Saturday, December 31, 2011

Final Run of 2011

This afternoon, I went out for my last run of the year. I haven’t been running near as much as usual this month and haven’t been eating as healthy as usual, either (‘tis the season!) so I felt a little out of shape on today’s run, but nothing too bad. I ran 13.5 km today, which is my longest run since the Vegas half. (oops!)

On my run, I thought about my running accomplishments from 2011.

  • I ran my first 30K race (Around the Bay)
  • I ran my first marathon (Mississauga)
  • I sprained my ankle running my first marathon…
  • I completed the ENDURrun and achieved a PB 1/2 marathon time in stage 1
  • And I ran 3 races for free this fall!

All in all, 2011 was a good running year for me. I’m excited to see what 2012 has in store!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

A wee bit windy out there….

I just got back from what I was expecting to be a quick 4 mile run. It was around 4 miles, but it wasn’t so quick. It’s WINDY out there! The second half of my run was straight into a head wind. I actually lost my hat. Well.. I turned around, ran after it, and snatched it back up, so I technically didn’t lose it, but it was blown off my head.

Today’s Run
Distance: 7 km
Weather: 13°C, wind SW 46km/h with gusts of 72km/h

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Back-to-Back Race Days

This weekend, I ran two races. I ran the 25K Run for the Toad yesterday and the 10K Laurier Loop today. After ENDURrun, this had to be a piece of cake, right? Well… it turns out when you haven’t really been training and having been doing much in the way of long runs, it’s really quite difficult.

Run for the Toad
I had heard great things about this trail race over the years, but never got around to signing up for it and trying it. For one, the longest races I was running before this spring were half marathons, and two, I barely did any trail running before this year. After the trail running I did in prep for and during the ENDURrun, I thought this would be a good year to give the race a try (it didn’t hurt when I won entry to the race in a draw at Runners’ Choice). 

I left the house around 7:40am to head out to Pinehurst Lake Conservation Area where the race is held. I made good time getting there, but it took about 25 minutes to get from the road to my parking spot due to the number of people coming for the race. I parked the car and walked over to Tent City to pick up my race number bib and my race kit, which included a very nice Saucony gym bag embroidered with the race name and year.

After ditching my stuff in the car and heading back over to the start area, I stood, shivering, waiting for the race to start. It was a very cold morning, but it turned out to be good for running (not so good for the spectators, though).

I went into this race with no time goals, but of course, that quickly changed as I started to run and was nearing the end of my first lap. I decided that I wanted to complete the 25K trail race in under two and a half hours.

It was a challenging course with hilly sections, but some very beautiful sections to and some nice views. I kept a fairly consistent pace, but I did start to get tired legs. My legs were not used to this. With less than 2 km to go to the finish, my calves started to feel like they were going to cramp up. As I reached the final steep hill, I figured this would be a good opportunity to stretch them out without actually stopping. I walked up the hill, stretching the calves with each step. It worked well because I was able to complete the race without any real problems. My finish time was 2:28:31. I completed it almost a minute and a half faster than my goal time, so I was happy with this.

I stretched my legs and then headed to the medical tent to line up for massage so that my legs could be loosened up a bit more in the hopes of a good 2nd day of running today. After massage, I swung by the car to grab my bag and make a trip to the showers. After a nice hot shower and changing into some nice, clean, warm clothes, I felt pretty good. It was time to head to the food tent. The food at this event was prepared by St Jacobs Catering. I had a couple different types of salad, a chicken breast, mango chutney, and a slice of Dutch apple pie for dessert.

I watched several of the 50K runners finish their race and once the last person I knew crossed the finish line, I made my way to the car to head home after a long, but very nice day at the beautiful Pinehurst Lake Conservation Area

Laurier Loop 
Today I ran the 4th annual Laurier Loop, which was also my 4th Loop as I’ve competed in this event every year. Today, the weather wasn’t as nice as it had been in past years, but as always, the event was run smoothly and with great post-race food and conversation with the other runners and the volunteers.

The 2.5 km loop starts and finishes on the track at Sir Wilfred Laurier University and is run 1, 2, or 4 times depending on the race distance you are competing in. I ran the 10K, so it was 4 loops for me.

I started out my race feeling quite sore in the legs, but they loosened up after about 1km. I started to feel quite a bit better and finished my first loop in around 12:30. At this pace, I should run a 50:00 race. My 2nd loop took a wee bit longer and my 3rd loop was slower still. I needed to pick up the pace on my final loop to make up for this one if I wanted to come close to the 50 minute mark. I didn’t think I cared about time today, but I can’t ignore it completely. I ran my final loop in 12:32, finishing the 10K in 50:52.

I placed 6th overall female, 3rd in my age group, but since someone in my age group placed in the top 3 female, I ended up with a 2nd place medal.


I had a good weekend of racing, but next time I attempt this, I should really make sure I’m training properly. My legs are tired and sore. Lesson learned.

It was good to see a lot of running friends this weekend! A few, I saw at both races, but most were at the Toad. Congratulations to everyone on your race weekend and hopefully we’ll run into each other at another race soon.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I need a plan

I realized today that I when I don’t have a training plan, I really don’t run as much as I would like to. I know, this probably sounds odd. If I like to run so much, why don’t I just go out and run? Well… the problem is, I have other things that I need to do, so I put running on the backburner. When I have a training plan running gets higher priority and I can get out, run, and have fun!

Today I went onto and made me a training plan. Problem solved.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

ENDURrun Stage 7: The Marathon

Today at 7:30 am, the 7th and final stage of the 2011 ENDURrun began. Since the start was a half hour earlier today, this also meant that I had to get up earlier and since it was a full marathon, I wanted to be sure I ate 2 hours before start time, so my alarm went off at 5:20 am. Ugh. That’s too early for me. I got up, made coffee, turned on the toaster oven and had myself my breakfast of peanut butter and banana on an English muffin.

We arrived at Conestogo Park about 15 minutes before the start, so I got my self organized and headed toward the start area, chatting with fellow runners about the run ahead and the fact that we were almost done. Just 42.2 km to go and our 160 km would be complete.

I started running and was maintaining a good pace, but was noticing that my shoes were a bit too loose. I stopped a few km into the race to adjust them, but then they were too tight. A few km further, I stopped again to loosen them a bit. This time they were just right (and Jessica referred to me as Goldilocks).

The first loop of the marathon was going well until I reached a hill around the 12 km mark. My legs did not want to go up the hill and I actually felt like my right leg might give out. I slowed down a bit and got myself up the hill. I kept going and once I was no longer travelling uphill it was much better. Once I crossed through the start/finish area, my right leg was hurting some more and I let Ryan know that I thought my 2nd loop was going to be slower than the first by approximately half an hour. This would put me finishing in 4 and a half hours. I stopped for a moment while talking to Ryan and drank some water and Gatorade.

I set off for lap two and discovered after a km or so down the road that the leg started to feel a little better. This lap did not actually feel too bad and I stopped and chatted with some volunteers at a water station around the 32 km mark while I attempted to open my package of Shot Blocks and drank some water. It was a nice short break, but it was brief as I needed to get going down the road for my final 10km.

At this point, I was definitely counting down the kms until the finish and calculating both how long it should take me to get there running and now long it would take if I walked. I knew I should come in between the two times.

As I approached the finish with approximately 1km left in the race, I could see my marathon training group coach Michele C making her way down the hill towards me. I waved and said hi. She gave me some words of encouragement and ran with me to the final corner. I certainly picked up the pace when she was there and busted through the tape at the finish line in 4:08:42 (Garmin time). As I walked to the water table, I was wheezing, but I knew it was only because my body was trying to suck in more oxygen due to my final push to the finish. It only lasted maybe a minute, probably less and then I was okay.

I watched as the remaining runners finished their race, got a massage, ate some fantastic food, and enjoyed the feeling of having completed the ENDURrun. The awards were given out shortly after everyone had something to eat. When each person was called up for their medal and plaque they were given the opportunity to say a few words. It was great to hear everyone’s final comments on the event including their struggles, their triumphs, and their overall thankfullness for a wonderful week with great runners, fantastic volunteers, and a generous race director and his family. This truly is the best organized and friendliest race I’ve ever been a part of. It’s an amazing event.

I placed 4th female of the Ultimate competitors and 1st rookie female. My cumulative time was 16:02:18 for all 7 stages.

The ENDURrun
8 days, 7 stages, 160 km
One Tough Runner.


Thanks for a great week everyone! We should do it again sometime.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

ENDURrun Stage 6: The 10 km Time Trial

After yesterday’s alpine stage, I didn’t have much time to recoup before today’s stage. By the time I got home it was 1:30 pm and Ryan and I were shooting a wedding at 4:00. I had time to write a blog post, get clean, plop myself on the couch for a while for a quick rest, and then get ready to leave for the wedding at 3:45 (it was only a few blocks away from our house).

I got home after the wedding around 10:30 pm and was in bed around 11:30. I didn’t have the best sleep (woke up several times) and then the alarm went off at 6:00 am.

I got up, had a quick shower and sat down to eat some breakfast (oatmeal, coffee, and water). We left the house around 7:00 to head up to the race start.

Today’s stage was another time trial like on Monday where the runners with the slower previous time start first and then each runner starts 1 minute apart up until the fastest runner leaves last. Today, due to the number of guest participants, we started several people 2 at a time. Since it takes some time while others are starting to run, it gives some added time to talk to other participants before starting your race. We talked about how we were feeling today and what we hoped to accomplish.

I started at the same time as Sandra W today around 8:30 am. The course was nice and flat and actually a bit of a downhill. I ran pretty consistently today and finished the 10 km stage in 49:19, which is actually my 2nd fastest 10K time.

The finish line was right in front of the race director’s house, so afterwards, we hung out in his yard, had some food, went for a swim, had some massage treatment and socialized some more. It’s really great to have such a nice group of runners to hang out with every day this week. This evening, we’re all invited back to Lloyd’s house for a barbeque and pool party to reflect on this past week and look forward to tomorrow’s final stage: the marathon.

6 stages and 117.8 km down, 42.2 km to go.

Friday, August 12, 2011

ENDURrun Stage 5: The 16-Mile Cross Country (25.6 km)–Chicopee Ski Hill

This morning was a bit different than then other mornings this week because I was getting a ride with Paul instead of either driving myself or going with Ryan. Apparently this threw me out of my routine a bit because I managed to forget a few things at home including my recovery drink.

We arrived at Chicopee Ski Resort around 7am this morning (an hour before race start), so we had some time to sit and chat with other runners, get ourselves ready, and use the washrooms without feeling rushed.

While we were standing around right before the start, there were two deer crossing the one ski hill, which is part of the course. It was fun to watch them for a moment, but then it was back to business. Roll call was taken and waivers were signed (I guess the Chicopee people don’t want any law suits if we hurt ourselves). Now it was time to go. We lined up at the start and Lloyd counted us down.

The first km of the course was new from previous years and went through some nice trails, but there were some very narrow sections, so it was a bit tricky with all of us going through at once. It got much better on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th loops. Out of this section, we crossed over a road and into another trail section, which was my favourite part of the course. It was shaded, there was a breeze, and there were lots of twists and turns. After this, we ran out into a gravel road area with the hot sun beating and then onto the first official hill of the course. It was a long and gradual hill, which then turned around a corner to more hill, around another corner to even more, steeper hill. The aid station at the top of this section was very welcome. And the nice shady trail section that came next was also a welcome change from being out in the sun.

The first major downhill (straight down one of the ski hills) was quite steep and tricky to run down as if you went too fast you might tumble down. After the descent, there was only a short stretch before the major ascent up another ski hill. This one was un-runnable for me. I attempted at first, but resorted to walking very quickly. There were more nice trails at the top of this hill and then another downhill, up through trails, and the final downhill of the lap.

Repeat this 4 more times for a total of 5 loops.

Today’s stage was quite tough. I walked up several hills, but I was okay with that. I finished the 25.6 km of Chicopee in 3:12:08. I had some low back and hip pain today and also 2 blisters, but I didn’t feel as though it was slowing me down, just an annoyance more than anything. I’m glad this stage is done. 5 stages down and 2 to go. Tomorrow is the 10K and then Sunday is the marathon.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

ENDURrun Stage 4: 10 Mile Hill Run (16.1 km)

The first of two hill runs, this course is for the fast, strong runner. This 10 miler is on paved and packed gravel roads and is characterized as demanding and hilly. The start and finish are both up hill, mainly along Wilmont Line west of Waterloo. The gathering point is at Camp Heidelberg at 6pm - the only stage to start at the end of the day. After the short hill start, runners run through a low forested region then join Wilmont Line. There are a series of large hills to slow you up, but the descents are long and fast. Approximately half way out the course doubles back straight towards the finish. The rapid succession of hills during the last third of the course draws on all the strengths of the runner. The final 300m finish usually sees the competitors battle to the finish line and a well deserved leg massage! (description from

Today’s stage was an evening stage, which meant the alarm did not have to go off at 6:15 am today! I got to stay in bed, which was very nice. I was awake before Ryan left for work, but pulled out Runners’ World magazine and lounged for a while longer before getting up. As tough as it can be to prepare for an evening race (when to eat, what to eat, etc) it was a welcome change from the rushed early mornings of the rest of the week.

Since we only have 1 car and Ryan had it with him at work, I bussed up to meet him this evening. This meant I needed to leave the house a little earlier than usual, but it was quick and easy to get ready today and the bus ride is just a half hour, so it wasn’t too bad.

We arrived at Camp Heidelberg just before 5:30, so I had a half hour to get myself organized, make a trip to the washroom, show up for roll call and then walk down the hill to the start with the other runners.

My body was feeling tired today and when I started running, it wasn’t much better, but after a few hilly kilometers, my legs were loosening up. I felt good running today. I maintained a pretty steady pace for the most part, but did have to walk up a couple of the hills to save some energy for the final big uphill to the finish line. I managed to pass a few people on the 2nd half (into a strong headwind) of this mostly out-and-back course and finished strong up the hill. Of course I was passed on the course as well, but I was very happy with my run today. It was definitely a good confidence boost after yesterday’s rough stage.

I finished Stage 4 in 1:25:40 (Garmin time). I believe this maintains my position as 4th place female. There was no way I could catch up to Jessica to attempt to re-claim the 3rd place spot. It was nice to be in 3rd for a day, but I think it was only meant to be mine for a brief moment (or day).

Tomorrow is the “mandatory rest day” and I plan to do just that. I’m getting a massage (which really won’t be relaxing, but it’ll be helpful), then possibly meeting up with some other runners for a beverage.

The next stage is on Friday morning and will be the 2nd of the two “Mountain Stages.” I’m still a little frightened by Chicopee. We’ll see how this goes.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

ENDURrun Stage 3: The 30 km Trail Run

Today’s breakfast: cinnamon raisin bagel w/ peanut butter, coffee, orange juice, and water.

I woke up with a bit of a headache this morning. Hopefully it’s the weather causing this and not dehydration because I’ve been making sure to take in lots of fluids.

I got to the race start around 7:30 this morning and the rain was coming down. Luckily, Ryan had left his rain jacket in the car from Sunday, so I had that to put on to keep warm and dry until start time. At that point, I let Chris (volunteer) “keep it warm for me” aka borrow it while I ran.

The course for this stage is mostly grass and trail, but has a short road section as well. You head out from the start, run on a bit of gravel, then onto the grass over to the short bit of road and then down into a grassy meadow starting downhill, then running a gradual uphill to a large flat opening, where we ran around the perimeter and back out to the wide grass trails, up a short hill, then around a corner to go down another hill, across, and up a much bigger grassy hill. After this section, the course enters the forest trails, which are very nice with a lot of small ups and downs and a couple larger including one long gradual gravel uphill, which was not so much fun. There was also a steep downhill in the trails that got progressively muddier as the rain kept coming and the runners ran down, loop after loop. After another km or so in the trails, you emerge close to the start/finish line, where you pass through and start the next lap. Repeat for a total of 6 5km laps.

The start of the race was wet, but felt good. I maintained a good pace for the first loop (of 6 loops in total), and headed into the second feeling strong. I kept of decently well for the next couple laps and was lapped for the first time around the half-way mark. In the 4th lap, I started to get tired. At 18km, my legs were getting a bit fatigued, but held on.

As I mentioned earlier, I woke with a headache. In order to make sure that I wasn’t dehydrated, I decided to wear my camelback today and to also take some fluids from the aid stations to keep me fully hydrated. It seemed like a great idea, but I think I took in too much Gatorade. The final 2 laps were miserable. I felt like I was going to vomit and had to take many walk breaks so that the feeling would pass. It never did fully pass until well after I was finished, changed, stretched, had my legs massaged, and had some food. Then I was ok.

I finished today’s 30 km stage in 3:14:19 (my unofficial Garmin time). I had been hoping for 3 hours, but my stomach/upper GI did not allow that to happen.  I think I did make a smart move taking it a bit easier once it wasn’t going that great because I still have 4 more stages to run and need energy and strong legs to do so.

I haven’t seen the official standings yet, but I moved down a place to 4th female today. I’m still top rookie female (out of a whopping 2 of us), but my overall placement dropped. We’ll see what tomorrow evening has in store at the 10 miler hilly road.

Today was tough. Three stages down and 4 more stages until I am One Tough Runner.

Monday, August 08, 2011

ENDURrun Stage 2: 15 km time trial

I was up at 6:15 this morning, coffee was brewing again and the 2nd day of ENDURrun was about to begin. I sat and had my breakfast (today it was oatmeal and coffee), checked up on the other runners on Facebook and Twitter, and watched the stage 1 video. There is actually a part 2 of stage 1 also posted. Reliving yesterday’s stage was a great way to get pumped for what was ahead of me this morning.

Today’s stage was a 15 km Time Trial. Each runner starts one minute apart and the starting order is the reverse finishing order from yesterday, so the slowest runners start first and the fastest runners start last.

The course starts with a bit of a loop around Riverside Park in Cambridge, then heads out onto the roads for a nice long uphill on the 2nd km. I was very happy with the fact that I ran the hill quite well and still kept up a 5:30 km pace at that point, which was slower than my average pace for the stage, but was not my slowest km of the day. The remainder of the course was quite nice, but tough at times with the hot sun beating down. The shady trail sections were definitely a welcome change from the hot roads, but it was even hot in the trails. Mind you, when it was all done, it didn’t feel nearly as hot out as I thought it was.

It was tough stage because the person you are trying to beat is behind you, and you don’t know how far back they are. So, I just kept my pace in the hopes that it would keep me at least from falling back in the rankings.

I finished the 15 km in 1:19:35. I was third place ultimate female today and I think I might have moved up to third in the cumulative results as well, but I’m not 100% sure, so I’ll have to wait and see when the official results are posted.

After the race was finished, I changed out of my sweaty clothes, got some ART, ate some of the fantastic post-race food, and socialized. As if this wasn’t a good enough post-race experience, we were all invited to head over to the race director’s daughter’s house for a pool party.

Thanks Carly and Chris for allowing us to use your pool and to play with your cute puppies today. And thank you to the rest of the Schmidt family for everything you do for us runners. You guys are the best!

Top left: Henry, Top Right: Chester, Bottom: (left to right) Mark M, Sandra W, Regan C, Jack K, Maureen P

Sunday, August 07, 2011

ENDURrun Stage 1: The Half Marathon

6:15 am
The alarm woke me up and I could hear and smell coffee brewing in the kitchen. I decided to stay in bed for a few more minutes and was up by 6:22 am.

6:30 am 
Sitting in the living room eating breakfast (toasted English muffin with peanut butter and banana and my cup of coffee) and reading updates and comments of other runners all getting ready to start the ENDURrun today. Looking outside, it’s quite wet out there, but as long as it’s not pouring, it should be just fine.

7:00 am
I’m all ready, dressed, body-glided, and excited to get to the start line. Race start is in 1 hour. Just waiting for Ryan ( to get out of the shower so we can go.

Okay.. it’s now early afternoon. I’m home, I’m clean, and I’m ready to finish this post my thoughts and some BB photos.


The half marathon started at 8:00 am just about the same time as the rain. It was a light rain, so not too bad at all, but I’m sure the volunteers and spectators weren’t too happy with it.  For the majority of the run it was humid and damp, but not actually raining. It did, however, rain more after I was finished.

I finished stage 1 in a time of 1:52:39 (according to my Garmin, I didn’t catch what my official time was and it’s not up on the website yet). This time was actually a PB for me in a half marathon event. I ran the first half of the Mississauga Marathon in just over a minute faster, but as far as running the specific half distance, this is my best time yet!

(Now feels like a good time to share my post-race sweaty BlackBerry self-portrait)


I really enjoyed this stage today. At one point I wished I had a camera on me because I looked toward the Grand River and saw a man standing in the middle, fishing, with the mist surrounding him. With no camera on me, I had to take a mental picture. Perhaps I’ll just head out there one morning to see if this is a common occurrence.

Okay.. back to the event. I kept a decent pace today and I felt really good, too. I don’t feel like I overdid it, so I should (hopefully) have lots of gas left in the tank for the rest of the week.

6 more stages to go and I’ll be One Tough Runner.

Congrats to everyone else who completed stage 1 today. I’ll see you tomorrow at the 15K time trial!

Woolwich-20110807-00194 Woolwich-20110807-00197 IMG-20110807-00199 Woolwich-20110807-00203

Above photos: Top: Ryan McGovern, Middle Left: Paul Mora, Middle Right: Dave Rutherford, bottom: Catherine Kelly.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

ENDURrun is just about here!

I just got back from the pre-race meeting for the 2011 ENDURrun. I have my race number bib (107), my t-shirt, race kit bag of goodies, and my awesome new long sleeved quarter-zip pullover! Now to get my stuff ready tonight and head to the start line in the morning. Wish me luck!

I plan on posting after every stage of this 7-stage event, so keep an eye out for my updates.

Friday, July 15, 2011

23 days....

Only 23 days until ENDURrun 2011. The 8 day, 7 stage, 160 km event has snuck up quickly.

I'm into full out training again, which is good. I'm back up to mid-20s (km) for my long run and will get that into the 30s shortly. I've been running 5 times per week and am bringing that up to 6 times this week.

We've been busy with wedding photos ( since the end of May and we've gone on a couple of camping trips, so it's been a bit of a challenge to try and fit everything into my schedule. Ryan and I did a kayak camping trip in the interior of Algonquin Park on Canada Day weekend, which was fantastic, but I wasn't able to get any running in that weekend because there were no trails. I did, however, get a good cross training weekend of paddling and swimming.

Last weekend, we went to Emily Provincial Park, where I was able to get in a few runs. I did one short run within the park on Saturday morning, then an 11 km run that included both road (5 km) and trail (6 km), and on Sunday I ran (well.. tried) from Lindsay to the park on the Trans Canada Trail. The first 10K of that run was in direct sun and it was HOT. For the first time in my life, I actually found it too hot to run. I had to walk a fair bit in the first 10K, but then a bit of cloud came over and there were also trees providing shade. The final 14K were much more enjoyable and I could actually run the remainder of the distance.

This week has been fairly good for running so far. As I already mentioned, I got 24K in on Sunday and since then, I didn't get a chance to run Tuesday, so I ran twice on Wednesday. I did 4K in the morning and then 11K at night. Last night I got in a great workout. I ran from work to Runners' Choice, then ran with the group to Columbia Lake for some hill repeats, did 6 on each of the 3 different types of hills (long/gradual, steep, etc) for a total of 18 hill repeats, ran back to the store, took a short watermelon break and then headed out to run home. My total distance covered last night was just under 20 km.

I just might go for a short run after work today before heading to the Beer & Rib festival and tomorrow morning I'll either be doing boot camp at McLennan Park or going for a run, possibly trail or a road/trail combo.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Slow and steady...

I had another physiotherapy appointment yesterday. I was told that I'm making great progress and that my ankle is healing quite nicely and quickly. I've also been given the go-ahead to run trails, but just not go too crazy on them. My next appointment is in 2 weeks, so I've progressed enough to decrease the frequency of treatment.

This morning I went out for a 5K run. It was a humid, but nice morning. I went through Victoria Park and was pleasantly surprised to see that the swans are back and there was also a heron. I need to get into the habit of getting up early and running in the mornings. It really is nice once I get out there, but the process of getting up and out the door is sometimes difficult. I know it will get easier as it becomes habit.

I'm slowly increasing my mileage, mostly with more frequent shorter runs (sometimes more than one per day) but I'll be adding a longer run (16-20 km) this weekend. Hopefully it goes well.

Monday, June 06, 2011


It’s just over 3 weeks since the ankle sprain (mid-marathon) and I went to physio for my assessment today.

I went for a 4K run on Saturday to test it out and it didn’t hurt, but felt tired rather quickly.

At the assessment today, I was told that the ankle is pretty good. PT said that if I wasn’t a distance runner, she’d just send me on my way, but instead I got some strengthening exercises and stretches. I do those for the next week and then go back for reassessment. I’m good to run as well, but I’m to keep the runs 8km or less until the ankle fells stronger.

Hopefully I’ll be back up to longer distances very very soon. ENDURrun is in 61 days! For now, I’ll take it one day at a time.

Friday, May 20, 2011

I did it!

I ran the Mississauga Marathon on Sunday and finished in 3:51:28. The ankle was still a bit sore and then I rolled it at the 18k mark (oops) which definitely caused some pain, but it did subside, but I was left with a swollen ankle (swelling's down now).

All in all, I was definitely happy with the race. There was wind and rain, but I didn't mind. I ran a marathon. I even knocked a few minutes off my half marathon time.

Friday, May 13, 2011

I don’t know what happened.

Yesterday morning, I got up and ran 9km. The run felt good and it was great weather. I got home and stretched as usual. Stretching my left calf felt a little odd, but that’s it.

All day, my left ankle hurt and it felt like it needed to crack, but even if it did, it didn’t feel any better. I already had a massage appointment booked because my low back and right hip were acting up on Monday/Tuesday. By this point my back and hip were fine, but my ankle, not so much. RMT worked on my back, hip and ankle, but couldn’t get the ankle to give.

Today, it felt a bit better, but still not right. I wasn’t limping today, but it still felt odd. I attempted a bit of a run tonight, which turned more into a 10-15 minute fast-paced walk with some intermittent brief spurts of jogging and then a 15 minute easy run afterward.

I’m not sure what’s going on, but I certainly hope that it’s better very very soon. I took some muscle relaxants tonight and rubbed some pain-relief cream on my ankle and lower leg in the hopes that it fixes itself overnight. It’s 3 days to marathon day and I really hope I don’t need to walk most of it.

** update – I wrote this post last night, but blogger was down, so I couldn’t post it until today. The ankle is still hurting today. **

Sunday, May 01, 2011

I finally did it!

I finally got past whatever strange mental block I had with the 10K race distance. You know something is wrong when you can run the first 10 km of a half marathon faster than a 10K race. That was the position I was in for almost 2 years.

In September 2009, I ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach 1/2 Marathon, with my first 10 km of that race being completed in 51:27. Click here for my results from this race.

I had run 4 10K races prior to this half. My times were as follows:
Oct 2008 – Zoo Run: 54:57 (chip time)
May 2009 – Mudpuppy Chase: 53:22 (gun time)
June 2009 – Waterloo Classic: 55:54 (chip time)
Aug 2009 – Muskoka Rocks: 54:46 (gun time)

At this point, one could argue that my training was paying off and that’s why I did so well for the 10K portion of the half, but then I look at the results for 10K races AFTER September 2009.

Oct 2009 – Laurier Loop: 52:30 (c)
May 2010 – Mudpuppy Chase: 52:30 (c)
Jun 2010 – Guelph Lake: 53:47 (g)
Jun 2010 – Waterloo Classic: 55:50 (c)
Oct 2010 – Laurier Loop: 52:03 (c)

Then came the Las Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll 1/2 Marathon in December 2010 where I once again finished the first 10K faster than any 10K race. This time it was 51:31. My results for this race are here.

So.. this brings us to today. I ran the Downtown Mudpuppy Chase, which is one of my favourites, due to it’s close proximity to my house and fabulous post-race food. I ran the 10K distance (the race has a 3K, 5K, and 10K) and I finished in a gun time of 49:04. My chip time was 48:52.

I’ve finally run a 10K race faster than the first 10K of a longer distance race! I’ve finally broken 50 minutes, which was my goal for last year that didn’t happen, and I’ve crushed my previous best 10K race time by over 3 minutes!

I think I’ve gotten over whatever it was that had been holding me back. Today was a confidence boost indeed.

Bring on the marathon in 2 weeks!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I’m going to run NYC marathon… in 2012

Today was the non-guaranteed entry lottery drawing for the 2011 marathon. They had a live draw of the 40,000 runners who were chosen from the 140,000 runners who entered the lottery. From what I can tell, I was not chosen.

I’ve been entering the lottery for this race since 2009, so this was my third year. Not being chosen 3 years in a row, guarantees your entry for the following year, so.. I’m in! Next year.

Runs since my last post:
April 20 - 5km
April 21 – 9 km
April 23 – 36.25 km (my final long long run before the marathon)
April 26 – 5.5 km
April 27 – 2 km on treadmill, then I smartened up and went outside
April 27 – 8.25 km

Monday, April 18, 2011

Will I be ready?

I’ll be running Mississauga Marathon on May 15th, so it’s now less than a month until my first full marathon.

I missed some workouts including shortening up some long runs due to the cold I had. I’m now over that, but I’ve just done my first run longer than 30 km in weeks. I did run 65 km last week, but the longest day was just a 20 km day. This coming weekend, I’ll do a 36 or 38 km run.

I’ve run several half marathons and now I’ve done one 30 km race, but nothing longer than that. I’m looking forward to running my first marathon next month, but there are also the doubts. I’m mostly confident, but hey.. it’s something I’ve never done before! I hope it goes well.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Kicking the Cold

In my last post, I mentioned that I ran Around the Bay with a cold that had started a few days before the race. Well, it didn’t end there. I spent a fun week with lots of Kleenex and night time cold relief drugs. Due to this lovely, I missed 3 of my training runs. I had to skip my Quality Workout with the store on Thursday and well.. it was frustrating.

I started to feel better, energy-wise, on Thursday night so I started easing back into the running this weekend. On Friday evening I ran 5 km, Saturday I ran 10 km, and today, 15 km.

I still have a bit of stuffiness, but overall, I feel a lot better. I hope this cold is completely gone by Tuesday so that I can get back into my regular training routine.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Today I ran Around the Bay

For the last few weeks, I’ve felt like my body was fighting off something. I was more tired at night than usual and I’d fall asleep quicker. It wasn’t affecting me during the day at all, so it was all okay. Well, this week, my body decided to give up the fight and allow the cold to find it’s way in.

Thursday, I started to have a bit of a sore throat, but chalked it up to a dry house. I went to my Quality Workout session with Runners’ Choice as usual and had a good interval session.

When I woke up on Friday, my throat was not good. I decided to stay home from work (I still worked, just from home instead of the office) and hang out in my PJs for the day. I also didn’t want to spread germs at work and I thought my co-workers might appreciate that. I hoped that by taking it easy, maybe it would be the quickest cold ever and be gone in a day (yeah right… I know that never happens).

Saturday morning, the cold was more prominent. I felt out of it and drained. Went to the expo to pick up my race kit and to do a little shopping, but I probably walked right by some great deals since my brain could only focus on one thing at a time. I was looking for arm sleeves and I found some for $12.50 + tax. Yay!

This morning, when I woke up, I had a lovely coughing session where Ryan said he was considering telling me I couldn’t run. But it went away as quickly as it came, and body-wise, I felt good. I promised him that if I felt bad during the race, I would stop and not complete it.

So.. in order to run the race with a cold, I stocked up on supplied, and clothes for that matter. I purposely dressed warmer than I would normally because if I ended up needing to walk a large portion, I wanted to be comfortable. I brought way more gels & shot blocks than I needed to be sure I could avoid another emergency donut situation like 2 weeks ago, a pocket full of Ricola cough drops, and 5 kleenex.

During the race I used:
- 1 gel just before the start
- 1 package of shot blocks throughout the race
- several small cups of Gatorade on the course (I stopped at every aid station starting at 11km and had some)
- 5 cough drops
- 4 fuel belt bottles of water
- and only 1 kleenex that I actually got from a spectator who was holding out a box

I only had 3 small bouts of coughing during the race and taking another cough drop did the trick each time.

I finished the 30 km race Around the Bay in 2 hours, 56 minutes, 2.5 seconds. Not too shabby.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A four town tour

Today’s long run took place through 4 different towns: Kitchener, Waterloo, St Jacobs, and Conestogo.

It was an interesting run. I had puddles to deal with on the way out of town, a car that almost ran me over (no worries, I’m not injured or anything), a closed road and detour, and an emergency donut stop (I was out of gels and needed some energy).

I ran a total of 30.35 km today and overall it was pretty good (aside from the above mentioned occurrences). It was my longest training run so far and I finished it in 3 hours 15 minutes. I’m looking forward to pushing myself further in the future.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 30.35 km
Weather: 0 C, felt like –5 C, NW wind 17-20 km/h

Monday, March 07, 2011

A Quick Summary of a Week Gone By

It’s been a while. I apologize. I will now quickly bring you up to speed on my running over the past week-ish.

My running consisted of:
- indoor mini reverse triathlon (30 min run, 10 min bike, 15 min swim)
- 2.5 hour evening-time icy run
- hills with the group at Runners' Choice 
- rainy 12 km run (but at least it was nicely above freezing and I could wear a hat instead of a toque!)
- 3 hour run that started out nice and sunny, ended up dark, had some clear stretches, some very snowy stretches, some ice, slush, and some puddles

And now it’s my day off.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

First Quality Workout Since Vacation

Tonight, I went to Runners’ Choice for the Thursday night Quality session of the Marathon Group. We ran did a ladder workout tonight, starting with 1 minute hard, 1 minute recovery, then up to 2 min, 3 min, 4 min hard segments with 1 minute recovery between each, then back down. This whole set was done twice.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 12 km
Weather: –1 C, felt like -6

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Re-Fridgee-Eighter Run

This morning was the 14th annual Re-Fridgee-Eighter 8 km and 8 mile races at RIM Park in Waterloo.

The race was well-run as always with plenty of support both on the course and at the start/finish area.

Chip pick-up went very smoothly, the intersections on the course were well managed with police and volunteer help, water stations were plentiful, and the finish area was easy to manoeuvre through. The post race food at any RunWaterloo event is always good and today was no exception. There was coffee, hot chocolate, pizza, hot dogs, fruit, bagels, cream cheese, and even ice cream.

I ran the 8 mile race in 1:08:44, which was over a minute faster than my time last year, so I’m happy with that. I didn’t know what to expect today as my body kept telling me that it didn’t want to run today. The weather was great, so I’m sure that helped. We had nice clear roads and it wasn’t too cold, which great.

First run of the year down and many exciting events to come.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Correr en Cayo Coco

I just got back from vacation, staying at the Emperador Laguna Villas Resort in Cayo Coco for one week.

I went for several runs during my vacation in Cuba, including a 17 km long run. I brought a camera with me on this run just in case I saw interesting things on the way.

I started my run first thing Monday morning, leaving my husband andDSCF2425 friends to have breakfast without me. I headed out of the resort, past the gates and turned left to start my adventure. As I approached the first roundabout, there was already a photo worthy moment: two wild horses were grazing in the grass between resorts.

Making my way down the road, I decided to turn left and head toward the ocean just before Sol Cayo Coco. As I ran down, I noticed that I had been to this area a couple days before, but had approached via water and beach. This time I came by road. I had arrived at the rocky point, so I climbed up and snapped some photos.




DSCF2438From this point, I looked to the east at the resorts where I would head next: Sol & Melia. The resorts looked quite nice from up here, so I was intrigued to check them out. I carefully climbed down from the rocky, coral peak and ran back out to the road. Next stop would be Sol Cayo Coco.

I ran around the Sol, which was a nice looking resort, much smaller than the Emperador Laguna. The buildings looked nice and the beach smaller and windier, but still quite beautiful. I didn’t really stop anywhere at this resort, I kept on running.

When I arrived at Melia Cayo Coco, I was instantly impressed with the grounds. Everything looked well kept. Again, this resort was a lot smaller than the one where we stayed. I decided to check out their beach as well and when I arrived, I was pleasantly surprised to find a brown pelican right close to where I stepped of the steps to the sand. DSCF2449DSCF2451

The bird stood so quietly on the beach and I could easily approach him. I decided I needed a self-portrait with my new friend.

After hanging out for a minute or two, I realized that I wasn’t getting too far in my run (I was only a few km in at this point) so I should probably keep going.

Melia is the end of the road, so when I left the resort, I was heading back past Sol and Emperador again, this time continuing through the next roundabout where I would pass by more resorts. I did not stop at these, as I wanted to head out to areas where I could see the ocean from the road.

While running along a long stretch of road, I ran into two men working on the median of the road. Well, one of them was working and the other appeared to be hanging out with his friend. I stopped to talk to them for a few minutes as I had actually met the non-working guy (who king of looked a bit like Usher) the day before at Playa Prohibida and he recognized me (I was running the prior day as well). He spoke Spanish and French, but not English, so it was a bit of a choppy conversation, but we got by. I let them know that I was going to keep on running and started moving on.

I discovered a path that looked interesting and I could hear waves, so I thought it might be a fun place to run. It was more sandy (go figure) than I thought, so it was a bit tough to run on, but was still a nice change from the road. I saw lots of hoof prints in the sand, so I’m pretty sure this is where they do the horse riding to the beach and along the beach that you see advertised in the excursions from the hotels. It lead me to the water, where I briefly ran along the beach before heading back out to the road.

The path and the end of the path where it opens to the beach:DSCF2454DSCF2456

Back on the road, the next section became hilly, but gorgeous. There was so much foliage along the sides of the road and the road ran along the shore, so there was a wonderful ocean breeze. I saw a sign up ahead, so I decided to run up to see what it was. My turn-around point turned out to be a bar and grill, but sadly, I didn’t have any money on me to stop and enjoy.


The run back to the resort was pretty uneventful, although, at one point I heard a loud, long call of “hola” so I turned and saw that it was the Usher look-alike calling at me from down away from the road. I gave greetings of “hola” and “Buenos dias” to the two guys as I kept running, wanting to run without any further stops on the way back.

I arrived back at the resort and stopped at exactly 2 hours. My time wasn’t too bad for the distance considering the stops I made. I wasn’t going to be concerned about the quality of my run too much as I definitely wanted to take in the sights and experience of running in Cuba.

My Run in Cayo Coco:

Sunday, February 06, 2011

My longest run so far

This morning I ran in the snow. It was a tough run and a great workout. I ran my longest run ever. So far, that is.. of course they will get longer. Until now, my longest was a half marathon.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 24 km (but snowy hills made it seem longer)
Weather: –4 C, felt like –10 C. Cloudy.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Short, but enjoyable run this morning

I expected the cat to wake me up at 8am like she normally does, but today she didn’t stand on me until 9. Oh well. I’m not complaining about being able to sleep in, but it did cut my morning a bit shorter.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 4.5 km
Weather: –5 C, sun & cloud

Thursday, February 03, 2011

I skipped my group workout tonight…

but still did speed work on the treadmill at the gym, so I didn’t really skip my running workout at all. I just did it while watching Grey’s Anatomy instead of running around an indoor track.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 11.26 km
Weather: n/a

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

A new month & another new pair of shoes

This time they are New Balance 860s. So far so good. No pain today. I’ll take them for another spin on the treadmill tomorrow just to be sure.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 7km
Weather: n/a – I was at the gym on a treadmill

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Around and around I go

Today I decided to run loops. Well, run to a loop, do the loop a couple of times, run to another loop, run it, then on to another and I’m sure you get the picture. I ran around parks and a university today and the paths and roads in between.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 21 km
Weather: –8 C, felt like -15

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Run 2 of 2

Tonight was the Quality Workout at Runners’ Choice. We headed out for some 400m repeats on a nice paved path. It was great to have a workout with no cars and a nice wide path that was clear of snow. It was a nice tough workout, running hard for 400m and then easy for 400m and repeat 6 to 12 times.

Tonight’s Run:
Distance covered: 13 km
Weather: –4 C, felt like –9 C

Run 1 of 2

It’s Thursday today, which means Quality Workout with Runners’ Choice tonight. Normally, that is my only run of the day, but this morning I headed out the door for a short run in the nice mild weather.

Distance: 5 km
Weather: –7 C, light snow, wind E 4 km/h

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Another new pair.. another sore heel

On the weekend, I exchanged the shoes that gave me heel pain for a different pair of shoes. Tonight I tried out the new shoes on a treadmill. Pain. I tried to suck it up thinking that maybe, just maybe, it was “new shoe” pain and not “bad shoe for me” pain. I ended up having to switch shoes half-way through my run (I brought 2 pairs to the gym just in case). I guess Reeboks just don’t fit my feet right. It’s too bad, too, because I liked the shoes in all other aspects.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 9.75 km
Weather: n/a – I was indoors

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Today was very, very cold. Legs don’t like to move when it’s this cold, but I forced them to. It was a tough run. I guess it’ll only make me stronger, though!

Today’s Run:
Distance: 16 km
Weather: –17 C, with a “feels like” temperature of –26 C

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mostly treadmills and a bit of snowy roads

That’s my week of running in a nutshell.

Tonight was a Quality Workout night at Runners’ Choice. The evening started out with a talk by Olympian Eric Gillis. He ran the 10,000 at the Beijing Olympics and is now looking at the marathon for 2012.

After a good talk about training and a Q&A session, we headed outdoors to run out to Longfellow for some hill work. It was a tough run tonight as the roads became progressively more slippery and the soles of our shoes became more caked with snow. It was a good workout.

Tonight’s Run:
Distance: 10 km, including hill repeats
Weather: –8C, snow

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

New Shoes - Sore Heel

I ran 8.5 km on a treadmill at the gym this morning in new shoes. By the end of the run, the back of my right heel was really hurting. Not fun. I don’t believe these are the shoes for me.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

First Day

Today was the first day of the Winter/Spring Marathon group at Runners’ Choice. The group was bigger than the fall group, with a lot of first time marathoners and half-marathoners. It’s going to be a good season.

It was a cold, but very nice morning. The sky was perfectly clear and the sun was strong. It was a perfect winter morning for a run.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 15km
Weather: –11C, felt like –19C

Monday, January 03, 2011

Back to Winter Weather

After Friday and Saturday’s rain, we got a wee bit of new snow yesterday. It was just a dusting, but at least it’s something for January.

Today’s Run:
Distance: 12 km
Weather: –3 C, felt like –9 C

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Starting the new year off right

Today I ran the Resolution Run with the Running Room. It wasn’t a long run, just a short 5K run in the rain, but it was a good way to start off the year.

2010 was a pretty good running year for me. I managed to spend the year injury free, which was my main goal and I also set a couple of PBs in 10K and also the half marathon.

Total Distance covered in 2010: 1353 km

In 2011 I will be expanding my running horizons further with some exciting challenges. So far, my longest race has been the half marathon, but this spring, I will run the Around the Bay 30K road race and the Mississauga Marathon.

The big challenge for this year will be the ENDURrun in August. This event is an 8 day, 7 stage event covering a total of 160 km. I will have to train harder than ever and build up my endurance, but I’m certainly looking forward to it.

Happy New Year, everyone!