Training Recap August 29-Sept 4


So this last week was a lot less mileage than the previous weeks due to an unfortunate incident that happened last Monday. It was my friend Jess’ last day visiting and we decided to go to The Sea to Sky Gondola for the day. We took the bus there and ride the gondola to the top, which I had never done previously. It is definitely worth doing because the views are spectacular! There is a wooden balcony where you have a panoramic view of the mountains and water, and also a suspension bridge that offers amazing views too. Once you cross the suspension bridge there is a short trail you can follow to get different mountain views, we did that and took 1,000 photos and then stopped for a picnic lunch with a view. We knew there were a few other places to walk around and decided to one that boasts a view of The Chief, which I hiked a few weeks ago. This was definitely not a hike, it was more or less a gravel path, but it did not disappoint with the views and scenery. I don’t think there could ever be a “bad” view in Squamish. 


There was still time left after we completed this path, so we decided to try another one. It was rated as easy and we were interested to see what alternate views it had to offer so off we went. About 1 minute into this trail, I was going over some roots, ahead of Jess, and all of the sudden I was on the ground. I was covered in dirt and my left ankle HURT. Jess started laughing because she has a knee injury and we were joking that I would have to drag her out of the trail…not the case! I hobbled my way out and fortunately had an ice pack from our picnic I used to soothe my ankle. By the time we got home it was the size of an apple, so needless to say I was out of commission for a few days.

Monday: OFF

Tuesday: OFF, NTC Jeanette Jenkins, Hollywood Ab Blast, it was hard!

Wednesday: OFF, NTC Serena Williama, Core Power and a strength training circuit with no lower body weight bearing exercises. I biked alongside The Sport Chek Robson Training Club. 

Thursday: I did the 30 second hop test to see if my ankle was okay for an easy run, no pain, so I set out for 40 mins easy. I also did a yoga for runners 20 minute practice at night.

Friday: 75 mins easy, mostly with The Sport Chek Robson Training Club. 

Saturday: I did the workout originally schedule for Wednesday which was: 20 mins easy warm-up, 4 x 15 mins @ marathon pace, 20 mins easy to cool-down.

Sunday: My long run was 2 hrs which was a bit shorter than it has been these past few weeks, I went a few minutes shorter for a total of 20km and it felt hard! 

Total Weekly Mileage: 59 km

STC: Day 4

Sunday

I woke up at 5am still feeling super sick, not sure if I was going to throw up or what. I had planned to meet the girls downtown at 7:45am so we could warm up together before the race. I got dressed, grabbed the bike and rode to Bean Around The World to see what I could stomach. It was surprisingly COLD out and I had to wear a sweatshirt for the first time! When I got on the bike I noticed a strange sound, I decided it was nothing and continued on to the coffee shop.

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Since it was cold I had hot oatmeal and half of a small coffee. It was a struggle to eat, but I knew it was necessary. As I was sitting there, I started to get anxious about the strange sound the bike was making. I had to ride about 5km to get downtown and if something happened with the bike I would be stuck -since the buses are not the most reliable. I checked the front tire and found it was TOTALLY flat and there was a thumbtack stuck in it, mystery solved. Except for the fact that it was time to go and I had no other way to get downtown! I quickly rode back to the AirBnB put the bike in the garage and saw there was another bike there, a sleek little road bike. I called my host and she said it was cool to use the other bike, whew! I rode downtown and made it with 5 minutes to spare, however I was still not feeling very well.

We did our 20 minutes easy warm-up to the school and then it was time to line up by the start line. Mar told us the result didn’t matter and just to run at a hard effort and get a good work-out. This was a relief because with how my stomach was feeling I didn’t foresee a PB happening. This was a very small race with under 100 participants, probably the smallest one I have done. I found myself enjoying the small field and small town vibes and yelled at every one of our team members when I saw them on the course. If you aren’t going to PB, you can at least have a good workout and a bit of fun right? The course was super flat and fast -well had the potential to be fast. I have never been closer to vomiting during a run than I was during this race, but somehow I managed not to. It was tough, I did not PB. I finished at 36:47, my PB is 36:12. I had fun and I cheered on my team, so it was still a great day.FullSizeRender (1).jpg

 

Post-race I was scheduled to do a workout, this was a first for me. Typically, I would get off easy with something like 20 minutes “easy” after a race. No such luck this time. Since I am technically in marathon training mode, I needed to do a longer run. I did 4 x 5 mins @ marathon pace and then 30 minutes easy to finish my run with a total of 20km. And then I had to bike back to my AirBnb. I stopped for a smoothie and a scone, which were slightly easier to eat. I still wasn’t feeling well though and had a serious need for a ginger beer!

I showered, packed up and went downtown to meet everyone for a post-race brunch. We went to Big D’s, it was a good diner style breakfast spot. I had the Veggie Usual: 2 eggs any style, avocado, potatoes, and toast. To my delight, they had ginger beer! After brunch, it was time for me to say bye to the girls and catch my Greyhound Bus. It was a perfect weekend of running, eating and hanging out with solid people. I hope to do another training camp in the future!

STC: Day 3

Saturday

I woke up super early again -on my own. I had breakfast and biked downtown to meet the other ladies for our short shake-out run. We started at Howe Sound Secondary School, where the race start line is, so we could test out some of the course. I arrived a bit early and naturally had to take some photos, Squamish is just so pretty!

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We went out for 30 minutes easy along the race course on Government St. We started at 8:30am which is when the race starts and it was already super hot! Fortunately, the course was very flat as promised. Once we turned around, we were met with quite a strong headwind which I personally enjoyed due to the heat. However, we were still hoping for less heat and no wind for race day. We finished off by doing strides in the field by the school and that was the end of our run for the day. We decided to shower and meet at the Squamish Farmer’s market to get our race packages (read: bibs and pins) and look around.

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Instead of cycling down to the farmers market, I decided to try taking transit. The transit in Squamish consists of about 3 buses, oh and on Saturday the bus only comes every hour, except it was also 15 minutes late! I made it to the farmers market, met the girls and we grabbed our race bibs from two unsuspecting people sitting on a bench with a sign reading, “Squamish Days 8km Package Pick-up” on an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper. Most low key package pick-up ever! Everyone was hungry so we went to the Copper Coil to have lunch, they have a patio overlooking the farmers market and the street so it was a great spot for people watching. 4/5 of us ordered the same quinoa and sweet potato salad, I added chicken to mine for more protein. The salad was surprisingly REALLY GOOD, I say this because I don’t normally expect pub food to be good. Squamish isn’t exactly a premier dinning destination, so there are a lot of pub type places, but this one is worth checking out. They have a smoker and use it to cook all of their meats.

We walked through the farmers’ market again and got some local goodies. Since it was the day before race day we didn’t want to do excess walking, so we went to the park and sat there for a while relaxing, some of us had naps. We got hungry again and went to Sunflower Bakery/ Zephyr Cafe for treats. We stood outside eating them, remarking that it was again a VERY hot day and hoped for cooler weather on race day. We went for a pre-dinner lay down and to escape the sun for a bit.

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For dinner, we went to The Watershed, it was the view that drew us there and that turned out to be the only redeeming quality of The Watershed. The service was unacceptably slow, one person didn’t receive part of their meal until the server was reminded twice and no apology was offered. Whats worse is as soon as I got home from dinner, I started to feel incredibly ill. As in, stabbing pains in my stomach. Not saying it was from eating there, it could very well have been something else, but when you have a negative experience at a restaurant AND get sick after, it is hard not to assume they are related.

It was not a fun night for me, I felt like I was waiting to throw up, but it never happened. The stomach pain and nausea continued. Not what you want on the eve of race day!

Squamish Training Camp Recap: Day 2

 

Friday

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I woke up pretty early, as in before 6am, without an alarm. We had a trail run planned at Alice Lake and I was going to be picked up at 8:30am. I had oatmeal and strawberries for breakfast and grabbed a coffee from Bean Around The World at the end of the street. I filled my hydration pack, grabbed my trail runners and waited for my ride.

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The drive to Alice Lake only took 10 minutes, we went to the four lakes trails, which were beautiful! None of us had run at Alice Lake before except coach Mar, so we eagerly took in the scenery. She was a great, entertaining guide and we covered a fair amount of trail. The terrain was a mix between flat and some inclines, some easy parts of the trail and some more technical. All in all, it would be considered a beginner trail, I would say. It was an easy 60 minute run day, and it was awesome to do it in the woods. Squamish has a bounty of trails, and Alice Lake is just one example. There are trails everywhere, you just have to find them. After our run, we re-hydrated with coconut water (Thanks, Jes!) and headed to Alice Lake beach to relax for a bit. When we could no longer contain our hunger, we drove to Bean Around The World for some sandwiches and coffee then went back to the beach to eat and hangout.

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After the sand and sun, we drove to downtown Squamish and had gelato. We also cruised the local shops. It was HOT, and we were tired after a lot of time in the sun. We decided to take a bit of a pre-dinner siesta. I showered and actually managed to fall asleep briefly, I am NOT a napper, but I was exhausted. We had dinner at The Howe Sound Brew Pub. I chose a burger with salad and a glass of their anniversary dry hopped sour beer. It was all quite good and satisfying. The burger was super juicy. I would definitely recommend Howe Sound Brew Pub for lunch or dinner when in Squamish!

Squamish Training Camp Recap: Day 1

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I spent the last 4 days in Squamish, BC to partake in a run training camp with my coach and a few of the other ladies she works with. There was a lot of running (duh), some beach time, a lot of eating and exploring the town and an 8km race. I will go into detail day by day, but I will divide them up because it will be way too long for a single post!

Thursday

Took my new Adidas Ultra Boost Uncaged out for a test run and interval workout, read the review here: Shoe Review: Adidas Ultra Boost Uncaged

After that I quickly showered, grabbed my bags and hopped in a cab to the Greyhound station. The bus departed from downtown Van at 10:30am and arrived in Squamish at 11:50am, not bad at all. My AirBnB host graciously offered to pick me up from the station in Squamish, and showed me some cycling routes around town. The rest of the group was coming from Victoria late afternoon, so I had a day to myself. I dropped my stuff off in my room, changed into workout clothes and prepared for an adventure. My plan was to cycle downtown and grab lunch, cycle to the base of The Chief and hike to the top. The ride downtown was easy and flat, I rode on the highway which wasn’t as scary as you might think. For lunch, I chose Zephyr Cafe (38084 Cleaveland Ave, Squamish, BC) they have a very healthy menu with salads and rice bowls etc, and cater to vegetarians, vegans, and gluten free diets. Though I eat everything, I prefer health centric dinning options and Zephyr was awesome! I had a rice bowl with organic chicken, it hit the spot and fueled me for my adventure.

Then it was time to ride to The Chief, Google Maps said it was only 3km away, down highway 99. No problem! Well, I made it those 3km and found the left turn, but instead of noticing the minuscule sign indicating one of the parking lots for The Chief, I kept on going. I totally blame Google Maps, well, mostly. It said to continue and so I rode up and up this gravel road. I later realized this was a logging road called The Sasquam River Trail, which explained why I was the only person on it aside from a few cars parked here and there doing who knows what. In the spirit of adventure I kept on going, hoping The Chief was around the corner. After an hour or so and a lot of climbing, I decided I didn’t need to climb The Chief and turned around. Biking up hill was hard, biking downhill was freaking scary on a gravel trail where brakes don’t respond as quickly as they do on concrete. I made it out of there with no damage and to my surprise, there was The Chief on my left hand side, where I had began my bike ride to nowhere!

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I locked the bike up in the parking lot, and walked towards the main lot, where the hike begins. My legs were definitely tired from the running and cycling I had already done, but I was not leaving without completing this hike. I had heard the hike compared to The Grouse Grind (which I have also never done), but the main point is, I was told it was pretty easy. It did not feel easy climbing wooden stairs for 1 hour and 20 minutes! After the stairs, it gets more interesting because you have a metal chain to hold onto, followed by a ladder and more chain and then climbing up the rock to the top. It was hard and it was hot, but it was totally worth it because this is what I saw at the top…

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I ate a protein bar, took a bunch of pictures, rested my legs for a bit and then decided it was time to descend because I was hungry for dinner and Mags 99 was calling my name! The descent was even harder, my legs were shaking and twitching. I had planned to stop at the waterfall and soak my legs for a bit in what I figured would be very cold water, that plan went sideways when I was greeted by a giant, scary, barking dog who ran towards me. Getting a dog bite half way down The Chief was not on my agenda, so I carried on. I got to the bottom, jumped on the bike and headed to Mags 99, a mexican restaurant and Squamish classic just off the highway, near The Chief. I got their salad with pulled chicken and a Howe Sound Lager, beer never tasted so good.

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We had a trail run planned for Friday morning, so I knew I  had to do something to relieve my legs and grabbed a big bag of ice from the gas station on my way home and spent the next 2 hours icing various parts of my legs.