Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Training and Life Update: March



Well, I had initially titled this post "mid-March," but realistically, it is the end of March already.  Where oh where has the time gone? I feel a bit behind in my training and a bit like I'm going to be playing catch up all season long already. Especially after spending the past week sick with a wretched cold that left me with no voice and no motivation to do anything beyond sit around the house. That said, I did have some great training outings in March and I am looking forward to moving past this cold and into some warmer weather and cycling outdoors!

The highlights:

Skiing: 




I finished the ski season on a strong note.  I finally started to feel like I knew what I was doing most of the time and I got to ski up to the Keogan Shelter one last time on the last day of the season. It took me almost 1/3 the amount of time as on my New Year's Eve ski from hell. Success!  And I got to enjoy the river pathway ski trail that was built at the end of the season.

Running: 




We have progressed my running beyond just running at MAF heartrate, though I haven't been able to do too many of the sprints prescribed by coach Jon because of some bad weather and then this silly cold. Hoping to get my speedy legs back soon! On my work trip to DC, I got to sightsee via a run - the best way to see a city!

Spring trail running is MAGIC!

Swimming: 

I was doing well getting in the pool up to twice a week for a few weeks there, but again the cold has prevented me from jumping back in the water. My goal is to head back to my masters practices after my upcoming vacation though.

Biking: 

Obsessed with my new Coeur Sports I Love Bikes Tee!
We have had some good sessions with our Wednesday night OTC crew and I got a few more Eurosports sessions in, but I feel like I have a long way to go with my cycling. I'm definitely excited to hit the roads though as soon as I'm back from my trip.

Strength: 

I got a few Crossfit workouts in with the gang at our friend's gym. It's always fun to challenge the body and get stronger!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Race Report: Gatineau Loppet 5k Snowshoe Race

Photo credit: Marathon Photos

Oh the burn! There is nothing like a lung-burning race through the snowy forest.  Or at least that is what I discovered last Sunday at the Gatineau Loppet 5k Snowshoe Race. Wow, snowshoe running is so much fun!!

Photo credit: Gabrielle Bastien


We started the race as a mass start, with the 50 or so racers for all 3 distances beginning together.   The first bit of the race was in a large, open field as we made our way to the trails of Gatineau Park.  It was fast and flat, and my strategy was to get out in front.  I imagine that I started way too fast (I was scared to look at my watch, so I just didn't look at it at all until I felt the buzz indicating that I had completed a mile), but I wanted to ensure that I didn't have to try to pass people on the trails.  It seemed that being able to run my race at my own pace would work the best. 

As we rounded the bend to enter the woods, a volunteer told me that I was, "la première femme."  Yes!  I had to laugh because the man behind me shouted that he was, "the second woman."  He was a great source of motivation in the woods, not only to stay ahead of him for as long as possible, but also because we chatted a few times to help motivate each other. Thanks Joe! 

Once in the woods, I tried my best to keep up the pace on the uphills and to fly as fast as possible on the downhills and flats. There were a few really steep hills that I walked, and was very thankful for the crampons on my snowshoes. 

The course flew by, and the same trails that I had covered in a pre-race scout on Thursday night, seemed to pass by in no time.  I was in fact running a lot faster than in the scout run though, as that first mile indicated. My pace surprised me quite a bit, particularly after several months running below aerobic threshold in my training.  That said, my lungs were on fire the whole time!

It was also an absolutely perfect day with gorgeous conditions.  The trail was well groomed and it was beautiful and quite peaceful to be in the woods. It was quite cold, but I had overdressed and actually started to overheat by the end.

Photo credit: Gabrielle Bastien

As we exited the woods, I was so thankful to discover that the race was actually only 4k.  While I certainly could have done that extra kilometer, it would have been challenging.  On the home stretch, I happened to glance behind me and saw Amanda's pink toque as she turned out of the woods. So I put pedal to the metal, despite knowing that I could probably hold her off to the finish.



This was a super fun race and a great, new challenge.  I will definitely be doing more snowshoe racing next winter, and hopefully spend some time on those trails this summer getting muddy.  Now, I can confidently cross another item off my "30 before 30" list! Thank you so much to the Loppet organizers and volunteers!  This was a stellar event, and I'll be back next year (though perhaps I will ski next year!). 


Final Results:


1st Female (wooo!)
4th Overall
Time: 23:58

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Team Coeur 2016



Just a quick hello, because my team kit arrived late last week! I'm so excited to be representing Coeur Sports again for the 2016 triathlon season.  Coeur Sports is a women's triathlon apparel company based in California. It was founded by two women who are passionate about endurance sports, and particularly passionate about getting more women swim-bike-running. Kebby and Hailey are truly inspirational.

There are two reasons why I applied to be part of Team Coeur again for 2016:

1) I truly LOVE the Coeur Sports products.  The tri shorts are heavenly.  There is a good reason the slogan for the shorts is, "no angry kitty," if you catch my drift.  The materials used to make the garments are so soft and so functional. I loved racing in my team kit last year, because it was so comfortable. I recently received the Lakota tights in the mail and they are also a dream. The t-shirts are cute and as soft as your favorite, washed-a-million-times tee. (Waiting on this I Love Bikes tee!!)  Plus, you can't beat the customer service from the gals at Coeur... handwritten notes in your package, amazing return policies, free shipping if you live in the U.S. They even offered to send me two sizes when I was unsure about what size to order. I wouldn't represent something that I didn't love!!

2) The women on Team Coeur are AMAZING. These ladies are so inspiring, so helpful, so supportive. They truly embody the motto of Heart & Courage! Plus, they make our team feel like a family.  I'm so proud to be associated with these ladies.

We also have a raft of awesome sponsors for 2016: Roka, Argon18, Enve Composites, Osmo Nutrition, Bonk Breaker, Barnana, and Smith Optics!