Friday, October 30, 2009

New Shoes!

No offense New Balance, but your shoes are stiff. STIFF. Like my feet are cramping a bit stiff. But they sure are pretty. And this fact alone has lead my to wear my brand new orange and white New Balance shoes to work today. Also today, I’m sporting my brand new Chicago marathon T, purchased very generously by one JRICE as she hit up the Big C just prior to marathon weekend. Nothing like moonlighting as a marathon runner! Practically every person I see hits me with, "WOW- did you run in the Chicago marathon?" To which I smile pleasantly and respond, “No, I plan to someday!"

Anyhow- I digress. Really, what I wanted to put out there in the world today was a great big thank-you to the Harvest Half Marathon and the Tech Shop, as they are responsible for the fabulous new kicks I'm sporting. No, I have not managed to become a sponsored marathoner (I WISH!) but I am thrilled to report (and also slightly embarrassed) that back at the beginning of October when I ran in the Harvest Half Marathon, I somehow managed to cross the line first for women. While I would like to attribute this first and likely only win to my exceptional training and dedication, I can say with a reasonable amount of certainty that it was probably a huge fluke, and one I’m relatively certain won't be repeated. There are simply too many variables on race day to ever go into a race believing you're going to win it. The good news is that along with the glory of being able to say that I crossed the line first, I won a prize! YAY! New Balance shoes from the Tech Shop…which I picked up last weekend and have been wearing all week. I am hugely appreciative to have won these shoes! Although I’m not going to make the switch to actually train and run in New Balance, I am very happy to have a new pair of “wear around” shoes. Thanks Harvest Half marathon! Thanks Tech Shop! Thanks a million!

For those of you who train religiously on the pavement, paths, track or treadmill, you know just what I mean when I say that new shoes are just a lovely little treat for your feet, knees, hips and lower back. And while new shoes are a bit pricey, I’d like everyone who has been putting off the purchase of new running shoes to consider the wear and tear that running has on your body. Let’s be honest- it’s significant. Our bodies certainly were not made to withstand the punishment of marathon training. So while the $150 bucks may seem like a bit of a stretch when there are other bills to pay and more “fun” items to purchase (I can think of about a million), consider it an investment in your “joint” health. Believe me, when your 40, 50 or 60, your joints will remember the favour and will pay you back ten fold. And hopefully your running career can continue into your old age because your body is happy!

And one last little note before I get back to the task of enlightening the student world with my vast knowledge of biology (?), I should mention that I am scaling back on the running. Time to let the injuries heal and the body prepare for the next round of punishment…oops I mean training. After all, now that I’m wearing the shirt from Chicago, I should actually earn the right to say I ran in it!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Human Race

In exactly 11 minutes I will be leaving to run in the Nike+ Human Race...

Very cool. Very, VERY cool!

And just in case anyone's wondering...

I AM A CERTIFIED PERSONAL TRAINER! YAY! And I am ready to assess your posture, range of motion and write you a program. Whether you want to train for a marathon, half, 10k or hit the gym to recommit to health and fitness, let me know...I AM YOUR WOMAN!

And now I must run...

P.S. I can train you...or your mother...or your brother...or your lover...or your mother's brother's lover...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Weather and Hills

Saturday, October 3rd...what a lovely morning for a run! And so we did just that...

For those of you that recall, the 3rd was the Harvest Half Marathon, a nice, little UPHILL run through Fish Creek Park. I hadn't run this one in about 4 years, and the last time I undertook this half was post-flooding in Calgary and thus the route was very different. This year, the run, while very beautiful, was on an entirely different course than the one I did years ago. And again, I repeat, it was UPHILL. Ugh. It wasn't the physical toll of hills that was terribly taxing since I am religious in my hill training, however, hills on race day do require a bit of a different mindset that I didn't have right off the bat. It took me a bit, but I did eventually get there; like the sign in Boston said- "Mind over body, body over hill"!

I should also note that when my alarm went off that the rain was pouring down. Not drizzling or showering, POURING. And the temperature was hoovering right around zero which translates into rain translating into snow. This caused a moment or two of complete and utter panic in which I loaded up every single piece of running gear I own into my car on the off chance that I may have to sport some (or all) of it. The good news is that the weather gods did prevail and it stopped raining just before the run began and didn't start snowing until after the run was over. Thank goodness for small miracles as running wet equals complete and total misery for this girl!

I would like to point out that I was not alone in running this half...I had two lovelies running with me who had caught the running bug after completing the Calgary half way back in May! A huge congratulations is in order to both of these running crazies who took time of the mark they had set in the Calgary half; and on a much, much tougher course! Way to go ladies! You are both incredibly awesome and I hope you are taking a well deserved break from running. As for myself, I had hopes of getting under 1:30...but was going to be very happy with anything under 1:33, my previous personal best. And I clocked in at 1:32. Which made me smile. It was an incredibly HARD run in more ways than one. Besides the hills and the weather, wrapping my head around strategy for a half (TOTALLY different that marathoning) was interesting. I generally consider myself a slow starter and in the shorter distance there is simply no time to get off to a slow start! If you are pushing for a time then you really do have to push right from the start. There certainly isn't time to hold back for "finding your legs" as I often do in the full marathon. Anyhow- for my next half I will certainly train differently- push the pace on those tempo runs even harder and keep up with the speedwork, stairs and hills so my body is prepared to deal with the lactic acid build up it will face. Not that I'm unhappy with my race, that just is not the case, but I'm always thinking about "next" and the goal I have is to get under that 1:30 mark!

And so that brings us to today...and what is going on in my running word TODAY? I've only gone for 3 runs since the half. My hip is very sore and I am trying to remember that the body needs rest to recover and repair. Although since I lived the "all carb" diet over T-Giving I should think that I should be running a lot more. Mmm...pumpkin pie, cabbage rolls, perogies, stuffing, sweet and mashed potatoes...yes, that's right, ALL CARB! And lest I forget, I did eat a bit of turkey too!

I have 2 races scheduled in the next little bit, but I use the term "race" loosely since its much more about the fun in these 2 little jaunts! On October 24th I am running in Nike's Human Race, which is a 10k that you clock on your Nike+ system through your ipod. It was $25 to enter, $5 goes to the Lance Armstrong Foundation and you get a t-shirt. Also, on the the 7th of November is that fabulous little event we like to call Winterstart (see picture on sidebar) which is less about the running and more about the fabulous time I'm going to have with the fabulous people running with me. I can't wait!

And now I must work. At my regular job. Which is teaching and not running. WHAT? How did that happen?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Snow, Snow Go Away

CRAZY busy. Crazy. Therefore, no blogging. For this, I am sorry! I'll do a quick post here just for a running update...

Tomorrow, I will be pounding the trails in Fish Creek Park for the Harvest Half Marathon! Yes, TOMORROW! I am currently attempting to block all of the usual doubts and questions that frequent my mind during the taper and pre-race period. Have I trained enough? Did I train the right way? Is my taper too long, short or just right? Mind, be quiet please!

I should also mention that it is supposed to snow 15cm in Calgary tomorrow. That's right, people, S-N-O-W. What would be really, really fabulous is if you could all take a small moment of time and ask the weather gods if they could just hold off on this for a few days. I would be eternally grateful- to them AND to you! And while we're in the habit of asking the gods for something, could we also just send a shout out to the marathon gods to keep one eye on me tomorrow during the race? It sure never hurts to have the marathon gods on your side!

And one last thing...I know you've heard it before, body is DONE. Ugh. I see a lot of yoga in my future. And perhaps many, many massages. No more running for me. This bod deserves some good rest and TLC, so rest and TLC is what it's going to get! Until I need to start thinking about the 5 mile uphill run that is Winterstart...but that's well in the future!

Hope everyone is enjoying their fall (soon to be winter) running!