Saturday, January 3, 2015

It is my 10 year anniversary!  

To be more specific, it’s been 10 years since my spinal injury.  I sit here thinking of all that I have accomplished in the last 10 years.  But before all that, I remember vividly being in the back of the ambulance, thinking I was never going to walk again!   

Let me back things up a bit.  Here is the backstory. (Some graphic parts, sorry)

I was a triathlete, looking to have a little fun on a trampoline.  I decided taking trampoline lessons was a great idea!  Having a wonderful time, and getting confident with my skills, I was practicing back flips.  On the count of 3, jumping higher and higher (~10 feet up), I started rotating my flip and for some reason, I didn’t commit.  Under-rotating the turn, I landed on my upper back, with my feet up and over my head.  Crunch!  I knocked the wind out of myself and had immediate numbness in my lower legs.  I knew instantly that something was wrong.  Staying still, the facility phoned 911.  My 2 co-workers came, immobilizing me to the spinal board and drove me to the hospital.  It was surreal being a patient, as I am the one who is suppose to be the paramedic in this situation...Not the patient!  

An overnight stay in the ER, and then admission to the floor, I stayed in the hospital for weeks.  The doctors kept staying:  “you’ll likely be able to walk again!”  I hate that statement.  In my head, I kept telling myself: I WILL WALK AGAIN!  After my discharged, I was sent home on bed rest.  I was bedridden for months.  With an occupational therapist visiting me, I started my recovery.  

Part of my injury was an bladder issue.  Because of the spinal cord damage, my bladder wasn’t receiving messages from my brain.  It is called neurogenic bladder.  I had to retrain my bladder by catheter.  What a nightmare!  To make matters worse, they sent a young male to show me how to catheter myself.  How embarrassing!!  So, that’s what I did.  A few times a day, I would do it, and my boyfriend of only just over a year, brought my pee to the toilet!  Now that’s love.  Needless to say, I married the guy.  

I’m also so grateful for my mom.  She would drive 3 hrs every weekend to give me a bath and wash my hair.  It’s amazing what a mother would do for her children.  Now that I have 2 children myself, I can understand and appreciate this.  There’s no question that I would do the same.  

The recovery continued.  After a number of months, I was able to go out for physio.  This is where I met Lisa Wilson.  With her help, understanding, and determination, I pushed through many painful appointments.  I also made sure I did all my ‘exercises’ at home.   I was so proud when I got the go ahead to start adding walks to ‘exercise plan’.  Those 6 minute walks were humbling and took a lot out of me.   To this day, I still see Lisa for any help I need.  She is a vital part of my injury prevention program.  

As the year went on, my hard work was starting to pay off.  I was able to start modified duties at work after only 11 months.  By the following spring, I was running again.  With the help of good friend and coach, Mike Coughlin,  I even PB’d some distances that summer.  

Now 10 years later, I am a top Canadian Ultra Runner.   I am still working with my amazing coach Mike Coughlin (Discomfort Zone). I am also sponsored by some amazing companies:  Running Skirts, and as of 2015: Ultimate Direction and Icespikes.  I value these partnerships so much.  

My husband, Jeff Warriner, supports me and my goals to no end!  What a guy!  I couldn’t have done all of this without him.  We have 2 beautiful daughters, Jubilee (5) and Maëlle (3).    Jeff, I’m doing a 100 mile race this year!  Could you of pictured that 10 years ago!!  Crazy!  

To all my family and friends along the way, I’m so honoured to be on this journey with you.  I value your friendship so much.  Thank you.  Here’s to the next 10 years!

And to conclude, I want everyone to know, as I am living proof, that big goals can be reached!  All you have to do is believe in yourself, work hard, be consistent (and perhaps add a bit of stubbornness!)   


(I have to add: One of the most fascinating parts of my spinal injury was the nerve regeneration. My feet grow a whole size! Ok, it wasn't easy on the wallet, but still very neat how the body works.)

-- Chantal

Like me on facebook to show your support.  Thank you!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Good evening,

It hasn't been because I have not been training and racing that I haven't been blogging.  It's just the opposite actually.  2014 was full of adventures, travel and learning experiences.

Now that my 2014 season is over, I sit and reflect on what I have learnt this year.

I have increased my racing distance this year.  My season's goal was Fatdog 70 miler in B.C. Canada.  This race was the whole package.  It was well organized, had a beautiful venue, had helpful volunteers,  and of course, many enthusiastic racers.  I highly recommend making the trip west to run this event.  Distances range from 30 miles to 120 miles.   One of my favourite things about this race was the mandatory trail work you have to do prior to race day.  What a great way to give back to the trails we enjoy so much!

  (one of the many beautiful views)                                         (unofficial race results)

Training leading up to the race was challenging.  I knew that I had to get efficient at hill climbing.  I found the hardest trails I could and regularly trained on them.  It paid off.  I won Fatdog 70.  My finishing time of 16:06 minutes was good enough to take first place in the women's division (3rd runner in).  And only 9 minutes off the course record!  So close yet so far!!  :)

2014 race results

Laura Secord Memorial, 25km, 2:14 (C.R.).  Very muddy muddy day!  So much fun.
Pick Your Poison, 50km, 5:14,  1st place.  Still snow on the course!  What a challenge.
Cayuga USATF 50M Trail Champs: 9:34, 9th.  First women was an Olympian. Cool!!
North Face Blue Mtn 50M: 10:17, 3rd.  Challenging course.  logistical issues today.
Fatdog 70M: 16:06, 1st place.  Want to climb and enjoy views. A must do race!

My take away 

I LOVE distance!!  The more challenging, the better.  I truly fell in love with the mountains and distance.  I look forward to 2015.  100 miler, HERE I COME!!

Tip of the month

Check out my tip of the month at


As always, I want to thank my coach, Mike Coughlin, at Discomfort Zone!


I am truly honoured to be partnered with some great companies for the upcoming 2015 season.

UD Ambassador


Thank you! Hope to see you on the trail


Chantal W

Sunday, December 8, 2013

2013 wrap up

384 hours of training 
244 km of racing
10 races
7 victories
3 course records
1 national experience
= one heck of a 2013 season

I'm so grateful I was able to achieve what I have this year.  My heart is filled with much love of this sport and I thank my lucky stars for the success I have had so far.  I look forward to building on this and continuing building my experience in this so unpredictable sport of trail running.

I hope I could inspire some to join me in trail running.  Message me if you ever want to join me.

I start my foundation first thing tomorrow!  With 3 weeks of recovery coming to an end, I look forward to hitting the trail in the upcoming season. 

Stay healthy!  See you on the trail.

Coach Mike (, I hope you're ready for me :)

and looking great in  Thank you!

Chantal --  A shout out to my wonderful husband, and my beautiful girls who are always 100% supportive of my goals.  Believe! 


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Cross Country 4km Race

Oct 6 – Don’s Harrier Memorial 4K, Sunnybrooke Park, Toronto 

The day after my 50km race at Pinehurst, I raced a 4km with my team The Newmarket Huskies.

 As I limped out of bed Sunday morning, sore for running over 4h30 Saturday, I was thankful for the 1pm start of this race. After breakfast, coffee and a much too short visit, my family and I were back on the road, driving from London to Sunnybrooke park in Toronto.

 After my warmup, and some strides, I toed the line with my amazing teammates. My last thoughts were, 'this is going to hurt'! I am grateful the race was only 4km. I held a comfortable pace for the first 2k, pushed the big hill, and was patient threw kilometre 3.5.

 With 2nd place female just ahead of me, I thought, 'I could push for 2 more minutes, I suffered for the last 2 hours yesterday...what's 2 minutes today?' I passed her.

 Now, my sights were on the 1st place female. I wasn't far behind her. Could I push even harder?
My brain started calculating again: 'what's 30 more seconds?' PUSH, PUSH, PUSH!.

It worked out in my favour. I took over the lead and won the race by a short 3 seconds, with a time of 15:43. Whoohoo!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

50k Canadian Trail Championships

Run For the Toad, 50km Canadian Trail Championships 
Pinehurst Conservation Area Paris, ON
October 5th, 2013
$7000 cash prizes up for grabs for the top 5 overall runners, plus $500 if you break the course record

Female top 5 
1st place Stacie Carrigan 3:57:18 Kelowna BC
2nd place Christina Clark 4:11:32 Guelph ON
3rd place Stacey Cleveland 4:14:22 Penticton BC
4th place Lauren Mcniven 4:31:56 Beamsville ON
5th place Chantal Warriner 4:37:21 Minesing ON

4x 12.5km loops
overall pace 5:33/km
Lap 1 1:00:21
lap 2 1:03:07
lap 3 1:15:01
lap 4 1:18:57

Well, as you could see from the above splits, something didn't go as planned! Unfortunately.

As any racer will tell you, anything can happen on race day. Sometimes, training and mental preparation just isn't enough.

The first 2 laps were picture perfect. I felt comfortable, happy, and loving the atmosphere. I had my husband Jeff, my 2 beautiful daughters Jubilee and Maelle, my amazing step-mother in law Monica, and my great friend Robin with her 8 month old son Max cheering me on. I also had my friend Chris Brokenshire as a support. Life was good. I happily ran, seeing the above people at various parts of the course. I ate, I drank and I got continuous feedback on how well I was doing. I held 4th place, and was closing the gap on the 3rd place female. I followed my race plan until....Bang! Suddenly, with no notice, I wasn't feeling well.

At about the 30km mark, I suddenly felt like I swallowed a small bowling ball. I could no longer tolerate food, and could hardly drink any fluids. It just wasn't going away. By the 34th kilometre, I had been walking for ~5 minutes. I knew Chris was waiting for me at aid station #4. He immediately knew something was wrong. He walked along side me for a couple of minutes as I discussed my options with him . I was ready to tell him I was done for the day. It wasn't until he said it out loud "You're quitting the race?" that I knew quitting was not an option.

I drank a cup of coke (Manuel Saumon will love seeing this!) and started my journey to completion. I tolerated the pain in my gut but still couldn't eat or drink anything. I forced myself to sip water (which I now carried with me). I drank another cup of coke, hoping the calories would get me threw it. I got passed by another female competitor in the last few kilometres and was able to hold on to 5th.

I'm proud of myself for not giving up. It's unfortunate I wasn't able to pull it together for this prestigious race. Kudos to all the runners there. The race was very well organized. The volunteers were amazing. The speculators were top notch. The food afterwards was the best I've ever had at a race.

I want to sincerely thank Lisa Wilson (Concept of Movement Barrie), my physiotherapist, who without a doubt helped me with some obstacles leading into the race. She's the absolute best! Dr. Gavin Steciuk, chiropractor, thank you for all of the adjustments. Murray Wood, who adjusted my orthotics a week before the race and gave me a call after the race to wish me that's service! My wonderful coach and friend, Mike Coughlin at Discomfort Zone. I always feel supported with him in my corner., who makes me look chic and pretty in their practical and beautiful activewear. Check them out! My parents, step parents, and in-laws, thank you for the kind words of encouragement. My friends and relatives, who think I'm nuts :)! And most importantly, my husband, and beautiful daughters. I hope my 'obsession' with this sport is a good example for you. I see how proud you are in me. Thank you for the cheering. I love you.

There will be many more races to come. This 50k may of been the last of 2013's trail season, but it's just the beginning in my journey to ultra running.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Repost... I realized that writing a post after midnight may not be the best idea. Here is the same report with a little less grammatical errors 

Here is my race report from Saturday's win:

Iroquois Trail Test, 34K Crawford Lake Conservation Area 

My day started early! The alarm went off at 4:30 am. After 1, perhaps 2 snooze buttons, I rolled off the couch. (I gave my mom - my beloved babysitter - my bed. I stumbled around in the kitchen, realizing I didn't give myself enough time. Luckily I prepared my coffee maker the night before. After a quick bit to eat, and travel mug in hand, I was off to the race.

About 3 minutes later, I came up to a road closure. The police had the road closed. I hope everything was ok as I U-Turned and made my way on an alternate route.

I had no issues cruising on the highway at this early morning. Getting through Toronto was no issue. But then, I found myself heading into the airport. Stressed at 'arrivals', constantly looking at the time, I circled back to the 401. I'm still not sure how I ended up detouring to the airport.

I arrived at the race site at 7am, 30 minutes later than I planned. If you're anything like me, you'll agree with me that 'pre-race rituals' are important before toeing the start line. I am grateful that the race kit pick up line up and the bathroom line up was minimal. By 7:10, I attempted to eat my oatmeal. Unfortunately, the water in my thermos was not warm enough and my oatmeal was disgusting and bland. I suffered through a few bites and left it. I moved on to my banana and my blueberry cliff bar. It would have to do. It's now 7:15 and I was really starting to get anxious and excited to start the race.

I headed out for my shortest warm up ever. 8 minutes later, I was back at the start/finish line awaiting race instructions. The announcer was quite funny and I chuckled a bit. I was glad, as that loosened me up for the morning ahead. About 45 seconds before the 'gun' went off, I saw a friend waving at me. One last smile and wave and I was off!

The 34k was the first race of the day. It consisted of 3 big loops. There was to be 2 shorter races (18k & 7k, I think) starting after us, at different start times.

My goal was to start comfortably and work my pace every lap. I knew my 'race plan' as I confirmed it the night before with my coach via text. I later found out he was on his bike in the middle of nowhere when he responded. Thanks Mike (Discomfort Zone), Much appreciated.

As I saw the lead men impressively stride off, I settled in my pace. I took the women's lead from the start. I re-familiarized myself with the course on the first loop. It had multiple different aspects such as technical uphills and downhills; a wooden bridge; fast and flat upper loop; grassy sections; rocky sections; and quite of bit of singletrack. I loved the technical part of the race and reminded myself to recover a bit on the double track.

I came through the first lap (11.3km) at 1:02. As I circled around, I saw the 2nd place women about a minute back and the 3rd place women just behind her. That got my adrenaline juices flowing.

I build my pace a bit, knowing I wanted to step it up again come the third lap. I ran comfortably strong. All was going well. The course volunteers were fantastic. They were all very encouraging. They each told me I was the 1st female. I just wished they could of told me how far back the 2nd place female was. I'd have to wait an hour to find out when I circled the start/finish line. I drank, and ate according to my needs and stayed focused on the lap. I came through the second lap at a split time of 1:00:46. Perfect. I dropped my time and still feel strong enough to give it a push. I noticed the 2nd place girl in the distance before I turned off, calculating she was about 5 minutes back from me. I took a mental note of it.

I immediately pushed the pace. By this time, the course was loaded with runners from the other 2 races. This made the technical downhill section a little hectic. I was able to squeeze between many runners (I apologize for the many shoulders I touched) on the way down. Over the wooden bridge and up the other side...ah... alone again. I kept my pace strong. My legs felt great; my energy was high; the volunteers were motivating and encouraging; and then I superman'd across the dirt path to a, what I believe was very graceful, shoulder roll. Ouch! Quick body check as I got up. Nothing seemed to be hurt, just the evidence of a fall all over me. No harm done, I continued.

I finish the second half of the loop in a strong effort to come across the finish line at a split of 58:34, to give me a finish time of 3:01. Yay, victory. My 5th straight win for my 2013 season. I felt grateful and mentally thanked everyone who continually helps me achieve my goals. I enjoyed a freezie, superb idea ITT, with a friend and chatted about our shared passion.

As a bonus, I got a MEC gift card for winning. It's my favourite store, so I'm excited to get there and shop.

I look forward to my next race, September 7th Haliburton 50k. Loving life, loving running!!

Thank you Coach Mike at Discomfort Zone and Cindy at and of course all my husband, kids, family and friends.