2015 RACE CALENDAR!

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Time to start planning the upcoming year as many races open in December 2014 to enter!!

Download The Race Event Calendar for 2015!

Then start counting down how many days left, what training you need to incorporate before then and what your goal is. Are you training to finish? For a personal best? Or just for fun with friends? 

The intent behind your goals matters just as much as the goal!  Please feel free to contact me to help you plan a training schedule for yourself.

info@ilivelifenow.com

Happy Racing!

Lisa Stocking

CSEP-CPT

RYT 200

10 Years Runningggggggggg

Posted in races

I'm back! 

It's been a phenomenal summer and although I say I'm back it's not at work, after a great holiday in Penticton I am back home and getting ready for the best training sessions yet! I'm back in the sense of I feel finally myself again. The fog is lifting bit by bit every day and my soul is healing with each day I wake up grateful to have another day to do better.

As I was in Penticton I had the privilege of running outside every morning (since it was too hot during the day!) and not only that but running from the very top of a mountain where we stayed with a view of all the lakes in each direction. The beauty was stunning. And it was my kind of running; hills! It was 1200 ft of elevation gain in a 2.5 km run one way up, just a little steep. And on the morning of my 37th birthday I decided I would run all the way up without stopping and when I decide to do something it is going to happen no matter how hard it gets, I am thankful for my stubbornness sometimes.

I thought to myself as I was running it's been 10 years since I really started to run and as a newbie runner I remember reading that after 10 years of running you start to reach your peak. Well it's been 10 years and I can say it is true. You become wiser, stronger, faster, more experienced and somewhere along the way running just becomes a part of your soul.  

There are days I don't like it, that it feels like I'm drowning in sand while running or that I just don't got it. Then there are those days I feel like I am Usain Bolt; free, easy, fast and loving life while running. That is just how life is and running is no different. We all have good and bad days, those bad run days make our good days feel so much better and perhaps that is why we have to feel good and bad in life. Joy and sorrow, pain and pleasure all opposites and all guaranteed to be a part of our lives. In the above picture as I stared at Mt. Robson over the river while my daughter fished, I just felt so lucky to have been able to see and do as much as I have in my time.

I can still remember my first 5 km race it was the Garlic Fun Run at Hawrelak Park in Edmonton. The nerves before it, not knowing what to expect and all the neurotic things new runners think before their first race I've thought. That's why I try to help you calm your brain before an event. Now before a race I would probably be doing what is shown in the above pic. A drink, relax, friends and food. Life is short and I'M the one who entered the race, my life doesn't depend on it and it is for me and me only if I was last (which I have been) the world truly does not end. Just do my best.

Running has given me more than it I have ever "wasted" time on it with, I have seen so many things is a short period of time because running I can cover 5 km in less than half an hour and see so much. 

It's cheap therapy some say; hell yes! I have cried until I nearly hyperventilated and thrown up on many a run releasing emotions that were pent up and I didn't even know were there until I started to move my body. Some days I just want to stop mid-run and touch the ground in thanks for this life and I have a few times. All I ever need no matter where I travel is running shoes to see most of the sights. And although I am NOT a morning runner usually I have had some really phenomenal quiet time runs in the morning while being a tourist.

Some of the most enjoyable runs were those mundane daily runs while training for an event, such as seeing porcupettes (baby porcupines), grey owls, deer, moose, eagles and so many other weather, cloud related formations, flowers, changing leaves, green grass, wheat waving in the wind and countless other grounding sights while out moving on my own two feet.

You may not consider yourself a "runner" and that's ok, there's no need for labels when you are out moving. Run, walk, crawl as long as you are moving forward you are farther ahead than sitting on the couch. One important key point to remember is that some days you do need to have a break or a rest day. Obsessions with running every day or worrying that you will fall out of habit if you take a day off is common to new runners but often times ends in INJURY! 

Plan to give yourself a day or two a week off or change activities to treat your body to some R & R, it is essential to improving your fitness level.

Many new runners struggle with not being able to run for a long period of time, the biggest reason? They are going too fast for their ability! Start out slower than you think your should run and then gradually increase your speed over time, trust me you will be a runner because you are not sprinting and stopping every few minutes in a sporadic unplanned run/walk/stop pattern. 

Consider having someone train you to learn to run, this I wish I would have done sooner in life instead of muddling my way through it. That is what I improved on over 10 years: form, skill and expertise.

Clothing and footwear. Wow! Have we dramatically improved even in 10 years with regards to design and function. Sometimes though there is just overthinking with too much information. Here are two things you NEED:

1. Good shoes/socks: They should fit from the first time you put the shoes on NO BREAKING THEM IN! And the socks should be thin or risk blisters! Buy them from a running store please, they are a better quality than from department stores.

2. Technical clothing: From Wal-Mart brands to CWX they are all price ranges but they all work! Do not use cotton and get heat rash, smelly and uncomfortably hot!

There are a million gadgets and products for running but keep it simple or you will ruin your run because your Garmin didn't start, the heart rate monitor failed and you didn't time your pre-exercise drink just right. Seriously keep it simple. Eat a larger meal two or three hours prior, a snack if need be an hour-half hour before and keep well hydrated throughout the day and if going over an hour in duration only then do you need some kind of rehydration/electrolyte fuel to ingest while running!

This above picture is a good example of hour crappy you can feel after a run in high heat and humidity. Although I ingested food, salt and water along the run sometimes if you run hard in heat you will just feel blah! Keeping cool is important, over the years heat has been my nemesis but with smart technique and protocols to help keep cool I have come to grips with it. Also I do train in the heat of the day when I know I have an event that will be in heat. Ice wrapped up in headbands and around my neck saved me literally!

The most important part of running? Friends. Over ten years I have made friends and helped my friends learn to run and drug them along on some crazy running adventures! Although I do not generally run on training run with people very often just due to time constraints I really enjoy going to races with friends and meeting new ones! Sometimes it is just too much scheduling to run with others when I often times just throw on my shoes and head out for a quick run when my schedule permits, as well I am not relying on others to run but it is nice if you have someone who is on the same time as you to train with. It makes for fast mileage!

 

I try to picture my next 10 years running but as I've evolved with my running over the years it has become less and less about the distance or races and much more about simply enjoying each day and just feeling good while running! This year has been really quiet compared to most, my only race of the year is upcoming in September at The Heli-Run in Nordegg, AB! I can't wait to run in the mountains or in my part of it 21 km straight down a mountain, but that is where I love to run the most in the big rocks!

On holidays I drove past the start line with ominous clouds, I even get a helicopter ride in this race. I can't wait!!

Ten years sure has gone fast. What will you do with your next ten years? Recall all you have done or what you wished you would have? 

I Live Life Now,

Lisa Stocking

CSEP-CPT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life Adventures #2: Cankles, Ankles and Things That Go Bump In The Night

Posted in races

Life Adventure #2 is from the  2008 Canadian Death Race Year #2 which makes it fitting for Adventure #2!

Once I finished the first foray into the Canadian Death Race I decided to give my knees and body a break. It isn't the running it was the lack of training, form, technique and newbie running in the mountains that made them not feel so great. As well I was sick with a sinus infection for the race in 2007 and was very nauseous on the top of Mt. Hamel. But we finished as a team and I survived. Now in recovery mode I planned to not train as much (mistake) thinking I would save my knee. I was diligent with physiotherapy and chiropractic but I just could not resolve it. 

Looking back if I would have taken the time to re-train my form and run more efficiently I would have fixed it sooner but live and learn! 

I was running still for training and participating in the 5 Peaks Race Series around Edmonton feeling pretty good but I didn't take the distance seriously enough thinking 22km wasn't too far or take into account how hard Leg 5 really is since we only had one person before myself on the team run it.

Our teams objective was simple, run each leg of the race in sequential order until we were done all of them. No whining, complaining or coping out of the hard ones. Just run each year and you could plan each year for five years what and when you would be running.

If you have ran the Death Race before you understand what it is like; a 24 hour 125km extreme mountain trail run up three mountains with 16,000 ft of elevation change. It is hard, not impossible but difficult. Many soloists run the whole race by themselves under the 24 hour time limit and far faster than our team of five, they are machines!

Life Adventures

Posted in races

Luck is on my side, luck I create and use to it's fullest. Lucky to see and live some amazing life adventures. If you're up for it I will share with you some of them. There are so many of them that it is hard for me to narrow it down so let's go in a chronological order of some sort instead. My first half-ironman triathlon.

What Does It Take? Really?

Posted in races

What does it take to race in any type of athletic race? It is a secret that I don't like to hand out to just anyone but if you think you're ready then keep reading...

The preparation, sweat, hard work, grueling workouts, everything leading up to event day! The training schedules, the program, walk, run, lift repeat. It is tedious hard work but rewarding.

The first part of the plan is finding an event you want to go in and actually committing to doing it in your mind. Then telling your friends and family your plans. It is important to discuss these things with family because they may not understand why you are headed out for an hour on your own when they are used to having you at their disposal twenty four/seven. Happy wife; happy life. Happy mom/happy children.

Back To The Future

Posted in races

We interrupt this regularly scheduled life for future planning...

Our lives are constantly evolving and if you are not as fluid as the world around you, you will find yourself left behind and stuck. Never one to sit on my heels I already have started searching for other races, adventures and hikes for the next year. I can kid myself that I'm going to "coast" but that is not my personality. Waiting for next Monday, month or year is not going to make anything happen. We are here in the now and when you begin to plan in the now for the future that is when life truly begins to evolve.

These shoes need to see more trails...and I need to see more trails. The possibilities are endless. I have already found in a short span of time so many neat races/adventures. There is a Helirun in the Canadian Rockies where as a team of two runs 19 km each and there is a helicopter ride involved in the race. Wow! Sign me up. Can you even imagine? Want to start training for next year?

For me adventures like this are hard but fun all at the same time. This is why I run when I don't want to or feel like it. What is your motivator? That is the key, finding the what fuels your fire. You may have to research out ideas, it is not going to just appear in front of you but sometimes it does and you need to take that cue as a sign to do it. Not think about it, mull it and beat it to death. Stop waiting! You can talk yourself into or out of anything if you wait long enough.

Start today...plan for tomorrow and live life now!

I Live Life Now,

Lisa Stocking

CSEP-CPT 

 

 

 

NOW WHAT?

Posted in races

Perhaps one of the unknown problems after training for a big event is the post race depression. It is not spoken of very often. This year was an accumulation of ten years of running for myself and honestly driving to the race we really thought that it was our last year. That is until we see all of our friends. It is hard to walk away from six years of friendship and fun. So, in honor of our friends we are going to put a team in next year to see how fast we can do the race. Why not?

Call me an adrenaline junkie but I LOVE learning new skills and being on new adventures, possibly the next sport Stephanie and I would like to experience is mountain biking. I am up for anything that will keep me in the mountains and trying new things. 

Our Original Five as we call ourselves have a five year plan to run every five years the race as our original team until the race ends or until we are too old. So in 2017 we will go back as our old team (as well as older lol). It will be a great reunion and chance to test ourselves as we age every five years. 

When one is so focused on a goal and training, the minute you are no longer focused on this there seems to be a slump that athletes fall into. Feeling like superman one minute and then like a lost little kid who can't find their family. The best plan is to keep moving forward in life. When you let grass grow under your feet you are becoming stagnant and with that comes bad habits. Although I plan to take some time off, it wil be unstructured time off meaning I do not follow a real schedule of training but run when I want, lift when I want and relax when I want. I always know I am ready for a new adventure when I start getting the itch that won't go away then I'm recovered and ready.

But for now I am starting to feel proud of our accomplishment. I write about it to relate it to you but really I find it odd to share it. It is done for me. No one else. It's not to impress you or show off. If anything I am honored if it motivates someone else to try something new. That is a real compliment when you say to yourself. I think I could do that!

So for now enjoy the rest of summer, keep your loved ones close and dream big! We did and succeeded now it's your turn...

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I Live Life Now (and I hope you do too!),

Lisa Stocking

CSEP-CPT

DEEP DARK NIGHT...

Posted in races

Into the deep dark night. I leave transition at 12:50 pm. 22 km left. Leg 5 is the most exciting. The trail passes through the famous rock tunnel, you meet the grim reaper (I high fived him), cross the river on a jet boat and get to bring it in on the home stretch. What the organizers don't tell you is it is also the longest, darkest, most technical, single track, rooted, rock, log, frog covered section of the race. It is mentally hard and physically harder. Especially when your legs are tired and they don't lift so well over all these obstructions. 

After unsuccessfully trying to run a few times on this first trail to the river I walked, FAST! My headlamp was very dim again. I caught up to another runner also doing Legs 4 & 5 and his light was like the sun! I stuck to him. After what seemed like forever we finally made the jet boats. Heaven!!!

Crossing the river I experienced "sea legs" not really they were just tired legs and I started to walk like I had been at the bar all night, not out on a race course. The climb out from the river is arduous. It is uphill for a long ways and straight up. This is my specialty I love hills and this was where I started to make up ground. I left the racer I was with for the run to the river, he was suffering and I was falling asleep on my feet so I had to go in order to stay awake and finish. Not too many pictures here.

Slowly I start to feel as though I am wearing blinders. I have no headlamp left. Seriously, my third headlamp to break...ugh. Thank goodness I grabbed the flashlight. Out it comes and I walk with two poles in one hand and a flashlight in the other. I didn't see anyone for over an hour. This is when your mind plays tricks on you. Darkness, tiredness and the deep dark forest. I put one headphone in my ear to distract myself and chuckle when the song "We Run The Night" comes on...run um yah right!

I couldn't get my footing everytime I ran, I hit a mud bog or tripped. Enough. I wanted to finish and finish feeling strong for upcoming adventures. I hoofed it in walk mode and ran the odd section that looked clear which was few and far between especially with a flashlight.

In these hours I thought a lot about my mom, my dad and the suffering and illness they both have been through. My dad shone the moon for me that night I know this for a fact and he kept me calm in the darkest hours. My mom's strength and suffering she has overcome over the last eight months boosted my morale knowing she didn't have a choice in a health crisis and I chose this so it was my duty to finish something I chose to do. My cousin texted me to boost me up when I was feeling down. She of all people having to conquer her own health crisis during the past year. We are like twins both active and fit and she has had a big scare as well. I am thankful for hardships in life as difficult as they are it only makes you tougher if you choose that instead of being a victim of it.

There was points in the race that I was resigned that it would never end and really at that point anymore I didn't care. You hit lows and the next minute you get yourself out of it. I'm strong, I'm ready and I can do this. Then out of the darkness like a beacon of light the best sign in the world showed up:

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D-NIGHT...The Darkness Starts

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It is nearing 7 pm. That is our time cut-off; meaning you are no longer in this race. Kicked out, disqualified, done. Years of training leading up to this over. I was actually not nervous, I knew deep inside that she would make it.

Finally I switch to racer mode. Racing clothes on, shoes on, gear packed and ready, poles out and nervousness setting in finally. I looked at Mt. Hamel driving out on the highway and I was so ready to go up it and see the view from the top! Hamel wasn't the concern it was the portion after it on tired legs and a tired brain.

Looking down the path I finally saw her! I started to tear up, I was so damn proud of her it was amazing her strength to get to that point, what she fought through and what she /we were doing finally hit home. 

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D-DAY Continued....

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The waiting is the hardest. Ask any racer that is running Leg 4 or 5 of the Canadian Death Race and they will answer the same. By this time everyone is showered done and ready for a beer and pizza. You are still shaking in your booties waiting to run into hell...or darkness or Hell's Gates whichever comes first.

The beauty of the race this year was live athlete tracking. I could watch online exactly where Stephanie was at any point in time. Another great bonus with technology is there is no more guessing when your racer is in. You just call or text when you have service which is quite easy to get on the top of a mountain. My phone dings and I check it here is what I see:

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Happy Stephanie! Yes!

D-DAY!

Posted in races

Talk is cheap. Doing it is hard. 

It seems when you plan a goal for a couple of years the talk comes effortlessly and the plans start to fall into place for it. Then the day actually shows up. Oh no. Time to actually put your body where your mouth is and that is hard.

Race day morning!

We woke up at 6:15 am for a race start of 8 am. I actually dragged out of bed at 6:45 to finally get ready. We are no longer the early risers of races past. Sleep, eat a little, get dressed and head out to the start line usually only with about 15 minutes to spare. It is very draining to hurry up and wait at the start for an hour and it's Grande Cache there aren't a lot of traffic jams...you could walk to the start with time to burn as many people do.

Of great interest to most is what we eat at races, at least for me it is. I ask nearly every runner I meet what they eat before, during and after races. I mixed Stephanie a protein shake with a banana to get her morning started. We don't change much on race day just eat what we are used to and it always seems to work well.

Gear check, chip in and get in line for the race! 22:00 minutes to go time.

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