Category Archives: Run

Believing you can run fast.

The first step to running fast, is knowing that you can do it.

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I had a really weird workout today. One where my body wanted to run faster but my brain was saying, “Dude, that’s too fast. You can’t do that!” If I want to get faster, I have to convince my brain that I can run fast. I don’t know why my mind tries so hard to convince my body that I can’t do it. Knowing and believing are subtly different word choices that I used in the title and in the opening of this post.  For me, these words spark on the difference between what you see is possible and what you believe you can achieve.  Several sports psychology studies with children (Duda et al, 2011) and with elite soccer players (VanYperen & Duda, 2007) highlight that what you believe is associated with success in sport is linked to both motivation and performance in sport. Convincing yourself that you have the skills to succeed is an interesting mental challenge. One that keeps sports interesting for me.

I think my challenge today stems from the fact that I’m just not practiced at running faster. Today, I opted to listen to my body and just relax and run.  But the pacing was hard and not at all even because of my mental battle. From now on, I’m going to start believing that I can run fast … unless I can convince myself that I should go faster.  Shoot. I’m not sure how my silly head will deal with that. Either way, it will be an interesting challenge.



Historic Half in Fort Langley

Today’s race was good. I went into the day feeling a bit conservative thinking that I would aim for 5min/km and a 1:45 finish. However, about 5km into the race, I realized that I was feeling good and I might as well just run. Starting out conservative is a nice way to race because for the whole second half I was passing people and feeling strong. I finished at just under 1:39.  It’s quite a hilly route which makes it tough … but I felt good.  Last year, I raced well and ran my half marathon PB on this route of 1:37:54.  I think I probably could have beat that time today if I went into the race with a different mindset. That said, it was a good day and I had fun racing.

In other news, on March 1st, I start training with a new coach.  Her name is Stephanie. Her favorite meal is dinner.  I’m quite excited to get started with my new training program.

Big Peachy Week

Wow, was I ever exhausted after my “Big Peachy Week”.  I was glad to be scheduled for a couple of easy days of training.  I needed them.  Fortunately, my work week was pretty flexible with me attending a conference downtown.  I think I may have scared some of the conference attendees with my lunch eating abilities.  This past week was my biggest week of training so far in the build up to IronMan and it was great. My uncle says that I’m twice as fit as the last time I did IronMan.  My response was, “then I should be able to go twice as fast!”  Now that would be something.

So the Peach was a no wetsuit swim.  24oC water.  This was the first time I’ve raced in a no wetsuit triathlon.  My swim time wasn’t a time I was particularly happy with… but at least I can blame it on the wetsuit (or lack of).  [It can’t have been the 3.8km swim on Friday or the 2.1km swim race on Saturday or all the rest of the week].  PS.  I did the IMC swim course on Friday in 1:10 (with no drafting).  I was happy with that.

Back to the Peach, the swim start Continue reading

Keeping it Real

It’s been a good solid few days of training. I’ve enjoyed the riding, the swimming and the running in this Okanagon heat. On Monday, I rode the bike course. On Tuesday, I enjoyed a clear cool swim and then a hot run on the marathon route. After all that, I’ve been relaxing with my Aunt and Uncle in this summer heat. My Uncle Doug rode a 600km brevet on the weekend, so he’s helping me keep it real. “What are you complaining about you only did a 160km ride…” is dinner conversation at the Fox household. You’ve got to love it!

Here’s what I did: Continue reading

Big Training Week Starts off Right

I’m up in the Okanagon for my big training week – a week set to fill my head with positive images of the IronMan course.

Today started off right with my last minute idea to register for the free ATLS swim clinic at Gyro Park in Kelowna.  The early morning wake-up was rewarded with some useful open water swim tips from the coaches, a timed 800m loop, AND a swim up coffee boat – where swimmers were served hot Starbucks coffee in the Lake.  Being served Starbucks coffee during a swim practice is pretty awesome.  I have a feeling that’s not going to happen during IronMan.  But if they bring out the coffee boat, I’ll stop.  Seriously.

After the swim, I headed back to Penticton for a run up Main street to Skaha.  It’s a tough bit of the run… and I wanted to have another look at it.  There’s a hill that ends at a funeral parlour.  If you make it past the funeral parlour, you’ve made it.  Seems fitting.

It’s going to be a hot week up here which will also be good practice – and make up for the lack of summer so far this year. It looks like I’ll be potentially hitting 40+ temperatures for my big ride on Monday.  Should be interesting.


Canada Day Swim at Sasamat

So, how did the Canada Day swim go?  Thanks for asking, the swim was fine. I can go quite a bit faster: 1:05 is my best. However, I seem to be carrying quite a bit of fatigue from this past week so I was happy with a 1:10 – all things considered.

SAA swimmers warming up on the beach

It was a quality week of training and thank goodness for the rest day today. I’m feeling the track workout Tues and the tempo bits Sat and Sun – and have worked hard. I wasn’t into really into the race yesterday. As I left I said to Torbin, “I’m just going to do a swim with a bunch of people.”  He joked, “Well, if you go fast by accident, don’t worry about it!”

I was cold and tired at the early morning start and felt the, “Why the hell am I doing this?” panic of a swim start.  I got passed more than normal at the beginning and wasn’t feeling too great – not bad – just not into it. But, I did get into it on the second lap. I was long, fast, and streamlined and passed at least 4-5 of those folks from earlier in the second lap. If I’d been feeling like that from the beginning I would have had a MUCH faster time. (No, I didn’t do a warmup, silly me). I sighted lots and noticed that lots of people were swimming all over the place (or maybe it was me – so I sighted more).

My run afterwards was really good. I was tired and the tempo bits were hard, but I met the challenge which felt good. Now, I’m off to eat my second lunch, watch the tour, and recover from a good long hard week of training!

Oliver Race Report

This weekend, I raced the Oliver Half Ironman for the third time. I surprised everyone (even myself a bit) with the my results. I was inspired by my fellow racers, friends and fans. Now, I’m ready to take what I learned and keep working hard in the build up to Ironman.

My pre-race prep couldn’t have been better with good friends, a party on Friday, an incredible luxury suite, a relaxed warmup on Saturday, and a couple hours of reading papers for an article I’m writing this summer (my nutrition plan neatly printed on the back of one of the papers). I went to bed feeling relaxed, prepared, and confident.

After my warmup, I decided to head to the far left hand side of the swim start. I saw a few folks I knew and realized they were following me and positioning themselves behind me to draft. Darn, don’t you ladies realize that I’m trying to get away from everyone because I hate the craziness of these swim starts. All I want is a bit of open water. I don’t know how its possible but I got kicked on the very first part of the swim – like in the first two strokes. My left google filled with water and a bit of panic started setting in. Should I stop? What if I lose my contact and can’t see on the bike? Continue reading

Delta Race report

Here’s me at 6:30am on race morning. You really can’t have a bad race day when you dress up as a bunny!

Today went really well. I really enjoyed racing and volunteering with my SAA and South Delta friends – my local triathlon community is really made up of a great group of people. So many good laughs today. The kids race was so fun. I made kids laugh, fixed googles, and helped some scared ones. These kids have the tenacity to just keep going and have fun (despite everything being new and quite scary). It was really quite inspiring! My race goal for today was to react well to unpredictable things that get thrown my way – so seeing these kids do it like it was no big deal was a good start.

After the volunteering, I showered and tried to stay off my feet and for the couple hours wait until my swim start. Hanging out with Rob and Evan on the pool deck and joking about trying to beat each other was a good fun way to kick off the race. My swim was great. I was really really comfortable and fast. My swim time was 12:15 for 700m*. I even was comfortable enough to do a couple of flip turns. The first step of reacting well — was definitely covered here in this busy swim — well done, Joanne.

As I pushed my bike through transition, I noticed my hat caught on my bike pedal, so I calmly stopped and placed it to the side. One of the volunteers noticed and picked it up for me. Second reaction – also good The bike was good. I just went. There was no one to pass or catch so I just went. As I started I noticed that my bike computer wasn’t on – so I turned it on – and it beeped with the low battery warning. So I turned it off and just kept riding. OK did you really have to put so many tests out there for yourself! As I came back into transition and was putting on my shoes, I heard this voice, “Joanne, do you want your visor for the run?” So I just kept putting on my shoes, and said, “Yes, thanks!” Man, you’re getting good at this. The run was fine. My legs felt weird coming off the bike. A reminder that I need to do more brick runs. I felt good.

I had a 3-4 min personal best today and accomplished my race goal but one of my favorite parts of today was the sense of community that I felt. There were so many great people involved. We had a lot of fun together.

*Unfortunately, the time that was recorded for my swim was 13:15 – sometimes at this race the swim times are wrong – oh well. I still had fun, despite the swim time AND I was genuinely laughing about it. Race goal really accomplished, well done!

Barton (who’s in the picture with me above) said to me, “So, are you going to be fast this year?” I guess so, Barton! …and I’m excited.