Wednesday, December 30, 2009

December 30, 2009

Ok, I changed my mind. What was I thinking, planning 2-a-day workouts during my first week of training? I do not need to swim or bike 3 times a week during the first few weeks, and I'll just get bagged if I try.

New Plan

M- swim
T - run
W - bike
T - run
F - off
Sa - long run, swim
Su - long bike

I'll fit in strength 3X a week where I can.

Got my hair cut. Way short, but I think I like it.

And foils done. Too much grey these days.

Went to the gym this afternoon. Only had 40 minutes to row then had to pick up Erik. Old guy on single rowing machine, and every elliptical machine busy so I walked on the treadmill, waiting for him to finish up. 22 minutes at a 16 min mile. By the time I got to row, I only have 10 minutes left so I did a little over 2000m in 10 minutes (goal is 2:30 per 500m or faster).

Better than nothing I guess.

Stoopid shins still hurt quite a bit so that's why I did the gym instead of run. REALLY hope I can run tomorrow.

I also cleaned out my spice cupboard. :)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

December 29 2009

Two cool things.

1. I went for a run with a twitter friend, @lanabana from Langley, the other day! She was in town and wanted to take her dog out for an off-leash run so I met her out my way and took her up to my trail. We had a great run although it was kind of icey in patches. Lana was very nice and not at all scary like you imagine internet friends to be (LOL, JUST KIDDING!) although I think I talked her ear off... :) We did 5.2 km about 42 minutes and she was very kind to do my pace and take walk breaks.

2. I finally bought some trail shoes. After much deliberation, driving and calling around, looking online etc etc, I found a pair that fit like a glove. In fact they felt like slippers, they were so comfortable.

They are Salomon XT Wings and are very pretty too. :) :) I chose them partly because they are suitable for both trail and road running which is important to me so I can wear them running in the snow in my neighbourhood, as well as on the trails winter and summer. They are not gore-tex - I decided against that because the snow is so dry here anyway and people suggested all I really need are wool socks.

They are a stability shoe so I may or may not wear my orthotics in them. I will have to wait and see. I think I'll start out with them in though. Also, they fit a bit big so I ended up with size 8 instead of 8.5.

My stoopid shins are getting "sorer" every time I run, crap, so I guess I need to go back to 5/1 for a few runs and see if I can get rid of the pain. Massage, stretching, yadda yadda. They are not too bad, I could ignore it and keep going but they are getting worse so it's probably smarter to go to 5/1 for awhile. I'd rather do that than cut back my running time/distance anyway.

What else?

Oh yeah, I set up the 100 km trainer challenge on Dailymile too so people can join from there as well. Go here if you're on Daily Mile or here if you are on Buckeye Outdoors or just comment here on this blog if you don't belong to either one and you still want your participation recognized. :) Goal: To ride the trainer for 100km on January 1st.

2010 Training Plan

I've been playing around with a few plans and decided to do my own once again. I end up tweaking the preset plans so much I may as well do my own. However, I will likely use some of the workouts from the plan Nick lent me as well as the workouts that Brian gave me last spring.

Here's a rough schedule of my January plans

M- easy bike
T - 30 min run, easy swim
W- bike intervals/hill
T- 30 min run, swim
F - off
Sat- long run - swim today or Sun
Sun- long bike - swim today or Sat

I'm also going to fit in strength training, prob on M, W, and weekend

I dunno. This is a first draft for base training.


I think I've decided what to do to celebrate the 50th episode, and one year anniversary, of my podcast. I'm going to do 50 triathlon tips. Is that too many? Can I think of that many? Who knows. I'm going to ask people to call or email in with their tips to include in that 50. It might work, I have 3 weeks. Hmm I might start a list and see if it's doable or not....

Must. Sleep. TTYL

Saturday, December 26, 2009

December 26, 2009

Ho, ho, ho!!!

Wow, what a great Christmas! Had some good visiting time with family, ate a lot (too much) good food, drank wine, stayed up too late, even snuck in a run today. And I got some wonderful triathlon related gifts too!

First of all, my mom got me a SwiMP3. You can check it out here. It was a tossup for awhile between this player and the Nu Dolphin MP3 player and overall the SwiMP3 had better reviews online, as well as from people I talked to. Most seemed to prefer it because you didn't need to have ear buds. I have a few songs loaded on it now and I'm looking forward to trying it out some time soon. PS I bought it online here at TriNowFitness, because they shipped to Canada.

Second of all, as you know from my last post, my Garmin Edge 305 died on December 23rd. After three seasons, over 453 activities, 471:58:06 hours, 8,525.91 km of biking and running, it finally gave up the ghost. I can't really calculate the exact data but that's what I have uploaded into Garmin Connect between May 6, 2007 and December 23, 2009. I think my Garmin has done well over all.

At any rate, the same day my Garmin died, Erik had gone Christmas shopping about got me a new Garmin 310xt. Little did he know how much I was going to be needing it later. In fact, when it died that afternoon and I was heading out for my run, he was tempted to give it to me early. I'm glad he didn't because I was so surprised to open the package on Christmas morning!

It is so much nicer than my (once) beloved Garmin 305, I can hardly believe it! The thing I notice the most so far, is the much clearer display and its ability to upload wirelessly to my computer.

I think the hardest thing will be to get used to wearing it on my wrist. I am not used to wearing anything and I find even a regular watch a little annoying, but I really wanted a 310xt over the 405 because of the longer battery life, and the triathlon focus.

I would go on and on about it, but instead, I'll give you a link that Stuart from the Quadrathon Podcast sent me which is probably the most in depth review I've ever seen. Check it out here!

I went for a run today, although I have a cold and wasn't feeling up to it. It was about -5C and I didn't run fast. Did 5km in 38:22. Almost exactly the same run as I did on the 23rd. I am finding my shins are still hurting during and after my run again. Crapola, that better go away and fast.

I'm not doing as well on my abs workouts as I would like. So far, I've only half-heartedly fit in twice a week rather than 3 times a week. Hope I can get more motivated in January....

Other than than, hope everyone is having a nice post-Christmas holiday. I am so full, all the time. I will definitely have to drop a few lbs after January 4th....

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

December 23, 2009

Twas the night before the night before Christmas...

So much to do....

Today I cooked and shopped and cleaned.

And ran.

Yeah I ran.

I thought about putting it off because my stupid lower inner right shin bone hurts.

But I decided to suck it up and run anyway,

Did 5km in laps around the neighbourhood. 38:45. Mostly 5/1 only one set of 9/1. Longer warm up and 5 min walk cool down.

It was about -5C (23F) and I never did feel good. My legs felt heavy and achey and they didn't really want to be out there. But I ran. What the heck.

I had to wear my regular watch because my Garmin would not turn on. I'm not sure if the battery was dead or if it has finally given up the ghost so I plugged it in and went for a run on a route that I know.

The other day, my garmin had to be jump started and it lost all its data, including all the settings.

Just now, I tried to reboot it since it's been plugged in all afternoon but it appears dead.

Sigh. It's been through 3 seasons. I guess it's time. Crap.

I wonder how many hours I've put on that thing? How many bike miles? How many run miles? I'll figure that out tomorrow. Should be interesting.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

December 22, 2009

Whirlwind day or shopping, cooking, cleaning, lunch with friends.

Shin bone is sore, right leg, lower part, interior, close to ankle. Decided not to run today. Hopefully it'll feel better tomorrow.

That's all she wrote folks...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

December 20, 2009

Did you get your run in today? I got my run in today.

My long run that is.

I was excited and looking forward to my long run today. The goal was 8km plus a half km walk before and after as warmup/cooldown. As usual, it was tough to start running. I walked 5 minutes, ran 3 and walked 2. Then ran 7 and walked 3. After that, I felt warmed up enough to run 9/1, 11/1, 9/1, 11/1. I ended it with another 5 mins of walking.

I ran on the greenway and the temp was +2C 36F. The ground was wet, snow was gone, and it was overcast.

It took me the whole 20 minute warm up to stop feeling sore and achey, but then I felt fine the rest of the run. When I was around the halfway turnaround point, I decided to run an extra 2 minutes and do a full mile before my walk break. It felt ok and I had no lasting effects afterwards so I think the 2 sets of 11 min were ok. I tried to keep at a 7 min/km (11 min mile) and that seemed about right. The walking breaks slowed me down overall of course, but that doesn't bother me for now.

According the the FIRST program, I'm in and around Week 8 of the 12 Week Novice 5K program. Maybe I'll try Week 9 next week. We'll see.

It's so nice to be on holiday. No work stress. No getting up early tomorrow. Yeah baby....

Friday, December 18, 2009

December 18, 2009

Phew, what a crazy week!

Today was the last day of school. Kids were excited, and there was lots to do to get cleaned up for the holidays. After work, Erik and I picked up wine and steak and headed home for a relaxing celebratory dinner. But first, I had to run. My legs were sore yesterday and I felt like I needed an extra rest day so I had no choice but to gear up and go for a run before I started kicking back for the evening. It was already dark so I ran laps around the neighbourhood and I felt pretty good! It was much warmer today, 5C (41F) and sprinkling rain. I did a bit longer warmup today - 5 minute walk then ran 3 min, walk 2 min. Then I started my run - 9 minutes today, with 1 min walk break. I did two sets of that and then did a walk/run cool down. Tried to keep it easy and not push too hard. I felt like I could have done another set but decided to save myself for Sunday's long run.

I got Run Less, Run Faster from the library yesterday, on the recommendation of Stuart from the Quadrathon Podcast. It outlines the FIRST program which involves running only 3 times a week and cross training twice a week. It certainly makes sense from a triathlon point of view. The runs are hard though - on tempo, one speed, and one long run at a faster tempo than some other plans. Given my propensity for injury, I might be better off waiting to do this when I've built up a stronger base. We'll see. For now, it's an interesting read.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

December 15, 2009

Oops, missed a day. Yesterday was my son's birthday and we went out for dinner and came home for cake etc. Did not get time to do my abs work or blog. Such is life.

So first - My Sunday Long Run Report.

It was great! I ran alone on the greenway. Did a good 10 minutes warm up and then ran 8 minutes and walked 1 minute. I ended with a 6 minute walking cool down. The temperature was about -3C, 28F and there was 1-2 inches of snow on the ground. Very pretty!

Total 7.5 km in 56:38 including warm up and cool down.

Today's run report

Yesterday my lower legs were a bit achey and if I hadn't been so busy, I would have stretched. In hindsight, I DEFINITELY should have stretched. Today my shins were actually a bit sore and if I hadn't made plans to show 3 friends my lovely trail, I might have waiting until tomorrow to run. That being said, today's run was ok.

I took them to the trail had which is about 1km from the school. We parked and agreed to meet back at the car in 35 minutes. They took off on a run and I did my regular walk run warm up on my own. It was about -6C (20F) There was 4 inches of fresh powder and it was very pretty but I found it tough to run on the trail without being able to easily see the ground contours. I did a fair amount of slipping and sliding and came close to turning an ankle a few times but it was fun! My shoes are pathetic in the snow though. I know I really need to get some decent trail shoes and that was clearly evident today. I had snow going down my ankles and actually making their way under my feet because I could feel tiny snowballs under my toes until the heat from my feet melted them. My shins, achilles, and calves were all sore-ish while I was running but I still managed to do 8/1 again. We could only run for 35 minutes so I didn't cover a lot of ground (4km) but it was a good workout.

After the run, we drove back to the school, I got my stuff, drove down to pick up Erik and then we had to go run a few errands while I was still in my running gear, including soaking wet, cold feet. We left the store about an hour after my run finished and I noticed that the middle and ring finger of my right hand were tingling and feeling numb. I took a closer look and realized that they were completely white, as if they had no circulation. My fingers looked dead about 3/4 of the way down. They weren't that cold, just tingling and achey and it definitely wasn't frost-bite. The dead look kind of freaked me out a bit so I set to work trying to warm them up and get some blood into them. It took about 15 minutes but gradually the colour began to return. I jumped into the shower as soon as I got home and the bottoms of my feet and toes were white as well so I stayed under the hot water under they looked normal again too.

Later, I googled "white tingling fingers" and read about Raynaud's syndrome. It sounds an awful lot like what I had and I'll admit I have noticed my fingers tingling when they're cold lately. I'll have to pay closer attention. I guess I'll try to keep my hands warm and get it checked out next time I'm at the doctor. I have to get my allergy shot at the end of the month so it can wait until then unless it gets suddenly worse.

Abs Work

Because of my overworked abs this week, I only got in two workouts. I should be able to do better now since there are only 3 more days of school left. I have one more really stressful day (tomorrow - 2 concerts for parents) and one semi-stressful day (Thursday - afternoon craft day). Then Friday is easy and we're done!

It snowed 4" last night and another 4" tonight. Lovely and fluffy white stuff out there. Let's see if I can snag some pics off my camera phone.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

December 13, 2009

Busy day, didn't have time to blog. Will tell you all about my long run but you'll have to wait until tomorrow! PS It was awesome. :) :)

Sugoi gear was warm and comfy.

Abs work done.

Good night all.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

December 12, 2009

I've been busy all day. Did some Christmas shopping for the boy, did 2 hours of housework (and YES, that's a workout!). Then did my obligatory abs workout. I really had to take it easy because I am such a wuss that my abs are STILL sore from that Evolution of Abs workout last Monday. I cannot believe it. Anyhoo, I skipped the hard core ones and focussed mostly on various planks and did some crunches. I imagine it took about 15 minutes if you count my much needed rest breaks, LOL...

Tonight, another staff Christmas party. Yeah baby!

Tomorrow - I go for a run with my new running Sugoi running gear!

Friday, December 11, 2009

December 11, 2009

Hello, my name is slackergurl.

Got off work, picked up wine, steak, baguette, and DVD. Went home to eat, drink, and watch a movie.

Today we enjoy life. Tomorrow is another day.

KG out.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

December 10, 2009

Run run reindeer, run run reindeer, run right to my house.

Lotsa singing going on at school these days.

Went for a run after work. Didn't get home until after 6pm. -6C 21F. Overcast. I was warm enough in tights, baselayer, mid zero jersey, windbreaker, head band, and gloves. 5.1 km in 38:40. Not breaking any speed records, that's for sure. :)

Did 2/2/2 warmup then ran 6/1 this time. The usual lower leg aches and pains but nothing serious. Iced when I got home, then hot bath. Yoga before bed.

I started to do my abs workout but I am still hurting like crazy and there's no way I can hold the plank or anything. Guess I'm foced to wait another day. Dang.

Here's my current favourite playlist for my 5km runs

500 Miles - Proclaimers
Put Your Hands Up In The Air - ?
Are You Gonna Be My Girl- Jet
The Middle - Jimmy Eat World
Scar That Never Heals - Jeremy Fisher
Hotel Yorba - The White Stripes
Footloose - Kenny Loggins
Hurts So Good - John Cougar Mellencamp
I Gotta Feeling - Black Eyed Peas
I Love Rock N Roll - Joan Jett

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

December 9, 2009

Hello there my friends!

You know you done did a good abs workout when they are still sore two days later (and it hurts to cough). I am holding off one more day to my abs. I can barely move let alone work them. LOL... I'll try to do yoga before I go to bed.

My Sugoi package has been shipped (I messed up the credit card info which delayed it by a day or two). 3-5 days. Can't wait!

The temperature today was about -8C (18F) and it flurried enough this morning to dust the ground. All the roads have been heavily sprayed with calcium chloride so there shouldn't be any icey roads this week. Now that there is cloud cover, the temperatures will moderate and we are going to start getting some snow. They say we can expect a bigger dump of snow early next week.

Still busy at school with concert practices and crafts etc. Lots of fun. Also lots of errands to run trying to find materials we need. Hate that part but love the school part.

OK, got to go. More tomorrow. A run perhaps? The ankles/lower inner shins are sore today. Pooh.

Here's a funny video of me and my family wishing you a Merry Christmas! You'll have to click the link because I lost the embed code...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

December 8, 2009

Hi y'all...

Felt great all day. Bundled up and went for a run in the neighbourhood when I got home from work. It was cold (-11C, 12F) and dark but I felt pretty good.

I warmed up a bit - 2 min walk, 2 min run, 2 min walk. Then did 5/1, and then 6/1's for the rest. Last 6/1 I went faster (6 min km). 4.5 km in 33:20 overall.

I wore my Craft warm tights with my lined track pants over top. Sports bra, base layer, Sugoi Mid-Zero jersey (Erik's), and my Far West Goretex jacket. Also wore a headband, scarf, and gloves. I took off the gloves after 2 km and my cheeks didn't feel like they were freezing anymore after I warmed up.

As usual, my lower legs felt sore and achey. I stretched and iced after and they felt ok. I don't know if this minor pain is starting to add up or if it will eventually go away. I am counting on the latter.

My abs are sore from yesterday's workout..... That's probably good news.

It's supposed to start clouding over tomorrow and that means it'll warm up a bit, closer to -5ish and snow flurries for the rest of the week.

Skierz - haha, I made another batch of soup and have been eating that all week. With the Christmas season upon us, it's going to get tough... ;) Looking forward to hearing about your run week!

Clinton - thanks for the comment! :)

KG out.

Monday, December 7, 2009

December 7, 2009

Another good day.

I did my abs workout tonight, followed by a 20 minute Yoga For Runners by Yogamazing Podcast, which I highly recommend. (I did the yoga last night too, just before I went to bed.)

Tonight I wanted a bit more of a structured workout so I tweeted for advice and got three suggestions.

This is CoachPRS's Full Body and Core Workout recommended to me by SwapOntheRun. It uses bands and/or hand weights and can easily be done at home. Click on archived video and the down arrow to find Home Workout 2.

This is an amusing but challenging abs workout with Cher. I told Solorunner that I'd need to get some leg warmers to do that one. Seriously though, it looks hard, and if it meant I would have Cher's abs, well, hmmm, might be worth it. :)

Here is the one I chose to do. Evolution of Abs recommended to me by HeatherMoulton.
  • Plank (30 seconds today)
  • Side plank (30 seconds each side)
  • Plank with elbows on stability ball (30 seconds)
  • Stability Ball Jackknifes (super duper hard. Could barely hold the plank let alone do jacknife)
  • Stability ball roll out (did 30)
  • Plank Rotations (side plank, to regular plank, to other side: repeat)
It took about 10 minutes and some of it was REALLY hard. I also did 2X5 pushups. (Whooptie do I used to be able to do 30 pushups a few months ago). Then I did 2X20 ball crunches for a total of about 15 minutes.

So now I have a base and an idea of my starting point. It'll be interesting to see how much I can improve over a month.

It's going to be a teensy bit warmer tomorrow than they originally thought. Closer to -10C (14F) which means I guess I'll run outside.

I messed up my credit card number so my Sugoi order hasn't gone through yet. Guess I'll have to wait a few more days to be cozy warm....

Forgot to mention the tights in yesterday's picture are Sub-Zero Zap Tights. Warm and reflective.

and WAY TO GO Skierz!!! Running every day this week?? I could NOT do that... I'll be thinking of you while I do my abs workout. We have it planned for the same three days.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

December 6, 2009

"Today's gonna be a good day"

And it was!

Had a leisurely Sunday morning, did laundry and housework yadda yadda, then after lunch, I got bundled up and took Angel on a run on the Greenway along Mission Creek.

It was -2C (about 28F) and I really wanted to wear Erik's new Sugoi Mid Zero jersey but it was just too baggy to be warm enough so I wore my old MEC one. Over that I wore a windproof jacket, headband, gloves for first 2k, and tights. I felt warm enough even in the wind. (I think I heard windchill was about -9 C).

Anyhoo, I did 6 min warm up (2 min walk, 2 min run, 2 min walk)m then ran 4 min and walked 1 min until the halfway turn around point, then I ran 5 min and walked 1 min the rest of the way.

Overall I felt ok. My lower legs are a bit sore and achy when I run but it doesn't bother me after especially if I ice after.

I ran 6 km today instead of 5km so I can start having a 'long" run on Sundays from now on. I'll try to add 1km each weekend I guess, as long as I'm feeling ok.

So my BIG question is - and I haven't had an answer from anyone yet - what run/walk ratio can I do this week if I've been doing 4/1 comfortably for last 4 runs? Do I have to do one minute at a time each week? 5/1 this week, 6/1 next week etc? Or can I safely make some bigger jumps 6/1 this week, 8/1 next week etc? My goal is to get to 30 minutes without walking and although I'm anxious to get there, I DO NOT want to mess it up either.

Any opinions out there?

In other news.....

I went shopping at Sugoi's online store today. FINALLY decided what I wanted to buy after trying on a number of things at a local store to check for sizes. (And for anyone who thinks that's not fair, I did it while Erik was trying on AND BUYING some new tights.)

Eventually I bought two Mid-Zero jerseys of my own (they feel fabulous and so cozy warm). One in light blue and one in army green.

Abs Challenge Update

I did my abs workout this week on Dec. 2nd, 4th, and 6th this week. I've been careful not to overdo it so they don't hurt and cause me to miss a few days. For now, I've focussed on various types of crunches and some yoga/core work like the plank. Next week, I'll push it a little harder.

This week's Plan

Run on Tuesday and Thursday
. 4-5 km. 30-40 minutes. It'll be tough because the high on Tuesday is supposed to be -13C (9F). That's pretty close to my limit for running outside.

Abs on Mon/Wed/Sat

KG Out.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

December 5, 2009

Was out shopping ALL day today. Had so many errands to run and it took way longer than we thought. Now I'm home for an hour then have to head out to staff Christmas party. Won't make the gym as I had planned for this afternoon.

I did do my abs work last night though and will run tomorrow.

Now, nap.

Friday, December 4, 2009

December 4, 2009

Felt WAY better today. Got home around 5 and went for a run in the dark, around the neighbourhood. Didn't go too fast. Did a 6 min warmup then ran 4 minutes forefoot and 1 minute walking. A little achey etc in the lower legs but nothing serious. 4.25 km in 32:11 overall. Like I said, not too fast but I always find runs after work are tough.

I am going to watch a movie right now but promise to do my abs workout for the first 15 minutes of the movie.

Interesting stat - only weighed 119.4 lbs at dinner time tonight. Can't figure out why I'm not gaining weight....

Not going to complain tho...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

December 3, 2009

Not a lot to say tonight. The plan was to run this afternoon but it did not happen.

I had a bad night, awake twice in the middle of the night with a sick stomach - either something I ate or a mild bug. Went to work but felt pretty crummy all day. Couldn't eat anything during the day, forced down some crackers around noon so I wouldn't get dizzy. Later this evening, had some soup for supper and I'm feeling a bit better now.

Not too worried about the missed run - I can do it tomorrow and it was probably best for my body to rest a day anyway.

I am going to try to do some yoga before I go to bed unless the bending down makes my head hurt. In that case, I'll do my calf stretches only.

It's cold out again tonight and they're calling for flurries again. I am in SUCH need for some warmer winter running clothes. This weekend, I'll stop into one of the local stores and try on some Sugoi tights so I can decide what I want to buy.

KG out...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

December 2, 2009

OK, it's 9:15 pm. I am finally finished editing the show that was due out last Sunday. Ugh. I have to give it a listen before I post it, so thought I'd do my 15 mins of abs work and then update my blog.

To Skierz - Yes, please do join in! Leave a comment here and let us know what you're going to do and/or what you've done! Unless you happen to be a Beginner Triathlete member AND you live in BC, then let's just post out workouts here and keep each other motivated!

Anyone else want to join in?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December 1, 2009

OK, I loosely threw a few goals out there. Sounds like there are others who need some prodding as well. How about we encourage one another along then? Post your goals and periodic updates as to what you do to meet your goals in a comment here and we can shame each other into getting it done. :)

Today on the BC forum of Beginner Triathlete, I joined an abs workout challenge. I agreed to do abs work 15-20 minutes, 3 times a week for the month of December. I'm going to do that on non running days I think and fit it into my yoga workout. Anyone else want to get in on that?

SO where am I at right now?

Today I ran 5k right after work. I took my gear to school so I could change and run right after work. By the time I was dressed and at the trail head (1 km from school), it was already 3:15 and the sun was going behind the hill. It was hovering around zero celcius (32F) at my house, but the trail is in a narrow valley a little higher up and it felt much colder. The ground was frozen and covered with frost. I wore tights, a long sleeved tech shirt, bike jersey, and my wind breaker. It was enough to keep me warm but my hands were really cold for the first 2km in my light gloves. Next time, I'll wear my fleece gloves.

I did a walk/run warmup for 1o minutes, then did 4 min forefoot and 1 min walk for the rest. My leg are always a big tired after work so it's never comfortable time to run but overall I felt ok. I couldn't stretch or ice right after because I had to go pick up Erik from school. 40 minutes total run. Didn't try for any speed at all.

Downside of running right after work is that I had to go back to school around 7:30pm for an hour to get my work done. Too bad teachers don't really get off at 3pm every day....

A cold front has arrived and right now at 10:30 pm, it's already -7C (19F) and the predicted high on Thursday, is the same. I will try to run right after school if I can, but I'll more likely have to wait until I get home and run in the neighbourhood after dark.

As for the rest of my 'goals'?

Well I went to bed at 10 last night, right now it's 10:30 so I blew that for today. I think I can remember to take my supplements.

And I'll try to do some yoga before I hit the sack tonight.

Tomorrow - abs work. w00t.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

November 29, 2009

My cold is much better and my report cards are done. I'm still tired but I'm going to head out for my first run since last Sunday.

I need some goals. I have things I want to do but I'm not doing them. All I've been doing is the running, which is a good thing because it's the most important, but still.

Here are some of them. Not saying I'm ready to commit yet but I'll throw them out there.

• Get back to healthy eating all the time, not just part time.

• Take my calcium and other supplements regularly.

• Make a core strength plan and start doing it.

- pushups
- abs work
- other ?

• Do yoga every day. OK, I know I won't do it every day but I wish I did.

• Do the leg strengthening exercises on non-running days.

• Go to the YMCA on non-running days to swim, row, bike, do the elliptical, or weights.

• Go to bed at 10 pm on school nights.

• Figure out my half iron training plan.

• Decide whether I should try for Oliver or Osoyoos Half Iron.

• Run 21 km.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

November 24, 2009

I actually forgot to write a blog post for the last couple of days. Not that I have anything interesting to say.

Sunday, I went for my trail run. It was so-so. Not bad, not great. I took the dog with me because I had to run alone (Erik was still sick). Angel runs really well, stays right by my side and I just clip the leash around my waist and go. Unfortunately, she can't handle running in the heat so I haven't taken her for a long time and she got out of shape. I'd run for 1 km and she stop and sit. So I stopped taking her altogether.

Anyway, since I was still doing a walk-run, I decided to give her a try and she did really well. Now that the weather's cooler, I think I'll take her along. That way she can build up her endurance as well.

So - Sunday - ran 3 min, walked 1 min for half the run, and did 4 min run and 2 min walk the second half. My lower legs still ache - hard to explain where exactly. Lower inside shin, right above the ankle, more the bone than the muscle. It isn't bad and it doesn't last beyond the first half of the run. I'll just be glad when it's gone altogether.

Monday, I started to come down with whatever virus Erik has. I am achey, tired, have a sore throat, and a cough. I seem to feel ok as long as I take ibuprofen every 4-6 hours. Still going to work because I have a lot of stuff to get organized for report cards. I'm part way through writing them. Hope to get them done over the weekend.

OK, that's it. TTYL.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

November 21, 2009

No working out today. Went to a memorial service of a former colleague during the day and worked on report cards the rest of the time. Did a good stretch and yoga before bed tho. Achilles seems fine today. REALLY hope I can do a trail run tomorrow. Will have to go alone tho because Erik is still sick.

Made a big pot of soup tonight - check out my food blog to see What NOT to do... :(

Friday, November 20, 2009

November 20, 2009

Finally got out for a run, although not as I had hoped. Tried to get organized quickly after school so I could get home in time to run the trails before it got dark, but just as I packed up to leave, a big wind/rain storm darkened the skies. By the time I got home, it was pouring and too dark to go run in the hills so I hung out at home for a bit then got ready to run at about 4:30. By then the wind had died down and it had stopped raining, but it was still a cold 4C, 39F. Since I was running in the neighbourhood, I took it easy. My shins/calves/ankles felt a bit sore but nothing serious and I really tried not to overdo it this first time out since my race.

Did a 10 min walk/run warm up then ran 3:00 min forefoot and 2 min walk for 33 minutes. Did 4km in total. Felt pretty good. Think I might be able to do 4/2. Will think about it for Sunday.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

November 19, 2009

Oops, missed a couple of days.

Haven't done training of any sort all week - haven't had a chance to. Yesterday I had an ortho appt, then took the boy to a doctor appt, then got an H1N1 shot on the fly. Got home, fed the boys, and hurried off to meet my mom and my girls for dinner to celebrate both girls' birthdays this week.

Today had a staff mtg and didn't get home from work until 6pm. Have a braces headache from yesterday, coupled with mild flu symptoms from the shot. Going to hit the sack early.

Erik's home sick today and tomorrow with a virus so I can probably squeeze in a run after work tomorrow. It'll be my first run since Sunday! That's bad... But that's just life sometimes...

Monday, November 16, 2009

November 16, 2009

Quads are pleasantly sore today. Should be back running on Wednesday.

Yeah baby...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

November 15, 2009

The Pub Relay

Got up this morning feeling a little groggy. Had some yogurt for breakfast and that was it.

The temp was about 3C (37F), overcast, slight wind with a forecast for strong winds and snow flurries later in the day so I bundled up warm and took along some extra clothes as well. We met the team at Duffer's pub and shivered in the cold waiting for things to get rolling. Most of the teams were dressed up in funny costumes so we decided that next year we will definitely have to come up with something good! There were 20 teams of 6 people - always a sell out!
Once the first set of runners left, we drove up and met them at the first pub. After our runner arrived, and drank his beer, our next runner left on her leg. My leg was #4 and I had a flat, 5.1 km run along a busy street. I took off a little fast at first and my heart rate was flying. I tried alternating forefoot and heel strike but eventually just focussed on running to get 'er done.

At the 2.5 km mark, I was running about a 5:30 km (8:51 mile) and Ik new that was too fast to maintain for the whole race so I slowed it down a bit. Also, my ITB started to tighten up and I really didn't want it to lock so I stopped and walked for about 20 seconds. I wasn't wearing my HR monitor but I could tell my HR was way up there in the race zone (170-180?).

At the 5 km mark, I was at 29:47 which is significantly faster than any 5k I've run all year. It's by no means a PR but it's a HUGE improvement considering I was trying to hold back a little. I arrives at the pub in 30:24 and chugged down my beer in about 5 seconds. None of this sippy junior stuff that my 30-something team mates were pulling off. LOL...

To be honest, the beer was different at each pub - it was all draft but some had been pulled earlier and was flatter so easier to drink. The glass sizes varied a little to.

They added a few things into the race that I didn't know about. The team in the lead at the 2nd leg had to carry a big brick the rest of the way and if you passed the brick holder, you had to take the brick too.

At the end of the 5th leg, the 5th runner and the 6th runner who was just leaving, BOTH had to drink a beer. In this case it was Erik. Luckily, he has a cast iron stomach and run on a full stomach of beer. I don't know if I could do that.... Then he had to drink another beer at the end.

This is the final run for the Kelowna Running Club and there were a lot of well known, very fast serious runners there. Our team probably came in about 12-14th (out of 20) I think. There were no prizes for placing, only for best costumes and lots of door prizes, plus a huge buffet and of course, another beer.

Anyway, it was a ton of fun and we'll definitely do it again next year!

November 14, 2009

It's actually after midnight as I type this.

I think this is the one and only time I will ever party the night before a "race". Had an awesome time at the Skookum Barn Dance tonight. Valdy played with a group of excellent studio musicians - good old rock 'n roll with a few Valdy classics thrown in for good measure. "Play Me a Rock n Roll Song"... I think we only sat out for 2-3 songs total. I was wearing heels and the dance floor was so crowded, I couldn't kick off my shoes so my feet are pretty sore right now. I'm pretty sure I only had 2 1/2 glasses of wine so I think I will feel fine tomorrow. Hope so... LOL...

Friday, November 13, 2009

November 13, 2009

Calves felt a bit tight when I was stretching today but overall, still good. I was chomping at the bit to go for a run but held off to make sure I'm ok for Sunday.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

November 12, 2009

Felt good today. Calves etc all feeling fine. Did all my stretching. Might go for short, easy run tomorrow if I have time.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

November 11, 2009

Wow, what a great day!

I went for my run this afternoon and it was awesome! I drove up to the other end of the trail where I usually run, and did just the flat part out and back. It's a very, very gradual uphill from that end, so that means downhill on the way back if I run from that direction. To be honest, the grade is so slight, you cannot tell at all there is an incline but I always feel that my run back it is a bit tougher than the run out so it was nice to be able to do it the other way around this time.

I warmed up for the first 9 minutes by walking 3, run 1, walk 3, run 2, then walk 3 and run 3 from then on. A few times I ran 3 1/2 because I felt good and forgot to keep an eye on my watch.

Of course, the whole time I only did forefoot running and I really focussed on form and tried to keep loose - had up, feet landing under my body. My lower right calf was kind of tight for the first 10 minutes or so and then it felt completely fine after that.

I was listening to Chris Russell talk about forefoot running in New Balance 800's on his podcast Run Run Live the other day and he mentioned when you're doing the "lean" forward, you should imagine that there's a rope tied around your waist, pulling you forward. That imagery seemed to help me a lot today.

When I got to the last 5 minutes of the run, (last 800-1000m), "I Gotta Feeling" came on my ipod just as I started my last run segment and I felt so happy and so good that I decided to pick up the pace a little and run faster. (Normally I'm running at about 6:30 km ~ 10:30 mile.)

According to my Garmin, I was running at about a 5:00 km pace (8:00 min mile)! That's way faster than I've run before. I think my best previous pace was about 5:15 km. The best thing was, I felt so good, like I could keep on running for another 5 km. It was good thing I came to the end of the trail or I might have been tempted to keep on running. As it was, I didn't stop at the 3 min mark, I kept on going until the end of the song.

When I got home, I was worried that I was going to hurt. I stretched and iced my right calf just to be cautious but as this very moment, I feel totally fine. Even if I jog on the spot, nothing is hurting. It didn't even feel sore when I climbed the stairs at school this evening.

OMG I am SO hoping that this is a turning point. Please please please.....

I'm not going to run again until Sunday, the day of the Pub Run. I have to run 5.1 km on the roads that day. It's mid-day on a weekend so I should feel fairly fresh, assuming I don't go too wild at the dance on Saturday night. LOL...

My big problem is that I can't do a walk/run on Sunday, not in a race where my team mates are counting on me. Although we're not trying to "win" anything, we're just doing it for fun, it will be hard not to go too hard. I definitely cannot run forefoot for the whole race, that would be suicide, so I'll have to run heel strike/walk intervals again. I really, really hope it doesn't set me back. But hey, even if it does, I will just take a few days off and get back at it. Yeah!!

Over and out. :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

November 10, 2009

Really glad tomorrow is a day off. Got home around 5ish, made dinner.

Lower calves, achilles still sore-ish so decided to take an extra day or rest so as not to ask for trouble. Since tomorrow's a day off, I can run the trails in the daytime when I'm not so tired as well.

Later, my friends. :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

November 9, 2009

Got home at 10 pm. Long day.

Feeling pretty good but too tired to do anything exercise related tonight.

Lower calves are tired and sore-ish. It might be best to wait an extra day before I run again - I'll decide tomorrow.

On a related note, I wore my orthotics in my regular shoes all day and by noon, my feet were tired. Got rid of them after school and feet are still achey. They feel good in my runners when run, why do they feel crappy when wear them all day? It's not like they're new...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

November 8, 2009

Another great day!

Got some stuff done this morning, then went for a trail run this afternoon . It was overcast and about 8C 46F. Carly and Erik came along and although we all ran at different paces, we met up by the lake at the end and walked down the hill together.

I hiked up 1.5 km before I started running on the flats, and did 3 min forefoot and 3 min walking. Several times, I forgot to stop running and ran 30-60 seconds longer than I was supposed to.

Overall I felt good. I had decided to put the orthotics back in today so I can pinpoint the cause of any injuries should they happen. However, my shins, ITB, calves, and hamstrings all felt fine for a change. However, my right inner ankle (almost where the muscle along the shin would connect to the ankle?) was sore when I was running today. It's been hurting a bit lately when I flex my foot, especially if I flex it and turn the foot inward, and today it hurt as soon as I started running. After awhile, it settled down and kind of faded into the background so I am really hoping that it too will disappear before my next run.

If I can just get to the point where I can run 3 and 3 without ANY pains, I will move to 3 and 2. I think I am SO close.... Be careful, just be careful...

Anyway, today I ran 5 km in 39:47 which I happen to think is pretty awesome considering I walked about half of that! It's also at least 5 min faster than my run on Thursday. W00t!!

Now I have a small problem, next Sunday is the pub run and I will definitely not be able to run the whole thing forefoot. I really don't want to take walk breaks when my team mates are counting on me, so I guess for that one day, I'll have to alternate with heel strike. Hopefully, it won't set me back any.

Also if I'm feeling any significant pains on my run this Tuesday, I'm going to take the rest of the week off running so I am rested for Sunday.

Another point of note - I chugged a whole beer down , in two gulps as soon as I got back from my run. I am now officially ready for the Pub Run!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

November 7, 2009

Well today turned out to be a pretty good day. I had a crapola sleep last night and was lying awake for about half an hour before I remembered that I didn't have to work the next morning. Awesome feeling. :) Didn't help me fall asleep but I did get caught up on a bunch o' podcasts. Slept in till 9ish this morning so I think it was all good.

Overall, I've been feeling much better as the week has gone on. This afternoon, I went to the gym and rowed 5000m in 27:15, then I did 3 loops on the weights circuit, hitting only the upper body machines ~ 12-15 reps, 3 sets. It was my first time on weights for awhile so thought I'd better take it easy.

When I got home I did 30 minutes of yoga as well as my calf, hamstring, and hip stretches. Felt good as usual. Someone kick me on the ass and make me do yoga EVERY single night okay?? It is just SO good. (Yogamazing Podcast Episode #144 Yoga for Runners)

I think I am ready to run tomorrow. To be honest, my right ankle is kinda of sore, but I'm assuming that is all just niggling pains from forefoot running. I'm just hoping it will gradually disappear as my body gets used to the new form. So the plan for tomorrow is a 5 km trail run with a warmup and cool down hike - probably 8 k in total?

So I am still torn about ditching the orthotics and I've decided to put them back in tomorrow and take them out again when my legs are more 'ready'. If I change too many things at once, I won't know the cause of any injuries.

In other news.....

I made another batch of my awesome Creamy Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato soup. I have made a pot every weekend for last 3 weeks and I have enough for my lunch everyday during the week. I am still tweaking the recipe but I promise to post it on my food blog as soon as it is ready.

I can't believe I'm not gaining any weight. My weight has fluctuated around 120.5 -122 for the last few months, despite the fact that I have not been eating as perfectly as I should, and not doing tons of cardio. Maybe now would be a good time to cut back the calories and lose those last 5 lbs that NEVER seem to want to come off?

See you tomorrow, my friends. :)

Friday, November 6, 2009

November 6, 2009

Good day.

Calf felt ok, a little tight, couldn't have run , but it wasn't painful like last night.

Brian says use the roller then heat, cool (not cold) X 3 times.

Did abs again. 2 X 20 crunches.

Good times.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

November 5, 2009

Not a bad day overall. Way too busy at work and I left my desk and room in a mess when I had to go at 4:30. But it was dark out and threatening rain and I still had to pick up hubby and run errands before I could get home and even THINK about going for a run. I was starving by the time I got home at 5:45 so I had a banana before I geared up for my run. The rain held off and it was only a bit windy so I was lucky, but since it was dark, I had to run around the block 5 times instead of doing a trail run. I stretched my calves for about 5 minutes before I left and I found the left one was still a bit tender and tight but it felt ok to run.

I did a walk/run warm up for 10 mins (more walk than run), and then did the rest mostly in 3 min intervals - 3 min forefoot and 3 min walking. I continued to opt for no more heel strike and did not put my orthotics back in. I tried to stay loose and to go easy but again, right at the 2.3 km mark (same as Tuesday), I got the twinge in my left calf. I stopped and walked right away before it could knot up too much to run. After 3 min, I tried running again and then continued with the walk/run somewhat cautiously for the rest of the time. A few times, it tightened so I just switched and I managed to do the entire 5 km this time. A little over 45 minutes in total I think. Probably about 20 minutes was forefoot running.

I stretched and iced my left calf when I got home. Interestingly enough, it was hurting closer to the top of the calf this time, almost under the knee. I'll still not sure if I should continue without the orthotics or put them back in....

In other news....

I made a pact with Sandy not to eat any crap today. Managed to hold off until now but I'm really craving candy. Going to have some cheese and crackers instead tho - good me.

Also made an agreement with Anotorias so do some abs work tonight. I remember distinctly the last time I did crunches, I overdid it by doing my usual routine, so tonight, I will only do 2 sets of 20 to get the ball rolling. I know it all comes back pretty quickly and I'm sure I'll be able to do 5 X 20 in a week or so.

OK, over and out.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

November 4, 2009

Another day, another dollar....

Stretched in the morning, stretched at night.

Stretched a couple times during the day.

Calf has the ~~slightest~~ tenderness/tightness that I am sure will be gone by tomorrow.

And so I will live to run again.

Buh bye....

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

November 3, 2009

Well today I got home from work and dentist at 6pm and was determined to go for a run despite how hungry I was. I drank a glass of water and had a hammer gel so my tummy wasn't empty then geared up for a run in the dark and cold (hovering around freezing point). I was wearing my Zensah compression shin sleeves all day, and I left them on for the run.

So - I'd been thinking a lot about the next step in my forefoot running transition and how I was feeling more and more like I didn't want to keep going back to heel strike. I was talking to my twitter friend Colin and he told me I shouldn't heel strike at all anymore, that I should alternate the forefoot with walking instead. I thought it made a lot of sense and I'd already been thinking about doing just that. So... today I took out my orthotics because they feel a bit uncomfortable when I run on my forefoot, and I decided to do 3 min forefoot and 2 min walk today to see how that felt. I was fully prepared to increase the walk break if needed.

I walked 5 mins to warm up, the I started running. I felt great. I did my walk break and then I stopped and stretched a little to be on the safe side. Back to running/walking. I did about 1.5 km and had a sudden pain in my left leg - lower calf, just above the achilles. I stopped and stretched it a bit. Then I sat down and massaged it. Nothing helped so I limped home to reduce any further irritation. Got home, iced off and on for 20 minutes. It's still feeling tight and sore if I move it in certain ways but I don't think it's serious and it will likely go away in a day or so. At first I thought it was a cramp, but now I'm wondering if it's a mild calf pull. No swelling, no bruising.

So what did I do wrong?

1. Taking out the orthotics?

2. Cutting back from 3 min heel strike to a 2 min walk?

3. Poor form? (I was really focussed the whole time and I tried to stay loose.)

4. Didn't stretch enough? (I did stretch a little before and a little during)

5. Not enough salt/electrolytes or water? (I hadn't had dinner, I only had the gel and a glass of water before I left).

6. Wearing my shin sleeves all day?

7. All of the above?

8. None of the above.


What should I do next? Try, try again on Thursday, assuming my calf is back to normal asap?

Monday, November 2, 2009

November 2, 2009

I'm baaack....

First off, here's a link for Sandy - see her comment on my last point.

I don't think I have any forefoot running info on my own site. Everything I know, I've learned from podcasts and from talking to other people, and from talking to a running coach. However, I googled forefoot running and I think the site above pretty well sums up my thoughts on the topic (so far.) I am not an expert, I am only learning.

I don't really know if forefoot running is going to help me in the long run (no pun intended) but I figure it's worth a try. The main thing I got out of my talk with the running coach is that I think people shouldn't try to switch to FF running on their own. I think they should at least talk to a coach and get some pointers so they don't get new injuries.

I am currently reading Born to Run and I'm enjoying it. Sorta. It's all a little fantastical so I'll reserve judgement until I've finished it.

I felt pretty darn good today. So good that I could have gone for a run. BUT I had an appt to get my allergy shot after school and I couldn't miss that. Sadly, I'm not supposed to exercise after getting my shot so I was messed up for the rest of the afternoon/ evening. I'm hoping I can hold this good feeling until tomorrow. Only downside is, I have a dentist appt at 4pm and I won't be home until after 5. If I run, the boys will have to wait for dinner. We'll see.

So I still haven't got the flu yet - most of the fatigue and achiness I've been feeling off and on for the past two weeks seems to be gone. I'm not 100% yet, but I'm feeling MUCH better and almost energetic at times.

I've also been starting to get a handle on why I keep having rushes of not feeling well. I think some of it is due to mild hot flashes and the related effects. Gentlemen, and ladies under 45, you can skip this part if you want to. :) Recently, I was sent a link to this very interesting site that gave some great detailed info about menopause and hot flashes. I've been having night sweats for several years now and they don't even bother me anymore, but two months ago, I stopped taking the pill, and I've begun to have the occasional hot flash during the day. They're pretty mild so far but it should be interesting to see how this affects my training when I start to workout harder. I doubt I'll even notice them then actually, I'm always super hot when I'm working out anyway.

I actually find this whole stage of life quite interesting and exciting and I find myself wanting to shout out to strangers - "Hey guess what, I'm having a hot flash!" instead of being embarrassed about it. I have no clue why. So anyway, all you women out there will appreciate this - I probably don't have to worry about the timing of my races anymore if ya know what I mean. It's certainly an issue for female athletes. Personally, I have always manipulated nature by taking the pill right thru racing season so I didn't have to deal, but not every woman can do that. I'm curious to know how other female athletes deal with menstruation and racing. And if any post-menopausal women out there have any advice, feel free to email me. :)


I've been doing my stretching for the last two days. That's my main goal right now. My hamstrings are pretty tight lately and I think that's from the FF running. I don't want to have a new issue to deal with so I've added some hamstring stretches to the mix. The whole stretching routine easily takes me 30 minutes in the evening and I try to squeeze in at least 10-15 mins worth earlier in the day as well if I can.

Okey dokey, gotta go stretch before I hit the sack. Later...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

November 1, 2009

I decided I'm going to write a short blog post every day this month, like I did last year. I could actually steal the first paragraph from last year and find not much has changed. Here's what I wrote one year ago today.

Another Month, Another Opportunity...

... to redeem myself.

Still trying to get back on the wagon and I'm not going to give up. I always feel energetic and motivated on the weekends after I've had a good sleep so I do well and go for a run or a bike ride, and then things start to fall apart during the week when I'm so tired again.

Sound familiar? Sheesh, the more things change, the more they stay the same. It looks like this time of year is just a time that I need to take the time to regenerate and cut back a little. There's just too much stress and too much work to have the energy to work out every single day. Maybe it's the change in the weather, or less daylight, or going back to work full time after 68 days off. I dunno.

Anyhoo, here's my update since my last post.

Saturday, Oct. 31 I ran 8.3 km. That included the hiking up hill as my warm up (1.4 km), a 5k trail run in 34:19, and then 1.8 km walk down. Shins felt perfect. Forefoot running felt good - 3 minutes heel strike and 3 minutes forefoot. Didn't even want to quit forefoot when it was time but I did. HOWEVER, I did not stretch AT ALL this week. Nadda. Bad me. And I suffered for it I think. ITB pain again at the 4 km point. Always the same point of my run it seems. Of course, I had the same problem for my last 3 runs and the other times I stretched so maybe that doesn't even help.

Anyway, I did my best to ignore it and finish my 5 km run. The right knee had the ITB strap on and it felt only a little painful, the left knee, which usually doesn't bother me, was much worse, and I was pretty "limpy" when I had to walk downhill, especially on the steep sections.

Did I MENTION my SHINS felt FINE?????? Yeah baby. I'm gonna kick this ITB thing in the ass and keep running.

So. Why didn't I run all week you are wondering. Well, it's the same old same old. My son came down with H1N1 on Tuesday night and we had some worrisome days. Then his fever went down and I stopped worrying about him and started worrying about me. Hubby and I have both been feeling fatigue, achey, headaches, overall unwell for past 2 weeks. Seems to come in waves. I usually manage to have about half a day feeling greta and then I just fall apart. Whatever. It'll go away.

So now I'm crossing my fingers that I don't get the piggy flu. If I get it, it should happen sometime this week. Incubation period is about 2-7 days. Sure hope not, but then again, it'll save me a 4 hour wait in line for the shots right?

My forefoot plan

I think I'll stick with 3 and 3 this week. Then next week do 3 FF and 1.5 HS. Then the next week. 5 FF and 2 HS or something along those lines. We'll see.

This week:

* I will try to do something every day. Stretch. Cardio. Run. Yoga. Strength. Walk. Something.

* I will make smart eating choices 80% of the time.

* I will drink more water.

* I will get more sleep.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Late October

I know, not much of a title, but I don't have a whole heckuva lot to say. My training has been sadly lacking due to fatigue and overwork, and I've been struggling to get out running even twice a week.

I have not been able to keep up my end of the bargain in my October Challenge to do a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio per day, but I have tried hard to at least do my stretching and calf/shin strengthening on the days that I don't run. I'm planning to continue with this more reasonable goal for the month of November, which is quickly approaching.

On a brighter note, I've had several great runs, two good ones in a row in fact, and I am seeing some serious improvement in that area. I went for physio once a week during the month and I think that has helped, in addition to 10-15 minutes of stretching twice a day. I suspect that having 2-3 days off between runs is also beneficial. ;) Who knows, maybe I should start following Erik's method and only run once a week. LOL...

So here's what I have accomplished in the past two weeks.

Oct. 11 - 11km hilly bike ride just before dark. 30 min.

Oct. 12 - weights - 30 min

Oct. 13 - 3 km run

Oct. 14-16 - Meetings, stayed home sick from work 1 day, did stretching, theraband.

Oct. 17 - 40 min trainer ride, 18km

Oct. 18 - 6 km run 1/2 km walk WU and CD

Oct. 19-21 - overworked, fighting bug, fatigue, parent-teacher interviews till late, stretching, theraband.

Oct. 22 - 5.75 km run, 300m walk WU and CD

Oct. 23/24 - Felt crappy yet again, stretching, theraband.

Oct. 25 - 8 km trail run, 1.3km walk WU and CD

Oct. 26 - Oct. 28 - Still struggling to get through the day.

I am now up to 3 min heel strike and 1 1/2-2 min forefoot now, but I should have run yesterday or today and I have not. Maybe tomorrow, we shall see, but I suspect I'll be up with my son in the middle of the night again. If his fever spikes, he has nightmares so I have to get up and stay up until he falls sleep again.

So - I'll keep you posted.

No worries, there are always blips on the screen. I'm just happy it's the off season and I can afford to miss training days right now. I'll get back to the normal (??) KG soon enough. :)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

World Wide Festival of Races 2009

Well, my original goal was to do a half marathon, then I downgraded to a 10k like last year, finally on race day, I settled for a 5k run without a walk break. I don't think I've done 5k without a break since my tri, and even then, I had to stop and stretch my ITB 3 times during that race.

Anyway, yesterday afternoon, we drove down to the greenway path along the creek. I did a really good stretch before I left home, then I walked by the creek for about 600m to warmup. The weather was cool but sunny and I was wearing my tights, my long sleeved tech shirt under my lovely new Sugoi bike jersey. Also had my headband on because I'm prone to ear aches. The air temp was about 8C, 46F.

It's the end of my second week of my Couch to Forefoot Running program so I was doing 5 min heel strike and 1 min forefoot today. I usually only do 3km for my CtFR program but I decided that since it's the WWFoR, I'd go for the whole 5k, what the heck!

I started my garmin after my warm up and ran a steady 5k on the flattish gravel path. It would have been nice to do 6:00 per km but I was a bit slower than that and didn't want to push too fast since I was running 2 km longer than usual. I was wearing my zensah shin sleeves but forgot my ITB strap. I felt all sorts of niggling aches and pains but tried to stay loose and most of them went away after a bit.

I still feel weird and a little off-balance when I'm doing the forefoot/midfoot running and it feels more restful to go back to heel strike when the one minute is up. I'm going to do 4/1 this week coming up and then I'll bump the FF to 2 min per session the following week. Maybe doing longer will help.

My pace was steady for the whole run and my final time was 32:37. It's certainly not a blistering pace, and it's a full 6 minutes slower than my 2 best 5k times, but I was very happy none-the-less because I ran 5k without a walk break AND I had no significant pain during or after. My pace was 6:31 per km, or about 10:30 per min.

I walked about 600 m after the run and did a really thorough stretch while waiting for Erik to get back from his longer run. I kept my shin sleeves on until my shower. I had planned to put them back on but forgot. I didn't ice after my run because I felt fine. Luckily, I feel good this morning because I really should have iced no matter how I felt....

So - I am super happy but guarded because I've been here before and I know that I am always only one run away from trouble so it's important to stick with the plan no mater how great I feel.

Rough plan for the CtFR Program for the week starting:

Oct. 12 - 4/1
Oct 19 - 5/2
Oct 26 - 4/2
Nov. 2 - 3/2
Nov. 9 - 2/3
Nov. 16 - 2/4
Nov. 23 - 2/5
Nov. 24 - 2/6
Dec. 1 - 2/7

I will adjust and adapt as time goes on. Goal is to be doing at 5/1 or 10/1 forefoot by Christmas.


As for my October Challenge update:

Oct. 5
Ran 4.2km at 9pm just so I could get the 30 minutes in

Oct. 6 Busy day, only did 3X20 crunches and 3X10 situps, and 15 min stretching routine. Really felt the crunches/situps - it's been awhile since I have done them and they felt really hard. My shoulder's still sore 5 days later.

Oct. 7 Another hectic day - having trouble getting time to workout. Went for a 30 min brisk walk and did my stretching again.

Oct. 8 Took my gear to school and ran 3k with the kids at noon. This worked really well and I realized it would be the best way to get my 2 weekly runs in - do them at noon! Starting next week, I will definitely be doing that. I can do an extra km or two if want as well. Felt pretty good after the run as well.

Oct. 9 I took a rest day. Too much happening after school today anyway.

Oct. 10 Ran the WWFoR 5km. Actually did 6.2km in 42:37 if I include my warmup and cooldown.

Oct. 11 Today. Haven't decided what I'll do today but I'll definitely do something. Bike? Gym? Swim? We shall see...

I hope your training is going well! Thanks for reading...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

October Challenge

Well, it's the off-season for me and I need a challenge. Carlos, The Jackal, was telling me how he gets 10 hours of cardio a week and it got me to thinking that I really do need to get more cardio now that the season is over. I doubt I can do 10 hours a week (or should I say I choose not to), but I think 30 minutes for 6 days a week is doable. It'll be hard though - some days I cannot find an extra minute in the day and I really don't like to do cardio too late in the evening or it affects my sleep. But, I will try. If I miss a day, I'll make it up by doing extra on the weekends.

Lybbe and stplatt are both taking the challenge with me and so far, they are doing better than I am. I ended up bailing on the first two days of the challenge due to one thing or another at work. A stressful situation that have been more or less resolved now, caused some sleepless nights, and I couldn't get up the energy to do cardio in the evenings on those days. But this weekend I made up for it.

Oct. 1 - nothing

Oct. 2 - nothing

Oct. 3 - 42 min run - 20 min rowing - 15 min elliptical - 20 min stationary bike. 30+15 min stretching/yoga (90 min total cardio and 45 min stretching)

Oct. 4 - 30km 1:35 easy bike ride, 30 min stretching/strengthening

Here are a few pics from my 75 km ride last weekend.

Here's the 3rd largest airplane in the world.

An alkaline dust storm on Robert's Lake.

Riding along the windy boardwalk.

More to come later. I gotta catch some zzzz's right now....

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I *will* be a runner.

My running "career" has been full of ups and downs and I still have not yet figured out a solution. But it's not for lack of trying.

If you've been reading my blog, you can skip this brief recap and scroll down to the What's Next section.

Jan-June 2007
Started couch to 5k walk/run program. Ran 2-3 times a week. Built up to 5k run in 29-30 minutes avg and ran my first 5k race in 26:16 in June. Wasn't very knowledgeable and went too hard/ fast on that race, then didn't stretch or anything after. Ended up with fairly bad shin pain after the race. Life got busy so I stopped running altogether until the fall.

Sept-Dec 2007
Started walk/run program again. Went to massage therapy and physiotherapy, then finally had gait analysis - overpronator - and was prescribed orthotics.

January - June 2008
Continued walk/run program and had varied success. Continued to have foot/shin pain. Had orthotics adjusted several times. Overall, some improvement when I didn't run too far, or too often. Seemed to do best if I had 2 days off between runs. Mostly ran 3-5km at a time, still took some walk breaks on days when things were sore. In June, I did my 2nd 5k race in 26:26 and had shin pain after.

Summer 2008
I did 8k race in 46:17. Shin pain after. For rest of the summer, I babied my shins and only ran twice a week, no speed work, no long runs while training for my tri at end of August. Cont some physio and stretched and iced. My 5k time at my tri was 29:45. Not great but ok.

Sept-Dec 2008
I focused on running and worked toward a 10k for the WWFOR. I had hoped to do the half marathon but was unable to build up my long run during the summer. This time, my ITB locked up at my knee during 10k in Oct. 1:06 including walk breaks. I continued to run with walk breaks and going easy through the winter. I bought Zensah shin compression sleeves and sometimes wear them during or after a run.

February 2009
Bought new shoes that were a half size larger. Pain on top of foot disappeared. I hoped this would also cure my shin probs.

Spring 2009
I was coached for my May tri but every time he had me do some running drills, speed work, plyometrics etc to strengthen my shins/legs, the shin pain returned and I had to cut back my running. My run time in my May triathlon was crappy, 32:09, and I had ITB pain again. In June I ran an easy 5k race with my daughter and had to walk some due to shin and ITB pain. 33:00

Summer 2009
I continued to run easy, slow, take walk breaks, tried trail running, and continued to have pain if I did a brick or ran a bit faster, or a bit longer. My 5k time in my tri in August was 31:07. ITB pain slowed me down. I also went back to massage and was given more strengthening exercises to do. They seemed to be working and for a few months, I thought the shin problems were solved although I hadn't yet figured out the ITB problem that only hit me once in awhile on a long run, or a race, rarely on easy or short runs.

Sept 2009
I decided to try a different approach. Run short, easy, more frequently, and do long runs on the trails. Don't go longer on long runs until the distance feel easy. So for two weeks, I ran 3-5k every second day, slowly (11-12 mi mile). I did a good warmup, and took walk breaks when necessary. I avoided hills. I stretched and did ice massage on my shins after every run.

On the first weekend I did a long run (8k) on the trails but had to walk after 30 min due to ITB pain. The second weekend, I did another 8k trail run on a flat trail and managed 6k before the ITB pain started. This time I was wearing an ITB strap which may or may not have helped. The day after that long run, my shins hurt a lot. I took 2 days off before I ran again but I was unable to run longer than a minute at a time without bad shin pain. Did 2.5 k of mostly walking that day.

2 days after that, my shins are still sore. Not sure if I should run today or not. I am thinking I might go to the gym and do the elliptical instead.

So what to do now?

Possible things to try next:

I've had loads of suggestions from people who have shared what worked for them.

• go back to Okaped and get orthotics adjusted again.

• go to a different place and get new gait analysis to confirm diagnosis

• toss orthotics but wear corrective shoes for overpronation.

• toss orthotics and wear minimalist shoes like Newtons or Nike Free.

• try barefoot running.

• try forefoot running (with current shoes, with new shoes, with and without orthotics, so many options...)

• continue using the foam roller on ITB and doing yoga and doing strengthening exercises for hips flexors and shins.

So what am I going to do?

• Hire a running coach. The one I have in mind encourages forefoot running. My understanding is that he philosophically disagrees with orthotics although he wouldn't tell someone not to use them. He says he's not a doctor and can't make that call. Interestingly, he also thinks Newtons are a crutch to be avoided as well because of the little thingies on them that encourage forefoot running. He says it's better to learn to mid-foot/forefoot run without them.

• I won't do barefoot running. It's not something that can be done year round or safely here so I'm not going to bother. However, I may try it on the treadmill in short spurts for awhile so my body can learn the feel for forefoot running, with the hope that it will transfer to running with shoes on.

• It looks like it would be dumb not to try to switch to mid-foot/forefoot running despite the possibility of having to deal with new aches and pains during the transition. I have been trying it in 30-60 second segments but I don't know if I'm doing it right.

• I have made an appt at my orthotics place to make one last-ditch effort to correct the problems with my current orthotics. I don't know if I want/need to try going to a new place to get a second opinion gait analysis or not, although the place comes highly recommended.

• Shoes - I have not decided what to do. Current shoes (which are very comfortable), with or without orthotics, or minimalist shoes or ??

• I will continue shin strengthening and hip flexor work.

• I will continue to do short, easy runs every 2-3 days. I will cut my long run back until the short runs are comfortable again.

• I will use the elliptical when running hurts too much.

• I will try not to complain too much. (I am so frustrated, this one is hard...)

I will try to remember Randy Pausch's saying:

"Roadblocks are only a test of your commitment to your goals."

Friday, September 4, 2009

Last weekend of the summer...

I've had a busy two weeks since my race and have mainly focused on running, and getting ready for school.

After my race on August 23rd, I took a few days off to rest my sore body and then:

Thu, Aug 27 - I ran 3.5 km. My shins hurt at the end so I stretched and iced. Still stiff but ok.

Sat, Aug 29 - I ran 8.3 km on the trail above my house. I hiked up the first 1.3 km, then ran for 30 mins. My HR was really racing and I felt breathless at that point so I walked the rest of the way home. I think it was a combination of heat and fatigue. My ITB also started to tighten up by the last 2 km as well but since I was walking, it wasn't really an issue. Stretched and iced shins when I got back.

At this point I decided to do some easy short runs (3-5 km) every 2nd day instead of 3 times a week, and one long run on the weekends for the next few months, in order to build up my running stamina. I'll do a 10 km run or longer for the World Wide Festival of Races (Oct, 10/11) and if I'm lucky, I hope to do the New Balance Half Marathon in Vancouver on November 15!

Mon, Aug 31 - 3k run in am, felt stiff, sore. Ran 9/ walked 1. Iced shins after.

Wed, Sep 2 - 4.3k run in am, still felt a bit stiff. 1 km WU then 3 km at 11 min mile pace. Felt ok. Iced shins after, wore shin sleeve.

Fri, Sep 4 - Felt crappy all day, had long nap in afternoon, then felt better around 6 pm so went for a run. Did 5.3 km and felt pretty good. 1 km WU then 4 km steady at 11:30 min mile pace. I wore my shin sleeve during my run, and also tried out an ITB Strap so see how it felt. I plan to wear the strap for my long runs only until the issue is resolved. I will continue with stretching and using the foam roller as well.

During the week, I've also been doing some stretching and yoga but nothing on a planned/regular basis. This is my last week of vacation so I plan to get back into a schedule when school starts on Sept. 8th.

My goals include:

• Run every 2nd day if I can fit it in, and then do a long run on the weekend.

• Add 1-2 km to my long run every weekend, cutting back every 4 weeks.

• Continue stretching and using the foam roller.

• Ice shins after every run until they are no longer a problem. Wear shins sleeve during and after.

• Wear ITB strap on long runs.

• Return to healthy diet 90% of the time on Sept. 8th, and maintain weight throughout the winter. No more than 3 lbs gain over Christmas. (I'm up 3 lbs right now so must lose that again by mid-Oct)

• Plan strength and conditioning workouts to be done on alternate days, focus on core.

• Use the gym and home equipment.

• Bike and swim for fun when I have time.

• Try to get 8 hours of sleep every night. Go to bed earlier during the school week.


I finally got into my classroom on Aug 26 and spent about 16 hours in the next 3 days, unpacking and setting up. The school will be open but not finished on the first day of school. Should be pretty exciting. I have a beautiful room with vaulted ceilings and open beams. Everything is clean and new and bright - so nice. The staff is young and fun - I'm really going to enjoy them. I'm about the 2nd oldest on staff now. Weird.

Here's the view from my desk.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Kelowna Apple Sprint Triathlon Race Report

I'm a bit slow getting this post up - spent most of Monday/Tuesday getting my race report podcast out then went in to school all day today to unpack 35 boxes and start getting my brand new classroom set up - fun!!!

So here goes!

If you managed to slog through my race plan a few posts back, you probably saw that my plan was to get up at 4:30 and leave the house by 5:40. Haha - here's the plan, and in brackets, how it really went.

4:30 Get up, eat yogurt and banana, coffee, water (Ooops, I set the alarm for pm instead of am, Erik woke me from a dead sleep at 5:05, jumped out of bed, showered, ate, did last minute stuff, and left the house about 6am - at this point I wasn't too worried because I was using last year's times and my wave was 15 minutes later than last year so I had some leeway)

Leave house, drive, park, set up transition (had to park further away than expected, got sent directly to long line for body marking before being allowed into transition)

6:00-6:30 Body marking (6:45 finally arrive in transition, set up some stuff, then head to long line for bathroom, 7:15 finish set up, put on wetsuit, run to beach)

Short warm up swim (7:25 very short warm up swim, windy, cool air, brrrr)

My wave start (Scramble to beach in time to hear the whistle and run into the water.)

The Race


My swim was probably my best event this year. Go figure. I seeded myself fairly close to the front, and to the left, close to the line for the buoys. There was only one woman directly in front of me at the start, but lots of women to my right and a few to my left. They split the sprint women into two groups this year, under 40 and over 40 so there were only about 50-60 women in my wave and that made a difference I think.

I planned to go easy at first but I felt confident and strong right from the start to I kept at it. I had NONE of the anxiety that I had in my practice swim the day before and I'm pretty sure that's because I wasn't swimming alone today. Good thing.

It was breezy and the water was choppy but not too difficult. I swam fairly straight and managed to stay out of other people's way this time so didn't get hit much, except on one turn.

I passed the first 2 buoys, made the turn and kept swimming strong and steady but didn't push too hard or get out of breath. I stayed with breathing on one side most of the time. I noticed there weren't too many people from my wave ahead of me at this point. At one point, I saw a larger group of swimmers ahead but realized they had yellow caps and were the men from the earlier wave. Yes!

Once I had made the long haul to the next buoy and turned back towards the shore, I swam harder and got to the beach in 16:27 for the swim leg, a minute faster than last year! I was so happy!

Transition One

Although I had sussed out the pathway through the maze of bikes in transition (1600+), and thought I had a foolproof path, I STILL managed to turn one row early and lost about 20 seconds or so doing the extra running on an already very long distance from the beach.

Wetsuit off, shoes and helmet on, quick drink and grab the bike all seemed to go quickly and smoothly but my T1 time was still 3:34, pretty sucky. The fastest T1 times were around the 2 minute mark with the avg fast time about 2:30 but I imagine some of those women didn't wear wetsuits. My time last year was 3:01 without a wetsuit (for comparison).


My quads felt a little tired on the bike but not too bad - I didn't hit the lap button on the Knox Mtn climb but I think it was about 2:15 (my best time is about 2:00) so I was a bit disappointed about that. Overall I felt I rode pretty well. It was windy on the bike course as well and that had a significant effect on my time, especially on the flats and on Glenmore when it was a head wind. As I came round the course to start the second lap, I could see my time was just over 20 minutes for the first lap so went for a negative split on the second lap. I climbed Knox strongly this time and although I don't know my time, I realized more than halfway up, I was cross-chained in my big ring up front. Idiot. I laughed at myself and commented to a guy who was passing me at that moment. Pretty stupid but it probably gave me some extra oomph up that ugly hill. :)

Because the younger women were already out on the course 10 minutes ahead of me, I had very little female competition on the bike leg. The super fast women were also fast swimmers so they were well ahead of me, and I was ahead of the rest of the other women. Only one woman passed me and that was almost immediately after coming out of transition. I passed a number of men and women from the earlier waves, as well as a couple of faster swimmers from my wave. My second bike split was about 19:something so I was happier with that lap but my total time was still only 40:14, 2 minutes slower than last year. I truly believe most of that time loss was due to the wind.

Last year, over 35% of the women maintained an avg bike speed over 30 km/h or higher, this year only 15% did. Clearly the wind was an issue for everyone.

Transition Two

I came into T2 and changed shoes/hat etc fairly quickly I thought, but again, I still seemed to be a little slow on transitions in general. I admit I do put on my socks in T2 instead of T1 so my T2 is sometimes slower than other women for that alone. I'm not going to stop that though. I find I can bike in bare feet without any problems, and it's much easier to put socks on later than when my feet are still damp/sandy from the swim. T2 - 1:53, only 4 seconds slower than last year.


My goal was to run the first km in 6 min and then the rest in 5:30-5:50. I felt good though and my legs did not feel heavy so my first km was 5:39. I slowed down a bit and my second km was 5:55.

For whatever reason, after the 2km mark, my STUPID IT band decided to act up again. It is SO random and few and far between that I never know when it's going to happen. I have not had any ITB problems for over a month and thought that was behind me now (and in addition, my shins felt absolutely fine in the run, no pain whatsoever). It was right knee as usual, and it kept tightening up until I finally decided to stop and stretch it for 15-20 seconds, then went back to running. My 3rd km was about 6:08 pace, and then it tightened up again so I stretched once more. Fourth km was 6:16 and last km was 6:09 for a total run time of 31:01. Ugh. I'm wondering if I should get an IT band strap to wear in races?

The Finish

My total time was 1:33:11. I would have been happy with 1:32 given the wind on the bike but the run killed it for me, once again. (Are you getting tired of hearing about my running troubles because I'm getting tired of having them.. ;)

Anyway, overall I was pretty happy with my race. I had no texpected to do as well as I did given my lack of training and I was super excited about my relatively great swim time!


Well there were lots of tough ladies in my age group this year and I came in 11/19. Interestingly enough, even if I'd had my fourth place time from last year, I still would have come in 10th this year so I really should be pretty happy with my performance over all. They have not posted the World's Qualifiers yet so I will have to wait for that. I am in 5th place in the 50-54 AG right now but I'm not sure how many women in my AG are 49 and will be in the 50-54 next year.


Swim - 16:27 - 6th in my AG
T1 - 3:34
Bike - 40:14 - 6th in my AG
T2 - 1:53
Run - 31:01 - 15th in my AG

Total time: 1:33:11

The run is definitely where these ladies kill me. The faster women are doing that run in 21-27 minutes. Yowza, if only I could get my running improved, I'd do so well!

Well, I will! I am going to work on my run ALL WINTER and no matter what, I am going to be a better runner next year. Definitely.

After the race, we celebrated with beer and pulled pork sandwiches at the beer gardens and then watch the olympic tri and the elite racers come in. It was pretty exciting watching Lauren Groves and Simon Whitfield both come in first!