Monthly Archives: June 2015

Top 10 Running Articles of The Month: June 2015

Every month, starting in June 2015, I will do my best to compile some of the best running articles that I’ve read over the past month.

Some of these articles will cover injury prevention and cross training, while others will simply be inspirational or entertaining reading material.

Injuries & Injury Prevention:

What If Your Heel Pain Isn’t Plantar Fasciitis and What to Do About It by Joe Uhan. This is a very informative article that discusses other possible reasons for foot/heel/arch pain. It discusses at length the differences between Plantar Fasciitis and other injuries that affect that area.

Dr. Pribut on Runner’s Knee by Stephen Pribut. This article discusses some possible causes of pain around the knee cap in runners as well as what can be done to prevent and/or decrease that pain.

Your Ultra-Training Bag Of Tricks: Injury Recognition, Treatment, And Recovery by Ian Torrence of iRunFar. Injuries can derail runners of all levels and if not treated properly, they can get worse. There is a difference between adaptive and restrictive pain. Adaptive pain is good since it comes in the form of muscle soreness which goes away in a couple of days. Restrictive pain is when you are experiencing bad pain which restricts what you can do and further treatment is necessary.


Catherine Watkins, 43-year-old mother racing at Pan Ams by Sinead Mulhern of Canadian Running Magazine. At 43 years old, the general population believes that you are too old for an athletic career. However, Catherine Watkins is proving otherwise. Most recently, she posted better times than many runners who are 20 years younger than she is.

82 Year Old Woman Finishes Boston Marathon 2015 by Kit Fox of Runner’s World.  Katherine Beiers may not have been the fastest but she was the oldest finisher in the 2015 Boston Marathon. She overcame the brutally difficult weather (headwinds, rain and cold) and was super excited to be a finisher. In fact, she stated that she will be back again.

Natasha Wodak broke the Canadian Record in the 10,000m by Scott Leitch of Canadian Running Magazine.  At the Payton Jordan Invitational (2015) in Palo Alto, Natasha Wodak broke the Canadian record in the 10,000m, ran faster than the qualifying standard for the Olympics (and is in good shape to make the Rio 2016 team), World Championships and Pan Am games all at once. She set a new standard for Canadian female distance running. For the majority of 2014, Natasha sat out, injured, battling Plantar Fasciitis and prior to that she overcame the challenges of going through a divorce. She is an inspiration to many because even in the midst of difficulty, she never gave up!


Training the Lydiard Way: 28 Weeks to a PR by Christine Junkermann of Runner’s World. This article gives a good description of the Lydiard training method. It discusses at length the importance of building a great mileage base before attempting hills and speedwork. A true Lydiard training plan requires patience and states that there are no shortcuts.

Is it Okay to Split Up My Long Run? by Susan Paul (Runner’s World). This article discusses the importance of long runs when you are training for a marathon and why you should be doing all the miles at once. It’s not ideal to split your 20 mile run into 10 miles in the morning and 10 miles in the evening because the purpose of long runs is to help your body adapt to the stress of running long. In her article, Susan Paul states: “[Long Runs] strengthen the heart and respiratory muscles, stimulate the development of more blood capillary beds, and condition muscles, tendons, and ligaments for more miles. They also enhance your body’s ability to burn fat as fuel, recruit different muscle fibers, and build your mental confidence to go the distance.”

Get Faster for Your Next Half Marathon by Susan Paul (Runner’s World). The author offers a variety of workout ideas that will help you improve your half marathon time when done properly. It’s very important not to do too much speed work too quickly in order to avoid injuries. These workouts are most effective for those who have already developed an aerobic base that can handle this type of training. Some examples include: mile repeats, Yasso 800’s and Negative Split Run.

Dreading That Tough Workout? by Bradley Stulberg (Runner’s World). This article discusses a unique, but simple mental trick to not only help you get through your workout but to also look forward to your next one. It also explains why runners feel like doing another marathon after they finish even though they experienced discomfort during the race.

I look forward to discovering other interesting running articles that will be helpful to my readers. I hope you enjoyed this list.

RACE Report: Edge to Edge Half Marathon on June 14 2015

Ever since I first read about the Edge to Edge Half Marathon last year, I’ve been wanting to do it (there’s also the option to do the marathon or the relay).

I have never been to Ucluelet before, so the thought of going to see what the Island’s west coast has to offer really intrigued me.


Last year, I won a two-night stay at the Black Rock Oceanfront Resort as a result of my participation in the Q’s Victoria Run Series (now known as the Christie-Phoenix Insurance Victoria Run Series).

Coincidentally, the resort just happened to be an accommodation partner for the Edge to Edge Half Marathon. Now, that’s what I call a trip to the ultimate BONUS-land!

Win stuff at races so that I can attend more races and write about the unforgettable experiences.


When I arrived at the resort, the beautiful ocean views were mesmerizing. My room overlooked the ocean and it was amazing.


The Wild Pacific Trail is just a few steps away from the hotel. As for the service at the hotel-excellent. I will definitely stay there again if/when I get the chance to be in the in the area in the future.


What’s even more amazing is that the start line was less than a km away from the resort. So, instead of driving to the start, I jogged there as a warm-up.

In fact, I did not use my vehicle at all once I got to Ucluelet. Everything was so close and the views were too nice to experience them while being stuck in a vehicle.


Once again, I ran into people I know at the start line. I was especially thrilled to see Mel-she is about my speed and it was awesome to run together the whole way. You can really get to know someone over 21km. 🙂

At the start, we decided to run together until the final 100m, where we will race hard to see who wins.

When we started, 4 guys immediately took off and we settled into a comfortable pace. We didn’t have any crazy expectations because we were told that it’s a challenging, hilly course, with some parts of it on the trails.

When we were about 5km into the race, there were no other women too close behind us, so we kept a conservative pace on the trails.

The advantage to being on the trails is that we get to hide from the hot sun. Later, we saw a lady emerging behind us on the trails, so we picked it up a little bit.

By the time we got back out onto the road, we didn’t see her. With that in mind, we started to calmly tackle a series of hills on the road. Just up and down…up and down…

On the way up one of the big hills, we passed one of the 4 guys that took off in front. The next time we saw him was after the turn around point.

By that time, we were about a km ahead of the 3rd place girl. Once we reached the 18k mark, we knew that we were almost there and that the 3rd place girl will not be challenging us.

In the last 2km, the heat was definitely getting to me. I felt like I was getting a little bit tired. Knowing that the full marathoners were still out on the course and probably had a long way left to go definitely made me feel less tired. I was glad that I chose to do the half.

Then, the next thing I knew, we were approaching the last 100m. I was still with Mel at that point and then she took off ahead of me.

I thought she had it, but then, suddenly, out of nowhere, I made the surge to the finish. I passed my running buddy less than 6 feet away from the finish line becoming the 1st female (out of 133 total) across the finish. Overall, I was 4th and less than 6 minutes separated me and the 1st place man.


They gave us awesome plaques!


Although we didn’t get PBs, we had a lot of fun. When people say that the Edge to Edge is a beautiful course-they are right.

There was a lot of great food at the finish line from fruit to bagels and everything in between. We burn roughly 1200 calories during a half marathon and I’m pretty sure I ate around that much after finishing. There were even Snickers bars and chocolate at the finish! How awesome is that??

We all work pretty hard during our 21k or 42k races, so it’s great to be able to eat.

I definitely recommend that you run this race. Even if it’s just once in a lifetime so you can see what Vancouver Island’s West Coast has to offer.


RACE Report: The Christie-Phoenix Insurance Victoria Run Series thus far

So far, I’ve had the pleasure to participate in and represent Muscle MLK at the first two track meets of The Christie-Phoenix Insurance Victoria Run Series.

This run series welcomes runners of all levels and ages. It offers the opportunity to participate in races that vary in length from 400m to 10,000m on the track. In addition to 4 track meets in the spring/summer, there are also 3 cross country meets in the fall.

Proceeds from the series go to charity. So far, there has been over $12,000 raised for the Mustard Seed Food Bank. This amount is bound to increase as the series continues to grow.

As for entry fees, given the amount of races that you can do with a season pass-it’s a steal! A lot of times, you end up paying more for one race than you do for a season pass in this series. So there is definitely a good bang for your buck at the Christie-Phoenix Insurance Victoria Run Series.

You don’t have to be rich nor fast to be a part of something awesome! I like that.

At the same time, if you want inspiration and excitement, just come out and watch the elites run their long distance events (10,000m or 5,000m) at a faster pace than I do my 3,000m. 🙂

So, here’s how the first two events went down for me…

Meet #1. May 16 2015

Since the Boston Marathon, it was probably the fastest and shortest I’ve run in the last several months. Going from long run training on the roads to track races makes for slightly slower track times. However, I chose to run the 5000m, then 1500m and then 800m (yes, in that order).

First, the 5000m. I thought I got through it pretty well in a time of 19:53. I didn’t leave everything on the track in that race for sure because I wanted to save some energy for the shorter stuff. It was good enough for 1st in my age group.


Then, shortly thereafter the 1500m. Finished it in 5:35, which is not too bad for someone who just ran 5000m only a few minutes ago. I felt myself slowing down. When I first started running, my 1500m time was slower than 8 minutes with no other race before it, so I feel like I have come a long way since then (no pun intended).


Finally, the 800m. By that point, I decided I would be happy with anything under 3 minutes. Finished in 2:53. However, I gotta say, it was a tough 2:53. I think that was the cumulative effect of “racing” so much. The second lap of the 800m was really hard for sure but I was happy to win 1st in my age group.

About 10 minutes later, I couldn’t wait to go to the next one. So much fun and Muscle MLK 🙂

ALSO: HUGE Congrats to Maurice Tarrant, who took the Canadian 85-89 age-group record in the 1500m with his 7:59.56 – over 23-seconds faster than the old record.

Meet #2. May 30 2015

By the time this meet came around, I was super excited! I knew that I won’t be breaking any land speed records, but that doesn’t stop me from having fun. Because, really, this IS the best way to spend a Saturday evening and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

There were some very fast people at this one! They had their own categories. I got to watch Fiona Benson make a big breakthrough in the 800m, where she not only came 1st in front of two Olympians, but also got a huge personal best in the process. Very inspiring to watch!

I raced the open 800m and 3000m. This is definitely a good order of events.

First, the 800m. Although I did a workout earlier that day, I was relatively fresh at the start of the 800m. Finished in 2:36 which felt relatively comfortable and only 2 guys were in front of me. Given that I ran a 2:53 a couple of weeks ago, I was very happy with that.

Then, it was time to run the 3000m. It has been a long time since I did that. Too long. I was dying to run a 3000m. It was super fun before and I can’t imagine it being any less fun now. I definitely enjoyed the run and finished in 11:42, again with only 2 guys in front of me.


I was definitely pleased with being 1st in my age/gender category in both events. 🙂

However, what I love most about these meets is the opportunity to connect with other runners and make new friends. Regardless of your speed, you are guaranteed to have fun!

RACE REPORT: Victoria Goddess Run 10k June 7 2015

This year’s Victoria Goddess Run was as inspiring as ever. Thousands of women braved the heat and hills to cross the finish line, completing one of the three events: the half marathon, 10k, or 5k.

In addition to being a fun time for all the participants, this event helps support three great local charities: Victoria Women’s Transition House Society, KidSport Greater Victoria, and Victoria Sexual Assault Centre.

I heard some inspirational stories from different women who have overcome a lot of obstacles to get to the finish line. Their stories are unforgettable.

Some of them have escaped abuse, overcome health problems and much more.

Not only that, but I also got to see many of my friends and clients. It was so great to see them all in the race.

I had the pleasure of spending the entire weekend surrounded by Goddesses, first working the Muscle MLK Canada booth at the expo, then running the race, and then hooking all the finishers up with Muscle MLK.


Above: Clearly, this is where the party was at 😉

There were a lot of familiar faces at the expo. It was very exciting. The exhibitors that I talked to were very knowledgeable and helpful.

Then came time to race. When I got to the start line, I was surrounded by a sea of colourful outfits. Hot pink shirts and colourful tutus dominated the start line.

Since I remembered the course from last year, I knew that it was not a PB course. There were hills, trails, gravel and turnaround points. It was challenging but fun.

I focused on running with my friend and didn’t worry about my time. Initially, I was shooting for under 42 minutes, but it’s a tough course to do it on. In addition, it was hot out.


So, I decided to enjoy the run while maintaining my position in the race. I kept on going between 2nd and 3rd the whole race. It was great to have someone to run with the whole time.

The girl who ended up being 1st was a little bit too far for us to catch (and she set a new course record).

My initial goal was to place in the top 3, so I was definitely happy with my 2nd place finish.


We all got a beautiful necklace just for finishing the race.

I would love to do this race again next year!

Finish line hugs are the best 🙂


I love events like these because everyone is included, regardless of how fast their pace is. Best of all, women of all shapes, sizes, fitness levels, and ages get together to celebrate each other and their accomplishments.

Congratulations to everyone who finished! You are all winners.

I can’t think of a better way to spend a summer weekend than to make it a Goddess Weekend! 🙂

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