Blog Archives

It’s time to train…..

It’s time to get serious again. I like training. I like plans and order, and clear expectations, and training fits that better than just “going for runs”. I also like the things I learn while training, and the improvements I see, so it’s win-win. (I’ll try to remind myself I wrote this, when I’m in the middle of hill repeats or intervals) I also need the accountability. It’s too easy to blow off a run when it’s “just a run”. The excuses are endless, and all good ones. I should spend the time with the kids, the house needs work, my volunteer activities need my attention, I need some sleep, my leg/back hurts, and on and on. But when I’m training, I feel like I have a set of rules to follow, and the excuses get weaker.

I’ve also gained a solid 10lbs in the last 6 months. This is a combination of not running, holiday eating, and stress eating. Running helps me burn off stress, and makes me feel good about myself. Eating crap is a (lousy) coping mechanism I have for stress and feeling low about myself. So I have high hopes for an improved physique, along with improved pace. I’m giving a vegan diet a go right now as well. We feed our kids vegan, but I had been clinging to milk in my coffee, and eggs and dairy as treats when out and about. We’ll see how that goes, it makes junky eating a little harder, that’s for sure.

I’m excited about this. I met with my coach and laid out the plan. He’s calm and confident, and a scientist, so we work well together. I’m all about rules and plans and details, so I need that mindset to do my best. The 10k in April is our first goal, followed by a


in October. Seriously. I’m still coming to terms with the fact I’m doing this, more than a little scared, but so excited to think about actually doing it.


“Running the Lakes”

I’ve finally done it. I went and “ran the lakes” on Sunday. It really is a lovely place to run. The trail is changing and interesting, lots of little hills to challenge as well.Being my first trip around I really had no idea what to expect, which was kind of exciting as well. I usually run on flat roads, so this was much different, and kept me guessing. I loved the smell of the wet, westcoast forest. It took me back, and smelled like “home”. I grew up on some farmland that extended up the front of Mount Douglas here in Victoria. So that wet wood really is home to me.

I did manage to get lost, though. I feel pretty silly, considering it is a LOOPED and MARKED trail, and still I managed to go wrong somehow. I went wide out from the lake through some kind of equestrian training area. Cool, but not the designated trail. By the time I got to around 11km (on a 10k loop) I realized something was wrong. I could see the lake, and was on the trail, but I had no idea if I had under, or over-shot the parking lot I started from. Luckily my new GPS watch has a very easy to use mapping feature. I hadn’t gotten that far in the instruction booklet, but I managed to pull up a map, see where I was, and see that I was just around the corner from where I was trying to get to. Saved by the Garmin! In all, I ran 11.27km. My longest run yet!

I also ran without music this time. I always run with music, always. I brought my walkman, and had planned to listen, but somehow changed my mind. I thought I’d start out without and plug in later if I felt like it. And I didn’t really feel like it, until nearing the end. By then, I was pleased with myself for not using the tunes, so I held out and ran without. I still like my music, but I was happy to see that I could run without it and enjoy myself!

Two milestones in one run – awesome!

Going for it.

I’m thinking of running Beaver/Elk lake tomorrow morning.  It’s a 10k route, apparently quite a nice run, and common for the local runners.  I’ve never done it.  I walked it once, about 7 years ago, with some friends.  I seem to recall it took us an awfully long time.

When people find out I run it seems to be a common question “oh, do you ever run around the lakes?”  But until recently, 10k was like a marathon to me.  Something I endeavored to finish.  Something I trained for, to survive all 10k, and get to the end still standing.  So no, I didn’t “go run around the lakes” for fun or training, because a 10k route was the end goal.  Now though, my long runs approach 10k regularly, and I know I could do it.  There’s little danger of getting halfway around and being too fatigued to run the rest of the way.  I think it will actually be, dare I say it, FUN.

So weather willing, if I’m up early enough to be out and back without offsetting my family’s day too much, I’m hoping to run the lakes tomorrow.  Wish me luck.

Times Colonist 10k – Race Report

I’ve been too busy to sit down and write my report from the 10k over a week ago.  Work’s been nuts, and I just spent the weekend playing in a Field Lacrosse tournament in Kamloops.

I feel like I  did ok in the Times Colonist 10k race, but felt a little bit dissapointed afterwards.  Some of that was the letdown that comes after an event with a big buildup.  I’ve been training for 4 months for this race, so there was definitely a bit buildup!  Just like Christmas, when it’s over, you feel a bit of letdown.

It was great weather for the TC 10k.  Cool, but not cold, and very little wind.  I got there with plenty of time to warm up, but headed to line up a bit early, nervous I’d have to fight the crowds.  I wish I’d warmed up a little longer, and closer to start time, I was cooling off again by the time the race started.  The start was really slow, even though I lined up in the right spot for my pace (50-59min) It took more than 2 minutes to cross the start line.  And even then I was shoulder to shoulder with so many runners for the first couple of kilometers.  You can see how packed it was, right out of the gate, I was hardly moving.  (It’s not a great photo, I look pretty unhappy, even though I was really quite happy at this point, but it’s the only photo of me from the race!)  It was difficult to run, or find my pace, when I was so concerned with stepping on someone’s heels or bumping the people beside me.  I worked on weaving through the crowd to move forward, but it was difficult and tiring.   I didn’t like the race being so busy,  the crowds are less fun when you’re trying for speed.

I spotted my coach as I was stopped drinking after the first water station, just after 3km.  Great, he finds me the one moment I’m standing still! Off I went again…..The course had some short hills, nothing too steep, and they actually kept it interesting.  My right leg felt tight, but no pain in the first half of the race, and once the crowd thinned a little, running felt better and smoother.

Around the halfway point I was getting tired, and my leg was bugging me more.  The portion all along Dallas Road was beautiful, but it was getting harder for me there.  I had to take a break for about 20 seconds, just walk, deep breaths and regroup.  I was struggling a bit, but determined to finish this thing, so I got going again after that short break at around 7.5km.  I felt like my pace was all over the place, but worked through it and just kept going.  It was still busy at this point, not a ton of space to just work at your own pace, and that was frustrating.   The last few kilometers felt longer than the early ones, but that’s to be expected.  The last kilometer hurt, but I pushed and ran my hardest.  I found some energy to finish strong with effort, so I guess my pace was ok through the race.  The finish line was as blocked up as the starting line, so I ran to it as fast as I safely could, but people were stopped a mere foot after the finish, so that slowed us down some.

My official finishing time was 56:03.  That’s more than 15 minutes off the first time I ran it, 2 years ago in 2009!  My pace was 5:37, and looking back at most other races I’ve done, my pace was 7:09 or thereabouts.  That’s pretty significant!  I worked really hard with my coach, training three times a week for 4 months (minus a couple weeks for a head injury) so I’m happy to see results from my hard work.  I’ve lost about 30lbs over the past year as well, another factor that I’m sure improves my running performance.

So what’s next?  My coach mentioned a race in July, but I’m not sure which one it is.  The 8k in October tied to the BMO Marathon is another I have been doing for a few years, so I’d love to go for a fantastic PB in that one.   I know I want to race more, and be faster, so after a short break to rest my leg and heal it up, back to training!

It’s the night before my big race. It’s “just a 10k” and not a serious one at that, as the TC 10K is known as a welcoming, fun run. But for me it’s big. I’ve been training hard, with an awesome coach, for nearly 4 months now. I’m a much stronger, fitter, smarter runner now, and I’m looking forward to seeing just what I can do tomorrow. I’m a bit nervous, as I feel a lot of pressure to do well, prove to myself that all this effort has been worth it.

I ran my last 10k, 2 years ago, in 1:11:30. |I was pleased with that because I “ran” the whole way, and finished the race. Two years ago that was a huge accomplishment for me. This time around, I’m hoping for a lot more.

Here’s my playlist for the race. I like starting with Adele, she’s so powerful and her voice lifts me, gets me going. I want to hit 5k before “Heads will Roll” is over, and Billy Idol should bring me to the final kilometer. If I don’t finish with Shakira, the white stripes will let me power home, and I’ll recover to “Written in the stars”

Adele – Rolling in the Deep
Beck – Black Tambourine
Britney – Till the World Ends
Kelly Rowland – Commander
Dragonette – Hello
Eminem – Not Afraid
YeahYeahYeahs – Heads will Roll
Jason Derulo – In My Head
Kaskade – Fire in Your New Shoes
Marina and the Diamonds – Oh No!
Ducksauce – Barbra Streisand
Naked and Famous – Young Blood
Billy Idol – Rebel Yell
Shakira – Waka Waka
White Stripes – 7 Nation Army
Tinie Tempah – Written In the Stars

Personal Best

I’m unclear the difference between PB and PR. I think they mean about the same, but I’m not sure which to use, worrying that choosing wrong labels me as a *noob* or something. I also don’t know if only “official” and timed runs count towards this label. For me, I look for each and every success in my running journey to keep me motivated and measure my progress. This means, official or not, any time I do something better, I’m going to try to celebrate it. For me, training run PBs count, for sure.

So yesterday I ran a PB on my long run. 10.1km in 58:30. I ran 10k in 58minutes. That is my fastest ever 10k. I’ve eeked out a 60minute 10k in training runs, but my last recorded 10k race was 2 years ago, and took me 1hr11minutes. I’m a lot faster now, eh? The run was hard, I had to push, both mentally and physically, to keep going and try to maintain speed and form. But most parts of it felt good. I felt like I was running right. That’s so exciting to me. I still feel like I’m a running wannabe some days, and am surprised and happy at something that makes me feel like a TRUE runner.