Saturday, December 31, 2011

I Will Be With You Again (on New Years Day)

Random arbitrary lyrics from a U2 song, but I guess it's kind of fitting.. More on that in the NRR section:

RR Section

I was staying at the Hyatt Dulles for the weekend, so I mappedometer-ed another route for me to take. I was feeling gung-ho about a good run, so I mapped a 5.63 mile route that took me in essentially a big loop around the area. My only issue was.. I didn't satellite image the entire route. In fact, the parts of the route I thought would be okay were not, and the parts of the route I was concerned wouldn't have a sidewalk or shoulder were completely well-equipped for runners. I started out just fine. The weather was amazing.. 14C and I was running with a tshirt and my lululemon yoga pants. I hadn't packed my running tights or outdoor stuff as the weather in Ottawa had been really craptastic and I didn't think it'd be warm and sunny in Virginia. I had to tie a hair elastic around the waist of my pants about a quarter mile into the run... guess they didn't hold up as well with the impact of the running.

I made it to the corner of Sunrise Valley and Frying Pan... started running and BAM! Where the hell did the sidewalk go?! There was no shoulder, and no sidewalk. I was running on the white line with a large embankment to my left side (so I couldn't hop on the grass for an oncoming car). I nearly poked my eye out with branches and twigs and there was some weird grass-like substance clinging to my legs. I kept pushing as I knew a sidewalk would be coming soon, but at that point, I was freaked out. Definitely going to re-route that in future! I was scared to take a wrong turn as well, knowing how that turned out for me last time I was in Virginia. I eventually finished my run, but not without getting on a sidewalk that led to nowhere first (actually, it led to the bottom of a ravine, then abruptly ended... right by a homeless guy's "house"). My time wasn't great... I think it was close to an hour. I did stop to fix my shoes, pants, stoplights, etc. I also was running against a very strong 25-30 mph wind on the way back. Either way, I finished the run so I guess it wasn't a waste.

Now onto the NRR SECTION...

I've bitched about pilot wives in the past and how they go on and on about their husbands, but I think I might slightly join the masses tonight (or at least run the outskirts of them).

I fought freezing rain/hail/sleet/snow yesterday to get on a 2:30 pm flight to Washington. My excellent gatekeeper/keymaster (gate agent) smuggled me down to the gate on a seat on a Chicago flight so that I could at least pray that the hordes were caught up in customs and a seat would open up. After being a part of those hordes for almost 3 years, I caved this summer and got a NEXUS card, and it definitely has helped. I beat everyone through customs by about 45 minutes. There were 4 open seats on the plane and they were going to give me a ticket when they realized that a family of 4 had checked 16 FREAKING BAGS on the plane. Weighing the options, they decided to wait the extra 15 minutes for these people and therefore delay the entire flight and cause on-time people to have tight connections. I, of course, didn't get on the plane... I had to go back out through customs and have my parents pick me up in my car. We went to the slots and I actually won $140 (woo, hotels covered) so it worked out, but it was a huge freaking hassle. I got on the 7:15 pm flight thanks to my wonderful gate agent saving a seat for me. Turns out he didn't need to. This time, there were about 20 people stuck in customs and the crew was NOT willing to wait. Either way, I made it to DC.

I went down to DC to see my BF who is on reserve and wanted out of the crashpad for 2 nights. We haven't spent a New Years together in the 3 years we've been together, so I made a special trip down so that we could spend it together. We had a lovely evening at the Cheesecake Factory and the next morning, I got up for my run.. When I returned from the run at around 1:45 pm, we took a shower, and when we got out, there was a missed call on the BF's phone. Scheduling had called and assigned him a Syracuse overnight for tonight. I'm pissed. Here's why:

1. He didn't fly ALL month. He had to fly tonight.
2. This is the third year we don't get a New Years Eve together
3. We had great plans for the evening including a trip into DC and dinner/drinks out.
4. We had paid for our hotel for tonight (that now neither of us will be sleeping in)
5. I had to hurry up and get ready so we could quickly get food before I had to get a 5:40 pm flight BACK to Ottawa.
6. The boyfriend's plane gets into Syracuse 15 min before midnight so he's spending midnight either at an airport or on a crew shuttle.
7. I got in too late to Ottawa to drive the 3 hours to Syracuse.
8. The weather has also been shitty.
9. The SYR flight was full so I couldn't even go with him.
10. @#@@!%@$

Just really pissed off. Usually, I'm patient with my boyfriend's lifestyle. I'm semi-used to it because I've been involved with aviation my entire life and have the same attitude towards planes that he does. I *get* him and the draw of the industry (and the downsides) and I know better than to sit and whine about his work because I would NOT be pleased if he sat and whined about how I had to do air traffic control on a midnight shift. I'm peeved that his airline is crappy and that he has access to some fantastic airlines in Canada, but can't make use of his qualifications due to legal issues (aka not legally able to work here yet). I'm also not pleased that he commutes. This may have been easier to deal with if I hadn't flown all the way down to DC, paid for hotels, etc. I'm angry because it's 10:16 pm on New Years Eve and I'm writing an angry blog post about this. Usually I can deal but tonight, I really can't.

Let's hope for the best for 2012!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Crimbo Limbo

This is the time of year that I like to call “Crimbo Limbo”. For those of you not hailing from the British Isles, “Crimbo” is slang for Christmas. This is that awkward time of year between Christmas hols and New Years, compounded even more this year by the fact that Christmas fell on a Sunday and Boxing Day fell on a Monday, so I didn’t actually get back to work until today (Wednesday). I’m leaving early-ish on Friday (hopefully) to visit the boyfriend in DC for our very first New Years Eve spent together in 3 years.

Running was a bit dodgy this week. I drove down to New Jersey on Friday night and got to the hotel I’d booked WAY earlier than planned (5 pm). With the weather good and me in fine spirits, I planned to just continue on, but decided to stop at the hotel anyway since I had paid for a room and figured I’d take a quick nap and go for a run. The a/c was making strange clicking noises for the whole 2 hour nap so it didn’t go as planned, but I did get on the treadmill. I was honestly not feeling the run, and cranked out 2 miles before heading back on the road.

Knowing that Christmas was imminent, I went for a run on Christmas Eve. 5 whole miles. It honestly felt great… knees were good, everything was good. I was just not really in that running frame of mind and the treadmill had a mounted TV with dodgy audio, so it made the run feel longer having to watch Keeping Up with the Kardashians in one ear. I did a very quick upper body session on Christmas Day that was supposed to go longer but I was tuckered out from the travelling and the long run the day before, so I packed it in after 30 minutes.

I left late on Monday and arrived at 6 am yesterday morning, so yesterday was a write-off. Today I do plan to go for at least 4ish miles with my cousin. I’ve been eating junk food all week including MIL’s cookies and Buffalo Wild Wings (death), so it’ll be nice to get back on track. My cousin in Scotland will be getting married in February and I have a skintight red dress to fit into by then, so I NEED to get my shiz together.

I’ve noticed that I normally just post about my workouts and I feel that I should offer more to my loyal blog followers, so I’m going to offer up examples of my favourite workouts for other people to try.

Today is the Song Interval Session

I was talking to my boyfriend today about running music and how he makes fun of me that I have about 20 different running-related iPod playlists. One playlist is called “Song Intervals”. I basically create interval sessions based off of songs that I’m running too (fast songs, slow songs, etc). It goes a little like this:

I usually determine how long I want to run for first. Let’s say I want to do a 40 minute run. Each song on my playlist probably averages about 4 min/song, so running for 40 minutes, I’d go through about 10 songs, give or take.

Next, I determine my running speeds and how I plan to divvy up my song intervals. Do I want to increase speed during a fast chorus, or do I want to maintain one speed throughout an entire song? Depending on how ADD I feel that day, I usually go with one speed per song. I pick my speed intervals based on songs.

In a sample workout, I’ll maybe pick 6.0 mph for slower songs, 6.5 mph for mid-tempo songs, and 7.0 mph for fast songs. I have to bear in mind that two or three fast songs could come up in a row (when I set the iPod to shuffle), so I could conceivably have to maintain 7 mph for 10-15 minutes. This is why it’s best to be conservative when picking speeds.

Here’s a sample workout:

For example (just off my playlist now):

1. Drowning by Avicii ft Laura V (slowish – maintain 6.0 mph)

2. Long Way Down by Goo Goo Dolls (fast 7.0 mph)

3. Untouched by The Veronicas (fast 7.0 mph)

4. Drive My Soul by Lights (6.0 mph)

5. Chelsea Dagger by the Fratellis (I call it mid-tempo, 6.5 mph)

6. C’Mon by Tiesto ft Busta Rhymes (fast 7.0 mph)

7. About You Now by Sugababes (mid 6.5 mph)

8. Without You by David Guetta ft Usher (6.0 mph)

9. Bury Your Head by Saosin (fast 7.0 mph)

10. Up by James Morrison ft Jessie J (slow 6.0 mph)

Let’s say each song was exactly 4 min, the workout would be 40 min with an average pace of 6.5 mph, therefore resulting in a 4.3 mile run with 518 calories burned (for me, a 160 lb woman).

Numbers will of course vary depending on the songs and the actual amount of time you spend running, but it generally ends up averaging out.

And all I had to do was just listen to 10 songs :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Many the Miles

Sorry for the lack of updates! It’s been a stressful few days between finishing up housework, finding out that my boyfriend will be here 2 WEEKS earlier than I expected (awesome for us, bad for Anne’s cleaning plans!), more health-related issues and adapting to some changes I will have to make, exams, and finally, an exam and interview for a much-coveted job. I was very grateful to my manager (who was one of the two interviewers) who was very proactive in the interview and made me feel at ease, as the night before and been a mess of emotions and I had that all-too-familiar sore/tired eyes, pounding headache feeling. Not the best situation for an interview, but I made good on my promise to answer all 17 questions (oof) and I think they were all well-done. Fingers crossed for this one… the Tommy & Lefebvre ski sale ends on December 26 and I really want to buy myself a pair with my new massive raise.

Running-wise, well… I was SUPPOSED to go to the Buffet des Continents with my cousin and family on Monday as I will be ditching them at Christmas to be in New Jersey. My dad is very reluctant to accept change, so we ended up at Swiss Chalet (all you can eat buffet vs. 500 calorie rotisserie chicken meal). In preparation for this massive meal, I decided to just “go for it” and run 5 miles. At the end of the day, I’d run 5.3 miles and had done an arm workout. It felt amazing and I was just cranking out the miles nae problem. The only issue was my left knee into my fifth mile. Something to watch out for, but I think some leg strengthening will help with that.

I didn’t run yesterday as I’d only gotten 5.5 hours of sleep the night before and was just in a bad emotional state. Usually I run in those situations, but I was SO exhausted. I was sitting on the couch at 8 pm and was violently shaking from being so cold/tired. My muscles couldn’t even function properly. It was quite distressing, actually. I went straight to bed and woke up today at the usual time (6:15 am). I feel much better today. Unfortunately, I have a work lunch so can’t run then and a spray tan after work. Yes, yes, a dumb reason to not run, but I really can’t sweat/shower for a few hours after a tan! Perhaps I will let it sink in and go for my run around 9 pm tonight. We’ll see!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Stressed Strides

I hit the treadmill again yesterday after taking a few days off from running due to the ankle nonsense. Pushed out a little over 3 miles in under 30:00 (don't know the time for sure as the minutes display on my treadmill was broken). Definitely felt good and gave me some energy to get through the day.

Due to only getting 6 hours of sleep on Sunday night and 5.5 hours of sleep last night, I've decided to skip today's workout and reserve that energy for my brain. Law exam tomorrow and geography exam on Friday. Feeling confident about the former, but the latter is a bit daunting. Luckily for me, I have a very good idea of what to expect on the final in terms of lecture content, so I'm hoping to narrow the scope of my lectures down to what's required. My goal for that course is just to pass it. So far, I have about a B in the class, so it's not like I'm teetering on the brink of pass/fail, but exams still stress me out nonetheless.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Game Over

So, in a disappointing turn, my ankle was in horrendous pain for 24 hours straight. It was so bad that even my massage therapist said that my tendon and surrounding areas were "as hard as a rock". To put it in perspective, for the past year, the pain that I obviously felt on a fairly regular basis was not easy to detect in a physical form on my tendon. There'd be some "knot" areas on the tendon, but it'd usually be okay after a session. This time, it was brutal and I could REALLY feel the pain. Something was definitely going on. Serves me right for not using my brace, I suppose, but it officially meant the end of my AMRWR :(

I took two days off from any exercise and hit the gym yesterday while at the Hyatt Regency in Reston, VA. It's hard to not want to work out there as their gym is kind of amazing. The boyfriend was willing to join me this time, so that was a major bonus! I brought some of my geography notes down to the gym with me and tried to make it through a really awful lecture on global economics. I spent 30 min doing that and burning around 300 calories on the elliptical, and then we quickly did some medicine ball ab work. I'm so proud of my boyfriend for really taking steps forward in his workouts. He was super gung ho for our quick weights session (I had bet him that I'd be ready by 8 pm for dinner, so I was definitely NOT risking that by doing an extra set of bicep curls!). He even was keeping up a 6.5 mph pace for a bit on the elliptical. Obviously different than the treadmill, but I was hovering around 5.5-6.0 the whole 30 min so he was sort of beating me. And so it beginnnnns... must not show him the ways of the runners! I will be de-throned as the "good runner" fairly easily.

Quick workout in the living room with ma doggie motivating me before dinner with the South African cousin visiting!

Cheerio! xx

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Day 8 Wall

So after yesterday's amazing run, I was gutted to feel the twinge in my ankle creep back in during today's easy workout. Shame on me for not using my brace again, but I figured that it's time to wean myself off it (if possible) and build up my ankle muscles again. I don't know if it even would've made a difference, though. I squeezed out 1.1 miles (with the last 0.3 miles being super sore) and then went back to work. On the way home from work, I detoured to my regular gym to do a weights session which felt alright, though the calf raises were brutal. I've "iced" (used a frozen bag of fries) my tendon and added heat to the muscle bellies of my calves, hoping that'll loosen things up. Definitely trying to book in half an hour tomorrow with my massage therapist to see if this thing can be worked out. I'm almost a third finished! THIS WILL NOT BE MY DEMISE.

That said, I ran almost 15 miles this week, so I'm happy with that (considering there were at least two days where I barely made it past a mile).

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

0 to 5 in 26:03

Yesterday was Day 6 of my AMRWRS and I decided to do a "tougher" workout at lunch at work. Given that my evenings are going to be sucked up by studies from now until Dec 16, I really don't have much time to do a long cardio or weights session, so I figured I'd try to burn as many calories as possible in a short amount of time. Bolstered by the fact that Sunday's 2.3 miles felt amazing even up to 7 mph and back down again, I decided to do something wacky and go for 6.0-7.5 and back down (giving me a grand total of 3 miles). I realized around the 18:00 mark that I was WELL on my way to setting a new treadmill PR. I was well into my third and final mile at that point and just decided to give it my all, so I cranked it up from 6.5 to 7.0, then 7.5, then eventually 9.0 for that last stretch. I did my best to break 26:00 but fell short by 3 whole seconds :( Next time!

The run felt absolutely amazing and I was just stunned at how far along my cardio has come since surgery. I'm better than I was BEFORE surgery. That being said, I did feel a bit of pain in my internal surgery spot that I'm keeping an eye on... but I felt good. Legs felt good, tendons felt good... this challenge has just been amazing for me. Two more 3 mile runs and I've hit 20 miles per week without even trying (which is big for me!). I thought 20 mpw was a far-away goal, but I've definitely realized it's closer than I thought!


Monday, December 5, 2011

Day 4 - Making Strides

Yesterday I knew I had loads to do. I got home from Washington and was met by two rooms full of boxes that required unpacking. My boyfriend convinced me to set up the modem right away so we could talk since he's stranded in the crashpad. I had a few modem issues that eventually led to a tech support call which resolved the issue.

This challenge has been a blessing in disguise, really. Yesterday and Saturday were two days that I definitely never would've stepped foot on the treadmill if I hadn't had to do this. Yesterday I was just completely exhausted and overwhelmed, but I knew I had to go work out, so I squeezed in some time before groceries. I ended up doing 2.3 miles, starting at 6.0 and increasing to 7.0 and back down again. I had energy throughout the whole thing and by the time I finished my second mile, I was ready for a repeat! I normally would but I figured I needed to preserve my energy for this week and I really did need groceries.

Speaking of groceries... they're expensive. Especially that "first buy" for the new place. Like holy crap.

Anyway, off to sort and then out to the gym for another workout! Happy rainy Monday, folks!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Days 2 & 3

Soooo Day 2 and 3 of my AMRWRS (yes, I truly feel that this acronym will stick).

Day 2

I don't know what in the hell was up with me yesterday. I find that when I'm under a lot of pressure, I tend to just shut down and not want to do a single thing when about a billion things need to be done. Of course my mind is still thinking about it, so I'm stressed, but I'm not actually doing anything.

I essentially licked (yes, licked) an entire bag's worth of potato chips and then went to bed for 2 hours with my doggie. I didn't actually sleep, so I just lay in bed for 2 hours thinking about how I should be running and/or studying and/or packing. Ridiculous, right? In the end, I ended up getting up around 10:00 pm and going for a run. Believe it or not, the seasoning from Sweet Chili and Sour Cream chips, some homemade low fat brownie, and 24 McCain fries act as wonderful fuel. I had a very solid 3.1 mile run. I honestly could've kept going, but knowing that the movers were coming bright and early in the morning and that I had 29 consecutive days of running ahead of me, I decided not to go all out. I picked up some turkey pepperoni pizza on the way home (can't beat it.. Toppers Pizza... 131 cals/slice in a small) and snuggled into bed with my girly wirly.

Day 3

Today I moved into the new home. Knowing that my parents would insist on continuing to clean the place top to bottom and that I was really no use at assembling the transferred furniture, I just decided to skip town and see my boyfriend (true story). I had some McDonald's chicken which was sort of regrettable in the nutrition category, but made up for it with a salad at the airport.

I was planning on doing a tough run today since I knew that the hotel we were staying at in Washington had a killer gym. We took our usual nap, but some post-nap activities ate up most of my gym time. With dinner reservations at 8:30 pm in Fairfax, I literally only had enough time for my required mile. I went down and ran a relatively fast mile (0.15 mi for wu/cd added), and just did a few reps of weights before going to dinner.

Killed my stomach with Texas de Brazil. So much for the healthy eating thing :( Unfortunately, my stomach has warned me that it is just NOT ready for unhealthy food and I had a repeat episode of a terrible stomachache that I'd had last weekend in New Jersey after indulging in the sorta mother in law's cheesecake. I can literally feel the bile shooting into my stomach which is an awful and strange feeling. I guess it's very good incentive to get my shiz together for healthy eating.

Either way, that was my mile down and I've successfully completed my 3 consecutive days!

Friday, December 2, 2011

It's Fry-day, Fry-day, Gotta Get Down on Fry-Day!

I was listening to Real Radio Scotland at work (as usual) and one of the contests being held at the moment is sponsored by a potato company. I've been craving potatoes ever since I heard the commercial, so I made some of my delicious McCain fries. They look and nearly taste the same as McDonald's fries but without the extra grease (which is good... my stomach isn't 100% after surgery still) and waaaay fewer calories. I believe for 54 fries it's around 150-200 calories? It's amazing. When you count how many fries half a plate is, it still doesn't even get close to 54 so I'm well pleased that my fry craving can easily be satisfied! This is also another reason my boyfriend can't wait to move in... I can make fries, burgers, chicken parmesan, buffalo chicken burgers, wings, etc. "healthy" meals all under 500 calories. Really, I give all of my credit to President's Choice and their amazing Blue Menu options. I don't know what I'd do if I had to move to the States and give up PC products :( Instead of me raiding the US border to go shopping, I'd be raiding the Canadian one and coming back with a trunk full of frozen meals.

Anyway, for running-related stuff...

Yesterday was Day 1 of Anne's Modification of the Runner's World Run Streak (or AMRWRS, if you will). I managed to pump out a quick 3.0 mile run before heading off to Boston Pizza to do some studying (run was followed up with a spinach salad w/ grilled chicken and sundried tomato vinaigrette. Mmm). Since I don't have such rigid time constraints tonight as it's a Friday, I'm planning for a 0.5 -1.0 mile warm-up, then an upper body weight session, followed by 30 min on the elliptical and another 1.0 mile cooldown. I'm hoping to print out a slideshow or two from my 3rd year geography class that I've been ignoring since September in favour for a first year law class (seriously... I lose my perspective sometimes) and study on the elliptical like the "good" ol' days of ATC training.

Back to non-running stuff...

Our house is nearly ready! Movers are coming tomorrow to finally move my crap from my parents' house. It's going to be an emotional day. I have lived on my own before, but when I moved to Toronto, I had a furnished apartment as I was literally day-to-day with ATC training and didn't want to buy a bunch of stuff for an apartment that I may potentially be moving out of before the stuff is even delivered! My boyfriend and I's place is going to be 100% our stuff. It's scary, good, scary good, good scary.... and expensive. Hopefully by next week everything has settled and I can start being normal... just in time to study for exams! At least I'm basically half a mile from my gym!


Wednesday, November 30, 2011


"We're going streaking!!!!"

Runner's World Run Streak that is.

To be honest, I'm not die-hard about the cause... the thing started the day after Thanksgiving (or thereabouts) and is supposed to be a mile a day until NYE. Given that I'm Canadian and don't actually HAVE a Thanksgiving in November (and that I've only run Sunday and Tuesday this week), I've decided to do a December streak. The same goal (1 mile/day for the month), but just 31 days. It doesn't seem like that much and it's obviously not... I sometimes run more miles in one session than I do of a week of one milers, but I'm suspecting that the "off" days that I would normally take will become more challenging. My aim is to use running as my warm-up/cool-down to other workouts during that day. A half mile x2 before/after a weights or x-training session will fit the bill nicely. Expect a daily report!

I was hoping to get some form of workout in today, but I've been battling a headache for the past 2ish days which I'm going to attribute to the low pressure system that's hanging over Ontario right now. It seemed to start up yesterday morning and got bad as the rain got heavier. Of course I'm just grasping for ideas here, but it's an interesting correlation. I think it may also be related to some neck tension I've had lately. Massage scheduled for tomorrow during my workday break, so hopefully that resolves the issue.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Turkey Trot

First and foremost, Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American friends, family, and readers :)

I'm in New Jersey again (like I have been for the past 3 Thanksgivings) and since doing a 5K here went so well last time, I decided to sign up for another race. Half of me wanted to do it since it was a good opportunity to get a final race of the season in, and the other half of me just needed SOMETHING to train for after surgery. I'm glad I did!

I PRed with a time of 28:11, beating my old time of 28:52!

The race course was relatively flat with a bit of a downhill in some parts (and no uphill, which was nice!) but lacked any sort of mile markers or timers so I felt like I was running the race a bit blind. My only way of really knowing how well I was doing was based off of my iPod. I created my playlist with a final time of 33:00 (I had stuck an extra "fast" song in there in case I wasn't feeling one of the other ones) and, after skipping a song, got onto my last song. I knew I had about 4 minutes if I wanted to run sub-30:00 (which was really my goal for this race because it was so close to my surgery). The final song came on as I turned the corner onto the street where the race started so I started pushing it as the song grew. I eventually broke out into a full-out sprint only to realize... "Wait a second, why are people running past the finish line? That IS the finish line, right? Right? Oh crap"... The end of the course wasn't where we first started out. In fact, I had maybe another 0.15 miles left. Not far, but far enough to make you feel like you want to die after you've given it your final push. A few people blew by me on their final push but me and this other guy ahead just did our best to finish as we'd both made the same mistake. As I crossed the finish line, a few other people made similar remarks. Hopefully next year they get that fixed (and add clocks/mile markers along the way while they're at it!).

I think I came in 4th in my age group. I'm not 100% sure what the age group WAS but there were enough people around my age ahead of me that even with various possibilities, I likely still didn't get a prize. Boo. But, with such a good time improvement, I know that I'll be able to maybe shave about a minute or two off by next year. It gives me something to work towards. Another big plus from this race was that I was (I think) running negative splits. My last 2 miles felt a lot faster than the first mile or so and I knew my legs were going pretty quick in the last stretch. I also passed a bunch of people so... either I was running faster, or they started out too fast. Either way, it felt good.

My boyfriend got a good picture of me nearing the finish line. I wasn't looking for them and at this point in the race, I was actually about to die. I pain shooting up all over my stomach and I was pretty much on the verge of collapsing, but I look semi-put together. I'm really glad that he and my sort of mother-in-law came out... they had to hang out in the cold while I was running on Thanksgiving morning... that's a big deal! Though, I did kind of want to punch him when I crossed the finish line after my not-so-big-finish (it was a big finish about 0.15 miles back where I THOUGHT the finish line was) and he said, "Well, you didn't win!". Thaaaanks Captain Obvious! Hopefully at this time next year, he's running with me (and we'll have run a few 5Ks by then together!).

Time for a nice diner breakfast, a nap, then Thanksgiving fun! Enjoy everyone! xox

Monday, November 21, 2011

Requiem for a Run

I was able to sneak my 3.5 mile tough run in at lunch today, so I'm well pleased with that. I didn't time it unfortunately, but it must have been around 28:00. I warmed up/cooled down with 0.25 mi at 4.0 mph so that was factored into my total time of 32:00 (or something). I wasn't majorly concerned with time. Actually, my biggest concern of today's run was music.

My boyfriend has always said to me that I amaze him because I am ridiculously influenced by myself. That sounds a bit strange but I'm one of those people who will absolutely do something if I say I will do it. I can also turn into a major failure with a few doubtful thoughts as well. Music and running have gone hand-in-hand with me and I have had some amazing runs almost entirely because of the music I was listening to. I mentioned in one post about running in Dallas and having "Everything" by Lifehouse playing as I was running side-by-side with my shadow through the parched grass. "Everything" is pretty much the opposite of what you'd want in a running song, but it got me into this crazy mindset that made me feel amazing and for those 5 minutes or so, I felt invincible. For my 5K, I want to be able to perform my best, and music plays a huge role.

In my last 5K, I made a hasty playlist about 20 minutes before the race of a bunch of high-energy songs. They worked well enough, but I find sometimes with my high energy songs that it just becomes too much. I almost tend to zone out and the effect becomes negated. It's like going into a casino and being intrigued by all the noise and flashing lights... it's great and gets you pumped at first, but then after a while you get fatigued, bored, and lose motivation.

I began testing the waters today to see what song combinations would work well for the race. My goal is to run negative splits, so I opted for "Rapture" by Lio as my opening song. The song itself almost runs for 9 minutes, so it gets my first mile out of the way at a steady pace that isn't too fast and won't make me start off like a bat out of hell. The hardest mile for me during any run is mile 2. You don't have the excitement from the beginning of the workout and you haven't traveled enough distance to feel like you've accomplished anything, so I'm trying to beat the mile 2 blues with a few high-energy songs. "All Fired Up" by The Saturdays has been working well for me, as has "Jumpstart" by These Kids Wear Crowns. I also like "Bury Your Head" by Saosin (it's always my first song in a sprint session). "Long Way Down" by the Goo Goo Dolls has a perfect cadence, and "Ruby" by the Kaiser Chiefs makes my run happy. I won't get to run to all of those, but probably at least three of the five will bring me to my final half mile.

For my final half mile or so, I picked the most RANDOM song today. I was running to the usual cardio playlist when I was getting to that bored/almost-there stage and wanted to really push myself. I was running at 6.7 mph which is a fast pace for me considering I've only been able to REALLY run for the past 3-4 weeks. I had joked to my boyfriend that him and his mom need to play the theme from Chariots of Fire as I cross the finish line before, which led me to think about the one song that I've always found strangely epic: the theme from Requiem for a Dream (Lux Aeterna). I put it on my iPod years ago and I always smile when it comes on at work... it makes making maps really intense. So, in my final half mile, I ran to some very epic violins. The climax of the song hit with about 0.1 miles left, so I just kept running past the finish line (of my treadmill). I upped the speed to 7.5 and held the cadence for another quarter mile.

I've found my finish line song.

(Oh and people were complaining I don't have enough pics on my blog so here's me lifting weights yesterday... I thought I looked tank-y but I think it's just cause I have big boobs).

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Tempo Run... Or not

Tonight was supposed to be my last "tough" workout of the training schedule. I was planning on a 6.0-6.7 stepladder to bring me to a negative split tempo for a PR. Unfortunately about 1.5 miles in I had ridiculous stomach cramps that I'm going to blame on a buffet brunch that I had earlier in the day. I hadn't done much moving around between the run and the meal, so I'm guessing it was just kind of hanging out and then decided to cause cramping later on. I scrapped the run as it was getting late anyway and settled with doing a tempo run at lunch tomorrow. I may tone it down a bit as it is nearing Thursday and, given that I'm writing this at 11:30 pm and I wake up at 6:30 am, I doubt I will get enough sleep to really give it 110%.

The plan for tomorrow is the tempo run and hopefully a light legs workout mixed with some lower core while I can get it in. Tuesday it's off due to an MRI and umm... a spray tan (the shame! the shame!).... and then Wednesday I drive down to New Jersey. I'll be getting in around 8 pm I assume, so I doubt I'll have time for a workout (if I do, it's a short walk and maybe some arms). We'll see.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Airline Marathon

The title of the post actually sounds like a pretty neat race! But it doesn't exist, sadly. Damn those imaginary races.

Thursday's session was pretty good. I knew I only had to bang around 2 miles out but I ended up doing 5.8 in what I can only call a long tempo run. It was a terrible idea, really. I had stayed at work a bit longer than I planned and, after basically forcing a co-worker to get a group of people together to go to Moxie's, I had an obligation to go to the bar at 5:30. I had this tiny window of opportunity to run between 4 and 5 pm. I knew I wanted to get in a long run, but I knew I had to give up the "slow" if I wanted the "long". I did 3 sets of tempo increases and got my 5 miles in (the remainder was for warm up and cool down)... it was good but by the last set, I was finished.... big time. Around the 40 minute mark, it was just me and some French lady doing P90X in the gym, so I went all Brandi Chastain in the last little bit. My stomach isn't quite bare-worthy, but I was soaked through my shirt and it was not helping out my chafing situation.

Anne on mile 5...

The good news is that it's the end of my running week and I got over 14 miles in and 2 weight sessions. Next week will be a chilled out week for running as I'm doing my 5K on Thursday.

Now... on to some NRR....

This is a topic that touches me personally, and this will be a major vent. I really do not intend to offend anyone since I know some airline spouse-types read my blog and I know that the primary reason they do is because we all run and the airline thing comes second, so I'm actually not directing this at anyone that I know personally. I found the blogs of a few airline spouses on a complete accident... not because they were going on about their husbands and their husbands' job, but because they were runners. The employment of their spouse took a backseat to their own goals. I applaud that. So, with that discretionary notice aside...

I am sick and tired of these freaking airline wives. I got exposed to this type VERY early in my status as a "pilot girlfriend" mainly because the girl who my boyfriend dated before me was that creepy hangy-on type and she had a bunch of online friends who supported this behaviour. I thought it was confined to this one sort of arbitrary group, but that does not appear to be the case. After scrolling through some blogs Wikipedia-style (where you click one to get to another, to get to another, to get to another, etc), I've found that this is actually fairly common behaviour among pilot wives. The behaviour I'm referencing is this whole, "I'm dating a pilot, therefore I must worship the ground he walks on" thing.

Maybe it's because I work in the aviation industry and have for so long that I just find that particularly occupation to be not-so-impressive, but I am just appalled by any person who lets themselves be defined by someone else. My boyfriend's job does affect my life. I am certainly the only person who goes to England for a night on the weekend at my work. It makes an appearance on my blog only as a passing reference, such as an answer to a question like: "Why was Anne running in Virginia on Saturday when she lives in Ottawa?". I travel a lot as a result of my boyfriend's job, but that's all it is... a result of a job. I look at my boyfriend now the same way I'd look at him if he did anything else. I did not fall in love with my boyfriend because he was a pilot and my feelings certainly would not change if he decided he wanted to change careers.

I am so over women who spend all their free time just basically talking about how important their husbands' jobs are and how everything they talk about is related to them and their lifestyle. I non-rev, but I certainly don't go on and on about it. I may gripe, but I gripe to my boyfriend and I leave it out of the public domain. No one really cares. It's a benefit and as much as I am exposed to the shittiness of various airlines as a result of me doing all this random flying on weekends, these women act like spoiled entitled brats who are just grasping for attention. Army wives, okay, that's something I get, the guy is gone for maybe a year or so. Major effect. But your husband not being home for two or three days? You married the guy. You knew you were getting into this so don't act like it is such a big deal and the world needs to hear about it. It's a unique job and it has its pros and cons, but stop making it the most important thing in your life. Take it as it comes.

I'm tired of women sitting around saying, "Oh, when Dave flies this route, he loves listening to this song. He also doesn't like calling me after flying this route because he gets jet-lagged, poor guy"... are you talking about your infant or something? Honestly. I know a ton of pilots and guess what, a ton are jerks mainly because they get elevated to this God-like status by women who have zero self-esteem and huge dependency issues. I fully respect the plight of someone who has to raise a child with a guy who's away half the time, but get a freaking grip... I'd much prefer to hear someone say, "Well, the hubby was away this week so we did this.. and then I went for a run and carb-loaded for this race and blah blah blah"... that is SO much better than, "He's away. Again. My kids miss him. Like they do. Every week. I'm a pilot's wife. It's so hard. All the time. My life revolves around my husband". Get a grip!!!!

Okay, I'm done with that rant... I've probably ticked off a bunch of people (but like I said, this isn't directed at anyone I know in particular since I generally can't stand this type of person in the first place, so any readers are safe). It probably doesn't make sense to people who haven't met this type of airline spouse, and I'll give credit to the women who just take trips and such as they come and look at their husband as their husband and his job as his job. Why anyone would choose to let someone else's occupation define them, I'll never know.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Waaaaaaaaaaaait a minute...

There's SNOW in the forecast!?

That's all I have to say about that.

Running and Workout Stuff:

Today is hopefully going to be a decent training day. I'm scheduled for an arms workout at lunch and then a long-ish run. My legs were pretty much shot for two days after a fairly difficult legs workout on Monday. I'm not sure if it was the difficulty, the fact that I hadn't done a specific legs workout in ages, or both, but either way -- that shiz hurt!

My 5K pseudo-plan calls for a long run today. I've been half following the plan and half just doing what I can given timings and schedule, but I think I'm going to aim for 5 miles today. It's long, but not TOO long (especially running on a treadmill). The goal is a 5.5 to 6.5 mph pyramid, with a speed increase/decrease every 0.25 miles (10 levels each way = 5 miles). I'll see how the ankle holds up. If things become sketchy, it may just be 4 miles. Either way, I'm hovering at around 9 miles for the week so far, so as long as I complete 1 mile and finish this arms workout, I'll have reached my weekly goal.

The goal system seems pretty decent so far. I checked out the calendar to see how the plan plays out over time and it looks like by mid-February, I'll be hitting around 20 mpw. It seems so close, yet also pretty far away. This isn't accounting for weeks where I don't hit my mileage. If I don't hit my goal, I tack on an extra week to the 4-week intervals. I'm guessing by the beginning of March, I'll be running a consistent 20-25 mpw base. This also happens to be a perfect time to start a 5 or 10K training program for spring races. I know the boyfriend wants to do a few in the spring, and we're still planning on our 50 Races in 50 States goal.

NRR Stuff:

I need to start baking muffins at home and THEN taking them into work. I keep buying cafeteria muffins and, while I deem it "okay" twice a week-ish because I only eat the top, I know they're still far more terrible than my 150 calorie, 3g of fat muffins.

I'm getting hardcore anxiety about the next Month. Between Thanksgiving next week, my cousin from South Africa visiting, packing everything up, moving on December 1, two uni exams, working full time, balancing a healthy lifestyle, and settling into a new place, I feel ridiculously overwhelmed. Not to mention that the boyfriend has been busy getting his stuff packed and shipped on his own, so we haven't been able to do any shopping or planning together. I'm so ready to just be settled into my own place. I love my family but after having lived on my own and then moving back in with them, I'm ready to get out ASAP. I just hate the moving process!

Happy trails! x

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fractured Stress

My weekend > your weekend

It's been a little over a week and the area around my toes/ball of my right foot is still in pain. For a while I thought it was a stress fracture but it really just seems to be the result of wearing unsupportive shoes through airports all weekend. Blah.

I did an easy 30 minute run of randomness last night. It wasn't too bad but I was getting some pain in my right Achilles which became a bother towards the end of the run. In total, it was 2.6 miles on a mostly high incline... probably not what I was aiming for in an "easy" run, but it wasn't too bad. I was still majorly jet-lagged from the fact that I was in England over the weekend. Yeah, over the weekend. Meaning I had about 24 hours to adjust to the 5 hour time difference and then, just as I adjust, fly 5 timezones back.

Today felt even worse jet-lag wise. I went to get some fillings fixed at the dentist and began to fall asleep. You know it's bad when you have the ability to sleep in a dentist's office! After a quick adjustment (that really hasn't done anything to help the pain, might I add), I hit the Snap on Woodroffe. I wasn't quite sure what the workout would bring... for a while, I wasn't even planning on working out, but I'd realized that I'd forgotten my iPod at the gym and luckily someone turned it in, so I wanted to pick it up.

I decided on my negative split/tempo run for a tough workout. Figured another easy run would only make me sleepier, so I attempted to feel gung ho about this run. If I haven't mentioned it, my negative split run starts with me at 5.8 mph, then jumps to 6.0, 5.9, 6.1, 6.0, 6.2, 6.1, etc. until I get up to 6.5 mph with a speed change every 0.25 miles. Today's run went stunningly and, with a 0.25 mi warmup and cool-down included (plus a hard extra tenths of a mile at 7.1 towards the end), I finished with 3.75 miles. I was super pleased with this! I further killed my legs with a leg/lower core workout.

The total for this week is a little over 6 miles with one weights session. I've decided for the next four weeks, I will be doing 10 mpw (at least) and 2 weight sessions/week (at least). I've printed out charts so that every 4 weeks, my goal changes. The next 4 weeks' goal will be at least 13 mpw and 2 weight sessions again (eventually upping it to the 20 mpw and 3 weight sessions I'd like by next spring). It seems like a nice structured, yet unstructured (aka no set running plan) way to stay motivated and hopefully injury-free.

I'm freaking out a bit about the stress my upcoming assignments/exams/moving will have on my workouts, so we'll see how well this whole "plan" plays out.

Might I add that men's washrooms are disgusting. A chick was in the women's one when I went to change, so I went to the men's and did not want to touch one freaking thing in there. I was going to toilet paper the seat to go for a quick pre-run pee and, when I put the seat down, there was dried pee everywhere from previous users. I don't think I'm ready to live with a guy! I was too freaked out and eventually just waited for the women's washroom... which smelled of lovely fragrance and was the epitome of clean. I like my gender.

Happy trails!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Virgin(ia) Territory

I was in Herndon, VA this past weekend. It was fantastic.. flights were good, weather was good, and I got a lot of quality time with my boyfriend which is tough to get in this hectic period of transition.

I was hoping to run the WO&D trail but realized I had no idea where it was relative to a Hilton that was in a random industrial park, so I figured the jog just to the trail and back would've been the longest part of the run and therefore not really worth it. I went down to the lobby to map out a run and decided to do a little out and back from the hotel to the end of Centreville Rd (at Frying Pan Rd). I'm still recovering from surgery and haven't really run anything past a 5K in the past few weeks, so I wanted something "long" but also something that was short enough to not push myself too hard. It was going to be around 4 miles and seemed pretty straightforward. Or so I thought...

I take off wearing my new lululemon tights that have only seen the likes of a treadmill and hadn't gone for their proper road test yet. I was wearing underwear with them which sounds like a fairly common thing but, according to the female runners that I know, it's actually best practice to either invest in an Under Armour thong or go commando. I was about to learn my lesson. Not only do they provide you with hideous panty lines beneath the tights, but underwear LOVE to not stay in place with running tights. And they go in a very not-so-nice direction. By the first 1.5 miles, I threw in the towel with the underwear and stopped at a Burger King to strip off and stuff them in my cardigan pocket for the remainder of the run.

With that minor issue out of the way, I was ready to go. What I didn't realize was that the Burger King was at the intersection of McLearen and Centreville Rds. I was supposed to continue on Centreville, but ended up taking McLearen (thinking I was on the correct road). I'm enjoying the run and pacing myself up and down the hilly landscape, when I stop an intersection ahead of me. I had noted a major intersection before my scheduled turn around point on the map, so I just assumed I was approaching that intersection. When I got to it, I realized I was at the end of the road, and the road was NOT Frying Pan Road -- it was West Ox Road.

Realizing that I must have made a wrong turn and my run felt somewhat short at this point (though it had been 2 miles so the wise decision would've been to turn around), I made a right onto this foreign road, hoping to meet up with my intended route. I spotted another intersection ahead and prayed that it was a road I recognized. When I made it up to the lights, it was not only a road that I didn't recognize, but it was also a dual-lane highway! The highway had a trail running alongside it so I decided to head westbound (or, what I thought was westbound). I could see a set of lights in the distance so I was hoping that road was the correct one (spoiler alert: it wasn't).

This highway was extremely hilly and at times like these, I wish I had a GPS device! Not just for the fact that I was lost, but to track elevation changes! The path dipped down sharply to a stream, crossed the stream, then took what must've been a 60% incline back up the hill. Ridiculous. I finally made it to this next intersection but was again, in unfamiliar territory. I did remark that there was a Snap Fitness and the gym nut inside of me secretly wished that I had brought my pass so I could do a mid-run weights session. There was also a grocery store and a gas station, so I decided it was time to figure out just where in the hell I was. I was pondering making a right down this street (northbound) but wanted to make sure I didn't get even more lost as I had hit the 4 mile mark at this point and knew I was still nowhere near home.

Some kind young guys at the grocery store affirmed that I was going in the right direction and also laughed at my predicament. Thanks. I stopped into the gas station and was really quite pleased with the fact that I had thought to bring a $20 bill in my little zippy section of my capris. I bought some Starburst to load up on a few carbs. Thinking I'd only be out for a relatively short run, I had only eaten a bit of a Clif bar before the run and my energy levels were tanking at this point. I also picked up some water as the waterbottle I had stored in a groundhog hole about half a mile from the hotel was but a mere mirage. I needed some hydration now.

I did my best to enjoy the rest of the run knowing that I was on the correct path but the constant "how much longer" feeling was starting to bother me and I was really longing to get back. I finally made it onto Centreville Rd and smelled (then saw) the Burger King that I had stopped at to ditch my underwear. The remaining 2ish miles felt so quick and I finally made it back to the hotel with the stiffest legs in town.... 7 miles after I left the hotel.

I did a few front/side raises and some bicep curls at the gym, but my plan to do a leg workout was definitely scrapped.

I'm back in Ottawa and plan for a run tonight (short easy one) and some weights. I'm planning to eat a bit healthier this week as I've been dragging when it comes to food and I need to start adjusting my diet. Only 3.5 more weeks until my move-in date for the new home though, so I'm excited and looking forward to cooking for me. I think things will for sure change then.

Happy trails!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Would you like Original Recipe or Extra Crispy?

The showers at my work suck. Not only does the water come out smelling like egg yolk, but the temperatures are extremely wonky. If you set the temperature to around 75 (the water is NOT 75, by the way), it’ll cool off and then scald you, and then be normal, and then go to near-freezing, then re-scald you. I guess it’s their way of helping everyone save water. No one is going to be lingering in that pain stall for long!

I hit the treadmill at lunchtime today to get in a sprint session I’ve been meaning to do. The Hal Higdon adaptation I’ve been doing called for 6X400 m (so, 6 X 0.25) with jogging breaks of equal distance between sprints. Sprints are your goal pace which, for me, is 28:00, so that worked out to be 6.5 mph. Boy, did 6.5 mph feel a LOT easier a month ago! I know that I need to bear in mind that I just had surgery and I’m still even getting some pain from it so I can’t be too tough on myself, but a teensy weensy part of me still hopes that I can PR at the run this month. It’d be nice to go out with a big win.

Either way, I know that by next spring things will be looking up (or down, time-wise). The boyfriend is hardcore motivated to get fit and, the way he does things, he’ll be trailing behind for about a month and then lapping back to get me by the first race.

In other news, I got a new George Foreman grill and a crock-pot for the new home! I’m excited to make healthy foods for us! Especially in the winter. Healthy comfort food is what I’m all about, so I’m really looking forward to getting a kitchen to myself.

Time to actually work (boo).

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween Hunger

I had planned for a 3 mile negative split night to get me running non-stop again. With speeds adjusted for the fact that I recently had surgery near a vital organ, I planned for:

Mile 1: 5.5
Mile 2: 5.8
Mile 3: 6.0

I plan to increase the speed with each week. Anyway, miles 1 and 2 were good, but by the time I got to mile 3, I had a sharp pain in my right side where my gallbladder used to be and had to pack it in again. It seems like this is happening when my heart rate becomes more elevated and I'm running faster (so more jostling of body parts) so I'm going to assume it's just healing as usual. It kind of stinks though. The goal of a PR at the end of the month is becoming less and less attainable. I did eat popcorn a few hours before the run, so I'm going to chalk the other abdominal pain up to GI issues and give it a go again tomorrow with a sprint session at lunch.

So the fat-laden season has begun, and it really started a week ago for me with the frequent appearance of Halloween candy. Between that and me manning the bake sale at work, I've been feeling the effects of decreased exercise and increased unhealthy food! While I haven't gained weight, I've certainly lost muscle and tone and just don't feel 100% like me. My energy levels are down and I just have a general "yuck" feeling. I'm in anxiety mode as the BF and I are moving in very shortly and it seems like there's so much to do and very little time in which to do it. It's still really no excuse to be eating crap food though. I'm very much looking forward to having our own space and being able to make healthy foods again! In the meantime, I'm going to focus on getting ample sleep, not losing my weight training (I need the tone back, dammit), and keeping up with my cardio sessions. It's a lot to do, but a few sessions over lunch hour and 30-60 min at night isn't too much, I don't think. We'll see how it goes. American Thanksgiving onwards is gonna be a shitshow (at least until the New Year).

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Grete Waitz

Grete Waitz was recently featured in Runner's World magazine. I've considered actually getting a subscription since I buy every issue now (especially on days where the commute home is not the easiest), but I really liked this article. Waitz was a Norwegian runner who won the women's NYC Marathon back in the 70s. No one had heard of her and she didn't train for the marathon... she just went out there and ran it. What struck a chord with me was an interview from one of her training partners, who said that she went out there and gave it 110% in every training session. I decided tonight to be like Grete Waitz. I know that I'm not going to run at a goal pace every time I practice (or else it wouldn't be a goal), but I CAN give it something more than "Oh, the schedule says 3 miles tonight... I'm just going to maybe do a run/walk. Something chill. Whatever."

Tonight's run was a 3 miler. I did 3.2 miles in 30something minutes, but that was including a warm-up and a cooldown in there. It was a run/walk and probably my first challenging running workout since surgery. One of my surgery scars felt a bit itchy and, as I approached 6.5 mph, I got a few cramps on my upper right side, but for the most part, it felt good. The 10 lbs I lost (mainly in muscle, I've determined) made a positive difference in my gait and I found that, despite the lack of training for a month, running was fairly easy. The cardiovascular endurance was not entirely there yet, but I will build up. I'm going to start timing my Monday 3 milers starting next week so that I have a good idea of what I can expect from my race.

I've been really anxious lately and tonight's run made a big difference.. if only for the 30something minutes I was on the treadmill. Keeping an eye on my knees in the mirror (it's how I judge my gait) and running with "and it feeeeeels like jealousy... and it feeeeels like I can't breathe" playing in the background, I felt like everything had just come together, if only for that short while. I came off the treadmill completely content with life. Some things are not quite right just yet, but I had a feeling of "everything will be okay" come over me.

In other news, I'm hoping to sign my house lease tomorrow, making BF and I's move-in date December 1st. I'm very excited about the home. I'm not a fan of the streets in that neighbourhood as many people park outside their homes on the road and it makes the street pretty narrow, but we're in a good spot to slip in and out onto the main road. I'm looking forward to spending time in the kitchen experimenting with some neat recipes I've been finding all over the place from Men's Health to RW. Even though I've lived on my own before, I feel like this time I'm doing it as a grown up. I'm a grown up girl with a grown up life in a grown up relationship. Everything just feels like it's clicking together. I sent a text to my BF pretty much declaring my undying love for him which was, admittedly, a bit cheesy and even slightly unwarranted, but inside I feel like I'm jumping up and down going "We made it! We made it!"... I don't find that at specific moments where people should get excited that I become very happy (getting a new job, finishing a race, etc), it's the moments like when I'm driving down the road in a car that I own from a gym where I was training for a 5K, past the house that I'm about to move into with a guy that I am absolutely madly in love with and with whom I have overcome incredible obstacles, to a grocery store where I'm buying lunch for my workday in a job where I get to be surrounded by wonderful people and aviation. There are things in my life that need major improvement, no doubt, but tonight, I was blissfully happy.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Moving Out

It looks like Friday will be the day the lease is officially signed to the BF and I's first place together. I'm excited, yet nervous all at once. In much less substantial moving news, I'm investigating another site on which to host my blog. Apparently some folks are having trouble with the commenting thing and Google not recognizing usernames (plus, I think it's silly that anyone who wants to comment MUST have a Google or related account). I will let you all know if or when I find a suitable place and the new blog address. A bit sad though as I do like blogspot the best, but over the past few years, it's seemed to have taken the corporate monopoly thing a bit too far.

I officially paid my $25 to run in the Green Brook Thanksgiving Trot this year. I'm having a slight case of buyer's remorse as I noticed it was the first annual race meaning two things: organizational issues and chip-less timing are likely. Luckily the race is put together by a group that does other races in the area, so I'm hoping that it'll encourage people to come out, but non-precise times bug me when I'm trying to PR! The chances of a PR are slim to none at the moment anyway because of my surgery recovery, but if I beat my PR by a second, that is something I would like to brag about thank you very much! Even if I time myself from start to finish and it's a PR on my watch, unless it's an official result, I don't really feel so great about it. Even chipped races can be dodgy sometimes. In my last race, the time as I crossed the finish line said 28:46, but the official time was 28:52. Hmph.

I adapted a Hal Higdon 5K program for this race. It's very spotty training as I have 4 weeks vs. 8 weeks. I'm only doing the first 4 weeks of the training cycle and on the day the 5K time trial is scheduled, I will be running my actual race. I doubt this will result in much improvement, but who knows. Because the race is a Thursday versus the normal Sat/Sun race days, the schedule is a bit wonky with my long runs taking place on Thursdays and rest days on weekends. This does sort of work out for my travel-heavy schedule though.

In a build up to my first week of training, I've been hitting the court. I have a membership to a badminton club in Kanata and haven't had the chance to go as the first week of training was the week of my surgery. I made my first court appearance since Grade 11 girls doubles with Rosalie. The court dynamics of a doubles game still throw me off as, for the most part, I was a singles player, but I'm getting the hang of things. My techniques are still pretty decent and it didn't take me long to do backhand and forehand drives with ease. Luckily a lot of the people there are very patient with idiots like me who never play doubles and they were awesome at helping me out. Despite its questionable lighting for badminton purposes, I'll probably stick to Mondays and Thursdays at Earl of March HS in Kanata as it's a 6 court facility. Wednesdays potentially as well.

With all that being said, I am SO sore! I was using muscles I haven't used for a while and my delts know that they're around. Same with my glutes. The height advantage in badminton isn't as great as in tennis so I go into a deep lunge every time I go for a lift. It makes for great x-training though!

Well, another failure of getting to bed early, but I've created a good schedule for keeping on track until schoolwork and such settles down, so hopefully in the coming weeks I can be a bit more disciplined. An 11:30 pm bedtime tonight is still better than a 12:30 am one after all.

Tomorrow is another x-training day for badminton and then I believe its' a 3-miler on Friday. E and D will not be pleased that I'm bailing on yet another run tomorrow at work... though even if I was going to go running, it certainly wouldn't be outside! It's less than 10C out now... no way am I venturing into the tundra to run.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Bitch Came Back

That title was to lure my boyfriend in since he rarely reads my blog (but does like that song).

That was probably a more apt blog title for a post I foresee in a few months referring to an ankle injury, but it was somewhat appropriate. After a few sporadic light cardio sessions between my surgery and now, I was able to hit the treadmill again. I had gone for a rainy and cold walk/run with my Labrador a few nights ago, but only completed about 1.35 mi (according to my Google Maps Pedometer) before packing it in. Aside from the miserably cold weather, my surgery spot still didn't feel quite "right".

I was hesitant on returning tonight as well. I have a lot of now-foreign foods sitting in my body from the past weekend at the in-laws (Egg McMuffin, cheesecake, sausage and meatballs) and was worried about GI issues during the run. I did have some mild cramping in various spots of my abdomen (not near surgery spot) so the running portion of my evening was a tad painful, but it worked out.

In total, I did 3 miles in 38:00. Yes, it's awful, I know, but I'm trying to bear in mind that I'm still in recovery mode from surgery. It's tough running not even 5K 10:00 slower than the 5K I ran last month! In fairness, it was a run/walk and it wasn't awful. It looked like:

2:00 @ 4.2 mph
1:00 @ 6.2 mph

Because of the GI issues, the 6.2 was painful, but surgery stuff felt good and my ankle did as well. I did some light weight training after for all of about 5 min, but have resolved to going back to my actual weight training this week. I plan to re-print my workout plan at work tomorrow, and I'm also in search of a good 5K program that will get me ready for another one next month. I'm planning to run the Green Brook Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day in Green Brook, NJ. I'm not expecting a PR, but I am expecting a good time.

I also plan to go back to lululemon. I'm loving everything I bought there (all $230 of it) and considering my BF is officially moving in within the next 2-3 months and I'm looking at moving into our home in December, I doubt I'll have much money left to splurge on luxury workout clothes. I also need to drop down a size in the stretchy tights. They are perfect for elliptical, walking, or weight training, but even with the hidden drawstring, I found them slipping during my run tonight. Woo for being a size 6 at a yoga store?

After talking to DO at work (initials, not a title), I've also decided that I want to try a marathon. I don't foresee one happening in 2012 with my history of injuries (though a fall one may not be out of the question), but I at least plan to do a few halfs. I've put a Garmin Forerunner 305 on my wishlist for Christmas/birthday which I think will help get me out the door for more outdoor runs and cross training on the bike. I need to take my bike out next year... this year was just flat out sad.

Expect regular updates again! I'm shooting for a 10 mpw base to start right now and build from there.

3 miles down.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Easing Back In...

I've been meaning to update my blog but was running through airports all weekend and never really had a chance to before then. I never thought that the weather 1000 miles away could affect my weekend so much until I started dating a pilot...

I was hanging out on my Runner's World forum and had been reading one of my old issues while recovering and just NEEDED a workout. I considered running but given that my stomach feels like it's being jostled when I walk, I decided to stick to cross-training. My tendons were also a bit tender last week for some reason so I thought the XC plus some weights to strengthen my legs might help (it did).

On Wednesday I hit the gym for a 40 min elliptical session on medium resistance and a slow stride. The little calorie counter with my weight entered said 350 calories burned, so it wasn't that bad. The doctor strictly told me no weights over 20lbs, so I did as many calisthenics and low weight/high rep things as possible. I'm kind of glad I have these restrictions; I've realized that the low weight/high rep may be good to throw in once in a while. I thought it was going to be a joke lifting 7lb dumbbells for bicep curls, but do 30 reps x 3 of those and it's not so much of a joke anymore! Squats and lunges were lovely as well. It was good to be back.

Thursday also worked out quite nicely too. Both days my left knee was a bit sore, so I did some hip strengthening and IT work to make sure things don't get worse. I'm always broken. I was a bit concerned after the workout as my stomach felt like it had a huge bruise on it and was really tender to touch. I decided to take the weekend off from workouts as that was a bit freaky. You sort of forget that when you have surgery, there are internal scars that need to heal. Not knowing what was going on with that pain, I figured I'd rather be safe than sorry.

I'm still not feeling up for a workout. I was on a Harrisburg, PA overnight with the BF last night and just walking from the hotel to the sketchy 24 hr diner (maybe half a mile at most) was painful. Sigh... I was hoping to do another 5K Turkey Trot or something in NJ over the Thanksgiving weekend but I guess that likely won't happen.

On the bright side, we found out that BF's roomies have put an offer on a house, which means he could FINALLY be moving to Canada in the next 2-3 months! Very stoked about that. I'm stressed, happy, and nervous all at once. There's a lot to consider logistically and it's a big step! I'm a bit worried that work will frown upon the amount of time I need off in the next few months though (Thanksgiving since it's not a holiday here, moving day from TX, and then cousin's wedding in Scotland in February). All legit events but not so great when you don't get that nice ATC day-for-day schedule anymore. Fingers crossed for a YYZ course coming up next year for me.

Hope this keeps everyone's interest satiated for the time being! Will maybe do some weights tomorrow or try the bike. Not sure what caused the pain last time so a bit hesitant to do stuff, but we'll see.

- Anne

Monday, October 10, 2011


I had surgery, therefore I didn't go running. Still not running. Update when I do go running.

(That post is for my boyfriend who is mad I stopped updating)

Saturday, October 1, 2011


Okay, so... I'll admit it... I haven't really been the best at keeping up to date with the blog. Mainly because after my 5K, I played some ball hockey with people from work and the random sprinting without a warm-up did.. something... to my tendons and I never really did get a decent run in after that. I saw my physical therapist on Wednesday who helped me out and said that it was mainly a lower calf strain. All of this is pretty much a moot point as I had some of my innards removed yesterday during surgery and I'm on bedrest for a week. It looks like it'll be at least 2 weeks before I can even consider going to the gym, and around a month before running becomes a part of my life again. It's much-needed rest, I would say. My boyfriend has been amazingly supportive of me and has pointed out that this seems to be the perfect time to "start fresh". A part of me heaves an exasperated sigh at the thought of "starting fresh"... yet again. I feel like every few months or so, I'm stuck "starting fresh". This time though, I think he's right. I need to start not too heavy... I'm actually forced into taking it easy, so maybe it'll work.

My plan for the next little while (when I can work out again) is all cross training and 2-3 days/week of weights. I will then integrate running days back into the schedule over the next few months until I'm well, me again. Healthy, strong, uninjured me. Let's see how that actually plays out.

Until then, I'm on painkillers and fat-free foods. At least the diet will be a success.

PS: PRed in Jersey... 28:52.

Monday, September 12, 2011


Today’s run really just threw my whole being into question. I know that sounds a bit heavy for a lunchtime jaunt down Limebank Rd, but lately I’ve felt like I haven’t been able to keep up with things in life, or rather, taken on too many challenges. I love to challenge myself and in running, I’m no different. Today I realized that running is the one thing that I don’t want to ruin by making it another challenge. I want running to be my escape and, while it serves that purpose now, I don’t want my thoughts all day to involve running. I don’t want to feel like I have to finish 5 miles by the end of the night for things to be good. I want running to be the one place in my life where nothing truly matters.

I’m sort of second guessing my thoughts about this new change in my way of thinking. I have to have goals – even on just one run. But I don’t want there to always be a date, a time, a record to strive for. I keep thinking back to my days of aiming for military times. I said “one day, I want to run this time” and I worked towards that in any way I could. I made up fun little interval training exercises and I craved running. It wasn’t something I felt I had to do. I was thinking, “I can’t wait to get back on that treadmill and run tonight!”… I think it’s about time that I chill out a bit and mix it up. I’m definitely making sure that x-training happens this week and I am for sure sticking with my run-xtrain-run-xtrain-rest goal for the week. I still plan to run a 5K or 10K here and there, and if one day I feel like running the half, I will. I just feel that for now, training is leading to injuries, which is leading me to not run, which is leading me to misery!

I haven’t really come up with a goal for training yet. How do you have a goal for goal-less training? It’s so foreign to me to go into something without a plan. I guess my goal right now is to make every treadmill or outdoor session its own. I just want to run a few times a week for not more than an hour and just run how I feel like running that day. If I’m bounding with energy, it’ll be a sprint session. If I’m craving something chill, maybe a long slow one. Exhausted? Recovery run. All I plan to do is record my times for every run and my distance. Hopefully over time I see a trend of getting faster/having more endurance.

And maybe I’ll check out those Marines times.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Every Day I'm Taperin'

Well it's that time already: taper week for my 5K in Plainfield.

To be honest, it feels like I've been tapering for a few weeks. Between the injuries and consistently tweaking my base mileage, things haven't gone exactly as planned. I'm up 3 lbs from my low weight a little over a week ago and while I want to place the blame on some PMS bloating, I just don't feel like the hardcore hot running chick I set out to be. I'm going to do my best to maximize the good eating this week as I am still going to a wedding and no one likes the little pregnant belly bulge from being bloated.

I did have a really great run on Thursday night though. It was a beautiful night and I considered doing a trail run, but it was getting dark so I did an out and back from my home to the Sportsplex at Hunt Club and Woodroffe, and back home again for a total of 5 miles. I got my dad to join me on the run (which was a good move as the trail goes through trees for a bit and gets very dark). He used to run a lot when he was younger but his joints are getting the better of him, so he became my bicycle waterboy. I maintained a great 6.0 mph pace the whole way through and was shocked that I was able to converse freely for the entire run. I was happy that, while I haven't noticed a lot of physical gains (other than a little less leg cellulite, which is a good thing), I have definitely gained in terms of endurance and speed. I recognize now that my downfall is my eating habits, so I plan to work on that. Step 1: Activia desserts. Holy crap. Amazeballs.

The plan for the taper week is to get my last run in by Wednesday. I'm hoping to hit the elliptical tonight for an easy session, though not sure if it'll happen thanks to an upset stomach. Monday will be a lunch run day (4 miles), Tuesday is x-training, Wednesday will be another lunch run or a sprint session, Thursday is x-training, Friday is rest, and Saturday is the big race!


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

New PR

Tonight was going to be one of those write-off nights. The ones where you plan on having a killer workout and then it slowly evolves into a 20 min walk on the treadmill, if that. I was determined to not let the cardio slide, even though the plan for weights did.

I chose to do 0.25 mile repeats: 1/4 mile easy (5.7-6.0 mph) and 1/4 mile goal pace (7 mph), until I reached 3 miles. It's not an all-out kill-me-now sprint, but it's a pace I want to maintain one of these days and I want to build up to it the way I always do... starting out 50/50 with goal/easy, then eventually making that 75/25, 80/20, 90/10... you see the picture. By the end of the first mile, I still had a full tank of gas and felt like I had been only running for a few minutes. That's because I HAD only been running for a few minutes. I was averaging a 9:40 pace out of the gate. With a goal of mine being negative splits, I figured there was no time like the present to start it. I upped my easy pace from 5.7 mph to 6.0 mph for mile 2. At the end of the mile, I had this surge of excitement; I knew that I was on track to a new training PR. I held the 6.0 mph easy pace, and added another 0.2 mph to my original 7.0 mph tempo. I also cut my easy period to 0.20 miles instead of 0.25 for an extra kick. I sprinted my legs off and at 2.8, slowed down to my easy speed for the last 0.2 miles. Knowing how close I was to the end, at 2.9 I upped the speed to a very fast (for me) 8.0 mph and went all out for that last 0.10 miles. If I had done this only a few seconds earlier, I would've ran 3 miles in 28:00, but I am still EXTREMELY pleased with my new time of 28:10. This is an incredible pace for me... I didn't know I was capable of running ONE mile at that pace, forget 3. I am so proud of myself and I know that if I only had one mile to run, I could EASILY get it into the 8:00s. Progress!!

Also, I hate IT band rollers. They are so awkward and boy do they freaking HURT on a tight IT band. They are a necessarily evil, but I still wish I remained that naive runner I was a few years ago when I'd peruse forums and see all these poor people complaining about IT band injuries. It seemed so common, yet I had no idea where it was. Let me just say, I know now.

Tomorrow is an easy x-training day. Planning for a 30 min row at the gym at work tomorrow, though I have a bocce game so it may have to wait until the evening. We'll see if I can drag my butt into work 15-30 min earlier tomorrow to give myself that extra time.

Night! x

Running in Reston

This weekend was sort of interesting workout-wise.

I was supposed to meet my boyfriend after his flights on Sunday in Dulles, VA at around 9:30 pm, but elected to take an early flight as I just don't trust his airline in Ottawa when there's rain or storms in the forecast (this was a good decision -- another runway excursion happened with my would-be flight that evening). I was thrilled that the Hyatt Dulles had a nice pool and gym and planned to take a much-needed nap and then go for a run/lifting session, but as I was flying in, I thought, "This would be a cool area to explore on foot". I texted one of my boyfriend's coworkers who is a serious runner and asked about decent running routes in the area. He told me about a paved trail that goes down an old railway line. When I asked how to get to it from the Hyatt, he said that he and a buddy were going to bike it today (it goes all the way into DC and out to Leesburg) and said I was welcome to join in. I jumped at the chance of training with people who were fitter than me as I knew it was their "easy" day (which is my hard day) and it was only a 20 mile out-and-back. It also gave me the chance to do some cross-training, which I've been yearning for. The other guy was training for a triathlon, so we planned a 4 mile run after the bike.

Biking actually felt awesome and I'm sad I haven't done more of it this summer. I was able to keep up the entire time (save for the last stretch which was all uphill in high humidity... my Canadian lungs gave up) and knew I'd had a kickass workout. After rehydrating and refueling with 2 bottles of water and some GU gel, we hit the same trail for the run. The run was shortened to two miles as it was just way too hot to go any further and I think we all had pushed it a little too much. My first mile was at a 9:30 pace, which shocked me after doing 20 miles on a bike and running in very high heat and humidity. The last mile was easy walk/jogged back.

All in all, it was a solid workout and gave me the confidence that I can go for multidisciplinary sessions at the gym. Tonight I'm aiming for a 20 min elliptical and 30 min sprint/speed session, with an upper body weights session in. Food today has been sluggish. I lacked protein all morning and kept eating high carb foods (bagel, muffin - though homemade and low fat, baked potato). I'm currently munching on some low fat flaxseed chicken which is my first decent protein fill of the day, and I plan to get some rotisserie chicken and salad tonight for dinner.

Was supposed to go to EFL tonight and play hockey afterwards, but training was cancelled and so was hockey, so... I'm on my own! No worries. This weekend really helped me prove to myself that I can keep up with the best of them and I'm not as out of shape as I feel I am. I don't feel like I have to bullshit when I talk about my paces or what I can do. I'm proud of myself.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Hope Now

(That song has been stuck in my head since I played it during my strengthening session tonight, and felt the title was somewhat appropriate)

So here I am with various points in my legs tingling from the application of some sort ayurvedic balm (basically, tiger balm). I'm starting to lose hope on my tendons at this point and, since I didn't feel like taking an ice bath at 2 am, I've decided to try any and all cures. I went to a reflexology appointment a few days ago courtesy of a cheap LivingSocial deal and this was recommended to me and I was given a free sample. We'll see what happens.

Tonight I ran 2.1 miles. Actually, let me rephrase that. Tonight I ran, jogged, walked, stumbled, struggled, and agonized through 2.1 miles. Obviously something in my body was shocked awake when I started doing the half training and it has brought back every tendon injury I've ever had in the past decade, and then some. Achilles, peroneal, IT band... they're all furious. Reviewing my log from the past month, I can perhaps see why. I took a couple of weeks off from exercise in general after being prescribed medication that made me a nervous wreck. I actually developed a fear of losing weight and going to the gym. So you can see how that would be an issue. When the drugs finally started getting out of my system and I got back on the treadmill, I got addicted to that runners high and ditched the cross-training that I had been accustomed to for the past couple of years and stuck mainly with running. Problem right there. All those extra muscles that had been strengthened were now getting weaker and weaker. A one mile/week increase is not that bad, but I don't think my body was as ready as my mind was for training.

All that being said, I've come to the conclusion that once I get back in the game injury-wise, I'm planning on focusing more on fast hill or interval workouts and less on the LSR stuff. I've found that while my endurance has been great, my strength has gone way down and I believe that's why the injuries are coming back. Before, I was running a 9:00 mile pace and now, my times are 10:00 at best, just longer. I hope to aim for about 3 days/week of running (one or two interval/hill sessions, one long run not to exceed 45 min), with 2 days/week of cross training. There will obviously be tweaking in there... Running is the most accessible sport, so if I'm doing at the boyfriend's place, I don't mind swapping a x-training night for a run around the apartment blocks. The fact of the matter is that my strength needs to improve.

I'm trying to think of tangible goals to reach. I do want to go back to 1 mile increases, though I may increase every 2 weeks. I do, however, want to focus on times as well. 30:00 at 10 min miles is a 3 mile run, but 30:00 at 8 min miles is almost 4 miles. My distances will naturally increase the faster I get. Plus, I do want to run this half in a respectable time and not just "complete" it. My old goals from back when I was 14 are possibilities... setting a goal to run as fast as male Marines is pretty good and would force me to do speed work, which I'm not a big fan of.

I'm thinking that for running days, I'm going to warm up for the run on an elliptical/bike/rowing machine for about 10 min, run, then cool down for 10 min on something else. That way, I can continue building the x-training into the workouts. In the end, I need to see increases in both endurance and strength, but I'd prefer a gradual one for both, than a huge one for only one of them and a decline in the other.

Either way, there is definitely going to be some major restructuring when it comes to my workouts and running. The mileage increase is being scrapped for the moment, partly because of surgery and partly because I want to feel 100% going into training. I may consider looking at a 10K plan and running that for the time being just to have some structure to my workouts.

We will see where this leads. I'm cautiously optimistic.