Race to Kinvara: 2 days left

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Today was my last run before I head to Ireland. The snake is bad. Edmonton is currently surrounded by forest fires and the smoke has settled over the city. For a gal who suffers from Asthma, this is not optimal training conditions. Also…its just stupid hot.

For an Edmontonian temps that are in the 30C range just feel oppressive. Sleep doesn’t come to me. Breathing is difficult but I can’t blame the lack of sleep on conditions. I blame it on excitement!

I googled the hotels, the first stop I am stay at  Citywest  and did some research on Dublin. The hotel is amazing and I get about 6 hours of tourist time. I am supposed to leave with my team Captain – who I suspect is my group leader from Saucony. I hope we get to see Dublin Castle, St. Stephen’s Green and Trinity College. I am basing these tourist spots from my love of my favourite Authors books. Maeve Binchey paint a Dublin so dynamic I cannot wait to walk it! I am desperate for a Trinity College Hoodie.

After our tour we head to the Guinness Storehouse. I likely will be ready for a pint by then. At some point I will meet with Team Canada to discuss strategy. It is at this point I will remind them I did not win because of my speed but for my charm and wit. I was able to take a peek at last years photos and saw the bus – not your average school bus, but a full on tour bus with snacks, tables and comfy seats. I visited Facebook.com/SauconyPro and took a look at the Race course. I’m telling you right now, it is not going to hurt my feelings being there!

So whats left for today? I am going to pack. I dug out my passport. I have chosen my shoes. I have picked out my run gear. I have my chargers ready to roll because I hope to blog my adventure while there. I could use a nap, because I am not sleeping. Thankfully I will on the plane. Sleeping on planes is my super power.

So the next time we chat, It will be from Ireland.

Let the race begin!

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Suck it Up Buttercup

Zoinks Scoob! It’s been a while.

Remember how we talked about me increasing my speed? Did you know to do that, you actually need to run and train? Mental willingness just won’t do it. So here is what happened thus far.

I have hurdles. They are 6″ off the ground and I step over them to make my knees rise higher. They make my butt hurt. Ergo, they must be working.

I need a stronger core to hold me up when I run. I do planks and was forced into some crazy cult on Facebook called Challenge Crazy. Yeah… I do planks and I do not like them, but I love not having a sore back when I run, so I keep it up.

I walk a lot. by a lot I mean I don’t sit during the day and I walk my pooch so my Garmin steps say between 9-10 000 a day, more if I run. This helps my over-all fitness.

Running…say what now? I did two races. St. Paddy’s Day and Suck it Up Butter Cup 5kms. I ran a  block the other day when Cap, my pooch pulled me fast to get to the dog park… but thats about it.

Why? Ummmmmm…. I only have excuses with no real reason that qualifies. Yesterday felt really great. I ran a 9 min/ km pace for the first 2km. That is fast for me. That was no stopping. So for a girl who didn’t train or run or practice, I have to say that I am pretty happy with my result.

What did I learn? Well, I learned that if I put effort into my running, I have only up to go! I haven’t lost any endurance or speed, in fact I am a little bit faster. Being lighter has something to do with that, but what would happen if I ran 3 times a week? Or throw caution to the wind and run 4 times! I have a feeling a couple of things will happen:

1: I will get stronger

2: I will get faster

3: I will sleep better.

I need all of those things. I have some pretty big goals to reach this year. Now that the weather has turned to spring, I cannot blame that. Tomorrow begins my 3 day run week.

5km Monday, speed work Wednesday and Saturday 5km again.

3 days….simple plan.

So Suck it up Buttercup and get the work done.

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There is a race with a medal? I am IN!

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The last time I wrote here, I was talking about fall and how lovely it is out. I may have mentioned how I enjoyed my run. On Thursday, I got an email from the running room telling me the  30th Annual Fall Classic 5 and 10 miler has a finisher medal this year.

Whaaaat?

Thursday was the last day to register AND it was package pick up. I am a sucker for an awesome medal. So I signed up, drove to the 109th street store and picked up my race package.

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This is the first race I entered on a whim and without focused training for it. What does this mean? Goal #5 met and complete. My base is such that I can hop into a 5 miler or a 10k and it is just a regular run for me.  This blows my mind. January, I was training for a 10k to complete in AUGUST, that was going to be my big distance for the year. These are the medals I have collected this year( except the medal on the far left – that is my very first Half Marathon medal for walking), I have a virtual race in November and that medal will come then,024 but my racing is pretty much over until January for the WDW Marathon weekend where I will run the 5k, the 10k and the 21.1k. I am scared about the half. I am just so darn slow. Yet I am making progress.

This morning I got up and carpooled with the Trusty Steed. He was walking the 10 miler with his team. They had decided weeks ago. I jumped in last minute because of the medal, they go because breakfast is served after.

The 10 miler walkers left at 8:30. I was going to hang around until the 10 miler runners left. I was going to be in that group even though I was only doing 5 miles. Why? I am slow. I talked to the race director about it, he was cool with it. This is the nice thing about a small race – no corrals. I have never been in a corral position before – I imagine it will be intimidating. I thought the 10 milers would leave at 9:00. I was wrong. I sat outside waiting until 9:45 before we left. I was cold. My legs stiffened up and my back was cold. It took me a good 3k before I felt warm.

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My finish time was 1:26:15. I know…slow. BUT – I checked out my Garmin stats. April 7 was my first 5 miler and my time for that one was 1:34:30. I was 8:15 faster today. That makes today a PR. Cool! I will take it. Progress is good. It’s funny how my running feels so slow – way slower than it did in the spring yet comparatively, I am zipping by. Sure I am last…Who Cares? Well…I kind of do a little bit. I hate people waiting for me. But still, shaving 8 minutes off my time is kick-ass awesome.

The course was lovely all along the north side of the River.

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It is the last part of the Marathon Course – somewhere around the “wall”. I thought about that as I ran. Then I thought about the time I cheered on runners at the Marathon. I wasn’t a runner yet, but here I was cheering for them and now I ran right past that spot. It’s funny how your life takes unexpected turns.

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When I saw this photo, I was shocked at how much smaller I am getting. It shows on calorie burns on the Garmin too. I am burning less…that kind of sucks but the bright side is it means I am not working as hard to do better. That is awesome. Weighing less is better for all my organs and my heart thanks me.

ShirtFinalThis was also my fist run for my new team Do Away With SMA (DAWS) I can’t wait until my Team Jersey comes in the mail! I invite you to check out my blog post over on the team page. If you hadn’t heard, we are running 500 miles in 19 days for Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (FSMA). Well…when I say WE I am mean THEM – I am the kick-ass Crew with band aids, ice packs and potatoes – apparently Mitch needs potatoes on the grocery list 🙂 Check out all the shenanigans here. And don’t forget to enter the Prize pack, you can win a Team DAWS Jersey, Sweaty Bands, Whimsy gear and some other great swag!!

So…where did YOU run this weekend?

 

It’s all fine and dandy until Mother Nature gets mad

 

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Remember how I was going to run 6k yesterday? Well, I didn’t.

I ran 4.5k instead.

After a week of lazy movement behaviour and eating junk, my legs were filled with concrete and burning acid. Well…it felt that way. I stretched everything out after a .5k warm up then I was good to go. I was feeling great! I was faster, I felt strong, I was maintaining my race pace.

The sun set at 9:00pm so I put on my new handy-dandy headlamp so I could see through the creek. Good thing too because suddenly the skies got REALLY BLACK and not from lack of sunshine either. Here is the thing about Alberta storms. The come in and out in a split second. Often without warning. Storm clouds rolled in and I was pelted with hail the size of a dime. For the record – OUCH! I had nowhere to seek shelter. I was running along the trails by my house which is a powerline zone. So Running under those suckers made me feel super safe. (Insert Sarcastic tone here) The lightning started, huge forks lit up the sky. Then a transformer was hit and turned the sky green. When that happened, the sizzle of the extra current traveled down the lines to where I was standing in the open. I was still a quite a good distance from home, so I called my Trusty Steed.

I asked him to rescue me and meet me at the north end of the creek. He agreed and I ran towards the creek to our meeting point. By this time I was soaked through to the bone. Dri fit is only good to a certain point and last night was not it.

I normally am not scared off by rain. The rain wasn’t the problem – the hail hurt and running on the prairies in Lightning is just not smart. So where does that leave me?

Well? I think I will do another 3-4k today. Just light, not at race pace because tomorrow a 10k is on tap at race pace. I have some weird aches and pains that I think yoga will assist me with and running them out should help. I am starting to get the pre-race jitters. BUT I am not scared like I was for Calgary.

That is a good sign.

I have run a half marathon already this month. That does WONDERS for my confidence. I am ready, even if I have to walk it I know I’ve got this.

Looking forward to it because it brings me that much closer to my marathon goal. Goal setting rocks my world. Just WAIT until you hear my plans for 2014 and beyond!

Happy Running!

Dude, THAT IS MY RACE PACE!

Self talk can make you or break you.

As I headed out for my run today, I had to small goals in mind. 1) run past the creek to the south side of suburbia and 2) No walk brakes except for my warm up and cool down.

I like to run without noise in my head but on cold days its hard. The thoughts that keep coming back to me are negative abusive ones. I would NEVER say things to another human being that I say to myself! So Why am I abusing myself? I call my self names, berate me, shame me and self-sabotage myself. Why? Human Nature?

Today I decided to make an effort to turn that self talk around. I stopped myself from the name calling and started using positive talk. It started having some really good side effects, like head up, smiling, feeling good and steady breathing. Once I got to the creek I had run farther than ever before without stopping AND without knee pain. Both huge gains in my book! But then that negative self-talk started again.

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As I was running down the steep incline I was really worried about falling and screwing up all the progress my knee has made over the past 2.5 years (NEVER EVER TEAR YOU MCL Seriously! Get a different injury) I began talking myself through it, warning myself to watch my footing. It was really icy. Once I made it to the bridge I relaxed a bit. It surprised me how tense I became. I could hear the water moving under the ice – Spring? HAHAHA no… that won’t happen for another couple of months.1058

I kept running as I began the incline on the other side. I had it in my head I would run 2.5k south and 2.5 back north, with no stopping and treat myself to a steamy hot shower, because did I mention how cold it was? Well, I made it halfway up the hill before the negative self-talk started again. “You are so slow, walkers are passing you. Run your race pace. Who are we kidding THIS IS the race pace.”  I made it to the top without stopping and ran a bit further but the knee was burning so I walked it off for about a minute.

Huge disappointment engulfed me.

I thought about my dad and figured I would have to let him run ahead of me during the 10k. He doesn’t want to be last. No problem there, as long as I am in the race he will never be last. I looked at my Garmin and I had run without stopping until this past minute. I decided to run to my turn-around point and head back through the creek. When I hit the other side of the creek I ran focusing on one step at a time. Then the burn came back. I stopped and walked it off. Frustration was going to be my pal today. Clearly hills are bothersome to my knee. That means I need to go back to the resistant band and beef up some of my exercises that I have been lazy with. I need that pain free strength to stay for the long term. By the time I reached the top of the hill and the path leveled out, I started to run again. The lungs felt great and on the level path my knees didn’t complain.

Yet all I could think about was I only met one of my goals today. I couldn’t even let myself be happy for me. Usually I celebrate my small successes by fist pumping or telling my self ‘well done!”  But today all I could think was “your race pace needs work.”

The bottom line is I have OVER 3 months until my race. I know I need to get some more miles in, but perhaps I will avoid the creek for a while. Inclines are fine but steep inclines are a problem. I will give it another shot tomorrow and turn right at the creek and run along side it. That way I can likely meet my two goals and cheer. I am hoping by spring my knee will be able to withstand some hill repeats (not that I am excited about those but I need it to get faster) I don’t want to disappoint my dad. I don’t mean to make him sound like an ogre because he isn’t. My dad is awesome, but I know the pace he runs at and I want to keep up with him, not the other way around. So I suppose I don’t want to disappoint myself.

The solution? Rain, Shine, or blizzard I have to run. Luckily, I want to run.

 

Canadian Graffiti on my bench “Conformity Happiness” – I’ll get the happiness thing figured out.1059