I spent the morning with the Running and Conditioning Clinic in the beautiful city of Pitt Meadows .
After a dynamic warm-up (conditioning) we hit the streets, the roundabouts, the pathways and then the Golden Ears Bridge. Since I missed the grand opening of the bridge last year I didn’t participate in the first run/walk across, so have been looking forward to this session for quite some time. For those who have not been across on foot yet, it is a whole lot steeper than it looks!
I apologize for not getting a picture of the brown waterfall.
Big thanks to Jake and Kathi (Mr. and Mrs. Pitt Meadows) for a terrific running route and special morning.
Today’s long run was a bit of a big deal. It was done on the road, I was alone and I had a little something in my water.
As my distance and time have started to get up there I figured that it was time to add some kind of electrolyte replacement to my water. As I am not a fan of Gatorade (several years ago I had some at a race in Kelowna and I literally ran to the finish line to hurl) or any of the other sickly sweet sports drinks on the market. I decided to look local and found something that I hoped would work with my tastes from Refresh. I chose Cranberry, and went a little lighter than their recommendations on the serving size, adding only one scoop per 750ml of water. Mikey liked it, but did not enjoy the cleaning of the camelback after.
I don’t think that I have ever done a training run until today longer than 80 minutes by myself. Why would I, I have a running group and a running partner, but today everybody had to work. I got over my loneliness pretty quickly, Chad and the boys started my off on my run, JT was not far behind and Tommy is always there when I need him.
Being alone also meant I had to run on the road. I know that I am training for a marathon on the road but I prefer to do most of my training in the trails. The trails are so much kinder to my body, not to mention prettier and I certainly don’t have to worry about jumping into a ditch because a Lordco parts car is driving way too fast and entirely too close to the side of the trail…asshole! Being on a main road also meant that I wouldn’t have to worry about running into any wildlife, although I did see a faceless beaver on the side of the road, poor little guy didn’t see it coming (ba-dum-bum), I sure hope that it wasn’t Wynona’s…k, I will stop, I was alone for most of the day.
The nearest grocery store to my house is about 12.5km away. One of my friends husbands used to tease me by saying that he saw a crazy runner running down the road that leads to our downtown core, and would say “oh, it was just Keri running into town for some groceries”. For the record I have never run into town for groceries until today. On my way back home I decided to stop in at Coopers and pick up a fajita mix package, so I would not have to drive the 25km round trip later…so Pete, this one’s for you…
D told me that once I started putting the really long training runs in, all that I would think about would be sleeping, eating and when my next run would be. D is a very wise woman.
The sleep so far has been fantastic; I have spent very few nights solving the world’s problems, the runs have been meticulously scheduled and the eating, well that has become a bit of an issue. I have spent most of the last few weeks hungry and have developed quite a taste for orange juice and have not been a fan of orange juice since the birth of my daughter.
Being a bit hungry is ok for me, but there is a fine line between hungry Keri and what my family refers to as Bitchy Hungry. There are no warning signs. Bitchy hungry happens all of a sudden, it takes over your whole person and usually does so whilest in the car. When BH rears it’s ugly head it means “I NEED FOOD NOW!” (possessed voice and Ramona RHNY eyeballs when she walked the runway in Brooklyn Fashion Week), it involves food that under normal conditions I would not eat and entails a trip through the drive-thru. As soon as the python has been fed, bitchy hungry disappears as quickly as it appeared, and you are left thinking did that really just happen? BH most recently made an appearance on the way to Thanksgiving dinner…no, I couldn’t wait.
If you have ever met someone who suffers with BH you know exactly what I describe. It’s not pretty, and this is why for the next six weeks or so I will be traveling like the mother of a toddler. My diaper bag, a gym bag, will be filled with pre-cut, bite sized pieces of fruit, veggies, pumpkin spice granola bars, fig newtons and of course orange juice. And if by some crazy chance you spot my vehicle in a drive-thru, it’s probably for the best for all parties involved that you keep moving and don’t make eye contact.
photo source: The TV Realist.com
I thought that I had written it but I know that I have said it on more than one occasion; I am going to run a marathon in 2010. Somewhere between August and Thanksgiving, double-cardio Tuesday morphed into marathon Tuesday (it may have had a little something to do with receiving D’s text “done and the medal to prove it”). Really, it had to happen, it was a matter of time, and considering there are only 10 and a bit calendar weeks left in 2010…nothing like leaving it until the last possible minute.
photo source: www.lisa-valentine.com
I have always stayed clear of marathon training. Even for someone who loves to run, four five hours is a long freaking time to run! I have also always associated marathon training with the weekend, I have a hard enough time joining the Saturday morning running group for a coffee after we run for an hour, so where would I find an extra three four hours to train? Not to mention, would my body even make it through marathon training, RA, my teaching schedule, blah, blah, blah.
As “The Bad Girls” opted not to curl this year (squashing the rumor before it even starts, we still all love each other, we just all don’t love to curl), I found that I had a little extra time on my hands. Hmmmm…tick-tick-tick (the sound of the year running out) I already have a solid long run base, I would have to use my other activities as part of my training, it would be an unconventional training plan, but it would work (this was me thinking out loud).
So how’s the plan going? After logging 3:45 minutes yesterday, today I am able to climb up and down stairs without any discomfort, my energy is great, I am hungry, craving orange juice and at the risk of being abandoned by some of my dearest friends, wondering what I am going to do in 2011.
Today was the first session of the Running and Conditioning Clinic, and it was a little like Old MacDonald’s farm. I know that there were a few who were a bit nervous of the “conditioning” part of the clinic (ah, the unknown). Each week it will be something different, some weeks it will be speed play, others hill training, but for our first session I thought that I would introduce the group to a game that I played in KPE 103. And on this farm we had several horses, dogs, cows, geese and a chicken.
After the formalities and the headcount was over, the group split into two teams (which seemed so much easier on paper), team one and team two, and I formally introduced them to Chuck the rubber chicken, coincidently also the name of the game. We moved from the parking lot to the grassy area near the beach of Whonnock Lake and the game quickly got underway.
For those playing along at home:
• To start the game, a player from team one throws Chuck as hard and as far as he/she can and screams “CHUCK THE CHICKEN”!
• Team two races to and picks up Chuck. They form a line and the person holding Chuck passes him over his/her head to the next person, who then passes him through his/her legs to the next person. This person receives Chuck and passes him over his/her head to the next person…
• At the same time as group two is passing Chuck over and under, group one forms a circle (a tight circle is much more efficient) and one person runs around the circle as many times as possible until Chuck has reached the end of group two’s line and the last person left with Chuck throws Chuck as hard and as far as they can and screams “CHUCK THE CHICKEN”!
• Team one races to and picks up Chuck. They form a line and pass Chuck over and under while one person from team two runs around their circle.
Object of the game:
• Each team must keep track of how many times they ran around their circle, and the first team to a specified number wins. As there were 38 people present this morning, we went with the first team to score 38 wins.
• Believe it or not this can be a very strategic (as well as ridiculous) game; where your team locates its circle has a lot to do with how quickly you will retrieve Chuck.
This is how it looked…
The game served as a quick warm-up, adrenaline and competitiveness kicks in very quickly (as we saw today…who was the meanie that plowed into Gisele?). It was also a fantastic icebreaker for those new to the group, for once you have played Chuck the Chicken you are bonded for life!
With H2H 4 weeks away, a ½ marathon on the horizon and in honour of D running her marathon tomorrow, we decided to log some distance today. So this morning 5/8 of the Milfs and Skullets met at the Ruskin Dam for a 17km trail run around Hayward Lake.
Usually when we run the Hayward loop we start at the main parking lot and run the first 5km, which is relatively flat (2 hills, you can add 2 more if you are feeling ambitious) first, which serves as a great warm-up for the next 10km, which we refer to as undulating, followed by a crazy down hill (what goes up must come down) and then a final flat (is it over yet) km back to the parking lot. We love this route because it is mostly trail, it’s beautiful, close to home and it takes you about as long to complete it as it would a fairly flat ½ marathon. To mix it up a bit, this morning we decided to get the hills over with first and finish with the flat section – it seemed like a good idea at the time.
Coming off my “yay me day” yesterday (spin, sauna, massage, sushi, nap, pedicure, take-out from Il Corsaro and a glass or two of Ruby Tuesday, one of my new fav’s), I felt pretty relaxed and ready for a couple of hours on the trail. It had been a few weeks since the 5 of us had run together so there was a lot to chat and sing about, I don’t think that I stopped laughing for the first 50 minutes (notable moments included the renaming of Conny, a shirtless hiker story and Chris belting out 80’s songs unaware of the audience behind him)!
By the time we hit the crazy downhill, my legs were pretty tired (usually at this point we would only have 2km or so to go…today we had the 2km plus the 5km flat…whose idea was this anyway?). We had also moved from 80’s to 90’s, and I joined Chris with a soulful rendition of “Santa Monica” (I enjoy singing with Chris because he adds in all of the guitar parts, as well as any relevant “yahs” and “ooo’s”, he also knows the words to EVERY song EVER).
Chris and I took the trail and the others took the road, and we met back up on the Stave Dam. You miss a lot crossing the Stave Dam by car. When you cross it by foot you do so on a metal walkway that is attached to the side of the dam. It is a bit scary because you can see through the walkway and all the way down to the water and rocks below, so if you have even the slightest height issue and look down it makes you freak out a little.
We hit the main beach and had a little paddle in the lake; even Soraiya went in up to her ankles (sorry I splashed, that wasn’t nice). I was surprised how warm the water still was and by Conny and Colin’s great finds on the beach.
Enough already, break time was over and we got back on the trail for the final 5 flat and grueling kms. There was not a lot of conversation here, the aches and pains were starting to kick in, and all I could think about was orange juice (it may have had something to do with Chris and Colin’s yellow shirts).
We finished our loop in about 2 hours. In all honesty I could have done without the last 30 minutes and the smelly dogs that we, well not all of us, pet in the parking lot when we finished, but we got our distance in and were done by 10:30am…good for us!
I went from a blue circle in August, to a published article in October!
According to my calculations, this year cold and flu season hit three weeks early. I am not an affiliate of the Centre For Disease Control or anything, I am a mother of a school age child and in my household sniffles, sneezing and coughing coincide with that special week that leads up to Halloween.
As much as I tried to fight, Cold FX and positive think my way out of getting the bug, I was hit with it last Thursday. It started in my throat and quickly made its way into my sinuses and that is where it has remained. Although I didn’t feel much like exercising, being in school for the weekend made it very easy not to be tempted to go out for a run and “sweat it out”. For the record, I am a fan of “sweating it out” but you must follow a couple of rules:
- If your cold is above your throat, go for it (make sure that you are fueled, hydrated and don’t expect to break any records), but if your cold is in your throat (when you cough it sounds like you smoke two packs a day, you sound like the “I’ve got an appointment” lady or Marge Simpson’s sisters), in your chest or you have a fever (you are sweating it out without even moving) don’t do it, and don’t do it until those symptoms are gone, really.
- If you are good to go, go for it, but go for it outside. Please do not go to the gym or to a fitness class and infect everyone around you, it’s just not nice and very poor gym etiquette.
Sick and tired of my nasally sounding voice (throat fine, chest clear, no fever), I returned to cardio after a six, I repeat six-day hiatus. Following my own rules, I hit the trails and not the gym.
This time of year the trails are spectacular. The leaves have fallen and because we have not had any major rainfall, they aren’t all icky and slimy yet, which makes them perfect for kicking while you are running (not a smart idea when you are running trail, but still fun until you accidentally kick a root or rock and trip). It also felt like mushroom fest on the trails this morning, they were everywhere; up trees, in little villages…things that you don’t get to see when you run on the road.
My plan was a 40 run, but I felt so good that I ended up doing a 60, you’ve gotta love fresh legs! I didn’t push the pace and feel fantastic; it’s so nice to be back.