Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Sporting Life 10K Goals revisited

I mentioned in a previous post that I have a goal of completing the Sporting Life 10K in 55 minutes.

I now have a more specific goal, according to the McMillan Pace Calculator. The McMillan Method estimates your equivalent race performances using a current race time at any distance. Based on a 2:01:00 half marathon, I should be able to run 10K in 54:23 (pace 5:26/KM)...in theory. So that's my official goal. McMillan indicates that my 5K time is 26:11, which is only 37 seconds faster than my personal best 5K of 26:48 (which I have achieved twice in training runs). So, it's doable...right? Did I mention the course is primarily downhill? :)

I'm really looking forward to Sunday!

My week will consist of 8K at lunch today, another 8K Thursday (slow pace) and a short 3K Saturday to keep the muscles warm. BRING IT ON!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Something to be said for Community Spirit

Yesterday was the 7th annual Hartwell Challenge in Aurora. It's a small local event, with only about 400 participants overall, but a whole lot of spirit! I decided to volunteer because most of my friends from the Newmarket Running Room were running.

It was so much fun! I was stationed as a course marshall around the 7KM mark right at the top of a long, gradual hill (lots of red faces). We had several runners thank us for the enthusiasm and one told us that we "make all the difference." That was good to hear. From my own experience, I know that the support from race volunteers does make all the difference, so it was a good feeling to be on the other side this time. The best part is, because we were stationed so early in the race, we were able to make it back to the finish line in time to cheer everyone in.

It was a very well-organized event with tons of local support (sponsors, volunteers, police) and they finished off with a pancake breakfast in the cafeteria of my old high school. The atmosphere at Hartwell was definitely a big change from the Scotiabank and Chilly Half, both having thousands of runners. I love all of the hurrah and hooplah that comes with a big city race, but I have a new appreciation for small-town events.

Next year, I'll be running Hartwell. Who wants to volunteer?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Just another Saturday...and Sporting Life 10K Goals

Hubby and I got up bright and early this morning for a run around a local park. It was a beautiful morning, plenty of people were out and about, and it was a pleasant run. We separated at one point when hubby decided my 5:50 pace was too slow, and I ended up taking a wrong turn. I wouldn't say I was 'lost' but I had to ask someone how to get back to the parking lot where we had left the car. Oops!

Anyway, I ran about 11.6K, which is my longest distance since the Chilly Half. All set for Sporting Life next weekend!

I'm going for sub 55 minutes (5:30/KM pace) but I think I am actually capable of running even faster than that. I figure if I can run 21K at an average pace of 5:40, I should be able to run a 10K faster than 5:30...right? Funny that I've run two half marathons and never a 10K (or 5K, or any other race). I guess I feel like I have something to prove to myself.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Good news!

I finally had a good run yesterday! I still didn't have new clothes so I improvised by rolling up my pants to the knee and pinning them in place. Oh yeah, I was stylin! It was pretty hot so I just grabbed a 500mL water bottle and held it in my hand the whole time (so annoying but I was glad I had it).

So I ran 8K in 45:10 (pace 5:38/km), and felt great.

And the really good news is that I went to see Sarah at the Aurora Running Room last night and bought myself some new capris and a new fuel belt - and they FIT!

Can't wait to try them out tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A slight improvement over Monday's run

Last night I was slightly better prepared for my run. It was hot and I couldn't stand the thought of wearing pants, so I wore my running skirt knowing it was too big but counting on my fuel belt to hold it up. But apparently, my fuel belt is way too big too! I only lasted 5K, constantly hiking up the belt and skirt. It was such a pain...I wanted to turn back after 1K.

No more runs til I go shopping!!!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Remind me not to do this again either

Brought my gym bag to work with my running gear, but neglected to bring two important items: sports bra and socks.

Determined, stubborn and insane as I am, I ran anyway, but only survived 5K instead of the planned 7.5 or so.

Bare feet in running shoes and a underwire bra...what was I thinking? Remarkably, no blisters.

Remind me not to do that again

Do what, you ask?

Stay up until 2 am, drink my weight in sangria, wake up and go for a run at high noon in 26+ degree temperatures through a trail that has zero shade.

Thought I was going to die.

But I (and my buddies) survived the 9.2K. At least we had the foresight to bring water.

The warm temps are sticking around so far, but this is Canada... so I'm just waiting for one last blast from Mother Winter.

It's another gorgeous day today and I'm heading out for 7.5K (ish?) on my lunch. The rest of the week looks like this:

Mon: 7.5K
Tue: 5K, Yoga
Wed: strength + softball practice (IT'S SOFTBALL SEASON AGAIN!)
Thu: 5K
Fri: off
Sat: 11-12K
Sun: softball practice

Still keeping the distances pretty low. My official marathon training doesn't start until May 25th so I have time and I really want to take is slow this time around.

What a lovely day to be...

...running the Boston Marathon. I can only dream of running with such an elite crowd, but maybe one day. For now, I'm rooting for Dean from Zero to Boston. I'm not quite sure how he's doing it, but he is actually updating his blog while running.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Did somebody say SHOPPING?!

What was I saying about the weather yesterday? Because today it's freakin' HOT! I was out in capris and a tank top and felt over-dressed. Probably didn't help that it was high noon (impromptu lunch run!), but dang! I forgot what it was like to be hot while running. Don't get me wrong... I am NOT complaining! It's a beautiful day and I'm loving it. Just have to bring water next time because I was parched after 10 minutes.

Everyone has been looking at me like What happened to you? since I came back. Disheveled hair, red face... I am not a pretty runner. But how many people at my office can say they ran 5K at lunch? :)

Anyway, a new spring/summer wardrobe is in order. My stuff from last year is all too big (yay!) and I don't want my bottoms falling down while I run around town. ;)

My wish list looks something like this:

Racer fit shorts

Racer capris

Racer tank

Sport cap sleeve top

That's a good start, anyway.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A wee Wednesday update

This is my favourite time of year to run. The skies are clear, the temperatures are ideal (in the teens [C]), the air is refreshing, the sun is still out long after I get home from work. It's BEE-YOU-TEE-FUL and gives me a warm and tingly feeling inside. For a while there, it seemed like winter was never going to end. And then when the weather finally started to improve, I was house-bound with a stubborn injury and felt like I was never going to run again. Well lo and behold, Spring is here and I'm a-runnin', and I could not be happier about both of those facts. I want to scream to the world that

Spring is here and I'm a-runnin'!!!!!

On Monday I brought my running gear to work and went for a 7.5K run on my lunch break. Surprisingly, it's something I've never done before. It was so refreshing to get some fresh air and exercise to break up a long day at the office. It kind of sucked changing back into my work clothes without having access to a shower...I feel sorry for my boss who had to share an office with me for the rest of the day. I think I'm going to make it a routine of running on Mondays at lunch.

Yesterday I met a couple girls from my Running Room clinic for a run (which was supposed to be 5K and turned into 7...). It was a great run. Both of the girls kept commenting that it looked too easy for me and that I seemed to be light on my feet. That's exactly how I felt. All of my runs have felt so good lately. I msu be doing something right. :) After the run, it was off to yoga. I'm getting a handle on a lot of the poses and finding it much less difficult. I have mastered this one in particular:

Savasana: "Corpse Pose"

Plan for the next few days is rest today, 5 or 6K tomorrow, rest Friday, 10K Saturday, rest Sunday. That will bring me to about 29K for the week.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I've been tagged!

Mel at 2nd Chances tagged me, so here goes.

Rules of the game:

1. Link to the person who tagged you
2. Post the rules on your blog
3. Share seven random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog
4. Tag seven random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs
5. Leave a comment on their blogs so that they know they have been tagged

So here are seven things you may not know about me:

1. I love White Cheddar Kraft Mac & Cheese... I would eat it every day if I could, and I can eat an entire box myself.

2. Last June I won a 7-day trip to London, England from a local radio station. I took my Mom and we had the time of our lives.

3. I am somewhat of a Bon Jovi fanatic. I have been to three concerts since June '07 (one of which was in England...see # 2).

4. I only have one tonsil. The surgeon 'slipped' when he was removing my adenoids as a child.

5. I married my high school sweetheart. We met at 15 years old. This year wil be our tenth anniversary!

6. When I'm not busy running, I am busy playing softball (in the summer, anyway). This year I am playing on two teams.

7. I am petrified of flying. The slightest bump and I am convinced we are crashing to our death.

And here are my victims!

Dean (surely he has nothing better to do with the Boston Marathon coming up in 6 days!)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Just so ya know...

I am officially registered for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

All I had to pay was $12 to transfer my registration from the half. $12 to run an additional 21.1KM, to push my body and mind to its limit, to call myself a marathoner. And to discover for myself the "mystique of the marathon." (Hal Higdon)

I'm anxious to get the training underway and to prove to myself that I can do this. STWM is an amazing race. All of my best friends are going to be there running the half or full (some spectators too!). It's going to be a great day. Just 5 and a half months to go!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Runners' Prayer

Go grant me the fortitude to bear the pain and continue running, the courage to stop running if I am injured and the wisdom to know the difference.

Thanks to Stacey for sharing this. This is where she found it, but I modified it a bit.

This rings so true for me. It's a struggle I had in the first couple weeks of running after my injury. I was acutely aware of every twinge, every ache...I started to wonder if I was over-analyzing or maybe even creating pain in my head (mind over matter!). But at the same time, I worried that if I felt something was off and pushed too hard, it would only hinder my progress.

Thankfully, I am comfortable and injury-free at this point (woohoo!) but I'll keep this prayer in the back of my mind always.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Metaphor revisited

I wanted to elaborate on the 'metaphor for life' post from last week, which stemmed from a quote I read in this article.

So how exactly is running a metaphor for life? (How is it not??)

-overcoming challenges and obstacles to achieve goals;
-realizing that every small achievement is a stepping stone to a greater success
-recognizing that there will be no achievement without the sufficient tools and preparation
-striving to find a balance between work and play;

and my favourite...
-no pain, no gain!

Or in the words of Oprah Winfrey:

Running is the greatest metaphor for life because you get out of it what you put into it.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


I went to see Spirit of the Marathon tonight. What a truly inspirational film. It basically profiled six runners from completely different walks of life in their journey to the Chicago Marathon, from a "26.2 Virgin" going for her first marathon to the woman who went on to win the race.

We saw them deal with injuries, struggle to balance family life and the intensive training schedule, endure physical and mental exhaustion and ultimately, complete the race with 1.2 million spectators (one of whom was holding a sign reading "YOU'RE ALL CRAZY!") cheering them on. I have goosebumps just thinking about it.

Chicago is an enormous event with over 30,000 runners, rivalling both NYC and London in numbers. And now I want to run it. But again, let's get through one marathon at a time.

This film reaffirmed my decision to tackle the big 26.2 later this year. I truly believe I will be a changed (for the better!) person after training for and completing a marathon. I know I will have to dig deep, I know it is going to be incredibly hard, and somehow, I know I can do it.

Next up: Run Fatboy Run

Mid-week update

Yesterday I went for a 5K run around the neighbourhood with a friend from the Running Room and her dog. It was a beautiful day - first run in a t-shirt this year!

After that, it was straight to yoga for the most challenging class yet. Only three of us showed up so our instructor was able to spend a lot of one-on-one time with each of us. We did some really tough poses so I definitely needed the help.

Favourite pose of the week: Triangle

It's harder than it looks.

I'm continuing a pattern of running every second day and allowing my legs a day of recovery in between. I'll keep that up until May 25th when my marathon program starts.

I log all of my runs on Runner+. Click here to stalk me. :)

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Good advice

I mentioned previously that I'm currently reading Hal Higdon's "Marathon:The Ultimate Training Guide."

He offers important advice for novice marathoners:

Regardless of time, regardless of place, the prime goal is to get to the finish line standing up and in reasonably good shape.


Finishing should be your firsy gosl, maybe your only goal. Finish with a smile on your facve. Finish knowing you might have done better if you had trained a bit harder or pushed the pace earlier. Notice careful use in the word "might." You might not finish, or even start the race, if you make a mistake in training. Run and train conservatively for your first marathon.

I hereby promise to take this advice. I will train cautiously, and concentrate on the distances I am running rather than my pace. I just want to run this darn thing and find out what the hype is all about. (More on the "hype" in another post...) And hey, the slower I run, the more likely I'll be to achieve a Personal Best in the next one.

But maybe I should worry about one marathon at a time.

For now, I'm going out for a run...in a t-shirt! I love Spring.

Monday, April 07, 2008

She did it!

Check out the update below:

Patricia's Marathon

Sunday, April 06, 2008

A new goal in mind

We had some beautiful weather around here this weekend. Blue skies, pleasant temps in the teens and glorious sunshine. It's a piece of cake to get out and run in this! It's so refreshing after a long, harsh winter. I am so thinkful that I am able to run these days. I enjoy every step, every breath. I will never take it for granted again. (Jeez, you'd think I was out for a year, not a few weeks! It sure felt like a year...)

Friday night I ran to the gym and met the hubby there. It was 5K exactly after I ran around the gym parking lot a few times. ;) I had loads of energy and ran it faster than I have in a while...27:16. Took Saturday off (trying to keep one day breaks between my runs as I ease back into things) and this morning I ran my first "LSD" since the Chilly Half: 7.4KM. Pace of 5:50/KM, felt good. I'm a happy camper.

I've done a little bit of soul-searching this weekend to figure out what the heck I want to do. I didn't want to make a decision too quickly, but I am such a goal-driven person that I MUST have a specific race in mind to train for. So here it is: I'm planning/hoping/GOING to run the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on September 28. The full marathon. 42.2 kilometres. It seems appropriate after running the Half Marathon at this event last year, my first race ever. It really feels like this is my time. I am in the best shape I have been in my life, I have the time to commit to the intense training program and I just want to do it! Running a marathon at 25 years old...something I could never have imagined.

I will be following Hal Higdon's 18-week novice marathon program...no goal time, just a goal to complete (but you know me, I'll have a time in mind before September rolls around). The official training begins the last week of May. Training for a marathon all summer long... have I ever mentioned how much I hate running in the heat?

Friday, April 04, 2008

A metaphor for life

My friend Mel over at 2nd Chances shared this inspiring article and I loved it so much that I had to steal it. :)

Runner gets homeless on right track

"Running really is a metaphor for life," she says. "There is always another mile. You just have to take it one step at a time."

So very true...

Thursday, April 03, 2008


My good friend Patricia is running her first marathon this weekend!

I remember this time last year when I was a relatively new runner and decided to sign up for my first half marathon. It was the end of March 2007 and the race was September 30th. I mentioned to Patricia that I had decided to run a half marathon. She looked at me and said, "Okay, I'm going to do it too." I will never forget how casually she said it, as though she was just deciding what to have for lunch. So she started running and I continued running, and we compared tales of our progress every day. Race day came around and we both completed it... but Patricia beat me by 5 minutes!

She has proven to be a natural runner. She runs incredible distances every single weekend, runs much faster than I do and never gets hurt (knock on wood).

She's on her way to New York City at this very moment for the New York Road Runners Women's Only Central Park Marathon taking place this Sunday, April 6th. I'm so proud of her and can't wait to hear all about it.

I bought her a gift in honour of the occasion:

I secretly bought one for myself too, but it'll be tucked away in a safe place until I eventually run the big 26.2.

***UPDATE: April 6, 2008***

Patricia finished her first ever marathon in an incredible 3:55:37!!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Green light

I am a physiotherapy graduate. I got the all-clear yesterday. I seem to be cured! (for now, anyway...) Of course, I have to continue stretching and rolling, working on strengthening the hips and quads to make sure the ITBS stays away. I will definitely miss my weekly sessions with the gang at LifeSpring, but I don't want to end up back in there any time soon. :)

Except when I drop off those cupcakes I've been meaning to make...

I feel fantastic. I ran just over 6.5K tonight at my new average pace of about 5:45/KM. It was a gorgeous day and it felt really good.

I will continue to gradually increase my distance, probably starting with a LSD of about 7.5K this weekend. Once I am running an hour or more consistently and comfortably on the weekends, LifeSpring will construct my personalized program for me. But first I have to decide what I'm training for.


Tuesday, April 01, 2008

New toy

I picked up a new toy yesterday...if you can call it that. It's more of a device to alleviate the symptoms of ITBS.

Meet the Iliotibial Band Compression Wrap.

This IT Band Wrap provides targeted compression, stabilizing the Iliotibial tract. In addition, it absorbs stress to the area and reduces friction and rubbing of the femoral condyle.

It claims to reduce pain on the outside of the knee caused by ITBS, which is the primary symptom I experienced in the "acute stage", so I figure it is worthwhile to have even though it has not been bothering me. (KNOCK ON WOOD!)

Tonight it's back to physio followed by yoga. I'm looking forward to one: can you guess which? Actually, I'm kind of looking forward to physio too. Is that sick or what?! I just feel so good when I walk out of that office. It's an awesome bunch of people. And I can't wait to hear how beth did in Scotland!