Tag Archives: Woody’s RV world

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  I had originally made a lofty goal of running a 1:40 for this race.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….

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Race Recap-Red Deer Half “Running: Cheaper Than Therapy”

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I will admit right away that the quote above, “Running:Cheaper Than Therapy” was seen by my own eyes on someone’s shirt at the Red Deer Half Marathon. I think it may have been Nike….not sure, but I am going to track it down and order it stat. If anyone has seen these in stores, let me know ASAP. This is my new mantra.

I have done the Red Deer Half two other times–in 2010 and 2012. I haven’t done a “Race Reflection” post on either of these yet, but the past years I ran this race, I ran a 1:54:19 and 1:56:06, respectively. I choose to do Red Deer on my May Long Weekend because 1) I don’t like camping, and everyone else goes camping on Victoria Day weekend and 2) the location is convenient, as my in-laws live in Red Deer and 3) my husband goes on a boy’s trip this weekend so I have nothing better to do!

The course stays pretty much the same year to year. The race starts near Lindsay Thurber High School, which is about 9 blocks from my father and mother-in-laws. It heads toward Kerry Wood Nature Centre, then onto the Mackenzie Trail system right on the Red Deer River. You wind up and down quite a few daunting hill climbs, go around an island near Heritage Ranch, take a loop at Bower Ponds, then they rudely have you finish by climbing up Michener Hill for about 150 m, at I would say a 55 degree incline. The race ends winding down Michener straight to the finish.

The morning was damp, with weather forecasts for thunder showers all day. I got up at 6 and had my breakfast, only to head out for a two mile warmup. My sick reasoning for this was because I am doing the 20 mile Coulee Cactus Crawl in two weeks and I wanted my total mileage today to be 15…My friend Joe had suggested this. Good thing he did, because while it was only 50 degrees, the humidity in Red Deer is something I am not used to anymore. Lethbridge is dry and arid (yes, you can have Canadian cities be arid). I had to take off my long sleeve layer before race time, which I am thankful I did. I met up with my friend from marathon club, Whitney, at the start line. I also said hi to my husband’s cousin, Erin, who was doing the full. She is my age and was shooting for Boston qualifying. (She got it! Just barely, but it counts. Finished with a 3:34:24. I met her at the start of the hill and ran with her up it for support. She said without me there she may have walked!). At 8 am, the half and full marathon started. There were a little over 950 competitors in total, with 801 doing the half. Whitney and I took off and stuck together for the first 2.5 miles. We were really booking it, and then she started to just step back behind me. I kept on moving, and as each mile passed, I got more and more nervous—-I was running dangerously…..was my pace going to break?

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Since I am familiar with this course, I think I had an advantage. The advantage was I knew where the “dead spots” were and where I would have to find some internal push to get me through. There was many spots where awesome volunteers were located, (IMHO, one of the best road races as far as number of stocked aid stations go! Water and gel almost every 5km!) locations where local musicians were playing (heard a great cover of “Born to Run” and lots of easily accessible spots for everyday spectators.

To make time pass I started calculating what I needed to run the last 5, 4, 3 miles and so on, in order to beat my PR of 1:53:52. I knew by the last 3 miles I was going to definitely beat it, I just wasn’t sure by how much. I could have taken a slow jog the last three miles at 10 min/mile and be ok…but I kept my short ass legs moving. At mile 11, though, my right hip started to tighten. I had worn KT Tape on my right and left quads due to the fact my left one was still very, very sore from The Spartan Race last week. I had an emergency massage on Thursday, which helped greatly, but I had my sister-in-law help me apply this tape the night before the race, just to be safe. My legs were feeling heavy, my hip was starting to sting, and I was starting to regret the two miles I ran at 6:50 am.

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Mile 11 and 12 were quite a bit slower than all my other splits, but in the last mile I knew I would regret if I slowed down. There was a hipster band playing on Michener Hill as I ran up it—-it was easier than the last two times I had done this race, and I thank the Runner’s Soul Marathon Club for training me on so many hills this spring! One thing I regretted from the last two years is that after climbing this hill, I did not take full advantage of the downhill to the finish. I did not let this happen in 2013!. I strode it out down the hill, and once I saw my mother in law, father in law and my dog Snoopy waiting down on the last turn, I lit it up like I was 17 and doing the 800 meter run….but I think I would have kicked my 17 year old self’s ass! Before I hit my stride, I nerdishly yelled Happy Birthday Snoopy! and waved to my dog (like he gave a rat’s ass he turned 6 that day) and I gave those final steps hell. In Red Deer, you run over a timing mat before the final straightaway and this tells the announcer who is coming in. Hearing him say the information I provided in my registration, which included my name, that I am doing many races this year, and that I am running in memory of my dad allowed me to not care about the pain my leg was in!

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I finished with a personal best of 1:47:22.. I honestly did not know it was possible for my body to do this.. I have spent the last 10 years running road races, but I am now finally starting to race in road races.. The competition in the 20-29 female category was ridiculous—127 competitors, and first place was 1:28:15. I ended up being 14/127 in my category, 32/498 in my gender, and 113/801 overall. I was the happiest I have ever been after a half or full marathon.

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A week ago after the Spartan Race, my mom and I were discussing how much dad would have loved to do that race. He would have loved the obstacles! My mom made an interesting statement, that if dad was still alive, she doesn’t know if I would have done that race…if I would have kept doing all the races I have done over the years. I slowly started to change my main interest from dance to running since my dad’s passing, and it wasn’t necessarily planned that way, but it has became that. And obviously, this website was done in his honor. It’s just interesting to think about everything that has happened since April 25, 2004. It crazy to me that just by focusing my competitive drive into this website, into my dads memory, that I am doing things in running I never though I could break. Running is cheaper than therapy….but really, it is the best kind of therapy…give it a try!….

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