Saturday, May 30, 2009

Something New

As soon as my marathon streak is over (South Bend Indiana up next), I plan to slowly get back into marathon training, with St.George Marathon likely being my next goal marathon (unless I can swing a Cali trip to visit my dad and run SF).

Even with all of the running I have been doing, I feel terribly out of shape. I need to mix things up with some new cross training. I will likely go back to incorporating more yoga and bootcamp, but I am also thinking of joining this off-road cycling group Monday nights called the Fly Gurlz.

It should be a perfect Monday night after long run activity. I love that it is an offroad club, I having been craving trails lately...

The only problem, I need a mountain bike. I have a road bike, but it wouldn't for this off road terrain. If you have any tips please leave them below if you don't mind. I hope to shop a little tomorrow for one, and I want a good bike, but don't want to spend a fortune!

I think (well I hope) the popup banner thingy is fixed, but if you are still getting them let me know. I hate POP UP banners, and I'm sorry you are getting them visiting my site. I will make it my mission that they go away!

Tomorrow is the Toronto Women's half marathon. I am running it just for fun, maybe in around 2 hours, maybe more, we'll see, I want to rest up for my last full of the season.

Thanks for reading and good luck to tomorrow's marathoners!!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Feedback Please!

Vava mentioned that he gets wierd popup banners when he visits my site. Does anyone else get this when you visit my site. I want to get rid of this ASAP! Does anyone have any tips? Thanks and have a great weekend. (I'm working on my Vermont marathon race report)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Race Report: Cleveland Marathon

The Cleveland RiteAid Marathon fell on the Victoria day weekend for Canadians, meaning Hubs and I had the Monday off work, so it was the perfect opportunity to escape for a marathon holiday. This was my first time running this course, but Hubs had ran this last year as part of his 5 marathons in 5 weeks series. He was in the promo pamphlet this year carrying his guitar across the finish line. What a ham!

I packed everything meticulously the Friday night, and we left our house a little after 7 am the following morning. Hubs nephew, Scott came with us, so it was nice to have some family along for the ride and marathon adventure. We were also meeting some good running friends down in Cleveland for a pre and post marathon feast!

Our drive went really smoothly and it wasn't until the we arrived at the hotel a little after 1:00 that I realized I left my marathon bag at home!!

My immediate response to Hubs was that "I can't run this". OK, I will confess that a small part of me felt uninspired to run the marathon. Cleveland didn't particularly excite me, and having run Mississauga only one week ago, I didn't feel fully recovered. Hubs insisted that I run it, and suggested that if my new shoes didn't work (yes I had to buy brand new shoes), I could always just run the half since the course is basically a bow tie. Plus, I had already paid my registration fee.

So off to the expo we went to shop. Normally I love shopping for running clothes, but I felt under pressure to get, well, everything. I went straight for a shoes booth and managed to score a pair of Asics Gel Kayanos 14 for 107$. I normally wear Saucony Paramounts, but I have worn Kayanos in the past, so I thought they would work. I also bought shorts, sports bra, gels, salt tablets, socks and a hand-held water. I tried to make decisions quick, but it seemed to take a long time, and it was rather exhausting! I felt like I kept handing over my credit card again and again, starting from scratch sure is expensive!! I wore the Cleveland shirt they gave out at the expo so at least I didn't have purchase that. Oh well, at least I will use the items I purchased, and for the most part they worked out fine (more on that later).

For dinner we met up with our friends and drove to Little Italy area of Cleveland to a whole-in -the-wall type restaurant called Mama Santa. Although we had to wait in line for over an hour, the food was delicious, and it was wonderful to relax with friends before the marathon.

Mama Santa

(Photo: Rob Patterson)

Hubs and I at Mama Santas

(Photo: Rob Patterson)

(I had issues with my eyes squinting that night, this was the third attempt to get me to take a picture without my eyes closing!! LOL)

Marathon morning was one of the least stressful I have ever experienced due to the location of our hotel. We stayed at theCrowne Plaza which was right by the start line, so that meant we could relax in our hotel room until right before the start, and better yet, no porta potties!! I had scored the hotel on Priceline for 90$ and we even had a view of Lake Erie!

The only problem with race morning was that I was wearing my new Garmin 405 so I had a steep learning curve. It was lucky I had it actually. I put it on my wrist so I could tinker and learn more about how to operate it on the car ride down to Cleveland. I didn't give myself enough time to properly load the satellites at the start, but after getting started it worked out fine.

Starting out, I felt tired and well, not ready to run a marathon. I felt like everyone and their Grandmother was passing me, so it was kinda of defeating. I probably lined up too close to the start, but I saw the 3:50 bunny and standing right behind was the 4:15 bunny, so that where I lined up. I had no plans for running a PR, I just wanted to finish.

After the first few miles, though, I found my pace group and I started to warm up. I was really enjoying the course. There were a few minor hills, but we were running through some really pretty tree-lined streets and nice neighbourhoods and I just felt myself relax. At each aid station they played music from the Rock and Roll Hall of fame inductees, which was a nice touch. There were a fair number of spectators out too, which is always nice.

Past mile 10 we headed onto to a closed highway and toward the downtown core. What an amazing site. The lake was on the right, and cityscape was before us. It was stunning. I know stunning is not a word typically used to to describe Cleveland, but from this perspective, it was, and I felt like I was able to experience and appreciate the city in a way I am sure I wouldn't have as a typical tourist or business person. I felt strong but kept running conservatively. I wanted to feel good throughout the run this time. My knee also was fine this week, it had really bothered me the week before at Mississauga.

At mile 12, the half marathoners veered off and we headed away from the downtown core in the opposite direction. We travelled along a flat stretch by the Airport. I had my ipod on, and found myself lost in classic rock tunes from Queen and Fleetwood Mac, which is different then the typical pop fare I listen to. In fact at mile 13 an element song came on. This song is only a minute long and the singer repeats every element on the periodic table in less than two minutes. I play this for my students when we are studying elements. Anyway, I was about to switch the song, when I ran past the science center. How appropriate. Anyway it made me smile and I listen to the song with a huge grin on my face (I am a total science nerd) and before I knew it I was at mile 15 and feeling great.

Miles 15 to 18 we travelled along the lake and although it was slightly windy, I found the temperature to be perfect, and the breeze felt good.

It really wasn't until mile 21 that I started to really feel tired. We could see the amazing cityscape again, although it felt a bit like a mirage that I would never reach. I ran into the finish line feeling strong and overall the marathon felt pretty effortless. Well maybe not effortless, but relative to the week before, much easier, and I ran 10 minutes faster.

At first my time was posted to be 4:13:47, but there was a clock error and they added a minute to all of the time, so final time was 4:14:47. Not a PR, but my second fastest marathon to date. Thats right, my two fastest time have both been my second back-to-back marathon. Weird, huh?!

I recommend this marathon. Its a fairly easy course, and the scenery is really nice. Plus you can go to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame afterwards!

Good luck to all you SD marathoners this weekend. I am running a half marathon (just for fun, no gunning for a PR), and then the following weekend I am running the Sunburst Indiana marathon. I also need to write a race report for Burlington, and I will soon, I promise. I hope to catch up with you all soon! Thanks for reading!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Cleveland Marathon Quick Update

What a fun marathon! My trip didn't start well. I forgot my entire running bag at home and realized this only when I arrived at the hotel. I had to buy
-sports bra
-salt tablets
-hand held water bottle

The only saving grace was that I had my watch and ipod. Oh vey... I was lucky everything worked out OK.

Back to back marathons seem to work for me. I ran a 4:13:47. Not a PR, but 10 minutes faster than last week. Full race report to come. TTYS

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Happy Loooonnngg Weekend!

For us Canadian folk, its Victoria Day long weekend, or as it is commonly called May 24 (two four) with reference to "beverages":).

Hubs and I are travelling to Cleveland to run the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon with a group of runners that are a bunch of riff raff. I am running the full marathon, my knee seems fine, if it gets bad, I'll just walk, I am going to take this marathon entirely by feel. Should be a fun time! Hope you all have a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mississauga Marathon Race Report

This past Sunday I ran the Mississauga Marathon. My sister registered last minute for this race, having run the Nashville Marathon only two weeks before. She was disappointed with her Nashville time and wanted to redeem herself only two weeks later.

Hubs and I also registered late, so no name on the bib, boo! I didn't have great expectations for myself for this race since I knew my training was not 100% since Shamrock, but I felt well enough to run it, and you just never know...

My sister and I went to the expo on Saturday. We originally tried to go on Friday night to meet up with Mel and Emily, but Melissa's plane was delayed out of Nashville, so we couldn't make it there for Friday. We stopped by the Running Skirts booth where my sister bought a new outfit, and got chatting to one of the owners, Cindy, who offered to sponsor Melissa, how cool is that? Here is the outfit she wore:

Anyway, Melissa finished in an amazing 2:53:57, and had the third fastest time (winning time was 2:52xx). Her gun time unfortunately put her in 4th place... seems wrong, but those are apparently the "rules". Melissa is 6 minutes off of Olympic trial times, which I bet she will achieve since this time was run after running a marathon only two weeks earlier.

I hope it doesn't sound like I am bragging about my sister, well honestly I am really proud and like to brag a little, but the truth of the matter is that my "little sister" is such an amazing inspiration to me. She has two boys to which she is an awesome mom, works full time, and runs kick ass marathons. She is a beautiful person as well. It gives me hope somewhere I have the genes in my to become faster... :) Love ya sis!!

Anyway back to my race report. About my race...

Well it all started well. I ran the first 3K rather conservatively to warm up, and then probably pushed it a little too much past 3K (when will I ever learn?!!)

kM 1: 5:42

kM 2: 5:45

kM 3: 5:41 (Felt warmed up at this point)

kM 4: 5:28 (Um yeah, too fast for 4 hours, stuuupid, slow down...)

kM5: 5:40

kM 6 :5:40 (feels sooo easy, lets push the pace a little...)

kM 7: 5:28

kM 8: 5:35

kM 9: 5:30

kM 10: 5:32 (yes the last 4K we too fast, but it felt easy, glorious actually)

So the first 10K were pretty easy, I felt great and wasn't worried about pushing my pace too much...

kM 11: 5:50 (there was a steep hill, so I didn't worry about this too much)

kM 12: 5:36

kM 13: 5:28

kM 14: 5:37

kM 15: 5:41 (starting to feeling tired.... oh no, so soon?!)

kM 16: 5:47 (saw the half marathon cutoff, considered taking it, no Marci, run right, run right)

kM 17: 6:23 (wishing I turned left, I walked, yes already, just felt tired!!)

kM 18: 5:55

kM 19: 6:23 (walked again, briefly, not a good sign)

kM 20: 6:03

kM 21: 6:21

21.1 K, 13.1 miles split 2:01

So I knew at this point based on how I was feeling that it wasn't likely a PR kind of day. I told myself not to give up though, you just never know....

kM 22: 5:55

kM 23: 6:29

kM 24: 5:59 (Saw Hubs running the back part of the out and back loop)
kM 25: 6:27

kM 26: 5:58

Mmm I see a trend here, speed up, slow down, speed up, slow down some more.

kM 27: 6:47 (my knee oddly started bothering my, took some Tylenol)

kM 28: 6:46 (Saw Mel on the course, she looked great, this gave me a little boost)

Then my knee got really bad, and I started to excessively walk/wobble. Took another painkiller.

kM 29: 7:44 (ouch)

kM 20: 7:09

kM 31: 7:34

Painkillers kick in a little, so I start running again..

kM 32: 6:31

kM 33: 6:48

kM 34: 6:38

kM 35: 7:41 (knee talking again, took a third Tylenol, hoped for the best)

kM 36: 6:45

kM 37: 6:53

kM 38: 6:49

kM 39: 6:49

kM 40: 6:52

kM41: 6:24 (Saw a few running friends and Marlene (who ran a HUGE PR -congrats), gave hugs, great to see them!!)

kM 42: 6:03

Final time: 4:24:xx. 12th marathon, done!!

Not bad, not great, but all in all I'll take it.

I have been icing my knee, it feels fine. I think it was my shoes, I bought a new pair the week before but I was nervous to wear them, but I will definitely wear them in Cleveland and Vermont.
I haven't registered yet for Cleveland, I want to test the knee, and I need to complete Vermont since its another stated. I really want to run both, and complete 3 marathons in 3 weeks!!
Thanks for reading

P.S I am putting a poll. How should winners be determined.. guntime or chip time? Feel free to leave comments as well!

Woo Hoo!!

Congratulations! You have been selected to run the 2009 St. George Marathon. You are one of 7200 runners selected from 10,510 registrants. You can access your name through the successful marathon entrants link which will be posted today at 5:00 p.m.Please check our website at beginning Thursday, May 14 to access the runner's guide, which will give important information pertaining to this year's race.We are pleased to have you join us for our 33rd annual race and wish you the very best in your training.St. George Marathon Staff

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Garmin rebate, Race announcements

Today I bought a brand spanking new 405!!!

Now I already have a 205, but I want to be more analytical about my training and have long since lost the USB link my 205 came with...


I got a $50.00 USD rebate for my Garmin! In case you are interested, the rebate can be had at Prices are in Canadian dolllars, but the rebate is in US dollars.

This Garmin will come in handy because I have a slew of races upcoming:

May 10th - Canon Mississauga Marathon
I have run this course twice as a half marathon, but never as the full. I am looking forward to it. I will ofcourse try for a PR, but I am not 100% sure I am ready, but either way, I am looking forward to running another marathon. I ran the Sporting Life 10K this weekend, and although I didn't run a PR, I really just wanted to run a strong race, and I felt like I did well, finished in 50:23, so I'll take it.

May 17th - Cleveland Marathon

We are going to Cleveland with a group of running friends, I am not sure what event I will enter here, but I will be there and running (hoping marathon). It was part of Hubs 5 marathons in 5 weeks series last year, so I would love to run it this year.

May 24th - KeyBank Vermont City Marathon
I have to cross another state off the list, so why not Vermont?! This is a challenging course, but it looks great, and I have read some good comments about it, so I am super excited to go!

May 30th - Toronto Women's Half Marathon
This is a new event, and there is chocolate and pedicures involved. Need I say more? I'm in!

June 14th - Twenty Valley Niagara Wine Country Run Half Marathon
Hubs and I are going with Running friends, we have rented a cottage in Niagara on the Lake, it should be alot of fun!

It sounds a little intimidating when I write it down like this, but I love marathon season. Hope you are all having a great week! Thanks for reading!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Running Quotes

I am sorry I haven't been a good blogger as of late. I'm just feeling a bit of bloggers-writing- block. So just so I am not entirely ignoring my blog, here are some quotes I came across today I thought I would pass on.

1. "You have to wonder at times what you're doing out there. Over the years, I've given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement." - Steve Prefontaine

2. "I always loved was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs." -Jesse Owens

3. "The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare." -Juma Ikangaa, 1989 NYC Marathon winner

4. "In running, it doesn't matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the pack, or last. You can say, 'I have finished.' There is a lot of satisfaction in that." -Fred Lebow, New York City Marathon co-founder

5. "Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it." -Oprah Winfrey

6. "Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made of. This is what we do. This is what it's all about." -PattiSue Plumer, U.S. Olympian

7. "Running is a big question mark that's there each and every day. It asks you, 'Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?'" - Peter Maher, Canadian marathon runner

8. "We run, not because we think it is doing us good, but because we enjoy it and cannot help ourselves...The more restricted our society and work become, the more necessary it will be to find some outlet for this craving for freedom. No one can say, 'You must not run faster than this, or jump higher than that.' The human spirit is indomitable." -Sir Roger Bannister, first runner to run a sub-4 minute mile

9. "Ask yourself: 'Can I give more?'. The answer is usually: 'Yes'." -Paul Tergat, Kenyan professional marathoner

10. "The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start." -John Bingham, running speaker and writer

Which one speaks to you? Congratulations to all race finishers today! Thanks for reading!