marathon

Goodlife Victoria Marathon race recap: A tough race with lots of lessons learned

Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon

At the starting line for the Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon

You didn’t train enough. You didn’t run your tempo runs fast enough. You should have gone up to 36K in training. You should have focused more on running and cut back on strength training. You should have tried harder to be at your racing weight. You went out too fast.

These were all the things swirling around in my head at kilometre 33 of yesterday’s Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon. I was having a good race up until that point, deciding to run by feel instead of constantly watching my pace. My quads were burning at about the 25K mark, but I was able to push through to find a comfortable pace again and feel confident about my race. It wasn’t raining, the sun came out, my head cold was almost gone, and I wasn’t injured going into the race. Conditions were seemingly perfect.

It was at the dreaded 30K mark when things fell apart for me. The 3:30 pace group, which I’d been just in front of for the majority of the race, passed me and I couldn’t keep up. There’s a yucky, twisty incline after the 30K mark that goes on for about 5K that usually slows me down, and even though I pumped my arms and legs as hard as I could, I just couldn’t stick with the group. As the shiny, sparkly 3:30 pace sign bobbed out of sight, I started to beat myself about everything I thought I did wrong during training. “If I’m not going to make 3:30, why bother?” I told myself. That’s when my legs and mind threw in the towel and I starting plodding along, walking through aid stations and looking back behind me expecting to see the 3:35 group hot on my heels, ready to overtake me and crush my BQ dreams altogether. (more…)

Goodlife Fitness Marathon training – Week 10

I can’t believe my last long run of training is already here — and it looks like it’ll be a perfect day for it! I’ve been pretty lucky with the weather for almost all my runs during this round of training; it certainly makes for a more pleasant running experience when you’re not out in the cold and rain for hours. Even though the heat can get to you sometimes during summer marathon training, I’d take that any day over winter marathon training. Fall races FTW!

Falling running sure beats winter running!

Falling running sure beats winter running!

I’ve got 34 km to run today (once I finish this blog and, more importantly, my coffee), then the Beat The Blerch half marathon next week, followed by a 15 km run, a 10 km run then race day.

Here’s how my week of workouts shaped up: (more…)

My Boston Qualifier winter marathon training plan

Me after BQ'ing at the Victoria Marathon last year. Hopefully I'll be this excited again in February!

Me after BQ’ing at the Victoria Marathon last year. Hopefully I’ll be this excited again in February!

What happens when you miss the cut-off for the Boston Marathon by 1 minute and 25 seconds because you didn’t run fast enough under your qualifying time?

You pick a promising goal race with enough time to run another qualifying race if you don’t make it during the first attempt, and then make a plan to get faster.

To be honest, I’m not thrilled about training for a marathon in the cold winter months when it’s dark and rainy out. But if I want to run the Phoenix Marathon on February 27, 2016, long runs on cold winter mornings will have to happen. I’m also not thrilled that training will start in a few weeks, even though I had planned (and started) to go into a muscle/strength building phase.

But Boston is my goal, and since I didn’t make it in for 2016, 2017 will have to be the year.

One of the reasons why I chose the Phoenix Marathon (other than it will give me enough time to try again at the BMO Vancouver Marathon in May if I don’t run at least 6 minutes under my qualifying time of 3:35) is the net elevation loss on the course. It’s pretty much downhill the whole way, which is awesome, whereas Vancouver is a bit too hilly for my liking. Also, Matt and I have decided we could make a trip of it: Hitting up some NHL games, Disneyland and Vegas on the way back. Sounds like the perfect excuse to run Phoenix to me! (more…)

Mind over marathon: What to do when your body wants to quit

My BQ attempt at the Goodlife Fitness Victoria last year, ignoring the pain!

I wish I could train for a marathon without running those 3-hour-plus long training runs. No matter how beautiful my running route is and how interesting the podcasts I listen to during my long runs are, I always start thinking about how hungry, tired and chaffed I am and how much I just want to stop running and be back at home.

I guess I sort of skipped the long runs in 2013 during training, but that’s because I already put in those once weekly 3-5 hour long run days several months before while I was training for the Squamish 50. Then I took a two-month break, got up one day and ran 24 km, and then ran a marathon a week later.

I know there are marathon training methods where your longest training run is only about 25 km. These plans also include several longer runs (12-16 km) per week, plus a day or two of strength training and a tempo run. Although the proponents of this method say your endurance will be marathon-ready and you are less likely to overtrain and injure yourself by skipping the once-per-week high mileage runs (which may be true), here’s why I don’t like that method: you miss out on training your brain. (more…)

Best gift ever during birthday staycation week extravaganza

Views on my birthday morning run

Views on my birthday morning run

I don’t want this week to end.

Other than some social posts, I’ve successfully stayed away from my computer and spent most of the week getting pampered at the spa, hiking with my dog, and reading books. It’s been lovely, and much needed.

Though the massage, facial, daily yoga and Epsom salt baths all week have been amazing, my favourite day was obviously yesterday (my actual birthday), where I spent the morning in the spa getting a manicure and Ayurvedic pedicure and came out to find my wonderful boyfriend had already paid for my treatments. Then I came home to discover he snuck into my apartment and put a big bouquet of flowers on my kitchen table 🙂 Then last night before dinner with my family, he gave me this amazing gift.

 

 

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Going for the BQ: 2014 goal update and my Boston-bound marathon training plan

IMG_3542It’s been six months since I declared my 2014 personal and fitness-related goals for this year: become a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), get published in a print publication, and qualify for the Boston Marathon.

So how’s that all going, you ask? (more…)

Mind over legs? How to run a marathon without training

"Proof" that I ran the 2013 Goodlife Fitness Marathon :)

“Proof” that I ran the 2013 Goodlife Fitness Marathon 🙂

Somehow, I managed to run a 3:41 at the 2013 Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon. That’s almost a 25-minute improvement over my previous marathon time of 4:07 something from two years ago. Yeah, I’m as surprised as you are about that… especially considering that I only just decided to sign up for this race a few days before the event date. Apparently not training properly works well for me?

Last year, I ran a personal best at the Goodlife Fitness Victoria half marathon without proper training, either. In fact, I did everything you’re NOT suppose to do before a race (I wrote a post about it here), but somehow managed to beat my fastest half marathon time by five minutes. I chalked it up to the fact I was racing under somebody else’s name and was doing it “just for fun”, with no intention of getting a PB. (more…)

So I’m running a marathon in two days…

Running the 2010 Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon

Running the 2010 Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon

…and I haven’t trained for it.

Apparently I haven’t learned my lesson from my torturous adventure at the Squamish 50 and I don’t take my own advice about training for endurance events.

But I love to run. And I love this race. So I’m doing it.

I was on the fence about signing up for the 2013 Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon for months, then decided I wouldn’t run it because I didn’t have time to fit in any long runs. (more…)

My 2013 non-New Year’s resolution post!

Winter run at Gowlland Todd

Winter run at Gowlland Todd

Well… I didn’t really meet the 2012 goals I set out in last year’s non-New Year’s resolution post, partly due to work/life factors, and partly because I didn’t follow my own advice of setting small, weekly goals for yourself as you work towards your larger goals.

I didn’t end up competing in any triathlons in 2012 because I was crazy busy organizing the majority of the triathlons I probably would have participated in. I did get back in the pool for a little bit, but was sick of everything triathlon by the end of summer and lost my passion for it slightly. I didn’t do a marathon in 2012 so I didn’t get my sub 4-hour PB, but I did manage a super fast half marathon time, beating my previous best by five minutes. With all things considered, I still had a great 2012 fitness-wise. And I know 2013 is going to be even better. (more…)

My non-New Year’s resolutions post: Goal setting and my endurance sport plans for 2012

Me in Maui after finishing the Maui Oceanfront Half Marathon. Has nothing really to do with this post. I just thought it’d be more interesting than a stock photo of ‘Happy New Year’ text with squiggles and sparkles.

I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions. Mainly because I’m always thinking about, planning and refining my goals — personal, fitness and otherwise — throughout the year. But January 1st is a good time to reflect on the highs and lows of the previous year and how they changed you, as well as look forward to and plan what you want to achieve in the year to come.

And by planning what you want to achieve, I don’t mean the lose-30-pounds-and-make-time-to-read-more-books type of plan (otherwise known as the ‘New Year’s Resolution’) — I mean actually writing down your goals, and considering what it is you actually need to do to reach them.

For me, I knew 2011 was going to be the year I completed my first triathlon. Not only did I have no idea what I was doing or where to even start, but also I didn’t even know how to swim. With my target goal in sight (meaning I signed up for the triathlon before I even had a bike or knew how to swim), I wrote down all of the steps I needed to take in order to get there — the first being to get a good triathlon coach, which helped take all the guesswork out of the rest of the steps! (more…)

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