I really have to slow down

This weekend was a bit hectic. It started with a Friday night Oktoberfest adventure at Concordia with some of my favourite people:

(note: not all favourite people are pictured)

ME’s highschool friend, BMcN, lost his Oktoberfest virginity in fine style, winning at crossbow but losing to a girl at fastest pitch.

A special shout out to our gracious, lovely and beautiful designated driver: SR. Thank you so much for getting us home safe and sound!

After having too many several wobbly pops, Saturday morning, ME, KB and I hopped in the Land Yacht and scooted to Toronto for the BICYCLE FALL BLOWOUT SALE(1).  I have been jonesing to buy a new bicyclette and while I didn’t get my first choice, the 2010 Cervelo P2 w/ carbon frame, I did get a brand new 2011 Cervelo P1 with an aluminum frame!!!

Ginger, crammed in the back of the Land Yacht

I have named her Ginger. We have to go to Wheels of Bloor to get pedals and a fitting done but I’m pretty much over the moon! I want to ride so bad!

After that, ma petite soeur came to town and I showed her a good time (2) by 1. not really being all that exciting for night life (Chigaco Pub, 1/2 of Shaun of the Dead and early to bed) and 2. not really having much food in the house. Sorry LH. I’ll be better next time.

Sunday morning came bright and early and damn was it cold. ME, KB and I ran the Oktoberfest 5K (3). It was great fun and went by too quickly. I finished in 25:52 (26:26 gun time), good enough for 6/54 in my age group and 201/840 overall. Not the top 3 finish I was hoping for but still respectable. ME had a solid race and beat me and achieved his top 10 finish goal, placing 9/35 in his age group. Well done Babies!

Sunday afternoon involved napping and groceries and cooking.

That was my weekend. Freakin’ busy.

(1) capitalization is theirs, not mine. That btw, is the actual name of the show. No joke.
(2) I did, at least, have some spiced rum on hand for her. It’s the small wins…
(3) There was a lot of bitching and moaning but I did it. I can wear the shirt without shame.

Wasaga 2011 race report

This year’s race was a significant improvement over last year and I’m quite pleased with the outcome!

I really wanted to take some time off the swim and I was successful in that venture. I also did my first race in my Fighting Koala’s unitard. That’s a bit interesting, not being able to quickly go pee if needed. And there are always nervous pees. Especially because I was really stressed about the swim.

The day was sunny but chilly in the morning. It was really perfect temperature for racing. The water was warmer than last year and it was flat. That was a huge relief after doing an open water swim in Sauble Beach the week before and getting motion sick from the waves rocking me back and forth. My nerves settled right down as soon as I saw that the water was calm and I had a great race.  I was a bit chilled to start on the bike, being wet and all but quickly warmed up. By the time I hit the run, it was sunny and warm and I was feeling good.

my results:
overall place 244/399     
time 1:35:35.3                      
age group place 17/39     
swim place 33/39 (I beat SIX girls out of the water!)  
overall swim place 337/399  
swim time 21:09  
time/100m 2:50
run up time 0:51 (there is a long way to run before getting to T1)  
T1 1:57
bike place 17/39  
overall bike place 254/399
bike time 43:04 
bike speed 27.9km/h
T2 1:15   
run place 15/39
overall run place 213/399
run time 27:22
run pace/km 5:29 

Compare with last year’s results:
overall place 252/355
time: 1:40:19  
age group place 16/25
overall swim place 321/355   
swim time 23:34
time/100m  3:09
run up time 0:42
T1 3:37 (um… was I blow drying my hair?!)
overall bike place 236
bike time 42:46
bike speed 28.1 km/h
T2 1:57
overall run place 212 
run time 27:46
run pace/km 5:34

Let’s analyze this a bit. I did very little training leading up to this year’s race because of the wedding. Last year I was coming off an injury so, while I had done a lot more training in the early summer, I’d been off for 6-8wks mid season. So I think fitness levels are probably comparable, yet I took almost 5 minutes off my time! Where were the gains? 
Swim – I took more than 2 minutes off here. This is a big deal because the swim is by far the hardest part of the race for me. 
Transitions – Again, another 2 minutes or so saving in much faster transitions than last year.
Run – 30 seconds. Not much here but still respectable. I’m excited about this because I want to run the Octoberfest 5K and a respectable 5K time after swimming and biking will hopefully translate into a quick race time.

Wasaga Beach Sprint Triathlon race report 2010 and run up to 2011

yet another tardy race report for everyone (as in almost a year tardy)!

in September 2010, I finished my very first triathlon. it was a sprint distance tri, so slightly longer than a try-a-tri but nowhere close to the Olympic distance. it was still a big leap for me because it was a 750m swim. I knew I could do the run and bike distances but the real wild card was the swim. I can swim but certainly hadn't done proper training for the distance. I think I'd been in the pool 5 times all summer. not to mention that there's that pesky knee injury I'd sustained about 8hrs after the duathlon in June. that kinda slowed me down all summer long and since I'm moody and whiny, I didn't get in the damn pool.

anyway, I had three goals for the triathlon:

1. don't drown.
2. don't lose your shorts when you whip off your wetsuit.
3. finish.

I can tell you that all goals were completed successfully! I love it when a project goes so smoothly!

well... at least the run and bike portions. I kind of had a major meltdown on the swim. the air horn went to signal the start of the race and me and the 40+ men started. it was cold in the water but not hypothermia inducing. I was shivering anyways b/c of nerves. 

hoodieruns              1:40:19 
age grp  16/25     
swim 23:34     
T1 3:37     
bike 42:46  (avg km/h 28.1)   
T2 1:57   
run 27:46  (pace/km 5:34)

now I'm four days out from the 2011 race and I'm nervous. the husband and I did an open water swim in choppy Lake Huron on the weekend. I was motion sick after 10-15mins in the water. hence the nerves. what should I do? Koach and another friend both suggested ear plugs. other friend also suggested non-drowsy ginseng gravol. meep!

I know that this year is going to be slower due to the absence of any training all summer long. the wedding consumed my attention and time. but that's ok. this year's goals are to finish and to do the swim faster than last year. will let you know.

Oktoberfest 5K race report

before I jump into this race report, let me set the scene for you:
it’s Oktoberfest time here in KW and so I over indulged Friday night at Concordia and then there was a bachelorette on Saturday night and there was more indulgence there… and well, you get the idea I *might* have been a tiny bit under the weather.

Sunday morning rolls around and this is the dialog in our bedroom:
ME “You need to get up. We’re going to be late.”
ME “Get your ass out of bed. You missed the bike show yesterday because you were too hungover. You’ll better if you just get out and run this race.”
hoodie “FINE. Mom.”
ME rolls his eyes.

in the end he was right.

Sunday morning was sunny and beautiful and it was a great morning for a run. not too chilly and not too hot. the start was very slow since pokey people think they are going to win the race and line up right near the start line rather than in the back where they belong so there was lots of bobbing and weaving I had to do for the first KM. after that it thinned out a bit and I was able to hit race pace. I blew through 3 red lights under the watchful and protective eye of the Waterloo Regional Police Service (three cheers to the police women and men that kept all the racers safe!) and skipped the water table (three cheers for the race volunteers! thank you for giving us your Sunday morning!). overall, I ran a solid race but probably should have pushed a bit harder through KMs 2-4. pushed hard through the last KM but not hard enough since I a) didn’t catch Koach Koala even though I could see him ahead of me and b) didn’t dry heave at the finish line.

chip time: 25:26
gun time: 26:13
age group place: 4/55
gender place 80/525

goal for next year: hit the freaking podium.

Gravenhurst 2010 sprint du – race report

my bad kids. I’ve been very negligent. I owe you guys a race report, so finally… I’m getting it written!

LM and I drove to Gravenhurst together from Wasaga Beach the morning of the race. LM drives everywhere like her hair is on fire so it was a quick ride. good thing b/c we were both suffering from pre-race nerves and coffee related issues… read between the lines… you’ll figure it out.

we got to the race in time to see the triathlon-ers coming in from their swim. the transition area and expo/milling area was a bit of chaos but there was lots of cheering going on and the volunteers and police kept everyone safe. I love that energy of races – the crowds, the early morning, the nervousness… so exciting!

LM and I checked in, got marked up and walked back to the car to grab our bikes and gear. transition opened a few minutes after we arrived back so we set up our transition area, peed again, said hello to some friends and warmed up. my warm up was pretty weak… definitely didn’t warm up like I should have. then again I probably shouldn’t have drank as much rye as I did the night before.

we lined up in the finishing chute for the start of the du. as we were lined up, a racer from earlier in the morning was coming in and she got to run down the chute with 120+ people cheering her on. must have been a pretty cool experience!

so the race started off with a 5km run on a mostly flat course. it was perfect weather, sunny and not too hot. I finished the 5km in 27:34 (5:31/km). ripped through T1 in 1:16 and took off on the bike. the ride was 20km of a gently rolling out and back loop. I was quite pleased with my bike time, 43:29 (27.6km/hr). normally I’m the slowest at Koala’s practice so it was great to actually pass a couple people on the bike. didn’t fall off at the turnaround so that was good. last up was the 2.5k run. I rolled it up and smoked it. in the last 100m I saw a woman ahead of me that I made my rabbit and ran her down. I passed her in the last 20meters or so in a dead sprint. there were 2 dry heaves at the end of the race. and a big smile.

27th place overall
1st woman in age group
4th woman overall
5k time 27:34 (5:31/km)
T1 1:16
20k bike time 43:29 (27.6 km/h)
T2 1:01
2.5k time 13:18 (5:19/km)


ottawa 1/2 marathon report and june’s challenge

sunday, ME, his little sister HE, and I ran the Ottawa 1/2 Marathon. HE was running with a friend and had a comfortable and happy race. she said she felt strong and enjoyed her race. ME kicked ass – he ran sub two hours! 1:59 and change! now that he’s achieved that I think he’s more motivated to train properly for a 1/2 to see what exactly he’s capable of. I was very jealous of him but that’s b/c I mentally had a terrible race.

my race went like this:
kms 1-12 > felt awesome, was clipping along at around 1:57/1:58 half marathon pace
kms 12-15 > bad cramping, tried to run through but ended up wasting time trying to push through. mentally checked out. started beating myself up a bit. convinced myself I’d lost any chance at the sub 2hrs goal.
kms 15/16 > saw the sign and checked my watch, continued beating myself up.
kms 16-17 > started to realized I messed up and could have pulled my shit together
kms 17-21.1 > had a 3 mins deficit to make up and had I realized it before the 17km mark I probably could have done it.

finish: 2:02:40

that was a 8min course PB and my fastest time this year in a half. when I finished I was a mess, so upset, frustrated and in tears. it wasn’t until later on, on the drive home that I started to reassess my race and realized I do have things to be proud of for this race. a course PB and my fastest time this year and an age group PB. so not as bad as I first thought :o)

june’s challenge

so, I’ve got a new, refreshed motivation to kill a half marathon this fall. and I mean it! that means I need to get on the work outs now, especially to build a strong fitness base for the summer’s set of multisport races, a fall half marathon and full marathon ! as a result of all these big plans, I’ve set myself a june goal:

complete all scheduled workouts Koach Koala has assigned.
-this translates into at least one activity a day for the month of June! giddy-up!!

today’s schedule: 1/2hr yoga, Koalas run practise.

easy peasy lemon-squeezy!

Niagara Falls International Marathon – 1/2 marathon race report!

friday night I started my prep for the 1/2 writing out my pace tat:

in hind sight, I think I’ll just splurge for the actual pace tat as the permanent marker ink follows the creases in your skin and appears slightly blurry. the pink is the mile splits for a 1:56 1/2 marathon and the blue is the mile splits for a 2hr 1/2 marathon.

sunday was 1/2 marathon day in Niagara Falls! MC, his lady friend, me and ME travelled to Niagara on saturday to check out the expo and pick up racing kits. ME had decided not to race earlier in the week b/c he’s been since with a chest cold since turkey weekend. poor guy. it wasn’t an easy decision to make but he was smart and put his health first. so, he picked up his kit and turned in his chip right away so he wouldn’t be tempted to run.

the expo was small but good, lots of good deals. ME got a pair of shoes for $60 and I got a new skirt, long sleeve shirt, some gels, and a magnetic necklace. after, we had dinner at Boston Pizza and went to bed.

both of us slept terribly! there was a dripping tap and our curtains wouldn’t stay shut. by midnight we were both going a bit crazy so ME jimmied the tap and we clipped the curtains shut and finally got some shut eye.

at 6:30, my alarm went off so I got up to start the foot and toe lubbing rituals and to get dressed. ME made me coffee, hopped in the shower. I tried to eat a bit but was dawdling over getting dressed. 7:20 came too quickly and we were late meeting MC in the lobby. ME drove us to the bus meeting spot, snapped a picture and went back to the hotel to check us out.

MC and I waited for 5 mins before they started loading busses, both of us trying to down a bit more breakfast but neither of us were feeling like it with our pre-race distraction!
we rode the bus for, what felt like to me, an hour and finally disembarked at the start line (or the marathon half way point).

since we caught one of the first busses, we had some time to kill so we walked laps of the start area to keep warm and moving. it was pretty chilly and the wind started to pick up as we waited so staying warm became kinda tricky. my hands were definitely pretty cold by the time ME got to the start and lent me his mitts. my feet were also pretty cold. ME snapped another photo before we lined up:

I’m holding my fancy, hi-tech yellow raincoat (read: plastic garbage bag they give you on the maid of the mist) that I was wearing to protect me from the wind. at this point the line ups for the porta potties were ridiculously long and I kinda felt like I needed to pee but thought it was just my nerves and the feeling would go away once we started. I was wrong.

this is mean clapping at the start of the race to get ME’s attention. there’s such a mass (2100 of ’em) of runners going by, it’s hard to pick people out.

ME met us again just before 5 miles. I’d stopped to pee and lost about 2mins of time waiting for a pottie to open up. but, I was feeling WAY better having stopped. MC went by first looking all determined. then I came by later. look at me! all smiles still at this point. for the first half of the race, I was feeling like gold. I at my lemon-lime gu at 45mins in and got a much needed boost since I only ate half of my bagel breakfast pre-race. I took water and gatorade at a couple stations and until I pit stopped, just before mile 5, I was on pace for 1:56-1:58.

around mile 7, I was working on reeling in some of the people that I’d been running with prior to my pit stop. I ran a bit with a guy from Alberta who was ‘sucking wind’ because he’d had a cold all week. he found me at the end of the race to say hey and congratulations. eventually I pulled ahead, trying to catch the 2:00 pace bunny. she must have come in around 1:58 though because I didn’t catch her.

at 1:15 I took my second gel (expresso lovers yum!) and turned it up a bit. I ran for most of the last 3 miles with “my buddy” a guy who I didn’t talk to until very close to the finish. we just ran side by side, reeling people in. he was great, picking up the pace in the last 2 miles and powering up the little hills.

by the time we got to mile 12 I was in pain. I really really wanted a 2hr finish but I was exhausted and wanting to quit. I checked my watch for about the millionth time and my ‘pace tat’ and saw that it was going to be really close. it was time to buckle down. I picked it up in the last mile, likely running about an 8:50 mile. for some reason, I didn’t kick. I don’t know what the hell I was thinking but I didn’t kick. I passed ME but all I could think was FINISH!

ME got these last photos right near the finish:

see “my buddy” beside me to the left? tall guy with a mustache? I wouldn’t have hit 2hrs without him. I just kept running beside him starting at around mile 9. I thanked him at the end, he totally kept me on pace.

as I crossed the line I smiled and raised my arms so that I wouldn’t have a sucky finish photo like I normally do. in fact, I didn’t even stop my watch until I was getting my chip cut off. and that meant… I didn’t know if I’d got it! I didn’t know if I’d hit 2hrs or not!

luckily ME is tall and read that I’d got 2:00:27 on the results papers being posted. WOO HOO! mission accomplished! that time was good enough for 46/144 in my age group.

super congrats to MC who kicked ass and got 1:53:40 in his very first 1/2 marathon! you owe me a full marathon in the spring buddy!

and finally, the happy finishers!

Oktoberfest 5K race report and THE PLAN

bah hell. so the taco bell did not help my performance at the Oktoberfest 5K. I did not PR but did PR… hehehe. I’m in a new age bracket so technically it’s a PR for this bracket, being my first race, but not a lifetime PR. I ran the 5K in 25:31 (chip time), good enough for 5/50 in my age group. I was pretty uncomfortable in the later third of the race, dry heaving once. ME was super duper (sometimes I get so mad at him! not training at all and beating me!) pacing and pushing me through most of the race. I didn’t kick and didn’t push at all in the last km. that was poor. I lost the mental game with myself and didn’t even try to override what my body was telling me. this weekend I’ll have a good opportunity to work on my mental game during the half.

this weekend is the Niagara Falls 1/2 Marathon and I want to PR in the half. need to be 2:10 which I think is achievable. I plugged my 5K time into a predictor and got an estimated finish time of 01:56:19. so there it is folks – a sub 2hr 1/2 marathon should be achievable. will let you know results via twitter and/or the blog.

so, I was wandering the internets, mostly the runner’s world web site and found these awesome forum discussions and new website: your weekly workout, P90x and running, and Shane’s Training. all were very informative and inspiring. just what I needed as I ramp up for THE PLAN.

THE PLAN consists of training for the next 7 months, hopefully culminating in a wildly successful spring marathon. the work break down structure: the next 90 days will be filled with base building running and P90x Lite for weight loss. the next 4 months will be hard training for a spring marathon. likely this one because it gives me 18 weeks of training. wish me luck. it’s going to be hard!

Waterloo Classic

sadly, no PR today (missed it by 29 seconds) but I did run well considering I haven’t been training much.

distance: 10K Waterloo Classic
time: 55:28 (chip)
place: 14/40 in age group
pace: 5:36/km

so unlike in my marathon when I had no kick left, today I dug around and found a teeny bit of energy left in the bottom of my toes and passed 4 (count ’em 4!) guys in the last 25 meters. woot! finally, a hard finish! of course I did my usually gag from the hard effort and b/c of the heat today the volunteers were being super viligant about heat exhaustion so I got rewarded with a concerned lady making me walk and plunking ice on me. the ice was awesome and really I was fine, I always do the dry heave after a good hard finish.
the middle bits of the race were ok. around the 4km mark I was like man, I wish I’d done the 5k. but after pep talking myself a bit I was fine. the course was twisty and slow. it was pretty frustrating having to do a turn around mid way through the first lap to add some distance. the sun was also a factor since I haven’t run much in the heat and I wilt like no one’s business.

oh, and ME beat me. dammit.

now I need to get out and train. hard. all summer.

marathon before 25 – complete

I ran my first marathon on Sunday! I survived! it was awesome to see how far I could push myself and how much more I could squeak out listening to JT’s Sexy Back.

I got off to a great start by making sure my legs were good and rested for the marathon by playing in a volleyball tournament on saturday. well, at least it helped me not be a nervous wreck all day saturday.

sunday was cool and a bit misty. perfect for a run. I didn’t sleep all that well and got up at 5:30 to eat breakfast. went back to bed until 6:45. got to the race start around 7:20 and picked up my chip.

I had the prerequisite nervous pee and then meandered over to the start line. the first 10k was pretty good, and I was feeling great so naturally I made the rookie mistake of going out way too fast. I ran for awhile with a girl that taught me about ‘brick runs’ and tri/du training. brick runs are when you run for a warm up, bike for a good while and then go for a 8-10k run and your legs feel like bricks… hence the name.

we caught up with a girl J-AR from St. Columban and I ran with her for the hardest parts of the race. some nasty hills and long lonely stretches well outside the city. she was full of funny, positive conversation and she revived me. J-A, I don’t know if you’ll ever see this post but THANK YOU! you are the reason I finished in 4:46. J-A and I ran together until the 31k mark or so, just nicely into ‘uncharted territory’. my longest run prior to the race was the 30k around the bay race. it was almost a month between that long run and the marathon so I was really concerned at what would be waiting for me past the 30k mark.

mom, dad and little LH came down to cheer me on and the three of them and ME met me several times throughout the race. it was great and a powerful motivator to hear the cow bell and their cheers and words of encouragement. thank you so much you guys. I couldn’t have done it with out you and I’m so glad you got to share this experience with me.

after we pasted the covered bridge and the 30km mark, J-A suggested we put the tunes on. I popped my headphones in and suddenly The Who’s Baba O’Reilly got me rolling. I was tearing up the course. as I was nearing the turn off of highway 86 I saw a group of people across the road from the waterstation at the corner. I could see my mom, dad, LLH and ME. I thought I recognized some cars but it didn’t really occur to my glucose deprived brain that ‘hey, those are my friends’ cars!’ until I was much closer. by then I recognized the curls of K(M)P, the awesome pink scarf of AVD, the cap of SBD, and the awesome bob of KT (with special mention to KT’s bro, and SBD’s RB). ME’s little brother and nephew RE and NE (N not A!) also were there to cheer for me. seeing them all and recognizing them and realizing that they were all there for me, little hoodieruns, was awesome. I almost started crying then when I figured it all out. ME and KT worked to get everyone out to support and I am so thankful. I have a wonderful group of friends. Thank you for standing in the cold, cheering and waving and smiling, hugging a sweaty, stinky runner, and taking my snotty mitts. I love you guys.

after I went blistering past my cheering friends (narrowly avoiding getting hit by 2 cars), I was out of gels. I carried on well to about 35-37km. that’s when I started to lose it. the wall was looming. my vision was getting foggy around the edges and I was so tired. despite Great Big Sea, Billy Joel and others, I was lagging. ME and family and friends met me again in Conestogo but there was a bad stretch inbetween. some nasty hills and a long stretch of running on my own into a headwind, cramping in my left calf and right quad plus mounting fatigue were slowing me down. I just kept picking mailboxes and hydro poles to run to and then I’d let myself walk, stretch and eat some more Sport Beans. it was hard. (try running for almost 4 hours and then stand on one foot in wind on a cramping calf on gravel trying to stretch a quad… it’s comical.) ME offered to run with me somewhere before Conestogo I think but I turned him down, thinking I could tough it out. I ended up regretting it when I was lonely and faltering but I held on.

when I got my banana and water at Conestogo, ME joined me for the last kms of the race. I asked him to help break the headwinds by running a step ahead on my left shoulder. it really helped. I sang Sexy Back to myself up a hill. there was some Keith Urban Better Life in there too. this stretch I’m fairly foggy on but I know that KB and JB joined me along that stretch and were a much needed boost to my morale. they had huge smiles for me and words of encouragement (something about ‘you’re totally going to beat Mark’s time!’). the three of them: ME, KB and JB ran the rest of the race with me. the support crew, parental unit, and sister were all waiting for me at the finish and it was awesome. I was much more excited about seeing them, and getting to stop running than I was about finishing and my time. immediately I wanted to do another one and do it much faster.

quote of the day: “I’ve been running for like five fucking hours.”

then I got on a plane monday and flew to Iowa for 2 nights. I’m insane.

pictures to come.