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. !

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!


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.!


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.


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.




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.