After the Cascade Crest 100 in August, I took a six-week break from training. Physically I probably didn't need it because - other than my GI tract - I didn't tax my body too much and recovered quite quickly, but mentally I like to take some time off at the end of my racing year to reflect, regroup and relax. During this time, I enjoyed some low key adventures with friends and just chilled.
|Peak bagging in WA with Dave and Dora.|
Dave and I took a little road trip down to Moab, Utah in October for an adventure race that he was doing. I took full advantage of being the support crew (i.e. non racer) and enjoyed spicy foods, extra pints and later than usual bedtimes. It felt so naughty - I could get use to it!
|Checking out trails near Park City, Utah en route to Moab.|
|Mountain biking in the desert.|
In November, I did The North Face Dirty Feet Tunnel Run in Naramata. Having only been back running for a couple of weeks prior to the race (literally), I didn't feel very fit, but I really like the Dirty Feet races and the couple who puts them on, Phil and Grace, so I decided to go for it. Costumes are encouraged so I pulled one out of the tickle trunk and had some fun.
|Photo credit: Jerry Mitchell|
I was pleased and surprised to finish first woman and fourth overall (even though I was two minutes slower than when I'd run it two years ago).
The rest of my winter has been filled with lots of yoga and cross country skiing. I've haven't done a lot of either in the past, but am really enjoying both activities and think they nicely complement all the running. I feel stronger and more balanced for both sport and life in general. It's a good feeling.
I've also been training hard for the Phoenix Marathon in February. Fortunately, it's been a very mild winter so I've been able to do much of my training outdoors. (As opposed to other years when the snow and ice have forced me to log many miles on the treadmill.) My training has been going well and after my last long run, I started to believe that I might actually be able to pull off a sub-3 hour marathon, which has been a goal of mine for some time.
|Look - it's me on a Caution sign! :)|
Unfortunately, due to a fall on the ice last week that resulted in a fractured sacrum, I may have to pull out of the marathon in order to allow my body to fully heal. I'm hoping it won't come to that, but I have to be sensible. I have a couple of really big, exciting races planned for 2015 and I don't want to jeopardize them by rushing my recovery. It's not easy, but I'm taking my injury a day at a time and I'll just have to wait and see how I feel over the next few weeks.
One of the races that I'm wildly excited about is the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB). I got in through the lottery and I have no doubt it'll be a highlight of this year. It's a race that I've wanted to do since I knew it existed and I'm looking forward to spending a lot of time in mountains this summer preparing for it.
Last but definitely not least is that I've been invited to join The North Face Canada running team again this year. After a lackluster 2014, I wasn't sure that they'd want me back, but they've been incredibly supportive through my injury highs and lows and I'm grateful to know that they've got my back (and will keep it clothed in sweet, technical gear!).