Day 173, Day 174 & Day 175: “To get to the finish line, you’ll have to try lots of different paths.”

can't is the real C wordBoy – it has been tough to get back into my regular routine. I have to admit that I’ve been looking for excuses not to get out: (1) I am tired, (2) there isn’t enough time, (3) the stars are not aligned… but the truth is, I am just struggling to get back at it! I’ve been reading a little bit about trying to move through running plateau and that’s been helpful: e.g.: go to the gym, cross train, do one week of light training, try something new etc. I think my biggest issue is that my sneakers are just fitting wrong and they’re causing painful runs. Actually, I’m almost certain. Tonight I wore an old pair of trainers and I had a spectacular 10k run. I guess I need to start pinching my pennys for some new ones!

Here is a quick recap of the last few days:

buffalo calgary runningDay 173: Wedgie Run along the river in Inglewood

The weather was awesome – I even wore shorts! We had intended to do a 7km run, however, my right ankle was killing me and we decided to cut it short at around 6km. It was a nice run for the most part; a change from the usual. There are so many paths around Calgary, it seems like we could likely do a new one every week if we tried!

Day 174: Hills in Lake Bonavistarunkeeper hill training

On Friday I decided to do hills in Lake Bonavista. The weather was gorgeous. I completed 8x 250 metres uphill. I kept to the grass because a minute before I started this guy came pounding down the road going way too fast (blind hill) so I decided it was safest. I didn’t mind the run, however, I forgot to put the body glide on the old armpits and legs ahead of time and there was some chafing. Yikes! But it was nice to wear a tank top + short combo for the first time (outside) this season!

Day 175: 10k evening run

Tonight was an awesome run! I was really pleased to get out and run a strong 10k. It wasn’t as long as some of the runs I’ve done, but I felt fantastic! I wore my old sneakers and I think they made a difference compared to my new ones. There were lots of people out walking dogs, biking and running. I almost got hit by a girl who was texting and driving. That was interesting. I stopped and she kept going; I made eye contact with the passenger who was horrified (hand to mouth scream) and the driver still didn’t see me (I usually try to make eye contact with driver but she had these big, bug sunglasses on)… I don’t get wearing sunglasses at dusk, anyway? But that was the excitement. Busy week ahead!

Here are tonights stats:run keeper kat

  • Distance: 10 km
  • Time: 1:04:09
  • Pace: 6:24
  • Best Pace: 4:14

Hope everyone is happy & healthy out there!

Day 101: #Hill training in the cold takes my breath away (that and almost choking on gum)!

Hill at Lake Bonavista Downs Tonight was hill training. It was brutal. (This is the hill before winter hit. Just picture grayscale; dark/gloomy with very little Christmas lights…) Instead of doing it for endurance, tonights training was developed so that the runner keeps “race” speed the entire time. We all know that I don’t really have “race” speed, so I tried as best I could to keep my intervals under my usual hill training pace. I haven’t had time to look back and review, but I do think it is a little bit faster.

At any rate, training was as follows: one minute up hill at race pace, and one minute back down. Repeat x 10.

I should have prefaced this by saying that today is cheat day and I have eaten three pieces of fudge, two cookies, chicken strips and fries and two jujubes. So as you can see, I wasn’t kind to my body in terms of fuelling up properly, but hey, we only live once and if the world should end this week, I didn’t want to waste a cheat day!

I pumped my arms as fast as I could but I don’t think it did me any good. I had a belly full of junk. Maybe I should try the whole fasting before a workout?

Anyway, here are tonights stats:Day 101 HILL Training Lake Bonavista

  • Distance: 3.49 km
  • Time: 22:04
  • Pace: 6:20
  • Best Pace: 4:57

 

Day 84: Who knew #running with a #wedgie could be so marvellous?

“Don’t run in front of me; I may not follow. Don’t run behind me; I may not lead. Just run beside me and be my friend.”

(a modified quote from Albert Camus)

This morning was a four mile trail run with my Wedgie (thank you for getting out today)! I don’t think there’s anything better than having a great running buddy – I always look forward to runs I otherwise wouldn’t be and always enjoy our talks. Funny enough, I never thought I’d ever be able to run again let alone run and talk, but I do manage to find a way to talk in almost every situation so it shouldn’t really be a surprise!

It was a gorgeous morning here in Calgary and we hit the trail around 10:30 a.m. The temperature was crisp, but not so much that it made it hard to run. For anyone who has run the Glenmore Reservoir, you know that it’s delightfully paved during the summer/spring/fall months, so the first kilometre of the trail was fairly bare with a few icy spots. However, apparently since we’ve been blessed with lots of snow and low temperatures early this year we spent the better part of our run today on snow.

As you know, getting around in snow has its many challenges and so imagine what we looked like running through it. Slipping and sliding all over the place and avoiding animal turds everywhere (that’s a plus with the white snow, you can’t miss a huge brown turd). Wedgie even commented that it was comparable to running in sand (I said specifically it reminded me of one hateful run on Dominion Beach in Cape Breton). But we powered through it and kept a pretty good pace given the conditions. At about the 3.5km mark, we had a big hill to climb. There was a nagging voice in the back of my head saying, “Quit. You do not want to do this hill.” But I just wasn’t ready to give in and the two of us hit the hill and were treated to an incredible view from the top (or as incredible as you can get inner-city).

We turned around at the 4km point and finished the last 2 km so we would avoid the super steep hill on the way back. It was a well-devised plan.

A great running date with Wedgie! Thanks for coming!

Here are todays stats:

  • Distance: 6:05
  • Time: 40:08
  • Pace: 6:38
  • Best Pace: 6:00

Day 64: Six miles. It’s no marathon but it’s a start!

Today was the longest distance I have done in a very long time – six miles, also known as 9.6 kilometres! Generally for a distance this long I would never complete it on a treadmill, but since we’re still in Invermere I decided that I’d rather be safe than sorry and went down to the gym.I can’t say I hated every minute, but from mile 1.5 onward I wasn’t really enjoying myself. It was hot, my legs were warm and I was sweating like a pig! I really wanted to keep my time under sixty minutes, but it didn’t happen. However, I’m convinced I could go faster outside; I just found the treadmill so boring.

I kept my pace at a speed of 5.7 (10:30 min per mile) and 6 (10:00 min per mile). For the last fifteen minutes I started my speed at 5.4 and increased it by 2 every 2 minutes or so. I was eventually ran at 7.5 speed. I tried to be consistent, but to be honest there were times I just wanted a break and walk!! (but I didn’t, I kept going).What kept me going was thinking of Martin Parnell. Remember that guy from Cochrane, Alberta who ran 250 marathons in one year to raise money/awareness for Right to Play? He started running when he was 47 years old. He wrote a book called, “One foot in front of the other” – you should check it out! Anyway, I figured, what the heck is six miles compared to a frigging marathon on a daily basis??

Anyway, I finished my six miles in 61:25. I wish I could have shaved that darn 1:25 off, but I know I can get faster if I just work at it. When I finished the run I did a little weight training and yoga. I am so ready to resume the rest of Sunday watching thriller movies to celebrate Halloween.

Hope everyone is having a splendid weekend! And wherever you are in the world: stay warm. cool, dry and happy!

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Day 59: biking: why it’s good for you. but it’s still one of my least favourite things to do.

Alright, so tonight was a cross training night. I would generally do some elliptical and weights, but I decided that I should really switch it up and bike. Most people who know me, know that I don’t really enjoy biking at the gym. In fact, several months ago I thought I would train for a triathlon (e.g.: Calgary’s Try-a-Tri) but I couldn’t get past 15km. And tonight was no different. I couldn’t help but thinking (as I watched the seconds slowly tick by) that I would’ve preferred running outside tonight in the freezing cold + snow, than be in the warm gym on that dang bike. I sat there pedalling my little heart out, listening to Gangnam Style (thinking it would encourage me to pedal faster) and wanting to pull the plug literally every minute. But I didn’t and I lasted thirty minutes; hopped off and completed around 6 laps on the track at a quick speed. I was elated when the nights training was over for obvious reasons, but also because there was a marathon of “Breaking Amish” on TLC and I couldn’t wait to get home to watch it.

And in case you have poor willpower like myself and can’t complete the 45 minutes you had originally intended to at the gym (blast you TLC!) according to MSN Lifestyle, here’s why biking is actually good for you:

 

Reason # 1: Physical activity serves as a regulator to relieve the stress that is common in current lifestyles. It produces the balance between exertion and relaxation which is so important for the body’s inner equilibrium. Cycling is especially ideal for this process, countering stress in two ways: by satisfying the need for activity where people lack movement or exercise; and by balancing out increased strain, particularly mental and emotional.

Reason # 2: A few miles of cycling per day assure trimmer and toned muscles. This is because your upper thigh muscles, backside and calf muscles all get exercised by the pedalling motion.

Reason # 3: Pursuing cycling helps a great deal in building your stamina. It enables you to carry out your day-to-day activities more effectively.

Reason # 4: This might come to you as a surprise, but cycling ensures a control in the level of blood pressure.

Reason # 5: Cycling enhances the overall fitness level of a person. It makes you breathe deeper and perspire more, thereby leading to a feeling of enhanced body temperature.

Reason # 6: Cycling minimises the risk of coronary heart disease. Essentially an aerobic exercise, it gives your heart, blood vessels and lungs a workout, thereby reducing the risk of heart problems.

Reason # 7: A week of inactivity reduces the strength of the muscular system by up to 50% and can harm them long-term. This is particularly true for older people as ageing causes muscles to shrink. So start with slow cycling to build up stamina.

Reason # 8: During cycling, most of the body’s muscles are activated. The leg muscles are responsible for the pedalling movement; the abdomen and back muscles stabilise the body on the cycle and cushion external influences; and the shoulder-arm muscular system supports the body at the handlebars. All this trains and tightens up the muscular system, making it stronger and able to function efficiently.

I didn’t do any weights tonight at all. I probably should have. But tomorrow I have hills to do and I just wanted to give my legs and arms a break because the rest of the week is mileage build up and it’s going to be a chilly week.
That’s it tonight. Hope everyone is well out there!