Gearing up for a new STRAVA challenge – the Dipsea Climbing Challenge

dipsea-v1

Run up 6,600 feet in three weeks!

Strava.com is the site that I use to upload my runs off my Garmin. I love analyzing my runs, seeing my pace and elevation and giving “kudos” to my fellow Strava runners. I find it really keeps me on track with my training.

I also find Strava’s monthly challenges very motivating, and this month is no exception. The Dipsea challenge for runners, that started this past Saturday, is named in honor of one of the oldest and wildest races in the US, the Dipsea. The challenge is to run up 6,000 feet of elevation during your runs over a three week period.

I figure I’ll be lucky to run half that, but the calf muscles I get attempting this challenge will be well worth the effort. The Dipsea sounded interesting, so I decided to do a little research. It is the oldest cross country trail running even and one of the oldest foot races of any kind in the US. Located in Marin County, California, it is 7.5 miles (12k) long and has about 2200 feet of elevation gain. It has been held almost every year since 1905, and June 14th will mark the 105th edition of the race.

dipseaelevation

The unique handicap system allows the oldest and the youngest racers to get up to a 25 minute advantage over the fastest competitors. That couples with the permissible secret shortcuts, make it possible for the winner to come from any age group. Previous winners include children as young as 8 and women as old as 72.

 

The first of several sets of stairs.

The first of several sets of stairs.

As of this morning, I have 642 of the 6600ft covered and 20 days left… We’ll see how close I get to the goal, but already I’ve been seeking out the hills in my neighborhood that I usually avoid. Win/win.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

What challenges are you doing? Would you ever consider a race like the Dipsea?

Jackie

Jackie

21k and some Wild Turkeys

That was wild turkeys, not Wild Turkey. 😉

21kundermybelt

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.

wildturkeys

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-

BRRRR – Chilly spring morning running

beautifulcoldmorning1

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.

beautifulbutsnowysidewalks

I was aiming for visibility when I got dressed this morning – so I wore all the bright runner colors. 🙂
IworeallthecolorsGettingsickofrunningonsnow

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 –

I’ve Got My Tight Pants On

You know, I’ve just always felt more comfortable having my butt camouflaged in black compression tights. I love all those funky bright tights, but I usually feel more comfortable in black. However, maybe because running marathons over the last couple of years has given me a new appreciation of my butt, (if it’s gotten me through a marathon, I shouldn’t be so worried about what it looks like, right?), my black tights are now nestled beside red, bright blue and pink pairs of running tights.

This post is about my red tights… and what I do when in my red tights ever since I saw the above video.

redwunderunder

(My red Lululemon pants)

On a day when I am feeling especially fit, I’ll put on my red Lululemon pants and start humming the song. If my kids are lucky enough to be nearby, they are treated to the song being accompanied by me in my red pants and running shoes doing my version of Will’s dance.

Thankfully I have no pictures or video of this. 😉

I usually hear “Mom, no” or “Nobody is talking about your red pants!” But, my red pants (and that video) always make me leave for a run in a great mood.

Do you have any running gear that brings a smile to your face?

– Jackie – Jackie

Running links I liked this week…

The inspiration Pic:

I love this because I started running to lose weight, but the more I run the stronger I feel. Now I run to stay strong and to push myself to see what I can accomplish next.

The gear:
Base-runner-long-sleeve
Lululemon Base Runner Long sleeve

I’m loving the Base Runner long sleeve running top by Lululemon. I have this one in the blue stripe (got it on right now). It’s so soft and comfortable, a great layering piece and so cute! (check out the little ruffle details and thumb holes – you must have thumbholes)

The Race Link:


5 Peaks Trail Running Series

This is a goal for me someday. Registration just opened for this great series. I like the idea of mixing up my 10k and half marathons with some challenging trail races.

The healthy recipe:
black-bean-brownies
Fudge Black Bean Brownies recipe

Okay – it’s always good to have a good gluten free recipe for when you have company with gluten issues. She says these don’t taste healthy – I’m skeptical, but I’m going to give this recipe a try this week. (I hope it turns out better than my Quinoa Mac n’ Cheese…)

The not-so-healthy recipe:
:crab-mac-n-cheese
Crab Mac n Cheese recipe

Because that’s also why I run. (And because there is no Quinoa in it 😉 )

And finally – a good idea to try: (my feet need some attention)


Five ways to show your feet some love!

Energy Balls with coconut, sunflower seeds, dark chocolate and dried cranberries

I love eating junk food. Well, I just love eating in general, but I love snacking, and sometimes I just need that little something to eat with my coffee, finish a meal or snack on before a run. (sigh – my 14 year old son just read the title of this post over my shoulder and started giggling about the name Energy Balls.) Anyway, I’ve been attempting to find some healthy snack alternatives lately and this recipe caught my eye on Pinterest.
(Okay, now my lovely husband just read the title and started laughing – there are too many boys in this house)

Energy Balls with coconut, sunflower seeds, dark chocolate and dried cranberries

http://www.primallyinspired.com/energy-balls-with-coconut-sunflower-seeds-dark-chocolate-and-dried-cranberries-vegan-paleo/

The picture looked awesome and they sounded good so I tried them. The recipe says to make 10 pieces but I made 14. I would recommend you make more and make them small, because it is nice to have bite-sized pieces. It tastes best when you get all the flavors together.

I figured out the nutrition information using http://www.myfitnesspal.com.

Formed into 14 pieces:                         Formed into 10 pieces:
71 calories                                                99 cal
12g carbs                                                 17g carbs
1g protein                                                2g protein
6g fat                                                        8g fat
2g fiber                                                    3g fiber

I really enjoyed this recipe, it was pretty quick and easy to make and they are filling and yummy. I think they’d make a good alternative to energy bars too. Check out the recipe website and enjoy! http://www.primallyinspired.com/energy-balls-with-coconut-sunflower-seeds-dark-chocolate-and-dried-cranberries-vegan-paleo/

Jackie

MY 31 DAY RUN THROUGH DECEMBER challenge

I have to admit that I tend to hibernate through November and December. I always have good intentions of keeping up my training and maintaining the fitness level that I have achieved over the summer, but it never fails that November and December are a complete failure for me running-wise.

Every spring I plan a large run, this year I have a 30k (Around the Bay 30k in March) and a half marathon (Mississauga Marathon in May), that makes me start running in January to get ready. Then I have 10ks throughout the summer which keeps me motivated through the hot weather. In the fall I plan another long race like the Toronto Marathon or the Springbank Park Half Marathon – that, along with a few fall 10ks where after all that marathon training I’m gunning for a PB, keeps me going until the end of October.

The problem occurs in November when I don’t have any local runs to plan for and when the weather gets cold, I just can’t force myself out the door. Then December gets colder and I really, really don’t want to get out. I always do the Resolution Run on January 1st, which is a lot of fun by the way – and you get a great jacket, however, since it is a fun run and there is no official time recorded, I don’t feel overly motivated to keep training. So, when January begins and I have to get my butt out the door to start my 30k training, I feel like I am starting from square one.

Well, this year I want it to be different. After reading my fellow Outrunning blogger Mandy’s “Hindering Hibernation” post I decided what to do. Mandy had some great suggestions:
1. Join a social running site such as www.strava.com. (I am on Strava and love it)
2. Sign up for an online running challenge. (I do that, but this helped my form my plan)
3. Get some new gear. (yep, got that covered – perhaps a little too well :o)
4. Plan out each week. (Okay, I don’t do this at all unless I am training for a big run)
5. Reflect on what you’ve accomplished during the last few months, and think about what races you want to do in the spring. (I want to maintain the level of fitness I’ve attained)

Mandy’s suggestions, coupled with a recent article I read in the December issue of Runner’s World magazine (A Season to Streak) helped me form a plan. I’ve decided to do a 31 day run through December challenge. I want most of my runs to be 5k, 8k and 10k, but on days when things are less than ideal, like perhaps a snow storm or feeling a bit under the weather, I’ll do at least a mile (1.6k). On days when I’m tired I’ll do the walk/run method (run 10 minutes then walk 1 minute) to help avoid injury. I’m going to take Mandy’s number 4 suggestion and work on a schedule over the next couple of weeks. It should be interesting when I’m away on holiday for a week, but I have some ideas on how to make that work too. (How about running up Smuggler’s Notch Road in Stowe Vermont – it’ll be closed for the winter season – I have that planned with my running friend Cathy.)

I’m going to keep track of how it went and write a weekly post of my progress, so check back throughout December. I hope this helps me maintain, or even increase my ability so that I can start my Around the Bay 30k training schedule more prepared than I was last year.

Who’s up for it?

Jackie