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!

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Ottawa Marathon Training Week 23

This plan is developed by me, for me. The bare bones 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

.Monday – 5k Easy

Actual: Ran with a buddy, She tricked me into doing 7k. I need to find friends that don’t do that.

Tuesday – 32k LSD / core strength

Actual : I knew this would be tricky.  I have a standing date every Tuesday with a friend for CXWorx core strength, AND today was the only day this week that I could manage the Long Run. I considered canceling the gym date but didn’t really want to do that as my workout partner would have also canceled.  So I did the gym workout first, at light intensity so I wouldn’t completely fatigue my core.  There might not have been much benefit from this workout but it got my friend to the gym, so there is that.  After waiting an hour, I headed out for my 32k.  Felt good so I ran at a faster pace than planned, but I hit a wall from kms. 26-29.  Was it the pre-run workout, the faster pace or just the headwind that I was facing? I don’t know, I was able to rebound and finish the last two kms. at my goal pace.  For the record, I do not recommend a core workout before or after a long run. Nor do I recommend running faster than you have planned for a long distance.

Wednesday – 30 minutes cycling / 3k Recovery run

Actual :  After yesterday’s Long Run, I have a rare case of DOMS.  I considered skipping the cycling but went ahead and did it.  It wasn’t so bad and was a nice warm up for my Recovery Run.  It was a horrible run but my legs do feel better.

Thursday- Core strength / Circuit

Actual: Quads are still feeling slightly stiff so I am going to postpone this circuit workout until tomorrow to allow them one more day of rest.  Core Strength was done as planned, though with less intensity than usual.   In lieu of the circuit training, I substituted Upper Body Strength.

C9-fv-iVoAAh1rBFriday – Cross Training, 60 minutes

Actual : Switched Thursday workout with Friday workout.  Today I did the circuit training. This is the first time this year that I have been able to do the circuits outdoors.  My favorite route for this workout has a gazebo for the exercises, and a 400m loop for the running segments. It’s Construction Season and the loop has a big hole in the middle of it so I had to do a “there and back” instead.

Saturday – Tempo – WU /4k @10k pace / Cool down 2k

Actual : Didn’t happen.  I worked, attended a family birthday party, ate , and slept.

Sunday – Rest

Actual : Since I rested yesterday, today I did the Saturday Tempo.  The 4k Tempo was actually faster than my usual 10k pace and it felt good.  Ran 1k and then walked 1k to cool down.

Summary:  This was a topsy turvy week but I got all the workouts done, though some of them were done out of order. On my Long Run I gave into temptation and ran faster than my planned pace, then paid for it late in the run, and then again the next day. Lesson learned.  Weather remains cool but comfortable.  Here’s hoping the temperatures in Ottawa on May 28 will be less than 10c. C9ppOgmXUAEISar

Ottawa Marathon Training / Week 22

This is my accountability blog.  By writing my progress here, I am staying focused and pushing harder than I normally would. It is also a learning tool as I figure out how this marathon training thing works.

This plan is developed by me, for me. The bare bones of the 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.

20170410_150910.jpgMonday – Planned 60 minutes cycling / 3k Recovery Run

Actual: So here is how it went down.  I wore my workout clothes to the gym with the idea that I was going to use this Recovery Run as a Warm Up on a nearby trail before going into the gym to use the stationary bike.  The execution of this plan was less than desirable.   The run went ok, but I learned an uncomfortable lesson about ignoring bathroom urges.  “nuff said.  Instead of entering the gym I drove home and had a shower and did some laundry.  Cycling didn’t happen and will be rescheduled, but I did do a couple of hours of hiking through my Dad’s woodlot so there is that.

Tuesday – Planned 10k Easy / Core Strength

Actual:   As always core strength was done with a buddy, so there was no getting out of that.  We went to the gym early and did 30 minutes together on the elliptical.  To compensate for this extra activity I cut my run short. ( 6k)

20170411_142535Wednesday – vVO2Max/ Warm Up/ 5×800 with equal time recovery/ cool down 1 mile

Actual:  Feeling fatigued after working on my feet all day, but I got ‘er done.    The 800m intervals took about 4:30-4:40 minutes, so I can’t complain about that.  Not my best results, but all things considered it was a great workout.  I’m not gonna lie… I was glad to finish the last interval.

Thursday – 5k Easy Running / Core Strength

Actual :  Today I ran with a buddy.  She was in charge of the route, and tricked me into doing 7k.  Bummer!  Instead of the core strength workout I ate out with my Run Group.  (not exactly an equal substitute… fatten the tummy versus flatten the tummy? )

 

20170417_145112.jpgFriday – Circuit Workout / WU / 400m @5k intensity/ 10x 1 leg bicepcurls/ 45situps/18burpees/15 bench dips/ 400m @5k intensity/ /7@ feet-elevated pushups/12 squat,dumbell press/ 45 lower back extension/ 10@ one leg squat, 10lb dumbbell/ 400m @5kintensity/ Cool Down 3k

Actual : It’s Good Friday.  As a baker, I have been working my butt off this week.  I rested .  I am going to put off this workout for a few days and somehow make it fit  into next week’s schedule.  I did  enjoy a nice hike to the sugar woods with hubby.

Saturday- Rest Day

Actual: After yesterdays unscheduled Rest Day, I knew that I had to make adjustments.  Instead of resting today I ran 2k warmup, followed by one hour of cycling. ( the workout that I missed earlier this week. )

Sunday- 8k Easy

Actual: I ran with a buddy, 11k. #bonusmiles Then prepared Easter Dinner. So much food.!

Summary:

I blame Easter for the chaotic week.  As a baker, I have been working long and hard to prepare for this busy weekend.  In my free time I have been getting ready for Easter Dinner for my family.  ( 23 people)

I skipped one workout and rescheduled another.  As I have mentioned before, circuit/strength workouts are not my strength and I don’t have to look far to find an excuse to not do it.  I don’t like missing a workout. I don’t like rescheduling. Every workout has a purpose and the schedule is designed to flow smoothly for optimum efficiency. That being said , I DID miss a key workout and it WILL be rescheduled early next week. With only five weeks remaining it is critical that I complete each workout as it is scheduled so it does not disrupt the rest of the week.

Total mileage this week. : 43km ( but it feels like more! )

 

 

 

Ottawa Marathon Training / Week 21

This is my accountability blog, designed to keep me focused.   This plan was designed by me and is based on Hal Higdon’s Novice 2 Marathon training plan,with insight from  Owen Henderson’s “Science of Running” and Alan Culpepper’s “Run Like A Champion.”  with a heaping helping of solicited advice from a running friend. Marathon Training is a learning experience for me and I am tracking my progress for future reference.

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Monday – Planned 5k Easy Running / Cycling 12 minutes WU / 4 x 5 minutes intense with 3 minute recovery

Actual : 5k was an easy run with a buddy.   Cycling was done at the gym, followed by CxWorx with another buddy. We usually go on Tuesdays but she is not available then so we switched days.

Tuesday – 5k Easy / Core Strength

Actual : I did the core strength yesterday due to the unavailability of my workout partner.  Tonight I joined my run group for a social run.  I ran with a couple of people who have not been running much.  It was a nice enjoyable slow pace, but they coerced me into running 6.5km.  I am so easily persuaded.

C8qYGn1XYAAP6nQ.jpgWednesday – Planned 29km

Boom! Done! With a HM PB to boot! It was only by 5 seconds but I’m taking it.

Thursday – Planned 5k Active Recovery / Core Strength

Actual: Before I even laced up my shoes I decided to shorten this distance to 3km. I finished with 2.65km.  I was not mentally prepared and my body decided that it wouldn’t cooperate either.  It was a horrible run and I hated every step.

Core strength :  I attended CxWorx class with a buddy. It was interesting to note how sore my core was after yesterday’s run.   I guess the lesson that I learned is that my core muscles work hard during a long run ( and that’s good, right?) and require time to recover.  It was  tough workout and I decreased the level of intensity. It felt good to be done.

Friday – Planned  Warm Up 2k / Strength Training / 2k Tempo / 2k Cool Down

Actual : I am feeling fatigued.  With a road race on Sunday, I opted to do some light strength training, with a 3k warm up.

Saturday – Rest

Actual : I ran a windy 2km for Run Streak Day #861.

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Sunday – Lorneville Loop 13k Road Race

Actual : Nailed it!  I wasn’t sure how this would go, a hilly road race only 4 days after a Long Run. I planned to use this as a Tempo Training  Run with no thought of trying for a PB.  The first few kilometers were uphill and I struggled with my breathing. A downhill stretch at 5 -6k was a welcome relief and allowed my legs to wind up and then just keep going.  My pace was faster than I planned but it felt good so I decided to just go for it.  I finished 22 seconds faster than my previous best time, and it was also my best 10k effort by 30 seconds.

 

 

Summary: In hindsight I could have planned this week better.  The 29k long run followed by a 13k road race four days later wasn’t my best idea.  Core strength workout the day after a long run was a horrible idea.  But hey, this is a learning experience and I maybe I will be smarter next time.   Thank goodness my body is smart enough to tell me when I am being a dumbass.  And thank goodness I am still smart enough to listen to my body.

Total distance this week 62. 3 km.  If you are keeping score you will realize that I earned 3 PB’s this week, including Wednesdays 21.1k.  I’ll take it.

Marathon Training, A Reflection

This is my second marathon and I am learning that Marathon Training is about so much more than running. When I was training for my first marathon I had to face the unexpected death of my brother and then my mother’s brief but terminal illness.   The training became a coping mechanism for me as I dealt with the grief of losing both of them within a few months.  My runs were an outlet for my emotions, but truth be told,  I skipped / modified a lot of workouts, especially in the final weeks of providing palliative care for my mother.

The training for this marathon is different.  I still carry Mom and Roger in my heart, especially on the Long Runs, but I am able to focus on working hard to increase my endurance. It really is about so much more than running. It is about becoming stronger physically, mentally and emotionally. It is about unfalteringly  putting one foot in front of the other, even when you feel that you just can’t take another step. It is about pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone. It is about getting better every day.

 

 

Ottawa Marathon Training / Week 15

You  might remember that I took a break from Training last week. This week I am back at it, focused and determined to be the best that I can be on Race Day. As always I am recording my daily progress here, to keep me accountable.

Monday : Planned Cross Training – 45 minutes. ( my choice of modes.)

Actual :  Okay, this is my first day back after taking one week off .  I admit my mindset is not where it needs to be.  It was easy to convince myself that yesterday’s 2 hour snowshoe trek was enough to count for two days.  Some days I am so weak.  I did run 5k though.

Tuesday : Planned Cardio : Stair Climber . Warm up 5 minutes easy. 4 x 3 minutes high intensity with 3 minute recovery. Cool down 8 minutes .  /   Planned : Core strength (CxWorx – 30 minutes)

Actual :  I’m back!  Focused and ready to kill this workout.  The Stair Climber presented a problem.  I am a member at Goodlife Fitness and there are 2 locations near me. Only one of them has a Stair Climber and it was not the one where I was meeting a friend for our usual Tuesday night CxWorx.   I considered postponing that specific workout but then decided to use the elliptical. It has an adjustable ramp and I think that it engages the same muscles as the stair climber. Whew!  What a workout!  Afterwards I did the CxWorx session.   I missed it last week because of the snowstorms.  Good workout. My abs are sore.

20170223_151236.jpgWednesday – Planned 10 easy running

Actual : It’s a beautiful day and I had a great running partner.  We giggled and laughed as we jumped over puddles and sloshed through slush.

Thursday – Planned Cross Training Cycling / 12 minute warm up easy cycling / One leg cycling, 4 @ 1 minute intense cycling with 1 minute recovery, each leg / 5 x 1 minute @ 90 RPM, 1 minute @ 100 RPM./ 5 x 1 minute easy, 1 minute high gear / 3 miles fast / 12 minutes cool down.                                                                                                                      

Actual: Until recently I haven’t had much experience with the stationary bike. Wow. this was intense.  It is the longest that I have ever stayed on a bike, for sure. I didn’t complete the 12 minute cool down, cut it short at 8 minutes.  My butt was killing me!

Friday – 12 km easy running / CxWorx core conditioning

Actual :  The CxWorx happened as planned but I spontaneously signed up for a 10k event for Saturday (Rest Day) so skipped the run. Well, actually I did 6k and that’s almost the same as skipping it, right?

Saturday – Rest

Actual: As mentioned above I signed up for  a 10k event.  It wasn’t a race, just a community fundraiser that was billed as a Walk but we were given permission to run the route.  My running partner is directionally challenged ( like me! ) and we took the wrong turn not once, not twice, but three times.  As we approached the finish line, our distance was 11.75 km so we did the logical thing and ran around the block again.  Longest 10k ever!

20170223_151409.jpgSunday – Strength Training

Actual :Didn’t happen.  Sundays seem to be a tough day for me as work and family commitments seem to get in the way. Maybe Sundays should be a day of Rest for me?   Not to worry, it will be easy to fit this workout in next week on one of my Easy Running Days.

Summary: My body appreciated the break last week. It took me a couple of days to get back in the game mentally but I feel good about this week.  Tired, but good.

 

Ottawa Marathon Training Week 13

20170124_153404.jpgThis is my accountability blog.  Writing down my planned workouts and then reporting the actual workout keeps my accountable.  Week 12 ended with a Hypothermic Half Marathon so week 13 will begin with Active Recovery Days.

Monday – Planned 3-4k active recovery

Actual : If I had been running by myself I would have stopped at 2k.  Quads felt good this morning but stiffened up after standing all day at work. The route had one uphill and one downhill.  The Uphill was fine, but Quads shouted Ow Ow Ow all the way down on the Downhill. I didn’t want to disappoint my running buddy by stopping so I kept going.  But I forewarned her that I would not exceed 4k.  I stopped at 4k, she continued for 2 more kilometers while I stretched.

Tuesday -Planned 2-4k Active Recovery / Core strength

Actual :  My running group meets on Tuesdays. Distances and  paces vary, with most people opting for 5k -8k.  I was tempted to do 5k but decided to do 3.5k. Afterwards I met a  friend for CxWorx.  Quads are still sore from Sunday’s HM so I opted for some of the easier modifications. Great workout.

Wednesday -Strength Training /Core strength

Actual : Nailed it!  2k warm up and 5k cool down.

Thursday – 10k easy 

On Thursdays I run with a friend who usually lets me determine the distance.  Today she balked at 10k because she planned a double Zumba session later.  She is too stubborn to run a short distance with me and then stop; she will drag her ass the entire distance.  I dragged her for 8k and then mercifully let her stop.  After she left I ran another 2k.  Cold day (7F) with brisk northeasterly wind.  Brrrrr.

Friday – Planned Tempo ( 5k @6:30 km)

With a nor’easter overnight and frigid temperatures today, this wasn’t happening outdoors!  I wasn’t sure how to translate this effort to treadmill miles so I set the treadmill at Level 6.0  (10:00 minute mile @ .5 incline) It felt about right.

20170212_151201.jpgSaturday – Planned Rest Day

What is this Rest Day of which ye speak?  I had an opportunity to go snow shoeing.  Never mind that I haven’t done this particular activity for at least 2 years.  It was a great day exploring new trails.  Total distance. 5.15 km.

 

Planned – Sunday -Lactate stackers.  8 x 100 meters

Actual: This didn’t happen.  The perfect snow beckoned me again and I decided to go snow shoeing again.  It was a lovely afternoon and it was easy to convince myself that snow shoeing was  a nice substitute.  Will try to fit the lactate stackers  into next week sometime.

Summary: Another week closer to Ottawa Marathon. The week went well despite a late-week snowstorm.  The running conditions were not ideal, which resulted in one treadmill run but the snow shoeing conditions were excellent and I took advantage of the opportunity to do some cross training.  I skipped one Quality Run and will need to adjust next week’s schedule to accommodate it.

Next week is a recovery week and I am grateful for that.  My body is looking forward to it.

Happy Trails. everyone. !20170212_153104