Monday, October 17, 2016

RnR FABcouver!

Rock n Roll Vancouver is coming up this weekend!  You'll be seeing a pair of FAB ladies at the 10k, drumroll....presenting FABcouver - the return!  We enjoyed last year so much we wanted to do it all over again.  With bigger hair.  And more booze.  Sweetie.

Pack the wigs!


It's a remix weekend which means 2 races, all the bling and a chance to dress up (twice if you want to!)

Why don't you come out and share a beverage with us?

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Lost Soul Ultra (54 of 100k) Sept 9, 2016

We drove to Lethbridge the day before the race to pick up packages and get organized at the Days Inn.  Race entry included lovely warm North Face hoodies and they had awesome buffs to buy with the course map on - very nice (and helpful when lost).  Package pickup was different, the RD had googled us and knew about our other ultras and times, I was wondering if he'd let us start!

I took this photo from the hotel parking lot, this is the start of leg 2.  It's purty.  It absolutely poured with rain on and off all day, this is the evening bout of monsoon coming in. Raceday weather turned out to be close to perfect after this.

I slept pretty well until about an hour before the alarm went off when I shifted into panic mode.  Here's a bunch of us after the pre-race meeting, definitely looking good.  Not sure I was feeling good!  I like hanging out with people who know what they're doing.

Leg 1  7km 120m

A piper sends us off.  Down to the road then south and up into the coulees - we only do this leg once in the 100k.  We drop into a lovely valley with trees then head back north on a paved pathway.  It's taking a little while to get my legs moving.  Climb back up to the start/finish line.

Leg 2  8.4km  252m

I think this is the most scenic leg, some nice rolling hills through the trestle bridge to start.  And a few stairs.

And cactus.  That's not my middle finger.

This cairn is lovely and also featured on the finishers tile.

Looking down at the road, a bunch of huge ass trucks are belting along it by the time we descend.  I am pretty glad to get past them and their dust and back into the coulees.

We're eating between aid stations so we don't spend too much time there, I made a bunch of chicken wraps to bring and that's working out well.  Other than that, we have cold pizza, chips, a few energy bars/gels (which we don't use) and Nuun for the packs.  Oh and a few little bottles of flat Coke.

Softball Valley/Peenaquim aid station.  Such a welcoming friendly little oasis!  We're still having fun.  I have a very amazing cup of cold chocolate milk in my hand.

Leg 3  9.6km  286m

Oh god why did I drink chocolate milk.  The first hill onto leg 3 sucks.  We're by a gun range, we're going to die.  The drop off both ways is deeply alarming.

At the end of this leg we'll be 25% done.  This leg is eternal.  I'll probably just expire out here.  

I borrowed this from someone on the interwebz, all the hills are named.....

I labelled about 10 happy tunes on my phone with things like 'kill me now' and 'struggle bus' to perk us up during low points in the race so we listen to 'it's shit' which turns out to be the theme from The Great Escape.  

Eventually Pavan.  Happy reunion with drop bags.

Leg 4   16.4km  285m

This is the longest leg of the race out to the north on private land.  After a steep climb out of Pavan we have some relatively level ground. I'm really noticing the blisters on the insides of both heels.

A table in the middle of nowhere with candy.  It's random AF and kind of sums up the race.

After another set of climbs we come back down and there's one point that freaks me out completely, it's crazy steep.  I only have pictures of the happy bits, I was focused on survival during the rough parts.

The leading runner in the 100k proceeds to lap us just before Pavan (at great and impressive speed).  It's like watching a force of nature.  It makes me want to do better at this.

We cross the lawn into Pavan and grab our bags for food and a water refill.  My heel blisters have burst so I change into tighter socks and put more glide on my feet.  I could probably have used some advice/help here but you live and learn.

Leg 5   6.6km  146m

A pleasant start then 3 hellishly steep climbs/descent, fondly known as the 3 bitches.  Standing at the top of the middle one in the gusty wind contemplating my plummet downwards is another low point.  I have to take a few minutes to regroup.  The sun is getting lower in the sky.

Still here, still doing this.

We arrive into Softball in twilight, I really do like this aid station.  I now have blisters on the balls of my feet.  That's just awesome.

Leg 6  6.2km  111m

This leg starts out pleasantly enough with a steep short hill - aptly named The Insult - early on.  We pass by the quarry, the trucks we saw earlier are done for the day and  the drivers probably off enjoying their Friday night in Lethbridge.  By the time we reach Indian Battle Park it's fully dark.  I'm cold and my headlight is at HQ, this is pants.  We turn to start the slow climb back up toward the lights at HQ and my shoe treads are catching in the meshing on the coulee, the pain on the balls of my feet is ridiculous.

At the top we sit and get colder, then realize we'll have to go back to the hotel to change.  It's across the parking lot, not far at all.

It was probably a mistake to look at where we were at right there then ask 'can I finish the race'.  'Can I go one more leg' would have been a better question, maybe with the same answer who knows.  After we looked at the blisters on the balls of my feet, the answer was no and we made the decision to stop.  I had no idea how to fix it.  

We both learned so much from this race and we completed a full loop which makes me happy.  Sometimes the only way to succeed is to fail first.  I'm in a much better place to try again.

Final:  54.2km  1200m  

Monday, October 3, 2016

Harvest Half Oct 1, 2016

Harvest got added to the schedule to ensure I could actually run a Half before heading out to Vancouver later in the month.  I had no time goals.

Can you guess which one is race day?

Lightning woke us up in the morning, along with heavy rain.  Marvellous!

I second guessed my skirt decision and went with capris, which meant I was far too hot for about 8k until the drizzle kicked in.

Race start is 7:45, through houses before heading down into beautiful Fish Creek Park.  It's a series of little hills which is angering both my Achilles.  No rain yet.  The leaves are pretty.  This race has felt like hard work from the start, it's going to be a case of getting it done today.  Damn.

The rain starts down in the park which is really nice to begin with as it cools me down.  We hit halfway (1:15), then a few puddles, then my blisters resume where they left off at LS.  Oh hello you bastard things.

Intense drizzle commences and off we go on the struggle bus.  The scenery is gorgeous even through the fog/rain.  17km presents Sikome Hill, yay.  I wonder if my house or my car is closer right now?

Onward slog, pain everywhere.  The volunteers and police handling traffic are brilliant.  We're so lucky people come out in the rain and do this so we can run.

The finish line creeps up around a bend and there will be no sprinting.  Once again I'm really happy to get this race done (2:40 slightly better than 2013).  Maybe we can never be friends.

Got to love chocolate milk at the end, best.

Medals are nice too.

I'm not entirely sure what I did to myself, but I spent the rest of the weekend in bed.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Random Thursday Thoughts

Hey everyone, it's Thursday!  I'm linking up with Amanda over at Running with Spoons to set all the random crap in my brain free, read the original post for more details and join us.  

Lost Soul - I am writing a race report on the 54k (1 course loop) I completed but honestly just haven't felt like doing it so it'll be slower than usual.  A whole bunch of stuff went right and there's stuff to be learned from what went wrong. It was awesome, it was hellish. It was still a DNF at the end of the day and that's taking time to write about.

You know when you're unhappy with your weight yet can't seem to get your shit together?  That's where I'm at.  I can see it clearly around the midsection in my last race pics. If I shifted even a measly 5 lbs I believe it would make a HUGE difference and yet I can't seem to.  I've got races in Vancouver and Las Vegas coming up in Oct/Nov and I really don't want to be heavy for those.

We're going to see The Proclaimers on Thanksgiving weekend, this is exciting.  A little bit of home!  Sunshine on Leith is one of my faves, partly because I lived there for 5 years but mostly because it's just a beautiful song.

So far I've only committed to one race for 2017, I'm thinking of doing less races and really focusing on training.  2016 is looking like: 2 ultras, 3 marathons, 6 halfs, a 10k and 4 5ks.  I think 2017 needs to have a change of pace, plus I really want to focus on my 100k goal.

Or I could stay home watching 90 Day Fiance and eating Ben & Jerry's?  Seriously, I can't look away from that show.  Not to mention the re-runs of old seasons I just spotted on the guide next week.  YES!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Second Annual Grand Beakerhead Run

I haven't run since Lost Soul (was that only a week ago?) so I was dying to get my Brooks on and hit the streets this weekend.  Last year we incorporated Beakerhead into training for Las Vegas and this year we wanted to do it again!

We start at Eau Claire, heading east along the Riverwalk.  First point of interest: BASS ship.  It sorta matches Kev.  People inside are frenetically beaming messages into space.

Next: The Saturnian. I really need one of these for the yard.  It's an epic narwhal/whale/rainbow delight.

This my favourite, Tentacles have taken over a building in Inglewood and are trying to escape.  The wind is blowing them around, it's pretty cool.  More of this please!!

We follow the pathways around Stampede over to Central Memorial where we find the result of last year's show - Nibbles! You guys we have baby bunnies!  There are carrots and whatnot lying around so you can feed them.

There are also real bunnies, the Canadian Rabbit Hopping Club has brought some very cute little guys out.

We finish up 10 miles around Eau Claire, adding in a bit of Pokemon and two sets of Curling Club stairs for fun.  What a gorgeous fall day!  Today is the very essence of Run Happy.  With bonus bunnies.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


I entered this race to finish 100 and it ended with a DNF at 54. I couldn't continue on my blisters. This pisses me off as I rarely if ever get blisters. I had none on my 10 hour training runs, none on my road runs. For the next go around I have to figure out how to recognize the issue early and shut it down. Climbing the last hill on leg 6 was agony. 

I am not happy at all with my first DNF, especially on something as trivial and basic as blisters.

LSU was an epic challenging course that took me well out of my comfort zone. I liked that a lot. 

No time on the tile, but isn't it a classy touch to give these to the DNF's anyway?

I am determined to complete 100k.  This isn't over.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Lost Soul Ultra 100k Pre-race Thoughts

11 legs, 101.4 km, 2280.6 metres.  September 9th.  Lethbridge.

Lolz, it doesn't seem feasible.  I get that people happily run extraordinary distances, sometimes even for fun, but 100k seems a rather large undertaking for me.  I am not a person to whom running comes naturally.  Trail running even less so.

*insert motivational bollocking scenic picture with fear/limits/some shit quote here*

As usual I will be relying on my sense of humour and enjoyment of the ridiculousness of the situation to carry me through.

What if I fuck it up?

I might fuck it up but I really don't want to fuck it up. 5 years ago I didn't think I could run 5k. Not starting this because of fuck-up fear would be a fail, I need to do this.

Things I'd like to do in this race:

Experience an all-singing all-dancing large scale legendary trail ultra.
Get my arse across the start line, despite immobilizing pants-shitting terror.
Check out the famous aid stations.
Watch the proper runners.
Keep moving past the point where I'm certain I can't do it anymore.
Maintain perspective, this isn't going to kill me I don't think?

Bib numbers are 244 for me and 243 for Kev, it's actually bloody happening.