Calgary Half Marathon Race Report

This race reports starts waaay back last Tuesday when partway through the day I felt like I was getting a sore throat, NOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Well the sore throat stuck around, I ran Wed night, just an easy 8k, then took the rest of the week off, hoping that my body would heal up. The sore throat stuck around, and progressed a bit to a head cold with a bit of a cough. booo.

Saturday night, I drank some Neocitran, and went to bed early, hoping to sleep well and wake up feeling better. My adorable little alarm clock woke me at about 4:15 am (why did I even bother to set an alarm?). I fed Olivia and snuggled with her, taking lots of time to wake up. By 4:45 she was back in bed, and coffee was brewing. I had slept fairly well all things considered, but the damn cold was still there. I was stuffed up, coughing and just not 100%. I also did not have the best of (TMI) bathroom visits before the race. I had eaten jalapeno poppers at a friends the day before – yeah not the best of decisions! – so on top of my cough syrup, I also took some Kaopectate, and 2 Imodiums, oh and a couple Tylenol. My body was probably a bit confused by all the drugs in it’s system, and I just had to hope it knew what to do with each one. I ate breakfast, got dressed, and was ready to roll. My hubby, Tim, was also running the half, but just as a training run, as he had a few illnesses that had set back his running a bit.IMG_1690

We left the house at around 6:00 am. We drove down to the area where the race started and found a parking spot about a km away from the start. Once we got to the start area, we found the bathrooms, which were indoors – YAY! The race started and ended at the Grandstand of the Calgary Stampede, so there were great indoor facilities. As we were making our way to the start line, we ran into a friend who races ultra’s, he mentioned that he had signed up for the Full Marathon yesterday because his intended run in the mountains had been snowed out… so yeah, he was running a last minute marathon as a little training run… And of course I had to look up his marathon time afterwards just to stalk him – 3:19!!!?!! Maybe one day 😉 LOL, ok never, but a girl can dream.

We made our way down to the start area, Tim seeded himself further back for a training pace, and I found the 1:45 bunny and put myself a bit behind him.

KM’s 1-6 Through Bridgeland (Splits: 5:13, 5:09, 5:06, 5:20, 5:16, 5:11)

I haven’t run much in this area of the city, and didn’t really know where I was or which direction I was running most of the time. I was also feeling very sluggish and sleepy. I kept on willing my legs to move, and they were struggling to listen. As you can see from my splits that were all over the place. I had to stop and pull up one of my socks at an aid station in this section – my compression sock had fallen down… apparently I need a smaller size as compression wear should certainly NOT be able to fall down. I also drank some gatorade at this aid station, since I was slowing down enough to fix my sock.

KM’s 7-11 Down 11th Ave (Splits: 5:03, 5:11, 5:09, 5:18, 5:14)

This section felt a bit long. We ran down one street without turning. I was also eager to get past the 14k mark (2/3rds done!). I was just trying to focus on keeping my pace down close to 5:10. When I passed the 10k mark I was at 52:xx minutes, so on pace for a 1:50 finish! I was feeling sluggish, but my times were showing otherwise, so I was trying to keep my spirits up, and remain positive. I passed the halfway mark, and someone with a stopwatch gave us a split of 55:xx, again on pace for 1:50 ish.

KM’s 12-16 Onto Memorial Drive and past the turnaround towards HOME! (Splits: 5:06, 5:10, 5:14, 5:13, 5:11)

Things started to look up during this section. I knew we just had to get down onto Memorial, run West a bit, and then turn around, and it would be all downhill towards downtown and the finish. I saw my friend Theresa around km 14, and managed a big smile for her camera! Then it wasn’t much farther to the turnaround. Once I passed the turnaround I started to feel better, my mind was clearing, I was planning to kick it after the 16km mark, afterall, I can do ANYTHING for 5k, right? 🙂2013 spring 054

She also snapped a pic after the turn around as I was headed back towards downtown, I like this picture, as it gives a nice view of the buildings downtown that I’m running towards.2013 spring 056

KM’s 17-21.1 Down Memorial, across the river and to the FINISH! (Splits: 4:59, 4:55, 4:51, 4:47, 53 secs)

You can tell from my splits here, that I turned it on. It also makes me think that if it wasn’t for the drug induced fog I would have been able to run this race a bit faster. I am very happy that the fog lifted, and I could punch it at the end. The last 500m was starting to get tough, and the finish shoot was long, once I crossed the finish line I was very happy to be able to stop. As usual I totally forgot to pay any attention to the finish line photographers, and will most likely look like I’m dying in my pics… but like Lori and I always say, if you’re not running ugly, then you still have something in the tank!

Here are my stat’s and bling 🙂IMG_1699

I went through the food line, and then found a seat to wait for Tim in. I had considered walking back to the car to get my phone, but it seemed like a lot of work to walk the km there and back. Once Tim finished, he grabbed some food and we took off. We stopped on our way home at Nellies for some breakfast while my AMAZING MIL was at our house watching our children. It was a nice end to the morning, to sit and drink coffee and eat breakfast without any children 🙂

Overall, this felt like a mentally tough race. That is strange for me, I’m usually very mentally strong, and can also feel out paces, and know where I’m at. The cold caused me to doubt myself. Even when the numbers showed that I was running on pace for a 1:50 time, I felt sluggish, and therefore doubted my abilities to meet my goals. I spent a lot of time telling myself that I was running well, that I was trained well for this, and that I was smoking my race from just a month ago. I also thought about my friends around North America who had just completed races, or who were racing at the same time as I was, and used their efforts to carry me! So thanks to all my virtual and real running friends, you all know who you are, and I totally thought of you and used you to carry me forward today!!

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Here we go again! The Calgary Half, goals, thoughts, etc …

Well here we go again, I running the Calgary Half Marathon this Sunday! I went and picked up mine and hubbies race packages tonight.

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I like the shirt, and as a bonus, it isn’t red! (It seems that they do red shirts a lot!)

I’ve been thinking about my goals and what I think I’m capable of in a half right now. The Police Half was 4 weeks ago and my time was 1:53:31. That was a much more difficult course and I think even on the same day with the same fitness I would have been able to cut a minute off that time with the Calgary Half course. Since then I’ve also been training hard and think my fitness has improved.

The main workout that I’m basing my current fitness off is a tempo run from a week ago. I ran 12 km’s with 8 of that at tempo. It was in Fish Creek, so had lots of rolling hills, my pace varied from 4:45-5:00. If I calculate backwards from the McMillian webpage, that would predict a 1:48 half. I don’t think the training paces are meant to go backwards to race times but given that this was after a hard half, and then 2 hard weeks of training without a cutback week, I’m gonna say this is a good sign.

Ok so here are my goals (I’m making this up as I go, so bear with me).

1. A non-time related goal. I know I said this last time, but I do really want to enjoy myself out on the course. I have a good reason this time. I am having an ovarian cyst removed this coming Wednesday, and am going to be taking some time off to recover (hopefully not more than 2 weeks – pppplllllleeeeaaaaassssee!!)

2. Beat my time from the Police Half last month. This should be very do-able if I have a decent day.

3. Stretch goal – this is the hard one. Lets just say somewhere from 1:48-1:50, that sounds like a scary goal with a lot of uncomfortably fast running involved 🙂

Alrighty so there’s not much more to do, other than go and run my ass off.

What’s better than Christmas? The first Trail run of the year!!!

Well this morning’s run was simply awesome.  It’s been a long time coming, but Lori and I finally made it out to the Foothills to run some trails!  I have a week until my half, and since I’m tapering, I decided that this weekend was the perfect weekend to get our trails on.  I didn’t really care how far or fast we went, just that we got out of the city.  We headed out to Jumpingpound trail this morning, it’s a 10ish km loop about a 40 min drive from Lori’s house.  The forecast wasn’t great, but had improved a lot from the initial forecast of pissing rain all morning to scattered showers.  Besides, it isn’t like we’re made of sugar anyway, right? 🙂

It turned out to be a perfect day.  It was overcast, not hot at all, but not cold either.   The trail was in great shape, with a bit of water in places, but nothing that got our feet wet.  The snow was melted, with just a bit of ice on some of the creeks.  I brought my camera along so we could snap some pics along the way.  I’m hoping this is the first of many a trail run over the summer.  We also have to get out and explore some new trails just so that we have more options on where we run.

All in all this has been a awesome week in running.  Tuesday, was a GREAT hill workout, thanks to my MIL saving my day when I had a sick baby.  Wednesday night, Lori and I ran a nice 10k easy run (and our easy run pace is right around 6:00/km – YAY!), Thursday I ran a kick ass Tempo run (again thanks to my MIL for babysitting!), that really upped my confidence for next weekend’s half (and maybe scared the bejesus out of me a bit, thinking of what time I should aim for….)  Check out my DailyMile (link to the right…) if you want to see the specifics.  And feel free to comment on what you think my half goal should be next weekend… I’ll be blogging about what I think later in the week.

Here are some shots from today’s run… 🙂

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My Favorite Things…

I had a great run today (thanks to my fabulous Mother-in-law – I have a sick baby and would not have gotten a solo mid day run in otherwise). I have just 12 days until my next race, The Calgary Half Marathon and am trying to get in a couple good quality workouts in this week. Today was hills. I ran just over 8 km’s total, with 8 hill repeats in and out of Fish Creek. I felt really strong and had a great run.

I wanted to share a couple of my recent favorite running related brands. I wore two of them today. Firstly, my Newton Gravity shoes. I bought these back in March when I was in Florida. I’m still easing into longer distances in them but so far I love them. I ran my longest run in them today (8.5 km’s). They always make me feel super bouncy and speedy. I can also tell that they encourage good running form, a mid foot strike and faster cadence.

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I also wore my InkNBurn Brittany running skirt. By far, my very favorite new running gear brand is InkNBurn. I only have 3 pieces so far, this skirt, a Phoenix cami and vintage tee. I love every one of them. The fabric for the tops is so lightweight that on a warm day you hardly feel like you’re wearing anything, and the skirt fits me like a glove, with perfect shorts underneath. Not to mention the amazing and unique designs on all their products. My running partner Lori and I are always discussing what piece we want next and when we will do another order.

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Foodie Friday: Pizza Night!

Tonight was pizza night at our house! Yum 🙂 We had pizza last Friday night as well, from our favorite Italian pizzeria, tonight I went scratch made. This is how I do scratch pizza …..

First I mix up the dough. Basically it was 1 1/2 cups warm water, a couple tsps of yeast, a palm full of salt, a tbsp of sugar and half white/whole wheat flour until it pulled away from the mixer.

Then I chop up all the toppings. We had peppers, onions, mushrooms, pepperoni, leftover BBQ chicken breast, pineapple, tomato, sauce and cheese of course!!

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Now that the toppings are ready to go, preheat the oven to 425. I have pizza stones that I cook my pizza on. I find it makes the crust nice and crispy. I put the pizza stones in the oven to preheat also.

I roll the dough out to approximately the size and shape of the stones. Now comes the hard part! Get the stone out of the oven and put it on the counter next to the rolled dough, then transfer the dough to the stone. It never transfers perfectly. I always just pull and straighten it out once it’s on the stone.

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Once you’re happy with the dough on the stone, start piling toppings on. Anything goes!!

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Next it goes in the oven for 30-45 minutes. It all depends on how thick your toppings are. Cook until the cheese is nice and browned and the cheese is browned.

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Finally enjoy!! Olivia particularly enjoyed the pizza tonight, finishing off two small pieces by herself!!

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Getting it done!!

Since having kids I’ve learned that sometimes it takes more imagination to figure out how to get my workouts and runs in.  I’m pretty obsessive when it comes to my schedule, so if I have a run or a workout on my schedule, come hell or high water, I’m going to get it done.  I am the first to admit that I probably err too far on the scheduled side of things, and let other things slide.  I thought I’d document a few of the things I do to get my runs or workouts done… no excuses, right 😉

1. I have a treadmill, and over the winter a lot of my winter runs were done while my girls napped.  I would work hard to get them napping at the same time so that I could have a half hour or hour to myself to run on the treadmill.  I’d bring the baby monitor and sometimes wouldn’t finish the entire distance, especially when my youngest daughter was an infant, I also had a number of fast-finish runs, as I rushed to finish the mile I was in when she started to fuss or cry.  I also would set my older daughter up with a show on our DVR or Netflix while Olivia napped.

2. I also have a double chariot running stroller.  When my first daughter was a baby I logged many a mile pushing her in the stroller, she was born in April, so I spent that summer running with her.  This time with my second being born in September, I have not run nearly as much with the stroller.  I think I’m also a bit more afraid of the weight and effort that it requires to push the stroller.  I have done a number of runs with both girls though, and it is totally a good option to get outside on a nice day.  Last week there was a beautiful sunny day, I had a 10km run scheduled, and I just decided to suck it up and push them in the stroller.  It wasn’t my fastest run, but I really enjoyed the time outside, and took my time getting the distance in.

3. Run-swapping with another mom friend.  This is my most recent favorite method!  My BRF (best-running-friend), Lori, has two kids that are almost the same age as mine.  We swap houses back and forth and each Tuesday we each get a solo run in while the other watches all 4 kids.  Today we even met at a playground, the toddlers played at the park, the babies mostly napped, and we each got a run in.  It was a win-win-win for both of us and our kids!

4. Find someone to watch your kids.  I am very very lucky to have an amazing mother-in-law live in the same city.  She is very willing to come over and watch the kids for me.  I use up a lot of these favors for appointments and such, but also will use this time for a solo run outside, especially if she is already over.

5.  Run in the early morning or evening.  I have to admit that I’m not much of an early morning runner.  I’m up in the night with my youngest daughter and am still treasuring my sleep.  A lot of my mom friends do this though, and if it were my only option, I’d totally set my alarm and get it done.  I do have one night a week when I have a standing running date with my BRF.  We meet up on Wed night and do a medium long run (8 k right now, but we’re planning to bump it up in the next few months).  My hubby knows that Wed nights are his, he gives the baby a bottle and puts her to bed, and gets our oldest to bed also.  He also has the freedom to run or have a night off also if he chooses.

6. Run from work, at lunch, before work, after work, etc.  I am at home on mat leave right now, but last year before my second daughter was born, I ran from work at lunch 3 days a week.  This was the easiest way for me to get my run in, it broke up my work day, and didn’t impact my childcare, family, etc.

7. Use the childcare at your gym.  I just recently joined a gym that has childcare.  Twice a week I head to the gym to do some strength training, I am usually there for an hour, so it doesn’t take long, but it is something I enjoy,  and it helps to keep me injury free in my running.  I don’t usually run at the gym because I do have a treadmill at home, but I totally would if it wasn’t for my home treadmill.

These are the tricks that I’ve used to get my runs in, what do you do?  How to you make yourself a priority?

Why I run…

The obvious answer is that I run because I love it. I do love it.

I have been thinking more about this lately. Sometimes in the middle of a long run when my legs feel heavy or my stomach isn’t feeling well, I forget that I love running and that I’m doing this of my own free will because I want to. I’ve been trying to keep the thought that I love this and I’m out here because I want to be in my forethought so that I don’t get negative thoughts when I’m struggling or having a hard run. There are so many people who want to run but can’t, who struggle to get miles in. I passed a man running today who had a foot that was disfigured and turned sideways. He was running. I get caught up in my own physical flaws, I have had my share of injury, but this man and many more have it much harder than I do.

Some of the best advice I’ve heard for someone wanting to get into shape, is to find something that you enjoy and do that. It doesn’t matter what it is, but make sure you enjoy what you are doing. You are much more likely to stick with an activity if it is one you enjoy.

I don’t really know where I’m going with this post except to say that I’m thankful that I can run and despite the hard runs I love this sport 🙂