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 🙂 6 more sleeps! Well let’s make it 5 because we all know there’s no sleeping the night before a marathon 😉

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 😉

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!

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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.  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

Mesa-PHX Marathon Training – Week 5/10

January is more than half over. WTF. Good thing I ran that 33km on my birthday because there isn’t much time left for super long runs between now and a short taper for Phoenix! As always, thanks to Lifelong Endurance for getting it, and keeping this not-too-serious marathon prep to exactly what I needed – to feel ready to take on a marathon safely with no real expectations this time, aside from a good time!

Monday, January 15th

Long-ish workout run! My favourite!

3k warm-up, 8x [3 min medium, 2 min relaxed], 3k cool-down

This was on the treadmill since I prefer to do any sort of structured outdoor running in the daylight, but since it was a work day, I couldn’t. I shortened the cool down by a kilometer because there were like six containers of sushi in the same room as me and husband was already digging in!

Tuesday, January 16th

8k aerobic before work! Love getting it done before work! How sick is the Firecracker Long Sleeve!? I’m gonna wear the matching shorts next time 🙂

Wednesday, January 17th

Coreflex at K2 Cycle Fusion! This was my first time taking this class and I loved it! I am absolutely going to pencil this class in whenever I can to fulfill my 2x/week strength commitment! Thank you to Kerrie 🙂

After, I did some errands and then hit up Spin for Lunch, also at K2. There we go, one strength sesh down, and crosstraining for the day DONE.

Thursday, January 18th

10k for breakfast! Seven nice and relaxed, final three kilometers working up to a 5min/km pace. I didn’t really read the instructions properly…sorry Coach. The last three were supposed to be progressive from about 5:25 to 5:05…whoops. Check out the reflective painbrush mini stride shorts! Ya, I know they look like underwear in this pic..

Then I had a really bad day at work, so when I got home I jumped on the treadmill. My intention was to run 1k super easy-feel, one HARD, and one more easy. The fast one felt so good that I decided to do five total and run slow-fast-slow-fast-slow. I felt like a million dollars after this!!!!! The Backstreet Boys didn’t hurt either.

Friday, January 19th

7k aerobic before work!

one day I’ll spell something with my route..

Saturday, January 20th

28k in the bank! So, initially my schedule from Coach Andrew on Training Peaks called for 15k. I was being an annoying athlete about this and worrying why I had such a short run five weeks out from a marathon. He must have felt me, because when I got the daily reminder email that comes the day before each run, it had been changed to twenty-eight. LOL. Ask and you shall receive, Jamie! I hit the road just before 6am on Saturday with my unreal 90’s playlist, headlamp, lightning layer and NoxGear vest and got it done. That felt REALLY comfortable and I had no foot pain!!!!!!!! Ecstatic about the no pain.

Safe is the new cool. This is after, by the way

At noon I used the random name picker to draw a winner for my PRO Compression AZ sock GIVEAWAY and the winner was @running_is_awsome_21 ! Those are my favourite socks and I hope Mason likes them as much as I do! Thanks to everyone who entered xoxoxoxoxo

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Sunday, January 21st

It was pretty quiet in the morning and I managed to get in 32 (intermittent) minutes of strength! As well as the Dirty Dozen, I did lots of lunges and clamshells.

Tonight I plan to get on the treadmill and do some downhill power walking with weights. And Destiny’s Child.

Up next week: my second go at Coreflex with Kerrie, hills and a 32k long run! Talk soon!!! 34 days til Mesa-Phx!!!!

Mesa-PHX Marathon Training – Week 4/10

Holy week 4/10 already! This is going by fast. I am so excited for the Sprouts Mesa-Phx marathon!!!!! It’s going to be so much fun meeting up with #werunsocial as well as all the other PRO Compression ambassadors, rocking the new Arizona sock and getting all matchy with everyone. Having this marathon on my schedule so early in the year has proven to be a fantastic way to stay committed to putting in good mileage in the new year, and it’s going to serve as such valuable base-building for Jack & Jill training!! As always, HUGE shoutout and thanks to Lifelong Endurance for always having me feeling healthy and ready for whatever I’m working towards!

Yesterday I posted about my ultimate 2018 running goal, and if you missed it it’s here!!

Monday, January 8th

My 33rd birthday!!! (what the HELL???) Last time I checked I was like 22.  I decided to run 33km and coach said “go for it, dude!” so, I celebrated each year alive with a kilometer. My quads were surprisingly sore from the short but effective strength workout on Sunday, but I made it happen and thoroughly enjoyed it, stopping twice to refill my water at home. A goal this year is to put in the work in the strength department. I am not a gym person whatsoever, but I know I can make 30-60 minutes happen twice/week at home, which will leave me stronger and hopefully injury-free.

Yessss, this run ticked off the January Half Marathon Challenge on Strava, and got me to 75/80km for the Lululemon 40|80 Challenge! Follow me on Strava here.

After some serious relaxing post long-ass run, it was time for the best birthday party I’ve ever had! An 80s-themed spin class at K2 Cycle Fusion! Thank you so much to my husband, cousins and friends for joining me, and to Kerry for leading the absolute perfect class!

Tuesday, January 9th

10k, 85% trail. Felt SO good.

And BOOM in comes the Strava email…

Wednesday, January 10th

6k aerobic. Bit of a sleep in! I was so tired on Tuesday night I knew that a 5:30 wakeup call wouldn’t work for me in the morning. I opted out of Early Bird Spin and went for an easy-feel 6k after work instead since I didn’t have any bright ideas for cross training. Followed up with stretching and Netflix.

Thursday, January 11th

8k fartlek on the treadmill! That was so fun!

Friday, January 12th

7k aerobic in my new AZ sockies!

And later – strength exercises! I was sitting on the couch feeling unmotivated when my friend Karmen texted, asking if I’d tried out the Oiselle Dirty Dozen yet. It’s a strength series I’ve heard of for quite some time. That text was timed perfectly! Got off the couch and headed to the basement for 30 minutes of Dirty Dozen! It’s a good series of core exercises and the whole thing takes like ~25 minutes, just as Karmen said. I picked a few to repeat to get my 30 minutes in. Check it out here.

Saturday, January 13th

20k easy pace. Ahh. Long run day. Today was really hard for me and I was lucky to have Crystal by my side. My sore foot flared up after stepping on a few rocks along the way, and I felt generally lethargic, which apparently might be from the Tetanus booster I got yesterday…I refused to believe it would effect me but I think it did hahah. Either way, pushed through and made it to 20k and then PEDICURE TIME.

Sunday, January 14th

HAHAHAHA Prince Rupert was the hottest place in Canada today! Summer in Northern BC! I went for a couple kilometres to see how my foot felt (medium) and then took it easy. Talk to you next week! Six weeks til Phoenix..

Wait. Actually I’m heading to my basement for some Dirty Dozen!

RUN 2017 – recap & lessons learned!

It’s mid-December. How? I feel like yesterday I was in the final weeks of training for the Dopey Challenge at Disneyworld. That was in January! So much happened this year in my running life. Awesome races. Some necessary let-downs. Some massive breakthroughs. This year, I can confidently say I transitioned from believing that I was “just a slow runner, running solely for fun” (my protection from failure) to knowing that I’m making serious gains by saying fuck off to negative, self-limiting beliefs about my body and mind’s capabilities. I also made the game-changing adjustment from being results-oriented to process-oriented. Yes, it’s an ongoing adjustment, but serious progress was made! Nothing makes me as proud as this and I can’t thank my coach and Lifelong Endurance enough for all they’ve helped me achieve so far!

Here are some highlights of the year of running, and what I learned from it all. Some of this is great, some not so much, but it ALL contributed to growth. People say to be patient, which is so annoying, but it’s true and worth it! I look to seeing what happens in 2018.

January

Completed the Dopey Challenge at Disneyworld! I went for the bling, and to run the marathon (my third) on my birthday! I ended up finishing in 4:11, which put me into a position of having run a PR in each marathon so far. I was now officially OBSESSED with finish times! (This is bad). The only marathon I had actually run strong and smart was the first one back in May. The final 10-15K of marathons 2 and 3 were brutal. It would take me about nine months to understand the lesson that: focusing completely on an outcome instead of the process, doesn’t work.

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February

Now I was training for the Calgary Marathon, which I have no idea why I signed up for in the first place. I knew nothing about the event or course, which is not a good way to pick out a goal race. The lesson I would come to learn: when gunning for a big goal, pick a course that is supportive of said goal!

March

Double 10K weekend! I was still very intimidated by “running fast”, and shorter races generally require faster running! In the first of the two, I realized that the pace I had been thinking of running on Sunday (the goal race) was a total sand-bag. I ran the Hot Chocolate Run pretty conservatively that Saturday but it got me into a good mindset for the next day. The WestVanRun 10K was the first race ever where my average pace was under 5min/km. 4:59 baby! That was a big breakthrough for me, mostly in the confidence department! I ran that race strong and smart from start to finish. The lesson I learned: don’t set arbitrary limits!

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April

Rupert 1/2 Marathon time! At this point, I had only just broken two hours in the half marathon the previous November at the Vancouver Historic Half. Also, I had a slightly negative attitude towards small, local runs in my community. I enjoyed the hype of bigger events and the excitement of runcations. Looking back, I think I also liked how anonymous it was, running in cities that I didn’t live in. I went into the Rupert 1/2 with zero expectations but ended up tucked in behind the two winners for the majority of the race! This was the smartest race I’ve run, up until that point. I finished strong and earned myself a near 7 minute personal best and a silver medal!! (Two golds were awarded to the winners, my friends Jessie and Erin, who crossed the finish line holding hands!) Another confidence booster! The lesson I learned: the race is what you make it. I can do my best any time I decide to. Of course this had me plugging my new PB into all the race calculators to see if I was on track for a sub-4 marathon…I was now fully convinced that I should be able to run sub-4 in Calgary next month. (This is bad).

Shortly after I ran a pretty strong in the end, but poorly paced 10-miler in Seattle. I was a little over-confident from the last race and ran too fast in the beginning, fading significantly after 10k. Still a great race, awesome weekend with my girl Whitney, and a unique distance, too, for us Canadians. Lesson: don’t go out too fast. It always feels good at the start. Don’t.Go.Out.Too.Fast.

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May

Calgary. Ugh. Hahaha. I went subconsciously knowing I wasn’t ready for sub-4, but still wishing for it. That doesn’t make sense! My long runs in training were done with the wrong attitude and execution. My obsession with improving and running a “fast time” was unhealthy! Calgary sucked for me. I knew from like 12k in that I was out of my league, with regards to this arbitrary goal. The heat didn’t help, either. It’s okay though, because it’s been a big part of this marathon journey so far! Lesson: goals should be challenging, but realistic and approached with confidence. We can’t do in a race what we haven’t done in training. (Physically, or mentally).

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Crystal & I saved each other on this day! So happy to be done.

June

I felt ripped off and dissatisfied after Calgary so I frantically searched for another marathon to run! Stupid Calgary! LOL, just kidding. The Rock’n’Roll Seattle Marathon was three weeks later. I ran the first half with the 4-hour pacers, frantically looking at my watch and dreading failing again. Then, at half-way I had a GI disaster and the rest of the race I ran-walked in a “this is so unfair” head space. I fully admit it, I felt sorry for myself. I wondered why running comes naturally to others, but not me. I wondered if maybe I just wasn’t cut-out to run marathons. At least it was a gorgeous course and my weekend with Marcie was really fun! Finishing a marathon is a feat in itself, but I wasn’t where I wanted to be so I didn’t see it that way. This was destroying me mentally because I was chasing after something that I wasn’t prepared to achieve yet. Lesson: desperately chasing a goal isn’t the way. Build confidence through proper preparation and then stalk it down like a boss.

Let me say, I am so glad Calgary and Seattle happened. 🙂

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crying on the inside ahahah

July

I ran easy through July, maintaining a good base but not doing any structured training. I’m proud of myself for this, because I am so goal-oriented that I seem to need a goal race on the calendar all the time and each week planned out! The CIM was on my December calendar, but the training cycle for that would start towards the end of August. Lesson: it’s important to take time to run just because you love it!

August

I ran a humbling 10K in Montreal. I figured that because over five months had gone by since that breakthrough in March, and since I’d been running more and training harder most of the year, that I should be able to run a PR. There’s that should again. I know better than to should all over myself! Suzanne taught me better! It’s not about what we theoretically could do, it’s what we ACTUALLY DO! Anyways, I went out too fast and obsessed over my watch instead of running the race! I was just thinking about the finish time! I still had no idea yet how to be process-oriented! So yeah, I blew up just after 5k and struggled to hold pace for the second half. Oh well, I really did learn a lot from how shitty I felt afterwards from burning out and totally giving up. The lessons I learned that day were: get that ego under control, a big ego is not your friend. And, dont’ go out too fast. I feel like I’ve heard that one before…

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September

I ordered a book called The Resilient Runner off Amazon shortly after that bust in Montreal. The book is awesome; simple and to the point, and it helped me focus on training one day at a time. I found some real consistency at this early point in CIM training when discovering how helpful it was to break up each run or workout into pieces to stay focused. I started running paces that I never thought I’d be able to. It felt so good to run “fast” (relative term, I know) and I hammered out each day’s prescribed run, feeling more confident weekly! This book really solidified the lesson to focus on what you’re doing right now, today. It’s really all you can do!

October

This was my month of shit-kicking all the workouts. I truly looked forward to every single run, but especially the tempo runs, interval workouts and even the scary track sessions. Coach Andrew had me run a fit test and it was a huge confidence booster! I held a pace for 20 minutes that, a year ago, I’d have laughed if someone told me I could one day run that pace at all, let alone for 20 whole minutes! Mindset was what made October so magnificent. I was believing in myself hard and making friends with being uncomfortable, learning the lesson that by staying in the now and welcoming discomfort, really cool shit goes down!!!

November

The scariest long run of EVER was on the schedule – 30K progression-style run. I knew I could do it though, and I did. I had such an improved grasp on pacing by now and ran each 10K at easy, moderate, then up-tempo. WOOO!!! Finally, I felt like I could head out with a plan, and execute it. I was learning how to be in charge! I wrote a post about these feelings here, if you want.

Then, time for a tune-up before CIM: the RUNVAN Fall Classic. I wanted a PR badly, but the course looked challenging from a pacing point of view, so I went in with the goal to do my best and keep a strong mental game. It went well! I pretty much tied the Rupert 1/2 marathon pace, falling just 7 seconds short of a new personal best! I think I ran my fastest finish-kick EVER and really enjoyed treating the day as a dress-rehearsal for my goal race, now three weeks away. There was a point in the Fall Classic where I felt really tired and walked a few steps, two or three times. I was disappointed in this, but it reminded me that if I hadn’t walked, maybe I’d have a new personal record? Maybe! Lesson: shuffling is faster than walking. LOL. We are rarely incapable of running another step, unless collapsed on the ground unconscious.

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December

Marathon time. Ready! Now, I knew what it felt like to run strong and at goal pace, even after 2+ hours, because I did it in training! I knew how to start running easy, without thinking about the end. I had mantras. I had rituals. I was super excited about THE PROCESS. This was going to be an adventure, not a frantic struggle from the beginning to try to end up with a specific time on the clock!

I closed off 2017 in the best possible way – by running 42.2km from start to finish, smart and focused. When it was time to think about the final stretch (hint – when I got there) I powered through to the most rewarding experience of my running life. In November, I told Coach Andrew I had a boner (sorry, that’s what I said though) for a time of 03:51. We talked about an A+ perfect-day-ever goal of sub-3:50, but I told him about the 3:51 because it felt attainable yet very challenging, AND because I love math, it would be an exact 20-minute improvement over my personal record at Disney. We knew I was in the range of 3:59-3:49 for sure, unless disaster struck.

I finished in Sacramento with a 03:51:18. A twenty-minute, nine-second personal record! It’s funny because even though I love this SO much, it doesn’t really matter in the end. I ran the whole race, never walked, squished all negative thoughts, fought through the final 5km when it started to get really hard, and finished as strong as I could. I didn’t really think about my finish time until the final mile! Every lesson learned all year came into play at CIM. You can read about the CIM here if you are interested, it’s a fantastic event!

 

So that was 2017! I’m stoked for whatever 2018 will bring as I continue to work and grow with Coach Andrew and the Lifelong Endurance team. I have some fun races lined up and some SCARY AS SHIT (BUT REALLY AWESOME) GOALS!!! Those will come in another post. Coach Andrew and I are going to lay out some cool adventures, and it might be fun for you to follow along and see how it goes, or even join in on the training and/or racing adventures with us! Stay tuned and Happy New Year to you!!!

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Current Fall Running Favourites!

It’s FALL!!! A runner’s favourite seaon! For many, fall marathon or other distance training is well under way. The weekly kilometers are getting up there. As the window of daylight continues to shrink, the temperatures slowly drop and the runs get longer and/or more frequent, I start to find it more obvious the gear I reach for on the daily. These are my current go-tos that I have been turning to regularly. I love to try new gear, fuel and apparel all the time, but I have been noticing that I have been coming back to these six items again and again in the last few weeks!

Altra Escalante

These shoes. They are so unbelievably comfortable!!! And so light! They make me feel like I am running with the freedom of bare feet, but with cushion to keep me feeling energized and springy, and obviously protect the soles of my feet. Also, the square-shaped toe box allows my toes to take their normal (extremely unique, lol) positions vs. being squished together, which can lead to blisters! It didn’t take me more than a few runs to transition to the zero-dop of Altra runners, but I have always been a forefoot striker so that may explain it a bit…give yourself time to transition, as they suggest, especially if you are a heel striker. I just ordered a second pair in blue. Yessssssss. Here’s a bit of info on heel-to-toe drop if it’s something you aren’t familiar with.

Nathan Fireball Hydration Vest with double flasks

I hadn’t used a hydration vest on long runs in the past, but lately I find if I’m going for any more than twenty kilometers, which I am every Saturday because it’s FALL MARATHON SEASON, it’s way smarter for me to have two water bottles, plus a place to put my long sleeve when it’s time to come off (and it always comes off…such an over-heater) and a few extra pockets for lots of fuel and some toilet paper. I don’t live somewhere with water fountains or places to stop in for water on the long run, so this is an excellent piece of gear! I was skeptical of chafe when I wore this vest over just a tank for the first time, but it never happened! The longest run I’ve been on with the Nathan is 30km. It took a tiny bit of getting used to because it’s obviously bulkier than being vestless (duh), but it’s super comfy, obviously adjustable, and I think it might even result in me running along a little more smoothly to minimize vertical oscillation (and sloshing of the water in the bottles when they’re no longer full). There is room for a reservoir in the back pack part, but I have yet to use that option. Another wonderful thing about this vest is it has some reflective detailing. When the long run has to be squeezed in before a weekend shift at work, I am thankful for any extra visibility.

nathan

don’t have the water bottle in there in this pic, was using that pocket for my phone!

Oiselle Firecracker Reflective Long Sleeve

I just got this, but I’m already in love! It keeps my neck/collar-bone area warm and my arms and hands (with the thumb holes to keep the sleeves over the hands), but the cropped style doesn’t leave my torso sweating and steamy, wanting to rip a layer off less than a kilometre in. The material is thicker than a shirt, but not like a hoodie or half-zip, AND it’s beautiful. I’ve been layering it on top of a super thin tank and it’s great for early morning or evening runs. The paintbrush pattern is reflective, which was my number one purchasing point. Living in Northern BC means that even now in early Fall, it’s pitch black at the beginning (or all, depending on the distance) of an early morning run, and it’s dusk by the time I hit the road in the evening. I’m obsessed with reflective! I need to mention, the fully reflective Speed Tights I bought last season from Lululemon are AMAZING and beat out any other reflective item I’ve ever owned, hands down, but since I learned how much I love shorts (took like thirty years) I haven’t been wearing them yet this season. It’s not cold enough yet! #dontyouhatepants … oh, speaking of reflective paintbrush print and hating pants, I just ordered the mini-stride shorts from Oiselle in the same colour as this top. Ensemble?

Nakd Bars

I first bought these for a snack at work, but then brought one with me on a run because they are simple and taste good. The ingredients are just dates & nuts! I like taking two with me on a long run and taking small bites whenever I feel like it. I’ve been trying to find other fueling options that work for me because most gels are so sugary that my teeth hurt after, and sometimes they send my guts into a panic. I get so hungry on long runs! Soooooo hungry! So, these have been awesome for giving myself something to actually EAT vs. a gooey substance that doesn’t resemble food at all. I do still use Cliff Shots (razz) and Endurance Tap, but I think incorporating some chewable food is really working for me.

FlipBelt Classic (now that I have one that fits properly)

Initially, I decided that I wasn’t a fan of the FlipBelt because it would slide up from my hips to my waist when wearing any sort of semi-slippery material pants or shorts. I gave my first one away. Then, the spring marathons came and I didn’t have anywhere to put my gels, phone, and whatever else I needed to have on me on race day. So, I invested in a size smaller and now I am all about the FlipBelt! It stays put 99% of the time, and it’s like adding that pocket big enough for a Samsung in a Lifeproof case that all pants and shorts should have, but only like 1% actually do. There is an elastic leash inside the belt with a clip to attach a key or fob and not worry about it falling out, since there are no zippers on the FlipBelt classic. I can store my phone (in it’s bulky case), my headphones for if/when I decide I want them, and whatever else I’m bringing with me that I haven’t put in my vest, if I’m wearing that too.

There are even flat water bottles you can purchase that slide into the belt! I have the larger one and I can slide it in right at the small of the back. Not my top favourite way to carry water, but an option I have used often. The main thing is my phone stays flat against the lower abdomen, doesn’t bounce around and is easily accessible for safety, music, runfies or whatever!

ProCompression PC Racer socks

Not only do I love the squeeze and supportive feeling provided from compression socks, I LOVE THE COLOURS. I am a bit of a shop-a-holic…but I don’t really give a shit if I accumulate tons of stuff that revolves around my biggest passion. It’s fun! For a long time I was strictly about either above-the-calf socks, or regular socks. One or the other. I decided to try the shorter ones to mix it up and I really love them!

racer

woo these ones are on the way!

They aren’t as warm, which is good for sunny Fall afternoon runs, and I feel like they give even more support in the calf/achilles area than the tall ones, which is a place I need it. Variety: the spice of life!

 

One thing that isn’t on this list (yet?) but I am stoked to review is the Lightning Layer from Oiselle, which is also en route. It’s like a non-ugly safety vest for running. I’ll let you know how that is when it shows up! I hope your Autumn running has been as enjoyable as mine has been so far! If you’ve already raced, I hope it was AMAZING and congratulations! And if you’re still training for an upcoming event, I’M EXCITED FOR YOU!!!!