Tag Archives: cadence

There’s no crying in running

A League of Their Own may have been talking baseball, but for me this past week, that movie spoke to my running 5,000 times over. Thank you Jimmy Dugan 😀


“There’s no crying in [running]!”

But man, oh man, did I want to. Before even starting my run on Friday, I had pre-runner’s trots 😦 And because of the trots, I ended up getting a much later start to the run putting me out there during the top scorcher hours. It felt as though I were running through a thick wall of heat! And for about 30 minutes following my first walk break, I felt as though I was shrivelling up like a slug out there. I couldn’t push my pace, I couldn’t catch my breath, the fuel I had ingested sat like a bloody lump in my belly, and my body was heating up, dripping with salty sweat. And because of the earlier washroom issues, I was not about to waste any of my liquids to cool down my skin.

“It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.”

The focus of Friday’s run was cadence. For 100 minutes I was instructed to keep my cadence up, my stride short and my foot turnover quick. FOR 100 MINUTES!!! That’s one hour and 40 minutes. There would be no slogging, no scuffling, no jogging. It was basically run fast or die… or, at least, that’s how I viewed it! So even when I felt like I was dying out there, my inner voice kept shouting: “GO! GO! GO! DON’T YOU DARE SLOW DOWN! DON’T YOU DARE WIMP OUT! DON’T YOU DARE QUIT ON ME! SHUT UP LEGS! YOU DO WHAT I SAY!”

I didn’t quite make it the full 100 minutes, as I was pressed for time with the late start, and it was either run the full time or get a good stretch in, not both. My body needed the stretch! However, I did do a 5-minute warmup before starting my watch timer, so I was pretty darn close.


  • 10:30 a.m. BG before: 11.6
  • Temp. basal: none
  • Carbs: granola bar 1/2 hour prior (14g) partial bolus
  • Time: 1:31:34
  • Distance: 16.03 km
  • Average pace: 5:43 min/km
  • Fuel: @30 minutes BG: 5.6 Honeystinger gel (blech!) @60 minutes BG: 6.4 1/2 Pocketfuel pack (yum!)
  • 12:45 p.m. BG after: 8.0

“Anything worth doing is worth doing right.”

Later that day, with my body and brain both exhausted, I collapsed on the couch. My shoulders ached, my hips ached, my legs, feet, and groin all ached. We didn’t have enough ice to cure the aches. I groaned. I whimpered. I whined. And my dear, “sweet” (note the sarcasm) Big Ring, looked at me with his best Jimmy Dugan scowl: “You’re the one who wanted to be a faster runner,” he said.

That was NOT the kind of sympathy I was looking for!


And so, I started questioning my goals. Why do I want to be faster? Maybe I could just be a runner? I don’t need to be a fast runner? I could just, you know, jog, or something? Think of all the cute shoes you could wear again, your closet is full of cute shoes, what’s the point in having them if you never wear them? These thoughts? Really? Are you freaking kidding me? Yeah, no, that is NOT going to happen. You are not a jogger, you are a runner. You are not a 9-5er, put in the minutes effortlessly and be done with it, you are a hard runner. You suffer pain. You reap rewards. You do NOT give up!


“[Running] is what gets inside you. It’s what lights you up, you can’t deny that.”

And being a faster runner is what I want – pain and all 😀

speed DEMONS!!!

Finally, thanks to Coach NZ, I’ve got a running definition I can relate to.

Cadence: Run like a kid.


Seeing as how that’s half of my running mantra – “Run like a kid. Finish with a smile.” – you’d think I’d actually like running speed intervals. But no, that definition is nowhere near as fun as it sounds. Speed sucks – large!

Back when I started Coach NZ’s program, she warned me I’d have to get over my hate for speed. If I wanted to be faster, she said, I had to embrace runs that involved high cadence and speed repeats. I couldn’t just go through the motions, I had to put solid effort in.

Up until today, however, I think I was somewhat lackadaisical when it came to building up my speed capacity. Sure I ran those runs, sure I tried, but if I’m gonna be honest, I could have tried harder, I could have performed better. But there were always excuses. I hid behind the fear of past injuries, or not understanding the cadence terminology, or the fact I was just coming back, I wasn’t ready. But not anymore. No more excuses.

So what changed? What made me want to give my all today?

New inspiration.

My Canadian-turned-Brit girlfriend ran her first marathon this past weekend in Rome (I know, right!). Not only did she cross that finish line, she crossed it with a super respectable time of 3:44:07; top 10 per cent of women and top 22 per cent overall! Holy fast feet batchick! And this chick, she suffered major feet blisters for a good portion of her training, and sports bra chafing leading up to race day. She could have just phoned in the race, no one would have faulted her that, but she didn’t. She gave it her all.

And by golly, if she can do that, surely I can suck up a few (that feel like a bijillion!) speed repeats.


  • 5:45 p.m. BG before: 6.9
  • Temp. basal: none
  • Carbs: 1/2 apple, 17 grams, no bolus
  • Distance: 5.66 km
  • Speed repeats: 8×200 metres
  • Best pace: 3:24 min/km
  • Time: 37 minutes
  • 6:45 p.m. BG after: 8.8
  • Post-run bolus: 1.25 units

But gawd, do I ever hate them speed DEMONS? Hate them!

Stumped by the lingo and gizmos

When I dreamed of coming back to running I thought it would be like riding a bike. Actually,  no. I thought it would be like running, something we’ve all done since we first learned how to put one foot in front of the other. And it was…for the most part. I got out there and it was as though I had never left, the wind in my face, the burn in my thighs, the spreading and releasing of my toes with each foot strike I made; a feeling more familiar than the back of my hand.

But then, three weeks ago, it all changed. Suddenly I was being stumped, stumped by all the running lingo and gizmos – terminology and technology I thought would forever be stamped not only in my feet but also in my brain.

Cadence? Tempo? LSD? (Okay, that one I remembered, but only because it reminds me of something else ;)) What the hell was all that???

I am now well into the second month of my running comeback, and it seems, according to Coach NZ, I’ve built a foundation around my running. The first month we concentrated on reacquainting my feet, legs, hips and core with the pavement. There was no Garmin to track my pace, or to measure my distance, or to sound the alarms for walk breaks. It was just me and my shoes running with the freedom of the wind before us.

But now, that welcome back banner is gone, replaced by my nemesis: SPEED!


Month 2, Week 1: my first tempo run. Uh what now? For the life of me I could not recall what the hell I was to do on a tempo run. I knew it called for a faster pace, but how fast? Was it just a slight increase? Could I still run and chat if I so desired? Or was I to give it my all and feel like my heart would pop out of my chest (along with my dinner!)?

I opted for the latter. I still hadn’t pulled my Garmin out of the drawer at this point, and so to ensure I was putting a decent effort in, I figured I’d do the talk test. If I could have a conversation, I wasn’t working hard enough…the only problem, I didn’t have anyone to have that conversation with. But hey, it was dark, the boardwalk was near deserted, I figured, I could huff out a few words. So I asked myself “How are you doing,” and myself responded, “Just fine thank you,” which indicated to me that I wasn’t going fast enough… and to the dude who appeared out of nowhere (and who was quickly inching as far away from me as possible) that I was most definitely a crazy person. Hehe 🙂


  • 8 a.m. BG before: 10.1
  • Temp. basal: none
  • Distance: 6.4 km
  • Pace: 6:26 min/km
  • Time: 42 minutes
  • 9 a.m. BG after: 6.2

Beautifully crisp sunny morning = perfect for a run 🙂

And then came my Garmin run. After nearly a year since I last strapped the Garmin around my wrist, setting that bloody thing up was like trying to figure out quantum mechanics! I was pressing button after button, causing beeps here, beeps there, it honestly took 10 minutes to get it properly set up for a 15:1 interval run – and that was after the debacle of waiting for the satellites to kick in, which took forever!!!

For those of you who don’t live surrounded by condos, check out this video I did back in 2010, it will show the MANY frustrations I deal with when it comes to Mr. Garmin.

Yep. Once again, I am a slave to the lingo and technology!