Running

My first attempt at the half marathon

Phoenix Marathon training update: Two weeks to go!

Last long run before the race!

Last long run before the race!

I meant to write another update last week, but could only manage one blog post amid freelance writing priorities. This week will be much of the same I think, as I have seven 500-word articles due before I leave on the 25th. Hopefully I can get back to more blogging in March when things slow down a bit!

I did my last long-ish run on Sunday before the marathon, and will now spend the last two weeks taking it easy. Here’s how I’m hoping the next two weeks will go (with some changes from my updated plan):

Feb 15 – 21
Monday – Rest
Tuesday – 30 minute full-body strength circuit/plyo plus 15 minutes yoga and foam rolling
Wednesday – 40 min treadmill intervals
Thursday – 30 minute full-body strength circuit plus 15 minutes yoga and foam rolling
Friday – 40 min easy run
Saturday – 6 km easy run
Sunday – 10 km easy run

Feb 22 – Race day!
Monday – Rest 30 minutes yoga and foam rolling
Tuesday – 30 minutes yoga and foam rolling 40 min easy treadmill run
Wednesday – 30 min easy treadmill run (plus yoga and foam rolling)
Thursday – Rest (travel day)
Friday – Easy 3 km in Phoenix (plus yoga and foam rolling)
Saturday – RACE! (And run a 4:57 pace to finish in 3:29:00!!!)
Sunday – Rest/eat and drink everything (more…)

How I prepared for a fitness magazine photoshoot

IMG_7660This past Sunday I did a photoshoot for an article I’m working on for an upcoming issue of IMPACT Magazine.

Of course, the article has to be about sports bras and of course the photoshoot has to happen in the middle of winter. As a chronically cold person with Raynaud’s disease, I seriously had to psyche myself for this photoshoot. And not just because of the cold — I was going to be photographed running around in JUST a sports bra and shorts; something I don’t feel comfortable doing even in the summer months. Lying around in a bikini in the sun at the beach, sure — but things jiggle when you run. And since I’m right in the middle of marathon training and my fast-twitch muscle fibres — the ones that get more defined with resistance training — are taking a back seat to my less defined slow-twitch muscle fibres, I’m a bit squishy at the moment. Marathon training hanger hasn’t really helped, either. (more…)

Birthday celebrations, MEC Race One “Rust Buster” 10K and marathon training

lakerunMy body is surprisingly not as beat up as I thought it’d be after a weekend of birthday eats and drinks, plus spending my entire morning on Sunday racing and running.

I celebrated my 31st birthday on Thursday and was totally spoiled by my loved ones as usual. There was lots of wining and dining, flowers, cards, late nights and a shopping spree, plus this amazing gift from Matt that I’m hoping to get resized or possibly exchange for a smaller version so I can wear it properly. (more…)

Phoenix marathon training update: What it’s like to train for a warm destination race marathon during the winter on Vancouver Island

winter runningHave I mentioned how strongly I dislike training for a marathon during the winter?

As a chronically cold person, I much prefer warmer climes when running outside for long periods of time; I’d take sweating it out on a hot and muggy three-hour run to trying to stay warm during a gloomy and damp three-hour run ANY day. Even though I don’t have to deal with snow and 20 below temperatures here on the west coast, I struggle to get warm no matter how many layers I wear, both when I’m running outside and when I’m just sitting around inside. And when you’re sitting there freezing before you need to go outside to run at 6 a.m. in even COLDER temperatures, getting up and out the door is a real struggle.   (more…)

The RAD Roller – My review of RAD Roller’s 3 unique self-massage tools

Foam rolling is one of those things I know is beneficial (especially during marathon training) and often recommend to my strength and conditioning clients, but struggle to do myself. Yes it can hurt sometimes, but so can running intervals. And so can injuring yourself because you failed to work out those knots and kinks that caused your running form to break down over time.

rad roller review

That’s why when professional triathlete Dan McIntosh reached out to me to review his RAD Roller system, I jumped at the chance. I have one of those big foam rollers with the dense foam wrapped around PVC pipe, but hardly use it because a) it doesn’t really get into the spots I need it to get into, b) it’s not very portable, and c) I’m too lazy to prop myself up on it after a long run. After a full week of workouts, I want the foam rolling part to be easy, not challenging. And since you often need to use your upper body and core strength to foam roll properly, sometimes I avoid it just because I’m too tired to do it. (more…)

Tales from the run: The curmudgeonly old bird man

runlightApparently I am an ignorant runner.

I know this because the curmudgeonly old man in the trucker hat who often walks my seaside running route with a squawking parrot on his poop-covered shoulder told me so the other day as I ran by during a tempo run.

And on my way back, he heard me coming and fully turned around with his arms extended in an attempt to stop me, his parrot wildly flapping its wings. “STOP! I need to talk to you!” he shouted as I flew by.

“Sorry, I need to see where I’m going! Safety first!”

He may have shouted a few profanities at me but I couldn’t quite hear him.

Stop during a tempo run? Sorry mister. I’m marathon training.

So what is curmudgeonly bird man so curmudgeonly about?

My headlamp. He doesn’t like my 80 lumen headlamp that barely lights the road in front of me because for that whole five seconds when I pass him by once or twice a week, it is “too bright in his eyes”. (more…)

How to quit your day job, move to Costa Rica and pursue your passion for fitness: An interview with Carey Adam of RunningMoms.com

How to quit your day job, move to Costa Rica and pursue your passion for fitness: An interview with Carey Adam of RunningMoms.comHow many of you have dreamed about what it would be like to quit your 9-to-5, pack up your whole family and move to paradise so you can pursue your true passion — be it blogging, fitness coaching, writing or otherwise — all while being able to stay home to spend time with your kids?

According to Carey Adam of RunningMoms.com, not impossible. You just need to discover your true passion, define your goals, seek guidance and support, and make a plan A — with no plan B option — to make it happen.

Instead of your typical guest post, I decided it would be fun to Skype call Carey and record the conversation to share with you guys. Carey used to live in my hometown of Victoria, BC, so I was curious about why she decided to move to Costa Rica, how she made the jump from working a 9-to-5 day job to launching her online run coaching business, and what it’s like working, living and running in Costa Rica, a place I’ve always wanted to visit. (more…)

So I ran another marathon without training…

Coming down the home stretch at the 2015 Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon!

Coming down the home stretch at the 2015 Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon! Photo credit: Dave Preston

I don’t know if it was the prospect of stuffing my face with a big, delicious (and guilt-free) Thanksgiving dinner this weekend; the fact that a half marathon didn’t feel like enough of a challenge for me after my 28K trail race near the end of summer; or that I didn’t want to miss out on running another race with Debbie (it’s Thanksgiving tradition, after all!) that compelled me to sign up to run the full marathon instead of the half at the Goodlife Fitness Marathon on Sunday. I’m happy to say I ran 42.2 km without any issues, other than my calves cramping up pretty bad near the end — they were probably wondering why I was running so far on pavement when I spent the entire summer on the trails. Ouch.

I finished the race in about 3:51, which I was happy with considering my only “training” run was the Finlayson Arm 28K. The only other runs I did since September were a few slow 7-8km runs on top of weight training for 4 days a week. But since my base cardio was good, I knew I could run the distance. It was just a matter of going slow enough to NOT hurt myself. (more…)

Friday Favourites: The best reads of the week in health, fitness and well-being

the best reads in health and wellnessHappy Friday, friends! How was your week?

Despite my bad news on Wednesday, I had a solid week of workouts, client training and program developing, freelance writing and actual work-work. Thank you all for your comments on yesterday’s post — though I’m disappointed I won’t be getting to experience Boston this year, I know I’ll get there eventually. I was kind of hoping to take a break from structured marathon training for awhile, but in order to attempt another BQ between now and September I’m going to aim for a March-May race. There’s the BMO Vancouver Marathon on May 1, a race I’ve done and really enjoyed, though I hear the full marathon route is rather hilly. I could also travel to a destination race, like the Phoenix Marathon in February, and combine it into some kind of a vacation. But I think I’d rather stay closer to home in a climate similar to what I’ll be training in.

Next weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving AND the Goodlife Victoria Marathon, of which I’m running the half. I haven’t trained much other than a few 15 km runs on the weekend since I’ve maintained a good level of fitness since the Finlayson Arm 28K. I almost considered signing up for the full just to see how fast I could run… but logic won. Ange is coming to stay with me for the weekend which will be super awesome as well.

Some other highlights from the week: (more…)

{thinking out loud Thursday} My Boston Marathon dreams are crushed

I was among the 4,562 people who qualified to run the Boston Marathon this year whose dreams were crushed yesterday 🙁

Worst email ever.

Worst email ever.

The 2016 Boston Marathon qualifying performance was 2 minutes, 28 seconds or faster than the qualifying standard for your age and gender, which for me is a sub 3-hour and 35-minute marathon time. I was only 1 minute and 3 seconds faster. I missed qualifying for this year’s race by 1 minute and 25 seconds 🙁

I know that qualifying in and of itself is an accomplishment to be proud of. I worked damn hard to run that time. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t totally bummed and beating myself up over things I probably had no control over, such as taking too long of a walk break at that one aid station, getting sick a week before the race and having a mysterious foot injury.

Although I’m still proud of my accomplishment last year (if I had tried to qualify a year earlier I would have made it in), that fact is it wasn’t good enough. (more…)

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