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Milton, Ontario, Canada

Monday, March 28, 2011

Spend a little... spend a lot!

This weekend I took advantage of the Running Room gift card I got from my parents for my birthday last week and also a great sale at a certain big box store. What follows is my haul:

Yes, they are men's, but they were on clearance for $5 and have built in underwear. With my thunder thighs muscular quads, I need something loose that won't drive me crazy with ride up, so I'm going to give these a chance for gym and hot outdoor running.

These 3/4 length tights are more like ankle waders on me, but they are super light and will be great for long runs. I'm thinking these may be the race pants on May 15th.

We ran 16k yesterday, and after last Sunday's 14k, I knew I needed something extra to get me through. I bought this particular flavour on the recommendation of my pace group leader. It was okay, but a bit sweet. I think I'll try the lemon flavour next week. I took half of this at 6k and half at 11k, but next Sunday we are doing a varied pace 16k with T and M paces, so I think I'll be needing two.

And finally (at the big box store - on sale for $150):

Happy Tax refund to me!

This major purchase confirms my runner status to me even more. Especially because when I made my facebook status: "Just bought a Forerunner 305! Yippee!", half of the people who commented on it thought I had bought a new car. HA!

Now, I'm putting my wallet away for a while... even though I need new shoes!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I know why runners talk in miles...

Besides the fact that many of them are American.

It just feels shorter when you're talking about a 5 mile run versus a 8 kilometre run.

Yesterday, I ran 5 miles at the gym on the treadmill. I did a true easy pace and it took me 59 minutes. It was an easy run from the mental aspect as well.

Let me expand and tie all of the above together.

The treadmills at the gym only talk in miles, so I knew that I needed to go 5 miles to get my prescribed 8k in (I've combined my Thursday and Saturday runs into one Friday run). I knew that 1.86 miles was equal to 3km.

I like math.

Thus, I spent a lot of the time being annoyed by Regis and Kelly looking at the display and calculating how many kilometres I had run, how many I had left, and what time I'd be at when finished.

The mental aspect of finishing 5 miles instead of 8km really kicked in once I had run 2.5mi/4km.

What makes you feel better?

2.5 to go


4 to go

Regardless of the fact that it is the exact same distance, it sure feels a whole lot easier to count down 2.5 miles.

And thus, I learned why lots of runners (even Canadians) tend to talk in miles after a while.

Looking forward to 10 miles with the group on Sunday.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Crazy or just a typical runner?

Yesterday the GTA was hit with our typical spring snow fall. Well, typical in that the snow fell, a-typical in that 11+ centimetres fell over the course of 12 hours.

So, our planned hills were cancelled and in fact our group leader suggested via email that we run them on a treadmill if possible.

So, I did.

After supper with the family (a lovely unrushed affair because I wasn't on a timeline) and nursing the baby to sleep (GAH! The baby is almost 7.5 months!), I headed out to the gym at the grocery store and got on the treadmill.

I had a tiny post-it note with cheat times and mileage on it so that I knew when to ramp up the hills and speed etc and off I went. The gym was empty, TLC taught me all about Sister Wives and Charlie Sheen and after figuring out that I needed to actually hold on to my cheat sheet (it fell twice), I was in a huge zone.

5 hills plus warm up and cool down took me an hour and 8.4km.

Did you know that treadmills go into cool down mode after an hour?

Neither did I.

I felt so good after getting the hills done even though while I was running them, I was cursing the 1/4 miles.

So, does this make me crazy or just a typical runner?

Friday, March 18, 2011

What a week!

First, it is March Break, so this week has seemed like a holiday, even though it has pretty much been business as normal for this on mat-leave mum. It has seemed a lot busier so there has not been much time for blogging.

Here is the week of running:

Sunday, 12k - varied pace. We were supposed to run the trail around the man made lake again and while it was a lovely, sunny morning, it was icy. We started off okay on the sidewalks, but once we got on trails it was very icy. We came up to the front of the group during one of the tempo parts of the run and they were stopped. I don't know WHAT I was thinking, but I kept running even though everyone was yelling, "ice! ICE!" I was slowing down, but I thought the ice was in the tunnel we were about to run through, not on the down sloped path into it.

You see where this is going yet?

Yes, I had an EPIC wipe out. My tailbone hit, my legs flew in front of me, my arm skidded down the mud and I cracked my head. We abandoned the trail and finished the 12k and I spent the rest of the day with a slight headache.

Tuesday was 5.8k easy. We ran another trail run out and back and we did it in complete daylight! Yippee!!! I took my earbuds out for this run and chatted away with a lovely woman and got the "easy" run done a wee bit too quickly (6:50 min/k), but it was nice.

Wednesday was our very first day of hills! We ran 4x400 meter hills. Plus warm up with strides and cool down.

I am not a fan.

To say the least.

Thursday was all messed up because I had both kids (due to March Break) and had to be at an appointment at 11, so I skipped my normal gym run.

Tonight, I put in a very quick 3.5k as soon as my husband got home from work. This worked out quite well as he made supper while I ran.

Tomorrow brings 5.5k.

32k for the week.

Not bad considering I used to struggle to fit in 15.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Long SNOWY Run

Ah, Sunday!

Sunday was either race PR Day or Pacer Day or in my case, long slow run day.

After a four hour drive home from my Aunt's 60th birthday party in Victoria Harbour in the crazy snow storm on Saturday night, I knew that Sunday's planned trail run would not be easy. A normal two hour drive took us a bit over four hours and while I slept in the car, I didn't get to my bed until 2am. The baby was up at 5am to eat as well.

Nonetheless, I was up at 7:15 determined to get out and run the 12k trail that our group had planned. I was sure that by 8:30am, the roads would be a lot better as at 5am, it was not snowing anymore. How wrong I was! The normal 20 minute highway drive to the Running Room took me 30 minutes and I saw 4 different accidents (including an airport limo where the driver was sitting in the car and the passenger was standing on the side of the 401 with his luggage looking ANGRY).

When I got to the store, I heard the marathon group leader telling her group that they'd need their spikes for the 26k run they had planned. I was worried. I barely have any running gear beyond some winter tights, shoes and a new 10 ounce handheld water bottle I bought last week.

When Bing started handing out the route, he gave us a road route. You could tell he was disappointed. This was the second weekend in a row that we had planned to run this trail around a (man made) lake/storm drain and the plan had been foiled by snow. I someone suggested that he should stop planning this route and it would stop snowing on Sunday's.

Before we headed out, he gave the group a choice - run the road route (which was road, but not much better with the icy/non-plowed conditions) or to try the trail which would be much the same, but without cars etc. My pace leader (who has knee issues) decided on the roads and the majority of our group decided to follow the bigger group to the lake.

It was tough, but not horrible. The best part was passing people who looked at us like we were crazy (which I totally understand). When we got to the trail proper, Bing gave the group another choice to turn back on the roads or to keep going to the lake. The group basically had the "we've come this far" mentality and off we went. When we got to the lake loop, the plan was three times around the lake and back to the store again for a total of 12k. After the first rotation, some people left. I did a second rotation but knew that I had 3.3k back to the store and decided to be happy with 9.8k instead of 12k and so I headed back with about 5 other people while a few kept running for the total mileage.

The run back was uneventful. Well, if you ignore the fact that at about 750 meters to go, I got a HUGE soaker by a car (we were on the sidewalk by this point). Dude got me. Head to toe. Man, that woke me up and had me pushing a whole lot faster for the end.

I'm proud of this run for many reasons. Running in the conditions, running on such little sleep, running a longer distance when it was totally okay for me to cut out early. And mostly for completing it in a reasonable time:

9.8k, 1:13:29. 7:30/km pace.

10 weeks until the half marathon!

A big shout out to the people who participated in the Chilly half marathon and Frosty 5k yesterday. I've linked to two above: MARLENE who managed to PR in these conditions and YUMKE who proved that he's a pacer you want to run with, bringing in his 1:45 continuous group in 26 seconds ahead of their goal. CONGRATS!

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Nicole, I think you're running too slow. You shouldn't be laughing and teasing me. Tomorrow, run with the 6km/min group.

And so I did.

And so I experienced a real tempo run.

But let's back up a bit, shall we?

Tuesday night yielded the first night I got out with my Running Room group to run Tempo. It was a deceiving night, weather wise. We thought it was going to be nice and warm and it seemed that way, until we got out there and felt the wind blow. No matter, after 10 minutes of easy running we were warmed up enough to tackle the 6:14/min KMs assigned to us.

Running tempo with the group was great! I loved the warnings as we approached the end of the 10 minute warm up. I loved that everyone fell silent and just RAN as hard as they were supposed to. I loved just RUNNING without worrying about running too quickly as all I had to do was follow the leader.

We completed the first 10 minutes of tempo run and slowed down for the two minute rest. I felt great! When it was time to kick it up again, my leader told me to follow someone else; her knees were bothering her. So I did and ran with the same freedom as before. It was near the end that Bing came back to us and asked how we were all doing. When a few of us answered easily and joked with him, he quickly told us that we'd be moving up a pace group the next night. He was so serious! But it was fine.

So last night, I was determined to keep up with the new group, but to not KILL myself in the process. I'm happy to report that I was able to do it. In fact, we averaged 5:57/km (perhaps the crazy wind helped us when we were not heading into it). This was the nine out of ten effort that Bing spoke of. I still enjoyed the run for the fact that I DID IT, but it was hard. There was effort. Effort that will be rewarded on May 15.

Next week: Hills!