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!

Motivation

There are lots of reasons why we lose momentum. Sometimes it’s an injury, changes to routine, you’re not seeing enough progress, you’re seeing progress and think you can afford to take some (lots?) of time off, burn out, distractions, etc. Whatever the reason, it can be difficult to get back in the saddle and keep on going.

For myself, being in recovery mode can get me lazy since I’m not specifically training for anything, but I need to keep up be strong to hit the ground running when I’m able to. For others (wink and wave! hehe), you have to jump on the training-for-a-race train and hang on. Whatever your situation, I thought I would share what Ipersonally do to help motivate myself through a race training cycle (complete with loads of inspirational quotes from Pinterest, but of course).

Get pumped. Watch the promotional video for the race. These videos are designed to get you pumped for the race, so it will be a good starting point for the items below. Also watching videos of people you admire doing great things will get you stoked to do the same.

How can you not be motivated by the Flyer? (source)

Also read this article by The Oatmeal. It’s hilarious, realistic and strangely motivating.

Set goals. Write the reasons why you are running the particular race. It could be a time, a new distance, fun with friends, etc. But write down the feelings you expect to experience.

Visualize. Remember the feelings you wrote down, close your eyes and imagine running, crossing the finish line, etc. Do this again while running. During hard workouts, like tempo or long runs, imagine you are in a tough part of the race, then imagine the finish line and how you will feel crossing it. Relating the two will help you when you are in that pain zone, as your mind will go to the reasons you listed.

that finish line elation

Triggers. Come up with some key phrases that kick your butt into gear and repeat them to yourself when you find you’re having trouble getting out the door or struggling during a run. Some of my personal favorites (don’t laugh) are:
– Dig deep
– Break on through to the other side
– Want the results? Do the work
You better work, bitch
– Relax. Inhale. Exhale.
– It’s not supposed to be easy
– Don’t give up
– You got this
Think about past experiences that make you feel accomplished or happy. It doesn’t even have to be running related, any positive thought will help.

Rewards. Another tip to trick yourself into staying consistent is to think about what you like to buy or do and use them as motivators. This takes some willpower and focus, but so does anything worthwhile in life.

For example, there was a time where I wanted to buy all the new clothes and risked going overboard with the spending, so I told myself that I would buy one clothing item a week if and only if I met all my workouts. If clothes ain’t yo thang, but maybe going out for dinner/drinks is, and let that be a reward. The only catch is that you and ONLY YOU are responsible for ensuring you don’t get your reward without completing your goals. It’s a practice in willpower but that’s not a bad thing! Practice makes perfect and it will get easier.

Celebrate.Celebrate your achievements, no matter how small. Bad days come from any number of factors, but your best days are indicative of your abilities, you cannot fake those. This is why I advocate keeping a training log. Looking back to previous weeks/months/years you will see a gradual improvement, and if you keep on keepin-on then think of where you can go!

Adapting. If you find that your certain motivational triggers are becoming ineffective and stale, take a step back (not longer than a few days to a week) and repeat the above steps again. Don’t be afraid to try different angles as your brain will try to trick you into becoming lazy and complacent. It will get easier, however, to push through these tough times and re-motivate yourself.

7. Keep your eyes on the prize. Giving up or putting in minimal effort is easy, but warrants few rewards. Make the most of your training and see what you can do when you dedicate yourself to something, chances are you will surprise yourself. Sure, it’s going to be hard, but as I said earlier, it’s not supposed to be easy. It’s when we challenge ourselves we grow stronger, build confidence, and refine us to become the best we can be.

Be determined to find a way.

 

Liebster

I’ve been nominated for  Liebster Award by Leana! What fun. A Liebster is a pass-it-on questionnaire for bloggers, where you are asked 10 questions about yourself then nominate 10 people to answer 10 questions that you come up with.

Here are my answers to Leana’s questions:

1. What is one piece of gear that you own (not shoe or technology related) that you wear all the time?

Hmm, probably socks? I will never ever run without socks. I hate the feeling of sweaty feet sliding around in shoes. Also my feet blister quite easily so I can only imagine the grossness that would occur if I didn’t have some sort of decent (and fairly thin) moisture wicking socks. My favorite socks are ProCompression. They’re relatively thin (my feet get really hot) yet compression, thus reducing swelling and blisters in my feet.

boppin along in my ProCompressions

boppin along in my ProCompressions

2. Do you wear different shoes for different workouts, or do you wear the same shoes all the time?

Different shoes. Long runs typically get the shoes I would wear in a marathon (Adidas Adios) or something with a bit more protection.

I love you

I love you

For speedwork I used to wear my Saucony A5, but I haven’t done any of that for a while and they’re worn out. I might get the A6 to replace them when I feel up to returning to speed work.

For strength workouts I wear either the New Balance Minimus or Mizuno Wave Universe, but preferably the Universe. There’s not much to them, so when I do my exercises I can feel the muscles in my feet and ankles working quite a bit.

3. What is your favorite post workout snack?

FOOD.

Ok I’ll be more specific. Usually I like a smoothie if I’m not too hungry or I need something quick. It could be some chocolate VegaOne powder with coconut water/milk, something made from whatever I have in my fridge (possibly ingredients include almond milk, coconut milk, hemp seeds, chia seeds, kale or spinach, berries, banana, gelatin powder…), or a Jugo Juice smoothie.

My 'alien grey' post run smoothie (more delicious that it looks). Banana, coconut milk, spinach, blueberries, gelatin, almond butter.

My ‘alien grey’ post run smoothie (more delicious that it looks). Banana, coconut milk, spinach, blueberries, gelatin, almond butter.

After long runs or a really hard workout, I’ll usually crave meatballs.

4. Do you listen to music when you run? Why or why not?

Yes, I usually will.  I like that music makes me feel like I’m in a movie of sorts, and that I have a soundtrack going on. It helps me get in a confident mindset. I’ll also listen to audiobooks if I’m doing something where I don’t have to push myself hard, but could use some entertainment (easy runs, long runs, pool runs).

5. Do you prefer to run in a loop or run an out and back?

I’m not too picky and both have their pros and cons. Loops can be fun since the scenery is different the whole say, but out and back takes less planning. If I’m running in a new area I’ll do an out and back so I don’t get lost and/or confused. If I don’t know how long I’ll run for, I’ll do laps of the 5k loop near my house.

6. Why do you blog?

Since I previously didn’t know too many other runners, I found reading other people’s running blogs helpful in learning more about running. I would learn how they trained, why they made certain decisions and how they’ve progressed. I find this really encouraging because when you’re just figuring things out for yourself, it’s kind of scary.

I started my blog to add my experiences to the mix, so that maybe some day they will help someone else along in their own running journey.

7. What is your number one goal for this year?

To stop being injured.

I would still love to BQ, but so far that’s not going too well so I was forced to reevaluate. If I end up making it, great. If not, there’s always other years. But I will not get there if I don’t heal up.

8. Tell me about your favorite race medal.

I have two. My first favorite is my 3rd place Age Group medal from the 2013 Drumheller Half Marathon. I had never officially placed in running before (or since), and it wasn’t that small of a field so I’m quite proud of it.

Image

My second is the Austin Half Marathon medal because it’s huge and has Willy Nelson on it, which I think is rad.

(source)

9. What motivates you to get outside and train on cold/snowy/rainy days?

The satisfaction I get out of slaying a run against all odds. It makes me feel bad ass, like I can conquer anything.

Image

this is what happens when you run in -30C (oof)

this is what happens when you run in -30C (oof)

10. What is your most memorable run?

It’s a tossup between my first marathon (Portland, 2011) and the 2013 Vancouver Marathon.

Running my first full was an incredible experience. It was new ground for me, going way beyond what I ever thought was possible for me to achieve. It changed my life.

The moment I crossed the finish line, and was hooked on the full forever.

The moment I crossed the finish line, and was hooked on the full forever.

Then last years Vancouver Marathon was as close to a perfect race as I’ve experienced. The weather was great, fueling went perfectly, my playlist was on point, mentally I was in a great place the whole run, and I PR’d by about 20 minutes. I couldn’t have asked for much more! My lovely boyfriend biked the course and met me in several places, and his family cheered me on at the finish. My heart fills with joy thinking about that day.

:)

🙂

 

So that’s it! That was fun. Thanks Leana!

So I nominate:

Striding Mom

Sprouts n Squats

Solana Leigh

Running with Rhyno

Yuri in a Hurry

Read.Bake.Run.Repeat

Swift Fox

And my questions for you are….

1) Would you rather carry water/electrolytes during a race or use what’s on course? Why?

2) What kind of shoes do you wear? Have you followed any shoe fads (ie minimalism, maximalism, toe shoes)?

3) Do you run with a GPS watch? What kind?

4) Who would be your dream running partner?

5) Does your significant other run (if you have one)? If you don’t have one, would that be a necessary requirement?

6) What is your most embarrassing running mishap?

7) If you could go anywhere in the world for a run (doesn’t have to be a race), where would you go? Post a picture.

8) What do you think about when you run?

9) Do you have any weird habits or superstitions when it comes to running/racing?

10) If you’re starting to slump in a race or run, what do you tell yourself to get you to push through?

Thanks guys! And if anyone else wants to answer these, leave your responses in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is one piece of gear you own (not shoe or technology related) that you wear all the time? – See more at: http://www.runnerleana.com/#sthash.vkqYUgl4.dpuf
  • What is one piece of gear you own (not shoe or technology related) that you wear all the time?
  • Do you wear different shoes for different workouts, or do you wear the same shoes all the time?
  • What is your favourite post workout snack?
  • Do you listen to music when you run?  Why or why not?
  • Do you prefer to run in a loop or run an out and back?
  • Why do you blog?
  • What is your number one goal for this year?
  • Tell me about your favourite race medal.
  • What motivates you to get outside and train on cold/snowy/rainy days?
  • What is your most memorable run?

– See more at: http://www.runnerleana.com/#sthash.vkqYUgl4.dpuf

  • What is one piece of gear you own (not shoe or technology related) that you wear all the time?
  • Do you wear different shoes for different workouts, or do you wear the same shoes all the time?
  • What is your favourite post workout snack?
  • Do you listen to music when you run?  Why or why not?
  • Do you prefer to run in a loop or run an out and back?
  • Why do you blog?
  • What is your number one goal for this year?
  • Tell me about your favourite race medal.
  • What motivates you to get outside and train on cold/snowy/rainy days?
  • What is your most memorable run?

– See more at: http://www.runnerleana.com/#sthash.vkqYUgl4.dpuf

Change of Plans

Last week I got an email from the BMO Vancouver Marathon regarding what the medals and t shirts will look like. Not that I don’t care, but I’m getting them either way so it’s not a big deal. One thing on that email however grabbed my attention.

Image

What? I can switch races? The first emotion that rushed in what excitement. I followed the link, checked it out and sure enough, I can switch into the half or 8k races for a $10 fee. After getting my ass kicked by the previous weekends 30km run, the thought of running a half marathon was much more appealing, and I even felt a sense of relief. I had a much better chance of finishing the race, and maybe even have a good one.

After consulting runner friends and some social media outlets, I went for it. So now, in just over a week, I will be running the Vancouver Half Marathon.

Since then, my shins have flared up a bit again and now I’m getting all nervous about running a half. Sigh. So as of now, I’ll try my best, enjoy my weekend in Vancouver, be a good cheerleader at the finish for my friends, some running their first full marathons, and look forward to burgers and beer afterwards.

I’ve been going through a mix of feelings about it, from relief and confidence, to concern that I won’t be ready to even run that, back to confidence so hopefully that stays with me for the next week. Either way, here goes something (else)!

 

Off to Austin!

Hi everyone! This week I was busy with some work training so I didn’t have a chance to post a training recap for last week. But here it is. I threw in this week for good measure too although there isn’t much there.

But exciting news! I’m off to Austin for a week! Dan and I are visiting my cousin, and I’m running the Austin Half Marathon. I’m taking it as a training/see where I’m at/please don’t die shins run with little expectations. But for the most part I hope to be doing lots of this:

austin2

From my last trip to Austin

LAST WEEK

Monday since I took Sunday off, I was craving some time in the water (WEIRD I KNOW). I did a 50 min pool fartlek workout, which was alright. I still don’t feel like I get AS good of a workout in the pool as I do on land, but that’s probably because my form is not up to par. In fact, when I saw this article, I could totally relate to Figure 2 below.

Tuesday I felt bold before my early morning physio workout. I didn’t tape my shins but I did a stair interval workout at the gym. 10 min warm up, 10 min stair repeats, 5 min run, 10 min stairs, 5 cool down. They didn’t feel great from all that. Physio however went well and I wasn’t immobilized after, which is an improvement.

Wednesday morning I felt no real pain and decided I would run on the treadmill at lunch. While walking over to the gym I realized I left the KT Tape at my desk, but didn’t want to lengthen the amount of time I spent outdoors so I decided I would just see how far I got. The answer to that was 3 miles (out of the planned 5). Well, actually I got to 2.5 before the pain set in, and finished up the 3 then did the remaining 2 on the elliptical (at 180 strides/min).

After this, my mood went down the toilet. I felt a weird spasm/niggle/pain occasionally in my right calf. Great. Something new. I felt generally defeated and scared that I won’t be able to reach my goals this year. I didn’t even want to work out at this point. I just want to go home and cuddle my cat and cry into some wine. Completely over this injury business. I just want to get back to putting real miles into my spreadsheet, not “estimates based on pool time” to make myself feel better. I want to say “yes!” to meeting up with friends for a long weekend run. I want to get excited about the thought of running snowy trails, not wince with the thought of how much pain it’d bring me.

Nothing describes frustration quite like Kim Kardashian’s crying face (source)

I don’t like feeling defeated. In the past I would wallow in my disappointment (typically in myself) and let it eat me up. I am, however, getting increasingly better at pulling myself out of the slumps and finding a solution. Growing up my parents had very little tolerance for self pity, and now I’m finally finding that I can limit my wallowing and actually DO something to better the situation.

So in this case, I decided I want to be in an inflammation-eliminating, injury-healing machine and picked up some calcium, vitamin D, vitamin C, Omega 3, and some MSM combo supplement (to help with soft tissue repair). Down the hatch they went followed by a glass of wine as I finished the poster for this year’s Epilepsy E-Race.

Anti-Inflammation Super-Healing Arsenal

Anti-Inflammation Super-Healing Arsenal

After hearing about the “amazing anti-inflammatory properties” of turmeric I decided to pick up some fresh turmeric root and make some tea with it plus honey. It tastes pretty good, but if you decide to go this route head my warning: IT TURNS EVERYTHING YELLOW.

2014-02-10 07.28.09

EVERYTHING

Post-turmeric tea toothbrush. Gross.

Post-turmeric tea toothbrush. Gross.

Thursday morning I was ULTRA sure to tape my shins, and got up bright and early to run a hilly workout on the treadmill:

1 mile 0% incline

1 mile increasing incline by 0.5% every 0.05 mile

1 mile 0% incline

1 mile changing the incline gradually with step backs (0.5, 0, 1.0, 0.5, 1.5, 1.0, 2.0…. etc) every 0.05 mile

1 mile 0% incline

All at a 9:35ish pace.

The shins were a little tender but a major improvement from the day before. I did some strength training at lunch.

2014-02-08 09.48.20

My latest taping method

Friday more lunchtime strength training (core, arms and back focused) followed by a tempo interval workout in the evening (3 x 1 mile @ 8:00, 7:47, 7:47 with 400m recovery between) and a half hour of pool running.

Saturday had a scheduled 22km-ish run but under strict orders from my physio to not run more than 10k, I did 1 hour on the elliptical, 1 hour on the treadmill, then 20 min pool running while Jamie kept me company. Shins taped and in compression socks. I got to watch the Dufour-Lapointe sisters win gold and silver in freestyle skiing and was the only person in the gym crying on the treadmill.

!!!! SO proud.

!!!! SO proud.

Sunday I yoga’d! Leela Eco Spa has a great hips and back class that is perfect for runners. I also read this about yoga and inflammation, and since I’m all about reducing inflammation these days let’s bring on the yoga.

This week was a tough one to get through mentally (I will admit some of it was hormonal). It took a lot to get back to being positive and trust that I WILL get better and feel strong once again.

THIS WEEK

Like I mentioned before, this week was a little out of the ordinary. The only runs I had were a fun 3.5 mile tempo (2 miles @ 7:53 and felt great) and a short hill workout the next day, in which I couldn’t figure out why I felt so tired until I remembered that I tempo’d the day before. I also finally wore my Oiselle Lux top (with the Lesley tights) so it was the comfiest run of all time. The lux material definitely lives up to its hype.

2014-02-12 16.52.15

I also got to meet Mandy’s daughter (weeeeirdddd!) Hadley! She’s perfect and smells nice like a baby.

2014-02-12 20.52.02

Anyhoos, I am off bright and early tomorrow morn! I won’t be on here for a while, but get on Twitter and Instagram if you want to follow my ATX adventures in real time. They’ll be good, I promise.

austin3

Let’s play spot the pale Canadian at the Canada theme party

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.

 

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.