My first DNF and what comes with it…

Hi. I’m so sad. But I’m happy, too. Also proud. Angry. Frustrated. Hahahaha. So many emotions over here right now!!

Sunday was my first DNF, which for those who aren’t familiar, means Did Not Finish. There are many old sayings about finishing no matter what, crawling across the finish line if necessary, doing WHATEVER it takes, etc, which are total bullshit when real pain is involved. But still, versions of these quotes were swirling around my head for the good part of an hour before I had to make the call.

I have a confession to make (mostly to myself, LOL). I AM INJURED. FML. There I said it ahahaha. The denial has been going on for over a month. I’ve been experiencing moderate to sometimes intense lateral knee pain during most runs, especially long ones, and after. Not every single day or sustained, but it’s sore or painful in the morning, while running, going up and down stairs, hovering over the brake pedal, and even walking when it’s flared up. Pretty sure this stems from the excessive sitting I’ve done since going back to school. Close to an hour in the truck each way, plus 4-6 hours of sitting in class daily, depending on what we’re doing. As my friend Karmen says, “sitting is evil.” She says this because it’s true. It shortens, tightens and weakens multiple areas that are important for running.

On Sunday morning the marathon began and I felt good but a bit paranoid, wondering how it would go with respect to the right lateral knee. By 4k I felt some sensation, but nothing worrisome, and the rest of me felt great. I continued to be aware of tension in the problem area and so I didn’t want to walk through aid stations – a characteristic of ITBS is pain upon stopping-restarting. It kept getting more and more noticeable, becoming uncomfortable, and then at a water station ~24k I paused briefly to properly drink, and as I resumed running I felt pain to the point that it took my breath away.

FUCKKKKK!!!!!“…I saw two spectators look at me like, whoa she’s going down, but I felt it out and got to jogging, hoping it would calm down, which it just barely.

At this point I started the chat in my head. Totally fine with slowing down – this was not a goal race and I was doing it simply because I love this shit. But I did slow way down and it still hurt badly! I had tears in my eyes, a combination of pain plus just knowing this was a bad sign. Then I asked myself if maybe I could truly jog, like sloowww. I don’t care if it takes me six hours to finish this thing. But that didn’t work either. Every step felt like I was doing harm to my body. I took some walk breaks but it still hurt, as walking still requires knee flexion..

By now I was on my way south to pass City Park for the second time (it’s a two-loop course) and I asked myself if I could make it twelve more kilometers safely. The answer was no 😦

It really was the best choice – to stop repetitively flexing and extending a joint that was causing me pain, and which was getting more aggravated and inflamed with every step. So I called it. I walked onto the grass in the park and started un-pinning my bib. It was so sad, like an extremely emo music video or bad part of a romantic comedy. LOL. There was no ugly crying but I wanted to.

I felt embarrassed, which is ridiculous because I made a wise, responsible decision. But still. I folded my bib in half so no one could see the colour, went and collected my gear-check bag and put on my sweatshirt quickly and put away my sunglasses and headband. I was soooo sad you guys. I am sad. The inner critic spoke up and made it worse:

“you SERIOUSLY couldn’t have gone twelve more kilometers?”

“how bad could it have actually hurt?”

“there must have been a way to finish?”

I limped out and waited for my friend Joey to finish, happy cried for him and sad cried for me. Had a brief visit with another friend, Gary, who smashed his sub 1:30 half goal, and slowly made my way to the truck.

Now I’m sitting here (with my right leg propped up) writing about this. It’s still bothering me. I’m mad at school, because that’s where I sit all day. I’m frustrated with my body because it isn’t allowing me to do my favourite thing in the entire world. I am so upset that I didn’t cross the finish-line, yet proud for being responsible. I’m happy that what’s going on can very likely be healed with rest, different therapy approaches and strength training, but I’m fuckin annoyed that I have to now initiate operation get un-injured!!!! I’m also worried about how long it will take to get fully better and how much fitness I’ll lose. Sigh.

In one day I got a reality check about so many things. The importance of rest. How crucial it is to address little things that feel off before they turn into bigger problems. The fact that I haven’t actually taken even a partial off-season in the last two and a half years, and now I’m being forced to. How hard it is to check the ego and call it off in a race or even a training run. To honestly differentiate between discomfort and pain, and between what’s safe or unsafe.

It’s interesting to me that I was beating myself up about this, and still am a little. If a friend of mine told me this story, I would commend them for making a smart choice and not causing more injury or prolonging the rehab period. Why are we mean to ourselves, but not others???

So now..I’ll get to devising a rehabilitation plan that will include a lot of yoga, swimming, clam shells and pool running, if it feels okay. Getting better is a goal of its own, and great things seem to happen after set-backs so I look forward to what will happen after I take this time to heal up. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, some things I’m thankful for with respect to the weekend’s DNF:

  • it wasn’t a goal race
  • nothing is broken, torn, detached, etc.
  • I can still swim and do as much yoga as I want
  • I will rest and recover, ease back into it, and hit the next running related goal HARD

I hope you had an awesome long weekend, and if you raced, I hope it went well! So many I people I know ran fantastic half and full marathons, smashing goals related to both time and mental strength. For anyone dealing with an injury right now, I get it, and for anyone who has or does find themself in a painful DNF situation, remember what I’m telling myself…

Listen to the body.

There are many, many races to come.

Rest and recover now so that there’s the choice to continue in the future.

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TTYS xoxoxo Jamie

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Adult marathon addict goes back to school…LOL.

Hi!

AHH!! The adjustments happening right now in my life are major! From the summer off work to full days of school, small town to a city, no commute to an hour each way…no traffic to traffic. Add on top the fact that I actually care this time around (LOL) and I’m swamped! I was texting today with my friend Ali, we did our pharmacy degrees together years ago, and I told her this:

Ali. The tables have turned. I AM NOW KEEN.

Thank God for this! The RMT program used to be three years but now it’s jammed into two! Me and my classmates’ lives are kind of over. I better be keen! But, HOW is a person supposed to fit in regular exercise, let alone legit training, amongst meal prep (no income, no buying lunches!), commuting, over six hours of classes a day, more commuting, studying (even already, yes), chores and trying not to forget about EATING, SLEEPING and communication with family and friends? People with kids are like stfu hahaha

HAHAHA poor me! Just kidding, don’t worry, I know I’m not the first person in history to have a very full schedule and feel like there aren’t enough hours in a day. I’m just writing about what’s going on with me and the little obsession of mine called running. I like writing about stuff that might be relatable to you reading this in one way or another.

After week one, I’ve made a few conclusions:

  1. I can and will still run often. I can carve out time.
  2. Maybe not QUITE as much as before
  3. If I don’t meal prep and be organized, I’m doomed
  4. For the foreseeable future, I can’t effectively prioritize training like I did before

Just had to read number four again and ask myself if it has to be true, but it does. Unless I wanna not sleep, run myself into the ground or fail school, training has to take a back seat. OKAY THE MIDDLE ROW OF SEATS LIKE IN A MINIVAN.

I did a couple of evening runs, which isn’t my style but I’ll take what I can get, and then I did two experiments that confirmed everything is going to be cool..πŸ˜…

Morning running in my hood would mean hitting the road when traffic is annoying. But, if I’m up at five and leave the house by six, I can:

  • have an hour to run in Vernon, shower and be seated in class on time (8:30)
  • get to the Sails in Kelowna for November Project on Wednesdays, then make it to school with time to spare
  • be home in West Kelowna around 5pm with time to eat, study, do tasks of life, get ready for the next day and be in bed by 9:30

I will also have lots of time to swim in Vernon in the mornings once the pool opens again. Fewf πŸ˜‚

This post is so dramatic. I don’t care! Running and training are my true passions and how I stay physically, mentally and spiritually healthy. I refuse to become any kind of unhealthy while becoming a registered massage therapist. I refuse to give up my passion. My husband, home, family, best friends, training buddies and cat all got left behind for this career change endeavor and the one thing I didn’t have to say so-long to was running. I’ve never had to care about time management this much before, but it can be done and I’ll do it! πŸ™‚

The Okanagan Marathon is in four weeks and I will be ready for it! It’s not a goal race, but I’ll be ready for the distance and who knows, maybe I’ll even be prepared to give it my best shot.

Are you going through any challenging adjustments right now?

Fitness freak in a new city…my tips!

yoooooo!!!

I feel like I fell off the face of the Internet. LOL. Seriously. Didn’t even post on Instagram for eight days! hahahaha

The move to the Okanagan was hectic. It went a bit like this: Prince Rupert, flat tire, Kelowna, Vancouver, wedding, Kelowna, flat tire, Kamloops, Kelowna, Kamloops, new set of tires, Vernon, Penticton, wedding, Kelowna, Vernon….HOLY F*CK. It was pretty overwhelming and I felt a bit homesick almost right away for Northern BC.

Moving involves so much change and it can also be really intimidating. Social circles, training buddies and comfort zones get left behind. Then add on the task of maintaining a fitness routine…yikes. That part is like trying to stick with exercise habits while on holidays..except not just for a week or two.

I knew that if I waited to get on top of this necessary re-creation of my fitness routine I would feel shitty, sad and it would be hard to get going again. Choosing to see a new place and situation as an adventure, and as an opportunity to explore new things (sometimes scary) is the key to success, in my opinion.

Tip #1: just fucking go.

A couple days after ALL THE DRIVING was done, the first thing I did was go on a short run from my new spot at my MIL’s house. I’ve heard people say “I don’t know my way around.” or “I’ll get lost.” as an excuse for not running in a new place. Good try. It’s called an out-and-back, plus I know we all have Google maps! I ran for 3k in one direction, found a sick hill and ran up and down it, and then back the way I came. There. First run done and no longer feeling shitty about a few days in the vehicle sitting on my ass. The next day I planned a far longer route, also using maps.

Tip #2: do some simple research

Google around for some mainstream running/walking/cycling spots to start out with. Even look at a few hashtags or other stuff on social media! Seriously. I clicked #runkelowna, looked at segments on Strava, searched for paths and trails and looked up local races to see what areas they are in. Also, familiarize with the general area with Google maps or even a real map ahaha. Sounds touristy but who likes feeling like they don’t know which way is up? Not me.

Tip #3: find a crew

Go to a meet-up or an event of some kind and meet a couple people! Even in very small towns you can usually find something sooner or later like a small race, fundraiser or fun run. Lots of running stores have group runs, and I always come across different activity squads on Instagram. You don’t have to show up and start yelling “HI EVERYONE I’M JAMIE I JUST MOVED HERE WHO WANTS TO BE MY FRIEND??” nor is a full commitment necessary. Unless it’s awesome you don’t have to stay or return! Just put yourself out there. People are generally nice.

When I go to any city I check if they have a November Project tribe. If you don’t know what this is, you need to know. So far I have gone to NP in Montreal, Seattle, Vancouver and now Kelowna. Always a good time and always good people!!!!! I’m 2/2 for Wednesday mornings since I got here and plan to see how long I can streak. Some of us went for coffee after today’s workout. People are nice! #JustShowUp

Tip #3: join a training clinic

I met some amazing people when I trained for my very first half marathon in 2013 with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training, many who I’m still connected with today in one way or another. Yep, the first time you show up it can be scary, just like the first day of a course or a new job, but that’s normal!!!

Most communities have beginners’ programs too, like Couch to 5k, etc. I just signed up for a trail running clinic with P.A.C.E. that was recommended by one of my Instagram friends (Instagram friends are real) as well as a friend-of-a-relative who I just met last weekend. It starts September 19th and I’m stoked for new connections, learning the trails around my new area, variety and accountability!

Tip #4: find a buddy

Even if you don’t know a single person in an unfamiliar place, someone else you know might! Ask someone at home to hook you up with one of their contacts in the new location, even for one run or just to be in contact for recommendations. Six degrees of separation, people!

There are a few people in my new area who I can meet up with and I plan to, but I really lucked out this first week – two of my favourite run buddies were in town from Victoria. They showed me part of the Okanagan Rail Trail that’s being developed from Kelowna to all the way up by Coldstream!

I have no problem exploring new places solo (thanks to Suzanne) but if you feel you need a buddy, I know you can find one! I’ll have lots once school starts, I’m sure!

Tip #5: take advantage of new amenities

Gyms. Yoga studios. Aquatic Centres. I know many people don’t like going to new places alone, and I admit it’s not my most favourite thing, but once arriving at these places we get busy! I like to remind myself that people go to these kinda places primarily to be active and feel good, and any socializing is usually secondary.

There are so many places that offer amazing discounts or promos to new visitors. Last night I went to a complimentary hot yoga class with my mother-in-law, I was her guest since I’d never been there before. Even if your first visit somewhere isn’t complimentary, just drop in, it’s not like you have to become a member to try out a new class, pool, workout space, etc. I dropped into a sweet pool yesterday because the one I want to go to on my way to school is closed for maintenance.

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I think moving requires lots of trial and error. Learning the area and how to get places. Testing out spots to hang out, run, workout, practice. Interacting with new people who start out as strangers, may become part of your life, but might just be acquaintances or even remain strangers! New colleagues, classmates, instructors, coaches, roommates, you name it. The unknown is uncomfortable but fun, and I plan to have as much fun as I can with this! If you find yourself in unfamiliar territory, I hope you take a similar perspective.

talk soon

Jamie

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

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!