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!

So I lied.

“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.”

ISpartan Running_PregnantRunner_Noexcuses caved. I signed up for a Spartan Sprint. In my defence, it is in two weeks… and my doctor told me it was okay to continue my regular exercise. While I haven’t been doing a ton of weight training, I’ve been keeping up with my cardio. I must say, it has been a while since I’ve done hills so I suppose I need to get at least a couple hill training sessions in before this thing. Ultimately my goal is to finish the darn thing, I know I’m not winning any awards!

Kat Macaulay Calgary Running Spartan race pregnantAt any rate, today I hit the trail for a 7km run. It is beautiful out and the trails were busy with walkers, runners and bikers. Apparently it was my 76th fastest session (according to RunKeeper) now, keep in mind that doesn’t sound impressive but in the 3+ years I’ve had the RK app, I’ve had a LOT of sessions, so I’m pretty good with that!  What I love about running is Fish Creek is that it’s shaded and it doesn’t feel like you’re in the middle of a city. There are many ups and downs, but overall it is one of my favourite places to run!

Anyway – this is a quick post. Looks like I’ll be posting a little bit more leading up to the Spartan Race (just to stay on track!)

If there are any ‘expecting moms’ out there who have run Spartan, please, please, please get in touch. I’d love to pick your brain!

Happy Trails!

kat

@Oprah “Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it. ”

What I think she also meant is that running is the greatest metaphor for hill training: because you get out of it what you put into it.

I have been pushing myself pretty hard to make sure I put in the kind of training I need just to cross the dang finish line at the Cabot Trail Relay Race (let’s not get carried away with trying to get a decent time.) But…

Today I ran an 8km at lunchtime; all hills. (Pictures below)

It was definitely one of the toughest runs I’ve had in a while and I am definitely taking it easy tonight but I am so happy with the results.

My splits were pretty incredible for me, especially after the winter we’ve just had and how my runs have been going. They ranged from a 5:34 to a 6:35 – ironically, the 6:35 was on the downhill while I was trying to catch my breath. Seeing as the cut-off for the CTRR is a 6:00/km, I am pretty happy I am close to it, though I don’t know how this will pan out on the actual race day.

Overall, the run was really good as far as I’m concerned. I finished it with about a 6:08/km average and I’m happy with that.

Here are some shots from google maps:

calgary-centre-street-bridge-hill-training-running-x2

calgary-centre-street-bridge-hill-training-running

Week 2: training from -20 to +10

Calgarys_Sidewalks_snowI’ve realized now that I’ve got a full-time job, the best use of my time (and easiest thing for me to do) is weekly reports on training to keep me on track (rather than daily) and schedule them so I don’t have to worry about them posting – you’re the guinea pigs! Stick with me…

Jan 5: 5.41 km Run

I ran around my neighbourhood. The roads/sidewalks are a mess right now because of all the snow we’ve had so it wasn’t a particularly fast or enjoyable run but I finished it!

Jan 6: 22.57 km Bike

We all know just how much I love the bike. I was actually happy for the change of scenery. I am not enjoying the treadmill so much, so the bike was a welcome change (for a while.) I completed varying degrees of intensity and felt pretty good when I got off of it. My knee was still a bit tender at this point but biking helped make me feel stronger (even if it was just psychological!)

Jan 8: 6.53 km Run

This run was from my office over lunch time. The weather was quite mild and I actually enjoyed most of it. However, I did finish my run on the Centre Street bridge hill which was a colossal mistake. Yes. I do realize this will help me in the long run, but I was tired and I didn’t think I had much more in me to keep going. I remembered pretty quick from my last half-training that this is very much a mental game!

Jan 9: 6.40 km Run

The dreadmill. I mean, treadmill. This run was at the @TricoCentre on one of their glorious treadmills. As much as I dislike them, I do know that it makes more sense to hop on one than try to run around our sloppy, snow/ice covered streets. For some reason I am finding the treadmill even more difficult this time around – not sure if it’s just me, or if they’re actually just harder (probably me…) I also completed this with varying intensity in speed and incline.

Jan 11: 7.02 km Run

Glenmore Reservoir run and it was terrific. I had only intended to do a 6.4 km run, but was feeling really strong and wanted to take advantage. The trail was quite busy, despite heading there fairly early. It’s nice to see others out and feel the support/encouragement.

 Jan 12: 7.22 km Run

Final run of training week #2 was with the girls at #EauClaire. We started at around 9:45 and ran along the river, crossed and circled back to the parking lot by the Shaw building. It was a pretty nice run (but very slippery), much warmer than the one last Sunday and we did go further than we intended (which was good.)

That’s it for training! Hope everyone is happy & healthy out there.

Here are some tips for stretching [Source: About Running]

  • Don’t rush it. Stretch slowly      and hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.
  • Don’t stretch through pain. Don’t      stretch beyond the point where you begin to feel tightness in the muscle.      You shouldn’t push through muscle resistance, and never stretch to the      point of pain. As you feel less tension, you can increase the stretch a      bit more until you feel the same slight pull.
  • Do stretch both sides. Don’t just      stretch your left calf because you feel tightness on that side. Make sure      you’re stretching both sides equally.
  • Don’t bounce. It’s a common      mistake, but bouncing risks pulling or tearing the muscle you’re trying to      stretch. Make sure you stretch your muscles gradually.
  • Don’t hold your breath. Stay      relaxed and breathe in and out slowly. Make sure you don’t hold your      breath. Take deep belly breaths.

Running Update!

“It is not the critic who counts, not the one who points out how the strong man stumbled or how the doer of deeds might have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred with sweat and dust and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, if he wins, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

Life has been very, very busy. In an effort to use my time wisely (as in, get as much done as possible) for the time being I’m just going to stick to quick updates.

photo 2photo 4photo 5My son and I had a great run last Tuesday at Glenmore Park – we did 6km. It is really incredible that he can exercise and not sweat (hah!) On Wednesday I headed back to the park to do a quick 3 mile run – the weather was great and I really enjoyed it. Thursday I did another 5km run. Finally, yesterday I hit Fish Creek park to do a 5km later in the day than I expected and it actually wasn’t too bad. And finally, today, Felix and I hit the trail again for another 5km run together. A couple things that made running better: (1) the sun shining and (2) Felix yelling, “go mom!”

I must admit that the runs through Fish Creek park were a little sad. The trail I trained a lot on for my first half is destroyed by the river. There are places where the pavement was physically lifted and moved to the side. I found it incredibly surreal..

Anyway, attaching some pictures! Next Saturday is the big MUD HERO event in Red Deer. I am terrified!!!!!!! And excited…!!!!!!

That’s it for now. Hope everyone is happy and healthy!

 

p.s. It’s SHARK WEEK!!!!!!!

 

photo 1

Day 202: National Running Day (so they say…)

“Life is a beautiful journey.” – M.W.

runforbostonIsn’t that just the truth? I have neglected twitter a bit over the last few days and for some reason, that still managed to pop up on my newsfeed. I believe it.

Today was allegedly national running day. Now, I don’t know if it’s a US thing, an Australia thing or a Canadian thing, but I decided that what better way to celebrate the day than doing some hill training?

 

“Run when you can, walk when you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up.” -Dean Karnazes

I think I’ve already mentioned that every time I have run since the Boston Marathon my thoughts always lead to the people who were affected by this years tragic events. I can’t honestly say I’ve hit the pavement without being so thankful for the ability to run (even if I am slow!) So today, I ran for Boston. Again.

Now, I wasn’t particularly feeling the hills today. But as stubborn as I am, I decided I would pick the 350m hill by Diamond Cove. What a prick that hill is. Actually, I felt good about myself because a cyclist whizzed by me at the bottom and when I hit the turnaround point, I passed him going up (he had dismounted at this point.) I was barely moving, but I was proud.

Anyway, I finished today doing an extra run up the hill. I know I could have pushed myself more but a deer scared the shit out of me and after some “animal” talk with runners/bikers last night, I decided to beat it home.

That’s it from this end. Don’t forget to sign up for our ALL-Alberta Cabot Trail Relay team –  so, so, so excited about this!!!!

Todays stats:

runkeeper

Hope everyone is happy and healthy out there!

p.s.: the new runkeeper gives splits and elevation. I am in love. Was just looking for this info on other runs today. Awesome.

Day 201: 5 mile run, 7 mile bike, plank challenge & good times at Bonterra!

leaninWow – what a day! It finally stopped raining in Calgary so my movie/work marathon that’s been going on for the last several weeks came to a screeching halt. Felix enjoyed getting outside at the Trico Centre after he spent two hours there so I could work out.

I completed 5 miles on the treadmill (under 50 minutes) and then 7 miles on the bike (under 30 minutes) so I am pretty happy with myself. I’ve been pushing myself a little more each workout and by the time I’m done I’m sweating like a stuffed pig! Which by the way, segues nicely into my evening event which included Bonterra Trattoria and wild boar.Seriously. Have you ever seen a wild boar on a spit? It is something to behold, let me tell you. The food there was so delicious and the wine was divine! I saw good old  Kendall Jackson vino and it took my back to the Port of Wines Wine Show in Halifax. Those were the days! Anyway, this evening  I was lucky enough to get to hang out with fellow Calgary Stampede volunteers. What a good time: great food, wine and company. Made me proud to be a volunteer with such a terrific crew of people! Two of which will be joining the ALL-Alberta running team for the Cabot Trail Relay – woooowhooo!!!

Tomorrow is hill training. Still debating on location. If you have any recommendations, I am all ears!

Hope everyone is happy and healthy out there!