Saturday, June 25, 2011

Adi-da-bomb

I've got to give a huge, awesome, adoring shout-out to the Adidas team, for sending me so much great loot and for making so much amazing gear! I've always been a fan of their retro designs but it seems like they swag is getting flashier AND more functional with each season.

The adi-zero racing flats I've been wearing this season are perfect, not only because they are hot pink, but because they are super light and fast. I'm pretty sure the reason I didn't dip under 1:19:00 in the fall was because I was lacking these snazzy sneakers. I'm also loving their Supernova Glide training shoes, which are relatively light and packed with cushion...errr and they *may* also be pink too (but come in all sorts of colours!).

Hawt pink



I got some sweet 3/4 tights made from their signature CLIMACOOL material that are super light and breathable. They feel like they're made from soft wind-breaker material and mesh, but hug the body like spandex. And props to them for designing pockets that are functional - I can fit an entire credit card in them, keys, AND they zip up! Imagine that?! You rock Adidas!

So I'm pretty energetic these days, not just because I'm buzzing from the new gear, but because I've been running some speedy workouts and doing a little less mileage. I'm liking the change. Perhaps too much. Do I REALLY have to begin a marathon buildup in one week?

My workouts haven't exceed 5km in volume over the past month, and I haven't done any intervals longer than 1k. It's been a mesh of 200s, 400s, 800s and 1000m repeats. I've set PBs in three (except, of course, the 200m - I don't think I will ever be capable of a full-out sprint!), making me think I should really run a 5k. Instead, however, I came home to Vancouver for a week and I'm going to run a half-marathon. Classic Coolis!

With Nic away in Montreal for the next 12 months (only 10 months now! Not that I'm counting or anything..;) the Angels have continued to rock on. I always seem to have someone on my heels pushing me to run faster. Ruth has been on fire, and pushed me to a 2:33 800m last week, and a 74s 400m repeat the week previous. When I don't have someone around to challenge me, I imagine Nicole running behind me and think how much harder I'd be going if she was, and it totally does the trick. That's how much fear she can instill in us - the mere THOUGHT of her being on my heels kicks in my fight-or-flight responses. I ran a 3:13 km repeat using this approach, so safe to say things should continue to progress without her physical presence at all of our workouts :).

Chillin' with some Angels


It's really nice to be back in Vancouver and it reminds me how stupid I was to ever leave this place. Running along Jericho, the sun gleaming behind the blue ocean and majestic mountains, is irreplaceable. Should make the race tomorrow that much more enjoyable! Woot-woot!

Running along Jericho

Sunday, June 12, 2011

DOMS

Dnf Onset Marathon Sadness?

So with the big marathon in the bag, June was meant to be a recovery, 'fun' month before beginning another buildup in July. Unfortunately I didn't quite get the marathon in the bag, unless you were to say I bagged it? So perhaps in that sense, I did ultimately combine some kind of bag and a marathon. Success? I'm not so sure.

I am not one to dwell on disappointments. But every now and again I think back on how much I did over the winter in preparation of this one day in May, how much I looked forward to it and how ready I was to knock it dead, and I get really ANNOYED. Some days, thinking about race day was the only thing that got me out the door. Especially when it was 4:30am, -20C, there was a foot of snow on the ground, and I was supposed to run 32km. I know I still gained a lot of fitness, strength, and ran some PBs - and really, that IS what this is about - getting stronger in the long run (no pun intended ;) - but regardless, it would have been nice to perform well for the goal race.

Of course since race day amounted to nothing, I equated it with having done absolutely nothing and was convinced my legs would be fresh and chipper afterwards. So naturally on Monday I headed out for a 12 mile run and was pretty irritated when I found that my legs felt like two massive bricks. How could this be??? I had been running 10s slower than my goal pace, I stopped numerous times, and I got 3/4 of the way?! I was not pleased with myself. Tuesday was even worse - I made it a measly 10km in absolute god-awful pain before I had to crawl the rest of the way home. Wednesday was pretty much the same, with an added bonus of puking after my morning workout. Fan-freakin'-tastic. I don't think my innards were quite right the entire week afterwards. On Thursday I had the brilliant idea of trying a workout, which actually didn't go terribly; however, running back downtown was pure torture. My legs hurt so much I thought I had actually bruised them. So all in all, a bad day turned into a bad week.

This has left me realizing that although I may be mad and frustrated having had a bad day in Ottawa, my body still needs a break. I did do a long buildup with some big races in there, and despite having a couple weeks easy due to my glumy, I do need to recharge both mentally and physically. So I'm backing off, taking days off when I want and working out when I feel like it. So far this has meant workouts once a week with my mileage hovering around 60-70 miles.

I have been trying to focus on work, fun (and vodka) this month, but even for me this is hard after a running a disappointing race. Rather, I have thrown myself into designing a stupendous, fool-proof fall marathon training program that I am set to start in July. I have planned out races, dreamt of consistent 100-mile weeks and thought up key marathon-pace workouts that I have already conquered ten times over in my head. Katie, Kat and perhaps Jebs will be running the Scotiabank Toronto Marathon, and I am debating between Scotia and Chicago, so we will have a good group out for big workouts and long runs.

Ok, so since my life isn't supposed to be all running right now. I should try and tell some other stories about normal life I suppose? A la Watson perhaps? Well I do have a few. Ever had those days when you feel like doing a good deed and you fail miserably? Today, for example, riding the elevator (who doesn't have great elevator stories?!). Stopped on the third floor to let a child and his parents in, fresh from the pool. As they entered I heard the mother say 'you can press number 30 now, okay?' And me, noticing they how encumbered they were by towels and bags and general wetness (twss), I thought 'Oh! I'll press it for them! So nice of me!' So there I go and hit number 30, 'Wham!' it lights up a bright brilliant red. As I turn back with a big, satisfied smile on my face, I see the tears begin to well up in the poor child's eyes. He looked like I had ripped his favourite toy from his hands and stomped on it repeatedly. I suddenly realized that he had probably been anticipating pushing that button like I look forward to getting bubble wrap in packages at work: waiting weeks on end just to get hold of that plastic and pop it for all it's worth (twss). Nothing as satisfying. And I ruined that moment for him. He didn't even get near that button. What's worse - I had to rub it in his face with my big bubbly smile. His parents weren't too impressed either, and tried to comfort him by saying 'Next time you can do it, don't worry,' before he burst into outright wails of sadness. I tried to help, by suggesting he press other buttons - as long as they were on the floors above where I was getting off. This got me some more dirty looks from the parents. Should I have said he could press any buttons he wished? But what if we then stopped on every floor? I seemed to be digging myself a deeper and deeper hole. Thankfully my stop came and I darted out the door faster than I would off the start line of a track race. Wait, that still might not be very fast...

Ok, so another story? How about last Friday when I went to Pravda Vodka Bar with the Angels? That was pretty sweet. They have over 70 different types of vodkas and they make a mean martini. And you can get olive platters. PLATTERS. Ahhhmazing. I also learned that vodka is paired well with pickles. Good thing I love pickles (twss). I think the funniest part of this evening was the next morning. I am still not sure how I got home or...onto my floor...well I guess I can imagine the latter incident, but I woke up at 9am sprawled on some hardwood, with Mama K comatose on the couch. I immediately cursed at her 'S^&* Mama K, we were supposed to meet Jebs at 9am for a long run!'. I heard a grunt. I looked at my phone and had five texts from Jebs, asking where we were. Luckily she runs with her BB, so we were able to meet up with her 40min later when we finally got our butts in gear (i.e. got up. and got dressed.) This is where Mama K's distress was very apparent. She couldn't stay within five meters of us no matter how much we slowed down. Every block or so we'd hear a moan or a grumble of words, until we hit the big 3k mark and she exclaimed she had to turn around. She walked back downtown in the rain. Pretty awesome Mama K! I somehow made it through another 22k or so and felt great for the first time all week, for reasons beyond my comprehension. Basically what I learned from this night was that vodka is a great fuel source, and I should be drinking it more often.

That is all. Hopefully next week I'll have something more meaningful to report!