Honolulu Marathon Training Week 12

Just under 7 weeks till the Honolulu Marathon! Time to freak out now, right?! Nawww, just kidding…πŸ˜‰ Though, it is time to start thinking about what I’m going to do when I get there and also what I’ll be wearing for the race. Dress up in something fun or keep it practical so that I am prepared for the weather? I guess we’ll see…

Here’s how my week went:

Monday – rest / light walking

Tuesday – run : 30 mins – didn’t really want to run, but got my butt out the door somehow.

Wednesday – cross train : elliptical 40 mins – tried to do some leg strength exercises again and had some really intense hamstring pain in my right leg. Going to hold off on this for now.

Thursday – run : 60 mins – 2 x 15 min tempo in the middle of the run

Friday – run : 30 mins – good pace, easy run

Saturday – rest

Sunday – run : 25 KM long run – This long run actually went pretty well, which has me pleasantly surprised and feeling good! I ran a mostly new route, so I think that helped the time to fly by… I didn’t start ruminating about how much I wanted to go home till around 22K. That’s a big deal for me!πŸ™‚ I had a little bit of left ankle pain, but mostly felt good and just enjoyed the whole morning of running. I even ran the last 6K without any music! Mileage is really amping up now!

Total KMs = 46.22

Grumpy Runner Run Calgary

Looking pretty grumpy about my Tuesday runπŸ˜›

The long run mileage is really getting up there now and I usually find myself being nervous the day before. I worry about getting bored or if my mental game will be strong. I know that I can do the run physically, but my mental game sometimes is a real struggle. I’m glad this week that I didn’t have many issues with this and I just ran and had fun. Nice change!

Thanks to Mud Hero & Deep Relief & GoodLife Fitness I received a pretty sweet care package of products to try out (pictured below). As an athlete, you hope that you won’t need to use these types of products often, but it’s good to have them for recovery just in case. The yoga mat, New Balance technical shirt, and handy carry-bag will definitely be used often – good thing blue is my fave colour!πŸ™‚ Deep Relief & Mud Hero are actually teamed up to promote these events around Canada, so check out their site and sign up for one of these fun & crazy events in 2017!

Deep Relief Mud Hero

How do you calm the running mental game while training?Β 

Honolulu Marathon Training Week 11

Week 11 already?! Wow, time is flying. This race is coming up fast and I still have so much planning and training to do. I’m super excited of course, but also a little nervous. I guess that’s normal as you build up towards a marathon!

Calgary Running St. Patricks Island

Am I tired? Need my sunglasses?πŸ˜‰

Here’s how the week went:

Monday – swim : 350 m kicking & hot tub for long run recovery

Tuesday – run : 30 mins – was supposed to be a hill workout, but I felt strange pains in my right ankle & calf, so I didn’t want to push it. Decided to switch up the plan and move hills to later in the week. Upper Body Strength 3 x (5 pushups, 10 crunches, 15 tricep dips)

Wednesday – elliptical : 30 mins; Lower Body Strength 3 x (10 lunges each leg, 15 squats)

Thursday – run : 45 mins random Fartlek – started to feel DOMS from yesterday’s strength (Oh no…)

Friday – elliptical : 30 mins & stretching/rolling (was supposed to run) – DOMS for real. Seriously learning a lesson here. I didn’t really want to notice my glutes this much.

Saturday – rest – to prepare for Sunday long run

Sunday – run : long run – 23 KM. This run was good and I certainly felt better than last week. It was also a couple of degrees warmer, so that may have helped. No wanting to cry… success!πŸ˜‰ I kind of wanted to stop running around 15 K, but convinced myself that there was only 8 K to go and that I couldn’t give up. Somehow that worked! My long run milage is getting up there, so I’m going to need some different motivations to get me through the tough parts.

So, what do you notice about this week? Well, I didn’t get that hill workout done. And my very simple leg strength workout caused me to have DOMS for 2 days. Seriously, 2 days! Tough lesson learned this week… DO MORE STRENGTH. Because of these DOMS, I definitely didn’t want to push a hill workout, so I feel a little guilty missing that. I did add some cross-training (elliptical), so that’s a plus!

This week I was also fortunate enough to give Energy Bits a try after my runs. Have you heard of them before? Well, they are these little tabs that are made of 100% natural organic spirulina algae. These little tabs are packed with a punch – 40 vitamins & minerals with only 1 calorie per tab! Energy Bits are easy to take on the go and are a great way to get healthy, clean energy for your workouts or just to get through your day. They also have Recovery Bits, which I like to add to my smoothie after a long run. You don’t even taste them! I’m a big fan because they’re so easy and they have so many health benefits. They’re paleo & vegan, and also provide a source of iron, antioxidants, vitamin c, and more. Seriously, check out the Energy Bits site (after reading this post!) for more information. They’re also pretty awesome to follow on Twitter.πŸ™‚

Energy Bits Recovery Bits

Yay for Bits!

What’s your preferred type of workout fuel?

And while we’re here, do you have a cure for DOMS? Β ;) Hahaha (You know, in case I do this again…)

Honolulu Marathon Training Week 10

Well, it’s official. Winter has started in Calgary. And, you can imagine how impressed I am. *eye roll*Β You might remember when I mentioned that we barely had a summer here, so I’m definitely not ready for the cold and snow we’ve been having over the past few days.

Despite winter, here’s how week 10 went:

Monday – run : 12 KM long run – nice run, good pace.

Tuesday – walk

Wednesday – run : 60 mins – treadmill because it was cold & raining and I wanted to watch Aquarius (don’t judge!)

Thursday – run : 45 mins, 4 x 30 sec strides at end of run – took body a long time to warm up

Friday – walk (snowing started)

Saturday – rest

Sunday – run : 21.1 KM long run – Cold, snow, wind. I was really cold at 10K, wanted to quit around 12K, and almost cried at 14K while running straight into the freezing wind. But somehow I managed to finish this run. A little slower than I wanted, but it’s done!

Calgary Snowman October YogiCrystal

Look, I made a new friend on my long run.πŸ˜›

As you can see, I’m still missing strength training. Seriously, I need a kick in the butt. I’m just not sure what’s best to do and how much… I need to look into this soon.

Starting to get back on track with my training and it feels good! I’m a little grumpy about having to figure out my running schedule around snow already, but I guess it’s time to suck it up. Honolulu Marathon is 2 months away, which is super soon when you think about it. I still have lots to plan, so I am freaking out a little bit while also getting excited.

Momentum Jewelry sharethespark


As a Momentum Jewelry Ambassador, I’m also excited that I get the opportunity to #sharetheSPARK this week with two awesome people. I love wearing my motivate wrap all the time as a constant reminder of what I’m doing this running thing for. Honestly, there was a point during my cold long run that I repeated my wrap mantra “Earned, Not Given” over and over in my head so that I could keep going.

Have you been to Honolulu for the marathon or vacation? Any things I must see?Β 

Honolulu Marathon Training Week 9

Oh what a week! Training week 9 flew by and it wasn’t exactly fun times. I was hoping to have a happy, positive training post for you, but that’s not happening for this week. There are some great take aways from this past week, so at least there’s that.πŸ™‚

Runner Fall Autumn Training

Having fun with leaves!

Here’s how the week looked…

Monday – run : 10KM – was supposed to go longer (this was Sunday’s missed long run), but I didn’t want to push my leg pain too much. Actually kept a good pace, so I was happy. In the evening I started feeling a sore throat coming on and I wasn’t impressed…

Tuesday – sore throat really bad, some sniffles – cue Crystal being CRANKY haha

Wednesday – run : 30 mins – pushed through an easy-paced indoor treadmill run just so I could be active.

Thursday – run : 40 mins – felt ok, but took it easy with my cold.

Friday – walk : approx 3 KM just to get outside in the sun.

Saturday – scheduled for the Harvest Half Marathon, but did not run. Made the tough decision late Friday night. Decided to focus on The Running Clinic seminar that I was fortunate enough to be able to attend.

Sunday – Was still in The Running Clinic course all day, so I was exhausted and decided to rest after the course got out instead of going for a run. (Long run moved to Monday again)

Total KMs = 21.26

September Total KMs = 110.2

There you have it. On Saturday I had my first race DNSΒ (Did Not Start) and this hit me hard. I was very upset and disappointed in myself, while also feeling like I was making the right decision for my long term goal. I had never DNS’d before and I never let rain & cold get in the way of a run, but seriously I just couldn’t bring myself to do it with this darn cold I have been fighting for a week. I worried about making the cold worse and I also had the running course to focus on all weekend, so that helped me to feel a little better about the decision.

Through all this I learned 5 key things about my 1st DNS:

1 – Listen to your body. It’s ok to do this and probably better in the long run. If you’re sick, you’re sick. Stop trying to fight or ignore it and just get some rest and help yourself get better faster.

2 – Go easy on yourself. I berated myself for this decision to the point of tears. I am not kidding. Then I felt guilty… seriously, what was I doing to myself? My bf reminded me that I was being silly and that I needed to stop with the self-deprecating comments. Accept what you can and move on without making yourself feel worse.

3 – Keep the major goal in mind when making a tough training decision. Honolulu in December for my 2nd marathon is the MAJOR GOAL. Being healthy and getting there is more important than running a half marathon in the cold & rain and possibly making myself sicker. Sure, I wanted to be at the race. I wanted to be around the running community and I wanted the kick in the butt/motivation that I needed for a training boost. But, I had to make this decision to “rest” (at a seminar) instead of possibly making my sickness worse. Sucks, but that’s reality because the big goal is in December and I need to keep that in mind.

4 – Listen to your support and be open to advice, even if it’s not what you want to hear. Being told that it’s probably a good idea that I DNS this race was hard to hear, but it was probably correct. I see that NOW. Haha Give your support systems (friends, partners, run club, social friends, etc.) the benefit of the doubt, especially if they have been there.

5 – MOVE ON. Consider the pros & cons, make the decision, and move on. Don’t dwell on it, don’t try to over think about what else you could have done… (How could I have avoided getting sick?! What did I come in contact with? Who made me sick?! Hahah All shit out of my control that I can’t change). Accept your decision and move forward. Focus on the training and goal ahead. Get back on track. Yes! We all can do it.πŸ™‚

The Running Clinic Course

Learnin’ all weekend!

Training week 9 is done and I can’t change it. Time to move on and get back on track. All I can do is my best and I’m looking forward to it! Seriously, the Honolulu Marathon is 68 days away from this posting. That’s soon if you think about it! I’m getting excited and now it’s time to get pumped again for my training! ps. I can use all the support I can get.πŸ˜‰

Have you ever DNS’d before? Any lessons you took away from that?

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?