Sunday, 25 September 2016

The 2016 Rum Runner's Relay!!

Well yesterday was a fantastic day all around, especially for a Team Relay!

Last year I was so bummed out around this time because of the nasty cold I caught that then turned into a crazy sinus infection and I had to pull out of the Rum Runners Relay. :( Well this year, I've been so cautious around the kids at school and hand washing to the max in fear of  a repeat! ;)
Flat Heather and Matt!
"What's everyone running from Mommy?" <3

It was still dark when Lola and I headed off to Prospect Road to cheer Matt. Thank goodness Andrew was the chauffeur for Matt to the start. I loved that extra half hour of snooze time. ;)

 Lola got very excited when I told her Matt was coming! lol

He was zooming!

Family cheer squad!
 "Oh hey guys!"

I'm pretty sure if the organizers knew Matt was 'flying' we'd get a penalty, lol.
 He managed a 6:03 pace/mile for the 8.4ish miles he raced-a 3 minute PR on that leg! :0

After Matthew's leg, we headed home and I geared up for Leg 3 (my leg). Greg had put a 3mi warm up into my plan for the day so I was super lucky that the start of leg 3 was exactly that distance from my house! Of course I ran there and it worked out perfectly! It was chilly so I wore a long sleeve over my racing shirt. I got there in time to register and chat with friends.

 At the "GO!" we were off!

I cruised through the first mile waaaaay to fast (6:51) in hopes of sticking with one of Jennie's Halifast friends. She runs slightly faster than me so I thought if I could just stay close, I'd have a pretty solid pace throughout. This relay doesn't allow music so it was real interesting to just hear foot patter and heavy breathing, lol.

This leg is basically a net downhill with only one climb by a lake that I remember. We were diverted about 4.5 miles or so in onto a section of the rails to trails that had giant puddle holes so there was lots of weaving and dodging going on. This was a very tricky section for me.
Tom was en route with his bike and got some cool action shots!

I enjoyed all the cheers from other runners who were travelling the route in cars to the finish/start of the next leg. It was very motivating! Matt and Lola made a great cheer squad as well. :)

Once we exited the trail I was at 6ish miles and I knew there was less than a mile to go! Then at 6.4 miles my belly got super pissed and my body was trying super hard to release the lactic acid....uh oh! I was fighting puke and trying to maintain pace for the last section. It was tough and Tom caught me in all my finishing classy glory, LOL.

People were actually yelling "keep going!" to me because they thought I was I just couldn't go with my gagging!

Craig and Marg also ran the same leg as me and everyone was cruising! 

Family photo op! 

This happened on my leg!!!! 

6.8 miles for the leg 7:01 pace! 1 min 50 seconds faster than two years ago on the same leg!

I headed home for a shower and then travelled with Jennie to do her leg. She was running leg 9 and by then it was late afternoon. 

 Courteney and I did some cheering and snapped some photos to get her motivated!

When I grow up I want to run like Jennie!
I wish I got more photos of my team running. :( They all did spectacular though!

Finally I recovered from a busy busy day of running and cheering with Erin!
Movie and Munchies...mmm!

This relay is super fun and very well organized!!!!  Congratulations to all the runners and teams, especially Upright and Mile-ing!!!!

Thanks so much for listening to the running rambles of GGR!Have a wonderful day!

Happy Running,
Heather :)

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Maritime Race Weekend 2016!

Every September my body receives quite a shock to the system with the (what feels) abrupt return to school and teaching 20 little busy bodies each day, peak mileage in marathon training and of course my favourite racing season of the year, Fall.

I basically go from sleeping until being woken by my body clock and not my iPhone alarm, running whenever I feel like it, napping, Netflix binging, eating all day long and gardening to full out full time working and training. For me it's definitely an adjustment but somehow I manage to survive, lol.

This past weekend was the awesome event Maritime Race Weekend that I really look forward to each year. I've run it each year since it's start back in 2012 and have had nothing  but great things to say about it.

This year I decided to take my training in a different direction with Project PB. Greg designed a plan for me to help me hit my goal of a sub 3:30 marathon in Chicago and I have to admit when I first read it I vomited in my mouth a little. Some of the workouts really scared the heck out of me! Matt and I get psyched up for our Thursday workouts, since they are usually the ones that make me die a little inside. The term VO2 Max sometimes makes me wake up in the night with cold sweats. ;) (I kid I kid). But in all seriousness, it's really pushed me out of my comfort zone and into a new level of training and strength. I'm sure at Chicago I won't be pulling off any 30 min PR's or anything but I do at least have more confidence in my ability to hit my goal in the marathon. We will see! Anyway back to this weekend's Run Fest! <--- Okay, am I the only one who thinks this would make a great name for a race event???

Basically the point of the long ramblings above are to say that I was heading into MRW with a goal to run all guts out Friday night for the Sunset 5k. My previous 5k PR was 21:27. This would be tough for me to break since I train for long distance and usually suck at the shorter races. But I was determined, tired from the first full week back to school, but determined. ;) 

So I wanted to look 'Pirate-y' but didn't really have anything Jack Sparrow-esque. Lynda came to the rescue since she went to Disney when Pirates of the Caribbean was released and let me borrow the neat head thing-a-ma-bob. There was also a fake telescope and knife (that was actually bendy). I contemplated running with the fake props but they actually announced at the start that there were to be no fake weapons so that decision was easily made. :) 

The girls all took part in the traditional pre-race photo shoot and of course none of us really remembered to bring shades...even with the words SUN SET in the title, duhh lol. I think I was more focused on remembering my eye patch!

Jennie, Marg, Sam and I.

I was also super excited because my Newfoundland friends and my aunt came to Nova Scotia to take part in the event!
Janice and I literally kept running into each other all weekend- From race kit pick up to finish line shenanigans!
I was so freaking nervous for this race and I had a bubble of water in my belly during the warm up Jennie and I did that I could actually HEAR when I weird is that?! We ran 4.8ish km as a warm up and took advantage of the on-course port-a-john where there was not a single other person waiting to use it unlike the race start area, yikes!

Matt and Lola came to cheer and I gave Lola some snuggles before we headed out. <3

At the sound of the canon we were off and the tight start reminded me to start close to the front even if I had no business being there. I took off with the crowd and was running close to the speed I'd do a stride and I was like "Whoa Nelly! Slow the heck down!" Race adrenaline really can get the better of you, and then you have to battle the good ol' "Fly and die" phenomenon that the undisciplined runner is prone to, not that I have ever done that, LOL (cough cough).

I needed to hit sub 7 min miles to PR and actually not just by a couple seconds, by like ten or so...gulp. I absolutely hate checking my watch on the run, but I did it seventeen billion times during the 5k distance I'm sure. There is even photograph proof!

At the turnaround I could hear "Go Heather" from several friends, but couldn't actually see them since the sun was blazing bright into my face. I was giving everyone I heard a thumbs up though. Jennie was rockin' second place and I thought if I can just keep her in my sight (far ahead but in sight) then I can definitely push myself to reach my goal. At 4k I was sucking air for sure and fighting vomit. My belly was churning since I was really pushing pace. And oh look, a photographer, lol.
dying inside!
Matt and Lola were waiting for me at about the last 400m and I couldn't even wave I was concentrating so hard on not puking!

The red digits were counting up to 21 minutes at 20:44, 20:45, etc. when I was approaching and I sped up to hit 20:57! My first ever sub 21 min 5k!!!! I couldn't even get excited because I basically fell over the fencing and barfed on the ground right in front of the spectators. Oops.
Congrats to all the shiny new PR's!
 Just love the loot!

Mandatory Garmin Selfie!

And Hello first place age group! 26th overall and 6th female.

After fuelling on some Habaneros tacos the girls and I headed home to rest up for the Sunrise portion of the weekend where I was a pace bunny for the half marathon!

Hey Sunny Bunnies! ;)

A huge crew, huge found me at the start! I guess 1:50 is a pretty popular time. ;)

I told you I had a big crew! Thanks for the shot Maurice!

Pacing is super fun and also a bit nerving! I was so worried about going too slow, too fast, etc. Thank goodness for Hughie and his praise during the run. He was using km and I was using miles so it was super helpful to hear the conversion and of course his reassurance that I was doing a good job. Please give him a huge congrats for scoring a shiny new PR!!!
With the excitement on my face I can only imagine this was just before the Skittle Station? LOL
We got so excited each time we saw a photographer and I was sure to warn everyone to smile when I spotted them, lol.
On another note I hope you are taking in all the beautiful scenery around the runners here! This route is gorgeous!

There were runners with me for a good chunk of the race. They conquered the rolling hills of Cow Bay and rocked the pace. The group dwindled down with about 7-8k to go. I told Hughie I wanted him to sprint ahead of me as we approached the finish but he insisted on finishing together. It was so awesome!

Post race Jennie and I did a warm down of about 6k to make up some distance for the day since I was switching long run day. Then I found Aunt Brenda in the crowd!!!! She rocked her 10k!
Huge thanks to Michelle and the MRW crew for having us pacing and for hosting such an incredible East Coast Event! Thanks to Durwin and White Rabbit Pacing for having me! And obviously a mega congrats to all the racers!!!!

I hope you all had a blunderin' awesome weekend! Arrrgh! ;)

It's been so long since we chatted, share anything with me!!!!
Next up is the Rum Runner's Relay next weekend! I'll be doing Leg 3!

Happy running,
Heather :)

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Summer Running & Other Tidbits

I wish I could run as fast as my summer vacation is zipping by! I'm not even sure how it's already mid-August?!?!

Since we last spoke I've been kept super busy though!

1. Lola got really sick and it was so upsetting! :( We are so thrilled that she is better!!!!
Visitng her at the hospital. :(  Several tests later and we STILL do not know the cause of the sickness. It seems that she must have gotten into something????
But now she is ALL better and back to her usual spunky self. :D

2. I threw a bridal shower for Sam and it was so fun!


3. Matt and I had our six year anniversary! 

and celebrated at the Keg!!!

4. I got some really good runs in! 
Jennie and I ran a really tough hot 19 mile run with 9 of those miles at MP!!!! We literally laid there for several minutes.
Our local running group knows what's up. Planning a run that starts and finishes at the Starbucks is some sharp thinking for our Jog & Joe. 
Don't you just love our BLT shirts?!?!? Sidenote: BLT does NOT stand for 'bacon lettuce tomato' here. Yes, I've been asked, lol. It's 'Beechville Lakeside Timberlea' - our town names. ;)

It's still pretty warm but sometimes you just gotta tempo. ;)

I actually stopped on the verge of puke a couple of times because of humidity. :S

5. Thanks Strava for reminding me that I need to spend more $$$ LOL.

6. Boston mail is awesome mail!

7. Matt ran a smokin' 6 mile race on Natal Day! I stayed home to nurse a recovering Lola. <3

So that's basically what I've been up to. Tomorrow I have a 20 mile run and obviously I'll be hitting the streets early so that I can watch the OLYMPIC MARATHON!!!!!! 

Thanks for stopping by the GGR blog and have a wonderful day! 
How have your runs been this summer? 
Ever throw a shower for  friend?-baby or bridal? 
How obsessed are you with the Olympics?! 
PS: my spell check will not work so I apologize for any errors!!!! 

Happy Running,
Heather :)

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

The 89th Annual Tely 10!!!

Who ever thought a year would go by so fast? It's hard to even imagine that it's Tely time again. This year I made the annual trek home to Newfoundland to run my 7th Tely 10 Mile Road Race and it was a blast! 

You just have to love the rugged coastline of Newfoundland!

The best part of going home is that I get to see my family. <3 I have lived away from home now for 10 whole years!!!! (I feel old). It's always the best part of the trip to spend time with the people I love and grew up with. I have built a very fulfilling life for myself personally, professionally and actively here in Nova Scotia, but at heart I will always be a Newfoundlander, (and yes, when I am home my accent totally comes out lol).

But you know what, a trip home in the summer wouldn't be complete without a good ol' Tely 10 race! 
I have to say that I thought my bib number was pretty cool this year!
 Another favourite when I am home is Nachos from The Bigs! Everyone now just asks, "So what night do you want to go to Don Cherry's?" Even though it's renamed now, we all still call it that lol.

This was the premier race for our BLT race singlets!!! We looked pretty fly. ;)

The whole family was involved this year, even if they did fight over who was going to hold the sign.

Mike dropped me off about a mile and a half from the start and I did a total of 3 miles for a warm up at a very easy pace. I had super lead legs. :S I had also been in and out of physio and massage for a super cranky tight hamstring that just would not let go! During my last session Mitch put what I believe was 8 needles in it! Yikes. The air during my warm up was super muggy, drizzly and humid. I did not have any high expectations for the race, for real! But I was super excited regardless because this is my second most favourite race of the year every year.

This year was especially awesome because it was the largest Tely 10 EVER! There were approximately 4800 registrants with a total of ~4300 finishers AND my running friends were travelling to NL from Nova Scotia to run it, some of them for the first time!
Craig, Marg and I in the corral right before the Ode To Newfoundland was sung. Craig thought I was totally kidding about this I'm sure, but it is a tradition at the race. It actually gets me really pumped.
 I also saw Ashley and Aunt Brenda at the start. They both rocked their race and Ashley completed her FIRST Tely 10!!!

 At the horn we were off!

It was sprinkling rain and then as we cruised through the first mile the rain poured...and the runners cheered for the relief it was offering. I grinned, you know, in an attempt to conserve energy. ;)

Mile 1: 7:10/mile. This mile is always a test of discipline since many runners bolt out of the start.

I knew to look for my parents and sisters just before Mile 2. I'm glad they had the bright sign because it was so easy to spot them!
Trudy and Carla, the founders of my fan club, HA! LOL
Can you see me??????
 Okay, back to work. Stop show boating.
Again this year I got way too excited when I saw the family. Mile 2-6:54. I had no business pushing this pace. So the third mile I toned it down to a 7:21. 
So for a brief period we were nice and wet splashing through shallow puddles. And then, the sun peeked through the clouds. I thought, "This is not good. The weather network said clouds." But the thing about the weather is that you're not the only one enduring it. Everyone is battling whatever Mother Nature is throwing your way.

My hair was wet and stuck to my back, which I totally hate! The humidity was not allowing for any moisture to evaporate so my shirt, hat and shorts quickly became a sponge of sweat, rain/drizzle and water from the stations.
About mile 2ish? This photo was shared by the Tely 10 page. :)
 No clue where this was but I look like I'm up to something, lol.

Not sure where this is below exactly but I drank very minimally during the race since big gulps have led to side stitches in the past so I took what was absolutely necessary to quench my thirst and keep me somewhat hydrated.

There were a lot of spectators out! Everyone looked like they were having a great time cheering on their friends and family. :) 

The Miles ticked by: 7:07 (mile 4), 6:58(yeah, this was a huge decline...but again what was I doing?!), 7:18, 7:14 and then at Mile 7ish things got super tough. 

At that point my body was working equally as hard to cool down as it was to keep pushing. I was actually surprised though that at Mile 7 my total time was only 50:35....I had never covered 7 miles that fast before. So I was hopeful that a PR might be in my sights, even if I had run the last three close to 8:00. 

Between mile 7-9.3 there are teeny inclines that really kick my butt each year. Therefore Mile 8 was 7:46 with much self coaching and check ins with my body. My cheeks were burning and I kept splashing water on my face. An elderly lady was offering her water hose to the runners as they ran by. I'm think I looked more like a lemur as I tried to signal to her with my arms that I'd also like her to squeeze the trigger to me. She was enjoying it clearly by my observations, lol. It felt really refreshing. 

I really wanted to stop. And walk. But I refused. So struggle along I did. 

Mile 9: 7:35.

At 9.2 miles I saw Kelly and the Lulu Crew with their motivational signs! I got a high five and some mighty cheers and then I got a little extra pep in my step. A spectator yelled, "It's all downhill from here!" And boy was it awesome. 

Mile 10:7:15 

The finish is a glorious downhill and my family was cheering from the bottom right before you make THE turn.
Running Room photo cred here, but my family also got the exact same shot from a slight bit further away, lol. 

I was totally stunned and determined when I saw 1:12:XX on the clock! My previous PR on this distance (and on this course) was 1:13:34. My only worry was I'd puke before the finish and the seconds would tick off. But I kept it cool and crossed in 1:12:37!!! A 57 second PR! 
Elizabeth was able to get this photo of my finish! Thank goodness she missed the puking episode!
There's always time for finish line shenanigans! 

Everyone was wearing big smiles!

Holy cow, that was tough but fun.

Here are my stats:
I was pretty pleased. :D

And here we are again.

We had a post race celebration with the crew. There are 2 honorary Newfoundlanders and 2 honorary BLT runners in this shot. ;)

We analyzed our splits as we ate.

Because that's what runners do! ;)

I really feel that training with Project PB is helping me with my speed and strength! It was great to see the results this past Sunday.
I hope you made it to the end of this post, lol. Thanks so much for taking an interest in my Tely experience!!! Have an awesome day!
How was your weekend of running?
Did you run the Tely 10?
What is the race you look most forward to each year? 

Happy Running,
Heather :)