Monday, May 27, 2013

Ottawa Race Weekend 2013. Perfect.

This weekend was exactly what I hoped for and needed; relaxing, fun, successful, and energizing.

Flying porter was easy and straight-forward. It's always great when you have no delays or complications traveling to and from races. I got to the media event in perfect time, Friday. It was neat because not only was I there as a 10 km competitor but also to do some homework for my commentating job. I wanted to see  the top marathoners and get a personal feel for the top Canadians.
I roomed with New Zealand's Mary Davies, which was great. She is one lovely, modest, and very talented person.We ran, swam, relaxed in the hotel room and ate meals together, exchanged training and parenting routines, and discussed our future plans, including World champs, Olympics, babies, and retirement. It's pretty neat how much we have in common. With her in Houston now, we are far apart in distance but keep in touch as great friends.

Commentating the marathon Sunday morning was very enjoyable with Mark Sutcliffe and Eric Gillis who also covered the 10 km the night before. I met Mark at 6:15 a.m. and he briefly explained things. Then in no time, we were live! Like he said, it was very conversational; I was able to talk technical and also add my personal experience as a marathoner, dietitian, and mom. I've received a lot of positive feedback so perhaps this is something I could do again! I haven't yet seen either race (me running the 10 km or commentating the marathon) but here is the link.

My goal going into the 10 km was to break 33 minutes and be smart. It was a very deep field with my main competition being Canadians, Lanni Marchant and Natasha Fraser. Knowing Aug 10 was my ultimate peak race, I was going to give a solid effort but not do anything stupid. So, after another speedy start (first km in 3:05, 2 km in 6:16, ), I thought about last year's race while running, "it's hard but cannot be as bad as last year". Lanni and I played some cat and mouse with her finishing just ahead of me, placing 6th and 7th overall. My time was 32:52 and Lanni's 32:46! Things are looking good for us to again work together in another marathon. Mary had an amazing race, finishing 3rd in 32:08! Results here. I was very pleased to break 33 min, all in one piece, healthy and strong. And I pb'd in the 5km with 16:05 (not that it's official but still)! Shortly after I jogged back to the hotel with Erin and Natasha, eager to get on the treadmill to complete a total of 30 km for the day, eat dinner then get to bed for my early commentating start. Mary and I did some swimming, which was great recovery. And dinner was so delicious after racing.

Being away was a boost, emotionally for me. We continue to move forward in our mourning of Andy's loss. My husband dedicated two babies at church, Sunday. It was emotional for everyone as it was something Andy used to do. Andy dedicated our three kids so I'm sure if I was there, it would have been tough.  It will be one long road but we are on it. On the way home, I read scripture, looked at pictures of the kids' weekend events, and began thinking about the next 11 weeks. Rick sent me my plan for the next 2 weeks and I am ready to get to work. We will be increasing my mileage and intensity then taking it down for the week leading up to the Scotiabank Vancouver Half. I won and PB'd at this race last year and would love to repeat but again will likely stick to my goal plan and play it smart and safe.

The weekend was just perfect and I'm glad to be back home again. I've already completed a strong workout and been treated by Sherri. All is well!
And we keep going ...
Mommies and marathon friends. Mary Davies and Krista DuChene at STWM 2012, 1st and 4th overall.

Closer to Moscow, World Champs! 6th and 7th at Ottawa 10 km race. Lanni and Krista.

Glad I could help promote this amazing race weekend. Definitely a favourite.

Two great people - CDN marathon record holder, Silvia Reugger and Coach Rick Mannen at a Start2Finish event. Dylan Wykes has been supporting this amazing group to help break child poverty in Canada.

Back to the treadmill after my 10 km PB. Total of 30 km for the evening.

Eric and Krista enjoying the commentating.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

One foot in front of the other

 Great job, Tiff at
Tae Photography

Last week was busy, tough, tiring, sad.
Each and every day I awoke, thinking about the tragic loss of our pastor and friend, Andy Flatt. Our boys have had nightmares and I've been in tears every day. My husband has continued to lead our Team DuChene from answering difficult questions to working crazy hours to taking Seth to the park for the under-doggy swing he'd been asking for, for days. Jonathan went from reading scripture at Andy's emotional funeral, Friday to being MC at my cousin's beautiful wedding, Saturday to flying to Orlando for work, Sunday. And I managed to complete what seemed to be an impossible day, Friday - a 38.6 km run, Andy's funeral, treatment, driving to Chatham with the boys, then going to my cousin's wedding rehearsal. I am so thankful for the prayers, support and love from so many people. It really is amazing and I really feel it working. God is good, all the time. And I have no doubt that He'll continue to comfort Tina and the kids.
During times of mourning, I've often felt that getting through it is like picking up shattered pieces off the ground, one by one, slowly putting them back in place. And when talking with a friend from church, I said we must put one foot in front of the other. My husband, who served with Andy and 4 others on our leadership team, then added, "We may limp, but we'll get there". So very true.
Again, it's difficult to move onto other things but I will continue to do what I think I am here for. My purpose. Running has been such a relief during these tough times. I logged 150 km  with two solid workouts last week but backed off a bit on the cross-training. I am so grateful for Jonathan's amazing parents with whom I stayed while he was away for the weekend. Simply being able to eat breakfast while sitting and getting some help with my laundry from them made for a restful weekend. You can see why Jonathan is the amazing man that he is.
This week will be even less as I complete a much-needed, proper taper for Ottawa. Although the physical outlet has been great, I've been drained emotionally.
Like my cousin's beautiful wedding, I am looking forward to another uplifting weekend. Saturday evening will include a 10 km race at the Ottawa Race Weekend. The field is so speedy that I was left off the elite list. It's so great to have such high-calibre competition. After the race I hope to get in a few more km's to make it my long run for the week because there won't be time Sunday morning since I'm commentating the marathon with Mark Sutcliffe (Rogers)! Last Wednesday I did a sport nutrition/marathon mom presentation for the Port Dover Northshore group and really enjoyed it. The article will soon be found here. So again, I look forward to speaking about my experience as a marathoner. I just got the media sheets for the elite start lists and really need to start practising correct pronunciation of the Kenyan and Ethiopian runners. Yikes!
Although this year will be more of a business trip with me racing and commentating, and the rest of the family at home due to their activities, the Ottawa Race Weekend remains one of my favourites.
Hope you enjoyed the pictures above. Tiff, Tae Photography at has done some amazing work. My 7 yr old and I were able see her "Now and Then" series a few months ago. Amazing work.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

What A Weekend May Bring

I don't even know where to start with this post.
On Friday, my facebook and twitter status went from, "Wknd: 37 km run, hockey tourney, Mother's Day...#blessed" to telling 6 young children that our pastor had suddenly died. 
He took his own life.
He suffered from clinical depression.
Like I said in posting after the Boston bombing, it's my blog and I want to be real about myself, my life, and my faith. So, I will write about these difficult topics.
Although my mom died from cancer, a disease you could see, she also suffered from mental illness for years prior to that. It was rough.
Mental illness is so difficult to understand, even more difficult to experience as a friend or family member, and absolutely horrific to have. You can appear to have everything going for you, or struggle with a little or a lot but it does not matter when inflicted with this terrible disease. It still exists.
I applaud Clara Hughes' role in supporting mental health programs. She has clearly given back to the community in a phenomenal way.
Two days later we continue to sit with more questions than answers.
But we do know that life on earth is temporary and there is comfort in reading Revelation 21:4 - "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."
We continued on with our daily activities this weekend. I got in a solid 40 km run with Clayton and James, Jonathan helped plan today's church service with the rest of the elders, Micah played 6 hockey games, and we had a simple Mother's Day dinner out. Our church has come together as a strong family and as an elder's wife, I've never felt more support. 
This week will again be busy with the usual activities, including a presentation to the North Shore Runners in Port Dover and another solid week of training. And as we grieve the loss of Andy and celebrate the beginning of a marriage, it will be another weekend with a range of emotions.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Plugging Along

Training continues to include weekly tempo runs on the treadmill. I get some solid runs on this machine!

Love having this bike in the basement. Even a good 10-20 minutes after running helps strengthen the legs, particularly the quads and hamstrings.

Track n Field day ...
reminds me of my childhood.

Two sweet girls helping with the Kenyan Kids Foundation yard sale. Hope to see them hand in hand in Kenya some day!

Stretching in the new gym at the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre.
Recovery from my personal best time of 72:27 at the CDN Half Marathon Champs in Montreal went well, other than a compressed nerve on the back of one leg due to sitting for too long on the way home. No biggie since it didn't affect training. I logged a solid 150 km , which included a 35 km long run with James and Clayton in marvelous weather. I've been doing my track intervals with Ben Sayles, which has been great too since I've done speed on my own for so long. We can really push each other along. Crazy that I am twice his age! Not too much else to report, which is great. Uneventful training is the best; you want to get the work in with no problems. Physio with Sherri and massage with Cynthia is keeping me well-tuned. 
The next few weekends will be busy with a hockey tournament and wedding but Team DuChene will rise to the challenge to work together and get the jobs done.