I have always considered myself a good Canadian kid. My birth certificate may state otherwise, I wasn’t born in Canada and am over the age of 25 (notice how I didn’t really date myself). As my Mum is one of my biggest readers, I must state for the record before I go any further that I am proud of my British heritage, I know that I “will never walk alone”, sorry Mum I couldn’t resist. Being a good Canadian kid is more than where you were born and how old you are, it’s about heart baby
A good Canadian kid rolls with the punches, takes one for the team, wins gracefully and looses with even more grace, puts on a brave face and will always find something to smile about even through the tears. We apologize, add an “eh?” to the end of our sentences, apparently say “aboot” (although I think that is an urban myth), travel well, have the option to ski on the mountains and swim in the ocean all in the same day, and judge distance by the time it takes us to get there not the number of kilometres (the Canadian equivalent of .62 miles). We are not divided by ethnicity or religion but by which coffee we drink, very simply you like Tim’s or Starbucks, there is only one obvious choice in my heart. We run in the rain, drive (sometimes poorly, depending on what coast you are from) in the snow and live for long Summer days.
So on this proud day for Canada and with a glowing heart, this good Canadian kid raises her glass of fine Okanagan wine and toasts our incredible athletes, fabulous volunteers and our fair nation and for the last time today cheers very loudly “woohoo”!
Dear Reservoir Trail,
It was so great to see you today, it has been far too long. I am not sure what you been doing since the last time we met, but you looked fabulous today. At the risk of being a bit forward, have you had some work done? I noticed some resurfacing, new stairs, bridges repaired, a minor face lift to the falls, winter has obviously been kind to you.
My new friends enjoyed meeting you today as well. Your mud consistency was perfect, slidey and goopy, not wet and splashy like some of the other trails. Nobody left with a clean pair of runners.
I ran into the Railway Trail a couple of weeks ago, she looks great too. I think that she may have had a couple of her hills augmented. Your secrets are safe with me, nobody would ever know, you both look so natural and revitalized.
How is Canoe Landing doing? Her floating bridge replacement a few years ago sure changed her quality of life. We have enjoyed many a summer swim since her reopening.
Look forward to seeing you again soon.
And how are you feeling today? Calves a little tight, quads screaming, glutes on fire? Think of your aches and pains as war wounds, wear them proudly, you earned them. If you think today is bad, think about how proud you can be tomorrow when delayed muscle soreness sets in, oops forgot to mention that in my what to expect talk. Running and recovering from an endurance event is a lot like having a baby, (sorry boys this analogy won’t work for you), the pain subsides and you are ready for another, ok, it didn’t work for me either, but you get where I am going.
I know that you may be wondering why you are sore today but weren’t after your training runs? One word, ADRENALINE. When you did your training runs you did not wear a timing chip, there were not 300 of you corralled like cattle into an area made for 75 to start your run, the music wasn’t pumping (well maybe in your car before your run), there certainly wasn’t an MC (although it would have been a nice touch), your finish line was the parking lot where you left your car, not a grand entrance thru the gates of Fort Langley to be welcomed by hundreds of cheering onlookers and that MC…and your medal was a latte at Starbucks not an actual medal. As an aside, you had all better be wearing your medals today, the rule is if you get bling it must be worn for 24-48 hours after the event, and yes, even if it was a participation medal, bling is bling.
Here are my recommendations for the next few days, give your body a break unless you will be joining me for the “props” class at Pilates by the Lake tonight, if you are having a hard time walking down stairs try walking down backwards (yes, really), take a bubble bath, eat properly, remember you are no longer training so watch those extra calories, if you are planning on running this week, wait until at least mid week and take it slow, if anything hurts head back to the couch. While you have a bit of time of your hands, I might also suggest that you take the opportunity to register for the 5 Peaks Trail Running Clinic starting on April 10/10.
Congratulations to all who ran the Historic Fort Langley 10km and half marathon today! It was so awesome to be able to be out on the course to cheer you on and take pictures (will post tomorrow) of your smiling faces, and yes, I have photographic evidence that you all smiled coming up that hill. Raise your glasses everyone CHEERS!
You have trained, visualized, rested, carb loaded, super hydrated, pee’d non-stop for the last 2 days, it is go time!
Here are my last few words of wisdom as you approach the start line…go with what you know, NOTHING new on race day (this means routine, food before or during, runners, pace, did I say food?). Find a toilet (it may not be friendly) 30 minutes before the start of the race, do your thing and then you are done. 15 minutes before the start of the race say your goodbyes, your I love you mans, and excuse yourself from your group (I like to use “see you at the finish line”), it’s business time. 10 minutes before the start of the race start your warm up (I am not saying join the aerobic warm-up provided by the super perky, woohooing fitness instructor who has never run a kilometer in her life, but do a light run to warm up your muscles and bring up your heart rate). It’s time to line up…trust me, you don’t have to pee. Try not to get swept up in the speed of the group when you start, if you are panting like a dog (not barking like a dog, that was for you Conny) you have gone out too fast. Enjoy the next couple of hours, take it all in, thank the volunteers who stop traffic for you. Don’t drink gatorade at the water stations if you don’t usually drink gatorade (I go back to NOTHING new on race day). As you approach the finish line think about your finish line photo (chin up, chest out, shirt down), smile, wave, throw up the horns!
Good luck everyone, see you at the finish line. Xoxo
With 1 day to go…on dark, cold and rainy Saturday mornings we often wonder why we are out running when we could be enjoying a leisurely morning at home, sleeping in, reading the newspaper, sipping coffee…how did it feel? It sucked right? Saturday mornings are made for running (that’s what the “r” in Saturday stands for), enough already, let’s get this race done! Be kind to yourself today, rest, hydrate and carb up, save the hooch and the treats until tomorrow. Get in your car and go for a drive and preview the course. This afternoon take a load off, put your feet up, have a nap…it’s ok, really. Nothing crazy for dinner, no spice, no bean soup, avoid anything that could possibly cause you any kind of stomach upset. If you are going to raise your glass tonight over dinner don’t forget to balance it with water, your urine should be pale to clear in colour all day (I know, too much information but I had to go there). Lay out all of your gear that you will be wearing tomorrow, if the timing chip goes on your shoe attach it, attach your race bib or dig out your race belt from 5 Peaks last year, pack a bag with a change of clothes for after the race (if you are among the very fortunate you only have 1 hour after you stop sweating until you start to stink, I will address this in an upcoming blog). Set your alarm for the morning, give yourself plenty of time to get ready, eat and get your body moving (I am not referring to your muscles…take advantage of the friendly toilet, port-o-potties are not friendly). You may not be tired because you have been sitting on your ass for the last few days, but go to bed early anyway, close your eyes visualize the course that you previewed earlier today…breath.
With 2 days to go…put on your business socks “it’s business, it’s business time”. Lots to think about today. If you have been slacking a bit in the lifestyle department, snap out of it. Focus on carb loading not fat loading. Absolutely have fettuccine for dinner but nix the alfredo sauce. I would choose a with a whole wheat pasta if possible, tomato sauce with plenty of veggies and chicken, and start it with a spinach salad (I love spinach salad) with fruit instead of dressing of course. Your water bottle should be your best friend for the next few days, hydrate my friends. Take it with you wherever you go, it will also make for ego boosting conversation. Even if they don’t ask, tell everyone you meet about your big race on Sunday and how you have trained so hard, and make it abundantly clear that you will be running 21.1km (there are some people out there who don’t know what distance constitutes a 1/2 marathon). Today is also the day to start thinking about race wardrobe, perhaps you might need a new pair of shorts or some running glasses, you definitely need a new pair of socks, treat yourself you deserve it. Keep stress to a minimum, I know blah blah blah, but do, stay relaxed and positive, you are a rock star!
With 3 days to go…you may be starting to feel some psychosomatic aches and pains, ignore the voices in your head. Race day package pick-up starts today, no panic, you have until Saturday to pick yours up. Replace today’s run with 30 minutes of stretch or gentle yoga, your muscles will thank you for it. Before going to bed tonight, visualize crossing the finish line…think finish line photo, chin up, chest out, shirt down.
With 4 days to go… as this is not usually a running day for you, it shouldn’t be a big deal to take it easy today. Do get out there today and stretch your legs, take the dogs for a walk or take the train downtown and enjoy our fabulous city and the wonderful weather. Speaking of weather, the weekend forecast looks excellent, running glasses will be more than appropriate for Sunday
With 5 days to go….today will be your last run, nothing crazy terrain wise, 30 minutes nice and easy. Nutritionally, as always, good carbs, lean protein, dark green and orange veggies. Tonight is a perfect night to enjoy some Olympic hockey and curling, so when you are thinking about hydration, don’t forget the one and one rule. GO CANADA!