Day 185: Happy Mothers Day!

“It is not until you become a mother that your judgment slowly turns to compassion and understanding.”

SportChek Mothers Day Run CalgaryToday we started the day with the SportChek Mothers Day Run. It was a great run to participate in. Felix’s stay at the Children’s Hospital opened our eyes to just how fortunate we are to have a pretty healthy kid and as you may know, the funds from this run went to Sick Kids. My future mother-in-law (a.k.a. Dr Nana) and myself completed the 5km course. My goal was to at least beat my bib number (3524) and I did! I placed 233 out of 7083 [but actually 37/881 in my category]. It wasn’t my fastest 5km, but I was definitely pleased with it. My MIL and I were running together and being pushed and shoved all over the place by people; we both saw openings on opposite sides and went for it. Unfortunately, we lost each other. I crossed the finish line and figured she had completed it ahead of me, so called/texted and didn’t hear anything. Then we stumbled toward each other, got our picture taken as proof and came home to brunch on the back deck. I must interject to say that I was super pleased for a good friend who placed first in the 5km for MEN and WOMEN… she is a rockstar, way to go Sam!!

The rest of the day was spent reading the book, “Let’s pretend this never happened: a mostly true memoir” by Jenny Lawson I laughed until I cried! For anyone who just needs a good book to laugh at, this is definitely the one….[She finds a giant metal chicken at like a Winners or some such store and puts it on their doorstep, rings the bell & waits for her husband] He comes out, looks at it and shuts the door. “Then I yelled through his door, “It’s an anniversary gift for you, asshole. Two whole weeks early. FIFTEEN YEARS IS BIG METAL CHICKENS.” This part especially spoke to me because I’m fairly certain I would do the same thing to Patrick. Though I feel I would do it with some sort of water creature (he claims to be allergic to fish…) Maybe a giant lobster? He is also the type to shut the door. And pretend that it didn’t happen. Oh man, my stomach aches from laughing all day long.

Anyway, I also spent a good portion of the day being very grateful for my mother. For her patience with me as a stubborn kid (and adult) and her willingness to do whatever she can for her kids. I never really understood how you can have  a screaming match with a kid, but in a split-second desperately want to jump in and do whatever you can for them when they’re sick or in danger (that is, until I had my own kid, now I get it.) “Thanks” to my mom and all the moms in my life who have helped me along the way…and to my mom-friends who have been so supportive over the last two’ish years and my non-mom friends who are just as supportive – love you guys!

love you felixAnd a good portion of the day was also spent reflecting on how lucky I’ve been to have such an incredible little person in my life. The little boy who forever changed me (for the better I think.) I couldn’t have asked for a more amazing little boy and so we (him and I) spent some time (and I mean a lot of time) viewing home videos of him from the last two years. There were tears and laughter at the silly stuff he/I have done to get a rise out of one another (e.g.: laughing trying to roll over; dancing to Pantera; skyping & FaceTime, getting ahold of cameras etc). It reminded me of how lucky I am to be a mom; how quickly time passes; how fast things can happen and change. He reminds me that the most important thing in life is to make the most of each day, because you can’t buy time back. Love you to the moon and back, Felix.

Happy Mothers Day to all the incredible moms out there. And to the dads who do the job of both.

Day 89: Five mile #run in the bitter cold and an awesome first day at #WSHC

One foot in front of the other. Repeat.

IMG_6322Today was a very busy day! I was up early to meet Wedgie for a five mile run at Fish Creek Park. We arrived shortly after 9:30 and started the run. I think the temperature was around -16 – it was cold! The run wasn’t too bad at all, we kept it pretty flat (no hills). It was definitely slippery in areas but we maintained a very consistent pace throughout. We were both commenting that it would be grand to get those toques that have the pony-tail hole at the back – does anyone know what I’m talking about? And, where to get one? I always stuff my hair under my fleece KO hat because I love it and it’s not itchy at all, but a special hat for people with long hair would be awesome too. My legs were definitely cold, but not sore and even this evening after being on my feet all day they aren’t too bad (hopefully not jinxing myself for tomorrow). When we finished and took our post-run photo any hair that was showing, that had even the slightest amount of sweat was an icicle! We also saw a deer, but I wasn’t fast enough to get my camera out and snap a photo. I’m not minding the winter weather running as much as I thought, but I am finding that it takes a while to shake it afterward (I was cold most of the day). Anyone out there have any tips/tricks to get rid of the cold chill post-run? I do dress in layers, but I think it’s a combination of sweating and having to drive home after being out in the cold for almost an hour.

I also completed my #PushUpADay (five) and #PlankADay. (Thank you Runninbear for reminding me!) Sadly, I haven’t even looked at the training schedule tonight because all I want to do is go to bed!

I quickly want to tell you about my awesome day as a volunteer at the 2012 World Sledge Hockey Challenge today. I know it’s not running related, but it was terrific! I have met some really great folks from all over the city. I have seen some familiar faces and think how amazing it is that some of us have been volunteering at many of the same events, though I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised because it’s loads of fun. And it goes without saying that I truly enjoyed my very first LIVE sledge hockey games. Plus, Canada defeated Japan tonight 11-0!! Honestly, the whole time I was watching I was just blown away by the level of fitness these men need in order to compete at the level they do. Their stamina and strength must be out of this world. My arms and core just ached thinking of what a few minutes of just trying out Sledge Hockey would do to me (but I will try some day, it’s on the bucket list already!)

Anyway, that’s it for today. Hope everyone is happy and healthy out there.

Here are todays stats:dec2run

  • Distance: 8.01
  • Time: 51:25
  • Pace: 6:25
  • Best Pace: 5:02

 

 

Day 85: #TRX training @TricoCentre

“Pain is nothing compared to what it feels like to quit.”

Tonight was cross training, so I decided to check out the non-Bootcamp version of TRX. As I suspected, it was much better (at least for now, whilst I train for half-marathon). The instructor pushed us enough so you could feel the burn, but not enough so that I will be in major pain the next few days (or at least I don’t think so).

We did lunges, planks, sit ups, mountain climbers, triceps, biceps, jacks and other stuff I can’t even remember now. It was an intense work out but I really liked that she encouraged micro-breaks so that we didn’t hurt ourselves. I’m still not very coordinated with the ropes, in fact, my feet came out a few times. Actually, the guy next to me was having the same issue and he was much more fit than me, so I didn’t feel so bad. I absolutely hated the single leg planks with leg raises. Honestly. Can you say PAIN?! But I wasn’t constantly checking the clock to see if it was time to go, so I feel like that was a huge win for me. And though I enjoyed the challenge of the bootcamp style TRX, while I’m training this version of class suits my body and mind much more.

After we finished the sixty minute class, I hopped onto the rowing machine for about ten minutes. I generally enjoy rowing, but tonight I was bored. And truth be told, I couldn’t wait to get home to watch MTV’s Catfish. I know. Sad.

Anyway, that’s it for tonight. A run tomorrow I guess.

Hope everyone is happy and healthy out there!

 

Day 79: 4 mile run through the neighbourhood

“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or a gazelle-when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”

-Christopher McDougall

This morning I woke up and couldn’t even think about going running. I didn’t feel like it. I’m certainly no gazelle and if you asked my son, he would say I was more like a bear 😉 Now, I’m not sure if I’m just hitting a wall or if it’s the fact that my legs are killing me. I’m not sure if it’s time to just give my body a longer rest, or what. It took a lot of motivation this morning to get going. I read a few blogs and a few things on line. Reviewed my favourite quotes. Completed a round of planks. Ate my regular porridge, consumed some caffeine + water. Then when I just needed a little push, I was recipient of a teeny bit of coaxing from the peanut gallery and I finally hit the pavement.

The first thing I noticed was that I had shin splints (Shin splints: known as medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS), can usually be attributed to overloading the muscles of the lower extremities or to biomechanical irregularities. Muscle imbalance, including weak core muscles, can cause lower-extremity injuries, and inflexibility and tightness of the gastrocnemiussoleus, and plantar muscles (commonly the flexor digitorum longus) may contribute, as well. Increasing activity, intensity, and duration too quickly leads to shin splints because the tendons and muscles are unable to absorb the impact of the shock force as they become fatigued; also, the tibial bone-remodeling capabilities are overloaded.) I immediately thought, what the heck, do I need new sneakers? I probably do. But this is likely due to using and overexerting muscles during TRX on Wednesday and nothing is quite back to normal. As I had feared, it has interfered with my training so now I’m a little hesitant to go back for more abuse!

Despite the aches in my muscles, I still pushed faster than I have the last few runs. I certainly didn’t enjoy my run that much today, but it was a beautiful day for an outdoor activity (I even saw a guy running in shorts!) The temperature is warmer than it has been, so everything is melting but the ice that is left is extremely slippery. In less than a second I almost bailed twice, startling the fellow behind me (sorry!) For those of you out there training for longer distances, do you only focus on the running & weight training? Or do you also attend classes?

Anyway, that’s it for the day. Tomorrow is a rest day and I’m contemplating doing some yoga tomorrow evening at the Trico Centre.

Here are todays stats:

  • Distance: 6.44 km
  • Time: 37:25
  • Pace: 5:48
  • Best Pace: 4:50

Hope everyone is happy and healthy out there!

 

Day 78: 2 miles slow and missing @Cape_Breton

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

For the next part of half marathon 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! 🙂

I started out really slow. My quads are still very tight (but thank you Runninbear 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: 

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

 

Day 77: #Speed training at the track. Ouch.

“The five S’s of sports training are: stamina, speed, strength, skill, and spirit; but the greatest of these is spirit.” -Ken Doherty

Tonight was speed training at the indoor track because it was way too slippery outside. I’m not much of an indoor runner (as you know) for a few reasons: (1) it’s boring, (2) I feel like people stare and (3) it’s too stuffy. I do find a huge difference running on the rubberized floor though, my knees are thanking me rather than hating on me this evening. However, my quads are still incredibly sore from TRX the other evening. No joke. I’m still bracing to go down and up stairs, as well as sitting (first time I have ever wished I had those senior handles in the loo). But the stubborn person that I am, I cannot bare the thought of losing another day of training so I felt like powering through it. Not going to lie, literally half-way through I was almost ready to quit.

The internal struggle:

“Don’t be silly Kat, no one else would continue in this pain. Quit. You have blisters on your feet. Your quads are burning. Your chest is burning. You’re red and sweaty.QUIT!vs. “You can do this. You’re half-way done. Everyone else has had awesome runs this week, join them. Dig deep. Take a break if you have to, but DON’T QUIT!!“.

So, I grabbed a quick drink of water and hopped back on the track. And then when I had about six minutes left I took another break to stretch. I didn’t quit.

In total, I did ten minutes of sprinting and twenty minutes of regular pace running. So the intervals were one minute sprint, two minutes regular running (sometimes slow). I have absolutely no idea how many laps I completed, but I didn’t really care this time I was just thrilled to finish. I felt really good for the first 15 minutes, but it took a lot of willpower to continue the sprinting once I hit the halfway mark. I am proud to say that I finished on a sprint interval and finished strong. I took a half lap around the track just walking – my legs felt like rubber! It reminded me of the days when we would be training for basketball and had to do suicide after suicide after suicide (without the throwing up afterward). I wouldn’t say it was completely miserable because I actually felt like I showed the track who was boss but I would say that I’d take hill training over speed. Nuff said.

To cool down was some yoga and of course, planks. I did lots of stretching and drank lots of water and now I’m just relaxing in front of the tube.

Hope everyone is having a terrific Friday out there!

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  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: 

  • 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: Before Running, one 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!