Monday, April 21, 2014

Mississauga Marathon training: Week 13

First week of the taper! This week is all about pictures of awesome trails. I'm just a little bit happy that I'm no longer doing 90% of my running on the rail trail. I love the rail trail, big thanks to the City of Hamilton for the excellent job keeping it snow and ice free this winter, but oh my god was I sick of running on that thing. Time to run in other places!

Monday: Although my knee - which had been a bit twingy feeling on Sunday -  felt fine, I decided to give TRX a miss just to be on the safe side.

Tuesday: The weather was...uninspiring. That's a politer word than what I was thinking when I saw the snow all over my car.

This would have been beautiful IN DECEMBER. Not so much in April.
I figured I'd slog out 8k or so in the snow and be happy it was over, but I ended up running on part of the Bruce Trail (the Chedoke radial trail section) and it was SO FREAKING AWESOME that I didn't turn around at 4k and just kept going. The only reason I did turn around at 5k was that one of the (many) waterfalls along this section of the trail was waterfalling itself all over the path, and getting swept over the side of the escarpment onto the highway below wasn't in my training plans.

Waterfalls! Stunning views! Interesting rock formations! Hamilton can be pretty great.
I'm really starting to think I'm a trail runner at heart. I've got a mental list of at least a dozen local trails I want to to try running this summer. If only I had more time...

Wednesday: Since I did 10k on Tuesday I only needed 8k on my lunch. Since I'm all TRAILS!!! right now I ran randomly through the trails on the north (? cardinal directions in Hamilton are confusing) side of campus. It was seriously muddy, but super fun. However I had a couple of slips that started to roll my ankle, so I think I'd better knock off with the muddy trails until after the marathon.

The views on these trails aren't half bad either.
Thursday: Back to the Chedoke trail, where this time I didn't get stopped by the waterfall, but by a city crew replacing a bridge. D'oh.

I can't believe this is 4k from my office.
To get around the work crew, I ended up on a side trail that didn't go where I was expecting, then got slightly lost.

Not what I was expecting to find in the woods. Whatever it is, I'm keeping it in mind as a zombie apocalypse bunker.
I ended up cutting across the golf course so I could get back to work within a reasonable amount of time. Um, I don't think the golf course people liked that very much (it's not open yet for the season, I wouldn't have done that if it had been). I may have been yelled at by a course marshall. I'm not admitting anything.

This was soggy, but the fastest way to get back to work.
Friday: Rest day! Cheered for my husband and kids and Nicole at the Good Friday Road Races. One of these years I'll run the 10 miler. It was great to see Sam, who also came to cheer. The kids had a great time, and my husband ran the 5k in 23:00, a new PB by over a minute for him. I wish I could borrow some of his speed.

I think the kids were most excited about the chocolate eggs this guy was handing out.
Being a spectator at a race is really pretty fun! Sam and I were very much enjoying looking at other people's 'I'm at the end of a 5k and I'm in incredible pain' faces. Also, observing how many times little kids outkicked adults to the finish line (if a kid passes you at the end of a race? they are going to beat you. Stupid young lungs).

Saturday: Long run. We were visiting my parents for the day so we left the kids with them and headed out for 20k. My brother also joined us. I wasn't sure how this would go - my parents live in a small town, so finding a decent 20k running route was a challenge. There's a rail trail, but it's primarily used by dirtbikes and snowmobiles so I wasn't sure if it would be in decent enough shape for running.

It...wasn't so much suitable for running.

We ended up running on some side roads, which were fine (although I sure wouldn't want to do that all the time, the road camber would be a nightmare on the IT bands). The roads were pretty quiet other than the occasional farmer passing by in a pick up truck and staring at us, and at one point I cursed the stupid glaciers and the hills they left behind. Because seriously, if I had to run there regularly I'd be a hill running expert, the hills are non stop.

Not bad, Bruce County, not bad.
I felt amazing through this run - I'm used to my legs starting to get a bit sore around 16, 17k but they felt fantastic the whole time. I guess that's from adjusting to the 20 milers? It was a good feeling, and in fact I tacked on an extra km at the end to go half marathon distance and ended up running 21.1.

I could get used to having breakfast ready for me after a long run! Thanks mom & dad!
Sunday: Got up early to do a recovery run by the lake before the Easter egg hunting hoopla. 8k.

Hello lovely.
A few photographers were out taking picture of the sunrise, and a couple of families had dragged their decidedly sullen looking pajama clad teenagers out for sunrise pics. There was also a choir singing hymns! But the weirdest thing was definitely the guy in the bunny costume heading towards the lake carrying a beach towel. I don't even know.

Weekly summary: 58 km run. Which is a lot of km, but is a big drop from last week (about a 30% cut). This week the numbers drop even more and we'll see if taper madness hits - this week there was enough running to keep that at bay, but this week things get a lot shorter. Legs are feeling good, mentally I feel great, so now I just have to focus on picking the perfect marathon outfit. I think I have it, but I need to test run the top this week to make sure it'll work.

Song of the week: Nothing has really grabbed my attention for a while, so I haven't posted a song of the week, but this week I added Natalia Kills - Problem to my playlist. Such a great mid-run pump you up when you are starting to feel a bit tired sort of song.


  1. It's so weird to still see snow in mid-April. But your run on the Thursday seemed beautiful (if soggy).

    Taper can be maddening, but it looks like you have lots to keep you occupied. Good luck at the marathon! You're gonna do great!!!

  2. LOL @ the bunny carrying the beach towel. Great week Emma! Can't wait to see how you do next weekend!