Let’s Catch Up- February travel edition!

I know I’m a bit late to the “monthly recap” party, but since I was away on vacation I hope you’ll cut me some slack 😉 And since I was away for the majority of February, I thought the best thing to do would be to dedicate this months recap to some of my favourite Japan and Vietnam memories, so here we go….

Favourite thing I ate: going into this trip, I think the food was one of the things I was looking forward to the most #ireallylovetoeat and it did not disappoint! Japan took the food award over Vietnam, with the only downside being that they hardly eat any fruit or vegetables there…like next to none! Bean sprouts and cabbage were pretty much the only things I ate that came from the earth! But besides a heavy meat, carb and matcha based diet it was pretty damn good! Some of my favourites were…

  1. Ramen, ramen and more ramen! I think I ate it everyday I was there and became quite the connoisseur by the time we left!IMG_0076
  2. Sushi bowls and sushi train! We have really great sushi in Vancouver, so I was curious about how it would compare; but since sushi in Japan is mostly Nigiri (which is my favourite) it definitely stood out as a favourite. One day we even ate it for breakfast #dontjudge LOL!
  3. Everything Matcha! I think I became Matcha obsessed, especially in Kyoto which is known for it’s matcha deserts. My favourite was the matcha ice cream with gold flecks…so good!!
  4. Salad rolls in Vietnam…but to be honest, most of the salad rolls were pretty bad…not fresh and just blah! But there was a restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City called Propaganda that served some of the best I’ve ever tasted and I made my husband go back twice just so I could eat them!IMG_0090

Favourite thing I drank: because the drinks deserved their own category!

  1. Coffee at Reissue in Harajuku, which was so beautiful I didn’t want to drink it! I think I took like a million pics until finally my husband was like “enough taking pics of your coffee and just drink it!” haha!
  2. Iced Vietnamese coffee, which pretty much tastes like a coffee milkshake, and we had one (or 2) everyday while we were there.
  3. Mango smoothies, because mango is my favourite fruit of all time and after almost 2 weeks without fruit in Japan…you treat yourself to every fruit in sight!
  4. Japanese yuzu and soda cocktails, which is like a citrus liqueur…it was so good I bought a bottle to bring home 🙂

Favourite City: Kyoto stood out for me as my favourite city. It’s kind of where old meets new with geisha’s wondering around the small side streets and alleys; all of which are filled with so many restaurants and coffee shops that, if you weren’t looking, you’d miss them! I also loved all the temples and heritage sites that surround the city…it’s just all so pretty!

Favourite Adventure: I bet you thought it would involve running, but nope…bikes this time…for both of them (since I couldn’t decide on just one):

  1. Renting bikes and biking around Kyoto to see the different temples was definitely a highlight!IMG_6195
  2. Renting a scooter and going to the sand dunes in Mui Ne, Vietnam. And no I didn’t drive it…I was way too nervous to drive there, it’s too crazy!

Favourite night out on the town: which would also qualify as “most random activity” and favourite “only in Japan” moment…the Robot Show at the Robot Restaurant in Tokyo! Picture the most random combination of stories and characters coming together, now imagine you’re on a psychedelic drug and now add robots…that pretty much sums up the show! It was so random with giant dinosaur robots and girls dressed in crazy anime costumes riding them just to name a few…and it was hilarious! Only in Tokyo:)

Favourite run: because what would my recap be without talking about running, lol! Japan was super runnable with lots of great routes and paths available, so I was lucky to get quite a few runs in while we were there. Vietnam on the other hand was tricky…between the heat and the sidewalks and paths aren’t the greatest for walking let alone running…it meant that most of my runs there were short, sweaty and happened mainly along the beach. But my favourite run of the trip had to be when I ran with the Nike Run Club in Tokyo. I joined one of their drop in runs and ran 10k with them in the evening around one of their local parks. Everyone was sooooo nice, even with the massive language barrier, and it was a great way to check out a new place.IMG_0080IMG_6503IMG_6505

There you have it, 3 weeks in a nutshell! How was your February?

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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?

Edmonton Half-Marathon Recap

I signed up for the Edmonton half-marathon at the very last minute…literally there was only 4 hours left to register!! It wasn’t that I was being a total procrastinator (well that was part of it); it was mostly because I was humming and hawing about running (and racing) the full distance. My plan was to run the full with the intention of trying to qualify for Boston in 2017. I knew Edmonton would be my last chance to attempt to qualify, which I’d been thinking about ever since I crossed the Boston finish line back in April. So as the months and weeks ticked by leading up to the Edmonton Marathon, I had a lot of “what-if’s” I needed to answer before hitting the button to register.

First I wanted to see how my 50 miler went and wanted to make sure I was injury free before I signed up for another big race. After that went okay, I knew the main thing I had to do was make sure my head was in the game. This was a super important point that my husband brought up. He said to me “I think you should do it, but only if you truly believe you can and your eye is on the prize”. This to me was the most important piece of advice, I needed to be willing to push it, and as I got to the final week and days before the race I realized my head just wasn’t in it. I couldn’t find that burning desire that made me want to race that distance, and I realized there would be other Boston’s…2017 wasn’t going to be my year! So with all that being said,I decided I still wanted to race on the weekend and signed up to run the half.IMG_0043

The Race

Since this race was so last minute for me, I figured I had nothing to lose and I may as well go for it and see what I could do. My plan was to go out at a 1:33’ish half pace, and since the course is pretty flat and the weather was looking perfect for racing, I figured that pace was totally possible. The morning of the race I headed down to the start line with my cheering squad consisting of my mom, her best friend and one of my best friends from Calgary (who even made a sign to cheer me on #best). IMG_0002I thought I was going to be super relaxed off the start, but my stomach was feeling a little off which I figured was just nerves. With 10 minutes until go time, I shuffled into the starting chute, found the 1:35 bunny and positioned myself near her.

At 8am the gun went off and I started off though downtown Edmonton. The first few km’s of a race for me are all about getting around the crowds, finding my rhythm and settling into a pace, which is how my race started; but after about 3km I realized I was feeling off and I was going a little too fast. I told myself it was all good, but by 5km I was still going a little too hard and started to feel a little nauseous. I tried to ignore it and once I had some water it made me feel a little better and I finally settled into my goal pace. At 7km I saw my cheering squad, which gave me a huge boost, especially since my friend looked so excited to see me! IMG_0044Unfortunately, this didn’t last too long and by the 11km mark I knew I had been slowing down and at around 12km the 1:35 bunny ran past me. I’m not going to lie, my heart sunk a little when she passed, but I hoped she was going a little fast and that there was still hope for me!IMG_0013

At 14km, I saw my cheerleaders again and got some well needed high-fives, but I kept getting waves of nausea. I tried to ignore it and I used the bunny ahead to keep my focus and distract me from my funny tummy. With about 2km to the finish line, I knew I wasn’t going to get under 1:35, but I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be too far off and I really wanted to finish strong, so I pushed the pace and gave it everything I had! I finished in 1:35:43, 39secs off my PB and 44secs off my goal time.

Lessons Learned

All in all I’m happy with how I ran this race even though I know I went out a little too fast out the gate. I think this half has confirmed for me that my legs are capable of going faster, but it’s my nausea that’s my limiting factor. It’s also taught me that every distance is a hard fought race if you go out with the intention to push the pace (like my poetry there?! lol). I know I can run 21.1km, but I know that if I really want to race 21.1km and break that 1:35 threshold I need to do more half-specific training. I’m not sure when that training is going to happen or for what race since I have a 50km Sept 10, a 10km Sept 17 and a half that I’m pacing Oct 23…but I know that I want to train properly for my next one and that I intend on busting through that 1:35 time on the clock!!

The locals guide to Seawheeze Weekend!

It’s almost that time of year again…runners Christmas, the luon parade, the Lululemon fashion show….what ever you want to call it it’s SEAWHEEZE TIME!!!! My all time, hands down FAVOURITE race of the year, can you tell I’m excited?! This will be my 3rd time running the Seawheeze, which I feel so lucky to be doing since it sells out faster than any other race I know! I’m also super pumped because this year I’ll be running the race with my husband, who hasn’t run a half with me in 5 years.

But that’s enough about me, let’s talk about Vancouver! I was born and raised here so I’m kind of biased on how beautiful this city is; but come on…mountains, ocean, skyline views, beaches, the seawall…it’s pretty much like running in a post card! I think that’s one of the things I love most about Seawheeze, it brings so many people from out of town to Vancouver and gives us a chance to show off this beautiful place we get to call home. So whether it’s your first time in Vancity or your 100th, here are a few of my top picks for things to do, eat, shop and of course run!

Pre-Wheeze

Of course there are tonnes of events going on for Seawheeze on the Friday before the race (check out their website for the list of events); but if you get here a little early or you’re done down-dogging by noon, here’s a list of some pre-race activities around the city that won’t ruin your legs:

1. Training Club run at Sport Chek Robson- if you’re here on Wednesday and you want to shake out your travelling legs, come by, say hello and join my run crew at 5:30 at the Robson St. Store.image

2.  Cruise around the Seawall- rent a bike and cruise around the seawall…don’t worry it’s mostly flat and a pretty easy ride if you head around Stanley Park. It’s a great way to see the city and there are lots of great photo-ops along the way!riding-the-seawall-2012-5-960x640

3. Shopping- depending what you’re looking for, there are lots of different neighbourhoods to get your shopping fix in Vancouver:

  • Robson Street and Pacific Centre– this is where you’ll find you’re bigger brand name stores like Zara, JCrew, and Nordstrom as well as some local faves like Aritzia and of course Lululemon (if you didn’t blow the bank at the showcase store).
  • Gastown and Main Street- if you’re looking for more one of a kind items and local designers these are the 2 main areas you’ll find them.
  • West 4th- if you’re looking for a true Vancouver vibe with some local stores, the original Lululemon and some cute coffee shops mixed in West 4th in Kitsilano is the place for you!LULU4

4. Beachesweather permitting, we have lots of really great beaches in Vancouver; Jericho and Spanish Banks (these are my favourites if you have a car), Wreck beach (if you like to strip down it’s a nude beach), Kitsilano, English Bay and Second and Third Beaches around Stanley park.

spanishbanksbeachpark
Spanish Banks

5. Local Outdoor Pools- if sand in your pants and oceans aren’t really your thing, we also have a couple of local pools for you to chill out by and go for a dip! Second Beach Pool by Stanley Park and Kits pool in Kitsilano (pic below).

Where to eat, drink and be merry…

Because why else do we run that far if not to enjoy all the food and drinks afterwards (and before…come on you’re on vacation!).

Food (the main event)

1. Vegetarian/Vegan- most restaurants offer veggie options, but my favourite’s are definitely over on Main street:

  • Meet on Mainthey have my favourite veggie burgers…so many options and so good!MEET
  • Acorncreative vegetarian food…their weekend brunch is my favourite
  • Nuba– lebanese and not strictly vegetarian, but their veggie dishes are my favourite! If you go, order the veggie platter to share, it’s delicious! They also have multiple locations in kits and gastown.NUBA

2. Sushi- being this lose to the ocean means we have great sushi! You can find a sushi restaurant on almost every corner, and every Vancouverite you ask will have a different favourite local spot…but I promise mine are the best!

  • Minami and Mikuthese 2 are a little more expensive than the average place in Vancouver, but they are hands down the best in the city!

    MIKU
    the view from Miku
  • Tatsuthis is my favourite local spot on Commercial drive. I’ve probably eaten here over 50 times and never had a bad meal.

3. Italian- if you’re looking for a classic pre-race carb load and pasta is your go to:

  • Italian Kitchenthey have a great happy hour with all your go to classic dishes.
  • Ask for Luigithis place is amazing, but be prepared to wait as it always has a 1-2hr line up!LUIGI
  • Nookcozy Italian food with a couple of locations in Kits and the West End…the rigatoni is my favourite!

4. Just plain good- these are the ones that don’t fit in a specific box, but are definitely worth trying!

  • Chambarthis is one of my favourites…I also got married there so I’m a little biased! It’s one of those places where you read the menu and you’re not sure what it is, but when it comes its amazing! They also have one of the best brunches in the city.
  • Vancouver Urban Winerythis place is not only delicious it’s also in a beautiful space! Their food is best for sharing between a few people and I also really love their brunch.VUW
  • L’Abattoirif you’re looking for a little post-race romance and you want to treat yourself, this place is a great spot to do it! Great local food with a french twist and really tasty cocktails!

Coffee Shops, Bakeries and Breweries

These are a few of my favourite things…I have a soft spot for pastries, coffee and beer!

1. Coffee Shops- if you love your cup of joe and you want to try some local spots, I like:

  • Revolverthis is in Gastown, and they really know their coffee! I usually go for a plane drip here.
  • Matchstick– great coffee and really cute little baked goods and toast. A good place to sit and sip.MATCHSTICK
  • Prado Cafereally good lattes and Kumbucha on tap.

2. Bakeries- I only need to list one place here because it has my heart, Purebread….it is baked goods heaven!!! If you have a sweet tooth like me you will love it here, and seriously EVERYTHING is good!PUREBREAD

3. Breweries- we have tonnes of local micro-breweries in Vancouver and if you love beer I’d definitely recommend doing a little tour. There are quite a few within walking distance of each other which makes it easy to do on foot:

  • 33 Acres
    Brassneck
  • Strange fellows
  • Main Street Brewery….Just to name a few!

    BEER
    beer map

Still not done getting your sweat on…

If you’re still in need of a sweat after your 13.1miles of the Seawheeze, I would hit up some of the local trails for a different take view of the city…of course you knew I would say that! There are lots of great hikes just a short drive from the city offering amazing views (weather permitting) of the gulf islands and howe sound. I like to use the website Vancouver Trails to pick out the best spots, but some of my favourites near by are Eagles Bluff and St. Marks Summit on Cypress (pics below) and Dog Mountain on Seymour.

Hopefully these tips help you get around Vancouver with ease and makes you love my city as much as I do! If you’re from Vancouver, please go ahead and share some of your favourite local spots in the comments below! 

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!!!!!

SOB 50 miler Race Recap

It’s been just over a week now since Nat and I finished our first 50miler and I think it still hasn’t hit me yet that I physically ran that far! I just keep thinking 50miles/80km…I actually ran that…on my own two feet….WHAT?! I think it just keeps reminding me that you are so much stronger than you think you are! I never would have thought I could run that distance, even on the morning of the race I was having SO many doubts about how it would go. I knew it would take a lot for me to quit, but I had no idea what mental and physical challenges were going to come my way that day and I had no idea if my training had prepared me to handle them!

Ignorance is Bliss….

Nat and I set out on our 12hour drive to Ashland, OR in the early hours ofThursday morning. Our drive down was pretty seamless…we snap chatted, took a million pee breaks (actually 12, but whose counting) and talked about what we thought the race would be like. So far so good right? Well yes, but as I said, ignorance is bliss!

During our training we had been so concerned with the weather and heat on race day that we hadn’t really considered the starting elevation of Mount Ashland #oops It turns out (when we decided to google it after the race) that Mt. Ashland’s elevation at the ski lodge where the race started is 6,500ft/1,981m; which for us sea-level runners is REALLY noticeable! In our training we had climbed up to that elevation, but we hadn’t spent a lot of time at that altitude let alone started a run from that elevation! AND because of the elevation, it was actually 10 degrees cooler and the heat was negligible. Note to self: GOOGLE THAT S*$T PRE-RACE NOT POST!

On with the race…

Our race started bright and early at 6am, so we got there at around 5:30am to pick up our bibs and timing chips and then hung out in the port-o-potties line up (as you do) until it was go time. At 6am the gun went off and we set out through the Ski Lodge parking lot for the first mile before connecting to the Pacific Crest Trail. The first few miles were all about admiring the sunrise views of Mount Shasta, getting in front or behind the right-paced people on the single track trail, and shaking out the initial pre-race jitters. 68200824Mile 4 is when I first started to question the possibility of altitude. Normally it takes me about 2-3 miles to settle in and get comfortable, but by mile 4 I was still feeling slightly short of breath. I thought at first it was anxiety or nerves, but after about 10 more minutes of feeling this way I started to question the elevation. I didn’t want to say anything to Nat, but I was definitely feeling the effects of the thinner air! Eventually, by around mile 6 or 7 I started to relax and find my legs and my lungs and I settled into cruise control for the next 6 miles.

Embrace the suck!

I knew going into this that there were going to be some dark moments, and I’d mentally prepared for them to come. I had been saying before hand, “I just want to make it to 30-40km/20-25mi and feel good!” Well, that didn’t quite happen. At around mile 13-15 we started a slightly rolling section of the course with a gradual uphill climb. It wasn’t particularly steep, but it was enough that my hiking pace felt fairly equal to my uphill-running pace so I opted to hike it out. 19880678073_eda79b4947_cI was in the front for this section and was feeling like I was holding Nat back. After about 1/2 a mile I remember asking her if the pace was okay, and she was like “oh yeah, 100%”…which made me feel better that we were both riding the struggle bus together. At the end of this section we got to the 15 mile aid station at Jackson Gap where our drop bags were being kept. Here we changed our shoes, re-fueled our packs and got back on the trail, and as soon as we started up again I felt like a new women! I think thats when I realized, as quickly as the crappy moments come on, they can go away just as fast and I’m going to have to EMBRACE THE SUCK!

Miles 15-22 ticked by and I felt pretty good. This part of the course was filled with flat sections through the meadows and covered downhill sections through the trees. At mile 18’ish we crossed into California, which gave me a burst of energy that we’d made it across state lines. CA-ORBorderAt mile 22 we arrived at an aid station where they told us we had to run 3 miles out to get a key from the mad hatter (they were going for an Alice in Wonderland theme) and then come back to return it to them. I was feeling pumped as we left the aid station because I knew we were almost half-way, BUT as we headed out for our key, we quickly realized the next 3 miles were up, up up! So we put our heads down and power hiked our way to the half-way point. I think the only thing that kept me sane for this section was knowing we got to run the next 3 miles down! At the end of a steep climb we grabbed our key, took in the beautiful view and took off! We bombed it back down hill to the aid station smiling and feeling pretty awesome that we were on our way back.007

At mile 28 we delivered the key and started up a long uphill section for the next 6 miles. Pretty soon after we started climbing I started to feel nauseous. It started off as mild and got worse and worse as the climb went on. I got really quiet at this point and remember weighing my options of the pros and cons of throwing up, but all I kept thinking was that if I start vomiting it was game over for me. This for me was the darkest point of the entire race and all that I focused on was trying to stay with Nat as she was leading us through this section. At mile 35 we hit the aid station at Jacksons Gap again, re-fueled our packs, dumped ice on our heads and re-grouped. I chugged some Nuun that I had in my drop bag and I think it saved me! When we headed back out again my nausea was gone and I felt ready to tackle the last 15 miles…like I said embrace the suck!IMG_5941

The end is near!

The last 10 miles of the course for me was a mix physically, mentally and emotionally. At that point everything was tired, I was sick of eating all the fuel I’d packed and all I wanted to do was lie down; but surprisingly I still felt pretty strong mentally. As much as I just wanted to be done, I knew we were going to finish and I felt so incredibly proud of us and how we had done so far! All I can describe it as is that I was at total peace with the fact that I would finish feeling that I had gave it my all and ran a strong race. I really wasn’t too concerned with how much longer I had out on the course at that point. I had no doubt that I could do it at that point, which with so much self-doubt leading up to it was a very empowering feeling.

In the last 1/4 mile climb to the parking lot off of the PCT trail, Nat took off up the hill looking SO strong. I didn’t feel like I could keep up with her so I power hiked up trying to keep her in my view and cheering for her to keep going, but when she got to the top she turned back and waited for me. When I got there she told me she wouldn’t cross the line without me and I immediately I started to tear up. I sucked back the pre-finish line tears and we took off sprinting through the parking lot fuelled by the cheering crowd and the last bit of energy we had left. With 100m to go we grabbed each others hand and crossed the finish line together in 9:59:10, placing 4th and 5th female overall and 1st and 2nd in our age group, which was totally unexpected!IMG_5953

Find your strong!

Now that i’s all done and dusted, I still can’t believe we did it! Some people have asked me if I’m done running that far, if I’ll do it again or if I’ll go further; and to be honest I have no idea…never say never right?! But if that’s the furthest I ever run and I never run it again, I couldn’t be more happy with how it went and that I got to experience the whole thing with Nat. I know now more than ever that I can do anything I put my mind to and that I am mentally, physically and emotionally stronger than I ever imagined I was!

Week 9 of SOB 50 Miler Training!

Week 9, the last peak week of training! It started off great coming off of a half-marathon PB high (even if it was only 6 seconds….every second counts😉) and a gift from lululemon on my door step….seriously the best way to start a Monday!!!

AND it was a short work week to boot with Canada Day on the Friday, #winning!!

This week was all about gearing up for a big weekend of training with the goal of getting 10+ hours on our feet or 65km/40mi…whichever came first! Which I have to admit still messes with my road-running brain quite a bit! I haven’t quite wrapped my head around the concept of “time on feet”. My mind is still fixated on getting the miles in, but the more ultra runners I talk to the more I hear that time on feet (as long as it’s good effort) is just, if not more valuable than the distance. So apparently my road-runner brain still needs to catch up to the ultra-training program😜

Anyways, back to this weeks training….in addition to getting the mileage/time in this weekend, I also really wanted to check out some new trails and places that I hadn’t seen before since I had the whole weekend free to explore. Thankfully Nat and I had some friends with the same goal in mind, so it made for an awesome weekend with some amazingly strong women amongst some beautiful scenery! Can’t every weekend be a long weekend!!!!

MONDAY– 11km/6.7mi with the Robson Street Training Clubimage

TUESDAY– gym workout

WEDNESDAY– 11k/6mi Pyramid Speed Workout with the Robson Street Training Club

THURSDAY– slow and steady 15km/9.3mi with Natimage

FRIDAY– Canada Day solo 9km/5.58mi hike up to Eagles Bluff followed by patio beers with friendsimage

SATURDAY– 34km/21mi and 5.5hrs spent running through the snow and exploring the AMAZING views of Garibaldi Lake and Panorama Ridge. It was my first time there and WOW was it beautiful! If you ever get the chance to visit I 110% recommend it!

SUNDAY– 15km/9.3mi and 4.5hrs up Mt. Brunswick…and when I say up I mean it! The climbing was no joke and my burning calves on the way up and screaming quads on the way down can vouch for me! But the views up there made it so worth it! Huge thank you to @thehilaryann for capturing all the pics…she scrambled up the mountain with her SLR camera which was super impressive since I was gripping onto the rock for dear life in some sections😳

TOTAL➡️95km/58.6mi and over 16+ hours on feet

Now we taper!!!!

Boston Marathon Race Recap

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I’m sitting on the plane right now heading to Chicago (a little post run vacation), surrounded by fellow Boston marathoners (I still can’t believe I’m one of them!), trying to sum up this whole journey into words! All that comes to mind is WOW! No, it was not the race I expected time wise, but not every race is about time or setting a PR. Sometimes you learn things about yourself that are more important than a time on a clock. I learnt that I can put my competitive nature aside and run for the pure joy of running, celebrating the journey I took to get there and being so freakin’ proud of myself!

Go time!

I started the race as planned with Devon and Megan, 2 of my running buddies from Vancouver. We ran the first 3-4 miles together until we lost each other in the crowds at the second water station. I think that’s when I realized I was actually running a marathon and had 22+ miles to go! Up until that point I was just so excited to have made it to Boston that the actual running part hadn’t really hit me. So I got into it and kept focused on seeing my family at half way. I knew they had a small window to see me before getting back on the train to catch the finish, which meant I had to run a 1:45ish first half. By 10 miles I was feeling the heat and was starting to feel the nausea creeping up on me and was finding it hard to take my fuel. I was pretty sure a PB or even another BQ wasn’t in my future, so when I saw my husband at mile 14 I stopped and kissed him, hugged my sister in law and headed a few meters down and did the same with my parents. My mom was yelling at me, “Its okay, keep going!”, but those hugs were way more important than the seconds they cost me!

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After I saw them, I knew I could slow down and just take it all in! I stopped and walked (which I’ve never done in a marathon!) to eat a popsicle at mile 15 and grabbed a freezy from a little girl at mile 18. I think that’s about the time when Devon and Megan ran up behind me and asked if I was okay. And I think my exact words were, “Oh yeah I’m good but I just decided F$*k it, I’m going to enjoy this!”. So for the last 8 miles thats what we did! We gave out as many high-fives as we could (which was a lot because my left/high five arm is sore today😜), pumped up the crowd as we ran past, and smiled from ear to ear! We crossed the finish line with a time of 3:54, which is one of my slowest times to date, but I felt amazing and wouldn’t have traded an ounce of enjoyment for minutes on that clock!image

Mind over matter!

Looking back, although I knew I wanted to run a sub 3:30, I don’t think I was mentally prepared to do it…physically yes, but mentally no. Yeah it was hot and that played a roll, and yes people say it’s a tough course (which to be honest coming from a hilly city like Vancouver I didn’t really notice); for me it was all down to my mental game which wasn’t in a sub 3:30 place. At CIM when I BQ’d, my mind was so focused and I was willing to feel all the pain in the world to get it done…BQ or bust! Yesterday it wasn’t! So over the last 24 hours as strangers and friends have been asking me how my race went I’ve been summing it up in one simple statement, “Fun points 1000+, time on the clock wah, wah, wah👎.”

I’m not sure if I’ll ever run The Boston Marathon again, but if that was it for me- one and done- dream achieved! Best race, best people, best moments, I will relish in this memory for a lifetime💙💛

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