CITS, Racing, Running

2 babies, 3 surgeries and 1 half-marathon.

Nailed it.

CITS city

CITS, with a few honorary members, ran the Spirit of the Shore Half Marathon on Sunday.  I was going to write some big long race report but the reality is that Liz did a better job and mine can be summarized in bullet points and pictures.

  • Shoulder fracture? January 4th.  Knee surgery #1? January 23.  Shoulder reconstruction?  July 23.  6 weeks of dominating life in a sling and not running a step until mid-September.  That, right there, is a good set up for a personal worst, my friends.
It's early but it sure is pretty.
It’s early but it sure is pretty.
  • The joys of social media allowed me to successfully farm out 3 children for sleepovers.
  • Pre-race meal: beer, Chinese food, wine.  For the win!
She needs the extra liquid calories: this mama is still nursing.
She needs the extra liquid calories: this mama is still nursing.
We may or may not have been assigning terrible nick names at this point.
We may or may not have been assigning terrible nick names at this point.
YES.  All kinds of YES.
YES. All kinds of YES.
I chose my beer based on the looks of the can.
I chose my beer based on the looks of the can.
  • Pulling into the parking lot at 7:21 for a 7:30 start?  You know it.
The girls had babies 4 months ago.  NBD.
The girls had babies 4 months ago. NBD.
I like to give those following me something to remember me by.  Also, something to read.
I like to give those following me something to remember me by. Also, something to read.
Our Creative Director
Our Creative Director
Someone was worried about finishing last.  Did not achieve this goal.
Someone was worried about finishing last. Someone did not come close to finishing last.
  • Quoted at km 9: “God, I’m bored”.
  • Internal quote at km 15: “Maybe I should have done a real long run before this race.”
The ladies
The ladies
  • There may or may not have been some texting on-course.

photo 4

  • We looked damn good.

CITS

  • It was sunny.  Sunny as in “Ow, my eyes are burning I can’t see anything” sunny.  And it was awesome.
  • Great course, fun atmosphere, good post-race food.  Sign up for next year, people.
PWs all 'round, baby!
PWs all ’round, baby!
  • I now very much appreciate the fitness I had last summer and can now admit that running a half slowly, undertrained and under-fueled isn’t as magical as it sounds.  But I can assure you that I’ll probably do it again.

Enjoy Liz’s take, friends:

When I set my sights on the Spirit of the Shore Half Marathon back in January, I knew that I needed a big goal. It’s not every day that you achieve a new PW, but I thought it was in me and I set out to do everything I could to reach it.  I’m happy to report that my new half marathon PW is 2:05, knocking my previous 1:58 from my very first half off the chart.

Training

My last big training block for the race began mid July when I could finally run 3k without stopping and posted a new PW in a 5k on July 27th.  If 5k could take me 28:31, surely I could stretch that out to a half marathon by October.  Since that 5k I managed a few 9k, 12k, 15k and 18k all of which left me feeling like my insides might fall out and crawling back into bed for a few hours.  Truly optimal training.

Pre-race

I have my usual race pre-race routine, but to make big leaps sometimes you have to try something new.  I planned the ideal weekend to reach the starting line in the best condition I could.  Starting with Chinese food and beer for dinner.  Then a restful night of feeding Henry at 12:30am, 3am, 5am and finally waking at 6:37am for an optimal 20min frantic search for running tights and socks.  Breakfast is also so crucial and instead of packing in useful calories like most other races I thought the half bagel and a cup of coffee would really bring my performance up to snuff.

Race

Like most halfs the first 5k were easy and fun.  The next 5k were still moving fairly quickly.  Then at 13k or so I looked at the pavement and it seemed to me to be soft and pillow-like and waiting for me to lie down on it.  I couldn’t believe how completely exhausted I felt.  If I had been running alone, I’m fairly certain I would have turned around and headed back to the car or at least the closest coffee bar.  Seeing as I was with super hot pink company and didn’t want to let the team down, I kept going.  Besides, the last half I started ended in my one and only DNF and that wasn’t the goal this time.  Things improved after I stopped to pee and didn’t have to concentrate on not being incontinent.  The last few k were actually better than the first few, but we had to be careful not to go too hard and end up with more than our 5min negative split else the goal wouldn’t have been met.

Post race

It’s like the running melted away.  After a shower, some food, a far too large bowl of frozen yogurt, I was back to my usual self and ready to do it again.

 Future goals

Now that I have a new PW, I’d like to keep it that way.  I’m sure there could be more down the road with more matching shirts and great company, but for now I think I’ll go back to getting faster again.  Just 4 months to take 30mins off my time. No problemo right?

Day-to-day life, Racing, Running, Triathlon, Whistler

Introducing the Higgins

David and Brandi Higgins have been fixtures on the Whistler Triathlon scene for as long as I’ve known about the club.  Without their help and training, I surely would have drowned in my first Ironman.

Since meeting them on the pool deck in 2003, I’ve come to know them as good friends, racing partners and commiserating parents.

wetsuits pre-race

I’ll always remember one of my first “real” conversations with David, a few days before heading to Penticton for my race.  I didn’t know him well and was actually quite frightened of him (he had that Russian-style of coaching which I’ve now come to embrace: “you suck but whatever – try this.  It might help.  But probably not.  Just go faster”).  We sat down on the edge of the pool and he basically said: “So, you are racing this weekend.  Are you scared?  Ask me anything”.  I thought – and still do think – that was pretty cool and a really nice way to make a newbie feel welcome.

David World Champ Honolulu

Brandi has become a good friend, fellow shoe lover and fun race-seeker.  She’s a wealth of knowledge and has a commanding presence pool-side.  Everyone needs  a friend like Martini Brandi!  She also makes a mean sticky-toffee pudding (which I happen to lurve)… One of Brandi’s pet peeves when racing at the same event as her beloved is that the announcers always tend to point out that they are married and inevitably shift their focus to Dave’s race.  So, to that end, let’s lead with her interview, shall we?

Brandi Finish Ironman

1. What was your first tri – and why that one?

a. UBC…because it was there.

2. What was your most embarrassing race moment?

a. Realizing post-race that the suit I had worn was essentially see through when wet…don’t you just love neon!

3. Who is your biggest training/racing foe?

a. Me, myself, and I.

4. Bucket list race?

a. One that I am actually happy with the results.

b. It’ll never happen bucket list – Kona.

5. Best and worst part of training in Whistler/Vancouver?

a. The hills.

i. Best because once you’ve trained here pretty much no hill should bother you.

ii. Worst because it’s always uphill coming home!

Brandi on bike in Oliver

6. Fave post-race food

a. PRINGLES! And Coke. Always a coke!

7. Race superstition?

a. Don’t know if I have any. When I played basketball I had to keep my legs shaved, because I was sure on the day that I didn’t I would sprain my ankle. The doctor was cute. Do the math.

8. If you could train with one person for a day, who would it be and why?

a. Paula Newby-Fraser cause she was f…ing fast and ate pizza the night before IM.

i. Caveat…do I have to train with her, or can I just ride in a car and talk to her while she trains? ‘Cause we all know I wouldn’t survive 5 minutes riding with her!

9. What’s your weirdest racing or training habit?

a. Taking my espresso machine everywhere I go.

(Editor’s note: Another reason I like travelling to races with Brandi.)

10. Who’s your athletic hero? If you have one…

a. Unfortunately, my athletic heroes have taken a bit of a beating…Marion, Lance. Of course, I still think Lance should keep his titles…if he was juiced so was everyone else and he still beat them, and Lance and the Livestrong foundation did a whole lot more for the general public than any other racer and their (non-existent) foundation did.

11. What’s your favourite Whistler event/trail/race etc.

Event: KOS and the Lil Rippers run. And comfy numb when we were organizing it.

12. Describe your athletic style/career in one sentence.

Completer not competer. Or. I am a diesel truck: I am big, I am slow and I am in it for the long haul…and don’t you dare get in my way (hahaha).

13. Describe that nightmare you have before racing (i.e. I show up without pants)

The course runs through an amusement park on a cruise ship and I keep getting lost and realizing that everyone else is finished.

14. 3 words that describe you as a person

Loud. Caffeinated. Opinionated (aka know-it-all).

15. Dream sponsor?

Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin, Jimmy Choo.
(Editor’s note: SEE??!  Fellow shoe-lover).

 David’s Turn:

1. What was your first tri – and why that one?

UBC, 1991.  I was going to school there and the swim was going to be easy.  Got a little more difficult after that. 

2. What was your most embarrassing race moment?

Any time Nicholas finished in front of me.  Fortunately it didn’t happen often.  Other than that nothing.  I seem to manage to keep my pants on in transition, haven’t fallen off my bike (yet) and not really hurt myself running (in the race). 

(Editor’s note: That would be Paul Nicholas.  You’ll be meeting him soon, if he ever finds 3 minutes to fill out my questionnaire!) 

3. Who is your biggest training/racing foe?

Kevin, Scott and Paul, pushed me real hard and getting me faster.   Went running with them when I started and the three of them killed me.  Oh look there’s a hill let’s go up it.  I needed to keep up with these bozos.  Still can’t keep up to Kevin, but I am working on it.  I don’t have a race foe I can think of – maybe Dave Kirk. 

(Editor’s note: Kevin Titus, Scott Pass, Paul Nicholas.  Whistler local’s one and all.) 

4. Bucket list race?

Wildflower would be fun. Waimea 10km just cause it’s in Hawaii. 

5. Best and worst part of training in Whistler/Vancouver?

Best part is the quality of people, you get some fast yahoos here who really just want to have fun.  Worst part is the snow, lasts far too long. 

Fall Classic 2012 option 2

6. Fave post-race food. 

Burger, big greasy Burger. 

7. Race superstition?

Need to eat a lot before a race.  Pasta for the morning. 

8. If you could train with one person for a day, who would it be and why? 

You know I found all the people I want to train with.  Though if I could make Brandi train with me all day, and she had to like it and not complain (that would be harder than getting anyone famous) – that would be fun too.

 (Editor’s note: Awwww.)

9. What’s your weirdest racing or training habit?

I get a training routine and then I have to stick to it.  Tues/Thurs/Sat Swim, Wed/Fri/Sun Bike, Mon/Wed/Sun Run.  A little OCD. 

10. Who’s your athletic hero? If you have one… 

Changes depending on the day, time and year. For example in 1991 it was Alex Popov

11. What’s your favourite Whistler event/trail/race etc. 

I used to really like the Whistler 10k

12. Describe your athletic style/career in one sentence. 

Gun goes off, I am in the race, no race I am all fun and games. 

13. Describe that nightmare you have before racing (i.e. I show up without pants).

I got nothing here. 

14. 3 words that describe you as a person.

Talkative, competitive, know-it-all. 

15. Dream sponsor?

Hershey’s Chipits, I like making chocolate chip cookies!

(Editor’s note: my children and I are thankful).

Thanks Higgi!  Stay tuned for more…