Chicopee

Chicopee

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

ENDURrun 2018, Stage 7: Marathon

Stage 7, the final stage of the ENDURrun, is a two loop course, starting at the same location as Stage 1. It is mostly rural roads, and can get pretty darn lonely as the already small field spreads out a fair bit over 26.2 miles (42.2 km).

As I mentioned in the last post, I needed to run 3:29:15 or faster in this 7th and final stage for my relay team to set an all-female team relay record. I also could not be beaten by Aidan by more than 36 minutes for my team to retain our third place overall position in this year's race.

Gillian needed to get a long run in, so she signed up as a pacer and joined me for 25 km. She ran the first loop (we passed through the half at 1:41:53) plus a bit with me, then turned around to finish up her run and watch all of the finishers come in at the end of their marathons. After she left... I was all alone and man did the miles drag. There weren't really any spectators out, so it was just at the aid stations where I could see people and get some sort of distraction from the running. I slowed down in the same section as every other year... 2nd loop, going uphill from Bridge onto Woolwich, until getting onto University, then picked it back up to normal pace for the rest.

I finished the marathon in 3:24:59, so our H+P Women's A team now holds the record for an all female team. I also finished 3rd woman, and 3rd Ultimate female for the week.

Final standings after all 7 stages:

Men
1 Rob
2 Aidan
3 Christian
4 Nick
5 Dave

Women
1 Val
2 Robyn
3 Me
4 Rebecca
5 Lumi

Saturday, August 18, 2018

ENDURrun 2018, Stage 7: 10K time trial

Today was the second to last stage of ENDURrun 2018, the 10K time trial.

In this stage, the runners start one minute apart, from slowest to fastest, just like the 15K on Monday.
As the shortest stage of the week, stage 6 doesn't tend to affect the overall standings a lot so I didn't want to run it too hard and risk hurting my marathon, but also don't want to run it too easy and potentially give up time to another runner.

I continued the trend (and "goal") of "slower than last year, faster than two years ago. Last year, I finished in 41:15, two years ago, 45:12. Today, I finished in the stage in 43:49.

2018 ENDURrun Stage 6 Sneak Peek: 10km Time Trial


I finished 4th ultimate female on the stage today, so I actually did give up a bit of time, but it was only 3 seconds. I am 3rd ultimate female in the cumulative, going into the marathon tomorrow. 

I am not just running the marathon for myself tomorrow, I am also the relay runner for the H+P Women's A team, who is chasing a record for an all women's team. In order to get the record, I have to run 3:29:15 or faster tomorrow. Fingers crossed, I make that happen! I'll certainly try my best.

Standings after Stage 6:

Men
1 Rob
2 Aidan
3 Christian
4 Nick
5 Dave

Women
1 Val
2 Robyn
3 Me
4 Rebecca
5 Lumi

Friday, August 17, 2018

ENDURrun 2018, Stage 5: Chicopee Ski Hill, 16 miles (25.6 km)

It was a wet and humid morning.
It rained a bunch last night and this morning, it rained a little during, but mostly it was just super humid.

My shoes were drenched by the end of the first lap, all I wanted to do for a good chunk of the race was dive into a pool, even though my clothes felt like I had just gotten OUT of a pool.

I gave myself a few non-time goals for today: (1) stay upright, (2) run every single step up the ski hill, (3) finish no worse than 3rd ultimate female. All three of these were accomplished.

As per the theme of this week, I ran slower than last year, but faster than 2 years ago. I finished the stage in 2:43:03, 3rd ultimate female.

No change in my place today, but there was a swap for first and second. There was a change in third for the guys.

Standings after stage 5 are:

Men
1 Rob
2 Aidan
3 Christian
4 Nick
5 Dave

Women
1 Val
2 Robyn
3 Me
4 Rebecca
5 Lumi

Thursday, August 16, 2018

ENDURrun 2018, Stage 4: 10 mile hilly road

Last night, was my least favourite stage of the ENDURrun, the 10 mile hilly run. I don't actually hate the course, but I'm not a giant fan of evening races. It's just odd all day, not really knowing what to do with yourself, rather than just getting up in the morning and getting ready to race.

During the day, I lounged a lot, and not a lot else. I headed to the race start around 4:40pm and arrived just under an hour before race start. I ran a short warmup with Gill and got ready to head down for the walk to the start line, which is at the bottom of a hill.

I gave myself a very wide range goal of "slower than last year, faster than 2 years ago" so I had an 8 minute window for a goal time since last year I ran 1:11 and two years ago was 1:19.

I started out running with Val and Stefan for a bit, but it spread out after a few km.

I ran pretty evenly last night, with my second half about 20 seconds faster than the first half. I finished in 1:15:06, right smack in the middle of my last two years, so I'm happy with that. I felt better than I ever remember feeling in other years. I finished 3rd for the ultimate women again, 4th including relay and guest runners, as my friend (and teammate) Gill ran 1:08:14, winning for the women!

After the race was over, I changed into dry clothes and got settled with my chair to enjoy the post-race feast with the others. Thursday night is a good one, food wise (they all are, but I look forward to the tuna melts at this one!), and this was no exception. I enjoyed my food and the company and sat there until it was dark, and we all disbursed home: another great day/evening at the ENDURrun.

Men after stage 4:
1 Rob
2 Aidan
3 Dave
4 Nick
5 Christian

Women after stage 4:
1 Robyn
2 Val
3 Me
4 Rebecca
5 Lumi

2018 ENDURrun Stage 4 Sneak Peek: 10 Mile Hilly Road Race
Early in the race


2018 ENDURrun Stage 4 Sneak Peek: 10 Mile Hilly Road Race
The final hill to the finish

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

ENDURrun 2018, Stage 3: 30K

Yesterday was the first of the bigger stages of the ENDURrun. It was the 30 km cross country stage at Bechtel Park in Waterloo, a 5km loop with grass, road, hills, and trails, run 6 times.

My back was feeling much better, so I was cautiously optimistic for this one.

As I started running, I felt good, and was actually in race mode mentally for the first time in a long time. Unfortunately, that didn't last the whole race. I fell out of race mode in the fourth loop. It suddenly got really hot mid-stage, but I'm not using that as an excuse, the drop in pace was all me.
I did still increase my lead over 4th place, which was my main goal going into this stage, so I'm happy enough with it. Hopefully one of these days I'll get back into (and be able to stay in) mental race mode.

First 3 laps were pretty consistent and solid:
(1) 24:11, (2) 24:14, (3) 24:16

The second half looks like a different race all together:
(4) 25:05, (5) 25:42, (6) 25:42

I finished in 2:29:10, which is again my second fastest time on this course (the theme so far this week). I also broke my streak of improving on this stage every year, but I knew that was going to happen. I hadn't put in the work to be at last year's level of fitness.

Standings after Stage 3:

Men
1 Rob
2 Aidan
3 Dave
4 Nick
5 Christian

Women
1 Robyn
2 Val
3 Me
4 Rebecca
5 Lisa

Last night, was sushi night, a tradition for the last 5 or 6 years, then a few of us went out for a beer afterward; it was both a fun and delicious evening.


Tonight is the 10 miler on a hilly road at 6pm, my least favourite stage, but at least it's a shorter one. Hopefully it's not super hot.

Monday, August 13, 2018

ENDURrun 2018, Stage 2: 15K TT

Today's stage was a 15km out and back where the runners start 1 minute apart in reverse of the finishing order from Stage 1. It's a fairly long time from the first runner's start to the last, but the runners finish in close succession.

I finished the stage in 1:05:03 today, moving into 3rd place female. 
There were no changes in the gold jerseys today, but there were changes in the top 5.

After Stage 2:

Men
1 Rob
2 Aidan
3 Dave
4 Nick
5 Christian

Women
1 Robyn
2 Valery
3 Vicki (me)
4 Lisa
5 Rebecca

The back held up better than expected today, it definitely wasn't perfect, but I thought it would be worse, so I'm happy about that.

It felt more tight/stiff than sore today, and didn't really get any worse. It seemed to limit my pace to around half marathon pace, but I could hold that for the most part, so I was OK with that. I'm hoping it wasn't just that it was a shorter stage today and that maybe just maybe it's getting better.

Tomorrow will be a real test of how things are feeling. It's a 30K rolling course, so if the back isn't happy, it's going to feel like a very very long day.

Photo by Reza

Sunday, August 12, 2018

ENDURrun 2018, Stage 1: Half Marathon

It's 6:05am: I'm drinking coffee and eating some apple & cinnamon bread type thing with a bit of peanut butter. The race starts in one hour and fifty five minutes. Am I ready? Who knows. As ready as I'll ever be, I guess. Time is up.

***

Well... the race happened. It did not go as planned. It started out fine, but that didn't last. And it didn't last for a very frustrating reason. The second loop (the course is a ~13K loop followed by an ~8K loop), my back started bothering me. I had slept on the GO train on Friday morning and when I woke up and moved, I had pain in my back, something that has never really happened to me before. For the most part, I wasn't really having any issues with this, but when I'd lean over, occasionally I'd feel it in the same spot. I felt this this morning when I leaned over to spit after brushing my teeth, so I knew it was still there, but didn't really expect it to bug me when running, because I was fine yesterday. Mind you, I only ran a few km yesterday. So... this back issue crept up and I did not have much fun. I slowed down somewhat... just wanting to get to the finish line where I knew I could be treated by either a massage therapist or a chiropractor who were offering their services for the week (KW Health Connection). Colin worked on me for a bit, so hopefully things will be better tomorrow.

Funny thing is, I actually had a lingering leg thing for a few months, which I thought would be the issue. I never expected a back thing! I guess it's not really funny... but yeah.

So... finish time today was 1:34:57. I am currently 4th female. 55 seconds back from 3rd.

Rob and Robyn were awarded the gold jerseys today and will have the privilege to wear them and start last in the time trial tomorrow. 

Leaderboards so far:

Men:
1 Rob Brouillette
2 Dave Harmsworth
3 Aidan Rutherford
4 Nick Burt
5 Conner Krofchick

Women:
1 Robyn Collins
2 Valery Hobson
3 Lisa Leskien
4 Vicki Zandbergen (me)
5 Rebecca Kruisselbrink

(Full results can be found here)

Tomorrow is the 15K time trial, where we start 1 minute apart. My scheduled start time is 8:48am, so I'm looking forward to sleeping slightly later tomorrow morning.

2018 ENDURrun Stage 1: Half Marathon