For the past month I have been in Montreal, Quebec for work. With Star Wars: The Dark Side Half creeping up on me I have had to continue my training here, although not in the best conditions. I still follow the Nike Plus advanced plan, or at least I have been trying to. Work has not always been making that easy. Hours have picked up a lot and I have been modifying my training plan either because of time or just because I didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning. I mean, who wants to go outside when it is 15 degrees! That is exactly what I did today. I was lucky enough to have a rare off day so I slept in for a bit and then went for a run. It was one of the hardest runs of my life. I made the mistake of stopping for a while to take photos of Olympic Stadium and by the time I started running again my hands were really hurting. I was able to find a gas station where I went in to warm up my hands. I don’t know if it was worth it, but I did get this cool photo with the help of my phone timer and armband:
I have had quite a few running adventures since I have been here. One morning before work I ran ten miles up and down Mount Royal in the snow. I found a nice long trail once I was near the top and I couldn’t believe how beautiful it was! It was my very own winter wonderland and probably one of my favorite training runs to date. It was so peaceful there and I had to keep stopping to take photos even though I will remember it forever.
Running up Mount Royal has been very challenging. There are so many hills in Montreal and I feel that has made me a better runner. I am ready for The Dark Side Half and am really looking forward to it despite the heat in Florida. I will also be working at the 10k the day before so say hi if you see me! It should be fun and I am looking forward to a relaxing week off back at home.
Today I completed my last fourteen mile run of my Princess Half Marathon training plan! I was really worried because the forecast showed that it would rain all day. I had to complete the long run today because on Saturday I am running in the Lady Track Shack 5k. I did get a window of opportunity at about 8:30 am while it was just partly cloudy. During the run it did mist and by the time I got back to the condo my clothes were soaked. I’m not complaining because the run was amazing! I ran a different route than usual and even ventured off to an area where I had never run before. It is always nice to have a change of scenery. I even saw a rabbit in the new area! It got scarred when I passed, but I was able to snap a photo.
By the ninth mile I was pretty tired. These last couple of weeks have been crazy so I have been modifying my Nike training plan to accommodate them. That has caused me to have three hard workouts in a row both weeks, which probably isn’t the best. I may rest tomorrow so I can do my best on Saturday at the 5k!
Last week I went down to Fort Myers to watch my Dad play in a baseball tournament (he did great!). I found out that running laps in a parking lot wasn’t as bad as I thought that it would be! The hotel was supposed to have a gym, but they closed it down before we got there. We were on a busy street, but the hotel parking lot and adjacent Burlington Coat Factory parking lot were huge and empty that early. My Mom got up with me about 6:30 every morning and we ran laps through the parking lots.
I am still waiting for corral assignments for the Princess Half to be announced. I am excited and nervous at the same time. Track Shack said that it should be within the week, but I just want to know already! Last year since I only did the 5k and 10k I had to find out my corral assignments at the expo when I picked up my packets. This year I get to find out ahead of time, but the wait is killing me! I plan on racing this race and I hope my hard work paid off by allowing me to be in one of the first couple corrals. When I finally find out, there will be an update!
After my race a couple weeks ago I took a couple of much needed days off. It was nice to have some rest time, but I was really wanting to get back out there and train hard so I can get a PR in February. My hips were still a bit sore so I decided to do some short runs that were no longer than five miles. The first two days I ran 3.27 miles with a rest day in-between and felt great! On the third run day, however, I believe that I pushed myself too far. I was running at a pretty fast pace and at about mile two I experienced major pain in my right hip, so I cut my five mile run short and headed home, very slowly.
I decided to take some more rest days and finally go get my x-rays taken. After three days of rest and some mild cross training, I couldn’t help but run until I found out the results of the x-rays. It wasn’t the smartest idea, but yesterday I ran a very slow 5k. It was probably the slowest pace that I have every trained at. I knew that at the first feeling of pain that was anything more than soreness or mild discomfort, I would stop running and walk the rest of the way home. I actually didn’t feel that bad. I don’t know if it would have hurt more if I ran faster, but it only seems to hurt a lot if I twist my body or go up stairs. I have to make sure that my hips are centered and turned forwards to lessen the pain.
Today I ran the furthest that I have run since the half marathon: five miles. I started off slow, but increased the speed as much as I felt my body would allow. The main reason I sped up was because I wanted to get out of the heat as soon as possible! Is this really December? My phone said it was 73 degrees out, but it felt almost unbearable because of the humidity! On the plus side I got to wear my new dark side training shirt for the Star Wars Half Marathon in April. Unfortunately all I could think about was how I would have to run that half in heat like this. Whoever thought of having a half marathon in Florida in late April really doesn’t know anything about Florida weather. I hope I am able to survive it, though I am not counting on a PR.
This evening I received word about my x-rays and apparently everything looks fine! I will go in on Tuesday to discuss what to do next because my hips are still in pain. Hopefully they will figure it out. I did sign up for another race; the Lady Track Shack 5k at the end of January. I will be running with my Mum, but not with her. She said that I can go ahead, but she will be running in the race too! I’m hoping to set a PR since the only 5k I have done was my first race ever at 27:25. I also am going to be following a modified Nike training plan leading up to Princess weekend. Since I am three weeks behind now and I haven’t been running much, I am going to slowly increase my mileage while doing their format with long runs, speed workouts, and recovery runs. I also want to add in more cross-training and hill workouts! We’ll see how it goes!
Lion helping me work out
I finally got to try out my new Garmin 225 watch today! It worked great! I love that I can look down and see my pace right there in real time. There is also so much data that I could view after the run including heart rate, cadence and stride length. After I use it some more and know all the ins and outs I will write a review about it.
Today’s run was two miles to get me loose for tomorrow’s race. The first mile was done at a nice, easy pace of 9:19. I can always tell running-wise if I’m feeling good when my easy pace is in the 9:20 range, which is a minute slower than my anticipated race pace. During the next mile I was supposed to speed up for the first half mile and then cool-down for the second half. The average pace for that mile was 8:25 where my fastest pace was 7:19. It gives me confidence for tomorrow that my cool down portion was still at a fast pace, but felt easy. After running really fast, race pace felt comfortable. I hope that happens tomorrow. Wish me luck!
Today was my last maintenance run before the race. I was supposed to run three miles at an easy pace and then speed up for the last mile. I felt good except for the hip pain, which I went to the doctor for today. I was told to ice it and look up hip stretches to do leading up to the race. I will go for x-rays tomorrow, but there is nothing they can do before Saturday. I was able to complete my 4.06 miles in 36:27 with my last mile taking 8:08.
After my run I headed over to Track Shack to pick up my packet for Saturday! The race shirt is really nice and was made by Raw Threads, so it is made out of a soft bamboo material. I also received a drawstring bag with the race logo on it. I will bring that to the race to hold all of my supplies for afterwards.
I also received my Garmin watch today! I’m really excited to try it out on a run, but I will have to wait until Friday for my last run before the race. I will probably spend my rest day tomorrow reading the manual. I can’t wait!
Today was an easy five mile run and my last training run in Ocala before I headed back to Orlando. I started off slow at almost a ten minute per mile pace and then picked up speed a bit after I had warmed up. I felt great running-wise except for my hip pain. I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow where I will ask about it. Not sure what to do about hip pain, but I hope that I find out and it doesn’t affect my race on Saturday. I finished the 5.03 in 47:12. Only four more days until race day!
Today was the last progression run before race day. I got up at about 7 am and it was 57 degrees out! I ran to the trail again, and since it was an hour earlier this time the sun wasn’t high enough to reach above the trees. The first two miles were a warm up where I hovered between 9:30 and 9:40 per mile. Right before I entered the trail I started my progression. Again I was able to judge my speed pretty well. I started at a 9:20 pace in mile three and ended with an 8:03 pace for mile six. I felt great except for the fact that my hips were hurting during the run. I think I injured them by sitting in a horrible chair with no cushion in Boston every day for work. I hope I recover before Saturday, but it is not looking good. The last mile was supposed to be a cool down, but like usual I ran it at a faster pace after I had been going so fast.
Today was cyber Monday and I finally bought a gps watch! The Garmin Forerunner 225 went on a lightning deal on Amazon for only $200. I can’t wait to get it in and try it out on a run!