Tuesday, August 31, 2010

First Trail Run!!

This past weekend we were in Nordegg for a family wedding reception. We stayed at an outdoor retreat facility near Rocky Mountain House called Goldeye Centre. Unfortunately the weather was unseasonably cold- like 8 C so we bundled up to stay warm.

On Saturday morning, hubby and my brother-in-law's girlfriend went for a run around the Goldeye Lake. It's more of a trail, hence my first trail run!! There were a couple fallen trees we had to climb over, and there were some rickety boardwalks in a few places.

My pace was obviously a lot slower, but the experience was pretty neat! You have to watch your feet so you don't trip on roots and rocks but keep your eyes up so you don't run into branches hanging over the trail.

Here is a map of the run:

Total Distance- 6.06km
Total Time- 46:48 minutes
Average Pace- 7:43 min/km

It certainly felt like we were going faster! I think I might sign up for a trail race in the near future as I really enjoyed this run. There wasn't a huge elevation change so I think that helped.

I almost forgot!! We also went on a nice hike in the afternoon. We went to Crescent Falls which is a short drive from the Centre. The view is spectacular- I am so disappointed that we forgot our camera at the centre.

Photo from Wikipedia

Friday, August 27, 2010

Cooler Running

Yesterday was officially our hottest day in 2010- I heard it reached 31 C!!! Woohoo!!!

I wanted until later in the evening to run because I didn't want to run in the heat. (Un)fortunately it has become considerably cooler here- a storm was blowing in when I started my run at 8:30pm. It was great to have a cooler run, but it is supposed to be ridiculously cold this weekend so I am not impressed.

I forgot to set the auto lap on my Garmin so no lap details.

Total Distance- 5.08k
Total Time- 34:22 min
Average Pace- 6:46 min/km

I originally planned to do 7k but with my late start and the threatening clouds coming in I decided to call it a night at 5K. I ended up running into a girl who runs with our group at the practice sessions! I didn't know she lived in our community!! It was funny because we were running opposite directions and waved at each other (like fellow runners are supposed to do!) and then stopped when we realized we knew one another!! I am happy because now I will have a running partner in my area.

Big Shout Out to all those people who are racing in Ironman Canada this weekend!! You are all be extremely inspirational and I hope you have a fantastic race!! Can't wait to hear about it next week!!

Also, I need to start thinking about some fall races... my ticker is going to be sad when I have nothing to count down to. Anyone have any good suggestions for local 10k races in October/November?

**Side note- there is progress in our backyard! We have a deck and fence skeleton! I am sure if we weren't going away it would be almost finished by the end of the weekend. Maybe next weekend?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1. Just over 2 weeks until my half marathon! I am slightly worried but the scenery will be beautiful so it will be a great distraction.

2. We are going away this weekend for hubby's cousin's wedding so I don't think I will be able to get my long run in on Sunday. Instead I will take Sunday as a rest day and do my 18k on Monday after work. I think I might do the same route that we did for our 16k run last weekend, and just run 1k farther before turning around.

3. Hills last night= partial fail!! We went early since hubby had an appointment later in the evening. We ran into another one of our group members so at least we weren't the only two people running the hill! It was stinkin' hot out (not complaining!!). We were supposed to do 7 repeats. The first 3 went well- the rest I had to walk up partway because I was too hot and getting dizzy. Since it took me so long to do hills, I only had time to complete 6 instead of 7. Oh well, next week we get to do 8!!

Even my Garmin didn't want to admit how bad the workout was! It won't download the data so here is a summary for 6 hills:
Total Time- 38:05 min
Total Distance- 4.75k
Average Pace- 8:01 (I walked a lot!)

Note- we parked closer to the hills so this run doesn't include getting to and from the hill like all my previous hill workouts.

Also HAPPY 4TH ANNIVERSARY to my hubby!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Clinic hooky but I still ran!!

Last night we were going to have to do some switching around to get our run in and go to the clinic. Hubby had a client appointment at 7:30pm so that meant that we would have to run before our clinic and then leave right after the guest speaker.

I ended up reading my book and having a nap. I didn't wake up until the time the clinic was starting so there was no point in going anymore.

Hubby went to his appointment and I went for a run around 7:45pm.
Nice and easy 5k.

Lap 1- 6:59 6:51- easy warm up, partly uphill
Lap 2- 6:05- found some speedy legs, also partly downhill
Lap 3- ?? 6:56 - slower, closer to 7:00, lots of uphills.
Lap 4- 6:43
Lap 5- ??  6:54
Total Distance- 5km
Total Time- 33:32 minutes
Average Pace- 6:42 min/km

I need to start working on consistency. I don't think I should have gone as hard and fast for the 2nd km because it really tired me out for the remaining 3k. It's so hard to slow down when you feel good!!

I had set my Virtual Partner to 6:30 pace, so sometimes I was ahead of her and most times I was behind her. If I just stayed with her I probably wouldn't have burned out, and I would have finished a minute sooner. I think I need to set an alarm so it beeps when I am behind...

I also decided I need better tunes for my iPod. I have one playlist that I really like but I have listened to it too many times. The rest of them suck and I will blame them for my slower pace!! Haha.

There is some sort of Windows bug on our computer right now that is messing with the Internet so I can't upload my workout. I included the details that I remember but I will have to update later.

Tonight we have 7 hills. Hubby has another client appointment that interferes with the timing of our group run so we will have to get to the hill early and hopefully overlap with the rest of our group when they start their run. Should be interesting as they are forecasting another hot (for us) day- 27 C.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Longest Run to Date- 16k!!!

Sunday was our LSD- my longest distance ever- 16k! We were blessed with great running weather at 8:30am- around 14 C. Normally I would be annoyed with the chilly summer weather, but it sure made the run a lot easier to not have to deal with the heat.

I had a yogurt cup at home before leaving, and brought my GU Chomps. I wore capris, a short sleeve shirt and my newly acquired arm warmers (which I have since lost :( ). It was perfect because I would have been too warm with a sweater on, but too cold without sleeves for the first few kms.

I started the run with a few girls who normally run a little faster than me. I can usually keep up when we are running shorter distances, but around 4km they picked up the pace and I stayed back. Luckily I brought my iPod to keep me company!

I did 10 and 1s and managed to maintain a pace I am happy with for most of the run. It was an out and back course which I enjoy. There were a few hills that we had to deal with but nothing too crazy.

I started eating my GU Chomps about 45 minutes into the run. From this point on, I would usual have one every 10 minutes at a walk break, and wash it down with some water.

I pretty much ran the entire time by myself. I could see some other people ahead of me, but we were running the same pace so I never caught up to them. I am confident that I can run this distance by myself though and don’t need someone there to push me the entire time.

I reached the 8k turn around point and felt good. I did start to feel some hip/inner thigh tightness around 11.5k but it didn’t last too long. When I reached 13k I was like “only 3k to go.” Every time I started to slow down, I just reminded myself that the faster I run, the sooner I am done.

I didn’t look at my watch too much and the 10 and 1s really helped me get through. Each walk break made the run more bearable. All I had to do was make it 10 more minutes. I never thought I would like 10 and 1s but I am hooked for the longer distances.

I won't write down my splits since obviously there are lots of them- I wish I could figure out how to get my Garmin to do the 10 and 1s but give me my splits per km rather than per 10 and 1. Not sure if this is possible- anyone know??

Total Distance- 15.95km ( I should have run to the end of the block!!)
Total Time- 1:53:08 hours
Average Pace- 7:05 min/km

Friday, August 20, 2010

Race Report- Strathmore Women's Triathlon August 15, 2010

Since this is my 3rd consecutive year doing this race, I didn’t feel overly nervous beforehand. I did have high expectations for myself and for the most part I am happy with my performance.

Strathmore is about 50 minutes from my house so I woke up at 5:30am to get ready, eat breakfast and hit the road at 6:15am. I only had a yogurt cup for breakfast which ended up being a mistake. I really should have made a smoothie or something since my approximate heat start time was 10:30am.

I left the house right on time- I already had my bike on the bike rack so that I wouldn’t have to fiddle with it. I did have to tighten the straps a lot since they came loose overnight. I was a little worried that my bike would fall off on the highway because this was my first time putting the bike rack on the car (usually hubby does it) but he wasn’t around to do it. Luckily I had no issues there.

I arrived in Strathmore just after 7:00am. I took my bag to transition right away to reserve a spot (2nd row!!) and took my bike over to the bike inspection to have my tires pumped up. I put my bike into transition and headed inside to be body marked and get my timing chip. Once I was done that, I headed back to transition to set up my stuff.

BlueBelle (bike) and Tweety (towel) in transition
My helmet is under my towels.

It was now 7:45am and the waiting begins! My heat time is approximately 10:35am so I have plenty of time to sit around and get nervous! Unfortunately I didn't know anyone at this race (other than 1 volunteer who is a friend of my sis') so I chatted with a few people around me after the pre-race meeting. There is no viewing areas in the pool so I just sat close to transition to cheer on the racers before me.

The relay teams started first. This is the 1st year they have had relay teams. I definitely want to do a relay some day. My mom asked me if I was to do a relay which sport would I like to do and I said bike. I would honestly do any of the 3 but the bike seems to be my strength.

While I was waiting I ate most of a Power Bar and drank a couple bottles of water. It was warming up outside so I didn't want to be dehydrated. Around 9:45am I went to change into my tri suit and get myself organized for my heat. It was supposed to start at 10:35, but the race started about 30 minutes late so I didn't end up getting into the pool until 11:00am.

Luckily my family found me before I went into the pool so they knew when to keep an eye out for me in transition. They are practically professional triathlon cheerleaders since this is the 3rd time they have watched me do this race. They are awesome and it definitely helps to know you have your people cheering you on.

Swim 500m:
This year was a continuous feed system, meaning that there are 4 swimmers in a lane at all times. When one person gets out, another one gets in. Works fairly well and it goes by quicker than if you have 4 people start at the same time, and the next 4 don't get in until the previous 4 are all out.
When it was my time to start I had to wait a few seconds until 2 of the people in the lane were out of the way. Then they started doing backstroke... they let me pass at the wall right away which is nice. I just went nice and easy and didn't push too hard. It felt like one of my best swims actually. I was calm, didn't breath in any water, and my heart wasn't pounding. It went by really fast!!
When I got out my watch said 13:03 minutes which I am super happy with considering I didn't spend much time in the pool this year.

My official swim time was 13:35 (includes waiting to get into my lane, and walking to the far side of the pool to the next timing mat before T1)

I felt great coming out of the pool and once I got outside I ran to my spot in transition. Since my Garmin isn't water proof (well it says it is but I don't think you are supposed to swim with it) I wore my pink HR watch. I had to switch watches in transition and get my Garmin started so I think I spent a couple extra seconds there that I normally wouldn't have to worry about. Since it was really warming up, all I did was towel off my feet and didn't bother drying off any of my body. Love my tri suit (other than the fact that it makes me look really unattractive) and it's quick-drying abilities! I threw on my helmet, sunglasses, socks, bike shoes, quick spray of sunscreen and had a couple sips of water. Don't know my transition time for sure but I think it was about 2 minutes?

Bike 20k:
Earlier in the morning it seemed like the wind was picking up so I was very happy to get out on the highway and there was barely any wind. It is a 20k out and back course, with a slight downhill the first 10k and what goes down must come up so the last 10k are uphill. I was feeling fantastic so I just started passing people like no bodies business. I ate a couple Gu Chomps and drank some water. I knew the hard part was coming up so I needed to fuel.
At the turnaround I immediately passed 3 more cyclists. I did the 1st 10k in about 18:30 minutes but I knew I would not have a negative split with the slight uphill and couple big hills to go up to get back to transition.
Then the games began. I started playing cat and mouse with a girl I passed around 9k. She would get ahead of me and then I would catch up and pass her. She seemed to be a better climber and I am better on the flats and downhills. We did this about 3 times and I finally passed her for good just before we reached transition. That felt good! I owe my massive push in the last 10k to her.
Official bike time (includes T1 & T2) was 46:14. I took about 3.5 minutes off from last year!

No split available (I tried to use the lap button on my watch but I don't think it worked...). It was pretty quick- rack bike, take off the helmet, put on the hat, take a sip of water, take off bike shoes, put on running shoes and GO! Looking back I should have taken some Gu Chomps with me.

Run 5k:
My legs immediately felt like lead as soon as I started running. I knew this was going to be interesting. It was warm out and I started to feel hungry! Great! My plan was to use my Virtual Partner on my Garmin to keep me on pace. What I forgot is that it gets messed up when I use it on the bike before my run... it was telling me I was waaayyyy ahead of my VP because obviously I am a lot quicker on the bike. Next time I will have to fiddle around with the settings. I might have to take the time to set up the VP when I start my run.
The 5k course changed from last year so it was mostly on pathways. My only issue was this year they didn't have a water station right at the beginning of the run. They only had one station (that you ran past twice) and it wasn't until 2k.
I didn't have any mental struggles during this run but I definitely didn't feel like pushing my happy pace. I knew I would be happy just beating my overall time from last year and I could do that at this pace. I think if I had some Gu Chomps it would have given me the energy to go faster so I will know for next race to bring some even if I don't feel like it right off the bike.
My family was cheering me on at the finish line and I did push myself for the last 100m or so. Sweet  relief to be done!
My official run time was 34:43 (average pace 6:56 min/km) Darn- almost a minute slower than last year!! Oh well- as hubby said I haven't done any speed training this year, just endurance.

Total 1:34:30

I was not kidding about the unattractive tri suit!
Also I have no idea why the clock is so wrong...
the race didn't start 12 hours ago. Maybe I can pretend
I was going Ironman!!

After- Race:
There is always a good meal served inside the school after the race. Last couple of years it has been lasagna, this year it was chicken breast, potatoes, and salad. Yum!!
The way the door prizes work at this race is every racers gets 10 tickets and all the prizes are at the front of the room on the stage. Each prize has a paper bag where you put your tickets into, depending on which prizes you are interested it. The grand prize is a road bike donated by a local bike shop so it's highly coveted.
Since I knew the chances of me winning it were slim, plus I don't really need a new bike, I put most of my tickets into different bags.

I won big time!!

I won a balance ball (which is good since hubby needs one for his physio), balance board, arm warmers, compression socks, and shoes!!! Awesome!! Makes up for all the races that I didn't win anything!

After the awards and prizes I packed up and headed home. I pretty much went to bed as soon as I got home!!

My loot!!
Shoes and Compression socks are gift certificates.

Race shirt (I didn't get the technical one since they always fit weird)
and finisher's medal!!

Medal close up

After-Race Thoughts:
- My lack of nutrition intake before my heat started certainly affected my performance. I don't know why I thought a yogurt and Power Bar would tide me over for 5.5 hours.
- I am disappointed that my 5k wasn't faster but that just means that I need to train more for a faster 5k next time. I hoped that running more and training for a half marathon would mean a faster 5k but I guess that isn't true (this time).
- More bike-run brick workouts probably would have helped the lead leg feeling.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1.  I promise I am working on my race report and will hopefully have it up later today.

2.  No bloody toe after last night's run!! Guess the band aid helped. I am still getting the blisters though. Maybe these shoes aren't working for me even though they are the same as my last pair (just a year newer). I thought I was safe sticking to what worked but I might be looking for a new pair sooner rather than later.

3.  So yesterday was our hottest day of the year- I think it hit 29.9 C. I am sure all you Easterners won't be happy to hear that since you are all melting in heat waves. Since I am not used to running in heat, my hill workout was even more less than enjoyable!!! Our instructor told us to go at our own pace and do what we can. I went slower than usual due to the heat and just being tired overall. I am not used to running 4 days in a row!! How many days in a row do you normally run before taking a break, either rest or to cross train?


Lap 1- 12:09min 1.51km 8:01 AP- on the way to the hill, easy  pace with Ashley & walked a bit for her to catch up
Lap 2- 00:02:52 0.39 07:18 - uphill
Lap 3- 00:02:26 0.40 06:08 -downhill
Lap 4- 00:03:02 0.40 07:35- uphill
Lap 5- 00:02:31 0.40 06:20- downhill
Lap 6- 00:03:21 0.40 08:26- uphill
Lap 7- 00:02:43 0.40 06:52- downhill
Lap 8- 00:03:22 0.39 08:38- uphill
Lap 9- 00:02:44 0.39 06:57- downhill
Lap 10- 00:03:19 0.39 08:27- uphill
Lap 11- 00:02:43 0.40 06:51- downhill
Lap 12- 00:03:09 0.40 07:52 - uphill
Lap 13- 00:02:22 0.37 06:21- downhill
Lap 14- 00:10:24 1.50 06:55- back to the store
Total Time- 57:14 min
Total Distance- 7.75km
Average Pace- 7:23 min/km

I walked at the beginning of each lap so I could take in some water and get my heart rate down. Normally I only walk for a few steps at the top of each uphill but this time I was walking even at the start of the uphills to drink water. The heat really is a killer. I don't know how you people run in this weather, plus humidity all the time!!  Yuck!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tuesday Tempo

Well the weather has taken a turn for the worse. It was only about 15 C outside for our run last night. While I am sure everyone else hated the weather, I didn't mind running in the cool air.

We had a guest speaker come talk to our clinic briefly about the importance of cross training. Since I do triathlons I get lots of cross training in. It's nice to be able to switch it up. Even though I am focusing on training for my half marathon now, I will still try to cross train a couple times a week to keep things interesting.

Yesterday's run wasn't anything exciting. One of the usual 4.76k loops. I started out slower to run with Ashley, but also because I wanted to take it easy. I picked up the pace towards the end.


Lap 1- 7:12
Lap 2- 7:11
Lap 3- 6:52
Lap 4- 6:48
Lap 5- 5:50 (0.76k)
Total Distance- 4.76k
Total Time- 32:31min
Average Pace- 6:49 min/km

It felt good to push at the end. It also helps that it is a nice downhill... The first 2 km are a gradual uphill but I definitely wasn't pushing as hard as I could.

Annnndddd my toe bled again! WTF?? I am going to put a bandaid on it for my run tonight and hopefully that will help. I think the same cut keeps opening up.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Make-up LSD

On Sunday I was supposed to run 14k LSD. Since I had my race that didn't happen.

I hoped that I would be able to do my race and in the evening run an extra 9k for a total 14k.
I pretty much fell asleep as soon as I got home so there was no run in the evening.

My back up plan was to do the additional 9k on Monday night since that is usually my rest day.
Around 6:30pm I set out for my run. We have been having some nice weather the last couple of days so the sun was out and it was about 26 C. I made sure I put on some sunscreen to avoid weird tan lines.

I wanted to do this run all in my neighborhood because I didn't want to run on the gravel road or cross the sketchy road that is busy this time of night. As you can see from my garmin map I ran through pretty much every street in my neighbourhood!! It was neat to see how much the community has changed in only a few weeks- houses are popping up everywhere, new streets are being created, and new pathways are being poured! That means more places to run!!

I did 10 and 1s which worked well as usual. I was super sweaty but I felt good. My legs weren't too tired and I was able to push myself. My splits ended up being pretty even (yay!) so I won't post them all.

Total Distance- 8.57k
Total Time- 1:01 hours 
Average Pace- 7:09min/km

I ended up having to cut my run short by about half a km because I had to go to the bathroom. I didn't feel there was much point in going back out to run 0.43km!!

I did get another bloody toe. Same toe- this time I couldn't find anything in my shoe. Not sure what's going on. It didn't bother me at all until I got in the shower and the water stung a bit on the cut.

Next Sunday we are doing 16k (although I should be doing 17k).

Monday, August 16, 2010

"What's Your... ?"

My race report isn't ready yet and I am hoping to have some pro pictures to add when they come available. To tide you over until then, here is some random info about me (in case you were wondering).

I borrowed this from Kat at Kat Moving Forward

What's Your... ?"

Gel (or similar)?- GU Chomps- tastes like candy! I don’t like the consistency of gels so these jelly type candies work well.

PR?- Most of my races are different distances, but since I have done the Strathmore Women's Tri 3x my PR is 1:34:30

Furthest Distance? Running is 14k (16k on Sunday!), Biking is 65k, and swimming (in a race) is 1500m.

First Race? First running race was a 5k- Open Minds in July 2008. My time was 38+ minutes. My first tri was Strathmore Women's Tri in August 2008.

Favourite Race? Strathmore Women’s Tri. Wasa Lake Tri was fun as well- minus the lake swim!

Pet(s)? Cat named Milo.

Power Song? Pocket Full of Sunshine by Natasha Beddingfield

Guilty Food Pleasure? Chips and anything sweet

Pet Peeve? People who walk in the fast lane at the pool, groups of people who take up the entire pathway when running or walking, and cyclists who don't wear helmets (and these are just the sports related ones!)

Shoe Size? 8-8.5

So What's your...? You can answer either in the comments or make your own blog posting.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Yay! Race is done!!!

I beat my time from last year by a couple minutes. Official time is 1:34:30!!

Full race report to come later.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Upcoming Race Goals/Plan

Two more days till the big race!!!

I love this race so much. Why??

- my sis and her family live in Strathmore so they come cheer me on
- it's a smaller race- about 300 women so it is intimate, not hugely competitive and everyone just has fun!
- You get a flower shaped medal when you finish (I will take pics after the race)

So goals....

If you have been following me the last couple months, you know that my training has been a bit all over the place. I am like a binge trainer... I go through spurts of training lots, and then fall off the wagon for a couple weeks (or months). At the beginning of the year I had huge intentions of being under 1:30 hours for this race but I have come to the realization that this probably won't happen.
Then I decided that I wanted to at least break 30 minutes on the 5k run. Well based on how my runs have been going, I will be happy to beat my 5k time from last year-33:52. I am a little disappointed because I feel like I have been focusing on my running more in the last year (although I have taken breaks) so why am I the same or slower than last year? I am trying to not get down on myself because I do this for FUN.

Goal A- Shoot for the Moon: Total time under 1:30
Goal B- Possible but not likely:  5K under 30 minutes
Goal C- finish faster than last year (1:36:46- if only by a second!) and/or have a faster run than last year (less than 33:52).
Goal D- just finish with a smile on my face because I get to do this!!

I would be happy to achieve any of these goals. I think C & D are more realistic, although I was better trained for the bike and swim last year.
It all depends on the weather too- if it is super windy, the bike won't be fun! The bike time includes both transitions too.

Either way, I just want to have fun and enjoy myself! I am so lucky that I get to participate in this sport- I have a working body (FX!) and a supportive hubby and family who cheer me on.

Now I just have to figure out how to put the bike rack on the car...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1. Only 3 more days till Strathmore Women's Triathlon! I will have my regular crew of cheerleaders minus my hubby since he is going fishing in some remote northern area of Alberta or Saskatchewan. This will be the first time he is not at one of my races. I will miss his moral support.

2. I felt like a runner for realz last night when I took my shoes off after doing hills and there was blood on my shoe and sock. Turns out there was something in my shoes (rock?) that irritated my 3rd toe on my right foot and caused it to bleed. I didn't feel a thing! Then hubby said it doesn't count because it wasn't the running that actually caused my toe to bleed. I disagree... :P

3. Another hill training session goes down in the books. We did 5 repeats of the same hill as the last 2 weeks. I ran with Ashley who is a slower runner, which is good for me since I should technically be tapering a bit for my upcoming race. I did the nasal breathing again and it felt pretty good. I did get some comments that I looked mad/too serious while running but I have to keep my lips sealed so as to not mouth breath!!


Lap 1-11:34 min 1.49k 7:46 pace- From the store going slower to stay with Ashley & caught a couple lights
Lap 2- 2:53 min 0.39k 7:20 pace- uphill
Lap 3- 2:26 min 0.40k 6:08 pace- downhill 
Lap 4- 3:01 min 0.40k 7:35 pace- uphill
Lap 5- 2:31 min 0.40k 6:18 pace- downhill
Lap 6- 3:06 min 0.40k 7:43 pace- uphill
Lap 7- 2:53 min 0.40k 7:07 pace- downhill
Lap 8- 3:12 min 0.40k 8:03 pace- uphill (slow much?)
Lap 9- 2:54 min 0.40k 7:11 pace- downhill- too slow
Lap 10- 3:03 min 0.39k 7:47 pace- uphill
Lap 11- 2:35 min 0.40k 6:27 pace- downhill- this is better.
Lap 12- 10:06 min 1.49k 6:47 pace- back to the store (a full minute faster than my pace there!)
Total Time- 50:20 min
Total Distance- 6:98 km
Average Pace- 7:12 min/km

I need to be more consistent with my laps. They are a little bit all over the place. I started to walk for a bit at the top to get my HR under control so this affected my pace on the way down.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Chi Running

Last night we had our weekly clinic and our guest speaker was Grant Molyneux from Vitalize. He is a coach for endurance athletes and he talked to us about Chi Running. Due to time constraints he could only talk to us about a few key things about Chi Running:

1- Nasal Breathing- uses less energy to breath through your nose (in and out) rather than through your mouth. You dehydrate at a slower rate (4 times slower), the air is moisturized as it goes into your lungs, you breath deeper, your mouth isn't dry and I am sure there are other pros that I haven't mentioned.

2- Effortless Exercise- rather than work your muscles while running, use gravity to push you. You will exert less energy, therefore run faster and longer. For example he recommends "peeling" your feet off the ground without engaging the calf muscle rather than "picking" up your legs and putting them down. To practice, he said stand still, lean forward as if you are falling and start running. Not sure if that makes sense...

Grant has also trained Ken, who came to talk to us a few weeks ago about Heart Rate Monitor training and this is how he trains. He believes in building a base first, and then working on speed once you have that base.

So I decided to put some of Grant's methods to work on our 4k Trampoline Alley route.
Based on my splits, I think it worked:

Lap 1- 6:16 min
Lap 2- 6:27 min
Lap 3- 6:23 min
Lap 4- 6:29 min
Lap 5- 0:35 sec
Total Distance- 4.10k
Total Time- 26:12 min 
Average Pace- 6:23min/km

I tried the nasal breathing and I think it worked well. I was definitely concentrating on it. It wasn't quiet though- still huffy. Grant said it takes time for the body to get used to the nasal breathing. I think the hardest part about it will be remembering to do it. You can't nasal breath while talking so it kinda ruins the social aspect of the run! I guess if you are talking while running, you aren't at the peak of your HR so it probably still works?

What running method(s) do you use? I didn't really know much about different running methods until this clinic so I am interested to hear about what other runners do.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Stormy Bike Ride

Well it's back to Thunderstorms for Calgary! After Hubby picked me up from work yesterday we went to the garden centre to buy some bushes and plants for our front yard (progress!). We ended up getting stuck in one of the buildings because it was raining so hard and we wanted it to stop before we went outside!!!

After getting home, and having dinner we ventured out for a bike ride. Only 5 more days till my triathlon!! I just wanted to do a short ride and that's what I got!! About 15 minutes into the ride we could see some nasty clouds in the direction that we were riding in, and then the lightening started! Eeeekkk! We decided to turn around and go the other way to get some more mileage in.
Unfortunately the storm followed us so once we turned around to go home we rode right into the rain. Big fat drops!! Luckily there was no hail. We hurried home but not before it poured on us! Needless to say we were a little soaked!

Total Distance- 22.59km Total Time- 55:22 minutes

If you are looking for a new blog to follow, check out Kat Moving Forward. She is training for a marathon and very entertaining! Plus she has giveaways!!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Hansen Ranch 12K

You know it's going to be an interesting run when everyone at the practice club gives you a pitiful look when you say you are doing the Hansen Ranch route. Awhile back hubby and I tried to find some decent bike routes in the NW and we drove over to Hansen Ranch which is about 5 minutes from our house. It was super hilly, and the pathways ended randomly.  Needless to say we didn't have the greatest experience biking that day.

I didn't know that Panorama and Hansen Ranch were connected although it does make sense now that I have been through the area. Basically this route goes up and down, up and down, up and down!! Like a rollercoaster! Luckily it was a little chilly on Sunday morning so the weather was good for a long, hilly run.

For what seemed like a pretty challenging run, I had a great time!! I had a Garmin fail- I programmed a workout for 10 and 1s but I started the timer by accident so when I stopped it I cancelled the workout. When I started my actual run, I didn't re-set the workout so it just timed it- no splits, no 10 and 1s.

I ran with Paul and just walked when he did. The first half of the run was super challenging since we were going uphill for what seemed like forever. I managed to maintain a 7:22 pace with walk breaks so I was relatively happy with that. I really wish I had splits though since I was way faster on the way back- downhill. My legs felt so good and at 10k I still felt like I could run another 5k no problem. I think the longer, slower runs agree with me more. The short, speedy ones tend to be more challenging.

Even though I wore blister bandaids, I still ended up getting blisters again in the same spot!! WTH??? Next time I will just lather on the body glide and hope that helps. They don't bother me when I run, I can feel them forming though.

Total Time- 1:28:32 Total Distance- 12:00k Average Pace- 7:22 min/km

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Lane Swim on a Saturday= Annoying!

I had a full body massage booked for Saturday morning and I needed it! I was trying a new clinic close to my house so I rolled out of bed and went straight for my massage. It was so relaxing! The MT's name is Angie and she really worked on the knots on my back and shoulders. I had her work my legs a bit too and did it ever hurt!!! My legs weren't feeling too sore since I had rested on Friday but I knew my hamstrings were tight. That wasn't an enjoyable part of the massage.

The lane swim at Thornhill pool is from 12-1:30pm and I was hoping it would be quiet since it was so nice outside. No dice. It was pretty busy. I managed to get a spot in the fast lane with a couple other people my pace. A slow, lane walker at one point jumped into my lane and just about got run over a few times. She would stand at the end of the lane and bounce. I am not sure why she felt the need to do this in the FAST lane but thankfully she didn't stay long!

I swam ~1200m. I worked with paddles and the pull buoy for a bit. I think I may have miscounted the last time I timed myself because I did 500m in 13:24 which is about a minute slower than last time. Oh well. I will know for sure next week- only 7 days till Strathmore Triathlon!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Spin Me Away

My bike has been neglected the last couple of weeks so I knew I couldn't skip another session.
It was a gorgeous night- sunny and about 23 C. Part of the reason why I haven't been riding my bike much is because I hate having to drive somewhere to ride my bike. It is time consuming and I find it defeats the purpose. Unfortunately living in a new neighborhood the surrounding roads aren't very bike friendly- narrow or no shoulders, lots of traffic including big trucks, and big hills (I mean huge!). I am generally not afraid to ride on the highway with cars whizzing by at 100km/hr, but when there is no shoulder, and the ditch is a massive drop I am a little apprehensive to get out there!

I had a thought earlier this week that what if I go further towards Airdrie on the country roads? I looked up routes on Map My Ride to see if other people had done this and sure enough there was one route mapped from 2009. I have driven these roads before but you don't notice bad ashphalt, pot holes, narrow shoulders, etc. as much in a car.

Hubby and I decided to do a short ride- at least 20k but not much more. He is still in recovery mode and I don't really need to work on distance for my race next week (at this point anyway).

The first part of the route is pretty rough- the ashphalt definitely needs to be re-done. Once we turned onto Range Road 20 it was nice. The shoulders are only about a foot wide, but the speed limit is 60 (there are lots of acreages) and there wasn't much traffic at 7:30pm. I forgot my bike computer so while I had my Garmin on my wrist I didn't have cadence and I felt so lost!


Symons Valley Road


Most of the ride was really good. There were a few hills to climb and I tried to keep up my speed and cadence since I know I will have to deal with hills race day. We did an out and back, except for the last few km. We took a different road which is the same road we started on and it was just as rough. Since we were going slower (so bumpy) the mosquitos were nuts. It was a nice ride and I will do the route again, minus the rough part at the end.

Total Distance- 24.24k
Total Time- 1:01:40

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1. Is it Thursday already? This week has just flown by! This whole summer has flown by... It has barely warmed up enough for me to wear my summer clothes and in a few weeks I will be pulling the winter stuff out again. How depressing. I am still holding out for a super warm and beautiful September!

2. Blisters. They are back- or rather never fully went away. I ran out of blister bandaids and they didn't bother me on my Tuesday run. However last night I could feel them growing again (ew!). I was wearing my normal running socks. I guess I will keep the bandaids on until they completely dry up and hopefully they won't come back. Should I wear thicker socks?

3. Last night we had another hill workout. Same hill as last week- X 4. It was the perfect running temperature again. I didn't push hard enough on the hills though because I had lots of energy on the run back to the store!


Lap 1- 7:11 AP- 1.51k- to the hill- warm up, walked a few lights
Lap 2- 7:14 AP- 0.39k- uphill
Lap 3- 5:55 AP- 0.40k- downhill
Lap 4- 7:23 AP- 0.40k- uphill
Lap 5- 6:17 AP- 0.40k- downhill
Lap 6- 7:44 AP- 0.40k- uphill
Lap 7- 6:34 AP- 0.40k- downhill
Lap 8- 7:40 AP- 0.40k- uphill
Lap 9- 6:01 AP- 0.40k- downhill
Lap 10- 6:23 AP- 1.65k- back to the store, slight downhill.
Total Distance- 6.35k Total Time- 43:15 min Average Pace- 6:48 min/km

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Weekend Events and Back At It

What a weekend!! Hubby successfully completed the Calgary Ironman 70.3 on Sunday! I am so proud of his hard work and determination! He did really well and finished strong.

It was a great experience volunteering at a bike aid station. I had so much fun cheering on all the competitors! The Pros are ridiculously fast and just blew through the aid station- most of them didn't even pause to take anything. It took a few tries to figure out the best way to hand out the water, Gatorade and power bars while the cyclists were whizzing by.

 This was Kieran Doe- the guy who won. He didn't take anything from the aid station!

I saw all my friends and some old club members that were participating. We were located around 65k into the course so a lot of people were feeling pretty tired by the time they got to us or maybe they were just thinking about the half marathon coming up!!

It definitely inspired me to try a half ironman someday. Hubby said he isn't interested in doing another one for a few years though!

Once all the cyclists went through our aid station we packed up and I headed to Glenmore Reservoir to the finish line. I was able to see a lot of my friends finish. There was so much cheering going on and the finishers received belt buckles instead of medals.

The crowd at the finish line

Hubby almost at the finish!

After hubby finished we headed back home to clean up and hit the road for Medicine Hat. My cousin's engagement party was on Monday and we were also going to visit some of hubby's family that lives there. The drive was pretty uneventful (except for the badger that tried to cross the road in front of me!) and we made it there by 8pm. We visited with the family for a couple hours before going to bed as we were exhausted! We spent the Monday morning hanging out and headed over to the engagement party in the early afternoon. It was a gorgeous day and it was so nice to see my family. The wedding is next June so we will be back in Medicine Hat for it.

So after two rest days in a row, I had a brick workout scheduled for Tuesday- swim right after work and our regular run clinic at 6:15pm. The swim went well. I worked on technique again. Hubby was trying to help me work on my pull and lengthening my strokes. Next time he is going to bring the camera so I can watch myself. I didn't keep track but I probably did 1500m in an hour.

After the swim we went straight to the clinic. One of our pacers is also a Garmin expert so he gave us a talk about how they work and helped some of us out who had questions about our Garmins. After the talk we did 4k tempo run. It was a nice evening, around 20 C so perfect running conditions.


Lap 1- 6:53- ok gotta hurry up. VP set at 6:51
Lap 2- 6:30- much better
Lap 3- 6:09- picked it up at the turn around. On the way home!
Lap 4- 6:21- trying to hold on
Total Distance-  4k Total Time- 26:04 min  Average Pace- 6:28

The run felt great but I am a little discouraged that I won't hit that sub 30 minute 5k at the Strathmore Triathlon in 11 days. I might have to come up with a Plan B so that I am not disappointed.

And holy crap- my half marathon is in 5 weeks!!!