Sunday, July 28, 2013

Fall 2013 training - week 4. 12 weeks to go.

I think it's 12 weeks to go to the Scotiabank half. Possibly I'm counting wrong. 

Life was a bit more relaxed this week, as I traded my eldest daughter away for some home grown garlic (one of the less well known Grimm's fairy tales). Amazing how much easier it is to get out the door in the morning with just one kid to wrangle, and the evenings were so pleasant with no one fighting about who touched who first and who got to choose the last show and why is her cookie two crumb widths larger than my cookie?

OK, I didn't really trade her away. My parents brought garlic when they came to pick her up - a week at Granny's is a summer tradition. And the garlic was amazing.
My training roughly follows a three weeks hard/one week easy cycle. This week was the middle week of a three week 'hard' set before a bit of a rest week (although the upcoming rest week includes a 5k race - rest week planning fail!).

Monday: At home TRX routine. Now that I can reliably do chin ups again, I've started working on handstands. It's good to have goals, even if those goals involve me failing repeatedly to get my legs up in the air and the kids laughing hysterically. My home routine is roughly a warm up, pistol squats, chin ups, sprinter starts or lunges, rows, push ups, pikes, oblique twists, hamstring curls, and then assorted planks. Hits all the major muscle groups in 30 minutes or less. One of these days I'll get a kettlebell and switch the whole thing up, but for now this is working for me.

Tuesday: 8k hilly loop. Originally I had been thinking hill repeats, but then it turned out Amy and Patty were willing to join me at 5 am (really? runners be crazy, yo) so we ran a hilly loop instead, tackling some of the more 'fun' hills near my house. I felt really strong on this run, even going up the hills. I should have taken a picture of Patty's outfit since she was rocking it (and I'm not just saying that because I happen to own the same skirt) (also Patty always rocks her outfit, this one I just particularly liked).

Beautiful morning, great company. One of those runs where 8k felt like 3k and I was sad when it was over.

Wednesday: Easy 12k. I was really feeling the pistol squats from Monday night in my glutes, ouch. The 12k+ midweek run is a new addition to my training this cycle (previously I've had trouble finding time to do more than 8k or very occasionally 10k during the week - discovering that there's a 5 o'clock in the morning has helped free up some time!). I'm hoping this will pay off in improved endurance at Scotia. Plus, marathon training looms in January and the longer midweek run will be an important component of that.

Key to the 5 am run is to get all your stuff organized the night before. I realized 3k in that everything I was wearing, including the compression socks and visor, was from Run Girl Run. A little too matchy-matchy, but it's all super comfortable stuff, so meh.
This run featured me being grateful that Canada has a Tim Hortons on every other block, since I had to make a mad dash to use their bathroom. Thanks, Tims! Also encountered a kid on a skateboard who was surrounded by so much pot smoke that I think I may still be high from the fumes. No wonder my post run oatmeal tasted so good. Amusingly, the song iSmoothRun said was my fastest during this run was the cover of 'Higher Ground' by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. So let's call that the song of the week!

Thursday: Tempo time. 2k warm up, 5k at tempo pace, 2k cool down. 5:08, 5:05, 5:05, 5:10, 5:01 BOOM. Awesome run. Felt great through the whole tempo part, other than getting sprayed in the face when one of the stupid Fortino's sprinklers I was dodging suddenly changed direction. I'm sure the early morning commuters waiting for the stoplight to change had a good laugh at that. And there was also the part where a bug flew into my mouth and I choked and spat and swore (running is glamorous!). But the actual running was great. Really looking forward to testing my fitness at Midsummer in a couple of weeks. Which reminds me, I need to start considering a Midsummer Night's Dream themed costume suitable for a 15k run...

TRX routine in the evening for core strength. The usual. Flailed about for a bit attempting to handstand. Did not succeed. I blame the butter chicken/paneer dish I made for dinner, which was delicious but was sitting pretty heavily in my stomach.

Friday: Rest day. Lots of driving to retrieve daughter #1 from her week visiting grandparents (and going to circus camp, the lucky kid).

Saturday: Easy 8k early since we had things to do Saturday morning. Glad I got up for this, the sunrise was incredibly gorgeous. Early morning runs have their rewards.

Amazing sunrise. And a new running shirt I love. The answer to many of life's problems is definitely Go Run.

Sunday: 22k long run. 4k solo and then the rest with Patty & her friend Alison (always great to meet another runner). Long runs are so much better with company. And we were especially glad to have Alison along when we saw an older runner who had tripped and smashed himself up pretty badly on a curb - Alison is a paramedic and was able to ask him the right questions to determine he was OK to get himself home.

Total for the week: 59.4 km run in 5:45:50, plus two decent TRX workouts. Still haven't figured out how to work biking into my training when I'm running 5 days a week. My bike looks so sad and neglected.

Nutrition: this week I tried to be better about eating something post run. Running really kills my appetite* so I often wind up not eating anything for an hour or two, which isn't ideal for recovery, especially for the early morning runs where I didn't eat anything before the run, either. I had some sample post-run recovery drinks stashed away from race kits, so I tried them out this week. Continuing my trend of finding chocolate flavoured athletic nutrition products unspeakably horrible, the Chocolate eMend was disgusting. The orange flavour is palatable enough I could see drinking it regularly. Hammer Recoverite was OK, but the strawberry flavour was not ideal. I'd like to try that one in a different flavour, although I suspect they'll all be pretty protein-powdery tasting.

I've run out of samples, so will stick with chocolate milk post run just because it's easy to make and I always have the ingredients on hand, even though I don't really like chocolate after a run.

*immediately post-run that is. Later in the day, or the day after a long run, though, WATCH OUT. And the Monday after a weekend with a 25k+ run? Hoooooooo boy. Do not get between me and the kitchen.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Fall 2013 training - week 3

The weather forecast for this week was kind of scary:

The sensible thing to do would be to not run at all. Runners, however, are not sensible.
Feels like FORTY ONE?? Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugh. Another week of getting up at the asscrack of dawn to avoid spontaneously combusting in the sun.

Artist's conception of how I feel running in the summer sun. I use the term 'artist' loosely.
Even at 5 am, though, the weather still sucked. Feels like 31 and the sun isn't even up yet. Ugh I say. Ugh.

I would write a snarky caption, but I'm too exhausted from the heat.
So did I make it? Did I get all my runs done? How badly did it suck?

Monday: TRX. My Monday night trainer was off somewhere camping (BOO) so did my at home routine. My left shoulder objected to pushups (not sure what's going on there), so I gave up on those, but I did manage quite a few chin ups and hit all the other major muscle groups.

Pikes make me feel like such a badass. They aren't actually that hard, but they feel (and look) damn cool.

Tuesday: 8k with hill repeats. Got out the door before 5am and it was not entirely terrible. Humid and hot, but bearable. And the view from the top of the hill always makes it worth it.

Cloudy so the sunrise wasn't as spectacular as usual. Still, I love this view.
Downed a bottle of water during the run and a bottle of NUUN when I got home. Strawberry Lemonade NUUN is another thing that isn't entirely terrible, but I won't be going out of my way to drink it. The citrus one is better.
This bunny must have found something super delicious, because I scared him off the sidewalk on every hill single repeat. He just kept coming back for more.

Wednesday: 10k easy. It was approximately a billion degrees with a million % humidity, and felt more like wading through hot wet air than running. Approaching 5k I was debating heading home, which would have left me about 3k short of my 10k goal. And then, like a oasis in the desert, I saw that there were sprinklers running on the field at the local high school track.

This week, sprinklers were a welcome sight. Do you think I could hire a firetruck to follow me on my runs and hose me down every km or so?
So I changed plans and direction and ran about 3k on the track. Normally running easy loops on the track is super boring so I don't do it, but each lap had a run through the sprinklers as a reward, and it was wonderful.

Thursday: 8k tempo run (4k at 5:03-5:14/km pace) was on the schedule.

OH COME ON. Feels like 33 at 5 am? INARTICULATE RAGE.
Given the weather and my lack of access to a treadmill, I decided to run this at the track so that I wouldn't have to deal with any hills (and I was secretly hoping that the sprinklers would be on again - spoiler alert, they weren't). I also decided not to look at my watch and run tempo effort instead of tempo pace, since I was figuring the heat would be sapping my will to live, much less my ability to hit tempo pace.

It worked out pretty well - it felt like I wasn't running particularly fast during the tempo portion so I was surprised to see my splits were 5:14, 5:13, 5:17 and 5:18. Given the weather, not bad at all. I did have to stop for water halfway through, so it wasn't an ideal tempo run, but overall I'm pleased with it.
The running blog mafia informs me my blog is dangerously lacking in watch shots and sweaty selfies. Since I haven't figured out how to take a selfie that doesn't make me look like a serial killer, here's a watch shot.
Thursday night I did a TRX class that was totally exhausting (might have had something to do with the 5 am wake up for the morning run). We did a ton of lunges and squats and my legs were shaking right from the start!

Friday: A well earned rest day. Ate a lot of food. Food is good.
Let's call this carb loading.

Saturday: Looked at the weather forecast and saw that Sunday was going to be much cooler, so postponed the long run a day and did an easy 8k. A series of thunder storms rolled through Friday night that blew out much of the humidity, and left a lot of downed tree branches. I heard that both north and south of us there were power outages and big trees down everywhere, but the worst I saw was one tiny little tree snapped off.
Why yes I did just get a new app that lets me do these fun tiled photos. And yes you will be seeing lots of them!

Sunday: 21k solo long run. I usually like to have company for the long run so I'm not tempted to quit early, but was kind of in an antisocial mood so was fine to run alone with my thoughts and a couple of episodes of Radiolab. Solo long runs always give me doubts about my eventual goal to run a marathon (I notice a lot more how my legs hurt after about 18k - how on earth would I ever run 42?), but other than that this run was lovely. I thoroughly enjoyed the dramatic weather change to no humidity and cooler temperatures! And it's always nice to run half marathon distance at roughly the same pace I ran my very first half ever, and see how far I've come that that pace is now easy.

Elevation profile of my long run. Maybe the sore legs have something to do with the long gradual climb after 5k?

My favourite post long run breakfast - poached eggs with cheese. Usually on toast, but we were out of bread so I made do with rice cakes.

Overall a great week of training. 55.7km run in 5:35:33. 2 TRX workouts done, which I'm pleased about since one of my goals for this training cycle is to improve my core strength.

On to the next week! A final week of hill training before I head back to the track, and the tempo gets longer. Here's hoping the weather cooperates for a great week.

Song of the week: Honestly nothing really grabbed my attention this week - ran my long run without music at all. I did listen to a few episodes of Radiolab, which I highly recommend on the long run because it's just so interesting. You can't stop mid episode; you have to keep running until you hear the end!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Fall 2013 training - week 2

Back in February, when the weather was cold, I was wading through snowbanks, slipping on ice patches, and summer seemed oh so far away, I registered for the Midsummer Night’s Run 30k. At the time it seemed like a reasonable thing to do.
When faced with this, a 30k summer run was a fabulous idea!

Last Sunday as I slogged through 22k in 94% humidity, wondering if I was going to really regret not reapplying bodyglide halfway through, I realized I have absolutely NO desire to run 30k in the summer. And I especially have no desire to do the 25k+ long runs I would want to fit in before the race, to at least have some semblance of being prepared for the distance. And what if the night of the race is hot and humid? It would be a miserable experience. I run because I love to run, so why set out to do something I know there's a very good chance I'm not going to enjoy? 

I emailed the race director and I am now running the 15k at Midsummer instead. As much as I really, really wanted the sub 3 hour 30k I missed at Around the Bay this year (TRAIN!!!!), I’ll wait to attempt that at ATB in March (especially since they are changing the route to avoid the train crossing, HOORAY!). I can use the 15k results to adjust my training paces, and it's a guaranteed PR since I’ve never raced 15k before. The only sad thing is now I won't be running with Nicole, who is pacing 3 hours in the 30k at Midsummer. I was looking forward to that because Nicole loves running more than anyone and her enthusiasm is infectious.

The ATB train delay. Not that I'm still bitter or anything about missing going sub 3 by almost exactly the amount of time I spent waiting for this freight train to go past.

This week's training:

Monday: TRX class. I have my knock-off straps at home but I like to try and get in a class with a trainer once a week because I work harder in the class. Plus it gives me ideas for stuff to do at home on my other strength training day
My 4 year old demonstrates some unconventional TRX moves
Tuesday: soupy easy 5am 8k with Patty. So humid. Usually Tuesday is a quality workout day (intervals or hills) but last week was my first 50k+ week since April so I wanted to take this week a bit easier to make sure I'm adjusting to the increasing mileage.

Wednesday: Easy 10k at 4:30 am because I woke up before my alarm and figured I might as well get it over with. Windy, humid, hot, a false alarm trip behind some bushes. The usual.

Thursday: 8k tempo run. First attempt at my new McMillan prescribed tempo pace of 5:03-5:13/km. 2k warmup, got the tempo paces almost bang on (5:15, 5:07, 5:13, 5:05), 2k cooldown. The last one included a sprint trying to avoid a bunch of sprinklers - normally in summer I would happily run through the sprinklers but for the first time in ages it wasn't hot! Or humid! It was perfectly pleasant running weather! I had my doubts going in about McMillan's target paces (pre Mississauga I was running tempos at 5:30/km) but the tempo part felt pretty good. Hard, but good, exactly as it should be. Looking forward to the challenge of taking the tempo longer.

Sprinkler gauntlet. I got soaked. Kind of annoyed with it, since it poured rain the night before, so WTF with the sprinklers, Fortinos?
I had a TRX workout planned but was so exhausted Thursday evening I skipped it. I had a lousy night's sleep Wednesday thanks to one of the kids having a nightmare and freaking out every time I tried to leave her alone again in her room. It's pretty hard to sleep in an IKEA kids bed with a 4 year old draped on top of you.

I was seriously regretting that we haven't yet replaced this with a full size bed. And it seems I haven't outgrown the fear of having my feet hanging off the end - THERE MIGHT BE MONSTERS UNDER THERE!!!

Friday: Rest day! Debated doing the missed TRX workout but since I hadn't had a true rest day in a while I figured better to just consider that one lost. I've come to the conclusion that I'm now a Real Runner because full on rest days are really annoying. Can't I just sneak in a quick 5k?

Saturday: 18k long run with Patty and Sam. They took me on the Red Hill Valley Trail, which I'd never run before and was a nice change of pace (even if when I google 'Red Hill Valley Trail' the SECOND LINK is 'Body found on Red Hill Valley Trail'), and then along the beach path. The theme of the day seemed to be birds, as Sam ran 6k by herself before joining us and got attacked by the Beach Path Blackbird, which has been aggressively going after people for the last week. And then we saw a girl rollerblading while carrying a very large parrot. I wish I'd thought to grab a picture! Or maybe followed her until the parrot encountered the blackbird. That might have been fun.

Start of the run. I love where I live.

This is why I don't use Runkeeper for tracking except to make sure I get my Gympact credits. The GPS in my phone is f'd up, but turning 18k into 65k is kind of awe inspiringly terrible.

Sunday: 6k recovery run around the neighbourhood. No parrots or attack birds, which was almost disappointing.

Saturday running by the lake, Sunday the view from the escarpment. Have I mentioned I love this city?

I did well this week staying hydrated, although I'm not convinced it helped my running at all. It's all confounded with the change in temperature/drop in humidex that made the last three runs feel so much better.  Drinking more water is easy enough to do, so I will continue (plus it gave me an excuse to buy one of those tumbler/straw glasses everyone is carrying around now).

Added some lime, since Patty reminded me of the existence of those evil Starbucks Lime Refreshers. It's not the same thing at all, but it's better than plain water.
Overall a good week of training. I didn't get in a bike ride, unfortunately, and missed a TRX workout, but this was supposed to be a bit of a cutback week (oops on that 18k run, probably should have been 16k) so I'm good with it.

50.7k run in 4:58 and feeling great. On to week 3! Return of the hills, yay (not sarcasm, I like hills).

Song of the Week: Ready Steady Go - Paul Oakenfold. Good theme song for early in training!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

My 5k playlist

I mentioned in my Canada Day race report that I have a 5k playlist, and my friend Marci asked what it was. I don't always run with music (sometimes I listen to podcasts; sometimes the Zombies, Run! app, sometimes nothing). My race pictures generally have headphones in them somewhere; music really helps keep me motivated through the difficult parts of races.

It's surprisingly  hard to give thumbs up while running. 

As I find new particularly motivating songs, I swap them in and out on this playlist. This is what's currently there and why:

1. Missy Elliot: We Run This. I'm a sucker for songs with 'run' in them. This is bouncy and fun and great at the start of the race when it doesn't totally suck yet

2. Can't Hold Us: Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. The frantic beat on this one gets it a spot on my playlist. You can't listen to that beat without wanting to go faster.

3. I'm Shipping Up to Boston. The Dropkick Murphys. aka "That song from The Departed". It just makes me want to run, although I think its time on the list is running out. I've had it on running playlists for a long time and it is tipping over into annoying. Next new 5k friendly song I find will probably replace this one.

4. Dance: Rye Rye. Another frantic beat.

5. My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark: Fall Out Boy. A new addition. Suspect this will get replaced with something else in a few weeks but for right now I'm loving it.

6. 212: Azealia Banks. Parental guidance on this one, kids. Lots of naughty naughty language, but again that driving beat that I really need late in a race to keep my moving.

7. Man Like That: Gin Wigmore. "Girl you better wake up! Girl you better run!". Awesome fast beat and lyrics that let me know I have to wake up, the race is almost over, better get my ass across the finish line.

8. Smooth Criminal: Alien Ant Farm. This is on here just to pad out the time - if I hear more than a few seconds of it, I've missed running under 25 minutes.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Fall 2013 training - week 1

I ran my first half marathon in March 2012, and I was hooked. There's something about the half distance that I really love. Long enough to be a challenge, not so long as to consume your entire life with training.

Waiting for the start of my first half, the Chilly, with Janice, who gets a lot of the credit (blame?) for me actually making it through the training program.
Four half marathons later, I was eager to get to #5 and run it hard and fast (you can make your own dirty joke here). I chose the Mississauga half in May as #5, and set a goal of finishing it in 2 hours. I had run 2:05 in September, so it was a reasonable goal. I surprised myself with a 1:58 at that race, which was amazing and fantastic, but left me thinking well what the heck goal do I pursue now? I had really thought, going into it, that I would need to run 2 or 3 more halfs before I got under 2 hours, so hadn't considered what would happen next.

My fall goal race is the Toronto Waterfront Half, and my recent (awesome) 5k race results have me contemplating aggressive time goals. I tend to underestimate my abilities going into races and then surprise myself, but I have to wonder if that attitude might be slowing me down a bit. So for this one I'm going to aim high and see what happens. Can I now take off 5 minutes to hit 1:53? I'm going to try!

Past week's training:

Tuesday: easy 9k with Patty at a slightly less ridiculously early hour than usual (in summer I typically run/bike at 5am on weekdays - this week I got to 'sleep in' and start my workouts at 6. The luxury!). Calves were really stiff from Monday's race but loosened up nicely as we ran. Upper body/core TRX workout in the evening
Wednesday: 16.4k bike ride around my neighbourhood. My neighbourhood has a lot of hills. It's very good for my cardio/cross training but I'm pretty sure the City has elves or gremlins who sneak out and make the hills steeper when they see my garage open and the bike come out. This may explain why our property taxes went up; I'm sure elves don't work cheap.
Thursday: 7k run including 3 repeats on the evil Chedoke hill. I love how the golfers sit in their carts and stare at me as I struggle up that damn hill. I skipped the opportunity to also run the 300 or whatever it is stairs at Chedoke. The hill was painful enough! I was supposed to do a TRX workout in the evening but we went out for dinner with an assortment of relatives, so that didn't happen.
I didn't run these. Too lazy.
Friday: got in the full body TRX workout I missed on Thursday. Ate way too much chocolate. WORTH IT.

I had serious doubts about these, because raisins are evil. It turns out a thick enough coating of chocolate totally cancels out the evil.
Saturday: Meetup run at the fabulous Nicole's house! She organized a potluck brunch that started with a 10k run - gotta earn the food, you know. It was stupidly hot and by 7k I was mentally pretty much done, so I ended up calling it a day at 9.3k . Close enough.
My contribution to runch (run/brunch). No, I didn't show up and just hand Nicole a pineapple, I did cut them up!

Sunday: 6k solo, then 16k with Patty. So glad she joined me, I would have quit this run about a hundred times without someone dragging my whining ass through it. I do not run run well in hot and humid. I think maybe I'm under-hydrating when I'm not running - I'm going to be conscious about drinking more fluids this week and see if that helps on these long hot/humid runs.
I am a delicate flower who wilts in the sun. Except picture the flower also dripping with sweat. Running is so sexy.

Weekly total: 52.9 km run in 5:08:16. A 5k PB, got in both planned TRX workouts and an easy 16k on the bike. Nailed it this week!

 Song of the week: This week I added Fallout Boy's "My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark" to my running playlist. The 'light 'em up - I'm on FIIIIRE!!' bit is really motivating. I can tell this is one of those songs I'm going to love for about a month and then will suddenly not be able to stand hearing anymore, so I will enjoy it while it lasts.

This upcoming week features my first tempo of this cycle and a cut back 16k after this week's 22k long run. Since the tempo is scheduled for Thursday I'm warning you all now that it will be really windy Thursday. It's always really windy on tempo day. And the wind will change direction as soon as I turn around to head home. It's just how it is. This week I also go back to 5 runs a week (up from 4 + 1 day biking), which I am looking forward to. Hoping to still fit in a weekly bike ride, but between a full time job and 2 kids, there's just not always enough hours in the day!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Canada Day 5k race report

On July 1st I ran the Burlington Canada Day 5k. I had an incredible winter/spring training season, setting lots of new PBs, including a 5k PB of 24:52 at the Moon in June race (where I also got my first ever age group placing - 3rd! Clearly the fast people stayed home, but I'll take it!). I had not expected to run under 25 minutes, so I really felt like I'd overachieved at MiJ and therefore my expectations were low for the Canada Day race. To be honest, I only signed up for this one while in the midst of a fit of self doubt prior to Moon in June, and because I needed a few cheap races to reach my 13 races in 2013 goal. And I wanted a Maple Leaf medal.

For the first time I can remember, I didn't get all my gear organized the night before.  Race near home, doesn't start until 8:30, I'm sure I will be fine. (Foreshadowing!). Got up around 6, got myself fed and watered and dressed, and headed to downtown Burlington to pick up my race kit. As I was driving I realized I'd forgotten to grab my race number toggles - no problem I will just pin the number to my Spibelt. (INSERT OMINOUS MUSIC HERE)

Found parking, went to grab the Spibelt to stash my phone....  No belt. Prep your shit the night before, people!!  I sent a curse laden email to my husband, hoping he might offer to bring it to me, which would also involve bringing the kids down with him (eeep, they were barely out of bed when I left). Stood in line for my number and such, trying to figure out if I could stash my phone in my bra or just carry it. Neither option appealed so I decided I'd leave it in the car and run without music (not my favourite thing, especially for a 5k. I have a specific motivational playlist for 5ks). Got my ugly t shirt that will get put to good use next time I'm painting or gardening or want to look supremely dorky. 

Unisex, shapeless, and a weird cheap feeling material? It's every runner's dream!

Saw Nicole parking her car, bitched about my Spibelt, then went to meet Patty to warm up. Eventually got an email that my husband was bringing my belt and would stay to watch the race. Crisis averted!!

Did a short 1k with Patty then met up with Sam and Amy and checked my phone every 12 seconds for updates on the location of my Spibelt. I really like my Spibelt, OK? Everyone else did their warmups and I debated whether I could get away with tripping Nicole and Amy at the start - both are in my age group and I knew Nicole would for sure be faster than me and I had suspicions about Amy (more foreshadowing!!), who hadn't raced a 5k in a zillion years and was downplaying her possible goal. 

My husband and the kids eventually appeared and they helped me warm up by running a few hundred metres (then the four old decided that was enough). We watched the 1k kid race (including Patty running with her son! Cute overload!) and then we headed to the start. One last chance to cripple them before the race! I let it go because I'm nice like that. 

Off we went, swearing a bit at the crowd. Or maybe that was just me. Sam took off with Nicole close behind. I high fived my kids as I went past and then settled into 5k mode, aka this is going to suck so hard but at least it will be over fast. Amy and I played leapfrog a few times, until just before halfway she shot around me at warp speed. I knew I was right to be suspicious of her with her "I'll be happy to be under 26 minutes"!

I was ignoring my watch, which I had set to show time only anyway, but at the turnaround I wasn't too far behind Nicole so I knew I was having a good race. From 2.5k to 3k I could feel someone just behind me, and eventually he came up to my shoulder and said he was drafting me. I nodded, hopefully in a friendly fashion, but didn't talk because it's a 5k and I think I was in the process of dying. 

Eventually he moved up beside me, which was awesome, because every part of my body was telling me to just stop and lie down for a few minutes but as long as he was there no way was I stopping. I'm not sure he realized that, or if he was just using me to block the wind that was coming from the side off the lake. 

At 4k I realized I was gaining on Amy. I focused on following her along the never ending final stretch of the race next to the lake, hoping to catch her and cross the finish together, but realized I had absolutely nothing left at the end and ran out of room (she finished 2 seconds ahead) (also she doesn't know this yet but I've already recruited her to run the Mississauga full with me next year. I should probably tell her that instead of just making the plan inside my head).  

Me and my new best friend Geoffrey (from the race results - I swear someone yelled "go Stuart" at him, so who knows) crossed the finish line, where I could see I was under 25 minutes but I forgot to stop my watch right away. I knew I had crossed the finish faster than my Moon in June time, but wasn't sure if it was by a few seconds or more than that.  Geoff/Stuart offered me a fist bump while I simultaneously tried to shake his hand, both of us gasping for air, which was about as silly looking as you can possibly imagine. Then we awkwardly hugged while I told him I'd just set a new PB and thanked him several times. Sweaty post-race runner hugs between complete strangers, that's good stuff.

I really wanted a maple leaf medal. The middle part spins! I am easily amused.

Grabbed photos with the girls and my family, then my four year old was rapidly disintegrating (I'm not sure she'd had breakfast yet, considering how quickly she wolfed down the stale half-bagel I grabbed from the food table). Checked the results on the way back to the car - Sam and Nicole both age group placed (note to self- Nicole will always be in my age group, avoid races she is running), and my chip time turned out to be a stunning 24:32.2! I was not expecting that. 6th/28 for age group, not too shabby at all. Considering my time at this race last year was 27:45, all the training hours I've put in over the last year are definitely paying off. 

Me, speedy Sam, Nicole, Amy (who finished 5th for our age group. *shakes fist*). The much maligned Burlington pier in the background. Was the ground sloped or is Amy really that much taller than everyone else??

All in all, a great race, although damn 5ks are painful like whoa. No desire to do another one anytime soon, which is unfortunate because I'm signed up for one in August. I am such a dumbass. 


I like to run. I want to run faster. I want to chronicle my training better. So here is the blog.

I'm also a mom of two with a full time job. Keeping things balanced and in tune is the goal. 

And I like to run with music, so occasionally I may blog about that too.