Guest Post – Candice Runs 50 Miles

Last year, I ran The North Face San Fran 50Miler in December, and this year, I decided that I wasn’t going to go back (can you blame me with the year I had of injuries?) but Shea & Melissa wanted redemption on the race and convinced Candice to join them.  The funny story of Candice is that just a few short years ago (1.5 years to be really exact) Candice thought trail running was not her thing. Candice thought that it was much too adventurous and hardcore, and she’d much rather run a road marathon than a trail 50K, thank you very much.  

It’s been a real treat for me to see a friend who never thought trails were for her grow to not only love them, but really come into her own through adventures and ultramarathons.  It really is true that the mountains and the woods get inside of us and change who we thought we were.  It’s been a pleasure to see just how much Candice has grown.  Although I wasn’t there to see her cross the finish line, I was stalking the results and cheering loud for her, and all of my friends down in San Fran this year.

And now I’ll let Candice tell you about her journey to completing her first 50Miler.

-S

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Night of the Running Dead – Race Review

I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned this on the blog, but Jay and I absolutely adore Walking Dead.  I fought against watching the show for a couple of years to be honest, I don’t love guts or gore and I certainly don’t love zombie, so no point in me watching.  Right?  Wrong.  Walking Dead is almost totally not about zombies.  Yes, there’s zombies in every episode, but it’s more of a story line about people and their morals and relationships and finding out exactly what they will or will not do when pushed over their limits.

Anyways, when Melissa & Shea insisted we sign up for a 5K Zombie run in Bellingham, we hummed and hawed, but worst case, even with my injuries, I can walk 5K so we said yes.  Coming up with a running costume is always a challenge, but with the zombie theme, we couldn’t resist dressing up as Walking Dead characters.  Jay was Rick Grimes, and I was kind of a person, kind of a place, I was Terminus.

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Of course, if you don’t watch Walking Dead, our outfits really didn’t make any sense.

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Guest Post – Chloe & Chantelle Run Whistler Half

Ahhh two of my little baby beasts ran the Whistler Half Marathon together a couple of weeks ago, after completing a training cycle under the watchful eye of their Beast Coach.  You may know Chloe Jr from the Guest Posts she’s done for the blog, but you probably don’t know her bestie, Chantelle.  When I first met Chantelle, she started coming with Chloe to Ladies of the Trails, and her and Chloe would hang out, back of the pack, chatting away the entire time about food.  No joke, the entire run was food based.  Both of them newer to trail running, it was always fun to take them through the muddier sections and listen to their squeals and watch them try to avoid as much mud as possible.

But, beneath their playful exterior, I knew that Chloe was a super strong runner, and so much stronger than she believed, and as I got to know Chantelle, I realized the besties had that in common as well.  Both of them are beautiful strong women, and that strength has come out even more since embarking on training for this race together.  Over the past few months they’ve put in the work, never questioned or whined or complained, just put their heads down and ran.

And now, the last time we went running, before this half marathon even took place, Chantelle and Chloe were both up at the front of the pack, asking me about a FULL marathon training plan, and how much work and time would go into it.  You could just feel the running love, and how much they’d both grown in their running.  It was a super proud beast moment.

This is the story of how their race went.  This was Chantelle’s first ever half marathon, and I know first hand how meaningful it is to finish a big goal with a friend by your side.  Brings my back to when I finished my first marathon, with Cathy by my side.

Running and friendship often go hand in hand, and I know how close these girls are, and am so happy they’ve also been able to take their friendship onto the trails and onto the pavement, training side by side.

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Sun Mountain 50K – Race Recap

Short version: I made a deal with the devil to have my last run for a while in a gorgeous stunning location, and even though sections of it were unbearably painful, I ran with a friend, and spent just over 6 hours coming to terms with the fact that I was indeed injured, and would have to stop running. But it was a beautiful place to run!

10339449_10154127259175313_8424033575374112316_o The long version?  Grab a cup of coffee and let’s chat… Continue reading

Yakima 50K

I’ve been trying to decide whether to write a short version recap and a long version, or maybe give myself more time to “get over” the horrible race I had.  So, I’m just going to sit down, start typing, and see what comes out.

First off, I want to make something clear, I LOVE technical trail running.  Technical meaning that you have to have fast feet, there’s tons of roots, rocks, twists, turns along the trail, and you have to be on your toes, ready for anything.  For the most part, Vancouver area trails are considered technical.  There are some exceptions to this of course, and not all trails around here are that technical, but on a whole, the majority of the trails are.  For example, the Baden Powell on a whole, is considered a very technical trail.  The loop around Rice Lake and the connector trails like Twin Bridges or Fisherman’s to name a few well known local trails, are not considered technical.

Secondly, I also want to make it clear that I am damn proud of this race finish, no matter how slow it was, but, I did have a terrible day out there, and this recap will be a whiny mess, because that’s how I was on Sunday.  I will not apologize for hating this race, because that’s how I feel.

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Thirdly, call it what you want; character building, worst case scenario training, a challenge, whatever you want, it’s not going to change the fact that I hated this race.  This takes nothing away from the stunning views and landscape of the Yakima Canyon.  It is an absolutely gorgeous place to run a race, but I personally do not believe in running a race on rocky horse trails, it just isn’t fun to me.  Yes, I realize that some people look at this race as a gnarly challenge and that excites them.  That isn’t me, and that won’t be me.  I love to be challenged, I do not like to put myself in a position to feel unnecessary pain.  Yes, running an ultra marathon for fun could be considered unnecessary pain if that isn’t the norm for your life.  It is the norm for my life, but the only requirement is that the races and runs are still fun in the end.

Sunday, in no way, shape, or form was fun for me.  Not even a little bit, and that’s where I draw the line.

Not sick of me whining yet?  Here comes the race recap…

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Cap Crusher 13K 2014 – Race Recap

Coast Mountain Trail Series – Cap Crusher – March 23, 2014

It seems like it’s kind of the theme for 2014 to run races, but not actually race them.  In a way, it’s a bit sad considering I do love that pushing yourself, racing, competitive feeling.  I just have been struggling with injuries and issues, and haven’t been up to racing condition.  Why run a race then?  Because races are about so much more than actually racing.  They are about the community, they are about seeing friends, supporting friends, being outside, and most of all just being active, getting a solid run in.

I’ll be honest, I was 100% going to drop from the 13K to the 8K on Sunday morning, but Dave wouldn’t let me, and to be honest, Dave and I have run so many trying training runs that I knew it was going to be fine, just another training run, disguised as a race.

I don’t have too much to say about the race, as it was short for a race for me, but Jay was out taking pictures, and it was the perfect spring day to go for a run!

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Lord Hill 50K errrr 32K Race Recap

There’s a ton of cliche sayings that could describe yesterday…

When life throws you lemons, make lemonade….The best laid plans…and most importantly…Some days you gotta dance!

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What?  You don’t even know what I’m referring to?  Ya, sorry, kind of ‘forgot’ to tell you.  Basically because I didn’t really want to admit that I had fallen to the powers of FOMO and signed up for a 50K with just a few days notice.  And, I was going into this race knowing that it was a 3 loop course, and that I could drop to a shorter distance depending on how my foot felt at any time.  It was kind of a win-win to go into a race, have 3 different distance options (16k, 32k, 50k) and know that whatever happened, it would be a good training day.

So, long story short, I signed up for a 50K, was on schedule, but weather stepped in, and we arrived after start time, got ourselves ready to go, and started the race 25 mins behind everyone else, spent the entire race debating on 32K vs 50K (2 loops vs 3 loops), and ended up making the choice to just run 32K strongly and finish strong and happy.  It was the PERFECT choice.

Long story with pictures from my awesome personal race photographer?  Yes please!

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Steveston Ice-Breaker 8km 2014- Race Recap

Last year, I started this race recap saying “My first race of 2013 was fantastic!  It was a reminder of why I love running, racing, and sharing my love of running with others who feel the same.”

Hahaha, I can’t say the same thing this year.  Not even close.

The short version :

It was a beautiful crisp winter morning, and our crew was all on time, looking bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready to race.  Unfortunately, my Yasso’s a couple weeks ago were not a clear indication of my fitness, and my left foot is acting up pretty terribly in my road shoes.

Spoiler alert : I finished in 37:44, a PW (personal worst) from last year’s 37:19.  BUT, I have amazing running friends, that I’m so very thankful for.

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The North Face San Fran 50Miler – Race Recap – Short Novel Version

I wrote the point form version of my race recap yesterday, and while it was easier to organize and cut my race down into sections, it really didn’t fulfill my need to blog.  The reason I blog first and foremost, is to work through the emotions of an experience and grow as a person.  Secondly, is to inspire others to realize they can do so much more than they think they can.  Thirdly, is about my experiences helping others.  What works for me won’t work for everyone else, but it can provide ideas, insight, and can help others with their own preparations or races.  While point form was easy and concise, it just isn’t me, and such a big experience deserves a novel long blog post.

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So, grab yourself a coffee, and have a read on my experience running my first 50Miler, The North Face Endurance Challenge, San Francisco Goretex 50 Mile race.  Yep, that’s a mouthful of a race name.

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The North Face San Fran 50Miler – Race Recap – Point Form Version

Gosh.  My first (and maybe only) 50 Miler.

I know sometimes I talk too much, and my recaps can be very long winded.  So, I decided to do 2 versions.  A short version for those of you that just want the gist of the race, and a long version for those of you who like to read the novel.

Bret & I around 75 K into the race :

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For those of you who don’t want to read a long recap, here’s a point form version:

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