Monday, October 27, 2014

No DNF today! Half Marathon Race Report

Everything hurts! But it's a good hurt, really. This morning as I woke up and felt all of my achy muscles protesting it erased any doubts I had yesterday about not giving the half marathon my all. I did. I didn't get the awesome, super PB time I was hoping for, but I had gone into the race knowing that a sub 2:10 would be out of the picture given my recent training times. So, hoping to come closer to 2:30 than 3:00 I had achieved my goal with a 2:38. And wow, can I feel every minute of it today! Yesterday was overcast with a chance of rain. Bah! I said, even if it does rain I knew I'd be covered most of the way by trees so I wasn't too concerned. I did choose to wear my husband's red running coat, you know, just in case. I filled my handheld, grabbed the energy bar I was pretty sure I wouldn't need and a wad of paper towel and was good to go. My husband and daughter drove me to the start and milled around with me in the 5 degree weather as I debated another porta potty break. Then it was time to line up and I managed to get both my watch and my music started before crossing the mat (a minor miracle for me). We took a different route than the last time I had run this trail half marathon but I enjoyed the change. This course took us through a whole other section of the park before having us all double back to the start to begin the second loop. In all we did three loops, doing the first one twice, making a bow tie with the start/finish in the center. I started off with the main pack-dangerous with this crew-and noted I was running a 5:30 per km pace. Whoa! I slowed myself down to a manageable 6:30 and tried to hold on as long as I could until I got to the first turn around. The way back took us all through a section I've run in the Bluenose marathon a couple of times so I knew what to expect there. I checked my watch again and I'd covered 3 miles in 34 minutes-pretty quick for me running a half marathon. Happy with that I focused on my music (podrunner) and kept plugging along until the next turn around. While I was making my way there I came upon an older runner who was clearly having trouble. He was hobbling badly so I stopped and offered my help. After a few minutes he was sitting, assured me he'd be ok and I headed back out on the trail. Not even before I hit the second turn around did someone come up beside me and declare his cramped calf muscle had popped and he felt great-was the older runner I had just helped. Ugh I said to myself as he trotted past, clearly feeling much better. I think karma rewarded me though because when I hit the second turn around they had a huge stock of salted caramel GUs. Yum! I grabbed some and started back, trying to stay focused and determined. Then, panic took over as I suddenly needed a porta potty. In the middle of the woods there was only one thing to do, go bushwhacking to some privacy off trail. Thank goodness I had brought the wad of paper towel! Embarrassing situation over, I tried to pick up the pace but realized how much harder that is to do after 14 or so kilometers. But, I pushed on, focusing even more on the podrunner 180bpm to keep my pace on track. At 16kms in I saw that I could realistically come in before the 3 hour mark and that was all I needed to push me through the final kilometers to the finish where my husband and daughter were there taking pictures and video taping me as I made the last turn and went across the mat (with a smile). There. Goal achieved. No DNF here today!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Is it taper time already?!

Alrighty, it's supposed to be taper time. Bah! I say. I've been steadily logging weeks of 60+kms with the odd scale-back week of between 40-50kms since September. The Shubie trail HM is in a week and although I don't have any plans to cut down on my running between now and..say Wednesday..no Thursday next week I think things will work out ok. My best long runs have come after taking a day or two off and I know I can go the distance. And I've already let my husband know this will NOT be a PB at this distance, so he might as well wait 3 hours before coming back to get me. There. I think I've got it covered. Oh, and I've already got my caffeine for the race so now all I have to do is pick up a bar of some kind in case I get hungry. Remember the goal here is to finish, not PB or drop out after half (of the half) because of whatever reason. I'm getting a bit hyper focused on finishing one of these races this year, since the last one I completed the full distance was (shockingly) back in MAY! How did this happen? One DNF turned into a DNS and another DNF! Ack! This just had to stop. There's no timing chip, no bling, not even a silly t-shirt at this race, but it doesn't matter. The point is to get out there, enjoy the racing atmosphere on a course I know well and get'r done! Now that I've got my head around the race I'm already looking into next year's season. I know a wee bit crazy. Of course I'll be back for the Waskally Wrabbit 50k in May. I think my daughter's plans to run the Bluenose 10k might get squished though since I think she has a big dance competition that weekend, so I'm thinking as a family we might run the Johnny Miles races in my old hometown of New Glasgow the month following. We'll see. The race organizers around here don't tend to set their race schedule until December and January so I'll have lots of time to think about the races between now and then! But for now, I'll try and focus on not over training before this HM!

Monday, October 6, 2014

They're all gone. Sorry.

There I sat, for probably the tenth time, scanning the Merrell.com website hoping to find some sign of recognition. All out rush? No, the pattern on the side was similar but not the same. Mix Master Move Glide? No, the tread pattern used diamond shapes, not circles. Grr. I cursed myself half-heartedly again for buying a pair of running shoes at a discount place in the states and promptly tossing the box and forgetting to note the bloody name of these shoes! I think a lot of us have been there. We buy a pair of shoes, forget to remember the name of the model and by the time it comes to replace them the model is either A. Changed. Because it is six months later and that's about as long as the life expectancy of a shoe model these days, or B. Is out there..somewhere..on some website's clearance/discount page..just waiting..and so there I sat on my laptop scanning ebay, outdoor discount retailers and amazon.com to track down MY shoe. It took about a half hour on amazon.com before I hit the jackpot. (Why I hadn't found it in my previous three dozen attempts I. Do. Not. Know.)...but now is not the time to ask questions(!), now was the time to pray that this shoe was in my size and not going to cost regular price PLUS shipping to Canada. Now I am not a huge miracle person. I do believe they can happen, yes, but overall I think we make our own luck. I tend to think many other ultra runners would agree since we are the type of people who spend countless hours training ourselves to accomplish feats most people would rather watch from the couch with a bag of chips. There's no miracle in finishing a 50k, if you've put in the hard training, have some personal resilience and determination, you can get'r done. But yesterday wasn't a day for the pay off of hard work (well, maybe a bit since it was a lot of hard Internet searching!). No, somehow I had found the shoe, in my size, and not for a million dollars. The Mix Master Glide. Yup. I had managed to find a two year old shoe to love. No wonder it took forever to track down on a website. And to top it all off, it was the Last Pair. Period. In my size or any other. It took me a few seconds of debating but in the end they're on their way to me now. Sorry, if you're looking for a pair of Merrell's Mix Master Glides in a size 7, they'll be coming north to ride the trails of Nova Scotia in the next 5-10 business days.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Got my groove, now, about my husband!

Plan?! We don't need no stinking plan! At least, that's what I'm telling myself at the moment lol. I had a great week of running last week, managing to get in a solid 62kms, including two days where I did the single parent thing as my hubby was off at a family wedding. The thing is, I ran more than I "needed" to, given the existing HM plan I've been using, but I'm right on track with the 50km plan in the book Relentless Forward Progress. The problem is, I don't have a 50k at the end of it to run. So, I've been thinking that maybe I'll add a few weeks onto the RFP plan and extend it right out to 30 weeks-the time I have between now and the next Waskally Wrabbit Ultra. God-I sure hope Karine and Jodi put it on again! My focus this time around will be to build up slooowly so I don't overtrain like I did last spring. So, saying that I think I'll keep my current mileage in a holding pattern and try to get comfortable with 60km+ weeks in the months ahead. Currently that looks like two 7 mile days, three 5 mile days and a 14-16 miler. Last week I split up my long run into one 7 miler and an 8 miler but this week I'm cashing in my "single parent time" for a nice long run on Saturday morning. On a the non-RR note, my hubby has been told that his waistline is starting to resemble that of his grandfather's so he's got a bit of a shot in the arm to get his diet on track. I'm committed to helping, so if that means no more cookies in the evening, well, marriage has its sacrifices eh? The issue is, he has always been able to get himself on track with his diet if he tries, but finding some form of exercise that he enjoys has been a struggle, and we all know you need to do both to live a healthy life. He has a bad case of plantar fasciitis at the moment so running hurts too much. I've encouraged him to take his bike for a spin, but it still sits in the garage. He doesn't seem to see walking as exercise, since I'll head out with the dog and sometimes our daughter and he has no real interest to join us. Forget my Power 90 vidoes-he quits after 5 minutes. His golf clubs sit abandoned beside the bike in the garage. Ugh. I wish I knew what the heck would get him moving, but so far, no luck. The search continues I suppose.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Autumn Highlights

Okay, yes, I have been scarce recently. I have a few (really legit) good reasons for this, but they are mostly the non-running kind so I'll save those for another post. Needless to say, I am still planning on running the MEC half on October 26th and have been training my buns off recently for it..although the LSD run has been a hard one to find motivation for. Okay, update on my life. My beautiful, talented daughter has joined a competitive dance group so this means 1.5 hour practices that the parents cannot watch once and sometimes twice a week, so when she asked me what I would do for those 1.5 hours I said, "Run-of course!" The area where she practices with her team is not an area I've had any familiarity with so it has meant new places to explore-yay! I have to say, my first impressions of this area were SO wrong. I thought this area was just a bunch of subdivisions with loopy streets I'd have to plod around, killing time and miles. Instead I found an oasis of a trail system winding through gorgeous fur trees and under numerous bridges, along a lake and through a greenbelt. Bliss! So this new routine has turned out to be a blessing, my daughter gets to practice at something she loves and make new friends and I get to enjoy my 1.25 hour runs in a new and beautiful place. Win-win! We are both pretty happy at the end of her practice :-)

The Lake

I LOVE new trails!

Friday, August 29, 2014

After all this HM training, I think I like the Marathon better!

Yup. That's the conclusion I've come to after these past 4-5 weeks of HM training. While the shorter mileage is a nice break, especially during these really hot afternoons, there's something more simple about marathon training. Yesterday I had a peek at a Runner's World marathon training plan and it looked like an old friend, comfortable and simple. Just log lots of miles, then some more it basically said. None of this V02 Max workout stuff, hill sprints 'till I could hurl or tempo runs that kick my butt. Nope, just log some miles, then do some more. Ahhh. So I think I might take a brief pause from the HM stuff and jump into some marathon training for a week or two. You know, to keep things fresh. Haha.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Country roads and beautiful views - last camping trip of 2014



Big Island Road



This past weekend I went camping with the family and my in-laws in Merigomish. While the weather was cold and overcast I did manage to have a great ocean-side run between camp fires and bbqs. I had looked around Google Map to some ideas on which direction I should head on my long run Saturday morning. After a wee bit of scanning around I was able to establish two things. One, there was no trail system anywhere close to this area. Second, there WAS a cool little road (I hoped) that seemed to run between a lake and the ocean just 5kms from where we would be camping. So, Saturday morning I laced up and plodded down the dirt road to the main road, taking a left and heading out to find Big Island road which Google said was about 2km from where I was. 3km later (nice accuracy Google-sheesh) I finally spotted it and made another left onto a very old road. So far the breeze had been nice and cool but as soon as I turned onto Big Island road the skies opened up and it poured. With little else to do about the situation I hid my phone so it wouldn't get wet and tried to catch some water falling from the sky. Then, just a few hundred meters up the road the rain stopped and the sun peeked out. Just at that point I crested a small hill and was met with a gorgeous view of the ocean and the road I was aiming for. After a small downhill I was on the road with a calm lake to my left and breaker rocks and huge waves to my right. I couldn't resist the temptation of the ocean so I had to go check it out. The current was really strong but the water on my feet felt wonderful and made the 8km run back to camp so much nicer. Overall my pace was pretty good for not taking any water with me, and I was able to squeeze in a run while everyone back at camp was still waking up. When I got back my wonderful husband was cooking up a delicious breakfast of eggs and bacon. Could life be more perfect than that?!



A New Buddy


View from the beach



Beautiful view-cold water!