Monday, February 17, 2014

Week 8 Recap

Well last week was the perfect workout week and this week was the exact OPPOSITE!! Things just didn't go right but I'm still proud of the work we put in.

Monday: Rest Day or Optional cross training
We chose ...... rest day!!

Tuesday: Yoga cancelled. Weights and squats.
Unfortunately yoga was cancelled as there was no instructor available. We did about 30 minutes of free weights, Kettlebell and lots of squats.

Wednesday: Track workout - Mile sprint and Stairs 
Mikayla had Field Hockey practice at 7:30 so there was no way we would have time to drive into Vancouver to get some hills in. We decided to run a Magic Mile at the track and run stairs in the bleachers. The Magic Mile kinda sucked for both of us. We both had music issues and were slower than our last Magic Mile last year. My pace was 5:51 mins/km or a 9:24 mile. Last time I did it, I was a 5:07 pace or a 8:14 mile. Jeff was slower as well. He did about a 7:03 mile and last time he was 6:45.  It's ok, last time I think we were a few weeks into speed training. It started to drizzle that night which was fine as it was refreshing.
We then ran a bunch of stairs in the bleachers. The stairs are really short but we did what we could to get our heart rates up. It was a pretty good workout. Not hills but close enough.

Thursday: Yoga
Thank goodness yoga was still on. Tough class as always and my arms are always sore the next day from this class. We tried a new pose called Eagle Pose which I got right away and liked. It's rare that I can do a pose before hubby and this was one of them. Not that I'm keeping track or anything ; ) He's just so good it's nice to beat him sometimes!

Friday: Valentine's Day so no run
I had a long stressful day at work and didn't finish fixing up something with my schedule until after 6:00. And the we had dinner reservations for 8:00. We decided to move the run to Saturday morning since Mikayla had an early game. 
We had a lovely Valentine dinner. I truly am married to the love of my life and am blessed to have my Valentine forever ❤️. Hope everyone's day was full of love!

Saturday: 5k slow easy run, Pace 7:16 mins/km
Mikayla had an early Field Hockey game in Vancouver. She had to be there at 8:30 and the game started at 9 so we figured we would run while waiting for the game to start. The neighbourhood we were running in had lots of inclines which is different for us. Since we are not used to morning runs and since I really hadn't eaten properly we decided to just run super slow and easy. Jeff was also having some issues with his hip flexors saying they were quite tight and sore.
It was more of a maintenance run so nothing speedy or special.
We went to a store I heard of on twitter called Distance Run Wear. It was a great little store that specializes in long distance running gear. The owner was super nice and knowledgeable. They have clothing that you can only get in the US called Oiselle. Super cute and comparable to Lulu! I will definitely go back to check it out.
We picked up a whole bunch of new fuelling. We are pretty happy with chocolate Gu but decided to try their new salted caramel flavour and also picked up Sharkie chews and Nuun tablets for an electrolyte drink.

Sunday: 14k long slow run turned into a 13k desperate to get home run due to the MOST HORRIBLE RUNNING CONDITIONS EVER!!!! Pace 7:22 mins/km
We had planned to head out for our 14k run around 2:00. The weather had a wind warning and rain forecasted. There was no rain or wind so far that day. Usually we are really lucky with our running weather but we really pushed our luck this day and our luck ran out. The run got pushed back to about 3:00 due to a phone call that I had to take.
It looked like the wind picked up but still no rain. Just in case, I wore a water resistant shell jacket with a hood and a swiftly long sleeved shirt. I wasn't really layered heavily and when I started out I had the hood up but the wind was strong enough to keep blowing it off so I kept it down.
We headed towards the water and it was SO much colder than I thought. The wind was crazy!! Our first km was completely against the wind and there was so much resistance it was almost like hill training. We should have known then that the weather was turning. As soon as we turned onto our favourite road it got much better because the wind was at our back and almost pushing us along at times. We finished up 4k on that road and turned around but we were facing the wind again. It was only sprinkling rain at this time but the wind was so strong I said forget this so we turned around again and decided to head in the other direction. Well then the rain started to pick up but it was totally fine as we weren't facing the wind anymore. We looked at each other a few times, saying we were crazy because the wind and rain were really picking up.
We reached our other long road at about 6k and again turned away from the wind for another 3k.  We took our Gu gel at around 7k. We decided to try the salted caramel and I really like it! It was sweet but it was a thinner consistency than chocolate so it went down easier. Will definitely add this to our fuelling. We also tried the Sharkie chews which are organic. They were tasty but very sticky and hard to get off our teeth. Not sure how practical that is. We might just have to suck on them.
By this time it was an absolute downpour and the rain was coming at us sideways. I have no idea what we were thinking heading farther and farther away from home. SO stupid! So at about 9k we were 5k away from home, heading into the wind and it pretty much had turned into a wind/rainstorm! I totally don't mind running in the rain and am not trying to sound like a wimp but this was a totally different story! 
I was pretty upset at this point because I felt so stranded and was absolutely soaked and freezing. We had no choice but to continue running home. Walking would have been worse and hubby offered to sprint back and get the car but I would have froze waitng for him. I almost started crying but had to get tough and continue on. I told myself to just keep running and stay tough. But it was the most miserable 30 minutes of my life. The conditions became horrific. The running itself was totally fine, my legs felt good, my lungs felt good but it was basically a storm so I had to stop a few times to block my face from the wind because it was so strong and I could barely see. I can't believe what we ran through. I kept cursing ourselves for being so stupid. The rain was so heavy and cold it felt like ice picks on my face. At one point it felt like hail. I didn't even wear gloves so my hands were rolled inside my sleeves which were soaking wet. My hands were so cold and wet they really started to burn and hurt. It took everything in me not to break down and cry. Jeff wasn't wearing a waterproof jacket so he was soaked through to the bone everywhere. 
I don't know how but we made it home at 13k. We couldn't turn any of our devices off because we couldn't move our hands. Jeff could barely get the key in the door. As soon as we got inside I broke down because my hands were in so much pain. Jeff helped me take off my shoes and we collapsed in front of the fire.
It turns out that the wind was about 42kmph!! Yikes! When I went to pick up Mikayla later from work there were blown branches all over the road.
Anyways, NEVER AGAIN!! Worst running conditions I have ever experienced!
Despite the conditions we had a decent pace of 7:22 mins/km. I know we could have done 14k that day and at a faster pace but that really wasn't in the cards. If anything this run gave me some mental toughness to push through the worst conditions imagineable. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Week 7 Recap

So it was pretty much the perfect workout week I'm happy to report! The temperature here really dropped so it's been below 0 degrees and freezing for us but we managed to still make it outside.

We got in 6 workouts this week! Here's what we did -

Monday: Weights and Squats
Today was supposed to be rest day but we decided to do some free weights and lots of squats at homes. I hate squats but know they are great for leg strengthening. Plus they give you a nice perky butt : )

Tuesday: Yoga
We got to try a new pose today - Side Crow. I came close to doing it in class but then tried it at home and was able to get both my feet off the floor! It took me forever to get front Crow Pose so to get Side Crow pretty quick was quite the accomplishment! I can't hold it for very long but was happy to just be able to lift my feet. Here is what it's supposed to look like

I don't look like that.... yet

Wednesday: Hill Training - 4 repeats
I had to go into the office which is in Burnaby and a heck of a lot hillier than Richmond so it worked out perfect. We brought our run clothes to work and drove out to a hilly area between work and home. It was absolutely freezing this day! It was -2 but the wind chill was deadly and made it even colder! We did a 2k warm up and then ran up a hill for 50 seconds and jogged down for 1 minute. We repeated this 4 times and then cooled down with a 1.5k run. We literally froze our faces off during the warm up. The wind was icy cold and I could not feel my face it was so frozen but we trudged on. I always hate hills but since our next race is on a hilly course I have to get over it! 4 wasn't too bad. I think was just numb from the cold. I was just proud of us for getting out there!

Oh and big news!! One of my 2014 goals was to be able to do a headstand without a wall and I did it! Hubby was nearby in case I took a spill but I didn't use him for leverage at all! I solely used my core to get my legs up and straight. I was so happy!!

Thursday: Yoga
Another tough class that left my arms and pecs very sore the next day but I feel I am getting stronger every time.

Friday: 8k Moderate Run, Pace 6:50 mins/km
It's tough to get out for a run on a very cold Friday night but we did it. It was a chilly but gorgeous night! We witnessed the most amazing sunset. It was breathtaking! We really are lucky to live where we do. Here are some pics-

It was a decent run. The first few kms always seem to suck but then I settle in at about 5k and feel good. My goal was to feel good and not go over 7 mins/km and we did that!

Saturday: Rest Day
I killed it! Woot Woot!

Sunday: 13k Long Slow Run, Pace 6:52 mins/km
The only thing on my mind this day was to get the run over with so we could settle in and watch The Walking Dead!!!!
Sometimes runs just click, things fall into place and you feel great- this was one of those runs!! I didn't even struggle with the first few kms. I had this amazing surge of energy at about 6k where it just felt right to put it into high gear. My average pace for that km was 6:10! That's fast for me in the middle of a run. For once in my life Jeff was actually behind me! It was a combination of the right song (Light it Up by Fall Out Boy), the right road, the right words from Hubby ("your form has improved a lot, you are running more efficient and stronger") and the right energy that all of a sudden put me into beast mode. I tired at around 8k and slowed down for a bit but picked it up again at 9, 12 and 13k with an average pace between 6:28 and 6:40. Again fast for me for a long run. 
It was just an awesome overall run and gave me some much needed confidence for the longer runs. Happy happy!

This is how our night ended : )

Perfect end to a perfect workout week!!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Charity Miles - Every Mile Matters

If you haven't downloaded this free app, DO IT NOW!!!

Charity Miles is a free app that donates to your charity of choice for every mile that you run, bike or walk. Now my running can make a difference in not only my life but someone else's. My charity of choice this month is The Michael J Fox Foundation. My Dad has Parkinson's Disease and some days walking, let alone getting out of bed is a struggle. I run because I can and while I can. Not everyone has this privilege. 

Download the app, hit the streets and help change the world.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Week 6 Recap


Tuesday: 11k Long Slow Run, Pace 7:14 min/km AND yoga
I was determined to make up the 11k some way so I did it by myself on Tuesday afternoon. Better late than never! I had this week off from work so there was no excuse! Jeff of course was working so I had to head out on my own. Yes I cut the umbilical cord! Lol! It's not that I can't run without Jeff, in fact I like running alone sometimes. But if I had to choose I would pick to run with him. We don't talk, we just run alongside each other, each with our own music on. I just like his presence. Plus he carries the water! He's my Sherpa : )
I knew I needed to carry some water so I grabbed one of the small bottles from the fuel belt and it fit in my pocket perfectly. I grabbed some Sports Beans and off I went. I always go out fast and find I struggle for the first 5 or 6k. I was just breathing a lot harder than I wanted to for a long slow run. I went all the way to the tip of Garry Point for the first few kms. It was a dreary, drizzly day but it's such a scenic route. For some reason I struggle on gravel which is what Garry Point is. I really don't know why I don't like gravel, it's weird. I finished Garry Point and headed back to some neighbourhood roads and was feeling a bit better until I realized that I didn't rinse the water bottle fully and I was sipping dish detergent! Gross!!! The bottle was foamy! I gagged and spit a bit and had a jelly bean to get rid of the awful taste. I feel like I didn't really hit my stride until 6k. I was determined to finish 11k so I trudged along and found a nice stretch of road that was newly paved. This helped a lot so I did 2 loops of the road and at around 9k I started to head home. The last part of the run was so much better than the first and I finished up my 11k! Considering how crappy I felt for more than 1/2 of it, I was actually happy with the pace since the long slow runs should start at 7:20 for our program. But I never really found my zen so can't say I enjoyed the run. Some runs just don't jive with you and this one didn't. Oh well, can't win em all! I still did it though with a faster pace than planned so that's a win. We will call this one a tie : )

So it was double workout day for me and I actually made it to yoga too! I was pretty pleased with myself! Tiring but very satisfying day.

Wednesday8k Moderate Run, Pace 6:52 min/km
I'm a little surprised that I made it out for this run considering I did an 11k and yoga the day before. Hubby still had to make up the 11k so I decided to just stick to the program and run the first 8k with him. I didn't want to get set back another day. I decided to make it a moderate run instead of a tempo one. The last thing I wanted was to push myself too hard and get injured. I introduced him to the new stretch of road in our neighbourhood, which we like because we don't have to deal with a lot of lights, traffic, driveways and uneven pavement. We almost always run at night so the uneven pavement can definitely be a danger as I found out! We do have some running lights for our shoes but we have to charge them. Safety first! 
I finished up my 8k and Hubby took off to finish up his 11k. 

ThursdayUnplanned rest day, no yoga
My legs were very sore and tired so I decided to listen to my body and not go to yoga since this class is pretty killer on the legs. Instead I did a lot of foam rolling to work out the knots. Hurt so good! I think I cried a bit! 

Friday: 6k Tempo run, Pace 6:31 min/km
Since we changed the Wednesday one to a moderate one, we made this a tempo run. I told Jeff to set the pace and make me uncomfortable. Which for me right now is anything under 6:30. I am trying to get faster and I know I have to get uncomfortable to do so. But I also know it takes time and I have to be patient. Ideally I would like to be running under 6:30 on a consistent basis but I'm not quite there yet. I'm nowhere near being a natural runner. God just didn't hand out athletic prowess when it came to me. It's a struggle and a lot of work for me. A pace of 6:30 and up is probably turtle slow to a lot of people but for someone like me it's fast and a struggle to maintain. But I do have determination and a good work ethic so that is what I will have to rely on!
I was uncomfortable this whole run but I did it so I'm happy and proud.

Saturday: Rest day
Woohoo!!!! Let's hear it for rest day!!! It really doesn't get enough credit : )

Sunday: 12k Long Slow Run, Pace 7:30 min/km
I didn't think this run was going to happen. I woke up with a tickle in my throat and a small cough. I also had that really heavy, no energy feeling you get when you are coming down with something. Damn! I could not afford to get sick. I ended up sleeping for about 4 hours that day off and on! After my second nap I had something to eat and felt much better. Phew! My body told me to sleep and I did and it fought off whatever was coming to get me. I'm a big believer that sleeping well can keep you from getting sick. So I was ready to tackle the run!
I was also feeling a little burnt out and I realized it was because it's been a really long time since I actually enjoyed a run. And that's just not good. One of my goals this year was to enjoy running more and so far I have not accomplished that at all. I know it's because I've been so obsessed with pace and getting faster that running just seems like chore. I don't mind putting in the hard work but I was long overdue for a nice, enjoyable, relaxed run! Today was the day! 
I told Jeff that I was not going to turn on MapMyRun and listen to pace, time or distance. I didn't give 2 shits about pace today. I just wanted to take in the outdoors, relax into my thoughts and enjoy the feeling of being able to run. It was a beautiful day and the sun was setting about 45 minutes into it so I just took it all in. We saw a huge Crane fly away just steps away from us which was really cool. I was so happy to do nasal breathing for the first time in a long time. When I'm not focussing on how hard I'm breathing I can settle more into my thoughts and I feel a lot more free. The first 8k just flew by! I was so happy to not be thinking about my pace. The last 4k were a bit tiring but we did pick up the pace and had some negative splits. I even had enough juice to get in a nice sprint at the end. Success! It was exactly what I needed! It was damn slow as you can see by the pace but I don't care!! It's still on the lower end of the suggested pace for long runs.

Recap - Happy with the Tempo run and I can now go into the next week having an enjoyable, long run under my belt. 

Plus this week the dreaded hill training starts!! GULP! It will be a nice change of pace and I know will make me a better runner. I curse them but they are good for me. I also recently read a race report for the Whidby Island Race and it's really hilly! Yikes! I'm scared! 


I don't really have any new outfits to post so here's a change up with some of Hubby's tried and true outfits:

This is a typical yoga outfit. Both are Lulu. I love his tank that he got at the SeaWheeze Showcase store last year.

He recently got a new pair of running shoes because he found Saucony Kinvara 3's on sale for $65!!! I was so jealous! They have great reviews and are so lightweight. He loves them so far.

This is a typical running outfit for him. He usually wears shorts unless it's really cold. If it's close to 0 degrees out he will put on his Lulu shorts/tights combo to protect his knees from the cold.  Don't worry, I would never let him wear tights just by themselves! Eww! His shorts are from a variety of brands - Lulu, Nike, Reebok, Saucony. His fave are the Saucony ones. He will usually wear a short sleeve running top and his Lulu run jacket. He gets warm easily and the jacket is a perfect lightweight layer to keep out the wind while still being breathable. He loves it! It is a definite staple. If it's cooler he will wear a long sleeve Swiftly top from Lulu. My fave running top!

Week 5 Recap

Since we had to redo Week 3 of training we made some adjustments to our program. Here is how the original schedule looked up to Week 7:

We ended up combining Weeks 4 and 5 and increasing the long run in Week 6 to 12k. So we are now officially at Week 7. Here's how the last couple of weeks looked:


Monday: Rest Day

Tuesday: Yoga and some quick sprints
I love Tuesday yoga classes. I look forward to them every week. It's such a good opportunity to focus on my breathing, stretch out my tired running muscles and work on my balance and strength. It's such a good workout and I always come out feeling refreshed but strong. 
After class we did a few quick sprints in the parking lot just to get our heart rates up.

Wednesday: 6k Tempo Run, Pace 6:36 min/km
We went out pretty late for this run and it was really dark and foggy. The fog was thick enough to cause some condensation on our eyes and we both had watery eyes for a lot of it. We were on a pretty dark stretch of road with really uneven pavement when my foot hit a raised part of the sidewalk that I couldn't see. I hit it pretty hard, hard enough for Jeff to hear through his music. I went flying forward and took a nose dive towards a mailbox. My arms and legs were flying but I miraculously recovered without actually falling or hitting the box! I couldn't believe it! Jeff saw it in slow-mo and thought for sure I was going to bite it and thought about reaching out to steady me but he decided it might throw me off more. We both couldn't believe I made it out of that standing and not rolling on the ground! I swear that the only reason I was saved was because of yoga. Without the flexibility and balance I have gained I'm sure I would have fallen. I was a bit thrown off my game after that! It scared the heck out of me and I wanted to make sure I didn't pull anything. I was totally fine and we finished up the run still shaking our heads about my near face plant! And I was pretty happy with the pace! It's good for me the slow runner!

Thursday: Yoga
This class near killed us! Tons of shoulder work and yoga push-ups! We told our instructor after that it was a killer class and she jumped up and down with joy, clapping her hands. She scares me. She is the teensiest little thing but she really scares me.

Friday: 8k Moderate Run, Pace 6:52 min/km
Nothing special about this run. Got it done, that's about it. It was Friday and I didn't want to run but dragged my butt out anyway. 

Saturday, Sunday and Monday: turned into unplanned rest days
Boo! Hiss! Was supposed to run 11k on Sunday but it didn't happen. Can't really remember why? I worked that day but really no other legit excuse. We planned to make it up on Monday but that didn't happen either. I have excuses but they're lame. Lame-o!

Recap - I was happy to see paces under 7 mins/km and get 2 yoga classes in but not happy with the 3 lame days. Just means I have to work harder next week!


I'm repeating a lot of outfits now so unless I buy a new article of clothing or wear something new I won't add an outfit post. Here are some outfits for the week:

All Lulu except for the Jackson 5 t-shirt I busted out for my double workout day.