Let's start off with the month of April. It was packed full of races- good and bad. I attempted my first (and ultimately my last) 3k steeplechase at the SFU invite in the pouring freezing rain and wind. It was so damn hard. The water-jump was not fun and I was absolutely dreadful at it. My very limited training definitely did not prepare me. I almost fell twice and am actually shocked that I didn't injure myself. At this point I decided to concentrate my training/racing on the 5k and the 10k. Trying to do all 3 events was just too much.
Then I raced a 5000m on the track in California at the Mt. Sac relays. I went into this race with very high expectations. I knew I was capable of running at least 15:48, as I had split that in my 8k road race in January and was feeling very confident in the training I had done since then. Unfortunately I ended up leading 3/4 of the race, and really struggled in the last 4 laps. That last 1km in the 5000m always kills me. So I ended up running 16:00. Which isn't terrible (still technically a PB), but definitely not what I was hoping for. I flew home the next day and tried to get a good sleep cause I had the Sun Run in the morning!
So 2 days after my not so great 5km, I was feeling a little discouraged on the start line of the Sun Run 10km. However, I was happy to be racing in Vancouver with my friends and family there, so I was pumped to go after it anyway! I was feeling recovered and surprisingly good on race morning. The race went out hard, which I knew it would- it always does. I was back in 3rd spot, almost 50 feet back from the top two girls around the 2km mark. But then I started reeling them in, and by the 3km mark I passed one girl and was within 15 meters of the top girl. I closed on her in the next few km and made a strong push past her on the Burrard street bridge. (5km mark). Normally hills aren't my thing, but on this day I hammered that sucker! For the last half of the race I ran with a couple of guys who really helped me keep pushing. I was shocked when I crossed the finish line and saw my time- 32:42! "WTF- did I really just run that???" I was super stoked and so happy!!! I immediately saw my friends and family at the finish line and was overwhelmed by all of their love! Special thank-you to Mom, Dad, Veronica, Nick, Raiden, Rebecca, Deanna, Chris and Christy for being there and cheering me on. Love you all so much!!! And for everyone else who wrote such nice things on facebook and twitter- thank-you so much for your support!
post sun run warm down
another fabulous sign from christy! loved it!
So a week after the sun run I headed back to California to race a 10000m on the track at the Stanford Invite. I was in the very elite invite section and this scared the shit out of me. I was racing most of the top 10k girls in North America. I was hoping to run 32:30 or faster and was on pace to do so at half way - 16:04 at the 5k mark. I was with a good pack of girls. I started to cramp up pretty bad in my stomach and both sides and was really suffering around 6km. I fell off the group I was with, and knew the last 10 laps were going to be a struggle. I debated dropping out several times, but knew I had to tough it out and at least finish no matter how slow my time was. I've never dropped out of a track race in my life and wasn't about to start now. With 3 laps to go I tried to pick up the pace and finish strong. I still managed a decent final time of 33:09- but know I am capable of so much more. It was disappointing for sure, but really it was only my second 10000m on the track ever. 25 laps of the track is a totally different experience/race then 10k on the roads. I have a lot to learn still! I will be trying to kill this beast of race this week at National Champs in Moncton:)
10 days after that not so stellar 10000m I competed in the BMO Vancouver half marathon. Now looking back, this was probably not the best idea for me. I was not fully recovered from my previous month of racing, so racing a half marathon was not ideal. However I promised myself that I would only run it as a harder tempo run. Which is pretty much what I did. I won the race in 1:15:17, and felt quite comfortable through-out. I came away from this race feeling very confident that running a half marathon in 1:11/12 was definitely a possibility for me. Just gotta train properly for one!
After BMO I had a 3 week training block. I was able to get in some great training, and when the Ottawa 10km rolled around at the end of May I was feeling ready to run fast! Unfortunately that race was a bit of a let down. I didn't go out hard enough with some of the top girls and ended up by myself for the majority of the race. I finished as the 3rd Canadian female in 33:34. Not so bad, but definitely not what I wanted. Although the race wasn't fantastic, I had an awesome time in Ottawa! What a great city. Lanni Marchant, Erin Burrett and I shared an adjoining room for the weekend- it was fun:)
Ottawa 10k elite start
At the Canadian Running booth with Lanni and Erin
OK after Ottawa I was supposed to race a 5000m on the track in Portland on June 8th. However, I got invited to race in the very prestigious New York Oakley Mini 10km. I have never raced in New York and was very excited for this opportunity. However, in the two weeks between Ottawa and New York I just wasn't recovering properly. My workouts were not going well and I was getting frustrated. I knew that the race was gonna be a tough one for me. And it was. I went out hard, nothing super crazy, but a pace that I should be capable of running. But I knew at the 3km point that this race was gonna get ugly. I split the 5km in 16:41 and I was feeling terrible! I had no pep in my legs. Just felt so heavy and sluggish. Sometimes races like this happen, so I just tried to relax and hang on the best I could. I will not tell you my final time or place. It was very upsetting for me and I had a good cry at the finish. I was feeling quite depressed after the race, and was amazed by the amount of support the other elite ladies showed me. I met so many fantastic people at the Mini 10km. I was so honoured to be a part of such an elite field- Desi Davilla, Linet Masai, Gemma Steele, Helen Clithroe, Diane Nukuri-Johnson, Steph Rothstein, Lindsay Scherf, Katie MacGregor, Matty Suver, Brianne Nelson- just to name a few! Thank-you to the Minnesota girls- Katie and Ladia for a fun afternoon after the race- really enjoyed meeting you girls- and drinking wine with you!!! It was also really great exploring the city with Helen Clithroe (one of Great Britain's most accomplished middle distance runners) on Sunday afternoon. So I left New York on a positive note. I may have had a shitty race, but the trip was amazing and I met some pretty fabulous ladies.
Asics Girls! Helen, Diane and I
Helen and I at the World Trade Center memorial
Elite ladies at the lunch
Alright so I got back from New York last weekend and took a week of pretty much just recovery runs. I managed to get in two harder workouts on the track and they went pretty well. After almost 3 weeks of feeling like shit every time I tried to run hard, I am FINALLY feeling like myself again. Thank God!!! I am racing the 10000m this Thursday night in Moncton, New Brunswick for Cnd champs! Feeling fit and ready to go!
OK so besides racing, here is the other stuff that has been going on in my life- I'll try to keep it very brief! This is again turning into a stupidly long blog!
- switched sponsors! I am now with Asics Canada! Very excited to be working with this great company.
-got a new sponsor- Innovative Fitness Port Moody. I train there once a week (with the best trainer ever- your awesome Alex!). We have been working on overall strength and conditioning- Lot's of core work, glute strength, stability, flexibility, plyos. Its been great and I really feel like its helping me become a stronger more efficient runner.
-I'm on the July cover of Canadian Running Magazine! We shot on the seawall about 6 weeks ago- it was lots of fun- really enjoyed meeting Michael Doyle and Chris Lepik from the magazine. It's pretty surreal seeing myself on the cover of a magazine!
on news stands this week! go buy it!!!
-I am changing my name back to Wodak. No more Natasha Fraser. So if you are looking for me in results- look for Wodak. I never actually legally changed my name when I got married, so Wodak is really still my name. So this brings me to the personal stuff. My husband and I separated in early January. The last 6 months have been incredibly difficult and stressful. I have tried to keep all this emotional/personal stuff separate from my running- but it just hasn't been possible. I'm sure many of you have gone through "heartbreak" at some point and know that it is the absolute fucking worst. Some days I was so sad that I just couldn't get out the door for a run. And there were even a few sessions on the track that weren't going well and I just couldn't handle and ended up bursting into tears and walking off the track. I don't want to go into all the depressing details, but I wanted to share with you all a little bit of what I'm going through. Its been really freakin tough, but the fog is finally starting to lift and I'm beginning to see the light again! I am so very grateful for my running- it has been what has gotten me through some of my darkest days. That and some amazing friends and family. Lot's of love to my Mom. Kim H- you are my rock- thank-you for ALWAYS being there- love you! Jess- after 15 years you are still my bestie- I appreciate your friendship more then you'll ever know. I feel like I'm finally starting to move forward. I'm a little less sad every day and am starting to get used to this whole single life thing. Quite the adjustment after being with someone for 5 years. I'm confident that once I've finally got all my shit together, my running will really start to improve. I'm excited for the fall, and what I might be able to accomplish! Staying positive!!!!
my two very best friends- Jess and Kim.
I promise my next blog will not be another 10 weeks from now! (and i'll try to keep the depressing content to a minimum! lol) I'll update soon!