Saturday, May 30, 2015


Sorry guys its been a while since my last blog- Pretty sure I say that every time though!  Anyway lots to report since my last blog.  My last post was just after the NYC half marathon, which was in march.  There has been a lot of racing since then....alright lets start with World XC champs!

I arrived in China with a strained calf that occurred during the NYC half marathon the week before.  I was only able to do easy runs up to that point so I was worried about racing hard on it.  However, Team Canada Physio Marc-Antoine taped it up a few days before the race and it was so much better.  By race day my calf was almost 100% better.  I was worried about the altitude during the race so I went out very conservative- like 50th place through the first 2k.  I began to pick up the pace and started passing women.  By 6k I was in 27th place- fighting for 26th with an Algerian girl- who is very lucky she didn't get disqualified as her coach kept running next to her!  I didn't end up beating her (lame!) but I was happy with 27th and walked away feeling like I had lots more in me for the rest of season. And my calf held up well, so all in all it was a good experience.  Got to feed baby monkeys- highlight of the trip to china.  Worst part- the food.  Not good.  But I survived:)
Team Canada Senior Women

Up next was the Vancouver Sun Run 10k on April 19th.  After winning 2 years in a row, then having to miss out last year due to injury, I wanted this win pretty bad.  Plus this was my first race in Vancouver this season and my family and friends were gonna be there watching- didn't want to disappoint them.  2 days before the race I found out there was a last minute entry- a Kenyan girl who had ran 31:40 10k road.  A full minute faster then my PB.  I knew I was fit and ready to run fast- so I decided I would run with this girl and challenge her for the win. We ran pretty much side by side for the first 6km.  She got a 6 second gap on me and I wasn't able to get back.  She finished 6 seconds ahead of me and I ran 32:34 for 2nd place and a new PB.  Although I didn't get the win like I had wanted- I was proud of myself for going for it! Plus it was still a pretty good pay day:)))  Was super awesome to have my family and friends cheering all over the course-)  I'm a lucky girl to have such a great support system!

2 week training block and suddenly it was May 2 and I was in Palo Alto California ready to run my first track race in almost 2 years.  Payton Jordan Invite 10000m at Stanford University is one of the fastest 10000s in North America.  If you are going to run standard for worlds/olympics- this was the night and place to do it.  38 girls in my race, half of them all going for 32:00 or faster- including myself.  World Champs standard- 3200, Olympic standard- 32:15, Canadian record- 31:44, pan am games standard - top 2 in canada.  There was a lot riding on this race!  I was NERVOUS.    Lanni and I went to the movies that afternoon to try and relax a bit- definitely helped.  Here is a blog I wrote recently for Innovative Fitness about breaking the Canadian record- I titled it "Living the dream!"

"3.5 weeks ago I set the Canadian female record in the 10000m. Even though I say it out loud it  still seems pretty surreal. Not just that, but at the same time I qualified for the 2015 Pan Am games, 2015 world track and field championships and the 2016 Olympics. Is this real life?! It's all very exciting but still quite shocking (in a good way!)

Last year at this time I was in my 6th straight week of no running. I was dealing with a very severe case of Plantar fasciitis. I didn't know when I would be able to run again, let alone race. The idea of breaking a CND record was the furthest thing on my mind- I just needed to get healthy.  As time went on my injury very slowly started to get better- but I still ended up missing out on almost an entire year of racing. I was feeling very sad and discouraged. Watching friends and teammates racing fast and travelling the world- I wanted to be doing that! It was hard to sit on the sidelines.... So when my heel finally started to feel much better in the New Year I was hungrier then ever to get back to racing fast. But I knew it wouldn't happen over night so I was careful not to expect too much. I just wanted to stay healthy. There was never even a thought about running Olympic standard in the 10000m.... Until this spring.

I had a renewed passion for my sport. I was excited for every workout and didn't even care about running in the rain. I was just so happy to be running again- and pain free. And it wasn't just my body that was healed.... So was my heart. I was happy in life- finally settled in kits with my new man, and SO over my divorce. The separation/divorce took a lot out of me emotionally over the past 2 years and I didn't realize how much that had affected my running. But now that's old news and life is good. Finally my mental, emotional and physical health were all on the same page! And that's when I started running faster then I ever had before- or ever thought I could.

When I lined up on the track at the Payton Jordan Invite in California to run those 25 laps I knew I was in the best shape of my life. I knew I was capable of running 32:00- but I didn't even think about going for the Canadian record- 31:44. There was no way I was ready for that...but then the race unfolded and I had one of the most magical races of my career. I ran 31:41.59. Everything came together for me and I ran the race of my life.  Those moments after the race, with my coach and talking to my parents were incredibly special.  An unforgettable night where my dreams became reality. Thanks to all who never stopped believing in me:) It was a struggle at times but that's what makes this all so much sweeter.


Ok so lets get back to this blog!  So after that race I was feeling pretty good and very excited to race more. But I was careful to let my body recover properly.  I spent the week in California with BCEP and just did some easy training. It was great- and kendra pomfret did my hair with a cool braided style every day- so that was pretty sweet too:)

I was home for 4 days then back to Cali to race a 5000m at the Hoka One One invite in LA.  After 200 days of no rain in LA, there was a freak thunder and lightening rain storm and after hours of delays the meet was ultimately cancelled.  That sucked.  Went home and just got back to training for a few weeks.

Alright so we are now almost all caught up!  This past weekend, May 24th, I raced the IAAF Gold label Ottawa 10km (Canadian Champs as well).  This is always one of my favourite races of the year- such an awesome weekend, great race/course/conditions, and always lots of fun!  The field was stacked with 6 or 7 Africans with PBs faster then mine- and then there was Lanni- I knew she was gonna be tough to beat.  I wanted to run fast, but mostly I really wanted to win the CND title.  From the gun Lanni and I went out with the Africans.  It was a risky move, as I knew they were going for the course record- 31:20.  No guts, no glory, so we went for it.  Unlike the 10000m 3 weeks ago, which felt controlled, this felt fast the entire time! We went through 2k in 6:11- yikes- that was fast "just hold on tasha!!!" was going through my head.  We were running into a head wind for the first 4.5 km but I was nicely tucked into the back of the pack.  Around 4k, 2 of the Africans broke away and it was just Lanni and I left as the rest of the pack began to drop back. At 5km (15:48) we went up a hill and thats when Lanni gapped me.  I tried not to let her get to far ahead....just stay close enough that you can out kick her in the last km.  But around 7.5k I was suffering.  She widened her gap to about 8 seconds.  With one mile to go the streets were lined with spectators, just screaming and cheering- it was amazing!  The energy was unreal and suddenly I felt a surge of adrenaline and I was picking it up.  I could feel Lanni coming back to me, and by 9k I was beginning to close the gap.  But this is when Lanni started to pick it up too!  I felt like I was running so fast but I just wasn't making any more ground on her.  In fact she seemed to be getting further ahead!  Lanni always says she does't have a kick...well girl you did that day!  Good on ya!  I ended up 2nd Canadian, 4th overall with a huge road 10k PB- 31:58.2.  Lanni finished 10 seconds ahead of me and was the CND Champion- congrats to her, shes tough as nails. I was still very happy - I never gave up and I ran as hard as I could.  No regrets- Lanni was just better that day.

That night a group of us all went out and celebrated with drinks and dancing- it was awesome!  Ended up in Quebec at the end of the was quite the night:)

Now we are all caught up!  Here I am in Calgary about to race again this weekend.  Canadian half marathon championships!  Should be another great battle between lanni and I....and Dayna has been kicking ass lately so I fully expect her to challenge for the W too.  Should be a fun morning of running (as fun as running can be at 630 freakin AM!!!).  Then its back to training for 2 weeks....and on June 13 I will race the NYC Mini 10km!  Excited to head back to NYC:)

I've still got a full summer of races, so I am doing my best to recover in between these spring races now.  I have been getting bi-weekly massages for almost a year now with my amazing RMT- Bobby Crudo.  Seeing him regularly has made a big difference in my training and helped me to avoid injuries.  So I'm gonna keep seeing him, taking days off when I need to, water running when I'm sore and hopefully I'll stay healthy all summer- and run even faster!
Coming down Georgia St in the first 1km of the Sun Run
 Running for the kitties at the Sun Run - VOKRA
my 2 best friends at the finish liine of the Sun Run
 Coach Rich and I right after I broke the CDN record!  
 Canadian girls kicking butt in Cali 

Asics Canada girls were on FIRE at the PJ Invite!
 Goeff M and I doing some wine tasting while in Cali:) 
Jess Smith and I were not happy about the thunder storm in LA!
 Talking to kids about running!  Inspiring the next generation:) 
 Lanni and I running hard in Ottawa 
 No Guts- No Glory!  Running with the Africans at the Ottawa 10km 
The man who has made my heart whole again:)
 lovely time visiting him in Winnipeg last week while he is there doing West Side Story

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

better late then never- NYC half recap

Alright so it's been a long time since I've blogged and there has been a lot that has happened (running wise!). I wrote a blog for Innovative Fitness about my race in NYC. So I'm pretty much just gonna share that blog with you guys today. I will write more about World XC, Sun Run and whats coming up this spring in another blog.

The NYC Half Martahon was a fantastic race experience. About a month ago I went to NYC and not only smashed my half marathon PB, but had a super fun weekend too. The elite athlete co-ordinator, David Monti (and his lovely wife Jane) take such great care of all the elites. They treat us like gold,- amazing accommodation, super awesome healthy food for breakfast and lunch, and every detail of the race weekend is taken care of. It's pretty cool to be surrounded by some of the world's best runners too- I got to meet last year's Boston Marathon Champion, Meb Keflezighi- such a nice guy!

Ok so lets just get to the race! I couldn’t sleep the night before the race- stupid time change really messed with me. Getting up at 430am EST was not easy, as I still felt like I was on pacific time (3 hours earlier). Felt like I slept maybe 1 or 2 hours....but once I was on the bus to the start line, I forgot all about how tired I was and just felt excited! I was also very nervous as I had been dealing with a few minor injuries leading up to this race. My last few runs weren’t feeling good and this pain in my left groin-abdominal area was flaring up (ongoing issue for past year). My left calf had also been unusually tight....and during my strides right before the race it started to hurt pretty bad. I told Lanni (who was also racing) about my calf and she was like – its just a niggle it'll settle down once we get going- don't worry. She is the Canadian Marathon and half marathon record holder, so figured she probably knew what she was talking about:). This made me feel better and I relaxed a bit and was ready to go!

The race didn’t go out as hard as I thought it would. Surprisingly I found my self in the back of the front pack for the first 3 miles- hitting 5:21-22 miles and feeling good! I was ranked 15th going into the race, so I wasn't expecting to be right in that top group...But I was, and I felt good, so I just went with it. My calf had settled down, but I definitely still noticed it. For the most part I blocked it out and don’t remember feeling a lot of pain- just more tightness. We went through 5k in 16:26 and this is when the lead pack of 8 girls dropped the pace and broke away. I knew that I couldn’t run that fast so I stuck to my own pace and continued rolling along through hilly Central Park with Lanni next to me. Around 8km we went down a big hill and I got a little gap on Lanni. And from this point on I was alone for the rest of the race. Running through Times Square was amazing- the energy was unreal and really got me pumped! It was the motivation I needed to going into the second half of the race. I split 33:42 at 10k and was still feeling good. My plan had been to go through around 33:45, so I was right on pace. I was relieved that my calf was under control and the pain in my left side was not flaring up.
After 12km the race goes right down the river for almost 9k straight. We were told that the wind would likely be at our backs for this part of the race. I was really looking forward to a nice little tail wind for the last half of the race. However, I came around the corner and was not happy to meet the wind right in my face. Knowing I was gonna have to run the rest of the race into the wind was pretty lame, but this almost meant so did every one else. And I tend to be a pretty decent runner in the wind. So perhaps this was to my advantage.

With about 5km to go I could see 2 girls up ahead starting to come back to me. I kept pushing on and with 1 mile to go I had caught one of the girls. I passed her and kept my eyes focused on the other girl still about 100 meters ahead. With 400 meters to go I had closed the gap and was only about 20 meters behind her. I scrunched up my face and ran as hard as I could- I passed her with only 30 or 40 meters to the finish line. I was pretty shocked to see the finishing clock- 1:11:20! A 63 second PB! I was very happy, especially when I was told I was 6th place- I couldn’t believe it! This was totally unexpected and really awesome. I never gave up and pushed when it was really hard. I finally felt like I was “back”. Its been a long time since I ran that hard and it felt good!

I attempted a cool down but my calf was now very painful....managed a 10 min shuffle/jog but knew my calf was not in a good place...I found out a few days later when I got home that it was strained:( I had to spend a week of just very easy running and cross training while it healed up.

After the race I spent the rest of the day and night enjoying NYC with friends and it was a really great day. We drank wine, ate lots of delicious food and had lots of laughs.

I came home from NYC feeling motivated and hungry for more Pbs. The strained calf slowed training down a bit for the first week when I was home, but perhaps this was a blessing in disguise because it allowed me to recover fully from the hard effort in NYC. When I arrived in China 10 days after I got home from NYC I was feeling recovered and ready to race hard again! I'll save my World XC race for another blog.

Ok that's my lil NYC recap for ya'll! I'll write more soon!

jogging in central park with these lovely ladies

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Gettin back into the Tash Lane!

Alright enough with the procrastination- I am finally writing another blog! Dayna P and Catherine W both blogged this week so the pressure was on to put one together. Lot's to update on since my last post in October...but pretty much all good news! 

Ok so life in general has been pretty darn good.  Got to spend lots of time with my friends and family over the holidays, which included an awesome trip to Seattle with Scott and  a fun-filled getaway to Las Vegas with my friend Lisa for my bday:) I started volunteering at VOKRA (Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue) once a week.  I love it!  Every Friday morning I go in to the Operations Center and help take care of the kitties- feeding, cleaning and cuddling! I even started fostering a kitty- little girl Feeona:)  I love her to bits, but she will be adopted soon and its gonna be tough- we sure will miss her! 

Lets get to the running stuff- Last October I was still dealing with the PF and the peroneal tendonitis. Progress with my PF had come to a standstill and I wasn't seeing any improvement- it actually felt like it was getting worse again. That, coupled with the pain from the tendonitis made each run pretty un-enjoyable. I remember one particular day going out for a Sunday long run with Rachel C, Catherine, and Dayna, and cringing the whole time because the pain was so bad. I tried to put on a happy face but as soon as I got home I started crying, just completely frustrated with this injury. It just wasn't going away! And I was trying everything!!! In early November I went in to see Dr. Bovard again and asked him if I could get a cortisone injection. He said not yet, and to just be patient as sometimes the prolotherapy can take a few months to really work. I was done being patient with PF. I left his office feeling sad, hopeless and completely defeated.

However, over the month of November my heel started to feel better and I was able to get through most work outs and runs with decreased pain. Some days were still pretty shitty, but for the most part, the PF (and tendonitis) seemed to actually be getting better! I couldn't believe it seemed to really be getting better.  I was finally feeling hopeful again and enjoying running. I decided to give National XC Champs a go about 2 weeks before race day. I knew it was gonna be tough, but I like a challenge:) I certainly surprised myself (and everyone else it seems. Kelly Weibe- “how the hell did you finish 3rd?!”) with a strong race and a 3rd place finish. I was extremely happy, as my goal was just to get in the top 6 to make the Canadian National team going to World Champs in March. I think all these months running with the pain in my heel has made me a tough lil cookie! And Cross Country running is all about being tough:).

The day after XC Champs I fully expected my heel to be shit and be limping around. But it was the opposite! It felt great! I was very happy to know that my heel was able to take racing again! Yay! Big step in the healthy direction!

December was spent just putting in mileage. I was finally able to get in consistent back to back weeks of training. My heel was co-operating (the tendonitis was still being a bitch sometimes, but it was tolerable). As the New Year came around workouts were going well, I lost a bit of weight and I was feeling fit and strong. Hooray! It was time to start racing again and I was excited!

Jan 11th I raced an 8km in Victoria at the PIH Pioneer 8k. I was finally feeling like myself again, and the race felt awesome. 26:37 - 2nd best 8k I’ve ever run and I felt like I had lots more in the tank. It was a great start to 2015.  Plus my heel held up fairly well- so that was a bonus!

I recovered well from the race and was on the track 2 nights later doing 1000m repeats with Dylan Wykes as my pace bunny. (Perks of being a member of BCEP- training with some of the best runners in Canada!) He was doing 10X1k with 200m jog, I was doing every second with him, which meant almost 5 min rest for me. (I was doing 5) Basically a full recovery meant I got to run fast. And I finally got to wear flats! First time doing a full WO in flats since March- I was very excited about this! Dylan is a freakin machine. 3:01-3:03s and he was hammering them off in his trainers like it was nothing. I hung on to the back of him for as long as I could, and when he could hear me fall off, he would yell at me (in a nice way!), to stay strong! 3:05, 3:04, 3:03, 3:02, 3:03- I was delighted with that:), and it was by far my best WO since last March. (hold up- had a better one tonight! 8X1k with 2:30 rest- 3:15, 3:08, 3:08, 3:06, 3:05, 3:05, 3:04, 3:04- feels so good to be rolling again! ok sorry back to that other WO- ) It was a great confidence booster, and a good test for my heel. It held up well! Good job lil heel- I don't hate you anymore! So with this WO in the books, I headed to Arizona a few days later to race the Rock N Roll half marathon on Jan. 18th.

Arizona was awesome- ran me a fresh new PB- 1:12:23! What a pleasant surprise:) I knew I was decently fit going in, and was hoping to run about 1:13-1:14. The conditions were ideal (about 10C during the race, no wind, and a pretty flat course). US Olympian Amy Hastings was racing- I had heard that she was going to be aiming to run her marathon pace- about 1:13-1:13:30. This was perfect for me- so the plan was just to run with her for as long as I could and hope I was fit enough to run that pace. The race started and I immediately tucked in behind Amy. The first mile felt fast....and it was – 5:19. I tried to settle in, but the second mile felt fast too- it was 5:21ish. I was thinking, oh god this is going to end very badly for me- I cannot run this pace the whole time!!! Finally after 5k (16:35),the pace eased up a bit, and I was able to get into a comfortable rhythm. We split through 10km in 33:29. At this point I had 2 thoughts- 1. Wow this is fast! I'm going to run a big PB today- just keep pushing!! 2. Wow this is too fast- I am doing to crash and burn around 17k and its not gonna be pretty. I tried to keep thought number 2 out of my head....Stay positive Tash! You can do this!

Just after half way I decided to take my Gel. I was very out of practice at taking a Gel during a race.....I could not get the damn thing open. Then I finally did, got it all over my hands. Great- sticky hands for the rest of the race. Attempting to swallow the gel was not very successful either. Choked a bit. Couldn't swallow, couldn't breath! Finally got it down, and realized I had totally dropped off the pace. Amy was at least 5 seconds ahead of me now. I tried to drink water out those little paper cups- which I suck at doing and got more in my eyes and hair then in my mouth.  The next 2 km I lost focus and was suffering a bit....I thought it was the beginning of the end. Amy was now about 50 meters ahead of me. Around 14km we started the climb up a pretty significant hill (about 1k in length). I got a second wind and powered up the hill, starting to close the gap on Amy. At this point I had stopped looking at my watch so I have no idea what any of my mile splits were. We got to the top of the hill and turned around and went right back down. Amy is good at downhills it seems. She started dropping me again, even though I felt like I was rolling along pretty well. I started running with a guy and we worked together over the last 5km. Was great having someone there for that last few kms to help push me! I was waiting to hit the wall, but it just didn't happen and I had a strong last few miles- much to my surprise:) I was super happy at the finish line, and it was especially great having my aunt and uncle there to share the moment with me.

This was a big break through for me. It was a really tough freakin year for me in 2014. Even before I got the PF in march, I hadn't felt good running since the marathon in the fall of 2013. I wondered if I would ever be back running fast again. Was I done with competitive running??? I was losing my faith....Thankfully- I'm finally feeling like myself again- its such a relief!  (thank-you to all you amazing ppl in my life who supported me and encouraged me last year- im so fortunate to have the most awesome ppl by my side.) I still haven't beaten the PF 100% so I am still going to proceed cautiously- it's time to be smart and do everything in my power to stay healthy. If I can stay healthy and get in some consistent training, I think that 2015 is going to be a pretty awesome year! Jess O'Connell said something along the lines of- “Who ever stays the healthiest the longest, will run the fastest!”  I totally agree!

I have a  packed schedule of awesome races this spring, and I'm very excited about it! I missed racing so much last year. I don't want to do too many races too soon, so I'm not racing too much this winter- I'm in the middle of a 6 week training block- I won't race until PAN-AM XC Champs in Columbia on Feb.22. After that things start to pick up a bit with the NYC half marathon on March 15th,   and 2 weeks later the World XC  Champs on March 28th.  The rest of the season will be a mix of road racing and track races- its gonna be fun!  

Ok picture time!  

Sweet little Feeona:)
 Mini-getaway to Seattle with my man:)
 Ready for a night out in Vegas!  

Spent a lot of time in the gym at Innovative Fitness last year.  I've never felt stronger or more efficient while I'm running.  Strength training is a huge part of my training. 

What an amazing group of friends and family I have!  Thank-you for coming out to cheer me on at Canadian XC Champs.  Meant so much to me:)

Canadian XC Champs - wearing my lucky cat gloves:)

We've had some amazing weather this winter- beauty run along the seawall this December.

On route to my new PB at the AZ rock n roll half marathon! 


Monday, October 13, 2014

Prolotherapy for Plantar Fasciitis- does it work???

As most of you already know I have been working out with Innovative Fitness Kits for over a year now as one of their sponsored athletes. (and I LOVE IT!) One of the things I do for them is write a monthly blog for their newsletter. Most recently I blogged about my experience with Plantar Fasciitis this year, and more specifically on whether or not Prolotherapy was an effective treatment. So I thought I would share it on my own blog for ya'll to read:)

Plantar Fasciitis- Just Go Away Already! Does Prolotherapy Help?

Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most frustrating injuries I've ever endured. In fact it isn't “one of”, it is by far the most frustrating of them all. If you've ever dealt this this injury you know what I'm talking about. It can stick with you for months and sometimes years. This is because there is no tried and true way of getting rid of it. There are certain forms of rehab that work for some, and for others are completely ineffective. I'm gonna talk about everything I've tried so far, including my most recent treatment- Prolotherpy, and give you my 2 cents on its helpfulness in healing my heel.

PF (plantar fasciitis) is one of the most common and painful injuries runners encounter. For those of you that don't know what PF is, here is a quick definition from Wikipedia- “Plantar fasciitis (also known as plantar fasciopathy or jogger's heel) is a common painful disorder affecting the heel and underside of the foot. It is a disorder of the insertion site of ligament on the bone and is characterized by scarring, inflammation, or structural breakdown of the foot's plantar fascia. “. In my own words- PF is a nasty angry devil bitch in your heel. It starts off as a “soreness” in your heel. Maybe you wore the wrong shoes out for a run? No, you wish it was as simple as that. It's an annoying (often excruciating) pain on the inside of your heel (sometimes feels like your entire foot hurts....) that is with you each and every step. For a lot of people the pain is the worst in the morning and it gets better as the day goes on. Not for me- mine just hurt all the time, walking or running. Ok so that pain in your heel is getting worse and you go to your physio and he gives you the devastating news that you have PF. Here are some of the things he or she will tell you to do in hopes of getting rid of it.... all of which I have tried and will tell you about.

  1. Wear some sort of night splint or Strassberg sock. They are designed to keep tension on the tissue (plantar fascia) so it heals in a stretched position at night. Yeah, that did nothing for me except annoy me while I was sleeping. But many people have found success with this simple method
  2. Strengthening exercises and rolling your foot out with a ball. After 6 months of this, I still have PF, so not sure how helpful they have been....
  3. New shoes or orthotics....tried about 8 pairs of shoes and 3 pairs of orthotics..... nothing seemed to make a difference for me.
  4. Icing and ibuprofen. Icing helped relieve the soreness/pain after a run, but it would quickly return the next day when I ran. Advil just helps with the pain...doesn't actually help it go away.
  5. Get your foot adjusted. I saw a chiropractor, he adjusted my foot/heel. This did not help, it only hurt while he was doing it.
  6. Take time off. Completely unload your Plantar Fascia. Limited walking and definitely no running or other weight bearing activities. I took 6 full weeks off of running and work. When I first started running again (very limited amounts at first), the pain was definitely diminished. But within a month of being back into my full time training, the pain was almost unbearable again.
  7. Shock wave therapy- I have not tried this myself, but know a few people who have. There conclusion is that it helps initially- for a few days...but the pain then returns. And the treatment itself is quite painful.

So this brings me to the last method of treatment that I tried- Prolotherapy. After 3.5 months of dealing with this terrible injury and trying so many things that just weren't working, I was feeling frustrated and hopeless. My sports med doctor presented me with a few more “advanced” options. By advanced I mean last resort kinda stuff. She was hoping one of the more simple methods would have worked by now, but since they were not helping we had to try something new....

  1. Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy- “It utilizes platelets from your own blood to rebuild a damaged tendon or cartilage. It has been successful in not only relieving pain, but also in jump starting the healing process. Your blood is drawn and placed in a centrifuge for 15 minutes to separate out the platelets. The platelet-rich plasma is then injected into the damaged portion of the tendon or cartilage with the guidance of an ultrasound machine.” (
  2. Corticosteroid Injection- “Cortisone is a hormone that is naturally produced by your body's adrenal gland as a response to stress. Cortisone injections contain a synthetic version of this substance and are given as a shot directly into the injured plantar fascia ligament, or into the side of the heel. Cortisone is a powerful anti-inflammatory substance. In the case of Plantar Fasciitis, bringing down the inflammation surrounding the plantar fascia ligament can then lead to relief of pain” (
  3. Prolotherapy- is a regenerative injection therapy. It involves injecting an otherwise non-pharmacological and non-active irritant solution into the body for the purpose of strengthening weakened connective tissue and alleviating musculoskeletal pain. Thanks Wikipedia for that definition.

So I was presented with these three options, knowing that they would all require 2 things that scared me- 1. more time off of running and 2. needles into my heel. We decided that Cortisone injections would be my last resort, as the possible side effects were the worst of the 3. So it was between the PRP therapy and the Prolotherapy. We decided on the Prolotherapy treatment, as it was a bit less invasive.

The following week I had my first appointment with Dr Bovard who would be giving me the Prolotherapy. I would be getting the injections once every week for 6 weeks. During this 6 weeks I was still allowed to run, but very limited. No longer then 45-50 mins, 5 times a week and only if the pain level in my heel was less then 4 out of 10. I was very happy I was still allowed to run at all.

I knew that the injections were going to hurt. Even though there was a numbing drug put in with the prolo solution, the first 20 seconds were pretty painful. The entire procedure is less then a minute, so really its not so bad. For the first few hours my heel felt good...cause it was numb! But then the next 24 hours it was very sore and tender. My heel was more inflamed then before....but this was the point- now my PF will start healing faster. That's kinda how prolotherapy is supposed to work...I think....hahaha I can't explain all the science behind it, so please goggle it if you really want to know exactly how it works.

So every Monday for 6 weeks I went in and got the injection. It has been almost 7 weeks since my last injection. Each week my heel was supposed to get better, and by the 6 weeks after my last injection, my heel should be much better. Well not sure that this is what has happened. I knew that Prolotherapy wasn't a miracle cure and that I wouldn't be 100% pain free. But I was hoping for close to that....Each week after the last injection I began to increase my mileage and the intensity of some of my runs- as long as the pain wasn't getting worse. Some days I felt almost nothing when I ran- it was amazing. I really felt like I was making progress, and that I was gonna kick this PF once and for all! But then there would be days where my heel was angry and painful again. In the last few weeks, progress has come to a standstill, and the pain remains on a daily basis. It is not bad like it was in the spring or summer, its manageable....but none the less there is still pain.

So did the Prolotherapy work? I definitely think it helped, but not to the extent I had hoped for. I am running pain reduced, but not pain free, which is obviously where I want to be. People who have had PF tell me that one day I will wake up and it will just be gone. It is hard to imagine just waking up one morning and having no pain in my heel. Just the thought of this happening brings a smile to my face. While I wait for this miracle to happen, I will continue to do my exercises, ice my heel, get regular massage and physio, and pool run on days when my heel is extra sore. As long as it's not getting worse....I feel like I'm making progress. And if things start getting bad again- well then I still have 2 treatments to try- PRP therapy or Corticosteroid injections..... Let's hope we don't have to try either of these....

For those of you that don't like needles....don't watch this.  Here's a video of Prolotherapy.  It's hard for me to watch, and think that I had that done to me!  Yikes. ouchy.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Hello! Hope you haven't all forgotten about me....I know its been a while since my last blog- as usual. I always say I'm going to blog more often and then I don't. Sorry. So what's my excuse this time? Well I'm still injured and haven't raced in almost 5 months so I haven't been very motivated to write a running blog. But that's still a shitty excuse, cause there has still been lot's of cool stuff going on.

Ok lets start with the injury situation, so we can get the no fun stuff out of the way. Last time I blogged right before the Sun Run, I had been dealing with an “unknown” issue in my foot/heel for about 3 weeks. We thought it was either Plantar Fasciitis or a calcaneous stress fracture. I got a CT scan and a bone scan in May and the results showed a huge amount of inflammation, but didn't look like a stress fracture, but still not 100%. To be safe, my physio put me in a walking boot cast for another 3 weeks (at this point I had already taken 3 full weeks of NO running). After 6 weeks of no running at all, and very minimal walking (I didn't work either), my heel was still hurting a bit. If it was a stress fracture, it would have been healing or healed by now. So I decided to treat it as Plantar Fasciitis and began a walk run program. For the next month I slowly got back into running, but my heel was still hurting.

In June I got an MRI, which confirmed a nasty case of Plantar Fasciitis, but NO stress fracture. I finally got back up to about 100km a week for a few weeks, with some tempo runs, but it was all in pain. I knew I could not continue running like this. Not only was my heel hurting, but I also developed peroneal tendonitis in the same foot (pain under and around my right ankle. Feels like a sprained ankle). I was trying to avoid the pain on the inside of my left heel (where my Pf hurt), so I was running on the outside of my foot so much, that I was pulling and straining my ligaments on the right side of my foot/ankle/calf. Not cool. So basically at the start of July my foot was a mess and not getting better. I was extremely frustrated, because nothing seemed to be working. I tried all the exercises, the icing, stretching, different shoes/orthotics, ect. I just couldn't kick this injury! Disheartened and feeling hopeless I was wondering if I would ever run pain free again....was this the end of my running career? Something had to be done.

I sat down with Dr. Rose Martel (sports med doc at Fortius), to discuss my options. She suggested a newer therapy called prolotherapy. But- she said there was a long wait so I wouldn't be able to start the 4-6 week treatment until october. I then talked to my physio Chris Napier about the prolotherapy- and he was on board and he actually knew someone that could do the treatment for me starting right away! The only difference was that he was a private doctor, so I had to pay, instead of it being covered by bc health care. (approx $1000 for everything). I knew that I needed to start this therapy right away, so I was willing to pay. However, I am EXTREMLEY fortunate to have one of the the most amazing sponsors out there- Innovative Fitness Kits, who offered to help pay for my treatment! Absolutely fantastic news, and I can't thank them enough for their support. Through-out my injury, the whole IF team have been unreal. Always encouraging me and helping me work through my injury. Not being able to run hard or very much at all has been tough. I miss that feeling of working hard and pushing myself. So its been awesome coming into the gym twice a week and really working hard with my trainer. They always lifted my spirits, and kept me positive.

Ok back to the prolotherapy! What the heck is that you may be wondering? Well here is a definition I stole from the website- “Prolotherapy, also called regenerative injection therapy, is a series of injections which provide or promote the release of growth factors which can help rebuild and strengthen these ligaments and tendons. Once your body has rebuilt these structures, the source of the pain disappears.” So I got my first injection on July 22. Um, yeah it hurt. Even though Dr Bovard added freezing to the injection, it still freakin hurt. And just so you all know I'm a huge baby when it comes to pain, so I was terrified of getting this treatment. However, I somehow managed to survive, and didn't even cry like I thought I would. While I'm getting prolotherapy, I am allowed to run about 5 times a week for about 40-50 mins each time. But no hard running allowed! So I'm keeping busy in the pool too:) Getting a tan in kits pool these days- pool running ain't so bad. But don't get me wrong, I'm still working my butt off in the pool with lots of interval sessions:)

It takes a few weeks/injections before you see any results. It's only in the past week that I've actually noticed improvement. It's still a bit painful when I run, but much more tolerable and definitely better then last month. Progress is slow....but any progress is better then no progress. I still have a a lot of healing to do. I have 1 more injection, next week on the 25th. I'm hoping by September, I'll be seeing some big improvements. This is the first time in months that I am feeling hopeful! Not being able to train consistently or race has been devastating. I have missed out on 5 months of racing. And its looking like I will miss most of the fall season. But, now things are looking up and soon this injury will be a thing of the past. I know I just have to stay positive and eventually “this too shall pass”. I'm taking things one day at a time, and not planning any races. Once I'm back training consistently, then I will start thinking about racing. But, for now I'm just concentrating on getting healthy:)

The past few months have definitely been a struggle. It's been tough....this whole injury ordeal. Some days I was so discouraged and sad I was near tears (ok i'll be honest, there were lots of tears...I'm a big baby!) But the running community has been amazing. So many wonderful friends, encouraging and supporting me. In particular- Katherine Moore, Catherine Watkins, Dayna Piderosky and Rachel Cliff- you ladies have been awesome. I really can't thank you all enough for always being there for me- whether its to go for an easy run, pool run, coffee, drink, whatever. You've all listened to my endless complaining about my injury, and never told me to shut up! You've kept me positive and helped me believe that eventually my heal will get better! Thanks ladies. Love ya. 
Catherine, Dayna and I:) love these girls!

Ok on to the cool stuff that's been going on. I've picked up a few new sponsors! I'm now an ambassador for NUUN hydration and CEP compression Canada. Two awesome companies that I'm stoked (and very fortunate) to be an ambassador for.

NUUN hydration is an American company, just getting things rolling in Canada, so I'm excited to be one of their first Canadian distance runners to be sponsored. I can't wait to get back into my marathon training, so I can start using all my tasty lil NUUN tablets!

I do almost all of my long run/tempos/progressions in CEP compression socks or calf sleeves, so to have them on board helping me out, is amazing. In fact, I wore my hot pink CEP socks today on my run, as I find they are really helping out with my peroneal tendonitis. These CEP compression socks/sleeves have so many functions! What a great product:)

So, I picked up 2 new sponsors, but also resigned with one of my current sponsors. I am so happy that Asics Canada will be keeping me on their roster for another 3 years. In the last year Asics Canada has put together a wickedly talented team of distance runners- Lanni Marchant, Jessica O'Connell, Rachel Cliff, Erin Burrett, Luc Bruchet and Charles Philibert-Thiboutot. I am excited to be a part of such an awesome team of runners. 

 Asics photo-shoot with David McColm

Thanks for the great photo David McColm

Asics Girls!  Lanimal and I!

The Beauty of Sport issue of Sporstnet Magazine came out last week. It's pretty cool (and surreal) to see myself all dolled up in the magazine! I had lot's of fun shooting with the Sportsnet team this past May in Lake Louise, Alberta. I wrote a blog about my photo shoot experience for Innovative Fitness. I'll post it on here too. You can buy the magazine at most places that you would buy magazines, so go check it out!

Ok, that's certainly a long enough blog I think. Enjoy the last few weeks of summer!

Happy Running! 

Here is a link to the TV clip for breakfast tv.  Just chatting about Sportsnet Mag.

And here is a link to some of the Sportsnet beauty of sport pictures and videos:

Photo shoot fun! Thanks for the awesome photos Chris Thorn!  

 Lanni was in town, so I brought her into Innovative Fitness for an awesome WO

Wicked session with Strength and Conditioning Coach Jon Kowamoto. #BCEP
There's definitely been a few nights out with the girls!

Germany won the World Cup.  That was cool.  




Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Hello! Sorry its been so long since my last blog- I have no excuse accept laziness. The longer I go in between blogs, the harder it is to get back into blogging. But anyway, here I am blogging again.

So what's new since my last blog in January? Well it's been a bit of a tough go for this lady. After the marathon in October, I took 6 days of absolutely no running, then jumped back into training for Canadian Cross Country Championships that were at the end of November. I had a few minor injuries popping up that month, but I trained through and ended up running well at XC champs. I continued on training through December, but was really struggling with consistency. I would get about 7-10 days of good running in, then feel really fatigued/sore/like a bag of shit, and need to take a few days off, or skip a hard workout. I just wasn't recovering.

When January came, I just wasn't feeling like myself, physically or emotionally. I had some pretty heavy personal/health stuff to deal with, and it was affecting my running. I raced twice, and both results not what I wanted. So I backed off the workouts in January and just ran. No track stuff, no pressure. It was exactly what I needed. In mid February I was starting to feel good again, and getting in some consistency. Then I strained my left hamstring during a local half marathon (First half half marathon). This was the beginning of the nightmare that is the left side of my body. Since then, I've really been struggling with pain and tightness in my left glute, SI joint, piriformis, ect.  Basically my entire bum, hip, groin, lower back area on the left side. It wasn't sidelining me, and I was still able to run my hard workouts, but my off day runs were often quite painful and I not so much fun. Regular massage, and my savior of a physio Chris Napier were holding me together. My massage therapist compared me to a someone in a sinking ship constantly just bailing out the water to stay a float. I totally related to that! But that's all a part of training for a marathon. It's a grind and it's gonna hurt. You need to know when to push and when to rest. It's a fine line. One I'm still trying to figure out.

I pushed through and by the end of March I was finally feeling fit and ready to run fast. I raced the Modo 8km at Stanley park on March 24th during a somewhat high week of mileage and managed to pull out a pretty good time of 26:38. I was very happy with that, and felt good doing it. I knew I was ready to run a fast 10km, probably a PR, and was excited to get to race one in Stanford on the track only 2 weeks later. However, things didn't end up working out the way I had hoped.

The day after the Modo 8km, I noticed that my right heel was a bit sore. I just figured it was from racing the day before, then working 7 hours serving right after. Either way, I pool ran instead of running and all was good on Tuesday when I threw down a pretty decent track workout with Rachel Cliff. The pain seemed to be gone. Saturday morning, the 28th, I went out to do an easy 10k before my flight to California and was surprised with how much my heel was hurting.

I arrived in Santa Cruz with the rest of the BC Endurance Project for our 2 week training camp. I mentioned to the team that my right heel was really hurting. They were all like “uh oh....that is NOT good. Probably Plantar Fasciitis”. Something I knew almost nothing about. I have never had problems with my feet. They went on to tell me what a bitch it is, and how hard it is to go away. I was not happy, but was sure that it would be something I could deal with and keep under control.

20km the next day was supposed to be awesome as we were running along the cliffs by the ocean. I felt pain. Pain with every damn step. It was getting worse. The next day, we (coach rich) and I decided to give the heel one more run- it wasn't good. But I thought, yes, it hurts, but I can handle this. I really wanted to race on Friday night (only 5 days away). So I decided I would just keep training no matter how much it hurt, then I would rest it after the race. Well, I attempted to do a track workout the next day and it was a disaster. I limped through the warm up, winced through the strides, then hobbled one lap of what was supposed to be a 1k. I wasn't as tough as I thought- it just hurt too damn much. I walked off the track distraught, sad and frustrated.

Decision was made to skip the race and cross train (pool run) for a few days and see if that helped. After 3 days, and lots of rolling and icing, I did a little 6k run. Pain. But it was still a little bit better. So the next day I ran again- this time 14k. Pain, but somewhat manageable. Then I tried 20k the next day. Made it 16km and knew I couldn't continue to run in pain like this. Running in pain is no way to run. I love running, and I was hating it with every step. I knew that day that I couldn't run through this injury- whatever it was (still not sure it was PF). The realization that I would have to take weeks (months?) of no running and only cross training was setting in. I was devastated as I knew this meant that I wouldn't be able to train properly for the Ottawa marathon on May 24th. No Ottawa Marathon also means no chance of making the Commonwealth games team. This was my last (only) opportunity to try and run the standard of 2:35.00.  Totally bummed. Withdrawing from the Ottawa marathon really sucked, but I know I will be back to run a fast fall marathon:)

As for the rest of the spring season.....Who knows? I'm taking things day by day, seeing how my heel feels. We aren't sure if it is actually PF. Could be a calcaneus stress fracture (awaiting a bone scan this or next week), or an irritated fat pad. I had not run since April 7th, until yesterday when I ran 12 mins. I was really hoping my heel would feel good, but it was still hurting. Better, but definitely far from good. Pretty disappointing to say the least. I had been holding on to some hope that I would still be able to race the Vancouver Sun Run this weekend. That hope is all but gone now. I would say there is a 1% chance that I will be on that start line. Oh man that is pretty heart breaking for me. That is the one race all year that I really wanted to crush. I must say I'm pretty gutted to have to sit this one out.

I've been working my butt off pool running and biking. I know that if I continue cross training like a champ, I'll be able to stay fit. And when my heel is “healed” and I'm able to run again, I'll be ready. On days when I'm lacking motivation, I think of Lynn Kanuka (Williams)- She spent weeks pool running and biking with an injury, and within a few weeks of being back running was in the best shape of her life- setting the Canadian record in the 3000m. She is my inspiration, and I feel so fortunate to have her giving me advice and guidance with my current injury.

The last few weeks have been pretty tough. I was finally feeling fit and ready to run fast- excited for the spring season of races. And in a matter of days, it all changed. Knowing that my heel could take months to get better means the probability of no races at all. I've cried. I've felt sorry for myself. But that is doing no good (especially not for my teammates, coach, family and boyfriend that have to put up with sad Tasha). I have a good friend who is an elite runner and was very sick resulting in a 10 day hospital stay. A blood infection that now has him on I.V. Antibiotics for weeks. He will not be able to run for who knows how long. I have no right feeling sorry for myself, when someone else is going through something far worse. Really puts things in perspective for me. Suck it up princess- that's what I'm telling myself.

So I'm trying to stay positive. I've been very fortunate with my health up to know. I have had no big injuries for years. And all this cross training has helped my evil left side. It's feeling great! These things happen to all distance runners. I may miss a few races now, but there's lots more to come. I'll be back- and I'll be faster then ever!

 Taking the "W" at the Modo 8km

 Photo shoot for AQR Sport with Chris Thorn

 Fun time taking pics with Chris Thorn in Squamish. 

 One of the only runs I did in California with my bud Dayna.  

 Dayna and I met up with Lanni for dinner while she was in Cali to race.

 Beauty day taking pics in Squamish.