Category Archives: Workout Wednesday

Recap: Calgary Stampede Half Marathon

I have to admit race recaps are hard for me! I am fairly certain I blank out in races and most times barely remember where I all ran, but also enjoy sharing my thoughts on the race afterwards.

Going into this race I did not have a PR goal, but rather a range (1:43-1:48), I knew there was some hills so that is why I was not hoping to PR as that was from a flat course.

I opted to stay in Calgary the night before with a friend to catch extra zzz’s the morning of. We were up at 5am, at the course for 6am to pick up our packages, we had to arrange prior to for out of town package pick up. However, when we got there they were not ready and we waited 15 minutes to get our packages. The race start/finish area itself was good, at the Glenmore Athletic Park and parking was easy to find and close by. I would say it was on a medium race for attendance, maybe 300 people in the half marathon. I like this size as you are not dodging people for the first 2-3kms but large races also add to the whole experience!

I kept a steady 4:40km/min pace for the first 5km where we went over a pedestrian overpass (a good climb), through some residential with a couple more hills and eventually along the river. Being an out and back everytime I went down a hill I reminded myself I would be going back up it! I want to say there was 4 decent climbs (so 8 total) but again – foggy memory! Once along the river it was fairly flat and I regained some speed for the mid-section of the race, either keeping with the 1:45 pacer (who was a very inconsistent runner!) or just ahead of her. Between 14-16kms I slowed a bit to over a 5:10min/km pace as my legs felt heavy but after the last climb/hill after that I was able to get under that 5min/km pace again.

Route wise is was a really pretty course – by Heritage Park, through trails, residential, and along the river and being that I am not from Calgary I had plenty to look around at!

I won’t even complain about the hills either! As I did not find them bad – who I am?! I felt really strong on them, passing most people on the hills!

I finished at 1:45:28 and the 5min/km pace and felt great. Now truth time! I signed up for this race for the end – the pancake breakfast! And it did not disappoint. Even with an intimidating line-up it went fast, they had David’s Tea, Cobb;s scones, pancakes, sausages, juice and Stoked Oats! We enjoyed our post race eats before hitting the road.

Other things to note – they had a kids race – added bonus! And the medal’s are unique:

Oh and they put first names on the bibs:

Post race photo with my friend Heather!

There was no free race photos which I am okay with – while they are nice, it is not a must have for me.

Recovery has left me confused. After last month’s 10km (48 minutes & a PR) I was sore and I would say the courses were similar for hills etc. So I thoughts I would be sore after this one but was not. So I did something right! This also makes me doubt that I gave the race my all though.

Overall, it was a great race, I had fun and was really happy with my time.

Lindsey

Marathon Training Tips

I have no idea how but it is almost been a month since my race! I have had a lot of time to think about the race, and my training now that I can walk again so wanted to share my thoughts and tips for anyone thinking of running a full marathon.

1 – Cross train, cross train and cross train.

My favourite place to cross-train, at My Rev!

So if I told you getting into a regular cross-training routine is what made me decide to run another full marathon would you believe me? Well that was how I bit the bullet to run my second full marathon after 6.5 years. For me, running 5-6 days a week was too hard mentally and physically but regular cross- training added the needed variety to my training schedule. This prevented burnout, again mentally and physically, and allowed me to enjoy my runs more.

Because spin is a low impact activity it also helped to prevent injuries from too much time running, in particular spin can strengthen related muscle groups which also helps to prevent injuries.

I noticed a huge difference in my cardio as well from spin classes. Even harder runs felt easier and during my race my cardio was noticeably better to thee point I never felt exhausted in the 42km.

2 – REST

I had 1-2 rest days a week. Two once my long runs got over 25km. These rest days were SO needed. During this training cycle I never really got burnt out and if I started to feel like I was, I would take a rest day. Before my mindset was this would hurt my overall training and race time but did it? Nope, I shaved 9 minutes off my marathon time. I read somewhere a great quote that said ” train smarter, not harder” which was my mentality while training.

3 – Don’t forget about your core

Again, before I focused all my training efforts on running which meant little to no time for anything else. I believe a good runner is also a balanced runner which is why I added in cross training as well as other workouts, specially core focused ones. I went to weekly yoga core classes as well as spin classes include core workouts. A strong core helps with stability and posture while running, this can go a long way and prevent common running injuries as there will be less strain on your muscles.

4 – Proper Nutrition

I will be the first to admit this was not perfect for me but I did give it attention during my 12 weeks of training. I made small changes, but all together they helped. What I did: added protein shakes after long runs/hard workouts, added collagen into my diet, increased my water intake, avoided alcohol (last 6 weeks of training), ate consistently – every 2-3 hours, and increased carbs the night before a long run.

We also kept our long run/race day fuels the same the entire training cycle so we knew what worked for us and did not set our bodies up for any surprises on race day!

I can honestly say that I had a great training cycle and fully intend to run more full marathons – no six year gap this time! But without really sitting down and thinking about what type of training was right for me I don’t think I would have had the same outcome. Again, “train smarter, not harder”.

Finish line!

Lindsey

2018 Race Calendar

Only a month and a bit into 2018 and my race calendar is looking almost full! I have a variety of races, from a full marathon to family fun runs of 5km ūüôā

February 

Phoenix Marathon – My second full marathon, my last one was May 2011! T-minus 17 days!

Last year’s half:

May

Womens Fun Run – 5km – I do this race yearly with my Mom and now the girls, it is a fun race to do for Mother’s Day.

Woodys RV World Marathon – 10km, maybe 21km? I have not signed up yet but plan to as I like this local race and have not run it in many years. I just need to pick a distance!

June 

Troubled Monk Run – 10km with the family & stroller. Another local fav! Registration has not opened yet but we will be signed up as soon as it does. How can you go wrong with a race that has beer after?!

August

Mud Hero Alberta – I missed this race last year so am excited to do it again. It is totally a fun race I do with a friend of mine. I find it pushes me outside my comfort zone too – always a good thing!

View, share and download all your photos for FREE from: http://www.zoomphoto.ca/event/19622/

September 

Melissa’s Road Race Banff – 21km – I ran this race 6 years ago I think and love any race in the mountains in the fall so I decided to bite the bullet and do this one again.

I am thinking  I might do another 10km or half in the summer months but if so it will be a spur of the moment thing. I am on the fence of how much time I want to spend training this summer still Рat the end of marathon training is never the time to think of these things!

Lindsey

Whats on your race calendar? Any new to you races?!

What’s Next?

Coming off the heels off three half marathons in a year I knew my body (and mind) needed a change. I had tossed around “whats next” ideas all summer knowing myself all too well that I needed a plan. At the same time that plan had to have way less running involved.

Here is the thing as much as I love running and could run 7 days a week I know that is not good for me one bit and only leads to exhaustion on all fronts. It also has never helped me PR any race. Fact – my current half marathon PR came after the plan with the least amount of running!

So with no big races after Sea Wheeze it was time for a new focus and adventure for this girl! First thing I had to figure out was my goals in the “off” season.

My goals:

  • Gain strength – everywhere!
  • Improve my cardio
  • Give my legs a rest from pounding the pavement or treadmill

For a couple years now I have been going to a local spin studio, My Revolution, one day a week on and off and truly LOVE it. I mean cycling my heart out in a dark room with a disco ball to loud music?! Sign me up – yeah, I am a cardio junkie at heart. Knowing that I had to keep cardio in my routine, I like weight lifting and yoga too but they do not give me the same outlet as cardio.

And how beautiful is this place?!

Looking at my goal to improve cardio I knew up’ing my spin classes should help me in that area. If you have ever attended a spin class you will know why I say that – your heart is a pumping!

Lucky for me I have made my lunch hours work for me and have been able to get to spin classes twice a week for a six weeks now. And despite only running once a week for the past month my cardio has not decreased and I am able to run my faster 5km like I was back in half marathon training.

Another reason I have backed off running has been a tight glute/hip issue that has been nagging for months. Luckily it does not bother me when I run but I know it is not helping and flares up afterwards. Cycling is a lower impact workout so I have ha way less problem in the last few weeks – score!

Increasing my strength is another injury prevention method as often I seem to fin my weak areas are where I get injuries or annoyances. I know this year especially I have neglected strength training and have now committed to doing it two days a week through Beachbody or Fitness Blender  workouts Рboth are awesome (and often fast!) at home workouts.

I am going to continue on this plan for the remainder of the year and come 2018 I will be working on a plan & races for the year so that we can hopefully get closer to that 1:40 half!

Lindsey

Race Day Checklist

Did I ever share about my experience at Phoenix Half in February? Well, if not here it is – on my tenth half marathon I made a rookie mistake and brought NO clothes to wear before the race. After all, it was a race in Phoenix, right?! HA. Well the dessert is cold in the dark (I knew this!) and the race started at 6:30am with the sun coming up about 7am… I am sure everyone knew the Canadian girl in the tank top and shorts freezing her butt off for two hours before the race and for the first bit of the race!

With that I decided to create a race day checklist so this never happens again to me and hopefully all of you!

Lindsey

What have you forgot on a race day?