Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Aaaaah, Coffee Talk.  Damn, I love's where I discovered one of my favourite words of all time, verklempt.  I admit...lately I've been getting verklempt a lot...whenever I hear anyone refer to Jack Layton's passing (hoo boy, here I go, hate or meh about his politics, he was a good man), when I think about the Canucks Game 7 loss (yes people, I'm still not over it, OK?!) and today when I was talking to a coworker about the marathon. 

It all started innocently enough...she was asking me how my physio appointment went yesterday, and I said that my physio is really happy with how I'm doing and after three more appointments I should be set to race.  I don't know what it was...maybe the act of actually saying out loud that this might really happen made me get all choked up.  Sure...I've written alllll about Marathon Quest 2011...but I really don't talk about it much.  I've been so cautious and hesitant about getting ahead of myself and still remember so vividly the disappointment of last year, that I've been reluctant to discuss it with anyone.   My physio and I had a good talk about this - did I tell you she is at once, awesome and amazing?  She used to be an avid runner until she was sidelined with problems that she said were reminscent of mine, and is just getting herself back up to 30 minutes of road running after about 6 years.  She said that she is the same with her venture back into running, that she was reluctant to get too excited...just in case.  If I do this (see...being cautious again), I'm going to get something special for my physio for not only helping me complete one of the biggest and most important goals I've ever set for myself, but for being so supportive during the last year.  A lot of people may see me attempting a marathon as just the physical act of running a race, but it really encompasses so much more.  It's doing something that I never, ever would have dreamed about doing, and symbolizes how far I've come from that unhealthy (and pretty unhappy) person I was.   She totally gets that, which is so great to have that type of support system.  I'll have to do some stealthy probing to see what she likes over my next few visits with her...muahahaha.

So anyways...if you think I'm all weepy now, just wait until the weeks, days, minutes and seconds until race guys ain't seen nothing yet.  Oy vey...getting all verklempt amongst yourselves...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bugger Off Germs

The title of this post says it all, eh?  Funny how things work...yesterday I was sitting at my desk thinking "Wow...isn't this awesome?  I've run three long runs, and I'm feeling great!  I haven't been feeling sick or anything.  This time last year, I got so run down and was sick on the long weekend.  That sure was a bummer."

Famous last words.

No sooner did I get home and sit on the couch when my head started to feel funny, I felt a tickle in my nose, I had slight chills whenever I moved and my throat felt tight.  Nooooooooo!  I slammed down a bunch of Cold FX, megadosed on vitamin C, and took multiple shots of an immune booster my naturopath gave me to take for "acute episodes".  Hubs and I went to bed early, and in the middle of the night I woke up totally feeling like ass and wasn't sure if I was going to make it to work even.   And on top of that, I couldn't stay asleep because I was hungry - anyone who is marathon training ever have that happen?  After a snack, I finally fell into a deep sleep which I think was the key...when I woke up I felt a lot better.

Because I was feeling so crappy, I decided to skip my morning totally pained me to do it, but I thought you day off won't kill me, and the rest is better than pushing it. I totally feel racked with guilt, but I know it was the right thing to do. Gah. Anyways, for breakfast I made myself a protein shake packed full of fruit, Vegegreens protein powder (one serving equivalent to eating a whack of veggies) and L-glutamine (good for immune system plus muscle recovery), a Greens+ drink, and 13 pills to take (combo of my regular supplements and Cold FX/vitamin C et al as previously mentioned).

Must have done the trick, because right now I'm  not feeling too shabby.  Crisis least for now.

Monday, August 29, 2011


YES!  Forty more days to go until the marathon.  Five more long runs until taper.  Ten more bananas with nutella.  Twenty more gels.  Twelve more salt tablets.  One more pair of shoes.  And 185 kilometres left to run until I cross that finish line. 

But who's counting?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Dream Big?

Beth over at Shut Up and Run has inspired another post for me today.  She had this great post about times when she's been told that she couldn't or shouldn't do something...her first example being moving to Africa (which she didn't), and her second example of being told that Boston was not in the cards for her due to a stress fracture (which she did).  At the end of her post, she asked...

"Have you ever been told you couldn’t/shouldn’t do something you dreamed of? How did you react?"

In her mind, you can react one of two ways - believe them and prove them right, or believe in yourself and prove them wrong.  Hmmm...

The first situation that came to my mind was when I was in my early twenties, and admittedly pretty sheltered.  My parents were extremely overprotective, which is very typical of a strict Chinese upbringing.  I'd been floundering in what I wanted to do for school, and started becoming interested in nutrition (even though in hindsight, I knew nothing about it) and wanted to go to school to become a registered dietician.  This would involve me going to Vancouver, which my parents roundly and vehemently kiboshed.  They thought I should just stay in Victoria, and why did I need so much education?  Why didn't I just become a nice secretary for the government and work in an office somewhere?  Being so sheltered, young, and needing their moral and financial support...I caved and left my dietician dreams along the wayside.  This is one of my biggest regrets because as you and wellness is something I believe in so strongly now.  But then again, my life would be so much different if I'd chosen that path and likely wouldn't have met Hubs or the friends I cherish so much all is not lost, and I did come to find my passion later on in life.

The second situation that comes to mind actually happened not that long ago.  I was with a friend that I hadn't seen in many years, and somehow the topic of me training for a marathon came up.  Now I'm pretty seasoned with the "are you crazy??!" and "you're gonna blow out your knees!!" type comments, and they don't really bug me anymore because they're usually said in jest.  However, this person said "well, I mean I think it's great and all...but what on earth possessed you to do something like that?!  I mean, don't get me wrong, but why?"  Now keep in mind that the phrase "I think it's great and all" really doesn't mean that they think it's great and all...and the look on her face was one of disbelief tinged with derisiveness that I would ever even dare dream to do something like that.  Granted, this sea hag also knew me through my school years, where my athletic career was a big fat zero.  I don't know how I did it, but I managed to not drop kick her across the room and simply smiled and said that it was on my bucket list of things to do, all the while thinking in my head that I'd show her smug and self righteous ass when I post my finisher's medal all over freaking Facebook.  Maybe I'll even tag her in the photo so she sees it for sure.  Yes, I'm a little passive aggressive like that.  Heh.

Great post, Beth, you're officially my #1 girl crush.  Mwah.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Marathon Quest 2011 - Week 12 Recap

Week 12 - kinda can't believe it actually.  Three months of training done, and only 6 more weeks to go until I run the race.  It was interesting, when Hubs and I were out pounding the pavement this morning, I asked him if he liked running.  He paused...and said that while he didn't really like it, he does it because he knows it's good for him and he knows of so many people who have diabetes (which runs in his family) or other diseases that could be helped or prevented by exercise.  He then went on to say that while being active isn't a guarantee against disease, at least he's done as much as he can to prevent it and at the very least isn't helping it along. 

For the rest of the run, I started thinking about why I love to run.  To be honest, there are some days I don't really even like it.  It's not super fun to get out of bed at the crack of dawn, and to run when I'm barely even awake.  It's not super fun to run when the sun is baking down on you and the sweat is crystallizing on my skin.  And it's seriously not super fun to run when I'd rather be chilling on a patio somewhere with a tall cool one.  So what do I love then?  I love the feeling of accomplishment when I'm done.  I love when I feel my body getting stronger weekly and I'm going longer and longer distances.  I love the health benefits and the stress release I get by turning off my mind and letting my body do the work.   But most of all, I love that running has improved my quality of life a thousand fold and helped make me a happy and balanced person. 

So...enough of the psycho-analytical babble...what the heck did I do this week? 

Sunday - rest day

Monday - bootcamp

Tuesday - 6K run outdoors

Wednesday - rest day
Because I had IMS on Tuesday night when I went to see my physio, I couldn't work out.  I decided to take Thursday off completely as well to give my foot a rest (it was feeling a bit achy and sensitive) and I was sore from the IMS as she hit a couple of really tender spots.  Sometimes a little extra rest is a good thing.

Thursday - rest day

Friday - 6K run treadmill

Saturday - 32K run did this run go?  Pretty darn awesome!  Hubs and I had to get up extra early as he had to work today and he had 15K to we set the alarm for the ungodly hour of 4:45am and were on the road running by 5:15am (see above comment about not loving the early, early mornings...heh).  Strangely...even though it was so insanely early, we both felt pretty good.  It was pitch black out so we had to have lamps on our hats as we ran, but it was so quiet and peaceful at that time in the morning...all you could hear were our footsteps and see the shadows our lights were creating.   Super cool.  I was running 18K on the little 3K loop around our house, and then heading back to the lake to run the remaining 14K with my coworker, M. was so nice to have the company and the chatting made me forget how tired I was.  Well, for the most part.  The last 2K were admittedly really tough, and I was glad to have M there because honestly, I would have walked a lot more had she not been there.  I actually had to give myself a pep talk and had to say OK...2K is only 15 more minutes, which is nothing...right?   As they say, the mental game is half the battle when it comes to the marathon.

And good foot feels great!  I was so happy...I mean they were sore from all the pounding, but nothing out of the ordinary other than normal tired feet from running for almost four hours.  And it held out after three back to back long runs, so I'm thrilled.   Thrilled, I tell ya!  I'm really starting to allow myself to feel excited now...I have a fallback week next week at 23K (you know it's nuts when 23K seems short!) then peak again with another 29K and 32K and then tapering starts.  Bring on October 9th!

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Biggie

Doing 32K tomorrow morning...up at the crack of dawn to start running by 5:20am.  This'll be the farthest I've gone this training cycle...and the farthest I ran last year before I got injured.  I was thinking about how I trained last year, and I gotta say...I didn't respect the distance.  I was pretty lackadaisical in my training compared to last year, when I think about it.  I didn't fuel properly, I skipped workouts, I didn't really put the effort in that I should have.  The one thing that I'm really hoping makes a difference injury-wise is I'm training with walk breaks every 3K (which works to about 20 minutes).  A lot of people do the 10 and 1's, but the race has water stations every 3K so thought it was perfect as I plan on walking through the aid stations.

Off to bed now!  Sleep tight.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Most Awesome Sign

Saw this sign and thought it was totally awesome...I had to share.

I'll try to remember this when I'm in the last throes of the marathon and every part of my body is aching and throbbing.  Forty five more days to go, peeps.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Stitch in Time....

So we've all heard of that saying, "a stitch in time saves nine", right?  I've taken this saying to heart when it comes to marathon training, particularly when it comes to seeing my posse of paramedicals.  I've been seeing my chiro every two months and my massage therapist as often as I can...but no person more than my physio.  I went to see her on Tuesday even though there wasn't anything "wrong" per se (and had seen her only two weeks ago), but I didn't want to wait until something really IS wrong.  I'm feeling like I'm on the home stretch now, so I'm taking all the precautions I can to make sure I get to the finish line healthy.

After my great run on Saturday, my right foot was feeling pretty awesome....but after bootcamp on Monday and a short run on Tuesday, I could feel some tenderness.  Nothing really bad, more of an annoyance than real "pain".  I told my physio, and she recommended that I switch up my running surfaces (I was road running only) and the chip trail that I did with M on the weekend likely helped.  I'm still striking funny on my foot - my left side is collapsing inward to compensate for my right side but the right side is now fine and looking good.  Argh!  Will I ever get this right?  Anyways, she gave me another exercise to do, stuck me full of needles and noted that my plantar fascia is getting irritated but not quite at the "plantar fasciitis" stage.  This did strike some fear in my heart, as plantar fasciitis is a really common injury that has sidelined many a runner.  Sob.

Well dammit - I'm not letting this sideline me.  I started looking on the interweb, and saw that massage and icing the area work well...and like most things, it's better to nip it in the bud than to wait until it gets bad.  I froze a water bottle and rolled it under my arch while I sat at my desk at work and it does feel a lot better.  Hallelujah!  So going forward, I'm gonna be massaging my feet and rolling the living snot out of them daily.  And the other thing I read was that wearing non-supportive shoes (guilty) and walking barefoot (also guilty) is bad for plantar fasciitis so I've been wearing my indoor treadmill runners around the house and wore runners all day at work, even though I hate it when I see people wear runners with non-athletic wear (serious fashion faux pas in my books).  At this point, vanity < marathon, right?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Foodie at the Finish Line

Do you guys know where this is?  Three guesses.  Heh.

Photo credit:  Goodlife Victoria Marathon Facebook site

Alright you cheeky monkeys...I can almost hear your saucy answers.  Minxes, all of you.

In exactly 46 days, this is the street I'm going to be running (or hobbling or crawling) down on October 9th when I'm entering the finisher's chute, and about 27.956785 seconds away from collecting my marathon finishers medal.

A thing of beauty, isn't it?  See you all there.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Whitewater - 12 for 12

So time to turn this blog to food for just a moment!  Yep...I'm still cooking my way through Whitewater, and with the exception of one week where I didn't do any cooking and relied on the bounty that was in my freezer, I've done one or two recipes every week from Whitewater.  And I gotta tell foodies out there need to get this cookbook maintenant!  Every recipe I've tried has been hit in this house - most recently I tried the Minestrone, Pad Thai Fried Noodles, Indian Chicken Burgers and the yummy dressing from the Glory Bowl recipe.  All were delicious...even Hubs is totally impressed by the number of great recipes out of one little old cookbook.  When he tried the Glory Bowl dressing recipe, he said that we'd never have to buy store bought dressing again and that we should throw out all the crap dressings that are in our fridge.  That is high praise, people.

Minestrone - 4/5 (the only thing I felt wrong with this is that it may have needed just a tiny bit more spices.  The recipe called for 3 tbsp of fresh basil which doesn't seem like quite enough)

Pad Thai Fried Noodles - 5/5 (this was better than a pad thai that I had at a very well known thai chain in Vancouver)

Indian Chicken Burgers - 5/5 (we had these with the raita recipe and jarred mango chutney (I was going to make the chutney recipe from the book but the mangoes weren't quite ripe enough, dang.  Hubs did his "MMMMMMmmmmmm!!!" happy food sound so I know he liked these)

Glory Bowl Dressing - 5+++++/5 (zomg, this shizzle is yum.  For those of you who live in Victoria, imagine Japanese steak sauce but thinner and with a vinegar-y zing.  Actually it's very similar to Annie's Goddess Dressing (which I noticed I can't get in stores anymore, wah!).  This made me want to eat tons of salad and veggies just so I could eat the dressing.  I may even have licked my plate after.  What?)

So...I've tried 12 recipes so far, and all 12 have been fantastic.  This has trumped all my other cookbook favourites and spends more time off my bookshelf than on.  I actually find myself constantly flipping through it and thinking about which recipe to try next.

Shelley Adams, you are a frikkin' food genious.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Marathon Quest 2011 - Week 11 Recap

Deep happy sigh.  Finally...we've had some beautiful, beaa-ooo-tiful weather here in Victoria.  Sunny, warm...and the first time we've had to bring out the fan.  Now I'm not complaining...we've had a run of fairly nice weather the last few weeks - sunny and no rain, but the nights were getting a bit nippy and it felt like Fall was near.  Last night was the first night that I could actually sit outside in a t-shirt and not be too cold.  Me likey, me likey a lot.

So here we go - Week 11 recap and 48 more days to go.  Kinda feels pretty darn real now and I'm scared and excited all at the same time!  I'm starting to think about my race plan - what to eat in the weeks leading up to the race (including going 100%  alcohol and junk food free, oh help me God) and during the race itself. 

Sunday - rest day
Oh yeah baby.  I gladly took this day off any workouts, as my legs were so, so tired after doing 29K the day before.  I contemplated going to yoga, but decided to sleep in a bit and just hang about the house and take a full rest day rather than an active rest day. 

Monday - bootcamp
This was tough.  I was still so burnt out from Saturday that I could barely run in the warmup.  My breath felt laboured and my legs felt like they filled with lead.  We ended up doing hill repeats which I was actually glad to do - shorts bursts of energy were more my speed that day, rather than long sustained efforts of running.  Afterwards I was glad to have gone, even though I was really tired.

Tuesday - 6K run treadmill
Still feel burnt out, I decided to sleep in that morning and jammed on my morning run.  However, as the day wore on I felt guiltier and guiltier about missing my workout.  I had to remind myself again - I'm seven weeks from running a marathon, and now I'm starting to sluff off on the training?  I would have given my eye teeth to still be running around this time last year when I got injured.  I decided to squeeze in a run after work and kept myself on track, but only after a sound talking to from myself.

Wednesday - 6K run outside
Beautiful morning run, but I could feel some slight tenderness in my foot.  Uh oh.

Thursday - rest

Friday - bootcamp
Stairs, lines and hill sprints.  Still could feel some achy foot business.  Damn it.

Saturday - 29K run outside
Oy vey.  Hubs had to work on Saturday and needed to run 13K, so we had to get up at an ungodly hour for the weekend and start running by 5:30am so he could get to work on time.  I did my 3am carb routine (raisin scone) and decided to start experimenting with Saltstick capsules that I had bought last year to use.  I don't really like sports drinks (find they're all sugary tasting) and prefer just plain water but still need the electrolytes so this is the perfect solution.  I decided to do one capsule before the run, and one at the half way point.

After Hubs finished his run, I ran another 3K loop and hopped in the car to go meet my coworker M at Elk Lake.  M and her hubby are running the Good life half marathon, and she needed to get in a 13K run in so this worked out perfectly!  I actually didn't mind splitting the run up, as it gave me a chance to take a short break to refuel, and I think mentally breaking the run up into 16K and 13K chunks made it seem much more manageable than 29K.  M met me at 8am, and we started off on a loop and a bit around the lake.  I'm so, SO glad that we started so early because Saturday turned into a scorcher, and it was really warm when we finished at around 9:45am.  The second part of my run went by incredibly quickly, because we were chatting the whole way and time went by lickety split.  When my Garmin ticked over at 29K, I felt pretty good and not tired.  And...the biggest thing of foot felt GREAT.  No pain and no achiness.  I had purposely chosen Elk Lake as it was a chip trail so I'm sure that was a bit part of it.  I was thrilled...this time last year was when my foot gave out on my second really long run of the training cycle, and incidentally also a run with M (not M's fault though, of course...haha!) so I had some flashes of apprehension going in.

And after the run?   I can't believe it how good I felt.  Not sure if it was the 3am scone, the mid-run refueling, taking Saltstick or what the heck it was...but I felt bright and alert and came home and actually did a bunch of chores.  It was only around mid-afternoon that I started to get sleepy with the heat, and took a short nap.  Definitely liking the Saltstick though.

Next week - 32K on the schedule so it'll likely be another similar repeat of a split run.  Also have a physio appointment this week, so can't wait to tell my physio the good news!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Trusting My Training I know I said I was super happy after last week's long run, and I was thinking positively, yadda yadda?  So I wasn't being totally truthful.  Yes, I was happy and ready to do a jig because my foot seems to be behaving.  I'm still fretting though, because last week was the start of three back to back long runs, and it was around this time last year when my foot gave out on me...or in my mind, my body quit on me.  In fact, it was the second long run last year where "it" I'm kinda psyching myself out about this week's 29K run. 

Well, I WAS psyching myself out, until I read Beth's post over at Shut Up and Run, about not being your own worst enemy and second guessing yourself.  This post was so timely and really hit home for me - particularly this part:

"But if you have put in your time, don’t second guess. Get behind yourself and your mental strength will add to your physical strength.  You see, it’s true what Henry Ford said, “Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right.” So, stop your questioning. Quiet your insecurities. You deserve to be at the start line of that race. You are a runner. You have put in your time. You create your outcome. Make it a good one."

No more second guessing.  At one point this week, I even started to think about the timing of things if I had to downgrade to the half marathon if I re-injured myself.  I'm stopping that kind of thinking (and I mean it this time!), because it's a self-fulfilling prophecy, right?  I'm training hard and sticking to my training plan.  I'm eating properly this go around.  I'm working with my physio and doing my exercises.  I'm working hard on my form.  I'm stretching, stretching until I can't stretch any more.  Now I just have to let what's going on in my head catch up to what's going on with my body, cuz let me tell's fallin' behind.

So here I go...I'm trusting in my training and squelching the little gremlin that keeps nagging at me.  We'll see you at the finish line on October 9th!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Thanks D

Today was one of those days that I'm so thankful for friends, and in particular I'm so grateful for one of my oldest friends, D.  We go way, way back...back to elementary school, when we were wee little things and we became fast friends.  D lived down the street from me, and we ended up hanging out together all the way to high school.  As time went on, we did what a lot of friends do and drifted apart and would see each other sporadically through the years, but we always seemed to pick up where we left off.  With D, I can be completely candid and say it like it is, and I know there's no judgement.  A sign of a true friendship.  We ended up reconnecting around the time of our 20th reunion...neither of us loved high school, but we made a pact to go together - strength in numbers, right?  Ha!  D was also the one who introduced me to bootcamp, which I honestly credit with helping me change my life. 

The other thing that I wanted to thank D for is for keeping me accountable.  So often, it's so easy to blow off a workout when it's just me.  Every Sunday and Thursday night, I drop D an email and we make a date for bootcamp for the next morning, and it totally keeps me on track.  What they say about signing up for things with friends is so true - you don't want to disappoint the other person, so you tend to not jam.  I was seriously exhausted after the long run on Saturday, and would have totally blown this off if D hadn't said she was going this morning.  For the first bit when we were just warming up, I could barely move my legs...they felt like they'd been filled with lead and that I was towing a piano behind my back.  As we headed off to the hill that Sarge likes to torture us with, I was completely dragging my sorry ass.  But as Sarge made us run hill after hill after hill, I felt better and better and by the end of the class I was so glad that I went. 

Thanks D.  You're the greatest.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Marathon Quest 2011 - Week 10 Recap

Hurray!  Hurray!!  Hurray!!! 

We went for our long run today and I made the whole distance without my right foot giving out!  OK, to be truthful...right now I'm half asleep as I'm so tired...but if I wasn't, I'd totally be doing a jig.  I was honestly stressing out about this all week...worrying, constantly rubbing my foot and fretting that Marathon Quest 2011 was over.  Every slight twinge was the end of my running career.  Once bitten, twice shy I suppose.  I even booked a physio appointment next week just in case today's run didn't go well...but I think I'll move it to the following week and use it as a check in session to really keep on top of things.  My foot did feel a bit sensitive and tired at points, but given the distance, I expect some soreness and am going to really keep an eye on it so it doesn't get any worse.  Eight more long runs to go, eight more weeks of training left, 56 more days until I run and put it all out there on the race course.  This is getting so close and so real, I can almost taste it!

Workouts this week?  Here goes:

Sunday - rest day 6K run treadmill
Normally Sundays are rest days, but because I had a physio appointment on Monday, I knew wouldn't be able to run on Tuesday so switched things up and ran on Sunday (with IMS, you're not supposed to work out for 48 hours after).  Speaking of IMS...after the session, I noticed that I was having a much easier time keeping my leg straight.  The other week when I was doing my calf stretches, my knee was always pulling in but after IMS, it was effortless to keep it straight.  Thank goodness for IMS - what a lifesaver...the pain is worth it.

Monday - bootcamp
Sarge wasn't teaching, but the instructor we did have was awesome as well.  He's a runner, so we ran.  And ran.  And ran some more.

Tuesday - 6K run treadmill rest day

Wednesday - 6K run outdoors

Thursday - rest
Argh.  Don't know what's up but I've been having a lot of headaches lately (prompting the whole craniosacral therapy gig) and my stomach was going crazy on Thursday.  I looked back at my food diary and there was nothing out of the ordinary - I had my usual brekkie of oatmeal and afterwards my stomach was twisting and hurting all day.  I'm sure the painkiller I took for my headache didn't help my tummy either, so was hoping it would calm down so I could make it to bootcamp the next morning.  My stomach has been great ever since I cut back my dairy and eggs, so I'm completely puzzled by what's up.

Friday - bootcamp
My stomach settled a bit and felt OK in the morning, so I went to class. Luckily for me, there wasn't much running this class so I got a chance to rest my legs a bit which was awesome given the doozer long run scheduled for Saturday.   I was also glad we didn't run much because my tummy was still sore from the prior day, so I was getting a stitch and we were barely even running.  Argh.  We did lots of upper body though so my back is feeling super tight.  Dang, I need a massage.

Saturday - 29K
I've been thinking a lot about nutrition for the run over the last while, so had read online that some people wake up in the middle of the night, eat something and then go back to bed.  Brilliant!  Running in the morning after fasting for 7 hours isn't ideal, and I'd always wondered how people eat in the morning without getting cramps, so this may be my solution.  I tested it out last night - I always wake up in the middle of the night for whatever reason, so I got up, ate a scone and headed back to bed.  Before my run I did my usual food routine of bananas and nutella, and on the run I took a Gu gel, some Gu chomps and hydrated with water with some Nuun mixed in (and hydrated like crazy on Friday - 3 litres plus of water).  I gotta say - even though by the end I was really, REALLY tired, I still felt like I had some energy left.  A few weeks ago when I bonked on my 23K run, I could barely had the energy to walk home afterwards and had to stop repeatedly to get up the hill by my house - this week, no problem.  Think I'll test this out for the next few runs so I can get a food plan going, and next week will introduce salt pills.

The other thing I noticed - lately after my long runs, I've had no appetite.  None.  Like I can barely face food...and that is so unlike me!   It's worrying me a bit as I need to eat to refuel my glycogen and rebuild muscle, so I force fed myself a recovery drink (Gatorade's new G3 recovery drink with protein - like this stuff in concept, but don't like the taste...particularly when it starts to get warm) and made myself eat some lunch.  It's our cheat day too, and I barely want to even eat dinner.  We went out for dinner for Vietnamese, and after eating a bit of my rice vermicelli bowl, I just didn't feel like eating much.  However, after dinner I did manage to eat some frozen yoghourt at a new build-your-own froyo place in town called Qoola.  Heh.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Getting My Head Fixed

OK, OK...for those of you that know me in real life, you're probably thinking "it's about time!", right?  Ha!   Even though I'm sure some of you might be questioning my mental state for even attempting a marathon, it's another part of my head that I'm looking at getting fixed. 

When I went to go see my physio this past Monday, we were gabbing our faces off as usual (I love my physiotherapist to bits!!!) and she mentioned that she was going to take some courses in craniosacral therapy.  I'd heard good things about this from my naturopath as well as a friend who had said that it worked wonders for her as she suffered from some terrible headaches after a bad car accident.  My physio had had this done, and waxed poetic about it which totally piqued my interest.  I've been a longtime sufferer of headaches which started when I was a little kid, and for the most part have managed to improve the frequency and severity through diet, exercise and regular massages but still get them way, way more often then I'd like.  I'm up for anything (wait, that sounded kinda bad, tee hee!) and try to keep an open mind about alternative therapies, so I'm going to give craniosacral therapy a whirl to see if it helps at all.  From what I've heard and read, craniosacral therapy is a gentle massage of the bones in the head that helps ease stress, improve body movement and can help with neck and back pain.  My back has been pretty good this past year, but last week my rib slipped out again (ouch!) so thought this might help with that too.  Here's a blurb that I found on the interwebz: 

"Craniosacral therapy is a manual technique that manipulates the flow of cerebrospinal fluid, a fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. In cases of injury or disease, this normal flow of fluid is disturbed or restricted. The therapist applies a gentle pressure on the client to detect the disruptions in the craniosacral rhythm. Craniosacral therapy is an excellent technique used in the treatment of migraines, neck and back pain, orthopedic injuries, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, temporomandibular joint dysfunction, and neurovascular disorders."

Apparently a lot of people fall asleep when getting this done! Sign me up,

Appointment is on the 23rd of this month, so you'll be sure to hear all about it once I'm done.  Can't wait.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Crossing Fingers

I'm crossing my fingers, eyes, toes and whatever appendages I can that the foot pain I felt last Wednesday was just that I overdid it by doing my long runs so close together, rather than a repeat performance of last year's epic marathon fail.  The good news is that I went to see my physio on Monday and after hearing my tale of woe which I described in sordid detail, she feels that it's probably just overuse...I was able to run on it during the weekend and not feel any pain, and it didn't get any worse.  And I'm being proactive, rather than reactive like I was last year, and seeing her when I was already in trouble and in a lot of pain.  I'm a bit of a hypochondriac right now though I gotta admit...every slight twinge in my foot and I'm freaking out in my mind that this is it, this is the end of Marathon Quest 2011, blah blah blah.  Sigh.

Anyways, my physio did her usual review of how I was moving and said that overall, I was actually pretty good but could feel that I was really tight in my hip flexors, which was pulling my leg inward and causing a lot of muscle tightness.  As per usual, the needles came out...I always have to psyche myself up for each IMS session because it hurts like stink, but this time I actually was looking forward to the pain because I knew it would help.  It was needle that she did in in my thigh resulted in a cramping/muscle twitch that went  all the way down my leg and to the side of my foot where I was feeling the pain.  I'm hoping that this will help release the tightness so I can get the proper range of motion back.  Short run early tomorrow morning with Hubs, which will be good to test out how it's feeling...and then 29K this weekend.  Wish me (and my foot!) luck!  I'm thinking positive thoughts going forward...Marathon Quest 2011 is on!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Marathon Quest 2011 - Week 9 Recap

No excuses.  That's my new mantra until I hit the marathon!  The last few days I haven't been feeling the greatest - tired, my mind is fuzzy, and truth be told the whole foot thing is hanging out in the back of my mind.  This morning I got up and started the day off with a headache and a list of to-do's a mile long - it's been a really busy weekend with lots of socializing so I'm trying to squeeze in all the stuff that needs to get done.  Of course, on the list of to do's today was "run"...I really didn't feel like it, and kept making excuses in my head:

"I'm so effing tired."

"My foot is kinda sore, maybe I should stay off it."

"Well, I'm working out 4 days this week, it should be enough.  What's one day?  Who cares."

"My head hurts.  I don't feel good."

Then I thought about Beth on one of fave running blogs, Shut Up and Run...she has a "no excuses, stop overthinking it" approach to running.  She's out there doing a half ironman, after coming back from an injury not that long ago...and I'm whining about running 6K!  I got my ass off the couch, got the run done and proceeded to knock everything off my to do list and can go over to our friend's tonight relaxed and ready to enjoy myself.  I also had a mental talk to myself - I'm halfway through the training, and now isn't the time to start sluffin' off.

So - speaking of training, here's a recap of this week's workouts:

Sunday - rest day

Monday - rest day

Tuesday - 6K run treadmill

Wednesday - 19K run outdoors

Thursday - rest day

Friday - bootcamp

Saturday - 8K run treadmill

I'm hoping to get back on track and get over feeling like crap...going to concentrate on eating properly, hydrating lots, keeping up on the supplements and sleeping lots....sounds like a plan, Stan.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Three Things Thursday

1.  Rest Day

Took today off runs/working out and am so glad I did!  I'm still fretting a bit about the foot, but am trying to remain positive that it's no big deal and it'll all be fine.  Sometimes I forget how far the runs really are (does anyone ever drive a distance and then think holy crap, I ran that?!) and that it's a lot of pounding on the body.  I've got bootcamp tomorrow morning (will take 'er easy) and a 10K run on Saturday that I'm going to do on the treadmill as it's a bit more cushy than road running.  A little rest now hopefully will pay off as I've got some doozer long runs coming up - 29K, 29K and 32K in the next three weeks.  *silent scream*

2.  Public Service Announcement:  Please Share the Sidewalk

I don't know what it is, but I hate, when I'm running on the sidewalk or trail and people walk two or three abreast and refuse to move (I also hate this when people do this in races, so it's not just walkers who raise my ire!).  Hubs and I run next to each other if there's no one else, but as soon as we see oncoming traffic, we move single file so as to give others room to pass.  Most people do move, but for whatever reason when we ran yesterday, there were people who refused to budge so Hubs and I had to give them a wide berth and run up on the grass.  Now is it a big deal for us to do that?  No...but what irks me is the lack of consideration or courtesy.  After multiple times of people hogging up the entire sidewalk, I decided to stay the course and keep running in my lane (moving single file in front of Hubs, of momma raised me right!) and if I brushed shoulders with someone, so be it (and I was ready with some choice words if they so chose to indulge me).  I don't know what it is, but this seems to be some kind of odd North American phenomenon.  When we were in Hong Kong, which is arguably one of the densest populations in the world, I never bumped into anyone even at peak travel times.  I liken it to this unspoken understanding of body language...I remember once when we were on the subway and we had to get off but we were at the opposite side of the train from the door.  All I did was make the slightest motion to move towards the exit and everyone in our area moved inperceptibly to give us enough to pass, and as we did the space closed up behind us seamlessly.  If this were the case on the Skytrain, I'm sure it would have ended up in fisticuffs or worse.

Anyways, the message is to runners, walkers and the general public alike - please share the sidewalk and we'll all be happier.

3.  Gratitude

I know, I know...I've been sucking majorly at the gratitude thing, but I was once again reminded today of what I'm most grateful for in the world...firstly, my friends and family and secondly, my health.  I might not see friends and family as much as I like but I am so incredibly fortunate to have such a wonderful network of people who support me always.  And my health...well, it's a very, very close second.  As I said in my very first post on this blog, without your health, what do you have?   Sometimes when I hear people saying they don't have the time or want to make the effort to live a healthier lifestyle, I want to beg and plead (and maybe whine a little cuz sometimes that works too) with them that if they don't want to do it for themselves (as many people are naturally very unselfish), do it for their kids, husbands, wives or other loved ones because it's going to really suck for those people if they're left behind.  If you're not around, who's going to take care of them?  Who's going to share in their big moments?  As weird as it may sound, bulging biceps aren't the main reason why I try to maintain a healthy lifestyle (although if anyone could spare some rippling abs, I'm game!), but it's because I want to be around to enjoy what I'm most grateful for in life, friends and family.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


The title says it all - I am totally drained and sapped of energy.  Hubs is back on his Saturday shifts, so because this week is a step back week, we did our switch-it-up long run on Wednesday night gig, and pounded out 19K tonight.  I actually felt pretty good for the first 10K, but I think having such a short period of time from the last long run has really tired my body out and I was tired for the second half of the run.   When the distances were shorter I think it was OK, but having just done 26K four days ago probably wasn't enough recovery time.  I managed to get through it and get it done, but I'm actually feeling kinda queasy right now and could barely choke back my dinner.  I know, crazy right?!  Me, not want to eat?!  Hubs even tried to give me a some chocolate and I turned it down.  You gotta know there's something wrong when I don't wanna eat.

And...I'm hoping it's nothing...but I did have a bit of heel pain today in my right foot.  As soon as we finished I started to massage it and it feels a bit better.  Crossing my fingers it's nothing...and have a physio appointment booked on Monday already so good timing.  And tomorrow I'm supposed to do another run since I didn't get any workouts in on Sunday and Monday because we were in Van...but ya know what?  I'm tired, my body needs a rest so I'm going to take an extra rest day and take it easy.

Nighty night!