Monday, October 29, 2012

Canada Running Series Champion

Didn't expect this but again, I'm honoured:

Canada Running Series Champion

Wow, what a year; excited about the next four!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Ten Days

I was waiting to see this picture! Alan Brookes, what a great guy!
Well, I did it! I took a full 10 days off after running the STWM, October 14. It wasn't until about day 8 that I actually felt recovered in the quads and calves. Like I said, this marathon was a tough one.
The hip is coming along, feeling better every day. Acupuncture, active release, massage, ice, stretching and rest seem to be doing the job. Today was the first day that I did any activity. And boy was it ever nice to have a somewhat normal day. I did some pool running for 1/2 hr, lengths for 1/2 hr, core/stretching/weights, and even did an easy 1 km on the treadmill to test the hip. Later I went skating with Seth (and Leah even had her skates on!) and raked some (more) leaves. By the time I went for my massage, my hip had had enough for the day so the massage sure felt good. I will continue to cross train (pool, bike) and do minimal but high quality running for the next few weeks in order to be ready to race in ...Japan! Yep, that's right, Athletics Canada just announced the national team members for the November 23, 2012 Chiba Ekiden Relay and I am one of them! What an amazing opportunity. I am quite thrilled.

The phrase that's been going through my mind the last few days is, "It became normal.". After a week of eating anything I wanted, resting, and being home most of the day, my body started to tell me that it had had enough.Waking up early, eating a very healthy diet, running 160 km/week, planning my training and races with our family events, going to bed at 9:30 p.m., avoiding sweets, and many other things in my life, which I consciously chose to do in order to run my best marathon, became normal. Now, I'm not saying that I'm ready to get back to all of these things right away. I am typically pregnant after a second marathon (!), which gives me a complete mental and physical break, so I know I have to be wise since Worlds (my next marathon) is 10 months away. As a dietitian who counsels a lot of people for weight loss, cholesterol, and blood sugars, I often say that they need to make a conscious decision to change, starting with the easiest thing first (e.g. make your plate 1/2 vegetables at lunch and dinner). Then once they accomplish that, they move on to the next thing. And eventually, these things will become normal. More and more I'm seeing that the last 10 years have been conscious decisions to change, in order to accomplish a goal. And I just keep setting the bar higher and higher. I believe that consistency, or what "became normal", has definitely been a key to my success.
So, in order to have a restful December, I'll fill my calendar with a lot of the things I know I won't be able to do later. So far, in 10 days I've already checked off several things on my lengthy to-do list. It's been a long time since I've seen the two dear friends who stood up with me in my wedding. And this Saturday, I'll be seeing both. Can't wait! We now have 7 kids between the 3 of us so it should be action-packed!
I don't have many running related pictures to share, so of course I'm forced to show you my kids (and a video)!

My normal. Kale salad with scrambled eggs, feta cheese, olive oil, and balsamic vinaigrette.

Micah's artwork

Seth's artwork. He drew this picture at Sunday School a few weeks ago and told me that he purposely made himself bigger than Micah. Too funny!

Leah. She loves to laugh and makes you laugh.

What a lovely afternoon we had today when the boys returned from school. Raking leaves, playing outside in the warm air (warm enough that Seth took off his shirt!),eating apples, and watching Micah work away at losing his first tooth. See video.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Five Days

Spending time with our sweet daughter, Leah. The flowers (thanks, STWM and Henry) are much prettier than the laundry mountain, don't you think?

Family time. Nothing better.

Proud to be "Canada's Marathon Mom".

Thrilled when Alan told me that fellow Marathon Mom and friend, Mary Davies won the race!

Blessed by God.

My hip was bruised for a few days after the race but is getting better. Got it x-rayed to make sure it's ok. I can't believe how much my gluteus maximus has changed since I played hockey! Because my maiden name was Lehrbass, the girls used to call me " Lard - - - ". Not much lard left anymore!

Well, it's been 5 days since my "gutsy" 2:32:15, 4th overall, 1st Canadian finish at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

Life is grand and God is good.

I don't think I've had a as-soon-as-my-head-hits-the-pillow instant sleep yet but it will come. The few days after the marathon certainly have a lot of buzz. The media interviews, messages from family and friends, pictures, reports (I'm still thrilled with Mary Davies' win and honoured that I was of help to her), race coverage, and general talk about the race certainly make it exciting, and easier to come down from your high. And because you're not rushing out the door to get in the km's, you have more time to reflect, appreciate, analyze, and summarize your training and racing experience. I'll talk more about this later.

So, what did Marathon Mom do in the week after the big race?

Well, I CERTAINLY enjoyed eating the foods I avoided (or limited) during my build: brownies, coffee cake, chocolate chip cookies, tuxedo chocolate cream cheese cake, dark chocolate, apple crisp, cereal, and turkey dinner name a few! I had a few lunches of simply coffee and sweets, and my vegetable consumption has been very low! I've been listening to my body and I can already tell that the novelty will wear off and I will want to go back to my healthier way of eating! But not quite yet!

Other activities this week:

1) Removing the soother from baby Leah (ok, she's 19 mos but still our baby). She only had it at bed and just like her brothers, she picked out her own new back pack, which I filled with toys/books/buddies for bed, instead of giving her the soother. It worked perfectly! A few times she cried and was up for a bit in the night but was able to fall back asleep, no problem. The funny thing is that we know but she doesn't know why she's been a bit off (the benefit to taking it away at 1.5 yrs, and not later). We have not mentioned the "S" word and if it comes up, I'll simply tell her it's for her baby dollies. The first nap was really cute, hearing her through the monitor say, "Back Pack" over and over.  

2) Taking, Seth, our 4 year old back to hockey and the parent-tot skate. Based on how well our 6 year old is doing with hockey, we know being on the ice twice per week will be very beneficial. Seth was quite pleased  to go without big brother. It means that I have to get Leah down for her nap early in order to go but it's worth it. We're even considering getting the skates out for "baby" Leah (we had the boys on skates at this age, which was really easy when we had a backyard rink).

3) Spending more quality time with Leah, reading books, singing songs, etc. Kids grow so fast when they are young. Gotta treasure it.   

4) Going for coffee and doing a bit of shopping with a friend. Britanie and I had a lovely morning. Long overdue but well worth the wait.

5) Taking the kids for eye appointments, visiting with family who was in town for the afternoon, volunteering with the kids' school nutrition program (preparing the snack and buying some groceries), getting "Grandma" Margaret to and from the kids' Special People day at school, and the usual household chores (LAUNDRY, cleaning, dishes, school tasks, etc.).

6) Spending more quality time with Jonathan. I think he's enjoyed seeing me more in the evening since I'm not going to bed as early. Sleeping in until 6:30-7:00 a.m. has been nice too (funnily enough, though, I often wake up at 5-5:30 out of habit)!

7) And last but not least, meeting with Coach Rick at the Blue Dog cafe, where we first met last fall. Over a coffee (and sweet!) we reflected on the race and training, agreeing that both were very successful. I think 4 main things we're taking away from this build are:

a) I must get bottles that are easy to see and carry in order to properly hydrate/take in carbs (I missed the first 3 stations during the race and didn't drink enough when I did get my bottles - that darn humidity tricks you in rainy weather). Even the dietitian who has done 9 marathons is still learning. I remember watching Mary do as I had likely recommended; running longer with the bottle in order to take in small sips and finish it entirely. Next time!

b) We are going to implement longer and harder weekly tempo runs, and ensure long runs with execution components are completed as planned (Rick will likely bike beside me for these key runs in our next build).

c) We will continue to increase the overall mileage and intensity of workouts as my body has successfully handled this with each marathon. We're planning 170-175 km/wk. We've set the bar high again with goal race times and yes, we're going after that Canadian record at Worlds (Aug 2013). But this time, we'll train to be well within reach since we believe my performance at STWM was better than a 2:32 (based on weather and looking at the slow times of the other elite athletes).

d) We will keep doing what is working (sleep, rest and recovery, chiro/massage, nutrition, cross training) while focusing on our 4 year plan. Because of my hip (it bruised after Sunday), we decided it would be best to get an x-ray to rule out anything major. We (massage therapist, chiropractor, Rick and I) are pretty sure it's muscular but would rather be safe than sorry. It's getting better every day but definitely requires complete healing as do the other parts of my body! This marathon was certainly one of my most difficult, physically (but not mentally as this seems to be getting easier with experience). I'll likely get back to some swimming and biking next week. If I'm named to Team Canada, Japan (Chiba Ekiden relay, November 23) is still the next race as planned. And December will be a month of simply staying in decent shape with more cross training than running, and no racing. 

Tomorrow should be a great day.  After our usual weekend waffle breakfast, Jonathan is going to help a cousin move while I help at our church's community breakfast and take our eldest to hockey. We'll likely rake some leaves in the afternoon, have some quiet time (the boys watch tv while Jonathan, Leah and I's lovely!) then go out for dinner to celebrate the boys' great report cards, Jonathan's job, my race, and Leah's desire to do her business on the potty (haven't quite succeeded but she asks and tries).

Thank you so much for your wonderful messages. I am truly honoured to be an inspiration for many of you. 

Loving this life God's given me.

The joy is in the pursuit.


P.S. If you are interested, I am now on Twitter (@kristaduchene). Rather than creating a new Facebook page, I'll keep this blog and twitter up to date. Thanks again.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A few pictures, A few articles

What a great picture of Rejean Chiasson. After leading me for 42.2 km, he moved back for the very last stretch (left in picture). What a gentleman. Thank you, Rejean, for your dedication to us, motivation during the race, and excellent job with consistency as STWM pacer for the CDN Women's Record. You'll crush in Houston!

Final turn.

"No Record, but DuChene impresses"
Brantford Expositor Part I with Coach Rick Mannen

"For DuChene, all according to plan"
Brantford Expositor Part II with Krista DuChene

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Going with Gutsy.

Running Moms (Mary Davies 1st and Krista DuChene 4th overall)
Photo: Todd Duncan, CNW.
It's 1:10 a.m. and true to post marathon form, I am wide awake (as is Lanni who just replied to my, "Are you still awake?"). The last time this happened was after we ran in Rotterdam, going after the Olympic standard in April. I sure hope this doesn't last until past 3 a.m. like it did then! I've got mommy duty in the morning!
Anyway, today was the big, going-after-the-Canadian-record at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (STWM) day.
Short story = With my 2:32:15 time, I did not make a new record BUT placed fourth overall!
Everything going into the race was ideal. I was fit, properly tapered and rested, well fueled and hydrated, and mentally and physically ready. Like going after the Olympic standard in April, I knew conditions would have to be ideal to reach my time goal.  In Rotterdam, it was 2:29:54. Today, it was 2:28:35.
We had a drizzly rain during our warm up and in the beginning part of the race but it was not pouring. Temperature was great and wind wasn't as bad as predicted. But humidity was on its way.
Lanni Marchant, Mary Davies and I had our plan set. We wanted to run 3:30-3:31/km with a 1:14 half split. Our pacers, Rejean Chiasson and Brandon Laan did a great job to keep us on track. We knew Mary would likely pull away because of her tip-top form (click for article) but she wanted to play it safe for the first half to secure her spot on the New Zealand team for 2013 Worlds in Moscow. Around the 25 km mark, Mary made her move. Lanni and Brandon had moved back a bit previously and unfortunately this is where Lanni dropped out due to a previous injury that affected her training. So, it was Rejean and I. That guy was amazing. We kept on pace until about 35 km then the effects of the humidity started to kick in. I was still mentally in the game but the cramping and hip pain started to take those precious few seconds per km away, bit by bit. I really gutted it out and persevered. It was tough. But I hung on. I remember thinking that I likely looked pretty rough. Reid Coolsaet had me prepared for the hill and wind at 39 km. It was exactly as he described it.
I finished with 2:32:15 just a few seconds slower than my PB, which I learned later was a pretty big accomplishment. Never had I not run a PB in a marathon so once I discovered that many dropped out and the times were slow overall, I started to realize it wasn't too shabby. And I set a PB at the 21.1 km (1:13:39) and 30 km (1:45:24) marks!
I was able to celebrate with Mary Davies WHO WON THE RACE! I was thrilled to hug a fellow running mom who set a 9 minute PB of 2:28:56.
I didn't set that record but still hugged Alan and Rick right away at the finish (my family later).
Jonathan, Rick and I traveled back to Brantford together and we enjoyed a lovely evening at our house, celebrating with family and friends (thanks to my sister-in-law, Jenn who put it on).
So, what is next? Well, for 2 weeks I am going with nothing. I will eat as I please (have already enjoyed some yummy apple crisp, chocolate cake and chocolate chip cookies), and rest and relax. The hip is pretty tight so I will let it heal with time. Might ride the bike and swim a bit. We'll see.

1st and 4th overall. Photo: Rick Mannen.

1st Canadian. Photo: The Star, Steve Russell.

All smiles. Photo: Scotiabank.

Kids loving mom. Photo: Rick Mannen.

Proud Coach.

Amazing husband.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Thanks, Brantford!

More great support from my Brantford Community! Enjoy the article. Thanks, Brian! Looking forward to speaking to your afterwards with a great race report!
Hope to keep giving back in Brantford and Brant County just like Coach Rick and Josie Mannen, and many others.
Winds predicted to be 50 km/h for race day....not going to get me down!
God's got it!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Giving Back

Cancer Game Plan
Both of my parents died with cancer.
Let's keep fighting this.
So glad I could contribute to "My One Thing". 

STWMarathon in 4 days!
I am feeling better every day.
And wanting it even more!
Had fun doing the live chat with Canadian Running.
Bags are packed with lots of Saucony gear and Eload supplies.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

It's Getting Real!

Youtube video from Canadian Running Magazine:

Elite start list:

Live chat Wed, Oct 10 at 1pm with Canadian Running Magazine:

Saturday, October 6, 2012

A Touch of Taper, a Tad of Turkey, and a Tonne of Thanks.

I just love this time of year. The leaves are changing colours, the weather is cooler, and running in capris and a long t is just lovely (especially before all the layering in mid-winter). The furnace is on with the windows open just a smidgen. And we can celebrate the many things to be thankful for, over a long weekend.
Fall is wonderful. It's a great time to run. And an even better time to race!
The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is now only 8 days away.
And I am ready.
This week we cut the mileage and workouts back to a steady amount; after two shorter speed sessions and one short, long run (20km) to total 110 km for the week, I am exactly where I want to be. Runs will continue to decrease as the feeling to want to continue, longer and harder, will increase. I'll keep my diet trim (hard to do when you plan to host a turkey dinner with friends but I plan to freeze the leftovers, including Britanie's chocolate torte, to enjoy later!) until Wednesday then start loading the carbs.
This past week was quite busy with my husband working long days. I had applications/renewals to complete for the College of Dietitians, Saucony, and Athletics Canada. And I got to write about, "My One Thing" for the Canadian Cancer Society, which will be posted this week. But I've been able to stay on top of things. Some emails had to wait so that I could get to bed in decent time, every night. I'm so glad we have a long weekend to recover.
Jonathan has another busy week coming up so I'll work away each day at packing (for myself and the kids who will join me with Jonathan for Sunday) and resting in order to be right ready to leave Thursday.  I will run a total of about 60 km between Sunday-Saturday. I'll take Wednesday off, which is already scheduled with an appointment with Ty at 8:30am, a phone interview at 10:30am, lunch mom duty at 12:00pm, a Canadian Running live chat at 1:00pm, work at 4:00pm, and groceries at 8:00pm. All good.
I am visualizing the race more each day. The thought of seeing Rick and Alan, and Jonathan, Micah, Seth and Leah at the finish line really motivates me to run, hard.
I'll print some emails and pack my bible and a few cards I've been given, to read over while sitting at the hotel eating bagels and watching made-for-tv movies with Lanni.
Hopefully I can get a massage on Thursday, pack the diaper bag and boys' lunches and head out the door after an early dinner. On Friday morning we have the press conference and guest speaking at the expo on, "The Resurgence of Women's Marathoning in Canada: Chasing Silvia's record (2:28:36)!". Then the technical meeting is Saturday. Other than that, Friday and Saturday will be carbing and resting.
I look forward to seeing the results of the Chicago Marathon tomorrow. Go, Wesley Korir !
Enjoy your weekend, folks. There is so much to be thankful for!

I guess Leah saw me using the golf ball enough on my plantar fascitis that she tried it for herself! All is well though. I've always felt that the taper allows you to rest to race as well as recover from those nagging chronic problems.

Look for me in the black, red and gold. These colours are very familiar to me as a Guelph Gryphon!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Moms Running Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (STWM)

Nice to meet you, Rebecca! Click here for Rebecca's latest blog post, "We both run marathons" .