Sunday, December 11, 2011

run therapy

I woke up to sound of purring from my baby boy cat, he was cuddled up next to me.  He usually sleeps between my feet and bites me when I try to pet him in the morning so this was a nice surprise.  He stayed for a while and we snuggled. 

I climbed out of bed after whiskey decided he had given me enough affection.  I got the coffee going and made my shopping list.  I decided to try making two new vegetarian recipes for this weeks lunches.  Lately my motivation for cooking has been zapped and if it isn't a crock pot recipe, I'm not interested.   I found a lentil barely soup (neither of which I have ever cooked before) and a spinach lasagna recipe.

My husband had suggested we go to the Bulldogs game this afternoon so I had limited time to get things done.   I ran out to the grocery and grabbed what I needed.  As soon as I got back from the store I was tearing around the house looking for my running gear and ran out the door.

I ran my usual 5km route heading south down my street cutting over to the bike path.  I didn't feel the need to follow the 10/1 method and just took a walking break on the bigger incline before crossing Guelph Line. 

After my brief walk, I started running again I and could see my shadow ahead of me and could feel the warmth of the sun on my back.   I opened my arms wide stretching out away from me with my palms up and felt so light as I was running.   I don't know if this ever happens to you, but during my run a few things had come to mind that use to weigh my down and today, I decided to let them go.  I decided that those people and those memories didn't serve any purpose for me any longer and I let it go.   I was making my way back home and felt amazing, today was one of my best runs ever!  I use to believe in Retail I think it's going to be Run Therapy instead. 

We made it to the game just in time to watch the Bulldogs beat Buffalo's farm team 2-1, both teams played a great game.  I had the spinach lasagna cooking while we were out and it was ready by the time we got back from the game.  It turned out great and I will definitely make that again.  

Sunday, November 27, 2011

rainy day sunday

We started out the day with a 10km.  I looked out the window and saw the sky was gray with rain clouds over head.  The rain was already falling and looking at intellicast, it was not going to let up any time soon.  We laced up and headed out with a rain coats and music.  It had been a while since I had the pleasure of my husbands company during one of my training runs.

We headed out running south on our street following my usual path connecting at the bike path. We followed the path along until Headon Road where we ran north to catch the upper stretch of the path.  Along the way we ran at our own speed and just when we were out of each other site he would stop and wait for me to catch up.  One day I will keep up with him!  We continued down the path heading back toward home, but before we could turn down our street we had to get in a few laps around the track before calling it quits. 

This was the first "bad" weather day I have experienced and really the only annoying part about it was the feeling of wet feet and wet ear buds slipped.  It was 14 degrees when we had left the house and with the rain coats we had on we got quite warm, the cool rain was refreshing even if it was hitting us in the face. 

All in all we went 10.5km today.  I ran slower today, slower than I had run at the R2H but it was also my first outside long run in two weeks. 

After we got home I made breakfast and put some fresh coffee on.  With the run out of the way we curled up on the couch and watched "the way" .   When I watch movies like this I want to drop everything and just go do what they're doing, to go on a journey to see the world and have those life experiences that can teach you so much.  Today, I'm on a similar yet different journey. I'm on the long road to becoming a real athlete not just someone who exercises, but someone who trains for a reason.  What drives me on this path is the desire to see how hard I can push myself and see what I will accomplish. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

getting back on the wagon

After I finished my race in October I was getting worried about falling off the wagon and losing everything built up for that run.  This past week I feel like I am getting back on the wagon. 

It was so nice out this past weekend I went for two runs outside, Saturday was a 7km run and it was brutal!  Now I really know why my massage therapist always told me not to workout after an appointment.  I was so surprised to see how slow I was running and how hard it felt.   Also got a bunch of housework out of the way and got our laundry/storage room better organized. 

Sunday I did bit more around the house and went and picked up a few things from the store.  I went for a quick 5km, there was no way I was going to let another gorgeous day go by and not run outside. It's going to be cold before we know it so I wanted to make the most of the +15 degrees!?!  My time was SO much better than the day before, my legs felt great and I felt so much faster. 

I was feeling a bit off Monday and Tuesday but I didn't want to miss my second spin class so I went on Tuesday.  It was totally different from the Thursday night but it was just as good.   We did more temp work cycling as fast as we could then climbed a huge hill then came down the other side.  It was great work out and I am starting to know how much I can push myself on the bike. 

Tonight I went to the runner/triathlete yoga.  It was really different from the moksha yoga I have done in the past but it good to stretch out my legs and hips.  I didn't realise how tight my muscles had been and the savasna was just what I needed.

My diet has improved this week as well.  On Sunday I dusted off my copy of The Zone and decided to get back to basics with my eating by balancing my carbs, protein and fat.  So far, so good.  Next up (starting tonight) no more late night snacking...this has been a major downfall for me in the past and when I keep my snacking and late night eating in line I am way more successful.  For a few reasons, I haven't hopped on the scale in a long time and don't plan on getting on any time soon.  I don't want or need to get wrapped up in the numbers, while I know I have gained back more than I would care to admit the numbers on the scale is not what I need to focus on right.  Right now, it's more important to get in at least five workouts during the week and just eat healthy...I know how to do all this, now it's just a matter of doing it!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

and so it begins

I got up this morning with the intention of going for a run but my plans quickly got detoured. Instead I repacked my gym bag and got myself ready for work.   It was a busy day and I was debating just calling it a day and going home. Instead, I ended up working late and  just left in time to my first spin class tonight, okay technically it was my second but the last time I went to one was probably 10 years ago.  I went into the cycling room and found a bike in the back row.  I was adjusting my seat etc with the help of some very nice people on either side of me.  The room was quickly filling up and the instructor came around to check on us newbies, I wasn't the only one!  I got setup, strapped in and I was quickly going no where fast spinning my legs. 

The class felt like it went by pretty quickly, we did a few different types of exercises where we went all out then had recovery and repeated 5 times, increasing the intensity inbetween each set.  Or we were alternating between sitting and standing have to keep the RPMs consistent. I was acutally pretty surprised how fast it went by.  The hardest part of the class was probably sitting on the bike seat lol. Don't get me wrong I was pushing hard and trying to keep up as much as possible but I definitly need to build up some tolarnace for the bicycle seat!

All and all, I think I liked it. It was nice to have do a workout that wasn't a run but was still challenging.  I had my heart rate monitor on and I noticed I was either in the high 160-170s or I was in the 130-150's okay, so looking at this now, it was all over the place lol. 

Slowly my plan is developing but for now I'm really just holding on until I get my formal plan in January.  But for the time being I want to run a couple times a week to not lose what I built up doing long runs, get a spinnng class in and I need to get in the water once a week.  Getting the swims in is probably the hardest workout for me as I hate swimming alone...I don't know yet how this is going to happen but I will have to figure something out.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Road to Hope Race Report

I was getting picked up at 8:30 this morning for the Road to Hope run.  Ali was running the 5km and I was running the 10km.  We picked up our race kits last night which was great, that way we knew exactly where the event starting point was going to be and what to expect when we got down there today. 

Two alarms were set making sure I didn't sleep in but I woke up and felt wide awake around 5am and tossed and turned for almost an hour.  Why is it when the alarm goes off after falling back asleep you are that much more tired!?  I finally dragged myself out of bed and made some coffee, I figured that would help get me going.

I saw Ali and J pull up to the house, made one last check that I had everything packed and we were off! We got to the park pretty early, probably a little too early.  We wondered around a bit and decided to go wait back in the car. It was pretty chilly this morning, the temperature on the thermostat said it was 2 outside this morning.  I had on two pairs of socks, my running pants, fleece pants, two top layers,. a fleece sweater and of course my Pittsburgh Penguins toque (that nearly cost me my ride to the race...Tampa fans!)  and I was still cold!

We thawed out then made our way back to the starting queue.  I felt nervous and excited for Ali, I knew how it felt to stand by yourself  in that queue for the first time.  It's funny how you can feel along when you're surrounded by people.  The man on the mic did a great job singing Oh Canada, did the 10 second countdown and they were off!  Ali did an amazing job toady and it was a lot of fun being able to see a friend start and finish her first race!

With Ali returning from her race that meant I was up next.  My dad got to the park a few minutes before I had to queue, it was nice to have him there today.  I went to get in the starting area but we were delayed a bit waiting for the last of the 5km folks to come in. It didn't take long and we were on our way.  I started somewhere in the middle of the pack and that was pretty much the only time I was in the middle lol.  Dad, Ali and J were down the route a little bit, they cheered as I passed which is always great for a little extra push. 

The majority of the people passed me but I found my pace after a the first kilometer  and there were about 10 of us that were all running about the same pace but spreadout.    I looked back only once to see if I was at the very back, it was close but I wasn't last.  I keep telling myself everyone is running their own race. There were some really really fast runners today. My goal was to come in under 1:30, I held back a little in the first loop, I wanted to save a bit of gas in the tank for finishing. 

I made my way down and around the path connecting with the main beach path.  I felt more relaxed  as I was running along the lake.  I loved training down there this summer and felt some comfort in running on familiar ground.  I turned around to head back to start the second loop finishing the first 5.  They had people directing us to either continue on for the second loop or for those crazy fast people to go on to the finish line.  There was a teen boy making his way to the finish line, the volunteer was trying to flag me to go that way too and I said, "I'm not in that group", we both had a laugh as I started my second lap.

I went past my personal cheering squad for the second time and made the turn on the gravel path for my minute walking break. I used the run 10 walk 1 minute strategy for this race.  I finished my first lap around the 40 minute mark and I knew coming in under 1:30 was a real possibility.  I was coming up to the 7km marker when I really started to open it up.  I think my heart rate was in the 170's, I tried to keep it there and kept pushing. I saw the 9km marker coming up and kept pushing a little harder, I was keeping any eye on the time knowing I could clear 1:30. 

I was pushing hard finishing the last kilometre, walked up the last hill and got going again.  There was a pack of six women all running together, I was behind them from the start.  It was near the end I was catching up to two of them and pushed hard to pass them.  I heard my husbands voice in my head as I was nearing the finish line, I thought of him and gave my all as I turned down the finishing chute.  I saw my friends and dad and just ran as hard as I could.

I crossed the finish line and slowed down right away, it was such a strange feeling as I could feel the blood pumping in my hands.  I finished my race in 1:20:05!  That was 8 minutes faster than the last 10km I ran when I was training.  It felt great to finish almost 10 minutes faster than I had wanted to.  They had run out of medals by the time I finished but they'll send them out to us.  I can't wait to see the pics from along the route too.  It was a great day for a race today!

That's two for 2011, bring on the Burlington Chilly Half!

Monday, October 31, 2011

from half marathon to half iron...

I had been going back and for trying to decide how I was going to prepare for my races next year and what races I was actually going to do.  Did I need a coach, someone to kick my butt and can show me where to improve, was there enough info online to go it alone?  Just as I was trying to decide Adena posted this entry on her blog.  The timing couldn't have been better, I took it as the universe was telling me what I needed to do.  I finally got up the nerve to make it real and reached out to Nancy this weekend.  Last weekend I started putting a list together of races I thought would prep me for my goal of doing the half iron in Muskoka next September.  During my first chat with Nancy she added a few more events.

So for 2012 this is what it looks like (I'm a little scared):
 •Chilly half (which is great because I don't want to lose my endurance etc from the summer)
 •Mississauga Half
 •2 sprint triathlons
 •1 Olympic triathlon and then..,
 •The Muskoka 70.3 ironman in September.

Sunday I ventured out for a 5k around the neighborhood bike path.  It was really nice to get outside and run, haven't done that since the race.

I have been pushing a little harder lately trying to run faster and it seems to be paying off.  My speed has improved from an average 6.2 k to 7-7.2k and hour.

The run for hope (or road to hope) run is this coming weekend.  My battle friend Ali is running her first race this weekend!!!  She spent many nights out on the track with me this summer so when she asked me to join her for this event there was NO WAY I was going to say no!  She never planned to run a race but I am so proud of her for sticking to it and signing up!  Looking forward to race day with you lady!

Monday, October 17, 2011

My First Ever Half Marathon!

Friday morning I got up early before work and did a quick 3km on the hamster wheel. I knew I would have had time to run after work because I had to go down to the runners expo at the CNE to pick up my race kit.  The expo was okay, it was mainly like any "show" at a convention space but it was a good one stop shop for picking up the nutrition I needed for race day along with a new running shirt.  I also picked up a great tip from one of the ladies working at the booth I made my purchases.  We were discussing layering and she suggested bringing a garbage bag just in case of rain.  She was very helpful so I made sure I bought my gear from her booth.

The actual area for the race kits was very organized and I didn't have to wait in line to get my bag.  They directed me over to guys activating the timing chip and that was it, the rest of the time I wandered around looking at different things. I ended up seeing John Stanton at the Running Room booth. 

People gathering in the corrals

Saturday I did some running around but tried to just relax and stay off my feet when I was at home.  My entertainment for the evening was doing laundry to wash my favorite running socks and pants and watching the hockey game.  I called it a night and went to bed around 10:30 but probably didn't really fall asleep until at least midnight. 

The alarm went off a 6:00 am followed by my back-up alarm about a minute later.  I hit snooze and got up maybe 10-15 minutes.  I got myself ready and made an egg and bacon sandwich for the drive into the city.  We stopped for a coffee and the way and I saw a women wearing "running" clothes and figured she was racing too.  We were on the highway and moving eastbound through oakville and mississauga in no time.   I started to feel nervous with a few butterflies about the time we got to the gardner. 

Fauja Singh (100 yr old Marathon Runner)

We got into the city just after 7am and found parking pretty quickly and close to the starting line. We made our over to University and there was already a ton of people getting ready and moving into the starting corrals.   We wandered around a bit and I got myself ready, before I knew it we were queue up and getting ready to start.  We saw Fauja Singh (the Centurion running the marathon), he started in the same corral as me so we snapped a few pictures of him,what an inspiration!  

They played Oh Canada and pretty much after that the firstround of runners were out of the gate and on their way. I started from the purple corral, which had me in the last group going out about 10 minutes after the start.  Tony gave me one last hug and kiss and told me how proud he was and then I was on my own to walk my way to the starting line. I got my play list queued as I was walking around University and then I was off.   As I was maybe 200 meters out of the gate I heard a guy yell "just a little bit further" and chuckled to myself.  The crowd at the starting line was awesome, there were so many people waving signs and cheering us on. 

Adjusting my garbage bag

The first few kilometers felt somewhat surreal for me.   I was used to running solo on my long runs and this was very, very different.   I felt more comfortable on the side of the road and tried to keep an eye on my heart-rate as much as possible. It was a little high at the start but I figured that was normal for race day.  I was probably in about 2-3km when I got warm enough to toss the extra t-shirt I had worn for an extra layer.

Running felt different during the race, at the beginning it felt like it didn't require as much effort, maybe I was just feeling the buzz and
getting energy from my fellow racers.  I made my way down around through the city streets passing both the old Castek offices and remember some of the good times I had at both places.  I continued down lakeshore passing the main arteries of the city and started to make the climb up the one hill on the lakeshore I think it's around Spadina, I was about an hour in at this point I think when I started seeing the guys running to qualify for London 2012. It was amazing to see them coming back past me already.  Us slower runners were cheering them on as they passed, you could totally see the effort they were putting in and I think it probably made all of us perk up a bit and push that little bit harder.

Just a few 100 meters off the start line
They had the distance markers along the way and kept thinking the 10km point would have been the turnaround point at Windermere but I was wrong. I kept seeing the markers on the second half but the distance was adding up in my head and I was having a hard time because of it.  I should know better by now to stop trying to do the math in my head when I'm running because usually I am totally wrong.  I just want to get to the turn around point and start my way back.  It wasn't until I starting seeing the sea of runners making their way eastbound did I realize how many people were running.  It was incredible to see everyone.  I noticed only 1 person wearing the "glove"like shoes although I'm sure there were more and I actually saw a guy running totally barefoot, gross for a few reasons! 

I never turned around to see who was behind me on the west bound leg. Part of me was scared to see if I was last and part of my didn't care how many people were back there.  I finally got to Windermere and made the turn to start coming back to Bay Street and I got an idea of who was closer to the back of the pack.  I admit that I was happy to see a few people back there still coming down the west bound lanes but it was that long until I saw Fauja Singh and his group. I thought I better get moving, I can't get passed by the 100 year old! 

a sea of runners

I ended up making a pit-stop around 2:15 hours into the race I think I was around 13kms in.  I didn't want to stop but the first half I kept thinking I should stop but the lines were so long so I waited until I couldn't wait anymore.  My initial goal was to finish in under three hours, 2:59:59 would have been AMAZING but after I stopped I realized with the distance I had left, there was no way I was going to be able to come in under three hours and I was okay with it.  I still pushed and and tried to keep my heart rate as high as I could without maxing out. During this time the 5km racers starting flying past me andI was pretty happy when I saw the 18 and 19km markers and so relieved when I so the 20km marker.  When I saw the 20km flag I starting running faster, I checked my heart rate and it was in the high 170's but I didn't want to stop or slow down, at that point I just wanted to get to the finish line.

I made the turn at Bay and Lakeshore and saw the "500m to go" sign and thought to myself, okay that's just a bit more than a lap around the track.  I passed through the tunnel at Union and starting making the climb up the hill to Front Street. For the record, a climb to the finish line at the very end of the race is a little cruel...anyway, I saw the 200m to go sign and keep pushing.  It was such a strange feeling seeing all the people waiting at the finish line, the sides of the street were packed!   At the very end they had two lanes with the finish time clocks and I ended up going in under the 5km clock. I was a little worried and thought my timing would have been messed up but there wasn't anything I could do.  I crossed the finish line and heard the beep of the time chip and was so relived. 
Approaching the last 100m marker

The time to complete my first ever half-marathon was 3:10:29 and I was pretty happy with it in the end  I checked my 20km training run and I spend 3:26 that day so considering I went a little further and I finished 16 minutes faster.  For nutrition I started off with a pack of the jelly beans, 3-4 gels, a few cups of water and gatorade from the stations and a pack and half of the fruit chews.  After crossing the finish line I inhaled a bagel and half a banana while I waiting in line for my massage (best money I could have spent) and had another G2 on the way home.

I tried looking for Tony but I had no idea where he was in the crowd or if he was even able to find a place to watch at the finish line but it was nice to know that he was there with me supporting me the whole way.  He supported me from the very begining when I was so upset after my first RR night. He never gave up believing that I could do it.  He joined me when he could for training runs always encouraged me to dig a little deeper and run a little faster, I couldn't have done this without him! I love you babe!

All in all, am amazing experience and I can't wait for the 10km race on Nov 5 and what ever races I end up registering for after that.  I am already thinking about sighing up for the Mississauga Marathon but probably another half. I figure I have to get down to between 2-3 hours before I go for a full 42km and I learned a few lessons for my next long race:

1) Don't stop for a pit stop (if I HAVE to stop, it better be an emergency!)
2) Don't use the water stations - bring the liquid and nutrition I plan on using

Monday, October 10, 2011

turkey day 10km

I was planning to go for a run yesterday before the family fun day that included back-to-back turkey dinners but I ended up watching most of the Penguins/Flames game instead.  So that mean going today, which actually worked out great!  I just got back from a fantastic run. 

I headed out and did much of the same route I used for my 20km last Monday following a lot of the hydro field bike path.   It  was about 26 degrees when I left the house, it seemed to already be cooling down from earlier in the day and really the weather couldn't have been better.  It was a bit strange though seeing all the beautiful fall colours with such mild weather.

I learned a very important lesson today, DO NOT touch runtastic while the blackberry is still in the arm band!  I lost my record from today's run before I even to got to see my stats but I had glanced down and saw my speed was in the 8km/h range!

It felt great when I was finishing up my last 2-3kms, I had the whole track to myself and was thinking about next Sunday and I could feel myself smiling.  Before I went for a run I was watching some older ironman video's online and it was great inspiration.  If you ever need motivation to exercise just watch some of those clips.

In my post from my Friday night run, I had forgotten to mention something I wanted to share.  I was just about over half-way done, going north on guelph line approaching the lights at the plaza where the bike path crosses and I just been passed by an older man on a bike.  He was probably in his mid-late 40's (I get to say older...I'm "only" 31! ;o) ) When I caught up to him while he was waiting at the lights and he had smiled and given me a thumbs up.  I smiled back and felt great.  It's amazing the encouragement that is shared between people who are complete strangers.  I felt great after that and probably had picked up the pace a little.  It was a reminder to me to give that same motivation and encouragement to the people I pass whenever I'm out there.  It's sometimes that little push we need to go that little bit further and push ourselves to go a little bit harder.  So to the man waiting at the lights, Thanks! :)

Friday, October 7, 2011

looking back

On my way home today I was going over my game plan for this evening and was thinking about squeezing in a run, just a little one.  My mind started to wander as it usually does and I starting thinking about my first night at the Running Room clinic.  It was16 weeks ago already, where has the time gone?  I was thinking about how terrible my first group run was, seriously it was bad, I'm not it if you don't believe me.   Re-reading that post just now takes me back to the feelings of despair and fear I had then, those are certainly all gone now because I ran 20km on Sunday!  Back then I didn't think I was going to make it to this point and considered giving up but I didn't.  Instead, every week I laced up my shoes and strapped on my gear and headed out there and just ran.

My run on Wednesday was the fastest I had ever run, with my average speed at 7.1kph until tonight.   I ran my fastest 3km ever with my average speed at 7.3kph and my pace at 8:12 a min/km.   This was my third run since my long run on Monday and I feel like I have been elevated or that I catapulted to a new level with my running. 

I was looking at my plan earlier this week, Tuesday I think and realized I had been following the 2:00 to complete schedule instead of the actual "to complete" schedule. I couldn't believe it! It is about an hour and half difference between to two when it comes to finishing time...but now, I'm actually really glad that it was a harder plan all along.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The training runs don't get any longer

Monday was a vacation day, but it was anything but a holiday.  I took the day off work to run the 20km that were on my training schedule, you know you're a running when you take time off work to go for a run.  

I started off down my street and connected to the lower part of the bike path.  It was gorgeous.  The weather was cooperating, the rain was holding off and I felt warmer than I had expected.  I had three layers on and that ended up being too warm.  As I made my way down the path the air was cool and the smell of fall leaves followed me.  I love the autumn, it has to be my favorite season.  I use to think spring was but running this fall has given me a better appreciation for it.

I ran my way along the path and connected to the service road by Costco which lead me to Brant Street.  I was thankful I had my new runners on because when I turned onto Brant I lost the path and was now on the sidewalk.  My legs and hips take a beating when I hit the hard concrete.

Unfortunately, I didn't do the full running schedule last week before the long run and I think that hurt me more than I thought it would.  I did a lot of walking, but it's just not the same.  I only got two short runs in and that was NOT enough.  I starting feeling it probably before I was half way, coming back across the bike path I hurting but I carried on and made my way over to the track to wrap up the last 4km.

Runtastic has been my running app all summer and the last long run, it died on me and I lost my run data, so Monday I was keeping any eye on it and checking it to make sure it was still tracking.  I was just finishing up the laps around the track, I think I had 2 left and I went to double check and sure enough...I lost my data!  I was so disappointed, but at least I had my HRM data.

I finished the 20k in 3h 26m and burned about 1950 calories.  I have never burned so many calories during exercise before...I probably have never burned that many at once ever!   It felt really good, as much as it hurt, it felt great to go the distance.

Edited to add...

I wanted to mention the nutrition I used during the run as I learned a lesson the hard way last time.  I started off having a pack of jelly belly beans (with electrolytes) to get me going.  I packed two packs of the fruit chews and two gels.  I also took one regular Gatorade and a bottle of water.  I finished everything and felt pretty good after, and the best part no nausea after!  I also decided to switch back to the G2 gatorade as it has WAY less sugar and calories.

I was looking at all the calories I have burned (through runtastic) and it was something like 38,000 so I could have lost at least 10 lbs with all the running I have done, but instead I think I have gained that much!  So enough is enough...back to calorie counting on MFD.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

the longest of the long runs so far

For the past two weeks I had 18km on the docket for the Sunday long run, and boy were they long.  Both days I headed down the lake path to make life easy and not have to think too much about the route, I really just had to focus on running.

I realized today that there is no replacement for gels, as gross as they are they work.  I felt sick again after the run, that was even after 3 regular Gatorade's, a larabar and a bunch of fruit to go.  I think I will stick with the fruit to go but I have to get my gels for these long runs. That also means I will probably have another water instead which is probably a good thing.  All in all though a great run today, except when I was nearly complete I checked runtastic and it had crashed somewhere around 1hr 40m in. Oh well, at least I knew what I had to do to get all my km in for today.

I was reading up a bit on the Scotia run coming up and am really starting to get excited about my first official race.  I didn't realize that the half marathon runners get a finishers medal too!

This week I was feeling pretty tired so I kept the running to a minimum, Wednesday I did about 30 minutes on the treadmill, what a strange feeling it was to be running on it after running outside for so long now.  Yesterday I went about 4.5 km later in the evening just to help loosen my legs up for today.  Today was a tough run and I was definitely feeling it on the way back winding down my last 6km but I kept pushing running harder on the last 3-4 km. 

I am calling it a night, it's not even 10 but I know tomorrow I am gonna feel tired and slow so I hope a couple extra hours help me out.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A great day for 12K

I went to MEC yesterday to get some gels and chews as the training runs are getting longer and longer and so are the "long" runs so I thought it was time to start testing some on-the-go nutrition to refuel.   I also picked up a long sleeve running shirt after feeling the chill in the air last week.   I was mulling over what fuel sources I would test out first.  I was a little reluctant to start with a gel as I have never had anything like it and really didn't know what to expect.  I don't look some foods based on texture, like kiwis, raw tomatoes and oranges so I was a little nervous to try these things.

After breakfast and some puttering around the house I figured it was time to stop stalling and ripped open a pack of the jelly belly beans.  Yup, Jelly Belly makes "healthy" jelly beans lol. They actually tasted pretty good, they were just bigger than the usual gourmet beans they sell. I had about 30 minutes to get ready and head out. I grabbed a package of organic energy chews, a gel, a bottle of Gatorade and a bottle of water to wash down the gel and made my way out the door.

healthiest jelly beans I've ever had!
12km was the goal today, a nice short run compared to the last two weeks.  I headed south down my street to the bike path and tore into the chews.  Hmm, not bad I thought, they reminded my of the fruit chews my husband buys, except these ones are "healthy" not just candy :)  I ate three or so every ten minutes on my walking break and washed them down with the Gatorade.    I finished off the package as I made my way to the north path off Walkers line.
This was the first time I was running and taking additional nutrition during the workout and I really think it made a difference. I think that knowing I only had to go 12km made a difference mentally as well.  I was running faster today though, faster than I have been for a long time.  My heart rate was staying around 167-171 when I was running.  For the past few weeks I was struggling to keep my heart rate at 160.

The time was ticking by and I had gone about an hour when I got the courage to tear open the gel.  It was bizarre, the taste was unexpected and it was thicker than I was expecting.  I consumed it in three attempts not really sure what to make of it.  I also made sure to wash it down with water as it felt like it coated my mouth.

I kept running and was surprised at how much easier it felt today even with the faster pace.  I came off the path and headed over to the track to wrap up my last 3 km before heading home.   The rubber layer was a welcome relief for my legs and I enjoyed the track time today.  I had only two more laps to go when I was starting to get tired but I kept pushing and ran all the way back tot he house.

I ran more than 30secs faster per kilometer today and if that was because of the chews and gels then you better believe I will be using them again! I ended up finishing my 12km in under two hours and that felt great!

Monday, September 5, 2011

another long run in the bank

It was another 16 km on the schedule for yesterday.  I got myself ready and headed out the door and within the first 30 seconds the rain started to come down. I turned around and went back to the house.  The thought of not doing the run wasn't on my mind, I went back from my rain coat.  What made me stick it out was reading about some of my friend's friends training for their Ironman and having to run in the winter during snow storms.  There was NO WAY I was going to let a few drops of rain stop me from going for my run!

It was really hot and muggy but I threw the coat on and went back out there.  I wore the coat for about 1 km and the rain pretty much stopped and it was way to hot out to be wearing it anyway.  I had my route mapped out but when it came time to turn around I didn't want to so I just kept going.  The path took me to Brant Street where I lost the path.  I didn't enjoy running for over a kilometer on the sidewalk and I really felt over all that took a lot out of me. 

Overall it was a tough run yesterday being challenging physically.  I didn't think about too much so mentally I felt okay.   Sometimes when I'm out I go over things again and again in my mind and I know that sometimes I can work things out that way but it wasn't that yesterday.  I was really feeling it when I was coming back down the bike path from Walkers and met up with my concrete sidewalk.  I made my way over to the school to finish up the distance.  It was about 8 laps around the track to wrap up the run and I decided that I could either think about it hurting or just push through and get the run done.  So that's what I did and after making that decision it didn't hurt as badly.  Funny how the mind works.

Anyway, yesterday chalked up my second 16 km my longest distance ever! Bring on the 12 km next week!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

it was a tough one

This schedule for this past weekend had the longest run yet with a distance of 16km.  It was very windy out on Sunday, windy enough to keep DH off the water (there were people surfing in Lake Ontario).  I ate a late breakfast of what I realized after was too light on the carbs and watched a movie while I let my food settle. 

I was going back and forth on where I felt like running but just decided I would head to the beach path as the path is exactly 8km each way. It couldn't have been easier and I wouldn't have to think about the distance, I would just have to do the running.  I got down there around 3pm and got myself ready to go.  I started off between the 200 and 400 m markers.  I don't remember if I walked to start, I probably did for the first 200 m or so.

I was feeling ok, not as great as I had felt the week before and I think part of that was because I had run on Saturday this week.  Last week I didn't do a run the day before the LSD.  I made my way past the first rest stop passing the go-kart track and public pool continuing down the path past Hutches and then Barangas.  There were a few people out on the patios along the way enjoying the sun but I was enjoying running past them.

I kept going trying not to pay too much attention to the markers along the path, I just wanted to get to the turn around at 8km.  Once I got there I knew I just had to get back, I was half-way done then.  I was pretty happy running the loop in the path and don't know if it was in my mind or real that I had a huge smile on my face when I got there.

On the return I starting really feeling it in my legs, I was getting tired and sore.  I usually would stop and stretch a bit, usually when I have about 3km left to go but I didn't this time, I just wanted to be done.  I kept pushing trying to keep my heart rate at or above 160, it wasn't the entire time but I wasn't too worried about it. 

I had two G2 gatorades with me but I think I am going to have to find more energy supplements for these long runs.  I felt like I was going to sick within about an hour after I got home so now is the time during the training to see what else will work for me.

I also just signed up for the Run for Hope on Nov 5, I'm doing the 10km with my friend who is signing up for her first race ever too!  So proud of her for pushing beyond the comfort zone and doing this!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

another sunday long run

Waiting for the bridge
I was up to 14 km on the my training schedule for my long run.  I was looking at the route I used last week trying to see where I could squeeze in two more kilometres.  I really wasn't feeling it so decided to head down to the good old beach path.  When in doubt, head to the beach.The parking lot was pretty empty with the few sprinkles of rain we had in the morning, I guess it scared them away.  I got myself laced up, strapped in with my music and pouch and off I went.  I walked the few first hundred metres to warm up a bit and get my legs going then I took off in my running pace.  It seemed to be a struggle to get above 160 with my heart rate, I seemed to stay around 150-154. 

Within the few ten minutes I realized I should have made a pit stop before I left the parking lot but it was too late now, I was on my way.  There are another set up public washrooms but it was a good 5km down the path but I didn't have a choice anymore.

I tried to focus on my heart rate and stick to the 10/1 plan.  It was about 40 minutes later I made it to the washrooms.  I had stopped runtastic and my hrm but when I went to start up again I must have hit end and save instead of continue so my activity was ended at 4.32 km in.  I got a new activity started and continued on my way. 

My running felt better as I made my way down and around to the 7km marker, I think I went as far as 7200 meters and turned around.  On the way back the sun was starting to poke out a bit more and every time the temperature shot up a good 10 degrees.  On the return trip I felt really good, I was starting to feel it in the inside thigh but I kept pushing along and by the last two 2km I was really moving knowing that I was really close to finishing.
another beautiful night run from aug 18

My average speed was 6.3 km/h, at least I know the speed work is improving my game :)
This is by far the longest I have ever rung and it felt great, it even felt better than the 12km run last week!  I'm reading for you week 11 and your 16 kms!!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

I liked 10km better...

I am just taking a break from working for a minute to whine and complain.  I hurt, I hurt all over.  My feet are sore, my legs and hips are achy and my shoulders are tense and tight.  Ok...I'll stop whining now.

I golfed nine holes yesterday (the one and ONLY day of the year I golf), this was after a 3km run. 

I got up this morning I think around 7:45 am.  I cleaned the bathroom then puttered around, talked to a few people on the phone then did a little purging from the fridge and my dresser.  I guess the mood to declutter came over me today lol.

Tony was back earlier than I was expecting so we had breakfast for lunch and watched a movie.  He ended up going back out to fish the evening bite and I went for my long run.

I mapped out my route to go across Uppermiddle to Country Club Lane, back across Uppermiddle to Walkers then north on Walkers to the bike path where I cut back across to Uppermiddle.  It was around the ninth kilometer I was really starting to feel the tightness in my legs.  I kept pushing and trying to maintain the run 10 walk 1 ratio.  I came back across Uppermiddle towards home but still had 2km to do so I planned on 5 laps around the track to complete the distance.

The sprinklers were on at the school and as I was making my way around the first lap I thought it was just the sprinkler but it started to lightly rain.  Thankfully the rain remained fairly light so I stayed on my plan.  I was really dragging my *** at the end but I didn't stop running, I just slowed down a bit.

I made my way back home and stopped the clock at 2hrs 5mins and 12.35 km. 

Now, back to work so I can go lay down on the couch with the heating pad on my legs.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

the joys of running

I ended up having a pretty crazy busy day today and left work later than I had wanted.  By the time I left the highway was in pretty good shape though so there was the benefit of staying.  I cut across Mississauga moving along well on the 403 to the 407 cutoff.  I spent the time catching up with DH as he is in the midst of the salmon derby and fishing full force these days.   My mind was still churning over the details of the day and what is in store for me tomorrow.

When I got home I immediately went hunting for my running clothes and went for my tempo run.  4km was on the schedule for today and I had every intention of following my plan.  I grabbed the bb hit start  on my workout play list and off I went.

I headed over to the school tonight as I use the straight-aways on the track for my speed work and do a walk along the turns.  The place was PACKED!  I couldn't believe how many people were out and about tonight.  It didn't take me long to get into my groove running as fast as I could down the straights.  It didn't take me long, maybe a couple of laps before I was leaving my day behind me choking on the dust.  Okay, maybe the pebbles that got kicked up, there wasn't any dust.  But it's that, the ability to just let the worries and stresses go, that makes running so enjoyable.  It felt like a completely new day by the time I was done. 

I actually stopped during one of my walking sprints to snap this one...I saw the clouds and couldn't pass up the opportunity...gotta love the moments when you get to stop and smell the roses.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

pink sky at night

I am halfway through my training schedule already!

This weekend was pretty jammed packed. I started off my day with one of my favorite shakes, I used almond milk, peanut better, a banana and vanilla protein powder.  I surfed for about an hour looking at used bikes online then got ready to go. I picked up some new running pants from lulu lemon on Friday and thought I would give them a go.  I LOVE them.  They have two front pockets for gels I think (I don't use them yet) and a back pocket with a zipper across my lower back.  I love that they have breathable mesh behind the knees and are a different material than my yoga pants which can get super hot, these ones are made for running.

I got back had another light breakfast then did a little running around to pick up some stuff for weekend prep work.  I made some fresh fruit kabobs and a dip that I totally over mixed to take to my friends engagement party.  I also picked up some black beans and a mango for my usual summer salad for lunch this week. 

I woke up around 9am this morning and first things first made some coffee and toast.  I was heading over to my parents for a family bbq this afternoon and a little swimming.  We got back around 6:20 or so and I got changed and grabbed a Gatorade for my trek.  I really wasn't in the mood to go run 10km tonight, I easily could have curled up on the couch with Tony and gladly watched a movie.  He was pretty tired after getting up at 4am back to back to go fishing this weekend so he didn't join me on my run tonight.  I headed out across uppermiddle and went as far as the bike path would take me. I got to Country Club lane by Milcroft and turned around.  It was about 4 km already so with that and the return trip I only needed to do 4 laps at the track to round out the distance.  The first 10-20 minutes were tough but my legs felt better than yesterday and I just kept pushing forward.  I actually got to the turn around point faster than I thought it would have taken (it really just felt that way though, I wasn't really any faster lol). 

All in all, it was a beautiful night for a great run and I am so glad I went after all and this picture made it worth it!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Week 7, Run 3

It's week 7 in the schedule. Where have the past few weeks gone, it's already August!  Next week I will be at the half way point already. 

Being the running superstar that I am (haha ya right) I have taken it upon myself to modify my training plan.  I decided (along with the direction from my wonderful surrogate big sister Adena) to join the gym to be able to incorporate swimming into my training.  I will eventually build in cycling as well but not until I finish the marathon. 

I have purposefully not said anything here yet about my future plans (probably a little out of fear or maybe still a little surprised that I want to do this and it hasn't fully sunken in yet) but I am going to start incorporating more sports into my workouts and more "events" to maintain my focus and dedication to a healthier lifestyle.  I need a reason to workout and "because it's good for you" just doesn't cut it...I was smoker for 10 years...that should tell you something lol.

As I said,  I decided to change my plan around a bit and do some speed work tonight instead of a steady run.  I ran almost all-out on the straight-aways on the track and walked the turns for mini recovery periods.  It was actually fun running tonight going fast, in my head I was picturing myself running flawlessly and super fast and looking like I actually belonged on a track.  What I looked like in reality or to the people at the track I will never know...I'll just keep the nice image of myself in my mind.

Monday, August 1, 2011

so that's what 10kms feels like

I finished my first ever 10km distance this weekend. I wanted to the long run out of the way early on in my weekend so I went out Saturday morning. I initially planned to hit the beach path but due to the highway closure by the skyway, there was NO way I was getting down there.  I doubled back home and laced up heading out for my "close to" home long distance run plan that I have used before.

I headed out along uppermiddle to walkers line, turning around and headed to the track to finish up.  I think I went around about 10 times to give me the minimum 10k distance I needed.   I lost track though and just kept checking how far I had already gone.  

I love passing other runners while I am out, I find there is a common respect between you and them as you are both out there going the distance and making the effort.  Overall the run was good but it was a harder run than last week even though it was only .75km longer.  I think I run better in the evenings or maybe I just enjoy being out more at that time of day.

I took yesterday as my rest day and went and splashed around a bit in my parents pool. The water felt great, what a nice break from the heat, I didn't really swim at all I just enjoyed the water.

I am struggling with what I will do today while I have a bunch of things I want and should do, it's a matter of decided what I will do first.  I guess this is what happens when you don't really have a plan, you sit and surf the morning away.  Ah well I guess that's what holiday Mondays are for :) 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

six weeks in

I'm six weeks into my half marathon training schedule and it feels like its going really well.  I started off this week with my amazing run on Sunday.  Last night I headed out with my DH and my always willing to participate friend Ali for a 5km run.  We went to track since we all have our own speeds and could go at our own paces. 

The weather was perfect for a run, dare I say it even felt cool outside (compared to last week).  I did some quick (and poor) math thinking 9 laps would have given me the distance and but without realizing it I went 10 for a total of 5.15 km.  DH lapped me at least once, okay maybe twice so he probably did at least 12.     I ran a few short sprints at a pretty good speed and walked it out for a little then went back to my running speed for the majority of the run.  As I was completing my last lap DH started making his way towards me so I decided to take off in an attempt to catch up to him, only he realized this a little to quickly for my liking and starting running backwards.  Sneaky.  I didn't catch him, but eventually I will.

I went for my third run this week with a friend from work.  We had planned all spring to go out and one thing after another happened so this was the first time we actually made it out there.  We have a track near the office so we met up there.  The track there is not like my soft springy track by my house, this one was paved and didn't nearly have as much give, but I figured its probably better to change up the running surfaces so I don't get too spoiled.

Tomorrow night I will run with the running room run group and then Saturday I am going for the long run instead and will do the 3km on Sunday to start off week 7.  Wow...where has the time gone? 

I was thinking about that earlier actually, I started training the night before my birthday and I am already 6 weeks in.  I actually never thought I would be able to run as well as I do, and I know I am going to keep getting better, faster and stronger.

Monday, July 25, 2011

a new blog for a new attitude

I had the best run ever last night for my weekly long run and it was during this run that some kind of switch got flipped and my attitude about myself changed.  I'm no longer the "former fat girl" or the
"chubby kid in the family" the nicknames and labels thrust upon me as a child no longer define me. 

With this attitude change I wanted to let go of my former blog "fat girl no more".   Writing this blog certianinly helped me get to where I am today, but I no longer want the emphasis to be around weight or that label, I am letting go.  Letting go of the pain I felt as I struggled with my weight, letting go of the labels and letting go of the emotions I was still carrying with me all these years later.

I had stayed in bed longer than I was planning to yesterday hitting the snooze button for two hours.  DH got home early and we had breakfast then enjoyed just vegging out together for a while.  I made some yummy pasta salad for lunch this week and then I decided it was time to get out there and run.  I was going to just hit the hamester wheel but it was just too nice outside to pass up the evening so I laced up my shoes and hit the bike path.

Running felt easy, I felt like I could go forever and was surprised when I reached Walkers Line so soon.  I turned around and made my way back towards the track to finish off my distance.  As I was wrapping up lap 5 I was making the last turn towards the starting point I felt the warmth of the sun shine on my face and I started smiling. I had the biggest grin on my face I think for the first time running outside.  It was the best feeling ever, it was the best run ever!  I can't say for sure it was at this moment that the my mind set changed, maybe it was when I walked through the gate to the track, I forgot I stopped to take this picture for my blog until writing this post now.

I finished off my laps and made my way home going for a total of 9.5 km.  I got back and queued up one of my favorite mellow play lists and did a bit of yoga to stretch out the run.  It was as after that, I decided it was time for a new blog, this blog.  The blog about me, now, the now ME and what I am doing in my life to live a healthy life.  I am one of those people now who set goals and want to achieve them and focus those things in life.  I even said to DH, I could throw away the scale because it really doesn't matter anymore.  Those things that use to define me don't restrict me any more.