The Day I Earned My Comma

When I started my Run Streak I never planned to make it a long term commitment.  My goal was to run every day in December, 2014.  Thirty One days was my goal, and there were many days when I thought I couldn’t do it. It was really hard to get out for a run  every single day.

21034435_10154695315332461_8415843252130278167_n Sometimes these things take on a life of their own. I was looking forward to Not Running on January 1, but a co-irker scoffed at my little 31 day streak and challenged me to run every day in 2015.  This was a huge challenge which I hesitantly accepted.

The rest is history.  The coworker dropped out after a few months but I kept going. and going . and going.  By the time I reached 100 days it was becoming easier.  By the end of 2015 I was hooked and couldn’t stop.

Fast forward to August 25, 2017 when I completed my 1,000th consecutive day of running. I never expected that I would need a comma to count my run streak days.

I have a fantastic run group who are (mostly) supportive of my run streak.  They take ownership of milestones and plan special runs to commemorate them.   We have enjoyed #666, #777, and #888 and were undecided about whether to celebrate #999 or #1,000. In the end we celebrated on Day #1,000 because it fell on a Friday and we could enjoy a few wobbly pops at the local tavern afterwards. But we had a 999 theme for the run.

Here is how it worked. Each person was told to bring a small amount of $$ to the run.  We then formed teams of 3 people.  Teams ran 2.5km to the grocery store where they met an appointed Time Keeper who recorded their arrival time.  Teams were given 10 minutes to go into store, buy as many different non-perishable food items as they could for under $9.99 and return to Time Keeper with receipt and merchandise.  Then we ran back to the starting point.  Two teams scored 11 items.  All purchases were donated to a local food bank.  It was fun.. and it was for a good cause.

21077635_10154695315357461_8582915604131510354_nSome of the people in my run group are very creative and they make special bling to mark my milestones.  These unique medals are treasured above all the finisher’s medals in my collection.

Today is Day #1,010.  I have earned that comma, and I plan to continue to use it every day for a very long time.

 

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Hey, it’s me again

Remember me?  I haven’t been posting much lately because…..Life.  And truthfully I am experiencing a block,  nothing of interest to write about and /or the words just won’t flow.

Blogging is therapeutic for me and I wish to get back at it so I have subscribed to an online Word Of The Day and will write a short post which includes said Word.  Ideally the post shall be related to a recent run, or life experience.  Also ideally, this is something I will do every day. Or almost every day. Or at least once or twice a week.

Today’s word is Lineament. Definition: Often, lineaments. a feature or detail of a face, body, or figure, considered with respect to its outline or contour.

Descending  down the treacherous switchbacks, treading gently over moss draped rocks and ancient gnarly roots, I was delighted to find myself at the bottom of a secluded gorge. The gurgle of water was delightful, the feeling of tranquility was overwhelming and I embraced the solitude.  Stretching languidly on a sun-warmed rock I closed my eyes and allowed the sun to caress the lineaments of my face. My lips curled into a peaceful smile, knowing that my cares were miles away and that no one could touch my soul in this magical place.  The End.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 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.