04 April 2012

New Place, New Name

I have made the migration (kinda, sorta) over to Wordpress.  It's a work in progress as I try to get things the way I want them so please bear with me! 

If you've made the move, too, please give me any hints/information that you think is useful!  I was pretty good on Blogger so figuring it all out again somewhere new is a bit daunting...

You can find me at my new site - a real .com, no less:

And at Twitter:

27 March 2012

Who Am I?

Don't worry, this isn't some philosophical rambling about deeply meaningful feelings...  It's more, where did I get this desire all of a sudden to really "get into" my running/fitness?  Not that I wasn't before, but I've started doing a couple of things that kind of put me at a different place than I was.

1.  Spin.  So I was scared of going, but once I was there it wasn't that bad.  Which I knew to begin with.  I guess I just don't like doing new things by myself.  Who am I kidding?  I know I don't like doing new things by myself.  Doesn't matter if it's a new job, new activity, or meeting new people.  I get all nervous and pukey feeling.  Anyways, spin was fine.  It was seriously my first attempt at cross-training!  I know that I didn't push it as hard as I probably could have, but I was getting a feel for the whole deal.  Something to work on next time.

Reason it's not me: It's cross-training.  I've avoided doing anything other than running like the plague.  I gave up on Jillian Michaels after one time as it hurt too much.  

But in this case it really is: I actually like/love the 6am class.  That is a huge shocker because I am not a morning person at all.  I'd far rather stay up exceedingly late then go to bed at a normal time.  However, there's something kind of cool about seeing the sun rise (and over the mountains to boot).  Yeah, the studio I go to has a view!

2.  Treadmill.  After my less than stellar blood lactate test results we rented a treadmill.  It sits in the corner of our bedroom and has not turned into a laundry dumping ground.  That's for the chair that sits in front of it when it's folded up - baby steps, people!

Reason it's not me: I swore that I'd never be a treadmill runner.  It just never appealed.  Why run inside when I live in such a beautiful city?  

But in this case it really is: Well, because I have to teach myself how to run again.  And it's been a godsend.  There's really nothing more demoralizing than knowing your running speed is about the same as most peoples' brisk walking speed.  Running at home only allows me to only compare me to me; which is kind of what I need right now.  

3.  Minimal Shoes.  asked for got a pair of Vibram Bikilas as a Christmas present.  I love the idea of Vibrams and, with my love of Injinji socks (both items freak Colin out as he doesn't like things between his toes), really wanted to learn how to run in them.  I've heard/read great things about them, but knew that it would take a while to figure them out.  For the last couple of months they've been sitting in a corner of my living room and have been used intermittently as slippers.  

Reason it's not me: I am a pronator.  As such, I am firmly committed to my Asics.  So much so that I am loath to change my shoes.  I have never been injured because of my shoes.  I am scared to try anything that might change that.  

But in this case it really is: Regardless of my comments above, I have been trying to be more mindful of how my feet strike, even in the Asics.  And I think that I've kind of trained myself to be more of a midfoot/forefoot striker.  I decided last week to actually wear my Bikilas for a walk on the treadmill.  And it was great!  So on Sunday I ran in them.  Again, my running is slow.  Which is perfect!  Slow in Vibrams = no pain in legs.  I was so happy after Sunday's 5km steady that I did a 6km tempo (w/1km warm up and cool down) today.  I'm wearing my compression socks just to be on the safe side, but so far I'm cautiously optimistic and will most likely be wearing them for all but my long runs.  I'm looking to get a pair of the Brooks Pure Cadence with my birthday money so I'll have another minimal option soon.

19 March 2012

It's On Like Donkey Kong!

It's here, it's here!!  

Jump up in sheer excitement and put your thinking caps on! 

Nuun is now accepting Hood to Coast applications!

You must be:

You must have:
An active blog

You can find out all the details HERE.

You have until 9 April 2012 to get your submission in.

Go.  Do it.  Now.

09 March 2012

I Need Your Help!

Please help me win a trip to Seattle!  

BMO Vancouver Marathon is holding a "Running Ritual" contest and I've obviously entered.

All you need to do is click on the link (http://ow.ly/9yY6xand like the photo on Facebook.  

Easy-peasy - the contest closes 19 March and the photo with the most "likes" wins!

My run ritual is wearing my Nuun visor on every run.  

And my race ritual is wearing my Team Sparkle skirt 
(who knew I'd like being "that girl in the skirt"?)

Thank you so much for your help!!!

07 March 2012

Wordish Wednesday: Who Knew...

...That you can rent treadmills?  

So it's not pretty, and might have a bell and a whistle if I'm lucky, but it will do exactly what I need it to: help me keep to my slow pace.  Zero excuses from here on out - at least for the next 3 months.  The hardest part will be convincing Spud that it's not for him and his toys...

05 March 2012

BREAKING NEWS: I Wanna Run {Again!}

HUGE {semi-secret} announcement from Nuun...

They are sponsoring team(s) for Hood to Coast 2012!

Application process to be announced mid-March.
Be sure to follow on Facebook {here} and on Twitter {@nuunhydration}!

Just a reminder of how truly awesome it was:

* I would have loved to have kept this to myself, but it'll be out soon enough (and everyone else is talking about it, too).  You can bet that I'll be applying again - not sure how I'll up the ante this time!

27 February 2012

The K├╝bler-Ross Model As It Pertains To Running

If I've been a bit quiet on here lately it's due to the fact that I had my blood lactate test done last week at Peak Centre Vancouver.

I actually thought that I did pretty well.  I ran until I couldn't and was proud of not falling off the treadmill.  And then I got my results.

First, a little bit of an explanation.  Now, I fully understood going into the test that I would be told to run my long runs slower.  Heart-rate based training is a pretty exact science if you get tested.  You run on a treadmill and, in my case, blood is taken every 3 minutes.  Eventually you "voluntarily" quit and where you top out is where your maximum heart rate is determined.  Your blood is then tested to determine how fast you accumulate lactate.  Obviously the less lactate the better since that's what makes you feel like you're dying when you run.

So here's why I haven't posted.  I've been processing.  And I have to admit that they way I've dealt with the results is a lot like grieving.  Hence, the reference to The Five Stages Of Grief:

Denial:  What?!?!?!  They want me to run my zone 1 how slow?  That's a walking pace! (Note: pace is personal.  My standard for slow is slow to me.  It may be way slower than yours or you might think it's super fast.  For that reason I will not be discussing my actual paces.)

Anger:   WTF?!?!?!?!?!?  Here's part of a fb email to my friend (who understands as she's been tested too): I'm going to be walking my effing long runs.  I did my run yesterday entirely in the middle of zone 2.  And that felt ridiculously slow.

Bargaining:  Maybe I can just sneak in a few kilometres in zone 2.  That won't make much of a difference, right?

Depression:  I can't do it.  I paid good money to get tested and they're telling me to freaking walk?  Why'd I even bother?  Another excerpt: Anyways, sitting here bawling my eyes out.  Maybe I should just drop down to the half.  

Acceptance:  I know how much this will make me a better runner.  I will follow it religiously so that I don't get stuck where I've been for the last couple of years.  I've seen how it's benefited those friends who've stuck with it.  It will be hard, but it will make me stronger.  

Luckily I experienced all five stages in one day.  I'd kind of sucked it up after writing the top part of this post.  I just wanted to make sure I got it down while I was feeling that way...  I'm still pretty emotionally traumatized by the whole thing to be honest.  It felt/feels like such a blow to my running "career".   I know it won't last forever, but, with an "it'll probably be 6 weeks until you see improvement" philosophy, it will seem that way!

Here's a quick and probably insufficient explanation of heart-rate based training*:
  • When you run you produce lactate.  Lactate produces fatigue.  It's that fun "I feel like my lungs will explode and legs will fall off" burning feeling.  You want to train your body to run longer before feeling that way!
  • Generally in distance running you want to stay within your aerobic threshold (zone 1) which feels like you can run all day.  
  • Heart-rate based training helps you increase your aerobic threshold by teaching your muscle fibres to eliminate lactate more efficiently.
  • We have slow twitch and fast twitch muscle fibres, as well as intermediary fibres.  The more zone 1 training you do the more you train your intermediary fibres to act like slow twitch fibres.  Peak's example is of a sink: the fast twitch fibres produce lactate to fill up your sink and the slow twitch fibres are the drain.  The more you train your slow twitch fibres the better they are at removing the lactate - it's like widening the drain so the lactate leaves your body more quickly.
  • Intermittent zone 3 and 5 work, which are higher intensity work, will help elevate your lactate threshold. 
The best news that came out of my test is that I have a lot of room to improve!  My massive zone 2 range means that I can increase very well as long as I do the runs correctly.  

About 90% of my running should be done in zone 1 to increase my aerobic threshold.  The rest of my runs (10% or once a week) should be in zone 3.  It'll take a while and a whole lot of discipline to get there, but I know that I'll see results eventually.  I'm going to have a kick-ass marathon in October!

Anyone else out there had this test done?  How'd you feel about your results?  Does it get easier/better?!?  

*This information is how I understand what I have been told by Peak.  I am not a doctor, lab tech, or scientist.  If anything is incorrect the error is mine.  

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