Tag Archives: lulu lemon

My Next “Big Event”

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Hello and happy 2017 everyone!  I have recently returned from the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, where I completed the Goofy Challenge*…there’s an asterisk there because in the history books, this will be the race weekend that had the half marathon cancelled.  I will be doing a complete write-up on the weekend, but I wanted ot let everyone know some of the basics:

The WDW half, which was scheduled to be held on Saturday, January 7th, was cancelled the night before due to a threatening storm coming through the area.  Thunder and lightning occurred all throughout the evening and into the morning, and this would have cause the race to be cancelled either while we were in the corrals waiting to start, or after we started.  It would have been a disaster!  So, many runners did their own “unofficial” WDW half later that day when the storm system cleared.  I completed the 13.1 miles with two friends.  We wanted to complete the distance, so that we could wear our Challenge medals with pride the next day.  On Sunday, January 8th, the marathon went on without a hitch.  I was able to run with my best friend Ali, as she completed her very first full marathon.  It was an amazing weekend!

I alluded in my last post that I would be talking about what was in store for 2017…well, as you can see by my updated “countdown” on the side….I am pregnant!  I am due late July, and while I was in Disney I hit the 12 week mark.  Today I am 13 weeks, and will be heading to Calgary to get my combined First Trimester Screening test done.  My husband and I are very excited, anxious, nervous, scared, elated, etc.  We have always wanted to have a kid, but I was always the one who had concrete running goals I wanted to achieve first….qualify for Boston, go to Boston…then get foot surgery due to all my running…Really, I think waiting longer was also in my husband’s mind too, but I always was the one with the “bucket list” of things I wanted to achieve before we started a family.

WDW Marathon Weekend!

WDW Marathon Weekend!

I know runners who read this page wouldn’t think anything negative about it, but the general public I know will say “Wait…so you ran a half marathon and a full marathon while 12 weeks pregnant?  Is that safe?”  The long and short of it is, YES.  I had been in talks with my family doctor (who runs a sports medicine clinic) since this past summer and he was well aware of my Goofy Challenge goals.  When I got referred to my OB-GYN, the first thing I let her know was that I was flying out to Orlando in January to do a 39.3 mile challenge.  She said “Great!”  Everyone is different—obviously, if you were doing your first full marathon and just started running, there may be some hesitation.  This was not my first rodeo.  I also was not going for any time goal of say, a Boston qualification.  I had to change some of my fueling during the race (as in increase my food intake) and watch my heart rate.  I know my body, even when I have a baby growing in it, and I could recognize if there was any impending issues.  And now, I can say I completed a half and full marathon while 12 weeks pregnant!  Should I maybe have gotten an additional medal for each since really I ran for two?!?!?!

Goofy Challenge Finisher!

Goofy Challenge Finisher!

So what’s the plan now going into 2017?  Well, I am registering for a few local races, with the farthest distance being a 10km.  I am planning on running 3-4 days a week, as long as I am allowed to during this pregnancy.  I will begin Runners Soul Marathon Club next weekend, where I will run with the half marathon distance runners on Saturdays.  My times will not be important, I am just doing this to stay fit and active.  Once I get to a 10 mile training run distance, I may have to cut it short or I may have to walk a bit.  And that’s fine.

So that’s my news.  My next big event.  The training will be a little different than what I’ve grown accustomed, but I’m ready to take it on!

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My “Announcement” shirt…wore the tank during my “unofficial” WDW Half


Spartan Race Montana 2014—We Loved it so Much, We Came Back Again!

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Last year, Dan and I participated in our first ever Spartan Race in Kalispell, Montana. That recap can be found here: Spartan Montana Sprint 2013

After that race, I participated in four more Spartan Races—2 more Sprint distances, 1 Super, and 1 Beast, thus earning my membership in the Trifecta Tribe. I had a great time doing all the races that I knew I had to do some again this year! Naturally, Dan and I signed up for the Montana Spartan Sprint again!

We headed down to Kalispell, MT, the night before so we could get to packet pickup. Pickup was running from 5-8 PM outside of Sportsman Ski Haus. We arrived at 5:10 PM and the line was out of control. Last year, Dan and I maybe waited ten minutes tops. I am not sure why the line took so long to move, but we waited a solid 1 hour and 20 minutes. There were some people who waited even longer. If the weather had been bad, or if we hadn’t been able to take the beer we purchased out of the beer garden back to our friends standing in line (and vice versa) this would have been completely unbearable. This is my only complaint of the otherwise awesome weekend. I truly hope the organizers of the race do something about this next year, because obviously more people utilized race pickup the night before than last year.

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I did win a parking pass for us (and a sweet long sleeve burnout-tee!) at the pickup pre-party! The pass came in handy the next morning, as we could drive straight to the race site and park our car on property, versus taking the shuttle. We had a 10:45 heat time, and our friends Matt & Kelly would be racing along with us in this heat. It would be their first ever Spartan Race experience!
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The course, while in the same location as last year, started and ended in a different spot, and also went in what I would consider to be reverse direction as the year prior. This was awesome as someone who had done the race the year prior. Another cool thing about this event was it had been deemed a “Founder’s Race”, as Joe De Sena and other founders of the company personally helped construct it. They would also be participating in a Founder’s Heat later in the day!

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There were many traditional Spartan Race obstacles, such as the Over, Under, Through….Cargo Net…Sand Bag Carry…Spear Throw…Barbed Wire Crawl….Rope Climb. But that last one was with a twist! I was all set to attempt this rope climb, but the climbing rope was swung from another rope between trees like a hammock. This caused a bouncing movement when climbing the rope as other climbers also climbed. I did not like this! Dan with his arborist skills made it up no problem. I, on the other hand, had to do burpees.

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The terrain is crazy on this course, just like last year. Such steep climbs up the sides of mountains, to then only descend down slippery falls full of mud. It was also very wet and humid, in my opinion, but this just has to do with the surroundings. My glutes burned pretty much immediately upon climbing the first hill. This was expected though!

After the spear throw, Kelly and I told the boys to go ahead, as there was just the sandbag, 8-foot wall, and fire jump left. I finished in 1 hour 46 minutes. I even did two terrible cartwheels over the finish line mat! I am hoping that they caught it on camera, so when pictures are posted I will let you know! Being a bling junkie, I was excited to get the medal and see how it looked this year. The Spartan Race medals at split into 1/3 this year, and if you do one of distance they piece together as a giant medal. This race also included a special black medallion for the Founder’s Race, which is very cool!

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We collected our bags, went and got an after photo, and proceeded to hose ourselves down. I didn’t even care that the water was ice cold, it just felt good to get semi-clean! After changing into crappy sweats, we collected our finisher shirts. I was pleasantly surprised with them, as last year they were just a standard cotton black shirt. Not comfortable or breathable at all. This year they are a heather grey, very light, and just plain awesome!

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Other than the race itself being awesome, the after-experience at this particular Spartan Race is incredible. Just like last year, they had food trucks on site and beer flowing from local breweries. We stayed for over 3 hours after finishing and just enjoyed the food, beer, weather, and other racers finishing! It was a blast! I had been worried about the weather all week, as chance of rain was at about 80% for the whole weekend! but the afternoon photos speak for themselves! as we really got to enjoy the best Montana had to offer! When there is so much going on at the race site, beautiful May afternoon and all, why would we want to leave?!?! This is what makes the whole Spartan Race Weekend special—you don’t just go and run a race and are finished…you take it all in all weekend long! If you take advantage of all the things Spartan Race pulls together to make the whole weekend tie in, then you will have an amazing time. AROO! AROO! AROO!

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Race Recap—There’s No Place Like Home! The Trailbreaker Half Marathon

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Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The land of my family, beer, cheese, the Brewers, and the Fonz. Why wouldn’t I want to spend Spring Break 2013 here? And hey!-a half marathon is happening in neighboring Waukesha? I’ll do that!….

On Saturday, April 6th, I competed in The Trailbreaker Half Marathon in Waukesha, Wisconsin. No, I did not fly back home solely for this race. I was actually home on my own for Spring Break visiting friends and family and I was suppose to be leaving in the morning of April 6th. Air Canada, however, got rid of the morning flight from Milwaukee to Toronto shoutout to the MKE to YYZ!. I don’t blame them for removing this flight, as it is hardly ever 1/2 full during the week and is usually just business travelers. So when they changed my flight, I got moved to the evening 7:15 pm flight, thus allowing me to register for a race! It worked out in the end anyway!

As hard as it is to believe, this would actually be the first race of mine that my mom would be witnessing. Since my high school track days at least! Before this race, I had completed 13 full and half marathons, about 3 ten kilometer races, and handfuls of 5 kilometers. . I did not hold a grudge against my mom for not coming to these races—I knew it would involve travel (she hates driving) and would be boring for her. But with the spirit of this year, I was very happy to be able to register and complete a race with her watching! (She will be down in Disney during marathon weekend with me, so this was a very mini-preview!)

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The race started at 9:30 am in downtown Waukesha at the Schuetze Recreation Center. I have to admit, I was a bit nervous the days leading up to the race. When I go home to Wisconsin for a week, I eat and drink like a stereotypical Wisconsinite. This means my pre-week training regime was a two mile and a five mile run, plus plethoras of Bloody Mary’s, craft beer, cheese, rich food, and fried food. I did eat some solid salads through the week, but I did not quite know what to expect come race day.

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About 600 people competed in the half marathon. The day started out cloudy and overcast with a slight breeze. The breeze was nothing to me, as I am used to Lethbridge-style winds! While it is not summer, there is a greater humidity down in Wisconsin than what I am used to in Alberta. With the overcast day and on-and-off sprinkles, I think I fared well considering my concern of weather variants. One huge plus that aided me in doing well (despite my Wisconsin diet regime the week prior) was the drastic change in elevation! The elevation in Lethbridge, according to Wikipedia, is 2,990 ft. I know some spots in the coulees increases and decreases this approximately +/- 200 feet. In Waukesha, however, the elevation is 873 ft! Big difference here! Hopefully my higher elevation running the past 4 years will make a difference….

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Since the course was an out-and-back number, I was not going to make my mom drive and park along the way to find me. That would have stressed her out. What stressed me out is when I tell her a ballpark time to be near the finish. It puts pressure on me not to suck! Well, I started off strong! Too strong!. At the end of this entry, I will put my split times that I got from my Nike+ SportWatch because I need some advice on how to get more consistent. This has been an issue of mine since doing road races after high school. I go out way to fast, and half the time, I hit a wall at some point. The other half is a mixture of being inconsistent the whole race or somehow miraculously mustering through. But anyone who has done a road race of any distance knows how hard it is to NOT go out too fast! Your adrenaline is pumping and you feel invincible

Mile 6 & 7 was where my dramatic increase to my splits occurred, adding +0’25” and +0’12”, respectively. This was on a part of the Glacial Drumlins Trail and people had begun to become more spread out. I did not have anyone directly in front of me within catchable distance. I started to sluff off.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I don’t listen to music when I run. This race was nothing different. It is times like these, when I notice my lag occurring, that I begin talking to myself in my head, and calculating my pace requirements for the remainder of the race so I can finish where I needed to be. In my head, I knew I wanted to be under 2 hours. With my over-consumption of Milwaukee beer all week (oh, Milwaukee Brewing Company, you did me in, I figured this was a good goal. Under 1:55 would have been great, and beating my PR of 1:54:19 from May 2010 would have been spectacular.

I knew I’d I made it to mile 10 under my PR pace time, I could actually get that goal. At mile 10, I was still in good shape, and I had to just keep it up. Thankfully, the last two miles of the course looped back downtown Waukesha and past more supporters in general. People started to get bunched up more, and the adrenaline got going again. My legs were feeling pretty heavy, but I kept my short stumps trucking. At mile 12, a guy who had been running with his friend came up to me and asked how I was feeling. I told him I was on pace to break my PR, but my legs were starting to give. He literally screamed with excitement at me that I totally had this and to just keep pushing. . Thank you unnamed man in the visor and orange/grey shirt, because I kept looking ahead where I could faintly see the finish line and pushed on.

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I wore my bright orange Lulu Lemon jacket so my mom could see me—she was able to snap those photos as I pushed across to the finish line!. I had done it! I actually beat my old PR from almost 3 years ago! And my mom got to witness it! She told me after that at the start of the race she started crying when the gun went off. Needless to say, she is going to be a mess of tears come Disney Marathon Weekend!

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Above is my unofficial time which I was so happy to see! But, the official time gave me 1 second off, so I will take that! 1:52:53 it is!

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I actually did not feel too horrendous after the race, though the strain on my face may say otherwise! It felt great to run back home in Wisconsin! And in true Wisconsin fashion, Miller Lite was served after the race (might as well continue my beer consumption huh?)

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I am very glad my mom was able to come see me at this race—I know it had to be a bit tough to watch, as this is the first running event of mine she has witnessed without my dad. He was the one with binoculars at the track meets in high school–he loved it all. Yes, I ran my best half marathon time today to date, but what I am more happy about is that not only my mom got to see me run today back in the homeland, but my dad watched me with her as well.

Race Splits
Mile 1—7:38
Mile 2—8:18
Mile 3—8:23
Mile 4—8:29
Mile 5—8:23
Mile 6—8:48
Mile 7—9:00
Mile 8—8:46
Mile 9—8:42
Mile 10—9:03
Mile 11—8:34
Mile 12—9:14
Mile 13—9:03