Category Archives: running

Phoenix Marathon Recap

On the weekend Chad and I ran the Phoenix Half Marathon, it marked my 10th and Chad’s 4th half marathon. It was a about a year ago that at 8 months pregnant I signed us up on whim. But I knew I needed motivation at that point to start running post-partum. From the very start I had a goal in mind but honestly deep down I felt that goal was pretty far fetched since it was almost 3 minutes off my PR from 2010, since then life has changed a little 😉

My goal was to run the race in 1:45. So in the fall I started to research training plans to learn more about training in general so that this goal became more attainable. I also knew that running more than 3 days a week was not going to happen 90% of the time so I needed flexibility. I came across the 80/20 Training and instantly knew it would be the key to running a 1:45 half. Disclaimer – I modified the half plan in the book to work for me and then stuck to that plan 80% of the time, I rarely ran more than 3 days a week (4 max) and my max weekly mileage was maybe 34km.

Now onto the RACE!! I absolutely love big races, the energy of them are just amazing. With over 10,000 runners this was fairly large but so well planned. The day before the race we went to the race expo which was at a Mariott conference centre.

I probably could have parked walked in, got my stuff and got back to car in 15 minutes if I wanted to – WIN! We looked around at the expo, grabbed some samples, then got our shirts and headed out. I am not one to stick around expos too long. Oh the shirts – women had tanks! Something I will actually wear versus a t-shirt. Only downside is the XS is still massive on me but still a great tank for sure.

Race Day

So I never looked until a week before the race where the race start was – haha. Turns out it was an 1+ hour drive to the start and the last bus from the parking area was at 5am which meant a 3am wake up call. I broke this to Chad only days before 😉

Despite an early wake up and drive went well until we went to merge off the interstate and the traffic was backed up, so what should have taken 5 minutes it took us 30 minutes. Luckily we had a ton of time still. We parked then ran over to where to half marathon buses were. Everything was very well signed so it was almost impossible to get confused.

I made a slight error when I only wore a tank top and shorts and brought nothing to wear beforehand thinking it is a race in sunny Phoenix! ha. I should have known better than the dessert gets darn cold at night until the sun comes up. Luckily they had a ton of heaters which we huddled by until 10 minutes before the race.

Once we made our way to the start it was very weird since the race had thousands of runners but there was nobody at the start line! Everyone was by the heaters.

It was not until they gave a one minute warning that people finally filled the shoot. I was shocked the start was self seeded but also really liked it. We started near the front since we could and that way there would be less dodging of people that way too. The fireworks went off and away we went!

I was FREEZING COLD you guys. My hands were numb and turning red from the cold for the first 5km. Since it was still dark out I figured once the sun came up I would warm right up.

Chad and I agreed to run together but he had to keep my pace 😉 I figured out approximate paces and times to meet my goal and after the first 5km I was feeling more confident since we were running a 4:45min/km (5min/km was to meet our goal). I made sure I was sipping water throughout the race regardless of if I was thirsty and taking sport (jelly) beans every 15 minutes as well.

At 10km I planned to slow down if needed but felt great still so kept my pace at 4:50 and told myself I could do that to 15km and then re-evaluate again. Around 13km I started to doubt that I could hold that pace much longer and nudged Chad to see how he was. He felt good so I knew I had to keep going. By 15km I felt good again and at that point I was really excited as a calculated our finish time if we could maintain that speed. At that point I knew there was no slowing down and found some good songs to keep me going and just did not think about much else.

The last 2km I stopped checking my pace and just ran hard. I felt great crossing the finish line and told Chad after I had more kms in me 😉 I really think it came down to the weather. It was the perfect running temperate once the sun came up and the sun was never in our face running – for me this makes me feel almost sick sometimes!

I had started my watch a bit late so was not sure our time but the clock when we crossed the finish was 1:43:14 so I knew we were sub 1:43!!!!

Here are my stats:

How on earth we ran a faster second half of the race baffles me still!

We grabbed our medals then headed over to take some photos:

Then to the food – I expected the usual, fruit, water, bagels and cookies but was blown away at all the free options. Our restaurant was giving out free french toast – brilliant! We grabbed some other things then sat down to eat. It was so good I did not remember a photo until it was all gone!

The race start and finish was at different points which I really liked since you did not have that mental mid way turn around and then we ended right where we had parked to catch the bus to the start – so smart! We had a 2 minute walk to our car, changed and headed back home.

In all honesty never did I think I would beat my goal by over 2 minutes and my previous PR by 5 minutes. And now I am ready to push myself a bit harder – who knows one day maybe I will run a sub 1:40!

Lindsey

 

Run Chat: Recovery

Want to know what I really suck at when it comes to running (or working out in general?) – RECOVERY. I am the type of person that only uses recovery methods when I need to – like I am hurt or sore. SO BAD you guys.

Going into 2017 I have three half marathons planned, each three months apart which means I am never really out of training, that is 9 months of consistent training. Usually my recovery is simply less running/working out and more time off in between races but seeing as that is not happening in 2017 I am making it my goal to have recovery as part of my plan.

Here are the top ways I plan to do so:

1- Stretching. Poor stretching, I feel like we all know to do it, but we don’t do it or near enough. And then there is so much information around when to do it! It overwhelms me for sure. BUT here is the thing, I am going to start stretching at every single workout for at least 5 minutes – small goals 😉

2- Foam Rolling. This is a game changer. I bought my foam roller about 5 years ago and have not looked back. It is an amazing tool for recovery and a cheap one too!

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Crops – Silver Icing

I won’t get into methods since I am no pro but this article explains foam rolling in more detail. Want to know what else is great about it? You can do it while watching TV!

3 – Deep Relief productsAs an Ambassador for the 2017 Mud Hero you will hear me talk & learn a lot more about these products! Even with all the stretching and foam rolling we still get sore and that is where Deep Relief will come in. It is pain relief without pills and has been a  trusted brand in Canada for over 50 years! They offer a variety of products from warming deep relief which is recommended for treating chronic pain and every day aches and pains to their ice cold relief gel which is for inflammation and swelling.

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I have been experiencing achy hips for months now (ever since having Chloe) and when I received these products I went straight to this products for relief (amongst other things) and definitely found relief with the warming heat relief. For more information on how their prodcust can help you, give them a follow on Facebook or Twitter!

4 – Dynamic Warm-Ups. This is something my younger brother told me about, as it has really helped him in his recovery. After he told me about it I Googled it to find a quick 5 minute routine to do before a run here. These are simple moves that help the body warm up before any workout by increasing the body’s temperature, boosting blood flow and improving your range of motion.

Lindsey

 

Phoenix Half Marathon Training Plan

As you all know Chad and I are running the Phoenix half in February, it will be my 11th (I think) half and my first of three in 2017. I semi think I am over committing with 3 halfs, working full time and with two kiddos but we will see. I generally have a rule where I like to have a 10-12 week training period followed by 4+ weeks off before training again. This has helped me stay injury free and meet my race goals for over 6 years now so it works for me! But in 2017 those usual guidelines will be tight!

For Phoenix I have a pretty huge goal, I want to PR by 2 minutes and that time was set 5 years ago. The race course itself will help – being that it is very flat but I also have to step up my training game. For the past few years I really just go out and run and loosely follow a plan. Which is fine but it has not got me any PRs, I run a half in anywhere from 1:50-1:54 depending on conditions and that is comfortable for me. I know I have more in me to be a little uncomfortable and just have to put in that little extra work and remind myself of that.

This training plan will do just that. It is based on the book 80/20 Running and well, the plan scares me. The basis of the book is that you should run 80% of your runs below your ventilatory threshold (the point between low and medium intensity or zones 1-2) and 20% above (zones 3-5). Whereas most runners do more 50/50 – I know I am guilty of this! One the biggest reasons we do this is because we are task orientated so want to get things done ASAP and this becomes a habit and most of us run more than 50% of our runs too fast.  This leads to burnout and does not allow us to perform as well as we might if we just slowed down.

Th book goes into great deal on the research and history done behind 80/20 running as well as things like “brain fitness” and how your goal should be to minimize any other brain activity during your runs. One example they used was people trying to change their natural strides and how this uses too much brain energy and takes away from your end performance. Makes complete sense to me! Anyways, I could type forever on this book since it has a ton of information in it but if you are interested in learning more I highly recommend reading the book, it also has complete training plans for 5km to a full marathon in it.

Without adieu here is my (Chad will use this plan but slightly adapted) training plan. It does also break by 3 days of running I like to stick to but I feel this is necessary to take my running to the next levels. My goal is to follow this plan 80% and hopefully see that PR in February! View the PDF larger here since the one below is tiny – phx-half-plan.

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Lindsey

 

 

Foodie Friday

It goes without saying that this week fly by again! This week we saw very little sunshine so I am hoping this weekend it comes back to see us 🙂

Monday

We had a quiet day at home, only going out for a bit to meet a friend and her little girl for lunch. I wish I took some photos of her and Chloe. She is so happy and smiley and adorable! It was great to see them and go out for lunch.

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How playtime goes these days, Chloe wants everything A has, Avery takes it away, bugs her, Chloe gets mad and repeat 😉

That night after Chloe was in bed we let Avery stay up late and decorated/carved pumpkins.

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Best dad ever, did an Ariel pumpkin for Avery!

Tuesday

Yoga playground morning! Avery made a ghost that she was so proud of:

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Chloe only napped an hour for her mid-day nap so she got to help me with my DIY project:

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And I made her practice her crawling 😉

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I went to spin that night and got my butt kicked after not going for a couple weeks. My goal is to go weekly!

Wednesday

My Grandma spent the morning with us, we went to McDonalds for coffee and just visited. Nap time was spent finishing up my DIY (below) and on party prep for Avery’s party.

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I made banana bread and this little one cannot even see a banana without losing it so while I baked she got her banana.

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I decided to get out for a walk and it was a tad chilly – Avery hates being cold but still will not wear mitts…But we made the best of it.

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Chad had a work function so my Mom joined us at Subway for supper once she was off work. Chad got home just in time for bedtime stories and that was our night.

Thursday 

The morning was spent watching Casper, I love that I can now share my favourite things as a kid with Avery, like watching holiday movies! Casper is probably my favourite Halloween movie up there with Practical Magic.

We all had eye appointments late morning and all passed with flying colours, Avery did so good and Chloe too!

I have been aiming to get out for at least one run a week while the weather is still good so after naps we went for a 6km run.

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We had an early supper as soon as Chad was home then headed to a local Halloween event where there was games and crafts for kids.

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Onto meal planning…

foodie-friday

Saturday – OUT

Sunday – Turkey Tacos

Monday – Grilled cheese & soup – easy for the big night!

Tuesday – Asian Garlic Noodles with shrimp – Damn Delicious

Wednesday – Greek Chicken Salad & garlic toast

Thursday – Chicken Noodle Casserole – Life in the Lofthouse

Friday – Chicken fingers & kale salad

This weekend Chloe starts swimming lessons (which I almost forgot about!), we are going to a Halloween event out of town and that is all!

Lindsey

Foodie Friday

This week brought cooler temps and I am not a fan yet. I know I will struggle once it is harder to get out daily since this summer we spent most of our days outside but I am going to make the best of it.

Monday

I weighed Chloe that morning for her 6 month post only to find she has not gained much since mid August. Sigh. I just do not want the health nurses to get all worried next week at her immunizations. I know she is fine, she is ahead developmentally and well she just pukes a lot but otherwise happy.

It looked to be the nicest day of the week so we went for to take some photos. It ended up being chilly so we did not last long!

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After naps we headed to our dayhome for a visit, Avery told me to leave and go to work so she obviously will not have issues going back there full time 😉

Somehow we finished supper by 6:15pm so packed up and went for a walk. Avery wanted to jump in leaves so Chad brought our rake along:

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Tuesday

Yoga playground morning! I look forward to this morning every week, Avery gets some play time and Chloe and I get to hang out and drink a chai latte.

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We ran some errands after came home had lunch and then the girls had naps. Nap times went good all week 🙂

I convinced myself to take the girls for a run and then regretted it for the first km since it was cold and windy. Thankfully we hit the trails and it was way better! I tell myself that my decent weather runs are limited now so I just get out when I can – my goal is 1-2 times a week.

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Both girls fell asleep – guess they did not have long enough naps!

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Wednesday

A double PiYo workout first thing then I had to go take some photos for a post so we hit up Cool Beans one last time before they close until the Spring. But good news, they have a indoor shop now too!

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I am in complete part planning mode here for Avery’s third birthday next month so we took a trip to Michaels to use our weekly coupon after naps. I bought glitter tulle and instantly regretted it…

What else? We made thankful turkeys for a crafts and played with Playdoh:

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Oh and I spent time reading my book club book – this one might deserve a review on here.

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I got some new makeup in the mail and Avery loved jumping on the bubble wrap, okay I did too 😉
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Thursday

Once Chloe was down for her first nap I hit the treadmill and run my fastest 5km yet – 23:13! I have to say I am still unsure if I will hit my goal for Phoenix in February but am going to try my best! Oh and we booked our flights for a great price 🙂

Our morning was spent at home , playing and just hanging out.

Miss Chloe’s newest obsession? Apple chunks.

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In the afternoon we headed out to get our last veggie box of the year, I cannot believe I went out to The Jungle Farm every week for 16 weeks! I will miss our trips for sure. The haul:

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Onto meal planning…

foodie-friday

Saturday – Chicken fingers & roasted veggies (we have our Thanksgiving box to use up!)

Sunday – Thanksgiving

Monday – Leftovers

Tuesday – Hoisin Bowls with spicy peanut sauce – Budget Bytes

Wednesday – Salmon tacos

Thursday – Chicken Pot Pie soup – Skinny Taste

Friday – Bison Cabbage Casserole (freezer meal)

Weekend plans…we are hosting Thanksgiving at our house Sunday and that is about it! I have a few things I want to get done at home and then we will see how the weather is to plan much else.

Happy (early) Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends!

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Lindsey