Sunday, April 13, 2014

Orange Mud!!!

Another exciting announcement is that I'm now an Orange Mud Pro Athlete!!

I started using Orange Mud a few months ago and was blown away by how comfortable their packs are to use.  I absolutely HATE handheld bottles, but I also hate heavy packs.  I wanted something minimalist that didn't bounce or annoy the CRAP out of me... Well, Orange Mud was the answer!

The bottle is easily accessible and the pack does not move AT ALL!! Truly genius!!

It's also amazing that the company is owned by runners/athletes who "get it" and who truly care about their athletes!! SHOUT OUT to Josh Sprague and Beth Corasiniti Sprague!

New Sponsorship announcement!!

So one the biggest changes this year is that I have now signed on with... NIKE!!!!

This was a big decision for me, since I had been an Inov8 athlete for so long, and I loved all Inov8 shoes.  However, I did not feel that there was much opportunity for growth, and I never truly felt like I was part of a team.  With Nike I have amazing support and an amazing team! :)   Stacie Carrigan also signed on with Nike Canada and I'm so stoked to have her as one of my teammates, THIS GIRL CAN RUN!!!

To be honest, at first I was skeptical of what Nike could offer to a trail runner.  But soon after my initial talks with them I was sent a pair of Nike Zoom Terra Kiger and I was SOLD!!  These shoes were light as a feather, but felt like I was running on clouds.  NO MORE SORE FEET!! :) And they come in some sweet colours.

I have such an amazing group of sponsors now:
Nike, CW-X compression, Drymax Socks, Orange Mud Hydration, Julbo Eyewear, GU Energy Labs, Hypoxico and Tho'z Barz.  I'm so excited for the year ahead.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Big Changes

So there are some big changes coming up for me!!! Some new sponsors and some very exciting new products!!!

2014 is going to be a crazy year for me, between racing, training and getting married, I hardly think I'll have time to breathe.  Going to be great!

Stay tuned for all the exciting announcements.

Monday, December 16, 2013

What's up next for me

As I reflect back on 2013 I can't help but think how amazing it was.  I truly learned a lot about myself and a lot about my racing abilities.  I got to know some amazing people, who have become a HUGE part in my life.  I received phenomenal support from my close friends (Andrea, Pat, Jay, Liana, Lindsay, and Sylvie), family (mom, dad, Corey, Greg) and coaches (Ray Zahab, Dan Baribeau).

I'm already excited to see what happens in 2014!!  I know that I need to take my training more seriously and really commit myself to every aspect of it.  This year, although others believed in my training, I still felt like something was lacking and that I wasn't reaching my full potential.  Races were full of 'mistakes' or "learning lessons" as my friend Steven Parke called them :) ... So for 2014, I am committed to getting stronger, faster and to becoming an all-around better athlete.  The great news is that I don't have to go it alone!  Corey really wants to step up his game too, and start to make running his priority.  It will be quite the adventure next year, and I can't wait to go full-force into training.  I have had a great little "rest", but I'm done with that, and I just want to train.

I should also mention that I'm somewhat scared of the crazy training my coach is going to give me.  He loves to push me and see where my limits are!  Thanks Ray!!!  You're an absolute inspiration and I'm blessed to have you believing in me.

New Sponsor!! GU Energy Labs!!

A lot of thought and planning goes into nutrition during training and, of course, during races.  I had a really rough year nutrition wise, so I had to really take a long, hard look at what I was doing  and in the end I decided it was time to change up the products I was using.  Just a few months ago I received a TON of samples of GU products (thanks Paulette and Tony of Uber Performance Products), and I decided to give them a whirl! Well, the results were amazing and I was SOLD!  No more upset tummy, and I can actually stomach gels (in fact, I LOVE the GU gels, especially the Roctane ones, YUMMY)... I might just eat a gel for lunch today... I joke, I joke... maybe... hmmmm, maybe I'm actually eating one right now (you wouldn't know, muhahaha).

I just got an amazing shipment of product that includes GU gels (both regular and Roctane), GU Brew, GU Electrolyte tablets (the strawberry lemonade ROCKS MY SOCKS OFF), and some 'delicious for any meal ' Chomps (it will be a challenge to NOT eat these as candy)...


New passion!!

So Ottawa just had a snow-dump of about 10000000cm (ok, I'm exaggerating a tiny bit), so trail running has become a bit of a challenge.  To best counter this new challenge that mother nature has thrown at me I have decided to incorporate more snowshoe running into my training regime.  I knew that it was going to be harder than regular running, but I really had no idea just how hard it is!!  GEESH, what a workout!! I love it!!  Corey also took up snowshoe running, so now I have a training partner... YAAAAY!!

For those of you who live in the Orleans, Ontario area we actually have a group of snowshoers (not a word... but I just made it a word) who meet at Mer Bleue for snowshoeing every Wednesday! :)

If you're thinking about buying snowshoes, check out my buddy Derrick Spafford's site: Spafford Health and Adventure.  He sells the Dion snowshoes there.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Haliburton 100 - 1st place

So, I really don't know where to even start to describe this race...  I guess I will do a chronological race report, then share some of my thoughts.

km 0-15

I woke up bright-eyed and ready to go at 3:50am!!  ( I didn't even wait for my alarm)  I was stoked, and just wanted to get to the start line.  Corey and my dad got my breakfast and hydration ready and before I knew it we were off to the start.

I toed the line with 2 of my fav guys (John McAlister and Dale Draaistra), I was totally ready to get this race underway.

WE WERE OFF!!  The lead men in the 50 mile and the 100 mile took off ahead, I considered going with them, but decided to run with Lisa Van Wolde (amazingly talented runner, who was in the 50k race) and my buddy Alan Murphy (Houdini - my new name for him cause he disappears and reappears at the most random places during races).

The first 6k was on the dirt road, it was easy and fast, really got my legs spinning and warmed up for the technical section coming up.  We entered into the Normac Trail, and immediately started flying through rocks and roots, with lots of little climbs.  Everything was running smoothly for me at this point!  UNTIL BOOM, I tripped and fell onto a huge section of pointy, sharp rocks!!  I landed on top of my handheld bottle and it exploded EVERYWHERE!! UGH!  "No worries, Laura, shake it off".  I didn't let it phase me, I got right back up and settled back into pace.  I was running well, but MAN did my knee hurt!!  (I had no idea how bad it actually was).

After Normac we headed out onto Poacher's Trail, which is an amazingly technical trail with TONS of climbing, it's awesome... well, it was awesome till I fell AGAIN!!  OUCH!  Keep moving Laura, keep moving.  I kept the pace strong and stayed light on my feet the entire way.  I was pretty much by myself at this point, but that didn't bother me.  I knew I was in the lead (of both the 50 mile and 100 mile women, and I just wanted to keep it that way).

At 15k I entered AS#4 and saw my dad, Corey and Pat.  They gave me a new handheld, some mountain dew and sent me on my way.

Km 15-30

I can't remember exactly where it was on Krista Trail that I encountered the bear, but it was within the first few minutes of being on the trail.  This bear was relentless and would NOT back down!!  I tried everything to get it to move (HECK, I WAS IN A RACE AND NEEDED TO GET GOING), but it stood it's ground. For the first time ever, I was actually terrified during a bear encounter.  I didn't know what to do, so I laid down on the side of the trail and waited for the bear to leave me alone.  It took about 3 minutes of sniffing, but eventually the bear lost interest in me...

* nothing else eventful happened in this section.  I was running SCARED after the bear encounter and SURELY picked up my pace substantially!

I was relieved to come into AS#6 and hug Corey!!  That bear encounter SUCKED!!

Km 30-50

After what seemed like forever on a mixture of grassy trail and annoying dirt road we entered into the King James trail.  I remembered HATING this trail last year... not because it is technically hard, but because it is one LONG SUSTAINED climb after the other!!  I don't know how, but I think the number of hills actually multiplies each time you pass through.

I trudged through, and forced myself to KEEP RUNNING!!

I reached the turnaround point, and looked at my watch, I wanted to see how big of a lead I had on the other women.  I was extremely surprised when I passed the woman in 1st place in the 50 mile race, I had roughly a 30min lead on her!!  CRAZY... maybe I was going too fast?!? Should I be ahead of the lead 50 mile woman when I'm in the 100 mile race?!?! UGH!  When I passed the 2nd place woman in the 100 mile race I knew that I had at least a 45min lead, which gave me great comfort.  I was still running strong and feeling very comfortable (well, except my knee, it was killing).

km 50-80

I'm bunching all of these kms together, as they are all a blur to me!  Nothing eventful happened, except I finally took a look at my knee.  It was bloody and disgusting.  The volunteers at the aid stations asked me if I wanted to clean it up, I said no, and just decided to ignore it.

                                                      (what it looked like after the race)

I came into the 50 mile split and actually was the 1st woman in (in both the 50 mile and 100 mile race!), this was insane to me!!  How on earth did I beat the 50 mile runners, had I taken it out too fast?? No, I felt great!

Km 80-110

I wish I could give some details about this stage of the race, but I honestly don't remember much.  I know that I was still running strong.  power-hiking some of the uphills, but still flying on the flats and the downhills.  I felt great... well, as good as I could possibly feel 110km into the race!!  My legs were tired of climbing and mentally I was getting a little tired, but overall I was positive.

km 110-130

FINALLY, my pacer was allowed to jump in!!  Yaaaay!!  Corey's energy and positive attitude was such a pick-me-up, I instantly felt re-energized. (I love him!  I have the best fiance)...  Corey understood that I needed to walk the steep uphills on King James trail, but I promised him that I would run everything else!  It was so great to have him out there with me.  On the way back to aid station #6 I saw the 2nd place woman again, and I knew that my lead had increased.

km 130-145
My awesome friend Pat Chartrand jumped into pace me at this point.  He kept me smiling, kept me moving and made me laugh!  It was great!! owe him HUGE for this one. :)

km 145-150
Corey jumped back in at this point and I was starting to get very emotional!  My feet were killing, my knee felt like someone had taken a cheese grater to it and I was JUST DONE with this race!  Luckily, I only had 15km to go... That sounded like 1000000000 miles at that point though.  The uphills were torture and the downhills had me afraid of tumbling with every step.  Thank goodness I didn't fall at all in the later stages of the race!

km 150-160
My motto became: Run when you can, and use it! I tried to push wherever I could, I gave it 120% at this point.  I was emotional, but kept telling myself "you have worked so hard for this, don't let anyone take it away".  Corey and Pat were amazing, they kept me moving, kept me positive and helped me to believe in myself.  

When I entered the home stretch a new-found energy came over me!  Corey said to me "go babe, run, you've got this" and it just gave me that little extra push to get me to the finish line!  

I was thrilled when I crossed the line in 22:23!  1st place female for the 2nd year in a row!!!!

A HUGE shout out to Dale for killing the men's race in a time of 18:36.  He was totally in a league of his own!!  (Dale also won at Sulphur, he's on fire this year)

A huge thanks to my Dad, Corey and Pat!!  This victory isn't just mine, it's all of ours!

Also thanks to my coach Ray Zahab for always believing in me :) 

Lastly, thanks to my sponsors: Inov-8, CW-X, Drymax, Tho'z Bars, and Hammer Nutrition.