1.  Where the heck is summer around here?  Mother Nature is waffling.  It’s like she’s saying to herself, “Hmm, I really did enjoy spring this year.  Maybe it shouldn’t be summer even though it says so on the calendar.”  The last few days were beautiful: sunny, hot, verging on being just this side of unpleasant.  Today we get this:

2.  My first ever 2-a-day went so well!  I took Spud out for a 7.5km steady hour long jog in the morning on Tuesday.  It was a little later than I should have been out simply because I was a hot, beet red, sweaty mess by the end of it.  I completed my second run (a tempo) with my clinic, going 3.2km in 19:46.  That’s about a 6:10/km average.  I was good until about 2km and then ran with a friend who I know is faster for the last bit.  I was about ready to die, but I blame that mostly on the earlier run.  My legs felt heavy, but I was super pleased.  Best thing of all was that I felt fine the next morning.

3.  I didn’t mention it in my post on Tuesday because things were still being decided, but here are my teammates for Hood To Coast.  Make sure you check them all out – they are an amazing bunch of women and I’m so excited to meet them all!

Van #1:
           Leg #1: Me
           Leg #2: Dorothy @ Mile Posts
           Leg #3: Nuun Staffer
           Leg #4: Jocelyn @ Enthusiastic Runner
           Leg #5: Emily @ Sweat Once A Day
           Leg #6: Lauren @ Health On The Run

Van #2:
           Leg #7: Nuun Staffer
           Leg #8: Carrie @ This Mama Makes Stuff
           Leg #9: Mel @ Tall Mom On The Run
           Leg #10: Melody @ I Run Like A Girl
           Leg #11: Kelly @ According To Kelly
           Leg #12: Megan @ Watch MeGo Run      


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?  

One Thing Thursday

Nothing of much consequence has been going on here lately so today you only get one thing:

The Environment Canada weather person is a total liar!  A couple of days ago we were supposed to have a lovely sunny Sunday for our long run, but as of today the next week looks like this:

Now I know that this is glorious weather compared to so many of you.  And I am definitely thankful that we don’t have freezing temperatures or ice and snow.  However, it is like this here ALL THE TIME!  Would one measly nice day be too much to ask for?  

You Deal With Cold, I Deal With Rain

I am very fortunate that I do not have to deal with winter very often.  Here in Vancouver the season usually looks like this:
snow – everybody freak out that winter has arrived/city shut down!  We’re kind of a pathetic mess…
rain – oh, got snow tires for nothing… 

So, while I don’t have to deal with feet of snow (try a skiff) and extremely cold temperatures (maybe 0 C), I do have to deal with RAIN!  And there was plenty of it today.  I had scheduled a run with my friend Lindsay and she came over at noon.  She didn’t have her little guy with her, but I had Spud so he was bundled up ready to go.  When I looked out the window it was only drizzling.  By the time we got outside to meet up it was pouring.  On went the rain cover and then we were off.  I had thought that we were maybe in a pocket of rain, but no.  It poured the whole time.  I’m not sure when Spud fell asleep, but he was out for about half the run.  At about 4km I stopped caring about the wheel spray and puddles and just let my shoes get wet.  They’re now stuffed with newspaper in the hopes that they’ll be dry tomorrow…  In total we ran 11.38km in 1:28.  Not fast by any means, but I was pushing 60+lbs and we walked up a decent hill close to the end.  Despite the weather it was actually a really good run.  We haven’t been running together for very long so we’re still in a getting-to-know-you stage and we had lots to talk about.  It was great to have the commitment as I don’t really think that I’d get out the door (especially with a 3 year old) if I didn’t have someone depending on me!

Soaking wet once we got home – you can kind of see the difference in colours on my jacket.
Nice hair!  You can see from my two-tone shirt that my jacket lost all of its DWR/water resistant capabilities on this run!

So I Went For A Run…

Thanks to Andrew‘s very blunt “get off your butt” comment on my earlier post Spud and I went out for a run this afternoon. It was great! Now, obviously, it’s in the eye of the beholder. I’m pretty sure all the people in their cars and under their umbrellas were looking at us like we were crazy. There was probably some pity thrown my way as well. That’s because it was raining (alternating between downpour and drizzle) and windy. At some points it looked like the stroller was trying to take off.

Things I learned (or remembered) on this run:
  • Running in the rain is fine. It’s not my favourite, but I trained for my first half marathon at this time last year and it wasn’t a problem.
  • Running during the day is so nice. I don’t have to have lights and reflectors. I can run by myself. I’m 95% sure that drivers see me when I’m crossing the street – though there were a few that looked surprised that I was in the crosswalk.
  • Spud likes the stroller. He did his warm-up stretches and run before we left the house.
  • Spud likes the rain! As in there was no way the rain cover was going on. We have a water resistant blanket that he’ll deign to put on, but that was it. For the first while he didn’t even want to have the pull down cover over his head. He’s 3 so I pick my battles. If I get to run he can get soaked if he wants to…
  • Stroller time = nap time! Yay! I think he only slept for about 20 minutes, but since he was up at 6am that’s fine with me.
  • One 37lb 3 year old + one 25lb BOB Revolution stroller = 62lbs to push up hills. I felt quite justified in walking up the second half of the hill to the overpass. And then I got a bit of a break so we could watch the trains in the yard underneath.

Rockin’ the drowned rat look!

Totals for the run: 6.25km in 44:52. Not a record by any means, but I definitely had a better run than expected. Now I just have to do this 3 more times this week!

Three Things Thursday

1. It’s raining. Not a big deal here in Vancouver, but I haven’t had to run in the rain in AGES. Not too sure if I’ll pull out the water-resistant jacket tonight since it’s only drizzle. I might have to use my toque though since my ears started to hurt from the cold on my run last night.

2. Hope to have new shoes this weekend. Really need new shoes this weekend – to break in before the big day and so I don’t kill my knees with the old pair. Will be selling unused sports equipment to get the funds (unless one of you would like to be my shoe-fairy-godmother/father/parent?). When you can’t remember the last time you used your snowboard or rollerblades it’s time to let them go. The place I’m taking them to apparently takes used runners too – I’m sure I’ll weep at the amount they’ll give me for my (original price $159.99) GT-2140s, but anything is better than nothing!

3. Feel free to enter my contest – $40 to CSN!

Confession of the Day

I need to confess something. I bailed on my 5km run today.

I could blame it on:

  • RAIN. I’d like to think this is valid, but I live in Vancouver and most of my training is done in relatively crappy weather. It wasn’t torrential and since I would have been going on my own I couldn’t even use the “I don’t want to take my child out in the rain” excuse.
  • BOOTCAMP. My legs are sore. Still. It doesn’t help that M likes to put his boney knees/elbows/fingers/toes/etc. into my thighs to push him self up onto my lap. I’m taking today off as a day of rest to let my quads recover from too many squats on Monday
  • LACK OF SLEEP. I went to bed too late and M got up too early. Again, this isn’t a new occurrence and I should know better.
  • HOCKEY. Let’s face it; it’s playoff time. The Canucks game started at 7pm, M’s bedtime is at 8pm (re: TV off) and I wanted to watch as much of it as possible (not just the end).

Now I’m sitting here at 11pm feeling guilty for not being more motivated. My husband actually “booed” me when I told him that I wasn’t going out. That sucks. Sure, I could have gone out during the day when the weather was better, the game wasn’t on and my legs really weren’t feeling that bad. But that would have meant taking the buggy.

Today the idea of running just didn’t do it for me.

I’m sure I’ll feel it on Sunday when my legs feel like garbage after the 12km run that’s scheduled. My fault? Yes. Hopefully next week will be better. At least this is just 1/2 marathon training – once the full clinic starts I’ll have to be in a better frame of mind.