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!



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!

Erin’s Marathon Training Day 4

Bar Isabel's chickpea salad. Delicious.

Bar Isabel’s chickpea salad. Delicious.

So on Thursday, I had plans to meet friends at Bar Isabel at 7:30. I had a 45 minute run on the schedule, so I decided the best plan of action would be to run between work and meeting up with my pals and use the work showers in between.

Work was crazy, I ran late. I got the run in, but not the shower. Again, it was icy everywhere so I focused on my footfall and walked when I needed to. It was an okay run. I felt stiff and I was much slower than the day before, which I don’t understand. But I got it done.

I need to stretch more. Getting back into the marathon training groove, both being mentally engaged and planning accordingly, is more work than I thought it would be.


Erin’s Ottawa Marathon Training Day 3

Ah, the first run back. It hurt like hell and I haven’t stopped coughing since I finished it, but it’s done.

I was supposed to do a ladder speedwork workout, but that didn’t make sense for a few reasons. It was my first training run. It was icy and the sidewalks were a mess. I hadn’t ran in forever. So I decided to try to be as speedy as possible without compromising my health or falling on my face. I stuck to downtown Toronto solely because I knew the sidewalks would be in okay condition.

Overall, it wasn’t too bad. My achilles took turns aching, all my muscles felt tight and my right hip was twingy. But, hey, it’s the first run back. I’ll get in a groove soon enough.

Erin’s Marathon Training Day 2

I still bike-commuted, though. So I wasn't a complete wimp.

I still bike-commuted, though. So I wasn’t a complete wimp.

I was supposed to do speedwork yesterday, but the crappy Toronto weather led me to flipping my cross-training and my run. I’ll have to run in sub-zero temperatures along icy sidewalks soon, don’t worry! I also didn’t want to go outside again once I got home, so I put on the 45 minute Vinyasa Power Flow class from YogaDownload.

I haven’t done yoga since before I got sick. And oh, did I ever feel it. Every movement hurt and I popped and tweaked with even the simplest of movements. It’s amazing how much tension your body can build up — and how easy it is to ignore when you’ve got other things to deal with. It’s the morning after and my shoulders are sore. This is not a good sign.

So, first workout down. I feel like a schmuck having cheated on the first week of training but 1) it’s the first week of training and 2) we’re dealing with a POLAR VORTEX. What the hell?




Erin’s Marathon Training Day 1

And so it begins. The countdown to May 25 is on. Andie sent me my training plan today. I’m nervous about this week. It’s supposed to be freezing. That doesn’t scare me, but the icy sidewalks do. Combine that with the fact I still have a bit of a cough and sniffle means I’m coming into this out-of-shape and not at 100%. It will be an interesting challenge.

Luckily, yesterday — Day 1 — was a day of rest. Rest I can do.

We’ll see about the rest of it. This week, I have 6 workouts:

1. ladder speedwork

2. cross-training

3.  45 minute run

4. speedwork

5. cross-training

6. 13k LSD

I’m planning to do daily blog updates as per my usual training cycles, so stay tuned!