Starting Over

So you may or may not have noticed that we’ve had a break in blogging throughout 2014.  While Jackie kept on running during that time, I took a loooong break from running.  The reason being that, this fall, my husband and I welcomed our first baby girl into the world. Yay!

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During my pregnancy, I had planned to keep running and I thought I’d be able to jump right back into it when my baby arrived.  I definitely underestimated how pregnancy would affect my body and how tough it can be to adjust to a new baby. One icy cold winter + morning sickness + fall-asleep-the-moment-you-sit-down tiredness + cankles to end all cankles + a new little baby + ANOTHER icy cold winter = 15 months off from running.  It wasn’t my plan, but here I am.

(I would really love to insert a picture of my pregnancy ankles here, but they were ghastly.  I’ll spare you.)

Now that spring is here and we are getting some beautiful weather, I’m ready to get back into it.  By “back into it”, I mean start over completely from the beginning.  Starting over is tough!  I’m hoping to run a 5k race in May, so I decided to try a Couch-to-5k program.  I’ve done a few training runs, and it’s been interesting.

In some ways, I feel like I did when I was first started running.  I’m out of shape and just running for a minute at a time is an accomplishment.  I feel like I’m trudging along.  When I first started running, I felt embarrassed to run where people might see me, and I felt a tinge of that again.  In other ways, I feel even worse.  It’s hard not to compare yourself to where you were before: how fast you could run, how far you could go, and how you felt doing it.  And with less time than before, it’s hard to make time for yourself to get out there.  On Wednesday, I went for my first run with my daughter in our jogging stroller.  I couldn’t even finish my last running interval.  My lungs were burning and my calves were stinging.  About half way through I was thinking, “You know, you really don’t HAVE to start running again.”

As difficult as it was, I loved it at the same time.  I didn’t love it while it was happening, but when it was over, I definitely felt accomplished.  I had that great feeling in my lungs where they feel worked and cleaned out.  It’s exciting to think that in the next few months, I’ll get to experience the joy of reaching certain milestones over again.  Probably best of all, I have a new running partner to keep me motivated.  She doesn’t have much to say, but she loves to be out in the fresh air with me and I love getting out with her.

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-Mandy

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Race week and Knee pain – eek!

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Yesterday I decided to get out for a quick 5k. The week before race day always messes with my head. I don’t want to overdo it, but I feel like I should do something… I inevitably end up doing the wrong thing.

After being away all weekend, eating poorly and not running, I figured I had to do something, and by the time I got out I only had time for a 5k. Of course I throw all reason out the window and disregard the fact that I am still recovering from an injury and that I should be careful because I’ve upped my mileage from 8k to 24k in only a few weeks. So I sped through my 5k and pushed myself to the limit. I ran a 5k in only under a minute slower than my fastest time – not smart when you are recovering – I know.

I paid for it last night. I had periodic shooting stabbing pains in my knee all night. I’m going to take it easy running-wise until race day and I’m going to get a massage later today because I’m sure it’s all my overworked muscles pulling on my poor knee. I keep forgetting – I’m older than I think I am. Sigh.

I did a quick search and found a neat video on massage for knee therapy that looks informative.

 

Any advice on knee pain for someone who chronically makes poor decisions while training?

I know some of you have races this weekend – some bigger than my 30k. Have a great race weekend!

 

Jackie

– Jackie –

 

 

 

 

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-

18K – My First Real Long Run Since My Injury… and only 3 weeks til my 30k

After my botched 20k yesterday that quickly turned into a 7k, I hoped to get the full 20k in today. The temperature was perfect for running, a gray but warmer -2. I was able to run comfortably in regular running tights, compression socks and 2 long sleeved running shirts. It’s nice to be able to run without several more layers of constrictive running clothing for warmth.

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Since I hurt my leg in December I haven’t done much running at all. My longest run lately was 11k, so I was hoping to do 20k in about 2hrs. Well, I ran until 18k  (144m of elevation) and I was so exhausted that the run ended there, but I managed to do it in 1:47 which made me happy. The 30k Around the Bay Road Race that I signed up for before I hurt myself is only 3 weeks away.  I’m hoping to do a 21k this Tuesday and maybe a 25k the following weekend. Hopefully I’ll be prepared enough that I can finish the race.

Anyway, an 18k, even though it is 2k short of 20k, still deserves a treat. I made this awesome Apple Fritter cake, and ate several pieces of it. It is delicious – I’ll be making this again and again. (BTW if you make it, I doubled the apples and only cooked it for about 30 minutes based on other peoples comments and it turned out perfectly)

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I’ll be a little anxious over the next 3 weeks worrying about the race. If you have any suggestions of what I can do over the next 3 weeks to be a little more prepared, I’d love the advice!

Happy running!

Jackie

– Jackie –

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 –

Goal Setting and a Giveaway

With 2014 only three days away, it’s a natural time to start thinking about our running goals for the new year.  In years past, I’ve always set performance based goals.  I’ve wanted to reach a certain time at a certain race.  But, after reading this article, I’ve realized that my goals have probably been hindering me, rather than helping me improve.

In 2013, I set two goals for my 10k time and my half-marathon time that I didn’t achieve.  I was disappointed with myself, especially because I felt like I was physically capable of reaching them.  Although I did run personal bests in both distances and I was happy about that, it was overshadowed by the missing those time goals.

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I had the slow race blues. 🙂

Really, time goals are useless without training goals.  You can say you want to run a 10k in 45 minutes, but without developing a plan to get there, you will never achieve it.  However, if you set training based goals, focusing on the process of increasing your fitness and health, you are are bound to naturally improve your running times.  As a bonus, you will be happy for running your best without the disappointment of not reaching an ambitious time goal.

So, this is what I’m going to do in 2014.  I’m going to forget about reaching a certain time.  I’m going to concentrate on being more consistent in my training, stop neglecting my long runs and hill workouts, and improve my pacing.   I haven’t set my specific goals yet, but they will be based around the process of becoming a stronger runner instead of the end goal.

With this in mind, Jackie and I thought we’d have a giveaway to help you reach your goals in 2014.  We’re giving one Runner’s World 2014 Daily Calendar, which is full of training tips for each day of the year!

CalendarThis giveaway is available to residents of North America and is open until January 1, 2014.

Click here to enter the giveaway!

QUESTION: What is one of your goals for 2014?

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Days 2 to 8: 31 Day Challenge Racap

Mandy:   My running streak is on Day 8, already the longest I’ve ever run without taking a day off.  This week has been a challenge, but I’m definitely enjoying it so far.  It’s been a busy week, so I’ve had to fit in my “mini runs” where I can.  These mostly have consisted of my husband walking our Saint Bernard late at night, while I run up and down the street around them.

Recap:

Day 2 – 6.5km – This was a fun run in the afternoon.  I didn’t have a set distance in mind.  I just ran until I ended up back at home.  I wanted to take it easy, because I felt tired and sore right from the beginning.  My neighborhood is pretty flat, so you really have to seek out hills.  I recently discovered a crescent nearby that has a good hill so I ran up that twice.

Day 3 – 2km – I wasn’t home until really late on Tuesday, so my husband and doggie came with me to keep me safe.  My dog isn’t a runner, so they walked and I ran circles around them.

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Greta watching me run.

Day 4 – 2km – After work, I had a manicure booked with my sister-in-law, Steph.  She knew that I had to go for a run, so she asked if we could go together before our appointment.  What’s better than a manicure and a run with your sister?  I had to borrow a pair of her shoes and jogging pants, but it was a lot of fun.  Steph hasn’t run in years, and she did great!  Maybe this will have to become a weekly tradition.

Day 5 – 2.6km – This was the toughest day for me.  31 days seemed like a reeeeaaallly long time.  We had some yard work to do, so again, it was late before I could get out for my run.  I got myself all dressed, and stood with my head against the front door before I could convince myself to get outside.  Of course, I was happy once I got out.

Day 6 – 2.1km – Once again, another busy day, late night, short run.

Day 7 – 5.2km – On Saturday afternoon, I finally got out while it was still light out.  My goal for the day was to not look at my watch, but to keep a steady pace.  I think I did a pretty good job.  I was able to keep all my splits within 20 seconds of each other.

Day 8 – 1.6km – I had planned on running a 10k in the morning, but honestly, I was lazy and enjoying my bed too much.  So, after going out for dinner with friends, I went for another evening run.  This ended up being one of the weirdest runs I’ve ever been on, but I’ll save the story for another time!

Weekly total: 22km

Total for the month: 8 days / 26.9km

My goals for next week are to get out earlier in the day, to run a bit longer each day, and to fit in a 10k at some point.

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Jackie:   This is officially my longest running streak ever at 9 days (because I ran on November 30th). I finished this first week with a short run in Vermont. We drove 8 hours through the night and arrived in Vermont at 7am.  (It just works best when you have 3 boys to drive when they’re sleeping) After having some breakfast we decided to drive around Burlington. We stopped by a park for a little walk and a running group went by. Well, long story short, I ended up digging my running clothes out of the back of the truck, changing in the front seat (brrrr) and going for a 1 mile run through the park. I wanted to go farther but I had forgotten to charge my Garmin and I didn’t want it to die on me. So I’m glad I started this challenge because that’s an experience I wouldn’t have had – and there’s nothing like a brisk morning run to wake you up after 8 hours of driving!

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Recap:

Day 2 – 5.5k – focused on elevation – 104 meters

Day 3 – 5.5k

Day 4 – 3k

Day 5 – 6.5k

Day 6 – 3k – quick run in the dark, couldn’t see watch

Day 7 – 1 mile

Day 8 – 1 mile after arriving in Vermont

Total for this month: 8 days – 30.3k

So the first week went well. I’m feeling good about running every day and I’m hoping in the coming week to have some longer runs – and to conquer some hills in Vermont. Hopefully, I’ll have some pictures to share.

– Jackie – Jackie

How is your running in December going?