Monday, 27 June 2016

Lessons Learned

This was supposed to be an easy running week with a couple of 5 K's and an 8 on the weekend, but with the Tely getting closer, I started questioning my training plan. Originally, there were 2 weeks between each long run which I thought would give my body time to adjust to all the extra strain it was undergoing, but I began to notice one week after a long run, I felt able to do another. 

As the weekend approached I mentioned to the girls that we didn't have a 15 K scheduled before the Tely and if we wanted to run that distance, we would have to move our 14 K up to this weekend. Even as I write this I'm trying to figure out what exactly has happened to me. How did I get from not wanting to run at all to adding an extra 15 kilometers to my schedule? 

We decided to run the T'railway from Coffee Matters in Paradise down to Biped on Water Street. If you take the trail right to the train station before heading to Biped, it's exactly 14 kilometers. Plus now that Biped has its own coffee bar right in the store, it's the perfect spot to finish a run. 

Before we set off, the girls surprised me with t-shirts they had made. It all started when the lovely Wendy Wall referred to us as "The Rice Krispie Group" one Saturday morning at Coffee Matters. Shortly after that, Batman gave us all nicknames.

And it's only gotten weirder as time goes on. Sugar is now referred to as Sugar Crisp and Molly has been dubbed Tony the Tiger. I'm trying to figure out who could be Toucan Sam and Count Chocula. At Maritime Race Weekend we'll all be Captain Crunch. I'm starting to think the next PRC group photo will look something like this:

But I digress.

There were five of us running this morning - Myself, Lori, Paula, Renee and Joyce. Things started out on a bad note when both Joyce and Renee realized that their iPod's were dead and they would have to run 14 K without music. At 5 K Renee had to drop out because she was feeling light headed. Then Paula ran out of water and by the time we reached Water Street she was feeling the effects of the heat and loss of fluids. Biped was an oasis in a 14 kilometer desert.
Within a few minutes of entering the store we were all eating yummy treats and drinking tea. They had all the necessities for runners - bananas, granola bars and my personal favorite, snowballs. Renee joined us for a snack and all the horrible parts of the run were forgotten. This was the longest, warmest run we've done to date and it was a good reminder of how things could be at the Tely. We have one long run left to get all the kinks out before July 24th. We've all learned a few lessons and I'm sure our 15 K next week will see a huge improvement.

Monday, 20 June 2016

The Ultimate Running Secret

Today I begin the Town of Paradise's FitBit Challenge. I figure all this training has got to put me in the running for one of the top spots on the leader-board. Plus, I need some extra motivation to help keep me on track with my running.

This past week I only managed to get in about 19 km. I missed the group run on Tuesday since I was helping my teenager study for his final exams. I had every intention of running the day before, or Tuesday morning, or maybe Wednesday but I ended up staying home, contemplating why rain, drizzle and fog seem to have moved in permanently.

Thursday was hill repeats and I couldn't miss another run, even if the rain was coming down in biblical proportions. Paula started the run with a big hate on for the weather, while Lori made the most of it and ran the entire time wearing her Spiderman rain poncho. Myself and Paula managed seven repeats, while Lori did eight. She is hardcore after all.

Saturday was our long run day. 13 kms were on the schedule so I came up with a route that included the upcoming Mews 8k course plus a lap of Quidi Vidi lake. For the first time in ages I decided to run with music. I knew Renee and Paula would be wearing their ear buds and since I didn't fancy spending the hour and a half talking to myself I figured having my own music was the way to go. My Tely 10 playlist from 2013 was still on my iPod so I added a few of my recent favorites and we hit the road. 

Maybe it was the music, maybe it was because we didn't run until 11:00, but whatever the cause, I was having a great run. We were nearly finished the Mews course and it felt like we had just started out so when Renee suggested we change our route to include Lakeview Avenue I was all for it.

By the time I reached the top of the hill, I thought I was going to die. Visions of Sugar fixing his sneakers floated in front of my eyes. This is it - I'm having a stroke or a heart attack. Death by running.

It wasn't until Renee started talking to my vision that I realized Sugar was actually there at the top of the hill. He had planned his 23 km route to end with ours so he could hitch a ride home.

With five kilometers left to go, I finished off the last of my Rice Krispie Cookies. We ran through Quidi Vidi Village and back to the Boulevard. It was about this time that the energy from the cookies kicked in. I started to run a little faster, my feet hitting the pavement to the beat of the music.

At kilometer eleven I discovered the ultimate running secret. 

Rick Astley.

With "She Wants To Dance With Me" ringing in my ears, my pace increased from 7:13 to 6:28. Not only is he still making number one hits, Rick Astley has given me hope that I can get my first PB in four years. Gigs all around. 

When I run the Mews in 3 weeks I'm hoping to not only beat my previous Mews time, but beat my best 8 K time as well. It's been a while since I've "raced" and I'm kind of looking forward to it. This will be the first race of the season where all four of us will be trying for a PB and I'm sure with a little help from Kellogg's and Rick, we'll be able to do it.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Seaman Simeon Rogers, Newfoundland Royal Naval Reserve, 1885 - 1917

The Uniformed Services Run is a race that is new to me. This is the sixth year the run has been hosted by ANE and the first time I have taken part. I couldn't have picked a better year for my inaugural USR.

As most Newfoundlanders know, this year marks the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Beaumont Hamel. If you are anywhere in the older parts of St. John's, your bound to see the signs, banners and displays that commemorate the sacrifice of so many young men who died during the First World War. ANE decided to incorporate these soldiers into their race by assigning each runner a fallen soldier. The race bibs held the names and service numbers of those who died and everyone received a beautiful finisher medal, complete with the caribou, the emblem of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment.

We had the option of choosing a soldier to run for. As far as I know, none of my ancestors perished during WW1, but the name Simeon Rogers caught my attention. I did have a great uncle named Simeon Rodgers who, coincidentally, also died in 1917 when the train he was traveling on derailed and caught fire. Though they were two different people, since they had the same name I thought it could be possible that if I looked back far enough, I just might discover that we are distant cousins.

I did a little research on Simeon. According to his military file, his last reported address was 176 Water Street - the building that currently holds the Kitchen Queen store. His parents were Willis and Sarah Rogers. He was married to Bertha and they had four children, ranging in age from two to nine when he was killed on January 25th, 1917.

StateLibQld 1 149967 Laurentic (ship).jpg
Simeon was assigned to the HMS Laurentic. They sailed from Ireland on the afternoon of the 25th and ran straight into two German mines. While it was reported that all men safely made it to life boats, the weather was too stormy for them to reach shore and more than 350 men died from exposure. Simeon was 31 years old.

While we could have run a half marathon or half marathon relay, myself and the girls chose the 10K option for the race. Lori and Paula were slightly ahead of myself and Renee the entire time, and though we had every intention of catching up so we could cross the finish line together, in the end it didn't happen. Most likely because there was an impromptu photo shoot somewhere around kilometer eight.

Photos courtesy of Kiley Dominie
Even though we didn't cross the finish line at the same time, our names did end up together in the results.  

It was a great race and I was pleased to see how many others took the time to learn a little something about the soldier they ran for. We have the freedom to take part in events like this and have fun along the way because of men like them. I hope we will always remember the fallen.

Monday, 6 June 2016

Thank You For Being A Friend

This past week we celebrated my mother-in-law's birthday and as I sat at her kitchen table watching her celebrate with friends, some old, some new, I realized that she is part of a wonderful group of ladies that make up an awesome support network. I could just picture myself and the girls in the very same situation one day in the future. 

I am so thankful that I too, have such a supportive group of people to lean on. When I'm struggling to get through the temptations that inevitably come my way and threaten to derail my training and healthy eating goals, I know I can always count on them for encouragement and to help me make better choices. 

Sort of.

Well, at least I can depend on them to make sure we get our long runs in. This past week we had 12 km on our schedule and we struggled to find a time on the weekend when we could all run together. Between work schedules and kid activities it looked like we wouldn't all be able to run together. But we were determined to find a solution and finally decided to do our long run on Thursday night instead of on the weekend. We did our hills on Tuesday to be sure we didn't miss out on those and Thursday night all five of us met for the group run, raring to go. Maybe it was the route, or maybe it was the cool temperatures, but this run didn't seem as long or as hard as our 11 km two weeks ago. Most likely it's because we didn't have to run up the hill on Paradise Road this time. 

Maybe I should have picked a route with more hills because as we ran, Molly and Paula (who obviously forgot how horrible Paradise Hill was) started making plans to run from Cape Spear to Water Street. I'm sure this is their way of trying to convince me to run the Cape to Cabot next year. I'm thinking NO.

Sugar was working on Thursday so I knew there wouldn't be any surprise water stops on our route. I decided to leave my vehicle at the half way point so we could refuel without having to carry all our snacks. On the advice of Kiley Dominator, I flattened my treats this time because apparently they make you run better if you eat them that way. They are definitely easier to eat and I may have had more than I should have at the pit stop. I'm not sure the others even got a taste. 

According to my FitBit, I ran 12.15 km in 1:37:38. Since I forgot to pause my app, this includes the time it took to stop and visit the bathrooms at Coffee Matters as well as the time it took for me to eat all the aforementioned cookies. Overall, I think that's a pretty decent time. For me at least. And other than tired legs the next day, there were no ill effects from the run. That alone deserves a medal.

This coming week we'll actually get a medal for our long run because we're doing the USR on Sunday. I've never done this race before but I'm glad to be a part of it this year since its focus is on the 100th anniversary of the battle of Beaumont Hamel. I think there's still time to register for one of the five races (anywhere from 1 km to 21 km) so head on over to the ANE website and check it out.

Happy Training!