Monday, May 17, 2010

Mississauga Half....

In the last two months I have not been able to put in many quality runs and last Sunday's run of 23k was brutal so I had no idea what to expect yesterday. Maryanne and I decided to run together, or at least start off together, and her goal was to break 1:55. It would be a small miracle if I was able to pull this off given my previous training but figured what the heck what do I have to lose but would be secretly happy with a sub 1:57.

Maryanne and I agreed to our 4 minute running/35 second walk breaks for at least the first 2/3 of the race. So off we started.... you can tell Maryanne had some great energy yesterday for she looked like she was weaving ahead effortlessly as I turned my feet even faster to keep up and relished the knowledge that I would be getting frequent walks to slow my heartbeat that was pulsing incredibly fast. I knew that I might be starting out too fast but I thought that maybe the pull of Maryanne's running mojo might pull me along.

I really enjoyed the course, especially since the first 10k was in the shade,as I found it to be a very peaceful route scenery wise. My biggest complaint is that the race did not implement start waves. In fact both the half and the full started at the same time and there really wasn't any order to who was where in the starting corral so for the first 14k, we found ourselves constantly side stepping and weaving between people to get ahead. I know I expended a lot of unnecessary energy doing this but I know that if I didn't, I would not have finished in the time I did. It would definitely be my recommendation for the future to implement start waves like they are doing for many races now a days. I can't remember exactly when I told Maryanne to not worry about me and just do what feels best for her, it might have been at the 16k mark. I tried hard to keep up to her but it was not to be had. With 3k to go I desperately wanted to walk the rest of the way in but I told myself that even if I slow it down I need to keep running, just put one foot in front of the other and I will get there soon. I did end up walking at each marker for about 30-40 seconds and forced myself to start back up each time. At about the 19-20k mark I passed one guy who was wearing flip flops and carrying a bag around his back. When I saw this I remember saying, if he can do it in flip flops I can do this and I can't let a guy in flip flops beat me to the finish. I can honestly say that if the crowd support wasn't there in the last 500 meters I would have walked in but the energy you get from their cheers and support can't help to pull you right up to the finish. In the end I finished in 1:56:42, sub 1:57 yahoo!!!

The post-food race was excellent. You had your standard bananas and bagels but they also had an array of packaged nuts, nut bars and sugary sweet popcorn. Yumm! Maryanne and I took the next hour easy, refuelling and hydrating ourselves for it turned out to be a sunny day before we made our way to the 40/41k marker to cheer on our fellow comrades who were doing the full event, There were over a dozen of our running friends who were running the full and it was such a great experience being able to cheer them on. A couple were successful in qualifying for Boston, many boasted PB's in the end, and/or had amazing runs given the training they were able to put in up to this event. Congrats to everyone who ran, it is an accomplishment in itself regardless of final time!


Friday, May 14, 2010

Chicken Pox

I am starting to wonder how much negative karma my husband and I have built up over our past lives because it seems that we are in a payback zone these last 5 years. The latest issue is that Reilly has come down with Chicken Pox. Yes, Chicken Pox! She was vaccinated for it and I was under the belief that this meant you wouldn't get Chicken Pox but apparently that isn't the case. There have been a handful of cases within her daycare in the last two weeks and according to the Public Health policy that the daycare follows, your child can still attend the daycare as long as they don't have a fever. Given that Chicken Pox is highly contagious and can spread outside of a fever, we knew it was going to be a matter of time before the girls came down with it. As of this morning Reilly had no fever and despite having a couple of dozen spots over her body she was otherwise fine, so off she went to daycare to spread the love. I am only hoping Reilly truly does get a milder case given that she has had the vaccine, for of all people she doesn't need this additional stress on her body. And of course we had a full social calendar this coming weekend that included a BBQ on Saturday and a birthday party on Sunday that will need to be cancelled. I have no idea how this will affect our long weekend plans the following weekend. One day at a time I guess. I am really trying to keep my sense of humour and roll with this punch but I feel like throwing up my hands to say "what else" but I am afraid to for I know it can get worse. Knowing my luck, I will develop Shingles given that my immune system is already compromised (Shingles is something you can develop if you are exposed to Chicken Pox but have already had it in your childhood). I am crossing my fingers and toes that this won't happen. We do know that it is inevitable for London to get it too and I am hoping that she actually comes down with it in the next day or two so we can just get it over with. The funny thing is, ever since I have seen Reilly's spots I am constantly feeling itching all over my body. The itching is real but I know my mind is causing it to happen. Here is to an interesting weekend ahead.

On a running note, one of our group members is good friends with Predrag Mladenovic. He won the Mississauga Marathon in 2007 with a time of 2:23. Predrag came out to speak to us about his experience with the objective of providing those who were running this weekend with some additional motivation and/or inspiration. He was quite a humble man with an amazing sense of humour. Apparently in his past, his running career was mainly geared to shorter distances and if I remember correctly his fastest 10k time was 30 minutes and change. Incredible. His talk was definitely more on the entertaining side as he admitted going through a moment of panic when he was at the start line of the Mississauga marathon as he processed the fact again that he would need to run 42k and basically what did he get himself into. So it was great to hear that even someone of his calibre acknowledged that 42k is a long and challenging distance. Of course we were all interested in his training regime, his peak mileage, what he eats before and during a race, etc. but he wasn't as forthcoming with that information. I don't think it was because he didn't want to share but rather he is so in tune with his body and what it needs that he viewed all this stuff as an individual thing. One interesting thing I did note though is that he did mention that his longest run during his training cycle up to the/a marathon is only 30k. The wheels have been turning for me since this comment as to how I might integrate this piece of information within my own training, we will see.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Getting back on track - one step at a time

I have rewritten the first sentence of this blog entry countless times as I try to decide how to start it off. My repeated attempts to try to capture what I would like to say, further reinforces my current struggle. It all started back on March 7th, running the Chilly Half, when I developed pneumonia. Unfortunately since developing pneumonia I have experienced a significant set back in my running and pretty much have lost several months of great training. Not only has it affected my speed, endurance but I have had to drop down in two events from the full to the half which is a huge disappointment. Getting sick has also isolated me from my training group given the difference in paces and distances and I have had to do a lot of runs by myself which has been hard to do. So right now I feel like I have fallen off the running rails but I need to get back on track for many reasons, one being that it is a critical stress reliever. So the question is what am I going to do about it?

Here is my 4 week plan and goals:


  • Current week ->34k
  • May 17th - May 23rd -> 40-44k
  • May 24th - May 30th -> 44-48k
  • May 31st - June 6th -> 44-48k
  • June 7th - June 13th -> 40-44k
(1) May 16th - Mississauga Half: Goal time - 1:57
(2) May 30th - Ottawa Half: Goal time - 1:55 or better
(3) June 13th - Lake Placid Half: Goal time: 1:55

(1) By June 13th I am going to have lost 4 pounds