Erin’s Ottawa Marathon Training Days 30-32


The Olympics are here! I love the Olympics and all the weird sports I know nothing about. Slopestyle is my new favourite thing.

Since it’s been a few days, let’s catch up on this week so far.

Wednesday: I did a quickie yoga session in the kitchen while waiting for coffee in the morning. It was 15 minutes, hardly enough to count as a workout. In the evening, I headed to Monarch Park stadium to do my 8×400 workout. It was nice to be inside on this cold and snowy day. I found this workout to be a tough one — I haven’t done 400 splits since my last marathon training. This is how they were:


These seem comparable to my splits in my training last year. Getting under 1:45 is the next step.

Thursday: I had big plans, remember? Another double day! Weellll….I did nothing. I woke up sore and exhausted so gave myself some extra sleep time. After work, it was still snowy and I ended up at work later than I wanted to be, which meant I couldn’t squeeze a run in before meeting up with some friends to go to First Thursday at the AGO (fun!!). So Thursday was a rest day. I’m okay with that.

Friday: The late night meant getting up early this way wasn’t going to happen. I always under estimate the amount of sleep I need. No morning workout. Worked too much and didn’t have enough time to run before we had guests over. I cranked out a 30 minute power yoga/ab workout in my kitchen, so this day wasn’t a total loss.

The weekend will mean plenty of fitness. It always does. I learned a good lesson this week about overestimating things, underestimating other things and trying to fit in so much working out alongside so much work and so much social time. Basically: I am not a robot. Sometimes I wish it were so…



Erin’s Ottawa Marathon Training Day 29

First things first: I registered for the NYC Marathon lottery. AHHHH! $11 gets you on the lottery list. I find out in March if I get in. I am not expecting to. I heard, somewhere, that last year’s lottery success rate was like 11%! That’s insane. But I’m thinking long-term with this. I want to run the NYC Marathon one day. The more times I register for the lottery, the more chances I will get.

I have to look at that way. Because running two marathons in a single year, at this point in my life, seems like a ridiculous goal.

Anyone else sign up for the lottery?

Let’s look at the workouts I did on Tuesday.


In the morning, I went to the gym and did a 30 minute Nike Training Club Get Strength workout. I can’t remember which one, but it had fewer squats and more variety than the last one I tried. I also finished faster, but not fast enough to get much more in, so I hopped on the rowing machine for 5 minutes. I worked up a decent sweat and was high on endorphins as I walked to work.

After work, I ran home. I had an easy 45 on the schedule and Tuesday night seemed like a good time to do it. I had a community meeting at 7, so I ran straight from work to the meeting. This workout wasn’t as fun. I had an intense day at work and sorting it all out in my head took a lot of my focus and energy. That, and I’m still not used to two-a-days.

I want my workouts to be therapeutic. I also want to be a better employee. Given February’s theme, it’s certainly the time to work on both of these goals.



Erin’s Ottawa Marathon Training Day 28

Screen Shot 2014-02-04 at 6.42.56 AM

Last week. It doesn’t look so bad now, does it?

Rest day! Although, I did yoga for 15 minutes in the morning while I waited for coffee to brew — I am TOTALLY put that in Daily Mile because I’m a jerk like that.

I penciled in four morning workouts this week. I hope I will actually accomplish two of them. Here’s the plan:

Monday: rest
Tuesday: gym in the am, run in the pm
Wednesday: yoga in the am, run in the pm (if the pool is open, I might change yoga to swim)
Thursday: yoga in the am, run in the pm
Friday: TBD in the am
Saturday: squash and BodyPump with JK
Sunday: 20k LSD

Friday: If I miss a run, it will be a run. If I miss a yoga session, it will be yoga.

Ambitious right? Especially since I have plans Tuesday night, Thursday night, Friday night and Saturday night. But I feel like I need to step up my game. This is the week to (try to) do it.



Erin’s February

photo (35)
I’ve been thinking a lot about resolutions and words of the year. The beginning of the year is a time for change and to do all these things, but I’ve always found making a resolution — and sticking to it for an entire year — to be overwhelming. Same goes for a “30 by 30” list, which I made and never shared.

I’ve been toying with the idea of setting monthly goals and, in Word-of-the-Year style, choosing a word to guide me throughout each month. In January, I had the word “restore” in the back of my mind: restoring my health, my marathon training, my schedule. But I didn’t put it on this blog and didn’t articulate it to anyone. Partly because I was unsure if it was a good idea, and partly because my Advent Fitness Challenge failed so miserably. I was reluctant to put any sort of goals beyond my marathon out there, in case I failed (again) and had to explain why (again).

But screw that. This is why people have fitness blogs, right? To set goals, share goals and discuss what it takes to achieve them, and what it means to succeed or fail.

So here it goes. This month, I will choose a word to frame my efforts. And I will set a few goals. Vague resolutions (be happier, be kinder) are tough to execute and tough to measure, so these goals will be specific and executable. I’m good at “run this race in XX:XX.” I’m bad at “be a happier, kinder person.” So let’s play to my strengths.

If it works in February, I’ll give it a go for March. As soon as it doesn’t work, I’m done.

February’s word: Work.

Why work? It’s time to step up. There are two freelance projects I have neglected since 2014 began (for obvious reasons: working double shifts means that LAST thing I want to do at home is work some more). I have some personal things I need to complete. I have a new boss and want to work hard to show her I’m passionate about what I do. And I want to put the extra effort into my marathon training. January was a good starting point, but if I learned anything from week 4 of training is that I need to step up my game if sub-4:00 is even going to be a possibility.

There’s a difference between working hard and working a lot. In January, I worked a lot. February will be about working hard.

My goals for February:

1. Plank every day.

I planked this morning, when I decided to make this goal a goal. It seems straightforward enough: I can do it any time, anywhere, and it will help my core, which will help my running. I’m going to start at a minute and work my way up.

2. Go to the gym once a week.

I have built 2 gym trips into my schedule this week. If I go once, I will consider this a victory. This will be my plan all February. Let’s see how dedicated I can be.

3. Finish those two freelance projects.

I don’t really want to talk about them here, but I have two proposals I need to write. Let’s finally write them.

4. Go skating.

I’m putting this down, because I really want to go skating but have yet to have found the time to do so. An excuse, I know. But if I put it down here, it’s more likely to happen. Right?

5. Go swimming.

This goal is contingent on the St. Lawrence pool getting fixed. Go swimming. Just once. And then build from there.

Okay, that’s my plan for February! In addition to my regular marathon training, of course! What about you? Have any goals for this month?!

Erin’s Ottawa Marathon Training Days 24-27

Recapping week 4 continues!

Wednesday: On Wednesday, I was sore from the gym, so opted out of my planned morning session. I had every intention of running after work, but ended up doing a whole lot of nothing, except for some downward dogs in the edit suite. I’m not proud of this. As a punishment (or lesson learned!) I’ve already made a rigid schedule for week five and plan, for social plans and fitness plans, and have every intention of sticking to it.

Thursday: I was supposed to run a 10 minute warm-up, 4k at half-marathon pace (5:05-5:20), then a 10 minute cool down. I did exactly that, but found it extraordinarily difficult to maintain the HM pace, even with the stop lights granting me frequent breaks. The lesson I learned from this? I am not in race shape and need to work harder if I want to get there anytime soon.

Friday: I was still feeling it from the gym (I think it was all the weighted squats), so started the day off with 30 minutes of gentle yoga. It was my LAST DAY of double shifts at work, which meant it was a long one so there would be no post-work work out. But the last one!

Saturday: It was wet and snowy (the kind of snow that’s perfect for snowballs). I met up with my friend Trish to do 8k along the waterfront in the west. It was good to see her, as it has been forever, but she also pushed me to run faster than normal. The trail in the west end of the city is salted, so it was the first time all training cycle I had a run that was continuous — no street lights! And, boy, that made it hard!

When I got home, I put on the new Roseanne Cash album and did 30 minutes of DIY yoga. It felt good to stretch and it was nice to just get into the zone with some music on. It snowed and snowed and snowed outside, which was pretty from the window, but knew it might make my Sunday run a little treacherous.

Sunday: On Sunday, YakTrax were a must do I decided to get adventurous and give the Don Valley Trail a go. It was crunchy and snowy and a lot of work to get into a rhythm. I turned around 1.5k in, but eventually found a groove and kept to the Martin Goodman trail, heading west because it was closer to civilization that way. In the end, I powered home 3k short of what I was supposed to do, but I think the effort that went into this one more than makes up for this transgression.

And then I went to Leslieville Market’s Souper Bowl and ate French Onion soup in the freezing cold. It was worth it.

Another week down. Two steps forward (finding a gym and discovering the Nike Training Club app), one step back (short-changing my long run). But I am making progress. Even if that progress is only the passing of time.

Erin’s Ottawa Marathon Training Days 22-23

photo (40)

Hi blog, it’s been so long! An entire week! Thankfully, the bronchitis is gone and the double shifts at work are now OVER, so I’m hoping I’ll be able to settle into a regular routine again. 2014 is flying by, mostly because I’ve been working so much.

Let’s catch up!

Monday: Monday was my rest day, but on my way to work I stopped by the St. Lawrence Community Recreation Centre to join. I bought the 3 month membership, which is a steal at $67. I’m going to see how these three months go and if all is well, I’ll move on up to the year-long membership which is $224. The pass gets me access to the weight room, showers, fitness classes and the pool. Special programs and the squash courts are extra (boo!). I didn’t have time to tour the facility so I wasn’t sure what I was getting into, other than the price…

Tuesday: I made Tuesday morning my first trip to St. Lawrence. I got there around 7am, with the plan to give a workout on the Nike Training Club training app a go. I discovered this app thanks to Peanut Butter Fingers and it looked perfect for my needs — I need to get stronger, but wanted something with a bit of cardio. I was hoping, if all went well, I could do a 30 minute Get Strength workout and 30 minutes of yoga before work. This was, uh, ambitious, as I kept having to pause the app to learn how to do the moves properly, so I didn’t have time to do yoga. But I’m sure a continuous workout will come in time.

This means I have two things to tell you about! Let’s break from recapping the week to review things!

Screen Shot 2014-02-01 at 1.53.23 PM

The St. Lawrence Community Recreation Centre: Is a basic gym. The pool is currently out of order, which I’m hoping they fix soon. I miss swimming! The weight room has a small free weights area, a few weight machines, 4 or 5 treadmills and 4 or 5 bikes. Nothing fancy, but it gets the job done. I’m hoping to go at least once a week but am trying to plan for twice a week (Tuesday and Friday mornings) and see how that goes!


The Nike Training Club app: Is awesome. There are so many workout options and levels. There are three basic themes: Get Lean, Get Toned and Get Strength. There are beginner, intermediate and advanced workouts and then time options too! I’m going to stick to Get Strength for now, but am excited to give Get Lean a try in the out of doors. The workout felt a lot like the FitStreets workouts I did two summers ago, without the running. Each new move has a photo series and a video showing you how to do it, and you can play music from your iPhone or iPod while the app is running. Amazing.

Back to Tuesday…

Tuesday: On Tuesday, I ran home from work. It’s a recovery week, so I had an easy 30 minutes on the schedule. I thought this would be easy because I had all my gym stuff with me from the morning. It wasn’t bad, but I think I need a bigger gym bag. I’ll figure it out. As long as I want to keep doing strength training, yoga and marathon training, two-a-days will be much more common in my future. How do you fitness fanatics do it?

As you can tell from the embed below, my Garmin didn’t catch the whole run — I did not actually fly over buildings downtown as my route suggests. I think the end result was closer to 4k, so that’s what I’m claiming.


This post is already crazy long, so I’m going to wrap it up now. Wednesday-Saturday will come soon!