Sunday, February 16, 2014

Marathon Training Week 11 - Recovery Week

Last Sunday's 21K was tough, both physically and mentally. It felt like a slog right from the start and never got any better. I was tempted a few times to jump on a bus to head home, but kept trekking along in the snow. However, I decided it was time for a little break so I took the past week off.

Les Mills Pump & Shred
My husband got me a new Beach Body program for Christmas that I've been enjoying. The biggest thing I miss about being a Goodlife member was the group classes. This DVD set replicates the feel and the instructors are a lot of fun so I'm loving it.
Monday was my first time with this specific DVD - it's a bit longer than the ones I've been doing and adds in a shoulder track and a lunge track. I followed this up with 20 minutes of gentle yoga.

4.9K on the treadmill.
Tried to push my pace a bit and managed 7.07/km which is the fastest I've been able to do in months. Followed up with more yoga.

Total rest day. No yoga, nothing. Felt good.

And it all goes downhill.
The plan was 6K on the treadmill, following this Around the Bay Treadmill Simulation. My hip flexor started acting up though a short way into the run. I considered pushing through it, but did the smart thing instead and stopped just under 4K. Followed up with some Injury Prevention yoga (maybe too late for that) and made an appointment with a new physiotherapist.

Another session of Pump & Shred. So many squats.
Yoga of the Day: 20 Minute detox yoga

I was going to meet up with a running group but I was still concerned about my hip so I skipped my run. Ended up working out with my husband who has been following Shaun T's Focus T25 program.

Shaun T tried to kill me.

25 minute workout but extremely intense. You're just thrown right into the work out. Really liked this workout so I might look at incorporating some of the DVDs from the first stage of the program.
Yoga of the Day: Qi Balancing Flow

Yoga for Runners. Perfect end to my recovery week. Back at it tomorrow.

Friday, January 3, 2014

2014 Goals

2:30 Half Marathon
I might only do one half this year, so its going to be a good one.

Run 1500km
I did close to 1100 in 2013, so this is doable. 

Run a Marathon
Feels like a bit of a cheat goal since I'm already registered and training, but I still have to get through it on the day.

Do Yoga
A simple goal. Just continue to make yoga a part of my life.

Go Somewhere New
This is going to be a goal every year. It doesn't need to be as epic as going half way around the world to New Zealand, anywhere new would be fine.

Watch 100 Movies
I was so close last year. Movies need to be new to me.

Read 50 Books
I read 60 in 2013, but I always start the year with the goal set at 50. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 Goals - How'd It Go

I wasn't really blogging at the beginning of last year, so my 2013 goals only live on my ipod. Let's review them anyways, shall we?

Run 8K Continuously
This didn't happen. I got up to running 6K continuously. My hip injury and pretty much taking 3 months off running didn't help this.

Go Somewhere New

When I set this goal, I was thinking along the lines of Montreal. New Zealand works though!

300 Workouts
I seem to remember Daily Mile sending me a year in review last year, otherwise I'm not sure how I'll track this. According to Garmin Connect, I did 155 runs so I must be close to 300. I'll update this if I can.

Watch 100 Movies
I got up to 98 which is pretty good. Or maybe I watch too many movies, I don't know.

2.5 Hour Half Marathon
Another goal victim to my injury. I know it would have happened though in October if I hadn't been dealing with my hip strain.

Run 1000km
Despite my injury, ran 1071. 2012's total was 815, so I'm pretty pleased with this.

Read 50 Books
I ended up reading 59 so A+ here.

Weigh Less
This was a goal for me at the beginning of the year, but 2013 was the year that I accepted my body for what it is and what it can do so heck with a number on the scale. That's not to say that I don't weight myself, I do to keep track of how I'm doing with my eating. But I'm not trying to get to some sort of magical number anymore so this goal has been met in a completely different way.

Onto 2014!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Highlights

Despite finishing the year up with an injury, 2013 has been pretty amazing. I'm going to do another post reviewing my 2013 goals, but here's this year's highlights.

Harry's Spring Run Off 

My first year running this. What made it special was that I did this with a group of co-workers (10 of us in total) and for most of them, it was either their first race or their first time running in years. Didn't hurt that we had a really wonderful brunch afterwards.

Niagara Falls Women's Half Marathon

Goodlife was my spring goal race and where I set my current half marathon PR of 2:33, but this was probably my favourite race of the year. Even though I don't think I ran it well and they ran out of water on the course, the positives more than made up for it. The atmosphere was so amazing and supportive. Little details like a fabulous race kit (with wine!), a boxed lunch and a cold cloth at the finish and a marching band to start the race made all the difference.

Also, it's going to take a lot to beat meeting Katherine Switzer and getting a high five from her on the course.

Joined a Running Clinic

I'd been considering a running room clinic for a while but always hesitated because I ran 5/1's and I thought I was too slow to keep up with the group. I made an effort in the spring to start running 10/1's and after missing my 2:30 half marathon goal in the spring, decided to join the clinic. A week before it started, I was ready to back out but I'm happy now that I didn't. I met a lot of great people, ran through different areas of the city and really progressed as a runner.

I absolutely loved my instructor. I admit to Sport Stats stalker her before the clinic started and was encouraged to see that we're similarly paced. I think if I had seen BQ times for a first marathon, I might have quit than and there. 

While I kind of think that my clinic played a part in my hip injury and its not the route I want to go for my spring races, I'll probably be back to it for a fall half.

New Zealand

Completely not running related, but this was easily my highlight of the year.

Rainbow at the end of the one run I did there.
I told my husband in 2012 that we need to take opportunities as they come up cause they might never be there again and that's completely what this trip was.  

My husband was part of the Canadian Dodgeball Team that participated in the World Dodgeball Invitational in Queenstown, NZ. (watch this video if curious). The tournament itself was only one day, but we had 12 days to explore a bit of the country.
We kayaked, hiked, sat on beaches. Everyday was amazing and I would easily go back.

Waterfront Half Marathon

My hip injury at its worst - this race hurt. But I had fun (except for limping). Enjoyed finishing up with my clinic group. I missed my 2:30 goal but I finished at 2:34 - one minute off my current PR with an injury so I'm pretty happy with that. Without the injury, I know I would have broken 2:30 so it's going to happen in 2014.


The silver lining of my injury - I rediscovered yoga. I've been practicing daily for 2 months now. My time on my mat is my favourite part of the day, even more so than running. Yoga Download has been an amazing resource, both their 20 minute free classes and their longer ones.

Looking forward to new and exciting things to come in 2014!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Returning to the Yoga Studio

It's been a few months since I've ventured out to a yoga studio. Today though, I packed up my mat and headed out into the snow.

I've really been loving my home practice. A combination of a few online videos and websites  have allowed me to fit yoga in pretty much every day for about two months now. It is nice though to switch things up and join a class.

Some thoughts on Home Practice & Going to a Yoga Studio

  • I'm much more flexible than I was two months ago. 
  • I really enjoy a hot studio, especially on a cold winter day. I positioned myself by a window so I could watch the snow fall.
  • Most of the classes I go at home are audio classes, so I was able to follow the instructor quite well just by listening to them.
  • Maybe this was because of the small class size today, but I was able to just focus on my own practice rather than what everyone else was doing. That's not been the case for me in the past.
  • Having an instructor give pointers and adjustments makes going out into the snow worthwhile.
  • Yoga is much easier without two cats trying to nap on your yoga mat.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

2014 Plans - So Far

I was well on my way with my 2014 race plans before well before my 2013 races were done. I was feeling strong and really excited about my fall half marathon so started registering for 2014 races in September. My injury kind of threw a wrench into my half marathon and I kind of feel like I'm starting from scratch again, but I have big things coming up in the new year.

The first half of 2014 is all about distance not speed.

I am kind of afraid of this race, mostly because of the hills but super excited at the same time. I have no time expectations at all for this, its more a stepping stone to...

Ottawa Marathon!- May 25

I've been planning on 2014 being the year of the marathon for me, just had to decide which one. I was leaning towards a spring marathon. Goodlife was appealing because of the giant medal, but looking at the results from 2013 - there weren't many 5+ hour finishers. I don't want to be out on the course by my lonesome. Ottawa has both a 5 hour pace bunny and a 5:30 bunny so that was encouraging. The timing works well for my schedule so I registered very early in September. 

I'm going to do one other spring race, either Yonge Street 10K or Sporting Life 10K. I'm leaning towards Sporting Life at the moment as the date seems to work the best for me and I'm curious to see how the new race director improves the event.

For the rest of the year, I'm sure that Scotiabank Waterfront will be on my list in some form or the other and I'm considering Sea Wheeze if I can make an August Vancouver trip work. 

Marathon/Around the Bay training started this week for me! Bring on the long runs!

Monday, December 2, 2013

December Goals

1. Do some form of exercise everyday.

I'm normally pretty good with this, but with the holidays coming up, life might get in the way. I figure that I can find at least 20 minutes everyday to get some activity in (even on Christmas)

2. Step Away from the Holiday Treats

Things I love:

  • candy cane ice cream
  • gingerbread men
  • cranberry bliss bars
  • special holiday flavoured macarons
  • cupcakes
Most of these are available at my local Loblaws (including the macarons! My Loblaws got fancy!). While its fine to have a holiday treat at a party, they are not for everyday! So no adding a gingerbread man to the shopping cart for an evening snack. No picking up a bliss bar with my coffee on the way to work. 

3. Start learning about meditation

If anyone has suggestions are way to begin, please let me know.

4. Go to a Yoga Studio

It's been awhile and even though I'm enjoying my home practice, I think going to a class would be beneficial once in a while. I had good intentions to get to a moksha class yesterday, but my bus didn't show up and I wouldn't have made the class on time so set up the mat at home instead.

5. Enjoy Some Winter Walks

Preferably with my husband, but walking on my own or with friends is fine too.