I’m kinda excited to write this one because this year I can compare what I actually did to what I said I was going to do, hint it’s more. I think it’s pretty important to plan a race season so you don’t blow your budget (fail), stay injury free (check) and actually accomplish your main goal (check, check). Last year I said and I quote “My real goal is to do an olympic at the Jonny Myles in July. I’m tossing around the idea of doing the 1/2 at Bluenose next year on my way to it but we’ll see. I’ll likely do some other races as well but I guess you’ll have to stay tuned for that.” The ‘some other races’ thing really escalated in a big way with the trainees this year but ya’ll know that already. Which is to say I totally blew my race budget for the year but experiences over saving right?
All jokes aside it is important to set a budget but this season taught me a few things about myself and training in general. For the first time ever I got to coach new runners who actually stuck with it (at least this far) and did a lot of races with them at their pace which had some mixed results. I accomplished some pretty big goals this past year which taught me a lot as. In fact I did so much this year that my bucket list is looking a little empty these days!
Frostbite 5 Miler
I wasn’t going to do this race this year since the medal was the same as last year and the weather can super suck in February. What got me initially was the fact that the mug this year was slightly bigger than in 2017, reasonable right. Well turns out it’s now one of honey’s favorite mugs. I really like this race since its just about 3 months from bluenose (most years) so staying in frostbite shape is a great way to trick yourself into base building for the big one around these parts. I heard this year they are announcing a new medal design so stay tuned, maybe? This race has a pretty cool and long history so check out previous recaps in 2017 and 2018 to find out more.
Bluenose Weekend 5k with family and a half PR
I was looking back at the last year’s posts it was clear just how much of it I spent in training official half training started February 25th and olympic half training was over at the end of July! Also the whole freakin’ time I was half training for 12 weeks with the trainees I was keeping a big ol’ secret which is that my stepdad’s daughter was going to be running his very first 5k with him! Upon reflection on this one two things stand out one is that even though no one in my life will let go of the fact I hated my 10th surprise birthday and used to hold my sister down and tell her what her Christmas presents were after opening them I have changed! Sure I told everyone else that would listen about the 5k surprise but I didn’t tell him or anyone else that could tell him! Training for my second half was not as thrilling as the first time around but I did learn some new running lessons in the process some of which looking back really surprised me.
The second thing that stands out upon reflection was how worried I was at the time about my knee. The previous year my olympic ambitions were thwarted by runner’s knee issues and the half was a test for my rehabbing before I dared to let myself dream again. At this point in the season all the worry was for not and all that work to stay well paid off. I also fundraised well over $2000 for the brain rumor foundation in memory of my brother. The big race was very rainy but I still pulled off a 7 minute PR. For now it looks like I’ll be doing another half next year sooner than I thought I would be but this one you get to dress like a pirate!
Cost: $130 (but I did get a $5 Tim’s card)
Michelin Tire Trot
I had actually talked the trainee’s into registering for this one before they ran Bluenose and I had to twist some arms at the time. This was the second year I’d done the tire trot which is the only actually free race that I know of and was greatly improved compared to support the previous year, plus the weather was better. My mom was injured for part of Bluenose training and it was not the plan for her to run the whole thing on the day. In the meantime I told her that the tire trot would be her big chance and she eventually succeeded to my constant suggestions. My stepdad eventually joined in somewhat reluctantly and truthfully the fact that someone was going to win 4 tiers and we all agreed my mom could have them was what got them to show up. Plus I live close to them and talk like A LOT.
We all had lots of fun on the day and by then boy had things changed. Free stuff that’s not usually free is enough to get me to show up enthusiastically every time but with in hours of their first race ending they had registered for two more 5k’s back to back in the fall and it was clear they had the bug. I probably shouldn’t speak for them but that’s never stopped me before but I think this was the first time they realized that as serious seniors with existing health conditions they were not the two runners out there that day earning the biggest achievement. It was a pretty warm day and a few larger ladies were really struggling through the trail and one man was limping and running all the way. Long story short no one in our group got free tiers that day but I think the trainee’s started to see how running can really change you and your perspective on the world. Last thing just in case the organizers took my advise to heart on the halfway water station (which was much appreciated) let’s talk about the donation thing you tired this year. This year the registration opened with a fee attached which was made clear that 100% was going to charity. They ended up backtracking since it’s now been established as a free race. I wanted to give you some money for that how about next year you let me register for free and let me know there will be a donation box/sheet/volunteer at the check in booth! You cold even suggest an amount.
Melmerby Olympic Triathlon
That’s right the big one folks, at lest 2 (probably more like 5) years in the making. If you told me at the start of the season that this one was going to go off the rails in a big way, that the RCMP would be following me in as the last rider and that I’d end up thrilled with that I would never have believed you, but that’s what happened. I also never would have believed you if you told me that the mental side of a race I was eerily calm for would be the part that beat me up in the moment. Even the week before when those ‘oh shit, what if’ thoughts really start to sink in nothing that bad had even occurred to me. It took me three years to have a race that totally went off the rails like this one did and I would have been thought that I would be upset by that. I wasn’t in the slightest, I’m damn proud of what I did here and I learned more about myself and impressed myself more than had I won the whole damn thing. If you haven’t had a race like this yet I encourage you to read the whole recap. VERY LONG story short my chain dropped on the ride 5 or 6 times, there was a terrible car bike collision that injured two riders sending one to hospital and.the weather was the full spectrum over the morning staring off perfect then driving rain and wind and finally very hot and humid. When I wrote the recap, my tips and tricks and what it taught me overall posts I was happy and fine with how it all went down and I knew it taught me more than winning (not that that was ever an option) would have.
Since then though I’m actually pretty proud of myself and yes like write about it on the internet proud of it. Don’t get it twisted swimming 1.5 km, cycling 40 km and then running a 10k is a huge accomplishment in any amount of time and 3:44 well that’s a great time to set out to beat. But I’m really proud of me for not giving up, not just not quitting but really still giving it my all right through to the bitter end. Let me put this into context for you whether it was my innate personality or my raising or both we had a fridge magnet that said ‘a cheerful looser is a winner’ just for me because I was decidedly not. My parents, my nanny and even my little sister had to let me win at games to avoid a tantrum and a scene even into my teen years when they eventually all just stopped playing with me. What happened the one time I was not allowed to win at lawn darts? I went inside packed my little bag and sat in the car demanding to be driven to away, that’s how 7 year old me ran away in case you didn’t catch that. In my defense when Aubry says in Pitch Perfect “my Dad says if at first you don’t succeed pack your bags,” well it wasn’t thats shocking to me but I don’t think anyone would think gracious looser when my name comes to mind anyway. That day though no one could accuse me of anything less that truly sportsman like behavior and taking it all in stride. Whatever poor reputation I had built for myself as competitor over the three previous decades I no longer deserve it. When I wrote the re-cap post I attributed that to keeping my spectators in mind but now I’m ready to own that part of the accomplishment too. Needless to say overall except for the ramifications of the crash it was a great experience and I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world even the fact that in the finish line photos I’m covered in chain grease.
Cost $66 (plus $115 for accommodations)
Harvest Valley 10k
The trainees registered for the 5k and at the time my idea was to register for the 10k keep up my speed work and potentially bust my 10k record all while having someone drive me from place to place. That did not however go to plan. My stepdad decided to go for the 10k and I decided to run it with him. I didn’t do much to train at all and just ran as I felt like it since I defiantly wasn’t going to break any personal records. I did a few of his long runs with him in the weeks leading up but a new problem started to present itself. That was that I was starting to resent doing all my races with them at least I would eventually if this continued forever. So I decided that the first time they do a certain distance I’ll do it with them but after that running with them the whole time will be at my discretion. Or at the very least I’m not going to be obligated to and let them know that. It was really fun on the day to do it with him and I didn’t have sore feelings on the day at all about it. Actually you can read all about it here because he did a guest post about his experience. Also while you’re there notice how cute I look in literally all of the race photos is that a PR category because if so check! It all worked out perfectly though since I crashed their race the very next weekend.
PEI Marathon 10k
The very next weekend after Valley Harvest I ended up running this one as a last minute add on on honey’s poker tournament weekend and crashed their racecation. Sort of but not really they stayed way further from the race while we practically stayed on the course so in some ways I provided them a convenient staging area but I digress. This was a funny one for me because I wasn’t in the best mood at the time. Our busy season was just ending and literally rushing to get out the door and finish up our last big job and organizing the whole thing fell to me. The drive up there was terrible in the driving rain. Even beyond that I just wasn’t in the most positive headspace. I found myself listless and not at all looking forward to the race, it was going to be too cold, too much and with no dedicated training what was the point? The thing was on the day it all went really really well. Even though I held myself back for the long drive home after I very nearly broke my previous 10k record. The race actually did a lot to get me out of the funk I’d been in for a couple of months. Plus honey and I had a great weekend together and we both came home refreshed. The experience even made me think that maybe next year a great plan would be to try an squash my PR’s for the 5 and 10k.
Cost: $70 (plus accommodation but this trip was mainly motivated by poker)
Mahone Bay Reindeer Run
This race was just about 2 weeks ago and it was a lot of fun but I’m not sure this was motivated by much more than wearing a silly snowman outfit and tutu and collecting a medal of a reindeer in a tutu. I invited a couple of toddlers to run it with me but they were both too busy so I did it all on my own. It was lots of fun and it seems this one is quickly becoming a family tradition.
Cost: $514 (race fee and tri accommodations only)
PR’s: 2 (half and olympic)
2019 Look Ahead
I know I’ll have goals by the time next year comes around I just don’t know what they are now. Even though I wrote a post about why I’ll never run a full this year the idea is starting to intrigue me more and more. The other idea I’m tossing around is aiming to take down my 5k and 10k records. For now I know I’ll be running a 5k and 10k (sorry quarter marathon) and 5k with my mom in June and a very potential half with my stepdad in September. I also think I’m long overdue to volunteer so I’ll be doing that at Bluenose next year.
This year I released a bare minimum half plan because people were asking for it thinking I might never use it myself but that potentially slower half seems like the perfect thing for that plan. I do want to give the olympic a second go but right now next year seems too soon. I would however really like to do a fun sprint even if just as a post-script one something else. Last year at this point I knew exactly what I wanted to do this year and wouldn’t you know I did it and checked a bunch of other stuff off the bucket list too. I tend to really dig my heels into my goals over the winter so I guess for now it’s a a stay tuned for next year! Turns out I didn’t blow that $500 budget that bad at all!
Do you find new lessons and perspective after you look back at the season as a whole? Did you cross the big one off your list this year too?