Wednesday, July 1, 2015

June Review

June 2015 
Ran 12 times for 65.2 km. Longest run 9k
+2 Learn To Run sessions that didn’t involve tracking distance
Ran 2 races – Police Chase June 14; Ocean Breeze June 20

June 2014
Ran 6 times for 32.74 km. Longest run 10k

June Review

I didn't quite meet my June goals of running 15 times for 75 km, but I did meet my longest run goal.  I had a lot of fun at both races, even if my time wasn't what I wanted it to be.  I'm still happy with the month overall, especially since we has so many end of school year activities scheduled that I worked around.  I did end the month with my first attempt at running up a hill just for the sake of running up a hill.  There is a nice short but steep hill behind Liam's school that is going to be my "hill" run.  I made it up twice without walking.  I almost threw up on the second attempt, which is why I only did it twice on my first time out.

July Goals

Run 15 times for 90 km. Longest run 13k

July plans

I have no races planned for July.  My focus is going to be to keep increasing my mileage for my long runs and doing more hill/speed work during the week.  I won't get faster if I don't run fast.  And my goal  this week is to conquer the steep hill 3 times. - hopefully without throwing up!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Ocean Breeze Recap

Normally I like to write up my race recaps on the day of the race.  It’s all fresh in my mind and easy to put into word.  Except the Ocean Breeze this year.  I’ve really been struggling with writing this one up.  For one thing, this is the first race where I didn’t take a single picture.  Since this race is put on by Liam’s school and I’m on the race committee, I spent a lot of time before and after the actual race helping out – getting runners their kits and timers, marshalling for the kids run and the 5k walk – so I didn’t bother with pictures.

But the main reason is that I’m so very disappointed in my time.  This was my slowest 5k yet.  It seems that the more I train and the more I run, the slower I get. 

I have lots of excuses – lack of sleep, busy all morning volunteering before the race, poor breakfast choice, it was hot….. but really, they just come down to excuses.

My focus now is to get over myself, and just keep running.  Even if I'm slow, I'm still moving.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Halifax Police Chase 5k

I ran the 5k Halifax Police Chase this morning.  It's a great fundraiser for Special Olympics Nova Scotia.  This was a fun, non-timed race with a great twist.  The police officers got a head start from the runners and we had to "catch" them.  If you caught up to a cop you got a "ticket" that you could enter in a draw at the end of the race.  I managed to get 5 tickets during my run.

It was a great turnout and beautiful weather.  It was cool and overcast before we started and everyone was getting cold.  There was a collective sigh from hundreds of people when the clouds parted and the sun came out.

I did get thrown into the mobile jail for awhile, but a nice officer eventually let me out. 

At the finish line I was presented my medal by one of the Special Olympic athletes.  The medals are pretty awesome!  There is a button and battery on the back so that the lights on the police car flash red and blue.

Monday, June 1, 2015

May Running Update


May 2015 
Ran 11 times for 50.3 km. Longest run 7k
+ 5 Learn To Run sessions that didn’t involve tracking distance
Ran 1 race – NS Lung Run May 2nd

May 2014
Ran 11 times for 55.34 km. Longest run 9k

May Review

In May 2014 I was training for my first 10k on June 14 so it makes sense that my longer runs were longer. I’m only 3 weeks into my half-marathon training and my distance is only planned for 6k on my long runs right now.

The weather was near perfect in May. Not too hot and NO ICE! I did have a hard run on the one day that was 25°C. I need to remember to better hydrate before I run and to carry water with me when it is hot out.

I missed skipped my long run this past weekend. My knee was bothering me from having sat on horrible bleachers for 2 hours at Monster Truck Jam (which was awesome and worth it) and it was pouring rain and cold out. Normally I don’t mind running in the rain, but the cold and limping around on a bum knee didn’t seem like the best time to head out and run 6k. So I nursed my knee with an analgesic rub and a heating pad.  I will make up the long run one night this week.

June Goals
Run 15 times for 75 km. Longest run 9k
+ 2 Learn to Run Sessions
Run 2 5k Races

June plans

There are 2 Learn to Run sessions left in June. Our trainer Rakel has been away for the past 3 sessions, so it will be great to get in 2 more sessions with her. My plans for June are to include some of the tips and techniques that Rakel has taught us, including doing more regular speed work sessions. Soon I need to add hill run sessions too, but one thing at a time.

I have signed up for two 5k races this month – the Police Chase on June 14 and of course the Ocean Breeze on June 20th. While I did the 10k for the Ocean Breeze last year, I decided to stick with the 5k this year. I think I was slightly traumatized by the weather and the hills last year! My half-marathon training plan doesn’t have me running 10k till the first week of July also, so I’m not going to push things to early.

I'm looking forward to some great runs in June, I don't have any plans to PR at either races, but really just want to enjoy the experience of both.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

No more timer

When I started running with my first learn to run program 3 years ago, I was introduced to the walk/run interval method. In running circles, it’s often referred to as the Jeff Galloway method. There are many reasons to use it, including conservation of resources, quicker recovery and improving overall time. For me, it was a great way to start; I couldn’t run more than a minute at a time in the beginning anyway, so it allowed me to build up a base.

I stuck with the walk/run method throughout the next 2 years, never going past 9 minutes of running before taking my one minute walk break. I found an app that I could set and it would beep a horn when it was time to run and a group of people would sigh when it was time to walk (and they even cheered for me at the very end of the run!)

When I started back to running this year, I went back to what I knew, dialing my running time back to 4 minute intervals, knowing that I had lost a lot of my endurance over the months of inactivity. I found that I was a slave to the timer, regardless of what my body was saying. I was hesitant to set the intervals past 4 minutes, because in my head I didn’t think I could do it. 4 minutes seemed hard, so how could I ever do 5 minutes?

This year’s learn to run program took a very different approach. We weren’t doing group runs or using an interval method. Instead we did drills, learned to listen to our body and understand how individual muscles worked and affected our running. Last week our trainer was unable to make the session, so a small group of us did a 5k run around the neighbourhood. There was some discussion of doing a set walk/run method, but ultimately we decided to simply listen to our bodies – run till we needed to walk, walk till we recovered and then run again. What I found was that I was running a lot longer than 4 minutes. At one point I made it well past the 12 minute mark before I needed to walk, and even then, my walking break wasn’t a full minute long.

That was when I realized that I had become too dependent on the timer and that I needed to make a change.

Last night I headed out for an easy 4.5 k run. I set a timer on my watch so that I could see my overall time, but I didn’t turn on the interval timer. I cranked the tunes and headed out, with the plan to run as much as I could. During the 40 minutes that I ran, I only walked twice – 30 seconds at the 15 minute mark and another 30 seconds at the 30 minute mark. In hindsight, I probably could have easily skipped those 2 walking breaks; they both coincided with finishing a full lap around the park where I was running. I let my head take over and talked myself into needing or deserving a break when I passed the starting point. I bet if I had been doing a straight line course that I would not have walked at all.

Surprisingly my overall pace was exactly the same for this route as when I did it last week with 4 and 1 intervals. The big difference was how I felt. I felt great! I wasn’t as tired or out of breath as I had been last week. My legs also felt better after the run. And just knowing that I could do it, really elevated my mood and how I felt about myself overall.

Going forward I’m going to run without an interval timer. I will listen to my body, knowing that I can push myself farther and harder than I thought I could. And maybe as my overall fitness level improves, so will my pace. But even if it doesn’t, I’m still happy with my running overall.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Now I've done it

After sitting with my mouse over the submit button for a very long time, I finally clicked it.  I am official registered for my first half marathon.  Not only did I register for the half marathon, I signed up for their Tartan-Twosome.  Friday night we run a 5k at sunset and then Saturday morning we run the half at sunrise. 

Now I need to train.  While September seems far away, it's not really.

  • 115 days
  • 16.5 weeks
  • 3.5 months

My goal was to run a half this year, the year I turn 45, and boy-howdy, I'm gonna do it!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

10 Things I've Learned

Here are 10 things that I've already learned in just 3 weeks of our Learn to Run program with trainer Rakel Gylfadottir.

  1. Knowing that the ankle bone is connected to the knee bone, and the knee bone is connected to the hip bone is not the same as knowing how they work together when you are running.
  2. Don’t use energy putting your foot down. Gravity will do that for you.
  3. Running takes a lot of energy so don’t waste it on clenching your hands or tensing your shoulders.
  4. Running is not a beauty contest, accept that you will not look your best.
  5. Stretching is important to prevent injuries.
  6. Breath through your mouth to ensure you get enough oxygen.
  7. Running with “high hips” really does help.
  8. I can push myself a lot farther and harder than I thought.
  9. If you want to run faster you have to practice running faster.
  10. I really do enjoy running, especially when I finish for the day!