Cutback 1

These first 3 weeks of training have been tough. I feel like my legs are tired all the time and I just can’t get moving. The funny thing is that that feeling isn’t reflected in my pace while running, which I guess is a good thing. If I feel slow, but I’m not actually slow, that must be ok. I’m trying to keep at least one strength training session each week, but that seems to tire me out even more. Anyone have any suggestions on how to find that balance?

This week is the first of three cutback weeks. I have a 6 mile run, some hill repeats, and 8 and 4 mile runs. Seems like it’s going to be a piece of cake right now, especially since two of those will happen in Vancouver. I love running in Vancouver because I feel so speedy at sea level. I’m hoping it will boost my confidence a bit…and that confidence won’t get harshly torn down when I return home to Calgary and start running at a higher altitude again…talk about heavy legs!!

I will say I am very proud that I have already run more than 60 miles this month. It’s been a long time since I’ve run that many miles in a month…which as I write this, I realize probably explains the feeling of heavy legs…

Until next time!


Jumping for joy because I got my long run done on Friday and could totally enjoy the long weekend!

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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

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.

A post about running

This post isn’t about communications or branding or marketing or advertising. It’s about running. If you’re not interested in running or are not a runner, you can probably stop reading now. Or, keep reading. Whatever you like. But you’ve been warned.

2014 GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon

2014 GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon

About a month ago, Runner’s World magazine posted an article on their Facebook page about why more people should try running without the help of technology. Why we don’t need our GPS watches or our apps to tell us how far we’ve run or how fast we ran that last mile. This article came at a critical time in my marathon training schedule – about a week before my last long training run before my upcoming race.

Until that last long run (35k), I relied on my watch to tell me how far I had run, what my pace was, how much time had passed. I also use the Nike+ app on my phone for music, but there is also a setting where a friendly gentleman comes on every mile to tell you how many miles you’ve run and how fast you’ve run them. Both technologies were used on my long runs; only the Nike+ app was used on all runs. I was training for my third marathon. I knew that knowing how slow I was running and how long my long runs were taking stressed me out. I knew I would get frustrated looking at my times and thinking “why can’t I run faster?” or “OMG I’ve only run 3 miles?? I have 18 to go! This is taking for ever!”¬† I knew how the technology made me feel, and yet, I thought I needed it. I relied on it.

So, I read the article on Facebook and decided to do my last long run before the race with minimal technological help. I put tape on my watch so only the total distance was visible (elapsed time and pace was hidden). I turned off the friendly gentlemen on the app so it just played music for the duration of the run. I drank my water when I felt I needed it. I ate my gels when I felt I needed them. I slowed down when I needed to. I pretty much just ran.

And you know what? It was my best training run ever. When I was cooling down I took the tape off of my watch and was surprised to see that my average pace was bang on what I wanted it to be on race day. I felt like I could run a few more kilometers, even though I didn’t have to. I felt good after pounding out 35 kms. I was confident, and I think I even had some fun. And it was decided…on marathon day, I would go tech-free, with the exception of music.

October 12, 2014 was the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon, in beautiful Victoria, BC, Canada. I hadn’t packed my GPS watch. I had my phone, and the app was running, but only music was playing. There were no clocks along the route, but each kilometer was marked. In the darkness of the 6:30 a.m. start for the “slow” runners, I felt good. I was going to let my body and my mind decide how this race was going to go. Not my technology. The gun went off, and I started to run.

Feeling good, I went out pretty quick. How quick? According to the updates sent to my Facebook page (which I didn’t see until after the race), I was running about 7:45/km for the first 10k. I felt good. I felt good through the halfway point. I felt good until about 32k. And I walked. But so what? I looked at my phone at one point and saw that 4 hours and 4 minutes had passed. I was impressed that I was as far as I was in that amount of time. I listened to my body and I walked when I needed to. I drank when I needed it. I ate my gels when I needed them. I enjoyed the race and the view and the atmosphere. I had fun.

As I rounded the curve approaching the 40 kilometer mark, I looked at my phone. Starting in the early start meant you couldn’t cross the finish line before 5 hours and 30 minutes (noon). My phone’s battery was very low so nothing was displaying on the screen. So I asked a spectator what time it was. “About 11:51 a.m. You’re doing great!” In my long run brain-dead daze, I couldn’t do the math in my head, but knew I would be fine with crossing the finish line soon. So I kept running. 1 kilometer to go. 800 meters. 500 meters. 300 meters…longest 300 meters ever!.. The finish line!!!! And because I was an early starter, the clock at the finish line was only showing the “regular time:” 3 hours and 30 minutes. I knew I had PR’d, I just didn’t know by how much until I met up with my parents and sister.

28 minutes.

I shaved 28 minutes off of my last marathon time. I ran in 5 hours and 40 minutes. I was targeting to finish in 5:50. My response? “Holy fuck!” (Big grin on my face.)

Sure, it’s just one race. But it’s not. It’s one race, and a long run and my taper runs before the race. All run with just music. I didn’t know my pace or time or distance. I just new what was playing in my ears and how my body felt.

Mindful running. It works. And I have been converted.