Sunday, October 30, 2011

Marathon change of plans

My original plan was to run the Las Vegas marathon (Strip @ Night) on Dec. 4.   For the first time ever, this year's race starts at 4pm, which would have been pretty cool!  But alas, my plans have changed.  The trip was just going to be too pricey, as there have been no good sales on flights, and then add in hotel plus food (and food in Vegas is never cheap!).  So Geoff came up with a new idea last week, and I am all in...

Instead I'm going to race the Rock 'n' Roll Arizona marathon on January 15, in Phoenix!  This will be a lot cheaper as G and I can stay at his parent's house, so we just have to pay for a flight.  Also, I will have 6 more weeks to train and prepare!  It will be more relaxed being there for the race as it's familiar surroundings (we've been there lots) and we can sleep in our "own" bed and cook all of our food.  The only bummer is that I had already gone and registered myself for the Vegas marathon, and they will not transfer my entry or refund any part of it, even though it's the same company (rules are rules!).  Oh well, hopefully part of the entry goes to a charity or something and not all into their deep pockets.

In terms of training, my running has been going well.  The long run today was 2.5 hours build, about 28km.  It was a gorgeous sunny day and I had a super stellar workout.  As usual, I started out really easy and did a build, with the last 60 minutes at close to marathon pace (~5:10-5:15/km).  I finished feeling strong, and my legs and hips did not feel like they were breaking down, like they did 2 years ago when I was training for that other marathon.  Actually back then, my hips and joints would become extremely sore and tight halfway through those long runs. My legs, hips, and core are so much stronger and healthy now than they were back then :)

The afternoon consisted of refueling and couch time (and a 30min walk with H & W), then I dragged myself to a 90min hot yoga session at 5pm.  It was hard to go after that long run, but well worth it.  Today's class was the hot yin version, so all stretching compared to the usual strengthening one I go to, which was perfect for my needs!  

After that workout, some serious food was in order!  Lately I have been exploring my culinary horizons, and actually branching out and cooking some different things in the kitchen.  It's not like I'm making anything fancy, but compared to what I previously used to do in the kitchen (i.e. not much) this is a miracle.  Tonight I made organic burgers [although I didn't make the patties from scratch tonight], pasta with olive oil and lemon pepper/dill seasoning [sorry Julie I don't think I'll ever be able to give up pasta!  Haha!], and greens with olive oil/balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Yum!  And not to mention, a glass of malbec to wash it all down:

Mmm, it was good!  Geoff and I have been eating burgers a lot lately, they're so good!  Last week I actually made the patties myself with extra lean ground beef, an egg, oats, and some oregano and basil - first time ever!  Made a rookie mistake though when freezing the 3 leftover patties - I used tinfoil between the patties!  Whoops, didn't realize there was a reason this shouldn't be done.  I had a heckuva time prying them apart, and peeling off little tiny pieces of tinfoil that got stuck to the frozen burgers!  LOL!  Live and learn!

 I'll leave you with a cute doggie pic where Wylie thought he would use a sleeping Hugo as a chair...

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Re-defining hard

Well it's been a busy past few weeks, including lots of work/overtime, and of course lots of running!  I've continued my routine of fitting in one hot yoga workout (90min) and one 60 min strength/power workout every week, for the past 6 weeks or so.  These sessions have really been aiding to build the strength in my hips and core muscles, and allowing my joints to absorb the miles without breaking down and becoming sore on longer runs.  I wish I had known just how beneficial it is a few years ago when I never used to do any strength training at all!

Lately I've been thinking about my perceived running pace vs. actual pace and for some reason my perceived pace generally seems to be a lot faster than my actual pace!  I feel like I'm going faster than I actually am.  I'm not sure why this is, but I was talking to Geoff about it and he said 'why don't you just try going a bit harder?'.  So on my 70min run on Wednesday, I decided to follow his suggestion and 'up' my hard pace.  The last 25-30min were supposed to be a build/marathon pace so I decided to just pick it up a little more than I normally would have thought I could handle.  What I noticed was that I felt great, and like I was running at a good clip - faster than usual on that kind of a run - although I have no idea what pace that was.  All I know was that my heart rate didn't seem to be out of control, and I don't think I was at lactate threshold as I didn't feel that lactic acidy feeling in my legs (I don't train with HR monitor so never know what my HR is at).  But it was certainly manageable.

So maybe I just need to push myself a bit more in some of my running workouts, and surprise myself about what paces I am able to handle.  The easy, recovery days will still be done at a super slow pace, but on long runs/interval sessions/tempo, etc, it's time for me to raise the bar.  I'm 're-defining' hard.

I'll keep that in mind for the duration of 25k tomorrow morning, with the beautiful fall colors in the background.  Can't say it enough - I love fall running!

Monday, October 3, 2011

It's that simple

I love this little diagram that my boss sent me recently - so simple and so very true!  I guess I'll just keep doing what I'm already doing!

Not much going on here, other than working a ton, spending time with hubby/friends/family, and enjoying me some fall running!  I really do love running at this time of year - beautiful sights and perfect temperatures.  Summer arrived to Edmonton in September, we had a bunch of 30C+ days which was awesome.  After those couple of races I did a few weeks ago, my focus has since been on running, strength training, and hot yoga.  I've been consistently getting in one hot yoga session (90min), a strength/power session (back to one on one training with Body Architects), and 5 runs a week, with 1-2 easy swims.  No cycling!  Ha!

It seems every year at the end of the race season I end up taking a few months completely off biking.  Only got on my bike once in September, and that was for the sprint triathlon.   Maybe not the best idea, but some time off is a definite must for me.  I'll probably set my bike up on the trainer very soon and start doing 1-2 easy trainer rides a week as recovery.  Before next year's triathlons I really need to focus a bit more on cycling, as there is still loads of room for improvement in that discipline. [and of course there's still tons of room for improvement on my run but that is always a work in progress]  So starting in December/January, I will plan to do a bit more volume/intensity/focused rides (on the trainer of course as it's cold and snowy here!), and aim to improve my bike times for next year.

But first, back to the work in progress... I heart fall running!