Tuesday, August 28, 2012

New Plan

So it's been a little over a week since the Midsummer Night's Run 30K, and just like childbirth the memories of pain and fatigue are slowly fading away leaving behind a night that I'll always remember. Well, until I'm super old and have to rely on the tattoo on my wrist to remind me that I have two sons.

K is for Kyle. N is for Noah. My sister stole my idea and now has JC on her wrist after her
son Jesus Christ. Ha, just kidding. It's Jonathon and Christian.
On Saturday I met up with Patty for my 24k long run. Patty's been around the proverbial marathon block a few times so when I told her that I absolutely ran out of gas the last 5k of MSNR she told me that it was probably because my weekday mileage isn't high enough. Oddly, I had just been reading an article the day before that pretty much said the same thing. Patty said that if I want to do Around the Bay in March I should follow a marathon plan rather than just doing a half plan and bumping up the long runs like I did for Midsummer. In her defense, she did tell me to follow a marathon plan when I signed up for MSNR but of course because I've been running for a whole year I know what I'm doing and didn't take her advice. Hindsight. Boo. So Patty sent me 3 marathon plans Saturday afternoon and I've now picked one. I've also decided that if I'm going to train for a marathon I may as well just do one. So that's my goal race in the spring. Obviously like childbirth, I didn't learn my lesson the first time and am going back for more. Wish me luck!
I've also decided to see if bumping up my weekday mileage will help me with my 2 halfs that I have coming up. Oakville Half Marathon on Sept 23 and Scotia Waterfront Half on October 14. My goal is to run 1:55 or less at one of these. If I can get that time then I will qualify for the final corral at ATB in March and won't have to deal with the mass start. ATB has 9000 participants (including 500 relay teams) and this is the first year that they are introducing corrals. This race has been around since 1894 and this is the first year that they are bringing in corrals? CRAZY! I am more than comfortable running 21.1K but I'll take anything that might help me reach my goal.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Midsummer Night's Run 30K Recap

Toronto ON
BIB # 326
Chip Time 3:01:39
Official Time 3:02:05
Pace 6:00/km
Place 432/699
Gender Place 188/361
Category Place 63/120

 Alternate titles for this post could be I thought that bird crap was supposed to be lucky! or I want those 320 meters back! So we all know that this was my biggest race for the year. Thirty kilometers! Yowza. WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING?! This race was long and it was hard. Can you even imagine that while riding the shuttle bus on the way to the race I was actually thinking that I may just change up my half marathon entry at Scotia this fall to the full! F********K!

The race didn't start until 5:30pm which kind of sucked because I couldn't do anything all day. I was also a bit worried about running at night because I'm a morning runner. I didn't really know when to eat and I felt like I couldn't do much because I didn't want to tire myself out. So I walked the dog, watched tv and napped. Real productive! Around 3:30 I went and picked up Sarah and Maggie who were driving out with me and we hopped onto the highway. Then we quickly hopped off. Hello traffic! Thankfully the congestion didn't last too long so by the time we ended up getting to the parking lot and boarding the shuttle bus it was 4:30. Plenty of time to hit the porta potties, check our bags and get ourselves together. We sat in the grass and had a banana and I hummed and hawed over whether I should wear my Bondi Band or a hat. I eventually went with hat so that I wouldn't have to wear sunglasses and thank God I did! At the end of the race Sarah kindly informed me that I had bird crap on my hat! GROSSSSSSS!
Prerace smiles. Look how cute we are, so happy and unaware. And yes, I do know that I look like a total wiener here! LOL

At about 5:15 we split up to find our pacers, the girls going out with the 3:15 and me in search of the 3:00. First I found the walk/run pacer but turned around to find the continuous. I eventually found him gossiping with some friends and Nicole who I had been keeping an eye out for since we got there. The pacers name was Paul and according to him he was super fast and not happy to be running such a slow race. Awesome! I will say that he was super funny and really helped the time go by even if he did keep going on about how much this race sucked,  how going this slow sucked, he was sick of people passing us, and remember everyone, the race is won in the first kilometer. LOL Being the nosey girl that I am I totally looked him up on Sportstats. Yeah, he's alright. :oP
The first 21 kilometers of the night flew by and I was feeling great, even if a large portion of it was spent running around the 15k walkers, or in a couple of cases, right up the back of them. This was a big sore spot for me. Stay to the sides, don't walk 3 abreast in the middle of the path! Gah! It didn't take long for us to realize that this race was not marked properly either. The km markers seemed to be about 150 meters ahead of where they should have been which was really screwing up the pacer. He kept thinking that we were ahead of pace and slowing us down. Around 18K I saw a photographer up ahead! Finally, my chance for a decent race shot! I quickly wiped the sweat from my face, smoothed my bib and looked up to see 3 15k walkers stopped and posing for the camera! These walkers were getting on my nerves so bad, they're lucky that I didn't photobomb them with a punch to the throat! Finally around the 21.1 mark (2:06:13 was my time.....better than my Toronto Women's Half time!) we broke off from the 15Kers and were off to do our last 9K. Unfortunately this was also around the time that the battery on our pacers Garmin died and the run started to go downhill. He announced that we were going to be pushing the pace to 5:50 and sped up. Too bad he was speeding up to a 5:30 pace! At the 23kish water station I decided to have a gel and walk for some water. This was where I lost the pacer and Nicole. My legs were really heavy but I just worked to keep a 5:55-6:00 pace and finish strong. John Stanton facebook posts pretty much got me through the last part of this run. LOL Races define your discipline or regret, with you as the author......your most valuable asset will be the willingness to persist when you feel like stopping!.......Be the runner you dream you be..........Arriving at the finish is often accomplished by runners who kept on trying when there seemed no possible way at all, how precious their finish. As it was now just me & John Stanton my watch beeped 26k. Yay 4 more to go, I could do this. Then about 500 meters later I passed the 26k marker. Same again at 27K. And 28K. What? First the markers were short, now they're long?! Just when I didn't think that things could get any worse! I could quickly see my 3:00 time goal slipping away with this extra distance and was so pissed at this race for screwing me over! At least my phone ringing took my mind of things around 28k. Seriously, Noah? Again?! This is now the third race that he has called me in the middle of! (Just in case you are interested, no I didn't answer.) At 29k I passed one of the guys that was with our pace group. He was walking. I reached out and touched his shoulder and said "Come on, we started together, let's finish together". Unfortunately he had a cramp and couldn't do it. Then a girl yelled out to me "Way to finish strong 30" (I guess I was in a group of 15ks) so I gave her a thumbs up and ran all the way to the finish line with my hands in the air. I did it, 30.32 kilometers. Thank God that's over was all I could think!!!

Kill me now! I'm dead tired and I have bird crap on my hat! What a mess. Is that boob sweat? Geez!
At the end of the day I didn't officially make my time goal, but when my watch beeped 30K I was at 3:00 so I'll take it. I probably wouldn't run this again.....well maybe the 15k but I doubt the 30k. I hate out and backs and the terrain pretty much sucked. The walkers were annoying and the time of day wasn't good for me. The medal was cool, and I liked the water bottles that they gave out at the end, but the shirt was kind of yucky. I like black, pink or white. Not green. I loved running with Nicole and the laughs that I shared with Sarah and Maggie at the end. The pacer made me laugh and that was cool. As I explained to Sarah this race was kind of like childbirth. LOL I will try the 30k Around the Bay in March and see if I can do better at this distance. Maybe at least finish without wanting to cry. LOL Oh, and I checked on my pacers finish time. It was 2:58:46. I'm curious to know how many of the group were able to keep up with him until the end. I have stalked the pacers photos and I don't see anyone running along side him at the finish. Hmmmmm.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Midsummer Night's Run 30K.....one week to go!

While it feels like only yesterday I was contemplating doing this race, the Midsummer Night's Run 30K is almost here. This Saturday at 5:30pm I'll be lining up with the 3 hour pace 'fairy' (it is very Midsummer Night's Dream themed) and crossing another race milestone off of my list. **so exciting** I've worked really hard to train for this run and I'm hoping for a fun time. I've even enjoyed 'ice baths' in the lake after a few long runs. Well, until someone told me that there is blue mould in Lake Ontario. Yikes.

 It looks like there will be quite a few Daily Mile friends out there too so that just adds another dimension of awesome to the night! Hopefully deciding to not book off Sunday morning from work will not bite me in the behind! I'm excited for the Steamwhistle Beer Garden after the run!! **so exciting**

I bought compression socks today too. The man who was helping me at the Running Room saw my black toenail and called it my 'trophy toe'. I'd rather have a medal. LOL I went in just wanting the sleeves because I hate wearing socks, but they were not tight enough on my ankles so I got the bright pink CEP socks instead.

While I would like to wear them on Saturday to help me get through Sunday's shift, I've left it a little late and obviously won't get the chance to try them out for a long run before then. Maybe I'll just throw them on afterwards. They'll go great with my running skirt that I bought for the race.
Hopefully my back fat doesn't spill over the top like this girls. EEK!
Yeah...............probably a bit too much pink.....................

Thursday, August 9, 2012

August New 2 U Cross Training Challenge

I know right?! What happened to April, May, June & July challenge entries? While I have started a few things over the months, none of them really turned out to be challenge worthy. Until Tuesday. The new gym that I signed up for in MARCH! finally opened up last week. Right in the middle of summer when nobody gives a crap about working out. Good planning. LOL I combed the class schedule and didn't really find all that much that interested me in the small windows that I have to go in. Uh oh. The classes were the whole reason that I dropped Snap and went to Women's Fitness. So I scoured it again and decided on 'Muscle Mix'. I'm left to assume that this is sort of a rip off of Goodlife's Body Pump class. It was def not what I was expecting!

I was really on the fence about showing up to this class and almost talked myself out of going at all but figured that it was best to try to go early while everyone looks like a total boob out there and not just me. This is the first week of classes, Tuesday was the first Muscle Mix. I was a little surprised to find that I was the youngest person in the class, probably the mean age was in the low 50's. So me & the grandma's got settled in with our two sets of hand weights (I got 4lbs & 8lbs) and waited around for the girl to figure out the stereo system. She finally got it going (with her crap set list - wah!) and led us off with some cardio warm up. I always feel like a total idiot during this time because I am completely uncoordinated and am always flung back to grade 7 when I took a jazz class and was the worst of the bunch. It was actually recommended that I don't come back! LMAO So we warmed up and then grabbed our light weights and did some lifting type things with some cardio type things. Uh, what? I didn't sign up for a cardio class! I've already run 10K today, and it was speedwork! Ok, light weights time is over. Have a drink and then let's do some more cardio moves that are almost like grade 7 jazz class moves. I swear if Prince's Let's Go Crazy came on the stereo I would have run out of there screaming!! The sweat was pouring off of me, the time was dragging and I was really regretting that 6am run. Ok, finally cardio time is over, grab your heavy weights and do the EXACT same moves that we did with the light weights. Awesome. *sigh* At this point I noticed a lot of the older ladies had either stopped all together or switched out to the lighter weights, but being the 41 year old spring chicken in the class I stuck with it and then all of a sudden it was cool down stretchy time! Yay! I was actually pretty happy with the class by the end and will surprisingly probably go back. Once my legs recover that is. It is now almost 48 hours later and I still can't sit down without bracing myself first. Work was a real treat last night. I'm sure that my coworkers loved having to pick up everything that I dropped because I couldn't bend down to retrieve things myself. As for running, let's just say thank God it's taper week!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Goodbye July. I feel like I hardly knew you!

What is it about getting older that makes time go by so quickly?! It feels like just last week we were celebrating the Canada Day long weekend and in the blink of an eye it's now the Civic holiday long weekend (if you're lucky)!!

July has been a pretty solid month for me. I ran a total of 165km, which is my most in a month ever, and I also ran my furthest distance yet. 30KM! Yay me! I ran a race with my son, even if it was just for about 4 minutes before he ditched me, and only missed 1 scheduled run because I wasn't feeling well. I also became the owner of a black toenail. Boo! I had purple nail polish on so I have no idea how long it has been like this but it started feeling funny on Sunday so I took off the polish and found this. Yuck! I'm at the end of the life of these shoes so I think that it's either from running all of those hills at the Warrior Dash or the 3+ hours that I ran last Saturday. Or maybe a combination of both. Either way I will be paying a visit to the shoe shop on the weekend.
Don't look at the polish stains! Can you tell that I've lost that big toenail in the past? My youngest son stepped on it 10 years ago.
Can you also see why I have to wear NB shoes? My feet are a mess!
My 30K run was most epic. I met Patty down at Lakeshore at 6am and did an out and back both ways. While many of you suggested that I may as well do a marathon seeing as it's only a little bit over the 30K distance, but honest to God I did not have another 12.2km in me once we were finished here. Granted. the final 2km were the fastest in this run but my legs were buzzing by the end! LOL Patty is very good at pacing me to keep it slow on these long runs, so when I started speeding up as I had the finish area in sight she tried to slow me down but finally said forget it and let me finish strong. Our average pace was 6:23km during the run with our last two km being 6:08 & 5:56! I'm now officially ready for the Midsummer Nights Run 30K and ready to begin my taper. Phew!

As far as the Ab Challenges that I was going to do in July went I failed miserably. Hopefully I can get back on track with that this month with the race coming up I need to keep my abs strong.

My new gym finally opened today so hopefully I can get down there soon and start some other stuff. I really want to try out the kettle bells. They offer training for these so I'm hopeful to get going with them. I've checked out the class schedule and not a lot is calling out to me for the times that I am available (story of my fitness life). We'll see what happens.....

I'm a total Olympics junkie and am so happy that they are on right now. Any other day of the year my tv is not on during the day, but during Olympics it's on all day long! It doesn't matter what is being shown I will watch it. I used to swim competitively as a kid so that's what I enjoy the most, and I'm looking forward to the track and field, but will honestly watch anything. Just to see the pride on these athletes faces is amazing, and I always tear up when they show the parents in the crowd! The 2010 winter Olympics were held here in Canada and I was so proud that they were being held in my country, and now they are in my homeland of England! We moved to Canada when I was 4 so I have no real memories of my time there but I still feel proud and it's nice to have 2 countries to be able to cheer for! Go Canada Go!