victoria 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…)

Fitness Friday: Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon training week 12 recap

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I need to stay healthy, injury free and well rested for at least the next nine days.

I always seem to have something come up just days before a goal race, which probably has something to do with the time of year I like to run marathons (fall, when flu season hits), how hard I run my last long run or if I do a tune-up race near the end of training at a tempo pace (my immune system gets knocked down a bit), and how much sleep I get in the two weeks leading up to the race.

Because I’ve been feeling yucky since Monday (headache, stomach ache, generally blah-ness), I’ve been taking it easy this week on workouts and runs. I usually like to do shorter duration, higher intensity runs in the last two weeks leading up to a marathon, but I think I’m good for speed since I nailed my half marathon race pace two weeks ago. This week and next I plan to focus on some easy runs with a few pick-ups near the end, yoga and foam rolling.

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Fitness Friday: Goodlife Victoria Marathon training week 11

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Happy Friday, friends!

After a great long run last weekend and solid week of training this week, I’m feeling ready to run hard at the Beat The Blerch Half Marathon in Seattle this Saturday! Although I’m not sure how realistic running faster than my marathon race pace will be at this race, given that I’ll be fully amused and distracted by people chasing us in Blerch suits, Nutella and birthday cake aid stations, and Mr. The Oatmeal himself, Matthew Inman, who will be there running (hopefully in a Blerch suit?) and signing copies of his comics. I also read that there will be a KITTEN TENT. FOR CUDDLING AND ADOPTING KITTENS. The only thing that would make this race more amazing is free post-race wine and chocolate. Oh, and a puppy tent, too.

If you live under a rock and are unfamiliar with The Oatmeal and what this race is all about, you have some reading (and cry-laughing) to do:

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Fitness Friday: Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon training week 8

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Before I get into a recap of my weekly workouts, I have some exciting news to share!

I will be sharing the rest of my marathon training trials and tribulations as a blogger over on the Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon’s website as well as on my own blog. This will be my eighth straight year running this race — two half marathons and six full marathons — so I’m excited to help promote the race somewhat more “officially”, because it’s still my most favourite race to run (yes, even more than the Maui Oceanfront Half Marathon… mainly because it was way too hot during that race that day and there wasn’t enough water on the course). Thanksgiving weekend just wouldn’t be the same without running 42.2 km before enjoying a big turkey dinner with family and friends, so even though I was on the fence about running another marathon this year, I’m glad I signed up.

The reason why I started this blog in the first place was to document and share how my training was going ahead of my first race ever (which was the 2009 Royal Victoria Half Marathon), so naturally I’ve been posting race recaps of this race ever since. Apparently I raced a lot without “training” over the years, which is not something I recommend most people should attempt, but it’s fun to go back and read them nonetheless. I’ve definitely come a long way in terms of speed and knowledge about running and racing!

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    5 days to go until the marathon… and guess who gets injured?

    Stupid feet.

    Stupid feet.

    Of course. After a solid 17 weeks of training, guess who gets injured during taper? This girl.

    I’m not sure exactly what it is, but my guess is either plantar fasciitis or a stress fracture, based on the dull ache in my instep, arch and top of my foot when I start running. The ache continues during the first part of my run, comes and goes throughout, then comes up again once I stop running and start walking. During the rest of my day I don’t feel anything.

    No, I have not been to a physiotherapist or doctor, and yes, I’m self diagnosing. To be honest, I haven’t had a spare moment in the last few weeks to make an appointment and also cannot afford to see a specialist right now. I am covered by my work, but don’t have the cash to front for an appointment at the moment. I am a penny-less writer. So, Dr. Google to the rescue! (more…)

    Marathon training update (and more exciting announcements!)

    Yesterday's long run.

    Yesterday’s long run.

    Seven weeks to go until the Victoria Marathon.

    I’m finally into those long, grueling 30 km-plus marathon training runs now. Due to sickness and social events, I modified my BQ marathon training plan slightly throughout July and August, but am now back on track. I decided to add a 15 km race into the plan, as it’ll be a good tune up for race day… plus, the start/finish is just a few steps outside of my front door. How could I not?

    I’ve been sticking close to my target training pace of 6 minutes per kilometre, which is pretty far off my target marathon pace but fast enough for me in this summer heat. So far I’ve gone 24, 27 and 30 km without issues. I’m now into high mileage/low mileage weeks (where one week is particularly hard and the other is a recovery week), so I did 26 km yesterday. My legs wanted to pick up the pace a bit, so yesterday I ran at about a 5:39 pace and felt good. I’ve been making time to stretch and foam roll afterwards, which has been helping with recovery. (more…)

    How to fit strength training into your marathon training plan

    Celebrating our fastest half marathon times!

    As runners, we all know we should be doing it. It should be as much a part of our training as speed drills and the long, slow run.

    No, I’m not talking about stretching (even though we should do that, too).

    I’m talking about strength training.

    A few weeks ago, Lululemon reposted this article on their blog from Jason Fitzgerald, a running coach at StrengthRunning.com, which promotes the benefits of strength training for runners. While Fitzgerald does a pretty good job of explaining why runners should incorporate strength training into their training plans and what they should be doing, he doesn’t really explain how.
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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…)

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