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 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.

MarTrain Day 6: running with the middle child

Dogs have a way of finding people who need them and filling an emptiness we didn’t even know we had.

Calgary Marathon TrainingOh. My. Goodness.

It is frigging treacherous out there tonight! I did not realize just how poorly lit the sidewalks were in our ‘hood until I took life into my own hands and tried running on the melted snow/black ice.

Did I mention I had our middle child running with me? Did I mention our middle child is a very energetic fur baby? Yep. We’ve got a middle child & his name is Sir Bentley Noodle. Poor Bentley has had it rough the last few weeks since Tessa came home (he’s been a little bit left out.) Bentley has been my running partner pretty much since we got him in May of 2014. To backtrack a bit, this is how the adoption went for those of you just tuning in:

Sir Bentley NoodleIn the past few years I would make mention of getting a dog to my husband, like: “we should really get a dog,” and “you know what, it would be great to have a family dog,” or “wouldn’t it be nice to rescue a dog?” He didn’t make any moves, so one day I visited the ARF website to check things out and there was Bentley (we added the ‘Sir’ and ‘Noodle’ on our own.) Without a moments hesitation I picked up the phone & set up a ‘meeting.’ And I basically went through the adoption process right then and there over the phone. After that was done I called my husband to give him the news. At first he was kind of annoyed with me (I have this annoying habit of just doing things without him), but then when he saw Bentley online & read his profile, he had the same feeling I did. When we met Bentley, we knew he would be part of our family. Our son was still kind of little and said he wanted to name the dog Noodle. And after a member of the family said he looked stoic, we decided to add the ‘Sir’ to the beginning and he became Sir Bentley Noodle and a member of the O’Mac Clan. He’s truly an amazing dog. He’s gentle but protective; curious & loyal. He’s been a fabulous addition to our family and I love having his company.

Family Pic With BentleySo tonight I thought it would be a swell idea to take him out. To be honest, the sidewalk was not big enough for the two of us and it was terrifying. Do you know how difficult it is to navigate a pitch black sidewalk, essentially covered in a layer of black ice with a dash of snow whilst trying to control a dog built like a brick shit house? It was anything but graceful.

So needless to say, the run this evening was a bit of a slow one but it was enjoyable for the most part. Sir Bentley is actually better at running than he is at walking. I decided to do intervals of 4 minutes steady and 1 minute of walking. We repeated this for just under 45 minutes. It was a nice length of time to get out, enjoy the weather and clear my head. The temperature was perfect, just above zero which is a far cry from the temperatures on the weekend (however, it looks like we’ll be dipping back down again! to -20!)  And as I write this, Bentley is sleeping in the doorway of my office, very content with his effort and our run this evening.

Tomorrow is another easy run and Felix plans to join me again. Stay tuned for our update 😉

MarTrain Day 3: snow, ice & dogs.

If you wait for perfect conditions, you’ll never get anything done.

marathon training in calgary Tonight marked the third day for marathon training. I completed 1.5 miles on some not-so-stellar sidewalks. It has legit been snowing all day in Calgary (still is) and there’s a few cm of fresh snow on top of ice, so it’s a bit dicey. But despite the conditions, the run was great. I really enjoyed it and typically I hate short runs. However, as you know, getting into a new running routine is exhausting so I am OK with the shorter distances right now.

Whilst out running, there were many people out shovelling. One gal was out with her little white dog. I was familiar with this dog. It barks. A lot. And it has a wee bit of an attitude. So when the owner wasn’t pulling it in on its leash, I came to a bit of a halt. Sorry. Little dogs scare me more than big dogs; I find them unpredictable and considering how much that little thing was yapping, I didn’t want to take a chance with my ankles. The owner legit had to bend down and hold the dog in place so he wouldn’t move, I thought it was funny. Napoleon syndrome.

 

Tonight the temperature is supposed to dip down to -20 and tomorrow is supposed to be really chilly so I’m glad it is a REST DAY. I finally found my gator today after months of it on the missing list. If I could find my winter running tights, I’d be a happy camper too… though they likely don’t fit me now anyway!

Are you training for a race? Let me know what you’re doing to get ready for it! Leave your tips and updates in the comments below 🙂

 

MarTrain Day 1: running is always humbling.

Slow runners make fast runners look good. You’re welcome.

marathon training in calgary with katTonight was the first day of marathon training and to say it was a humbling experience is putting it mildly. It’s been quite some time since I had any consistency in my running, so I can see that the road ahead will be a long, slow one – but I’m looking forward to it!

My run tonight was literally 2.5 x around our block. It was slow. My average pace was around 7:50/km (some people walk faster than this.) But when I can hear the negative thoughts creep into my head like, ‘who are you kidding? you can’t do a marathon, you’re too damn slow.’ I remind myself that at 21 weeks pregnant, I ran a Spartan Race and finished 99 in my age group. As you may recall, I found the Spartan Race to be more challenging than any other race I’ve participated in. So even though they’re totally different races, I feel like I’m stubborn enough to push myself. And if not, at least I tried!

So tonight was slow and steady. The thing I know for sure is that I cannot possibly get any slower and things are looking up!