Monday, 30 May 2016

55 Days and Counting

Whenever one of us suggests that we might not be able to make a run, Hardcore Lori sends us this screenshot:

The Tely 10 is 55 days away and by my calculations we have about 160 kms to run before July 24th. It seems to be harder to schedule runs that all four of us can do together because work, school, kids and naps are interfering with our plans. 

Maybe I should say all five of us now. Molly is becoming a regular on our training runs and I think we all feel better because of it. Molly is a good match for Lori when it comes to pace, so now that Lori has someone more on her level, she's more likely to stick with us.

A recap of our runs this week: 

Tuesday - It was one million degrees out and myself, Lori and Paula ran Octagon Pond, which is about 6 km. 

Thursday - It was negative one million degrees out and myself, Lori and Molly ran Neil's Pond and did six hill repeats, which is about 6.5 km. Molly informed us that the last time she did hill repeats was 21 years ago but that didn't stop her from being the first one finished. Looks like we have two hardcore runners in our little group now.

Saturday - Was the LTR graduation run and there were hail stones smacking me in the face. Myself, Lori and Renee ran Octagon Pond with the group (5 km) and after we filled up on tea and cookies, myself and Lori ran another 3 km around Neil's Pond to bring the total up to 8 km. Renee had other commitments and since she couldn't join us, decided to put her Garmin on her five year old in an effort to make up the extra distance. I think her plan backfired because Renee has been preparing us for another monkey funeral in the not to distance future.

Lori sent me our pace info after we did hills on Thursday. Obviously it's a little skewed since she runs up hills like her butt is on fire, but over all, we started and finished running at the same time, side by side. Our average pace for the 6.5 km run was 7:11/km. For comparison, my average pace for the 6.3 km the week before was 8:28/km. Not only did I have to run farther faster, I had to do it in seven minutes less. Obviously, running with Lori and Molly takes some serious dedication. Or maybe ignorance. Either way, you have to give up on talking during the run and really dislike being able to breathe. That being said, I did like having a little extra push and it's always good to be reminded that I still have the ability to run like this and survive.

This week coming we have a 12 km run planned. Molly already told us she wants in. Lori is raring to go. Renee went all hardcore and ran 12 km solo on the weekend so she'll probably only join us for a portion of the route. Paula is going whether she likes it or not (55 days Paula!!!). We had planned on a route that conveniently ended at The Big R where we would obviously have to have breakfast, but conflicting schedules have pushed that route to a later date. I'll just have to settle for tea and maybe something with coconut on it this time around. 

Monday, 23 May 2016

Half Marathon Training - Week Two

Before I fill you in on our training for this week, I want to update you on my weight loss progress.

The healthy eating/exercise plan is still going well. I've been getting in my 10,000 steps each day and Sugar has continued to fill the fridge with veggies and protein each week while I watch My 600 lb Life and text the girls, who are at their own homes, meal prepping for the week and watching TV as well. I'm down 10 pounds and can now fit comfortably in my clothes again. I've been diligently using My Fitness Pal to keep me on track, as have the girls, which makes it much easier to stick to the plan. Each Friday we do our own weigh ins and share our results with each other and we've all been doing great. It's so much easier to keep going when you have a good support team.

Awesome sneakers from Biped
Alright - back to training. Tuesday we did 5K with the LTRs, who are way faster than I will ever be. They officially finish their program this coming weekend, but they've done so well, they could have been done weeks ago. Thursday, we did 6K with 5 hill repeats thrown in, just for fun. Did I tell you I bought a new pair of sneakers? My Saucony Blues have been showing signs of wear and I wanted to be sure I had a decent pair for running the Tely/Half, so I headed down to Biped's new store on Water Street and got these new Saucony Pinks. I wore them on my long run this weekend and they are just as awesome as my Blues. I couldn't be happier.

Our scheduled long run this week was 11k. For some reason I have been nominated as the training coach for our little group. I create a possible route and they always seem to agree to it without question. I'm pretty sure they don't even look at the maps, they're just happy to have someone else set it all up for them. Take Sunday's route for example. If they had really looked at the route I picked, I'm sure they (Renee) would have said no. It wasn't until Sunday morning that they (Renee) finally realized what we were going to do. Truthfully, I started to doubt the route myself at about the 9K mark. It was blissfully warm and feeling overheated, I wondered if running up Paradise Road was such a good idea after all.

Lori was the first to reach the top. When she runs a hill, she runs a hill. Full steam to the top, no stopping or slowing down. I think I was second, with a whole lot less steam, but no stopping. I waited at the top for Renee and Paula and it took a minute for me to realize that Lori had stopped a little further down the road and was talking to someone. She had a red cup in her hand. The someone she was talking to was waving at me with a big toothy grin. I'm staring, trying to make sense of what is going on, when Renee runs past me, angry running music blaring from her headphones, asking, "Is that Sugar???" She took off like a blue streak and it finally dawned on me that Sugar had set up an impromptu water station for us. I left Paula on the hill alone (Sorry Paula) and ran ahead to join in the celebration with Lori and Renee. There was Gatorade being poured, ice cubes in buckets, cold paper towels in baggies, towels to dry off with. I'm pretty sure Belinda Carlisle was on the radio singing "Heaven Is A Place On Earth". 

Thanks Sugar! You are AMAZING.
I now know how all the runners who stopped for sponges at our Tely 10 pit stop felt. It was so encouraging to see someone you know standing there with a little pick me up to get you through the last few kilometers. I'll definitely be happy to see Gina and the gang on the Tely route this year, and I'm sure so many others will as well.

Paula did make it up the hill and joined us for a cool down before heading to our finish line at Coffee Matters. She wrote how she felt about the experience over at the PRC blog. Be sure to check it out.

We survived another week. The text messages have already been flying back and forth about our next long run. I'm not sure what has happened to my tea-drinking, rest-day-taking running buddies, but I think I've inadvertently turned them in to running monsters. They are adding distance and hill repeats to all our runs and rearranging their lives to fit in with the running schedule. They are an amazing group and I'm so glad that I get to go through this process with them. Bring on week three!

Monday, 16 May 2016

Harbour Front 10 K

We have officially completed the first week of our half marathon training.  Would it impress you to know that we actually did some hill training this week? Probably not, but for us, anything other than distance is a big accomplishment. 

Photo Credit: Ron Earles
Paula swears that the four hill repeats we did on Thursday were the reason she was able to do so well at the Harbour Front 10k on Sunday. 

A lot of people aren't fond of that route, but I really like it. It makes me realize that there might have been a grain of truth to the stories my grandfather told. When children walked to school in his day, maybe it really was uphill in both directions. 

We (Renee, Paula and I) started the race at the back of the pack in hopes of not pushing too hard right at the beginning and beating ourselves out before we even made it to Water Street. Lori wanted to know how fast she could do a 10k so we sent her off on her own with strict instructions on how to take awesome finish line photos of us.

The three of us stuck together for quite a while but eventually Paula started to pull ahead (hill training, obviously). By the time we hit the half way mark, Paula was too far ahead to share in my Rice Krispie cookies, so myself and Renee shared my snack. To be honest, Renee only had two small pieces and I had about five. But see how happy I was at the finish line?

Photo Credit: Ron Earles

Renee - not so much.

She did have some fun along the route though. We had a mini dance party with one of the marshals who was playing music from his stereo (I wanted to type ghetto-blaster but I'm not sure anyone born this century would know what I was talking about) and we were treated like royalty all the way up Waterford Bridge Road (we had a police escort the entire way).

And we finished the race upright. Lori had a chip time of 56:41 (I'm still not sure why she runs with us); Paula was 1:13:35 and Renee and I were 1:14:14.

The crowd at Nautilus obviously know how to pull off a successful event. Not only was the race itself spectacularly well organized and run, they had jujubes at the post race reception. I think everyone out there should make this a mandatory part of any awards ceremony. Fingers crossed that ANE follow suit at the Uniformed Services Run in June.

Monday, 9 May 2016

Let The Training Begin!

Today is the first official day of our half marathon training, but since it's a rest day I'll tell you all about the 8.5 k run I did on Friday instead.

I think the realization that the Tely is only 11 weeks away is kind of freaking Paula out. She keeps suggesting long runs that we should do. So far we've been successful in scaling the distances back but I don't know how much longer we can hold her off, especially now that she has a copy of our training schedule.

We did a scaled back run on the T'railway on Friday. Paula still wants to run from Coffee Matters to Tim's, but we convinced her to do Piper's to Tim's instead. She seemed okay with it, for now. There were seven of us - myself and the girls, Sugar, Marc and New Mike. We all started out together but after about one second the guys pulled ahead and left us in the dust.

Eventually Paula and Lori pulled ahead and myself and Renee fell into a comfortable pace of our own. We chatted away like we usually do, discussing politics and the current list of names released with the Panama Papers.

Or maybe it was how many Kit Kat bars we could get at Lawton's for $5.00.

At about kilometer six, Renee started to feel drained. I had the perfect solution:

From the look on her face when I told her I had a Rice Krispie Cookie in my fuel belt, I figured I'd be safest if I just handed it over and backed away. I'm pretty sure the lady walking her dog who passed us on the trail thought we were out on a day pass.

We eventually finished the run and joined the others in Tim's for a hot beverage. The problem with going to a donut shop after a run is you want to eat all the donuts. ALL OF THEM. Especially the ones with coconut. Or maybe just a pulled pork sandwich.

But we all behaved and just had coffee and tea, which was really sucky. Not the coffee and tea, just the fact that we didn't stuff our faces with sugary goodness. That's what I get for running with people who are trying to be healthy. 

Overall it was a good run and even though my legs were sore the next day, I'm looking forward to our next long run which is the Harbour Front 10K this weekend. I'll be the one feeding Renee cookies.

Monday, 2 May 2016

Happy Runniversary Batman

This past week marked the one year runniversary of an 8 km run I did with Batman. One year ago, while the majority of PRCers were training for half and full marathons (and myself and Batman were having none of it), I asked Batman if he would like to go for an 8 km run. He said yes and the rest is history.

The problem was, I completely forgot about it. It was our first runniversary and I didn't even realize. Batman, however, had not forgotten. To celebrate, he asked me to run the distance with him once again. He organized a little running party and included some of my closest running friends. We all set out together and ran the same 8 km route we did last year, reminiscing along the way about how we had both run faster than normal trying to keep up with each other. Batman stuck by my side for the majority of the run this year but eventually realized that wearing shorts on such a cold evening and running slower than usual weren't a good combination. But he was there, waiting for me, at the end of the run, making sure I survived.

Running more than 5 km hasn't been something I've been doing much of lately. With the exception of an 8 k I did with the girls mid April and an 8 k I did with Sugar on Saturday, the last time I ran any distance was the Turkey Tea 10 K last October. But that's going to change very soon, now that we are about to start our half training.

Paula has been wanting to do a long run for several weeks. Just last night she suggested that we run the trail from Coffee Matters in Paradise to Tim's on Water Street this Saturday. It's about 13 k. It's not that I'm against running the distance, but I think going from 5 k to 13 k in one week is a bit of a jump, even if we have run that far before. I don't want to end up injured, or worse, like Barney Stinton. (Click here to watch)

I'm looking forward to doing a few more 8's this week to get my body used to distance running again and I've got Paula, Sugar and Batman to thank for it. They have all spurred me on to run a little farther than I have been and It's a great feeling to know that I can still do it. I know we'll have no trouble at the Harbour Front 10 k.

Hey Batman, think next year we could add a second runniversary on the Harbour Front? 10 k, you don't have to wait for me and I promise not to forget. Better hurry though, only 104 spots left!