Thursday, March 31, 2011

March Madness

Considering the crazy weather and all this year, I am very glad to say adios to March and all the winter weather that came with it.
The view from my front porch for majority of the winter

My training has been going very well. The race is on April 22nd so I still have a few weeks to amp up the plan. Coach Kelly has done just that. My April includes speedwork once a week, strength training a minimum of once a week and an added 5K run every week...phew! I'm just tired thinking about.

Actually I am  more tired of thinking about it than actually doing it. It's so hard to try to fit in my training around kids and husband and house...seriously, my house has been neglected the most through all this. It complains the least, so I guess I tend to overlook it's needs. I promise you house, a nice good cleaning when all this racing is done.

I have a serious case of the Mommy/Wife guilt lately. I just feel awful even bringing up the word 'run' or worse 'long run'. I do my best to plan my run time around family time, but really, let's be honest, every waking moment of my life is family time. There's no punch clock, there's no time-out for me. 

Besides the guilt I'm still excited about all that I have accomplished  already this year, and even right through the crapiest winter in history! I'm glad that I'm starting the spring season in the best shape I've ever been. Well, running shape anyway.

With spring in the air, I'm excited to get the lead out in April. But as for March, here's how it went down:

Total runs: 13

Total time on my feet: 14 hours

Total Kms for the month: 108.1 (holy heartfailure, Batman!)

Total Kms for the year: 259.4

I capped the month off with a speed work session tonight. I talked myself into worry. Thinking that I can't complete the recommended work, but I almost always end up doing it just fine and sometimes do a little too much in the end. 

Tonight I did 4 X 1000 with 500 recovery between. It was great! I was supposed to aim for 6:15/km pace, but my third interval was 5:25/km...ooopppss! That also had something to do with the dog (sans leash!) and his owner that thought it was very funny his dog was chasing the poor little woman that was just trying to get a good sweat on.

Did you get your sweat on today? Did you get chased by a little dog too?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Winter Wonderland

Last week Mother Nature decided to get one last dig in before the spring thaw. Although I planned my more challenging run (speed work!) for the day before the storm, there was plenty of white stuff left on the ground for the rest of the week.

As I headed out for my run I passed by the same vineyard I pass by almost every run. This time I decided to stop and take a picture...just to share with all of you. I realized at that moment that my camera had been taking pictures of the inside of my purse for that last year so I had no memory left on it.

So, I did what any logical person would do. I stepped up my pace, turning my easy run into an impromptu tempo run and I raced back home to get my camera. I added an extra km or so on my total distance, with all the back and forth. But wouldn't you say it was worth it.

It's hard to see, but there is a little stream in front

For those that know me, I do not take very many pictures. I am the kind of mom that forgets to take her camera out on Christmas morning... birthdays, the cake gets all the, forget about it. Apparently the vineyard is very special.

This view reminds me that I am very lucky to be able to lace up, walk out my front door and head outside under my own power. I am rewarded with beautiful scenery, even in the winter. As a bonus, living in wine country I can also walk out my front door and head out to the closest winery and I am rewarded with great wine, all year round!
I just want to run right through them, but I won't.

What sights do you see out on your route that would make you back-track for the camera?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

That's What Friends are For

I think I mentioned before that my motivation, or excitement for running has been lacking for the last week or so. Last week I had a full 16k planned, my longest run to date, and I was having a mental block getting out the door. Cue the friends....

I was fortunate enough to plan my run with my friend Britt, who is training for a 1/2 Mary. She was not up to doing the full 16 with me, so we agreed to do 11 together. I figured out to do 5k on my own and head home with enough time for a drink and a bathroom break before Britt pulled up in my driveway. Bless her for making the 20 minute drive out to my house on a Sunday morning.

Side note: Britt is much younger than I am, sans kiddos and typically spends her Sunday mornings in this was a very special morning indeed!

Sometimes running with someone for the first time is much like a first date. What do I wear? What if I talk too much? What if there are awkward silences? What if I go too fast...or too slow? Turns out I didn't have to worry about any of it.

She brought along her ipod, insisting that she couldn't run without it. Let me tell you, she didn't use it once. We talked the whole run. We kept great pace and really enjoyed the run. We even made plans to do it again, soon.

This little break in my training routine has given me new (running) life! This weekend was another 16k planned. Although I wasn't exactly eager to hit the pavement, I knew I could do the distance. And boy...could I do the distance. I enjoyed myself so much that I went the extra km and ended up with 17k.

Okay, that wasn't exactly what happened. I didn't map out my run before I left the house and I was trying to calculate the distance on the go. I was worried that I wasn't quite going to make 16...and if I came home and said I only did 15.5k...I would be pissed! So I put the extra little effort in!

Effort counts!
How was you're weekend? Did you go the extra mile (or kilometer)?

P.S. I just wanted to say that I was very pleased with the attention that my last post got. If you haven't seen it yet, check out comment #5. I'm one happy girl!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Running Like a Mother

Some of you may know about my mild obsession with the Run Like a Mother book. The book, written by Sarah Bowen Shea and Dimity McDowell, is a combination of running inspiration, training tips, sympathy and motivation for moms out there hitting the pavement. No matter what running level they are at, there is a very large culture of Mother Runners out there and I’m proud to be one of them.
I have been following SBS and DMD since I read their Marathon Moms article in a 2007 issue of Runner’s World. I had just entered the world of running (literally, I was probably running 2K) and I was so inspired by how these two women managed running a household, running a family, running a career all while running. They made me feel like it was well…possible. That was the spark.
In March 2010 they launched the book and have seen a tremendous following of Mother Runners. Their facebook page has over 8,400 followers. They have a blog, they have t-shirts (which, ahem…are not available in Canada), they have podcasts and group runs. They have created a community that shares, listens, complains, motivates and inspires each other.
For their one year RLAM-iversary, the authors had asked the community to submit videos of themselves “running like a mother”. Whatever that means to you. I love this idea as I picture how creative moms can be, especially when it means getting  a couple hours of me-time.
However, when I thought of this question, I personally couldn’t think of how I run, and how being a mother effects my running. The things I did come up with can’t be shown on video. Not because they are indecent, but because it’s the little things that go on behind that scenes that make the difference.
So, here's a few ideas, not in video form, of how I “run like a mother
  • Feeling that twinge of guilt when leaving the house because I’m taking almost 2 hours of solo time for myself
  • Hiding protein bars and energy beans, so no one eats ‘my’ snacks
  • Having family discussions about which Nuun flavour we’d like to try next
  • Saving exactly two energy beans to give to the kids as a treat for when I’m done my run
  • Spending my only alone time thinking and worrying about my kids (school, friends, future)
  • Creatively dealing with the unpleasant side- effects that running has on a “post-baby” body (if you have to ask…you just don’t know)
  • Planning family dinners around my training schedule, so I’m not eating hot dogs right before speed training
  • Being constantly paranoid of picking up any illness my kids bring home from school, because my training  didn’t plan for sick days
  • Shopping for my own running gear in the kids section, without looking like a weirdo
  • Secretly love it when my daughter casually asks me how far my run is going to be that day
I'm sure there are many more, but this will at least give you an idea of my own little running-mommy world.
How about you...are you a mother that runs? Anything to add to the list?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Misery loves Company

I must've made a big deal about my lack of motivation, or a least whined loud enough for most people to hear, because it's paid off.

Thank you to everyone who left me kind words and comments. It was great to know how many people have faith in my abilities (even when I don't) and how many of you have (or are) in the same boat.

That being said I had three runs planned this week with no kids to worry about. They spent time at grandma and grandpa's this week (march break) so I thought I should have no excuses for not running. What was an even better surprise was that Mr. B decided to run with me.

Me: I have to run 6K tonight.
Mr. B: Maybe I'll go with you... depends how I feel after playing ball hockey
Me: Oh, well, in that case I could do 4K instead?
Mr. B: Okay, after work we'll run.

I tried hard to not make a big deal out of this, if any of you know how big this is, you know how big my happy dance was. It was a very enjoyable 4K, a little fast at times. Mr. B is a foot and 1/2 taller than me and has very long legs. My pace was a little slow for him, but after 3K he was happy to slow it down. I did not take any pictures of this event as he would have thought it was weird and he would never agree to it again.

I heard about his sore legs for a few days afterward too. I did a little dance at that too...on the inside.

I also managed to get my 6K in on St. Patrick's Day. I knew that if I didn't do it before the green beer, it was definitely not happening after the green beer! I've decided that Fridays are a really great day for a rest day.

Tomorrow is my long run and I have made a date to meet my friend Britt for most of the run. She is training for a 1/2 marathon in May, so she is working on building her mileage right now. I'm so excited to have someone to run with for the majority of this distance.  Misery loves company.

The only thing threatening my run tomorrow is a nasty stomach bug that has landed on our front porch. Right now, only Dee has been effected, but we all know how things like this ain't good news for any of us. I must go now and attend to my 'mom' duties of hair holding. Poor girl.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Motivation please...

I don't know what's happened to my motivation of late. It seems that I must have dropped it on the treadmill during my last run. If you find it, please return it to me...I miss him dearly.

Okay, it's not all that bad. Sunday was my scheduled 15K and I tried not to think about it too much during the week. I know I can do the distance, I'm confident now. But there was something else pokin' round in my brain. I just didn't know if I wanted to do it.

Saturday night I had a great time out with some girlfriends and there was no (okay, very little) running talk. I was worried that if I started thinking about my run I would cut the night short to get sleep. Mr. B thinks I'm silly for thinking this way:

Me: I don't know if I want to stay out too late, because I have my long run on Sunday
Mr. B: Who cares. Go out tonight then run in the're young.

I was easily swayed (and flattered) by this reasoning. So I enjoyed my evening, popcorn with smarties and all, and I planned to wake up early and get'er done. But of course, as most of you know, there was the time change on Saturday night and I ended up getting home at about, oh...1:45 am!!

Well, 8am came and went, but I managed to drag myself out of bed at 9 to eat and get ready. It took everything in me to get out the door. I just wasn't feeling it. By 2k I decided to run faster than normal to get it done and over with.

Disclaimer: This is NOT in Coach Kelly's plan. In fact, she has told me specifically to do all my runs at a slower than normal pace. So yes, I went against my coach's rules.

But it paid off. I managed to run 15K  two minutes faster than my 14K from last week. I was sooo happy to be done (and be able to brag about it afterward). But boy oh boy, I was looking for excuses heading out the door.

A couple things I think are cramping my mental game:

1) I'm getting lonely on my long runs. Seriously, I love having time to myself but c'mon...I've run out of things to talk about with myself.

2) I'm bored with my music. In fact I've been running half of the long run sans musique. I need new tunes and I keep putting off the effort to add songs to my ipod.

3) I'm sick of the weather. I can't wait for some rays of sun and dry ground to run on...I know it's coming.

Add all those together and I get a recipe for (self) destruction. I need to snap out of it soon. I'm soooo close to my goal of 16k for my upcoming race, but I still have almost 6 weeks of training yet...I'm tired.

Well thanks for listening to my whining and complaining. I have to remember that I chose to do this, I chose to train for this enough of the pity party.

But....if you choose to send any words of wisdom my way that can help get my head back in the game...I will be eternally grateful.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Me against the 'Mill

I just came home from the gym where I rocked out a 5km run after a very heavy meat and potatoes meal.  Not the best idea, but I was hungry, it was raining, it was foggy...the excuses go on.

Anyway, that's not the point. The point is, last week when I ran the treadmill I managed to eeek out 5km in 40 mins. Now according to my training schedule, I was do go slow...I was perfectly in the right to take it easy. However, listed for my PR for 5k is under 30mins. Why should a treadmill run take so long and...the worse part...feel really difficult too.

So tonight I started it out at the same pace as last week, then something happened. I just wanted to get out of there. I wasn't into the treadmill, I wasn't into staring the window in front of me (seeing my reflection bopping up and down is not appealing to me), I wasn't even into my music...I need new tunes.
All this caused me to keep pushing the speed button after every song. I was up to a 8:53min/mile pace by the end. And I have nooo idea what that is in my min/km pace that I'm used to following. I have to Google that.

What I did learn tonight was that I have been wimping out on the treadmill. No wonder it hurts, I'm running toooo sloooowww. I can't seem to relate my road pace with my 'mill pace. I realized tonight that I am capable of going much faster than I thought...I just might not always be willing to put in the effort.

Although I didn't "PR" my treadmill run, I finished strong and got the heck outta there.

Have I told you how I can't wait for nice weather and the time to change??? Please, please, please...someone remind me of this when I start complaining about the heat in August!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

February Report

I know that we are a good week into March already, but I thought I should do a quick update of my goals for the month of February.

Total runs: 10
Total time on my feet: 9 hours
Total Kms for the month: 72.8
Total Kms for the year: 151.3

Okay, it's not the most significant number to date. I'm quite shy of my average of 80 kms/week to reach my year end goal of 1,100 kms. I just keep telling myself that it will be noooo problem getting out for a run when the weather gets nicer. Although, deep down I know that it hasn't just been the weather that has held me back. I have a few other lame excuses in my back pocket.

That being said, I skipped my planned 3K yesterday mostly due to the torrential rain fall and 40km/hr winds. I woke up this morning regretting that decision, as there was at least 5 inches of fresh, wet and heavy snow on the ground. I waited until 11am before I laced up my brand spankn' ( and very clean) Saucony's.

Turned out to be one of my best runs to date. Not only did I manage my scheduled 14kms but it only took just two minutes longer than my 13K from last week...and did I mention there was 5" of snow!!! It might have had something to do with the peanut m&m's I experimented with as fuel...seriously, it just felt soooo bad to be eating chocolate on a run. Who's bad?

I even attempted the ice bath today too. It was a little more like a tepid bath, as I don't think I got the water quite as cold as it should've been. I had no trouble staying in for 10 minutes. I'll have to fill you in on the effects of the ice bath at a later date, as I'm still not sure if I'll be sore tomorrow or not. I also included a post-run shake...very yummy, that should help with recovery.

How did you end your weekend?

Saturday, March 5, 2011


There's a few things that have been on my mind lately. I usually come up with my blog posts while I'm out running, but sometimes they don't fully get fleshed out and I abandon (forget) about them as soon as the Saucony's are off. So, here are the beginning of some of my mindless thoughts in my head as I run or when I'm thinking about running, thoughts that didn't quite have enough meat on them for a full post...yet!

1) Speaking of Saucony's my brand new shoes got a hole in them already! I'd like to say it was from my awesome distance runs, but really after only four weeks of owning them I don't think I wore them out. I have to say I was pleased with the service at the Running Room, as they tracked down my shoe and size and did an easy exchange. Customer service rates pretty highly in my books...thank you Running Room for not letting me down.

2) I have been increasing my distance. I ran a 13K last longest run ever!! I am so happy with my training with Coach Kelly. She has been flexible, understanding and has answered my million and one questions. She noticed that I wasn't getting all my scheduled weekly runs in (mostly due to weather), so she adjusted the schedule for just 3 runs a week. Sadly, I might only get two done this week (I'm pathetic). Tomorrow is a 14K on the calendar and I'm eager to test out Kelly's latest advice...ICE BATH!! I will update on that.

3) Mother Nature is my sworn enemy. This woman has got in for me. It seems that every time she eases up on the snow/'s my rest day. Then when I have, oh let's just say, the longest run of my life on tap...she kicks it in high gear with the rain/snow/wind and the windchill. Seriously, MN...get off my back and get spring goin' already!

4) I started this blog because I had been inspired by the many women runners in the blog-o-sphere. Mostly these are other moms that run. Their stories showed me how anything is possible...even when you have children. One such blogger is Tonia over at Racing With Babes. This woman is a dynamo. She once wrote about a virtual 40 MILES...yes miles... she did just for fun!! Anyway...T left me a comment on my last post!! I was so excited, I felt like a pre-teen girl getting a wink from the Biebs himself...if that puts it into context for you. If you haven't already, check out her blog (it's listed on my blogroll). She rocks and you might get an idea of why I'm setting my sights on bigger and better things.

5) When I first started running I was very self conscience about how I looked running. I'm not saying that the feeling hasn't gone away completely, but I've definitely taken a 'I don't really care what others think' kinda approach now. In the last few weeks I've noticed an older gentleman 'running' around our town. I'm hesitant to call it running as the first time I saw him it looked like he was being chased down by the fuzz. I actually had to watch from my car for a bit to make sure he wasn't going to collapse. He's got his arms flailing, his leaned forward, his face is beet red and I don't think he cares! Once I realized that he was in fact running for himself (and not away from a rabid dog), I'm actually reminded that running is a personal thing, it's not for anyone else but you. Kinda reminds me of the Friends episode when Rachel and Phoebe go for a run.

That's about it for now. Let me know if you want further details or updates of any of my random thoughts. Also, wish me luck on my long run tomorrow. MN has decided to add snow and rain in a 24 hour period, so I'm super excited...but at least I have brand new shoes...again.