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.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Race number two

Tomorrow morning is the Santa Shuffle 5K. We've decided not to set an aggressive goal because we're just doing it for fun (wearing Santa and Elf hats, jingle bells and all!) and we're going to be running with two friends. Aiming for under 30 minutes, which is a piece of cake for hubby and pretty much average for me. Hoping for decent weather!

Big thank you to Mom, Dad, April, Grandma, Mum (Sykes), Dad (Sykes), Heather, Sarah & Colin and Dave for your pledges in support of the Salvation Army. I'll be running just for you! :)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

An "off" day

Sometimes you just have an off day. Yesterday, I was SO off. It was an extremely difficult 6 KM. I couldn't keep my breath, my legs (and everything) were killing me and I was low on energy. The first 2 KM's went okay but the rest were brutal. Didn't help that we were running into the wind for a good stretch and there were a lot of inclines. Not to mention very icy, snowy sidewalks. The worst part is, we were running in the subdivision where we live and I was so tempted to just hang a right and head home to the warmth and comfort of my couch! I dug deep, found some willpower and kept on going. Reluctantly, I took a brief walk break (<1 min.) to gather some strength to finish the run, which actually helped quite a bit.

At the end of the run there was a nice (read: nasty) hill leading back to the Running Room. My hubby could tell I had ZERO juice left so what does he do? He goes behind me and actually pushes me up the hill! I have the best husband in the world. I wonder if he would push me through an entire marathon?

I am taking tonight off (and maybe tomorrow too) for a few reasons. I'm still feeling pretty tired and sore so either yesterday really did me in or one day rest (Monday) was not enough. We have the Santa Shuffle on Saturday so I want to be feeling good for that and a 9K Sunday morning. Besides that, I have had a pretty bad week at work, I feel like I might be getting sick (hope not!) and I am PMS'ing. So yeah, I am taking a break. And that's that. :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Run Colin Run!

Just a quickie to congratulate Colin on surviving the run yesterday. We did over 4K (close to 4.5, I think) and he did an awesome job, keeping up a good pace and running continuously all the way through!

Good job buddy!! We're proud of you!

I will post tomorrow about tonight's run, but right now I am too cold, pooped and sore to do anything but curl up on the couch with a glass of wine.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A friendly affair

Tonight is "Bring-a-Buddy" night at the clinic and one of our best friends is coming along to see what it's all about. He and his wife recently decided that they want to give running a shot (I really should convince them to turn around now! lol) and I give them big, huge kudos for that. It was around this time last year that I started running. On one hand, I am thinking "Has it been a year already?!" but at the same time, it feels like I have been running for decades. Weird. Anyway, if I can do it, these two can do it because I am talking about two motivated, ambitious, hard-working, dedicated and HARDCORE individuals.

Did I mention they have two very young (<1 yr.) children at home? But I have no doubt that if they put their minds to it, they can do it. I hope to see you guys at the Scotiabank Half next September. No, wait, I am COUNTING on it. :)

Monday, November 26, 2007

And on the seventh day

I have run every day for the last 6 for a total of 33 KM. Today is a much-needed and well-deserved day of rest!

Yesterday was LSD of 8 KM with our clinic. It was a beautiful morning, just slightly below zero and sunny. Only six of us came out. Ten showed up but four went with out another group (fine by us - two of them were the annoying whiners). We had a good run, but I could really tell that my body needed a rest by the time we finished.

Getting up when the alarm went off at 7:30 was much easier this week after our Lesson learned last week. :)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Ode to winter

There's more to running in the winter than being prepared for the cold. This morning was my first run in the snow and let me tell you, it was an adventure.

The sidewalk conditions varied from ice to snow with the occasional clear patch. I had to keep my eyes on the ground and be constantly prepared for what lay ahead. My feet had to be planted ever so carefully because the slightest mis-step would have had my legs flying out from under me. It was extremely tiring and all the muscles in my legs are sore. I remember the first few times I ran outside, I felt soreness in muscles I didn't know existed. Well, here we go again!

I'm still mastering the art of dressing for the weather. I always seem to be too cold or too warm, usually the latter. I'll figure it out, eventually...

Friday, November 23, 2007

Handy dandy conversion chart

Useful conversions

Someone on WB was kind enough to post this über helpful link. It drives me crazy that the treadmills at the gym are in miles because I run in KM's and I am forever converting.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

100 Days

Today is 100 days til our next race, the Chilly Half. I'm so excited about this one. Providing I don't get injured (knock on wood!) there should be no doubt in my mind on race day that I can complete it. None of the uncertainty that I felt leading up to the Toronto Waterfront Half. Hopefully no nerves. And hopefully no snow storm!

Tonight was an easy 5K on the treadmill, but no run on the treadmill is ever easy for me. The minutes drag and I always seem to get an ache of some kind and/or a cramp. Ugh. Speedwork tomorrow will be tough, but I'll get through it...looking forward to outdoor runs on the weekend.

Hubby and I have decided to plan a big reward for ourselves after our last race (The Toronto Waterfront, Sept. 28) next year. We're heading south on a luxurious, all-inclusive vacation at the Sandals Bahamian or Sandals Grande Antigua. It will be a combination of celebrating our 3rd wedding anniversary, both of our Birthdays, lots of hard work and races throughout the year as well as a reward for achieving our goal of home ownership and (hopefully) surviving the first 8 months. :) We're hoping to leave a day or two after the race. How nice would that be to spend our recovery week laying on the beach drinking daiquiris?!

And we'll be home just in time to start training for China.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

This is what we signed up for

That was wicked. Brutal. Ugly. Harsh. Miserable. It was a very cold, wet and painful run; painful because of the freezing rain pelting our faces like shards of glass! It was pretty tough to bundle up and hit the pavement in this weather, but that's the reason we signed get out butts out there when it's the last thing we want to do. So we did it! Only 4 people (out of about 20) from our group showed up. What a bunch of wimps. ;) Gold star for us!

I want it all!

Last night at our clinic we had a lesson on dressing appropriately. Well, I want every damn thing they showed us! Such pretty pants and tops, even undies! I can justify buying a few more versatile pieces for winter, but not nearly as much as I would like to buy. I definitely need a couple more long-sleeve tops as a 'base layer' and a warm jacket. Otherwise, I think I am good to go for the winter. The good thing is, they really seem to last. I have spoke to people are still wearing clothing they bought years ago.

Our run last night was 5K and went well. We started near the back but (as usual) caught up on a walk break. Ended up sticking with them when they started running again and they never caught up after their next walk break.

Tonight is 6K and a new route...hopefully the weather will improve a little over the next couple hours because it is miserable out there right now. Yuck!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Lesson learned

Our LSD (long slow distance) this morning was another 7K. It was a particularly rough 7K for my husband who had a few too many drinks last night. He was in rough shape this morning and I could tell that he was secretly hoping I would tell him he didn't have to come. But he wasn't getting off the hook that easily, no siree! So I dragged him along and he actually thought he was going to die for the first 5 minutes. He was mostly okay for the rest of the run, except for Bexhill. (Yep, we had to face Bexhill again - my newest nemesis.) Serves him right! I'm not completely innocent either, and the few glasses of wine and late-night ice cream cake certainly didn't leave me in tip top running shape this morning.

We are going to have to take it easy on Saturday nights for the next 15 weeks. Running at 8:30 on a Sunday morning in the freezing cold is hard enough...doing it with a hangover?! That's just brutal. And it will be impossible once the distances really start getting up there.

I have to give the hubby some credit because he was run the last 6 days straight. I had planned to do the same myself but did something to my back (at the gym Thursday night, I think) and definitely had to rest Friday and yesterday. I'm going for 6 days straight this week. Wish me luck!

But for now, I'm going to veg on the couch for the rest of the day.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Killer Hiller

Our clinic run was 6K last night. The program calls for 3K on Wednesday and 3K on Thursday, but everyone in the group agreed to modify the program from 5 runs/week to 4, so two runs are combined. I'm not sure how we'll handle it once hill start on Wednesdays in a couple weeks, because we will not be able to take on KM's to hill training. Mark and I run at least once and sometimes twice in addition to our 3 clinic runs, so it doesn't really affect us anyway.

Anyway, the run was good. We encountered the brutal hill from Sunday again. It's on Bexhill Road - appropriately named! It got us talking about naming hills, particularly Heartbreak Hill in the Boston Marathon and Giv'er Hill in the Blue Nose Marathon. We want to name one in particular in our area that I've mentioned before. It's a killer. Maybe I'll name her Killer Hiller.

We started out at the back of the pack (after Tuesday night, I wanted to start off slow!) but caught up around the half way point. Most of the group was doing 10&1's so we ended up passing them on a walk break, but they caught up again and we all finished together. It was pretty cool. We all gave each other high 5's when we finished. We have a good group and we're starting to get to know some people. It helps to have the extra encouragement, and just talking to a bunch of people with similar goals.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Getting caught up in it

Had our Tuesday night clinic session (shoe talk) and group run last night. There are a handful of people in the group who are constantly complaining that the program is too easy and too low on mileage in the first several weeks. They are even asking our instructor to modify the entire program! She explained that she could not do that because the clinic is desiigned this way for a reason - you need to gradually build a base for the high mileage that comes later. Not to mention, there are many people in the group who are not prepared to jump into 25K+/week. They just will not shut up about it, even after the instructor and director explained the reasoning. People, if you think you are too good for this clinic, why did you sign up for it?!

Anyway, the run was just a 4K but it was a challenging 4K. A group of runners took off pretty fast and I made the mistake of keeping up with them. We were running at <5:00/KM for a while and I didn't realize til a couple KM's into the run, when it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was suddenly exhausted! I slowed it down to about 6:00 for the second half of the run and managed to finish, but I was huffing and puffing and dragging my legs along. Stupid, stupid, stupid! Note to self: start off slow and don't get too cocky too early. ;)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Next race: registration complete!

We have officially signed up for the Chilly Half on March 2nd. Looks fun! The weather could be anything from sunny and mild to winter blizzard...this one will be interesting.

Our clinic leads up to this race so at least we'll be prepared for the fun. And hey, we would have just run through January and February, so we should be prepared for the elements as well. We'll see!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Did I really sign up for this?!

What was I thinking? 8:30 AM running group on Sundays! My bed was so cozy and warm...

Sure am glad we went on that little shopping spree yesterday because it's -4C this morning!

Time to get bundled and head out to face the elements. I don't think I have ever run below zero and certainly not on a Sunday morning when it's so early that all the channels are still airing infomercials. :S

****************** 10:15AM update ******************

Not only did I survive, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought. Actually, it was great. Once I got out of bed, dressed and out the door, I was no longer dreading the cold, early morning run. And when we got to the Running Room to find the store packed full of eager runners, all smiling and dressed in colourful reflective jackets, I was actually excited. We found our bubbly instructor and other members of our group and headed out for our first LSD - 7 KM. Despite the cool temperature, it was nice and sunny and we were warmed up (even took off the new mittens!) after the first KM. We enjoyed the route, which included a few good hills. I am having much less trouble with hills these days and can often fully recover within seconds. I remember the days when I would run up one piddly little hill and I'd be toast for the rest of the run.

I found that my chin and neck were a little cold so I picked up a Dryline Gaitor to accompany my headband. So if you see something that looks like a cross between a gumball and a bank robber (or ninja - thanks R.) running down the street, don't be alarmed. It's only me. :)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

It's getting chilly

We took a trip to the Running Room this morning to pick out our Christmas gifts from my mother-in-law. I picked up the Windpro Headband and Windpro 3 Mittens - both noted for wind protection, water repellancy, breathability and warmth without weight.

I still need to get reflective winter pants but they didn't have my size. What I have now will keep me warm enough until the temperature really starts to drop.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Slight modification

I can admit it when it's just too much, and that was too much. The first two sets went well, but I was not able to complete the third. I felt like I was quite possibly going to fall off the treadmill and collapse in a heap. And I know it's time to ease up when I start to feel nauseous! I cut the third and fourth sets from 800 metres to 400 metres. I'll probably do the same next week and then try 800's again.

That was seriously tough and I am POOPED!

It's all about pushing as hard as you can, listening to the body, knowing when it's just too much and adapting!

Speed work

It's about time that I started including speed work in my weekly regime. It is (obviously) one of the most important aspects of my training to help decrease my half marathon time. I also want to complete the Santa Shuffle 5K under 26 minutes, so I really need to get busy.

My hubby was kind enough to write a program for me and it starts off like this:

4 x 800 - 5k pace - 400 rest

What the heck does that mean?!

I will run 800 metres at my 5K pace* (which is 5:12 min/km) followed by a 400 metre rest (slow jog) and repeat 4 times.

Next week will be 6 sets of 400 metres at 5 seconds faster than my 5K pace. It's complicated, but it's supposed to work. So we'll see how it goes!

*My 5K pace is the pace at which I want to (eventually) be running 5K in order to complete the half marathon in my goal time of <2:00:00.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Treadmill woes

Last night I ran 6 KM on the treadmill and came to the decision that from now on, all runs >5KM will be completed OUTSIDE. It is so freaking boring! And because there is so little distraction, I find myself concentrating on the tiniest cramps and pains, which I normally woulkd not even notice. And then there's the sweat factor! I sweat like a mofo on the treadmill and since there's no breeze to blow it off my face, I am absolutely dripping the entire time. Sometimes I feel like I'm wiping my face with the towel every 30 seconds. So I'll do my shorter runs and speedwork at the gym, but otherwise I will do them outside. Unless it's minus 30 degrees. Sometimes this may mean running outside AND going to the gym for weights in one night, but I will make it happen.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Clinic: Week One

Day One of the Half Marathon Clinic went great. The weather was a little disconcerting throughout the afternoon (cold rain and heavy wind are not my idea of nice running conditions!) but it improved a little just before our run and it turned out alright. I even managed to squeeze in some agility training whilst jumping over puddles that looked the size of Lake Superior.

Tonight consisted primarily of an introduction to the program and getting to know our instructor (she rocks!) and fellow runners. There is quite a variety of people in our group, mostly in their 30'a and 40's (we're the babies!) and many of whom have an equivalent level of experience to us. Some have never completed a half, some have completed multiple, one is actually training for a full. Some seem to have joined the clinic for the social aspect, some for motivation to continue running once Old Man Winter rears his ugly head (myself included on the latter).

The program starts off a little too easy and everyone agreed to have our instructor make some modifications. The original plan has us running 3 & 4 KM's quite regularly, but that is a warm-up run for most of us. We should get a copy of the new program at our next session on Sunday, but the basic idea is: LSD (long slow distance) on Sundays, educational session (different topic each week) on Tuesdays (plus easy run) and hill training (fartleks later in the program) on Wednesdays. We then run on our own one or two more times. I have to devise a new plan, balancing the group runs and gym nights (oh, and rest days... if there's time!) but it might look something like:

Monday: gym - weights only
Tuesday: group run (easy), then weights (gym)
Wednesday: group run (hills/fartleks)
Thursday: gym - treadmill + weights
Friday: gym - treadmill + weights
Saturday: REST!!
Sunday: group run - LSD

We'll have to play it by ear and make some adjustments if it's too much. The last thing I want is to burn myself out.

Anyway, tonight we just did a nice 4K around the block. It was easy and we finished at the front of the pack - not that it's a race.

We have one beef. Everyone in the group seems to like doing 10&1's (run 10 minutes, walk 1), which we do not. The instructor will probably accommodate the majority, but she encourages us to go ahead and run continuously if it suits us. She will give us a map of the route each day, so it's okay if we don't stay with the pack. A few people have asked me what I have against 10&1's or any kind of walk breaks. The thing is, if I start to walk, I have a really hard time getting back into the run groove and I would hate to be constantly waiting for that "beep beep" - know what I mean? When my body needs a rest, I just take it down to a slow and steady jog and so far, that works for me.

So it looks like we now have a good handful of races planned for next year:

March: Chilly Half in Burlington
May: Sporting Like 10K, Persechini 10K (hosted by our gym), Mississauga Half
August: Mid Summer Night's Run (15K)
September: Scotiabank Toronto Half

Not to mention that softball season starts up again in May and I could be playing on as many as three teams next year! I better be damn skinny after next summer. ;)

Monday, November 05, 2007

Change of plans

I love fall, but the weather can be so unpredictable! Saturday morning I was out running in a t-shirt and today it's cold, windy, rainy and miserable. Thankfully, tonight was a gym night.

Hopefully tomorrow will be much nicer because our Running Room clinic is starting! It wasn't scheduled to start until December 12th but apparently it had to be moved up. How nice of them to let us know... THE DAY BEFORE! Yeah, they just called. Argh. But it's not a huge problem for us and actually, I'm punped to get started! The goal race for this clinic is the Burlington Chilly Half Marathon on March 2nd...which we are now considering. What can I say? We seem to be addicts.

So our first session is tomorrow evening. Not sure what to expect but I'll be back with a full report.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Something fun to kick off the holidays

Today we signed up for the Santa Shuffle Fun Run(5K) which takes place on December 1st from our local Running Room store.

This merry event helps The Salvation Army to assist families and individuals in need during the Christmas season and throughout the year.

It looks like fun and supports a good cause. Those of you who know me IRL (in real life) may be hounded for pledges in the near future. :)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Hurts so good

I'm walking a little funny today! Last night I went out and ran 10.5KM - my longest since the 1/2 marathon (a whole month ago already! can you believe it? I can't!) The route has a few good hills - one in particular at the 5K mark. It's a brutal 20m climb over only 200m. Ouch! Thankfully, there's a stop light at the top that's almost always red. ;) It took me just over an hour, without pausing the watch at stop lights.

It was an absolutely beautiful day (I love this weather!), the sun setting (it was pitch black by the time I got home) and I had a great run. I was all dressed up in my newest Running Room digs, thanks to gift cards from Sarah & Colin and Leanna & Shane from my Birthday, and I was lovin' it.

But yeah, my legs are a-hurtin' today!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

We're really going to do it

The Great Wall Marathon® is a tough, beautiful and definitely extraordinary experience. The 3700 steps of the Great Wall will put your physique to the test, and the breathtaking surroundings of Tianjin Province will compete with your tired muscles for attention. The Great Wall Marathon® is the ideal way to combine an unusual running event with exploring one of the world’s most astonishing sights.

3700?!?! Yowzas!

Monday, October 29, 2007

You may think we're crazy, but...

...we're going to do it. Hubby and I are heading to China for the 2009 Great Wall Half Marathon!

The way I see it, this is the best time of our lives to do it. We're young, healthy and motivated and we want to take advantage of these years of freedom before we have children. The only reason we're not going for '08 is because we are moving into our new house in January and spending $6000+ to go to China right now would probably not be the most responsible decision! Plus, this gives us some time to actually train for it. Because this ain't no ordinary half marathon!

The first section which covers approximately 9 kilometres takes the runners up to, across and down the Great Wall of China. This part of the course is marked by steep ascents and descents of up to 10% and consists of thousands of steps. Runners are advised to run slowly going up and down the mountain, as well as to walk when passing the steepest parts of the Great Wall.

I don't know if my Mom is still reading this thing, but she is going to have a heart attack when she reads this. Hi Mom! And yes, we are still going to England in September '09! ;)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Running through the pain

Hubby is always talking about running through the pain. He is quite often ailing with one ache or another. Something always seems to hurt and he likes to brag that he runs right through it. I've been pretty lucky because *knock on wood* nothing ever hurts. The only running injury I have endured was a twisted knee last April and it was so bad that I could barely walk, let alone run, so I was off my feet for a few weeks completely. Basically, I've never really had to run through the pain. Sure, my legs were killing me by the last few KM's of the half marathon last month, and I often have stiff legs after a long (or fast) run, but other than that I have been pretty lucky.

That is, until today.

It was a beautiful morning so I headed out for a run. Excrutiating pain! My outer thighs (below the hip) were killing me. I'm thinking I may have overdone it on this machine at the gym this week:

So, I ran through the pain! At first it was so bad that I actually considered turning around, but I couldn't bear to waste such ideal running weather! So I slowed down, hung in there and after about 15 minutes I didn't feel it anymore.

We'll see how the legs are tomorrow...

And for the record, this still seems like a good idea. :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Ambitious would be an understatement

Yeah, I know. It's crazy! And I'm not saying this is something I want to do next year. Maybe 2009? Who knows. But I'm putting this on the to-do list in my head. Because....why not? I want to do something spectacular, kwim? This would be one hell of an experience. And there is no reason I can't do it. I'm going to take some advice from Tatiana and sleep on it to see if it's still a good idea in the morning.

Here's what's up

Just a little (overdue) update on my runs in the last week...

Monday (last): 5K (treadmill) + weights
Tuesday: 8K (treadmill)
Wednesday: rest
Thursday: 5K (treadmill) + weights
Friday: elliptical + weights
Saturday: 7.5K outside
Sunday: sick :(
Monday: 5K (treadmill)

I think hubby and I deserve a gold star or something for last night. It was almost 10:00 and we were driving home from visiting friends. We had already written off the idea of going to the gym... but we decided to just go! So we had a great workout in a completely empty gym and got home around 11 (and went straight to bed).

That is dedication, baby! We haven't missed a planned gym day yet!

Tonight I'm thinking of a long-ish run on the treadmill... maybe 10K?

Monday, October 22, 2007

No more pretty toes

Well, it's official: I've lost my first toenail. I came down with a bad case of Black Toenail, a.k.a. Runner's Toe or Subungual Hematoma back in late August or September in 4 (yes, FOUR!) of my poor little toes.

A subungual hematoma is a collection of blood (hematoma) underneath a toenail or fingernail which often results from a traumatic injury such as slamming a finger in a door. A laceration of the nail bed causes bleeding into the constricted area underneath the hard nail plate. Because the blood disrupts the connections between the nail bed and nail plate, throbbing pain is common. The nail develops a black discoloration overlying the laceration.

It is a very common condition among runners. It is basically caused by repetitive and prolonged pressure and friction against the toes. Tight shoes or socks only make matters worse.

The funny thing is, I didn't realize I had it until a couple weeks later. After a long run, I noticed that my toes were very tender and blamed it on needing new shoes. It was until a couple weeks later when I took my nail polish off that I discovered 4 of my toes were completely black under the nail. Now, another month or so later, the first nail has finally come off. I assume the other 3 will shortly follow suit. No more pretty feet for me, but at least flip flop season is over!

ETA: And yes, I know, it's gross! LOL!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

An important interruption

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

I was clicking around recently and stumbled upon Toddler Planet. The blogger, WhyMommy, is fighting an incredibly tough battle against Inflammatory Breast Cancer (breast cancer without a lump) and simultaneously fighting to raise awareness of this disease. Too few women are aware that this rarest and most deadly form of Breast Cancer even exists. I know I wasn't.

It has been both heart-breaking and inspiring to read and I encourage all of you to see for yourselves.

I have decided to join Team WhyMommy and share this post from July 23rd on my blog. So here it is. Please read it.

We hear a lot about breast cancer these days. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes, and there are millions living with it in the U.S. today alone. But did you know that there is more than one type of breast cancer?

I didn’t. I thought that breast cancer was all the same. I figured that if I did my monthly breast self-exams, and found no lump, I’d be fine.

Oops. It turns out that you don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer. Six weeks ago, I went to my OB/GYN because my breast felt funny. It was red, hot, inflamed, and the skin looked…funny. But there was no lump, so I wasn’t worried. I should have been. After a round of antibiotics didn’t clear up the inflammation, my doctor sent me to a breast specialist and did a skin punch biopsy. That test showed that I have inflammatory breast cancer, a very aggressive cancer that can be deadly.

Inflammatory breast cancer is often misdiagnosed as mastitis because many doctors have never seen it before and consider it rare. “Rare” or not, there are over 100,000 women in the U.S. with this cancer right now; only half will survive five years. Please call your OB/GYN if you experience several of the following symptoms in your breast, or any unusual changes: redness, rapid increase in size of one breast, persistent itching of breast or nipple, thickening of breast tissue, stabbing pain, soreness, swelling under the arm, dimpling or ridging (for example, when you take your bra off, the bra marks stay – for a while), flattening or retracting of the nipple, or a texture that looks or feels like an orange (called peau d’orange). Ask if your GYN is familiar with inflammatory breast cancer, and tell her that you’re concerned and want to come in to rule it out.

There is more than one kind of breast cancer. Inflammatory breast cancer is the most aggressive form of breast cancer out there, and early detection is critical. It’s not usually detected by mammogram. It does not usually present with a lump. It may be overlooked with all of the changes that our breasts undergo during the years when we’re pregnant and/or nursing our little ones. It’s important not to miss this one.

Inflammatory breast cancer is detected by women and their doctors who notice a change in one of their breasts. If you notice a change, call your doctor today. Tell her about it. Tell her that you have a friend with this disease, and it’s trying to kill her. Now you know what I wish I had known before six weeks ago.

You don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Who's reading?

Have you noticed my new little hit counter on the right hand side of the page? ---->

I can't believe the number of hits since I added it! People are actually reading this? It's somehow... humbling. I want to thank all of you for dropping by and reading. Just knowing that you are makes me more accountable. It's more motivating than I can explain.

If you read this and you have a sec, leave me a quick comment, would ya? Just let me know who you are. :)

Thanks for reading!

E.T.A. - Oops! Forgot to update! Last night I did 5 miles (dang imperial tradmills!) which is a little more than 8k. I wanted to do that last mile to make it 10k but hubby was exhausted and anxious to get home after an extra long workday. Next time...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Kinda in limbo

While I'm falling into a routine of getting to the gym Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday evenings, I would like to be running outdoors more. It's just so hard to fit it in on gym nights. I did get out for a run Saturday morning and had planned another run on Sunday, but I wasn't feeling too hot after my Birthday party Saturday night! I will (hopefully) start going out on Saturday and Sunday starting this weekend, and I'll feel a little better about that. I guess I'm just feeling a little lost right now. The strength training is really important to me, but it's frustrating (disappointing, even?) that I can't devote as much of my time and energy to running.

Know what I mean?

One bit of good news - I ran my fastest 5k ever on the treadmill last night... 26:15!! BUT, I feel like it doesn't really count because it was on the treadmill. I guess this is also what I'm getting it. In a way, I'm discrediting running on the treadmill. I know it can be a valuable part of training and hey, it's how I started! But still....

But yeah, I'm still stoked about by 26:15!

Meh, I'm blabbing! Anyway, I'm really eager for my Running Room clinic to start in December. That will be two runs outside per week, no matter what. It should be fun!

I got $100 in Running Room gift cards for my Birthday and I am definitely putting that toward some cold weather running gear. Can't wait to go shopping! I also got a great jacket for my B-day, pictured below. But anyone who knows me will not be surprised that mine is pink!

Friday, October 12, 2007

The gym hurts

I am on a mission to get in really good shape this winter. I had a very active summer and want to keep it up, even as the seasons change. As I mentioned a few posts back, we joined the gym. So far it's going good! The plan is something like this...

Monday - 30-45 minute run on treadmill, 30 mins. weights
Tuesday - 30-45 minute run on treadmill, 30 mins. weights
Wednesday - rest day
Thursday - 30-45 minute run on treadmill, 30 mins. weights
Friday - 30-45 minute run on treadmill, 30 mins. weights
Saturday and/or Sunday - long run outside

As I also mentioned previously, I'll be signing up for the Half Marathon Clinic at the Running Room starting in December, so once that starts I'll have outdoor runs Wednesday night (speed/hill work) and Sunday mornings (long distance) and I'll adjust my plan to accommodate.

I have been pretty sore since starting the strength training. It has been so long since I lifted weights! Hopefully it will pay off and I'll be nice and toned by the end of Winter.

Last night I did 5k on the treadmill at 6.5 miles per hour (the dang machines are all in imperial! grr!) which works out to about 5:44 min/km so I did it in about 28:33. I already miss running outside - the scenery, fresh air. But I know if I run outside, I won't get my butt to the gym to do the weights. I'm looking forward to a nice run (or two) outdoors this weekend.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Getting technical

All these numbers are whirling around in my brain!

My hubby has had his nose buried in The Lore of Running since he got it for his Birhtday last weekend.

Author Tim Noakes blends the expertise of a physician and research scientist with the passion of a dedicated runner to answer the most pressing questions for those who are serious about the sport:
· How your body systems respond to training, the effects of different training methods, how to detect and avoid overtraining, and genetic versus trainable potential
· How to train for the 10K up through ultramarathon with detailed programs from Noakes and several leading running experts
· How to prevent and treat injuries, increase your strength and flexibility, and use proper nutrition for weight control and maximum performance

It's far too technical to keep my interest, but it's right up his alley.

Speaking of technical...

Hubby did some calculations for me using the McMillan Method and apparently, in order to run a half marathon in 2:00:00...

I should be able to run:
5k in 25:58 (pace of 5:12min/km)
10k in 53:56 (pace of 5:23min/km)
21.1k in 2:00:00 (pace of 5:42min/km)

Who knows how accurate it is, but at least it gives me an idea. As of now, the fastest 5k I have run is 27:00 and the fastest 10k I have run is 1:00:00, so I have some work to do. I have never done speed training before, but I'm looking forward to the challenge!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Now what?

Since signing up for the race at the beginning of this year, I hadn't thought too much about what I would do next. To be honest, in the weeks leading up to September 30th, I was craving a break from running. I knew I was only competing against myself and all that really mattered was finishing the race, but that's still a lot of pressure. And I'm a pretty competitive person with pretty high expectations of myself, so I wanted to not only finish the race, but do so with flying colours! I wanted sooooo badly to run continuously (no walk breaks!), finish under 2 hours and 15 minutes, and do it smiling.

And I did. So now what?

It was so immensely satisfying to cross the finish line and I had so much fun during the race (even when it was really %*&#$% hard!) that I was already scouting races for next year that very evening! It looks like our next race will be the Mississauga Half Marathon on May 11/08. And we'll be running the STWM again on September 28/08. My goal is to run the Mississauga half in under 2:12:46 and the STWM half in under 2 hours. We're also planning to run the Perschini Easter Seals 10K in May which is sponsored by our gym (it's actually 8.5K according to Gmaps Pedometer) as well as the Oasis ZooRun 10K (through the zoo!) in October! There's also A Mid Summer Night's Run (15K or 30K) in August that looks fun.

This racing thing... it's addicting.

So there you have it, the plan for next year, in a nut shell.

I've decided to sign up for a 16-week Running Room Half Marathon Clinic starting in December. Sure, I can run a half marathon already, but I didn't train for it properly. I have never done speed work or hill training and I know I need to in order to improve my time. Plus, I find it extremely difficult to force myself to get out for the long practice runs once a week. With the clinic, I'll have speed work or hill training Wednesday nights and a long run every Sunday morning with my group. The element of accountability should keep me right on track and I'll be ready to kill the Mississauga half in May!

But this means I need to buy some winter running gear. Running outdoors in January and February... I'm the last person who ever thought I'd catch myself doing that!

And, well, that's what's next!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Race Report!

Let me preface this by saying that I am the last person who ever thought I would (or could!) become a runner... let alone run a half marathon! As a matter of fact, my husband started running in 2005 and I thought he was insane! But something possessed me to give it a try last December. I quickly became hooked on the challenge and the satisfaction of gradually increasing my distance. Before I knew it, I was running 5, 7, 10, 12 KM at a time. I convinced my husband (although, it did not take much convincing!) to sign up for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on September 30th. And now, after months of anticipation, excitement and (occasionally) anxiety, the big day has come and gone.

On September 30th we were up at 4:00 AM to be downtown by 6. Our wedding photographer was kind enough to meet us there to snap some 'before' pics, which I should have soon. Before long it was time to position ourselves in the start corral and find our pace bunny. At this point, the nerves had settled and we were both eager to get this thing started!

The gun went off at 7:00 AM sharp, but we didn't cross the start line until a few minutes had passed. This is what happens when 12,000 people are starting a race at the same time and this is why our official time is three minutes and thirty-eight seconds slower than our chip time.

The crowd started dispersing after about the first kilometre and we were finally able to fall into a groove with our pace bunny (or "my rabbit" as I liked to refer to him). We were off to a great start and I felt like a million bucks. The crowds cheering us on at every street corner really kept our spirits up and kept my mind off the fact that my feet would be pounding the pavement for the next two hours.

It was a beautiful morning at about 15 degrees. It was still dark when we started, but the sun quickly began to rise. We were grateful for a cloudy horizon that kept the sun out of our eyes until the end of the race. I could not have asked for a better day.

The first kilometres were flying by. The big red flags signifying each kilometre seemed to be coming really fast and each one gave me a boost of confidence and pride. I was really doing it!

One of my favourite parts of the entire race was around the 7th or 8th KM when the elite marathon runners were approaching from the opposite direction (the course was basically a big loop). Those are some serious runners and it gave me a huge burst of adrenaline as they whizzed by. John Kelai from Kenya actually beat the record for the fastest marathon ever run in Canada at 2:09:30. We all gave them a big cheer as they passed and it felt good to be a part of something. KWIM?

The next few kilometres continued to be a breeze and a few times I even thought to myself this is too easy! I think it was around the 12th kilometre when I realized I was really going to be able to do it. Up until then I had told myself over and over that I could, but I don't know if I really believed myself. It was a huge accomplishment to pass the 14th kilometre marker because the longest continuous distance I had previously run was 13.5.

It was around 17 KM that it got tough. My legs were getting tired and I was running out of steam. Knowing that there were only a few KM's to go (and my husband's constant encouragement) kept me going. Every kilometre marker was a small victory. By about the 19th, I had to will my legs to take each step and I can remember chanting in my head 1, 2, 1, 2... We started to hear the crowds at the finish line and I wanted to sprint to the end sooo badly, but I just had nothing left.

About 500 metres to go... we could see the balloon arch over the finish line. I dug deep (SO deep!) to pick it up for the finish. I heard my Mom call out my name and found her and my sister in the crowd cheering us on. We held hands and pushed as hard as we could til we crossed that finish line!

Gun time was 2:16:24 and chip time was 2:12:46. It would have been nice to reach our goal of sub 2:15:00 in "official time" but chip time is the real deal (start line to finish line).


Sunday, September 30, 2007


Registration in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon: $45

Shoes, clothing and accessories from The Running Room: $400

Crossing the finish line and completing my first half-marathon: PRICELESS!

We did it!

We crossed the finish line holding hands at 2h 12m 46s!

I'll be back with details + pics, but right now I'm way too tired...

Saturday, September 29, 2007

This time tomorrow....

...we should be nearing the finish line!

Last night we picked up our goodie bags at the Expo. Our bibs are printed with our numbers and names on them, our time chips are activated and we are ready to go.

I'm getting really excited now! I'm running my first race tomorrow!

Friday, September 28, 2007

100th Post!

Well, this is my 100th post! Cool.

It's just about time to accomplish this mission of mine. The 1/2 marathon is THIS SUNDAY! That's 2 days... actually, 1 day, 20 hours and 53 minutes. We are actually going to do this!

Tonight we are heading to the Expo at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre to pick up our race kits and peruse the exhibitors. Then we're hitting The Old Spaghetti Factory for some carb loading! This part is not so bad. :)

Tomorrow will be a quiet day and an early night because we have to be downtown by 6 AM Sunday.

Check out LIVE Results on race day at - watch for our split time (1/2 way) and finish time.

You can also check it out on CBC News Morning or via live feed online at

p.s. Thanks Christy and Lor for the comments. :)

Thursday, September 27, 2007


We are running this race in three days TO THE MINUTE!

We have our bib numbers... I'm 8515 and Mark is 8514. Makes it seem very real!

Tomorrow night we are heading to the Race Expo to pick up our kits and check out some of the booths.

It's so close I can smell it...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Yesterday night I had my fitness assessment at my new gym, Persechini Fitness Centre. I'll share the all important numbers (weight, body fat, measurements) after my re-assessment in eight weeks. I can't wait to start weight training again and get into a routine. I will continue to run outside at least once a week and probably run on the treadmill a couple days, but my main goal for the fall and winter is to stick to a strict 1 hour/4 days per week weight training plan. It's going to be tough, but the results will be worth it. Or so I'm told. :)

Some of the questions that the trainer was asking got me thinking... this time last year, starting to run had never even crossed my mind! In January, I was thrilled to have run for 30 minutes straight. Hubby and I were just saying that we're going to hit the gym tonight for an "easy 5 K" on the treadmill. 8 months ago, running 5 KM was a huge accomplishment for me. Pretty amazing what I can do if I put my mind (and body!) to it.

4 days til the race!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Some more motivation

Another positive email this morning...

This is it! Race week. If you are nervous about racing the race you are feeling very normal emotions. It means you respect the distance and are excited about participating in the race.

Take a few minutes and reflect on all the training sessions you did this season. You are very well prepared. Now it comes down to resting, fueling and thinking your way through this week. The training you are doing this week is to merely keep your legs loose rather than training for the race. Your sessions should be short and light in intensity. You want to rest your body for race day. That way, you will show up anxious and ready to go on race day.


And finally, enjoy the journey on race day. Go with what the day brings. It could be warm or cold, rainy or windy. Or it could be perfect weather. Don't let the things you can't control affect your day. If you come to challenging parts of the race, think your way through. Just as life rolls through hard and easy days so will the race.

At the tough times, set a shorter goal to run or walk to a light poll or something closer to you than the finish. Set a series of shorter finish lines. Keep your head in the game as it controls your body and you'll get to the finish line! This tough time will pass and soon you will have a medal hanging around your neck.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Eye on the Prize

Every couple weeks, I get an email from the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon with news and tips and a reminder of how many weeks (or days!) are left.

This little article caught my eye this morning and now I feel all inspired and motivated.

Eye on the Prize

It's so close now you can almost feel it. It's there, right in front of you. If you close your eyes you can see yourself at the starting line, see yourself on the course, and see yourself crossing the finish line and getting a medal.

Let yourself live the fantasy. Imagine it all. See yourself having the best day of your life. From now until the gun goes off the race is all in your head.

I CAN DO THIS! I will run across that finish line and win that medal!


Sunday, September 23, 2007

One week....

One week to go! ONE WEEK!

We picked up a great new toy today - the Garmin Forerunner® 205 . It's a personal training device with GPS that measures speed, distance, pace and calories burned, which can then be uploaded to the computer to store and analyze progress... among other things that we have yet to figure out. Pretty cool!

Did I mention that there's one to go! It seems like just yesterday that we decided to do this... but that was back in February! Where has this year gone?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Starting the countown at 10...

Well, there's just ten days to go.

Last logged run was about 10 KM last Wednesday (when Mother Nature had other plans!). Tuesday night I went out for about 6 KM, which nearly killed me. I was achy and crampy after a couple KM's! 4 days of eating and drinking my butt off in Montréal seems to have taken a toll. Tried again last night with 3 laps of a 3 KM loop in Thornhill and it went much more smoothly.

But then I made the mistake of going to bed without dinner and I am suffering for that today. I am STARVING. This always happens... Reminder to self: must eat after run.

Hubby and I are planning a long run (18+) this weekend and that will be about it til the race!

Oh boy.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Less than two weeks to go...

The big race is 13 days away. Am I ready? Who knows???

I'm hoping to get in a couple more long runs this week, then taking next week off to rest up before race day.

I think I'm starting to have second thoughts... whose idea was this anyway?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Mother Nature... Grrrrrrrr!

I love my new shoes! I felt like I was running on clouds yesterday. So comfortable!

We (Mark, Dave, me) had planned a nice 18K run in Thornhill, but unfortunately, Mother Nature had other ideas. We were about 9K in when the skies opened up and we were caught in pouring rain and insane winds. We managed to keep going for another 0.5 or so, but quickly realized that we had to turn back. :(

It sucks because we were all feeling great and could have easily finished the run.

Re-match next week!

Tomorrow we are heading to Montréal for 4 days so no runs, but lots of walking!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

New Shoes!

I got myself some brand spankin' new shoes this weekend!

Brooks Trance 6 ® Designed for runners needing moderate to maximum support in a well-cushioned shoe. The Trance 6's MoGo midsole provides 40% more cushioning, 27% more energy return and 33% more durability than previous models. Multiple cushioning technologies in heel and forefoot provide exceptional comfort.

The Running Room recommended these because apparently I have stability issues (over-pronation to be specific) so the new shoes should help with that. Going to test 'em out tonight! Here's hoping for no more foot troubles.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

So frustrating....

Last night we had to cut our run short at 13.5 KM because my feet were killing me. They were actually throbbing and it felt like I had marbles in my shoe in the arch of my foot. OW! The worst part is, it started within the first KM! I fought through it as long as I could, but by 13 KM my feet were starting to go numb so we had to turn in. SoOoOo frustrating because we were having a great run - lots of energy, no huffing and puffing.

I think I need new shoes...

I also tried my first Power Bar Gel last night. I didn't necessarily notice an immediate energy boost, but it would probably have more of an effect if I had not just eaten dinner. It went down easily and tasted like chocolate syrup (yum) so I'll definitely be using these again.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

26 days til race day...

I'm still alive!! We ended up doing a mere 17 KM last Thursday instead of the planned 18 and it was damn hard. I (reluctantly) made Dave stop and walk a couple times, but we still finished in 2 hours, including stop lights and two bathroom/water stops so I don't feel bad about that. I was freaking sore and tired as you know what after the run, but felt good in the morning.

Mark and I ran just shy of 10 KM Sunday morning along the lake downtown and that was it for running this weekend, unless you count running around the bases during our baseball game Sunday afternoon. ;)

We splurged on some new Running Room gear over the weekend... a cute top for me to match my skort (more on that in a sec), shorts for Mark, Body Glide anti-chafing gel, a Fuel Belt for me, E-Load Heat Endurance Formula, and a few Power Bar Gels. Thank goodness for the 20% off coupons!

About the new top... I won't go into too much detail but let's just say that I made a bad judgement call by putting too much faith in the built-in bra Sunday morning and gave the Torontonians on the board walk quite a show! I'll be wearing a sports bra underneath from now on. Oops.

Tonight's plan is a nice 16 KM... we'll see how it goes!!

In other news, massive kudos to our buddy Dave who completed the Oakville 1/2 Marathon yesterday in a killer 2 hours and 1 minute... talk about setting the standards high for September 30th. ;) Good job, Dave!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Death wish

Supposedly, I am going to be running 18K with Dave tomorrow (and Mark if his legs are feeling better). This means one of two things: either I am insane or Dave is trying to kill me. Or both. I can already feel the burn... wish me luck.

In other news, hubby and I have decided to join a gym (again) for the Fall/Winter. We may have legs of steel from all this running, but we're both feeling pretty 'squishy' on our upper halves. I need to tone up my arms, back and shoulders again. Plus, we won't be able to run outdoors much come winter and we really want to stay in shape. We're looking in to gyms around our home and plan to join immediately after the marathon... so hopefully we'll find one with a whirlpool that we can soak in for the entrie week after the race. :)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Thursday, August 23, 2007

According to the website...

37 days 20 hr 42 min to go

*insert panic attack here*

j/k... no sweat. :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Run, run as fast as you can...

After that long run last Wednesday (which was actually 13.5, not 13.3 - woohoo!) I had a 4 day hiatus due to festivities surrounding my brother-in-law and new sister-in-law's wedding. CONGRATS YOU GUYS!

Jumped right back on the wagon last night and did a steady 9 KM run with Mark. First half took it slow but gunned it for the last couple KM's, UPHILL! Felt great.

Baseball tonight, short run tomorrow, baseball Thursday and a looooong run with our buddy on Friday. Aiming for 18 KM... we will see.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

T-Minus 6 weeks

Well, as of this weekend, it's 6 weeks til race day!

I'm runnnig as much as I can, but this has got to be the busiest summer EVER! I've been away the last two weekends, this weekend my brother-in-law is getting married and next weekend I am playing in a softball tourney all weekend. And then it will be September already! It's hard fitting in the long runs during the week, but the good news is, I ran 13.3 KM last night! Too it slow at an average pace of about 6:30/KM and finished in 1 hour, 27 mins.

Aiming to add about 2 KM's per week and hopefully we'll be ready for the big 21.2 on the 30th of next month.

Thanks for reading. :)

Friday, July 27, 2007

at least my running is a little more consistent than my blogging

We.Are.So.Busy.This.Summer. It's retarded, really. Weekends and even most week nights are chock full of activities and festivities. It's all great fun, but makes it really hard to stick to any kind of diet and exercise schedule. So I'm doing my best! My weight has not budged in months, which is a good thing, I guess. At least I am not gaining. But I want to kick these last 15 or 20 pounds, dammit!!

The 1/2 marathon is in slightly over two months and we really have to get cracking. We're doing okay, but not getting in as many LONG runs as we should be. Really need to start sticking to this beautiful 5-run-per-week schedule that Mark made up... will try (again) next week to actually follow it.

Tonight after work we are running a 9 KM hilly trail with a new running buddy from our softball team. It's fun AND motivating to have someone new to run with... we ran this trail with him last Saturday and it was a good time AND good workout. Looking forward to that.

And that's about it for now...

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Getting back at it...

Went for another run last night! Only 5 KM - pretty slow for the first half and pretty fast for the second half. Average pace for me seems to be 6:00 min/km (10 KM/hr) so fast is <5:30/km and slow is >6:30/km.

My knee is really bothering me... it's extremely musical (you should hear the clicking and grinding and cracking - ew) and stiff. Need to get back at those physio exercises.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

After another hiatus...

...I am back.

I have a good excuse this time, at least! I won a trip to London! I spent a fabulous, exciting week in the beautiful city with my Mom. Ate delicious foods and drank delicious drinks (Pimms & lemonade... mmmmmmm!) and thankfully, walked enough to burn the extra calories and didn't gain an ounce!

But now it is time to get down to business. The race is less than three months away and we have a long way to go. Went out for my first run last night after two weeks off and it wasn't as hard as I expected, but I took it VERY easy. Over the next week, I'm planning to ease back into it and then it is time to start increasing my distances again. 21.2 KM is a lot....

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

13 KM !!

Am I ever sore this morning! Last night I increased my distance by another 1.5 KM and did 13. I took it slow and steady at an average pace of 6:30/KM so it took me about an hour and 24 minutes. I don't know what I was daydreaming about as I ran, but the time flew by. I could not believe I'd been out so long... well, except for my throbbing hamstrings and numb ass!

I'll get in a few shorter, faster runs this week and hopefully add another 1.5 KM or so to my next long run on Monday.

In other news.... I WON A 7-DAY TRIP TO LONDON, ENGLAND TO SEE BON JOVI AT THE BRAND NEW 02 ARENA IN THE MILENNIUM DOME!!! Mom and I leave next Thursday, June 21st. :)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

2 New Records!!

Monday I ran my longest distance yet: 11.5 KM! I took it nice and slow at an average pace of 6:22/KM so it took about an hour and 13 minutes.

Yesterday I ran my fastest 5 KM ever in 27 minutes!! Average pace of 5:24/KM.

I am feeling pretty confident and eager to gradually increase my distance each week til I hit the 21.2 KM half-marathon distance. Exciting!

I also had my physio follow-up yesterday. My PT think my quad is a smidge stronger, but my knee cap is still pretty out of whack. She poked, prodded and wiggled it around for 15 minutes to hopefully trigger the muscles that will help it settle back in place. I have three new exercises (squats and stairs - ugggg!) to really activate that quad muscle. Here's hoping this works. In the mean time, I am still not in any pain (knock on wood!) so I consider myself lucky that I can keep on running.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007



On Monday, I ran my longest distance since the knee injury at Easter: 10.33KM!!! I did it in 1:02:23, average pace of 6:02 per KM. Not too bad if I do say so myself!

And then I was crazy enough to run again with Mark yesterday. We did 7.5 KM in 45:15, average pace of 6:02 per KM. My legs are TOAST this morning. Definitely taking a day off.

It feels so good to be running again. My knee is still messed up, but I am working on my physio exercises and hopefully my patella will be back where it belongs soon. Thanksfully, no pain!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Again, long time, no update. Sorry!

I finally went to physio and figured out what has been wrong with my knee all this time. As it turns out, my patella (knee cap) is out of place. I have very weak quad muscles in my left leg and the weakness allowed for too much pressure on the knee cap, knocking it out of place. The problem has more than likely always been there, but I must have twisted my knee way back when the injury started (trail run, Good Friday), and my quad was not strong enough to support my knee cap properly.

The good news is, my joints are all fine and this is very easily treatable. And since I have no pain, I am allowed to continue running. I have strengthening exercises to work on, and we hope to see results within a few weeks. Once I strengthen the quad muscle, my knee cap should settle back where it belongs and that awful grinding and pressure will cease.

Recent runs... let's see... we did 5 KM Saturday morning, 7.5 Monday morning (and then walked around the zoo all afternoon!) and only managed 2.5 KM yesterday (my legs were fried from Monday).

I need to get my distance back up to 10... hopefully this weekend.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

I'm ba-ack!

Whoops, long time, no update!

Here's how the last few weeks have been: I thought my knee was better, went for a run, realized that it wasn't. Repeat that over and over a few times!

But now, I think it really is better. Well, almost.

Last Tuesday - 3 KM
Last Thursday - 3 KM
Saturday - ran 5 KM
Monday - ran 7.5 KM

And I have NO PAIN! This injury was frustrating. Some days I felt like I'd never be able to run again. Some days I could barely walk! I am starting physio next week just to make sure I am okay and to get some tips. I have insurance, so I might as well use it. My knee does this weird clicking thing when I bend it... so we'll see what they have to say.

Here's hoping I can stay on track and we can continue our training for the 1/2 marathon in September.

If you're reading, thanks!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Here goes nothing!

Well, I *think* my knee is better. I was running around playing softball all weekend and didn't even feel a twinge, I can run up the stairs again and I can bend it like Beckham!

So tonight we are going for a run. We're going to take it super easy and go nice and slow (and no hills). Wish me luck!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Keep on keepin' on

I wasn't blogging for the last couple weeks, but don't worry, I was still running.

A brief recap:

We have been running almost every day - usually 7.5 KM, sometimes 5 KM with the killer hills. I ran my longest distance last Saturday - 10 KM!!! We did it in 60:30, which is not bad at all. I was hoping to achieve 12 KM over Easter weekend, but an injury stopped me dead in my tracks. :(

We went for a run on a walk/bike path that follows the Humber River from Mulock past Green Lane. Unfortunately, I did something brutal to my knee. I didn't notice until we stopped running, but I was suddenly in a lot of pain. It wore off after a few hours, but I took the next two days off just to be safe.

Monday we went out again and did 6 KM or so and my knee was okay. Tuesday night we went out and after about 4 KM my knee was SHOT. I had to limp home and was not able to bend my knee without excrutiating pain for the next 24 hours. It's feeling a lot better today and I am only having trouble with stairs, but it looks like I will be taking at least a week off. Here's hoping it heals fully and quickly!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

The training continues...

Today will be my 7th day in a row running. On Tuesday I ran my furthest yet (outside anyway) at 7.6 KM (in 47 minutes). Yesterday we did our 5 KM route which includes a few killer hills during the last half which completely did me in. It's amazing to me how much they tire me out. I felt more tired at the top of those hills than I did after running 10 KM on the treadmill. The good news is, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is known as one of the "flattest" routes in North America (and therefore, the fastest) so no hills to worry about on the big day!

I'm working on getting more protein into my diet during the day. I have a bad habit of only having protein with dinner, and I am always starving after work these days. I think it will give me the extra boost I need.

Nothing else new for today. Christy, thanks for the comment!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Mission to a (1/2) Marathon

In our ongoing efforts to lead a healthy and active lifestyle, Mark and I have decided to run the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront (1/2) Marathon on September 30, 2007! This is a 21.1 KM (13 mile) race and our goal is to finish in under 2 hours and 15 minutes. 6 months to train - better get busy!

Check it out @

I am leaving Goodlife Fitness because I have only been using my membership for the treadmill and training on a treadmill is not going to cut it anymore. I have run outside the past 4 days in a row - 5 KM Friday, 5.76 KM Saturday, 5 KM Sunday and 7.5 KM yesterday. The nice weather makes it a lot easier to stay motivated. I can't wait to get home and RUN!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

the good, the bad and the ugly

I love weekends, but when it comes to losing weight, THEY ARE PURE EVIL! I don't know why exactly, but I completely lose control every freaking weekend. Here's where "ugly" comes in to play. Last weekend consisted of cake, pizza, Wendy's, McDonald's, Kraft Dinner and all kinds of goodies at a bridal shower for my cousin. My saving grace is that I made it to the gym Saturday morning and ran 10 KM on the treadmill, burning about 1100 calories. So I guess that is how I managed to maintain my weight despite the feasting.

Every time Monday rolls around, I jump right back on the wagon and usually have no trouble staying on track... and every Monday I vow not to blow it again come the weekend. And every weekend I blow it anyway.

What's the matter with me?!

Anyway, here we are on Wednesday and I have been good (well, mostly). I went to the gym for a run last night and I will be going again tonight. Mark's train (new job, new transport) comes in at 7 so I am trying to go between work and picking him up. But I am looking forward to Spring so we can start running outside more regularly!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Now THAT is determination

It was still mild after work yesterday so I decided to skip the gym and go for another run outside with Mark. But of course, it started raining just as we were leaving. I nearly chickened out, but Mark convinced me to go for it anyway. And of course, it didn't just rain. It POURED. You have to understand, I don't do rain. Being outside in the rain is about my least favourite thing to do. It's right above being outside in a blizzard. With bare feet. So... this is a big deal!

We took a different 5 KM route with even more hills. There was one giant hill right near the end and I actually had to look down at the sidewalk and take it one square at a time. When I looked up, all I could think was I am never going to make it up this hill! But I made it, one square at a time. It turns out we ran even faster than the day before. We did it in 31 minutes, average speed of 5.5 mph. My legs are S-O-R-E this morning.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

New Look, New Location

I decided to change the URL of my blog since "marlenesouthbeachdiet" didn't seem all that appropriate anymore. I hope you didn't have any trouble finding me at my new location.

There's no reason for the new look, except that I was bored of the old one!

I ran outside!!

So I really wanted to go for a run yesterday (after 8 days off!!! yikes!) but I was apprehensive about going to the gym because I'm not sure how the other ladies would feel about me coughing all over them... yuck. Well, we had a beautiful day here yesterday so I tagged along with Mark and ran outside for the first time. We took a 5 KM route, a lot of which was uphill, and it took about 33 minutes. It felt AMAZING. I have to admit, running outside is much tougher than the treadmill! I felt muscles in my legs that I didn't know I had. Other than tons of puddles, it was awesome and I can't wait to run outdoors again. It felt so good to run again!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

One week later and still sick

Yep, I am still sick. I ended up staying home last Wednesday too after being up all night. I was feeling a tad better by Thursday, just very stuffed up and still a really bad sore throat. Saturday it turned to a dry cough and now I still have the cough and have lost my voice.

It has not been a fun week!

I've been eating a lot of crap and still haven't made it back to the gym, but we got groceries last night and I am going to try to go for a run tonight. Hopefully the other ladies on the treadmills won't mind me coughing all over them. :)

I still managed to lose 2 lbs but here's to getting back on track this week!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Long time, no update

Sorry!!! Been busy with... I don't even know what.

I missed a few runs last week due to leg pain, Mattamy appointment, snow strom (yeah, yeah, excuses, excuses!) but the good news is, I achieved my goal on Saturdaqy and ran 10 KM!!! It took between 65 and 70 minutes and I burned 850 calories. Crazy! I felt amazing after. I tried to do it again on Sunday but my legs were too sore.

Food-wise, I've stayed on the wagon for the most part. My weight has been holding steady. Gotta love plateaus.

Today I am home sick. This horrible flu/cold virus that has been going around finally caught up with me yesterday and hit me like a freight train at work. I was in misery. Killer head ache, sore throat, sharp pain behind my ears, achey bones, no energy and even nausea. Yuck. Got home at 4:30 and went straight to bed. Didn't get up until after 10 this morning. I have been laying around today, trying to get some fluids in me and popping Sudafeds like gummy bears. It is a little more bearable but I still feel like crap. Needless to say, no run last night or tonight.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The results are in

I had my fitness re-assessment at the old gym this morning.

From January 2006 to today, I have...

- Lost 37 lbs

- Reduced by Body Fat Percentage by 7%

- Decreased my Body Mass Index from 31.2 to 25.7

- Lost 10" around my waist, 4" around my hips, 2" from each thigh and 0.75" from each arm


Monday, February 19, 2007

say what?!

After my victory of reaching the 160's on Saturday, I went shopping. Turns out I'm a SIZE 12!!! I couldn't believe it at first ~ kept thinking there must be some mistake! The last pants I bought were a size 16! But lo and behold, the size 12's fit, and I bought 4 pairs!!!

Unfortunately I couldn't drag my lazy butt to the gym yesterday. If I don't go first thing in the morning, forget about it. My goal for the week is to run at least five times between today and Sunday. I'm going for 8K tonight.

Everything is good on the food front. I have a few confessions for the weekend, namely Popeye's chicken (ew) and Kraft Dinner, but I've realized that I can eat SOME crap and still lose weight, as long as I keep on running!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

169 LBS!!!!!!!!!!!!

WOOOOHOOOO!!! As of this morning, I weigh 169 lbs. I have not been below 170 since, like, grade 11. I feel freaking awesome.

So Thursday night I played hockey with the boys for the better part of an hour. Holy crap, was that ever a workout. I am still sore ~ and not just from the bruises. I swear, I used muscles I didn't know I had. I did have one good wipe-out on the elbow and here is the result:


But anyway, it was a lot of fun and an amazing workout, and we are totally doing that again some time.

Last night I skipped the gym because we got home late, but I had a good 4 mile (6.5 KM) run this morning. I was going for 8 KM but I quickly discovered that I really need to eat before attempting that. At the end of my run this morning, my breathing was still controlled and my legs had some more juice in them, but I was feeling pretty light-headed and dizzy. Note to self: don't run before breakfast!! (Duh.) So tomorrow I will have a hearty breakfast, digest, and then hit the treadmill to attempt 8 KM.

Today I am going shopping to replace all of my way-too-big pants. FINALLY!!!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

getting back on track...

I've been MIA for a few days!

We had an amazing time at the cottage - lots of good fun, good friends, good food. Most of the food was diet-friendly and my beverages of choice were diet pop, Mike's Light and wine, so I don't think I did too much damage. Plus, we spent hours on the ice! My back, legs and shoulders were all killing me until this morning. Feels like I have finally recovered just in time for our hockey game tomorrow night! We've rented a rink at the new Aurora Leisure Centre with some friends from 10-11. I'm armed with my freshly-sharpened hot pink-laced hockey skates, hockey stick complete with pink tape and personalized Leafs jersey with pink lacing. Time to bust some moves tomorrow night!

Anyway, I haven't weighed in, but I feel okay. I don't think I blew it.

I dragged my butt back to the gym last night for a 3 mile run. We are having a decadent dinner with friends tonight, so no gym for me. And of course, hockey tomorrow. Friday evening I will get get back on track with the running. I should be at 8K (5 miles) now. My legs hurt just thinking about it.

Happy Valentine's Day and remember, chocolate is calorie-free today! At least, that's what I told myself when I dug into the Lindor hearts my husband gave me!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Let's hear it for FRIDAY!!!

Just two more hours of work til our extended weekend away at Sharbot Lake, and that is really all that matters!

I'm going to the gym for a run tonight before taking a few days off. I considered going tomorrow morning ... for about 3 seconds! Yeah, I scrapped that idea. I'll take my extra hour of sleep instead. (I'm not quite as dedicated as some people. I'm looking at YOU, Sarah!) Although, I am going to make a brief stop at the gym in the morning just to weigh myself. I'm silly, I know.

Anyway, I'll try not to eat my weight in food this weekend and I know I'll be getting lots of exercise skating, snow-shoeing and even cross-country skiing!


Thursday, February 08, 2007

Not much new...

Just checking in. It's been a good week and I am confident that the scale will be down. I'm trying not to weigh myself til Saturday because I want to use the scale at the gym and Saturday will be my first opportunity to use it in the morning. Hopefully I will have some good news before we head up to Sharbot Lake for the weekend.

Someone at work today told me I am "too skinny" now. That's categorically untrue, but I'll take it as a compliment! :)

I have been to the gym 11 days out of the past 12, including the past 5 days straight. My legs are telling me (screaming at me!) that I need to take a break today, so I am.

I ran 6.5K last night as planned and my next two runs (Friday and Saturday) are scheduled to be 6.5 as well. Then next week I get to tackle 5 miles for the first time, which is a whopping 8K. I'm tired just thinking about it.

10K, here I come........