Run ALL The Races

I have a problem.

A race problem.

I want to sign up for every race under the sun. When I can’t find a local race I have been feverishly scanning for ones in New York State (don’t worry Shawn, haven’t found any yet).

I have been having problems with my rotator cuff in my left shoulder so swimming has been infrequently lately, which puts my triathlon season sort of up in the air. Because of this I have been concentrating more on road races, and have tentatively come up with a race plan. I haven’t signed up for anything yet so things may change.

May 18 – 5000m track race. Weird, right? It’s $3 so why not?!

June 2 – 75km Heart And Stroke Ride for Heart – 75km on my bike!

June 15 – Triathon. Not sure if this is a go, but if it is I will probably be a baby and just do the Try A Tri again this year since my shoulder is being a bitch.

July 28 – another triathlon, sprint distance this time

August 11 – Toronto 10 miler. This would be my first 10 mile race and fit in perfectly for my fall half marathon plans

August 31 (I think) – sprint #2

September – no idea. Maybe nothing!

October 20 – take #2 at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon.

It looks kinda crazy to me! I’m really looking forward to training for this half, it was my first last year and it is a great course. Also I think I just love training and the long runs.

Who knows, maybe next year I will eat my own words and sign up for a full.

Or not.

What’s next on your race schedule?

Back In The Globo Gym–Wait, What?!

So remember (probably not, but stick with me) when I said I was taking a break from CrossFit? Well I made the break more official and joined a “globo gym”. Yes, you heard me – the dreaded globo gym.  I’ve been a member at GoodLife Fitness gyms off and on for years, and the professional organization I belong to gives us a great discount, so it was a no brainer. Yesterday I met my dad at the GoodLife he and my mom go to so I could show him some fun with free weights. He wants to start doing more strength training, and that so happens to be an interest of mine, so I was more than willing to help him out.

I’m used to my own bars and squat racks and plates with clips so it was kind of a culture shock trying to find my way around the gym yesterday, but I made it work.  We found an empty squat rack, some 45lb bars and some plates (still NO clips?? I’m still gonna do Oly lifts GoodLife, clips or no clips) and got to work.

We went over the basics – deadlift, squat (front and back), bench press, air squats and some dumbbell snatches which my dad seems to love. 

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Not too shabby for a guy who turned 60 a week ago!

There are going to be some challenges for me to try to get my workout on in a non CrossFit gym, but I am less stressed and less injured now doing things my own way.  I know I made the right decision for ME at this time, and who knows, I may find my way back to a box one day.  For now I’m enjoying spin classes, Body Pump and doing my own strength training.  Next week I will officially start a new strength program and I’ll be logging my workouts as I go, so keep an eye out for those posts.

So: Do y’all think I’m crazy for ditching my CrossFit gym for a globo gym?

Toronto Yonge Street 10K Recap

I suck as a blogger and didn’t take any pictures yesterday.  So sorry, so busy running.

As always, Canada Running Series put on a great race yesterday.  The Toronto Yonge Street 10K was only my second 10K ever but I will definitely be running this again.

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It was chilly but super sunny.  I probably overdressed (Lululmon tights, tech t shirt and arm warmers) but I didn’t notice it too much as I ran.

The plan was to stay under 165bpm HR for the first little bit and then just run (or shuffle, or whatever it is I do).  I managed to stick with it for the first 10 minutes or so before the excitement of racing caught up to me and I just started pushing.  A big difference from this race and the 5K two weeks ago was I didn’t even look at my pace.  My Garmin was set to a screen with total time, HR and calories.  It was a lot less stressful to have to guess my pace based on total time and the kilometre markers – it gave my brain something to think about other than running.

While the race is net downhill there are a few rolling hills which messed with me a little but I kept up the pace pretty good. 

At the 5K mark my total time was 31:17 which is a 3 minute PR from two weeks ago (does this really count as a PR?) and the fastest I have ever run 5K before.  And the PRs kept on coming. I know so many people run SO much faster than me, and that can get me down sometimes, but then I have to remember that this is my journey and no one else’s, so my sub 40min 6k is AWESOME for me.

Around 8K I started to fade a bit but I never gave up mentally this race.  I’d take a quick walk break, or slow down a little to catch my breath, and then it was right back to work.

The last kilometre I put the pedal to the metal and I was so close to puking.  I saw Shawn on the sidelines near the finish and I barely managed a wave.  I crossed the finish line in 1:03:39 which is a 3 min PR for me!

My only real goal going into this race was to have fun, and that I did.  I waved at everyone, high fived people and sang along to my music.  My brain was happy and I was never stressed about my pace, or my time, or how I felt.  As always I feel I could have probably pushed harder but a PR is a PR!

I will definitely run this race again – it was well organized, a beautiful course, great swag (two tech shirts and a great medal!), wonderful volunteers, and a great after party.  Running down Yonge Street was amazing, and seriously rivals running through Times Square – I know, crazy right? But Toronto is my city, and there is nothing I love more than running through its streets.

Being a digital champion and being able to run this race and meet so many people with similar interests was absolutely incredible.  I’m so grateful to have been given this opportunity.

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Feel The Moment

It seems when I have a lot to write about is when I feel like blogging least.

I don’t get the need to post about every mundane detail of my life, because, really, with my schedule I have a lot of free time that is spent cleaning or watching Les Mis (for the 3rd time) or yelling at the dogs to stop wrestling.  I also don’t understand the “I must go do something so I can blog about it” mentality that some people seem to have, either.  I don’t live to blog or blog to live, I just like to write. Sometimes.

Anyway a month ago now (holy time flew by) I ran the NYC Half Marathon.

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I had hoped for a PR, and considering how well my training had been going I thought it was a sure thing.  However I underestimated how hilly Central Park is (Harlem Hill is EVIL) and by 16km my legs just said “Nope” and my brain couldn’t talk them out of it.  My time ended up being exactly 2 minutes slower than my first half marathon, which all things considered isn’t that bad.  I also  ran the first 15-16km straight without any walk  breaks, which I have never, ever done before.  So that in itself was a HUGE accomplishment.

Still, I felt a little disappointed in myself that I couldn’t push harder at the end when things got tough.

This past weekend I ran the 5K at Harry’s Spring Run Off in Toronto. 

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It is the first race in the Canada Running Series in the Toronto area for 2013.  Now, they warn you about the hill at the end (which, quite frankly, was way WORSE than Harlem Hill) but neglected to mention that most of the course was rolling hills  Winking smile .  My legs were shot from earlier in the week and felt dead from the get go, and since I don’t usually push hard in my training my brain panicked again and I had to walk. In a stupid 5K.  I ended up with a PR regardless but I KNOW I could have gone faster if I could just shut my brain up, or shut it down, or just RUN.

My next race is the Toronto Yonge Street 10K on April 21 (the second race in the Canada Running Series).  I was invited earlier this year to be a Digital Champion for this race, which has been a really neat experience.  I did get a free race entry but I have also been able to connect with a lot of like minded people in the GTA and help build up some hype for this awesome race!

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My goal for the 10K is to have FUN.  I need to take the pressure off myself with this stupid PR business and to just run my own race.  I also need to practice getting comfortable with being uncomfortable, if that makes any sense.  So I won’t be out there just trotting along, but I want to go into this race with no time expectations beyond not finishing dead last. I’m going to enjoy the moment and run the kilometre that I’m in instead of worrying about the kilometres behind me or the ones to come.

Anyway enough of my rambling for tonight, and I promise to not take such a long break again.  I’m starting a new strength program next week and I’m excited to tell you guys all about it!

Tell me: How do you deal with being uncomfortable during a race?

Weekend Highlights

Because of my awesome job schedule I get one 5 day weekend a month, and this weekend was it!

Thursday morning my dad called me fairly early to ask if I wanted to head up to the cottage for the day with the dogs.  I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take the dogs to their favourite place ever. 

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Friday I ran errands during the day, Shawn came home, and I visited a girlfriend and her husband for drinks and gossip in the evening.

Saturday I had my last longish run before the New York Half – 10.5km of mile repeats. Some speedy numbers on the Garmin, beautiful sunshine, and a lot of puddles! I also met up with a friend for frozen yogurt at a new to me place, Menchie’s.

Sunday I headed over to the gym to cheer on some of my gymmates as they attempted 13.1 (the first workout of the CrossFit Open) and then met up with a friend and her son at the Ontario Science Centre.  I don’t remember the last time I was there, but we had a lot of fun.  Some of the science exhibits bordered on interdisciplinary art, which is something I studied my first year of university.  It was a blast playing with some of the exhibits!

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Rounded out my day with a nap & The Walking Dead while on the bike trainer.

Hope everyone had a good weekend!! What was your favourite part?

Goal Check In

I’m not a big “New Year’s Resolution” person but this year I did make some goals that I wanted to accomplish.  Some are big, and some are small, and honestly I have forgotten what most of them are.  Maybe I should print the list out and hang it up somewhere? I’d probably be more likely to actually DO them if, you know, I remembered what they were.

Let’s see where the list is at now that it is March:

Athletic Goals – I have yet to achieve any of my athletic goals haha.  However, it is only March and I haven’t run a half  marathon yet this year, and it isn’t exactly triathlon season in Ontario.

Health Goals – I haven’t lost any weight but I have lost an inch off my waist and the muscles in my calves and back are starting to look impressive.  So I’ll take it.  I’ve decided to not aim for the 6 pack because, well, I like to eat.  We have been cooking more at home and I have been more conscious of trying to eat healthy, but there are some days that this just doesn’t work.  I am finding that I am stressing less (overall) but as this is an ongoing goal I can’t exactly say I’ve accomplished it.

Life Goals – Kinda sucking at these, too.  Although I DID open my Etsy shop, finally, and actually listed a few things.  I need to get more items up and order some more ribbon, and also start listing my running headbands as well as the collars.  Only took me 2 years.

It is definitely good to check back in every once in a while with these goals so that I a) remember what they are and b) actually work on them.

How do you make it easier to remember your resolutions/goals for the year? How are your goals for 2013 coming along?

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I Broke Up With CrossFit

Okay I haven’t really.

But I am taking a break from CrossFit.

A month, at least. Maybe longer.  Over the last few months I have been less and less enthused about heading to the gym for a metcon.  I’m always happy to go throw some weights around but the workouts themselves just haven’t appealed to me.  And while before I would whine and complain about a workout but would do it anyway (suck it up, right?), this time I would just not go. Which isn’t like me.

Combine that with some uncomfortable interpersonal relationships that I still don’t understand and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. Or at least a good reason to take a break. I realize I should just get over myself when it comes to this failed friendship but the awkwardness gets me every time.

I know I’ve said it somewhere before but my love has been and always will be LIFTING.  Whether power lifting (deadlifts, squats, bench press) or my one true lifting love, Olympic lifting (clean & jerks, snatches), I’m happiest with a heavy barbell in my hands.  If I don’t return to CrossFit my focus will be a cycle of Starting Strength, followed by the Boring But Big version of Wendler’s 5/3/1 program.  After I’m thoroughly sick of powerlifting (but hopefully stronger!) I would like to follow Catalyst Athletic’s programming and workouts and focus on my Olympic lifts.

CrossFit has given me the knowledge and confidence to march into the weight room at any gym and not only be able to handle myself, but to do it correctly.  It has introduced me to a world where strong women are encouraged and celebrated.

I’m hoping this break from CF won’t be permanent. I think I’d miss it too much. 

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