Erin’s Ottawa Marathon Training Days 20 & 21

This weekend was cold and snowy. I ran anyway.

Saturday: In an effort to add more cross-training/strength training to my schedule. I went to Core Hour at Kula in the morning with my friend Allegra. It was hard, but not impossible, but I did learn I rely on my hip flexors too much. I need to work on my core strength! It felt good to mix up the yoga, though, and practice in a real studio. It’s been too long.

In the afternoon, I put on the YakTrax and hit the trail. The plan was to increase my speed every few minutes and I tried my very best to do so. It’s just harder to maintain a certain pace when running over ice. In the end, my pacing was nothing to be proud of, but the effort was there.


Sunday: Sunday was long run day! I put it off for so long that I ended up having to go out during the afternoon flurries. The sidewalks were pretty slippery. It was windy and cold. I have no highlights to report for this run, other than the fact I finished it.

I think I complain about running too much right now. This is not good. I need to work on my positivity as much as I do my pacing.

Erin’s Ottawa Marathon Training Day 17-19

It’s been a few days, hasn’t it? Let’s catch up!

Wednesday: I had plans to go to the Raptors game with some co-workers, so opted to make this day the cross-training day. Power yoga in my kitchen counts as cross-training, right?

Thursday: Did 30 minutes of a gentle morning flow to start the day off right. It was another FREEZING day, so I made the decision to run home from work — that way, I wouldn’t wuss out on getting the work-out in. The plan was a 20 minute warm-up, 3x1000m repeats and a 10 minute cool down. I did a 10 minute warm-up, sprinted for 3k and used the red lights as my breathers and a 5 minute cool down. Cheating? A bit. But I was out there running on a ridiculously cold day. If that doesn’t earn me toughness points, nothing will.

My 1000m splits were technically:

3:32 <<–don’t believe THAT for a second.

Oh Garmin, why do you lie to me so?

Friday: Friday was a never-ending day at work and I came home beaten down and exhausted. Oh, and it was so windy, biking home was impossible. There was no way running was going to happen. So it didn’t.

This weekend will be fitness-filled and delightful. Or at least fitness-filled. I’m thinking about joining the St. Lawrence Market Community Centre and start getting some weight training in. BUT I can barely find the time to fit in all the running I’m supposed to do. What should I do, folks? And how do I get the all-in feeling with this marathon training cycle?



Erin’s Ottawa Marathon Training Day 16


Yesterday, it was -24 in Toronto. But I didn’t want to screw up my training plan three weeks in a row. So I ran.

Here’s what happens when you run in -24 weather:

1. Your water bottle freezes.

2. But it will leak before it freezes and drip all over your thigh. That’s okay, though, because you don’t get wet: it will freeze and you will run with ice on your leg.

3. You will weather 2 pairs of socks, 2 pairs of tights and 4 tops.

4. Your snot will get all over your face mask. And then this snot will freeze.

5. Your eyes will water. And then this water will freeze on your eyelashes.


Other than the water bottle issue, I think it went a-okay. I was supposed to run for 60 minutes, but after I assessed the amount of ice on my body, I cut it short after 40 minutes. Keeping all my appendages beats getting an extra 20 minutes of running in.

Erin’s Ottawa Marathon Training Day 15

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It’s a new week! This means it’s a new chance to get it right. Here’s what’s on tap for week 3:

Monday: rest!
Tuesday: 60 minute tempo run
Wednesday: Yoga
Thursday: Track repeats
Friday: Tempo run
Saturday: Yoga
Sunday: 17k LSD

I technically have two speed workouts this week. I also need to start thinking about cross-training beyond yoga. These double shifts at work are exhausting, but what can you do? They’ll be over soon and it’ll be all fitness all the time.

Oh, who am I kidding?




Erin’s Ottawa Marathon Training Days 13 & 14

Old photo. Same running outfit. So it's LIKE  new photo.

Old photo. Same running outfit. So it’s LIKE new photo.

So, apparently we are facing yet another week of freezing temperatures and icy sidewalks. SO MUCH FUN.

Here’s how my weekend went:

Saturday: I had missed my track work, but last time I did track work the day before a long run, it wasn’t pretty. I decided to do the “optional” run Andie has scheduled for me every Saturday. It was so ugly. I hated every second of this run and almost had a break down multiple times, especially early on. But I told myself to just keep running. It worked. I never hit the runner’s high — hell, I never reached a point where I wasn’t hating every second — but I got a decent little run in and didn’t cry. Just keep running. There’s meaning in there, I know it.

When I got home, I did yoga in my kitchen, a 60-minute yoga for runners podcast. I think part of the reason these past two weeks have been so hard is that I haven’t been doing enough yoga. There’s a million reasons for this, but it was a good reminder that if I want to survive this training cycle with my body and mental state in tact, I need more yoga.

Sunday: Long run day! I had a late night on Saturday (not one, but two birthday parties! I am a party animal.), so I had planned for an afternoon run. Then I woke up and it was snowing. A lot. Changed my plans and went out right away. It was a tough run, with the wind and the snow, but it was okay. I settled into a groove. Running is weird like that: the longer the run or the worse the condition, I’m more accepting of the circumstance. I think it’s all mental. (I also think it helps I get to run slooooow, haha.) Now if I can only get more accepting of speedwork…

When I got home, I did a 30-minute yoga for runners podcast and suffered through the entire thing. I’m beginning to think long runs + yoga isn’t the best combination. So yes to more yoga — just not on long run days.

Erin’s Ottawa Marathon Training Days 9-12

I’m exhausted. That’s all I have for you, really. Week two was not the success I hoped it would be (so far, anyway) but it was better than week one. So, that’s progress.

Tuesday: Work went bananas and I had no opportunity to get a workout in, reminding me (once again!) of the importance of the morning workout. Get it done by 7am and don’t worry about it for the rest of the day.

Wednesday: I had to pull a double shift so managed to get a run in on my official break of the second shift. I was supposed to do a pick-up 5k, where each kilometre was faster than the last. I tried my best to do this, really I did, but it didn’t quite work out. My splits were:

  • 5:29
  • 5:08.4
  • 5:15.5
  • 4:57.2
  • 5:22.1

On kilometre 3 I ran up a teeny hill. Kilometre 5, I just fell apart. I was tired and grumpy and didn’t want to run anymore. So I gave up. Ooops.

Thursday: Another double shift, another run-on-my-break. This run was supposed to be an easy 45 minutes and it was exactly that. I actually enjoyed this run, even though it was really cold. I think I was just relieved I didn’t need to do speed work.

Friday: I have no excuse for this one. I was tired and had a rough day and work and just didn’t want to work out on a Friday night. So I didn’t.

Two more days left this week. I think I can still turn it around. After all, marathon training is a process.

QUESTION: How do y’all track your training? I use DailyMile but am kinda over it, especially now that I have to load things into my Garmin. But I don’t love the Garmin website. I’ve toyed with the idea of getting the workout Moleskine, but that seems a bit much. Any and all suggestions are welcome!



Run this London Town

Here we are. The Reebok Bromely FitHub Run Club!

Here we are. The Reebok Bromely FitHub Run Club!

Having arrived in the UK just in time for the holidays (I know it’s hard to keep track of my whereabouts!), but I can promise you this I’m going to be here for a while.

I made it! I finally made it to London! After all these years, the countless hours spent dreaming about it, imagining myself living here, meeting my future husband (I am sorry but I’ve been destined to marry Prince Harry since I was 10 – just ask my mom), this city is actually real. I was a child in a candy store, I couldn’t help myself or contain my excitement. But now that I’ve arrived it’s time to get serious.

Find a place to stay: Check.

I’m living with Charlie’s family in a town called Chistlehurst and I’ve settled in quite nicely. I really like it. Okay, so I’m not in London exactly, but I’m working on it. I am, however, only a sort train ride away.

Practice yoga: Check.

I can finally say yes to this. Having to make a last minute present purchase before Christmas I made a grand discovery, the Reebok store in Bromley has free fitness classes. Knowing I would be back in the new year I left my email for more information. And sure enough I got an email in January about free in-store yoga. I was sold.

Find a yoga studio: Check.

I knew practicing once a week with Reebok wouldn’t be enough – not while I’m marathon training! – I need more yoga then that. And let’s face it I’ve been horrible at practicing on my own. So, I made it my mission to find a studio in the area. After a thorough Google search I discovered my options weren’t great. But, thankfully Reebok came trough for me once again. The free yoga classes are in partnership with Breeze Yoga Studio, so off to Breeze I went (their first class is free for newbies too!). I even went for a second time and plan to be a regular from now on. I managed to land a mat monitor role at the studio. This means lots more yoga for me!

Find a running group: Check.

Reebok is killing it! Not only do they have yoga, but a run club as well. This club meets twice a week and runs 5 to 6 miles (so far that is what we’ve done). Perfect! Now I have somewhere familiar to run and people to run with. The run club is in partnership with Petts Wood Runners and Richard is our coach (hi, Richard!).

Thanks Reebok Bromley for yoga and the picture!

Thanks Reebok Bromley for yoga and the picture!

Wow, all the things I’ve managed to check off, it almost feels like home. Now to find myself a job and more friends. I do need to get out once in awhile.

Distance Learning Project #6: Sangha Support

Balance In Bali yoga retreaters!

Balance In Bali yoga retreaters (I have to thank Mandy again for the picture)!

For those wondering ”what on earth is a sangha?” and how do you support such a thing, remember back during my two attempts at Living My Moksha, or as it’s now called, Grow Your Yoga, sangha means community. The network of supporters around you, the groups you associate with, or better yet forcefully submersed yourself into and wouldn’t go away… Whatever the case maybe (or how you came to be apart of your network of people) in someway, shape, or form you yourself give back to these groups. As a member of a club or society or gang, you’re a piece of that puzzle.

Communities can fulfill us, empower us, give us peace (and sometimes stress us the hell out), but, for the most part, they keep us busy and happy. Supporting our sangha(s) in return seems only fair. This summer I had many sanghas I was apart of. I know what you’re thinking the summer and all the things that happened, including the running and the marathon, are all this girl ever talks about! And yes, I completely agree. But you know what they say, write to what you know. Apparently yoga, running, and work are the only things I know. That really isn’t all that surprising.

When it came time to figure out what I was going to do for this project, it really got me thinking. With all that happened I still had a pretty grand summer. I was pretty happy and I had amazing people all around me, my friends, my sisters, mentors, people I genuinely loved – so why wasn’t I fixated on the good stuff? I was living and breathing, biking everywhere I wanted to go, I provided myself with all that I needed to survive, such as good food and good company. It took me all this time to realize – that and leaving home and all these people behind – how lucky I was. It seems so silly now the way I acted. If only in the moments when we’re experiencing true happiness could we just appreciate it and not think of anything else. Because that would be too easy.

Thinking about my sanghas made me realize sometimes life is hard. And when life does get you down it’s okay to need support. It doesn’t make us weak or needy, it means we’re human with feelings and emotions. At some point or another we all need a little help getting back on track. I used this project as a way to thank all those people in my life who helped me out this summer, whether they knew they did or not. You all know who you are! But if you don’t, trust me you will 🙂

A sangha is a powerful thing. I am grateful to have more than one.

So what communities are you apart of? How would you give support to your sangha? Think about it, maybe give it a try. Because acts of kindness are so underrated.

Erin’s Ottawa Marathon Training Day 8

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Day 8 was a Monday! And Monday means a rest day! Glorious, glorious rest. I’m not impressed with how stiff I am — remind me to incorporate more gentle yoga and stretching into my life.

Here’s what’s on deck for week 2:

1 – Acceleration tempo run
2 – Cross-training
3 – 45min easy
4 – 1000m repeats
5 – Easy 30min and cross-training
6 – 15km LSD

I’m working overtime for the next three weeks, so I’m hoping to be a sneak and do my runs in between shifts. We’ll see how that goes. And I’m determined to get 6 workouts in this week!



Erin’s Ottawa Marathon Training Days 5,6 & 7

Oh how I hate fitness selfies. This attitude proves I am too old for the internet.

Oh how I hate fitness selfies. This attitude proves I am too old for the internet.

It’s the freaking weekend, people. Or, more accurately, it was. I endured ice and snow and slush and a sore throat and a hacking cough to bring you this fitness update.

Friday: My throat hurt like a mother. It was supposed to be cross-training day, but since I am terrified of relapsing into bronchitis hell, I went home instead. I think I went to be at 9pm. I win at life.

Saturday: Kendal and I made a running date, but she, too, is sick. We downgraded our planned 8k to 5k when we realized how much melting snow and ice we’d have to face — and to protect ourselves from further illness. We chose a tricky route that wasn’t clear, so we ended up bailing on our running plans all together and went straight for coffee. I was going to then get groceries and take the TTC home, but partway to the store, guilt overcame me and I decided to run to the farther store and then walk home. I didn’t turn on my Garmin for this run, so let’s just say I got the 5k in. It was probably closer to 3k, though. Don’t tell!

Sunday: I was supposed to run with another friend, but illness stuck them down as well! I ended up doing my 13k solo, which was fine. I chose a boring, through downtown route in an effort to stick to clear sidewalks. Andie and I are working my me moving away from 10-and-1s, so I did 20-and-1s this run. I took it slow, with the occasional punch of energy. I also made a pit stop at the Running Room to get a new handheld water bottle and a Clif Gel. 2014 is the year I will become friends with gels. My knee hurt a bit during the run and my back hurt a lot after, but I am confident this can be chalked up from going 0-to-100 on marathon training. I’ll ice, stretch and keep you updated.

So, for my first week of training, I missed one workout (a cross-training session) and didn’t really do either speed workout. But it’s week one. The elements were against me.

Let’s hope week 2 is better!