Friday, July 30, 2010

Early Bird

As planned, I was up and at 'em in the middle of the night at 3:30 this morning. Hubs joined me, even though he didn't have to since he has the day off. (And you thought I was crazy!) At least he gets to take a nap while I'm forced to lean back in my chair and put my feet up plough through the work on my desk.

Juliana decided to join me and it was great to have company in the dark morning hours (hubs ran with us for the first little while as well). Imagine, 3 crazies running through the park at 4:30 in the morning! (and I thought Goofy started early!) It felt like we had the world to ourselves and while we ran right through the sunrise, it still came as a surprise when suddenly our surroundings were lit up with daylight.

We were treated to a pleasant chill in the air (about 16C/61F) and felt great throughout the run, picking it up for the final stretch. Definitely a good start to my day!

21K/13mi (step-back week) - 2:05:20... all before 6:30AM.

So 21K is doable before work... I should be all set when it shows up in my MWML run schedule a few weeks from now.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1. For years I have made comments to those of you who run in the morning regularly, claiming that I would love to do it but I "just can't get out of bed." As it turns out, I've proven not only that I can, but that I will! Just like those MWML runs can become routine, so can the early wake-up calls. Interestingly, 5AM felt like sleeping in this morning for a 5K recovery run with hubs; a few 100 metre strides thrown in felt great on the legs.

2. We're taking off for a big family long-weekend camping trip tomorrow so I'll be getting my long run done before work. We'll see how I feel about those early mornings when the alarm goes off at 3:30AM...

3. Muskoka Sprint Tri photos are in!

Happy Thursday (almost Friday)!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


When I had my first look at the training plan hubs was kind enough to create for me, the mid-week medium-long (MWML) runs jumped out as the most intimidating. My first thought was, 'You want me to run HOW far? On WEDNESDAY?'

I should mention that hubs has created multiple training plans for me in the past and I have yet to follow through with one. I've always slacked off, done my own thing and/or stuck with the schedule provided by the clinic/group I train with (less aggressive). This year, I decided that I wanted to take my training to the next level; higher mileage, longer/more tempo runs and yes, MWML runs! Hubs patiently and painstakingly created yet another schedule for me (probably thinking I wonder if she'll actually follow this one...), loosely based on one of the Pfitz plans. I requested some tweaks here and there, incorporated my planned races and added a few others that hubs suggested for pacing and tune-up purposes.

So here we are in week 4 and I've been following the plan to a T (much to hubs' surprise and delight!). My tempo runs (and cruise intervals) have been going great and I've successfully completed four MWML runs of 16K (10mi). Suddenly, they aren't so intimidating anymore. This just feels like routine... 4:30AM wake-ups and all!

This morning I was out the door by 5. The cool, crisp air from yesterday was nowhere to be found, but it didn't feel too bad out there. The first few clicks felt slow and sluggish as I gradually woke up and shook out some lingering fatigue from yesterday's workout. I enjoyed the quiet, peaceful streets, alone with my thoughts on anything and everything... or sometimes nothing at all! Before I knew it, I was back on my door step.

16.0K - 9.94mi - 1:33:31

Next week I increase to 18K and soon enough I'll find myself running half marathon distance on Wednesdays. There's nowhere to go but forward and I know I'll get there, one run at a time.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cruisin' Tuesday

First, a quick recap of Sunday's long run: After the 5K race on Saturday, followed by a long drive home and a late night, I was somewhat nervous about how 25K/15.5mi was going to feel bright and early Sunday morning. Even as I headed out the door, all I could think was 'This is the last thing I want to be doing right now.' Fortunately I had some awesome people waiting for me, and they made me feel better immediately. I set out with three others from my pace group and the conversation flowed as the miles ticked by. The air was cooler and less humid than it has been; along with a nice breeze, it felt just about perfect. One of our runners had left cold water and some candy for us around 16K, which gave us a nice boost to finish strong. I found myself expecting to wear out, but surpriginly felt great all the way to the end.

25.5K/15.8mi in 2:26:29 - 5:45/KM = 9:15/mi

After a night of tossing and turning, the alarm came early this morning. I decided to shake things up with Cruise Intervals this week instead of the usual Tempo Tuesday.

If Sunday felt cool, today was downright frigid at 16C (61F) with no humidity. How refreshing to feel a chill in the air for a change!

The workout: 5 x 2000m at 5:00/KM (8:03/mi) or faster with 45-second recoveries

3K warm-up in 18:39

Set 1 - 4:55, 4:58

45-second recovery jog

Set 2 - 4:59, 4:52

45-second recovery jog

Set 3 - 4:59, 5:00

45-second recovery jog

Set 4 - 5:00, 4:56

45-second recovery jog

Set 5 - 4:59, 4:47

Average interval pace - 4:56/KM (7:56/mi)

I felt good throughout and feel confident that I'll be able to tackle a continuous 10K tempo run in a couple of weeks. If only the cool mornings would stick around!

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Muskoka Sprint Triathlon Relay - Race Report

I spent Saturday in Huntsville (2 hours north of here) to participate in the Muskoka Sprint Triathlon as a relay team (go Cheetah Chasers!) with my friend Erin.

With the race starting at 4PM, we had plenty of time in the afternoon to scope things out, get set up and for Erin to go for a warm-up swim and ride. The temperature felt pretty comfortable with low humidity and overcast skies; definitely decent conditions for racing, though Erin was not-so-secretly wishing it were warmer. Unfortunately (for me) it heated up a lot as the day went on and the sun came out right on time. *grumble*

I ran into Mel a couple of times while we lingered around. It was great to see her again, chat for a bit and exchange good lucks.

We met up with some of Erin's friends for lunch and quickly found time getting away from us. Before we knew it, we had an hour til the start and we still had to be body-marked (my first time - pretty neat!), pick up our timing chip and get changed. It was definitely more hectic than we had intended, but things went pretty smoothly and we made it to the swim start (about a 1K walk down the road since it was a point-to-point) with time to spare.

We found Erin's friends again and sat on the grass for a bit listening to announcements and chatting about the race. Before long, the girls wriggled into their wetsuits and made their way into the water. I stood by watching the multitude of colourful swim caps bobbing in the water.

Just after the first wave started, Erin came running out of the water toward me. She looked frantic and asked, "Can you get to transition and back in 9 minutes?" I was off and running as she yelled from behind that she had forgotten her goggles. Crap! I sprinted the kilometre of so down the road and into transition, tossed everything all over the place while rifling through her bag for the goggles, then headed back to the start as fast as my legs would carry me. I was gasping and wheezing, running in a full out sprint against traffic (since most waves had started, everyone was making their way to watch the swim exit). I made it back to Erin with about 30 seconds to spare. The announcer made a big fuss over it as Erin ran back into the water to swim her way over to the starting line.

Definitely not the ideal way to start a race and I was really worried about how tired and stressed out Erin would be starting her swim in such a panic. I made my way back along the river slowly, trying to cool down and catch my breath. It certainly wasn't the warm-up I had in mind, but I was relieved to have made it in time.

I grabbed some water and used the washroom back at the main area before watching for athletes making their way out of the water. I got to see Mel as she ran toward transition - she was looking great!

Pretty soon I spotted Erin coming out of the water, wetsuit already halfway off. I could tell that she was a little run down from the swim, but she still looked good and I tried to give her some support as she ran by. I knew she was going to make up some serious time on the bike, and that's what I told her.

750m swim - 23:00 - 8/12
Once she was in transition, I bolted to the bike start so I could see her pedal off. I made sure to check my watch so I would know where to expect her back for my run.

T1 - 1:26

Once the majority of the athletes had picked up their bikes, I was able to head into transition and get ready. There wasn't much to do except position myself at our rack and fire up the Garmin. I also scoped out the other relay runners waiting for their teammates. Interestingly, Survivorman Les Stroud was competing on the bike as part of a team - we totally beat them!

Preparing for a 5K race so late in the day and not knowing exactly when I was going to start definitely complicated my usual routine, especially when it came to eating and drinking throughout the day. I ate a relatively light lunch and tried to make sure I was drinking water continuously, especially since it had warmed up so much.

I saw Mel again as she ran out of transition and wished her good luck on the run. She asked me not to kick her ass too hard, but at that point she was kicking enough ass for both of us!

Erin rocked on the bike and returned right on schedule. I was so excited to see her coming!

20K bike - 43:21 - 4/12

I was able to remove the timing chip from Erin's ankle and strap it on mine as she racked her bike. We had planned this out and it went quickly and smoothly. I was out of there in no time.

T2 - 0:35

Now it was time for me to run! I didn't have any expectations, especially since we were told repeatedly by the announcers that this was "the most challenging run course" in the Suburu Triathlon Series. Based on the tough course, the time of day and my little 2K sprint, I knew a PR wasn't in the card. I planned to run hard, have fun and do the best I could.

It was a two loop course with two 180-degree turn-arounds in each loop.

And the hills! There were a few good ones on the route and of course we hard to run them twice! This meant we got to run down as well, so I tried to make up time on the downhills as much as possible.

Luckily the course wasn't too crowded and I was able to find my pace easily. Starting the run as a relay participant meant that I was on much fresher legs than the majority of the runners out there, and I was passing people all over the place.

I was all decked out in my cheetah skirt, pink CEP socks and a hot pink tank top and got a ton of comments from spectators and other runners. Once guy looked at me as I was passing him and said, "That's a great outfit, but I can't let my kids see you passing me!" (I still passed him!) It was a lot of fun and helped keep my mind off how tired I was as those hills just kept coming.

I got to see Erin and the gang around 3K. They were cheering and ringing cowbells, which was a great boost. I also got to see Mel a few times on the out-and-backs. She looked strong, although she told me after that she was not feeling well at all.

Finally, the finish line was just around the corner and I was able to give it one final push, with my last kilometre being the fastest (4:40).

As I crossed the finish line, the announcer once again recounted the incident with the goggles and everyone cheered.

5K run - 24:27 - 2/12*

* The fastest relay runner posted a time of 15:02 (!!!) and I figured he had only run one loop of the course. Sure enough, his team's results were quickly changed to DQ. So technically I finished 1/11, although they did not update the results to reflect that.

Cheetah Chasers overall time - 1:32:47 - 3/12

That's right, we placed third overall in the relay! They didn't hand out finishers medals, but I still ended up with some more bling for the collection!

It was such a fun experience and something I would love to do again. Of course, the question of the day was: "So, when are you going to complete a full triathlon?" My answer: Not yet!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Five Photo Friday

Yet another early evening run yesterday and yet another sweat-fest. A little over 10K with some great company (including Juliana who hung in there for what turned out to be one tough run).

During both Wednesday's 10-miler and last night's run, my legs felt as though they were on the verge of cramping up. I was able to shake it out both times, but unfortunately neglected to take any precautionary measures. Last night, about an hour post-run, my muscles in both legs ceased up in tight and painful cramps. After a few moments of misery, they finally subsided and I was able to hobble my way into an epsom bath for relief. I also popped a SaltStick cap (better late than never?) before bed.

This is something I've never really dealt with before and it seems my body is reacting to the constantly hot and humid weather and excessive sweating that comes along with it. I'm going to start taking the salt caps a bit more liberally over the next little while to keep the cramps at bay.

I'm planning to head out for a short run after work today and I'll be racing a 5K tomorrow as part of a relay team for the Muskoka Sprint Triathlon. The race starts at 4PM (and I won't be running until closer to 5) so Sunday's long run is sure to be interesting.


And now for Five Photo Friday, RunningLaur-style. Some snapshots from last weekend's adventures at Bruce Peninsula National Park.

I love lakes

We hiked to this beautiful almost tropical-looking place known as "The Grotto"

Crystal clear and ice cold waters of Georgian Bay

View from the bluffs

Sunset Silhouettes

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1. On Tuesday night, my Mom and I had awesome seats (4th row!!) at the Bon Jovi/Kid Rock concert. It was an excellent show! I danced and screamed and sang all night long and got home covered in grime and sweat, totally exhausted, with a scratchy voice and ringing in my ears. Of course I loved every minute of it! It was a very late night (1:30AM - I've been going to bed by 9:30 lately!) so needless to say, there was no morning run on Wednesday.

2. I had 8PM dinner plans with Juliana and the gang last night, which meant I needed to head out for my 10-miler right after work in the early evening heat. It was not pleasant! Fortunately I was able to meet up with our local run club and had some company for the last 10K. It felt like a slog, but turns out that my average pace was actually quicker than the last two Wednesdays.

3. Tonight is clinic night and the group will be tackling hill repeats. I'm opting out because I don't believe in them given the amount of hills we run on a regular basis, especially during our long runs. Hill repeats aggravate my IT band and it's not worth it to me to risk injury. Myself and a few others will head out for a steady run instead. With tempo runs on Tuesdays and medium-long runs on Wednesdays, I really should be taking it easy on Thursday anyways.

Happy Thursday (almost Friday)!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tempo Tuesday

It's Tuesday and you know what that means - Tempo Time!

After two weeks of 6K (3.7mi) tempo runs, this morning I increased to 8K (5mi). At the end last week's run, an extra 2K seemed impossible; turns out, it wasn't!

The cooler temp (and no humidity for a change) felt fantastic and surely helped... a good reminder that we just have to hang in there through these summer months and it will pay off in the fall.

I always feel heavy and sluggish during the warm-up - I think my legs just need some time to wake-up given the 5:20AM start.

Off we go...

3K warm-up @ 18:21

Target Tempo Pace = 5:00/KM or faster

5:04 - legs needed a little more time to wake up
5:00 - perfect: learn this pace!
5:01 - needed a quick and desperate potty stop, took a sec to find the rhythm again
4:49 - had to make up for the stop!
4:48 - last one has to be the fastest!

Average tempo pace: 4:56/KM (=7:56/mi).

I love getting these done in the morning so I don't have to think about it all day long. Tempo runs are the ones I dread anticipate the most, and they're also the most rewarding.

What did you accomplish before 6:30 AM?

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Ferrari and the Jeep

We had a fantastic time camping this weekend with plenty of hiking, swimming, eating, drinking and campfires. The weather was perfect and the park was beautiful.

On both Saturday and Sunday morning, hubs and I set out for a run through the woods. There was a trail from our campground all the way around Cyprus Lake for a nice 5K loop. The trail was well marked and easy to follow along the shore-line, with a constant view of the lake.

Before pic:

The trail was relatively mild in some spots...

And more rugged in others:

We stopped for a few photo ops along the way:

Can you spot me?

After pic:

On this very rare occasion, I found myself leading the way with hubs trailing behind me. I have no fear on the trails and loved every minute of it, bounding through the woods, leaping over and around obstacles, while he stepped carefully along behind me. At one point, as I looked back over my shoulder to see how far behind he was, hubs called out "I'm a Ferrari, not a Jeep!" Apparently, I'm a Jeep!

It was the perfect way to start both days. After
Friday's long run, the variety of terrain and slower pace felt amazing on my legs. Jumping straight in the lake after each run felt pretty great too!

I hope everyone had a great weekend! I'll be catching up soon.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

CEP Winner

Thanks to everyone who entered to win a pair of CEP Compression Socks.

Congratulations to:

Lacey @ Common Objects and Everyday Events

Friday, July 16, 2010

TGIF - A few quick things!

First - I was featured in an article for an ongoing marathoning series in the "Life" Section of the Globe & Mail yesterday. You can check out the article on the subject of tune-up races online here!

This afternoon we're headed to the beautiful Bruce Peninsula National Park of Canada for a fun camping weekend with our friends D & S.

From the Wine Country Run last year.

Hubs and I took advantage of having today off to get our long runs done before hitting the road. We set out at 5AM (nothing like waking up at 4AM on your day off) at our usual park and trail system. It worked well to leave the car in the parking lot as a water drop. The plan was 27K (16.7mi) with the last 16K (10mi) at MRP. We ran the first 11 together (some of which with Juliana who we ran into during her own morning run), made a quick pit stop at the car, then went our separate ways for the remainder at race pace.

Goal pace: 5:30/KM (8:51/mi)
Average pace: 5:39/KM (9:05/mi) for 15K (9.3mi)*

My average for the first 10 was 5:32/KM, but I slowed down a lot on the back end. The sun had come up, I was a hot, sweaty mess and my legs were dead. It has only been 5 days since my last long run, so I have run 81K (50mi) in the last 6 days. These legs are feeling it and it's no surprised that this was such a struggle.

*I cut the run short by a kilometre because I found myself back at the car, hubs was already done, I had run out of water and I was simply zapped.

Overall, I'll consider it a moderate success... and with this run, I have officially surpassed 1000 miles so far this year!

And now I'm ready to get this weekend started! I soaked in a cold bath for 15 minutes, so hopefully my legs won't hate me too much on the 4-hour drive later today.

Have a great weekend and don't forget that today is your last chance to enter the CEP Giveaway!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I'll show you mine if you show me yours...

Between hubs and I, we have an abundance of medals in our house! Around here, we collect bling at most races, even 5K's and 10K's. As you can see, we've accumulated quite the pile since our first race in September 2007.

Yes, unfortunately they are hidden away in a shoebox.

Here are mine alone (all 26 if them!):

Some faves:

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront - My first marathon (Sep. '08)

A Mid Summer Night's Run - Certainly not my best race, but the bling was nice! (Aug. '09)

Rock 'n' Roll Seattle - this one is HEAVY! (Jun. '10)

And of course the
Goofy Challenge (Jan. '10)

What do you do with your medals?

I would love to display them somehow... I just don't know where to start!


Let's see your medals! Whether they're prominently displayed or hidden away in a shoebox like ours, I want to see them! I challenge you to snap a pic and post on your blog. Feel free to spotlight some of your faves.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Great way to start my day!

After last week's episode, I was less than ecstatic to walk out the door pre-5AM into 94% humidity. Temps are lower in the morning, but the air is so much thicker. Still, I enjoy the lingering darkness, the quiet streets and the satisfaction of putting in a solid run before 6:30AM. I've never been much of a morning runner during the week, but I have really taken a liking to it (with the exception of those first few moments when the alarm goes off and I have to drag myself out of bed). I also love having my evenings free to get things done or just relax at home.

Fortunately I did not experience the same nausea as last week. My clothes were soaked through within minutes, but I felt pretty decent throughout the run and after.

16.0K (~10mi) in 1:32:21.

How did you start your day?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tempo Tuesday Take Two

After the hellish weather we had last week, this morning's 20C (68F) felt alright, though it was still pretty humid at 88% with a dew point of 18C (64F).

But enough about the weather!

Yesterday I mentioned to hubs that I hoped my tempo run would feel easier this week given the temperature. He quickly advised me that I don't want it to feel easier... instead, I should be able to run faster at the same effort level.

Point taken!

3K warm-up @ 18:42

Target Tempo Pace = 5:00/KM or faster


Average tempo pace: 4:54/KM (=7:53/mi).

Last week's average: 5:05/KM (=8:11/mi)

It actually felt pretty good. I took a super quick breather after the 4th to gulp some water and didn't feel nauseous this time, which is a plus! The last K seemed to go on forever (doesn't it always?) but it felt fantastic to finish strong.

Next week's tempo increases to 8K. *gulp*

But first... 10 miles before work again tomorrow.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Rebecca Run 5K Race Report

Thank you for all your comments on yesterday's post and for re-affirming that 1 second counts!

It was a hot day for racing at 10AM, especially compared to last year's pouring rain (I would have gladly taken rain yesterday). As I mentioned on Thursday, I didn't have high expectations for a PR given my lack of focused speed work since the Mississauga Marathon in May and Seattle Rock 'n' Roll Marathon two weeks ago. I still decided to go for it and of course I'm glad I did!

Here's how it went down.

The race takes place just minutes from home at a local park where we run weekly. I love racing in familiar territory, especially at an event where most of the community is involved and many of my running buddies are also participating.

Hubs and I showed up about an hour early, just in time to see the 3K fun run. We met up with many of our friends and chatted away for a bit. I got some comments on my cheetah skirt and explained that I hoped it would help me channel some speed.

The sun was out in full force and it was already feeling very hot. We sought out some shade and sat down for a bit before it was time to warm-up. A few others joined in as we set out for a short jog and some strides. The sun did not feel good and it certainly wasn't an ideal morning for running/racing. What can you do? After a potty break, it was time to line up!

Hubs didn't sign up this year, but was going to pace me bandit-style (shhhh!) and jumped in about 200m into the race. And thank goodness he did! I got caught up in the crowd taking off and glanced down to see 4:00/km (6:26/mi) pace - Okay, reel it in!

Things were quickly under control with hubs by my side and we settled into the planned 4:30/KM pace. It still felt hard and I knew it was going to be a tough one.

The 1K marker came quickly, but not easily. Hubs told me later that he was concerned about how hard I was breathing so early. We made our way along the winding park paths, passing occasionally and being passed occasionally. Some friends were out on the course cheering and it was great to see them, even if all I could manage was a half-wave. I struggled to keep my feet moving as we passed the 2K marker.

It was hot and the sun showed no mercy. We enjoyed shade briefly here and there, but there wasn't much relief. My mouth was dry and I asked hubs to grab me a cup of water around the half way point. I tried to gulp some (mostly unsuccessfully) and dumped the rest on my head.

Around 3K there was a sharp 180-degree turn-around, which nearly killed me. We were forced to slow down so much to make the turn and it was extremely difficult to find my speed again. When the 3K marker came ~500m late, I had a moment of panic that the course would be long. For a brief instant I thought 'In that case, I'm out!' but I continued chasing my personal pacer who was pulling ahead as I slowed down.

Pump, pump, pump! Push, push, push! Huff, huff, huff! Run, run, run!

Hubs pointed out a couple of ladies ahead and I wanted to catch them, but my legs had nothing left to give. I finally gained on one and squeezed by as we rounded a bend and headed into the woods on a narrow section of boardwalk. Another lady stopped abruptly for a walk break right ahead of us, causing us to nearly topple over her, but at least I was able to pass her!

We were on our way to the finish and I could hear the crowd as we burst off the board walk. When I finally saw the finish line and rounded the last bend, I glanced down at my Garmin and knew it was going to be extremely close. I found a sprint and gunned it in as fast as my legs would carry me.

Damn, 5K's are hard!!!

Gun Time: 22:39
Chip Time: 22:35
Overall: 22/318
Females: 4/192
F25:29: 1/24

I was pumped to win my age group for the third year in a row, but missed 3rd overall female by... well, nothing! We had identical chip times, but her gun time was 1 second faster. Bummer!

Thumbs up while waiting for the awards.

Posing with the mascot and race director.

During this morning's long run, my legs "gently" reminded me of the effort they had put forth the day before. The last 10K were a struggle, but as usual, good friends kept me company and helped me get it done.

24.5K = 15.2mi ... 2:22:34 ... 5:50/km = 9:21/mi

Saturday, July 10, 2010

1 second!

Rebecca Run 5K


A 1 second PR and 1st in my AG!

Friday, July 09, 2010

CEP Compression Socks Giveaway!

CEP Compression has generously offered to sponsor a giveaway for one pair of Running O2 Compression Socks.

If you missed it, make sure you check out my review here.

My hot pink CEP's were in action again in Seattle:

(don't mind me trying to smile with a mouthful of post-race food!)

To enter:

1. Let me know which colo(u)r you would choose if you win.

2. Follow CEP on Twitter.

3. Like CEP on Facebook.

4. Follow this blog (or let me know if you already do).

5. Spread the word via Twitter, Facebook or your blog!

6. One bonus entry will be rewarded to everyone who commented on yesterday's post before Midnight EST.

7. TWO bonus entries for the first to comment on this post!

You do not need to leave separate comments - I will be compiling entries in a spreadsheet.

Giveaway ends Friday, July 16th!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Three Things Thursday

It's been a while since I've posted my own Three Things Thursday a la Redhead, so here goes.

1. The heat wave continues, but today I opted out of the early run in order to run with my clinic group tonight. I'm sure I'll be regretting that right around 7PM when it's still 30+C (86F) and closer to 40C (104F) with the humidity. I've missed the last two weeks due to Seattle and Canada Day, so I'm looking forward to seeing everyone and catching up, even if it's going to be one miserable run.

2. This Saturday is Rebecca Run 5K. It's a nice local event that takes place on the park trails where hubs and I run several times a week. It has grown in recent years, but still only has a couple hundred participants (read: good shot at placing!) In 2008 I won my age group and last year I was first overall female. I am definitely not expecting that again (last year I got lucky in terms of the field that showed up), but I still hope to place well and hopefully squeeze out a new PR of sub-22:36.

I don't have high expectations given that I have not trained specifically for a 5K, having run marathons in both May and June. It also looks like it will be a pretty hot day, especially with the 10AM start (it was cold and rainy last year). Hopefully my legs will find their speed!

3. Giveaway coming up tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Happy Thursday (almost Friday)!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010


As part of this training cycle, I will be incorporating medium-long runs mid-week for the first time. This is something hubs has always done and I remember thinking he was nuts to be heading out for double-digits (in miles!) every Wednesday. Well, look at me now!

I'll be starting with 10-milers (16K) and building up to 13 (21K). At this point I can't begin to imagine running that distance on a Wednesday, but like anything, I will get there gradually.

Today I had my first 16K on deck and the heat wave continues so 5AM seemed like the best option once again. It was still dreadfully hot/humid when I set out, but more bearable than the evening would be.

I felt pretty good through the first half, but really felt it toward the end. I FAILED in the route-planning department and had an almost non-stop climb for the last 3K. I paused a few times, but felt sick and dizzy each time so I just kept on going (slowly!) to get it done.

I don't think I have ever felt as sick after a run as I did when I got back to the house. All I could do was lie down until it (mostly) passed so I could get ready for work. I felt nauseous in the car and had to run into the washroom when I got to the office. Apparently my stomach wanted to eliminate some excess liquid! (Ew.) I felt somewhat better after that, but still light headed and woozy in general. Finally, 4 hours post-run, I am starting to feel better.

I drank plenty of water during and after the run, but I neglected to take Nuun or Salt Stick for electrolytes. Lesson learned!

16.0K (~10mi) in 1:34:49. I'm glad that's done! Now I'm ready for a nap.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Tempo Tuesday

We've been hit hard with a heat wave this week with temps of 32C (90F) and up, feeling more like 42C (108F) with the humidity.

Last I checked, we live in Canada!

Today marks my first week of official training for the Toronto Marathon on October 17th and my first run called for a 6K (~4.5mi) tempo. I figured my best option for a successful run would be dark o'thirty this morning. The alarm went of at 4:30 and I even convinced hubs to join me.

We managed to beat some of the heat and the sun, but there was no reprieve from the humidity. It was only 21C (70F) when we set out at 4:50AM, but felt like 32C (90F) given the 89% humidity.

Hubs and I started our warm-up together but soon parted ways to complete our respective workouts. I took it slow for a 3K warm-up, willing my body to acclimate to the conditions. I was soaked from head to toe before I even started the tempo portion.

Off we go!

3K warm-up @ 18:56

Target Tempo Pace = 5:00/KM

5:09 - okay, legs feel good. just have to fight the humidity.
5:09 - where's my oxygen tank?
4:59 - no way could I run 6K at this pace today!
5:07 - stopped for a super quick breather and gulp of water, immediately felt sick. uh-oh...
5:10 - eased off a bit for the first half until I started feeling okay again. almost done.
4:56 - one more K. push, push, push.

And done! Average tempo pace: 5:05/KM.

I'm definitely pleased with how this went. I expected worse based on the weather but managed to hang in there pretty close to target pace. On a typical day, I know I can nail sub-5:00 splits. Hopefully next Tuesday will be a little cooler!

Monday, July 05, 2010

My first triathlon

Don't get too excited - I have not moved to the dark side, but I did have my first triathlon experience yesterday; hubs and I were spectating at my friend L's first tri. It was a few hours out of town, so we camped out over night and had a chance to spend some time on Saturday by the lake and around a camp fire.

Yesterday was an early morning as we had to pack up the tent at 6am to hit the road for the event. We decided to go super early with L to ensure that we found parking, to keep her company and hopefully help keep the nerves at bay!

I have to admit, it was pretty neat checking out the set-up and constantly asking our friend E how everything works. (But no, I'm not getting any ideas!)

L was most nervous about the bike (20K for this try-a-tri) and it looked like it was going to be a lonely stretch of road, so hubs and I planned to run out on the course and hopefully spot her twice. It was an extremely hot and sunny day (Southern Ontario has been hit with a heat wave) and running about 8K or so in the middle of the morning just about killed me.

Don't worry, I still had some energy for cheering and cowbell-ringing.

We got to see L twice as planned. She was doing awesome and biking much faster than she had anticipated, so she surprised us both times. (Note: it's a lot harder spotting someone on a bike than running! They're moving much faster and they all look the same!)

We booked it back to the finish line (about 5K) hoping to make it in time, but L flew through the rest of the bike ride and her run, so we didn't get to see her cross the line. It was exciting to take part in the day, cheer for our friend and see how this crazy triathlon business works. Congrats to L!

Friday, July 02, 2010

Inaugural Canada Day Beer Mile

Hubs and I host an annual Canada Day party and we decided to shake things up this year by adding our first ever Beer Mile.

We live on a crescent street about 300m around, so we had everyone run 4 laps, drinking a can of beer (or whatever they could manage!) before each lap. This was definitely an "unofficial" mile with very relaxed rules, but it was a riot watching everyone chugging drinks on our driveway then running like maniacs around the block. We had a few "non-runner" participants and plenty of spectators/photographers, which made it even more fun.

Here I am, all ready to go. Yes - I wore my Seattle race bib and medal the entire time and that's my Brooks VIP toilet paper... just in case. Oh, and I'm drinking a Vex vodka cooler instead of beer. (I told you we relaxed the rules!)

Proof that I actually drank beer (I hate it):

Some axtion shots:

We had ribbons!

The aftermath:

2010 Beer Milers!

This is definitely going to be an annual tradition!

Happy (belated) Canada Day


Happy 4th of July!