Calamity June

June was a Recovery Month for me after completing the Ottawa Marathon on May 28.   The plan was to allow my body to recover by doing short easy runs for 26 days. My Run Streak is still a thing, so Not Running was never an option.

It was easy to stick to the Recovery Plan for the first week. . After all, I had just struggled  through the marathon, followed immediately by a couple of days of illness. ( food poisoning, heat stroke… I don’t know?)  After a week I was feeling good and was tempted to start running longer and faster, but the forces of the universe stepped in to make sure that I stayed disciplined and stuck to my Recovery Plan.


It started with an unexplained itch  and then a painful rash on my back.  Doctor confirmed my suspicion that I had Shingles.  The medication cleared it up quickly but I was fatigued for a couple of weeks.  The pain went away but I was left with an extreme sensitivity to Cold. I couldn’t tolerate any air movement on my arm or shoulder, even on a hot day. When you run, even slowly.. you create  air movement.  Fortunately that only lasted 4 or 5 days.

Ten days after beginning treatment for Shingles I was well on my way to Recovery and was feeling only mild discomfort so again I thought about increasing my Speed and / or Distance. Once again karma had other plans.  I suffered a little injury by accidentally hyper flexing my big toe. Okay, it wasn’t very minor and it hurt like a sumbitch.  Yes, I ran on it because that is what Run Streakers do but for several days I only did the minimum daily requirement. ( in my case that means 2k)

The toe eventually started to feel better but then the recurring corn on the same foot decided to rear it’s ugly head.  Despite aggressive treatment it never completely goes away.  Once in  awhile it flares up for a few days and it quite painful.  And hey, that is just the way my month has been going. July has to be better, right?

20170627_204324It is no surprise to realize that June was the lowest mileage month for a long time.  Total distance was 70 miles. (113km) This breaks my 8 month 100-mile streak but I am ok with that. On a positive note I did run my fastest mile ever in June, finally breaking the 9:00 minute mile.  Previous best was 9:02, current best is 8:59. Hey, I didn’t say it was  a big victory.

Rest time is over.  I have this little 50k trail race coming up in exactly 83 days. I think I am ready mentally and physically to embrace this challenge.  Ready or not, here I come.



Global Running Day

Who are we kidding? In my world Every Day is Running Day.  But I will play along and celebrate Global Running Day with everyone else.  It is meant to be a day of celebrating the joys of running…. and it is global.  People from all over the world are participating. And that is huge.

Still in Recovery Mode from my marathon last week, I am trying to be disciplined by not running for more than 20 minutes everyday.   Today’s effort was a 2k morning shakeout around the neighborhood on a beautiful (rare) sunny morning.

To further celebrate this global celebration, I registered for a local January 1 Resolution Day 5k Run.  I figure January can’t be any colder than our June weather , right?  And the jacket is sweet, with a turquoise option this year.

Running on Global Running Day wouldn’t be complete without posting a selfie to Instagram, tagging @roadrunnersports with hashtags #laceupandexplore and #globalrunningday to be entered into sweepstakes to win Road Runner Sports Graphic Tee.

Social Media is a great way to share this worldwide celebration.  You might want to check out Strava’s #mymiles sweepstakes or the #runchathunt contest for the chance to win cool prizes. ( both contests run through the month of June)

Where ever you are, be sure to do something fun to commemorate this day. Go for a run, register for a race, buy some new shoes.. the possibilities are endless.




Ottawa Marathon – Ready or Not

It has been over a week since I crossed the Finish Line at the Ottawa Marathon and I have had time to reconcile myself to the fact that I did not achieve my A Goal or my B Goal,  but that I solidly met my C goal which was to arrive at the Start Line uninjured and to cross the Finish Line intact.

Don’t even ask me about my Finish Time… .. thankfully my Garmin died at 38k, and I haven’t even looked up my official finish time but I suspect that it was about 45 minutes slower than my A goal.   What went wrong?  Well.. that is a good question.  There are so many things….

  1. DAweK5OXcAAacOR Tourists do not make good marathoners.   In  the two days leading up to the marathon, my running buddies and I enjoyed some walking tours of the beautiful city of Ottawa.   On Friday my walking distance measured over 17k and on Saturday it was close to 12k.  Here is Tourist Diane sporting a #flaghat in front of our Parliament Buildings.
  2. In New Brunswick we haven’t seen the sun since mid-April and I completely forgot to pack sunscreen.  When I realized that Marathon Day was going to be sunny, I decided to buy sunscreen but  a running buddy offered to let me use hers.  It was not waterproof and therefore did not stand up to the misting stations / hoses and sprinklers that lined the route. I burned.
  3. The first 26km went according to plan and I was right on schedule and feeling good.  Then the wheels fell off my bus and I started to labor hard to maintain that pace.  At 27k I started vomiting.   Gross!
  4. I have trained in all sorts of weather/ conditions and pride myself on being able to dissociate quite well.  To my surprise I did not recover after vomiting and immediately felt drained and listless.  The cool green grass was inviting me to lie down and sleep but I resisted and kept going forward.
  5. Kilometers 27 -39.  Every time I tried to run I felt like puking so I walked briskly.  At least it felt brisk, but in hindsight it was more like  a plod.  If you passed me at this point ( and there were hundreds who did) you would have heard me muttering , ” Never again.  Never Fucking again.  I am never ever fucking running another fucking marathon. Ever fucking again. Fuckety fuck fuck.”
  6. At around the 39k mark I was passed by a Nordic walker.  Are you fucking kidding me?  A Nordic fucking walker!  Hells, no… !  Somehow I managed to muster enough energy to shuffle/run to the Finish Line.

What a welcome sight it was to see the “400 meters to go” sign.”   And then 400 meters after that was another sign that said “200 meters to go.”   I had no idea that 200 meters was so far.

DA_d13aW0AAymO7This was  a race that shouldn’t have been tough, but it was.  I was prepared physically and mentally, or so I thought.  I’m not sure what happened but I suspect that I might have overheated from the sunburn.  It was a hot day but not unbearably hot.  Or it might have been some fluke stomach virus.  The next day I had severe flu-like symptoms for several hours.  Who know…?

Am I disappointed with my results?  Not really.  The important thing is that I had the courage to reach the Start Line, and the strength to reach the Finish Line.

Will I run another marathon?  Duh.. yeah.



Ottawa Marathon Training Plan / Week 26

This plan is developed by me, for me. The backbone of this plan is Hal Higdon’s Novice 2 Marathon Plan with liberal input from Owen Anderson’s “The Science of Running” and Alan Culpepper’s “Running Like A Champion,” with solicited advice from a running friend. It is a learning experience for me and I am blogging to keep myself accountable and to keep a record of training for future review.

20170514_134211April Showers bring May Flowers.  I’m not sure what to expect from all these May Showers.  So many of my runs were done in rain this week.  I am becoming adept at jumping over worms.

Monday : Planned 3k Recovery Run / 60 minutes cycling

Actual :  I ran immediately after work with a colleague, then did 45 minutes on the stationary bike later in the evening.

Tuesday : 35 km Long Slow Run

Actual : T”was  ugly but ’tis done.   I experimented with Honey Stingers with good results but poor fueling and hydration before the run took it’s toll.

Wednesday : Rest Day

Actual :  1.25 mile Recovery run on the treadmill followed by sauna and cold shower.  #restdaydoneright

Thursday : Core Strength / 5k Easy

Actual:  My gym buddy couldn’t make it for our CxWorx class so we postponed it until tomorrow.  The 5k didn’t happen.  I am suffering from DOMS and it didn’t get any better after 2k so I walked home.  Foam roll, foam roll, foam roll.

Friday : Warm Up / 3k Marathon Pace / 2km Cool Down

Actual: Tightness in my right glute and left thigh prevented me from running at the desired pace.  I opted for a lovely 7k run with a few gals instead.  Bonus:  Social runs are often a great source of shared information and I got the name of  a local massage therapist whom I plan to phone on Monday.   Oh.. and earlier today I did yesterday’s CxWorx with my buddy.  It felt great.

Saturday : Cross Training

Actual :   Easy cycling.

Sunday : 10k Easy

Actual : Nope.  The tightness is gone from my left thigh but the right glute continues to be a pain in the butt.  It is worse today and seems to be in my hip flexor / lower back though hard to pinpoint exactly where.  I ran 2k and  felt like I was dragging my leg behind me so decided to end the run prematurely.  A family hike over rough terrain in the afternoon may have aggravated the injury.

Summary:   After months of running injury free I have a nagging soreness that just isn’t getting any better.  Doctor Google has narrowed it down to 5 or 6 things but I want a more accurate diagnosis so have booked an appointment with a PT on Tuesday.  Depending on her verdict, I may schedule a massage afterwards. With less than 2 weeks until the marathon I need to find relief fast.

Total distance this week 60km.  Let the Tapering commence.



Ottawa Marathon Training Plan / Week 25

I am nearing the end of this awesome journey.  It is my second marathon and I am looking forward to running the Ottawa Marathon in less than four weeks.  This plan is developed by me, for me. The backbone of this plan is Hal Higdon’s Novice 2 Marathon Plan with liberal input from Owen Anderson’s “The Science of Running” and Alan Culpepper’s “Running Like A Champion,” with solicited advice from a running friend. It is a learning experience for me and I am blogging to keep myself accountable and to keep a record of training for future review.

20170501_143426Monday: Explosive Strength ( as last week )

Actual:  Postponed until tomorrow because of inefficient use of my time today.  I enjoyed a lovely run in the rain with a buddy though.  Garmin had technical difficulties but I think I ran 5k.

Tuesday : 7k Easy Run

Actual: Group Run 7k, followed by 3k walk with injured runner.  And of course, yesterday’s workout had to be done today.

Wednesday : 60 minute cycling

Actual : My bike needs to be tuned up as the gear box doesn’t work. It’s ok on a flat route but the hills are killer.  So I did this workout  on a stationary bike.  Warm up 2k run, 10 minutes easy cycling, 30 minutes @90-95RPM, cool down 10 minutes easy cycling.

Thursday : 5k run / Core strength

Actual : Done, and Done!

18268557_10154432999915913_5340173812604229281_nFriday: Rest Day

Actual : Today is Run Streak Day #888 and my Run club planned an event to celebrate my addiction.  The Start / Finish Line was at the local pool hall and we played a game of 8 Ball afterwards. It would have been rude not to run, so I did 8.88k.  Tomorrow I shall rest.

Saturday: 7k Easy Run

Actual : After yesterday’s unscheduled 8.88k I decided to forgo today’s scheduled run.  With heavy rain in the forecast, I did 2k in the gentle morning rain to satisfy my requirements for my run streak.  This is a better plan anyway as I have a 10k race tomorrow.

18360689_10154379451577461_1572207127_nSunday:  10k Shoppers Run For Women

Actual :  It was hot and humid and it was my 3rd fastest 10k.

Summary:  This was a Recovery Week. Weekly mileage was a mere 40km,, considerably less than the 50-60 that I have been logging.  Next week will be my final Big Week Before Tapering begins. I have mixed feelings.. on one hand I am glad to be nearing the end of this journey… on the other hand I will miss the structure of this training program.  Mostly I am glad that it is almost over.  Lawn bowling season is nigh upon us and I don’t have time to do both.

Cheers, y’all. !

Eight Eight Eight

It seems surreal that I have run 888 days in a row.  Eight. Eight. Eight.  That is huge!

… but it is also No Big Deal.    Running is just something that I do every day.  It has become a habit and my day is not complete until I have completed my run.

18300831_10154432999960913_6291063913904635067_nI didn’t plan to become a chronic Streaker.  I only planned to run every day for the month of December ( 2014) . It was hard!  Really, really hard!  I was counting down the days until I could take a day off.   A few days before my streak was scheduled to end, a work colleague challenged me to run every day in 2015.  We have a competitive relationship, so I couldn`t say No. And that is how it started.

There were several times when I should have quit as I was plagued with chronic minor injuries at first. If I had been doing this on my own, I would have gladly quit and been proud of myself for the effort.  But I couldn’t quit and admit defeat to my coworker.  So I kept going.  He eventually had to stop after a few months due to injury so I won the challenge but I didn`t have a good reason to quit so I kept going, and going, and going…..

18268311_10154432999970913_136473842119246876_nAnd that bring us to Day 888.  My Running Group has been wonderfully supportive of my addiction and they often plan special events for milestone days.  On May 5 we met at a local pool hall and did a little run, followed by pizza and 8 Ball.  They even presented me with some cool 888 Bling. I love this crazy bunch of runners.

What`s next?  Who knows?  I am just taking it one day at a time, one step at a time.  Running every day is a habit and literally has become No Big Deal for me.  I will keep running every day until the day that I decide that I am not going to run that day.

Cheers, everyone!

Ottawa Marathon Training / Week 23

This plan is developed by me, for me. The skeleton of this plan is Hal Higdon’s Novice 2 Marathon Plan with liberal input from Owen Anderson’s “The Science of Running” and Alan Culpepper’s “Running Like A Champion,” with solicited advice from a running friend.

marchallMonday : 5K Easy Running

Actual :  I shortened it to 3k because I was running with an inexperienced pup.  We walked afterwards in an effort to teach him more social skills.

Tuesday : Explosive Strength: 2.4k easy run/ intense run for 1 minute, minimum 180 strides / Skip 30 seconds/ 5 x 2 leg hurdle hop( 8 hurdles) / 2x 40 second one leg hop / Diagonal hop 45 seconds, rest 15 seconds, repeat/ 8 greyhound runs/ 2×12 one leg squat/ 15 high knee explosion, rest and repeat/ 4x 800 m vV02max/ cool down 3km

Actual :  Done almost as described, except that I biked for 6k for my warm up, exceeding 180 RPM. This is a tough workout and I struggle with it but am committed to continuing to do these exercises until Hard Becomes the New Easy,  even after the marathon is complete.

Wednesday : 60 minute cycling

Actual : 2 mile run for Run Streak Day # 879 and 30 minute cycling followed by 2 hour nap.  I am so tired. This is the third day this week that I have had a long nap, and it’s only Thursday. I might have to start scheduling naps into my training program?

Thursday : 24k Long Slow Run

Actual:  Fail ! This was mentally tough which meant that it was physically tough.  I threw in the towel at 20k but was still 3k from my house, so my total distance was 23k.

20170427_141029 (1)

Friday: Rest

Actual : Nailed it.  Ran 1.25 miles after work for Run Streak Day 881, then slept for 2 hours.  Another long nap… need to evaluate my sleep patterns.  Noticed a slight niggle in the right ankle, hopefully nothing serious.

Saturday: Cross Training

Actual :  Usually I have a specific plan for cross training but today’s plan was vague and I just wasn’t motivated to anything.  I spent a couple of hours enjoying some outdoor fun with the grandchildren and I went to bed feeling guilt-free after running, jumping, climbing, etc all afternoon.  Who said cross training wasn’t fun?

Sunday:  8k Easy Run

Actual:  Ankle is still slightly sore so I did this run very carefully. I stopped at 5k and then walked for another half hour. No pain while walking.

Summary:   The week started great and I had some quality workouts, until my mid-week Long Run. It was horrible .  I have been feeling some pain in my right ankle since my Long Run and will need to keep a cautious eye on it.  In hindsight it might be related to a pair of 1.5 inch heels that I had been wearing earlier in the week.  Those shoes have been tossed in the closet and will stay there until after the marathon.  Or it might have been caused by a trail run over  very uneven terrain. .. or it might have been the Long Run.  Fingers crossed that it will sort itself out within a day or two.

And did I mention that I am fatigued?  I resolve to go to bed earlier.

Four weeks until Race Day!