Training Recap May 14-20, 2018

I went into this week feeling anxious since I had 3-days off in a row due to being sick. In the grand scheme of things missing 2 runs is not the end of the world, but any runner will agree, missing 2 runs in a row does not feel good. It was the right call though to rest and get healthy! This week I completed all my runs and nailed a big workout, further evidence the rest was the right decision.

Monday: I ran 10km with my dad, it felt difficult after 3 days off, but that’s to be expected. I also did core and upper body.

Tuesday: My dad and I ran another 10km, different route though. It felt better than the previous day! I also did core.

Wednesday: WO day, first one in a week. It was: 20′ easy, 2×16′ as: 4’@HM, 3′ easy, 1’@10km, 4′ easy, 4’@HM, 20′ easy. It was freaking windy, so that made it a bit harder, and probably coming back from a cold made it hard too, this felt tougher than normal, but I got through it. I hit this in the morning because I had the Saucony Run Your World event in the evening, a 5km downtown during rush-hour. I tested out the new Saucony Ride ISO’s during the run and they felt great!

Thursday: 45′ easy, this was a slog after my double-run day, but I anticipated that and embraced the relaxed pace. I also did core.

Friday: 30′ easy, this was a little shakeout since I had a big WO on deck the next day.

Saturday: This was the largest WO I have done since Boston training, I was a little nervous about it, but am happy to report I executed without any issues. The WO was: 20′ easy, 5km@5:05, 4km@4:56, 3km@4:50, 2km@4:39, 12′ easy. When I woke up it was pouring rain, and I haven’t run in rain or poor weather since Boston. I was not feeling getting soaked, so I checked AccuWeather, saw when the rain was predicted to stop and waited until then to run. I have never done that before, and it’s funny to me that I did since I lived in the PNW for the last 4-years, but hey. I also did upper body and core.

Sunday: 90′ easy, I ran an OG “long-run” route out to Sugar Beach and back. It used to feel like a big accomplishment when I ran this 16km route back in the day. Today it felt like it ended quickly, I must be a marathoner…

Total Weekly Mileage: 87.1km

Shoe Review: Saucony Breakthru 4

I have worn many models of Saucony shoes over the years, The Ride, The Hurricane, The Fastwitch, The Triumph, The Freedom and of course the Kinvara. I had never tried the Breakthru previous to receiving a pair a couple of weeks ago. Initially, it was the aesthetic of the shoe that caught my attention, the pair I saw on IG were a striking red colour and they looked similar to my go to shoe, The Kinvara. Naturally, this piqued my interest.

In spite of having a go to shoe, I like to rotate my shoes depending on what type of run I am doing ie. long-run vs. speed work vs. track etc. Some days you just want a bit more cushion, especially for a long run, and I was typically using The Triumph for this purpose. The Triumph and The Breakthru both have an 8mm offset, whereas The Kinvara is only a 4mm offset. For reference: the offset is the difference between the heel stack height of the shoe and the forefoot stack height of the shoe. There are different theories on why offset is important (or not), but basically it is said to change your gait. A higher offset might encourage you to land on your heel, whereas a lower offset might encourage you to land on your mid-foot or forefoot, running in a way that is more bio-mechanically efficient.

My point is: The Triumph and The Breakthru are fair to compare as they are both neutral shoes with the same offset and are both suitable for road and track surfaces. The most shocking difference I felt when wearing The Breakthru was how light it felt (and is!). Some shoes with an 8mm drop feel clunky and bulky, not The Breakthru! They only weigh 7.4 oz, almost 2 oz lighter than the Triumph, and under 1 oz heavier than The Kinvara. At only 7.4 oz, you would be hard-pressed to find another similar shoe so light.

Running in The Breakthru 4 feels like a shoe you already know. Like a relative of The Kinvara. It is comfortable, light and still feels natural. You feel connected to the surface beneath you, which isn’t always the case in shoes with an 8mm offset. The Breakthru 4 also feels much more responsive than other running shoes with the same offset. Needless to say, I was impressed with The Breakthru and happy to be introduced to it. They will definitely be a staple in my shoe rotation, and I recommend you try them too!

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 December 11-17

Taking the new team gear (and new shoes) our for a spin because I was too excited not to! We got lululemon kits this year in 3 options: tank, t-shirt and long sleeve. I went for a tank and long-sleeve, so both seasons are covered. I am extra excited about this gear because I designed the logo!

This week was half in Victoria and half in Vancouver. Here is what I did last week:

Monday: OFF

Tuesday: 60′ easy, departed from home which is a rarity on weekdays. Sometime shortly after my out-and-back turn-around, my GPS went wild and my paces began to “triple”. This was odd and continued for the rest of the run, fortunately I knew exactly how long it was. I also did an arm workout.

Wednesday: WO for 1, at the track: 20′ easy, 5’@4:14 (supposed to be 4:35-4:40), 3’@4:45, strides and ABC’s, then: 3 x 400 m, 4 x 100m, 3 x 400m, 20′ easy. This was tough! It’s definitely much more motivating and FUN to do track workouts in a group.

Thursday: 80′ easy, ran from east van to the sea wall and along beach drive, it was so dark I was freaked out by the sea walk at sunset beach, so I went up to the sidewalk. I also did a core workout.

Friday: OFF. Woke up sicker than ever. Food poisoning, enough said. Luckily no run home as scheduled.

Saturday: Supposed to have been a hill workout at Mt. Doug but on account of the previous days’ stomach trouble and inability to eat at all I missed the WO. I did go for a slow walk to say hi to everyone and grab my new team gear!

Sunday: Supposed to be 90′ but I did 60′ just to be safe. Fortunately by the end of the day I was feeling pretty well back to 100%. My running buddy and I also stopped by the Lululemon Victoria grand reopening later on. There were cookies from the cookie guy and 25% off the whole store, which looks great by the way. Now that’s a solid Sunday.

Total Weekly Mileage: 47.1km

This week I have 3 runs in Victoria before heading home to Toronto for the holidays! Time to dig out my winter running layers I guess.

STWM Weekend Part 1

It’s Friday, I wake up at 3am to get ready to go to the airport, just enough time to have some toast with peanut butter and a coffee. I arrive at the airport too early, Air Canada staff haven’t even arrived yet, so I cannot check my bag. After about 15 minutes they arrive and I proceed to security which is similarly empty, quickly passing through. I start listening to the podcast “My Dad Wrote a Porno” and try not to succumb to laughter in public as I am alone. A short flight later, I arrive at YVR with some time to spend before my next flight. I join the line at Starbucks for another coffee since it’s already been 3 hours since my first one, and a bagel for later. I find the gate for my next flight and continue listening to the podcast.

Before long I arrive in Toronto, grab my bag and head downtown to the race expo. It is much bigger than most expos in BC, but still small compared to an American one. We wander around for a while. I am not tempted by anything, and instead, take a few pictures with one of the photos of Ed Whitlock. We decide to head down to Ossington as we have a dinner reservation there later, and stop in at my favourite brewery, Bellwoods. I always stop here when in Toronto to fill my suitcase with beer to bring back to BC. For dinner, we go to La Banane, a french bistro. They start by bringing a warm pretzel instead of bread (I like this place already). I order fish, the meal is very good, and I would definitely return.

Saturday I wake up early, already adjusted to the time change after a week of waking up at between 3-4am Pacific time. I have coffee and breakfast, and head out for my short shake-out run. I run down to the beach, just a block from where I grew up, where I began my journey as a runner. There are lots of other runners and cyclists out, I feel overdressed in my shorts and t-shirt, it is way too hot for late October. I head home, and shower before heading downtown. My mom has an appointment to get her hair done, so I have time to spend, and end up getting my nails done, so I don’t walk too much, having a bagel for lunch and a mint tea. We head home and I lay down for a bit.

After a while, we head downtown to visit my brother at work. I have a kombucha and some pita and dips for a pre-dinner snack. We don’t stay long as I have dinner plans. Saucony had invited me to a pre-race dinner at Terroni. It was a fairly small group made up of a few Saucony employees, influencers, athletes (Krista Duchene!) and friends from Blacktoe Running. I had bread, pizza, salad and eggplant parmesan, Terroni is always a good idea. We had some great conversations about…all things running (surprise, surprise), my kind of night for sure! I almost forgot I had a marathon to run the next day, almost.  It was especially good to meet some people I have had only IG relationships with in real life finally! This group and the running community in Toronto is top notch and really made me think about moving back.

Friday 5: March 3

It’s been a long time since I have done a Friday 5 post. I think they are a fun way to share things that don’t fit in other posts. 

1) Soup: I have been obsessed with soup this winter. It has been a lot colder than normal for BC and soup is a perfect way to warm up and get in some veggies. Just make sure you time the soup for after your run! I made a pretty bad mistake a few weeks ago of having a bowl of vegan tomato soup only a few hours before my run. It was a very flavourful run 😂.

2) Training in a group vs. alone: last marathon cycle, I trained alone. I logged all the prescribed miles and it wasn’t bad at all. This training cycle, I am running with 2 other women, one is doing Boston and the other is doing Eugene too. I think there have been and will continue to be more benefits by training with others. 

3) These shoes: I have been a Kinvara fan for several editions, but I am super excited to try the 8’s. From what I’ve heard the improvements are significant! I love this colour too 😍

4) Ginger: I love everything ginger, the flavour, the way it helps with upset stomachs. Ginger is one of the 3 ingredients in my favourite gel Endurance Tap. I am even thinking about trying to make my own natural gingerale. There are some good ones out there, but I would probably increase the ginger and decrease the sugar to make it absolutely perfect. 


5) This coffee: I have been a big fan of their beans since I found them at the cafe across the street from me in Vancouver. Since the roastery is actually located here, on Vancouver Island, there are even more varieties to try. They also have their own coffee shop in Vancouver, which I highly reccomend. Or just order their beans online. They are the best!

Hope you have a great weekend! 

The “A”Word


In the world of Instagram, being an ambassador is like winning a gold medal. You advertise it in your bio, right under your name, sport and location and wear it with pride. It becomes a defining feature of your profile. In the last few years ambassador programs have become plentiful and accessible to athletes of all levels. 

The expectations for the ambassador vary depending on the company being represented. In general, you should be representing products you truly like and use and doing so in a way that creates interest from other viewers. This can be done in a variety of ways from wearing gear at races and events, to blogging about products, writing reviews, or just posting pictures and using brand specific hashtags on IG. The purpose is to promote the brand in (hopefully) a mutually beneficial relationship. The ambassador might receive product discounts, free product, a feature on the company website or social media pages etc.

So how do you become an ambassador? There isn’t one answer. In my experience, many companies have application processes in the late fall/early winter. They often mention the application opening over their social media channels. The process includes a series of questions with topics ranging from what sport(s) you participate in, and how often, as well as your goals, what being an ambassador means to you and how you can partner to promote their brand. There is also a portion where you input which social media channels you use, how many followers you have etc. Sometimes they tell you when you can expect an answer back and you’ll either get a congratulatory email or one expressing regret, or no email at all meaning you were not chosen.

This year I applied to be an ambassador for 4 companies whose products I already use. They all used the online application process I outlined above. I was very fortunate and was accepted as an ambassador for 3 amazing companies (2 of which are Canadian!). I am an ambassador for Nuun Hydration, Endurance Tap (gels), and Tiux (compression socks). These are 3 amazing companies and I am very excited to represent them! The other company I applied to represent was Saucony. I knew it was a long shot because the athletes they choose are typically in the elite category and I of course am not. I continue to use their products in training and racing and will continue to recommend their shoes to other runners because I 100% stand behind their products and brand.

Shoe Review: Saucony Freedom ISO


During the summer I learned that Saucony would be releasing a brand new running shoe sometime in winter 2016/2017. As a Saucony fan and shoe nerd I was beyond excited to learn this. Partially because this is a completely new shoe not just an upgraded model, but mostly because I heard the shoe would have a full-length Everun midsole. In case you don’t know, Everun is a newer innovation from Saucony. It is their form of cushioning which boasts energy return, durability and it’s closer to the foot than other performance brands place their cushion. In the past, the Everun has been used solely in the heel insert or top sole. 


The specs on theses shoes are:

Weight: 8.1 oz

Heel drop: 4 mm

Price: $ 199.99 CAD

I had been eagerly awaiting the arrival of these shoes since I found out Saucony was sending me a pair and again supporting my running! Plus, like I mentioned earlier, I first heard about these shoes in the summer, so I was waiting for them to launch and the shoe nerd in me created a lot of hype around this product. When I heard they had arrived I abandoned the idea of running home and instead took transit so I could get the Freedom ISO’s on my feet and running in them ASAP. I ran in them for the first time on Monday night, it was my 7th day in a row running. I had already covered about 80km for the week, not my highest mileage ever, but right now I’m building back up so let’s just say my legs are feeling it. Anyway, I headed out in the dark with no real route planned with the sole purpose of testing the shoes during a 45 minute run. There ended up being quite a few hills in there. No problem, I felt like I was flying! 

The Freedom ISO hugs your foot nicely, and feels super light, I almost forgot I was wearing shoes, seriously! Saucony certainly delivered on their promise of energy return. I felt like I was spending more time on my forefoot, barely working , while still running far too fast for an easy run. Normally I try to keep it slow, but I just couldn’t, the shoes felt great, I felt great and the runners’ high followed. 

The next day I took them out again for a 75 minute run, again they were amazing. The way they feel on your feet is incomparable to anything else I have tried. It is evident Saucony put a lot of reasearch and effort into the creation of the Freedom ISO and it was well worth it. 

I have decided to compete in The Island Race Series in 2017, so I think I’m going to reserve these for speed work and racing. The Freedom ISO’s slogan is “starts amazing, stays amazing” and from what I have seen that’s certainly the case.

Rating: 5/5

Prep and Raceday Plan for my First Marathon


I am still feeling pretty excited about next weekends’ race, fingers crossed I don’t go crazy during the taper and turn into a ball of nerves. I plan to go into this race ready to conquer it. A lot of planning is involved in gearing up to run a long distance race, including volume of running, nutrition, race day clothing, warm-up, fuel, and best of all, the post-race celebration!

Running: I have about 43km of running total to do between now and the marathon next Sunday, not much considering my total weekend mileage is often around that. The longest remaining run is a mere 13km. Considering I ran about 100km last week, the 2 weeks pre-race involve a significant decrease in running volume. The goal is for the legs to have a chance to recover from all the training and be ready to hold marathon pace throughout the race.

Nutrition: I have been extra hungry these last few days, not too sure why, it’s almost as though my body knows it will need all the healthy food it can get in preparation for this race. I am making sure I give my body what it needs and if I am hungry, it means I eat, but I always make sure I’m getting enough carbs, protein and fat, not too much of one macronutrient  and too little of another. For running, carbs are and will always be king, but protein and fat can’t be neglected.

For dinner, pre-race, I will likely have pasta, cliche I know, but it works. I will either have some form of protein in the pasta or on the side. For breakfast, I will have hot oatmeal, gotta stick to your regular foods so you know your body will react well.

Race Outfit: As of now, the weather report is saying it will be 14 degrees on race day. There is still ample time for that to change of course. I think I will bring two options: a singlet and split leg shorts, and a t-shirt and crops. I will be forgoing the hat for fear of how long the forehead dent would remain after running 3+ hrs with a hat on. The non-negotiables are my Saucony Hurricane Iso 2’s, Flip Belt (best running accessory ever) and my Garmin (duh).

Pre-race Warm-up: Typically, I warm-up for 15-20 minutes before running a race. This is true for distances beginning at 5km all the way up to half-marathons. The marathon distance will be the exception, my warm-up with be a measly 5 minutes, so as not to use up energy needed for the race.

Fuel: What I will be taking throughout the race is an energy gel called Endurance Tap, they are just sachets of maple syrup and I plan on fuelling every 30 minutes. Fuelling this often really helps me continue to feel great, I recommend trying it. Since I will be taking at least 6 gels, my one concern is that I might get sick of taking so many of these maple ones. I am still deciding whether I want to alternate them with another gel that I have also trained with.

Post-Race: My first wish is to be able to walk. Aside from that, I am sure I will be ready to eat something large and not ingest anymore gels. I also imagine I will be looking forward to a long, hot shower or bath (if I can’t stand). Following that, I am planning to meet up with some fellow EVRC folks to celebrate over a craft beverage or two at my favourite beer bar in Victoria, The Drake.


What do you do in the days leading up to a race to prepare?

Shoe Review: Saucony Kinvara 7

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I have been very fortunate this summer to have been given multiple pairs of running shoes. I have previously written Shoe Review: Under Armour Gemini 2 and Shoe Review: Adidas Ultra Boost Uncaged . I got lucky again and received these shoes last week from the Saucony shoe fairy (Thanks Rebecca!). I have been running in many different brands of running shoes since last fall, but last summer I ONLY wore Kinvara’s for all of my runs and training. I went through 1 pair of Kinvara 5’s and 2 pairs of Kinvara 6’s. There have been some important upgrades between the 6 and the 7 including the addition of the Everun heel insert, which is Saucony’s new cushioning. It is closer to the foot, directly under the sockliner (insole).

The specs on theses shoes are:
Weight: 6.6 oz
Heel drop: 4mm
Price: $ 139.99 CAD

I had not run since my 30km at VanRace on Sunday because I had a fall while hiking on Monday and twisted my ankle, so today was my first day back! I took these out for an easy 40 min run which was 6.6 km. These are the lightest performance shoes in my rotation, but the comfort is not compromised at all. They are responsive and still feel cushioned. Kinvara’s are what I would typically use when doing speed work or racing shorter distances, when I want to feel light and fast, though I have done half-marathons in them too.

I rotate my running shoes depending on the run for the day and I am also using The Saucony Hurricane ISO 2 specifically for my longer runs. The Kinvara 7 is a more natural ride at a 4mm drop and is classified as a neutral shoe. This allows the body and feet to take on a greater work load as compared to wearing a cushioned stability shoe like the Hurricane.

Aesthetically, I love these shoes! This is a new colourway, brought in for me, but there are 4 other choices available. I really like that the sole is blue instead of white like many other Saucony shoes.

Saucony is a performance brand that solely focuses on running, their shoes work great for me and I would recommend them to anyone who is serious about running. The Kinvara 7’s are sure to be my new favourite lightweight, neutral shoe and I would give them a 5/5.