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. !

Ottawa Marathon Training, Week 14

Spoiler Alert: I took the week off.

20170219_160106.jpgEvery Sunday evening I sit down and review my training plan , check my work schedule and family commitments and fine tune my plans for the upcoming week.  On Sunday February 12 I also kept one eye on the weather forecast.   A blizzard was expected to start in the wee hours of Monday morning and continue for more than 30 hours. Another severe weather system  was expected to move in mid week.  It wasn’t going to be a good week for running outdoors.  I have been doing a lot of my quality runs on the treadmill at the gym but knew that it might be  hard to make it to the gym this week.  Besides my body was fatigued from previous week’s Hypothermic Half Marathon, combined with snow shoeing and hard training……. so I decided to just take the week off.

Upon the advice of a friend, I had started my training plan two weeks early so that I would have that extra cushion of time in case of illness / bad weather. . The most challenging part of training for a Spring Marathon is that you have to train in Winter Weather.  On the east coast of Canada we get a few good snowstorms and on this particular week, we got one blizzard and one nor’easter. It seemed like a good time to take a break.

 

Not sure what Reduced Visibility means?  These two photos were taken seconds apart from my doorstep.  Where did my daughter’s truck go in the second photo?

In hindsight, taking the week off  proved to be a good idea.  During Monday’s blizzard the streets were declared closed except for emergency use only.  Ditto for Thursday’s nor’easter. If you live in snow country then you know that it takes several hours ( days?) to clean up after storms like that.  It is harder to run outdoors the day AFTER a storm because of the slushy snow on the streets combined with high snowbanks that limit visibility. My municipality does a great job of clearing walking trails after a storm and often have them cleared within 24 hours, but in the meantime it can be challenging to find a safe place to run.

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I should mention that I didn’t take the week off from physical activity, but I only did what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it, instead of what my Schedule dictated.  The previous week I had  missed one key workout on the treadmill so I did get that done. .  I did make it to the gym twice for cardio. Snow shoveling is a good cardio workout too. And I went show shoeing which was very intense.  And of course I still ran every day because that is  what I do.

20170217_091821.jpgJust a side note regarding my Run Streak:. I still ran every day , even during the storms, but I only went as far and as fast as I wanted.  In case you are wondering I have a plan for stormy days.  My street is a court and it just over  400 meters around.  All I have to do is run around my street 4 times and I have my mile done and I am never far from home.  It is a quiet street with little traffic so it is a good option. On Monday I was able to get out before the storm was too bad, and on Thursday the storm was expected to wane by late afternoon so I just waited it out.

Though I enjoy the discipline of training, it was nice to take  a mental break for one week.  I am glad to be back at ‘er this week though.

Cheers, my friends!

777 Consecutive Days of Running

20170114_203520My run group is pretty amazing.  The name of our Run Club is Riverview Running Idiots.  I have written before about some of the fun and silly things that we do, all in the name of Running.  It is great group and I am thankful for the encouragement and support that I have received from them.

 

When I started my Run Streak, a few of the club members cautioned me about injury  caused by overuse.  They insisted that Running Every Day could not be done safely. Only a couple of them supported my endeavor and wished me well.  I kept running every day but kept quiet about it  because there were so many Negative Nellies  that kept telling me I shouldn’t be doing it.

Fast forward 500 days.   I proudly and publicly ran my 500th Day on a regular run night.  The naysayers could not argue with the success of my run streak , especially as I was fortunate enough to remain uninjured.  Since then most of the run club members have  embraced my streak and are eager to help me celebrate milestones.  Day 666 was especially cool.  ( a run in the graveyard at night, dressed like a demoness… how could it NOT be cool . )

15940331_282598315488234_107995805885787348_nJan 14 was Day 777 of my Run Streak.  A couple of people in my run club used the milestone as a good excuse to participate in  some shenanigans.  We met at the local Casino to start our run at 2:07 pm. .   It was cold that day , about -12C ( 10F) and windy.  We have a lot of fair weather runners who only come up when the temperature is above freezing but a few of them came out that day to show support.  That was very cool and I really appreciate it.

This is picture of the 5k and 7.77 k’ers.  There were 12 others doing a longer distance.

 

 

15966271_10154029331776916_1146345180209245319_nDistance was 7.77 km.  A few people opted for 5k .  Some  people wanted to incorporate this into their Long Slow Run so they started  earlier and met us at the designated time.  Kudos to them for running 20k or more on this cold day.

Afterwards we enjoyed a lovely meal at the casino restaurant.  My run group presented me with a bottle of wine and some 777 Bling. They are already talking about 888. .. if I am still running then. Oh, the pressure!

It was  a great day and I was glad to share it with this crazy bunch of Idiots.

Cheers!

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50,000 Push Ups

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about my Resolutions and Goals for 2017.   Since then I have added a couple of additional challenges/ goals.  A coworker challenged me to do 50,000 pushups in this calendar year.  This is the same coworker who challenged me to start Run Streaking 780 days ago and we all know how they went. (Only one of us is still running every day, and it ain’t him! )

At first it seemed mind boggling… 50, 000 pushups!  But then I started thinking about it and realized that it is very achievable, and the benefits are going to be huge. It is an average of 143 pushups every day, and they don’t have to be performed all at once. The first week was hard!  My fitness level at this point allows me to do 20 at a time. ( only a few months ago I struggled to do 5 ) After the fifth day I was sore all over.  Even my boobs hurt! By day 6 I could only do 10 at a time. On Day  7 I did Zero. I just couldn’t do it. The Rest Day did my body good and I returned on Day 8 and have been going strong since.  Right now I am doing reps of 20 several times a day and it feels good.

You probably noticed that I said a “couple” of challenges at the beginning of this post….

The second goal is to be able to do a 10-minute plank by the end of December.  Crazy, huh?  This was also the brainchild of that same coworker.  We take colleague wellness to new heights. Or maybe we are just competitive. .. ?  Currently I can plank for 2 minutes so I will need to work hard to achieve this goal. My longest plank ever was 4 minutes but that was several months ago.

There ya have it, folks. Two new challenges, both achievable but both will require hard work and dedication.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Cheers

Resolution Run / Race Volunteer

The Resolution run is offered in my city on New Years Day at 11 am.  It’s  a great way to start the year.  It’s a fun event and I have enjoyed running this race for the past two years. This year I was there again but I had a different perspective. This year I was a volunteer.

The running community is awesome and I have been wanting to give back to this community.  One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to volunteer at a couple of local races and I managed to get this started on Jan 1.

15875229_1042820579163100_2043395521817020778_oMy assigned positon was at the water station.  This route is a triple loop.  It’s a short loop and you go around 3 times.  The water station was set up at the beginning of the loop so we got to see all the runners 3 times.  It was a lovely day, about 5 degrees, and the runners were having a great time.  We had music blasting and we were rocking to the beat. As one runner came around the corner I wondered why she was laughing. When I handed her a cup of water she said that she was listening to “Moves Like Jagger’ and as she rounded the corner she saw me Moving Like Jagger.

I didn’t know the other volunteers but we cheered and yelled, offering encouragement to the runners.  It was a wonderful time and I am still smiling as I think of it.  I think I prefer volunteering to running . It is certainly more affordable!  You can expect to see me at a few more local races this year.

Goals / Resolutions

I prefer Goals to Resolutions. Goals are measureable while resolutions are generally abstract.  For example I could Resolve to volunteer more at running events OR I could make a Goal to volunteer at 2 running events in 2017. You see what I mean? One is very specific and measureable , one is abstract.

That being said, I have given some thought to things that will make me  an Improved Version of Me.  Here are some 2017 resolutions that I am kicking around in my head right now.  Please note that this is not an official list and therefore not binding.

  • Sleep More. Seriously, I seldom get enough Rest.  My sleep time is usually less than 6 hours.
  • Drink More.  Hydration is always an issue for me.
  • Cut the Crap out of my diet. I feel better when I eat clean. I perform better when I eat clean.
  • Volunteer more at local Running Events
  • Motivate and encourage new runners.
  • Do Yoga for injury prevention
  • Always be humble and kind
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff.

These are my goals, subject to change without notice.

  • PB in 5k , 10k, 13k, 21.1k and 42.2k.  I have decided that I don’t want to chase numbers this year so I am not choosing goal times.  Current best times are 29:02, 1:03:43,  1:23:32, 2:24:46 and 5:11:05, respectively.
  • Ultra Trail Run.  .. still undecided.. it might be a goal for 2018.
  • Run Every Day in 2017.  I have been doing this since Nov 30, 2014 and don’t plan to stop anytime soon.
  • Yearly distance target .  2200 km. This is the only number that I shall chase this year.
  • Volunteer for at least two local run events.
  • Fitness goal. Be able to do 5 unassisted pull ups.
  • Yoga goal, be able to do Crane pose.

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What are your goals and resolutions for 2017?   Good luck ! Stay strong, my friends and don’t let your dreams sizzle and fizzle and go out like some dud fireworks.