Wednesday, January 5, 2011

AA sounds like it would be easier...

Last night at our running clinic, we had a special guest speaker who talked to us about repetitive sports injuries.  Basically, he summed up why some people get hurty in bits when they run, while others don't. He pointed out tiny imbalances or self corrections can really mess up your running style. I hadn't really thought about it, but yeah, when you favor one leg over the other or pull to one side or have one leg shorter or are stronger on one side, your body will naturally compensate for it and over time, this can lead to injury. Good stuff, albeit a bit scary!

The part that got me the most though was when he pointed out that for a half marathon, if a runner has a stride of one meter (yeah, that's pretty big, but for simplicity's sake, let's use it) then a half marathon is TWENTY ONE THOUSAND STEPS.  Even a piddly 5K is five thousand steps! This totally blew my mind. Yes, this is probably why my legs were killing me at the end of our 16K on Sunday.  This is probably also why it can sometimes be really REALLY hard to drag oneself out of bed on a Sunday at 8am when you know you have to take 16000 steps before you get to eat pancakes.  I found myself running hills last night saying "HOW MANY STEPS?!?!" to myself as I puffed up the hill, mind short circuiting over and over, and it even distracted me from how tired I was getting.

I guess what it boils down to is that yes, it IS a lot of steps to finish a race. Twenty one thousand steps is a lot and the first ones can be tough to get started. And the number of steps you'll take while training for a race is insane, but they can be done. And unfortunately the cliche of "one step at a time" totally applies here. Personally, I'm trying to break them down into little steps at the front end (just 100 more steps, you can do it, 100 steps only takes like 3 minutes) and then marvelling over how awesome I am at the end of it.  What did I do today? I took 5000 steps before 7am!  I won't tell you how long they took, the important part is that I did it, and yeah, it was one step at at time. Let the sappy music play!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Milestones - 16km AND Matching Outfits!

16km!! YAY.. It might seem weird to most how excited we get at all of our “Longest Run we’ve ever done” comments however for Felic who’s health last year made doing the training not as structured AND for Crystal and I who really haven’t run this far ever.. we feel it IS a big deal, almost as big as all of us wearing our pink outfits on the same day!

Yesterday started with all of us doing our morning “prep”.. Felic and Crystal each got up around 6:30, hydrated, ate some breakie.. then went back to bed before heading out .. as for me, I slept in (stupid Iphone glitch), ate breakfast at 7:40, dressed, then headed to the Running Room for 8:30am or so...

The day was a balmy -4 and a little windy (-11 with the windchill) but the good news was that we were with the wind on the way out, bad news.. against on the way back. Shannon decided that we would run to the Pumphouse at the Reservoir and return on a flatter path back, the
whole run being 16km on the nose. Seemed like a great route to us!

The three of us really enjoyed the run itself for the most part though we did catch ourselves a few times feeling ‘not fantastic’ .. like when we were running up the overpass at 12km after running up a slight incline for what seemed like forever OR the wind in our faces when turning around at the pumphouse. Overall though, we felt so much better than we had the previous long run. We kept a pretty even pace, a constant conversation (we’re sure much to the chagrin of poor Bob who had to listen to us until he decided to drop back) and finished feeling like ‘ha, whatever, we could do another 5km to finish a half marathon!” with a total time was 1 hr 49minutes!

After the run though and since Felicity and I both had episodes of the “hitting the wall/world coming in on us/I’m going to die” after the previous long run (we’ve since learned that you must eat the equivalent of 8 pieces of toast carb-wise immediately after the run.. who knew?) we all felt it VERY necessary to get as many carbohydrates as we could as soon as possible. Crystal headed to her ‘Friends Brunch’ that they do quite often, Felic and I to the Pfanntastic Pannenkoek House to fill up on as many carbs as we could shove in our gullets!

Now, as always there was a line up to get in, but the stars seemed to align and using our wait to consider our options, the time seemed to fly and our wait wasn’t long at all to get a table. Once there, decisions needed to be made quickly and with the help of our server, who Felicity referred warmly as our ‘Angel’. This did seem accurate considering our ‘angel’ did bring us a huge glass of what she called “the best chocolate milk in Calgary”, followed soon after by tea (with a biscuit) and timed perfectly both our savory selection of Pannenkoek with shredded potatoes, cheddar cheese, bacon and onion (split into two plates AND with a side of sour cream.. yes, I said it sour cream) and our sweet selection of the cinnamon roll with brown sugar and lemon, cream cheese icing. Has to be said that our calorie intake might just have been a little more than our output... but we did feel a LOT better than we did the last long run.

Back Blogged, I mean back logged on the blog. This one is post dated Dec 19, 2010 - 15km Reservoir Run!!

Well here were are, 71 days until our race and all this training has started to get really real. This weekend’s long run was a 14k’er and of course it being Holiday Season and us being the fun and festive ladies that we are, we decided there was no way we were going to make the 8:30am run this Sunday with our Running Room group. I have to say though, I am extremely proud of how for the past few weekends, none of us have been able to make it to the Running Room for the Sunday runs, but we ALWAYS still manage to get in our long runs on the weekend at some point.

This weekend we had all decided a really great run to do would be the Glenmore Reservoir loop which is 14.95kms. We figured we would have a brisk walk at the beginning and end to even it out to 14km. 1:30pm was our meeting time which we thought would give us enough of a sleep in from the previous night’s X-mas soirĂ©es and a little time to fuel and hydrate. That morning Princess Fliss sent out a text confirming our meeting time and making sure we were bundled and hydrated! Bundled yes, hydrated… so-so. If by hydrated you mean beer, wine, shots and coffee from the past 2 days, then YES! But I don’t think that’s what she meant. A friend of mine joined us for the run. This friend competes in triathlons and was about to put us to shame. But it was nice to have her along and made a nice little running group.

The day was actually gorgeous, one of the nicest yet. It was -13degrees but not a breath of wind, the sun was shining and the snow sparkling. Starting from Weaslehead we head South on the path, through the wooded part where we had to run single file, army like for the first bit. It’s difficult to have conversations that way and I was in the lead and worried about keeping a good pace, not too fast, not to slow. There were lots of people on the path and we said hello to everyone and surprisingly didn’t get as many cheerful hellos in return. I’m pretty sure we’re not intimidating or mean looking! At that point I was determined to say hello to everyone we saw. We did get a few nice hellos back finally which made me happy. Maybe there is a rift between walkers and runners that we don’t know about??

I remembered my watch this time and we ran 10 and 1s. Ran for 10 mins then walked briskly for 1min. We stopped a few times for photo ops and Christi tested us with some Christmas movie trivia. “What was the little elf’s name from the claymation Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer, the one who wanted to be a dentist?” Herme!! None of us got it. We ran past Heritage Park which was PACKED. We figured it must have been the last day of 12 days of Christmas there. At one point we took a tiny de-tour through a residential neighbourhood but found the path again quickly.

I felt pretty decent the whole time, up until we were entering back into the park, probably around the 12-13km mark. I was starting to really notice my calves hurting and a little bit of back pain. By this point, when we would stop to walk for a min, it felt like everything was beginning to cramp up. I felt more comfortable running than walking. I’m not sure if this is normal, a good thing, or a bad thing. I was definitely running out of steam and by the last km, wasn’t quite sure if I could keep going. I had to push myself though, as I was running beside my triathlon friend who told me I could do it and there was probably only about 5 minutes left. Felicity told me she had the little voice in her head as well saying “Don’t give up now, you’ve come so far!!”. And then just like that, there was the parking lot and we had done it! 15km! The longest distance Christi and I had ever run before in our lives, a PB time for Felicity at that distance and most likely the slowest 15kms ever for my friend! Haha!

I’m writing this on Monday, the day after and I actually feel really good. I was pretty sore last night and had a restless sleep because my legs felt really sore. This morning my hips were sore but I’m starting to feel much better. We’ll see how we all feel tomorrow though, 2 days later when it usually hits hard. We also have 5kms of hill training to look forward to tomorrow night as well!!

All I have to say though is how proud I feel to have run 15kms. There are people in this world who will never run even 5km and we just rocked 15!! We are way more than half way there! Nice work Princesses!!