Monday, November 29, 2010

Little Miss Cranky Pants

Well, we got that snow we were hoping for, actually more.  I think I might be recovered now.  What a tough day.  Cold, wet, non-stop ... I sure do love my day job better.  Things didn't go quite smoothly, but I'm trying to forget about that.  Next time will be better.

Last week was a bust for me.  I had little time for running or workouts, and even less motivation.  I was completely zapped of all physical and mental energy.  To make matters worse, Friday & Saturday I was in one of those moods where, for the safety of others, it was probably best to lock me up in a small padded room without windows.  I wasn't playing nice.  Life stress was catching up with me.

Yesterday I had planned a long run with my friend, but we both bailed.  I NEVER bail on runs, but I really didn't have it in me ... and when she called me she really didn't want to do it either.  She phoned me and said, "No offence, but I don't want to see you today."  HAHAHA - I felt the same way.  Running is supposed to be fun for me, and when it becomes a chore I am not interested.  Because of this past week I may not reach my running goal for the year.  But I'm not giving up ... the quest will continue and I won't write it off just yet.  I will give it my all and do my best.

But all is good now.  I'm feeling human again!  I think it's safe to let me out with the general public.  Last night I even hit up the treadmill ... and enjoyed it!  How long has it been that I could actually say that?! 

I also broke out my journal again this weekend.  I have no idea what my weight is, my clothes fit fine, but I know that I haven't been making the greatest choices lately.  I've been time crunched and stressed and it has affected my eating habits.  It's time to reel things in before they slide out of control. 

Keep Active!


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Flexibility: rarely over-rated

Flexibility is important!
Not only is physical flexibility important to our bodies.  It prevents injuries, reduces muscle soreness, and all kinds of other good things.  But it's also important to be flexible in life.  Life is a wild ride and you have to be able to roll with the punches, ride the waves, take it in stride.  Basically be adjustable.

Monday I had a planned rest day after Sunday's frigid long run.  However, I found myself with a 30 minute window just before "Dancing With The Stars" came on (I so used to hate this show, but got sucked in this year - Jennifer Grey was amazing).  Those 30 minute windows can suck sometimes.  Not quite enough time to really accomplish anything, but too long of a time to just waste it away. 
I chose to squeeze in a little (overdue) booty-camp workout.  It proved to be JUST the right amount of time for that.  My muscles swore at me just enough the next day to let me know it was enough, but not too much.  It was a nice workout.  Tell me again why I keep avoiding these???

Tuesday morning was annoying interesting.  I had planned a morning swim.  We have had a little arctic outflow thing going through here the last few days and it was bloody cold, and windy.  I really (really, really, really, REALLY) did not want to get out of bed, but eventually forced myself out the door.  As I was running late, my friend called me.  She'd just arrived at the pool and was about to go in when the power went out.  GRRRRR!!!!!   With no other options for exercise, I had to turn around, come back home and get ready for work as usual.  The extra sleep would have been appreciated!

Fast forward to Tuesday evening.  The plan was a 6 mile tempo run with the big dog.  Two things got in the way.  First, my daughter's practice was cancelled due to the snow/ice/wind - her practices gives me an excuse a reason to get out the door.  Plus it puts me in a safe area for running outdoors.  But the kicker was I came home to my daughter & MIL painting my mostly renovated bedroom, my son washing floors, dusting & putting away the fall decor, and my husband rushing out the door to work.  There was drywall dust EVERYWHERE!  My job was to steam clean the carpets which also entailed having to declutter a bunch of areas.  There was my night for running shot.  But ... alot was accomplished and I'm very grateful to almost have my bedroom back!

This morning was swim attempt #2.  SCORE - lights!  DOUBLE SCORE - my friend sweet talked us into getting in for free due to the power outage yesterday.  Gotta love free!  Though I don't gotta love the swim.  I have been swimming, but I do NOT love swimming.  I don't know if I'm improving.  This morning felt hard, very hard.  But it's done.

Tonight I "plan" to do hill repeats.  But that probably will be might get kiboshed (defiition:  stopped from happening or developing) too ... by two different possible scenarios.  My bedroom may be ready for another coat of paint, and the carpet could definitely use another steam cleaning.  If that is the case I may resort to using the dreadmill and putting in a late night run after the work is done.

But the more exciting ($$$) thing that may keep me from my plan is we are expected to get a good dump of snow tonight.  My husband has a contract for doing snow removal and we need to keep as much money in the family as possible, so I will be one of his slaves employees.  I'll either be driving an ATV with a snow plow on it, or I'll be doing old-fashioned shovelling.  Is it kinda sick that I think I'd rather shovel so I can get more of a workout?  However, I think either way it will be a decent workout as it's a big, powerful machine and the conditions won't be easy.  Think of me late tonight!  I have new long johns and new wool socks.  Bring on the SNOW!

While it's great to be flexible, and I think I pull it off not too bad ... I do have to reschedule these missed runs.  I have a goal to reach for 2010 (1000 miles) and can NOT let obstacles get in my way.  I have to move around, over or through them to make success happen.

Keep Active!


Monday, November 22, 2010

WANTED: Shoe Fairy

Thanks for the snow vibes.  We did get some snow, but unfortunately not quite enough for us to go to work clearing it.  GRRRR!!!!  Momma needs a new pair of shoes, bring on the snow!

The only way to describe my run this weekend .... &%#@*&^ cold!!!!!!!!

16 miles in minus 3°C.  Yes, I know it's colder in many parts of the world.  But on the BC Coast this is bitter cold.  The kind of cold that goes deep in your bones and grips them in ice.  You have to be here to understand that -3 here is colder than -8 in say Edmonton.  It's a damp cold.

Now, to be honest, the worst part was the first mile and then any time we stopped.  Of course, at least half the route was running into a strong, cold head wind and that wasn't all that pleasant either.

Certainly not the most enjoyable run I've ever done (by far) but it's done and over with.

It was too cold to drink very much, but I don't think I lost much through sweat anyway.


Consumed prior to run: toasted english muffin, 2 sl. ham, 1 boiled egg, 1 c black tea, 1 c. peppermint tea
Consumed during run: 1 water bottle filled with Gatorade
Immediately after run:  copious amounts of tea, 1 sugar cookie, 3 gingerbread cookies
Approx 2 hours later: turkey sausage and pasta & broccoli alfredo.  Not a huge amount of hunger.

Stomach issues: 1 pit stop at the halfway mark.  Stomach was a little "off", but no emergencies.

Energy level during run: Pretty low. I could have been talked out of going on this run quite easily and could have bailed at any time with just a slight push.  I'm proud that I didn't actually bail and that I went.  But honestly it was cold, I was sore, and it was tough to push through.  Definitely a mentally challenging run.

Muscles: VERY tight.  Had to stop for a stretch in the first mile because my shins felt so tight.  I don't know if the cold made it worse, but my legs felt like bricks for most of the run.  My dear husband gave them a good rubdown last night and it really seemed to help. 

Aftermath:  No headache again or complete energy drain.  Other than my tight muscles and tenderness I feel good.

Things to try on next long run:  In a perfect world I'd get some massage therapy and a new pair of runners.  I desperately need both.  I think I'm going to have to find a way to make that happen, somehow. 

Ideally I'd have a few pairs of runners and then I could switch them for each run, making them last longer and have more recovery time.  What I wouldn't give to have a few different styles (and colors).  It's no fun trying to pick out shoes when you are on such a limited budget that you can barely afford the one pair of shoes and you know that it's do or die.  Whatever shoes you get HAVE to work, there are no options to just get another pair.

These are the one's I have my eye on:

Mizuno Wave Rider 13 (Dark Shadow/Pansy Blazing Orange)

this is last year's model which is still available ... love the colors:

Mizuno Wave Rider 12
I also would be interested in trying these:

Mizuno Wave Creation 10
I know the Wave Rider 13's are $154.99 at my local running room.  That's just insane!  Unfortunately ebay isn't offering them as low as the last time I bought shoes off of there.  Prices seem to be higher now, though still well under the Running Room. 

I bought my current shoes a year ago (bought two pairs at that time, so no, I'm not still running on those shoes) and they were $55 shipped (about $150 in the local stores).  I need another deal like that!  ... or a shoe fairy.
Keep Active!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge

This may be the kick in the butt I need as we embark on the holiday season (aka the season where I REALLY love to bake!).

The challenge starts tomorrow so go on over and sign up (click here).

In the past I've been a sucker for virtual contests like this and they have really motivated me to move my bootie!

Keep Active!


Weekly Goal Review - Nov 19th

In light of my longest run to date, I missed posting this edition last week.  Here it is for the past week.



Swam 2000M in the pool this week.  1 set x 500M, 1 set x 1000M, and 1 more set x 500M.  This takes about 60 minutes including rests between sets.  The 1000M was definitely a challenge and it zapped my energy.  However, that morning I was feeling a little more run down that usual.  I am seeing some improvement.

Basic Exercises

Minimum 10 push-ups and 50 sit-ups per day  - I am terribly, terribly behind on this.  I don't think I could catch up at this point.  But I am going to make a real effort to do these from today on.

Hill/Interval Training

Wed was supposed to be hill or interval training and honestly I did not feel like it.  Plus, my running partner's ankle was bothering her so I thought we'd be better off with just a simple run.  I did do one run this week that was quite hilly.  Not quite the same as hill training, but I'll have to take it this week.  Sometimes I love the interval training, but lately I can talk myself out of it very easily.

Tempo Run

I did get one tempo run in this week.  It wasn't quite as fast as I would have liked, but I got the cardio up there and it was challening.

Mileage Build-up

This week would have included a LSD, but we backed it up a few days and did it early.  I'm still on target though.  I've just had a slightly longer week which is good for recovery too.

I feel like I'm not quite reaching for my goals like I normally would.  I'm not far off of them, but I'm not quite there yet.  I'd like to light that fire inside me and accomplish them.  But then again, maybe I'm just at a place where I should just be enjoying myself and not too worried about the "schedule".

Thank you everyone for the snow vibes.  We did get a little snow last night.  First of the season - YAY!!  About a 1/2" at my place.  Nothing at my work though as it is at a lower elevation.

The prediction calls for about 2"+ tonight.  Keep sending those vibes.  I know some were coming from many, many miles away and may take a bit to get here.  I'm still happily accepting them. :)

Have a Great Weekend

Keep Active!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Snow Vibes Please

Well, no luck in finding the Maragarita or Cola flavoured Clif Shot Bloks.  I even contacted the company and they couldn't tell me where to find them.  They basically just said 'you can find our products here, not sure if they carry those flavours'.  Hmmm, not really impressed with that reply.  You would think they would know the answer to that kind of question.

I didn't get to posting yesterday ... busy day at work (darn work, getting in the way of EVERYTHING!).  But I've been active.

Tuesday night my running friend couldn't make it so I decided to go alone.  I took along another "pal" for companionship and protection.

This picture is from last year.  I've been taking my "big dog" on a few runs lately and am aiming to take her at least once a week from now on.  She still gets stupid excited when we start off, but she settles in faster everytime I take her and she's getting fitter.  The first 1/2 mile is dicey though as she darts in front of me and charges off in any given direction, yanking me along for the ride.  She spotted another dog coming towards us and I had to anchor myself to hold her back as she was so eager to play.  She acts like a total puppy and wants to play with every dog she sees, but is trained and very protective of her family so I feel quite secure running alone with her.  We did 5 miles together.  She was good for 4 and needed a little encouragement to keep up on the last one. 

Wed night I met up with a couple friends and we did another night trail run.  It was the perfect night for it, crips, clear and we didn't spot any spooky characters this time.

This morning was a swim session and I kicked it up a notch.  Last week was 4 sets of 500M and this week was 1 set x 500M, 1 set x 1000M, and then 1 more set x 500M.  It kicked my pa-toodie!  I faded bad at the end of that 1000M set and then the last 500M set I dragged my butt.  But I'm glad I challenged myself.  It's good to get out of your comfort zone.

Tomorrow I may take a much needed rest day ... unless of course it snows (which IS in the forecast).  If it snows I'm off to work for my husband and will be shovelling - hopefully for hours.  While I could use the rest, we could use the money more so I'm REALLY hoping we get some snow this weekend.  Your 'snow vibes' would be greatly appreciated!!!  I also need repair vibes as my husband is having some technical difficulties with some of the snow removal equipment and he's scrambling trying to fix it.

Keep Active!


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Clif Shot Bloks Review

Last week on my longest run to date, I tried another running fuel product - Clif Shot Bloks

from the website:

CLIF SHOT takes a streamlined approach to performance nutrition – delivering only what your body needs most while training and racing. Our all-natural and organic ingredients help provide clean and natural performance for essential energy and hydration, plus fast muscle recovery.
My friend had a sample pack from a race in the US that looked like this:

Though when I check out our local running stores I see packages like this:
Things I liked: 
  • Taste great!
  • Texture is good.  Not slimy, no grit, no stickyness - nice & smooth.
  • Don't stick to your teeth much as other products I've tried.  My friend has braces however and the residue did last a little longer for her, but it did "melt" away unlike some other products that hang out until you find a toothbrush.
  • 3 bloks on a 16 mile run and my energy felt good.  Not sure if it was solely from these, but I do think they helped.
 Things I didn't like: 
  • Size - they're way too big.  I put one blok in my mouth and the plan was to just let it melt itself away as apparently I'm coordinated enough to talk & run, but not to chew & run.  For quite a while I had a big lump sitting there in my cheek and it took probably a full mile to melt away.  I think I'd rather cut these in half and take two.
  • The bloks are joined together (I think in groups of 3 ... don't quote me on that though).  This is probably fine, but it was somewhat cold and we had left them in a steel mailbox.  So by the time we went for our 2nd block, for the life of us, we could not break those suckers apart.  Twist, turn ... nothing!  We decided to say "screw it!" and popped a double blok in.  Let me tell you ... I didn't think I could chew & run before, this was impossible with two bloks in there.  I literally could not get a word out with that hunk in there.  Which of course sent us into hysterics, nearly laughing the thing out.  I gave up and chewed the thing as fast as I could.  Ideally I'd rather savour the flavour a little longer.
 Would I try them again?

Absolutely!  The only real obstacle was the size and that is easily overcome.  Next time they will certainly be cut at least in half and instead of taking one every 6 miles, I'd like to take half every 3 miles.

These are the flavours they come in: 
  • Black Cherry
  • Cola
  • Cran Razz
  • Lemon Lime
  • Margarita
  • Mountain Berry
  • Orange
  • Strawberry
  • Tropical Punch
 What I want to try:

MARGARITA baby!!!!  YUM.  I love me a lime margarita and this is #1 on my list of products I want to try.  However, I've yet to see it in stores here.  With my luck it's not sold in Canada, but I'll keep looking, and if I ever get some room on that Visa card I'm placing an order.


The other flavour that intrigues me is COLA, which contains 50mg of caffeine.  Sounds like a good combination to me.  Again, I haven't seen it here but I gotta find it!

If anyone knows where I might be able to find these flavours in a store I'd love to know. 

Keep Active!


Monday, November 15, 2010

Snuggles with a Snowman

Another great hike!

My son is still injured and was unable to play his game this weekend.  This left me with a bit of unexpected free time, which I took full advantage of.

I squeezed in one more hike up one of our local mountains.  Typically I go up Grouse Mountain via the Grouse Grind, however this time we tried something new and went up an adjacent trail called the BCMC (BC Mountaineering Club) trail. 

Nice trail!  Compared to the Grind, it's not quite as well marked (the GG is idiot proof), but it is easy to follow and there are lots of markers that are easy to spot.  It's more natural, very few man-made steps.  Not quite as steep, or as big of steps, but still very challenging.  I'd say that I prefer it.

The weather is turning here and snow on this trail is imminent.  In fact, any given day you could encounter it going up.  We were prepared to turn around if necessary, and we also came with extra provisions in case of trouble.  As it turned out there was no snow until after we crested the top of the trail and arrived at the Grouse Mountain Chalet.  There was maybe 2-3" of wet snow up there. 

When I saw this cutie pie I just had to get some pics taken with him:

It looks like snow falling, but it's actually just very thick fog.  It felt so festive.  The mountain has just opened up their skating rink up there too.  $8 just to rent skates though - rip off!  I'd rather carry mine up on the hike than spend that. 

I know that I may not get another hike up there this year.  It's usually too much of a time crunch for me, and for every week that goes by the possibility of snow/ice is too real.  I like a challenge, but safety comes first.

Come spring though, I want to be spending alot of time on these (and other) mountains.  I ♥ hiking!

Keep Active!


Friday, November 12, 2010

The 16 Miler

Yup, another distance PR recorded.  16 miles on the record books.

Now, to be upfront, I would not recommend this method to anyone, and it wasn't exactly supposed to happen this way.  My friend is trying to get in reasonable shape for a marathon in January that snuck up on her.  Her pace is pretty easy for me, so I agreed to accompany her on this crazy training plan.

Last Saturday I hit a mileage PR with a 14 Mile run.  This weekend was supposed to be 16 miles.  But this weekend is a little up in the air for me and was becoming a bit of a scheduling nightmare for a long run.  So with Remembrance Day yesterday, it freed up my schedule and was good timing for a long run.  Some times you have to roll with the punches.

It was A-W-E-S-O-M-E!  To be honest, it did not feel any harder than last weeks 14 miles ... maybe even easier.  Seriously?  How can that be??  I don't know, but it was.  So nice to have someone to run with that I can talk to for close to 3 hours.  I know I could do this alone ... but it's so much nicer with a friend.

The weather was absolutely perfect, quite cool (felt COLD to start) but after a mile I warmed up nicely.  We ran a series of backroads from her house and round-about past mine, then back to hers.  It was a great route in that we left extra fluids & nutrition in my mailbox and were able to stop there at about the 6 & 12 mile markers to re-fuel.  I learned that I can put an awful lot of stuff in my mailbox. 

I felt great the entire run and will definitely try everything that I did on this run again.


Consumed prior to run: toasted english muffin with peanut butter & nutella (mixed), 1 cup black tea
Consumed during run: 2 water bottles filled with Gatorade, few pretzels, 3 Clif Shot Bloks (will review these later)
Immediately after run:  copious amounts of tea
Approx 1 hour later: still drinking tea :)  I didn't re-fuel properly at all .. but I felt good and didn't get ravenous later in the day.  I think this is because of the pre-run meal and adequate fuel throughout the run.

Stomach issues: none (yay!), although needed 2 potty stops.  After you've had babies, fluids just don't last hold that long.

Energy level during run: 100% Perfect!

Muscles: A little tight in the last 2 miles. We had 4 stops total - two for water/fuel, 2 for potty.  After the 3rd stop my legs had a little tightness to them.  The 4th stop, at about 14 miles, my legs were really binding up and getting started again was a little tricky.  At the end of these long runs we always make sure to do a good 10-15 minutes walking before we stop.  This seems to really help with that binding you can get that makes you feel like you're going to crumble after a run.  Definitely a necessity after a long run.

Aftermath:  Everything just felt great.  My legs feel like they worked, but no pain.  Behind my right knee is pretty tight, but some extra stretching should work that out tonight.  Best of all ... no headache, no nap required.

Things to try on next long run: hmmm, I think I'll give this formula another go since it worked so well.
I can't believe I'm up to 16 miles and feeling great.  This weekend I will just do shorter runs like I normally would have mid-week.  Then next weekend is a bit of a step-back week and will be a little less mileage.  Even though this plan brings the mileage up quickly, we are being careful and remaining injury free is the #1 priority.  Slow, easy, lots of stretching and a good focus on recovery.
Keep Active!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Case of the Lazies

I kinda feel like a slug.  A busy slug, but a slug. 

I have not ran since my 14 mile run on Saturday.  I had anticipated Sunday to be a rest day, but things kind of got away from me.

Sunday both my kids had soccer games in away locations.  I probably spent over 3 hours of driving that day.  And kind of all for not.  There was a mix up with my daughter's team and even though they won the game, and played great (she's improving so much!) ... they likely will record a loss on the scoreboard on a technicality because they didn't have a required item with them (sub coach who isn't experienced in this stuff - not his fault).  It sucks, but it is what it is.  The other team's behaviour was disgusting though.  After the game, which score-wise our team won, the other team started jumping up and down screeching "We Won! We Won! hahaha You lost!".  I would smack my child to the heavens if she acted like that. 

Afterwards, in another location, my son had his game.  It was another very physical game, very intense.  One of our players got kicked out for foul language ... he's had it coming for a while.  We were a man down and playing hard, but loosing.  Right near the end, my son, who is defense, attempted a bicycle kick and landed wrong - flat on his back.  After a good 5 minutes down, he was able to walk off the field and we left the game.  He was in a lot of pain.

Monday was spent at doctors and x-rays, followed by filling a prescription for pain.  Luckily nothing is broken or misaligned, but he is still very, very sore.  This zapped any energy I had for exercising on Monday.

Tuesday I just plain didn't have it in me.  This coming home in the dark SUCKS!  And it was raining and cold (4°C/39°F).  Normally my son makes a fire in the woodstove when he gets home, which he can't do right now, the house was cold when I got home.  I had plans to meet with a friend for a run, but one of her cat's died and she wasn't into it.

Know what these are?  All excuses!  I got a case of the lazies.  Unfortunately, I also have a case of eating crap. 

I don't know if it's just the mental idea of running more miles - you know, the excuse that if you run that much you can eat what you want.  But it doesn't work that way.  Especially when you take 3 days off.

This morning I somewhat rectified it.  I got my weekly swim done.  2000 Meters today.  However, I followed it up with breakfast from McDonald's (which my body apparently did not like and let me know it!).  I gotta turn this bus around.  My schedule is all mixed up this week, which is throwing off my runs, but there's no reason I can't at least keep my eating in order. 

I have big plans for tomorrow ... kinda scared, kinda excited, kinda ready.

Keep Active!


Monday, November 8, 2010

The 14 Miler

I did it!  A new distance PR.  14 miles ... check!

Saturday we ventured out to Vancouver and ran the Stanley Park Seawall again (the site of last week's race).  Once again, we were blessed with ideal running weather despite the prediction for mass amounts of rain.  I'm beginning to wonder if the weatherman just likes to keep us depressed with all these negative predictions.  Anyhow, it was gorgeous.  A few sprinkles during the last mile, but so light you barely noticed.

I've agree to run at my friends pace and while it was slower than I would run, it wasn't much slower.  We averaged just slightly over a 10:00 mile.  She had figured we'd be closer to 11:00 miles, so that was really good.

The seawall loop is just under 6 miles, so we did 2 full loops and then ventured out to English Bay to finish up.  The first loop I think I talked the entire way and really it zipped by super quick.  We stopped after the first loop to swap out water bottles and make a pit stop.  It took us a little longer than we would have liked and we will try to tighten this up on upcoming runs. 

The 2nd lap didn't feel quite so fast.  I think I was running out of conversation and my friend was getting pretty tired so her part of the conversation was dropping off.  However, we actually picked up the pace in that lap and ran it faster. 

Another stop after the 2nd loop.  This one we didn't take as long.  We had about 2 1/2 miles to go and decided to head in another direction.  These last couple miles were pretty slow.  I would have liked to have run them faster, but stayed with my friend.  Our intention was to check out a place that makes traditional spanish hot chocolate ... apparently they made a spicy variety that quite interested me ... however, the business had closed down and we were out of luck.

(this is for me to reference later)

Consumer prior to run:  handful of pretzels, 2-3 cups water
Consumed during run:  2 water bottles filled with Gatorade, few pretzels, 1 halloween candy (yuck)
Immediately after run:  chocolate milk & a banana
Approx 1 hour later:  2-3 cups water, 1 cup pasta with spaghetti sauce and mozzarella

Stomach issues:  none (yay!)
Energy level during run:  Really good, never felt like I bottomed out
Muscles:  Pretty tight.  Felt it start to tighten around 11 miles.  Ongoing problem, not just this run.

Aftermath:  Relatively little muscle soreness.  Hamstrings a bit tight in the afternoon.  Achilles area very tight by the middle of the night - ongiong problem. Exercise induced headache came on about 3 hours after run.  Killer!  Took two tylenol and a 15 min nap.  Would like to find a solution to this problem.

Things to try on next long run:  pre-run meal

So there ya go, longest distance to date.  I nailed the 14!  Next week taking on 16.

Keep Active!


Friday, November 5, 2010

Weekly Goal Review - Nov 5th

It may only be 5 days into the month, but I want to review my goals for the month on a weekly basis to be sure I'm on target.



Swam 3 sets x 10 laps (there and back) yesterday in the pool.  1500 Meters???   I'm estimating about 35-40 minutes actually swimming time with breaks for water and to catch my breath in between.  The swimming is coming easier now and I'm eager to build on my endurance.  A few weeks ago swimming 3 full laps in a row left me completely winded.  I'm learning to pace myself better and the strokes are getting smoother.  I'm also not swallowing half the pool like I did the first time.

Basic Exercises

Technically I'm behind 2 days.  However, I didn't set-up this goal until the 3rd, so I'm just missing the days prior to setting this goal.  I will do 2 double sets this week to make up for it.  I will have 30 sets of this by month end.

Hill/Interval Training

Tried out a new trail Wednesday night.  I've ran small parts of it before, but not this particular route.  It was good, and nice to try something different ... but muddy!  I only have one good pair of running shoes and now they are looking pretty dirty.  Boo!  It was very hilly though, so I'm counting it as my hill training for the week - even though it was really proper hill repeats.  My arse definitely felt the hills though, so I'd say it was effective.

Took along the shepherd and she was very, very good.  I will be bringing her along more often now.  Often my excuse for not taking her is because I normally drive a car, and the dog kennel is too big to fit in it and I really don't want a big, dirty dog all over my seats.  I've been driving the truck this week so was able to put her kennel in the box.  But I think I might find a sheet to cover the seats in my car and see how she does.  I will make sure to have someone in the car with me the first time in case she gets too hyper.  She loves coming along so much and doesn't get out and about enough.  I know she loves it, so I'm going to find a way to make this work.

Tempo Run

Today I want to do a 5-6 mile tempo run.  Had planned to do it last night, but business called and then laziness set in.  I have time for it today, although it will be a damp one. Boo!

Mileage Build-up

This weekend it's the big 1-4!  Longest distance to date!!  Would it be too much to ask for another few hour break from the rain that seems to have found us again?  For all the rain we anticipated, I have been super lucky lately not to get stuck in it.

So ... all is on target so far.

Have a Great Weekend

Keep Active!


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

November GOALS

So .... let's talk GOALS!

* Mileage Increase - My new running partner is signed up for the Goofy Challenge @ Disney in January which entails running a 10K, Half Marathon and a Full Marathon over a 3 day weekend.  Personally I think she's nuts to take this on in her current condition ... but I'm also jealous and would probably do it if I had the opportunity.  As such, she is training to increase her mileage by the end of the year, albeit at a slow pace.  I have agreed to train with her!

So far we have run up to 13 miles.  By the weekend before her race we will build up to 20 miles.  Me .... 20 miles???  I'm ready to take on this challenge.  I feel confident that I am in strong enough condition to keep on increasing my mileage at that rate, especially at a slower pace.  In November we plan to run one 12 miler, two 14 milers, and one 16 miler!

I will use these runs to test my mental endurance, to test different fuel methods, to learn more about recovery.  It should be a great learning experience.

This could get interesting as they are calling for the snowiest winter in over 50 years.  I may have to invest in some Yak Trax. 

Anyone try these things or similar product?

Some other things I plan to incorporate in November:

* Swimming - I plan to swim once a week for 45-60 minutes.  Right now I do 3-4 laps, stop, catch my breathe, adjust goggles, then continue.  I want to increase the number of laps in between.  I have NO plans to compete in swimming, but I do think it's great for cross training

Basic Exercises - Minimum 10 push-ups and 50 sit-ups per day ... every day.  While I feel this is very minimal and it makes me sad that it is my goal, it's WAY more than I have been doing so this alone would be huge progress.

* Hill/Interval training - At least once per week

* Tempo runs - It's fun to be social and I enjoy that, but if I'm slowing down my LSD runs substantially then I want to keep up my pace on a few shorter runs.  At least once a week I want to run 5-6 miles at about an 8:30 pace (9:00 if on trails).

If time/opportunity presents itself I'd also love to do another hike up Grouse Grind, some cycling, and a few more night time runs - those were fun!

So, that's my November plans.

Keep Active!


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

October Recap

I haven't done a monthly running recap in a while.


# of runs: 18 (tied for most with June)

Distance: .......... 104.5 Miles / 168.1 Kms  RECORD!
Monthly Goals:   Never set one, but was aiming for around 100 miles

Time Running: ...17 Hours 5 Minutes 35 Seconds


YTD Distance:  743 Miles / 1195 Kms

YTD Time Running: 114 Hours 28 Minutes 13 Seconds


I am SO proud of this month.  A few times this year I have set a goal to run 100 miles in the month.  While just meeting this goal is reason enough to make me proud, the thing that makes me the proudest is that I did it sanely.  I did NOT have to cram runs in at the end of the month to meet my goal.  I did not skip a bunch of days and then have to run like a mad-woman.  I didn't run in excess and end up injured and/our burned out.  I just ran, regularly and alot. 

My pace was down quite a bit this month.  On one hand I'm not very happy about that, but I know the reasons why, and really, in the end it's probably another reason why I am not injured at the moment.  I have a new running partner and she is building up her speed & endurance.  From time to time I choose to run at her pace and I'm enjoying it.  We've also done a few "fun runs", the night runs, and pace is not a factor.  That said, I don't want to abandon speed all together, so will work on that.

There were also two races this month and both were run at a decent pace.  Not my best pace, but decent.  I don't have any races on the agenda for quite some time so I'm not so worried about pace right now.  I have a few other goals in mind ... which I will post about tomorrow.

Keep Active!


Monday, November 1, 2010

Race Recap & Halloween pics

Another amazing weekend!

First, there was Fran's Virtual Pink Dress Run. For me it wasn't a long or fast one, but it was a fun one!  I had planned to participate both Saturday and Sunday, but as you will see below, I wasn't able to work in the pink on Sunday.

We went out for another nighttime trail run. This time on a safer trail. It was only 2.5 miles long, but it sure is alot of fun running in the dark. So quiet, a bit mysterious, challenging not being able to see exactly where you are.  We put a flashing LED on the dog and let her rip around. She looked like a little UFO.  Here's me in my cheesy pinkness:

Sunday morning we had a race.  It was the 40th Annual James Cunningham Seawall Race.  If you are ever in Vancouver, take the opportunity to run around the seawall.  It's just gorgeous!  And if you are local, try out this race.  The distance was a bit odd at 9.5K (5.9 miles) but it is the distance of the entire seawall - which the race represents.

As I said the other day, this race was about participation, location & FUN!  It was definitely all of that and more.

When we started out I had no intention to actually "race".  I was going to run at a comfortably fast pace and just enjoy the route.  At the start line I contemplated running with our friends, but quickly decided that I wanted to run a little faster than that.  However, I didn't bother weaving through traffic like I would normally if I were racing it.  If traffic opened up I moved through, but I took in the scenery and enjoyed checking out all the costumes.

I had made a conscious decision to NOT look at my Garmin until at least the 5K mark - just because.  I wanted to run by feel and just see what happened.  I expected to finish between 55 minutes up to an hour, or about a 9:30 pace, give or take.  Around 3K though I was feeling a bit tired and wondered if I even had it in me.  I've been running alot of 10:00 paces lately due to a variety of reasons and had no idea if I was capable of more right now.

At the 5K mark my husband asked me if we were at a 9:30 pace.  I checked and was shocked to see that we were at an 8:35!  Especially since we were running in costumes (which you will see shortly).  This inspired me to put in the effort to hold, or improve, on this pace.

By about 8K I wanted to be done.  This is tyipically where I fade on this distance.  I just wanted it to be over.  I was HOT and parts of my costume were beginning to bother me.  My husband also started to get bothered by chafing from his get-up.  But I wanted to finish strong and do the best I could do on that day.

We crossed the finish line together at 50:02.  My Garmin said 49:59, so I was happy to be under 50 minutes, but I must have missed the first timing mat.  Oh well, close enough.  Our average pace was 8:27, which is faster than the last race I did (without costume and with a faster start). 

I was 10th out of 59 in my age category.  I'm pleased with that!

Every race sure teaches me more and more about my strong & weak points and I'm learning where to make little adjustments.

Now ... for the costumes.  We had decided as a group to go as cats, however my husband couldn't wrap his head around that for himself (and neither could I really).  He likes to go big or stay home.  When we were in high school he dressed as a caveman for Halloween once and spent the whole day grunting instead of talking and he ran around hunched up and sniffing everyone, climbing on lockers.  He considered dragging out this costume again ... which immediately made me think of the Geico commercials "So Easy A Caveman Can Do It".  I told him if he was going to wear the costume, he had to carry a sign with that saying on it.

Here we are pre-race:

As soon as we arrived people starting asking for pictures.  The race photgrapher grabbed us immediately.  I can't find any race photos posted yet, but I'm sure we will be in some.  The entire race people were laughing at his sign and couldn't believe he was running in that outfit.

The sign provided quite a bit of wind resistance and by the last half of the race he said his shoulders were feeling it.  My boa wasn't nearly as annoying as I thought it would be, but certainly added some unnecessary warmth.  I worried that feathers would get stuck all over me, but it wasn't an issue.  The great thing about my feathers was that they fell off constantly, so our friends behind us had a good laugh knowing they were trailing us the whole time.  They kept watching to see if my feathers trailed off to a washroom - which I'm pleased was not an issue this race (yippee!).

After the race we scored WELL!  There were a ton of door prizes to be given out and we stayed for it all.  They started out calling bib numbers, but most of the people weren't there, so they resorted to calling random things - which is my favourite!  I'm very keen when it comes to that game and almost always leave with something.

They called out for the first person who has bunny ears ... first person who is bald ... etc.  Finally they got to the first leopard and I dove to the stage and won myself a $10 Subway card.  Moments later they called out for someone with ears (as part of a costume).  I didn't want to go as I had just won something, so I shoved my friend who was in the same type of costume.  She was a moment late, but she sprinted and then literally flung herself on stage doing a roll into the announcer saying "Me, I have ears!".  It was hilarous.  She won a $50 gift certificate to a swanky restaurant.  I don't remember what the call was for, but my husband then won a visor and key chain.

The announcer was running out of ideas and so she called for the first three people to do 5 push-ups.  My friend and I didn't even consult one another.  We both lunged to the stage and dropped for 5.  Though I literally dropped!  I went down and crashed belly first to the ground with barely the strength to get up.  But I squeaked them out and I won a $25 running room gift certificate and she won a $10 Subway card.  SCORE!  It amazes me how many people don't even bother trying for these things.

Then it was time to announce the costume award for the day.  They chose 3 people to come up to the stage and then the crowd got to cheer individually for each one to choose the winner.  My husband was among the 3 ... and he easily won!  WOOOHOOO.  I have quite the hollering cheer so that helped, but he had tons of crowd support.  Funny thing was he didn't even know there was going to be a contest.  Numerous people came up to him earlier saying they hoped he would win the prize.  He won a Polar Heart Rate Monitor.  I'd say overall we more than got our low entry fees back.

Aside from the prizes, it was a fantastic race and I will definitely enter it again.  The location is gorgeous.  The entry fee is low.   Seeing so many people in costumes is fun.  Just awesome!

This is post race, at home again.  Make-up a little smudged, but still happy.  After this I showered and crashed.

Keep Active!