Thursday, February 28, 2013

...But I Didn't Get To Run.

Do you ever feel this way? I do. Even if I've gotten in a great alternate workout.  Yesterday winter visited us again & I would have been happy to run outside if not for the ice.  Lots of freezing rain.  As much as I hate skipping a planned run, I know I'd hate a broken ankle more.  So off to the gym I went & put in 47 sweaty minutes on the bike, did an awesome strength training class, then hit the pool for 1000 yards.  Still I felt cheated. I really wanted to stick to my plan and have a run in there too.  (and no, I could not suck up the dreadmill). 

Now imagine 4 people running daily!
Today, though, was a whole different day.  It was mild (above freezing), and only lightly snowing.  I had a tempo run scheduled on the marathon torture plan: 6 miles: warmup, 4x1600 @ 9:50 pace, cool-down.  I felt great today, and I know part of the reason was the cross-training yesterday.  Say all you like about sport-specific training but I KNOW that all the other stuff I do is making me a stronger, faster runner. I still don't have an ab, but one day I will ;-D

This is how it played out: Warmup mile: 10:23 Tempo splits: 9:51/9:47/9:47/9:15 Cooldown: 9:46

Best of all, I felt comfortable the whole time.  I was working, for sure, but it was a pace I could sustain.  I think Thing 1 calls it 'threshold'.  I'd have to ask him again & he'd probably roll his eyes so we'll just call it that. 

On a completely different note, as I threw the 2nd load of workout gear in the washing machine this morning I realize just how completely running & sport is enmeshed into our lives.  4 people running/training sometimes twice a day (half-iron training began for SD this week) makes for a LOT of laundry! Do you know I exclusively buy the Tide sport with febreeze in it?

Must go fold....don't know why I bother....

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Feeling The Run...

This has been a good running week. I've hit my workout goals & I'm getting used to working a little harder when I lace up my sneakers. Training is very different from that between season, run what I feel, workout. I am kinda liking the challenges I'm putting my body through. That satisfaction you get from a hard workout is really a high I can get used to (after I get over the 'I'm gonna puke' phase, of course ;)). I've also been trying to figure out what different paces 'feel' like. I'm trying not to look at my watch & run by feel and see if I hit my goal. Yesterday I had a 10 miler @ 11:10 pace on tap. This was supposed to be an easy run so after that first mile beeped I pulled my sleeve over the watch face and just ran what felt comfortable. You should have seen the surprised look on my face when I hit stop at that 10 mile mark and found that I'd finished in 1:46 instead of the 1:51 that I had calculated out! Turned out I ran an average 10:41 pace! And best of all was that apart from that first mile or so, which always has me feeling crappy, I felt good the whole time! Comfortable! I am so happy with how this worked out that I'm planning on doing this for all my easy runs. I don't think I can do this when it comes to speed work or tempo runs, I don't know how these paces 'feel' yet (except painful!).

Another thing I'm trying to learn is to run in metric. I seem to do a race or two & some training up in Canada each year & although I grew up metric, I learned to run in imperial & when I run back home the km to go signs mess with my head. So to that end I've set my Nike app to km and am learning that pacing too. I think I'm starting to 'get it'. It was harder that I thought it was going to be.

Today was another easy run. Just 4 miles, and the temperature was hovering just above freezing so I took my new lulu skirt for a spin. There's nothing quite like a piece of new gear & cold wind on your legs to get you excited to run & moving fast! I ran 10:31, 10:28, 9:58, 9:57!!!!!!
Felt great!

Then I hopped on the spin bike at the gym. 11.2 miles in 44 minutes. While I was very unattractively sweating like a pig on that bike, I noticed that most everyone else on the treadmills, regular bikes & ellipticals weren't sweating. Like at all. I, on the other hand, was having my ass handed to me by a spinning bike and my shirt was soaked and sweat was dropping in puddles around me. Is this normal? Either I'm the only one trying hard or I have a sweat problem. And really, how can you read and bike or treadmill? First, my book would be soaked & second, I can't concentrated on a page when I'm up and down in the saddle all the time or running. I don't get it. Ok, that's the end of my rant.

What's it like at your gym? Sweat or no sweat?

Can you read while biking or treading?

How warm does it have to be/or how short a run does it have to be to go tightless in the winter?

Haha! My legs are almost as pink as my shoes!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Mother-son run day...February

Being Presidents Day, & since there isn't school, today was the perfect day for Thing 2 & I to go on our February run! Not only that but I got to take my new (& totally awesome looking) Pure Flow 2's out for their 1st run!

Best Valentine's present ever!
He's so excited!
We rocked our February run
We had 6 miles to do according to Thing 1's Torture Plan: warm up, 4 miles @ 9:50 pace, cool down. It is pretty cold out today but the sun was took a good chunk of that first warm-up mile to find a comfortable groove. Then we picked it up a bit. Hit our tempo miles @ 9:42, 9:50, 9:51, 9:23! Had to ask Thing 2 to help me keep on pace and not slow down that last mile and we finished our last tempo mile strong! Yay! Our cool down mile was hard too because it is a 1 mile climb to the top of our hill. That is always really tough for me but with Thing 2 pushing me and trying to get me to finish under 1 hour, I got through it. I didn't quite make it (1:00:14 @ the 6 mile mark) but it was close. I definitely would have made it if I hadn't chosen the route with the mile long 300ft climb. I'm a nut job, I know.

Because someone asked for more sock pic's ;)
As for the Pure Flow2's...they were super comfortable right away. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the hot pink! (Goodbye icky purple) the tongue & lacing is unusual in that it is off Center and one side of the tongue is part of the top of the shoe. That made it a little harder to get on but I'm sure it's just something I'm not used to and will get comfortable with soon enough. The nice thing about the tongue being that way is that it doesn't move around or bunch at all. So that is a nice upgrade. I was a little worried the toe box would be narrower. That's one of the things I love about pure flows is that nice wide toe box. The new shoe appears narrower, but that must be an illusion created by the off kilter laces because it feels fantastic. Nice and roomy!
Even though I only have 6.5 miles on them, I have a feeling they are going to be my favourite yet.

In honour of President's Day

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Day 1 of Thing 1's Torture Marathon Plan...

So true
On the weekend Thing 1 looked over my training plan and decided that I wasn't likely to meet my goal time without some 'improvements'. He hacked away with his instrument of torture pen & then presented me with a plan that would ensure my early death 'make you work at it a little'.

So yesterday, after my strength class I set out with my assigned speed workout: 6 miles: warmup, 3x1600 @ 8:30 pace with 800M jogs, cool down.

Smartcoach, revised :-0
I was told that the speed pace shouldn't feel like I'm racing. It should feel pretty hard but not completely all out. I was scared and not at all confident I could do this. I didn't. I hit 8:45, 8:55, & 8:56 on my speed intervals. I got a 'that's not bad' from the kid so I guess his plan did work and pushed me harder than I normally would have. Last week, my speed intervals were in the 9:teens. He still thinks that if I work at it I can hit 8:30.  I will continue to try.

I particularly like the easy run crossed out  & sub'd with  13.1 @ race pace! lol!
With a new sense of purpose, I set out today on my assigned 9 mile easy run @ 11:10 pace.  I hit all my splits, felt good and ended up doing 10.7 miles @ 11 even overall! Yay me! Then I hit core class & almost died. LOL! Those classes are killer!

My foot is feeling ok.  I still have to mind it and do my stretching and ice when it flares up, but overall, 1000% better! Hope you all have a fabulous runs today!

Haha! This is me!
Happy Running!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

My 1st Indoor Track Meet...

For XLMIC....Barton Hall....I'm the pink dot on the right.
Oh, the pain! 
Thing 1 asked me to take him to an open track meet today. I don't know what got into me but before I knew it, I was registered in the 1500M. I almost puked as I handed over my $3...especially when Thing 1 made me seed myself at 7 minutes.  I mentioned it as a lark the night before, and got some surprising supportive feedback so as I lay awake nervous as heck, I decided to do it.  Although it was an open meet, it was definitely overwhelmingly teenage there.  Like, a few older guys that can still kick ass on the track, a bunch of under-10 kids in the local running club trying out the track for the first time, some race walkers.....and me...suburban mom.  I do not run short distances.  I don't even really like running 5K's.  I like longer races where slow is cool.  Slow is not cool in the 1500M.  I had to wait around for a while before my race.  Thing 1 ran the 800 and did well.  He has been sick and after a round of antibiotics is starting to feel better running.  So today was a test.  And he hit his time easy and feeling coughing up a lung, so all was good. I tried to pass the time by jogging the track beforehand.  Maybe a mile or so.  I wasn't counting.  They finally called my race & the slowest heat would run first...6:35 and slower....OMFG....this was NOT going to be pretty.  I think it's the most nervous I've been at a race start.  I felt so out of place.  But before I knew it the gun went off and so did I.  Longest 7 1/2 laps of my life.  The kids were awesome though.  I have to say, it so touched me that I heard so many of them cheering me on and encouraging me especially when I was feeling like I was going to die...somewhere around the 6th lap.  Such a good group of kids.  Thing 1 was even there calling my lap times to me.  It was hard.  Really hard. Harder than a marathon I least to me.  But, oh my, so very satisfying that I put myself out there & as my MIL would say "didn't disgrace the family name"!
I just think this is adorable

7:17 ...I finished 2nd a racewalker.

The best part of it though was Thing 1's take on it.  "I think you could have hit 7, but that's the most pain I've ever seen you in. You had a really bad pain face".

Frosty's gone Ragnar!
In other news, after I got home, I went to my first Ragnar Niagara team meeting! I am SO excited! I am Runner 6....around 19 miles and will run by my family twice during the race! Yay! We have an awesome group of women. It is stacking up to be a very fun time!

Thing 1 also reworked my marathon training plan.  It is going to be challenging, but I think he did make it better. If I can hit his splits, I will definitely go into my spring marathon a stronger, faster runner. Maybe even capable of beating Oprah ;-)

And because, who doesn't like a cat picture....Bad Kitty giving me the evil eye while hugging Thing 1.  

Friday, February 8, 2013

Waiting for Nemo...

Got up early this morning so I could drive Thing 1 to school early so he could play in some badminton tournament before school...didn't see that one coming, but we'll roll with it.  Please explain to me how it makes sense that we leave AFTER the bus comes by & arrive at the school BEFORE...Like almost 30 minutes before...the schoolbus arrives???? And we live 2 miles from the school.  No wonder they hate the bus.

We have been hearing all about the impending arrival of Nemo, so I knew if I wanted to get my 12 mile long run in today I'd have to be out early.  You KNOW you've married the right person when he doesn't even blink when you ask to ride into town with him so you can run home.  He thinks I'm weird, but he's used to it!

Anyway, I did get my 12 miles in.  It felt pretty good, though the pace was a bit slower than I would have liked over the last few miles.  My goal pace was 11:34/mile.  I ran 11:12/mile.  Sounds good, right? Wrong. Here's my problem: I am using the smartcoach plan to train for my spring marathon & it plots out a 4:35 marathon for me.  However, NONE of my long runs are scheduled anywhere near that pace (which is a 10:30 pace).  In fact, according to Thing 1, the 'speedwork' times I'm supposed to hit are too slow too?!? I'm not quite sure what to do...scrap this plan? It's the only one that has a 4 day a week plan that works with my work schedule & cross-training for triathlon.  I'll take any suggestions I can get!

Anyway, I got my run in, did my shopping, have some soup in the slowcooker & my book at the ready....go ahead, bring on the snow. (Clearly, you've deduced it's my weekend off! LOL!). Even Bad Kitty is racked out by the fire.

Happy Running!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Three Things Thursday

I don't usually have 3 things to talk about On Thursdays but today I do so here goes:

My Mum sent me these awesome socks. They are officially my new favourite apres-running sock!

Please ignore my best friend, the slow cooker.
This just proves Bad Kitty has no taste...I found him sleeping with his head in Thing 2's dirty track shorts and socks.  Anyone remember that song from Friends..."Smelly Cat"....yeah, that's him.
He is irritated I disturbed him

Trail Buddy lent me her 7 year old daughter's goggles to try.  Apparantly I am 'child sized' because I did 1000 yards in the pool today in comfort! Slight leakage, but nothing I had to stop for and best of all NO HEADACHE!!!! Now I just have to find the exact same kind to buy.
Best Goggles Eva!!!
Oh, and today I totally rocked my speed workout! 5 miles: warmup, 2x1600 @ 9:23 pace with 800 jogs, cooldown.  Hit my speed miles @ 9:17 & 9:10 plus another half mile @ 4:45.  Then did a strength class (where I was able to hold a 2 minute plank...may be a new record!) & swam.  Good well rounded day.

Happy Running!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Birthday Trail Run....

Today is my birthday...I won't tell you exactly how old I am. Suffice it to say I am old enough not to get carded with great frequency & young enough to not start a big house fire with the candles on my cake ;- D

Ready to hit the trail!
Snow shoes! (yeah, I'm a comedian;))
Hill repeat hill looking all nice and innocent
I'm not a big birthday person, but I did want to go for a run today...and not just any kind of run.  I wanted to get out on the TRAIL! I have MISSED it SO SO much! But alas, I'm not a lone trail runner (I have a bit of sense in me...or rather, I know how clumsy I can be) as I was trudging through a yucky weekend at work I sent Trail Buddy an email pleading for her to go running with me.  She said YES!  YAY!!! I am pretty sure our last trail run was The Trail of Terror. The fall was nice, but with triathlon and marathon training and organizing (Trail Buddy is a fall marathon race director), the fall just slipped by & who would have thought that winter would actually come this year?!? When I asked, it was cold, but with the warm weather last week, all the snow had gone so I thought it would be clear in the woods.  Ha! Silly me...mother nature had other ideas and spent the weekend dropping just enough snow to leave a decent layer on the ground.  Not to be deterred, we layered on all our best running gear and headed out.  It was A-MA-ZING!!!! The trail had a couple inches of fresh snow, which turned out to be nice to run on. Not too slippery at all! Except the downhill....that was a little slippery. I love the woods...the look, the feel, the peacefulness of it.  It was even better with snow! So pretty! And best of all, no chance of snakes or bears!

What is she doing????
Yeah, I work out... ;)


We visited the fireplace
So pretty!
We were slow, we walked in places...and just generally caught up.  Before we knew it we had done almost a 5 mile loop and were out over an hour and a half!  Just a little cold but not bad really.  We could really tell that the weather has been harsh over the fall/winter.  There were trees down, and part-way down all over the place! Of course Trail Buddy always is the trail sweeper, clearing branches as she goes....she can't help herself...I think it may be an illness ;) I looked back several times to find her lumberjacking trees trying to move them. LOL! We are hoping our good trail friends the mountain bikers bring their chainsaws back this spring to move some of the bigger trees from the trail!

....and in case you were wondering, you know you are a trail runner that has met critters in the woods when you get a BEAR BELL for your birthday!

Mmmm...chai tea & a bear bell

Friday, February 1, 2013

42 Lengths....

Today I swam. Took the day off running because for some reason my calves were sore. I looked back at my weekly mileage for the past 3 months & I realised that in starting a marathon training plan I had suddenly doubled my average weekly mileage. D'Oh! Don't get me wrong...I have been doing some serious working out the past 3 months, usually double workouts of strength training, core and either running or biking, but mostly I've just been running what I felt like at the the tune of maybe 13-15 miles per week. So yeah, a day in the pool seemed like a good idea.

Until I had to face getting wet. I hate it. I know it doesn't make sense. But I just hate that jump. Seriously, I swam 12 hours a week for 4 freakin' years when I played varsity waterpolo in university & I still hate it. Then it took me 42 lengths to stop feeling negative about being wet & cold. That nice pleasant groove lasted exactly 20 lengths. Then I got a wicked goggle headache & just gutted out the last 18. So, 80 lengths (2000 yards) in 45 minutes. Sucky pace. But I will say that I definitely feel like I worked out. Nothing gives me a good full body tired like swimming.

So, to all you swimmers out there:
Can you recommend a good pair of goggles? I really cannot find a pair that fits properly & doesn't leak (I have a small head) or that doesn't give me a headache.

Also, just a helpful tip...I don't recommend doing the above workout after going to Red Lobster for lunch with the girls from work. Oi.

As for the photos...they made me laugh out loud ;)

Happy Running!