Running

I never really considered myself to be an “athlete” growing up. I participated in many different extracurricular activities from piano to dance and soccer to cheerleading (including a short stint in ’01 and ’06 as a “Felion” on the BC Lions CFL ‘cheer team’). I ran my first ever 10km (Vancouver Sun Run) in high school and first half marathon (BMO Vancouver) in 2007.

Running and I have become better and better friends as time goes on. There are few other cardio activities that burn as many calories and provide that ‘endorphin high’ within a short period of time. I like the fact that you can essentially run anywhere, anytime – no need for a net, ball or the weather to be perfect. Vancouverites are also fortunate to train in a temperate climate with plenty of parks, trails and seawall access.

Here is a bit of a visual recap from running events over the past few years:

BMO half marathon PB in 2013 - 1:40:43

BMO half marathon PB in 2013

2015 Vancouver "First Half" Marathon

2015 Vancouver “First Half” Marathon

Bachelorette weekend half marathon in Palm Springs. Yes, it was crazy thought, but we did it and placed 3rd and 4th in our age category!

Palm Springs half marathon on a bachelorette weekend. Yes, it was a crazy idea, but we finished and placed 3rd and 4th in our age category!

This year, I finally reached a goal that I have been working towards for the past 3 years.                               Here’s a blurb on: My Most Memorable Marathon

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Mom and dad at the finish line :)

Mom and dad at the finish line :)

Running is a lifestyle for many of us. Signing up for these big races is a huge motivator for me to reach new goals and push myself to work harder than I have in the past; it is as much a mental game as it is physical. This is my third time running the new BMO marathon course, with the overall goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. The 2 previous times, I finished in 3:48 (1st marathon – 2012) and last year 3:35 (3rd marathon – 2014), which were both too slow for my age category. The infamous “WALL” tends to hit most marathoners around the 36km mark – which happens to be around the seawall on this course. I had fallen victim to this in the other 2 races and decided that this year I wasn’t going to let it happen again!! Most of my training runs involve some aspect of the seawall and I would tell myself in training (along with my favourite songs blasting through my headphones), I’m going to “crush this seawall” ….This year, I felt as though all the pieces of the puzzle fell into place. Here are the pieces that led to my most memorable marathon to date:
 
– I paid closer attention to carbohydrate loading in the few days before the race (with high quality, nutrient-dense foods)
– Diligence with both the long runs, speed work mid-week and recovery exercises/stretching. I’m part of the Forerunner’s (Kitsilano) run club where there is such a diverse group of inspirational runners!!
– A proper 3-week taper, with minimal activity leading to race day
– Practice with pre and post-workout nutrition, using chocolate milk or the Vega recovery accelerator post long runs
– Fueling with gels that you’ve tried before, I aimed for every 45-50 minutes on course
– A Fabulous play-list of motivating music –>  I love my dance and DJ mixes with a little top 40
– Knowing your friends and family are waiting for you at the end (and of course cheering you on throughout the course)!
 

  All of these led to my personal best marathon time of 3:29:49, which means I’m pretty much guaranteed to be able to participate in the 2016 Boston Marathon. With patience, commitment and dedication, anything is possible!

Boston here I come! The clock time is a bit slower than my chip time of 3:29:49

Boston here I come! The clock time is a bit slower than my chip time of 3:29:49

 

My partner Carolyn and I attempting to qualify for Boston in 2014 – no luck in the rain that time!

I thought this time was fast enough to get me to Boston...not quite! It was about 13 seconds too slow...

I thought this time was fast enough to get me to Boston…not quite! It was about 13 seconds too slow…

Family shot at the Thanksgiving Turkey Trot in 2013

Family shot at the Thanksgiving Turkey Trot in 2013

Seawheeze Half Marathon in August 2014 with the Higgins' family

Seawheeze Half Marathon in August 2014 with the Higgins’ family

Not my best time, but still a fun race around UBC with great friends!

Not my best time, but still a fun race around UBC with great friends!