Thursday, January 26, 2012
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Monday, January 23, 2012
I completed Week 3 (aka Week 2-1) of half marathon training this week, and I’m steadily on schedule to complete Week 4 (2-2). The current schedule is working out just fine so far. I did an extra x-train day yesterday (Sunday), which was a scheduled rest day, but it was just an upper body workout with no cardio, so it shouldn’t have a negative impact on running. In fact, the only thing that seems to be negatively impacting my running is my diet. I’ve had far too many “cheat days”. I was hardcore frustrated a few nights ago that I really just felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere in this “shaping up” process. I’ve lost about 5 lbs over the course of a year (and really, that was only triggered by getting an organ removed). I thought I was doing everything possible to lose weight – after all, I eat healthy ALL the time… right? I noticed last week that in one day, I had 4 desserts. If you know me, you know I enjoy a good smorgasbord vs. one big piece of something, so it was half a cookie from a guy in the office, half a muffin, a small slice of (rich) cake, and a few pieces of chocolate. I’ve also had an insatiable onion ring craving, so even 10 of those is a massive setback. My mileage has barely increased right now… I’m probably burning an extra 500 calories/week at most and just can’t afford to have 4 desserts in one day… even if they’re little ones! I’m hoping to become a bit more aware of my eating, especially with my cousin’s wedding 2 weeks away. One massive advantage of going to Scotland for a wedding is hill running! I think that might offset some of the wedding cake.
On to the negatives… the shoes. As I mentioned in a previous post, I bought a new pair of Saucony Progrid Echelons last week. They’re the exact same as the ones I currently own, so I figured they wouldn’t have any issues. I took them for a spin on my long run on Saturday and was shocked to feel that my left foot felt like it was halfway over the sole of the shoes, spilling out into the narrow arch area. Basically, the inner wall of the shoe was supporting my arch (rather than the shoe). I hadn’t realized that over a year, I’d broken in my shoes to the point that I was running on the inside of it, and not the actual shoe. I also became hyper-aware of the outer part of my right foot (where the pinky toe is) was pressing against the side of the shoe. I realized that this just wasn’t going to fly and I either needed a wide, or a different shoe. Unfortunately the Running Room doesn’t carry wides in 10.5 mens in the Echelon. The guy at the store suggested I bring them back and try out a New Balance one (which I think I tried and didn’t like last year) and an Asics one. If there’s still no luck in there, then they’ll order me a wide.
Here’s my major dilemma:
I had orthotics prescribed to me a few months ago. I tried them out and the left one is definitely just way too strong. I gave up and just continued running in my neutral shoes with only inserts akin to Smart Feet in my shoes. My peroneal injury has gotten WAY better since I stopped running with orthotics (I had older orthotics that I ran in up until 2010). I get “creaky” here and there (sometimes tight calves or glutes), but I haven’t had a nagging injury that’s put me out of commission in almost 2 years.
Do I get my orthotics fixed and THEN buy a new pair of shoes? Or, do I just give up on getting orthotics that work (it’s taken 5+ years to find anything and nothing’s been successful), and maybe look at more supportive shoes?
I’m going to give the orthotics one last try since they felt “almost” right. If there’s no dice, it’s time to retry stabilizing shoes!
Friday, January 20, 2012
Made a few purchases recently in terms of workout gear. The biggest was a new pair of Saucony ProGrid Echelon 2s. These are the same ones I've been running in for a good 1.5-2 years and, while they're not quite perfect in terms of foot shape, they've kept my injury rate going on a steady decline. I didn't realize just how badly I needed a new pair until I took a look at the treads on my shoes and compared them to the new pair at the store. Eesh.
My second "major" purchase was two more pairs of the Saucony Ignite split shorts. Split shorts are hit-and-miss with runners, particularly females. They're very short and they expose right up to your liner line mid-stride. I love them because they give me a lot of freedom of motion and don't bunch up in the front like other styles do, but they're not great if you're self-conscious about showing a little too much leg. I really only consider these a major purchase because I had to ship them to Ogdensburg, NY. I literally could not find one Canadian retailer who carried them through the winter (Running Room had them, but only in the summer), and every US store I tried refused to ship to Canada. So, it's a great deal, but I do need to drive 45 minutes to get there. Still, they were nearly $40 when I bought my pair in-store, and they were $19.99 each this time around, so even with a bit of gas money and the bridge toll, I'm still getting my savings in!
Ta-ta for now!
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
I shockingly nearly stayed on schedule this weekend. I kicked my long run over to Sunday instead of Saturday, which left me in fear that the rest of the week wouldn't work but it seems to be unfolding nicely. I likely won't be able to do the Sat/Sun flip for long runs as time progresses (without really messing up stuff), as I had to run 4 miles Sun ("long" run), 3 miles yesterday, x-train today, 3 miles tempo tomorrow, 3 miles on Thursday. Luckily today is my x-training day, so it will be elliptical at, like, 1 mph. After a very, very long nap.
Already onto Week 2-1... yikes. Last week's mileage total was a fairly decent 13 miles (if you include Sunday as "last week"). This week will be 14 miles, plus a tempo run.. but I always end up running at near-tempo pace when I'm doing 3 milers. They're too short for me to get into that zoned out frame of mind, so I just want them over ASAP, which always makes me run them too fast. Yesterday I ran about a 29:00 3 miles and that was my slowest all week, and that was 90% due to the fact I had just run a long run the day before, and my work gym has no fans or air circulation, and had 8-9 people in it (it's not very large in the first place). It was a good 25-30C with a humidex factor in there I'm sure.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Wednesday: 3-5 miles tempo
Thursday: 3-4 miles
Monday: 3 miles
Tuesday: Cross Train
Wednesday: 3-5 miles tempo
Thursday: 3-4 miles
Sunday, January 8, 2012
Thursday, January 5, 2012
I’m doing it! The Ottawa Half Marathon.
While at work yesterday, I was checking out some Hal Higdon plans and realized, hey he has a Novice II plan! I was a bit nervous about jumping into the half marathon because the Intermediate program was a bit too much for me (and my ankle), but the novice was just toooo novice. This one is perfect… the mileage for most of the week ranges between 3 and 5 miles per run, excluding the long run (which starts at 4 miles in the first week and goes up to 12 miles in the last week). It’s a 12-week program, but because the race is in May and I have a busted ankle, I’ve decided to turn it into a 22-week program. I’m repeating each week (Week 1-1, 1-2, 2-1, 2-2), so I can build up my mileage relatively slowly. I think the training only peaks at 25 mpw anyway so it’s not an intense program, but this scheduling seems to work perfectly. The scheduled “5K race day” actually falls on March 17 this year… St Patrick’s Day! There will definitely be a race that day! I’m excited.
I’m all paid up and Week 1-1 was officially this week! It’s going to be amazing. Very excited and plan to keep everyone posted on each day of training! Given the fact that my half race time in 2007 (on a very fresh tendon injury) was 3:30something, the fact that I plan to beat my old time by over an hour is awesome. I look forward to taking my training to the next level and look even more forward to documenting the results!
They’ve changed the course since the last time I ran it, so I’m interested to see how this goes. I’m slightly disappointed as the canal route was great. For those who don’t know Ottawa, the canal is absolutely gorgeous, and even more beautiful in May during the Tulip Festival. The new route takes us through hipster town (Westboro) and over to the dingy Quebec side. Running across the bridges might be kind of interesting, though. Not sure why they had to change the route… I do recall though that the last half course involved going up a set of stairs (from the road that runs along the canal up onto a bridge) and doing a loop through an NCC parking lot. Here’s the course map:
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Yesterday was going to be a 4 mile song interval session at the gym with 6.0-6.5-7.0 intervals. Unfortunately, by the 2nd mile, my legs were just dragging. I pumped out 3 miles (which was all I could do time-wise as I had a dinner date with my cousin and had to get home and shower before the restaurant actually closed). The whole session was a bit discouraging as I had attempted a run on Sunday as well, and my legs were just not working then either (though, that was after Saturday’s long run). Some changes are required…
- In terms of running, I’ve resolved to vary each run and put it under a specific category. LSR (long, slow run), easy, normal intervals, hard intervals/sprints, tempo. I may not get to run 5 times/week and use up all the categories, but I’ve figured that in order to improve and also not tire myself out, there needs to be some framework around which I build my workouts.
- Cross training. I honestly have a very difficult time trying to force myself to cross train, but at least once a week, I do want to step on the elliptical. Even if I warm up or cool down on the treadmill (or do a 30 min/30 min split between the machines), I need to train muscles that aren’t being used while I run. I’m on the hunt for a spin class.
I’m looking into Greco Lean & Fit for strength training. I’m worried that the whole program will be a massive money suck, but I did notice that kettlebell programs are offered, which would be pretty cool. For those non-Ottawans, Greco’s started out in Barrhaven (and I have a few friends who started with the original karate class – at the time, the owner, Tony Greco, mainly did martial arts). Greco’s has expanded to a few locations in Ottawa, but Tony is most known for training the Ottawa Senators for their off-ice workouts, and most notably, my ex-future husband, Mike Fisher. I’m super jealous of the friends that got to hang out with him at the gym. Either way, the location is right by our house and offers 6:00-6:45 am classes that I could take en route to work in the morning (also has 3:00 pm classes that I can’t imagine will be full).
Just hoping the classes aren’t TOO full with all those New Years Resolutioners…
And in race news…
- Perth Kilt Run. I’m almost 100% certain that the BF and I will be running the Perth Kilt Run this year (http://www.perthkiltrun.ca/). It’s 5 miles, which is a good distance to train for (shorter than a 10K, but a bit longer than a 5K), and it supports an MS charity, which is near and dear to the BF’s family.
- Ottawa Race Weekend. The ½ Marathon and 10K are open right now (both sell out fairly quickly every year). I’m certain I will be running one of them, but hesitant to pick one and then regret it later. I would really like to run the half and I know I’ll kill my old time by at least an hour (3:30 half marathon… yay for 200 lb, out-of-shape Anne who decided to run a half marathon after not running for 1-2 years and doing a 2 mile “training run” the day before the race and thinking it was a “good idea”). At the same time, I am
a bitvery injury prone, and while I feel comfortable running a beginner-to-intermediate running plan and preparing for the race, I’m worried that the increase in mileage may result in some ankle failure. Also, I prefer evening races and the 10K takes place Saturday night vs. Sunday morning for the half. Guess we will have to see!
Planning on a legs and core session at lunch today, then an “easy” 4 miler after work. Tomorrow will be a cross-training day.