2018 Sprouts Mesa-PHX Marathon! Race Recap

I love the marathon! What a beast of a distance. If you follow me on here, you know I went down to Phoenix to have a good time, do my best, and because I don’t think I could go from December (CIM) until the end of July (Jack & Jill) without running another one! Thank you to my coach and Lifelong Endurance for understanding that!

This trip was a quick one. When I decided to go back to school, I knew I’d need to be conservative going forward to save as much money as possible! So here’s my weekend recap and event review! I won’t lie to you, it wasn’t my best weekend, but the event itself was awesome!

On Thursday I flew out of Terrace super early to Vancouver where I connected to Phoenix. I didn’t check any bags since it was only a 2-night trip, plus my track record with lost bags… Upon arrival, I had no internet on my phone which was a huge pain in the ass and I had to take a real taxi instead of an Uber to the hotel. The result was about three times the cost, but I did what I had to do. Later I found out there was an issue with roaming on the AT&T network or something…it was fixed within a few hours, but unfortunately my trip kinda started with frustration, on top of lack of sleep.

Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Phoenix-Mesa/Chandler was where I booked for this trip. This was one of the hotels listed as partners for accommodation on the race website, and though not super close to the finish line, it was more reasonably priced. I’ve had great experiences with the Holiday Inn in the past, so I went with it. Next time, I’ll just suck it up and stay at the closest hotel! I was smack in the middle of freeways with not much at all to walk to or explore, and I felt a bit isolated. It wasn’t a good location for final pre-race runs, either. Also, I hate to be negative, but there wasn’t a single thing indicating that this hotel was partnered with the race. Usually host hotels welcome runners in one way or another, and host a buffet the night before. A woman I met was told there’d be water, fruit and granola bars in the lobby for runners on race morning, but come Saturday the gentleman at the desk didn’t know what she was talking about.. As for the hotel in general, it was alright, but a tad dumpy compared to other Holiday Inns, and I definitely wouldn’t recommend the restaurant.

Anyways! Email communication from the race organizers was fantastic all along. After arriving I received more info/reminders about the expo, and then another email addressing runners’ concerns about the new 6am start and whether or not headlamps would be necessary. I didn’t feel I needed a light at all, but lots of people brought them and it was nice to get some guidance on that!

On Friday after a short, tired and less than scenic run, followed by a hard nap, I Uber’d to the expo. I was feeling negative because of a headache, lack of sleep and an old blister on one of my heels that turned into a giant painful owie from wearing gumboots the week before. It was causing me significant pain. I hoped the energy at the expo would cheer me up, and it did! It was set up outdoors in a parking area at Mesa Riverview shopping centre.

It was what I expected for the size of this race – good, but nothing extravagant. There were spots for photos, lots of good vendors, and it was cool that some of the expo was within tents, with another section outside and uncovered. I had no problem quickly grabbing my race packet. The shirts, which are tank tops, are awesome and I will definitely wear mine in real life! There were lots of samples, including Clif, who would be on-course the next day. My favourite running shoe brand, Altra, was there selling unboxed returns for sixty bucks! My eyes popped out of my head and I left with two new pairs of road and trail runners. PRO Compression was there, of course, and the WeRunSocial meetup that they sponsor started at 4pm. We all received t-shirts that were printed with a cool pic from a previous year’s race and they fit amazingly! We all visited for a bit, took a big group photo, and then I went back to the hotel for an early night.

this is Elle! I love her. She won one of my Instagram contests in the past!

one of my favourite run bloggers and inspirations, Carlee

the 2018 Mesa-PHX #werunsocial & PRO crew!!! Ryan is holding the AZ sock ❀

Once back in my room, I organized my race kit and packed a gear bag for after the race, which included a sweatshirt, jacket, sandals, face wipes, Excedrin and a few sample snacks from Carlee. Race packets included a massive sticker with the participant’s bib number on it to stick on to the gear-check bag. Super handy!

Ready to go, equipped with my essentials, including my Volee crop and AZ PRO socks!

Two-thirty am, my alarm went off, not that I was sleeping! Start-line busses ran from 3:30 to 4:45am and the race began at 6. I got organized, microwaved my oatmeal and guzzled some Nuun and coffee, then headed to the lobby to meet my new friend and Uber partner, Eric. My heel was killing me and it was swollen, but since it was mostly painful to walk, vs. run, I tried to forget about it. I recruited another woman in the elevator, and the three of us shared a ride back to Mesa Riverview where school busses shuttled runners to the starting area on top of the Ursery Mountain. This is a point-to-point race, my fave! It was all very easy, well-marked and organized. Zero stress whatsoever regarding the getting-to-the-start process!

This was my favourite starting area of any race I’ve ever participated in! THERE WERE CAMP FIRES!!! And this was good because it was COLD! They were also blasting the best tunes.

I found Elle almost immediately. Yay. And shortly after, Brian, Carlee and Ryan.

Brian, PRO Compression Ambassador Boss haha

Another athlete also coached by Lifelong Endurance, Kate, recognized me and came to say hello and chat before the race. I was so happy to meet her and hear about her goal, which she crushed! I wish we took a pic!

it was easy to identify our crew with the AZ socks!

The forecast predicted it to be a cold one relative to other years, but it was colder than I expected, just like at CIM! On top of my race outfit, I had a throwaway wooly headband, a long sleeve shirt, a sweatshirt, my RUNVAN gloves from the Fall Classic, and the thin zip jacket that runners received at the CIM finish line. If it weren’t for the fires, I would have been regretting not having sweatpants. Runners were allowed to stay on the busses as long as they wanted so it would have been fine either way. Bring throwaway layers!

After the national anthem and a couple measly but appreciated fireworks, we were instructed to file towards the starting line, self-seeding based on where the pacers were located. Then we were off!

It was dark, but not pitch black! I could see just fine. I started off pretty relaxed, but had some anxiety since unfortunately I hadn’t been able to go to the bathroom yet…ughhhhh. Not a good way to begin..It was chilly and I kept my long-sleeved shirt on for the first half of the race! It wasn’t overly crowded, which was awesome. I believe there were around 2000 full marathon bibs.

The first almost 7 kilometers are downhill. I’ve heard reports that it’s steep enough to “trash your quads” but I didn’t find that whatsoever. The view from the top of the mountain, although it was still dark, was beautiful! And the cacti!! It was nice to start downhill without too much effort and find a groove, but worrying about an inevitable pit-stop took up some valuable energy.

Just before 7k, the one significant uphill began. It was not steep by any means, but pretty long, climbing steadily for 2.5 kilometers. I stayed loose and maintained effort, not pace, as planned, and it was no problem. Once reaching the top of the hill, I was happy it was over but it’s nothing to be afraid of! However, if you live somewhere flat, this will be a significant hill for you. Now I needed to find a porto-potty and I sped up, feeling a bit frantic and stressed.

Then came another 7ish kilometers of mostly downhill, with a few flat spots or short, mild inclines. Before I knew it I was at halfway. I can’t remember if it was a bit before or after that I found a porto-potty without a line and made an efficient stop. I raced out of there to make up for lost time and it really fucked with my mojo. I had a bad feeling.

Having just passed the half-marathon timing mat, things were feeling more difficult than they should at this point. Dammit. Reflecting on the entire experience, I think my fear of the pain on my heel, plus knowing that this wasn’t a big goal race, I had kind of given myself permission subconsciously to give up a little. That, combined with feeling stressed through the first half, and I hadn’t set myself up for a strong race! #alwayslearning

From half to 30k, I began to fade pretty hard, but I was still really enjoying my run and wasn’t worried about it. This has happened multiple times in marathons around 25k, something I want to work on eliminating! I accepted it and continued forward, but I did stop quite a few times to walk for 5-10 seconds to try to regroup.

DID I MENTION THE RACE PHOTOS ARE FREE? yeah.

Kilometers 36-40, although basically pancake flat, truly felt like an incline to me. I was struggling at this point and in comparison to all that elevation drop in the first half, it was so hard! I predicted this contrast with respect to the course profile, but combined with burning out, it was super tough. Wearing my Oiselle VolΓ©e top was so helpful because there was so much encouragement from spectators and other runners who recognize the VolΓ©e racing gear!

ran a chunk with Carlos!

Finally, the last kilometer! Here we had a little bit of a decline again, which was nice for that final push. I passed quite a few people, which is always great! I wish my brain had have been working a little better, because I didn’t realize HOW close I was to the possibility of a PR, though it would have been tiny. Oh well! Serves me right for experimenting with a new Garmin app on race day!

The finish line area was happening! After receiving my medal and a bottle of water, I was given a cloth bag, which I must say is the greatest idea ever for any finish line. When you have no dexterity left and people are handing you bottles of water, chocolate milk, bananas, bars, medals, etc, you need a place to put these things! I made my way to the FRENCH TOAST STATION and gobbled down a piece, then found a place to sit down and organize myself. I immediately got a splitting headache and was limping a little. Boo!

The sun was out and it was a beautiful but chilly day and there was lots of awesome energy around me. It would have been nice to stick around and enjoy the festivities, but my body gets cold and stiff almost immediately after running for that long, and I was in pain. I called an Uber after suiting up in my layers and downing water, sports drinks and chocolate milk.

03:51:58, very happy with that!!

The traffic around the finish area was a gong show and it was hard to find a place to get picked up, but my driver and I figured it out and I got back to the hotel quickly without much problem. If I could make a suggestion, it would be to have some signage indicating where to go for runners to be picked up. Maybe that was a thing and I didn’t notice in my post-marathon daze..?

I really liked this event! It was so organized. The location of the expo and shuttle busses was easy to get to and navigate once arriving. The starting area was FANTASTIC with the loud music and fires, and the first section of the race coming down the mountain was gorgeous. There could have been more porta-potties at the start, but that’s always the case when thousands of people are trying to go before the race starts! The aid stations were really awesome and there wasn’t a single point in the race where I found myself thinking “man, I wish an aid station would come up!” because there were so many of them!! The spectator support was very decent, especially for such an early race, and the finish area was high-energy with lots going on and lots of refueling options. THE MEDAL IS SICK! The race tank is awesome and I will definitely wear it in real life, which rarely happens, and the Mesa-PHX sweat towel is also a cool and useful keepsake. I didn’t have any issues retrieving my gear bag, which is a big one.

2016 – 2020 will form a 5-point star with all the medals! I know Carlee & Brian have all 3 so far.

As for my more personal thoughts on my race experience, I feel pretty happy about it. Although I didn’t have a strong race, and I had some stomach issues and heel pain, there are a lot of positives here, and since it wasn’t a goal race, I feel fine about it!

  • zero forefoot pain or discomfort, which I’ve been dealing with off and on since September
  • second ever marathon pit-stop was efficient, and I now know that pit-stop does not necessarily = sabotaged race plan!
  • came within 40 seconds of my marathon PR, even though I had some issues and struggled through most of the second half! Imagine if everything had come together?!
  • fueling was good again, Nak’d bars and Razz Clif shots!
  • no chafe
  • had fun the whole time
  • I can tell by how my body feels as well as from a few photos that my form has improved. Still have a lot of work to do, but I’ve come a long way!
  • walked through aid stations to make sure I drank a full cup of water at each one
  • Though I faded, I would not say I “hit the wall” hard by any means

Yahoo! Marathon number seven is in the books! I really want to come back to this race, it was awesome. Next time I’ll stay at the Hyatt, stay a little longer and bring a buddy. Normally I love travelling alone, but something about this trip made me want a weekend companion..I didn’t find the area as easy and welcoming as Sacramento. The Sprouts Mesa-PHX Marathon kicks ass and I think you should consider adding it to your bucket list!

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Mesa-PHX Marathon Training – Week 9/10

Wooo shit’s getting real, I got my bib number! 9440 baby. Sounds lucky to me! This was a good week, I love how Lifelong Endurance maintains some intensity across the taper – it helps me not lose my marbles! Was a great week πŸ™‚ 6 more sleeps! Well let’s make it 5 because we all know there’s no sleeping the night before a marathon πŸ˜‰

phx

Monday, February 12th

3k up, 3x [10:00 @ marathon goal pace, 3:00 jog], 3k down

Like I’ve mentioned, I’m not exactly sure what marathon goal pace is this time around. It’s a fast course. and because I’m not putting any pressure on myself, who know’s what will happen! For today’s intervals I just went with ~5:15/km because that felt good. A little fast, but whatever.

zero or above = shorts

Today was also my last day off before an eight-day stretch of work so I figured I might as well get a strength session out of the way.

LOTS of planks, bicycle abs, ab scissors, Russian twists, V-sits, leg lifts (laying and standing), bird dogs, dead bugs and finally, some much needed stretching.

Tuesday, February 13th

8k aerobic. Holy hell my quads are still sore from racing down Mount Hays on Sunday in the snow! Had to rock the PRO Valentine’s socks, since tomorrow is a non-running day πŸ˜‰

Wednesday, February 14th

Swimming! 1300m today!

Once I get to 1500m (probably after Phoenix) then I’ll start working on my speed. If you live anywhere around northern BC, check out the Tyhee Lake Triathlon in July. It was the best northern event I have ever participated in, and this year I am determined to be ready to swim 1500m in open water so I can tackle the Olympic distance triathlon!

Thursday, February 15th

Annnd it snowed. That’s okay, I love doing this one on the treadmill!

3up, 1, 2, 3, 2, 1, 2, 3, 2, 1, 3 down

  • 1 = 1 min @ 5k race pace, 1 min moderate
  • 2 = 2 min @ 10k race pace, 2 min moderate
  • 3= 3 min @ 1/2 marathon race pace, 3 min moderate

THIS WAS SOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOD! The first 2 kilometers I had my watch on outside running mode by accident and it thought I was running 13min/km, whoops. I restarted it on indoor mode. This was soooooo good!!!! I ran the moderates a little faster than my overall pace at CIM. Serious confidence booster!

Friday, February 16th

Taking a rest! No cardio for me today at all. All I did today, besides trying on these beautiful new Altra Torins and looking forward to testing them out on Sunday’s easy run, was FOAM ROLL. That’s. It.

Saturday, February 17th

last long-ish run!! 16k as:

  • 5k easy
  • 7k at GMP (went with ~ 5:15/km again…a little fast)
  • 3k easy
  • 1k hard

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Sunday, February 18th

7k easy before work

30 minutes of functional strength & stability

3 sets of:

  • 30 Russian twists with 4kg jug of epsom salts (LOL)
  • 16 lunges with two 4kg jugs of epsom salts (double LOL)
  • 20/side fire hydrants
  • 16/side donkey extensions
  • 30 horizontal ab scissors, 30 vertical
  • bridge hold
  • 10/side one-legged bridge with vertical & side leg swings
  • 30 dead bugs

What’s a dead bug? Jade taught me.

deadbug

and lastly, some serious calf and soleus stretching.

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Talk to you next week!!! I’ll have a race report for ya!

Upcoming events & GOALS!

Yahoo! Can’t believe it’s already halfway through February! Life goes by fast. Don’t get me wrong, I’m okay with Winter…but it’s not my favourite season and I’m sure many runners would agree. I love cold weather running, but snow, ice and darkness can be very inconvenient!

I’m starting the Spring transition early this year. First, heading down south to Arizona to run my seventh full marathon. Then, March (which I consider Spring) has presented the opportunity for a local 5k! We say local here when it’s within say, a four hour drive, LOL. In April I have two races lined up, both which I have run before and love, so that’s exciting and fun for goal setting!

Here’s what I wanna aim for at this point in time, always keeping in mind that Coach might have other plans that come into play closer to the dates πŸ™‚ Thank you to Lifelong Endurance for the readiness I’m feeling this early in the year!

Saturday, February 24th – The Sprouts Mesa-PHX Marathon!

I’ve mentioned it a lot in training recaps, I don’t have a specific goal for this race. My goal marathon is in July, so I really like the way this has me feeling relaxed about Phoenix.

chart

The course is fast, but from the dozens of reviews I’ve read, it’s (obviously) not just a nice jaunt down a mountain! For one, 42.2k is 42.2k! Apparently, the profile can be quite deceiving too, since the majority of the elevation drop is in the first half and then the second half of the race basically flattens out. There’s also the temptation to fly out of the gate on that initial downhill and be left with regrets later, so it will be a test of patience! The temperature could be a factor later in the race as well, especially for this Canadian. We’ll see what happens!

I’ve thought about covering my watch, but I doubt that will happen. The goal is to run happy, and push it in the second half if things are feeling good. Other goals are to stay relaxed, have fun and enjoy the cacti! IF the stars seem to be perfectly alignging, I will shoot for a 5:20/km overall pace. No matter what happens it’s going to be awesome to check out a new marathon event, and meet up with the PRO Compression crew!

Saturday, March 17th – St. Patrick’s Day 5k!

This run is in Terrace and hosted by the recently resurrected Skeena Valley Runners! OMG. The 5k. Also known as, in my brain at least, the scariest race distance. Pain train.

I’ve never raced a 5k! There was the Disneyworld 5k in 2017, but that wasn’t even timed. I just cruised along, saving myself for the rest of the Dopey Challenge. Last May I ran the 5k in the local race that I co-direct, but I don’t count that.

For this St. Patty’s race I’d like to run an overall pace under 4:40/km. Back in October I ran a twenty minute fit-test for Coach Andrew (in the dark, on the boring-ass track) – 20 minutes, 4.28 km, 4:40/km. This seems like a fair goal to aim for for the 5km.

Sunday, April 8th – The Rupert Half + 8k Road Race

Woohoo, favourite home race! Last year I had a great day, running my current half marathon personal best, and finishing third overall female. Yeah, it’s a small race, but I am very proud of that day. It’s an interesting course, and on a section of road that us locals run almost every single weekend, which can be good or bad, depending on how you look at it!

20170410_101232

The goal for this year is to improve my time on this half course, which would also lead to a new half PR! Currently sitting at 01:50:48. On the hunt for a sub-1:50! I’d like to be in the top 3 again, too!

*if you live around here and haven’t run in this event before, check out THIS post**

Saturday, April 21st – The Tenacious Ten in Seattle, presented by Oiselle

I. Love. Seattle! And this race! And we are going down with a #badassladygang of five of us! The race goes around Lake Union and the start/finish is in Gasworks park! AND it’s hosted by Oiselle! Last year I had a great day running the 10 mile distance, but I went out too fast and it haunted me a little in the last 5k. I’d say it was overall a pretty solid run, BUT, I know I can do better this year!

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Tenacious Ten 2017! Whitney & Justin are both running again this year!

The goal as of right now: 1:18:xx. Last year my “official” time was 1:21:36, but that was faster than what my Garmin said…and everyone else said their chip times were fast, too. My watch actually read 1:22:40. Regardless, I think with a more conservative start and the fitness I’ve gained over the last year, sub 1:20 will be mine, but I want to push for an average pace in the low 4:5x/km.

Running is not about being better than someone else, it’s about being better than you used to be.

So, that’s what’s coming up in the next eight-ish weeks! Are you planning to run in any of these events? If so, let me know!

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Mesa-PHX Marathon Training – Week 8/10

Countdown is on til marathon #7! Coach Andrew is heading on a two week vacation in a few days, so I’m ready to wrap up the last of this race prep on my own and hopefully have a good report for him once he returns! Lifelong Endurance really encourages us to listen to our bodies, so if I need a rest day or a light cross training to substitute a run, I can make that decision on my own. Love them.

Monday, February 5th

The title of this workout is “mile reps & sharpening cut downs” ahahha! Sounds scary, but also gets me fired up!

3k up, 2x [1 mile @ 4:35/km, 2:00 rest], 8x [200m hard, 200m jog], 3k down

I was so excited for this that I got on the treadmill before eating breakfast. Then I couldn’t run a fast mile and I realized I should eat. Good warm up haha.

Breakfast, nap, try again. Managed one, but couldn’t run a second mile at the prescribed pace to save my life, so I hit the 200s. I have learned something in the last few weeks – I need to take post-32k run recovery more seriously, because I’ve been super tired the last two Mondays. More chocolate milk, protein, carbs and when I do go to work after, more sitting!!

Tuesday, February 6th

8k aerobic – saved this for the evening so I could rest the body a little longer. Felt good! Port Ed is hilly!

 

Wednesday, February 7th

Non-running day! I went to the pool before work and had another awesome swim! 1250m of front crawl and breast stroke.

Evening: Dirty Dozen x 2! My arms felt like Jello after hahaha

Thursday, February 8th

Never in my life did I imagine I’d run paces that started with four. Once I wrote a post about a previous hangup on 5:xx paces. Believing random shit about one’s self is a surefire way to impede progress, and I did just that for quite a long time. Sometimes the plans my coach gives me look scary at first, but I have nothing to lose. I don’t always nail them, but no matter what happens it always ends up being a killer workout! You have nothing to lose, either. Progress doesn’t come from doing the same thing day after day, that’s for sure.

3k up, 10:00 steady climb @4-6% at a 10k feel, 5:00 flat jog, 6x [400m @ 4:15/km, 1:00 jog], 3k down

OH! Remember last week when I got off the treadmill to check if it was actually on an incline? IT WAS. I just didn’t inspect it well enough. I got the tilt unstuck by setting it to -3, letting it go alllll the way downhill, and then pressing zero, which allowed it to come back to flat! What a relief!!!! It’s no wonder I couldn’t run those mile repeats confidently on Monday!!! This workout went REALLY well and I needed that. I even added a seventh 400m rep during the cool-down cause I was feeling goooooood!

Friday, February 9th

8k aerobic with Bailey & Andrea! Beauty day and a nice, steady pace with a faster finish.

Saturday, February 10th

Prescribed was a 22k long run with last 15:00 at goal marathon pace…which, at this point, I’m not sure exactly what GMP is..

We ended up running 20k with no special finish. A very tired day, but beautiful out and fantastic company. First half was alright, second half was struggle bus. Crystal saved me, as she has many times before!

Sunday, February 11th

Prescribed: 6.5k aerobic!

Went up Mount Hays with husband in my truck, and then ran down when it was time to wrap up the day. The downhill is good practice for Phoenix! I ran/hiked around up top for a good portion of the afternoon, and then ran a quick 6km down to the bottom.

Now we’re meeting friends for dinner, but I have a strength and stability routine from Runner’s World planned for later this evening. Less than a fortnight (ahhaahaha) until race day!!!!!!! Anybody else have an event coming up quick?

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Mesa-PHX Marathon Training – Week 7/10

As I finish this post, it’s 20 days from race day! Officially tapering! Looking ahead at the schedule, even though the volume tapers, there are still some wicked workouts coming up! This isn’t my goal marathon of the year, but I’m feeling confident that I will run well on the fast course in Phoenix. Thank you to Lifelong Endurance and my coach, Andrew, for helping me find this self-confidence as a runner! This week was up and down, but I’m better at going with the flow than I used to be, so it’s no big deal. I listened to How Bad Do You Want It a lot this week; it always helps me stay in a neutral mindset!

Monday, January 29th

Planned:

3k up, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1min intervals, progressing from 5:25-4:55, 2:30 jogs between, 3k down

What actually went down:

LOL! I was so tired and in such a bad mood. No kidding, I got off the treadmill and checked to see if it the incline was screwed up. Called it a day and went straight to bed, planning to hit this workout in the morning instead of the aerobic 8k on Tuesday’s schedule.

Tuesday, January 30th

Got up feeling quite a bit better but once I started warming up my calves were still sore and I felt off. I did manage to run each of the intervals, but this all felt a lot harder than it should have. I only cooled down for about half a kilometer – I was done. Tomorrow I’m taking a very easy day with no running or intense anything! #responsible

5min @ 5:25, 4min @ 5:16, 3min @ 5:10, 2min @ 5:03, 1min @ 4:55

Wednesday, January 31st

1000m swim! Followed by Coreflex with Kerrie at K2 Cycle Fusion

On Wednesdays I usually go to spin. I LOVE spin. The only thing is that I love it so much and get so pumped from the music, that I wouldn’t really say my legs get much of a break, aside from impact. I decided today a swim would be okay, and Coreflex at K2 since it’s all on the ground on the mat.

lawl

Thursday, February 1st

3k up, 8x200m hills with jog down recovery, 3k down

Holy shit. I’ve never used this hill before. The average grade is about 10% and every single one almost killed me. Running down was slow too since it’s so steep. Getting that done by 7am felt amazing!

Friday, February 2nd

7k aerobic. I stayed inside since it was pissing and pitch black. This run was pretty whatever. Those kinda runs used to piss me off but now I just move on!

Saturday, February 3rd

Look at this treat from coach!!

  1. 5k easy
  2. 5k of 1:00 @5:15, 1:00 @5:55
  3. 10k easy progression to moderate
  4. 5k of 1:00 @5:15, 1:00 @5:55
  5. 5k easy
  6. 2k close on tired legs

First of all, let me just say I would love to know what this workout would feel like on a flatter stretch of the world. But anyways. It happened! It was hard. I stopped a couple times to regroup and there were two pit stops in there, but I made it! Here is the elevation I had to work with…stronger every day!

and here is what the pace looks like on Strava, excellent representation!

follow me on Strava HERE

Weeeoooo 21 days til race day!!!

Sunday, February 3rd

On schedule: 6.5km nice and easy, 30min of core

I woke up super lazy and my body felt like wood. This run and core work will take place this evening and I look forward to it, but for now it’s stretching and tea time!

Talk to you soon!

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Mesa-PHX Marathon Training – Week 6/10

Okay. In less than four weeks I get to do my favourite thing in the whole world for the 7th time…run a marathon!!!! As it gets closer and Lifelong Endurance gives me workouts that challenge me, but leave me feeling strong and confident, I keep getting more excited!! Plus, seeing things like this start to pop up on social media…wooooo!

if you’ll be there, let me know!

Monday, January 22nd

I started with Coreflex at K2 Cycle Fusion. Just like last week, it was awesome. Lots of planks and push-ups (I have a new love for the tricep plank), hamstring and glute strengthening with foot gliders and back strengthening with resistance bands. OH, and bird-dog holds with a bender ball under the supporting shin…kicks my ass and I love it!!!

Then the first run of the week was my favourite kind again – the longer workout!

3k warm-up, 6x [5 minutes up-tempo, 2.5 min recovery], 3k cool-down

I used to whine about having nowhere flat to do interval workouts or tempo runs. Once I quit thinking that way and just did my best on the terrain at hand, I realized that most of the time I can make it happen anyway. Yeah, it’s way harder in some spots, especially when my Garmin beeps to run fast for x amount of time, just as I’m coming up to a long hill, but this has made me a better runner. 14.4k total and that felt AMAZING.

just beat the snow

Tuesday, January 23rd

8k aerobic

Wednesday, January 24th

Early Bird Spin at K2 with Karen ❀

Today I bought myself the MEC Kelowna Okanagan Race Series Value Pack! I could not be happier about this, FIVE RACES (even though I can only for sure run three or four of them..) for seventy bucks!? There are so many MEC Events that I am just becoming familiar with. The races are AMAZINGLY priced and there are also tons of Run Crew meet-ups, clinics, etc, in lots of cities. Check out MEC events here. The line-up is…

Race ONE West Kelowna 21.1K April 15/18
Race TWO Rose Valley 10K May 6/18 (same as BMO Van…can’t go)
Race THREE Myra Station, KVR Trail 21.1K August 12/18
Race FOUR Knox Mountain 10K September 9/18
Race FIVE Mission Creek Greenway 10K October 14/18

Thursday, January 25th

Hill workout! I stayed inside for this one due to darkness + iciness.

3k warm-up, 8x [30 sec. @ 8% incline, 90 sec. recovery], 4k cool-down

I like to adjust the incline about 15 seconds before the interval actually starts. The machine takes at least that long to transition from the 1% that I usually run on, to 8% for the repeats. Then when my Garmin beeps to start the interval, I’m already at the grade I want. This workout was so sweaty and so awesome. Today was also the day to enter the draw for SeaWheeze 2018! I’ve never run the SeaWheeze! Fingers crossed.

Friday, January 26th

Fantastic run with Mary and Sam! We started on the road, ran to our go-to local trail for two loops, and then parted ways. I ran back to my vehicle and the girls crossed the highway to head up the Tall Trees Trail. 13k total for myself, and Sam got in 21k and lots of elevation as she prepares for a 50 MILE ultra in Oregon!

4pm rolled around annnd not looking good for me with respect to SeaWheeze! Ah well!

Saturday, January 27th

32.2km!! (= 20.0 miles)

follow me on Strava here

KILLER morning. So gorgeous out! The girls came over and we took my truck out to Rainbow Summit, which is about 22k from home. We ran back in, Sam saying farewell around 17k (her car was at the bridge), Crystal finishing up at my place, and then I went for my own 5k out-and-back along the North Pacific Cannery road. Boom. Four weeks til race day!

Sunday, January 28th

7k relaxed. Felt pretty tired today but it was expected.

Got in 40 minutes of functional strength exercises with my ankle weights on.Β  So good. Now for complete Sunday-mode. Another week, DONE!

Talk soon! I’ll tell you something really cool about my BQ-attempt training cycle in the Spring.

@jammiekomadina