A Mom’s Journey to Oliver

Part Six in a Series

Tackling Donkey Hill

Today’s bike/run combo definitely tested my fitness level and showed the importance of how much I still have to learn about proper fuelling. Below I’m going to reflect on the significance of fuel, but for now let me take you on my workout journey. 

Alongside my mom and Aly, I embarked on what I thought would be a leisurely 40 minute ride followed by a quick 20 minute run. Little did I know, that was not going to be the case. Since there is a hill I have to tackle in a race, my mom suggested we try Donkey Hill since it simulates the incline I’ll be facing in Oliver. I want to note that after this, I officially understand the importance of hill repeats. Within minutes of beginning our ride, I was met with my chain coming off, an easy fix I was able to resolve and even welcomed the experience as good race day preparation. 

Throughout the ride, Mom and Aly matched my pace and formed a supportive front. Their continued encouragement gave me the confidence to adjust my speed without pressure or anxiety. Which is exactly what I needed leading up to the beast that is Donkey Hill! I mean, I say beast, but Aly effortlessly ascended, resembling a majestic eagle soaring, while I struggled uphill, gasping for air like a tortoise in a marathon. As for Mom, she tackled the ascent like a determined gazelle navigating rugged terrain. 

After what felt like an eternity, I finally found myself at the top with a sense of accomplishment and praise. The journey back felt longer than I remembered but despite my numb bum and legs losing sensation it didn’t stop me from pushing on and completing a total of 75 minutes. Which was my longest bike ride yet.

Transitioning into the run, or in my case, a slow somewhat graceful trot, I could tell I wasn’t going to be able to match pace. I could feel the pain in my knee and the voice in my head telling me to go have a nap in the gravel instead.  This experience really underlines the importance of consistent training, but I’m still proud of myself for not giving up. 


Fueling for Success 

Continuing on from the above post about tackling donkey hill, I’m going to reflect on the importance of hydration and fueling. 

During my bike, I relied on Skratch orange powder in my water bottle, aiming to finish this before I go onto my run, supplemented with a GU lemon gel for added energy. However, a missed gel during my workout taught me a valuable lesson – understanding proper fueling is non negotiable. 

While the routine I have works for me, my dad’s approach differs, showing the importance of an individualized plan. His experience serves as a personal resource through my training. While he first started using food in his races, he has now entirely switched to liquid endurance. Additionally, I incorporate electrolytes like Nuun Lemon post workout, especially on hot days to prevent dehydration

For anyone seeking similar products to what I use, Runners Sole offers a variety of options to suit different preferences. I found that experimentation is key; what works for someone else, might not work for another. Doing lots of trial and error on flavors can help with a stomach free race day.

You might be wondering about my food intake before and after races. For this, I enlisted the guidance of a nutritionist, Beth from Herbal One Kamloops. Her expertise has really helped me with balancing my food and supplement intake and ensuring I don’t undereat in an unhealthy manner. Plus their protein powder is a total game changer, it’s free from that chalky flavor that plagues many brands. 


Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

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