Monthly Archives: February 2013

Race Recap: Hatley Castle 8k

Hey everyone! Thank you, once again, for stopping by. I thought I’d give you a race recap and results summary from my Hatley Castle 8k on February 24, 2013.

About 2 weeks after the Cedar 12k, I did the Hatley Castle 8k, which is another race that’s part of the Frontrunners Island Race Series. I admit that because I am also training for a fitness competition, I did not run as much as I would have liked between the Cedar 12k and Hatley Castle 8k. The Hatley Castle 8k took place at Royal Roads University in Colwood. It’s a beautiful area.

I’ve never raced an 8k before, so it was a totally new distance for me. I knew I had to go faster than my 10k pace but slower than the 5k pace.

The morning of the race, I got up 2 hours before I the start time of the race after about 8 hours of sleep. As soon as I got up, I drank a glass of water. Then, I put on a pot of coffee and had a cup. About 1 hour prior to the race, I ate my energy bar and drank a can of energy drink.

Again, I wore my Public Myth gear. More specifically, I was wearing the Cross V Halter Bra and B Belt Shorts.

Above: I’m at the starting line. I’m #227. 🙂 Photo by IMS FotoGrafix

Yes, I’m the girl that’s not wearing a lot of clothes at the race. I think that it’s very important to wear clothes that are easy to run in. After all, I don’t want to be stuck wearing a bulky jacket that creates too much wind resistance or getting too warm running in long pants. Long pants and jackets are good for running in sub zero temperatures (Celsius), but other than that, I don’t see a reason for dressing too warm at races.

Above: The take-off. Shot by Dean Robertson.

When I got to the race, I had about 20 minutes to pick up my race package and get ready for the start. I didn’t warm up as much as I would have liked though. I did a few stretches before the race at the starting line. I also made sure that I reset my Garmin Forerunner before the gun went off.

I like to keep track of my pace throughout the entire race because I find that it allows me to focus on myself as opposed to all the other runners out there, who may be starting out too fast only to run out of energy later. However, if you’re Geoff Martinson, you start out fast and keep on going really fast and not only win the entire race, but also cross the finish line about 2 minutes faster than the guy in second. I am amazed and inspired by the people who can do a 5-ish minute mile consistently and maintain that pace. I’m still working on that. 🙂

Several years ago, I used to think that a consistent 7 minute mile was not attainable to me, but I am thrilled to have proven myself wrong. I mean, guess what my very first 1500m (less than a mile) race time was? 8:30 min, which is a 9:07 min mile. I’ve definitely come a long way since that time. So, I’m not going to make any assumptions about the 5 minute mile. It will always be in the back of my mind, for sure. It’s something to strive for regardless if I get there. All I can do is train hard, run well and never stop learning.

Back to the race. Yes, I started out too fast. I did my first km in 3:30. So, I decided to take it easy and slow down to a manageable pace of 4:20/km for the next few km. At about the half way point, there was this huge hill. I managed to speed up a little and passed some people on the hill. Hills excite me. I use them as an opportunity to pass those who may be slowing down.

There were quite a few other hills throughout the race, but they weren’t as big as the one mentioned above. I still need to work on perfecting my stride going downhill because I think I sometimes heel strike a bit too hard on my descent. Otherwise, I’m very good at not landing on my heels. I think form is very important and I try to stay conscious of it as much as I can.

In races, I admit that I sometimes tend to get too caught up with “gotta catch that person in front of me” rather than being aware of my form. I am working on that too. As much as it’s important to catch the person in front of me, I think that proper form is critical in ensuring that I have a genuinely better race experience and avoid injuries.

Above: Approaching the finish line. Shot by Dean Robertson.

Above: Crossing the line. Photo by Dean Robertson.

With about 600m left to go, I decided to speed up a lot. With 100m left and the finish line in sight, I sprinted. I honestly feel like this was the first race where I actually felt some lactic acid at the end of my sprint. I finished the 8k race in 33:48 min (4:15 min/km or 6:48min/mile), which is honestly not as fast as I would have liked.

However, I won 1st place in my age group and finished 77nd out of 455 finishers, according to the race results posted on Race Day Timing. Sure, my time could have been a little bit better, but overall I am pleased with the race results.

Above: Receiving my 1st place medal. Photo by IMS FotoGrafix.

Next stop: St. Patrick’s 5k in Vancouver. I haven’t done a 5k in a really long time. Will I PR? We will see. That race is 1 week away from my fitness competition though.

An Interview with Frontrunners and New Balance Owner Rob Reid

Rob Reid is a very inspirational runner and an admirable business person. He is the owner of Frontrunners and New Balance in Victoria, BC.  This Times Colonist article shows that Rob has the passion for making a difference in the community and supporting great causes both locally and globally. He is highly knowledgeable about the sport and when I met him, I felt like I could talk to him about running forever. I get very excited when I meet people who have the same kind of passion about the sport as I do.
Above: Rob Reid and I.

I am a Frontrunners customer because I really enjoy the energy that he brings into the store and the passion that he exudes when discussing running. He has been in business for over 20 years and there is definitely a good reason why. Additionally, he has served for more than 20 years as race director for the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon and I will never forget crossing the marathon finish line for the first time back in late 2012, where Rob was there to shake my hand along with the hands of thousands of other runners.

Rob founded a charity running group called “Runners of Compassion”. He has also won the Victoria Businessperson of the Year Award presented by the Victoria Chamber of Commerce in 2004. In addition to inspiring hundreds of runners, Rob also wrote the foreword for a book called Running in the Zone: A Handbook for Seasoned Athletes. He lent me a copy of the book after the interview and I feel that this book is a great resource for runners. I’m enjoying the wealth of information about running and training that this book has to offer. I believe that it’s a “must-read” for runners. Everyone who enjoys running will love the stories too!

YANA: Have you always been a runner yourself or did you have other sports that you liked to do when you were younger?
ROB REID: I played basketball and did some running but did not get serious until I began running with a prof at University who introduced me to marathoning.  After a trip to Boston, I was hooked.

YANA:Who are some of the runners or athletes that you admire and why?
RR: Terry Fox was our most amazing runner/marathoner due to his more than human and humane Marathon of Hope across our country raising money for cancer research.  Para-Olympians are great examples for us all.  Rick Hansen, a good friend of Terry, did a great journey raising awareness that’s much needed.


YANA:I read in the Times Colonist that you have been in business at Frontrunners for 25 years, what do you feel has been the most critical factor in the success of your business?
RR: The success of my business has been by surrounding myself with those that are stronger and smarter than me in my weak areas, and who are motivated to make a business work outside the box – without a strong accounting team I would not last too long.

YANA: Have you always wanted to own a running store of did you have other career aspirations when you were younger?
RR: I took my BEd after a BPE. and Counseling. Teaching was my first job, and the marathoning became so much my lifestyle I became motivated to make the sport my vocation.  I opened a store with John Forzani in Calgary and then decided I would start my own in Victoria. Partnering with another store owner brought me the financial and supplier strength and then I had assistance to buy him out and redo to focus the store on a local nature.

YANA: What do you think is the best piece of advice ever given to a first-time marathoner?
RR: “Start slow and taper”. Walt Stack- 70 year old marathoner  – a negative split also assures a good day at the races.


YANA: What are your thoughts on the barefoot/minimalist shoes?
RR: Barefoot running makes sense for children living in an environment where there is only soft grass.  Minimal shoes, though, can make sense for drills and some trail running.  These shoes do fit well into activities such a Cross Fit.

YANA:Do you have a favorite running memory that you like to talk about (a race, etc)?
RR: Running my first marathon in Niagara Falls to qualify for Boston in 79, then running sub 2:30 in Napa then a 2:33 in Boston for its 100th event in 1996 when I was 41 years old.

YANA:What is your favorite race and why?
RR: My favorite race would be the GLFVictoria Marathon, having watch it grow from 800 to 14,000 and the Island’s largest tourist event.

YANA: What piece of advice do you have for a runner who would like to break a 3hr marathon?
RR: To get the aerobic fitness to break 3 hours takes a lot of dedication of putting in the miles and doing hills.  That would mean doing 5 days, at least, of running and covering 80 km plus a week.  Of course, rest is just as important.

YANA:Do you have any additional comments?
RR: It has been a real great experience living the running lifestyle and using it to assist in making a difference.
The clock of time is wound but once,
And no one has the power,
To say just when the hands will stop,
On what day or what hour.
The only time you have is now,
So live it with a will,
You never know when the hands may soon be still.


I would like to thank Rob for the interview and wish him continued success! I look forward to coming into Frontrunners each time that I need a new pair of Saucony shoes 🙂

Summary of Training: Week 4 Update

In week 4, which is just over 4 weeks away from the day I will hit the stage, I was in the gym just about every day. I managed to get a rest day in, which was good. My trainer told me that I must have some rest days where I don’t do anything so that my muscles can recover and rebuild.

However, on rest days, I also feel really weird. Any time that I don’t go to the gym, I find that something is missing. I am addicted to the gym and there is no question about it. Getting a workout in makes me feel like I’ve accomplished more during the day.

I even ran to and from work 3 times this week. This is great because when I run to and from work, I burn an extra 600 calories that day. Back when I didn’t have a car, I ran to and from work every day. In addition to running to and from work,  I also went to the gym to do the exercises that my trainer has me doing.

Even though I have a car, I still find that I am motivated to run to work knowing how good I will feel throughout the whole day. Running makes my day better. That’s all there is to it.

I find that the key to sticking to your workout program is choosing an activity that you like to do. For me, that’s running and going to the gym. For other people I know, it’s cycling or skiing.

Another key to sticking to your program is having a clear goal. For example, my goals are to get a PR in the marathon (sub 3:20 would be great) and to bring my best physique possible to the stage (I want to be at about 11% body fat).

The lack of carbs is still as much of a challenge this week as it was last week.

I have also decided to hold off on all the updates until the fitness competition from now on. I want to make it a surprise in terms of how far I feel I’ve come over the last little while. If you’ve been following my contest updates, thank you so much!

I look forward to revealing my stage shots in the next few weeks 🙂


My Cedar 12k Race Recap

During the 1st week of January 2013, I was planning all my races and other fitness events that I wanted to be a part of this year. I decided to take the entire month of January off from racing because I was focusing on a different fitness program at the time. Initially, I was going to do a half marathon in February, but since I was mostly doing shorter and faster runs over the last couple of months I thought that I should sign up for a shorter but faster race.

Since the Cedar 12k on February 10, 2013 was my first race of the year, I wanted to see where I was at more than I was worried about my placement. Knowing where I’m at would allow me to adjust my training program in order to achieve better results in future races. Of course, placing 1st, 2nd or 3rd is always nice but I knew that there were some very experienced and even professional runners who have been training longer than I have.

Above: At the start. I’m number 222 on the right side of the photo. Photo by IMS FotoGrafix.

I set myself a time goal of around 54 minutes, since I figured that I would run 12k at a slightly slower pace than I did a 10k. When I got there, some of the race volunteers mentioned that the course is hilly, which makes it more challenging. However, since my Bear Mountain Half Marathon experience, I was pretty sure that those hills would be easy compared to the insanely steep and constant hills I had endured at the Bear Mountain Half Marathon.

On race day, I was up a few hours before the start of the race knowing that we had to drive from Victoria to Cedar, which takes just over an hour. I also had coffee and water first thing in the morning.

I wore my Public Myth sports bra and teaser leggings for the race and I felt like the clothing was very comfortable to run in. I felt fast and, because the clothing was tight, aerodynamic.

Above: Another starting line shot. Photo by IMS FotoGrafix.

Approximately 2 hours prior to the start of the race, I had a banana and 1.5 hours before the race I ate a PowerBar. Also, about one hour before the race, I had a can of Pink Energy drink to give myself that extra boost.

So there I was at the start line, in the beginning of February in Canada, wearing a sports bra and leggings. At that point, I knew exactly what people were thinking: “You are going to freeze.” The reason I knew it is became some even voiced their concerns to me. What I was thinking was: “This clothing is light and tight which will help me go faster due to aerodynamics in addition to preventing me from getting too hot when I’m 3/4 of the way through the race.” 🙂

Above: Here is a back shot taken at the start of the race. Photo by IMS FotoGrafix.

I started my Garmin Forerunner 110 a few seconds before the gun and attempted to settle into a comfortable pace. Originally, I thought I should start with a 4:45min/km (~7:38 min/mile) pace, however, I felt pretty comfortable at 4:18 min/km (~6:55 min/mile), which is much faster than I originally planned. I admit though, I slowed down between km 6 and 7 because of the hills but then picked up the pace again after km7, knowing that there were only 5 more left and that it was time to start passing as many people as possible.

Above: Approaching the finish. Photo by IMS FotoGrafix.

I got to the 10km mark (6.22 miles) and I saw something amazing when I looked at my watch: I just realized that I reached the 10km mark a few seconds faster than I did when I raced 10km’s last year. The fact that I just ran a 10km PR while I was doing a 12km race inspired me to speed up a little bit more for the last 2km and finish the race in 52:01min. This means that I ran the race at a 4:21 min/km (7 min/mile) pace.

Above: Getting closer to the finish! Photo by IMS FotoGrafix.

First race of the year and I ran my best time yet for that type of distance! 🙂 I was extremely happy about beating my goal time by a full 2 minutes.

Also, I was pleasantly surprised that I also placed 2nd in my age category, which was the cherry on top of an already fantastic running experience.

YanamedalAbove: Receiving my 2nd place medal for my age category. Photo by IMS FotoGrafix.

Next stop: Hatley Castle 8km. I’ve never raced an 8km before because I never had much in the way of pacing strategy for this particular distance. This year, I’ve decided to try something new, so we will see how it goes. I also heard that it’s hilly. So, wish me luck! 🙂

Summary of Training: Week 3

By the third week, my body is definitely feeling more comfortable doing all the exercises that are part of my new program designed by my trainer. This is where the exercises get easier and in about a week I get a new program.

I did the same exercises that I was doing in weeks 1 and 2. Again, I had to change up the order of the exercises and combine some aspects of the routine in order to fit all the training in.

It was in week 3 that I had a lady come up to me at the gym and ask how to use the smith machine. I went to go show her the smith machine and she was like “Wow, you have a great body. You must work out a lot.” All I managed to say was “Thank you” knowing full well that I still have quite a ways to go before becoming stage ready. We talked a little bit more and I showed her some exercises. I felt like she was genuinely interested in getting fit so therefore I didn’t mind answering her questions about fitness.

I’m not running as much as I normally do because I am not eating enough calories from carbohydrates at this time. At times, I find it extremely challenging to not eat bread. Bread has always been a big part of my diet because I’m always super busy and toast is the easiest thing to make. In addition, I’m an endurance runner, which generally allows me to eat all the carbs I want without gaining any weight.

In a half marathon, on average, I burn around 1200 calories. That’s more calories than some people’s basal metabolic rate. Therefore, for me to maintain muscle mass, I need to replace those calories. Right now though, I’m eating a higher protein and lower carb diet, so those 20km runs are few and far between.

This is an experiment. I will have some numbers for you soon!

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