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 17

541560_10151321732477461_2014252815_nI hope you have not all been waiting with bated breath for the latest installment of my training schedule.  As I sat down tonight to update it the cat walked across my keyboard and the whole entry disappeared. ! As I scrambled feverishly to retrieve it, wordpress auto saved and I got nothing.  #damnedcat

So, here is the summary. I ran , I recovered, I cross trained, and I hydrated and rested.  It was a good week and I feel like I am in a good place mentally and physically. Longest run was 26km and it was awesome.  Total weekly mileage was a whopping 60km. No wonder I am so tired. ( but in a good way)

Stay tuned for Week 18. It promises to be exciting.

Oh, and I had a birthday and hubby bought me two pairs of running shoes. Yay, me!




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 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.


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!