Friday, September 28, 2012

weight that slows us down

When I get close to a racing a marathon, I often find scripture that relates to my training and day-to-day life.

It's no surprise to people that God is a huge part of my life and I don't shy away from writing about it. Many have heard me say that I feel God's pleasure when I run (Eric Liddell, Chariots of Fire) and being able to juggle life as a mom, marathoner, wife, and dietitian is a gift from God.

So, here it is:

Hebrews 12
1. Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. 2. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterward. Now he is seated in the place of highest honour beside God's throne in Heaven.

As a Christian, I strive to remove those things from my life that slows down my relationship with God; I focus on what will bring me closer (reading scipture, praying, serving others, being active at our local church, etc.). If I do or do not make a new Canadian record at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, I will be very excited to see how God will continue to use me to glorify him.

So far this week, I've had many ways to be thankful for what he has done:

1) I was interviewed by Sean Allen for the Brant News (click here), in which he quoted me, “My faith plays a huge part in what I do. God gave me that zeal to go to bed at 10 p.m. and be excited to wake up at 5 a.m. for a 30 kilometre run. I love that feeling on the weekends when I run faster to get home to have pancakes with my family. It’s the simple things that drive me. I love the hard work.”

2) I was privileged to be interviewed by fellow running mom, Rebecca Gardiner, author of her blog, "Couch to Kenyan" for Canadian Running. Again, I was able to talk about how blessed I am to able to "do it all". She plans to have a write-up about me Oct 1st. Thanks, Rebecca! And have a great race too! See you out there on the road, Oct 14th.


3) My heel is sooo much better and my plantar fasciitis isn't too bad. Also, I'm over a cold that I likely picked up while spending Sunday at emerg with my 4 yr old (just a virus, thankfully).

4) Saucony sent me my racing kit and fall/winter gear. Wow, sweet stuff! As per tradition, the kids dressed up and "pretended to be Saucony runners".

5) Tomorrow will be my last long run (32-34 km) to finish my last hard week of training. The week will total the usual 160 km, consisting of a steady tempo run (16 km at race pace) and 5, 1 mile repeats (average 5:19/mile or 3:19/km). So far, my training has been text book. I haven't missed one key workout or long run and am thrilled with that.

6) I am down to about 117 lb, which is a decent race weight. I'm not one to get too caught up on weight but believe that there is no use carrying extra weight for 42.2 km, which can slow you down! Also, my resting heart rate is about 30.

As for the next 2 weeks, I will continue to "strip off every weight that slows us down"; I'll be diligent about eating well, going to bed early, resting, and preparing to "run with endurance the race that God has set before us" while "keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish".

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Got It Done

Well, I got the job done today at the Zoo Run/Cdn 10 km Championships in Toronto. I think I can now say that I'm not a big 10 km race fan. You just don't seem to get into a groove (especially on courses with lots of turns, like today's). But, they are necessary for the marathon.
Today's race had a good mix of short and long distance runners. Megan Brown (today's winner) posted on Facebook, "The worst thing about racing distance again is drinking Beet Juice." to which I replied, "The best thing about racing sprints is not carb loading (;". Kate Van Buskirk pointed out that the 10 km is only 2x the distance for the 5 km folks whereas we marathoners were running 1/4 of our distance. Interesting.
Anyway, my time (34:47) and place (5th) was nothing spectacular but that was not the goal. It was a decent tempo with no taper and I am in fine form to do my 32 km long run tomorrow morning. The foot is coming along, which is great.
I enjoyed chatting with Tarah (3rd place today) and Wesley Korir (2012 Boston Marathon Champ) about their Kenyan Kids Foundation. Recently they had a team of health professionals at their hospital in Kenya who saw over 2000 patients in 2.5 weeks! I just love that these two use their gift of running to give back. When I was asked at the press conference about the "fame" of our (Lanni and my) success I simply said that it's not about me; God gives me this gift and I feel His pleasure when I run (Eric Liddell). And like Silvia and her start2finish program, if I had the Canadian marathon record, it would be about how I could give back.

Below is a picture of us at Friday's press conference for the upcoming STWM. It was fun to be up there with Silvia, Lanni, Rob, Reid and Matt. Here's an article from the Toronto Star. Canadian Running Magazine will post something soon too.

Something new...I created a Twitter account today. Lots to learn! @kristaduchene

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Healing Heel. Viewer Discretion is Advised.

Lanni and I are back to familiar surroundings again; resting and relaxing before a race. We've really enjoyed rooming together since Rotterdam. This morning we went for a short run then got ready for the press conference for the upcoming STWM. It went well as could be expected with the lead of Alan Brooks, and involvement from Paul Gains, Mihira Lakshman and the like. We even got a brief appearance from Eric, Dylan and Reid who were downtown for the Olympic Athlete parade. 
As for the heel, it is coming along. I can run in shoes but prefer to walk in sandals. As you can see from the pictures, it is a good one. I've had blisters from my skates but nothing like this. A little (ok, rather big) blister will not stop me. Remember, I have given birth three times. Pain is temporary. The plantar fasc. still lingers but other than that, all is well. 
Tomorrow is the Oasis Zoo Run, which is host for the Cdn 10km Road Champs.
Great competition here but the focus is to simply use it as a tune-up for STWM. I am even prepared to drop out if there is any risk for the big Oct 14 race.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A(mazing) B(lister) C(alculator) D(arren)

Four weeks left. Time is flying! Training is amazing!
So, I completed another 100 mile week (with one day off, 2 bikes and 2 swims) in preparation for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. I had a great 6x1200m workout on the track (each at 3:20/km pace) and 24 km tempo on the treadmill (9 miles at 3:38/km). Then, I ran my second longest long run of 43 km. Coach Rick joined me for the first part then I met up with Clayton, Henry, James, and Darren who drove in from Toronto, for the remaining 29 km. Darren - what a great guy! I was thrilled to have him join me, especially for the 16 km pick-up in the middle of the run. I tell you, Darren did an amazing job of pacing me through that tough part. We weren't quite as fast as coach planned but were very pleased with the effort and consistency. I must also say that I was wearing my fuel belt, which was equipped with my eload gels and fluids AND suffering through a new blister. Darren drove me back home and even stayed for some Emend recovery drink AND waffles and fruit with our family, and my brother's. What a great morning. Thanks, Darren!
Emend Cheers with Darren Lee! (great colour coordination, eh!)

Had to get the calculator out to get my carbs right and ready for the long run. Don't want to be trying anything new on race day!

OUCH! This is by far the worst blister I've ever had (or seen). So here's the plantar fasc. was so bad (the last 4-5 days) that I decided to go back to my orthotics. Risky so close to STWM, yes. But  I was not finding much relief with therapy, stretching, and icing. The orthotics helped for sure and I know there are many thoughts and theories about the use of orthotics but I had to do something. From barefoot to full support, I've come to the conclusion that you have to do what feels right and what works for you. So, hopefully I can use the orthotics for part of the rest of my training, without causing other problems. Yes, the blister is one of those other problems but (and I hope I don't regret this) still worth it, considering how much better my P.F is (for now, anyway). 

 This is what you get when you let your sweet daughter play through your desk drawer when you are on the computer!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Five Weeks Left!

Recovery from the Virginia Beach Rock n' Roll Half Marathon was much easier than that of the Rock n' Roll 10 km. The shorter and faster races with hills and turns are much harder on my left foot (plantar fasciitis) so with the flat V.B. Half course, my foot was less sore. I was very diligent to keep it moving, stretched, and iced (using the golf ball afterwards) to prevent tightening. Also, I only ran 140 km the week after so as to fully recover before starting my last three weeks of 160 km/wk prior to tapering for STWM.
This week included a track workout (400m,800m,1600m,800m,400m), tempo (5 miles at race pace), and 36 km long run (which I ended up doing on the treadmill due to the POURING rain). Also did my daily core routine, biked twice, and swam/pool ran four times.
I am making good use of the Trigger Point roller, chiropractor, and massage therapist these days. Now is the time to pay great attention to any little ache or pain. With only 5 weeks left (3 training + 2 taper), it's time to really focus and take caution.
The 10 km Canadian Road Championships will be held at the Oasis Zoo Run in Toronto, Sept 22. I'll be in town for the STWM press conference the day before and will likely race but have yet to decide for sure. Definitely don't want to risk the biggie, Oct 14th!

Friday, September 7, 2012

'Great Atmosphere for a Run'

Participants in the 5-km and 10-km events at the Summer Night Road Races on Thursday evening, September 6, 2012 head out from the start line on Colborne Street in downtown Brantford.  Part of Brantford's Tournament of Races, the event also featured a family fun run, a mascot run, and entertainment by local musicians in Harmony Square.
Krista DuChene of Brantford, one of Canada's top marathon runners, runs alongside her four year old son Seth as they take part in a family fun run on Thursday evening at the Summer Night Road Races event in downtown Brantford. Part of the Brantford Tournament of Races series, the event also featured 5-km and 10-km road races, a mascot race, and entertainment by local musicians. BRIAN THOMPSON/BRANTFORD EXPOSITOR    

Participants in the 5-km and 10-km events at the Summer Night Road Races on Thursday evening, September 6, 2012 head out from the start line on Colborne Street in downtown Brantford.  Part of Brantford's Tournament of Races, the event also featured a family fun run, a mascot run, and entertainment by local musicians in Harmony Square.
Tournament of Races co-chair Rick Mannen presents medals to Krista DuChene, one of Canada's top marathon runners, and her four year old son Seth after they took part in the family fun run Thursday night on Colborne Street in downtown Brantford. The run was part of the Summer Night Road Races which also featured a 5-km and 10-km road race. BRIAN THOMPSON/BRANTFORD EXPOSITOR

Participants in the 5-km and 10-km events at the Summer Night Road Races on Thursday evening, September 6, 2012 head out from the start line on Colborne Street in downtown Brantford.  Part of Brantford's Tournament of Races, the event also featured a family fun run, a mascot run, and entertainment by local musicians in Harmony Square.
Micah DuChene (left), age 6 of Brantford races ahead of his four year old brother Seth, and mother Krista DuChene (right), one of Canada's top marathon runners, during a family fun run in the Summer Nights Road Races Thursday evening in downtown Brantford. Part of the Brantford Tournament of Races series, the event also featured 5-km and 10-km road races, a mascot race, and entertainment by local musicians. Running with them are Tyla Baker (rear left), age 12, and Chris Baker of Brantford. BRIAN THOMPSON/BRANTFORD EXPOSITOR

What a great night for the boys to run and for me to support our local series, "The Brantford Tournament or Races". I think the best part was seeing local runners race who maybe wouldn't leave town to race elsewhere. Also, seeing the smiles on our boys as they raced...pretty sweet!

Article here at Brantford Expositor

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Mission Accomplished and Enjoying Myself

(If you didn't see the article in Canadian Running Magazine, here it is:

Mission Accomplished (well, for the most part)

So back in July, Coach Rick picked the Virginia Beach Rock n Roll race because we wanted a speedy half marathon with a strong international field, six weeks from STWM (Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon). Reid and Eric ran it last year in their build to STWM so we knew it was a good choice. Today we executed this...well, for the most part.
The trip started with a slow beginning; a 5 hr delay in departing from Detroit. From maintenance to over-heating and washroom holding tank replacements, we heard it all. Every 20 min the screen would post another 25 min delay to boarding time. Eventually they gave us $12 in food vouchers (not so bad if I hadn't JUST spent $15 on a salad and juice) and $50 off our next flight (assuming we fly with them again!). People missed special dinners and connecting flights. But the group that had been through the most was a military family. There was a mom with her five kids (ages 1, 3, 14, 15, 16) who had been up since 4 a.m., who were to be on their third flight, and were relocating across the country. Those kids were amazing as was their very kind and patient mom. Wow, they were great. While waiting, I also got to know Mary and Colleen who were also on their way to the race. Once we finally got to Virginia Beach, I used Colleen's sister Shirley's phone to call Matt, the elite coordinator who asked if I could take a cab, which he'd pay for. But Shirley then offered me a ride to the hotel (which was beautiful as was the scenery) so I accepted. These kind and generous ladies even invited me to their house and after-race party! Thanks again, girls! So nice to meet you!
Anyway, back to our race plan...
Let's start with the, 'for the most part' part. The goal was to run a low 73. I had a low mileage (110 km) week, which was a great taper to feel fresh for the race AND gave my left upper calf time to heal from my most intense week ever, the week before (165km, which included a 10 km PB race and 40 km long run). I had a few slowish runs about five days ago but things had gotten back to normal. Anyway, as expected it was very humid. Even at 5:30 a.m. when we met in the lobby to drive to the start I knew there was no way I needed a pre-race long t or tights, and that it was not going to be a fast race. I did my warm-up run and stretch with my surprise Saturday night roommate, Lucinda (I was told I had the room to myself for both nights. Lucinda was very gracious about my stuff being all over the room when she entered without me being there.). We made a few trips to the port-a-potty , grabbed our gels, checked our bags and were escorted to the start at 6:35 a.m. for the national anthem and a few words from the mayor and Olympic 4x400m Gold Medalist, Francena McCorory. Let me tell you, this was one of the most emotional starts of any race for me; there was an amazing field of several wheelchair athletes followed by an entire group of "Team Hoyt" ( Seeing these competitors was really moving. Fittingly, they started the real elites 10 min ahead of us. While waiting, I was standing among about 8 really speedy ladies, mostly from Japan, and ready to go. Then the gun went off. Coach had suggested that I stay at the mid-back part of the lead group because they were expecting to go faster (top times were 68-71 min with my 74 min ranking me 8th) . So that is what I did, for about 7 or so km's. After realizing the inconsistent pace was not for me, I dropped back to settle into something a bit more reliable. My Garmin had us anywhere from 3:15 to 3:38/km, which is a range of faster than 5 km to slower than marathon race pace for me. No thanks. So I started a gel and kept a bit behind the lead group. Because it was so humid, I drank at nearly every station, and kept my eye on the ladies ahead. Eventually the group dispersed and I spotted my first catch. I thought about how the guys in London stopped looking at their watches (you feel like you are on pace but are not in high humidity) and just decided to pick off people, going for placing. At that point, I knew I was in 8th and wanted top 5 (for the prize money, fifth would pay for my one expense for the trip, my flight). First I caught up to one Japanese, then to a Kenyan...and eventually got to 4th place. The final stretch was 1 km along the boardwalk but the next Japanese girl had a little surge so I didn't get her. Finish time 76:08 (2 min slower than my PB in June). The strangest thing about the race was how I was so slow (like everyone else; the top 5 elite men and women were 4-5 min slower than their PB's) but felt strong. I smiled through the finish and went directly to the ocean for a dip. It was wonderful. I think the volunteers thought I was nuts (the only one doing such a thing) but then understood that Canadians can't do this with polar bears and frozen lakes!
Immediately after finishing we were treated to a lovely reception/breakfast at a local air-conditioned restaurant then shuttled back to our hotel. There is to be a party tonight with awards, great food (ie not just bagels, fruit and water), and a concert at 8pm but hopefully I will be in the loving 8 arms of my hubby and kids by then. They certainly treated us well at the race but it will be nice to be home (2 days without kids seems like 2 weeks but I enjoy the quiet time to pray and think).
I look forward to an easy run and fun swim with my family at grammy and grampa's tomorrow followed by a bitter-sweet first day of school on Tuesday back in Brantford. My four yr old starts JK (already!) so it will just be Leah with Maureen and Jeanetta at the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre. It will be more difficult to get in the km's before getting the boys ready for school and Coach and I will be gearing more toward marathon-specific pacing so I'll be at the gym, in the pool and on the treadmill more. The softer surface should help me get through a few more intense training weeks, well-tuned. Time to buckle down now and really take care of myself. Six weeks to go now!



Enjoying Myself

So as I was writing this, I was sitting at a Starbucks at the airport, finally enjoying a great cup of coffee. As I sat there I was amusing myself, watching people wait for their loved ones to arrive. In the first five minutes, just moments apart, I saw two men wait for ladies whom I assumed were their mothers. One man even bought a rose for the occasion.Well, after several kisses on the lips and touchy hugs, I realized they were not their mothers! Goodness gracious! Honestly, this was the kind of stuff I had only seen on t.v. The second couple came right into the Starbucks, continuing to, let's say warmly greet each other, over and over. Honestly, I could have wet myself laughing had I not held it in. I even got some great pictures. What fun. Perhaps I need to get out more but man was it something else! Oh the joys of travelling alone!