Ready or not, here we come

We found a couple of matching envelopes in the mail yesterday…

Two weeks from today, we will be flying to Boston with our golden tickets in hand. The next morning, we will visit the most exciting expo of our lives and pick up the much-coveted race kits and jackets (among countless other paraphernalia).

It still feels rather surreal and I have to keep reminding myself that we are going to Boston. For real. And SOON!

At the marathon clinic last night, a few people asked about tapering, and I found myself thinking: ‘Tapering from what?’ This has been such a different training cycle for me and I often find myself discrediting the work I have done – mileage has been much lower, quality work has been non-existent minimal. Sure, I have cross-trained like a maniac and have run a lot more than I did for my first several marathons, but it doesn’t feel the same.

I’m not studying the race map, scrutinizing my training and tune up races, printing pace bands, making a race plan and deciding on A, B, C goals. I am planning a fun-filled weekend in an amazing city, perusing the official merchandise catalogue to decide which items I want (all of them), convincing my husband to wear matching outfits… and most of all, reflecting on how far I have come and welling up with pride that I get to run the Boston Marathon.

It took a while, but I eventually gave myself permission to accept where I am right now. I’ve had different goals this year, different priorities taking up my time and energy. I occasionally feel those glimmers of guilt for not training for this with every ounce of my being, and even shame for giving up a lot of the speed I worked for last year. But I always said that if I ever made it, I would set out to enjoy the experience. No pressure, no goals. I worked my butt off to get here and this is the reward. I’m lucky that my speedy speedster husband (with his Wave 1 seeding and 4-digit bib number!) is setting aside his own goals to run with me, so we can share this experience together.

This time last year, hubs and I both thought that just maybe we would have a shot at qualifying. Having done so on the same day blew away our wildest dreams and expectations. And when we ultimately cross that finish line on Boylston Street together (perhaps holding hands), our achievement will be defined by a whole lot more than the numbers showing on the clock.

finishing our first race together, hand-in-hand, stride-for-stride (2007)

Three Things Thursday

1. After two weeks of gorgeous early spring summer conditions, the weather has turned on us again this week. It’s not that bad and would probably be considered “normal” if we hadn’t been spoiled already, but now it just feels dreary and cold. I haven’t been out on my bike at all this week and it’s not looking good over the next couple of days either. I also can’t stand the thought of putting her back on the bike trainer after feeling the sun on my face and wind in my hair. So, this is looking like a very light (or non-) cycling week. Bring back Spring!

2. I went to see Dr. Pain yesterday and my legs received a good pummelling. ”Hurts so good” as I always say, but I was definitely wincing. I haven’t been able to go as frequently as I normally do this year, mainly due to scheduling, and I could definitely tell. Everything feels much better today. Dr. Pain also revealed to me that he is planning to get into triathlon. This is the guy who (jokingly) called me a traitor for going to the “dark side” just last summer! The way I see it, this is going to be good for me… the more he knows from personal experience, the more he can pass on to me!

3. Thank you so much for the outpouring of support and donations for my fundraiser giveaway. On behalf of Nolan’s Dream Chasers, we are so grateful. We are going to make this year count!

 

Happy Thursday (almost Friday)!

Nolan’s Finish Line and a Fundraiser Giveaway

Many of you may remember reading about my friend Erin and her son, Nolan, who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in 2009 at the age of 3. Suddenly, their world turned upside down and life would never be the same.

It was been a three year battle for this family as Nolan has undergone treatment and faced countless struggles that go along with it. It hasn’t been easy, but they are going to win this fight. Nolan is scheduled to finish treatment this Spring.

Each year since Nolan was diagnosed, we have run Toronto’s Sporting Life 10K as a team and fundraised for Camp Oochigeas, an organization that has allowed Nolan – and other kids with Cancer – to still be kids. Camp Oochigeas provides fun and meaningful experiences to approximately 680 children affected by cancer each year. Camp Ooch does NOT receive government funding and they need our help.

This year, with Nolan finishing treatment in May just in time for the race, Sporting Life 10K (May 13th) is going to be one giant victory lap. Let’s make it count this year and help Nolan’s family achieve their goal of being the top fundraising team. What better way to commemorate the occasion?

Donations can ber made here and I would very much appreciate your support. Every dollar counts!

For a little incentive, I’ve every $5 donation will earn you an entry in this FUNDRAISING GIVEAWAY! One lucky winner will receive a plentiful selection of some of my favourite products that have been featured on this blog, generously donated by the companies listed below.

 Vega Sport 540g Pre-Workout Energizer in Acai Berry + shake mixer bottle + 12 Chocolate Coconut Protein Bars

 Large selection of Snickers Marathon Energy Bars

Three non-slip headbands from Chickbands

Large selection of Rub-A535 muscle and joint creams

IFitness Ultimate Race Belt I

Autographed copy of Second Wind by Cami Ostman

Custom pace bands or race bib from Races2Remember (selected by winner)

Sof Sole socks and inserts (in winner’s size)

 

$5 donation = one entry

DONATE HERE

 Please help us make a difference. Thank you very much for your support!

Boston+ Training – Week 12

I took advantage of early spring weather this week and did lots of cycling outdoors. It is almost unheard of to be riding regularly outside around here in March, so this was a real treat. Unfortunately, winter came back this morning with below-freezing temps. I hope spring comes back soon!

***

Monday – I usually take it easy on Mondays to recover from Sunday’s long run, but the week before I had done my long run on Friday so I had plenty of energy come Monday. I decided to bike-mute to work and back, 60K (37 miles) total for the day! Surprisingly, I was much faster on the way home even though it’s significantly uphill. 18.4 mph on the way there, 19.9 mph on the way home.

Monday night it was back to Masters (finally!) and felt great to swim with the group & coach again. Swam 2200m (300 warm up (alt 50 free, 50 drill), 500 pull, 100 sprint, 400 pull, 100 sprint, 300 pull, 100 sprint, 200 pull, 100 sprint, 100 c/d).

Tuesday – I was noticeably tired on Tuesday and took it wasy with just a 5-mile run at lunch.

WednesdayEpic training day! Bike to work, brick run, bike home from work, brick run, 90 minute swim (3000m – 8 x 50 warm-up (alt free/kick), 2 x (3×100 free, 3×100 kick, 3×100 pull), 10×50 with sprints, 300 c/d)

Thursday – REST DAY! I needed it.

Friday - Showed up at the pool at 5:30am to find it closed, and went for an impromptu 10K run in the rain instead. I ran another 6K at lunch to make it an even (ish) 10 miles for the day. Friday after work I went for another boot around the neighbourhood on my Trek… I need to get a handle on my nerves on this thing!

Saturday – We had a late night Friday seeing Hunger Games and didn’t get to sleep long enough since we had a busy day Saturday – trip to the bike store to pick up some goodies that came in for me, visit with the BIL followed by dinner + Banff Mountain Film Fest with Juliana and some other friends (which was AWESOME, btw). Before all of that, of course, hubs and I headed out for an easy 10K run to start the day.

new rear draft storage box

Sunday – BMFF made for another late night Saturday and I completely slept through my alarm for Sunday morning’s long run. I made it to the group meeting location JUST in time, which meant scarfing down a pop tart for breakfast in the car on the way there. I hate being in a rush, especially before a long run. A combination of the frazzled start and two nights of lack of sleep made this one tough run. I didn’t go as far as I wanted, but my last ~20-miler is in the books and that’s that.

 

WEEK TWELVE

Total Run Distance: 74.0 km (46.0 mi)
Total Run Time: 6:46:07
Run Pace: 5:29/KM (8:49/mi)

Total Bike Distance: 143.6 KM (89.2 mi)
Total Bike Time: 4:54:27
Average Speed: 29.3 kph (18.2 mph)

Total Swim Distance: 5200 m
Total Swim Time: 2:30:00

Total Training Time: 14:10:34

Foto Friday

I couldn’t resist ordering a pair of the adiZero Adios 2, since they’re the exact same colour as this year’s Boston jacket.

Too matchy? I don’t think so. The question is, am I too superstitious to wear them before earning said jacket?

***

This morning I wanted to hit the pool for an early lane swim since I can’t make Masters tonight (going to see Hunger Games!!). This is what I found at 5:30AM:

I forgot my night-vision goggles...

It turns out the swim times I looked up last week were for March Break only. Doh! Apparently I am cursed when it comes to public lane swims. This time, however, I didn’t go back to bed. I made a quick wardrobe change (although my swim suit might have been more suitable attire for the conditions…) and went for a 10K run in the pouring rain.

Of course, it started raining 2 minutes after I left the house, so I didn’t wear my cap or jacket. I was drenched and could literally wring out my clothes when I got back. It was kinda fun…

***

And finally, more puppy pictures!! Here they are around 3 weeks old.

 I can’t handle the cuteness!

We aren’t sure which puppy will be ours yet, and there are two distinct colourings – solid liver with white (ticked) patches, or dark heads with white (ticked) bodies. Both are heart-meltingly adorable. Any guesses which we’ll end up with? :) 

 

 HAPPY FRIDAY!