Sunday, 12 February 2012

First Half, Half Marathon

Just a quick race report. Today was a really fun day. The race was super well organized, the volunteers were awesome, the weather was perfect. I ran a personal best, my official chip time was 1:51:04. I am super proud of this finishing time.

I was very nervous at the start, so much so that I decided to go to the roundhouse/ start line alone. I did my warm up and my pre-race stretching all by myself. Standing in the chute before the gun I was so nervous I was actually shaking. As soon as I got running and settled into my pace I started to relax. The race was mostly mentally hard. There were a couple of times when the negative self talk got to be a bit much and I really had to think about what my coach had said. I had some calf discomfort and arch cramps in the last 3km. Overall though it was good. Hard work pays off. I can't believe I shaved more than 8 minutes off my personal best. I am soo happy! I feel so accomplished! Proud, proud, proud!

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Finding The Plot

I'm sitting here, hydrating, thinking about the race tomorrow and getting very anxious, my heart is fluttering. I have set myself a very arbitrary goal time of 1:49:59 which is nearly 10 minutes faster than my current personal best. My current pb is 1:59:20 on the same course a year ago. I'm stressing out cause I'm worried I won't achieve my arbitrarily set goal time. I think I've lost the plot. I need to remeber why I love running in the first place!
  • Running is fun 
  • Running makes me happy
  • Running can make the most foul mood turn around
  • Running can be alone time and something I can do just for me
  • Running keeps me physically fit and healthy
  • Running can be social time, and a great way to interact with my girlfriends
  • Running is a good way to connect with my dad
  • Running allows me to test my boundaries and my push limits
  • Running provides me with a huge sense of accomplishment and achievement
  • Running allows me to explore nature and go places I wouldn't have otherwise
  • Running can be an adventure (running in Langley, at night, on the side of a highway without lights)
  • Running allows me to be more outgoing and make new friends
  • Im good at running 

I'm going to stop worrying, enjoy my evening and stop being a crazy person. I'll wake up in the morning and run a great race no matter what the clock says. I'll have fun and do my very best cause after all, that's why I do this right? :)

QE Park, as seen on a solo long run

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Race Day The Vibram Way

Monday Morning Edit: Race times have been posted. Official chip time was 50:01, I finished 16th in my age group. How exciting! 

I am officially done the Nike study. I had a really great time at the UBC Fall Classic today. I ran into Maha, the study director a couple of times. She wrote my name on her hand and asked me my goal time. I said 52 minutes but I thought it would be highly unlikely that I actually run that fast. I honestly felt like 52 was a really, really ambitious. I've never gone under 55 in a 10k and my avrg 10k time is 56:02. So I thought shaving 4 minutes off on a 10k would be hard. Walking out to the start line I was so nervous I actually thought I was going to barf, my heart was racing. I always get like that at the start line. I left my friend and went closer to the start line. I have figured out that I run much faster alone, racing 10k alone is easy..not sure if I'd run a full alone.

This was the first time that I didn't talk to anyone/strangers during the run. There was a guy on the course that I wanted to talk to cause quite frankly he was pissing me off. Cause he kept passing me. Like frequently. And he was wearing DENIM cut offs. Denim cuts offs and a tee-shirt, in -4 weather. He was run walking but in very short intervals. I've never seen anything like it. I would catch up to him and he'd stop and walk, then I'd see him passing me like 2 minutes later, as soon as I passed him he'd stop and walk again. It was bizzarro. I want to know what the heck he was doing.

I wore the Vibrams 5 fingers with socks for the first time today. It added a bit of warmth but I have to say that by about 3k into the race my feet were numb and really cold, I was actually concerned. But once I hit the hills it got much better and my feet started to warm up. When feeling returned to my toes the run was much more comfortable! I also have to say that the socks and vibrams probably made me look pretty awesome, I had some pretty sweet fashion going today and I bet it made me run faster. :)-

The interesting thing that happened again today, that has been happening since I started running in the vibrams is I couldn't feel/figure out what pace I was running. Its like my output doesn't match my effort. I used to have to push it soo hard, until I was uncomfortable to run like a 5:30 km and now with what I perceive as way less effort I'm easily running a 5:00 km.

I felt like I was running super slow so I got Runmeter to chime in and I was currently running under 5min/km with average under 5min/km. For the record, that's really fast for me, like crazy fast. Yet, I felt like I wasn't moving, I didn't even feel like I was giving it 80%. I mentally and physically felt like I could run so much harder/faster but my legs just wouldn't do it. It's strange. I didn't feel uncomfortable like I used to when I'd push it in the past. Maybe I need to spend more time on the track and work until I'm uncomfortable to have a gauge for racing? I don't know. I didn't do a lot of the track workouts like I was supposed to, in fact I think I did 4 of the 14 (only 1 was actually on a track, the other 3 were treadmill). Maybe it would have helped. I feel like I could have ran it so much faster but something was holding me back. Saying that, I also want to say that I am ecstatic with my time, I'm very proud of it. I just think it could have been faster. I really need to find a track group that can run when I can run. I know of a few groups that I'd love to train with but I work too late.

I crossed under the finish line at 50:19. Maha took a photo with her iphone, I'll upload it when she sends me it. I yelled out "F**k Yeah" as I crossed cause I was so excited. I didn't think it was loud but she heard me so it must have been. Like I said, I'm proud of my time. Meeting my goals and exceeding them is great motivation to keep going.

My Run Meter app says:

Run time: 50:23
Distance: 10.12km
Avrg Pace: 4:59/km
Fastest Pace: 4:27/km
Ascent: 466 Meters
Decent: 502 Meters

Saturday, 19 November 2011

BMO Vancouver Marathon- Revisted.

Just revisiting my race report from the full 7 months ago, cross posted below from @dailymile. I wanted to re-read this to talk myself out of running the full in May, except I'm pretty sure it's had the opposite effect on me. After reading it I  feel really jacked up for my 10k race tomorrow in my vibrams. I really excited to run a 10k that I trained for!

BMO Vancouver Marathon Re-cap 

I just wanted to write a quick note about my third marathon yesterday. I don't want to sound blase but I found the first half of the race pretty easy. I had little pain and mentally I was doing great. I celebrated my fastest half when we crossed under the inflated thing, random strangers celebrated with me. I was so proud of myself, I felt great. I remember in the first half how easy it felt to be so ahead of my goal pace. Earlier in the week I said on here that I wanted to do 4:20, at the time I felt apprehensive putting that out there. I was pretty sure that I couldn’t run that fast and I didn’t want to face up to getting it wrong. The pace for 4:20 is 6:09/km, I ran the first half in 5:41/km. I kept looking at my watch and telling my partner wow, were like 5 minutes ahead of schedule. This is crazy!! It felt amazing. I felt so accomplished.
Shortly after that, like many others, I struggled up pipeline, a hill I have probably ran 200 times. Mentally it just kicked me. I felt sluggish and was starting to lose my resolve. This feeling stuck with me until km 28 where my husband was waiting for us with gaterade. We had seen him at around 17/18k when I was flying high and riding the runners rainbow. I was a different runner when has saw us 10k later. I could feel myself approaching the wall. I stopped, refilled my 4 bottles with cold gaterade, took a Tylenol, and chatted with him a bit while my partner applied body glide. I didn’t really care how long we were stopped fueling up. I was mentally done.
About half a click later I asked my friend to start doing math with me. When I ask for math it’s a bad sign, its my wall buster. At this point we were coming onto Burrard I knew our other running buddy was waiting to run with us in kits. I told myself that I had until Burrard crested to pull my shit together, kick the wall and do this thing. And that’s just what I did. And, it worked. Our gf kept saying how fast we were going, how good we looked, how strong we were and told us about a cycle to Horseshoe Bay she had done the day before. I started to truly feel amazing.
As we started to go up Cornwall I just started to feel great. There were soo many people out cheering, the sun was out, I had my 2 best running buddies with me. What a perfect day. I can’t really describe how I felt. I tried to vocalize it cause I could see/feel my friend was not on the same rainbow as me. I was trying to share the positive vibes. I don’t think it worked. By the time we got up to Candy corner I was all runners high, nothing could have stopped me, not even the hill we were approaching. At the crest I was geared up to get some free speed on the downhill. I turned around and my friend was walking and hydrating. She looked done. So I slowed down and started walking/dancing. I couldn’t help myself, it was such an amazing day. Once she finished her water we started down the hill. I could feel she was slowing up.
I looked at my watch we still had a bit of a lead on our 4:20 finishing time. I really wanted to leave her and get my 4:20. But I couldn’t leave my gf that had been there through all my BS on training days. Like that time I made her walk up Burnaby Mnt the second time we went up it on our 35k run, while we were both soaked and miserable. She has always been a rock and has always been there for me. She is a strong runner and has an iron will. I couldn’t leave her at the wall alone. So I decided to stay. I started encouraging her. At around 37k she said that she was going to tuck into her box and that I should leave her. Immediately myself and our other friend tried to tell her how good she was doing, that she could do it. Everything she would have said to us. About a km later she told me to go, get my 4:20. So I did.
I started going down Cornwall and I felt like I had a huge fish bowl strapped to my gut, sloshing around. I was soo full of water, gaterade and shot blocks I thought I was going to be sick. Despite this I ran for about 3 km with a huge smile on my face. I started chanting if you believe it and you can achieve it. I started telling slower runners coming towards me how good they looked. Despite my Buddha belly I felt unbelievable. I can’t think of a time on any run where I have been in such a good place mentally.
I looked at my pace band and realized that I had gained back some of the lead I had on 4:20, as I was going under Burrard I realized, if I pick it up I can go under 4:15. Holy. Shit. I was sorer than I ever have been in my life. I could feel my toe nails hanging on by shreds. I knew I was close to being done. I was trying to stay positive and on the rainbow. A volunteer told me we only had about 5 k left, he laughed when I said I eat 5k for breakfast! What he didn’t know was, I also had an ace up my sleeve, my dad whom had run the half was waiting for me and going to run me in the last 3 or 4 km. I knew if I could just make it to my Dad everything would be fine. I could do anything then. I was making deals with my body. I got to the spot were my dad met me on my first full and he wasn’t there. I actually said “Dad” out loud. I was crushed. Where was my secret weapon?! Ok. So another pep talk. Achieve/Believe. You can do it etc…as I was coming to the water station at the base next to Burrard Bridge on-ramp I spotted my Dad. My first question was how did he do in the half. Then he asked me how I was, I said, when we pick up the pace here Im gonna crack 4:15 and you’re gonna help. He was excited for me. He was almost as proud of me as I was!
So we get to about halfway up to the crest of Burrard and my 15/1 timer goes off. Of course im walking. I trained this way. I may be less than 3k from the finish line but its hot, Im thirsty, were walking. So we walked. High fived some awesome spectators. And then we ran. I truly felt like I was giving it 150% and my legs wouldn’t move. It felt like my finish was the slowest section of the run. My legs were done and they knew it. I tired to push it as hard as I could I wanted 4:15 soo bad. It felt like my dad and I are were the only runners in the chute, I felt like I made eye contact with every single spectator, I saw my husband, my step mom. I even heard the guy announce my name! It was like the finish line was just for me. My watch said 4:15:38. I was so happy. Its really hard to describe how it feels to think that you can’t do something and prove yourself wrong. I think I’ll be riding this rainbow for a long time. This run has given me a different outlook on things. I can do anything. I can set my mind to something and if I believe I can do it I will.

Chip time was 4:15:03, 21:33 faster than my second and 56:04 faster than my first.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Vibrams + Snow = No go.

Just had my first ever run in the snow in my Vibrams. For the record my favorite runs are in bad weather, give me rain and snow over hot sun any day. There is something so still and peaceful about running by yourself in crap weather. I know I winged a lot about yesterdays weather but it was still quite nice to be alone on the seawall with nothing but my foot falls to keep me company.

However, tonight my feet were cold after about 5 seconds and were so cold by the end of the short 30 min run that my toes and the tops of my feet were numb and tingling. It was actually painful. It's one thing to enjoy solace, another to be so uncomfortable you're in pain. As much I hate to say this, I think the Vibrams will be for indoor and summer running only. How sad. I really love to run in them. Perhaps I will explore the sock option however, I don't think it will actually add much in way of protection from the elements. Don't know til we try. Have you had any experience running in colder weather with vibrams? How do you do it?

I really hope it isn't snowing on race day or I'll be one cold little lady!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

The Best Paleo Dessert I've Ever far

Today marks my 5 month "anniversary" for lack of a better term on Paleo. I thought I would celebrate by posting one of my favorite indulgent recipes.

I met a dietitian about 3 months ago that specializes in Paleo nutrition, among other things. She gave me loads of great advice and great recipes and I would like to share one with you.

Paleo Macaroons / Raw Chocolate Macaroons

1/2 cup Organic Cold pressed Coconut Oil

1/2 cup Raw Organic Cocoa Powder

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 cup shredded coconut

dash of sea salt

 1. Melt coconut oil

2. Mix all ingredients together and form into balls

3. Pop into fridge and let set

4. Try not to eat all in one sitting

I have taken these little treats to parties, had them as dessert at my house, I've even given them as gifts. Everyone loves this simple, easy delicious recipe. I hope you will too! :) 

Plans for Jan-June 2012

My race goals for the first half of 2012 are as follows (I've read it's useful to write down goals so that you actually achieve them, I'll one up that by publishing it on the internet where no one will ever read it)

February: First half  My goal will be, as usual for a half, a PB.

(Technically my best 1/2 is 1:59:03, which was unofficial since it was the first half of the marathon in May. I did officially finish first half this feb in 1:59:20. It makes me very happy that after like 4 years of trying to break 2:00 in the half and coming very, very close on many occasions that I did it twice in 3 months.)

Feb 5, 2012 Edit:

My goal for this race is 1:49:59. I am very confident that after aprx 12 weeks of training with a coach that I can achieve this goal. We did a lot of strength training and drills in the early days at the track and for the last 3 weeks have done M-pace long intervals. As long as I can mentally and physically recreate those training runs I should be able to reach my goal.

March: UBC Duathlon This will be my first ever race involving a bicycle. I'm a little nervous about the transitioning but think it will be fun and a great way to keep me motivated to cycle this fall/winter.

Feb 5, 2012 Edit: I wont be doing this event. I volunteered for Chilly Chase a few weeks ago which gets me free entry into Green Sock Half which i would rather do. Especially since it's free.

May: BMO Vancouver Half Marathon I'll be training for the full with the girls, but racing the half with my Dad. We're planning to finish together. My Dad ran me in for my last full but we have not raced together side by side since 2007 when we finished in 2:01:56 at the time a PB for me and a slloowww finish for him.

June: Scotia Half I've always wanted to run this, and have even signed up for it on a few occasions but have not ever run it. In 2012 I finally will!!

I may also do some 5ks along the way depending on their schedule. Short races are fun! And I do intend to run a full marathon in the fall, just have not decided where or when yet.