long run

Surrey Half Saturday: A Tale Of Two Weeks

You may have noticed that after all the hype of a Saturday feature post detailing my half marathon training there was a distinct lack of a post last week. That was due to an EPIC FAILURE on my part to do any running other than my long run on Saturday the 7th. So, sorry for the hiatus, but there you go.

This week has been marginally, but not much, better. As you can see I added a run to the week. Scheduling should be interesting since I’m currently training at work for a full-time position starting in September. There’s going to be a lot of evening running in my future!

Saturday 7th: 16km long run. I won’t be publishing paces simply because I’m heart-rate training and am still uber-slow. Let’s just leave it that I felt like I was plodding along the whole time. I left at about 9, but it wasn’t early enough as it got really hot by the time I was on my way home. It also didn’t help that the program I’m following called for the 3 middle km to be at tempo pace. I hit my paces just fine, but due to the heat and exertion I just couldn’t get my heart-rate down fast enough after that. I had to walk for a good km to make it somewhat normal. I think if it calls for that again I’ll just do that portion at the end.

Wednesday 11th: My sister-in-law and I decided that we wanted to run together in the morning. Unfortunately (for us) her husband had to be at work early so we had to set out at an ungodly hour of the morning. I was confused when my alarm woke me up at 4:45am, but I got up, dressed, and headed out for our 5:20am run. We ran a short 3km loop around her neighbourhood before she headed home. Since Colin wasn’t even getting up until 7am I took the chance to get in my run for the day. I ran firmly in zone 2 (a no-no, but I wanted to run with someone) with Marie. I can’t do that too often since that’s what got me in this mess to begin with! After I left her I picked up the pace to zone 3 and ran another 3km at tempo pace. Felt weird since I’ve been so focused on zone 1 running for the last few months. When I got to cooling down I did part of our original loop again. A gentleman out for a bike ride said, “Good for you,” as he rode by – I guess he thought I was just a beginner since I was going so slowly! Wasn’t too keen on whatever was rustling around in the bushes and got lost in her housing complex, but finally made it back to the car with about 7km done for the day.

Saturday 14th: 19km long run. Well, that’s what was on the schedule. It turned out to be very hot today so I changed up my plan. I originally was going to have Colin drop me off 19km from home and I’d run there. However, it made more sense to not be in the blazing sun so I ran from home and got in 15.59km. As I said on Facebook, I’m stupidly proud of this as I ran in my Vibram Five Fingers.

That’s it for this week – I won’t be posting next Saturday as I will be running the Ragnar Northwest Passage relay!


Three Things Thursday: Spud’s Christmas, Longer Runs, and A Five Fingers Question

1.  Just got home from Spud’s playschool Christmas “concert”.  There were only 4 kids there, he being the only boy, and they sang a few songs for the parents/relatives that were able to make it.  Super-freaking-cute!!!  He sang some of the songs, pouted though the ones he didn’t like (“I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas”), and yelled at the top of his lungs during their final song, “We Wish You A Merry Christmas.”  For a boy who whined that he was too nervous to perform in front of so many people – his words; there were about 10 – he did very well.  Once he figured out that people would laugh when he bowed after every song he hammed it up.  Kind of makes me wish that I posted pictures and videos of him on here…

2.  Did a couple of long runs earlier this week.  Many thanks to my friend Gina who had Spud over for a playdate even though it was her birthday!  As much as I didn’t want to run after 25km on Monday – it had a 2km hill that gained 5ooft in elevation right at the half way point – I put on my big girl running pants and went out to run 11-1/2 more on Tuesday.  Needless to say, compression was my best friend on Wednesday.  Didn’t get a run in today due to Spud’s do, but will hopefully get out tomorrow if it’s not too gross out.

3.  Anyone have experience fitting Vibram Five Fingers?  I measured my foot, purchased a pair of Bikila’s at work, and brought them home to try on.  According to the site, once I add the 1/8″, I should fit in a 41.  However, they seem way too big.  My big toe has lots of room (the end of my toe barely reaches the part where the sole wraps over the top of the toe) and the others just float around with a good finger width at the end.  Now, my feet are big, but my toes aren’t, so maybe this has something to do with it?  My big toe is my longest toe.  Colin refers to the rest of my toes as “cocktail wienies.”  Are Five Fingers made for people with finger toes?  Should I just go down a size and see how they work out?  If you have a pair how much room do you have at the end of your longest toe?


Monday Musings

→  Congratulations to all my friends (in real life and online) who completed the Boston Marathon today!  I hope all of you had an amazing experience whether it was the race of your dreams or not.  I can’t wait to hear all about it!

→  I ran my last long-ish run on Sunday (23km/14mi).  Thankfully the weather was great – sun, cloud, and a little bit of wind.  I didn’t have any fueling issues so I’m pretty confident for race day.  I felt a little sluggish, but I’m thinking that it was due to running on pea gravel for quite a bit of the run and my legs weren’t used to it.

→  It’s TAPER TIME!!!  Less than 2 weeks to go to race day.  I’m thankful that I’ve been through this before and understand that Taper Madness is a real affliction.  I’ve already started to have crazy dreams.  The one last night had me running the first half of my marathon on a treadmill (I’ve never run on one at all…).  Then the next day I had to run the remainder of the race, but there was something to do with trains, a shopping centre downtown, and multiple running friends.  I kind of wish I could remember it accurately.  I’m sure that the paranoia of becoming sick will kick in soon as well.

→  I missed my blogging anniversary (blogiversary?) a couple of days ago.  As of 15 April it’s been a year since I started rambling on here.  Thanks to everyone who stops by (more than once!) and takes the time to read and comment on things that I’m not sure have much value.  I know how much other people’s blogs have helped me out and inspired me and if I’ve done that for even one of you that’s awesome!  I’d love to promise some sort of giveaway to celebrate, but you shouldn’t hold your breath…  Eventually I’ll save enough pennies to do something HUGE.  You’ll just have to stop by once in a while to see if it ever happens. ☺


Zombie Feet

Or How To Be Able To Refer To A 32km/20mi Long Run As Awesome Even Though It Was Pouring Rain The Whole Time…

This past Sunday was the final extra long run before the beginning of taper.  I’ve done 32km before so I knew that I was capable of the distance.  What I was unsure of this time around was the weather.  Here is my facebook status from Saturday night:

Colin had gone to a friend’s birthday party on Friday night and came home late-ish.  You know you’re old/an athlete when 11:30 is late.  Of course we chatted for a bit and watched some tv and then we figured we should go to bed when it was 12:30.  Nothing like getting about 6 and a half hours sleep before a long run.  Since my mind never wants to shut down once I’m in bed I decided to visualize my run route.  Kind of like counting sheep for runners, I guess.  It was actually quite beneficial.  I got to about 21km before I fell asleep.  At 2am Spud got up and moved to the couch.  I started up the visualization where I left off and finished the run before dozing off again.
We woke up 10 minutes after our first alarm (yes, we set multiples) to the sound of rain on the windows.  Turns out Environment Canada was pretty spot on.  Great.  That made me want to get out of bed…  I decided to go with “better warm and soaked” then “be dry for the first 25 minutes and then have the rain jacket be useless because the water-proofing is no match for this rain.”  It was definitely the better choice.  I ran out of time before I’d had time to make oatmeal for breakfast (my usual) and ended up having a bowl of Kellog’s Vector (Colin’s usual).  It worked out really well and my stomach wasn’t angry at me for switching it up.
Colin laughed at me when we got to the store because I ran from the car to the door.  I figured there was no use getting even more wet than necessary.  I didn’t want to be cold before I’d even begun.  I made sure that I had printed out the route (and covered it in lots of box tape) prior to the run.  
My pacing was pretty good for this run.  I tuned my iPod to my local rock station and happily listened to the “90s Brunch” for 3-1/2 hours.  I made sure that I didn’t try to keep up with people I knew were faster than me.  For the most part I was running between groups, but that was okay.  My final overall pace was 7:05/km and that included my 1 minute walk breaks every 20 minutes.
This was a great run for me because:
  • I dressed perfectly for the weather.  People driving by probably wondered a) why I was out in the rain and b) why I was out in the rain without a jacket, but I was warm.
  • My stomach didn’t give me any heck.  I actually fueled really well.  Fish and rice for dinner on Saturday, Vector for breakfast and GUs on the hour during my run.  After the first GU I had dates and raisins every 1/2 hour, however, I think I still might use meds on race day just so I have no TMI surprises…
  • I visualized the run.  I know I only did it to keep from worrying about nothing, but it totally worked out for me.  Definitely going to do this for race day!
  • I wasn’t trying to keep up with anyone.  I chatted when I was with people, but knew when to slow down and let them leave me behind.  
  • My music rocked (reliving my youth and all that).  I’ve found that having the DJ and commercials actually allows me to zone out.  Not knowing what songs are coming up helps me out too.  I’m not waiting for a certain song to come on to get me motivated.
  • No blisters.  Score!

Things to note when running in the rain:

  • Don’t worry about getting wet.  Seems obvious, but give in to the inevitable.  The earlier you embrace the fact that you will have extra cushioning in your shoes from all the water the better. 
  • Use some sort of body lubricant.  I have used Body Glide in the past, but haven’t been using it lately.  I won some Chamois Butt’r from Kevin at Half Tri-ing a while back and it’s been great.  I don’t ride a bike and technically it’s for the inside of your shorts, but it works really well for feet!  Chafing was the number one complaint from group members, Colin and I included.  It’s also good to remember where you’ve chafed in the past and prepare… I totally forgot that I chafe on my torso directly under my hrm strap (due to my backpack’s chest strap).  
  • Injinji socks keep your toes warm.  Each of my toes was in a little cocoon and it was wonderful.
  • Do not take your gloves off if at all possible.  Unfortunately I had to otherwise the toilet paper would have just stuck to my hand.  My hands were freezing from the time I struggled to put them back on at 16km until I was finished.
  • Your shoes will not be nice and white when you return.  Why I was dodging puddles and mud is beyond me.  My feet were soaked, but I really didn’t want brown shoes.  Besides, the rain washed most of the mud away anyways.
  • Be prepared for idiot drivers to splash you.  Luckily I was able to only get one small splash from the knee down.  Others weren’t so fortunate.  If you are a driver please be considerate and at least try to avoid the puddles.  If you don’t please be prepared to be cursed out and have rude gestures made in your general direction.
  • Bring a towel if you’ve run from your car or a store.  It might be as wet as you are after you’ve attempted to dry off, but it can be used as an inferior blanket as well.
  • Don’t expect to look good at the end.  Drowned rat immediately came to mind.  Colin called me Salacious Crumb when I took my hair out of it’s ponytail…
Yup, we’re nerdy like that…
The Ugly of the run:
  • My feet.  I get this odd type of eczema on my hands and feet if I get too hot that makes little blisters under my skin and then the skin eventually falls off.  Gross, I know.  This happened last summer and then again a few weeks back.  Things looked to be getting better recently – like all the peeling was finished.  Then I added in a 3-1/2 hour foot soak.  Be thankful that even I don’t want to see pictures of it again…  The only thing I thought to describe the way they looked was zombie feet, hence the title of this post.  Aren’t you glad you read the whole thing just to find that out?  

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!


Real Runners Do It In Compression Socks

This past Sunday marked our last LONG, long runs and Colin’s first “run-in” with a bear. Scroll down to see my short blurb about his run – he’s complaining that he’s getting short shrift, but it’s my blog. 🙂

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At 32km my run wasn’t as intimidating as the first time I did that distance, but I was still a little apprehensive about it. We had planned to meet at the store at 7:30 to carpool over to the new UBC Running Room in Vancouver as they were hosting a group run.

Problem #1: No one, and I mean no one, that I usually run with was able to make it. A bit of a surprise really. No biggie, though, I figured I’d find a bunch of people to run with once we got there.

Problem #2: Another store had also decided to host a group run so there were only a couple of stores present. The other store that made it out to UBC had planned their own run out to Richmond while we were doing the downtown tour.

Problem #3: When those of us going downtown sorted ourselves out there was no 4:15 pace group like I’d hoped. There was me, Mary from Vancouver, and Christine from Surrey. Awesome! Mary wasn’t training for a marathon and only wanted to do half the distance. Christine wanted to do the full 32km, but was on her own too having only found out about the run from staff at the Richmond store a couple of days before.

So started my last long run before taper. Apparently the 23km next week doesn’t qualify as long (?), but I digress.

We started the run with a few kilometres of trails. Since Mary was a local (re: not from the ‘burbs) she convinced us that we should stay on the trail that paralleled the road rather than go down to the beach. It was really nice, but, man, it was hilly! She’d say, “oh, it’s just a little up hill here” and then we’d find ourselves going up a super steep slope. But it was worth it. Especially since I skipped out on my final hill repeats a few weeks back.

When we got out to the beach we made a quick pit-stop at the concession – it’s great to run with women who’ve had kids… and then were on our way. The run took us along part of the route of my last half marathon which was nice since I knew where we were going. Mary decided to turn around just before the Burrard Bridge and head back, but we carried on. It didn’t kill me this time like it did in the half, but I’m pretty sure that’s because we were at kilometre 12 not 18 and I wasn’t racing.

After the bridge we headed down to the seawall and it was a great to be running relatively flat. There was lots to look at too. The local Aids Walk was on as well as the Terry Fox Run. I have to admit that the tents at both with signs for pancake breakfasts and snacks were very tempting! Christine and I made another pit-stop at Lost Lagoon in Stanley Park and then went the wrong way. We weren’t lost by any means, but skipped a chunk of the seawall that we were supposed to do. I’m pretty sure we didn’t lose any distance here and we at least missed a long light at a major intersection.

Once out of Stanley Park we were on the way “back”. We still had 14km to go (so we thought, more on that later) as we headed along Denman. We’d been running for a while – I think it was around 11 – and, if you know Vancouver, you know that Denman is full of restaurants. I think the worst was that we passed a Mongolian grill place that had just heated up their grill. It smelled so good! My stomach liked my GU’s, but definitely thought that real food sounded better. We hit the seawall again and crossed under the Burrard and Granville Bridges. We were both getting a bit convinced at this point that our run was going to be over 32km. We couldn’t reconcile what we were supposed to have left with where we were. However, we thought we might be mistaken and carried on – because, really, at this point we couldn’t do much else.

We went over our second bridge of the day (Cambie) and it started to rain a little. Thankfully by the time we went four blocks it was gone; Vancouver had missed most of the forecast thunderstorms. I think that I really would have preferred the rain to what was to come – hills. Every street seemed to be a long gradual hill. We were at the 24km mark and Christine’s IT band and my feet were starting to feel it. Each time we stopped (we were doing 10 + 1s) Christine had a hard time starting again. We slowed down a little, but I don’t think that really helped all that much. My feet were feeling it because my shoes are toast. They started squeaking and the padding in the forefoot was pretty flat. We made another stop at the Broadway Running Room to fill up our water and just rest.

Back on the road feeling a bit better we set off into residential areas. This isn’t a run down part of town! Lovely houses, many of them restored, and quiet streets. The sun was shining and we were plodding along quite nicely. Thankfully there was yet another Running Room to visit (a necessity for me) at Alma. Once we finished there we were almost done! We were at 29km at this point and knew we’d be running long. There was no way that we were going to be finished in 3km. Unfortunately the one thing I’d forgotten about the run was the hill we’d have to go up. It was one of those hills that just kept going and going. And when I thought it was done it split at an intersection and started again. I just checked – it was 1.11km long. Really? At the end of a run? Thanks.

At this point I was close to done. Not only in reality, but physically and mentally. My feet hurt (thankfully not my knees) and I knew that I’d be going over 32km. This would be my (and Christine’s) farthest run ever. Since our program doesn’t call for anything over 32km I have to admit that I’ve always been nervous about race day. I was convinced that I’d suck for the last 10km and was really doubting my ability. So I’m very glad that we had to do 2 extra kilometres. That’s right, I ran 34km/21miles. It wasn’t easy and there’s no way that I would have been able to run another 8km on Sunday, but I’m not so freaked out now.

We ran in to the Running Room after 4 hours and 11 minutes. I was so happy to be done. There were still some of the promised bagels (which I forced myself to choke down) and Allison from our group had brought banana-chocolate chip muffins (which I could have eaten far more than the one I had). It was actually a great run. I had good company, the weather was decent, and my confidence level went up! Now it’s time to taper!

Here’s my route:

So that’s my run, but I wasn’t the only one in the house running on Sunday. Colin decided that he’d try for a +20km run too. He’s been having some IT/knee issues and was feeling better all last week. My parents came by in the morning to watch M and let Colin head out in our neck of the woods. Thankfully he hadn’t left about 15 minutes earlier or he would have been caught in a cloud burst. As it was, there was already a thunderstorm warning in effect for the lower mainland. It probably wasn’t the best idea for him to be running out on the dikes, but he wanted the softer surface of the trail.

As his route was a familiar one there wasn’t much excitement to be had. He got rained on for a bit of the run – he and another runner gave each other sympathetic/”aren’t we crazy?” looks – and then he found a friend. Click on the map below! There are a lot of blueberry fields in our area and the bears are looking to get full before the winter. Apparently the one he saw was just meandering down the path, taking his time and hadn’t seen or smelled him. Now, I know that I’d be freaked out by a bear. I would probably turn around and just revise my route. Colin? Not so much. He waited for a while until the bear made it’s way into the ditch/fields and was a safe distance away before carrying on. I just know that Colin’s biggest regret was not having his fancy camera with him to take pictures!

The best part of Colin’s run (for me anyways) is that he ran 32km! I was so shocked when I called and he told me that. I really wasn’t expecting him to go for it, but he said that he felt good and kept on running. Compared to a few weeks ago that is huge progress and a major confidence boost since there was a point when we weren’t sure if he’d even be able to run the marathon.

Here’s Colin’s route:


Three Things Thursday

1. I’m pretty sure my shoes are on their last legs. I came back from my last run (15km total distance w/11km of fartleks) with runners that squeaked and the cushioning under the ball of my foot felt very thin. Granted that I was running downhill for a good portion of the run, but I can only expect them to bounce back so far as they have 480km on them.


This sucks for many reasons:

  • Obviously, I need shoes to run and ones that feel good are preferred.
  • I have a 32km long run on Sunday. I will have to hope that they work out well and don’t start to bug my knees.
  • I didn’t get a new pair prior to my longest run before taper so when I do get new ones I won’t have them broken in for as much as I would like prior to the marathon.
  • I can’t really afford new shoes. I probably should have bought 2 pairs to begin with.
2. Colin has his ART appointment tonight. Hopefully it will help with his sore knee. The knee sleeve has helped him substantially (he’s already planning for a +20km run this weekend), but it’s a temporary solution to a bigger problem.

3. I have a contest starting on Monday. Stop by again to find out what it is!

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!

Sunday Long Run + Core Work = Sore Monday (But Not Too Bad)

Original Route

Actual Route (we only got a little “lost”)

On Sunday I had my longest run ever! It was a whopping 29km (or 18 miles). As a change of pace we went downtown to run around Stanley Park and out to a couple of the local beaches. It was a perfect day. A little too hot, but the breeze off the ocean made up for it.


As you can see from the above maps I didn’t quite hit the whole distance. There were 5 of us running together and, as none of us had a written route, it was kind of a hodge-podge of what we could all remember from the email. It was technically 28.3km, but by the end all of us were in need of water and food so we called it as it was rather than run the last little bit.

I tried out my sample pack from GU on this run and had a couple of hits and misses, but at least I know that now not further down the road. I think I’ll just stick to the ones that I already love.


The group at the turn-around.

Once Colin and I got home I figured that I’d throw in a little core work as the Hard Core Club challenge was starting (and I was already sweaty and gross). I only did 7/13 exercises, but it was better than skipping… and I just ran 29km so I figured I deserved the break!


* Started Legs Love Lunges challenge today – 10 per leg. Not much, but it’s a start…

Wordless Wednesday (or How I Spent My BC Day Long-Weekend)











Running into new territory…

Tomorrow will be the longest run I have done thus far in my life! Up until now the longest distance I have run is 21.1km, also known as the half marathon.

I have a 23km (14-and-a-bit miles) training run in the morning and am super-psyched about it. I’m pretty sure that if you’d told me last year that I’d say that now I would have laughed my head off. Really, when I started running last year just getting up to “run 10 minutes/walk 1 minute” was a pipe-dream.
It’s going to be a fairly easy route – just straight, rolling hills for the most part – and the online weather powers-that-be tell me it will be a beautiful, sunny, 24° C (75° F). The only hard part about it is that we’re taking M with us, but we’re planning on switching off half way through as long as I pass by Colin’s faster pace group at the right time; otherwise, I’m pushing the whole way.
What’s on your agenda for this weekend?

Neurosis of a SAHM of 3 Virtual "Half & Half" Race/Run Pictorial Recap

Seeing as it’s my 7th anniversary today and we got home from vacation after midnight last night this will be a pictures mostly recap! I’ll come back and add words in a couple of days.
21.1km – Long Beach, Pacific Rim National Park, Tofino, British Columbia
We decided not to run on the road…
…the emergency lanes were between 1 and 2 feet wide…

… and we didn’t particularly want to meet up
with a tourist driven motor-home
(you don’t need lessons to drive one)!

So optimistic at the start.

Can you see the turn around at 10km?

Neither could we (this shows up to about 3km).

This “river” was a good 4 inches deep in the middle
and that was the shallowest part we could find.
We spent about 20 minutes (off the clock) looking.
And, yes, I got soaked both on the way and back –
the second time was above my shoe…


Climbed some rocks (those little fogged in ones on my left),
but thankfully found a path on the way back.

10km turnaround shot!

There are no “after” shots as we were too tired and way behind schedule!
Final run time: 2:39:00
(7:30/km pace – just over my target training pace)
Total run time: +3hrs

Where To Run, Where To Run…?

We’re off to Tofino, British Columbia this weekend for vacation! Yay! I’ve been doing this with my family for the last 18 years – Colin joined in once we got married and now M comes too. It’s a week of doing nothing but eat, read, walk on the beach, sleep and, now, run.

I have a dilemma. We need to do 2 long runs while we are there and I can’t decide where we should run them.

Do we run on the beach?

Typical foggy weather

I haven’t run on hard-packed sand before, but Long Beach in Pacific Rim National Park is the perfect length for our second run (19km + 2.1 to make up the distance for the virtual run I’m participating in).
Or do we run on the pedestrian path/road?

That’s not me above – it’s actually a shot from the Edge to Edge Marathon (next year’s dream race if I want to do it again after October) – but I might be running like her this weekend. If we decide to run on the pavement for 16km we’ll run out of bike path so road it will be.
I have a feeling we’ll do one of each, but what do you think?

"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!


Oops, it’s been a while since I wrote something!

My last week went a little like this:

1. Got C to pick up my new shoes.

2. Wore/broke in new shoes on 20km run. The trail around Burnaby Lake is mostly boardwalks and pea-gravel, so it was pretty and decently shady. However, the ground was not level and in a few spots it was so soft you could tell that there was probably mulch underneath which was BAD FOR A KNEE THAT WAS ALREADY HAVING PROBLEMS! You know you aren’t having a stellar run when it takes you 15km to “get into” it. I’ve been doing Colin’s physio exercises ever since…

Ended up with re-blackened toenail – that sucker has been in various states of purple since OCTOBER. Enough already… and it didn’t even come from running. At least this time it seems more like a badge of honour. Also have an awesome blister on side of my right big toe – good thing my callous is “protecting” it. I won’t post pictures out of respect for your eyes, but let’s just say that I won’t be going to get a pedicure anytime soon.

3. Took M to a commercial shoot on Monday and Tuesday. Long days with a 3 year old, but he was paid handsomely for doing squat diddle playing in the backyard.

4. Ran on Tuesday evening – 6km tempo. Leg felt like crap at 4km. Kept saying that I wanted to quit, but somehow ran through it and my last 2km were around 5:15 per/km = SCORE! Total run was about 36 minutes. Awesome for something that felt like it wasn’t going well.

5. Read some more “Run Like A Mother” – the chapter on mental toughness was really appropriate (see #4). I am loving this book – it’s even better than everyone says it is.

6. Skipped scheduled 10km tempo run to take M to hospital for “Nursemaid’s Elbow” (read: partial dislocation). Awarded self “Worst Mother” trophy for having pulled him up too fast and caused injury (it’s really common, but still…).

7. 2nd Thursday night clinic. Went out for a 7.18km steady run. At 6.23min/km average – 45:50min total – it was a little quick for our pace group. I blame the run up the tree-lined river for the speediness… none of our GPS units were keeping reliable pace. It was a good run and it helped that it was on the cool side tonight (I actually pulled out the hoody, which was only overkill by a little bit). I’m very happy that I’m coming up to my half marathon taper run this Sunday. 6km will be a nice change from the 20km I ran last week.

T-Minus 10 days to the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon!


Awesome Possum!

I had two great running-related things happen to me today:

1. I got new shoes! Yay! I would have preferred to buy them online and have them shipped to Blaine, WA, but I needed them NOW. So C called around and found a place locally that had them $30 cheaper than anywhere else. It’s unfortunate that my work won’t have them in until August as that would have saved me a bundle, but I’ll remember to buy a pair to put away when they come in. We’ll see how my 20km long run goes tomorrow – lots of Body Glide for the feet – but if I had to choose between blisters and not being able to run due to a wrecked knee I’d go with blisters every time.

2. I checked my email when I got home from work and discovered that I won a contest! Yay again! Christine at Sticky Fingerprints did a review of Bondi Bands and had 3 to give to her blog readers. I will receive one of the following designs:

I have to say that I’m super excited to have finally won a Bondi Band. Lots of other blogging runners swear by them and I’ve entered tons of contests to try to get one of my own. It’s nice that random.org finally got it right!