Monday, February 25, 2008

6 days to go

Well here we are, the week of the race! It sure has crept up on me, but I'm feeling prepared. I have followed the Running Room training program for 18 weeks and this is what it comes down to.

It's going to be a good time - lots of friends will be there; some running the 5K, some running the half, some just there to freeze their butts off and wait for me to cross the finish. Hopefully I won't leave them waiting too long.

In a perfect world, I would like to finish under 2:00:00, but I know I have not trained for that so it's unlikely. (will try again at Scotiabank in September)

I have a goal in mind of 2:05:00, but I will also be happy to achieve a personal best and beat my previous time of 2:12:46.

At the very least, I'll be satisfied to cross the finish line smiling.

A lot of it will come down to the weather. If it's snowy/windy/icey, there's not a whole lot I will be able to do about it. I'll do my best either way and see what happens. So fingers crossed for ideal weather conditions, please! I'm thinking +5 and sunny would be nice. Yeah, I'm dreaming....

My bib number is 2020. Watch for me!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wednesday ramblings

Last night Hubby came back to clinic! He hasn't been able to join us for several weeks, but he is finally getting back out there and it was great to have him along for the ride. :)

We did just under 8K, which felt pretty good. I feel like a need a break today, though, so I am going to postpone the scheduled 10K til tomorrow night. My knee is a tad tender and there is no sense risking injury at this point in the game. 11 days til my next race!

I was talking to a couple of the girls in my group last night and trying to figure out what to do this weekend. See, the program for the half marathon on March 2nd calls for just a 6K. But in order to train for the 30K on March 30th, I should be increasing the distance. My instructor recommended that I only run 6 or so if I am going for a decent time in the half. If I am just going to treat it as a taining run for the 30K or full marathon, then running 20+ this weekend would be fine. I'm torn...but I would like to at least beat my previous (and only!) time, so I think I'll take it easy this weekend.

Plus, I am going into the 30K for fun and not trying for any specific time. It's going to be a good time and a training run for my full, so if I am not 100% prepared for it, I'm okay with that.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Let's get dirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrty!

I have convinced my hubby and a friend of ours to compete as a team of 3 in this year's Mud Run, Canada's Dirtiest 10K! But let's be honest, it didn't take much convincing. ;)

It takes place at a conservation area in Brampton on June 8th and " a challenging and fun 10K run with hills, river crossings, climbing walls, tunnel crawls, hay bales, obstacles and lots of mud!" I perused some photos from previous years and the runners are actually wading through rivers and plunging into mud pits. TOO FUN!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Breaking News

Dean over at Zer0 to Boston just qualified for the Boston Marathon! Congratulations!!!

It's funny...he is in a completely different league than I will ever be, but I can relate to him somehow. I'm feeling inspired.

I hope Dean doesn't mind... I am copying something he wrote just before running his qualifying race. It hits home for me because I just signed up for my first full marathon and was surprised to learn that the longest training run is 32 KM, a whole 10K less than an actual marathon. My good friend (and mentor of sorts) Anamae gave me a good explanation. In theory, if I can run 32, I can run 42...physically. The last 10K is all mental. It's up to the brain, the mind, the spirit to take you to the finish. What Dean had to say kind of put it into perspective for me.

The mind can convince itself of anything, even that it is strong. But the marathon calls the mind’s bluff. It brings commitment and focus into stark relief. It forces one to confront the true nature of determination.

Worse, our brains are wired to work against us. In the latter stages of the marathon, every fiber of the body cries out for relief. The brain becomes a crisis manager, interpreting signals of exhaustion from the body as threats of imminent system failure. In turn, it sends out powerfully incessant demands to cease any unnecessary running.

And your brain can be quite persuasive.

It will actually send signals that mimic collapse before the actual point of collapse. It wants you to stop before you crumble. This is why mid-race you feel like death warmed over but somehow find the energy to “kick” at the finish. Your brain realizes you’re about to stop and allows a last burst of speed. This is real science, folks. Your brain tricks you. If you’re not ready for this clever cerebral assault, you will fold like a cheap lawn chair. on earth do I prepare myself for this?

ETA: Dean, thanks for the comment. I appreciate it! And I'm excited. :)

Another week bites the dust

Last week was a challenge because I started coming down with something Tuesday night and pretty much felt like crap until Friday. I ran my 8K Tuesday and then did zip, zilch, nada til 19K on Saturday morning. Took yesterday off to recover (had a lot of tightness in my left IT band, but it was okay this morning).

Today we are enjoying a brand new Statutory Holiday in Ontario (Family Day) so I took advantage and went out for a very wet 8K run with the hubby this morning. We were splashing through puddles the entire time and my shoes spent a good hour in the dryer when we got home.

It's less than two weeks to the Chilly Half and I am feeling excited and confident. It's nice to be going into it feeling prepared. Fingers crossed that there are no obstacles in the next 13 days (illness, injury) and I should be raring to go March 2nd. A handful of my new friends from the Running Room will be running it and some of our best friends are also running that day - in particular, Sarah and Colin will be running the Frosty 5K as their first race! I think it's going to be a great day.

Monday, February 11, 2008

It's Monday!

Yesterday was a chilly one! The run started out okay, hovering just below zero, but it was actually getting COLDER as the morning went on. By about 10K, it felt like -20 with the windchill. We were absolutely freezing, trudging along icey sidewalks, avoiding open areas because it was SO windy and just trying to keep as little of our skin exposed as possible. It was definitely tough, but we finished the 18 (a little more, actually!) under 2 hours and it felt pretty good in the end.


Last week:

Monday: rest - check!
Tuesday: 8K with clinic - check!
Wednesday: I actully have no idea what my clinic is doing, but I imagine 10? - we had a blizzard and just did <5K...hey, at least I got out there!
Thursday: X-train - ran 5K to make up for Wednesday, and did weights
Friday: rest - ran another my new neighbourhood! :)
Saturday: 6K - rested
Sunday: LSD 18 - CHECK!

Total: 41K

Plan for this week:

Monday: rest
Tuesday: 8K
Wednesday: 10K...maybe hills?
Thursday: X-train
Friday: 5K
Saturday: rest
Sunday: 20K LSD but we may go up north for the long weekend and the long run will be cut short and re-scheduled

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Mother Nature is working against me

I have an 18 kilometre run tomorrow morning, which will be the longest distance I have ever run other than the half marathon.

Unfortunately, Mother Nature is not making it easy for me. We had a big snow storm Wednesday night into Thursday and more snow yesterday, and now it's above zero so it is turning into a slushy mess. This is not going to be pretty.

But I'll go out and run anyway, because that's what ya gotta do!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

No pain, no gain

That's what I keep telling myself, anyway.

I went back to physio this evening for another [torture] treatment session. Last time was just an appetizer and this was the main course. It was twenty excrutiating minutes of deep tissue massage in my quad and IT band. I can still feel my PT's elbow (yes, ELBOW!) digging into my muscles. Owwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwy. This better work!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Monday, February 04, 2008

Thinking the unthinkable

I'm not sure what came over me exactly, but somehow the idea came into my head that I should go for a full marathon. 42.2KM. Say WHAT?!

It all started last Tuesday...the manager of my local Running Room store mentioned that I can join the full marathon clinic for half price once my half clinic is completed next month (the marathon clinic will be half over and the mileage will be close to where I should be at that time). The wheels started turning and I spoke to a few people (at the Running Room and online), all of whom seemed to think I can be ready in time. My friend Anamae from a forum that I frequent (which shall remain unnamed....) was kind enough to send me a training program to give me an idea of what I would be in for. Surprisingly, it didn't scare me off, but actually excited me. So I was thinking about possible events, and the only real option is Mississauga on May 11th (I was going to run the half).

The whole idea is a little overwhelming right now. I think it has to sink in a bit. Imagine, a year ago I was celebrating running a continuous 5K. But I really think I can do it. I have an excellent support network at the Running Room, I know I will have all the help and encouragement I need and Hubby is behind me 100%. So what more do I need?

Tomorrow night I will sign up for the clinic and then it's time to really commit, and register for the race.

OH MY GOD. I am going to run a marathon.

Monday Accountability

Didn't get out much at all last week...too busy getting ready to move, actually moving, and then settling in. Excuses, excuses! Tomorrow I am getting back into my schedule after a whole week off. And yet, I am still exhausted...

Last week:

Monday: X-train (elliptical) / done!
Tuesday: 7K with clinic / done!... 8, actually
Wednesday: 12K with 9 hills! Eek! / nope
Thursday: MOVING DAY!
Friday: rest (i.e. unpacking!)
Saturday: as above...
Sunday: LSD 18K / nope :(

So I ran a whopping 8 KM... unless you count running up and down the stairs with boxes!

This week:

Monday: rest
Tuesday: 8K with clinic
Wednesday: I actully have no idea what my clinic is doing, but I imagine 10?
Thursday: X-train
Friday: rest
Saturday: 6K
Sunday: LSD 18

Here we go again!