Sunday, November 4, 2012

Goodlife Victoria Marathon 2012 Race Report, or, the "I have a good life 2012 rest report"

So, I've been lazy on the writing - but it reflects how I've been going about everything lately - taking my time, finally slowing down.  Giving my body & brain a break.

A few things have passed by since I last wrote.  Let me touch on the one competitive thing I did - the Goodlife Victoria Marathon on Thanksgiving weekend.

What a day - absolutely perfect weather and great friends to run with.  Did I have a perfect race?  Nope :)  I knew going into this race that psychologically I was on low stock.  I had just enough to get me through to a PB, but couldn't reach beyond that, as there was nothing there.  No big deal.  I ran to my fitness & used whatever I had left over in 'tough girl' stock.  That got me to a 2:53:41.  4th place.  Juuuuust out of the money.  But 3 faster girls were definitely more deserving.  Good on those gals.  I did receive 3rd place prizing as this race also served as the BC Marathon Championships.  Thanks to BC Athletics!  It pays to be a member :)

The best thing about the race?  I was given a brand new pair of New Balance 1400's.  And where did those come from?  Ladysport.  What a treat!  After going through pair # 4 of my 1400s during the tri season, they were looking a bit thrashed and a little....well....let's just say it.  Stinky.

freshest on top. pair #4 too dirty to be let in living room.

 I love these shoes and wear them into the ground b/c I want to keep wearing them forever (and ever!).  So, luckily for me, owner Phil Moore at LadySport came to the rescue in delivering a brand new pair into my hands.  And I didn't even have to take the 'normal' shoes laces out of them for elastic tri dork laces.  Real laces - what a luxury!  A huge thank you to Ladysport for connecting me to New Balance & ensuring my feet will be wrapped up in their favourite outerwear.

so fresh and so clean

 So even though I was trying for slightly faster than achieved times on marathon Sunday, my feet where treated to the luxury of springy, fast new shoes.  Any runner knows how great that feels.  In the same vein, I was able to pop into LadySport as a guest speaker before one of their Monday run clinics after the marathon to say thank you to Ladysport and chat a bit about my experiences over the last year in triathlon - fun! 

 Mostly I think I told stories about crazy triathlon experiences (ie. Ironman St George), and how things can come good in the end if you stick with it (ie. Ironman Canada), but also to let people know that I think inspiration is most directly sourced from those right around you.  I used to be in total shock if someone was a 'pro' and very intimidated, but now I'm realizing that there really is no difference, at least not in the way I thought there was, and that it's nice to see what these people do day to day, in workouts, or in their rest & recreation time.  I never thought I would be at this level of athletics, but I always dreamed of getting there.

first triathlon completed.  i wouldn't have done it unless my friend Blair had suffered along with me. did the osooyos 1/2 in just under 6 hrs! and was still almost last out of the water :) blair suffered a little longer.

 One of my missions now is to help people bridge the gap - so, if you have questions about moving up in the sporting world, I'm your gal to ask (ah, please no questions about archery or water polo though...).  And chances are, you already know what you would need to do to get there, you just need someone to bounce questions off to find about the confidence & psychological gap - which can be the hardest of all, I think.

 Back to the newsy catch up.  I ran a little ditty of a marathon.  And I beat Carl again.  Sorry Carl.  Oh and Chris.  I beat Chris too.  What I love about the marathon, Ironman, endurance sports, is that what works out on paper is not an accurate predictor of the outcome.  The longer the race, the more variables, and the longer time out there for something to go nut-bar.

 In fact, my race went out with me struggling with feeling comfortable at 18km (you cannot be struggling at this point - the body just does not hold out for you), and having to drop off pace and watch the boys run away from me.  Insert sad face here.  But, I had a race for myself to figure out, so, after about 5km of feeling a bit 'off', I started to come back to form (not really sure what my pace was but I did notice nothing was in the 3:5x market), and start knocking off some girls.  All 2 of them.  But wait, just wait.....

One of them was a Kenyan.

Add that to the 'things that lift your spirits' list.  Especially when you lost your friends and you're hoping your recently sprained ankle that now feels super wobbly is going to stay glued together like the kindergarten popsicle & wood glue project that it is.

So I passed a Kenyan, stayed upright, and then, I found my friends!  Woah, wait, that's actually not a great thing (for my friends - who are boys).  I saw a very familiar singlet up ahead - grey.  Chris.  Slowing down but moving forward.  Honestly, no lies here, I really like passing guys, so, this was a qualifying pass.  Then I saw the most familiar singlet of all - black.  Carl.  Carl, you'll read this, and enough time has now passed for me to say, as much as I was sad for you that you suffered in the end of the race, I was delighted to pass you in those last kilometres.  Now, I wish you hadn't actually been standing, cramp/stretching and actually shouting out something that sounded like maybe it would not be for your children's ears, but, I'll take an ugly 'you got chicked' moment, because in the end, getting chicked is getting chicked.

Plus, I was wearing said "You Got Chicked" singlet & running skirt, and Compressport pink socks.  Score one for the girls.

chicks. dig it.

Enough of this.  So, that was the marathon, and the icing on the cake of a high I really hadn't come down from yet after Ironman Canada.  Plus it was Thanksgiving, & that meant I got to spend time with family & friends,!

So as I've mentioned previously, I've raced a lot through the year, and a few things have caught up to me.   I'm fortunate enough to have a few injuries and fatigue come at the most perfect moment of the year - the off-season.  It never fails to amaze me the amount of fatigue athletes can carry through the season, and how long it can take to get back to feeling strong.  And I wasn't really even injured (well, I could make a short list...but nothing serious).  But I did turn out everything I had to give between my toes (yes, some of them are black) to the hair on my head (I did manage to rip out a chunk attached to an aero helmet), and everything in between in 2012.

I'm perfectly content with my efforts.  It's a nice feeling.  And I think it's that feeling that has allowed me to finally step back and say, "ok, it's ok to stop".  Now the whole point of saying it's ok to finally fully allow myself to stop, I only do because I know I want to come back faster, stronger, and fiercely focused.  If I wasn't wanting to come back with great ambitions, I wouldn't worry about disciplining myself now to hold myself back and begin a new building process.

And what has happened since giving my body a break?  Everything hurts more.  That has been a little scary, for lack of a better word, at first.  But it points me down a path of very straightforward explanations and answers.  Strength.  Stability.  Form.  Power.  Energy.  No point in moving forward until I have built a solid platform to move forward from.  As tempting as it is to roll on from one race to another in hopes of finding that perfect performance, that perfect moment, I now think it's time to see the perfection in building a stronger body, the perfection in sleep, the perfection in exercising to technique.

That's my upcoming job for the next little while.  But in the meantime, no one says you can't drink some chocolate milk and ride your bike in the sunshine.  And I did just that - with Powered By Chocolate Milk! And I won't spoil the surprise - you'll just have wait and see what I'm talking about :)

That's all for now.  An update, a surprise to come, some reflections on resting.  Not bad to sum up October.

All I need now is some snow and a pair of skis.....

Don't forget to turn back your clocks - the one time in the year people actually may get enough sleep! Maybe try turning back your bedtime for a couple of months and see how happy that makes you :)