Pre-race Jitters and Summer Maintenance Planning

I haven’t really been updating since not much has changed for me weight wise, been holding in the low/mid 150’s I keep snacking, its an issue but I’ve just been so hungry! All the running I think, need to adjust my meals a bit but I’ve been lazy.

I have another half marathon this Sunday, it’s my big race of the season. I originally wanted to get a sub 2 hour for this but I don’t think I’m quite there yet. And honestly all around I’m freaking out not trusting my training, because it wasn’t where I wanted it to be all the time. and I was just physically unable to fit in everything I wanted. There is literally nothing I could have done, I trained hard, I just wanted to train harder for some reason.

And honestly, my freaking out is stupid and unnecessary. I mean, not to be I’m so awesome, but basically, I’m guaranteed a PR, my last half, was awful in pretty much every way, I had a cold, so my breathing was suffering, I went out too fast, the course sucked, I didn’t have water on me and felt there wasn’t enough water stations, adding to my misery. And it was just an all around not my day kind of run. Also had my period, but that’s likely happening again this time about so we can cancel that one out. Anyways, all of that and I still PR’d by 4 minutes on a tougher course – it was flat as appose to downhill like my first.

So this half coming up I’ll be on an easier course, there’s a hill or two but I don’t mind those, and aside from those it’s all downhill, that will naturally speed me up. Plus I *kock on wood* am not sick so my lungs should be working fine, and I’m bringing water with me. Also it won’t be below 0 (Celsius, that day was actually pretty fab weather considering we were acclimated to -15 temps). Although it may be hot… Is that better or worse? I’m not sure anymore. Better for the muscles, I do get a bit cranky when I’m hot though. ha. It’ll be early morning at least and I’ll probably dress very light, no shorts as I haven’t done a long run in shorts I have longer tight shorts but I’ve never run in them so absolute no-no but i’ll probably bring out my heat gear capris and will wear at most a tshirt, I’ll check the weather the night before and might even consider a tank top. Anything to not my too warm. I ran my last race on a long sleeve and I wasn’t even running that at pace and I wanted to die I got so hot.

What I’m most excited for for this race is to be DONE. I’ve been on an intense 4-month training cycle because I’m a psycho and planned 3 big races each a month apart. 4 month training cycles are not uncommon, but they’re usually structured far differently, basically I did 2-2 month training cycles, the kind you go into when you have a solid base build and I looking to add intensity. It seemed like a good idea at the time. But yeah. wow it was tough. The last couple weeks leading into this taper were insane and I was sore. I’m still sore. I’m cutting out my run tomorrow to give my disaster of a right leg more recovery time. It’s just all kinds of tight.

Anyways I’m now done this training cycle and am looking at 2-3 weeks of easy recovery runs (minus a 10k 2 weeks after my half… did I mention I’m insane?) and then heading into maintenance I’m looking forward to leaving things unstructured. I want to be in the 40-50km range each week to maintain, which is kind of what I’ve been doing but I’ll be doing less intense. And I’ll be opened to doing less if my body wants that, or if I personally want that, like spending more time on my bike or in the pool or doing yoga or whatever! I’ll also try harder at getting in my necessary strength exercises, I need to work hard on getting my hips and glutes strong and ready to carry me through marathon training which I’ll be starting around August or September.

I’m going to aim to throw in some weeks where I run 5 times a week. I struggled with that this cycle, I wanted to do 5 but I was finding it hard to recover from, so I want to throw them in some weeks but cut back the next week to get my body use to it. This way I can head into my marathon training being able to handle 5 days. To get in the milage I want to for my marathon training I’ll need to do 5 days to avoid doing long runs every night. My milage will be topping up as it gets dark early so I’ll want to keep runs as short as I can. Even though fall night runs ARE my favourite.

I’m excited at the prospect of keeping my schedule opened, but I’ve literally never done this. I’m a creature of habit so I don’t know if I’ll actually follow this oh maybe I’ll run today! Maybe I’ll bike! One thing though is I’ve made a lot of running friends lately who do are all into things I’m in to as well so I’m always more willing to switch things up when other people are involved which I think is my main motivator. If I was left to myself to decide to run this Tuesday but bike next Tuesday, I’d never do that, I run Tuesdays, always have. But is a friend suggested a Tuesday bike ride, I’d switch things up and go on that bike ride!

Side note I went to the bathroom while writing this and potentially my period is here now.. which blows my mine because that means it is EARLY. WHICH HAS NEVER EVER HAPPENED IN THE HISTORY OF EVER. I’ve been 31 days the past couple months, 32 for the couple before that. If it is here now that puts me at 27 days. WHAAAT that’s even less than 4 weeks. Like that’s legitimately early for non PCOSer’s no? Well I guess everyone is different and I don’t fully no my schedule yet since it has gotten shorter even since i’ve been regular.

Anyways this is GREAT news if it is in fact here because then it was essentially be done with by Sunday and that would be FABULOUS. I was here stressing because Sunday was going to be day 2 ie heaviest day and running kinda of forces everything out of you so I was seriously worried about the tampon situation

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March 200km Total, Around the Bay & Group Runs

Wow! I did not know it would be that high!

As comparison, January 165 and February 150 (short month and I had a taper in there)

Obviously I knew I would be hitting high millage in March, I did after all start it with a half marathon and end it with a 30k. And with not much of a recovery, my weekly milage kept going. Hit a recorder weekly high of 52.5. I did take some extra rest days at the end so it actually should have been 20-25km higher.

Rest days were becaussse my It Band has basically been hurting all month, ever since my half it’s been causing me problems. Escalating 2 weeks ago for my last long run before Around the Bay I was aiming for 27k and ran the last 6-7km in major pain, lots of walks and stretching breaks. I would have called it quits except well, I was 6-7km away from the car still lol It would have taken too long to get back.

Following weekend was scale back week but I’d felt my It band start to bother me during my 14k run so I opted out of running the next day. And then Saturday i would have run around 5k probably but It was insanely cold in the morning and I decided I ran through the entire winter I could be a baby about it for 5k and go to yoga instead and just let my legs rest.

Sundayyy Around the Bay! I decided to do it at a relaxed pace and just enjoy it. And I soooo did! I’m feeling really great about my ability to run a Full in the fall but glad I have some time before I have to worry about running for over 3 hours again. It’s not the distances thats the issue. It’s more everything else, 3 hours is a long as time to be running, plus all the other time involved in getting ready, coming back, and recovering from it, basically it ends up being like a 6 hour thing. lol

Anyways

IT band hurt for a large portion of it. I walked the water stations and when I took my gels. Also I thought I had a rock in my shoe. Went to the side a couple times to take my shoe off and get it out. Finally determined no rock, must just be some tendon pain or something, my foot was feeling tight the day before. NOPE NOT THAT EITHER. A blister! I don’t even know i’ve never had a blister from running before and I started feeling this… maybe around 13k? So weird for me. I was wearing new shoes but I wore them a couple times already, not as long as is ideal but I did 14 in them just fine so should have been okay? I don’t know. Perhaps my socks? I was still wearing my winter socks, maybe my feet were warm? I don’t know I don’t ever have warm feet so I can’t even imagine.

So aside from that, which you’d think would have ruined the whole thing – well I kinda forgot about the foot issue after a few km. But the It Band, there was a moment around km 16/17 when I thought. I’d be smart to pull out now. If this was just a regular run – which it kind of is for me. I’d had called it quits. But I was like NOPE this is AROUND THE BAY and I’m going to FINISH this. Thankfully I got to km 18 and suddenly realized it felt okay. Weird but I’ll take it! There was an amazing group at that water station and they were playing music and also we’d just come off a stretch of road that had alot of bends, so it was all shaped so 1 leg higher than the other you know like on highways? So we were now on level ground which would have made a big difference too.

Pretty much didn’t hurt again until the last km or 2 but by that point everything is kind of done so it all blended in.

Anyways I really enjoyed the race so much! I had a lot of run! It was nice to do a race and take such a relaxed pace and forget my time. I thought about it a bit, I figured I should have finished around 3:18, but with those breaks I ended up at 3:24 and I told myself not to worry about it when I realised i’d be crossing at past 3:20. I was running this for the experience and to say I did it. I was 100% not running it for time. I didn’t pick up my pace at al during it, minus right at the end when we came into the stadium (Yes you heard that right, we finished running into a stadium!) and I sprinted the last 20m or so because that’s what you do. My parents were watching before i entered the stadium and my mom told me after I looked relaxed while other runners looked like they were in pain. And this is true! I mean okay yeah I hurt, but no more than normal for a long run. I finished happy! and i loved it! And I feel great! And I’m not insanely sore! Which is the number 1 thing and why I didn’t race this, because I’m gearing up to go kill myself from next week on training to try for a sub 2:00 Half Marathon on May 3. Hellooo speed work.

Also I’ve been doing group runs lately! Which have just made me SO happy. We run trials which is a whole new experience for me because wow, they are hilly! So I love that and the people are great. Trail runs are very relaxed and chill so you don’t have to stress about your pace. The past couple we did on the road though because the trails are in bad shape from all the melting. Which i think I loved even more. And they were the exact opposite. Because they were road we were pushing the pace and it was fabulous because I’m so bad at pushing myself to run faster when I’m alone it was great being in a group that helped my hold on longer than I normally would have. I still died out in the end and fell back but, I hit some amazing times. I definitely need to get on creating bigger bonds with these people and running with buddies more often. That will really make a difference in my pacing for sure I think. Plus its so fun being in a group! SO FUN. I was so sad I had to miss it on Sunday but they were back on the trails and did 12k, definitely would have been a bad ideal. Trail runs tire your legs a lot a lot. Can’t wait until this weekend. Bunch of us are running Friday and then there’s the regularly scheduled run Saturday! Double group run yay!!

Half Marathon #2 Tomorrow!

Wohoo! So exciting! Before running my first I was a mess the day before my half, in full on freak out, full of nerves. Now I’m much more relaxed and just excited about it. Many things help with this. 1 – I’ve run a half already 2 – I’ve run further than a half 3 – I had a knee injury during my half I was SUPER worried about since it was downhill course. My knee has been much better, I’ve been doing a lot of hill running and all has been well. I’m still worried it will come back, but this is a super flat course so I’m not too concerned about my knee this time around.

So excitement and carbo loading! Lots of fun!

My eating has been horrid last few weeks, I keep snacking on junk. Surprisingly I’ve been holding steady at 155. I don’t even know how I haven’t gained. I really have to get control of myself for realzz.

Signed up for a yoga studio the other day! I’m sooo exciting! Yoga is perfect and super necessary for running. Strength training without the wear on the body that weights can cause with the amount of running I do. When I was running and doing weights I had to do minimal leg work or it would mess up my runs the next day. And also stretching, super super need more stretching. Anyways it was a groupon, unlimited yoga for 2 months. After that point I think I’ll probably join the other studio, it’s $70 a month, more than I’d like to spend but that’s super cheap for yoga. Case in point this studio with the groupon is regular 115. Anyways this is great for me. It’s been a struggle trying to keep up with yoga since my gym only has 1 class a week and it’s a day I run, and I can’t even run before the class. I’ve only gone every other week lately just because it’s been too much trying to do it all. So this will be FAB because I’ll have all the options! And can do some more relaxing classes or go for flow depending on what I feel I need that day.

This Weather

Winter hit in a big way past week and a half. Snow upon snow upon snow and cold cold cold. This weekend is going to be CRAZY cold like you physically cannot run outside because your eyeballs will freeze cold. UGH

Super unmotivating

Super annoying

Because you cannot excuse yourself from training

Because you’re a psycho who is signed up for 3 races between now and March 29th

So you run on the snow

You run when its so cold your ass hurts

You run inside on a stupid dinky 200m track

You run on that horrid treadmill

Because you’re crazy

And that makes you feel awesome

So you keep going.

But seriously. I’m done with winter. Why you gotta be so snowy and cold? We were all good until 2 weeks ago. Back when we barely had snow, it was still crazy cold, but there was minimal snow so I could deal. If it were not freeze your eye balls cold, I could handle the snow. Both? Together? GTFO winter.

This weekend I’m facing the possibility of an indoor long run. ugh *shudder* And not just any long run, longest long run thus far, 24k. Why, why, why. I really hope its warm enough Saturday morning for me to head outside. It’s the windchill that will make or break it. It’s going to go up to -8C, feels like -16C but that’s probably not until 2 or 3 in the afternoon. Just gotta hope the morning is warmer than feels like -30C and I’m good to go outside, with like 6 layers over every part of my body obviously. But still beats 2:30+ on a treadmill.

Yesterday I was going to do my interval run, which is normally Thursdays, to get it farther away from this weekend since I’m switching long run to Saturday as I’m racing Monday… and I was doing it, and I was just like I don’t wanna!! So switched to easy run and was like whatever I’ll do it tomorrow. But today was the last day of milder-ish temps so I was like well I’m going to enjoy this and do my easy run. And then I got home and I was just like, ugh screw it I’ll cross train today I don’t feel like running. That lasted less than an hour because I’m obsessive. So went out for 4k instead of 5k because ugh winter. And I ran the whole thing on snow. Bad idea my calves are still hurting and snow amplifies that struggle. So very slow 4k but whatever I got out there, one day I’ll be stronger for it. And now tomorrow I have 12k of super miserable treadmill intervals ahead of me. yayy… I gotta do the speed work inside though muscles don’t like moving fast in cold weather and it’s been a struggle and I really just gotta face facts that to hit the paces I need to be hitting, I need to do it indoors. I’ll be racing in the cold so I do need some cold speed work, but I also need some non cold to help get me there and intervals is a good one because thats what you do to get fast, not what you do to get use to fast running. It’s going to be awful. But I’m going to bring my ipad and watch a movie or something to help get me through it.

Anyways, March cannot come soon enough. Past couple years we’ve had horrible Marches, but at least there’s hope in March. There is no hope in February.

Period Update

I went off the pill about a year ago and was getting my period around every 6 weeks, pretty unpredictable. BUT the last 4 times I’ve been very regular! First 3 time were 32 days! And the other day got it at 31 days! woo!

Thinking about going back to the doctor soon to get my blood work redone so see if anything has improved there.

More Meal Changes

Wasn’t into the wraps. Okay I was super into the wraps, but it felt like a lot of food at lunch for me, like I was FULL after eating one. And a wrap alone is nearly 200 calories. I gained this week. Plus side felt amazing after my 22km long run. I’ve been crazy tired after my long runs and I felt like a human after this one so that means I actually ate properly. But maybe too much so more experimenting.

This week I’m doing good old fashioned peppers/cucumbers and hummus with a side of this brown rice and quinoa dish I bought. One of those microwavable bags from Uncle Bens. Tasty! And not full of a ton of weird ingredients like most of the prepackaged rice. Still bit, but far above others.

Buh-Bye Holiday Weight!

3 week disaster that is the holidays. Week before Christmas = cookies, cookies everywhere. Week between Christmas and New Years = not at work = not on schedule = eating weird times and not drinking enough water/tea.

End result, 5 pound gain.

Also sore foot had me off running for a week and a half so that didn’t help.

BUT GOOD NEWS. Today hoped on the scale, 154! Holiday weight GONE. HUZZAH

Going to make some changes to my diet next week. I need to up my calorie and carb intake. The other day I signed up for a 30k race, which I’m SUPER BEYOND EXCITED FOR. It’s this big deal race in my city, it’s call Around the Bay and it is the oldest race in North America (The shirts say older than Boston on them, how fun!) I’ve been debating about doing since my half. The end result was my knee injury was holding me back, it’s been better lately but the fear of re-injury is still there. But in the end, risk of injury is always going to be there, and I want to I want to I want to run this race! So bad! It is a TOUGH course, but it’s such a big deal to do, especially if you’re from my city. The course is 20k of relatively flat but then, 10k of solid rolling hills! Climaxing at this steep nearly 1k climb between km 25 and 26. It is crazy difficult because 1, 30k, and 2 massive hills on tired legs. So naturally I’m just so excited to start training for it! I’ll be doing a lot of my long runs on the back end of the course to prep for it, it’s going to be brutal but I’m so excited!

Anyways, long story short, my training schedule to get me to my next half marathon and then this 30k (and toying with doing a full in May…) is INTENSE and I need to up my carb intake for sure to keep up with my runs, and more protein can’t hurt

SO lunches from now on will be chicken wraps! With hummus and some veggies in it. And I think I might start adding oats to my morning smoothies too. All healthy carbs, just more of them! My current diet only barely got me through fall training, and this go around I’ll be doing an extra 10-15k a week and more intense routes so I need my energy levels up and stable!