Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Cross Country 4km Race

Oct 6 – Don’s Harrier Memorial 4K, Sunnybrooke Park, Toronto 

The day after my 50km race at Pinehurst, I raced a 4km with my team The Newmarket Huskies.

 As I limped out of bed Sunday morning, sore for running over 4h30 Saturday, I was thankful for the 1pm start of this race. After breakfast, coffee and a much too short visit, my family and I were back on the road, driving from London to Sunnybrooke park in Toronto.

 After my warmup, and some strides, I toed the line with my amazing teammates. My last thoughts were, 'this is going to hurt'! I am grateful the race was only 4km. I held a comfortable pace for the first 2k, pushed the big hill, and was patient threw kilometre 3.5.

 With 2nd place female just ahead of me, I thought, 'I could push for 2 more minutes, I suffered for the last 2 hours yesterday...what's 2 minutes today?' I passed her.

 Now, my sights were on the 1st place female. I wasn't far behind her. Could I push even harder?
My brain started calculating again: 'what's 30 more seconds?' PUSH, PUSH, PUSH!.

It worked out in my favour. I took over the lead and won the race by a short 3 seconds, with a time of 15:43. Whoohoo!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

50k Canadian Trail Championships

Run For the Toad, 50km Canadian Trail Championships 
Pinehurst Conservation Area Paris, ON
October 5th, 2013
$7000 cash prizes up for grabs for the top 5 overall runners, plus $500 if you break the course record

Female top 5 
1st place Stacie Carrigan 3:57:18 Kelowna BC
2nd place Christina Clark 4:11:32 Guelph ON
3rd place Stacey Cleveland 4:14:22 Penticton BC
4th place Lauren Mcniven 4:31:56 Beamsville ON
5th place Chantal Warriner 4:37:21 Minesing ON

4x 12.5km loops
overall pace 5:33/km
Lap 1 1:00:21
lap 2 1:03:07
lap 3 1:15:01
lap 4 1:18:57

Well, as you could see from the above splits, something didn't go as planned! Unfortunately.

As any racer will tell you, anything can happen on race day. Sometimes, training and mental preparation just isn't enough.

The first 2 laps were picture perfect. I felt comfortable, happy, and loving the atmosphere. I had my husband Jeff, my 2 beautiful daughters Jubilee and Maelle, my amazing step-mother in law Monica, and my great friend Robin with her 8 month old son Max cheering me on. I also had my friend Chris Brokenshire as a support. Life was good. I happily ran, seeing the above people at various parts of the course. I ate, I drank and I got continuous feedback on how well I was doing. I held 4th place, and was closing the gap on the 3rd place female. I followed my race plan until....Bang! Suddenly, with no notice, I wasn't feeling well.

At about the 30km mark, I suddenly felt like I swallowed a small bowling ball. I could no longer tolerate food, and could hardly drink any fluids. It just wasn't going away. By the 34th kilometre, I had been walking for ~5 minutes. I knew Chris was waiting for me at aid station #4. He immediately knew something was wrong. He walked along side me for a couple of minutes as I discussed my options with him . I was ready to tell him I was done for the day. It wasn't until he said it out loud "You're quitting the race?" that I knew quitting was not an option.

I drank a cup of coke (Manuel Saumon will love seeing this!) and started my journey to completion. I tolerated the pain in my gut but still couldn't eat or drink anything. I forced myself to sip water (which I now carried with me). I drank another cup of coke, hoping the calories would get me threw it. I got passed by another female competitor in the last few kilometres and was able to hold on to 5th.

I'm proud of myself for not giving up. It's unfortunate I wasn't able to pull it together for this prestigious race. Kudos to all the runners there. The race was very well organized. The volunteers were amazing. The speculators were top notch. The food afterwards was the best I've ever had at a race.

I want to sincerely thank Lisa Wilson (Concept of Movement Barrie), my physiotherapist, who without a doubt helped me with some obstacles leading into the race. She's the absolute best! Dr. Gavin Steciuk, chiropractor, thank you for all of the adjustments. Murray Wood, who adjusted my orthotics a week before the race and gave me a call after the race to wish me that's service! My wonderful coach and friend, Mike Coughlin at Discomfort Zone. I always feel supported with him in my corner., who makes me look chic and pretty in their practical and beautiful activewear. Check them out! My parents, step parents, and in-laws, thank you for the kind words of encouragement. My friends and relatives, who think I'm nuts :)! And most importantly, my husband, and beautiful daughters. I hope my 'obsession' with this sport is a good example for you. I see how proud you are in me. Thank you for the cheering. I love you.

There will be many more races to come. This 50k may of been the last of 2013's trail season, but it's just the beginning in my journey to ultra running.

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