Saturday, April 30, 2011

BI-YEARLY REVIEW: November 2010 - April 2011


November = 172.7 km
(highest monthly total to date)

December = 18.4 km
(when Snowmaggeddon hit at the same time as my achilles tendon injury)


January = 0 km
(lowest monthly total since I started running in March 2009)

February = 25.2 km
(my slow return to running)

March = 145.8 km

April = 159 km

TOTAL KM = 521.1 km

Previous Bi-Yearly Review: May - October 2010
TOTAL KM = 752.66 km

Huh! Interesting ....
I only started recording my mileage mid-May 2010 upon receiving a Garmin Foreman 305 as a birthday gift from my sister and brother-in-law, hence why I measure bi-yearly this way.

Monthly Review - APRIL 2011

159 km TOTAL

18:51:39 hours

This is my second highest total month mileage to date. :) I was 13.7+ km away from breaking my November 2010 record. :)

Due to my current training program, with significantly more hill work, tempo runs, and track work, etc., my May totals will be wonky and lower than this month's mileage. I run my goal 5K race in June and then I plan to take one week completely off from running before starting my half marathon training program. Therefore, it won't be until July (?) when I am in a position to set new mileage records.

But this is the best news of all ... I shaved my time when achieving more mileage:

September 2010: 18:58 hours to run 146.8 km
April 2011: 18:51 hours (7 minutes less) to run 159 km (12.2 km more)

Small, but still significant to me! :) :)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Wk8/D4 - Final 6.5K + 6 striders

Avg Pace 7:03/km

This is the pedestrian tunnel under Riverside Drive between Woodward Ave. and Wharncliffe St. A not-so-pretty view of where I often run so that I do not have to stop to wait for busy traffic.

Today I looked at my Garmin history to see what I was doing a year ago. My comments are filled with "(no walking!) inserts to indicate that my 3K, 4K and 5K runs were accomplished without walk breaks. :) It makes me even more proud of my 13K and 12K runs in recent weeks when I am focused on how I did 'pace-wise' rather than on if I ran it successfully without needing to walk. :)

I also ran my last striders for this training phase today. I have officially completed the "Road Work" phase. I have a rest day tomorrow instead of a 13K LSD, instead saving my energy for my 10K race on Sunday. Next week, I will take Monday off, but then start the first of three weeks of "Strength Training." This is when I will be doing hill workouts on Tuesdays and tempos runs on Thursdays. I am really looking forward to it as I have yet to try this kind of training on a regular basis.

In contrast to my last set of striders on Tuesday, today I did not look at my Garmin at all. I have done these striders enough times to have figured out approximate distance/time so I figured I could avoid using my watch to be 'precise' and instead, just go with the feel of it. It worked very well for me so I am going to try doing this again in the future when my half marathon training has striders scheduled.

Tomorrow I will be posting both my monthly and bi-yearly km totals for running. :) I am also picking up my t-shirt/kit for my 10K race on Sunday.

Kundalini yoga was excellent as always tonight and we once again focused on working the psyche through the spine. It was an excellent workout for my arms and core. Loved it! I have to start practicing this at home when there isn't a class as it is perfect for those days when I have finished a run.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wk8/D3 - Another Drowned Rat Run (12K)

12K @1:25:29
Avg. Pace 7:08/km

This is what Wallace usually looks like after returning home from a run ... :)

My timing for a run today was just stellar <insert sarcasm>. :( The weather was terrific early this morning for running, but alas, the cold, dark winter has changed me from an first-thing-in-the-early-morning runner to a much-later-in-the-day-when-it's-warmer runner; therefore, I was not up with the birds when it was best to run. :) This will need to change this spring.

It rained off and on consistently throughout the day, and we experienced a mild thunderstorm. When I was able to head out for my run, it was fairly clear, but I strongly suspected that I would encounter "some" rain at some point since my scheduled 11.5K usually takes me over an hour to run.

Quick side note: I thought it was unusual for me to be scheduled for an 11.5K today - the only other time I have had one scheduled was the same weekend as my Run for Retina 10K. It was a one-off transitional LSD between all the 10K runs I had been running and the 13Ks I am now scheduled for on weekends. I actually double-checked my book to make sure I had it correct. I did. :)

The boys and I headed to Springbank Park today for a run. We walked to warm-up as usual before starting on our way. Sadly, we had not run 3K before the heavens opened up and poured. It didn't just rain, it poured and poured. My eyes were blinking rapidly like windshield wipers just to be able to see, and the dogs were shaking the wet off them every few feet. Even if we had had cover nearby, it wouldn't have helped as the downpour occurred suddenly within a blink of an eye. I was hooped (!!), so similar to last weekend's run with so many puddles and my 13K in the rain a few weeks ago, I acquiesced to the wet early on and ran with it ... literally! :)

I consider myself lucky that it was a decent temperature outside. If it had been colder, it truly would have *sucked* to keep running. :(

Probably the funniest part of this experience was encountering all the other people caught in the downpour. There were a few walkers (with umbrellas) and several cyclists, who smiled and waved back at me in acknowledgement of our *nutty* status for being out there, soaked to the bone.

The downpour did not let up for another 3k, at which point it "slowed" to a regular rainfall. There were quite a few puddles to run through, and my new running shoes were inaugurated into squeaking messes within 24 hours of their purchase. :( I was a little concerned for my Garmin as well as I was wearing a short-sleeved tech-t so it bore the full brunt of the rain, too (it's okay).

And as it would happen, by the time I reached the end of my run, the rain let up and as a soaked rat, I completed my after run stretches in cloud cover without rain. That hot shower when I arrived home was wooooooonderful. :)

My Kundalini yoga class was cancelled last Friday night due to Good Friday so it's been a week since I last did yoga. In tonight's class, we focused on connecting to our psyche through our spine. It was very interesting and the exercises using our arms and core to open up our rib cage were just excellent. I think I might be a little sore tomorrow as my muscles had such a great workout! My instructor is filling in for another yoga instructor at the other/south club for the next four weeks on Thursdays so she invited her regulars to join her there with a promise that she will incorporate some Kundalini yoga into this "regular" class. I would like to go. I feel great after these sessions on Wednesdays and Fridays so an additional class with Judy sounds good to me!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Wk8/D2 - 6.5K + 6 striders Tuneless Tuesday

Avg. Pace 7:03/km

Moving Pace 6:56/km

Today's post has the good, the bad, and the ugly ...

The Good
Before she left, my mother gave me money to buy myself a new pair of running shoes. "I can't be there physically for most of your races this summer," she said, "but I can at least support you through your feet when you're running!" :)

Luckily, my Saucony Progrid Triumph 7 shoes are on sale at Runners' Choice, and with my additional $10 off "Paul" dollars, I saved $80. Woo hoo! The co-owner, who sold them to me, hinted with a smile that they had one pair left in my size in the back ... it just so happens that we have tax return money earmarked for my running and I still have some $10 "Paul" dollars leftover so I may need to scoop that pair up in a few weeks! :)

I also bought a 13.1 sticker and put it on the vehicle today. :)

The Bad
My new shoes are a half size larger - size 8 - than my current running shoes (the exact same brand/colour that I just bought today, but I scooped them up for $100 off from the Running Room at Christmas time. They were a gift for Christmas from Ben). After running in my new shoes today, it confirmed my secret fear ... I have not been running in the right size. My size 7-1/2 shoes fit well when I first purchased them, but after 280 km, I am feeling my left big toe hitting the tip of the shoe. I realize now that my first clue about my foot size was immediately after my Niagara Falls half marathon last October - my one toe nail on my left foot turned black and blue. This dead nail is still in the process of growing out. :( I thought it had to do with running my longest distance at the time; it just didn't occur to me that my arches have fallen more with age, thus making my shoe size requirements larger. It was Runners' Choice that insisted on measuring my feet to double check and sure enough, I am now a Size 8. After today's run, I am not feeling the same twinge in my left ankle and toe that I have felt lately after a run so clearly my new shoe size is much better, but it also means I have the wrong size shoe to alternate running days with. :(

The Ugly
I ruined my own run today. It was a gorgeous sunny late afternoon/evening, but it was windy, which slowed me down. I made the error of checking my Garmin too often. Every time I looked at it, it told me that my pace *sucked*. As a result, my mood deteriorated because I was under the impression that my pace time was slow and my recovery time even slower. Even though it was Tuneless Tuesday today, I can't recall any of the sounds I may have heard during my run because my focus was on my lousy pace. :( When I downloaded my data, and had the opportunity to see how my pace was actually quite good considering the wind I encountered, I was ashamed of my poor attitude. I have no one to blame, but myself, for my lack of enjoyment out there today. :(

Early to bed tonight ... a good sleep will go a long way to making tomorrow's 11.5K in new, correct-size running shoes a good one, along with a better mindset!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Wk8/D1 - Final 8K During Road Work Phase

8K @58:09
Avg. Pace 7:15/km

I am pleased for me to get this run done! :)

This post will be short for me. :) Promise!

The company is gone, which is sad because I love having them all here so much, but it also a good thing because we can return to "normal." After a weekend binging on chocolate eggs and my mom's famous apple pie, and a much needed nap (!), I headed out late with the boys for a much-later-than-usual run. I just wanted to complete it, and knew not to expect too much from it.

It went better than expected, considering my nutritionally-sad long weekend and lack of proper sleep. :) It was very enjoyable to be out there for just a nice, very easy-going run without caring about striders or pace. A good way for me to end an eventful, busy weekend. :) I spent my time concentrating on relaxing/dropping my shoulders and keeping my hands open/unclenched.

A driver beeped his horn at me to get my attention when I was running along a busy street. When I looked at him, he smiled and stuck his thumb up at me. I am assuming he liked the fact that I was running with two dogs. It was a nice, very sweet, passing moment.

Over the weekend, I discussed my current training program with my sister. She is the one who recommended the book, "How to Run a Personal Record," by Dave Kuehls. I am going to follow the half marathon training program, starting in June. My sister used the half marathon program last year and shaved 1o minutes from her previous PR in the Goodlife Half Marathon, from 1:56:23 to 1:46:20. When I was questioning "only" three weeks of one hill workout per week in the program, she told me to trust the program. She said that she didn't know how, but somehow, it all came together, and that by the time I hit the flat track, the previous 11 weeks of running - road work and strength work - would all make sense ...

My previous posts have been quite long so I will end this one here. Tomorrow - 6.5K + 6 striders. :) This week, I will be crossing into the 40K+ mileage for the week. :) :)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Turkey Tortilla Ross with Apple-Cranberry Chutney

Turkey Tortilla Roll
2 servings

1 tsp. garlic
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. sage
1/8 tsp. seas salt
1/8 tsp. pepper, ground
8 ox. turkey breast (pound thin)
4 oz. julienne mixed vegetables - carrot, zucchini, yellow squash and red cabbage
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. garlic
sea salt and pepper to taste
apple-cranberyy chutney (see following recipe)
10" flour tortilla

Marinate the turkey breast with the garlic, oregano, thyme and sage for a minimum of one hour, then grill or saute.

Saute mixed vegetables with garlic in olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and let cool.

Put cranberry chutney 2 Tbsp. around flour tortilla. Arrange cooled julienne vegetables in centre of tortilla.

Add grilled turkey breast slice 1/4" thick on top of vegetables. Season with a touch of salt and pepper before rolling up the tortilla.

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving: 287 Calories, 9g Total Fat, 88 mg Cholesterol, 629 mg Sodium, 45g Carbohydrate, 46g Protein

Apple-Cranberry Chutney
Garnish for Turkey Tortilla Roll

1 Tbsp. brandy (Note: can substitute with 2 Tbsp. apple juice or white grape juice)
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 cup orange juice
1/2 tsp. minced ginger
2 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen)
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup yellow onion, diced 1/4
2 oz. fruit juice sweetener (Note: I use maple syrup or honey)

Deglaze the brandy (if using). Add rice vinegar, orange, and minced ginger and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add cranberries and simmer until tender. Add diced onions and sweetener and simmer for 20 minutes.

Season with salt.

SERVINGS: 8 - 2 oz. servings

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving: 67 Calories, 0g Total Fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 74 mg Sodium, 15g Carbohydrate, 0g Protein

from Total Health Makeover by Marilu Henner, p. 294-5

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Wk7/D4 - 13K

13K @1:35:57
Avg. Pace 7:23/km

Avg. Moving Pace 7:14/km

It was a glorious day for a run! :)

I do not usually run after a race. I always take the next day off. However, with a LSD of 13K scheduled for the weekend, a 'shorter' race of 5K, and having family over for Easter Sunday dinner, it just made better sense for me to complete fit my run in the day after. I am so glad I did! :)

The weather was amazing. I could happily live in 17-18 degree Celsius weather for much longer than we experience it here in southwestern Ontario. :) The sun was shining after a heavy rain overnight and it was impossible to be in a bad mood on a day like this. My sister and brother-in-law went out for their run together and had a great morning. Karen's 5K at race pace went so well for her, she decided to run an additional 5K following it while her husband ran home. :) They both encouraged me to get out for my run soon because it was so lovely, but wear shorts. :) So after my hostessing breakfast duty was completed, I put on my new tech shirt from yesterday's race (a new favourite! love it!), shorts, my new water belt, sunglasses, and we were off.

Ben drove our running group to the Pottersburg sewage plant - LOL! Sounds odd, but this is where the Thames Valley trail begins on the east end of London. It makes one appreciate more what s/he is running away from! :) It is approximately 8K along the trail through the eastside to downtown/Ivey Park.

After giving Angus a stick to distract him from all the dogs playing in the dog park, we walked to warm up and I took a few photos to share in my post today.

I was feeling very good as I started my run; it made think that I was going to have a very good 13K today! But no sooner had I thought this when I rounded a corner and saw the HUGE, DEEP water puddle in the path with no possibility of going around it. :( I had a few split seconds while slowing down slightly to make a decision. I couldn't go back because it was the opposite direction of home, and I did not want to try running home on the sidewalks along a very busy, unattractive street ...

As it turns out, it was the best thing I could have done because there were soooo many puddles just like it along the way. I lost count at ten (!!). All the low-lying areas of the bike/running path had collected rain run-off from the night before so this became a puddle run. I actually ended up having fun, choosing to run through them like a kid, rather then trying to tip-toe through them in an effort to keep my shoes drier. Angus loved it was well, but William Wallace ... not so much. :)

I was very pleased with how I was feeling after yesterday's race. I usually have a little stiffness/soreness the next day, an after-effect of pushing myself during a race, but I didn't feel this way when I woke up nor at the start of this run. Hindsight is 20/20, but I think I could have pushed myself a little harder during the race. However, I would not have been convinced of this yesterday morning ... and hindsight is a wonderful thing! :)

But as it turns out, I was a little dragged out from yesterday because little hills and inclines along the path felt more tiring than usual, and I was recovering more slowly than usual from them ...

1K - 6:58
2K - 6:59
3K - 7:15
4K - 7:28
5K - 7:36

I started to realize then that perhaps it was wiser for me just to focus on completing a nice, easy LSD, as per my training program, then trying to run a 13K faster than my previous times ...

6K - 7:13
7K - 7:14
8K - 7:21

By the time I reached downtown London, and started heading east toward Gibbons Park, I really started running out of gas/steam:

9K - 7:28
10K - 7:42
11K - 7:39

And it is at this point, dear reader, I came to a full stop and stopped my Garmin. I was spent and said, no more! I took a few swigs of water while walking, but within a few minutes, I decided that I really should run another 1/2K so that I could "officially" say that I "swapped" last week's 13K "back" to my originally intended 11.5K ...

Then, once I reached 11.5K, I started thinking that perhaps I should add just another 1/2K because "12K" was a better compromise between my intended 13K and my brief stop/refusal to run more at 11K ...

12K - 7:27

I should probably stop thinking so much because while running my 12th km, I thought about how I had added another 1.5K to my run while running in the rain, and how sad it was that I shortening my scheduled run on such a beautiful day ... so I ran for another km ...

13K - 7:30

And then I walked home .... :)

Another good long run (for me), another successful week of training, and more lessons learned. :) Week #8, my final week of Road Work before I start the 3-week Strength Training portion of my training program, begins on Monday.

Happy Easter weekend everyone!

Friday, April 22, 2011


Before I begin this post, another running history reflection. :) Get accustomed to this theme in future posts because, now that I have more than a "year's worth" of runs recorded, I intend to celebrate, "that was then; this is now" ...

Exactly one year ago on this day, I ran 3K @23:21, at a pace of 7:47. I am very proud of this pace and mileage from 2010 because I found the courage to put myself out there. Regardless of my fitness level at the time, my lower mileage ability, my slower pace, my heavier body, I still tied on my running shoes and went for a run. And I just kept telling myself, this is going to improve! I will get better at this! And now, here I am, a year later, posting the following 5K race report. :) I just want to appreciate the significance of this before continuing with my update ... :)

5K @31:55
Avg. Pace 6:23/km
Gun start/Chip finish

As you can see, there's a reason why I'm posting my 'cartoon happy girl jumping in the air!' Today I accomplished all the goals I established in yesterday's post:

1. I ran this 5K race. Period. Just to be able to run in it after missing it last year is a great achievement. :)
2. I beat my Really Chilly Road Race 5K from February. Woo hoo!
3. I beat my fastest 5K time from 2010. Another woo hoo!

I expected to go to my race alone today. I don't "make" my partner attend all my races with me. He's not a runner, but he's there for me whenever I ask him. As a result, I am accustomed to being at a significant number of races on my own. I expected this again today because Ben had plans; he has committed to being there for me at the Forest City Road Race 10K next weekend, and this is good enough for me! :)

Because it is the Easter long weekend, my family is in town staying with us (my mother, sister, brother-in-law and three kids). However, they are usually busy visiting with other family members when here so I assumed they would have plans during my race ... it was a last minute surprise for me today when they decided to re-arrange their schedule so that all the female family members would be there to cheer me on - girl power !! :)

Because my family had to scramble a little to make it to the race, Ben dropped me off at Victoria Park so I could mentally and physically warm-up for the race on my own. He asked before leaving what I was really wanting to achieve today, and I told him 'sub-33'. He laughed and said he was betting on me to run 32:15. :)

According to the posted race results, 589 people completed today's race and 58 DNF'd (did not finish). It was very crowded at the start line and unfortunately for a gun start, I was quite far back from the starting line. :( Running around the first corner of Victoria Park was a little challenging as most of us had to stop and wait for the runners in front to funnel through safety barriers before we were able to pick up the pace again. This was the only time in the race when the numbers affected my pace as the starting mass thinned out within the first 2km.

As always, it was very challenging to have so many people swoosh by me and pull ahead without being caught up in the speed and adrenaline rush, but I used my Garmin to watch my pace and to hold it. I chose to run this particular race without any pace splits in mind. I just wanted to run it as it unfolded to see how I felt in this specific race situation. I wanted to go by 'feel' and then carry the lessons into next weekend's race.

1st km - 6:22/km
2nd km - 6:32/km

This was a 2.5K loop x 2 race so we looped around the finish line in order to start the second and final leg of our run. It was here that I experienced two of the best moments of the race. The first was when I looked to my left and noticed two amazing little girls with signs cheering. They looked very familiar to me and then I looked up and saw their mother. It was Shawna L., my DailyMile friend, who was there with her family cheering the runners. It was wonderful to see them and without fail, it always, always feels great to have someone there cheering me on! As I passed them and rounded the NW corner of Victoria Park again, I looked right and saw waving 'Fairy Barbie' dolls in the air ...

... and this is my reaction to seeing another two amazing little girls cheering! It was so great to see my family on the sidewalk whooping and clapping. :) :) I think all of this support accounts for a faster split!:

3km - 6:12/km

I usually do not enjoy 2 X 1 loop races as much, but in today's case, I did not mind it as much because it helped me to know what the last few km were going to be like ... and because it was a shorter race! :) :) I only checked my Garmin a few more times to see how I was doing. I felt very steady and consistently strong. It was great to feel this steady strength throughout the race without any periods of sluggishness or tiredness.

4km - 6:26/km

I pretty much knew by this time that I could push myself a little more. By nature, I am more conservative when running, reserving energy until the end, and as a result, I end up sprinting toward the finish. As I rounded the SW corner into the final straight stretch, I started pushing my pace just a little more, gradually getting a little bit faster and faster. It was a rewarding feeling being able to pass a significant number of slowing runners as I closed in.

This is when I could finally see the clock: 31:15. I then felt really really motivated to run much faster! I ran as fast as I could ...

5km - 5:52

This pace average says it all. This is the first time that I have seen 5:52 appear in any one of my splits. I didn't just crack my 7 min/km pace average, I cracked the 6 min/km pace zone, too, if only for just one km. I've been doing the happy dance all day whenever I think of that number! Oh happy day! :) Because one km at that pace soon becomes two, then three ... :) :)

A final, lovely moment occurred at the finish line. As I crossed over the mat, the owner of Runners' Choice and the organizer of this event, Paul, was there to congratulate all runners as they finished. Not only is he simply the nicest man in the world, but he exclaimed, "Evelynne! That has to be a new PR for you the way you ran in!" which made me grin as I told him yes (no need to explain PRs from 2003!). Sooooooo rewarding to see that someone else is noticing. :)

As you can tell from this post compared to my last race post, it was a very different day for me. I ran the pace average I had hoped/expected I could run, I felt good the whole time, and of course, it truly helped to have two different groups cheering. :)
I hope this is a sign of even bigger and better things to come! :)

Tomorrow - 13K LSD

Next week: Week #8 Road Work, my final week.

Sunday, May 1 - Forest City Road Race 10K

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Race Prediction for Downtown 5K

Today is my rest day so a true quickie post ... for me anyway - LOL! :)

Tomorrow I am running in the MacFarlan Rowlands Downtown 5K. Last year, 549 people (+ 48 DNF) ran in this event ... but I was not one of them. :(

I really wanted to be one of the runners and I clearly recall wanting to be in it the following year {I didn't have a blog at the time to record this desire :) }. This race was the 2nd of 6 races in the London Honda Series, and I felt bummed about my declined running ability over the winter after running my first (and only at the time) 10K run the previous fall. :( Therefore, similar to my feelings about the Really Chilly back in February, I am just happy to be in this race this year ... one of 671 registered runners at press time. :) Goal #1 already accomplished!

So what about a time goal/estimation?

My time in the Really Chilly Road Race 5K in February? 35:40
Goal #2 - beat this time! :) Pace must be sub-7:08/km and I think I can do this in a race, an adrenaline-rush situation.

My time in the Bayfield Safe Harbour 5K in 2010, my best 5K time of the year? 33:54
Goal #3 - beat this time! :) Pace must be sub-6:47/km
We'll see about this one. I may just squeak by this record tomorrow. :) 33-something? :)

My PR in the 5K? Springbank Road Race in 2003 31:32
Pace must be sub-6:19/km to beat this time - I am not making this a goal for tomorrow because I don't think I am quite there yet. However, I am working on beating this time in June when I run a sub-30K in the Bayfield Safe Harbour 5K. :)

A final comment. You might recall that I didn't feel the greatest about my 10K at the Retina Run. I said it was an "okay" race for me. I have thought about it because I didn't understand what was different for me that day than on other race days, but it hit me this week: I did not feel that race adrenaline rush I always get when I participate in these races. It was missing that day for some reason. It felt like a 'regular' with multiple sluggish sections run to me. Was it because I was running on the same path I use most days for my regular runs, therefore there was no "newness" or a "race-esque" feel to it? Or was it just an off day for me? Anyway, a new experience to learn from. :) I hope running downtown contributes to a race adrenaline rush tomorrow to help me achieve sub-33. :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wk7/D3 - 6.5K + 6 striders

Pace 7:05/km

Does this bib number look strangely familiar to you? Well, it did to me so I looked at my bib collection and I was #230 back in February at the Really Chilly Road Race! Huh! Auspicious? :) :)

I am a wee bit disappointed in my results above because I was confident when uploading it that my pace would be under 7:00/km. :( I had such a good run and I felt strong throughout most of it. A few times when I checked the Garmin out of curiosity, the pace was always in the 6:00 min/km zone. However, my first two km were slower than usual, and this was largely due to running into the wind; it was pretty wicked until I changed direction! I am sure that having 'the wind at my back' while I completed my striders helped me to feel stronger as well as run faster. :) Just wish my time reflected how good it was.

I ran without music today, too. After yesterday's excuses, I made good on my Tuneless Tues(Wednes)day by leaving my iPod at home, and for the first time, I thoroughly enjoyed my run without it. :) It was so windy the first 2K, all I could hear was the wind, but once it was a tailwind, the world around me became silent. All I could hear was my breathing, the jingle-jingle-jingle of two sets of dog tags, and the birds chirping. I think I had a breakthrough, and will be willing to try this a little more often. :)

The new way I have tied my shoes really works, and my feet were more comfortable today than in previous runs so who knew tightening the shoe around my ankles using loops would prove to make such a difference?

Kundalini yoga was terrific tonight. We worked on the core and took our time "re-learning" poses we have done before, but slower and in more detail. The time really flew by. :) Once again, I am feeling very relaxed and ready for bed early.

It is my rest day tomorrow. I will be posting my race predictions (LOL!) and then at 10:20 a.m. on Good Friday, I will join 671 people (as of tonight) in a mass 5K run. :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Wk7/D2 - 8K

8.04K @57:05
Pace 7:06/km

Blackfriar Bridge - downtown London is the right as I run northward to and through Gibbons Park to the university's edge before returning.

I am going to try to keep this short because my previous posts have been verbose! :)

This is my fastest 8K regular run to date. :) I have inched out of the teens and I am now a hair away from cracking 7 min/km on a regular basis during my runs. I think May will be my month for doing this. :)

Three Milestones to Keep a Watch For:
1. First non-race run in which all splits are sub-7 min/km pace
2. First week of runs which are all under a sub-7 min/km pace
3. First week in 2011 my mileage in one week exceeds 40K

I had a great run today with the boys. I did not do Tuneless Tuesday. I did remember that it was Tuesday before I headed out the door, but I chose Tuesdays originally because it was the day on which I ran my shortest runs. Since I traded the 6.5K for an 8K today, I didn't hold myself to the 'Tuesday' part of the equation. Semantics? Excuses? Absolutely!! I'll punish myself for these games by running without music tomorrow ...

A great day to run. No bright sunshine so sunglasses weren't needed. The breeze was a little too cool at the start, but was welcome after I warmed up and hit my stride. It was very windy in sections, but not at all like what I experienced last weekend so it just doesn't compare. :) The path was great; the temperature was great ... my best 8K run to date. :)

I tried tying my shoes a different way to take the pressure off my big toe on my left foot. I used this article from Runner's World as my guide. I thought I would share in case someone reading wants to give one of the four tying methods a try. It worked better for me. :)

I also had success with my water bottles. I used the old, stretched belt for the dogs' leashes and then wore the new belt for me. It felt a little odd to feel two belts on, but it also felt good (?? - along the lines of compression socks and sleeves?) :) It no doubt looks strange, but works well so this will be my new method until I figure something else out. My water bottles didn't leak and didn't pop out of their holders, and that made me happy. :)

Angus was a running champ today. He knew just when to help me pick up the pace and I swear he was in tune with the faster beat music I was listening to as he kept in perfect sync with the beats! I think the cooler temperature today suited him as he does tend to wither in the warmer weather.

No gym tonight - just the run. Kundalini Yoga tomorrow night after my 6.5K + striders.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Wk7/D1 -6.5K + 6 striders (altered schedule)

Pace 7:03/km

Before I start on my daily run report, did you watch the Boston Marathon? I watched it on TSN - my first time being able to watch it live on TV - and it did disappoint. WOW! It was sooooo much fun watching it. I loved how the elite wheelchair, women, and men run first, followed by the large, multiple waves of BQ runners. It gave me a whole new appreciation for how many people were the "lucky" ones who registered within the first 7 hours this year. I was very impressed by the roar of the crowd that was non-stop in the background throughout the race. I can understand why this might be a 'complaint' at other marathons - the lack of locals cheering the runners on - because the cheering really does motivate. The men's race was excellent and impressive with a new Boston record and unofficial world record (the tail wind is an issue), but in my opinion, the race to watch was the women's. Full of drama! Kim Smith was just wicked running so much further ahead of the pack. She was awe-inspiring, and it would have been so so so wonderful to see her win the race if she hadn't injured herself by the 18th mile. :( :( I was crushed as a TV viewer seeing this happen. Heartbreaking!

But then Davila cranked it up, and watching her take on Kilel became very exciting. I was on my feet, screaming for her near the end. It was incredible to see Davila battling Kilel for the tape, and for a moment there, it looked like she was going to do it. However, Kilel has very long legs and she ran like a gazelle to her first place finish. I am very happy for her, but I always root for the underdog so to watch Davila trying to pass her at the finish made me cheer for her. Awesome !! Incredible !! Best.race.ever. !!

And Davila just became my new hero. 5'2 and can run like that? I am 5'2 and will pretend I am her from now on when I run! :) :) Here is a little more about Davila at Boston.

And now back to me - LOL!

Quick note about my runs this week: I am not changing my Week #7 Road Work training program so much as I switching the days on which to complete my runs. Although I am not aiming for a sub-30 5K in this Friday's McFarlan Rowlands Downtown 5K (this goal will be achievable by June), I still want to do well in it (better than my first 5K of 2011 at least!). When I looked at my week ahead over the weekend, running 6.5K + 6 striders the day before the race did not make sense to me, especially since those striders usually wear me out! :) I didn't catch this before when I created my calendar and tweaked my training program. This is why I have switched my days around ...

And on another side note, I officially registered for the Forest City Road Races 10K.

The weather did not look good this morning! It snowed and actually accumulated on the ground. :( Although I am someone who enjoys winter and the changing seasons, the sight of snow in April when I am gearing up for the upcoming running season is a little depressing. :( Fortunately, by heading out much later in the day, it turned out to be just fine for running.

My hip was soaked by the 1K mark. I am clearly having problems with the bottles on my new water belt and I have yet to figure out what's causing the leakage. :( I stopped 3X to scoop up fallen water bottles - once to pick up a crushed water bottle. :( It popped out and smack! I squashed it flat with my foot on the ground. Better the bottle than one of my ankles sprained! I am really disappointed after feeling so excited about it. :(

The run itself was very good. I was disappointed to see that all of my bottle scooping and stopping multiple times for the dogs made my average pace exceed 7 min/km, but such is life. One of these days, I will hit that milestone of all splits being under 7 min/km on an average run. :)

I have Kundalini Yoga on Wed. and Fri. with Judy (the only classes), but there is another yoga class with Grace on Mon. evenings that I am trying to attend faithfully in an effort to increase my weekly yoga workouts. For some reason, I was feeling a little sore after today's run so I was extra-motivated to attend yoga for the stretching benefit. I was there on time, waited patiently outside the studio until kickboxing finished, but when I walked in to find a spot, there wasn't any! I guess this must be a popular class because other people knew to hustle to get a spot, and I paid the price for walking in casually. It was so crowded, I couldn't even find an area to politely ask others to let me squeeze in. However, I was determined not to be pushed out so I bit the bullet and took the awkward front spot by the stereo, the spot I knew everyone else was thinking, "I'm glad I'm not her!" :) But in the end, the awkwardness was moot because it was a phenomenal hour of stretching and holding positions; I would have regretted missing it. I came home very relaxed and ready to sleep, and as I finish this post the next day, I can report that I slept like the dead. I am truly enjoying the cross-training using yoga.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Vegetables That Roast in 20 to 30 Minutes

Lightly oil a sheet pan or cover with a piece of parchment paper to prevent sticking.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.


Cut any colour peppers into wedges, toss with a bit of olive oil, put on the baking sheet skin-side up, and roast until the skin is blistered and blackened - about 20-30 minutes. Transfer the peppers directly from the oven into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a tight-fitting lid, and let steam. Once the peppers are cool, uncover the bowl and peel off and discard the pepper skins.

Seasoning Suggestions: Before roasting, toss with a few tablespoons of hoisin sauce. Or, after roasting, you can toss with chopped fresh herbs like mint, basil, or parsley; balsamic vinegar; or chopped pine nuts.


Peel and slice carrots into wedges of coins. Toss them with salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Roast for 20 minutes or until tender with golden caramelized edges.

Seasoning Suggestions: Before roasting, toss with any of the following: a teaspoon of ground cumin and/or coriander, fresh chopped herbs like thyme or rosemary, chopped garlic or shallots, or 1-2 tablespoons of maple syrup and a pinch of cinnamon. Or, after roasting, drizzle with balsamic vinegar or some Dijon Vinaigrette (see ???? post for recipe), or toss with a pat of butter and chopped parsley, dill, or basil.


Cut the cauliflower into slices from top to bottom (they don't really come out as slices, but don't worry about it). Toss with a few tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast until golden , about 30 minutes, flipping the cauliflower now and then.

Seasoning Suggestions: Before roasting, either toss with cumin, coriander, and minced garlic, and onions, or toss with capers, raisins, sliced red onions, and parsley. Or, after roasting, give it a squeeze of lemon , chopped fresh parsley, or grated Parmesan cheese.


Cut off the brown ends and pull off any yellow outer leaves. Toss the brussels spouts with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Pour them on a sheet pan and roast, shaking the pan now and then, until browned, about 30-40 minutes. Defrosted frozen brussels sprouts can also be used with great results!

Seasoning Suggestions: Before roasting, toss with grated garlic and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Or, after roasting, toss with a little balsamic vinegar, or a pat of butter and fresh chopped herbs, toasted hazelnuts, pine nuts, or walnuts, or grated zest from a lemon.

ROASTED RED PEPPER DRESSING for roasted vegetables

1/2 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. roasted red pepper, coarsely chopped (either one you've just roasted or one from a jar)
1 clove of garlic, smashed
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
Pinch sugar, salt and freshly ground pepper

Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Makes 1 cup

from The Family Dinner by Laurie David, p. 111.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Wk6b/D3 - The Drowned Rat 13K Run :)

13K @1:33:03
Pace 7:09/km

Historical Note: One year ago today, I walked/ran 4K in 30 minutes.

There are no stock images on Google of a soaked woman running with two soaked dogs so this one will have to suffice! :)

I was scheduled to run 11.5K today, and in spite of the weather reports, I was pretty determined to complete this run outside rather than at the fitness club on a treadmill. Ben checked the farmzone website and warned me that the radar indicated a heavy rain system was moving in our direction ... I had better get moving ... !!

Sure enough, Murphy's Law ruled the day. Although it had stopped rained for several hours in the morning, it started to drizzle again as we drove to the park. By the time we started our warm-up walk/Angus-religious-poop-time, it started to rain. :( About 3K into our run, I considered shortening it because of the weather; however, the truth was, I had committed to this run already in my head so by the time I reached an ideal "turn-around point," I still wasn't keen on shortening my scheduled run. I was already wet and the rain was "Vancouver-ish" light and warm so I figured I could handle it. :)

See how much I still pride myself on my "rain-tolerance" and my former "Vancouver-ite status" after all these years?!?! I moved back to Ontario in 2001, but my heart still remains there ... :) :)

And with pride, I now say, "handle it" we did! We ran in the rain for over an hour and a half, rain which didn't let up for one minute the entire time we were outside! :( Although it was windy, I was protected most of the time from the wind in the park except in certain areas. I covered up my Garmin with my jacket sleeve to protect it from the rain, and didn't bother checking it for mileage until near the end. I just concentrated on my run and tried to keep my pace consistent. I also focused on keeping my shoulders relaxed and my hands unclenched.

I let out a little "woo hoo!" as soon as we reached the turnaround point at the far end of the park, and then was rewarded by a strong, chilling wind blowing into me as we changed directions to head back. :( It was very tough running for awhile, but fortunately, the same trees protected us from the wind again on the return. However, when we did feel the wind, it was a lot tougher in the second half of the run than in the first. :(

While running back to my starting point, I thought more about this 11.5K. One of several reasons I "re-started" my Week #6 Road Work this past week was skipping the scheduled 11.5K in lieu of my Run for Retina 10K. I just got it in my head that I had to run "it" before starting "jumping" to 13K. My training program requires me to run 13K every Saturday for the next eight weeks so a "transitional 11.5K" was my motivating factor for being out in the damn rain in the first place!! :) :) Well, my mind must be a very odd, delirious place when I am running while wet because I started to think that perhaps running 13K would be better (?!@?*?!). Although it *sucked* being out in the rain and wind, we were out there already so why not add another 1.5K to really make it worth it? But more importantly, if I could run 13K today, I could convince myself that I was officially back at the level of running I was at on December 2nd, 2010. I could finally feel that I was moving forward with my running level/ability rather than "catching up." Make sense? Well, it did to me at the time! Poor drenched Wallace and water dog Angus were dragged along for an additional 1.5K, into the toughest headwind of all during this run, just so I could make this claim today. :) :)

And there you have it. I ran 13K in lousy weather conditions, stopping only to let Wallace defecate, Angus pee, and to pick up fallen water bottles 4X ... grrrrr. Those water bottles were *popping* out of my new water belt at the slightest provocation. :( I think what I may need to try next is using my old water bottle belt as the dog leash attachment belt (since it is already stretched to bits), and then wear my new water belt at the same time for me. It will look ridiculous, but if it saves me the time needed to stop and scoop water bottles, I don't think I care too much about appearances!

On a side note, I just created a new addition to my blog in the right column. I am going to track my 13Ks for the next two months. I am not scheduled to run anything longer than 13K until I officially start my half marathon training in June; therefore, I will track my pace improvement (positive thinking!) in these runs until then.

By the way, as I type this post, it has not been raining at all ... Murphy's Law! What'd I tell ya? :)

Rest day tomorrow - Week #7 Road Work on Monday.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Wk6b/D3 - 6.5K + 6 striders (and no tunes!)

6.5K @46:41
Pace 7:11/km

Whoa, Nelly! It is sooooo windy today! That's my excuse for my slower time and it's legit! :)

But first, a photo of the Kensington Bridge Dundas Street and the Blackburn Memorial Fountain at fork of the Thames River. My running path towards downtown runs along this section of the river. The shooting water really looks like this - it has nothing to do with the wind I am going to write about! ;)

The boys and I headed out together to complete my scheduled striders. I had not even warmed up by walking before I noticed that my right pant leg was soaked - one of my new water bottles was leaking. :( Bummer! A quick dump of the remaining water and we were on our way. The first 2K went well and my Garmin's recording of my splits show that I had a nice, strong start to my run today. Once I was on the pathway, I was interrupted (again) by a loose, unleashed dog, but fortunately, the dog took off when his owner called and then I was able to start my first strider ... a very good start.

However, by this point, I had changed direction and was beginning to feel the wind. Whoa! I completed my second strider, and as the path angled again, I was suddenly running fully into a headwind. LOL! It was crazy! My pace declined a full 20-25 seconds in this section because it was so hard to run into the wind! All this time, I have been quipping on the Daily Mile site to others about wind being a good resistance workout, but my words were biting me in the ass today!! It was very tiring. There was a runner in front of me with her dog for most of this stretch, but she turned around at the train tunnel and then had the wind behind her. As she passed me, she laughed and said, "Brutal wind, eh?" to which I laughed and replied, "Nooooo kidding!" See? I have witness who can vouch for the challenging running conditions!

As a result, my striders, were stacked at the end of my run. I completed all six, but they were a little sad - I didn't have much left in me after the wind running. :( Nevertheless, it was a good run, I completed my scheduled training, and the dogs were happy to be out. It's been a little while since I have had a "great" or "really enjoyable zen run" so hopefully, this will occur someday soon. :) I have an 11..5K scheduled for tomorrow (the weather is NOT looking promising), an increase of 1.5K from previous Saturday 10K runs, but only for this week. Next week, my Saturday runs turn into 13K runs and will remain at this mileage until June.

One last thing ... I ran without music today. Because I forgot about "Tuneless Tuesday," and because Thursday's run was the exact same as Tuesday's, I decided to make up for it by turning today into a "Tuneless Thursday." I bet that "if" I had used my iPod, it would have been hard to hear the music over the wind! Although I found it challenging to run without music today, I was very amused to find myself humming and singing in my head some choruses from some of my upbeat songs that I listen to while I run. :)


I went to Kundalini Yoga tonight. It was very good; I was more in the zone with it tonight than I have been in previous classes. Judy explained to me what I was doing wrong from last week, I corrected it tonight, and I had a great workout/stretch. Now I am ready to deeply sleep .... zzzzz. Love going to yoga and then to bed early! :) :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wk6b/D2 - 10K

10K @1:13:02
Pace 7:19

The view of the Thames River from the Wharncliffe St. bridge ... most of my runs close to home start or end along this bridge.

Today was a beautiful day for a run! It is the kind of day that makes you want to be runner. :)

Unfortunately, I was not in the best shape for a great run on this gorgeous day. :( I had a terrible night of sleep last night. It was very tough to leave my bed this morning. However, I had a full day ahead of me, and like everyone else who still have to function after a short night, I stuck it out and tried not to think about my tiredness. :( I was feeling the after-effects from my speedy striders yesterday, too, so I knew that my planned 10K run was going to be a challenge.

So, armed with a camera, water, and doggie bags, the three of us headed out for a longer, sloooow run. I really wanted to complete the full mileage so I opted to run a much slower pace, and just to take my time, stopping for pictures along the way. I also spent my time concentrating on keeping my shoulders down and relaxed, and keeping my hands loose and relaxed as well. I have a tendency to start clenching my fists after I have been running for awhile, and so I am working on this.

I ran the trail from Wharncliffe St./Children's Museum to downtown, out to Gibbon's Park and all the way to the university edge, and back again. This route is essentially the first leg of the half marathon in the Run for Retina last weekend. It was filled with dog walkers and strollers, and there were a few runners out as well.

I have tomorrow off and then it's 6.5K + 6 striders on Friday. I also have my first 11.5K of the scheduled for Saturday.


I went to the fitness club for the first time in a week last night. I went to Kundalini Yoga - Getting to Know Your Body. After class, the instructor told me that I have clearly become a lot more flexible - positive! - but that we need to focus on my positions on Friday because I need to re-learn some of them - LOL!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Wk6b/D1 - 6.5K + 6 striders

Pace 6:58/km

The footbridge in Gibbons Park. Photos have been uploaded to my post from Sunday if interested. :)

I restarted Week 6 Road Work today and succeeded at completing six striders for the first time - woo hoo!

Although my time above does not necessarily reflect this, my run was very good. I felt strong (taking Monday off must have helped), my shoulders were down and relaxed (no yoga since last Wednesday so surprising to me), and it was just a wonderful, gorgeous day to be out on a run. My striders were in the 5:30/km zone and it felt good; however, it looks like I slowed a little too much during recovery instead of returning to "normal" pace. It was like this when I did the 4 striders initially, too, and I am sure there will be some improvement after completing three weeks of this exercise.

I forgot about Tuneless Tuesday again. :( I remembered to leave my music at home last week (on the run that sucked so much!), but didn't remember until mid-run today. Taking Monday off from running threw me off. Next week!

Tomorrow I run a 10K with the boys, nice and easy. It promises to be another beautiful day. :)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

RUN FOR RETINA 10K RACE - Running Room London Event

First and foremost, how cool is it that I just ran my first 10K race of 2011?!?! In April?!?!

In 2009, it took me all summer and autumn to gradually build up to my first and only 10K race of the year - Oct. 30th @1:12.22

In 2010, it was July 1st before I attempted to run my first 10K race of the year. It was a tough race; I was second last with 1:14:00 - LOL! Regardless, I was pleased to be running this distance four months earlier than in the previous year. Four more 10K races followed this one, ending with my PR on Oct. 31st @1:09:45.

Now it is early April 2011 and I have my first 10K race already under my belt. Wow! :) :) :) I just want to appreciate this race regardless for this reason alone. :)


Secondly, I want to address another historical milestone. I went for a run exactly one year ago. I walked/ran a 4.5K @36:21, a pace of 8:04/km with Kim. Again, this emphasizes the improvement I have made in one year. Today I more than doubled that distance and my pace was more than a minute faster. Keeping things in perspective!

And it is apropos that it was Kim who ran with me on this run, one year ago, because today, I attached his dog tags inside my water belt pocket to honour his life and running partnership.


So finally, what this post is supposed to be about ... my race today! :)

Garmin time 10:06K @ 1:08:25
Chip time 10K @1:09:04
Pace 6:58/km

A new PR ... by 41 seconds !! LOL !! I have a new PR ... not by as much as I had hoped for, but a new PR nevertheless! :)

For me, it was an okay race. This is has nothing to do with the organizers or the race itself; it has everything to do with how I felt while running for over 1 hour. Unfortunately, I had an "off" week (late nights, upset routine, grieving Kim) so in keeping with it, today was an "off" running day, too. :( I do not think I was too far off the mark when I predicted a 6:30/km pace ... it just wasn't my day to prove it. Oh well! I still accomplished my goal by being in a 10K so early in the year (I am already establishing a new goal for next year - to run in the Really Chilly Road Race in the 10K), and I'll take my new PR with a shaved 41 seconds. :) :) I have a 10K race on May 1st, the Forest City Road Race, so we'll see what happens between today and the next 10K. :)

Race Notes:

- Best moment of the day - as a half marathoner ran into the last stretch, he was surrounded by three little boys who excitedly starting to pace him to the finish line. It was his body language in response to his cheerleading team that made me get all verklempt! :) Very touching, wonderful moment!

- I live within walking distance of Harris Park so it was great to be able to walk out the door as if I was going out for a regular run. I jogged slowly to warm up all along Riverside Drive. Instead of the 29 degree Celsius with humidity weather predicted earlier in the week, it was cloudy and cool 7 degrees Celsius. Last night, thunderstorms were predicted! We were very very lucky. With the cloud cover and coolish breeze, it was perfect for a run. No crazy heat, no rainstorm.

- I wore an old sweatshirt to keep warm and then tossed it beside a tent just before the race started. It was still there when I finished the race, but I purposely chose an old, worn one in case it went missing. I dressed properly for this race - a tech t-shirt and capris. There were a lot of runners wearing the new jackets, and sure enough, for the next hour while I ran, I watched as virtually all them had to stop to take off their jackets and tie them around their waists!

- I have never been "shouldered" so much in a race, as in a runner bumping me with his/her shoulder trying to pass. The start of the 10K was narrow (see the pictures in this post - this under-bridge pathway funnelled runners and this where the jostling started), and this particular event was sold out so it's understandable given these circumstances. However, I also noticed that it was most often done by women who were running with someone else ... as in, the runner refused to go in front of/go behind her partner, but just had to stay right beside her partner, even if it meant bumping me and other runners. Weird.

- I did not eat my breakfast early enough before the race. I am not blaming my sluggish run entirely on this, but I still think it had a significant, negative impact. I feel a little stupid about it, too, because I know better and I did wake up earlier this morning so I could eat in good time, but I still ended up puttering around, only eating 1 hour before start time. I am shaking my head at myself about this, but clearly it is a lesson I needed to re-learn before the rest of my planned runs this season. :)

- My new water belt spins around my waist! I did not want to put it on tighter because I was feeling the breakfast (ugh!), but I constantly had to adjust it. And guess how many times I used it for water? ZERO !! I drank water at one station and had e-load near the end. Learning!

So! Tomorrow I re-start Week #6 Road Work, and in 12 days, I have a 5K race, the second in the London Honda Series.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Training Program Change and Race Prediction

I've been thinking ..... can you smell the wood burning through your screen? :)

Two things on my mind today and here are my conclusions:

#1 - Small Change to My Training Program

My Week #6 essentially has been upended. My striders were a bust on Tuesday, I cancelled the second set today due to exhaustion, and I've tapered my week to accommodate this weekend's Run for Retina 10K. Rather than skip ahead to Week #7 on Monday, I've decided to repeat Week #6. Three weeks worth of six striders twice per week are scheduled for a reason so I am respecting the training program as it was laid out, and will continue to follow it in sequence rather than skipping ahead. For me, I think this is wise.

#2 - Sunday Race Predictions

I usually don't do this ... in fact, this is my first time! :) However, given the circumstances, I think I can do it this time. I have been running my regular 10K runs at a faster pace in recent weeks, a pace equivalent to my 10K race pace from last year. For this reason, I think I can predict a new PR for myself on Sunday. :)

Now, just to clarify, I am just tickled pink that my current running fitness level is such that I can run in a 10K race in April, so this in itself is cause for celebration! :) And regardless of any time, I am pleased about this ... honestly! But having said that, anything under 1:09:00 will make me one happy camper. :) :) I know that I will not run this race in under one hour because my pace is just not there yet. I still have plenty of time ahead of me this summer to become a member of this "club" so I don't have this kind of expectation this weekend. I am guess-timating that my average pace will be within the 6:30/km range, which means a result in the 1:05:00 zone. If this ends up being the case, I will be extremely happy. :)

I am really looking forward to Sunday. I think it is going to fun, running a race on the paths that I use on a weekly basis, only this time surrounded by "a few more" runners than usual!! :) :)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Wk6/D3 - Easy 7.5K Replacement, a Race Kit and a New Water Belt :)

7.5K @55:01
Avg. Pace 7:20/km

It's a good sign that my pace is decreasing significantly before my Run for Retina 10K this Sunday, right? :) :)

Before I write about my run ... I picked up my race kit for the Run for Retina 10K this Sunday, but unfortunately, I do not have our camera to take pictures my *gorgeous* new jacket and swag bag for this blog. :( Ben has our camera with him in Texas along with our cell phone so I am SOL when it comes to sharing pictures with you of this event ... oops! Sorry! Instead, here are a few photos I took last December during a run with the intention of posting on this blog. This bridge is located on Riverside Drive, at the fork of the Thames River. Downtown London is to the immediate right. All of us who are participating in the 10K race will be running under this bridge at the early start and late end of the race on our out 'n back route. Harris Park, where the start/finish line will be set up, is located just on the other side of this bridge.

These pictures actually segue into my post about today's run because this is where I ran today, too! My training program scheduled me for an easy 10K today so I decided to run the race route "backwards," as in parking at the "turn-around" point of the race route by the former Guy Lombardo Museum (now a community centre), running the first leg of my run toward Harris Park, and returning to my parking spot.

The run started off very well; the weather was terrific for running - sunny, but not too warm, with a nice cooling breeze. I ran at a perfect time and was able to enjoy my run just for the sake of running. I only checked in with my Garmin a few times to ensure I was slowing my pace. I was very strict; I kept "coaching" myself to keep the run very, very easy, and as you can see by my slower average pace posted above, I did a very good job of it. :) It was just a great day to be outside, and I really enjoyed being out with Angus and Wallace. They were wonderful running partners and Wallace wore a big grin the whole time. :)

Around 6.5K, when I was returning through Greenway Park, I started feeling very tired. Earlier in the day, I attended a Chiseled class at the fitness club, and it was amazingly tough - I dripped a lot of sweat throughout this class! I knew when I left it that I just made my intended easy 10K much later in the day a whole lot tougher! :( As much as I wanted to stick to my training program, I knew that tapering my week somewhat in lieu of Sunday's race was a much better idea. This is why I shortened my scheduled run by cutting through Greenway Park, and by stopping within decent walking/stretching range of my vehicle, resulting in a 7.5K. I think I made a wise decision. :)

So! I am also posting the following because it has to do with running ... I went to Runner's Choice this evening for a new water belt. Ta da! The Nathan Speed 4.

I actually admired it on another blog I found inadvertently earlier this week, but I truly didn't go to my running store with the intention of buying one. I still had a Christmas gift card and just wanted any sort of water belt with plastic holders rather than elastic. It was only when I arrived home and paid closer attention to it that I realized it was the same one I had admired. Still give credit to the power of subliminal suggestion? :) I drink a ton of water when I am running, hence the choice of 4 bottles versus 2. My sister never carries water, and she runs entire half marathons without stopping to drink at water stations, too! However, I am the complete opposite. I noticed last year at all my races that I was usually one of the few people who actually wore a water belt; most 5K race participants don't, but I do! :) :) I have to say, I have never regretted carrying one because I often need a few squirts for my dry mouth. I am also very anal about not having now when I feel thirst. :) This is either a reflection of how hot it was last summer in Ontario, or how poorly hydrated I am!

But I digress ... Runner's Choice was smoking busy because their Learn-to-Run clinic was starting tonight, and they were caught off guard by the number of people showing up to register in person. Clearly the good weather this week has motivated people - a great sign to see! :) It was wonderful to see both Gerda and Paul, and even better to see such a great running store buzzing with activity. :)

After picking up my belt, I headed several blocks away to the Running Room to pick up my race kit. It was smoking busy, too! Their Learn-to-Run clinic was in session with excellent attendance, and the store front was busy with other clinic members warming up for their group run. Compound this by the line-up of people picking up their kits, and it was a happening place to be, too! A lot of people in line were picking up group kits; I think I was the only one asking for a solo bib and kit! One man in front of me walked away with 17 jackets/kits so I am assuming some school groups or run clubs are registered for this run. I also saw posters apologizing to people for closing the 5K and 10K registration. Apparently, this run's registrations exceeded their expectations, and for the first time, they had to close it/limit it. How terrific for them! This race is looking like it will be a big event. :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Wk6/D2 - 7K + 2 Striders ... A Terrible But Eventful Run :(

7K @51:14
Pace 7:20/km! What a terrible terrible run today! But before I explain (vent?) in this post ...

1. I am officially registered for the Downtown 5K on Good Friday. This means a lot to me because I recall really wanting to run it last year, and feeling bummed that my running level was not up to par for participating in a 5K.

2. I uploaded my June-November 2011 running calendar on my home page (link under Page Tabs). I feel very good about the slow progression I am making currently, and how I plan to balance all my fun runs with my half marathon training. I also reconfigured my running goals so that they are better organized, and it was a good exercise for me to re-visit them. Some goals I made in 2010 were just not achievable at the time, but are within reach thsi year. :)

3. Hey, when all is said and done, today's terrible run had nothing to do with injury so that is a positive! Besides, it's over with and tomorrow is another day. :)

My 7K + 2 striders Run

First, it was supposed to be a 6.5K with 6 striders ...

It was one of those days when I just wasn't feeling it. I'm tired, I'm still grieving, Ben has left the country (me) for a week, and I am on auto-pilot. I sincerely wanted to skip my run, and I skipped going to the fitness club (I will go tomorrow). :( I justified this to myself by thinking that my run is A-1 priority so if I at least accomplished it, it was "okay" if I skipped the gym. After an excellent Week #5 of training runs, and after posting a running schedule for most of 2011 on my blog for all to see (uh-oh! witnesses!), it seemed a little silly to skip a run without legitimate reason. The Pollyanna voice inside of me reminded the skipper inside of me that most of my great runs have started out as procrastination runs so I needed to get myself out there and just go for it ...

Well, where is that Pollyanna now? Because I just want to smack her upside the head! First, there were police cruisers and fire trucks, police officers and firefighters all along the river between my path and the water. Regardless of where I ran, they were there. It was unnerving to see so many emergency workers, spread out along the water, looking and waiting. I doubt they would be out there the way they were unless something very terrible has happened to someone. :(

I also thought that it would be nice to run along the same path that this week's 10K race will be on, which is why I chose a different direction than usual. However, as I ran into Harris Park, where multiple emergency vehicles and officers were gathered, I was forced to come to a dead stop ... Harris Park is flooded, severely flooded, as in race organizers must be feeling very uptight at this time because wow! The path by the park was invisible under a river lake, and it was impossible for me to run around it so I could head toward Gibbons Park/UWO. I was forced to turn around and start thinking about how I could adjust my run. A second event to throw me off ...

However, when I returned along the path, we were suddenly accosted by a black poodle. Someone had their dog off leash, but unfortunately, this was not a dog who listened well to its master's commands. Suddenly, I had an attacking dog, an excited Wallace, and growling Angus, my protector, who jumped in-between me and the poodle ready to do battle. My water belt went flying, my water bottles went flying, and a few expletives went flying as well! It took me a few minutes to get myself and the dogs put back together so we could just leave and head on our way ... :(

By this time, I had only one set of striders accomplished and when I attempted my second set, my Garmin time was laughable. I knew right then and there - today was not the day to add striders. Just run my damn 6.5K so I can get this bloody run over with!!

For the rest of the run, I dealt with a fussy Wallace who kept trying to pull off to the side of path, compounding my grrrrrr feelings, and I literally had to stop three times to pick up water bottles that fell through my water belt. :( My fuel belt has officially kicked the bucket; I have scooped up dropped water bottles for the last few weeks now, but three times in a row in one run pretty much signals that the belt needs to be retired. :( Now I will need to use my Runner's Choice gift card to purchase a new one tomorrow, regretfully, because I was saving my gift card for a new pair of running shoes on sale. :( However, I use my water belt on every run, and with a 10K race this weekend, continuing to use my well-used two year old belt is going to be a source of frustration.

Did I mention that today was Tuneless Tuesday and I was running without any upbeat music to motivate me?!?!

And the extra .5 km? I ran it so I could get home sooner, not because I was motivated to make up for lost striders. :(

Anyway, I am home, I am showered, I am safe, and I have tomorrow's 10K. And to put this all into better perspective, my Garmin log reveals that exactly one year ago, I ran/walked 5.17K in 45:09, at a pace of 8:44/km. Given a choice between today's run and last year's, I'd take today's run. :) :)