Surfs up marathon number 3


Yup, it’s true. After dropping the hint last week it’s time I came out with it – I signed up for my third marathon! But I have to honest I actually made this decision before running the Paris Marathon. I know. Something must have told me Paris wasn’t going to be good, that and I knew deep down way before race day I was going to run another marathon. 2015 seemed like the time to do it and with the right invitation and the right race it didn’t take much to convience me. Julie must have caught me on one of my “low days” either way we are running the Surf City Marathon together on February 1st.

Training abroad came with many highs and lows, but one very low in particular was missing Julie (and Erin too of course). I didn’t have my partner in crime to run horrific Sunday mornings with, or climb Poplar Plains a million and one times, and worst of all I didn’t have my running buddy to run for beers every Thursday evening. When Julie posted she was looking for someone to run the Surf City Marathon with her I jumped all over it. I had too. I wasn’t going to put myself through another marathon training alone.


Oh how I've missed this face.

Oh how I’ve missed this face.

It also seems to me that everyone I know has or is running a second or a third marathon sometime soon. I don’t want to be the only one who’s not. Erin got into New York and ran the Ottawa Marathon. Julie ran the Goodlife full back in May and is running the Berlin Marathon next month. I’m sure Andie is running more races than I can count, and that goes for Alice too. I know for a fact Alice has been very busy. Charlie is running her first official Ironman very, very soon. And that Shannon (my best pal and old roommate) is a mega tri-ATHLETE now! Knowing, seeing and hearing about all the training going on around me is super contagious. If you have a competetive nature just ask what your friends are up to. That should be enough to get you running again. It was for me at least.

I did debate whether or not to run my third marathon this fall – this was back while I was still traveling – it seemed like a good idea at the time, but now that August is upon us I’m glad I decided against it. There are a couple of races close to home I do want to run however – Maritime Race Weekend, the Valley Harvest Marathon (I hope Erin and I will run this one together!) and the PEI Marathon to name a few – instead I have a half in October to run and I probably should find a second half to run or another race of some sort before 2015 rolls around. It too will be here before you know it. Ah! I shouldn’t say that!

In the end I realized wanting to squeeze in another marathon because all my friends were doing it was silly of me. Having the Paris experience behind me now my sights are set on running a good race at the Scotiabank half back in my homeland of Toronto. It’ll be nice sticking to something I know I’ll enjoy (and can do) this fall. Then it’s all California after that. Me and Julie and 42k of oceanic views. I honestly can not wait.

This reunion is only a matter of time.

This reunion is only a matter of time.

Ah, California. It’s been calling me back since my one year anniversary of my Yoga Teacher Training. For some reason it came up a lot. Especially on the Camino, but that goes without saying, a lot came up on the Camino. But those trusty arrows ayways pointed in the right direction looks like they were directing me back to the sunshine state.

Onward and upward. The first steps to marathon #3.

This is the only post-race photo I took. So you have to see it again.

This is the only post-race photo I took. So you have to see it again.

It has been exactly a week since I ran the Ottawa Marathon. I can walk normally again. Toronto now feels like summer. I went to the island Friday night, caught a late ferry back. The skyline was sparkling and I was ready. Ready for summer. Ready to do this marathon training thing for the second time in a year. (I am delusional and crazy. It’s the only way to get through this.)

I sent an email to Andie, my running coach, about New York, this morning. I need to put fun in my runs again. The email itself was long and rambly, but this was the gist of it:

1. I want to run a strong, consistent race.

I am a positive split master. So this time out, my goal is around a 4:15 marathon with 2:07/2:07 splits. I’ll get my sub 4:00. But NYC isn’t the place to do it.

2. I want to have fun.

The Ottawa Marathon training cycle was hard, and it wasn’t fun. Part of the reason I have 4:15 in mind is that I want to enjoy the experience. I don’t want to get so caught up in a goal that I miss running the NYC Marathon. I actually tried to write a km by km recap of Ottawa and I couldn’t. I barely remember Gatineau or running by the prime minister’s house. Sometimes, that’s okay. But for one of the biggest marathons in the world, it won’t be.

3. I want to get stronger.

I was doing really well on the strength training aspect of my training until I got sick in April. I want to get back on track with that again. I think training in the summer and fall will help with that a lot. It will be light outside and warm and waking up at 6 a.m. to workout won’t be the death sentence it is in February.

4. I want to run with people more often.

I used to go to a running group at Lulu Lemon semi-regularly. Then, after Blue Nose, I stopped. I appreciate the solo time running gives me, but I did find when I ran with people, I pushed myself harder. I need to do that again.

5. I want to run a sub-50:00 10k.

My 10k split at the STWM half last fall was 52:28, so I think this is a good goal that gives me a reason to do speedwork and focus on getting faster without it bogging down my marathon goals.

6. I want my training to start on July 20.

I want a few weeks to run for fun, enjoy the summer, let my body heal from the marathon. My friend Natalie (hi, Natalie!) is getting married in NS this summer and we are going, so I thought that returning from that trip would be a good time to start training. It’ll mean my training program would be 15 weeks long. Since I am just coming off a training cycle, I think it will be ok.

We’ll see what the coach says.

Race recap: Semi Marathon de Paris

Ahhh!! I’ve been so bad! Sorry people for the lack of posts and things from me! It’s been a busy and internet-less two months in Chislehurst, but still. It’s been way too long depriving you all from my traveling updates and training on the road and I apologize.

You’ll be happy to know I made it to France! I am in Paris, the city of love, and I am in LOVE. I am so excited to live and stay here for the last month of my training before my big race, the Paris Marathon. After running the half on Sunday I have some major work to do, especially if I’m going for a PB. Or even better yet a sub 4 hour race.

I just ran a race in Paris!

I just ran a race in Paris!

January was all about training and finding my way around London, trying to meet new people, and find a yoga studio to adopt me. While February was all about the Olympics, working, and of course training. I did find an amazing studio, Breeze Yoga, I was regularly attending, I kept up with my running mates at the Reebok FitHub meeting twice a week for our +10k runs. All of a sudden living in Chislehurst was staring to feel like home. One thing, however, which was not going according to plan was me beginning to lag behind in the long run department. I knew this was no good for my half marathon coming up, but getting in 40-50k a week felt like I was getting the job done at least. After Sunday I realize this was not true. I kept hearing Alice’s voice in my head telling me how important the long runs are and it’s not so much about the overall mileage. See Alice, I’m still thinking of you! And I miss you too!

Semi Marathon de Paris wasn’t my goal race so instead of going out and givin’er I decided not to be too hard on myself for feeling under prepared and run the race for fun. Enjoy the sights of Paris and just have a good go at it. Of course I would want to run another sub 2 hour half, but it wasn’t a proirty to do so. But when I saw my time of 2:04 I wish I had made it a priority after all. Oh well, I guess you can’t win them all. If anything when I finished the race I definitely had more gas in the tank – which was a bit of a surprise and a tad frustrating. I learned my lesson and now I know for next time that extra push is worth it in the end. It is better to go for it (but being smart about it) than not. All the things to learn as a runner.

So what was good about this race? Well for starters, it was in Paris! And the route was just lovely. Starting and ending in Parc Floral de Paris we looped through the east part of the city, ran along the water for a little ways, ran along busy, beautiful streets then back to the park. I loved it. The crowd support was also amazing the entire time. Running along stretches of cafés and bistros people were everywhere, out enjoying their cigarettes, baguettes and coffees while cheering. It was so French and so great! The route was also pretty flat. Another bonus. Cecilley and I, along with the 40,000 other runners, lucked out completely because we had the absolute best weather. A run is always better with crisp air and sunshine. The day was gorgeous, I couldn’t help but be happy with my race overall. I felt good the entire time and I wasn’t sore afterward. There wasn’t a period of time where I wanted to stop, or felt like I needed to, I was well feed (Cecilley took great care of us in that department) and well hydrated. I had a positive feeling going in and I was excited to run. All of which prepared me for a good day. For the run that almost didn’t happen, I deserved a good day.

Cecilley and I in pretty Paris! It's time to celebrate my birthday and the fact we ran our race!

Cecilley and I in pretty Paris! It’s time to celebrate my birthday and the fact we ran our race!

Yup. You heard me right… For the run that almost didn’t happen. Let me explain.

With every race there are going to be a few not so great things about it. I have accumulated a few complaints through the course of the day, but only a few. Here’s where the trouble began for Cecilley and I apparently if you’re running any race in France you require a medical certificate from a doctor giving you consent to run. I did not know this. Maybe all European races require a medical certificate I don’t know, but learn from my mistake and make sure you have this prior to to picking up your race kit. Lucky for me my cousin is a doctor (thank you, Eric!) and sent an email indicating I am physically capable to run the race, but before his note came through Cecilley and I were freaking out. What was supposed to be a casual shake out run, the day before, to the expo turned out to be a few hours of hectic running amuck trying to track down a doctor to sign our papers. Given it was Saturday, we were having terrible luck. Once my home support came through Cecilley and I zipped back to the expo before closing to claim our bib numbers and race packs. They ran out of race packs. I was not impressed. So after all that we didn’t even get a shirt or a few samples.

Not only did the race not have enough shirts apparently they were in short supply of food and medals too. This isn’t a good sign when you know how many participants you have running beforehand.

Areas the race could improve on is its overall organization. Make sure runners know what’s going on and what they can expect. The race began at 10am (not a bad time to start) but the fact they sent corals out in waves of gapped time (again not to our knowledge) meant that Cecilley and I didn’t start until and hour later. We were waiting around for what felt like a really long time. If that’s the case let people know their group start time in advance to better prepare and cut down on the number of people before and after. The water stations were also a bit of a miss having them spaced out at 5k intervals which caused way too much commotion. Stations were also set up on just one side of the street. Another recipe for a runners pile up. I avoided the water stations at all costs, not because I didn’t need water, but because I was afraid of getting trampled on! These runners were intense. I have to say of all the races I’ve participated in this one was by far the most pushy and aggressive. Even during the run I found it hard to settle into a groove and maneuver around people. It’s to be expected for obvious reasons, but for some reason it felt different.

No Paris recap is complete without a picture of the Eiffel Tower on the eve of my birthday!

No Paris recap is complete without a picture of the Eiffel Tower on the Eve of my birthday!

I don’t want to sound like a terrible complainer because the good parts of the race diffentately out way the bad, I personally feel with fewer participants this could have been a much smoother operation.

Next up for me is the Paris Marathon with just over a month to go. Now that I have a better idea of where I’m at – I felt good and on track for a good marathon time if I had to of run further on Sunday. The goal now is to find a new place to train from and live, possibly find myself some new running companions, and get my long runs in each week. This is very important from here on out. And of course learn some French along the way. Bonsoir! (Or bonjour wherever you happen to be!)

And Jill’s next big race….


Hanging out in Bali gives you lots of time to think. Probably more time then what’s really necessary… but then again is that really a bad thing? Either it’s good or bad, I’ve definitely had more then my fair share of time for reflecting and being with my own thoughts. As much as downtime is good for the soul and brain, so is goal setting and a sense of achievement. I need running and accomplishment to keep me balance – something that came up during the Balance In Bali retreat (more on that later) – being in a place to think only about me and what I want, what on earth have I spent all my time thinking about, besides the serious stuff like my purpose in life and what am I trying to achieve? Running! Naturally. And what my next big race will be??!!

After my first marathon was over I may have experienced a bit of the Runner’s Blues that the folks at the Running Room warned me about. Which makes complete sense given I just spent a huge chuck of time (my entire spring and summer!) training for one race. Just one! It doesn’t seem right or fair at all. Then to just stop after it’s all over? How is one supposed to quit cold turkey? What would I possibly do with my Thursday evenings not seeing Julie, or my Sunday mornings… was I supposed to sleep in? And not go out and run 30k before noontime? I was confused and sad. Just like that I missed running completely. I tried not to run for a little while at least, I didn’t want to do anything stupid like injure myself during post marathon recovery. I put my body through a lot, taking the time to recover properly was super important. But it dam well drove me crazy.

When I returned from Picton and back to my regular life (but now I was a marathoner!) I made a promise to do lots and lots of yoga until Bali and wouldn’t run until the retreat was over. I went to two of Brendan’s classes at MYD, one of which we dedicated entirely to me. Thanks, Brendan! Not only did my hamstrings love and hate you all at the same time, but my arms, quads, feet, brain, and athletic soul did too. What a grad way to come back to the yoga world.

The plan was set and so was I. But now over a month has passed since my big race and I have not run. At all! Now more then ever I am going run crazy. Since moving to Bali for some reason I’m finding it super challenging to do anything. Even yoga is so far from my mind I can’t justify going to a class. I’m not sure what is happening here. Before leaving Canada (for an undetermined length of time), I went for one run. It would be my last run with Julie and my last run with the Running Room. It was the Thursday night clinic immediately following my marathon and I made a promise to Julie we’d celebrate with burgers and beers (our favourite!) to celebrate my race. I also wanted to run with the Running Room one last time, and of course see Alice too before my trip.

Can't wait to live this moment all over again! Even though it was unplanned. Sort of.

Can’t wait to live this moment all over again! Even though it was unplanned. Sort of.

Letting all this time pass have stirred my emotions to the point of total disgust and being at a complete loss. From the retreat, to leaving all of my belongings behind, scattered between Erin’s house and my friend Cait’s apartment, having no idea what is happening to them, wondering all the time what is going on back home without me? It’s so overwhelming, I didn’t think this was possible. At this time of extreme turmoil Cecilley discovered a sweet little spot in France for us to WWOOF at called Medoc, which just so happens to have a marathon. I was golden! Sadly, Cecilley said no to running a marathon, but would run a half. One thing after another, sadly, the sadness wouldn’t stop there. This marathon does not allow half-marathoners – there isn’t a half marathon option or any other distance for that matter – it’s a full or nothing! What ever shall we do?! Conveniently, I knew Paris had a marathon… but our luck would fail us again. This was another marathon only event (which I should have know, knowing it’s one of the worlds biggest races!). After one more positive discovery and very little thought we hunkered down and signed up for the Semi Marathon de Paris! On March 2, 2014 we will run a race in Paris. The day before my birthday! Celebrating my 28th in Paris sounds pretty good to me.

The good news didn’t stop there. While all the excitement unfolded – reliving Cecilley and my California dream, moving to France to train/work/travel, zenning out at the beautiful eco village, Desa Seni, enjoying life on a yoga retreat, I may have registered for the full marathon as well. Oops! Thinking it was a lottery race, or one you would have to qualify for, I thought why the hell not submit my name and see what happens. I already created an ASO Challenges account to register for the half and I want to run another full, so here’s my chance. Plus it’s pretty much a month away from the half, so I could use the half as a training run. Prefect! But an excellent question for Alice.

Another marathon?! Oh goodness what have I done?

Another marathon?! Oh goodness what have I done?

But sure enough that “Your registration for the 2014 Marathon de Paris is complete” email arrived almost a day later which included my bib number and everything. I guess the full isn’t a lottery race after all.

So that settles it. There’s one (or two rather) confirmed legs to this journey Cecilley and I are on, we’ll be calling Paris (or London!) home this spring. Which is not such a bad idea! But this marathon, that might be. And running a sub 4:00? I can totally shave 15+ minutes from my first and only marathon time, right? Well, here goes nothing! I better start running.

Jill’s Marathon Training Week #11

Another week down, another week that was a fail (seriously, not another week!…). After taking on a new job I knew my life (and my training) would take a back seat, but I didn’t think it would to the point were I’d do nothing. At all! Okay, so this week I did get out for my long run – the longest run of my entire life! But it just didn’t feel complete. It was a tough one emotionally for me to grasp, full of heartache and despair (for reasons other then my lack of running). But good thing I was all kinds of work busy because I didn’t have too much time to dwell on it.

Ya, that smile is totally fake. I wanted to die.

Ya, that smile is totally fake. I wanted to die.

With Monday being a holiday, and failing to run the full 29k for week 10’s long run, I made plans with Jewels (yes, the Jewels from Jewels and the Holi-grams) to meet her for a quick run between her Monday morning classes. From the studio we ran down Bathurst through Fort York along King then to Jewel’s apartment for a grand total of 2.5k. It was just what Jewels wanted to get her going. I then stuck around for her 10am class. It was just what I needed. I spent the rest of my Monday not doing much of anything until going back to the studio to work and practice again. It was a good way to spend the last day of the long weekend.

Then the craziness of TIFF struck which meant little time for running, let alone even think about practicing. My week flew by and before I knew it, it was Thursday. I didn’t run Tuesday or Wednesday, missing a very hilly and very long route (sorry, Julie!). This was not a good thing at all. Somehow (by luck or by chance) my Thursday night was free and I managed to meet the clinic for the 8k familiar route to Cherry Beach and back. Lucky for Julie and I this run actually felt good. Nick, Julie’s boyfriend, joined us this evening (hi, Nick!) and now we’re convinced he’s the reason we ran fast.

Friday and Saturday passed in a blink of an eye – again no running or yoga took place. But knowing Sunday was the day I had to run 32k there was no stopping me from missing this run. Nothing! That was until I woke to a tireless bike. Why people steal I don’t know, but to steal someone’s mode of transportation is beyond me. I felt broke (and still do). With my back tire gone from my bike I wanted to cry. There was nothing I could do. But thankfully Julie said she’d wait for me at the store, I jumped on the streetcar and still made it in time. The run was awful. With my heavy heart weighing me down and the lack of running this week and the week before, my legs were tired. I was slowing down and fading fast. I had cramps in my tummy and felt uncomfortable for the majority of the run. But somehow I pulled myself together and got through it. Julie was a star this day. See her run like a champ kept me from stopping completely. But I did it. I’ve pasted the 30k mark and ran farther then I’ve ever have in my life. That’s something to be proud of, right? Despite the terrible training week. Once TIFF is over and my life is back in order I will stop making up excuses and run! With less then a month to go, what other option to I have?! None really.

Jill’s Marathon Training Week #10

Theme of this training week was brought to you by the word RAD. I ran the Color Me Rad 5k as an offical Jewels and the ‘Holi’grams team member – rounding up the official team was myself, Tiffany Astle and Jewels Gibran – together we were colour bombed, ran up and down and all around Downsview Park, and most importantly, we dance around the rave like colour party (and across the finish line) in tiny white booty shorts. Oh yes, our team outfits were something else. And that’s how I sent my Saturday run, getting splattered with paint in every which way possible. More on the race in a separate post to come! My life is full on TIFF overload right now.

I'm so RAD!

I’m so RAD!

Ending week 9 on a bit of a upward spiral, my long run left great, which is really important at this stage of the game. I want these runs to feel good and I want to have the confidence going into each long run knowing it’s going to be okay. For the most part at least. The outcome may bag to differ, but my confidence needs to be on the up going into it. Monday was my night to work the desk at the studio, so I practiced! The balance of yoga with my training is going to save me come October. This I know. Tuesday morning I woke up to get my run in early, knowing it was going to be busy week with work I was hoping this would give me the kick in the butt I needed to wake up early and get out the door. Sadly, this was not the case. I’ve been so tried in the mornings lately it’s exhausting. But I got up early enough to squeeze in a quick 6k (quick, the run was not). I ran around Central Tech’s track, realizing that kind of running I hate. I can’t think of anythings worse than running on a treadmill, but running around a track could be worse. I left the track circled the neighbourhood then headed to work after that. Never again. I will never run the track again.

Wednesday was a long(ish) hilly route, so naturally Julie and I planed to meet up and run this thing together. Starting at the store running through Riverdale Park to Rosedale Valley Road, it was a run that would not end! Oh my goodness, it was not fun for either of us. I was tired, the run took us forever, lately I’ve been feeling like I hit a wall with my running. Alice, you need to come back! And fast. Alice has been absent from the Running Room (with good reason of course!). She was gone to run some races of her own – The Lululemon SeaWheeze, a bunch of Disney Races, did lots and lots of training runs – then spent a good chunk of time at my second studio home, Moksha LA.

After the emotional exhaustion from the hilly run, I went straight to the studio. I needed to practice! On Thursday I did the same thing. I did yoga instead of running. Although I know this is cheating and I do feel bad on the days I don’t run, but I needed to practice. When my life feels out of control it’s the best thing for me. Friday morning I may have done the same thing again. It was another day I did not run (I am terrible!), but instead I finally took Marianne on her offer to drive me to the Beaches for a sunrise standup paddleboard session. And boy oh boy it was worth every second waking up well before 6am. The water, the sky, the sun, it was all so spectacular!

This is Marianne! Isn't this picture great?

This is Marianne! Isn’t this picture great?

Saturday was race day! Colour Me Rad 5k here we come! I loved the fact this race was totally for fun. There was no timing involved, no time check ins, nothing of that sort. It was all about the colour bombs and having a great time. Because it was Tiffany’s official first race ever, there may have been some celebrating that occurred that evening. Which may have lead to me miss the long Sunday run, which I may have tried to make up on my own, but failed drastically. I did run 8k Sunday and practiced yoga. I tried to make up the rest of the distance from Sunday’s 29k on Monday. But again I failed drastically.

I’ve accepted this week as a fail and decided to moved on. But no I was not happy about it. All I can hope now is next week will be a different story.

Jill’s Marathon Training Week #9

How is it the middle of August already? (Or at least it was when week 9 of training took place) I honestly have no idea how the weeks go by so fast! Oh right, maybe because all I do run might have something to do with it? That’s just a guess. But all I do know is each day has it’s set schedule and each day goes by faster than the one before. Make it stop!! I don’t want summer to be over. That means fall will be here. And that means it’s closer to my marathon! Yikes! This week we had a mega run in store, with 29k to look forward to on Sunday, I did not want this week to fly by like each one before it. But of course it did. And before I knew it we’re on to the next one. The next week of training that is.

Monday was a bit of a fun day as I started a new job and taught my second last Free Yoga with Jill! class. It was a private class (with only one person attending) and made the class more of a yang/yin class – by request of course by me and by Emma! Emma is MYD energy exchange trainer (hi, Emma!) and boy do her and I love our yin yoga. I instructed a pretty mellow floor series, but stretched and held poses for quite sometime. It was a lovely experience. Tuesday I got up early (well somewhat early!) and ran in the morning. It was another tough and not fun run. But I got up and ran that’s what matters!

Some jumping action on the spit! I'm not that excited to be running.

Some jumping action on the spit! I’m not that excited to be running.

On Wednesday Julie and I stuck to our game plan of running Poplar plains together (before the clinic). This week was 7 repeats. Even though one of my favourite things to do is complain about how much I hate hill training I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I think it’s actually working. And actually getting easier (or better, I’m not sure). During my solo 19k in week #8 I powered up the Pottery Road hill to Broadview and Mortimer and couldn’t believe how good it felt. This week of hills kind of felt like that, but only after the 3rd or 4th climb. After a good day of hills you’d think I’d want to hit the pavement to run some more. But you’d be wrong. I took Thursday and Friday off. Getting back into the working life needs its transitioning time, I forgot how easy it is to get caught up in work and not do anything else. But I have to say I’m loving my new job so much! So not running with the clinic (again) was not the end of the world to me. Friday I had lots of running around to do, taught the 6pm class at MYD, then meet some old colleagues for drinks. I had no time to think about running when I had a class to prepare for. So sadly that 6-10k I should have done on Thursday didn’t happen at all. I had 29k coming up I needed the break to preserve all the energy I have in store for this long run.

Recovery Pudding from the Thrive Diet. After 29k eating solid foods could be challenging.

Recovery Pudding from the Thrive Diet. After 29k eating solid foods could be challenging.

So Saturday I took the day to do nothing but yoga. I honestly was at the studio the entire day. I working the morning desk shift, practiced at 4pm, when home briefly to eat, then ran back to the studio to take the 8pm Kriya with Julia. I promised Julia I would take this class. And I really wanted to considering it was a class inspired by breath work and fundamental yogic energy. It was beautiful and perfect. I went straight to bed after that and work up early for Sunday’s 29-er of a run. After learning my lesson (again from week #7) I wanted to be awake and digested well before I had to run. All according to plan, Julie and I ran with the 4:30 pace group, then at the 19k mark those who ran the Midsummer Night’s Run the weekend before got to scale back this week. The others, myself included, had to go the full 29k. We’ve come to realize the 4:30ers are a fun group of ladies to run with. Julie ran Midsummer’s so we parted ways at Carlaw and Lakeshore, where she ran back to the store and I ran to the Beaches. I must say this route was great – we ran the spit and to the beach. Having a great route also makes long runs way more fun.

Your long runs need to be enjoyable, this I’ve figured out very quickly, otherwise thinking about the distance will only make the run seem that much worse. And once the run is over and your not dying doing it all over again also feels less daunting. Which is exactly what I have to do this week coming. Oh boy… when does the scaling back begin?! Not soon enough.

Jill’s Marathon Training Week #8

So I made it. I’m officially at the half way mark. 16 weeks in total, 8 are now over! But with 8 more weeks of training still ahead I’m continuously have very conflicting views about my race. Somedays I feel so ready and great, but others not so much. Holy smokes, I was not prepared for this emotional roller coaster! But as I talked about before finding space and separation between runs (and all these emotions!) is finding my yoga in running. It’s not as easy as it sounds. This was one of those weeks where I really had to put it to the test.

Monday, like every Monday was my day off from running. I taught the morning 10am class at Moksha Downtown and had a friends birthday dinner to attend that evening (hi, Tiffany!). I was looking forward to this dinner party for weeks! Who says you can’t be social even when you’re training for a marathon? I’m sure am. But after my race we’ll see if that was wise of me or not… Following the dinner party, more than a few glasses of wine, and a sleepover with Tiffany later I managed to get myself out for the 6k run on Tuesday before any other evening out – this time with Cecilley. See, I still have a life. But again I may not be the best role model for running training – remember Around the Bay?

Wednesday is hill day the part of the week I dread the most! I’ve come to the conclusion I would rather run 30k than do any length of hill repeats. Hills are just not fun! Julie and I meet before the clinic to get this over with early on. With 6x600m ups and downs scheduled we met at our usual meeting spot at Bloor and Yonge ran to Poplar Plains, and yes we complained the entire time. But it’s so much more fun to have someone to complain with! And to run with. After the run Cecilley and I planed a yoga date because I realized I haven’t practiced in what felt like weeks! Although very untrue I needed some yoga. We went to the 8:30pm Hot Hour at Kula and sadly both walked away unsatisifed. As a new teacher I don’t like to complain about someone’s class, but poor Chrisi-an must have had something going one this day. The energy of class was weird and so was the intention set. Chirsti-an’s body language felt off and it made me feel awkward in my body and being on my mat. But this could very well be the running talking. Everyone has stuff going on, letting my practice be it’s own is a whole other part of the practice we all need to check into once in awhile. It was a good lesson for me as a student and a teacher.

Post hill training dinner! There's an almond flaxseed burger under all that black bean salsa! Yummy!

Post hill training dinner! There’s an almond flaxseed burger under all that black bean salsa! Yummy!

When Thursday rolled around I was wiped. I honestly thinking back to this day cannot for the life of me remember what went on, but I know I didn’t go to clinic. I was bad. And tired and probably grumpy. So I didn’t go, but I did run 6k on my own and struggled the entire time. This run was not fun. I made a promise to myself to stop skipping out on clinic I do think it was karma biting me in the ass. Friday I took the whole day off and Saturday I geared up for Sunday’s long run by practicing yoga. Rachael treated me so well during the 4pm vinyasa class and ended with legs up the wall, just for me! Thanks, Rachael! And no I didn’t run after that. I told you this was a tough week on both my mind and my body. Perhaps the late night socializing is catching up? Oh well…

When I woke up on Sunday I thought to myself I hadn’t slept in in forever. I needed rest and so I reset my alarm and fell back asleep. Knowing the group was only running 19k (ha! only running 19k, who says that?!) I knew full well I could go it alone. And so I did. I later woke feeling energized and ready. I ate a good breakfast then waited a full 2 hours to diegest – a big mistake I made during week 7 – grabbed my gels and water and headed out the door. I realized I just needed a break. A break from the group, a break from this Sunday routine I’ve fallen into, and a break from myself to stop thinking and just run. I planned a route out to the Don Valley Trail and back home and by the time it was over I felt great and happy about running. It was just the thing I needed to propel me forward past the half way training point. Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do!

More homemade gels! Compliments of The Thrive Diet.

More homemade gels! Compliments of The Thrive Diet.

Running, it can be so crazy sometimes. Despite blisters on my poor little feet and the feeling of heaviness in my legs at times, I have to be very thankful this running thing isn’t wearing me down. Not completely that is!

Jill’s Marathon Training Week #7

These guys make it look so easy!

These guys make it look so easy!

Lucky training week number 7, if only this were true! I learned a lot from this training week especially what not to do before a long run! Oh goodness… more on the drama that unfolded Sunday morning later.

The week began with another off day on Monday. Given it was the long August weekend I was coming off week 6’s great long run, I worked the desk, and experienced a great yin class, then biked a very long way to watch a movie and have a sleep over with Cecilley. What a Sunday! Cecilley and I had a Beach Day Adventure planed for Monday and I was very excited! We biked all day, went for coffee and treats in the morning, then lunch, then picked up supplies to meet a colleague (hi, Alec) for a picnic and a bike ride though the Leslie Spit. It was a pretty epic day off I must say.

Tuesday’s run was surprisingly good given I’d been biking (and drinking… oops) for a whole day the day before. I felt good and could have kept going, which is a nice feeling to end a run on. This hasn’t happened much so when it does I need to acknowledge it! My friend Cait (hi, Cait!) was working the desk at MYD so my evening plan was to meet her for class. We took the 8pm Level 2 and boy was I exhausted. But no wonder. I was still recovering, so I took it easy and did what I could. The sweating part was most important. Ha!

Wednesday I woke up early to practice a little yoga before teaching the Community Class at Downtown. I had hills to run this afternoon and no I wasn’t looking forward to the 5 repeats I had to do at Poplar Plains. Afterward, it was right back at the studio for me to work. I could run with the clinic so I had to run the hills alone. Hills are never fun, but I finally pulled myself together and got it done without too much complaining. Okay, I complained the whole time. All the complaing even kept me from my yoga practice! I practice yoga Wednesday evening and had a really tough time getting out of my head. I wasn’t in it at all. And to make matters worse Thursday wasn’t any better. I had plans to run 6k all day, but for some reason I just could not make myself go. For the entire day I sat around telling myself I would, I would go after lunch, then I would go after getting to Jackie’s house (I was dog sitting for her and Morgan for the evening) then I would go after walking the dogs, then I would go before meeting Cecilley for dinner. Ya… I totally flaked out on running and didn’t go at all. I was tired both mentally and physically. I could feel it in my whole body, I just really didn’t want to run! So I didn’t and I ran late Friday afternoon instead. Mentally I was more determined, but still the run was not as enjoyable as I was hoping for. Eventually it got better and before I knew it 10k was done. So there was a bit of a light at the end of the tunnel.

Saturday was another skip out on the 6k run and go stand up paddleboarding instead. I even got up early and went to the 8am class before my shift, and thank goodness too. This class brought me back. After three solid days of hating marathon training I had to do something fun! Yoga and paddleboarding are excellent fun things.

This face pretty much sums up the week.

This face pretty much sums up the week.

Then Sunday came. The day I wanted to die and quit running for good. This run will forever go down in the record books as the worst long run of my entire life! I’m dead serious. Whether it was what I ate the night before or that morning – I believe I didn’t give myself enough time to digest and ate way too much – or a combination of all these things, but whatever it was I ran 26.5k with a bolder in my stomach! I wanted to vomit the entire time or pass this thing out of my body in some form or another. I ran slow, for obvious reasons, but somehow my body kept going. I was running, aside from the fact I was carrying rocks in my gut. I couldn’t believe I was actually moving though. And I had no aches or pain anywhere. But in all seriousness the only thing the saved me Sunday was yin with Julia that night. It was awful.

Thankfully Julie was right there with me. Her and I struggled and complained the whole time. But we did it together. I’m convinced this awful running experience will only make us better runners in the end. Here’s hoping I’m right. Eh, Julie?

Jill’s Marathon Training Week #6

We made it to the Beach! We're almost there!

We made it to the Beach! We’re almost there!

Does anyone else feel like training makes your week just fly by?! Literally. I have know idea how the summer is half over, July is gone and the August long weekend is here. It doesn’t make any sense. So how did I spend my long weekend? By running of course!

Monday was another double teaching day, but this time I did not have to work the desk. I taught the community class in the morning then a Free Class with Jill! that evening to a colleague (hi, Val) and her friend. I stuck to my Monday plan of practicing yoga, but this particular Monday I ended up practicing twice. That’s what happens when you make yoga dates with friends and hang out at the studio all the time. I found out afterward Darren Hall was playing his crystal singing bowls for the 8pm music class. I had to stay.

Tuesdays, so far, have been a good day to run for me. I’ve noticed after a day off my body really takes flight the following day. Sometimes I feel heavy and the run isn’t the greatest, but mentally I know I have a job to do, so I go out and do it. I must say being in the office does help get me going. But please note there is a big difference in my feelings towards running early in the week to later. I think it’s hill training day where the mental switch happens… most likely. Wednesday Julie and I scheduled another running date after I taught the morning community class at MYD. We made our way to Poplar Plains and ran the 4 legs up and walked back down. It wasn’t fun, but running with Julie made it seem better than it was.

Thursday evening I had plans with Cecilley, so I ran at lunch once again, and missed the evening clinic. I didn’t quite make the 10k I was supposed to get in, but seeing how I ran extra the day before – my warm up to meet Julie, the warm up to the hills, then my run home – I didn’t really care at this point. I ran and that’s what mattered.

Friday was a complete off day. I, for real this time, did absolutely nothing (minus puttering around the house and doing random things). Saturday was another day where I didn’t run. Like I said last week, I discovered a new love and I spent the day on the beach paddleboarding with Jenn (Big City Boards) and a fellow Moksha teacher Marianne (hi, Jenn! hi Marianne!).

Look at me!

Look at me!

Yes, I fell in Lake Ontario and no nothing bad happened to me… at least not yet. Maybe some sort of mutation from the lake will make me a super runner? Or, I’ll keep dreaming! Jenn took Marianne and I out to a sweet little cove where the water was still and the bottom was nice and sandy. We paddled around did some yoga on the boards and attempted various balancing postures. Some where successful others not so much. But either way, it was so much fun!

And then I fell in!

And then I fell in! Thank you Jenn for the pictures.

After a second week in a row of sending my Saturday not running and on the water instead, I felt ready for the longest run of the clinic yet – a 23k route to the Beaches and around the east end then back to the store. Alice told me this part of the training is what really counts, when we begin running past half marathon distance. This Sunday Julie and I finally had the chance to run a long run together so I decided to try and have fun with it and run with the 4:30 pace group. Right away it felt okay. Don’t worry, I was shocked too! It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining, and the company was great – all things necessary for a successful long run! Julie and I even took off near the end and felt strong enough to run ahead of the group. We finished strong and together!

We decided next week we’d drop down a pace group and see what the 4:15 will bring. Given this was my assigned pace group maybe it’s time to actually run with them! 26k will be the real test. Wish me luck!