Wow, I have been slacking on blog posts! May has been SO busy with not only races, but teaching, coaching, and life! If I tried to do an individual recap for each for the four events I did in May, I wouldn’t get them done until September, so I am going to briefly touch on what I’ve been doing ‘running-wise’ lately, and also whats next…
MONTANA SPARTAN BEAST
On Saturday, May 7th, I participated in my 4th Montana Spartan Race weekend. This time, instead of doing it with my husband, I was able to do it with my best friend Ali. She flew in from California on the Friday night and would be participating in both the Beast on Saturday and the Sprint on Sunday. The Sunday Sprint would be her first Trifecta of the year, and she is going for an incredible 5 Trifectas by the time 2016 is complete!
I knew what the expect with the course; Ali had an idea from what I’ve told her or what she read online. But I think it’s safe to say it was tougher than she could even had imagined! The terrain is very challenging, and you are basically doing hills for 14 miles. The barbed wire crawl at the end is also brutal, as I would say it’s a solid 200 metres long. We stuck together the whole race and were very happy to be finished! It is a gorgeous course with a great atmosphere post race. I was happy to just be doing the Beast, as come Sunday being a spectator was right up my alley. Sunday was a bit of a let-down, as it seemed that Spartan Race was more interested in their Elite Heat and the NBC video crews than the paying customers. After the elite heat started over 30 minutes late, they started the open heats really quick, one after another. This caused for back ups at obstacles and just hoards of people in the way. I saw this first-hand by being a spectator. I do enjoy Spartan Races, but I think I will be taking a break from them for some time.
LAKEVIEW SCHOOL SUPERHERO 5KM
This event was a late addition for me. As a Wednesday night race put on by a local school, this event had a different purpose and would draw a different crowd. The school was fundraising to build a new playground, and ScotiaBank had agreed to match their fundraising amounts! Around 450 kids and adults registered for either the 2km or 5km run. I think it would be safe to say it was a huge success!
The event was geared more towards the children, and that makes perfect sense as it was put on by an elementary school. The 2km race went first at 6:00, and then at around 6:30 they started the 5km. The loop for the 5km runners was down the green strip we run on with Marathon Club, around park of Henderson Lake and back, with the last 400 metres or so on the grass at the school. Running on the grass was the hardest part for me personally! I was able to huff and puff my way in to a first place female finish with a time of 22:16. If they did this event again next year I would definitely participate, as it supports a local school…and I am a teacher!
WOODYS RV WORLD RED DEER HALF MARATHON
This is an event I have done many times before. Red Deer is where my in-laws life, and the event always falls on the Victoria Day/May Long Weekend, so it’s super convenient! For my 5th running of the half marathon, I would be joined by my husband and my sister-in-law. Thing is, it turned out I was the only one who really had been ‘training.’ Now, let me be clear—Erika, my sister-in-law, works out and stays active doing things other than running. She just joked saying that she had a running ‘rest week’ that lasted 7 weeks! And my husband….well, he hadn’t run since the BAA 5km…and before that he ran while in Hawaii in January…so he initiated his 5 day training plan leading up to the race. I didn’t have high hopes for him. He just wanted to finish.
Come race day, I didn’t have high hopes for myself. I had cramps that felt like Satan was inside my body and it was raining. HARD. I started out feeling OK, but by mile 4 I knew I just needed to trod it out and not care about my time. My time was a 1:46.35. I was freezing, wet, irritable and just happy to be done. I thought I would have enough time to get back to the car, get clean clothes, and see my husband finish. Well, of course he outdid himself. He finished his first half marathon in a time of 1:52.37. Seriously….it took me until 2013 to hit under 1:54, and he just goes out there and does that. Whatever! He was on Cloud 9 the rest of the weekend…that is, until Monday morning after I let Snoopy out to the bathroom at 5:45 AM and he got sprayed by a skunk. What a memorable Victoria Day 2016 it was!
CALGARY MARATHON WEEKEND-50KM ULTRA
My last event of May 2016 happened to be the Calgary Marathon Weekend. I often do an event in Calgary, having done the half marathon in 2013, the full marathon in 2009 and 2014, and the 50km Ultra in 2015. This year, I opted to register for the 50km, as I wanted to see if I could better my time from the prior year, which was 4 hours 40 minutes and 34 seconds.
Other than my races in between Boston Marathon and race day, I hadn’t put on any crazy mileage in preparation. I really was going out there and seeing what I was made of. The race start of 7 am is great, because it ALWAYS it warm this weekend, and the sun was out in full force early. There was at least a nice breeze throughout the morning to help break the heat. I started running with the plan of holding a 8:00 minute/mile pace for as long as I could, knowing I would probably have to slow down some. I was able to keep my mind going on tons of different things during the race, because during the week before I asked for family and friends to let me know if they wanted me to ‘run for them’ at any point. I had a list in my back skirt pocket that had the names of those who wanted me to run for them and the segments I would think about them. I took this idea from my friend Dennene, who I met at this very race last year!
I was holding my own until around mile 22, when I realized I wouldn’t be able to hit the marathon timing mat (42.2 km) at a 3:30.00 (8 minute pace). I decided to take a little break, use the washroom, and hydrate even more. I knew I was just going to try my best to finish still with a better time than the year before. I trucked along a bit more and my right foot started to really hurt (where my bone spur and arthritis is). I ended up compensating for this pain by almost running on the outside of my right foot for the last 7 miles or so; it hurt too much to have my whole foot hit the ground.
My friend Saskia was helping out with her triathlon group at the 40 km mark, and she saw me as I went by. She joined me and got me to the marathon mat, which I hit at 3:41.02. What’s even funnier is that this is now my third fastest marathon time, with Vancouver being the fastest and Boston being next! I was quite a bit ahead of my pace from last year, so I knew I just needed to muster through any pain and get the last 7.8 km or so completed! I kept a positive attitude, smiled and had fun, and by doing this, I even had some extra energy stored during the final stretch to really push myself. My final time—4:23.10! I beat my time from last year by just over 17 minutes! YES!
I was very happy with my time for this race, and even happier to find out I placed in the 50km at 20/122 runners overall. For my gender, I was 6/42 and in the 30-34 female I was 2/9. I earned a 1st place age group award, however, because much like last year the overall female winner was in my age group, thus removing her from age category awards.
This race was not a ‘goal race’ by any means, but it was important. This marks my “last hurrah” before my cheilectomy surgery, which is happening on June 10th. My bone spur will be shaved off my right foot, along with my arthritis being cleaned out. Stitches will be put in, and I will be put resting and elevating my foot most of the summer. I will probably have 8 weeks off of any sort of running, and then when I do start running again I will be taking it VERY EASY. The arthritis will most likely come back over the years, but hopefully the bone spur stays away. I will have lots to write about in regards to this surgery, and that will be what my summer posts are devoted to, so stay tuned.
And with that, my Winter/Spring/beginning of Summer 2016 races are complete! Up next-surgery. After that—get back into running so I can complete the 2017 Goofy Challenge in Walt Disney World! Can’t stop me now!