Sunday, June 23, 2013

planning (and running) ahead

It's been a little while since my last post and I have two exciting races to share with you!

I have signed up for the Epic Canadian 5km run next weekend in Dartmouth, NS. The race takes place around Lake Banook which is beautiful! There is a nice path around most of the lake and I've always wanted to run along it! There is a 10k option; however it's the loop twice. BORING! I hate doing the same loop again, so I opted for the 5k. I'm running it along with my sister Nikki, and her husband is running the 10k. The race starts at 8am which is fairly early, but I feel it's necessary at this time of the year. This morning it was sunny and hot by 10am, so it's nice to finish early in the day. They have contests for people wearing Canadian themed costumes. Not sure if I'll dress up but I'll definitely add some Canadian flare to my outfit!

The other race I've signed up for recently is the Run or Dye color run on Sept. 28th. I've seen pictures of other runners taking part in a color run and I'm super excited to check it out! It's a 5km run that isn't timed, and takes place at Ski Martock. Although I usually like to monitor my times and progress, it will be a nice change to relax and take in the event. A few of my friends have signed up so it should be a fun time!

I learned about another 5k taking place on Sept. 28th called Zombie Trail Run AND it sounds awesome! You are given three "health" flags at the beginning of the race which you wear on a belt. As you run there are different areas where zombies and creatures will try to 'attack' you and steal your flags. On the website it says that most of the them are slow moving but some are quicker or will just stand in your way to make you go around them. There are also a few obstacles on the course like a hay maze or tire ladder to step through.

I was hoping I'd be able to participate in both runs as Run or Dye  is at 9am and the Zombie Trail Run is at 11am but I think they are too far away from each other to comfortably do both. Too bad!

Would you choose a color run or a zombie run?!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Beresford 10km road race

Weather on route to the start
It was a wet, raining, grey Saturday morning. I woke up, dragged myself out of bed and headed to the kitchen. I was surprised at the amount of sleep I was able to get the night before. 'Am I really running another 10km today?' I think to myself as I weigh out the options for breakfast. I could be brave like my sister and opt for pancakes, or stick with something I am more familiar with. In my normal fashion, I play it safe and end up eating an English muffin with peanut butter.

Unpredictable weather meant lots of consideration on what to wear. Ended up with capris, long sleeve, hat and a headband. I felt good, ready to go. Driving to the start point was filled with fun music and an anticipation for what was ahead. The race started later than most, at 11am. Thankfully the clouds covered the sun and prevented it from getting too hot.

Gathered with the other 280 runners (of the 400 or so that were registered) under a white tent, trying to avoid the rain for as long as possible. Eventually the crowd started moving forward towards the road, it was time. And just like that we were off. I decided to move to the middle of the pack for fear of being the very last person. I was running ahead of my sister Nikki, her friend Miranda and my dad. After about one song, I see a race marker in the distance. Is this 2km? 3km? Wow that flew by!! As I approach the sign I am disappointed. 1 kilometre. How is this possible? I must have gone farther than that by now. Regardless, I push on. 2 kilometres, 3 kilometres, 4...  I feel like my running partners are right behind me but don't want to turn around to check. Must keep going forward. Rain is pounding down on me but I am warm. Rain on my face is actually a relief and I try to catch a few precious drops in my mouth as I saunter along. I jump over and around puddles. I feel like a trooper. 'I'm sure no one else has ever run in the rain like this before! I am a pioneer. A real go getter.' I run out of music around 8km. I sigh and stop as I frantically try to remove my iPod from my makeshift rain proof plastic flyer bag protection. Press play. And then I'm off again. Pick it up with 500 metres left. Turn one corner, turn another. See the finish line. Hear people cheering. Run, run, run. And it's over. Another race is over. I watch others cross the finish line and cheer them on. Back at home, I peel off layers and have a long hot bath, and think about the next one.

Miranda (pushing baby Sahen!) and Nikki finishing
Time: 1:08:11

Dad finishing
Time: 1:09:01
Me after the race with my favorite post race drink, chocolate milk
Time: 1:05:03

Thursday, May 30, 2013

sick, again

I'm sick again. I've been in bed for the last three days feeling pretty horrible. I think today might be the last day though as I've finally managed to force myself to eat something! Also starting to feel like I'm getting some energy back.

Needless to say I'm not feeling very prepared for the 10k I have to do in about a week. It's supposed to be a flat, easy course which is reassuring. My plan is to update my playlist and just go for it. I wanted to have more of a goal in mind for finishing time but after being sick this week I'm just going to do it and hope for the best!

How do you recover after being sick?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I asked...

and he said yes!! My boyfriend Jamie agreed to go running with my tonight! Miracle! I have asked him to go running with me a lot lately. Most of the time it isn't a serious request as I know the answer will be 'no'. So, I usually ask in a half-joking way, hoping to be surprised. And today I was!

We ended up running 4.5km which went by pretty quickly. I am super happy he decided to come along with me because I was doing the after work running dance... I keep saying to myself how much I want to go for a run, but I know inside I would much rather put on my pj pants and laze around. Without Jamie by my side I definitely would have settled for the latter.

Jamie and I with our post run glow on 

It was pretty chilly out so I wore my winter running capris, long sleeved shirt and tshirt (dry fit), and my race buff from the Valley Harvest Marathon. I often get what I call ear headaches when I run when it's windy so I had to make sure to cover up my ears! I also wore gloves that I ended up taking off half way through. As a side the Valley Harvest Marathon is giving out running jackets inside of shirts this year! Can't wait!! Definitely signing up again this year. It's awesome to run a race the morning before Thanksgiving dinner with your family. 

My post race meal tonight consisted of half a chicken breast and quinoa over baby spinach. I also put a few pieces of harvarti cheese on top. I love spinach but have been thinking that I should expand my greens and maybe try kale. Do you eat kale? How do you prepare it? I usually just eat spinach raw because I'm not a fan of it cooked.

As I mentioned in a post a little while ago I thought I would give coconut water a try due to it's recent popularity. And I just have to say... yuck. I took one sip and honestly thought it had gone bad, which I'm not even sure is possible. So I tried a few more sips and ended up pouring it out. Maybe I chose the wrong kind? Maybe it really had gone bad? Or maybe it's just not for me. Regardless I prefer regular (free) water and won't be spending $2 on coconut water again!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Bluenose 10k review

Well, I did it! I completed the 10km race in the Bluenose for the first time!

Surprisingly, I fell asleep pretty easily on Saturday night. I don't really have much of a pre-race routine. Just tried to drink some water and go to bed at a decent time. Laid out what I needed in the morning as I didn't want to have to wake up super early. I then woke up at 2:45am (probably because of the water I drank...) and then was up for about 45 minutes with pre-race jitters. Annoying, but not really unexpected.

I woke up at 6:45am, as my sister was picking me up around 7:15am. Her mother in law and sister in law were walking the 5k, so we needed to be there for their 8:10am start time. As a pre-race breakfast I had an english muffin with peanut butter. Managed to eat the whole thing! We dropped them off at the start and then went to warm up. My parents ended up staying at Cambridge Inn which was basically AT the start line. It was perfect! I was able to dump my warm clothes there, warm up inside, use the bathroom (crucial) and relax for a bit before our 9am start time. I was running with my sister Nikki, her husband Ray and my dad. Nikki and I had planned before hand to stick together, whereas the guys went their own pace.

The race was definitely worth any pre race anxiety I felt. It's just amazing to see thousands of runners and walkers. Everyone was having fun and there was so much energy. I think my favorite part of the race was going along Agricola St. It was at the beginning of the race, I was starting to warm up and feeling really good, lots of people out to watch us go by. It really made me feel like a superstar!

I felt good during most of the race. I was a little unsure of what to wear because of the weather, but decided on shorts with my knee high socks, the race tshirt with a long sleeve over it. I had cheapo gloves that I lost after the first 2km or so as my hands were warm enough. I managed to run up all of the hills and only had a few short walk breaks just to stretch out my quads and to readjust my hair (note to self: buy new hair elastics that have some elastic left in them!). The first half of the race was definitely faster than the second, as I felt myself slowing down upon going back over the bridge to Halifax. I think what did it was the incline on the bridge followed by the incline up North to Gottingen, brutal! But I managed to hang on. Unfortunately I did get a side stitch during the last km of the race which is the worst!! I was kind of bummed about that because I can usually pick up my pace at the end and finish strong but I didn't feel up to it during this race.

I managed to finish with a time of 1:06:25. Not my fastest 10k, but I'm happy with the time considering the amount of training I did.

I thought the volunteers and organizers of the event did a fabulous job. I really can't comprehend how they pull off something of this magnitude. I think they will have to consider changing things next year if they expect this many participants again. Trying to get food and something to drink was almost impossible due to the sheer amount of people. Maybe different waves of start times to avoid a huge rush following the race?

Anyway, a few pictures of the event (click to enlarge):

Nikki and I coming up to the finish

Dad, me, Nikki, Ray, his mom and his sister

Dad & daughters

Silly posing to celebrate our accomplishment!

Next up for me is another 10k in Beresford, NB on June 8th. Only two weeks away! ACK!

Monday, May 13, 2013

less than a week!

Well it's less than a week until I run 10km in the Bluenose Marathon here in Halifax. Looking forward to it!! It's definitely one of the best runs I participated in last year. Just so much energy and so many people! This evening I ran this route with my running team; my sister Nikki and my brother in law Ray. If you are familiar with Halifax then you know this run incorporated A LOT of hills. Although my legs were feeling pretty heavy near the end it made me feel confident about next weekend! And it gave me the chance to try out my new running sneakers!

The model is Saucony Kinvara 4s and I love them!! I purchased them in Maine while there for my graduation ceremony. They are very light weight but it still feels like you're wearing a sneaker. I'm not a fan of the shoes that are so light weight that you can't even tell your sneakers are there... I think if I purchased those I'd end up leaving the house without any shoes on at all and not even realize! Speaking of which, Nikki and Ray saw a man running COMPLETELY barefoot earlier today. In my eyes that is INSANE but hey, whatever you want to do!

I'm super excited to wear my new shoes next weekend at the Bluenose along with my new Reebok running socks:

Needless to say it will be a colorful event! I also managed to get some cute new exercise capris! Love the ruching on the sides!

I picked up a few other treats at the grocery store:

Let me tell you, this peanut butter is DEADLY!! It basically tastes like a peanut butter cup. It is going to take all of my will power not to eat the entire jar this week. No promises that I won't! So good. I'm not really sure what to eat it with... so far I have opted for directly out of the jar and into my mouth. Any other suggestions? I purchased some coconut water as it's been pretty popular lately and I haven't tried it yet. I'm interested to see how it tastes and if I like it. I'll keep you posted on what I think!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

still here

I'm hanging in there! Last week I was on my butt with a pretty bad cold AND the bursitis in my elbow. It wasn't a good combo! Feeling much better now. Ran on Sunday. Had some IT band pain following the 8km hilly run, but it went away the next day after I iced it. Really looking forward to getting some new sneakers this weekend when I go to Maine for my graduation ceremony.