Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Manotick Miler: Race Recap

I have to admit that my tummy  was a flutter with butterflies the week leading up to this race.  Perhaps because it was the first of the season and I was nervous about trying to push my pace in a race vs. out for a long run on my own.  Friday afternoon, Kasey and I went and picked up our kits, as the girls were doing the 1 mile race.  While we waited in the park, Kasey suggested we practice by running the hill! I think she could be a mini "Jay" in the making especially with her love of burpees. I wanted to feel good for the race so I took an "active rest" day Saturday and did a 1.5 hr hot yin class with my friends Liz and Janice.  It was a treat to hang out with them and also exactly what my body needed.  I walked out of the class with new hips I tell you.  When I got home from yoga, Kayeligh was waiting for me with her running shoes on, as I promised her that I would do a practice run. We did two laps of the block to practice pacing ourselves.  That night the family and I carb loaded at a new Italian Restaurant in the hood.  I told myself I could have 2 glasses of red (it's sat night for heaven's sake) well I had three, but switched to nuun right after and was toes up in bed by 9pm.

 I had no trouble waking up Saturday morning, and the butterflies were gone, I was READY! I have never felt that calm and ready to run a race ever!  I think part of it was the fact that it's a "smaller" race and I was running with so many of my friends.  We met up before the race to chat and keep warm.

Look at all that happy going on!!  Most of us here are running the Pelee Island Half Marathon together, can you say FUN!!!

The race went really well, this is one of my favourites to run.  I love being out on the country roads, for the most part I don't mind the rolling hills, it's the last one at the very finish that makes me grit my teeth.  I had a plan to run this race slower to start and finish strong (rather then my usual start to fast and die at the end) and for the most part I did that.  I loved the turn around on this race and was able to see my girlfriends running looking strong and cheered them on.   My favourite moment was seeing Jay and being her awesome self even in the midst of her own race was yelling GO GO GO!  As a bonus our babysitter Ais and a friend Caroline were working water stations.  It's amazing what seeing a familiar face will do to add pep to your step. I felt great on this race, found a comfortable push pace and stayed there.  My legs and hips felt quite happy, not heavy, not tight.  I will admit they did feel a little jelly like in the last two miles though.  I knew that Ryan and the kids would be at the finish line which brought back memories of the TO Marathon and I pushed to get there and see them.  I finished the race under my goal of 1:30 (my fastest 10 mile training run time) with a time of 1:25:58, and 7th in my category!  I love small races that make you feel like a super star.

With the kids after the race, next up the family 1 mile race

The girls warming up for their race.  Kasey was funny the morning of the race she was like "REALLY? I just want to enjoy myself on the couch it's Sunday!" but by the time the race stuff started they were back into being excited. 

Kay getting serious doing some last minute stretching in line
and Ryan just plain old being a weird cross fitter....funny story when he was doing the spring dog poop clean up he squatted around the backyard working on his "mobility" Weird no? I kind of wish he had fallen in the poop lol. 

Kay taking off ahead of her sister, Ryan stayed with her

I stayed with Kasey, I wasn't allowed to actually be with her and had to hang back.  She would bolt like lightening and then rest, whine, whine some more, do tree pose to catch her breathe and then BAM!!! off she went again.  #intervaltrainingkidstyle 

Proud girls with their medals 
I have to confess this is the part of the story where I tried to ditch my "mom hat" I was itching to hang with my run buddies and swap run stories with a beer.  Did I mention that Big Rig was there!  I lucked out and Ryan was an awesome hubby and dad and watched the kids and then took them to a birthday party, so I was free to hang at the "big kids table."  This is hands down my favourite part of a race, sitting around with beers rehashing the race and celebrating.  I think I ate the best burger of my life that day, correction make that TWO burgers :) 

I can not wait to take off on a girls weekend to Pelee Island with these same girls, in a month, to run our next race.  I have a feeling this will be the most fun Half Marathon I will ever run!  I'm also pretty excited two friends will be running their first half marathon's that weekend.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Why Social Media Keeps me going

I've recently reconnected with some friends on Facebook and I have to admit I feel a bit sorry for them, they must be like GOOD LORD how many times is this woman going to post about running, working out, and every other thing going on.  

I have been meaning to write a blog post wanting to thank the people in my "social media" life for sometime.  Here's the thing Facebook for me is a really positive thing.  I actually talk to my friends there.  I get to see their ups and downs and get to be part of their lives in a small way.  Some friends are far away, some are close by.  Some of them I have never actually met in real life but I know them like we have been friends since Kindergarten.  When I need help, when something is bothering me, when I just want to vent, or when I want to share a really silly funny my FB Peeps are there.

About 4 years ago I started posting my workouts to FB.  It was doing that led to someone I hadn't seen in years thinking I had it in me to run the 5km Army Race! I don't know where I would be today,  what path I would have taken if I had not run that race.  (thank-you Eva, you have no idea!) Posting my workouts and fitness stuff to FB (dailymile and instagram) helps motivate me.  I fully admit that on days when I don't want to drag my ass to the gym the thought of getting it in my Daily Mile graph gets me there.  I'm a solo runner for the most part, but sharing my runs with my run peeps on Daily Mile, cheering each other on and sharing the ins and outs of the run makes me feel part of something.

I hide it well (I think lol) but I struggle just like everyone else.  Yes I love to run and to exercise and it is most definitely my happy thing.  But I have days when the last thing I want to do is head out the door to sweat.  I have days when my motivation tank is almost empty.  I put a lot of pressure on myself to achieve things. I dream big and want to reach those dreams.  Along the way I can be much to hard on myself, filling myself with doubt, even self sabotaging myself.  I can come home from a run on top of the world or at the bottom of it.  Luckily usually it is the happy place, but there are times when you just need that "YOU DID GOOD TODAY" to help you see past the doubt.

That's where my FB Peeps, the most amazing cheer squad in the world, comes in!  You have no idea but every time you like and comment on one of my damn workout posts you fill me up.  You make me feel better about myself.  You add pep to my step, and I dance all over my damn inner self doubt.  I have been so blessed, to have incredible friends that have supported me, cheered me on and lifted me up on this journey.  I know that without your support making my lifelong dream of running a marathon would not have happened in the same way or at all?  Let alone FOUR!

So this post is a HUGE SQUISHY HUG of thanks to all of you that have been there cheering me on.  I can't thank-you enough.  Truly :)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Ride her hard and bring her home wet (the bike that is)

I just poured myself another glass of wine because I deleted/lost my blog post!  On the bright side, an excuse for one more glass as I rewrite :)

This was an exciting weekend for me, one that took me a big step closer to realizing my goal of completing a Half Iron Du this August.

It all started Friday night when I went to Bushtukah to get my bike fitted.  I will admit I was a wee bit grumpy that it was a Friday night and I was delaying my VINDREDI consumption till after 8pm!  Much to my delight it turned out to be a very fun way to spend my Friday early evening.  I met with Treena, who had me laughing so hard I almost (ALMOST) peed in my new bike shorts.  I learned a lot that evening and most of all she never made me feel stupid about my inexperience.  I left the store motivated and a lot more confident.  I also left with a little of this!

You would almost think I spent my Friday night at the Adult Superfun Store...but no it's just some body glide for the lady parts while riding that promises a blissful ride :)  I mean how can you not be excited about biking now?

Fast forward to Saturday morning after an awesome 12 miler run and you will find the kids outside cheering mom on as she rides up and down the street with two different shoes on.  A friend gave me the awesome tip of keeping one running shoe on and one bike shoe on while I learn to clip in and out.  Yes you heard right, even though I said I wouldn't I went with the clipless pedals.  I "nutted up" :)  I practiced with my right foot first and really struggled to clip out.  Part of the problem is that I am riding in my spin shoes (4 years old).  I'm trying to save a little money on all the stuff I have had to buy (just over $2000 with the bike, odds and ends and the purchase of the cross rails and rack to carry my bike yesterday) But I think I will need to bite the bullet sooner then later on shoes.  Any who, I practiced on each foot and then CLIPPED BOTH FEET IN! Omg that was scary.  But I did ok and got the hang of it.  I might have even hollered out a little YAHOOO!  Then a car started to back out of the drive, he looked at me, I looked at him...I waived him on and waited...then....

OH SHIT!!!! I forgot about my pedals and standing still....over I went and hard! Right into an ICY snow bank.  It hurt (I banged my lady region on the seat, my hip on the ground, and my elbow and hand) and it hurt my pride. 

The guy was nice and rolled down his window and asked if I was ok.  Don't you just hate that when you fall down? I mean it would be so much better if everyone ignored you and walked/drove away.  I think it was even worse because I think he's a "proper" cyclist.  I kind of laid there stunned for a moment, managed to unclip and  tried to call it a day.  But the kids were having fun watching me , I guess and told me to keep going.  How can you argue that, so I practiced a bit more.  Even so, I went to bed that night a little sore, and questioning how I was going to learn to ride this bike and actually do a Duathalon in June.  I was scared.  

Sunday morning arrived at 6:30 am with my oldest asking to get up.  Truthfully I had been lying awake for awhile making up excuses as to why I should not ride my bike today.  I mean there is still snow outside!  But as I sat on my comfy couch drinking my coffee I could feel the sun coming in the window, and it was calling my name.  As soon as Ryan got up (ie.  much much later) I was out the door before I could whimp out.  

I was dressed in not such a cool outfit.  It was pretty cool out and I only have one pair of padded bike shorts.  So I wore those under an old pair of leggings.  I didn't want to risk falling and ruining a pair of LULU! I had on my RR jacket likely some kind of biking faux pas.  Don't get me started on my ugly ass helmet, and my ugly spin shoes.  But my bike is a beauty :) 

My plan on paper today was to bike for 2 hrs, fine and dandy if on a spin bike.  Outside on a new to me road bike not so good.  So my new plan was to JUST TRY!  To just try, to go out there, and learn. To play without speed, pace, or numbers.  Do you know how good that felt?  I took off slowly, in fact I think it took me about 10 min to cover the first mile.  I stopped a lot to practice unclipping.  I was still struggling with my right leg. So I switched to unclipping my left first and getting that leg down.  Not a natural movement being right handed but it worked.  I walked my bike across EVERY intersection, I know soooo NERDY!.  I even walked my bike half a block seriously considering going  home and giving up.  But I didn't :) 

Soon I found myself out on Prince of Wales and away from all the intersections and traffic.  I was nervous about going fast, the bike felt unstable to me compared to my mountain bike.  I spent most of the ride today with my hands in the "down bars?" as that felt more stable.  There are a lot of bumps and such on the road and I was scared about skidding or popping a tire.  But soon I found my groove and my confidence and I was FLYING!!! Oh my goodness this bike flies compared to my heavy Canadian Tire Special Bike.  It was so fun, the wind on my face, my legs spinning smooth and hard, and the snot dripping from my nose.  I felt bad ass! 

My next oh shit moment came when I rode up my first hill.  I had this  moment as I was slowing where it dawned on me...OH CRAP KATIE YOU CAN"T STOP OR YOU WILL FALL!  I played with the gears which seemed like way to much to process at the time and pumped my legs.  I kept chanting GO GO GADGET can not slow down!  I felt so triumphant when I reached the top of the hill!  

It wasn't long before I hit 10 miles and I thought go just a little further, turn around at 11 miles and you will have biked your longest "road" distance when you get home!  I love a personal best! wink :)  At the half way point, I texted Ryan to tell him all was well and had a drink.  Trust me when I say I am not capable of drinking and riding at this point (and I mean water lol).  In fact, I can barely wipe the snot from my nose at this point while moving.  The ride home went by in a whirl, I was more confident and going faster. I was totally focused on the road and my bike.  No music.  No distractions.  Just me in the moment.  What a feeling!  Soon I was nearing the haven and slowing down once more to walk my bike across the intersections.  Only I no longer felt embarrassed,  I felt proud!

36km on my first trip out! I did it! Despite being scared shitless I did it!  I need this, this thing called biking.  It's fun, and freeing.  I'm not putting any pressure on myself to ride a certain pace.  I just want to have fun and do something new.  I want to train hard and complete the event.  I'm excited.  And nervous.  But mostly excited, and it's been a long time since I've been truly excited about a "race".  

On a similar note my youngest daughter, AKA Curly kid, rode up and down the same street this weekend learning to ride without training wheels.  She's not quite ready for Daddy to let go yet...but I know she will get there :)