It’s Taper Time!!

Lori and I ran a 8k (5 mi) tempo run this morning, it was our LAST hard workout before SeaWheeze on August 10th!!  It was a hard run, but a good run, and it upped my confidence (which in turn ups my level of freaking out).  

For comparison sake, 10 ish days before my last half (Calgary), I did the same workout.  My splits for that workout were as follows: 

4:45, 4:59, 5:00, 4:59, 4:51, 4:45, 4:47, 4:55 (4:53 avg)

My splits from today’s tempo were:

4:31, 4:39, 4:37, 4:30, 4:35, 4:40, 4:43, 4:43 (4:37 avg)

My finish time for Calgary was 1:48:35.  That was about what my backwards tempo calculations on McMillan predicted.  This time, my backwards calculations from today’s race would predict a sub 1:44 time!!??!  WHAT? 

I’ll talk about my goals in another post closer to race time, but I’m getting very excited (read: scared to death) for this race!!

Last long run before SeaWheeze and a recap of this week in running!

This has been a busy and big week in running! I started the week at my parents house in Saskatoon.

Tuesday I ran 10 km’s with 6 hill repeats. My calves had been sore so I decided that I’d do hills instead of tempo to try to still work but not kill my legs like tempo does.

Wednesday we drove back to Calgary. It was a long day, spent solo with both girls in the car. I think it took us around 7.5 hrs to get home. Lori and I always run a medium long run on Wed night and I really wanted to make it happen.  Luckily I have a super awesome understanding hubby who also was happy to spend the evening with his girls.  I basically dropped them off, got our suitcases in the house, changed, and took off to meet Lori.  We ran almost 14 km’s at a fairly fast for our us pace!  It was just what I needed after such a long draining day.  Unfortunately I made a bad shoe choice.  I had been wearing some Mizuno Waveriders as long run shoes with my orthotics, and I moved my orthotics to some newer shoes for long runs.  I wore the old shoes sans orthotics for this run.  I think the laces around the toe box were too loose because my left foot had a bit of plantar fasciitis, and my right achilles was not happy.  I wasn’t too worried about the PF, it has never been a bad injury for me, and a few days of rolling my foot with a tennis ball always takes care of it, but my right achilles has always been my ‘achilles heel’ so to say.

Thursday I had a negative split run scheduled.  I thought I’d give it a try and see how I felt.  I had worn my compression sleeves all night and had rolled my calves out pretty well.  When I started running my legs just felt tired and I didn’t have much speed in them.  Going in I thought that I’d go for a 5:45/km pace for the first half, and a 5:15-5:30 on the second half.  I quickly decided to just keep it super easy on the first half, which ended up being around 6:00/km.  The second half was faster at about a 5:30 pace, luckily I did have the wind at my back for the second half to help with that negative split.

Friday was a rest day.  I spent it stretching, icing, rolling, doing calf raises, and repeating.  It seemed to help a lot.  By Saturday my achilles felt basically normal.  I ran on the treadmill on Saturday to keep it nice and easy, and so that I could bail early easily if I felt I should.  I had initially scheduled 8km/5 mi and decided that anything between 3-5 mi would be great.  I ended up feeling really good, but cut it at 4 miles just to be safe.

Today was long run day.  Lori and I wanted a route that we could just run and not worry about flood damage and pathway closures.  We also have been running a lot of the same routes a lot and are burned out on them, so we decided to run the Harvest Half route (plus a bit) to keep things interesting.  We started at my house (which is right around the 9k mark on the course).  My achilles was feeling good, and both of us had quite a bit of pep in our step considering we were both running 64-65 km’s total this week.  This is an all time  high for Lori and my biggest week since 2011.  It turned out to be a great run, the km’s ticked by super fast as we chatted and the weather was perfect (cool and zero wind).  Our pace was great with most km’s being at a 5:45-6:00/km pace.  There were some decent hills (614 ft elevation gain total), so I feel really good with those paces, and we both could have picked it up quite a bit at the end.

We just have one more ‘hard’ training run on Tuesday, and then everything on my schedule is ‘easy’ until SeaWheeze on August 10th.  I’ve been trying to think a bit about what my goals should be, and will do a post on that topic soon.  I’m feeling good though, and like I **might** be somewhere in the neighborhood of PR shape, though it scares me a bit to admit that here.

Long run on the road

This weekend’s scheduled long run was 22 km’s. The girls and I drove to my parents house in Saskatoon on Friday. Lori and Danielle were long running on Friday morning, but I didn’t see how it was feasible to run for 2.5 hrs and then sit in a car with two kids for 7 or more hours. I decided that a solo long run in Saskatoon would be the best plan. I also decided to get it done on Saturday, mostly so I wouldn’t have to think about it for an extra 24 hrs.
This morning, once my girls were up and fed, I got ready. I had forgotten to bring any electrolyte drink with me and had made a quick last minute trip to The Running Room the night before and bought a tube of Cherry Limeade Nuun. Umm, YUM! I also had downloaded the second half of my current audiobook that I’m listening to. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. I will talk more about this in another post, but two thumbs way up for this book!
I had mapped out an approximate route on gmaps the night before but also decided to play it by ear as I went. I ran south along the west side of the river for the first half. Luckily Saskatoon is a great place to run. Much like Calgary, there is a great pathway system along the river. I took the river pathway all the way up to Diefenbaker park, and the location where they’ve built a brand new bridge. This is the far south end of the city, basically the opposite end of the city from where my parents live. This picture looks north towards uptown and past that the neighborhood where my parents live.

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I headed back, for the second half I stayed on the east side of the river. The pathway here goes right by the University of Saskatchewan. You also get a really nice view of uptown and the Bessborough hotel.

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As I got closer to my parents I was realizing that my distance estimate was going to be a bit off. The east side of the river is on the outside of a curve in the river and is much longer than the west. I was still a little ways away from my parents at the 22 km mark. I decided to just keep running as that way I’d get credit for the distance and get home quicker 🙂
My legs were pretty tired for this run. I’ve had a few weeks of reasonably high mileage, and have ramped back up with running and strength training very quickly post surgery. I feel good about it all in all though. My average pace was sub 6:00/km, which is a good long run pace for me. McMillan would have my long run pace at 5:22-6:12 and I’m feeling pretty comfortable with the low 6:00’s but anything lower seems really fast for a long run for me. I have an 8 km run scheduled tomorrow, which will get me to about 63 km’s for the week! Every week that I go up is another post Olivia milestone! I’m going to try to keep my runs easy this week as my legs are starting to feel the strains of training hard for the last month. I want to get one last hard tempo run next week, and then I’ll be tapering for SeaWheeze in Vancouver!
How do you get through long runs in new cities? How fast do you run your long runs, are they in the McMillan ranges for you?

Grizzly Ultra Leg 3 – Lynx

Today was the third group run for the Grizzly Ultra Relay that we are running in October.  It was my leg, so I was super excited to run it. It is also the most challenging of the 5 legs, with a lot of single track trails.  All good things 🙂

Lori and I had a 20 km long run on our schedule this weekend, and the relay leg was approx 12 km’s long.  We got to the Nordic Centre with lots of time to spare so that we could get 8 km’s in before the group run at 10 am.  We took the first 8 super easy and at a nice slow pace.  My legs were tired from a long week of running, plus this was the most km’s I’ve run in a week since Olivia was born!

We met up with the group for the remaining 12 km’s.  The race director let us know that he was changing the direction of this leg this year.  So the elevation profile below is actually the reverse of what we did today.

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We started up running uphill, and soon came to the meadow (in the photo below).  It is a beautiful flat area where Rundle looms over you to the South.  After this point, most of the trail is single track.  It was a lot of fun, and a lot of downhill.  We then came to the coal chutes.  This is a section of trail that is extremely steep (near km 6 on the profile above).  Lori, Danielle and I let all the speedy runners pass us and we slowly made our way down, trying not to slide on our bums.  I’m going to have to work up some courage on race day to actually run this section.  For today, it did not seem worth it to go a bit faster when the price may have been a twisted ankle.  We have a half marathon in a few weeks that we’ve been training hard for!  photo (9)

We ran for a while with an older gentleman, he told us he was 60 (and was in great shape IMO!).  He was trying to give us advice on taking the downhills, that we should lean forward, not run like girls and let gravity take us.  LOL, I told him that we’d continue to run like girls and kick his ass 🙂

It was a great morning of running!  Lori and I shared an order of Onion Rings from A&W afterwards (to replenish our sodium of course…).

I’m hoping to get my mileage over 60km’s this coming week.  It should be interesting as I’m driving to Saskatoon with both girls on Friday.  I’ll be running my 22km long run solo along the Saskatchewan river on Saturday, and have already decided that my reward will be a Fuddruckers Hamburger, MMMM 🙂

Anyone want to pay me to workout?? Anyone?

I had a great day yesterday.  I wish every day could be like that.  In the morning we headed to the gym, the girls went in the daycare, and I met Lori for a workout.  I started by running 2 miles for a warm-up, and then we did our weights workout.  I haven’t had a good strength training session in a while, so it was great!  We did a lot of our normal routine including:

  • Chest press
  • Deadlifts with a row
  • Kettlebell cleans
  • Side shuffles w/ a resistance band
  • Some TRX Abs – One new move from Lauren Fleshman’s blog, and pikes
  • Side planks
  • rolling and stretching… I always like rolling at the gym because they have the black uber hard foam rollers, soooo much pain, but oh so good!

My daughter has her daycamp on Thursday afternoons, so I loaded up my road bike and running gear.  I dropped her off at daycamp, and then had 2 glorious hours to myself.  I drove out to the highway, and got on my bike heading west towards the mountains.  I love cycling in the foothills, it’s hilly but so beautiful.  The ride was nice, the wind was in my face on the way out, and therefore at my back on the way back.  I managed a nice negative split over my 20km ride.  After the ride, I swapped my bike shoes for my running shoes, had a quick honey stinger waffle,  and set out for my 5k run.  I was in a bit of a hurry because I knew I wouldn’t have a lot of time to spare before having to pick up my daughter.  I just ran along an adjacent rural highway, staying on the left side facing traffic to be safe.  It would have been nicer to run in the city on the pathways, but I wanted it to be a true brick, running right after getting off my bike.  I was surprised to feel so good.  I started off downhill, which helped, but I was running at a good clip, and my legs felt super bouncy.  I finished my 5k in just over 27 minutes, which is a good time for me, after a day of working out, and a couple of other hard workouts this week (Tempo on Tuesday, and medium long run on Wednesday).  

I thought after my day of working out that this must be like a(n easy) day in the life of Kara Goucher, or some other pro runner.  Workout in the morning, lunch, more running and working out in the afternoon… except I think they also get a nap and a massage in there somewhere.  Oh the life, it would be amazing for it to be your JOB to run… So if anyone is looking for a mediocre, middle of the pack runner, who struggles with injury, I’m your girl 🙂

Meatless Monday

For the past month or so, I’ve been trying to cook meatless on Monday nights. I’ve done 3 Mondays so far (one Monday was Canada day, and we grilled that day). Doing this experiment is actually very un-Terry. I am very much anti diet, anti any food fad. I especially am wary of any diet that excludes entire groups of foods. I am in no way judging anyone or their choices. I do know that there are many people who have allergies or intolerances that require them to eat in a certain way. So no haters please 🙂

Anyway, why the meatless Mondays? A couple reasons:
1. I thought it would expand our horizons, get us trying new recipes and good that we wouldn’t otherwise try.
2. I think it’s good for the planet. You c an read here but basically cattle farming contributes to global warming, deforestation, etc.
3. It gets us eating more vegis. I’m specifically aiming to NOT make this into ‘carb’ Mondays, filling the meat corner of our plates with pasta, cheese, etc.

What have I learned so far? My kids are very open to eating most things. Neither of the girls have missed the meat. My husband on the other hand, while he is willing to eat anything, does not complain, or anything like that, he misses the meat. There are a few reasons, some being habit and what he’s used to, he also has a bit of a different ‘diet’ philosophy than I do.

I’ve enjoyed it, and will keep making some vegi dishes. I also am thinking of just using half the meat a few times a week. This way we will still get the flavors we’re used to and we will also cut our use and consumption of meat by about the same amount in a week.

What recipes have I made? Here are the three:

1. Black bean and sweet potato tacos. I loved this! I love Mexican flavors and beans though. Hubby doesn’t really like beans so that makes a lot of vegi dishes hard.
2. Vegi lasagna – this was an invented recipe, using a lentil ‘meat’ sauce and eggplant as a sub for noodles. I really liked the eggplant twist and would use eggplant as a noodle sub again. I liked the lentil sauce but hubby didn’t.
3. Meatless Hamburger soup – this was my regular basic hamburger and barley soup recipe with Yves veggie ground round as a sub for the meat. I honestly couldn’t even tell that there wasn’t meat. My hubby said he did miss the meat but really liked the flavor of the soup.

Anyone else out there do vegi either part or full time? How does the rest of your house like it? Any recipes that are non-veg friendly to share?

Stampede Road Race

I didn’t race today, but my hubby and my girl did.  It was a super fun (and laid back – for me) morning!  Tim ran the half this morning, he wasn’t in shape for a PR, didn’t expect one, but was happy with how the race went overall.  I love it when he races because I get to go and cheer him on, and get to encourage his running during the week.  We are both thinking of training for a marathon this fall, and though it might cause some scheduling challenges, I’m just excited to train along side him (I wish we could literally train along side each other more often).

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Maiya, my 3 year old, also had her first ever race this morning.  It was just a short kids race, but she got a race bib and I bought her some running clothes (I had to take the shorts in so they wouldn’t fall off her!).  She was thrilled and was very excited to run her race, and I think was even more excited for her ‘swag’ at the end – a race medal and a bag of treats, which included cookies!

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I had a great running week, and got my weekly total up to 50k!  I’m heading into 3 weeks of harder training for the SeaWheeze half.  I’m not back to where I was before I had the surgery to remove the cyst, but it’s coming along, and I’m just enjoying getting out there!