Jill’s Marathon Training Week #1

The Downtown Running Room Marathon Clinic. Thanks Coach Chuck for the picture!

The Downtown Running Room Marathon Clinic. Thanks Coach Chuck for the picture!

So I officially survived week number one of training. And what did I discover? A marathon is really far! Yes, we all know this, but once you start running 8-10k’s three times a week – which is really far too – 42.2k seems like, well, an insanely far distance to run. After my slow go on day 1 I was beginning to doubt my decision to run a marathon already. But Erin did it. So could I!

Friday’s is one of our days off, so I took this day to do some yoga. I attended the 8:15am Community Class at Moksha Downtown to support another newish teacher Derek (hi, Derek!). The class was lovely and I needed to stretch. Thankfully the class was a wee one which meant I got lots of special attention – in the form of adjustments! A way straight to my heart is through a press in child’s pose or pigeon pose, in case anyone wanted to know.

When Saturday came I was bad and didn’t run. I know! Already it’s week one and I missed a run. But I did go to yoga again had another seriously good class on the Thompson rooftop at Yoga Unplugged. After class I went home and logged into my Running Room account and finally sat down to pick a race to run: The County Marathon here I come! After a very intense evening of race researching I realized I the County Marathon was my only option in Ontario. With a wedding on the 12th of October and another yoga retreat scheduled for October 19th to the 26th, these two events slashed my race options completely. But I’m excited with my choice, it’s going to be so pretty! It just means my race is at much sooner!

Now that I have a race and a proper training schedule to follow, I’m feeling better already. So what did I do the following day? I only ran 9k of the 13k I was supposed to do, but I went to a 90 minute yin class and had intentions on running the rest after work. But that didn’t happen. I just might be the worst runner ever. However, Erin and I did run 10k on Monday day (my other supposed to be day off), so I did get the milage in I was supposed to for the week. Both Sunday’s and Monday’s run felt great, but running that extra day and not having another day off until Friday will make for an interesting week two.

I will do week two right… hopefully.


Team In Training: One month to race day

Cecilley and I getting ready for our giant yoga class!


Ahhh!!! I have one month left to the Nike Women’s Marathon. Oh my goodness…

After what felt like the longest two weeks of my life – not running or doing yoga makes me very, very cranky – it was time to put my foot down. Erin, I totally understand your fustration. September means a very busy time for me too, Fall event season tends to get crazy, and although I have no problem fitting yoga into my daily routine I’ve decided to stop being a baby and complaining about not working out. Erin’s September goals really struck a chord with me. I want to run faster and be a better runner. And this won’t happen by me complaining and feeling sorry that I stayed in bed instead of getting up and running that morning. What’s wrong with me?! I would never make an excuse not to work out before.

So, like Erin, I’m doing something about it. I’m going to start waking up early too. Whether I run or not isn’t the point. I want to be awake earlier and start feeling better. That two week drought — as lovely as it was having my friend in town and dancing the nights away at the Ottawa Folk Fest — I need to get back into the swing of things. Promto!

It’s also important for me to accept that breaks are not a bad thing. I know this and I know this is advice I need to listen to and stop beating myself up about. But it’s hard. After looking back, my mini vacations were important. I know I needed the time to disconnect from running and training and enjoy the moments with friends. But now, I am ready to be responosible again.

So here goes nothing! In addition to waking up early I WILL run 4 to 5 times a week. I will do this. And I’ll do yoga the days I don’t run. I need to do this. Not running is one thing, but when you take yoga out of my life I can’t function without being angry at myself. My body also hates me for not doing yoga. I made a promise to myself in the spring to do one morning yoga class a week. I was doing so good and I loved how I felt before, okay maybe not before, but definitely during and after class. I’m going to make this happen again.

Wow, blabbing out all these goals really feels good! I’m feeling so ready and determined right now.

With one month to go I should be feeling this way. Now to make smarter eating choices. The two week bender, if you will, wasn’t my proudest in terms of eating and drinking. This also really bothered me because I have no trouble steering away from bad foods and alcohol during the week. I’m sticking this out once more. Goodbye week day drinking, hello lemon water mornings! I was also a very bad blogger these two weeks. This also upset me. Geeze, a serious life check is in order here. The more I think about the things that upset me during this “empty” time frame the more I want to prevent it from happening again. Don’t get me wrong, I had a blast at the Folk Fest with one of my best girlfriends from University (who I love and admire dearly). But the sad part is, I can’t stop thinking about how I didn’t go to Moksha Ottawa, not once, the whole time I was in Ottawa. This is bad, I know. So, instead of feeling bad and upset by not going then, I’m going to make up for it now. Plus that trip wasn’t about doing yoga it was about be there with my friend and enjoying awesome music. I need to learn how to let go and seperate the different parts of my life.

And lastly sleep. I’m also going to start winding down and settling into bed at a reasonable time from now on. Weekends maybe the exception, but I’m okay with that. Work is getting busy and I want to bring my A game to the office and to my training, once again.

I’m very self sufficient and I know with a little push I can get back into my groove. My fellow Team In Training runners probably think I’ve fallen off the face of the earth — I haven’t been to a Saturday morning run in forever! — missing TNT runs is also coming to a stop. I will be there every Saturday until I leave for San Francisco. Like Erin said before, Show Up! I will show up and be accountable.

Seeing Erin’s monthly goals has made me sit down and set my own. The push from her and a big swift kick in the butt from TNT is just what I need to Be Ready for NWM. Hey, that’s what sisters are for!


Team In Training: A two-week struggle


As I was sitting inside Saturday morning at my hostel in Ottawa during the Ottawa Folk Festival – hey, fit girls need to have some fun too – I realized not getting my long run in this morning was killing me. Killing me! It was raining, thundering, there was also lightning! And I also slept in. Although all these excuses are completely acceptable for not running that particular morning, I am also now a month away from the Nike Women’s Half Marathon and the more I don’t run, the more I bothers me. The daunting words from NWM’s slogan “No Excuses” and the fact that Graham (my housemate and fellow Santa Speedo runner) is a newly christened Ironman eats at my soul. I have zero reasons to avoid running. There is an Ironman living in my house. And to make matters even worse, I actually enjoy running! And I can’t stand being thrown off my routine (like I hadn’t minded as much before). What is going on here? Am I actually becoming a runner?! Is this what happens, withdraw kicks in and you begin to need to run? I never thought I’d see the light of day when I would choose running over yoga (mostly because I have to for the shake of making my goal time of sub 2 hours). But seriously. Jill the runner seems too bizarre to be true. But I kind of like it.

Getting away is good, but what are you to do when friends are in town or you plan a mini vacation? Temptations can be tough and these past two weeks have proved to be just that for me. I’ve been awful and felt awful for not doing anything. Somehow I did managed to run when I was supposed to, it was the other choices I’m made – eating, drinking, going to bed late – that, like I said before, were killing me. I guess one has to put their foot down and say how they feel, “I need yoga or I will be a bad friend”, or “You can have a drink, I’m not”. Removing yourself from these situations is much easier then having to stand up for yourself and your training. I’ve come to realize this now. But I do feel as though good friends will respect you for your decisions. You are running a race after all.

While my friend was in town visiting my plan was you run in the mornings (while she’d be sleeping) and invite her to yoga on the days I wanted to do yoga. Easy! But the morning runs, they didn’t happen. Nor did the yoga. Ugh! My life felt over! But again, somehow I did do yoga (just not as much as my yoga addicted self would). Thankfully 889 at the Thompson and Lululemon’s last Yoga Unplugged took place Saturday of the long weekend and this was something my friend wanted to do! Yay for yoga! (Another post to come with a full review of the class.) I also traded the Monday evening at Downtown and managed to practiced Tuesday after work. I needed yoga, for me, these days.

Because you chose to do yoga doesn’t make you a bad friend. That’s how I feel anyway. The solution to vacationing or having guests in your place for lengthy periods of time (which also takes away for your blogging duties – thanks to Erin she was not as bad as I!) is that you need a plan. Plan the nights and mornings you want to run, practice, or whatever it is you need to do and stick to it! That’s the best advice I can give after my 2 week experience and training glitch. Your friends will understand. And invite them along! Why not, it could be fun and something you can do together.

Your training will thank you for it.




Extreme date with my roommate

What: Pilates Mat
When: Saturday @ 11am
Where: Extreme Fitness (1521 Yonge Street)
Who: Paula

It’s April now (in case you haven’t noticed yet) and I don’t know whats’s scarier the fact that winter has completely disappeared on us, or that this Toronto Yonge Street 10k is creeping up on me very quickly. I’m starting to freak out! Just a little bit. The reason being — and I’ll be completely honest — I have not been following the running training schedule at all. Erin, I am terrible! But running and I, we just don’t mix. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy a nice run on a fantastic sunny day or running with friends or with Erin, but I have to have something to make me want to run. I will not run because a piece of paper is telling in it’s Tuesday and this means I have to run 5k today. I won’t do it! More like I don’t want to do it. Or I will make myself go and hate every second of it.

My life is very sporadic and usually based on last minute decisions. You’d think working in events, I’d be good a scheduling things. Nope. Not true. My work involves planing things, not my life. I’ll go to yoga whenever I want to, I’ll pop by the JCC for a workout when I feel like I haven’t been there in a while (or if Phil is teaching the Group Cycle class). Trying to fit running into this mix has been hard. Okay, I’m being a baby. This bigger hatred for running sparked last Wednesday morning when Jenn (my new roommate) suggested we go for a morning run together. Bad idea. One, I’m not in ideal running condition (did you not hear me complain just now?) and Jenn is a total running freak. This is a girl who run 21k because she felt like it. She was also a track star in her university days at Dal. This was a tough morning for me, but I did complete the 8k at her pace (mind you, it was slower than her normal pace).

I then decided I shouldn’t be so hard on myself and use Jenn as a mentor. She helped me pick out new running shoes and we bought matching running shirts! Okay, Jenn, the next run I’ll be ready! Saturday we had a roommate bonding day which involved a run, a pilates class, and then yoga. Yes, I actually found a person busier and more active than myself (and yes this makes me jealous, but I like Jenn too much to hate her for this). If only Jenn were a boy, I would have the perfect boyfriend!

We ran the trails in Mount Pleasant — a way better run for me this time — before our pilates class at Extreme because the spinning class (which was the original plan) had a 60 person wait this! What? How is that even possible? Jenn and I wanted to do cardio before our core workout so we opted for running instead. That is one thing I do not understand, why do people join gyms like this? Ugh. It was an awful feeling walking into a place screaming at you “Lose Weight!”, “Muscles!”, “Get Fit!” from every possible direction — from the cardio machines to the instructors to even the changing rooms — I am thankful for the JCC. The pilates class was actually fantastic though, I will give them that. Although if Fitness Barbie existed she would have looked like the pilates teacher we had. Paula was blonde, beautiful and super in shape. This did not help the overbearing “Extreme” attitude.

I will probably never go back. Not unless Jenn gets her hands on more guest passes. I just can’t see myself enjoying a gym like that, not when I have Moksha Yoga Downtown in my life. Which is exactly where I took Jenn for the next part of our date.





Monday Miles: Marathon Training Week #2



This week was an exhausting week, but a productive one. Working out this much means I’m tired and achy all the time — but I sleep great! Again, I moved the training plan around to fit my needs (Tuesday’s running-to-yoga plan was so good I might permanently switch Tuesday with Wednesday). Thanks to a bunch of snow Thursday night, my jumping rope and hill training plans didn’t quite work out. But there’s always this week, right?!


At the beginning of the week, I didn't even own this fancy contraption. Now, I know how to use it! Impressive, right?


Here’s how week 2 of my marathon training broke down:

Monday: 60 minutes Moksha Yoga

A morning workout? Check! A yoga class? Check! Having a yoga-obsessed sister is helpful, they can guilt you into waking up at 6am to stretch in a hot room.

Tuesday: 6.2km in 44:00 minutes; 60 minutes Kula yoga

Tuesday was a workout breakthrough. Running to yoga is my new favourite thing.

Wednesday: 9.4km in 1:11:30

This run was a bit of a slog. After three straight days of yoga, I felt stiff. But I powered through — need to keep those kms up!

Thursday: rest

This was not a planned rest day (Friday was), but after a tough work day and an exhausting run the night before, it made sense to flip Thursday and Friday.

Friday: 6.4km in 45:38

Friday finally brought us WINTER! Snow was everywhere. I went out and bought a pair of YakTrax after reading a positive review on Run with Jess. I totally count that as a workout in itself. Shopping is physically, mentally and financially exhauasting.

Saturday: 12.1k in 1:40:26

Not the fastest pace, but when you add -20 degree weather and an icy and snowy trail to the mix, I’m just proud we finished this one. My pal B. guided me on a loop through High Park, through the Junction and along the rail line. I love how running gets you out into new neighbourhoods — and makes you feel like a badass when passers-by look at you like you’re insane.

Sunday: 7.0k in 54:08; 75 minutes “detox” yoga

On Sunday, I was determined to hit the 40k total for the week — and try out my new pair of YakTrax. I accomplished both, and discovered my second new favorite thing of the week: winter trail running. In the afternoon, I hit up EnergyXchange for the first time on my Passport to Prana for a “detox” class. It was more intense than I was hoping, but let’s face it: I was hoping to lie down for an hour and call it “exercise.” Expect a full review in the next few days.


My goals for this week? Simply to keep it up. Last week was a solid fitness effort and if I can keep that up until May, this marathon might not be so hard after all.






Monday Miles: Marathon Training Week #1

The first week of 2012 marked the first week of training for the Goodlife Toronto Marathon. It was a week filled with highs and lows. I didn’t follow my training plan exactly (yikes!) but overall, I am happy with my effort.


Outside the Fresh co. I am happy because our run is done and we are going to pick up ingredients for an epic brunch!

Here’s how the week broke down:


Monday: 6k @ 45:00

This was my first serious run back after many, many snow-filled Christmases. It was stiff and slow, but it felt good to be back on the road.


Tuesday: 5k @ 36:00

I planned for 6k this day, but when the weather was 20 below, I’m just happy I headed outside.


Wednesday: 8K @59:00

A slow and steady effort that felt better as the kilometres passed.


Thursday: Rest

It wasn’t the plan to rest on Thursday, but after 3 days of running in a row and a dinner invite from the in-laws, I felt good about this decision. Because I knew I’d make up for it…


Friday: 5.2k @34:00

On Friday. This was a tough run. My legs were stiff, my foot was hurting, and I got attacked by a dog. Not a great way to spend a Friday night.


Saturday: 20 minutes with my Acuball

Even without the close encounter with a canine, my body was screaming for another rest day. I gave in, and spent some time with my beloved-but-underused Acuball. It paid off.


Sunday: 8k @ 53:10 in the morning, 90 minutes yin yoga in the evening

Sunday was beautiful! Since Jill wanted to join me for the run, I knocked the planned 10k back to 8. I felt strong, it was sunny, and we even fit in a delicious brunch and yin yoga to boot. If I can have more weekend days like this, I will be a very happy runner.
Tomorrow starts a new week of training. Here are my goals for the week:


1) Do at least one morning workout.

Now that the routine of running, reading, working, repeat is back in action, I want to refocus on waking up earlier, going to bed earlier and making each minute count. That means more time being active and less time on Twitter.


2) Jump rope once.

I got the old jump rope out and intend to use it. It was a Christmas gift from my basketball coach freshman year. He had devious reasons for giving it to us: have you ever preceded a BEEP test with 30 minutes of skipping? I have. Thanks, Les. But jumping rope is an AWESOME way to mix fitness up. So let’s try it.


3) Complete my first-ever hill workout!

Eeeek. I hate hills. And since both my half-marathons were relatively hill-free, I didn’t bother to train for them. But Around the Bay is different. There’s a bitch of a hill at the 26k mark. I’ve decided to include both hills and speed work into this training plan — one week hills, the next week, speed. These will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays, depending on how I feel.


4) Bring my lunch every day to work.

Homemade lunches are cheaper and healthier. This seems like an obvious thing to do, but I am TERRIBLE at it. The spicy lentil soup in the food court is simply too delicious….


5) Hit 40k this week.

I know it’s more than a 10% increase, but before the holidays, 30-40k was doable. I want to get back to that base ASAP and concentrate on getting as marathon-ready as I can in the weeks ahead.


We’ll see how this goes!