Sunday, 12 August 2018

Chase the Pace Mile Edition!

Happy Sunday everyone! 

I hope you had a fabulous weekend filled with friends, food, running and sunshine. :) Well that's what mine looked like anyway. :)

Yesterday I did something really cool. I raced a mile on a track AND got a PB! I know, so much info in one teeny sentence. 

Here's what happened:

The Halifax Road Hammers hosted a second Chase the Pace Event that this time would cover the mile distance. Back in June they had a 5k event which I, who was teacher tired, did not take part in. It looked super cool and a lot of my friends ran it so this time I was not missing out! 

The meet was hosted at Saint Mary's University Track. Now, my understanding before I got there was 1 mile...4 laps of the track, okay, I can totally do that! They're just 4 little loops, am I right? ;)  

I noticed the before mentioned loops seemed gigantic as my little Wave Riders stepped onto the blue lane when I arrived on the 28 degree Celsius day...gulp. Who stretched the track???


It sure was a beautiful day!

The first thing I said when I arrived, "I'd rather run a marathon than this!"

Here's Jennie: a.k.a. pep talker, motivator, warm up partner, ice cube giver, pace bunny and running extraordinaire! She kept me positive, warmed up and believing in what I thought was not possible yesterday.

Courteney came along as well to cheer and offer support...It was awesome! She took my bag, shirt, photos, cheered, you name it!!
You can totally see my bib under my shirt...lol.
It was a great event because it was designed in Heats. I was in Heat 4 so I got to chat with and cheer on a lot of running peeps. There were about 80 runners there and it was very exciting! And I was beyond nervous. I had not raced a mile since the 2011 Bridge Mile where I ran a 6:14. It may have even been 2010! I can't remember, lol.

Here are some of the speedy folks finishing one of the Heats I was NOT in...thank goodness! LOL.
During Heat 3 Jennie and I did a mile warm up including drills and strides. My 120 lb body felt like it weighed 250 lbs and the air felt hot! Jennie yelled, "Positive thoughts ONLY!" Whatever works right, lol.

Before I had a chance to even freak out we were off!
I'm near the back in the pink shorts and my pacer Ian Holdway is in the white tank.
 I wanted to do a sub 6:10 but the more I thought about it the FASTER it sounded!!! I decided I'd plant myself as close to his back as I could and if I felt good at the end...if I was still near him...I'd sprint to the finish.
Courteney and Nick did a great job capturing the day in photos! Thanks guys!!!!  Here is the side of the track where the majority of spectators were. The opposite side was deadly quiet where slowing down was so tempting. But I powered on breathing like fire into my chest. Good times!
I tried to run the loop tight. It got tricky when I wanted to pass someone but there was someone on my right. I can't even remember how I got around them both, but I did.

"Wait for me Ian!" haha
I was close to speedy Bea and she was having a strong run! 

Things were hard. It felt really tough. I tried to just work hard and remember that this was not going to be easy or feel good. I pushed the track away as hard and as fast as I could...later seeing that my average cadence was 200spm! 

I heard Lee yell to the finishers up ahead "Sub 6 go go go!" and I knew I had to GO also. So I did. I ran so hard I thought my legs would detach from my body.
 6:07! A mile PB! And no puking!!!!!!!!!! I'm getting better at this finish line puke thing.

Katie got this photo where we all died for a bit...lol. It's hilarious but I love it!
You can see Jennie in the blue hat above me and Courteney trying to understand what I'm saying...lol.
 Go run a mile they said. It'll be fun they said. LOL it was fun actually! But I DON'T want to do it again soon!

Trying to get up was fun.

I was very happy with the run. My first ever race on a track! (In long distance shoes, but whatever, right Stacey?).

Annie, Shannon and I with our fancy drinks...lol. Thanks Kombucha!

Courteney, Stacey and I. :D

Lots of BLT Runners there!

And a whole lot of Chase the Pacers! #bettertogether

So yeah, yesterday was pretty awesome.

A HUGE thank you the Halifax Road Hammers, Lululemon, Aerobics First and all the volunteers! Nick and Courteney thanks again for the pictures and Jennie thanks so much!

Thanks for stopping by GGR and have a wonderful day!

Happy Running,
Heather :)

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Summer Training & Stuff

Hey everyone!

Trying out a new fresh blog theme, I hope you like it!

Here's a little summer training update:

I've been spending a lot of my easy running days along the Rails to Trails as a shade seeker. Man, it's been HOT here! Today it feels like 41 celsius in Timberlea!!!!!!!!!!!! Running in the heat sure is challenging, like I have to tell you that. What keeps me going is knowing how awesome it will feel when September and October temperatures arrive!


I've started running with the Halifax Road Hammers on the regular now. Coach Lee has developed a training plan for me for the Chicago Marathon and I get to run with some of my super speedy friends more often! The workouts are challenging. If I read them on paper and then ran them alone, I'd probably pass out or give up. But when I'm running with a huge pack of other fast feet, somehow I get it done!
This was taken after an intense hill session at Point Pleasant Drive...in crazy heat and humidity of course. Sorry Charlotte for cutting your face out a bit!!! 
Intense workouts mean it's super important for me to maintain strength and do my injury prevention maintenance. Just ask Jeff! LOL.

 Oh boy...when will I learn to take care of myself?
 My IT band has been giving me a bit of attitude so Jeff and Jillian joined forces with needles, ultrasound and CUPS! I honestly can say it helps a lot!

Is anyone else as excited as I am to get a copy of Run Fast, Cook Fast, Eat Slow??? I've already pre-ordered my copy and I tried a sneak peek recipe that was released in Runner's World. Thai Quinoa salad...mmm!

AND Shalane Flanagan liked my photo!!!!!!!!!!!

 Lola got a haircut and I think she looks pretty fly. <3

More training talk:

One of the new to me things that the Road Hammers do is to incorporate a workout into the long run and you know how I usually run long on Sundays? Well, now it's Saturdays. I'm enjoying this immensely because there's no pressure or rush to get up early on Sunday. I can usually sleep a bit longer since my Sunday runs are usually between 8-11km at recovery pace.
This was Tash and I after doing a Threshold run in the middle of a long run. We sweat buckets but were so happy to be done! Thanks to Natalia (missing from the photo) for pulling us along.
 I also get to see speedy Jennie more now!
We were pretty pumped about it, lol. Michael is always to thorough in staging our post-run pics! 
On Monday I got to go cheer on a bunch of running friends and Matt at the Natal Day races in Dartmouth. I really like the spectator side of racing as well I discovered, lol. So much less pressure! The runners had a really hot run on Monday which was very inspiring to see so many athletes push through the heat and humidity. Great running everyone!
Tim Chesnutt always does a stellar job at race photos!
I took this photo at the start of the six miler.
SO MANY FAST FEET IN THIS PIC! Hey, there's me in the shadow, lol!
 My Monday recovery run was 7km so I met up with my BLT Running Buddies for an easy paced run. I ran with Scott and had a great chat and he was SO AWESOME BECAUSE HE BROUGHT WATER FOR EVERYONE!!!!
Thanks Nicole for the photo!
Today is Matt's and My 8th anniversary!!! Can you believe that?! We are definitely going out to eat tonight to celebrate...mostly because that's our favourite thing to do, lol.

Next up is the Chase the Pace Mile at the SMU track on Saturday August 11th. Hope to see you there!

Thanks for visiting the running rambles of GGR. Have a beautiful day!

Happy Running,
Heather :)

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

The 2018 Tely 10!

Another awesome trip to Newfoundland has come and gone. There really is no place like it on Earth. 

Each year I make the journey home and I coordinate it around the very popular Tely 10 - named after the Telegram Newspaper. It's a 10 mile foot race that has a net downhill and spectacular crowd support! I love it! This year was the 91st!


My family taxied me around the entire visit since I flew. Hopefully they didn't mind! ;)

Kit Pick up - I thought there was something significant about the number 77...I felt like it would be lucky or something. :)

This was  my 9th time competing in this race! Newfoundland weather can be unpredictable (they had snow in JUNE!), and each time I've run it it's been decent weather ... with the exception of a couple of warmer years. One year it rained cats and dogs with thunder and lightning at the start!

I made a decision to wear a crop top when I knew how hot it would be. I also heard rain was in the forecast so I chose a hat as well.

Carla dropped me off about 3k away and I did a warm up in a garbage bag that then made me sweat profusely! Not a good choice, but I wanted to stay dry. It was so warm and the rain was teetering off. I prayed for a healthy strong race and that the sun would not come out, lol.

I ran slightly over 4k total before the race and headed down to the start to find my training partners from the Halifax Road Hammers. We are all pretty close in pace so Coach Lee thought we'd have a good pack to stick together.

There were nearly 4700 runners registered! That's a lot and the race is pretty crowded, like you're never alone...unless you're at the very front???

I knew Carla, Trudy and Dad would be eagerly waiting at the 2 mile mark near the Tim Hortons. I'm going to say they love getting up early at the crack of dawn to come out and cheer on their vacation time, lol. Even if they do groan about it. ;)
Every time I see them I get a bit of extra pep in my step and it's usually my fastest mile. I then pulled in the reigns since I knew that the humidity that was already causing beads of sweat to run down my face would possibly create havoc in the later miles. Be calm and be smart Heather.  

There was no rain. I waited eagerly and until it came I would run under each hose that the firefighters and city folk had set up. One kid was squirting a large water gun at the hot runners. Thanks kid! 

I felt strong, fitness wise. I've been upping my training with speedwork and hills and to be honest I could tell. The heat however with no breeze whatsoever refused to let me go. I kept fighting. Keeping Jody's yellow hat in close sight and Syed's red compression socks in my peripherals. I had lost Christine, no idea if she was ahead or behind. 

Sweat beads were running down my arms and it was flicking off my elbows. My shorts and shirt were completely saturated with water. Hydration stations became "Sip/Pour" stations. Sip water and later Gatorade and then dump water over back of neck. New strategy...get to finish without passing out. (Many ambulances were out and I saw many runners struggling). 

There were many spectators out and I was grateful. I knew they all came out to cheer on friends and loved ones. That made me happy. 

Lululemon had an amazing pump you up station near the Village Mall area. This part of the race gets a bit tough for me up until mile 9.2. One of their signs said, "you think this is hard, try growing out your bangs!" I giggled a bit having had experienced this weird length bangs phenomena LOL. 

At mile 7 after getting liquids Jody and his yellow hat got a bit ahead and there was a hill. My stomach was feeling upset as I ran up it with my slowest mile of the day (7:37). I was fine easing back but it was helpful to have him in my sights as a carrot of sorts to keep the pace up to what I could. 


I know Greg from social media/running and he was out capturing amazing photos that day! It was great to see another familiar face that day. 

Fatigue from the heat was definitely trying to take me over. Oh, and still no rain! I tried to think of things to pass the steps away. I looked up and saw Cabot Tower way off in the distance and I thought of how I'd go there with my family post-race for our annual photo! Then I wondered if they were at the finish line yet. I thought of Matt and Lola several times. I knew Matt had high faith in me and that I would do well and it helped me push when I was getting mentally lazy. 

I stopped checking my pace. I just kept pushing and only looked at distance by the triangle markers they had out at each mile. My watch was bang on unlike many races that are long/short or you run the tangents poorly.  

Once I arrived at the Tim Horton's at 9.2 miles I said, "This is it! GO!" So I tried hard but I kept feeling like I would puke. I caught a glimpse of my family along the right side and just kept moving forward. 

Photo: Perry Howlett

I LOVE this finish! It's amazing!!!!!! I mean look at this downhill!!! 

"Don't puke, don't puke, don't puke..." Legit what I was saying here. 


I saw the clock saying 1:11:XX and I said I'm getting in under 72 if it means my legs fall off. 

1:11:34 -  my second fastest Tely 10! 
 I was beyond happy to be done!

Carla told me at the finish it was 30 degrees! That sounded about right to me who was having quite the sweat fest post race. And there was NO RAIN...just like Blind Melon. However it did pour like crazy on the way home...sigh.

At the finish it was All the Photos! haha!

Here's my Physiotherapist Jeff! He ran his first Tely 10!

 Jody and Syed with me. We train together with the Road Hammers and it was great to have them running near me.

And Christine!!!!

This is amazing: Here's Mr. Baggs (Wayne). He used to teach me when I was in elementary school (Grades k-3) from what I remember. He's been running for 47 years!!!! It was kind of cool to be racing with him. Truly inspirational!

My finisher's certificate:


Signal Hill family selfie! 


Great job NLAA! This race and support is da bomb dot com! I love it and I love visiting Newfoundland! Until next time... (and next time please be much cooler mmmkay?).

Thanks to my family for cheering and photographing! Thanks to all my friends who wished me luck and kind messages. <3 Thanks to all my training buddies from the BLT Runners and the Road Hammers and to Lee! And thanks to all the readers who read this crazy long recap. :)

Any racing stories to share?
Have you ever run the Tely 10?

Happy Running,
Heather :)