Monday, May 25, 2015

Marathon Training -- Week Three

My third long run of marathon training is done! Every week I’m running further and further and each week I can never believe that I’m accomplishing that distance. Right now I’m so over what my speed is or how I look to other runners I pass… this is all about my own feats and accomplishments, and I am so proud of myself.

I usually schedule my long runs for Sunday mornings but I had to leave my house at 9:30am to get my sister to the airport, so I tried out a Saturday morning run. I also changed up my usual paved trail along the waterfront but this week I did an out-and-back through the city so I could get more water if I needed it. I carried a few dollars with me and stopped at a convenience store around 16K.

Running through the city instead of along the quiet waterfront was surprisingly a nice change. I was out early enough that the roads were still pretty dead. The weather was sunny and cool for most of my run but the wind picked up around 19K and I struggled against it.

Instead of my typical pre-run bagel and banana I only ate the bagel and by 18K I was starving! I will not make that mistake again. I’m trying not to eat too much meat but I devoured way more turkey sausages post-run than I’m willing to admit.

I’m still focusing on running 10 minutes, walking 1 minute and it seems to be the best way for me to build up my distance. I also think having a routine helps (6AM wake up, water, banana, bagel, 7AM run) and knowing that running is not the be all, end all of training. I’m trying to eat with the focus on nourishing my body, I’m drinking almost a gallon of water a day, and I have as many strength training sessions as I do running days.

I have to admit I’m slacking on the foam rolling and stretching lately and I know if I want to stay strong and injury free I need to make it a priority.

Overall I’m really satisfied with my running and progression so far, and I can definitely see my growth as a runner.

Do you have a running route  you like to stick to? Do you have a routine to prepare for your long runs?

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Worst Blogger Ever

Do you know how many times I eat something, read something, do something and realize later that if I had just quickly snapped a picture it would have been a perfect blogging opportunity? More often that I care to admit. Or when I do manage to remember I to take a picture I forgot to blog about it (or anything) for an entire week. Whoops.

Worst Blogger Award Goes To...

Anyways, here are the things I managed to record for blogging purposes but conveniently forgot to actually blog about last week:

I kind of broke my Garmin charger. It still charges but it won't snap on anymore. It's okay though, because I'm super handy.

The Nike Toronto 15K released a map of the course we'll be running in a few weeks. I'm hesitant about getting on and off Toronto Island but I'm starting to really look forward to the run. Before they made all the changes they did I had planned to run it in Washington, but Toronto is waaay more convenient.

I've been going for more trail runs lately. I forgot how much I love it. It's much more peaceful but definitely more of a challenge than running on pavement.

Friday mornings I'm able to get to my favourite Farmers Market before work. One of the booths allows you to fill up a bushel for only $5 of any of their produce, and their rule is you can fill it until it topples. Everything looks so vibrant and smells amazing.

My boyfriend is nearing the end of his Masters program but our dog really doesn't care. He thinks that there are more important things in life than finishing your thesis... for example, paying attention to him.

Are you a Farmers Market fanatic like me? What's your favourite item to buy?

Do you prefer running on pavement or trails?

Monday, May 18, 2015

Marathon Training - Week Two

Happy Victoria Day, Canada! I wish I could say I had huge plans for today to take full advantage of this long weekend but I'm quite happy over here, hanging out under my covers.

Side note: instead of "under" I had written "hunger" twice. This is definitely reflective of the second day runger I'm experiencing right now.

Yesterday morning I pushed out 23 kilometers. I'm trying to slowly ease into increasing my distance. Instead of constant running I'm working on a 10-minute run, 1-minute walk cycle until I feel a little stronger. Distance, not time, is my focus.

My body has definitely changed since I ran STWM in October. Although 23 kilometers was not easy for me it's incredible how much stronger I feel while I run. My posture feels better, my body recovers faster, I'm not as tired after I run long distances, and I don't feel as if I need to stuff myself full of chews or gels anymore.

While running and training for 21.1 kilometers I felt like I needed a pack and a half of Honey Stinger chews sometimes. Yesterday I ate about half of a pack and didn't feel the need for more. I know that fueling while running is and will be important in my training, but I think my improved nutrition and hydration habits that happen outside of physically running are really helping me feel sustained during long runs.

The weather was gorgeous yesterday and made for a great run. The sun was shining throughout my run and the temperature was warm but not too hot before 10AM. Getting out earlier in the day rather than later is likely going to be an essential part of my long-runs.

My sister and I had lunch with my dad yesterday afternoon so that cut into my nap time for the second week in a row. Last weekend after missing an afternoon nap I felt like I was really dragging my feet throughout the day but yesterday I felt pretty good. It wasn't until after dinner that I started feeling tired. Although the weather was still beautiful my boyfriend and I curled up with some big bowls of fruit, the new S'mores Oreos, and American Horror Story on DVD. Perfect end to my 23-kilometer day.

Do you fuel while you run? What do you prefer to fuel with?

Have you tried these new Oreos? I'm trying to eat better but these are fantastic!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Rapid Fire Friday

A quick idea of how my week went:

  • I have practically drank my weight in iced coffee this week and I’m starting to feel perma-wired

  • I went on the windiest run the other day and managed a surprisingly great time compared to my usual 5K pace

  • My mom also had the dogs walked most days by the time I came home so I settled for a walk by myself and it was just what I needed

  • I’m devouring eggs like it’s nobody’s business. Half a cup of egg whites with two whole eggs is my standard. This week ricotta cheese and green onion was also involved.

  • The emo music I listened to in the eighth grade is fueling my workouts and I’m loving it.

  • I had my first night of beach volleyball yesterday and it was great. I’ve played once since high school so it felt so good to play again.

How was your week? I'm definitely looking forward to the holiday long weekend. Do you have any plans?

Monday, May 11, 2015

Marathon Training - Week One

Yesterday I went on my first official marathon training run. I’ve decided on a slow build from my half marathon so I had a 22 kilometer morning run.

I woke up and 6AM and felt awful. I had gone to the Food Truck festival on Saturday and all the sodium I consumed, despite all the water that followed, left me feeling hungover from being so dehydrated. I slowly ate my usual pre-run bagel and banana, and sipped some water to get myself motivated. When I left at 7:30 I felt pretty good.

I was surprised how well it went considering I woke up feeling off. The weather was perfect by the waterfront -- it was warm but breezy, and didn’t get too humid until the end of my run.

Unfortunately half of the bug population joined me… again.

Absolutely disgusting side note: I keep swallowing these bugs on my run. Apparently my mouth just hangs wide open. I used to try to cough/spit them out but I kept accidentally making myself gag so I’ve learned to just swallow them. Yes, disgusting.

We had family plans for Mother’s Day so I didn’t get to take a nap in the afternoon. By the time we got back in the evening I was so tired but a nap would have had me wired all night. I went to bed pretty early, around 8:30PM, and slept through until 6AM. Probably a little longer that I usually would be I’m chalking it all up to recovery.

My legs feel great, I feel pretty alert, and, although I won’t, I feel like I could go for another (shorter) run tonight.

Overall, a pretty good start to marathon training! Only 23 more weeks to go!

How was your weekend?

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Catch More Flies With Sweat Than With Vinegar

I’m still struggling to get up in the mornings to workout so I’ve been doing a lot in the evenings. It’s easier to get moved after work now that it’s warm, it gets dark later, and the weather has been pretty great.

Last night I went for a quick trail run near my house. I only did 5K and my calves were aching. I always forget what a difference trails make with their uneven ground and small obstacles.

I also forgot about running near the waterfront during this time of year. Disgusting.

After I wiped away the bugs I did some arm and ab work on my patio.

Tonight I settled for a long walk with one of my puppies and another patio workout. This weather has definitely been boosting my mood.

I’m desperately trying to eat better so I can be in the best shape possible for my marathon (and the tentative beach vacation to follow it) but I’m going to a food truck festival on Saturday so we’ll see how this goes, especially since there’s already a grilled cheese truck and a seafood truck with fish tacos and lobster rolls that I have my heart set on. I’ll admit it, I’m my own worst enemy.

What plans do you have for this weekend?

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Mississauga (Half) Marathon Recap

Yesterday I ran the half distance at the Mississauga Marathon and it was definitely a love-hate experience. I think I summed it up best on Twitter when I wrote “Good news: I survived. Bad news: I survived.”

It started when I woke up just before 5AM after a night that consisted of two hours of sleep in total. As I ate my usual bagel and a banana with peanut butter I was not a happy camper. I drove my mom and I to Mississauga and right away I was impressed. As I pulled up near the start line they had so many volunteers directing traffic and it made finding parking extremely easy.

Despite being tired I managed a personal best but it was definitely not the goal I had before my night of sleeplessness. Here’s a breakdown of how my race went:

7:30AM: Lined up near a 2:10 pace bunny. Definitely a reach but I wanted to see if I could handle handle it .

Kilometer 1: I could not handle the pace so I dropped back to what felt comfortable for me.

Kilometer 2-7: Feeling pretty strong despite the lack of sleep.

Kilometer 8: Felt weirdly tired and had to stop for a quick walking break. Was not expecting to slow down here.

Kilometer 9: Feeling strong again.

Kilometer 10: Defeated by a winding hill and pushed very slowly up it.

Kilometer 11-12: Started feeling extremely nauseous and thought I would have to pull over to throw up. I think I was dehydrated because I stopped an an aid station and mixed some water and Gatorade and felt much better.

Kilometer 13-17: Felt great. This is a section where I usually start coming down and struggling but I felt relaxed and centered here.

Kilometer 18: As I hit this marker I was on track to hit my original goal, even with the lack of sleep, but as I tried to keep the pace I had going I really started to struggle.

Kilometer 19-20: My pace had slowed but I kept pushing through knowing that I was almost finished.

Kilometer 20.5: The tiniest little bug flew into my throat and I started coughing and gagging. Really? I’m so close to the finish.

Kilometer 21/Finish: Done. A 2 minute and 57 second PR. A little disappointing but in spite of my lack of sleep I wasn't too upset.

Two other notes about the race:

  • an uncontrollable thing, but the weather was absolutely amazing. It got a little hot near the end of the race but I definitely did not near to layer up.
  • the race kits and the finish line items were awesome. They had tons of sponsors and I got things like a carton of chocolate milk and a whole box of cereal

Overall I loved this race. I definitely want to run this one again.

Side note: Mac and cheese will forever by my favourite post-race meal.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Twas the Night Before a Half Marathon...

Usually I like to be super prepared before a race but up until 8:00PM I was still running around trying to find a specific pair of Nike crops. An hour later I think I have everything ready, I'm getting in some more water before I need to crawl into bed, and my fur-baby is checking out my race bib.

My energy finally feels like it's picking up after two weeks of exhaustion. I managed to fit in three long walks with my dogs and three outdoor workouts this week. I love that the weather has picked up and I can skip the busy gym. Although I am still shelling out money every two weeks for my membership... hmm...

My mom also made the awful mistake of buying oversized red licorice the other night. Every time I walk by the package I can't resist a piece or two, or three.

To rest up for tomorrow I spent the day outside in my new hammock with an iced coffee and planning out a trip for my boyfriend and I in October after I'm finished my last race of the year.

We spent a long time out in the sunshine so my boyfriend and I curled up with some Netflix and a super needy dog.

Perfect way to spend the day before a race.

Do you have any pre-race rituals? Are you a prepared racer or a last minute packer?