Yes, I’m Still Alive…

My mum pointed out to me today that it’s been a while since my last post.  Yup, a week and a bit ago.  Oops!

I haven’t had a lot going on lately that’s exciting hence (fancy word for the day) the lack of writing. Here’s a short list of stuff that’s happened:

• Finally got over flu. Thank goodness. I would prefer not to deal with that again this year… Gained back the weight in a matter of hours days. Still pretty tired though.

• Learned how to NOT break in shoes: Part I: After looking at the store closest to me where I could use my discount I found out they didn’t have my size in stock. Ran a very pathetic 10km on my birthday. Putting Dr. Scholl’s cheapy insoles under the stock ones doesn’t help if the actual foam in the sole is shot. B****ed, complained and hobbled for the last 2km due to severe knee and hip-flexor pain. I picked up my new pair of shoes last Saturday at the start of work and “broke them in” during my 8 hour shift. Walking from the front of the store to the back a few times didn’t really do much I don’t think.

• Learned hot to NOT break in shoes: Part II: Ran 32km on Sunday. The long run was in downtown Vancouver along a pretty good chunk of the marathon route. The Good: friends, sunshine!, adequate fueling. The Bad: worried about shoes the whole time (same series, new model). The Ugly: made use of EVERY bathroom on the route. Thankfully my friend was extremely patient and understanding. She was more than willing to run at my slow pace and stop when necessary. Bonus: she had meds! Now that’s when you know your friends… we decided/reaffirmed that no topics are off-limits!

• The new shoes (Asics GT-2160) worked out really well. I went up a half a size – yippee I wear an 11 now (sarcasm) – since my store doesn’t sell 10 ½. Turns out there’s not much difference. Yes, it’s about ½ cm longer, but my toes probably need the room. When I put on my old shoes my little toes feel a tiny bit cramped. I didn’t trip over my feet at all during the long run. No blisters either! The only issue was that I had a tender spot on the top of my left foot because the laces tie in a slightly different spot. Nothing a little toughening up can’t fix…

• Lived in compression for about 12 hours after run – calf sleeves during run and socks after. My lower legs were great on Monday, but my quads were so stiff. I need a compression suit!

• Wednesday was the last day of hills for this clinic! Booyah! I actually did a happy dance at the top of the hill (5km at 1min run/2min walk intervals). Pretty sure I looked like Snoopy, but there were only a few friends around so it was okay.

• A non-running question:  If you have a 3 ½ year old do they listen to you?  Please tell me that Spud having to be told things a dozen or so times is a stage…  I have some luck with counting to 3, but I can only threaten to take things away so often.  Today was a challenge with a lot of Spud “not using his ears.”  Give me some sort of hope to grasp on to! 


Three Things Thursday

1.  I finally get to go down to the states on Saturday and pick up a few things that I won/got for review.  I have to pay about $30 to ransom them from the mailbox service, but since I didn’t pay anything in the first place that’s okay.  I’ll post next week about my loot!  This will also serve as a cherry coke run.  The powers-that-be in Canada didn’t think enough of us like it up here so I have to cross a border to get my fix.  I may be convinced by Colin to buy the cherry coke zero, but I really seem to like my HFCS.

2.  Darren, if you’re reading this please skip this point.  I’m actually enjoying hill training.  They suck and make me hurt (sore abs last night), but I feel so much better for doing them.  Yesterday we did intervals rather than repeats and it was great to mix it up a little.  The schedule said 7 x 600m repeats, but instead we ran 1min/walked 2 min for +/- 4km.  I ended up doing about 10 repeats.  It helped that I had my iPod with me and listened to My Chemical Romance the whole time.  Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na) is extremely catchy.  Thankfully the weather was perfect.  The downhill hurt the back of my leg/ankle a little, but I think it was from my shoe hitting it when I was trying to slow myself down.  

3.  I am so thankful for family and friends who are willing to support our running.  I know that marathon training takes a lot personally, but when you have kids it’s just that little bit harder.  Since Colin and I both train for the same events it’s necessary for us to farm Spud out every Sunday.  We are extremely blessed to have people who will watch him for ridiculous amounts of time.  You know who you are and you are greatly appreciated!

Three Things Thursday

1.  I have a cold and it sucks.  Spud thoughtfully passed it along last week and now I’m stuffed up, but have a drippy nose at the same time (?).  Hopefully getting out to run will get it out of my system.

2.  I abhor am learning to love hill repeats again.  Every training cycle I do them and then after every race I slack off.  I completed week 1/7 yesterday with 4 repeats.  I’m supposed to do 600m hills with a grade of 6-8%.  I figure that my 410m hill with an average grade of 10% (12% for 200m, turn corner, 8% for 210m) is good enough.  Thankfully my friend came by with her little girl and she was nice enough to watch the kids at a park while I ran.  This meant that I didn’t have to push Spud up the hills with me.  I know I won’t be this spoiled every week, but it made my run so much more enjoyable!

3.  I’m off to bake.  I don’t do it often – it’s more Colin’s thing, but I can make a couple of things pretty well.  Today it’s Apple Crisp and Banana Bread.  Good thing I run so often so I can eat what I make! 

Finished product: Is it bad that I want this to be my dinner when I get back from clinic?

Last Day for GU Contest!

Just a friendly reminder that my GU contest closes tonight at midnight PST. Click here to see what’s up for grabs – it’s not a lot, but, hey, it’s free GU!

Here’s what else I’ve done this week and what’s on the agenda:

– Ran my first 32km (20 mile) run on Sunday! Yay! Made it through with only one small blister and a hot spot, which is a big improvement over last week. I learned that I have to work on my fueling better as my timing for my GUs was all over the place and I ended up with pretty bad stomach cramps at 30km. I have to say, though, that having a nap after my long run definitely helped with both the queasies and the aching legs – must remember for next time!

– Hard Core Club week 3 started. Last week was pretty much a bust and I only got 1 session in. I was trying to skip last night, but sucked it up and pushed through. It helps that Colin has to do his physio exercises too so I had company.

– Last hill repeats for this training session tomorrow! It’s technically 10 repeats, but our route is extra long we only have to do 5. Psychologically it’s better I guess…

Come back tomorrow to find out if you are the winner!

The Week (or so) in Review

The first, best and most exciting news is that I now have real, legitimate followers. Not to discount all of my friends and family who have told me they are checking this out though. I truly appreciate everyone’s support, regardless of the method, but it’s a huge ego boost to see those little icons in the sidebar. It’s nice to know the running community is so friendly and welcoming!

The other major event of the last week is that I started bootcamp. A friend and I were “encouraged” by another friend (you know who you are!) to join her on Monday nights at a local park for a weekly pseudo-Mum’s Night Out. Little did I know that it is really a mild form of torture. I’m not sure why I expected to be eased into the class, but that’s not the way it went. I will admit that it was a good workout. However, it massively kicked my butt. I could barely walk that night and it just went downhill from there. My husband, C, thought this was extremely funny and also derived great pleasure from poking me when I wasn’t paying attention. He commented that he figured if he pushed me off of the bed I’d just roll around on the floor like a beetle on its’ back. I would have thought this was mildly humorous if it hadn’t hurt to laugh. Needless to say I missed my run on Tuesday.

I think I’ll insert a little bit of a pity party here: My Wednesday (14th) stunk. I still couldn’t move my legs and I had my first hill training session to contend with. There was no way I could get out of it. Thankfully it was only 3 x 400m repeats and C took our son, M’s, buggy for 2 of those. The only thing I took away from that run (because, let’s face it, it was kind of a garbage run for me) was that the pain in my legs receded. That was a nice surprise and a learning experience for later days.

The best day of the week had to be Thursday. Just for variety I decided it would be okay to throw a giant (for me) hill into the tempo run mix. Even with this obstacle, which I will admit I walked part of, I ran 5km in 31.20. Bootcamp must be doing something good for my legs and core! It’s (I think) the fastest I’ve ever run that distance so I was pretty darned proud of myself. I was also happy that I finished my run before Pearl Jam finished their Backspacer album.*

Sunday saw me, C and M go out for a 10km long run. We do 10 and 1s – something else to come back to – and discovered that I should never push the buggy for the first half of a run. I’m slow for the first 20-30 minutes once I start and C expressed slightly veiled hatred for pushing for the end of the run. I guess we now know how our other long runs are going to go. We followed our run up with an 8km walk since it was a lovely, warm and sunny day.

The rest of the week has gone by fairly quickly. Bootcamp on Monday didn’t cripple me quite as much (notice I said “as much” – it still hurt). I made C force me to run on Tuesday, but he was nice enough to take buggy duty for the whole 4km. Unfortunately I still struggled to keep tempo pace. The bonus was that I didn’t wimp out and skip a scheduled run. Wednesday we were back to hills. I walked up the top half of the hill both times I had M, but, seeing as 33lb child + 25lb BOB = 58lbs to shove uphill, I won’t feel guilty for that. I ran through the ones I did without him so that’s good enough for me. I can’t even feel bad about taking the shortcut home.

Today is a day off, and then back to running.

See you next week!

*At another time I might get into my love of running to 90s alternative rock – a total throwback to when I was in high school.