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.

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 😉