To Marathon!

Happy 1st day of June! It’s almost Spring here now. Hard to believe but, there are buds on the trees haha.

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We just got back from a hilly 5 miler.

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The elevation change looked like this (those hills were HARD):

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Since I haven’t posted in awhile, I feel like I should update you on some important life events.

1. Bella got a new bed. She is obviously happy about it.

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2. We went to Twillingate for a wedding and it was beautiful (and cold).

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Please put this place on your Newfoundland bucket list!

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3. We went for an epic trail run on the East Coast Trail.

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4. I’ve decided to run a marathon!

I’ve decided on the Niagara Falls International Marathon for several reasons:

  • It’s flat, which (I hope) will lessen the physical demands a smidge.
  • I’ve run the half marathon before, which I’m hoping will help with the mental piece.
  • It’s a BEAUTIFUL course.
  • And, how many chances do you get to run across the Canada – United States border?!

I’ve decided to use a training plan from Runner’s World. I’ve used one of their half-marathon training plans in the past and it worked out well for me so, I’ve decided to give one of their marathon training plans a try this time around. It’s a 16 week plan that I will be starting the last week of June.

I think the biggest challenge for me will be getting my runs in during some pretty busy months. I think I just need to sit down with a calendar and plan things out (#structuralpersonality). I think I’m also going to need to do some experimenting to see what works best for me in terms of strength training. I do a “pre-hab” (as my physiotherapist likes to call it) routine for my glutes every day because I’ve been a little prone to ITB flares in the past, but I obviously want to make sure I’m strengthening my core, arms and other parts of my lower body to make sure that I’m as strong as possible for the marathon. If anyone is interested in knowing more about my pre-hab routine, let me know and I’d be happy to share it!

Have a great rest of the week everyone! Training updates in t-3 weeks!

Jessica

 

To Marathon or not to Marathon?

Well, it has been awhile since I’ve written a blog post! I tried to convince Paul to write one in my absence but was clearly unsuccessful. I’ll get him to explain himself when he finally gets around to writing something. 🙂

Speaking of Paul, it was his birthday last week-end! We went to Trinity, Newfoundland to celebrate with my parents (since it was also Mother’s Day).

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Mes parents

We did a lot of touring around but, unfortunately, it was far too cold to get any hiking in like we had planned. I thought I would share a couple of photos because this is arguably one of the prettiest places I have ever been in Newfoundland (second to my hometown, of course!).

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There is where most of the scenes from “The Grand Seduction” were filmed. If you haven’t seen this movie yet, you must do so!

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“Random Passage” (based on the book) was filmed here. So rugged – I love it.

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And, of course, a photo of the birthday boy.

Now, let’s get back to talking about running.

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My (and Paul’s) training this week looked like this:

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 4.2 miles of speedwork + strength training

Wednesday: 3.1 miles easy

Thursday: 4.0 miles easy

Friday: Off

Saturday: 14.2 miles

Sunday: Off

I was not impressed with my number of “off” days this week or my lack of strength training. I unexpectedly had to work until 9pm on Monday and was feeling so unwell on Friday that I decided to take those days off. Normally, I try to do something active every day of the week except for Sunday so, taking those many days off is definitely not in my comfort zone. With regards to strength training, I’ve been on the struggle bus since January. I was using Kayla Itsines’ plans diligently all of last year and I think part of the reason why I was so diligent is because my workouts were already planned out for me. I’ve actually been writing “add in more strength training” or be “more consistent with strength training” in my training journal every week for about 4 months now. Oops. This week’s goal!

On the positive side, this week’s long run was my longest run yet! We had some strong wind gusts on the ascent which made for a tough few miles but it was such a rewarding run (even though I’m pretty sure that at some point during my last few miles I yelled out “I HATE YOU NEWFOUNDLAND” when the wind really picked up and started to blow 90km/hr gusts at my face).

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On another positive note, I think this run really helped me to see that, as long as I slow things down, I’m definitely capable of running a marathon. I’ve been debating whether or not to train for a marathon for a long time now, but I can’t seem to get myself to commit. I think part of the reason is that the thought of running 26.2 miles scares me. I’ve raced enough half-marathons and other distances to know and be comfortable with the amount of dedication and time that is required of those distances. I know that the amount of time and dedication that a marathon requires is so much higher, and I think that’s what I find most intimidating. I’ve also got a big exam coming up related to my work next Spring and I needed to start preparing for that as of 2 months ago (oops). But, at the same time, I think that as long as I adequately plan for it I can strike a good balance between working, studying, socializing and training. I think I just need to find a training plan that I’m comfortable with.

Would love to hear any of yours thoughts, suggestions, and/or tips for someone who is contemplating running their first marathon!

Have a lovely Sunday!

-Jessica

Snowy trails, our iceberg quest and a walk down memory lane

Happy Tuesday! Hope everyone’s week is off to a great start. We started our week with an easy 5 miler.

We did a couple laps of this loop to keep things simple.


Sometimes it’s nice to not have to think about cars, stoplights, crosswalks, etc. Paul stopped at around mile 3 to bring Bella to a nearby dog park while I did a few more loops for a total of 5 miles. I had intended to run 4 miles but, at around mile 3, more runners joined us on the trail and all that positive energy made me want to run longer!

My training last week looked like this:
Monday: Off

Tuesday: 4 miles easy

Wednesday: 6 miles easy

Thursday: 30 minute spin class + lower body strength training

Friday: 4 miles, progressive run

Saturday: 9 miles (this week’s long run) + 1 hour hatha yoga

Sunday: 1 hour vinyasa yoga

We thought for sure that all the snow on our local trails would be gone for our run on Saturday but, it wasn’t, which made some sections of our route a little more technical than planned. I feel especially lucky that I have Paul to run with during the hard runs. It makes them much easier. And, I of course love his company. 🙂

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I followed up our long run with some “doga” – yoga with dogs! It was a fundraiser for a local senior dog rescue organization. It was so much fun.
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We had planned to go and find the Ferryland iceberg that the whole world is presently talking about on Saturday, but we were both feeling a little toast after our run and decided to eat ice cream instead.  No regrets.

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We did venture out to visit said iceberg on Sunday, but there was too much fog to see it!

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The drive was beautiful and we were able to get a close-up look at the impressive amount of pack ice this year, which was well worth the drive.

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One of my provincial cross-country meets in high school was held in Ferryland so, we stopped at the trail where the races were held.

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Always fun to walk down memory lane.

Hope you have a great week!

-Jessica

Last Week’s Training & Vacation

Hope you all had a nice Easter weekend! We just got back from Ontario where we were visiting Paul’s family. We had such nice weather while there and were able to get in some really nice runs. Fast forward to today, in Newfoundland, where I am back to struggling with wind gusts of one million km/hr (slight exaggeration…haha).

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How beautiful was this sunset in Ridgeway!

Last week’s training (for me) went like this:

Monday – 5 treadmill miles (intervals, alternating between 10k/5k/mile pace) + strength (core)

Tuesday – 30 min spin class (using Aaptiv) + strength (arms)

Wednesday – Off

Thursday – 3.1 miles with Paul (easy pace)

Friday – 5 miles with Paul (easy pace)

Saturday – Off

Sunday – 10 miles (4 miles at goal HMP)

I took one extra day off last week than I normally do, due to a lack of sleep and feeling generally unwell on Wednesday. I’m trying to be kinder to myself this training cycle and recognize when I should rest versus when I should try and push myself. Wednesday definitely needed to be a rest day.

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The beaches – one of my favourite places to run!

It was so nice to be able to run in shorts again! My runs on Thursday, Friday and Sunday were all outside and we had such beautiful weather. For my long run on Saturday, it was 20 deg C and humid. I’m not used to those temperatures anymore so, I got a little overheated but, was far too happy to be running outside in warmer weather to even think about complaining about that!

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Ridgeway – another one of my favourite places to run!

I am really missing spring this year. We moved back to Newfoundland earlier this winter and here, our seasons are: winter; sprinter; two weeks of summer; and, fall. Not exaggerating with that one. BUT, we do get icebergs, and they are beautiful. So, that makes sprinter and two weeks of summer kind of ok. 🙂

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Saw this on one of our runs last week – such a simple and good mantra.

On a side note, is anyone else out there using Aaptiv for any of their workouts? I follow the Aaptiv members’ facebook page and it seems like a lot of people use the app for their treadmill and outdoor runs. I use it mostly for the spin classes but, lately I’ve been using it for some of my strength training sessions for variety.

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On another side note, we went to see the band in the photo above while we were in Niagara last week. They’re called Theatre Crisp and they are so fun and inspiring. Besides a trombone player, they have a tap dancer – his instrument is his feet! I just love it. The tap dancer is Paul’s friend from grade school. If you are in the area, you definitely need to check them out!

Have a great week everyone!

-Jessica

It’s Not Always Sunny on Race Day

Happy Saturday everyone! It has been far too long since our last blog post. Oops.

Paul is feeling pretty under the weather from a cold so, Bella and I ran 8 miles together this am.

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I haven’t run outside since January and it’s still very wintery in our neck of the woods (we had two back-to-back blizzards last week). We’re finally starting to see some milder temperatures, though! I was really looking forward to a long run outside when I woke up this morning. I knew it was supposed to rain but, I find running in the rain so peaceful. That feeling changed when I checked the weather forecast and realized that the winds were already at 50 km/hr, gusting to 65 km/hr. Not so peaceful. It’s supposed to be much nicer tomorrow so, I was very tempted to change my running schedule around. Whenever I feel like that, I tell myself that I can’t control what the weather is like on race day so, unless it’s dangerous, it’s much better for me to run outside, despite the weather. Even with that (attempted) shift in attitude, there were so many times during my run that I, and I’m sure Bella, wanted to quit. I kept telling myself that I could stop after I ran x number of miles but, when x number of miles were clocked, I was able to push myself to keep going. And, I feel so much better for it.

I spent the afternoon working on a presentation for work and trying out an Easter egg recipe (from Oh She Glows) for Easter festivities with my in-laws next week. Two people have already called dibs on these so, I only have two left for myself. Sad times.

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With my run today, I’m at 21.64 miles (precise, I know haha) for the week. I’m feeling so good about slowly making my way up to what is a much more comfortable mileage for me. We leave to go to Ontario next week and I’m very much looking forward to logging some miles there. This photo is from mid-April in Toronto last year:

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I need a repeat of that this week!

I hope you all have a great week-end!

-Jessica

First Blog Post

Happy Saturday!

Hope it’s (somewhat) warm and sunny where you are. Even though it is technically Spring, I feel like winter is never going to end in our neck of the woods. Thank goodness for treadmills! For the past 4 years, I’ve lived in places where I’ve been able to safely run outside during the winter months. Unfortunately, I can’t do that where I’m living now so, I’ve had to learn to embrace the treadmill. I’m desperately waiting for spring-like weather over here.

I went for an easy 5k run yesterday on our treadmill. Does anyone else out there feel like running on a treadmill is harder than running outside or am I the only person that feels that way? When I run my normal easy/5k/10k/half-marathon paces on the treadmill, it feels so much harder than it would if I were running outside. Which, I think is actually the opposite of what most people experience. Please tell me I’m not alone?! Since it’s been awhile since I’ve run outside, I’m starting to feel like maybe I’ve just lost all my running gains from last year (I had to take November and December off from running due to a significant move).

I’m also in this weird running place where, because I don’t have any upcoming races, I’m only haphazardly training right now. I think I need to a) sign up for a few races and b) find and follow a running plan. My mileage is extremely low right now (approx. 15 miles/week), because I basically made myself start from scratch for fear of getting injured after taking so much time off. Any running plan suggestions??

Time to run some Saturday errands! Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

Jessica