Friday, December 18, 2009

What a year!

As 2009 winds down I find myself reflecting on a lot. There were so many highlights – I really don’t know how I am going to top it in 2010.

I entered some open water swim races – all in the name of getting to Ironman.  Competed in some bike races and even won a silver medal at the provincial Time Trials again in the name of Ironman.  One of the best treats was applying for and getting accepted as a sponsored athlete by Nathan. If anyone had told me I would be not only successfully complete Ironman but also be a sponsored athlete I would have laughed so hard – but it just goes to show you that with hard work and eternal optimism you can achieve anything you set out to do.  I am still amazed and very curious as to how far I can push. 

So what is up for next year – plans – so many plans. I am back to leading half marathon clinics but I am also in talks with my riding coach on how to go about getting certified to teach/coach beginner triathletes. We are going to sit down and lay out a game plan to help me move into that direction. One of the things I realized while training for Ironman is that I am happiest when I am working out/training and so I want to find a way to make that a bigger part of my life. Leading half marathon clinics for the last 4 years has shown me that I have a knack for coaching – at least at the beginner stage.

From talking to people in my running clinics and just in general there are a lot of people that are interested in starting tris but really don’t know where to begin. Most of the coaches out there are for middle/long distance experienced athletes but there is not much out there for those just starting out.

For actual races the big race for next year that I really want to do is Stormy 50 Mile Ultra Trail race.

I have done this as part of a relay team but in 2010 I would like to do it as a solo race. I mean you have to up the ante after Ironman…. Whether I register or not will really depend on how the next few months go as I really focus on rehabbing my leg and to that end I have signed up for a program called BSF - Building a Strong Foundation.  I am hoping it will really help with my hip and pelvis.

Other races ·
  •  Victoria Half Ironman as a solo race - I believe the riding girls have laid this as a challenge race and oh how I love a challenge and a wee bit of competition. 
  • Pacebunny – Vancouver Half marathon
  • Osoyoos as a relay team - Relay team's goal is to beat my hubby Joe.
  • New York Marathon - just because I have heard it is amazing and I have to run at least one marathon a year. 
  • Bike Time Trials – Barb will advise me which ones I am doing but I plan on defending my silver medal
  • Cypress Mountain Hill Climb - only one place to go but up on this one. 
  • Canada Day 3 km Swim Race
These are a few of the races I plan on for next year - I am sure there will be others.

Finally thanks again to Team NATHAN, Sugoi, GU, Canadian Running Magazine, and END  for the amazing opportunity and support it was an honor and a priveledge to wear the uniform and included with such and esteemed group. 

Remember you define your own humanly possible.

See you in trails and on the road.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

When did you become a runner?

As we proceed through another running clinic and I meet lots of new runners I am constantly asked when did you become a runner.  It is a tough question for me to answer because honestly I became a runner at the age of 9 and then took a LOA before I came back full time at the age of 32.

I have always loved sports and particularly running.  When I was 9 I happened to transfer to a great school in Manitoba and joined the Cross Country team - it was love at first run.  The coach was amazing and inspired - I wish I could remember his name.  We would run 2x a week after school and then in the winter we would train in the mornings doing laps around the gym which would bring us to the spring and track and field.  I just felt free. 

In Grade 6 our coach decided that we were such a great group of runners that our goal would be to run in the Manitoba Marathon - we would train all year and on race day we would run 4 miles.  Back then the Manitoba marathon had buses every 2 miles starting at the 4 mile marker to take people to the finish if they wanted to stop.  We were 10 and 11 years old and had no idea how far everyone else would be running but were so excited to be in a grown up race.  I remember my mom saying wow - you ran 4 miles in 20 minutes!  (wish I could do that now...) and the t-shirt was a pale yellow shirt with a scoop neck.  I loved that shirt and wore it with such pride. 

The next year we moved and I was in high school.  Again I was lucky to get into a school with an AMAZING running program.  It was a dream year for me - cross country in the fall, indoor track in the winter and track and field in the spring.  I was running minimum 3 times a week all year long and I signed up on my own to do 6 miles in the Manitoba Marathon - which I did. 

The next summer  we moved to BC and I was so excited to join a new Cross country team and meet new runners.  The first practice 2 people showed up and the coach was barely interested.  Needless to say there was not a lot of support - I quickly became discouraged and moved on to another sport where there was more support  - Field hockey was the sport of choice and that was when I took a LOA frum running.

I did not stop running - I would say I dabbled in it - there was no consistency but when life became really tough running was my fall back position - a way to release and just escape.  I stayed active  - I played softball and was a gym monkey but something was always missing.

At 32 Joe insisted I quit smoking - I quasi quit but the weight started piling on.  I started to think about things to do to lose it - lifting weights and doing circuit training was not really working and well Joe was not going to let me go back to smoking  and then this crazy idea about a 1/2 marathon entered my brain and I went for it and have not looked back.    From the first run I felt that old freedom and it was amazing, I was hooked again.  The bike is becoming like that but running is always the first love - mostly because I just have to put on shoes and go - I don't have to check tire pressure, make sure I have tubes, CO2, and such.  I just go out the door and run.  It is truly liberating and why I love running so much. 

When did I become a runner - September, 1978, Athlone Elementary school, WPG Manitoba - 9 years old was when I became a runner.  When did you?

Peace out Shaun