2018 BMO Vancouver 1/2 Marathon!

Wooooo!! What a sweet weekend!

First of all, no travel delays! Yay for spring! I got to Vancouver on Friday around five and after some catching up with my BFF, we went for ritualistic Thai food with Becca and Tanner. And laughed our balls off.

On Saturday I got out for my pre-race run, which I love! Lifelong Endurance always schedules 20:00 of easy running followed by strides (I did four). This always leaves me feeling fresh and ready to run at pace.

Later that day I went to the expo at the Convention Centre and it was BUSY. I was surprised I had to wait in line just to get into the exhibitor area. If you get to Vancouver before Saturday, go to the expo earlier! I believe it was open since Thursday. It took about twenty minutes in the line, and once inside I was efficient and grabbed my bib/packet, went through the chip checker and then straight to the race shirts. The shirts have a sweet course map on the back! Too bad the little volunteer accidentally gave me a men’s, but I will chop it into something I like. I went to the RUNVAN booth because they inboxed me on Instagram that they had a surprise for me! A $50 gift card to Mahoney’s!!!! So grateful! This expo is sweet! If I had been in the mood for shopping around and expo’ing hard, this would have been a really good expo to do so! Before I left I grabbed a free transit pass (best thing ever for race morning) and the famous blue BMO gloves!

At 3pm myself, Jess (@forminfocus) and Rita (@chopsticksdiary) were hosting the WeRunSocial meetup just outside the Convention Centre at the Olympic Cauldron. We were there for about forty-five minutes and got to chat with a dozen or so people about what they were racing the next day and how stoked everyone was. I wish we took our photo before some of the others had to go!

the R balloon blew away before I even got there!

Next, back to home base (Sarah’s) for hard chill time. Got my kit ready for the next day, ate way too much food (dumb) and went to bed early. Look at my number! Anyone who knows about yoga will love it! The weather was supposed to be warm (so for me, hot) so Volee crop seemed appropriate.

I got up on race morning at 4:15, ate my quick oats, drank some Nuun and got dressed. I skipped coffee this time to see how that would go. Around 5:30 I headed out on foot with my gear bag and transit pass and jogged to the Round House Skytrain station from Sarah’s in the West End. I packed a long sleeve, hoodie, toque (just in case) and protein bar. Half marathoners are instructed to get off the train at King Ed station and then volunteers tell everyone where to go. I joined the sea of people walking towards the start in Queen Elizabeth Park and stayed relaxed along the 10-ish minute walk.

Once at the start, I checked my bag right away at the UPS truck that corresponded to my corral colour (indicated on the bib), hit the porto-potties and got to my warm-up. I did ten minutes of easy jogging around the parking lot at Nat Bailey Stadium, then drills and strides, and lastly some light stretching and leg swings. Then it was time to go to the corrals!! I was a bit thirsty and forgot my Nuun bottle at Sarah’s when I left, so that had me a little irritated but I promised to take fluids at every single aid station and moved on with my life. Lol.

While walking to get into the corrals I look over and I’m basically walking with my friend Mary. She was like, “hey” as if we’d been together the whole time ahahah! We had a hug and a good luck, and parted ways. I found out later that Mary killed her first half marathon!!!

In the corral I felt nervous. I saw Steph (@anygivenrunday, who’s fast as lightning) and immediately thought, oh my God why am I in the yellow corral? But then I thought, shut the f*ck up, brain. I’m in this corral because it corresponds to my estimated finish time, and I am ready to run faster than that! (Registration was months ago, I wasn’t sand-bagging, my fitness is just better than it was when I signed up!)

Ditched the throw away shirt and it was go time. The first 3k of this race is a huge downhill. Everyone seems to run fast. My race plan corresponded to an A goal of 1:44:xx and a B goal of 1:45:xx (plus other subsequent goals), and the 1:45 AND 1:50 pace bunnies were running way faster than me and I could see them up ahead. I told myself to not get sucked in anymore than I probably already was and run my own race.

Once crossing the Cambie Street Bridge into downtown, I could have done a better job of dialing it back. I still stayed present and aware of my body, breathing and heart rate, but I should have slowed down a tad. After the section by Science World and the little out-and-back was done on Quebec Street, it was time to make the left turn onto Pender through China Town. I was reminded that even though that hill isn’t massive or anything, it’s still significant. I slowed down and tried to keep things under control, then once the hill came to an end I picked it up a bit. It was already getting challenging to keep pace and I was only around 8k.

I took my first gel and registered that what I considered “section one” was done. Right on. At the 10k mat it was starting to feel harder than it should, and my legs just did not want to run faster than 5:05-5:10/km so I did a little surge to jog their memory and it seemed to help. Once we got into Stanley Park the shade was great but I was once again reminded that running at effort on those hills is very challenging. The last time I ran this was back when I didn’t have much experience and I definitely didn’t have an eye on pace!

Anyways, I definitely felt my lack of sleep (I don’t think I slept well for at least a week before this) and this is where I really had to start negotiating with my mind. Keep pushing!! Fight for what you want! Around here is where I planned to take a second gel – the caffeinated one. I literally forgot! I didn’t even remember this until like an hour after the race!!! Such an unfortunate mistake, it likely would have helped SO much!! No wonder I was fading.

When we got out of Stanley park back onto the Seawall and into the sun, there were 5k to go. I commanded my body to just get uncomfortable and find a rhythm. It kinda worked, with some ups and downs, but I was running out of energy. Missing my gel probably had SO MUCH to do with it! Argh! Live and learn.

The transition from the Seawall back to pavement is on a path, and I vividly remember running this part of the race in 2014, where I got a huge energy boost. I dug as deep as I could, and it really helped to see my Volee teammate Annie and the East Van Run Crew at the 20km marker!!! I forced myself up Denman and around the left turn onto West Georgia. I am almost done!!!!! Slight left on to Pender…and then…I saw on my watch 1:43:xx…OMG! Go, go, go!!!!! I FORGOT THE FINISH STRETCH OF THIS COURSE IS SO. FUCKING. LONG!!!!! First I thought, get there for 1:44!!! But then I realized how far I still was from the finish arch and it wasn’t possible, so I said GET THE 1:45!!! This was the first race I can remember where I had nothing left for kicking it to the finish. I could NOT run faster. But I made it!!!! 1:45:49!!!! OVERJOYED! Someone had SCREAMED my name as I was coming down the fan zone and I later found out it was my old buddy Joe! Spectators are unbelievably motivating!!!

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I saw Steph almost immediately after getting my medal (and then again after getting my gear bag). She nailed her race! The medals are awesome and have the same course map on them as the event t-shirts. Love! I got a juice box, water and a banana and doddled my way out of the finisher’s area to the half marathon gear pick-up. I was tired, but felt fantastic! Should have grabbed a bag of chips, too.

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Eventually, Sarah and I found one another and had the best slow-walk back to her place in the sun, planning our brunch and beach day with my cousin-in-law Hannah.

The rest of the day was spent eating, lounging and then meeting up with my old boss, the legend Serge, for dinner on the Mahoney’s patio! Sarah and I took the Aqua Bus back home across False Creek and that was pretty much the perfect day.

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I wish I had made it back to the finishing area to cheer in the full marathoners but my legs and problem ankle were not willing. Congratulations to everyone who ran the 8k, half marathon and full marathon!!!!

Here’s how I made out:

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BMO Vancouver Marathon weekend is the shit! Vancouver is spectacular as it is, and the courses for each distance offered are beautiful, scenic routes. The expo is big and exciting, the swag is great and the entire event is extremely organized. It’s easy to get to the starting line via the Canada Line, which is key. There are more than enough aid stations, great crowd support and an exciting finish line and street festival! The medals are always cool, too! I haven’t run the 8k before, but both the half and full marathon courses are great; some challenging hills but majority flat or rolling.

I had a great day this Sunday, and an awesome overall weekend. The plan is to be back again next year to run one of the races, depending on what’s happening in my running and school life at that time!

What does this mean for Operation: PUMP up the JAMmie? It means I’m on track! Coach Andrew says we’re right where we should be at this point. Now for twelve weeks of very hard work! Thank you, Lifelong Endurance! Next check-in race: the Skeena River Relay on June 2nd with my team, the Gooeyducks! Talk soon.

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PUMP up the JAMmie! – Week 4/16

Yahoo another race weekend! Thank you, Lifelong Endurance and Kristen, I’m ready!! Heading out to Vancouver today so I’ll let you know how the went next week!

Monday, April 30theasy day..

First a swim, then a Butze loop with my friend Pippa, and later, a session with Kristen! She kicked my ass as usual. I love how well she understands my running goals and how she supports them with the training she puts me through.

 

Tuesday, May 1sthard day

Tempo run! I (thought I) felt fine from the hard workout with Kristen and was pumped for this run!

  • 3k easy
  • 4k @ 4:58 – 4:46/km
  • 3k easy

It was going AMAZINGLY until I hit that fourth tempo kilometer and suddenly my whole body remembered the workout and I freaked out and stopped! Gah! So annoyed! Then I finished it off, but I supposed I’ve learned my lesson now – no hard gym sessions before hard run day…even if it’s just a little tempo run. My friend Bailey’s tattoo says “Knowledge is just a rumour until it lives in the muscle” ..it’s no longer just a rumour that I shouldn’t do a hard gym sesh the day before a harder run. LOL.

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Later, I went to Learn to Run to shake out my body and get in some extra (social) mileage. Ended up with ten more easy Ks for a 20 kilometer day!

Wednesday, May 2ndrecovery day

Felt sore and tired from Monday and yesterday so I started the day with 20:00 of yoga to get going.

After work, 45:00 swim.

This day was stressful for non-training reasons and I was so over it so that was it.

Thursday, May 3rdeasy day

7k aerobic in the evening, since I slept in AGAIN. Sleep has been shit all week!

Friday, May 4theasy day

6.5k aerobic

I headed out for this right after a nap and felt really sluggish. Kept my watch covered so I’d run by feel only, and ended up with a progression run that felt great once I was warmed up!

Heading to Vancouver now! Tomorrow is the usual pre-race run from Lifelong Endurance: 20:00 easy + strides. Might hit up the Friendship Run at the Running Room on Denman and get my run in there, and hopefully meet John Stanton! The WRS meetup is tomorrow too, and then race day on Sunday! Byeeee!

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PUMP up the JAMmie Day 25: BMO Half Marathon Plans!

I am stoked for this weekend! As I’ve mentioned in the past, I LOVE BMO Vancouver Marathon weekend and Lifelong Endurance and Kristen have me feeling prepared! No sugary snacks pre-race this time! This morning I was digging around on MarathonFoto for old race pics for comparison’s sake and found these gems

This was 2014 – my second ever half marathon, well before Lifelong Endurance was in the picture. The photo on the left is a bit misleading, as I actually had a great day. I improved by twenty-two minutes compared to the first half that I ran in San Francisco six months earlier with Team in Training!

These photos aren’t of the greatest quality, but I can tell that my face is puffy, I have big bags under my eyes and my body looks very different from today (and I’m not talking about running form). I was still boozing regularly at this time in life. The big improvements that tend to come at the beginning of a running journey, party animal or not, didn’t last long. I didn’t run a new personal best in the haf marathon distance for two and a half years after this. Not by coincidence, the new PR finally happened just about a year into sobriety. Obviously quitting drinking alone didn’t transform me into a better runner, but it has definitely been a game changer, along with a new level of commitment, experience and a fantastic coach!

I can’t wait to run this Sunday as the new and improved me! Jamie Komadina! That’s Wesselmania up there in the pics LOL.

Here’s the course we are lookin at, thanks to Strava:

I want to approach this race the same way as The Tenacious Ten; gradual progression, but plan for a more aggressive finish if things are going well. I felt like I had more in me in Seattle and I believe I can hold pace for five more kilometers. On Sunday, I plan to treat the first 3k as a warm-up and run by feel, not conservatively but keeping a close eye on my heart rate. Then, once across the Cambie Bridge and it flattens out, dial back a bit and “start” the plan, which is at this point:

  • Kms 4-10: smooth & controlled
  • Kms 11-16: applying some pressure but still controlled
  • Kms 17-21.1: progress to slay-mode

The weather is looking fine, body feels good and I can’t wait to see my friends in Vancouver, plus everyone who shows up for the #WeRunSocial meetup!

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Tomorrow the Week 4/16 recap will go up early, and then I’ll talk to you next week! If you aren’t running, think about it for next year. Here’s a little preview!

 

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Upcoming events & GOALS!

Yahoo! Can’t believe it’s already halfway through February! Life goes by fast. Don’t get me wrong, I’m okay with Winter…but it’s not my favourite season and I’m sure many runners would agree. I love cold weather running, but snow, ice and darkness can be very inconvenient!

I’m starting the Spring transition early this year. First, heading down south to Arizona to run my seventh full marathon. Then, March (which I consider Spring) has presented the opportunity for a local 5k! We say local here when it’s within say, a four hour drive, LOL. In April I have two races lined up, both which I have run before and love, so that’s exciting and fun for goal setting!

Here’s what I wanna aim for at this point in time, always keeping in mind that Coach might have other plans that come into play closer to the dates πŸ™‚ Thank you to Lifelong Endurance for the readiness I’m feeling this early in the year!

Saturday, February 24th – The Sprouts Mesa-PHX Marathon!

I’ve mentioned it a lot in training recaps, I don’t have a specific goal for this race. My goal marathon is in July, so I really like the way this has me feeling relaxed about Phoenix.

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The course is fast, but from the dozens of reviews I’ve read, it’s (obviously) not just a nice jaunt down a mountain! For one, 42.2k is 42.2k! Apparently, the profile can be quite deceiving too, since the majority of the elevation drop is in the first half and then the second half of the race basically flattens out. There’s also the temptation to fly out of the gate on that initial downhill and be left with regrets later, so it will be a test of patience! The temperature could be a factor later in the race as well, especially for this Canadian. We’ll see what happens!

I’ve thought about covering my watch, but I doubt that will happen. The goal is to run happy, and push it in the second half if things are feeling good. Other goals are to stay relaxed, have fun and enjoy the cacti! IF the stars seem to be perfectly alignging, I will shoot for a 5:20/km overall pace. No matter what happens it’s going to be awesome to check out a new marathon event, and meet up with the PRO Compression crew!

Saturday, March 17th – St. Patrick’s Day 5k!

This run is in Terrace and hosted by the recently resurrected Skeena Valley Runners! OMG. The 5k. Also known as, in my brain at least, the scariest race distance. Pain train.

I’ve never raced a 5k! There was the Disneyworld 5k in 2017, but that wasn’t even timed. I just cruised along, saving myself for the rest of the Dopey Challenge. Last May I ran the 5k in the local race that I co-direct, but I don’t count that.

For this St. Patty’s race I’d like to run an overall pace under 4:40/km. Back in October I ran a twenty minute fit-test for Coach Andrew (in the dark, on the boring-ass track) – 20 minutes, 4.28 km, 4:40/km. This seems like a fair goal to aim for for the 5km.

Sunday, April 8th – The Rupert Half + 8k Road Race

Woohoo, favourite home race! Last year I had a great day, running my current half marathon personal best, and finishing third overall female. Yeah, it’s a small race, but I am very proud of that day. It’s an interesting course, and on a section of road that us locals run almost every single weekend, which can be good or bad, depending on how you look at it!

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The goal for this year is to improve my time on this half course, which would also lead to a new half PR! Currently sitting at 01:50:48. On the hunt for a sub-1:50! I’d like to be in the top 3 again, too!

*if you live around here and haven’t run in this event before, check out THIS post**

Saturday, April 21st – The Tenacious Ten in Seattle, presented by Oiselle

I. Love. Seattle! And this race! And we are going down with a #badassladygang of five of us! The race goes around Lake Union and the start/finish is in Gasworks park! AND it’s hosted by Oiselle! Last year I had a great day running the 10 mile distance, but I went out too fast and it haunted me a little in the last 5k. I’d say it was overall a pretty solid run, BUT, I know I can do better this year!

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Tenacious Ten 2017! Whitney & Justin are both running again this year!

The goal as of right now: 1:18:xx. Last year my “official” time was 1:21:36, but that was faster than what my Garmin said…and everyone else said their chip times were fast, too. My watch actually read 1:22:40. Regardless, I think with a more conservative start and the fitness I’ve gained over the last year, sub 1:20 will be mine, but I want to push for an average pace in the low 4:5x/km.

Running is not about being better than someone else, it’s about being better than you used to be.

So, that’s what’s coming up in the next eight-ish weeks! Are you planning to run in any of these events? If so, let me know!

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BMO Vancouver Marathon Weekend! Who’s with me?

Have you ever taken part in BMO Vancouver Marathon weekend? I have, twice, and it’s AWESOME. So awesome, in fact, that I’m going back for a third time, and I doubt it will be my last!

Race day is thirteen weeks out as of this Sunday, February 4th. My coach has built plans for the half and full distances, so if you are looking for an AWESOME guide, see the end of this post for links and a discount code!

In 2014 I ran the half and even though it was MISERABLE out and we were soaked before even leaving the corrals, I loved it! Then, in 2016, I went back for my first go at the marathon distance, and once again BMO Vancouver seriously delivered. It’s hands down the most scenic of the six marathons I’ve fun so far. The 8k is a race I’ve yet to run, but the course doesn’t seem to skip out on any of the scenery Vancouver has to offer just because the distance is shorter. It cuts right through Stanley Park and winds around Brockton Point into Coal Harbour to the downtown finish line on Pender.

This year, I’m registered to run the half marathon. Lifelong Endurance and my coach are preparing me to get there feeling confident and strong. My goal for the 21.1 km distance in 2018 is a sub-1:45. Whether or not I’ll be ready to lay that down at BMO will become more evident as we progress, but as of right now, that’s the plan!

This is what the BMO 1/2 route looks like. If you aren’t familiar with Vancouver, the map may not mean much, but you can still take note of a few things:

  • the fact that more than 1/3 of the distance is along the Pacific Ocean!
  • running over any city bridge kicks ass! Crossing the Cambie Street Bridge over False Creek is no exception. It’s literally BREATHTAKING (trust me)
  • participants get to run some big chunks of the Stanley Park Seawall, plus run THROUGH Stanley Park as well, which was named the best park in the WORLD according to TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice Awards in 2013.

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Other things that I remember are:

  • the glorious downhill during the first few kilometers from Queen Elizabeth Park to the Cambie Bridge
  • one short and sweet out-and-back – perfect for high-fives, encouraging others, and seeing other runners you may know who are slightly ahead or behind you (normally I don’t enjoy out-and-backs, but this one is short)
  • emerging from Stanley Park with 5km to go, for round two of Seawall action, and the stunning Coal Harbour

The full marathon is equally as amazing. Looking back, I would say it is an ideal marathon for your first, if you are going after it for the first time. EFF YEAH!!!

I’m really looking forward to running this course again. I will continue to recap my weeks on the blog as I train for the BMO half within my build-up for my goal marathon in July, JACK AND JILL!!!!! You should come meet up at BMO weekend!!!

Update: I am co-hosting the #WeRunSocial meetup for BMO weekend! Join us!! If you are wondering what this is, it’s nothing more than a bunch of fun people getting together to get fired up before race day, meet new friends and take a big group pic!

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Here is a half marathon training plan for you built by Andrew. You can use code JAMMIESENTME for 25% off.

Here is a full marathon training plan for you built by Andrew as well. Again, you can use code JAMMIESENTME for 25% off!

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RUN 2017 – recap & lessons learned!

It’s mid-December. How? I feel like yesterday I was in the final weeks of training for the Dopey Challenge at Disneyworld. That was in January! So much happened this year in my running life. Awesome races. Some necessary let-downs. Some massive breakthroughs. This year, I can confidently say I transitioned from believing that I was “just a slow runner, running solely for fun” (my protection from failure) to knowing that I’m making serious gains by saying fuck off to negative, self-limiting beliefs about my body and mind’s capabilities. I also made the game-changing adjustment from being results-oriented to process-oriented. Yes, it’s an ongoing adjustment, but serious progress was made! Nothing makes me as proud as this and I can’t thank my coach and Lifelong Endurance enough for all they’ve helped me achieve so far!

Here are some highlights of the year of running, and what I learned from it all. Some of this is great, some not so much, but it ALL contributed to growth. People say to be patient, which is so annoying, but it’s true and worth it! I look to seeing what happens in 2018.

January

Completed the Dopey Challenge at Disneyworld! I went for the bling, and to run the marathon (my third) on my birthday! I ended up finishing in 4:11, which put me into a position of having run a PR in each marathon so far. I was now officially OBSESSED with finish times! (This is bad). The only marathon I had actually run strong and smart was the first one back in May. The final 10-15KΒ of marathons 2 and 3 were brutal. It would take me about nine months to understand the lesson that: focusing completely on an outcome instead of the process, doesn’t work.

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February

Now I was training for the Calgary Marathon, which I have no idea why I signed up for in the first place. I knew nothing about the event or course, which is not a good way to pick out a goal race. The lesson I would come to learn:Β when gunning for a big goal, pick a course that is supportive of said goal!

March

Double 10K weekend! I was still very intimidated by “running fast”, and shorter races generally require faster running! In the first of the two, I realized that the pace I had been thinking of running on Sunday (the goal race) was a total sand-bag. I ran the Hot Chocolate Run pretty conservatively that Saturday but it got me into a good mindset for the next day. The WestVanRun 10K was the first race ever where my average pace was under 5min/km. 4:59 baby! That was a big breakthrough for me, mostly in the confidence department! I ran that race strong and smart from start to finish. The lesson I learned: don’t set arbitrary limits!

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April

Rupert 1/2 Marathon time! At this point, I had only just broken two hours in the half marathon the previous November at the Vancouver Historic Half. Also, I had a slightly negative attitude towards small, local runs in my community. I enjoyed the hype of bigger events and the excitement of runcations. Looking back, I think I also liked how anonymous it was, running in cities that I didn’t live in. I went into the Rupert 1/2 with zero expectations but ended up tucked in behind the two winners for the majority of the race! This was the smartest race I’ve run, up until that point. I finished strong and earned myself a near 7 minute personal best and a silver medal!! (Two golds were awarded to the winners, my friends Jessie and Erin, who crossed the finish line holding hands!) Another confidence booster! The lesson I learned: the race is what you make it. I can do my best any time I decide to. Of course this had me plugging my new PB into all the race calculators to see if I was on track for a sub-4 marathon…I was now fully convinced that I should be able to run sub-4 in Calgary next month. (This is bad).

Shortly after I ran a pretty strong in the end, but poorly paced 10-miler in Seattle. I was a little over-confident from the last race and ran too fast in the beginning, fading significantly after 10k. Still a great race, awesome weekend with my girl Whitney, and a unique distance, too, for us Canadians.Β Lesson: don’t go out too fast. It always feels good at the start. Don’t.Go.Out.Too.Fast.

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May

Calgary. Ugh. Hahaha. I went subconsciously knowing I wasn’t ready for sub-4, but still wishing for it. That doesn’t make sense! My long runs in training were done with the wrong attitude and execution. My obsession with improving and running a “fast time” was unhealthy! Calgary sucked for me. I knew from like 12k in that I was out of my league, with regards to this arbitrary goal. The heat didn’t help, either. It’s okay though, because it’s been a big part of this marathon journey so far! Lesson: goals should be challenging, but realistic and approached with confidence. We can’t do in a race what we haven’t done in training. (Physically, or mentally).

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Crystal & I saved each other on this day! So happy to be done.

June

I felt ripped off and dissatisfied after Calgary so I frantically searched for another marathon to run! Stupid Calgary! LOL, just kidding. The Rock’n’Roll Seattle Marathon was three weeks later. I ran the first half with the 4-hour pacers, frantically looking at my watch and dreading failing again. Then, at half-way I had a GI disaster and the rest of the race I ran-walked in a “this is so unfair” head space. I fully admit it, I felt sorry for myself. I wondered why running comes naturally to others, but not me. I wondered if maybe I just wasn’t cut-out to run marathons. At least it was a gorgeous course and my weekend with Marcie was really fun! Finishing a marathon is a feat in itself, but I wasn’t where I wanted to be so I didn’t see it that way. This was destroying me mentally because I was chasing after something that I wasn’t prepared to achieve yet. Lesson: desperately chasing a goal isn’t the way. Build confidence through proper preparation and then stalk it down like a boss.

Let me say, I am so glad Calgary and Seattle happened. πŸ™‚

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crying on the inside ahahah

July

I ran easy through July, maintaining a good base but not doing any structured training. I’m proud of myself for this, because I am so goal-oriented that I seem to need a goal race on the calendar all the time and each week planned out! The CIM was on my December calendar, but the training cycle for that would start towards the end of August. Lesson: it’s important to take time to run just because you love it!

August

I ran a humbling 10K in Montreal. I figured that because over five months had gone by since that breakthrough in March, and since I’d been running more and training harder most of the year, that I should be able to run a PR. There’s that should again. I know better than to should all over myself! Suzanne taught me better! It’s not about what we theoretically could do, it’s what we ACTUALLY DO! Anyways, I went out too fast and obsessed over my watch instead of running the race! I was just thinking about the finish time! I still had no idea yet how to be process-oriented! So yeah, I blew up just after 5k and struggled to hold pace for the second half. Oh well, I really did learn a lot from how shitty I felt afterwards from burning out and totally giving up. The lessons I learned that day were: get that ego under control, a big ego is not your friend. And, dont’ go out too fast. I feel like I’ve heard that one before…

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September

I ordered a book called The Resilient Runner off Amazon shortly after that bust in Montreal. The book is awesome; simple and to the point, and it helped me focus on training one day at a time. I found some real consistency at this early point in CIM training when discovering how helpful it was to break up each run or workout into pieces to stay focused. I started running paces that I never thought I’d be able to. It felt so good to run “fast” (relative term, I know) and I hammered out each day’s prescribed run, feeling more confident weekly! This book really solidified the lesson to focus on what you’re doing right now, today. It’s really all you can do!

October

This was my month of shit-kicking all the workouts. I truly looked forward to every single run, but especially the tempo runs, interval workouts and even the scary track sessions. Coach Andrew had me run a fit test and it was a huge confidence booster! I held a pace for 20 minutes that, a year ago, I’d have laughed if someone told me I could one day run that pace at all, let alone for 20 whole minutes! Mindset was what made October so magnificent. I was believing in myself hard and making friends with being uncomfortable, learning the lessonΒ that by staying in the now and welcoming discomfort, really cool shit goes down!!!

November

The scariest long run of EVER was on the schedule – 30K progression-style run. I knew I could do it though, and I did. I had such an improved grasp on pacing by now and ran each 10K at easy, moderate, then up-tempo. WOOO!!! Finally, I felt like I could head out with a plan, and execute it. I was learning how to be in charge! I wrote a post about these feelings here, if you want.

Then, time for a tune-up before CIM: the RUNVAN Fall Classic. I wanted a PR badly, but the course looked challenging from a pacing point of view, so I went in with the goal to do my best and keep a strong mental game. It went well! I pretty much tied the Rupert 1/2 marathon pace, falling just 7 seconds short of a new personal best! I think I ran my fastest finish-kick EVER and really enjoyed treating the day as a dress-rehearsal for my goal race, now three weeks away. There was a point in the Fall Classic where I felt really tired and walked a few steps, two or three times. I was disappointed in this, but it reminded me that if I hadn’t walked, maybe I’d have a new personal record? Maybe! Lesson: shuffling is faster than walking. LOL. We are rarely incapable of running another step, unless collapsed on the ground unconscious.

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December

Marathon time. Ready! Now, I knew what it felt like to run strong and at goal pace, even after 2+ hours, because I did it in training! I knew how to start running easy, without thinking about the end. I had mantras. I had rituals. I was super excited about THE PROCESS. This was going to be an adventure, not a frantic struggle from the beginning to try to end up with a specific time on the clock!

I closed off 2017 in the best possible way – by running 42.2km from start to finish, smart and focused. When it was time to think about the final stretch (hint – when I got there) I powered through to the most rewarding experience of my running life. In November, I told Coach Andrew I had a boner (sorry, that’s what I said though) for a time of 03:51. We talked about an A+ perfect-day-ever goal of sub-3:50, but I told him about the 3:51 because it felt attainable yet very challenging, AND because I love math, it would be an exact 20-minute improvement over my personal record at Disney. We knew I was in the range of 3:59-3:49 for sure, unless disaster struck.

I finished in Sacramento with a 03:51:18. A twenty-minute, nine-second personal record! It’s funny because even though I love this SO much, it doesn’t really matter in the end. I ran the whole race, never walked, squished all negative thoughts, fought through the final 5km when it started to get really hard, and finished as strong as I could. I didn’t really think about my finish time until the final mile! Every lesson learned all year came into play at CIM. You can read about the CIM here if you are interested, it’s a fantastic event!

 

So that was 2017! I’m stoked for whatever 2018 will bring as I continue to work and grow with Coach Andrew and the Lifelong Endurance team. I have some fun races lined up and some SCARY AS SHIT (BUT REALLY AWESOME) GOALS!!! Those will come in another post. Coach Andrew and I are going to lay out some cool adventures, and it might be fun for you to follow along and see how it goes, or even join in on the training and/or racing adventures with us! Stay tuned and Happy New Year to you!!!

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