Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Ottawa Race Weekend

My story starts on Friday night. Still in Burlington. Sleeping in my own bed. Or at least trying to, except I have the worst case of heartburn. I get up, take two tums and get back into bed. Still burning, so I get up and take one of Derek's prescription Zantac and prop up some extra pillows but the heartburn is getting worse and not better, my chest is on fire and I wonder if I'm actually having a heart attack. LOL Downstairs I go again and take one of Noah's Prevacid (yep, lots of stomach issues in this household). Finally that helps enough for me to be able to fall asleep around 11:30pm.

Fast forward to Saturday morning and my 4:45am alarm where I shower, have breakfast and grab my things and go. Derek drives Nicole and I to the airport in perfect time for me to arrive to find that my flight has been delayed an hour. An hour that I could have been sleeping off my heartburn rather than waiting for them to swap out the plane that had been struck by lightening in the night(!!). I finally got to Ottawa without any further problems (except the stale donut that I got at the airport Tim Horton's) and we made our way to the hotel and then over to the expo.
Bye bye Toronto
We picked up our race kits, said hello to my RMT who was working at the Running Room booth (who went in for a hug at the same time that I stuck my hand out for a handshake *awkward*), attacked the mountain of potato chips that was set up as a free for all (I got 5 bags, 2 of which turned out not to be plain but smoked meat and mustard flavour! Bleck.) and then hit the Rideau Centre for lunch and to kill time before the route bus tour started. Nicole and I both had pizza and water. I picked most of the cheese off of mine (I'm lactose intolerant but typically small amounts of cheese don't bother me) but maybe not enough. Have I mentioned that it had dipped below zero in the night and it was flipping freezing out?! We were a bit worried about being underdressed at the race start so we went to a dollar store and bought some kids socks for mittens and a pack of garbage bags. Then we went and sat on a mall bench to wait for the bus tour to start. As luck would have it Kenny and his friend walked by, spotted us and stopped to talk. Kenny told us how excited he was for us and Nicole told him our plans ".......and if nothing else Sam is getting a PB because her current one is 4:10!!!" *JINX* Finally the time came for us to board the tour bus and head out to check the route first hand. I really enjoyed this drive, even if we were gone for close to two hours. The traffic downtown is crazy! We had the best tour guide, he was so knowledgeable and was a runner so he really knew what points to tell us about. Best of all he was pretty funny and told some great stories. After the tour was over we tried to find somewhere to eat dinner.
Best bus tour guide ever, like!

As luck would have it Nicole noticed that there was an Italian restaurant right next to our hotel so we were able to order take out and eat it back in our room, in our jammies while watching the 10k race live streamed on the runottawa website. The best part was seeing Barb cross the finish line with a new 10K PB!! In my PJ's! Then we watched Spirit of the Marathon 2 and went to sleep around 9:30pm.

This is how a lot of time in our room was spent

2:30am and I'm now wide awake

3:30am I hear Nicole get up and I'm still awake.

5:30 my alarm goes off. Thankfully I had fallen back to sleep. I get up and notice that Nicole isn't there, wash my face, go to the bathroom (perfect, I have the runs) and go down to the Starbucks attached to the hotel to get some oatmeal with lactose free milk and a tea. Come back up to eat and Nicole still isn't there. I'm starting to get worried and am about to call her when she comes back to the room. Loooooong Tim Horton's line up apparently. Way to be prepared, Timmies. We get dressed and make our way over to the start line with the thousands of other people crazy enough to run a marathon. Nicole is worried that she hasn't been #2 yet but there's no time to get to the porta potties to try one last time because it is 10 minutes to race start. I'm so friggin nervous at this point. I had received so many texts and PM's wishing me luck, I really felt a lot of pressure to perform out there, but as soon as the gun went off that all went away and I just focused on running our paces. I was feeling really good and I was honestly amazed at the spectator support out there. So many families out at 7am to cheer on total strangers is so amazing to me!  We trucked along and held our pace well. At the 9k water station Nicole told me that she had to use the porta potty so I started walking. I figured I should keep my legs moving while I waited for her but I started to get pretty far away and didn't want her freaking out about where I was so I pulled off to the sidewalk and waited. Another runner stopped to ask if I was ok and I waved him on assuring him I was just waiting for my friend. The 3:40 pacer passed us here and the 3:45 caught up and I was going to suggest we just stick with him for the time being when Nicole caught back up to me. We ran along some more ticking off the kilometers and I was still feeling great thinking that we would for sure get the 3:45! We reach the 15k water station and Nicole has to hit the porta potties again. "I'll walk again" I tell her. "I'm starting to get a stomach cramp any way". Again I stop to wait for her so that I don't get too far ahead. No one asks if I'm ok this time. While I'm standing here the 3:50 pacer runs past and I tell Nicole as she runs back to me. "I am finishing sub 4 today if nothing else!!". I ask Nicole for a walk break around 18k because my legs are a bit tired and I'm getting super hot. I've been sweating like crazy the entire race and I can feel the salt on my face. I tell Nicole that we can only run the race that we're given and if we're not going to get our goal times that we should just enjoy ourselves. Nicole agrees and rips off her pace bands. This makes me laugh for some reason. Probably because the ones that she made me are still on the dresser in the hotel room. The race turns into Quebec and all of the spectator cheers turn from "Go Samantha!" to "C'est Bon, SamanTa!". We stop for a walk break and a guy tells us to keep running, we can do it! "I've got the shits!" Nicole says to him. "Sorry that you're having a shitty run" he replies. Nyuknyuknyuk. We also notice a guy running and talking on the phone which makes us laugh. It is even funnier when we see him about 7k later still talking on the phone! Somewhere around 25k my tummy is really starting to hurt and strangely Nicole is feeling better. It's like we tag teamed the sickness. Nicole suggests that I hit the next porta potty and see if anything happens. I jump in there and only a trickle of pee comes out. I'm a little worried about that because I've been sweating so much. (Apparently more than I thought because Nicole let me know today that at one point we brushed arms and she was grossed out by how wet mine was! LOL) As we head back into Ontario my stomach is really starting to cramp up and I tell Nicole that I think I might be sick. "Well just be sick then" she tells me. Unfortunately I can't. "If we can keep up a 5:40 pace we can get your sub 4" Nicole tells me. I don't give a crap. About anything. I just want to be done this stupid race. What am I doing out here?! Why did I think this was a good idea?! Don't I remember how crappy it feels? Where is the pleasure in this?! I want to go home. I want my mommy! I want a beer. I want a salad! I miss fiber! I see the turn for the half marathoners and wish that I was taking it. Instead I make the turn the other way and head deeper into the suck. Derek's cousin told me that she would be around the 30k mark so I look out for her but can't see her. Probably for the best. I probably look like hell. (Turns out she was at the 35k water station and saw me walking). At about 32k we were in a park like area and my entire day falls apart. I'm fighting nausea and cramps and finally break down and begin to cry. I feel like hell and I'm ruining the race. Nicole gives me a pep talk and tells me that we can walk it in if I want. God no. That would mean being out here even longer! She then suggests that we do 10s & 1s which sounded like heaven to me. Then she pulls her pom poms out of her pockets and goes into full Nicole mode. "Look who we get to run beside! This guy right here! I think he's an ironman! He's so hot!!" Even through my crying eyes I can see that yeah, he's pretty hot. Poor Ironman though. We ended up passing him as I clutched my stomach and shuffled my feet while Nicole danced to the music and played to the crowds.
That hair hanging off my bun drove me crazy for 42kms!

This is what it sounds like, when doves cry

Eventually we switched to 5s & 1s because I couldn't make the 10s. And we were walking all of the water stations. And then I got yelled at for walking and not telling Nicole. "We're finishing this together!". Finally we turned back onto Sussex St and I know that I am going to finish this damn race. And that I am only doing half marathons from now on. Forever. And my God, what the hell was I thinking even considering doing a half iron sometime in the future?! I could barely make it though this. Maybe I'll quit running altogether. Maybe I'll just ride my bike. PeeWee Jackman. Up ahead I know that Barb is waiting at 38k to jump in and run us to the finish. Just make it to Barb I think. And I do. She asks how I'm doing and I tell her that I feel like shit. She then offers me peanuts and oranges. Ew. No. Who the hell eats peanuts while they're running I think to myself. Turns out she was offering up Kleenex, not peanuts. Barb asks if I want her to talk or be quiet. I tell her to talk to Nicole. Nicole points out the big spider to me, the one thing on the route that I really wanted to see. I think that this amused Barb. I think that it made me smile. At least in my mind it did.
Picture of the spider stolen from the internet
Nicole hands me a sponge that she's been keeping in her tank top strap and I wipe my face and neck with it. Then Barb takes it and carries it to the end. Thank you for taking our nasty ass used sponge, Barb! The half marathoners have joined in the course now and it is so congested. And the sun is out full blast. Perfect. And there are so many spectators! You can barely move. I'm forced to walk for a few seconds from the amount of people around me and Barb tells me to come on, we're almost at the finish. I stop to retie my shoe because my foot is really hurting and my toe stings. The massive blood blister I find when I take off my shoes and socks would explain that. Finally we are turning into the finishing area and Nicole asks if I want to take the final walk break. No. Just run. With 800m left I'm thinking that I REALLY want that walk break but I don't take it. This is where Barb leaves us and then Nicole grabs my hand and like that it's over. 4:11:11 . So much for that PB eh, Nicole.LOL

Smiling because I see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Thank God that's over!

Despite feeling like garbage for 17k I really enjoyed this weekend. Nicole was a great travelling companion (I already know that she's a great running partner), I got to meet Barb even if the only talking that I did was complaining, we met up with Sarah & Maggie for lunch and the race itself was outstanding. The medal even has a double spinner, and if you know me you know that I like my spinners! There was crowd support for every step of the 42.2km and that was awesome. Water stations every 3k and even sponge stations! Those were my favourite part. I feel badly that the race couldn't have gone any better for me, but shit happens. A day later and I know that I'll be out there again for redemption. I'm not quite ready to become PeeWee Jackman.....

I got my beer!

And enjoyed it!

I also got to add a mug to my 'You are here' collection. Now I have two! LOL
Best ending ever. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Ottawa training....two weeks in!

So it's been two weeks since the start of my training for the Ottawa Marathon and things have been going pretty well. Both weeks I've gotten in all 3 of my runs, and at least 2 cross trains so yay me! I've also caught a cold right after my sinus infection went away so that kind of sucks, but better now than during the peak weeks right?!?!

Week 1
Monday. Snow storm. Drive to the gym? Impossible. Use the trainer for a workout? Not allowed yet. Answer, watch Downton Abbey and ride easy. 16.65km.

Tuesday. 3x1600 in 7:02 on the TM at the gym. These were super hard. My head was not into them from the get go and even though I didn't *have* to stop midway through each of them I did. Mind games. Bah. Zindine has since suggested I just try to bring the pace down a notch rather than stopping. Duly noted for next time.

Also this day Bernie came and adjusted the seat on the bike for me as suggested by his friend the professional bike fitter Dr Richard Nyguard. Ok, that's not his name and you won't get my joke unless you watch Parks & Rec but the man's name is Richard and he will be doing a proper bike fit for me in the spring. Oh, did I mention that I'm going to be buying Laura's husbands old Trek? Yay, bike! It's a pretty sweet bike and although it looks like a dudes bike, I'm really excited for it and can easily pink it up.

Wednesday. As the only member of the #530amswimclub I was able to get in 2000y because I had no one to talk to. One is the loneliest number......

Thursday. Tempo 2 miles @ 7:35/mile. I got through this no problem. Probably because it was only 2 miles. Easy peasy. I also bitched at the gym that TSN has not been working. Update. It is now fixed. You're welcome all the other women at the gym who also like to watch SportsCentre.

Friday. Spin. I love spin. It's why I'm opting for this rather than the disgusting 5x3.5min 5+MHR intervals that Zindine wants me to do. Friday spin gets my HR up and my sweat on and I don't want to lie down on the floor and weep when it's over. Spin for the win!
Just showing you my 2L water bottle. I love it even if Derek says you can't
take me seriously drinking out of it. 

Saturday. Supposed to be 21km @ 5:30/km average. Hahahahahaha. Oh Run Less Run Faster. You joker you. I figured 5:45/km was a decent compromise and even easily convinced Emma to run with me. Then the snow happened and that whole plan went out the window. The roads were way to greasy to get any sort of traction so we just ran. Oh well, the effort was there anyway. The run also started off with Patty and Mari so that was fun.

Week 2
Monday. I got up to do my 5x5min MHR intervals on the trainer but the battery on my Garmin was dead and it was too late to get myself ready to go to the gym and use a bike there so I opted for back to bed. I didn't sleep well Sunday night so it was an easy choice.

Tuesday. Tempo 8k @ 5:15/km. This will probably be my last tempo run with Mari for a while as my paces get faster and she's in taper for Pheonix. It went great. We totally nailed the paces and had donuts after! What could be better?!
Still Tuesday. Seeing as Mari wan't going to be able to make it for swimming on Wednesday morning I decided to try out the pool around the corner from my work. I swam 2000m. There were no lines on the bottom of the pool so that was a pain in the ass when I'd zone out and the place was full of weirdos. Oh well, I'll probably go back just for the convenience. And for the people watching although I'll have to keep my water bottle over by the life guard or something so I don't have to worry about weird old guys drinking from it!

Wednesday. I was going to do my intervals on the bike but instead I woke up with a cold and hit the snooze button for 90 minutes. No workout would be happening this day.

Thursday. 4x800m on the TM at the gym. Even though my cold had moved into my chest I nailed this workout. I finished each set strong and felt way better about myself than I did after last weeks speed session.

Friday. Spin. Still loving spin. Except for when she announces that we are doing a 10 minute hill climb. Uh. What?! I come to this class for the speed not the slog. If I wanted hills I could have just ridden with Emma. LOL Also went to pick up my baby from school this evening and stopped in for a quick bite at Burrito Boyz where I had my fav sweet potato burrito. I need to learn how to make these because it was the best pre long run dinner ever!

Saturday. 24k with the last 8k at HMP as per Nicole's coaches instructions. I just came along for the ride. And the donut. Like I do. My average pace was supposed to be 5:41 for this one. We finished with an average pace of 5:35. I'm super happy with it. Later this day my cold started getting worse and I ended up in bed for most of the afternoon and evening and then felt like death the next day so that really sucked.

Monday, November 17, 2014

So far so good

So you may have noticed that I didn't do a R2H recap. I didn't feel the need to repeat everything that Nicole and Emma said so you can just read theirs if you really need to know the sordid details. Suffice it to say I came I ran I went. Nothing too spectacular or horrific.
So far in my pretraining training cycle things are going pretty well. Last week I was able to get all 6 workouts in plus 2 rest days so yay! The Wednesday bike is a bit of a pain to do but it'll be alright.
Monday I did the MHR test Zin told me to do. 20min hard as hell. Yikes. I maxed out at 173 but my average HR during that time was 168 so that's my target for now.
Tuesday was #5amrunclub with 6k tempo with Mari. Afterwards she bought me a donut. Donuts make everything ok.
Wednesday was #530amswimclub. This would have been fun if it weren't totally busy and I had to go in the fast lane to avoid sharing. Some loser ended up swimming over top of me so in hindsight I should have just stayed in the medium lane and shared with Mari. That afternoon I hit the bike for 5X5min MHR intervals on the bike. Fun times.
Thursday I went to the gym and did 8x400's on the treadmill. It's way to dark to go to the track in the mornings so the TM is the way to go now. At least I can watch Sportscentre at the gym.
Friday rest day! Yes! I went and bought new shoes so I guess I did something sporty.
Saturday 15k long run. The first 5k I did by myself. The sunrise was AMAZING so I took my phone out to take a picture and ended up dropping it and the bottom of the screen cracked. Grrrrr. Then I met up with the girls (Emma, Patty & Amy) for 10k along the lake path. It was nice to get together, it's been awhile. I also went to the opera with my dad Saturday afternoon. We saw Verdi's MacBeth. It would have been fun except for the stupid pulled muscle in my back which made sitting for so long uncomfortable.
Sunday rest day! Or as rest day as my crappy breakfast shift allows for.
This is how everyone in the world leaves the spin room right?
Hard work on the spin bike
Beauty long run sunrise.
8x400s are always fun!
Pretending to work hard on the bike

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

New Plans

Training plans? What are those? I haven't followed a training plan since summer 2013 when I was training for the 1:45 half with Nicole. Sure I had PLANNED on following a marathon training plan last winter but plantar fasciitis ruined that for me really quickly. I am going to be following the Run Less Run Faster marathon plan for the Ottawa Marathon which will start February 1. I want to be able to keep my fitness up with the bike and swimming over the winter so that I can transition right into triathlon for the summer once my marathon recovery is over so with this it all fits in great. Since my goal is to BQ at Ottawa (Boston 2016 I will be 45 *gasp* so I "only" need a < 3:55 finish) my friend Zindine (Oakville pacer extraordinaire and my girlie Irina's DH) suggested that I do a 10k build up plan before hand. Sounds good to me. I do plan on tweaking it a bit though because I've been running tempos with Mari the last few weeks at her tempo pace which I'm enjoying and I still want to do my long runs with the girls. I run for the friendships that I've made just as much as I do for the joy of it, so while I'm base building I don't mind cheating a bit. Obviously during marathon training I won't be able to make sacrifices like that, so for now this is cool. The track workouts I'll do on the treadmill at the gym, and Zin has helped me figure out what to do on the spin bikes over the winter to make me stronger. Add in some pool time on Wednesday mornings and I'm excited to get started. Which I will be next week including a 20min hard ride to figure out my HR zones. Apparently these bike workouts will make me scream (hopefully it doesn't get me kicked out of the gym!), which has now been coined as #youwillscream and will be posted with all of my bike workouts. LOL

So this is how my weeks look to be shaping up:

Mondays- bike w/ 5x5min hard ass intervals
Tuesdays - tempo runs w/ Mari until marathon training starts then they'll be my proper tempo paces
Wednesday mornings - swim
Wednesday afternoons - bike w/ 5x3.5 min harder ass intervals
Thursdays- speedwork on the TM
Fridays- Zzzzzzzz
Saturdays- Long runs w/ the girls - hopefully someone will be cool with running my marathon plan LR paces              with me once that starts....
Sundays- Work shift from hell

I'm planning on taking a week off between plans, but hopefully since the Tuesday and Saturday runs aren't that crazy at the start it'll all work out ok and I won't feel burnt out by the end of it. As far as races go for the new year, same old same old. Chilly Half (1:45 or bust, baby!) ATB, Mississauga Half & Ottawa Full. We'll see where the road takes me after that.....

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Oakville Half Marathon 2014

Oakville ON
BIB # 314
Chip Time 1:49:33
Official Time 1:49:54
Pace 5:07/km
Place 200/672
Gender Place 55/332
Category Place 18/99

Another fall season, another running of the Oakville Half Marathon. This was to be my comeback race! Picking up where I left off so to speak before all of the crazy calf issues and PF saga began. I've been feeling fairly healthy and kicking ass at the track so why shouldn't I get that elusive 1:45?! I even had Zindine (Irina's husband) to pace me!

I think that this race report needs to start off with the day before. I had planned on sleeping in so of course my eyes were wide open come 6am. I picked up my phone and saw an email from the Oakville Half with the bib number 2898. Sounds familiar? Weird. Then Nicole messaged me her bib number (I was picking up her race kit). 469. Why is your number only 3 digits when mine is 4? I asked. Then Emma tells me that her bib is 3 digits also. And it says that she's running the marathon? Wait a minute!! These are all of our Mississauga Marathon bib numbers! Ru-roh! Sure enough I arrived to the kit pick up to pandemonium. The line up was huge because people were reciting numbers that were not truly theirs for this race and there was some confusion. Finally someone figured it out (other than me) and I was able to get my, Nicole & Zindine's bibs and move on over to the t-shirt pick up. Oh, pink! Me likey! But then the volunteer says that these are the 2k &10k shirts and the white ones are for the half. Boo! Wait a minute. These white shirts are cotton. And children's sizes! Dude! In the end I got everything that I needed and made my way back home so we could drive out to my nephews university football game for the afternoon. If I'm going to veg out I may as well do it outside cheering on my nephew!
Yeah #2!! York Lions vs McMaster Mauraders

Race morning arrives and there is rain in the forecast. And wind. And humidity. Perfect. Who doesn't love a little bit of the elements on race day?! No one, that's who! I got up, got dressed, ate my breakfast, filled my water and put my gels in the little hand held's pouch. I then put everything else into a pile so that I wouldn't forget anything. I'm not going to be the butt of a joke this year. No, no, no! I'm on time with everything that I need. Then Patty, Emma & Amy arrived to pick me up. I walked out through the garage, got half way to the car and realized I forgot to close the garage door. Doh! I got into the car and we were on our way. A minute later I realized that I had left my water at home. Crap! This wasn't going to be good, my water bottle is my security blanket and if I don't have it, it can really get into my head. Not much I can do about it now. It wasn't until we were getting out of the car that I remembered that I had put my gels in the pouch of the water bottle so not only did I not have a drink, I did not have any gels either. This day was getting better and better. Thankfully Amy had an extra gel so I had at least one. I usually only take one gel when I'm racing because they can upset my stomach, but Zindine suggested I try two because one wasn't enough for me when I'm working hard. We then went and made our way to the spot where we were going to meet up with Irina & Zin. My stomach was in knots and as soon as he saw me Zindine said "You don't look relaxed at all". Ha. That obvious eh? We chatted for a short while and then went on a warm up run where I took advantage of a lone porta potty around the corner. Zin asked me how I was feeling and all I could think was 'thirsty'. I went and found Emma in the starting line crowd and put on my saddest face and asked her for a drink of her water. Literally this entire race was sectioned off in terms of the aid stations for me. That was my every goal. Just get to the next drink station.
Emma, Amy, Patty, me, Kim & Zindine before the madness. And rain.

Waiting for the suck to start.

Soon enough the gun sounded and we were off. I think we were positioned fairly well, I don't really remember spending too much time trying to weave around people. Zin had us settled into the pace fairly quickly and I was just counting off the km beeps to the drinks. Beep. Two more to go. Beep. One more to go. You're ok. Beep. Phew. Drinks. I put my hand up and grabbed a Gatorade, drank it and we were off again, counting down the beeps. My mind was fairly blank during this entire race which is strange for me. I was mainly focused on getting to the aid stations and giving out an 'uh-huh' every time that Zin tried to say something encouraging. "Listen to these people breathing hard already. We are relaxed." Uh-huh. "Maintain your effort. Save yourself.". Yep. In retrospect the time actually flew by even though the suck really started to creep in fairly early. It was so friggin humid at the start and I was melting. Thank God I had given Irina my hat to hold onto (Doh! She still has my hat!! LOL) because I would have been way to hot with it on. Not far into the race it started to rain and while others were probably inwardly grumbling about it, I was happy for it because it was cooling me down. It rained for the entire race with a few extra special down pours which resulted in some nasty bra chafe for me but I'll take that over the pounding sun any day.
It's raining it's pouring....

The usual incline around 8k took the wind out of my sails once again and I decided to take my one and only gel at the aid station right after this. I remember thinking to myself around 10k "Pfft. I got this". I really need to stop thinking that because less than a km later my legs were starting to feel like cement blocks and I was falling further behind Zin. "We should have just done the 10K" I whined. Stop talking! Come on, you got this" Yep. "Let's go! You trained for this". I know. But wait?! Did I train for this? Sure I was consistently doing my track work but I had put in very few tempo runs and it was biting me in the ass now. Crap. "You're slowing down too much. Come on. You need to speed up. You're not even breathing hard anymore!". I'll speed up soon. "Come on Sam! You can do it! I believe in you!" One girl turned and said to me "Oh! He's so motivating! He's even inspiring me to run harder". *Stage whisper* "He's getting on my nerves!!" Haha. He wasn't really getting on my nerves but I like to find the humour in every situation. Even the ones where bricks are tied to my feet. A short time later a lady ran by and complimented my outfit and started asking questions. As I answered them with probably a little more enthusiasm than I was showing for this run I could literally read the thought bubble above Zindine's head.....are you effing kidding me right now?!?! Put the effort into this race not your fashion! Thankfully we saw Irina a few minutes later and she took his mind off the fact that I was an idiot. Hahaha. We hammed it up a little for her camera and kept on moving.
Me: This sucks Zin: Walk in the park

"Let's go Sam! 5 minute km's now ok?! Super hero is just ahead of us. Let's catch her". Yep, I'll catch her later. And I'll speed up when we turn off Rebecca. All these false promises on my part. I wondered if he was buying what I was selling?
Superhero was around us the entire race. She finished maybe 15 seconds ahead of us

Around now my husband drove by and honked at us and then soon enough the turn off Rebecca came and there was a light at the end of this tunnel. This race was almost over and Derek was there to take me home! "Come on now! Let's catch those girls in pink!! Get the pinkies!". Yeah! Let's get those girls in pink! They can't wear pink! That's my colour! Why am I not wearing pink today?! And finally I had a little more zip in my step. Pfft. I may let the girl in the orange cape beat me today but I am not letting these two girls in pink beat me! Right at 20k I got a little bit of a side stich and my brain was screaming at me. JUST WALK! It'll be fine. Zindine is ahead of you, he'll never even know! Just walk off the stitch. And I almost did. I literally took one half of a walking step and said NO! Phew! That was close. And then the stitch went away. And so did the cement blocks. And everything else that as standing in my way and I just ran all the way to the finish line. And it was over and my B goal was achieved. Sub 1:50. I'll take it because I worked my ass off out there and at the end of the day that's all I can ask from myself.
Shoulders up around my ears, yep not tired at all! Haha.

Go towards the light....

Aaaaaaand that sucked. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Guelph Lake II Sprint Triathlon

Sure it's been a few weeks since I participated in the Guelph Lake sprint tri but good things come to those who wait.....or so they say. I can't say that I've actually experienced this to be true. Any way.... I went into this race with high expectations! I've been swimming weekly, I have an awesome bike that did not come from Canadian Tire and I have two legs that can move fairly quickly when they want to. What could possibly go wrong?!

Race day, Derek packed his lawn chair and book into the car and drove me up to Guelph Lake to meet up with Emma. We got there a little later than I would have liked but I got my kit, body marked and set up fairly quickly. Emma was nice enough to bring me a banana and I ate that before stuffing myself into my wetsuit. I even got the wetsuit on the right way round on the first try! Woohoo. I did have to ask a girl to help me zip it up but that's cool. In hindsight I probably got the wetsuit on a little too easily but what harm could there be in not being 100% fitted properly? I packed up my bag and took it down to the water to find Derek and ask him to hold it for me. At this point in life he is used to toting around my bright pink Under Armour bag at races. I think he may even want to borrow it for his boys weekend one day. Unfortunately I couldn't find him so I ran the bag back up to the transition area and put it under the bike. Hopefully it wasn't in anyone's way! I walked back down to the beach and got into the water to try to warm up a bit. I was feeling pretty nervous but I'm still brand new at this triathlon stuff so that's to be expected. I submerged myself and started to swim and realized that maybe things weren't going to go so great at the swim because I just couldn't control my breathing. I swam for a few minutes and thankfully spotted Derek and went and joined him while we waited for my wave to start. Finally the horn blared but I stayed back a bit so as not to be engulfed in the swarm of swimming bodies. I got maybe 100m out and had to switch to the breast stroke to try to calm myself down a bit. My heart rate was through the roof and I just couldn't get a breath. I looked ahead to the buoy way out in the distance and wondered how the hell I was going to get through this swim. Should I wave my swim cap in the air like they said and call for help? No! I was going to finish this swim no matter how long it took me! I swam behind the same woman for the entire race but I think she was just slow and not having a panic attack like I was. As long as she didn't get ahead of me I was happy with that. So what if I was doing the breast stroke, my most favourite hated stroke. Twice I flipped myself onto my back and stared at the sky to try to collect myself and thankfully as I turned the final buoy my body and mind relaxed enough that I was able to finish the swim. Of course this was also the same moment when the fast swimmers from the wave behind me caught up to me. I also started to realize here that the wetsuit was riding right up in the crotch so at least I had something other than getting the eff out of this water to keep my mind occupied for that final stretch. Finally the shore came and I was on my own two feet unzipping this stupid wetsuit and running to the bike! Frick man, get me outta here!

Get me to the land! And ignore the man from the next wave behind me

Yeah, beat you out of the water buddy! So what if you started 6 minutes after me?!
SWIM TIME 17:09 750m
AG place 16/26

I got into the transition area and found my bike fairly quickly. There weren't too many bikes left on my rack but that was ok. I'd catch up. Maybe. I quickly threw everything off and then on and ran out to the bike mount area. My heart rate was still pretty high so I didn't work too hard at the start and all the fast men from the wave behind me went whipping by. I ate a gel and cruised along noticing that there were far more hills in this 'flat' course than I had anticipated. Hills are the devil. Unless you're Emma. The bike course went by fairly uneventfully until a big trasport truck decided that he needed to turn left, but because of all of the bike traffic on the other side of the road he had to stop, causing me to have to go onto the loose gravel shoulder. All of a sudden my back tire started skidding and I started to fall. Thankfully I got my foot unclipped at the last second and saved myself right before my head cracked the side of the truck. I righted myself and got going again, all the while the girl behind me was screaming. "I'm sorry, are you ok?" I turned and said to her. "Am I ok? Holy shit! How's your heart rate right now?" she asked me. "Through the roof" I replied. She rubbed my back and then rode past, leaving me to catch my breath and notice the cut I had somehow gotten on my knee in all that craziness. I got to the turn around, unclipped my left shoe, and kept as tight to the cone as I could. Once again the ride was uneventful and I was counting down the distance remaining while noticing the crosswind that was a little annoying but still having a fun time out there. Around 22k the top of my head started hurting, like I had a hair clip in or something. I stuck my finger in my helmet to see what was up only to realize my helmet was inches above my head. Doh! I awkwardly fixed my helmet and walla!
I hope I don't need this helmet to protect my head today!
I pedalled along and saw a big downhill coming up! Woohoo I love the downhills! As I flew down a bee flew into my neck. The G force had him stuck there and so he stung me. Aaaaand he was still stuck to my neck. I grabbed the bee and threw him off to the side yelling "ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!?!". Thankfully no one was in close enough ear shot to hear it. I had officially had enough of this race. My neck was throbbing like a mother and I was swallowing back tears of frustration. I finally rounded the corner to get back to the park and I rode as fast as I could so I could get off this bike.
BIKE TIME 1:12 30k
AG place 23/26

I ran into the transition area and noticed a sign for my AG on a rack that didn't look like where I had been, but it was my age group so it was right. Right? Wrong! I ended up running around the transition area trying to remember where I had been when I saw my pink bag sitting all alone amoung the returned bikes. There were a lot of them. Oh well. I had a drink, changed my shoes, threw on my headband and ran out of transition. "Go Sammy" my husband yelled to me. "OMG. I almost got hit by a truck and stung by a bee! That bike did not go well". Later Derek told me that I looked like I was having a smoke break in T2, because I was taking my time. Harhar.
Leaving T2
Mid bitch

Immediately I felt hot on the run and was glad that I had brought my handheld water bottle. I heard a girl ask a volunteer how long until the water station and he told her 3k. Yikes. Good luck, girlie! I got a few hundred meters into the run and came across a hill. "What's with all the hills?!" a girl beside me asked. Right?!?! We both stopped and walked the hill and she wished me luck when I started to run again. And then I walked again. And then I ran again. And walked. And ran. It was hot. My legs were tired. I was fed up. Gah! Just run and get this over with I thought to myself. And why the hell are these people looking at me? IS MY NECK SWOLLEN from this bee sting?!?! Am I like Sloth Fratteli out here?
Hey you guys!!!
I saw Emma on her way back from the run and asked her how her morning was going. "I'm on the death march right now" was her reply. Don't I know it?! Eventually I got to the run turnaround and I was feeling a bit better. At least I could focus on running and passing all these girls with D30-39 on their legs and the old dudes who had passed me on the bike. I did not see a single girl from my AG but I was sure seeing a lot from Emmas! I wonder..... With 2k left to go I passed another old guy who said to me "Looking good!" "Thanks" I said "Keep it up!" he replied "I'll try!!" I responded. "I better not see you out here again today!" he yelled out to me and I laughed. Message heard. Finally I turned the corner and saw the finish line. Thank God that's over!
Yeah yeah yeah get me over the finish line

RUN TIME 44:30 7K
AG place 12/26

AG place 22/26

All smiles. Yeah, that wasn't so bad. Not. 

Turns out my rock star friend Emma finished 3rd in her AG at the Duathlon, and I was lucky to get out of the sprint tri alive. At least now I know where I need to work next year if I want to compete in more triathlons, especially the half iron that Mari has talked me into. Open water swims are a must to get past the panic. I've never liked dark water swimming so I need to get more comfortable there. Even with a good bike (thanks Irina!)I was crap and probably I should actually try brick runs before race day. So after I run the Ottawa Marathon in May my focus will change to the tri and I'll become a crusty bitch as Derek would so graciously put it. LOL 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Barrie Half Marathon

What was I doing all the way out in Barrie to run a half marathon at the end of June you ask?! Originally I had registered for this race when it was dirt cheap with the intention of running it for fun with Patty for her birthday. Unfortunately Patty had to back out, so I made plans to hook up with Robin who had told us about the race in the first place.

Thankfully there was race day pick up so I got up bright and early on Saturday morning and met Robin at the park and ride in Bradford where she then drove us into Barrie. On the way Robin informed me that the front half of the race course was pretty hilly (wtf?!?! isn't this on the lakefront where it's typically flat), the back half is mainly gravel and that the printer had shrunk the race shirts so they were going to be mailing them to us at a later time. Perfect. I was running a hilly race on a hot day without the friend who was the sole reason that I signed up and there weren't even shirts to bring home? Well all of these minuses have to turn into a plus right? Probably I'm going to go out here and have the race of my life because of all this!!! Soon enough Robin and I made it to the venue, found a sweet parking spot and got our race kits. They did offer us the shrunken shirts to have in the mean time, but the woman's large that they held up was wider than it was long. Um. No thanks, I have enough potato sacks. We then made our way over to the bathrooms where Robin bragged about the fact that they had real toilets at this race. Nice! Too bad the city didn't get the memo and they were locked. Over to the porta potty line it is! After a bit of puttering around it was time to make our way to the start. Robin placed us behind a cluster of girls in tutus, I suggested maybe we should try to start ahead of them....

.......And we were off. There was quite a bit of congestion but it didn't take Robin long to pull ahead of me. No worries, she said she was going to try for a 1:40. I was going to be happy if I could come in around 1:50. Not that I knew what pace I needed for that was. I figured I'd just run and see what happened. That's how the races of your life are run you know! They're the ones where you just run and then you look at the clock at the finish line and your entire face lights up because you freakin' rock. Just like Oakville.

Not like Scotia.

There wasn't a lot of conversation going on around me to listen in on but that was ok. I was just running and being happy, no need to eavesdrop on anyone yet. I passed a lot of people on the first out of the two way out and back and I was feeling good. It was hot but fairly shady in the residential area that we were in. Hot, shady and hilly. Urp. Uh oh? Is that my prerace banana coming back on me? Probably nothing to worry about I'm sure. I just continued running at a decent pace and kept on passing people, slowly feeling my face getting redder and redder. It didn't take long for the leader to make his way back from the turn around and then I started looking for Robin. It was quite a while before I saw any women so I started counting them just to see how she was doing in gender placing. I stopped counting after 10 but soon saw Robin looking strong after that. We smiled and waved and kept on. Soon enough I came to the turn around and started my way back. The field got a lot more congested on this portion of the run because now we were mixed in with the 10k runners. They didn't really get in the way at all though which was good, we all seemed to be running the same paces. I did take the time to let a woman know that her skirt had ridden up and she was flashing everyone. What comes around goes around and all that. Eventually we were out on the lake front where the shade gave way to full sun and the sweat really started pouring off of me. It was around this point where I started thinking that I wasn't having much fun out here. I was hot, sweaty and bored and I'd really love to get off the course with the 10k runners. They only thing was, if I did that I would have run 12.75k. Obviously that wasn't going to do so I sucked it up and took the turn to stay on the half course while the 10kers made their way to the finish line. Boo. There were a lot of spectators in this area and I took the time to high five some kids who had their hands out. I was kind enough to make sure that I only touched them with my finger tips. Obviously my hands had some serious sweat going on. It was in the park here where I really started to fade. The gel that I had taken around 9k had upset my stomach, I was head-achy and light headed at times and my get up and go had got up and went. A lady yelled out my number and told me to catch the people ahead of me. Meh. Not right now.

What's that smell?!
We were now on the gravel and I was totally dialing this race in. I truly would have walked at this point but I just wanted for this to be over and done with so I kept at it. Now people started passing me but whatever. I didn't even care at this point. I didn't even have any sort of interior dialogue other than I refused to come in over 2 hours! You know things have hit rock bottom when! A piece of hair had fallen out of my bun so I stopped and put it back in because it was annoyingly hitting the back of my neck like a wet noodle. Then a water station came up so I spent a little time there. People kept on passing me and then eventually we came up to a large hill that led up to a residential area. I couldn't even muster the energy to run this so I walked. Walking hills is ok on the trails, and Barrie is practically up North so it's kind of the same. A short time later I passed Robin again. "I'M DYING!!" I yelled to her. "Yeah, me too" she replied. Well at least I'm not the only one having a rough go of it I figured. As I came up to the final turn around I saw a lady who I had been going back and forth with for the entire race. Spotting her seemed to put a little life into my sails, and my pace started to pick back up. Frick, just get me to the finish line! I started passing people again, pretty easily as a lot of them were fading on the back stretch. I played back and forth with a man for a couple of minutes. He would stop and walk, I would pass him, he would get pissed off that I had passed him and start running again only to start walking once he got past me. If there was anyone who I was going to beat this day it was this man. Right here. Finally he muttered an expletive and that was the last I heard of him. I passed a downed runner, but there were people all around him so I kept going. He was curled on his side with his back to me, but flashbacks of Road 2 Hope played in my head. I passed a medic slowly walking down the path so I told him there was a man down. Apparently he knew. Good thing he was rushing to get the man some aid! *sarcasm* I passed a couple of vomit splatters and turned the corner to the finish line.
Get me the hell outta here!

Finally my legs found their get up and go and brought me over the finish line. "Fuck me" I muttered to myself as I pressed stop on my Garmin. Too bad I noticed the photographer after this part. Channeling my inner Nicole I was not.
Phew. No F bomb detected. Just a look that says 'Thank God that's over'

Robin was there at the finish waiting for me so I gathered my big ass medal, made my way to the water jugs(?!) and saw that they only had pizza to eat so we made our way back to the sweet parking spot. As I peeled my sweaty shoes and socks off Robin asked if I was going to come out and run this again next year. Yeah.....probably not.
Me & Robin at the end