Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Update on progress towards 10k

So my goal of running 10k slipped away from me.

Since posting about my first full 10k training run in years, 10k became a regular event.

Finished off a 10k clinic with a made up race in downtown Halifax in the bitter cold. Was awarded the coolest medal ever made by a virtual strangers Dad. (That stranger is now my regular running partner).

Decided that the MEC Citadel Highlander 10k where I could run the usually inaccessible ditch and the ramparts of Citadel Hill would be very cool. It was a great run, my fastest ever, but a competitive one where my fastest was nearly dead last!

My winter training was geared toward my second attempt at the 10k Bluenose run, with the 13k training run down in Disney World the week before. I was 14 minutes faster than my first attempt in 2008. Amazing what dropping 60lbs can do!

Got hooked on the United by Running series. There was a Sole Sisters women-only 5k. The Maritime Race Weekend Tartan Twosome challenge. That was great. A little 5k on Friday night and a lovely 10k on Saturday morning. Too bad I slept in and nearly didn't get to run at all.

I ran on the ocean floor at Not Since Moses. That might be a once in a lifetime run for me. But it was incredible to run, slip, slide and walk my way 'under water'. Check out the map. Where we ran is normally under many feet of water.

Somewhere in there I got persuaded to take the Half Marathon Clinic at The Running Room.

That's where crazy really kicked in. A 10k training run that finished exactly as the 10k Sackville Sneaker Shredder started to make a LSD total of 20k run.

There were truly amazing accomplishments for me. Like running 127km in September, which topped the all-time high of 112km in August. That's more than double my average monthly kilometers since I got back to running.

More than once in my life running 1 minute was a struggle. If I can get here? You can, too.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Half Marathon: The @snowflakesport training schedule

 This is the plan. How to prepare for your first 1/2 marathon by @snowflakesports

Week Tuesday Wednesday  Thursday Saturday Sunday
4 4k 3k 3k 3k 9k
5 4k 3k 3k 3k 10k
6 4k 3x400m hills 4k 3k 10k
7 4k 4x400m hills 5k 4k 12k
8 4k 5x400m hills 6k 4k 14k
9 4k 6x400m hills 6k 5k 16k
10 4k 7x400m hills 6k 5k 16k
11 4k 8x400m hills 7k 6k 12k
12 4k 9x400m hills 8k 6k 18k
13 4k 4(2x400m + 1x400m track) 8k 6k 18k
14 6k 8(2x400m + 1x400m track) 8k 6k 20k
15 6k 10(2x400m + 1x400m track) 8k 6k 6k
16 6k 6k off 3k 21.1k
Thursdays - optional
Sunday - LSD (8min/km)
Speedwork - 400m in 2:30 x 2 or  800m in 5:00 followed by 400m walk

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Half marathon: @snowflakesports advice

The advice on my half marathon training from @snowflakesports was bang-on. Here's what worked for me.

On how often to run

  • Run three times per week: You'll finish standing up.
  • Run four times per week: You'll finish standing up and you'll hit your goal time.
  • Run five times per week: You'll beat your goal time, finish with a smile, but your life partner will have left you.

On the speed to run

  • The Long Slow Distance (LSD) run, usually on Sunday, should be completed at 60 to 90 seconds slower per kilometer than goal pace.
  • The only time you run faster than your race pace is during speed work. But it's about consistency. Each lap time should match the previous and future lap times of that training session.
  • Steady runs aren't helpful. Do your intervals.
  • Lock in on practicing race pace for the final week of runs.
On hill training

  • Smile!
  • Stand up straight.
  • Shorten your stride.
  • Don't look down.
  • Run up the hill each time at a consistent pace. Walk down the hill.
It's good advice. I'm still following much of it. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The sneaker hunt

My visit to a wonderful fast talking podiatrist has an initial diagnosis of a messed up foot due to running and wearing shoes that are too narrow, have a heel and no cushioning under the ball of my foot.

The first attempt to fix my foot problems is to buy a shoe that fits the foot as measured.  So my 9.5 Nike's need to be replaced.  (I have 3 pairs, 1. worn out and used for walking 2. wearing at the gym and 3. dedicated to running on my treadmill).

My foot is measuring an 8.5 E.  Yep. An E. That leaves almost no options.

Stores I've tried to shop at?
  1. Soles in Motion (Burnside)
  2. Oh My Sole (Young St, Halifax)
  3. Running Room (Halifax)
  4. Running Room (Bedford)
I've lost track of the shoes I've tried on. The number of them I brought home to run on the treadmill.

And now, the three pairs I mentioned earlier, are all worn out.

In the end, I've gone back to Nike that have a wider than average toe box. They have nothing to constrain the foot near the ball. Soon to be re-laced to minimize the pull across my foot. Coupled with compression socks that keep swelling to a minimum during runs and orthotics that might be helping.

My new shoes are very pretty.

I'm going to be happy wearing them. 
Not everything can be perfect, but these are more than good enough.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Eating normally

When you're all done Optifast 900, you have to learn how to eat normally.

So what is normally?

For me, it's been bouncing back and forth between healthy eating and calorie splurges.

Consistency is key to the healthy eating.

Breakfast is pretty standard. Fibre 1 cereal with milk, sliced almonds, and berries - all measured.
Weekday lunches are a breeze. A giant spinach salad with protein on top. No dressing, but lots of berries and fruit plus whatever veggies seem appropriate.
Dinner can be a full range of options. Great options are veggies and salmon. But sometimes those choices aren't  easy. Eggs and toast with fruit sides are a standby quick choice. I try to avoid meals with no veggies and fruits.
Snacks are almost always almonds and fruit.

Weekends, events and other activities throw a wrench in the consistency. Eating with my extended family is a sure way to get me off track - sometimes for a whole day! A super active day or the miserable aches and pains that come with pms make it hard to make good choices.

Tips that help me include avoiding refined carbs until supper or later and keeping protein at about 30% of my total calorie contents. Also, eating sugar or refined carbs seems to just make me want more of both.

Consistency matters. Protein counts. Sugar and carbs are hard for me to control.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Being proud

It's hard to feel proud of losing weight on Optifast 900. It didn't feel like work. When I'm losing weight by making healthy food and exercising daily I'm very proud of myself, but this was different.

Add in the comments and compliments, and it gets a little complicated.

Comments that haven't been helpful? Being called "the incredible shrinking woman" when I'm already into the up-and-down, day-to-day struggle of maintenance. "Wow, you look great", comes with the silence that you're supposed to fill with an explanation.

It's worth knowing what your response is going to be. I started filling in the blanks with things like, "I'm doing this bat-shit crazy program..." Now I'm more likely to say thank you and try and move the conversation along.

But there is one compliment that I loved, and I'll be using it to appreciate others efforts. "You look like you've been working hard", came from a friend that I hadn't seen in over a year.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

I did it! I did it! 10k

For the second time in my life I've made it from 30 seconds of running to a full 10k. Today I did it.  I ran my 4th ever 10k+ distance.

I ran 10k. 
First time since May 2008. 
That's 1372 days or 3 years, 9 months, 1 day since my last 10k. 

Better yet, I'm faster! In 2008 my fastest 10k was 8'04/km, my other three were over the 8'30/km mark. Today it was 7'46/km. My goal is to get to 7'00/km, at least for my short runs. 

Now injuries might get in my way. There are some IT band issues that are slowing me down. Today was an out-and-back course. My knee started to feel a bit questionable at 4km and around 6.5km I was in some amount of pain. It seemed to be far worse just after my walk breaks, but if I could run for 2-to-3 minutes the pain in my knee eased up some. But I'm not letting that be an excuse. Good physiotherapy is going to keep me going. I'm very confident.

Bluenose 10k is my goal!