Sunday, March 30, 2008

March 30 - April 6 Weekly mileage: 34
3/30 Sun- 30k around the bay 2:18:09
3/31 Mon -rest day
4/1 Tue - rest day
4/2 Wed -recovery run 5 miles
4/3 Thur -strength train
4/4 Fri -
4/5 Sat -10 miles
Sunday - Today was the 30k around the Bay! Before I go any further, I have to thank my dear friend Paula for letting me drag her all the way to Hamilton at 6:00 a.m. this morning to watch the baby while I ran. A true friend indeed!

For the race, this was to be my longest run since before getting pregnant last January, so I had no idea how to pace this distance, especially since I heard multiple warnings about the hilly stretch toward the end. I had a chat with Dan from the Runners Den in Hamilton at the race expo and he was kind enough to give me the great advice of making sure I felt good at the halfway point. The first 10k is flat and fast so it is very tempting to go out fast, but he warned me that this is usually the downfall of first-timers. He said he's run many times where people passed him in the first 10k and he ended up passing by them as they were walking in the hilly stretch. This was a great tip and I tried to remember it after the gun went off. Here are my splits: 7:14, 7:17, 7:16, 7:16, 7:20, 7:15, 7:17, 7:17, 7:16, 7:17, 7:18, 7:18, 7:28, 7:46, 7:28, 7:23, 7:38, 7:21, 5:38 the last .72. Gold, Silver and Bronze medals are awarded depending on your finish time. I just missed gold by 2-3 minutes, bummer! If only I hadn't walked those water stations to drink and stopped to adjust my socks....Next year! This is the oldest road race in North America (as they race shirts said on the back "Older than Boston!"). I give it two thumbs up. Very well organized event, beautiful rolling hills course (until that beast at 24-25k). I will definitely be back next year!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

March 23 - March 29 Weekly mileage: 22
3/23 Sun- last long run before 30k next sun 13 miles
3/24 Mon -rest day
3/25 Tue -strength train
3/26 Wed -4 miles easy & strength train
3/27 Thur -5 miles moderate pace
3/28 Fri - rest day
3/29 Sat -rest day (30k around the bay tomorrow!)
I procrastinated on doing my last long training run before next weekends 30k around the bay race until today. I found myself unable to relax and fully enjoy Easter morning while heading over to the Sunday morning family brunch knowing I had that long run was hanging over my head like a lead balloon. It didn't make it any more enticing that it was 14 below outside with wind chill of -17. After a fabulous brunch prepared by my father in law, I was feeling more motivated and quite fueled up and ready to go. I got the little guy fed and settled with his daddy, bundled myself up in the multiple layers I have begrudgingly learned to bond with during winter months in Canada (wool socks, tights, running skirt, under armour top, wind resistant running coat, ear warmer headband, wool toque (that's a beanie, my fellow american folk), & wool gloves). I always feel like the little kid from "A Christmas Story" all bundled up to the point of not being able to move when I come down the stairs dressed for these sub zero runs. I filled up my water bottle with warm water & ultima mix, grabbbed my ipod & garmin and out the door I went. (I know...ew warm ultima...but it keeps my hand warm as I start at the beginning of the run and in almost no time it is freezing and slushy, which also reminds me - have you have had a "gu-sicle"? It is also quite interesting. My plan was to get in a few warmup miles and then run 8-10 miles at race pace. 8:10, 8:09, 7:25, 7:22, 7:24, 7:13, 7:29, 7:28, 7:19, 7:11, 7:20, 7:04, 7:36 (with a few stretch breaks in between). I felt pretty good, but it was definitely more of a tempo effort. I am a little nervous about the 30k next weekend. I've never run this distance (just under 19 miles) and have no idea how to pace it.
Any suggestions?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

March 16 - March 22 Weekly mileage:22
3/16 Sun- Rest Day
3/17 Mon - treadmill run 7.5 miles
3/18 Tue - strength train
3/19 Wed - 7.5 miles
3/20 Thur -strength train
3/21 Fri - 7 miles 6x800 (yassos)
3/22 Sat - strength train

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Future Running Star - babys first speed workout!
Sorry, I couldn't figure out how to rotate it!

Monday, March 10, 2008

March 10-March 16 Weekly mileage: 44.64
3/10 Sun- New York Road Runners
Colon Cancer Challenge 15k 9.5 miles (10.5 w/warmup)
3/11 Mon - rest day
3/12 Tue - treadmill run 11.14 miles
3/13 Wed-cross train
3/14 Thur -mile repeats (2 mi. w/u 4 x mile 2 mi. c/d) 8 miles
3/15 Fri - strength train
3/16 Sat - long run 15 miles 1:58

Saturday while planning my long run in NYC for the following day, I discovered that there was a 4 mile and a 15k (9.3 mile) race scheduled in Central Park. I committed to getting up extra early so I'd have time to register on race morning. The weather forecast was calling for chilly and very windy conditions. Unfortunately I didn't pack my sub zero running gear, so I had to make to with a lightweight pairs of tights, my long sleeved winter top and running jacket, and of course a running skirt (which undoubtedly provided extra warmth for the derrière). Luckily I had a lightweight pair of gloves in my luggage and a beanie borrowed from my hubby to top it all off. We were sure to spring forward all the clocks on Saturday night so that we'd be up in plenty of time too (separate story).

I woke up to a very sunny, yet crisp and breezy nyc morning. I would be lying if I didn't tell you I had second and third thoughts about rolling over and going back to sleep. The lure of running a NYRR event in Central Park overcame me, I coudn't pass it up. It was about 30f with wind chill of 18f! By the time the race started I was pretty much a Popsicle. The extra hour of waiting before the gun went off didn't help either. (Again - side story) By the time the race started I was so excited to get running so that I could finally thaw out and get warm. The course was a double loop through/around central park. It was a beautiful course with rolling hills and a few good climbs too. My race plan was to start out nice and slow and tempo the run. I've never run a 9.3 mile race before so I had no idea how to pace it. Here are my splits: 7:55, 7:10, 7:01, 7:01, 7:08, 7:08, 7:09, 6:50, 7:01, 3:00. At the finish line my Garmin read 9.5 miles and 1:07:27. I felt strong at the finish with no major aches and pains (I think everything was comfortably numb from the cold). It was a great event - very well organized, I give it two thumbs up! I can't wait to run the marathon next fall.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Saturday in NYC
I recently had a big realization while hitting my favorite 5th Avenue and Madison Avenue shops. Shopping with a baby is VERY different. As soon as we arrived this week and I had a little down time, baby and I headed straight for my favorite store Henri Bendel on 5th Ave. After wrestling the bugaboo through the heavy front door, we managed to work our way into the ground level of the boutique store aka cosmetics heaven. If any of you have ever been in this store you will know that this area of the store is laden with cosmetic sales "sharks". I usually dart through this department quickly and head up the stairs to peruse the many multiple levels of fabulous merchandising displays. When you are ascending the multiple levels of Henri Bendel it seems like the store keeps going and going. It is nice because it isn't like your typical department store with racks and racks, it is merchandise very nicely with several mini - department "rooms" and beautiful displays. Anyhow - I found myself standing at the bottom of the store in the "shark tank" at the bottom of the first grouping of stairs. I realized oh yeah - I've got a baby stroller, I'm gonna be needing an elevator. In the 12 seconds it took for this realization to sink in, I was surrounded by the cosmetic sales team demanding they make me over, spray me with the latest eu de parfum, or demonstrate the latest MUST HAVE accessory. These sales people are great- or not so great ( depending on whether you are me or Henri Bendel). One perfume, 2 lip glosses and a huge fragrant candle later, I was shown my way to the Elevator which wisked me in a cold dark enclosure to the 2nd floor of the store. Gone are the days of leisurely ascending escalators or steps while shopping, the elevator is my new mode of shopping transportation. On a positive note, it was great to be able to get out with baby, he was quite a patient trooper while mommy shopped and walked and he also even managed to side track the aggressive sales sharks with his dashing good looks and flirty smiles.
All jokes aside, the trip has been amazing - it's great to get to milder temperatures. I'm looking forward to another run in Central Park later today. Happy Running!

Thursday - we were getting in a little Tourism and decided to check out the Top of the Rock - the revamped cityscape tour at the top of the Rockefeller Center. We decided to go straight up to the highest outdoor observation deck. It was a beautiful sunny day and the view was amazing. I immediately started trying to point out the marathon route starting from staten island over the multiple bridges and ending up in Central Park. I was pretty impressed at the distance we actually ran when seeing it from a birds eye view. I am so excited to run nyc again this year with Christy! OK - back to the topic. We noticed there was a "photo shoot" or something going on on the deck below us. My hubby pointed out - "look they're doing a bridal photo shoot or something". I took a peak and realized it wasn't simply a formal photo shoot, but Sarah Jessica Parker and "Mr. Big" doing shoot for their new movie. She was wearing a beautiful full length black dress with Louboutin pumps - she looked so pretty. "Mr. Big" was wearing a black tuxedo, handsome as always. I'll get some photos up as soon as I get them downloaded - it was pretty cool.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

We are headed to the Big Apple this week! Baby and I are tagging along on a trip with Daddy. I am looking forward to running ice & snow free! Anyone know of any great long run routes in Manhattan? I am hoping to get in a 13-15 miler this weekend and a few leisurely runs through the park.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

March 2 - March 8 Weekly mileage: 39
3/2 Sun- Chilly Half or Long run
3/3 Mon -Easy run 8.8 miles
3/4 Tue - Intervals 6 miles
3/5 Wed-Travel NYC
3/6 Thur - cross trail
3/7 Fri - easy run 4 miles
3/8 Sat - rest day (race tomorrow)

Had to sit out the Chilly Half Marathon - Having some issues with my right leg/hip/pelvic area still after the last speed workout and I didn't want to push the envelope. I need to continue doing my Strengthening Exercises and Stretches that the trainer assigned to me. I have been a bit lazy about doing them during the Hawaii holiday and all the travel lately. Since I'm on the subject, I'll give you a little recap of his diagnosis & recommendations (in laymen terms). After returning to running, I was having extreme quad pain and alternating IT Band flare ups, pirioformis pain, etc. I felt like my stride was all wrong and clumsy. After suffering through the entire Carlsbad half marathon Christy pointed out that my quads were flaming red. During the race they became really sore (sorer than the day after Boston Marathon) and I've never experienced pain like that during any race).

I visited Chris Maund at his CHEK studio in Encinitas, California. He took tons of measurements in strength, flexibility, etc. In my own words, the reason for the pain was that I was running with a really odd posture. I had an extreme arch in my lower back (as if I was still carrying the baby in my womb) and my arms/elbows were still flaring out at the sides. My lower abdominal and core muscles are so weak after the pregnancy & delivery, so I was using my quads, hip flexors and other muscles and overcompensating for my weak lower core & hamstrings. The exercises and stretches he assigned to me are geared toward getting my body back into its pre-pregnancy alignment and flexibility. I need to correct the extreme arch in my lower spine and get the curvature in my spine back where it should be. Everything needs to be tightened and pulled in and up. I didn't realize how week my lower abs muscles were until I tried to do those hanging crunches at the gym. I couldn't even do one! This was a huge wake up call for me. I realized that I had some real work to do before I was going to just bounce back to my prepregnancy fitness & running strength.

I am happy to report that my next half marathon (surf city marathon) felt much better. I didn't have ANY quad pain this time. I have to make a mental effort to pull in my lower abs and almost tuck my rear under as I run and pull in my arms. I still like I am a bit out of whack, but I am grateful that I understand the problem and how to correct it.