Two Weeks!


cold and early! and a dusty mirror

I really cut back on distance this week! I just felt like I needed a bit of a break. I think I’ll run similar mileage next week. I caught up on sleep a bit and generally feel a bit better, so I think it worked.

Here’s the recap:

Monday Alyson came home from her business trip, so she came over for a catch-up run and dinner with me and Jan. We did an easy 7 km

Tuesday I worked a weird split-shift, so in between I squeezed in a little run. Since I didn’t have time to go longer, I tried to go a little faster. 5.3km at 4:40/km

Wednesday I actually meant to run 10-15 km on Wednesday but I wasn’t feeling well. I made it 5k and decided to call it a day.

Thursday I went to RunVan, which ended up being awesome because I won a night at the Fairmont Waterfront! I also had a massage scheduled after this run, soit was basically the best morning ever. img_8031

Friday Danielle and I met up for a really nice 11.5 km through downtown and then onto the False Creek seawall. The sky was really beautiful – it was a rare clear morning. We grabbed coffee afterward and then headed to work.


Saturday I took a rest day! We went hiking on the North Shore since it wasn’t raining.

Sunday A long run (but shorter than the past few!) with the usual RR Sunday crew. It was so nice to have everyone back together! We did 23k.

It was a good week! I think next week will be another 55-65k, and then I’ll cut right down the week before the marathon.


Running Last Week (AKA CIM Training Update – 3 Weeks Out)

As of Sunday, I was three weeks out from CIM, and hit my peak mileage before the marathon.


In the 7 days between November 8th and November 14th, I ran 101.8 km. I normally track Monday – Sunday, so the weekly total my Strava sees is 94.2 km.

This is my highest mileage week, and I think it’s the highest mileage over 4 consecutive weeks as well (337.2 km). I am mostly happy with how my prep for this marathon has gone (lack of speed work notwithstanding) but I have to say that I have never been this tired.

Here’s a look at the past week:

Monday rest

Tuesday Election day! We had a bunch of friends over and so I squeezed in a run between work and everyone coming over. 6.2 mi

Wednesday I started my run a bit early and ended up at the Running Room, where the usuals were heading out for the standard 10k run. I headed out with Audree and Dave, then cut that run a bit short so that I ended up at home. Total = 10.3 mi

Thursday RunVan, as usual! This ended up being a really nice morning, and even though the time change is making the nights feel very early, it was great not to run in the dark. 5.1 mi

Friday Danielle is back to running post PDX marathon! She joined me for an early morning 7 mi around the park (and then we got coffee).

Friday evening I went out for a quick run with Jan to help get rid of the last bit of a headache he had. We did 2.8 mi for a total of 9.8 for the day.

Saturday Jan really had to help drag my butt out for this one, because we were busy around the house on Saturday morning, plus I had an 8 am meeting, and then spent the afternoon at work in the clinic. When I got home, I just didn’t feel up to it, but he convinced me to try. We ended up doing a great progression run. 4.5 mi

Sunday This was my solo long run! I devoted a whole post to it here. 22.1 mi.

Total for the week: 58.5 mi/ 8h 17m

Bring on the Taper


As I’m writing this, we’re officially three weeks away from CIM, and today I did my last (super) long training run! It was really rainy out there today so I just got it done early in the morning. None of the usual suspects wanted to go as far, so Jan told me he would bike beside me again, keeping me company like he did when we ran 2 bridges a few weeks ago.

We went out to Stanley Park, wrapped around the Seawall, then up and over Burrard to Point Grey and eventually UBC. When we reached the campus, we turned around and came back through the Endowment Lands, along 8th ave, over the bridge and back past English Bay before heading home.


It pretty much rained the whole time, which meant I felt cool. I wore shorts, a long sleeve shirt, and a pair of calf sleeves for a little extra warmth. I carried water in my bigger handheld water bottle, an Ultimate Direction FastDraw 20. I also had 2 organic caramel HoneyStinger waffles, and had a couple of gels and a pack of HoneyStinger chews with me in case I wanted something different.

I tried to have a bigger breakfast than usual as well. I went with a piece of toast with banana and peanut butter, a large mug of half coffee/half almond milk, and a small piece of homemade pumpkin bread. I think it really helped.

On the run, I felt pretty good overall. The beginning was very comfortable, and I didn’t really feel like eating the first waffle around 11km. I knew I couldn’t get behind on nutrition, though, so I ate it over about 400m. I thought I would eat the next one around 25k, but at 22.5 I was suddenly feeling very cranky and Jan handed me the waffle and told me to eat it – I definitely felt better. Towards the end, I could totally have had a third, but we were ending and I knew I’d have real food soon. During the marathon, I think the plan will be 11k, 22k, 32k and maybe 37k if I feel like it. I plan to carry the four waffles, plus a pack of chews as backup.

I liked the easy access to water today with the larger bottle, but I didn’t like carrying 20 oz! I really felt like my arms were more fatigued. Do I need to be better atswitching hands more? (I definitely prefer my right). Or should I spend the next 3 weeks building some shoulder/arm strength? TBD.

As usual, thanks to Jan for taking photos, carrying food, biking beside me and generally being the best today!


My Longest Run to Date

Last week in my recap post I mentioned that I planned to do the Gully Run on Sunday. 34 km of hills in Vancouver: basically the craziest way to start the day I can think of, but this marathon isn’t going to run itself.

I mostly want to dedicate a whole post to this run because I did it, and I think it worked pretty well. I was tired at the end, but not so tired that I couldn’t go another step. It gave me SO much more confidence that I will finish the marathon and not totally implode.


The run is basically a tour of the hills the old Broadway Running Room clinics used to use for their hill repeats, plus a bunch of mileage in between. You hit Queen E, 33rd, 29th, Nanton and King Ed, then up 16th/Dunbar and finally Camosun before you get to Blanca and coast allll the way back across the city.


I ate two honey stinger waffles (chocolate – meh, and honey – much better) at around 8 mi and 14 mi. I had a gel and honey stinger chews with me as well, but didn’t end up taking them. I carried a 10 oz hand held water bottle, and took a sip of water from the fountain at Queen E.

This brings me to the fuelling question that’s been on my brain for the past 2 days. My bottle was ~75% empty at mile 13, when I saw a guy with a hose and asked him for a refill :). For the marathon, I can a) carry a bigger bottle with more water, b) refill my bottle at water stations, c) drink from my bottle until it’s empty and then switch to water stations, d) just drink a bit less and start the run more hydrated.

I don’t think D is the right option. Jan suggested B because it’s easier to drink from a bottle than cups. A seems the easiest but would also require me to carry more weight (yes, an extra 150g is worth worrying about) and C is also practical but forces me to rely on the aid stations after my water runs out (what if they’re crowded? what if I spill my water? etc). Help, internet!

Food wise, I am going to stick with the waffles, I think. Gels have never been my friend and lately I have been taking very little food on runs, and making sure that whatever I do get is pretty solid. It’s working out, so I won’t mess with it. No more nauseous running!

I’m off for a longer mid-week run. I’ll be back at the end of the week with a recap.


Marathon Training – Still Here!

I’m finally getting around to a marathon training update!

I missed a whole bunch of updates after the 9 weeks out post – things got crazy with on-call weekends, our trip to Toronto and NYC, and my MCCQE. Other than that week on the east coast, when I walked a lot but only ran 20 miles, it’s been ok.

I’ve been running mostly higher volume, which is what worked for me when training for a faster half marathon. The problem is that when I was doing half training, I tried to do at least 2 short tempo-style runs per week. A 5- or 6-mile tempo was easy enough to do during the week. Now, though, I think the same tempo would need to be 18-21 miles, and that hasn’t been happening.

Generally, the weeks look like this:

Monday Off! I love being able to start the week by sleeping until a normal time and focusing on work at night. Plus, it’s the day after long run day, and my legs usually need it.

Tuesday I get up around 5:45 and run around the seawall, either with a friend or on my own. I usually run around 8.5 mi at 8:15 pace.


after a perfect 10 miler at home! 

Wednesday If I can get to the Running Room in the evening for a 10k workout, I do! (This has happened once.) More realistically, I get up early again and run in Vancouver. Lately I’ve been going over Burrard and into Kits. Something about Wednesdays make me feel tired, and I end up running around 6 mi at something like 8:30 pace.

Thursday I’ve been consistently going to the 6:30 RunVan meetups on Thursday morning. I have been trying more to use this as a speedier day and get my pace under 8:00. The total mileage is usually 5-6, including my warmup.

Friday This is always a solo day, sometimes after work and sometimes before. Usually its anywhere from 3-5 miles depending on whether I’ve felt the week was low on mileage, or I’m worried about fitting in runs on the weekend. I also try to keep this one under 8:00/mile.

Saturday Run either on my own in the afternoon, or with Jan. Pace tends to hover right around 8:00, and distance usually 4-6 mi.

Sunday Long run, of course. Because of all the weird weekend schedules, a few of these have been on my own. Two weeks ago, though, I ran with my friend Nikki while she did her first half marathon, then added on. Last week, Jan biked beside me while I did the two bridges 30k, because I had the LMCC in the morning. The video at the top is a compilation of little videos he took while goofing around on the bike with me.

Total: Hovering around 50mi for the past 3 weeks – one more to go before the taper starts! 

Tomorrow the plan is to do the Gully Run – 34km of hills with the Running Room kids. Stay tuned for more!

img_7975 Thanksgiving Morning – a little Turkey Trot with Jan and Dana