:30am. This normally wouldn't have been a big deal; however, this also fell on daylight savings, so 2am quickly became 3am. The alarm went off at 7:30 so I think I ended up with approximately 5 hours sleep. 

The drive down was pretty uneventful and I arrived shortly after 9:30, which allowed plenty of time to pick up my race bib and relax before warming up. The weather was more like a gorgeous spring day. We have been pretty lucky here on the West Coast this winter, fairly dry and mild. I don't recall any real snowfall here in town and less rain than usual as well. While the weather has been great for running, the mountains lacked snow. This resulted in the local ski hill barely having a season and could mean we will have lack of water issues this summer. 

Anyway, back to the race. I ran my warm up, spotting my coach and his fiance down the road for a quick pre-race chat. The legs didn't feel that great in warm up, but I was hopeful they would show up for the race. 

Warm Up

Our 2015 Asics Canada race kit came earlier that week so I decided to debut; however, the buns and crop top left me feeling super awkward on the start line. Pretty sure I got a few weird looks and yes I felt pretty darn naked but I figured if I wanted to try the uniform for the first time, it was best to do it in a 5km rather than a half marathon. 

Feeling naked

On the start line and the race went out quick. The Bazan Bay start is pretty brutal. It's packed and everyone is fighting for position. A few hundred meters into the race, a guy in front of me stumbled and began what seemed to me like slow motion falling. As he was falling, another guy not far in front began to somewhat trip over him. Pretty sure I said "oh sh!t" and put my hand on someones back to try and not trip over these two. I might have put my hand on one that fell, but it's hard to remember! It happened so fast, but seemed so slow at the time! I think they both went down or at least partially down, but I know for a fact that one did get back up. 

Thanks to Greg, I am gaining muscles. Look close ;)

This caused me to interrupt my stride for a bit and I found the lead ladies had already gapped me. I believe Hilary, Alison and Lemlem were ahead plus a few others. My adrenaline made me pick up the pace a bit to try and catch them, but soon I realized my legs were not having the pace. I kept pushing and didn't look at my watch. The kids in front told me the first km, which I believe was 3:15. From then on the race became hang on for dear life. My legs and my lungs were not having it that day. 

I was 4th female after 2km and then passed Lemlem shortly after. We hit the turn around and I kept trying to pick up the pace. Kyle Weagant was nearby and said "let's go" (or something like that) at one point I believe just after 3km. I tried to go. I really felt like I was picking up the pace on the way back, but the watch disagrees with me. I do remember thinking "wtf where did this wind come from" as there was a bit of a headwind on the way back. It wasn't the worst headwind, but enough to feel it. 

In the end, I finished up 3rd female behind Hilary and Alison in 16:47. Initially I was extremely disappointed with my time. I ran 16:35 here for the win last year and going into the race this year I felt like I was in PB shape and really felt like sub 16:30 was in the cards; however, my body decided differently on race day. 

Photo credit: Ross Palfery

I know I am my own worst critic and am super hard on myself, so after a few reminders from my coach that my training had been different this year, I accepted the result and moved on. He was right. Last year I went into Bazan having run Pioneer 8km, an indoor 5km and NACAC XC (6km). This year I went into Bazan having run Pioneer 8km and First Half Half Marathon, with the half only being 3 weeks prior. Training had not been directed towards the shorter speedier stuff.

After Bazan I took off on a post race workout and ran out some frustrations. Results can be found here

6 days after Bazan I headed over to Vancouver to race the St.Patrick's 5km. Steve and Karen are the race directors for this and they do such an excellent job assembling top fields and treating everyone like gold. This year, they were able to help me with some travel to the race. I found myself flying over to Vancouver on Friday morning via Harbour Air. I left my house at 9:30am and by 10:30am I was in Vancouver. How much better could that get?

I went early so I could get in a visit with my adorable nieces. My original plans were to stay with Catherine Watkins; however, she and her family fell ill and she was no longer racing. My sister had her in-laws staying so I ended up booking a last minute hotel room downtown. I had the noisiest neighbours as well and became "that" person who went out in the hall in pj's and said "shut the blank up." The one girl was nice enough and turned down their stereo right away; however, the constant door slamming and yelling carried on. Unfortunately I forgot my earplugs as well (lesson learned). 

The next morning I woke up to pouring rain and wind. Good thing the race is on the seawall.......  hah. I walked over to the start, had some time to relax and visit then warmed up with Dayna Pidhoresky and Josh Seifarth. It was wet and it was windy. This race was going to be fun. The weather gods played nice in the end and gave us a break, the rain stopped just before the start and the wind even died down slightly as well. Unfortunate that we were already pretty wet, but what can you do. 

Yaletown photography

This race starts off and runs downhill and me being one of the worst downhill runners ever found myself around at least 8-10th female. I slowly began picking people off, finding myself 4th behind Asics teammate Rachel Cliff, Dayna and Erica Digby through the mile in 5:15. 

Photo credit: Denise Relke

I kept plodding away through the rolling course. The legs were burning, but the body and lungs felt better than Bazan. At around 3.5km I passed Erica to take over 3rd. 


I apparently glare at race photographers. The photo credit above and below is to Rick Horne
The final km is brutal as it is nearly all uphill. I egged on a t-shirt wearing kid (aka Josh) as I passed him on the hill; however, the darn t-shirt boy passed me in the final few hundred meters. I finished 3rd female again in a slower 16:56. Last year I ran this course in 16:53 and felt like death. This year, while I was 3 seconds slower, I felt better than Bazan and I felt better from what I remember of last year.  

Top 3, Dayna, myself and Rachel (Yaletown Photography)

I went into the race wanting 3rd or better as those 3 positions offer cash prizing from BMO. 4th and 5th are a Starbucks coffee machine. I was 4th last year and already had a coffee machine (which is barely used as I don't drink coffee) so the last thing I wanted was 4th or 5th. Turns out, Erica was happy with the coffee machine and I got $100 to put towards my hotel! Woo hoo, up $13 whole dollars by the end! Only I spent $18 on the most yummy yoghurt covered raisins at Whole Foods so it was $13 well spent! 

Women's Top 10
Photo credit: Denise Relke

After the race I went for a post race tempo workout and a cool down, then walked back to the seaplane terminal to relax before flying home. Results can be found here. HUGE thanks to Steve and Karen for putting on a spectacular race as always!

You can also watch my Athletics Illustrated interview. I have not yet watched it as I dislike watching/listening to myself. 


My sponsor Sundog Eyewear is passing along a special offer to help me raise training funds. Until April 30th, they are allowing me to pass on a 25% discount code to all of my friends and they will in return donate 15% of every sale to my training fund. This discount code applies to ALL styles of shades. Just use the CODE: ERINB25 on

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Sundog Eyewear Discount


Hello to all my lovely blog readers! I have been in talks with Sundog Eyewear, who have been sponsoring me with the beautiful sunglasses that you see me wearing whenever possible, and I have some good news for you. 

Just as we are entering sunglass season (aka spring and summer), they have agreed to passing along a special offer to help me raise training funds. Until April 30th, they are allowing me to pass on a 25% discount code to all of my friends and they will in return donate 15% of every sale to my training fund. This discount code applies to ALL styles of shades. Just use the CODE: ERINB25 on

Honestly, these are the best sunglasses I have had. Not only do they have fashionable styles and colours, but as I mentioned before in my initial Sundog post, they feature the TrueBlue lens system. As a reminder,

"The human body naturally produces melanin and ocular lens pigment; together these substances are nature’s way of defending the eye from invisible and visible light. The TrueBlue™ lens is the only non-prescription sunglass lens in the world to incorporate both melanin and ocular lens pigment, to provide ultimate eye protection and vision performance."

So who wants to buy some sunglasses?! 
My personal Favourite: Bolt


Saturday, March 7, 2015

Double: 2015 Pioneer 8km and 2015 Vancouver First Half

Already 3 months into March and I have completed 2 races, yet blogging seems to have taken a back seat! I had 4 things added to my plate over the last 7 days, a questionnaire to fill out, a blog request from one of my sponsors, an athlete info piece for another sponsor and a blog for here. Two of those are finished, this is the start of the 3rd which will leave 1 to go! I can't let the procrastinator in me take over! I can do this! 

The easiest way to recap the races is to put both into this one blog. Just get it done right? 

Back on January 11th I took part in my first official race back since my injury last May. The race was the Prairie Inn Harriers Pioneer 8km, which like last year, played host to the 2015 BC 8km Championship. 

Last year, somehow I won the event in 27:13 which was a surprise to me as I was hoping to run sub 28:00. This year, I was very nervous. Not because it was the BC Championship, but because it was my first race back and I had NO idea what to expect. I remember standing on the line with my heart just pounding. 

In the end, the race started and all those nerves went away. Everyone shot off down the road (downhill) at flying speeds including race winner Natasha Wodak. That was a bit of a shock to the system. Eventually I found my stride and found myself next to Frontrunner Westshore's Nick Walker. I have known Nick for years, totally had a crush on him when we were in high school too, but I was honestly surprised he was right there. 

Photo credit Catrin Jones
Well I guess Nick must have had a race plan to start out slow and then hammer the second half because I ran with him until just about 4km and then he took off and left me in his dust. I remember coach Matt yelling out for me to stay with Nick, but there was no chance of that. Once Nick took off he left me in no mans land for the last half of the race. That made it hard compared to last year when I was right with Natasha for most of the race. Running in no mans land is much harder, but I did my best to push on. Today Natasha was flying, though it appeared I could reel her in a tad on the hills and then she would pull away again. That girl was fit. 

In the end I had enough for a decent sprint, even though the series ended their official 100m sprint awards (I think I was 3rd behind a masters runner and one of the Nanaimo Track athletes Amy). I felt strong right until the end, other than my right glute acting up in the last 2km of the race and I was surprised to see the clock at 27:16. That was only 3 seconds shy of my time last year and it also made me wonder what I could have done if I had competition nearby. The closest man either side of me I believe was approx 16 seconds. Natasha blasted out a 26:37 and 3rd female Marilyn was just over a minute behind in 28:19. Results can be found here.


The second race I stepped into was the Vancouver First Half Half Marathon (also the 2015 BC Half Marathon Championships). This race nearly didn't happen for me as after the 8km I had 3 solid weeks of less than ideal training. It was a rough 3 weeks and I nearly pulled the plug. In the end I decided to race and see what happened. This race was on February 15th. 

Due to the less than ideal training going into the race, my confidence was a bit low, so I opted to take the race out at a comfortable pace. The conditions were perfect, other than some fog and a light breeze for the first portions of the race, it was gorgeous. Dayna Pidhoresky flew off the line and I knew that was going to happen so I let her go. 

About 4km into the race there was a bit of a breeze and this guy started running right on my heels to avoid it. Oh great I thought, just wonderful; however, he was a nice guy and after a bit he pulled even, asked me my goal time (which I said 1:15/1:16) and he stated that was his goal too. He then asked if I wanted to switch off miles, so I said sure. He pulled in front and attempted to take the lead. 

 Photo credit Dave Burroughs

Unfortunately though, I found myself chopping my stride and also found the pace had slowed. I pulled out even again and said, the pace was too slow. He picked it up and pulled in front again, but the same thing happened. I chopped my stride, it felt awkward and the pace slowed. I eventually just pulled out and around and went on my way. I don't know who this guy was, but I am very thankful for his attempt to work together. I guess I am just a stubborn runner who couldn't hack it. 

I did end up running with another guy from Lion's Gate I believe. As per the results it says his name is Benoit Gignac. We ran pretty much the entire seawall together hitting 10km in 35:59 (him) and 36:00 (me). I had no idea the time difference, but I could see Dayna WAY ahead at this point. I told myself to keep pushing along and hoped that maybe she would come back to me. 

The second part of the race the seawall gets really twisty and the fog rolled in. Benoit and I ran together, then I pulled ahead, then he pulled ahead, then we ran together again. We hit the lagoon and I think I had a lead, but then had a bit of a weakness and he pulled ahead when this other guy Ryan Carl caught us. I saw we were also gaining on a Comox Valley Runner who turned out to be Vince Brotherston. 

When the race finally came back down on the seawall and visibility cleared up, I suddenly realized that Dayna wasn't that far ahead. 150m or so maybe? With the fog, twisty corners and lagoon I couldn't see myself gaining on her. By the time I finally realized it, there was only a mile left in the race. We had passed Vince and Ryan and Benoit were both ahead of me. I kept trying to push and I could see the gap closing. 

Up the final hill with cheers from the amazing Natasha Wodak and Catherine Watkins, then the downhill toward the finish where I heard and saw my Sister, brother in law and 2 nieces as I ran by. I finished in 1:16:27 (1:16:26 chip) which was 17 seconds back of Dayna for my second BC Champ Silver of the year. (Ryan and Benoit kicked my butt in the last km finishing in 1:16:18 and 1:16:21)

Photo credit Rita Ivanauskas


I was happy with the race. I had no reason not to be. The weeks leading into the race broke me mentally at times. I truly had no idea what to expect. Sure I would have loved to have been 1:15:xx and I believe I probably could have been if I had actually made myself hurt more, but it is easy to say that after the race. If that race was like 500m more I might have had gold! How come half marathons aren't 21.6km? ;) Results can be found here.

My sister Heather, Karys, myself and Jeremy Deere

Top 5 women (5,4,3,1,2)

Top 3 BC Champs
(myself, Dayna, Shauna)

Solo shot after AG awards

Recovery since the race has gone extremely well and I have run some of my fastest workouts yet. I am looking forward to the Bazan Bay 5km this coming Sunday! 

PS. 1 project to go!