Sunday, December 23, 2007

Change of heart

Did I say I was looking forward to that? Really?! I am water-logged and chilled to the bone, and starting to wonder if every Sunday is going to bring such awful weather! Last week was the snow storm and this week it was pouring rain. Apparently, cold December rain is much, much worse than snow. We were soaking wet, splashing through the puddles. It felt like I was carrying 10 extra pounds of rain water in my clothing - most of which was sloshing around between my toes. Not so pleasant. We were supposed to run 11K, but three of us decided to make a U-turn and head back early. Ended up finishing at around 6.6K. My crazy husband and Shannon (our instructor) went on to complete the 11 (maybe more?). I'm now showered and warmed up but hubby is still out there...and probably loving it. What a weirdo. ;)

The good news is, I had a little chat with Shannon and she gave me some exercises and tips to help with my ongoing knee issues. She seems to really know her stuff so I am going to take her advice and hopefully see some results.

But right now I need to get me some hot tea! Stay dry. :)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Good to go

Just like last time, it seems to have taken three days for my knee to be okay again. I took Wednesday (missed hill training - bummer), Thursday and Friday off. Went out for a 5K this morning and no problems! Looking forward to a mild (but possibly rainy) 11K with clinic tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Isn't this just peachy

Yesterday was 6K with clinic and it was a tough 6K - tons of hills and snowy sidewalks. I managed to irritate my knee again running through piles of snow. It was really sore last night so I iced it for a while. Seems to be a little better this morning but I hay have to skip clinic tonight. :( REALLY sucks because we are starting hills! I'd hate to miss our first hill training session, especially since I have never done it, but running hills with an already aggravated injury is about the stupidest thing you can do, so... bummer. We'll see how it is later on.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Monday Accountability

I'm going to start a new accountability post every Monday and recap my runs for the previous week as well as a plan for the upcoming week since I don't always get around to posting every day.

So here's my accountability for this Monday, December 17th.


Monday: rest
Tuesday: 5K
Wednesday: 7K+
Thursday: rest
Friday: 2.5K (that's all I could manage in the freeeezing cold!)
Saturday: rest
Sunday: 11K
total: 25.5K


Tonight: rest
Tuesday: 5K
Wednesday: 7K
Thursday: 5K (gym)
Friday: rest
Saturday: min 5K
Sunday: 11K
total: 33K

Bringing new meaning to "LSD"

That was one loooooooooooooooooooong, slooooooooooooooooooooow distance. Yesterday a severe winter storm blew through the GTA and it certainly made for an interesting 11KM. We were fortunate to be out in the beginning of the storm (before 30+ centimetres had settled) but the snow was coming down in buckets and we had to brave un-plowed roads and sidewalks. 7 of us showed up (I thought hubby and I would be the only crazy ones) and we stuck together the entire hour and fifteen minutes, even for a washroom stop at Petro Canada. At red lights, we paused for a chuckle at how ridiculous we looked, A) because we were completely snow-covered with frosted facial hair (the guys, anyway) and eyelashes, and B) because we were actually out running in this. It seemed no matter what direction we ran in, we were running into the snow. So we took our time, trudging through the streets, eyes on the ground most of the time to avoid the sting of snowflakes. It felt like we were out there for at least 2 hours.

But you know what? We felt a pretty incredible sense of accomplishment once we had done it. Sometimes that's what it's all about. What did YOU do yesterday? :)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

And beyond...

I decided it was time to change my blog title... since I'm no longer on a mission to a 1/2 marathon. I'm actually on a mission to THREE next year, but anyway...

Tuesday night, clinic was 5K. It had snowed most of the afternoon and turned to rain right before the run, so the roads were covered in slush. It felt like trudging through quick sand. My calves and ankles were extremely tired and sore and I really had to will myself to keep on running. At the end of the run, everyone agreed that it felt more like 10K. THIS is the reason that signing up for the clinic is so valuable to me. If I was on my own, I would have turned back. No way would I have pushed through 35 minutes (yeah, 35 minutes, slowest 5K ever!) of that.

Thankfully, the conditions last night were much better. It was colder, but not raining and the roads were pretty clear. We braved some icy spots when we had to stay on the sidewalk, but it was smooth sailing when we were able to stick to the roads. Our instructor was sick so I volunteered to group lead, which basically entails keeping the group motivated, making sure that everyone knows the route and that noone is left behind. It wasn't too difficult since only 4 of us showed up. It was supposed to be a 7K run but turned out to be closer to 8. Gmaps always seems to under-estimate! 8K is pretty long for a weeknight; I was exhausted by the time we finished. And we still had to go to the gym! Sometimes I wonder what I'm thinking...

Sunday, December 09, 2007


I took a few days off and this morning's 9K went great. No pain! I am still going to get my butt back to physio because there is no doubt my knee is messed up and who knows when it may decide to cramp my style? Lots of races lined up for next year - no room for down time.

Considering a few too many glases of wine and a bit of a late night (I know, I know, 12:30 should not be late for a 25-year-old, but I don't function well on lack of sleep) and cold pizza for breakfast, the run this morning was surprisingly good. We maintained a great pace and I felt awesome the entire time.

And then I spent the afternoon painting. Something tells me I am going to be sore tomorrow!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

This is not good

I am experiencing a lot of pain with my bad knee this morning. A lot! It hurts like hell walking down the stairs and doesn't feel too great even when I'm just walking around.

It has never healed properly from the injury but fortunately has not caused me any pain since the spring. It has, however, continued to "grind", which is how I know my knee cap is still out of place. I had exercises from a PT to strengthen my quad and help nudge it back to place, which I did faithfully for a while. But when I wasn't noticing a difference, I just stopped. I (stupidly) didn't bother going back to physio since it wasn't bothering me.

And now of course it's acting up again! The rugged, wintery terrain has probably aggravated it. So back to physio I go, and hopefully the pain doesn't last too long. Argh....

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Marlene vs. Wednesday

So the last two Wednesdays have been brutal. Two weeks ago we had absolutely miserable weather and I had a really hard time keeping myself going and last week I had my really "off" day. Good news: this week, I won! It was a good run.

That said, it was bitter cold out there tonight. My face was numb and I had sweat-icicles on my eye-lashes by the time we finished. I have my gaitor that can be pulled over my face, but if I'm breathing heavily I find that it suffocates me. I may need to find another solution that covers most of the face but leaves my eyes and mouth open. Does such a thing exist??

I know I said I have the best husband in the world, but tonight he tried to kill me! We ended up pulling ahead of the group when they took their first walk, as usual. Hubby knew the route and we were doing great...until we realized we had missed a turn. We ended up running about 6.7 instead of the planned 6. That may not seem too bad, but when you think you're nearing the home stretch only to find out you have an added 700 metres to run, it hurts. The worst part is, our little detour took us to that brutal hill I have mentioned before. My ankles were so sore and tired from treading through the snow, I had to walk up half the hill.

But I survived! We even went to the gym to lift some weights afterwards. Yeah!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Let it snow, let it now, let it snow!

(or not!)

This morning only 6 (including us) showed up for our clinic run, and 2 are not even part of our usual group. A blizzard blew though here last night and left a nice layer of snow and slush all over the roads and sidewalks, not to mention snow drifts up to our knees. But again, it didn't stop us! It was a trek, to say the least. I am amazed at how hard it is to run in the snow and I'm still trying to decide if it's worse running on the hard, packed stuff or the light, fluffy stuff. Either way, I had zero traction and it was killer on the legs. They felt like lead while we were running and jelly when we stopped. Did I mention I almost wiped out more than once? One girl DID take a tumble - and she was wearing "winter" shoes (yes, they make them). 9.7 KM took about 1:05:00 (felt like 20KM!). But as usual, it felt great once we had finished. Such a sense of accomplishment.

It is going to seem like a piece of cake running once Spring hits. But wait, it's not even officially Winter yet! I don't even want to think about what the next few months have in store for me.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Santa Shuffle report

We woke up this morning to -12C, feeling like -18 with the wind chill. Naturally, the race has to fall on the coldest day so far! We knew we'd be okay once we got going, but we froze half to death while waiting around for half an hour before hand. Brrrrrr! We were thankful that the sun was shining.

As anticipated, we warmed up as soon as we started running. But for once, I wasn't too warm by the end of the run. I took my mittens off as usual (my hands always end up way too hot) but other than that, I was dressed just right. We ran with a friend of mine from work (Patricia) and her husband (Ueli) and we all had a really good time. My hubby and Patricia took off for the last KM and Ueli and I stayed together. We didn't have enough juice to sprint! We still finished under 30 minutes: 29:57 to be exact. The course was actually slightly longer than 5K so I am pleased with that. Mark and Patricia finished about 45 seconds faster.

It was pretty funny going from the Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon in September to this... we went from thousands of runners, thousands of spectators, live bands, an extravagant start and finish line... to a cardboard sign that said "Start/Finish" nailed to a tree. Definitely a "fun run".

A good time was had by all, but boy am I glad to be warm and cozy in the house right now! Definitely going to do this one again next year.

Here's Mark and I with Santa after the race.