Monday, 7 July 2014

Rundles Revenge 50 K

Wow! What a Beautiful weekend away in the mountains of Banff, AB!
I ran my second Ultra marathon on June 22, It was The Northface TransRockies event called Rundles Revenge, held in the rocky mountains of Canmore, AB.
The event itself is a weekend event, with Mountain biking on Saturday and Running on Sunday. Racers have the choice of doing one or both events in a variety of distances.
I chose to only run the 50K running race which consists of 4 12.5km loops around the Olympic Nordic Center. The course was pretty much 2.5km up, 4.5km down, 3km back up with 2.5km of flat in there somewhere :)


The first loop was extremely crowded with all of the 7K, 12.5K, 25K, and 50K runners out there on the trail at one time, but it was fun!
The second loop I felt extremely challenged. My ankle was hurting, a lot, and for the first time ever, I thought that I might not finish after the 3rd loop. But by the 3rd loop the Tylenol kicked in and I was starting to get into my groove :) I try not to use medication while running, but man! Was I ever glad for Tylenol Joint and Muscle!
By the time I came into transition for the 4th loop, quitting was not an option at all! My husband (support crew) filled up my water pack, shoved nutrition at me and stocked my salt pills and EFS and I was back out for one more.
The first 50K run I ever did was in the rolling hills of Edmonton and seemed quite easy compared to this! It took me much longer than I expected to finish, but I don't think I took into consideration the mountains that I would be running.
I crossed the finish line in just under 6hours, 22 minutes. What a great feeling! Finishing 50 kilometres!

I was on a cloud when they announced that they would be awarding the medals for the open women's category in the 50K event. "In 3rd place, With a time of 6:21:56" (At this point I was not sure of my time and I thought, Darn! I just missed it!) and then he finishes with "Kristina Meyer".
I was so excited and in disbelief that I could barely move. I was looking, trying to figure the shortest distance to the podium. It was probably only 200 meters, but it felt much longer as I ran, once again, this time bouncing with joy!
The announcement that put me over the top though was when they announced that Abi Moore won 1st! I was on the podium with Abi Moore!!!! My idol! I could not believe what an amazing day I was having!!!

The fun for this weekend was over, next on to Sinister 7...

Monday, 9 June 2014

More Pics from Deathrace training Weekend

Biking the last half of Leg 1. Leg 1 is the shortest stretch of the race at 19km. The first day we biked the first 5 K, and the last day we ran 6 K and then biked the last 8K.

Night run on the first portion of Leg 5. I will definitely want my glasses with me when I start this one.

Another view of Leg 5. This is the side I will be on once I cross the river on the Ferry.
Another amazing view from Leg 5. Most people will never see this portion of the race in daylight. It is amazing!

The Soul Tree on Leg 5 :)


This was my view every morning from the door and window of the Grande Cache Mountain Lodge. No complaints here :) 
A mountain biker I am not! We biked leg 3 (21km) and it is all mountain. It was my first time ever really mountain biking, and it was so much fun! It scares me to think the places I had to carry my bike I will have to run :l

At the top of Hamel. This is Leg 4. It is a total of 38 km. The views from the top are breathtaking.
This was the group at the finish. 125ish KM covered over 3 days. We started with a  group of 22 and most of us finished the entire thing. The organizers said this was the highest percentage ever to stay right until the end of camp.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Deathrace Training Camp

You see, I have signed up as a solo racer to run the 125KM Canadian Deathrace. I am very dedicated and committed, so I feel as though the training camp was a must!
Thursday evening I drove to Edmonton, just to break up the drive. I was on the road to Grande Cache, AB by 0615 (After a stop at Tim's).
Training started at noon with introductions and instructions, followed by a 8km bike ride. Immediately after that we began to hike/run Leg 2 of Deathrace. It was a beautiful day to summit 2 mountains. It was about 25 KM and it took us about 4 1/2 hours, with a few breaks and stops to discuss included. I really felt I was on top of the world! Even at the bottom of Leg 2! I just finished the dreaded Leg 2! 


Then it was back to the hotel for a quick shower and a light bite and then back out for a 5KM night run on single track. Note to self: I definitely will want my glasses for Leg 5 in the night! Lots of branches and tree roots....
The next morning began at 0930 with a 2 hour mountain bike ride of Leg 3. Now this girl is not a mountain biker. I brought my made for city bike and brought it down trails that it has never seen, and will probably never see again. I was more nervous for the bike ride than running the other 90km. But once I got down the first steep and hill and through the first giant puddle, I realized I was maybe enjoying myself. Actually, I was having a lot of fun! The only part I did not enjoy was scaling the coal/shale cliff (as the trail has been washed away). Thank goodness for the others in the group! They helped get my bike up the 90 degree cliff at the end...

Once we finished the last few kilometres up the highway, it was time for pizza and then back on the trail to hike/run Leg4. This is the same 38km that I ran last year, both in the race and as a training run. I drove to Grande Cache this weekend fully prepared to skip this as I didn't feel I would be able to make it. But surprisingly I felt great, so 2 1/2 hours up the mountain I go. And once we get to the top,  the views always remind me why I enjoy this so much! 



An hour and a half running down brings us to the Aid station, where they have beer waiting for us! What a great idea! Beer. And chips! Yum, what a great beer! Wait! We still have to run another 7km down to the bottom where our cars are waiting for us! Down we go..............
I was completely exhausted and totally dehydrated at this point. In the shower and out for supper we go. It turned into a late night as the supper and billing was extremely slow, but the food, though average,  tasted amazing!
Into bed by midnight and up again for a run and bike ride at 0830. I also thought I was going to skip this morning run, but I felt pretty good, so I joined the group. It was 6K through mud and swamp, up the mountain, down the mountain and then 10K mountain biking.
A quick lunch was had, and we met again at 1230 to hike/run the last portion of Leg 5. 18K. We finished where the actual finish line will be in August. What a great feeling! I just ran/hiked 85K and biked about 35 K, and I feel surprisingly good. Dale Tuck, the race organizer looked at me and said that I looked like I just showed up and was ready to run :)
Lets hope I can pull it all together and keep up my nutrition and hydration over 24 hours instead of over 3 days!
A couple of side notes to add, I would like to Thank Mike, from Leduc for running with me the entire weekend! I think we both helped each other through!
I would also like to add that I was voted best dressed every day by every single group member. Even Dale, though you could see it pained him to say it, admitted he liked my outfits :) Of course he did ;)
I would like to congratulate everyone that finished the weekend, or started and didn't finish! We accomplished more in one weekend than some people will finish in a lifetime. I look forward to race weekend in August. GO DEATHRACER!!!

*Next race is Rundles Revenge (50K) in Canmore, AB on June 22, 2014.

Training for Deathrace! What a Blast Over 3 Weekends!

Wow! What a crazy 3 weekends! At first I thought I really was crazy! How am I going to finish all of this running that I have signed myself up for?! I just kept reminding myself, One weekend at a time, and lots of down time in between.
First was Woody's Marathon. They had been calling for rain all week, so I was mentally prepared for that. It was the headlines that I liked the best "Red Deer likes Wet Woody's". I just learned that we even made the Ellen show! Clever ;)
I started with the mindset that I could maybe break 4 hours, but always thinking I have to take it easy, as I was running my first 50K Ultra the following weekend.
I felt good. I felt pretty strong. I definitely felt better than my first attempt at the same marathon last year! But as luck would have it, at about half way, I came across "runner trouble" and had to stop to use the facilities. But oh well, keep on running. Just one foot in front of the other, just keep running. 
Last year I hit "the wall" at about kilometre 36, I could barely walk, never mind run. But this year, I feel strong, and I ran the entire 42.2 km (except 200 meters on the last hill before the finish line). I finished in almost the exact time as last year, 4:04. Darn that bathroom break! Next year for sure!
It was very cold and extremely wet! There was a torrential downpour as I crossed the finished and could barely see, but I survived the first weekend, and have the medal to show :) 
Next was Blackfoot Ultra in Edmonton...
I took an easy week in preparation for the 50K. Woody's was on Sunday, so I took Monday and Tuesday as rest days, ran 12K on Wednesday and went to Hips and back yoga on Thursday. I took Friday off and Saturday is race day!
I was so nervous going into this race, I have never ran 50K before! I thought I could run it, as I felt good at the finish of Woody's, but I was scared out of my mind. I knew I would not break records, so I went in with a goal of 6 hours.
The race itself is about 30 minutes East of Edmonton in Beautiful lake and tree country. There is a 25K/50K/50mile and 100K race. All of the races follow the same 25 K loop. 
I was pretty excited at the start of this race as I knew one of my fellow INKnBURN ambassadors would be running the 50K too. Heather was super nice and I love that I got to meet another ambassador! the 2 Canadian ambassadors collide :)
Heather won 1st female! Congratulations Heather!
The thing I love the most about trail races and running as compared to road running, is that everyone is super laid back! My first loop went really well! I ran quite a bit of it with another lady that had a lot of really great stories to share about her running career. With her help I finished the first loop in 2:32. I stopped for a little break, to fill up my water pack, to pee and well, wait, I am running a timed event here! I took way too long there (10 minutes), but lesson learned :)
The second loop I chatted quite a bit with another runner from Red Deer, and another lady from Edmonton. I also made sure to walk all of the hills this loop and save some energy for the following weekend of training camp. I took my time and I could have hugged the lady that gave me ice at the second last aid station and the ladies that had ginger ale at the last station (Not because I was sick, just because I was sick of drinking water).
As I was coming up to the finish line I heard "Go Kristina". What?! I was not to have anyone cheering, they all stayed home. The best feeling ever! My father in law had driven out with my mother in law and my youngest son, Nolan. I was so happy to have them there!

It is thanks to Lloyd Meyer that I got the finishing photos as well as the one to follow, after my wardrobe change.
Again, I felt pretty good after running 50K! No! I felt amazing! I just ran my very first Ultra!!! 
I love this race! It was so well organized and supplied! I said I would never run another Ultra after this year, but I think I might do this one. It is fun!
So, it seemed to work for my last week, I thought I would try it again. Race was Saturday, took 2 days off, then spin on Tuesday, Hips and Back yoga Wednesday and day of rest of on Thursday, because Friday is when Deathrace training camp begins! 

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Homemade Energy Bars

Good Morning Everyone! I apologize for not posting for a while, but as promised here is the recipe for the energy bars I made and trialed last week.
It can be difficult to go for long distance runs at anytime, and then we have to find food that our body's are able to process along the way. For the past couple of years I have been using Honey Stinger Energy Chews, but over the past 8 months something was not agreeing with my body when running over 20K. I thought it might be the energy chews, so on Thursday I thought I would make my own energy bars to eat. They were fantastic!
I ran 21miles eating chocolate energy bars (that I made the night before), along with some Hammer Endurolyte pills and I felt amazing! My legs were starting to get tired by the end, yes. But I felt great otherwise!
The recipe I found is simple and basic, and you can substitute something of your choice for any of the ingredients. Following is the basic recipe, with some example ingredients, and then the 2 recipes that I have tried so far.

BASE RECIPE 

1lb can of beans (Adzuki, chick peas, white beans, black beans, pinto beans, your choice)
1/2 cup binder (Almond butter, Peanut butter, pureed pumpkin, mashed avocado, your choice)
1/4 cup sweetener (Maple syrup, agave nectar, honey, your choice)
1/4 cup soft fruit of choice (apple sauce, mashed bananas, chopped dates (pits removed), crushed pineapple, your choice)
1 tsp extract (vanilla, almond, coconut, lemon, coffee, your choice)
1 tsp dry spice (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, instant coffee, your choice)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cup oats
1 cup dry base ingredients (protein powder, rice four, spelt flour, buckwheat flour, cocoa, whole-wheat flour, your choice)
1 cup add ins (shredded coconut, dried cranberries, raisins, dry cereal, crushed pretzels, chopped nuts, chocolate chips, your choice)

In a food processor combine beans, binder, sweetener, soft fruit, extract, spice and salt and process until smooth. Add the oats and dry base and pulse to combine. Add stir-ins and pulse again to combine. If it seems too thick or if it is difficult to blend add water (I did from the start). If it seems too runny then add some dry base.

Grease 13x 9 pan with spray or oil (I used coconut oil) and spread mixture in pan. Bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes.

Chocolate Black Bean Energy Bars
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup almond butter
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup mashed bananas
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup cocoa + 1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 cup shredded coconut + 1/2 cup dried cranberries


Maple Pumpkin Energy Bars
1 can chick peas (though I will use different ones next time)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup maple syrup (use more if you like the bars a little sweeter)
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cups oats
1 cup buckwheat flour (though next time I will try spelt or rice)
1 cup crushed pretzels (crushed bran flakes would also be good)

I would like to thank the No Meat Athlete for the recipe and also for saving my running life :)
www.nomeatathlete.com

Please share any recipes that you come up with on your own! I would love to hear about them and try them :)

Monday, 31 March 2014

Yoga Party

Every month we ladies meet for our dress club and the hostess gets to pick the theme. March was my month and when my husband suggested a yoga theme, I thought he was brilliant!
First I decided that I would hire a yoga instructor to come into my home to teach some yoga. After asking just one person for a suggestion, I had an instructor that would provide the music and the poses.
Once I had found Erin to guide us through some yoga, I found a site on Etsy that would provide me with decorations...
https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/151706255/yoga-party-printable-collection?ref=shop_home_active_13

Next step was to plan the menu. It seemed like a no brainer to have Indian food, Organic wine and clean eats at a yoga party. So I decided that I would make Clean Chicken Masala and Coconut rice while providing the organic wine. (Costco has a decent selection of organic wines). The other ladies brought salads, salad rolls, Indian ice cream and avocado chocolate pudding. It all came together nicely.
I started the night serving a fruit and veggie infused water. And after yoga I opened the wine. The water was a big hit.
 And was ready with yoga tea from Steeped Tea.
The night was a lot of fun and big hit. I had really great feedback! I will definitely plan another night like this one :)

Oh! And what is a party without party favours!? I had leg warmers for each lady to take home with them. Instead of getting to choose a colour, I taped words to each pair and asked them to pick the word that they were most attracted to.
Our awesome playlist provided by Erin was as follows...

In for the kill- la roux
Finally moving James brown remix- pretty lights
Her brother- avicii
Elegy- tycho
Hey now- London grammar
Fly away- wafefoker
My love is your love- Whitney Houston
Where's the love- Trevor hall
All wash out- Edward sharp and the magnetic zeros
Frog- carbon based lifeforms
Somewhere over the rainbow

Thanks everyone for reading!

Namaste

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Reasons to Join A Run Club

Today I had my usual Sunday morning run (23K) with my marathon training group. Every Sunday morning I look forward to seeing my group and chatting with them. I have not run with a group since my Learn to Run Clinic in 2007, and I am really enjoying it!
I found an article from the Running Room that I think gives all of the perfect reasons why everyone would benefit from joining a run club/group.

1. Be mentored by someone who is more experienced than you.
Last week I ran with a woman that will be running Western States (100miles in California) and she is filled with knowledge, advice and experience. Our group pacer is also an experienced ultra runner which is all very helpful for my training.
Every week I am able to ask any one of these group members for some advice and they are always more than happy to help!
2. Mentor a new runner.
As I am gaining more experience myself I am also able to now pass along advice to beginner runners or people that may just have questions.
3. Expand your social network.
What a great way to meet other people that enjoy running. (Or don't, but do it for the exercise ;)
Also a great way to meet new people and make new friends.
4. Deepen your commitment to running
Studies have shown that people that join run clubs have an increased commitment and also have improved their race times.
5. Stay motivated
My run club gives me the motivation to get out there on cold days, wet days, or just those days that I don't feel like running. My group also helps me to run those hills that I might normally slow down on or even walk up.
6. Stave off boredom
One of the troubles with long distance running is that it can be lonely and boring. Running with a group helps to distract one's attention from the "long" distance.
7. Learn new routes
Almost every week we run a new route. I am learning more about my area and I gaining an appreciation for the country that I didn't even know existed in my city.
8. Share accomplishments
When your non-running friends are tired of hearing about your running life, your run club/group is the perfect outlet to chat about everything to do with running. They love to talk about and hear about running!
9. Save money
It's almost a guarantee that a few of your fellow group members will be running the same races as you. This allows you to car pool and/or split the cost of accommodation. It also eats up my time for shopping and spending money in other ways I probably don't need to.
10. Stay in the loop
The running group will almost always send out information on upcoming events, races and more. It is a great way to stay informed.

I used to think that I was a person that liked to run alone, but after joining my training group, I realize that I was completely wrong. I hope to continue to run with this group and others that may join in the future. I am learning a lot and it keeps me honest to my running.
Happy Running Everyone!