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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thirty Minute Thursday!

I'm back from the gym, where I just ran 3.1miles in THIRTY MINUTES AND THIRTY-TWO SECONDS!!!!!!!!!!

How crazy is that??!

Okay, let me tell you something. I can't really run fast. I have been struggling with speed forever. It poops me out, and I'm kinda lazy. I mean, why run fast, when I could do the same distance slower and not need to throw-up?

I've been stuck with the 5K distance:

Real race PR: 33 minutes

Virtual race PR: 32minutes

But my treadmill 5k PR is now 30:32 and I'm going to get it down to <30 by 2012.



Wish me luck!
What are your New Year's plans? Is it too early to think about 2012 yet? :P

Friday, October 21, 2011

2 mile

I went for a 10pm run tonight. I used to do this all the time in Kuwait - I wouldn't let myself go to bed until I did a loop around the campus. It was the easiest way to keep up the running streak - sort of like brushing my teeth.

It was pretty short, just 20 mins. A little shy of 2 miles. My cool-down (which I usually skip) would have put me over 2 miles though :)

I just needed to move. I haven't been getting to the gym this week. I can feel my whole body being tense because I'm stressed about this coming Monday. My shoulders are high and my jaw is tight. I try to stop this whenever I notice it, and I'm just waiting for the last sign - the eye twitch. With that usually comes the difficulty sleeping. And then Monday will be over, my midterms will be done, and I have a little break before the next stress-attack.

So, in order to try and fix the situation (apart from shoulder massage therapy whenever Calvin is around) I will try to get a run in every day. Or at least a walk. And it has to be at least a mile. Let's see how long I can do this.

The best part of my run was that I smelt zero skunks. Guess the colder weather made them go away! 
It's rainbow-mitten weather time again. :)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Commuting to work

This week has been super busy for me. It was full of classes, reading, applications, preparing, recording, editing, biking and being trained. There was also a (successful) job interview in the mix.

I have been working on the essentials, in order to keep on top of everything. I worked on:

  • getting all my readings for class done, so I don't fall behind
  • working out, to keep sane and stress-free
  • preparing for things the day before
  • planning errands and little things around the big things, to be most time-effecient
  • sleeping enough hours to keep going.
I am so proud to say that I've managed to work out almost every day of this week (I say almost because Mondays literally have no time for anything between my 9 hours of classes). Dailymile tells me I've covered 61km this week, which puts it at one of the highest mileage weeks I've ever recorded.

I think the biggest part of that is that I decided to incorporate working out with transport - I have biked to and from work/meetings/school as much as I was able this week. This helped me log 5.5hours of exercise this week, among the gym and swim workouts I've done.

On a ride back home, I was thinking about how great biking is. 
  • It's a lot cheaper than cars, because I don't pay for parking or gas. 
  • It's great for the environment :)
  • It helped maintain my fitness, and get my workouts in.
  • It's even faster than the bus, because the bus makes frequent stops for people!
And biking makes me feel pretty great, because I can transport myself around, and there's huge power to that. 

There are also, however, some bad things to biking. Especially when it's 8am on a Sunday and I'm having bike problems.
For example:
  • If a bike doesn't have a chain-cover, the bike WILL eat your pants!
  • If you decide to take off the front wheel to fit your bike in a small place, and don't know how to put it back... well that'll cause you stress in the morning. And some time while you wake up all your room-mates for help :)
  • Biking can make you feel a bit dorky... I was noticing this today - most people don't wear helmets, but I do. And I think they all look at me funny, especially since I usually bike slowly (it's been pretty windy this weekend!)
  • It can be dangerous. Sometimes for people walking that don't get out of your way, or sometimes because of silly drivers that fail to be respectful for your right of way.
Having had time this week to explore the pros and cons of biking to work, I have come to the conclusion that I will forever continue doing this :)
And since I do now have a job (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) I can save a little money and buy my OWN bike, and hopefully it'll have a chain-guard to keep all my pants safe.

Happy Sunday evening everyone - enjoy the week to come!

Sunday, October 9, 2011


When I was packing for my London (Ontario) weekend, I noticed that I had packed a LOT of cables.

  • My laptop charger.
  • My Garmin uploading cable.
  • My phone charger.
  • My earphones (when they get tangled up, I go ahead and call them cables.)
  • My E-reader charger cable.
While that may not be extreme for some people, I think it's a lot for 2 days away from my house. Just imagine all the cables I didn't take!
So I was thinking about electronics, and how they all used to be AA battery-operated when I was a kid. Which was a perfect situation, because whenever one set of batteries ran out, I could always steal another set from somewhere else. AAA were always trickier, and they remain unusual in my mind.
As an adult, I still have (too many?) lots of electronics. Even my leisure reading book is electronic! And I was thinking about this during my run. Since I was testing out my new Garmin's GPS abilities, I was thinking how far technology has come. I mean - I can mark down my friend's house, get dropped off 5 miles away and my WATCH  will tell me how to get back!!

While I would still trade TV for real-life action, I am glad I didn't get lost today. :)

The best thing about London is that it has hills! Here's one I ran earlier today, this was the first 5k of my run (/walk) today:

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Up in Canada, this is our Thanksgiving weekend. It's all about kids screaming together, adults drinking and insulting each other, and eating too much desert.
I hope to go for a run on the trails tomorrow. I plan to get out there, get lost, and try run some hills. We'll see how it goes.

There was a trail half marathon I wanted to do next weekend. I'm glad I didn't sign up for it, though, because I got accepted for a volunteer position that requires 2 weekend's worth of training. I'm excited, but also sad that I missed out on a super-cheap, super-awesome looking race. :(

I am still thinking about a marathon in January. Don't worry - a race in Canada, in January, in Montreal won't be horrible if it's indoors!! Ha, of course it will be!!
But it's super unusual, as well as crazy, and I do love that combination. So I'm still thinking about it. I am worried about the cut-off time (6 hours), but I was also worried about that at my first HM, and nothing bad happened there...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

5 Hour Race

So this 'race' was originally set to happen on October 1st, 2011. Which is a great date. I mean, it's 01/10/11, right?!
But the weather was predicted to be cold + rainy, so after talking to all the participants (2 other than myself) I decided to change it to Sunday, 2nd October.

Let me explain a little. I wanted to challenge myself to a long run. And I wanted to have some support, to keep me company, but also to keep me to it. So I asked my room-mates if they wanted to do a 5-hour looped run. Just run as many loops as you can in the time frame, and we'll call it a race. There won't be a prize, because there's no race fee, but whatever.

I had a route in mind, but when we went over it the day before, we realised it was kind of silly. It's my usual short-run route (2miles) and it crosses the highway, so there's a traffic light in the middle. This is a great fact for my runs, because I get to catch my breath for a minute, but this wouldn't be helpful in a race. So we mapped out a new route, that went around the block. It was only 2km long this time.

So we each used math to calculate our personal goals. I wanted to run AT LEAST 30km. I also hoped to run 50k. Wow, 50k would be amazing. I had decided that if I was anywhere near 50k when the 5 hours were up, that I would just go ahead and finish that 50k.

I never made it to 30k. BUT I also didn't lose the race! So I am okay with that.

We had decided to start at 08:30. After a little delay in our morning pre-race routine, we actually started at 08:30. We did take a 'before' picture, but I don't have it right now. I may upload it once the OTHER room-mate Mike sends it to me :)
So we started, bright and early on a Sunday morning. It was a great morning - the sky had NO clouds, few people were out, and we were going to be bad-ass and run for FIVE HOURS!

I kept up with the Mikes for about 2 minutes. They were going at an 8min/mile pace!! After I did the smart thing, and dropped behind, I did okay. I did two laps then stopped at the house for some hot chocolate.
This would be the place to say that our 'volunteers' were great! They had a pot of water warming on the stove, and each time we came in, they'd add some chocolate mix to it, and we'd have awesome hot chocolate! This was a perfect choice, because it was really cold outside.

We also had Gatorade, stacks of bananas, and pretzels. I didn't eat during the running part of the race, because my stomach was quite upset with me.

After that, I stopped at the house after each loop. I just wanted to sit down for 1-2 minutes, warm up a little and catch my breath. I wasn't running the entire time - I was mainly sticking to my 8/2 run/walk interval.

I remember that 4 laps in, my left knee started to bother me. After that lap, I found my knee strap to put on, and I'm not too sure it worked, but it made me feel a bit better.

After 2 hours of 'running' I decided I couldn't do the loop anymore. I didn't really like the loop we'd picked, and after checking with the Mikes, I headed off to make my own route for the next hour. Since I was wearing my (NEW!) Garmin watch, I could see how far I'd been, so I wasn't worried about keeping accurate tabs on my distance. For an hour, I ran long the river, downtown, and back.

At the 3 hour mark, I went back to the house to pick up Calvin. He said he'd walk with me, and we started walking back to my old neighbourhood, which is where the original course was mapped out. I tried to keep him walking quickly, so I could make my 30k goal, but he kept complaining that he was tired!!

After we walked for about a half hour, we headed back to the house, and I decided to pick up my camera. I decided that if we were walking (slowly), I could at least take some pictures to remember this 'race' by. Especially since we were walking so. slowly!

Here are a few of the cool things we saw during the last 1.5 hours.
Us in the Bubble Tea window :)

Lots of flags around here!

Bright and happy flowers at his house


So I finished my 'race' having completed 26.3km. I was pretty close, but didn't make my smallest goal.
MadAdams ran 33km, I think, and Faul stopped around 20km, because he hurt his quad.
While I was expecting to be last, I also thought I would complete 30km, so I guess those two goals balance each other out. In any case, this was the furthest distance I've covered in ONE DAY, and that makes me super happy!

My knee is a lot better now, and I hope to test it a little in a run this weekend :)