Tara Lynn Berry- Not Running for Gold

I consider myself to be a well-rounded runner, however, very passionate about running (when I am running). My running friends would say that I am committed to running 100%, 60% percent of the time. By this I mean when I am in “run mode” I train fairly frequently, have a bit of a competitive side, go to work outs with our running club VFAC (Vancouver Falcons Athletic Club) one out of two work outs a week,  and go to every long trail run planned with friends. This usually lasts about 2 weeks!  Then I am back to 2 weeks of casual short runs on my own! Usually these runs are on the sea wall, kits beach, Jerico, or UBC. I do not seem to ever go on a “tempo” run (as I try to sometimes plan) and when I do they usually turn into a run/walk enjoying the scenery type of run. On these occasions I think to myself “I’ll make this a short run instead because I do not feel like trying to run fast, and I’ll just get up super early tomorrow and try and do a tempo then”. This does not seem to happen! These 2 week cycles seem to continue.  I do not get a training plan from our club coach, as I would not follow it. The rest of my week could consist of going for dinner or drinks with “non-running friends” and with running friends!, staying up late on weekends, going snowboarding to Baker or Whistler, watching hockey games, working, taking courses, and fitting in a long run every 2-3 weeks if there is time.

I may not have your typical runner’s diet. My favorite foods consist of pizza, burgers and fries, Starbucks ham breakfast sandwiches, chips, mexican food (ground beef tacos), and beer (wheat beer or Granville island winter ale). So much so that Alicia Margaret June Woodside was persistent that I approach chronic tacos for sponsorship, I was not keen on Chronic tacos as I frequently go to Taco bell for lunch, but I did agreed Mega bite was a good alternative option for a sponsor I could approach.

My “running friends” believe that I do not “train”, however, I do run on a regular basis just not always at an intense level 100% of the time! My “non-running” friends may not think this and say things like “Whoa 50 km that cannot be good for you”.  “Wow that is so far how do you run that far”. My advice for “non-runners” would be to go out and run and your body will follow (eventually)! I like inspiring “non-runners” and trying to get others excited about running and encourage “non-runners” to get out and try it so they can experience the feeling I do! I believe anyone can run and it can be fun if done in a way you find enjoyable, whatever that may be to you.

I run for fun, exercise, socializing, the amazing high you experience while running, the challenge or unknowns, long distances, pain and pushing my body to limits I never thought were possible. Running just happens to be one of my favourite sports amongst others such as hiking, snowboarding, soccer, volleyball, baseball, bike riding, bowling (yes bowling!). Generally I fill my days up completely and run out of time for chores such as laundry, going grocery shopping, regular errands, purchasing toilet paper. I believe “A clean house is a sign of a wasted life,” (as a magnet on my fridge states). However, my friends came over for lunch one day and discovered that I do maintain the essentials in my fridge (butter, beer and some frozen foods)! This is a way to get your friends to donate veggies to you…

Training does have its perks! When you have not trained and run a 50 km trail race unprepared (after not running for 2 weeks, in addition to spending the weekend prior in Las Vegas for three nights!), your body does not feel good! (My friends made fun of me as I waddled around Portland like a duck after the Gorge falls 50 km race recently in Portland. (End of March 2013).

When I heard about the Chukanut 50 km last year in March 2012, I thought it sounded fun and amazingly beautiful. At the time I had not ran further than 35 km EVER. It was my first Ultra marathon. I always considered the Marathon distance to be daunting, but somehow further just seemed so extreme that my time would not matter to me, so I decided to start with this run and I have loved trail running ever since!!!

Some training advice:

Train because you love it and not because it is scheduled. Don’t worry too much about times in races and enjoy the successes, challenges, and hardships as well. Everyone has good and bad training days and races in running. I like to stay positive no matter what the results are and look forward to the next run. I am passionate about running but not overly serious. So of course when Alicia Margaret June Woodside has her ideas of costumes for races I think great I’m in!

I consider myself to be fairly new to trail running, but I have ran a few trail races. I am inspired by ultra-marathoners that I have heard about that have completed amazing long distance adventures around the world. These stories inspire me to want to challenge myself to longer distances and goals. I am down for any type of runs with friends, rather it be short runs, long runs, road runs. As of late I prefer long runs in the trails, mountains and beach/sand!  So when the idea was brought up of going on a running adventure in Mongolia of course I am in!!! My training plan must slowly change in order to be prepared for this challenge and includes more preparation, planning and training than I am used to:

Gear Goals:

1)    Purchase proper gear for trail running rather than borrowing others (partially completed in preparation for Carmanah Walbran Park ) Further items needed! List includes:

tent, down jacket, hats, gators, cords, backpack (lighter!), 2 tarps, 2 ropes non stretch, hand warmers, feet warmers, hard alcohol, compression sacks, 2 Marino wool socks, down booties, matches, extra stove & propane.

Running & other Goals for the next few weeks:

1)   Carmanah Walbran Park camping and running trails (Completed).

2) Club Fast Ass Ultra marathon Saturday/ BMO Vancouver Marathon Sunday (Gold shorts will be present).

3) Gambier Island camping and running

4) Rim to Rim to Rim Grand Canyon/ (Partying in Vegas after!)

5) West Coast Trail

6) Kenny Chesney concert in Seattle (find somewhere to run possibly or if not successful…carbo load on beer)

7)  Sunshine Coast Trail

Nutritional Goals:

1)  More Fruits and Veggies

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