Monday, May 6, 2013

Race Recap & a Revelation

I'm just sitting here resting on a wonderful sunny Sunday afternoon and figured I should write the race recap while I'm still basking in the joy of a new personal best.  First of all though, I wanted to tell you about a moment I had while running solo yesterday.  I think I've only run alone twice since this half marathon training clinic started at the end of February.  Not because I'm scared or hate running alone but because I'm self-conscious.  There's safety in numbers.  Nobody is looking at one person when there is a group running by.  I was always worried about being slow or looking silly or looking fat.  Stupid I know, so stupid.  Then Saturday morning came.  I knew I wanted to get in about 5 km.  I also had to go to my running store to pick up a spibelt (love it).  I mapped how far it was from my condo to the store and back and it is exactly 4 miles.  I decided to run there and back so I had an actual destination and then once I was there, I really had no choice but to run back.  I ended up taking another way home but kind of goofed and ended up going almost 7 km but managed to stop in at a mom & pop little store for a bottle of water.  Anyhow, that first two miles was fast for me and I was having a great time.  By the time I got to the running store, all my self-consciousness was gone.  I remember when I would see people running, short, tall, fat, skinny, young, old, slow, fast, I always thought "I wish I was doing that".  I never thought mean things or laughed at them.  So I figured, if someone is laughing at me for any reason, then f*ck them, and they're probably not a very nice person in real life.  And if they are looking at me wishing they were doing it or thinking "good for her", then awesome.  Either way, I'm good.  So I'm relieved that I will no longer be missing any of my homework runs because I don't want to go alone.  YES!!!!

Okay, the race recap.  It was the 9th annual police service half marathon and they also have a two person relay.  My partner was my super friend from work Nicole.  We are both redheads so our team name was Gingers Kick Back.  She likes to say I talked her into doing it but the conversation went like this "hey Nicole, you wouldn't want to do this relay with me would you?".  Less than one second passed before I got a Sure!  I was running the first leg. Nicole is super speedy so it made more sense for me to run and then wait for her at the finish line for 45 minutes than it was for her to run and then wait for me for an hour and twenty.  I was really paranoid that I was going to sleep in so the night before, my coffee table looked like this:

I went to bed at 9:30 pm so I could be nice and rested.  I slept solidly till 4:30am, woke up for a bit, fell back to sleep and woke up again at 5:30am.  At that point, I got up.  I knew if I fell back to sleep, I would likely sleep in and didn't want that!!  I chugged some water, made some breakfast, and put all my stuff on and out the door.  It went down to -4 last night I think so I had to scrape my windshield.  Not impressed!  When I got there, I checked my bag and then wandered about looking for people I knew.  I found a few and then my brother, who I didn't even know was going to be there was at the start right before I took off!  Got a last second high-five and I was off.  The first few miles were great.  Then it started to warm up a bit.  I took my jacket off and tied it around my waist.  Kept on trucking.  Mile 5 was tough although the water station cheered me up by naming themselves Cinq-o de Mile-O.  (I found out later that day, they had shots of beer!  Damn!) I looked down at my watch a little later and realized that if I was running an even 10 km, I would be about to set a new personal best.  My last 10 km was in October  and I finished with 1:24:15.  I was looking down at my watch just waiting for it to roll over to 6.2 miles and when it did, I was at 1:17:14!!!  That made my day.  Although, I still had another 1/2 mile to go so celebration was short-lived.  I ran around the corner onto the main drag where the relay exchange was and I was worried I wouldn't find Nicole because there was so many people!  I was scanning and then up ahead she and another guy were partly into the roadway jumping up and down!  It was so funny, they almost looked co-ordinated. I think he must have been the relay partner for someone near me.  I slapped Nicole's hand and she was off!  At 10.7 km, I was at 1:22:47.  I'll take it!

I made my way back into the park to wait for Nicole.  This race is really cool because you wait for your partner and then when you see them coming, you jump out onto the course and run the last stretch together and cross the finish line together.  Then you get a medal with two straps and the medal comes apart like a bff necklace, hehe.  I calculated what time I thought she'd be coming around and I started stretching out and limbering up.  I stiffened almost instantly and was thinking that I might jump out to run with her and then just fall down.  Baha!  So something I would do.  When I saw her come around the corner, I jumped out onto the course and started jumping up and down like she did, I have to admit, it was a lot of fun and then sprinted hard to finish line and crossed!!!  Team time 2:10:49.  Our individual times are a little wonky online because we ran in reverse order than what we registered so it shows me as 1:15, I WISH!  So subtract my garmin time from our total and Nicole ran her half in a blistering 48:02 if my math is right.  Wowsers.  Best relay partner ever!
Just noticed that both years, I got the same side of the medal, hehe.
I need to get better at medal pictures.  What is happening with my arms?!
The other really cool thing about the day is that I started thinking about what the pictures would look like and would I look huge and honestly, I loved all the pictures we took.  I didn't think "ew, I look too big in that one" even once.  Happy fricking day!!!

Friday, May 3, 2013

So Much!! (Part 2)

Since I missed blogging pretty much the whole month of April, you can read Part 1 here.  And in case you missed it, ONEderland happened!

To catch up on what's been happening with my running.  It's just starting to be hat season rather than toque season.  Yay!  We still have overnight lows of below zero but it's coming I can tell!  I'm still in the half marathon clinic and I think it's going pretty well.  In a perfect world, I'd be running 5 times a week.  But our leader said it's really most important that we get in our tempo run, steady run, and long run.  I sort of do that.  I do get in the 3 -4 runs but the difference between my tempo speed and my steady run is non-existent, hehe.  I call it tempslo.  However, when I do run with this one girl who is slightly faster, I run a little faster.  Most of the time, I'm running with a different friend of mine who is in the clinic and he is a bit slower than me so I tend to be a little slower on those nights.  So I guess I do have a bit of a tempo and a steady.  I'm not too concerned about not running 5 times because I do three classes a week of cross-training and usually a video at home once or twice a week.  

The other day I had a big realization while I was running.  I kept thinking that I wasn't getting any better.  Running was just as hard as it ever was and I was just really feeling like I sucked.  I was struggling and pretty much gasping for air.  I was running with the woman who was faster and another girl that is much faster but coming back slowly after an injury.  I dropped out of the conversation so I could keep up chugging along, feeling discouraged with my lame lungs.  It wasn't until I stopped my Garmin that I realized that my "short" mid-week run that night was 6.38 km.  That was pretty much the distance of the week one long run.  My long run last Sunday was 13.8 km.  So while my feeling of difficulty each week has stayed the same, what I'm capable of within that difficulty feeling is increasing.  I have to remember that and cling to that.  I also read a great article in Runner's World about Kara Goucher and Shalane Flanagan and Kara talked about how she struggles with self-doubt.  Whoa, wait, Kara Goucher doubts herself??  If one of the female elite runners struggles with doubt, I'm definitely not immune.  

So, fun stuff, I kept thinking that I keep registering for all these races in the future and I've yet to run one this year so last weekend I registered for a little fundraising run at a park close by.  Because the run was to raise money for two sick kids in the province, there wasn't a set distance and you just chose the number of laps to run around the park.  My homework run that Saturday was 5 km so I ran three laps of the park for a total of 5.66 km.  It was a great way to spend a morning.  Lots of people from my run club came and my friend Malinda registered too and we ran together.  Her brother took a picture of us but I cropped her out because I'm not sure if she wants her picture on my blog, hehe.

The WW online is going really well.  I've been great at tracking and finding things I really like to eat and enjoy that are point friendly.  Among those things, roasted broccoli.  How had I never heard of this or tried it until Hungry Runner Girl.  It is so delicious and I'm currently making my way through a costco bag of broccoli florets.  I spread florets on a cookie sheet, give it a spray with olive oil, sprinkle with garlic powder and salt & pepper.  Bake at 400 for 17 minutes.  In my toaster/convection oven, 17 minutes was perfect.  In my regular oven, it's 14.  So when you first try it, start watching it at 13 minutes.  

My other new favourite thing is chickpea "tuna" salad.  It's really unbelievable how much it looks and tasted like tuna salad.  I even took some to work and got a couple people to try it and they are sold too.  Then I took it a step further and made . . . a tuna melt.  OMG my youth.  I can't get enough of these tuna melts now.  I came home after hill training one night and made myself "tuna" melts and veggies and an icy cold coke zero with my feet up in compression socks and frozen corn across my shins and it may have been the best part of my week.  For the chickpea tuna salad, you can pretty much google it and there are a ton of recipes around.  I didn't have strange things like kelp powder so I just tossed in what I would normally toss into tuna except a bit more seasoning.  Drain and rinse chickpeas and mash with a fork, not hummus mashed just broken up.  Then add everything you want.  I added a couple tbsp of dill pickle relish, a couple tbsp of mayo, 1 tbsp soy sauce, sprinkle of nutritional yeast, chopped celery, onion flakes and salt & pepper.  Enjoy!  It makes 4 1/2 cup servings and 1/2 cup is perfect for two slices of bread or sandwich thins.  I used sandwich thins, topped with "tuna", sliced dill pickle, sliced tomato, and a light cheese slice and then into the oven.  So so good.  

And coming up . . . on Sunday, I've got a race!!  It's the police service half-marathon relay and I'm doing it with my friend Nicole from work.  It's going to be fun and there's a pancake breakfast after and a super cool break-apart medal.  I did the race in 2010 as well and it was great.  I'm not going to worry about my time but at the same time, it would be nice if I could beat my time from 2010.  Race report next week!  Wish me luck!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Booyah!!!! Picture Post!

I knew it would be today!! I just knew it!! And I posted from my phone for the first time so hopefully this looks okay.