Monday, October 15, 2012


I mentioned a little while ago that I signed up for a program at the UMaine gym called 'Big Bears to Little Bears' (I HATE that name by the way). It consists of you being set up in a team, and meeting together with a trainer twice a week. There are challenges and you can gain points to compete against the other teams. You can earn points by going to training sessions (duh), fitness classes, submitting a diet log and healthy recipes, weight loss, and your improvement on the challenges. Challenges include things like holding a wall sit for time, holding plank, doing push ups, and running a mile. I participated in the program during the January semester and had great results.

This semester I signed up with my friends Kate and Jess who are in my grad program. So now, my weeks generally look like this:

Monday - training
Tuesday - run
Wednesday - fitness class, usually kettlebell
Thursday - training
Friday - fitness class, usually kickboxing (or off depending on my schedule)
Saturday - fitness class (or off depending on my schedule)
Sunday - fitness class

SO as you can see there isn't much time for running! I have been feeling a lot more balanced since starting this program. Prior to this program I felt weak and I had lost most of the strength I had gained during the winter semester's training program. Even just four weeks into this program I feel more well-rounded and that I am focusing on all areas of fitness.

That being said, I don't want to lose all of the mileage I have worked so hard to gain! How do you balance running and 'other' fitness?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

valley harvest run

Last weekend I participated in the Valley Harvest Run in Wolfville, NS with my dad, sister Nikki, her husband Ray, their nephew River and Ray's mom. River & Ray's mom did the 5k whereas the rest of us participated in the 10k. It was Thanksgiving day which made the race extra special. Knowing that we would be having a turkey dinner later in the day was definitely a motivator for this race!

It was a GORGEOUS day. Clear beautiful blue skies, no wind. It was chilly, so I left my fleece on until the beginning of the race. I ended up stashing it on a fence near the start line and then retrieved it afterwards.

The route was an out and back that had 3 hills. At the beginning of the race the entire road was closed which was a great way to spread out at the start. After the first km or so we only had one side of the road for us to run. And I just have to say that people drive way too fast when going by runners! Especially a race!! All it takes is one slip in your footing and you could be in front of a car. I urge anyone who runs on the road to be VERY cautious of drivers and remember to wear reflective clothing as it's getting darker earlier now!

Anyway, back to the race. At the very beginning of the run I saw a guy ahead of me who had a shirt that said 'PUSH' on the back. So I thought to myself 'ok, I can push'. And so, I pushed myself and it paid off. It's funny how something so simple can stick with you. I reached the 5km marker with the FANTASTIC time of 25 minutes!! Seriously, the FASTEST I have ever run 5km. I felt elated and surprised when I looked down at my watch and saw that time. I thought to myself 'if I can keep this up I can finish in 50 minutes!!'

Sadly, I could not keep it up. Around the 7.5km mark the pain (followed by doubt) started to set in. My right knee was hurting really badly. There was something that just wasn't right. It felt very tight along the outside of my knee with every step. And with pain like this, thoughts such as: 

What if something is really wrong?
This hurts so bad!
I should keep running...
Should I stop?
Am I really hurting myself?

start entering your mind and it's hard to block them out. I continued on with a very slow pace and was ecstatic to see the finish line. I finished with a time of 1:03:43 which is a PR (from my previous 10k of 1:09). My original goal was to finish in under 1:05 so I'm super happy!! 

My knee ended up REALLY hurting me for the rest of the day and the next day. It was stiff and sore when I put my weight on it. I put some ointment on it and walking around helped. However I think what helped the most was the glorious Thanksgiving meal my Nanny prepared! yumyum.

I went for a brisk walk on Tuesday (2 days post race) to test out my knee and I had zero pain! It has been fine ever since.

Other finishing times: Ray - 58 mins, Nikki - 1:01, Dad - 1:02

And as always, here are some pictures from the race:

Me, dad and Nikki post race, all wearing the race shirts

Medal - my iPod doesn't pick up the incredible level of detail.

Ribbon around the medal.

So I leave you with one question. My next race I want to try to inspire someone by wearing a shirt with something motivating on the back. Any suggestions?


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

MS run!

Phew, long time no see! I would like to use being busy as an excuse for my lack of posting but that isn't really it. I kept meaning to post and then ended up getting sidetracked and not coming back to it.

Regardless, you need to be caught up on my recent runs! As I mentioned before, I ran a 5k on September 29th with some girls (and a husband) from my grad program at school. The run was to support research for Multiple Sclerosis, and was in Brewer, Maine.

The previous week had been super rainy, so I was hoping the rain would hold off for the race. It was overcast (yay!) with heavy drizzle (boo). The biggest problem I faced during this race was GLASSES. Ole four eyes over here had to stop and clean her glasses. They were fogging up and just covered in droplets. I have worn contacts in the past, but went back to glasses a few years ago. This is an indication of why running with glasses sucks!

The race had a small participation number of 31! I didn't realize this prior to the race but this was the first year they had runners as it's traditionally a walk for MS research. So that explains the small numbers.

My final time was 32:08 and I placed 18/31. Happy with this considering the weather!

Team Each Step Counts prior to the race

Stay tuned as soon I will update about the 10k I did this weekend!