Saturday, 28 April 2012

Season Opener in 2 Weeks!

The big brother is finally home from university! Despite our occasional arguments I'm super excited to have someone to run with to offset some of my individual training!

Being that my training is going pretty great and I haven't had any problems, I am absolutely PUMPED to open my season in two weeks at the Nike High School Grand Prix in Toronto. Should be an amazing event to start off the season even if they don't have the 3000m... I don't think I'll ever get over that one... And racing the 800m just 2 1/2 hours after the 1500m should be.. interesting haha

And now it's time to head out in these 40 km/h winds for my easy run.. Sweet!

Monday, 16 April 2012

Goodbye Snow!

So after a great week in the island's capitol, I'm home and loving this sudden weather break. Over the weekend most of the snow melted and in today's amazing sun I got in my first t-shirt and shorts workout of the season! It may have been a tad more enjoyable had today been an easy run day but it was still pretty great despite the brutal hill workout I had to endure. But back to the weekend...

Putting me into shock on Saturday night, I won the SportNL Junior Female Athlete of the year! Crazy, right? Of course I was totally unprepared and had to make my way up on stage while trying to nonchalantly check for chocolate cake crumbs on my face. It was pretty exciting, but I gotta say I was almost as proud of my spur of the moment speech skills as I was of actually winning the award...

As much fun as I had at the Stars and Legends Gala, it was just as awesome to get an oppurtunity to train with my coach, Ray Will. Being 800 km apart, Ray and I don't have the ideal coaching arrangement but we seem to make it work and are always excited to get together the odd time I get to St. John's. The training session proved to be very effective as he was able to assess my fitness level and weaknesses and adjust my training schedule accordingly... hence those lovely hill repeats I had today

Now that I'm back home and the weather is finally starting to cooperate, I can't wait to get into some hard training!

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Back to Training

So after a much-needed week off I got back into training and am now finally settling into those awesome workouts that we all love to hate. You guys know the ones I mean, everyone has their own, mine happen to be lactate threshold workouts. Ugh I dread doing them but deep down I know I really love them. Plus they make me fast, enough said.

Despite only just getting back into the swing of training over the past couple weeks, I have my first meet coming up a month from today! I'm not sure what to expect of the Nike Grand Prix High School Championship as this is there debut year but no matter the level of competition I'm sure they're going to throw a great event!

However I do have one complaint already, there's no 3000 m! Seriously guys how could you not have a 3000 m? So I'll be racing the 1500 m which I do like and the 800 m which I do not like. Annnnnd the actual competition is only one day long, so I'll be racing both the 1500 m and the 800 m in one day.. ouch.

But that's enough whining, it's still sure to be a fun time. Not to mention the wicked Nike uniforms they'll be outfitting us in!

Meanwhile, I guess I should fill you guys in, I was nominated for the SportNL Junior Female Athlete of the Year and made it to the top 3 so I get to head in to the Stars and Legends Gala in St. John's this weekend! As you runners know, for some reason we don't always tend to get taken as seriously as athletes of more popular sports like hockey and basketball so I'm pretty excited to be a finalist!

Well since my first race is coming up in a month I guess it's time for me to lace up and get out there for a run in the amazing sunshine and 14 degree weather we've got today! I know, pretty good for Newfoundland! There's still snow on my lawn and on the trails but this is a start!

Friday, 23 March 2012

Finally Heading Home

Well it turns out I'm not Superwoman so Cross Country Ski Nationals sadly did not happen. I tried to get it back together for the races but my body was not willing to cooperate.

Turns out a bout of pneumonia, followed by a day of plane travel, followed by a few days of running around in the sun, followed by an international race, followed by another day of plane travel are not optimal for recovery or preparation for a major national competition.

Yes I did everything in my power to rehydrate and rest so that I could try to squeeze in at least one race but in the end I made the responsible decision that it was too dangerous and not safe for my health...

Wow I hate being responsible.

Although this was really difficult and dissapointing to me, I sucked it up and enjoyed a week in Quebec. I watched ski races, did some light recreational skiing on the beautiful trails of Mont Ste Anne, visited Quebec City, and enjoyed lots of bonding with my teammates.

Oh and the 20 degree weather we got all week was pretty amazing too, we are in Canada after all

Overall I stayed positive and took the experience for what it was but now can't wait to get home to Newfoundland...

Where there's still a little bit of the winter cold waiting for me

Oh well, now I'll be resting up and getting healthy until it's time to start preparing for track season!

Monday, 19 March 2012

Down in the Sun

Well I think my first international race can be considered something of a success. Still recovering from pneumonia brought on quite the dehydration for my race so I didn't have the race I could've had in good health but overall it was an amazing experience.

And I guess I can't complain with thirteenth overall and a set of silver medals for the Canadian Junior Girls Team

It was 34 degrees and super humid and the most painful race of my life. The dehydration caused me to have heavy legs right from the start so staying comitted for the entire race was a major mental challenge.

But I stuck it out and raced the best I could given the circumstances and realized those girls from different countries weren't as intimidating as they seemed.

But if I thought it was painful during the race, I had no idea what was coming after...

Racing dehyrated meant I got to go through the fun of finishing with blurry vision and seized up calves

It took some magic from our trainer Paula, 1200 ml of water, 800 ml of electrolyte beverage, ice, and about an hour just for my legs to forgive me enough to start walking again

Definately not something I've ever experienced in Canada

But it was still an amazing race and by far the best xc running meet I've ever been to.

 Seriously, what could compare to warming up to some Carribean music blasting through speakers in the field?

Now I just need my body to recover so I can get back to training and get ready for some more amazing races!

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Spikes? check. Passport? check. Nerves? Check!

3 hours down, 14 to go until I hit 28 degree heat... not too bad compared to the -16 degree weather I started in this morning

That's right people, I'm on my way to my first international competition!

It certainly wasn't easy getting here- trying to balance running with cross-country skiing, training in snow storms, taking a full week off to recover from pneumonia, treadmill running- all I can hope now is that I did something right between all of that and am now fully prepared to race.

Nervous? Yes.

Excited? Hell yes.

I've never ran in this kind of heat. I've never ran with this level of competition. And I've never ran with 'Canada' emblazoned across my chest. Whatever happens, this is certainly going to be an experience. I can't wait.

Oh, and I haven't mentioned what comes after my race in Trinidad...

Am I staying down South for a little vacation?


Am I heading home to get some rest?


Am I heading to Quebec for Cross Country Ski Nationals?

That's right...

I'll be going straight from running in the heat of Trinidad to skiing in the cold of Quebec... with only one day spent flying to seperate the races. Yeah that's going to be an interesting ski race...

But whatever, I can rest when I'm old. I love racing and certainly enjoy this semi-glamorous lifestyle for a teenager.

So wish me luck people, the biggest race of my sixteen year life is taking place in 3 days.

 Let's go Team Canada!

Saturday, 10 March 2012

One Week to Race Day!

And the count down is on.

1 week from today I'll be racing in the blistering heat of Trinidad,

Should be an interesting transition from the snow squalls I'm enjoying today...

But to compensate for this crazy climate change I've been making my treadmill workouts a little more interesting...

T-shirt+long sleeve shirt+hoodie+nylon jacket with shorts+tights+tracks pants,

Yeah, as if running in place on the treadmill like a hamster on a wheel wasn't fun enough, now I'm doing climatization work!

...Nothing more fun than sweating out a few pounds of fluid while the other gym members stare at you like there's something wrong with you

No big deal, I think one of the most important parts of being a serious athlete is having no shame. At all.

Anyways, hopefully in 1 week I'll be seeing all of my fun paying off in that 4 km race along with the rest of my team

Let's go Canada!

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

On the Mend

So, I've finally broken off my rocky relationship with the Couch. Thats right people, my days of watching Friends reruns and bad talk shows are finally finished!

Or so I hope...

Tomorrow I'm heading in to see the doctor for some blood tests to see if my lymph nodes (at least I think that's what they're called) are back up. Cross your fingers guys!

Meanwhile, the lovely -15 degree weather of Newfoundland, along with that wonderful wind that comes to those of us so blesssed to live on the coast, isn't allowing me to venture outside much. But I fly out in a week so obviously I'm sucking it up and ignoring my great hate for the Treadmill.

Thats right, today I was lucky enough to spend a full hour with my frenemy, the Treadmill. Gotta love living in a small town- indoor tracks? Pffffffft who needs em? Yup, nothing beats being a serious athlete in a small town...

Sure would be nice to have a training partner or two though...

Oh the woes of the small town athlete! You big city runners are probably laughing at such a thing... Whatever, I know there's more of my kind hidden in the tiny towns all across the globe...

We should have some sort of alliance, right? Yeah we definately need to get working on that...

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Battling the Running Addiction

So first of all, 10 days from now I will be high in the sky on my way to Trinidad to represent Canada at the NACAC Cross Country Championship...

4 days ago I was at the hospital with a fever of 104 where a chest x-ray determined that I have...

Yep, you guessed it- Pneumonia.

I'm pretty sure I'm living through every runner's nightmare right now- Months of pounding pavement in hail storms, sweating through core circuits in the basement, and countless lost toenails about to swirl down the drain right before the Big Day.

Any runner who has ever been sick can relate to the unescapable internal battle that is on constant replay in your head:

Am I really too sick to run?

I don't feel thaaaaaat bad...

So I'm hacking up phlegm and have trouble standing up, no big deal!

Wait... if this one run causes me to completely relapse I'll be stuck inside for another week!

That's it I'm going to lie here and not move until I'm completely recovered!

But I'm losing all of my hard-earned fitness!

...You get the idea. And you probably understand why I, an open anti-treadmillist, must haul together every ounce of my will power not to step onto my mother's treadmill that is calling me from the corner.

...I had a weak moment yesterday but I didn't have my left shoe laced up before I was caught red-handed and sent back to my new worst enemy- the couch.

Yup, it's a brutal battle that every runner will surely face at some point...

My name is Jillian and I have a running addiction.