Tag Archives: 10 km

Race recap: They say 10.4, I say 10.0

Wasn’t it just the other day I was shouting to the world PERSONAL BEST! PERSONAL BEST! PERSONAL BEST! Why yes it was, and last Saturday I was singing those glories again.

Some may say this one has a stain of stipulation to it, and this is my response to them:

You say 10.4, I say 10.0. PERSONAL BEST BABY!!!


Seriously, who designs a 10.4 km race anyway? Seriously? The 5kers got 5k, I deserve my 10k. I earned that 10k.

Last Saturday I ran the Vancouver Hot Chocolate 10.4 km run at Stanley Park, and wow, what a difference a year can make. When I ran the inaugural run last year it was a miserably cold day; I blew myself out in the beginning of the run; I expended far too much energy early on weaving around other runners; and at about 7 km in I was experiencing that ugly feeling of nausea and was listening to that nasty little chorus of “You might as well quit!” singing Van Halen style in my head.

But this year was different. I wasn’t planning on racing. Sure, I was intending to put a solid effort in, but racing was not top of mind. In fact, I was really only planning to run hard for 10 km; the last 400 metres was meant for something someone special.

And maybe, just maybe, it was that that enabled me the incredible run I had.

Still, at the start line I situated myself closer to the front than last year; I did not want to waste needless energy weaving. I made sure to get a good, solid dynamic warmup in before the go. And when we were unleashed, I made an effort to hold back on my pace. I may not have been intending to race, but really, can you take the race out of this girl???


The day was so close to the kind of day I had a few weeks ago at the Vancouver First Half. Although there wasn’t the endless rays of god lighting or the spooky fog hovering the path this time, it was such a beautiful morning to be running. The sun was shining warm, but not too warm, over the cool crisp rising up from the ocean. The city’s greens and blues were so clear and so vibrant. Even if I was having a crummy run, I’d be hard pressed not to smile at all the beauty around me.

And because the route covered a portion of the route from the First Half, I was able to find my happy zone pretty quick. Coming off of such a great race, I channeled those endorphins; I pretended my favourites were there with me, all of us being accountable for pace; I pretended it was the first half of a half; I pretended I was the wind just like the daughter of one of my favourites in her first run two weekends ago. And just like that run, I left the music at home, but this time, I had the melody of a three-year-old singing his ABCs while strapped next to his sister in a double stroller with dad at the helm; that was pretty awesome.

And hey, look! That guy shot out of the gate and passed me right off the hop, but look who’s passing him now. And hey now, there’s that chick who was a super speedster too, but is now looking like I did last year struggling even to jog. And oh my greatness, I’m finally gonna pass my pink camo-legged carrot. (Uhmmmm, doesn’t pink camo kinda defeat the purpose of camouflage???)

But wait. Noooooooo! My shoelace is untied. Are you freaking kidding me? I never have shoelace coming undone issues. And mere moments before I’m to pass my carrot, the girl I’d been trailing for the better part of the run, but who I’d been gaining on and was finally ready to pounce over, and my bloody shoe comes untied. Not cool shoes, not cool at all.

So. This could have killed the momentum, it could have slowed me down, it could have sent me spiralling. It didn’t. Yeah I had to stop and retie and nearly took out a couple walkers doing so, but even with my shaky fingers, I was back running again in seconds, pushing my pace, getting back into position, overtaking that carrot of mine.

Nowhere along the way was I feeling any forms of struggle. I had no nausea. I had no pains. I was not overheating. I just kept going, my pace kept solid, I kept smiling. And you know what I am still smiling. Because when I looked at the time on my Garmin for the first time in this race about 500 metres to the 10 km mark, the numbers displayed had my eyes out of their sockets – 49 MINUTES, SOMETHING SECONDS!!! H’oh my gawd!!!!

All hail the run gods!

All hail the run gods!

(I hope I never lose that feeling of that moment of sheer, blissful, proud excitement.)

And when I crossed over 10 km: 52:04!!!!!!!!! PERSONAL BEST! PERSONAL BEST! PERSONAL BEST! Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!

• 9:45 a.m. BG before: 5.6
• Temp. basal: -70 per cent (1 hour)
• Carbs: 3 shot blocks, no bolus
• Distance: 10.0 (10.4 for some)
• Average pace:
• Time: 52:04!!!!!!!!!
• 11 a.m. BG after: 4.9
• Temp. basal: +50 per cent (1.5 hours)

And the diabetes? No issues. The blood sugars started a tad lower than I would have liked, but I had 3 shot blocks at the start (a banana, no bolus, about an hour and a half earlier), reduced my basal down by 70 per cent, and ended with 4.9, and didn’t experience any post-run slap-in-the-face highs.


Post run waffles well deserved.

Post run waffles well deserved.

Stay tuned for a recap of the final 400 metres…

Dude, you just got chicked!

For about 24 hours leading into yesterday’s 10 km race, I was questioning my sanity, and truthfully, I’m still questioning it. There’s no doubt in my mind I was suffering the ill effects of injury; nasty, painful aches in the pelvic/groin region. I couldn’t bend over, squat down, cross my legs, make any sudden movement, heck, I couldn’t even put my socks on without wincing in pain. So what the hell was I doing racing?

I told myself over and over it was a cycling injury, not a running injury. Dear Physio, who’s been extremely conservative in the past with me running with injury, would never have given the green light if he thought it bad. And then there was my stubborn, and somewhat insane, side refusing to wimp out.

Insert nervous smile here.

I warmed up for 20 minutes prior with a 5 minute jog, leg drills, and a whole bunch of 1 minute and 30 second speed intervals. I did a last minute re-lace of my shoes, had 3 shot blocks at the start line, kissed my Rings, and was off.

Even Little Ring was questioning the decision.

Right away my mental capacity was struggling, my belly felt hollow, my pelvis felt like it had a whole library’s worth of books stacked on it, and Negative Nelly had invaded my brain space: “Maybe you’re not cut out for racing? Why are you out here? If you just stopped, it would feel better?” But I knew I couldn’t stop. I knew if I stopped, I wouldn’t start again.

I tried to focus in on a line I’d read from Scott Jurek’s Eat and Run the evening prior. Jurek says he shuts his brain off when running ultras, he doesn’t think about anything else other than the moment at hand. I told myself not to worry about the finish, not to worry about total time, not to worry about the other racers around me. I told myself to focus on my run, focus on my pace, focus on my foot turnover.

130728stayStay in the moment.

I wasn’t doing too badly with pace at the outset, but as the out-and-back trail progressively got warmer, my legs got slower. I tried to tell them to shut up, I tried to force my bricks for feet to go faster, I tried to dig deep, but there just wasn’t much there.

With about 4 km to go, I got passed by a dude, who had instantly slowed as soon as he got by me, which kind of annoyed me, I mean, if you’re gonna pass me, pass me already! I figured it wouldn’t take much effort to get by him, so I sped up, but as soon as he saw me next to him, he kicked his pace up a few notches. Yep, he was one of those guys!

I kept him in my sights and gradually reeled him back in, waiting for the perfect moment to pounce. As soon as I saw a white tent up ahead, I thought for sure we were nearing the finish corral, and I dug so deep, I was running faster than speed interval pace, I had that dude eating my dust, all the while giggling inside. Dude, you just got chicked!

No! Wait! Where’s the finish line? No! It should be here! No! I saw the tent! Nooooooooo! I WENT OUT TOO EARLY!!! And despite my legs physically able to keep going at that pace with the short distance left, the stupid side of my brain won the battle. My pace slowed, dude passed. D’oh 😦

Finishing strong. (Note: the older couple behind me were 5 km walkers who wanted to finish strong with a run down the last 100 metre stretch :D)


  • 8:50 a.m. BG before: 6.4
  • Temp. basal: none
  • Carbs: 3 shot blocks (16 grams) no bolus
  • Time: 56:39
  • Distance: 10 km
  • Average pace: 5:36 min/km
  • Average cadence: 87 spm
  • 10:15 a.m. BG after: 9.0

Water well deserved.

It’s not a personal best this time, but I am proud of my fortitude to push through the pain and finish strong. Mind you, I’m still majorly hobbled today and feel as though my left leg is in serious need of a transplant – OUCH!

MEC 10 km: Personal best!!!

Soooo, hey, I sort of, kind of, totally raced my butt off yesterday morning! Hehe 😀


Beyond a couple tweets, I pretty much kept my participation in the Mountain Equipment Co-op 10 km race hush-hush. I didn’t want to put a huge amount of pressure on myself, I didn’t want extra stresses on my brain, or to feel like I’d be less if I didn’t meet my goals. This race wasn’t necessarily supposed to be about getting a great time, but more about getting my body, belly, blood sugars and brain used to racing again. My goals were simple: Run hard. Don’t give up.

I thought it was a good plan. Coach NZ thought it was a good plan. My competitiveness, however, did not. Saturday night I pulled out my race pace calculator, just out of curiosity, you know, to see what kind of pace I’d have to go to get 55 minutes, 54, 53, 52 – all of which seemed doable. That’s when I knew this would be more than just a hyped-up training run! That’s when I knew I’d be full-on racing!

The MEC race was a super small event with just 86 of us running the 10 km portion. And because it was only $15, there was no souvenir shirt, no medal, no swag, which I was totally okay with. But there was also no timing chip system. Instead, there was a big clock (that was started for the half marathoners) with volunteers jotting down the bib numbers of the runners as they crossed the finish next to the time on the clock. Everyone had the same start time regardless of where they were positioned in the cue. Not exactly the most accurate system, which is why I’m going with my Garmin time.

The route was an out-and-back, which I’m not generally a fan of, but along the dykes of the Steveston waterfront, it was freaking gorgeous! I had the water next to me, the mountains in front of me, and airplanes flying not so high above as they descended towards YVR.

From MEC

I started out too strong, but had settled in by the second kilometre. By the fourth kilometre, I was struggling with a stitch in my side, and the group I had been running with pulled forward. “Don’t give up.” I focused on the rhythmic sounds of Beastie Boys in my ears, and started gaining speed again, reeling in a couple of the early speedsters. “Keep going. Push.” I ran past the 5 km turnaround. FREAK! “Don’t give up.” My feet were starting to burn up. “Keep going.” Just 2 km left to go. “You can do this. Come on, faster!” Oh no! I did the math wrong. There were still 3 km to go. FRIDGE! “Don’t give up.” I spotted the blue shirt of a girl I’d been eying for a few kilometres now, I wanted to pass her, I was so close, I was practically next to her, just a couple more steps. “Go! Go! Go!” We passed by a group of volunteers, they cheered, hooted and hollered. The blue shirt girl surged ahead, but my legs suddenly became elephant legs. “Don’t give up… keep going… you can do this… forget the watch… forget the time… just run… dammit, run!”

With about 600 metres to go, I spotted Big Ring and Little Ring, and suddenly my legs were like those of cheetah. I surged, I sprinted, I pumped my arms, I gave it my all! And when I crossed that finish line, my gawd, my legs could hardly hold me up they were shaking so bad! And those, my dear blog-reading friends, are legs that got me a PERSONAL BEST!!!

The volunteers were awesome; super loud cheers and mega-watt smiles!


  • BG before: 9.4
  • Temp. basal: none
  • Carbs: Vega pre-workout energizer (16g) with bolus and BG correction 20 minutes prior
  • Distance: 10 km
  • Average pace: 5:34 min/km
  • Time: 55:40!!!
  • BG after: 5.4

My previous PB 56:01 – 21 seconds faster today! Wahoo!

You say you want a revolution…

A resolution you will not get out of me today, nor yesterday – I don’t believe in them. I don’t like disappointment especially by my own hand, and resolutions (from my perspective at least) are a recipe for failure. I don’t care to experience that, never have. However, I do believe in the value of setting goals. And right now, I am without goals. Which sucks. Huge.

It’s been several years since I started a new year without a plan. Last year I had a second marathon in my sights, and the goal of being selected for the Tiffany’s half, as well as any other race that presented itself. The year prior, I was focused on the historic half and my first marathon. The year before that, it was to complete a half marathon without injury.

But on Sunday morning, as Big Ring and I were embarking on our first ever Revolution Run, it dawned on me that I had nothing. No training plans. No events scheduled. No races to fret over look forward to. Nothing. And that ugly feeling of emptiness sunk in.

An ice-cold wind met us head on on the morning of the Revolution Run.

Without goals, I fear for my health. I’m the kind of person, as competitive and driven as I am, who needs motivation, who needs that carrot dangling in front me to keep me going. But at this point, nothing is really standing out to me. I’m not keen on doing another marathon at this time, as I just don’t have the time to commit to such an adventure, and plus the memories of the last one are still somewhat fresh. Do I do another half? Do I do a 10 km? Do I try something different? I don’t know…

9 a.m. BG before: 14.0 (miscalculated breakfast bolus)
Temp. basal: 0 per cent (see above)
Distance: 5.90 km
Average pace: 6:08 min/km
Time: 34:15 minutes
10 a.m. BG after: 5.4

I may not have goals for myself in place yet, but I do for Big Ring. The same run it dawned on me that I had nothing, I announced to him by the end of year, he would be running 10 km – that was his goal. He looked at me a little incredulously but didn’t balk at it, nope, he just kept on running.

He calls it grim, I call it exciting.

Prior to Sunday’s Revolution Run (our own – free! – version of the Resolution Run) Big Ring had only run 5 km, which he had only just achieved last week. Yesterday, he made it to 5.60 km… although, with every new person he tells, the distance gradually gets longer and longer. I think by the time we left my parent’s New Year’s Day dinner last night, he was telling people he had run 23 km!!! Whatever keeps him going 😉

Excited for the distance… or the fact we were at the turnaround point?

And for me, the run was a great way to bring in the New Year. My legs felt awesome, my high BG didn’t affect me negatively, and the whole way my legs were begging me to go faster. The last 2.0 km, I let them, averaging about 5:15 min/km and topping out at a 3:51 min/km best pace. Yippee!!!

Do you have goals for the New Year?

Galloping leap of victory

Who has bragging rights? I do! I do!

21st annual Abbotsford Police Challenge:

  • 8:30 a.m. BG before: 12.1
  • Temp. basal: -50 per cent (3 hours)
  • Distance: 10 km
  • Average pace: 5:54 min/km
  • Time: 58:54
  • 10:30 a.m. BG after: 14.2
  • Temp. basal: +50 per cent (2 hours)

On Friday my big brother called me up as he was walking into the shoe store to purchase a new pair of shoes for our race yesterday (apparently no one told him that was a bad idea) and he informed me that he was going to run like the wind. I tried hard, but unsuccessfully, not to burst out laughing.

He, like me, chose for fashion over speed.


Ready to go (with my moms and nephew who did the 5 km walk)

Truthfully I was nervous as heck going into this run. I mean I’m the one who trains for marathons and half marathons and who runs multiple times a week. If my big brother, who plays soccer but does not train for distance running beat me, the gloating I would have to endure, and the extended ribbing that would surely come from my other siblings, would be absolutely torturous to say the least.

Check out the bib numbers, how prophetic!

For the first half of the race, he was on fire. He shot out of the starting gate like a mentos induced bottle of coke, and I thought alright, it’s on. We passed a few of my peeps who shouted out “Go Katie Go” and upon hearing this, he decided to inform them there was another racer on the course to cheer for too. He turned his head back and shouted out “And Matt too!”

Game on!

If this were a 5 km race, I’m not so sure I’d be gloating today. For the first 5 km, we were going a good 5:00 to 5:30 pace. I felt good, he looked strong. But given that he’s a well-conditioned sprinter, I’m thinking the dash to the finish line at 5 km may have had me puking to keep his pace. But it wasn’t a 5 km race, it was 10 – 10 with a hill at the halfway mark called Heartbreak Hill!

Now we all know my love for hills is strong, but seriously this hill was never ending, it went on and on and on, and when my big brother, cursing the hill with every stride he took, slowed to a walk, I was happy to join him. As we finally crested the hill’s peak, he saw a buddy at the water station holding three cups of water, and with his face the shade of a cherry, he huffed out a pleading, “In my face, Jonas, in my face.” I’m pretty sure it was that hill that broke him.

A few times in the run, I asked him if he needed the pace to slow down, and all I’d get in return was a grunt. But at 6 km, I got the words I so very much desired: “I concede. You’re faster than me. Now slow the *#@% down!”

We did slow down a bit, and Matt started to take a few more walking breaks, but I really wanted to get us into the finish before an hour, so I didn’t slow it down too, too much. I kept telling him we were almost there, that we just had 2 km to go, 1 km, that we were going to make it within an hour. I’m not so sure it helped though … you know when you over exert yourself and the last thing you want to hear is words of encouragement or any words for that matter, I’m thinking that’s probably where he was, especially after hearing him mutter “I don’t care!”

With just about 400 metres to go, I kept looking at him, thinking he was gonna pull out this burst of speed and blow me out of the water. With 300 metres to go, he looked back at me and said “Go!”

My gawd I love 10 km races! The marathon I had no added burst of energy, even the half marathon it was hard to find that extra push, but for the 10 km finish, I jacked up my speed and sprinted like I’d never sprinted before – with a galloping leap of victory mixed in!

Princess beats her big brother!


Because this was my big brother’s first ever race, I wanted it to be memorable regardless of whether I beat him (so thankful I did) or if he beat me. So on Friday, after my specialist’s appointment, I did some running around and created a super awesome Recovery Kit, containing everything a good runner needs for recovery: salted chocolate, superhero Band-aids, blister and anti-chafing cream (although he probably should have had that beforehand) electrolyte recovery drink, nipple Band-aids, and of course, beer!

Even though my big brother crossed the finish line stating “Well that was stupid,” as he grabbed a bottle of water and proceeded to crash on the grass, hours later he was ready to put his sneakers on the line again, requesting a rematch. “I can’t possibly let you hold bragging rights for a whole year,” he said.

Next time, he will – apparently – run like the wind 😉 But until then, the bragging rights are ALL mine!!!

Coming into the finish, me with my galloping leap of victory, and big brother with his bow of defeat!

Princess: 58:54. Big Brother: 58:57. I win!

One word

Mario, Mario, Mario, I love you to pieces, but seriously, what were you thinking? This morning I was talking on the phone with my big brother and he informed me that he had inside knowledge that I’d been training hardcore for our 10 km run this weekend, so hardcore that I’d been going on secret runs every night with the intent of kicking his butt on Saturday. Me? Are you kidding me? As much as I’d like to say that’s what I’ve been doing, because really it is kind of brilliant, I’ve actually pretty much been a sloth since my marathon, not lacing up my sneakers, not once, since ripping them off nearly two weeks ago. It didn’t take long to learn my brother’s “source” was my dear husband, who had decided to take it upon himself to send a taunting email to my brother to try and psyche him out. But what’s that saying, something about waking sleeping dragons? Oh crap.


  • 5:50 p.m. BG before: 6.5 (fig newton, no bolus)
  • Temp. basal: -50 per cent
  • Time: 20 minutes
  • 6:30 p.m. BG after: 5.1
  • Temp. basal: +50 per cent

Well, if the email taunts were out there, I figured I should at least go for one run right. So between the first and second period of the rather disappointing hockey game, I laced up a fairly new pair of sneakers and went out for 20 minutes. I didn’t take my Garmin, didn’t take my music, it was just me and my sneakers. And through the whole run, I had one word racing through my head, one word I wished to relay to my big brother. One word: Truce.

My legs were like two-by-fours, my thighs were stiff, my feet were stomping, and the one thing I wanted to do, but forced myself not to do, was stop. Not the best run to take into a race right. So how ’bout it big brother, shall we call a truce on the competition? I promise my fingers aren’t crossed behind my back, I promise I don’t have evil counter thoughts soaring through my head,  I promise to keep my word. Promise 😉

The evils of competition

Remember before the marathon, when I was in that rather unfamiliar calm state, how I mentioned that I more feared the 10 km Police Challenge than I did the marathon? I’m sure it must have caused some eyebrows to raise, I mean seriously, how is it possible I fear 10 km more than 42.2 km? Ohhh there’s good reason, and it all starts with that competitive demon in me.

See, I convinced my big brother to join me on this run, and if you think I’m competitive, times that by like 1,000 for him, and even more so when he has the fear of his little sister beating him at anything. As soon as he registered, the first words out of his mouth were “I’m so gonna kick your butt.” Now, I probably should have let that comment go, that would have been the smart thing to do, but nooooo, I couldn’t let him have that, no way. He’s a soccer player. I’m a runner. How hard could it possibly be to have him eating my dust … and I’m pretty sure it was those exact words I used in my response to him.

We even compete for the best Chandler Bing photo smile!

But here’s the thing, when I took on this challenge, I neglected to take into account that the date of this run is just two weeks removed from my marathon. Oh crud. Before the marathon I was freaking out, not because of the marathon, but because of memories of how hobbled I was for weeks after my first marathon. How the heck was I going to kick my brother’s butt, or even keep up with him for that matter, when I was sure to be crippled? And then I had thoughts of the gloating and ribbing that would result for decades – DECADES! – to come if I didn’t beat him. The horror! The horror!

But after completing the marathon, I thought maybe I’d been given a reprieve. Matt told me he’d been sick and suggested we just run for fun, but being the competitive brother he is, he couldn’t possibly keep it a 100 per cent fun run, nooo. He upped the ante with a 100 metre race at the end. And in my head, with the evil wheels turning, I was thinking, Sweet, I’ll totally agree to this, and then start racing way before the 100 metres without telling him, and I’ll totally kick his … but before I could finish the thought, he blew up my evilness with a quick “And I get to say when we start racing!” Dammit!

Rethinking our “race” at lunch after the marathon.

Given that it was his birthday yesterday, and that he probably needs this win more than me (he is getting old after all (forget that he’s only two years and three days older than me!) I should probably just let him win, right 😉

29? Ahahahaahaa!!!

Happy Birthday Big Brother! Love you to pieces, but you’re going down … damn you competitive demon!