training

Four ingredients for success

I recently wrote a post on Instagram about my four ingredients for success. I wanted to build on that and add some meat to the bones. When I am asked about how I got faster, there are many reasons why my body has adapted and become stronger {speed work, strength training, nutrition, mental strength}, but when it comes down to it, these four things have had the biggest impact. This can be applied to running but also in all areas of our lives. DREAM BIG.

You must believe in a dream so crazy that it scares you. This goal will light a fire deep within you. It will give you a reason to get out of bed in -20ºC at 5:00 am to train. For me that was Boston back when I was a 4:45+ marathoner. Qualifying for Boston seemed impossible, but there was a tiny voice in my head that asked, Why not you? I started to dream. I stated to plot. I started to think, Yeah! Why not me? I decided then and there I would one day qualify. I wasn't sure how I was going to do it - NEVER worry about the how-to at first - but I knew I was going to do it.

As you move the yardstick closer to achieving your goal, it's important to have stepping stones along the way. These stepping stones can be found daily if you look for them. Your ability to go faster, stronger, longer....

While the dream big goal is the driving force, if you don't have smaller wins along the way, I am afraid you'll miss out on the best part: the journey. As for me, there have certainly been highs and lows in this journey, but you know what? I’ve never once lost my faith that I will achieve this dream.

SHOW UP.

Consistency trumps perfection always. This means showing up when you don’t feel like it. This means doing the work even when it’s not perfect. This means working with what you have RIGHT NOW.

There are many days when we'd rather sleep in, watch Netflix, do anything BUT the thing that will get us closer to our goal. Why does that happen? We are so *fired up* one minute, and other minutes we are ready to throw in the towel and call it a day.

Know that you are NOT the only one who experiences these feelings. When these moments come, tell yourself all you have to do is show up. Somedays these workouts will turn out to be some of the best of your cycle, others will be garbage. That's ok. Your getting out there did more than sitting on the couch. And when that's not enough, there's always tomorrow.

WORK HARD.

"Stop wondering why you didn’t reach the goal you set out to achieve without doing the work required to get there."

Big goals, I don’t care who you are, do not come without hard work and they certainly do not happen over night. This means getting ugly and gritting through each and every tough workout. That 20 miler on the schedule? It’s there for a reason.

After 15 marathons and some time spent in the running community I can tell you that no one is an overnight success. Those people qualifying for Boston in their first marathon? This is not their first rodeo. They've likely been running for years and have equally put in the work. I used to focus on other people's journeys. What are "they" doing that I'm not? STOP. Comparison will get you no where. Put your head down and focus on your own journey.

DON’T QUIT.

Now above all, you can not quit. Trust the process. This journey may be months, it may be years. I won’t deny there aren’t times I wonder what I’m doing. Allow yourself those moments {they’re normal}, but whatever you do, do not quit. Keep moving relentlessly forward. Be open to change and learning from your mistakes.

This is all part of your story.

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or find me on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Strava. You can find my latest articles on Salty Running here.

Weekly recap 05.29.17 + Niagara Falls Women's Half Marathon

It’s high time I get back on the training log wagon. Yes, folks, I am training for THE Chicago Marathon. After a difficult race at the 2017 Shamrock Marathon, I’m looking forward to putting in the work this summer to have a PB race come October. Of course I have Boston dreams, but I have promised myself that I will go into Chicago with the goal of enjoying the experience of racing one of the biggest races in the world. To kick training off, I ran the Niagara Falls Women's Half Marathon on Sunday! I wanted to run a race early on in my marathon training to have an indication of where I was and what I will need to accomplish over the summer months. Let the fun begin!

MondayREST.  After one of the most rewarding weekends volunteering at the 2017 Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend, I needed a couple days rest. I sit on the Run Ottawa Board of Directors and was involved in the organization of the race weekend (six races in total, with over 43,000 participants), along with over 2,500 other volunteers. From loading the trucks on Thursday, to expo and set-up on Friday and Saturday, I went to bed on Sunday evening on less than two hours and sleep and my legs were zapped. Believe it or not, my “step count” for the Sunday was close to 40,000!

TuesdayACTIVE REST. I went to an hour hot yoga class in the evening. Body was feeling better than yesterday. I took the day pretty easy and focused on rolling my calves and feet out in the evening.

Wednesday – 10.1K8 X 400M at half-marathon pace (4:40-4:44/K), 1 minute jog recovery. 3K warm-up, 3K cool-down. Workout went well. Started intervals a bit to fast (I'd rather make this mistake today than on Race Day). Calves still a bit tight, but I still have a few days before the race. Epsom salt bath and rolling out with my Roll Recovery. 

Thursday - 10K easy - Waited to do this run until later in the day. A few extra hours of recovery from the day before always helps! Ran with a friend over to Rideau Hall. Beautiful evening in Ottawa. I wore my CEP compression calf socks all day.

Friday - REST - Flight to Toronto then onto Niagara Falls where the Niagara Women's Half Marathon takes place on Sunday. Focused on hydration while travelling. Listened to lots of podcasts and read some of Dave Asprey's new book Headstrong.

Saturday - 5K Shakeout with 5 x 50m strides - Woke up nice and early and went for a 5K shakeout. Body feeling pretty good. If all goes well tomorrow, I will aim for my sub-1:40. I know I have this time in me. After the run, my parents and I went to the race expo to get my kit and MEET KATHRINE SWITZER. It was pretty special to meet the legendary K.V. in person. We spent the afternoon chilling at home. I got to bed around 9:45 pm.

Sunday - Niagara Falls Women's Half Marathon - 1:43:36 - I woke up, had my coffee and Picky Bar around 6:00 am. We drove to the race and got there an hour in advance, just as it started to rain. I did a 2K warm-up, hit the porta-potty and had my Hammer gel seven minutes before the Start at 8:00 am. I ran the first half of the race according to plan, maintaining a 4:50-ish/K pace. I took my second Hammer gel at 9.5K and had no issues. At around 11K I struggled to pick up the pace. I was aiming to negative split, after all. Unfortunately my legs didn't have a PB in them, but I'm happy with the hard race effort. I managed to place 2nd in my age category (30-34) and 15th overall.

Total: 48.2K

You can follow my daily workouts on Strava!

Anyone else running the 2017 Chicago Marathon? 

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or find me on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Strava. You can find my latest articles on Salty Running here.

Cutting some slack

I am a routine oriented person, to a fault. I have a plan and I stick to it. Whether this is my morning routine, my running routine, or my general life routine: I am a creature of habit. This helps, as you can imagine, for marathon training. With expectations of running nearly every day of the week, it's important for me to have a game plan for getting sh*t done. I do what is necessary to make it all fit. Sometimes this can help me in my pursuit of #goalz, and in others it can hinder (e.g., running myself into the ground). I'm aware of this, at least. All that said, sometimes the plan needs to be adjusted. This is where I've had issues in the past. The type-A in me clung to "the plan" and hated to change course. Now, I won't go as far to say that I don't have any moments of freakout (I do), but I can say that after 14 marathons I'm better at managing my mind and body (often these two can be in disagreement + compete for your attention).

If you follow me on Instagram, you've likely seen me running in preparation for the Virginia Beach Shamrock Marathon (March 18). I am currently in the midst of peak training. This past week I experienced some significant-to-me fatigue. I went to the track on Tuesday night and my body felt heavy and my mind cloudy. I told my coach and we decided it was best if I took it easy that night. I can't say a small part of me was disappointed in myself, but I was overall confident this was the best move.

Reflecting on this past year, I have had a few moments where I've had to check myself. From my Achilles injury in the summer, to marathon training while planning my wedding, I've made a ton a progress in the "chill out" area. As I enter into Peak Week, I am grateful for everything in the past few months. Every treadmill kilometre, every snow covered run, every rest day. With six weeks to go, I know I am ready for my best forty two point FREAKING two.

I got this.

Let's go.

#IDOFORTYTWOPOINTTWO

How do you keep yourself in check?

Is this an area you need to work on?

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or find me on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Strava. You can find my latest articles on Salty Running here.

 

A letter to #MyFutureSelf

New Balance Canada has launched an initiative that gives runners an opportunity to write a letter to your future self about aspirations in sport and life. You can submit a letter to yourself here. In approximately one year, New Balance will send the letter back to you through a unique time capsule initiative. Make sure to include the hashtags #MyFutureSelf and #iRunMagazine for a chance to have your letter in an upcoming iRun edition! When I saw this initiative, I was intrigued. However, I didn't realize how much of an impact actually writing the letter would have. I highly encourage you to write one.

Here is my letter. 

Jayme,

Look how far you have come. In 2008 you ran your first marathon in 5:38. You were never going to do that again. Running was hard. Training was hard. Why do people do this? You carried on. Remember that feeling when you first broke 2:00 in the half marathon, and then 4:00 in the marathon. I want you to smile when you think about these milestone moments. They always seemed like an impossible hurdle at the time. Yet, you proved you could do it. Now you are training to qualify for Boston. You will get there. Never underestimate the power of a dream.

Look how far you have come. Running at one point in time used to be for a number on a scale. You hated your body and saw running as a way to punish yourself. You were chasing a perfection that could not be defined. Over time, running became more. Running turned into redemption, not punishment. Don’t EVER take the gift of running for granted. Be grateful daily.

Look how far you’ve come. You are in a good place. The demons that used to eat you inside are no longer in control. You still have to work on things (everyone does), but you are strong. Running is still hard, but the daily challenge is something you crave. See this letter as a reminder. A reminder that running has changed your life for the better. You are motivated to run because running makes you strong mentally and physically. You train hard, so that you know come race day You Are Ready. The early morning runs, the hours spent outdoors, never quitting. This is why you run.

#MyFutureSelf #iRunMagazine

-Yourself

Have you wrote a letter to your future self? 

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or find me on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Strava.

 

2016.

I sit here writing my 2016 recap with a full heart. 2016 was a special year. For many reasons. Some that I will share and others that do not require recognition on my blog. From running to my personal and business life, we covered a lot of ground this year. I will try to keep this concise {but can't promise anything}. I do. September 24, 2016, will forever be the best day ever. Our wedding took place in Ottawa on a perfect fall day. We had so many family and friends (including many in our bridal party) travel great lengths to celebrate our special day with us. From the morning 5K run with one of my bridesmaids, to getting ready with my crew (who made me feel so beautiful), to the ceremony at our Church, the photos with the talented Amanda Urbanski, the flowers (and much more) from Blue Thistle Florist, to the reception, dinner and dance party with our nearest + dearest family and friends at Mill Street, everything was perfect. This day is a big part of why 2016 was so special. ♡

Trip of a lifetime. We left for our honeymoon the day after our wedding. We flew to Rome from Ottawa and spent four days exploring the city. We then boarded a ship in Civitavecchia, that sailed from southern Italy, to Greece, to Turkey and back. We saw and experienced so much on that trip. Our day in Kuşadası, Turkey was one of my favourite days of the year.

In Ephesus, Turkey

Athens, Greece, with the Acropolis in the background

Two more marathons. I ran my 13th and 14th marathons this year: the Ottawa Marathon (recap) in May; and the Hamilton Marathon (recap) in November. I learned and grew a whole lot while training for these races. Despite an achilles issue in the summer (a huge thank you to my teammate and physiotherapist, Joey, for helping me through that injury), I shaved 13 minutes off my marathon time in 2016 + I'm that much closer to Boston.

The difference between 2015 and 2016 for my running really boils down to one thing: confidence. Thanks to my running coaches (Ken + OAC Racing Team and Lindsey), I have matured as a runner and know what I can expect from myself. I no longer define my training and race plans with what ifs. I look back on the 3,157 kilometres that I ran in 2016 and know that I showed up in running this year. I now run easy runs faster than what my tempo runs used to be. And to think that used to be "impossible"...

As part of joining the OAC Racing Team in the spring, the 2016 Ottawa Marathon's Team Awesome, and connecting through social media with runners from all over the globe (some turned "real life" friends!), I am so grateful for the running community and am reminded daily as to why this sport means so much to me.

With Mom + Dad after qualifying for Chicago at the Hamilton Road2Hope Marathon

More distance covered with friends

Workouts down by the river with the OAC Racing Team

Emilie's Run with the OAC Racing Team

More treadmill kilometres

Coaching business. I am a firm believer that if you have a burning desire to do something, you should do just that. A year or so ago I started thinking about starting my own coaching business. This year I have taken steps to realize that goal, including getting my coaching certification through the North American Academy for Sport Fitness Professionals. I am looking forward to formally launching my business in Spring 2017, and am literally bursting with excitement for the possibilities. You can bet your bottom dollar there will be lots of action on this front in 2017. Stay tuned. In the meantime, I would love to connect with you on Facebook! Like The Pacing Life's page here.

Run Ottawa Board of Directors. As an active member of the Ottawa running community, including my involvement with Run Ottawa in 2015 and 2016, I decided to seek nomination to the Run Ottawa Board of Directors. As of November, I am very pleased to be serving as a two-year Board member and look forward to being a part the continued success and growth of the Run Ottawa events and run club.

Run Ottawa Board of Directors

 

Salty Running. I joined the Salty Running team! Salty Running covers all things running and is focused on female runners who have big dreams. Our readers are people who are serious about their running and I am honoured to work with the talented group of ladies behind the site. As the first Canadian contributor on the site, I naturally chose Maple as my online persona. You can see my introduction here and my first article on Lanni Marchant.

Collect memories, not things. 2016 was also full of many mementos from time spent with friends, including trips to DC and Montreal. As I get older, I am more and more grateful for my people. The lazy mornings, the late nights, the LOLs - I couldn't do life without you.

Fun nights with good friends

In D.C., with two of my favourite people

In Montreal at the Atwater Market in spring

The best sister in the world {and my Maid of Honour}

Wishing you all the best in 2017! ♡

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

#24daysofplankmas

Join me over the next three weeks for the #24DAYSOFPLANKMAS! I created this challenge to help us stay accountable over the holiday season and to improve our core strength. I don't know about you, but I am 100% more likely to do something if I made a commitment to it. This daily challenge encourages you to plank EVERY day. Whether you are running that day or not, plank for at least 30 seconds. Each day we will try to add a few seconds (try for 5). Post your photos to instagram, Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #24daysofplankmas!

img_0321

img_0349

Have you done a challenge before? What was it?

#24DAYSOFPLANKMAS - you in? 

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

Let's go

img_6691Next Sunday I will run my 14th marathon and my third Hamilton Marathon. I know I can run this distance. That's not the issue, nor has it ever been. What I've been thinking more and more about, is how the race will unfold. As you know, I am on the quest to qualify for Boston. I am also on the quest for the perfect race day. I don't want to get too excited about the forecast, but I will say things are looking promising. Time to see what's possible. Let's go. This week, I will continue my taper and be focusing on mentally getting *there*. I had a couple of not-so-great workouts this past week, but no one said the road to 42.2 would be a smooth ride (if it was, everyone would do it). I've been working hard to squash some pre-race doubt demons. They're always lurking in there. I remind myself of the work I've done. I remember those multiple 36Ks. Keep your head up. Let's go. 

I have three runs planned this week and a few yoga classes in the evening. I will begin carb loading on Thursday and will be trading in my higher fat meals for higher carbs. Sweet potato, rice, bananas, oh my. I fly to Toronto on Friday and will head to the expo that afternoon. Saturday I plan to chill out at my parents and do a shakeout in the morning. We will likely head into Niagara on the Lake for coffee, but other than that, my legs will be up. Keep it simple. Let's go.

It's too early to say what my A,B, and C goals for this race will be. But, I will say that I plan to run the distance faster than I have ever before. I am ready to settle into the uncomfortable, knowing there are no shortcuts to Boston. Hamilton Marathon race week, LET'S GO.

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

 

Time of my life

fullsizerender-4

Memories for a lifetime 

Hi friends! I realized this weekend it's been one month since my last post and high time I wrote an update. I am reflecting on all the wonderful moments of the past month and can't help but smile.  In my last post, I was preparing for the Army Run half marathon. With a time of 1:48, I was extremely grateful to be running relatively fast, given my recent achilles history.

One week after the Army Run, G and I said "I do." The day was perfect and we are sooo grateful for everyone we shared the day with. It's hard to believe that it's all over now. We had been planning the day since last year and were so pleased with how all the pieces came together.

The next day, we flew to Rome where our honeymoon began. We spent four days exploring the history and food of the city and then boarded a cruise. The boat departed from Civitavecchia, Italy, and stopped at ports in southern Italy, Greece, and Turkey. We had a blast. I ran a bit, but definitely not as much as I would have if I was home. Likely a blessing in disguise, as my achilles was needing the recovery time.

Two weeks until the Hamilton Marathon

img_9529We arrived home on the Sunday night of Thanksgiving. I knew I had some running to do on the Monday. The thing about marathon training, is that it's best not to over think things. I woke up Monday (I had the day off for Thanksgiving), drank my cup of coffee and got the 28K show on the road. That was the beginning of what would be my 101K peak week. The highlight of that week was the 36K, at a decent-for-me pace, I managed six days later.

As I write this post, I have two weeks until the Hamilton Marathon. This will be the third time I've run the race. I've managed to squeak a PR each time I've run. I am realistically hopeful for this race. I've put in the work and know that I am capable of running the race I have played 1,000 times in my head. I have a few more key workouts left, but for the most part, the hard work is done.

The next two weeks will be focused on mentally preparing for the race. I will be selfish. There won't be many late nights, my food will be picky, yoga will be prioritized, and my routine will be followed. I am thankful for the people around me support the crazy marathoner in me. I've also been reading Matt Fitzgerald's, How Bad Do You Want It, and have been thinking a lot about how I've approached marathons in the past. I am preparing to hurt. More than ever before. I'm fired up and know that I'm ready to lay it out there.

"There is no experience quite like that of driving yourself to the point of wanting to give up and then not giving up." 

Did you run a fall marathon? How did it go!?

What running-related books have you read recently? 

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

So long summer 2016

IMG_9604I looked at my calendar this weekend and came to the realization that summer 2016 is coming to a close. How is it September this week? I asked myself. It’s cliché to say, but the summer really did fly by. I look back on the past three months and they seem to blur together, marked with a number of exceptional running and non-running memories. This week also marks less than 30 days until our wedding and just over one year since we got engaged. It’s funny, because I didn’t know what kind of bride I would be. I didn’t grow up planning my wedding, but now that I am here, I can hardly wait. Slowly but surely our to-do list is getting crossed off and we've begun counting down the days.

With regards to running, the training-train chugs on. My Achilles has been touch and go for the past three weeks, but I am pleased to say that overall I've seen progress. I am very grateful for the treatment and advice I have received from medical professionals, my coach and fellow running mates. My mileage has remained constant for the past two weeks and will likely hover around 70K/week for next little bit while I continue to recover.

While I am planning to run the Canada Army Run Half Marathon in three weeks, I am going out there with the goal of enjoying race day. It may end up being a training run with a few kilometres tacked onto the back end. It will also mark one week from my wedding and I can’t picture anything else I’d rather be doing than running the streets of Ottawa and Gatineau in support of our troops.IMG_7555

With ten weeks until the Hamilton Marathon, I am focusing on the DREAM BIG goal here. Real talk, this training session was never about a half marathon PR. Sure it would have been nice to see a sub-1:41 at the Army Run, but I know there will be other days and races for that. My goal this summer was to continue to marathon train, with the hopes of BQ'ing in Hamilton. Yup, just over 20 minutes off my PR. Remembering what they say: IF YOUR DREAMS DON'T SCARE YOU THEY ARE NOT BIG ENOUGH.

Cheers to the end of summer, friends. I hope you had a great one.

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

Stationary bike workouts for runners

My achilles tendon has been bothering me for the past five days. It's very hard for me to admit that, but it's true. In the peak of marathon training, it's not unimaginable that {potential} injuries surface and we start to feel niggles in our bodies and legs. On Thursday night at the track, I brought my Hoka One One's for the warm up, with plans to switch into my New Balance 1400s for the track workout (normally I would run the warm up and cool down in the New Balance). However, my left achilles has been bothering me and I didn't want to irritate it more. After about 3K into the warm up, I knew that I wasn't meant to complete the workout.

Track

As any seasoned runner knows, there is a fine line between a niggle and an injury. I'm walking that line and have had a few "real talk" moments with myself, reminding myself that I AM A SMART RUNNER. Easier said than done.

Stubbornness aside, I will be taking the next week OFF of running. Yes, TOTALLY OFF. That's hard to write, but I know that in the long run it will be for the best. I also know that my training is going really well and holding off running for a week will pay dividends vs. continuing to run and getting a full blown injury.

This does not mean that I will be taking it totally off exercising. I will be maintaining my fitness throughout the week by using the stationary bike and other low-impact workouts. I'm very lucky and happen to have a stationary bike in my building.

I find it very helpful to have a written plan for the workout. You can save the workouts below to your phone and use them yourself. By having a workout laid out, the time flies by and I ensure I hit some degree of intensity. This morning, for example, I will be completing the 1.5 hour workout on the stationary bike, in place of my planned 32K run. During the week I will do 3-4 of the 1 hour workouts.

Stationary Bike Workouts for Runners 

Stationary Bike #1

Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no help at all.-2

Let me know how it goes!! 

Jayme

You are entirely up to you

Unlike past marathons, I decided this time around I would incorporate a couple 36K long runs in my training for the Hamilton Marathon. The point in the marathon I've always struggled with is 32K and beyond. My thinking is that by training in these higher distances, my legs won't be as shocked when I get there come race day. My first 36K was on my schedule for Saturday. In the past year, my long run pace has ranged from 5:45-5:25, with only a few runs being on the fast end of that range. That said, I've been having many ah-ha! moments in my running these past few months, and deep down know that I can run faster. On Friday, I played around with my pace calculator. I wanted to see what a faster paced long run would feel like. I decided that 5:08-5:10 would be my target range.

Saturday morning, I woke up to a hot and humid forecast. 90 percent humidity and temperatures climbing aggressively with each hour. That's ok, I thought, I would be leaving the house before 7:00 am and stripped down to the least amount of clothing I could get away with. I decided not to carry water or bring my phone, and planned a route that would take me by multiple water fountains. My first 10K ranged from 5:17-5:06. I was aiming to run a bit slower, but my legs were feeling good.

I ran along the Rideau Canal, where the Ottawa Triathlon 2016 Canadian Championships were underway. I  cheered for athletes as they raced by and thought to myself how much I LOVE race days, even if they are not my own. I took a hammer gel around 12K and 25K and made perfect timing with passing a water fountain at those times. My second 10K ranged from 5:12-5:02. Body and mind feeling great. Playlist on point.

I looped around the Rideau Canal twice. I decided that running alongside a triathlon race was better scenery then the out and back I had planned into New Edinburgh. Lucky for me, I ran into a few of my teammates and ran the last 10K with them. Final 10K ranged from 5:26-4:50, with the final 3K being 5:15, 5:08, 4:50.

Saturday's long run was a huge milestone for me. I proved to myself that I could run long distances at a faster pace, and to be honest, I felt like I could have kept going. While I'm pleased that my body held up, what is more important is that I proved to myself that I am capable. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BINQ0dMDPuB/?taken-by=thepacinglife

 

What ah-ha moments have you had lately? 

Do you run your long runs slow-er or fast-er? 

Check out my recent posts in Salty Running:

Five reasons to run with faster runners

Training log for the week of July 17th

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 MagazineHave a suggestion for a runner profileLet me know!

Weekend in MTL

We all arrived at my sister and brother-in-law's house on Friday night. My parents are here for the weekend as well. We are here celebrating my Mom's birthday and Mother's Day, and have tickets for Cirque de Soliel! This also meant an early start to my 27k long run. I planned a straightforward route for Saturday morning, that would take me from their place, through downtown, getting me back here before 10:00 am. Overall, I'd say the run went well. Admittedly, I wasn't sure how it was going to go. My legs were feeling pretty good by the time I went to bed on Friday night, so I knew I was going to get'er done the next morning. As planned, I woke up early, drank my coffee, ate my Picky Bar, strapped on my compression socks, and hit the road.

I'll admit, I have been experiencing some tight calves this week. At this point, I'm not overly worried about this. I'm chalking it up to peak marathon training, and have committed myself to adjusting runs as needed. I'm also icing and rolling lots.

FullSizeRender-2FullSizeRender-1

The route was primarily on sidewalks. I left the house before 7:00 am, so the streets were pretty quiet. I ran 13.5km out to the Olympic Stadium then turned around. I had one Hammer espresso gel around the turn around, and carried water in my handheld. Throughout this training cycle, I'm pleased to have pretty much nailed my fuel plan (this did not happen overnight).

I focused on keeping this run easy. With four weeks out from the Ottawa Marathon, I knew there was no need to be a hero.  The plan was to pick it up a bit in the last 10km with strides in the last 5km. I was pleased with the 27km I put in the bank. I was grateful for the change in landscapes and, after warming up, the distance seemed to pass pretty quickly. This throwback was on repeat throughout.

FullSizeRender-3 FullSizeRender-4

In the afternoon, we went to check out the Atwater Market! There was a Beer Festival on, and lots of local vendors. Obviously I had to get some authentic Quebec maple butter. Yum. As I mentioned, tonight we're heading to Cirque de Soliel! One of their shows has recently come to Old Montreal.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BE1cdWyCbZa/?taken-by=thepacinglife

 

What's your favourite city to explore while running? 

Have you been to Montreal? The Atwater Market? 

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.

 

What you do in the dark

I walked into work the other day listening to Running on Om’s podcast with Lauren Fleshman. It was a Q&A episode and one of the listeners asked how to manage big dreams and the demands of daily life. I got to thinking about my own situation. I thought about my incredibly supportive fiancé and family, and reflected on how grateful I was for their support. I started thinking about all those nights I go to bed early to get up at dark-o-thirty to run in the morning. I thought about those weekend mornings I’m MIA on a long run. Or the impact it has on my ability to be *fun* on a Friday night. I’m sure many of you reading can relate.

I recall a few times groaning about getting up in the morning. G sympathizes, but ultimately encourages me to go. He knows how much running means to me. And more importantly, he knows how disappointed in myself I would be if I didn’t go. That said, last week when I was deciding not to do my long run, he was patient in listening to me deliberate and encouraged me to cut myself some slack.

IMG_3140-6

Sometimes I wonder what it is I’m doing and if all of my work is worth it. Those thoughts are very few and far between, but I won’t lie that they never happen. It’s in those moments that the support of my family matters most. They keep me in check.

Running marathons really is about what you do in the dark. When you talk to a runner, or follow them on social media, you only see a small sliver of what goes on. The uncaptured moments are, for the most part, far from glamorous. There are missed Saturday morning brunches, or late night drinks. There are mundane days and compromise to be made. The truth is, when you register for  marathon, and plan to put in the work, this is par for the course.

In the long run, I know that reaching my goals will ultimately depend on my hard work, but I would be kidding myself if I said I could do it without the support around me.

Do you listen to running podcasts?

What's something you had to sacrifice in order to reach your goals?

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.

Preparing for a weekday long run

The past two rounds of marathon training have included more weekday distance. If you’re looking to get faster, you’re likely going to have to build up your weekly mileage. Ideally, that’s not all going to be crammed into the weekend. When I first started seeing 17km+ on a weekday being assigned by my coach, I was a bit intimated. I was going from one long run a week, normally on a dedicated day of the weekend, to multiple long runs a week. For example, yesterday morning (Tuesday) I ran 22km, which was longer than my “long run” this past weekend (15km for a recovery week). At first, the distance felt like a lot. I thought, how am I going to fit that long of a run in before work? Over time, and with more mid-week long runs, it’s become a lot easier to pound out weekday distance. That said, there’s a few things to keep in mind. Here are a few things to help you succeed:

Where you are going to run: Given that I run early in the morning, it’s even more important for me to figure out my route the night before. At dark-o-thirty in the morning, you do not want to be uncertain about where you’re headed. I’d recommend sticking to a route you know well.

Hop on a treadmill: While I’ve been doing most of my runs outside these past two training cycles, using the treadmill for  weekday distance is a very nice to have. It’s easy to watch a movie and let your mind zone out a bit.

Figure your fuel out: If I’m staying on the treadmill, I fill up two water bottles the night before. One with Nuun and one with water. I usually bring a gel with me, in case. I never seem to need it that early in the morning, which is interesting as I definitely require my gels on mornings I start my long runs later (8:00 am or later).

Entertainment: Again, if I’m sticking to the treadmill, I figure out which movie or TV show I’ll watch the night before. This is usually a bit of a process. I research the ratings of films and check out the “Film of the Week” on iTunes (99 cents, baby!). If I’m outside, I’ll download some podcasts to keep me entertained. Much like a weekend long run, but I find it’s even more important to prep, as time is tight.

Mentally prepare: Like most things, your mental game is key. Tell yourself that you’re doing this run and that’s that. Don’t make a fuss about it; treat it as a normal weekday run. When I first started building longer runs in during the week, I over thought it – OMGosh this is as long as my long run, this seems hard – mind games ensued. JUST STOP. They aren’t as big of a deal as it seems. The weekday long runs have actually started to fly by quicker than my weekend long runs, and have definitely helped me improve.

Take it easy: I can’t stress this enough. Normally my coach has me doing easy effort midweek long runs, with a harder workout the following day. In order to perform in my harder workout, it’s critical that I take it easy the day before. While my legs will inevitably be tired from the longer distance, taking it at an easy-effort pace has provided me with the most benefits.

IMG_3905 copy

Do you incorporate midweek distance in your training?

Do you have any movie or TV show recommendations? I'm always looking for new shows for the treadmill!

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.

Half way

IMG_3753.jpg

This past week marked week 11 of my Ottawa Marathon training. That means, we're more than half way there. 57 per cent, to be exact. With 10 weeks to go (!), I'm feel like all I'm doing right now is run. eat. (work). sleep. I hit my highest mileage week last week, with 89 kilometres. There was a good mix of  easy, moderate, and hard effort runs. I'll be honest, my legs felt like lead during my long run on Saturday. This was disappointing, but not overly surprising.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BDJE1EtibYs/?taken-by=thepacinglife

 

Taking a look back on my training logs, I see that I'm running a bit more now than I was in Hamilton Marathon training. I also see that my legs felt like lead around Week 10 and 11 back then too (end of August 2015). This is the point in the plan where training really feels like a grind, but it's oh so important to keep going.

IMG_3753

It's easy to feel fired up at the beginning of the marathon training cycle, when you're feeling fresh. It's also easy to keep going with only a few weeks until race day. What's harder, is keeping the momentum going in the middle of the cycle. This is what makes the marathon so appealing to me. Just getting to the start line of 42.2 is a victory in itself.

This week will be a bit of a rest week. I have 69 kilometres planned, mostly at easy effort. This week will also be a busy one for work and life. The trick is balance. While I don't love doing my runs in the evening, I know that a couple late nights will leave me needing to readjust the timing of my runs.

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.