Jill’s Marathon Training Week #13

Oh goodness, my marathon is weeks away. Weeks! And with all the training and running I’ve been doing you’d think I’d feel somewhat ready. This is not the case. Well some days it is and other days it is not. Although my epic long run with Julie – ya the run were we ran to Downsview – actually went really well, but there are just so many runs I keep thinking about where I didn’t run or skipped out and did something else. I’m starting to worry those decisions are going to come back to haunt me come race day. I haven’t gotten enough long runs in, didn’t do enough hill training, nor have I run any sprints. Oh goodness October 6th could be terrible.

Morning sunrise from the Beaches. So pretty!

Morning sunrise from the Beaches. So pretty!

So Monday, like most Mondays during training, was spent doing yoga. I taught the morning community class, stayed and practiced, then came back that evening to work the desk, then practiced again because I always take the 9:45pm class on Monday. Tuesday I taught again and practiced that evening. Alice was teaching I had to practice! But it was another day I didn’t run. Of course. Wednesday I met Julia – she was in a “I need to go for a run mood” just as bad as I was – we ran a quick little 3k around Trinity Bellwoods before her class and I ended up teaching again at MYD this day! Thursday was Running Room Clinic night and thank goodness I did make it to the run, this night I actually ran fast! And felt good about it. It’s those moments when you feel like a hope is lost, then all of a sudden you gain a burst of endurance and take off. This is exactly what happened and it was so great. I needed a good run knowing Erin and I had the Island Girl Relay to run on Sunday. We had a goal in mind placing in the top 10 and perhaps a podium finish? Ha! Or not.

Friday I had a date with Marianne to go SUPing one last time before the season ended. We drove out to the Beaches for our last paddle with Jennifer and caught one more sunrise for last time. It was another beautiful morning. Afterward we headed back to the studio and I took the 10am class. Yes, I am yoga obsessed. When Saturday rolled around I took a break from the heat and went to Kula instead for a hour flow class. It was lovely.

Sunday was race day! Erin recapped her leg of the race, and mine is to follow. The race was great – how can you not have fun running on the Island? I, sadly, wasn’t as fast as last year, but I had bigger things to worry about like not running 30k. Alice told me to not run the race at race pace and to add on afterward. But Erin and I needed to have post race brunch together, and then I had to meet Cecilley to attend the Go Global Expo (we are leaving on a very big and long trip!) and then I had to work! Adding on was not happening. So I accepted that fact and tried to recalculate my milage for week 14 and figure out how I was going to squeeze in an extra 20k. Squeezing in an extra 20k come on! This is not normal.

Summer SUPing had me a blast

Mandy and I being SUP rockstars!

Mandy and I being SUP rockstars!

Everyone knows that summer is the time for fun, getaways, vacations, amazing food, and sometimes if you’re lucky a little summer lovin’ may find it’s way to your heart. I’ve found love this summer in the Beaches. A little thing called stand up paddleboarding! Ya you may have heard about it especially if you’ve been following the blog lately. It’s all I seem to talk about these days. That or running. But let’s face it we’re all entitled to change and I really don’t want to bore you to death with how much running I’m doing. I’m running all the time! I too needed a break and stand up paddleboarding seemed to be just the thing I needed. Yes, it may have been taking me away from some of my Saturday training runs… but I’m okay with that! I deserve to enjoy the summer… or what’s left of it. It sickens me to think it’s almost over. I may cry.

Last summer I went stand up paddleboarding with Jackie for my first time ever at the Harbourfront. It was right around (what I thought then) Jackie’s permanent departure from Toronto. She talked about SUPing a lot and I decided I needed to try this so called SUPing with her before she left. The first time I went I didn’t really stand up. Actually I hardly did at all! It’s rather intense your first time, finding your balance and the sweet spot on the board. When I went with Jackie I had no idea what I was doing. So this year, after meeting Jenn, I decided a real lesson was in order. When I took my friend Mandy to the Beaches last month I hardly stood up again! I was a bit of a baby. The sky was cloudy and dark and the water was wavy – not my ideal SUPing conditions. However, we stuck it trough and once again I quickly realized how much fun this sport can be! But rule number to really let go and have fun: stop fearing falling in! If it happens it happens, so what. I let loose the second time around and that’s when I really had a good time.

My second trip out to the Beach was much nicer and calmer than the last. It was the perfect day! The sun was shining the water was picturesque and I could not wait to jump on my board and go! This time I stood up like a pro and paddled all over. The wind was just right, so we literally could have gone anywhere. A good chunk of our time was spent playing. We practice yoga moves, attempted balancing postures, and just enjoyed the fact Toronto is a city where you can escape within it. That’s if you really want to. Jenn can show you the way!

A big thanks to Jenn for the pictures!

A big thanks to Jenn for the pictures!

I went out for my third time last Saturday once again with Marianne (hi, Marianne!) and plan on getting in a few more rides before the end of the month. I’m addicted. I can’t help it. When you start to get god at something it’s really hard to stop.

There are many places in the city to try stand up paddleboarding all the way from the east end to west end. It’s a good work out and a lot of fun all rolled into one. You may recall JK’s guest post when she went last summer with SUPGirlz. I know that Jenn, from Big City Boards, plans on paddling up until the end of August. Get your last summertime fix in while you still can (sunrise and sunset are the best)! At the rate the weather is changing we might not have summer for much longer! That’s too sad to think about right now.

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!

Gone SUPing

This is JK SUPing. Sometimes, like this time, JK is our fitness role model.


Back in August when the weather was warmer and the thought of swimming — or avoiding the water entirely, in my case — was compeletely out of the question, Jackie asked me if I wanted to go stand up paddleboarding with her. Of course I said yes. Jackie was feeling a bit down because the Danforth teachers were planning a SUP outing on a day Jackie was teaching at MYD. So to make up for the fun she would miss, we tried to get a group out ourselves. But in the end, it was just her and I who could make it. Having been surfing in Costa Rica, standing on a giant surfboard would be a breeze. Right?

I took Jackie’s 4pm vinyasa class on Saturday when the plan was decided. Jackie was teaching the 8am on Sunday, which I took, then the plan was to hit the open water afterwards. But we made one very big mistake just then: we decided to drive to the Harbourfront Centre docks. Why? I’m not entirely sure why. Finding parking in the city’s tourist summer hub had bad news written all over it. We drove around for what felt like hours looking for parking. And parking that wasn’t going to cost and arm and a leg. Parking fees are outrageous!

So after this moment of torment Jackie suggested we reconvene in the afternoon and bike to the spot instead. A much better plan. I then proceeded to bike to Erin’s place, played with the kitties, hung out at the nearby coffee spot for breakfast I was taking full advantage of the empty house and spent the morning like a Corktowner. Plus Erin lives so much closer to the Harbourfront dock yard than I do.

I meet Jackie at 1:30pm, we got our lifejackets and boards and proceeded to the lake. One thing I quickly learned is that stand-up paddlboarding is not as easy as it looks. And it doesn’t matter how much yoga you do. My legs were wobbling all over the place I I did not feel strong in my core at all! You may remember guest Fit Girl JK recapping her SUPing experience. I sure as hell wasn’t as graceful as Jen.

But another thing I discovered Mother Nature can play a big role in your performance. The day Jackie and I went the water was super choppy. It was winding and the extra water traffic of sail boats, kayakers, and speed boats didn’t make it any easier for me. I also had the fear of god in me for falling in the water. But being the last weekend of the summer I can’t blame anyone for not wanting to be near water. With Erin gone to the cottage for the weekend I knew she wouldn’t be impressed I went SUPing without her, but I too needed to do something fit (from Erin’s dailymile updates I saw she was being very good for her birthday week) I needed to be good too. And I knew if I didn’t go with Jackie this day, it would never happen.

Stand-up paddleboarding is a lot of fun. Once you get the hang of it. Jackie and I even rocked some yoga moves out on the water. We had to show off a bit. Even if it was only for a few seconds!

Next time I will go to any other part of Lake Ontario that wasn’t where we were. Not that the service was bad because it wasn’t at all. Jackie and I were free spirits. We didn’t have an instructor or a guide. Somehow, I must have looked like a pro. Fake it to make it, I suppose.

Jen seemed to have gotten it right with SUPGirlz. Next summer I will give these gals a call.