My favorite running motivation: Running Frenemies

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Finishing a full marathon with my running Frenemy

 

I didn’t have a name for them until recently. Those friends. The long time running buddies, the ones that have been close friends even longer … and the ones who make me lose my mind during training.

I read an article this past year in Canadian Running magazine about why you need running rivals, and I finally had a term for them. Frenemies.

I have a couple of these friends. We don’t live too far from one another, but far enough away that training together isn’t usually possible. So we often “virtually train” together through Strava. I have often logged on to Strava and uploaded the run I’ve just completed, only to find that my frenemies have also completed their training run, but…only a little faster, or a little longer or with a lot more elevation.

And I lose my mind, just a little bit. 🙂

I always feel guilty about my reaction. After all, they are my friends, and I am genuinely happy when they meet their goals, get faster and get new PBs. I often race with them and I am never disappointed to come in behind one or both of them. I can’t wait to get to the finish line to see if they killed their time or not. (of course, being the first of the group in is fun too…)

I finally realized that I am losing it, not because I’m unhappy that they are doing well, but because I’m irritated at my own lack of discipline. My firefighter friend is disciplined at speedwork, and does his crosstraining regularly (ugh – I hate speedwork… and crosstraining). And my other frenemy is a dedicated gym goer (gym, weights.. also yuck) and is much more conscious of being a healthy eater. For instance, not long ago she posted in Instagram picture of her dinner: steamed veggies, because she was too busy/tired to cook that night. I too was unable to cook that evening, however my dinner consisted of pita chips and hummus, followed by half a bag of ruffled chips with Hellavagood onion dip.

No word of a lie.

But, I am happy that I have frenemies. The friends, that whether they know it or not, (well, they do now) are pushing me to push myself harder. My best races and fastest times have either been run with them, or because of them. And my favorite race memories have been made with them.

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Pre-race compression sock selfie with the firefighter frenemy.

 

 

Now, I’ve got to get out and do my speedwork. I just checked my Strava and my friends already did theirs… 😉

 

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Walking to the starting line of the Around the Bay 30k with two amazing running frenemies.

 

 

Jackie

Jackie

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

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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.

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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

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 –

 

 

 

 

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 –

You don’t NEED to race the Recyling Truck down the hill…

Number 1, you don’t need to race the recycling and garbage trucks down the hill because they are slow. Secondly, you’ll hurt yourself.

The good news is, I know exactly how I injured myself last time. My 1.5km flailing run down a snow covered mountain in Vermont is definitely how I tore a muscle in my calf. This week, on garbage day, I was doing a leisurely 8k through my neighborhood. For some really silly reason, after passing the recycling truck on a few streets, I decided to make sure I beat him to the bottom of a 1km long hill. Part way down I felt a bad twinge in my previously injured leg. Fortunately I came to my senses, slowed my pace considerably and the pain went away. I still beat the recycle truck to the foot of the hill and managed to do the last 2km to my house pain free.

I’m feeling pretty good about my recovery now, especially since I know what I have to be careful of. Now to start increasing my mileage.

I tried taking a “selfie” of the running clothes I wear in -10C, but I suck at it…

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The neighborhood stray cats hanging out in the warmth of the sun on my hot tub. 🙂

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Dreaming of spring…

 

Anyone else as foolish as me? (what weird thing have you raced lately? 🙂 )

Jackie

-Jackie-

 

Getting back to running … slowly

I haven’t been running outside.

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I can hardly wait for spring.

I’ve been recovering from hurting my calf muscle back in December, so I’ve done no running outside since January 1st. I had to take several weeks off completely before starting back to short 10 minute runs. My goal of maintaining the level of fitness throughout the winter went out the window. My injury has finally healed and I’ve managed to get up to 21 minutes of running without feeling pain, so I’m feeling pretty good about recovery. What I’m not feeling good about is the 30k Around the Bay Road Race that I have coming up in less than 2 months.

I took some comfort today in a post called “Revisiting my 2014 Goals” on Motivation. She talked about her excitement for the new year of running and how an injury has changed her goals. She listed her original goals and how she has modified them. Although I know that there are tons of people going through this, when all your running friends are training while you are injured,  it’s nice to read a fellow blogger’s experience.

So now my big goals for a personal best at the 30k have taken a backseat to trying to get back in shape enough just to finish the race comfortably. Do you think it can be done? (Seriously)

This weekend I’m going to do a 3o min and see if I can do more than one set of this Kettle Bell workout from the 30 Day Fitness Challenge website. I only got through the whole thing once and I’ve been sore for 2 days.

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I hope your running year has started off better than mine! 🙂

Question: What do you do, besides a treadmill, to keep up your cardio when you can’t run outside?

Jackie

– Jackie –