I just looked outside and noticed that it’s lightly snowing. I mean, like a fine dusting of snowflakes swirling around in the air. We’ve had gorgeous weather here in Calgary so I really can’t say anything negative about this. Plus it’s not really snow. Well, at least not the kind of snow we usually get here in Calgary. Anyway, let’s talk about my run yesterday, shall we?
I got up nice and early (6:30am) because I had to meet my fellow U of C Marathon Training runners at Edworthy Park (North side of the river, I parked at the South side and ran over) at 8am. I didn’t actually get out of bed until about 7:10am but I made it to the park at 7:57 right as the group began warm-ups. For breakfast I had ½ cup of gluten free Rice Krispies with unsweetened almond milk and then downed a serving of Orange Generation UCAN. As their website explains, Generation UCAN is a “SuperStarch - an all-natural, slow-releasing carbohydrate - deliver steady, long-lasting energy and help you burn fat for fuel by keeping blood sugar stable and insulin low.” I’ve struggled A LOT with blood sugar issues while running over the years so I’m always up to trying something new and hoping this helps me. Plus Meb Keflezighi uses it. I mean, if it’s good enough for Meb…
For our warm-up, we did A,B,Cs and side shuffles. The group was running for 30 minutes but I knew I needed to run for at least an hour so I broke away from them as they turned around and I continued east along the Bow River. I decided that I would run 10K, so I did. I ran the whole time and had ½ a Clif Shot Blok around km 8 as I could feel my energy getting low. It got stuck in my teeth because it wasn’t super fresh, whoops! The run was actually not too bad. Challenging enough but my leg felt good; I realized that I can run the half marathon that’s on my schedule for March 21, even if I have to walk/run the second half. After I finished, my Garmin informed me that I had reached a new PB (Personal Best, some call them PR for Personal Record) for the 5K and 10K distances: 34:08 and 1:09:17 respectively. The truth is these are not PBs for me. My PB for the 5K is something under 30 minutes and about 56 minutes for the 10K. I am obviously a bit far from those times right now and yes, I was doing a training run and not a race. However, I take a very good lesson from my newer Garmin watch congratulating me on my PBs. My initial reaction was to kind of roll my eyes and think “these are NOT PBs for me” but then I thought about it as I walked back to my car on the south side of the river. These are my current PBs and I am going to focus this year on improving upon these times.
Right now I’m not in the best running shape I’ve ever been in. I’ve got a good 40lbs more weight on than I did when I was my lightest. I haven’t been running a lot recently and I’m dealing with some really frustrating issues in my left leg. My left foot was actually in SO MUCH pain for the rest of the day. We’ve all been in a better place than we are now in some sort of way (more organized, fitter, less busy, happier, or whatever) but that doesn’t mean that we can’t take where are now and use that as a new starting point. Yes, I’m slow for me. Yes, I’m heavy for me. Yes, I’m dealing with pain and issues I’ve never had to deal with while running. But I am incredibly determined to get faster, lighter and address the tight leg muscles that are causing the pain. To accomplish these goals (look, there I go again with the goals thing), I need to remain focused on running consistently, eating clean in the right portions and being kinder to my body.
When it comes to workouts, I love the kind that makes you feel like you’re being tortured. Hmm, that sounds weird and maybe wrong but it’s the best way I can describe it. One of my favourite workout programs is Insanity. For 40-55 minutes the trainer, Shaun T, puts you through a rigorous plyometric-style workout. No weights, just your body weight. It’s insane (yes, I went there). I think one workout I cursed at Shaun T, whom I actually LOVE because he’s so awesome, seven times. That included giving him the finger. The workout is THAT hard. Did I mention that this workout is done at home and he’s on my tv? It makes you feel better to curse at him because of what he’s making you put your body through. But it’s also effective and got me to my smallest size as an adult (40lbs lighter than I am now…). So anyway, there’s a point to me gushing about Shaun T and his crazy antics. I love a workout that makes me push my body to a point that I didn’t think it could be pushed to. Funny that I’m a runner, hey?
I’m currently doing another extreme home workout and noticing that my muscles are still SUPER tight, specifically my calf muscles. As I mentioned, I’m also dealing with pain on the bottom of my left foot, which is my problem leg. It was awful yesterday and still really bad this morning even though I had rolled it on the tiger tail yesterday. I’m honestly scared to think about how it’s going to feel after the half marathon but I’m remaining optimistic. This morning I did yoga and could REALLY feel how tight my calves were during down dog. By the end of the workout I felt all stretched out, relaxed and my foot felt much less painful. I’m realizing how important the stretching in yoga is to counteract the muscle tightness that running causes. I’m going to be incorporating yoga and another program called PiYo into my cross-training routine now. PiYo is a workout that’s inspired by yoga and pilates that really works to strengthen the body with low impact moves. I haven’t sorted out how often I’ll do each type of workout but I’m thinking 5 days a week, alternating between the two, would be ideal. The yoga and PiYo workouts I have are generally 20-30 minutes each so I figure that’s completely doable most evenings. I’m really hoping that incorporating these workouts into my routine will help with the issues I’ve had in my left leg and allow me to successfully train for the Foot Traffic Flat Marathon which is on July 4 in Portland, OR.
Have you had injuries you’ve had to overcome? Or had to “start over” again with your training? How did you approach it?
Right now I am where I am. I’m only going to get better.