Friday, January 21, 2011

Running for joy

I'm just back today from a week-long business trip to Calgary.  Nice to be home, even if it is slightly cooler here than it was there!  Happy to report that I was able to get outside yesterday evening for a run, after not having run outside in at least 2 weeks with the massive snowfall and cold temps we've had here in Edmonton.  The run yesterday was amazing!  It was dark by the time I left the hotel, around 6pm, and beautifully warm.  It was super windy on the way out, but just above zero and there was no snow on the pathway.  Imagine that - running on pavement!  My Kinvara's hadn't touched pavement for many weeks till that moment.

It was one of those runs where you feel like you're running for the sheer joy of running.  I happen to do a lot of thinking when I'm out running - not so much during hard interval or tempo sessions where you need to be focused on the task at hand, but more so during those longer aerobic workouts.  Having been stuck on the treadmill for all my runs the past couple weeks, I have been missing out on this thinking time as I typically am watching mindless television.

And I nearly forgot how much I missed it!  Yesterday's run was a strong reminder of how much I really do love running - the feel of the air rushing against your face, the sound of your breathing and footsteps and/or music, and the sights of the beautiful scenery passing by, including other runners.  It's not always about training training training, harder/faster/longer with thoughts of getting faster for that upcoming race at the top of your mind.  You really have to LOVE it as well!  And I DO!  Lately I have been making a point during my runs outside to smile and/or say hello to everyone and anyone who crosses my path, and yesterday was no different.  Many smile and say hello back, but a few look away and pretend not to notice. Doesn't matter!  I will continue to do this as I am happy being able to run and might as well share that with others!  Try it - it's easy and it's fun!

I feel like I was running the whole time with a goofy smile plastered across my face.  I had only planned to run for 45 minutes, an out and back route along the river.  The way out there was a huge headwind to challenge me but I hardly even noticed.  I was enjoying myself so immensely that by the time I first looked at my watch it was already at 25 minutes.  So I decided to continue on and turn around at 30, making the run an hour. Also - I realized in the back of my mind that I'd be hauling @$$ home as it would be tailwind city all the way back, so I would enjoy it even more! And I certainly did!  I felt like I was flying on the way home - such a great feeling.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do things, and all it takes is a run wake up call like that to remind me!

I'm off now - I have a hot date with the tready for 4x1 mile repeats!  Don't forget to ENJOY your run!

Monday, January 10, 2011

weekend indoor workout fun

This weekend in Edmonton we were slammed with a lovely winter storm that dropped about 35cm of this on us:
It's actually not even my car - I was too lazy to take pictures so I borrowed this one from a weather site...

Geoff and I were snowed in on Saturday.  I tried to get out in the morning in order to get to the pool to coach, but couldn't get past the driveway.  The snow was higher than your knees!  Our condo complex did not even get cleared until Sunday afternoon.  Good thing we have a nice little pain cave situation going on in the basement, including treadmill, bike trainer, Swiss ball, t.v., etc.  On Saturday I rode the trainer for 80 mins including some random big gear and standing intervals, then hopped on the tready for a 30 min run (all while watching Dexter re-runs!).  After the brick, I did a 45 min core/strength workout, with 9 full body exercises (3 sets of each, 12-15 reps).

On Sunday my running buddy Christina picked me up on the main road (complex still wasn't cleared) and we went to the gym for an indoor long run session.  I did 70 min on the tready at a decent pace, then planned to head right to the track to add on another 30 min. The treadmill sesh was not without its drama - with about 15 mins to go I was using my towel to wipe sweat off my face when suddenly my contact lense somehow got lodged behind my eyeball.  I couldn't see anything out of that eye (I'm pretty much blind without glasses or contact lenses!) so I kept trying to fiddle with it in order to get it to move back, squinting my eye and closing my eye, all while still running.  But it seemed stuck there!  I wanted to finish my planned session, so I kept running until 70 minutes were up, then I ran to the change room so I could look in the mirror and figure out what the heck was going on.  Christina quickly came to my aid and with her assistance, we eventually got the lense out...only to discover that it had ripped in half and the other half was still stuck behind my eye somewhere!  All during this display many women were coming in and out of the change room and offering advice/help and others were simply staring and/or pretending not to notice (probably thinking, who is this weirdo?)!

Finally about 15 minutes later, the second half was found and removed from my eye.  Phew!  I was a little worried there for a few minutes but it all turned out okay.  Crazy, though!  I have no idea how that happened.  Anyway, after the contact lense drama show it was time to get my butt on the track.  I ran another 20 min on the track while being able to see clearly out of only one eye and not at all out of the other (strange experience by the way), making my run a total of 90 min. Luckily I didn't run into anyone on the track :)

Earlier in the week I also had a couple of solid run interval sessions on the treadmill - Wednesday was a 60 min run that included 4 x 1 mile at 1/2 marathon pace with 3 min ez between, which felt comfortably hard until the last bit of #4, which just felt plain old hard!  Friday's workout included a main set of 6 x 2 min fast pace with 2 min ez between.  Never thought I'd be doing intervals at 9 on the tready, but here I am!  Short sprints/strides are done at 10.  Yay progress!

That's it for now... can't believe I have a 1/2 marathon coming up on Feb. 13!  Time is flying by!  

These poor little guys were stuck inside until Sunday evening when I took them to my Dad's to play with Gucci - however, they were happy enough to cuddle in the comfort of the warm indoors!