Monday Workout Recap!

Happy Monday! Last week was a bit of a drop-back week in terms of mileage for me but good for intensity. I ended the week with a half marathon on Sunday! Stay tuned for the race recap soon, but for now, here’s how the week went!

Monday Normally I rest on Monday’s but since I was racing at the end of the week, I wanted to squish some mileage into the beginning of the week. I ended up doing 40 minutes (8k) feeling SUPER tired after the 33km from the Sunday before.

Tuesday I had planned to go out for a tempo 12k, but after 6k I wasn’t feeling as good as I’d hoped and took it a little easier on the way back. I averaged 4:28/km on the way out and 4:51/km on the way back. This made me a little bit unsure about my plans for the race on Sunday.

Wednesday I woke up early to do an easy trail run before work. It was SO rainy. Originally I’d planned to go for 17-18k, but called it at 15 since I was drenched. Coffee earned!

Thursday I did a short little run in the early morning on Thursday. The cumulative fatigue from the week was catching up with me, and my work schedule meant I could only run from 6-7 am. 6.5km in the trails was perfect.

Friday Off! This was amazing! A much needed rest day.I didn’t even hit my usual 12,000 step goal, which didn’t bother me at all.

Saturday I had planned a shakeout run (the calendar says 30 minutes easy) but we ended up going for a hike at Smuggler’s Cove, which was low intensity and easy and just what I think I needed.

Sunday Stay tuned for a full race recap later this week, but I ran the Fool’s Half Marathon here on the coast! It was finally sunny and I had a really great day. Spoiler alert: taking a few days off is magical!

Total for the week: 63 km 

How did your week go?

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Sun Mountain 50k Training Plans

This past Saturday marked 10 weeks out from Sun Mountain training. I don’t know if it’s going to be my “A” race for the year (will I have an A race?) but it’s definitely what I’m focusing on for now.

I haven’t set a serious goal, but I’m loosely hoping to be between 5:30-6:00 (average 6:35-7:12/km).

I’ve never raced anything further than a marathon on my feet (and I’ve only run one marathon!), but doing some longer triathlons did get me accustomed to multi-hour race day efforts. I tried to use some of the things I learned there to build a plan for Sun Mountain. Mostly:

  • I tend to log more miles when I’m with a group and there’s a set plan
  • I need to build in some solo workouts to prepare for how it will feel to be racing on my own
  • I need to listen to my body!
  • I need to practice fuelling.

I’m also trying to consider a few extra things for Sun Mountain:

  • It’s just a lot of time on my feet
  • I have only done a few short races on trail

Long Runs

I decided to build up to the race in parallel to the Running Room BMO Vancouver Marathon clinic. Dave and Greg are leading a big group of people who are running the race, and since Sun Mountain is just a few weeks later (and a few km’s farther), I’ve hopped onto their long run schedule.

This past Sunday was 29km (although a bit short), and I’ll loosely follow the clinic until they start to taper. My plan is roughly: 29 – 32 – 29 (with 21 as the April Fool’s Race!) – 32 – 32 (clinic starts to taper) – 36 – 40 – 30 (race day for the clinic) – 20 – Race!

Weekly Mileage

With those long runs, I’m looking to steadily increase my weekly mileage. For the past seven weeks, it’s been mostly between 65-75 km.

For the next four weeks, I’m hoping to be able to increase that a bit to 75-85 km/week. For the three weeks after that, I’ll look for 85-100k, and then I’ll taper down to the race.

Types of Runs

Since I’m working on the Sunshine Coast, I’ve also been trying to make my runs hilly and looking for opportunities to run on trails. I’m trying to do a bit of speedwork as well!

Fuelling + Listening to My Bod

So. My fuelling has always been something I forget to focus on. I tried hard during marathon training to nail down a strategy and practice it early. On race day, I didn’t end up getting all the calories I planned, but I did get most and I felt really strong, so I called it a success. Lately though, I haven’t been thinking about it as much and I want to make an effort to get back to being strategic. I haven’t fuelled with anything except water and a few gummies for my long runs during this cycle, so that’s gonna have to change.

As for responding to my own cues, I did take an almost rest day 2 Sundays ago – I woke up with a bad cold and decided not to suck it up and do my long run. Overall, I don’t think this made me lose any fitness and I felt great last week, even though I still have the end of the cold.

And that’s it! Any trail runners have some advice for me? 

PS – photos by Jan, except for the blurry cell phone photos I took of Dave’s map + my salad creation

2017 Races

Good morning! I’m writing this at 6:45 am from the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal waiting to head back over to the Sunshine Coast. I have a tiny case of the Monday’s, probably because springing forward this weekend means it’s pitch black out there.

I’ve been pretty quiet here since the marathon, mostly because (1) I haven’t raced (2) I’ve been studying for the CCFP, and (3) I’ve been away working in Sechelt/Wilson Creek as part of a rural medicine experience.

I definitely want to devote a couple of posts to living, running and working on the Sunshine Coast, but this morning my plan was to get organized for my 2017 races. So far, I have a few longer things on the calendar, and I hope to fill in some shorter races too.

April

  • April Fools Half Marathon (Gibsons to Sechelt) – since I’m already living on the coast for a few months, I may as well throw a race in here, right?!

May

  • Sun Mountain 50k – I signed up for my first ultra! And it’s 10 weeks away! More on this coming :)

June

  • Longest Day 5k – My current 5k PR and a really fun Friday evening race complete with post-run picnic

August

  • Seawheeze Half Marathon – this was such a fun race last year, and since it’s my current PR I really wanted to come back and run again
  • Squamish 23km – this race has a reputation for being hard. And, only a week after Seawheeze, it might be interesting ;).

September

December

  • While I’m not actually signed up yet, I was given a free entry to go back to CIM – my first marathon and BQ! If you’d like to enter, I highly recommend the forgiving course. You can use code ALYSSARUNS10 for a discount!

And, speaking of travel, Jan and I are going to be in Australia from April 26 – May 13 (insert happy dance!). If anyone knows of any cool races happening in Sydney around that time, I’d love to hear about it! I’m planning to have my peak week for Sun Mountain the first week that we’re there, so any excuse to get in some extra km’s would be amazing!

California International Marathon Race Recap – Part 1

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Guys, I had the best weekend. I think it would be too much to cover it all in one post, so I’m splitting it into Saturday (expo, shakeout, nerves) and Sunday (marathon, food, sleep).

Jan and I flew in to Sacramento on Friday night. I get nervous flying, and it was a windy trip, so by the time we checked into our hotel at 10:30 I was wiped. We both fell asleep watching Friends. 

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I found my name in the “R”!

On Saturday morning, we decided to hit the expo and then get brunch. I was hungry in the morning and figured I should carb-load, so I ate one of the small muffins that I’d brought.

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The expo was fun to wander around, but I brought everything I needed and didn’t end up having to buy anything. We did score some free HoneyStinger waffles (which I used to fuel my race). We also picked up my bib, gear drop bag, and course info. img_0055

After the expo we ate brunch. I had most of my spinach omelet… when we were walking around I felt ok but any time I tried to eat on Saturday I would realize how nervous I was.

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Is it a stack of waffles or a big mac?!

We rested for a bit at the hotel and watched the Food Network… we got pretty invested in an episode of Cupcake Wars. Ha! I got my waffles out of their packages and tucked them into my water bottle so they’d be ready for race day.

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chicken arms everywhere
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the finish line is right in front of the state capitol!

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Around 4, we decided it was shakeout run time. We went to a park near the hotel for strides, then jogged around the finish line area. Oh boy. I also managed to eat a Picky Bar (ah, fudge nuts flavour, obvi) somewhere in here.

After the run it was time to get some dinner. Thank goodness Jan had made reservations at the local pasta restaurant, because it was crazy in there. I got spaghetti with meatballs (usually I don’t eat red meat, but I wanted to get the simplest pasta) and ate about 2/3 of it. I also tried really hard to get some fluids in, so I had 2 big glasses of diet coke (better than nothing, and I just didn’t feel like water).

On the walk back to the hotel, we stopped to pick up a banana for me to have on race morning. It was COLD at night (around 3 degrees) and I was a little shaky. I couldn’t tell if it was because I was cold or because I was super nervous. We went to bed and I tried to calm my brain down. My heart rate is usually in the low 40’s before bed, but Saturday night it was 65! I laid awake until around 2, when I think I fell asleep for a bit.

Next up it’s race day! Stay tuned!

Marathon Weekend

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don’t worry, it’s decaf

It’s Friday night and Jan and I are sitting at SEA-TAC, waiting for our little plane to Sacramento. The week went by pretty quickly, considering how little running I did. On Tuesday morning, I got up for an early run around downtown and Lost Lagoon – it was a cold but otherwise really pretty and NON-RAINY morning in Vancouver. Then, Thursday morning I went for one last pre-marathon RunVan. We kept it short (just over 6k) and easy pace.

Lots of people told me to expect “taper tantrums” and to feel a bit weird this week. Nothing hurts, exactly, but I’ve found myself obsessing weirdly over my level of hydration, eating carbs, and sleeping. I’m also… irritable? Antsy? Sorry, Jan.

img_8084 Last night, we packed and I had flashbacks to Sweden as I remembered how much stuff I seem to need for a race. This time, I separated my lists into three main categories: pre-race (flight, expo, shakeout run, relax), race (SO MUCH STUFF) and post race (food and relax, I hope).

Here’s what I brought:

Pre-race

  • clothes, shoes, small bag
  • shakeout run clothes
  • laptop and passport
  • couple of magazines and a book for the plane
  • snacks: home made muffins, an apple and plenty of Nuun

Race

  • Pre-race food: my trusty toaster waffles, PB, and a home-made muffin (plus extras for Jan)
  • Actual race-day outfit: top, shorts, bra, socks, shoes, watch, hat, body glide
  • Throwaway layers that I plan to shed during the race: sweater, gloves
  • Layers that I’ll wear to the start line and check in: puffy jacket, warm up pants. I’ll also check in wipes and a brush, for immediately after the race.
  • Nutrition: Honey stinger waffles, one pack of honey stinger chews, some Gu, and handheld bottle

Post-race

  • Clothes and comfy shoes

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Hopefully I didn’t forget anything! In a few minutes we’ll be up and away. See you soon, Sacramento!

 

The Final Countdown

Race day is almost here! I’m late recap-ing workouts last week, but there was less than usual to talk about. I figured I’d smoosh it into a post with a few runs from this week.

Monday Rest, as usual

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absolutely freezing before heading out to run (had to walk there first)

Tuesday It was so, so rainy all day. Danielle texted me around 5 and asked if I’d run yet, because she was going to check out a group called Mile2Marathon. I decided to tag along, because there was no way I was running alone in the pouring rain again. I did 10k with a few of the guys at (for me) tempo pace. 10k

Wednesday I went out for an easy run around the neighbourhood and threw in a few hills by taking Chilco down to the water. Nothing special, but I felt good. 8.2k

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post run dinner and marathon talk with the Belgian

Thursday RunVan! I was a bit late for this run so I had to hustle to make it on time. With my cooldown, it ended up being about 9.6k

Friday Last pre-marathon run with Danielle, and a coffee and lululemon shopping date after.

Saturday Off – I meant to run, but weather/timing just didn’t work out and I didn’t really worry about it. I did get in almost 30,000 steps (according to my Garmin) since we were scrambling around to clean, run errands, etc.

Sunday Last long run. I went out with a bunch of the Running Room people for the usual pre-marathon out and back to Siwash Rock. We added on a bit by going around Science World for a total of 18.3k. This run felt really good and added a bit to my confidence that I can get through this race.

Totals for last week = 58 km

This week hasn’t looked like much! I did one early morning Tuesday run (8.2k) and a very easy RunVan one today (6.2k). I’ll probably run about 5k very easy on Saturday, and then it’ll be a marathon on Sunday for a total of 61.6km. What am I going to talk about after this!?!

I’m off to pack. Tomorrow we head to Sacramento!

Two Weeks!

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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.

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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.