As we welcome in 2014, time to recap the great 2013!
I started to run with a little more zest in 2013 after I stepped onto a treadmill in November 2012 and saw how slow I was running. I guess that is what happens when you run easy for 2 years. So I committed to run intervals/fartlek each week on the treadmill and gradually force up my “mph” as my body allowed. I was also determined to increase my lung volume which had taken a beating after that major lung infection in 2010 when my lung capacity dropped to 58%. I got it back to about 75-80% over the next 2 years, but I was convinced that if I could train harder, then my lungs would get stronger and I would increase my lung function. And so “mission speed” began in January 2013! On the treadmill, I couldn’t run much faster than 6:30 per mile but when I did the Lady Track Shack 5k at the end of January, I somehow ran faster than that and won the race. I honestly thought my days of winning races were long gone so that was a fantastic feeling. Then I jumped into the Rock n Roll 1/2 marathon in St. Pete and finished 2nd. I can’t remember my time or anything but again, I was happy and thought “heck, maybe it is time to try Boston again” .. and so off I went to Boston and ran a 2:49 marathon. The best thing was that I was feeling “lung healthy” and “body healthy” despite my chronic achilles issues from my professional racing days! I was managing to run well with only 3 runs per week and while I would love to run faster, I wont go back to that 5-days a week physio schedule or walking around in pain anymore. I am a lifestyle athlete now with a dog to walk, a full-time job, athletes to coach and a family to love.
We had a few winter camps in Clermont from January to April with a trip to the San Juan Ironman 70.3 in there as well and then it was time to return to Caledon for our summer season!
We had athletes racing their first Ironman in Mont-Tremblant, Whistler and others racing at Ironman Austria. It was a jammed packed season of long training rides on the weekends with our athletes, working at the events and coaching and cheering. My personal highlight was the inaugural Irongirl Canada. While it was my “job” to work on this event, it was my passion that fuelled me to make it the best event for women – beginners and veterans. I know it was the turning point in many women’s lives! And we partnered with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation so all women raced with purpose!
August was a huge month with 5 races in a row – IronGirl Canada, Subaru Ironman Mont-Tremblant, Subaru Ironman Canada, Guelph Triathlon and Subaru Ironman 70.3 Muskoka. And somewhere in the process of all of that, I got cellulitis in my lower leg that was disguised as tendonitis until after several days off, it was getting worse. One day on antibiotics and I was back running again … just in time to find out that I got a start in the elite women’s wave of the ING New York City Marathon in 6 weeks time!!! It was time to cram for the big day with lots of massage and smart training!
Of course, cramming is never a good thing and a persistent issue with my Tibialis Posterior led to a week off of running about 2 weeks out from race day. My first run back 9 days out from race day had me icing my big toe after I heard it “pop” 2 minutes from home. We treated the big toe joint pain but the reality was that the little joint at the Interphalangical Joint wasn’t bending at all. Who needs a big toe to run a marathon? I raced hard – ran alone – since a 2:20 race time isn’t exactly on my race resume – and managed a 2:52 into a wicked headwind. I almost won the master’s title but was beaten by 3 seconds by a woman who raced in the mass start 30 minutes behind the elite women’s wave. The experience was absolutely awesome and totally a bucket list highlight. Oh yes, and the big toe issue turned out to be ruptured Flexor Hallucis Longus Tendon – ouch! I don’t want to have surgery to fix and the surgery is very complicated and not guaranteed. So for now, me and my non-bending big toe IP joint will just run along the best we can!
Sandwiched around the ING New York City Marathon, we were coaching at Ironman 70.3 Miami and then at Ironman Arizona where our athletes raced so well! It was an action packed November for sure – very rewarding and very fun!
December was full of LBT athlete training days and our annual City Buick 3-hr indoor bike ride. This year we partnered with the Ride to Conquer Cancer as our fundraising beneficiary. It was also the coldest December I can remember with freezing temperatures, freezing rain, lots of snow/ice shovelling but it was worth it to spend time with family and friends.
And now we start 2014 and I look forward to a great year of coaching and motivating others to be the best that they can be! And yes, all of that exercise helped – my lung function was up at 100% in September which is the highest it has been since 2009!
Keep on being great!