Wednesday, October 7, 2009

At the Start Line

Well I suppose I should begin at the beginning. I started running in 2005 when I needed an outlet for stress (and excess calories!). Shortly after I started running I took a road trip to the East Coast and went on my first trail run somewhere in a Nova Scotia forest. It was a lot of fun and such a different experience than road running, I loved it! But I was pretty sore after and realised that switching from road to trail would be a transition I'd need to pay attention to. Four years, 2 kids, and one horrible marathon later I decided it was time for something different. So I decided I'd train for my first 50K ultra marathon. I knew I wasn't built for speed but I loved the challenge of pushing myself and felt a huge sense of accomplishment after covering more and more distance.

In June I started to hit the trails around Kingston; Frontenac Park, Little Cataraqui Conservation Area, the Rideau Trail and a few other local spots. At the same time I started to experiment with minimalist running after hearing a news spot on CBC about Christopher McDougall's new book Born to Run. It was a real eye opener and got me to think outside the box when it came to running gear, injuries, and running philosophies.

I got myself a pair of Vibram Five Finger KSOs and would integrate wearing those in with my regular training. While I love the protection that the VFFs offer, I must say I prefer going completely barefoot, mainly for conveniences' sake. With the thought of the ultra in my mind however, I knew I wouldn't be ready to dive right into 50k without shoes so I did most of my road training in old Mizuno Wave Riders, (which I trained for the '09 Ottawa Marathon, Dirty Girls, Haliburton and am still running in now!). On the trails I like to wear my New Balance - the one with the clock - trail shoes, and I just recently purchased a pair of lime green Brooks Cascadias (not ready to give up the shoe fetish completely!).

Come August I thought I'd want to try my legs in a shorter trail race and found out about the Dirty Girls race in Mansfield, Ontario. So I signed up and had a great time. Finished 30K in 4 hours right on the nose.
Race report:

Photos: me at the finish line (the 30kers started a half hour after the clock started, hence the 4:30); Name in print - official Dirty Girl!

After Dirty Girls I felt a little more prepared for Haliburton and the training went relatively well, but got a little interrupted in August when we moved to Sudbury from Kingston, where I started my first year in the Midwifery Education Program. Come race day, I was excited, feeling good and ended up having the best race experience of my life.

Another race blurb on Running Mania:

Photo: At the Haliburton starting line - 6am.

So that's it in a nutshell. Next on the list is the Vulture Bait 50K in London, ON. Trying my best to get some time on my feet to train while going to school full time, taking care of a 3 and 1.5 year old, and nursing a sore groin. As long as I get there, that's all that matters.
See ya in the forest!

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