Oh Canada, I love your politics, your people and your landscape

I just got back from a long weekend trip to Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada.

Oh, how I love Canada – my friends to the north. Loved traveling through your countryside. However, Montreal, your highway is a bit of a mess. 

About a year ago I registered for Ironman Mont Tremblant thinking what a great location for a race. I’d never been west of Montreal.

What was I thinking?

I was thinking that Mary wanted to go and Mark followed suit. Why the heck not. I can drive to the race and not fly. With my bike in the car I could bring all the gear I needed. My plan was to train like heck on the hills in Concord and run all the hills in the mountains. 

Sweet!

Heading into the weekend I thought I was prepared. Kind of. Well…….. hmmm. I’m not sure…. Some things didn’t go as planned such as motivation and sticking to a training plan. I forget that when it comes to my plans and future goals  – it  is truly a crapshoot.

Crapshoot definition: a risky or uncertain matter.

Yep sounds like my life. And I’m okay with it. Really, really I am. 

Okay – truth: I’ve DNF my last two big races in the last 12 months leading up to the weekend in Mont Tremblant. Ego wise – I needed to finish the %^&$#@%^ thing and retire from Ironman.

Again ….. Well …… I didn’t finish this race, but I had a wicked, awesome vacation and swam 2.4 miles and biked a crazy, hilly 56 miles (I still can’t convert to metric despite loving me some Canada). Holy schnikes Batman, those hills were obscene. I admire every single person who crossed that finish line. Well deserved kudos to every… single …. one!

I’m breaking up with Ironman. I have fallen out of love with you  Ironman – it’s not you, it’s me.

Mont Tremblant had a little to do with it but I was not in love with the bike course. However, I do have to call out the race director, who hugged me and told me how I have to come back soon, after I crashed the finish line with the pros.

Here are the highlights of the road trip north with some pretty cool people. I’d say I’d try it again but I’m retired.

Marianne & Richard – Two peas in a pod. Fun. Adventurous. Kind. Thoughtful. Silly. Richard is a comedian and Marianne gets punchy at 10 pm. They helped me turn the DNF into sherpa-ing and, seriously, it was probably easier to finish the race. 


Mark #13 Ironman. Headed to Kona. Driven. Kind. Accomplished. Steadfast. Travel Buddy. Friend. I admire Mark’s tenacity and his single minded pursuit of a goal. 

The village at Mont Tremblant – so European and beautiful. Am I in Paris or Mont Tremblant? You decide.

Prep for North Face Endurance race Massachusetts

North Face Endurance Challenge MA

Today is the day before the big race that will define the next 3 years.

No pressure.

This North Face Endurance race in Massachusetts is touted as one of the toughest trail runs, meaning that the DNF percentage is pretty high due to terrain and elevation change. A few months ago I was thinking that I would start and just do what I can. If I didn’t finish, at least I will start – no matter what.

Now, since my training has gone well and I feel good I really want to go ALL IN. I’m going to finish – no matter what.

I want to do the races that I’ve been dreaming about and planning for since 2014 – ultra distances culminating in the biggie – 100 miles.
Tomorrow’s race is now about how to pace and finish a tough trail run at a shorter distance – 26.2 miles*.

I’ve tried over the last few years to sign up for 50 miler and that will force me to train for it; and that just hasn’t worked. It worked for Ironman but a 50 miler was so intense and I couldn’t do the training miles.

So much has changed this year.

I’m highly motivated and my training is going well. I’m 100% vegetarian and 80% vegan (darn pizza and ice cream, but I’m working on it). I feel like I recover better from hard training and I’m a bit lighter (still working on that too). While I’m not living in the mountains (like in Colorado) or surrounded by mountains (like in Tucson) I live in a hilly place and the mountains are 45 minutes away.

I’m working it.

Since I’m not on social media anymore I don’t follow the ultra runners to stay motivated like I used to do. Now, I  watch a lot of YouTube videos and subscribe to newsletters and magazines. But the key is doing the training, following the training plan and staying focused.

Today, one day from race day, I am going to walk and hike but no running. I’ve been tapering all week so I’m going into tomorrow’s race well rested. I’m going to finish this darn race: 26.2 hard trail miles at Wachusett Mountain Resort.
I have all my post-race food ready for me and on Sunday, my recovery day, Mark arrives for week! Woo hoo! He will be training on some hills in Concord all week and hopefully escaping the heat and humidity of Houston. Temps and humidity percentages looks good so far.

Concord NH Temp June 2018

Our next race is Ironman Mont Tremblant.

Here we are back in 2014 in St. George, Utah after Ironman 70.3 St. George.

Kristen Mark IM St George

*Race report will be posted upon completion. 

Rye By The Sea Duathlon

2018 race season is underway. It started with the Maine Coast marathon and next up is the Rye By The Sea Duathlon.

Last year I competed in the Wallis Sands Triathlon and this year I’m trying the duathlon. My mom has volunteered at the race for many years and this year she is excited to be a spectator.

Rye By the Sea duathlon course map

I’m still recovering from the marathon but I’m ready to get on my bike and start training for this year’s races.

Daily Stats:
Hike: 1M
Run: 4.42M
Swim: 0
Bike: 0

Upcoming Races in New Hampshire

On Saturday I need to run 13 miles for my training plan. I’ve considered signing up for a half marathon to stay focus but I’m non-committal right now.

My biggest goal is to get out the door this morning and run seven.

On Sunday morning, May 14 I’m running a trail race. The Dirty 5K – the first event in the Western New Hampshire Trail Running Series. The trail run is in Hanover and I haven’t been to Hanover in many years or may I’ve only driven through it. It’s been a long time, so it’s time to see it.

That’s why I sign up for races – to see places I’ve never been to and to learn about new places. I love discovering new trails and beautiful places. It is a part of why I haven’t been able to live in one place for a long time. Our world is so big and filled with adventure; I want to see and do it all.

The Granite State Marathon is this weekend in Nashua. The Purple Ribbon 5k Run in Bow, NH is Sunday.

Next Thursday, May 18 is the 2017 Merrimack County Savings Bank Rock ‘N Race in downtown Concord. I’ll be signing up this week.

Many fun races this week. I’m going to get out there and run now. Go sign up and find new places to fall in love with.

Updated: Today’s run. It’s not seven but I did what I could.