August! Now What?

Hiiiii!!!

How’s it going? Since Jack and Jill I have been taking it a day at a time – doing whatever I want! Some swimming, short easy-effort runs, quite a bit of trail and elevation and yesterday a solid 10k with a slightly faster finish. Oh and a couple full rest days ahaha. Lifelong Endurance and I are still in close contact but we’ll officially pick back up with training in September.

This weekend some friends and I head to the Hah Nic Na’ Aah mountain half marathon in the Babine Mountain Range! This is basically my first non-road race aside from the Mount Hays Quickclimb and I’m stoked! The terrain and views look stunning, and since I’m not actually racing it, there will be time for lots of photos!

Next weekend husband and I take off on a wedding tour/moving me to the Okanagan. Exciting times! School starts September 4th, but first I’ll zip back up north for our annual Labour Day Weekend celebrations in the beautiful Bulkley Valley. Same hood as the race this weekend, as well as the Tyhee Tri. Lucky me!

Coach Andrew and I had a chat about training and have a loose plan. We will most likely attack the half marathon distance over the fall season (after the Okanagan Marathon) and into the winter. I hope to pick out a goal half to race in early 2019! Into the new year we will start to build on that fitness for a goal Spring marathon to continue chasing down the unicorn! 🀞 I look forward to running as many local 5 and 10k’s along the way.

Some of the marathons I’m considering (at this point) include the Eugene Marathon, Blooms to Brews, the Windermere Marathon and BMO Vancouver, though I’m pretty reluctant about Vancouver, it’s just nice and close. I’d prefer to be able to drive to said marathon, and I won’t run anywhere with more than an hour time difference. April is my preferred month, but I’m not against March or May! If you have any suggestions that I should add to the list of options, please let me know!

I hope you are having a really good summer!!! Recently I opened the sober app on my phone and it’s passed 950 days!!! I’ll be at 1000 days by the end of September, holy shit. The blog has obviously been very focused on running over the last few months but I hope to do some writing about sober stuff in the next little bit here.

Hope August has been fun and talk to you after the mountain half!!!

jamie

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Jack & Jill’s Downhill Marathon event review and race recap!

I need to start by praising the organizers for the fantastic pre-race communication. Jack & Jill’s Downhill Marathon info emails started rolling in ten days before the race and I’d received five, including this exceeds-expectations weather update, by the Friday before!

much appreciated! The forecast was for 36 celsius!

On Friday I drove to Terrace to fly to Vancouver, then on Saturday morning I picked up my rental car and hit the road to North Bend!! Including picking up the car and the wait at the border, it took four hours. Easy.

Package pick up was at the Nike factory store. It was easy to get to and a quick process! The actual bag we got is sweet and was perfect for a gear check bag. It zippers closed with another smaller zipper pocket and a Jack & Jill logo. Runners also received a race buff, which I think is the greatest thing ever! The race shirt is a unisex-style tank (see later in a finish photo) and it’s NICE! There were pace tattoos (which proved to be extremely valuable) and I grabbed one from the 3:35 pile. I was given a small ziplock bag for my tunnel flashlight and my bib number was written on it for me. Other than that, there wasn’t a bunch of random stuff to recycle like at big expos, just a little race pamphlet with info and maps. One thing I forgot was to get a B12 shot, which were apparently available for free! Dang. There was race clothing for sale outside of the store too, but a buff and tank is more than enough for me.

I was in and out and then headed to my AirBnB! It was just a few minutes away from the factory stores, and also just a three minute drive from Tollgate Park parking lot, which is where runners park before getting on the shuttles to the start line. Joan’s place, was perfect for race weekend accommodation and you should stay here! She was great!

I was avoiding “stuff” – I seem to become more of a minimalist with each marathon. I decided against headphones, which also meant I didn’t need to carry my phone. I opted for no sunglasses (good choice, not needed πŸ‘Œ) and I committed to walking through aid stations to take full advantage, therefore eliminating my worry about whether or not I should bring a handheld water bottle. My Nakd bars and Endurance Tap gels fit in the SpiBelt and I was good to go.

I wore my Altra Escalantes for this race, which are a pretty minimal shoe. I’m telling you this because the organizers advise to wear something more substantial, but I didn’t have a second thought about my favourite shoes while running the marathon! No issues at all.

Since I had a pretty late lunch, for “dinner” I had bananas, Nuun, a sea salt bagel and a chocolate protein shake. Then it was bedtime! Time for some fake sleeping!

My alarm woke me up at 3:30, I ate my oatmeal and raisins, drank a bunch of Nuun and geared up. A long-sleeved throwaway shirt was totally sufficient but I’m glad I brought it – it wasn’t that warm yet pre-race! My shuttle time was 5:05 (assigned on the bib) and I left the house around 4:40 for the very short drive to Tollgate Park. The parking situation seemed totally under control. It was dark but there were tons of volunteers with flashlights directing us and I was parked and getting on my bus within five minutes.

Our driver wasn’t sure where to go once it was almost time to exit the freeway towards the starting area… I still don’t actually know if he was joking or not but we all knew which exit and how to proceed thanks to pre-race emails!!

Twenty porto-potties (Honey Buckets πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚/😷😷) plus the actual park restroom facility made for lots of toilets, but more would have been better. Close to start time, the lineups were pretty long. That being said, there was lots of bush everywhere to squat in if it came down to it as we were in a park in the forest, after all.

my bus companion, Paul from Wisconsin! It was his birthday!

I planned to use the Race Screen app (data screen) in miles so I could manually lap at some of the mile markers. The tunnel is known to screw with GPS so it was the perfect solution for that, plus not running the tangents ideally has messed me up in the past with overall pace, and this would help with that too! Except that my Garmin went haywire and changed back to kilometers without telling me! I tested it the night before and it was doing everything I wanted!

So, I was running with a screen that showed distance in kilometers, but pace (over the last 30 seconds) in minutes/mile, giving me split times in minutes/kilometer, but on all other data screens showing the distance in miles!!! Ya I’m confused even trying to explain that. The old me would have lost it, but I really couldn’t have cared less!

The race started after the American national anthem. We ran for less than a kilometer on an uneven and loose gravel stretch, and then right into the tunnel! It was dark, cool and echoey.

the Snoqualmie Tunnel!

The ground inside was much better – solid with just a few puddles here and there, but runners called out to those behind them to watch out. Because the floor of the tunnel is kind of domed, it was only really suitable to run about three across. This was perfect because it wasn’t too squishy and there was room to pass if needed. The tunnel felt really short to me but in reality it was over 4km long! So cool! Near the end, it got light enough that I was able to put my flashlight into the ziplock I was carrying long before it was time to toss it into the light collection bucket. Perfect.

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It was in the tunnel that I discovered my watch was being a freak. I decided to run by feel with those around me (we started around where the 3:35 pacer would have been..if there was one..) and then just see what happened once we were out of the tunnel. I had my pace tattoo if my watch fully betrayed me anyway!

Once out of the tunnel, the pacing on my Garmin seemed a bit erratic, but the kilometer split times made sense. I trusted it, but I also consulted the tattoo at every mile marker, comparing it to the “time elapsed” screen on my watch. This is the first time I’ve ever used a pace band and it was awesome! I am sold.

The rest of the course is a very mild downhill on an old gravel road which is the John Wayne Trail and the last part, the Snoqualmie Trail. The surface wasn’t bad at all but it’s worth noting that there were some parts that were fairly loose and rocky. I spent a lot of time with my eyes down, watching where my feet would be landing. But, when I wasn’t looking at the ground, the course was GORGEOUS!!!

not my pic, snagged from the race’s FB page

I had forgotten to switch my wedding rings to my silicone Qalo ring, but instead of letting that bother or worry me, I used it as a way to monitor hydration even closer than I would have and it really worked out for me! When I’m dehydrated my fingers majorly swell. It’s so uncomfortable, especially when wearing a metal ring, so I stayed perpetually aware of my hands and stopped at every single aid station to drink at least one full cup of water, sometimes two. This race is definitely the smartest I’ve ever been with respect to fueling and hydration.

There was an aid station with at least two volunteers every two miles after we came out of the tunnel, just before or after the odd mile markers. I found this to be perfect. More are always better, but there was no time where I found myself thinking they were too far apart. This race was very well aided!

At half way, I was almost two minutes ahead of the pace band. I had been monitoring my stomach and it was a good time to stop at a washroom. There aren’t many toilets along the course because there is no way to get them on to the trail. Like I said before though, in an emergent situation you could probably hide and squat anywhere along the entire course. I was quick and kept going, happy and thankful my gut wasn’t cramping up like it often does post-pit-stop.

After 16 miles, I now had to work harder to focus and stay in it. I’d already been stopping at every aid station to hydrate, but in the last third of the race I definitely had to divide and conquer my way to each station and stopping for water was also a rest. I had packed a tiny vial of peppermint oil inside my top and when I remembered it was there I was pumped. I rubbed it all over my arms and collar bones and the cool tingling seemed to keep my mind and body connected.

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My main mantra for this race was “Fluid, Focused, Fearless” but I also tapped into many of the other things that I pre-planned to focus on when it got more difficult. I thought of:

  • my friends at Ironman Canada in Whistler that same day
  • my friend Anthony who I met at the CIM expo, my friends Laura, Jeph, Steph, Karmen & Adam, and my Rupert Runners crew
  • Coach Andrew reminding me that racing is like boxing – we don’t give up from a couple “hits”. During multiple hard parts I thought, “that was just a little slap” or “one shot to the head can’t take me down“, etc.
  • the strong 10k I ran at the Tyhee Triathlon, when I was very tired, hot and my legs felt like wood
  • my favourite pro, Jordan Hasay
  • the author of Beyond Grit, Cindra Kamphoff
  • the Haida shield that I won the previous weekend, which was in my pocket!
  • my friend Owen and our favourite scene from Schitt’s Creek , which I added on to my mantra, now making it “Fluid, Focused, Fearless. Fold it in!!” HAHAHAHAH.

Why am I telling you all these things? Because it matters. A marathon is a long fuckin race and we need to be armed with perspective shifters, motivators and contingency plans!

The last ~8k of the race were very hard for me, but marathons are hard. Duh. At this point I knew I was too off pace to finish under 3:35, but I was well within breaking 3:40! Ladies and gentleman, the purpose of subsequent goals! I walked for a few seconds multiple times and pep talked myself to keep moving forward! A women who I saw many times (we kept passing each other whenever the other was regrouping) encouraged me and I’m so grateful for that! There was also a spectator who shouted at me in the final stretch “ALRIGHT OISELLE, SWING THOSE ARMS AND FINISH IT!” and I listened!!! Hell yeah, the power of the VolΓ©e team gear! Thank you, random man!

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My last mile was strong! Got back to goal pace and finished it off. Crossing the finish line, like in any marathon, was pure joy!

Cold wet towels were handed out right after medals were hung around our necks and those were heavenly! It was so sunny and beautiful out (and VERY hot by now) and it was such a fun vibe at the finish area!

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There were mini computers to sign up for next year’s race, screens to check chip times, race apparel for sale, snacks, hydration, photo opp spots, plus the super easy gear check retrieval. The volunteers who got my flashlight and gear bag for me were kids and they were so sweet!

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of course I wish I could have also held up the BQ sign, but I will eventually!

The finish line is a bit further than where we parked at Tollgate Park. There was a shuttle back to the parking lot and it was easy, short and fun.

I loved this event and I honestly couldn’t even think of any feedback to send when they requested it by email. Bus driver school? The organizers are obviously doing a great job, this race runs on both Saturday AND Sunday because of the popularity!

Although I missed the BQ by two and a half minutes, I am not disappointed in any way. I couldn’t have asked for more on this day! The weather was great and the temperature manageable, I ran what I’d consider my second strongest marathon (after CIM), I had fun and didn’t hit the wall or go to the dark place! Also, I discovered some new things about myself as a marathoner! I can:

  • efficiently utilize aid stations instead of carrying an annoying handheld
  • handle unexpected things like a cray Garmin
  • effectively use a pace band
  • coach myself into pushing for the B goal when the A goal has slipped away

PUMP up the JAMmie is not over. This training cycle was fantastic! Coach Andrew has helped me take over AN HOUR off of my first marathon time from May 2016, which was 4:40:50! I’ve been asked if I’ll try again to BQ before the 2019 Boston registration opens in September, but the answer is no. It’s time for a break, and then to continue my journey with Lifelong Endurance! Boston 2020 will be mine!

Conveniently, my qualifying time for Boston 2020 changes to sub 3:40. I will be thirty-five come Patriot’s Day 2020! I’m still going to chase a sub-3:35 though. Keep ya posted!

PUMP up the JAMmie! – Weeks 14 & 15/16

Getting so close! One week til Jack & Jill’s Marathon! Husband and I were on Haida Gwaii for an overdue honeymoon for the last week and a bit. With respect to the taper for this race, it was good to be away and distracted. Lifelong EnduranceΒ has me maintaining some good intensity over the last two weeks and I really like that – it helps me stay sane! I am ready to run.

I am feeling so calm and neutral about this marathon. My goal has turned into a range of times and more importantly, non-time-related goals, like staying focused and fluid and appreciating the beautiful course. I re-read Elizabeth Clor’s book, Boston Bound, recently and this is something that really REALLY resonates with me right now, as I’ve loosened my grip on the goals for next weekend:

“Investment model running is the attitude that you put “x” amount of time and effort into training to receive “y”result on race day..To set a PR or run a specific time, you need to invest the time and hard work. And on race day, it will all pay off.

[this way of thinking] does a disservice to all your hard work. A race result speaks to how you performed on one day in one set of conditions.”

I look forward to doing my very fking best next weekend, whatever the day hands me. Pumped. Here’s what went down the last two weeks, training wise. I’ll be recap our trip on its own because it was THE BEST TRIP OF MY LIFE.

Monday, July 9threst day!

I was surprisingly not sore or overly tired after the triathlon, but I knew it was still a good idea to stick to this scheduled rest day. It felt good to take a day off.

Tuesday, July 10thhard day

  • 2k warm-up
  • 2 x [15:00 @ marathon pace, 3:00 easy]
  • 2k cool-down

later on (and WAY too soon after pizza..)

  • 2k warm-up
  • 6 x [200m hard, 200m easy]
  • 2k cool-down

Wednesday, July 11theasy day

10k relaxed with Erin!

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Thursday, July 12theasy day

10k chill along the Cannery Road πŸ˜€

Friday, July 13th hard day

  • 3k warm-up
  • 2 miles @ ~ 4:35/km
  • 5 min jog to a hill
  • 10 x [1:00 hard hill, 1:00 jog down]
  • 3k cool-down

Got the first 2 steps done but it was time to go to the ferry terminal! I slept in a bit! Haida Gwaii bound woooooo!

I DID get the intervals done! They weren’t hill repeats but beach intervals, which were just as challenging in their own way. Super proud to have gotten it finished after a long day of travel and an unplanned camping situation right off the bat (explain later)

Saturday, July 14threst day

First morning waking up in the tent! I did run today, but it was very relaxed and slow on a logging road, chatting with husband beside me on his bike, and then along the beach we were exploring!

Sunday, July 15thlong run day

A planned 27k with no special instructions turned into 20k of extremely challenging and tiring beach running. It was SO beautiful though!! Again, proud to have gotten this +2 hours of running in while on vacation in the middle of nowhere at this point!

I went back and forth along Gray Bay twice, with a few kilometers on the logging road along the campsite in between πŸ˜€ The terrain varied from hard-packed beach to soft sand (the WORST AHAHA), rocky beach, big rocks, crawling over huge logs and some weird bouncy seaweed hay.

Monday, July 16theasy day

A small piece of the Secret Cove trail and the whole Gray Bay recreation site for 6.5km! No one else was as the campsite! I literally ran into every spot and checked each one out. We were in the money spot, #1, but I would also recommend the 10/11 site ahahah


Tuesday, July 17thhard day

Omg. This run was SO good! Tow Hill Road is the most beautiful road and the best quality of unpaved road you could imagine. With husband along side on the bike making me laugh and snapping a couple sweet pics that I didn’t know about, this run was one of my favourites ever!

  • 2k warm-up
  • 6k ~ marathon goal pace (I ran a bit faster)
  • 2k cool-down

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Wednesday, July 18theasy day

I skipped my run today and I’m happy to say it! We rode our bikes on the sand of North Beach for about seven kilometers. Then we walked another 5k to Rose Spit. Then back to the bikes (got a ride in the back of someones truck for like 2k) and then biked back again into a serious headwind!!

Then later we checked out the Tow Hill boardwalks and viewing platforms. My legs did a lot today!

Thursday, July 19th

10k Tow Hill Run!

I went from Agate Beach Campground, a little down Tow Hill Road towards Masset for some extra distance, and then to Tow Hill, to the blow hole and back out, up to the top viewing platform, back to the blow hole, out to the parking lot and back to the campsite which gave me 10k!

Followed by a 20k easy hike with husband to and from Cape Fife!

Friday, July 20thunplanned rest day

I went to bed with a headache the night before and woke up with the migraine from hell. It was terrible! I was actually crying as we packed up the campsite and thought I might need to go to the hospital if it didn’t calm down. This also happened to be our camping breaking point. LOL. More on that in trip post as well.

That migraine robbed me of my day! I was hurtin’ and felt one hundred years old from seven nights in the tent so I made an executive decision to skip the planned workout and use the race the next day as a good, solid 10k workout. Later on when I was feeling almost normal, we went for a hike/walk/jog on the Pesuta shipwreck trail. It was 5k each way and that was more than enough for the day.

Saturday, July 21strace day!

Totem to Totem 10k for both myself and husband. What a great course! I ran it exactly as was permitted by Coach Andrew – around half marathon pace. It worked out great and on this day was fast enough for first overall female! I’ll write a separate post about the race itself. The event was so wonderful and I will be back next year, that’s for SURE.

Sunday, July 22ndlast long(er) run day!

7k easy, 8k @ 5:00/km

Holy headwind!!! This run was so frustrating! My heart rate was so jacked from how hard I was working against the wind. I’m glad it’s over πŸ˜‚ I stopped a few times to have an internal hissy fit. I’m sure the four-hour nap on the overnight ferry didn’t help either. YODO.

It’s time to bank some sleep. I plan to go to bed around 8pm all week and get up at 4:30am. I know it sounds insane but I need my body to be okay with how early I need to get up for the race (the earliest bus to the start line goes at 4am I believe) and I also need it to know to go poo by 6am. LOLLLL.Β Talk soon!!!!! It’s happening!

2018 Tyhee Lake Triathlon!

This was my second time taking part in the Tyhee Lake Triathlon, and my second triathlon ever. Last year I completed the sprint distance and this year I came to tackle the Olympic distance. That day last year, I decided this was the best endurance event I’d ever experienced in Northern BC, and this year that decision was totally solidified!

The Tyhee Lake provincial park is AWESOME. Some may not think that camping is ideal for race weekend accommodations, but the campsite is beautiful, well-maintained, and there are showers and some flush toilets as well as standard outhouses. It was so nice to be staying AT the event.

On Saturday morning I woke up at six and saw that Erin was already awake. Immediate excitement!!! We ate breakfast right away (I had granola, a Happy Planet chocolate protein smoothie and a banana with peanut butter) and then started to get organized and go to the bathroom 500 times. Check-in/bike check was all going down from 7:45-8:30 and then the Olympic distance event started at 9:30, so we had lots of time.

Triathlon morning, I’ve come to learn, has way more stuff than running race morning! I gathered:

  • goggles, cap, earplugs
  • wetsuit
  • sunglasses, SpiBelt with a Clifbar and an Endurance Tap gel
  • water bottle with Skratch Labs powder
  • helmet
  • bike (duh)
  • runners, socks, hat, BodyGlide

On my body I was already wearing my new Smashfest Queen triathlon shorts (LOVE), sports bra and Garmin, which would go under the wetsuit for the swim and then stay on me for both the bike and run.

Erin and I went down to the event area (giant parking lot) with just our bikes to check-in, get our race numbers and swag-bags and then line up for the mandatory bike check. I got a fresh new bright yellow swim cap since I’d be wearing a full wetsuit and the number written on my arms and legs wouldn’t be visible until after the first transition. I love free shit ahahaha.

After our bikes were given the once-over we found a spot on the racks in the transition area to hang them up. Then we went back to our site to get the rest of the gear and set up our towels beneath our bikes with everything needed after the swim. A helpful tip I remembered from last time was to put my sunglasses and SpiBelt inside my helmet so forgetting them couldn’t happen.

At 9:15, I got into the lake to swim around and try to get the initial nerves out. I put my face in and blew bubbles slowly, swam a short distance out and back and just hung out in the water for a bit. I really didn’t want to have the swimming anxiety today!

the Piranhas

Ali, the amazing race director, did the countdown on the mic and we were off. I didn’t feel nervous and was prepared to start slow and get into it. No freaking out was happening and I wasn’t hyperventilating or anything, but I couldn’t seem to swim more than a few strokes without needing to breast stroke and try to slow down my breath and heart. Maybe it was just adrenaline. Anyways, I wasn’t worried and just kept going forward, and once I reached the second buoy (500m) I felt almost normal. At the completion of the 750m triangle, we had to stand and go around a cone before continuing for the second lap. Here, I knew I was good to go.

The second 750m went by in the blink of an eye and it was fun swimming hard and confidently in the final 250m!! 1500m33:09

Wearing silicone earplugs seemed to really help (thanks for the tip, Rheannon) because normally when I get out from an open water swim I am SO dizzy and nauseated. I got up the grassy hill to the transition area without issues and saw my friends from Telkwa cheering along the way! Wetsuit removal went smoothly and into my bag I chucked my cap, goggles and earplugs. Quickly dried my feet, threw on my socks, shoes, sunnies and Spibelt, fasted the helmet and un-racked my bike. Wooooo!

I don’t do a ton of cycling, that’s for sure and forty kilometers felt kinda long. It was very tiring, but it was so enjoyable! The bike course is gorgeous. It’s a rolling road and you can see the lake, cows and beautiful countryside. I ate a Clifbar immediately and then stuck with my bottle of Scratch for the rest of the ride for fuel and hydration. Quite a few people passed me on the ride, but I didn’t care; I was already stoked for the run! Sorry to the girl who I told my vagina hurt πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Coming back to the transition area upon completion of the bike segment is great because it’s downhill. 40k1:35:18

After I re-racked my bike and removed my helmet and belt, I grabbed an Endurance Tap, threw on my hat and got back out there for my favourite part! I don’t have the clip-in cycling shoes so didn’t have to do a shoe change. I’ll get those eventually..

My legs felt better than last year, that’s for sure! After spilling half my Endurance Tap down one leg, I told myself to just get the first kilometer done before making any judgements about how I felt. The first split is ~25m gain (the big hill that was so lovely at the end of the bike), which is brutal coming out of the transition!! I saw Corey on this hill and we agreed it was a cruel joke ahaha. After that, I felt okay and kept chugging forward. I took water at the first two stations and again at the third where there were sponges as well. I stopped for a sec to properly drink a cup of water and get a sponge. This was somewhere in kilometer four and I had to tell myself to suck it up and do this.

I wasted some time in kilometer four…

Erin and Shannon both passed in the opposite direction before I reached the 5k turnaround and it was so uplifting to see my friends!!! I started to feel really good and even though it was hot and sunny, I realized I did not give a F.

I passed a couple of people, including some burly men and it was pumping me up. At the turnaround, I got another sponge and got in the fuckin zone.

I passed more people in the second half of the run and was feeling like a million dollars, running on gumby legs or what Shannon calls meat sticks lololol. My legs were moving fast underneath me and my arms were swinging. I felt great!!! I saw Jessie and Matt too: all Piranhas accounted for!

I caught up to Shannon and her flowing hair and we crossed the finish line together, under three hours!!! What an amazing feeling!!!! My time for the run was actually the fastest women’s run time!! 10k (though my watch shows it a bit short..) : 50:48

reunited with Erin, who got 2nd place in our category and 3rd overall for women!

also reunited with Corey!

Cheryl got 3rd place in her category for the Sprint distance!!

Pippa and Ellen came for an impromptu duathlon! Ellen WON!

fking love this woman

This event is amazing! It’s so well-organized with great communication from the director. There is so much support on the course, especially for the swim and the run. The location is perfect and so is the vibe, it’s relaxed and not hard-core and intimidating. The swag bags are unreal! Afterwards, there is a delicious barbecue, tons of prizes and a beautiful lakefront to hang out at with friends/family while listening to the awards!

I’m so grateful that my friend Breeann encouraged me to take part in my first triathlon here at Tyhee lake just one year ago. I now LOVE triathlon! Seriously, I love it as much as I love running I think! Ironman 2021 (when I’m done school and can train), mark my words!!

I highly encourage you to consider participating in this event next year if you live in the area or will be nearby. There are various distances, including the “try-a-tri” which includes a 300m swim, 10k bike and 3k run.

This was one of my favourite days of my life and I’m thirty-three years old! I think it’s safe to say that the Tyhee Lake Triathlon is FANTASTIC!!! Thank you, Ali and all the volunteers who make this happen!

PUMP up the JAMmie! – Week 13/16

TWENTY DAYS out. This last week was big and awesome! One thing I very specifically took note of this week is the ability of my body to recover. Lifelong Endurance has guided me to becoming so much stronger, and I am really REALLY looking forward to running 42.2k on July 29th! I haven’t run a marathon in over four months. It’s (almost) time. LOL.

Monday, July 2ndeasy day

10k nice and easy. Didn’t really feel like going, ended up being awesome. Weird πŸ˜‰

Tuesday, July 3rdhard day

  • 3k easy
  • 8 x [800m ~4:30/km, 2:00 rest]
  • 3k easy (I only did 2)

Average pace for the eight 800s was 4:25/km. I took the rests very easy, walking for at least a minute of the 2:00 each time. I wanted these 800s to be solid because the last time I was at the track I was sick as a dog and it was very discouraging. Awesome workout!!

Later that day, 7k easy before dinner

Wednesday, July 4theasy day

Back on the road! I headed to Telkwa to visit my friends for a few days and then go camping with the tri crew on Friday. This is one of my favourite places on the planet.

10k easy was on the schedule. My friends live at the very top of basically a 10k hill. The final 2.5k to their house is the steepest! Every time I go I envision myself being able to run back up slowly but consistently and it never happens. I did intervals of 200m jog, 100m walk for the final 2.5k of this run.

Thursday, July 5threst day!

Zero exercising today! My quad was sore from the track on Tuesday and then the pounding downhill on Wednesday, so I was glad to take it easy! Plus, 38km was on schedule for the following day!

Friday, July 6thlong run day

Thirty-eight kilometers!!! This was the kind of run that didn’t feel AMAZING but also wasn’t anything to complain about. I wasn’t able to pick up the pace in the last 8k, which was the plan “if feeling good” but I was consistent and my fueling was awesome.

After food, coffee, nap and more visiting, I headed down to the Tyhee Lake campsite.

Saturday, July 7theasy day

6.5k easy along the triathlon run course! I considered skipping this run…we were on our feet all day long at the farmers’ market and exploring around downtown Smithers, and then Erin, Corey and myself went for a mini-swim to test the temperature of the lake. Adding on a run seemed like so much work, but I went for it. The beginning felt terrible! My quad felt like it had a rock hard knot in it on the left, and my left ankle was hurting too. But things improved and as always I was very happy to have gotten it done and stuck to my schedule.

Then it was dinner time with the tri crewΒ (now called the Piranhas) and very early to bed!! Wooooo!!!!

Sunday, July 8thhard day! Tyhee Lake Triathlon!

Okay. Triathlon is the BEST. You know how I am obsessed with marathons? I might be MORE obsessed with triathlon. I’ll write a full review of this race because it’s so great people need to know more about it, but in summary…

Swim: despite having gotten into the water pre-race and practicing some breathing and warming up, I couldn’t calm the F down for the first 500m. It was frustrating. I’ve worked so hard on my swim! At the second buoy, I started to pull myself together over the next 250m. The second loop was AWESOME and went by in the blink of an eye.

Bike: great! I am not an experienced cyclist and didn’t train nearly enough. This was hard, but bike riding is soooo fun! I worked as hard as I could and enjoyed myself. Forty kilometers felt long!

Run: started amazing, faded quite a bit and had some negative thoughts, told them to STFU, and then smashed the second half. I passed a lot of people! AND it was hot out and I didn’t even notice. Stoked on this run overall!

my girl Erin here got second place!

Such an amazing way to cap off the week! A super fun and exciting full-body workout that ended with running on very tired legs – excellent practice for the marathon! Such a positive racing experience with my friends.

SUMMARY

WEEKLY MILEAGE:Β  95km

INJURIES/PRE-HAB?Β  quad was concerning me but it seems to have loosened up and isn’t irritated anymore!

SLEEP?Β  fine

NUTRITION BRAGS?Β Β Um Skratch Labs powder has now served me well three times during hard and/or long workouts. My fueling on the 38k and during the tri was really good!

CURRENTLY READING:Β  probably going to listen to How Bad Do You Want It on repeat until the marathon now..

CONFIDENCE BOOSTER(S):Β Β the triathlon! Specifically the last 5km! Also putting 38k on these legs just two days before.

NEXT RACE:Β Β Jack & Jill’s Downhill Marathon. Holy shit.

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Scotiabank Vancouver Half & 5k!

I’ll start with the fact that I really LOVED this event! Since the week prior I was sick as a dog, I wasn’t too sure how it would go, but by the time race day came around I felt a lot better and my Friday and Saturday runs felt good. I wasn’t worried.

Bib/shirt pick-up was fast and easy at the Vancouver Convention Centre and the expo was very small. We were in and out within just a few minutes. I actually like the t-shirt and will wear it in real life after I take it in at the bottom. Why do shirts flare out at the bottom!?!?! It’s pretty plain but I love me a white t-shirt!

In the afternoon I managed to get in a SOLID nap. For dinner, we went to a Japanese restaurant and I stuck with a safe meal of edamame, tofu and rice. I also avoided sugar all day with the help of Karmen. Once I laid out all my gear for the next day, it was early to bed.

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By morning, I decided to go with minimal clothing. My fear of being hot is very real ahaha. I love the new Tracksmith crop that Karmen picked up for me when she was in Boston for the marathon, but it needs a bra underneath and two layers on a warm day was terrifying! It was Global Sports Bra Squad Day anyway, so I stuck with just a Lulu Energy Bra. I’m so glad I didn’t wear a shirt, I would have actually died.

I was up at 5:20, then left the house around 6:15 to meet my buddy Kelly (who killed his first half marathon in under two hours) and share a cab to UBC. The starting area is by Thunderbird and it was an easy place to get dropped off, as well as a really good area for a race to start! I managed to get in line for the bathroom before it got crazy. In my opinion there weren’t enough toilets. They were in small groups in different spots here and there I think? Anyways. So many great places to warm up like along Main Mall! I did a jog, drills and strides. Today I felt relaxed and calm about the race.

I got into the red corral around 7:20 and saw my friend Thai and some of his November Project Vancouver crew while waiting for the race to start. Then we were off! Here’s the profile:

My general plan was to run the first 7k at ~ 4:59/km. After 7k is when the giant downhill starts happening. I was a tiny bit fast at first in the initial 3k downhill, but I held back, and then a little slow on some of the following uphill splits for the next 4k. It didn’t matter, it all evened out and I was at a 4:59 average pace after 7k!

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I felt very patient and relaxed and tried to keep my heart rate in check. People around me were huffing and puffing and wheezing after just a few kilometers! It was already getting warm.

The next part of the plan was to run kilometers 8-12 around a 4:57/km pace. I tried to stay in the shade and felt VERY thankful that I decided to bring my handheld Nathan. Still, I took water at every aid station except the first. Somewhere in kilometer 8 I took a gel and it sat fine.

At times I had trouble running that ~4:57 pace. It felt easier to either relax into ~5:05/km, or to pick it up and flow around ~4:50/km; I couldn’t seem to find the middle. If it had been cool out, I would have taken a chance and just ran in the low 4:50s. But it was warm and I was afraid of burning out. Regardless, this 5k section went well!

My next section was 13-17k. Another 5k chunk that I wanted to run around 4:56/km. In kilometer 13 there is a short hill from Marine Drive up on to 4th and it was hard! I also didn’t want to send my heart rate buckwild. A downhill followed and I regrouped. Aside from the split with the hill, good section!

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having fun!

This next part of the course I just wanted to put forward my best effort until reaching the crest of the Burrard Street Bridge, which counts as home free in my books. Turning up Maple Street was challenging; I was now hot and tired, but the end was near! It was time to tackle the bridge. I saw East Van Run Crew at the turn off of Cornwall onto the bridge and ripped open my mocha Humagel hoping to add to the boost of seeing them. The bridge didn’t feel hard back in 2016 during the Vancouver Marathon, but I wasn’t running that race with any goal but completion. This was tough! It’s about a kilometer long, uphill with zero shade! I ignored my watch, swung my arms and smiled, and I might have been running with my eyes closed LOL.

The crest of the bridge is at 19k. Two kilometers left. I told myself every second counts and to run 2000m on downhill/flat with heart and caffeine. I was hurting and definitely didn’t have the best energy, but I was able to spin my legs for a 4:40 and 4:38 in 20 and 21, respectively.

At the 21k marker I had a thought..“fuck, am I gonna be that person who hits the deck in the last hundred meters?” πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ WTF brain!?!?! But I saw Karmen and Adam and thankfully made it! Thirty-three seconds shy of my sub-1:45 goal, but still a personal best!!! I can’t wait to run a cold Fall half marathon!

Kilometer 21!

I’ve always said I hate and suck at running in the heat. Not today mofo.

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Official time: 01:45:32. Good old Strava tells me that for 21.1k, I ran 01:44:29. Too bad tangents are a thing haha. I’ll get my real life sub-1:45 soon, I know it!

After crossing the finish I switched bibs (thank you, Adam!) and jogged the 5k race for a cool down and some extra mileage.

I also wanted another medal. Look, they’re big!

Karmen, Adam, Jess and I found each other and then we ran into Steph, who won the 5k! Quick pic, retrieved my gear bag that I checked at UBC, and then it was time for a shower and FOOD. We walked home along Pacific and got to support the half marathoners who were still coming in. This is also a section of the Vancouver Marathon and it brought back memories of 2016!!

Epic meal time today took place at the Twisted Fork on Granville. Banana-stuffed french toast with syrup and whipped cream? Yes fking please.

The Scotiabank Vancouver Half & 5k weekend was AWESOME!!! Yes, it’s bound to be hot, being a late June event, but the course is awesome (yet a little misleading at a glance) and I friggin LOVE running in Vancouver! This course is beautiful! The scenery is amazing and even though the Burrard Bridge is one of the hardest parts, it’s so gorgeous running over bridges!!! I would have liked to see at least a couple more water stations, especially considering the history of the weather at this event, but the aid stations were by no means scarce. I just think a few more would make a huge difference. There was some great spectator support and the finish area in Stanley Park is fantastic!! Sweet medals, decent shirt, and perfect start and finish areas! You should run this race next year! πŸ™‚

I’m just over four weeks out from the marathon. Yes, a faster half marathon time would be a huge confidence booster, but I still feel very happy that I wasn’t affected by warm temperatures the way I thought I would be. Also, it’s comforting to keep in mind that I am running a downhill marathon for a reason; to support my goal. I feel good and I’m excited!!!! Peeaaaace.