Kate Van Buskirk: Training, Racing, Coaching & Running Happy

This article was originally published on Kate Van Buskirk's website.

***I wrote this post last night (Thursday) and was planning to publish it today with the official announcement of my 2-year partnership with Brooks Canada. I have been full of happiness, energy, and love for life and sport over the past month. Training is going great, I'm enjoying the warmth and sunshine of AZ, and I'm finding reminders every day of how incredibly fortunate I am to be doing what I love for a living. One such reminder came in a devastating form today, as we learned that Daundre Barnaby, a decorated Canadian Olympic sprinter, drowned at a training camp in St. Kitts. I didn't know Daundre very well, but I had the pleasure of hanging out with him in the Commonwealth Games athlete's village this summer and the honour of watching him compete. My love and thoughts go to his coaches and teammates, and most importantly his family in Canada and Jamaica. May we all run, jump and throw with him in our hearts.

SPRING is here! And while the True North Strong and Free is revelling in their great thaw (read: temps in the single digits and only occasional snow), our little Canadian posse has spent the last month frolicking around sunny Arizona in as little clothing as possible. And it has been GLORIOUS!

Typical AZ afternoon: track, mountains and sunshine!!

Typical AZ afternoon: track, mountains and sunshine!!

It feels like I've finally turned a corner in training and things are starting to click. Over the past few weeks I've run 2 of my best long runs and several solid workouts, and it seems like I've got my legs back under me...which is a good thing, given that I will officially open my 2015 racing season ONE WEEK FROM TODAY!! I'll be toeing the line with some of North America's finest distance runners for the 5000m at the Stanford Invitational on Friday April 3rd. This is my first race in over 8 months, and will serve as a rust buster/opportunity to get a strong indication of where my fitness is at...oh yeah, and it will also be a chance to rock my new Brooks Elite kit!!

Signing my 2-year Brooks contract: it's official!!

Signing my 2-year Brooks contract: it's official!!

I'm honoured, proud and thrilled to officially announce that I have partnered with Brooks Canada through the 2016 Rio Olympic Games!! My experience with Brooks over the past 2 years has been incredible, and I have a hard time imagining a company that I would rather represent. 

The truth is, most runners could find at least one shoe made by every company on the market that would get the job done. What is harder to come by is a connection with theculture of a company that really jives with your personal approach to the sport. I have found this with Brooks. 

From their environmental consciousness, to their exclusive focus on running, to their community involvement and outreach, to their incredibly passionate, creative and caring employees, to their perfectly simple yet deeply panoptic slogan, Brooks gives me endless reasons to believe in "Run Happy"! The fact that their gear is exceptional is just a bonus :)

The newest additions to my shoe collection

The newest additions to my shoe collection

Beyond training, tanning, race prep and sharing the love with Brooks, I've enjoyed expanding my athlete base with Pace and Mind. Our runners are motivated, dedicated and some of the best people I've ever met. They inspire me every day....and a ton of them are racing in Hamilton this weekend at Around the Bay! I have raced the ATB 5km the last 2 years and I'm sorry to missing the event this year, both as a competitor and spectator/coach. If you happen to be in the Hammer on Sunday and pass someone in a Pace & Mind singlet, do me a favour and give them a high five and some encouraging words...chances are you'll get some back in return. (Also, keep an eye out for my speedy dad Jim VB who is racing the 30km!!)

Finally, I want to give a HUGE cyber hug to my unbelievably supportive community who has helped me to nearly reach the 75% mark in my Pursu.it Campaign!! I have exactly 25 days to raise $2500 and reach my $10,000 goal, which would have a tremendous impact on my athletic goals this year and beyond! Check out my campaign HERE and take a look at all of the amazing athletes featured on the Pursu.it website.

74% funded!! I need $2500 in 25 days to hit my fundraising goal!

74% funded!! I need $2500 in 25 days to hit my fundraising goal!

Wishing everyone a safe and lovely weekend. Hug your family and friends, take care of yourselves, and as always RUN HAPPY!!

Source: http://www.seekaterun.com/blog/2015/3/26/t...