half marathon

Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon Weeks 4 + 5 / 11

02.05.2016
Schedule: 
Strength + Stretch.
Distance: 0km. Did not strengthen nor stretch.
Daytime Distance (commute + shift): 10km.
Music: N/A

03.05.2016
Schedule: 6.5km run.
Distance: 0km.
Daytime Distance (commute + shift): 8.5km.
Music: N/A

04.05.16
Schedule: 7 x 400 track intervals.
Distance: 6.75km – ran with friends again; it makes all the difference.
Daytime Distance (commute + shift): 9km.
Music: N/A

05.05.16
Schedule: 5km run + strength
Distance: 0km.
Daytime Distance (commute + shift): 9km.
Music: N/A

06.05.16
Schedule: Rest (yay!)
Distance: 0km.
Daytime Distance (commute + shift):
5km.

07.05.16
Schedule: 5km pace
Distance: 0km.
Daytime Distance: 5km. Walked with my son and his school in the local parade.
Music: N/A

08.05.16
Schedule: 13km long run
Distance: 0km.
Daytime Distance: 7.5km split between a trip to the park with Spud and a family Mother’s Day hike.
Music: N/A

WEEK 4 TOTALS

Distance (actual vs scheduled): 6.75km vs 36km
Daytime Distance (commute + shift): 54km

*****************************************************

09.05.2016
Schedule: 
Strength + Stretch.
Distance: 0km.
Daytime Distance (commute + shift): 7.5km.
Music: N/A

10.05.2016
Schedule: 6.5km run.
Distance: 0km. Commute from hell coming home, lost will to run… Sent Colin out instead while I covered Spud’s dinner and bedtime. Wine.
Daytime Distance (commute + shift): 8km.
Music: N/A

11.05.16
Schedule: 40min Tempo
Distance: 40min with hills instead = 5.5km. Ran the biggest hill all the way without stopping, which is a big deal for me! Total run was actually 6.5km in 47min.
Daytime Distance (commute + shift): 11km.
Music: Fall Out Boy’s American Beauty / American Psycho album played straight through and then repeated.

12.05.16
Schedule: 5km run + strength
Distance: 5km
Daytime Distance (commute + shift): 9km.
Music: Can’t remember if I had my iPod for this run.

13.05.16
Schedule: Rest (yay!)
Distance: 0km.
Daytime Distance (commute + shift):
12km. Also includes hanging out downtown after work waiting to meet up with friends for drinks.

14.05.16
Schedule: 5km pace
Distance: 0km.
Music: N/A

15.05.16
Schedule: 15km long run
Distance: 17km. Ran with Colin and Dianna in Squamish. Completed the Coast Mountain Trail Series’ Survival of the Fittest long course, minus the short downhill/uphill of the start/finish. Since they are in the final taper for their race the distance was short enough that I could finally tag along! I’ll be doing the SOTF short course in 2 weeks so it was a nice preview.
Music: N/A

WEEK 5 TOTALS

Distance (actual vs scheduled): 28.5km vs 37km
Daytime Distance (commute + shift): 47.5km

Note: Remember to take your vitamins! The difference in how I felt between Week 4 and Week 5 was night and day once I started taking my vitamins, and specifically my iron, again.


Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon Week 3 / 11

25.04.2016
Schedule: 
Strength + Stretch.
Distance: 0km. Did not strengthen nor stretch. Zzzz.
Daytime Distance (commute + shift): 13.5km.
Music: N/A

26.04.2016
Schedule: 5.5km run.
Distance: 0km. Made the mistake of sitting in a comfy chair, got hungry, put on pjs. Zzzz.
Daytime Distance (commute + shift): 10.5km.
Music: N/A

27.04.16
Schedule: 35min Tempo
Distance: 10km slow instead. Didn’t want to go, but did it anyways. Awful.
Daytime Distance (commute + shift): 9.5km.
Music: N/A

28.04.16
Schedule: 5km run + strength
Distance: 5km + no strength
Daytime Distance (commute + shift): 10km.
Music: N/A

29.04.16
Schedule: Rest (yay!)
Distance: 0km.
Daytime Distance (commute + shift):
13km.

30.04.16
Schedule: 5km pace
Distance: 0km.
Music: N/A

01.05.16
Schedule: 11km long run
Distance: 0km. Didn’t work out with Colin’s run schedule and then had errands and a work shift. Oh, well… At least the distance isn’t what I’m worried about.
Music: N/A

WEEK 3 TOTALS

Distance (actual vs scheduled): 15km vs 30km
Daytime Distance (commute + shift): 56.5km


Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon Week 1 / 11

11.04.2016
Schedule: 
Strength + Stretch.
Distance: None. Comfy pants won this round. Way to start the cycle right!
Music: None. See above.

12.04.2016
Schedule: 5km run.
Distance: 5km mall-walked instead while waiting for Colin to pick me up  + 12km walked during the course of my shift = 17km.
Music: Whatever the mall was playing. Nothing memorable.

13.04.16
Schedule: 30 minute tempo
Distance: 6km. I have no current pacing ability. I was all over the place due to a hillier than recommended route. Next time it’ll be flat(er).
Music: Squamish 50mi playlist on shuffle. Highlights were Rage Against the Machine, Pearl Jam, and White Stripes.

14.04.16
Schedule: 5km run + strength
Distance: 5km + 7.5km during shift = 12.5km. Again, no pacing ability, but faster than I thought I was able to do a steady run. Baby steps.
Music: Pearl Jam, multiple albums on shuffle. Highlight: Jeremy – it played 2 x in a row.

15.04.16
Schedule: Rest (yay!)
Distance: 12km; 4hr shift + walking around for the rest of the day combined.

16.04.16
Schedule: 5km pace
Distance: 0.3km walking around my house because I did nothing but sit on my couch ALL day. It was great!
Music: N/A

17.04.16
Schedule: 10km long run
Distance: 9km long run. Terrible run. Ran from a training shift out at UBC back to Kits Beach. While the weather and scenery were good that’s about the only nice thing I could say about it… (The intramurals including 20 min HIIT session did not help my legs.)
Music: Pearl Jam, because I didn’t remember to take it off of that before starting.


Surrey Half Marathon – A Much Belated Recap

First and foremost, my sincerest apologies to the Surrey International World Music Marathon for this oh-so-late recap.  As a marathon blogger I fully admit that I fell down on the job…  Better late than never (right?!).

I ran the half marathon on 29 September 2013 and it was my second year doing this race.  As my last post explained, I was not as prepared as I had originally wanted to be.  I was going to go out and run to finish.  After that post went up my Twitter (now real life) friend, Brandi, told me that she wanted to run the half on a whim.  She was going for sub-2:30 and, as I didn’t have any sort of goal, I said I’d run it with her if she wanted me to.

On race day, Brandi and I met up near the start line.  She was with a couple of other friends, one of whom (Kendall) was running her first half ever, and, after I said goodbye to Colin and Spud, we all huddled in the crappy fall weather together.  Wind and rain is perfect for race day, don’t you agree?  Yeah.  That was a fun treat.  I decided warm and soaked was better than overheating with a jacket, but it was super chilly to begin with.

We started out together with the intention of keeping with the 2:30 pace bunny.  However, after only 1-2 kilometres Brandi and the others were pulling away.  I decided to stick with the pacer and let them go.  In the almost 5 years I’ve been running I have never once run a race with a pacer.  I thought I’d give it a go.  Surprisingly, I was able to keep up for the most part.  I’d lose her a bit on the ups, but catch up again on the downs.  I was surprised to hear, somewhere around 8km, that we were actually running a mid-6km/hr pace (pacers run 10min/walk 1min and accommodate for walk breaks).  I have huge self-doubts when it comes to running fast so it was a nice boost of confidence.  After that there was a long steady uphill.  I power-walked most of it, but the pacer (as well as Brandi et al.) was never out of sight.

Unfortunately, this is where my race – or rather, my shoes – started to crap out.  I knew my shoes were nearing the end of their running life since I’d taken them to Disneyland in the summer.  But, as it was my first pair of Altra Provisioness shoes, I didn’t know the indicator for dead.  In my old shoes it was always my knees.  At 12km I started to get severe hip flexor pain.  I haven’t had that in years!  That was obviously the indicator!  And so, I slowed down, walked when I needed to, and grimaced my way along for the next 9km.

At about 19ish-km I came upon Brandi and Kendall.  They were steady, but both hurting and ready for the race to be over (me too)!  I decided it would be far more fun to finish the race with Brandi, seeing as we intended to run together anyways.  Kendall went along ahead of us, looking strong so close to the finish.  Brandi and I decided it was for the best if we walked when necessary.  We had it figured out that we could walk a large chunk of the last couple of kilometres and still make sub-2:30.  On the last downhill we were surprised to see Solana out taking pictures (and waiting for marathoners Nikki and Krista)!  Brandi went over for a hug and I kept on going, fearing that if I stopped I wouldn’t start again.  At the last corner the 2:30 pace bunny was waiting.  It was such a nice touch that she was around to see some of us finish!

I “sprinted” to the finish, gathering Spud as I went, and we crossed the line together.  I finished in 2:27:08, taking 20 minutes off of last year’s time.

Even though I finished only a few seconds ahead of Brandi it took me a couple of minutes to find her.  But when I did I gave her a huge hug!  While I was happy with my time I was even happier (and super proud) that she got her sub-2:30!!

Totally stole this from Brandi’s blog…

  Oh, and did I mention that the medals for this race are obscenely huge?!


An Ambassadorship

It’s that time of the running year when training for a fall event is in full swing. And, amazingly, I have a fall race to train for. I have been asked to be a blogger for the Surrey International World Music Marathon! I was a blogger for their inaugural race in 2012 and I’m excited to be invited back.

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Last year I ran the half on a bit of training and, while I had a good time, it was nowhere near to being a PR-worthy race performance. This year things are different. I’ve been running a lot more as well as cross training. I am hoping that I can PR or at least come close! I am also hoping the medal is similar to last year’s 3″ round behemoth!

The course this year has been redone to be less on closed roads and more in city parks. This should be great for the runners! I live close to Surrey, but rarely go over (have to cross a bridge!) so it will be nice to see a bit more of the city.

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If you live in Metro Vancouver I would love to see you there! The race runs on Sunday, 29 September 2013. There is a marathon, marathon relay, half marathon, half marathon relay, 5km, and Kids Fun Run. It is friendly to pretty much all abilities and ages of runners!

If you have other goal races – I know there are lots in October – this is a great opportunity to give back to the running community and volunteer. I’d love to see / hear you out on course! You can sign up here: www.surreymarathon.com/volunteer.

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218 Days / 1 Day

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Source
And just like that my 2013 A-race is set! Extremely excited to #RunVan again. Goals coming soon, but I have a half to run on Sunday first.


Some Magic Would Be Nice – Surrey Half Saturday

Today marks the first day of training for my upcoming half marathon, being run as part of the Surrey International World Music Marathon weekend.  I haven’t run a half since June 2010 as I focused on 3 fulls, one ultra, and, now, adapting to heart-rate training.  I guess the only thing I can really say about how I’m feeling is, “This should be interesting.”

I have only ever trained using one program’s methods – that of the Running Room.  If you’re Canadian you know that RR is a bit of a Canadian institution.  You might not be a fan, nor do you have to be, but when I was starting out in 2009 they were the closest running store offering a learn to run program.  I liked their promotion of walk/run training (all long runs are done as 10+1s) and have found some great friends because of them.  However, I dropped out of the half clinic last summer due to never being able to make the runs and, to be honest, not really clicking with the instructor.  You might remember that I also dropped the full clinic this past spring once I had the lactate test because I simply couldn’t keep up.  So where do I go this year?

Well, I’m not “going” anywhere.  This is a purely self-directed training cycle as it didn’t make any sense to drop out of a 3rd clinic!  I am really excited to be following the training program found in Train Like A Mother by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea, who also penned Run Like A Mother.  It’s titled HALF-MARATHON: Own It and I have high hopes for it!  It follows the standard training regimen of long runs, easy and recovery runs, hills, tempo runs, and speed work.  I think the reason I want to do it is that it’s just different enough from what I’ve been doing to seem new.  I get the principles already so I’m not intimidated, but they are much more specific than what I have been doing so it will be challenging.  What I also like is that they include what zones I should be running in and, since I’ve already got my numbers (you could do it by perceived effort if you haven’t tested), I should be able to achieve those runs with (hopefully) few problems.

Another thing that is different for me is that my long runs are moving to Saturdays!  I have been a firm Sunday LSD runner since I began running.  However, with work commitments and Colin also wanting to do long runs, Saturdays just seemed like a better fit.  I’ll be getting out really early or going out in the evening depending on my shifts, but at least it will keep it interesting!

As you can see from the post title this will be a regular blog feature.  Surrey Half Saturday will cover how my training is going, what I was up to during the week (training log style), and any other stuff going on with the event.  Please check back each week to follow along, give me encouragement or a kick in the butt, and let me know how your running is doing as well.  If you are running any of the Surrey races tell me so we can catch up on race day!


Three Things Thursday: Everything’s Coming Up Roses

GOOD

I won another Twitter contest!  I be getting a prize pack from Shower Pill (makers of towel-like wipes for stinky athletes) just by following them on Twitter and retweeting about their contest.  Yes, it’s marketing at it’s best, but I’ll take it!

I haven’t even tried their product, but I already love their customer service.  I was contacted, told that they didn’t have my shirt size, and was it okay to send a substitute size?  For the “hassle” (I guess) of potentially being out the shirt as I wanted it they also said they’d send a second box of wipes!   I assume most companies would just have had a take it or leave it attitude since it was a contest so I’m extremely impressed!  And now I have extra wipes for my stinky self at Ragnar in June.

BETTER

 I finally got to try Nuun All Day!  The new line is enhanced with vitamins rather than electrolytes so, stating the obvious, you can add it to your water all day!  Smart cookies, those Nuun people…  

It comes in four flavours: Blueberry Pomegranate, Grape Raspberry, Grapefruit Orange, and Tangerine Lime; there are 15 tabs per tube and it works out to be the same cost per tab as regular Nuun.  Colin and I tried them all out yesterday.  A little more water than I needed to drink right before bed, but I was excited to try them.  The order above is how I’d rate my favourites.  Since I don’t drink water very often (it doesn’t taste like anything!) I decided to see how a very diluted tab would taste.  I put one tab in 48oz/1.4L.  It is perfect for me!  Just enough flavour and colour to trick me into drinking water.  I’m sure I’ll still drink it according to directions (1 per 16oz/473mL), but I’m loving this alternative.

Just a little bonus for my American readers who want to try All Day or buy any regular Nuun for that matter (sorry, Canada, they don’t ship up here yet):

Use the code bloggerslovenuun when purchasing at shop.nuun.com to get 15% off your order!  

BEST

It never ceases to amaze me how much social media can open doors or what happens when you get up the courage to ask.  For the second time this year I get to be a race ambassador!  After completing Earth Run on Sunday I was tweeted a congratulations from the Surrey Marathon for finishing the race.  If you remember from a few posts back I was considering them as my fall marathon until I decided I just wasn’t ready for another full.  Anyways, I said thanks and cheekily asked if they needed an ambassador for their race.  Turns out the answer was yes!

I am going from having nothing on the schedule after Ragnar in July to training for a half marathon on 30 September!  You can bet that there will be many blog posts about my training in the weeks to come so please, please keep me accountable!


Monday Musings

1.  Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final is tonight.  If you read this blog you know who I’m rooting for.  That’s all I’ll say out of fear of jinxing it.*  

2.  There is nothing worse than obsessing over things that are out of your control.  I submitted my entry for the Nuun Hood To Coast contest on Friday.  The problem with being somewhat proactive is that now I have to wait.  And wait.  And wait.  You get the idea.  The contest doesn’t even close until the 15th.  They don’t announce the team until the 22nd.  

I’m confident and my entry will speak for itself.  But I’m terrible at biding my time.  Just ask Colin.  I’m a ball of anxious nerves.  It sounds kind of silly, but I’m honestly sure this is why I don’t put myself out there too much.  The “will they like me” question is killing me because what if they don’t?  In my head I know that it has no bearing on me.  That’s the insecure 15 year old me talking.  It’s not like they’re going to send me an email saying, “You know what?  Yeah, just not good enough and we don’t like you.”  Either my entry was more creative than the other hundreds or thousands of entries or it wasn’t.  If I don’t make it onto the team, I don’t.

After reading that last paragraph it’s obvious I simply need to let go and stop over-analyzing. Easier said than done, of course.  I’m sure you’ll hear about it a couple more times before the 22nd.

3.  My half-marathon clinic starts tomorrow!  Hip hip hooray!  It’s 16 weeks long (I think) and will train me for the half in Victoria, BC in October.  Colin’s going to be training on his own for the full.  It’ll be nice because I’ll be able to watch him finish since my race will be over first.  I’m so glad that my running is back to being scheduled.  I’ve been so lazy lately.  The best thing is that the runs is how (not) long they are.  I’ll be able to do most of them on my own since they’re short (think 4km tempo runs, etc.) and it stays light out for longer.

4.  I’m considering having a Facebook page for Running 42km.  I think my real-life friends might be sick to death of all my running related status updates and blog post links.  Question is, though, would any of you “like” it?  It’s another added thing so I’d only want to do it if you are interested.  Let me know.  

5.  My parents, Colin and Spud surprised me yesterday with my birthday cake.  This is only significant because my birthday was back on 17 March.  Things were just too busy around my birthday for my mum to make my labour intensive cake so we had a different one that Spud picked out.  Of course, being a mature 31 years old, I complained that I didn’t get “my” birthday cake.  For the past month or so the cake and icing were in the freezer, but there was never a chance to assemble it.  Spud did very well not spoiling the surprise yesterday!  I wrote off his comment, “Happy Birthday, birthday girl!” (said with a big hug) as just him being his cute 4 year old self since he made me a block birthday cake a couple of days before.  I’ll post a picture of what’s left of it for Wordless Wednesday!


*No snide remarks from you Barefoot Neil Z.


"It’s Round, It’s Squishy… It’s My Sponge!"

This is what M said to me last night after he lifted my shirt up to lay his head on my bare stomach. Wow, now there’s a reason to do a core workout if I’ve ever heard one! Good thing that I was thinking of this already or I would have been really offended… Kerrie over at Mom vs. Marathon mentioned that she was doing this workout and it looks totally do-able. I like the fact that it covers pretty much everything and is only 15 minutes long! Now I just have to get myself an excercise ball (or steal one from Mum and Dad – hint, hint, if you still have yours).

Other fun stuff and ramblings about my weekend:

  • I found out today that I won another giveaway! And it’s another Bondi Band! Sarah at Running Mama hosted a giveaway to celebrate having over 100 followers and her husband chose my name out of a hat. I’ll get one of the two shown below, but I have to wait to find out which one. There was another winner and she gets first choice. I think that it’ll be nice when the weather is a little better – my running hat is starting to smell look a little worse for wear.

  • I had a really good run on Sunday. I was supposed to be tapering for my half marathon that’s coming up on the 27th, but ever since I missed my 10km tempo last Wednesday (see last post #6) I had been craving a run. Now, this has never happened to me. Usually if I miss/skip a run I don’t feel the need to make up for it. However, I just HAD to get out on a longer run. Thankfully C was very understanding; though I would have understood if he hadn’t been given that it was Father’s Day and I left him at home with the boy. We ran 13km over a fairly hilly route in about 1-1/2 hours. It was great! Lesson learned for the day: Gu Roctane is no better for me than regular Gu – for half the price and better flavours, I’ll stick with what I already know.
  • C and I have started doing his strength/stretch exercises from when he was in physio. I’m pretty sure it’s starting to help (or else it’s just being hopped up on extra-strength ibuprofin). As long as I fix whatever it is that’s bothering my leg right now – here’s praying it’s only residual from bad shoes, not ITB issues – I think I’ll be fine. The only part that bothers me is that it takes over 30 minutes to complete. At least we can do it together – now that’s romantic!

T-Minus 6 days to the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon!


One Thursday Down, 17 More To Go

Today was my first marathon clinic night. I was anxious, jittery, and basically felt like I was going to throw up. I showed up 15 minutes early just to make sure that I wasn’t the last one there. When I got there I got my name tag, sat down and waited. A few more people arrived up and then we started with the introductions.

I’m very thankful that I was one of the first ones to say hi. My goal – to finish The Marathon, time TBD – seemed a little sad after hearing everybody else. Now I know that I can’t compare myself to men and women that have run longer races. It’s just very hard to sit there and think you have an attainable goal when 4 out of 12 in the group have BQ’d.* It’s also hard to hear that some of them have run 10+ marathons. I can’t help but feeling extremely intimidated, even if the more experienced runners are the pace leaders and they are there to help the rest of us out. Now it’s not that I don’t think I can do it. I do. Everyone is really nice and I know that they’ll be supportive too. But really. How can I not feel a tiny bit discouraged if I’m one of the only ones running their first marathon? It seems pretty far away still. (And, Mum, even though I say this I won’t drop out…)

The good thing about the night though was that I’ve slotted myself in with a pace group. We did a 6.7km (4ish mile) steady run and I totally kept up – about 46min total. As long as everything goes well during training my goal at the moment is 4hr 15min. So I’m happy with how things went and am looking forward to doing my training runs. Everything starts off nice and slow for the first few weeks – but since I’m training for a 1/2 I kind of miss those runs – and then we get into uncharted (for me) territory. It’s not too long until I start long runs that are past the half marathon distance. I’m still a little out of my element right now, but after meeting everybody and going out tonight I’m a lot calmer and, dare I say, a little more enthusiastic.

*For those of you who aren’t up on the lingo (and I wasn’t a month ago) that means they have qualified for and have run or are preparing to run the Boston Marathon, the Holy Grail of Running. I’m just looking for a PR (personal record, also known as PB or personal best) which I will have even if I have to crawl across the finish line.


4 Days Until My Marathon Clinic Starts!

My marathon training clinic starts Thursday! I’m not sure if I should be excited, anxious or sick to my stomach… I think I’m all three, but right now more anxious than anything.

However, I came across a quote today on another runner’s blog (thanks Mel @ Tall Mom on the Run) that I’m pretty sure will be my inspiration for the next 18 weeks:

Don’t let what
you cannot do
interfere with what
you can do.
– John Wooden

I think this will help me get through all the fears I have and hopefully overcome the mind-games I’m sure that I’ll play with myself. It’s getting posted on my bulletin board and anywhere else C might let me put it up as soon as I’m done here!

Welcome

Let me introduce myself to those of you who aren’t family and friends that have been badgered into reading this. I’m Alanna. I’m a married mum of one living in the lovely suburbs of Vancouver, B.C. and I have crazily set myself the goal of running a marathon.

There, I said it. I am planning on running a whopping 42km in October, although “running” might be stretching the truth. A good time would be nice, but isn’t necessary. I think I’ll just be happy with crossing the finish line of my own accord.

This blog/journal/online accounting of my journey to The Marathon (capitalized to give it the respect it deserves) is going to be my way of holding myself accountable. Please, please sign up or bookmark this site to follow my journey. You don’t have to check in often (unless you are really that interested in my progress), but I figure that the more people out there who will ask me how my training is going the better.

There won’t be much activity on here for a while as my marathon clinic doesn’t begin until 10 June 2010. I’ll post infrequently about my half marathon training (which my husband C is doing with me) and my foray into bootcamp (which he is not and makes fun of me for). I’ll write more about why I thought running The Marathon would be a good goal to have – something about turning 30… I’m sure that there will be ramblings about things that seem to have very little to do about running as well as my love-hate relationship with the sport.

So, for now, this is me.

In about 6 months, I’ll be a marathoner.