Canadian in Candia

December 21, 2009

Freezing in Buffalo

Filed under: Races — Tags: , , — Miriam @ 10:43 pm

Buffalo Freezer 5k
Since mid-October, I’ve been running. Well at first it was more walking than running. I would go back to a walk as soon as the pain in my feet got bad. And I started being very carful with what I ate too. I was under a lot of stress so I was careful to make sure what I was putting in my body was valuable to my body.

Now two months later, I’m running 6 mile training runs. I still have a lot to go to be even considered a recreational athlete, but I’m making progress.

I’ve even been racing a bit. I never raced other than elementary and middle school track and field and cross country. So I’m finding my goals easier to find. It’s not like rowing where I feel a need to return to personal records. Every distance run is a personal record because I never kept tabs when I ran to cross train in college.

My first 5k that mattered was the sunapee turkey trot on Thanksgiving day. Jes joined me for a killer course. I would like to apologize to Jes yet again for the hill climb within the first 1/4 mile, I had no idea. I managed to run the whole distance and finished in just over 10 minute miles.

So when I wanted to visit my parents in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, I felt a need to find a race and bring my brother along. So I actually planned my trip home on the weekend of the Buffalo Freezer 5k this last Sunday.
Buffalo's Freezer 5k

Costumes were encouraged so my brother wore a set of flannel pajamas with scotty dogs I bought him the day before. And my little brother actually stuck with me while I ran 9 minute miles for more than half the race. I eventually was fed up of a slapfooted runner in front of me so I took off.
Buffalo's Freezer 5k

I was very proud of myself when I finished the race in just under 9 minute miles. I was very proud of Mike for finishing in under 30 minutes on his very first running race ever that he hadn’t even trained for.
Buffalo's Freezer 5k

Buffalo's Freezer 5k

Mike did get a fair bit of attention for his running attire. He kept being recognized and/or cheered on as “pajama man”.

Cooper was so upset with me for having left him behind while I ran, but he was relatively well behaved as a spectator with my parents.
Buffalo's Freezer 5k

After a lunch with my family I drove straight across New York and Massachusetts to find myself back home. But I was certainly glad to have taken the time and energy to get some exercise in before that long trip.


August 14, 2009

Cigna 5k Corporate Race

Filed under: Races — Tags: , , — Miriam @ 8:02 am

A couple months ago an e-mail came through at work inviting employees and their families to join in the Corporate Race a group was entering. It was for charity and there was a walking wave so I decided to sign up.

I also talked my hubby, who had never run a race of less than 20 miles into doing the race.

So yesterday, we joined 5000 other people (including a bunch of my coworkers). At the race. I didn’t have a camera after the start until we got back to work so I only have a few pictures of before the race started.

5k Race in Manchester

I’m claustrophobic so the crowd seemed terribly huge to me. It made me realize why I liked rowing so much. In rowing you generally have a 10 foot buffer on either side of you. If someone in within that buffer zone it basically means you have crashed.

Because of the crowds I decided to jog to get somewhere where the crush wasn’t so bad. I was wearing my Vibram FiveFingers so I figured that on pavement I would probably fatigue pretty quickly and get back to the plan of attack, walk the 5k.

Well jogging turned into just a little further and a little bit further. I stopped to walk a few times but got back into a jogging pace when whatever was hurting eased up a little.

I ended up finishing in 35:17. Which is under 12 minute miles. This was significant for me because I hadn’t really run in 3 years. My feet wouldn’t let me.

I think this is proof that my Vibram FiveFingers are doing their job. I had arch pain when I came in last night, but my heels were doing well. This morning my feet are killing me, but that’s to be expected when you go from walking to jogging a whole race.

I wish I had a picture of the finish. I’m proud of having pushed myself again.

July 25, 2009

Vermont 100 – Importance of the Pacer

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Miriam @ 12:00 pm

When Adam paced for Nate last year I didn’t fully understand the importance of pacers. I understood that they kept the runner company during the dark hours of the night but they are so much more than that. I saw some of the roles of the pacer while driving around, and even more when I did the last half mile of the race with Adam and Keith.

So here’s an explanation of the roles of the pacer as I see them:

  1. Companion: The night can be very long and dark when the runner is alone. Having a pacer gives the runner someone to talk to hang out with.
  2. Safety: A lot of the course goes on dirt roads, these roads are still used for cars. The runners are so tired at this point that the pacer helps make sure that the runner gets out of the road when cars are coming down the road. They also keep runners safe from other obstacles.
  3. Encouragement: The pacer is the runner’s own personal cheerleader. Keith used simple encouragements like “just keep your feet moving” and “doing great”. Small reminders that the keep the runner moving and keep their spirit up.
  4. Lookout: The pacer is useful in noticing obstacles in the trail. Rocks, mud patches and logs are all obstacles that could injure a heavily fatigued  runner. Pointing them out help the runner anticipate the problem.
  5. Trail Leader: The trail is marked with glow sticks and yellow plates at night. They are pretty noticeable but to tired eyes they may be hard to see. The pacer helps keep the runner on trail.

I present to you three of the pacers in the race.

Larisa was pacing in the 100K event.  An avid hiker, who’s never really run 30 miles, she ran from dusk to dawn with her runner. She’s planning on running her first 50K soon.  I had a nice time hanging out with her.


Keith is my husband’s friend from the ice climbing world. He’s ex-military and a professional photographer who runs triathlons when he’s not climbing.  He’s no stranger to ultramarathons and I think we’ll see him again at races, running. He also has the cutest child ever and if I believed in posting pictures of children that I’m not related to I would have a post full of just pictures of his kid pouting.


Steve was John’s pacer. He participated as part of the crew for a while but most of the time we hung out taking pictures.  He’s run a few ultramarathons in the past. The funny thing is, I’ve met him before. He’s run with my husband before. But with the glasses on he does a complete Clark Kent versus Superman. I had no idea who he was.

IMGP1595Note: this is probably my favorite portrait from the whole weekend.

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