Monday, 20 March 2017

The 25th Annual Moose Run 25k!

Happy  first day of Spring!!!

I know Spring is right around the corner (and yet another snow storm) when the Moose Run rolls around!

Gee, flat Heather sure gets messy when she's laid out at 10:30 on race-eve! 


Marg, Sam and I arrived in Cow Bay around 8:30 and met up with the BLT gang. We snuck in 7k easy before the race to add to the 25k so that we'd have a big 32 in the books for the day!
Ahh, everyone looks so fresh! lol
I'm pretty sure Sherry was the unofficial photographer this year at the run. ;)
I love the relaxed feeling of the no pressure pace of this run. Greg gave me strict instructions not to race it but to log it as a training run. 
Did you know that for the 25th anniversary of the Moose Run 25km there was a record number of runners?! Yesterday 243 runners ran the roads of Cow Bay for the race. I love this race for so many reasons: the route, it's free (but they accept donations), the prizes and the food!!!!

It is a pretty rolling route but on the way out to the turn around I kept thinking at each downhill that we will have to come back up it again, gulp. I do like that it's an out and back so that you get to see everyone. Oh, and it also has a relay in case you weren't interested in the full distance.

Stacey and Marg just loved the fact that I was sneaking mid-run selfies! LOL.

We kept the pace pretty conservative and chatted the whole time.

I took this photo at the top of a hill on the way back. I wish you could smell the salty air like we did Sunday morning. I told the girls it smelled like home in Newfoundland!
I packed my Camelbak so that I could carry my water, puffer, gels and phone. And I'm so glad I did. I was super thirsty and twice noticeably hungry. I guess a long run over 30k will do that to you.

Natalie finished up her relay leg and then cheered on the runners!

 Jeanne was at the bottom of a hill and captured us zooming down! ;)

Sherry got some great photos of us finishing!


Pweph, that was close! We were only going 69km/hr...LOL.
We finished in 2:11:04 with 8:26 pace/mile. 

I really like the fact that this race has  a late start (10:00) which means a lunch-ish finish. Therefore, hot food for the refuel! I seem to remember beans but this year there was Vegetable Soup/Chilli? It was nice and spicy and OH! There was cake!!!!! 

An after shot of the gang!

In case the hills interest you...

Well Moose, until we meet again next year! Congratulations to all the runners!!! And a huge THANK YOU to each and every awesome volunteer!

Thanks again for reading the running rambles of GGR!
Boston is in 27 days!!!! 

Happy Running,
Heather :)

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Project PB: Week 11!

Happy Sunday, happy RUNday and happy FUNday!

March Break is coming to a conclusion ALREADY and I feel like I literally just blinked and it was gone. :( I spent a whole chunk of it doing my report cards and I'm very pleased to announce that as of Thursday I am DONE! :D

Don't worry, I did get some training, eating and Netflix-ing in too. ;)

Monday: If you recall, on Sunday I wasn't feeling the best. I had a bit of irritation in my chest so I was worried my bronchitis was coming back. I decided to take it easy and put my long run off until Monday if I felt okay. So Monday meant that I had early morning Physio, lunch time leg work at massage and late afternoon long run...lol. Lots of running around that day!

I ran on my own for a bit and decided I'd try to aim to be at the Coke Plant for 6:30 when the BLT runners meet. I ran 40 minutes with them and then 1.2 miles to Matt's office to get a ride home, lol. 16 miles for the day!


Tuesday: Since I ran long the day before, I decided to switch my Wednesday run with my Tuesday run. Therefore, on Tuesday I ran an easy 5 miles. The OCD runner in me really did not like all this switching business and it was only Tuesday! 

5 miles at 8:31 pace
It was so snowy on my run!!! 

The BLT runners were hosting a guest speaker (Jeff Zahavich) to talk to the running group about Heart Rate training. It was quite snowy out so I watched from home instead of driving to Nova Physiotherapy on the slippery roads. It was very interesting! 



Wednesday: On Wednesday I headed out for my Medium long run for the week which was 11 miles. It started to snow AGAIN when I was out there which made for some very tricky footing near the end. I managed 11.1 miles at 8:20 pace.

Thursday: Rest day from all the snowy running!!!! I did go to lunch with my friend Erin though. :) Cora's for the win!

Friday: Okay, my Friday run sucked. It was intended to be a tempo run with some VO2 max thrown in. It did not go that way. I was feeling congested and I knew during the warm up that my body would not want to hit those faster paces. I stopped my watch and walked a few times and really hoped someone I knew would drive by to take me home. :( By the time I was done attempting, I had logged 10 miles and walked the final mile home with the biggest pity party you have ever seen, lol.

I enjoyed a hot chocolate with Lucky Charms marshmallows when I got home...mmm.

And of course Lola was down for some snuggles.

Saturday: Since I basically planned two long runs this week, I decided that I would take Saturday as a rest day. It was glorious and not a lot of productivity happened. :)

Look at this sweet little goody bag Marg delivered!!!

Sunday: Sunday was Moose Run day! I honestly debated all week whether or not to take part this year because I wasn't feeling awesome. But on Saturday evening Marg and I chatted and she assured me that she would run at a nice easy pace with me if we went. I'll have a full recap tomorrow, but the short story basically tells of how we did 7k before the race started to give us 32km (20 miles) for the day. Marg, Stacey and I paced together and I have to say the run was tough but I had a lot of fun!
Thanks Sherry for the photo! Apparently I am Social Media-ing the crap out of it...lol.
Weekly mileage (I have 2 long runs in this week remember!!!!): 61.9 miles (99.6km).....like, whaaaaat?! I sort of wish I'd known so that I'd run a extra 400m to get that 100....the day isn't over yet...lol.

Thank you so much for stopping by my little space in the blogosphere! Have a wonderful day!
Do you use heart rate training?
Have you had a run recently that really sucked?
Did you run the Moose Run?!??!
Boston is in 28 days and 17 hours!!!! 

Happy Running,
Heather :)

Thursday, 16 March 2017

The Importance of a Strong Network in Creating a Strong Runner!

Recently I've had a few obstacles arise in my marathon training. I had some extra thinking time on my hands and it really made me grateful for the awesome support network that I am surrounded by. 
My biggest support crew right here! I can always count on Matt to boost my confidence when I am just plain doubtful of my abilities and Lola is always down for a post-long run nap on the couch.
Running is one of those powerful things that can make you feel like you can conquer anything one day and then have you sobbing in a friend's arms the next, (not that I have ever done that-wink wink).

One of things that's really important to me is having a strong support crew that I can draw upon when things get tough. Remember, not every day will be PB breaking with unicorns, BQ'ing with glitter, coffee and rainbows. That's just not how the pendulum swings.

I am very fortunate to have so many running friends in my neighbourhood! On very cold days when I just want to snuggle in bed with Lola, I'll get up and join them for our monthly Jog and Joe. And I think we can all agree that running with friends is way more fun, especially when the mercury dips below zero. Not to mention the promise of a nice hot cup of java at the end! Am I right?!
Photo from our Jog and Joe on the Road: Location - Jumping Bean, Bedford
It's also a great excuse to whip out the Santa Socks when the holidays are upon us.
Photo from our Christmas Marathon Launch on Dec. 24, 2016
Sometimes you need support tackling that marathon pace run.
And clearly a jump shot is in order when you do.
You also might need support when you feel like nothing is working out...


It's also a bonus when you have a  "training partner" for an upcoming race. I don't necessarily mean that you train with each run stride by stride and side by side, but someone you can hash out training challenges and successes with.

Although we are very different paces, Matt and I enjoyed our Chicago Marathon training that much more because we shared the journey together. 
And obviously it doesn't have to be your significant other - in fact many races I do are shared with running friends as well.

It was an amazing feeling to wish each other luck at the start and then see everyone rock their race at the finish! Clearly, post-race big smile selfies are the best!
Sometimes your support crew comes from the people who you have NEVER met in person! For instance, check out my Insta-friends I met at Chicago for the very first time! 

 And let us not forget Blogging friends! Virtual support goes a long way!!!!
Megan from Meg Go Run and I at the Athlete's Village in Boston 2014.

I LOVE that even though I'm the only member of my family who enjoys road racing, they ALL come out to cheer me on for one of my favourite races each summer when I go home to visit. The race becomes something we all take part in together at some capacity and I'm not leaving them during my short time home.


And they come out even when it's sideways rain!!!!!

It's also fun to "Race" with friends! Each year for a local 25km race I run it as a training run for the Boston Marathon. I don't like to race it fast because of how close it is to the marathon, but it's great to run with friends and take in the scenery.

Marg and I at the 2016 Moose Run 25km
Not everyone in my support network is a running friend clearly! If  you're like me many of them are! It's always great to spend time with friends talking about and doing other things than running as well. It always becomes very apparent to me how much of a role running plays in my life when I'm down and out on the sick or injured list. And I have to say that I find it very refreshing at times to take a mental break from training and hit up a movie or favourite restaurant with friends.

My coworkers and students are also a strong component in my network. Last year I was blind-sided when my school threw me an amazing kick-off to Boston assembly! I couldn't be more thankful truly! During the marathon I drew so much strength from them. 



No matter what, I would not be as strong, confident or dedicated if it wasn't for my crew! Thank you. :) 
Who do you consider to be your biggest supporters?
How have they helped you succeed?

Happy Running,
Heather :)

Monday, 13 March 2017

Project PB: Week 10!!!

Hey everyone!
I hope daylight savings time is treating you well, unlike some shihtzu divas I know. ;)
I don't know what all the fuss is about. I still intend on getting my full 22 hours of sleep today. ;)

Here's a bit of a rundown on how week ten of Boston Marathon training went:

Monday: Complete rest day! I did stretch like a champ though. Yay me!
And Lola watched lol. 

Tuesday: A windy 10 mile run at sort of long run pace. I was so tired at the end of this run!!! (8:16 pace).

Wednesday: An easy paced 5 mile recovery run was on the plan and I was down with that! Oh, and I got caught in a down pour and splashed by several vehicles, but it was all goooood. ;) LOL. Sometimes I feel like the splashing is intentional. Am I crazy?!

Thursday: Oh my goodness, my Thursday run was one of my favourites, NOT! It was tempo Thursday and I have to say I despise tempo runs. I much prefer interval sort of speedwork because there is a sooner ending time, until the next crazy puke pace session. Unfortunately, this week was windy ALL WEEK! On my way home, during the second last tempo mile the headwind literally made me feel like I was going to puke. I got so frustrated from pushing into the wind that I stopped mid tempo. :0 It was so tough! When I got home I wanted to kiss the driveway. But I opted not to.

4 mile warmup, 4 miles at tempo pace and 2 mile cooldown. Avg. pace 7:45 for 10 miles.

Friday: On Fridays I do a strength workout at home, as you've probably seen a time or two on here.
I was sure to do all the physio homework from Jeff (as evidenced by the bands on the floor), and I also do lots of core stuff like side planks, clam shells, etc. And just because I don't believe in leaving any body part out, lol, I like to give my arms/chest/back a bit of a workout too. I watched PLL reruns as I exercised. I forgot how much I used to enjoy that show at the beginning!

Saturday: Holy brrr! Saturday was yet another frozen face run! I met up with the BLT crew for a Jog and Joe at Starbucks. As Mother Nature would have it the location of our run was quite breezy! I forgot my Garmin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I realized as I was driving there that it was not on my wrist and I wanted to cry. :( Luckily for me Tom is in our group and he's apparently the nicest runner I know. He let me use his Tom Tom watch and later downloaded the file of the run, sent it to me and I imported it into Garmin Connect, which I had NO idea was even possible, but it worked!!!! The run was a 5 mile recovery pace run, except for the fact that Craig and I fought real hard against the psychotic headwind!  We then did 8 strides that had us airborne during the seventh one! Like okay Winter, enough already. We ended up with a total of 10km for the day and some hot coffee to top it off.
I was super thankful for the company because otherwise I would have called it quits after a mile of running in -23 Celsius. No joke.

Sunday: Ugh, I woke up with irritated lungs from the cold on Sunday so I chose not to go out in yet again another frigid day and push my body. I went to the doctor instead to make sure I was okay. She said the lungs sounded good actually, which shocked me, but informed me that I was experiencing a bronchospasm as a result of my earlier bronchitis combined with cold air. :(  I have yet another puffer. The temperature is supposed to be warmer today so I may try to get a run in. I'll keep you posted!!!

I am trying really hard not to get discouraged but it's not easy. Boston is so special to me and I feel like I don't want to let anyone down. I know that sounds crazy and my health IS my priority over logging miles, but it's not always easy. I am trying though!

And there it is! Me oh my pumpkin pie, time is flying!!!!!!!!!!!

Have you ever forgot to bring your Garmin to a run?
Ever have any experience with bronchitis or puffers??

Have a wonderful day and thanks again for stopping by the GGR blog space!
Boston is in 34 days! 

Happy Running,
Heather :)

Friday, 10 March 2017

Friday 5!

Happy Friday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm officially on March Break right now and I'm sooooooo happy about it! :D I know you're probably thinking, "Well with work-to-rule, strike, snow days and sick days aren't you rested?!" In fact no. That stuff was quite stressful mentally and physically so I'm looking forward to some rejuvenation. I will be having a Stay-cation at home, and working on report cards.
Lola is saying, "woof" and my shirt says, "run." :) I love notes from my students!

Back to the Friday 5-

1. Taco night! Sure we broke the rules and ate them on Wednesday night, but they were just as good!


2. I finally got my own Coffee Plant!!! I was beyond excited, in a weird way, when I saw them at the store. I've literally been looking for over a year! :0

3. Windy Running!!!!
I feel like every single training run I did this week was a headwind battle, (sigh). I seriously almost puked on my Tempo Run last night from a slight incline and a nasty headwind. I got so frustrated I stopped my Garmin. :( Thank goodness I made it home without actually vomiting, lol.
 
4. Running Tunes!
Here's a snipit of what I'm listening to on the run these days:
Warning! "House Key" has some serious F' wording in it, but I love it lol. 

5. Yep yep, Boston bib and corral assignments are out!

You can search your running friends here on the BAA's Entry List! There are like 115 Nova Scotians going to Boston this year! That's incredible and I'm so proud that many of them are my friends!

Lola wanted to wish you some Happy Running tonight as well. :)

Thanks again for checking in on GGR. Have a beautiful day!
Boston is in 37 days!

Happy Running,
Heather :)