Monthly Archives: June 2010

A bib by any other name

To personalize or not, that is the question. Well, in regards to my marathon bib number that is 😀

I had fully intended on registering for the Portland Marathon today, and I was halfway through when I got to the empty box that didn’t have a red star next to it: “Personalize?” Uh, what? I didn’t know what to do. Do I personalize or do I leave it blank? And let me just say, Google did NOT help. Some on the forums were for it. Some were against it. My running girls, they were for it.

But here’s the dilemma: I’ve only got 8 characters to work with, and it just so happens that “Princess” is exactly 8 letters, but Princess of Pavement, way too long. Or do I go with my birth name? Some on the Google forums said it was cool to run past people, who don’t know you from the next person, but they’re all rooting for you by name. Or do I do a combo of both: KatiePOP = exactly 8 characters. Thoughts?

For someone (that would be me) who was seriously considering bailing on tonight’s run , due to the mondo amounts of stiffness my body was suffering last night, I had a pretty great run. I made a deal with myself last night that if I was still aching by this afternoon, I would bail … don’t want to go unnecessarily injuring myself early on, right. But when I got up this morning, the stiffness had somewhat dissipated, and continued to do so throughout the day. By about 4, I just had a bit of butt tightness going on, so I figured I’d give it a go – and I’m glad I did. For about the first 3 km, my calves were feeling majorly constricted, but as we progressed along, the burning sensation somewhat subsided, and it was nowhere near the inferno I was feeling on yesterday run. But other than that, I felt at ease, I had energy, I had form, I had oomph, and it was awesome! However, in about the last 1 1/2 km of the run I felt a small twinge of oddness going on in my knee. Me and the foam roller, we got reacquainted tonight!

Funny, between the five of us girls, none of our Garmin’s were synched with pace, we seemed to be all over the map, and yet, when we reached 10k, our average pace across the board was 6:30 – go figure!

TONIGHT’S RUN:

  • 6:15 p.m. BG before: 9.6 (temporary basal -50 per cent)
  • Distance: 10 km (tempo)
  • Average pace: 6:30
  • Time: 1:05
  • 8 p.m. BG after: 5.1

I tried out my newest running outfit tonight, and I absolutely loved it!

My headband even matches!!!

I decided I needed to buy another running outfit, as the laundry tends to build up when you’re running five days a week and doing cross training for the other two days (well, cross training for the most part … when I remember, that is ;)) and sometimes I’m really finding it hard to keep up with it.

A recent laundry backlog – and this wasn't even ALL of it!

So, I figured it was time for another pair of shorts (three solid pairs just isn’t enough, a fourth was needed) and I figured, since I was buying shorts I might as well buy a new top and some extra running socks too.

I loved the look of the Running Room shirt (it magically hides my belly softness and the turquoise colour is just sweet) but I was a little worried that it might get too hot when the temperatures start getting warmer as it’s a bit heavier of a technical material. It seemed to do alright tonight, and I think it’ll be great for race day … hmm … possibly a race day outfit contender???

When I first tried on the Brooks shorts, I was a bit shy in them, as they show a lot of leg, but they look awesome when I’m running (can’t say that about all my running shorts) and because the waist band is a bit thicker, my insulin pump doesn’t move an inch when I’m running, which is perfect. Shorts success!

The only concern I really had with the new outfit was the Asics socks, which heated my feet up a bit. I usually where fun socks, otherwise known as Defeet socks, which are really lightweight. The Asics socks are all fancy and have extra toe supports and compression and the works, and they seemed lightweight when I got them, but not while I was running. Hopefully the next time I give them a go, I’ll have better luck!

Happy Canada Day tomorrow – do you have plans?

Sunglasses? Yes please!

Oh-my-gawd! Do the weather gods actually like me? I’m not so sure about the blood sugar gods, or the body gods, or the Garmin gods, but the weather gods, they had my back this morning!

When the 5:30 a.m. wake-up call blared, my blood sugars were at a worrisome 2.5, and my butt had a slight tightness going on on the left side, not quite a pain in the butt, but a tightness nonetheless – but the crystal clear blue taking over that nasty gloomy grey in the sky, well, I couldn’t exactly let that go to waste now could I?

Mr Sun!!! I almost didn't recognize you, it's been so long!

After drinking some orange juice and doing a few rolls on the foam roller, I headed out the door. I can’t say that my run was great, given that my calves felt like they were in the middle of an inferno, they were burning so bad, and given that somehow I kept accidentally pressing the “stop” button on my Garmin, so not really sure how accurate my stats are. But, that being said, I do think I’m beginning to like these morning runs (shhh, don’t tell anyone, I have a not-a-morning-person reputation to uphold ;)) Seriously, though, the beauty of the people-free boardwalk continues to blow me away – especially on a clear day:

The plants and flowers seem to always be changing

Mother Nature has no problem keeping her heliotropes alive ... what's her secret?

I "may" have run through some of the sprinklers on my way back 😀

Sometimes I like to imagine that we live on the Italian Riviera, and it's really not that hard with scenes like this just a few steps from our condo!

Even though the sun came out today – FINALLY! – it’s still not the kind of sun we should be having this time of year. While those on the opposite side of the continent have been lapping up the sun rays, we West Coasters have been tortured with a seemingly never-ending chill. Normally by now I’d be spending my full lunch hours outside in the park, swiping away beads of sweat from my forehead as I eat and read. But today, I was only able to manage 15-20 minutes outside before I had to pack it in because I was too cold … but not before I saw this little guy climbing out of the lilly-pad-filled pond and booking it over to the shady trees:

Hmm ... what should we name him?

TODAY’S RUN:

  • 5:45 a.m. BG before: 5.1 (had one cup of orange juice and a granola bar following the low blood sugars, no bolus) (temp basal -50 per cent)
  • Distance: approximately 6 km (it was the same route as last Tuesday morning’s run which was bang on)
  • Time: approximately 45 minutes
  • Average pace: 6:33 … when my Garmin was actually on
  • 7 a.m. BG after: 10.2

So you know that slight tightness I was feeling this morning, well it kind of advanced to a full lower-body stiffness. Both my calves and both my hamstrings and both my butt cheeks are so freaking uncomfortably stiff, I have no idea what I did, but am really hoping it goes away before tomorrow’s 10k tempo run! Off to soak in a hot bath filled with soothing Epsom salts.

When is your favourite time to exercise and why?

Bend it like a beetle

Well, as much as I hate to admit it, there’s a dirty hippie in me yet. I became one with nature tonight – and I actually enjoyed it!

For the past few months, I’ve been doing yoga on Saturday mornings, in my condo, with a yogi girlfriend of mine, which was working out great until I started marathon training. I didn’t like the idea of doing yoga on the same day as a run, given that I’d have to do the run almost immediately after my yoga, so we decided to move our sessions to Mondays. But because my condo is a loft and is completely open, there’s really no place for Mario to go if we were to set up on the living room floor. So, we decided to take it outside.

I was skeptical at first, especially looking out the window and seeing the seemingly never-ending sight of grey that us B.C.’ers have been tortured with all spring and summer. And I wasn’t so sure about having people around watching us go through the moves, but Mario suggested we go to Hume Park in New West, which is a central location for the both of us, and is a lot quieter than other nearby parks. And it was great.

There was a group of about five teens in the picnic area off to the side of where we were set up and that was it – no one else was around. It was just Alison and me … and the bugs! Oh man, were there ever bugs! But like I said, I became one with nature. There was only really one moment where I let out a loud shriek and frantically slapped away at the thing that plopped down onto my arm and looked like it could have been a bee, but I’m guessing that maybe it wasn’t because it didn’t sting me. Other than that, I was alright … although, mosquito netting might have made it better 😉

The view from my yoga mat

I know that I was supposed to be focusing on the moves, but with the beauty of everything around me, it was really hard to concentrate on my inner zen. Every time we went down into the downward facing dog (which was a lot) I was mesmerized by the horseshoe of trees around us, and the lone bench in the middle of the field, and the clovers and mini daisy looking things popping out of the dewy ground. And every time we went down into the plank, the open field and the joggers and dog walkers far off on the trails kept stealing my gaze. And when we were doing the upside down pigeon (not really sure if that’s the right terminology) I had the perfect view of the patches of blue in the sky trying to break through. And every time we settled in the (proper) pigeon, I couldn’t help but take the opportunity to catch up – it just felt so natural.

Wow! I've still got back muscles even though I haven't dragonboated in like three years!

And the front view of my one-legged downward facing dog.

It was a great setting, with a great gal (who just got her first teaching gig in a studio – yay you!), with a great view. And yeah, I totally loved it! Mind you, I wasn’t so keen on wondering if those so-called sparrows circling up above (at dusk!) were actually bats! Nope, didn’t like that at all!

My yogi chick was not so keen on getting her photo taken, but serves her right for sticking the idea of bats in my head!

TONIGHT’S YOGA:

  • 7:15 p.m. BG before: 4.9 (1 cup orange juice)
  • 75 minutes yoga – did a lot of calf, feet and hamstring positions … and some ab work too!
  • 9:30 p.m. BG after: 12.3 (BG correction: 1.70 units)
  • And earlier: 30 sit ups

Reality check of the day: I’m officially into my fourth week of marathon training, just three more months to go ’til race day!!!

Nature calls

I love being a girl, always have. Even when I was climbing willow trees, or was knee-high in mud catching tadpoles and froggies, or watching hours of hockey with my brothers, I have always loved being a girl. I love being able to wear pretty skirts, and get sparkly presents, and fancy up my hair and go all googly eyed over the likes of Chris Cornell and Johnny Depp. But today, one of those oh-so-rare days, I actually wished that I was a boy.

Boys can always find a makeshift toilet; girls, not so much!

My bladder was raging a major war on me this morning. I went to the washroom twice before leaving the Running Room, which really isn’t all that out of the ordinary, given my nervous bladder. I go to the washroom at least once, sometimes twice, before a movie starts, I cannot talk after going to the washroom before bed, because otherwise I’ll have to go again, and yes, I go to the washroom numerous times before leaving for a run – all because I fear that I’ll have to go the washroom halfway through, and who wants to interrupt a movie with a washroom break, or be startled awake with a full bladder, or be stranded in the middle of a run with a washroom nowhere to be found? Not me!

About 10 minutes into the run I was feeling the familiar pressure of a bladder needing to be emptied, but I thought maybe it was just in my head. I tried to ignore it, but my bladder knew this route, knew that there was a washroom coming up – it was not about to let up on the pressure. So, off to the loo I went.

Once I was back on the road again and feeling refreshed with relief, I figured I was good to go. But not even 10 minutes went by before I started feeling the bladder pressures again. I tried not to think about it, I tried chatting up my running gals, I tried to just cringe and bare it, but none of it worked. At one point, I thought I was even gonna have to cross one of my legs over the other to help squeeze it in!

I couldn’t bare it any longer, I started looking around for a spot to squat. That’s right, desperate times call for desperate measures and my goodness this girly girl was in some desperate need for a pee. But, even though we were running in a pretty rural area, everywhere I looked was either crops or residential property, which I’m guessing the owners wouldn’t have been too pleased to look out their window and find a girl squatting for a pee. Finally, I saw a path and figured okay, I can make that work. I told the girls I’d catch up to them, and I ran down it trying to find a nice well-hidden spot. When I thought I had found one, I crouched down, but just at that moment, an SUV passed by, and I could so clearly see into its window and was pretty sure had the driver looked my way, he too probably would have had a clear view. Nope, not a good spot. Back to the girls I went.

I was pretty close to peeing my pants when finally one of the gals spotted a shack, and told me to go pee behind there. At first I was skeptical, what if someone lives in that shack? What if someone sees me? What if there’s an invisible electric fence that shocks the hell out of me? But I was practically doing the pee dance by now; the what ifs were quickly ruled out.

I'm the kind of girl who likes a real washroom, one with toilet paper, one with soap and water, one that flushes – not nature's rustic washroom!

I climbed through the waist-high grass, behind the abandoned shack, and squatted down. The sounds of the rustling grass had me envisioning a snake slithering up behind me, or an opossum hissing its ugly face at me, or a coyote taking a chunk out of me. I had fears of peeing all over my shorts, and of stinging nettles attacking my nether regions, and of vehicles driving by and spotting me. I could not pee fast enough!

What the heck was up with my bladder? My blood sugars weren’t high. I didn’t drink mondo amounts of water. I wasn’t listening to sounds of trickling water in my ipod. I’m warning you now bladder, don’t mess with me next week!

TODAY’S RUN:

  • 8:15 a.m. BG before: 4.6 (had gone down from 6.7 in a matter of a half an hour and after eating a granola bar and downing a juice box … had 3 DEX tablets, and hoped for the best) (temp. basal rate -50 per cent)
  • Distance: 13.17 long slow distance (10:1)
  • Time: 1:32:47
  • 45 minutes in: GU gel
  • Average Pace: 7:02
  • 10:30 a.m. BG after: 6.7

Turning accidents into treasures

You know you’ve had a good run when your ipod mix starts and finishes with tracks from Destiny’s Child – I’m a survivor, I’m not gonna give up, I’m not gonna stop, I’m gonna work hard, I’m a survivor, I’m gonna make it … (can you picture the head bobbing?)

That being said, though, this morning’s run was a little, uhm, extended. An almost 7 km run that my Garmin clocked in at being 46 minutes, actually ended up taking me a whopping hour and a half! Given my directional ineptness (and the fact that I was totally grooving to Bootylicious) I may have gotten somewhat lost … AND … well … I may have also gone shopping halfway through! 😀

When I left the house this morning, I didn’t really have a set map, I just kind of figured I’d let my legs guide me. Instead of starting out on the boardwalk, which I’ve been doing a lot lately, I figured I’d change it up a bit and give the overpass another shot. But when I got over the overpass, instead of going straight up the hill, which is another usual route, I decided to follow the SkyTrain line (also known as the 7-11 trail) … at least, that’s what my intentions were.

The 7-11 Trail follows the SkyTrain route between New Westminster and Vancouver's Clark Drive and is a total 40 km return ... I was only planning on doing 6 km.

But when the SkyTrain line curved up, I couldn’t figure out how to get across Stewardson Way, which is a major thoroughfare, and I thought well it’s got to hook up somehow, this is a designated path, and surely the designers couldn’t possibly have expected us runners/walkers/cyclists/others to navigate the vehicles that are going anywhere from 70 to 100 km/h could they?

Apparently they could. Nowhere could I find a way to get across (later on Mario informed me that there used to be a way across, but when the interchange got redone, they neglected the path, and voila no way to get across) and so instead my legs took me over the Queensborough Bridge. Oh crap.

It's loud. It's busy. It's a kinda scary freaky bridge! ... my pace totally sped up while I was going over it, a sure sign I wanted to get off there as quick as possible!

But you know what they say, accidents can sometimes lead you to treasure. Hello outlet malls!

With shops like Calvin Klein, Mexx, Esprit and even Best Buy you can't really blame a girl for stopping now can you!

I needed some purple shampoo (apparently it’s supposed to be good for us blondies) so I stopped in at the Chatters and spent some time deciding between three different brands: Joico, AG, and L’Anza. I went for the one that fit best in my back pocket.

It may have fit in the pocket, but it didn't feel so hot while running with it in there. I ended up running with it in my hands

Once I had the shampoo, I had fully intended on getting back on the running road, but the Esprit shop pulled me in … it’s not my fault, nope, not at all. And there were so many cute little things in there, and lots on sale (love outlets!) but I couldn’t really justify sticking a nice new top in the back of my sweaty shirt pocket. So, I guess I have an excuse to go back, hey!

It was a pretty great run after the initial over-the-bridge fear. And the best part, it was almost a perfect 6 km and NOT so hilly, which is almost unheard of in New West! Yay!

TODAY’S RUN:

  • 9:45 a.m. BG before: 7.0 (granola bar, no bolus) (temp basal -30 per cent)
  • Distance: 6.77 km
  • Time: 46:48
  • Average pace: 6:54
  • 30 situps (after a week and a half hiatus, I brought ’em back)
  • 12 p.m. BG after: 6.9

Do you think it’s okay to stop halfway through a run, when you’re training for a certain distance, and then pick up the remaining kilometres like a half an hour to an hour later?

Bike lust a bike must

I have bike envy – major bike envy!

Ever since we went to New York last month, and I saw the pretty powder blue Felt ZW6 in the Brooklyn bike shop, my Zing has been getting the cold shoulder; you’ve been great over the years, dear bike, but I have a new love now, and she’s just so darn pretty! Her sweet blue hues and carbon fibre goodness are filling my dreams, and pretty much my every waking moment too. How could she not, just look at her!

Sheer beauty!

Source

And ever since finding my new love (don’t worry Mario, you’re still top of the list for human love!) it seems like everyone is getting fancy schmancy new bikes. My girlfriend Chelsey just got herself a new Bianchi (another love of mine!) and Mario literally just got off the phone with a friend of ours who bought himself a 100 per cent carbon fibre framed Cannondale. So jealous!

But there is one small problem with my love: I can’t find her anywhere in B.C. Out here, we’re pretty much relegated to Cannondales, Specialized, Trek, and Cervelo bikes – and everyone has those bikes! And if I were to order online, or get a shop to bring her in, I would at least want to try her out before handing over the ol’ credit card. Lucky for me, though, Mario has bike envy too, and is heavily considering heading over to the States to check out some bikes there – road trip 😀

Can't catch a Contador on my Zing ... and yes, we do have a bike room!

Yesterday was clinic night, and we covered shoes in the talk, but given that I’ve been through a bijillion of the shoe talks, and that I just bought me a new pair of shoes, I kinda zoned out. Now, if they were talking about what sort of strength training I should be focusing on to better my running, I’d be all over that … hint-hint 😉

The run was good, a lot better than the night before, when at times I felt like I was sucking wind a bit. Probably helped that it was a recovery run … although we were still going about 20 seconds faster than we should have been at an average pace of 6:48. But, I’m sure once we get ourselves up to say 29k + 6k +  8 hills + 10k + 6k all in one week, we’ll have no problem keeping our pace down!

YESTERDAY’S RUN:

  • 6:45 p.m. BG before: 10.0 (temporary basal -20 per cent)
  • Distance: 8 km
  • Time: 56:03
  • Average pace: 6:48
  • 8 p.m. BG after: 7.1

What was/is your latest must have purchase?

Blame the shoes not the hills

So, just as I was beginning to concede the fact that I had gone all hill wimpy, due to the two-month running hiatus I took not too long ago, I learned tonight that that may actually not be the case at all, and that I could still, in fact, be the Contador (le sigh) of running!

Drooling!!!

For about a week and a half now I’ve been feeling an awful lot of tightness in my calves, kinda like how I imagine a boa constrictor would feel wrapping its coils tighter and tighter around me, and at first I thought maybe I had overdone it in the gym, which wouldn’t be all that unlikely given that I really have no idea what I’m doing in there, but then I thought for sure it was the New West hills – what else could it possibly be I lamented to myself, and pretty much anyone else who would listen, you guys included 😀

But tonight, two of my favourite mom-daughter running chicks informed me that it’s no coincidence the tightness showed up shortly after purchasing my Mizunos. Lori and Chelsey recently invested in a pair of Mizunos themselves (they got the exact same pair without realizing the other had bought the same pair too – and it’s not the first time they’ve done that! Now that’s a connection!). Their Mizunos are full support, while mine are heavy support. When I told them that it was taking a bit to get used to the supported heel (more aesthetically than anything else) they both told me that at first their Mizunos caused their feet to be a bit on the tender side post run – hey, that’s been happening to me too!And then later, when I was again lamenting over my tight calves, Chelsey piped up and said “It’s the shoes!”

I'm told that they will jiggle again 😉

Because there’s more of a heel in the more supported shoes, you’re actually running more on the balls of your feet than anything else, which is a good running technique according to those speedy Kenyans! And they both promised me that once the shoes were broken in – no more tight calves for me! I’ll so be smoking up those hills just you wait and see! Yay 😀

TONIGHT’S RUN:

  • 6:15 p.m. BG before: 7.8 (2 GU chomps, no bolus) (temp basal -50 per cent)
  • Distance: 10 km tempo
  • Average pace: 6:32
  • Time: 1:05:27
  • 8 p.m. BG after: 7.1

I’m finding it a bit hard to digest a meal at 9 p.m. or later. How do you guys fit eating dinner into your evening training schedules?