Running: Food for the Soul

Running these days is like food for the soul. It can allow you to escape reality, forget your troubles and engage you in away that nothing else can.

I’m running more now than I have in the past for many reasons (no injuries being one of them) but it’s also a great stress reliever. Working full time from home, helping my kids with “school” work and other normal life responsibilities are taking a toll.

Good sleep has become a big priority over the last few months. I actually slept-in for the first time in weeks this morning and it was lovely. I didn’t have to get up and get ready for work as it’s Victoria Day / May 2-4 long weekend. I also did my long run yesterday, so no early morning run today. I’m still in my PJ’s as I write this, also not normal for me at this time of day.

Our bubble expanded on the weekend in Nova Scotia and we got to see my parents in person for the first time in 9-10 weeks – it was just what we all needed. The weather is finally feeling like spring too – we really needed this weather.

Yesterday I participated in my second virtual run…. which should have been my 8th half marathon at the Blunose Marathon. They offered a “distance run” for free. It was so great to see all the #BN2020 over social media this weekend.

I ran the 15k distance run as I my body isn’t quite ready for a half marathon right now.

I ran 5k around my subdivision, which has some good hills, then headed out on hwy 1 (sidewalks) for 5k and returned home, another 5k. My legs felt heavy towards the last 4k but I kept going and felt great once I finished, in 1:44:19. Not an amazing time but I’m happy with that pace for now.

I’m looking at a few more virtual races over the coming months, cause why not! It will keep me running, healthy and fuel my soul, mind and body.

On a separate note, I’m barely reading lately. I had a goal of reading 20 books this year and so far I’ve finished 9. I have one book on the go but not loving it – I’ll spare you the title. Then I’m digging into “Little Fires Everywhere”. I’ve read the first few pages but want to finish my other book before getting into this one.

I’m still loving early morning runs to start my day and getting close to taking my bike off its trainer. Still hoping unclipping my shoes will be as easy outside as is inside on the trainer. We’ll see soon!

What books are you reading ?

Anyone else doing virtual runs?

What’s fueling your soul right now?

Bluenose Half Marathon Recap 2018

Woohoo…half marathon #6 completed!

We started off my traveling into the city Friday afternoon where I took in the expo sans kiddies and took zero photos, whoops! It was a in a new location which I hadn’t noticed in any of the emails so that threw me off a bit. It was a packed expo with so many great booths to visit. I ran into some runner friends which is always a bonus.

Saturday, I took the girls to the 2k youth run. Our youngest didn’t love it and really just wanted to walk and our oldest just wanted to run. We compromised with a run/walk combo since it was just me with them. They had a blast and their favourite part was getting the food after and acquiring multiple tattoo’s at the expo (again).

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Weekly workouts:

I was really nervous about this half. Last week I did the following runs: Monday – rest day, Tuesday 6k, Wednesday 5k, Thursday and Friday rest days and Saturday 2k – well 1.74km with the girls. I was feeling under trained – which shouldn’t be a surprise if you’ve been following along for the last 10-12 weeks. It was what it was and I was running it whether I felt trained or under trained.

Saturday was beautifully hot and sunshine for hours for the youth run and 5k that afternoon. Come Sunday morning, it was pouring rain and temps were expected to be 12c. It ended up being a little warmer at 15c but still lots of rain. I didn’t know what to wear so put on my shorts, tank/long sleeve shirt and Tiux socks. I brought my running jacket and long pants just in case. I ended up changing from my shorts to long pants in the car and wore my tank, long sleeved shirt AND my running jacket – a little warm for all that but it was good for the first 8k of my run.

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My friend Sarah was running her first half marathon (and did awesome), so we drove in together and hung out in the dry car before making our way over to the Scotiabank Centre in our poncho’s that kept us dry. After a few bathroom breaks and running into friends (my friend Tracey was running and did awesome as well). We went up to the start area around 8:08 am for a 8:20 start as we didn’t want to stand in the rain for a long time.

As the gun went off we moved forward only to be halted by the crowd in front. I always laugh at this because it happens at every race. Have you experienced that before? We cross the start mat and beeped our Garmins to start. It was crowded but that’s expected. Sarah and I ran together for the first 10 minutes and then she moved onto a 10/1’s while I did continuous. We would catch up to each other over the first 3-4k and then she eventually move forward but I could pick her out in the distance up ahead because of her hat and socks.

Around the 5k mark my Garmin beeped so I went to look at it and rolled my right ankle. No joke! Frig! I just kept moving forward and tried not to think about it and managed to run off the pain for the time being. We ran through Point Pleasant Park which was beautiful and relaxing by the water. The first BIG hill of 300 meters (0.3km) was approaching and my thought was to just push it as far as I could. I managed to run the whole thing which gave me a little confidence boost for a later HILL I would be climbing.

We ran the streets of Halifax and I was feeling really good. I was a little worried about my pace which was 6:38/km roughly from 1-11km. It just felt good and then it didn’t. It started to go downhill around 12k and I went through every thought of:

  • just keep one foot in front of the other
  • run and be happy
  • you can do this
  • I hate this
  • I never want to run a half again
  • just walk for a few seconds
  • I hate this
  • suck it up and just run

From km 12 – 18 roughly, I hated it. It was hill after hill, and I’m not just talking about little hills. These were BIG hills you had to climb forever!!! For the most part I feel I did a good job on the hills except the biggest hill and that killed me. Each time I though we were making our way to the finish area, the route would take us in an opposite direction.

When I ran this half in 2006, the route was completely different. This year they used the same route as previous years (not 2006 route) but reversed the direction. This is the main reason why I wanted to run it. I’ve learned that for the Bluenose Half Marathon it really doesn’t matter what direction you are running in because you are just going to hit hill after hill. You need to be ready for lots of hills.

I gave up a lot…like a lot. I had no drive, no energy, no interest in running – which you kinda need while running a half marathon. I really wasn’t loving it but I kept moving forward be it running or lots of walking.

Elevation Chart!!!

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Around 18k it started to pour and the wind picked up. My face was tucked under my Nuun visor but the wind was strong and blew the rain up in my face. Nothing on me was dry….I just kept running – one foot in front of the other. “You are done soon. You are almost there”. I chatting with other runners as they approach me or I approach them. I thanking volunteers and police officers who were blocking traffic in the rain! I tried to enjoy the moment even though I was struggling. I had many, many thoughts on this run.

The funny thing is, I was expecting to finish around 2 hours 30 minutes and finished under it but was so hung up on how much I had to walk and that I had no desire to run. With the rain pouring down and feeling like a kid playing outside, I managed to turn my sour-puss attitude around and enjoy the last 3k in the rain.

I thanked one of the last police officers and he said “your welcome and enjoy the remainder of the race”…I smiled and said “I will” because it was a fast downhill and then uphill to the finish. As I cruised down Cogswell Street and onto Brunswick Street to finish – close to the finish line I saw my friend Kerri who called out my name (she’s involved in the youth event) and it made me smile and just enjoy the finish shoot. I turned off my Garmin and volunteers were there giving high-fives. It took everything in me to raise my arms for three high fives – ha! I was done!

I met up with Sarah as she finished just ahead of me. We hit up the food station and then got a massage!!! I’ve never gotten a massage at a race. I was soaked from the rain and sweat, salty as heck and I stunk – I just ran a half marathon – you can’t not stink after running that long. the massage was worth it.

I finished in 2:25:44 (chip time).

That’s it! Half marathon #6 done with no races scheduled for the rest of the year! I was thinking about running a race in June but have decided I need to regroup, slow down and not race for a while….I think 😉 I want to pace a few fall races as I really enjoyed that. Oh, and my ankle is okay. Slightly swollen and sore but nothing a few days of ice and rest can’t fix.

Congrats to all those who ran the Bluenose Marathon (5k, 10k, 15k, half, full and youth run) – what a great weekend for runners in Nova Scotia!

How was your (long) weekend?

Anyone race this weekend? How’d it go?

When was the last time you rain a race in the rain?

I’m linking up with Holly and Wendy for the Weekly Wrap today.

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Half Marathon Training Week #10 ~Bluenose

Week TEN is done! I’m feeling like it’s a little hard to believe that there are only two weeks until my next half marathon.

I physically lost a week of training when we were all sick and I feel like I had to start over after that. I’m now just getting back on my feet with running. Spoiler – I had a great long run this past weekend. Having said that, I’m not where I want to be for this half marathon and I’m actually okay with that. I’m running and it’s 99% pain free, so that’s a BIG win in my eyes!

Each runner has a goal for each race they do – be it a certain time, new distance, having fun or finishing the race. When I started training for this half my plan was to work on getting my speed back but that hasn’t happened. This won’t be a PR race for me. It’s going to be one that I’m happy to hit the finish line and still feel good. Bluenose was my first half marathon back in 2006 and I finished in 2:33:56 and my PR is 2:05 (2014 at Valley Harvest).

What was Planned vs What Really Happened:

Monday: Rest Day | Rest Day. Nailed it!

Tuesday: 8k | Yoga Flow & 8k. Yoga at lunch time since it’s Tuesday! This was an evening run after my kids went to bed and my husband got home from work. It’s garbage clean up week here which means you can put ANYTHING out at the end of your driveway and it will get taken away. On my run out of my subdivision I saw this amazing MEC (similar to REI) toddler carrier and eyed it up. Yup, you guessed it, on my way back I picked it up and it was in mint condition so I threw it on my back and ran the 1/2 km home (what an awkward run). I’m donating it to a mom and tots group that go hiking – I couldn’t leave it there for the dump.

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Wednesday: 45 minute tempo run | 5k Negative split run.  This was a GREAT run. I did not plan on a negative split but once I figured out my numbers I pushed it as hard as  I could.

Thursday: 5k | Rest Day. I had full intentions of running which turned into full intention to ride my bike. Neither of those happened as my youngest had a really hard time going to bed, therefore it wasn’t happening at 8:30 pm. I took it as a rest day.

Friday: Rest Day | Rest Day. Nailed it again!

Saturday: 5k pace | 18k Long Run! Oh this run was GREAT and just what I needed. I ran 14k outside and for the most part, felt really good. I then finished off the last 4k on my treadmill. I don’t normally break up my long runs like this but this was the only time I could fit it in as my husband had to leave for work at 7:45. Yeah, I was up at 5:15 and running by 6 am.

Over 20,000 steps before 8am!

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Running on the treadmill after being outside was mentally harder then I though. I basically had it in my head that I had to run 4 k but my mind also forgot that I had already run 14 k outside. All together, it was a great long run.

Sunday: 18k | Soccer Game. We lost this game and are out of playoffs but it was great to play pain free! We also spent the day raking our front lawn, lots of walking while my daughter road her bike.

All in all, this was a really good week of training!

Total km of running this week:  31 km running, 1 Yoga Class, 1 Soccer Game.

Total km this training cycle: 168 km

How was your weekend?

Have you ever split up your runs before (inside/outside?)

Enjoy any spring activities?

I’m linking up with Holly and Wendy for the Weekly Wrap today.

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Half Marathon Training Week #8 ~Bluenose

And I’m back! I seriously thought I was never going to shake the flu! My family was sick for 7-10 days between all of us and it was horrible. I can honestly say, I never wish this virus on anyone. I thought I was never going to feel better or get back to running again. Seriously!

Having said that….I’m finally feeling on my way to better. Thank goodness! I didn’t do a whole lot of activity last week but I did get in a ride on my bike and ran as well!

What was Planned VS What Really Happened:

Monday: 50 minute cross training | Rest Day. Confirmed with family Dr. we had the flu. Rest. My husband was back to work.

Tuesday: 7km | Rest Day. The girls and I slept, watched TV and tried to eat whatever food we could. I felt like crap.

Wednesday: 40 minute tempo run | 15k Cycling. My girls and I  started to feel better so that evening I jumped on my bike to try and peddal off the remaining sickness. It felt good to be active on my bike.

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Thursday: 5k | Rest Day. I went back to work but only lasted until lunch time and I decided to head home. I then slept for 3 hours in the afternoon, both girls were back to school today.

Friday: Rest Day | Rest day.  Just needed another rest day.

Saturday: 8k |Rest Day. It was a busy day of swim lessons, a short play date, finishing our taxes and running errands.

Sunday: 16k | 15k.  Whoo, hoo, I’m back! I was really hoping to get in at least 12-14k to see if I can pull myself back into half marathon training.

The first 11k was great. I felt good, the hills and inclines were good when I really thought I’d struggle. I even managed to pick up my pace a few times and then the wheels slowed down around 12k. I had my Nuun with me and took in some fruit punch chews and may have perfected the snot rocket a few times. Hey, when a girl has been sick there is no need to keep that shit in your nose when running. I was really close to home but decided to see if I could pull off 15k and made a few extra loops to get it in.

I got back home, sat down on our stairs and felt like I coughed up a lung! It was the first coughing fit I had all morning. My body just needed to have one more coughing fit before I could head inside and warm up. It was cool and sunny on this run – so beautiful.

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I stretched and did yoga with my girls for about 35 – 40 minutes post long run, grabbed a shower and then made my second breakfast – so good! Banana/blueberry smoothie (with almond milk and strawberry Greek yogurt) plus scrambled eggs, a baby bell (okay 2) and then a crumpet with melted butter.  The smoothie was SO good!

It was such a beautiful day outside that I took the girls biking (I walked) and we went to their school to play basketball and then hit up the playground. They biked around a bit more then we went home to have a nice BBQ – first of the season!

I’m really pleased with getting in my long run and ready to continue training for my upcoming half marathon in four weeks!

Total km of running this week: 15k running, 15k cycling.

Total km this training cycle: 115km 

Total km missed: TOO MANY!!!

How was your weekend?

Anyone race or have a long run?

Have you been BBQing yet?

I’m linking up with Holly and Wendy for the Weekly Wrap today.

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