NOT sandbagging – effective!

Yoooo

I meant to post this a little while ago. Member I was talking about (after Lauren Fleshman was talking about) sandbagging, and how I wasn’t gonna do that shit before the Tenacious Ten on Easter weekend?

Well, it worked out well! I made the conscious decision to not talk about or think about all the reasons that I might have a less-than-awesome race. There are ALWAYS things that can go wrong – I can make contingency plans for legit things, and the rest just depends on me winning the arguments between myself and the voice inside my head.

There were two specific times during that 10k in Seattle where it felt REALLY hard. If I had planted seeds in my mind about stuff like being drained from school, sucking at sleeping or even little mindfucks like “it’s just a 10k, the marathon is my true love” then giving up would have been so much more likely. I don’t want to gather excuses to lean on anymore.

I remember thinking, “No. No excuses today.” I almost stopped at a water station, but realized I WASN’T EVEN REALLY THIRSTY I just wanted a rest. Don’t even think about it, I said to myself. A little later I thought, “whoa, I forgot about this hill up to the Fremont bridge. I’m dying. Maybe I’ll walk a few power-strides and let my heart rate calm the f*$k down.” But I shut that down and choose to keep going forward at the best pace I could manage, whatever that was.

The non-sandbagging payed off. I ended up with a very small PR – just 4 seconds. I love that because if I’d have leaned on any of those excuses for even a second or two, the baby-PR wouldn’t be so. Can’t wait to try it again soon!! Down with sandbagging!

Have a good week! Stoked to write about my first Pace Bunny experience when I have the time. Congrats to all who just ran in the BMO Vancouver Marathon weekend!

 

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Third Annual Tenacious Ten next weekend!

Weeooo!!! Hi! I’m so excited to go to Seattle for the long weekend with a crew of my #rupertrunners friends!!!!!

The Tenacious Ten is one of my most favourite races. It’s so girl-powery and I am obsessed with Gas Works park, plus running over bridges and cowbell. This year, and for the first time, I’m going to be running the 10k distance instead of the 10 mile.

After a super decent 10k a couple weekends ago in a race that I hadn’t prioritized at all (and wasn’t gunning for a PR) I ran within eleven seconds of my personal best! This makes me really happy…I am going for it in Seattle!

Did you ever read the piece by Lauren Fleshman about sandbagging? I shared it a bit ago on Facebook and it’s here, if you haven’t seen it. I highly recommend reading this, it’s so inspiring! But back to sandbagging…

sandbagging is a technique of downplaying your strengths and bringing attention to a few reasons you may not be successful. This is a way of diffusing pressure. It’s a way of feeling in control when you feel like others’ expectations (or your own) may not match your reality. It’s a behavior that is useful when you are scared of letting people down, or letting yourself down – Lauren Fleshman

I am way too familiar with this and I know a billion others are, too. Lauren Fleshman is a Oiselle athlete and I think I’ll honor her beautiful blog entry by not sandbagging! I want a 10k PR at the Tenacious Ten and I know I’m ready to make it happen. I’m going for it. Of course shit can always go wrong!!!!! But, I plan to run like it cannot.

Seattle, here we come. I’m so stoked to eat Mexican food at El Camino, gelato at the Fainting Goat, go to the Brooks store and get weird with my friends from home and other Volee friends in Gas Works Park!

Hope you have a really good long weekend, whatever you’re up to.

HEAD UP, WINGS OUT!

 

annnd it’s March?!

Hi!

OMG. It seems like I blinked twice and it went September-November-March. I never imagined the RMT program would be this full-on. Busy and full-speed ahead is kind of how I roll and always have, but this is on another level. Every day is a blur and I miss my husband and family so bad it hurts sometimes but I’m doing what I have to do, just like everyone else. Someone asked if I ever feel like drinking when overwhelmed. That’s a hell no. I have less time for self-induced feeling like shit than ever before!

I have another way to ensure there are zero gaps in my schedule nor time to notice how straight back my hair is right now. It’s time to train for another marathon!

A couple weeks ago I had a fall. There was secret ice under a light snowfall and I hit the ground hard. Somehow, I bashed both my shins and then did a half-roll onto my hip and then shoulder blade, sliding like a human curling rock. YakTrax, people, wear them. Luckily, it seems to have been a blessing in disguise…I was bruised but not broken, and the last two weeks of track workouts and tempos inside on a treadmill have been REALLY good. Like, REALLY good. Treadmills have such a bad rap, and it’s funny to make fun of them, but they really can be great. The Devil’s Conveyor Belt, as a fellow runner calls it, has been giving me a chance to set the pace and then forget about it, focusing instead on controlled breath, a relaxed body and aiming to let my feet land underneath me. It’s very tedious, but grit-building. Still, Winter can beat it. This coastal chick doesn’t do well with snow.

The marathon I’m going to run is called the Windermere Marathon and it’s in Spokane on May long weekend. The course looks fast and I picked it because it’s close enough to drive to and I haven’t run it before. That’s it.

I’m still using the Run Less, Run Faster program since it’s working perfectly with the insanity of school and I’m enjoying the structure. Although First Half didn’t go how I wanted it to, I understand why and was over it within a day. Currently I have a much bigger fish to fry. Although running is my favourite thing in the world, I’m working my ass off to get a new career and be great at it, and that matters more right now. This mindset is working for me, the whole loosening my grip on running goals thing. I haven’t even been checking to see what my workout is until usually the night before, if not the morning of! Who am I?

Spring is coming and it’s going to be truly chaotic but what the hell. YODO. I’m still chasing a BQ…it feels more fun now. I don’t feel the pressure I was putting on myself before. I KNOW I’ll get there eventually, maybe this season, maybe not. But I want it more than ever.

What are you working on right now? I’m going to try to beat my last year’s time at the St. Patrick’s Day 5k this Saturday in Terrace on my way HOME! Can’t wait to see the local crew!!

Let me know if you’ll be at the Tenacious Ten or BMO Vancouver Marathon weekend in April and May! I’m pacing the 2:00 group in the BMO half and then cheering on the marathoners.

Cheers to pandemonium! For real though, the RMT program at OVCMT is, as I have said before, the best thing I have ever decided to do. If you want to know more about it, email me! One day til Spring Break and so much running 🏃‍♀️

Sobriety – Three Years Later!

Hi.

Holy shit. Three years ago today I decided for the 5794416th time that I was NEVER DRINKING AGAIN. If you’re familiar with this blog, you’ve heard. I’ve described it many times. You know, the worst physical, mental and emotional hangover EVER!…i.e. tied with many, many other previous hangovers. I can remember it like it was yesterday. Pounding heart, the shakes, extreme anxiety, inability to concentrate, sensitivity to light and noise, nausea, acid gut and throat, yet the desire to eat Taquitos dipped in Queso, and then, lay down and die. The worst part though was not physical; it was the emotional part. My wellbeing. My mental health.

I literally wasn’t sure if my now-husband would still want to get married. Or if I had other people, besides him, to apologize to. Or if I would ever, finally, stop doing this to my body and mind. Full-blown panic.

Was I finally done with feeling (and looking and smelling, LOL) like a troll?

WTF was wrong with me? How did some people have the ability to have a few drinks but not get to the point of shame and regret? How did other people party like me but somehow avoid anxiety and depression? Like most scenarios in life, comparing myself to others didn’t help at all. I took many steps, which I’ve written about a lot and you can find HERE (or under “sober stuff”) and now I’m here – Boxing Day, 2018.

Three years later I still revisit the foundational reasons why I remain a non-drinker.

  • Alcohol does not have a single benefit. Not one! (in my opinion, now)
  • I have fun because of the ways I spend my time, and who I spend it with
  • Life is really short and I want to experience it with full clarity
  • I like feeling good, and I don’t like feeling like shit.

It was pretty hard to know myself well when I was pissed on a regular basis, or depressed and anxious secondary to that. There are so many things I have found out about myself over the last three years! There are things I have done that I only talked about doing for so many years. Fears that I have faced because I became MORE brave once I took away the “liquid courage”. (I fkn hate that expression).

The beginning was so scary and weird. It was like I got dropped on another planet. But now that I’ve tried it – and I mean really given it a chance – I know that the general conceptions about being sober can’t be based on experience. If they were, it wouldn’t be thought of as boring, odd, safe or cut-off. No. It would have a reputation of being awesome, fresh, clear, grounded and raw. Sometimes uncomfortable, but always authentic.

I pretty much always do what I want, anyone who knows me knows that. On the flip side, I don’t do things I don’t wanna do. I’m also okay with admitting when I’m wrong. What I am getting at is that if this sober thing wasn’t as great as I have been saying it is, then I’d just tell you guys and then go get drunk. So yeah, today’s post isn’t really about anything except that being a non-drinker is not just possible, it’s fantastic. The last three years of my adult life have been the best ones and I plan to continue on this alcohol-free but still weird as fuck journey!!!! If it’s something you’ve been considering, give it a true chance and you’ll see for yourself. xo

Jamie

 

Special thanks to…

Kate www.thesoberschool.com

Belle www.tiredofthinkingaboutdrinking.com

Sacha @sachazee

 

 

 

Merry Christmas! Let’s catch up…

Hi! Happy Holidays, or even happy Winter if you don’t have traditions at this time of the year

It’s been a while…again! Two or three posts are all I’ve had/made time for since I went back to school, but in a way it makes me happy because it shows I’ve literally been putting 100% into my career change. I LOVE it so far! Last week I very successfully completed the first of four semesters on the way to becoming an RMT. The decision to pursue something different is proving to be one of my best.

In November I wrote about starting up a new half marathon training program. So far, it’s going pretty well. I continually take note of the fact that I’m not prioritizing running the way I have over the last couple of years, but I think it’s good for me! Loosening the grip, following the three-runs-per-week plan as closely as I can, but not always perfectly, and being okay with it! My brain has been way too busy and exhausted obsessing about other things, like muscle origins and insertions, and I don’t have the time or energy to worry about a run that I didn’t nail! YODO. Look at me, exhibiting whispers of Type B. LOL. Regardless, I’m aiming to run a strong half in February at First Half. Can’t wait! Anyone else going?

Right now, I’m at home on a three-week break from school. Since I got here I’ve been such a pain in the ass. I’m sorry, people in my life. The change in pace and lack of responsibility and routine here, at this point in time, sent me in the direction of the dark place. The dark place is depression, if you haven’t heard me to refer to it as that before. Notice that I said “in the direction of” and not “to” the dark place. Thankfully, I have the self-awareness to recognize this and where it seems to be coming from, and the resources to side-step being a miserable, negative sloth for my entire visit home. Whew! Change is crazy and it can shock the shit out of a person in so many different, unpredictable ways! If anyone out there is experiencing their own version of holiday blues or anxiety, you’re not alone.

Christmas is coming, which means my three-year soberversary is coming! Sometimes I wish I had more to write about with respect to sober life… but seriously I forget about alcohol! Like, Alcohol Who? Since I have a few weeks to myself and don’t have to study, I’m working on a sober post to wrap up 2018, plus another about goals for 2019. In case you don’t know, I fuckin love goals ahahaha.

I hope the tail end of 2018 is awesome for you! Here’s what I’ll be drinking at the next social gathering

yum

YUM! click for the recipe!

 

 

 

“Start where you are” and Half Marathon training!

Hi! Been a while! I went home up North last week and a good friend said, “it’s like you moved to Mars! How is it??” ahahahaha (Love you, Shelby!)

She was describing it like that in a good way, and I totally agreed with her. I moved to another planet to put my head down and work hard to get myself a new career! It’s been very busy, but not too busy to forget about my number one passion, which you all know is running. That being said, after that DNF at the Okanagan Marathon and finally addressing my IT band syndrome, I definitely haven’t been running as much as usual. AND THAT’S OKAY! I can see that now. Lol. #olderandwiser

I used to have this serious fear of losing any of the fitness I worked so hard to accumulate over the two years I worked with Lifelong Endurance. Due to student life, I don’t have a coach right now, but turns out that’s totally fine during this piece of life. As runners, we gain more and more knowledge about the sport and training as we move along, gathering experience through training cycles, races, rest periods and injury, etc. That’s really cool, but I find it equally as interesting when I think about all that I DIDN’T know in the past, and how much I still have to learn. This rest period has given me the chance to really think about this.

One thing I thought I understood (but totally didn’t) and believed I was respecting (but wasn’t at all) is the need for adequate recovery. I’ve brought this up before and here we are again. I’m talking about both recovery within a training cycle, as well as recovery between cycles. That little set-back after the Ok Marathon was something I really needed. Thanks, Universe! It’s also given me time to think about how fatigued I felt pretty much all the time when I was running six or seven days a week and how it really compromised the quality of my runs.

My fear of losing fitness left the building a while ago. Now that I’ve rehabbed my ITBS, taken it easy more than I have in years and done some planning with respect to my new life schedule, it’s go time. The concept of Start Where You Are is exciting, because I don’t really know.

After hearing my friend rave about the FIRST Run Less, Run Faster book and training program, I’ve decided to give it a try. If you aren’t familiar, this is a program based on three key workouts per week – a track workout, a tempo run and a faster-than-usual (for me) long run, and no other running. At least two cross-training sessions fill in the holes where easy running would usually be, and for me, it will be swimming and pool running. I think this will work perfectly with my schedule, and also being not-so-good at recovery runs. The three runs are pace-specific, based on one’s current fitness level. Which takes me back to the cliché quote “START WHERE YOU ARE.

What is my current fitness level? I actually don’t know! The first thing that happened when I needed a “recent” 5k or 10k time to select target paces for the half marathon training plan was… my ego chirped in and started making suggestions as to avoid running a fitness test.

“that 10k PR was only eight weeks ago…bump it down a bit”

“You can definitely run faster than that 5k PR during that long run fast finish last year”

“use that 10k time from six weeks back, it wasn’t the best race so it’s not overly optimistic”

“just guess, your goals are based on much more than current fitness”

No, no, NO! I’ve raced one 5k in my life, and I haven’t raced whatsoever since Thanksgiving, which was long distance. I don’t have any idea of what a 5k race effort would be today and I haven’t done any fast running since September. I took a few weeks off completely for injury and since have been running two to three times per week (usually very slowly), eating shitty, and I’ve only done a couple of vertical training sessions with P.A.C.E. when it comes to workouts. Because I don’t want to set myself up for frustration, disappointment or emotional abuse from the inner critic (that dick), I am going to do this honestly.

There is a really good chapter in the book called Realistic Goals. It is fantastic. Some of the things touched on are why/how exactly we establish the unrealistic goals we often do, how to set a realistic goal based on current fitness, how we often undermine our results (even when they’re impressive) and why selecting arbitrary, round-number finish time goals can easily fuck us over. So good!

So, my first track workout tomorrow for Week 1 will actually be the suggested 3 x 1600 (plus rests, plus math formula) to get an estimate of a 5k race pace. I might surprise myself, or I could be like, oh fuck…way too many Halloween chocolate bars. Who knows. But I want to follow the training program properly, and there’s always the option to reassess along the way!

I’m stoked to hit the track tomorrow, find out where exactly I’m at, and start from there. Yahoo! Who’s planning for 2019? I plan to run First Half in Vancouver on February 10th, which is 13 weeks away, and the 10k at the Tenacious Ten in April in Seattle. That’s it for now! Hope you’re having an awesome Fall!

Jamie xo