Friday, January 6, 2017

Resolution Run

Start the year of right. Run a 5k race January 1st.

It sounded like a great idea at the time. Several friends were signing up, so I joined them. It fit well with my current training plan, and since I ring in the New Year based on London time (yes they are 4 hours ahead of me, yes I was in bed by 9:00), I didn’t see any downfall. It even had the most decent start time of 11:00 for the revelers who celebrate in their own time zone.

What I failed to factor in was the weather. Silly me.

I woke up to a torrential downpour with the rain driving sideways. The saving grace was that the temperature was at least on the plus side. But still… it was going to be a very soggy run. After some texting back and forth with Jody while each of us hinted at not going, I finally got my act together and out the door. We waited in the car till the very last second, but even so, I was drenched before I even started.

Once your wet, your wet and there is nothing to do but keep going, so I did. The rain did taper off after a while and I was actually too warm in my jacket. It was a nice run along a beautiful trail, but had the unfortunate layout of ending with a steep uphill incline to the finish. Never my favorite way to end a race.

What matters most is that I started the New Year off on the right foot with 5k on the books.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


This is not how week 3 of my half-marathon training was supposed to go. It was supposed to include beautiful runs in the cool October air, some hill training, speed work and the slow start of my mileage increase. Instead it includes ice packs, limping and more than a few tears.

The good news is that I set my half-marathon training plan at 24 weeks, 4 weeks longer than even the Couch-to-Half training plans that you can find online. With the Fool’s Run not being until April 2017, I knew I had the time, so why not use it? And with training over the winter, I figured I would likely lose weeks to bad, icy weather, or illness, so I liked having a buffer. I just didn’t expect to start losing weeks so early on.

My injury is not serious, and hopefully I can recover from it quickly. I have what is commonly known as runner’s knee. It started last Wednesday, the day after I did my speed work. It felt fine while I was running and that whole evening, but something happened and then the pain started. I had an instance of this once before, brought on by doing hill repeats this summer so I know that the best cure is resting it.

I didn’t run for a couple of days, iced it, elevated it and it felt better. So I went for a run on Friday. That was a bad idea.

I didn’t run for a couple more days, iced it, elevated it and it felt better. So I went for run on Monday. That was a worse idea.

I made it a whole km before admitting defeat and limping my way home in tears. The tears were 10% from pain and 90% from frustration. I let my mind go down the road of defeat – I was NEVER going to be able to run the half marathon that is FIVE MONTHS AWAY. I had my pity party, hung out in the shower for a while and with Hilary’s words of encouragement, I came to my senses.

Yes I am injured right now. No, I won’t always be injured, especially if I ACTUALLY rest my leg for more than 48 hours. There is still plenty of time to train for the Fool’s Run (a whole 20 weeks in fact…..). My world is not collapsing.

The plan now is to REST my knee. I won’t even consider running again for a minimum of one week, and only then if I am pain free while walking. I’m going to continue to ice and elevate as needed. More importantly though I’m going to work on cross training and hip strengthening exercises. Runner’s knee is commonly believed to be caused more by hip issues than actual problems with the knee itself. I have free weights in my office for working on my arms and shoulders (did I mention my shoulder is injured too? It doesn’t actually interfere with running except that I can’t put on my sports bra by myself…..) and a yoga mat at the ready to do clamshells, leg raises, bridges and more.

Maybe this is all a blessing in disguise and this injury will help me become stronger overall in the end.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Food Run

This is the second time that I've run the Canada Games Center Food Run.  It's a free 5k race that raises money and food donations for the food bank.

Unlike my first time running the race, back when I went to races on my own, I had a whole group of amazing running friends to hang out with before and after the race this year.  And one of our newer traditions is to head out for breakfast together after the race.  Somehow bacon and eggs taste even better after running in the morning.

The weather was perfect... cool but not cold and the course had a wonderfully long downhill section that let you make up some time after coming out of a very steep and rough go through a forest trail.

The best part of running with friends is having them not only cheer you on at the finish line, but have them join you on the course and run you in the last few yards.

This is my last race of the year, bringing the count to 12 for 2016, a mix of chip-timed, untimed and virtual runs.  My race calendar for 2017 already has 3 races on - a 5k, a 10k and a half-marathon! Time to get training.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

I'm a Fool

A fool in training at least! After much thought and planning I have signed up to run my second half-marathon next spring, The Sunshine Coast April Fool’s Run.

The planning part comes from the fact that this race is on the other side of the country on April 2nd 2017. Starting in Gibsons BC (home of the Beachcombers) it finishes in Sechelt (home of my in-laws). Not only do I need to train throughout the winter, I also have to travel to BC and deal with a 4 hour time zone difference. Of course the race does not coincide with our March break. While I’m sure Liam would love to miss an extra week of school, we decided that he and Hilary would be staying home. I asked my Mom if she would like to travel with me, heading to BC the weekend before the race. We are going to spend several days touring Victoria and Nanaimo while we acclimatize to the change in time and then head to Sechelt a few days before the race.

This looks like an absolutely beautiful course to run. Most of it is along small highways through the forest, with the water not too far off in the distance. It also has a net drop in elevation, but a couple of very steep looking hills thrown in. I have a lot of hill training in my future.

This will be my second half marathon. My training plan is very similar to what I did last year, with more focus on hills and speed training. I have a nice easy plan of 24 weeks to allow myself to build up a really good base of running before I start adding a lot of distance. My main concern is going to be the weather for January-March. Worst case scenario I end up at the indoor track or on a treadmill at the gym a few times a week.

While my Mom was visiting recently and we were talking about the race, she made the comment “I could probably walk 21k”. So I said “Why don’t you?” and within days she had made up her mind and registered to walk her first half marathon! She currently walks nearly 5k every day, so she has her own training plan and is going to start building up her mileage too.

Week 1 of training was technically last week and I blew it. Mom was here visiting, we went away for the weekend and life just happened.  That is another reason I planned on 24 weeks of training, so that if I do lose 1 or 2, it's not going to hurt me in the long run (pun intended).

Now I am officially a F.I.T. - a Fool in Training!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Run for the Cure

I had signed up for this 5k run months ago, as it is one that I do every year. This year fell on the day after my Mom arrived for her annual fall visit, so I talked it over with her and signed her up too! She walks almost 5k every day, so this was no problem for her to do. The down side was the weather…. Rain, rain and more rain. We had umbrellas with us during the speeches and warm up, but luckily the route went right past the car so we were able to ditch them as they were getting heavy and awkward. And really, once you’re wet, you’re wet… an umbrella isn’t going to make it any better.

I had a lot of fun walking with Mom. She has never participated in this kind of event and loved the crowds and the people cheering us on and the novelty of walking down the middle of the road. We finished in exactly one hour, got our free fruit and headed out to get coffee and dry clothes.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Zombie Run

I love Zombies! I like them on TV, in movies and even in books. I especially liked them in real life, chasing me down a deep, dark forest trail. Except the little kid zombie who was hiding in the leaves and leapt out me. I didn’t really like him since he made me scream like a terrified two year old!

By no means was this a “run”. Sure, some spunky people probably ran the whole thing, but not me. The trail was steep with loose gravel and uneven terrain. I can barely manage to walk across my living room without tripping, so I wasn’t going to take any chances. There were periods of running as I dodged and wove my way around the zombies who were trying to steal my “lives” (we each had 3 flags on a belt that the zombies tried to pull off). Alas, my dodging and weaving didn’t do me much good as I was out of lives before the halfway point. After that I became the blocker for our group, distracting zombies while everyone else slipped by.

It was a great time made more fun by running with friends. The downside of the day was when one friend twisted her ankle and spent the rest of the race in the first aid tent with an ice pack. To make it even worse, she didn’t just turn her ankle, she actually broke off a small piece of bone. An apocalypse is a dangerous thing.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Maritime Race Weekend

This is such a fun event! Spanning 2 days, you end up with 3 amazing medals at the end of it.

Friday night is a sunset 5k that has most people dressing up in pirate related costumes. Last year I wore a black shirt with a pirate emblem on it. This year I got talked into going ALL OUT! It started innocently enough with a group of us getting together to make matching pink and black tutus. I had worn a tutu once before in a run, so I figured that it was an easy addition to last year’s black shirt and I would be all set. Then I came home one evening to find Jody trying on corsets in my living room for her costume. And it just so happened that she had a second one that would be perfect for me to wear. So I ended up running a 5k in a sports bra and corset (tightly laced at that) and a tutu.

The next morning we headed back out to Eastern Passage for the sunrise portion of things. Some of us were running the 5k and some were running the 10k. It was great to finish before the 10k people to be able to cheer them across the finish line.

I've made such great friends through running this year.  Last year I went to all the races on my own, standing around by myself.  This year, I'm surrounded by friends at almost every event!