Training Recap February 12-18

This intention of this week was to recover from the First Half (marathon) and prepare for a larger week. I definitely feel like I accomplished that.

Monday: OFF. I flew back from Vancouver, and spent the rest of the day relaxing.

Tuesday: 45′ easy, I did an out and back along the ocean. I also did an arm and core workout.

Wednesday: Group WO for 2, since we were recovering, we got a more relaxed workout. It is a route I have mentioned before called the 7 Sisters, a series of hills. This is hard no matter what pace you run it at, and we were supposed to “take it easy”. We ended up talking the whole way and I even lost track of what hill we were on! I also did core.

Thursday: 60′ easy, headed out with a team-member for an out and back, so we could meet up with her other running friend and continue on. This run felt good, even after the 7 Sisters, which definitely makes your legs feel weighed down!

Friday: OFF.

Saturday: Group wo for 2, since I am the only one marathon training in the group, my workout was different, but I was lucky this time because one of my team-members came along and we ran together. The WO was: 20′ easy, 3 x 12′ @ MP, 20′ easy, this was meant to be done on rolling terrain, which made it challenging, we chose a loop with rolling hills.

Sunday: 120′ easy, I was instructed to find a hilly route for this (see the theme here), so we headed out with that in mind, and climbed a lot of hills. Our legs were burning for sure. I was feeling pretty tired in the last 15′ which I ran alone, and climbed a final hill. As tired as I thought I was, it seemed that the wind was behind me for the final 2km and suddenly my speed increased to 5:00/km for the second last km and 4:45 for the last one. I am a big believer in keeping easy runs easy, but my legs felt good doing this, and it felt easy. I also did core.

Total Weekly Mileage: 67.3 km

This week goes back up to 6 days of running and a big Saturday workout! Since I had such a great time at the half last weekend, I decided to register for another one in a month. This will be my last race before Boston.

1st Half (marathon) Race Recap

This was my second time running the 1st Half in Vancouver. It would have been my third, but last year the race got cancelled due to inclement weather! Vancouver got a shocking amount of snow last year, normally not an issue. I kept my eye on the weather all week because this race is notorious for having crazy weather. The first time I did it, in 2016, it was a full-on monsoon. I remember a guy saying to me, “theres water in my shoes” around the 18km mark last time and thinking yeah man everyone’s in the same position.

In spite of all of this, we were very lucky with the weather this year. It was a crisp day for sure, but the sun was out, and the views were spectacular as ever. When it’s good it’s good. The race started at 8:30am, and our hotel was under 1km from the start, so we planned to run over at 8am. Breakfast was coffee, water and oats from Starbucks. The oats were very dry, so Jo and I poured an Endurance Tap on them, this made them so good!

Our warm-up was only 10 minutes, so we ran around Yaletown, ending up by the start to do our strides and then line-up in the corrals and take our pre-race gel. My focus was to stay on pace and in control to avoid burn-out later on in the race. The start of a race always feels amazing, especially when you have a full taper. The sun was shining, I was running alongside 1500 others in Vancouver and I never felt better. This was definitely reflected on my first 2 km, my pace was showing me running slow, I knew I wasn’t, but, I didn’t feel like I was going too fast.

The first 2km were 4:25 and 4:22, 10-13 seconds faster than my target pace. Km 3 and 4 were 4:50 and 4:30, there was an incline on km 3. Km 5 and 6 were both 4:38. My 5km split was 23:13 according to the race timing, a 4:38 average (this is 32 seconds faster than the sum of the 5km according to my watch). At some point early on the mileage on my watch stopped matching the km markers, and my current pace was never accurate for the duration of the race. I was essentially running on feel. Not what I wanted to do, but the only option. I knew there was a signal issue when I looked at my pace on the first km and it never got better.

Km 7 and 8 were both 4:45. I took my second gel at km 7. Km 9 and 10 were 4:43 and 4:29. My 10km split was 46:29, still a 4:38 pace. I was feeling great at this point. 11 and 12 were 4:40 and 4:32. 13 and 14 were 4:37 and 4:40 as per my Garmin. I knew the last few km of the race were hilly so I was mentally preparing for that.

At the 15km mark I was planning to take my final gel. That was around the time a wave of fatigue hit. I decided not to focus on it and power through. Having a wave of fatigue in a half with only 6km left is preferable to having it happen in a marathon because there is often double the distance left when the pain starts. Km 15 was 5:00! My 15km split was 1:09:56, average pace 4:39.

Km 16 and 17 were 4:41. 18 and 19 were apparently 5:20 and 5:17. This is the hilly portion. Just before the last climb between 19-20km, and as we began to climb a guy yelled, “I’m so excited!” As he picked up the pace, another guy beside me said, “wow, he’s got some pep”. I responded with, “yeah, let’s catch him”. He said, “you go for it”, so I began chasing him. Km 20 was the last bit of hill and 5:23? The last km is flat and then turns into downhill. I zeroed I’m on the peppy guy and caught him just before the finish. Due to the watch error km 21 shows up as only 560m and 2:48. My average pace for the last 6.1km was 4:32, so not quite the splits my watch said!

My finish time was 1:37:45, average pace 4:37.8/km. I was the 85th woman out of 777, and 21/80 for my category. I was happy with how this went, but I know I have more to give, sub 1:35 I’m coming for you!

Training Recap Feb 5-11

This week was pretty relaxed since I was preparing to race. That meant cutting down from running 6 days to 5, and my Saturday run was only 20 minutes long. I also cut down my strength training from 2 days to 1. I take the week before a race pretty seriously, so if I’m cutting mileage, I cut strength as well to really let my body recover in order to race well.

Here is how the week went:

Monday: OFF. I did strength training and core.

Tuesday: 45′ easy, I ran home from work.

Wednesday: Group WO, 15′ easy, 2km@HMP, 4×90”@10km pace, 15′ easy. I hit the HMP about 12 seconds faster than my goal pace, but I knew in the race, I would have to make sure to stick to the true pace or risk burnout. I also did core.

Thursday: 40′ easy, snuck this run in before work with my buddy. It was nice to see the sun rising earlier for a change, spring is coming! I also did an arm and core workout.

Friday: OFF. Really, I didn’t do anything.

Saturday: 20′ easy, and strides. Did this pretty early as we had planned to catch the 9am ferry to Van.

Sunday: 10′ easy, Van 1st Half, 20′ easy, for a total of 26km, haven’t seen that number in a while.

Total Weekly Mileage: 54.2 km

Stayed tuned for a race recap later this week!

Training Recap Jan 29-Feb 4, 2018

In 1 word, this week was: SOAKED. I swear my clothes were soaking wet after almost every run, and not from sweat. It has been pouring rain. I don’t mind necessarily, I will run no matter what, but when your shoes are wet for days on end, you kind of notice the rain. I had 2 quality workouts this week and that was great!

Monday: OFF. I did absolutely nothing. Nothing active that is, I watched Molly’s Game.

Tuesday: 50′ easy, met up with my running buddy, Binder, we did an out and back on our regular route. I also did a core and arm workout.

Wednesday: Group WO, back to the track after some time away! 20′ easy, 4×2’@tempo, 200m, 600m, 400m, 1000m, 800m, 200m, 30′ easy. The track was fun, but we got booted to lane 4 just before our 1000m, aside from that it was great, though it rained and we were all soaked.

Thursday: 45′ easy, I ran home from work in the rain. I felt extra tired for some reason, so I rested for a bit and then did strength training. My plan was to shower and then relax for the rest of the evening, but when I got out of the shower, my running buddy Joanne texted me and convince (read: coerced) me to come to yoga with her. I thought okay, a nice, chill class, that will be good. It was fast-paced and challenging on account of being tired, but, still I was happy to have gone.

Friday: 30′ easy, ran to work and got completely soaked, happy Friday!

Saturday: Group WO, 15′ easy, 20’@HMP (4:33), 3×3’@10km (4:20, 4:21, 4:32), 15’@HMP (4:37), 3×90”@10km (4:10), 20′ easy. This was a relatively large workout. It went well though, some parts were slightly fast, some were a teenie bit slow, so it all evens out. I also did an arm and core workout.

Sunday: 50-60′ easy, I ran 10 and then decided to quit. I missed the rain by about 1 minute, I call that a win. I also did a core workout.

Total Weekly Mileage: 63.7km

Next up…First Half next Sunday in Vancouver! Can’t wait for a fun weekend in Vancouver. Oh and racing a half, it’s been a while. Should be interesting.

Training Recap January 22-28, 2018

This week started out well and was supposed to be a larger week. Unfortunately that didn’t happen because I ended up with a wicked cold that prevented me from doing my Saturday workout. That being said, I am happy I got this cold out of the way now before training really ramps up.

Monday: OFF. I did strength training and core.

Tuesday: 50′ easy, got up early to get this done before work, it was very dark and raining, but I had company so that made it better. I also did core work.

Wednesday: Group WO, 7 Sisters (7 hills), this is always a solid workout and I was happy to do it.

Thursday: I did my strength training in the morning before work. I ran 75′ easy, along the ocean after work before heading over to Frontrunners to help out with the Saucony Winter Warrior event.

Friday: 40′ easy, woke up with a sore throat and thought it was just dry, but as the day progressed it became evident that it was in fact a cold.

Saturday: OFF. Sick, so no running for me. Instead I ran a Netflix marathon.

Sunday: 20km easy

Total Weekly Mileage: 60.5 km

Cobble Hill 10km 2018 Recap

This was my second year racing the Cobble Hill 10km. The plan was to run at a hard effort, no expectations to run a fast time or anything. The course is known to be hilly. The week leading up to the race wasn’t very high in mileage, and the Wednesday workout leading up to it was short and fast. I wasn’t feeling very fast during that workout though, which furthered the idea that Sunday’s race would just be a hard effort.

There was a wind warning the night before the race, due to 100km/hr winds, and it was insanely loud. We weren’t sure if the race would be impacted, but it was not. That being said, it did not look like a great day for a race, still windy, grey and cold. We headed out to Cobble Hill around 9:30am, it’s a bit out of town, and we had to get organized and do our warm-up before the 11am start-time.

When we arrived in Cobble Hill it was raining, and we were wishing the race was cancelled. We got organized, and once we came back out for the warm-up the sun had come out. It had turned into a beautiful afternoon. We ran our required 20′ easy and strides, and hung out by the start waiting. One of my running buddies suggested I should try and beat another competitor in my category who is typically a bit faster than me, I said I wasn’t sure it was in the cards today. As the countdown happened, she said, “you know what you have to do”. I laughed and off we went.

The couple km’s felt easy, I wasn’t looking at my Garmin, though when I saw the pace was hovering around 4:10/km, I realized this was significantly faster than my 10km pace. As we rounded the bend of an out and back, I noticed how close I was behind one of our faster team-mates. Shortly thereafter, we began ascending a hill and that brought my pace under control. Still, as I hit the 3rd km, someone yelled out the time and it was under 13 minutes, which surprised me as I rounded the corner. Another hill. I settled in and began climbing, again focusing on looking up and not at my Garmin. The 4th and 5th km’s clocked in at 4:33. It was hard work, but I was happy to be half-way done. Since this was my second time on this course, I remembered the second half of the race was “faster” than the first.

Km 6 was 4:30, at this point the runners were pretty spread out, I was close to a girl from another local team, and made sure to keep her in my sight. Her coach kept showing up on his bike and offering tips and encouragement, I decided to listen to what he had to say too, and we ended up running together for the second half of the race. This was also around the time, I realized I was likely going to PB if I kept running strong. Km 7 was 4:15, at which point her coach said something like, “now it’s time to go, this is when the race starts”. We began climbing the final incline during km 8 which was 4:26. I missed the marker for that km, so when I saw the sign for km 9, I was very happy. Km 9 was 4:21, and then I knew it was a flat, fast finish. I buckled down, and passed her. We exchanged a quick “good job”, and I continued on. With the finish line in sight she said, “lets get ‘er done, girl” and we sprinted to the finish. This is why I love the running community.

The sun was shining as I crossed that line, I stopped my watch, a PB. Grabbed some water and watched the other runners come in. I could hardly believe I took a whole minute of my previous best, with my 43:25 finish. This was my first PB since May at The Eugene Marathon and I will work to continue improving my times throughout this season.

Training Recap Jan 15-21

This week was good, it involved a 10km race, my second race of the season. Aside from that my easy runs are trending faster than usual and I do not know why. It will be interesting to see what happens this week.

Here is what I did last week:

Monday: OFF. I did strength training and core.

Tuesday: 45′ easy, I ran home from work with a detour for an errand.

Wednesday: Group workout, 20′ easy, 5′ @ tempo, 200m, 2 sets of: 600m, 400m, 200m, 20′ easy. This was hard! I also did core.

Thursday: 70′ easy, I met up with a running buddy and we did mostly road with a bit of trail in the bog. I also did strength training and core.

Friday: OFF.

Saturday: 30′ easy + 5 x 10” strides, did this with a running buddy, and then did core.

Sunday: 20′ easy, Cobble Hill 10km, 40′ easy. I will do a race recap later this week.

Total Weekly Mileage: 58.5 km

This week is a larger week, only 3 weeks to go until 1st Half, which is the next race on my roster.

10 Signs You’re Training for a Marathon

In just 3 months, I will be toeing the start line of the Boston Marathon. I feel like even if you didn’t know I was training for a marathon, after quick look through my room (and my Strava) it would become pretty obvious. Here are 7 signs you’re training for a marathon:

1. You’re super stocked up on run fuel.

Can’t train for a long-distance event without fuel, so I have a bunch on hand for all the long runs I’ll be doing leading up to race day.

2. This is the view from your bed.

These are the medals I have received since living in BC, and my acceptance card for Boston 2018. #motivation

3. Your hydration game is on point.

Hydration is obviously very important in life as well as in endurance training and I like to replenish electrolytes by using Nuun.

4. Your training journal lives next to your bed.

Though my training schedule is kept on an excel doc, I also like to have it written in a training journal. I write down what the run is, any notes about how it went, what shoes I wore as well as when I do strength training.

5. The answer to have you seen…on Netflix is almost always YES! Recovery is a major part of training and admittedly, I spend a lot of my recovery time watching Netflix. Always accepting recommendations! Just started Black Mirror.

6. You have a stock-pile of running shoes ready to wear.

Saucony is my preferred brand of running shoes, especially Kinvara’s and the Freedom ISO’s. I have run in Saucony’s for all 3 of the marathons I have done and plan to run in them in Boston as well.

7. You have pre-scheduled your sports massages for the entire training cycle. What can I say, runners tend to like structure, routine and planning oh and massages, duh.

8. Reading for pleasure is mostly made up of running content.

Other reading I have done recently includes a 46 page power point presentation on nutrition for marathon running. I plan to print out some of the key slides and post them on the fridge.

9. You use running as a means of transportation. I am a big fan of the run commute. Instead of spending the time and money to get home and then run, I run home instead. It allows me to run while there’s still daylight, and saves time. No brainer. I also “ran” an errand the other day during my run commute home.

10. When people ask what you’re doing this weekend, you send them this meme:

Or this one:

10.

Training Recap Jan 15-21

This week, I like thousands of others finished my Lululemon x Strava challenge. Congrats to everyone who completed it, it is great to see so many people getting out there and crushing winter miles. This week I decided to commit to doing strength training twice a week in addition to core, because I want to feel strong on the hills of Boston.

Here is what I did last week:

Monday: OFF. I did a strength training workout and some core.

Tuesday: 45′ easy,

Wednesday: I did a core workout before work (very unusual for me), and then our group workout was a series of 7 hills we typically do in the winter called the 7 sisters.

Thursday: 60′ easy, I ran home from work. I also did strength training.

Friday: 40′ easy, I ran to work. Really made the most of those run commutes this week.

Saturday: Group WO, 15′ easy, 3 sets of 11′ as 5’@4:30, 1’@4:20, 5’@4:30, 20′ easy. This was a bigger one, but it went well. I also did core.

Sunday: 120′ easy, headed out with 2 team-mates along Lochside, ended up passing through a race course (we stepped aside to let them go) and then continued on. We haven’t had a long run on Lochside in a while and made it all the way to the pigs, which is a landmark on long runs.

Total Weekly Mileage: 72.2 km

This week the mileage will increase and the second race of the year is next Sunday, not taper since it is not a goal race.

Training Recap January 1-7

So I haven’t done a training recap in 3 weeks, but rather than writing the most boring post ever with 3 weeks worth of runs, I’ll talk about last week and summarize the other 2.

I went to Toronto for Christmas from December 21-28. It was very cold, and very snowy. I ran anyway. It was definitely challenging trying to do a workout in the snow, it was hard to get good footing and I didn’t hit my paces, but the effort was there. My long run was challenging too, I feel like running in the snow takes more energy than usual. I did my final track workout while I was in  Toronto at the Monarch Park stadium, there is a 370m indoor track which I was happy to use. That workout went very well and it felt good to go fast instead of trudging through the snow.

I am back to running 6 days a week unless it is a race week, I haven’t done that since the fall when I was preparing for STWM, but since Boston is coming up in 3-months, it’s time to get serious again.

Here is what I did last week.

Monday: OFF

Tuesday: 45′ easy, I did a little out and back on Lochside, day one of the Lululemon x Strava challenge. I am going for 80km. I also did a core workout.

Wednesday: Group Wo, a bit of a lighter one in preparation for race day. 20′ easy, 1km @4:08, 4×90” @5km, 1km@4:03, 20′ easy. I also did an upper-body workout.

Thursday: 50′ easy, headed out on Lochside with my running buddy Binder.

Friday: OFF.

Saturday: 30′ easy and strides, the shortest Saturday run ever. I also went for a nice long walk on the beach with my friend and her dog, it was sunny and warm, about 8C!

Sunday: Race Day! 20′ easy, Pioneer 8km race, 30′ easy. Check out my Race Recap: Pioneer 8km 

Total Weekly Mileage: 49.4 km