Now get to work, bitch

I’m the one in the back row, probably laughing too hard to do yoga properly. Image: Tribe Fitness

2017 is going to be hard. It’s going to be work. And it’s going to be lit.

This weekend, an amazing thing happened. A movement began.

And so did my 2017 fitness plans, haha.

It feels trivial to talk about running when there are more important things to be done and said and chased after. But I believe there are parallels in putting in the work to better yourself and putting in the work to bettering the world.

On Thursday, I did a MuscleFit class at the YMCA. One 2017 goal down.

On Friday, I did a yoga class. It was boy band themed. I stretched and laughed and had a great time. It was one of the best yoga classes I’ve done in a long time, thanks to the soundtrack but also thanks to the challenging and clever sequences put together by the instructor, Heather Gardner of Tribe Fitness.

On Saturday, I was too sore to move. Ah, the re-set of fitness after a recovery period.

On Sunday, I ran for the first time since Dopey. It was at the Running Room, it was 8k and it was relatively easy. The more important thing I did on Sunday, though, was purchase and commit to the advanced 10-week NYRR half-marathon training plan. I used this system for NYC and I loved it. The plan begins on February 28th, so my plan is to get back into a fitness and running groove so on the 28th I can hit the ground running. The advanced plan is intense – it has me running 6 days a week and the slowest pace is 5:45.

But if you want to see change, you have to put in the work.

So let’s get to work.

Jill’s Marathon Training Week #14

Last long run with the Running Room ever! My Sundays will never be the same!

Last long run with the Running Room ever! My Sundays will never be the same!

At week 15 I knew my training days were numbered. I had exactly two weeks left till The County Marathon. At this point all hope felt lost. My short runs, and even the long ones, didn’t seem worth it anymore. All I wanted was for this stupid race to happen and be over with! I was getting really anxious for my marathon, but at the same time I wanted to find a way to actually enjoy it. But how? Running 42.2k can’t be enjoyable?! Or can it? Erin seemed to really enjoy her first marathon so maybe it is possible. I’m sure there will be good moments and bad ones too, but running for that length of time your mind and emotions are bound to change, like every kilometre that’s my guess.

On top of all that is going on – in addition to my race – I was also packing to move out of my apartment for the end of the month and trying to get my personal life sorted out. With the wild summer that was, I was in for a much needed break! I’m attending another yoga retreat (this time in Bali!) with Jackie and Julia and have decided to stay in Bali for quite sometime. Cecilley will be coming with me! So have no fear for me I will not be alone on this giant travel I have planned. Which brings me to Monday – Monday was a packing day. Oh, I hate moving and packing with a passion. And I’m so bad at it! But thankfully Cecilley is not and knew where to step in and help me stay on track. Monday I also practiced yoga, clearly I had to more than once!

Because Monday was a total write off for moving/working purposes I made Tuesday the day I would add on the extra milage I didn’t do in week 13 after The Island Girl Relay. As bad of a marathon trainer I’ve been, when Alice tells me to do something I try and do it. Her instructions for this week were to begin tapering and start dropping down. But I needed another long run under my belt first! And the 27k I did alone seemed to help my moral. Wednesday was another day of doing a whole lot of packing and not a lot of running, but I was okay with taking a rest day. I did run really far the day before. When Thursday rolled around I promised myself I would go to the Running Room clinic, which I did and ran a solo 8k. But it was the talk before the run that really peeked my interest. Liz, a running blogger and marathon runner, battled with weight issues her whole life and shared her story with all of us and how running changed her idea of heath and wellbeing. I really enjoyed it!

This is Liz talking to our marathon group. She is great!

This is Liz talking to our marathon group. She is great!

Friday was a full day of yoga for me – both teaching and practicing – I taught two classes and took two classes. I needed to get something done because Saturday was going to be another write off from running. Cecilley and I planned a giant yard sale to sell all of my things before moving out. It was actually a pretty great afternoon. Then Sunday I woke up early to run the Sunday long run with the Running Room. This would be my very last before my marathon! I know Alice said to taper, but I couldn’t help myself. I needed to know I had another 32k in me before the marathon. I didn’t get the 36k training run in (way, way back when) and it was stressing me out. So I let myself run the 32k and didn’t even care. I knew what I needed to do. But holy moly it was long! This run literally took forever, but the good thing about it, it wasn’t terrible.

So 32k was tapering for me this week and I didn’t run much more other then that. Sorry Alice, this was bad. But I needed to run with Julie and my 4:30 pace ladies one last time.

I will miss you all 4:30’s. It’s been fun!

Jill’s Marathon Training Week #12

So what was supposed to be a scale back week turned into a “where the hell are we, and how to we get home?!” kind of run. Julie and I completely lost our pace group and took a slight detour on our 23k route… one wrong turn, man. One wrong turn! But on the bright side (I guess) we now know where the Downsview Airport is.

We're so lost! Last spotted running along Downsview Subway station...

We’re so lost! Last spotted running along Downsview Subway station…

While my life during this week was still completely swamped with TIFF things I was (somehow) feeling good about running. Not for the whole entire week sadly. After the disastrous 32k run on Sunday I thought I will never run again. So Monday clearly I didn’t! This was a day off from movie festivities – I did have an event that evening – but I took full advantage of an afternoon off and went straight to Kula to wallow in my running sorrows. Tuesday was an actual full day off from movie things and parties. I met Julie to run a Tuesday evening run with the Running Rats. Some of you may have heard of these guys. Despite what people may say, these runners are fast! Our marathon coaches have always encouraged us to run with this group where a bunch of it’s members are in my clinic. It made sense I suppose. Julie has gone out with the Running Rats a few times now, I suppose I should give it a try. Having routes of different distances allows you to pick how far you want to go. Where is was Tuesday and Tuesday’s are 6k day, Julie and I opted for the 7k route. However, the route wasn’t to our liking… it was hot and humid and TIFF has taken over downtown! So no, running along Wellington to Queen St. W. to wherever in the west end of the entertainment district did not sound fun. In good ‘ol Jill and Julie fashion we made up our own route ran down to the waterfront trail then back to the store for a total of 8k. Yay us!! But little did we know karma would come to bite us in the ass later this week.

Wednesday was a bit of a downer day for me emotionally and being the baby that I felt like this day I didn’t run and I didn’t go to yoga. This did not up the situation. But Thursday I did get up and ran a 12k hilly route! I was beyond proud of myself not only because I did it, but also because I felt great! It rained on me the whole time and I totally didn’t care. Me and my legs were working together and booking it the whole it. It was wonderful. Again maybe a little break from the clinic and the demanding schedule I’m expecting of myself got a little overwhelming. I took some time for myself and practiced Thursday evening and Friday morning. Saturday I ran and practiced! It was a bit of a Color Me Rad / Penelope PR reunion. Jewels was teaching, Tiffany and I practiced, and Myles (hi, Myles!) played the guitar. It was super lovely. Live Music class are the best – look for them on the MYD new schedule. I will learn to teach to music. It will be grand!

Then came Sunday. As I said earlier this week was supposed to be a scale back week, but clearly that did not happen for poor Julie and I. I was a little disappointed when we arrived to clinic to find out the 4:30 did not have a pace leader. So Julie and I decided to go with the 4:15 and drop back if necessary. Well dropping back if necessary would have been nice.

See for yourself. Please tell me this route is not that easy to find your way around! Or is it just me?

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The clinic took off, as usual, on a route through to Cedarvale Park where the Terry Fox Run was taking place. I am totally familiar with this route and love running it, but not during another race! It was crowded and people did not seem impressed with us running in the opposite direction – but quite frankly I wouldn’t have been either – but wherever it was that we finally exited the park, well that’s when I was running on unfamiliar territory. With the 4:15 group still in sight, and the 4:30 gone from us completely Julie and I had a bit of a sense of where we were going. But then we lost them! The 4:15 group completely disappeared from view and we had no idea how! Did they pick up the pace that quickly? Serioulsy?! So Julie and I were left to fend for ourselves, with a tiny map in hand we managed to navigate our way though the industrial parts of very north Toronto to Duffern Street. As we were supposed to. It was there the mist up happened. But let me reiterate, Julie and I were alone! Alone left to fend for ourselves and still super confused as to where the 4:15ers went.

Long story short Duffern Street does eventually end… at Downsview Airport! I know. I’m not entirely sure how Julie and I didn’t realize we were going in the wrong direction sooner, but when you’re running that far north in an area that is not, well, Toronto, I’d say it’s easy to get ridiculously lost! It was Julie’s phone and Google Maps that helped get us home, otherwise we’d probably still be running… I kid you not.

An epic run of this nature called for some serious pancakes and lots of coffee. But perhaps something a little stronger could have aided the situation even more.



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 #4

I look super excited. It's probably because I'm not running!

I look super excited. It’s probably because I’m not running!

The unfamiliar stride of confidence from week 3 had me soaring into week 4. I had good intentions set and a great feeling of moral to get me going. I had the feeling of liking running back! Because holy when it’s gone, you forget how awful running can be. But it’s important to stay alert and not hold onto any strong feelings, either positive or negative. Notice what’s going on with each run and try to remove each experience from the other. Yes, they could be related – in terms of your emotional connection of feeling good or bad, or physically what you did the day before can affect your run the following day – but remember it’s not going to last forever. Ha! That’s easy say! This is the lesson week 3 taught me and this alone gave me hope that I can do, a least some of the training when required to do so, on my own. This week was one of those weeks. I did not see my running clinic friends or coaches or anyone at all for the entire week. I was left on my own because of conflicting evenings with work, planned personal outings, you know… blah blah blah. But run on my own I did. And for the most part it was okay.

After a great Sunday long run and yin practice, the following Sunday, I took Monday off. Completely! I taught a Free Yoga with Jill! class and that was all I had going. And you know what was kind of nice.

Tuesday was another hot day — story of our lives here in Toronto — but I managed to get myself out at lunch. I was at the office this day and the studio that evening so running at lunch was a must. I ran it on my own (it was definitely one of those What Would Scott Do? moments) and proudly got the 6k in I needed. That’s what counted. I even did yoga that evening. The stretching was a must!

According to my run schedule hill training was to begin this week. Oh goodness! Because my race is a couple weeks before Scotia my program is slightly different than most runners taking part in the clinic. The Running Room has an online scheduler where you input your preferred race of choice and it spits out a training program for you! It’s quite something. According to my training guide my long runs are a little longer and hills start sooner. I feel even more behind than when started. But Wednesday I got my butt out the door ran to Popular Plains and ran hills. Again, it wasn’t so bad. It was hot! But I was okay with that. It was also another day where yoga happened that evening. I’ve kept to my promise of practicing and I’ve been very good about keeping this promise – to keep up with my own practice. Working the desk at MYD four times a week means I have no excuse not to do yoga at least four times a week.

Thursday was a very special day. Anne and I had a date with three boys. That’s right three boys called the Jonas Brothers. And no I’m not ashamed to say it was a really fun evening. I am ashamed to say it meant I didn’t run. But! I finally had my yoga date with Scott. That counts for something right? Yoga combined with all the dancing Anne and I did… I’m going to say yes, yes it does count for something.

Which leads me to Friday and the weekend. I started the week off really well, but as it progressed my training digressed. I did get a run in Friday (to make up for not running on Thursday), I even did yoga too. Saturday I did yoga and didn’t run and Sunday I did run, just not quite far enough. Not far enough at all actually.

It’s probably a good thing I didn’t see anyone from the Running Room this week. Apparently Coach Chuck and Coach Doug gave the Thursday night talk about running the right mileage and why our long runs are maxed out at 32k. Oops. I am determined I will not let week 4’s downward spiral get me down. I was tired by the end of the week, but learning to separate my feelings of “I don’t want to run!” from “My body is too tired to run!” is another lesson I’m working on.