Gah. Today I was feeling a bit out of control - there's a lot to do that has to happen over the next week or so...appointments (chiro, physio, final immune booster, massage), training (still have a few short runs to do), errands/clean house/prep house for family visit, last minute race prep (charge garmin/ipod, make pace bracelet, create playlist), prep Thanksgiving dinner, cook two week's worth of food (there ain't no cookin' happening next week!)...the list goes on and on. Oh yeah, and of course work...and then at the end of all this I gotta run a marathon! I was feeling out of sorts because I'm a "planner" so don't like the feeling of the unknown...so of course my trusty lists came out and everything started spilling out of my pea brain. I planned out each day and what I needed to get done, so this will be my bible until race day so I don't even have to think...I gotta just do it. I've plunked it all into my handy dandy iPhone, and will delete things off as I do them. Ahhh...I already feel better!
So a tiny bit of a problem today but nothing major...or at least I'm not gonna make it major. Back/neck went out again this morning...I think it's been a combo of not watching my body positioning and the not-so-hot bed I slept in on Wednesday night (I was in Vancouver for work...and saw a little group called Kings of Leon...woop woop!! Coldplay, I still love you the most but the Kings are pretty effing awesome), and my upper back was absolutely aching. Complete agony, I tell you. I did a bunch of self massage, stretching and put heat on it, and last night it started to feel better until I got up this morning. I could feel one of my ribs had come out of place as it unfortunately happens a lot, so I know all the telltale symptoms. Nooo! This is one of my biggest fears, as this has been so bad that I can barely get out of bed without help...so I got myself in to see my chiro today and got snapped back into place. I booked a chiro appointment for the day before the race as a pre-emptive strike just in case...I'm so totally going to keep this appointment for sure, given what happened today. And now I'm even more paranoid as M twisted her ankle earlier in the week, and her arch is feeling sore and bruised, poor thing. Le sigh.
I saw this cool video over at Jessica's blog (thanks!) the other day and had to re-blog it...it's a short documentary called Marathon Challenge done by Nova, and it follows a group of 13 sedentary people (herein dubbed Team Nova) and their journey to complete the Boston Marathon in 40 weeks. As usual, Nova does an awesome job - they go through explaining some of the basic concepts in running and what happens in the body physiologically as health improves. I loved it! So motivating.
Here's the link - it's about an hour, so go get yourself a tea and cookies and make yourself comfy.
Is it wrong that I'm looking at the weather already?
I know the weather is always wrong...but I'm praying to the weather and running gods that this forecast is right. It'd be better if it was just a titch cooler as well - but I ain't gonna get picky at this point and just want the weather to stay dry with no wind. I'm full of nervous energy - I'm trying to write down everything I need to do in the next 11 days to make sure I don't miss anything. And it doesn't help that I'm reading all these running forums, and hearing about all the horrible stories of people hitting the wall. I'm like those hypochondriacs that read about illnesses on the interweb and are convinced that they're dying. Ha! I guess at this point all I can do is trust in my training and not start out too fast...easier said than done.
I get the feelin' that I'm going to be visiting the Weather Network a LOT in the next week and a half.
So tonight I went to one of my besties B's house for this cool little fundraiser for the CIBC Run for the Cure called 'Tinis and Toes...it's kind of a networking/meet other women in business kinda thing, but what you do is you pay a fee but in return you get a mini pedi (nails trimmed, filed, polished), a pink martini (I managed to stay on the wagon and had cranberry juice, bah), a gift bag, nibblies and raffles for prizes. Coolness! I was kinda hesitant at first to do anything with my feet after my debacle with Mr. Podiatrist Man last year, but once I found out that it was basically just some filing and polish, I was in like flynn.
See my pretty pink toes? Look, I even have all my toenails! And so far, none of them have turned black...yet (knock on wood). And yes...my second toe is monstrously longer than my big toe....it's actually almost as long as my pinky. Yep, I'm a circus freak but I like to think it helps me with my push off...well... that's my story anyways and I'm stickin' to it.
Think the pink will make me faster for the marathon?
Two weeks from now at this very time I'll have finished my marathon (I can't believe how fast time is moving)...and will hopefully be stuffed full and sleepy fromThanksgiving dinner, dessert and vino. The inlaws are coming over to Vic to cheer me on and we've hosted Thanksgiving dinner every year for both our families for as long as I can remember, so I couldn't not host again this year as I didn't want to disappoint everyone. It's one of the very few opportunities that we have during the year to get everyone together from both sides, and it'll be so nice to have family around to help us celebrate (or commiserate!) on the day's events. Now before you call me nuts for making dinner after running a marathon, we're not doing a full out turkey dinner but having roast chicken, manicotti, salad and some kind of dessert...all of which is going to be prepped a few days before so all we have to do is put it in the oven and let it cook while I convalesce on the couch, sipping some port or scotch (oh sweet sweet scotch, how I've missed you so!).
Without further delay - this week's workouts:
Sunday - rest day
Strangely, I felt pretty good after the 32K run - a little sore, but not bad at all.
Monday - bootcamp
Legs and more legs...Sarge worked us over and it was all lower body. I think next Monday will be the last bootcamp I do and will do some short runs the last week before the race, just to avoid getting sore as my legs were pretty stiff on Tuesday. I had my second to last visit with my physio, and once again she's pretty happy with how I'm progressing. I had felt some pains around my knee on Saturday's run, so she did her IMS magic on me to release some of the muscles. Still thinking about what to get for her for all her help, and I think flowers with a gift card for dinner out somewhere delicious would be perfect.
Tuesday - rest day
Wednesday - 6K run outside
I know Hubs isn't going to miss these anymore - ha! I actually like running in the morning when it's so quiet and peaceful, but it's pretty dark and in some sections it's hard to see the ground...this makes me nervous as I really don't want to twist an ankle or something stupid. Seriously, I need to wrap myself in bubble wrap.
Thursday - 6K treadmill
This was hard. I really didn't feel like getting up and running, so I made a deal with myself that if after ten minutes I didn't feel like staying on, I could stop. Honestly, I was dragging my ass through the whole thing and was practically speed walking, but I did it. Barely.
Friday - bootcamp
Yowza. A tough class because I was feeling really tired and worn out, but got paired up with another girl who was faster than me so I really had to push myself to keep up. We were doing some hill work, and there was one time where I kind of had that vague I-might-puke kinda feeling. In the end I was glad though, because I ended up being pushed instead of dragging my butt like I did the day before.
Saturday - 23K21K 20K
Woot! My second to last Saturday long run. I met up with M downtown at our office as she wanted to run the half marathon route, which was perfect. I was supposed to do 23K, so a half marathon was close enough. Another one of our coworkers A wanted to join us, so once we all got to the office, off we went. We ended up running quite a bit faster than what we had been - my LSD target pace per the Running Room training is supposed to be 7:08 - 8:00/km, but I've been running in the 6:30-6:45 target range...I think for the first few kilometres on Saturday's run we ended up running around 5:45 - 6:00/km! This was a lot faster than what I was used to...and my foot started to complain and definitely was not happy with me. By the end, it was aching and it's been reminding me all day how unhappy it is with me right now so I'm icing, massaging and am going to take tomorrow off bootcamp and do a workout on the stationery bike instead to give the foot a rest. I definitely don't need anything to flare up at this point! Anyways, we ended up getting a bit lost on the route so were a bit short and ended up only doing 20K, which at this point was completely A-OK by me! Funny, I seem to get way more tired on the shorter runs than I do the longer ones...hope this bodes well for the marathon. Heh.
Holy crap. I've got an official bib number now. Shit's getting real! Apparently the number 1703 is good according to numerology...1+7+0+3 = 11, and 11 is the most mystical number of all and stands for balance, fulfillment and vision. Cool! I'll take it as a sign of good things to come.
Seventeen days left to go. I am officially shitting myself now. Don't get me wrong...I'm totally excited....but I can't believe that the day is so close! I will admit...I felt a small frisson of nervousness today when I made the realization that the race was right around the corner. So many things to think about!
So I was inspired to write this post by something that happened to me this weekend, when I had an epiphany of sorts. As I've mentioned before, Saturdays are our "off" days, where we can eat what we like within reason and if we've eaten clean the whole week...after doing the Ten Pound Challenge, I've scaled these back a lot so I'll let myself have what I want without going totally off the hook, as Guy Fieri would say. After our long run on Saturday, Hubs and I were hungry and rummaging around the house for something to eat.
Enter Lipton's Sidekicks.
We bought these awhile ago because if you've seen the commercials, we wanted Salty, the salt shaker...you had to buy a bunch of these things to get the UPC code. See, isn't he cute?!
Sooo...because we've got nothing else to eat, we boil up two packs. Keep in mind, I've never, ever had these before. OK, truthfully? These things don't taste that bad. But after the first few mouthfuls, it totally hit me...people eat these things every day. Every single day! Full of white processed flour, chemicals and other garbage, these things hit people's dinner tables more often than I'd like to think, judging by the space these things take up on the grocery store shelf. The thought of this actually made me sad, because convenient, processed crap is being eaten constantly and fed to children and people think it's OK. Hubs was grossed out, and said that we should give the remaining packages away to the food bank to which I replied that I didn't think I could as they're so devoid of nutrition or anything even remotely redeeming. I started to think back to how we used to eat - lots of processed foods, those horrible frozen chicken cutlets (which Hubs fondly called rat meat cutlets) and nary a vegetable in sight - to current days, where we focus on eating whole foods. That's when the inspiration hit me - I get asked a lot about what I eat, so thought what better than to post pics of an average food day:
A typical breakfast for me is usually either multigrain toast or bagel, with avocado or peanut butter and a bit of jam...
Or a package of Nature's Path organic hemp oatmeal mixed with soy milk, a spoonful of Skinny B or Holy Crap and some kind of chopped fruit. Occasionally I throw in some peanut butter for extra protein and healthy fats. I always have a big glass of Greens+ extra energy blend, and my daily supplements (multivitamin, fish oil, CLA, coenzyme Q10 and vitamin D)...
Around 10-ish I usually get peckish, so I have a handful of nuts...
Lunch time! Usually a whole wheat wrap with some kind of protein (chicken breast or tuna with dijon and low fat mayo), fruit and cut veggies...
Mid-afternoon I sometimes have a snack - today I had a Clif bar but most days I have a piece of fruit...
Dinner time varies a lot depending on what I've made, but today I had a homemade burger made with extra lean ground beef on a whole wheat thintini, roasted zucchini and some cherry tomatoes (from my dad's garden, no less!)...
Dessert is usually some kind of fresh fruit...strawberries today....
Yum! And yes, that's a cookbook on the table - I bought the Best of Anne Lindsay a while ago, and was perusing it during dinner:
That's it! I wholly subscribe to the theory that you are what you eat, and avoid pre-made, processed foods - whole foods are where it's at! Lean protein, whole grains and lots of fruits and veggies. Yesssss.
Can you believe it?! I have 20 more days to go....less than three weeks until the race, and I'm busting right out into taper mode at the moment. So many important things to take care of - making sure I keep myself healthy in all aspects, figuring out what my race strategy is going to be, and deciding on what I'm going to wear. I'm praying to the running gods that we have a good day - I would be happy if it was cool, dry and not windy but we'll see what we end up getting....I just gotta roll with it.
Without further delay - this week's recap:
Sunday - rest day
Yesssssss! Much needed rest day...I was feeling pretty tired and sore after the tough 29er that we had the day before.
Monday - bootcamp
Yipeeee! Glad to be back at bootcamp and see my buddy D. Sarge was teaching...and she was on fire, I tell ya. It was all legs...she took us to a hill and made us sprint or do exercises up and down...and once we finished the hill torture, we did all sorts of plyo, lunges, squats. I just knew I was going to be sore the next day.
Physio that night after work - she's pretty happy with how I'm doing, but I was tight in my back so she killed me with needles all in my middle and lower spine. I was just about to say I couldn't take any more when she finished up. Again, I know it's all for the greater good but I'm not gonna lie - I'm going to be really, really glad when I don't have to do IMS anymore!
Tuesday - rest day
Yep. I was sore all right. Ha!
Wednesday - 6K run outside
Wow, is it ever dark out now. Glad that there's only a few more weeks to go, as it's pretty hard to run when you can barely see the ground.
Thursday - 6K treadmill run
On the road again...had to head to Kamloops for work, and had looked into the place I was staying to see if they had a gym. Wheee, yes they did...and the website said it was first class. Excellent! After going to a dinner banquet that was at the conference I was attending, I headed off to the gym for a late night workout. Um....I gotta say, "first class gym" is a bit of an overstatement to say the least. The first treadmill I got on was stuck on an incline, and it kept jerking and speeding up unexpectedly. Grrrr. I moved on to the other treadmill, and luckily that was better, thank goodness. For whatever reason, the heat was just pumping in that room so I was sweating buckets, but I pounded out the run, did some pushups and tricep dips to get in some upper body work and then headed back to the room to shower up and get some sleep.
Friday - rest day
Flew back to Victoria, and was really tired after a late night and an early morning. I was going to do a quick workout, but knew I had a big run the next day and decided to save my legs and energy for Saturday.
Saturday - 32K run
OMG...so excited that this is the last really, really long run that I've got scheduled. Next week is 23K...but that actually feels short by comparison. Crazy, right? Hubs and I met up with M at 7am, and we ran the trail by our house. It was perfect weather - nice and cool - finally! I love the sunny weather, but it's pretty hard to run when temps get really warm. We ran 18K with M, did a couple more kilometres to get to 20K for Hubs, and then we went back home and I finished the remaining 12K doing the loop around my house. Now I don't know what it was - what I ate on Friday (a lot of carbs), the cooler weather or what the key factor was, but I felt good. Even...dare I say...great? When we left M, I couldn't believe how good I felt after having run for 18K. As I continued on, I did feel a slight twinge on my right knee so stopped a few times to stretch it out...but still felt like I had something in the tank after finishing the run and being on my feet for close to four hours. I've been running 6:30 - 6:45/km splits and my last few splits were around the 6:15/km range. What is up with that?! I walked back home (even up the monster hill!) and didn't crash like I have been in the afternoon. Hubs and I went out and got some dinner and rented a movie that night, and it was only at around 9-ish that I got tired so we headed off to bed early at around 10pm. I'm pretty sore today though...legs are achy, back is a bit sore, but going to concentrate on lots of stretching to stay limber.
O.M.G. It's really starting to feel real now...less than 30 days to go...eek! Like I said in my last post, I'm a bundle of emotions, but mostly I'm just really, really excited and can't wait for the day to come. Just recently I've had some support from unexpected places that's really buoyed my motivation and my spirits as I head into the final stretch. At last week's block BBQ, Hubs was talking to one of our neighbours and for whatever reason, had mentioned to him that I was training for a marathon. Said neighbour yells out to me and asks when I'm running my race, and of course everyone stops talking and all eyes turn to look at me...gaaaahhh. As I've mentioned before, I don't like to talk about it except in bloggieland...I think mostly because I don't want to seem like I'm trying to show off or brag or do the whole "lookatme, lookatme!!" thing, which isn't my style. I was immediately uncomfortable and squirmy...but he was just trying to be supportive, and said that if he wasn't busy with Thanksgiving that he and his wife wanted to come out and cheer me on. Then yesterday morning I was heading out the door to meet M for a run, and my other neighbour was just heading out the door. We were joking around because she said she was feeling guilty that I was going for a run and she was going to be sitting in a chair getting her hair done...and she said that she thought it was great and wanted to tell me how much she admired me for training for a marathon. Yes...I did get a little verklempt as I got in the car...kinda touching when people show that kind of support and it's so unexpected. It's funny, sometimes the people that you think will be supportive, aren't...and the ones that you're not expecting it from, completely surprise you. Can I say again how much I love my hood?
So here's this week's workouts:
Sunday - 6K run - treadmill
Normally Sunday is a rest day, but I was going to be travelling during the week for work so knew I wouldn't get all my workouts in if I didn't work out on Sunday. And...I was feeling pretty guilty about Week 13's lack of workouts too, so wanted to make sure I had a good week.
Monday - 30 mins stationary bike
Tuesday - 6K run - outside
Off to Terrace for a conference for work...everything went great, except the fact that I started to feel sick when I got to my hotel room (OK, and the fire alarm that went off at 1:30am and we had to evacuate but whatevs). It was another wave of the "almost sick" thing that's been happening a lot to me lately, but luckily my hotel was a five minute walk away from a Save On Foods so I trundled off and picked up a bunch of extra strength Cold F/X and orange juice. Must have worked because I felt a lot better the next day. Yesssss.
Wednesday - rest
Thursday - rest
Went for another immune booster shot from my naturopath...much needed given how I've been feeling!
Friday - bootcamp
Been ages since I've been so felt great to get back to it. I've haven't been for a few weeks for some reason or another, but sure made a difference as I really felt sore in my abs and calves. Doesn't take long to lose fitness!
Saturday - 29K run
Second to last long run before taper! Yeeeehaw. Hubs had to be downtown at 9am so we decided to run separately - he ran the loop around our house, and I did the treadmill for 13K and met M at 8am to finish off the remaining 16K. I won't lie, the 16K run was haaarrrrd...it was a hilly route and there wasn't a lot of cover from the sun so it was pretty hot...but glad that I did it because the Goodlife Victoria route has a lot of rolling hills so any training that might help me is welcome. I'm glad it's over though...heh.
Right foot felt great...but left foot was bugging me this time. Gah! We did a ton of stairs at bootcamp, so my calves were tight and I think causing a chain reaction in my foot. Will check things out at my physio appointment on Monday. One more 30+ long run to go - 32K this coming weekend, and then bring on taper time!
I can't believe it. I have 30 more days to go until the marathon. I'm excited, scared and nervous, all at the same time. It's weird because 30 days feels like such a short time and a long time, all at once...so much can happen in 30 days, but months seem to go by in a blink of an eye and I know it's going to be here before I know it. Craziness.
Again...loooove the long weekends. So far, it's been a pretty laid back weekend for us...a wedding dinner last night (replete with a lion dance, no less!) and a block BBQ with the peeps on our cul de sac. I gotta say...I love the hood I live in. Yes, I live on a postage stamp size lot...and yes, I can practically touch the house next door to me. But the area is lovely, we get deer/quail/bats/bunnies/you name it in our backyard, and we get together at least three times a year for various get togethers. We all moved in at around the same time as this was a new development, so the first year we decided to get together and do a block Christmas party, and we've never looked back since. This is a big change from where we used to live, when we couldn't sleep with out windows open at night because it was so insanely noisy and people would take my planters and smash them. Le sigh.
Sooo...this week was less than stellar for working out...
Sunday - rest day
Monday - 30 minute stationery bike
Yep, I sluffed off on bootcamp. My legs were feeling so tired from the last long run, and truth be told I just wasn't feeling it. Aaaand...D wasn't going to be there either so I decided to ride the stationery bike for some cross training to save some pounding on my legs. Now I can run for hours at a time without stopping...but I could barely keep going on the bike for more than 10 minutes at a time! Seriously...I guess that's why it's so good to cross train as your body just gets used to doing one thing.
Tuesday - rest day
Argh. Woke up feeling like ass, so we skipped our morning run. Piss me off. Had physio and IMS galore. Overall my foot feels pretty good, but there definitely is some residual soreness. I'm still collapsing in on my right leg, so she finetuned an exercise she had given me the prior week even more, to really get those muscles working and so I can get the sensation of what it feels like to not collapse inward. Seriously, it's so hard to remember all these things. I've got three more appointments...one on the 17th, another on the 24th and then the last one on the 4th of October.
Wednesday - rest day
IMS on Tuesday, so no running. Which was run as I was still not feeling great.
Thursday - 30 minutes treadmill
Finally! Feeling better so did a quick run in the morning.
Friday - 23K run
Hubs and I wanted to do our long run early so we could chill the whole weekend. We ran this all downtown, and I was dogging it...really tired, and my right leg was giving me some grief. My right shin started to burn within the first 2K and I had to stop to stretch/rub it out. Then I kept getting twinging sharp nerve type pain in my calf. Then the ball of my foot started to hurt. Bah! We ended up cutting the run short because Hubs was so tired (silly goose didn't take a gel so bonked!) and it was getting dark and it was hard to see. I think we did 21.8K altogether, so whatevs.
Saturday - rest day
Back on track this week. Feeling healthy again, as we've made sure to get lots of sleep this weekend. My right leg wasn't happy with me after the long run on Friday...the whole thing ached, so I've been stretching and rollering the crap out of it. Just three more long runs to go - 29K, 32K and 23K coming up...and then taper. I'll definitely be running pretty conservatively to save my foot/leg, as all I want now is just to get to the race. 34 more days.
It's done...23K finished. Well OK...22K because poor Hubs bonked, it was getting dark (we finished at 8:45pm) and my right leg was giving me no end of grief. Bleh. This run was by far harder than last week's, and it was shorter! I think it's a combo of evening run, not feeling great and just being tired. So tired and the run totally and completely killed any appetite we had, so we both could barely eat our dinner! No wonder elite runners are so darn skinny. We're going to our favourite spot for a nice greasy breakfast before I go clean for this last month - I'm sure my appetite will be back with a vengeance in the morning.
Funny how things run full circle. Today I started thinking about what my plans were for the race and all the preparations leading up to the big day so I could write a blog post about it. As I was about to start this post, I thought I'd check out what was happening this time last year...I was curious to see what was I going through one year ago and what was going on in my little mind. And you know what...I wrote my race plan last year on the exact same day. Freeeakky! Anyways, as I read through last year's plan, I thought damn...it was pretty good! So a lot of it was cut and paste with a few tweaks...here goes:
Starting September 5th:
- cut out alcohol completely
- no junk food (goodbye chips and meat in a tube - we'll see you in a month)
- cut out dairy
- no refined sugar
- eggs at most once a week
- supplements daily
- get at least 7 hours sleep a night
- stretch/roller legs nightly
- do exercises daily
- 2L water daily
- 1 Nuun every day for one week leading up to the race
- Hydrate min 3L/day for one week leading up to the race
- Minimum 8 hours sleep for one week leading up to race, go to bed extra early Friday night before race (apparently, the sleep you get two nights before the race is most important)
- Cold F/X, echinacea, Vitamin C and oil of oregano every day for 10 days leading up to the race
- Last physio appointment scheduled for October 4th
- Book appointment for an immune booster one week before race
- Gu gels, Espresso flavour (2x caffeine) - 1 Gu 15 mins before start, 1 Gu every 6K after
- Bring one pack of Gu Chomps (just in case I need a pick me up without needing to take a full gel)
- 1 Saltstick capsule at the beginning, 1 capsule halfway through (bring one extra)
- Get up in middle of night and eat small meal
- Banana and nutella before race
- Water at each aid station (approx. every 3K) - will not be wearing water belt
- Walk through each aid station
- 6:30 min/km target - this pace should mean a 4 1/2 hour finish time
- go get a big hug from Hubs and maybe cry a little bit (OK, a lot)
- massage booked for three days after race
- stuff my face full of Thanksgiving dinner, at least two helpings of dessert and a celebratory alcoholic beverage
- head to Maui one week after race - HELLZ YEAH!