Saturday, April 25, 2015

True Grit. One Year Later.

One Year Later

(Click here to read about what happened Apr 27, 2014)
This version has more pictures and less words than the online version found here at . The posts are similar but a bit different Take your pick!
Thanks so much for you tremendous love and support this past year. Krista
1. April 27, 2014. The painful finish with "Eye of the Tiger" playing in the background.  Video here.
2. Alan Brookes carries me to medical care. 
3. All in a day: Race 10:00 am. Ambulance transfer and arrival to hospital 3:00 pm. Xray and CT 9:00 pm. Surgery 12:00 am.
4. Tweeted, "Near complete fracture. Surgery success and hubby here. Thx 4 prayers. Still teary but God is good and I WILL be back! "
5. First workout: extension.

Second workout: crutches. 
6. The hardware. 
7. My amazing husband stayed with me while I was in hospital, thanks to his generous company, Vantage Endoscopy. Even though they specialize in equipment that's a bit different, he still knew enough to but me the "Deluxe" urinal for the long drive home, May 1. True love. 
8.Three sweet kids glad to see mom home again. But they were in great care with Grammy and Grampa when I was away.

9. May 2015. First day back to the gym, 18 days post surgery. Easy does it. Pool and light weights to start...
10...then biking with no resistance...

11. walking, holding the bars...

12. followed by the elliptical at 5 weeks (June 2).

13. May. Family get away to Ottawa Race Weekend. The boys raced and I commentated. Lots of fun.
14. Late May/early June. Down to a cane!
15.  Look mom, no hands. Walking video here at 7 weeks, June 15.

16. July and August. Rehab at the cabin and enjoying simple daily living, especially with my amazing sister.

17. From walk-jog in July to complete running in late August on this beautiful country road.

18. Last sweet indulgence, July 12, nine months before big goal of running the Apr 12 Rotterdam Marathon!

19.  · Aug 27 Tweeted, 
"Steady 10 k in 44:02, four months post femur fracture with just this little scar to show. "

20. Back at home on the treadmill at the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre in September. Running video here.

22. First track workout, Oct 23.
23. November. First race back. 8km at goal marathon pace.

24. December. Second race back. 10km at goal marathon pace.

25. March 1. Fourth race back. Half marathon at goal marathon pace.

26. March 7-17. Escaping the Canadian winter to train with Mary Davies in Texas and train/vacation with family in Florida. Logged 170 km/week.

27. Goal setting, August to March. This paper was so key. Did 4 k @ 4:03/km in August and 42.2 k @ 3:32/k in April. Trusting the numbers.

28. April 12, 2015. Pacing our way in the Rotterdam Marathon.
29. Solo effort from 30 km to finish the job.

30. Don't think I've ever felt so good or so happy in the final moments of any of my 11 marathons.

30. Relief.

31. Gratitude. Second fastest time of 2:29:38 and Bronze Medal!

32. Enjoying the sweet treats in the 2 weeks post marathon. So delicious, especially in Europe for the few travel days after the race.

33. And still smelling the roses with my loved ones. 

Deuteronomy 4:9 ...never forget what you have seen the Lord do for you...
Hebrews 11:1 is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen...

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Oh, What a Race in Rotterdam!

Worth a thousand words.

What a race! I am so absolutely thrilled with my performance today.
Throughout this season, Coach Rick and I focused on marathon pace for all of my races leading up to my first attempt at the Olympic Standard. I ran that pace in November in the RememberRun 8 km and worked my way up to that pace for the March 1st Chilly Half. In the last month of training, I then gained a lot of fitness, including spending nearly 3 weeks in Texas/Florida. I wasn't very vocal with this marathon, rather just wanted to somewhat quietly do the work and take a shot at it.
Heading to Rotterdam via Amsterdam, I had great travel with no major jet lag issues, an amazing roommate from Paraguay, and no pressure going into the race. The weather looked decent with good temps and some wind. 
Heading into the race,I knew Miranda Boonstra, from the Netherlands wanted to hit her Olympic standard (it was already announced, unlike our standard as Athletics Canada is waiting for the IAAF to announce it first) of 2:28:00. She had two pacers and the four of us stuck together, on pace until 30 km. Unfortunately she started to suffer from bad leg cramps and I was forced to go ahead on my own. At that point, the headwind was nasty and I had to make a decision: 1. aim to continue on my own at that pace, to break 2:28:00, also the Canadian record, and possibly suffer, risking my chance at the CDN Olympic standard or 2. play it safe, stay strong and consistent, adjusting my effort based on the wind and guarantee myself the standard. With the wind and solo running for the remaining 12 km, I chose the safer option. It was the right choice.
Although it wasn't a PB (which is 2:28:32 from 2013), it was the best race I ever ran, mentally. I was very calm and relaxed. Every time I felt a physical struggle, I just kept the rhythm and waited for it to pass. And it did. It was the first marathon where I felt, "Wow, only x km to go!" as opposed to "Ugh, there's still x km to go!". The crowds were great, especially when I ran with their local, Miranda.
When I crossed the line and knew I had the (2012) Olympic standard and was informed I was third woman, well first I vomited, then came the happy tears and smiles. 
I ended up taking 2 hrs in doping control to give the required 90 mL sample but had my phone and the company of a few other runners around me, one being Miranda. It was so nice to get to know her.  In 2012 when I ran Rotterdam, I was 2 minutes slower than our standard. She was 8 seconds slower in the same race. Today I have our standard and again, she does not have her standard. Marathoning is incredibly tough. Having a perfect race at this level is rare. Very rare. I certainly look up to her, at age 42, continuing to commit and work incredibly hard at something in hopes to succeed with no guarantee. 
When asked at dinner with the Speed River group, by coach Dave Scott-Thomas what was next for racing, I replied with a smile, "You know, that is a question I am pleased to have no answer!". 
I am going to do some travelling in Europe for a few days as a mini vacation, where I can eat anything and enjoy the wonderful surroundings, returning home to Brantford on Thursday. It will be great to see the kids and Jonathan, who has been juggling his busy job and their schedules and care since I left.    

Eload fuel, every time! In each of the 8 bottles I had Eload Fly (carbohydrates) and Eload Endurance (carbohydrates and electrolytes) with one gel taped to the side. I practise in my training runs to know what works best for my GI. Then when it comes to racing, you have to listen to your body to know how much to take in. When I ran the 2013 STWM, I was drinking most of the fluid and gobbling the gels. But today, I took in about half of the fluids and gels, particularly in the beginning when I wasn't quite ready and in the end, when I had a few urges to vomit, which fortunately didn't happen until I crossed the line! Sorry to those around me! 

Great support from Saucony. Fancy race kit too.

So impressed with this Belgian guy's breakfast, race morning. 10 pieces of toast. Yes, I counted. 

My fabulous roommate, Carmen Martinez. Way to go on setting another marathon record of 2:35 for Paraguay today!

Great pacer, Stefan from Belgium. AND a father of FIVE!

Saucony Netherlands and Saucony Canada. Congrats, Gert-Jan Wasskink on your National bronze medal today.

Great pacing group with Miranda Boonstra and the two pacers. 

Solid finish, getting the job done. Photo: David Hiddleston.
Honoured to run with, and get to know Miranda Boonstra while in doping control together. 

Well, that was a first. Blood on the race number, which was on my back. Good 'ol chafing.

Beautiful flowers and trophy. Elegant vase.

Enjoying my first treat of peanut m&m's, after the race with Carmen.

A huge thank you and hug to every single one of these people (and many more): 

#TeamDuChene: Jonathan, Micah, Seth, Leah
Coach Rick & Josie Mannen
Sherri, Paul, Patricia - Essential Physiotherapy and Wellness
Naomi, David, Ashley - Therapeutic Massage Counsel 
Sue - stretching and breathing exercises and an active mom I look up to
Maureen, Jeanetta - childcare at the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre
Celine, Jonathan’s parents, Uncle Glen & Aunt Joyce - helping care for the kids
James, Clayton - super great running friends
Eload - sports nutrition
Saucony - apparel and footwear
Liberte - yogurt
Chariot - running stroller

Friday, April 10, 2015

Love from Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Dear Family and Friends,
Thank you so much for your incredible love, prayers, and support, particularly this past year. 
Here are a few options, if you are interested in following the 2015 Rotterdam Marathon. 
Start time Sun., Apr 12 at 1000 h local time (6 hrs ahead):

NN Marathon Rotterdam 
Twitter: @MarathonRdam

Photo at Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre by Sean Allen with Brant News, April 2015. Love the 4 yr old Leah DuChene and Coach Rick photobomb!
Sean's story:

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Surviving Another March Madness

I Survived Another March Madness
2012 March Madness
2013 March Madness

Late winter/early spring is always a busy time for Team DuChene and this one proved to be no different.
I am relieved to know that I survived:
Four consecutive 160 km weeks in the coldest month in recorded history.
Two consecutive 170 km weeks in two different training environments.
One 20 km tempo run, one 38 km long run, and one 6x1 mile repeat workout in the same week as six Disney excursions with my family.
My three kids' birthday parties in seven weeks.

Since racing a steady 74 minute Chilly Half Marathon on March 1, everything has nicely fallen into place. I had another 160 km week to transition into my highest two training weeks of 170 km/week, which were planned for Houston and Orlando.

Back in the fall, we knew it was going to be necessary to escape the Canadian winter in order to log some quality kilometres at the right time in preparation for my April marathon. I could build a base in the winter months and consistently cross train but would especially need reliable footing in order to take it to that next level of fitness.

Houston, Texas
Mary Davies graciously offered that I train and live with her and I gladly took her up on the offer. So, on March 7 I flew to Houston and spent 10 days with her and her family. It was absolutely amazing. Mary was so hospitable and I felt very much at home. Her husband and mother-in-law were super supportive of our schedules, and an integral part in meal preparation and childcare. I helped out with some dishes, meal prep and playing with the kids but it was nowhere near what I would have had to handle at home. Each and every day I napped and rested in bed for nearly two hours in the afternoon. Two hours! At home, at the most, it is 45 minutes. And in the evenings, I was in bed between 9-10 pm. Rest and sleep have been priorities during this build and being in Texas was the perfect opportunity to continue implementing this. I am so grateful for Mary and her family.
As for training, our coaches were able to work with each other's plans in order to optimize our opportunity as partners yet keep the consistency we were each used to. So when I arrived, Mary had just finished two difficult days and I was able to adjust to my new environment as we enjoyed our first runs together at an easy pace. When I was there, it was cool and gray. Mary kept apologizing for the "cold" conditions but I reminded her that it was nothing, coming from -35 C with the wind! We got into a good routine with our morning runs and afternoon cross training sessions at the gym. Our speed and tempo workouts were done at Rice University with her coach, Jim Bevan. Jim and I enjoyed chatting about my Petrolia, Ontario background - the training camp I attended at Rice U. 20+ years ago, my friend and teammate Erin Brand, who went on to run for the Owls and our wonderful track coach, Murray Jackson. Mary and I did a bit of running with Becky Wade who debuted with a 2:3? at the 201? California Marathon but she was at the very end of her taper, getting ready to race the USA Marathon Championships in L.A., California. Other than the bit of humidity that played a bit with my G.I. system (that also happened to many of us at the training camp, years ago!), it was an absolutely wonderful and perfect experience. I didn't know it at the time but I logged my highest ever mileage week while there. On the final day, I did some 1 km repeats while Mary completed a paced run around campus. After a quick shower and breakfast, she drove me back to the airport to say our goodbyes. Mary is one great mom, wife, friend, daughter and marathoner! She juggles it all so well and with so much grace. I certainly admire her.    

Orlando, Florida
My flight to Orlando was rather uneventful, which is always desired when travelling. But when I got to the airport and checked my messages, I realized it was going to be a very late night. Jonathan was flying with the kids whose flight ended up being delayed by nearly three hours. I got a coffee and pulled out my laptop to do some work, which helped kill the time. It was great to see the kids again and their excitement upon their first airplane ride. After a few complications with getting the rental van, finding our way to and checking in at our resort, getting groceries, and settling in, I was in bed at 1:00 am with my alarm set for 6:00 am. Coach Rick planned that our Disney excursion days would be my easy run days. The first 48 hours of the trip were crazy but eventually I settled into another routine. When the 7 day trip was over, I successfully logged 170 km of running with some pool running AND Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Downtown Disney, the evening Disney fireworks and electric parade, and Hollywood Studios. Naturally my body let me know it was too much by losing the battle to a nasty cold but I'm at the end of it now, as I begin my taper for my April 12 Marathon.

I have another 10 days at home before I get on another flight to put all this work into place. It has been a unique and challenging journey but I look forward to seeing what this body can do at another 42.2 km.

Getting my preventative maintenance done in the early hours of the morning before our flight home from Florida. 

Team DuChene with the mice.

Enjoying a Starbucks treat after one of many enjoyable runs together.

Coach Jim Bevan at Rice U.

The girls taking a break at Disney while the boys head off for a ride.

Fuel and hydration prep before our 40 km run in Houston, Texas.