Tag Archives: Abbotsford Police Challenge

2013: the year I get my feet back

2012: There were no sun-drenched long runs, no personal bests, no races, in fact, there was hardly any running at all. And yet, it was a year I shall cherish for always.

It was the second week of January (the day after Big Ring’s birthday) that we found out (while running!) we had a little thumb-sucking alien baby growing in my belly. I had vowed to keep up with my running, and was sure I’d be able to run the 5 km Run for Water in May, and the first Starbucks Women’s Run in June, but unfortunately my body and blood sugars had other ideas. By mid March, I had retired my running shoes to the closet, in favour of hiking and walking shoes.

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Clockwise: Starbucks (WALK) for Women in June; hiking Lynn Valley in May; retiring my running sneakers in March.

It was a year full of all-day nausea, every nasty pregnancy side effect imaginable (seriously, I could make a book that would for sure get teens to practice abstinence!), weekly doctor and dietitian frustrations, strict guidelines and rules, worries and anxieties, butterflies and wonderings. And I wouldn’t change it for a second.

It was the year my thumb-sucking alien baby became my real life Little Ring. Huge hearts!


Apparently this is what my boys do when I’m slogging away at chemistry 🙂

And now, with 2012 gone, it’s time to look ahead to 2013: the year I get my feet back.

Remember this?

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Or how about this?

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I’d be remiss if I didn’t include this one with me trailing behind, but take note, it was taken within the first minute of the run 🙂

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Well folks, it seems Big Brother wants another crack at me. And if that’s not motivation to get my stubborn feets back in tip top shape, I don’t know what is. Bring it on Big Brother. Hehe 😉

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Competitive juices boiling

So you know how I said in my last post that I wasn’t affected by having to walk Run for Water? Well, I wasn’t at the event itself, but I was the next day – when I started looking at the times of people I knew who actively ran the varying courses. I saw good times, great times, unbelievable times. And you know what, the competitive juices in my belly instantly began to boil.

I want to be fast. Super. Princess. Fast. I don’t just want to run the runs anymore, I want to kick their asses and have a blast doing it. So, where do I go from here?

Well, me and my pregnant belly we will continue what we’re doing currently, but come three or so months from now (people keep saying I’m gonna need recovery time after thumb-sucking alien baby arrives, but I’m taking that advice with a grain of salt ;)) there will be a plan in place. I don’t know what that plan will look like, or how I’ll achieve it, but hear me now, I will be faster – some way, some how, come hell or high water, my legs will take me on the fastest adventure I’ve ever been on.


These were good races, but I want to be faster!

I have a feeling there could be a coach in my future 😀

The Running Room program can only take you so far, and I’ve tried doing it on my own, and while I did increase my times quite nicely, they’re still not fast enough. And I know the value of the Running Room is that it’s not overly expensive, but the thing is, for me, it’s high time I elevate my running status.

I know it’s not gonna be cheap, not by any means, and it could be frustrating as hell finding the perfect coach and training program to suit my needs, but in the long run I truly believe it will so be worth the cost and the effort. Take Big Ring for example. Last year he purchased his Lapierre, his sexy French mistress that set him back more than $5,000, but that he thoroughly loves to look at and longs to ride. This is my new bike. This is my Lapierre.

SO FAR:

  • My fastest 5 km time is 27:18:00. I want to be 25:00:00
  • My fastest 10 km time is 56:01:00. I want to be 53:00:00
  • My fastest half marathon time is 2:00:24. I want to break two hours.
  • My fastest marathon time is: 4:44:24. I want to be 4:15:00.

I don’t know if those times are realistic, but I do know they are times that are giving me a goal to look towards, to get excited about, to drive me forward – like the lightening rod speed of Usain Bolt!

Plus, I can’t possibly let my Big Brother beat me now can I? And believe you me, he will try. This is the text he sent me after my last post:

But we’re not competitive in my family, nooo 😀

2011: a princess perfect year

2011 was a year full of personal bests, discoveries, and lots of laughter; a great one indeed. And it started with a bang.


January: Resolution Run

While most were sleeping away hangovers on the morning of Jan. 1, I was up early racing against myself in the Running Room’s 5 km Resolution Run; I won. I crossed the finish line with a personal best that shaved a good 2 minutes 38 seconds off my previous 5k PB.

It was the first of four personal bests this year. While training for my second marathon, Run for Water, which was at the end of May, I clocked in a two-hour, 24-second half marathon time at the Good Life Fitness Toronto Half in the middle of May, cutting my previous half time by nearly 4 minutes. Two weeks later I finished Run for Water with a time of 4:44:24; not quite the time I wanted, but 10 minutes and 17 seconds faster than my first marathon time 7 months earlier. I also scored a PB up the Grouse Grind in July, completing in 55 minutes and 20 seconds!


May: Good Life Fitness Toronto Half


May: Run for Water Marathon

It wasn’t all glory though. Early in the year my running was put on hold after bone scans showed stress fractures in both ankles. As a result, my favourite ironchickie forced me to silence my pool germ fears in order to reap the benefits of aqua jogging (which we later renamed aqua running), of which there were plenty. Post-injury, my tempo runs and races were way speedier than pre-injury!

In addition to stress fractures, I was also attacked by butt bursitis, knee bursitis and misalignment of my legs – at the cost of more than $3,000 worth of physiotherapy, massage therapy, and active release therapy visits. Oh joy.


March: Physiotherapy

When I wasn’t sidelined by injury, I was taking on challenges by “non-runners.” The day of the Resolution Run, Big Ring announced he could do that run no problem, and in fact bet me that he could kick my butt doing it. Never one to back down from a challenge, I set down the wager. We were to race the 2012 Resolution Run. If he won, I’d cook dinner for a year. If I won, he’d cook dinner all year, which he pretty much already does 😉 [Note: That challenge has been postponed.]

Big brother also challenged me to a race, a 10 km race, one he too was sure he could beat. “I’m going to kick your ass,” he laughed. On June 10, five days after my birthday, seven days after his, I proved him wrong. Happy Birthday to me! 😀


June: Police Challenge 10 km

On the diabetes front, it’s still there, I still have it, no cure was proclaimed – not as yet at least… maybe 2012 😉

As 2011 counts itself down, I leave you with my favourite picture of the year. Happy New Year friends. May your 2012 be filled with love and laughter, challenges and competitions, health and happiness, and special, special people. These, including the man behind the camera, are mine:


2011: Love!

The hangover

What now?

It’s been a week and a half since I last ran, which really isn’t that long at all, and yet, I feel kind of lost, like I have an emptiness in my belly… or legs, I should say. I see Facebook posts of girlfriends preparing for their next running adventures, I read blogs all about running, and magazines all about running, but I’m not running.

I don’t have a plan and I planned it that way. I’ve been training almost non-stop now for more than two years (aside from a couple months where I was recovering from injury) and I’ve felt for quite some time that I’ve needed a break from training. So, while my favourite running chicks were planning this run and that run, I purposely stayed quiet, I was not going to jump into anything new. I wanted a break and by golly I was going to get that break.

But now, I feel lost. It’s been a long time since I haven’t had a race in my sights. And my legs are aching to get out there, they want to run, but my brain and my social life desperately need the rest.

So, what now?


Clockwise from top: Goodlife Toronto Half, May 2011; Police Challenge (Brother-Sister 10k showdown) June 2011; Run for Water Marathon, May 2011; Portland Marathon, October, 2010.

TONIGHT’S AJ:

  • 5 p.m. BG before: 7.3
  • Temp. basal: -100 per cent (1 hour)
  • Distance: 4 sets of 4 in the deep end with 1 long jog in between each set
  • Time: 45 minutes
  • 6:30 p.m. BG after: 5.4
  • Temp. basal: +50 per cent (1 hour)

Tonight’s aqua jogging with my most favourite ironchickie helped. After reading on the blog a few weeks ago about how I had done a few back-to-back all deep end laps in my last solo AJ session, she decided that’s what we’d be doing tonight. No wimping out. And you know, with that sweet New Zealand accent of hers, you just can’t say no – no matter if your legs are fatigued, or you’re gulping back Slurpee sized germ water, or your head’s going under, you keep going.

I’ve had a few people question whether aqua jogging can really be considered a sufficient exercise, some have even rolled their eyes at me, figuring it’s just a little walking here and there. Granted, if you don’t put the effort in, it can be a pretty slack endeavor. But tonight, both ironchickie (who’s like a super duper Ironman champion) and I were huffing and puffing between our non-stop chitter chatter fest.

I say proof is in the huff 😀

Dead chick running

Guess what! Guess what! Guess what! I have a new training partner and you’ll never guess who it is – MY BIG BROTHER!!! Okay maybe he’s not my full-on training partner, but we’re getting there 😀

So this morning I sent him a text letting him know that I’d be running 5 km after work, and asked if he was in? And while I’d love to say that I sent it in all seriousness, truthfully it was done with a little bit of a gloating jibe … what can I say, it’s been awhile since I reminded him of this here day:


So totally my most favourite photo right now!

But my oh my, did my Big Brother ever come back with a surprise for me. Apparently he wants to run with me, on a regular basis, like once a week, which I’m super duper excited about, I love hanging out with my big brother, even if he is grumbling the entire time.

Mind you, when I called told him we’d have to find a hilly route (I am training for those San Francisco hills after all) he put up a bit of resistance reminding me of the plum colour of his face and the choice words he used while trudging up that never-ending hill of our race. But then like two seconds later – I kid you not, TWO SECONDS – he was informing me that he could kick my butt up the Grouse Grind! And I’m like you do realize that’s one big freaking hill right? Ahhh, yes, the sibling rivalry is back!

TONIGHT’S RUN:

  • 5:15 p.m. BG before: 8.3
  • Temp. basal: -60 per cent
  • Distance: 6 km
  • Average pace: 6:09 min/km
  • Time: 37:01
  • 6:15 p.m. BG after: 5.0


Hello sun!

Holy crud monkey, that was a hot one! I had only planned on doing 5 km, but ended up with 6 after I got lost in the trails. (Have I mentioned how directionally challenged I am?) I hadn’t planned on running through the trails, but about 3.5 km into the run, with the sun beating down on me, I was Dead Chick Running in desperate need of shade.


Lucky for me, there was a trail nearby.

I’m not complaining about the heat, I love the heat, and I much prefer training in the heat than the snow, but right now, with just a few straight days into 20+ weather, I am not yet acclimatized to it. And so, my legs were bricks, I was dripping in sweat, I had that overheated pukey feeling, and I almost ran into three poles. Awesome.


In my defense, with this pole, I was so focused on trying to figure out what the post-it said that I didn’t realize until the very last second the pole was like half an inch from my face!

How do you deal with training in the heat?

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.


Fierce!


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!


Dead.

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.

TONIGHT’S RUN:

  • 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 😉