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!