Finding motivation wherever I can…

This morning was the kind of morning where I actually sat on my closet floor to get dressed.

I paused for a moment trying to decide whether to get dressed for the day or put on my running gear and sneak in a run on a rather damp day. Then, from my spot on the floor, I noticed a brightly colored pair of Lululemon running tights on the shelf that I bought in the summer and hadn’t worn yet. The happy thought that ran through my mind was how embarrassed my 16 year old son would be to know I was running around the neighbourhood in those tights… and my decision was made. 🙂

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While I was at it, I pulled out a pair of zero drop Altra running shoes that I got last month and went for a short 5k to try them out.

zerodropaltras

We have a store in town that sells gear for outdoor activities like hiking, canoeing, skateboarding etc. Twice a year they have a clearance sale where they sell last season’s shoes for $45. I enjoy the sale, because the store sells shoes that I don’t see as much in the running and sports stores I usually shop at. Their sales give me a chance to get try out different brands and models of shoes that are regularly around $150 or more for not too big an investment. This time I tried a pair of Altras that feature a “zero drop”, a foot-shaped toe box and a gender specific fit.

While it is early to say whether I will switch to these shoes from my Mizunos, they felt comfortable and I felt good after the 5k. I could definitely feel the difference from my regular running shoe, so I’ll continue to work them in between runs in my regular shoes and see what I think.

So, I set out after my teenagers headed off to school (and after the 16 year old told me I looked ridiculous). I passed a lot of parents and grandparents walking their little ones to school. I enjoyed being the bright flash of colour running through the neighbourhood on this rather blah morning. As I said good morning to those I passed, the smiles were a little bigger than usual – I choose to believe I brightened their day. 😉
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.

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

Race week and Knee pain – eek!

ouch

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 –

 

 

 

 

24k – Close enough!

With my Around the Bay 30k coming up in less than 2 weeks, I managed to get out this past Monday for my last long training run. I had hoped to get up to 25k, but once again, I found myself talking my way through the run kilometer by kilometer. I was only at about 8k when I was telling myself that I never want to run a long race again. Another km later, I decided even half marathons were too long. By 10k, I thought I didn’t even want to race 10s anymore and shortly after, I decided that walking a 5k fun run sounded good. I relayed this to my sister-in-law, Mandy, and she informed me that this hard winter has turned me into a wimp and that I’ll be fine when the weather warms up. She must be right because since then, I’ve signed up for a local Warrior Dash with my brother (her husband), her brother and my son.

24k

Anyway, I managed to make it to 24k. I couldn’t talk myself through another km. In fact, I felt just a little pouty walking the 1/2 km home. I managed to change into dry clothes, rinse the blood off my toes, have a glass of chocolate milk and collapse onto the couch – where I spent most of the evening. My husband was even nice enough to go out and get me donuts.

chocolatemilkpostrun

So this is the longest run before the race on March 30th. I’m hoping I’ll be able to push past that 24k point during the race. The Around the Bay has about 21k of slight downhill and flat, followed by about 6k big hills totaling around 160m of elevation and then a 3k downhill to the finish.

Wave of anxiety…

My final training run had 220m of elevation throughout and I pushed my pace, so I’m hoping that will make it okay race day. If all goes well, I may just match my time from last year even though I missed all that training time with an injury.

Time to stop obsessing about it and start planning my post-run treats that I will focus on throughout my run. Perhaps I’ll reminisce about the lovely time I had having High Tea with my sisters-in-law this past Sunday. But that’s another story…

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-

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.

18kfinally

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)

applefrittercake

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.

beautifulbutsnowysidewalks

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 –