Tag Archives: southern Alberta

Medicine Hat Rattler Run 10km 2017

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The Rattler Run was the first race I have done where I officially made it known I was pregnant!  I had “pregnant-raced” in secret while 7.5 weeks along (Moonlight Run 6km) and at 10.5 weeks (10 & 4 Mile Road Race 2017) but this would be the first weekend that I had made it public knowledge to all our family and friends.  I was 13.5 weeks along and feeling good, so I knew I would still have a respectable time.  Mainly, I just wanted to have a great day with my husband at this event!


Race weather was perfect for late April and the 11 am race start time is perfect for us as we travel in from Lethbridge.  Dan and I both started near the front of the pack, as I wanted to make sure I had room around me right away.  He went off ahead of me and I wouldn’t see him until the finish.  I got myself settled into a comfortable pace and hit my first mile in 7:32.  I was very happy!

I started to slow immediately the next mile.  The biggest change I have noticed in my body while running is how heavy my legs feel.  Probably due to increased blood flow and all.  The heaviness caused me to automatically slow down, and that’s ok.  8:13, 8:30 and 8:37 were miles 2-4.  These were all down below Medicine Hat College on a really pretty route next to some coulees.


The route was different for the 10km compared to the other two years I had ran it.  We had to run up the hill at Kin Coulee Park this time.  I would describe it as a mini-Moonlight run….mini because the hill is only about 1/4 of the Wendy’s hill you need to run up at moonlight…but still a pain this late in a race!  My heartrate went up as I started climbing up, so I immediately took it easier up the hill to settle my heart rate back down.  Ran mile 5 in 9:34.

The last mile was a struggle mainly because my legs were just beat by the time I got to the top of the hill.  Had to do another loop around the college and in to the finish line.  I finished mile 6 in 8:53, and then kicked it in for the last bit in with a final time of 52:40.

I had set my A goal for this race to be a sub 50 minutes.  I knew by 5km in that wouldn’t be happening, nor would it be worth it.  My B goal was to run between 50-55 minutes. So I made that!  C goal was under an hour.

Dan’s race went pretty well too, but he was a little frustrated because of a cramp he got really early on.  With all the speed work he has been doing I know he can run an even faster time, so I think he is looking forward to some redemption down the road.  He finished with a 46:47.


Final results/placings weren’t available immediately, so we hit the road because Dan had a meeting to get to.  As we drove away from Medicine Hat, I realized I had placed 3rd in my age group!  Luckily, my friend Heather was still at the event because her son was waiting for his award.  She picked my medal up for me.  I had thought my placing days were done until post baby!  My stats  were 3/25 Age Group, 13/83 Gender, and 52/152 Overall.  Dan was 7/15 Age Group, 17/69 Gender and 21/152 Overall.  A great day for both of us!

Race Recap-Coulee Cactus Crawl, AKA the Hardest Race I Have Ever Ran

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June 1st marked the fourth race weekend in a row, with myself previously doing the Spartan Sprint, Woody’s RV Half Marathon and the Calgary Half Marathon.. So naturally, I thought it to be a good idea and run a 20+ mile trail race in the coulees of Lethbridge. Yes, I did know what I was getting myself into—-the coulees and landscape of Lethbridge is extremely cross country and challenging. But I figured I was up for the challenge.

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I went into this race telling myself this was for completion, not time.. I was fine with that, as looking at previous years’ results, there were many DNF (did not finish) results in the solo categories. You can enter this race as a solo runner, or as part of a relay team with up to five runners. The way the five legs were set up created a few repeat areas in the course, as relay transition areas were located on flat areas at the top of the coulees. These spots also had water, which I used to refill my hydration belt, and a good resting point, which I took advantage of for a few minutes each time I reach a peak.

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The weather in Lethbridge had been questionable all week and inconsistent—some days reached 80 degrees, and other evenings we would have a hailstorm. The weather at the high noon start time of the Coulee Cactus Crawl was in the mid 60s, reaching the 70s, with very little cloud coverage. For a short 5k, this would have been fantastic. The cloud coverage didn’t show until about 3.5 hours in. But, regardless, the race started at Fort Whoop Up at noon, and away went all the first relay members and all the crazy solo runners.

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I felt pretty strong the first leg and ran all the hills, until I hit the incredibly cruel climb to the college parking lot where relay exchange #1 was located. No exaggeration, but this incline was about 50 meters at a 75 degree angle of elevation.. Once to the top, you checked in with the volunteers, who recorded your time (no chip timing). People in the exchange area then realized how much of an idiot I was, because my bib had a black number that was between 1-30. All relay e members had red numbers greater than 100. Runner #1 checked her sanity level, got some water, and barreled down the hill to continue on leg 2.

The long and short of the race was that as I moved on, I knew for my own survival and wellness, I would need to walk up any steep-grade hills as I felt necessary. Some I could run the first time I met them, and then later, I would have to power walk. Yes, I had done some of these “obstacles” before on marathon club runs (the wooden stairs by the Sugar Bowl are a bitch) but there were some very narrow, unstable areas that I had to be cautious around, mainly because I wasn’t use to these extremes. I did see some fantastic areas of south Lethbridge that I did not know existed. I plan on using these trails in the future with my husband and dog, as the views were gorgeous and breathtaking. I have a new appreciation for individuals who call them selves trail runners, as it takes a different level of athleticism to complete this type of course competitively!

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By the time I finished, 4 hours 56 minutes and some odd seconds had passed. The course totaled 21.5 miles, as told by my Nike+ GPS watch. If you are curious of the route, elevation, and craziness of this route, click the link below, as it shows my turtle-like paces through the terrain:

Andrea’s Coulee Cactus Crawl Run-2013

I ended up not finishing last, which was fantastic. I was one of four women to run the race solo. I even got a medal for finishing 2nd in women under 40! (There was only two of us, but hey, I will take what I can get!)

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This race was a great experience, and I am happy I registered and mustered on through.. I got to see parts of the city I live in that I never knew existed. I gained a new appreciation for runners who partake in trail running and ultra-race events. I also want to thank Runners Soul for putting on this fantastic event, as the concept of being able to do a relay race through this beautiful landscape is fantastic. Also, the chance to run it as a solo idiot is fantastic too 🙂

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Race Recap-Lethbridge 10 Mile Road Race!

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The 40th annual Lethbridge 10 Mile Road Race was Saturday, April 13th. I signed up for it when registration opened and opted to participate in the 10 mile distance—There was also a 4 mile distance to participate in. I had never participated in this event before, but knew it would be a well-put-together race, as Runners Soul was sponsoring it.

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I honestly hadn’t really done much preparation for this race as far as being aware of the course and start times. I was so busy this week after coming back from Milwaukee that package pickup kind of snuck up on me Friday! The course this year was apparently different than years past, as it was an out and back situation. The race would start and finish at the college. The first part of the course on Scenic Drive is relatively flat, with a few small “bumps”. For those participating in the 10 miler, we had something special in store for us—after winding on Scenic Drive for 3 miles, we would descend into the river bottom down quite a steep hill, approximately 3/4 of a mile long. This would be a nice descent, but after winding through the pathways and turning around and coming back, we would have to head up this wretched monster! I spoke about this hill in a previous blog about hill training…it is still as ridiculous as I said initially!

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The race day itself couldn’t have been any more perfect of a day for Lethbridge. There was hardly any wind, there was sun peaking out of the clouds all morning, and the temperature was somewhere around 45 degrees. The 9:00 am start time for the 10 mile was awesome also! I had this 9:00 am start time last week for the Trailbreaker Half and while I know many races, especially in the summer, start earlier, I love having this almost “late start” time. I was able to get up at 7:00, have coffee and oatmeal, get ready slowly and be set for the race. I had it set in my head I would go out at a decent pace, but my goal was to be around 8:20-8:30 minute miles. I was nervous for that hill climb back from the river valley, so I wanted to make sure I didn’t collapse.

But of course, like always, I got wrapped up in the excitement of the race and completely ignored my pacing plans.
Pacing Breakdown Map from Nike+

So, my first mile of 7:33 was one of the fastest miles I have ran in a longtime. For real. I decided to just keep my legs moving for mile two. And three. And four. I figured if I felt this good there was no reason to slow down. If I had slowed down to what my planned pace was suppose to be, I would have been frustrated at the finish line if I had energy still left.. Running through the river bottom was probably the toughest part mentally. The trail curves quite a bit and I don’t know how to say it, but the visibility is only about 100 feet in parts. For the whole race I always had at least one guy (it was always a guy) close enough to chase. In this area of the river bottom, all of a sudden those people who I was chasing disappeared. It was like I was racing alone again. Once you got spit out by Whoop-Up, the path opened up a bit and you could see people ahead of you again. I started concentrating on paying attention to the number of people turning around and heading back.. This kept my mind off any pain I may have felt or the possibility of slowing down. I started counting any ladies who had turned around and headed back, and also started figuring out what age group they fit in. I realized at the five mile I was in 8th place for the ladies so far, with what I assume to be probably two people ahead of me in my age group. This was enough to keep me moving after the turn around and now I had it set in my head I was going to place in my age group

As I approached the hill to head back up from the river bottom, I yelled to the volunteers at the bottom HERE GOES NOTHING!. I knew I could not stop and walk, because it would be that much harder to get going again. I kept on my toes and kept moving up that hill, even though the pace felt so slow. I happened to catch up to a middle aged man who was breathing hard on his way up. I don’t know why, but I just started talking to him. I started talking about the stupid hill, my race last week, my pace, etc. I told him how I had ran since I was in high school, but I had only started now taking these road races somewhat seriously. He had started running at age 36 and hadn’t been running that long, and hadn’t done any crazy long distances yet. We kept together up that hill, never stopped to walk, and powered past a few people on the way up. I had a new found energy, as we kept each other going. I passed a girl who seemed to be around my age who had walked. I had this competitive spirit in me that I hadn’t had since high school. I had to keep moving!

The hill made my mile 7 come in at a time of 10:19. I had three more miles to run, and I felt positive I could get the time of 1 hour 25 minutes that I was aiming for. On the trek back to the college, I hugged the curves of Scenic Drive, treating it like running on an outdoor track. My short legs take that many more extra steps than a normal person, so any less distance I managed to run than the other races was helpful for me. Since I was familiar with the road we were running on, I set landmarks in my head for when I would start to pick up the pace. I didn’t want to go crazy too early. I find that this planning and analyzing during a race helps me stay focused, makes the miles pass faster, and keeps me moving.. This is why I don’t listen to music-my mind is filled with a playlist and plan of its own! At the Park Royal neighborhood, I planned to start using whatever energy I had left.. This would be about 1.5 miles from the finish, and there would be a short hill from the Sugar Bowl to climb before I would be at flat road. I got that kick going and kept with it until the finish, improving each mile after that 10:19! My finish time would be 1 hour 23 minutes 14 seconds.

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I called my mom and my husband to let them know how I did. My mom obviously was home in Wisconsin, and my husband was working in the new Garry Station subdivision in West Lethbridge. At this point I hadn’t seen an unofficial result sheet, so I had to let them know what my time was and that I felt pretty good about placing in my category. They both seemed surprised at how good my time was, and frankly, I was too. I had ran the half marathon in Waukesha last weekend, broke my long standing personal record, came back to work this week after a great Spring Break, and hadn’t had much recovery time. I stand by my statement from earlier this year that running is almost sometimes more of a mental competition, than a skill.. Yes, I need to have the mileage and the training in order to compete and race at the level I want to be at. But if I had gone in to this race with a negative attitude, assuming I would not be able to do well since I had just raced the previous weekend, I would not have done well. There is something to be said out there in regards to the power of positive thinking

Awards started in the gymnasium at the Lethbridge College at 11:00 am.

20130414-110551.jpg. They went through the 4 mile categories first before moving onto the 10 mile categories. I was like a little kid when they called me up for 2nd place in the 20-29 female category. After awards, I had to have Sean from Runners Soul take a photo for me, as I didn’t want to try to do a lame self-shot with my medal. So thank you Sean for taking this photo!

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I really enjoyed this race and would recommend the 10 Mile Road Race to anyone in Southern Alberta. It is a well-organized event and a beautiful course. That being said, us runners lucked out the race was Saturday, as if it had been today, it would have been a survival of the fittest sort of event. I am not making this up, but please refer to the photo below to see what my back yard looks like 24 hours after the awards ceremony:

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Real glad Dan and I got the pond pump running…..NOT! Anyways, that’s it for today. For some upcoming posts, I plan on doing an entry on my dad’s middle years while he lived in Switzerland and also reflecting back on some past Walt Disney World vacations. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to comment. Also, share and like my page if you like what you are reading! And the best compliment would be to head to the charitiespage up at top and read about the American Heart Association and Heart & Stroke Foundation and how I am running in memory of my late father, Andrew Lammers. Have a great week everybody!

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