Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Canadian Blogger Gals Video

Tonight I went to download the photo we asked one of the race pace bunnies to take (they were at the expo for Q&A), and I discovered that what was supposed to be a photo was actually a video that was accidentally taken. I wondered when there was no flash!! LOL. Its brief, but I laughed when I watched it.

Honorary Woo-Hoos and Lily.

Still seeing no flash, I went over to help her.

ROFLMAO!! BTW Lily, I love your shoes!!

On a side note, I am officially registered for the Niagara Falls International Marathon. I know who to come to feed my addiction. :) Thanks for the encouragement!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 29, 2008

What Next?!!

Another race of course! I decided this weekend I need a new challenge. Running Scotiabank was fun, but I want to try something a little different, at least different to me.

The more I think about this marathon, the more appealing it is. I can get another 30 + run in this weekend, have another 3 week taper focused on short tempo runs. I also like that this course starts in one location, and finishes in another, not out and back. It is also a net downhill, and finishes by the base of one of the wonders of the world. Plus it starts in one country, and finishes in another. How cool is that? As a bonus, it's close to home, and being in late October, it ought to be somewhat cool.

Of course I could just wait and run Philly in November as planned, but I sort of want to run another race before then, and something I haven't done yet. It will be relatively inexpensive for travel expenses.

Any thoughts? Price goes up Oct 1, so I will make my decision soon.
Thanks for reading!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I'm an honourary Woo-Hoo!!

That's right blogger folks. I bet your jealous, and you should be!!

I had the pleasure of meeting Lily, her friend Ann, Marlene, and Tiger yesterday at the Scotiabank Expo. It was awesome to meet some of the people whose blogs lift your spirits daily. What a beautiful bunch of people they are! Lily is soo sweet, just like her blog reads, much like a Mother Hen. And she told us we were honourary woo-hoos!! Who can beat that?

Marlene and Tiger were also very nice, and nervous about their first marathon. I saw Marlene come in at the finish line, and her face was so full of pride and excitement. She looked amazing!! I don't think I've ever looked that good finishing. Congratulations Marlene!! You are a marathoner!! I am so happy for you!

Unfortunately I didn't see Tiger come in, so I hope she had a good race, and congratulations. You are amazing Tiger to train and run a marathon while enrolled in university full-time. I don't know how you fit it all in, but you are an inspiration.

Also congratulations to Lily and Vickie on your half marathons!!

As for me, I decided to run the half. It ran it in about 2:02:3-. Respectable, I decided I was better to sit out the full for this one. I have other fulls planned for the fall, so it is no biggy.

A picture of our blogger get together to follow. Thanks for reading!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday Photo Snap

In the spirit of Nike Mom's Photo Friday, this is a shout out to all those racing this weekend.

As for me, it looks like the full deal. The high for the day is 20oC, and it supposed to be cloudy, so I am going to run the full marathon. Have a great weekend and thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A little Marathon Inspiration

There are alot of bloggers out there that are running a marathon over the next few weeks. It is like an epidemic. I couldn't help but wonder, what keeps us coming back? We are militant in our training, and running spills into so many aspects of our lives. We run, we blog about running, and lets be honest, we dream about running. What keeps us coming back?
I found this video filmed during last year's ScotiaBank Waterfront Marathon (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), and I found my answer, yet I still can't put it in words. Watch the video, and you'll know what I mean.

Each event is special, but the essence of a marathon is there. I know you all understand. There are a few of us bloggers running this event. Its Marlene's first marathon, and I know Lily is running the half as well. Hopefully we can meet up for a post run celebration. Its still either the half or full for me, but I'll be there!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Catching up and The Four C's

Wow, its been over a week since my last post. I hope to catch up with you all soon. Its just been very busy, and I haven't had much to write about running wise. Last week I only ran twice. Gulp. I did do a quick 22K and 6K, but I am still adjusting to being back to work. Tonight I got home after 9 after a parent information night for our incoming grade nine students, so if this post lacks logic, its because I am in non-communicative mode. Perfect for blogging! :)

This week I will get my 4 runs in, although no major distance since I am tapering. The ever-flexible training plan:
Monday -6K - recovery
Tuesday - rest (ha!)
Wednesday - 6K tempo
Thursday - rest
Friday -12K tempo
Sunday -14-16K

Having a few races around the bend, I thought I could use a little mental training "tune up". Everyone who has run or trained for a marathon knows that marathons are as much mental as they are physical. I ran across this interesting article about maintaining/brushing up on your mental game.

This is the mental quality to focus on the task in hand. If the athlete lacks concentration then their athletic abilities will not be effectively or efficiently applied to the task. Research has identified the following types of attention focus:
Broad Narrow continuum - the athlete focuses on a large or small number of stimuli
Internal External continuum - the athlete focuses on internal stimuli (feelings) or external stimuli (ball)
The demand for concentration varies with the sport:
Sustained concentration - distance running, cycling, tennis, squash
Short bursts of concentration - cricket, golf, shooting, athletic field events
Intense concentration - sprinting events, bobsleigh, skiing
Common distractions are: anxiety, mistakes, fatigue, weather, public announcements, coach, manager, opponent, negative thoughts etc.
Strategies to improve concentration are very personal. One way to maintain focus is to set process goals for each session or competition. The athlete will have an overall goal for which the athlete will identify a number of process goals that help focus on specific aspects of the task. For each of these goals the athlete can use a trigger word (a word which instantly refocuses the athlete's concentration to the goal) e.g. sprinting technique requires the athlete to focus on being tall, relaxed, smooth and to drive with the elbows - trigger word could be "technique"
Athletes will develop a routine for competition that may include the night before, the morning, pre competition, competition and post competition routines. If these routines are appropriately structured then they can prove a useful aid to concentration.
Confidence results from the comparison an athlete makes between the goal and their ability. The athlete will have self-confidence if they believe they can achieve their goal. (Comes back to a quote of mine - "You only achieve what you believe").
When an athlete has self confidence they will tend to: persevere even when things are not going to plan, show enthusiasm, be positive in their approach and take their share of the responsibility in success and fail.
To improve their self confidence, an athlete can use
mental imagery to:
visualise previous good performance to remind them of the look and feel
imagine various scenarios and how they will cope with them

Identifying when an athlete feels a particular emotion and understanding the reason for the feelings is an important stage of helping an athlete gain emotional control. An athlete's ability to maintain control of their emotions in the face of adversity and remain positive is essential to successful performance. Two emotions that are often associated with poor performance are anxiety and anger.
Anxiety comes in two forms - Physical (butterflies, sweating, nausea, needing the toilet) and Mental (worry, negative thoughts, confusion, lack of concentration).
Relaxation is a technique that can be used to reduce anxiety.
When an athlete becomes angry, the cause of the anger often becomes the focus of attention. This then leads to a lack of concentration on the task, performance deteriorates and confidence in ability is lost which fuels the anger - a slippery slope to failure.
Sports performance depends on the athlete being fully committed to numerous goals over many years. In competition with these goals the athlete will have many aspects of daily life to manage. The many competing interests and commitments include work, studies, family/partner, friends, social life and other hobbies/sports
Within the athlete's sport, commitment can be undermined by:
a perceived lack of progress or improvement
not being sufficiently involved in developing the training program
not understanding the objectives of the training program
lack of enjoyment
anxiety about performance - competition
becoming bored
coach athlete not working as a team
lack of commitment by other athletes
Setting goals with the athlete will raise their feelings of value, give them joint ownership of the goals and therefore become more committed to achieving them. All goals should be
Many people (coach, medical support team, manager, friends, etc) can contribute to an athlete's levels of commitment with appropriate levels of support and positive feedback, especially during times of injury, illness and poor performance.

Some food for thought. I think the 4 C's will be my mantra through my races. Thanks for reading

Monday, September 8, 2008

Race Attire

I got my long run (30.5K) in this past Sunday. It was a bit of a struggle since I was still recovering from Quebec, but I managed to hammer it out. I did what I call a "hybrid" run. A bit of trails, road running, and even two laps on the track (I wanted to add some distance on to my run at the end). The variety helped, and today I am just taking a rest day.

Earlier in the summer, I ordered a few running skirts from runningskirts and I absolutely love them. They are soooo comfortable. I have a hard time wearing shorts now. I feel bad for the guys that they can't wear them, then again, eww! Too many images there!

I have had running skirts before, but these people make the most comfortable running skirts around. They have built in undies and the waist doesn't rub at all. I ran in one yesterday and had no chaffing.

I decided with two marathons coming up, I might as well splurge on another skirt to add to my skirt rotation. Here she is:

Gotta love the polka dots. I will get a black tank to match. A marathon is tough, so you might as well look co-ordinated during profuse sweating!!

I also have decided to get a Nike + band. Marlene has being using one now and recommends it, so look for me to post my runs in the near future. I figure it will help me keep my pace more often!! :) Now what else do I need.....

Still on the fence about whether Scotiabank will be a half or full, but I am solidering on as if I am running the full. On tap this week:

Monday: rest
Tuesday: 6k (1 mile time trial)
Wednesday: 6K recover
Thursday: 12K tempo
Friday: rest
Saturday: 6K
Sunday: 22-24K

That's all for now. I hope you all have a great week. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Race Report: One Mile Virtual Race

I ended up running my one mile virtual race on Thursday instead of Tuesday. Tuesday was back to school so being a teacher, I was exhausted by the end of the day. I came home and crashed on the couch. I woke up in a pile of drool and it was 8:00. So much for Tuesday. Wednesday will be the day! Wednesday was again a repeat couch episode, so when Thursday came, I knew I had to kick my butt into gear and get it done.

Hubs decided to partake in the challenge as well. We jogged up to our local track and I ran first and then Hubs.

I clocked in at 6 minutes, 56 seconds for 1.6km or 1 mile. I was pleased with the result. I was sure I would tank since I was tired from a busy week, and it was somewhat humid (need I say more), but I guess the Yasso's I have been working have helped. I just wanted to break 7 minutes, so I am pleased!

Hubs kicked my butt and came in at 6 minutes, 23 seconds. Not shabby, considering he didn't run all summer.

Thanks Reid for organizing this. I may repeat the race over the next few weeks to see how much I can bring my time down. I don't know about 5 min mile, but maybe sub 6:30??

Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention, right after we finished, I had a bad case of "runner's poo" Ofcourse the school was locked and we were 3K from home. I survived, but that was torture!! More so than running the mile!

I also decided not to run the 26K trail race this weekend. Hubs had to work and I just haven't felt good about my left calf/glute. Its coming along, but I was worried a race might injure it more. I do plan on running a long run tommorow. I'll aim for 32K.

Hope your running is going well. Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Welcome to September

Today ended up being 14K instead of the prescribed 24K run. Hubs and I went out at 4:00 in the afternoon and I hadn't realized how hot it was going to be today. I don't know why I am so uber sensitive to the heat these days, it just makes me feel nautious to run in it, or maybe I am still recovering from Quebec. I don't think so though, I think I just have low tolerance or I'm not eating/hydrating properly enough to deal with it. Does anyone else experience this?! Yikes. On the up side, all of the stretching and icing seems to be helping my left side issues, and I didn't even feel it today.

This weekend I may enter a trail race to get in my 26K. Check it out here. I originally debated on running the 50K, but after Quebec and my left side issues, I think I'll play it safe and just run a slower trail race, which will be perfect distance if I end up running Scotiabank marathon in a few weeks.

I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday. Happy running and thanks for reading!