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.

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?

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

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.

Shoe Review: Adidas Ultra Boost Uncaged

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Last week I received an email from Adidas Canada asking if I would be interested in receiving a pair of their new Ultra Boost Uncaged running shoes. The answer of course was a “YES” please! In case you didn’t know, the hype surrounding Adidas Ultra Boost is insane and certain colour ways can be found on eBay for 100s of dollars. The original Ultra Boost has plastic “caging” on the sides of the midfoot, so for the uncaged version this is not present. The Ultra Boost Uncaged were released for the first time a few weeks ago and sold out instantly!

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The specs on theses shoes are:
Weight: 9oz
Heel drop: 10mm
Price: $209 CAD

I tested these shoes for comfort while standing and walking in them for 6 hrs at work. They felt wonderful. I also took them out for an 11km run which consisted of a 20 minute warm-up, 8 x 2 mins @ 8km pace, and a 20 minute cool-down. They were a great choice for this workout due to the incredibly responsive, energetic “boost” sole of the shoe. I also really enjoy the hugged sensation provided by the “primeknit” material on the shoes’ upper. It is a pleasant and secure hugged feeling without being restricted in your range of motion.

The Ultra Boost Uncaged was originally released in grey and pink for women. I LOVE the grey colour way. More colour ways are coming very soon! I have my eye on the triple black (sole is also black), they are a great looking shoe.

The Ultra Boost Uncaged meets Adidas promise of providing a super responsive ride. They were great for a run that included speed work and I have no doubt they would continue to feel great on a longer run. Plus, they get mad style points, not many performance running shoes offer that! My rating is a 5/5.

*Though these shoes were given to me by Adidas, the opinions are my own.

Shoe Review: Under Armour Gemini 2

imageAs a runner and shoe nerd, I have tried many brands and styles of athletic shoes. However, until this evening I had never run in any Under Armour shoes. I was lucky enough to receive these from work (#workperks), so before I tell you my review here are the specs:

  • Offset: 8mm
  • Weight: 9oz
  • Price: $160 CAD

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I took these out for a 20 minute walk and a 7km easy run. They were great for walking, and I felt like I was being propelled forward. This was followed by a 40 minute easy run which was just over 7km. At 9oz the Gemini 2 are quite light in weight, which I liked. They pack a lot of cushioning into those 9oz. Each brand has their own type or name of cushioning and Under Armour uses speedform. They feel springy and I would consider them to be quite responsive. These would be an ideal shoe for any kind of speed work.

In terms of fit, I found them true to size.  The Gemini 2 hug the midfoot in a way that feels secure. They are spacious in the toe box, which I liked. My feet are on the wider side, but these fit perfectly!

They come in many different colour choices and let’s be honest, colour matters to MOST people. I especially like the fade detail on the side of the shoe that goes from turquoise like the shoe’s upper to green like the laces.

Overall, I was impressed with the Gemini 2 and would give them a 3.5/5.