Saturday, January 11, 2014


Hello everyone and Happy New Year!  Pretty sure I can still say happy new year even though, the new year started 9 days ago?  Whatever I've been saying it to people all week so I'm just gonna keep saying it for the whole month:)

Well what a year 2013 was!  Looking back it was pretty crazy (both in life and running).  Here are some of the statistics from my year of running in 2013-

-I raced 19 times in 15 different cities, 11 of which I had to fly to. (hello airmiles!)
-I ran Personal Bests in 5 different distances- 10k road, 10000m track, 5000m track, 8k road and 3000m indoor track.
-I raced 2 new types of races this year- steeplechase and the full marathon.
-highest mileage week- 152 KM (yes I work in km not miles- I AM CANADIAN!)
-lowest mileage week- 0.  lol its called a rest week!  and I enjoyed every second of it!

Here is a list of all the races-

Victoria- PIH 8km- 25:28 (PB)
Jamaica- NACAC XC Champs 6k- 21:07

Seattle- UW indoor invite- 3000m- 9:02 (PB)

Poland- World XC Champs- 8k- 24th place

Burnaby- SFU Invite- 3000m Steeplechase- 10:24 (PB) first and last steeple ever.
Walnut, California- MT Sac Relays 5000m- 16:00 (PB)
Vancouver- Sun Run 10k- 32:42 (PB)
San Fransisco- Stanford Invite 100000m 33:09 (PB on the track)

Vancouver- BMO half marathon- 1:15:17
Ottawa- 10k- 33:20

New York City- Mini 10k- time was very slow dont even remember.
Moncton New Brunswick- Cnd track champs 10000m- 33:30- 1st.
Vancouver- Scotiabank half marathon- 1:14:55

Vancouver- Summerfast 10k- 35:00

Nice, France- Francophone games 10000m- 33:30 4th place
Toronto- Cnd 10k champs- slow. 4th place.

San Jose, Califonia- Rock and Roll half marathon- 1:14:39
Toronto- STWMarathon! 2:35:11 (chip time!) 2:35:16- gun time. BC record

Vancouver- Cnd XC Champs 7k- 1st.

It was a busy year!  Now looking back perhaps I raced a bit too much....and definitely lacked focus in the spring.  This year my focus will be 10k/half marathon in the spring, and full marathon in the fall.  I sat down with Coach Rich the other day and went over my race schedule for the winter/spring- its very exciting!  Very much looking forward to my first half marathon of the season in Phoenix next weekend.  Training has been going well- keeping consistent and staying healthy:)

Keeping things similar to last years recap blog- I will summarize my favorite moments of 2013.  We will do a top 5 (and i'll keep it running related- cause lets me honest the personal life was a bit sucky this year).  Making this list was not easy.  The 3 best running moments of my life took place in the same year!  I was blessed with a truly wonderful year of success in running.  Thank-you to everyone who supported me and cheered me on:)

    I was fortunate to be selected to Team Canada for the Francophone Games in September.  We were there for 12 days, and it was so beautiful!  I raced the 10000m, which was an ok race, but I didn't taper at all as I was in full blown marathon training.  So while I was in Nice I was able to get in lots of great running, including an epic 32km progression run from Nice to Cannes with Chris Napier.  Chris Winter and Rejean Chaisson rented bikes and rode the whole way with us, ensuring we got out Gels and water along the way.  They were amazing. We spend the day in Cannes and took the train back. It was a great day- one of my favorite days of the whole year!
we made it!  on the beach in Cannes after our run.

   Going way back to the beginning of the year- the first weekend in January.  I took the 7am ferry over to Victoria for my first race of the year- my club PIH's annual 8km race.  I wasn't expecting much, just ready to have some fun and put in a hard effort.  Well I certainly surprised myself (and everyone else!) with a huge PB, course record and unofficial Canadian record- 25:28.  This was a huge break through for me.  Gave me the confidence I needed going into the 2013 season. 
highlight video of the race.

   From my first race of the year, to my last one this past November.  I have never won a XC National title, so winning this year was really special.  It was a great way to finish off my 2013 year of racing.  I wrote a blog for one of my fantastic sponsors Innovative Fitness about my experience and a little bit about what Cross Country running is-

What is Cross Country?

I recently raced at the Canadian Cross Country National Championships on Nov. 30th. I was surprised at how many people had no idea what Cross Country running was. No its not a marathon, no its not a road race, no it does not involve skis, no its not on the track and finally, yes I still race if it snows. Cross Country running takes place on any surface that is not on the road or the track. So it can be on the grass, dirt, trails, golf course, etc. Most Cross Country races are on a combination of both grass, dirt and trails.
The course is mapped out to whatever distance it needs to be- for men the race distance is usually 10-12km and for women its usually 6-8km. Most often the course is made up of “loops”. So we will run 3 X 2km loops, etc. This is good for spectators because they are able to see you more often and cheer for you! Many courses include both flat parts and hills. Some courses even put in obstacles such as hay piles for you to jump over. I raced at the World Cross Country Championships this past March in Poland and they had man-made mud piles for us to go over. It was pretty cool.

Of the 3 running disciplines- Track, Road and Cross Country- XC (short for cross country) is definitely my favorite. You never know what you're gonna get on race day. Will it be a super hilly course? Is there gonna be mud everywhere? Do we have to jump stuff? It's always exciting. XC running is fun- getting out there in the trails and just running hard- no worries about time or splits. Its all about just racing- which I love.

So when I found out that our XC national champs were gonna be held not only in Vancouver this year, but in my backyard- Jericho Beach, just 2 km from my house, I was so excited! Racing in front of my home crowd on a course I knew like the back of my hand. But as a hometown girl and race favorite to win, I felt a lot of pressure. I had ran my first marathon just 5 weeks before national XC. Would I be recovered enough? Did I have enough “speed” in my legs to run a 7k XC race? I was very nervous on race day and was feeling a little unprepared. Usually I train all fall for this race, but this year I focused on the marathon in Oct and therefore only really had a few weeks of actual “XC” training (intervals on the trails, grass, etc.)

My coach gave me a simple race plan- Don't lead the race at all, just run in the front pack and kick in at the finish. I am very impatient and have a hard time just “sitting” in the back. But one of my strengths is my final kick, and knew if it came down to the final 100m, I could sprint past any girl. So the race started and it was very slow for the first 1km. But I didn't lead at all, just chilled out in the back pack of about 10 girls- making jokes about the muddy course, and actually laughing a bit with my friend, running buddy and biggest competition- Rachel Cliff.

At about 2km, it was just 3 of us up front now- Rachel, Jessica and me. I let Rachel and Jessica lead the way through the mud and slush. At 4km, Rachel and I went down a big hill and dropped Jessica a bit. I knew this was our chance to “break her”, so I said to Rachel- “lets put in a surge and get a gap on Jessica”. Which is exactly what we did- and it worked. Going into the final 2km of the race it was just Rachel and I. She was about 5 meters ahead of me. I was feeling good, but was not sure how much I had left. Was getting worried that she was going to drop me and I wouldn't be able to catch her at the finish. But I hung on for dear life and stayed on her heals. We came around the final wet, super muddy corner with about 200m go to and I could hear my guy teammates (they were in the next race), Kelly and Luc absolutely screaming full force at me to “GO NOW!!!!”. So I kicked it into over drive. I sprinted past Rachel and hammered it to the finish line for the win. I couldn't believe how much I had left at the end of the race! My little legs were going so fast- it was exciting. I crossed the finish line with a huge smile on my face- my first XC national title! It was an amazing feeling. My friends and family were all there at the finish line. I was so happy they were there to support me and share my win with me. A group from Innovative Fitness came to cheer me on as well, including both my fabulous trainers- Michael and Mark. Thank-you so much for coming to support me on such a miserable, cold rainy day.

Cross Country running requires a great deal of strength. Uneven footing, obstacles, hills, mud and sometimes snow. The training I do at Innovative Fitness is a huge part of my training for XC. It's not just about running all the time. I am a stronger more powerful runner because of all the strength work I do at I.F. My national title would not have been possible without all the work I've done at I.F. Thank-you guys:)

     it was muddy.  
happy girl:)

   My first experience at the world XC Champs was one of the best experiences of my life.  Making it to the World Championships in your sport is what you strive for.  Just being a part of the Canadian team was an honour.  I recapped my experience in my blog last spring, so I won't go into too many details- but it was a special trip.  My parents were there- which was awesome.  I was very sick and somehow managed to pull out one of the best races of my life for a 24th place finish.  I never realized how tough I was until this race- both mentally and physically.  What a great trip- with a great team:)
 im on the left:)
right after the race with my parents.

   Yeah you probably could have guessed it!  I wrote 2 blogs about my debut marathon this past October.  It was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life- not just the race but the process of training for it.  I learned so much about myself as a runner and as a person.  Although at times it was damn hard, it was worth every second of pain when I crossed that finish line.  Looking forward to my next marathon already!  maybe this spring???  hahaha no no- probably in the Fall:)
  hahahah look at my face in the left picture!!!  that's the finish.

Well it sure was a good year of running!   A few great moments that didn't quite make my top 5- Winning the Sun Run and running 9:02 in the 3000m. 

  I only had a few little injuries- thank-you Chris Napier from Restore Physio for keeping me healthy!  And thank-you Innovative Fitness for getting me strong- I feel like a much more efficient, powerful runner!  And of course, thank-you Asics for my endless supply of amazing running shoes and gear.  Loving my Hyperspeed flats- best racing flat for marathons. 

One thing really stuck out to me when I was recapping my running year- my parents were there for my most important, memorable races.  (STWM, World XC, National XC).  I am so lucky to have such supportive parents.  Thank-you so much for being there for me every step of the way this year.  

Ok everyone, have a great 2014- and I promise I will blog more often this year!  


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