Monthly Archives: October 2013

A Decision

Yesterday I went for a run, an easy paced but hard effort 5K. My legs felt sore, and tired – I guess they are still recovering. This morning I went to spin, again my legs feel heavy, sore and tired. I need yoga and stretching, hoping to get to a class tomorrow night.

I also ate horribly yesterday and today. Clearly you can see I’m winning at life. My ‘skinny’ jeans are now called ‘super tight, not pretty’ jeans. Jesus!

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Anyways… about a month ago I signed up for a race, which is this weekend. It is the London Lady’s Half Marathon/Relay/5K. I registered for the half marathon thinking that I am already trained and can do another. But I don’t know if I can. I e-mailed the race director asking if we are able to switch distances, and he said that I have until Wednesday at 4pm to switch. Ok, awesome now I just need to decide.

I do best when I make a Pros and Cons list.

Pros

– It would be a great workout

– My second half marathon

– My cousins are running it

Cons

– My body is tired

– My legs are sore

– Risk of injury

– I want to only do ‘big’ races for longer distances – this one is small

– My ego

– I won’t PR the 5K because I am still slow

– It is mostly on the path system, which I think will be boring

– I wanted to knock the pants off my 2nd half marathons time, which I know I won’t do in this race

– I feel disappointed in myself for not doing the half

Clearly I know I shouldn’t run the half marathon, but I still want to. Ask me 10K into the race if I still want to.

What should I do? What would you do?

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A reminder that it takes time

April 14, 2013

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October 20, 2013

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Exact same clothes (clearly my favourite running outfit) exact same person. Top picture is post 5K, bottom after the half. I look better in the second one haha.

Slowly getting back to where I want to be. The summer was tough, some days are harder than others but with some time and dedication it can be done. It is a nice reminder to see where you were a few months ago, and see where you are now. Hopefully this will be a motivator to myself, and maybe you too?, to keep doing what I am doing. That it is working and results are happening, even if it is slow.

This time last year I was 13 lbs lighter than I am now – gulp. That kinda hurts. But I honestly think I am in better shape, and have more muscle now than I did then. So I will continue my weight training to build more muscle, cardio to burn fat, and eating healthy to cut weight. I will get to my goal weight, it might just take a bit longer.

My tentative goal is to be where I was, weight wise, last year at Christmas come Christmas time this year. I have a lot of work to do but if I work hard it can be done.

For a nice little visual….

PicMonkey Collage

First Run Back & Cross-training is Boring!

Hey! Happy Friday to you!!! We made it to the weekend, well almost! 

Yesterday I went on my first run post race. And may I tell you it was kinda awesome. I set out for an easy-slow-see how you feel 2 miler. I kept the pace ultra slow and really tried to see how my body was feeling. Well let me tell you, my body is feeling GREAT!!!!!!!!! I am super doper excited about this! I ended up only running 1.25 miles because it started pouring rain/wet snow and I had to teach after and didn’t want to do that soaking wet. Anyways tomorrow I am going to do a longer run and report back. I need to stretch, roll and ice today though to keep the legs happy!

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Today I really felt like going for a nice long run. But my Garmin was dead and I knew that I shouldn’t because I ran yesterday – even though it was super short. So I headed to the gym for some cross-training. Now that my favourite Circuit class is not on Fridays I am doing it solo. There is a spin class but I don’t like the instructor so I don’t go. In the future I think i might do my long runs on Friday –  we will see.

Anyways I hopped on the Arch trainer for some cross-training action, with my only intention to get 60 mins in on no specific machine. Well I was bored within the first 10 minutes. Sure I had a great playlist, and i put the news on to watch but it was pretty boring.

You see I don’t workout on my own a lot anymore, other than running. During the week I usually take a weights or spin class, and on the weekend I run or skip my workout – haha. Not too often do you find me on the cardio floor doing solo cross-training sessions, I just love group exercise classes!

Anyways, I did complete all 60 minutes on the arch trainer but did a few things like switch the workout program a few times and did so ‘hands free’ work to engage my core more. This helped for the time to go by a bit faster. I honestly don’t know how I used to do 60-90 mins of cross-training a day without wanting to stab my eyes out. 

With an effort to keep my cross training up, I am going to try and get a solid 60 mins of solo time in once a week. But next time I may switch machines as my knees are sore right now. 

How do you get through longer boring cross-training sessions?

A New Perspective

Running is my hobby, plain and simple. I will never win a race, and I’m cool with that. I don’t run to be the best, I run for me. Running is something I do for fun.

Then why do I feel so disappointed when I think about my first half marathon? This is absolutely ridiculous! I ran a freaking half marathon – that in itself is something to feel proud of. But I don’t, well I didn’t until now.

The thing is, is that I compare myself to other faster runners and feel dumb about my time. But then I remind myself that this is my hobby not my job. I don’t need to be perfect at this.

Not every run is fun, but some are. Not every run is fast, but some are. Running is something that doesn’t come easy to me, but for some reason I keep at it. It clears my mind, keeps me sane and releases any stress.

When I tell people that I ran a half marathon, I feel like they are more proud of me than I am. How sad is that? People are so impressed and congratulatory about this accomplishment, but it really doesn’t seem like that big of a deal to me. It just seems like buying a new purse or going to a new yoga class. Sure it was fun but it’s no biggy. Well actually it is a big deal. I trained for months for this race, whether it was consistent or not. I always had it in the back on my mind that it was coming up. Completing this was a big deal!

I need to feel proud of myself for even attempting this goal, and then more proud for actually completing the race.

The thing with hobbies is that you usually don’t start out being great at them. The reason you keep at them is to improve. For example, my sister knits – it is her hobby. When she started she was just learning, so she was likely not as good as she is now. But over time she just learns new things and applies them to her projects. The first time she ever knit a head band it is a learning experience. I would compare this to my first 5K. She learned things from this experience and moved on, challenging herself with something new and more complex, like a sweater aka my half marathon. She may not be 100% happy with the outcome but she is pretty stinkin’ proud that she made her own sweater! Same goes for me, I may not be 100% happy with my time but that doesn’t mean I should feel bad about myself because of a dumb number on a clock. I will learn from this race and move forward. (Side note: these are all assumptions about my sister, she is an amazing knitter but I am guessing it took time to get where she is now)

I didn’t come to this realization fully until today. I need to be happy with my accomplishments, and then learn from them and better myself and my hobby.

What did I learn from my first half? I learned that I need to train more for it and consistently stick to a training plan. I learned to appreciate what I can do physically and mentally. I need to compare myself to myself not anyone else. I need to think back to this time last year, where I could barely finish a 5K (CIBC Run for the Cure – 36 minutes), and now I am a half marathoner. That is pretty bad ass.

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Fun Sized

Today I am feeling pretty darn good! I have a little pain in my right ankle and right knee but other than that I am doing well. I hit up spin class this morning (but kept it fairly easy), but skipped the core part after. I want to give my back another day or so before I get back into core work. I am surprised how quickly I recovered, but I know the massage helped so much, without it I would still be hobbling around in pain.

Today I am going to take a break from talking about the half marathon and talk to you fine people about sugar. (I have one more post about the half and then I’m done 🙂

Last week I didn’t eat sugar. Except that one day I had some jam and a nutragrain bar of course. Oh and Friday night this happened…

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Other than that I really stayed away from sugar. It was hard, but it was so worth it!!! So this week, after my treats on Sunday, I thought I would try to go the rest of the week with as little sugar as possible.

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Well it turns out that without a big looming race on the horizon I am somehow not motivated to eat as clean. In the past few days I have eaten sugar every day. It hasn’t been crazy, but it is more than I would like.

It is officially Halloween season at both my Moms and Dads house so fun sized candy is everywhere!

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Have I ever told you how much I love fun sized candy? They are my absolute favourite! The problem is, is that before I know it I’ve eaten about 5 of them which in terms of calories adds up quickly. They are just little and so fun that I don’t realize, ok yes I do realize…I don’t feel as guilty as eating 5 of them. Where as I never buy a full chocolate bar/bag of M&Ms, but i will eat a bunch of little ones. It is all psychological.

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I don’t want to completely say no to my favourite little candies, but I need to ease up. This time of the year only comes once but I need to look at it in perspective. Do I want my new favourite ‘skinny’ pants to keep fitting/getting lose or do I want 5 mini chocolates?

My ‘thing’ is sugar. If I can refrain from eating sugar than my eating is pretty healthy. Cutting sugar down significantly is where my weight loss success happens. Pretty simple. I know this, so now I need to do it to see results!!

The Day After The Day After

Today is the day after the day after the half marathon. Still with me? I thought I would check in with how I am feeling.

This being my first half, I don’t know how the whole recovery period goes. Generally how long do people take off before exercising again? I guess I am just going to play it by ear.. or er legs haha. If my legs are feeling up to it I might head to spin tomorrow night after work, but take it easy. I know the general rule of thumb is to take it easy for the same number of days as miles you ran, which = 13 days.

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Yesterday morning I felt pretty good. Sure my legs were a bit sore but I expected it to be worst. Surprisingly my back and shoulders were killing me, didn’t really expect that at all. So I went to spin class, 45 minutes. I kept it really easy, slow pace with light tension (didn’t go above 12). I thought just keeping my legs moving would be good for them, because when they stiffen up then they really hurt.

Come 5pm I was done. My legs were sorer and tired, my body was tired physically, mentally I couldn’t do anything else and I just wanted to sit down and cry. I felt dead. But when you work with 4/5 year olds they don’t know or care how you are feeling, so you must push on – as I did. This may have been the beginnings of DOMS combined with low blood sugar.

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I had a massage scheduled for last night though, which was great. Well actually not really. It was super painful actually. She worked hard on my back, shoulders and legs of course. You know shes doing it right when you feel nauseous. It hurt, but it was so necessary to hopefully speed up recovery.

Today I feel very achy. My legs hurt more now than they did yesterday. I am resting today, and I should ice and stretch as well. I still feel pretty tired though. Hopefully by tomorrow I will be good to go again!

So would I do it again? Is all this pain worth it?

Absa-freaking-loutly! Every twinge of soreness is so worth it! And I will be doing another half! Possibly in 2 weeks haha. But I am already planning to do another spring half, but actually training for it a bit better, in hopes to really get my time down.

I know I shouldn’t feel this way, and am not looking for sympathy votes here, but I can’t help but feel disappointed in my time. I know, how childish right? I just wish I could have run it faster. I gave it my all, and should feel proud of what I accomplished, but I am struggling with it. Reading blogs of runners who run 7 min/miles and can complete a half in 1:30 does not help. This is where the comparison trap comes in, and it is so bad. I need to focus on what I have done, how far I have come, and be proud of that. I never thought I would complete a half marathon, and it still feels surreal to me that I actually did. I guess this is just motivation to train more and kick this time out of the park. But I need to appreciate and enjoy what I did on Sunday – because it is a pretty big deal! Even if I was slower than a turtle.

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Detroit Free Press Half Marathon Race Recap

Yesterday I ran my first half marathon and it was quite an experience!

We left Saturday morning so head over to Detroit. Let me just say that driving in a new city with just my mother was not ideal. Don’t get me wrong I love my Mom but she does not know how to be a good navigator. I drove, because she was no comfortable driving – which was fine. She was stressed, and when she is stressed she gets grumpy and mad. Anyways, during the driving portion of the trip we got lost a lot, there was a lot of yelling in the car and possibly a few swear words.

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Anyways, we headed straight to the expo to pick up my bib. Well organized and free samples! The volunteers were amazing, so fun and friendly.

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At the expo I bought a t-shirt, glass and a 13.1 magnet. But the lady at the cash didn’t put the magnet in the bag, super sad! So I paid for it but never got it, very disappointing!

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After the expo we went to do a little shopping.

The Race

The morning began with a 4:30am wake up, actually I didn’t get much sleep because of the constant slamming of hotel doors all night. We got up and got dressed and were out the door by 5am.

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We spent quite a bit of time trying to find apporpriate parking as we were not familiar with the city, had no idea where the start line was and where parking was located. We found parking, and spent some time in the Cobo centre before the race. About 45 mins of that was in the bathroom line, haha.

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I started a bit further back than I had anticipated when registered for the race. I think I stareted in the 5:00 marathon carrel. The first wave of runners went off on time at 7am, but since I was further back I didn’t cross the start link until 7:17am. I didn’t realize I had started this late, which really messed me up at the finish line/until I got the final results.

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The start line was fun, and I chatted with a bunch of different people. All first time half marathoners, and a few were even from Canada!

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The first 5 miles I felt amazing. We ran a bit in Detroit and then went over the Ambasator Bridge. This was by far my favourite part of the race. I ran the whole bridge, it wasn’t easy but it was so worth it! It was such a cool feeling to be running it with so many people. The view at the top was beautiful! It was windy but that was to be expected! I came off that bridge loving running.

We ran in Windsor for about 2 miles along the water, which was also beautiful. I didn’t take my camera because I didn’t want to carry it, but it would have been nice to get some shots during the race because the views were amazing!

Mile 1-6 splits: 10:44, 10:49, 11:17 (bridge), 10:48, 10:53, 10:56

Mile 5.5 is where things started to get tough for me. I told myself to make it to the 6 mile point and then I could start my walk/run for the rest of the race. So at mile 6 I took a walk break, and my first shot block. It was only a quick break though, because I knew I needed to keep my pace up if I wanted to hit my time goal of 2:30. At this point I was right on pace.

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We went into the tunnel at mile 7, and it is a whole mile under water. This is where my Garmin got messed up, so my splits and distance are not accurate. The downhill of the tunnel was fast, I knew I was going too fast but so was everyone around me so I just kept going. Then we got to the uphill and I walked, the whole way up. It was about half a mile but I didn’t care. We were only at mile 7.5 and I knew that if I didn’t walk I would pay for it later. In hindsight I likely could have ran and been fine but I am happy with my decision. I think I took another shot block in the tunnel, not sure.

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We exited the tunnel and soon hit the mile 8 marker. I knew I had to pay attention the the mile markers now that my watch was not accurate. The next few miles are a blur. I ran as much as I could but did take walk breaks. I was thirsty so I was trying to take in as much water as possible at the aid stations. I took two cups and drank both. The trouble was that I was getting cramps from too much water. There was Gatorade but I don’t train/drink Gatorade so I stuck with water. I remember drinking Gatorade by mistake at a race in the past and it made me feel so sick so I stay away for now.

There were a few more tunnels and overpasses we went over, and I remember thinking ‘when will it end’. I was so happy to see the 10 mile marker, because I knew we only had 5K left to go! At this point I was walking up another hill and a girl about my age, or a few years older went by and said ‘keep going your doing well’. So I started running again. I ended up running with her for about a mile and she was great. We chatted about a bunch of things. I wish I could have held onto her for longer, but I took a walk break and told her to keep going. She was running the full marathon and still had a long ways to go.

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Mile 11 was rough, but mile 12 was worst. It honestly seemed like it was 2 miles, the longest mile of my life. We turned a bunch of corners, and around every corner I thought there was the finish line, but it wasn’t. I walked a lot of mile 12, I was hurting and tired and it was messy. But you know what, I got it done.

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I thought that crossing the finish line was going to be this big emotional thing for me, I suspected I may tear up. But I didn’t. I was in a lot of physical pain and just wanted to be done running. I completly missed the people with the medals so I had to back track to get mine.

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When I crossed the finish line I looked at the clock and it said 2:53, but my watch said 2:38. I was instantly confused and disappointed. The 5 hour marathon pacer passed me about mile 10, and the 2:30 half marathon pacer passed me just before mile 12 (who I really tried to hang onto but couldn’t), so how could I have finished with such a slow time? Well, I hadn’t realized that it took a full 17 mins to cross the start line in the beginning until last night when I checked final results.

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I know that if I walked a little less and ran a bit more I would have been able to get my 2:30 but I did my best. I have to be happy with that. I really enjoyed this race, which is what I wanted to do. There is always another race for a faster time, but not another race will be your first ever half marathon.

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I spent the night laying on the couch, eating pizza (par my request), a cupcake and a mini snickers bar.

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If you made it to the end, thank you. That was a long one! If you just looked at the pictures, then you will probably get the idea 😉 Regardless thank you for reading, it means a lot!

Detroit Free Press Half Marathon: 2:38:17