Monday, June 29, 2009


It's back to reality after a wonderful weekend away. The weather was perfect all weekend and we had an amazing time hanging out in the campsite, lounging on the beach, taking frequent dips in the lake to cool off and sitting by the fire at night. I've washed my hair three times since we got home and it still smells like smoke - but that's all part of the fun!

I wasn't planning to run all weekend, but we did end up running for our lives through the woods when we went for a hike and were attacked by bugs. We were absolutely swarmed and after toughing it out for 20 minutes or so, we ended up making a mad dash out of there.

I'll be making a few changes to the schedule this week because of running my long run on Friday instead of Sunday. Plus, it's Canada Day on Wednesday and hubby and I decided to take Thursday and Friday off to make it an extra long weekend.

Monday: 5K (filler)
Tuesday: 10K (general)
Wednesday: 10K (intervals)
Thursday: 10K w/ 4K LT (clinic)
Friday: off
Saturday: 7.5K MRP
Sunday: 23K LSD

5 more posts until my 500th post giveaway so watch for that coming up soon.

For now, I have to catch up on what you guys have been up to this weekend. Have a great day!

Friday, June 26, 2009

In desperate need of a shower

We're going camping with another couple this weekend and I knew I wasn't going to have the motivation opportunity to complete my long run, so I decided to run to work this morning.

Logistically, this took some preparation. I left my car (along with a bag of clothes, toiletries and food) here last night and got a ride home. This morning I had hubby drop me off one town closer to work (home was just a little too far). I wore my new Nathan Intensity bladder-pack, which is made exclusively for women - love it! I was armed with plenty of water, a couple gels, ID, cash and my cell phone. I had also informed one of my co-workers that I would be running to work and which route I was taking (I'm a little paranoid).

I started running at 5:30AM sharp and my legs were pretty slow and stiff at first, but I gradually found my rhythm as I warmed up and it felt pretty good. The route was net downhill with just a few good climbs to keep me honest. Traffic was very light for the first half, but there were definitely a lot of cars buzzing by as I got closer to work (I took a major road the entire way - with sidewalks of course). It was a beautiful, cool morning and it was pretty awesome being out there as the sun rose.

Two quick pit stops along the way, and I arrived at the office around 7:30 - leaving me plenty of time to freshen up before stating my day at 8.

20KM, 2:00:27

About the freshening up... we don't have showers at work and I don't have access to a gym nearby. *gasp* I semi-washed my hair in the bathroom sink and used a combination of baby wipes and body spray to disguise the fact that I had just run for two hours. Not much can be done about my red face, although it's finally subsiding.

I definitely enjoyed commuting on foot and will likely do it again. I'll just have to remember to leave more food at the office next time! I thought I had plenty, but I'm ravenous!

Tonight we leave for our little camping getaway, so I hope everyone has a great weekend and I'll check back in on Sunday. Wilderness, cold drinks, swimming, campfires and RELAXATION - here I come!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hot, nasty, sticky, brutal, awesome.

(5 words to describe 5 x 1000 intervals)

My personal pace bunny and I waited until 9PM to hit the park, but it was still 27C/81F with 51% humidity ("feels like" 32C/89F). I realize this is nothing compared to what some of you have to deal with, but for us Ontarians it's HOT.

I will easily admit that I am not a fan of running in the heat. I was not in the mood for it at all last night and almost called it quits before we even started. Finally I decided to just suck it up and fight the heat.

As we ran our warm-up, I was already sweating and choking on the thick air - not to mention COMPLAINING! I kept telling my husband pace bunny that this was not going to be pretty.

It was not fun and I had to work my way through every single interval. I promised myself during each 1000 that this one would be the last. I can quit after this one. I've had enough. I must be working twice as hard, so surely 2 repeats count as 4, which is almost 5...

Somehow I made it through all 5 and although they weren't quite as speedy as last week, they were still pretty fast and pretty much right on pace for my goal 5K.

4:39, 4:31, 4:28, 4:28, 4:30

[compared to last week's 4:27, 4:32, 4:26, 4:25, 4:22]

It was hot, nasty, sticky, brutal... and awesome.

I'll have one or two more opportunities for speed work before my July 11th 5K, but I'll be on my own because hubby starts his own training plan next week. I've done two weeks of 3x1600 at the track and two weeks of 5x1000 at the park. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Double whammy

Thanks for all your comments on my race report and for making me feel like a bad-ass for having that tarantula on my face. When I lived ta home before getting married, I used to scream and call my Grandma (she lived with us) every time I found a spider in the house to rescue kill it. You can imagine she got a kick out of those photos!

I'm doing some mileage-cramming this week so I can enjoy a couple days off camping this weekend and yesterday -- for the first time ever -- I ran in the morning and again in the evening. I got up early (to which hubby remarked, 'You actually got up?') for a slow 7K (my legs are stiff and sluggish at that hour, especially when I only give myself 15 minutes to wake up first). It which was a great way to start the day and I'm hoping to continue getting up early at least once or twice a week now that it's getting so hot. The temperature is just about perfect at 6AM and it's so quiet and peaceful having the streets (mostly) to myself.

Hubby decided to join me for my evening run and we waited until 8:30 when the temperature was somewhat bearable, although the air was still thick with humidity. We ran our favourite park loop and finished off 10K covered in sweat and having ingested more bugs than I care to remember. *gag, cough* I even discovered one stuck in my eye when we got back to the car.

Tonight my personal pace bunny will be taking me out for a repeat of last week's workout, tomorrow is a super short run before work (sister's high school grad in the evening) and Friday is my long run (via commute to work - this will be another first!). I'm really going to need a cold drink by the time we get to the campsite on Friday evening.

Monday, June 22, 2009

City Chase Race Report, Part Two

See part one here.

Chase Point #6: Knock Out

"Like Rocky Balboa or Mohammed Ali, you'll train with the best and be the best you can be. At The Boxing Loft you'll prepare for the ring, start moving fast when you hear the bell ding."

Now it was time to get really physical. We had to complete 5 stations for 30-60 seconds each. Bicycle crunches, push-ups, jumping rope, burpees, jabs with weights and pounding the heavy bag. Holy crap, it was exhausting.

Chase Point #7: Urban Design

"This time your test is one of urban design, with creativity and patience you will do just fine."

We accidentally stumbled upon this challenge when we saw a bunch of chasers exiting a building. Inside we had to draw a card with the name of an urban structure, then use recycled materials to re-create it as a model. We got The Panthenon.

I think we did alright!

Chase Point #8: 8 Legs or None

"The flip of a coin will determine your fate, but don't show up before 11am or you'll have to wait. At the same square where you started your day, we have a few friends who can't wait to play."

So, we each flipped a coin. All three of my friends got the snake.

And I got the spider.

I had to lay there with this thing on my face for the longest 30 seconds EVER. *shudder*

Chase Point #9: Up The Creek

"On the east side of Rees Street Slip, you'll navigate your boat and try not to slip."

We headed back down to the lake where we navigated around a set of buoys in two kayaks attached together.

We got caught in a downpour out there, but it really didn't matter at that point. [We completed this challenge last year, only we had individual kayaks and no paddles!]

Chase Point #10: Step It Up

"Near Union go to the Goodlife facility, for a test of strength, endurance and even agility."

On the way to Goodlife Fitness we ran into a bridal party shooting photos and the bride agreed to pose for a photo with us. Her professional photographer grabbed a shot too!

When we got to the gym, we had to choose a chocolate bar from a pile. We were then informed that we would have to burn the number of calories in that bar between us. Patricia and I chose the creamy milk chocolate - 280 calories! We could choose any machine we wanted, so we jumped on the treadmills, cranked up the speed and incline and got it done. Here's Patricia finishing up:

After collecting our 10th Chase Point, the 4 of us ran back to Metro Hall where we had started our day and crossed the finish line together. They even held up the finishing tape for us [hopefully they captured this in the official pics]. What a day!

Here we are soaking wet and exhausted, but already talking about next year!

I highly recommend this experience if you ever have the opportunity. It is by far one of the craziest and most fun events you will ever complete. The City Chase takes place all over Canada, the U.S. and even the world, so check it out!


My upper body is feeling a lot better today, but I'm taking a much needed day off! Starting tomorrow I have some serious mileage to cover over the next 4 days so I can slack off when we go camping this weekend. I'm treating it as a recovery week, but I should still be running about 45K. We'll see how it goes!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

City Chase Race Report, Part One

*This is going to have to be a two-parter... it's just too long!*

It looked like it was going to be a very wet day in Toronto as we headed downtown for the City Chase. To top it off, the (mandatory) shirts were white this year - so we could also refer to this as Wet T-Shirt Contest 2009.

My teammate Patricia and I were returning chasers and ended up spending the day with a team of virgin chasers - my friend Dave and his friend who is also named Dave. We met up at the starting area and decided that four heads were better than two. We had the benefit of familiarity with the event and they had the benefit of a Blackberry! (Last year we were constantly calling my husband asking him to Google things for us in order to decode the clues and locate the challenges - yes, this is allowed.)

A brief overview of the City Chase:

The City Chase is a unique urban adventure that requires participants to exhibit teamwork, resourcefulness, determination and the ability to make decisions on the fly as they search for ChasePoints scattered in unknown locations throughout the city. Chase Points are designed to test teams with a variety of physical, mental, and otherwise adventurous challenges.

To conquer this 4-6 hour urban event, 2-person teams will run, walk and use public transit to navigate their way throughout the city, while calling family and friends for help, accessing the Internet, and even employing assistance of total strangers.

The event kicked off in high gear when we were informed that we would have to complete a scavenger hunt of sorts and return with 6 "items" (of 9 listed) in order to receive our clue sheet. We were encouraged to team up with another pair, so this worked out great. Our 6 items were:

1. a photograph of one participant mooning the camera while a non-participant stood beside him (yes, I do have the photo but I don't think Dave would appreciate having it posted here - haha)
2. a page from a newspaper dated two days ago
3. the number of the next Air Canada flight for Quebec City from Toronto
4. two participants with their tops and pants on backwards
5. memorized lyrics to one verse of If Today Was Your Last Day (I had to recite it)
6. the bible verse number for a passage that was read during the introduction

It took us about 15 minutes to achieve the above and we were handed our clue sheets - a double sided sheet of paper covered in complete gibberish! We then spent about 30 minutes going over the clues, figuring out as many as we could and charting a rough map of our route in order to accomplish 10 (of 40).

Finally, we were off! We ran down to the lake and hopped on a streetcar, which would turn out to be the only time we used public transit all day. (It's much more fun to run!)

Chase Point #1: Runners

"In Liberty Village you'll look high and low for coded signs while you're on the go. The Metro parking lot is where you will check in where friendly staff will get you set to begin."

One partner has to pull the other around a few blocks in a rickshaw while looking for posted signs containing letters, which we would then unscramble in order to receive our point.

Once again we were allowed to work with another team and the Daves were kind enough to pull us ladies.

We only missed one letter on our first lap and were able to figure out the word: Adventure!

[From here on out we made our way on foot from challenge to challenge. Someone would always say "It's not too far" to which the general reply was "Yeah right, I've heard that before." We were running a few kilometres between each one, mostly in the rain. Fortunately we were having so much fun that we didn’t even care.]

Chase Point #2: One and Two and...

"Show off your groove at Danceology."

Here we learned a mini version of the merengue and we were advised that plenty of hip motion would get us our point. We paired up with our partners (Patricia led!) and swung our hips around the room until they gave us our stamps.

Chase Point #3: Reach for the Bell

"Find a big wall with safety ropes to prevent a bad fall. You'll feel a great thrill when you reach the top, ring the bell and then you will drop."

We each had to scale a 30-foot indoor rock climbing ball, one partner removing a bell from the top and the other replacing it - all within 10 minutes. It was pretty difficult and I was pretty shaky, but we totally did it and had a blast doing so.

All strapped up:

There I go!

Chase Point #4: The Plunge

"At Trinity Bellwoods Park we'll see how you fare, as you jump off a tramp and fly through the air. Land the jump right and a stamp you will get, fail to stick it and you're sure to get wet."

We had to pull on a (sopping wet) velcro suit, run and jump off a trampoline, fly 15 feet over a pool of water and hopefully stick to the velcro wall. It looked like so much fun - until I saw someone slip on the wet trampoline and twist her ankle right before my turn. Here I am, trying not to be nervous. You can see them wrapping the injured participant's ankle behind me. Yikes!

Here I go...

I did it! (yes, that counts. They were pretty lenient. And yes, the lower half of my body is in a pool of water. If I wasn't already soaked, I was after this.)

Chase Point #5: Strike a Pose

"Just a lunge east of Spadina at Lu-lu's store, hold a pose on the mat on the floor."

There were yoga mats set up outside of Lululemon and at first we thought, "No problem! We've all done yoga." Not so easy! Patricia had to go in the store and memorize three yoga poses. Meanwhile, I had to find a non-participant to actually complete the poses with me. I had to ask a lot of people before someone said yes. Apparently not many people want to do yoga on the sidewalk in the rain with some disgusting, soaking wet runner.) A really sweet girl finally said yes and agreed to help the Daves as well.

What a good sport!

Part Two


I had a REALLY hard time getting out of bed this morning when the alarm went off at 6AM, but I managed to get up and meet my group at the conservation area for a 19 21K run. The route was slightly longer than anticipated, which was okay except that it was really hot and I had run out of water at 16K. I was a little tired throughout the run, but my legs felt okay for the most part. My arms and shoulders, however, were killing me. Between the rock climbing and Chase Point 6 (stay tuned), I can't remember the last time I worked my upper body so hard.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Toronto City Chase Completed - with teaser

What a day! it rained most of the day as we ran through the streets of Toronto, completing crazy challenges and covering about 14KM on foot in the process.

We achieved all 10 Chase Points this year (only 9 last year) in 4:49 (5:28 last year).

I'll be back tomorrow with more details and photos, but here's a teaser for now. Just one of the "challenges" I had to complete. Yes, that is a tarantula on my face and YES, I am freaking out.

And now it's off to bed - I have a 19K group run at 7:30AM.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Mud Run results (sort of)

I've moaned and groaned about poor course marshaling at Mud Run, which led to a short course. We received a very apologetic email from race organizers this week and although results will not be declared "official", they have been posted. The Nucking Futs placed 7th, 8th and 9th and clocked the fastest overall time for the "buddy" (co-ed) team category. We're definitely pleased, official or not.

Race organizers have offered us half price registration for next year as compensation, and we will definitely be taking them up on that. We'll be back to claim our title in 2010... officially!

Tomorrow is the Toronto City Chase and the Blister Sisters are looking forward to tearing up Toronto once again. It should be a fun, exhausting and wet day. Yep, it's calling for rain ALL DAY LONG. Watch for a report soon!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Recovery Socks Q & A + Giveaway Announcement

I received such a great response after my Recovery Socks post and I hope I can adequately reply to some of your questions.

Are they meant to be worn during the run, afterward for recovery, or both?
So far I have only worn mine for recovery post-run, however I know they are designed to be worn during a run as well. I'll report back once I have a chance to try this out... I'm just not sure about running through the streets in hot pink knee-highs. :)

If I don't get calf stiffness (I feel it more in my knees), will they still be beneficial?
I turned to the experts for this one and Marco at The Recovery Sock responded that the graduated compression of the socks will enhance blood flow upward, thereby preventing ankle swelling and blood pooling. They can improve the overall well-being of your legs, regardless of where your issues lie.

How long do they last? A lot of clothes you wash and wear and they kind of lose form...does this happen to these socks?
I haven't had mine for long (only a few washes) so I'll have to defer to X-Country2, Frayed Laces or Denise to answer that one. However, I can tell you that they sure seem like they are made to last.

So is this something that you need once your runs get really long? I'm intrigued but I'm concerned they may be superfluous right now. Mmmmm . . . advice?
In my humble opinion, it's never superfluous to employ a recovery aid. It's certainly not going to do you any harm!

Are you allowed to call hot pink recovery socks "bad boys"?
Ummm, yes.

Aren't they awesome?

Wonder how those hot pink socks would look on my manly legs?
My husband might kill me for posting this, but he tried them on.

* * *

In other exciting news, I have a big giveaway coming up to celebrate my 500th post and Marco has generously offered to provide a free pair of Recovery Socks to one lucky reader. I'm about 15 posts away, so stay tuned for that over the next few weeks. Don't worry, I'll give you plenty of time to enter when the time comes.

* * *

Clinic run tonight was a 10K 'build-up' increasing pace by 15 seconds/km every 2K. By the end of tonight's run I was starting to feel yesterday's intervals, but I got through it. We even got to witness a police take-down as a result of what seemed to be a domestic disturbance. Two cop cars peeled down the road, flung their dooors open and took this guy down, meanwhile some other guy is yelling "Stay away from my sister!" Yeah, it was pretty crazy and certainly kept things interesting!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Personal Pace Bunny

I decided to mix things up for my intervals this week and headed to a local park to take advantage of the paved trails, a welcome change of scenery over the track. Best of all, I had my own personal pace bunny (a.k.a. my husband).

We hit the trail at dusk in light rain and used a nice 1K stretch for 5 x 1000m intervals. It's amazing how 'easy' 1000 can feel after two weeks of 1600s, despite running more repeats at a faster pace. Having some company helped too!

Target: 4:36 per 1000m

Interval 1: 4:27

Interval 2: 4:32

Interval 3: 4:26

Interval 4: 4:25

Interval 5: 4:22

[2.5K warm-up and 500m recovery intervals around 6:00/km pace]

Yes, you read that correctly! I totally killed it. And you know what? It didn't kill me! I felt pretty fantastic and only really struggled through the last one (which was the fastest!). What a boost!

The question is: can I do this by myself?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

This is what it looks like to finish a race drunk

The Wine Country Run official pics are already available from Zoom Photo. (Still no sign of photos OR results from the Mud Run a week earlier... *grumble grumble*).

I have to say these are some of the best finish line pics ever! (Unfortunately one of our friends got cut out.)

We tried to do a synchronized jump with fist pump action, but as you can see we were far from synchronized. Here we are, all three of us in a different stage of jumping.

I look downright goofy in this one.

In other news, today was one of those very rare occasions where I got out of bed early enough to run. I knew I wouldn't have time after work because I was headed downtown for dinner with friends (and also had the opportunity to use our new Scramble Intersection at Yonge and Dundas Square for the first time!) so it had to be done. It was actually pretty nice getting out there and enjoying a peaceful, quiet run. It was just a little 5K at recovery pace, but I hope to incorporate more (and longer) morning runs now that summer is here. Time to channel my inner Aron!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Let's talk Recovery (Socks)

The wonderful people at The Recovery Sock were kind enough to send me a pair to try out. You may have heard about these gems from a few other bloggers who have raved about them, but here's a little bit of info.

About Compression:

Compression is not a new technology; it has been used for years in medical patients with venous and arterial insufficiency. However, the application of this technology to athletics is relatively new. There is clear evidence to support compression use in promoting recovery. Using compression socks after a race or hard workout provide a substantial benefit.

These garments will help to avoid venous stasis (blood pooling in the legs) and swelling. Compression is particularly helpful in depended areas of the body, such as the feet and lower legs where gravity has a greater effect on blood return. Improved blood flow after a workout results in enhanced nutrient delivery and removal of waste products to and from muscles. This creates a situation optimal for muscle repair, reduced stiffness and heaviness in the legs and possibly less soreness.

Several studies have demonstrated that post exercise blood lactate levels were lower with compression sock use both during and after exercise. Other studies have demonstrated that compression socks do create a major fluid shift in the body. Compression garments are believed to improve venous blood return to the heart and allow for better cardiac output (flow of oxygenated blood from the heart) thereby aiding oxygen delivery to working muscles and increased endurance.

Why The Recovery Sock®

The Recovery Sock’s® advantage is that it’s compression socks incorporate a Patented Graduated Compression design that enhances and stimulates circulation in the lower leg - making it a superior sock. Recovery Sock’s Running and Recovery Socks can help anyone looking for a boost in athletic performance!

Worldwide Patent
Exclusive wicking and antibacterial fiber
Improves oxygen delivery to muscles
Lactic acid production reduced
Proven cramp relief
Tested and used by World Class athletes

I received mine a couple weeks ago and have been wearing them after a run every chance I get, but I didn't have a chance to really put them to the test until this weekend. I headed out for my long run on Saturday, knowing that I had a shorter distance race on Sunday. As a rule, I always take the day off after a long run, so this was going to be an exception and I knew I would be giving my legs a bit of a challenge.

I slipped on my hot pink recovery socks after a shower and kept them on most of the day. First of all, they're super comfy (not to mention sexy) and I did not want to take them off. The best part is, my legs felt fantastic in the morning! No lingering soreness, fatigue or stiffness. During the race on Sunday, I completely forgot that I had run 20K the day before. I'm sold!

I can't wait to really see what these bad boys can do as my long runs increase this summer. They are definitely going to be a staple in my wardrobe.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Wine Country Run Race Report

Our wine weekend started with a trip to the race expo on Saturday afternoon. There wasn't much to see and no race kit or free samples, but we each took home a pair of etched wine glasses, which was a pretty sweet deal. We took advantage of being in wine country and drove into Niagara-on-the-Lake for lunch on a patio. We also stopped by the Hillebrand Winery for a tasting.

After making the hour and thirty minute trek home, we spent the evening wining and dining at our friends' house. We pretty much broke every pre-race rule there is - ate a lot of junk food, drank copious amounts of wine and stayed up too late. We stumbled into bed around midnight, knowing we'd have to be up early to drive into Niagara.

We all felt surprisingly okay this morning as we woke up to a beautiful sunny day made our way back to wine country. We arrived at the designated area in plenty of time to pick up our chips, get organized and attach our "props".

(You'll have to look closely.)

We caught the shuttle to the start line, just 10 minutes or so up the road at the Malivoire Winery where we had about an hour to relax before the start. We enjoyed the scenery and used the time to discuss race strategies wine consumption strategies. It was hot and sunny and we were all relieved to have decided against the half marathon and settled on the 10K.

Soon enough it was time to head down the road about 400m to the starting line. We were stoked and ready to go. And we were off! First stop: Malivoire Winery! Yep, we were already stopping for wine within the first moments of the race. We had to make a pretty significant detour off the route and run all the way up the driveway into the winery for our tasting. Most people ran right by and in fact, we were the first people in there. We were not missing out on any tasting opportunities! *The Malivoire Chardonnay Musqué turned out to be our favourite and we actually drove back to the winery after the race to pick up a couple bottles.*

After sampling a white AND red, we were back on the road. The route was absolutely beautiful with vineyards lining both sides of the road. It certainly wasn't an easy course and it wasn't long before we hit the first monstrous hill.

And it wasn't going to be the last...

We continued on our merry way and pretty soon it was time for our next tasting! The Tawes Winery had some incredible landscaping and this time I sampled a rosé.

Immediately after Tawes, we faced our next major uphill. This one was a killer.

But soon enough, we were rewarded with more wine: Vineland Estates was up next.

And then, you guessed it, another hill.

I was ex-haus-ted and sweating like crazy. Not to mention, feeling a little tipsy. It's amazing how quickly a few sips of wine will go to your head when you're running!

Next stop was Featherstone Estate Winery for some more cool and refreshing white.

Shortly thereafter, we headed into the Ball's Falls Conservation Area for some much-needed shade... and yes, more wine! This one was just set up on the side of the road and I have no idea what kind of wine it was. Oops!

Pretty soon we were heading into the finishing chute and the 4 of us tried to do some crazy jumping thing as we crossed the line - it will be interesting to see how/if that turns out.

Overall: 176/422
F25-29: 21/30
# of wine stops: 5

It was a personal worst by a long shot, but not too bad considering all the stops, alcohol consumption, the difficult course and hot day. It was by far the most fun I have EVER had in a race and this will definitely be a tradition. What a weekend!

Thanks for reading this long-winded report and I apologize if it was incoherent - but, well, I'm sure you'll understand why. Cheers!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Back to my old stomping grounds

My last last long run, excluding races, was April 11th. I love to race, but it was refreshing this morning to wake up at a slightly more reasonable hour (6:30AM) and set out for a long, leisurely run on my own terms. Hubby and I headed to a local park where I ran most of my long runs last summer (it's about an 11K loop). We didn't run together (he was running longer and faster, as usual) but it was nice to start together and see each other a couple times along the way.

It was a beautiful morning for a run, still cool when we started, and it felt great to just run. I love the paved trails through the park, so quiet and peaceful when we started bright and early, gradually getting busier with other runners, cyclists and dog-walkers as the morning went on.

I kept it pretty comfortable, knowing that I have a 10K race tomorrow and ran just over 20K/12mi in about 2 hours.

I made a quick stop at the craft store on the way home for some props for our costumes tomorrow (stay tuned!) and now I'm soaking in a cold tub to refresh my legs before we head to the wine expo for some tastings.

I'll be back with a full report tomorrow. Have a great weekend!

Friday, June 12, 2009

No results

Still no results for Mud Run and it looks like they may or may not be publishing official results.

Mud Run 2009 - 10K Results Notice

As most of the runners in the Mud Run 10K are aware, we had a routing issue at the beginning of your run which caused you to run a route that was not as we had planned. As a result, a large number of the Solo and Team runners ran more or less then 10K, while some runners ran the 10K route as it was planned. We sincerely apologize for this mistake.

We are currently reviewing the finishing times to determine if and how we can rank the 10K runners in the appropriate categories. We will post this information as soon as possible.

Thank you very much for your patience and understanding.

It's annoying, especially since we were really gunning for a top 3 finish, but sh*t happens. There's always next year - hopefully they'll have the "routing issue" figured out by then.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Training plan and mods

I received the schedule for our first four weeks of training.

(Click to enlarge.)

I'm doing a modified version at the moment to incorporate intervals on Wednesdays - this will continue only up until my 5K on July 11. Our "speed work" on Thursdays is mild enough right now that I can handle it the day after a track workout. We'll start ramping it up with longer LT runs and Yassos after the 5K, which works out well.

I'll also be mixing it up this weekend since I'm boozing it up running the Wine Country 10K on Sunday. I plan to run 20K on Saturday (schedule calls for 16, but there's no reason for me to 'step back' right now), so don't expect a PR on Sunday - copious amounts of wine could also have something to do with that.

Tonight with the group I'm looking at a 60-minute timed 'out and back' with negative split: run 30 minutes out at long run pace, turn around and run back at marathon pace.

Something caught my eye on June 21 - looks like we're heading to a local conservation area for our long run, which should be interesting. One of the things I love and appreciate most about this instructor is that he puts a lot of effort into keeping our routes varied. It's extremely rare that we'll run the same long run route twice.

Also, our first run-brunch is already on the calendar for July 5th. We'll be running out to our instructor's gorgeous home in the country where we'll be treated to an amazing spread. How spoiled are we?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Track Take Three

I hit the track after work to tackle the infamous 3 x 1600 workout once again.

It went slightly better than last week.

I felt pretty good during the first set, felt like crap during the second set and almost called it quits then convinced myself I could survive 4 more laps, even though - once again - I was way off target pace.

Here are the stats as compared to last week.

(Target is 1:50/400 = 7:20/1600.)

So, I improved my overall interval time by 9 seconds and my average 1600 by a whopping 3 seconds. Better than nothing?? I'm starting to wonder if my target is too aggressive, but it can't hurt to keep trying (except maybe my morale).

Observation: Tonight I realized that I had to run in lane 2 in order for one complete lap to equal 400m (according to Gsrmin) - is the track playing tricks with me, or was Garmin just trying to make me work harder

The fact that my final 400 was so much faster than the 7 previous laps leads me to believe I had more in me than I thought and let myself slow down too much/too soon. I think I'll try again. (I must be a glutton for punishment!)


In other news, make sure you drop by The Happy Runner to enter a Blogtastic Birthday Bonanza giveaway!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Book Review with a side of DOMS

I mentioned last week that I had won a copy of Running from the Devil by Jamie Freveletti through a Runners' Lounge Giveaway.


Emma Caldridge, a chemist for a cosmetics company, is en route from Miami to Bogotá when her plane is hijacked and spins out of control into the mountains near the Venezuelan border. Thrown unhurt from the wreckage, she can do nothing but watch as guerillas take the others hostage.

An endurance marathon runner, Emma silently trails the guerillas and their captives, using her athletic prowess and scientific knowledge to stay alive. Those skills become essential when she discovers an injured passenger, secret government agent Cameron Sumner, separated from the group. Together they follow the hostages, staying one step ahead by staying one step behind.
Meanwhile, as news of the hijacking breaks in Washington, the Department of Defense turns to Edward Banner, former military and current CEO of a security consulting firm, for help. Banner quickly sends a special task force to the crash site, intent on locating the survivors before it’s too late.

But finding Emma and Sumner is only the beginning, as Banner starts to realize that Emma was on a personal mission when the plane went down. There is more to the beautiful, talented biochemist than anyone ever imagined, for in her possession is a volatile biological weapon in an ingenious disguise, that her enemies have set for auction to the highest bidder.

Visit the website here.

The story is fast-paced and suspenseful and although it is not necessarily about running, ultra-marathoner Emma will make you feel like a wuss the next time you want to complain about being sore/tired/hungry. Definitely recommend!

I woke up today with some delayed onset muscle soreness from Sunday. Apparently barrelling through the woods for 10 8 kilometres can do a number on the body. (STILL waiting on results, btw.) My ankles are a little achy, but my arms are killing me! Must have been from all those times pulling myself out of the water and yanking myself up using ropes. (Note to self: work on uppper body strength.)

Still, I was able to enjoy a moderately paced 8K (5mi) this evening without issue.

Tomorrow it's back to the track!

Monday, June 08, 2009

The Final 10 Challenge

I've jumped on board with Prior Fat Girl and Feed Me I'm Cranky (along with dozens of other bloggers) for The Final 10 Challenge.

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll know that I've recently lost a substantial amount of weight. However, for months I have been stuck at about +10 lbs from a personal goal that I've had for years.

I set a personal goal for myself to reach this weight before September 27th when I run my next marathon. I know, trying to lose weight while training for a marathon = I must be crazy, but I think I can do it. This challenge runs until August 1st so my official goal is to lose 10 lbs by that time and the remaining few lbs by September 27th.

In order to sign up for the challenge (and a chance to win fun prizes), I had to establish:

• A specific goal: 10 lbs by August 1st

• An award for myself: mini shopping spree at my local running store

• The name of a charity to which I will donate $50 if I don’t meet my goal: Team in Training, the national charity partner for my goal race

The challenge kicked off on June 1st and I’ve lost 2.6 lbs in week one. (I won’t be expecting numbers like that every week!)

I'll be checking in at Challenge Headquarters every Monday and posting mini updates here too. I need all the accountability I can get!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Off the Beaten Path: MudRun Race Report!

2008 edition here.

We picked up our friends and rolled into the Claireville Conservation Area around 8:30 this morning. We scored a great parking spot right near the start so we were able to keep warm and dry in the car after picking up our kits. It was a cool and damp morning, but after last year's scorching heat we were not complaining.

Before shot of Team Nucking Futs.

The race started 15 minutes late due to late registrations and kit pick-up (just like last year). It's a great event, but pretty unorganized.

We finally got started and followed the first part of the route along a dirt road. We had been told that we would run an out-and-back along this road for the first 2.5K, but within about 1K we were directed onto a trail in the woods by a course marshall. Big oops! We would find out later on that this trail was for the 5K runners only and we should have continued straight until a turn-around point.

We continued along narrow trails in the woods and through fields of tall grass, avoiding logs and brush blocking the trail. We navigated sharp turns and rugged terrain while facing several short, steep climbs (some of which offering a rope to pull ourselves up) and descents.

During the first half of the race we ran past the start/finish area where we climbed through tires and over a stack of haybales. I totally wiped out climbing down jumping off the hay and scuffed up my hands and knees. Fortunately, I didn't get trampled and someone stopped to help me up.

It wasn't long before we realized that we probably weren't following the correct route. Around 5K (according to my Garmin) a race official finally informed us that we had run the second half of the course and would now be directed to run the first part.

We encountered four river crossings along the way, one waist-deep. The trails became muddier and muddier as soaking wet runners slogged through. After one river crossing, we had to clamber up a steep muddy embankment which I continued sliding down until my teammates yanked me up.

Pretty soon we could hear the crowd at the finish line. I glanced at my watch and realized that our 'modified' course was under 8K (supposed to be 10). I was barely tired, which was somewhat disappointing. Last year I could barely stand up straight at the end. Also, the short course means we can't compare to our previous time, although I know we would have slaughtered it even on the full course.

We plowed through the mud pit of questionable content (it smelled like manure, so we were quite possible rolling in dung), hubby losing a shoe along the way.

Team Nucking Futs crossed the mat at just over 50 minutes (still waiting on official results).

My shoes have seen better days.

We showered off and changed into clean clothes, although we were still pretty muddy as we piled into the car. I'm pretty sure we scared off some customers when we stopped at Hero Burger for some lunch.

Despite the chaos, this is one of my favourite events and we're already talking about next year. But right now, I think I have some laundry to do.