September 2011

Total Run Mileage: 346.1 KM (215.2 mi)

Highest Weekly Run Mileage: 85.9 KM (53.4 mi)Week 15

# Runs: 25

# [Run] Doubles: 3

Cycling Mileage: 205.3 KM (127.6 mi)

 # Swims (Distance): 7 (10250m)

Races: Wasaga Sprint Tri, Syracuse 70.3 Relay, Zoo Run 10K, Oakville Half Marathon

Favourite Run: The Zoo Run was a hoot – loved meeting up with Laurel & Marci and just running for fun while checking out the animals.

Most Hardcore Run: That would have to be this morning’s 20-mile run-mute to work, whcih started at 4am in the rain. Sooo glad it’s done!

Book of the Month: I have not been reading at all! Shame.

Song of the Month: I couldn’t choose so I just hit play on my shuffle and this is what came on: If I Die Young by The Band Perry (love it!)

Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: fall TV! it’s season premiere month!


Indulgence of the Month: Potato chip feast which occurred on the road trip to Syracuse… there’s just something about chips and road trips!

Drink of the Month: Sticking to the good stuff: h2o.

Current Wish-List: new edition Red Mittens!

Current Need: a nap! and physio [which I have this afternoon!] – 20 mile run followed by 4 hours seated at my desk = not so good for the muscles!

Triumph of the Month: acceptance in the BOSTON MARATHON

Current Bane of my Existence: the air conditioning which continues to run non-stop at work even though we’re having fall weather outside… we need windows in this place! bring on the fresh air please.

Current Blessings: a truly awesome husband, family, friends and co-workers who have shared in my Boston excitement and tolerated me talking about it NON-STOP
Current Excitement: hubby’s 30th Birthday bash tomorrow!

Current Goal: A successful race (definition of “successful” TBD) on October 16th!

What’s your current goal or excitement? Obsession of the month?
Give me one in the comments!

Week 16

After catching up on my double race weekend and of course the big news, it’s time to finally post last week’s recap…

Monday – rest

I was completely and utterly exhausted form the previous weekend’s activities combined with lack of sleep and there was no question that a rest day was required!

Tuesday – run

I woke up still feeling spent, but had plans to meet the girls for an early run. Somehow that got me out of bed and out the door, but on my way to our meeting place I contemplated turning right back around. I made my way there and chatted for a minute while waiting for the last person to arrive, and made the decision to go back home to bed. I could have fallen asleep standing up!

And then I discovered that I had locked my keys in the car! DOH! Sooo not what I wanted to deal with at 5am. J was kind enough to lend me her car to go retrieve my spare set from home while they got started on their run. Eventually, I made it back to bed to doze for a bit before it was time to get up. Again. Not the best start to my day…

I managed to sneak in a 10K over lunch and still felt pretty tired, but a little better afterwards.

10.0KM (6.2mi) – 55:44 – 5:34/KM (8:57/mi)

Wednesday – run + swim

After work I met up with J and our friend P for an easy run followed by a lemonade. It was great to chat away and get all caught up on things. It looked like it was about to downpour on us at any moment, but we managed to stay mostly dry.

10.7KM (6.6mi) – 1:02:46 – 5:49/KM (9:21/mi)

From there I went straight to the pool and swam my longest distance yet! My friend K was water running in the next lane and it was nice to have the company, even if it’s not the most social activity.

2000m ~45 mins.
800 free, 400 pull, 400 free, 400 pull

Thursday – run

We had 4 x 2000 on deck at clinic with descending paces from about marathon race pace to tempo. I ran with the coach’s group and it was nice not to worry about pacing at all. Fun workout with good company, but I was bagged by the time we got back to the store!

2000 splits – 10:22 – 10:04 – 9:42 – 9:12
18.1KM (11.2mi)  – 1:36:54 – 5:20/KM (8:34/mi)

Friday – run

I was able to rally up my friend K for an early morning recovery run. Legs were understandably tired after finishing Thursday night’s workout just 9 hours before!

10.0KM (6.2mi) – 58:19 – 5:49/KM (9:21/mi)

Saturday – run

Toronto Zoo Run 10K

10.3KM (6.4mi) – 59:55 – 5:50/KM (9:23/mi)

Sunday – run

Oakville Half Marathon

21.1KM (13.1mi) – 1:40:06 – 4:42/KM (7:33/mi)


RUN: 79.9 KM (49.6mi)

BIKE: 0 (oops)

SWIM: 2000
Total Time: 7:53:38

It was a lighter week than planned, but it culminated in a big half marathon PR so I am perfectly okay with that! I think it’s also safe to say that my bike will be racked until the marathon in a couple weeks with the exception of maybe a short ride here or there if the mood strikes.

Oakville Half Marathon Race Report

Up until Saturday, I was planning to run a long warm-up and aim for marathon race pace at the Oakville Half Marathon. And then my legs felt really fresh on Saturday. And I felt the itch to race after the Zoo Run 10K the day before. And I realized that I may actually have a good shot at a PR given how close I am at the 70.3 Relay the week before on a tough course in the middle of the day. And then my running/pacing buddy (Nicole) from Sporting Life 10K told me she was going for 1:40. And then it was a done deal! I didn’t know if I could do it, but I thought I had a good shot at coming close.

Sunday morning 5 of us hit the road together at 5:45 for the drive to Oakville. We arrived about 45 minutes before the start and found free parking nice and close. Unfortunately we ended up dilly dallying at the car a little too long and ran out of time to warm-up after using the washrooms. Oops!

Next thing we knew it was time to line up. Check laces, turn on Garmin, fire up playlist. Ready, set, GO! (Sometimes it’s kind of nice when you don’t have a lot of time to mill about getting nervous!)

The course is a loop starting and finishing at the lake front park and running along various residential and commercial streets. Most importantly, it is mostly flat with just some gradual uphills in the first half and gradual down in the second half. It’s not crowded at all, starts nice and early (7:40) and is an excellent race to shoot for a PR.

Nicole and I were a couple hundred metres behind the 1:40 pacer from the get-go and kept him in our sights, while I checked my Garmin every once for insurance. :) The pace felt fast, but I knew it was supposed to and I didn’t let that get in my head. I usually hate dislike the first 5K of a half marathon and this was no exception, but I plugged along and zoned out to music. Nicole and I ran side-by-side, but we were silent. We had agreed before the race that this would not be a “talking race.”

KM1-5:  4:37, 4:37, 4:36, 4:41, 4:41

We were pacing slightly faster than intended, but it felt “hard but manageable” so I decided to go with it. (Overall target was 4:45/KM). I had made the decision to push the limits a bit more than I usually would to see what I could do – hoping, of course, that I could maintain it. We eventually caught the 1:40 pacer and stuck with him for a while. He was clearly on target and it was nice not to worry about checking the pace for a little while.

KM6-10:  4:40, 4:39 (gel at 7), 4:45, 4:44, 4:38 (salt at 10)

Our pace crept a little faster and we gradually drafted ahead. Something must have given me a boost around KM 11 as illustrated in the splits below. I remember feeling good here – I was working hard, but happy to be half done and pretty confident.

KM11-15:  4:33, 4:35, 4:42, 4:42 (gel at 14), 4:46

The sun was high now and it started to get very warm. I was a soaking wet sweaty mess and started dumping water on my head to cool off. Nicole had drifted ahead around 13K and I had to let her go; I didn’t have enough in the tank to pick it up. I kept her in my sights, which helped me focus on maintaining the pace as it got harder and harder to do so. I was by myself for this whole stretch and it was tough. I slowed noticeably and felt 1:40 slipping away, but refused to give up. I lost nearly 30 seconds in KM 16 to 20, which is extremely frustrating given my final time (stay tuned).

KM16-20:  4:52, 4:53, 4:52, 4:43, 4:50

The 1:40 pacer caught me again and I tailed him for the last couple kilometres before finally finding the will to push harder and pass him again. At this point I knew it was going to be close – VERY close – and I high-tailed around the final bend into the finishing chute.

KM21:  4:42 + (0.1 at 3:45/KM pace)

Chip Time: 1:40:06 (2:16 PR)
Average Pace: 4:44/KM (7:38/mi)
108/715 Overall
19/320 Females
5/33 F25-29
freaky leg muscles!!


Yesterday I finally read the words I have been hoping for …

“This is to notify you that your entry into the 116th Boston Marathon on Monday, April 16, 2012 has been accepted…”

I was shaking at my desk. I cried a little. I immediately called those I needed to tell first, then emailed/tweeted/facebooked the news for all to see. I couldn’t believe it. I truly didn’t think I was going to make it – in a way, that makes acceptance even sweeter. I celebrated my BQ race back in May, but was also disheartened to know that it might not be good enough to bring me to Hopkinton.


All I could do was my best. That BQ was incredibly important to me, whether it would lead me to Boston 2012 or not. I wanted it, I worked for it and I got it. I crossed that finish line with a BQ time and minutes to spare, screaming and cheering and crying as though I had won the race; it felt like I had.

It is admittedly a little disheartening that I didn’t get to say: “I’m going to Boston!” The reality is, I don’t believe there is a very good shot that I will actually get in with my time. 3:37 simply may not be good enough for Boston… but it’s good enough for me. For now.

Well it turns out I’m going to Boston afterall! A great big thank you to all of you for the kind words, finger- crossing, positive thinking and good vibes over the last several months and especially this past week. Congratulations to everyone else who will be joining me on April 16, 2012, and my heart goes out to those who didn’t get good news yesterday.

Unfortunately, hubs is part of that group.

“Thank you for submitting your application for entry into the 2012 Boston Marathon. Regrettably, we are unable to accept your application due to field size limitations and the large number of applications we received from qualified runners.

Entries from applicants in your age group were accepted through and including the time 3:08:46.

My heart breaks that his incredible 3:09:18 time did not get him in, and that we won’t get to do this together like we are supposed to.

Of course he has been nothing but supportive and will ensure that I have the best possible experience [by coaching me through another bad-a$$ training plan], but it’s just not the same. I know he is just getting started and next time the numbers will be in his favour – I’ll just have to make sure I stay fast enough to join him!

Team “BQ x 2” – we’re not finished yet!