Monday, April 20, 2009

Running with the Big Girls...

I first started running in University, after I was finished with the swim team. I used to take the family dog out for trail runs in the fields behind our house. It was slow, it was painful, and it usually ended in me puking! I would run for a few km and the dog would do 4x times that, towards the end of our run was my 'Dooms Day' hill--short but steep. At first I could only manage it once, I'd get to the top, see stars, sometimes puke up whatever I ate for lunch and then walk/jog it back home. A few weeks later, I did it twice, then 3 get the picture. That's how it all started--me lying in the grass next to my vomit at the top of the hill determined to run it again!

Last week, I got an invite to run the Vancouver Sun Run (all expenses paid!!)--it was last minute, someone had cancelled, but I was still flattered that my name was even mentioned. The Sun Run is a big 10K run in Canada, there's prize $, it's a great course and it's fast. I'd heard all about it. After some discussion with Coach Paul and Richard (I'd be ditching him on his b-day...), a purchase of a last minute plane ticket--I was off to Vancouver on Saturday to race on Sunday morning! It would be a great training race and good test before my ITU race in Korea in a couple weeks. It was so nice to get on a plane with only a backpack--no bike, no goggles, no wetsuit!!

Here's my race kit....I wanted to look the part, so I pulled out my Team Timex singlet, my shortest run shorts (runner girls always wear really short-shorts), my orange race flats, my visor and threw in my race belt--just so they knew a Triathlete was running with them!!
Sunday morning, I was nervous, I haven't run a stand-alone 10k in years, triathlons taking up most of my weekends. There were 50,000 people running the race. I was in the first wave, along with 600 other people! Wedged back behind the start line, shoulder to shoulder, all I could think was "don't trip and get trampled!". The gun went off, and I got past the start line without incident. The first few km were fast and furious, it was crazy to be running with so many fast people around, and I kept my eye all the fast runner-girls, we were all together until 5k. I ended up dropping back about 5-10sec on a hill up to a bridge and it turned out to be a gap I couldn't recover.

I fought hard over the next few km's and was out-strategized in the last 600-400m by a couple of the women--including my superstar Lifesport teammate Lucy Smith, my only 'strategy' in a 10k race is to run until I puke, but once I turned the last bend and saw the timing clock at 34 minutes and change...I ran as hard as I could!! I crossed the line in 34.45, a new 10k run PB by 3min and 1 second!! I saw stars in the finish shoot but managed to keep my breakfast down this time!

I finished 8th overall, only 40 seconds separated 1st from 8th. In previous years my time would have been a top 5, so it was a tight group of women this year. I'm just psyched that I managed to run with the 'big girls' while grabbing a new personal best on tired legs!! Coach Paul and I have put a lot of time and effort into my running this winter (finally having the time to do a run focus after the craziness of Beijing the last 2 years!) and it's nice to see it paying off! Next year, I may even rest my legs a little before and see what this swimmer-turned-triathlete-turned-runner can do.

Now, back in Calgary there was no recovery day after this race, in fact, Coach had me run another hour after the race! Then it was a TT bike effort (into a strong head wind!) and hill repeats this morning after my swim! I leave for Korea next Monday, so only a few more hard training days left to go!!

Thanks to Coach Paul & Coach Mike with the University of Calgary Athletics Club for making me run faster than I thought I could this winter!



henk said...

Wat een mooie tijd! gefeliciteerd, belooft veel moois voor de komende wedstrijden!
Groet Henk

BreeWee said...

I am so happy about that run! HOLY cow that is incredible, yeah, only going to get faster too! INCREDIBLE Lisa, unleash that beast in Korea!

HUGE cheers from the Pacific!

Brent Poulsen said...

Dear Lisa,
Please slow down your running too fast!Just joking awesome work! Yo are u going to the camp in July after vancouver?
Keep up the awesome work.

Katya said...

In the wise words of Borat, "Wow-WA-wee-waa!!" smokin' run! congrats, chica!

A-Russ said...

Carolyn and I were talking about your smoking run on deck Monday....that is FAST, especially for an albertan.
Flames are hanging in there...

The Robinsons said...

34.45 WOW - that ROCKS! Those ITU girls are going to be SHOCKED when you blast past them in Korea!