Exhausted and excited

Week 1 of marathon training is in the books, and while it was an exhausting week, I’m still excited about running Edmonton in August. I ran 18+ miles last week, plus a yoga/mobility/core workout and three slo-pitch games…because of course ball season starts the same week as marathon training! I even forced myself to run in the rain for my long run on Sunday, because you never know what conditions will be like on race day. No more being a wimp when it comes to running in precipitation!

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via Aryaziai.com on Flickr

Even though it was an exhausting first week, I’m feeling good. I’m totally realizing the value in taking time to focus on mobility, strength and restorative work, and not just running. I’m listening to my body and easing up when it tells me to. I’m drinking Gatorade after runs to keep my hydration and electrolytes up, because post-run headaches and foot cramps suck (and because other electrolyte drinks/tabs don’t agree with my stomach).

Sleep is still something I will need to work on. I know that my standard 6 hours a night is not going to cut it as the mileage gets higher, but I’m making baby steps.

So, I continue on. Week 2 has already seen a five mile run and another yoga/mobility/core workout. On tap for the rest of the week are some hills, a strength workout, a four mile run, a ball game and a 10-miler to wrap up the week.

Have a great week everyone, and happy Mother’s Day to all the moms and mums out there!

16 weeks

Today marks the first official day of marathon training. I will be running the Edmonton Marathon on August 20. This will be my fourth marathon, and the first since 2014. After a few years off of serious running, I was getting the itch to do another, and Edmonton is close, so why not.

I have a goal time in my head, and I know what I will have to do to accomplish it. I think I can do, and I think I have a solid plan to get there. 4 days a week of running, including hills and speed work, one day of full body strength workouts, and a core/mobility/hogs workout each week. I’m also planning on get a massage every two weeks, because when I did that for the last one, I found it helped a lot. I’m not sure how I feel about training in the heat of the summer, but that’s what early morning, pre-work runs are for, right?

A week of training

A look at one week in my training cycle

Getting enough sleep will be an issue for me, but I know that from the outset, so I can work on that from the get go.

My training plan is from Runner’s World. I’ve put all my workouts into my calendar…I know the days might change, but the goal each week will be the same.

Training plan from Runner’s World magazine

Stay tuned for how training is going. Happy running everyone!

And for good measure – ¬†selfie from this past Saturday’s 15k race…because who doesn’t run a race before starting a training cycle??

Selfie from Eyeball the Wall 15k

Burning bridges

Crowchild Underpass

The bridge under Crowchild Trail, one of two bridges I have to cross on my weekly run commute.

To get anywhere in Calgary, you’re going to have to cross a bridge. We have so many bridge over the river, we have underpasses and overpasses – they’re pretty unavoidable if you’re moving about the city.

I hate bridges.

Ok, I don’t hate them, but I hate running across them. When I encounter a bridge on my run, I walk across it. When I run across them, they bounce and sway, and give me a weird feeling with the water or traffic or whatever moving in a different direction than the direction I’m moving. It doesn’t matter if it’s a training run or a race, I will walk across the bridge. Maybe it stems from my first gondola ride in Jasper when I was ten, and I sat on the floor in the middle of the car so I couldn’t see out the windows and the vast nothingness below. Maybe I have a hidden fear that the bridge will collapse while I’m running across it.

Who knows?

All I know is that I will continue to walk across bridges when I’m running, and enjoy the view and that short break that walking provides.

What I think about when I’m running – Las Vegas

Nothing.

Because I didn’t run when I was in Las Vegas for a conference last week. Not that I didn’t want to, but I just didn’t. And I’m not going to rattle of a list of excuses for it either. I just didn’t run.

I thought about running though.

I thought about how I signed up for the Edmonton Marathon before heading south, and how training would start in early May, and how not running for a week while in Vegas, and likely not running for a week next week while in Toronto, probably wouldn’t help the process, but I would deal with it.

I thought about how my Oiselle singlet was probably sitting in my mailbox at home, cold and alone, after floating through the USPS system in Kent, WA for longer than necessary. And how cool it was going to be to finally put it on for my 15k Eyeball the Wall run on April 29.

I thought about the crappy (but delicious) food I was eating in Vegas and that I knew I wasn’t making the best choices, but hey, you only live once.

I did do a couple short yoga sessions and some mobility exercises though. And we walked a lot. It’s not like I sat on my butt for a week and did absolutely nothing.

I did yoga for 30 days straight…almost

As you know, if you’ve been following my blog, I injured my hip about a month ago while snowshoeing. As a result, running and lower body strength training were out of the question for a short time. I knew I needed to do something to keep my mind and my body occupied, and a friend suggested the Down Dog app for yoga.

If you know me, you probably know that I’m not a fan of yoga. I’ve tried hot yoga and other yoga classes over the years (starting in my first year of university), and just couldn’t get in to it. But I needed something. And as a runner, I’m pretty tight and inflexible. So, in my injured state, I thought I would give yoga a try again, and set a goal of doing it every day for 30 days….or almost 30 days, actually it was only 23 days in total, because you know…life.

Here’s what happened.

Not much, to be honest with you. The biggest thing is that I didn’t hate it. With the app, I stuck to 10 to 15 minutes every day. I think I did 20 minutes a couple of times. I mostly did it after my strength workouts and as a way to get in my stretching after running (I’m notoriously bad at not stretching after a run). So, I guess that’s the biggest change that happened – I made a really good effort to do at least 10 minutes after every workout. And since I was doing it immediately after, either at the gym or in my basement, depending on where I did my workout, I knew it would happen. I enjoyed it, because it made me take time to really stretch and relax, to gather my thoughts and stay in the moment afterwards. There were days when I wasn’t going to get to the gym or out for a run, so I would close the blinds and the door in my office at work, and do 15 minutes in there. I guess I’m more aware of my body and the tight spots, but I’m still pretty inflexible.

So what now? I’m going to try to keep doing some yoga after my strength and running workouts, and maybe for those times when I can’t get to the gym for a few days. And I’m going to keep an open mind, and to use the app as a way to take a break and reconnect with myself – my mind and body – every once in awhile.

What are your thoughts about yoga? Do you do it on the regular? Are you attending a class on a weekly or daily basis? Do you use an app?