Thursday, November 25, 2010

Casablanca Classic Re-Cap

In Niagara there is a popular race series of 7 races that occur throughout the year and throughout the region. They are growing in size and offer great races for us locals that don't want to travel very far and they offer travellers great races with some tourist attractions.

The last of the series was the Casablanca Classic 5 Miler on November 13th.  I have never done this race, nor had I raced this distance before, so I was looking at an instant PR. But realistically I knew my 10K capabilities and knew where I should be running this race too.

I only signed up for it because I wanted to make sure my motivation and enthusiasm for running didn't waiver as it started to get cold. I really don't mind running in all types of weather, but its the transition seasons that are most challenging. I have a hard time figuring out my clothes (which is a common non-running problem too). I usually dress too warm for those early chilly days and end up uncomfortable. The November date gave me enough cool weather running to practice dressing.

So....race day is less than a week away and I get hit with the worst cold I've had all year! It figures. I stayed healthy through the summer and even through September, when kids are back at school and bringing home all kinds of germs. Not only did I get sick, but everyone in the house was out. I even missed a day of work...and I don't do that unless I'm REALLY ill. I was so tired and achy and miserable. I considered not racing at all. But Mr. B (hubby) convinced me that I would feel better by the weekend.

After a very rough week, lots of Buckley's and Advil Sinus, I decided to run anyway...what did I have to lose. If anything the cold gave me a reason to not put pressure on myself and just to go out and enjoy running again.
It was a very cold and foggy morning, a little damp in the air, but not windy. Looking back, I couldn't have asked for better weather in November. I decided on just a long sleeve t-shirt and capri's. I wanted to wear my new running skirt, but I figured it was too cold (you will hear more about running skirts if you keep reading this blog).
I went to the race alone. My family isn't keen on standing on the sidelines to watch me go by and none of my friends had signed up for the race. I don't mind going alone. I like having my own timeline and not feeling that I'm throwing off someone else's pre-race rituals either. My pre-race rituals usually going to the washroom several times (and as close to the gun time as possible).

I actually didn't know the route of the race, but I knew there were two 'aide' stations, so my plan was to take water and walk 1 minute at each station. The first being at 2.5k which was a little early for a break, but I'm glad I did and the next at 5.5k was much needed. It was a beautiful route that took runners through a conservation park (with big trees and leaves on the gravel path). It was also very quiet for a race, not many fans out on a foggy fall morning. Although, I may have found it less quiet if I was a faster runner and had more people to run with. It's kinda why I've learned to like really big races- there is always someone around!

In the end I ran a 50:11 8k. My pace was slower than I planned, but the excuses of being ill all week was all I needed. I ended up meeting a friend from high school (who had a baby 10months ago and is already racing!!) so it made for a nice morning. I went straight home, took a hot shower, ate and then took a long nap...I guess my body wasn't quite ready for a race.

Hopefully this is enough inspiration to keep running and chasing down those KMS!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Elusive sub-30

Considering I only started my running 'career' just over two years ago, I should not be concerned with breaking records. Unless they are my own. I have been frustrated with the fact that although I can put one foot in front of the other, and I can do it without tripping or fainting from exhaustion, I thought that I could slowly improve the efficiency at which I can run. In other words, I thought that I would be running faster by now.
In the beginning I was so proud to be able to finish a 5K run. Once I got the distance down, I figured I should be able to do it faster but no matter what I did I was always running a plus 30min. 5K. Every race, that 30mins was staring at me...laughing at me as I crossed the finish line.

I started challenging myself to get faster. When that didn't really pan out, I figured I was more the slow and steady type. I challenged myself to train and run a 10K. That training made me realize just how do-able longer distances are (for the average person).
In 2010 my goals were to race more often in order to get rid of the race day jitters. I planned out several 5Ks and one 10K to really focus on. I stuck to the training schedule and in June I managed to shave off 9 minutes off of my first 10K!!
Then the light went on...ah-ha! I have to train hard and consistantly to get the results I want.

In September I raced my favourite 5K. The Run for the Grapes. It's my favourite because
  • 1) it was my first (you always remember your first)
  • 2) it is during grape and wine festival (reason to celebrate with wine afterwards)
  • 3) it's flat ('nuf said).
Although I didn't specificially train for the 5K, I kept up my long runs from my summer training. And lo and behold a new PR. I took almost 2 minutes off my previous PR and took at least 3 minutes off my usual time.
2010 turned out to be a year of Personal Records (for me!)
Never again should I have an excuse to do a plus 30 5K race. I say that now, but come spring I will have lots of excuses.

I raced on November 13th. The last race of the season. I wanted to make sure I tried to get as many races in as I could before the snow comes. I'll do a race re-cap of that soon.
So that's a little history of my running/racing. I can move forward with my goals/dreams for next year (or next week). 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Post One

Okay, so this is new.
I have been inspired by other blogs and by my brother (who also started a blog) to attempt this for myself. I don't know where it will go, but I have hopes that it will give me an outlet for inspiration and motivation.

I guess I should explain the title. Chasing k(m)s...I enjoy running, although I am easily frustrated by the pain and suffering of it all. I am also Canadian so I register Kms (not miles). I am in pursuit of chasing down more kms to add to my running experience.
I am also a mom, so the K also refers to my two kids. I also chase kids. Get it?

So between two jobs, two kids, a husband and my own personal goals ...I am always chasing something. Hopefully, this creative outlet can give me the motivation and encouragement to keep giving chase, even when I feel I would rather not (i.e. sit on the couch and watch tv for four hours).

So, thanks for checking in...hope you come back. Let me know what you think.