Sunday, August 30, 2009

Long run day

Just got back from my longest run in awhile - just under 12 miles. I got dragged out early by Deb, Kendall, Christina, and Colleen - left at 9am. It was great! Awesome to have my run completed before 11am on a Sunday! Usually I am lazy and like to sleep in a bit with Geoff, read the paper, eat breakfast, then leave around noon. Also, today is crazy-hot so it was good to get the run completed before it hits 29C!

Regarding the run, I seem to regularly experience problems with my hips after about 10 miles. They tighten up and start to become sore, so then my stride changes a bit to account for this. I will need to get this under wraps in the next few weeks before my really long runs start and before I actually do the 26.2 miles in December. Obviously my long run is going to continue to increase each week from here, so I want to make sure I am in top shape and health to handle it! I'm going to try out some ART to see if the hips can be loosened up, as I think they are just chronically tight. I stretch well, using the foam roller and the trigger point tools regularly, but I'm not sure how much this is helping. Hopefully I can get an appointment in the next week for this technique. My massage tomorrow will certainly help as well, since my legs are feeling all the running I've done this week (just under 60km I think)! My legs are actually feeling a lot better this weekend than I thought, after a hard track workout on Thursday (6x800).

See - I stretch!


Other than that, on tap for the rest of the day is a long walk with Hugo, some shopping, and dinner at Deb and Gord's (Geoff's parents), where I hear Deb is making her famous chocolate cake -layered with whipping cream - for dessert! I think I can justify that after my hard run today!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Bad habits gotta go

With the marathon training just beginning, I think the time has come to attempt to make some changes to what I am eating. I'm not trying to lose weight or anything, but rather to be a bit healthier. For the most part, Geoff and I eat pretty healthy. But we are no strangers to regular take out food and delivery (Panago pizza, Wok Box, Bad Ass Jack's, Swiss Chalet, to name a few).


On days when we are actually cooking something, it is always quick easy stuff, because let's face it - we don't have the energy to spend hours preparing gourmet meals. How do people find the time or energy to do this? After a long day of work, followed by a hard workout, (and then coaching swimming at 8pm on Tues/Thurs), the last thing I want to do is spend an hour preparing a meal. I am hungry at that instant and I want something to eat right away! Typically we eat the following on a frequent basis: tortellini or other pasta, salads (the ones that come with the dressings and you just mix them up and they're ready), burritos, shrimp, bbq chicken (already made at Safeway - you just cut it up), and you get the general idea - these are all foods that can be prepared very quickly! And they're not unhealthy... when we go somewhere for take-out it is always something healthy, like wraps from Bad Ass Jack's or yummy asian dishes from Wok Box, not burgers and fries and shakes.


But I have constant cravings for salty snacks like chips, so it is a normal thing to see a bag of Kettle chips or Ms. Vickie's in the grocery cart. Which would be fine if the entire bag was not consumed in one sitting. Also candy like Swedish berries and those Juicy Squirts, the bag is finished off a short time after being opened. These types of candy go hand in hand with popcorn. The other day I had a pop tart for supper (don't know where Geoff was, perhaps golfing or something?), then later that night we got groceries and I polished off a (smallish) bag of Kettle chips. Not the best idea. And Monday was also a day I did no training sessions so there were no workouts to justify the junk. It's time to cut down on the frequency that these uber-unhealthy meals are occurring. While it's fine to indulge on a moderate basis, days like my Monday debacle should be avoided.


As the running mileage increases, I am sure I will be hungrier and hungrier so the idea will be to get the extra calories through healthy snacks and meals! However, the bags of Kettle chips will still show up in the grocery cart every now and then as I will need to replenish my depleted sodium stores...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

He's the... fastest...kid... alive...

Geoff and I had fun at the Run for the Brave/Tanks n Tags (10km) yesterday. The race is only about 15 minutes from our house, so we didn't have to leave until 8:30am for the 9:30am start. Such a reasonable race start time! It allows you to get up at a decent hour (i.e. 7:30am), instead of in the middle of the night like most triathlons. The marathon is going to be ridonculous as it starts at some crazy hour like 6:15am, so 4am wake-up call!




Anyway, back to the race/workout! There weren't too many that turned up to do the race (150 total including the walk and the kid's fun run, I think), so we organized ourselves right at the front of the start line and away we went (well, Geoff always starts at the front of the race as he is super-fast but this time I started right next to him). That was the last I saw of Geoff as he sprinted away right from the start with not even one runner in his vicinity! Luckily he had a guy on the lead bike for some company:) I ran with a really young girl at a very good pace and hilariously we soon found ourselves in the next 2 places behind Geoff! How about that? Unfortunately after about 2.5 miles she opened up a small gap and I was struggling slightly so couldn't stay with her, but I kept her in my sights the rest of the race. I'm not quite there yet, but soon I will be the one dropping people! I gave it my all for the rest of the race, feeling good technique-wise and felt like I was running really well. She ended up about 40 seconds ahead of me, and I was 3rd overall in 40:46! Geoff won the entire race by like 7 mins and went 33:10.




I will be the first to admit that the course was not quite 10km (I wish), but more likely something around 600-800m short. Which means that this would still be a PB of a couple minutes for me (my previous PB is 45:30 that I did last year)! Yeah! Geoff figures he ran about a 35-something if it had been 10km. He also made the evening news as they interviewed him after he finished which was pretty funny!




After the race yesterday, we took Hugo to the off-leash dog park with Michele and her two dogs, and it was a crazy time. Hugo sprints relentlessly around the park from one dog to the next, and won't stop even when he is completely tired and ready to drop. He is next to impossible to catch, especially when your legs are a bit tired after racing:) It was a warmer day as well, so he actually went right into the lake a couple times to cool himself off. He has never done that before and he actually had to dog paddle to get back to the side in order to get out! He spent the entire day today sleeping, evidence that he definitely overdid it yesterday!

Monday will be a day off running - maybe I'll take my bike out for an hour?! (It's been awhile.) I ran for about 90 minutes earlier today and my legs aren't feeling all that bad. Tuesday starts a bigger build week of running into the first part of marathon training. In 3 weeks' time there is another 10km race that has a very accurate course (this is where I ran the PB last year) - the Rotary Run. Looking forward to seeing what I can do there but it will be 3 hard weeks leading up to it!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sunshine and lollipops

We have been due for some nice weather lately and now it is finally here! BEAUTIFUL! Cloudless sky, warm temperatures, perfect August weather. It is about time!




I have been running lots and feeling pretty great. Saturday is a low-key 10km race, so low-key in fact that there are like less than 50 people in it! Haha! Fun times...


Sadly, August is nearly over but I am very excited for fall running! I love running in the fall, especially a fall like we had last year where it was 25C for most of September and a warm October as well. Hope that happens again this year as there will be LOTS more running for me than ever this fall with marathon training! The bike is collecting dust sleeping in my dad's garage and my swim cap/goggles are still tucked away in my swim bag. Perhaps one of these days I will go for a swim and a bike ride! But it's a simple life only training for one sport at a time...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A New Goal

So, after feeling all 'triathloned-out' the past few weeks after my series of 4 early-season races, I decided yesterday that I won't be doing any more tri's this year. Running is going to be my main focus for the rest of 2009, with a 10km race next weekend, the Suicide Prevention 10km run on Sept. 13, and finally.......



Yes, that's right - I signed up for the Las Vegas marathon on Dec. 6!! I am very excited! I have never done a stand-alone marathon before. I ran a marathon at the end of Ironman Couer D'alene in 2006, but that is a lot different and this time the sole focus of training will be running, with minimal swim/bike mixed in. This race sounds pretty awesome since you run up and down the strip for the first 13 miles, then finish with another 13 mile loop. Very cool! Geoff has also signed up for the marathon, but may switch to the half marathon. I'm trying to talk BFF Stephen into signing up as well - how about it, Stephen!


There is a lot of hard run training ahead of me but I'm looking forward to it and have already seen some improvements in speed the last few weeks. Friday's track workout went very well under the watchful eye of Geoff, and consisted of 5 x 1km repeats, all run at 4:02-4:03, which is actually probably the fastest I have ever run a 1km! My 90min run today, which I'm just about to start, will be my 6th run workout this week! I'm getting stronger every day...


Last night was dinner at Lazia downtown with BFF Bonnie, her bro/sis, Geoff, and Susan and Nicole. Delicious food to celebrate Bonnie's upcoming 29th b-day on Aug. 18! We headed out to Halo after that, where we had a few cocktails and enjoyed the groovy house music. After that, we walked over to Play where you are always guaranteed to hear good music! I was the first to leave (surprise surprise!) just after midnite as I was super tired and my high-heeled sandals were killing my feet.

Me and the birthday girl. Good times!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Track Workout!


Yesterday I did a workout at the track, my first in about 2 years. I fear the track, as some of my most painful workouts have occurred here. There will likely be weekly track workouts scheduled for me by Geoff from now on. This is a good thing! I will look forward to the pain and suffering involved!

My workout consisted of 6 x 800 with 2mins easy between, after a warm up of about 20 mins, which included running to the track. I also had to run home after the workout, which turned out to be a slow shuffle. The goal for the workout was to hold 3:15 for each 800. I actually felt really strong and focused on a fast turnover and keeping it under control. I ended up achieving the goal: my splits were 3:12, 3:10, 3:15, 3:13, 3:14, 3:12. This is definitely faster than what I would have done the last time I did the track. Next week is probably going to be mile repeats. Yikes!

This made me laugh:
Someone had a brain-fart!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Changes

Since my races last weekend, I took a very easy week (read: little to no training). I felt like my body was telling me that it needed some time off. Best to listen to your body instead of slugging through meaningless training that is not really going to benefit you. I have only been on my bike once since the sprint tri, and that was for an easy 45 min ride! And my race wheels are actually still on the bike! This will change tonight as I plan to get out for a ride, although it looks like it may rain so I might have to postpone that idea.

As of now, I really have no upcoming races planned in stone. It is kind of a nice feeling, as I feel like I needed some time to myself after a string of races in May/June/July. Doing the 2 half ironmans only 4 weeks apart was definitely tough on me and I have been feeling the effects of this in the past couple weeks. Fatigue, low motivation, feeling run-down, blah. Finally I am starting to get some motivation and energy back and I have been starting again with some good running workouts. I may do a 10km running race on Aug. 22, but I have no triathlons planned for August. There is an Olympic distance tri on Sept. 13 that Geoff and I are humming and hawing over, but no decisions have been made as of yet. And then of course on Oct. 25 is the Soma half ironman in Arizona, which I am registered for (I received a free entry after the Mexico race in April as there some issues during that race and I complained about it :). The other REALLY important event I plan to do is the Sonic 1km run and beer gardens on Aug. 15. Basically it consists of a 1km sprint race and then there is a beer garden at the end! So, very important stuff.

I have made the decision to part ways with my coach (Mark Bates at 321 Coaching) as of the end of July. It was a fantastic 1.5 years training with him, but right now with no concrete races/plans on the horizon, it didn't really make sense to continue with the monthly plans and fees. I have made siginificant improvements in the 2 race seasons we were together, but now it is time to go out on my own and see what I can do. Well, not exactly on my own, here is my new coach:

GEOFF!

He is going to do my training plans mainly for running and for some biking. I will continue to coach myself for the swim. I have to be accountable and on top of my workouts as I see him every day! Geoff is a super-fast runner (like a 1:15 half marathon) and I have lots to learn from him. So far he has me doing running drills/strides twice a week. I hope to become a REAL runner soon!

Other news: Geoff and I also made the decision to no longer coach the morning swims (3 a week, 6-7am; Geoff coached 2, I coached 1). It was wreaking havoc with our schedules during the past year, and I will be travelling more with my new job. Although I LOVE the group in the morning, I am looking forward to not getting up at 5:30am on Mondays! I will still coach the evening group as this commitment does not really interfere with my schedule. So down to coaching 3 practices from 6, which will be a lot easier.

That's all for now!