Marathon Training Day #119: Take it easy

This is my garden. It is oh so slowly coming together.

This is my garden. It is oh so slowly coming together.

Lately. I’ve been taking two rest days after my long run, but this week, for a bunch of reasons, it didn’t really work out. I’m a slow recoverer (is that even a word?), and had 12k on my schedule for tonight. I found that number to be really overwhelming, so I told myself to just get out there, take it easy and do what I could do. Out of all my runs planned this week, this one was the least important.

So that’s what I did. I really wasn’t feeling it 4k in, just before Pottery Road hill. ¬†Somehow I convinced myself to run up that damn thing. Because I did that, I gave myself permission to shorten the route home a bit. In the end, I was slower and shorter than I hoped, but it’s another run in the bank.

I can see the finish line.

 


 

The run: 10k in 1:14:23
The route:

Marathon Training Day #118: Taper time

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Work on Monday was rough. This was partly because I couldn’t walk (thanks, 36k!) and partly because it was a rough day at work. But the worst is behind me. My training plan now will get gradually easier and I will coast into this marathon.

Here’s what Andie has in store for me this week:

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 12km easy
Wednesday: 8k at 10k race pace (lets aim for under 5:30 / km)
Thursday: 45min hilly route/yoga for runners
Friday: Rest/maybe yoga
Saturday: 25km LSD with the last 5k at race pace (6:15min /km)
Sunday: Rest/maybe yoga

I plan to go to yoga for runners again this week. It’s so close! If I can squeeze in one more yoga class this week (maybe power on Friday?), I’ll be a happy runner.

You’ll notice my long run in on Saturday. I made this switch so I could cheer on the Goodlife runners without worrying about running 25k after. You will also notice Andie has given me pace goals — yikes! My slow runs have definitely been on the slow side. I guess this is my chance to amp this up.

Three more weeks of training. Two more long runs left. It’s been a long journey.

 

 

Marathon Training Day #117: The longest long run

beach
On my schedule for Sunday was the longest run of this training cycle: 35k. After that, I got to taper (sort of. I have 25k on deck next week, but that will seem easy after this.) My focus on this run was to stay fueled and get through it. I didn’t want to focus too much on pace. And I had just read in a Runner’s World post that, in order to get faster, it’s more productive to focus on effort, not time. Noted.

I broke the route into four parts: the Don Valley, the Beach, the Spit and Cherry Beach. And, surprisingly, the first three parts went pretty well. My legs started to tire at about the 2 hour mark, but it was nothing I haven’t felt before. Things started to get rough at the end of the Spit — I was out of water and was slowing down rapidly. So I changed my route to get a bathroom break and filled my bottles up. This created a familiar problem: how will I know if I ran 35k? (My lovely friend Kate lent me a Garmin, but I forgot to charge it!) At this point, I was at about 4:15 in my run. I decided that if I could hang on until my watch passed 5:00, I’d be pretty damn close. So that’s what I did.

I reached a weird stasis at this point. I was tired and delirious, but I felt that as long as I did not stop, I could run as long as I needed to. It was slow, it was painful, but it was doable. I guess this is the point you need to get to in a marathon: acceptance of where you are and belief you can make it to the end.

A marathon is only 6k farther than what I ran on Sunday. I think I can actually do this.

 


 

The run: 36.1k in 5:02:54
The route (Google Map won’t let me connect the Don Valley to Taylor Creek, so assume I start at the bottom):

Marathon Training Day #116: Running ravines

Heaven *is* a place on earth. Photo is from a month ago, hence the snow!

Heaven *is* a place on earth. Photo is from a month ago, hence the snow!

Today was my monthly pubruns group. The last time we met up, I wanted to run the Avoca Ravine through to Evergreen Brickworks, but it was too icy and snowy to even think about that. So, for April’s adventure, I suggested we try this again. Four of us showed up on a sunny and beautiful morning and we were off.

The run was perfect: not too long, not to fast and not too sunny. And we ended at the Brickworks, got coffee and waffles and sat in the sun. What’s not to love?

After that, I came home and finally set out on getting my backyard in order. Because of construction next door, last summer was pretty much a write-off in terms of outdoor enjoyment. As I spent hours puttering in the dirt and getting my hands dirty, I was so grateful to have my little piece of earth back.

Whether or not anything actually grows remains to be seen.

 


The run: 7.0k in 42:10
The route:

Marathon Training #115: Gotta get down on Friday

This is my house. One day I will enter the world of endless fitness selfies. But that day is not today.

This is my house. One day I will enter the world of endless fitness selfies. But that day is not today.

I didn’t run again on Friday.

I did, however, go for a longer-than-usual bike ride. So that counts, right?

I didn’t run because I had pubruns on Saturday and 35k on Sunday and felt that running four days in a row was too much. I’m almost tapering and, as they say, the hay is in the barn. When the week is up I’ll only have missed my 8k “easy” from the beginning of the week, which shouldn’t impact my training in any way.

Right?

 

 

Marathon Training Days #115 & #116: yoga for runners

Exchanging energy!

Exchanging energy! (Same studio, different class.)

Wednesday doesn’t get it’s own day because, as predicted, I did not run.

Ooops.

On Thursday, I went to Yoga for Runners at Energy Exchange in the morning. This studio is 5 minutes from my house and, being a runner, was intrigued by what would be different about “yoga for runners.”

There’s not a lot of difference. But I liked the class a lot and will be back. Maybe even next Thursday morning.

After work, I was supposed to do 4k easy, followed by 4k at 5:15 pace. Since run club is usually a speedy 5-6k, I thought I’d do a warm-up run there, do the run club run as fast as I could, then do a warm-up run home.

Andie had different plans.

The run planned was a bit longer than usual — closer to 7k. My plan was to try to get 4k in at the desired speed and so the rest at an “easier” pace. I think I accomplished this, but I felt beat by the end.

The end. It’s so close. I can feel it. At run club, everyone was asking me if I was nervous or excited. Right now, I’m neither. I just want it done. I’m sure that will change between now and the 19th, but right now, all I can think about is how much free time I am going to have and how many other fitness things I can do (I’m thinking about joining the work softball team! And doing a triathlon!)

It’s sooner than I think.

 


 

The run: 8.1k in 47:58
The route:

Marathon Day #114: A book and a bottle of wine

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I could barely walk after my 32k slog, so Tuesday was obviously a rest day. Andie emailed me my plan for the week, which may need to be altered, seeing as I ran 32k on Monday instead of Sunday.

Here’s this week’s plan:

Monday: Insane long run (aka the 32k I didn’t do on Sunday)
Tuesday: Rest!
Wednesday: 8k (although I’m writing this on Wednesday night and it is pouring and I still can’t walk, so the chance of this happening are approximately ZERO PERCENT)
Thursday: 4k easy followed by a speedy run with the lulu run group, maybe some yoga in the morning or at lunch
Friday: 30 minute hilly run (which I will make longer thanks to my guilt about the 8k run I will miss), again a possibility of yoga
Saturday: Yoga?
Sunday: 35km LSD

That’s right. 35km. And to think, on marathon day, I will still have 7.2 more to go.

People who run marathons are crazy.

 

Grow Your Yoga

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Spring time tends to the the universal time to clean, rejuvenate, and prepare our minds and bodies for the warm weather to come. And why not! With the snow and cold gone for another year, it’s time to celebrate!

When I think of spring I can’t help but think of my teenage years and Nickelodeon cartoons. This tune, in particular, from Rocko’s Modern Life, defines the spring season for me. I will never be able to get song (or episode) out of my head.

Now that the cleaning fever is upon us – yogis far and wide unite! It’s time to Grow Your Yoga. Sounds great, right? You may recall the monster of a challenge I took on last spring – the Living Your Moksha Challenge – the challenge where I lived and breathed yoga for 7 weeks!

Well Living Your Moksha is back with a new name and a new attitude. Grow Your Yoga encompasses the same ideas as Living Your Yoga, but it’s compressed into a 30 day challenged and focuses on 4 of the 7 pillars – Be Healthy, Be Peace, Be Accessible, and Reach Out. All the proceeds for this years challenge will go towards the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust.

I just signed up. I love my yoga that much that I will challenge myself for a second year in a row to bring my yoga off my mat. As a newly certified Moksha teacher, it only made sense to take on another 30 day challenge. This is an opportunity for teachers and students to bring yoga off your mat and into your everyday life. Take from the challenge what you want and do as much as you can. There’s no pressure. This is a challenge for you to explore your yoga.

So, who’s ready to Grow Your Yoga with me?!

Marathon Training Day #113: Running in the dark

Kitties! This has nothing to do with running.

Kitties! This has nothing to do with running.

Because of the yoga retreat, I was unable to do my long run on Sunday. I decided I’d run home after work on Monday night. 32k, no big deal, right? The weather was perfect. I had originally mapped out a route that zig-zagged through the city, but after a few kilometres, I decided to take advantage of the great weather and the possibility of getting home faster and take the waterfront as far west as I could. I don’t have a Garmin, so I needed to eyeball this change of plans. I figured if I ran 1:45 in one direction and turned around and ran home, I’d be pretty close to 32k.

I felt strong and good about being outside, near the water. At 1:30 into the run, I met a natural turning point and decided to take it. I didn’t want to be in a strange neighbourhood in the dark. I turned around. Things felt good — and they did until about the 2:50 mark. At that point, I felt I had to be close. I did 30k in 3:07 during Around the Bay, and this run felt fast. I headed north a bit to add kilometres. I headed home. Came in the house whimpering. Checked out my route on Google maps.

28k.

What. the. hell.

I had no choice. I put my socks and shoes back on. I headed out, into the darkness. I slogged through 4 more kilometres. I was upset and really, really frustrated. It was almost midnight. I was so sore and tired. Was this even worth it?

I know, at this point, those 4 kilometres are for mental preparation, not physical. It’s only 4k. At this point, I could run 4k in my sleep. But, deep down, I am terrified about this marathon. I needed another 30k+ run under my belt.

I came home. The result? 32.3km in 4:09:07.

I’m disappointed in this result. My last 32k was brutal, I whined and whimpered and felt awful. This time I felt strong and fast and good about myself. And yet, it was slower.

Running is ridiculous.

One more run over 30km. Then it’s taper time.

 


The run: 32.3k in 4:09:07
The route:

Moksha Yoga Teacher Training Day #20

After 20 days of training you’d think everyone would know what’s going on! We get up, we eat, we do yoga, we eat, we listen to a lecture, we eat, we listen to another lecture, we eat…but no! You need to be on your game at all times. That is, I learned very quickly, when Jeremie is around.

Our morning asana was a total trick. As the end of training draws near, I kept thinking who has yet to teach a class? Jeremie! I’ve been very curious what king of yoga teacher Jeremie would be like. Today I thought my prayers have been answered. Because this morning, Jeremie walked into the room and began class. Excellent.

But is not what happened. Jeremie had us all fooled. He (and I bet Bryde was in on it too) tagged-teamed Nava (hi, Nava!) in after instructing pranayama breathing. We were teaching the class! Each person would teach two poses then would tag in someone in to teach the next two. It was fun and also very distracting. It’s really hard to practice when you’re constantly thinking “What the hell comes next?!”

I know your tricks now, Jeremie. With Asana TBD on the schedule and your comment about this being the best class of the training. But not because of you but because of us. I’m on to you now. But with 10 days left what could possibly be in store?

But there was good news that came of this heart pounding morning. Apparently my presentation did go really well the day before because Jeremie gave me a shout out at the beginning of class. Thank you, Jeremie! All is forgiven.

After a stressful morning it's time to relax!

After a stressful morning it’s time to relax!

After class YuMee continued with more yoga history and philosophy, and again in the afternoon. We talked about the yoga sutras this time and dove into what each one represents and symbolizes in the body and in our practice. Our afternoon class was with Ezmy again! Ezmy’s partner James played the gutiar and sang during class. Talk about a magical combination. It was the most beautiful yin/yang class ever. And Ezmy kicked our butts.

Then the last part of the day was filled presentations followed by a reunion dinner with my LA Costa Rica friends and a day off on Friday. Yay! With a day of I had to go out and celebrate.

Awww Costa Rica. Very found memories of this place and these people!

Awww Costa Rica. Very fond memories of this place and these people!