Tuesday, April 30, 2013

10 Weeks to Go!

Ack! I can't believe it is only 10 weeks until my longest race yet, I must admit I am in a bit of a panic. The fact my mileage will now start ramping up will help plus I started my stair training today. 20 minutes of solid stair running and it felt more then great, I think my body felt better then it does after a regular run!  The goal is to build up to 1.5_2 hours of stair climbing. Thursday I do more for longer then today and I am looking forward to it. I am cautious about how my body will deal with it due to recovering from adrenal fatigue but I am going to pay close attention to how it reacts and adjust/cut back accordingly.

To help cut down on the impact I will be cycling as often as I can. I recently bought a hybrid for commuting and xc/ all mtn bike (so excited!!) to use. If my body is not liking the time on my feet then I will finish my workout on one of my bikes. I must admit it will be hard to choose running over a good mountain bike ride if my friends are all going!

It's nice to have the 10 week pressure added on right now, its extra motivation and makes everything very real. I am beyond excited and scared for this race,it's the perfect combination really! Love it!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A New Marathon Experience for the Record Books

Time for a re-cap on my last post that was leading up to yesterdays marathon. It was a great day but I am beyond happy to be home! There was a speed bump or two....

Here is how the past few days unrolled

Friday I was up early (12:45am Pacific time) to catch my early fight our of Virginia. My flight ended up being delayed by 2 hours, which resulted in me missing my connection in Dallas ad now would be arriving in Vancouver on a new flight at 8:45pm yikes! (I was originally supposed to land early afternoon in Vancouver.  When I got to Dallas I managed to change my flights little bit, it meant one extra connection but that I would be arriving at 7:30pm (everyone minute would help). Luckily my flights ran smoothly after that.

Friday 8:15pm - started my drive to Wenatchee, armed with chocolate covered expresso beans (for those who know I have been off caffeine for 2 months - I had to do it as I knew I would be driving after being up for 24 hours before getting to Wenatchee)

Saturday 1:00am - Bed atleast - I had been up for 24 hours at this point, good news is the expresso bean worked amazingly and it was a fantastic drive down!

4:00am - Doh jet lag does not do favors for people that have been up for 24 hours - wide awake and force myself to sleep

5:30am - to wide awake so I decide to do what I can to get my legs ready - rolling, stretching, some yoga, ice shower, finish of my expresso beans (very much needed them)  - works wonders for the legs

6:45am - make my way to Nicole's room, with a small coffee in hand. Have a laugh with her and Denton - my body is awake head I think is still somewhere in the med west.

7:55am - we make our way to the start line - yeay for it being right outside our hotel!

8:15pm - And we are off!

I decided to run without a fuel belt - which I never do. Armed with regular gummy candies in my back pocket and depending on course food - which I also never do....Its never a good idea to do a bunch of new things on race day right?!?! We'll see...I started with drinking coffee before my race - which I never do -  so why stop there?

The race went well, we kept at steady 5:45min/km pace - our goal was to get Nicole a PB 4:21 had to be beat! It was a scenic course, very small group and therefore not much for crowds so it was very nice to have someone else to run with. Water stations were plenty and the blue Powerade went down well.  The first 3rd of the race my achilles were pretty angry but I expected that from the flight but then my mile 9 I was having a great deal of pain in my left foot and started to question if I should keep going. A mixture of visualization, focused breathing and yes advil seemed to calm things down nicely. Thought I hate gels, Gu gels with caffeine in them were on the course and they helped to carry me along! Nicole did awesome at staying at our pace and following my path through the course - it was quite a curvy path and I am a lazy (I like to say smart) so I like to take the shortest/straightest line possible. With 5 miles to go Nicole started to cramp and we had to slow our pace a bit but still managed to stay on track - we were both determined to get her a PB!! Then in the last km of the race - yes the last one! she got attack with a bad breathing spasm so we had to walk for 5 minutes. Then from what it seems she held her breath and off we started running the last 200m to the finish, hand in hand and she got her PB! 4:15!!  I am sooo proud of her! She fought right to the end!

She has the photo of us post race,  that is why I just have me up there.....

Post race I signed up for a 30 minute massage, had an ice bath and threw on my compression gear
grabbed some yummy local pizza, said my good byes to Nicole and Denton and back to Canada I went! What did I do when I got home? Put my bags down at the front door, crawled into bed and turned out the light - HOME AT LAST!!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

What was I thinking?

So here I am in Norfolk, Virginia. The NSCA Tactical Fitness conference (check my athletic-therapist.com blog in a day or two for a review, it was great as always) has just ended and I am spending with rest of my time here doing some sightseeing (battleships here I come!...not that I know anything about them haha) and getting work done as there are many projects due when I get back to work. However, things in the next few days are not as light as they appear, I have seemed to find a flaw in my planning....for the second April in a row!  I have been working on cutting down how many things I have going on at once in my life and i have been doing pretty good at that howeverbeing so happy about this accomplishement I still seem to forget how to plan what i am still doing. I am so used to cramming things together to fit things in that my current schedule is either jammed packed or I have a few days open.

What am I talking about you ask?

Last year I went to this same conference, but it was in Vegas. After a week in Vegas I flew home got in my car and drove to Whidby Island for a marathon......the most mentally and physically challenging one I have ever run, including ultramarathons, for various reasons............and after this conference?

Well finishing this conference is not as simple as catching a flight and going home, no that is what smart people would do...... I fly out tomorrow, arrive in Vancovuer mid afternoon; my car will be waiting for me at the airport with my marathon gear and I will be driving down to Wentachee to run a marathon early Saturday morning. A few major errors on my part
  • making the same mistake as last year, hopefully this time I will have learned my lesson
  • thinking Wenatchee is only 2 hours away......nope make it 5 hours!
  • choosing to ignore that even with my compression gear my legs feel gross for at least a day after the flight. Walking after a flight can help combat this but no, I am choosing to get in a car and drive (shaking my head at myself at the moment....followed by a face palm....)
  • Deciding to leave Wenatchee right after the marathon on Saturday....my body is going to hate me but I am promising it fun and relaxation on Sunday!
However there is a bit of a silver lining
  • I get to go to Trader Joes on my way to the marathon
  • I love road trips.....yes I do sing at the top of my lungs the majority of the time, think Tom Cruise in Jerry McGuire
  • I plan on just having fun on this race and hopefully will help my running buddy Nicole get a PB
  • Having Sunday off to recover (most marathons are sunday)
Perhaps subconciously I am always looking at ways to entertain myself, I don't know but I am going to learn this time! No more marathons mid-late april!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tragedy In Boston - My Heart Goes Out to All

I sat in the Chicago airport in pure shock yesterday, April 15th, 2013

On the TV came the news about the bombing at the Boston Marathon and I could not stop staring in disbelief. As I watched I could feel myself welling up with anger (and for those who know me well, most have never seen me angry!). Thoughts that were going through my head - why runners? why Boston? Thank goodness I didn’t qualify last year! What has the world come to resulting in a bombing of such an event (don't get me wrong I believe all bombings are bad and devastating)? Who did I know that was supposed to be there this year? Are they ok? How can I find out if they are ok?

When I finally arrived at my destination I had an overwhelming number of messages from friends, family and even Facebook acquaintances checking in with me to see if I was there and if I was ok. Thank you all for your concern, I was lucky to not be there. Through the good old power of Facebook I was able to check for friends that I knew were there and all were ok (one ran a double marathon that day – did it in reverse and then ran the full course back with everyone!), which they were.

 I spent a lot of time trying to figure this  tragedy out and to tell you the truth I still don't get it and probably never will. I cannot see the connection between making a statement and bombing a marathon.

However, marathon running is about personal victory, overcoming pain, self-doubt. It’s about perseverance, resilience and determination. For those who have run one before you know what I mean, yes its part physical but the other challenge is controlling the internal dialog during a race and not letting it keep you from succeeding. Therefore when it comes to recovering from this tragedy I hope everyone looks at these characteristics and use them as they heal from what they have just been through.

I hope all of those affected will not allow this disaster to keep them from running or supporting other runners. Marathons bring so many people together, when you hear someone else has ran one, you instantly bond. Many people crowd the streets to watch in awe as people make their way through the course, feeding them words of encouragement and they often don’t even know the person. The people running in marathons help to push me when I run, the crowds keep me going, keep me relaxed and provide many humor breaks (there are often some amazingly witty signs on the course, I always have to read them!).

So runners, supporters, and those who have never witnessed a marathon, please do not let this affect the sport. Let’s use it to make it stronger, to truly show how runners can persevere!! The next marathon that is in your city go out and cheer, yell, make fantastic signs!