Saturday, March 31, 2012

Rotterdam .... so exciting!

Well, much has happened in the past week. After last week's 1:47:03 at Hamilton's Around the Bay Race, coach Rick and I had one of those, "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" conversations. And, after nearly a week of numerous phone calls and email messages with Athletics Canada and several marathon elite coordinators, I was accepted into the Rotterdam Marathon. WOW! A huge thanks goes to Alan Brookes (Canada Running Series) and Rick Mannen (coach). What these guys did for me was amazing!
So, Jonathan booked my tickets yesterday. I will be getting together w/ fellow Canadian marathoners, Rob Watson and Lanni Marchant who are also taking a stab at the standard. Wow, so exciting.
Well, it's close to 6:00 am, which is time to head out. I'm doing my last 40 km run this morning. Yesterday was a speedy 3 x 2.42 km (8:11, 8:01, 8:03) on the track. Then, one or two more easier workouts and shorter, long run before tapering.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Smiles and What's Next?

Well, since Sunday's breakthrough race, coach Rick and I have changed the spring plans. Because of my strong race and time, and so-far-so-great season of amazing training, 4/4 PR's this year, marathon experience (I have done 7) and no injuries, we think a shot at the Cdn standard for London 2012 is worth a go. BUT, the hardest part is finding a marathon by Apr 22. We'll keep you posted on this! I know God has a plan for me...I just have to wait to see what it is!

(Photos 1. National Post Running and 2. Cathie Coward, Hamilton Spectator).

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Around the Bay 30 km ... wow!

(Josie Mannen photo)
Well, I sure surprised myself today. The plan was to run 3:40/km (goal marathon pace)...I ended up averaging 3:34/km, which got me 1:47:03 (59 seconds from the course record) and first female overall. What a thrill!
Dayna Pidhoresky raced today and I fully expected her to win. We ran the first 11 km or so together and I was able to keep up with her! Then I lost her at a water station and just kept looking forward. I was hoping to use my strength in the last 10 km on the rolling hills and killer hill at 26 km to gain a bit more distance and was successful. I guess doing the Bay a few times is an advantage. The last 10 km is definitely a challenge but like childbirth, it doesn't hurt any less but you know what to expect (fyi childbirth is still waaay more painful than any race!!)! A big thanks to Dale, again, for his support on that killer hill.
Coach Rick was on route, which was great. His support is amazing (he and I are being interviewed in this picture). Exciting. Very exciting.
Here's a few links:
Brantford Expositor
Hamilton Spectator

Friday, March 23, 2012

Mixed Emotions

1. A wonderful friend of mine, Marianne. We ran against each other in highschool and lived together while students at the University of Guelph. At one point we ran cross country together but full-time studies, playing hockey, and having a sick mom was too much for me.
2. Seth is turning 4 this week. He just started hockey. Gotta love the "99" Brantford jersey!
3. Leah having a drink of Eload.
4. Our dear Anita Joy with Seth and Aunt Joyce, 3.5 yrs ago.

For those of you who follow my blog, you will know that last month I had a race, one of my kid's birthday parties, and a funeral...all on the same weekend. Well, this has happened again.

The race. This Sunday is the Around the Bay 30 km Race. I feel I am fit and in great form to have another P.R. The weather is looking superb and I am excited to run. I took my mileage down to 90 km this week so should have some pretty fresh legs. Coach Rick is going to be out on the course, which is great motivation for me!

The birthday party. Seth is turning 4 next week but we are going to celebrate tomorrow with a trip to see the Lorax, and some cake back at home. He's been sick w/ a fever and nasty cough but should be good to go. I'll meet the kids and Jonathan at the theater after the Bay expo (Saucony, Eload, and Brantford Tournament of Races booths - see you there?!). Should be a fun day.

The funeral. Today we said good-bye to our dear Anita. She was my first cousin. We were the same age. I was honoured when asked by my aunt to read her tribute to her daughter. Here are a few quotes that I will always hold dear to my heart:
"Anita was almost 6 weeks old when I noticed a seizure - only seconds in length. I expected that God would heal her but that did not happen until Sunday, March 18, 2012". I got to see Anita three days before she died.
"Romans 8:28 'All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose'. We will never know "why" here on earth, but we have trusted God's sovereignty, love and wisdom". When I lost my parents to cancer I was better able to understand, "Why not me" instead of "Why me". There are many things we may not understand but still continue to trust God.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Feeling Fit. Feeling Fine.

Well, the Around the Bay 30 km race is one week away!
I did another highest-mileage-yet week, finishing w/ an easy 37 km run Saturday (averaged a bit less than 4:45/km...I didn't always stop my watch during breaks), totaling 150 km (I totally felt like I could run longer than 37 km but part of running requires discipline to do less, not more).
Earlier in the week, I'd been getting up between 5:00-5:30 a.m. so that I could train before my hubby left for work. But then I took the kids to their grandparents and got to sleep in until 8:00 a.m. TWO DAYS!! I went for my 20 km and 16 km runs right away, leaving grammy and grampa to feed the kids breakfast and get them dressed. It was so nice. Coach Rick told me to take a few relaxing days...and that's what I did. Even better, I was in bed before 11:00pm both nights. Not sure when I got that much sleep before! I've been having ice baths after hard workouts/long runs (thanks, Linda). I'm going to do one more harder session tomorrow then taper for the rest of the week. The weather forecast looks great-cool and sunny. Crazy for this time of year, isn't it!
We have another busy week, leading up to the Bay (good distraction when tapering messes w/ your mind!). Seth starts hockey and has his 4th birthday party, Micah has three ice times, Leah needs her needles, etc. We have started renos on the new house; taking out flooring, removing wallpaper (sooo tedious), etc. Busy but blessed.
I will be at the Around the Bay expo Saturday afternoon, between Eload, Saucony and the Brantford Tournament of Races so please come by to say hello!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

My March Madness

March is quite a busy month. Three out of five in our family have birthdays (Jonathan, Seth and Leah) and it's a solid training month for me (with 2 races). I'm consistently getting my mileage up and workouts faster. Here's what I emailed coaches Rick and Nicole this a.m.

So, at 5:45 am I ran to the Gretzky indoor track (3 km warm up to, and 3 km cool down from). Lighting wasn't great at North Park track.
Here's what I did for the 6x1200m (5.5 laps):
4:07, 4:10, 4:08, 4:07, 4:09, 4:06 (I was fairly consistent w/ 45sec/lap, outside 220m lane). It felt good, right, strong, and the appropriate number of sets.
If my math is correct, that's about 3:26/ km. So, a bit faster than 10 km pace...or perhaps a faster 10km is on the way?!!!
Came home and biked 10 min(good for the hamstrings), did core&stretching, drank Emend, had an ice bath!!! and shower, tossed on my Saucony recovery gear, had breakfast w/ the fam, and finally, a well-deserved coffee.
I'll run an easy 18 km Thurs and Fri. Saturday 37 km.

That will be highest yet, 150km/wk. Next week is an easy 100km taper week w/ one speed session early in week. Likely I'll have averaged about 130km/week for March.

Because of March break (no childcare at gym;Maureen and Jeanetta get a well-deserved break), I've been training in the morning, getting up around 5-5:30am. By 9pm, I am beat! If Jonathan has hockey or a meeting at night, I am to bed!

According to the 14-day trend for the weather, the Around the Bay 30 km should be sunny and above zero. Quite sweet for March!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

A bit more on Recovery and a GREAT 40 km long run

I blogged about this in the past but because it's so important, I'll do it again.

After all of my hard runs, I wear my
AMP PRO2 Recovery gear, which "promotes healing and reduces recovery time. AMP PRO2 utilizes compression technology and a revolutionary responsive fiber that is infused with 13 natural minerals, resulting in improved oxygenated blood flow, which is critical to better recovery. "
I tossed on a pair of jeans over these tights the other day because I had an appointment w/ Dr. Dix (chiro). Off came the pants for some ART. Feeling GREAT!

AND I drink Emend (chocolate, orange) ...

2. Protein and EMEND™

"In the first 30 minutes, you should aim for at least 5-10 grams, in combination with carbohydrates. The best protein to use is high biological value protein with fast absorption, such as high quality whey protein. We have taken this aspect of our drink very seriously, and have sourced the best prepared and highest quality source of whey protein in the world.....Non GMO, Grass Fed New Zealand Cows. Each litre of EMEND™ supplies 15 grams of ultra filtered whey protein per litre in a ratio with carbohydrates that, above all, enhances fluid and electrolyte absorption, carbohyrate and protein repletion and maximizes taste."

I have my Emend in the fridge, ready to drink as soon as I walk in the door.

3. Seth sure enjoyed opening the spring Saucony shipment! Can't wait to get it on! It's always fun to see the new colours.

I just finished a 140 km week w/ a beautiful 40 km run this morning (thanks, James and Mitch). It was cool and sunny and my body kicked in w/ a faster second half (I was on my own at this point, on the lovely trails). I had planned to take it easy but sometimes when your body is taking you, you go! I could have run another 5+ km but told my hubby I'd be back by 9:30 am. I came in the house, hugged and kissed my kids while stretching and drinking Emend. Then I had an epsom salt bath, tossed on my Saucony AMP Pro2 Recovery gear, and ate a bowl of my Stacey B. mix (plain greek yogurt, frozen blueberries, protein, wheat germ, ground flax seed, and natural peanut butter). To top it all off, I enjoyed a cup of coffee w/ my hubby before he had to head out the door to work on the new house. Now to schedule a nap before Micah's 1pm play-off hockey game!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Here's a fun picture taken after Sunday's race. These 3 fellas admitted that they were trying to catch me at the end but I was too strong. That is definitely something you want to hear!
Recovery (Emend, stretching, epsom salt baths) has been great since Sunday. For some strange reason, I love training the day after a race. I swam 2 km and ran (treadmill) a steady 18 km. So, in two days I ran 48 km, at about marathon pace. I think it's good marathon preparation, for sure. I took Tuesday off (well, I biked 30 min but did not run/swim) and really enjoyed the day at home w/ Seth and Leah. I took them to a playgroup in the a.m. and while Leah slept in the afternoon, Seth and I packed and baked.
I enjoyed some speed work this morning, OUTSIDE in SHORTS! Loved it (but crazy winds - my per km times varied by 30 seconds, depending where I was on the track!). I plan to do 40 km this Saturday so another day like today would be great!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Chilly Half Marathon Weekend/Race Report

So, this weekend was busy. We had hockey Friday night, I was gone all day Saturday for my uncle's funeral, and Sunday was race day and Leah's first birthday party. I made my to-do list and got done what I could, when I could! MVP for the weekend was Jonathan, for sure! He had the 3 kids for most of it AND did a tonne of the work for the party. Also, a special thanks to Uncle Kevin and Auntie Chantale for watching Leah. They are lovely people.
So, I got to bed in decent time Saturday night and slept through (ie no kids/dog needing me in the night!). I had my standard toast and coffee (sometimes it's tea) for breakfast and started sipping on some eload. I got to Burlington in good time to get a good parking spot near the start, and away from the crowd to get a decent get-away. I even had time to read a few magazines and doze before warming up! It was cool and sunny and I almost wore shorts but because of the lake, I decided to wear long sleeves and capris ... good thing because it was windy. The race itself was fairly uneventful, which is really what you want. I ran the entire race on my own (great mental prep for the marathon!) and felt I was giving a consistent effort but when I checked my garmin during the windy spots, I was slower than I wanted to be. I was aiming for 3:33/km and just didn't have it throughout. The last 5 km were quite strong, which is great. I think I need to work on staying strong in the third quarter of the race. I know I am definitely capable of sub 75 min but will have to wait until Montreal 1/2 Marathon Championships (Apr 29) to prove it. I still ended up first female with a personal best time of 1:15:42. Two years ago I ran a 1:15:55 at the 1/2 Champs so am well ahead of the game for this racing season. I hope to have a decent recovery week, ramp it up for a week, then bring it back down in preparation for Around the Bay. Typically I run the 30 km Bay race at goal marathon pace. This puts me at a goal time of 1:49:55 (3:40/km) in order to get a sub 2:35 in May.
My leg was acting up a bit last week but appears to be fine now. Regardless, I'll be making regular trips to the chiropractor/massage in order to keep it in check.
Today I had a great 2km swim and steady 18 km treadmill run. Because I haven't had a complete running day off for 10 days, I'll just stick to a longish bike ride for tomorrow.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

3/3 personal bests this year and a baby who turned one!

What a great day. I had a personal best time of 1:15:42 in the Chilly 1/2 Marathon (and was first female) and my baby girl turned one.
Gotta get to bed though so will write again later.