Saturday, June 10, 2006

2006 Sun Run / Bare Bones/ Oliver Half

I thought I best be providing an update before I begin my hardest period of training. It is hard to believe that as of Monday there is 12 weeks until Ironman Canada.

Vancouver Sun Run, April 23

Prior to the Vancouver Sun Run I did a couple of tune up 10k races. I ran the races as part of my training effort. The first race was the Moonlight 10k in Lethbridge. I won easily but have to say that it was a very chilly evening. The second race was in Calgary where I won the Master’s Division and placed fifth overall.

I tapered for the Vancouver Sun Run as I wanted to see how well my training was going and I also wanted to be a contender for the Master’s title. Overall, I was pleased with my result. I ran 38:49 for 10k and ended up 4th master and 32nd female. This is such and awesome event and it draws such great runners. Here are the highlights of that race:

• The Vancouver Sun Run, the country's largest 10K run, set a long-awaited record on Sunday, surpassing 50,000 registered participants for the first time in its 22-year history.
• Isabella Ochichi from Kenya took first place and set a new course record in the Women's Overall Division with a time of 30:55. She beat Tatyana Hladyr of the Ukraine who finished second in 32:11, and the 2003 Sun Run Women's Champion Aster Demissie of Ethiopia, who placed third with a time of 33:02. Lisa Harvey from Calgary was the Top Canadian Woman. She finished in 34:10.
• Gilbert Okari of Kenya placed first in the Men's Overall Division by finishing the race in 28:25. Fellow Kenyan, Meshack Sang took second place finishing in 29:23, and Joel Bourgeois from Grand Digue, New Brunswick, who took the Top Male Canadian honours, placed third with a time of 29:46

Bare Bones Duathlon and Bike Camp, May 13 to 21

The Penticton Training Camp ran from May 14 to 21. We logged around 1100 km of cycling. Two of the rides were on the IMC course. One was in the same direction and the other was in the reverse direction. Not being a cyclist until really last year, I was unfamiliar with the many different rides available in the Penticton area. As such, I was very impressed with the camp and the rides. We did many hilly routes including Naramata, Chute Lake, Apex ranch and mountain, up the wall to Willowbrook, and Summerland to Falder. We also did some skill riding traversing from grass to sand to road, around obstacles and through playgrounds. It was a lot of fun and I learned how and where I needed to improve my handling of the bike.

Dan is a great coach and I felt I learned and benefited greatly from the camp. There were some really strong riders in the group. We were divided into five groups as there were about 60 riders. I was in group 2A, or as we learned later in the camp, “too anal”. We had originally been part of group 2, but it became clear that the group needed to be divided as there were 5 of us who were stronger than other members in the group but too weak of riders for group 1. Our group, “too anal”, worked well together and did not seem to be bothered by our nickname given to us by group 2B and group 3.

The Duathlon took place the day prior to camp. I ended up 5th overall in the women. I was content with my race as I had spent about 6 hours stuck on the highway the previous day and got somewhat dehydrated and did not eat enough. My hamstrings were rather tight and I actually thought I would not be able to run as something seemed pulled. But once I got into the race it seemed fine and did not really bother me that much. I felt that if I had been better prepared, as I had intended to be, I would have easily come in 3rd. There was a strong field of women and looking who placed ahead of me, I am happy with my race. Having moved into the geriatric age category of 45 to 49, I handily won my age division. I can always use my age as an excuse for almost anything now!

Oliver Half Ironman, June 4

My 5th triathlon of my life had its good and bad elements. The day threatened to be rainy but seemed to hold back by the time we got on our bikes. The run was humid and a perfect temperature.

I had two goals going into this race. The first was to get my qualifying IM spot which I did by placing 1st in my age category of F45-49. The second was to experience my bike on a longer ride and in a race setting. I had only been on my new bike twice prior to the race and was a tad nervous, anxious and protective of it. However, “mini me” (that’s the new bike’s name) and I bonded and it was christened with some dirt and rain.

I had some difficulties in the swim. I had a panic attack which I have never experienced before. I almost thought I would have to call the boat over and quit the race. However, I managed to settle myself down after a couple of minutes. Once I got going, I was fine and found myself moving through a number of swimmers. I believe that my lack of a proper swim warm-up is what caused the panic attack. I just felt like I could not breathe and my chest tightening up. As with all events, I took away some lessons which I will certainly implement into my future races. Running seems so much easier than this triathlon stuff!

My bike was solid. The course is a 93 km course and without transitions my time was 2:50. I was slow on my transitions which is unusual for me. That added a good 8 minutes to my bike time. Part of the bike course is on Black Sage Road which I found to be very rough; so much so that I managed to lose my air cartridge. Thank god I did not flat. Lots of people flatted.

I was unsure about my run. The course has many turns and traverses from gravel, pavement, and up and down stairs. I just found that I could never sustain my momentum on the run. In the end, I had the 5th fastest female run. I cannot complain about that when there were some really great runners in the field such as Lori Bowden and Linsay Pickell.

Final outcome:
11th Female
1st F45-49
Times: Swim 42:38 (Sorry Colin!); Bike with transition 2:58:25; Run 1:39:33;
Total Time: 5:20:35


I am happy with my training progression as I head into the last 12 weeks of my IM training. I feel that I am well on target for IM. My taper for this race was only a couple of days so I raced a bit tired. My view is that you cannot taper for every race and you need to choose which the key ones are. For me, those races include the Vancouver Sun Run, Duathlon World’s and IM Canada. Everything else is training.

Great races posted by two of my teammates from Speed Team Theory: Kyle took the overall title, and Krista had the race of her life and placing 6th women.

What’s coming up for me:


• Local Duathlon in Calgary (Goal is a podium finish)
• Local bike race in Calgary (Goal is to stay upright and avoid a crash)


• Osoyoos Half Ironman. (Goal is a top 5 finish)
• World Duathlon (July 26 to 31) … to be held in Cornerbrook, NFL this year. Goal is to improve upon my 10th place finish in Newcastle, Australia in 2005. Home country advantage and a hilly course will work to my advantage.


• Half Marathon in Edmonton (Tentative)
• Ironman Canada. My goal is to improve upon my 2005 result. If all goes well, I hope to break into the top 10 overall females.

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