Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ruby Tuesday

This morning I was so tempted to go back to sleep when the alarm went off. I allowed for one snooze which I don't normally do when I get up this early for I find the snooze only plays with my mind more. As part of my early run routine I checked the forecast and it said that it was 16 degrees but the humidity was 94%. I didn't know what to expect this morning and when I felt goose bumps on my arms after heading outside I thought hmm, this might just be a good run after all.  The first 3k was perfect and I wish all my runs could be this temperature but then when the sun started to rise the "crispness" in the air evaporated and I started to feel more of the humidity. It was still much cooler or bearable than past weeks and overall I felt great.  I started with just over a 2.5k warmup and then decided to see what I could do this morning.

Warm-up: 2.5k +
Tempo 1k - 6:03/k - I thought I was going faster
Tempo 2k - 5:55/k - this part includes a hill
Tempo 3k - 5:37 - that is more like it
Tempo 4k - 5:34
Tempo 5k - 5:26

Overall I am quite pleased, especially since I am doing this solo and that there are quite a few ascents within this route.  I have only 5 weeks left before the Quebec City Marathon and although I did not get in the desired speed work leading up to it and the mileage I intended but given how hot and humid it has been I am very satisfied with what I have been able to do instead of taking the easy way out and dropping down to a half right from the start. Quebec City doesn't usually get heat waves like we do in this area but given that the entire world has been experiencing crazy weather patterns lately if they happen to have one during race weekend I will drop down to a half regardless of my training for I need to be smart and not ruin myself for the PEC a month later.

I should also note that I had an amazing run on Sunday as well. I ran with a friend up in Barrie who were doing 30k (Newmarket group were only doing 18k). I have never run up in Barrie before and to my surprise the entire 30k was flat. I don't think you can design a route in Newmarket for that distance. It was also very scenic and such a nice change. Of course the company made the experience too! It doesn't hurt that where they finish has a water fountain area where you can soak your legs or run through them to cool off. I think this part alone is worth the drive north, plus the fact that their running instructor provided freezies at the end. 

My overall pace on Sunday was 6:10/km.

Friday, July 23, 2010


Last night, Marlene and another running friend went out to do a 10k run. I can’t remember the last time I ran in the evening, for I have been running in the morning for the last few weeks due to the extreme hot weather we have been experiencing; which has provided for a more comfortable run. It was about 28 degrees and high thirty something with the humidity. I struggled right from the beginning which is an awful feeling and thought how the hell I am going to finish the full 10k without passing out. At the half way point we passed Marlene’s house and I asked her if I could refill my water which she was able to do but although it was a good thing to have the extra water available my stomach felt like it was going to heave and my heart felt like it was going to explode out of my chest.

I did try to encourage the two of them to go ahead for I knew I was keeping them back but they were faithful running friends and made sure they saw me to the finish. At the time I just wanted them to go ahead for I felt obligated to keep going but of course I appreciated it in the end.

I would have to say that this run comes out on top as the most uncomfortable run I have experienced to date. I know that my body does not react well to the heat on a good day but on the run last night every eating sin I have made this week came bubbling to the top and I vowed to get my act together once and for all. I know that even if I clean up my diet where I can successfully say I consistently eat clean I might struggle with the heat but at least I have done everything else within my control.

It took a few minutes to recover but then I was fine and it is if the torment of the past hour never even happened; which meant that vow I took on the run was dissolving into my memory banks with each minute that passed. However, I managed to restrict my post-run food intake to a very reasonable amount and passed up indulging further. Here is to the commitment of continuing this throughout the day.

Friday, July 9, 2010


Given the obnoxious humid and hot weather we were experiencing this week I had to give up my morning and evening runs (morning runs due to the kids) for I don't do well in the heat. As a result I went out for a bike ride on Wed and Thurs night. Prior to Wed, I had only biked 3x this year and before that I really haven't cycled in 5 years but before children I used to do a lot of cycling. So when I saddled up I wasn't sure whether it would still be too hot to go out and how I would enjoy the ride given my past 3 rides were pleasure rides with kids in tow; which is a totally different experience.

Well let's just say within 5 minutes of being on the road, I was in pure heaven. The feeling of going down a hill at 40-45km/hour is incredible and the immediate feeling of a breeze as you cycle along despite the incredible heat was amazing.  The other advantage of biking versus running is that you can see a much richer view of the landscape as you cover ground. It doesn't hurt when you live in a town that is on the border of the country side that has many horse farms, farm fields and quiet country roads to take you away from the bustle of your daily life. So when the opportunity came up to go last night with the hubby I was the first to get dressed.

Given that I went out the night before I didn't want to push myself and risk injury so I took the ride a little easy. So at the turn around point I told my husband to continue for a couple of kilometers so he could get some speed work in and we would eventually meet up on the return trip. Near the point where I thought we would merge together I stopped to see if I could see him coming and to take a water break. While I was waiting I decided I might as well do a few stretches and during this time, three cyclists passed and asked me if I needed any assistance.  I said I was okay but thanks and I am sure they would have each stopped to help me in any which way they could if I honestly needed the help.  I always thought runners were very friendly with each other but it was great to see that the cyclists up in this area are just as friendly with each other, it is almost like there is a cycling code of conduct. Now the big dilemma or happy challenge to solution is how do I keep my running mileage up AND incorporate 1-2 rides in a week. A big happy sigh!

Wed Cycling Mileage: approx. 20 km
Thurs Cycling Mileage: 22 km

Until my next ride....

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Morning Run

Despite not having the best sleep I managed to not talk myself out of resetting the alarm when it went off at 4.45 am. I knew that it was my only shot of getting a run in today given the extreme hot weather we are experiencing. So by 5.00 am I was out the door.  Unfortunately last night my legs/ankles started to swell. I have been experiencing this off and on since having both children and it is the most uncomfortable experience for it feels like you are wearing heavy ankle weights and that your skin is too tight.  In the morning I felt like I had normal legs again but I knew I was still retaining at least 5 pounds of water and despite getting out early it was still 23 degrees, 32 with the humidex and after a slow start my legs started to feel full again. Arghhh. In the end I ran/walk 7.5k and I am proud of my accomplishment of being able to get up this early and get it done despite the challenges.  Last night and this morning though does provide another example that I need to overhaul my diet, plain and simple.

I am fascinated by the fact that when you give me a physical or even mental task I will plow through and demonstrate incredible determination and perseverance but when it comes to diet discipline I fail every single time. It is almost like the more I try the more I sabotage myself. I don't know how many times I have tried to keep a food journal and have never made it past day 1 and the countless books I have bought hoping that one would trigger a change within. Yet, I stuck to running 25k on Sunday when I could have found some very good excuses to not run or shorten my run without anyone casting a hint of judgment given the heat.  I don't get it and I don't know what it is going to take to switch that internal mechanism that will allow me to get on track and stay on track. How do other people do it?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Long weekend Recap

Where to start.... it is so hard to start the work week after having such a great long weekend. It started with packing up the family Wednesday night and heading to my parent's cottage for a mini-vacation. On Thursday, my other half was up for a 5k run so we drove to an old railway line in the area and although we only did 5k it actually was a challenging little run for the particular part of the trail we were on was made up of stones and despite it being flat terrain it required a lot more focus and pull on all your muscles. I turned over on my ankle a few times going over little rocks but thank goodness my ankles proved to be resilient. There are quite a few people from my running group that have taken quite a liking to trails and although the idea of running more scenic routes is very attractive I don't think I am a fan of all the foot obstacles and flies that buz in your ear. After getting back to the car, Mike drove back to the cottage and I ran back to add another 5k to my run for the day.

When I got back to the cottage we got ready to drive into a nearby town for the Canada Day festivities. This little town probably has no more than 200 people year-round and if you have never participated in a small-town Canada Day event then I encourage you to do so one day, especially if you are a city person for it is quite an entertaining experience. For instance, we heard there was a parade that was going to happen so we lined the main street patiently waiting for it to start and see what would it comprise of, given how small the town was. In the parade there were two fire trucks, a couple of other vehicles, a clown, a 4 person Veteran marching group, and a few kids handing out candy, Canada Day pins, and flags. Despite how small the parade actually was the main street ended up being lined with hundreds of people, I think everyone in the town came out for it and the surrounding cottage community. All in all, as to be expected but having said that it fun given the red and white spirit of everyone in attendance. We then headed back to the beach park to participate in the BBQ, be entertained by a local Karate/Tae Kwon Do group, an Indian women drum group, a heavy metal rock group (could do without), and a couple of locals trying their hand at Karaoke What a day!

On Friday, Mike and I headed to the St. Lawrence Seaway bike trail with Reilly for the day. We biked 50km total with a few breaks to refuel and ended up having lunch in Rockport, which is a very small hamlet, if that, that is known as a popular tourist destination to board one of the touring boats that take you up and down the St. Lawrence Seaway. It is actually quite a beautiful area and we wish we had brought our camera. I haven't biked this long in years and to my surprise my legs and ass held up quite well but boy did I suffer in the evening. My legs were so sore that I decided to abandon my plans to do a 25k run on Saturday and opt for a much needed day of recovery. The next day my legs actually were doing quite well considering how I was feeling the evening before but I still felt it to be a smart move to postpone my run. Instead Mike decided to go out for another 50k bike ride on his own. This time he didn't have me weighing him down and managed to do the same distance in a fraction of the time.

On Sunday I gathered up all my gear to run 25k and had Mike drive me out the distance. The running options in the area are not that great and I knew that if I was to do an out and back I wouldn't do the full distance so I figured this was the surest way to make my distance goal. I started running at 7.45 am and at first it was quite pleasant outside, warm but not unbearable. This feeling only lasted 3k as I started sucking back my water. Mike agreed to come meet me with only 8-10k to go to replenish my fluids so I thought I would be well hydrated throughout the run. At the 11k mark I had finished 2 of 3 water bottles but at this point I was extremely warm and felt that I would go through my last water bottle in the next couple of kilometres so when I passed at a rural ambulance office, I went in and asked if I could refill my water. Thank goodness it was open and they were more than agreeable to allow me to do so. Off I went thinking that I was in good shape again, since I didn't have to worry about rationing my water. I met up with Mike with only 11k to go and although I was hot and preferred not to run this distance alone I thought I could still do it. So with all bottles filled off I headed as Mike headed back to the cottage in a nice air conditioned car. Within a couple of kilometres after this little social visit, I wanted to stop for I quickly became very hot and uncomfortable and didn't know how I could muster up running the last 9k. Needless to say the last few kilometres were terrible, I was tempted at some many points to stop in at someone's house and ask them if I could use their phone to get a ride but figured no one would be in the cottage to hear the phone. I also toyed with the idea of hitch hiking but figured that wasn't a good idea either. So I continued to put one foot in front of me trying to muster up all the will I had to get through this run. In the last 5k I did a lot of frequent run/walks and felt like I was at death's door from being in the sun. At one point I saw a biker coming towards me and I was hoping that it would be Mike just checking on me but then that biker slowly morphed into a husband and wife pair and I was not to be rescued. I also prayed and willed that the next navy blue mini-van would be ours but that never happened either. I would have to say it was the loneliest and most dreadful run of mine to date and if I had to do it over I would pass. It is amazing what you think and even don't think about during these types of harrowing runs. Well the good thing is that my legs came out of that experience a shade darker; which is a small miracle in itself for it takes a lot for them to tan. Unfortunately this lovely shade darker stops at a ring around my ankles where my socks were. I guess you can't get everting right.

Onto the next journey... trying to get a couple of runs in this week in the midst of an unbearable heat wave.