Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Humbling Hills

All is well in running land. I got up early on Sunday to head out for my first workout involving hills. I ran for 15 minutes, walked for 1. Then ran up the steep hill and walked down it twice. The I ran for another 10 minutes and ran up an even steeper hill at the end of my run. I nearly keeled over when I reached the top!

I have to say that I felt pretty out of shape by the end of that workout. I plan to do this each weekend to improve my running on hills, as my regular route is pretty much flat as a pancake and my next two races involve more than a nice gradual incline over 2 or 3 metres!

The rest of the time I'm just taking it easy. Today I'm planning to run 30 minutes and I'm hoping to do it without needing walk breaks.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Take a Raincheck

So much for yoga class. So much for my run.

As most of you in the Ottawa-area know, we had a pretty big earthquake on Wednesday afternoon. And yes, it affected my run. How you ask?

Well, we were evacuated from our building. Which meant walking down 22 flights of stairs. Then I, along with all thousands of public servants in the nearby buildings, were told to go home. I couldn't get a bus, so I walked.

I'm still sore. I knew I would be... this is third time I've done those stairs this year and I've been sore every time. So I abandoned my run yesterday and walked around downtown doing errands instead.

And after all the excitement on Wednesday, I didn't feel like going anywhere. Not to mention that the media was reporting that the power was out in the area where the yoga studio is located.

I'm so ready for the weekend!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Yoga for Runners

My physiotherapist suggested I start crosstraining, specifically with some sort of activity that promotes flexibility. She pretty much said that I need to do this if I want to ever run any races longer than 10K. Certainly I need to maintain my flexibility if I want to avoid injuries over the long-term.

So, today I'm going to try Yoga for Runners. It's offered at a local yoga studio at a really convenient time. I've done bikram yoga before, but I had a lot of difficult with the heat. I often felt sick and faint, often for days after. Hopefully I'll have better results with this new class!

I'll be sure to report back on the class.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Race Report: Emilie's Run 5K

Saturday morning dawned warm and overcast. By race time it was 24C, but it felt like 27C with the humidity. There were some clouds, but the sun came out just in time for the race start. There was a bit of a breeze, which turned out to be a headwind on the way back.

The course itself is flat, with only small undulations along the route. It's an out and back on newly paved asphalt. The event had about 600 participants in the women's only 5K. My friend Jen and I started out near the back of the pack... I knew after last year that the racers would be really fast and I didn't want to get caught up in the madness that is mid-pack at Emilie's run!

I'm happy to report that my gun time was 35:02, which is what I was shooting for. I finished 34/41 in my age group. My garmin tells me that I ran 34:43, as it took some time to get across the start line. My splits, according to sportstats, were 7:16, 7:10, 7:07 and 7:06 and 6:25.

I'm very proud of the fact that: a) I ran the whole thing, from start to finish. b) I didn't blow up. And, c) I ran negative splits.

Like I said the other day, I knew a personal best was out of reach. And even if I'd been 100% healthy, a personal best would've been tough given the heat and humidity. I had lots left in the tank at the end. I'm not sore today, two days after the race, and I wasn't sore yesterday either. But I sure was tired on Saturday night!

I'm looking forward to my next race, the National Capital 5K, on July 31st. In the meantime, I'm going to work on improving my endurance and most especially hills, as the next course is all downhill on the way out and almost entirely uphill on the way back. Ouch!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Race ready

Tomorrow I'm running Emilie's Run 5K. I'm so excited! I love this race... it's a flat course, it's all women and it's a really fast field of racers. It's so inspiring to see all the women running together: mothers and daughters, friends, family. It's a totally different atmosphere than other races.

I'm going into this race with one goal only: to finish. I don't care if I have to walk. I don't care if it takes me 40 minutes. I'm just excited to be part of a race and to be running again.

I'm looking forward to seeing who wins the race. One of my running heroes, Tara Quinn-Smith, won't be running it this year. She won the race last year and set a new course record. But sadly, she's been battling some nagging injuries and will be sitting it out this year.

In physiotherapy news, I went two weeks between appointments and all is well. She feels that the remaining issues just might be me. Like my tight glutes. Certain niggly things in my back. But the bulging disc and pain in the lower back is gone. I have some tightness/soreness below my knees, but that's more a result of the return to running and reintroducing the running-related stresses to my body.

This time we're going a month between appointments to see how I do. If all goes well, I expect she'll discharge me. I do have to start a flexibility-related cross-training activity if I plan to run anything more than 10Ks in the future.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Leaving the iPod at Home

I used to be religious when it came to running with my iPod. I swore by it. I rarely ran without it. I loved compiling my playlists and finding new music to run to.

But I've broken my habit.

Since returning to running 3 weeks ago, I haven't run with my iPod once. And to tell you the truth, I don't really miss it. I initially left it at home so that I would listen to my body instead of the tunes. This was especially important in those first few runs, as I needed to pay special attention to any complaints my body was making as I forced it through its rebirth into running.

Running without the iPod is liberating. I don't feel like the bionic woman with a fuelbelt, garmin and iPod strapped to various parts of my body. I feel much more in tune with my muscles and what it's telling me throughout the run. I pay attention to my breathing and get fewer side stitches. I'm also much more aware of my surroundings, whether it's the bikes whizzing by me on the bike path or the crowd of screaming seagulls in the middle of the river.

Best of all, I'm much more absorbed in the act of running itself and enjoying it, instead of zoning out and trying to suffer through it.

I'm hoping that this change will mean that I'll be quicker to notice any nagging injuries early on, instead of when they're so bad that I'm sidelined for months on end.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Settling into a routine

I'm slowly getting back into my running routine again. It's funny how life adapts itself to more or less free time.

Life is busy right now and it's actually getting difficult for me to fit in my short little runs. Husband and I started taking our wine courses again, which we'd put off for a number of reasons. They're not cheap when there's two of you taking them and they're a big time commitment. This class is done after this weekend, thankfully just in time for us to start a new project.

Car shopping. Joy. Our car got a death sentence on Thursday, so I ended up nixing my run yesterday to look at cars. But in one evening we only managed to look at two cars. Ugh. No matter what, we need a new car ASAP. Husband works in the other end of town and the bus isn't a viable transportation method for him over the long term.

I got good news at Physio on Wednesday: I'm down to one appointment every other week. She's hoping to discharge me in July, if all goes well. Now just to fit in those runs!