Wednesday November 30, 2005
Singing this week is going well. Better than last week. I can always tell what my energy level is like after I practice for about 15 minutes. Singing usually gives me energy, but when it doesn’t, I know something’s up. I was sure sounding wimpy last week! The neighbors must have loved that...
I met RH and DE tonight for a run after work. We usually meet at RH’s work, to start the run and then finish with some strength work in the gym his work has in the basement. We headed out to the Broadmead area at a comfy pace and when we hit part of the Goose where it was flat we did a 10 minute pick-up. I felt pretty good, maybe just a bit rusty but not bad. We ran a total of 55 minutes and did some light weights afterwards. J has rehearsal again tonight so I plan on just lazing in front of the TV.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
I was so happy to be back at the track again. We did 3 x 200m, 3 x 600m, 3 x 200m with 200m rests with 400m set breaks. I held back a bit and just concentrated on my technique. I started thinking about the Pose method again and realized how much lighter I felt the second my brain got down to my feet pulling off the ground instead of feeling or anticipating the feeling of landing downward. It’s amazing how concentrating on the pull of your foot before you even land (anticipating the pull) lightens up your feet. My stride quickened up and my foot started landing underneath me again (instead of out in front of my hips). I need to start doing the drills again to remind myself of these sensations. Why haven’t I been doing this all year? It made the WO more interesting and took my mind off of any fatigue I was feeling. I wish I had time before the race on Saturday to do a tempo run or longer intervals just to see if I can hold some speed for a longer period. I am still not convinced I could run hard for 15+ minutes without coughing up a lung! Ha!
The new girls are continuing to show up at the track. It was almost even in numbers between men and women tonight, something I don’t think I have ever seen since joining the group! These girls are fast and super nice so Shan and I are happy to have them to run with!
Monday, November 28, 2005
I spent most of the afternoon today at work working on a spreadsheet for the Grad budget this year. I had two excel documents opened and I thought I was closing one that I was briefly referring to. When the computer prompted me to save my changes I clicked ‘No’ thinking it was the document I was temporarily looking at…Nope! That was my budget spreadsheet…bye, bye! I wanted to cry! Three hours of work down the drain… After that little disaster I was dying to get out the door for a run and to get some fresh air, I’ll tell ya! I did an easy run home. The temperature was perfect! I definitely feel better than last week, energy-wise. It’s hard to tell if I could hold on to a fast pace at this point for longer than five minutes but at least I feel energetic again and more like my usual self. I will see what goes on at the track tomorrow. I suspect it will feel awkward at first to get the legs moving a bit (I haven’t done any speed work in over a week!) but will feel better as the workout progresses if I don’t push. Either way, I’m not feeling lethargic anymore so the break was obviously needed…maybe not the best time to have taken it but next time I’ll know better.
I looked at the results from the Seattle Half-Marathon just now. A group from IRR went. Everyone did so well! I am sorry I missed it…maybe next year!
Sunday, November 27, 2005
R suggested I run at Thetis and do a few pick-ups to see if I am feeling perkier today. Pan, DE, and Q were all there along with Gar and BR from the PIH club. It was sunny and fairly warm again! BR took us all on an incredible trail run. These trails were different from our normal route…narrow and much more technical. The highlights were the fab look-outs from where we could see for miles the gorgeous area surrounding Victoria. At one point, in the distance we could see mountains and valleys all around us and there were these patches of fog hovering just above the lakes down below. It was really quite stunning. Molly and Pepsi, RB’s two dogs were hilarious, zipping by along the narrow trails and tearing through the bushes on either side of us. We came upon a small creek that had a large log across it acting as a bridge. BR warned us to be careful and to take it slow as the log was frosty and wet. One by one we crossed. I had Pan teasing me the entire way so I did him the same courtesy when he crossed…he crossed that log like a girl, I swear! Ha! Then along came Q…slowly he edged along the log but the poor guy teetered for about 10seconds before he fell in (in slow-motion). He was knee-deep in freezing cold water! Poor thing!
The rest of the run was terrific. I tried to do some pick-ups but the terrain was too tricky. BR had Gatoraide waiting for us when we got back to the parking lot which was very nice of him! All in all a beautiful run and a gorgeous day, weather-wise! I am still hoping to run the x-country championships on Saturday! We'll have to see how the rest of the week goes.
Saturday November 26, 2005
I woke up this morning pulled back the curtains…and yes! Sunshine! I ran over to J who was all cozied in under the duvet and said,”Let’s go for a run!!!’ He is such a good sport! Off we went to the lakes for an easy 10km run. It was chilly at first but as soon as we hit the field where the sun was shining we were warmed up. We came across a group of runners at Elk Lakewho had finished their run and were just about to do some sort of group circle, hug-thing. I recognized one of the women to be Pan’s Mom so I squeezed in between her and another woman and tried to join in the circle. It took Pan’s Mom a couple of seconds to recognize me but as soon as she did, we both broke out laughing! It was so cute! J and I continued on our way. J is running so well especially for someone who hasn’t been running much this last month. When we got back I calculated by our km splits we were averaging a 4:35 min/km. That was his all out 10km race pace last spring. He sure has improved! I felt better this morning compared to last night so I think I am slowly getting my energy back. It was hard missing the workout at Lambrick, but it was sure nice to run and chat with J.
Later in the afternoon I had an appointment for a spa treatment that J gave me for an anniversary gift last year. It was at the Willows Spa in the Fairmont Empress. It was pretty decadent. It started with an exfoliation treatment, followed by a Jacuzzi-type bath with all this herby bath stuff, then a body massage in rose oil and finally a body wrap. I was wrapped in this plastic with the oil and hot towels were placed on top of me. It felt great for the first two minutes or so, but then I started to feel too hot and Closter phobic! I was just about to rip open my cocoon when the guy came back in the room and said the treatment was over. I was jelly afterwards for the rest of the night.
I went to J’s first choir concert later that night with the VCS. It was quite nice and I think the choir and he had fun! To be honest, I was so relaxed after that spa afternoon, I nearly fell asleep! Sorry Maestro!!
Friday, November 25, 2005
I finally had a voice lesson with Selena today. I sure missed her keen ears. It looks like she is back for a while now. Yay!
I did another easy run today from home. I ran for 30 minutes but my legs are still feeling heavy so I just headed home. J cooked dinner so we ate together before he headed off to his rehearsal. He has a concert with the choir tomorrow night.
R suggested skipping the workout tomorrow morning and to just do an easy run and if I feel better do some speedier stuff on Sunday. Should be good. P is going to be shocked that I missed all three WOs this week! Ha!
I have a spa treatment tomorrow. A gift from J…from a year ago! I can hardly wait!
Thursday, November 24, 2005
J decided to run the 7 Hills workout tonight while I did an easy run after work with M. We ran to Cattle Point and back and did an hour in total. M got stabbed by a branch just as we got going on the trail. I think he'll have a doozer of a bruiser! It was nice to be out in the fresh air and to be moving.I felt a bit stiff but was expecting that. J had a great run, despite not running for two weeks. I wasn’t sure if doing a hill run after a long break was the wisest thing but he seemed ok and had fun. We had dinner after with Shan. We went to another Greek restaurant which shall remain nameless…Il Greco is still my fav by far!
Wednesday November 23, 2005
I took another day off from running today. I met RH and DP at the pool instead. They did a 45 minute pool run while I skirted in and out of their lanes half swimming, half pool running. I just took it easy. When we would hit the end of the pool I would push off and glide by the guys while they were struggling along, barely moving just to bug them…ha! I love the water. There was this incredible little girl, she could not have been more than 8 years old, doing the front crawl back and forth with incredible technique and speed...like a little torpedo! We were all impressed by her. After the swim, we sat in the whirlpool for about 15 minutes just yakking. Even though I ate supper before I left I came home and was starving! Swimming makes me so hungry! I had a big, hot bowl of oatmeal/flax cereal with a banana, nuts, honey and soy milk…a favorite snack!
There’s a hill run tomorrow but I plan to do an easy 10-12km with MC around the trails near work to ease myself back into it. Time for bed….I am going to sleep well tonight!
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
I took another day off from running today. I think the rest will do me good. The group did 400m parloffs (sp?) at the track and there were a few new people who showed up to run...all women! The guys in the group were apparently very happy about this!
Monday, November 21, 2005
I took a look outside this morning and was a bit worried to see the how thick the fog was. Joey’s flight was coming in at about 6:00pm and if it was anything like the day before, his flight could be cancelled. I had to teach after work, so asked the Sandsquintch if he could “pick up my little package” at the airport. By 4:00pm the fog was worse than ever…The Sandsquintch assured me that the planes could land…not to worry. I picked up some groceries on my way home. My student had cancelled so I was able to make dinner. Luckily, Joey got home safe and sound just as dinner was ready…a yummy curry chicken! He had a great review in the Kelowna paper.
No running today or tomorrow. I am taking a small break. It’s going to be brutal not going to the track tonight. It will be good to refuel though…I haven’t started working on my Bach music….I better get on it tonight!
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Shan picked me up at 9:00 and we headed over to Lambrick Park. It was quite foggy out and we joked about how we would likely get lost on the course! Ha! Ronnie B was there with his fasty chicks that he coaches. He suggested we do the warm-up with them. We did and easy 20 minutes around the course. Rob and Jarhead showed up to watch. I can’t believe Don could even walk on his swollen ankle!! Jarhead took pictures of Shan and me posing in Rob’s old shoes!
It was a pretty flat course; one short, steep uphill on one side of
the loop and a longer downhill coming down on the other side. All of it
was on grass, a bit boggy in spots, but nothing too bad. I knew I was
in for a brutal race on the warm-up. My stomach was acting up I
suspect, from the iron supplements I took these past few days. I‘ll
have to find something that works better. I guess I have a sensitive
The race started and the group went out fast! Sure enough it was
tough going. I was able to stick fairly close to the lead pack in the
first loop but then was already struggling with my breathing in the
middle of the second loop. I did not feel too smooth out there but it
was still fun…sort of. Ha! I know I can run faster and feel better so
the race was a bit of a disappointment. They said the course was 4500m.
There is no way that is even close. My guess is that it was more like
37-3800m. This was Shan’s first x-country race and she liked it too. We
hope Pen Runners does a series next year.
We did a 30 minute warm-down around the course so we could watch the
guy’s race. We came back to the finish to see who wanted to go for
brunch but everyone we knew had left so we went to Pluto’s on our own.
I got back here at about 1:30 and basically took a shower and threw
myself down on the couch and watched Legally Blonde. I’ve seen it
already but there was nothing else on.
J just called and said his concert went well this afternoon. He has a final one tonight and he comes home tomorrow!
Saturday, November 19, 2005
Shan came by at 9:00 to do a short run and some strides as we had planned. We just ran around my area and then came back and put our spikes on that we will be using for the race tomorrow. Shan got spikes put on Rob’s old 1981 x-country flats. You should see these babies! Ha! Shan was making me buckle over with laughter as she was putting them on: “Oh, Mar! These things look HORRID!” I was cracking up as she was standing there looking down at her feet groaning! You had to be there, I guess! We did a few strides just to get the legs moving a bit.
I had a student and then headed downtown to meet Shan. We popped into FR, but didn’t see anything to buy. I got my hair cut, ran some errands and then realized I was pooped! I was suppose to go to H’s party but decided to head home and…you guessed it…into my PJs I went…on a Saturday night…at 7:30…good grief.
I have decided not to run the Seattle Half-marathon. That would make fours races in a row. Even if I run it easy (which I admit would be torture) the course I've been told is hilly. I might as well do a long run here and not run the risk of getting sick. I hope soemone can use my entry. Too bad, I was looking forward to shopping with Helena and watching Alan shop at the Harley Davidson Bike shop!
I just saw Jarhead got injured today ): I am so sorry about that!
Friday, November 19, 2005
Had another good warbling session this morning before I headed off to work. Still no news about when Selena is coming back. Hopefully in two weeks or so…great...just in time for when I leave for Montreal. I finally got the music for the concerts we are doing there: Bach Christmas Cantatas. I will have to start looking at that lickedy-split. The conductor of our group can always spot when someone hasn’t looked at the scores and is sight-reading. This always scares me into practically memorizing everything! We are doing a small tour of Toronto, Montreal and Québec City. My brother and his family are planning to come to the concert at Roy Thompson Hall inToronto! I haven't seen them in over two years! It will be nice to see J's family in Montreal too.
No running to report today. I just came home and vegged for a bit before heading over for my final strength training session with Roland. No, I won't be looking like Arnold Schwartzenegger. We're just doing a bit of strength building for my back and core. He also had a look at my blood test results and is looking into what dosages I should take etc. Apparently the liquid form (although it tastes horrible) is the most easily absorbed.
Tomorrow will be just an easy, short jog with a few strides in the park with spikes on with Shan. We’ll be running the x-country race on Sunday and will both be wearing a pair Rob’s old retro spikes!
Thursday, November 17, 2005.
I had a really good practice this morning. I am so relieved my neighbors haven’t complained about the singing…yet. People have this romantic idea that you get to hear beautiful music wafting through the walls when you live beside a classical musician. The reality is, we spend a lot of time doing scales and arpeggios, over and over and practicing bits of music, over and over….it’s really quite irritating.
Work was crazy but I managed to make it through the day. I headed to the “Y” where my group meets for the 7 Hills workout. The weather was great; cool, no rain. There was a big group out again tonight. Chantal our newest female runner is making big improvements, which is nice to see. I was feeling a bit stiff. I hope to perk up by Sundays’ race.
I got home to find my blood work had come back (that was fast!). Everything was ok except my iron Ferritin level was a bit on the low side. That could explain why I’ve been feeling a bit winded in the longer interval runs this past month. I knew I was feeling wonky! I had the same symptoms last year at this exact time. I guess after a hard summer of training, I was dipping into the reserves. I will get on to taking a supplement right away. The last thing I want is to get sick. The break in December will help as well.
The Sandsquintch and I went and grabbed a bite at Earl’s after the run…I had a steak and then took a vitamin C when I got home…good grief, I am going to become a vitamin popping nutcase, I can tell! Ha! I called RB when I got home…I think I woke him up, poor guy. He gave some great advice. I am so lucky to have such a knowledgeable person to call and talk to. We are going to work together and try to reach some specific running goals. I am excited about this upcoming race season!
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Our usual group couldn't meet today for a run so my friend Matty agreed to meet me after work to run around the trails here. We started out at about 4:45 so by the time we reached the Mystic Vale it was pretty dark. It was my first time running through this area and since it was pitch dark, I can't really describe what the trails were like. Matty tripped a few times running in front of me just after he finished saying how easy it was to run on uneven trails in the dark. Ha! It was a real excercise in trusting your footing. He then told me a couple of stories about owls swooping down and trying to clamp on to his head. Great, I thought. We ran for about 50 minutes. My hips and back were feeling a bit stiff...hmmm...maybe I pushed that last 200 at the track!
I came home, orderd from Il Greco (yummy-yum-yum) and then got right into my pjs. I noticed on a local running website that someone was selling a new pair of spikes. My Internet wasn't responding so I emailed my friend Syl who emailed the seller. I now have new spikes...and for just 25 bucks...yay! I will pick them up at the National X-country Race in two weeks since the seller of the shoes will be there too.
J finally called. The rehearsals so far are going well...whew! His first concert is on Saturday night.
Tuesday November 15, 2005
Drove J out to the airport early this morning. He has an audition for a conducting position. I hope it goes well and doesn't feel too anxious about it. I'm sure he'll be brilliant! I wish I could be there for support.
After dropping J off I stopped by an MDS clinic to get the iron blood test done on my way to work. The nurse was really good. She had a collage of dogs and puppies right opposite to where I was sitting, so I just concentrated on a couple of particularly cute labrador puppies snuggling in a basket while she shoved the needle in. I realized about an hour after I got to work that in my rush to get the heck out of the clinic, I left my wallet on the counter. Back I went...arg!
We had a big group out again tonight at the track including a new female! She seemed really nice and quite quick too so I hope she stays. The track WO tonight was one we had never done before....at least , not that I remember. We did 400/1000/800/600/400/200. We got a full lap in between except for the last three reps, where we got 200 only. I felt pretty good so I did a couple of "150's" with M and D. I had never done these before: 50 hard, 50 relaxed, 50 hard. They sort of felt like pick-ups.
Monday, November 14, 2005
The sun was shining this morning which made me very happy. I got a good singing practice in before I headed off to work. I would really like a lesson soon. It was great to work on my own for a few months but now I want another set of ears to hear me and make sure I'm still on the right track. My singing teacher has been away since July looking after her ailing brother in the States. She should be back in two weeks. I love working with her. She's tough as nails (she's 70-something!) but a real softie at the same time.
After work I scooted over for an appointment with my GP. I am getting some running advice from a very reputable coach who says it's a good idea for female endurance athletes to get their iron levels checked regularly. I started explaining to J about what he had to say about Hemoglobin levels and that was enough to make J's face turn white....he's a tad squimish!
J and I grabbed a bite dowtown since he had a rehearsal later that night. He dropped me off at home and I immediately got into my pyjamas. I called my best friend Er in Calgary (and remember they are two hours ahead) and her two year old wasn't even ready for bed yet! Ha! Sad, but true.
So, no running to report today. A nice day off!
Sunday, November 13, 2005
Met the usual cast of characters in the parking lot at 9:00 (a saner time to start running!), along with AH and JL. This run is pretty technical and hilly, so you really get a strength WO. My J couldn't run today because he had a rehearsal. He is working so hard lately. It will be great when he can get back into a regular routine. No Shan yet...we'll drag her out one of these days...Even D showed up for weekly bout of excercise!! I always laugh seeing D drive up to a WO. All hunched over, he looks like a little kid who is about to get into mischief! JH was there as well as HW, Ht and Q (who was freezing).
It started of a bit drizzly but the sun actually came out about 30 minutes into the run (we were all stunned). The puddles have turned into small ponds this week from all the rain. I managed to keep my feeties pretty dry until the last big puddle. D and P were pretty tame for the first part of the run. The snarky comments started to fly however once they had a little something to eat at the half-way point. I was trying to help and nurture our newest and youngest member Q, but the two of them were telling Q untrue things about me. I think P is just jealous that he is no longer the baby of the group!
I felt a bit tired as we started but soon warmed-up. I can feel I need a day off tomorrow.
We all headed over to the Chequered Flag for some brunch. There was sun shining in through the window, warming us all up. We had a few good laughs (mostly at D's expense-Ha!) and then we all went our separate ways. Great run and a beautiful day!
Saturday, November 12, 2005
The alarm went off at 6:30am...I was one grumpy gal. I really hate waking up that early. I wish I could get over this waking up early thing. Waking up before 7:00am is pure agony!
H picked me up at 7:15 to head to the WO. We decided to jump into a WO that another coach was organizing in preparation for a couple of x-country races that are coming up. We did a warm-up around Lambrick Park. We both hadn't been there before and thought it was a really nice park, mostly made up of soccer and baseball fields. The other runners and R the coach showed up. Our IRR coach showed up for the warm-up but had to take off for family commitments. The WO consisted of strides follwed by 10 x 2 minutes with a 1 minute rest and two minutes recovery at the half-way point. We put our spikes on and ran mostly on the grass. Each loop started with a short, steep uphill and ended on the same hill coming down. I was a bit intimidated at the start since there was just a small group (AH, NB, JL, HT) of really strong runners. I was have some cardio issues these past few weeks too, however R remided everyone that it wasn't a race (thank you!) and gave us pointers on how we should pace the WO: Easy tempo for the 1st three, pick up the pace for the next five and start the last two easy but really pick it up in the 2nd minute without straining. It was a great WO. I managed to stay close to the group, tucked in just behind. H and I thought it was great to have someone there watching and reminding us not to force, move lightly over the ground, keep the shoulders relaxed, keep the cadence without forcing etc. I didn't feel too badly considering yesterday's run.
After a quick bite at Tim Horton's, I went home to do some more unpacking. Later, J and I went downtown to pick up some stools that we ordered from Urban Barn to put at our kitchen counter. They look great!
I slept in until almost 9:00 this morning. I was very happy about that! I called Shan about an hour before we had to leave for the race. It was pouring rain...we were both not happy about that. Shan and I are what you call fairweather runners...and even then we can be heard complaining about something...we ate too close to the WO, we didn't sleep the night before, our tights are falling down as we run. Thank Gawd we have each other to complain to. No one else could stand it! Ha! After consulting each other on what to wear with regards to the weather conditions (an almost daily thing between us, especially in the winter), I got changed, did a bit of stretching and had a bite to eat.
When we got to Thetis it didn't look too bad. There was a light drizzle, nothing to complain about. We had an all-girls team for the 20km race, each one of us running a 5km lap around the small lake. I didn't want to run too hard and save myself for the WO the next day so I decided to run the third lap so there would be no pressure to push myself. The Port-o-Potties all had huge line-ups so my fellow team mate H. and I ran into the woods to do our business. It's amazing how a year ago I had never been so in touch with nature! Coming from Montreal, you never had such opportunities without being seen and getting a ticket. I was horrified the first time I had to pee outdoors. I remember it vividly. It was just before the start of the Comox half-marathon behind a very sparse shrub. Of course, I think most of it trickled down into my shoe, which didn't add much pleasure to the experience. Now I'm just peeing all over the place on a run like a pro! Ha! I kind of feel like I've marked my territory at all my favorite running spots...weird.
Shan was the first to race. About 5 minutes into her lap, it began to pour. Ha! I could just imagine her grumbling as she ran! By the time my turn came I was frozen and soaked to the bone and wondering why I was doing this to myself. The trails were varied. The terrain was either muddy, slippery, rooty or completely covered in ankle-deep, dirty water. Fun.
After the race, I dried off and changed and stuck around to get a lift home with a friend. A few of us were going to grab a bite after the awards and draw prizes. Like an idiot, I completely forgot that I had a voice student at 4:00pm...I realized this as we were heading out to the parking lot at...oh, about 3:15! Poor D. had to drive me back home right away. No hot meal for us! I had 15 minutes to shower and eat...Needless to say, the shower happened (barely...it was more like a rinse) but all I could manage was a half a bagel with Nutella....really nutritious! By the time my second student showed up I was knackered and starving. Thankfully, J. made me dinner...what a sweetie! I was shivering the rest of the night watching TV. I think I reheated my Magic Sac about six times!
All in all, a pretty fun day. Our team came in 1st! Yay!