Sunday, June 29, 2014

To race or not to race?

For the first time since I started running and signing up for “races”  I am actually thinking about maybe not going through with one.  Part of me wonders whether I have the muster to do the Half Iron Du.  I know I can do the 2km run, and the 90km bike.   But the half marathon after? I know it would be HARD, really hard, and I likely could do it with a lot of mental will power.  But for the first time in a long time I’m truly questioning whether I want to.  

I’ve had this need to push myself to achieve big scary goals, to go long distances, and to up the ante so to speak over the last 2 years.  A full Marathon was amazing, but doing 3 in a 9 month period was even better!  If Im honest, I really craved pushing myself hard.  I also at the time needed the “big goals” to make sure that I took care of myself and treated my body well.  There was no way I was going to be ale to run a marathon if I was "dieting and being restrictive".  The marathons were my way of taking care of myself, in my own crazy extreme way.  Last year I “only” did three half marathons and a full marathon.  I focused on training for the May half and PR’d and then trained hard for the Full.  I had hoped to PR, but did break my downward spiral time wise and finished with one of my happiest finishes when I saw my kids at the finish line.  

This year I chose to not run a FULL marathon, something I struggled with, would I still be a marathoner if I didn’t run one this year? Instead I decided to try something new, the Duathlon.  In doing so I was taking a lot of pressure off myself, and getting back to the fun.  I can’t even begin to describe how much I love biking.  I did a 72km bike ride today and there is no way I would have enjoyed a 2.5 hr run as much as that!!  It was still challenging and hard, but when you get that downhill ride, the wind whistling in your ears, and your flying! Oh man what a feeling! or when your DRILLING It down the road, legs a fluid machine, the bike an extension of you, so AMAZING!  I do belief I even like panting out of breath at the top of the hill!  I did my first Duathlon event at the beginning of the month and loved it.  But man oh man that 10km run at the end was hard.  

So here’s the thing, we have a busy busy summer.  We aren’t even home 5 weekends in a row! The kids are home all summer so getting away to train means getting up early most mornings.  There is so much fun to be had and things to do with family and friends.   I’m worried I’m not going to be able to get all the training in to be able to do the Half Iron Du at the end of Aug.  I told myself this would be a “JUST TO FINISH” race.  So I’m ok if I have to modify some of the training to fit our summer plans.  I am ok with not having a “perfect training plan”.  

But even with that, with taking that pressure off, I find myself still questioning do I want to do this?  I’m totally serious, I don’t feel the USUAL drive to make this happen.  So I’m not making any decisions right now.  I’m going to wait and see how things go.  I have to say so far I am actually enjoying the training.  Last weekend we went on our first camping weekend of the summer.  I got up at 5am on the Friday to do my BRICK workout before Kasey’s Kinder concert.  Then I did my 2.5hr bike Sunday when we got home from camping, in the FULL HEAT of the late afternoon.  I tell you my motivation to do that one after a weekend of camping treats and wobbly pops was pretty low! But I did it.  This weekend we were in Norland with my sisters and crew.  I got up Friday am and did my Brick before we hit the boat for a day of sun and fun.  I rested all day Sat on the boat, soaking up the sun and sangria while watching my family kill the waves!  I started rehydrating after dinner and went to bed early so I could get up this am and bike 72KM!! It was a little rough getting up but once up all went well.  It was an amazing ride.  I”m really proud of myself for getting all that in while still having a lot of fun and enjoying myself.  

72km bike!!! Longest Distance yet by 2km :) 

Sangria girl!! 

So far so good, but what about when it get’s tough? How will next weekend at Sandbanks go? I do know I love endurance sports and running and biking are my “Happy Thing”.  I’m not likely to be taking any weekends off completely from working out.  I need my fix :) But somehow the thought  of taking a long run/bike at Sandbanks simply because I want to and going as far as I please seems more appealing then following a plan right now.  

Maybe I am being a baby and looking for excuses to not try?  Maybe I am just tired of always having a damn training plan or goal (which I do to myself).  Maybe I am JUST FREAKING SCARED? Maybe I’m scared of failing and it’s easier to just quit before hand?  I don’t know.  But this where I am right now.  

So I’m just going to keep going for now, do what I can, and see what happens.   

Sunday, June 15, 2014


I did it!!! OMG I did it!  I ran 5m, biked 44.4km, and ran 10km!

I went into this race with the attitude of giving it my best, and enjoying the experience.  I had signed up for the DU to change things up, to try something new, to get the FUN back.  I didn't put the usual pressure on myself like I do when running a race.  It was refreshing to say the least.

The morning started off with the girls running the 1km Wylie Ryan Race.  This was their first race running without mom and dad.  They loved that!  We took them to the start line and they promptly shooed us away.  I love that my race was late enough that I got to see my girls run, it was just the boost I needed.

My big girl, she ran with just ahead of her sister most of the time, and kept looking back to make sure she was ok

Curly kid just on the heels of her big sis 
I love this pic! Kasey in the finishers chute, drinking her Gatorade, and asking if she can eat a bagel (like she just ran a marathon lol). I love that they got to experience this race yesterday and soak up all the inspiration from all the athletes. It was so neat seeing people swim, paddle, bike and run. The girls even went out for breaky after their race with Daddy. They got the full race experience lol!

After the girls race I was left on my own, to set up my transition area and find my partner in crime Rachael.  Our race didn't start till 9:45 so we had lots of time to kill, and I'm thankful that we kept each other laughing instead of being nervous. 


The race breakdown

5km Run

The 5km was an out and back X2 with lots of grassy areas.  This part of the race was crowded as we were running with a 5km race and also meeting up with people on the run portion of their Tri's.  The running path was narrow which was a little annoying with so many people, but you make do.  My plan for the 5km was to run it easy maybe a 26-28min 5km.  Well, that didn't happen, I got caught up in the excitement and was chasing my friend Rachael's heels and did it in 24:20 (would have been a smidge faster too if I hadn't stopped and stood still asking for clarification on where to go at the end before crossing the mats lol).  

My friend Allyson snapped this pic :)  I look much stronger here then I do in the 10km run I bet :) LOL

44.4km Bike

I headed into the bike still high from such a fast 5km, I was both stoked and also praying it wouldn't come back to bite me in the bum.  I was lucky though, as this bike course had a 2km untimed portion in and back.  So I had time to recover before putting pedal to the metal!  In true Katie fashion I got lost going into the bike and missed the start line continuing on the path, only to double back and ask for help.  There was a moment there were I got really pissed thinking I had messed it all up and almost said FARK IT I'm quitting and going home.  Thankfully I didn't and since I hadn't crossed the timing mats yet, my bike portion was fine...I just started later.  I loved the bike part!  Lots of space to ride hard and fly.  The course was 4 loops, so 8 turnarounds.  The first two I unclipped and was really slow going around.  Then I told myself to grow a pair and BALLS UP! I stayed clipped in for the rest, and I'm really proud of that.  The bike went well until the last loop when my butt started to really hurt, my back started to ache, and my hamstring started to act up.  I thought I was done in, wouldn't be able to run.  I love how my mind goes to worst case scenario right away!  I came up to ride easy position to rest a bit, kept pushing the pedals, and pushed my way to the finish.  Luckily there was that 2km untimed piece again to recover before the 10km.  I took it easy and took some extra energy jubes and E-Load.  
10Km Run

This part was hard! It didn't take long for my legs to lose the wobbly feeling off the bike, usually about 400m, but my legs were heavy and tired.  I felt  like a lumbering elephant running.  I wasn't in any kind of pain, just really tired.  The 4 out and back loops were mental draining.  Each turnaround made me slow down and I felt it hard to pick my pace back up again.  Doing a turnaround by the finish line was a tease each time.  I swear if it was not for my kids high fiving me at each turnaround I would have quit.  I felt like quitting at 5km, I actually really thought about it!  

I did it!  My first Olympic Duathlon!!! 

Got to love to small races where you can place THIRD!! 

Next up....Half Iron Du training!  Which I am seriously beginning to question but I'm going to do my best and still find balance this summer to have fun.  I will keep you posted on how that goes :) 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

3 days till my first Duathalon

Seriously loving running in this new buff from Pelee Island, makes me feel bad ass

3 days till my first ever Duathalon and I am surprisingly calm about it.  No taper crazies, no second guessing my plan, not even freaking out about the potential of a tire blowing and I still don't know how to change it.  I think I feel calm about it because it's my FIRST and I really don't have any expectations.  I am truly going out to do my best and see what happens.  The bike part is a little bit out of my control.  I know people blow tires or chains come off.  My bike is in the shop right now getting a tune up to make sure it's in great condition.   But if I pop a tire I am screwed. As I still have not learned how to change it.  So if it happens, so be it.  My plan is to DNF and do my own Olympic the next weekend in Norland.  See no biggie :) Totally Zen Katie.  

I've trained for this event, and even did a smaller version of the race distance in Norland a few weeks back so I know I can do this!  I ran a hotter the HADES half marathon almost 2 weeks ago so I know I can manage the heat (just have to slow down).  But still it's a bit daunting when I put it all together.  In my mind it's a wee 5km run (no sweat), a 44km bike (been there done that many times and further), and a 10 km run (no probs) but add all that up and I will be on course for a least 3 hrs!  That's an hour more then a Hotter then Hades Half Marathon!  

What I am a bit nervous about is the idea of being on the bike with loads of other bikers around.  I'm really glad I did that 70km Cheo Ride before this.  Worst case I go slower because I am nervous, and well so be it.  I'm a little unsure how the transitions work but I will figure it out.  I'm really trying to embrace the idea of this "race" being an experience.  I have a fuelling plan and hope that helps with the empty tank feeling I have experienced of late.  I'm as ready as I can be at this point and I'm going to go and give it my best.  Truthfully, I think part of the reason I am so calm is that training for the half-iron distance doesn't get "real" till this race is over.  Now that is something that makes my tummy flutter, so much so that I have recently questioned my sanity.  

run, bike, run

let's do this!