training

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.


If I’d Waited Until Thursday It Would Have Been A Month…

Greetings from the land of rain.  To quote How I Met Your Mother right off the bat, “You know what they call this in the ‘couve? Barbecue weather.”*  Autumn has officially arrived in Vancouver.  Well, it showed up a while ago, but it wasn’t big enough news to write an entire post about.  To be honest, it’s darn near winter.  They’ve closed the ever popular Grouse Grind which is apparently fun, but climbing 2800ft just for the heck of it still intimidates me!  And they’ve opened at least one of the local mountains for skiing/riding. 

I haven’t been blogging lately and it’s been kind of nice.  What kind of crappy blogger does that make me?!?  I’ve been reading blogs and commenting, but when you aren’t running it’s hard to come up with things to write about.  And, let’s face it, what runs I were getting in were either so short or so slow they would have been exceedingly boring to read!  Not too much has happened in the last month.  Ran a little, walked a little, worked a little, Spud dressed as Mickey Mouse for Halloween (3rd year, 2nd costume because he outgrew the first one).  That said, if you’ve been stalking my blog – coughmumcough – you’ll notice that the only updating has been to my mileage.  As of today I have run 936.38km/581.84mi.  I had higher hopes at the start of the year, but after burn out I’ll take what I end up with!  

Speaking of burn out I think/hope/pray that I’m over it.  While I am running I’m not getting out quite as much as I’d like.  Ideally I’d get to 4 days/week.  Right now I’m at 3 so it’s not much to add another day in there.  Having Spud in playschool really helps because I can get a longish run in on one of those days.  I thought I’d see what I had in me the other day so I picked one of the biggest hills to run up and over.  I proved to myself that, yes, I could still do it.  However, my hill training has completely gone to pot.  I wasn’t silly enough to try and run without stopping.  I did intervals.  I’m sure that all the drivers coming down the road (and up for that matter) were wondering why I was choosing to run up it.  At about half way I was wondering the same thing!  At least the downhill was fun.  After 1.7km up getting to run 2km down was lovely.  My shins didn’t quite think so later that day, but it wasn’t raining, the view was great and downhill is what I love running the most.

Fun gear I have bought/won since I’ve been away aka “nothing helps you get back into the swing of things like new running gear”!  

CEP Compression Socks:  I won a pink pair on Facebook at the start of October. You can never have too many pairs of compression socks.

The green socks are next!  And if not then the green sleeves!

Sugoi Midzero Zip:  I had time to kill one morning before work so I was perusing the aisles of Winners (that’s TJMaxx/Marshalls up here).  Usually I laugh at how crappy all of their stuff is – with the exception of their toys/books.  But I started looking in the women’s athletic section and was completely surprised to find a Sugoi top.  And a nice one at that!  So I had Colin stop by the next night after work and pick it up for me.  He had to go back the day after that to get one for my friend so we continue on our tradition of being twins!

There is no reason to ever turn down a deal as good as the one I found: $35 for a shirt that retails for $100.  It reminds me a bit of Grimace from McDonalds, but I’ll just have to come to terms with that.    

Any idea what he actually is?

All joking aside it really is a comfortable shirt.  It’s still a little warm – I was pretty hot in it this morning.  However, I’d much prefer to be too hot in the rain and soaking wet than wear my water resistant shell and have it not breath well enough.

Under Armour Recur Over The Calf Sock:  When I saw these at work I really wanted them!  They’re just this side of obnoxious.  The picture doesn’t really do them justice – they are fluorescent.  I’m not sure if I’ll wear them running (I’d need a new skirt since mine will clash terribly), but they seem like they’d stay up if I were to try. 

Let’s Talk Racing:

I registered Colin for a race this morning.  It’s the first half marathon in Vancouver (aptly called “The First Half“) in 2012.  I volunteered at it last year and it’s a well run, relatively flat course.  Unfortunately I am going to be signing up for the full marathon clinic and this was sort of Colin’s “fairsies” for that.  It took all of my willpower not to sign up myself at the same time.  Not only is it the first race he’s doing that I haven’t, but a ton of friends are running it too.  Alas it is now sold out so I will be a spectator extraordinaire come February.

Our plan after that race is to continue training for the BMO Vancouver Marathon.  It’s at the start of May so we’ll have plenty of time to prepare.  It’s a brand new route this year and I think it’ll be a nice change from last year.  We’ll register for this one in December since that’s when the price will increase and I really don’t want or need to be hit with an extra $20.

The “Fun Race” of the year will be the Seattle Rock N Roll Half Marathon.  We’ll both be running it.  I’m super excited about it since there will be many bloggers/Hood To Coast friends there.  I’m a little apprehensive about not knowing the route, but I’m sure I can suck up all the hills they’re sure to throw at us for 21.1km/13.1mi.  Thanks to Megan (who’s flying out for the race!  Yay!!!) for reminding me that there’s a $20 discount on Friday to celebrate 11.11.11!    

So.  That’s what’s going on here right now.  I can’t guarantee that I’ll write every day, but I don’t think it’ll be as long as this last hiatus/sabbatical/random disappearance.  Hope your running is going well too!  I appreciate you all for sticking around – except for that one person who left a couple of days ago (I understand, though, since I wasn’t here…).       

* If you’re from Winnipeg then it’s completely acceptable to say “The Peg”, but no one calls Vancouver “the ‘couve”.  Unless you’re a tool.


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:
   
rain
rain
rain
rain
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… 
rain 
rain
rain

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!

TMB Is A Genius!

I have been trying for a while to come up with a coherent post about my fear of getting faster. It’s not really that I’m scared – I’m just very reluctant to remove the “slow” and “back of the pack” labels from myself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m nowhere near being considered fast. I still run a 6 minute kilometre (10ish min/mile) on my steady runs. However, I am faster than I used to be. So when I saw TMB’s post today over at Racing With Babes I thought, “She totally nailed it on the head.”

Here are the two quotes I identify with:

“I am starting to suspect it was because I “told” myself that that was the pace I could run.” Yup. Fear of change. I’ve always known that Colin will run at my pace (he’s obnoxiously faster). When we ran our last half marathon training he really pushed me to go faster and I must have dropped a good 30 seconds/km. But I haven’t had him running with me lately so I haven’t gotten that extra push.

“First, that if you want to improve, you need to be deliberate about your training. And second, if you want to improve, you need to BELIEVE that you can improve.” I’ve totally seen how training has worked for me in the past. I have improved drastically over the last year and a half. But I struggle with the second point.

So thank you Tonia. That second part of the last point is totally going on my fridge.

And if anyone wants to send me one of these, please do:


Turnaround Tuesday: Results Edition

Tonight, I think that I had a near-perfect run. See my last post for an explanation of my 2 week slump. That all seemed to go away.

Here are the stats:

Distance: 6.19km (3.85 miles)
Time: 37:11
Average Pace: 6min/km (9:39/mile)
Weather: Sun and wind
Feeling: a little slow, but was actually sub-6 for the majority of the time. To me that equates to awesomeness. Walked up half of killer (10% grade) hill, but totally okay with it.

Best part of the run, though, was when I got upstairs and Colin told me to open the blinds. It was POURING!  Good thing I was speedy…

Turnaround Tuesday

The last couple of weeks have been an almost, but not quite, write-off for me in terms of running. I’ve hit a slump in my training. Since 22 August I have run a total of 4 days. That’s right. 4 days. I can’t say that I’m thrilled with myself for this lack of motivation.

It all started on 22 August when I ended my 29km long run with a couple of awesome blisters. I made them a bit worse by doing hill repeats on 24 August (yay ripped skin) so I was under self-imposed rest until that weekend in order to get my 32km run in.

On the 29th I had a great 32km run – see how far I’ve come to be able to say that – and then… nothing. I backed out of my tempo that Tuesday due to a torrential downpour, skipped 10 x hills on the Wednesday since I would have had to do them myself, and didn’t run Thursday either. My last “run” was on Sunday. I was scheduled for 23km, but couldn’t get my butt out of bed decided to run with Colin (who’s been having IT issues of late) instead. Unfortunately that meant that we ran for about 5km before he was done and then walked 5km home.

So my training/distance for the last two weeks has been crap.

Today is the day I start fresh. No looking back and feeling guilty (well, not too much). Just moving forward and getting back on track. I’m starting with a lovely, hilly 6km tempo tonight. I had plans for speedwork tomorrow, but Colin’s able to make a few extra bucks working for a friend so I’ll try to get it in later this week.

And when I opened my mail today I found this lovely surprise inside:

Nothing like having the local money pit running store send you a dividends certificate! That’ll pay for my GU for this weekend’s long run.

Challenge Time

I am potentially crazy.

Somehow I’ve become a sucker for online challenges and I’ve signed up for two that will surely make me stronger, but also make me question my judgment at the same time. However, after sucking it up big time on the hills on my last long run I know that I need to get into this.

  • The first is being hosted by 5 Miles Past Empty and is a lunge challenge. That’s right… LUNGES. The bane of my existence during boot camp. Unfortunately they work wonders for making me stronger and helping with my hill training. Truth be told I think I’ve actually missed them. So the challenge is this: do lunges (at least) 3 x week from 10 August to 10 September. I’m already behind since I only signed up today, but I’ll have to get them in soon. I think I might be short this week as I’ve got hill training tonight to contend with. I have to post pictures of my legs, but couldn’t get anything decent in the mirror so Colin will have to take them when he gets home.
  • The other challenge is being put on by Jamoosh of Last Mile Lounge. It’s starts on Sunday and is a 13 week core workout to be done 2 or 3 times per week. Since I’ve come to the conclusion that I cannot motivate myself enough to start on my own (my exercise ball has been sitting in-box in my closet for over a month) I felt like I should at least have the support of strangers online!


So we’ll see how it goes. I’m sure I’ll post soon about my inability to walk, laugh, lay down comfortably, cough, stand…

Who knows, I might even get the guts to post pictures à la P90X for before and afters.

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

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!

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!

Juneathon 2010

Because my June isn’t busy enough with training for the Vancouver Scotiabank Half Marathon at the end of the month as well as starting my marathon training clinic on the 10th I thought that I would add in a little fitness challenge too!

Courtney over at Run, Courtney, Run! is hosting

For the month of June I get to:

  • Exercise every day. This should be easy as I will already be running approximately 4-5 days/week and only have to throw in some cross/strength/core training to make up the last couple of days.
  • Blog about exercising every day. This might be harder since I’m likely to forget if I don’t write myself a note or mark it off on my calendar.

At the end of June I:

  • Might be selected for a prize.
  • Will be more fit that I have been in a long while.

If you think that this sounds like fun (c’mon, you know it does…) you can sign up too.