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Milton, Ontario, Canada

Monday, July 25, 2011

Week 2!

Here we go! Week two recap:

Sunday: 12.27k. A pretty good run on a new route that was just a huge door to door rectangle. I totally miscalculated the sun and ran in the direct sun too much, but was okay anyway. I got out the door around 0730 and was hot. I did manage to get home in time to nurse the baby down to his 9am nap and I made it to 10am mass with my oldest as well. 1:21:35

Tuesday: Thomas Street Hill. I gladly joined the new half marathon clinic to run hills. A short warm up and three repeats and we were done. I was happy to be close to tempo for all three repeats. My plan is to keep up with them when I don't have a baseball game conflict. 5.12k, 0:33:26

Wednesday: I decided to do a medium long run on this night rather then the tempo I had planned because it was still stinking hot at 8pm. I wavered at 6k when I could have turned for home, 300 metres away. Instead I continued on the route and finished strong at 8.2k. 0:52:42

Friday: Tempo run on the treadmill at the gym. It was HOT last week. My oldest was at camp, so the baby and I headed to the gym so that I could get this in. It felt good. Actually, if I admit it it felt a bit too easy. No worries though - I start intervals in week three, so I'm sure there will be pain again. 6.4k, 0:41:13

Saturday: My friend has started a learn to run program on her own so I told her I'd run with her anytime. We agreed to meet Saturday, so I ran to her place. It was 16:18 when I started and the temperature was +37C. It was a hot run. 4.3k, 0:27:12. We then went on to do her LTR (4 and 1s) for 2k (0:16:48).

Total KM: 38.29 Total Time: 4h12m56s Average Pace per KM: 0:6:36

Longest Solo Distance Sunday!

Yesterday, my training plan called for me to run 14k. I gamely sorted out a route via Gmaps on Saturday afternoon and then watched the weather before deciding to set the alarm for 6am (have I mentioned that Sunday is my weekend day to sleep in?), to get up and out and back before the real humidity and hot weather hit (I had run on Saturday afternoon in +37C sun and had absolutely NO intentions of repeating that kind of run, especially for a LSD).

This was to be the longest distance I have ever run alone. Yes, I did race the Bread & Honey 15k road race alone, but it was a race; you're never alone during a race. I actually didn't think too much about it before the run other then calculate that it should take me no more then about 1 hour 40 minutes or so if I kept the pace easy. To be honest, I was more worried about being over-heated than being lonely.

Turns out I had no reason to worry on either account. I got out the door at 0635 and was off. I made a point of looking a the digital temperature display I pass during long runs and it said +22C. I was very happy to read that even though I was sweating buckets and it was only 2k in. It was pretty humid out, but I had come prepared with an extra 500mL of water that I carried in my hand (my hand-held is only 10oz). I didn't find carrying a water bottle too bad and I loved the idea that I could finish it by 7k.

It was around 7 or 8k that the weather changed. The sun went behind the clouds and the sky turned dark enough that I was able to take off my sunglasses. There was a breeze. A COOL breeze. It was like heaven after days of breezes that blew at you like the ones that come from the depths of your oven after you open it when the broiler has been in use. I was running along a new street for me; an old part of town. The houses were post-WWII bungalows with carports and mature trees. It was nice to zone out and enjoy the breeze, the quaint houses where the monotony was only broken by the different hostas planted in front gardens.

Before I knew it, I was close to 10k in and I decided to take a GU, least my legs give out on me in the final push. By this time, I was headed to Main Street (Milton, ON) and was able to put the empty water bottle in the garbage and run on hands free. Running up Main Street to the new end of my town was awesome. I didn't see one single soul. It was too early for church and coffee and too late for late-night barfly's. I loved the feeling of being alone. I can't accurately explain how great I felt to just run on, knowing that the run would soon come to an end.

As I headed up the final hill to the subdivision that would lead me across the major road and into my own subdivision, I passed a women who I had passed very early in my run. I took a few seconds to ask how far she was running, "I dunno... maybe 15?"

"I'm going 14" I said, "Have a good one!" And with a wave and a nod, we each ran on (me going west, her going east) happy to have shared the camaraderie of a long Sunday run and glad to be left alone with our thoughts again.

Distance: 14.5k, Time: 1:35:59, Pace: 6:37/km on average

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Three Things Thursday

I might as well play along!

1. I was wrong about my Hamilton Half Marathon training plan. I'm actually doing a 17 week plan; 16 weeks of training with the 17th week being race week! This happened because I, um, missed a week in August. HA!

2. So far this week has been great! I completed a great 12k run on Sunday on my own, ran hills with the current half marathon clinic (and ran them speedy!) and did a great medium-long 8k last night. Today calls for 6k tempo... If it happens, it'll be at the gym on the treadmill as there is no way I'm attempting to run in 50C heat (and yes, I DO live in Canada).

3. I'm pretty very sure my ePace has changed. I can't seem to run slower then 6:45 these days no matter how hard I try. In fact, during the hill repeats on Tuesday, I actually almost hit my old 6:00m/km tempo pace for the first time ever on all repeats (6:04, 6:09, 6:05). As a result, I'm not going to kill myself trying to go slower then 6:45m/km on my easy runs anymore, but I am going to do my best to stick with that speed least I re-injure myself. For the record, my tempo pace is now 5:45m/km. I start intervals next week, so we'll see how they go!

Have a great day, and if you're in the GTA stay cool!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Hamilton Half Marathon Week 1 Training Recap

Last week I kicked off my self directed training plan to get me into shape for the Hamilton Half Marathon. I'm both excited and nervous to be attempting a self-directed training plan for only my second half marathon, but because it is the summer, because I'm heading back to work from maternity leave in September and because my Running Room's current half clinic is targeting the Scotiabank Marathon, I decided to do it on my own.

The Running Room program calls for 17 weeks of training with week 18 being the race. I've reduced this to 15 weeks with 16 being the race as I already have a good base. I was supposed to run 21km and ended up with 26km in (Su-Sa)

Mon Jul 11: Ran 8k at the gym on the treadmill. I stuck to an easy pace for the first 5k and used the last 3k as a tempo run: 0:54:00. I also played baseball that night (and Tuesday night).

Wed Jul 13: 5.81k in a door to door loop before I went to dinner with the girls. It was a hot, fast run, but it allowed me to stick with the program: 0:35:46

Thur Jul 14: 7k door to door again after I put the baby to bed. I did not want to run and felt so tired before I headed out, but I couldn't keep my legs slow: 0:44:21

Sat Jul 16: 5.13k with the jogging stroller and Fergus. This should count for much more as it is HARD to run with the stroller. It did allow me to keep my ePace easy though: 0:35:28

Total: 26km
Time: 2:49:25
Pace per KM: 0:6:31

This is right where I want to be right now. I'm planning on increasing the distance and pushing the speed in the weeks to come as I start to incorporate a 10k speed plan within the half training schedule in order to get ready to PB the Zoo Race on September 24th.

Happy Running!

Friday, July 15, 2011

When you don't want to run

I didn't want to run last night. Not at all. I was tired after spending a lot of the afternoon outside yesterday and generally from fighting a cold all the while being woke up 1-2x a night by the baby.

At 7pm, I nursed the baby to sleep and almost joined him.

Instead, I resisted the urge to curl up on the couch and watch TV and got out with my tunes and shoes, settling in for 7k. It was pretty crazy. I was tired and sluggish, but I couldn't keep my body from running fast. I don't know if it is because I only ran one 3k stretch of tempo this week or if it was because I was only mentally tired, but at the end of the run, even after doing my best to run conservatively, I had held a 6:20 pace on average (my half race pace was 6:23).

I'm going to get a quick tempo in tomorrow and then a 12k long run on Sunday. My goal for Sunday is to keep my pace at 6:50. I've got to slow down. I don't want to end up back in physio.

Do you have any tips for keeping it slow?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Warrior Dash (non) Race Report!

Let me say first off that had I actually ran this race, it would have been the most difficult race I have ever done in my entire life. As it was, the girls I was running with had a hard time (as did many) and so we walked the entire race.

We headed up to Barrie around 12:30 and hit traffic on the 400 highway as we suspected. We had lots of time to make our 4:30 wave start so we cruised, chatted, stopped for Ice Capps and texted with our fellow racers who were ahead of us.

We got off the highway and made it to parking after a bit of confusion being turned around a few times by officers telling us we couldn't go this way or that way. We met up with our fourth and her boyfriend and got on the school buses for the 2 minute drive to Horseshoe Resort. The scene was awesome with loads of Warriors milling around pre and post race. The mud on those who had completed the race was amazing.

We then saw that people were lining up to be sprayed off by fire hoses after their race. Wow.

We checked our bags, hit the washroom and then started to line up but not before I ran into my cousin (watching her complete her first marathon at Mississauga in 2009 really inspired me to become a runner). She had just finished and repeated what we were hearing all around us: The hills were BRUTAL, the obstacles were nothing, we would get muddy.

Soon, it was time to start and the gun went (as did the fire at the start line!) and we were off. The very first obstacle we hit was a mud pit and while we all thought we were prepared with shoes tied on super tight, one of the girls lost her shoe. She dug it out and we stopped to let her empty it and then put it back on.

This is where the 'race' part of the race went out the window. The three ladies I was with were all out of breath (all smokers, all with asthma) and we decided to walk it. It was brutally hot and we literally were walking up a black diamond ski hill. We were in the back of the pack and I was doing fine, so I settled into my role as cheerleader.

I don't have much more to report. As I wasn't racing, I didn't pay much attention to times or anything else. After the halfway point, we caught up with another group of 4:30ers who were struggling up yet another steep hill and we joked around with them. It was at this time that the 5:00 wave front runners started to pass us and I started to cheer them on as they could barely run up the hill (it was that steep and trust me, these people were FIT). I was doing leg kicks and cheer leading moves saying, "Go 5:00, go 5:00, go 5:00 wave! You're doing it! You're lapping us 4:30ers! Keep racing! Keep racing! Keep racing shirtless please!"

At least I got some laughs from those who were struggling badly up the hill (even though my friend Flo (who I did the Santa run with) was ready to kill me and my positive attitude!). We made it up that hill and from that point on it was mainly downhill through the last obstacles. I climbed the final cargo net, jumped the two fires but did not get down on my stomach for an army crawl through the final mud pit. At that point, I wasn't feeling it. I am short enough that I was able to crouch down to get under the chains even though some people were walking over them.

We finished and grabbed some water and photos:

As you can see, I'm not muddy!

We then went to the fire hose to clean up a bit (I donated my shoes), changed to cleaner clothes and got our free beer (the timing chip was good for a free beer):

I would do this race again. 100%. I would race it though, but with someone who could stay with me. It would be no fun to do it alone. I'm very glad I stayed with these four ladies throughout. If you decide to do this race next year I only have one recommendation: Get ready for hills!

Time: 1:10:29
Place: 9417
Place F30-34: 864

Friday, July 8, 2011

Races and goals

These past two weeks have really been great for me. I've totally gotten back into my running routine and have even gotten out for morning runs before my husband goes to work (these are needed as I am now home with both of my sons and I can't run while my four year old bikes beside me - we've tried!).

With the success I've been having any my husband's blessing, I bit the bullet this past week and signed up for the Road 2 Hope Half Marathon taking place in Hamilton on November 6, 2011.

The goal for this one is pretty simple:

Personal Best (sub 2:13:58)

I also signed up for the Energizer 5k Night Race on September 10, 2011. The goal here is fuzzy, but a sub 28 minutes is the current goal.

Of course, I will also look for a 10k PB at the zoo run on September 24th.

For this weekend at the Warrior Dash, I have no goals.


Actually attempt the jump over the fire.

Not get hurt.

Drink a lot of beer (post race).

I'm having a great summer!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Yesterday I was discharged from Physio! Yippee!

My knee is on the mend, but I need to ensure that I keep up the stretching and strengthening routines that I learned. My knee is still "tracking" slightly off, so I need to get back in to see the therapist at the first sign of something odd to ensure I don't end up with a very bad injury. He also suggested that I ice my knee after every run whenever possible.

I'm also back in the running game! According to Daily Mile I ran 32k last week (M-Su) for a total of 3h32m spent running over four workouts. I'm very pleased to see those numbers! I ran my LSD on Saturday morning as we were attending a party later in the day and sleeping over so I wouldn't have been able to get it in on Sunday AM. This strategy worked out well for me and I didn't feel one iota of guild as I loaded up on the 12 kinds of amazing salads on offer at the buffet (or the piece of chocolate Canada Day cake!).

I kept up the early morning routine this morning, heading out the door at 0715 to start my day with 5.7k around my neighbourhood. It took me about 2k to get my legs working and less stiff, but it was great to get back in the house knowing that I got the workout in (I have baseball tonight, plus both of my kids are home with me now that school is out and it is really hard to run with the jogging stroller and my four year old on his bike!).

I'm eager to put some speed work back on the plan, but I'm unsure if I could handle a tempo run so early in the AM. I guess I can test the theory tomorrow morning as I think my husband is off for a bike ride tomorrow evening, meaning I can't run once the kids are in bed (as he'll be gone).

This weekend is also the Warrior Dash, but that will be more about the post-race drinks having a great time, then racing. I'll write about that one later in the week.