Monday, March 31, 2014

Struggling this week.

I'm struggling this week and I'm not quite sure why.  I had a great run on Thursday night with my run clinic.  I did 3:1's which I was feeling really proud of.  I went for dinner with my husband and one of my friends and made a wise choice for dinner.  I even packed half of it up into the to to go container when it was brought to our table.

I went to Weight Watchers on Saturday morning and I was down this week, which more than made up for the two slight increases last week and the week before.  I went for my run on Sunday, and I did 2:1's times 10.  I didn't struggle with the time I was running, I enjoyed my run.   I had fun with my run.

But I'm struggling.  I want junk food.  I want chocolate.  I want french's been a really hard day.  I skipped going for a walk on my lunch break because I knew I would end up in the drug store buying something I don't need.   I'm struggling to stay focused.  I really am, but the temptation to go purchase something and eat it even though I know deep down I don't want it is really hard.

I spent the night knitting tonight, knitting a few rows and then tearing it out, knitting a few rows and tearing it out.  All so that I would be busy with my hands and that meant I couldn't go raid the kitchen.  I had some popcorn with my husband earlier in the evening when what I really wanted was a bag of chips.

I'm struggling.  I keep expecting this journey I''m on to get easier, but that just hasn't been the case, 14 months into it and it's still a constant struggle.

I'm struggling.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Run Clinic Support

I joined a running clinic in January, my awesome husband bought it for me for my Birthday/Christmas present.  I started out with the walk to run clinic, and back when we went from walking to running.  I did pretty good, I had been at the running for a minute level for several months as I tried to teach myself how to run.  In March we switched over to the learn to run 5k/10k clinic.

It was a new group of people in the clinic with the exception of one lady who had been in my previous clinic.  The degree of experience ranged from myself (newbie) to experienced (half marathoner recovering from an injury).  The first week we did 1:1's and it was all right, the following week we ran for 2minutes at a time and that was hard.  Last week we did 2:1's again (run for 2 minutes, walk for 1 minute) ten times.    It was hard work and I struggled to get through it but I was happy to get them done.

The homework last week:
Run 2:1 x7 on Saturday or Sunday, I did mine on Sunday  I did 2:1's doing 2.7 km's in just over 28minutes, with an average pace of 10:25 per km.

Run 1:1x15 on Monday or Tuesday.  I did my homework Tuesday night after dinner.  I did 3.33km's in 36:18 with an average pace of 10:54.

This was to prepare us for this week.  In tonight's run clinic we did 1:1 x2, 3:1x7, 1:1x2.
I admit, I was a little scared, I did find my run on Tuesday night to be easier than I thought it would be, I was confidant with my ability to do the 1:1's and even the 2:1's.  I wasn't so sure about the 3:1's.

When we headed out for Run Clinic tonight, the group shot ahead of me as they normally do (I'm still the turtle or caboose of the group) and when we do our walking part, they turn around and walk back towards me so that I have the chance to catch up.

I wasn't sure how tonight would go.  We did our two warm up 1:1's and I was able to stay pretty close but when Rick yelled out "Weee'rrreee RRRRuuuunnnniiiinnnng"  I wasn't sure if I would be able to keep up with them at all.  The first interval was pretty good.  I was able to keep everyone in sight as we were on a straight road.  I was counting in my head with every step to see how high I could count before Rick yelled out that we were walking, and everyone turned around.  (I didn't set the intervals on my watch as I knew that I would be constantly checking my watch and I would find it even harder to do it).   I was relieved when the first running interval ended, I counted up to 146 doing 1Mississippi, 2Mississippi, etc.  and I found it hard.   I mean hard!

When the next interval started I knew that I was going to lose sight of the group as we turn onto a side street a little ways down.  I was still counting in my head and had lost sight of the group as I was still going straight and they had turned.  I was getting pretty close to the 145 again when I heard Rick's voice yelling that we were walking.  I was so relieved to hear him say that as I turned the corner and was able to see how far I truly was behind everyone.  I was a little discouraged at that point.

I know that the Run Clinic isn't a race, I know it's not about distance at this point, it's about the time spent running.  I hadn't quite caught up to the group during the walking interval when Rick yelled out we were running again and off we all went.  The road is a little hilly and I was starting to lose sight of everyone again when I saw Rick heading back towards me.  He asked me how I was doing as I huffed and puffed up the hill, and I told him I was doing all right, while making a mental note to bring water with me next week! (my throat was dry from all the huffing and puffing)  On the next walking interval I got a little closer to my group with everyone cheering everyone else on and telling each other what a great job we were doing.

On each of the subsequent intervals Rick would turn around at some point and circle back to me and then catch up to the group and circle back again at the walking interval.  It meant so much to me to have his support, and his encouragement.  I wanted to stop running a few times, but just the thought of Rick coming back towards me kept me going.  I was accountable to someone else to keep running.  I know that if I had done this on my own, I wouldn't have kept running.  I would have let myself walk an extra interval or something like that.

It never ceases to amaze me, how this great group of people, support each other and keep our spirits up.  When Rick called out that we were on our last 3:1 everyone cheered when we were done it.  When we were done our run and back at the store to stretch, everyone gave each other high 5's.  We did it.  We as a group ran for the longest amount of time yet. My distance totals were 4.02 km's (the rest would have had a higher mileage due to the back tracking to meet up with me) in 41:55 with an average pace of 10:21!

Next week we jump up to 4:1's.  I admit, I'm already a little nervous about it.  The whole self doubt will rear it's ugly little head, however, I know that I'll do it.  I'll be able to do it, because there is a fabulous group of people giving each other support to accomplish what some of us have never accomplished before.  I can hardly wait!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Shamrock 'n' Race 5K Recap

I think I have said it before and I'm sure I will say it again, but I love doing Try Events races.  They really do think of everything, and with the Shamrock 'n' Race 5K that I did on March 16th they did it again!  The weather forecast was not looking all that great on Saturday night when I was getting ready for bed, so in anticipation of the worst, I packed a dry bag to take with me so I would have dry clothes to change into after the race.

I'm very glad that I thought to do so.  The only think I forgot was the dry shoes, so that will be the first thing to go in my bag the next timeout.

When we got up Sunday morning the rain was bouncing off the roof, it was literally pouring rain.  My awesome husband got up at the crack of dawn to drive me out to the race and I'm glad he did.  I don't normally mind driving in the rain, but it was raining so hard you could barely see in front of the car.  More than once on the way to the race, I wondered who was this crazy lady to go out in weather like this.    But I did it!  An hour after leaving home we arrived at the race site, the rain had slowed to just a few drops here and there and I thought, that maybe, just maybe mother nature would give us a break.
Relived that the rain had stopped when we arrived at the parking lot.

Well mother nature decided to just tease us.  I made my way over to the start line where I saw my friend Gillian, she was doing the 7 miler and we had the chance to catch up for a few minutes before warm up started and she headed closer to the start line while I hung back.  I always start the races by walking a little distance first so I want to stay out of people's way.  Just as the start horn started, the rain began again.

It didn't matter though, away we went and it was great to have the wonderful volunteers cheering us on as we headed down onto the trail, 5k's going to the left, the 7 milers, relay and 1/2 marathoner's to the right.  I had set up my Garmin to do my running/walking intervals and I did really good.  I was keeping a pretty good pace and I was able to keep most of the people in sight for a change, which was nice.  When I ended up passing and being passed by the same couple of people as we made our way to the turn around point,  I was so happy. 

On the way back I started to feel not quite so good.  My stomach was acting up and I actually thought that I may get sick, so I slowed down to a fast walk for a few intervals before my stomach started to steady out and I started running again.  I have to say, I was quite relieved when I came across the bridge, around the corner and was able to see the white tents in the distance.

Puddles on the path, but the tents at the finish line are in sight.
I managed to pick up the pace a little bit, the only thing standing between me and the finish line now were some big puddles and about a kilometer of trail to get there.  Up until this point I had pretty much managed to keep my feet dry by dodging the puddles but it had been raining so hard that there was no way to avoid the puddles any longer.  I looked at the puddle coming at me, saw there was no way around it and decided to let my inner child splash right on through.  My feet may have gotten soaked, and it was freezing cold, but it was a lot of fun!

The volunteers were at the top of the trail that lead to the finish line cheering us on, and between them and the music playing at the finish line it gave me the get up and go to finish off by running in to the finish line instead of doing the intervals.  My legs were burning by the time I got to the finish line, but I was super proud of myself.  I heard the announcer saying, "Welcome back Katie, and look, she's smiling, that's what we like to see."  I felt so good at that moment in time.  I crossed the finish line, had my timing chip clipped off by a volunteer and received my medal, all while catching my breath and grinning from ear to ear.  My smile grew even more when I saw that I had completed the race in 53:13.  When I did this same route back in October, it took me 56minutes, and that was on a dry day.
Finished and ready to get dry!
There was a lot going on at the finish line, there was the food tent with the Pancake breakfast happening and several vendor tents to browse through, but I was cold, soaked and my stomach was not feeling the greatest.   I headed back to the car, where awesome husband was warming up the car.   My clothes were for the most part dry so I didn't need to go to the change rooms to change.  I just peeled off my soaked socks, shoes and jacket.

Race 3 of 14 is completed, with a new best time for a 5K.   I'm ready to take on the BMO 8K coming up in May.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

March 1st Vancouver Hot Chocolate

After last weekend's snow and our cancelled Run Clinic I wasn't too sure how the Vancouver Hot Chocolate 5k would go for me.  The weather man was calling for snow on Saturday March 1st so when we went to bed on Friday night, I wasn't sure if I would actually be doing the run as we had to drive an hour into Vancouver's Stanley Park to do the race. 

I was very relieved when we got up on Saturday morning to see that we didn't have any snow, it was very windy and very cold so I dressed in layers and headed out to my weekly  Weight Watchers meeting for weigh in, I was down another pound, almost at 80 pounds lost now!  (Happy Dance, Happy Dance).  I coudn't stay for the meeting as we had to get going to Vancouver for the Race.  When we arrived, I was pleasantly surprised by how warm it was compared to at home.  I left a layer of clothes in the car and headed from the parking lot to the race start line with my awesome husband who comes to almost all of my races to support me.

The set up was great, the start/finish chute is always really well marked, they had a nice warm building for us to wait in, a lot of stuff for after the race bagels, oranges, fruit, gatorade, water and of course Hot Chocolate. :)  There were plenty of places to sit and relax before it was time to head out for warm up.

This was the inaugural Hot Chocolate Run, but like all of the races that Try Events does, it was super organized, with a great atmosphere and wonderful volunteers.  We had our warm up outside, and then the 10K runners were off, a few minutes later, after letting us 5ker's know where the turn around point would be we were off.  The course started at the Stanley Park Pavilion, over the bridge and past the Yacht club, past the 9o'clock gun and turned around almost at Brockton point to go back.  Here's the route if you're interested.

There seemed to be a group from a Run Clinic just in front of me so I focused on following them and trying to stay as close to them as possible.  I seemed to be doing opposite intervals Run/Walks to what they were doing so we kept passing each other.    I'm used to being the turtle at all of the run's I've been to so far, it doesn't bother me, I just keep on plugging along usually trying to keep someone in sight.  The scenery around the Stanley Park Sea Wall is spectacular and I did take a couple of seconds once in a while to take some photo's.

I was so thrilled when I got to the turn around point and started back to see that there were still people behind me!  I was so excited that I sent a text to my husband to let him now that I wasn't the Caboose!   As I was following the path back toward the finish line, we had to go UP the bridge this time,  and it was at that point that the 10k runners were meeting up with the us toward the finish line.  I decided as I reached the top of the bridge, where I could see the finish line that I really wanted to run it all the way in, although I was well over my run interval and should have been walking, I kept running.  Holy moly were my legs burning by the time I finally crossed the finish line.  I was absolutely thrilled though when I stopped my watch at the finish line to see that I had a personal best 5k of 51:58.  I was thrilled.  I ran more than in other races and looking at some of my splits I ran faster as well.  I couldn't be happier with how it went.  I think the look on my face says it all.

I love the mug shaped medal and the Hot Chocolate mug
I have another Try Events race on March 16th, this one is a flat course, so I'm hoping that maybe just maybe I can cut a little more time off and have another great run!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Run Clinic Cancelled

This week's run clinic was cancelled.  We've had some very inclement weather for our neck of the woods, and last week between Saturday afternoon and Monday afternoon, it didn't stop snowing.  It was due to the snow that Run Clinic was cancelled, it was too icy and slippery.

 I realize for some people that the snow isn't a big deal, and that is true.  IF you live in an area where you are used to snow and people know how to deal with it.

Snow is not our friend here, we so rarely get any that when we do, it seems as though the rest of the country laughs at us and the way we cope with it.  However, when you go from this:

Saturday afternoon when the snow had just started.

To this:
The backyard swing covered in snow.

and this:
Having to dig a path so the dog can go out.

I think it was justifiable to cancel Run Clinic.

I'll be doing some running this week as I have the Vancouver Hot Chocolate Race to do on Saturday March 1st.  Hopefully mother nature cooperates and the snow will be all gone by then.