Pain Free Race

As race weekend approaches, my thoughts on running my fourth half marathon seem to be all over the place. Excitement, nervousness, enjoyment, mommy-guilt and fear.

This training cycle has been all over the place too. Physically, I feel strong with my hamstring (which sure is a nice feeling) but mentally I don’t think I’m ready for it. I wrote this post last Sunday shortly after my last long run of 19k. I wanted to post it right away but decided to sit on it for a day or so, which then turned into five days later I’ve hit the publish button. I’ve left it unchanged. It’s how I felt last Sunday and how I still feel today.

{Note: Don’t take this post as a negative rant, it’s not. It’s just how I was feeling and I wrote it all down}.

Half Marathon in Reach

During this training cycle, I managed to increase my strength training a lot more and got in ALL my long runs outside. I feel really lucky that my husband is home now (for the most part) and supportive of me going out to run for a few hours at a time. Secretly, I think he loves his one on one time with our girls in the morning without me around.

I’ve done a few long runs on my own and a few with my running buddy, Krystol. I’ve shed a few tears post run when everything (running & life) just felt so overwhelming yet I still managed to “get that friggin’ run in”. Why am I crying post run…I don’t know but sometimes it feels good.

june 12th long run

I’ve been more frustrated with myself during this training cycle then I ever have before. This will be my fourth half marathon and first this year. I’m second guessing myself but not disappointed in my training. I trust my training but I don’t trust the will I have to keep going when it gets tough. This is going to be a BIG mental game for me. I know I can do the distance comfortably but when I start to struggle get ugly.

After deciding to “take it easy” this year with running and not sign up for every run/race that I really wanted to do, I decided to stick with a few key events. Johnny Miles is a race I’ve never run before. It’s a great event (so I hear) and part of a larger community of events year round.

Expectations

Honestly, I’d love to say I want a PB, which would be better than 2:05 but it’s not in the cards. My body AND mind are not prepared for that. I’d love to do better then my last half in PEI last October (2:13) but I don’t even know if that is in the cards for me.

Realistically, I could be anywhere between 2:13 – 2:20. While I’m on the honest train…I’ll probably be disappointed with this time. Really, I probably will. No, I’m not going into this with a specific goal of finishing in x:xx:xx time but I know mentally this isn’t the time that I want to finish with and I guess I’m struggling with that.

You can only do so much!

I’m at the point where I can only do so much. I know I can do the distance and I know I can run at a good pace. I have to really wrap my head around what my goal is for this race. My goal is to finish 21.1 km and not hurt. Not have my hamstring scream at me. Not have me in pain for a full 7 days post race. THAT’s my goal of this race.

My right hammy that gave me so much pain.

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Though I run a lot, running is not my life but it sure is something that I truly love to do. I like setting goals for myself, whether that be during my training, work or home life. I like to achieve those goals and am pretty determined to do so.

I’d be lying if I said, I didn’t want to finish in a certain time (because I do) but I need to keep the main goal of finishing pain free. Maybe I’ll have to write the words “pain-free” on my hand that would give me a visual to focus on during my run. “You can do hard things” has been repeated many times over the last twelve weeks. I just have to believe it now!

Two more sleeps and I’ll be running 🙂

Ever use a word written on your hand/arm during a race?

What about a running mantra? 

Do you struggle with not running a certain time in a race?

 

Six

It’s six days (if you count today) from race day! However, this post isn’t about running or me.

SIX

You see, we now have a six year old in our house. SIX! It’s been six years since this little peanut joined us four weeks early in an extremely fast birth experience. She was due on my 30th birthday but decided she wanted her own month and day!

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Dear Lillian Mae,

You are the most sweetest little girl.

You don’t always listen to us but apparently you have reasons for doing so.

You LOVE your little sister to pieces and I’m amazed at how much youth both truly love each other when I watch you play. Don’t worry, I see you both when you are fighting as siblings do, by my oh my Lilly…you are awful sweet to your sister.

You love everything. You love to run. You love soccer. You love to swim. You love your friends (who are all very lovely children). You love MacLean (dog). You love our neighbours like they are family. You are a happy kid (don’t change).

You don’t always love doing scary things on your own. You CAN do HARD things like learning to ski by yourself or riding your bike. BUT….but, when you try it over and over again, you succeed at everything. You can know ski happily on your own. You can now ride your bike up and down our street with zero assistance from your father or I.

You are the slowest eater your father and I have ever met. Well, unless it’s grilled cheese, fruit or a Marmite sandwich your father makes you 😉  You love picking out what clothing you want to wear each day and sometimes pick the most outrageous combinations BUT you are so proud and happy.

I honestly can’t believe you are six years old. You are just about to finish your first year of school and are doing so well. I love that your favourite part of school is recess and gym class yet you get so excited about your math, science and writing too!

Your father, sister and I are so lucky to have such a happy, sweet, fun little girl in our lives. I can only imaging what adventures you are going to go on and where you are going to take us.

Happy Birthday Dear Lillian Mae.

xo Mommy

 

 

Johnny Miles Half Marathon Training Week 11

I’m so happy to have finished week #11 of this training plan. This training cycle just seemed to go on forever and I felt like I was going nowhere. Well, I’m finally here, the last week of training (week 12) has me doing lots of short and easy runs this week and to be honest, I’m relieved!

Week #11 started off a little shady with a missed workout Monday as I just wasn’t “feeling it”. Seriously, that was my decision to not work out! The good news is that the rest of the week went off extremely well!

What was Planned vs What Really Happened:

Monday June 6th: Stretch & Strengthen | Nothing. As mentioned above, I just wasn’t into working out. My husband and I took the opportunity to start cleaning the house/getting organized for Lilly’s birthday party that we’d host on the weekend.

Tuesday: 8k | 8k. Had an amazing evening run that turned out to be a negative split that I worked hard for. Once I figured out that it could happen, I worked hard to maintain my pace and increase it each kilometer. It honestly felt amazing!

june 7th run

Wednesday: 10 x 400’s | 10 x 400’s Treadmill. This too was a successful night of running after a full day. I jumped on the treadmill with a lot of caution and a little fear. How am I going to do this 10 times? I ran for 2k to warm up and then started increasing my pace. In the end, I ran 9k and nailed each 400 progressively.

June 8th TM

Thursday: 5k + Strength | 5k. Though this run was on my schedule, life just wasn’t going to line up for me to run it. I was on the road all day with work and NEEDED the night to get ready for Lilly’s birthday party (clean house). It sounds like our house is super dirty but it’s not….we just have stuff everywhere that needed to be put away.

Saï asked when I was going to run and I said I wasn’t. This surprised him as he knew I needed to run 5k. We went on and started cleaning/organizing etc. and finished roughly around 8:40pm. I decided that since it was still light out, I could get in a 5k. So off I went, in the rain and pounded out a sub 30 minute 5k…something I haven’t done in months!

June 9th rain

Friday: Rest Day | Rest Day. Nailed it again! I even enjoyed this amazing “root beer”. This beer is amazing….just like root beer…so good…so bad as you can consume many! It’s Canadian 😉

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Saturday: 5k @ Pace | Party Day at our house! We hosted 12 girls for Lilly’s 6th birthday! CRAZY! No running.

Sunday: 19k Long Run | 19k Long Run. Krystol and I were going to meet at 6:30 AM and head out on the trail for an extremely flat 19k. At 6:20 my phone beeped and my husband said “what time are you getting up”…..After looking at my phone, “oh shit”….NOW!!!! I jumped out of bed, went to the bathroom, got dress, shoved a 1/2 piece of bread with peanut butter in my mouth, went back to the bathroom and then tied up my laces as Krystol waited in her car.

Wow, I felt so terrible for not being ready! Luckily, she’s the most laid back person I’ve ever met. Off we went. The first 10k was great…like I was loving it. Lots of chatting back and forth. Around 13k the wheels started to slide a little and I needed a few random walking breaks here and there.

Post run selfie.

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Somewhere around the 15k-16k the wheels were starting to fall off and the struggle bus was coming in to pick me up. The last 3k was horrible for me. Krystol takes breaks only if I do, otherwise she’ll just keep running comfortably. I don’t now if it was the lack of prep beforehand, lack of fuel during (Honey Stinger Chews, Nuun and Water) or just the fact that around the 14k mark I struggle lately with running. Who knows??!?!?!

In the end, we got it done in 2:07:xx. Add on another 2.1k and you can probably figure out what my finish time will be. I’m not upset about this long run or the time it took me to finish. I’m more frustrated with my struggle and feel that my “fitness” is not where it should be. However, having said that….my hamstring feels great! So, THAT is a pretty good win for me!

KM run this week: 41 km

KM run this training cycle: 384 km (woah!)

Overall: It was a really good week for me and it’s finally nice to feel like it was a good running week.

What’s next: This week’s training plan as me doing the following: Stretch & Strengthen, 6k, 30 tempo run, 5k, rest, rest, RACE DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m hoping to post a few times this week about the race and how I’m feeling about it but haven’t had a lot of time for blogging lately. If you want a short version of how the training is going, check me out on Instagram.

How was your weekend?

Anyone race? Train?

How long goes it take you to get your house ready for a party?

Johnny Miles Half Marathon Training Week 10

It’s hard to believe that I only have two more weeks to go for this training cycle and then it’s race time! It’s been a journey to get to week 10 and I’m sure looking forward to the next few weeks and then a little recovery time before I start training for my 5th half marathon in September.

Last week during many runs, I just felt like I didn’t have it in me to go any distance. I struggled. I questioned myself. I even thought I wasn’t enjoying running anymore *shocker*. Not sure why I was feeling this way and why I was struggling ……

What was Planned vs. What Really Happened:

Monday May 30th: Stretch & Strengthen | Nothing or Active Rest Day. Really, I shouldn’t say nothing, as I spent 4.5 hours Monday evening at a Soccer Coaching Clinic. I’m getting back into coaching after many years off and starting with the U4 team my youngest will play on. We did some running around, short sprints and ball work. It was enough to increase my heart rate and sweat…so I’ll call this an active rest day.

Tuesday: 8k | 6k Treadmill Run. This wasn’t good. I wanted to run outside but when I got home my husband had picked up a shift at work. Good for him and really it was okay because I still had a treadmill I could use. I just struggled with this run. I’m pretty sure at some point during each kilometer I had to take a break. I wasn’t loving it and stopped at 6.12 km.

Wednesday: 45 minute Tempo Run | 8k in 49:50 Run. It was Global Running Day and I lost misplaced my Garmin and just used my every day Timex watch. Though I didn’t know my pace, I knew my overall time and the route I took. It was nice to run outside, thumbs up run.

global running day piper

Thursday: 5k + Strengthen | 5k + IronStrength. It was a double day workout and I had planned to run at lunch but just wasn’t feeling it. I jumped on the treadmill for a quick 5k and then had a 20 minute break until I started my IronStrength workout. I took a break to help my husband watch my husband put the bike rack on my car.

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I got back to doing the IronStrength workout and it was just as hard as the last time I did it. I’m pretty confident I said a few “F bombs” and lots of grunting to get through each rep. I still love this workout.

Friday: Rest Day | 22km Bike Ride. So, when your boss asks if you want to bike to a meeting, you don’t say no! There was a bicycling (Blue Route) announcement that our department had been involved in (I work in Physical Activity, Sport & Recreation). Instead of driving there, four of us biked over and it took about 45 minutes (11k) one way along the trail. A beautiful trail.

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Saturday: 8k | Rest Day. Taking it easy.

Sunday: 18k Long Run | run . My early morning long run plans were halted fast as I woke up feeling rather ill and went back to bed. I wasn’t sure if I’d even run any distance.

Once I had some food in me (two meals), I decided I’d attempt my long run. Knowing that my husband was home, I took my phone with me just in case I needed to be picked up along my route.

Eight-teen L-O-N-G kilometers by myself. In the afternoon heat (22C). Not feeling 100% What was I thinking? Well, I gotta get a run in, was what I was thinking.

The first 3k was rough but I just kept going along the secondary highway. Sidewalks, gravel/sandy paths and back to sidewalks. After all most getting hit by three cars in cross walks, I was happy to hit the 9k mark for the turn around.

I decided to run down a shady street since the heat was pounding down on me, thank goodness for visors and sunglasses. Instead of getting back on the secondary highway, I took the trail (rails to trails) all the way back home. It was great and shady in spots.

I ran into bikers, runners, walkers and 1 dam truck on the trail. Yup, a truck on a trail as it was cleaning up from a cycling event that morning. It’s all good as I heard it coming from both directions. I had some new adventures along this run that I’ll share with you another day.

The last three kilometers were a struggle but I got it done. 18k done for another week. So many thoughts, lessons learned and questioning my running in general. It all was washed away with happy kids and my husband when I arrived back at the house.

IMG_20160605_172548[1].jpgIf you’ve missed last week or want to catch up on my training, check out all the posts here: training plan, week 1, week 2, week 3, week 4, week 5, week 6, week 7, week 8, week 9Currently, I’m in week #11 and it started off not great with a missed workout yesterday and low motivation for tonight’s run.

KM run this week: 37 km

KM during this training cycle: 343 km

Overall: It was an okay week, I got in a good chunk of the mileage, loved the bike ride but am starting questioning my training/running.

In other news – my SI Joint seems to be the happiest it’s been in three months!!! I’m wondering if it’s the bike riding that helped it along?

How was your weekend? 

Anyone race, run or play outside?

What do you do when running becomes a physical struggle for you?