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Tales of a funny tummy: working on that race day fuel!

I think I’ve talked a little bit about my nausea-woes, but I’ve never really talked about where they began and how much I’ve struggled with my “funny tummy” over the years. It all started in 2012 when I was travelling home from Australia (I lived there for 2 years), through India, Nepal and China. I was away for 2 and a half months and in that short period I was sick with food poisoning 3 times. After I got home from that trip my stomach never really felt quite right, as my husband would say I did not have an “iron gut”. I was often bloated and most foods went straight through me. It was manageable for a while in my day-to-day life, I just thought I had a sensitive stomach, it wasn’t until I started marathon training in 2013 that I realized how bad it really was.IMG_1012

Running on empty

When I started running long distances I struggled HARD with what my stomach could tolerate on the go…which at the time was pretty much nothing! I went back to the usual gels and chews that I used to use, but I couldn’t stomach them and would end up eating next to nothing on the 2-3+ hour training runs. It took me 2 marathons and ending up in the medical tent of my second to realize that if I wanted to become a stronger runner, I needed to fuel better and sort this sh*& out!

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I’m smiling because it’s over…moments later I was throwing up and in the med tent!

Getting answers

My first step was an appointment with a naturopath who explained that the food poisoning had caused me to have a “leaky gut” and that a food sensitivity test would be the first step followed by a cleanse, which I did. I was super strict with what I ate for about 6-8 months and felt soooo much better! But I still struggled to find the right fuel during my runs. Most of the gels and brands out there {such as GU, powergels and Clif shots} still reeked havoc on my tummy and the others {like honey stingers, Skratch and Huma} that did go down easy, I couldn’t stomach after 2 or 3…especially if it was hot and my mouth was dry #worst 🤢

Maple syrup for the win!

Finally, on a really hot day in 2015 I came across Endurance Tap gels at my local running store and took them out for a test run…they were sooo good! They went down super easy, were really liquidy so I could get them down quickly, and they didn’t make me feel queasy after multiple hours of eating them (even in the heat)… I was in love! I used to think I was one of the only ones that struggled with my race nutrition and fuelling; but lately I’ve seen so many posts and received so many messages from people saying they feel the exact same way! It’s hard to find something that works, but I think if you’ve struggled like I have, than I think one of the keys is the fewer the ingredients the better. I think Endurance Tap works for me because it only has 3: maple syrup, ginger and salt which has definitely saved my tummy and my training!

During this training cycle I’ve made it a goal to really practice my race-day nutrition during my long and tempo runs and have been exclusively taking an ET every 35-45mins…and for once I actually feel good! I guess this is what it’s like to be properly fuelled🙈 So if all goes to plan on race day, it will be the first Marathon EVER that I won’t be under-fuelled and energy deprived!! Fingers crossed 🤞🏼

Do you struggle with fuelling? What works for you?

TRY ENDURANCE TAP FOR YOURSELF WITH THE DISCOUNT CODE “GoodForMyTummy” and get 20% off until May 7🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼

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Let’s Catch up on March!

Please excuse me for my absence this month…because this month I became A DOG MOM!! And since I don’t have kids, I can only imagine that it’s pretty much the same thing as being a real baby momma (said sarcastically, but also kind of wondering if it’s true🤔); given that you barely have time to yourself and whenever you decide to be productive she wines, cries or is just so cute you can’t get anything done! Oh, and my sleep has suffered because I have to get up multiple times in the night so she can go pee. But it’s totally worth it because I love her soooooo much!! So there you go, I’ve pretty much caught you up on my entire month in a few short sentences…okay well not entirely, but that’s definitely been the highlight!

Here’s the rest…and some more about my dog😉

Currently Obsessed with: Of course it’s my dog! She is an Australian Cattle dog (also known as a blue heeler), her name is Kylie (after Kylie Minogue to honour her Australian routes) and she is currently 3 months old. I’ve wanted a dog FOREVER and my husband finally agreed last year that we could get one. We decided on this breed because we wanted a medium sized dog (she will get up to 35-40lbs) that I could run with and that were smart so my husband could teach her tricks. We’d been looking for the last 6-8 months and finally found her and she is the best…I think she will be making many appearances on here in the future❤️

Currently Reading: Marathon Woman by Katherine Switzer, which I’m reading for the second time. It’s about the first woman to officially run the Boston Marathon. I read this book after I ran my first marathon and wasn’t sure I wanted to run again. It inspired me, not only to run another marathon, but also to chase that Boston dream! I don’t usually re-read books, but since I have big goals for BMO I thought it would give me some extra inspiration.IMG_0100

Currently Eating/Fuelling with: Since I almost always struggle with GI issues on long runs and fuelling properly on races, I’ve really committed this training cycle to figuring out my race day nutrition. In the past I’ve tried to use a few different types of gels and bars, but this time I’m only exclusively using Endurance Tap gels. They are the only thing that I don’t get sick of, give me enough energy to get through my long runs and don’t upset my stomach during or after my runs.

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Currently Drinking: I think I’ve talked about my ginger-ale obsession on here before…I love it! And I also love Ginger Kombucha, which I feel much less guilty about drinking after a long run since I feel like I’m also getting some hydration from it (not sure if that’s actually true?!) I think I’ve had one after every long run this month and after every tough tempo workout…I’m obsessed!

Currently Wearing: Since it’s FINALLY warmed up [a little] this month and I can wear shorts again, it means I can also wear my mid and knee high pro-compression socks!! This is a double win since I’ve also upped my mileage this month and have way more tired legs. I’ve been rocking them pretty much everyday to help during and after my workouts…I love them!

Favourite Photo I Took This Month: It’s obviously with my dog Kylie!IMG_0098

Miles Ran: 175.6mi/283.3km

Let’s Catch Up! January’s run-down

I feel like I say this at the end of every month, but seriously how is it *February (*insert month here) already?! Regardless of my shock at how quickly time flies, the first month of 2017 is officially over and that means it’s that time again, so…LET’S CATCH UP!!!

Currently Eating: If you remember my last “let’s catch up post” then you’ll remember that I was doing the 21 day sugar detox for the month of January…and guys guess what, I MADE IT, whoop whoop!!!  It’s definitely the longest I’ve ever gone without a baked good or pizza and I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t miss it; but I’m hoping some of these habits I picked up in the last month will stick! For example, I’ve learnt that not every Friday and Saturday night is cause to celebrate by eating ALL THE THINGS! And I plan on being a little more picky with my “treat yourself” occasions. Below are 2 of my favourite things I ate this month…

Favourite Adventure(s): Once again I couldn’t choose so here are my top 2:

  1. The Squamish Chief first peak with @thehilaryann because I’d never been there in the winter and it was SO FREAKING PRETTY!

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    photo by Hilary Ann
  2. Taking my sister up to Dog Mountain on Seymour because, even though I’ve been up there a lot this year, she had never been EVER! And watching her take it in for the first time always gives me a new appreciation of the view!

Currently Obsessed With: Selling my clothes on the Lululemon swap and shop Facebook group! It’s a local group where you can buy and sell your new and used Lululemon, and since finding it just over a week ago, I’m already obsessed! My goal for the year has been to limit my shopping to only the things I NEED and since lately I’ve been selling clothes instead of buying them I keep telling my husband that I’m “reverse shopping” Lol! Needless to say he’s pretty happy about it:) (I think they have them in other cities too, so check it out if you haven’t already!)img_0067

Finish Lines Crossed: There was only one, and you already know about it, but it felt so nice I’m going to tell you twice…The Chilly Chase 15km aka my confidence builder!

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Currently Watching (instead of reading): I normally read before bed but my battery died in my reading light (yes this is a lame excuse and yes I’m a dork with a reading light), so I haven’t picked up a new read yet. So since I’m not reading, I’ll tell you my favourite things I’ve watched this month, which have both been inspirational movies about running…I know shocking right?! The Steve Prefontaine Movie, “Without limits”, which I watched the night before my 15k race…totally inspiring! And “Finding Traction” on Netflix which is a documentary about the amazing ultra-runner Nikki Kimball as she runs the 273mi Long Trail in Vermont…again super inspiring!!!

Monthly Mileage: 249.3km/154.6 miles

Hope you had a great start to the year and a great month! Huge thanks to The Athletarian for inspiring these monthly catch ups:)

See ya later self doubt✌🏼

Yesterday I ran the 15km Chilly Chase in Vancouver, and while I could write you a race recap of how I ran an out and back loop around the seawall, that’s boring and to me it wasn’t about that! Yesterday was the run I needed to prove to myself YES I CAN!
✔️Yes I can run at that hard, fast 4:13km/6:47mi pace that I’ve struggled with for the last few weeks and feel strong while doing it!
✔️Yes I can keep my head in the game and not loose focus or struggle with self-doubt.
✔️And YES I CAN cross a finish line at a hard effort and not loose my cookies🙊 lol!

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Note to self: open your eyes 👀 But at least I’m smiling!

I don’t know at what point in time I lost my confidence with running fast, but I can definitely say that I haven’t felt as self-assured as I did waking up this morning since I ran CIM and qualified for Boston in 2014! A confidence from knowing that I’d done everything I could to achieve my goal.IMG_0004Going into this half-marathon training, I kept saying that I wanted to get a sub 1:35, but what I only said out loud to a few people was that I actually wanted to get a sub 1:32…my qualifying time for the NYC Marathon. And what I really, REALLY wanted to do was run a 4:15km/6:50mi pace, which if I ran the perfect race (i.e. ran the course perfectly and didn’t go over in mileage), would get me a 1:29:32…that elusive sub 1:30!

Over the last few weeks, between having to do tempo runs on the treadmill because of ice and struggling to hit the pace on the road, I was thinking that my race plan would be to go out at a 4:20km/7:00mi and hope to hold on…but as one of my clients said to me the other day, HOPE IS NOT A STRATEGY!! So my new plan is to go back to the old plan👇🏼

Go out at a 4:15km/6:50mi, hold on and GIVE THE COURSE HELL! I feel confident enough now to know I’ve done the work and if I don’t try I’ll regret the waisted opportunity! So here goes nothing…2 weeks until race day, LET’S DO THIS!img_4943

 

5 Things I think I would have DIED without this winter!

For us wimpy west-coasters, this winter has been epically cold, snowy and overall ROUGH on our poorly acclimated bodies. Don’t get me wrong I love running in the snow, but I’m used to driving to run in it at the local mountains, not stepping into it off my front door step! With that being said, I feel like I’ve had a crash course in “what’s the best gear to run in” with all the negative temps we’ve had; and I’ve quickly acquired {to my husbands disapproval}, a pretty good stash of it!

So since I’ve received quite a few messages about what I run in and the gear that I like to use in the winter on the road and on the trails, I thought a top 5 list was in order….drumroll please!!!

  1. Merino Wool base layers: I wish I could say merino wool EVERYTHING, but I haven’t quite built my stock up to that level yet. So my base layers include socks, tights, long sleeves, gloves and a neck warmer…and in the mountains I wear it all! So far I can’t find anything that quite compares to the way it insulates you when it’s cold and wicks away moisture when you start to sweat. I’ve been playing around with brands, and the material tends to be the same across them all, it mainly comes down to fit. For me icebreaker and Lululemon seem to stay up and fit the best.
  2. My Yak-Trax: Best $35 I’ve spent on winter running gear hands down! While I haven’t needed them running in the city (I’ve only needed trail shoes), I’ve worn them a tonne in the mountains. A lot of people ask me if I use snow shoes, but I’ve found as long as the snow is well packed, not too soft, and not too icey I haven’t needed them. I just slip them over my shoes and I’m good to go!

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    I bought mine at MEC
  3. 1,000,000 Down Jackets: While a million may be overdoing it if you’re running on the seawall, down has been my favourite form of outerwear this winter in the city and on the trail. It’s the perfect extra layer if you’re heading to a viewpoint or to watch the sunrise since it’s light, packable and super warm in the cold. I learnt this trick from my friend Hilary, whose pack is like a magicians scarf of never-ending down jackets! I usually wear a light Northface one on the way up and have an extra thick Joefresh one in my pack for the top, a vest for a back-up-just-in-case emergency, and my Lululemon run for the cold pullover in the city.
  4. Light-weight backpack: This goes with number 3 if you’re in the mountains…you need somewhere to put those down jackets…and snacks, water, camera, hand warmers, etc. And since winter stuff is heavier (except the down), I recommend the lighter the better! I have a Marmot one from Atmosphere that I love.
  5. Really good cold-when-they’re-wet socks: This is important in the city if the snow is wet and on the mountain always since you’re bound to fall knee-deep into it! I usually wear my Pro-compression (PC) sleeves under my tights for comfort and then I’ll opt for a wool sock on my feet. In the city I like the icebreaker ankle socks, but in the mountains I usually wear higher no-name-not-so-cute Costco ones rated for -40…I can’t remember the brand😬 They not be the most fashionable, but they keep my toes warm even when they’re wet so they’re a must when it’s any number below freezing!img_0026

What’s your favourite gear in the winter months?

Goals for 2017!

I’m a huge goal person and a true believer in writing them down. Last year was a big year for me, and I felt like I tackled a HUGE amount of personal run-goals. With that being said, by the end of the year I was ready to be goal-less for the remaining few months. This really made me realize that, while 2016 was big for me, I was constantly looking ahead and saying “what’s next?” instead of taking it one race at a time. So as you can guess, I know I want to focus on one step at a time this year, which has left me struggling to figure out with what I really want to ACCOMPLISH on the whole for 2017…

“Goals are what take us forward in life;

they are the oxygen to our dreams.” ~ unknown 

So I took the first step and bought another Believe Training Journal (I used it last year and loved it), and asked myself “WHAT DO YOU WANT RUNNING TO DO FOR YOU THIS YEAR?” And I thought about it for a while, and realized I want it to do the two things it’s always done for me:

  1. Give me strength, self-confidence and self-esteem
  2. Make me happy:)

Then I asked myself “HOW CAN IT DO THOSE THINGS FOR ME THIS YEAR?” And I came to the conclusion that in 2016 I pushed myself FURTHER than I once thought I could; and for #1 to happen in 2017, I needed to push myself FASTER than I once thought I could. Fear of speed, fear of failure and fear of feeling really, really bad has been haunting me for a while now and I think now is the time to conquer it!!!cropped-img_0023.jpg

Then for #2 to happen, 2017 has to be less about GOAL RACES (don’t get me wrong, I still plan on having some) and more about GOAL PLACES. Because my favourite thing about running is the places it takes me to and the opportunity to see and explore new parks, mountains, trails and cities on foot.

So now that you know my thought process, here are my goals:

  • Run a sub 1:30 half-marathon: I think this may take a few races to dwindle the time down from my current 1:35:04 PB, so my plan is to aim in the ballpark of 1:32:xx for my first HM of the year on Feb 5 and go from there.
  • Run a sub 3:20 full-marathon: I’m 99% sure that it will be the BMO Vancouver Marathon on May 7…I just have to click register!
  • Sea wheeze August 12: no time goal here, just FUN!
  • Run the full Howe Sound Crest Trail
  • Run a race or a self navigated route: I’ve been wanting to run in some of the US parks in either Utah or Arizona for SOOOOO long! My list includes (and doesn’t end with): Antelope Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion and the Grand Canyon. I’m hoping that a group of us will go down and run the Grand Canyon this year rim-to-rim (50miles)…planning and logistics is just in the works!

I know I still want to add a few trail races into the mix, but the objective stays the same: build confidence and run happy….It’s all about quality over quantity this year!

What are your 2017 goals?

Let’s Catch Up!

Oh hi, remember me?! It’s been a while since my last post as I’ve been MIA for the last few months! I had a major switch up to my work schedule which pretty much turned everything else on it’s head and, as you can see, it’s taken me a while to sort my sh*& out…BUT I’M BACK! And since it’s been so long, I thought the best thing to do would be to take a page from Christina’s (aka the athletarian) book and catch up with a coffee date post. So grab your favourite mug, fill that sucker up and I’ll get you caught up…

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photo by Hilary Ann

Finish Lines Crossed: Since I ran so many back-to-back races from June-Sept, I was desperately in need of a “racing” time out. BUT I did pace 2 races at the end of October for the Rock n’ Roll series in Vancouver; the 10k and the half, which were both no pressure runs and really fun! Other than that the last few months have been all about building my base for my 2017 races and playing in the snow.

Favourite Adventure: I’ve been super lucky as my weird schedule (Weds, Fri, Sun off) matches up perfectly with one of my trail running friends (who also happens to be an amazing photographer), Hilary. So my favourite adventures have been with her in the last few months, and since I can’t pick just one my TWO favourite are:

  1. Elfin Lakes because it was my first snow-run of the year.img_0026
  2. Cypress Mountain because we laughed our butts off and worked our abs more than our legs! img_0038

Currently Eating: Since December was SOOOOO glutinous (I think my cookie count was up to 6 or 7 a day), my husband and I have decided to do the 21 day sugar detox for the month of January. So I’m currently eating all the veggies and all the protein, but dreaming of all the candy and chips (hopefully those cravings stop soon!).21-day-sd

Currently Reading: How Bad Do You Want it? by Matt Fitzgerald. 2016 taught me that my mental game needed some work so this book has been a HUGE help! I’m going to do a review of it in a week or two…I’m on the last chapter!how-bad-do-you-want-it

Currently Obsessed With: Running obvs…but in terms of gear, my favourite item has to be my Lululemon “Run for the Cold” pullover. I’m obsessed and I’ve definitely worn it more than I care to admit in the last 30 days!

Currently Signing Up For: my first race of the year the Vancouver First Half on Feb 5, and other than Seawheeze (which I’m so excited to run for the fourth year), I don’t have anything else on the calendar…YET. Stay tuned for an upcoming post on my 2017 goals!

Okay, I think that’s enough about me for now, what’s new in your world lately?

Finding your Sole-mate!

About a month ago I was asked to contribute to an article on the Running Stats website by sharing my favourite shoes to run in and why. The article compiled the shoe-faves of 20 different super accomplished Insta-runners, whom I was flattered to be amongst, in an attempt to help fellow runners find their sole-mate! I personally wear the Adidas Ultra-boost on the road (and I’m pretty much obsessed) so I shared the features I love about the boost in the article…link below.

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finding your solemate

Of course choosing a shoe is a very personal and important decision and shouldn’t be based  solely (sorry I had to! lol) on what myself, the other grammers in the article or even what your friends wear…BUT it definitely made me think, what if you do decide to take the plunge into a new shoe after reading this? How do you know you need a shoe-change or if your ready? And what’s the best way to make the switch to prevent future injury?

Is it time to make the switch?

We’ve all heard the saying “if it’s not broke don’t fix it” right? Well I would say it only SOMEWHAT applies to running shoes. If you’re happy with your shoes, happy with your performance and don’t have, and haven’t had any foot/achilles/calf injuries then cool your jets and keep rocking your current footwear! However, if you answered NO to any of the following questions then maybe a switch-up could be helpful. Below is a useful tool from a course I took earlier in the year with the running clinic and may be helpful in deciding whether or not a shoe switch is right for you.

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select the shoe for you

Safely making the switch

STOP RIGHT THERE! If you’re like me then as soon as you get something new you want to wear it right away…it’s the best motivation to run right?! Well I’m sorry to be the one to curb your enthusiam, but depending on the shoes your transitioning from and to, making the switch too quickly can lead to injury. This is due to the fact that shoes differ from one to the next in 5 key ways:

  • Weight
  • Stack height= the thickness under your foot
  • Heel-to-toe drop= how much the drop is from the heel to the toe
  • Stability and motion control technologies= such as anti-pronation technology
  • Flexibility= longitudinal and torsional

So when you’re switching from one pair of shoes to another you have to consider the different stress your putting on your body, the different position you’re putting it in and how it’s going to adapt to these changes….this is the key point to take away, ADAPTATION! Our bodies can adapt and change as long as the rate at which we apply that change doesn’t exceed the rate at which our tissues are able to adapt to it…AKA our bodies need time!

So while there are specific formulas to follow if you’re planning on making a bigger jump, the best thing to do is listen to your body… pain means you’re progressing too fast and you need to slow down! I personally like to use the 10% rule with myself and with my clients. This means starting in your new shoes for one of your shorter runs in a week (or looped runs where you can switch them out half-way) and increasing your mileage spent in them by 10% each week. If you have any onset of pain you drop the miles by 5% and continue to progress once the pain has subsided.

Just remember, shoes aren’t magic! They can’t propel us to the top of podiums or correct for training errors; but they are one of the most important pieces of equipment we have as runners and should be chosen wisely. So remember to chose wisely, keep your goals in mind and always, always, always choose function over fashion…but fingers crossed you can satisfy both needs!cinderella-meme

Finlayson Arm 50K Race Recap

If you follow me on Instagram then you know that Saturday was a really tough day for me. I’ve never fallen into such a dark place mentally on a race before that I couldn’t dig myself out of. Yes, I’ve felt bad physically and I’ve had my fair share of moments where I questioned whether I could finish, but I’ve always been able to talk myself out of it and carry on! But this time was different…

Pre-Race

Leading up to the race I have to admit I was filled with slight dread about running ANOTHER 50k (especially one with 10,000ft of elevation) given that since June I’ve ran 1x55k, 3x half-marathons, and 1x50miler. I’ve never raced so much in such a short period of time and I definitely wouldn’t recommend it! Having said that, my body was feeling pretty good and I was predicted (based on ultra-signup calculations) to do pretty well. So along with running with Nat and checking out the beautiful views, I was using that as my motivation for race day.img_0006

Go-time!

The morning of the race I was feeling pretty relaxed (which is not my normal M.O.). My jitters were at bay, the weather was perfect and there were lots of familiar faces at the start line. When the gun went off at 7am, Nat and I headed out together and stuck towards the middle of the pack. The first 6k was pretty cruisy with lots of rolling down hill and flat single track, but around the 6-7k mark is where the climbing started. At this point Nat took the lead and powered us through a steep up-hill section, passing about 10-15 people on the way.

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Right after the uphill captured by Brian McCurdy 

When we got to the top we headed into a downhill section and soon came to a fork in the trail. At this point the girl just ahead of us yelled back and asked if this was the right way. We both double checked the arrow and agreed it was pointing that direction, so we all carried on following the trail markers through the forest. After about 15/20mins, just while Nat and I were chatting about how good we felt and how beautiful the course was, the girl in front of us (Alex) came running back saying we were going the wrong way. The first thing out of my mouth was “are you sure?” and she immediately apologized saying that she was from the area and should have known better. At first I don’t think it really hit me how far we had gone or what had actually happened, but once we started running back (and got turned around a few more times #cuethepanic), we realized we had lost about 40mins and ran an extra 4km.

Downhill from there (and oh so much upsness!)

When we got back on course I was still feeling positive and convinced we could get back on track to catch up with the group we’d been running with. Once we hit the first aid station at 12k, we saw a group of runners and I remember thinking “okay, now we’re just going to start catching up to people one after another”; but over the next hour or so we hardly saw anyone and Nat and I both got really quiet…not a good sign. I think thats when my positivity started to waiver.

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pic from Brian McCurdy

When we neared the next aid station at 23k (it was partly an out and back course), we started to see the lead pack of runners heading back. As we left and continued on towards the 28’ish km turnaround point, runner after runner was heading back towards us, and my heart started to sink a little further. We eventually saw some runners we recognized from our pre-detour position and realized we were about an 1hr+ behind them and it was unlikely we were going to be able to catch up. I think this is about the time when I started to lose control over my mind. I started asking myself why I was doing this, what I was going to say to Nat about stopping, as well as to everyone else about why I quit; I was already writing my first DNF (did not finish) blog post in my mind…not a good thought process half-way through a race!

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trying to put on a happy face

When we got to the next aid station, I couldn’t stop the tears from coming. I was feeling defeated and frustrated with myself and I didn’t know if I could keep going. Nat cheered me up and told me she knew I could do it and that there was only 11k to the next aid station. She told me I needed to dig deep and carry on! So I got my sh&* together and convinced myself I could do 11k (I could only think about 1 chunk at a time), which I figured would take around 2 hours with all the climbing.

For the next 6’ish km I was feeling pretty good, but once the 2 hour mark hit and we still weren’t at the aid station, I started to feel myself crumbling again. With about 2k to go my mind went into an absolute melt-down and the only thing I could think of was wanting to call my husband for a pep talk. I needed someone that couldn’t see me and didn’t know how my day had gone to tell me I could do it. Thankfully he answered and told me exactly what I needed to hear which gave me the push to #keepcalmandcarryon; but Nat and I both knew at this point she had to go ahead. I couldn’t stand the thought of holding her back!

The next 2k to the aid station and 6k to the finish were pretty rough; I shed some more tears, road the struggle bus and yelled profanities into the forest…I wanted to be done soooooo bad! When I eventually saw the sign that said 250m to the finish I took off in full sprint repeating “f*&%k this sh*&” (possibly out loud), sorry for the language, but it was a really rough day. Nat was there with big hugs at the finish line along with the Fraser Street Run Club Crew, and Myke Labelle the race organizer, who was so amazing, he even gave us sweatshirts because he felt so bad we got lost #sonice! I can honestly say I’ve never been so excited to finish a race!!!!

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sorry little girl for not giving you a high five!

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?!

In the days following the race, I’ve kept going back and forth over what happened out there in my mind. Yes we got lost and that was hard to come back from, but I think that was only a small component of it. One thing that I think contributed to my downfall is that I’ve never been externally motivated on a race before. It’s always been about ME, like completing the distance or beating my own time. I’ve never thought about how I’m actually going to do in the race. Yes I’m competitive, but to be honest in trail races I usually have no idea what my time “should be” or what place I’m in unless someone tells me or its an out and back course. I don’t think that I realized that that was such a big part of what was driving me until we couldn’t regain our position and my mind took a trip to negative town. I think I was so worried about whether or not I was physically prepared that I didn’t take the time to mentally prepare, and now I know that what they say is true the majority of distance running is mental!

With all that being said, I know that my mind and body need a break from long-distance races right now. I don’t know what’s next for me goal-wise but I do know I’ve learnt a lot about myself and racing in the last few months and I’m excited to [eventually] put those things into practice! But for now I’m going to take a well deserved (and needed) distance racing break.

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Thanks for the hoodie Myke!

September Resolutions!

September is here and for me it always feels like the start of a new year. A time to start fresh and set some goals and resolutions! I think it feels more like a fresh start for me than January, and must be permanently engrained after so many years in school…anybody else? With that being said, my main goal for September comes down to my diet, which as I’ve said before is currently based firmly on the principles of TREAT YOURSELF and can only be described as “unsupervised child at a birthday party”.

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yup, pretty much sums up my current eating habits!

I think with so many races, trips and events going on over the summer my diet took a back seat to fun #noregrets; but with the fall coming and my social life settling down (cue tiny violin) it seems like a good time to get my act together!

The Plan:

My plan for the next 21 days (since that brings me to my 1st Anniversary and my Birthday!) is to do the 21 day sugar detox since sugar and all things baked are my ultimate vice. 21-day-sugar-detox

My goal is to follow the above with the exception of the dairy column, which I’m also going to eliminate since it doesn’t sit well with me.  I’m also going to plan a “cheat day” for this Saturday, Sept 10, for my 50k race because I HAVE to fuel while I run with sugar and carbs…and maybe after #mustturnonwillpower !

To be clear, my goal is 100% NOT weight loss! It’s to break some really bad habits that I’ve formed over the last few months like being more prepared for the week and not eating everything in sight after a long run or a workout! I’m hoping what they say is true; that it takes 3 weeks to form a habit and this will stick…or at least give my body a 3 week vacation from the junk I’ve been putting in it. Either way it’s a win!

I’m hoping that by putting this out there for all to see, it will help keep me accountable and give me one more reason to walk away [empty handed] from the pastry isle at Whole Foods!

Wish me luck!!