One down, many more to go.
Training has been coming along. The legs have been a bit on the heavy side for the last couple weeks but that is to be expected as I get into the thick of things here before my first race. I took it easy last week to make sure I didn’t get too much into the weeds and added in a day off and took out one of my strength sessions. Heavy legs are not fun when even easy runs feel challenging!
Backtracking to the Pioneer 8K a few weeks ago it was a surprisingly good experience. I knew I was supposed to treat it like a workout, but in my mind I wasn’t entirely sure I would be able to chill out for the first half. Maybe it was the unresponsive legs that encouraged me to hold back in the beginning. . . I was several meters back from Lucy Smith for the first 4K and just tried to keep my head up and focus on closing the gap over the last 4K. Eventually I made the pass at the hairpin turn around 6K and she quickly countered that by fighting back and gapping me again. I stayed close and passed her a second time within the last stretch before the finish and upon reaching the hill (the last 200m), unleashed my finishing kick. My finishing kick is quite weak even when I am in top form so the fact that I kept trying was amazing in itself. I truely thought I had the win over Lucy until she turned on her 2nd gear and nipped me at the line. Thank you Lucy for keeping me tough in that second half of the race! So in the end I was pleased with my race effort and my mentality throughout the course. It was encouraging to finish a race and feel like I had more left in the tank. I finished 5th woman overall and in a time of 28:27 (check out my post race interview courtesy of Chris Kelsall HERE).
Next up is the First Half on February 16 -- it’s a daunting race distance for this time of year but will be a good gauge as to where I am at right now. My sister has booked a flight to come down from Edmonton and visit for that weekend so . . . no pressure! Josh has also signed up to race so my goal at the moment is to make sure he doesn’t beat me -- the gloating would be unbearable and likely cause me to retire from the sport.
In closing, I am continuing to send warm thoughts to my eastern running friends! I am grateful each day for our mild and sometimes sunny weather! It was the best possible time for us to move out west as I am not sure I would still be sane and running if I was experiencing the Polar Vortex I keep hearing about -- you folks are all tough cookies! Stay warm:)