Monthly Archives: June 2018

June Recap

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In the spirit of doing one post a month….here’s my June recap.

In it, I’ll be talking about Coulee Cactus Relay, Ladiesfest 8km race, the kickoff to Berlin Marathon training, and what’s ahead!

Coulee Cactus Crawl

This event is run every June here in Lethbridge.  In 2013, I stupidly signed up to run it solo.  It is 35 km of coulee trail running and I was NOT prepared.  You can read about it here.  I had originally planned on going to watch Provincial Track & Field this year, but with bad weather in Red Deer (where it was hosted) being predicted, I decided to stay in town.  An acquaintance had mentioned a week before that they needed a fifth relay member to their team.   I reached out to her on social media to see if I could fill the spot…with the small…small….stipulation that I had a very small person who would need to be taken care of while I ran my leg (Andy).  I felt find in asking this because this acquaintance is the daughter of someone I taught with the past years at WCHS.  I asked if she could check with her mom if she wanted to play “Grandma” that day and the answer was YES! I was in!

This WAS SO MUCH FUN!  I was on a team with Emily, her boyfriend, her brother, and a friend of theirs.  Emily’s mom was there to help with Andy as we went from the different relay transition stages.  I was leg 2 of the race, and it was a shorter segment (5.75 km) so when I set off on my portion I was right in the midst of runners.  People could run solo or on a team, so early on many runners are closer together.  Knowing I only had to do less than 6km of the race versus a full 35km was incredible.  While I don’t train on the trails in Lethbridge, I felt comfortable on my leg of the race because 1.) I had been on portions of it before 2.) It would only be around 5.75 km long 3.) I was an early leg in the relay so we would still be right in the thick of things and surrounded by other runners.

The race weather was beautiful-full sun but a cool breeze.  We saw Evan off for the start of the race and headed to the transition area.  As we started seeing runners coming in I did start to get nervous.  I wanted to make sure I delivered!  We didn’t have to wait too long before seeing heaven making his way on the ridge of the coulee.  I got the timing band from him and off I went.  Since I knew I only had less than 6 km to run, I knew I could really try and push it.  My splits were 8:03, 9:25, 9:15, for the first three miles and then the last 0.84 was 9:47.  That last section included the lovely “Puke Hill.”  As I came in to the transition area and passed the band off to Wes, I immediately heard Andy WAIL!  I found out here had been so good the whole time waiting for me, but it was just at that moment that he lost his mind.

We had so much fun watching all the runners and making our way to the different transition areas.  Andy was really good too!  When we finished, Andy was even sound asleep in his stroller.  We were definitely one of the earlier teams to finish, but weren’t really sure of our standings until awards.  We found out we placed 3rd in the mixed team division under 40!  Our time was 3 hours and 22 minutes.  We all earned a nice handmade medal.  And all while waiting for the awards, we were able to sit in the picnic area at the Elks Compound and have Theoretically Brewing beer and tacos from Taco Time.  I seriously went home and told Dan that this was one of the best days EVER….running, time with Andy, time with friends, sun, beer, and food.

Ladiesfest

This was the second time I’ve done this women’s only race, with the first time being last year while I was pregnant (Ran a 43:54).  So, I pretty much knew I would get a personal best (barring an all out disaster!)  I got pretty nervous at the start of the race simply because of the sheer numbers of women in this event.  I do a lot of races in town, and there are never this many women!  Turns out there were 730 women in this race today!  I knew who I wanted to stay near while racing, so I headed out strong going down Wendy’s Hill with my mind focused on just doing the best I could.

Miles 1 & 2 went really well, but mile 3 was a struggle.  It got better at the turnaround while we were heading back to Whoop Up, because then we ran past all the other women behind us.  I saw lots of people I knew, got high fives, and most importantly, some motivation!  I pushed up Whoop Up Drive and was able to move up a placement overall as we did the final climb up.  I finished in a time of 36:46, which was actually 2:30 minutes behind 1st overall and then 1:30 minutes behind 2nd and 3rd overall.  I placed 4th overall!  My splits were 5:59, 7:08, 7:27, 7:19, 8:52.  It was a great feeling finishing this high on the leaderboard all while being about 7.5 months postpartum.  I also walked away with a handmade mug for placing 1st in my age group (1/117).

Berlin Training

I really have been meaning to do a full post on this, as it’s a very big deal!  We are just a few short months from the Berlin Marathon in Germany!  Dan and I had our kickoff party at Runners Soul a few weeks ago and got to meet everyone in town who is travelling out there.  I believe there are 17 runners in the group.

There are weekly long runs on Saturday morning that we can take part in.  We had our first one last weekend.  At just 10 miles, it isn’t that long of a run.  But, we now have a new challenge to these runs-the stroller.  Since Dan and I want to do the long runs together, we need to bring Andy with us along for the ride.  Literally.  We each took turns pushing him for about 2 miles at a time before switching.  It was a great training run, as we ran the 10 miles in a time of 1:25.44 with an average pace of 8:34 per mile.  I am really hoping that all this stroller training pays off when race day comes, as it definitely makes it a tougher workout!

What’s Next

Training for Berlin is the main focus this summer, and I am using my old Vancouver training plan.  It’s hard to find longer distance races during the summertime, but I did find two short races to do while I am home in Wisconsin.  Dan and I will be doing the Firecracker 4 on July 4th, which is a 4 mile race.  I am also doing the Storm the Bastille 5km event near the end of my trip, which is a night race in downtown Milwaukee.

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May Days

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Having a kid puts a damper on being up-to-date on my blog posts.  So, since I did three races in May (a trifecta!  5km, 10km and a half marathon) and haven’t written about any of them, I am going to do a post on all three.  This may become a new way of doing things…!?!

3rd Annual Lakeview Superhero Run 5km

I have actually done this race all three years and this was my fastest one yet!  This race is always a Wednesday evening, and the past two years it was hectic getting there because I would have been working during the day.  This year it was even worse because I was trying to deal with stuff at home with Andy before Dan came back from work and  then I had to rush over to the race start.  After parking I got to the start area with less than 10 minutes before the beginning of the race.  Close call.

The weather had been gross all day long and thankfully it cleared up in the evening.  While I would not have minded some rain while running, this is a 2km and 5km race geared towards children and I know they would have been miserable had it been raining.  The 5km runners started first, and the 2km would begin shortly after.  It’s a quick loop from Lakeview School down the green strip towards Bullys, then around the east end of Henderson Lake and back.  I don’t know my splits, because in the rush around the house before heading here I realized my watch wasn’t charged.  Rookie mistake.  But I do know that I finished in a time of 21:57!  I am super proud of this as last year I ran a 25:57(albeit I was 15 weeks pregnant or so) but back in 2016 I ran a 22:16…I beat that!  This sub 22 time that I ran was my goal for my July race in Wisconsin, so now my goal for that 5km will be to beat this time!

20th Anniversary of Woody’s RV World Half Marathon in Red Deer

Dan and I often go and do this race because his family lives in Red Deer.  This would be my 6th time running this half marathon. More notably this would be Dan’s first full marathon!

The weather was the best I’ve ever experienced for this race.  The race starts and finishes right near Dan’s old high school.  I had originally made a lofty goal of running a 1:40 for this race.  When I started, I had some trouble with my legs.  They just felt heavy.  I really thought that I would be able to shake that feeling after a mile or so, but the heaviness and tightness persisted.  I ended up getting pretty frustrated at the 10km mark, but after I hit 9 miles I had a second wind so to speak.  My last four miles were very consistent and back to where they should have been all along.  Here are my splits:

7:26, 7:45, 7:46, 7:48, 7:50, 8:12, 7:54, 7:45, 8:09, 7:51, 7:50, 7:52, 7:53

My final time was a 1:42.28.  So, not in the 1:40 range like I was hoping but still pretty good.  I hope to get down into that 1:40 range or lower by the Lethbridge Police Half this fall.

6th Annual Fort Mcleod Willow Creek Wilderness Walk & Run 10km

The weekend after Red Deer was this little trail race.  My friend Angela and I headed out to Fort Mcleod in the morning.  She would be doing the 5km while I ran the 10km.  While it was advertised as a “Wilderness Walk & Run” I guess I didn’t really take into consideration that this would be a trail race, and not on paved paths.  Surprise surprise!

I would say about 90% of the route was either on gravel, pebbles, mud, dirt, or grass.  I was the leader of the 10km for the first two or three miles, which was col, but very mentally challenging.  With no lead bicyclist, I was starting to lose focus and drive to stay at my normal 10km pace.  My feet just kept sinking into the stones and I felt my pace getting slower and slower.

One guy did pass me and he stayed ahead of me for the duration of the event.  But having him in front of me helped me push a little more and get back on track.  Given the terrain of the race (and my loss of focus) my splits were all over the place.  (6:43, 7:36, 7:53, 8:05, 7:57, 7:46)  I was happy to see myself get my last mile back down a bit.  In hindsight, I probably went out too fast and had I known what the terrain would be like maybe I would have been a little less ambitious to begin.  My final time was 47:48, which was good enough for 2nd overall and 1st place female.  I got a sweet handmade ceramic mug as my prize!

So that was May!  It is already the first weekend in June, and originally I thought I only had one event this month.  But yesterday I joined a relay team for a local trail race last minute.  So who knows what else I’ll decide to do last minute….