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Milton, Ontario, Canada

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Robbie Burns Race Report!

Ah, the Bard of Ayrshire. I know, I know... you have no real idea who Robert Burns was, but let me tell you no New Years celebration is complete without his lyrics (Should auld acquaintance be forgot/ and never brought to mind?).

Yes, he's the guy who wrote that.

You're welcome for the jeopardy answer.

Anyway! Back to the race report. The day dawned sunny and early. I crawled out of bed with the 6am alarm and took a shower before dressing, eating (shreddies and coffee). I had one finishing touch to do, putting our family crest and motto on my coat before making my way to Burlington to pick up Emma.

Next year, this will be on a T-Shirt!

Once Emma got in the car, it was a short trip to the high school where the race started and we congratulated ourselves on being about an hour early as surely we'd get prime parking at the school lot.

Nope. It was full.

No fear, we got easy parking on a side street and made our way inside where we sorted out or bunnets and bibs and various other stuff and I checked my bag. We watched/listened to the Halton Pipe band for a bit:

And then made our way for the first bathroom stop and to the cafeteria to sit down for a while. We chatted and took in the costumes and runners.

 Around 9:15, I wanted to head back to the washroom so we did and then headed out to the start. There wasn't much time to think or chat and with a final, "I'll see you later, I'm totally going to go out to fast." I was off, heading for that PB

The race started fine. I was way too far back and spent about a kilometer weaving, weaving, weaving and passing, passing, passing. Finally when we turned onto Fairview, I was able to settle into a pace, thanks mainly to spotting a "Connor's Runner" in a bright orange jacket and following her along as we continued to pass, pass, pass. 

I recognized early that I was running at 10k race pace (Not half marathon pace per the plan), but I felt okay and I felt like keeping up with Connor's Runner was the right thing to do. We made the turn down Guelph Line and although the sun was bright and my glasses were foggy, the slight downhill was a welcome relief as I really was not used to running so quickly or pushing so hard. If you look above, you'll notice I'm wearing a lot of clothing. I was freezing at the start but WAY. TOO. HOT. by this point. I think I should have run without the fleece layer. I even took off my mittens. If I had somewhere to put it (and if I wasn't such a good sport), I would have taken off that damn synthetic bunnet as well. HEAT. TRAPPER.

I had been running pretty consistent splits to this point, but the downhill to Lakeshore saw a 4th KM split that was a touch fast. I told myself to just push through, stay with Connor's Runner and trust myself. I wasn't feeling like I wanted to stop or was out of breath, I was just at that miserable part of any short distance race. I was feeling the effort. We made the turn onto Lakeshore shortly after 5k and I watched as Connor's Runner slowly and surely pulled away. She was employing a strategy I had toyed with - go out on pace and then speed after 5k to the end. Too bad I didn't go out on pace. Oh well.

Even without my pacer, I was able to keep up the average pace over KM 5 and 6 before I really began to struggle. I mean I had to tell myself that I had at most 11 minutes left. I had to confirm that it would be okay if I dropped down to a 5:27/km pace as that was my in-going target anyway. I got distracted here a bit with my fogging sunglasses and took them off. I gave some thumbs up to the photog who snapped my photo (when I find them, I'll share). I recalled that this was part of the Chilly Half Marathon route and let myself get up those slight inclines without thinking too much about the actual fact that I was running fast and with effort. The 41km I had run earlier in the week had arrived to make some noise though.

When I passed the 7k marker, Till I Collapse came on my iPod. Hooray! My boyfriend (Eminem) had come to cheer me on to the end:

'Cause sometimes you just feel tired,
Feel weak, and when you feel weak, you feel like you wanna just give up.
But you gotta search within you, you gotta find that inner strength
And just pull that shit out of you and get that motivation to not give up
And not be a quitter, no matter how bad you wanna just fall flat on your face and collapse.
I know, right?

You'd have thought I would have blasted toward the finish with this in my ear. Instead I struggled onward, up Locust Street toward the finish line. There is a photog here and I seriously gave him a look that said, "You've got to be kidding me. I can't even bother." What was especially fun was the masses of Black Lungs and Longboat runners who were casually jogging back along the course (on the sidewalks of course) to cool down. I made the turn on to Baldwin, saw the finish and I wish I could say I speed up, but instead I checked the time, plus the time on my watch and thought, Okay I have it. Even if I slow down now. It was my slowest KM.

But a sweet PB!

A 2:32 PB!

Gun: 43:15
Chip: 42:26
Place: 378/845
F35-39 - 13/54 (last year I was 14th in F30-34)
F: 111/428

5:20-5:15-5:15-5:08-5:10-5:18-5:21-5:23 (19.8 - last 0.07)

After I was finished, I stumbled over to the sidelines to catch my breath and rip off my bib belt and anything pressing on my waist. I was bloated. Think Niagara Falls bloated. And stuff at my waist was killing me. I caught my breath and started looking for friends. I was able to watch my friend Sarah finish and her sister, Rachel who was running in her first race! And then, all of a sudden, Emma came blistering through the finish, 3 minutes ahead of her targeted 50 minute pace! We celebrated and then headed out of the cold to get our oatmeal cookies (but not the actual oatmeal), bagels, water and bananas. I dropped Emma at home and quickly made my way to Alasdair's hockey game. He scored 3 of their 4 goals. 

A' fowk did stoatin aw aroond!

Right now I'll be back at this race again next year. Such a great test of pace so early in the season and so close to home. How could I not?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Mississauga Marathon Training Week 4!

Well, despite some seriously cold weather and the constant challenge of fitting those five runs into the week, I was able to hit all milestones during week four!

Monday: Rest day! Whew!

Tuesday: Tuesday was going to be frigid. I knew that the only way I'd get a run in would be to do so in the morning before work as I was booked solid in meetings that day and I had planned to go to family swim that night with friends. So, I set the alarm for 5am and headed to the gym! I wasn't sure if I'd be able to run a tempo pace that early in the morning, but I exceeded my expectations and was able to hold 20 minutes on the treadmill at a  5:02/km pace! 6.44km, 35:34

Wednesday: Plans for swimming the night before never came to fruition as Alasdair spent all of Tuesday at the hospital and ended up with a diagnosis of Transient Synovitis. This common childhood ailment meant he couldn't do anything for the week, so the normal plan of him and Ken skiing while I ran and Fergus hung out with my parents was off. Instead, I came home (full from a luncheon speaker series) and decided to hit the road for the 10k with tempo that was on the plan. It was still COLD out, so I wore Alasdair's skiiing balaclava and it really helped. I couldn't hold 20 minutes of tempo so instead I ran the following: warm up for 2k, 2k tempo (4:54, 5:05), 1k rest/easy, 2k tempo (5:01, 5:18 - I got a stitch from not breathing properly, so I walked for a few seconds here). The rest was easy to get home. 10.01k, 57:13

Alasdair took the photo, Ken took the photobomb
Thursday: was clinic night. The guest speaker spoke about cross training and injury prevention. Basically, I learned that my ass doesn't fire when I run. My glutes need work. I had an Ah-Ha moment when I learned why my back sometimes hurts after a particularly challenging run (because my lower back does the work of my non-working ass). Then we were off for a very easy 8k run. I was alone and then in the front-ish pack with a bunch of men. There may have been some inappropriate freezing sword talk. I'm not sure. It was cold. Even our clinic coach, Chris who wears shorts all the time was in pants. 8.5k, 50:58

Friday was supposed to be a rest day, but I had the Robbie Burns 8k on Sunday and wanted to take Saturday easy. You see where this is going, right? I had to do my LSD run on Friday. It helps that I work from home on Friday's and that I only had 16k on the plan, but a busy work day kept foiling my plans for the run. Finally, around lunch time I was able to take off and run. I debated doing 11k and then going back out later, but I talked myself into doing the whole 16k. I couldn't imagine putting wet gear on and getting out there again, even if the day wasn't that cold. I also ran for Colton that day and got my photo done. 16k, 1:36:01

Saturday: Rest. Whew. I needed that!

Sunday: Robbie Burns 8k Race! I promise a race report, but spoiler I ran a PB. 8.07k, 42:25

Total KM: 49.02, Total Time: 4:42:11, Average pace per KM: 05:45

Oh... and we SOLD OUR HOUSE!

Another great week! I'm hoping to repeat my Tuesday treadmill tempo success tomorrow and enjoy increasing the LSD distance to 19k this week. I really do feel like time is flying by and I'm sure that packing and moving will keep me busy, but I do not intend to let it get in the way of the training.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Robbie Burns Race Goals


Tis time once again to lace up the shoon, dig out the bunnet and pull on the wee kiltie!

Robbie Burns race, 2012

It's Robbie Burns Race weekend!

My original plan for this race was to go out hard and try to run it at 5k race pace. This goal was planted in my head in the fall when I could easily hold that pace (5:00/km) for 3 out of 5 miles on a treadmill.

Fast forward through the off season (and serious lack of tempo/speed running) and reality has had me re-evaluate that goal.

As such, I'm going to race this sucker for a PB still, but aim for a test of my goal half marathon pace for Chilly (5:27/km).

Thus, my goal for the race in terms of time is


(or better, ah-hem).

My other goals include having FUN and enjoying getting to know Emma more as I pick her up and we head to the race together. At least this year the winter tights plus real Scottish socks won't be too warm.

If you see that crazy lady on Sunday, say Hi! I may not answer due to effort, but I'll take all the support I can.

Whee! Race Season has begun!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What I Ate Wednesday

 January 22, 2013 started with a banana and then a 0530 trip to the gym so that I could get my tempo run in on the treadmill rather then in the minus stupid degrees Celsius temperatures. 

Breakfast on the train followed. Peanut butter on a wrap and Powerade.


I went to the Toronto Board of Trade for a lunch talk on customer loyalty and this pear, walnut and blue cheese wilty and sad salad was the starter. The cupcake was chocolate-banana goodness with a caramel sauce, but I only ate half because I'm counting calories

Lunch. The salmon was atop a citrus fennel salad and the whole thing was rather good.

Dinner was eggs Benedict with mushrooms and brie topped with Sriracha. 

A desert of cantaloupe which was sweet and amazing.

Calorie burners.

With exercise, I ended the day with 77 calories in the bank, so not bad at all. I started food tracking last week and lost 1.2lbs, so let's hope I can drop 10 more to get to my goal.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Mississauga Marathon Training, Week 3!

That's right folks I'm already in week three of my training for my second marathon which I'll run on May 5, 2013 in Mississauga! I had a great week of running, but the week did have its challenges what with 18 more kilometres then the week prior, snow, wind and five days running! Whew!

Monday was rest day. This was fairly easy to do. Of course!

Tuesday was scheduled to be a tempo day. I was working from home that day and had agreed to meet some friends for lunch at a Starbucks about 6k away from my house. I started the run with a 10 minute warm up and tried to settle into a 20 minute tempo pace (5:00/km), but could only hold it for 10 minutes (4:53/km on average). I took a bit of a break and then ran another 5 minutes of tempo (4:50/km on average) before cooling down to round out the run. This was difficult. It has been a while since I've run tempo and a long time since I've done so outside. 6km, 32:36

Wednesday was run club night at the Running Room and I joined the group for a 10k run. I was the only one I found who was going to attempt a 5:00/km tempo pace so I set out with the group for an easy 12 minutes before picking up the pace. While stopped at a light, I discovered that Wayne from our clinic was going to run with me! Hurray! We managed 10 minutes of tempo (5:07/km), a break (and wrong turn, whoops!) and then another 5 minues of tempo (5:04/km). After another break Wayne asked if we were going to do another round of tempo. I told him I could try, but didn't think I'd be able to hold it. He was fine with that as he had been prepared to tell me to go ahead! We enjoyed the rest of the run at an easy pace chatting and getting to know each other. 11km, 1:03:03

Thursday was our official marathon/30k clinic night and we had a speaker in to talk about Pose running. It was very interesting and I need to investigate some more. I was really looking forward to the easy running and settled in with Wayne again with Gerald joining us. The snow was blowing, but it was the soft stuff and not slippery at all. It made for a good end of run photo:

8.5km, 51:46

Friday was rest day. DONE.

Saturday's schedule had an easy 6km run on tap and I managed to fit this glorious run in between tumbling lessons for Fergus and lunch. I had one of those perfect runs and was reminded of that amazingly true Oprah quote:
Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it
6.25km, 36:05

Sunday Long, Slow Distance day! The schedule had 13km on it, but seeing as I had run a bit more then 15km last Sunday, I decided on 16km in total. Due to the wind storm, our power had gone out so I missed my 5:50am alarm, but luckily, we have Fergus. Fergus has a built in alarm for around 7am and once he crawled into bed with us, I got up and got out the door by 7:30. The wind was brutal. BRUTAL. Gusts up to 100km/hour. When I got outside I discovered that it was blowing mostly from the north so I decided on an out and back route which only saw me running about 1.5km directly into the wind. Unfortunately, the wind changed after my turn around and I battled it for the last  8km. These are the memories to pull on during the hard parts of the marathon for sure. Oprah's quote ran through my head a lot during this run and I may have cursed prayed to God a few times as well! Got it done though! 16km, 1:37:06

Total KM: 47.75, Total time: 4:40:44, Average pace per KM: 5:53

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Vacation photos and 2013 Plans!

Oh hi! How are you? Yes, I know, we are now two weeks into 2013 and you haven't heard from me in forever. Well, I spent the first eight days of the year in Ocho Rios, Jamaica and the next seven catching up on everything else.

We did not take our kids.

Thus, the house keeping staff made some holiday suggestions for us:
It is amazing what a $5USD tip gets you!

Plans for 2013

My race schedule is an exact duplicate of 2012!
January 27: Robbie Burns 8k!

With the exception of Around the Bay, I will be pushing hard for a PB in each race. Training started in earnest last week, though I did run twice while in Jamaica.

My other goal for this year is to get my weight down to 125lbs. In November, I was around 129-131lbs, but today I'm 136.8lbs. I have recommitted to the love of salads and oatmeal and food tracking and know that I can get there. I just have to stop enjoying stuff like this so much:

I hope you all enjoyed a great New Year! What are your plans and goals for this year? What is your favorite libation?