Before getting into the rest of my updates, I would like to announce my partnership with KnappettIndustries (privately owned construction company). For those not aware of what Knappett Industries is all about, this blurb is taken from their website.
“Since Commencing operations in 1988, Knappett Industries (2006) Ltd. has grown into a leading supplier of construction services for residential subdivision development, underground utility installation & replacement, road building and land clearing needs on Vancouver Island and Northern BC.”
Being born and raised in Nanaimo, I am super happy to team up with a local Nanaimo (and Fort St. John) business and am honored that they believe in my dream of competing for Canada in the upcoming future. With their funding, they ARE the reason why I have been able to take this trip to Flagstaff and I am extremely grateful.
With that being said, let’s back up slightly. Life since the spring has been hectic to say the least. April 1st lead me to finding out I was once again laid off from my job for the 2nd time in 2 years, this time with the business being sold and our positions being contracted out for a significant cut (recently found out it was approx. $3/hour and less benefits). As of right now, all I know is that I am unemployed as of Oct 1st. Time will tell what happens there.
The other thing that happened was related to my personal life in which I refuse to air dirty laundry out on social media but to put it simple, I saw the end of my 12-year relationship. Ultimately my goals and dreams running wise appear to have gotten in the way and at this time I am not willing to give up on those dreams. Those who wish to know more can feel free to contact me; however, as I stated, I am not going to air it out via the internet. Needless to say, life has been stressful, but at the same time I have also met some amazing new friends in my life over the last few months and reconnected with a few great ones as well. Life throws some unexpected twists sometimes and you just have to hang on. Right now, I am trying to do just that.
Now that my personal life is over with, let’s get back to running. I recently jumped into the Destination Races Kelowna Wine Country Half Marathon. Coach Matt and I decided that it would be a good idea to get in a rust buster of a race and with heading to Flagstaff there weren’t really a whole lot of options. Coach Matt also decided I was going to train through this race and didn’t require a taper (thanks Coach Matt). I headed up to Kelowna early Saturday morning with an amazing support team. Once I arrived, I visited the expo, picked up my number and caught up with race organizer Matt. I then headed out on my 30-minute shakeout run and my legs felt horrible. I was still hoping for the best on race day though. The rest of the day was spent relaxing for the most part.
Race morning, I was up early at 4:45 to eat some breakfast before heading to the shuttle buses for 5:30. I caught the first bus without issue to ensure I was there with plenty of time before the race. The night before the race I had heard that former Olympian Malindi Elmore was racing. That put a few nerves into my system but I was told by many to trust my training and that I would be fine (turns out Malindi just tempo’d the effort in preparation for an upcoming Ironman). I ran my race warm up and it felt decent.
The start line was very casual. No one seemed to want to start on the line, so that left me practically standing there alone. When the race started the overall winner Brad Bickley took off and left the rest of us in his dust. I plodded along in 2nd and worked my way through the rolling hills surrounded by orchards and vineyards. The legs seemed to feel okay. I got to the 9.5km mark and thought I had run the first hilly part better than last year (apparently not but I’ll get to that in a minute). Then the long steep decent started which I tried to roll with it and not “brake” too much by leaning back. I had formed a bit of a gap on the hills on 3rd overall, but in the end, my lack of downhill running allowed him to catch me by the time we hit the flat at 12.5k.
We entered the gravel trail along the river and again I felt like I was rolling along. Then onto the paved bike path and still I felt like I was rolling along. With about 5km left I started looking at splits. Now that was a mistake. They were rolling by too slowly. My legs were just not turning over. In the final 5km another guy passed me which put me into 4th overall. I rounded the corner to the finish and saw the clock was over 1:16 and I was disappointed. This was the first time I had seen the overall time. While I had seen splits, I never looked at the accumulative time. I crossed the line in 1:16:36 and while I was happy to take the win, I was truly disappointed in the time. It felt much faster than that. I guess my legs were a tad tired from the week of training (I think was around 150k that week) or at least that is what I am telling myself. ;)
The rest of the day was spent eating and relaxing pool side before a drive back to the island the following morning. Huge thank you to Matt from Destination Races for having me back at the race. Looking back, it was a solid effort near marathon pace and that is really all I needed. I still have time to build before race day and with tapered legs, I will be good to go. In the meantime, it’s time to train!
What am I training for you might ask? Well I am happy to confirm I will be running the STWM (Scotia Toronto Waterfront Marathon) on October 16th and if all goes well, I will run World Standard (pending time standards still) for my 35th birthday! I am briefly mentioned in the press release here.