I Did Not DNF

I ran my sixth full marathon yesterday (MEC race series #7)… And it was brutal. I’m not going to sugar coat it, it really sucked. Like, so bad that I’m not going to even bother checking my official time. I cried approximately twice and wanted nothing more than for someone to pick me up on the route because the distance between me and the finish line just felt so overwhelmingly huge.

I’m not exactly sure what happened. I trained, albeit not super hard but I got the necessary mileage for my program in. I tapered, rested, and carbo loaded. I was in a good mood at the start, no big goals, just focused on having a solid run on a beautiful day, however the universe decided that I needed to work a little harder for that to happen.

The day started out innocently enough. I slept well, saw a beautiful sunrise on the way to the start line at the Telus Science Centre. I met up with my Oiselle teammates Leana and Ange, who were both running the half marathon. The full went off first at 9am, and with Leana and Ange cheering for me, I left the start all smiles.

IMG_1453.JPG
Being my first home city marathon, my mom promised to meet me at the 5k aid station, and my dad said he would cheer me on along the way, and ended up station at the 16/27ish aid station. Seeing them on the course was the best experience. Seriously. It was the first marathon that my Dad has seen me run, and he stuck it out for a good long time to see me both ways. I had a huge smile on my face each time, even though the second time I was feeling significantly less optimistic.

I felt pretty solid up until km 20. I was right on track for running a cool 4-hour run. The course was generally very flat but around that point we entered Bowmont park and started heading up. And up and up. And I think it was somewhere around here the wheels fell off.

I had to really pee, and had been holding it for a while, then my Achilles (a little on and off niggle) started getting angry, and the hill up to the 22.5km turn around point/aid station kicked my ass. I decided I would plod out until then, hit the bathroom and regroup. I did just than, and head back down the hill. I noticed a weird ache in my tailbone. TAILBONE. Seriously, wtf. It made running downhill very uncomfortable, but then over time (a long time) it did go away. But my legs were done. Everything just generally cramped up and hurt.

When I was at about 25km, my mind took a one-way express train to negative town. I started feeling incredibly overwhelmed. My energy felt good, but my legs ached SO BAD. It felt like I should have been 35km in, not 25. And I was on the opposite side of Calgary from the finish line. This was the first time I texted Dan.

I somewhat employed a 10/1 run/walk routine, until I saw my dad again at the aid station. He gave me a hug and ensured me I was looking good and that everyone was looking rather tired coming back. We walked for about 5 min together towards his car (which was the direction I was headed in anyway) and chatted. I was able to gather myself for a while after that for the next 3ish km, then the reality of how far I still had to go sunk in. I texted Dan for the second time, whilst bawling. I sincerely hoped he would offer to pick me up so I could throw in the towel. But all I got was encouragement to keep going. Damnit.

IMG_1455.PNG

IMG_1456.PNG
The next aid station informed me that I was just about 10k from the finish (oh ya, I forgot to mention there were no km markers, and I didn’t properly sync my watch to satellites so I was essentially running blind to distance), and that seemed still far, but slightly more doable. I kept running at 10/1 as best as I could, but sometimes my legs hurt too bad, or there would be small hills near bridges that I would have to walk.

I kept plodding along, picking points in the distance to run to then typically kept running past them. A lady on a bike (who was cheering her friend along) was particularly encouraging and chatted with me for a while, following me on her bike. Then about 5km from the finish, everything went numb. Although it didn’t last, it was a nice break from the sore everything I was experiencing.

Those last 5k would just not quit. When I got to the section that went along the zoo, the undulating hills were impossible for me to run. I walked a good section, and ran when I could (aka when it was flat). Then, a switch went off in my brain and I just stopped caring, and started feeling almost happy and enjoying myself, despite the pain. I sang along to George Micheal, complete with hand motions, while bike lady rode past me again, giving me a thumbs up (I was slightly embarrassed).

I turned out of the zoo area and aimed north towards the start/finish a the Science Centre. Plodding up, I saw two figures on a bridge, one waving at me. It was my Mom and Dan.

IMG_1457.JPG
Check out that form.

I “sprinted” (lolz) as hard as I could to them, got hugs and cheers to carry me to the end. I kept as strong as possible, knowing my next spectator, my friend Meghan, would be there.

Right around the very last bend I felt something “go” in my toe (blister related), hobbled a bit, but pushed through the last bit of pain. Meghan spotted me, ran towards me and we both crossed the finish line holding hands. It was a truly magical friendship moment!

Meg took good care of me until Dan and Mom arrived back from their post on the bridge. She helped me get my bag and presented me with a selection of beer to choose from (FUN FACT: Oiselle arm sleeves make effective beer cozies in a pinch when drinking in public post-race). I had a quick free massage, relaxed on the grass as Dan and our friend Andrew played on a nearby swing set. Later we feasted on BBQ and beer, followed by an ice bath and early bedtime.

Would I liked this run to go better? Of course. Am I upset? Not at all. I wanted to quit, I want to so very very bad, but I didn’t. And not only am I grateful (although surprised) by my own perseverance, I am grateful for those who who stuck it out with me that day. My dad for being the best mid way pick-me-up/photographer. (Dad, you’ll have to come out to another one soon so you can catch me on a “good” day 🙂. My boyfriend Dan for always making sure I follow through on what I set out to do, and always with a smile on his face. My Mom for always being a great cheerleader, and Meghan for being a great new cheerleader (you can bring me beer at the end of any race!). And of course my Oiselle ladies, Ange and Leana, for sending me off with a great start and knowing you were rooting for me. I can’t wait for our Spirit of the Marathon/wine night/cry fest. (And for the pictures I stole from you for this post).

IMG_1451.JPG
Sometimes even with the best laid plans shit goes south and you end up getting what you need out of a race instead of what you want. I guess I needed a kick in the butt to get training a bit harder (and smarter) if I want to get back to where I was a year ago. I had my time building back after last years “shinjury” (like that, mom?), so now it’s time to get serious. And I also needed the experience of having so many positives happen in a day that it outweighs one seemingly catastrophic negative. I got to run on a beautiful fall day, along the river, in a race I only paid $25 for, with some incredible friends and family, and I finished one of the hardest races of my life. What could I possibly feel sad about?

IMG_1450.JPG

Advertisements

Breakdown and Rebuilding

HAYYYOOO. How are you guys? I am well.

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about running. And not because it’s going bad, mostly because I was feeling pretty “meh” about it.

Since we (I) last spoke, I have kept up with weights and cross training while easing myself back into running. While rebuilding my mileage base, I’ve focused doing so on trails. This gives me a softer, more variable surface to train on, gets my head out of the pace obsession (because trails are MUCH different), and will get me set up for future trail races (which I’d like to do more of). All this and I get to take advantage of all the beauty my province and city have to offer. Like Nose Hill Park, a short 20 minute drive from my house:

nose hill

Lived in Calgary most of my life and have never been here before this day. Whooops.

Not Alberta (I was visiting my grandparents in Saskatoon at the time), but still a trail

Not Alberta (I was visiting my grandparents in Saskatoon at the time), but still a trail

Upper Kananaskis Lake. A flat yet exciting 16.5km trail complete with a river crossing due to a washed out bridge (thanks flood)

(source)

And since I’m on the trailporn roll already, here’s a couple hikes I’ve done recently:

Ha Ling peak, which overlooks Canmore.

Ha Ling peak, which overlooks Canmore.

And last weekend’s trip to Elk Lakes Provincial Park (hiked from Alberta to BC, camped and did a little fishing at Lower Elk Lake)

elk lake 2elk lake 3 elk lake 1 elk lake 4

Aside from all that, SeaWheeze training is going fine. Like I said, base building and keeping it mellow. I was fine with it for a while but started to feel like something was missing.

Sunday night when we got home after Elk Lakes I had a little meltdown. While I had just hiked 20km between two days with a weekend’s worth of provisions on my back, the mental toll of dealing with injury and other problems resulted in me feeling overly conscious and upset with my body. Through my injury I kept up my fitness, and since I have been working on increasing it, but I was feeling a little scared of pushing myself again in fear that I won’t be able to achieve the results I want (running wise), or that other parts of my health will take a toll. I felt frustrated, helpless and confused.

I had a good cry, a good meal and a good sleep. The next day the idea of running an October marathon started blossoming in my head. It would be enough time to train, and it just so happened that MEC is putting on their first full marathon this year, on October 19th. Their races are great because while they’re well organized and draw a good group of people, they are CHEAP and not a qualifier for anything so the pressure that I like to put on myself to run/get a specific time would be completely off. So I went for it.

mec race

And that started a chain of events…

glenbow

13.5km of trails…

fish creek

16.5km of trails…!

And a little 5k this Friday, because why not?

And a little 5k this Friday, because why not?

After I was done signing up for all the races, I got anemail from Oiselle regarding a new branch of their team called the Flock. It’s a first come, first serve membership in which you pay a fee which goes towards their athlete development fund, and in return receive a singlet, special deals, and a spot in their team. I jumped on this, obviously.

:)

🙂

And while I honestly had my sights set on joining the Vollee team (which they are not expanding this year), I have zero problem in helping them support their elite athletes. Travel costs are expensive, and Oiselle is a small company doing great things for women’s running. I have already connected to so many other amazing women running with the Flock, and if you’re reading this, I’m looking forward to getting to know you and following your journey!

My attitude from last week to this week has done a complete 180. I had to look deep and take some chances (long trail races, marathon), but setting those goals have given me some purpose and something rewarding to look forward to. In my experience, if you’re unhappy it is 100% your responsibility to make the moves to change the tide, and nothing has ever been changed by self pity.

I’ll leave you now with my new favorite song from my new favorite album:

And this one because it’s weird and I like weird:

Ciao!

The Long Run

I cannot WAIT until I no longer feel the need to talk about my shins/calves/lower legs, and I’m sure anyone who reads this or hangs out with me IRL feels about the same. I’m sorry. But when you have something this annoying and shitty it kind of takes over your thoughts/life.

Anyways. After running Icebreaker the shin pain and tight calves returned. I iced periodically all day long while at work and took another break from running. Actually, I was pretty lazy overall in the cardio department. Oh well.

This past weekend I threw caution to the wind and ran. Outside. On my legs. For 30.5 whole kilometers (19 miles for the imperially-inclined). This was my last “long run” before the race and I wanted to see if I could do it. So while visiting family in Saskatoon, I plodded along a nice single track dirt path (to minimize impact) along the river.

2014-04-13 09.07.59

My pace went from 9:00/m to 14:00/m since last 10km was fairly walking-heavy. But as my friend Tyler reminded me, that is still forward propulsion and therefore still counts. And it hurt. Not my shins (thankfully) but my butt. My butt had enough. I had forgotten what long run pain feels like.

For the remainder of the day I laid on the couch and watched my 5 year old cousin perform his interpretation of a Chinese Lion Dance. It was just as amusing as it sounds.

But I did it.

They always say that you don’t have to win the workouts, just the race. And this long run, no matter how slow it was, will help me get to my goal of finishing the marathon. I’ve got three weeks now to keep up with my running conditioning yet tapering at the same time, and of course making sure I am as healthy and pain-free as possible. This simplistic, “just finish” approach reminds me of running my very first marathon, so hopefully I’m as happy as I was the first time when I cross that finish line, regardless of how long it takes me.

An interesting side effect of this long run has been my desire to run. As hard as it was, I came back wanting more. Previously I was teetering on burnout due to frustration, but now I am looking forward to summertime races and a fall marathon. I’ve promised myself to not sign up for anything until after this race, but I think you could bet on me running the Regina Marathon on Sept 7, claiming my running redemption (hopefully).

Maybe I was a little inspired by this guy

 

Running Strike – Week 1

With week one of my running streak is complete, things are going pretty well. I’m still taking it day by day, but generally my shins (especially my misbehaving right shin) are feeling much better. Old Me at the point would’ve thought “hey! I’m feeling mostly better lets get back at it” but New Me knows that this injury likes to rear it’s stupid head again and again when you’re think you’re close to being out of the woods. New Me wants to be way the fuck away from those woods before she hops back into her running shoes.

Why two weeks? First off, that’s what my trainer recommended. I didn’t question him. Maybe I should have? Either way, it seemed like a good chunk of time since after a week I’m typically feeling “good enough to run” but something ends up hurting. Secondly, I am registered for the Glencoe Icebreaker 10k on April 6 and intend on running it. It would be nice to get a couple easy runs in before hand so I plan on giving that a try next Wednesday or Thursday.

But this strike does not mean I’m not training! Oh no. I’ve been filling the running-shaped void in my life with various other cross training, reduced-to-no impact activities.

Spin classes have taken the place of my tempo runs and track workouts, and pool running the longer, slower distances. Last Saturday I successfully completed my first long run in the pool (2hr, 45 min).

my new treadmill

(source)

If you think that “running” for nearly three hours in your neighborhood gym’s dive tank would be painfully boring, and you would be right. But it’s less painful if you procure one of these little guys.

It’s a waterproof iPod bag with a headphone jack! Don’t ask me how the headphone jack works in the water because I don’t know, it just does. It’s science.

Anyways, I loaded up my iPod with Hunger Games on audiobook (entertaining, doesn’t require much brain-thinking) and went for it. Soon enough two hours went by, and I really only dreaded the last half hour. I was hungry, had to pee, and was looking forward to my massage that afternoon. But all in all, it was good and I’m not totally dreading this Saturday morning when I get to do it all over again (but for longer).

At least I can reward myself with food after.

Another exciting thing I did this week was swim laps for the first time in… oh… two years? I did it quite a bit in University and after, but got out of the habit. I decided to go for 45 minutes, and would basically do laps of front crawl until I got tired and then I would throw in a lap of breast stroke. I swam 1500m in total. It took me a while to get into it and find my stride (stroke?) but the last 500m I had no issue holding the front crawl for several laps at a time. In the end, I really enjoyed it and hope to throw one swim workout into the mix once a week going forward.

Mentally I’m feeling pretty good. The frustration I had with being injured and the anger I had towards two small parts of my lower legs has dissolved and I’m feeling relaxed, happy and healthy. I think I stand a good chance of having an enjoyable, pain-free race as long as I keep myself fit and healthy (being injury free) even though Vancouver might not hold the PR I had previously hoped for. But who knows! I’ve never trained for a race before in this way. Anything could happen.

Good Decisions.

This week my good to bad decision ratio was slightly more intelligent.

Monday I was tired from skiing and running on the weekend, so I opted for an upper body strength workout at lunch that disabled me from effectively taking off my shirt for several days after.

Tuesday brought some morning hill sprints and physio afterwards. There are several decent sized hills nearby so I thought I’d try out a hill “loop” of sorts. The hill was about 400m, followed by a nice downhill and some flat ground before looping back to the start of the hill. After a warm up I did this 4x.

hill

top word says “DOWN”…

Wednesday I was still a bit sore from physio, so I did a slow 3 miles in the morning, and a REAL slow and crappy 5 miles after work in the cold, blowing snow. None of the sidewalks or pathways had been cleared yet and I was sliding around. My shins and calves hated me, and I told myself NO MORE RUNNING ON SNOWY PATHWAYS. Which probably means no running outside until May.

Thursday I decided to put myself on a strict indoor running diet until the snow disappears or my legs feel better (whatever comes first). Wanting to get some cardio in, I convinced Jamie to join me in aqua jogging (I insist on calling it this over ‘water running’ because it amuses me) to take the pressure of my shins. It was a surprising amount of fun! We were just two old bitties getting an impact-free workout in.

Probably looking something like this (source)

Now that I’ve done the initial pool workout aqua jogging doesn’t seem as daunting anymore, and I plan on getting more pool miles in.

Friday I had big plans of doing a treadmill tempo run followed by some more aqua jogging. But after running some errands after work and driving my mom home (because I won’t let her drive her standard car with a cast on), I was feeling rushed and running totally behind and logistically could not make it happen. Oh well. I did some strength that day, so not all is lost.

Saturday I spent most of the morning feeling sorry for myself. My shins ached in weird, new places but with less intensity, and it was sunny but cold out. All I wanted was to feel strong again and have an enjoyable run. Was that too much to ask? So around midday Dan and I ran a couple errands and I realized that it was in fact, NOT that cold out. I figured I would throw caution to the wind and give this running thing a try, even for a short one. I taped the shit out of my legs, put on some near-new Mizuno Wave Riders a friend gave me to try out* and figured I would start running and just see how it felt.

The first half mile felt a bit rusty and I took it really slow. I had no desire to push myself. Then my pace kept dropping. I wasn’t running hard, it actually felt as though I was running veeeerrrry slow, but I was pain-free so I just kept going! I charged through downtown, loving every minute of it. It was a true, transdimensional space goat run and lasted 14 whole miles at ~9:00-9:10/mile, which is A-FREAKIN-MAZING considering the pace I have been running at, how I’ve been feeling, and how little perceived effort I was putting into the run.

2014-02-01 16.05.34

stoooooooked

2014-02-01 16.05.16

Then, just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, just outside of my house a couple guys carrying flats of beer GAVE me not one, but TWO beers! For free! Day = made.

*I already own a decent selection of shoes, but since I haven’t been able to comfortably run in any of them I’m incrementally going upwards in cushioning until I find what works for me (even if that means Hokas, but I don’t think I’m there yet) so… THANK YOU LINDSAY!

Sunday my legs felt decent and for the better part of the day I felt really ambitious, thinking that later on I would complete my tempo run/aqua jog workout that I missed on Friday. When 4pm rolled around (I worked until 5), I was extremely hungry and completely exhausted so I opted for joining some friends at the Palomino for football-watching and meat-eating and helped my mom with some chores. I would’ve liked to get it in, but considering how beat I was it probably wouldn’t have been the best idea to push it.

2014-02-02 18.18.21

ribs and brisket and potato mash and salad and fries and corn fritters and honey butter and…

I ended the week with the poor decision of staying up late working on a design project, and only getting ~4 hours of sleep before Monday morning. YAY!

But then back in smart decision land, this week I joined the Canadian Running Bloggers group on Facebook. Now, typically anything that involves Facebook is not a good idea, but through joining this group I connected with a bunch of very friendly, like-minded folks. So if you’re on the ‘book, live in Canada, have a blog or just like reading them I urge you to check it out! And to the new inter-pals I’ve met on there so far, thanks for joining me in my little corner of the internet! I look forward to checking out your blogs, and I hope to meet some of you in person at some future races 🙂

Bad decisions: 2

Good decisions: 5

I would also like to give a little shout out to my dear friend Mandy who had a beautiful baby girl on Friday! She’s going to be the best mom! ❤ Can’t wait to see you two.

 

Let’s all just chill the F out here for a minute.

As a stubborn Type-A with a penchant for overdoing some things, it’s hard for me to take some unplanned time off even when it’s for my own good. But every once in a while something comes along that allows me to break schedule and only freak out mildly. This happened on Tuesday when the words “potential stress fracture” were uttered to me. Ahhhh shit.

Monday was a rest day. I had a sore throat, which freaked me out. But after some rest it went away and by Tuesday I was back to normal-ish.

Tuesday I had planned to run before my 8:30am physio appointment, but since I was feeling a bit under the weather I decided to be smart and get some extra sleep. I figured that if by chance I felt better (sickness and leg-wise) after work I would go. Apparently I forgot how brutal physio can be, and this was much worse than getting my hipped worked on last summer.

First she poked around and freaked me out by uttering the words “stress fracture” since the pain in my shins is so localized. But since the spot is more on the muscle than the bone, she figured to treat me for a couple sessions before sending me for a bone scan. She used the ultrasound machine on my shins, and since that caused no pain my PT was more confident I was fracture-free.

There. That's what hurts.

There. That’s what hurts.

Then we boiled my legs.

2014-01-21 09.07.02

And then she cupped my shins to loosen up the muscles prior to the IMS (aka needling). Which felt not bad.

And then went at it with the needles. On the top of my legs it hurt and felt some “grabbing” of the needle. But nothing could have prepared me for the flip-flopping feeling the needling produced in my calves. It was intense. So much that she had to hold down my legs to prevent them from twitching. Gross.

(I found an IMS video that I thought I would post, but watching it made me want to barf so I won’t force you to do the same. Unless you want to)

After 10 minutes of the electrode machine I was sent on my way with an appointment booked for next week. Walking was painful, but driving to work (in a standard) was worse. It felt like someone was stabbing me in the calves. No running tonight. Just some online shopping and hip flexor massages courtesy of Ashes the cat.

ashy massage

Followed by a warm cat lap compress.

Wednesdsay my calves still felt pretty tight and I felt pressure in the front of my shin, so I opted for another day of non-running and instead had a 30 min elliptical session with some easy legs (focusing on lower leg and hip stabilizers) and core. I iced pretty religiously all evening.

photo 1

What is this godforsaken contraption?

Thursday I rocked compression socks and ice packs at work.

photo(28)

Thursday also marked the opening day of Lululemon’s Seawheeze Half Marathon registration. For about a year, Jamie, Chelsea and I had our sights set on this race as their first half marathon so we were obviously pretty excited about it. And, when 10:00am PST rolled around, we jumped on the seawheeze site to register. Along with what seems to be the majority of people doing the same, we weren’t able to because the website could not handle the amount of people trying to access it, and is down until further notice. Obviously we were annoyed that this put a hiccup in our plans, and we still don’t know if we’ll be able to get a spot. But the massive twitter outrage sparked by this…. ok guys seriously (look up #seawheeze on twitter if you’re curious). We all obviously want to run this, but let’s take a step back down to reality. Yes, it’s a big goal for most people, and yes, it’s a great time part of a fun weekend. But is it really worth freaking the fuck out about something you have no control over? I’m sure Lululemon is doing the best they can with what they’ve got, same as the rest of us. I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer to reserve my energy and emotions for something that will have a bit more bearing on my life. It’s not life or death here people. It’s just a race. Take a deep breath, come up with a plan B, and maybe next time don’t have so much riding on one single event. It’s all going to be ok.

[/endrant]

Friday found out that Seawheeze registration will reopen Monday, Feb 3, but over 80% are still open so we stand a chance at getting in. I did some strength intervals at lunch. Purely Twins have some great quick workouts to do at home or the gym (depending on equipment available), and they also provide loads of food food advice!

That evening Jamie, Chelsea and I had big plans to go to the gym, but ended up eating burritos, drinking beer and playing board games instead.

Saturday I went up to Sunshine with my mom to ski around on my own while she was in a ski lesson. It was a beautiful day.

2014-01-25 10.42.09 2014-01-25 10.41.45 2014-01-25 10.41.37

The day got a bit more exciting than anticipated when my mom had a fall and twisted her ankle. Thinking it was a sprain but wanting to be sure, we went to the hospital in Banff to get it checked out. It wasn’t a sprain, but instead a talus fracture.

Since X-Rays will only show so much, she needs a CT scan to determine how far the fracture extends into the bone (which is today). Hopefully it’s minor!

Sunday I managed to get out for a 8 mile run. I played around with some KT Tape and taped my shins for the first time, and success! I definitely didn’t feel as much pressure and the muscles in my lower legs felt as though they were firing correctly again.

2014-01-26 16.22.43

Moral of the week? Sometimes things happen that we can’t anticipate, and usually these things are pretty inconvenient. I generally believe that when these inconveniences happen you have three options:

1) Make a change.

2) Remove yourself from the situation.

3) Accept it.

Notice how bitching and moaning isn’t an option? That’s because it doesn’t solve anything and just annoys everyone around you. Now take a deep breath. It’s all going to be ok!

Fifty/Eighty

Last week started off with zero shin pain. ZERO. For that I’d like to thank skiing and my 1400s. Unfortunately that didn’t last, but that whole situation seems to be getting better and I’m finally taking a bit more action in fixing it, including a physio appointment this week. Ain’t nobody got no time for shin pain.

Monday was a rest day and thank god for that, because it polar vortex-ed outside (cold, snowy, windy). I hung out at the office all day, compression socks on for good measure, just anxious to run. This is a good sign. If your brain isn’t into it, your body will have a real tough time following.

Tuesday the polar vortex turned into a chinook and I had a fantastic 7.5mile/12km run after work. Relatively painless and back in the low 9:00/mile pace that I like to keep my easy runs at. I ran in my Adios but found that the stiff forefoot wasn’t too friendly on my shins, but my achilles was behaving (thanks high ramp angle).

Wednesday morning all the snow that melted had turned into ice and made for a treacherous and slow run, with some niggling shin pain (again, sigh) despite switching back to my 1400s. At one point I fell hard onto my ass. It would’ve been funny if there was anyone around watching. That night I convinced Dan to join me on a short 5km run. He wasn’t amused by the puddles and ice. My shins didn’t feel too bad while I ran, but when I would stop for a light or if I had to walk across some ice, they would seize right up. I spent the rest of the evening with ice packs tucked into knee high socks, eating pasta and watching Futurama.

Thursday‘s tempo run (5.5 miles total) was an improvement on last week. I ran it on the treadmill at the same pace (~8:00/m) but it felt much less deathly. But a lot more sweaty. I tried for a 3 mile recovery run in the evening, but my shins were back being sore and due to the thaw/freeze cycle that’s been happening every day here it was ridiculously icy. So I made it 2.5 miles. Meh!

sweaty

Attractive. I know.

Friday‘s run was pretty uneventful. Just over 5 miles just under 10/mile (still navigating around ice). Use salt on your sidewalks, people!

Saturday I ran a beautiful sunny and warm 20k with some friends, avg 9:27 pace. Then that afternoon some friends and I had High Tea at the Fairmont Palliser Hotel for Jamie’s birthday! It was delicious and fun.

photo 2

Sunday I ran just under 7 miles at 9:24/mile which felt incredibly slow. Afterwards I went for a much needed massage. Shane, my massage guy, worked on my glutes, lower back, and informed me that the source of my shin pain is my soleus. Getting them massaged made me want to cry. He also showed me how to relieve my back and hip tightness through massaging my own hip flexors. He was great. If you’re in Calgary, go check out Leela Eco Spa. Awesome yoga classes (I’ve been going there for a while) and apparently great massages too.

photo 1

Pre-massage bathroom picture because I like this shirt and I’m in a good mood.

So this marks the completion of my very first 50 mile/80km week, officially the most weekly mileage I have ever done! I’m pretty happy with this little milestone. I have one week left in the “base building” phase of my training and I’m hoping to get in about 55 miles, but I’ll survive if it’s less than that.

I had a physio appointment today to see what can be done for my shins/soleus (details next post). If that doesn’t help, I’m buying some freakin’ Hokas.