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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sports Massage

I went on my long run yesterday  -10km. It's long for me at the moment, as running hasn't been going so well lately. Knee discomfort, poor diet, little time and a lack of motivation has kept me from running as much as I'd like to.
But I managed to carve out a couple of hours yesterday, I beat the cold by dressing warmly and ran my 10. I made sure to tell everyone so they'd hold me to it. I took my Ipod, fully loaded with podcasts and just caught up with them :)

That long run had perfect timing, as I'd decided to go for a Sports Massage this weekend, as a special treat [A year ago today I started dating my now-boyfriend :) ]
I was warned it wouldn't be fun, that it would be a stimulating and rough massage (Haha). I was fine with that - and curious to see if it would do anything for the sure soreness I would feel the day after my long run.

Well.. to be honest, I found it quite relaxing!
I noticed that the massage felt different on either side of my body:
The massage on my right leg felt a lot more intense and rough than on the left side. And when she massaged my neck (to relieve tight shoulders) the left side felt really ticklish, whereas the right side didn't! Now, is that just me, or does the massage therapist usually change techniques based on different sides, or muscles.... ?

The oil was warm (felt great), the music was chill and the atmosphere was so calming. I came out relaxed and I felt as if I was walking taller.
The massage didn't really fix my muscle twitch (just higher than my right knee), nor did it stop me from chronically tensing up my shoulders. It also didn't prevent my muscles from hurting... and it cost me quite a bit out of my pocket!

However, as a once-in-a-year treat, I loved it!

Friday, October 29, 2010

A Friday 10k

I'm so glad it's Friday! This week has been a bit busy, and I have lots to do this weekend.

I just wanted to write some things about the run I just came back from.
It was a good idea to double up on socks, tops and gloves. It gets hot while running, but I was cold during my walk home. It was also quite windy, and the layering kept me wind-proof.

I believe my lungs are getting better at taking the cold - I am coughing a little after my run (more than usual) but my lungs don't feel frozen, as they have before. 

I saw some weird things today:
a guy running after a ship! (he couldn't keep up)
a spooky tree - this was while I was walking home, and I saw its shadow move as it was windy and it just completely made me jump!
I also saw a police helicopter flying over the river with a search light - hopefully not looking for a body. Or if they were.... that they found it :/

I'm so thankful to have been able to RUN 10 kilometres today, and have the opportunity to have a sports massage tomorrow! I was looking forward to a warm cup of tea, some TV and a cute kitty waiting for me at home. Glad to be back indoors :)

Oh, and here are my splits (I walked 3-4 mins in between each km, and the last one was 2 mins walking)
for a running total of  1 hr 9min 11! Which would be my fastest 10k except I should add about a half hour to that for walking ;)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cloudy out

The thing about cloudy - or even rainy - days is that I don't feel like going outside. I would love to just make some tea, ignore school and plop on a movie, but life isn't like that around here.

Going pretty good. I have a little walk planned for tonight and it may turn into a little (but fast) run with Calvin. He's a newbie with long-legs so it seems he's going faster than me!
Tomorrow, after my last class of the week, is a planned long run. I would love to do a 10k, but I hope the weather will cooperate.
Saturday is a scheduled sports massage - my first ever! I know it's a bit silly that it doesn't fall near or around an official event, but it's making me want to make my long run count :)

And I'll leave you guys with a few benefits of a sports massage:
They can break down muscle spasms, release tension and induce better sleeping habits (due to the increased blood flow I guess).
Better posture!
Can release pressure on nerves and reduce ankle swelling.

There's also pre- and post-event massages with different movements that target different things. 
Pre- massages help gear up the muscles to work and perform at their best.
Post- massages aim to increase blood flow to speeden recovery and relax you :)
I'm getting the latter, and I'll try and kill my long run tomorrow!

I'll write about the experience on Sunday!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Running Resume

Perhaps I should have included this in my intro post, since I think PR's say a lot about runners.

So.... why do people race?
Well personally, I do it for the T-shirt and the medal. The free snacks. The great atmosphere.

But why would I do ANOTHER race of the same exact distance, year after year?

(To create traditions) To beat my previous time!!

5k --- 33.42 (but about 31 mins in present RL)
10k--- 1:12

I KNOW I'm slow, so I'll spare you having to let me know that ;)
I would love to beat 2:45, 2:30, 2:15, in the HM and I'm working on it!

Races coming up:
Spring Thaw 5k (3rd year in a row!) March 6th
Miracle Run 10mi/5k, April 10th
Forest City Road Race HM, May 1st
Trot to the Beach HM, June 5th

Haha, 4 INTENSE running months, just as the weather is warming up <3
And then I get to slack off straight after, and never run again, ever.
(haha get it?? I said that on a blog about running!)

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Am I allowed to post an entry on a running blog if I haven't run today?
I would say YES! because I think rest days are very important when you're training for a long distance race.

I hate following specific training plans. Sometimes I just don't feel like running and having my expected mileage written down makes me feel guilty about wanting to stay in bed or at home on my computer. Sometimes I don't feel up for a run (especially a long one) so I'll want to ride my bike instead or just do some easy Elliptical cardio. The master of rationalization that I am, I have come up with 3 reasons why cross-training (or resting) are great for running:

+ You'll strengthen your body by using other muscles, which will improve your overall training.
(I hear) this one especially applies to strength training. I don't do as much of this as I should, but I did have a brief love affair with weights last year. While I was working on my core, legs and arms, I found that my legs had more power and running felt easier. I hear that with a good core (I wouldn't know) your running form improves and this should prevent injuries by reducing impact force and bad foot landing (so overall technique).
This could also incorporate swimming. I know I find swimming difficult since I have tiny arms with little power to drag me through the water. However, the act of staying afloat develops your core and it's always nice to have toned arms :)

+ You'll prevent over-use injuries by giving your legs a break.
It's called ACTIVE RECOVERY. Think bikes, elliptical or swimming. While you're still working out, you are still getting the health (and weight loss) benefits without using the same exact muscles as when you run. There is still a lot of blood flow within your body and research has shown that this brings nutrients back to tired muscles and helps repair any damage if your last run was intense (ever experienced DOMS?)

+Take a mental break from running
As much as I love the biology of running, I do understand that it's a very mental sport. You have to WANT to run and LIKE to run to get out there enough to improve. I always find that taking a break from running makes me miss it a little and enjoy it more. I also think cross-training gives me an opportunity to enjoy something else other than running. I would have never realised that past the intensity of swimming there's a sense of calm and quiet beneath the surface (haha) that I just love. (Sometimes being injured can turn into a positive thing!) By venturing a step away from running, I've gotten a peek into the world of other races - triathlons, for example - that I may want to try in the future.

So... don't feel bad if you don't feel like running today. Try and get out for a walk, bike or swim and enjoy the day instead of worrying about it or feeling guilty.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


After my (speedy) little run last night, I had some trouble falling asleep as my knee was hurting.

Have you ever heard about Patellar tendinitis? According to Runner's World,

"Patellar tendinitis is inflammation of one of the knee-joint tendons. Tendinitis occurs when tissue breakdown outpaces regrowth, and is caused by increased mileage, hills (especially downhills), and pace. Running through tendinitis will make it worse and prolong your recovery, says Davis. But treated early, it can heal in a few weeks. Here's how: cross-train, ice, wear a patella strap, take anti-inflammatories, stretch, and do exercises to strengthen the joint and quadriceps, such as leg extensions."

As I was laying in bed, I was thinking that perhaps it would be a good idea to use some heat cream on my knees (we don't have ice in this house). Alas, I couldn't find it, but stretching and massaging a bit did help! :)

Well since my knee/s hurt, I had decided to take today off as a rest day or a cross-training day at the very most. Since my roomate Mike wanted to go swimming, I decided to keep him company.

I swam about 22 laps before I decided to quit because there were just too many people there.
I then went into the main gym and did? ran? stepped 3 miles on the elliptical. I figured low impact would get me the cardio I wanted without the force upon my knees :)

However, tomorrow I will not be persuaded to go to the gym or go on a run. It's getting cold and I will really appreciate a warm, indoor, snuggly day studying for my Friday midterm :)
I know people say you will never regret going for a run (rather than skipping it), but I really know that this is the smartest thing to do to protect my knees before they get worse.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

New blog

Hello everyone!

I've just deleted my old blog and started this one. :)

My last blog saw me training badly for my first half marathon and running it close to my 20th birthday! It has seen me move houses three times, run 3 races and document my time at the gym over the course of 2 years.

Perhaps I should introduce myself:
+I'm a social work student.
+I'm very interested in health.
+I'm a vegetarian and 5 years will be marked on Nov 11.
+I live in Canada and love how many road races are put on every month of the year :D

I hear that goal setting is a good way to stay focused and motivated. So here are some goals for this blog:
+ to meet other people that stay fit through running or have similar goals to me.
+ learn about how to get faster.
+ document my journey to my second half marathon and little races along the way.
+ a place to keep my thoughts regarding running so they don't float away.

My running goals for the future are:
March 6th - Spring Thaw 5k, Windsor
May 1st - Forest City Road Race HM, London
June 5th - Trot to the Beach Half Marathon, Blenheim

And finally, here's some running stats from DailyMile, since I joined that site (jan 25th):

196 total miles, 60% of which is running.
My other miles were done walking, cycling, swimming and using the elliptical (although I mostly don't include it since it's weird mileage).