Honolulu Marathon Training Week 8

I’ll just keep this post short & “sweet”, because that’s basically how this training week went… Well, the short part at least.

Monday – rest

Tuesday – run : 45 mins on the treadmill (rain & cold outside and I just couldn’t get out there yet hahah)

Wednesday – walk : approx 5 KM

Thursday – run : 45 mins – Hill training in the middle : 5 x 1 min hill bursts on a crazy incline. I love hill training and usually do it more, so I must get it back into my schedule!

Friday – Worked all day, couldn’t fit something into my schedule

Saturday – conference all day, by the end I had weird pains in my left leg so I took it easy for the night. Threw a frisbee around with the bf in the park just get to get some sun on my skin.

Sunday – Supposed to do a 12-15 KM long/taper run. Did not happen. Pushed this run to Monday (today) just to be safe with the left leg pain I was having. I did try 100m of kicking in the pool and that was tiring (I can’t swim)! Highlighted for me how much I need strength and cross training. (So embarrassing, but I thought I would share that.)

Total KMs = 14.76

Calgary Runner Training Marathon

So, there you have it. Another week with some little issues that got in the way of my training. I was feeling a little frustrated with this on Sunday, but I’m just going to continue on. I’ve got the Harvest Half Marathon on Saturday so I am looking forward to that… as long as the weather is better than last year!!

One of these weeks I am going to report something good, I tell ya.πŸ˜‰

Time to open up – who’s taken adult swimming lessons? I’m considering it for the new year.Β 

Calgary Marathon 2016 Race Recap

This post has been a LONG time coming. Actually, in the internet world it’s been a VERY VERY LONG time coming. I debated not writing or posting it, but I feel it’s important for me to document (journal) how my first marathon went.

I’ll start by saying that training was difficult. As mentioned in a few previous posts, I experienced a lot of ups & downs throughout my training, but overall I really enjoyed the experience. I learned a lot about myself and all the things I need to change for my next training cycle (which just happens to be now!).

On the day of the Calgary Marathon (May 29, 2016) I got up bright and early and went through my usual pre-race routine. I always lay my stuff out the night before, so the morning of the race I quietly got ready while drinking a smoothie and a little bit of coffee. I wasn’t too nervous while I got ready, which I thought was a positive sign.

Because so many roads were closed for the race, I took transit to the event which was quite smooth & relaxing. It was exciting to see other runners piling on the train too, so that helped me to get pumped up.

Once at the event grounds, I walked around a little bit and then started to do my pre-race stretches & movements. This is when I started to get a little nervous. I checked my bag with ease and decided to go for one more bathroom trip… this wasn’t the best idea time-wise. I used the washroom and rushed to get in the starting chute, but there weren’t enough openings for me to enter near the pace bunny that I had hoped to run with. And this is when I started to panic a little. I had to go way back in the chute, entering where most of the Ultra runners were. (Here’s where I’ll enter my biggest pet peeve of this race. Having the 50 KM, 42.2 KM, and 21.1 KM runners all starting at the same time is a bit chaotic- no corrals too! I’m not sure why the Calgary Marathon does this, but it does not make the race start very easy for the runners.)

Once I found an entrance to the chute, I TRIED to move up further but it was so packed that I couldn’t. Honestly, I was freaking out a little bit and here’s when I made one of my biggest mistakes of this race. Once we started and crossed the start line, I attempted to speed up to catch the 4:15 (finish time) pace bunny. Not a great idea and I believe I paid for this later in the race.

I did manage to catch the 4:15 pace bunny and I can’t recall how long I was able to maintain that pace… I think around 20 KM, but then after that I was hot and had to slow my pace a bit.

The course was great and lots of people came out to watch/cheer, so that was a nice change from other Calgary races. The day turned out slightly warmer than expected, so that did affect me a little bit.

I felt good for most of the race and kept it together mentally till around 30 KM. My boyfriend & mother-in-law showed up at different points in the race to cheer me on, so that was particularly motivating. I’m so grateful for their continued support! But, around 30 KM it started to get to me how I lost the 4:15 pace bunny and I kept wondering what my time would change to. I told myself I would feel shitty if the 4:30 pace bunny passed me. Why did I do that to myself? Self-talk certainly can escalate quickly.

Around this point I started running beside a guy doing the Ultra completely barefoot. Lots of people were yelling comments at him and commending him (and some called him crazy!), and this somehow took me out of my own head for a little bit. I ran beside him for about 4 KM and I was grateful at the time for the distraction. After that, yes, the 4:30 pace bunny caught me. I was hard on myself for a short period of time, but the guy was super friendly so I just decided to focus on that instead.

Pic credit : @runner_leana | My fave shot from the race!

Pic credit : @runner_leana | My fave shot from the race!

I believe I ran with the 4:30 pace bunny group from around 36 – 40 KM, but I’m not absolutely sure because distance started to blur for me. At 39 KM I got an extra boost from the Mission District Run Crew, who I occasionally run with. Seriously, these guys were awesome with loud cheering and high fives. It was just what I needed at the time. After that I attempted to “speed” off on my own for the last 2 KM. There were some good crowds around, so this helped with motivation and focus.

The last push was difficult, but I did what I had to do to finish strong. Running into the finish chute at the Calgary Grandstand was a great highlight of the event. I raised my hands in the air and crossed that finish line as a proud runner.πŸ™‚

I thought I would cry at the end of the marathon, but I didn’t. I’m not sure why. Maybe I knew that I hadn’t given it my all. Maybe I knew that I had more drive in me. This part is still a mystery to me. I do remember that one of the first things I said was that I’m not in a rush to do another marathon. I may have repeated this over and over, obviously not recalling that I had already signed up for my second one before this marathon even started!

Overall, I’m still pretty damn proud of myself. My chip time was exactly 4:25:00 and every KM was fought for. I know I have more in me. I know I can do better. Calgary Marathon was an amazing experience with many lessons learned, but the running journey definitely continues…

Woohoo I did it!! First Marathon Done! :)

Woohoo I did it!! First Marathon Done!πŸ™‚

How did you feel after your first marathon?

Honolulu Marathon Training Week 7

Well, another week of training has flown by and I’m not totally pleased with my progress. I guess this is when I should ask… Is there ever a week of marathon training that we’re totally happy with? I keep waiting for this to happen.

I’m getting pretty excited about this race and my first trip to Hawaii. Actually, I can’t believe that it’s approx 3 months away… I’m not ready!! hahaha Too early to freak out about what to pack, right?πŸ˜‰

Enjoying the last few runs in tanks & shorts!

Enjoying the last few runs in tanks & shorts!

Here’s how my week went:

Monday – rest : migraine

Tuesday – run : 45 mins (weird calf pains)

Wednesday – rest : calf pain

Thursday – bike : 15 KM (not pushing calf too soon, headache)

Friday – run : 45 mins (good pace, calf felt ok, rolled ankle while not paying attention)

Saturday – rest : not feeling well at all

Sunday – run : 18 KM long run pace (felt a little calf pain after, but nothing too serious)

Total KMs = 33.78

As you can see from this week, I had some ups & downs. Battling a migraine, calf pain, and not feeling well seemed to be the theme, so I am hoping to feel better this week. YEP I STILL NEED STRENGTH TRAINING. Haha And mileage is still a little low too, but what can you do when you’re feeling awful?!

Ok, onward & upward! Right?πŸ˜‰

Got to be ready for the Harvest Half Marathon in less than 2 weeks – any other locals running it?


Honolulu Marathon Training Week 6

Oh boy… so, week 6 came and went in a hurry. And, you’ll notice that there aren’t many miles in the total below there… (remember, this is a judgement free zone!!πŸ˜‰ )

BUT, I did run a 10KM race and I did PB, so there’s that!

Monday – rest (walking)

Tuesday – run : 45 mins (Fartlek on indoor track, worked up some good speeds); strength (3 x 5 pushup, 10 crunches, 15 squats)

Wednesday – run : 6.50 KM (nice pace, cool morning)

Thursday – rest

Friday – bike : approx 15 KM

Saturday – run : Dino Dash 10K – Lots of fun and I got a PB chip time of 52:08!! This is approximately 1~ish minute faster than my last 10K about a year ago, so I am pleased. Would I have liked to go faster? Yes. But, I went out a little too fast in all the excitement and then burned out a little bit at the end. That’s ok though, I still had fun and met some fellow YYC runners, so that’s a good day in my books!

Sunday – rest

Total KMs = 24.36

Cool morning training run face...

Cool morning training run face…

Time to get back into some higher mileage for week 7 and I need to start remembering strength training. Seriously, why can’t I get myself into strength? I know I need it, but just can’t figure out the best exercises to do or occasionally it’s difficult to find the time. I have to get it together if I want to get faster!! (Greatly appreciating tips here… )

Anyone else race recently? How did you do?

Honolulu Marathon Training Week 5

Well, it looks like fall has arrived in Calgary and I’m totally not ready. Summer was probably about a week long here this year and I find myself still craving sun and warm weather. This girl needs her vitamin D!

Yes, I am aware that complaining about the weather is useless… I just do it anyway. And, it lets you know what I’m dealing with while training. Seriously, living in Southern California is my dream. I could really do without winter, but that’s me.πŸ˜›

Here’s how training went this week…

Monday – rest day (travelled back to Calgary from Halifax)

Tuesday – run :Β 35 mins (actually a warm day in Calgary, attempted Fartlek run)

Wednesday – run : 7 KM (good pace, happy with this run)

Thursday – bike : approx 15 KM

Friday – skipped run : migraine😦

Saturday – worked all day, still had migraine

Sunday – run : 16 KM – every KM after 8 was a struggle. I felt tired, sluggish, and cold. It was a cool, grey day and I’m not sure I was prepared. Hydration could have been an issue too. I got it done, but this long run felt like a marathon.

Total KMS = 28.94

That was a tough long run... pondering life...

That was a tough long run… pondering life…

This week of training was tough. Didn’t really do any strength training and I skipped my interval run because of a 2 day migraine. Trying not to be too upset about it, but I know I need both of these things so that I can get faster. Either way, I did what I could and now it’s time to move on to week 6!

Tips for moving on from a tough training week?

Honolulu Marathon Training Week 4

Eek 4 weeks of training for my second marathon done! Time, and summer, have both flown by and I can’t believe I’m starting week 5 of training and fall is almost here. You can certainly feel fall in the air in Calgary, which I’ll be honest… I’m not ready for it. I never really am though.. Short summer or long summer (when do those happen!?), I’m not ready to move on to cooler weather. Either way, I’m doing my best to keep on training and sticking to my schedule as much as I can. Didn’t get everything on the plan done once I landed in Halifax, but I still got out for runs and learned a few things for my training.

Monday – rest day

Tuesday – run : 45 mins
Supposed to be a Fartlek run, but it was soooo windy that I just tried to go at a good pace the whole run. It was a good workout. Annoying, but good.πŸ˜›

Wednesday – run : 5 KM
Strength : 3 x 5 push-ups, 10 crunches, 15 squats

Thursday – flew to Halifax (took up most of day)

Friday – run : 5.5 KM
Grey, humid as all hell run in Halifax. Legs heavy at the beginning but I started to feel better as I got going. I was hoping that running at sea level after training at altitude would help me, but then I think the humidity was kicking me instead. Oh well, still enjoyed this run through my old neighbourhood.πŸ™‚

Saturday – walk/hike : approx 7KM
Walked next to the ocean & enjoyed some scenery. It was hot & I loved it! Then went to a family BBQ and ate all the calories plus more back. Worth it.

Sunday – run : 8 KM “long run”
Because I still hadn’t adjusted to the time difference, I couldn’t get up super early before the sun & heat, so this run around noon was hot. Humid & hot. Now, I am not really complaining because I was trying to enjoy the few days of heat that we’re not getting in Calgary, but it did pose a challenge for my long run. I was aiming for 10K, but without water, etc I decided to cut it short at 8K. And that’s ok, I tried not to stress but I seriously learned that I somehow will have to heat train for Honolulu. Either way, I enjoyed the warm run on a great path in Halifax that passes by a couple lakes. Not too bad!

Total KMs = 26.30

Contemplating those miles. ;)

Contemplating those miles.πŸ˜‰

Right away you’ll notice the lack of strength training. Ugh. At least I kept to my run plan as much as possible. Sometimes I find it tough to stick to a plan while traveling, but I feel like I did pretty good and I’m not going to beat myself up over it.

Two races coming up to focus on, but I’m not totally sure of the strategy I’m going for. I’d like to PB, but we’ll see. I have to keep the marathon goal in mind. Dino Dash 10K in about 2 weeks and then the Harvest Half Marathon in about 4 weeks. Excited and ready to be at a race again, I miss the crowds and community.

Side note: I had a really nice time visiting family back home in Halifax. I miss my nan, my family, and the ocean every day, so it can be tough to be away. It’s just nice to see the city and ocean again. Sometimes it’s good to reminisce, sometimes it’s not. But that’s all part of my story, part of who I am. Got to love what I can about it.

Anyways, that’s week 4 of training. Onward and upward!

Have you ever heat trained before? Tips?

Honolulu Marathon Training Week 3

Week 3 done! And it’s almost September?! Wow. The Honolulu Marathon is still a few months away, but now it’s time to start thinking about a couple of local races that will help me build toward my marathon. Lots to do & plenty of training to focus on. You’re wondering how week 3 went? Well, let’s get down to it…

Monday – Rest

Tuesday – Bike approx 14 KM

Wednesday – Run : 45 mins (Fartlek – random & 1 big hill climb)
Strength : 3 x 5 pushups, 10 crunches, 15 squats

Thursday – Run : 8 KM, good pace, felt strong
Strength : 3 x 5 pushups, 10 crunches, 15 squats

Friday – Run : 45 mins speed work
10 min warm up
5 min approx 5:15~5:35 / KM, 1 min recovery
4 x 2 min approx 5:00~5:15 / KM, 1 min recovery
3 x 1:30 min approx 4:15~4:30 / KM, 1 min recovery
10 min cool down
Good workout, felt challenging in a good way. I was less cranky for this speed session. : )

Saturday – Rest

Sunday – Run : 14 KM long run

Total KMs = 37.54

Long run in the sun!

Long run in the sun!

This week I started some very light strength training exercises. It doesn’t seem like much, but I have to do a slow build to get my body used to it. Again, still not enough cross training. I am struggling to find the time for other activities and the next few weeks aren’t going to get much better. I do try to ride my bike, but the weather here has been quite unfavourable. Most days have thundershowers, etc and I am not a big fan of riding my bike in crazy weather. Hopefully I figure out a better plan for some cross training soon.

The next 2 weeks are going to be a little crazy for me, so the challenge will be to stick to my run plan as much as I can. Wish me luck!

Do you run when you travel? How do you stay on track?

Honolulu Marathon Training Week 2

Halfway through August already?! Oh my goodness.

I seriously can’t believe that summer is almost over. The weather in Calgary hasn’t exactly been ideal, so it almost feels like we’re still waiting for summer to start. I mention this because it does have an affect on training… Not the biggest fan of running indoors in the summer just to avoid cool rain/thunder/lightening/hail storms almost daily!

In spite of all the crazy weather, here’s a recap of week 2 training for the Honolulu Marathon:

Monday – rest / approximately 5KM walk

Tuesday – run 45 mins (Fartlek / speed burst every 7 mins). Felt like crap during this run, legs very heavy after standing at work all day.

Wednesday – rest

Thursday – run 51 mins (speed work / intervals)
Warm up jog
4 x 2 min approx 5:30/KM, 45 sec recovery
4 x 1:30 min approx 5:15-5:30/KM, 45 sec recovery
4 x 1:00 min approx 4:45/KM, 1:00 min recovery
4 x 0:30 sec approx 4:15-4:30/KM, 1 min recovery
Cool down jog
I was so cranky before this workout. I don’t like speed work at all & I’m not totally sure why.

Friday – run 5 KM (easy pace)

Saturday – rest

Sunday – run 12 KM (long run)

Total KMs = 32.53

Finally a gorgeous day!

Finally a gorgeous day!

You’ll notice that this week lacked strength and cross training. Not a good habit to get into and this needs to change right away. It was a little bit of a rough week, so at the time I was happy just to get my training runs done. I also need to figure out what I dislike speed training so much. I was quite a cranky lady before & during my speed training session and this can’t go on as I try to get faster over the next training cycle. Got to put the work in and try to enjoy it!

How was your training week? How do you feel about speed training?

Honolulu Marathon 2016 Training Week 1

I can’t believe it’s training time again! Honestly, off-season flew by and I’m not sure if I’m ready for training to start again. On the flip side, I am excited because this destination race will certainly be a highlight for me. The training will offer many opportunities for me to learn more about myself and my running abilities as well. Big goals and plans in my head that I will write about later, but for now it’s all about training for this big race in December!! (Recall that I signed up for this race before I even finished my first marathon… Way to commit myself ahead of time!πŸ˜‰ )

Week 1 Honolulu Training done! :)

Week 1 Honolulu Training done!πŸ™‚

August 1 – 7, 2016

Monday – Cycling : 23.5 KM (easy pace, recovering from light injury)

Tuesday – Run : 45 mins (15 min warm up, 15 mins Fartlek, 15 mins cool down), legs felt heavy & tired but I got it done!

Wednesday – Run : 5 KM (treadmill, easy pace)

Thursday – Rest

Friday – Run : 45 mins speed work (15 min warm up, 10 x 1 min at 4:45 average with 1 min recovery, 10 mins cool down)

Saturday – Rest (worked all day)

Sunday – Run : 10 KM (long run)

Total KMs = 29.26

Right away I notice that I need to start finding a way to schedule in cross-training and strength training. I did not do enough strength building during my first marathon training, so that certainly has to happen this time around. I often lack in this area because I am not sure what to do… Which exercises are best for running? What do I need to strengthen the most? Working on figuring this out so I can get started. I have goals that I want to achieve in running, particularly getting a little faster, so I know that I need to lift some damn weights!

Anyone else training for a fall or winter race? Excited?

Summer of less run, more bike

Woah, it’s been awhile since my last post.

To be honest, I can’t believe how fast time flies. {Who doesn’t say this?!} Seems like it wasn’t that long ago when I was training for my first full marathon and going through all the emotions involved. All that worry and anxiety is now over and I’m now starting to plan for my second marathon training… Which reminds me, I still need to do a race recap about my first marathon! I haven’t done this yet because for some reason it seems difficult for me to sit down and articulate all of the emotions and memories involved in that race. Part of me can’t even believe it’s finished. Like, did I seriously run that far? Crazy! I wonder if anyone else can relate…

Since the marathon I’ve been on a bit of a break, running less and trying to enjoy other activities. I’ve mostly added cycling into my weekly routine, which has been a fun change. Cycling is a nice challenge, while also being a little easier on my body. I’ve been bike commuting to work more and last Sunday I did a 52 KM ride with the bf all around Calgary. It was tough, but also so much fun! He’s trying to encourage me to ride 100KM… we’ll have to see how that goes!

Post 52K cycling smile!

Post 52K cycling smile!

In all honesty, I’ve been struggling to find my motivation this summer. I’ve been finding it difficult to get up in the morning (even when it’s sunny) and occasionally struggling throughout the day. Usually, the summer months are prime for me to get up early either to workout/run or to just relax with a cup of coffee & a book on the balcony. But, not this year and I’m not sure why. Granted it’s been a very tough past 7+ months for me as I’ve battled with some tough situations and also grief, so I am guessing that some of that comes into play. I’d certainly like to turn this around soon because September is about to get very busy & I’m going to need all the motivation I can get!

Anyone else feeling a summer slump? How do you stay motivated? Got any fall goals? (Eek, I don’t even like writing out the word “fall”… hahaha no rush!)

Looking forward to the road ahead!

Looking forward to the road ahead!