Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon Weeks 4 + 5 / 11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon Week 1 / 11

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

Commencing Freak-Out in 3…2…1…

THIS is happening in just over a week.

Despite the title of this post, I actually haven’t freaked out yet.  Shocking.  I’m waiting for it to sneak up on me like it did before my first marathon when I was pinning on my bib the night before.  Here’s hoping that it doesn’t happen at all or at least, God-willing, not on the 4:45am bus ride out to Alice Lake for the start!

I haven’t been blogging much about my training, which is regrettable since I’ve had a few fun and epic runs up in Squamish with friends.  Those will definitely need their own posts prior to my race recap!  Somehow I missed seeing a bear that was ~12ft in front of me last weekend (don’t worry, Mum and Dad, we were very cautious – and it would have eaten Ed first if it hadn’t been more interested in berries). 🙂

I am actually feeling really good about race day.

* Nutrition: I (think) that I have all the nutrition under control:

Hüma Gel – the best tasting gels I’ve ever had.  They have chia in them.  The mango and the apple cinnamon are my race day choices.

Nuun – double strength tri-berry in the hydration pack and will do half tri-berry half wildberry energy (caffeinated) after Quest.

Picky Bars – race day breakfast will be a Blueberry Boomdizzle bar and a banana.

PocketFuel and Nature’s Bakery – my “just in case I’m hungry and gels aren’t cutting it right now” food.  Real food.  Will either go with Coconut Cherry or Pineapple Coconut (both are almond butter based) Pocketfuel.  Nature’s Bakery makes yummy fig bars and we have the fig, blueberry, and raspberry ones.

* My race day outfit will be the same one I’ve been training in:

Sugoi – hat

Buff – snot rag if on my hand, neck cooler if soaked in stream water

Oiselle – Strappy bra, Scantron tank, and Lesley knickers (and possibly arm warmers depending on weather)

Injinji – socks

Inov8 – 245 trail shoes 

* I’ll have my pretty Nathan Zeal vest to hold all my crap.  

I’ll need to give myself plenty of options in my drop bag so I don’t look at the choices and find that nothing appeals.  Other than that, though, I’m confident I can make the 23km 5hr 15min cutoff at Quest University, which was my one big worry.  I’m willfully ignorant of Upper Climb Trail and Angry Midget, but am okay with the rest of the course as I ran it last year and part of it at Survival of the Fittest a couple of months ago.

So that’s it.  I know I can finish and that’s all I’m really hoping for.  It’s going to be a HARD race.  Good thing my motivating song this training cycle has been Hedley’s “Anything”:

A hundred thousand disbelievers couldn’t keep me on the ground
I’ve invented a momentum that’ll never slow me down
I believe it cause I feel it and I shout it out loud
I can I can I can so

[and the line I use the most when I’m having a hard time]

Uh uh, **** that, I can do anything


Positive Thinking aka What Have I Gotten Myself Into?

After a good couple of years of mediocrity and probably being a sports psychologist’s dream I think that this might actually be a good running year for me.  The very abbreviated back story (that will probably never be expanded on) is that I had a failed experiment with heart rate training that knocked me so hard on my butt that it’s taken me a really long time to mentally come back from.  When your head’s not in it everything else is on the back burner.  Suffice it to say that I did not love my runners for a while, but I think I’m back!*

I think my turning point was being included in a UBC NIKE study on running.  They gave me a 13 week prescribed running program to follow during a time of year when I would much rather sit on my couch.  Dark, rainy, winter-y Vancouver is not my favourite place to run.  However, a treadmill and a decent amount of accountability kept me running on average 3 times a week.  So what if my runs were predominantly inside?  I’ve actually come to love my treadmill (hopefully the downstairs neighbours do too!).  We had a slightly illegal 10km race at the end and I came away with a respectable 1:05 finish time.  Considering I ran once outside in 13 weeks I’m pretty happy with that!

Another key to me being more optimistic is that around Christmas I got my hands on a downloadable goal tracker from Believe I Am.  I’m not usually one for journals – although I’m keen to get one of theirs when they’re back in stock – as I start and never finish.  But this one made me sit down and think about what I want from running this year.  I want to get faster and I want to finish my 50km race in August.  Voilà!  I suddenly found myself with goals that are attainable.  The other helpful part of the tracker was an outlook calendar.  I don’t usually race a lot, but I wanted to this year.  I’m not wealthy by any means so it’s usually a stretch to get too many races in.  But I found some affordable ones (and ways to get in free, too) and I have about one a month.  This will give me more race and trail experience, which I very obviously need in tackling an ultramarathon.

RaceSchedule copy

I haven’t paid for all of these yet, but they aren’t really negotiable anymore.    

I have goals, people, and I will darn well reach them!!

What’s on the agenda for you this year?  And will I be seeing you anywhere along the way?


*Notice that I’ve removed the subtitle “Slowly Reconciling With Running” from by blog (and on Twitter, too).  No self-defeating thoughts, please.

Seek the…whatnow?

The best experiences often begin in the form of a crazy idea and some good old peer pressure…


A former co-worker posted this on Facebook and I bemoaned the fact that joining his Seek The Peak relay team probably wasn’t in the cards for me, even though it looked cool.  You know, as much as a relay from the ocean to the top of a mountain could be.  Note: people also do this 16km course solo!  But you can see the response.  And all of a sudden I found myself with a race between my spring full and my summer trail race.  Here’s what I thought of it immediately after:

Let me explain the race a little bit because, even though it was free for me to join the team, I need your help!

The year is the 10th anniversary of the Seek The Peak race.  It is a 16km solo or team race that runs from Ambleside, West Vancouver, to the top of Grouse Mountain.  It’s 4100ft of super fun elevation gain!  I’d be far happier running down the route… However, that’s not an option so I chose the longest, but not steepest, leg.  I’m still not entirely sure what to expect.  It’s a little road, a little trail, and some pretty decent uphills.  Not quite the Grouse Grind, aka the way to get to “The Peak”, but enough that I’ll probably curse this ridiculous idea half way through my 6km leg…

The most important detail about this race is that it’s a race with a cause.  Seek The Peak raises funds for the BC Cancer Foundation, thereby assisting the BC Cancer Agency with their breast cancer research within the province.  Since our entry is being covered by our employer (thanks!!) we decided that we should be a fundraising team.  This is the first charity run I have ever done (our goal is exceedingly modest), and I’m an introvert, so I’m not particularly great at asking for help.  But I will now.

To help support our team please follow this link ( – you can donate under my name or to the team as a whole.


Endorphin Warrior Training Bracelet Giveaway

When I received my Endorphin Warrior Training Bracelet in the mail a few weeks ago I was excited.  They had extended the offer to do a contest via Twitter and I was happy to be on board.  I have a bracelet like the one above that says FOCUS from Hood to Coast in 2011.  It was my go-to word that year as I tend to wander mentally during races.  The only issue with it is that it’s a bit too small so I can’t wear it all the time.  My request for a new one (with a new word, of course) was received well so I chose BELIEVE.  I have a bit of a hard time with that during some of my runs and can succumb to negative self-doubt more often than I like.

It’s honestly hard to review a fairly simple piece of jewelry – I’ll admit that I was putting off the post since I had so little to write – so I’ve been wearing it lately in hopes of having more, besides “I will believe in myself on race day”, to say.  Last week gave me too much to say.

Life stress had me looking down at my wrist more often than not; I need to believe that certain things are changing for the best.  And then Boston happened.  I was at work when Colin phoned to ask if I’d heard.  Working in retail, where I don’t see much of the outside world for 8 hours, I had not.  After I had, though, I was on Twitter (regardless of cell phone use rules) trying to learn about all the people I’ve met in real life and online because of running.  I was mentally checking off their names while also trying to learn as much about the situation as possible.  It was frustrating and worrying.  I wanted a hug.

As corny as it sounds, having a simple word BELIEVE to look at helped.

Believe people I know are okay.

Believe things I can’t control are taken care of.

Believe that those responsible will be found.




Because if I couldn’t do that I would have freaked out.

So, as simple as a piece of leather and a bit of metal are, my bracelet helped.

You could win your own Training Bracelet courtesy of Endorphin Warrior.  Simply head on over to, look around, and let me know via a comment what bracelet you would want to wear and why.

Contest closes Thursday 25 April 2013 at 11:59PST.  Winner will be announced Friday 26 April 2013.

Note: I was given my bracelet from Endorphin Warrior free of charge in return for this review/giveaway.  All opinions are my own.