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Milton, Ontario, Canada

Monday, December 30, 2013

2013: A year in review

Once again, I had an awesome year! Here are some highlights from the past 12 months.


Started in Jamaica! We took the trip to a friends wedding without the boys and had a good time even if we discovered that we're not really AI people.

Coming home, meant back to reality and the start of training for marathon #2. I raced Robbie Burns 8k again and advanced my AG placement while nabbing a new PB. 

We moved into our forever home after a very stressful home selling process. We are NEVER MOVING AGAIN:

I continued to embrace running in the cold as best as I could:

I began to seriously consider attempting more than just a 5 minute PB attempt in the marathon when I raced the Chilly Half Marathon
And Wayne and I killed our training run at Around the Bay

I also turned 36 and the next day left my soul sucking bank job to head back to a place where I feel at home: The Media Advertising agency. So I celebrated both:

At this point in marathon training, it seemed as if we had been running in cold, wet weather forever. There were a few Eff IT moments, but we pulled through with a great final training run on the Mississauga course to build our confidence for that first Sunday in May. Of course, I rewarded everyone with a Taper Cake
Race day strategy came together and I handled the taper very well.

Marathon #2 This is where I had my most exceptional running day. This is when I knew I'd make it to Boston one day.
Wayne and I ran the whole thing together, it was just a great day!

June started with my now annual Bread & Honey 5k race, where I pretty much shit the bed (as Sam would say). I looked great though:

I also solidified my fall race plans which did not include a marathon at my husband's request and Sam and I embarked on our very first #embracethesuck/ Jack Daniel's Running Formula training plan. June also saw me become a regular pre-work runner and I must say, I vastly enjoy it over the usual night time run even if it does get a bit lonely. 

We went on our first ever week long camping/trailer trip and loved ever second of it
 I ran three times while we were away and truly enjoyed each run, even if it was the week it was stinking hot in SW Ontario
In July, I also finally got my 5k PB and AG placed in a race for the first time ever! Of course, I looked awesome doing it:

August was a little rough for me in terms of running because I was having such trouble with my stomach. I tried to attempt my first ever pre-work LSD but had to abort due to said stomach. I never did find out what happened, but the issue hasn't returned, so maybe I just picked up a bug of some sort. August saw me run the longest distance of the second half of my year when I paced the Midsummer Night's Run 30k, 3 hour continuous group. I loved it and hope I can do it again next year.

The final push. Sam and I worked JD hard and got prepared to go after that late October race. Along the way we both PB'd at prep half marathon's, me at the Milton Half Marathon even though my stomach kinda hated me that day as well.

The most awesome unplanned race at the half marathon in Picton during the County Marathon. Everything was in place for the fall goal.

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon.

 Except, it didn't quite come together for me. While I earned yet another PB at the half marathon distance, I just didn't have the race I wanted to, physically or mentally. I took a lot of learning from that race, especially what to do when races go sideways and I came out the other side a much better runner. Not a bad way to finish half marathon #10

Redemption called and its name was the Road 2 Hope Hamilton Half Marathon. I got the race I wanted and I soaked it up
Then, I went on a run streak for 14 days, but still managed to enjoy some down time with my #1 supporter:
Finally, I launched right into Boston Qualify attempt marathon training with Sam and another Jack Daniel's plan. More importantly, I launched my Make-A-Wish campaign to raise funds for Wishes for Olivia (please consider supporting me if you can).

And finally, the end of the year. There have already been some meet up runs in Burlington, some treadmill tempo runs. Snow runs

And even a 16k treadmill run. I've gotten sick and gotten off track the past few weeks, but I'm committed to making the Boston standard in May, which means 2014 looks like its going to be another awesome year.

Total KM run: 2,500km (1,553.43mi)
Total time spent running: 239h2m28s

Happy New Year, see you on the flip side.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Marathon Training Update!

I am now into week three of my 23 week marathon training plan and the word of the plan so far is: BUSY!

I started my plan, right on time on November 25th, with an 8k run on the treadmill

I still had my cold which ended my run streak but I was starting to feel better and that 8k felt good.

I quickly launched my Wishes for Olivia fundraising campaign on the blog, facebook and dailymile and got some great support. I continued on that week, running a total of 58k over 5 days running and ending with a lovely group run along the Around the Bay hills with Patty, Sam and Emma. That was a tough 20k and my longest run since Hamilton's half marathon.

The second week of my training plan saw me immediately stall in one area I want to improve on: core and upper body strength. I didn't do anything in this regard. I just do not enjoy any other kind of exercise except for running. I really need to commit to core work at the very least and I'm determined to turn around my slackatude in this are today!

The week of December 2nd was busy. My mum and I travelled to Buffalo on Monday evening and I ended up working until about 10:45. My mind was still working hard, so I went down to the hotel bar for a beer and one $3 pint turned into three:

I still got up the next morning (albeit at 0700) and got in 8 treadmill kilometers, which hurt just a little:

The rest of the week was busy as well as we hosted an open house on Saturday and we prepped for that. I had a half day off on Friday and I took advantage by doubling up on my runs, running 10k in the morning before work and 10k in the late afternoon before I picked up my oldest son from school. The party went really well on Saturday and on Sunday afternoon, I got in another 11k in the sunshine to get my total up to 60k for the week.

This week started strong with a 10k pre-work run in the cold before work:

And some Tuesday treadmill tempo miles before work as well. Yesterday I had plans to meet the girls for our monthly dinner so I slept in until 0600! and ran 10k on the treadmill after work, before the dinner. This was boring and easy at the same time. I'm glad I have the option to get in some treadmill work because I'm finding that I'm really struggling to get up and run before work. Today, I set the alarm to go for a 8k run at 0500 but I didn't get up. Now, I always have gym time booked in my calendar on Thursday, so I knew I had this option, but I really feel like I'm hitting the snooze button too much. I'm finding the thought of facing the -20c (-4f) temperatures not appealing at all. I guess the main thing is that I'm getting the runs in and not skipping them all together.

In fundraising news, I sit at 19% of my goal achieved! I've raised $657.20 so far toward my ultimate goal of $3,400 in memory of Olivia and to support Make a Wish Canada. Please consider donating if you can. To learn more and to donate, GO HERE. Even $5 will go a long way to help. I thank you for your support!

So, I'm two and a half weeks into the plan and in two and a half weeks, I'll begin to add those #embracethesuck, Jack Daniels runs back into the program. I'm hoping that I can get my early morning mojo back by then and also to get my core a bit stronger.

I hope you're doing well. Are you in the off season too? Do you still have races to run in 2013 (I'm done)? What races have you signed up for in 2014?

Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 2, 2013

November Recap!

November was a great month for me! I started really well and ended awesomely and had a great middle Run Streak. I'm so close to the end of the year and my goal of running 2,400km for the year that baring major injury, I'm positive I will get it!

November also saw me kick off my third cycle of Spring Marathon Training. This cycle is different for two reasons: I'm basing the training on a plan that I wrote myself (using the Daniel's Running Formula as a guide). I still signed up with the Running Room's Marathon Clinic, because I really enjoy the friends I've meet there and Coach Chris is back in the lead. I can always learn from him.

The second reason why this cycle is different is because for the first time, I'm going to use my running to raise money for a great cause. Doing so, will honour the 5 1/2 year old daughter of my friend who went to bed on December 25, 2012 and never woke up. Donate HERE to help me reach my goal.

# of Runs: 22. The 14 day run streak really helped here!

# of Runs started by 5am: 8. I've been hitting snooze too often.

Races: 1: The Road 2 Hope Hamilton Half Marathon

The result I wanted!
Best Run of the Month: Hitting the Culham trail with Alan, Peter, Phil and some other Daily Milers.

I made sure I was dressed to be seen

Yay, kind stranger to take a photo

One of our views
This month started with the end of my lung infection and ended with a killer cold which stopped my run streak at 14 days. I really hope that this isn't a sign of what's to come this winter, because I have big training plans and I can't be stalled with constant colds and illness. I was lucky to end the month with my longest run since Hamilton, running 20 very hilly kilometers with Sam, Emma, and Patty on the Around the Bay route

1,500 feet of upness

Total KM Run: 188.75 (117.28mi)

Time Spent Running: 17h52m34s

Average pace per KM: 0:05:41 (0:09:09/mi)

I hope that December keeps you safe and that you get to enjoy some time with your loved ones!