© Copyright – 2012 – Athletics Illustrated

Krista DuChene of Brantford, Ontario is one of Canada’s top-performing marathon runners. She ran the 2012 Rotterdam Marathon on April 15th, in a personal best time of 2h32.06. This result is much faster than the International Association of Athletics Federation’s Olympic qualifying standards of 2:43 as the “B” standard and 2:37 as the “A” standard. However, it does not meet Athletics Canada’s requirement of 2:29:55 or better.

DuChene finished seconds behind teammate Lanni Marchant of London, Ontario who ran 2h:31.50. Both were significant personal best performances.

Currently, Marchant and DuChene are awaiting the decision on an appeal of their attempt to petition Athletics Canada to allow the two to compete in the 2012 London Olympic Games. This, based on being the fastest Canadians and having run times that are significantly faster than the IAAF standards. If the appeal is declined (the decision will come any time now), there is a potential arbitration process.

To learn more about the process, read Athletics Illustrated’s recent interview with Chief High Performance Officer for Athletics Canada, Martin Goulet. Also a recent article about the current appeal.

DuChene, also a mother of three young children and Registered Dietician took the time out of her busy schedule this week to talk about life as a running mom, who happens to be the second fastest marathon runner in Canada.

Christopher Kelsall: How did you discover running?

Krista DuChene: I ran track and cross-country in high school and loved it, but also loved hockey, which I had been playing since age four. I chose hockey and ran as cross-training when studying nutrition at the University of Guelph. Initially, I started doing both sports but my mom was sick (cancer) at the time and I just couldn’t handle both as a full-time student.

CK: What position did you play in hockey for the University of Guelph?

KD: Forward (centre and left wing).

CK: Centre and left wing. You must be a Liberal. Having three young kids, I assume you have to be creative when planning your training schedule. Any very early morning or late night runs take place?

KD: Yes, I definitely have to plan ahead! Passion and organization are key. And my faith and husband make it possible to do it all. Basically, mornings are for training, afternoons are for rest and housework, and evenings are for family meals and activities/sports. I train from 9-12 weekday mornings and  6-9 weekend mornings.

CK: Is there any performance enhancing benefit to nursing to just a few weeks before a marathon?

KD: Hmmm, not sure about that. I’ve trained through all of my breastfeeding so don’t really know anything else! I am a big advocate of nursing so was never going to let anything stop that, even running. So far each baby has nursed for 12+ months and I’m very grateful. Pregnancy hasn’t hindered my training either. When six months pregnant, I ran a half-marathon with my first, and played a game of hockey with my third! Loved it!

Definitely having kids has made me faster; there are many physical and psychological benefits! And what better job of being a mom and runner could there be?!

CK: Being a Dad and a runner. I would think would come close, but better? I do not know. What did you think of the controversy over the Time Magazine cover? A mom with child – who looked like he was six years of age – to be breastfeeding. Apparently he is actually just three. Was it much ado about nothing?

KD: Let’s say that being a parent and athlete is the best! As for breastfeeding, I’ve heard the “shocking” story, over and over, but breastfeeding is very normal, so yes much ado about nothing.

CK: What were your expectations time wise, going into the Rotterdam marathon?

KD: If conditions were perfect, I believed I could run the standard of 2:29:55. The wind was just a bit too much, especially running with no pacers from whom to draft (in fact at one point, Lanni and I were pacing and cutting the wind for a bunch of men who were also going for sub 2:30)! I was very pleased with 2:32:06 though, a 7 minute PB!

CK: With young kids at home, did you allow yourself an opportunity to celebrate that seven minute pb?

KD: Yes! My husband made my favourite meal of cedar-plank salmon, which I enjoyed with my family. I love family meals and as a Registered Dietitian and Mom, know they are so important. The grand finale to the meal was chocolate cake and coffee! Then I took a week off in which we moved to a new house!

CK: Was that wild, west coast salmon? That is hardly a week off!

KD: Not sure about the salmon but I love it barbequed, canned, smoked, you name it! And chocolate is always best when paired with peanut butter, and coffee! You’re right, the week off to pack and move was quite exhausting especially because I had to quickly adjust to the time change, my husband went away for a week of work, and I had to live between two houses with three kids due to unfinished renos!

CK: Strength and character training.

KD: Surviving those crazy times definitely builds character, which strengthens me for the marathon!

CK: What if you are not permitted to run in the Olympics. You are a top candidate to compete in the 2013 IAAF World Track and Field Championships in Russia. Considering this, what marathon event will you focus on leading towards Moscow?

KD: My coach, Rick Mannen, and I are in the process of discussing Plan B (Plan A being London, of course!). Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is a possibility. Definitely excited about Worlds in 2013!

CK: And your goal for Toronto should you run it is?

KD: Oh boy, too soon to know. But if you want to have fun with it, here’s the pattern so far (minutes off between marathons): 9, 9, 5, 7, 7. So let’s go with 3 minutes faster, which will get me 2:29. Heck, let’s take off another 30 seconds to make a new Canadian record of 2:28:30 (that I’m sure I’ll have to battle Lanni for)!!

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