The Race to Kinvara

And so begins my recollection of my adventure in Ireland. I kept meaning to post this sooner but I kept having thoughts of OOO I forgot that…so here is my summary!

 

I packed the night before   and was given a lift to the airport by my gracious parents. (love you Boo Mum and Dad) I had attempted to pack everything in a carry on but ended up checking in luggage . I got through security quite quick and proceeded to acquire a starbucks dinner/lunch as I knew I would not be fed on this flight. The joys of flying within Canada

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The first flight was shorter or at least i felt short for 4 hours, I proceeded to race to the bathroom and then attempt to find my second gate. I quickly began recognising people as they were rocking the Kit shirts we all received in the mail. They were a lovely poly cotton and super comfy for travel! I met Jenny who was not only on my team but was my roomie for the duration of the trip!

The second flight? was pretty glorious for me I had a WHOLE row to myself. So I took all 3 pillows, john bear and two blankets and made myself a little bed. I managed to get a few hours of sleep and was also surprised by how short the flight was…..I always forget that flying from the centre of the universe is quicker then Vancouver.

We arrived 10:40 local time and proceeded to customers. the Response “wow that’s a short trip” “Yes I am aware” was funny…but also quite old as everyone had been making that joke when I had first mentioned the trip.

I got my luggage right away (others did not) and we proceeded to head to the bus! We all received our kits. This is where I felt like an Olympic athlete. All of the gear was in my size and put together for us! I loved the yellow colour . In particular my favourite item is the jacket .I felt so beautiful as I tried the gear on. We then got settled freshened up and then had a delicious late lunch

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A few of us then wandered into Dublin. We came across a running store and hit a pub. I forget that when you order a cider…they really mean a BIG glass of cider….at this point I hadn’t really slept so I was probably pushing almost 20 hours of being awake despite my sleeping on the plane.

After some more wandering and photos we then proceeded to the Guinness storehouse tour. You may not know this internet but I am in fact allergic to beer! But this was now my second time in Dublin and dammit I was going to try some! Luckily as part of the tour..you get a small taster glass in which you are given specific instructions on how to properly drink Guinness. Word to the wise Guinness is a very dark beer and is essentially a meal. So I couldn’t even finish the taster…but I can see the appeal (and had no major skin reaction..I know It’s really sexy isn’t it) and proceeded to share my remaining taster with Trey from the states…who was really stoked. We became besties after that.

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I will say the Guinness tour is really fun even if you aren’t into the beer since you learn all about the advertising the company has done and the history on how it’s made. Not to mention the amazing 360 view at the end from over top of the city!

 

With that we were rushed off to our fancy dinner..where Team Canada White would begin to plot our legs of the race. So at this point my mileage was quite low so I opted to run 2 shorter legs which worked out well since some of my teammates only wanted to run once! We were strategic in picking because we all agreed at the end of the day we wanted to enjoy the race.

The food was delicious, we all got a beer stein glass (I gave mine to Mr Tall!) and proceeded to get to know each other as well as our driver Paul.

DAY 1

I got up at 530am. I am a morning person internet. But anything before 6am I considering quite gross. I proceeded to apply all the body glide and then perfect my lipstick as Jenny and I geared up to check out and eat. Breakfast at the hotel was perfect. Lots of variety and loads of time before the race started. We checked out and then procceeded to our shuttles….when I say shuttles I mean then :

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There were tables and proper seats. There was food and drinks and CUPCAKES. I could not believe this was all for us. OH and wifi because tweeting is important. Least in my world anyway . We drove to the start took photos and then geared for the first runners to leave. I kept finding myself just shaking my head. We hadn’t even started running it and I couldn’t believe my surroundings.

I agreed to run twice that day on the shorter distances. I ran 3rd after Shelby who is a wicked amazing trail runner and just seemed to breeze past the other runners on some serious hills. I waited at the transition zone. My nerves started to hit me. Next thing I knew Shelby was coming around the corner with the wristband . I initially ran the wrong way but then got back on track and started my trek. There were some seriously steep hills but I kept pushing myself along. I found myself in awe of how many sheep there are ….like whose taking care of all these sheep?

Next thing I know I see Marc come up beside me…he ran everyone in all day. What a guy. He was such an encouragement because I found the last hill quite taxing…but turns out I ran my fastest 5k in quite sometime. Given everything…I was so shocked..and I had major runners high going on.

We did have some slip ups. Shelby got lost on his 2nd leg and we lost some time with it. And poor Alex was having some stomach issues. But my god what an amazing support system this team was.  Oh and 3 of my team mates jumped into a river…so that’s the thing! We had so much fun as each of us took turns running. Shannon was definitely the mum of our team and is my inspiration of what I hope to be running like as I get older. Seriously shes a beast.

Jenny and I also bonded a lot! She was an excellent roommate and I could not have lucked out better with her. So cheers to her for being such a great buddy!

Marc ran everyone in as I mentioned. Tyler was such a great captain and sprinter. I don’t think I can speak highly enough of my teammates. As well our driver and motorcycle driver.

The 2nd leg was quite flat. I felt stiffer just from sitting in the van but again I found a good stride and pace. I was alone at one point running alongside a river and just enjoying the quiet. Strange thought but my usual running places are quite crowded so it was nice to enjoy the serenity of the run.

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Also life goal achieved. I made it onto the Saucony snapchat story TWICE.

After my 2nd leg I enjoyed this cupcake and we finished in Kilkenny. We got massages drinks….i felt so pampered! (Also slightly in pain as you can see in this photo….)

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We enjoyed an amazing dinner at our hotel and went around all the tables and talked about the highlights of our day. I went to bed that night after some drinks and relaxation .

DAY 2

Another early wake up call. But before we ran we played Tourist! I finally can say I’ve been to the Cliffs of Moher and my god are they stunning. Even the drive there seemed beautiful. About 10 minutes of taking photos the rain started to roll in a bit…but Ireland in July is quite mild .

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We then began our start from Doolin. Today I would be running the very last stage of the race. Meaning I had to wait all day but I was ok with that! The landscape on this run was quite different compared to the countryside the day prior. We were right by the ocean..and the sun was out!

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We cheered . We laughed. And then it came time to my run. I was running in not quite a back alley but that’s what it felt like…and eventually I made it on to a main road (don’t worry people were directing traffic)

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I honestly found myself getting nervous every time cars came by simply because I was seeing them on the other side of the road. I came down a slight hill and there was my team! We had a Canada flag and all sorts of stuff alongside our team sign. Tyler made it clear that we crossed as a team ! Marc even ran in cowboy boots. I’d like to give a special shout out to Alex who was an excellent cheerleader as I found myself wanting to slow down but I was so close to the finish.

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We then could see the finish line, we linked arms and crossed together. I could have cried and just about did. Massages drinks. We were done. The race was over.

Next thing you know we head to our hotel get changed and we head out to a traditional Irish dinner at bunratty castle which I would 100% recommend.  The food was excellent the dancing and singing were amazing and the staff just a riot to interact with. Everyone got finishers medal and the winners got plaques !

Some of my team partied. Some of us didn’t. But all of us toasted at dinner to our success and how much fun we had ! Also I believe almost every single person asked me in some variation “So do you just like live in red lipstick…because you had it on this entire time?” I was also asked on how I manage to keep it on so cleanly post run . What can I say? I like to run pretty!

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I woke up the next day, finished packing and we then bussed back to the Dublin Airport. Shawn made for an excellent bus buddy as I attempted to nap on his shoulder. I honestly felt like a sponsored athlete as I walked through the Airport in all my saucony gear.  The flights home were decent and my parents were there waiting for me as I waited for my bags.

REFLECTION

It’s been almost a month since the trip…and honestly it still doesn’t feel real. I have a lucky penny charm on my Pandora bracelet because I honestly had a lot of luck on my side going into this trip. 2016 has been an odd year and it really felt like things weren’t going my way. I met so many interesting people. I felt like the biggest nerd talking about running non stop but that’s why we all work in running retail. Because we have a passion and maybe even an obsession with the sport. Running enriches my life in so many ways and this trip is just one more reason. Not many people can say I’ve run across Ireland. Or parts of it anyway. The majority of people we spoke do locally were quite shocked that any person would attempt to do such a thing even in relay format.

Not to mention I’ve been consistently running every week since I’ve been home and still speed focused..! So huzzah!

 

But this trip couldn’t have come at a better time.

Thank you Saucony

Thank you Forerunners North Vancouver

Thank you Team Canada White

And thanks to all my friends who continue to support my running online and offline

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Defining Success

This is going to be a reflective post so please bare with me.

We are currently 5 months into 2016 and although this is a running blog this blog is also a platform for me to share my voice. Be it in the running world or otherwise. So please allow me to ramble about some of my challenges.

I’ve alluded to my job hunting on here which hasn’t been going as I anticipated. I’ve also been sick twice in the last month. I normally never get sick and I even had to miss work which I dislike doing but sharing germs is not part of the Beaver Scout motto!

With all this I was trying to use running as an escape to clear my head and really focus on the positive things in my life. Because lately it has felt like the universe was really testing me

My only major brag is I’ve had more gym sessions this year even with my #buffbridesmaid project last year. A special shoutout to Nick Gill for all the hard work he has put in to lose weight and finish the sun run ! So I already feel stronger this year and I plan to gym even more and work on dead lifts….wish me luck!

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I started out this year with strong hopes for the Sun Run but I wasn’t any faster . However i wasn’t the slowest I’ve ever been. In fact I just managed to have fun running the first 1k with Mr Tall and then meeting him at the end amongst the thousands of people running.

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Leading up to BMO I seriously considered deferring to next year. But something inside of me said not to. I had a lot of conversations the next few days about how personal running is and doing your best. And of course most of all judgement. With sport there is competition. One of the things I love about running is how you can compete against yourself. The sport is really what you make it and I don’t think running is unique in that respect.

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So why was I getting so hung up on how I didn’t train? It was my own fault so instead of dwelling on it..I worked on the mantra of finishing strong and injury free. As long as I could do that then I could focus on the next race and what that looks like for me. Yes I want to be faster of course but what is faster to me? I need to properly define these goals and form routine. At the end of the day this is my running journey and I have to remind myself of this when trying to overcome hurdles. Be it speed or otherwise.

With the word routine I noticed that was my intial challenge. I have a fair amount of free time with only one part time job no schooling and only some Scouting commitments. So I could have planned better..as someone or normally thrives on time management my mental health over job hunting seemed to take over my life. Something that I need to stop from happening this summer.

So BMO happened. I woke up early ran when I could. Walked when I had to. I admired how beautiful Vancouver is and had fun just watching the people around me. I was over 3 hours but I finished strong, upright, injury free…and best of all. NO SUNBURN! That in itself is worth so much! #teamporcelain. And I realised that I wasn’t the only one struggling I ended up chatting with a lot of people around me who also struggled this training cycle leading up to the race. So this was a nice reminder that we all wish we could do better but ultimately you can learn from each race and what you would do differently.

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This summer isn’t just about speed. It’s about the mental side of running and breaking through that blerch . But don’t worry…I’ll beat it again in September.

Today I went for my 1st run post race and I felt so springy in my new shoes. I’m already trying to figure out regular run days and gym days and most of all just trying to enjoy the experience. Gotta sort out some 5ks and 10ks to build with but once that’s set out I should be ready by September.

I will run strong. I will run faster. Most of all I will run happy and beat the blerch that is my slow steady running.

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The Final Stretch

An update on how things have been since June. (Fun fact I was at Jamboree for July!)

  • I’ve lost 2 more pounds
  • I haven’t measured inches yet but my clothes are telling me good things!
  • Packed lunches and my nalgene are my new best friend
  • I fell off track with my 100 day challenge but am determined to try and remain active leading up to the wedding

I am hoping in the next 28 days I can prove myself that I can stay on track when motivated. It’s so easy to cave. The bachlorette is coming up and there is always temptation. But it’s about making the right choices

With that I need to redirect my focus back to running.

I recently ran the Squamish Loggers Days 10k. It was a good run. Minus the blister . I ran with Emilie and even managed to convince Jeremy (or Mr Tall #teammrtall ) to run it.

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I completed the race in 1 hour 16 minutes. Compared to the West Van 10k I’m 2 minutes slower. I’m a lot of talk about getting faster and I do hope that I can push through that mental block.

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I’ve managed to get over it when it comes to my aversions to the gym. I need to really (and I do mean REALLY) embrace speed training and fighting past the doubt.

I have a 5k on the Horizon but otherwise I’m not running any more races till 2016. With that I hope to run 3 more half marathons next year. Not sure which ones yet but I really plan to sit down and figure out proper training and making sure i stick to it compared to last year.

This #buffbridesmaid isn’t done yet. Progress is progress. I will remain focused. I will not give up.

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Also I will blog more before the wedding! I can’t wait to see how the dresses turn out! 🙂

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The Next Phase

Since beginning my #buffbridesmaid goals back in January I’ve broken it down into stages

January – April was embracing the gym and exercise again

May- July is going to be diet

August leading up the wedding will be sticking to a rigid schedule

I’ve gone to the gym more in the past few months then I did all of last year. Even on days when I don’t feel like going I still manage to go and lift weights and remind myself why I’m doing this.

With this I ran the Modo 8k.

I arrived rather early since I wasn’t able to pick up my package the day before. However it was a really smooth process so that was awesome!

I waited around, warmed up a bit, chatted with friends I saw and seeded myself. I also used gear check for the first time since I didn’t have anyone waiting for me.

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I told myself I wanted to be under an hour. I ran without music and just focused on my form and the person ahead of me.

Prior to this race I had been running more with Scott .Running with a friend definitely helps me focus on holding a better pace.  As well running with Jeremy (who by the way is a foot taller then me which forces me to run faster…even if he does shorten his stride).

It’s paid off I ran it is 58 minutes. My one complaint is the fact that the race ends on an up hill…a little mean but otherwise I love my medal. The post race food was amazing and I eventually wandered over to get picked up by my mother

My progress

Since January I’m at 172 pounds. 6 pounds down which is interesting considering I’ve only been focused on excersise. I definitely need to embrace a meal plan. To me that means eating smaller portions and more water.

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I can comfortably lift 15 pounds. I’m hoping to hit 20 by the end of May.

If I’m being totally honest I wish I had more progress (breaking 10 pounds) but I do know that I need to keep pushing myself more and staying focused.

With that I need to refocus my love of running. I would love to run another trail race this summer, a zombie race and the Squamish 10k. I’m hoping with shorter distances (no more half marathons till 2016) I can get faster and eventually beat my half time as well as my 10k time.

What I am most proud of is my determination. Last year as soon as I got off track I’d beat myself up and just give up all together.

Next photo I take will be 20 pound weights!
Next photo I take will be 20 pound weights!

I’m only human. This is a slow process and I have to take it a day at a time.

I just need to keep repeating that as the summer goes on.

Know of any races I should check out this summer? Keep in mind I’ll have PJ in July (Yay jamboree! can’t wait to run whilst at camp!)

Either way once I get back from NYC I look forward to embracing my new free time with classes being over. As well as looking at proper nutrition

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275 Days

It’s a strange title but stick with me .

Somewhere between Rock & Roll and now I stopped running. I kept coming up with excuses and found myself unmotivated. In fact I had a run streak going in November until I managed to catch a cold. I don’t sick often internet but when I do..I end up missing work (which i despise doing!)

But I’m back now. Currently in exam season so this blogging is nice reprive from that. What have I been doing? Goal setting. Re evaluating my goals and what I want from running. I keep talking track, speed and that’s not happening! So I’m making a plan. I like plans. The whole reason I completed my first half marathon in 2013 was my timeline and plan . I had date to train to. Regular days to run. And it all seemed to fall into place! I have found that since then..it’s been a struggle.

I’ve got 275 days.

What does that mean? It’s a bit of an odd number I realize that .

This past year for me has been the rise of the #weddingpocalypse . Yes I did make that word up. I’m going to not one..but two weddings in 2015 (not to mention I’ve seen a plethora of engagements on facebook …even a couple running blogs I follow mentioned engagements!)

I’m not saying I’m old. But I’m not “young” either. I’m 22 and I definitely still feel too young to be in this “Let’s getting married and have children” phase. That being said the two weddings next year are couples in Scouting! And they are both a bit older then me..so that does play into that!

With one wedding in particular I am a bridesmaid! Check out the invitation I recieved

She made them herself because she's so talented!
She made them herself because she’s so talented!

I’ve known Nicholle since we first met at PJ 2007….can’t believe that was almost 8 years ago. And now I get to be in her wedding party.

This leads to me to my new fitness challenge

Becoming a Buff Bridesmaid.

The idea of #buffbridesmaid came into me when looking at my gym membership. I have one that has been used a bit this year but I really have an aversion to the gym. I can run by myself no problem but something about the gym alone is a bit of a struggle. I did manage to do more body weight and gym workouts when I was in Concrete Hero mode so I know I can get over this “fear” of the gym!

I should also say that I’m all for being body positive. Since running I have learned to appreciate my body more and what it can do. But I would love to improve certain things and feel more comfortable in my own skin.

So being a buff bridesmaid means. Running and lifting weights and just working on my whole body.

With this in mind I hope to see a steady improvement in running. I’m officially in training mode for running now.

In fact I’ve already signed up for my first race..you may have seen these images floating around the twitterverse!

Kinda love my pony tail in this!
Kinda love my pony tail in this!
Shout out to Kirill for sharing these shots with me!
Shout out to Kirill for sharing these shots with me!
Sprinting!
Sprinting!

I am proud to pronounce that I’m part of the Running Blog team for the annual West Van Run 5k/10k ! Also a huge thank you to Jennifer Strang . I don’t usually enjoy having my photo taken but you made it a very enjoyable experience!

I had such a fun time running that race in the snow that I was happy to jump at the opportunity to promote and support the event! Plus March is nice time of year to run. Even if it did snow on the course this year! The theme is We are Canucks so I’m hoping to try and coordinate a themed outfit!

Stay tuned for future blog posts on training for that as I am determined to PR again on that course!

I’m hoping after breaking the hour mark on my 10k I can finally tackle improving my half marathon time. I want to run 3 more half marathons before pushing the distance further. I also hope with this I will reward myself with a running tattoo!

I’m struggling with motivation internet I won’t lie..but I know that I can get back into a running groove. Especially once finals are over! Until then I’m working on getting over my gym fears!

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Fall Running (The end of my race season)

On Thanksgiving Monday, I celebrated my runniversary. (Yep pretty sure I made that word up but the sentiment remains the same)

In 2012 I ran the Granville Island Turkey Trot 10k for the first time..and I was instantly hooked on running races after that. I ran the 10k nonstop (Not a PR but I’m proud of another race is which I don’t run intervals)

I’m also thankful that the weather held out since it proceeded to pour rain for the next several days. During the race I found myself reflecting on my body and what’s happened since I’ve started running .

  • – I’ve lost weight
  • – I find myself happier
  • – I write about it, tweet about, and connect with others around the word via #runchat
  • – I’ve pushed myself to run trails instead of limiting myself to road races.
  • – I’ve made some amazing friends

Hard to believe this was me two years ago on that same day

Tracey and I before the start of the race!
Tracey and I before the start of the race!

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The Turkey Trot will always have a special place in my heart especially because of my mum since she was a big supporter having been running for awhile…unfortunately she’s had to stop due to arthritis. She still comes to most of my races and is always there to help me. For that I am grateful!

With that I lead you into my final race of the season. The Inaugural Rock & Roll Vancouver Half Marathon.

It was a perfect day for a run, not super hot, but the sun was out and I loved meeting up with people in the corrals as anticipated the start. I had also committed to running this race is costume

Captain America and Brittany!
Captain America and Brittany!

The dress I found at Hot Topic for those who are curious. It’s meant for cosplay so it’s made of a poly blend…perfect for running!

The race was going quite well initially, I ran past my supervisors house at around 5k, he got a photo of me apparently and I felt my second wind come at around 10k (this happens to me alot when training for long runs) and just as I felt strong..I managed to trip over my own two feet…and I hit the ground hard. Thankfully Tina was running beside me and was there to help me up. The first words out of my mouth were “How’s my face?” yep..you can tell where my priorities are at!

Course I only scraped my knee and my hands proceeded to be swollen for the remainder of the day…but boy can I feel it today as I’m writing to you…my back and shoulders really hurt. I imagine from bracing my fall. Essentially after that I found myself struggling to run..making for probably the slowest half marathon ever. I did however have the pleasure of running past my friends from No Island! and giving a couple of them nice sweaty hugs!

But I finished, I didn’t break any bones, so I’m glad things didn’t get worse. I will definitely be running Rock & Roll events in the future, I found the entire weekend well organized and I simply love my metal! The short was a touch boring but fits well so that’s all that matters.

I'm super!
I’m super!

So what’s the plan?

A run streak. As well as embracing track workouts because I NEED to get faster. I do say need..because although I don’t mind being a slow runner..it would be nice to break some records come 2015. Especially in the half distance.

I also have a unique/random fitness goal which I will explain in due time

In the mean time..I plan on relaxing and just enjoying my runs

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Melissa’s Road Race

In the summer of 2007 after PJ , my family and I went on a road trip. In Banff we discovered “Melissa’s Bar & Grill” or Melissa’s Misteak as it’s often known online as ! We ate there I got a shirt and socks and at 15 years old I said “One day I’ll run this race!” Little did I know 7 years later I would actually stay true to my word!

The sign up process was earlier this year and I had to get up an hour earlier since well Alberta is on Mountain time! It sells out everywhere and is regarded as a very popular race! I managed to sign up as well as CJ did too!

We set out on the Friday to drive to Banff…the ride was initially very wet but as we passed Kamloops the weather just remained grey we even saw some sunshine in golden!

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We arrived in Banff around 830. Checked into our hotel and proceeded to wander downtown banff for a late night dinner. Banff reminds me alot of Whistler just by the look of the streets shops and what not. We popped into an irish pub had some dinner and discussed our game plan for the day.

The hotel we stayed at was the Voyager Inn . We chose this hotel because a shuttle would be running a long to drive racers to the start line . A great idea since you can’t park near where the race begins and finishes. This stated in bold on the website. Alongside the warnings about wildlife…..!

 

Our hotel included breakfast. Well 7 dollars extra for a hot breakfast..so I guess it’s not really included is it? But I had cereal and toast and was perfectly ok with that. The shuttle dropped us off and we proceeded to walk for another 15 minutes eventually finding the start line gear check and other typical race amenities

We picked up our bibs and shirts. I ordered a hoodie and hat…because I wanted my name!

We participated in the warm up which was fun!

The 10k went out first. Then the half. I tried extremely hard to keep up with the 2:45 group but I found myself wheezing alittle bit. The course itself was beautiful as you run through the golf course but you can see mountains to right of you. The double loop i must admit was mentally challenging for myself. I usually prefer out and back courses. Not sure why but i do!

Either way it was cool out but not hot like Blerch so I didn’t find myself overheating which was nice. I had to talk to myself a lot about not stopping. I told myself things like

“You can finish, you’ve done this distance, you will become a half fanatic, and one day you will be faster then this”

I am a slow runner…for now! However the highlight was the final 2km in which I texted CJ I’m almost there. She proceed to call me and shout “YOU ARE ALMOST THERE BEAT THE BLERCH MELISSA YOU GOT THIS”

I was nearly in tears….(happy tears!)

I pushed hard for the final kilometer…I almost didn’t find it since the construction alongside lack of course marshalling but I went by sound and other people standing waiting for other runners.

I crossed the finish line in 3 hours 10 minutes. So better then Blerch which made me happy. I was sore and tired but CJ gave me a huge hug and screamed you DID IT!

I’ve officially submitted my application for half fanatic and am waiting processing of payment and such!

We wandered back to the hotel. Stopping for ice cream…because Cows is my absolute favourite!

We then went in the sauna and hot tub at the hotel which made us both feel AMAZING. I then treated CJ to dinner at Melissa’s as a thank you for driving and running the race with me. She completed it in 2:39. I am beyond impressed by her . I also told her since she ran this race for me…I will run whatever race she ends up picking ! She needs one with a medal I think!

We went to Melissa’s restaurant that night and then the pub to celebrate our achievements. The drive home was beautiful and I kept thinking about how crazy I must seem to some people

“YOU DROVE HOW LONG TO RUN HOW FAR?”

But it was worth it. I will be back to run Melissa’s one day.

Until then I’m relaxing and preparing for a few more races before 2014 is out!

(Having some issues uploading photos! Check back later!)

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Beating the Blerch!

It seems with all of school and work I neglected to post but fear not here is my review of the Inagural Beat the Blerch but first training runs!

Sunday is known as the long run day and I usually stick with road but this past sunday CJ and I took to Norvan falls

 

North Vancouver trails are amazing!
North Vancouver trails are amazing!

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I rather enjoyed pushing myself to go longer distances on the trails . No sure why I have the fear of it since I’ve done the half marathon distance 4 times now..but something about elevation on trails seems rather daunting. This run was technical but I enjoyed the challenge and eventually got comfortable

But I ran, it was cool starting off and returning it was rather warm. We ran/hiked/walked chatted. It was lovely. We talked about our goals , how we were feeling and general girly gossip.

With this recent trail run I’ve committed to some goals.

1- I will run at least 3 trail races next year, one course being Enduro

2- I will train for the Squamish 23

These seem lofty but I had this desire of being 23 and running the Squamish 23…yes much like my original half marathon goal I aspire for a champagne race!

My original plan with Beat the Blerch was to drive down with a friend and her husband unfortunately they had to miss the race to a conflict with crossfit. So with a transfer of names with hotel rooms I made the drive down with my mum that saturday. We spent the afternoon shopping and it was a gorgeous drive. I’ve never actually been this far down driving!

We checked into the hotel had dinner there to save ourselves some walking and then lounged the rest of the evening.

I woke up early sunday morning almost on autopilot as I am so used to running such early races…yet this half marathon started at 930!

That being said the hotel included complimentary breakfast and I didn’t want to miss out on that. So in most of my running gear I went downstairs and got some food

I was quite pleased with the breakfast ! It saved time looking for somewhere first thing on a sunday morning and wasn’t totally gross!

Thereafter , we checked out , got some step by step directions printed out for us and then drove to the race! That drive was lovely but a touch foggy which was interesting as the sun was starting to come out!

As we approached the race , we noticed an increase and traffic and I wasn’t totally loving the lack of people directing parking…as well we ended up driving farther down to park because no one communicated that onsite race parking was still available.

We parked then walked to the race. I had picked my bib up prior but they didn’t have a shirt for me! I would later exchange my size..as the L women’s….was so not an L.

I get a photo with the Oatmeal. An actual nice one. and I bought his book too!

My face is not an accurate display of how excited I was!
My face is not an accurate display of how excited I was!

The race begins! I start off strong! The blerches chased me! I had a cake (which I shouldn’t have and I think made me slower then I already am..but you only race…once? Nah doesn’t work!)

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I was impressed by the course. It was so beautiful and I loved how well prepared they were. I even saw the Oatmeal run past me in a fat suit….impressive!

Minus the parking and shirt mixup. The race was well run! I got chased by blerches, got cake and my photos turned out well and didn’t cost me a thing! So I will definitely be running this race again next year. In fact I may just drive down the day of and make a day trip of the race instead of an overnight. Considering how late a start it is!

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I even purchased a water bottle and socks which I plan on rocking when I had blerchy days running!

Coming up next Melissa’s Road Race & Half Fanatic Status!

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The Young Avengers (My Concrete Hero Experience)

Several months ago my lovely friend Haley told me I should do Concrete Hero. The only reason I wasn’t 100% sold on the idea was the fact that it involved obstacles. But she assured me it would be fun and I could do it (something something you run half marathons something something)

It also helped that Concrete Hero is a fundraiser for the BC Cancer Foundation. In this day and age you are pretty hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t been affected by Cancer. Although there many diseases out there in which we do not have cures, Cancer is just one of them.

My Grandfather Ivo passed away from Brain Cancer, it happened within weeks. I can still recall the memory of visiting him in the hospital . Had he not had a seizure we never would have discovered the tumour.

One of my favourite photos..besides some baby pictures
One of my favourite photos..besides some baby pictures

My best friend Kayla survived cancer. Bone cancer to specific. She has been in remission for 6 years and that’s simply amazing. It’s not easy losing your leg, but she’s done it so gracefully (and has even managed to make it on televison !)

Kayla and I at a concert, so basically our natural habitat
Kayla and I at a concert, so basically our natural habitat

I fund-raised for them. I ran with them in mind.

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And after the experience I had , I will most certainly be doing it again.

The race starts at a rather civilized time 10am. Check in beginning at 9. Warm starts at 940. So if you show up early you have plenty of time to get your bib , take some photos and hit the washroom before the race even starts. So this worked for me. They had parking space very close to the race start/finish so that was great too! Tristan was concerned about trying to leave afterwards but there were no issues there.

Now let me introduce you to my team…in which I only knew my Captain ..and the rest were just people on a facebook group..until race day!

Some of us are DC characters....either way we're super!
Some of us are DC characters….either way we’re super!

Also I would like to personally thank Jason Romein for these amazing photos! Starting from the left we have Ashley, Erica (or Airwrecka on Facebook) who would be my buddy for most of the event, Nicolyn, Haley our fearless leader, myself as Captain America, Brian !

Bib pickup was smooth, they had an on-line check in process prior making life a lot of easier! The race also had an amazing warm up lead by the amazing Karin! (Thank you for pumping all of us up!)

The obstacles were well spaced , there was a slight line whilst waiting to run through the school buses. Yes you read that right. I even got to honk the horn. Haley did require a band aid at one point, and the mugginess was pretty brutal. But we hopped over fire, ran through bubbles, I even fell off monkey bars into refreshing water! But still I kept trucking along!

The hardest obstacle was right at the end, aplty titled the Chief , here’s a couple shots to show you how brutal it was!

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I did require help climbing…as I was rather wet from the water causing me the slip when trying to climb. Note to self, don’t fall into water , stuff to work on next year. But check out this amazing jump shot !

Seriously Jason thank you so much for this picture
Seriously Jason thank you so much for this picture

This event was way too much fun. I love the medal, I love the cause, the atmosphere was amazing as everyone around was supportive. You can definitely count me in for next year . I hope to have some wicked arm muscles then so I can claim those monkey bars…and not fall! As well my team was number 5 for top 10 fundraisers, with our grand total amount being 3,480 dollars, which I think is pretty amazing. I am determined to beat that next year.

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Until then, this avenger is resting..but not for long as Beat the Blerch is getting close! Stay tuned for updates internet !

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