Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fun Run

Can you call a half marathon fun??

Heck yes you can!!
This past Sunday was the Cobequid Trail half marathon. It was my fifth ever half marathon and one of my most fun. Why fun? Well due to some seriously intense heat, my goal was dropped at about mile 7 and I realized I just needed to finish the race. So, in my last 6 miles I took it easy, walked when I wanted to, and seriously enjoyed myself. I looked at some of the beautiful scenery, enjoyed some crazy music, talked to a few of the race volunteers (had a lovely, fast, talk about lululemon with the lady at the last waterstop) and powered through 13.1 hot freaking miles.

Total Distance (according to Garmin): 13.12 miles
Total Time: 2:18:41
Average Pace: 10:34/mile
Mile 0-1: 9:27
Mile 1-2: 9:35
Mile 2-3: 9:31
Mile 3-4: 9:49
Mile 4-5: 9:56
Mile 5-6: 9:50
Mile 6-7: 10:28
Mile 7-8: 10:55
Mile 8-9: 10:36
Mile 9-10: 11:14
Mile 10-11: 11:26
Mile 11-12: 12:08
Mile 12-13: 12:36
Mile 13-13.12: 1:04 (8:51 pace)

Yeah, I probably went out too fast, but I felt pretty damn good for the first few miles and I decided that I was going to run how I felt. When I felt good, I picked up the pace. When I didnt feel good, I slowed down (or walked). Im not dissapointed in the least that I didnt make my goal (sub 2:10 was my goal). An August race is a pretty wicked little beast that caught me off guard and I realized that 2:10 was not happening. Once I accepted that, I just had some fun (see a trend here?).

Anyways, I have another half marathon in October (PEI) that the hotel room has officially been booked for, so all we have to do is register for the race and it will be a for sure thing. This will be my sisters first half marathon. Theres not much I can say about that, other then I dont think Ive ever been so proud of someone. She is killing running. So that is super exciting. And Ive made a goal of completing one speedwork a week (along with a long run and maybe a brick workout) a week until that date. I want to get under 210, and although I might readjust that goal closer to the date (faster, not slower) and to do that, I have to work on my SPEED.

Triathlon is fast approaching, 12 days and Im so freaking excited. My friend Allison just did her first ever sprint tri (same distance Im doing) and she said it was amazing. Im officially joining the HTC (Halifax Triathlon club) this Thursday night. Ive been talking to the coordinator for a few weeks now trying to get a workout in with them so I could join/pay my fees and Im finally doing it on Thursday!

Here are my pre- and post- half marathon pictures (sorry, no action shots this week) from the weekend. I think the smile in my post run picture speaks for itself. I was so happy to be done, and I felt good.
Amazing. Im so proud, and happy, I did that race. It was such a different experience for me.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Race Recap: Navy 10km 2010

Over this weekend I completed this race.

It was a beautiful morning for a run, a little warm, but almost no wind. Me and my sister walked to the start, which was 845, and we were there only a few minutes early. The course was two laps of a 5km loop. It was an awesome course. Fairly flat, with only a few rolling hills to help keep the legs fresh. Now, I did not take my Garmin with me (I was staying at my sisters for pretty much the whole weekend and didn't have all my usual running stuff), so I have no stats besides the important one.

Total Distance: 10km
Total Time: 55:56

Remember when I said I wanted to see 55 on that watch...well I did! I was so close to not making the goal but I was able to push  my legs and make it through that last few kilometres, and it felt awesome. It felt amazing to set such a specific goal for a race and actually make it!

Here are the few pictures from the race (one action shot and two post-race beauty ones):

Great weekend, great race.

In other news: yesterday I attended the Select NS IncrEDIBLE picnic in Dartmouth. I think Im gonna write a longer post about this later. It was not only an amazing event but it confirmed to me that this is a "cause" that I REALLY want to get involved in (i.e. the local food movement here in Nova Scotia) but I just need to do some research first.

Also: New job :) I got the job at Lululemon in Halifax. I cannot explain how excited I am for this. But its gonna be a crazy few weeks while I finish up my work at Starbucks and start working the new job. Its all about time management, and mine is going to be tested!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Swim. Bike. Run

I gotta admit, swimming, biking and running for 2 hours, is more fun then running straight for 2 hours.

There, I said it, there is something that I enjoy more than running. At least for right now. Last night was my `triathlon` workout, that I actually had planned for last week but due to thunder and lightning was rescheduled to last night. I swam for 750m (roughly estimated the distance according to the buoys on the lake), biked 11 miles (it was getting dark so I didn`t want to risk doing the full 12.5) and ran 3 miles. I wasn`t going to risk doing my sprint triathlon in September without getting my legs used to doing all 3 of the sports, one after the other.

And I gotta say, it felt darn good. Swimming is not my favourite thing to do, and I feel like Im going so slowly when I do it, BUT it`s nice to get over with first. Biking is fun. I have a decent hybrid bike to ride on (it`s my moms) and I love going fast. And then there is running.

With my long runs for half marathon training (oh yeah, I have one of those in 10 days) I run slow, and it is laboured. It is GD hard. But the 5km at the end of a triathlon is not slow for me. For the last 3 brick workouts Ive done (all biking 11-13 miles and then running 3.1 miles) I`ve averaged about a 9:05 pace. I am able to push my legs to their limit. I`m not usually able to keep this pace for a regular old 3-6 mile run, and definitely not for a long run. So going fast at the END of a giant workout like this, feels damn good.

Summer is going amazing. Just had an epic weekend, and looking forward to another great one. My best friend Kari just had a baby, and he is a beautiful, extremely healthy little boy. August 18th will be a very important day every year for the rest of my life.

Also, got a second (solo) interview at Lululemon. Which is damn awesome. I would love to work there :) I`ll leave you with one of my favourite quotes from their manifesto:
 The conscious brain can only hold one thought at a time. Choose a positive thought.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Some perfect summer days.

I've realized that my favorite days this summer have included some intense physical activity. Thursday was a 20km bike and a 5km run, and an hour of hot yoga. Saturday, a 10 mile run. Yesterday was about 18 miles of biking around the city and hot yoga, and today another brick workout of 20km/5km combo. Although most of these days have been my days off (tonight I am working) I find that even on these days, I'm not exhausted by any means, I tend to enjoy my nights more after a morning of working out. That's always a worry for me, that my long workout days will be write offs for doing anything else, but that has definitely not been the case recently!

Thursdays Brick Workout stats:
Total Distance: 13.01 miles
Total Time: 56:51 minutes
Average Pace: 4:22/mile
Total Distance: 3.10 miles
Total Time: 28:05
Average Pace: 9:05/mile
Mile 0-1: 8:55
Mile 1-2: 8:57
Mile 2-3: 9:09
Mile 3-3.1: 1:03 (11:02 pace)

Saturdays Long Run:
Total Distance: 10.00 miles
Total Time: 1:43:44
Average Pace: 10:23/mile
Mile 0-1: 10:51
Mile 1-2:10:07
Mile 2-3: 9:49
Mile 3-4: 9:54
Mile 4-5: 9:10
Mile 5-6: 11:38 <--Entire mile was uphill, I was actually happy with this pace.
Mile 6-7: 9:21
Mile 7-8: 10:28
Mile 8-9: 12:07 <--Think I walked for about 3 minutes, I was completely destroyed mentally and physically
Mile 9-10: 10:15

Overall I was happy with this long run, it was fairly pain free (in my feet at least) but my legs and whole body were pretty tired the whole time. I was able to manage to run pretty much the whole time (except for a few unplanned breaks during mile 8. I was hoping that I would be faster at this point and Im really not seeing that yet, BUT I know it will come. This winter will see some serious speed workouts.

Today's Brick Workout:
The plan WAS to do a full sprint triathlon this morning, including the full swim, bike and run BUT the Halifax weather had different plans for me. I was supposed to meet my mom at the lake at 645, but around 630 we heard some thunder, so no open water swim for me. Changed the plans to just a 20km bikeride and 5km run.
Total distance: 13.27 miles
Total Time: 1:08:28
Average Pace: 5:10/mile
Total Distance: 3.10 miles
Total Time: 28:46
Average Pace: 9:17/mile
Mile 0-1: 9:27
Mile 1-2: 9:19
Mile 2-3: 8:53
Mile 3-3.1: 1:05 (11:13 pace)

Today was a bit slower than last weeks for both the bike and the swim. I tried out a new route on the bike, and it was much much harder, instead of nice easy rolling hills like on Waverly road, there were some serious hills and had speeding cars going by the whole time, so yes, the pace was reduced, but the challenge was appreciated. My run was a little slow at first but once my legs warmed up I started feeling really good and was able to pick up the pace.

Overall, Im starting to feel really good for both the triathlon and my other upcoming races. Although I dont think my pace for the half on August 29th will be too much faster then my last 2, but Im hoping for a sub 2:10. And for the 10km on the 22nd, my goal is a sub 56 minute, I want to see 55 or lower on that Garmin!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Natal Day Road Race 2010

So, gotta say, I love racing a distance for the first time..getting a PR no matter is a pretty awesome feeling. And completing this 6 mile race (without dying, which is what I thought would happen when you ran the 6 miler on Natal Day when I was a kid) did feel amazing! Didn't get my goal of 55 minutes, but got the sub hour done no problem. Here are my Garmin stats:

Total Distance: 6.10 miles
Total Time: 57:09 (chip time was 57:08)
Average Pace: 9:23 minute/mile
Mile 0-1: 9:03
Mile 1-2: 8:56
Mile 2-3: 9:17
Mile 3-4: 9:30
Mile 4-5: 10:21
Mile 5-6: 9:14
Mile 6-6.1: 0:43 (7:33 pace)

Very happy with my time and pace. The absolute biggest struggle of the Natal Day 6 mile road race is that it is 3 laps of one hilly loop. Now, Ive been doing the 2 mile race for as long as I can remember and wrapping my head around doing that two more times than usual was difficult. First lap flew by (2 mile split time was 17:59, which was a personal best over last year by about 40 seconds) and the second was killer, both mentally and physically. I struggled through the last lap but managed to keep up a decent pace. All in all, it was a great experience and a great run, and I have no idea what distance Im gonna do next year!

So Ive got a nice little renewed dose of race fever. Races coming up that I want/am most likely going to do:

Navy 10km Run August 22nd

Cobequid Trail Half Marathon August 29th

Shubie Dooby Triathlon September 12th (Doing this one, and PEI for sure)

PEI Half Marathon October 17th

As long as I budget wisely and keep my eating/drinking under control, I know Ill be in excellent shape for all these events. So excited for the rest of this summer! For these reasons and many many more!

Another big brick workout in the morning, 20km bike and a 5km run (first time biking this long of a distance all at once), so bed will be coming very soon.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Blog Slacking

, but not exercise slacking :)

Although you wouldn't know it from the blog, I had a great week in exercise, although this week had no long run, due to a lovely little head cold.

The week started out with my usual SPCA bike ride (5 miles out, 2 hours of volunteering and 5 miles back). Tuesday I had a great 5 mile run, although it was a little slower than I would have liked to do for 5 miles on fresh legs. Here are the stats:

Total Distance: 5.00 miles
Total Time:  51:31
Average Pace: 10:18 min/mile
Mile 0-1: 10:23
Mile 1-2: 9:51
Mile 2-3: 10:17
Mile 3-4: 11:06
Mile 4-5: 9:52

Yeah, I'd like to keep my "short" runs (everything but my long runs pretty much, I dont exactly consider 5 miles short) under 10 minute miles on average, but in the heat, thats all I can really hope for, and no breaks so thats awesome!

Tuesday also included my first (and definitely not last) Hot Yoga! I went for an hour Moksha class at Moksha Yoga in Dartmouth. They only opened on Saturday the 24th, so they were offering free yoga classes all week. I was very impressed with the class. Ive never sweat so much in my life, and I felt strong the entire class. It was definitely invigorating and felt very detoxifying.

Wednesday was Brick workout #2. This consisted of a 10 mile bike ride and what was supposed to be a 4 mile run, and ended up being a 3.5 mile run. The workout was amazing. Legs felt strong and great on the run. My Garmin died around mile 1.5 but I kept going around the same pace, and Im pretty sure I was able to keep up about a 10 minute mile pace. My Bike Stats:

Total Distance: 10.00 miles
Total Time: 47:41
Average Pace: 4:46 minute/mile

And my Run Stats before the garmin died:
Total Distance: 1.66miles
Total Time: 16:16
Average Pace: 9:47 minute/mile

I also went to yoga on Wednesday, so it was an exhausting day. I went to bed super early that night, and had a lovely sleep. I knew I had to have a decent sleep because I was meeting my mother at the lake at 7am the next morning, on Thursday, for my first open water swim :) Not much to say about this swim, other than I think the distance was around 700m total and mom said it was about 26 min, but I was pretty much just trying to get used to the water, I had lots and lots of breaks. One thing I learned: I need new goggles and need a swimming cap for sure. I also need to make some decisions as to what Im going to swim/bike/run in so I can start training in similar gear.

I has yoga and strength scheduled for that day, but I was just plain tired after that swim, so I decided to relax for the rest of the afternoon, and baked some bread and watched Jersey Shore :). I ended up going to my sisters to stay for the night because I was working at 530 on Friday morning. She is currently training for the PEI Half Marathon (her first, and I will also being doing it, so its my next half marathon) and she had a 4 mile run scheduled for that night, so I decided to join. I was tired and full from all the bread and pizza I ate that day. My sister was also tired from working for 12 hours that day, so thank god we were going together otherwise I dont think either of us would have gone out. So, we were expecting a pretty bad run, and although it was a bit slow, it was an awesome run! It went by in the blink of an eye. Here are the stats:

Total Distance: 4.23 miles
Total Time: 44:48
Average Pace: 10:35
Mile 0-1: 11:11
Mile 1-2: 11:10
Mile 2-3: 10:26
Mile 3-4: 9:56
Mile 4-4.23: 2:03 (8:48 pace)

I think it helped a lot that we went out super slow because we were able to pick it up a lot the second half.

Thursday's run was my last workout (today is Sunday). I woke up on Friday with a cold, worked from 530-130, made it home and had a nap. Went out to super (yes, I broke my no restaurant/no drinking for one week rule) but I had a delicious meal at the Wooden Monkey. I had the Seitan sandwhich with the sweet apple salad, and I had one beer with my meal, a Garrison IPA, which I enjoyed but it was a little hoppy for what I was feeling. I came home, slept about 11 hours. Had a 1 hour nap Saturday afternoon, and slept another 10 hours last night. I feel a lot better today! Still have a bit of a runny nose and some sneezing but my head has cleared up a lot.

One last thing of this monstrous post: Tomorrow is Natal Day, the "birthday" of Halifax/Dartmouth. My family and I always do the Natal Day Road race, which we've done every year that I can remember. There is a 2 mile race and a 6 mile race (3 laps of the 2 mile loop). It is actually a very difficult race because of the heat (usually) and the hills, one killer one at the end. I know Im in shape to run a great 2 miler, and I know I could do the 6 miler no problem, although it would be much more difficult, obviously. I think Im swaying towards running the 6 miler because I know Im in great shape for it and because Ive taken the last few days off completely from exercise, I think my legs will be super fresh. Goal for my first ever 6 mile road race= Sub 1 hour, 55 minutes even? Im actually so excited.

Thats it for now :)