Saturday, April 23, 2011

Broken... again.

Well, I have a stress fracture. I haven't had it diagnosed officially, but I don't need to since this is my THIRD time through this in the past 5 years.

Not too concerned about taking some time off since I don't have any imminent races. What I am concerned about is the ease with which I seem to acquire fractures. I wasn't increasing my mileage (in fact, April was much lighter than March). It wasn't from my race. I wasn't overdoing anything, and I wasn't doing anything stupid. So where did this come from? Am I more susceptible than average? Do I have low bone density? Is something else going on?

I have no idea, so I plan to go get some tests done next week. Might as well get everything checked out just in case... bone density, vitamin D, and anything else that might be relevant...

And I guess for awhile I will be walking and cycling instead of running. :(

Monday, April 18, 2011

weekly summary

I only ran twice last week. I felt exhausted and unmotivated all week. Add to that the fact that I am now thinking I might not make it to White River this year... the trip was just too expensive last year and I can run local races for much cheaper. I haven't decided 100% yet but I'm leaning towards no. :( That leaves me with no goal race, so I'm going to need to decide on one if I want to maintain motivation.

Anyway, 2 runs for a grand total of 10.3 miles.

Weight: 136.6 (that seems like a drop but it's within regular fluctuation range for me so we'll see what it does next week).

Friday, April 15, 2011

Feature Friday

I'm tickled and honoured to be the subject of "Feature Friday" on my cousin's blog. Check it out! :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Day 3, and my quads are STILL trashed. Ran tonight... it was supposed to be "gentle" and "easy" but one girl in our group didn't have anyone to run with so I went with her and ended up doing a tougher route at a faster pace than I should have. oops. My legs are NOT happy with me (neither were my lungs, on the switchback...). I guess I'm not quite recovered... in spite of having had four naps in the first two days after Diez. lol That race wiped me out. But... maybe I'll run it again next year. ;)

Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to White River in July. I love that race so much and can't wait to run it again. I'm hoping to take an hour off of my time this year. We'll see though. That might be a little over-ambitious.

In other news, I need to lose a few pounds. And I think that putting it out publicly for the world to see might help motivate me. The problem is simply that I eat too much junk. I eat based on how I feel each day, and what I'm craving, and what I'm in the mood for. Last year prior to training for White River I was 142lb, and then lost 7lb in training so I was 135 for WR. Then over the fall/winter I gained/lost here and there, and currently I am at 138. So that is still lower than a year ago, but I would love to get down to 130 for WR. Heaven knows I do enough walking and running to burn it off... the problem is my eating habits! So for the next while I'll be adding my current weight to my weekly summaries... maybe that will help keep me accountable...? ugh. Goodbye home baking. :(

And, finally, I was perusing my ultrasignup stats today. I love their rating system (for those unfamiliar, it compares my time with the winning women's time of each race... then averages out all my rankings to give me an overall ranking). What I've noticed is that my performance doesn't seem to depend on my training. My rankings all fall within a 5% range, and I don't generally do better when I train harder. hm. Maybe there is not enough data (I really only have a few races on there... and the site is missing my first 50k from 2007). Or maybe that is just my ability and I'm not sure how to break out of that rut... if running more miles doesn't do it, then what would? I mean, I'll never be *fast* but it would be nice if I could at least see improvement.

anyway, that's enough navel-gazing for one night. Onward! :)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Diez Vista 50k Race Report

Today was the 15th annual Diez Vista 50k, held at Sasamat Lake. Since it was my first year running it, they decided to add an extra 1000 feet of climbing on an already tough course (ok, they didn't do it for me but because of construction and flooding going on). I knew it was going to be a tough course by the elevation profile:

What I didn't know was how difficult the actual trails would be, apart from the elevation. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

After about 3 hours of sleep, I woke up this morning with a sore throat and sniffles. Hoped it would be nothing. We started at 7:30am. I knew that the toughest climb was in the first 5 miles (see profile above ;) so I was prepped for that. But whether I'm coming down with a cold or there is some other factor at play, I felt completely winded all day. I always lose my breath on the tough climbs, but today was especially bad. My heart rate was too high and I couldn't get my breath, even on easier sections. This made the steep climbs really tough, and I kept having to pause and catch my breath. It slowed me down a lot over the course of the day. :(

Aside from being winded, I felt physically and mentally fine today.

The first big climb takes you up 1600 feet over 8km, but it starts out gentle and gets progressively steeper (and more technical) as you go. After the first aid station, it was straight up, and many people passed me on this climb as I was constantly stopping to get my breath. I actually felt dizzy a few times and wondered if I should continue, but I figured the climb couldn't last forever and then I'd be fine. ;)

Here are some of the Vistas along the way:

After the major climb, there is a long, technical downhill to the second aid station. This was my favourite part of the race. I love technical downhills, and I was still fresh enough to really enjoy it. The trails in this section are rough, narrow, and in some places barely there. It was just me and the earth, boulders, trees, and water. A trail runner's nirvana is that feeling of being connected to the earth. And this might sound hokey to some, but I also felt more connected to my aboriginal roots than I think I ever have. Loved this section.

As I arrived at the second aid station, this sign made me smile:

I confess that the next section is a bit hazy in my memory. There were some gravel sections, some dirt sections, some ups and downs, but nothing particularly memorable. I don't remember the third aid station at all, but I remember the 4th for two reasons: I stopped to use the outhouse there (first time I've ever had to pee during an ultra) and it was the start of the second-largest climb, on an out-and-back. This climb started with a big switchback but then became gentler for awhile before coming out of the soft happy trails and onto a really rocky, awful powerline-trail-type-road-thing. It was brutal... mentally more than physically. Throughout the race there had been a number of loose-rock sections that were tough to run (think creek bed rocky) but this was the mother of them all. I was really glad when we crested the top of this climb because I knew that any climbs after that would be smaller. Down to the 5th aid station, where I finally got some Coke (I didn't see any before then...) and wanted to take the bottle with me! It was so yummy. The other bonus to this aid station was that it was at 37km, so when we turned around to go back along the powerline again, it felt like we were on the home stretch.

Coming down to the last aid station at 44km, I was hurting... even the downhill hurt at this point. I knew that we were getting close, and I thought all the climbing was over. Then a lady who was passing me said that there was another climb. At first I thought she was joking; she wasn't. There was a huge hill after the aid station (it felt enormous, but was actually small compared to the others!). Then I lost heart a bit, and I started to get grouchy and whiny. I couldn't believe how long it was taking and how much I was hurting, and how annoyingly rocky the trail was. I walked most of the last few km back.

Arriving at the finishing chute, I was walking. The announcer said that they weren't going to cheer unless I ran into the finish, so I did! It hurt. But there was apple crisp waiting for me at the finish, so that was worth it.

I clocked in at 8:54ish. I never dreamed it would take me that long, or that the course was that tough (I think my breathing issues made a big difference too). That's a full hour slower than my previous slowest time, and I'm much better trained now than I was for the previous one.

Now please pass the icecream and ibuprofen. :)