So the reason I trekked all the way out to Vancouver is for XC Nationals. Originally I wasn’t competing for UTTC (University of Toronto Track Club) but I was given the opportunity to run AOs (Ontario provincials) and then it all led to this.
The morning started off well with a big breakfast in the hotel and because my race was at 1:40PM and we had lots of time before we had to head to the course. With the Grey Cup celebrations taking place in downtown Vancouver, we went for a long walk and saw bits and pieces of the parade route. We were only outside for about an hour and a half but man were we cold by the end of it all. At -15 it was cold by Vancouver standards, but the moisture in the air made the air feel that much more chilling. With a quick warm up and a snack to get me through my race, we were off to Jericho Park!
This was not only my first club nationals but because I was in the senior women’s division, I had to run 8km which I had never done before. As most of you know, I’ve ran several half marathons over the past few years; but those are merely just to run, this was a race. Very different. Although I was instructed to just play it out and see how I feel, the conditions on the course were less than desirable and made for another obstacle altogether. The accumulation of rain over the few days prior had drenched the course and created giant mud puddles basically everywhere. Where there wasn’t mud, there were wood chips that had been super saturated by the rain; every time you stepped down the ground would sink beneath your feet. Along with the cold, these conditions were not what I had expected. But there was no backing down!
The race itself went ok, I can’t really be upset about how things turned out. My time was nowhere near what I had been expecting but given the conditions, time was out of the question. With all the hard training I had done, I knew what I had put out there was all I had. The 13mm pins in the bottom of my spikes caused a fair amount of discomfort in my right foot and my calves were killing the whole way. For the runners out there, you know when something is bothering you in a race like this, there’s not a lot you can do except push through it; which is what I did.
For support, I can’t thank my parents enough for having come out with me and supported me through the long and treacherous 8k. In terms of training I obviously have to thank each and every one of the girls I have trained with, in particular my friend Sasha who did countless long workouts with me and supported me throughout them all. We all have bad days, but it always helps to have your buddies out there with you. I even heard my former teammate’s voice, Erin, as I raced through every lap in Jericho Park.
Cross season is over now, but having been in Vancouver and Whistler has re-sparked my obsession with skiing; the next thing for me to do is getting back on the slopes! We ventured up to Whistler post-race and was the biggest tease of my life, but I know I’ll be strapping on my beautiful skis in just over a week. I can’t wait!
Stay tuned for even more of my trip and our time in Whistler coming tomorrow!