not running

Immunity Boost Ginger Carrot Soup

So you've just completed a marathon, when suddenly you have a sore throat, or a cold. You may think that all that running makes you healthy, but did you know that your immune system is at its weakest in the two weeks following a big run or a race? According to Runners World, while 30 to 45 minutes of moderate daily exercise does stimulate the immune system, the rigors of running longer distances temporarily weakens it. Now, I don't want to jinx myself, but I have done a pretty good job at staying healthy through the past two marathon training cycles. Multi-Vitamins, immune-boosting foods, you name it, I've probably tried it. That is why I was bummed this past week when I came down with a horrible sore throat. With many people around me being sick, I guess it should come as no surprise that my weakened immune system left me susceptible to a bug.

Enter my Immune Boost Ginger Carrot Soup. I was first introduced to white miso by Shalene Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky's, Run Fast Eat Slow, cook book. Knowing that it is rich in probiotics, I decided to use that as a the base for my soup. Ginger is a known cold and flu fighter, so adding that was a no brainer.

Immunity Boost Ginger Carrot Soup (serves 1)

Place all ingredients into your blender or vitamix

  • 1.5 tsp white miso paste
  • 1/2 cup steamed carrots
  • 1/2 cup sweet potato
  • 1 table spoon raw ginger
  • 1/3 cup almond or cashew milk
  • 3 cups hot water

Blend on high for 2 minutes.

Serve with a tablespoon of nutritional yeast sprinkled on top (hello, vitamin B12!)

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How do you stay healthy while training or racing? 

Do you have your own immunity boost soup recipe? Please share!

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or find me on TwitterInstagram and Strava. Check out my running story in Canadian Running Magazine

An update from restville

IMG_5706 As I mentioned, I started experiencing some tenderness in my left achilles last week and have been laying off running for the past few days. In fact, this is the least I've run since zero week post-Ottawa Marathon. I've been OK with this rest for most of the week, however, last night I tried to run 5K and when things weren't the 100% I had hoped they be, I kind of freaked out. OK, I a lot freaked out.

Let me pause and say, I know that this injury is manageable. I've nipped it at the point where I know I can successfully manage the issue back to strength. I had days this week where I barely felt the tenderness I was feeling last week. That said, I now have spidey-sense to the issue and I'm finding myself acutely aware when things flare up.

Back to last night (Thursday). I went for 5K easy along the river. I was hopeful my achilles had improved after nearly a pain-free run on Wednesday and some more Graston application in the morning. The run started OK, with a bit of tenderness that I chalked up to stiffness and the after-effect of the Graston work. Kilometres 2-4 were pain-free-ish. However, I could feel a niggle in the final kilometre. While I've definitely made improvements since last Thursday, I was still a little frustrated.

For this weekend, I've decided to take a few more days off of running. I will stick to the stationary bike and have signed up for my first yoga class in years. I am focusing on the positives of this break. I will have more time to study for my exam on Sunday (!!!) and work on an article I'm writing for Salty Running. In the long run, two weeks off running will not hinder my fall race plans (in fact, it may even make me stronger).

Side note: I'm loving the Olympics coverage!! Tune-in today at 10:10am for the women's 10,000m!! GO NATASHA AND LANNI!

Have you had achilles issues? How long did you take off?

Do you practice yoga? What kind? 

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or find me on TwitterInstagram and Strava. Check out my running story in Canadian Running Magazine

Achilles update & the Graston technique

My left Achilles has been acting up a bit. It’s not a full blown injury at this point, but like any seasoned runner, I knew it was headed that way. When I couldn’t complete my track workout last Thursday, I was a bit bummed. Well, actually a lot bummed. Full disclosure, I came home and was nearly in tears to George. I gave myself one night to have a pity party. I’m in the midst of training for the Hamilton Marathon and have been seeing some strong results in my performance. Being smart and taking this week to focus on recovery is the best thing I could do for myself right now. Instead of moping around feeling sorry for myself {which could be an easy route to go}, I’ve focused on maintaining my fitness and training routine by hitting the stationary bike and elliptical daily. Like my running plan, some days are easy (e.g., steady state, moderate resistance) and some days are harder (e.g., hill intervals, longer sessions). I’ve been watching my heart rate and have been pleased that these workouts are allowing me to get some max heart rate work in.IMG_6944

As for my leg, it’s doing much better. I haven’t tried to run on it, but I can tell the total rest has paid off. Last night, I visited a chiropractor recommended to me for application of the Graston technique. It quickly became clear that I've let my legs get way to tight and need to do a better job at stretching post-run and rolling! Today (Tuesday) I will run 3K easy and see how it feels. I'm heading back for some Graston on Thursday and will see how I feel for the weekend. For now, I will be sticking to flat surfaces and keeping to my Hoka One One's.

Do you have a post-run stretching routine?

Have you tried the Graston Technique? 

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or find me on TwitterInstagram and Strava. Check out my running story in Canadian Running Magazine

Post-Ottawa Marathon Update

Life post-Ottawa Marathon has been carrying on. It's funny in the lead up to the race, everything else just seemed like it could wait. Now that I'm here, I've found myself in a busy season, both in personal and professional life. Perhaps it's because I sub-conciously deferred decisions post-May 29th

I’ve had a chance to reflect more on the race. I'm comfortable how things unfolded on race day, and more importantly, I'm pleased what the last training cycle has set me up to accomplish going forward. I took a recovery week after the race and have started running again. I'm going to take June as a maintenance month, with one 5K race planned (Emilie's Run). I'm back running with my OAC Racing gals and will use those as my two speed workouts for the week.

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Admittedly, after the race my mind has quickly wandered to what's next. This is a character trait of mine, for better or worse. Once I clear what I consider to be the hurdle, the wheels start turning as to what's next. While I could probably benefit from a bit more down time, I find myself launching into new projects, chasing the next dream. For now I have registered for the Army Run Half Marathon in September, a week before our wedding. I plan to then enjoy our Wedding Day and honeymoon (i.e., 2 weeks OFF) to the fullest.

If I do decide on running a fall marathon, it will likely be the Hamilton Road 2 Hope Marathon. Third time is a charm. As I mentioned, I will use my two OAC Racing Team workouts as my speed work and aim to run more long runs with the group. My body responded very well to an increase in mileage in the lead up to Ottawa, so I may try to test those limits again this summer. I mean, what else does one do on a Saturday morning?

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In terms of goals, I'm still committed to that 3:4x I know I have in me. In order to get there, I am planning to be more focused with my long runs, including a bit more race pace and longer distance (e.g., 36km LR). For my past two marathons, my highest mileage was a couple 32-35km runs for Hamilton and a couple 32-33km runs for Ottawa. Meaning that come race day, anything past that distance was unchartered territory. I would like to see what a couple longer runs will translate into.

What are your summer plans?

How did your spring races go?

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or find me on TwitterInstagram and Strava. Check out my running storyin Canadian Running MagazineHave a suggestion for a runner profileLet me know!

Take the day off

Deciding not to do my long run last week was harder than I thought it would be.  All arrows were pointing to me not doing that run - I was on vacation in DC and my ankle has been bothering me a bit - but for some reason, for a brief moment, I really struggled to give myself permission to take it off. For the past 13 weeks, I've been pretty darn dedicated to getting my runs done. In fact, I've not missed a single assigned workout. Now that the weekend is over, and I put three rest days in the bank, I'm confident that skipping the run was the right decision.

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It's funny when we get into the vortex of marathon training (it's definitely a thing). The routine of running is ingrained in you. It's what you do. That said, it's equally as important to find balance. Will skipping one 18km run impact me in the long run? Heck no. Frankly, it will probably leave me better off.

I had the best time in DC! I am truly grateful to have such good friends and family. They lift me up. The weekend off was exactly what I needed. We went to some great restaurants, and I even got to cheer for runners at the Cherry Blossom 10 miler (can I just say how much I LOVE race days!?) The time off left me fired up and ready to take on the next 8 weeks till Ottawa Marathon race day.

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I'm good with taking the day off every once in a while. To stay up late and have an extra drink or two. Note to self: it's JUST running. #notmarathontraining

What are ways you maintain balance while marathon training?

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or find me on TwitterInstagram and Strava. Check out my running story in Canadian Running Magazine.