Training Recap August 21-27

Another week of running in Vancouver! I realized I have spent half the summer away, a long weekend in Eugene, a long weekend on Hornby Island, 10 days in Ontario, and 6 weeks in Vancouver. It has definitely been a busy, but fun summer, I would still like to fit in a few more small weekend trips before the nice weather goes away, but we’ll see.

After 2 “bad” workouts in previous weeks and generally feeling tired and slow during my runs, I decided to visit a walk-in clinic to obtain a requisition for a blood-test. The test results showed low ferritin (iron) and B12, no surprise why my runs were sucking. Now I am taking supplements because I need these readings to go up ASAP. I’m 7 weeks out from Toronto Waterfront Marathon. 7 weeks is not long, kinda/maybe starting to freak out a bit about this. That being said, this week was pretty good, I had 2 sizeable workouts and was happy with how they went.

Monday: 40′ easy, this run began much later than I typically would head out, but it was HOT. Running at sunset was a nice change for sure.

Tuesday: 50′ easy, I ran around East Van towards New Brighton Park. I also did the NTC core strength workout.

Wednesday: WO Wednesday, 30′ easy, 3 sets of 13 min as 5’@MP, 1’@10k, 1′ easy, 5’@MP, 1’@10k, 20′ easy. I enjoyed this work-out and was happy to hit my paces and feel good.

Thursday: OFF. I did the NTC Ab burner 2.0 workout.

Friday: 60′ easy, I ran down to False Creek, I like using the Adanac bikeway from East Van to get down to the water quickly and avoid excessive stopping at lights. I also did the an NTC core workout directed by soccer phenomenon Rinaldo.

Saturday: Got up at 5am to get this work-out in a make it to yoga at English Bay park.  The WO was: 20′ easy, 6km @4:50, 4km@4:45, 3km@4:40, 2km @fast as able, 20′ easy. I do enjoy having an empty Seawall, getting my WO done early and the cool temperatures that come with starting your run at 6am.

Sunday: 135′ easy, this one hurt a little, my legs were definitely tired from Saturday’s workout, especially my calves. My calves have been insanely tight for the last few weeks, not too sure why, but I am not a fan. I also did the NTC core strength workout.

Total Weekly Mileage: 89km

I am going into my final build, and then I get a bit of a taper leading up to the Eastside 10km in Vancouver. I love this race and have done it for the past 2 years, the course is different this year, and I am not totally sure what that will mean. Previously there were a couple of hills, and I still found it to be a fast course, but I think those might be gone with the updated route, so it might be a fast and flat one.

Training Recap Aug 14-20, 2017

The week following The Seawheeze was a lot of fun, I stayed in Vancouver until Thursday afternoon. That meant catching up with friends and participating and runs/events I wouldn’t normally get to be a part of.

Monday: EVRC this run promises surprises and if you know EVRC, you know surprises are often of the liquid variety. We ran down a back-alley (typical) and then into someone’s backyard (not typical), it was actually another group-members yard, and she had generously gotten beer and poured mini red cups for everyone. Following that, we continued the run and after the big Kitchener bill, when we reached Commercial, there was another surprise. There was a table with even bigger pours of beer set up outside Famoso Pizza! The run continues back to P49 for pints.

Tuesday: 50′ easy, I ran around the neighbourhood I have been staying in when working in Vancouver – The Drive. I also did the NTC Core strength workout.

Wednesday: Another fun one! I ran to Forerunners on Main st (5km) for the Saucony Run Your World Event. In teams of 3, we had to run to 3 specific landmarks , snap a selfie and run back to the shop as fast as possible. There was a lot of hill running involved which was great because on Wednesday’s I typically do a workout. We did not win, but we had a great time.

Thursday: Sunrise run, 45′ easy, I did an out-and-back to False Creek. I also did the NTC Core strength workout.

Friday: 30′ (super) easy, back in Victoria, on the Goose.

Saturday: 20′ easy, 10km time trial (super hilly route), 45′ easy, this was very hard, the TT started out okay but very soon on my legs felt insanely heavy and depleted of energy. I did not do as well as I normally would have. I spent the rest of the day resting and relaxing to prepare for the following days’ run. Later that afternoon I did an upper body works for runners and the NTC core strength workout.

Sunday: 120′ easy, ran to my running buddy’s place and she took us on a nice scenic route with a mix of trails and roads. My legs felt really good at the beginning of the run, but by the end they were heavy and slow again. I also did the NTC Ab Burner 2.0 workout.

Total Weekly Mileage: 86.8km

This week I am back in Vancouver and really hoping this heavy feeling in my legs goes away and my energy level increases, because it’s time to get serious for the Toronto Waterfront Marathon!

Training and Seawheeze Recap August 7-13

I am a little late to post my training recap this week, oops. I have just been having a little too much fun, I guess. Half of this week was in Vancouver for Seawheeze (the most fun half-marathon ever!), and between the pre-sea-post wheeze it was 5 days of fun!

Monday: OFF. NTC Ab Burner 2.0

Tuesday: Last little workout before The Seawheeze, 20' easy, 5'@HM, 3×90'@10km, 15' easy. There was a brief moment in this workout where I was moving so fast it freaked me out, it felt like I had tunnel vision and was only focused on moving forward as fast as possible, it didn't last long, but it was pretty cool. I did NTC Core Strength.

Wednesday: 45' easy, did a simple, relaxed out and back on Lochside trail, and then NTC Core strength.

Thursday: The Pre-Wheeze begins! My running buddy, Lisa and I took the first ferry over to Vancouver. We went to the Van Run Co. x Lululemon Pre-Wheeze event which began with a beer in the shop and then a 5km run, yoga (which we opted out of in favour of tacos) and then an after-party at Turf. We also found The Test Truck and got to try it out. I got back to my hotel pretty late and tried to sleep for a few hours before my early wake-up call for The Seawheeze Showcase store.

Friday: My alarm goes off at 4am, but I have been awake for what feels like hours. The hotel room is too hot and I probably had a coffee too late in the day on Thursday. I dress quickly, grab my inflatable lounger and head out the door, into the dark. Lisa and I arrive at the Vancouver Convention Centre eager to see how long the line is, to our surprise it ends near Steve Nash Fitness, not bad, especially because many people have blow up mattresses and beds and have been camping out for hours or days. We situated ourselves in the lounger and try to determine if any Starbucks are open. They aren't and we have 90 minutes to wait. We watch the sunrise and wait. Before long the line starts to move, our position quickly improves as mattresses are gear are deflated, we are now outside subway around the corner from where we started. Lisa heads to Starbucks 15 minutes before open to be one of the first in that line, she returns with coffee and bagels 🙂 We eat and take pictures of the creepy red sun, hoping the smoke will dissipate before the race. Shortly after that we make it inside the convention centre in what seems like record time, we talk strategy with a lady behind us and Lisa suggests the reflective pants will be the hot item. She was right, there are no reflective items to be found when we enter and later find the pants on Ebay for over $1,000. We cruise around looking at the limited edition items, spend time searching for specific leggings and successfully procure some, and head out – only to join another line for package pick-up.

The race swag this year was the typical water bottle, Nuun, and a Lululemon bag. We went outside to look around and get some sparkly tattoos. We don't stay long because we are absolutely starving and walk over to Gastown for breakfast at The Birds and the Beets. We stop in The Lab, which is full of other Seawheezers then head back. We make plans to meet for dinner at Cactus Club, so we can eat before yoga. I relax in my hotel for a while watching mindless TV before dinner, I feel very tired and my legs are heavy, I am not sure tomorrow is the day for a PB. I walk down to the convention centre to meet everyone and have a pre-yoga veggie burger. The yoga class was fantastic, the teacher describes it as spa yoga and she is right. It was a great way to stretch out and prepare for the next days' race. I walk home and go to bed immediately setting my alarm for 5am.

Saturday: I awake at 4am an hour before my alarm, I try to sleep for another hour and then start getting ready. I eat granola and almond mylk and drink Nuun. I decided to skip the coffee and stay hydrated. Soon it is time to start my warm-up, 10 minutes easy towards the start-line. The streets are full of Seawheezers and the energy picks up the closer we get to the convention centre. I drop my bag at bag check then find Taylor who is excited for her first Seawheeze, we snap a photo then head towards the corrals. I make my way to the front, not wanting to get stuck in the crowds and before long it is time to go. As soon as we start, my legs are already heavy, I think if I can settle in they might be okay. Once we hit 2km and pass Chinatown, I am feeling terrible, my skin feels like it's on fire and I am sure I am going way slower than my target pace. The other thing is, my GPS never got a signal and I am not sure of my pace. Once we get to the casino, a nice breeze kicks in and I feel a bit better, but I know better than to race and force it. I decide it is a better choice to enjoy the event and focus on form and being present. My cardio effort doesn't feel hard throughout the entire race, it's just my legs that are heavy and tired. The km tick by, I know this route well. With the finish line in sight in narrow in on it and give it all I've got for the final few hundred metres, passing my moving target as she goes over the first timing mat. This is something I often do at finishes, pick someone and decide to surpass them no matter what. Once I cross the line I see a finish line proposal, receive my medal, water and towel and walk up to receive the rest of the goodies. I eat some tasty banana bread, briefly see Taylor and Lisa, hand off my stuff and head back out for another 45', my target mileage is 30km, so I need to continue.

Sunday: OFF. Very needed, my legs had not been this tired and sore in 3 months! Welcome back, marathon training.

Total Weekly Mileage: 51km

Beyond The Workouts: How Training Impacts My Life

Every Monday I post a recap of what I did for training the previous week. It tells you how much time I spent running, what my workouts were and what cross-training I did. What it doesn't tell you is the implications training has on my life and how I spent my time when I'm not training. My life is not typical of your average 27-year-old, at least as far as I am aware. I honestly don't know anyone else my age who spends their time the way I do. Training involves a lot of sacrifice (to me it's normal, but to an outsider it may look like tremendous sacrifice and a strict way of living). I choose to make the choices I do because I prefer it (1000x more) to other ways I have lived in the past, and ultimately because it makes me happy.

Here is how training affects my life:

  1. I watch an insane amount of Netflix, seriously, I can go through 2 seasons of something over a weekend, even more, if I'm tapering.
  2. You won't find me at the bar/club on the weekend (or ever really). Even if I did enjoy spending time at bars and clubs it would not be conducive to running a big workout or long-run the following day. I do enjoy drinking beer, but it's mostly a 1 and done situation, and at home, not out.
  3. I go to bed super early, we're talking before 10pm often times. Running is tiring, what can I say. In the summer, I often wake up early to run  before it gets too hot.
  4. I spend my Friday and Saturday nights at home 99% of the time. This ties into numbers 1-3.
  5. It's common for me to take naps or lie down. This is especially true on weekends, when the workouts and runs are the longest of the week. Naps are essential to recovery!
  6. I don't participate in many (or any) other sports. I do not enjoy team sports at all, so that's no problem, however, I do enjoy trail running, hiking, and winter sports. I don't do this other activities often or at all because: a) my energy is already used from running and needs to be saved for more running the next day, and,  b) I am nervous about injuring myself and being unable to run.
  7. I think about food all the time, and am hungry all the time! Obviously, large training volume and increased appetite go hand in hand, but there is also a lot of meal-planning required. What I mean by that is, I always think about how what I consume will impact my running. Will it upset my GI tract? Am I eating enough to support current/upcoming training? Am I getting appropriate amounts of carbs/fat/protein? Am I getting enough iron? It's all important.
  8. I don't own a lot of "regular" clothes. I may have an excess of running and athleisure clothes, but when it comes to regular clothes, especially "going out" clothes, there isn't much.
  9. My feet have seen better days. I have some black toenails, some callouses, and a bunion. It's all part of the fun. Pedicures only go so far.
  10. I wear running shoes/sneakers everyday. I choose comfort over all when it comes to shoes, and that means cushioning. This also ties into #9, I don't need extra blisters or damage to my feet.

Training involves a lot more than running and this is what it involves for me. I enjoy putting my full effort into training and everything that comes with it, but I understand it isn't for everyone. There are definitely many ways of training and this is what I choose to do.

What impact does training have on your life? What sacrifices does it involve?

Training Recap July 31-August 6

This week was lower in volume than the previous few weeks. I got 2 whole rest days, instead of 1, and no double-day runs. In spite of that the running this week did not feel easy.

Here is what I did last week:

Monday: OFF.

Tuesday: 45' easy, I ran  home from work and did the NTC Core Crunch 2.0 workout.

Wednesday: Group workout, 20' easy, 4x1km@5km, 20' easy. I am enjoying 1km repeats, they are just the right length for me. You feel the burn, but you know it will be over very soon. Initially, I had planned to focus on shorter distances this summer. That went out the window, when I registered for another marathon 10 days after my spring marathon. I really do plan to focus on shorter distances after Toronto Waterfront Marathon!

Thursday: OFF. I did the NTC Ab Burner 2.0 workout. I couldn't sleep that night due to all the extra energy from not running.

Friday: 50' easy, I ran home from work, but messed up the route and ended up with a few km walk home, oops! I also did the NTC Core Strength Workout.

Saturday: Group workout, 20' easy, 4km@MP, 2x3km@HMP, 1km@as fast as possible, 20' easy. This was done on trails and it felt pretty challenging. I also did the NTC Ab Burner 2.0 workout.

Sunday: 75' easy, with the last 20' at marathon pace. I was nervous to do this run because of the last 20', but it ended up being great and I held marathon pace. I also did the NTC Abs and Arms Workout.

Total Weekly Mileage: 59.2km

This week I will taper for the Seawheeze Half-Marathon. I have not raced since early May and have not raced a half-marathon since February 2016! I am excited to see what I can do next weekend.

Stay tuned later this week for my post about how training affects my life, what training means beyond the workouts.