21k and some Wild Turkeys

That was wild turkeys, not Wild Turkey. 😉

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I managed to talk myself, kilometer by kilometer through my 21k today. Again by the time I was done I couldn’t run another step, but I’m that much closer to 30k. Starting to feel a little less like I won’t make it. Although, when I reached 15k today I got a little mopey when I realized that was only halfway through the race distance.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day here. A day that makes me think that summer actually might come after all. It was about 3C while I was running and so sunny that I got a tan. (forgot my sunscreen) Around 5k into my run, I saw a few wild turkeys in a green space by my house – that’s a little rare. Look really hard, they’re there.

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I also took a picture of how I looked when I finished today – I felt horrible. I’m not showing you the picture.  I want to do one more long run, a 25k, before the Around the Bay 30k.  I had planned to do it this coming Saturday, but Mandy has pointed out to me that I have run a lot over the last few days and I need some recovery time. So I am taking her advice and I will attempt my 25k on Tuesday. I am also going to try and fit in a little cross-training on Piratebobcat’s advice. I often forget about how important that is.

One of the things that keep me going through a long run is thinking about the delicious burger I’m going to have when I’m done. What’s your favorite post run treat?

Jackie

– Jackie-

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BRRRR – Chilly spring morning running

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Well, I had planned to do my 20k training run this morning – and it didn’t quite turn out as planned. It got up to a high of 2C today (so nice to have temps above freezing finally!), so I mistakenly thought that early this morning it would already be nice, you know, maybe a nice -8 or so. It ended up being -18C when I woke up, and still -18C when I started my run around 6:45. It was a beautiful morning, but almost immediately I knew that my running tights weren’t going to keep me warm enough – you’d think living in Canada that I’d have a proper pair of winter running tights by now. I kept going until it was clear my legs were not going to warm up, and at 7k (and still -17C) I made it back home and decided tomorrow will be my 20k day.

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I was aiming for visibility when I got dressed this morning – so I wore all the bright runner colors. 🙂
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I broke out my pink Mizuno Wave Rider 9s for their maiden voyage. Can’t wait for dry sidewalks, they’re coming, I can feel it. Even though it was so cold, it was soooo nice to be out on such a beautiful sunny morning and see the sun coming up. Yay for spring mornings – even if they are -18C.

Did you have a beautiful running morning where you were?

Jackie
– Jackie –

Boot camp kicked my butt

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I hate going into a class feeling just a little bit like an athlete because I ran 11k a couple days before and coming out feeling incredibly out of shape.

It was rainy, icy and windy yesterday and I knew I wouldn’t be able to get a good/safe run in outside, so I took my friend up on an offer to go to an indoor track for (what I thought was going to be) running some stairs and a track and doing some boot camp exercises. I also dragged my unsuspecting sister-in-law Melissa with me. It ended up being an actual boot camp class and a pretty tough one at that.

We did an entire body workout with some challenging exercises. Some leg and butt exercises, a lot of push up related stuff and far too many moves that involved the plank position. Although I was pushed hard by every move we did, since we moved from body part to body part, I didn’t feel like I had worked that hard … right away.

We finished the class by running up and down the stairs around the skating rink and then had a short cool down. When class was over while some of the other women decided to do the stairs a second time, and since I hate stairs, I announced I would run 1km (4 laps) around the track just to get some mileage in. Halfway through my first lap I felt every bit of the class – of course I had announced that I was going to run 1km so I had to finish. 😉

Well, today my body feels like a bag of bricks. I’m afraid that my body is too exhausted to even hurt and that the hurt’s coming. I think I may have to do this again next week though – I never seem to push myself enough working out at home…

My morning wasn’t totally unproductive though, while browsing the internet I found my new coffee mug:

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One bad mother runner mug

I really hate burpees. What boot camp exercises do you hate?

Jackie

– Jackie –

Mid-Month Plank Update: Ouch it hurts

It’s day 15 of our 30 day Plank Challenge. So far I’m not dreading my daily plank, however, we are only at 90 seconds and tomorrow it jumps to 120 seconds. The increases start getting a lot bigger as the month goes on and I’m still wondering how I could possibly get up 300 seconds (a five minute plank, really?).

30 Day Plank Challenge Fitness Workout Chart

http://30dayfitnesschallenges.com/30-day-plank-challenge/

Are you doing a challenge this month? How is your challenge going, and what is your favorite 30 day challenge?

Jackie

Coping with a Running Injury

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The mountains in Vermont are beautiful – but they hurt your calves 🙂

Around the middle of December I pulled my calf muscle. I didn’t really realize how bad it was at first, so I started a cycle of waiting a few days until the pain stopped, going out for a 5k and ending up in pain again. I finally realized at the end of December that it was a serious injury, of course I had already signed up for the Resolution Run on January 1st, so because runners are slightly crazy, I ran it – although I did take it easy.

I found out from my research that with this type of injury, you need to take a couple of weeks off from running.  When you start back up again, you have to ease slowly back into it. My first run on January 16th will have to be only 10 minutes long, gradually building up to 20 minutes, then 30 minutes etc.  I’m finding it particularly difficult to deal with this since I have a 30k race planned for the end of March. Going out for a 10 minute run when your running schedule says you should be doing a 20k will be hard to stick to.

When you’re recovering from a running injury you really notice how large a part of your life running is. Dealing with the pain of the injury is often not as difficult as coping with the frustration of having to put your running plans on hold. Here are a few tips I’ve learned from fellow runners on how to cope with a running injury:

  1. Use time off from running as an opportunity to work on core strength. This is something that many runners (like me) fail to work on. Along with the plank challenge, I found a really good video on ab exercises for runners, 5 minutes a day will do a lot of good. I’ve also found a Yoga for Runners video and a (not so) Beginners Yoga video that I’m finding quite challenging. Who knows, maybe I’ll be able to touch my toes someday. 🙂
  2. Talk to other runners. I’ve been checking out some online runners forums and talking with my running friends. It’s good to know that a lot of people have been there and feel the same way. I’ve also got some great advice on what to do when I’m not running and how to get back into it.
  3. Keep active. Biking and swimming are good suggestions to keep active when you’re not running, however since I live in Southern Ontario, biking in the snow isn’t an option and I can only swim far enough to get myself out of a pool I’ve fallen into. Through my research I have found out that Kettle Bell workouts can be a great form of cardio so I’m going to incorporate those into my workouts at least until I’m back up to my normal mileage.
  4. Find other stress relieving activities. Running is definitely a great form of stress relief. Going out for coffee with friends, enjoying a crossword puzzle or getting a relaxing (or therapeutic) massage can help you deal with your stress and fill the running void.
  5. A sense of accomplishment. Start and finish a project that you’ve been wanting to do for some time. Getting something done around the house or finally finishing that knitting project will give you a sense of accomplishment that we often get from races.

Although this injury has set me back a bit, I’m hoping to make the best of it and come out ahead with a stronger core, more flexibility and feeling refreshed.

Have you ever been sidelined with a running injury? What have you found helps you cope?

– Jackie – Jackie

Bowflex Treadclimber

My plans for a quick run on Wednesday night were cancelled because of a cold, heavy rain.  I didn’t want to miss my workout so I headed over to my parent’s house to use their Bowflex Treadclimber.
Behold the Treadclimber!

Treadclimber

It’s a treadmill! It’s a stair climber! It’s an elliptical!

I always giggle when I think of my parents buying this machine.  They must have watched so many late night infomercials before deciding it was worth the expensive price tag.  But, I’m happy they bought it, because it helps both my mom and dad keep active.  It even helped my dad loose over twenty pounds this summer.
I’ve only tried this a handful of times, but I really do like it. Sometimes home aerobic machines feel cheap, but this is a very solid machine.  They’ve had it for a couple of years, and it’s still going strong.  But, more importantly, it’s a good workout.  By the end of thirty minutes, I was dripping sweat and my calves were burning.  The combination of stepping and walking feels like the same effort as walking up a big hill.
I tried running on the machine, but after thirty seconds or so, my heart rate was through the roof and I had to slow down.  It also felt incredibly awkward, as your body is sort of leaning forward.  Later, I read on their website that
“the TreadClimber is not designed for running. It is designed to provide an extremely effective workout while walking.”
So if you are looking for a machine to use for running when the weather outside is bad, this isn’t for you. However, if you like to walk, this provides a really good workout!
On another note, I watched Extreme Couponing for the first time during this workout.  It…was…awful. 🙂

Hindering Hibernation

The end of October is a strange time to start a running blog.  The days are getting shorter, winter is coming, and the racing season has come to an end. The urge to hibernate on the couch for the next six months keeps getting stronger.

On the other hand, it’s a perfect time to reflect on the past year and to get motivated for what’s coming next.  Mixed in with the bad weather, there are so many perfect running days where the air is crisp, the sun is warm, and the leaves are gleaming.  If you can get the motivation to get out there, the rewards are worth it.

These are my tips that are helping me to keep going:

1. Join a social running site such as www.strava.com. Encourage your friends to join too! Seeing their awesome runs will encourage you to get out. (And shame you when you don’t!)
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2. Sign up for an online running challenge. When you don’t have a race to train for, these can give you a goal to focus on.  Strava has regular mileage, elevation, and time challenges. 

Today is the last day of the HOKA ONE ONE Demand More Vertical Challenge.  For the last 10 day, instead of thinking about my pace or mileage, I’ve been distracted by finding the biggest hills in my neighborhood, and have found some new favourite routes and trails.  Instead of avoiding hills, we were looking for them online.  On Sunday morning,  Jackie and I were rewarded with this beautiful scenery, along with a beastly, muddy hill.

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3. Get some new gear. If you buy something new, you’ll want to use it! In fact, I feel guilty if I don’t. It doesn’t have to be big…new socks, hat, or gloves…just something that makes running a little more enjoyable.  My new Saucony running socks makes me smile every time I look at my feet!

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4. Plan out each week. I don’t like to run in the dark.  It just feels cold, lonely and scary to me.  If I walk in my front door after work, I know that I’m not going to leave again until the sun comes up.  So, I try to plan out my week ahead of time. I take advantage of the times when I can run during the day.  When I can’t, I bring my duffel bag to work, and get it over with before I head home.

5. Reflect on what you’ve accomplished during the last few months, and think about what races you want to do in the spring.  Set your goals now, so you are motivated to keep up your fitness until training begins again.  It’s also a good time to try some different forms of exercise, like a boot camp class or strength training.

-Mandy