Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Taper Mind Games

So many times today I have written out my frustrations and worries and deleted them.  The fact that I keep typing it out makes me think I need to get it out.  I need to write out my worries so I can see that they are not rational.

I'm having a hard time recovering from the Half Marathon I ran on Sunday.  A run that was much less distance then what should have been on my training plan for the Marathon in Oct.  A run that normally should not have been so taxing (yeah because running 21km is no big deal LOL).  Yet here it is two days later, with one full day of rest and I am still in a lot of discomfort.  After I ran the Marathon in May I worked every day (light workouts) for a week before taking a rest day. I tried to go for a run today, thinking a light easy run might help loosen me up and work out the kinks.  I got half a mile and was in too much pain to keep running.  On the bright side I did get in a beautiful 8km walk on the trails.  ON THE BRIGHT SIDE I was able to walk 8km and have it feel good, without pain in my knees and I can bend my knee.  I need to remember that just weeks ago coming off a long run I couldn't even bend my knee for two days.  I need to remember that I went into the Army Run unsure if I would even have a good run and meet my sub 2 hr goal.  I did have a good run and met my goal.  The end was tough, I was really tight, but I was NOT in the PAIN that I was in while struggling on those long training runs. I am doing better.

I told myself that I wanted to give it my all in the Army Run and then I would rest and heal, that tapering for the TO Marathon might be just rest.  Tapering to begin with is a MIND FARK, you doubt your training, if you have trained enough, you question everything. I need to remember why we taper...to recover.  That all those long runs and the ramped up milage start to break your body down.  In May I remember feeling extra tired, slow to recover, and drained from simple workouts in the taper period.  I remember feeling emotional and hungry, and eating to feed my emotions.  I felt all that and wasn't struggling with an "injury".  Now I'm back in the taper period, coming off a Half Marathon Race (ie. emptied the tank, not a slow run), struggling with an "injury", and having run my first full marathon only months ago.  I guess I need to cut myself some slack.

BUT I miss the way my body used to feel when I ran.  I miss that ease.  I miss that fluid feeling of powerful strength.  I know I can find it again, IF I take care.  I'm continuing with my physio exercises, I'm stretching and doing yoga once a week, I'm foam rolling like a mad woman.  I'm cutting way back on the intensity of my workouts, taking more rest days, and I am eating really nutritious foods to fuel my body and its repair.  I have an appointment at Solefit on Monday to have a running assessment done.  I'm investing in making sure I'm running properly and avoiding injury.

In all of this I am surprisingly calm about the TO Marathon, I have let go of the pressure I was putting on myself to run it for a personal best.  Instead I am going to go and run easy, cover the distance and be proud that I have run my 2nd Marathon Distance.

What has me frustrated and anxious, is will I get that easy powerful feeling back again?  When the TO marathon is over how long will it take me to recover then?  I've been doing more yoga, in the last 3 weeks to help with recovery.  Last week I did a FLOW class that was very challenging in an athletic way.  It felt amazing.  I think over the coming months as I complete these next two Marathons, my training is going to change.  I see myself doing more yoga, changing my strength training up, and actually running less. I  feel more calm already having written this post, and I saved myself the money speaking with a therapist would have cost.   Now I can use that money to buy new running shoes!

I'm in the fugly orange hat :)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Army Run Half Marathon 2012

Sipping a glass of red, waiting for dinner to arrive and icing my knees, perfect time to recap the day for my blog.  Funny thing, despite it being an amazing day full of friends and excitement I am POOPED, HUNGRY, a little grumpy and feeling very emotional.  I guess that's to be expected after all the highs of the day, I just wish my kids understood (yes Mommy can't move right now and neither can Daddy).

It's actually been a bit of a "Race Weekend" I warmed up for the half by doing a 5km Colour Vibe with friends on Saturday morning.
Nice and White before heading out to get my COLOUR VIBE ON
I ran with my very good friend Liz and we chatted the whole way, stopping to twirl in the color clouds.     It was truly the most fun run I have ever done.
Doing the Crazy Pussy Cat with Liz and Pam

Showing off my colours to the kids when I got home (that's Ryan in the background cleaning pee off the floor...yeah you heard that right lol) 

But on to the ARMY RUN.  So the day started with a high because of all the excitement online, so many friends were running or walking today.  Many of them first time racers.  I have to give a little shout out to my 5km friends:

  • Laura 
  • Jay
  • Tracy
  • Sue-Anne
  • Dorrie
  • Rob
  • Caroline
  • Mell
  • Jenn
  • Erin
  • Megan
  • Suzanne
  • Colleen
Then their were the Half Marathon takers:
  • Ryan (my hubby)
  • Rob
  • Kelly
  • Leigh
  • Stephanie and Marc (hub and wife team)
  • Barbara
  • Allyson
How inspiring is that?  I headed out to the race already pumped with everyone else's excitement.   

Pre Race 

Ryan and I hung out in the coral together and reminisced a bit over literally how "far" we have come since last year's Army Half.  I spotted my lucky BUNNY. I untied and retied my shoes 6 times (nervous habit) and finally the Cannon went off!  We shuffled forward and before I knew I was RACING!  

So here's the race breakdown (probably only interesting to me lol).  I was heading into it very unsure of how my body would respond.  I have cut back on running the last two weeks, been doing physio, and have been doing everything I can to heal an "injury."  But I felt very hopeful that I was on the mend and would make my sub 2 hr goal.  My plan was to run a 9 min/mile the first 6 miles and then speed up to an 8:45-8:50 min/mile.  I got caught up in the crowd, I was feeling good, and I was running fast.  I decided to stay fast not knowing what my body would do later and thought get as much distance as you can fast and you can slow down later.  My body felt good, good until 8 miles and then my knee started to hurt.  I popped an Advil and the pain eased up 20 min later. I also decided to take my gel earlier feeling like I was using up more energy going faster, then I took a 2nd and a third.  I over did the gels.  I only needed two.  The second half of the race was harder, I was getting tight, I could feel my glutes and IT Band getting tighter (but not painful, thankfully not painful!) I slowed down.  I felt like I was out of gas and that's part of the reason I took the 2nd and 3rd gels too close together. The 3rd was a bad idea and made me feel like I was busy digesting and I felt more sluggish.  My legs really felt heavy and my feet like lead in the last 1/4 of the race.  But only for portions, and I would slow my pace, recover and then push on trying to keep to about an 8:45 min/mile pace or better.    I pushed myself the whole race, I gave it everything I had, and made it in at 1:56:29! I did it I got my OFFICIAL Sub 2 hr Half! 
I thought I had a beaten my best training run time from the spring but nope...I was shy a few seconds. 

My best half time from a training run in the spring, but I did have a cold that day and took a cold pill...that baby jacked me up a bit I think LOL. 
I have to say, I was really in awe of the fast runners out there.  There was a SEA of people ahead of me, and I wasn't passing that many people.  I was right in my pace group.  I wonder what it takes to get to 1:45?

Ryan and I after the race, he had PB of 2:09:16
Afterwards, we met up with our friends, we celebrated with yummy food and delicious beers.  I have to say my favorite part of a race is the sharing of stories drinking beers after! That and the big fat treat meal and dessert for dinner!

So its "Taper" time for the next two weeks and the TO Waterfront Marathon on Oct 14th!  Next weekend we have a fun 5km race at night with friends, the word is we are dressing up as Super Hero's.  At the end of October we have the Rattle Me Bones 10km and the kids will be doing their first race (1km).  Lots of running and racing going on and ending it all with a bang in Disney in Jan with my third marathon.

Friday, September 21, 2012

It all started at the Army Run 2 years ago...

 Two years ago, a friend suggested I run the 5km at the Army Run, and I was so flattered that she would even think I could do it.  I had been working out at the gym pretty steady for about a month or so but hadn't run more then 10 min.  Well I tell you training for that first 5km with Ryan and running that race LIT A FIRE IN ME!  (thank-you so much Eva for thinking I could do it).

Working my way to that 5km race with Ryan was a lot of fun.  I remember we would come home from the gym and "brag" about our times on the treadmill and then try to beat each other.  The day of the race, I was feeling a little cocky and I asked Ryan if he minded if we split up.  He gave me this look and said SURE if you don't mind too.  We lost each other early on getting caught up in the crowd and excitement and before you knew it I was in my groove.  I was running faster then I ever had and feeling great.  In my mind I thought, I AM SMOKING HIM!  At around 3km I CAUGHT up to him, and couldn't keep up.  He beat me that day, but I must admit looking at his butt is a nice view.

That race really inspire me.  I remember running and wrestling with my shirt that didn't fit, even at the biggest size you could get.  It rode up and I ran with it under my boobs most of the run (thank goodness for a white tank underneath).  I really wanted my own shirt that said "watch this flab fly!"  I may have been a plus size girl but I tell you I felt like a runner, I really did.
The Army Run 2010, 5km (33min 12 sec)
Last year we returned to the Army Run to run our first half marathon togther.  It was an amazing day! We ran together for about 16km.  We didn't even feel like we were running in a race, we felt so good and happy, were checking in with each other and enjoying the experience.  My parents SURPRISED me on the sidelines, that was a tear jerker for sure.  After seeing them, I realized this was my time, my time to give it all.  So I gave Ryan a nod and went for it.  2:11:43 seconds and I wasn't sure if I would make 2:30!  Ryan wasn't far behind me at 2:16:26.  It was when I saw him cross the finish line that I lost it with the big tears. I was so proud of him and of us. We celebrated that night with ICE WINE and cheese in bed while watching a movie.  The day truly ranked up there with getting married and the kids being born.

The Army Run 2011, Half Marathon (2:11:43)

So Saturday I get to warm up for the Army Run Half, at the Color Vibe 5km.  Its going to be a fun happy run with my friend Liz, celebrating this fit healthy life and my friends.  This weekend so many of my friends are running, its seriously amazing how the happy endorphin bug has sparked!  Sunday, is the big day.  I'm coming off an "injury," I've been cutting back on the running, training differently and doing physio.  I am nervous at how my body will respond.  I am also super duper ridiculously excited.  I'm going to go and run my best race and be happy no matter the outcome knowing that I am blessed to be able to do this.

Wishing everyone running this weekend a great Race.  RUN HAPPY MY FRIENDS!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

9 Months...3 Marathons

While out running a very painful long run last weekend, I came to the realization that running a marathon is a lot like giving birth.  The end result is so euphoric that you forget about all the pain leading up to it.  I had forgotten just how challenging those final long runs are mentally and physically.  `

9 months...3 Marathons.  I was obviously still riding the post Marathon High, and chasing my next adrenaline high when I signed up for these (TO and Disney)

May Race Weekend was my first marathon and it was amazing, I felt strong and ran a great race. 4 hrs 17 min.   I cried much of the distance not because of pain but because of happiness. 

Oct 14th, I will be running my second Marathon in Toronto.  I am unsure how that will go.  I am trying to let go of my expectations and to be happy with getting there and finishing, covering the distance.  Last weekend I had a very tough 29 km run.  8km in I was feeling tight and painful.  It got worse as I ran, the pain was all in my right leg (really bad in the glute, and in my hamstring and calf).  30 min from home I stopped at a light and I couldn't bend my knee when I started up again.  I walked with a straight leg and tried calling home for a pick up a few times.  I didn't get ahold of Ryan, the pain lessened up, and I started to run again (aka..limp). I limped home stopping to walk a bit once more.  I finished the run, with Pitbull's words "Don't start what you can't finish".  That weekend things went from bad to a whole lot worse, as I was unable to bend my knee at all Sat and Sunday morning (mobility came back by late afternoon).  I rested all weekend, not even an upper body flex to be had.  I saw my physiotherapist Tuesday and in short have weak and TIGHT hips (very common) and my other muscles are compensating, getting tight and resulting in my knee pain.  Last weekend was a wake up call. I need to be way more diligent in my stretching and foam rolling.  I also need to change the focus of my strength training.  I have been working very hard this week to do al of those things.  I also had two 30 min massages, and did an amazing heated Yin Yoga class on Fri night.  I'm feeling much better not 100% but much better.  I am hopeful that if I keep up with the work, I will be ok. 

Last weekend, Ryan asked me if I would be ok if I can't run.  At the time I said I would be fine, that what would be would be. But as the weekend went on and my knee got worse. I PANICKED!  I was at a friend's cottage on the Long Weekend, in a horrible mood.  I have been training and working so hard to run these races.  I want to run them to collect my high at the end of the race, my prize.  But at the heart of my panic, is that I have once again tied my identity up in something external.  I have come to see myself as a runner and to therefore build my self confidence up in my ability to run.   I don't have an AHA Moment to share where I come to terms with that.  But I know that if its this important to me, I need to be as careful and diligent as I can.  I also need to realize that I might not be breaking and personal records. That I am ok with, I am changing my expectations.  

Katie's New Expectations:

1. I expect that I will take care of myself.  I will stretch, foam roll, strengthen, rest, and run.  

2. I will train to run the best half marathon I can at the Army Run in 2 weeks (changing my training up a bit to focus on this race and doing my best here, and will do what I have left for the Marathon Oct 14th).  

3.  I may start substituting runs for other endurance activities, to rest my over used muscles (ie. Sunday 75min spin class)

4.  Will do better with my strength training, changing the focus of it to focus on my weak areas (stabilizing my hips and strengthening them).

5. I am going to have more "fun" running, running to socialize and "play" (Thurs run club, the 5km Graffiti run with Liz, The 5km Moonlit Run with a group of friends) 

6.  The Disney Marathon will be a fun Marathon, I will stop and take pictures, and wear a princess costume, and after I will spend the week eating, drinking, and celebrating with my family and friends on CATION! 

Scary faced...WTF I'm soaked...pulling the chute 12km in to my 32km run this am...try again Sunday.   (taking a pic of myself while I wait in the rain to be rescued) 

10 things I don't do!

Surfing the web last night I came across this funny post called 10 things I don't do, what makes it extra funny is she is a bit "perfect" homemaker and a guru of money saving and home making tips.  Sort of refreshing to see that she isn't perfect.   I couldn't help but come up with a list of my own.  If you want to play a long post a link to your post in the comments.

1. I don't floss, it grosses me out, especially if bits of plaque get flicked on the mirror...ughh.  The only time I floss is if I eat popcorn, I should eat popcorn more often.

2. I don't rinse my dishes. Little chia seeed goo gets stuck to my glasses in the dishwasher because I am to lazy to rinse and rub them off before they go in.  The glasses come out of the dishwasher with dried on black dirt...and I put them in the cupboard...its clean black chia dirt! :)  DRIVES RYAN MAD!!!

3.  I don't DO THE PHONE...I hate talking on the phone, friends must sign a contract understanding that I will not talk on the phone :) 

4.  I don't answer the DOOR...I think I am part hermit and don't like having to respond to others.  If the door rings I don't answer it, the kids go running to it, and I tell them to stay away and hide.  Why answer it chances are its someone selling something?


5.  I don't diet! No fad diets.  No short term thinking, or magical solutions.  I do my best to stick to a Healthy Lifestyle that focuses on eating more whole real food then processed.  I eat lots of lean protein, complex carbs, a little fruit (I hate it), lots of vegetables, healthy fats and CHOCOLATE.  I move and get sweaty almost every day.  I indulge in my favorites like red wine and chocolate often and find healthy versions of my favorite foods.  I am far from perfect.  Sometimes I plain old over eat.  Sometimes I use food to mask my emotions.  But overall, I do my best to LIVE a HEALTHY life :)


6.  I don't do cards.  I am a scrapbooker and I don't make cards.  I don't even buy them.  Why?  I am lazy. Nuff said. You will not find a card attached to your pressie sorry :(   But I do appreciate the cards I get from others and even add them to my scrapbooks.


7.  I don't do sex scenes in books.  I'm not  a prude, by any means trust me! But the sex scenes in books just bore me.  Loved the first 50 Shades...but couldn't get into the other two.  All my favorite vamp books...yep I skip the sex scenes.  I blame it on Laurel Hamilton, I think she just over did it and killed my taste buds for it.

8.  I don't do DETAILS!  (I know big surprise LOL)  This is why I fub up recipes, why I can't knit or crochet, maybe its why I don't like the sex scenes...to much detail about what went where and how it quivered?

9.  I don't sit and wait well.  I mess up my pedi's because I can't sit and wait for them to dry in the salon.  I hate getting my hair done in a salon, sitting in that chair for 2 hours is torture (even if its time away from being the whine fest at home I think I would rather be at home tuning them out wink).  I am like a kid when it comes to having to sit, wait and behave.

10.  I don't proof read very well, this goes back to the details problem. Now don't you dare go back and count how many errors I made in this post.  I have convinced myself that the errors add character to my writing voice.  Yes that's it!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Fall New Year: Sept Goals

There was some chat on Facebook last night about how Sept seems to feel like a new year, and a fresh start. The kids are heading to school, routines are going to slide into place, and my very favorite time of year is almost here.  So with that I find myself making a list of goals for Sept (eeee two of my fav things a LIST and goals!).  

So here we go, this Sept my goals are too:

  • to cut down on caffeine for REAL this time, to switch to decaf beverages in the afternoon
  • make a pot of homemade soup each week
  • try a new recipe each week (can you tell I am in a Martha like mood)
  • be diligent in my stretching and foam rolling to be in top running form
  • do yoga once a week (also part of staying running healthy) 
  • tackle one clean up/house hold project a week
  • blog more, I seem to have fallen out of the habit 
  • call my sister weekly, man I miss her (yes I did just say CALL lol)

What are your goals for Sept?  Are you feeling a little extra motivated with this new month upon us?