Friday, November 4, 2016


It's here it's here it's here!!!

I can't believe I've made it.  And I stuck to my plan, without self-cheating and skipping runs, or taking "extra" runs between intervals (and trust me, I was tempted a few times).  I have done 3 runs at 10:1 and I am READY.  Or as ready as I can be.  Road2Hope is tomorrow!

My race shirt fits!  I think it fits enough to wear it for the run, even.  

This week has been a roller coaster.  We've been crazy at home and at work, and I really wasn't scheduling well.  On Sunday, though, I dropped the kids off with Rob while he worked at 24 (after their hockey) and headed to Gage Park, which is a favourite place of mine.  It was raining, but still so warm for October 30 so I didn't mind.  I did a full 4km (4 loops of the main footpath), even though I kept promising myself I only had to do three.  It was fun!  And relaxing.

Then I got up at 5:15 on Tuesday with all my good intentions intact, ready to go...and it was HORRIBLE.  Everything hurt, everything was slow, and I barely finished 2.5km.  It was so discouraging, and I really didn't feel confident about the race at all after that.  What was I doing?  What was I thinking?

Then on Thursday I slept in, and didn't fit it in after work, either - we had parent teacher interviews, plus Corbin's running.  It was Corbin who suggested I run while he ran - I had about 40 minutes between dropping him off and picking him up, so why not indeed?  I left him at his running group, headed down the road to the highschool track, and ran round and round for 3.5km, FAST.  (For me).  I was under 10min/km! I felt great!  Amazing!

And now I am ready.  Wish me luck.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sunday afternoon joy

I took two days off after my rainy Thursday morning run, and ran on a glorious perfect autumn Sunday morning.  I felt like I had the whole world to myself.  I was comfortable from the first step to the last, and although it was an incredibly slow pace, even for me, it was a wonderful hour of relaxation and comfort.

I love the fall.  I love where I live.  Look at this, this is within 2km of my home, on a simple bike path through the suburbs:

Such a beautiful place.  I cannot believe I am feeling like this about RUNNING.  How is this possible?  Three months ago it seemed like an unimaginable unattainable goal to be here, doing this already.  But here we are.  I can do it.

Also, do you love my jacket?  I do!  It's thin and incredibly warm, the hood is great (fits well) and the zipper goes down to my belly to open it up when I inevitably get too hot.  I love it!  I'm set for late fall/winter now.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

New, Scary Interval

This morning I did NOT feel like running.  My Tuesday run had been hard, nothing felt easy about it, I had been checking my watch again and again each interval (6 minutes) to see if it was over - and now I was supposed to go up to EIGHT minutes.  A 2 minute jump.  I had very little faith this was even possible.  But I dragged myself out of bed and got dressed - and headed out - into the RAIN.  Yay, even better!

But I did it!  It wasn't easy - my legs were hurting and I only did 4 intervals, but it wasn't my lungs that were arguing with me, which is still astonishing to me.  And at least the rain was warm-ish, for the 20th of October (crazy).

I'm starting to think I am really a runner.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


I did it I did it I did it!!

A little tiny bit slower than my best pace, but I hit the 5km under an hour.  Only three weeks to go until the Road2Hope 5K, and I'm super excited.  I'd love it if I can knock a couple more minutes off that total time, but really anything now would be a bonus.

I made a crack last night that "I have three more weeks of training to not embarrass myself at the race", and my Dad said "Just going out there and trying is not embarrassing.  Finishing at all is an accomplishment."  And you know what, he's right.  Three months ago I would have scoffed at finishing 1K, now I run 0.6 without even stopping.  Even if I finish dead last (I really hope I don't finish dead last), I'm way ahead of a million others on their couches.

Yay me!!

Tonight after work I'm going to go out for 42 minutes on the waterfront (6 x 6:1 intervals) and see what happens.  I'm hoping to push my pace today, but it's windy so we'll see.  It's also crazy warm, which is helping me keep my motivation up.  I have to step up my frequency, I think, I really should be keeping to every other day, and I've been taking two day breaks lately (due to schedule).

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Next interval (and insomnia) conquered! And some bitching...

Last night I could not sleep.  That's not that unusual.  A lifetime of wide-awake nights is not going to go away! But when the only time all week you have to run is 5am, it sucks to still be bright eyed at 1:30.  Sure enough, the alarm at 5 was ugly.  I couldn't even figure out how to turn it off.  Ha!  By 5:25 though I pep talked myself out of bed, and was dressed and ready to roll by 5:45...which is way late for someone who needs to make lunches, get clothes and breakfasts and leave the house by 7.  Ah well, self care is important too, right?

So out I went, planning a 34 minute run (5 intervals at 6:1).  It's dark and chilly!  My pace was ok, 11:13, and I ran a comfortable 3.04km.  Which it turns out, on the road route (I didn't feel like wearing a headlamp this morning, so no trail in the pre-dawn hours), is pretty much to just past Corbin's school and back.  I managed to shower, dress, make the kids' lunches (not mine) and get their breakfasts and get out the door by 7:30, which is not that great, so sorry work!  I'll do better on Thursday!  :)  This is the face of someone who really wanted to sleep for two more hours, but decided to get it done instead.

Now for something a little different.  Let's talk about sizing.  This hoodie is a Reebok XL and it's super cute, but it rides up like crazy because it's too narrow for my hips.  My blue Tshirt and green/black long sleeve is a Nike men's XL, which are probably the best-fitting items I own (they are super long).  My black long sleeve is a Columbia Fit XL.  I wear a size 20/22 and an XL in women's plus size.

I ordered a 3XL running vest from CPM and this...this is not a 3XL. This is a sausage casing.  How can plus-sized women enjoy exercise and sweating and getting healthy if they can't find clothes they can move comfortably in?  This actually doesn't look too bad - but if I start running, it'll ride up to be a crop-top vest.  Attractive!  And I can only wear the thinnest of shirts under it.  Oooh, super warm.  And ain't nothin' gettin' in those pockets.

Reebok, Nike, et al - get your shit together.  There are a legion of women out there with extra weight around the hips/chest/belly/everywhere and they ALL. WANT. TO. LOOK. CUTE.  We don't need to be dressed completely in black.  I want some neon, some flash, some zippy stripes.  Hopefully I'll fit into your traditional "active wear" some day, but until then I'd rather not run in a polyester mumu, thanks.

Pants are another story, but at least I have Additionelle for basic black tights that stay up.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Long run!

I think I'm going to start doing Friday afternoon runs as a semi-regular thing.  I took off work a couple of hours early and headed to the waterfront trail (parked at the War Memorial on Beach Boulevard and aimed south).  It was a gorgeous afternoon.  My goal was 8 intervals (47 minutes as I don't count the last minute) at 5:1 to see what I could accomplish.  I felt really really good!  My hip didn't bother me at all.  I forgot my calf sleeves and my shins whined about it a little bit, but that's ok.

I broke 11 minutes per kilometer for 4.3km!  The Road to Hope 5K has a 1-hour limit to finish and I really really do NOT want to be pulled off the course right at the end.  This tells me that with 4 weeks to go I should totally be able to do it.  I'm so proud of myself.  

I also need to start carrying water.  I was pretty pooped out at the end of my run, and took a nice rest at the war memorial benches for a bit before heading home.

I did a short run (35 minutes, 3.2km, a little bit slower) on a beautiful Sunday morning before the big family Thanksgiving dinner.  Next run (tomorrow) is the switch to 6:1 intervals.  So exciting!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Run Through It

Well, I didn't wimp out!  I decided the hip pain (which really was very bad) felt more muscle-y than structural, so I decided to grind through it for 35 minutes at 5:1 and see what happened.  I set my timer for a 4 minute warm up walk instead of my usual 2, in hopes that it would loosen up a bit before I got to the run bit.  It did not.  I looked like Quasimodo walking along, then beep beep beeep...time to run.  Amazingly, running didn't hurt nearly as much.  I think I keep my feet under me better at a run than a walk, and it was the extension of my leg that was hurting.

The whole run felt heavy and slow.  The 5 minutes (new interval length!) wasn't challenging, but my ankle and neck hurt from limping all day.  I wasn't even concerned about pace as I just wanted to do the run and see what happened with the hip.  The back half of the run really reinforced how bloody slow I am - I spent the whole time about 20 yards behind a lady WALKING her dog at the same pace I was running.

At the end of it, I ran 3.06km for a pace of 11:09, which is nearly a full minute below where I was averaging at 4:1.  I was shocked!  Sore and slow, I am still improving!  This was the best happy face I could muster:

The hip felt much looser and better afterwards.  Not so much for Wednesday, when it locked up tight and I looked like a 90-year-old trying to walk around my construction site!  Ha!  I made the decision last night to postpone today's run a day and didn't even set my early alarm.

Then I woke up and poof!  All gone.  Whatever was tight and limiting range of motion had come loose, and the pain was down to an occasional flutter.  Go figure.  I'm looking forward to tomorrow and hoping that it doesn't come back again.