Sunday, 4 January 2015

2014. The Year I Became an Ultra Runner.

Happy New Year Friends!!!!
I cannot believe how quickly 2014 has come and gone. This brings us to 2015 and also the time of year that I get to brag about my year :)
2014 started off with me signing up for Deathrace and also joining a running group here in Red Deer. Running with the marathon group was the best thing I did! It kept me going and got me out running even when it was uber cold and snowy.
I followed my training plan pretty accurately, and my (many pairs of) running shoes saw about 2000 kilometres.

My race season started off in March with the Hypothermic Half Marathon. When I signed up for this run I didn't actually plan on getting Hypothermia, but the temperature was -36C (-47C with the windchill).
In April I discovered yoga while running! This was an amazing experience for me. Not only was this a relaxing time for me, but also it was wonderful for stretching and for flexibility.
May was my month of crazy!!! I felt confident that if I could survive this month, then I could achieve anything. May long weekend I ran Woody's full marathon in Red Deer, AB. It POURED rain the entire 4 hours, but I finished. And I felt good :) My goal was under 4 hours, but I did it in 4:04 (the exact same as the previous year). I will break a 4 hour marathon ;)
The weekend after May long I ran my first ever solo Ultra! 50K at the Blackfoot Ultra. What an amazing feeling! Finishing 50K! I placed 36/108 and it took me 5 hours and 45 minutes.
The weekend right after Blackfoot found me in Grande Cache, AB for the Deathrace training camp. Three days to run and bike all 125km was just what I needed for training. This was an amazing weekend that gave me the mental advantage I needed.
June was my 2nd 50K race. What a beautiful weekend away in the mountains! Rundles Revenge in Canmore is held at the Canmore Nordic Center every year in June. I had high moments and low moments during this race, but nothing beat the feeling of being called up on to the podium for 3rd open female. I got to stand on the podium with one of my running heroes (Abi Moore).

You can actually see my admiration for Abi! :) I was overjoyed!
In July I had the privilege of running Sinister 7 as a team of 3. My good friend Robyn ran leg 1, I ran legs 2, 3 and 4, and my brother in law (Erik) ran legs 5, 6 and 7. I am so proud of us all for completing this phenomenal run in the mountains of the Crowsnest Pass.

Sinister 7 was also another race where all of these Ultra marathons start to become very surreal. Michelle Barton (an INKnBURN elite) ran Sin7 this year! I was not expecting her to be there, So you can imagine my excitement when my sister texted me to tell me she saw her at package pickup. It was an amazing experience to run with her on the trails and chat with her.

Ok. August. This is what my entire year of training was for! The Canadian Deathrace! 125KM in the mountains of Northern Alberta. Most of you have read my previous blog (so I won't talk too much about my experience). But I finished!!! Not only did I finish, but I crushed my goal of 22 hours. My final time was 20 hours and 3 minutes. I finished 5th overall female and 2nd in my age group. I was so proud. I am pretty much still glowing in my accomplishment.

The kids Deathrace was another super proud moment of the summer! My son (Nathan), my niece (Katie) and my nephew (Ethan) all ran the 5K kids Deathrace with Chris and Matt. Nathan and Ethan took 10 minutes off their time from last year! And Matt and Chris had ran legs 2 and 1 the day before. I ran the kids Deathrace last year. It is tough!!! :)

It took about a week for my legs to recover after Deathrace, so August and most of September saw me running shorter distances until I ran Melissa's half marathon.
Melissa's is held in Banff every year and is always a blast! This year was no different. It was a tough a half, but I managed to maintain my record of always running a half in under 2 hours :)

And finally, to end my year, was the Grizzly Ultra 50K in Canmore, AB on Thanksgiving weekend. I signed up for this run while still on my Deathrace high and I am so happy that I did! It was a super fun run and a great way to end 2014!
I would like to thank all of you for your cheering and words of encouragement over the past year! I would especially like thank my husband and children! 2014 has been amazing and tough and I could not have done it with out all of your support! Also deserving thanks are my parents, sister, in-laws, brother in laws and their families, who were with me every step of the way!
I would also like to send out special thanks to INKnBURN for allowing me to wear their amazing gear as an ambassador! It has been such a fun year and I look forward to proudly representing INKnBURN again in 2015!
I have made a lot of fun discoveries over the past year (such as Vitargo energy and recovery drink). I still have a lot to learn, and I feel as though my Ultra running is a work in progress. I still need to find the perfect shoe ;) and I will have a lot of fun finding the perfect diet to fuel my body.
2015 will be another busy and exciting year! I have big dreams and plans and I hope that you will all follow me on my journey.