Day 78: 2 miles slow and missing @Cape_Breton

“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.”

For the next part of half marathonĀ training, my schedule has long runs slated for Saturdays. Try as I may, I can never run long distances on Saturdays, I don’t know why (mental, I’m guessing). Anyhow, after having kind of a “blah” day, it was all I could do to reverse my Saturday and Sunday runs (which I believe I’ll do permanently). So instead of running four miles tonight, I ran two. And I don’t regret it. At all. I should also mention that it was getting late in the day and I still didn’t want to peel my behind off the couch (we were watching movies) and I got a motivating tweet from one of my online running buddies:

THANK YOU! I needed that push – I honestly thought to myself, I’d rather be running than planking . . . sucker! šŸ™‚

I started out really slow. My quads are still very tight (but thank you RunninbearĀ a.k.a Clair for sending me the stretch video – it helps!) It took me almost half the run to get really warmed up. Once I got going I just cruised around the neighbourhood checking things out. My legs felt incredibly heavy and although I pumped my arms harder, there was no way I was going any faster. I gave in and just ran at a comfortable pace for the duration. It was slippery, but the temperature was above zero – which was delightful!

During my run I noticed that there are about half a dozen homes already lit up with Christmas lights! I had to laugh because it reminded me of walking/running through the neighbourhood this time last year and seeing a house that could only be described as the Griswold’s Part II. The lights were EVERYWHERE! I did manage to snap a picture of it, but now I can’t find it. There are no words to truly describe it.

It also reminded me of Christmas’s at home. When I was growing up, my parents were pretty traditional with the lights: some in the windows, on some trees and one Frosty the Snowman hanging out by the deck. Does anyone (other than my siblings + parents) know what I’m talking about? I would go as far to say that this particular Christmas decoration is vintage. I also want you to note that if you scroll across the photo it says “Frosty Misses You” – this is how my parents saved the photo and sent it to me last year. Notice there is also no snow on the ground? As you can see, Frosty is so old that his colour is faded. The poor thing is just hanging on by the red of his hat. Which is why several years ago, we told our dad to get rid of it or we (the kids) would. Of course, he didn’t so we tied Frosty over the side of the deck so that when our dad got home it looked like Frosty was trying to off himself. But, Frosty still lives today and I expect I’ll be getting photos shortly to prove it!

The whole point of my rambling, is that this time of year is one of my favourite times to run. Yep. It’s cold out. Yep. It’s slippery. Uh huh. It’s hard to breath. Yes. People think you’re crazy. But you there’s no way around it. You cannot beat Christmas lights and spirit. When I still spent Christmas’s in Cape Breton, I would do my usual evening running and it went by that much faster by checking out all the lights and beautifully decorated homes – I miss it. So, the next few weeks I’m going to start reporting back on all the fantastic stuff I see. And if anyone out there wants to submit photos – get at ‘er!

Here are tonights stats:Ā 

  • Distance: 3:23
  • Time: 20:14
  • Pace: 6:17
  • Best Pace: 5:34

 

Day 75: 5km #run & #plankaday challenge fr @ChatelaineMag

Today was a 5km run day at a slow and steady pace. Ordinarily that wouldn’t be a big deal, I mean, I’ve been running 5k’s for a while now. However, I have never run a 5k the same day that I completed the #plankaday challenge from Chatelaine Magazine. What’s that, you may ask…

The “challenge” defined:

Complete one plank per hour for twelve hours (Learn more) And being the stubborn person that I am, I decided to really challenge myself and do at least one minute continuous plank; I’m proud to say not only did I do one minute continuous, but I actually completed several two minute continuous planks. If you are better at math than yours truly, that would be at least 12 minutes of planks; ButĀ I finished the challenge with 21 minutes of planks! I also have to tell you that my son did a few planks with me for moral support. Although he did more of a downward dog and when I was nearing the end of the challenge, he came over looking very serious and gave me a pat on the back. I laughed and then laughed some more.

Hence, the reason I feel like this explains why my run was a little tougher this evening than usual. The temperature was pretty nice around -2 or so and I had lots of fuel in my system, but lifting my legs and trying to pump my arms was a bloody nightmare! It didn’t matter how hard I tried to pump my arms, I could not get my legs to go any faster. Seriously. When I began my run, for the first kilometre or so, I was running at a pace almost two minutes off of my normal long distance pace. I finally got warmed up and got it down, but there was no negotiating with my body to go any faster this evening. I guess it’s a good thing that the run tonight was supposed to be at a slow and steady pace. The sidewalks were treacherous as well; between the slush in some areas and sheer ice in others I was elated to hear the coach come over the headphones to tell me the interval was complete.

Tomorrow is a cross training day. If I can get my act together, I plan to hit the gym early in the morning. Not sure what I’m going to do (we all know how much I hate biking). Thinking about hitting the elliptical up and maybe some weights (though I may have to wait and see how the old legs/arms are feeling after these planks!) What’s everyone else doing these days for cross training? And if I can’t make it to the gym in the morning, it will have to wait until tomorrow night because I get to see my best friend tomorrow! She has a layover here in Calgary (from Halifax) and I cannot wait to see her! It feels like Christmas Eve! YAHOO!

Tonights stats:Ā 

  • Distance: 5.02 km
  • Time: 31:37
  • Pace: 6:18
  • Best Pace: 5:37

 

Anyway, friends, hope everyone is happy and healthy out there! Happy Trails šŸ™‚

Day 74: 10km run in the snow. Sigh.

All good things must come to an end. We left Phoenix, which for most of the time was 30 Celsius, only to arrive in Calgary to almost -30! It was such a shock to the system but we’re slowly getting back into the groove of cold weather and snow; my tan is already fading…

This morning I had intended to get up at 6:30 a.m. and complete a 7 mile run (even though my training schedule only had Ā 6.25 miles scheduled). However, when push came to shove, I got going at 7 am, had my usual pre-run breakfast and hit the trail at 8’ish. I would be lying if I said I enjoyed the entire run. Mind you, I wasn’t tired at all but the cold weather mixed with crappy sidewalks made it frustrating. FACT: I enjoyed running in the desert much more than snowy Calgary! I snapped a picture of the only part of sidewalk I ran on today that wasn’t snow covered. But I made it through relatively unscathed; did a lot of slipping and sliding though! I don’t have any long socks to wear in my sneakers, so I’m looking for recommendations. I used to wear wool socks because it is so cold some days (I double sock) but I don’t feel like that is a feasible solution. So – winter runners – any advice?

The rest of the week looks like it may be a little chilly here (sigh). I start the second half of my training which includes major mileage building. I can’t believe I’m half-way through! When I started couch to 5k, I remember explicitly thinking (while running 1 minute and walking 2) that there was no way I’d ever be able to get back to running an hour – taaaaaa daaaaa! When you finish a longer run like this morning it’s such a wonderful feeling (runners high)… BUT then I realize, “Oh crap. I need to do double of this…” and I start coming down from my runners high. I really hope I can keep this momentum going, I’m really looking forward to knocking this half-marathon off my bucket list!

Anyway, here are todays stats:Ā 

  • Distance: 10.02 km
  • Time: 1:02:16
  • Pace: 6:13
  • Best pace: 5:55

P.S: I learned a running tip on Twitter today:Ā Before Running, oneĀ of best things to improve running gait/prevent injury is to place a deodorant can on the floor & roll underside of foot. I’m going to try this before the next run. Also, I need to get one of these foam rolls – they’re loads of fun and work.

Hope everyone is happy and healthy out there!

Some day doesn’t exist and saying “I’ll start again next week” is rubbish.

I love this video.

Day 2: 3.5 mile run

Today was Day 2 and I had to complete a 3.5 mile run. My time was 32 minutes (can’t remember seconds and deleted from watch.) It was a pretty good run, despite almost being hit by a guy cutting through a parking lot. Oh FYI, don’t eat Indian before you run. I didn’t have any “issues” during the run, but it would have been a different story if I had to go any longer! I know most of you are rolling your eyes (I am too) and don’t kid yourself, I knew it was a bad idea myself, but it’s my kryptonite (especially chicken korma from Surahi).

I must also report that I have my first half-training injury: a blister! It’s nothing compared to some I’ve had but it’s at an awkward place on my ankle – one where I won’t be able to keep a band-aid on it. Therefore, I’ll be buying a new roll of duct-tape tomorrow (tip: if you have a blister in an awkward spot, put a band-aid on it and then duct-tape over it; works like a charm!)

 

One other thing that bothered me through this run was my shorts – the leg elastics aren’t tight anymore and I had to keep hauling them down (awkward!) Can anyone out there recommend a good pair of shorts? e.g.: flattering, yet effective. I had two pairs of the same Nike shorts for almost ten years and have to lay them to rest due to holes. I have to say, not a HUGE Nike fan, but they were the best darn shorts I’ve ever bought and well-worth the investment. Anyone wearing Lululemon shorts? They worth the million dollars?

Off to get my recovery drink and snack in. Happy trails!