Shit got real this week and I love it. Lifelong Endurance really has committed to prepping me physically to run my goal. Ten weeks til Jack & Jill. Lots of work to do, both physically and mentally, but things are going really well.
Monday, May 14th – easy day
10k by myself on the Cannery Road and then 5k trail with Pippa!
Tuesday, May 15th – hard day
10 x [30 sec hard, 2:30 relaxed]
There was no designated pace for the “hard” parts, so I ran hard! It felt good and it was far more challenging than I expected. The 2:30 recoveries seemed generous at first glance but I needed it!
Then, swimming lesson! First of four. It was really fun and helpful.
Last but not least, a session with Kristen! Good variety and lots of legs!
Wednesday, May 16th – recovery day
This was the least motivated I’ve felt in a very long time! It wasn’t until 8:30pm that I got on the recumbent bike for 30 minutes. My ass went numb so I got off and stretched for a bit, then put in another half an hour for my hour of cross-training. That was all.
Thursday, May 17th – easy day
10k aerobic – struggle!
So tired and SO sore! Like, so tired and sore that it felt like I forgot how to run, and I’m sure not remembering how to run didn’t help me along. LOL. Days like this happen I guess.
Friday, May 18th – hard day
One of my favourite workouts! I got up and got this done right away, which was the perfect way to start my four-day weekend!
3k warm-up, 1-2-3-2-1-2-3-2-1, 3k cool-down
1 = one minute ~5k pace, one minute easy
2 = two minutes ~10k pace, two minutes easy
3 = three minutes ~half marathon pace, three minutes easy
Later that afternoon once I was at Lakelse, I suited up in my wetsuit and did a little open-water practice. I’m so glad I brought my swimming stuff because I forgot how different it feels to swim in the lake. Every single lake practice I can get in will be super valuable for the triathlon.
Saturday, May 19th – easy day
Jess met me out at Lakelse at the cabin and we headed out for 10k along Highway 37. Together we put in 10k (longer than I was supposed to run..but took it easy) and then she continued on for her 30k total!
In the afternoon I basically did the exact same swim as the day before.
Sunday, May 20th – long run day!
Omg. Check this one out.
8k alternating between 90 sec ~10k pace, 90 sec easy
5k ~half marathon pace
I woke up in our trailer really tired and unmotivated. The first seven kilometers were on dirt road which was an awesome warm up. This whole run went pretty well until I got to the last section. My problem callous foot was on fking fire and I was generally hurtin overall. It probably didn’t help that I was wasting energy carefully running on a skinny highway shoulder to not be a dickhead pedestrian. I was also changing directions to avoid a big hill LOL. Oh well. Overall it went really well for a long workout on Maylong weekend out of town.
Stoked to keep this all going! Done work in ten days which is going to be so helpful for accommodating better warm-ups, recovery, naps and meal-prep!
WEEKLY MILEAGE: 87 km! Getting up there!
ankle is off and on, still icing and doing some mobilizing stuff I found online
kept with my usual pre, during and post-run fueling over the long weekend away, and didn’t let nutrition get as derailed as usual on a camping/cabin weekend.
CURRENTLY READING: Beyond Grit – Cindra Kamphoff
felt fantastic on Friday’s pyramid workout
hammered out the mid-run reps no problem on the long run, even with a brutal headwind at times
Week five, eh. This is going by fast! I started the week tired from last weekend away in Vancouver, but on the other hand feeling excited about how the half marathon played out. Although I didn’t reach my “A” goal of 1:44:xx, the day had areas for improvement that I’ve identified and I really look forward to running that distance again in three weeks to check in again!
According to Science, my current fitness is in the ball park of a low 3:40’s marathon. Different calculators (McMillan, Jack Daniels, etc.) will give different estimates, obviously, but the bottom line is I feel good, my confidence is building and I trust Lifelong Endurance and our process. Coach Andrew says we are right on track with that 1:45 half, and I’m more stoked than ever to keep working for the next nine-ish weeks (plus taper) to chase down my goal of a BQ!
Monday, May 7th – easy day
8k easy on the False Creek Seawall! My bad ankle (from soccer and volleyball days) was SO angry, sore and stiff, but it loosened up by half-way and I threw some ice on it after. Good recovery run!
Once home, 20:00 glider workout from Kristen + 20:00 of Dirty Dozen and wall-sits
Tuesday, May 8th – hard day
2 miles warm-up
6 x 1 minute hills at faster than 5k pace, 1:20 jog down
1 miles cool-down
Later that evening, 20:00 on the recumbent bike + 30:00 body weight and plyometrics workout from Kristen
Wednesday, May 9th – recovery day
My swim-stokage has faded a little, probably because most of my energy is going into preparing for the marathon. I’ve scheduled four private swimming lessons between now and mid-June and I hope what I learn will help me get more efficient and get back into it! Still fired up for the triathlon, though! Will be interesting to test out marathon pace in the run segment when my legs feel like wood and my brain feels like jello.
Thursday, May 10th – easy day
10k aerobic easy + drills
2.5k loop with my friend Marie and her dog Rueger, the rest solo
After work, another run with Jess! 8k aerobic for an 18k day!
Friday, May 11th – hard day
10k as 5k easy, 5k @ 5:20-5:05/km
On this run I used some mental tricks from the book I’m currently reading (see below) and it was very helpful!! I love practicing brain-stuff on runs that feel less than awesome. Pretty consistent on the back half: 5:08, 5:08, 5:05, 5:04, 5:08
Saturday, May 12th – easy day
6.5 aerobic easy! looks like Coach has added an extra day of easy running!
Some days, I need variety. There weren’t any sets in this run, or a fast finish, but I really wanted to mix it up. I ran every fourth kilometer around goal marathon pace (5:00/km) and the rest relaxed. IT WAS AWESOME!!! And beautiful out, too. My ankle still feels a bit weak and sore, but it wasn’t causing me PAIN. So happy about that.
That’s it for the week! Things are going WELL! Next week looks hard, including long run day!
WEEKLY MILEAGE: 75km
asshole ankle bothering me on the medial side. Icing daily and keeping a close eye on whether it’s sore or actually hurts. Seemed okay on long run.
SLEEP? sleeping again! Just need more.
finally back on track after that girls weekend in Seattle! Smoothie game strong, salads and veggies all week, supplements on point and post-run fueling bang on.
First of all, no travel delays! Yay for spring! I got to Vancouver on Friday around five and after some catching up with my BFF, we went for ritualistic Thai food with Becca and Tanner. And laughed our balls off.
On Saturday I got out for my pre-race run, which I love! Lifelong Endurance always schedules 20:00 of easy running followed by strides (I did four). This always leaves me feeling fresh and ready to run at pace.
Later that day I went to the expo at the Convention Centre and it was BUSY. I was surprised I had to wait in line just to get into the exhibitor area. If you get to Vancouver before Saturday, go to the expo earlier! I believe it was open since Thursday. It took about twenty minutes in the line, and once inside I was efficient and grabbed my bib/packet, went through the chip checker and then straight to the race shirts. The shirts have a sweet course map on the back! Too bad the little volunteer accidentally gave me a men’s, but I will chop it into something I like. I went to the RUNVAN booth because they inboxed me on Instagram that they had a surprise for me! A $50 gift card to Mahoney’s!!!! So grateful! This expo is sweet! If I had been in the mood for shopping around and expo’ing hard, this would have been a really good expo to do so! Before I left I grabbed a free transit pass (best thing ever for race morning) and the famous blue BMO gloves!
At 3pm myself, Jess (@forminfocus) and Rita (@chopsticksdiary) were hosting the WeRunSocial meetup just outside the Convention Centre at the Olympic Cauldron. We were there for about forty-five minutes and got to chat with a dozen or so people about what they were racing the next day and how stoked everyone was. I wish we took our photo before some of the others had to go!
Next, back to home base (Sarah’s) for hard chill time. Got my kit ready for the next day, ate way too much food (dumb) and went to bed early. Look at my number! Anyone who knows about yoga will love it! The weather was supposed to be warm (so for me, hot) so Volee crop seemed appropriate.
I got up on race morning at 4:15, ate my quick oats, drank some Nuun and got dressed. I skipped coffee this time to see how that would go. Around 5:30 I headed out on foot with my gear bag and transit pass and jogged to the Round House Skytrain station from Sarah’s in the West End. I packed a long sleeve, hoodie, toque (just in case) and protein bar. Half marathoners are instructed to get off the train at King Ed station and then volunteers tell everyone where to go. I joined the sea of people walking towards the start in Queen Elizabeth Park and stayed relaxed along the 10-ish minute walk.
Once at the start, I checked my bag right away at the UPS truck that corresponded to my corral colour (indicated on the bib), hit the porto-potties and got to my warm-up. I did ten minutes of easy jogging around the parking lot at Nat Bailey Stadium, then drills and strides, and lastly some light stretching and leg swings. Then it was time to go to the corrals!! I was a bit thirsty and forgot my Nuun bottle at Sarah’s when I left, so that had me a little irritated but I promised to take fluids at every single aid station and moved on with my life. Lol.
While walking to get into the corrals I look over and I’m basically walking with my friend Mary. She was like, “hey” as if we’d been together the whole time ahahah! We had a hug and a good luck, and parted ways. I found out later that Mary killed her first half marathon!!!
In the corral I felt nervous. I saw Steph (@anygivenrunday, who’s fast as lightning) and immediately thought, oh my God why am I in the yellow corral? But then I thought, shut the f*ck up, brain. I’m in this corral because it corresponds to my estimated finish time, and I am ready to run faster than that! (Registration was months ago, I wasn’t sand-bagging, my fitness is just better than it was when I signed up!)
Ditched the throw away shirt and it was go time. The first 3k of this race is a huge downhill. Everyone seems to run fast. My race plan corresponded to an A goal of 1:44:xx and a B goal of 1:45:xx (plus other subsequent goals), and the 1:45 AND 1:50 pace bunnies were running way faster than me and I could see them up ahead. I told myself to not get sucked in anymore than I probably already was and run my own race.
Once crossing the Cambie Street Bridge into downtown, I could have done a better job of dialing it back. I still stayed present and aware of my body, breathing and heart rate, but I should have slowed down a tad. After the section by Science World and the little out-and-back was done on Quebec Street, it was time to make the left turn onto Pender through China Town. I was reminded that even though that hill isn’t massive or anything, it’s still significant. I slowed down and tried to keep things under control, then once the hill came to an end I picked it up a bit. It was already getting challenging to keep pace and I was only around 8k.
I took my first gel and registered that what I considered “section one” was done. Right on. At the 10k mat it was starting to feel harder than it should, and my legs just did not want to run faster than 5:05-5:10/km so I did a little surge to jog their memory and it seemed to help. Once we got into Stanley Park the shade was great but I was once again reminded that running at effort on those hills is very challenging. The last time I ran this was back when I didn’t have much experience and I definitely didn’t have an eye on pace!
Anyways, I definitely felt my lack of sleep (I don’t think I slept well for at least a week before this) and this is where I really had to start negotiating with my mind. Keep pushing!! Fight for what you want! Around here is where I planned to take a second gel – the caffeinated one. I literally forgot! I didn’t even remember this until like an hour after the race!!! Such an unfortunate mistake, it likely would have helped SO much!! No wonder I was fading.
When we got out of Stanley park back onto the Seawall and into the sun, there were 5k to go. I commanded my body to just get uncomfortable and find a rhythm. It kinda worked, with some ups and downs, but I was running out of energy. Missing my gel probably had SO MUCH to do with it! Argh! Live and learn.
The transition from the Seawall back to pavement is on a path, and I vividly remember running this part of the race in 2014, where I got a huge energy boost. I dug as deep as I could, and it really helped to see my Volee teammate Annie and the East Van Run Crew at the 20km marker!!! I forced myself up Denman and around the left turn onto West Georgia. I am almost done!!!!! Slight left on to Pender…and then…I saw on my watch 1:43:xx…OMG! Go, go, go!!!!! I FORGOT THE FINISH STRETCH OF THIS COURSE IS SO. FUCKING. LONG!!!!! First I thought, get there for 1:44!!! But then I realized how far I still was from the finish arch and it wasn’t possible, so I said GET THE 1:45!!! This was the first race I can remember where I had nothing left for kicking it to the finish. I could NOT run faster. But I made it!!!! 1:45:49!!!! OVERJOYED! Someone had SCREAMED my name as I was coming down the fan zone and I later found out it was my old buddy Joe! Spectators are unbelievably motivating!!!
I saw Steph almost immediately after getting my medal (and then again after getting my gear bag). She nailed her race! The medals are awesome and have the same course map on them as the event t-shirts. Love! I got a juice box, water and a banana and doddled my way out of the finisher’s area to the half marathon gear pick-up. I was tired, but felt fantastic! Should have grabbed a bag of chips, too.
Eventually, Sarah and I found one another and had the best slow-walk back to her place in the sun, planning our brunch and beach day with my cousin-in-law Hannah.
The rest of the day was spent eating, lounging and then meeting up with my old boss, the legend Serge, for dinner on the Mahoney’s patio! Sarah and I took the Aqua Bus back home across False Creek and that was pretty much the perfect day.
I wish I had made it back to the finishing area to cheer in the full marathoners but my legs and problem ankle were not willing. Congratulations to everyone who ran the 8k, half marathon and full marathon!!!!
Here’s how I made out:
BMO Vancouver Marathon weekend is the shit! Vancouver is spectacular as it is, and the courses for each distance offered are beautiful, scenic routes. The expo is big and exciting, the swag is great and the entire event is extremely organized. It’s easy to get to the starting line via the Canada Line, which is key. There are more than enough aid stations, great crowd support and an exciting finish line and street festival! The medals are always cool, too! I haven’t run the 8k before, but both the half and full marathon courses are great; some challenging hills but majority flat or rolling.
I had a great day this Sunday, and an awesome overall weekend. The plan is to be back again next year to run one of the races, depending on what’s happening in my running and school life at that time!
What does this mean for Operation: PUMP up the JAMmie? It means I’m on track! Coach Andrew says we’re right where we should be at this point. Now for twelve weeks of very hard work! Thank you, Lifelong Endurance! Next check-in race: the Skeena River Relay on June 2nd with my team, the Gooeyducks! Talk soon.
Yahoo another race weekend! Thank you, Lifelong Endurance and Kristen, I’m ready!! Heading out to Vancouver today so I’ll let you know how the went next week!
Monday, April 30th – easy day..
First a swim, then a Butze loop with my friend Pippa, and later, a session with Kristen! She kicked my ass as usual. I love how well she understands my running goals and how she supports them with the training she puts me through.
Tuesday, May 1st – hard day
Tempo run! I (thought I) felt fine from the hard workout with Kristen and was pumped for this run!
4k @ 4:58 – 4:46/km
It was going AMAZINGLY until I hit that fourth tempo kilometer and suddenly my whole body remembered the workout and I freaked out and stopped! Gah! So annoyed! Then I finished it off, but I supposed I’ve learned my lesson now – no hard gym sessions before hard run day…even if it’s just a little tempo run. My friend Bailey’s tattoo says “Knowledge is just a rumour until it lives in the muscle” ..it’s no longer just a rumour that I shouldn’t do a hard gym sesh the day before a harder run. LOL.
Later, I went to Learn to Run to shake out my body and get in some extra (social) mileage. Ended up with ten more easy Ks for a 20 kilometer day!
Wednesday, May 2nd – recovery day
Felt sore and tired from Monday and yesterday so I started the day with 20:00 of yoga to get going.
After work, 45:00 swim.
This day was stressful for non-training reasons and I was so over it so that was it.
Thursday, May 3rd – easy day
7k aerobic in the evening, since I slept in AGAIN. Sleep has been shit all week!
Friday, May 4th – easy day
I headed out for this right after a nap and felt really sluggish. Kept my watch covered so I’d run by feel only, and ended up with a progression run that felt great once I was warmed up!
Heading to Vancouver now! Tomorrow is the usual pre-race run from Lifelong Endurance: 20:00 easy + strides. Might hit up the Friendship Run at the Running Room on Denman and get my run in there, and hopefully meet John Stanton! The WRS meetup is tomorrow too, and then race day on Sunday! Byeeee!
I am stoked for this weekend! As I’ve mentioned in the past, I LOVE BMO Vancouver Marathon weekend and Lifelong Endurance and Kristen have me feeling prepared! No sugary snacks pre-race this time! This morning I was digging around on MarathonFoto for old race pics for comparison’s sake and found these gems
This was 2014 – my second ever half marathon, well before Lifelong Endurance was in the picture. The photo on the left is a bit misleading, as I actually had a great day. I improved by twenty-two minutes compared to the first half that I ran in San Francisco six months earlier with Team in Training!
These photos aren’t of the greatest quality, but I can tell that my face is puffy, I have big bags under my eyes and my body looks very different from today (and I’m not talking about running form). I was still boozing regularly at this time in life. The big improvements that tend to come at the beginning of a running journey, party animal or not, didn’t last long. I didn’t run a new personal best in the haf marathon distance for two and a half years after this. Not by coincidence, the new PR finally happened just about a year into sobriety. Obviously quitting drinking alone didn’t transform me into a better runner, but it has definitely been a game changer, along with a new level of commitment, experience and a fantastic coach!
I can’t wait to run this Sunday as the new and improved me! Jamie Komadina! That’s Wesselmania up there in the pics LOL.
Here’s the course we are lookin at, thanks to Strava:
I want to approach this race the same way as The Tenacious Ten; gradual progression, but plan for a more aggressive finish if things are going well. I felt like I had more in me in Seattle and I believe I can hold pace for five more kilometers. On Sunday, I plan to treat the first 3k as a warm-up and run by feel, not conservatively but keeping a close eye on my heart rate. Then, once across the Cambie Bridge and it flattens out, dial back a bit and “start” the plan, which is at this point:
Kms 4-10: smooth & controlled
Kms 11-16: applying some pressure but still controlled
Kms 17-21.1: progress to slay-mode
The weather is looking fine, body feels good and I can’t wait to see my friends in Vancouver, plus everyone who shows up for the #WeRunSocial meetup!
Tomorrow the Week 4/16 recap will go up early, and then I’ll talk to you next week! If you aren’t running, think about it for next year. Here’s a little preview!
When I was a raging piss tank I didn’t really have fear on my radar. I basically had zero sense of self and did the same old things, day after day, unknowingly living in a shitty little comfort zone. I wasn’t conscious of it at the time, but I was strongly avoiding making changes, and the unknown. These are two of the most common fears.
Nowadays, sober, I’m almost hyper-aware of the feelings that come up when I decide to make a change, try something new, or challenge myself. With change and the unknown comes fear, in some shape or form. Suzanne Fetting taught me how to view fear differently and how to approach it head-on. These days, when something I want to do brings up anxiety or vulnerability, I truly see it as simply a chance to tick that fear the fuck off my list. If the inner critic was a living, breathing thing, I’d punch it in the jugular. Worrying, approval-seeking, rationalizing, procrastinating and victimizing are things I just do not have time for anymore. Quitting drinking is the biggest thing that helped me get away from those self-sabotaging behaviours. I hope that by sharing some of the random shit that goes through my head, maybe someone else will feel inspired to stop letting fear hold them back from doing what they want to do, big or small! My current marathon mission comes with many forms of fear, but I’m talking about life entirely, not just trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon.
Here’s one from recently:
Until two weeks ago when my friends and I went to Seattle for the Tenacious Ten, I had never rented a car, driven in a city other than Vancouver, across the border, or in the States. Terrifying!! LOL. To some, this may sound very odd. I hate driving a vehicle I’m not used to. Also, driving anywhere unfamiliar has always been one of those things that can cause me anxiety. Maybe it’s from growing up in a small town with four sets of traffic lights, no such thing as rush-hour or freeways, and never the need for directions. Who knows. I wanted to drive to Seattle from Vancouver for the race because it was cheaper than a second flight and I’m saving money for school, but more so because I wanted to cross this fear off the list! In July, when I head to Jack & Jill to Pump up the JAMmie, I’ll also be driving to Washington State (possibly alone), and I didn’t want it to be the first time!
When I moved to Vancouver for University over ten years ago, I didn’t have a car. I got accustomed to the transit system and therefore avoided city driving. When I graduated, I bought myself a brand new VW Golf yet continued to take transit a lot of the time because I had no self-confidence and driving in the city made me SO panicy. Eventually, I drove in the city regularly, but never 100% confidently. Then, I moved back to small town comfort! (NOT to avoid city driving, LOL!)
Last weekend I finally said fuck it and did what most others would do – drive to where they want to go! My friends helped with directions and I probably annoyed the shit out of them being so anxious, but it’s done and now I can drive to the USA and not shit my pants about it. Woo. Done. What was I afraid of?? Why did it take me until the age of 33 to do this? Because I used to unknowingly let fear restrict me; all I did was get drunk and never do much outside the box of mediocrity that I was existing in. I was oblivious to living fully and doing what I wanted to do, big or small-scale. I’m not being mean to myself, I am seeing the growth for what it is and appreciating where I’m at now. Yay, new life.
Fears I’m currently wrestling with:
I’ve wanted to do something different, career-wise, for years before I actually started making change happen last fall. Even though I loathe my current field of work, for a long time I believed what my inner critic told me and in turn, was too scared to act:
“You spent years getting this degree, this is what you do now.”
“This education was expensive, you can’t walk away.”
“You make so much money, just learn to live with the job.”
“Changing careers will require moving away temporarily, and you can’t do that when you’re a homeowner and have a spouse.”
“You could run out of money as a student without income. Way too risky.”
“You are too old to go back to school.”
FUCK. OFF. INNER. CRITIC!
School starts September 17th. I’m a bit scared, but it’s not holding me back. I look forward to being a student again, even though I have thoughts about being the old person in the class, fear of being a driver in a new place, and running out of money. LOL. Know what I have to say to all of this, though? WHO CARES. Don’t dwell, just do.
I hope that you can join me in screaming (in my head, cause I’m at work) BRING IT ON, FEAR. Seriously. Bring it on, any kind, really big or so small it seems ridiculous. It scares the crap out of me that I’m going to try to run 03:31:18 in the marathon this summer. What if I fail? Will someone laugh and say, “I knew she couldn’t pull that off“? Will I be able to withstand the training? Will I be confident and mentally tough enough to truly put forth my best effort, come marathon day?
I am scared, but these days it just feels like adrenaline. I’m not being held back by it, like the old me. Suck it, fear. There is no time to waste! Capitalize! Do you have something you didn’t do for a long time because it made you nervous, uncomfortable or anxious?? Or that you still haven’t done? Tell me about it.