28 September 2010

What's On This Week?

Well, I'm officially tapering! It's so nice to be done the long runs - the only one on the horizon is a 16km (at race pace) at the end of the week. I'm unusually calm about the race right now which is kind of freaking me out in it's own way. Ask me again in a week how I feel and I will have probably changed my mind...

We're going up to my in-laws in the Okanagan this week as Colin's on vacation. It'll be a nice 4 day getaway to do nothing but eat, sleep, run (a little) and buy fruit. I don't really need 20lbs of apples or pears, but when it's $6 for 10lbs or $7 for 20 it's a shame to turn it down. I'll just have to convince Colin to make more pies!

I won't be posting while I'm up there so here's one last plug for my CSN contest. It's $40! You can enter here until Thursday at midnight PST. The winner will be announced on Friday... it'll start someone's October off right.

Hope everyone has a great week!

25 September 2010


Selling unused sports equipment: $104.00

Finding favourite shoes in my size on sale: $119.99

Having a husband who will phone around for best price/availability
and who brings you 4 mint chocolate GU's: PRICELESS

23 September 2010

Three Things Thursday

1. It's raining. Not a big deal here in Vancouver, but I haven't had to run in the rain in AGES. Not too sure if I'll pull out the water-resistant jacket tonight since it's only drizzle. I might have to use my toque though since my ears started to hurt from the cold on my run last night.

2. Hope to have new shoes this weekend.
Really need new shoes this weekend - to break in before the big day and so I don't kill my knees with the old pair. Will be selling unused sports equipment to get the funds (unless one of you would like to be my shoe-fairy-godmother/father/parent?). When you can't remember the last time you used your snowboard or rollerblades it's time to let them go. The place I'm taking them to apparently takes used runners too - I'm sure I'll weep at the amount they'll give me for my (original price $159.99) GT-2140s, but anything is better than nothing!

3. Feel free to enter my
contest - $40 to CSN!

21 September 2010

Real Runners Do It In Compression Socks

This past Sunday marked our last LONG, long runs and Colin's first "run-in" with a bear. Scroll down to see my short blurb about his run - he's complaining that he's getting short shrift, but it's my blog. :)


At 32km my run wasn't as intimidating as the first time I did that distance, but I was still a little apprehensive about it. We had planned to meet at the store at 7:30 to carpool over to the new UBC Running Room in Vancouver as they were hosting a group run.

Problem #1: No one, and I mean no one, that I usually run with was able to make it. A bit of a surprise really. No biggie, though, I figured I'd find a bunch of people to run with once we got there.

Problem #2: Another store had also decided to host a group run so there were only a couple of stores present. The other store that made it out to UBC had planned their own run out to Richmond while we were doing the downtown tour.

Problem #3: When those of us going downtown sorted ourselves out there was no 4:15 pace group like I'd hoped. There was me, Mary from Vancouver, and Christine from Surrey. Awesome! Mary wasn't training for a marathon and only wanted to do half the distance. Christine wanted to do the full 32km, but was on her own too having only found out about the run from staff at the Richmond store a couple of days before.

So started my last long run before taper. Apparently the 23km next week doesn't qualify as long (?), but I digress.

We started the run with a few kilometres of trails. Since Mary was a local (re: not from the 'burbs) she convinced us that we should stay on the trail that paralleled the road rather than go down to the beach. It was really nice, but, man, it was hilly! She'd say, "oh, it's just a little up hill here" and then we'd find ourselves going up a super steep slope. But it was worth it. Especially since I skipped out on my final hill repeats a few weeks back.

When we got out to the beach we made a quick pit-stop at the concession - it's great to run with women who've had kids... and then were on our way. The run took us along part of the route of my last half marathon which was nice since I knew where we were going. Mary decided to turn around just before the Burrard Bridge and head back, but we carried on. It didn't kill me this time like it did in the half, but I'm pretty sure that's because we were at kilometre 12 not 18 and I wasn't racing.

After the bridge we headed down to the seawall and it was a great to be running relatively flat. There was lots to look at too. The local Aids Walk was on as well as the Terry Fox Run. I have to admit that the tents at both with signs for pancake breakfasts and snacks were very tempting! Christine and I made another pit-stop at Lost Lagoon in Stanley Park and then went the wrong way. We weren't lost by any means, but skipped a chunk of the seawall that we were supposed to do. I'm pretty sure we didn't lose any distance here and we at least missed a long light at a major intersection.

Once out of Stanley Park we were on the way "back". We still had 14km to go (so we thought, more on that later) as we headed along Denman. We'd been running for a while - I think it was around 11 - and, if you know Vancouver, you know that Denman is full of restaurants. I think the worst was that we passed a Mongolian grill place that had just heated up their grill. It smelled so good! My stomach liked my GU's, but definitely thought that real food sounded better. We hit the seawall again and crossed under the Burrard and Granville Bridges. We were both getting a bit convinced at this point that our run was going to be over 32km. We couldn't reconcile what we were supposed to have left with where we were. However, we thought we might be mistaken and carried on - because, really, at this point we couldn't do much else.

We went over our second bridge of the day (Cambie) and it started to rain a little. Thankfully by the time we went four blocks it was gone; Vancouver had missed most of the forecast thunderstorms. I think that I really would have preferred the rain to what was to come - hills. Every street seemed to be a long gradual hill. We were at the 24km mark and Christine's IT band and my feet were starting to feel it. Each time we stopped (we were doing 10 + 1s) Christine had a hard time starting again. We slowed down a little, but I don't think that really helped all that much. My feet were feeling it because my shoes are toast. They started squeaking and the padding in the forefoot was pretty flat. We made another stop at the Broadway Running Room to fill up our water and just rest.

Back on the road feeling a bit better we set off into residential areas. This isn't a run down part of town! Lovely houses, many of them restored, and quiet streets. The sun was shining and we were plodding along quite nicely. Thankfully there was yet another Running Room to visit (a necessity for me) at Alma. Once we finished there we were almost done! We were at 29km at this point and knew we'd be running long. There was no way that we were going to be finished in 3km. Unfortunately the one thing I'd forgotten about the run was the hill we'd have to go up. It was one of those hills that just kept going and going. And when I thought it was done it split at an intersection and started again. I just checked - it was 1.11km long. Really? At the end of a run? Thanks.

At this point I was close to done. Not only in reality, but physically and mentally. My feet hurt (thankfully not my knees) and I knew that I'd be going over 32km. This would be my (and Christine's) farthest run ever. Since our program doesn't call for anything over 32km I have to admit that I've always been nervous about race day. I was convinced that I'd suck for the last 10km and was really doubting my ability. So I'm very glad that we had to do 2 extra kilometres. That's right, I ran 34km/21miles. It wasn't easy and there's no way that I would have been able to run another 8km on Sunday, but I'm not so freaked out now.

We ran in to the Running Room after 4 hours and 11 minutes. I was so happy to be done. There were still some of the promised bagels (which I forced myself to choke down) and Allison from our group had brought banana-chocolate chip muffins (which I could have eaten far more than the one I had). It was actually a great run. I had good company, the weather was decent, and my confidence level went up! Now it's time to taper!

Here's my route:

So that's my run, but I wasn't the only one in the house running on Sunday. Colin decided that he'd try for a +20km run too. He's been having some IT/knee issues and was feeling better all last week. My parents came by in the morning to watch M and let Colin head out in our neck of the woods. Thankfully he hadn't left about 15 minutes earlier or he would have been caught in a cloud burst. As it was, there was already a thunderstorm warning in effect for the lower mainland. It probably wasn't the best idea for him to be running out on the dikes, but he wanted the softer surface of the trail.

As his route was a familiar one there wasn't much excitement to be had. He got rained on for a bit of the run - he and another runner gave each other sympathetic/"aren't we crazy?" looks - and then he found a friend. Click on the map below! There are a lot of blueberry fields in our area and the bears are looking to get full before the winter. Apparently the one he saw was just meandering down the path, taking his time and hadn't seen or smelled him. Now, I know that I'd be freaked out by a bear. I would probably turn around and just revise my route. Colin? Not so much. He waited for a while until the bear made it's way into the ditch/fields and was a safe distance away before carrying on. I just know that Colin's biggest regret was not having his fancy camera with him to take pictures!

The best part of Colin's run (for me anyways) is that he ran 32km! I was so shocked when I called and he told me that. I really wasn't expecting him to go for it, but he said that he felt good and kept on running. Compared to a few weeks ago that is huge progress and a major confidence boost since there was a point when we weren't sure if he'd even be able to run the marathon.

Here's Colin's route:

20 September 2010

Who Wants To Win?

I'm so excited! I get to have another giveaway!

Sean, from CSN, contacted me a while ago to ask if I'd be interested in hosting a contest. Since this is the first time I have been sought out by a company I jumped at the chance. Now if you read running blogs you've probably had a chance to check them out as there have been lots of opportunities to win gift certificates.

In case you didn't know, however, they sell almost everything! You can get items for your house like bistro sets - which would have been nice to know a couple of years ago when Colin and I were buying grownup furniture and couldn't find one anywhere - and cookware. You can also buy exercise equipment like treadmills and ellipticals if you are lucky enough to have the money and space to do so...

So here's your chance to win a $40 gift certificate*!

You can get up to four "ballots":

1. Mandatory: Become a follower or tell me you already are. +1 Entry
2. Mandatory: Click on above link (or go to CSN Stores) and tell me what you'd buy. +1 Entry
3. Link this contest back to your site. +1 Entry
4. Add me to your blogroll or tell me that I'm already on there. +1 Entry

This contest will run until midnight PST 30 September. I'll pick the winner using random.org and will announce their name on 1 October.

*(depending on item shipping may be extra)

16 September 2010

Three Things Thursday

1. I'm pretty sure my shoes are on their last legs. I came back from my last run (15km total distance w/11km of fartleks) with runners that squeaked and the cushioning under the ball of my foot felt very thin. Granted that I was running downhill for a good portion of the run, but I can only expect them to bounce back so far as they have 480km on them.

This sucks for many reasons:
  • Obviously, I need shoes to run and ones that feel good are preferred.
  • I have a 32km long run on Sunday. I will have to hope that they work out well and don't start to bug my knees.
  • I didn't get a new pair prior to my longest run before taper so when I do get new ones I won't have them broken in for as much as I would like prior to the marathon.
  • I can't really afford new shoes. I probably should have bought 2 pairs to begin with.
2. Colin has his ART appointment tonight. Hopefully it will help with his sore knee. The knee sleeve has helped him substantially (he's already planning for a +20km run this weekend), but it's a temporary solution to a bigger problem.

3. I have a contest starting on Monday. Stop by again to find out what it is!

14 September 2010

Contests Everywhere!

Except here.

I don't have anything to give away at the moment (please come back next week), but there are A LOT of contests going on right now...

Endurance Isn't Only Physical - CEP Compression Socks - Ends 17 September

Endurance Isn't Only Physical - GU - Ends 17 September

Racing With Babes - Race Day Memories - Ends 17 September

Secrets Of A Running Mom - Chica Bands - Ends 17 September

Forward Foot Strides - GU - Ends 18 September

Racing With Babes - Brooks Gift Certificate - Ends 21 September

Run To The Finish - Brooks Shoes and Shorts - Ends 22 September

The Making Of A Runner - 50th Follower Giveaway - Ends 22 September

Run, Courtney, Run - Ultimate Raffle (TNT Fundraiser) - Ends 24 September

Mom!...Honey!...Coach!...SisterRunner! - Injinji Socks - Ends 10 October

Because all the cool kids are doing it... - *10-10* Virtual Race - Ends 10 October

13 September 2010

Good News!

After 3 weeks of not being able to run more than 5km at a time, Colin went for a 10km run tonight! Yay! If only we'd known the Nike open patella knee sleeve would help so much we could have bought it earlier... maybe he would have taken water with him tonight if he had known too. It's not a total solution, but I'm very happy that it works and proud of him for keeping at it. He's got an ART (Active Response Therapy) appointment on Thursday that will hopefully help some more.

Countdown is in full-swing now: only 27 more days til race day. That's 3 long runs, people!

07 September 2010

Turnaround Tuesday: Results Edition

Tonight, I think that I had a near-perfect run. See my last post for an explanation of my 2 week slump. That all seemed to go away.

Here are the stats:

Distance: 6.19km (3.85 miles)
Time: 37:11
Average Pace: 6min/km (9:39/mile)
Weather: Sun and wind
Feeling: a little slow, but was actually sub-6 for the majority of the time. To me that equates to awesomeness. Walked up half of killer (10% grade) hill, but totally okay with it.

Best part of the run, though, was when I got upstairs and Colin told me to open the blinds. It was POURING!  Good thing I was speedy...

Turnaround Tuesday

The last couple of weeks have been an almost, but not quite, write-off for me in terms of running. I've hit a slump in my training. Since 22 August I have run a total of 4 days. That's right. 4 days. I can't say that I'm thrilled with myself for this lack of motivation.

It all started on 22 August when I ended my 29km long run with a couple of awesome blisters. I made them a bit worse by doing hill repeats on 24 August (yay ripped skin) so I was under self-imposed rest until that weekend in order to get my 32km run in.

On the 29th I had a great 32km run - see how far I've come to be able to say that - and then... nothing. I backed out of my tempo that Tuesday due to a torrential downpour, skipped 10 x hills on the Wednesday since I would have had to do them myself, and didn't run Thursday either. My last "run" was on Sunday. I was scheduled for 23km, but couldn't get my butt out of bed decided to run with Colin (who's been having IT issues of late) instead. Unfortunately that meant that we ran for about 5km before he was done and then walked 5km home.

So my training/distance for the last two weeks has been crap.

Today is the day I start fresh. No looking back and feeling guilty (well, not too much). Just moving forward and getting back on track. I'm starting with a lovely, hilly 6km tempo tonight. I had plans for speedwork tomorrow, but Colin's able to make a few extra bucks working for a friend so I'll try to get it in later this week.

And when I opened my mail today I found this lovely surprise inside:

Nothing like having the local money pit running store send you a dividends certificate! That'll pay for my GU for this weekend's long run.

05 September 2010

How do you relieve stress?

Some people exercise to relieve stress. Others bake. This is what happens when a runner comes to the conclusion that IT issues might sideline them 6 weeks before their first marathon. The runner isn't me, but my husband... you didn't think I could bake like this did you?*

Peanut Butter Cookies, Snails, Banana Bread, Blackberry Pie

* My only contribution was the little pile of Snails (pie dough/cinnamon sugar swirls).

01 September 2010

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Contest Winner!

M's car had to be in the shot too!

And the winner is...

MEGGAN from On My Way to 26.2

Please email me your address at running42km.blog [at] gmail.com and I'll get your GU out to you asap!

Thanks to everyone who entered! Stay tuned for another contest in a few weeks...

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