On a Mill Hill trail run with running buddy Debbie… clearly out of shape.
First of all, apologies for not blogging about what it’s like to work “behind the scenes” of an endurance event. To be honest, I was just so incredibly busy. I barely had time to run, let alone blog. I also didn’t have any training updates for you, as I wasn’t really training or racing. I managed to do a bit of trail running here and there, but no swimming or biking 🙁
But enough with the excuses. After a summer being the communications coordinator for four triathlons, I have a new appreciation for everything that goes into running safe and fun events. In about a year I went from being a total tri newb (what the hell is a bike bib?? How do I transition??) to knowing every little detail about the event, down to how many tins of Gatorade we’d need to prepare at each aid station on the course to provide for 800 competitors. (more…)
Me in Maui after finishing the Maui Oceanfront Half Marathon. Has nothing really to do with this post. I just thought it’d be more interesting than a stock photo of ‘Happy New Year’ text with squiggles and sparkles.
I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions. Mainly because I’m always thinking about, planning and refining my goals — personal, fitness and otherwise — throughout the year. But January 1st is a good time to reflect on the highs and lows of the previous year and how they changed you, as well as look forward to and plan what you want to achieve in the year to come.
And by planning what you want to achieve, I don’t mean the lose-30-pounds-and-make-time-to-read-more-books type of plan (otherwise known as the ‘New Year’s Resolution’) — I mean actually writing down your goals, and considering what it is you actually need to do to reach them.
For me, I knew 2011 was going to be the year I completed my first triathlon. Not only did I have no idea what I was doing or where to even start, but also I didn’t even know how to swim. With my target goal in sight (meaning I signed up for the triathlon before I even had a bike or knew how to swim), I wrote down all of the steps I needed to take in order to get there — the first being to get a good triathlon coach, which helped take all the guesswork out of the rest of the steps! (more…)
Miss May in the Van Island Runners for Cancer calendar. Photo credit: Will Winter Photography
I have to say I’ve met some super awesome runners and fellow endurance sport enthusiasts through social media.
This group of Victoria-area and social media-savvy runners of all ages, levels and abilities came together under the #yyjrun hashtag on Twitter a few years ago. We get psyched for races together, cheer each other on and support each others’ goals, offer tips and training advice, run together, suffer through injuries, training road-blocks and taper madness together, race together, and have coffee and dinner together. And most recently, we’ve come together to raise funds for a cause close to all of us. (more…)
2011 Gunner Shaw XC Trail race – Photo by Jordan Mitchell
So I quit the gym.
I thought when I went in to cancel my membership (which I’ve had for seven years) it might go down like that episode of Friends when Ross and Chandler try to quit the gym… but it wasn’t that bad. They didn’t try to sell me on anything to get me to stay, but they did ask why. Despite the fact I rarely go (maybe once during the summer, and once a week in the winter), I would have totally kept my membership if I could have afforded it. But I can’t. It was either keep my membership or get the internet at my new place… and let’s face it, I can’t live without the internet! (more…)
Running the 2011 Goodlife Fitness Victoria marathon.
Really dropped the ball on posting a race recap after the marathon.
But no matter, there wasn’t a whole lot to report anyway. No crazy mishaps or injuries this time — I actually ended up having a really great race.
I stuck to my training plan, which was to go out slow until I found my legs, and expect a 1-2 minute positive split. I actually maintained a decent pace throughout the whole race, and only really struggled in the last 3 km.
Besides a sweet playlist to distract me, I also had my best friend join me on the course for a brief jog (she lasted one minute — granted she was carrying a coffee mug and wasn’t in running gear, but I was super excited she came out to watch and run with me), my coach Noa wait near kilometre 15 and 30 to check in on me, and an old coworker who filmed me running this same race for work last year find me on his bike and escort me for a couple of kms. (more…)
Only in Metchosin would you get a second-place squash
So I meant be more consistent with my blog posts throughout August and September, but it was hard to find time to blog in between road trips to the Okanagan, camping, barbeques, and other more social activities that kept me outside and away from the computer.
Now that the typical west coast weather has returned to the island (sad face), I’ll probably get back to blogging weekly.
Since my first triathlon at the end of July, I’ve completed a few more races and blog-worthy runs and events, including another triathlon (a sprint distance at the Sooke International Triathlon during the first week of August), a local 5km race (where I came second in my age group and won a squash), and two epic trail runs with Hagen (one that I ran without proper trail shoes, also hungover from a wedding the night before; and one where I learned gels made of 100% agave do not agree with me), and a BC Cancer fundraiser initiative called “Van Isle Runners for Cancer”, which consisted of a calendar photoshoot (where I confirmed the fact that I take bad action shots; every race photo of me is horrible. I wouldn’t be surprised if they decide not to use my photos — Runner’s World cover model I am not). (more…)
I don’t think an addiction to shoes is unusual, though; most girls I know have a closet full of pumps, strappy sandals, wedges, boots and kitten heels. I just happen to have a closet full of running shoes.
I probably own more pairs at a time than most amateur runners, though. I think right now I have about five in rotation: tri shoes for triathlons; light weight runners for short, fast runs; two pairs of trail runners for summer and winter; and big, clunky stability shoes for long distance running. I’ve read that it’s good to have a few pairs to rotate through so your shoes last longer (rule of thumb is to replace them after about 600 km, or every 6 months — whichever comes first).
Even though I just bought a new pair of running shoes not that long ago, I’ve been in the market for a new pair; something lighter and less clunky for distance running. The problem is, every time I go into a store to buy a new pair, the person helping me takes one look at my stride and flat feet and hand me the biggest, heaviest stability shoes they have in stock. (more…)
“Looking good! Less than a kilometre to the finish line!” shouted a runner passing by me going the opposite way.
A year ago today, that other runner was me, cheering on the last of the Self Transcendence triathlon participants finishing up the run portion around Elk Lake.
I was out for a long run at Elk Lake, my 2010 summer Sunday ritual as I geared up for my first full marathon that fall, when I decided I would do this very same race next year. I was inspired by those triathletes, and thought the event looked like fun. So what if I couldn’t swim? I have a year to train. I can do this.
One year later, there I was, finishing up the last few kilometres of the 10 km run portion of an Olympic triathlon, with other runners cheering me on.
I haven’t heard anything yet about what will happen… whether the organizers will move the swim portion to a different beach at Elk Lake, or? If anybody knows, please comment!
At least there are a few other triathlons I can do before the season ends. I think I’ll sign up for the sprint distance at the Subaru Sooke International Triathlon on August 7th, regardless. After all this training, I feel like I should do at least two this summer before marathon training starts! (more…)