Movember and sisterly love?

The following post was written by my little sister.  Little in years, she’s taller than I am.  I’ve been watching the evolution of her as an athlete for a while now.  She was once much more into triathlon that I was.  She even beat me in a race…once…in 2005. We have only raced each two or three times since then.  She moved to Australia in 2008 not to return until 2011.  While downunder she gave up her triathlon drive with the lack of decent riding and probably partly due to how freakishly sporty those Aussies are (total speculation).  When she arrived back in Vancouver in Oct of 2011 (with the Aussie boy) she was nursing an injury to her hip from a bootcamp she’d been participating in (I’ll spare you all the editorial shaming of boot camps that push patrons into injury because of a lack of progression of their workouts.) She did the right thing and sought out physio and strength training before trying to get back out running.  I’d say she basically started training properly for running in March or April of this year. 

In this one year of racing she has set a PR at every race she has entered and completed her first marathon.  Earlier this year she wanted me to pace her to a sub 50min 10k; last week she ran a 46:31 all on her own.  Although I will now shamelessly mention that my 5, 10, half and all triathlon PRs are faster than hers, she holds the marathon PR…for now.  She will continue to train and I’m betting that means so must I.  Bring on the sibling rivalry!


There is some hill training in my future.

I joined my company’s Movember team. It’s a great cause and one that’s close to me and my family. Not being able to participate in the traditional manner, I wanted to create a reason for people to support. So I came up with this idea to put up a prize for anyone who wanted to guess my finish time in the 10k race I was doing on November 18th in exchange for a donation. I wasn’t so sure what I was getting myself into, but thought that if you guys can look as ridiculous (urr I mean striking) in your mustaches, I can put myself through this.

So I put together this contest, spammed it to my family and friends, and all of a sudden I’m now having to share details of my training that usually only my coach is interested in. Am I a mudder? How is that recovery going?  How is your hamstring? What the last 10km course like?

Suddenly I was being flanked in my training and being peppered with questions by my running friends that spend a lot of time running with me anyway.  I spent time analyzing my running that I would not normally do.  I was thinking through every training run leading up, how am I feeling? Can I do that pace for the race? What if I try to see what it feels like right now in the middle of my long slow run? How had I improved since July? Am I faster – I should be, I must be, but by how much?

I had steadily improved this year, every race was faster than the last and myself and my partner (ha, “partner”) keep our Personal Bests proudly on the fridge with our times written on them. I would totally do that too, but then my fridge would be soooo covered… Constant reminders of the benchmarks we have set, and possibly reminders to stop reaching for more cheese. Mmm, cheese   Every bib on the fridge is from 2012, it’s been a good year.

By the night before the race I had no less than 50 guesses. No pressure. Add that to my goal which was to break 45 minutes (Which requires a 4:30 second km. or 7:15/mile – that’s fast for me); I was suitably worked-up on the start line.

The first 5 km of this race is mostly downhill and I was able to shed a lot of the nerves and settle into a good run despite the cold rainy day. After the 5km turn heading back up to the finish I’m sure I was running through my own personal sandpit.  Legs were not responding and the hills seemed a LOT steeper going up than going down. ST interjection; this is actually a fairly flat course 😛 Most racing techniques state that you should try to race the second half faster than the first – this was NOT happening for me today.   A last km surge was not enough to make up for all the time lost on those hills. The finish hurt, a lot, lungs exploding, legs fading – I finished in a time of 46:31 – a personal best by only 25 seconds ummm, if the world marathon record is bettered by 1 second, it’s still a world record duh. 6th out of 155 women.  Major difference between us: I prefer to rely on my training to get me results, sister has that insane ability to make it hurt to get there.

Commence Pity Party. I was in no mood for high-fives or congratulations. I had missed my goal by over one and a half minutes. Tragedy. I took myself for a time-out and wallowed in my sorrow of poor performance.

Overhearing my coach console someone else that out of all of his runners, “only one got a PB today, so not to worry”.  And it struck me, that person was me. Humph. Not to be dissuaded from my bad mood, I went and got a cookie. mmm cookie

Usually one of the first people I tell when I finish a race is your beloved Sarcastic Triathlete that’s me!. She usually cheers me on in my successes and I’m always excited to share.  But not today, I didn’t want to share, despite the numerous wonderful people who had supported my fundraising, I did not see today as a success.  When I finally got to speaking to her, I was suitably chastised for my attitude. I can tell when a result didn’t go the way she wanted simply by the lack of communication.  I didn’t want to be a negative Nelly, but I knew that this race in the cold and wet is usually much harder that it should be.  Sister takes things hard, much harder than I.  I sometimes wonder what her reaction would be if this had happened to her before a race….hmmmm.

You can only give what you can on the day, you can’t ask for more.  The stream of personal bests are going to stop, at some point I will start to go backwards and the PB’s on the fridge will start to yellow and curl. Going faster than you have before is something to celebrate, always; regardless of the margin.

I took the sharpie out, wrote my time, and slapped that baby on the fridge.

In the end I rose over $600 for Movember nice work! and got to put another PB Race bib on the fridge. Tonight I’m going to celebrate and apologize to my coach who has worked so hard to help me improve for my sulking, and thank him for his help. Progress is progress, no matter how slight. Somewhere along the way you learn to roll with the punches. Bit more punching needed on little sis.

If you need me, I’ll be running up and down all the hills on the North Shore chasing a 44:59 10km.  ST PR = 43:41.  I somehow think that will be the next goal. Just a hunch.

-little sis and ST


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