Monday, April 27, 2009

Hippity Hop - 6 sleeps till I don my ears

Vancouver BMO Marathon and Half are coming up quickly – only 6 more sleeps.

This will be my 3rd time as a race pace bunny for the 1/2 marathon. The first time I did it was because I wanted to be there for some ladies in my half marathon clinic running their first half and I was asked by the race organizer. I jumped at the chance mostly because I really wanted to be there for the gals in my clinic.
It was everything I had hoped for and more - so much fun and a great way to be inspired by amazing people. I pace the 2:30 group - they are the closest to my heart. When I ran my first half marathon my time was 2:36 and change - I was pleased as punch. It was my first so a PB, I had been training almost from the get-go with extreme Plantar Fasciitis in both feet, my goal was to finish, against my physio and massage peeps advice I kept training. In my mind I had to do this - first off to win the bet, second because I had paid the registration fee and it was non-refundable, and lastly because I knew if I did not follow through I would probably never run one so I "sucked" it up I was just thrilled that I had set out a goal and reached it and then as promised I stopped running for a few months to allow my feet to heal properly and get proper orthotics.

Coach yesterday said to me does it not hurt to run that slow for the race? I was like at this time it is a comfortable run for me as I am still recovering from the accident. I also told her that by pacing this group it will be a true training run since my "bunny" contract is to arrive at finish line in 2 hours 30 min = 7min/km pace time - give or take and it is bad form to arrive too far ahead of time. Hence no chance that I will end up "racing". Finally, in my experience the 2:30 group is generally the most fun and inspirational - not to say the other runners/groups are not, but usually the peeps in 2:30 are reformed couch potatoes who are really reaching outside their comfort zone for the very first time. I want to be there for them to show them that they are more than capable, to help them understand that they are ATHLETES and hopefully develop in them the desire to continue running after this run. I hope I can provide such an experience for them that it won’t be a “one” off.

I know lofty goals for a gal with some pink ears sewn to her hat but in my mind to wear the ears is an honour and with that honour comes great responsibility. I am an ambassador to one of the greatest sports in the world. So this year I will again don my ears with pride and lead a bunch of peeps to their dream times showing them that anything is humanly possible when you apply yourself.

Peace out Shaun

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The sun has finally arrived - sort of....

Not much to report - got another week under my belt on the training tread wheel and Super Wednesdays are becoming easier or maybe more appropriately I don't feel completely exhausted at the end of them.

Wednesdays I run at lunch 6 - 10km depending on how the leg/hip feels. Then I ride with the group up the local mountain - Cypress - which would be fine but coach usually has some draconian (sp??) workout inter mixed with the climb (LOL) and then I zip home to grab my swim gear and head off to the pool where my far too young and exuberant swim coach is waiting.

I'll be honest the first couple of weeks I was thinking OI but now, wait for it..... I am kind of starting to like it - I KNOW it concerns me to. I had to laugh though the first couple of weeks I did it my hubby was like are you sure it is a good idea to do all three in the same day?

I was like - ummm it is called a TRIATHLON - I am going to have to do all three in the same day for the race.... (insert eyeroll). He is just worried because he knows that this year in Oliver he is going DOWN - that's right I said it and I posted it on the Internet, so there! (cripes now he is going to actually start training....)

However today is Rest day and after going for my weekly lecture with my favorite physio I plan on a brisk session of couch surfing.

Peace out

Shaun

Monday, April 13, 2009

First Bike Time Trial Ever!!!:

This past weekend Barb my cycling coach had all the girls go out to Fort Langley for a 12km Time Trial race to use as a benchmark.
I was nervous and excited - I have never “raced” my bike in a time trial let alone against a bunch of roadies. I know I race but I don’t see triathlon riding the same as road racing on bikes. Anyways I was anxious.

So when I finally got there - I left a lot of time but got a little turned around when I actually got to Fort Langley and stopping to ask the locals was not helping fortunately I noticed a car zip by with a road bike and TT bars on so I pulled a u-turn and followed the car figuring that he was going where I was, which he was. I got there and found Barb and the girls and noticed they were all warming up on trainers – where is your trainer? UH?!? Sometimes I think they forget that I really am a novice at this stuff – so note to self – next time bring trainer. Anyways no big deal – I did my warm up on the road.

Warm up was going good and I was coming up to some train tracks – figured I would cross and turn around – you see the writing on the wall. I have crossed a gazillion tracks and never gone down, I ride over tracks every second day on my way to work. Stupid tracks – yep I went down, crap – bounced back up – mostly embarrassed – did a quick assessment – bike seemed okay and besides a small knick on my hand and my elbow and hip smarting a bit I felt okay. Riding back I noticed front tire rubbing a bit and Barb shouted “SHAUN” get all the junk off your bike – okay. So back to the car to remove tool pack and bento box, Fix tire, Pin number on – Shaun you are up in 30 seconds – CRAP!

So I get up to the line and guy is like holding the bike – 15 sec – clip in – what no, no, no sorry I will clip in after I start. . GO!! – So I take off and mess about for about 15 seconds trying to clip-in. FAIL – next time I will not be such a scaredy-cat and let them hold my bike while I clip in….

The time trial was good – I was the last of the 5 of us from my team to start, with the exception of Barb – coach. Once I got clipped in and settled down it was great – I could see Cindy ahead of me and I thought catch her! So I was beetling along and then whoosh – Barb goes flying by me – there is a reason why she is the coach…. When I got to the turnaround I had gained on Cindy and Judith and thought okay girl dig you can catch them both. No pain – no gain. I thought about what an old running coach/friend said to me – racing hurts – you make up your mind– decide that you want it and then accept for that period of time it will hurt. I had decided that 20 minutes would be the time I would shoot for – glancing at the clock I felt like I was on target but more importantly the girls were not far ahead and if I just sucked it up I would catch them. So I reached deeper - My legs and lungs were burning I could see the finish tent and I could see a green jersey – pretty sure it was Judith and I thought go, Go, GO!!! I went zipping by Judith with maybe 200 possibly 300 metres to go – YES! I did not catch Cindy – shoot but it was over and I could stop feeling like I was going to throw up. Afterwards Judith was like I knew you were going to try and catch me – you are a racer – that is one of the nicest things anyone has said to me – I am a racer – really? I guess I am. Cindy was like I knew you were gunning for me and no way was I letting you catch me! Later on I looked at the overall results and 20min 30 seconds was my final time. And by the clock I did catch Cindy her time 20 min 32 seconds.

So what did I learn – leave earlier, bring trainer, start clipped in and no water bottle…. (I forgot the water bottle when I was removing everything). Later that evening I got up from the couch and noticed my right hip was pretty sore, I have nice bruises on hip and elbow as well as my left groin is very sore – I guess I pulled it. Not too worried though as I was still able to go out and knock out an 18km run in the rain on Sunday with my half clinic – albeit I was pretty sore near the end.

Next Time Trial is supposedly in Squamish and is 40km – should be good – nothing personal but Cindy you are going down…..

Shaun

Monday, April 6, 2009

Introducing the Shaunettes

Well since I figured I had used the girls in my application to Nathan and shamelessly promoted them as an asset to me and the team I figured it was about time that I formally introduce them.

The Shaunettes (I still feel a smidge embarrassed about the name, but they chose it and I was not involved) officially formed in June of 2007 to come out and cheer me during what I now fondly refer to as "the 9 hour Incident" - aka Iron Mountain Half Ironman Maple Ridge. It was my first half Ironman and the weather was horrible. I knew the girls were going to try and come out and cheer so I did expect to see them. I just did not expect the extent to how seriously they would be about it. But then these ladies are some of the closest friends I have made my entire life and I should have known - go big or go home.




Chris is my BFF and the founder of the Shaunettes. She is the lady who designed the original outfits - Pink shirts from the local running room with Shaunettes across the back and little bunnies (pace bunnies) on the shoulder. YOu can imagine my surprise when I first saw them - I was like how sweet they are all in pink - my fav colour and then they turned around and I could see the back of the shirts - I almost started cry. No-one had ever done anything so amazing for me in my life!

I do my races and my sports for me and grew up in a household where people were not very physically active. I did not have the "softball" mom and dad. Don't get me wrong they were encouraging. They made sure that anything I needed they got for me and allowed me to join any sport I wanted and helped me find ways to join. If there was a formal presentation, ie Dance Recital, they came out and when I first started playing softball they were there but I think it was mostly because they drove me there and then just waited till I finished. My dad practiced catch with me and I can remember my mom taking it very seriously that I had the right shoes for track. I remember she was pretty proud when I ran in the Manitoba marathon at age of 11 and 12 - don't worry it was 4 miles the first year and 6 miles the 2nd year still pretty good for back then, we did it as part of the Cross Country team. She would talk to me about my form but they did not come out to ball tourneys or track meets, it just was not their thing and it did not even really matter. So to have people drive out specifically to cheer for me and then to wear costumes was a little overwhelming.

Even my first half marathon I took the skytrain down, ran it and then took the skytrain home afterwards. Joe was working and it just did not occur to me that he should take a day off to watch me run. I remember everybody was shocked that I did not have friends and family "supporting" me on the course. I guess I am a practical person - work is $, $ pays bills, and well I do these things for me, my close friends back then were not runners so why would it matter to them.

Other founding members are Kirsten - aka Special K, Pam, and June - aka June bug. These ladies followed me along the course in the rain and wind and were there to the end along with Carol - Care Bear and Tiffany. Carol and Tiffany were not in costume but had been there the whole time from start of the bike ride. Care bear and Tiffany were officially recruited after Iron Mountain for Stormy Ultramarathon that summer. A 50 mile trail race that I had pulled a relay team together so we could go out and support our friends Cynthia and Victoria during their first Ultra - (we were not so foolish to want to do the full 50 miles). That was an amazing day - being able to return the favor to Cynthia and Victoria who had run the half marathon portion of Iron Mountain with me. While Cynthia and Victoria decline to wear the official regalia (they only do black or shades there of) and are a bit more sedate in their support. If I need them they will be there in a flash.




The group has evolved and grown in numbers in the past 2 years - with Chris taking a back seat to start a family, Kirsten has take over the roll of leader and planner. Which means that the girls outfits and plans get bigger with each event. Last year in Oliver they added matching pink skirts, signs, cowbells and a megaphone to their repertoire. Everybody in Oliver knew who they were and my Mom and father-in-law became honorary Shaunettes for the day. Other racers loved them because the Shaunettes cheer for everybody not just me - it is about supporting people on the course as they go for their goals.

But the Shaunettes also do costume changes when it is needed - in June last year I got to make the change from athlete to cheerleader while we cheered for June in her quest to BQ the Edge -to-Edge marathon. We were the June bugs and again we were loud and proud! It was amazing to have other spectators come up and say can you cheer for my daughter her name is .... and she is wearing number... SURE!

So the girls and guys have booked their rooms for IRONMAN and I know there have been meetings - I stay out of the planning and focus on my training. I have been told that myself and IMC will not know what hit them - I just tell them please don't get arrested (LOL). And now that I am on Team Nathan - I can't even imagine what they will do now - when I told Kirsten her voice went to high pitched squeaking which hurt me ears. However in the end if they just came and watched that would be more than enough for me. It is the thought that counts!



You guys are the Best!!!

Shaun

Friday, April 3, 2009

Go NATHAN TEAM CANADA!

Oh wow - I am super excited - I have not really said much about it but a few months ago I received a random email telling me about a company called Nathan and how they were for the second year sponsoring a team of 10 amateur Canadian Athletes, with a link provided.

I went and looked at the link and read up on the team. I like the products they use or at least the ones I know about I use and like. I only use GU and well who does not like Sugoi products, I read the running magazine and well I don't know much about E.N.D. shoes the reports I have read are all good and lets face it is time to buy new trail shoes! And well Nathan has a whole line of fuel belts that I like - so it just seemed like a good fit.

Anyways I digress so after pondering it for a few weeks I mentioned it to my friend Kirsten and she was like OMG you should totally apply. What the heck - why not? So I did up a powerpoint presentation and sent it in.

I got the call this morning I am one of the 10!!!! WOW - really? This is so exciting and more importantly it shows that you don't always have to be the first across the line to be recognized! Thrilled to bits is all I have to say - and nothing like having the national spotlight on you to keep you true to your training and up your game!

Oh and here is a big heads up to all Shaunettes the last thing they said to me on the phone this morning was let the Shaunettes know.... No pressures ladies - I know you will bring your A game - IMC Penticton is not going to know what hit them!

Check out their site: http://www.insport.ca/en/Nathan

EEEEEE (high pitched girly scream)

Shaun

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Another deposit made

I like to think that each training session is like a deposit in my race account. And on that belief I am pretty confident that I made an extra large deposit last night.

Woke up yesterday to snow - I was like this is a real bad April Fools joke. Thankfully by around 10am it turned to rain. Did a tempo training run at lunch thinking about coaches comments on faster cadence = faster time. Did just over 5km in 32 min - still slower than normal but getting stronger and faster each run. Leg felt good till about 4.7km and then it announced so I dialed it back a smidge. Remembering my physio's words - Repeat with me - you were hit by a truck - don't worry I corrected her - I told actually I was there and it was jeep.... (she kind of appreciated the humour).

Last night is the weekly ride with coach up Cypress the local mountain - since it stopped snowing I knew we were going up. The workout was actually 4 min muscle tension hell - woops I mean hill repeats on Cypress. We were supposed to do 5 I got in 4 - and my knee/hip held up pretty good - but I was feeling it on the 4th so probably good I did not get the 5th in. The weather was miserable - cold, rain - lots of it and a wicked wind. It was a little nerve wracking on the ride back to the cars along the highway. I am not gonna lie - I was anxious. I have not been that cold or wet since Iron MOuntain - it was bad. But the deposit has been made and I am glad I did it.

I however had had enough water for one day between running and riding in it that I did not do the swim last night. So deposit not as large as it could have been but sometimes you have to have a little luxury.

Thankfully the rain has stopped and will hold off for tonights track workout with my half marathon clinic.

Shaun