Friday, October 12, 2012

Random Friday Facts: “It’s Almost NZ Time” Edition

1) I've realized that when I say "I have a day off" most people assume I'm talking about work, but in fact, I'm talking about training. If I have a day off from work, I will specify that I have a day off “from work." Do all people who crazily train for endurance sports do this?

2) I watched a great little Canadian movie on my flight home from San Diego in August. The movie was called One Week. Who doesn’t love Pacey Witter? Anyway, you should totally watch it if you get a chance. Oh, and Gord Downie makes an appearance. [And now anyone reading this that is not Canadian is like “Who is Gord Downie?”]

3) I don’t really swear a lot, but the times I can’t seem to control ‘the swears’ are usually when I’m participating in some sort of athletic event or when I’m stuck in traffic. During athletics, I think it is because my focus is on the task at hand and I don’t have enough energy to devote to coming up with more eloquent words. In traffic, I dunno, maybe I’m just really tired of the long commute each day.

4) I often still time how long it takes me to pee and when I don’t, and it is a particularly long one, I’m always like “damn, I wish I would have timed that!” Then I laugh at myself.

5) I raced the 8k at the Victoria Marathon last weekend. Since then, I have not felt the urge/need to write an in depth race report (the blogosphere cries, I know). So instead, here it is in bullet points:
  • Shane dared me on the Saturday before the race to run without a watch. No Garmin. No Timex. No splits.
  • I did it!
  • I went out a bit too fast and definitely slowed down as the race progressed.
  • I think I may have pushed a bit harder if I had my watch and knew what my time was – or maybe I would have just beat myself up for going too slow. Who knows? Don’t care.
  • I thoroughly enjoyed the out and back course and spent a lot of time looking for all my friends on the way ‘back’. It was a nice distraction.
  • I technically PB’d (according to Shane and Kirsten) but did not actually PB (according to me).
  • Chip time: 37:29. Good enough for 9th in my age group.
  • I know I can run faster (because I have before) but I was actually pretty happy with this outing.
  • I felt like I ran strong and somewhat comfortable the whole time and it left me feeling pretty good mentally leading into Auckland (even if I am having minor “impostor” freak outs).
6) Shane and my Mom are considering skydiving while we are in NZ. It’s one of those things I feel like I will regret not doing when they land safely back on the ground, but I’m not sure I could physically do it. I think I would pass out the second that I was pushed out of the plane.

7) I bungee jumped when I was 17 (or was it 18?). I will (most likely) never do that again.

8) Last night I was doing some hill repeats at the end of my workout near my parents’ house. I ended up walking down the hill after one of the repeats with a young boy (about 10 years old I would guess). He looks at me and says “I wish my Mom would run up and down the hill like that.” My initial thought was that of confusion “does this boy think I’m as old as his Mom” then about a split second later, the realization hit me “oh gawd, I am old enough to be his Mom!” The whole scenario really made me laugh, but it also made me feel kind of old.

9) A long but interesting read: Marathon Man. I can’t imagine going to so much trouble to have a fast marathon time. It seems like it would be easier (and more satisfying) just to train hard rather than cheat.

10) My wave start in Auckland is at 7:09am and will be combined with the F25-29 age group, for a total of 127 scratching, clawing women all fighting for position in the pack. Somehow this makes me more nervous than the start of IMC where I was only swimming with, what, 2600+ of my closest friends. Go figure. That said, I’m pretty confident I can hold my own.

11) My furbaby Rusty turns 7 on Monday. At times he is such a curmudgeonly old man, then without a moment’s notice, he’s just a playful carefree little puppy. I sure love that wiggling, drooling, handsome little beast.

Next post from the Southern Hemisphere!
Peace Out.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


It is almost time to leave for NZ, which means it is almost the time when I will compete with the maple leaf across my chest (and my butt) and get to represent Canada at the Age Group World Championships.

It is all very exciting (and slightly nerve-wracking).

I’m not going to lie; I have these moments where I feel like a total impostor. It’s like this weird nightmare where I’m going to land in Auckland and “they” (I don’t know who “they” actually are) are going to figure out that it’s all a big mistake and I shouldn’t actually be there.

It’s a totally silly feeling, I know. I qualified. I am actually competitive at short course. I’m capable of going out there and working hard and laying down a good race… and yet, I’m still oddly waiting for someone to call me out – “IMPOSTOR!” they will shout across a crowded airport and/or race expo.

I keep joking with my family that I hope I don’t come last. As I say, it is a joke. I am pretty confident I won’t be last (but you never really know what can happen race day – and so I am currently knocking on wood), but even if I do come last, I’ll still be happy with the day so long as I cross the finish line knowing that I gave everything I could possible give.

I actually feel pretty ready. I know I’ve got a good race in me and I’m ready to push into that pain zone and see what my body is capable of. I’m ready to leave it all out there.

That said the nerves of the unknown have hit. It’s all so new; from having to pack my bike in a bike box, to not knowing how my body with handle the jet lag after a 14 hour flight, to racing in a foreign country, to… well, you get the idea.

*BIG SIGH* (I’m not feeling overwhelmed or anything, haha).

Regardless, it is happening. It is going to be a great adventure and while nervous, I am so excited and thankful for this experience and can’t wait to proudly represent Canada.

In just a few days I will travel through time. I hear they have “extreme roundabouts” in the future ;)
(Extreme bonus points if you get the reference).

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Victoria Race Weekend

So, I rode my bike yesterday morning and it didn’t suck. Granted, it was just an easy aerobic 90’ on the trainer, but still, I’ll take it as a win after last week’s bike blues.

Anyway, that isn’t what this post is about…

Nope, this post is about my favourite Thanksgiving weekend tradition ~ the Royal Victoria Marathon [I know it is actually called the Goodlife Victoria Marathon now, but I will probably always think of it as the RVM] and the wonderful race weekend atmosphere that comes with it!

In one way or another I have been spending Thanksgiving Sunday along the Victoria waterfront – either racing or cheering – for the past 5 or 6 years. It has become as much a staple in my Thanksgiving weekend as Tofurkey and mashed potatoes.

This weekend I will be taking on the 8k – short and (hopefully) fast is on the agenda for me in this final push to Auckland.

I have some time goals (which I have reassessed slightly after a painful and somewhat slow 5km time trial this past Sunday), but more than anything, I’m looking to try and run strong and relaxed, and just to generally have fun with it. I want to go into Auckland feeling good mentally. (Of course, setting a new 8k PB would most definitely help with that good feeling).

So, the time goals:
My previous best in an actual 8k race was at the Vancouver Marathon in 2011 (38:43). Not terrible, but I know I can do much better, as my best 8k split in a race came this year during the TC 10k (36:32). Unfortunately, because it wasn’t a true “8k race” (even though the split was officially timed) Shane and Kirsten won’t let me count this as my PB. So, my goal for Sunday is to be in that 36:xx range and finally, really and truly, have a solid 8k PB in my record books.

Other than that, it’s going to be a pretty cool event with lots of friends to cheer for. Shane, Kirsten, Dad, Tyler and my good friend Laura are all running the Half. Mom will be tackling the 8k with me, and in a very cool turn of events, 4 of our friends who came to cheer us on at Ironman (who were not previously runners) got inspired during that wonderful Ironman week in Penticton, and are running the 8k! It’ll be their first race, which is super awesome. Good luck Matt, Evelyne, Sean and Justin!

And you know, I think that is all I’ve got for today… Happy Thanksgiving to all you crazy Canucks out there!