Training Recap April 17-23


Any week that starts with the Boston Marathon is bound to be a good week, even if you aren’t a participant. One of my teammates participated and I was tracking her among others all morning on Monday and of course my IG feed was flooded with all things Boston. I didn’t think it was possible to increase my desire to participate in this event, but I was mistaken. Boston 2018, I’m coming for ya!

This week marked the start of the taper and my mileage has declined significantly already. There are still runs and workouts, but they are much shorter than the previous weeks.

Monday: OFF

Tuesday: 45′ easy, I also did an NTC core strength workout.

Wednesday: Group workout, 10′ easy, 10’@4;33, 1 mile @6:44, 1 mile @6:46, 1km @3:56, 30′ easy. Not sure how accurate these splits are as my running buddies’ watch said faster, but either way it was a solid workout. After this, I did an NTC abs and arms workout.

Thursday: OFF

Friday: 50′ easy, I got to hear all about the Boston Marathon from my teammate over coffee just before my run, leaving me inspired. When I got home, I did an NTC core strength workout.

Saturday: Solo workout, 10′ easy, 8 sets of 3’@4:40-4:50, 1’@5:20-30, 30 easy, this was a much more chill workout than usual, and that was perfect since I was alone and the regular competitive vibe was missing. I did an NTC core crunch workout in the afternoon too.

Sunday: Long-ish run, there will not be any more runs of this length, or longer until race day. I had 100′ easy and did a loop from home down to Dallas Rd for 18km.

Total Weekly Mileage: 62.3km

What I’ve Learned While Training for my Second Marathon

One of the fun parts about running is that you continually learn about yourself. Over the course of  this training cycle I have made a few observations.

1) That I rely heavily on my GPS watch. There’s almost nothing better than finishing a hard workout and seeing fast splits on your watch. I already know from my effort that I worked hard, but there’s something about seeing the paces on that little screen that makes it even more real and exciting. It’s almost like a reaffirmation of the effort put forth. Additionally, perceived effort can change as time goes on, but once you stop that workout, the paces are locked in there on the watch and you can look back at them later and remember how the workout was.

2) I really enjoy training in a group. Last summer when I trained for the Victoria Marathon, it was a solo venture. I did all my workouts and long runs on my own. It wasn’t bad, I would still say I enjoyed it. This training cycle has been different. I have only done 1 workout alone, and I have had company during my long runs as well. This has been fun to the point where I don’t want it to end. The 3 of us “marathoners” have a very close relationship, we group text daily and look forward to our runs and time together. We are competitive, we support eachother, we laugh a lot and it’s always a good time. This is definitely my preferred way of training. 

3) That my watch might not be working properly. This realization has come from all my time spent running with others. I can run with other people at the same pace the entire time and at the end of the run I will end up some 200-400m shorter than them. This might sound insignificant, but the type of personality that trains the way we do loves precision, accuracy and numbers. The other problem is, my pace will show as slower as my running partners. This happens during easy runs as well as workouts. 

According to my watch, I will almost always be the slowest one. In reality, I am either at the front or exactly on pace with everyone else. I know I’m fit and have had a great training cycle, but it’s still frustrating to not have a record of the exact paces I’m hitting. This has become a joke of sorts. First we thought someone had a generous watch (well we still do), but now it seems my watch is officially “slow”. We have 1km, 1 mile, 2km and 3km markers on our regular workout run and last weekend we tested my watch and found it doesn’t register hitting those distances until after passing the marker by a number of metres. 

While I am looking for a solution with to this issue. So far, I have been instructed by the watch manufacturer to check my software (I already knew I had the up-to-date software), plug it into the computer and syncs it, then delete all the files on it. The next step is to test it again and see if there is any change. If not, “it may have to be exchanged”. Fun! 

What this has highlighted is the enormous reliance I have on my watch as stated in lesson 1. I admit, I rely heavily on my watch, but I don’t know what the alternative is. The paces are important to me, they provide a means of comparison and assessment of progress. My interest in this data might be borderline obsessive, but I think that might be a personality feature that that makes me a successful runner. It takes a lot of commitment and discipline, but I’m lucky to have found like-minded people who share these sentiments. 

Training Recap April 10-16


This weekend marked the end of the hard work until race day. We are still 3 weeks away from The Eugene Marathon and there is still running to be done, but the workouts will be shorter and less intense and the “long runs” won’t be so long. The mileage will be coming down so our bodies can rest before the race. It will definitely result in having more free time and I will be using it to plan out our road trip to Eugene. Specifically, where to eat, get the best coffee, have a celebratory post race dinner (and finally a beer) and all those little details to make the trip amazing. 

Here is how the week looked:

Monday: OFF.

Tuesday: 45′ easy, ran home from work and then did an NTC abs and arms workout.

Wednesday: Group workout: 20′ easy, 2×16 mins as 3’@HMP, 1′ float, 5’@MP, 1′ float, 1’@10km, 5’@MP, 15′ easy. This workout was fun and felt short and sweet for a total of 15km. 

Thursday: OFF.

Friday: 70′ easy, since it was Good Friday and we had no work, I went out for an easy run to the big with 2 teammates.’

Saturday: Group workout, 20′ easy, 2 x 5km @mp, 3x3km @5” faster thank mp, 15′ easy. This was 25.5km and the last long workout of this training cycle! I also did an NTC core workout.

Sunday: 3 hrs easy, this was 32 km through the galloping goose starting in Langford and going toward Metchosin, what a beautiful area! We ended up turning down a side street because we saw the ocean and once we got there we had the most spectacular mountain view. Unfortunately, we were running phoneless today and missed out on a couple amazing photo-ops, we were focused on finishing our last long run of the training cycle.

Total Weekly Mileage: 91km 

It’s taper time!

Training Recap April 3-9


I feel like the last few weeks before Eugene are going to fly by and before I know it I’ll be toeing the start-line. When I ran my first marathon in October, I realized that a great time to take a vacation is right after a marathon. There’s no running allowed, so you can really just enjoy being away and not have to worry about scheduling around your runs. I have not planned a vacation for after Eugene, but I am thinking I should, even if only for a few days. Anyway, this is what I did this week:

Monday: OFF. I did an NTC core workout.

Tuesday: 60′ easy, I ran towards Dallas rd and then back home. I also did an NTC leg workout (which was a mistake because I was super tight for the following days’ run, lesson learned).

Wednesday: Group workout: 30′ easy, 4 x 10′ @ 4:30-35, 3 x 1km @ 4:20, 20′ easy. For some reason the slower intervals felt hard, but the km repeats felt great and I felt that I could have done more. 

Thursday: 70′ easy, I did my regular route out to Dallas RD and then home. I also did an NTC Core Strength Workout.

Friday: 30′ easy, I ran to work, not a regular thing, but I knew I was bringing home a bunch of cold-pressed juices to share with my fellow runners the following day! 

Saturday: Group workout, 45′ easy, 20’@5:00, 20’@4:50, 15’@4:40, 5′ easy. This was an it challenging by the end, but we worked hard and definitely earned the team brunch we had afterwards. I also did an NTC Abs and Arms workout.

Sunday: 120′ easy, this felt short after last weekends long run, but I have a feeling next Sunday will be our final “long run” and probably 3 hours long.

Total Weekly Mileage: 89.5km

Thoughts on Strategy for my Next Marathon


The first time I ran a marathon (Oct. 2016), it was about completion. Since I have one marathon experience under my belt, the goal this time around is to shave some time off. The question is: how much? Do I want to focus on JUST getting that BQ or do I want to try and really push it and go for a giant PB? 

I have had a good start to the year in the races I’ve participated in, 3 PB’s in different distances. My training has been consistent and my workouts have been strong. I think that sets me up well for the Eugene Marathon. The concern with running a much faster marathon is this notion of “blowing up” that other runners talk about. I have not experienced this myself, and I am not sure I want to take the chance of having it happen. 

If I were to plan on running fast and did end up “blowing up”, my BQ might be at stake. I don’t think I want to risk that. At the same time I think, sometimes you have to push yourself outside your comfort zone to get the results you are capable of. I do believe that to be true, I am just unsure of whether this is the race for that. 

Sometimes I wonder if expecting a BQ in my second marathon is a tall order. The reason I expect it is that I have worked hard and my first marathon wasn’t far off at all (3:35:16). I know I am more than capable of taking off the few requisite minutes to qualify and have a buffer. But I have been reading Long Road to Boston and the author felt prepared on many occasions but circumstances arose on each marathon and it took him 21 tries to BQ. I don’t like to think there’s that little control over the situation. I have commited to training, eating well, practicing race fuelling, and recovering, but still, there seems to be this sense of “anything can happen in a marathon”.

There is exactly one month until race day, I plan to finish up the last bit of this training cycle strong and really embrace the taper. I still have time to decide how I want to race this event. So for now, I’ll keep doing what I’ve been doing and closer to race day make a decision taking into account the weather and anything else that might impact my race. 

Have you ever “blown up” in a race? What happened?   

Training Recap March 27-April 2


I just ran 7 days in a row and I am happy to be back into my regular running routine! My recovery times after workouts were quick and my Sunday long run felt great too! My legs aren’t even sore which is kind of amazing because I did work hard this week. There are only a few more weeks of training and then it’s taper time and then it’s race time! I am still deciding how I want to approach this race, but I’ll talk about that in a separate post later on.

Here is what I did last week:

Monday: 45 minutes easy, just a run home from work.

Tuesday: 60 minutes easy, ran to Dallas Rd and then home. I woke up super early and decided to do an NTC abs and arms workout before work. Typically all working it during weekdays is after work for me, but this was a good way to start the day.

Wednesday: Group workout, we had 20 minutes easy, then 6km repeats, they were supposed to be 1@Mp, 3x 1@5km, 2@mp. In reality the splits were: 4:35, 4:08, 3:54, 3:58, 4:35, 4:25. Our cooldown was 30 minutes to get in more mileage.

Thursday: 80 minutes easy, and I got to run this on the seawall in Vancouver! It was a lovely sunny day and I was so happy to be back running on my old route. I also did an NTC Pilates core workout.

Friday: 45 minutes easy, this was also run on the seawall and it was run with a running buddy from Sport Chek Training Club, we had a great catch-up run. I also did an NTC core workout.

Saturday: Group workout, 10′ easy, 6km@mp(4:42), 4km@mp (4:37), 3km@faster than mp (4:30), 1km @faster (4:26), 30′ easy. This was kind of hard, especially on the 4km portion because the loop we use has a bunch of hills, but it was definitely good training. 

Sunday: Long-run! 2 hrs and 45 mins worth of running, we ran on the galloping goose towards Sooke. We chatted the whole way and it was comfortable and painless! A great way to do a 30km run.

Total Weekly Mileage: 108.5 km

Later on in the week I will be sharing my thoughts on how I want to race the Eugene Marathon, stay tuned!

Training Recap March 20-26


It is 6 weeks until the Eugene Marathon, this training cycle has blown by! There is only a month left of hard work and then the taper begins. This week I was away for a few days on business in Calgary. I did of course run while I was there! Unfortunately I also got sick while I was there, first time this winter! Because of that I was recommended not to do the Saturday group workout nor Sunday long-run. Not running really does suck, but running and prolonging this stupid cold would be worse! It’s pretty hard not to be running when you know your training crew is out and you literally have nothing else to do. My weekends are reserved for running and then resting right now, so this weekend was a whole lot of testing! Especially since I had Friday off work too, a lot of time to fill! I watched an insane amount of Netflix, drank all the water and all the tea, tested out some Pinterest worthy braids, and went shopping and got my nails done. Maybe that sounds like a pretty okay weekend, but seriously not running is a mental struggle for me. 

Anyway, this is the training I did last week:

Monday: OFF

Tuesday: 45 mins easy 

Wednesday: 75 mins easy, I got to try a new route in Calgary along the bow river trail. It was sunny and 13 degrees,  beautiful evening run.

Thursday: I did the group workout I missed , 20 mins easy, 2 sets of 19 mins each of tempo work ranging from slower than marathon pace to faster than marathon pace, 10 mins easy. I actually did this on a treadmill, and have not run on a treadmill in probably 2 years or more. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, aside from staring at the time. Running outside is a million times better though.

Friday: OFF, and I was sick so that worked out I guess. 

Saturday: A fairly large marathon workout was planned, but since I was sick coach had me run 50 mins easy instead. 

Sunday: OFF, Supposed to be a long run 2:45, but I was advised to rest instead and get over this cold 100%. I’ll be back next week with a fire in my legs!

Total Weekly Mileage: 42km

Training Recap March 13-19


What a week! My legs are aching just thinking about it, and in a way they haven’t for months. The focus of the week was a key workout that is infamous in our running group. It is notoriously difficult, but a necessary marathon training workout. It is called the 40-40-40-40. Those 40’s each represent a 40 minute interval, the first one is an easy-ish pace, the second is 5-10 seconds slower than marathon pace, the third is marathon pace and the final one is 5 seconds faster than marathon pace. If you’re thinking “wow, that’s a long workout”, you are absolutely correct, it was a 32km workout and it kicked my butt. 

Here is how the week went:

Monday: OFF

Tuesday: 45 mins easy, plain old run home from work with a short out and back in the downtown to make the timing work.

Wednesday: Group workout, 30 mins easy, 5 sets of 3 mins @4:40, 1 min float, 2 mins @4:30, 1 min float, 20 mins easy. We all enjoyed this workout a lot because it felt broken up by the floats and went by fast. Hitting that lap button every few minutes gives you a slight distraction ya know? Plus it was a smaller workout than usual in prep for the massive Saturday workout.

Thursday: 50 mins easy, ran to the ocean and then home, my regular route. 

Friday: 30 mins easy, stopped in at MEC to stock up on gels for Saturday 3/4 of which were consumed that day (8 gels). Then ran home with them in a little backpack.

Saturday: Marathon workout, the 40-40-40-40! I went into this workout a little bit nervous. The first 2 intervals were great and I was running with a buddy. I was taking gels every 20 minutes and that was fine too. When we turned around and it was time to pick up the pace I felt good, but then I just couldn’t increase my speed enough. I felt like I was on an incline and couldn’t quite keep the pace. I was okay for 2km but then I couldn’t pick it up to where I needed to be. My buddy quickly grew farther and farther away from me down the road. I was off by 5-10 seconds depending on the km. To make things even more fun, my stomach began to get upset midway through this interval and with 5 minutes left I had to stop and use the washroom at Mcdonalds. When I came out, after a long time in line, I could no longer see anyone. I decided to just to the best I could and try to catch one of the girls before the final interval was over. I was unable to get my speed up to the 4:35/km that was planned, but I did catch my teammate with 7 minutes to go, and that was good enough for me. 

Sunday: 70 minutes easy, recovery run. I thought this would be painful and very slow, the 6:00/km variety, but it actually felt really good and my average pace was 5:39/km. 

Total Weekly Mileage: 83.3km (kinda crazy that 40% of this was in 1 day, yup I love numbers). 

Training Recap March 6-12


I was pretty wiped out after last weekends race, but made sure to rest and eat well. By midweek, I was ready to go again and some really solid training days. I also made sure to fit in my 4 core workouts and 2 strength training sessions this week, and I’m happy I did!

Here’s how the week went down:

Monday: OFF

Tuesday: 60′ easy, slow jaunt around the downtown area and commute home.

Wednesday: we had the choice of doing a “small” workout or a group run 75′ easy, we chose the latter.

Thursday: 75′ easy (round 2) I went out with one of the ladies in our running group and we got absolutely soaked in 5 minutes of starting. It was an awesome run though and the pace was faster than normal whiland still feeling easy.

Friday: 60′ easy, another cruise around today and then commute home run. I tend to go on auto-pilot for these kind of runs and just let my mind wander, fortunately I always end up at home. 

Saturday: Group workout, 20′ easy, 20’@slower than MP, 15’@MP, 10’@faster than MP, 20′ easy. In reality, we ran all of these intervals faster than MP, we all worked hard. 

Sunday: Long run day, the run was indeed long this time, 2.5 hrs worth and that ended up being 28km! We felt really, really good. After the Saturday workout, I pretty much just ate breakfast and relaxed all day (which is a normal Saturday for me), and I guess that’s what I needed! We are also practicing taking gels right now, I took 5 over this 28km run and that definitely helped too. 

Total Weekly Mileage: 92.3

Next weekend, there is a MASSIVE workout planned, it is considered a key marathon training workout. I will be mentally preparing myself for that all week! 

Race Recap: Bazan Bay 5km 


5km is the shortest distance I race. In some respects, it’s more challenging than longer distance races. You have to go all-out the entire time because it is so short. There isn’t the opportunity to make up time when there are only 5km. I don’t participate in 5k’s very often, typically once a year, maybe twice. 

One of my goals this year was to PB in every distance. For the 5km my previous best was 22:15, not too fast considering that’s a 4:27 average pace, which is my PB pace for a 10km. Leading up to Bazan Bay, I expected to take at least a minute off my time. Since I am marathon training, there wasn’t the opportunity for a taper, because it’s important to practice running on tired legs. I also was unsure about whether the event would even take place as there was a snowfall warning all weekend, and 2 races have already been cancelled this year due to poor weather.

On Sunday morning, I woke up to an email saying the race was indeed happening. I was feeling pretty tired in my legs and was unsure how the race would unfold. Once we arrived in Sidney, the weather started to look nasty, dark, wind, rain, but no snow. We did our warm-up, tempo bouts, and strides, which didn’t make me feel any more ready – the tempo bouts felt laborious. As always without much more time to think, we were lining up at the start line and it was time to go. 

The first km I took off pretty fast, it was far too congested with people and I had to get out of there. I stuck to the sides of the pack not willing to risk being tripped or losing a shoe and managed to make it into a empty part of road. I did 4:10 for the first km. At that point I started to feel more at ease, however that didn’t last long. My Garmin started reading really slow average paces and km 2 was 4:20. My target pace for the first few km was 4:15; so I was still on track, but seeing that 4:20 did not make me happy. It did ignite a fire in me to pick it up though. 

The 3rd km involved the turn-around point and I did that in 4:14. Then it was time to pick it up as much as possible for the final 2 km. This is the point in the race where I get extremely competitive and desire to pass everyone, big finishes are my favourite. I tucked in and picked up the pace, the 4th km clocking in at 4:05. The final km seemed long, you’re going back the same way you came, but the road curves giving the illusion the the finish is closer than it is. I pushed past as many people as I could, bracing myself for my coaches’ words as I ran past her and finished that final km in 4:03. My finish time was 20:58, a new PB. 

And now as after any race, I want to do another 5km – even faster.