Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon 2011

October 9th 2011- The Chicago Marathon!!! I will be there with several of my running friends my dad and my brother and 45000 runners in total. I have heard only good things about this race and hear it is full of spectators and tons of support.

I am super excited to do this race as it will be my dad's 50th birthday a few days after the run and it was his wish that he run a marathon with his kids, so we are making this happening and doing it BIG! Although he usually runs the Detroit Free Press Marathon (a really great race) but we thought it would be fun to go away to run and have some fun along the way.

And so the journey will start again! A summer full of long runs, tempo runs, hills and speed work. I hope this summer is kinder than the winter we have had. I know this summer I will be stronger, more confident and hopefully even a little faster. BRING IT ON!!!!!! Chicago here we come!

Gasparilla 15k Run in Sunny Tampa

It has become almost natural now for me to add a run on to any vacation. This year my friend and I decided to run a 15k Gasparilla Race along Tampa's waterfront.

The weather was perfect and such a relief after the hellish Canadian winter we have had this year. It was a really nice run, completely flat, great scenery, plenty of water stops and an awesome expo. We both really enjoyed ourselves.
This race was a really great ego booster for me. As I have focused on getting stronger and faster since the Marathon in September 2010, it was nice to see results. My time was 1:36:47, which is definitely a PB and it rocked my already ambitious goal of 1:40. My pace was 6:27 which is really good for me. I hope to see more results like these in the weeks to come. Our pace has been slower because of the massive amount of snow we have gotten this winter so it is awesome to see numbers like this. The Garmin was also really helpful. I love knowing my pace and how far I am in the run, it makes pacing a sinch!!!

Spin Class & Body Pump

I just have to say that I LOVE spin class. I am a member at Goodlife Fitness and in January I decided that I was going to start doing Cycling class to cross train. I didn't expect it to deliver so many results. I am in-love with the intensity and the fact that the sweat just pours off you has to be a good sign. I leave feeling awesome! The results I see are the fact that hills, (which have always been a struggle for me are getting more bearable and I see physical results as well- BONUS!!. I like to do the Spin classes in the morning (6am) so I can still run in the evening.
Also added just before 2011 is Body Pump which is a class with weights. Since I have a back injury that I need to be careful about and I am not supposed to lift anything over 10lbs. Body Pump is perfect. It is low weight and a full body workout.

All in all I am trying to do two Spin Classes a week and 2 Body pump classes combined with my normal running routine. So far so good!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Goodbye 2010... Hello 2011!

As the new year approaches it is a time to reflect on the passing year and look forward to hopes and expectations for the upcoming year.

I am really happy with the progress I have made in 2010. My times have come down considerably and the high light would have to be running the Scotia Bank Full Marathon. But running has also given me great friendships. I can't imagine my life without my running girls, our friendship started with running and blossomed into much more. I feel blessed and fortunate to have them in my life.

As I look forward to 2011 I have decided that I need to have goals. I won't do as many races this year but definitely want my times to come down. I have successfully given up the headphones when running with others and I believe this has made me train a little faster and a little harder. Besides was missing out on all of great conversations.

So here it is...

My Goals for 2011:

  • I want to run a total of 1000km in the year

  • I want to run a 2:14 Half Marathon

  • I want to run a 5:25 Full Marathon

  • I want to run a 1:00 or less 10k

  • I want to run a 0:30 or less 5k

I plan on doing some cross training this year and really getting fit. My cross training will include Body Pump for strengthening and cycling in a spin class for cross training cardio. I also plan to continue to run 3-5 times per week. And of course like millions around the world I resolve to eat better this year!

So here we go, bring on 2011!!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Turkey Trot 2010

This is my second year doing the Detroit Turkey Trot. It was a tradition that my dad has shared with my brother for the last several years and now I have joined in. The Turkey Trot is on Thanksgiving Thursday and it is a really fun run. There are lots of people and lots of costumes.This was a fairly good run for me 1:01 again! I really need to get my 10k to an hour or less, definitely a goal for 2011. I only walked at the water stops and felt great the whole way.

This year we must have left later because getting into the parking took forever. My dad ended up dropping us off and he went to park. he missed the start and started with the walkers and just ran on. My Garmin worked fine this time and it was nice to see my pace.

The Detroit Free Press Half Marathon

Ok so I am a tad behind in keeping up with my blog.

However, October 18th, 2010 I ran the Detroit Free Press Half Marathon with my dad and my brother. It turned out to be a great race with a PB but it didn't start out so great.

It was a very early start to the day with a 4:30am wake up call and a 7am start time. Having completed the marathon just a few short weeks ago I was not expecting much from this race, other than a really neat experience. My dad has ran the Detroit Marathon for year and more recently it has become a tradition of running something at the Detroit Marathon. Last year we ran the relay and this year the half. One of these years I am sure it will be the Full. Anyway, I had just bought the Garmin watch and I was super excited to use it to help pace myself, something I have never done. However, at the start line my watch froze I could do nothing and i was mad. I was mad that I didn't have a thing to use to time my walk breaks or anything to keep me on pace. I was also mad that I had spend $300+ on something that didn't work. My dad kindly handed me his watch and said he didn't need it.

I didn't run with my dad or my brother as they are much faster than I am. I had in my head that I wasn't going to get a PB today because of the congestion on the bridge. The bridge was down to one lane and at some points were were walking. I knew this ahead of time and skipped my first walk breaks. I also decided that I would run only at the water stations. It was a really nice run, the weather was perfect and it was awesome to cross the bridge and then the tunnel. Crowd support was also great on both sides. I couldn't believe that when I got to the 12th mile I realized that I could easily make it under 2:20. I actually thought there must be something wrong with my watch, but there wasn't I ended up finish in 2:18 a 6 minute PB!!! Very happy!

There is something to be said for going in with very little expectations and when everything is going wrong, sometimes it just turns out right. I honestly think that I would have slowed down if I saw my pace on the Garmin because I would have thought that I couldn't have maintained the pace. Sometimes it's just meant to be!

Monday, October 25, 2010

I am a Marathoner!!

The Scotiabank Marathon has come and gone. All that training and all the heat this summer and it is over. I can't help but feel a little sad that it is all over. However, I am thrilled that I can now call myself a marathoner.

September 26th, 2010 in Toronto was a perfect day for running. 15 degrees and sunny. Race day was full of emotions. I was crying before the start and was so happy to be doing this with my friends.

The day started at 5:00am. I didn't sleep really well because of all the nerves. I lay awake thinking: "Can I really do this?"; "Have i trained enough?"; "Will I be last?". However, I was so glad that I had talked to my dad the night before because he let me know that as long as I was resting I would be fine. He said it was normal to be nervous and not sleep well at all.

We had all our clothes and paraphernalia all ready to go and we got dressed. Getting ready also included writing the names of those I care about and those I would be running for. Writing those names was emotional and for all of those people who believed in me and always told me I could.
The marathon itself was great. I ran the first 8-10k with my two friends which was actually longer than I expected to stay with them, which was great. I slowed down a little at that point because I thought I may not be able to maintain. I then hung back with the 5 hour marathon group and stayed with them until about 17k. As the 5 hour marathon pace bunny got further away I still felt great and felt like I was maintaining a pretty good pace that I could keep up with. At 20km I saw my friends boyfriend and he took my picture and ran along side me. I felt great at this point. a few moments later my dad called my name and encouraged me. My husband and my mum were right behind my dad and the encouragement at that point was awesome. I felt confident and strong. At about 23k I saw my two friends come around the turn around point they were probably at 25k. It was great to see them and cheer each other on. At 30k I was feeling good but I hated the long turn around in the beaches. The problem was when we hit 30k we could see the 35k marker and at this point it seemed soooo far away. I hit the 30k mark at 3:44 which was pretty good and a 20min improvement over my Midsummer Night Run race in August. I persevered through the annoying turnaround point. I know at the 33k mark I started to slow down and take extra long walk breaks. At 35k I was supposed to see my family, but they were at 36k and I was a bit miserable. My shoulders hurt and I just felt that the 6km that were left were so far away. I handed my water belt to my family and took a few jelly beans and told them I would see them at the finish line. The last 6k were very hard, I tried to talk positively to myself but that only got me so far. The walk breaks started to get longer and longer and I think my last 5k turned out to take about an hour. I remember running along and i looked beside me and there was someone walking faster than I was running. Not pretty but I got it done. At the last 800m I saw a friend who was at Scotiabank to cheer all us all on. She held my hand and tole me I could do it. She ran right there with me and this is when the tears came. I gave her my iPod as I didn't want it to be in the pictures at the finish line. The last 200m I did on my own and heard my friends cheering me on. I picked it up as usual at the finish line. I passed the finish line and it was over just like that in a few steps, I had a brief moment of tears. A few moments letter I got my medal and saw my husband mom and dad, they actually took longer to get to the finish line than!

After I met up with my family all I wanted to do was sit down but there wasn't really a place to sit. We found a chair and I sat. My dad loosened my shoe laces and I realized that all I really wanted to do was lie down. We got back to the hotel and I lied down all sweaty in the comfy hotel bed for about 20 mins. before taking a shower. The rest of the day was spent driving home to London but not without stopping for dinner. The problem with the buffet dinner was that I was not that hungry. My shoulders really hurt from slouching and running with my head down, this is something I need to work on.

It was a big deal to run this marathon for me. I really wanted my dad to be proud and i think he was. I crossed the finish line at 5:46, didn't make my "A" goal of 5:30 but at this point who cares. I finished my first marathon and I will do another one! This whole experience has been a journey, one that I will never forget and one that has changed my life forever. I now see my self differently. I believe that I am capable of more, capable of almost anything! I even may believe that I am a runner!