Posted by: Karen | October 16, 2010

Three Weekends, Three Races

This fall I have enjoyed three races so far, although I only “raced” one.

Four weeks ago Little Runner and I walked the 5k route of the Calgary Terry Fox Run together. It was a rainy day (like a lot of September days were this year), so we brought our umbrellas and mittens. In his epic quest three decades ago Terry had run in the rain with one leg – we could certainly walk in it.  I don’t go to a lot of big fundraising races – I often find the hype a bit much – but the attitude at the Terry Fox Run is cool. No set race fee or goodie bags, just donate or raise what funds you can and run what you can. If you want to buy a t-shirt, that’s up to you. Pre-register on-line or sign up on race day. Collect a sticker and a ribbon, write a loved one’s name on a bib and come back next year.

The last weekend in September we drove to Devon to spend some time with John Vezina and his darling M again. I took the Friday off to do some things around the house and pack and travel. Saturday John and I ran the 5 Peaks race in the river valley close to his home. It was a gorgeous day, with all the trees turning colours and it was just warm enough for comfortably running in shorts and short sleeves. My mom & step-dad came to cheer me on, and we chatted with other racers I’d met at other northern 5 Peaks races this summer.

John started early with the half marathoners and we Enduro distance runners (14.?k distance) started 30 minutes later. John had warned me about the steepness of some of the climbs and he was right, the course is brutal! He also told me I’d love the descents, which I did indeed. I let out a lot of woohoos! and oh joy, it was a double loop course so I got to do it all again a second time. My cough didn’t bother me a whole lot when I ran – I’d been coughing for two weeks by then  – but it still took me almost two hours to cover 14+ km. It was a good day. We hung out by the river and sopped up the scenery. John received his first 5 Peaks age group medal ever. Yay John!

I continued to ride my bike to work throughout September until the Tuesday after that 5 Peaks race . By then the head cold had hit hard on top of the cough and I went to the doctor. She told me to take it easy for a few days until she had a chance to look at my chest x-rays, but that it was likely an allergic reaction in my lungs. Now I have an inhaler for 2-4 weeks. I was not happy about putting off bike commutes as the weather was beautiful, but I wanted to kick the cough.

The first weekend in October (3 days after seeing the Dr.) I kind of walked the River Park Classic short course. It was my 53rd race in my streak of CRR Grand Prix races, so I wasn’t missing it for anything. I woke up early and cooked up a Squashed Apple Citrus soup and baked a batch of brownies for the dessert table. It was the nicest, sunniest, warmest day we’d had in weeks, so I donned triathlon shorts and my Calgary Roadrunners singlet. I had said I would take it easy, so I only jogged the first km or so and after that walked with gentle outbreaks of running in between. We got to wade through the Elbow river twice, which was a total blast. The river was deeper and the current was stronger than when I’ve done this race before, but crossing it both ways was a blast. With all my trail running this summer I had been looking forward to totally kicking butt at this race, but it was not to be. I was gentle on myself and there will be other chances to kick butt very soon.


  1. I hope your cough is better Karen! Are you OK or is it some nasty thing that will linger forever? My race season is over but I see you are still cruising for your 100 bike commutes so good luck with that – snow snow go away come again another day. Did I miss Lil runners birthday? Wish her a good one anyway.


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