I like surprises!

Yay! for positive thinking! Yay! for gorgeous “winter” days, Yay! for friends who pick you up to accompany you and cheer you on at your race, Yay! for acupuncture, Yay! for beating your best time by 10 minutes! Yay! for me!!!

The race went well. It was very hard, more hilly than I was prepared for but somehow I did it and had a very good race.

It was a gorgeous day and good friends A and N picked me up for the hour long drive. I wasn’t really nervous but was perhaps a bit anxious. I was worried that my knee would not hold out and the trip out there would be for nothing.

I had to focus REALLY hard at the start to hang back and not go too fast. I really felt like I was at the very back of the pack. Everyone seemed to be going out really fast but I just kept checking my pace on my Garmin to make sure I was hanging around the 6:30k mark.

There was a 2:30 pace bunny who started near me and I was keeping my eye on her. My goal was to finish in 2:20 so I felt like I should ultimately be in front of her- but dag-nam -it if she didn’t keep passing me. She was doing 10’s and 1’s and I was not. So I would pass her when she walked and then she would wizz by me when she started to run. She was TICKING me off- but I restrained myself- and tried my best to ignore her.

I felt great after the first hill into the animal sanctuary (I saw zebras, giraffes, emu’s and wildebeest’s!) and was ticking along until I got to 10 k and my knee started to hurt- I kept running but was worried. For the next 3 k I was doing my best to focus on ridding myself of the pain and ever so gradually and miraculously it went away but then at about 16 k I hit a bit of a wall. The longest training run I had done for this race was 15.55 k –  again I started to worry if I had it in me. Couple that with the fact that there is a HUGE hill at this point and I really started doubting myself. I motored up the first part of the hill- and my head began to feel like it would explode (this happens from time to time) I was hot, I was dying, so I stopped to walk and popped the 2 Advil I had with me- I turned the corner and began to run- and now it was all downhill- it was hard not to go “fast” so I went with it- and enjoyed passing a few people on the way. At the bottom for the hill and turning the next corner as the course became flat again my legs felt like lead- I was at 20k… so close… but I wanted to stop, I wanted to walk but I could not let myself do that- There were people walking around me and I shuffled by them. By the time I saw the finish line I was just trying to keep my legs moving- mentally I wanted to do the “sprint” to the finish line but my legs would not go any faster. I checked my watch and realised I was 10 minutes ahead of my goal and previous 1/2 marathon time. I don’t know what happened to that pace bunny- I don’t remember passing her- but I’m so glad  I didn’t let her pace throw me off.

I gotta say even though there were a few “why am I doing this?!” moments I’m pretty darn happy with my results 2:12:54 And of course, I’m already plotting on how to train and better my marathon time- 9 weeks to go!

Race Day

It’s race day and I’m feeling pretty positive. And even though started all this training maybe wanting to get a PB- now all I really want to do is finish- finishing strong would be nice but just let my knee hold out to get me over the finish line.
And then tomorrow, I start training for the marathon. I WILL do strength training and I AM signed up for yoga… but let me just get through today’s race. Slow and steady suits me just fine.

Everything’s comng up roses…

…and daffodils and cherry blossoms and crocuses and tulips… gotta love the winter Olympics in Vancouver!

Anyhoo- On running… I’ve ran. 3 times this week to be exact. 3K on Monday, 5K on Tuesday and 8K today. And me knee has held out. There were twinges on Monday- but today I felt strong. I am stretching and icing and putting on the heat… ad on a complete whim I got acupuncture on Monday. I actually called Balance to see if I could get in for a massage as it is literally 2 blocks away and since all the kids are off for Olympic break I has an older one to watch the wee ones- the fellow on the phone talked me into accupunture and actually did a combo of the two, and I am really feeling much better. Interesting.

I picked up my race package today- after wandering around with the kids checking out Olympic festivities. So not my thing. I really get no enjoyment from wandering the streets with thousands of people and I refuse to stand in any line for more than 5 minutes which means I’m not getting in to any pavilions… But the girls got to se the mascots skate and shake hands and even hug Crotchy… or whatever his name is, so they were very pleased.

A couple of quiet days before race day perhaps?

Not panicking…yet!

My knee is bothering me. I ran 15.5 k on the weekend successfully- and for the most part felt strong- except for the last 10 minutes or so when my knee felt “twingy” Today on my 8K just past 1/2 way it was pain I felt so I stopped to walk a 2 minutes not wanting to push it. I’m stretching but could be doing more. I’m icing it after runs and putting heat on it at night. I’m rolling on my Relaxus foam body roller.
But the question as always is to run or not to run…

All it takes is a little focus… right?!

I am here.

I am running.

Really I am.

I am desperate to get something rolling… as in some serious training, and in the last 2 weeks I feel as if I am on the right track.

I am running the Historic Half in 3 weeks (!)

I can do it.

But I need to focus.

I need a whole lot of focus in every aspect of my life as I have just felt so scattered- so much that I WANT and NEED to do and I am just skimming the surface and not really DOING anything…

Or so it seems.

Focus.

The runs are feeling pretty good this week. Last week was a bit worrisome- both my knees were acting up. So I started stretching (Hello!) Much better Thank you.

My long run this week is 16K.

I can do it.

Sneakin’ one in…

A very brief update…

Had a couple of great weeks… feeling strong and goin’ long… but in the last week life’s been CR-azy and I am really just trying hard to maintain- Getting out for a few 5ks and a 8 if I’m lucky.

I even “snuck”  in a run today… literally… so much to do and on top of it, the ol’ man gives me much grief about being so selfish as to run when there are things to be done- he really doesn’t get the “I function so much better when I exercise” thing- so I just got back from a run that he doesn’t have to know about ’cause he’s not here!!!

I just gotta get through the next couple of weeks- fight to maintain and then worry about the rest later.

Things that are working/Things that aren’t

I’m back baby!!

In the past 2 weeks I have gotten into a bit of a training groove. It hasn’t been all rosy 100% of the time- it is a process- I’m taking it day by day- but I’m happy to report that I had a “4 runs” week and then a “3 runs” week and I started out this week with 10k yesterday and a swim this morning. Giddy up!

Things that are working;

1. Prioritizing. Which means- go for a run and leave the dishes if the kids are at daycare and school and/or the ol’man is in a good mood and will “babysit” (whatever?!) It also mean realizing I am FAR more efficient after I exercise- I have, in the last 2 weeks been back to a running schedule AND gotten back on my feet with a course I am taking. Coincidence? I think not.

2. Run every other day. My knee/IT band does not like to be called into action 2 days in a row.  Cross training will be key and something I will have to push myself to do.

3. Do not panic if I cannot shower after a run. Getting the run in is priority- there are ways to freshen up without a shower, and with my schedule there are some times where I cannot do both. Big deal. But please feel free to let me know if I stink. Really.

4. I have just re-discovered the joy of on-line grocery shopping (SPUD.CA) As the working and running Mum of 6 I gotta say I love it! If you are interested in trying it use the code CRVAN-HOLSHC and each of us will get a $25 discount. They even have a huge recipe section where they show you the recipe and you can put the ingredients right into your cart for checkout. Pricewise they show you comparisons with major grocery chains and they are they same and/or slightly lower than the competitors AND if you have a standing order you get 5% off AND 20% off many bulk orders.

5. Signing up for a race gives me the motivation to get my butt out and running. I knew that about myself- so what took me so long?

What’s not working;

1. Need to stretch more need to stretch more need to stretch more…

2. Strengthening exercises… do them!!!!

3. Drink water- seems like a no brainer- but uh, apparently I have a HUGE brain.

All in all- things are looking up- Mamalegato is running and all’s well… until the kids get home and I haven’t done the dishes ’cause I was running.

Are We There yet?

Next time I tell you that I’m looking forward to spending 4 days in a hotel room with 6 kids slap me ‘k?

 

No, really, I joke, a lovely time was had by all for the most part, except for the first night when I sliced open my hand on a wine glass that I had tried to stop from falling when #5 knocked it over at dinner… I probably needed a stitch or 2- but that would have been a HUGE inconvenience- thank God for waterproof band aids… Oh, and then there was my van breaking down on the way home… kind of a bummer when your vehicle just loses power and you are in it with 5 children! (The ol’ man was in the truck with #1 because we cannot all fit in one vehicle) The saving grace? we had made it all the way back into the city, like 10 minutes from our house, I was in the curb lane and was able to coast to the side to pull over, we have BCAA roadside assistance who were great and towed us to a garage (turns out it was the alternator- replaced for $350- not in the vacation budget but what can you do?!)

We really did nothing on vacation but swim and eat and watch Seinfeld reruns- but that was OK-  we all just needed to hang out together- so mission accomplished. There were almost no skirmishes (the last evening being the exception when choosing a movie became the issue) I didn’t run at all because I felt bad taking off and leaving everyone, but that’s OK too. We swam close to 4 hours a day- the pools there are gorgeous and warm and the little ones especially had a blast. Another big event was (and always is) trying to get all the kids in one photo smiling or at least looking at the camera- we could not quite pull this one off.DSC_0237

So when does school start?!

 

Kidding!

I’m actually looking forward to these slow start mornings (Look! It’s 7:16 am and I’m not running around like a mad-woman!) I’m planning on lots of beach time- hanging out in the backyard and taking everything at just a slightly slower pace (I know, I know… good luck with that one!)

Today is also my first official day of training for my next half which looks like will either be  Diva on The Run or The Fall Classic. My neighbour and several other friends ran The Scotia Bank Half  yesterday and I have to say I was a little envious, a good sign that I’m ready to get out there and train. The last few weeks have been very low key running wise- really it’s all been low key since the marathon- I had wanted to jump back in but should have known better that the end of the school year and all it’s craziness would take over. As well, my knee is still not cooperating fully. I went for a 5K yesterday and it was giving me trouble- I am far from panicking but it’s a concern all the same.

I’m still searching for the perfect programme- if anyone has any suggestions I’m open! Something challenging yet easy on my middle-aged mother of 6 body being preferred.

Que sera sera…

I am in a bit of denial that the race is tomorrow. When I am out there running I can grasp the concept of running 13.1 miles but when I am just going about my day to day business it doesn’t quite sink in that I am running a Half marathon… TOMORROW! I did 2 miles yesterday and because my outdoor runs are usually reserved for long runs it was very very strange to just do 2- I really just felt like I was warming up and it was time to quit- I actually cheated and did 2.25 mostly I wasn’t paying attention to my distance and then had to make it back home- although I did walk 2 blocks (not included in the 2.25) so as not to over do it TOO much.

Physically I am feeling pretty good- I do have an annoying crick in my neck that I plan to put some heat on. Today’s plan is to drink lots of fluids, eat good foods, maybe stretch a little and get to bed early. I will also go pick up my race package and lay out my clothes, look at the map of the race and decide exactly were I want to be dropped off in the morning.

I realized I did not try out a gel-thing-y on my 10 mile run and that has me a bit stressed because  I think it might be a good idea to have some kind of sustenance to get me through the unknown 3.1 miles that I have never got through before. A Mum at preschool who runs marathons suggested I take half a gel pack before I think I need it (so maybe at mile 6 or 7) which I think I will do. I also think I will wear my “hydration belt” (is that what it’s called?) On my 10 miler I had one of my bottles filled with water and one with a Gatorade/water mix- Even though there will be 4 water stations on the course I am a sipper and don’t want to feel like I have to gulp the water because it’s there. Also- I did start sipping on a Gatorade as soon as I rolled out of bed that morning which I think was helpful and I will do that again tomorrow. The whole staying properly hydrated without peeing my pants thing is stressing me out a wee (get it? Wee!?) bit as it is always a very delicate balance for me and my postpartum system- and really, ultimately there’s not a whole lot I can do but go if I have to go. I made it through the 10 miles without having to stop to pee- but if I gotta go I’ll just have to go. I will “stop” or rather walk through the water stations which I hope will help in my pacing. And well…. other than that Que Sera sera…

 

Wish me luck!