Monthly Archives: December 2013

Week Six: Run 1

6.2km – 29:11
-10C Calm and crisp! Great night for a run on tired legs! Even got to hear some coyotes howling to each other!

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Week Five: Run 4

10.08km – 58:08
Good long run! Feeling strong and injury free!

Week Five: Run 3

6.2km – 32:23
Solid run for the middle of the night!

Happy Boxing Day!

I didn’t get a chance to blog on Christmas day because I was hard at work instead of enjoying St. Nick.  We had a great christmas and got spoiled as usual.  I managed to get two runs in over the last two days on the treadmill.  I kind of re-kindled my relationship with it.  I tried a couple of very specific workouts and listened to music which took away the painful monotony I usually suffer from on the mill.  I’ve been thinking more and more about speed vs distance and what kind of running I’m interested in.  When I started running I was keen on running a full marathon.  I’ve come to realize that you need to focus your training on a specific aspect in order to be successful at both.  I still want it all speed and distance, so I’m going for it.  haha  This leads me into my improvements for next year that I started last post…

Improvement #2:  RUN A 10K IN 40 MINUTES

Last year I ran four 10K races as sort of a warm up for my half marathon.  The first race was Huntsville and I was solely focused on finishing the race in one piece.  I didn’t really have a race strategy or know much about fuelling or pacing.  I ran three other 10K’s and each one improved my finish time and I learned lots about pacing and race strategy.  My PR is 48:53 which I achieved at the Oasis Zoo run in Toronto.  I plan to run some 10k’s throughout my training for the longer distances.  I really like the distance because its long enough that you need to fuel and pace or you’ll crash and burn but short enough that you can push yourself to the end if you crash early.  I need to focus on speed work more this year.  It hurts but its worth it!

Improvement #3:  RUN A HALF MARATHON IN 1:35

I’m planning on running three half marathons next year.  The first one being in Marco Island Florida in March.  I haven’t decided on the next two races yet, but I’m throwing around the idea of one out west but with a new baby on the way, its all up in the air now.  I’d like to have at least two months in between each run in order to recover and peak properly for the races.  Its important to build on your training in between each race but there’s a fine balance between rest and training.  After my half in October, I took two weeks off running and than another two weeks of “fun” runs before starting another program and it seemed to work well.  I had a few pressing injuries that healed up nicely after rest and stretching.  I ran the Scotiabank half in 1:47:40.  I feel like a pushed myself to the limit in the race.  I was starting to get some leg muscle issues in the last km or two and had to really bare down to finish.  I thought during the race that I started too slow but its really tough to tell as I finished strong but completely out of gas.  Cutting 13 minutes from my time is daunting but I’m up for the challenge.

Improvement #4:  COMPLETE A FULL MARATHON

I’m still not convinced that I have what it takes to run a Full marathon.  It’s one of those things that I believe anyone can complete if they run slow enough.  But I don’t have that slow pace in my blood.  If I’m going to run it I’m going to run it my absolute best.  I’m planning to Run the Toronto Scotiabank Marathon in October.  Although, I did put my name in the NYC marathon lottery, so if I’m successful at that we will be off to NYC in the fall.  I’m planning to start training in July and run my third half marathon in the middle of the program.

2014 is going to be a wild ride.  A new baby and lots of running….I’m super excited and maybe a little nervous!

Keep on moving,

JA

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Week Five: Run 2

5.1km – 26:14

A run on a sweet treadmill!  Merry Christmas to me!

Week Five: Run 1

9.1km – 51:12
A treadmill run I like to call “The Wisconsin”.
20 min warmup, 10 min Half pace, 5 min slow, 5 min 10k pace, 5 min slow, 5 min 5k pace, 10 min cool down.

Week Four: Run 4

12.3km – 1:06:14
Lots of snowplows trying to clear the icy streets… I almost could have wore my skates on that run!

Continuous improvement in 2014

As the year comes to an end, I’m starting to reflect on the past year and plan for 2014.  I feel like 2013 was a big year for me.  I made a few changes that are going to impact the rest of my life.  I took up running and as a result dropped about 25 lbs.  I started eating vegetarian.  I quit drinking and smoking.  Directed my focus on whats important in my life: my family.  Most imprortantly I have changed the way I think about life.  I used to believe that life was something that I was a part of and I was just along for the ride.  Over the last 6 months, I’ve realized that its way more than that.  That I can be or do anything I want.  That the people around me need to be embraced and are not just scenery.  I’ve made a vow to myself for continuous improvement and to never let myself get stagnant again.

I decided to do a series of posts about my goals for next year.  Here goes…

Improvement # 1  EAT LESS PROCESSED FOOD

As I said above, I started eating vegetarian on July 1, 2013.  At first it was part of my training plan for the Scotiabank Half last fall, but I decided to stick with it.  Its makes me feel soo much better, it was easier than I thought it would be and its made training and recovery better.  I like the concept of not eating animals, but it isn’t the main reason I’m eating vegetarian.  At first it was the novelty of it that made it interesting.  After a few months that faded and now its a little more difficult to think of things to eat and cook for the family.  I like to cook for our household, so it was a bit of a shocker when meat was taken off the menu.  Being an athlete you need to consume a lot of calories to fuel your workouts.  Its challenging to ensure you are always getting the right nutrients and have food available to eat when you need it.  I’m starting to get better at it and making sure I plan out my eating in advance.  Next year, I want to focus on eating cleaner and less processed food.  Its easy to just grab something pre-made and eat it on the go.  I’m gonna focus on eating more whole foods and less processed.  Trying to plan out meals and make snacks at home instead of buying snacks on the go.  There is a great web series at http://www.thriveforward.com by Brendan Brazier (An ultra-marathoner and Triathlete from the West Coast).  It discusses the benefits of clean eating and incorporating plant-based nutrition into endurance training.  Check it out!

Wish me luck…this will be a challenge in our busy lives.

Keep on moving,

JA

Tagged

Week Four: Run 3

7.53km – 39:57
I miss just throwing on shoes and shorts and heading out for a run!
Oh wait…I can still do that in December!

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Week Four: Run 2

6.2km – 31:44

Roads were slushy and it was hard to get traction!