Training Recap April 23-29

It has been a couple weeks! Last week I did not run, since after a marathon, I get 1-full week off of everything, so no recap about that. This week I did start running again, so I CAN tell you about that.

Monday: I did weights and core.

Tuesday: I ran for 20′ easy, whoohoo! I also did core.

Wednesday: OFF, I spectated at our group WO.

Thursday: I ran for 30′ easy, I also did strength.

Friday: I ran for 35′ easy, and did core.

Saturday: OFF.

Sunday: I ran 45′ easy, did strength and core.

Total Weekly Mileage: 23.6 km

Next week I get to run even more AND do a WO, I feel like it’s been a while! This is my last week running in Victoria, before I head to Vancouver for the weekend and then fly back /move to Toronto.

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 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.

Taper Recap Oct 16-22

This taper was more relaxed than I remember other ones being. I didn’t feel like I was over-caffeinated and buzzing the entire time in spite of not having extra coffee (this has been the case in the past). I didn’t feel like I was going crazy from the mileage decrease, in fact, I didn’t even register I was running a marathon until really the morning of.

Here is what my week consisted of leading up to race day:

Monday: OFF. I did the NTC core strength workout, but that was it for the week. When the mileage comes down, so does the cross training.

Tuesday: 50′ easy in Raincouver, did my second Ghost Race in a monsoon, but I love running the Seawall regardless of the weather.

Wednesday: Solo WO, 10′ easy, 3km@MP, 1km@10km, 20′ easy.

Thursday: 30′ easy, little jaunt around the neighbourhood before work, so dark in the morning now, I wore a headlamp!

Friday: OFF, travel day.

Saturday: 20′ easy, went to the beach for my shake-out run.

Sunday: 5′ easy, Toronto Waterfront Marathon, recap coming later this week.

Total Weekly Mileage: 69.9km

Training Recap Oct 9-15

This week consisted of 6 runs in beautiful Vancouver. My mileage dropped even further, and I have started waking up and going to bed early to prepare for the 3-hour time change in Toronto next weekend. I wake up between 4 and 5am, unfortunately this is too early for places that offer GOOD coffee to be open and I have had to drink Starbucks, which I only do out of desperation. We are spoiled in Vancouver and Victoria with so many options to get coffee with locally roasted beans. Anyway, this is how the week went:

Monday: OFF. I did the NTC Abs and Arms workout.

Tuesday: 45′ easy, I ran around East Van and the sun was out, a great fall day.

Wednesday: Solo WO: 20′ easy, 10’@MP, 4 x 4’@10km pace, 20′ easy, ran to New Brighton Park and used the gravel loop for my intervals. I even missed the rain. I did the NTC Core Strength WO afterwards.

Thursday: 50′ easy, back to New Brighton Park for a relaxed run.

Friday: 40′ easy, did a little neighbourhood loop down Powell St to downtown and then back along Hastings. I also did the NTC Core Strength WO.

Saturday: WO with Tay, 10′ easy, 30’@MP, 20′ easy, it was brisk on the Seawall, but lovely to do a WO with Tay who crushed it as usual. I also did the NTC Ab Burner 2.0 workout.

Sunday: 60′ easy, and I did the Ghost Race as well as some extra km. There were many more people out on the Seawall than usual, and I have a feeling many of them were fellow Ghost Racers. Leave it to Lululemon to encourage more people to get out and run on a Sunday, always impressive!

Total Weekly Mileage: 58.6km

The taper begins, fingers crossed the crazy stays at bay.

Training a Recap October 2-8

Happy 4 day week! Any week when Monday is an extension of the weekend has to be a good week.

Last week my volume took a dip, this week will bring an even bigger dip because it’s under 2 weeks until race day at Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

This is how my week went:

Monday: OFF

Tuesday: 40′ easy, ran with a running buddy and chatted the whole way. I did the NTC Ab burner 2.0 workout.

Wednesday: Group WO: 20′ easy, 30′ continuous as 2’@MP, 1′ jog, 20′ easy. This was tougher than it sounds, though it was mostly on trail/hilly/uneven ground. I did the NTC core strength workout.

Thursday: OFF (2 days off in a week, what!?). I did the NTC Abs and Arms workout.

Friday: 45′ easy, hopped on the Galloping Goose to the West Side before work. Morning run views are the best.

Saturday: Group WO for 2: 30′ easy, 3 sets of: 1 mile @MP, 1 mile “fast” broken up as 600/450/550m, 20′ easy. We were feeling fast and the workout was awesome!

Sunday: I lucked into an extra bib for the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Half so I used it as my “easy” run. I spent the first 7km pacing a running buddy, then bailed out and slowed it down a little since it was intended to be an “easy” run. I enjoy the race atmosphere so much, especially when there are so many friends competing. My average pace was 4:58 which is closer to MP than easy, but I felt so good and during my 500m sprint to the finish (can’t not sprint to the finish it’s against my constitution) even pulled out a 3:30/km pace.

Total Weekly Mileage: 67.3

I am off to Vancouver this week and hope to participate in some fun events including The Ghost Run.

Training Recap Sept 25-Oct 1

This was my big week, peak mileage week! I am happy to say it went very well! In spite of this post being 2 days late ☺️. I am feeling good and the training load was perfect, so all is well. Also, I got my

Boston Marathon confirmation email, so that was great news! Here is what I did last week:

Monday: OFF

Tuesday: Double run day, 30′ easy in the morning and 70′ easy after work. I hadn’t done one of these in a while, but it was alright!

Wednesday: Group WO, 15′ easy, 15′ @MP, 10 x 30” hill sprints, 45′ easy. Aside from the hill sprints which were freaking hard, I enjoyed this workout.

Thursday: 80′ easy, headed out with a friend for a loop in the trails and then finished with a sandwich, which we were looking forward to the whole time.

Friday: 45′ easy, snuck this in before work so I could attend a going away party. It was rainy but still a good morning run.

Saturday: Giant WO: 40′ easy, 7km @5:08, 7km @4:58, 3km @4:51, 3km @4:43. I wasn’t sure how this would go, but surprised myself and was excited when I exceeded the target paces for a total of 28km.

Sunday: 135′ easy, headed out on a slightly modified big loop to the ocean I did last Sunday. It went well.

Total Weekly Mileage: 108km

Now that race day is in 2.5 weeks, the training volume is on the lower end of things as I prepare for the taper!

Training Recap Sept 11-17

This week I prepared for my final race before the marathon, and did one of the longest runs of this training cycle. Here are the specifics:

Monday: OFF. I did the NTC Ab Burner 2.0 workout.

Tuesday: 50′ easy, left my stuff and work and took advantage of being a perfect distance from home. I also did the NTC Core Strength Workout.

Wednesday: Group workout, we met downtown for a change and since I was racing my workout was different than everyone else but we still used the same loop for the WO. 20′ easy, 2 sets of 5 x 2′ @10km, 20′ easy. For the second set of our respective workouts we were supposed to cover the pace screen on the watch and run by feel. I actually practice this myself sometimes, but it was funny timing since during my race on Saturday I had no GPS for the entire thing and was forced into running by feel, very irritating in a race situation though!

Thursday: 60′ easy, headed out after work on a regular route. I also did the NTC Abs and Arms workout.

Friday: 20′ easy, 5 x 10” strides, took this super easy around east van.

Saturday: 20′ easy, Eastside 10km, 60′ easy, typically I enjoy this race a lot, but after 5km this year I did not. The change in course and more hills was unexpected (to be fair I didn’t study the map), as soon as I hit the 1200m of hills my energy disappeared. So not the time I would normally look to do at a 10km, which was initially difficult to wrap my head around. It’s okay though, still a good workout during my marathon training cycle, and I have to remember it was not my goal race. I also did the NTC core strength workout.

Sunday: Long run day, 3hrs/31.6km there aren’t many of these in my training cycle and I am happy to say this one went super well. I had energy, I took all my fuel, never felt sick at all and my pace was consistent, now that is a WIN.

Total Weekly Mileage: 87.9

Tomorrow is my turn to register for the 2018 Boston Marathon (AHHHHH!)!

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.