Tag Archives: Nike Women’s Marathon

We run…

Two years ago today, I was doing this:

SFmap

With the bestest, most favourite running chicks EVER:

130529SanFran2

Today, I’m doing a little of this … again:

foot roller

Remember these shoes:

131014fall4

Well, it seems, these shoes, these beautiful looking New Balance 860 running sneakers, of which I won in a Canadian Running contest a few months back (along with a sports bra, shirt and shorts… love the shirt, like the bra and shorts) are the latest to cause me injury… or close to injury.

Following last week’s autumnal run, the first since my half marathon, the heel of my left foot was super tender. I’d had something similar in the spring, not the sharp, searing, tearing pain of plantar fasciitis, but just tenderness, of which ice and rest did the trick. I’m hoping for the same with this one here, but nearly one week post run and I’m still feeling tenderness and random shooting dull aches through the heel and up the calf.

And you know what sucks about it, I’d held off forever trying these shoes out. As many of you know, I’m quite particular when it comes to my running sneakers. It’s almost like a relationship, you know, when you find one you love (as I had with Mizuno, and now Brooks) you don’t ever let it go. And so, while I thought it was totally awesome I’d won a pair of sneakers, I had niggling doubts about them given they weren’t my brand of sneakers. I’d never worn New Balance before, I didn’t know how my foot would respond to them, I didn’t know them.

But, well, after running my Brooks pretty much into the ground, and not having a replacement given I’m trying to save rather then spend these days, I didn’t really have any more excuses not to give these shoes a go.

Thirty minutes – THIRTY MINUTES!!! – was all it took for my feet to say no more 😦

But here’s the thing, with my feet resting, icing, compressing and elevating, I choose not to dwell on the annoyance of it all (I mean, seriously, another injury???) but rather, to remember the heart-filled memories of two years ago, and dream of future destination running memories to be made…

nwm-wdc-half-header

And you better believe they WILL be made 😀

For the love of bling

It wasn’t Tiffany’s, but it was bling.

As I stood in the cool Juneuary air with my moms, my favourite running chick and Miss Speedy next to me, a smile washed across my face while listening to the event organizer talk of the reasons why we had all congregated at Thunderbird Stadium that morning: “We wanted to stay fit, keep active, bond with other women,” she said. But my favourite running chick, she knew we were there for other reasons. She leaned over towards me, soft giggles exiting her mouth as she whispered, “I’m here for the bling!”


Indeed.

Saturday morning my moms and I walked the 5 km Starbucks Run for Women, while my favourites ran the 10k.


Favourite Running Chick and Miss Speedy.

It’s always a risk signing up for first-time events, knowing that they can’t possibly live up to the glory of well-established runs, but hoping they won’t completely bomb (ie. run out of water, run out of fuel, have no spectators, have unenthusiastic volunteers… I’ve been burned on this in the past). But this run, for its first time in Vancouver, was so well organized, it didn’t feel like a small run at all! It had great volunteers, an awesome motivational speech by Canadian Olympian Jen Heil, who also ran in the 5k event, and coming into the finish line, all our names were announced by none other than John Stanton – just like in big time events!

I couldn’t have asked for a better morning. It was a gorgeous setting through the trails of UBC, and great mother-daughter bonding time for me and my moms.


Heart!

This was the first time my moms and I have participated in an organized event together, and let me just say, she’s a little motorer. There was only one time, early on as we climbed a hill, that she had to slow me down, telling me that she didn’t quite have the fitness in her legs that I’ve got built in mine. But as soon as we crested that hill, it was as though she had a fire chasing her legs. I kept asking her, how she was, if we needed to slow down, and with a lovely smile on her face she kept telling me she was doing great.


When we crossed the finish line, we were rewarded with a specially designed Foxy bracelet; the only thing missing were the firemen to hand them out 😉


Moms showing off her bling…


Favourites showing off their bling!

And the cameras, my gawd, they love the thumb-sucking alien baby bump! I swear I’ve never before had so many pics taken of me by event photographers! And yes, I did “borrow” these … Thanks My Sports Shooter!


And this wasn’t even all the pics taken of me!

Total mileage this weekend: 18 km; 3 km shy of a half marathon!


And that’s the smile of ice cream cake visions about to become reality in my belly 😀

The other side of San Francisco

I had a blog topic all planned out for tonight, and it was a good one too, but then I had to go and scrape the back of my car into the back of another chick’s car while leaving Pilates, and now, well, my mind’s not exactly in the right place. So, tonight my friends a San Francisco photo story you shall get and a bucket of ice cream I shall get.

It wasn’t all about the blue box:


SF skyline.


It only took me 10 minutes to find my name WAY up there.


Route map at Niketown.


Triplets of Runnersville take on SF!


Pre-race wine, oh yes please!


Big, fat, lonely sea lion.


Bay Bridge.


Golden Gate Bridge.


Favourite running chicks enjoying a post-race Bay cruise.


Can’t go to San Francisco and NOT have California bad-boy wine.


Twilight at the Ferry Market.

And that was San Francisco. Thank you to my favourites for making a most beautiful, memorable trip.

The Tiffany Report

No one said the robins’ egg blue road would be an easy road. I knew there would be hills, massive hills; I knew I’d likely feel that familiar nausea at some point in my lungs; and  I knew I’d probably face the inner turmoil of whether or not to continue to run or cave in to an early walk break.

But I was NOT prepared for a run akin to trying to run through Metrotown – BC’s largest shopping mall, featuring the most ignorant shoppers who walk at a snail’s pace 5, 8, and 10 across blocking any which way around them or through them.


The early morning start.


Me and my running chicks.

This year’s NWM had 22,500 participants; 22,000 of who I swear were walkers. And these weren’t racing walkers, oh no, there was no walking etiquette with them whatsoever. They walked on the right, they walked on the left, they walked dead centre, and they walked 5, 8, and 10 across, some in multiple rows.

Can you imagine how difficult it was to try and race through that? (And yes, I did try!) My finish time was a walloping 23 minutes SLOWER than my fastest half marathon just five months ago, and I had close to an extra kilometre on my Garmin from all the weaving! Every split I had, was significantly slower than it should have been. My first 5 km was 5 minutes slower and my first 10 km was almost 10 minutes slower. Not cool.

I tried going fast, I really, really did, but there was no getting around these people. Most of them were Team in Training walkers (it was like running through a sea of purple) and so I tried not to get annoyed or frustrated with them in the beginning, I mean they were out there for a great cause and all, but after awhile, it was just bloody ridiculous. My body may or may not have barged squeezed through their ranks a few times.

One of the walkers actually yelled at us runners not to weave around them as we were climbing up one of the hills alongside a cliff that was quite narrow near the top. She said it was dangerous … apparently them coming to a dead stop to snap a picture of the Golden Gate with runners coming up behind them wasn’t dangerous at all though.

Speaking of hills, there were a lot! I tried counting, but lost count after like the sixth hill. There were big hills, long, winding hills, short, rolling hills, never-ending hills, hills, hills. At first I was doing great, running the entire length of them despite the walkers in front trying to circumvent my efforts. But by the time I reached the big hill at 14.5 km, I was feeling the evil nausea in my lungs and had started to hear the devil on my shoulder telling me to walk. I made it halfway up that hill, before caving in.

Even with the uncouth walkers and the disappointingly slow finish time however, this race had a factor in it, beyond Tiffany, that I know will have me going back for more. Its beauty. This was honestly the most beautiful race I have ever participated in. The scenery, from start to finish, was oh my god, jaw gaping  and oohs and ahhs escaping between the wheezing gasps of breath – especially at the top of those hills. We had optimal views of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge, and on one of the long descents, we were coming down around a corner and all of a sudden you were high above the beach with waves crashing below and the Golden Gate off in the distance. Beautiful.


The Golden Gate was featured quite prominently along the run.

When I saw the windmill in Golden Gate Park with just about 1 km left to go, the motivation fired up in my belly and despite the pukey feeling in my throat, I pushed hard, and by golly I finished that race with a glowing smile on my face … could have had something to do with the tuxedoed fireman handing me that coveted blue box 😀

TIFFANY’S RUN:

  • 6:45 a.m. BG before: 10.3
  • Temp. basal: -50 per cent
  • Distance: 21.77 km
  • Average pace: 6:27 min/km 😦
  • Time: 2:23:33 😦
  • 10 a.m. BG after: 11.1
  • Temp. basal: +50 per cent (2 hours)

Next time, rather than race it, I’m running the half, and documenting the beauty around me, NOT racing it.

The necklace has the line ‘I run to be…’ What word would you insert after the ellipsis? 

Ready or not…

Ready or not, here I come NWM!

Yep, you guys called it, I will be trying to race on Sunday. My plan is to go out and see how I feel and if I feel great off the hop, I’ll keep going and trying to go as long as my legs and lungs will push me. At this point, there is nothing, no injury, no pain, no nigglyness, nothing holding me back. Whether that holds true for Sunday, only time will tell.

All I know is that if I don’t try, I’ll end up kicking myself in the end. I’ve got to try. It may not be my best run, it may not be my best race, but then again, it might be. When I ran Toronto, I was in a similar situation coming off injury and I totally rocked that run; my best run. (Mind you, I think I was back up to decent mileage by that time, but whatever, I still had inury to contend with.) What can I say, when it comes to me and my running alter ego, I’m competitive as hell!

And if it does go sour on me, I’ll slow my pace, I’ll walk it out if I have to, I’ll change my plan.

Plan B: Enjoy the beautiful San Francisco scenery all around me. And if that fails, Plan C: Picture them firemen at the finish… topless 😀

TONIGHT’S AJ:

  • 5:15 p.m. BG before: 5.6 (1/2 small box of raisins)
  • Temp. basal: -100 per cent (1 hour)
  • Time: 30 minutes –> hard!
  • 6:15 p.m. BG after: 5.4
  • Temp. basal: +50 per cent (1/2 hour)

I pretty much had the lane to myself at the pool tonight, aside from another girl  swimming laps in the shallow end, which was awesome. So, I decided because I was in a crunch for time, I’d stick to the deep end and go hard for a good 30 minutes. And I did go hard, oh man did I ever. I got proof: Foot cramps and leg cramps a plenty! Yay!

Well folks, it’s back to packing I go – I hate packing and procrastinate for as long as possible – so this is where I sign off. See you next week – post Tiffany 😀

What would you do?

Am I ready for the Nike Women’s Half? I don’t know, I really, really don’t know.

On the one hand, I have completely fugged up my training, like completely. When I started back in July, which was like a month later than I probably should have (what can I say, I was in major marathon hangover mode at the time) but still had fully intended on logging longer mileage in an effort to try to emulate that super amazing race – AND TIME! – I had at the Toronto Half in May while training for my second marathon later that month.

My body, however, had other plans.

With just six weeks left of training, I got pummeled by injury, an injury so bloody annoying, it had me off not just running, but ALL training for a full week, and then running for a full three weeks. The last time I was injured, I was at least able to keep up with my cycling, aqua jogging, pilates and any other cross training I so desired (just not running) to keep up my endurance. And so, because of that, my longest run, which was waaay back in August, was just 17 km.

So, maybe a little disadvantage, you think?

But then, on the other hand, I went out for a 14.5 km run late last week, my last planned LSD run until race day, and my god, it was a  good run, a run I so desperately needed. I felt great, like I could have kept going, but forced myself to stop just to be on the safe side. It felt, I don’t know, like I belonged out there you know – those, my friends, are the best kinds of runs!


I ran around the river and back 😀

So, what do I do? Do I race this race? Do I go out hard and see where it takes me? Or, do I just make it another run, not a race, just a run? Stay tuned, tomorrow I shall share with you my plans for NWM.

What would you do?

San Francisco: stairway to heaven

The hills were unavoidable.

It didn’t matter how much I tried to block my eyes, avert my eyes, shut my eyes, in San Francisco, I was surrounded by hills. And not mole hills. Oh no, these suckers were straight up, stomach in your gut, oh my god, what I have I gotten myself into hills.


Lombard Street: One of the world’s crookedest streets featuring eight tight switchbacks, which were designed out of necessity as most vehicles in 1922 could not ascend the 27% grade!

On most occasions, I am not a fan of knowing the route of my races or even my long runs before heading out. I don’t want to know if I’ll be having to run rolling hills, or descend down stairway to heaven hills, I don’t want to know if one of my running partners has picked a route that I hate or a route that bores the hell out of me. When it comes to my running, I live in a world of ignorance where everything comes at me in surprise. And I like it that way!

Now, that being said, it probably wasn’t the wisest thing to book a trip to the city of an upcoming race – two weeks before said race! Especially if that city is San Francisco.

I knew when I signed up for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon that there would be hills. And I knew they would be significant hills. But it wasn’t until we drove into the city, and I saw those cable car hills (straight up, oh my god hills!) that it suddenly hit me. Oh freaking crud.


The stairs of Telegraph Hill: 800 steps of straight up stunning beauty, sculpted gardens, art-deco buildings, beautiful homes, and even wild parrots.

I love hills, we all know that, but these hills, I was sweating just looking at them. Seriously, I was on my tip toes just walking up them, I couldn’t even imagine having to run them, let alone descend them. I hate running downhill!

It was at this point, Mario suggested I go against my number one rule and actually look at the route, get a feel for what I’d soon be getting into. Thank heavens for smart husbands.


Mr. Smartypants.

One click of Google and my apprehension had been cured. The NWM half-marathon route shows NO cable car hills, and in fact, only two real hills to contend with. The first hill is between the 10 and 11 km mark and has an approximate maximum elevation of 290 feet. The second hill is between the 13 and 14 km mark and has a max elevation of 345 feet. I still have no idea how high that is, and quite frankly I don’t want to know … I can’t change all at once you know 😉

Further Google searching had me discovering this race route will also feature a beautiful, eclectic mix of urban, ocean and forest views AND a glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge too. I love bridges!


Sooo, just wondering, is it normal to start belting out the Full House theme song every time you drive across the Golden Gate Bridge? Because that’s exactly what happened to me 😀

In one week, my friends, I will have completed a race I have dreamed of for more than a year now, and I will have received my Tiffany’s ‘finisher’s’ necklace, handed to me by a San Francisco firefighter. Oh yum.

Now what the heck was I being all trepidatious about anyway? 😀

And that completes my California Trip No. 1 backlog of blogs, which is a good thing given that I’ll be leaving for California Trip No. 2 this Thursday! Eeeeeeeeeee!!!