Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I need your help!!

I am down to the last three weeks before Shamrock, and I need your help tweaking my training schedule for the last few weeks. Here is the dilemma: I have a half marathon this Sunday, but want to run another 22 miler before the marathon. Here is the current plan I made up a few months ago (I have this in a table, but I don't know how to post it on my blog, sorry):

Week 9: Race Preparation (Monday February 23rd – March 1st)
Mon- Rest or cross training
Tues- 12 miles w/ 4 x 1200 m @ 5K race pace; jog 2 minutes in between (VO2 max)
Wed- 7 miles w/6 x 100 m strides (Recovery + speed)
Thur- Rest or cross training
Fri- 12 miles
Sat- Rest or recovery
Sun- 13 miles (Chilly Half marathon race)

Week 10: Race Preparation (Monday March 2nd – March 8th)
Mon- Rest or cross training
Tues -8 miles w/ 5 600 m @ 5K race pace; jog 90 seconds between (VO2 max)
Wed -5 miles (Recovery)
Thu- Rest or cross training
Fri - 8 miles w/6 x 100 m strides
Sat- Rest or cross training
Sun - 22 miles

Week 11: Taper and Race (Monday March 9th - March 15th)
Mon- Rest or cross train
Tues- 7 miles w/ 8 x 100 m strides (General aerobic + speed)
Wed - 8 miles w/ 3 x 1600 m @ 5K race pace jog 2 minutes in between (VO2 max)
Thurs- Rest or cross training
Fri - 5 miles w/ 6 x 100m strides
Sat- Rest or cross training
Sun - 12 miles

Week 12: Taper and Race (Monday March 16th –March 22nd)
Mon -rest

Tues -7 miles 2 miles @ race pace
Thur - Rest
Fri- 5 miles w/6 x 100 m strides
Sat- Rest
Sun - Shamrock Marathon 26.2 miles

My question is, do you think leaving my 22 miler until March 8th is too late? Will there be any physiological benefit. That is two weeks before the marathon vs three. I can't do it the previous week because of Chilly. Any suggestions are welcome.
Hope everyone is having a good week, thanks for reading!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Runner's Appetite

After running 46k (28.75 miles) this weekend, I woke up this morning HUNGRY! I have the day off due to an appointment later today, so Hubs and I went out for breakfast.

Here is what I ordered.
-Two HUGE Pancakes
-Scrambled eggs
-Turkey bacon
-Rye toast and jam

I ate (inhaled) the whole breakfast and I will likely be hungry in an hour or two. LOL! I have been trying to eat healthy, and for the most part sucessfully, but sometimes I just get insatiable urges to eat whatever I am craving. Today it was a full breakfast, last night it was salt and pepper chips and cadbury mini eggs. I need to get back on my eating clean wagon, fast!!

Have a great day and thanks for reading!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Quick Update

Hubs and I decided to bail on the Grimsby Half Marathon today. We got up, had oatmeal and banana, checked the weather report, and got ready. We drove about halfway there before we finally decided it wasn't a great idea. The main routes were clear, but the side roads were slushy and wet and there were wind gusts and wet flurries. Most of the route is through wine vinyards so I am sure the roads would have been snowed-covered and there would have likely been wind gusts.

Sure we could have finished, but it would have been ugly, and I just didn't have it in me today. We opted instead for an indoor track run. I ran 26K (16.25 miles) and had a better run compared to yesterday. This brought my mileage to 41 for the week, so I was happy with that. Next weekend is the Chilly Half Marathon, so I hope the weather will be better for racing. Fingers crossed. I am so ready for this darn winter to be done!

Have a great week, thanks for reading!

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Its been a busy few days and I'm happy to report I am back running with no ITB pain. I have slowly ramped up the mileage this week and everything seems fine. The new shoes are taking some breaking in, but I think they are OK. I miss my Saucony Paramounts though, so I think I will buy a second pair of those. I ran a very slow recovery driven (although it didn't feel recovery like) 22K with a running friend this morning. Although the Sun was shining and we were running very slow, I had moments of Vertigo. Weird. I don't know what caused it. I feel fine now, so I don't think I am sick. I have been short on sleep this week so maybe that's it. It was also my first non-track/treadmill run in a few weeks.

The plan when I got home was to take an ice bath (Aron, you inspired me), but I wussed out and had a hot eucalyptus Epsom salt bath instead. Meh. Next time I guess. It's hard to want to jump into ice when you've just been running in it.

You may wonder why I ran 22K the day before a race. I ultimately decided that this half marathon tomorrow isn't an 'A' race, so I want to make sure I get at least 40 miles in this week to prepare for Shamrock, my goal race. I also have another half marathon the following weekend, so I thought it might be interesting to see how my body races without tapering. And I made sure I ran slow, so I think I could still have a decent run, maybe not a PB, but a solid tempo-ish run.

Great plan, right?

One teeeennnny problem, there is a snow storm that started early this evening and its supposed to go into the afternoon tomorrow. About a 10-15cm dumping of snow is expected. I hate running on snowy roads, and I don't want to risk injury, so I might have to really scale it back tomorrow. Its also an hour and a half drive to the race, so if the roads are really bad, I may not run it. I hate to throw away that race entry fee, but that's a gamble you take when you register for a winter race. Maybe it won't be so bad. The snow is melting as it hits the pavement now, so I will reassess in the am. Fingers crossed. I could care less about the cold, but I don't like running (fast) on slick roads.

I hope you are all having a great weekend. I need to catch on blog comments, I have been sneaking some reads with little chance to comment. Thanks for reading

Monday, February 16, 2009

New Shoes

Yesterday I went to Running Free to get some new shoes. They don't carry Saucony ProGrid Paramounts, so I was going to go for my Gel Kayano's (new 15's) by default until I saw these puppies:

Why helllllooo Brooks Trance 8's.... (click to enlarge for shoe porn)

They feel amazing on my feet, flexible and light but still have the stability of Kayano's (which felt heavy on the feet in comparison). I am going to try a light run on the TM today. I didn't run my 20 miler yesterday since I could really feel the IT band. Hubs stripped it twice yesterday with the Stick for me, followed by icing and elevation. It feels fine today, but if I feel it at all when I run, I will stop running, I promise. I will also let you know how I like the new kicks, I am a little nervous trying a new brand mid training cycle, but they have to be better than what I am running in now.

In other news, I have two half marathons over the next two weeks. The first is the Grimsby Half Marathon (Feb 22nd) and then the Chilly Half Marathon (March 1st). So excited for a real race again. I hope the weather and the IT band cooperate.

Today is Family Day in Ontario. A nice leisurely day to spend time with family and friends, or in my case, kick ass with all of the book writing I have been procrastinating.

Hope you all have a great week! Thanks for reading

Sunday, February 15, 2009


**Preface- Sorry this is not a typical race report, although I did complete the race.**

Yesterday I went out yesterday with the full intention of running a 13 miler, with the last three miles being a progression for the FFFK.

I set out at my goal marathon race pace, planned on holding that pace and then speeding up for the last three miles. I was a bit hesitant when I started out. My knees have been bothering me a bit when I run, and I think its because (well I'm 99% sure its because) I need new shoes. In typical procrastinator Marci fashion I wait until I **need** shoes, and of course they are out of the highly coveted 7.5 shoe size at my local Running Room. I ordered a new pair in, they were supposed to come in within 3 days-1 week, but they still hadn't come in last week (I think there was a screw up along the way). I called last week and they said they should be in by this week (they weren't).

I typically wear Saucony Progrid Paramounts, but I have in the past worn Asics Gel Kaynos, so I should have just bought the Kayanos they had in stock right? Wrong, I decided to be cheap and wait for the Saucony's which still haven't come in.

So back to my run. As I am running the bottom of my feet feel sore, and I can feel my knees. Not good signs, so I stopped right? Wrong. Kept going, at finally just after 8.5K I felt a twinge in my IT band. I stopped running dead then. Why do I press my stttuppppid button when I start running!!!??!! Of course if I run in dead shoes I will get injured. My IT band is still sore this morning despite efforts to ice and stretch. I am driving to Markham today to buy the shoes there. I don't know if I should try running my 20 miler or not today. Any thoughts people? (Its really hard for me to sit it out).

**Actual race report if you didn't want to read about my stupidity above****

Back to FFFK, I ran 8.52K in 45 min 31 seconds (8:35 pace mi/min or 5:20 k/min) pace. So if I take this average pace, my 5K time would be about 26 minutes. Hubs also ran to support Nancy, he ran 5K in 22 min 12 seconds (his second run back since his cyst was discovered). Go Hubs!!

On a side note, Hubs is becoming really fast. Well, he always was, but he has been laid up with injuries for most of the last year that forced him to slow down. He was just picking up some serious speed before this Bakers cyst thing started. His doctor said go ahead and run, but if any pain happens, surgery may be required. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Looking forward to reading race reports today. Good luck racers. Thanks for reading!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Pa Pa Pa Poker Face Pa Pa Poker Face

Mum mum mum mah....

This is my current "it" running song. Sad, I know. I wouldn't say I have the greatest taste in music ever, but then again, music taste is subjective. I tend to like mostly classic rock, think Queen, Fleetwood Mac, and ABBA.

Yet when I run, I LOVE to listen to cheesy, repetitive tempo beats. Case in point, Lady Gaga. I used to obsessively listen to "just dance" on my ipod, and now Poker Face. Generally I would switch the station if these types of songs come on, but when I am running, I crank it up. Poker Face is my current power song on my ipod.

Does anyone else have separate "music taste" and "running music" taste. What type of music do you run to?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Update on Hubs

Thanks for the message about Hubs and thankfully his test came back negative on a blood clot in his leg. Having a scare about someone you love really puts things into perspective. Bad as the global economy is now, health is still the most important thing, and us as a running community are doing the right thing to keep ourselves healthy.

Hubs will still have to do more tests to look into the Baker's cyst, but his doctor said he can run as long as there is no pain (none now), and he should ice and elevate to help shrink the cyst and jeep it under control.

I also had my own mini health scare this weekend. I just got back from a visit with my doctor to discuss some blood work I had done in the summer. Yes, you read that right. The blood work was done in August as part of my annual physical. I was super annoyed/worried when I picked up a phone message at 4pm this past Friday to call my doctors office to discuss my test results. I had long since put the blood work I had done in August out of my mind, because I assumed, if anythings wrong they will call. They did, SIX months later, and on a Friday afternoon, so I had to wait and worry all weekend to get an appointment (today).

When I arrived at my doctors office the medical secretary said that they had called me four times over the past few months. I smiled politely and informed them that I never received any message, thinking in the back of my mind if this is serious, I will sue your pants off, so don't feed me a line of doo-doo to CYA!!

Thankfully it was not serious. Apparently I have borderline low iron levels. Not shocking I suppose since I don't eat red meat or pork, but does explain why I feel lethargic at times. Does anyone else have low iron? Is it common amoungst runners? Anyway, I am now on prescription iron pills.

I hope everyone is having a good week. Its Friday tomorrow and its a long weekend in Ontario, Family Day is Monday!! Woo Hoo! Thanks for reading

Mid-Week Motivation: Marathon Challenge

This is a long video (52 minutes), but is very inspirational! I am going to show it to my Biology class. Enjoy!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Week 6 Update and Race Announcements

I had a bit of my own "Goofy Challenge" this weekend. I ran 20K (12.5 miles) on Saturday, and then 35.4K (22 miles) on Sunday, for a total of 55.4K (37.5miles) this weekend. All within a 24 hour time span.

This back to back distance may sound painful, but as many other bloggers have posted about their recent runs, this past weekend was the kind of weekend where you felt as if you could run forever!!

It was above freezing and mild on Saturday and sunny on Sunday. Glorious, fresh weather, and on both days I ran in the later afternoon and finished my run just as the Sun set for the day. It was sooo beautiful, I wish I brought my camera, words can't describe, but literally the snow glowed and sparkled as the sun when down behind the hills and trees. Magical and very peaceful.

Total miles for week 6 was 76K/49 miles.

In other news, Hubs is a bit laid up right now. He went to the chiropractor on Friday, and he noticed that his left calf was unusually larger than his right calf. His chiropractor was worried it could possibly be a blood clot, but after going to the walk in clinic, the doctor thinks its likely a Baker's cyst. This is a pocket of fluid that forms behind his knee, likely an overuse injury from a former knee problem Hub's had. Just to be safe, Hubs following the RICE principle and not running until an ultrasound confirms the diagnosis.

And I have two marathons announcements to make.

I am now officially signed up for the Virginia Beach Shamrock Marathon. Yipee!! I am so excited. I decided to go for a flat course since most of my training is limited to flat terrain when it snows (track, treadmill). Besides, who doesn't want a flat course?!! And there is beer at the end!

BUT.... in even MORE EXCITING NEWS, I am running the Barbados marathon in December with Christy!!!

I will be raising money for the arthritis society, which I am excited about, since I have always run marathons for fun, it will be great to give back. More details to follow.

Anyway, have a super week everyone! Thanks for reading!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

7 on the 7th Race Report

I ran my virtual 7 miles on the 7th race report on Thursday since I have another 22 miler on tap for today. I am posting the report today on the 7th to keep with the spirit of the event!

Before I begin, special thanks to Run to the Finish for organizing this, and to Running Laur for the great race bib inspired banner.
I had to run my race on the indoor track since it was -22C with the windshield on Thursday. My original prediction for the race result was 1 hour 5 minutes. It was a bit of a conservative estimate, but I also knew with all of the miles I was pumping out with my current training plan that I may be a tad slower. In the back of my head I felt that a sub 60 min finish would be a bit of a stretch.

After a one mile warm up, I stretched and then started my watch. I came bounding out of the gate at a 4:45min/km (7:38mil/min) pace, but quickly slowed to about a 5:05 min/km pace (8:10 min/mi) pace.

I thought for sure I would slow down within a few miles, but somehow the pace felt easy, so I kept going. At 8K(5 miles), I was just over 41 minutes (about 2.5 minutes faster than my 8K fun run two weeks ago). I guess these tempo runs are starting to pay off!

I finished the 7 miles (11.2 K) in 57 minutes, 10 seconds - 5:04 min/km (8:10mil/min) pace.
I was sooo excited, not only because I beat my predicted time by nearly 8 minutes, but because it really felt effortless, and I felt could have kept going for at least 10K at this pace.
Since I could hardly believe the time myself, I took a picture of my Garmin, because as Vava says, Garmin don't lie.

(Note: When I was running I stopped my watch as soon as it said 11.2km (7 miles), when I turned it on later to snap a picture it said 11.16K - I guess it rounds up when it is operating, so I added 3 seconds to account for the 0.04km (4 meter) difference)

I had so much fun running this virtual race so again thanks to Run to the Finish for organizing this great event!
In other news, in case you haven't heard, there is a "Freakishly Flexible 5K"that marathon mama is organizing for Feb 14th in honour of Non-Runner Nancy who can no longer run! :(

Go over to her blog to join up and show some support to Nancy!
Good luck all you virtual runners, can't wait to read the race reports!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Winter Running, Training, 8K fun run, and other ramblings

Its been awhile since I've really written a post on the blog. I just haven't been in the mood, and I have had a bit of the case of the winter blahs that have rendered me less than motivated to write witty and interesting posts. This will have to do. In addition to winter blahs, I have been working on another book, so every time I go on the computer I have this little nagging guilt that I should be working on the book (yes, that includes now - but I am telling the book to talk to the hand at the moment).

So how about that weather, Northern folk?

Outside of today, which was great weather-wise, The weather SUCKS, just plain SUCKS. Now I know some of you must be thinking, you know you live in Canada right? Yes, I know, but our winters are really never that bad. Its not rare that we only see no or little snow in Dec and only dusting's in Jan and Feb.

Not this year.

Lets rewind back a few weeks ago. Hubs and I travelled to his hometown of Parry Sound so that he could participate in his step-fathers memorial dart tournament (a real northern Ontario hobby - there's not much else to do in the snow and blizzard-like weather). It was white-out conditions on the drive up, but we made it and had a fun time. We had run at the indoor track on Friday before we drove up, and then planned to run at the track again when we returned on Sunday.

We left just Parry Sound after 1:00, and what is normally about a three hour drive took us nearly FIVE hours! Crappy slippery weather, and we drove by several cars in the ditch (they already had help). We were starving when we finally got home, so Hubs when and got a pizza, and then we went to run. This is what our driveway looked like when we finally arrived home.

Determined to get my 17 miler in, Hubs and I ran to the dome, where I pounded out 13 miles of it in 2 hours (with major pizza indigestion), and then drove home, and ran the remaining 4 miles on the treadmill in the basement. Talk about torture.
Week 4 of marathon training was 43 miles.
The weather continued to storm for the the next week. I ran a 10 K tempo run in 53:10(8:33 mil/min) at the track. I didn't even notice Hubs snapping the picture. I was in the zone. The pain-yes-I-may-puke- zone.

I also ran an awesome 22 miler indoors (3 hours, 23 minutes, 9:14 mile/min pace/5:44 km/mi) on Saturday. Super pleased with the run, I didn't stop once. I can't remember every having this strong of a long run. Maybe fitz will pay off! I hope so! I have two more 22 milers planned for this training cycle, so hopefully they go as well as this one did.
Sunday was a the Robbie Burns 8K fun race. I woke up with sore legs not wanting to go, but you get free tartan plaid pants for running. So Hubs and I rolled out of our cozy, warm, fluffy bed, and drove to Burlington, grabbing coffee and a bagel on the way.
They played bagpipes at the start and served an awesome breakfast afterwards (coffee, oatmeal, bagels, coffee, fruit), a total steal for the $30 entry fee. I ran at tempo pace (it was all I could muster after yesterday long run), to finish in 43:35 (8:43 mil/min or 5:25km/min). Meh, not great, but it was just a fun run, and it was freeezzzing (-12C). Despite the cold, it was good to run outside again. Here is a picture of me warming up by the fire at home in my new tartan flannel pants :))

Week 5 of marathon training was 43 miles.

This week was a little rough. I decided mid-week to employ a mid training taper. I can afford to do this since I am a week ahead a schedule. So I ran a total of 24 miles this week. My body just needed the rest. The next two weeks are 48 miles and 55 miles total, and I want to run every mile of them.

Even though my mileage was less this week I had some quality runs. I ran some track 1K repeats at the dome. 4 sets at 4:41, 4:47, 4:45 and 4:50. It felt good to run some speed repeats again (well not during, but definitely after).
Today was mild (34F/3C), and Hubs and I went for a leisurely 20K run. Here are some pictures we took.
Scraping the driveway pre-run. Great warm up.

January miles: 167.4 - Very pleased with this number!
Eating is going so-so. I will update you on that in a later post. In the meantime, congrats to all those that raced this weekend. Look forward to reading your reports. Thanks for reading