Monday, April 30, 2012

happiness is bacon (and a PR)

So I'm waiting on some pictures from the race yesterday, but I thought I'd say that I got a shiny new PR and then ate some bacon. The best part? This placemat:
thank you Cora
How's that for a race recap? If that was too short for you, I'll probably write something slightly (but hopefully not too much) longer when I get the pictures. If that was just right, skip the other recap post.

After the bacon celebration, I ended my day with two of my favourite things. They were both delicious.
Citrouille - the last one
Running, bacon, friends, seltzer, and beer. A pretty darn good Sunday.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

two scenes from a run

This price caught both my attention while running and Jordan's attention while we were walking because of how low it is.
oh that tiger commercial...ack
Yeah - that ain't cheap, but somehow it seems cheap when you've been looking at the mid to high 140s. Sigh. 

That same run, I came across this statue who has gained an accessory:
Bonjour!
He's normally naked. Now someone has covered his kidneys...maybe they should have done that in the winter when it was colder out. He isn't the first monument to be "red patched" and probably won't be the last. (For those who don't want to follow the link - the red patch is symbolic of the student protests that are going on in the province of Quebec. They are protesting tuition hikes for post-secondary education.)

I'm still upset about the gas though.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

really? race week?

Well, I haven't had a drink since we got back from Boston, I've been trying to eat a little cleaner, and I'm doing my best to go to bed early. That must mean race week. Which seems weird because even though I've been prepping since mid-January, it doesn't quite feel like the end of a training cycle.

For the first time ever, I didn't have a training schedule. I didn't have my runs filled into a calendar, I didn't plug my times into a calculator to try to figure out what I should be running as tempo paces, I didn't use a training plan. I just ran 3 or 4 times a week, did some hills here and there, ran a lot of long runs,* and once the snow and ice cleared from the sidewalks, tried to run fast once a week.

It has been an interesting way to train for a race. Kind of nice not to stare at a training schedule and be confined by a set of numbers. Kind of scary not to rely on what other people say is a good way to train. But since I was really just hoping that this race would keep me motivated to run through the winter, I think my non-plan training plan has done its job.

I have no idea how this race will go. I feel like I'm in decent shape physically, but I have no idea how fast I can run or whether or not I'll be willing to suffer to run faster. Good thing there will be an Olympian there to do enough suffering for all of us. Oh - and apparently this race is the Canadian half-marathon championships. Hopefully that means there will be some good racing for Jordan to watch while waiting for me.

Should be an interesting Sunday morning.

*including an entire 13.1 miles on a treadmill. Yup - I did my pre-taper long run while watching episodes of Law and Order on a treadmill. Maybe I have more of an ability to suffer on the run than I thought.

Friday, April 20, 2012

superstitious

Both times we've gone to Boston for Jordan to run the marathon, we've gone to check out the finish line the day before the race. They close that section of Boylston for the set up and to keep that painted finish line on the asphalt instead of on the bottom of car tires (walking by the finish line the day after the race, the blue paint is all but gone). Both times, Jordan has said he won't cross the finish line going in the direction he'll be running on race day. I'm not superstitious - but this one I sort of understand.
not nearly as hot or tired as the next time he was at this line
That got me thinking about my own race superstitions...and how I'm pretty sure I don't have any. Maybe I haven't run enough races to develop something I must do or something I cannot do. Does not wearing the race shirt before finishing count? Though I really don't think it does because in the majority of cases - I never wear the shirt because it is either ugly or doesn't fit.
perfectly stencilled in the direction that makes for good finish line pics
So I'm curious about whether other people have race superstitions. Are there certain things you need to do or not do? Special socks? A certain hair elastic? What are your race superstitions?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

boston update

I don't have any pictures because I didn't bring my card reader for my camera but thought I'd post a short update.

It was definitely hot yesterday - I was sweating on the sidelines - but all went well for Jordan. He slowed down, didn't push it in the heat, and treated it as a long, HOT, very supported training run. He says the crowds were outstanding - offering cheers, and much needed cold water (their water was colder than the official water because it hadn't been sitting in the hot sun as long).

I hope everything went well for everyone else who ran as well! I watched a guy puke out the entire contents of his stomach right at mile 26 (it was mostly yellow gatorade) so not everyone was feeling great but I think a lot of people played it safe.

Friday, April 13, 2012

boston or bust

Tomorrow morning we're headed to Boston. We had a great time in 2010 (with the exception of a few hours the evening after the marathon when Jordan wasn't feeling well and I ended up on the hunt for chicken soup) so hopefully this year will be just as fun. The weather is looking a little questionable (as in hot), so hopefully the forecast settles down to seasonable temperatures that are great for the runners, even if it means we spectators are a little chilly.

Regardless of the weather, the atmosphere in Boston on marathon weekend is pretty awesome. Last time I remember feeling a buzz and an excitement in the air that I'd never really experienced before. From the expo, to getting to do my long run on part of the marathon course, to watching the runners from my spot on Boylston Street, it was a fun time to be there. Plus it was kind of fun to play "count the celebration jackets" when wandering around the day after the race. Since this year's jackets aren't nearly as ugly as 2010's, maybe we'll see even more.

Good luck to all of you internet peeps out there who are running on Monday! (are you dying of excitement yet Marlene?) May the wind and the weather be with you - and may the odds be ever in your favour? (is that right? I just saw the movie, I haven't read the books) Most of all though - good luck Jordan!

And if it is extra hot - be smart as hard as it is to slow down, there's always another race.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

always learning

One thing that I like about running is that I'm always learning. Sometimes I learn what works well for me but mostly I learn what really doesn't work for me. Yesterday was a day that I learned about what doesn't work so well.

Since fast running is always easier with a friend, Suz and I managed to coordinate our weekday schedules again this week for some hard miles. The time that worked best for us was lunch time. I tried to have a snack at the right time in the morning to make up for the fact that I'd be asking my legs and lungs to work hard just when I'm usually famished. I don't know if I didn't eat enough, ate at the wrong time, felt the effects of not having enough for dinner the night before, or was just off (it is the start of allergy season after all) but it was not a good feeling run.

We started a little fast, which is very common for us, but I managed to wrangle us back on pace pretty quickly. Mid-run I thought "oh man, this sucks." And with a mile left (and with a mighty wind picking up) I was using every mental trick I had to try to ignore the urge to just quit right there (and by quit I mean quit that run and running all together). That's when things went from crap to extra crap - my breathing felt even tighter and all of a sudden I was flat out woozy. I figured with only a half mile left, I'd be fine but when I felt like the path was about to come right up and smack me in the face, I decided I needed a quick "take a sip of water, calm the breath, stick my head between my knees for 30 seconds" composure break.

It worked to make the wooziness go away, but nothing could help the fact that I felt like I was moving my legs through water. My legs were heavy, my chest felt tight, I was hungry, and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't make the numbers on my garmin go any lower. Sure, the wind makes it feel harder, but that much effort for that pace felt ridiculous. It was not a good run - but it was definitely a learning experience. I've learned that the hard runs are going to be harder at lunch time. In fact, it might be best not to plan them unless absolutely necessary.

I have to admit though - even though I know it was probably just a series of unfortunate events that lead to feeling so crappy - I was a little shaken by that run. I was feeling like I was in pretty good running shape and this one shook my confidence a bit. I keep thinking about the numbers and thinking about how terrible it felt. But I can learn from that too. Be more like a duck - just let the water roll off.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

don't get me started

Maybe I'm tired, maybe I'm mourning the fact that the NHL playoffs are starting without my team in them AGAIN, or maybe I'm just feeling a little surly...but for some reason I'm just feeling like I need to get these random things out. And since one of my favourite podcasts of late (Stop Podcasting Yourself - funny show) used to have a section called 'don't get me started' wherein they went off on their peeves of the day, I figured why not! So if you don't want to read about what grinds my gears, come back tomorrow and I'll be back to my shiny happy self.

First thing that you shouldn't get me started on: people who brag about not using the snooze button. The only reason I wish I wasn't so good at pushing the snooze button is that I kind of feel bad for Jordan having to listen to my gradual wakeup routine. But here's the thing - I plan for the snoozes. I set my alarm well before I need to get up because I'm one who needs a bit of a slow start in the morning. This is not a personality flaw -  it is just a fact. Just like not using the snooze button is a fact. It isn't something to be braggy about. It would be like bragging about having brown hair - it's just weird.

Second thing you shouldn't get me started on: tanning beds. Well - sort of. The other day I saw someone tweet about how they were fitting in their healthy habit and showing their proof of it. That's great - if you need to help keep yourself accountable by tweeting it and you are part of a "movement" that likes to influence healthy living, that's great. I think we all need to be healthy and if you're helping others by setting an example that is wonderful. But when you get your planks in and ab work in in the TANNING BED and then talk about how healthy you are? No. No, that is not a good healthy example. It is like smoking a cigarette while you go for a run. Maybe they cancel each other out? But probably not.

The third thing (and apparently the internet is making me ragey - maybe I should quit it): multiple tweets about the same blog post RIGHT AFTER each other. I get it, you have a new blog post. Tweet it. I do that sometimes and I even appreciate when people do it. It is a good way to get me to read your post if you do it once. But to tweet the same blog post multiple times an hour, each tweet just minutes or seconds apart? I get it. You posted pictures of your dog AND you did something fun/funny/stupid yesterday. Do you really need to tell me 15 times? I know I'm forgetful and I often end up meaning to read things and don't end up doing it - but telling me 15 times makes me feel like you're nagging.

Now if only I had a picture of me shaking my fist and making a "why I otta" face. So instead, this is what you get:

So what has been grinding your gears lately? What should I not get you started on?

Friday, April 06, 2012

tempo tempo tempo

What this should really be called is "winded and windy wednesday" because on Wednesday, that's what I was. Strong winds and tempo runs go together like...oil and water? Is that too cliche? Probably. Ok, they go together like nachos and carrots. Right then. On with it.

I did my very first tempo run that involved 5 entire miles at tempo. Both Suz and I were not feeling the most enthusiastic about the run. We were both tired and the wind was a little daunting. As we did our warm up mile we said "we could always do 4 if we feel like death" but figured we'd give the 5 our best shot.

Of course the wind picked up just as we started tempo mile number one but that's when you're feeling best right? When I look at the splits, I can tell when we turned away from the wind, and I can also tell why that third one felt so incredibly awful - we were running a good 15 seconds faster than needed (because the Garmins were going wonky and we had to run based on what we thought was the right pace - which I find is always faster than it should be).

We were incredibly inconsistent, but we finished all five of those scary tempo miles at or under tempo pace. I felt pretty good about that. 7 miles with 5 at tempo. It made me feel kind of hard core. Like maybe I'll get faster after all.

(oh - and I ended up with full on hives again after that run. UGH -  still allergic to running)

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

the beer devil

I can't decide which makes me laugh more, the Beer Devil himself or the fact that Ottawa has 1/2 addresses. There aren't all that many of them, but they do exist and I find that weird. But now I'm wondering if it is weird that I'm finding that weird. Clearly I'm thinking about this too much. Off to platform 9 and 3/4 to regroup?

the beer menu is called the bible

Monday, April 02, 2012

overheard on the run

As I was running yesterday (and a fairly decent long run - felt like I could have picked up the pace pretty well for the last few miles but took pity on Liz who had 5 miles to finish after I left her at 13...) I was being told a story. Said story involved a wedding and a lot of drinking. As the story continued and the words "gin and tonic" came out of Liz's mouth, two people on bikes came whizzing by. As they zipped by, all we heard was "did you SEE how much she drank?!?!" Seemed like the perfect "overheard" that actually fit into our own conversation.

And to add something random to something that's already random - we were in a sports store this weekend (shocking, I know) and came across a pair of these on the sale rack:
on the left, size 9. on the right, size 16
Happy April! It is hard to believe it is practically Easter and that we'll be heading to Boston in 12 days!