Runners Rut: I’ve been cheating.

trico-centre-sumo-deadliftsMarathon training did not go as planned.

Despite acquiring a shiny new plan from Eastern Shore Training, I found myself in a rut. It wasn’t that I didn’t see results or that I wasn’t getting faster (I took an entire minute off my pace!) but I just wasn’t motivated. Let me tell you, this is an awful feeling when you have a goal like a marathon.

About two months after I started the running program with EST, I decided I needed to get back into strength training. I thought it would help to boost my motivation (and confidence.) So, I solicited the help of Roni Davis, former NPC Figure Champion and award winning personal trainer. I love Roni’s style – she doesn’t bullshit, doesn’t accept excuses but she’s also realistic and understands the demands of a busy life. Because 5000km separates us, Roni put together a virtual training plan for me. Truth-be-told, I was intimidated by the first month of workouts. I hadn’t been to the Trico Centre in months and all-of-a-sudden, I had to use machines that seemed pretty darn scary.

The very first morning I got to the gym, I had no idea what the hell I was doing so I enlisted the help of Tyra, the fitness monitor. She took time to show me exactly what I needed to do on each machine and how to do it safely but within the program designed by Roni. Slowly, my confidence grew. The quad muscles that had dust on them started to appear again, my running got stronger and my muscles ached a little less.

So how does it work?

Each month, I get a new plan. There’s really only one thing I can be sure of and that’s that there will be a ton of squats. Other than that, I have found a love for strength training & weight lifting that I didn’t know I had.

I kind of feel like I’m cheating on running. But I believe I need this break to remember why I loved to run in the first place. And even though I’m not following a strict training plan right now, I still get out 3x a week for an easy run, long run & hills. The rest of the week is devoted to weights. Today someone asked me if I notice a difference in my body since I started training with Roni. There are subtle hints here and there, but I’d say the biggest difference is in my confidence. I love how strong I feel!

Right now, marathon training is on the back burner. But if you’re interested in hearing tales from a #fatgirllifting, follow along!

MarTrain Week #6: am I just being impatient?

Screen Shot 2015-06-28 at 9.46.25 PMThere are no shortcuts to any place worth going.

The last few runs this week have been really good. I’m just so surprised at how much easier my runs are getting but the memory of how tough running pregnant was is still vivid! Yet, each time I hit the pavement it seems to be a little bit better; today I surprised myself when I got under six (6) minutes a kilometre for my intervals. Y’all know that all along I’ve not been too hung up on time, but the fact that I can see even the slightest improvement keeps me on track.

The only thing I’m really struggling with is exercising five days a week. My training has me running four and I’m supposed to cross-train the fifth day. I just can’t get my shit together to do this. Is it because I’m getting old? Or am I just making excuses? Seriously. I really had to think about it. I even talked to a doc about it. She said, “Kat. You are still recovering from having a baby. A TRAUMATIC experience. Give yourself time.” But really. Am I just being lazy? So many people just snap back to their regular running routines… anyway – interested to hear how other postpartum gals got back into their grooves. Am I just being impatient?

I run more consistently than I blog

run-the-river-calgary-alberta

Run hard when it’s hard to run.

Yikes!

Rest assured that we’re very much on track with training, despite the fact that I’ve not updated in a while.

In five weeks, I’ve worked to take nearly one minute off of my time per kilometre. Having a fast time doesn’t mean a lot to me, but getting stronger means everything. There were lots of days when I was questioning myself, but in the last week or so when I had the chance to look at my stats I was so elated. As you probably know, sometimes it can be hard to get motivated and get out the door but seeing even the slightest improvement is enough for me to keep going.

Our latest run took us down by the river. The weather has been phenomenal in Calgary – above average temperatures (I’ve been running in a t-shirt!) We are doing 6 minute run, 1 minute walk. Our runs are in the 6:15-6:25/km range, so I’m super pleased with that. My left knee is still tender, so I’ve had to spend extra time stretching; hoping that with a little more care it will heal.

I have to send out a mega, mega thank you to my running partner/friend, Kristi. She has been a huge support to me – meeting me ‘wherever’ in the city and flexible on time. Very grateful for her help with my training.

This week there is a jump in mileage. Excited & scared. Looking forward to getting back up to the longer runs. But the road ahead is LONG. 🙂

 

MarTrain Day 11: when you hear a noise in the woods, you do not hang around to find out what it is

I am in competition with no one. I run my own race. I have no desire to play the game of being better than anyone. I just aim to improve, to be better than I was before. That’s me and I’m free.

Photo Credit: Kristi (I forgot my phone)

Photo Credit: Kristi (I forgot my phone)

Today our 3 mile run at the reservoir was much warmer than it has been the last few weeks we’ve been out. You will not believe this, but I actually got a pair of spikes for my sneakers! Yes! I really did. Actually, my husband picked them up for me – but still! And they’re great. The only thing I find irritating is when you get to a dry patch of pavement and you can feel bumps in your sneaks from where the spikes are.

We reversed the trail on the reservoir and went through the woods – it’s usually pretty peaceful through there this time of year (they don’t really clear the path often; it’s usually snow covered and slippery.) We met a few walkers and joggers, but once we got deeper into the woods it was just the two of us. Kristi had legit just asked when I wanted to turnaround when we heard a noise (definitely animal) so she said, “Did you hear that?” And I had already pretty much changed course (in my head I was like: “feck this. I am out.”) But out loud I said, “Yep! Let’s turnaround now!” Have no idea what it was, but knowing my luck it was like a cougar or something. The inclines were pretty good and we had a bitch of a hill to run, I had to walk part of it but I know that in time I will be running it no sweat. My left knee is still a touch swollen but I started doing some major hip stretches and that is definitely helping. I look forward to running again on bare pavement.

That’s it for today. Thanks for the great run Kristi!

 

MarTrain Day 10: Happy Friday!

“Anything worth doing, is worth doing right”

runners prayerI had to take a few days off of running due to my left knee. While running the other evening, I slipped on ice. My body went one way and my knee went the other, Yuck. Needless to say, it has been a frustrating situation with a swollen and sore knee.

But even though it was still a little tender today, I was able to get out and run around 6km (which I was happy with.) Now I’m set out to see the physio to make sure I’m doing all the right things to take care of it.

I was reminded that as frustrating as little setbacks can be, I know that it’s a lot smarter to take care of them early before they become big problems. As much as I enjoy running in cool temperatures, I could really do without the darn ice. I guess it’s time to kick up the treadmill search!

Happy Friday!

MarTrain Day 9: ice cannot be trusted. ever.

If you run, you are a runner. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far. It doesn’t matter if today is your first day or if you’ve been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run.

run rest repeatHoly shit it was icy. Legit took my life in my own hands. Some very close calls. I really need to get yak-traks. I know, I say it every winter but I need to make it happen this year!

At any rate, despite the conditions tonight I was faster than I have been in ages. I mean, I wasn’t ever truly fast so it’s not like I’m that fast, I’m just faster than I have been lately. But every time I shave some time of my runs, I feel like it’s a tiny victory. Obviously I know I won’t be breaking records (have I mentioned that before?) but when I get quicker (even just a wee bit) I know that my training is paying off. Quite honestly, there are days whilst slipping and sliding out there that I wonder to myself: “what the feck am I doing out here?”

Then I finish. I get that famous runners high. And I’m reminded why I lace up. I love running. I can go out there with a mind full of junk but come home empty and refreshed. People are always surprised when I tell them that I rarely go running anymore with music. It started a few years ago when I was training for a race that wouldn’t allow earbuds (now a lot of races won’t for safety) and ever since then I just stuck to it.

At first I found it tremendously difficult, after all it was Eminem and G-Unit that got me through some incredibly tough runs. But after time it grew easier. To stay focused & motivated, I memorized the words to ‘Rise & Shine’

I repeated it over and over and over in my head while training. And on days when I wanted to break down, I dug in and said it out loud. I imagine I looked foolish. Oh well.

Rise And Shine Nike Motivation Find your greatnessEver since then I haven’t really needed music to kick me in the butt, though I haven’t been out running for multiple hours at a time in quite a while. I imagine I’ll have to get a good running playlist on the go for the days I’ll be out for double-digit runs. If you have any reco’s, leave them in the comments please 🙂

Just curious:

 

MARTRAIN DAY 8: it’s -21 and we’re running, that counts for something, right?

The greatest pleasure in life, is doing the things people say we cannot do.

kristi and kat running in the coldI’m no dummy. I know that training is the hardest part of anything you do, whether it’s a marathon or school. Preparing to do something the right way is never a shortcut. I know I won’t be breaking any running records, nor do I give a shit. I’ve probably said it a million times before, I’m not built to be a runner. But I just love it. And you know what pushes me even harder? That look people give you when you tell them what you’re planning to do.  They think they’re being discreet when they innocently size you up & down, like “dafuq you are…” But that’s just the ammo I need to keep digging in.

The truth is, I’m really lucky to have a good support system around me. The people who are the complete opposite; they know me and love me. They know what I’m capable of and remind me of that when I start to doubt myself. People who not only encourage me with their words, but some who show up in -21 to run with me and to help keep me on track. Like Kristi, my running partner today. Our hair was literally frozen. We were both wearing double pants, double jackets, face/neck gear – and we still managed to laugh and carry on throughout the run. It was fabulous. She probably doesn’t even realize how much help and support she’s giving me, but she sets everything up ahead of time so that the distance and pace are locked in. It is marvellous & I’m grateful to have her support.

I also have to give props to my husband too. If you don’t live in Alberta, you may not understand the impact of what’s happening in oil and gas on families out here. Many are feeling the emotional and financial toll the downturn is having. And if your business depends on the health of the oil and gas industry (like my husbands) it’s a challenging & tense place to live right now.

Yet, when I told him that I really wanted to do a marathon and asked if he thought I’d be able to. Without hesitation he said, “Yes. You are stubborn and we’ll figure it out.” And even though he has a million things to worry about: his company, his family, keeping the lights on, a busy house and business, he still encourages me to go ahead (knowing that this means he’ll be on dad-duty multiple times per week on top of everything else.) When he could just as easily tell me that we’ve got to focus on other things right now. And when I said, “You know, there are going to be days where I’ll have to be out of the house like 4-6 hours, then what?” And he said, “We will figure it out then.”

I love that.

There’s a lot to be said for the people who can cheer others on and lift them up, even when it’s not the easiest thing to do.

So that’s it. Two weeks of training down and many more to go. But thank you to everyone for the support so far. It is greatly appreciated.